Derby Archives - Page 8 of 8 - Newport Dispatch
Category archive

Derby - page 8

Austin Giroux, third place male overall and winner in the 12 and under category on the 10K course. All photos courtesy of Phil White.

Runners gather for the 6th annual Dandelion Run

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/News
Austin Giroux, third place male overall and winner in the 12 and under category on the 10K course. All photos courtesy of Phil White.
Austin Giroux, third place male overall and winner in the 12 and under category on the 10K course. All photos courtesy of Phil White.

DERBY — With a tornado warning passing the night before, and rains letting up just one hour prior to the start, nothing was going to get in the way of another successful Dandelion Run. This year marked the 6th time the annual event has taken place.

On Saturday, runners from age 6 to 70 took to the back roads of Derby, Holland, and Morgan. This year the youth let their feet do the talking as they laid down some strong times. The two person Falcon relay team of Andrew Franklin, 17, of Newport, and Travers Parsons-Grayson, 17, of Lowell, set the fastest time of the day, finishing the half marathon course in a time of 1:22:56. 

Dandelion run derby vermont 1

This year’s solo winner was Chip Pierce, 53, of Newport. Pierce posted a winning time of 1:27:13.

The overall female winner was Janelle Ralph, 32 of Gold Hill, OR, with a time of 1:39:13. Vermont is the 43rd state in which she and her husband, Benjamin Ralph, have run a half marathon. She even wore bib number 43 as she posted her winning time.

Four youth took on the half marathon distance as solo runners, led by Sophia Webb, 16, of Hinesburg, with a time of 1:49:40. Sophia has been running the half marathon as a solo each year since she was 12. She says the Dandelion Run is her favorite course.  

dandelion run derby vermont 2

Leading the boys was Andreya Zvonar, 15, of Boston, MA, with a time of 1:50:58.  Andreya and his 23 year old brother, Ivan, ran solo as their parents teamed up for a two person relay.

Elena Doty, 16, of Westford, came in second among the girls and third among the youth with a time of 1:58:43. Rounding out the youth, Daniel Bevacqui, 14, of Fayston, posted a very respectable time of 2:09:06. 

The 10 K course was flooded with youth relay teams from Troy, Newport, Brighton, and Derby Elementary School, as well as relay teams posted by North Country Union Junior High, and Turning Points. 

All in all, there were 22 youth relay teams competing in the 10K course, with just about 100 youth running either solo, in relays, on both courses.

10330458_10202153785462990_2163671866044175697_n

Music at each of the relay stations and throughout the weekend was made possible by the support of Newport City Renaissance Corporation.

Over $1,000 was raised to support Umbrella and $94 was raised for the Christian Vachon Foundation from Canadian registrations. 

Runners travelled from California, Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and all over Vermont. International runners came down from Quebec City, Montreal, and the Eastern Townships.

Field Marshall Kristian Pearson and a core staff of Peter Channell, Faith Landry, Howie Lockamy, worked the event with the help of over 30 volunteers and 15 youth chaperones, who made this year’s Dandelion Run possible. 

dandelion run derby vermont 3

Derby Line Man Cited in Manure Truck Crash in Derby

in Derby/Derby Line/News

manure truck spill derby vermont

DERBY — According to the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, the driver of the manure truck that crashed in Derby on Thursday morning is facing charges for leaving the scene of the accident.

In a release issued by police, Jason Jewer, 33, of Derby Line, was issued a citation to appear in court on charges of leaving the scene of an accident and driving while his license was suspended.

Police are also saying that Jewer was treated and released from North Country Hospital for a concussion he suffered as a result of the accident.

The 1994 Western Star manure truck was carrying a load of liquid manure that spilled after the truck rolled over at around 11:35 a.m. on Thursday. The accident happened on Elm Street, near the Beebe Road in Derby. There have been three similar accidents involving commercial trucks in the last two years in this location, due to the steepness of the hill.

Manure and diesel fuel spread downhill toward a waterway that runs along Beebe Road, reaching a local driveway and lawn in the process. The spill had to be dammed up with dirt that was brought in.

The Derby Line Fire Department worked with the Agency of Natural Resources and a hazardous materials team to control the spill.

