Author: Colin Flanders

One hundred years later, Essex native recalls a life of ‘hard work’

Grace Naylor still remembers plopping chokecherries in a pail under the summer sun, back before she was old enough to help much in the garden except tug at the weeds. It was hard work, but the five cents she’d earn from her grandfather made it all worth it. And she still remembers the early morning trips down Route 15, shoes sinking in the sand during the mile-and-a-half commute to school at the Four Corners, back when cows dotted the countryside and traffic was little more than a trickle. Naylor and her siblings raced to the porch to watch a...

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Consultants share town center draft

“The past cannot be the future.” That short tagline from the new Essex Town Center master plan seems to encompass all work going into the ambitious revamp. It’s recognition that although the area remains a vital pocket of growth for Essex’s future, economic forces over the last quarter-century are much different than those today — and the same will be said decades from now. A year in the making, the plan is still in draft form, and it will be at least another year until Essex decision-makers consider any of the recommendations for adoption. But residents and planning commissioners...

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Petitions urge Essex High to change GPA system

A pair of online petitions calling on Essex High School to modify its grading scale say the current system has long disadvantaged students when applying for college and scholarships. The petitions aim to address how EHS converts numerical grades to a grade point average. Currently, an EHS student with an 85 percent average earns a 2.4 GPA, while the same student at Champlain Valley Union earns a 3.0. Similar differences can be found up and down the grading scale when compared to schools around the county. “This is unfair and hurts Essex students when they apply to college, try...

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Scott appoints two Essex residents to judiciary

Gov. Phil Scott has appointed two Essex attorneys to become Vermont Superior Court judges. David A. Barra, a longtime attorney for the village of Essex Jct., and Scot L. Kline, current general counsel of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, are among four appointees Scott announced Thursday. “I’m proud to appoint these impressive individuals to serve Vermonters in our judicial system,” Scott said in a news release.  “They have each demonstrated integrity and fairness throughout their careers and bring valuable experience, judgement and leadership to our judiciary.” Barra was a founding partner with Unsworth & Barra, PLC for nearly...

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Major development plans head for village

The Essex Jct. Planning Commission will hear plans next week for a massive downtown development project for the southern slice of the Five Corners. A conceptual master plan submitted by BlackRock Construction and McEwing Services shows four new four-story buildings plotted across 10.7 acres between Park and Maple Street split by the railroad. Three are sited behind the horseshoe-shaped building at 34 Park St., and one is beside the Lincoln Inn. Two will be mixed-use, while the others are solely residential. It’s still early in the process, however. The developers need a site plan review for each building prior...

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