Wilmington School Board member Tom Manton expressed concern about a selectboard policy prohibiting resident participation at selectboard meetings except during the “public comment” agenda item. Manton called the policy “a devastating blow to open government and access thereto.” He said Vermont has a tradition of citizen government dating back to its founding, and Vermonters “have a heritage of speaking our minds. “Attempts to stifle public discourse may only lead down a precarious path.” Town manager Sonia Alexander said no new policy had been adopted.
Their schools not yet merged into Twin Valley High School, a group of Wilmington and Whitingham students traveled together to China. The local group was joined by students from Brattleboro Union High School who were also enrolled in an Asian Studies program at their school. Their destination was their sister school in Kunming, Yunan Province.
15 years ago:
Wilmington Middle/High School Principal Frank Spencer was named Vermont Secondary School Principal of the Year. It was Spencer’s 28th year at the school; he came to Wilmington after graduating magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1971 with a degree in Canadian history.
Wilmington declined to participate in an Act 60 tax revolt with Searsburg, Whitingham, and Dover. The towns planned to withhold state taxes due under Act 60.
The Deerfield Valley Transit Association MOOver was looking for legislative support for a proposed multimodal facility in Wilmington.
20 years ago:
Readsboro seventh- and eighth-graders took top honors in the state spelling bee.
The Whitingham School goals committee reported to the school board on the results of a meeting on ways to accomplish a “merger” with another district. The committee recommended moving forward with restructuring, installing interactive television, and considering a limited partnership with Wilmington such as joint classes.
A controversial property tax reform bill in the Vermont House that called for a statewide teachers contract as well as a statewide property tax on business and nonresidential property to help pay for state education programs was “tweaked” in the Senate. According to Windham County Sen. Peter Shumlin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, the “tweaks” included a 60-cent statewide tax on all property that could be phased in over several years. He said the committee’s goal was to “equalize” tax rates.
25 years ago:
The Dover Selectboard received nine bids ranging from $362,000 to $675,000 for renovations to the town office building in West Dover. Voters had approved up to $225,000 for renovations at Town Meeting, and all the bids surpassed the limit.
Dover School was feeling the crunch of a steadily increasing student population, so much so that school officials planned to use a modular classroom until a planned addition to the school could be completed. The school had reached its capacity of 140 students, and the student population was expected to reach as high as 187 within five years.
30 years ago:
Millington Dix, a member of the RSVP singers, played his saw for seniors at the Whitingham Municipal Center.
Alexander Duthie, a researcher at UVM, discovered that more than 40% of milk drinkers in a seven-day UVM survey preferred the taste of lipolyzed, or slightly rancid, milk. Duthie, who was clearly not in the 40% that liked the lipolyzed milk, said it “has the odor of baby vomit and tastes like regurgitated milk.” In another survey, Duthie discovered that nearly 20% of people preferred the flavor of milk that had been exposed to light, or “light-induced flavor,” which usually occurs as the result of exposure to fluorescent lighting in supermarkets.
40 years ago:
Bill Shippee, of Dorr Fitch Road in West Dover, was featured in an article on maple sugaring. Shippee’s small-scale operation included a small portable evaporator that he built using a 55-gallon drum for a firebox, with a small pan mounted on the top. Shippee’s sugar bush was on the west side of Dorr Fitch Road, on a steep hill leading down to the Deerfield River. The hill was so steep Shippee had to collect his sap buckets using a rope. For all his hard work he was rewarded with about 12 gallons of his own syrup per year.
45 years ago:
The Mount Snow Valley News profiled Henry and Marcia Rainaud, owners of The Ship’s Chandler, a heraldic research business in Wilmington. The Rainauds became interested in heraldry when they lived in a medieval walled city in France. The Ship’s Chandler is still in business, and still providing meticulously researched, hand-painted, coats-of-arms at www.coatsofarms.com.
The Miss Vermont pageant was held at Mount Snow and Mary Verdiani, 19, representing Glen Ellen ski area in Waitsfield, took the crown. Judges at the pageant were Peter Jennings, Susan Chaffee, and Gardner Brown. Verdiani was on her way to the Miss USA pageant in Miami.