News Briefs
August 14, 2015

News Briefs: Lakes Region

By Lani Duke

“By any other name” . . ?

CASTLETON—Questions continue to arise over whether the collegiate institution housed in Castleton will actually benefit from the recent name change from Castleton State College to Castleton College to now Castleton University. Vermont Public Radio commentator Bill Schubart said that he “remain[s] puzzled” by the name change. Castleton is a good school, he notes, but he doubts that the changing the name will solve underlying problems of “enrollment and cost challenges.” More than half of Vermont’s expenditure on higher education is divided among UVM, VSAC and the five state colleges. The lion’s share stops at UVM, more than half of the funds. Enrollments as a whole are dwindling, too. Many experts say Vermont, and the country as a whole, should be reassessing the purpose of higher education, both in terms of providing career training for the next generation and in terms of providing employment for each host community’s residents.

Water supply questioned

WELLS—Water being piped into Debra Jones’ rented mobile home at 112 Upper Road in Wells is not safe to drink. Jones said the water coming from taps was pleasant tasting until repairs were made last winter to frozen lines. Since then, the water has become undrinkable. This spring she complained the water appears dirty and has a foul odor. Both she and her dog have been made ill, she said. In response, Enoch Pratt, both the town’s health officer and Select Board chair, sent a letter to local slate quarry manager Royal Harrison, who seemingly acts as agent for property owner Ronald Drolett of Connecticut. Neither has responded, yet. Town attorney John Thrasher has stated that the water’s condition is now a state health issue, and the town issued an emergency health order for the supply of clean water for drinking and household uses to be provided immediately. Tests of water from the sink in April and in May showed bacteria that make the water unsafe. Perhaps it may be little surprise that the water supply for the dwelling is drawn from the wetland behind the home, and the wastewater discharges into it. Nor does the property bear a permit for either. The state is conducting an “active investigation” of both systems.

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