The Other Paper - 3-9-23

Page 1

the South Burlington’s Community Newspaper Since 1977

Voters OK multi-million-dollar ballot items

saw only 20 percent of registered voters cast a ballot.

percent increase in expenditures from last year’s budget.

Chalnick, Barnes win election Childs unseated from school board

Andrew Chalnick and Tyler Barnes have won the election to South Burlington City Council, replacing outgoing councilors Thomas Chittenden and Matt Cota, respectively, on the five-member body, while incumbent Alex McHenry and newcomer Bryan Companion were elected to school board seats in a low-turnout election.

Current South Burlington School chair Travia Childs lost her reelection bid by 26 votes.

Chalnick, the chair of the energy committee and vice chair of the climate task force, easily bested his opponent, James Leas, 2,436 to 535. Chalnick will take over Chittenden’s three-year seat, which he vacated to devote more of his time to the Vermont Senate.

Three multi-million-dollar ballot items were overwhelmingly approved on Tuesday during South Burlington’s annual meeting.

Each item saw majority votes in favor of approval during a low turnout election that

Budget

The city’s $55 million budget passed 2,440 to 900, which city officials have said will restore previous cuts in the city’s more than $30 million general fund, with a 9.41

The fiscal year 2024 budget funds positions that were cut during the COVID-19 pandemic — such as a deputy chief position

See BALLOT ITEMS on page 15

“I am humbled and grateful to have earned the support of this amazing community. As I said when I started this race, I love South Burlington and I am ready to

See ELECTION on page 14

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COREY MCDONALD STAFF WRITER COREY MCDONALD STAFF WRITER PHOTO BY GLENN RUSSELL/VTDIGGER Cyndi Freeman hands a ballot to a voter in South Burlington on Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March 7.

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Song and dance

Vermont orchestras present music of young composers

Music director Lou Kosma and the Vermont Philharmonic, in partnership with the Green Mountain Youth Symphony, will present its annual family concert on Sunday, March 19, at 2 p.m. at the Barre Opera House.

The program will feature music by well-known composers when they were still very young and will include new music by two Vermont student composers.

When one hears Handel, Mozart, Mendelssohn or Sousa they don’t think teenager. But of course, they were teenagers before they became the famous composers everyone knows and loves.

Handel was 19 when he wrote his first opera, “Almira,” as was Sousa when he wrote his first march, “Review.” Mendelssohn was 15 when he published his first symphony, and Mozart published his eighth symphony when he was only 12.

The program will also put the spotlight on two teenaged Vermont composers in the musiccomp program at Montpelier High School.

The Vermont Philharmonic will perform Callum Robechek’s “And in a Moment” and Chase Ehrlich’s “Spirit of the Sky.” Robechek’s “Morning Fog”

was on the program at the 2020 family concert, and Ehrlich won the Masterclef Competition in November 2021.

In addition, the program will feature young performers of the Green Mountain Youth Symphony to perform music of Gustav Holst.

The youth symphony will join forces with the Vermont Philharmonic to conclude with the rousing finale

Tickets

Page 2 • March 9, 2023 • The Other Paper
from Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” complete with audience-engaged cannon fire. are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, $5 for students and are available at the door or online at bit.ly/3y7Vo1c. PHOTO BY OLIVER PARINI South Burlington-based pianist Claire Black, above, performs a fresh combination of rarely performed solo piano works by Franz Schubert, Clara Schumann, Béla Bartók, John Field and Isaac Albéniz in a series of concerts around the state. From intimate Irish nocturnes to earthy Hungarian peasant songs and virtuosic variations on Italian opera, this program savors the paradise that is bel canto on the piano and celebrates movement through dance music. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated, with suggested amounts of $25 for adults and $5 for children. More at pianistclaireblack.com. Concerts will be held April 1, Charlotte Congregational Church; April 2, Richmond Free Library; April 28, Unitarian Church of Montpelier; and April 29, First Baptist Church, Burlington.

Get to know veterans, hear their stories in town hall discussion

The South Burlington Public Library is hosting a day of events where community members can get to know local veterans. on Saturday, March 11.

A panel discussion, “There and Back: The Veteran’s Journey,” will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 11. A veterans town hall follows in the auditorium at 1 pm.

The panel discussion will reflect changes in the military over time. Veterans who have served in different eras will talk about what led them to join, their training, building friendships and what it was like to come home.

Speakers have served in Panama, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Iraq. The panel will be moderated by Bob Stock, who served in Vietnam.

At the town hall, veterans of any era who served in any capacity are invited to speak for up to 10 minutes about what their service means to them. The event is non-political, and all perspectives are valued. RSVPs are optional but encouraged, and both speakers and attendees may learn more and register at vtvetstownhall.org.

Vets Town Halls were originated by author Sebastian Junger with the aim of increasing communica-

tion and understanding between veterans and civilians in their communities.

“Hearing from veterans about their experiences before, during and after their service is important for all of us,” Jennifer Murray, South Burlington’s library director, said. “How else can we understand each other’s experience if we don’t have the courage to speak, and the courage to listen.”

These events are supported by Vermont Veterans Outreach Program, the South Burlington Veteran’s Center, Vets Town Hall, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation based in Vermont, and the library.

SB teacher nominated for LifeChanger Award

Rick Marcotte Central School

fifth grade teacher Lizzy Appleby has been nominated for the 202223 National LifeChanger of the Year award.

Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, LifeChanger of the Year recognizes and rewards the best K-12 educators and school district employees across the United States who are making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.

Appleby was nominated by Gayla Olesky, a parent of a student, for her persistence and constant support.

Appleby led her fourth-grade students through the challenges of the pandemic and continued her support for these children by moving into the fifthgrade teaching position the following year.

“I’m nominating Lizzy Appleby for this award as she was an amazing teacher, providing structure, safety, instruction, encouragement, kindness and love to her students,” explained Olesky. “She made them feel seen, heard, held, and safe during an

incredibly challenging two years.” Each school year, LifeChanger of the Year receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Eighteen individual LifeChanger of the Year awards will be given during the 2022-2023 school year. The grand prize is $10,000.

To view Appleby’s profile, or to nominate someone from your school community, visit lifechangeroftheyear.com.

The Other Paper • March 9, 2023 • Page 3
PHOTO BY MEGAN HUMPHREY Misha Pemble Belkin speaks at a recent veterans town hall.
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South Burlington Police Blotter

Agency / public assists: 26

Traffic stop: 20

Accident: property damage: 15

Alarm: 14

Motor vehicle complaint: 10

Welfare check: 13

Larceny from motor vehicle: 7

Trespass: 7

Winter parking ban: 6

Domestic: 5

Disturbance: 5

Retail theft: 4

Total incidents: 211

Arrests

Jan. 11 at 3:53 p.m., Harley D. MacDonald, 37, of Burlington, was arrested for felony retail theft and misdemeanor retail theft on Hannaford Drive.

Jan. 19 at 8:03 p.m., Harley D. MacDonald, 37, of Burlington, was arrested for misdemeanor retail theft on Hannaford Drive.

Feb. 23 at 3:24 p.m., Jonnie M. Thompson, 25, of Burlington, was arrested for misdemeanor retail theft on Shelburne Road.

Feb. 23 at 3:24 p.m., Mark Edward Sutton Jr., 23, of Montpelier, was arrested for misdemeanor retail theft on Shelburne Road.

Feb. 28 at 10:30 a.m., Stephanie Desautels, 40, of South Burlington, was arrested for domestic assault on Shelburne Road.

March 1 at 8:46 a.m., Steven B. Laramee, 65, of Enosburg, was arrested for driving with a criminally suspended license

on Kimball Avenue.

March 3 at 7:27 p.m., Jillian Schultz, 38, of Jeffersonville, was arrested for misdemeanor retail theft on Dorset Street.

March 3 at 9:10 p.m., Jacob L. Spencer, 36, of Sutton, was arrested on an in-state warrant on Shelburne Road.

Top incidents

Feb. 28 at 5:16 p.m., police are investigating a report of fraud on Farrell Street.

Feb. 28 at 11:14 p.m., threats were reported from Cinda Street. Police are investigating.

March 1 at 8:27 a.m., an overdose was reported from Williston Road.

March 1 at 8:46 a.m., police responded to an accident on Kimball Avenue that resulted in injuries.

March 2 at 12:34 a.m., police investigated a report of domestic abuse on Williston Road.

March 2 at 3:08 a.m., another report of domestic assault, this time on Dorset Street.

March 2 at 11:22 a.m., an overdose was reported from Shelburne Road.

March 2 at 4:05 p.m., police are investigating a report of someone violating a restraining order on Shelburne Road.

March 3 at 1:08 a.m., police enforced the winter parking ban in the East area.

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New book challenges conventional wisdom on couples communication

South Burlington psychologist and couples therapist Dr. Bruce Chalmer has written a new book, “It’s Not About Communication! Why Everything You Know About Couples Therapy is Wrong.”

Lots of couples come into therapy looking for tools to communicate better, said Chalmer, revealing that every time they try to talk, they end up in a screaming fight, a two-week silence or a screaming fight and then a two-week silence. “My patients often ask, ‘can you give us some rules to follow so we can communicate better with each other?”

“That’s what couples therapy is for, isn’t it? Your therapist works with you to help you learn how to communicate more effectively, so you can then go on to enjoy your relationship,” he said. “If you look at happy couples and compare them to couples on

March 3 at 8:30 a.m., an accident resulted in property damage at Dorset and Market streets.

March 3 at 4:26 p.m., police are investigating a drug possession on Williston Road.

the verge of splitting up, you’ll see big differences in how they communicate. So, learning to communicate like the happy couples should make you happy with each other, right?

