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February 18, 2017

VT Gas penalized, feds investigate state oversight of pipeline By Lou Varricchio

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Public Service Board on Feb. 2 penalized Vermont Gas Systems’ earnings for three years due to management shortcomings dating back to early construction of a new gas pipeline running through Addison County. The penalty, which is being imposed on the utility’s income, will prevent Vermont Gas from being able to earn more than 8.5 percent on its capital assets through the end of 2019. Vermont Gas President and CEO Don Rendall admitted that the company failed to “prudently” plan and manage the first phases of the construction project, which spans 41 miles and goes through Addison County. As the project nears its final phase of completion, Rendall told reporters Thursday that “significant challenges” were confronted early on but the pipeline is now “back on track.” Since 2015, the project has been plagued by regular protests against Vermont Gas and the Vermont Department of Public Service. The gatherings, staged mostly in Hinesburg, disrupt construction work in the area and in Geprags Park, a small Continued on page 10

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Changes for Middlebury’s Main Street By Cassandra Loucy

MIDDLEBURY — Two Middlebury businesses have closed their doors, but not their shops. Rainbow Room and Clementine, both located on Main Street, have closed up their brick and mortar locations and are moving to an online only business model. Home décor and stationery boutique Clementine, owned by Emily Blistein, called Main Street its home for nearly six years. Blistein will now run the business as an online and popup shop. It will feature a changing variety of items, with particular focus on handmade and independent artists. Abby DeGraw-Josey, owner of Rainbow Room — a jewelry, accessories, and gift store — has said the decision to close the physical location was not easy. “I honestly thought I was crazy until I heard Clementine was doing the same thing…I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve laid awake trying to decide what the best option was. Taking a Middlebury staple and closing after 38 years has been the hardest decision of my life. The tears haven’t come yet but they will. The idea of not being able to see all my customers face to face breaks my heart.” Over the past several years, downtown Middlebury has gone through several transformations. The bridge over Otter Creek has been built, a rotary created in the center of town, a park built this past year, and in the near future, more plans are in place to replace and repair railroad tracks. This constant state of transition has had an impact on business owners on Merchant’s Row and Main Street. “All of these have impacted parking and foot traffic — my Continued on page 12

Vermont Tree Goods of Bristol has donated a massive slice from a 130 year old American elm tree that will hang in the lobby of Elm Place, an affordable senior living community in Milton that will open for occupancy in March. Vermont Tree Goods founder John Monks and woodworkers Natt Harkins and Ben Deleiris load the American elm slice into a car for its journey to Milton, where it will hang in the lobby of Elm Place, an affordable housing community for seniors developed by Cathedral Square of South Burlington. Elm Place will open for occupancy in March. Photo provided

Big Brother will be watching motor vehicle inspections By Lou Varricchio Vermont Watchdog

Middlebury auto service station owner Damon Pelkey said he had to pay for new, state-mandated inspection equipment out of pocket. Photo by Lou Varricchio

MIDDLEBURY — After decades of using ink pens and carbon-paper record books for vehicle inspection work, the Green Mountain State is going digital and adopting the Automated Vehicle Inspection Program. The move away from paper inspection records to centralized internet-based data collecting is part of the state’s attempt to reduce inspection fraud and so-called sticker shopping by some vehicle owners. Following a competitive bidding process in 2016, Vermont contracted California-based Parsons, an international engineering services firm, to provide AVIP administration services, maintenance and support, inspection equipment and a technical support hotline for participating Vermont auto service centers. According to Parsons’ website, the company inspects 2.3 Continued on page 11

2 | February 18, 2017 • The Vermont Eagle

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Green Up Vermont student contest winners announced Support Green Up Day on VT tax returns MONTPELIER — Green Up Vermont announced winners in its annual student poster design contest for Green Up Day 2017. The winning art entry for the promotional poster was designed by Hope Petraro, grade 9, of Montpelier. She painted a vibrant, warm sun setting on a lovely Vermont lake. Hope said, “I wanted to do something that would stand out and show the beauty of Vermont; would be colorful but realistic; have trees, which are important; have sensitive colors like peaches softly bleeding. I chose a bigger font for Vermont because it’s the beauty, and then there’s Green Up, smaller but important for taking care of it.” Hope cares very much about the environment and taking care of it; she is actively involved with other students to this end. She feels that the Green Up ethic aligns well with her personality and her core values. Winners werw also chosen for recognition in three grade categories: K-4 won by second grader Misha Chirkov of Newbury; 5-8 won by Graciana Maier of Sinderland; 9-12 won by Perin Patel of Bennington, grade 11, Mt. Anthony Union High School.

To view all the winning poster designs, visit Hope’s design will be featured on the official 2017 Green Up Day poster. Posters distributed statewide in April help promote participation in Green Up Day, May 6. Hope received $250 for her winning design, and the grade category winners each received $50. Green Up Day is on its way! Always the first Saturday in May, Green Up Day will mark 47 years on May 6. Thousands of volunteers will take part in cleaning their communities’ roadsides, public places, and waterways. Vermont was the first state in the nation to designate one special day for cleaning the entire state. Visit the Green Up website to find out who is your Town Coordinator and where to pick up the Green Up Day trash bags and learn your town’s plan for proper disposal. Green Up Vermont is the charitable nonprofit organization for continuing Vermont’s Green Up Day tradition. There is still time to donate to Green Up on the Vermont State Income Tax form, line 29. If your taxes are already filed, donations can be made securely online anytime at Winning poster design by Hope Petraro, Grade 9, of Montpelier

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The Vermont Eagle • February 18, 2017 | 3

