February 23, 2017

From the Statehouse

By Rep. Jessica Brumsted

The Vermont legislature was very busy in the beginning of February. Legislators began the hard work of looking at the education proposals in the Governor’s budget. The Governor’s proposals have serious budget implications for Vermont property tax payers, and it has started a discussion in the State House and around the state about how to responsibly provide equal opportunity in education for every child. Coupled with the interest in building the best preK-12 education system possible is the concern that costs are managed in a way that does not put unreasonable strains on local taxpayers. [Read more…]

Letters to the Editor

Taxpayer questions for Planned Parenthood

Since Planned Parenthood was able to raise and spend $450,000 to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, why should they receive an additional $65,000 in taxpayer funds in the Budget Adjustment Act?

[Read more…]

Guest Column: Vt. must do more to make childcare accessible, sustainable

By Paula Nadeau

All Vermont families deserve access to high-quality affordable childcare that supports the individual growth of their children and families. [Read more…]

Vermont Gas penalized while feds investigate state oversight of pipeline

Observer file photo by John Henrick/VTDigger. Vermont Gas pipeline contractors face off against protesters at the Williston worksite in 2014.

Observer file photo by John Henrick/VTDigger.
Vermont Gas pipeline contractors face off against protesters at the Williston worksite in 2014.

By Lou Varricchio

From Watchdog.org

The Vermont Public Service Board has penalized Vermont Gas Systems’ earnings for three years due to management shortcomings dating back to early construction of a new gas pipeline running through Addison County. [Read more…]

Champlain Valley kids kick in 12 percent at Penguin Plunge

Williston Central School chef Sam Beatson gets his hair sprayed pink as part of his fund raising efforts for Saturday's Peguin Plunge at the Burlington waterfront.

Williston Central School chef Sam Beatson gets his hair sprayed pink as part of his fund raising efforts for Saturday’s Peguin Plunge at the Burlington waterfront.

By Jess Wisloski

Observer staff

The Special Olympics broke a record with its annual Penguin Plunge, held this year on Feb. 4 — but the $528,000 raised, which will help fund programs for special needs children and adults, was massively supported by students from the Williston area and Champlain Valley School District. [Read more…]

Sterling House scribes share their best, in 7 minutes

Observer courtesy photo Joy Peterson (RIGHT) and some of her 5th grade students on Fri., Feb. 10.

Observer courtesy photo
Joy Peterson (RIGHT) and some of her 5th grade students on Fri., Feb. 10.

By Jess Wisloski

Observer staff

The classroom snacked and listened silently as Joy Peterson introduced the task: “write creatively, for seven minutes straight…using one of these prompts.” [Read more…]

Cricket farm in Williston trumpets new protein source

Observer courtesy photo Steve and Jen Swanson, shown with children Cole and Stella, are the owners of Tomorrow’s Harvest in Williston.

Observer courtesy photo
Steve and Jen Swanson, shown with children Cole and Stella, are the owners of Tomorrow’s Harvest in Williston.

By Phyl Newbeck

Observer staff

It all started when Steve Swanson read a 2013 United Nations report about food insecurity and the need to find new ways to grow food. [Read more…]

Help for bladder control problems

By Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior,

What are the best treatments recommended to help seniors with bladder control problems?

Leaking Linda [Read more…]

Free tax help across the state from AARP

Tax season is underway. This year, AARP Foundation is again providing free tax assistance and preparation for taxpayers across Vermont with low to moderate income through the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program. [Read more…]

Tasteful: Dumped for Valentine’s Day?

By Jan Kenney

Despite its dubious name, a dump cake is an impressive, delicious and satisfyingly simple-to-make dessert that, if you can open a can, you can master. Dished out (with dollop of vanilla ice cream of course) the deep carmine color of the cherries makes this a great dessert to serve for Valentine’s Day — and it tastes fabulous with a piece of dark chocolate on the side. [Read more…]