Wrong, said Chalmer.

Relationship problems aren’t always because you need better communication skills, Chalmer writes.

The problem isn’t how you’re communicating, the problem is what you’re communicating.

“If you’re angry, dismissive or contemptuous, you’ll convey that effectively, no matter how much you try to dress it up in ‘I statements.’ And if you’re loving, respectful and curious, you’ll convey that effectively too, without having to follow the rules of active listening or nonviolent communication or any of the other systems out there,” he said.

It’s not that rules are bad, he

March 4 at 3:26 a.m., police-directed patrol on Stonington Circle.

March 4 at 1:57 p.m., a sex crime was reported on Shelburne Road.

writes, but the rules summarize how people communicate when they’re well disposed toward each other and aren’t in a panic.

“But if you are in a panic, you won’t follow the rules, because the part of your brain that can implement them is offline. If you’re not in a panic, focusing on the rules is just an awkward distraction from communicating what you want to say,” he said.

Using examples from his three decades of practice as a couples therapist, Chalmer shows how he puts these principles into practice. In a chapter called “Couples Therapy Under the Hood,” he takes readers through a first session with a couple to show how he structures the work, comparing therapy to improv theater: the therapist provides the prompts, and the work proceeds unpredictably from there.

The book is available in paperback from any bookstore and is also available as an audiobook or eBook. More information at brucechalmer.com.

March 4 at 9:20 p.m., an investigation into an embezzlement on Shelburne Road is pending.

March 5 at 1:34 p.m., an animal was causing a problem on Central Avenue.

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Page 4 • March 9, 2023 • The Other Paper
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Dr. Bruce Chalmer

OPINION

Lawmakers pass bill to address domestic and sexual violence

From the House Rep. Martin

The House Committee on Judiciary has had a productive first half of the biennium, passing out 10 bills addressing a wide range of issues. It passed bills that would establish protections for providers and patients of reproductive or gender-affirming health care, modernize Vermont’s power of attorney law and eliminate driver’s license suspensions as a consequence for failure to pay fines on moving violations. Throughout the session, the committee has also focused on addressing domestic and sexual violence.

committee to examine restorative justice approaches to addressing domestic and sexual violence.

The committee’s report included consensus recommendations that the House Committee on Judiciary followed in its work on H.41.

victims while still ensuring the due process rights of those using abusive tactics. It would allow a court to screen legal filings to protect both the well-being of the survivor and the resources of the court.

Data from the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence shows that more than 40,000 Vermonters experience domestic or sexual violence every year. The judiciary committee has worked on multiple bills this session to protect more Vermonters and better address the full spectrum of abuse.

Most survivors of domestic or sexual violence do not seek relief from their abuser either through a protective order or a report of abuse to law enforcement. In Vermont, only 12 to 20 percent of survivors access the criminal justice system and people of color are even less likely to do so. National data suggests that only a quarter of sexual assault victims report the abuse to law enforcement or seek medical care.

Often individuals do not report domestic or sexual violence because they fear the typical criminal justice process. Also, many survivors wish to, or out of financial necessity must, continue to be in some form of relationship with the people who harm them — whether this is continuing an intimate partner relationship or navigating the challenges of co-parenting. Going to court or to the police is not necessarily an option they are likely to pursue.

To address this reluctance and provide an avenue other than a court or the police to address such violence, stakeholders have explored the potential for restorative approaches. In 2018, the Legislature passed Act 146, which created an interdisciplinary study

The bill, recently passed by the House, would allow community justice centers to receive referrals of domestic and sexual violence cases under specific conditions. Opening the door to a restorative justice approach, which is victim-centered and focused on repairing harm, may lead more victims to seek relief. While domestic violence is most often equated with physical violence, domestic abuse can take many forms. One such damaging form of intimate partner violence is litigation abuse. Litigation abuse is the misuse of court proceedings by abusers to control, harass, intimidate, coerce and impoverish survivors. Abusers may make frequent court filings that the survivor of domestic violence then needs to answer, costing money, work time and a sense of security. Abusive litigation is also a drain on the court’s very limited resources.

To address litigation abuse, the House passed H.45, which limits a convicted abuser’s ability to use the court system to continue harming a survivor of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault. The bill would establish a narrowly defined process to protect

The House also passed H.148, a bill that would ban child marriage. Vermonters who marry younger than 18 years old (89 percent of whom are female) are more likely to be abused by their spouse and are at higher risk for a host of physical and mental health challenges. Because marriage is a contract, this bill aligns with Vermont’s stance that children cannot enter into a legally binding contract.

When the Legislature returns from the town meeting break, the judiciary committee will continue its consideration of H.27, a bill that would include coercive control as a form of abuse for which a victim may obtain a protective order. Abusers may use various coercive tactics to control their partners, isolate them from support and deprive them of independence. This type of abuse often escalates until physical abuse occurs.

H.27 would expand a victim’s access to protection by allowing judges to consider the full pattern of abusive behavior before it potentially turns lethal.

If you have any questions about this or other issues before the House, please contact me at 802-863-3086 or at mlalonde@leg. state.vt.us.

Martin LaLonde, a Democrat, represents South Burlington in the Chittenden-12 House district.

Letters to the Editor

Child Protection Registry is a broken system

To the Editor:

Before I retired as an attorney, I had been professionally involved in all sides of the child protection system: represented children and parents, run a child protection agency, and advocated for changes in the system to better serve children and families. I believed that the state had an important role in the protection of children. But never did I think that we would come to a point where our government would include one

out of every 26 people on their list without ever going to court. This list is called the Child Protection Registry. If you are on this list, employers can reject you as a job applicant for any job involving children, and current employers can terminate you.

A new study, “Broken System, Broken Promises,” has found that every time the state’s allegations are challenged, the state is found to be lacking the necessary evidence. Unfortunately, few people

The Other Paper • March 9, 2023 • Page 5
See LETTERS on page 7

House makes progress on child care, school construction, balanced budget

From the House Rep. Kate Lalley

We’re halfway through the 2023 legislative session. Below are highlights of the significant legislation the House has passed in these first two months. When the Legislature resumes on March 14 work on key priorities will continue, across the House and in collaboration with the Senate, as we debate bills and consider investments prior to an anticipated May adjournment.

Balanced budget

The House is working on the 2024 budget, which covers state government and its community partner organizations from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024. We are seeing substantial revenue growth this year, largely due to the impact of federal pandemic stimulus and recovery dollars. The challenge is to make strategic use of one-time funds to meet state priorities. Those priorities include leveraging federal funds to support improvements in roads, bridges and other infrastructure needs under Congress’ Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Other targeted statewide priorities are those that will deliver long-term dividends for Vermonters, including investments in housing, broadband expansion, workforce training, clean energy and child care. As is Vermont tradition, it will be a balanced budget, even though Vermont does not have a statutory requirement to do so.

Universal school meals

During the pandemic, the federal government provided free school meals to all Kindergarten through grade 12 students. The Legislature must now determine the best path forward. If the state chooses to continue offering universal school meals, there will be new strategies in 2023 to access federal dollars in paying for the program — both through increased student participation and a new Medicaid eligibility criterion that automatically qualifies schools to receive more federal funds.

School construction

Vermont has a statewide backlog of renovation needs or replacement of school buildings. A statewide assessment of school facilities is currently underway with a deadline of October 2023. To address this problem the education committee is considering school construction models being used in Maine, Massachu-

setts, Rhode Island and Wyoming. The committee is considering a non-partisan commission to develop a formula to allocate any state contribution to a school construction project.

Bottle bill 2.0

Updating and expanding

Vermont’s bottle bill — first enacted in 1972 — will help reduce landfill waste, litter and greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the amount and quality of plastic, aluminum and glass recycling. Although Vermont has a high recycling rate thanks to the universal recycling law, returnable bottles and cans dropped off at redemption centers around the state produce more marketable and reusable materials than what gets tossed into our commingled recycling bins.

As the number and variety of beverages has exploded over the years, H.158 proposes a needed expansion of the decades-old deposit system to cover most beverages, including plastic water bottles and glass wine bottles. To fund more conveniently located redemption centers, provide fair compensation to redemption center owners and keep an increasing number of bottles and cans out of the landfill each year, the bill requires that beverage manufacturers and distributors collaborate in a stewardship program overseen by the Agency of Natural Resources that will address the limits of the current system.

Suicide prevention

The facts are heartbreaking: More than 700 Vermont residents died of gunshot wounds in the decade from 2011 to 2020, with 88 percent of these deaths from suicide. Persons at greatest risk of suicide in Vermont are men, persons living in rural areas, persons with a disability, veterans and members of the LGBTQ+ community. There are few bright spots in the statistics, but one is this: 90 percent of the people who attempt a suicide, and survive, do not try again. Suicide by firearm almost never allows this opportunity for a second chance at life. H.230 attempts to reduce suicide by lethal means.

Child care, early childhood education

The lack of affordable, high-quality early childhood education profoundly impacts Vermont and its economy. H.208 develops a blueprint for a significant investment in children, families and communities. It would significantly increase state-funded

financial assistance for children in child care; expand the current funding for part-time pre-K to a full-time program for all 4-year-olds in Vermont; increase compensation for early childhood educators and financial support for community and home-based child care programs by reimbursing centers for enrollment; and elevate and streamline state-level oversight of early childhood education.

The proposed legislation has support from over 90 representatives across party lines and builds on the current system to ensure that all partners, families, schools, child care providers and early educators, have the resources and support they need to best care for our youngest Vermonters.