Manure truck crash in Derby causes spill, driver flees the scene

in Derby/News

manure truck spill derby vermont

DERBY — The Orleans County Sheriff’s Department is looking for the driver of a truck carrying liquid manure that crashed Thursday morning on Elm Street in Derby, just up the road from the intersection with Beebe Road.

The driver fled the scene, and has yet to be located by police.

According to a press release issued on Thursday, police are following a possible lead in the case, but are not able to locate the suspect. They are not saying that they have identified anyone involved, just that they are searching for someone they think may be to blame.

The vehicle, a 1994 Western Star manure truck, was owned by Gray’s Farms. It was carrying a load of liquid manure that spilled after the truck rolled over.

Manure and diesel fuel spread downhill toward a small waterway that runs along Beebe Road, reaching a local driveway and lawn in the process. The spill had to be dammed up with dirt that was brought in.

Area firefighters worked with a hazardous materials team to control the spill.

Authorities are asking that anyone who has any information regarding the accident contact the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department at 802-334-3333.

Three Charged for Assault Outside Troy General Store Plead Not Guilty

in Derby/Feature/Newport/News/Troy

NEWPORT — Three men who were charged in an assault that took place outside the Troy General store on March 6, were in court on Tuesday. All three pled innocent to the charges.

Jonathan J. Degre, 19, of Newport Center, pled innocent to a felony charge of aggravated assault.

Casey Wheeler, 38, of Derby, and Daniel Beaumont, 25, of Newport, each pled innocent to aggravated assault and disorderly conduct by fighting.
Keep Reading

Domenic’s Story: Helping to Build a Digitally Literate Community

in Derby/Feature

DERBY — When Hurricane Sandy hit in October of 2012, Domenic Laurenzi lost everything. For nearly a month he found himself living in his car. He was working for someone who flat out refused to pay him, and finally the heater in his car went out. He spent the next five days grinding it out, sleeping in the cold, and trying to decide what to do.

Originally from Long Island, Domenic had family living in the Newport area, and he had spent some time here earlier, studying massage therapy at the Community College of Vermont. When the program was dropped, he went back to New York.

Sick of sleeping in his car, Domenic called a relative and asked if he could come back up to Vermont. They were happy to help. On November 17, 2012, Domenic was back in the area, and he immediately decided to continue his studies at CCV. He switched his major to Business.

It was a difficult start for Domenic, but he never let the obstacles he had to face get in his way. As the new guy in town from the big city, he persevered. He has gone on not only to excel as a student, but to give back to the community that welcomed him in.

photoDomenic now runs a digital literacy program offered through the state of Vermont, where he provides free computer help to anyone visiting the library during designated hours. Anyone needing assistance can make an appointment, or just come in during the hours that Domenic is there. He can help you with the most basic issues, or tackle more technical problems if needed.

“It all started at CCV,” Domenic said. “I was taking a class that needed an internship, and it just so happened that the libraries needed someone to help them with their computers.”

The internship led to the digital literacy grant, which has been recognized as a huge success.

“Once the grant went through, and the state saw that people were utilizing this system that was put in place, that people were learning and benefiting from it, they decided to keep it going through July of 2014.”

While offering his services, Domenic has seen the full spectrum of computer related issues pass through the program.

“Things have ranged. From the most basic steps like how to use a tablet, to just the other day I helped someone set up a mobile hot spot from his Samsung Galaxy phone.”

Coming from New York, there are things about the area that have been a bit foreign to Domenic, but he has embraced most of it.

“Everything is so different up here,” he said. “Coming from New York, I’m used to being able to get anything I want, anytime of day. But, it’s absolutely beautiful, and there is no traffic up here which is nice.”

The computer help Domenic provides is available for anyone who needs it, and with the extension, Domenic encourages anyone who needs his services to come out to the library during the following hours:

The Goodrich Memorial Library

Monday – 10:00 to 12:30
Thursday – 3:00 to 5:00

The Dailey Memorial Library
Tuesday – 10:00 to 12:00
Saturday – 1:00 to 3:00

The Haskell Library
Thursday – 12:00 to 2:30
Saturday – 10:00 to 12:30

Domenic will graduate from CCV this summer, and although he will not continue on with the digital literacy program, it will most likely continue past July.

