News Briefs

Lakes Region

ARSU sets homework guidelines
The Addison-Rutland Supervisory Union has released guidelines for how much homework a grade school or middle school student should be doing at home. The rule of thumb for how much homework a student should do is about 10 minutes per grade level. First graders should perform about 10 minutes of homework; fifth graders, 50 minutes; and sixth graders and up, 60 minutes. The ARSU’s philosophy is, “The purposes of homework are to practice newly taught skills, review previously mastered skills, develop independent study habits, or to extend and enrich the curriculum.” Among the goals is to have all ARSU students reading at grade level or better. The district’s policy is to encourage students to choose books at their own independent reading level and read every day.
Act 46 committee disbands
The Pawlet-Rupert-Wells Act 46 study committee unanimously voted  Sept. 19 to disband. The vote of dissolution followed the committee’s near-unanimous vote against merging school districts, Chairwoman Susan Ceglowski said.
Representatives from the three districts seemed unable to reach a consensus on the issue of school choice and designating which districts to send their students to for upper level grades.
All three of the schools have been able to send their students to New York State schools under current state law, but the law applied only to those schools. Wells is in the Rutland Southwest Supervisory Union; Rupert and Pawlet, in the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union.
Ceglowski believes the choice-versus-designation issue should be decided by each town’s voters. Wells committee members were concerned that Rupert and Pawlet voters would not support the merger with school choice.
Rupert and Pawlet members were wary that there were no guarantees of school choice cost and whether voters would approve.
Before the committee voted to disband, its members had discussed the possibility of Middletown Springs joining in; the result would be a regional education district, eligible for tax incentives. The disbanding of the three-member committee does open the way for a new committee to form with Middletown Springs as a fourth member with equal voting rights.
Growing garden may impinge on roadway
PAWLET—Pawlet’s Select Board recently questioned whether a garden on Cemetery Hill Road may have expanded so much that it trespasses on the public roadway. The town has requested that Anne Marie Maiello and Jim Dunn remove stones and garden along their property on Cemetery Hill Road. During the regularly scheduled Select Board meeting September 13, development review board chair Keith Mason stated the biggest concern is the encroachment into the traveled portion of the road, creating problems for winter maintenance. Maiello said she would swear under oath that she did not add stones to the traveled portion of the road but has instead moved the edge closer to the house. Mason noted that the center of the road should be centered between the buildings. To Selectman Ed Cleveland, the road seems narrowed by the garden. Leaving the stones in place may make the town open to liability issues, suggested water treatment plant liaison Bob Jones. Highway liaison Chuck Weeden suggested the couple could reduce the width of their garden by half. Maiello suggested that there be a temporary agreement for the residents to remove the stones, and that the Board follow up with an on-site meeting to develop terms for a long-term solution.
Town snippits
The Castleton Select Board, meeting Sept. 12, chose town manager Mark Shea as the town’s representative to the Rutland Regional Transportation Council, and Paul Eagan as his alternate. A seat on the council helps the town position itself for transportation grants like the sidewalk grant.
Castleton’s police department has a new full-time police officer, Damon Angelo. He received an award for saving a man’s life a year ago in May, while working as a Rutland City police officer in training.
Fair Haven Fire Chief David Ward is resigning his position after leading his department for seven of his 36 years on the force.
Middletown Springs residents, plan ahead. There is an oversize trash and metal collection planned for Saturday, October 1, 6 a.m. to noon, at 877 West St., across from Parker Water Wells. Acceptable materials include furniture, toys, and small amounts of demolition and construction materials. Fee is $5 per vehicle load, no charge for metals. Middletown Springs is adding its town business directory to the town website. Businesses can “hotlink” their listing to either e-mail address or website. Call Kathy at 235-1369 to take part.
Lack of rescue coverage is uncovered
FAIR HAVEN—Fair Haven Fire Department Lieut. Michael Provencher presented an overview of Fair Haven Rescue Squad scheduling to the Select Board Sept. 13. In August, only four full days with two people were scheduled; 38 shifts—634 hours—were left uncovered. The lack of coverage results in dropped calls, delays in response and impacts on the health of the community it is expected to serve, and voters approve a fiscal appropriation for full coverage, Provencher noted.
Fair Haven Rescue is not a volunteer organization—all employees are paid, according to the report. Although the town has no direct jurisdiction over Fair Haven Rescue, Police Chief William Humphries has planned to bring about a meeting between Fair Haven Rescue and the Select Board.
CU students receive kudos
CASTLETON—Off-campus resident Dan Warnecke of Poultney has been named Castleton University’s 2016 Fall Commuter of the Semester. He works more than 30 hours a week as a baker and cake decorator while majoring in business administration. He is also involved in student activities as active member of the business club, president of the senior class, president of Rotaract, and senior delegate to the student government association. He is also active in his local church. All while achieving a 3.78 GPA.
Castleton senior Josh Barnhart is studying abroad this semester, having received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. The dual Spanish and criminal justice major is studying in Cusco, Peru, in a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
CU journalism students climb the career ladder
CASTLETON—Former Castleton Spartan editor Molly DeMeltier has become assistant director of the Castleton Fund and Donor Relations. She is finishing her M.S. degree in public relations and corporate communication. Last fall’s editor Callie Ginter is now general assignment and beat reporter for the Keene (N.H.) Sentinel. Former page designer for The Spartan Sara Harrison has taken those skills to the family-owned Manchester Newspapers in Granville, N.Y.
GMC branches out
POULTNEY—Hunter Trowbridge has joined Green Mountain College as its new AmeriCorps native plant land manager. Hunter will work with students and faculty to promote native plant species and control invasive plant species on campus and at the Lewis Deane Nature Preserve. A recent graduate of the University of Rhode Island with a bachelor’s degree in wildlife and conservation biology, he has field experience at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells, Maine, and at Colorado Parks and Wildlife in Meeker, Colo.
Music professor Jim Cassarino recently published the article “William Griffith (Gwilym Caledffrwd): Slate Baron and Bard of Poultney” in Vermont Genealogy. In the spring Cassarino plans to give a public lecture, and the GMC choir, the only college choir in the nation that performs music in Welsh, will perform works by Griffin.

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