Health care protections

With the passage of Proposition 5 in November, Vermonters overwhelmingly demonstrated their support for enshrining reproductive liberty as a constitutional right. The shield bill reinforces the Legislature’s ongoing efforts to protect safe access to reproductive and gender affirming care for Vermonters at a time when these essential and personal health care choices are under attack in many states across the country.

The bill provides protections for patients and providers from prosecutions and investigations by states that have banned or restricted reproductive and gender-affirming care that is legal in Vermont. It also provides some protections for out-of-state patients receiving this care from Vermont providers.

Education funding

Vermonters all know how much the real estate market has led to a historic rise in property values. To bring this system into alignment the Committee on Ways & Means heard testimony on innovative solutions, including moving away from funding education with property taxes, and moving to a consistent statewide system for property appraisals. A more consistent system would avoid large changes in values that catch property owners by surprise and relieve pressure on municipalities to manage appraisals with limited resources. The committee is also looking at ways to recategorize non-homestead property values to get a better sense of how these properties are used. Currently the non-homestead property category includes everything from second homes to businesses to industrial use.

Page 6 • March 9, 2023 • The Other Paper
See LALLEY on page 7 Whether
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Transforming transportation

The unprecedented federal funding made available through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act funds, which will total $1.6 billion over five years, provides Vermont the opportunity to make transformational investments in its transportation infrastructure and to address climate change.

Over 40 percent of Vermont’s carbon emissions come from the transportation sector. This year’s transportation bill will continue to help Vermonters transition to more fuel-efficient vehicles, including all electric vehicles. Additionally, we will invest in public transportation and infrastructure that supports more walking, biking and public transit options throughout the state. Purchase incentives that are income sensitive will provide $21 million over five years for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. This will ensure all

LETTERS

continued from page 5

challenge the process because of the cost and complexity involved. When the state takes away your right to employment, due process of law requires that the system is fair and provides opportunities to be heard. The report shows that the current system is woefully lacking in due process.

Our child protection laws have created two parallel processes: First, the substantiation of child abuse and neglect, where a state department finds one guilty and can place you on the Registry. The second is the Child in Need of Care and Supervision process in family court. The two processes use different standards of proof. As a result, a person can be found not guilty in one forum, but guilty in the other for the same allegations, because neither process knows what the other is doing. The state provides a public defender in family court, but no attorney in the substantiation process and the cost of hiring an attorney is prohibitive for most Vermonters. The study also found that often the people who have been placed on the registry did not get any notice and only learn of it when they are rejected from a job opportunity. The report proves that families are routinely traumatized, children removed and taxpayer dollars wasted on a system that cannot tell the difference between those who abuse children and those who do not.

This is a mess and Vermonters deserve better. We can and must clean this up through legislation, and House Bill H.169 is a good starting point.

Population growth brings hidden costs

To the Editor:

More people and housing in Vermont, are you prepared for the cost?

While we are all aware of the desire for more people in the workforce, and the concomitant need for more affordable and

Vermonters can participate and purchase both new or used low- or zero-emission vehicles. Additionally, the bill utilizes federal funding to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure to ensure that everyone, including those who rent or live in multi-family units, will have access to charging infrastructure.

Rep. Jessica Brumsted and I, along with senators Thomas Chittenden, Virginia Lyons and Kesha Ram Hinsdale, meet the fourth Monday of every month from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Shelburne Pierson Library in the Community Room. This month we meet on March 27. Please reach out any time with ideas, questions and concerns to me at klalley@leg.state.vt.us.

Kate Lalley, a Democrat from Shelburne, represents Shelburne and a portion of South Burlington in the Chittenden-6 House district.

right-sized housing, there are many negative factors that we must not overlook or turn a blind eye toward as we move forward in South Burlington and Vermont. If we do not execute these necessary development steps well, here are just a few of the issues that may cost us dearly in the long run:

1. Greater vehicular traffic will cause more collisions with humans — both pedestrian and bicyclists — and wildlife, will cause an increase in fossil fuels use and will create a need for a more efficient and low-cost public transportation;

2. A larger footprint of houses, apartment buildings, garages and other paved surfaces will speed the runoff of rainfall and result in an increase in road salt and oil into area ponds, streams and Lake Champlain. We can expect more beach closures due to bluegreen algae outbreaks and other negative impacts to aquatic life;

3. More people will require greater community facilities be constructed or expanded and staffed, such as drinking water and water treatment plants; recycling, composting and household waste management programs; schools; and police, fire and emergency response and their associated equipment needs;

4. Even a small increase in vandalism, burglary and petty crimes will create a need for more public safety officers and processing facilities at either the state or local level; and

5. An increase in the presence of litter — especially non-biodegradable plastics — adjacent to our highways, walkways, trails, parks and lakeshores will create greater health concerns for humans, pets and wildlife.

Just remember, as we work to provide for a larger population and more safe and affordable housing, there is a greater price for these than first meets the eye. Are you willing to work hard and support local and state initiatives that create a more efficient and sustainable Vermont?

The Other Paper • March 9, 2023 • Page 7
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The freezing-cold hard truth

In Musing

If you walk into my kitchen, it all seems quite normal. Counters and cupboards, sink and stove, we all get along just fine. Not true for our side-by-side refrigerator and freezer, the cause of consternation in the otherwise warm vibe of our home. Specifically, I blame the freezer. It’s provoked cold shoulders, frosty conversations and icy stares all due to our fundamental, irreconcilable difference of opinion of how to use this appliance.

It’s a cold war, baby.

Did you know the freezer is a magic box that makes food last forever? Please say no to that question. If you do, I’ll hire you as a marriage referee and you can tell my husband the cold hard truth: the freezer is not some marvel of posterity that makes the beef chili frozen in 2002 still good in 2023. Even government food safety guidelines recommend that chili comes out of the freezer in two to three months, tops.

And don’t get me started on that cucumber that’s in there.

I hate to give my spouse a hard time. It’s not his fault he can’t throw food away. Actually, isn’t that a great quality to have? No! I tell you, it is not. People, why else have a compost bucket? If dinner is lousy, for the love of Ina Garten, let me toss it! Instead, at my house, it’s wrapped, labeled and put in the freezer for time immemorial.

This is an unacceptable problem. Why? Ice cream. On what planet does it make sense to store food from the Bush presidency — and I’m talking George Sr. here — instead of using that coveted frozen real estate for Ben and Jerry’s Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch?

I’d like to tell you my husband is being thoughtful, but that’s not the case. He genuinely believes all food is edible. The thought of which stops me in my tracks. Doesn’t he notice the difference between my seared salmon with lemon-caper-orzo and that hunk of god-knows-what he just scraped ice off? I’m throwing away my cookbooks.

I once made a gorgeous butternut squash soup that appeared yummy, but was inedible due to my overzealous use of jalapeños and cayenne pepper. Instead of giving the soup a zesty bite, I gave it a bark. It was a real dog of a dish, one that should have gone down the drain. But no such luck. It was frozen in minuscule portions which my husband, risking obliteration of his taste buds, ate a thimbleful at a time.

Exacerbating the freezer space problem is his proclivity to roam the aisles of Costco. Whenever he gets in the car to head to that warehouse selling a ton of things we don’t need, I sprint to the driveway and scream, “Remember, there’s no room in the freezer!”

Pretty sure my neighbors love this. Somehow what my husband hears is, “Don’t come home unless you have a car full of frozen food.”

Thus, deep in the recesses of our freezer, you’ll find gems like fossilized patties of some sort of bean protein, a weird cauliflower rice thing and lots of frozen fish. Frankly, I feel bad for them. By the time this catch gets to my freezer, they’ve probably been frozen for months. At our house, they won’t see the light of day until the next Haley’s Comet.

Listen, I don’t blame my husband for his freezer hoarding ways. He came by it honestly — or should I say, maternally? His mother has a loaded freezer filled with unidentified, aluminum foil wrapped rocks. OK, it’s probably food, but who would know? Chisel out and thaw one of those crinkly silver chunks that looks like it’s been encapsulated since the 1950s and voila, your mystery dinner is served. Oh, it’s tuna pea wiggle. And it is from the 50s.

Oh well, at least we have food. That is more than a little fortunate. Even if it is crusted in permafrost and has to sit on my kitchen counter for eight hours to reveal itself. I am lucky — that I don’t have salmonella. Meanwhile, there is no doubt I’ll keep my hot husband and shop for a bigger freezer.

Carole Vasta Folley is a playwright and columnist. More at carolevf.com.

Page 8 • March 9, 2023 • The Other Paper

Housing bills cause environmental, climate concerns

Early last month, members of the South Burlington Land Trust became aware of two housing bills — one in the Senate (S.100) and one in the House (H.68). Both have a lot of support among legislators in Montpelier. As currently written, these bills could prompt dense housing to be built over the rural lands that South Burlington had long ago identified as natural resource protection areas.

Both bills’ statewide rezoning provisions threaten to override or negate many of the environmental protections the city has enacted for these open lands.

The land trust board of directors expressed these concerns to our legislators and members of Senate and House committees, and we testified in person before the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs. (Read the full text of our testimony at sblt.org.)

Unfortunately, this committee did not alter the bills as we had requested.

Normally, the South Burlington Land Trust does not engage in housing matters. However, since our mission is focused on protecting the natural environment and addressing the climate crisis, and these bills impact both, we expressed objections to one of the provisions in the bill explaining how it would cause environmental harm and worsen the climate crisis.

Purportedly, the intent of the bills is to direct housing into the downtown areas of cities and towns and away from the rural lands. We agree with this effort. However, these housing bills do just the opposite for some municipalities.