[AUDIO STORY] Discovering Mary Cofran with the Derby Historical Society Museum

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/Feature

Newport Dispatch came out to the old-fashioned Christmas celebration at the Derby Historical Society Museum, and put together this audio story, where we learn about a resident of Derby who in 1940 drew a series of prints on muslin cloth of local buildings. It was like stepping back into 1940. To listen, press play below.

Please enjoy the photography below while you listen. All photos by Tanya Mueller.

IMG_9808

IMG_9804

IMG_9801

IMG_9798

IMG_9828

IMG_9797

IMG_9788

IMG_9824

IMG_9822

IMG_9835

Snowmobiling is Alive and Kicking in the Northeast Kingdom

in Derby/Feature/News

DERBY — Every few years it happens that hunting season ends on Sunday, and snowmobiling season begins on Monday. With hunting season over, yesterday was the first day the trails were officially open. The Drift Dusters Snowmobile Club, which serves 62 miles of trail in the Derby, Holland, and Morgan area, spent opening day out on the trail with their groomer, getting ready for what should be a great season.

“We haven’t sent our groomer out on the first day of the season in a few years,” Roger Gosselin, Vice President of the Drift Dusters Snowmobile Club, said Monday night. “So, we’re off to a great start. The temperatures are down and the snow is here.”

Gosselin started maintaining the trail on Monday using the tracks of the groomer to pack down the snow that has accumulated. It froze overnight, and should provide a good base.

The Drift Dusters Snowmobile Club out packing snow on Monday in the Holland area. All photos courtesy of Roger Gosselin.
The Drift Dusters Snowmobile Club out packing snow on Monday in the Holland area. All photos courtesy of Roger Gosselin.

For snowmobile trails, a snow grooming machine works by pulling what is called a “drag,” behind it. However, at the start of the season, you have to make sure the conditions are right before using it.

“You usually don’t bring the drag out first because you don’t want to literally drag the snow off,” Gosselin said. “At the start of the season, what you want to do is just pack the existing snow down. Once you have a well established trail, then the drag works really well.”

The rule is that you need a four inch base of packed snow to start snowmobiling. Currently, parts of the local network at higher elevations have that already. Gosselin believes that all the early signs indicate that this year should be a good season.

“The upper elevation areas of the trails are open, but they are hard to get to,” he said. “Give us a couple of days. We’re supposed to get more snow, and that will put most areas into better shape.”

Snowmobiling in the area has recently had some bad press, being called a “dying sport,” by a local paper. For Gosselin, and many who have been involved in the sport for nearly a lifetime, statements like that are the result of not looking at the big picture.

“First of all, snowmobiling is a large part of our economy. Yes, some years are better than others, but, if you go through and look at the trends over the years, a few bad years are generally followed by great seasons.”

The groomer owned by the Drift Dusters Snowmobile Club based out of Derby, out on the trail packing snow on opening day.
The groomer owned by the Drift Dusters Snowmobile Club based out of Derby, out on the trail packing snow on opening day.

When it comes to the sport of snowmobiling in the area, Gosselin has paid his dues. He has been involved as a director of the Drift Dusters since 2003, having previously held the position of president for the maximum term of four years, and served as vice president off and on since.

The Drift Dusters are also one of the top clubs in the state. Started in 1970, the group usually has between 800 and 1100 members. In August they were awarded the Vermont Snowmobile Club of the Year. Previously they have won awards for best groomed, and best signed trails.

“This year it was a combination of good grooming, good signing, and a social media presence that is much more active than other groups in the state,” Gosslin said. “It was a big achievement for us.”

Gosselin also serves as the website administrator for the Drift Dusters. Their website was one of the first ever to sell trail passes through the internet. He has been working to creatively engage snowmobile enthusiasts online, as well as keep everyone informed of trail conditions through the website and social networks. Through Twitter, he even started an account for the Drift Dusters’s groomer.

Gosselin, along with Scott Jenness, who serves as president of the club, working with all the club’s directors, have made the 62 miles of track they maintain a spot that brings in riders from all over New England.