Financial assistance for farmers Applications due by Feb. 17

COLCHESTER — The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Vermont is encouraging producers to submit applications for financial and technical assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). While EQIP is offered through a continuous signup, NRCS makes periodic funding selections. The last application cut-off date for farmstead practices to be funded in 2017 is Feb. 17. Examples of farmstead conservation practices include barnyard structural practices such as manure waste lagoons,

heavy use areas, manure pits, etc. NRCS State Conservationist Vicky Drew said farmers should not wait to submit applications. “Structural practices that can help farmers protect and improve soil and water quality require a considerable amount of planning and engineering design,” she explained. “To increase chances of receiving assistance, farmers should get started on the application process as soon as possible,” she added. EQIP allows farmers to conserve natural resources by making available financial assistance for a variety of conservation activities. Applications must be submitted and approved before implementing conservation practices. Last year, VT NRCS allocated $10.4

The Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce cut the ribbon at the new location of TLC HomeCare Services, Inc. TLC HomeCare Services provides personalized home care services to people of all ages, physical conditions and cognitive abilities. They offer quality in-home senior care including personal care, homemaking, companionship, Alzheimer’s care, dementia care, respite care, nursing supervision, medication management, and many other care services in the home, hospital, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and other places of residence. TLC HomeCare Services is located at 65 North Main Street, Suite 1 in Rut-

million through EQIP directly to farmers and forest landowners in Vermont to help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns and for opportunities to improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. EQIP can also help Vermont farmers meet Federal, State, and local environmental regulations. EQIP is an important Farm Bill conservation program that helps established farmers as well as beginning, historically underserved, and limited resource producers. Learn more by visiting the Vermont NRCS EQIP website or contact your local NRCS office.

land, VT. Pictured: Abi Ameker, Paula Buckley, Bob Ellis, Sen. Brian Collamore, Wendy Bombard, Rep. Larry Cupoli, Tim Fortune, Vice President & Community Liaison, Jerry Hansen, RRCC Board of Directors, Mohamed Basha, President & CEO, Gloria Kamencik, Mayor Christopher Louras, Kelsey Warner, Jessica Kalb, Regional Vice President, Alan Sousie, Pam Issenman, Rep. Mary Howard, Rep. Butch Shaw, Mary Cohen, Executive Director RRCC, and other TLC Staff Members. Photo provided

4 | February 18, 2017 • The Vermont Eagle

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Opinion From the Editor


Publisher’s Column

Trust is elusive

Back in my day...


s someone in their late twenties, it feels a bit bold to use the phrase “back in my day”. But this past weekend’s winter storm got me thinking about what snow days were like when I was a kid. “Back in my day,” school closings generally didn’t happen the night before. If there was a storm predicted, we went to bed hoping to wake up with the white stuff piled against our windows, crossing our fingers that we wouldn’t wake up to the sound of “Get up, it’s time to get ready for school”. Today, the decision to close school seems to be made the afternoon preceding the predicted storm. Keep in mind Vermont weather can change in five minutes, and an early cancellation is sometimes wasted on a non-existent storm. “Back in my day”, we got up first thing in the morning and turned on the weather channel on TV or the radio, and listened intently, hoping to hear that school was cancelled. If you missed your school in the alphabetical list, you had to wait for the list to be started over. Today, school closings get plastered on social media, and parents receive an automated text message on their cell phones letting them know. Even the snow days themselves are different than when I was a kid. It has been quite a while since we’ve gotten more than a few inches of snow at a time, and quite often now snow days are more like “ice days”. “Back in my day”, we didn’t have iPads, Apple TV, and Netflix to occupy us, so on a snow day we bundled up in bib snow pants and jackets, put on our mittens that were connected by a string, and spent the entire day outside. We shoveled stairs, went sledding, built forts and snow tunnels, and threw snowballs until our faces were numb. As soon as we came inside, we’d make a steaming mug of Swiss Miss hot chocolate with mini marshmallows that were completely melted before we even finished stirring. So what’s actually behind these changes? Some would argue that we have more advanced technology to predict the weather more accurately, and earlier, so it makes sense to cancel school in advance. I wonder if perhaps we’re getting more — or possibly overly? — cautious. The weather has changed over the years, and winter storms with any kind of significant accumulation are few and far between. Are we cancelling school early because we’re out of practice driving in the stuff? What about the activities kids are occupying themselves with on snow days? My older brother and I would spend every possible second of a snow day outside, burrowing through snow banks, flying down our driveway on a sled, and otherwise engaging in some questionably safe activities. And guess what? We survived. In the Pinterest era, I think parents tend to think they need to structure a daily schedule of safe, educational, crafty activities. Next time there is snow day, kick the kids outside and let them use their imagination, let them fall a few times, and just have the Swiss Miss ready when they finally come inside to thaw. Let’s enjoy the snow days we enjoyed “back in my day.” --Cassandra Loucy

VoiceYourOpinion The Eagle welcomes letters to the editor. Letters can be sent to its offices, 16 Creek Road, Suite 5A, Middlebury, Vermont 05753 or e-mailed to Letters can also be submitted online at Letters should not exceed 400 words and must be signed and include a telephone number for verification. New Market Press reserves the right to edit letters for length and/or content. Letters deemed inappropriate will be rejected.


