Abundant apple crop causes damage to trees

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Branches on a young tree at Burtt’s Orchard in Cabot sag under the weight of this year’s apple crop.  Photo courtesy of Burtt’s Orchard

Branches on a young tree at Burtt’s Orchard in Cabot sag under the weight of this year’s apple crop. Photo courtesy of Burtt’s Orchard

copyright the Chronicle September 30, 2015

by Tena Starr

In the apple growing business, they call this an “on” year, but “on” doesn’t come close to describing this year’s harvest.

It’s a banner year for fruit in general, but the apple crop is beyond abundant.

It’s so good, in fact, that Kate Butler at Labour of Love landscaping in Glover finds she has an unusual amount of work pruning apples trees with branches that have simply broken off from the weight of the fruit they’re bearing.

“We do apple tree work as a matter of course anyway,” Ms. Butler said. “But there are people whose trees have not been worked on in some years, and they’re having a lot of trouble with breakage. It’s a confluence of events.”

Wild trees and trees planted domestically by home gardeners are having the most trouble, she said.

“It’s not so important for commercial… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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1,000 pounds of onions stolen from Albany farmer

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Andy Paonessa at one of his farm fields.  Last week someone stole about 1,000 pounds of onions and shallots from him and his soon-to-be wife, Meghan Stotko.  Photo by Tena Starr

Andy Paonessa at one of his farm fields. Last week someone stole about 1,000 pounds of onions and shallots from him and his soon-to-be wife, Meghan Stotko. Photo by Tena Starr

copyright the Chronicle September 23, 2015

by Tena Starr

ALBANY — A puzzled Albany farmer is wondering why anyone would want to steal nearly 1,000 pounds of onions.

Andy Paonessa arrived at one of his farm fields last week to top and crate onions and discovered that he had been robbed of about $2,000 worth of onions and shallots.

“I looked around and thought there’s a lot missing. I looked down at my feet, and I was looking down at tire tracks.”

It turned out that about 1,000 pounds of onions that had been pulled, topped, and crated up for further drying had vanished. There were, and still are, clear tracks indicating that someone with a truck drove in and simply took 20 crates of onions and shallots from the field.

“I said, oh my God, we got robbed out of the field,” Mr. Paonessa said.

He said his workers scratched their heads.

Even the State Police were a… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Irasburg wind opponents plan petition drive

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Irasburg Ridgeline Alliance (IRA) volunteer Becky Boulanger of Irasburg hands a Vermont state flag to Gary Bennett, also of Irasburg.  The flag is the final decoration for a hay wagon located near the south end of Irasburg Common.  It’s one of six  positioned throughout Irasburg in preparation for IRA’s “neighbor-to-neighbor” campaign kickoff meeting to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 9, at the Irasburg Town Hall.  Photo by Cathy Bennett

Irasburg Ridgeline Alliance (IRA) volunteer Becky Boulanger of Irasburg hands a Vermont state flag to Gary Bennett, also of Irasburg. The flag is the final decoration for a hay wagon located near the south end of Irasburg Common. It’s one of six positioned throughout Irasburg in preparation for IRA’s “neighbor-to-neighbor” campaign kickoff meeting to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 9, at the Irasburg Town Hall. Photo by Cathy Bennett

copyright the Chronicle September 9, 2015

by Tena Starr  

IRASBURG — A loose coalition called the Irasburg Ridge Alliance (IRA) has formed here to oppose David Blittersdorf’s plans for a two-tower commercial wind project on Kidder Hill.

The group will hold a meeting on Wednesday evening, September 9.

“The advice we got from our legislators is that the best chance we have to preserve Kidder Hill from industrial wind development is to present a unified and strong opposition from the town,” said Judith Jackson, an organizer.

With that in mind, she said, the group will start a petition drive to see how many Irasburg voters are opposed to Mr. Blittersdorf’s project.

“What we hope to ascertain is whether there is widespread opposition to it, and to launch a campaign to get as many signatures of Irasburg voters as possible for a petition to the select board to oppose the Kidder Hill project and to develop…  To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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A risky deal, or a path to home ownership?

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The Barton home occupied by Mr. McCausland and Ms. Stenta for nearly two years.  Photo by Tena Starr

The Barton home occupied by Mr. McCausland and Ms. Stenta for nearly two years. Photo by Tena Starr

copyright the Chronicle September 2, 2015

by Tena Starr  

BARTON — Dave McCausland, Sue Stenta, and Ms. Stenta’s three children — the youngest being 17 — are living in tents at Pageant Park campground here on Crystal Lake this summer.

They say it’s not by choice.

“Welcome to crazy land,” Mr. McCausland said on a particularly windy afternoon that threatened to tear their tents apart.

He and Ms. Stenta said they ended up being campers because they had to leave their Barton house after an assistant state fire marshal inspected it and found it was unsafe. The house had no running water, except in the basement, the plumbing wasn’t hooked up, there were exposed wires, and the only heat was an improperly installed woodstove, which they put in themselves.

Also, there are questions about what appeared to be an open sewer line in the backyard.

Because a minor occupied…  To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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East Albany Catholic church is likely to be sold

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The nearly 150-year-old Catholic church here could go up for sale soon.  Photo by Tena Starr

The nearly 150-year-old Catholic church here could go up for sale soon. Photo by Tena Starr

copyright the Chronicle August 26, 2015

EAST ALBANY — The nearly 150-year-old Catholic church here could go up for sale soon.

Mass hasn’t been said at the church for some time now, but it has been used for weddings, baptisms, funerals, and until a few years ago there were services on Catholic holidays, said longtime parishioner Paul Daniels.

Mr. Daniels provided a tour of the old church on Sunday, a church his Irish ancestors helped build starting in 1869, he said. He’s feeling nostalgic about its demise, which has come about both through lack of attendance and the need for repairs, said parish priest Tim Naples.