For more information about the Drift Dusters Snowmobile Club, visit them online. If you are on Twitter, you can follow the club at: @DriftDustersSC and at Facebook.com/driftdusters

Below is a killer promotional video that the club put out, which just goes to show that snowmobiling is not a dying sport. It is alive and well, and with the season underway, and clubs like the Drift Dusters working hard to keep the trails maintained, Newport Dispatch hopes all riders have a safe and fun winter.

Photos by Tanya Mueller

Community Dinners Thanksgiving Day in Derby Make it a Special Holiday for Many in the Area

in Derby/News

All photos by Tanya Mueller, unless otherwise noted.

DERBY — The Church of God and the Elks Lodge in Derby both hosted community dinners Thanksgiving Day, making it a special holiday for many in the area. Both offered turkey dinner for anyone who wished to eat with the community, and both offered take out packages as well.

Church of God Pastor Laurence Wall poses with Julie Chase following Thursday's community dinner.
Church of God Pastor Laurence Wall poses with Julie Chase following Thursday’s community dinner.

The day before Thanksgiving, The Church of God delivered 145 meals throughout the area. Hayes Ford of Newport donated the 13 turkeys which were prepared by church members. The community dinner that they hosted on Thanksgiving Day was thanks to Julie Chase, who not only had the idea for the dinner, but cooked a turkey that she raised herself. About 50 people came out Thursday for the meal.

“This is the first time that we have hosted a community meal on Thanksgiving Day,” Pastor Laurence Wall of Church of God said. “It was a good turnout, and it’s all thanks to Julie.”

IMG_9526

The Elks Lodge served 225 people who came out Thanksgiving Day for the community dinner. They also served 300 take out meals throughout the day. This was the eighth year that the Elks Lodge in Derby has hosted the dinner.

Frances Dewing cooked the majority of the food, and the North Country High School Culinary Arts Program donated 69 pies for dessert. The potatoes served were thanks to George Weller of Stanstead.

“George did all the potatoes,” Ms. Dewing said. “Tuesday night they had a potato peeling party at his house, where they peeled all the potatoes. They cooked them this morning, and transported them here.”

Photo courtesy of Frances Dewing.
Photo courtesy of Frances Dewing.

The event was awarded a $2,000 Beacon Grant from the Elks National Foundation which paid for most of the food. With community donations in advance, both cash and in-kind, they raised a total of $3,000 before dinner was even served Thursday.

The money raised goes to the food and fuel fund for the Northeastern Vermont Area Agency on Aging

“It will be a Thanksgiving that continues throughout the season,” Lisa Viles, the executive director of the Northeastern Vermont Area Agency on Aging, said following Thursday’s event.

Northeastern Vermont Area Agency on Aging works to assist individuals who are in crisis for food and fuel throughout the year. They take donations to support their work online at NEKseniors.Org

Frances Dewing in the kitchen at the Elks Lodge in Derby Thursday afternoon.
Frances Dewing in the kitchen at the Elks Lodge in Derby Thursday afternoon.

Nelson Farms – Highest Recipient of Dairy Subsidies in Orleans County

in Derby/Derby Line/News

DERBY — According to the Environmental Working Group Farm Subsidy Database, Nelson Farms, who was recently ordered to stop polluting two local waterways, is the highest recipient of Dairy Program subsidies in Orleans County. According to the database, they have also received the third highest amount of Dairy Program subsidies in the State of Vermont.

The Environmental Working Group Farm Subsidy Database tracks $256 billion in farm subsidies from commodity, crop insurance, and disaster programs, as well as $39 billion in conservation payments, between the years of 1995-2013.

Nelson Farms was recently taken to court by the State of Vermont Agency of Agriculture and the Agency of Natural Resources for discharging waste into the Clyde River and the Crystal Brook.

Last week, the Attorney General’s office announced a win in the water quality case against Nelson Farms. A preliminary injunction order was handed down by Orleans County Superior Court Judge Howard VanBenthuysen against Nelson Farms on November 6. The injunction states that farm operators are not allowed to discharge manure and other agricultural waste into the waterways.