The problem provision in both bills is that it mandates housing, based not on location but rather based on areas served by municipal water and sewer. For some towns, including South Burlington, this will have environmentally disastrous impacts on lands we zoned to protect natural ecosystems from destruction and residents from flooding and heat islands. Paradoxically, for some towns it will do nothing to direct housing into downtown centers.

Decades ago, South Burlington ran water and sewer lines into rural areas. Because the housing bills use municipal water and sewer as the criteria for dense housing, this bill could destroy hundreds of acres of open and forested land that the city zoned in 2006 as natural resource protection areas. State-mandated rezoning of this land will eliminate meadows and forested lands, destroy or disrupt wildlife habitats and bird nesting areas and worsen suburban sprawl, which the city sought to correct through new rules requiring density along main transit areas.

New environmental protections were enacted last year after a three-year interim zoning period. The city commissioned multiple studies by city committees, hired independent expert consultants, invited

robust public engagement and conducted hundreds of meetings. This process identified the areas of land in South Burlington that contain valuable natural resources, and which should be protected. The new regulations restrict or limit housing on some of the identified open land areas.

But this is not to say that South Burlington stopped building housing. Just the opposite. Over the past years, the city added thousands of new housing units, a significant percentage of which are affordable. South Burlington now has over 1,000 perpetually affordable housing units.

Over 1,400 more housing units are in the pipeline to be built. Our city has acted to ensure the well-being of current and future residents both in providing housing, and by protecting the natural world from which everyone benefits.

There is another, and perhaps more damaging aspect of the housing bills. They will hinder Vermont’s chances of reaching climate goals and reducing greenhouse gases. Building housing over rural lands destroys its ability to absorb and retain the carbon and other gases we produce. Our natural environment is essential to mitigating climate impacts and preventing further climate disasters. Environmental destruction worldwide, including in Vermont, is a key factor in the climate crisis. Preserving nature is our only hope of meeting Vermont’s climate goals, and more important, to ensure future generations can withstand and survive the climate crisis.

We urged the Senate committee to remove municipal water and sewer as the criteria for where housing belongs. We suggested that location should be the determining factor, not municipal water and sewer.

Housing should be in downtown areas and along public transit lines, not over rural lands. Unfortunately, our request was rebuffed, and the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing, and General Affairs voted to approve the bill, and then passed it to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy for further review.

We have another chance to convince legislators of the environmental and climate harms this bill will cause.

We really could use your help. If you value nature and recognize the benefits we all get from natural resource lands, communicate this to the Senate Committee at jnewman@leg.state.vt.us. Urge them to remove municipal water and sewer as the criteria for where housing is directed. Dense housing developments do not belong on lands containing natural resources that protect fragile ecosystems. Given the climate crisis we are facing, this type of legislation is environmentally irresponsible. Can we count on you to be a voice for the environment?

The Other Paper • March 9, 2023 • Page 9
Rosanne Greco is a on the board of directors of the South Burlington Land Trust.
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Winter survival: How animals keep the heat

The Outside Story

To survive the cold of winter, some animals take advantage of protected habitats, such as wooded areas or under a blanket of insulating snow. Ruffed grouse, for example, fly into piles of loose snow and create roosting cavities to rest in when not foraging. Mice and other small mammals remain active in tunnels under the snow. Foxes, coyotes and deer often bed down in snow, sometimes with additional shelter from overhanging trees. Birds and mammals also develop thicker layers of insulation such as feathers or fur in preparation for winter, and muscles in the skin can elevate the hair or feathers to further increase insulation.

An animal’s circulatory system, which includes the heart and blood vessels, can also help reduce heat loss and thus contribute to winter survival. Blood flow to extremities such as limbs, ears and skin changes in response to body temperature. More blood flowing to the surface results in more heat loss. This is why our faces get redder when we exercise: our bodies are moving more of our warm blood to the surface, where it can dissipate heat. In winter, birds and mammals living outdoors need to retain body heat, and they do so by reducing blood flow to the extremities, thus keeping more warm blood in the body core to maintain the function of vital organs. If an animal’s body temperature gets a bit high due to activity, such as chasing prey or being pursued by a predator, the circulatory system adjusts by sending more blood to the skin and

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extremities, thereby shedding heat. Rabbits, for example, limit blood flow to their ears to prevent heat loss in winter but can increase blood flow to the ears to release heat when needed.

To further aid heat retention, some blood vessels act as heat exchangers. This is especially important in extremities, whose relatively large surface areas can dissipate more heat. Blood vessels carrying warm blood away from the body core run alongside vessels carrying cooler blood flowing back to the core. This allows the outgoing blood to warm the incoming blood so that the body core stays warm, while the extremities remain relatively cold. Blood flows through the extremities quickly enough to prevent too much heat loss, while enough warm blood gets to the limbs and extremities to prevent them from freezing. This is critical, because if the fluid within the cells freezes, the ice crystals can tear through cell membranes and kill the cells, resulting in frostbite.

The lower legs and feet of birds are mostly bone, tendons and skin — the muscles are in the upper part of the limb, near the body core. This allows birds to maintain heat close to their core, while the lower legs and feet remain relatively cold. There is, however, some blood flow through the legs and feet, and heat exchange between outgoing and returning blood limits additional heat loss. In addition, roosting birds can hunker down, covering their legs and feet with their feathers. These adaptations allow birds to withstand the cold when perched at a feeder or on a tree branch.

The hooves of deer and moose are composed of keratin and are, essentially, like very thick toenails, which means they keep the blood supply of the lower legs away from contact with the frozen ground. The paws of foxes, coyotes and wolves contain fatty pads which don’t freeze easily. The fatty pads also have blood vessel heat exchangers, so heat is transferred from blood reaching the pads to blood returning to the body core.

The next time you see ducks or geese standing on ice or paddling about in very cold water, or if you catch of glimpse of a coyote on the prowl or deer foraging while standing in snow, consider how their circulatory systems reduce heat loss to survive a New England winter.

Doug Facey is an emeritus professor of biology at Saint Michael’s College. Illustration by Adelaide Murphy Tyrol. The Outside Story is edited by Northern Woodlands magazine and sponsored by the Wellborn Ecology Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

Page 10 • March 9, 2023 • The Other Paper ILLUSTRATION BY ADELAIDE MURPHY TYROL
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Student wildlife art contest deadline is March 17

The deadline to apply for the second annual Vermont Student Wildlife Art Contest is Friday, March 17.

The prize for first place is $1,000. Nine other cash awards will go directly to winning artists in grades seven through 12 who submit two-dimensional art in any medium and depicting any species of Vermont wildlife.

An exhibition of the top 40 will be held in late April at the Highland Center for the Arts in Greensboro. Rules, information and online application form are at vtwildlifeeducationfund.org.

Faith United church hosts mini-meadow talk

At 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 28 at the Faith United Methodist Church in South Burlington, speaker Mike Lizotte offers a talk about creating miniature meadows.

The word “meadow” conjures up romantic images of wide, grassy expanses dotted with wildflowers and butterflies, perhaps even a family of grazing deer. However, Lizotte knows

Community Notes

that you don’t need large tracts of land to have a meadow. With a little inspiration, he offers tips for customization and basic growing guidelines that suit climate, soil and the growing goals of miniature meadows that can be created in just about any space.

Burlington Civic Symphony announces concert

The Burlington Civic Symphony presents its spring concert on Saturday, March 11, at 7 p.m. at the Lyman C. Hunt Middle School in Burlington.

The program features Rossini’s Overture to the Barber of Seville, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Suite, Florence Price Symphony No. 3 in C minor and Sourian Slide by Vermont composer Dennis Bathory-Kitsz. The orchestra’s music director, Daniel Bruce, conducts.

Donations are accepted at the free concert. For more information, visit bcsovt.org.

State archeologist speaks on county’s history

On Sunday, March 19, at 2 p.m., Vermont state archaeologist

MAKE

COURTESY PHOTO

Jess Robinson, a native Burlingtonian and graduate of University of Vermont, with advanced degrees from the University of Kent and University of Albany, will speak in the Fletcher Free Library’s Pickering Room about the native people who lived in the region pre-European contact. Robinson will share insights about gained through exploration of archaeological sites and artifacts. The event is free with elevator access to the upper floor.

New Lions Club to meet at Pierson Library

Vermont’s Lions Club serving Shelburne, South Burlington, University of Vermont and Burlington, will meet on Tuesday, March 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pierson Library in Shelburne.

This club was formed to address the diverse needs of the local community, with an emphasis on hunger, vision care, the environment, diabetes and childhood cancer. Anyone interested in helping others, building community and making new friends is invited, either remotely

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Looking to serve your community?

Have an interest in helping to shape our future? We are looking for volunteers to serve on the City’s Planning Commission and Development Review Board.

DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD (DRB)

OPEN POSITONS: 1

The Development Review Board (DRB) is responsible for reviewing applications for land development and making determinations on compliance with the City’s Land Development Regulations. Experience reading engineering or architectural drawings is encouraged. Meets on 1st and 3rd Tuesday each month with occasional supplemental meetings and modified dates.

PLANNING COMMISSION

OPEN POSITONS: 1 OR MORE

The Planning Commission is responsible for developing the City’s long-range Comprehensive Plan, determining how to regulate land use and development through updates to the City’s Land Development Regulations, and undertaking long range planning studies. Meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday each month with occasional supplemental meetings and modified dates, and assignments to special working groups.

The City strives for our board and commission members to represent a variety of perspectives, backgrounds, areas of interest and expertise in furtherance of our community goals. Open to all residents of South Burlington.