rust. Now there’s a word worth its weight in gold. Today we are bombarded with so many sources of information and nearly everyone has an opinion, a spin, an angle or a twist on the information we receive. It is truly difficult to know what’s really honest, factual truth. I think we can all accept the Dan Alexander fact that we, each in our own Thoughts from way, bring a certain bias to our Behind the Pressline ability to accept the source of factual information we receive. No matter how a single source presents certain information, we may find it difficult to trust the information simply because of the source. Yet the same information from another source may be accepted without question. So is it the information in doubt or just the source? Which really brings us to the root of the problem. Our news sources have become caught up in the process of delivering the news, and as such, have cast a large shadow over all sources of traditional information; making the acceptance of information from non-traditional sources seem more reasonable. The end result is we find ourselves only going to sources of information that don’t challenge us to consider any piece of information that requires us to provide a fair evaluation. Accepting information that could change our core belief is not fashionable these days and in fact could get you fired, ostracized and at the very least place you in an uncomfortable position. In today’s environment it is better to go with the crowd and stick with what you hope you know than to question yourself and perhaps rock your world. So how do we change the course we are on? If we only accept information that affirms our core beliefs and reject any source that brings details to the contrary, how will we ever find common ground or even come close to understanding why anyone believes anything contrary to what you believe? Why should any source present both sides of an issue when the information runs afoul to a significant portion of the population without sooner or later offending both sides? Therein lies the hard truth we must sooner or later face up to. We are nearing the point of out right hatred for anyone who dares to disagree, even if they provide sound reason for their views. Compromise is not something we find acceptable today, as it is more akin to being a turncoat. Someday I hope we’ll all look back on this period in history and shake our heads in disbelief while being thankful we ultimately came to our senses. Let’s hope it’s not too far in the distance future. Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press. He may be reached at


Education=Opportunity. Opportunity for Vermonters. Opportunity for Vermont.


overnor Phil Scott’s budget request to invest an additional $1 million in the non-degree grant program will pay off in real opportunities for Vermonters who need education and training for jobs that are waiting to be filled. In fact, over the next decade, seven out of 10 of the highpay, high-demand jobs created in Vermont will require education or training after high school, according to Vermont’s Department of Labor. Education is the key to a better and more prosperous life and it’s the most powerful tool we have to end generational poverty and reverse social inequities. But too many Vermonters don’t have the education and training they need now and that will be required in the future for the new workplace. For Vermonters, continuing education or training after high school isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. Automation and technology are changing the face of the American workforce. Robots now milk cows on Vermont farms. Manufacturing jobs require advanced math and other academic skills that come with education after high school. The New York Times reports that “nearly nine in 10 jobs that disappeared since 2000 were lost to automation in the decades-long march to an information-driven economy, not to workers in other countries.” That’s the economic revolution we live in. That’s the reality we must prepare for. Vermont will need skilled workers who will create opportunity for themselves and for the state. In nearly all cases, that means continuing education and training after high school. This funding will be instrumental in helping more Vermonters have access to education and training right here in Vermont and making it more affordable. The non-degree grant is particularly powerful because it opens doors and transforms lives through education and training. At VSAC, we get to work with adult students and see what happens when they believe in themselves and make the

leap. It is inspiring. Vermont was the first state to create a non-degree grant program in 1982 and 35 years later, we’ve helped over 35,000 Vermonters get the education and training they need to further their careers. In fact, demand for the non-degree grant program has doubled in the last decade as Vermonters seek education and training to obtain a job or further their careers. Today the average non-degree recipient is 33 years old, female, lives in a household of two with an annual income of $20,444; this program has stayed focused and committed to unemployed and under-employed Vermont families. It empowers Vermonters to choose the training and education path best suited for them. Last year, the program served over 1,700 Vermonters before funding ran out. The average non-degree grant is $1,800. This is an incredibly successful program: 6 in 10 unemployed Vermonters who got a non-degree grant last year, found jobs, both part-time and full time. An additional 10 percent were in longer-term education or training programs. Those who were employed reported more hours and higher wages. These results are immediate. Most of the education and training courses are completed within several months as compared to several years. We are seeing Vermonters getting a head start in their jobs and in their future in Vermont. We have to get better at making education and training after high school an opportunity for all Vermonters – and we need help. We spend more on K-12 education than almost every other state and our graduation rates are among the highest in the country. But Vermont also ranks at the bottom of the nation when it comes to funding postsecondary education. This puts education and training out of reach for too many Vermonters. We need to get better at helping Vermont businesses too. Employers can’t function – they can’t grow opportunities – without a workforce that is skilled for the jobs of today and the ones to be created down the road. See more, page 5

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Vergennes grad on dean’s list VERGENNES — Justus Sturtevant, of Vergennes, was named to Susquehanna University’s dean’s list for the fall 2016 semester. The dean’s list recognizes students who achieve a grade point average of 3.4 or higher out of a possible 4.0 for the semester. To qualify, students must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours. Sturtevant, a communications and business economics major in the Class of 2017, is a 2013 graduate of Vergennes Union High School and the son of Todd and Laura Sturtevant.

Local students on UNH dean’s list MIDDLEBURY — The following students have been named to the Dean’s List at the University of New Hampshire for the fall 2016 semester. Cynthia Holler of Addison earned High Honors, Burke Farrell of East Middlebury earned Honors, Michelle Peterson of Middlebury earned Honors, Zoe Parsons of Middlebury earned Honors, Dacey Anechiarico of Whiting earned High Honors. Students named to the Dean’s List at the University of New Hampshire are students who have earned recognition through their superior scholastic performance during a semester enrolled in a full-time course load (12 or more graded credits). Highest honors are awarded to students who earn a semester grade point average of 3.85 or better out of a possible 4.0. Students with a 3.65 to 3.84 average are awarded high honors and students whose grade point average is 3.5 through 3.64 are awarded honors.

Bard College at Simon’s Rock dean’s list MIDDLEBURY — Bard College at Simon’s Rock congratulates the students named to the Fall 2016 Dean’s List for their outstanding academic achievement. Michael Greenblatt, a sophomore from Rochester, has earned a place on the Dean’s List for the Fall 2016 semester. Zara London-Southern, a sophomore from Middlebury, has earned a place on the Dean’s List for the Fall 2016 semester.