The state alleges Nelson Farms allowed manure and other dairy operation drainage to overflow and discharge directly into the Clyde River from its farm in Derby Center, as well as directly into the Crystal Brook from its Derby Line location. According to a press release from the Attorney General’s office, the Nelson’s Clyde River farm has 450 dairy cows, and 200 heifers, and the Crystal Brook location has 575 dairy cows.

Between 1995-2013, Nelson Farms received $540,986 in dairy program subsidies, the highest in Orleans County.

Nelson farms dairy subsidies 2

The amount ranks third highest overall in the state of Vermont.

Nelson farms dairy subsidies 1

“Vermont farmers are stewards of the land and provide many environmental and economic benefits to our state. However, it is not acceptable for farmers to allow barnyard waste to pollute our waterways,” Attorney General William Sorrell said in a press release. “Although an acre of farm land produces less phosphorus than an acre of urbanized land, excess phosphorous in our waterways from any source deprives freshwater fish and plants of essential oxygen.”

Between 1995-2013, Nelson Farms received a total of $1,213,303 in USDA subsidies.

derby Vermont arts and Crafts fair

Dailey Memorial Library’s Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair a Success

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/News

DERBY — “Looking to the future while preserving the past.” These are the words guiding the capital campaign for the expansion project of the Dailey Memorial Library. With some of the proceeds from this years Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair going toward the expansion project, Saturday’s event both looked toward the future of the library, while preserving the past, marking the 22nd time that the annual event has taken place.

1 derby Vermont arts and Crafts fairInside the gymnasiums of North Country Junior High, visitors were treated to an eclectic mix of products that showcased the rich tradition of arts and crafts throughout the region. There were 33 vendors involved this year, selling a range of products.

Riley Brooks, of B3 Balsam, brought out a line of products made from ground up balsam firs. The pleasing smell of the soft, fir stuffed pillows, were a popular seller Saturday morning. According to Mr. Brooks, the fir scent of the pillows will last for many years.

“We were at a craft expo when we found Maine Balsam Fir Company, the supplier who we buy our dried firs from,” Mr. Brooks said. “We bought a pound that night, and since we had a fir pillow that was 16 years old and still smelled nice, we decided to try and make our own. B3 Balsam started that night using a 1940 Singer Straight Stitch machine.”

Mr. Wambach, from Nic & Wambach Creative Arts based out of Red Hook New York, said he visits his sister once a month in Vermont, and enjoys drawing the state’s picturesque scenes. His display showcased some of these works.

derby Vermont arts and Crafts fair 1“I enjoy the beauty of Vermont, and it’s a place with a phenomenal amount of history,” he said.

One of his favorite Vermont scenes to draw are covered bridges.

I plan to do as many of the covered bridges as I can. There are 138 in the Northeast Kingdom, and I’d like to draw all of them,” he said.

His work can be found at the East Side gift shop, or visit them online.

Richard and Vera Long, of Long Branch Wooden Bowls, brought out their entire inventory of wood turned bowels.

To make the bowls, the couple haul the logs in from their property in Holland. It takes about ten to twelve months for each piece to be finished. Mr. Long starts with a rough cut, then shelves and dates each piece. Once dry, they are put back on the lathe for a final shaping. The bowls are finished in walnut oil and beeswax.

IMG_9293“I hand sign each piece with a wood burning tool,” Vera Long said. “Because they are heirloom gifts, many customers want them for a wedding present. I put the name of the couple with the date they were married on the back.”

Jim Hutchins, of Hutch and Ricka Custom Leather Carving, displayed an assortment of handcrafted leather and hardwood items made in Newport Center. A sign which read, “little hands welcome to touch,” was posted above the display, encouraging the curiosity of the many children who came out Saturday. Their work is part of the Wooden Horse Arts Guild, and can be viewed online.

Kimberly Covert, from Covert Essentials of Enosburg Falls, was busy selling personal care products. She started her own line of products after working for an all natural skin care company in New York. Covert Essentials started making soap, but has evolved into much more.

Her biggest seller has been her deodorant products.

IMG_9265 (2)“I wanted a natural deodorant that actually works,” she said. “Using a combination of organic coconut oil and beeswax forms a nice barrier, and combined with some powder, keep you dry for a really long time.”

Her products can be found in Stowe, but should soon be available in the Newport area.