Applications are requested by Monday, March 13, 2023, Attn: Andrea Leo, 180 Market Street, South Burlington, VT 05403 or to

The Other Paper • March 9, 2023 • Page 11 COMMUNITY
aleo@southburlingtonvt.gov; interviews begin March 20.
To apply, or learn more, visit www.sbvt.gov. A DIFFERENCE IN OUR COMMUNITY!
See COMMUNITY NOTES on page 12
First-place Vermont Student Wildlife Art Contest winner 2022 Shakeh Hagopian.

‘Robin Hood’ comes to Shelburne

Huzzah, huzzah! The Shelburne Players is producing its 40th show, “The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood,” at Shelburne Town Center from March 17-25.

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Featuring 15 actors from Shelburne, Ferrisburgh, Vergennes, Hinesburg, South Burlington and Burlington, the cast will put on six family-friendly shows, including four evening performances and two matinees.

“It sure is hard to be humble when you’re a swashbuckling, egocentric super-hero. But our gallant guy-in-green tries his best as he swaggers through ‘The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood’, a frantically funny, Monty Pythonesque retelling of the classic,” according to the Dramatists Play Service.

The production is directed by Su Reid-St. John and produced by Jill Silvia. Returning actors include Shelburne’s Alex Nalbach (Robin Hood), Karlie Kauffeld (Town’s Gal) and Katie Pierson, as well as South Burling-

COMMUNITY NOTES

continued from page 11

or in-person. For more information, email Mark Hanna at lionmark2000@ outlook.com.

All Souls hosts concert hosts Middlebury choir

The All Souls Interfaith Gathering will host a concert featuring the Middlebury College Choir on Friday, March 10, at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary. The choir, under the direction of All Souls music director Ronnie Romano, will perform secular and sacred works for mixed voices both a cappella and with piano.

Featured composers include Arvo Pärt, Palestrina, Vince Peterson, Ed Thompson and Herbert Howells. The concert will

CAMP ABNAKI

ton’s Kimberly Rockwood (Lady in Waiting), and Burlington’s Nathalie Mathieu-Bolh, all of whom also appeared in The Shelburne Players’ fall production of “Almost, Maine.”

Newer to the Players’ stage are Shelburne’s Kendra Culley (Lady Marian), Ferrisburgh’s Finn Yarbrough (Prince John) and South Burlington’s Mike Mahaffie (Sheriff of Nottingham). They are

also feature small chamber music duos and trios comprising college choir singers and other Middlebury students. All Souls invites you to enjoy a lovely evening of music in many contrasting styles. Admission by donation.

Shelburne Age Well hosts Grab and Go meal

Age Well and St. Catherine’s of Siena Parish in Shelburne are providing a meal to go for anyone age 60 and older on Tuesday, March 14.

The meal will be available for pick up in the parking lot at 72 Church St. from 11 a.m. until noon and are available for anyone 60 or older.

The menu is beef round, boiled

joined by John Montgomery of Vergennes, Xander Patterson and Bianca Scherr of Hinesburg, and Chris Acosta, Tiki Archambeau, Clarity Phillips and Maggie York of Burlington.

The Shelburne Players, founded in 1971, produces two shows a year, and is made up entirely of volunteers.

For more information, visit shelburneplayers.com.

potatoes, cabbage and carrots in beef stock, wheat dinner roll with butter, leprechaun cake with frosting and milk. To order a meal email soberding@yahoo. com or 802-825-8546.

Chittenden County legislators meet at library

Meet your legislators on Monday, March 27, 4 to 5:30 p.m., in the Shelburne Pierson Library community room. Representatives Jessica Brumsted and Kate Lalley, along with senators Thomas Chittenden, Virginia Lyons and Kesha Ram Hinsdale, meet the fourth Monday of every month at the Pierson library.

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Page 12 • March 9, 2023 • The Other Paper
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South Burlington School District budget, bond vote both pass Relief for classroom space shortage now on the horizon

LIBERTY DARR STAFF WRITER

Along with approving the $62.5 million proposed school budget, South Burlington voters also approved a bond vote for nearly $15 million dollars for capital infrastructure needs to meet enrollment demands.

The budget, which is a 7.17 percent increase from last year, was approved 2,286 to 995 while the bond vote was OK’d 2,237 to 1,096.

“We currently literally do not have roofs to put over our student’s heads … at this point in time we cannot accommodate more students,” district superintendent Violet Nichols said in explaining the severity of the situation at the informational meeting on Monday night.

Six million of the bond is proposed for the implementation of eight zero energy modulars at Rick Marcotte Central School and Orchard Elementary School. Although the original projected cost was only $1.3 million, the total jumped to more than $6 million based on several factors not originally budgeted: the increased cost of labor, supply chain issues and the inability to get building materials.

Since last fall, an enrollment committee, composed of

community members and school personnel, has been working on finding solutions for the elementary schools currently exceeding the state-recommended 85 percent capacity by more than 100 students. And in August, the board approved the plan to move forward with the zero energy modules to provide an immediate, albeit temporary, solution to a longer-term problem.

“Backpacks are in the hallways, students don’t have hooks or lockers,” Nichols said. “We are using project rooms as full classrooms which is really limiting the teacher’s ability to instruct students and certainly not in the innovative ways that we are known for.”

The remaining bond of $8.55 million dollars is for various capital improvements — a detailed multi-year tracking mechanism for projecting short and long-term projects — that includes roofing, HVAC systems, window replacements, bathrooms, and work to parking lots, sidewalks and kitchens. Although the board had considered going to bond separately, they ultimately concluded that going out for one bond would better meet all capital needs and improvements.

“We can’t say that any one of these needed facilities issues is more important than the

other,” Nichols said. “Windows, roofs and literal spaces such as the ZEMs to learn in all allow students in our system to continue to learn.”

Although no principal payments will be required until 2025, the district will be responsible for two separate interest-only payments amounting to $436,762 for this fiscal year. Next year, the principal payment plus the interest payment could cause that number to more than triple.

Ninety-one percent of the modular classroom costs will be covered by impact fees, levies paid by developers. The bond will expedite the purchase of the new modules with the hope of having the modules in place by next school year and impact fees projected to cover the financing of the bond.

“I’ve spent a lot of time walking in these five buildings and they are not representative of the type of facility we would expect South Burlington to have given the stellar reputation of our school system and education programming,” Tim Jarvis, senior director of operations and finance, said. “I think it’s critical that everyone understands this is not a final fix by any means, this is a short-term requirement to bring our facilities up to a standard that we can live with.”

ELECTION

continued from page 1

get to work for all of us,” Chalnick said. “Campaigning was hard work but walking all around South Burlington these past few weeks, knocking on hundreds of doors and talking to many good people was really important to me. I made some new friends and had meaningful conversations.”

“To me, the most important thing we can do to make this a better place and meet our challenges is to talk to each other sincerely and with open minds and hearts, and I am so excited to have those conversations,” he said.

The race for Cota’s vacated two-year term was much closer: Tyler Barnes won by 212 votes, garnering 1,517 votes, beating out former councilor Paul Engels.

Engels, who is on the city’s charter committee, received 1,305 votes, while Lydia Diamond, a local community activist, received 330 votes.

“I’m humbled and excited to hear that our message resonated with South Burlington voters, and am excited to fulfill my campaign promises,” Barnes said. “I’d like to thank both Paul Engels and Lydia Diamond for running noble, clean campaigns. I’d also like to thank my supporters for their generosity, energy, advice and support. Most important, I’d like to thank my family. Without their patience, grace and generosity, none of this would’ve been possible.”

School board race

While incumbent school board director Alex McHenry won reelection, his fellow board member, Travia Childs, was upset by newcomer Bryan Companion.

McHenry won over his opponent, Lisa Hickey, by 320 votes.

But Childs, the current chair of the school board, lost by just 26 votes to Companion, who garnered 1,481 votes.

“I lost by 26 votes and that is too close,” Childs said in a text message to The Other Paper. When asked if she would seek a recount, Childs said that she would “think about it and decide in the morning.”

Laura Williams, meanwhile, who ran unopposed for two years of a three-year term, netted 2,462 votes.

This year’s annual election saw low turnout, with just over 20 percent of the city’s registered voters casting ballots.

According to Helen Riehle, a member of the Board of Civil Authority who was supervising the city hall polling station, there had only been 620 votes when she checked at 3:30 p.m., the highest tally across all the polling stations in South Burlington.

“I’m not sure why the turnout is lower,” Riehle said. She wondered if people were simply happy with how things are or if maybe they were confused by ballot items.

Page 14 • March 9, 2023 • The Other Paper
PHOTO BY GLENN RUSSELL/VTDIGGER Five-year-old Kingsley Fitzgerald looks under the voting booths around her while her mother Caitlin Rutherford marks her ballot in South Burlington on Town Meeting Day. Andrew Chalnick Tyler Barnes
“I’m humbled and excited to hear that our message resonated with South Burlington voters, and am excited to fulfill my campaign promises.”
OtherPaperSBVT.com Get the News of South Burlington 24/7
— Tyler Barnes

BALLOT ITEMS

continued from page 1

and a police officer position within the city’s department, as well as a new firefighter position.

The budget did not, however, include funding for a recreation center, an item on the city’s wishlist for years, nor does it include any funding for a regional dispatch center.

The budget seemed a controversial topic for voters — some opposed the budget because they do not want a raise in taxes.

But Peter Carmolli, a resident of South Burlington for 30 years who leads the city’s food shelf, disagreed.

“I voted yes,” he said. “The town has done a good job. The recreation department is great — they’re trying to do good things, and hopefully, the people we elect will spend wisely. I have faith in people.”

TIF debt

Major traffic and infrastructure improvements, meanwhile, are on the way, after voters approved more than $15 million in tax increment financing district debt, 2,395 to 940.