Bristol students receive academic honors BRISTOL — Christopher E. Carter of Bristol, a sophomore majoring in applied mathematics and statistics, was named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2016 semester at Clarkson University. Dean’s List students must achieve a minimum 3.25 gradepoint average and also carry at least 14 credit hours. Spencer Elliot Griswold of Bristol, a senior majoring in applied mathematics and statistics & physics, was named a Presidential Scholar for the fall 2016 semester. Presidential Scholars must achieve a minimum 3.80 gradepoint average and carry at least 14 credit hours.

New Haven student on dean’s list NEW HAVEN — Amy Pitts of New Haven, is a member of the Class of 2020 and is majoring in Applied Mathematics. She was named to dean’s list for the 2016 Fall semester. Marist College is located in the historic Hudson River Valley and at its branch campus in Florence, Italy. It is a comprehensive, independent institution grounded in the liberal arts.

Students named to NAC-All Academic Team CASTLETON — Congratulations to the 25 student athletes that have been honored to the NAC All-Academic Team. The NAC All-Academic Team recognizes student-athletes on varsity sports teams who have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Student-athletes must also have reached sophomore academic standing and competed in a minimum of two years of varsity competition at their institution. The Fall All-Academic Team represents the sports of men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s tennis, and women’s volleyball. Emily Lowell of Brandon, and Kate Steller of Rochester have been selected to the fall 2016 NAC All-Academic Team.


Continued from page 4 We have a responsibility – now – to rewrite the future for Vermont. Let’s make opportunity together with education and training for a new workforce, a new economy, new business and innovation. VSAC has been in the business of making opportunities for more than 50 years. Our mission is to create opportunities for all Vermont students, but particularly for those—of any age—who believe that the doors to education and training after high school are closed to them. Support working-age adult Vermonters’ pursuit of education and training needed for workforce development by increasing appropriations to the non-degree grant program. We know it works. Scott Giles is president and CEO of Vermont Student Assistance Corp.

Make sure your pet has identification


osing a pet is a very emotional thing. It’s really important that all animals have identification so they can be returned to their owners. An ID tag on your pet’s collar is the easiest method. The tag should include your name, address, telephone number and the pet’s name. If there’s extra space, the phone number of the veterinarian is also a good idea. If you move, make sure you get a new tag for your animal with your new contact information. Pets can also be microchipped. Many humane societies and veterinarians have a scanner which identifies if an animal has a microchip. If there’s a microchip, a phone call is made to identify the owner. Either way, please take a moment and check that your favorite pet has identification so you can get him back safe and sound in a hurry! If you have any questions, please call the Rutland County Humane Society at 483.6700. TINSEL 1 Year Old. Spayed Female. Domestic Short Hair Gray and White. Hello I’m Tinsel. I’ve had quite the adventure. I was brought to the shelter at the end of December because I was hit by a car. The lovely people here at the shelter have been taking great care of me and I’m slowly on the mend. At my last vet appointment back at the end of January, the vet told me that I’ve healed well and that I needed 10 or more days of cage rest and then I could slowly increase my activity. I’ve finally begun my physical therapy and I can walk around a room for a few hours and stretch my legs. AARON 3 Year Old. Neutered Male. Domestic Short Hair Gray and White. Hi, I’m Aaron! I’m a loving, friendly fella who came to RCHS in January as a stray. I love people very much but I prefer to have my own space than share with other cats! I’m not overweight but I’m a pretty big kitty! I can be playful and I can’t wait to have a home with lots of room to roam. Hope to see you soon!

The Vermont Eagle • February 18, 2017 | 5

DUKE 3 Year Old. Neutered Male. Rottweiler Mix. I’m an outgoing, goofy fella and I can be a bit of a rascal! When you aren’t looking I may try and steal your gloves out of your coat pocket or tug on the sleeve of your coat to get a little extra attention. I’m playful, too, and I love squeaky toys and tennis balls. I’m pretty cute when I’m chasing after tennis balls because I kind of pounce on them as they’re rolling along. I like to give kisses and I enjoy hanging out with my favorite people. MOMMA Female. Standard Black Rat. I’m about a year old and I like other female rats. My previous owner said I’m friendly, curious, and VERY fast. I like other female rats. I love to burrow under a soft fleece blanket or hide in my hut. I’m also playful and since I’m a little on the chubby side, I could use a wheel to run on or a nice ladder to climb. I also like to nibble on fruits and veggies. Like most rats, I like a place that’s not too noisy or drafty and maybe a nice hiding place (like a tissue box) which makes me feel secure.

Homeward Bound pets Meet Harper! Harper is a laid back gal who likes to nap on laps and climb up on your shoulder to snuggle into your neck! When she’s had enough snuggling– and she isn’t shy about letting you know when that is– she enjoys finding a quiet place for a nap. Harper would like to be the only pet in her home unless the other pets are as mellow as she is, and would do best with older children who can respect her space. If you are age 55+ you can adopt Harper with a donation in lieu of her adoption fee through our Senior to Senior program! (8 years, DSH Grey Tiger, spayed female). Michelle Shubert Homeward Bound Addison County’s Humane Society 236 Boardman Street Middlebury, Vt. 05753

Homeward Bound seeking applicants MIDDLEBURY — Homeward Bound has launched registration for Camp Whiskers & Wags, their humane education summer camp. Thanks to generous community support, they are offering full scholarships to local youth who are interested in attending and have a need for financial assistance. After the popularity of Camp Whiskers & Wags in its first year, the humane society is expanding to three one-week sessions. The schedule will be as follows: Aug. 7-11 (ages 7 & 8) Aug. 14-18 (ages 9 & 10) Aug. 21-25 (ages 11 & 12) Each week is limited to 20 campers. To be considered for a camp scholarship, proof of free/reduced lunch eligibility is required. Homeward Bound executive director, Jessica Danyow, shares, “It is important to us to be able to offer scholarships as we know that all participants will benefit from this positive, life-expanding opportunity and we don’t want financial need to be a barrier.” The focus of Camp Whiskers & Wags will be to guide children in proper pet care behavior; to teach children safety around animals; to encourage children’s empathy toward animals and their welfare, and to expose children to careers involving animals. All Camp activities will take place on the shelter grounds at 236 Boardman Street in Middlebury. The

program will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Camp tuition is $205 per week. Danyow adds, “We have a beautiful facility and the capacity to expand mission-driven programs that increase our impact in the community. We are excited to offer a learning experience for children that will help them become compassionate adults who value animals and their role in society. We believe instilling in children an ethic of serving others builds character and will contribute to the humane and responsible care of animals and each other in future generations.” Camp applications are downloadable from the shelter’s homepage at or by calling 802-388-1100.