The problem is a financial one, not particular to St. John of the Cross Church, but to the entire Most Holy Trinity Parish, which includes…  To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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What to do with all those plums?

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WEB Ruminations plums cmykcopyright the Chronicle August 19, 2015

by Tena Starr  

This is the time of year when we have what we call “summer food” dinners. Mainly those dinners are about the vegetables. It’s a time of year when it’s a pleasure to cook.

People often talk about having to sneak vegetables into their children’s food. With two children and three grandchildren who have rarely refused a vegetable, who snack on vegetables, it seems to me that kids do not have an inherent dislike of them — they somehow learn it.

Maybe they were fed too many canned green beans, maybe they think of vegetables as overcooked mush instead of crisp and crunchy. Maybe they developed a taste, along the way, for…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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A blessedly sweltering road trip in Tennessee

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In 1811 and 1812, a series of violent earthquakes caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards for a time, creating Reelfoot Lake, which is shallow but encompasses 15,000 acres.  The area is now a state park.  Cyprus trees are the prettiest things there.  The water itself is home to such unwelcoming creatures as snapping turtles, alligator gar, and water moccasins.  We stayed at the Blue Bank Resort, which is right on the water.  Boardwalks and bridges provide a way for people to get around.  Photo by Tena Starr

In 1811 and 1812, a series of violent earthquakes caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards for a time, creating Reelfoot Lake, which is shallow but encompasses 15,000 acres. The area is now a state park. Cyprus trees are the prettiest things there. The water itself is home to such unwelcoming creatures as snapping turtles, alligator gar, and water moccasins. We stayed at the Blue Bank Resort, which is right on the water. Boardwalks and bridges provide a way for people to get around. Photo by Tena Starr

copyright the Chronicle August 5, 2015

by Tena Starr

For quite some time I’ve had an itch, and this year’s cool, rainy summer has done nothing to scratch it. After a bitter winter, I craved warm — no, hot weather, and I wanted a road trip.

Some people like to have a destination, entertainment and amenities when they travel — Disney World, a resort, beaches, one stop shopping, so to speak. I like road trips. That means setting a general destination and time frame, and that’s about it. What happens between departure and arrival is unscheduled. The point is to see the country and its people. The destination itself can be vague.

In this case, it was the Mississippi River.

Steve was taken aback when I said… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Melissa Mount and Steffie head to the Nationals

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In mid-July, Steffie took reserve champion in Open Training Level Dressage at the Arabian Horse Association Regional Horse Show in Springfield, Massachusetts.  She also placed in the top five in the amateur division.   Photo courtesy of Melissa Mount

In mid-July, Steffie took reserve champion in Open Training Level Dressage at the Arabian Horse Association Regional Horse Show in Springfield, Massachusetts. She also placed in the top five in the amateur division. Photo courtesy of Melissa Mount

copyright the Chronicle July 29, 2015

by Tena Starr  

NEWPORT — Melissa Mount of Westfield got her first pony when she was three years old. It was a Shetland, a small pony, which is the reason parents tend to buy them for children — despite the fact that they have anything but a cooperative nature.

The romance with horses ends for many kids as they become adolescent, but not for Melissa Mount. Somewhere in her youth, she got hooked on dressage, and now she and her eight-year-old Arabian mare are headed for the national championships in North Carolina, to be held in September.

The pair has qualified, which puts them among a small number of Vermonters who have done well enough at that demanding sport to get to the nationals.

On July 11, Ms. Mount and Steffie (registered name Profit’s Sweet Steps) took reserve champion in…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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A mobile home hits the road

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This house trailer was abandoned in Irasburg at the intersection of the West Glover Road and Burton Hill sometime early Monday morning.  On its journey from Glover it lost its tires, but ventured on, tearing up the gravel road.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

This house trailer was abandoned in Irasburg at the intersection of the West Glover Road and Burton Hill sometime early Monday morning. On its journey from Glover it lost its tires, but ventured on, tearing up the gravel road. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle June 3, 2015

by Tena Starr 

IRASBURG — Town officials here were flummoxed Monday morning by the appearance of a house trailer at the intersection of the West Glover Road and Burton Hill. Not beside the road — in the road.

Someone had hauled the big yellow trailer there overnight and left it leaning against a telephone pole. That someone had also left quite a mess behind him. The trailer had been dragged for several miles without tires and had badly damaged the gravel road.

The house trailer started its journey in Glover Sunday night, and with tires. It came north on Route 16….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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contact Tena Starr at [email protected]

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Newport Jewelers has first burglary in 34 years

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Newport Jewelers in Newport was burglarized early Monday morning, the first time that’s happened in the 34 years that Lincoln and Jo-Ann Brooks have owned the store.    Photo by Joseph Gresser

Newport Jewelers in Newport was burglarized early Monday morning, the first time that’s happened in the 34 years that Lincoln and Jo-Ann Brooks have owned the store. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle June 3, 2015

by Tena Starr

NEWPORT — For the first time in the 34 years that Newport Jewelers has been in business, it’s been burglarized, said Lincoln Brooks, who owns the store with his wife, Jo-Ann.

At 4 a.m. on Monday, someone broke into the store, broke two jewelry cases, and “snatched and ran,” Mr. Brooks said.

He said that, as of Tuesday, they had not yet done an inventory so were not sure exactly what was missing, though he believes it could have been considerably worse.

A press release from the Newport Police Department says police responded to the alarm at 4:08 a.m. When they arrived, they found a broken window, and two display cases were broken “and items strewn about.”

The Main Street burglary was certainly brazen, Mr. Brooks said….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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contact Tena Starr at [email protected]

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