The city plans to build out several public infrastructure projects in its City Center with the debt. The tax increment financing, or TIF, district is an area encompassing City Center, an area rezoned in the 1980s to spur private investment that has since become a hub for new residential and commercial development in the city.

Now, with voter approval, $8.3 million will go toward the Garden Street Phase 2 project, which will realign the roadway at Al’s French Frys on Williston Road to make a four-corner intersection with crosswalks, and improvements for walking and biking extended east along Williston Road to the corner of Gracey’s liquor outlet, on Hinesburg and Patchen roads.

Another $1.3 million will replace the sidewalk on the south side of Williston Road extending west, from Al’s French Frys to Dorset Street, and buildout a shared use, walk and bicycle path.

About $4.3 million will go toward the city’s East-West Crossing bridge — approved by the council in November — that will extend from Quarry Hill and the Staples Plaza over I-89 into the University Mall property.

And last, $1.1 million will go toward the City Center Park Phase 2 recreation path, connecting Market and Garden streets to the City Center Park.

Carmolli said he supported the TIF proposal due to concerns for pedestrian safety.

“I would love to see a crosswalk across Williston Road,” said Carmolli. “There are so many people and Vermont is aging.

“I would love to see a crosswalk across Williston Road. There are so many people and Vermont is aging. Williston Road can be a raceway at times. One of my friends’ moms was killed after getting hit by a car on the street, so you remember that.”

Voters approved the bond vote 2,914 to 436.

The $33.8 million price tag also includes upgrades to the Airport Parkway wastewater facility to better manage solids generated from the Bartlett Bay site. That will cost $1.8 million.

Williston Road can be a raceway at times. One of my friends’ moms was killed after getting hit by a car on the street, so you remember that. I remember that.”

Bartlett Bay upgrades

Upgrades to the tune of $33.8 million were approved for the city’s Bartlett Bay Wastewater Treatment

plant. The voter approval sets the city on track to make major refurbishment to the treatment plant by the summer of 2026.

Much of the infrastructure in the treatment plant is well past its lifespan — it was built in 1970 and had its last upgrade in 1999 — and many of the water pump stations are beginning to break down.

Upgrades to the pump stations, meanwhile, will cost approximately $4.5 million. Some of the pump stations have been in service for 50 years and the existing cast-iron mains need replacing to prevent raw sewage spills into the bay.

But the upgrades will mean rate increases for users on the system. An estimated 6.75 percent increase is expected for fiscal years 2024, 2025 and 2026 — a $71 increase in the annual cost to homeowners on the city’s water system. About 90 percent of homes in South Burlington are served by the system.

Kaylyn Bills, a reporter with the Community News Service of the University of Vermont, contributed to this report.

The Other Paper • March 9, 2023 • Page 15
PHOTO BY GLENN RUSSELL/VTDIGGER Voters check in at the polling place at the Tuttle Middle School in South Burlington on Town Meeting Day.

Forests follow pattern of dynamic succession

Into the Woods

Forests are dynamic communities, defined and enriched by change. As forests change, they tend to follow a pattern called succession: a series of developmental stages, each of which follows, or succeeds, the last.

Succession begins following a largescale — or catastrophic — disturbance. As the forest regenerates, it enters a stage known as stand initiation, becoming an early successional forest. Early successional forests are defined by an incredible diversity of trees as well as a variety of shrubs and plants which provide habitat for wildlife species from pollinators to birds, bats and black bears.

After 20 to 30 years, trees rise above the shrubs and the plants of the early successional forest. As these trees grow, their crowns knit together and the canopy closes, casting the understory in deep shade. The forest enters stem exclusion, a stage of succession characterized by a single generation of trees engaged in intense competition with one another.

Depending on the species that comprise this initial generation of trees, stem exclusion can last anywhere from around twenty years to well over a century. As the trees in the forest’s overstory get older and taller, and as they begin to decline and die, light is finally allowed to reach the forest floor again. A new generation of trees, usually of more shade-tolerant species, establishes in the understory, marking the beginning of the understory re-initiation stage.

Following understory re-initiation, the forest slowly and inevitably goes haywire. Through tree mortality and natural disturbances, generations of trees establish themselves and grow, and the forest reshapes itself repeatedly. Over time, the forest becomes diverse and complex, with many different sizes and ages of trees, some large, old trees and a patchy, irregular canopy. Over decades, but more commonly centuries, the forest passes into late succession, a stage of forest development sometimes called old growth.

In truth, succession is not a straight line; it is a cycle that forests pass through repeatedly, with many detours and false-starts along the way. While it is tempting to think of late-successional forests as the endpoint, pinnacle or climax of forest development, each stage of succession is normal and natural. Over millennia, the tens of thousands of species that comprise the forest communities have adapted to every stage of forest development, from early succession to late-succession. A vibrant and resilient landscape is not a monolith, but rather a diverse mosaic of forests of all different ages and types and expressions. Each stage of succession is vital and none is a means to an end.

As a result of Vermont’s land-use history, nearly all the state’s forests are just 60

to 100 years old, still at the early stages of succession. As they try to move forward and regain the diversity and complexity that once defined them, forests are confronted with an array of threats and stressors, including non-native invasive plants, pests and pathogens, the loss or functional-loss of native species, altered disturbance regimes and a climate that is changing in unpredictable ways — all of which threaten forests’ vitality, their biodiversity and their resilience. As comforting as it would be to believe that forests will natural-

ly continue down the road of succession, it is increasingly clear that we will not protect the forests and their biodiversity solely through inaction. We cannot afford to do nothing.

So, what can we do? There is no single solution. Protecting existing old-growth forests and allowing some forests to be relatively unmanaged are important tools in the toolkit but will not address all these issues. We must take radical action, both within individual forests and across the landscape, to simultaneously address the legacies of the past, the realities of the present and the uncertainty of the future. Forest management can help forests build diversity, complexity and resilience and create habitats — like early-successional forests — for wildlife species of concern. None of

these strategies will be effective unless we also act to control threats and stressors like climate change, non-native invasive plants, deer overabundance, deforestation and forest fragmentation.

As always, forests challenge us to embrace nuance and complexity, to form a more expansive vision of what a forest is and what it means to care for it. As forest stewards, our job is not just to protect the trees in these forests, but to protect and to celebrate how they change.

Ethan Tapper is the Chittenden County Forester for the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. See what he’s been up to, check out his YouTube channel, sign up for his eNews and read articles he’s written at bit.ly/3J6l4lf.

Page 16 • March 9, 2023 • The Other Paper
COURTESY PHOTO As forests change they tend to follow a pattern called succession: a series of developmental stages, each of which follows, or succeeds, the last.
As forest stewards, our job is not just to protect the trees in these forests but, to protect and to celebrate how they change.

180 Market St., South Burlington, 802-846-4140, southburlingtonlibrary.org for information about any programming, cancellations or in-person changes. Some events may change from in-person to virtual. Some events require registration.

Hours: Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Email sbplinfo@southburlingtonvt.gov.

KIDS & TEENS

Babytime

Every Wednesday, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Join Miss Alyssa for storytimes for infants and their caregivers.

Lego builders

Every Wednesday, 3-4:30 p.m. Projects geared to kids ages eight and up, or ages six and up with an adult helper. Each week, builders explore, create and participate in challenges.

Kids’ book club

Thursday, March 9, 4-5:30 p.m.

For kids Kindergarten through

News from South Burlington Public Library

grade two. Join Ms. Natacha to read, share and explore “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White. Register at nliuzzi@southburlingtonvt.gov with age, name, grade and parent phone number.

Kids chess club

Saturdays, March 11 and 25, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

For kids ages 5 and up. Registration required to nliuzzi@stoweburlington.gov.

Toddlertime

Tuesdays, March 14, 21 and 28

Sessions at 9:15-9:45 a.m. and 10:30-11 a.m. Short stories and familiar songs, rhymes and fingerplays, with time to wiggle and dance. For ages 1 to 3 with an adult caregiver.

Craftytown

Tuesdays, March 14, 21 and 28, 3-4:30 p.m. Free projects geared to kids ages 8 and up or 6 and up with an adult. March 14: burlap sampler. March 21: bluebird peg doll. March 28: calico cat.

Teen Craft Café

Friday, March 24, 2-3 p.m. Teens ages 13 to 18 try a vari-

ety of crafts, including origami, scratch art, yarn painting and coloring pages. Refreshments and all material will be provided.

Friday movie

Friday, March 24, 3-4:30 p.m. The 1939 movie class, “The Wizard of Oz.”

Middle school makers: cooking

Thursday, March 30, 4-5:30 p.m.

For students in grades five to eight. Make homemade pizza with choice of toppings.

ADULTS

Knit for your neighbors

Mondays and Thursdays in March, 3-6 p.m.

Yarn, needles and crochet hooks supplied. Knit or crochet hats and scarves to help keep your neighbors warm.

All finished projects will be donated to the South Burlington Food Shelf.

Tech skills: Google Drive

Thursday, March 9, 2-3:30 p.m.

With Technology for Tomorrow.

Morning book group: ‘Finding the Mother Tree’

Thursday, March 9, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Discussion of “Finding the Mother Tree” by Suzanne Simard. One of the world’s leading forest ecologists recounts her lifelong experimentation with tree-to-tree communication. Copies available to borrow. Both in-person and on Zoom.

There and Back: The veteran’s journey

Saturday, March 11, 11 a.m.-noon

See related, page 3.

Vets Town Hall

Saturday, March 11, 1-3 p.m.

See related, page 3.

English conversation circle

Mondays, March 13 and 27, noon-1 p.m.