6 | February 18, 2017 • The Vermont Eagle

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16 Thurs.

Thursday: 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Snow date will be March 2, 2017. Please join us at both campuses--51 Charles Avenue and 372 Mainelli Road, Middlebury. View student projects, meet current students, faculty, and staff. Call 802-382-1012 for more information or view our website 96311


Friday: 7:00 pm

Town Hall Theater is celebrating with David and Nathan Gusakov a dynamic father/ son acoustic duo whose band is “Last Train to Zinkov”. After decades of making music together, the Gusakovs are releasing their very first CD called “Regeneration”. $12.



Saturday: 7:30 pm

Band will be performing “folk grass”. Tickets are $20 with a pre-concert dinner available for $25. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 2474295 or email . 94747


Wednesday: 2:00 pm

Perspective performers, age 6-18, are invited to bring a vocal or instrumental musical offering, dance, skit, magic trick, or any other special talent to share. Acts should be well-rehearsed and no more than three minutes long. Show will take place March 25 at 7:30p.m. Email or 802-7289402 to sign up. 96314


Tuesday: 0:00 am - 0:00 pm

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Have the attendance at your next big event soar like an EAGLE with these highly visible Calendar Plug-In ads. This size ad will appear in over 14,000 homes and costs $37.50 per week. Need more? Ask about our New York papers that border Vermont.

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The Vermont Eagle • February 18, 2017 | 7


> Arts Columnist



he Town Hall Theater in Middlebury will screen “Moonlight” on Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. “Moonlight” explores what it means to grow up black in America. Nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, the movie is a 2016 breakout hit. Tickets are $12. For more information, contact the Town Hall Theater Box Office at 3829222. A bluegrass jam session is slated to take place at the Marquis Theater in Middlebury on Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 388-4841. The Morgenstern Piano Trio will perform at the Mahaney Center for the Arts at Middlebury College on Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. The trio will perform works by Tailleferre, Ravel and Vermont native Pierre Jalbert. Prior to the performance, Jalbert will host a lecture at 6:30 p.m. This concert has reserved seating — to reserve your ticket, which costs $20, contact the Mahaney Box Office at 443-6433. On Feb. 18, DJ Mega will perform at Center Street Alley in Rutland. Ages 21 and up. On Feb. 24, fusion band Boontango will perform at the Center Street Alley. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. Free entry. This show is also ages 21 and up. For more information, visit facebook.

com/centerstreetalley. The Rutland Country Club will host the “Frosty Feet 5K” for Autism awareness on Feb. 20. An entry fee of $10 is required. A portion of all proceeds from this race will be donated to Silver Tower charities. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. The race is slated for 11 a.m. For more information, visit On Feb. 24, the Castleton Gallery in Rutland will open a new exhibit titled “Revival: Stone and Steel.” The exhibit will feature the works of Don Ramey, Paul Marr Hillaird, Heather Ritchie and Sabrina Fadial. An opening reception is slated for 6 p.m. For more information, visit The Addison Volunteer Fire Department will host a community breakfast on Feb. 19 at 7 a.m. Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for children. All proceeds will benefit the fire department, and will be used to purchase equipment. For more information, call 759-2237. American Legion Post #14 in Vergennes will host a Valentine’s Day charity dance on Feb. 18. Proceeds will benefit locals Chris, Julia and Jase Allen. Jase was born with down syndrom and a heart defect, according to organizers, and will require open heart surgery in March. Tickets to attend the dance are $10. A 50/50 raffle and bake sale are also slated. For more information, call 877-3216. On Feb. 17, the Golden Well Farm in New Haven will host “Basmati & Blues,” a unique farm-to-table Indian food and live blues event. At 6 p.m., festivities begin with the musical stylings of Zach Rhoads and Zach DeFranco, both from Burlington. Tickets are $30 for adults, $15 for ages 12-18 and $10 for children over 3. For more information, visit Pictured left: Boontango. Photo right: A show at Radio Bean. Photo via Facebook, Radio Bean © Bloom Machine Photography

The Mountain Says No releases new LP


n Feb. 17, local rock outfit The Mountain Says No will celebrate the release their latest album, “Golden Landfill,” with a special performance at Burlington’s Arts Riot. Joining the group are Invisible Homes, Sad Turtle and the Villanelles. Also on tap is a light show by Heavy Light Vt. “Golden Landfill” is a delightfully riotous affair. The lead vocals on this album are monotonous, subdued — yet Jedd Kettler, Andrew Frappier, Justus Gaston, and Ben Maddox of The Mountain Says No somehow makes it work. Doors for the band’s CD release concert open at 8 p.m. The first band is slated to take the stage at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 ahead, $10 at the door. For more information, visit

Musician mixer on tap at Radio Bean


adio Bean will host a unique musician mixer on Feb. 23. According to organizers, this event is planned for people in the Burlington area to share their interest in music. The goal is to bring local musicians together. The mixer is slated for 6-8 p.m. For more information, visit

Arts& Arts &Entertainment &Entertainment

From Sunrise to Sundown

w w w . s u n c o m m u n i t y n e w s . c o m /A & E f o r t h e l a t e s t e v e n t s


8 | February 18, 2017 • The Vermont Eagle

Published by New Market Press, Inc.

