Home Heard on the Street HEARD ON THE STREET 5.15.14



Let the Race Begin

Dean Corren, the former state representative from Burlington, announced the other day that he intends to run for Lieutenant Governor against incumbent Phil Scott. Corren is a member of the Progressive Party and will be seeking their nomination later this year. He served in the House from 1993-2000. A recent press release stated that “he will try to qualify for public financing under Vermont’s ‘clean elections’ campaign finance law.”

The Drawing Board Sketchbook Design Contest

One winner’s design will be chosen by The Drawing Board staff to be imprinted on a limited edition black hardcover sketchbook. The winner will receive 3 sketchbooks with their design and an art supply prize pack worth $75. Deadline is June 12. More details at www.drawingboardvt.com

GMA Announces Plan to Sue State Over GMO Labelling

Shortly after Governor Shumlin signed the GMO labelling bill into law on May 8, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) announced its plan to bring a lawsuit against the Vermont. GMA challenges that the new labelling requirements single out foods that they claim are no better or worse for consumers than non-GMO foods.

Vermont Minimum Wage Gets a Boost

The Vermont State Legislature voted to pass a bill which would raise the Vermont minimum wage in phases from $8.73 up to $10.50 an hour by 2018. The bill now sits and waits for Governor Shumlin’s signature. If signed into law, Vermont will be on course to having the highest statewide minimum wage in the country, according to a press release put out by Emma Stieglitz of Berlin Rosen.

Congressman Welch Defends Local Farmers and Brewers

At a press conference on May 14, at the Alchemist Cannery U.S. Congressman Peter Welch announced his opposition to a proposed move by the FDA that would prohibit the direct distribution of spent brewery grains to farmers. The proposed rule would mandate that brewers package, test, track, and label spent grains before giving them to local farmers. This would be a significant blow to many small Vermont farmers who depend on spent grains from breweries as a free way to supplement the cost of raising livestock.

Waterbury Rescission Fails

Opponents of a $2.9-million bond issue approved at Waterbury’s March town meeting for a new municipal complex took a thumping in a special election Tuesday, when a move to rescind that approval failed 917 to 493  – a wider margin than the 809-617 March vote authorizing the bonds. The complex, which will replace town offices ravaged by tropical storm Irene, will expand on the 1890 town library in an architecturally consistent fashion, said Barb Farr, the town’s long-term community recovery director, and will house the local historical society in addition to the library and municipal offices. Barring further obstacles, the project should be complete by summer 2015, she said.

Vermont Open Studio Week

The 2014 Vermont Open Studio Week is May 24 and 25. A press release from Elissa R. Campbell of Blue Roof Desisgns said, “Over 230 studios and galleries will be holding special events and demonstrations from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.” To see which studios in your area will be hosting events check out vermontcrafts.com for a complete listing of participants.

Montpelier Senior Activity Center to host Memories of Montpelier

On Friday, May 23, the Montpelier Senior Activity Center will host a screening of Memories of Montpelier at 12:45 immediately following the FEAST lunch. There will be a brief introduction by Senator Bill Doyle prior to the movie and a discussion about what Montpelier used to be like when ice wagons and trolley cars were on the street. Please contact the Montpelier Senior Activity Center for more information at 223-2518.

First-Ever Maplehill School Student Art Show

This Friday, May 16, from 5:30-6:30 at the Plainfield Community Center Maplehill School and Community Farm will host their first art show. The show, funded by a grant from Northfield Savings Bank, will feature various media, including paintings, drawings, collage, scratch art, dream catchers and mandala. For more information please contact Jamie Spector at (802) 454-7747.

Barre City Says No

On May 13, the citizens of Barre City voted no on the revised proposed municipal budget and school budget. Both the municipal and school budgets were shot down by the voters on Town Meeting Day last March 4. Now, both the city council and school board will have to go back to the drawing board and try to come up with budget proposals that Barre City voters can agree to.