Saturday’s craft fair lasted until 2 p.m. Although the event draws many people every year, this year was especially steady. The money raised will go to the operating fund of the Daily Memorial Library, as well as the capital campaign for the expansion project.

To see a video of what the new library will look like, please watch the video below.

Nelson Farms Ordered to Stop Polluting the Clyde River

in Derby/Derby Line/News

DERBY LINE — The Vermont Attorney General’s office announced a win this week in a water quality case against two farms owned by the Nelson family. The preliminary injunction order was handed down by Orleans County Superior Court Judge Howard VanBenthuysen, against Nelson Farms on November 6. The injunction states that farm operators are not allowed to discharge manure and other agricultural waste into the Clyde River, or the Crystal Brook.

The state alleges Nelson Farms allowed manure and other dairy operation drainage to overflow and discharge directly into the Clyde River from its farm in Derby Center, as well as directly into the Crystal Brook from its Derby Line location.

According to the press release from the attorney general’s office, the Nelson’s Clyde River farm has 450 dairy cows, and 200 heifers, and the Crystal Brook location has 575 dairy cows.

Nelson Farms has until Dec. 15 to present plans to the state as to how both locations will permanently eliminate any potential waste runoff entering the brook or the river. They also must allow inspectors on site to inspect the farms anytime between 6 a.m. – 9 a.m.

“Vermont farmers are stewards of the land and provide many environmental and economic benefits to our state. However, it is not acceptable for farmers to allow barnyard waste to pollute our waterways,” Attorney General William Sorrell said in the press release.

“Although an acre of farm land produces less phosphorus than an acre of urbanized land, excess phosphorous in our waterways from any source deprives freshwater fish and plants of essential oxygen.”

“The State’s agricultural water quality laws and programs are designed to assist farmers to help keep our waterways clean,” Sorrell said. ”When voluntary compliance efforts fail, however, the Agency of Agriculture, the Department of Environmental Conservation and my Office will work cooperatively to take enforcement action.”

Click to download the injunction (PDF)

Click to read the Attorney General’s press release.

Penn’s Fish House of Vermont Grand Opening – Making You Rethink Fried Food

in Derby/News

DERBY― After eating at Penn’s Fish House of Vermont, you will realize that there are two types of fried food. There is the over-battered, usually deep frozen variety that we have grown used to suffering through, and then there is the proper, thin-battered variety that is something much different. Penn's Fish House Derby Vermont 1Penn’s will make you forget whatever you thought you knew about the subject. Until you experience fried food done properly, you will never know what you’ve been missing.

Exactly one month since opening their doors, Penn’s Fish House celebrated its grand opening in Derby with a benefit event that saw 50 cents of every meal going toward North Country Hospital.

It was a full house Friday night, with word spreading around town that there is something special about this place. Although Penn’s offers grilled food and salads as well, it’s the fried food that they serve which has people talking.

Penn’s commitment to fresh ingredients is part of the reason that your first meal there is sure to surprise you.

IMG_9283“Nothing is pre-battered. When the order comes in, we cut the fillets, batter it, and cook it fresh,” Vikram Sood, who owns Penn’s, said Friday night.

The other secret to Penn’s unique taste, is in the batter they cover the fresh fillets in.

“This type of fried food is totally different than what people in this area are used to. Our batter is crispier and much thinner. This soaks in the least amount of oil.”

The fired catfish with hushpuppy I tasted Friday night perfectly demonstrated this concept. The thinner batter made for a fried meal that was light and extremely tasty. It was a pleasant surprise from the first bite through to the last.

In bringing Penn’s to Derby, Sood has taken a style of cooking unique to one specific region of the United States, and slightly altered it to match the tastes of the Northeast.

IMG_9277“It seemed like an interesting idea to introduce food from the southern United States into this part of the country. We slightly altered some recipes to match the taste of the region, with haddock and tilapia being favorites up here,” Sood said.

The haddock is the number one selling item at Penn’s, with catfish a close second.

If you order the hushpuppy to go with your meal, Sood is quick to point out a little tip. He suggests mixing the red hot sauce that sits at the table with some mayonnaise. It is good advice.