Published by New Market Press, Inc.

The Vermont Eagle • February 18, 2017 | 9

10 | February 18, 2017 • The Vermont Eagle

Published by New Market Press, Inc.

Working Lands Enterprise Board announces program impacts 428 new full-time jobs created and $18.1 million in increased sales MONTPELIER — Since its inception in 2012, the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) has invested over $3.8 million dollars in 129 projects impacting every county of the state, leveraging $7.4 million in additional funds. Over the last 5 years, working lands grantees have created 428 new full-time jobs and generated $18.1 million in new sales. Additionally, 98% of Working Lands grantees report expanding into new markets, 45% report enhanced environmental stewardship, and 30% report increased employee wages as a result of their grant. On Thursday, Jan. 26, the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative annual report was submitted to the Vermont Legislature accompanied by a short presentation and testimony from state leaders and past grantees. Among those who provided supporting remarks during the presentation were Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbetts, Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation Michael Snyder, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Ted Brady, Vermont House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, and Vermont Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe. Four past grant recipients also presented overviews of their businesses and working lands projects, and discussed challenges and opportunities facing their sectors, including Jon Blatchford of


JK Adams in Bennington County, Andy Boutin of Renewable Fuels of Vermont in Windsor County, Myles and Rhonda Goodrich of Molly Brook Farm in Caledonia County, and Calley Hastings of Fat Toad Farm in Orange County. Lila Bennett, owner of Tangletown Farm in West Glover received a $15,000 grant in 2016 to increase and improve their infrastructure for pasture laying hens and egg production. She said, “Receiving a Working Lands Grant enabled us to scale up our hen and egg operation to a sustainable level, as well as improve our infrastructure, increasing efficiency and productivity. Scaling up is expensive and hard for small farms to accomplish quickly. The Working Lands Grant gave us the boost we needed to be truly profitable and successful. Our farm is thriving with happy, healthy hens, in large part thanks to Working Lands.” “Working lands grantees represent some of the best of Vermont. These businesses and service providers are harnessing our landscape in ways that keep it working and beautiful, while also creating jobs and growing their local communities. I’m very excited to engage with this board and these businesses in the years to come,” said Agriculture Secretary, Anson Tebbetts. The full Working Lands Enterprise Initiative 2016 Annual Report can be found at: For more information about grant recipients in your area, visit:

state of Vermont’s oversight of the project.

Continued from page 1

The feds step in

local community park. Protesters oppose the pipeline because it will transport fracked natural gas from Canada to future customers. In 2012, Vermont became the first state to ban fracking as a method for extracting oil and gas. Ironically, former Gov. Peter Shumlin largely supported Vermont Gas’ plan to transport imported fracked gas — supplied by Montreal-based Gaz Metro — to Addison County and elsewhere. Vermont Gas, a subsidiary of Gaz Metro, serves 50,000 customers in Chittenden and Franklin counties. The PSB’s penalty is not the only negative development putting the $156 million pipeline back into the public spotlight — the other is a federal investigation of the

Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced in a letter that it was investigating the Vermont Department of Public Service regarding oversight and safety issues related to the pipeline. The U.S. investigation actually started in 2016 after DOT received a request from antipipleine activists to get involved. According to Rachel Smolker, an activist and member of Protect Geprags Park, a Hinesburg-based anti-pipeline group, PHMSA sent the letter to her group after hundreds of neighbors submitted a letter in October asking DOT to investigate the construction on an emergency basis. “This whole thing focuses around safe

Tangletown Farm of West Glover Vermont (Orleans County) received a 2016 Working Lands Grant for $15,000 to increase and improve infrastructure for pastured laying hens and egg production.

construction standards in proximity to highvoltage transmission wires, which causes induced voltage in the steel pipes,” Smolker said. She added that Deprags Park, where construction is underway near high-voltage lines, was deeded as a park and education area, not a utility right-of-way. On Feb. 3, Department of Public Service Commissioner June Tierney told Watchdog that DPS is “cooperating fully with the (federal) investigation.” According to Tierney, PHMSA is investigating whether the state conducted appropriate inspections and adequately enforced the Federal Minimum Pipeline Safety Standards during the construction of the Addison natural gas project. “As part of this investigation, PHMSA has reviewed the records of the DPS and the records of Vermont Gas Systems,” Tierney said. She added that DPS will continue to over-

see the project even as the federal investigation continues. Smolker told Watchdog that anti-pipeline protesters don’t like how the DPS and Vermont Gas are doing their jobs, particularly as it relates to oversight and construction processes. She contends that the state’s oversight of the project hasn’t complied with basic federal safety standards. According to Smolker, her group’s opposition will continue, both through the PHMSA investigation and at the Vermont Supreme Court. “In Hinesburg, Vermont Gas is just beginning construction through Geprags Park, even though the granting of an easement through public park land is currently under appeal by the Vermont Supreme Court,” Smolker said. “Citizens are demanding a halt to further construction, pending outcomes of the investigation.”

Continued from page 1 million vehicles annually and maintains 121 inspection lanes at 29 state-owned inspection facilities. Using AVIP, as a vehicle is inspected, diagnostic data and digital images of the vehicle will be immediately sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles computer database via the internet.

