Sanders rallies for Democratic candidates

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copyright the Chronicle November 2, 2016 

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — Senator Bernie Sanders has seen bigger crowds than the one that greeted him Friday afternoon at the Gateway Center here. But it’s doubtful that any gave him a more enthusiastic reception.

Musicians Tod Pronto, and Jonathan Edwards warmed up the 140 or so people who filled the room. Mr. Edwards performed “Sunshine,” his hit from the early 1970s, and the sixties’ standard “Come On People (Smile on Your Brother)” among other familiar songs. Probably no more than a third of those gathered for the rally were alive when they were first sung.

Unusual for such a rally, the crowd lacked any other Democratic office holders. Most Orleans County candidates have pledged their support to Republican Phil Scott’s gubernatorial campaign rather than that of Sue Minter, their party’s standard bearer.

The former presidential candidate seemed relaxed as he entered the room to an ovation. He was accompanied by the trio of candidates he was in Newport to support.

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Congressman Welch visits Orleans County

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copyright the Chronicle November 2, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

BARTON — Peter Welch spent half of Monday in Orleans County. He dropped by the Chronicle for a morning conversation before heading up to Newport for a meeting with city officials and legislators.

The state’s lone Congressman is running for a sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives on both the Democratic and Republican lines, although he is a longtime Democrat.

In response to questions about the state of Congress, Mr. Welch said he’s worried about the Republicans.

“There’s an existential split in the Republican Party between the shutdown wing, and what I call the governing wing of the party,” he said.

The governing wing, he explained, “are conservatives who understand, at the end of the day, we have to pass budgets, and you can’t have a legislative body without compromises on legislation.”

Newport.

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Cash tax payments definitely missing in Coventry

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copyright the Chronicle November 2, 2016

 

by Elizabeth Trail

COVENTRY — A Coventry resident who prides himself on being the first person to get his taxes paid every year also became the first person to prove he made cash tax payments that never made it to the bank, forensic accountant Jeff Graham told the select board at their meeting Monday night.

“He goes to the post office the day the tax bills come out every year,” Mr. Graham said. “He gets his bill, walks across the street, and pays his taxes. In cash.”

Letters sent out by the accounting firm Graham & Graham several weeks ago asked about 163 Coventry property owners to prove how they paid their taxes for 2013, 2014 and 2015 — when, how much, and whether they paid by check or cash.

The letters were mailed to everyone whose taxes are marked “paid” in the town office, if Mr. Graham couldn’t tie the payment to a deposit ticket, he explained before the letters went out.

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News from around the county

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copyright the Chronicle November 2, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

Coventry finds arsenic in water

Arsenic measured above the allowed level in the spring that provides water to about 60 Coventry Village residents and the school, said Jeanne Desrochers, who came to the October 25 select board meeting on behalf of the Coventry Fire District (CFD.)

The CFD will hold a forum on Thursday, November 3, at 6 p.m. at the community center to answer questions. Despite its name, the Coventry Fire District’s job is to supply water to the village, the school, and a few outlying areas.

Everyone who gets water through the fire district, including the Coventry Village School, has already been notified and given recommendations on how to protect themselves until a permanent fix can be found, Ms. Desrochers said. She invited the board to send a representative to the forum.

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Glover parents want holidays returned to school

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copyright the Chronicle October 26, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

GLOVER — It was standing room only at Glover Community School Monday night as community members crowded into a classroom to talk to the school board about the news that there won’t be a Halloween celebration at the school this year.

About 25 people showed up at the school board meeting, along with Orleans Central Supervisory Union (OCSU) Superintendent Donald Van Nostrand, Principal Angelique Brown, and some faculty members.

In addition, Christina Borland has started an online petition asking that “holiday celebrations that have become community traditions within our school be reinstated.

“We understand that the school is a place for education, but that education must also include community education goals as well as academic goals,” the petition says, in part.

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Orleans-2 candidates agree on much

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copyright the Chronicle October 26, 2016 

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — It would have been difficult to tell what party the four candidates seeking to represent Orleans-2 belong to just by listening to them at Monday night’s candidate forum. The only clue was how Ron Holland, Judith Jackson, Mike Marcotte, and Gary Viens said they would register their disapproval of Donald Trump in presidential balloting.

The four candidates are vying for the two seats in the Vermont House district that represents Newport City, Newport Center, Coventry, Irasburg, and part of Troy,

Dr. Holland and Ms. Jackson, the Democratic candidates, said they would unenthusiastically vote for Hillary Clinton. Ms. Jackson said she would hold her nose while doing it. Dr. Holland said he picked Ms. Clinton as the one least likely to start a disastrous war.

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Burros was a pioneer in “political” food writing

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copyright the Chronicle October 26, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

Marian Burros began her career as a food writer because she and a friend needed to give affordable engagement gifts. She ended up changing the field because she recognized a simple truth — food is political.

Between 1981 and her retirement in 2014, Ms. Burros reported for the New York Times, covering all aspects of food including recipes, entertaining at the White House, and federal policy on food safety. She has spent summers in Barton and Craftsbury since 1991, the year her husband died.

In the course of her career, she helped redefine what it meant to be a food writer and was a pioneer in making editors see that issues that once were relegated to the “women’s page” were important enough to command front-page space.

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Moose kill down from 2015

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copyright the Chronicle October 26, 2016

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by Paul Lefebvre

The success rate among moose hunters for the 2016 archery and rifle season, which ended Thursday, October 20, is lagging slightly behind the 2015 rate.

According to a press release from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, preliminary reports suggest an overall success rate of 45 percent, down from the 47 percent of last year.

It’s pretty close to what we expected,” said the department’s moose biologist, Cedric Alexander. He said the rate was especially low in some of the wildlife management units in the southern part of the state.

Although reports on the 2016 season will not be final until January 2017, Mr. Alexander noted that hunters could only shoot bulls in most of the units.

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Albany teacher named Vermont Science Teacher of the Year

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copyright the Chronicle October 19, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

ALBANY — When Megan Jolly was in college, and for a couple of years after that, one of her jobs as a fledgling biologist was to crawl into bear caves in winter and haul out cubs so they could be counted and weighed.

“I have to say, teaching teenagers is harder,” she said on Monday at the Albany Community School where her stories about working with bears and seabirds bring science alive to her middle school science students.

Next week, Ms. Jolly will be named Vermont Science Teacher of the Year by the Vermont Academy of Science and Engineering (VASE). The awards — one for a teacher at the high school level, and one for an elementary or middle school teacher — will be presented at a banquet at the University of Vermont on October 24.

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Coventry board calls in State Police

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copyright the Chronicle October 19, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail 

COVENTRY — The State Police have been asked to take a look at the unfolding accounting crisis in Coventry.

Last week, an attorney specializing in municipal law, Paul Gillies of the Montpelier firm of Tarrant, Gillies, & Richardson, came to the office to have a preliminary conversation about the town’s recordkeeping issues.

“He took a look at what we’re dealing with and he said: Scott, you need to call the State Police immediately,” Selectman Scott Morley said at Monday’s select board meeting.

Mr. Morley had what he described as a ten-minute conversation with State Police Trooper Jeff Ferrier.

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