News Briefs

News briefs: Lakes Region

By Lani Duke

GMC professor receives grant to study Lyme Disease

POULTNEY—Green Mountain College biology prof Bill Landesman recently received a grant to study the ecology and microbiology of Lyme Disease in Vermont. He is working under a $25,000 Pilot Renewal Grant from the Vermont Genetics Network. His work this summer will include quantifying infections with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. The grant also funds up to three undergraduate researchers this summer.

Going cashless

CASTLETON—Castleton’s transfer station and Crystal Beach are turning away from accepting cash payments, with plans to accept credit or debit cards at either location in addition to checks at the transfer station, starting July 1. The Select Board voted to make the switch at its April 13 meeting, accepting recommendations from Fair Haven’s town manager Mark Shea and treasurer Nancy Trudo.

This is a security move to protect workers from having to handle large volumes of cash, Trudo said. Castleton’s town offices and Prunier’s Market will accept cash for transfer station stickers.

FAIR HAVEN—Fair Haven had already ceased accepting cash payments on March 10, accepting only checks. Town Manager Herb Durfee announced that accepting such large monetary amounts at the transfer station had become the town’s greatest risk factor. However, there are cash alternatives for residents. Fair Haven’s Liberty Street Discount Beverage and Deli will accept cash for transfer station punch cards, and Durfee hopes to find another business to accept cash after hours and on Saturdays.

Fire season already?

Eliminating last year’s fallen leaves and dead grass in open burns can be a risky business when the wind comes up. Western Rutland County fire departments have already responded to several calls in spite of the damp ground that would seem to help keep fires from spreading. Also, be aware you may need a burn permit from your town fire warden.

Local cheese pride

PAWLET—Consider Bardwell Farm, Vermont’s first cheese-making co-op founded by Consider Bardwell in 1864, was revived by the three-person team of Angela Miller, Russell Glover, and Chris Gray, using milk from the farm’s own Oberhasli goats and cow milk from two neighboring farms, those of the Brooks and Larson families. The world of cheese has taken note. Its cows’-milk Dorset, Pawlet and Rupert cheeses and its goats’-milk Manchester cheese have steadily won awards in recent years, including the U.K.’s World Cheese Championship and the U.S. Cheese Championship.

Find out more about the farm’s history from Angela Miller in a talk at the Pawlet Town Hall on April 30 at 7 p.m., sponsored by the Pawlett Historical Society.

Moms of teens support group founded

CASTLETON—Bonnie Hanley has begun a Mothers of Teenage Girls support group, to host its initial meeting in Castleton May 11 at 7 p.m. Moms can gather to discuss approaches to such common problems as midnight texting, mood swings, appropriate clothing sources, makeup, boyfriends, and more. For more information call, 345-1289.

Keeping the building alive

CASTLETON—Castleton area residents gathered recently at the Castleton Community Center to discuss potential uses for the Buel Building, a complex of three side-by-side structures that had served as the town offices for a number of years. Built in 1834, it may well be the state’s oldest commercial block. Recently acquired by the Castleton Historical Society for $75,000, it awaits refurbishing.

Attendees discussed the Buel Block’s numerous uses in the past, including “mercantile emporium,” bank and library. What could it become? Among the suggestions were pub, recreation equipment rental, co-op, antique shop, and tourist info center. First things first, however. There is work to be done on the 5,000-square-foot building. And there is a matter of mold in the basement. Mold and other contaminant concerns were the reason the town moved its offices from the building in 2011, as the mold infestation presented a health hazard.

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