IMG_9265

Walmart in Derby, Vermont – It’s Not Just About Buying Underwear

in Derby/Newport/Opinion
Walmart and Vermont, business as usual.
Walmart and Vermont, business as usual.

The following quote is from earlier in the year:

“The Village of Newport and the people of Derby voted overwhelmingly to support having a place to buy underwear so we don’t have to go to Littleton,” said Sen. Robert Starr.

Senator Starr (D-Essex/Orleans), was addressing the fact that in 2010, 85 percent of voters supported the idea of a Walmart being built in Derby.

Well, when it was announced Wednesday that a deal had been made between developer Jeff Davis, Preservation Trust, and the Vermont Natural Resources Council, that there would be no opposition against the new Walmart store so long as Davis pays $200,000, we should all have felt a little insulted.

If you read between the lines, the message is that bribes and blackmail will be tolerated by us locals, so long as in the end we have a place to go buy underwear. After Wednesday’s payoff, Davis has won the fight, and can now ride into town, the hero, throwing underwear at us locals. He can throw a few hundred thousand dollars at the so-called conservation groups, which, is a very low amount compared to the money he will be taking away from local businesses like Pick & Shovel. Supposedly, everyone wins.

There is more to this deal than most people realize, because it sets a new standard of using the permitting process as a way to extort money. Both sides have used the people of Derby and Newport as a guise for making a large amount of money, in the end, both getting what they want.

VNRC and Preservation Trust win an easy payday, literally getting $200,000 for doing nothing, developer Jeff Davis will make plenty of money as we all flock to Walmart, getting our share of the prize…underware.

We are worth more than that, and Vermont should pride itself on being a state that has not been bought out by big businesses like Walmart. We still have a tradition and a culture around here that is free from the likes of superstores and corporate giants swallowing up every little business in its path.

If VNRC and Preservation Trust have agreed to stand down in opposition of the project, that does not mean that everybody else has to.

Walmart and Vermont, business as usual.

The Payoff That’s Not a Payoff: For $200,000 Opponents Promise Not to Fight Walmart in Derby

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY–Preservation Trust and the Vermont Natural Resources Council have agreed not to oppose a Walmart Superstore in Derby. The two Vermont conservation groups made a complex deal with developer Jeff Davis, the Shumlin administration, and the Legislature, requiring Davis to pay $200,000 for future improvements to downtowns throughout Orleans County.

The deal, signed September 25th, and unveiled in Burlington Wednesday afternoon, was welcomed by Newport City Mayor Paul Monette and Derby Select Board Chairman Brian Smith, who have been trying to bring Walmart into the area for years. Davis could possibly apply for local permits for the Walmart Superstore within 30 days.

For not opposing the future Derby store, Preservation Trust will receive payment once the store is built, with the $200,000 used entirely for grants to help downtowns in Orleans County. In addition, the state will add $500,000 to its downtown improvements tax credit program.

Davis also agreed to pay $600,000 over six years to Newport City. The city will use the money to ease the economic impact the store will bring.

“To me, the most important thing was to get Newport and Derby a Walmart,” Davis said.

One final addition to the deal is that Davis agreed that for the next five years, he will not seek to build any other Walmart stores outside other Vermont downtowns.

Both conservation group executive directors brought up the fact that there was a lack of organized opposition to the Derby store, and that the deal reached was a fair compromise, given the fact that a long battle could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In the past, both Derby and Newport City voters have supported the idea of an agreement with Davis being made in order to move the project along. In 2010, 85 percent of voters favored a Walmart in Derby being built.

When asked if the deal amounted to a payoff to stop fighting the Derby Walmart, Paul Bruhn, executive director of Preservation Trust, stated, “We don’t think of it in that way.”

The Town and the Village: Derby Line Voters Cross Town to Vote on the Same Issue

in Derby/Derby Line/News

Derby Line Village HallDerby―Voters from Derby and the village of Derby Line overwhelmingly voted yes to bond for the funds needed to move forward with a water system upgrade.

Voters in Derby were simply voting yes or no to borrow the $410,000 needed to help split the cost with the village of Derby Line for the new waterline to the Derby Elementary School. The town agreed to contribute to the cost of the new waterline extension because it was a safety issue, and currently there is not enough water flow to aggressively fight a fire if one ever broke out at the school.

