Bill Stenger still on the payroll at Jay Peak — for now

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copyright the Chronicle August 24, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

JAY — For more than 30 years visitors to Jay Peak Resort had a hard time avoiding the ski area’s general manager, later president, Bill Stenger. They might find him parking cars, selling lift tickets, or clearing tables in one of the area’s restaurants.

One might think that would have changed since he and Jay Peak’s owner Ariel Quiros were accused of investment fraud in civil complaints filed by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the state’s Department of Financial Regulation (DFR).

That would be a mistake.

Mr. Stenger is as visible as ever. He’s still working for Jay Peak, albeit in a very different role, that of assisting court-appointed receiver Michael Goldberg as he tries to keep Jay Peak and Burke Mountain resorts running while legal proceedings are underway.

He has the same office that he occupied when he was president of the resort, the same e-mail addresses, and phone numbers. He even drives the same Audi he has driven for the past six years, complete with a Jay Peak vanity plate.

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Officials offer Newport economic hope

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copyright the Chronicle August 24, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — Although it’s had some reverses in the past year, Newport has friends. That message was clearly delivered Monday night when representatives from a wide variety of government agencies and nonprofits gathered for a city council meeting.

The roll of distinguished guests included Ted Brady, who heads the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development program; newly appointed Secretary of Commerce and Community Development, Lucy Leriche; David Snedeker, the director of the Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA); and Jon Freeman, president of Northern Communities Investment Corporation (NCIC).

Representatives of the Vermont Land Trust and Vermont Council for Rural Development helped round out the panel.

City Manager Laura Dolgin introduced the assembled dignitaries and suggested the city might see changes in the coming months. State judicial officials are looking over their properties around Vermont.

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Citizens hope to keep NCUHS school resource officer

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copyright the Chronicle August 24, 2016

 

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — SRO stands for school resource officer, but it could have meant standing room only at Monday’s Newport City Council meeting. More than 50 people, including a large number of teachers, staff members, parents, and students from North Country Union High School showed up to express their displeasure at Newport Police Chief Seth DiSanto’s decision to pull one of his officer from permanent duty at the high school.

They were heard by Chief DiSanto and the council, but the decision remained unchanged at the end of the evening. The chief apologized for making his decision so close to the opening of school, but promised not to leave North Country in the lurch.

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Derby Select Board Committee to study law enforcement

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copyright the Chronicle August 17, 2016

 

 by Joseph Gresser

DERBY — The Derby Select Board is far from convinced that the town needs more law enforcement, but members gave former State Representative, State Police trooper, and Game Warden Bob Lewis the go ahead when he offered to head up a fact-finding committee.

The issue of how the town ought to provide police protection has been discussed over the years, but it was brought to a head by State Police Lieutenant Walter Smith, who commands the Derby barracks, and Captain Mike Henry, who heads the St. Johnsbury outpost.

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Thousands turn out for historic schoolhouse journey

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copyright the Chronicle August 10, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

BROWNINGTON — The1823 Orleans County Grammar School traveled a third of a mile Monday with the help of 23 yoke of oxen and a pair of powerful hydrostatic motors. Peggy Day Gibson, director of the Old Stone House Museum, which owns the building and arranged for the move, estimated the crowd of onlookers at around 2,500 people.

On Sunday, organizers of the move were pleasantly surprised when more oxen than expected showed up for the move. The teams arrived from around the state, the largest contingent being members of the Hooves and Horns Club from the Randolph area…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating & What You Can Do About It

copyright the Chronicle August 3, 2016

 

Reviewed by Joseph Gresser

Larry Olmsted’s useful and frightening book manages to repeatedly stimulate and quell the reader’s appetite. He highlights some of the finest foods and drinks the world has to offer and explains why the average eater and drinker will probably not be provided what he or she is expecting.

In some cases the difference is obvious. Few people believe that Kraft Foods puts genuine imported Parmesan cheese in its green cardboard cans. It may come as a bit of a shock to find out that the can’s contents include very little that can be categorized as cheese, but the harm done is slight.

That may not be the case when someone buys what she thinks is extra virgin olive oil or seafood. Mr. Olmsted’s research reveals that the supermarket bottle that claims to contain fine Italian olive oil may hold a blend of oils that includes peanut oil, a deception that could put an allergic person’s life in jeopardy.

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An energetic and updated performance of Annie Get Your Gun

copyright the Chronicle August 3, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

Annie Get Your Gun is an early product of the golden age of American musical theater. It was first staged in 1946, just a few years after Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma, which kicked off an era of musicals that lasted into the 1970s.

Seventy years later Annie Get Your Gun is playing on the Greensboro town green, in an energetic production by the Greensboro Arts Alliance and Residency and Mirror Theatre Ltd.

The show was directed by Sean Haberle based on a revised version of the script put together for a 1999 Broadway revival.

Anyone who has ever seen the movie version of the show, made in 1950, will recognize the potential pitfalls the original version might encounter in an era more attuned to ethnic and gender equity. …To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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More named Renaissance Corp. director

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copyright the Chronicle August 3, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — It was July 28, Cynthia More’s first day on the job as executive director of the Newport City Renaissance Corporation (NCRC), and she didn’t have the key to her office.

Fortunately, Rick Woodward, the owner of the old Montgomery Ward building on Main Street and NCRC’s landlord, saw Ms. More’s predicament as she stood at the door and let her use his key.

Ms. More went in, followed by her husband, Gene McCormick, and a visitor, and she tried the desk chair out for size and looked around at the room’s bare walls.

By Tuesday the office was transformed. Ms. More had found banners trumpeting Newport’s marketing slogans and hung them on the walls. Swag, including Newport tote bags, medallions, and other NCRC branded items were out of storage and on display. Ms. More looked as if she had been on the job for years.

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Galbraith says he would put an end to big wind

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copyright the Chronicle August 3, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

BARTON — Former state Senator Peter Galbraith, who hails from Townsend, visited the Northeast Kingdom on July 27. He was on a campaign swing to promote his bid for the Democratic nomination for Governor in the Primary on August 9.

Mr. Galbraith showed up at the Chronicle with a piece of strategic advice for those who dislike large-scale wind development.

“If you are opposed to industrial wind, you should vote for me in the Democratic Primary,” he said.

He explained his reasoning by noting that both Republican candidates favor a ban on industrial wind development.

Should he gain the nomination, he said, voters would be assured that wind development would stop regardless of which party wins in November.

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Vermont lawyer helps free Gitmo detainee

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copyright the Chronicle July 27, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

Abu Zahir was cleared to return to his country on July 11, exactly 14 years after he was arrested by U.S. forces at his home in Afghanistan. For most of that time Mr. Zahir was held prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, while a pair of Vermont lawyers worked on his behalf.

One of the two, David Sleigh of St. Johnsbury, said Monday that Mr. Zahir was “recommended for transfer without reservation.” Mr. Sleigh said that means he will not be under supervision on his return to Afghanistan.

In its “unclassified summary of final determination,” his periodic review board noted Mr. Zahir’s “limited role in Taliban structure and activities, and the assessment that [he] was probably misidentified as the individual who had ties to al-Qaeda weapons facilitation” as some of its reasons for allowing his release.

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