Your car’s mug shot County Tire Center in downtown Middlebury is an official Vermont inspection station. According to owner Steve Dupoise, Jr., his family owned business has been working with Vermont and Parsons as an AVIP betatesting site since January. Dupoise said that he and his technicians are training with the new digital-based AVIP and are looking for bugs in the system before the program officially rolls out March 20. “This is a good thing,” Dupoise told Watch-

dog, “but I don’t know where my vehicle inspection costs are going just yet.” Dupoise said that he had to invest about $1,500 for the equipment. He also will pay a small fee each time he uses the official inspection smart pad. While County Tire currently charges $45 for an inspection, Dupoise said that his future costs will be affected by the mandated changes. “Costs will definitely go up,” he said, adding that the system also will make the inspection process take a little longer to perform. Dupoise isn’t aware of any garages in the Middlebury area opting out of doing the new inspections, but he believes that mom-andpop garages without the funds to invest in the program requirements will likely be the ones that drop out. “The state isn’t paying for any this,” he noted. “The business owner pays.” Across town from Country Tire, DT Speedi-Lube owner Damon Pelkey just received his AVIP start-up package, which includes a ruggedized smart pad device, custom software and a computer printer.

Like his crosstown competitor, Pelkey is the owner of an official Vermont inspection station. However, he did not volunteer as a beta-testing site. He can’t open the sealed package that he received Monday through UPS, at least not until a Parsons employee arrives to officially open it. Then, Pelkey said, he and his crew will receive training on how to use the smart pad and a name-brand inkjet printer and upload the vehicular data the state wants on record. “I first found out about this big change in October,” Pelkey said. “I went to a Montpelier workshop for auto service station owners like me to learn more about it. Meanwhile, I had to pay to get an internet connection at my garage, then pay $1,500 for this equipment which I can’t open yet. I was told my business will be charged $2.41 each time I use the smart pad to do a vehicle inspection.” Pelkey is cooperative and will go along with the new system, but he’s not a fan of a centralized, data-collecting state government. And for a state regulation, he observed, it’s putting most of the onus on the business owner to get


it up and running. “I was told that the iPad-like device has a built-in camera and we are required by the state to take multiple pictures of the vehicle being inspected, along with its vehicle identification number (VIN). It’s supposed to cut down on paper, but seeing the printer means we’ll be printing paper.” Pelkey said that the state has yet to figure out what to do with older vehicles and classic cars where the VIN number is engraved on the vehicle frame.

Stolen inspection stickers Approximately 970 of Vermont’s 1,400 official state inspection stations have signed up for AVIP, Pelkey told Watchdog. However, he is aware of only 21 smaller inspections stations, so far, opting out of doing vehicle inspections entirely. “They probably don’t want to pay to connect to the internet (and pay a monthly connection fee) as well as out-ofpocket expenses for the equipment,” he surmised.

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The Vermont Eagle • February 18, 2017 | 11

117 South Main Street Middlebury, VT 05753 Phone: 802-388-2311 Fax: 802-388-1033 Email: 57540


Hardware ‘Big Country’ Store 758-2477

Rt. 22A, Bridport •



Published by New Market Press, Inc.

12 | February 18, 2017 • The Vermont Eagle

Main Street

Continued from page 1 two biggest reasons for closing my Middlebury location. Once you lose foot traffic, it’s hard to get those customers back. They find other stores and towns to frequent,” explained DeGraw-Josey. The Eagle reached out to the Better Middlebury Partnership, an organization that works to make the Middlebury area a better place to live, work, and play. Karen Duguay, the marketing director for BMP, said that while difficulties that business owners face vary based on the store, a common complaint from downtown business owners is the parking issue. “Sometimes the BMP will hear from a merchant or restaurant owner in the downtown that they are having difficulty or are anticipating having difficulty. In those instances, I will sit down with the business owner and try to come up with some ideas specific to their situation as well as connect them with the appropriate local resources. Often, however, we do not hear about a store closing until after a decision has been made,” explains Duguay. Becky Dayton, owner of Vermont Book Shop on Main Street, and Ollie’s Other Place on Washington Street, has a different perspective on the parking issue. “Indeed, Middlebury does not have great

on-street parking, but as a merchant and shopper, I have never had to circle more than once before finding an acceptably proximate spot to my destination. That said, people’s perception of the problem, and occasionally a personal physical limitation, does interfere with their willingness or ability to shop downtown,” she tells the Eagle. Changing shopping patterns have also emerged over the years, fueled by success of ecommerce and big giants like Amazon. “That was a hard realization to come to. I am not an online shopper,” says DeGrawJosey. “I need to touch and try things on. 90 percent of our goods you can’t get online, and if you do, the prices are not as good. But customers don’t see it that way. They see the convenience of an item being shipped right to their door…so I have to change and attract the customers I don’t have walking into my physical space.” Rather than the commonly referenced parking issue, this shift to ecommerce has been one of the biggest obstacles that Dayton has faced at Vermont Book Shop. “Our struggles are much more closely tied to the competition posed by online retailers. Amazon essentially halved the annual gross of Vermont Book Shop (prior to my ownership) by offering books at discounts that exceed even our wholesale terms. We can’t possibly compete on price.”

