The Mountain Times

°F Sat, April 19, 2014

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News briefs from the Lakes Region

Town split continues
CASTLETON - There is still no resolution to the Castleton town office dilemma. Bond counsel Jake Facey recently told the town select board that voting which approved a $750,000 bond would likely not stand up in court if it were challenged. Now what? The board agrees that the town must vote, yet again, but that the wiser approach is to first obtain a bid of the project cost. Once a dollar figure is established, a vote can be scheduled.
As the old joke goes . . . "and then the fight started." Board chair Thomas Ettori thought to price improvements to the building while splitting off the pieces of the project separately, so bidders could put their price on different "alternatives" in the plans drawn up by architect John Berryhill. Critics felt that Ettori was breaking the project into parts to facilitate dropping disputed portions of it, and make it easier for voters to approve (again).
A revote could take place by early December, but going through the bidding process and then warning a vote tends to push the vote to early January. Some question whether the renovation requires a permit because the state Environmental Court has not yet ruled on whether the town office is an essential services building.
A recommendation that the board slow down enough to consider evaluating the town's real needs and the viability of erecting a new building drew applause from approximately half the people in the room. Based on that response, the town still seems just about split down the middle.
The primary/secondary picture
BENSON - Congratulations to Benson Village School eighth-grader Samantha Hadvab, whose work was selected to appear in the Young Writers Project Anthology this year, Her's was one of 70 pieces chosen for inclusion out of more than 12,000 submissions.
Castleton Village School sixthgraders have been reading "Where the Red Fern Grows." seventh graders were researching the medieval hero with plans to follow their research by reading medieval literature.
CVS physical education classes have had students readying themselves for fall fitness tests. The CVS research class is gathering data from the school drinking fountain, plotting usage against days of the week and temperature. The information is being used to generate graphs and make predictions. Students will predict how many plastic bottles will be saved from using the fountain by Monday, Nov. 25 at 10:50 a.m.
Castleton Elementary students recently got together with Castleton State College students in a mentoring program.
Fair Haven Grade School students recently met with police chief William Humphries for a walk to the Fair Haven town park. The University of Vermont recently recognized Abby Wald, FHGS Middle School language arts teacher as the Outstanding UVM Teacher of the Year. Fair Haven Union High is planning a Turkey Trot fundraiser to benefit Fair Haven Concerned and the FHUHS senior class. The event includes a can drive, with all canned goods collected being donated to Fair Haven Concerned. 
Orwell Village School recently recognized John Tester with a service award, Jennifer Jensen as outstanding substitute, Sara Quesnel as outstanding paraprofessional, and Christine Brown as outstanding teacher.
The collegiate picture
CASTLETON - Castleton State College communications prof and journalist Dave Blow recently released his first book "Blow by Blow: A Quarter-Century of Voices from my Notebook." The volume contains his best columns and news stories plus stories of classroom experiences. In addition to his college teaching, Blow has been a reporter and editor for The Post Star in Glens Falls, NY for more than 20 years.
Castleton's director of Budget and Finance Heidi Whitney took a September vacation hiking to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. She and 10 other climbers spent seven days hiking, scaling and camping along the dormant volcano's edge, standing more than 19,000 feet above sea level.
Castleton's 2013 fall Phonathon is underway, with plans for 16 student callers to make more than 8,000 calls to alumni, parents and friends during the academic year. The generosity of these people bridges the gap between tuition revenue and the total cost of a student's education. Beginning October 21, the Phoneathon will continue through December 5 on Sunday through Thursday evenings. A spring session will begin February 3.
At Green Mountain College in Poultney, The Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership recently published an article by Adventure Education prof Nate Furman entitled "Environmental Factors Affecting the Predicted Decisions of Backcountry Skiers: An Examination of the Obvious Clues Method Decision Aid." Wynn Shooter from the University of Utah and Jonas Tarlen from Three Sisters Backcountry co-authored the paper.
Lani's weekly picks:
Thursday, Nov. 7 - Local author Pam Rehlen will discuss her most recent book "The Vanished Landmarks Game, Vermont Stories from West of Birdseye" at 6 p.m. in the Higley House Museum, Castleton Village.
Thursday, Nov. 7 - Green Mountain College welcomes journalist and author Jim Sterba of the TV program Nature Wars at 7 p.m. in the Gorge, Withey Hall. The program is based on Sterba's recent book "Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds."
Monday, Nov. 11 - Tovar Cerulli, author of "The Mindful Carnivore-A Vegetarian's Hunt for Sustenance" speaks at 7 p.m. in the Gorge at Green Mountain College's Withey Hall. His book describes his journey from eschewing not only flesh but all animal products, to becoming a hunter. Cerulli's book is a text in the class Hunting: History, Ethics, and Management. 
Tuesday, Nov. 12 - Vermont poet laureate Sydney Lea reads from his body of work at 7 p.m., Castleton Free Library. Tea and coffee plus conversation with the author follow.