English as a Second Language discussion group, facilitated by an experienced instructor Louis Giancola.

Poetry group

Tuesdays, March 14 and 28, 11 a.m.-noon

Come share your poetry in a supportive, comfortable setting. Second and fourth Tuesday of the month.

Drop-in tech help

Tuesdays, March 14 and 28, 5-6:30 p.m.

Join us the second and fourth Tuesday of every month in the digital lab for 1:1 assistance and to learn new skills.

Puzzle swap

Wednesday, March 15, 2:30-5 p.m.

Bring a puzzle you’ve already completed and leave with a new puzzle to put together. Bring any 250-plus-piece general adult puzzle(s) that you would like to trade during the event.

Tech help

Friday, March 17, 10 a.m.-noon

The first and third Friday of every month in the digital lab for 1:1 assistance and to learn new skills.

The Other Paper • March 9, 2023 • Page 17
From an armoire to a zucchini, check our A-Z list and learn how to reuse, recycle, or dispose of items and materials you no longer want. Now serving you with eight Drop-Off locations in Chittenden County. Visit cswd.net for locations and materials accepted. SCAN CODE FOR A-Z List We Can Take It! 20220817-AD-WE-CAN-TAKE-IT-R2-03.indd 6 10/18/22 9:39 AM
See LIBRARY NEWS on page 19

Filmmakers present Burton film discussion

Meet the team behind “Dear Rider, The Jake Burton Story” on Thursday, March 16 at 7 p.m., as part of the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum Red Bench Speaker Series.

Director Fernando Villena and co-producers Ben Bryan and Mike Cox will join moderator and former Burton rep Chris Copley for an in-depth look at the HBO

film documenting the life of Jake Burton Carpenter, Burton Snowboards founder and owner, as he built the company and snowboarding into a global and cultural phenomenon.

Inspired by a surfboard-styled strip of wood, Burton Carpenter created his first snowboard in 1977 as an inexpensive alternative to skiing. From there, he developed

increasingly versatile boards, lobbied ski resorts to allow snowboarding, sponsored world-class athletes and navigated the cultural backlash of what media outlets called the worst new sport. By the late 90s, Burton Carpenter’s vision catapulted snowboarding into the mainstream and onto the world stage of the Olympics. Learn how each panelist contributed

unique and intimate aspects to the film. A Q&A session will follow.

Villena began his career editing documentaries, then transitioned to producing music videos with artists such as Incubus, Tupac and The Black Eyed Peas. His film

See FILM on page 19

Page 18 • March 9, 2023 • The Other Paper SPORTS
COURTESY PHOTO Jake Burton Carpenter., founder of Burton snowboards and a key figure in bringing the snowy pasttime into the mainstream.

LIBRARY

continued from page 17

Inspired play: Explore art and children’s literature

Saturday, March 18, 9:15 a.m.-2 p.m.

Jude Bond, artist and educator, will lead hands-on workshop of literature-inspired art projects for children ages 4 to 8 years old. Participants will learn about children’s literature, creative expression, visual literacy and the importance of kinesthetic and tactile experiences for children.

Space is limited to 20 participants; registration required.

Write Time

Saturday, March 18, noon-2 p.m.

Write Time is an opportunity for new and experienced writers to discover and explore their unique resources with guidance and support from Mary Ann Fuller Young, a trained associate of Amherst Writers and Artists. Saturdays (March 18, and April 1 and 8) at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, 21 Library Lane, Williston. Drop-in. Bring paper and writing tool of choice.

FILM

continued from page 18

credits include David Lachapelle’s “Rize” (2005), “Every Little Step” (2008) and “Crank: High Voltage” (2009). Villena made the leap into directing with “Any One of Us.” Next came “Giving Voice” on Netflix, and most recently Dear Rider.

Board game brunch

Saturday, March 18, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Join Friendly Tabletop Gamers of Essex and Beyond in the digital lab and play some awesome games while meeting new people. This event is best suited for teens and adults over 18.

Music of Another World: ‘Music in Terezin’

Wednesday, March 22, 1:15-2:30 p.m.

Germany in the 1930s restricted many aspects of its citizens’ lives, such as only allowing segregated orchestras. Terezin was a concentration camp in Bohemia. Lois Price, a library staffer and musician, will offer recordings prisoners were permitted to play. Upcoming: April 26, “Music of the Ghettos.”

Evening book group

Thursday, March 23, 6-7 p.m.

Discuss the novel “She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders” by Jennifer Finney Boylan. Boylan captures the universal sense of feeling uncomfortable and out of sorts with the world and misunder-

stood by her peers and her family. Both in-person and on Zoom.

Concert series: Jenni & The Jazz Junketeers

Saturday, March 25, noon-1 p.m.

“Celebrating Women in Music” in honor of Women’s History Month. Jenni’s full, smooth voice offers an ideal format for American jazz classics, as well as, blues, swing and funk music. The Jazz Junketeers include Felix Anderson, drums, Glendon Ingalls, bass, and Bob Levinson, guitar. No registration. Doors open 20 minutes before the free event.

Legislative forum

Monday, March 27, 6:30-8 p.m. Join representatives Emilie Krasnow, Martin Lalonde, Kate Nugent, Noah Hyman and Brian Minier and Sen. Tom Chittenden to discuss what’s being debated in the Statehouse.

Italian book club

Monday, March 27, 10:15-11:15 a.m.

“Giovinette: Le Calciatrici Che Sfidarono Il Duce” by Federica Seneghini.

of improving coordination of services across Chittenden County, and we’d like your help!

VTCNG

Bryan, co-producer, leads and oversees the team at Red Bull Media, which produced the Burton film.

Cox, the film’s co-producer, spent 25 years as Burton Snowboards sales rep in the Midwest. Moderating this discussion is

Copley, a 20-year Burton veteran as the pro team manager and announcer for the U.S. Open at Stratton. Virtual doors to the museum open and the discussion begins at 7 p.m. A $10 donation from each guest is encouraged.

Buying and shopping locally helps independent businesses,

which

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The barn across the road from the house

Connect the Dots

We were walking down a wooded trail in Little River State Park in Waterbury to see some old stonework that a friend had found near her backcountry campsite. Through the brush ahead, a six-foot-tall stone wall appeared, and as we got nearer, we could see that it was a large, three-sided shape.

It had all the features of a 19th-century bank barn foundation. When my friend asked why it was in the woods by itself, I said it probably wasn’t and we should look for the remains of the old farmhouse that had once gone with it. I suggested we look first on the other side of the trail, which looked like the old road. As we crossed the road and pushed through the brush there, the stonelined cellar hole opened in front of our feet, as I had predicted.

The pattern of building the farmhouse and the barn next to the road but across from each other was very common in western Vermont in the 19th century, and many examples remain today.

Page 20 • March 9, 2023 • The Other Paper WEDDINGS reen ountain GM WEDDINGS towe S stoweweddings.com • greenmtnweddings.com Member of the Vermont Associateion of Wedding Professionals With interesting, fun and smart information and stunning photography and design, couples look to our magazine to plan their wedding in northern and central Vermont. • A destination-wedding guide to the best wedding vendors • Focused on the iconic central and northern Vermont regions • Distribution at select retailers and industry experts, newsstands and online • Each display ad includes a wedding directory listing To advertise in the 2023/2024 weddings magazine, please contact ads@stowereporter.com; Stowe Reporter/News & Citizen, 802.253.2101; Shelburne News/The Citizen, 802.985.3091; or The Other Paper, 802.864.6670 DEADLINE FOR ADVERTISING: APRIL 1, 2023 recently married or engaged in the green mountains ? want to be featured ? email: katerina@stowereporter.com
PHOTO BY JANE DORNEY
THE
24
A 19th-century barn across the road from the farmhouse on a back road in Hinesburg. See CONNECT
DOTS on page

ARIES

March 21 - April 20

A development may have you feeling a bit down, Aries. That is only temporary, though, as your mood and circumstances will rebound in no time at all.

TAURUS

April 21 - May 21

Taurus, people you encounter this week may be exceptionally stubborn, so you may need to avoid confrontations. Keep your emotions in check as best as you can.

GEMINI

May 22 - June 21

Gemini, the weather may not be suitable for getting much done outdoors, but you can certainly stay busy inside the house with any projects you have been putting off.

CANCER

June 22 - July 22

This is a great opportunity for getting rid of any clutter that has been holding you back, Cancer. Start sorting through the garage or cleaning out a desk at work.

LEO

July 23 - Aug. 23

Leo, do not worry about the small stuff that you feel could be holding you back. If you step away from the situation, you may nd that everything is working out.

VIRGO

Aug. 24 - Sept. 22

Virgo, there are plenty of opportunities open to you, but you may not realize they are so close by. A friend may need to guide your way on this for the time being.

LIBRA

Sept. 23 - Oct. 23

You may be feeling bad about something you did in the past, Libra, and now you want to make amends. It’s the little changes you implement that will make a difference.

SCORPIO

Oct. 24 - Nov. 22

Scorpio, you may be ready to give your life an overhaul. That may amount to you changing careers in the weeks to come. Do your research before you put in notice.

SUDOKU

Here’s How It Works:

Sudoku puzzles are formatted as a 9x9 grid, broken down into nine 3x3 boxes. To solve a sudoku, the numbers 1 through 9 must ll each row, column and box. Each number can appear only once in each row, column and box. You can gure out the order in which the numbers will appear by using the numeric clues already provided in the boxes. The more numbers you name, the easier it gets to solve the puzzle!

SAGITTARIUS

Nov. 23 - Dec. 21

Sagittarius, stay focused and disciplined this week, especially as it pertains to a diet. You can maintain your commitment, especially with others cheering you on.