The village of Derby Line voted yes to bond for the $1.2 million needed for the entire cost of the project, but, since they are also residents of the town, they were allowed to go to the ballot box at the Municipal Building in Derby Center, and vote on the $410,000 loan.

Village Clerk Sharon Booth and village Clerk Fay Morin reminded voters from the village that they had the opportunity to cast their votes across town as well.

Now that the bond vote is over, plans will move forward to upgrade the water system.

On Main Street, 1,200 linear feet of new 10 inch diameter waterline from Louis Street, running south to Valentine Avenue, will replace the original 4 inch cast iron waterline.

The installation of approximately 4,900 linear feet of new 8 and 10 inch diameter waterline will begin at Forest Avenue, run along Forest Terrace, and continue west through the corn field to Derby Elementary School.

The final design will be completed in February. Construction is set to begin in April and finish in September.

The average Derby Line resident resident pays about $370 per year for water. The village portion of the annual loan payment will be around $53,000, increasing the water rate an extra $85 dollars per year.

The town of Derby anticipates raising the funds to pay their portion of the annual loan payment through town property taxes.

The breakdown of the vote was as follows:

Derby Line – 69 yes | 12 no

Derby – 195 yes | 42 no

Voter turnout was low, at about 20 percent in Derby Line, and less than 10 percent in Derby.

Apple Cider Flowed in Derby Friday Night at the Coutts-Moriarty Camp

in Derby/News

It’s a simple, two step process. You have to grind the apples somehow, and then squeeze the heck out of them. Step two requires a tremendous amount of force, and step one requires that something sharp be continuously moving as the apples are fed through.

It should come as no surprise that all you would have to do is search YouTube for “homemade apple grinder,” or “homemade cider press,” to see just how incredibly dangerous the whole process can be when someone tries to build their own contraption to accomplish these two steps.

Kasen helps load apples into the grinder Friday night.
Kasen helps load apples into the grinder Friday night.
Although there are ways to get ‘er done with an electric drill and a 5 ton bottle jack, luckily for everyone who came out Friday night to the new heated lodge at the Coutts-Moriarty Camp in Derby, there was a much more elegant, and much safer machine on hand. It was so safe in fact, even the kids took turns running it. However, a few needed to be reminded not to put their hands in the grinder.

With minimal effort, the cider was flowing.

Around 50 people came out for the free community event which was organized by Jason Brueck of the Coutts-Moriarty Camp. It was an eclectic mix of people, music, and apples, and it was just the type of event that Mr. Brueck had in mind while the new lodge was being built.

“One of our big goals is to be a community resource, and to have lots of different people from the community come out tonight was great,” Mr. Brueck said.

IMG_9186Guests were encouraged to bring their own apples to run through the machine, and make their own cider. Many, like Holly Spencer from Derby, came with buckets filled with apples they had collected from all over town.

“I got my apples from somebody I know who has a small orchard in Morgan, and some also came from North Troy,” Ms. Spencer said, proudly displaying her mason jars filled with the amber colored liquid.

If you didn’t have any apples to press, a $3 donation got you a quart of cider to take home.

Members of the Plymouth State University Choir, featuring North Country graduates Hannah Chambers and Kyle Quirion, put on the short concert that followed the cider pressing. Those who came out Friday night were treated to sounds that ranged from solo saxophone, to a capella music. The concert concluded with a jazz combo playing Thelonious Monk.

The musicians, who are Music Education students, sat through a day of classes that ended at 4 p.m., and a two hour drive from New Hampshire, in order to put on the concert.

“The kids all had fun, and there was even a couple of dogs, so we’re really pleased with the way the night turned out,” Jason Brueck said after the event.

IMG_9214The people at the Coutts-Moriarty Camp are settling into their new 80-by-40 foot Education Lodge and Hall. The facility can hold up to 80 guests.

“This is only the first winter we’ve been up and running with this new heated building, so now that we’re able to have year round events, we’re pretty excited.” Mr. Brueck said.

For more information on the Coutts-Moriarty Camp, visit them on the web, and to see the proper way to make cider, have a look at the video from Friday’s event below.

1 6 7 8
Go to Top