The way they combat this competition from online mammoths is by being a strong part of the community. “We do that by engaging with our customers in as many ways as we can. We know their names; we introduce them to new books, authors, and ideas; we celebrate and grieve with them. We also give back to the community by way of school and non-profit discounts, contributions to bingo nights, raffles, and auctions. At a staff meeting just this morning, we had a discussion about the values the Vermont Book Shop espouses and aspires to and what emerged was remarkable: integrity, loyalty, recognition, diversity, stability, autonomy, and ethics were some of the words we chose to characterize what matters to us. In contrast, our online competitors value market share and profit above all of that.” Dayton told the Eagle one of her favorite parts about being in a small town is having such a strong sense of community. “I chat with my banker about our kids’ college searches, the realtors catch me up on who is moving in and out, and I see customers, friends, farmers, and professors at the register and on the sidewalk. I’m inclined toward introversion, but being on Main St. allows me lots of opportunities to make real connections with real people, which is what I like. “ DeGraw-Josey has looked at several other spaces in Middlebury and in neighboring towns in the hopes of re-opening a physical

Published by New Market Press, Inc.

location for the Rainbow Room. “We would definitely consider opening in a new location, but the space would have to be amazing.” DeGraw-Josey is still optimistic about the future of the boutique. “It’s actually very exciting for me, a new challenge, and a new way of buying. I’m rebranding the store and it’s finally 100 percent my style. “ The Better Middlebury Partnership, along with several other organizations including the Addison County Chamber of Commerce and Middlebury Parks and Rec, among others, host various events throughout the year to bring more people into the downtown area. Some events are mainly focused on shopping in retail stores, such as the annual Midd Night Stroll, while others are just about bringing people into the community, like BMP’s Chili Fest. The Better Middlebury Partnership is currently developing a strategy for the future growth of the organization. “Our focus is very much on how we can provide the biggest positive impact on the Middlebury community and Middlebury businesses going forward. This work will likely last through the spring and we’ll have some answers as we head into our next fiscal year at the end of June,” Duguay explains to the Eagle.

Published by New Market Press, Inc.

The Vermont Eagle • February 18, 2017 | 13

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Fort Ann Antiques Always Buying 518-499-2915 Route 4, Whitehall, NY

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WANTS TO PURCHASE minerals and other oil & gas interests. Send details P.O. Box 13557, Denver, Co 80201 Wants to purchase minerals and other oil and gas interests. Send details to P.O. Box 13557 Denver, Co. 80201

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LOOKING FOR HOSTESSES. Not your mother's Tupperware. Earn a lot of free Tupperware for hosting a party! No time for a party? You can host online! or 347-925-8914.


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1 BDRM APARTMENT 1 Bdrm apt just off I-87 Exit 25. Includes Cable, WiFi, Plowing and Garbage removal. References required $600 a month 1st, Last and Security. #4943016. MINEVILLE, NY 3 bdrm apartment for rent, living, dining & kitchen, $650/mo. + utilities, 1st months rent, security dep. & references required. Call 802-948-2652. Ticonderoga, Mt Vista Apts - 2 bdrm $615+, utilities average $96. No smokers. Rental assistance may be available. Must meet eligibility requirements For application call 518-584-4543. NYS TDD Relay Service 1-800-421-1220. Handicap Accessible Equal Housing Opportunity. Village of Port Henry – 1 bdrm, 3rd floor. Stove, refrigerator, hot water & heat incl. No pets/No smoking. $575/mo. Security required. 518-546-7584. WESTPORT – 2 bdrm apt. , W/D hook-up. $550/mo, includes gas and elec. Pets allowed. 518-9624888. HOME RENTALS 3 Bdrm House for Rent, Dudleyville Drive, Ticonderoga. $775/mo. 1 year lease and references required. 518-683-6629. NORTH HUDSON – Big Beautiful Modern Home with 3 Bedrooms on 5 acres on Schroon River with your own private beach. $1400/mo plus utilities. 518-323-5451 or 518-524-3751. TICONDEROGA - 3 Bedroom,large yard, monthly rental $800 a month. Home is on the market. Call Century 21 Adirondacks 518585-2233. MOBILE HOME RENTALS Small Mobile Home, $650/mo. Includes snow plowing, dumpster and lawm mowing. Handicapped ramp, retirees encouraged. Call 518-532-9538 or 518-796-1865.

LAND JUST REPOSSESSED! 21 acres- $39,900. Orig sold for $49,900! Fields, woods, exceptional views! Just off the Thruway! 30 mins to Albany! Terms avail Call 1-888-701-1864 JUST REPOSSESSED! 21 acres $39,000. Originally sold for $49,900! Fields, woods, exceptional views! Just off the thruway! 30 mins to Albany! Terms avail. Call 888-905-8847. LENDER ORDERED SALE! 39 acres - $89,900. Assessed for $96,000! Pay CASH and pay just $84,900! Catskill Mtn Setting w/views, woods, spring, stonewalls! Stunning land! Financing avail! Call 1-888-650-8166 LENDER ORDERED SALE! 39 acres - $89,900. Assessed for $96,000! Pay cash and pay just $84,900! Catskill mountain setting with views, woods, spring, stonewalls. Stunning land. Financing available. Call 888-479-3394. STONEY CREEK 50 Acres secluded easy access 1800 ft. black top frontage, mountain views, Stoney Creek, NY $69,900, no interest financing. 518-696-2829 AUTOMOTIVE NORTH COUNTRY AUTO GLASS & TRIM SHOP Glass Repair Residential & Commercial Jobs. We do it all. Call 518-324-7200 for more information. TREE SERVICES

4 BEDROOM HOME for sale in Lewis, NY Master bedroom on 1st floor large fenced in back yard Priced to sell at only $79,000 (518) 873-2362 HOME IMPROVEMENTS Central Boiler certified E-Classic OUTDOOR WOOD FURNACE. Buy NOW for instant rebate up to $800! Call today! Vermont Heating Alternatives 802-343-7900

Tree Work Professional Climber w/decades of experience w/anything from difficult removals to tasteful selected pruning. Fully equipped & insured. Michael Emelianoff 518-251-3936 CRUISE & TRAVEL CRUISE VACATIONS 3, 4, 5 or 7+ day cruises to the Caribbean. Start planning now to save $$ on your fall or winter getaway vacation. Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival, Princess and many more. Great deals for all budgets and departure ports. To search for your next cruise vacation visit

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The Vermont Eagle • February 18, 2017 | 15

16 | February 18, 2017 • The Vermont Eagle

Published by New Market Press, Inc.

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