CAPRICORN

Dec. 22 - Jan. 20

Capricorn, rewards will not come without hard work and dedication. Now is the time to stick with the plan and keep moving forward. Save days off for later.

AQUARIUS

Jan. 21 - Feb. 18

Do not go up against managers or superiors this week, Aquarius. Doing so likely won’t go in your favor. Just keep out of the spotlight for a little while longer.

PISCES

Feb. 19 - March 20

You may be building the blocks of a major life project, Pisces. Use all of the resources at your disposal in the days to come.

CROSSWORD

CLUES ACROSS

1. Half-conscious states

8. Unnatural

13. Deep regret

14. Rogue

15. Taken without permission

19. An alternative

20. After B

21. Partner to owed

22. Weekday

23. Body part

24. World’s longest river

25. One of the Greats

26. Make clean

30. C. Canada indigenous peoples

31. Japanese seaport

32. Most unclothed

33. Small grouper sh 34. Soluble ribonucleic acid

35. Distinguishing sound

38. French realist painter 39. Popular beer brand 40. Views

44. God depicted as a bull

45. Relieve 46. Residue after burning 47. Habitation

48. Poe’s middle name

49. Japanese title

50. TV series installation (abbr.)

51. Beloved country singer

55. Single unit

57. Genuine

58. Develop

59. Traveled through the snow

CLUES DOWN

1. Clues

2. Do again

3. Current unit

4. Neither

5. Corporate exec (abbr.)

6. Second sight

7. The absence of mental stress

8. Supplemented with dif culty

9. Stop for good

10. College dorm worker

11. Bones

12. Most supernatural

16. Spanish island

17. Unlimited

18. Where golfers begin

22. No charge

ANSWERS

25. Print errors

27. Professional drivers

28. Kiss box set

29. Short, ne bers

30. Administers punishment

32. Czech city

34. Normal or sound powers of mind

35. The academic world 36. Crustacean 37. Currency 38. Pastoral people of Tanzania or Kenya 40. Cloth spread over a cof n 41. Grouped together

On land

A type of extension

One who assists

College sports conference

Midway between northeast and east

Type of screen 56. The 13th letter of the Greek alphabet

The Other Paper • March 9, 2023 • Page 21
42.
45.
48.
51.
52.
53.
54.
43. Glistened
Zero

ANTIQUES WANTED

The week-long bait drop is a coopera tive effort between Vermont and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services to stop the spread of the potentially fatal

Rabies is a deadly viral disease of the brain that infects mammals. It is most often seen in raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats, but unvaccinated pets and livestock can also get rabies.The virus is spread through the bite of an infected animal or contact with its

ways fatal in humans and animals. However, treatment with the rabies vaccine is nearly 100 percent effective when given soon after

So far this year, 23 animals in Vermont have tested positive for rabies, and 14 of

According to wildlife officials, rabid animals often show a change in their normal behavior, but you cannot tell whether an animal has rabies simply by looking at it. People should not touch or pick up wild animals or strays – even baby animals.

lead

Page 22 • March 9, 2023 • The Other Paper E-mail: lockman1@comcast.net www.georgeslocks.com georgessafes@gmavt.net www.georges-safes.com or Certified Locksmith & Safe Technician Professional Security Consultant Residential • Commercial • Industrial CPL, RST, CPS, CHI 884 Old Hollow Road North Ferrisburg, VT 05473 (802) 425-3060 GEORGE GARDNER CAMPBELL ’ S PROPERTY MAINTENANCE FULL LANDSCAPE SERVICE YOUR ONE STOP SHOP FOR ALL YOUR PROPERTY NEEDS Nick Campbell 802.522.5369 LAWN MOWING & MAINTENANCE — SPRING/FALL CLEANUP SOIL/MULCH/STONE DELIVERY — PRESSURE WASHING — FULLY INSURED — zen center yard sale 4x5 servicedirectory Roofing Siding Renovations Painting Decks 802-343-4820 www.pleasantvalleyvt.com PLEASANT VALLEY, INC. Build / Remodel Funeral / Cremation Health MassageWorksVT Deep & Health
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If it’s important to you or your community look for it in The Other Paper.

CLASSIFIEDS

FOR SALE

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A stunning 18-hole golf course

Full and part-time front desk positions

for 2nd shift, 3pm-11pm, available immediately

Apply in person: 1016 Shelburne Road • South Burlington, VT 05403 or email travelodgeburlingtonvt@gmail.com

We are hiring for the 2023 season!

JOIN

OUR TEAM

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Golf Shop Assistant

Full- and part-time positions available. Must be 18 years of age. Apply online at kwiniaska.com/employment or send your resume to Charli at ckail@kwiniaska.com.

Shop local and please remember our advertisers!

NOW HIRING

A busy newspaper office producing award winning weekly newspapers is hiring.

PART-TIME GRAPHICS/PRODUCTION

• creating advertisements for print and web

• newspaper page layout

• loading web & social media content

• design/layout software (Adobe Creative Suite, Quark)

• attention to detail is a MUST

• willingness to tackle tedious tasks when appropriate

• a team player with a positive attitude

Send a resume and cover letter to: Stowe Reporter, POB 489, Stowe VT 05672; katerina@stowereporter.com. No phone calls please.

Why not have a job you love?

Positions include a sign on bonus, strong benefits package and the opportunity to work at one of the “Best Places to Work in Vermont”.

Service Coordinator: Continue your career in human services in a supportive environment by providing case management for individuals either for our Adult Family Care program or our Developmental Services program. The ideal candidate will have strong clinical, organizational & leadership skills and enjoy working in a team-oriented position. $47,000 annual salary, $1,500 sign on bonus.

Residential Program Manager: Coordinate staffed residential and community supports for an individual in their home. The ideal candidate will enjoy working in a team-oriented position, have strong clinical skills, and demonstrated leadership. $45,900 annual salary, $1,500 sign on bonus.

Direct Support Professional: Provide 1:1 supports to help individuals reach their goals in a variety of settings. This is a great position to start or continue your career in human services. Full and part time positions available starting at $19/hr, $1,000 sign on bonus.

Residential Direct Support Professional: Provide supports to an individual in their home and in the community in 24h shifts including asleep overnights in a private, furnished bedroom. You can work two days, receive full benefits and have five days off each week! Other flexible schedules available, starting wage is $20/hr, $1,000 sign on bonus.

Shared Living Provider: Move into someone’s home or have someone live with you to provide residential supports. There are a variety of opportunities available that could be the perfect match for you and your household. Salary varies dependent on individual care requirements. $1,000 sign on bonus.

Join our dedicated team and together we’ll build a community where everyone participates and belongs https://ccs-vt.org/current-openings/

Make a career making a difference and join our team today!

https://ccs-vt.org/current-openings/

The Other Paper • March 9, 2023 • Page 23
Champlain Community Services, Inc.
nestled in Shelburne, Vermont!

CONNECT THE DOTS

continued from page 20

In eastern Vermont, some farms followed this pattern and other farms connected all their farm buildings together — as in the children’s ditty “big house, little house, back house, barn.”

Each pattern had advantages and disadvantages and farm families had to weigh their choices before they decided how to build.

With connected farm buildings, the farm family could walk from their house through the attached shed, or “back house,” to the barn without ever going outside, no matter the weather. The biggest benefit came in the winter when the frequent livestock feedings, milkings and other farm chores could be done with much less exposure to the cold and wind.

Until well into the 20th century, the farm chores were done by lantern light. The lanterns had open flames from the candle, oil or kerosene they used, making them a fire hazard in the barns full of dry hay, straw and other flammables. Farmers were careful about where they placed the lanterns, but there was always a risk of one being knocked over and starting a fire. If the barn caught on fire, it could easily spread to the other attached buildings, including the house.

In western Vermont, most of the farm families decided they’d rather go out to the barn in all weather to lower the risk of fire spreading between buildings. They usually positioned their barns directly across the road from the house. This meant they were close by and easy to find in the dark and the dirt roadway acted as a fire break to prevent flames from spreading from building to building.

The roadbed was also easily traversed when going from the house to the barn, even in winter. In the earliest years, roadway snow was packed down using a variety of homegrown methods and devices. In the later 19th-century, towns used special-

ly designed snow rollers on the roads to make a good surface for the main mode of winter transportation: horse-drawn sleighs. Farmers crossing the road from their house to the barn in winter would walk relatively easily on the packed snow surface.

This pattern of placing the house and barn across the road from each other was usually possible because many early Vermont farms owned land on both sides of the road. The earliest farmhouses were built before the roads were laid out and the buildings were usually placed near the middle of their original lot, giving them easier access to their whole parcel. When the first rural roads were put in, they usually connected farm site to farm site in a neighborhood, thus running through the middle of the farm lots.

Farm families, then, were able to put their farm buildings on both sides of the road and all of them would be on their property. This is very different from the placement pattern in the Midwest, where the rural roads were built on the lot lines between farms and the farm buildings needed to be on the same side of the road.

Where the roads became heavily traveled thoroughfares, farmers moved away from this pattern of building their barns across the road from the house so they could avoid crossing a busy road to do barn chores.

I always watch for this pattern when I’m driving on the back roads. However, with most of the old barns no longer housing farm animals, it’s not an everyday sight to see someone crossing between the house and the barn as it would have in years past, especially not with a lantern in hand.

Jane Dorney is a consulting geographer who does research and education projects to help people understand why the Vermont landscape looks like it does. See more at janedorney.com.

Page 24 • March 9, 2023 • The Other Paper
PHOTO BY JANE DORNEY 19th-century bank barn foundation in Little River State Park.
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