Author: Sam Heller

Fly-fishing nonprofit in the works

Mike Abbott looked a little out of place outside the hip coffee shop beneath his second-story apartment in Burlington’s Old North End. Earnest and intense, he lacked the self-reflexive cool affected by the laptop-toting patrons inside. It was a scorcher, and afternoon traffic lurched noisily down North Ave, but Abbott was miles away. “It’s 65 degrees. It’s quiet. The sun’s just coming up on the water,” he said wistfully, gazing at a scene only he could see. “Birds are chirping, the hatch is happening, you’re just immersed.” “You see fish jumping, you’re excited to be there. Oh yeah,” he...

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EHS students quiz gov in virtual town hall

Students at Essex High School had a rare opportunity to speak with Gov. Phil Scott directly during a virtual town hall meeting last Wednesday. Barbara Isham’s 11th-grade Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics class, as well as classes from South Burlington and Fair Haven, met with Scott via webcam to ask him about his policies, perspectives and personal experiences as governor of Vermont. “He was a really good guy. He had a lot of interesting answers to questions, and I learned a lot,” 17-year-old Olivia Percey said. Percey, one of Isham’s students, represented her class at the meeting. The...

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Locals rally for hurricane victims

From August 25-29, Hurricane Harvey swept through southeast Texas, devastating Houston and the surrounding communities and leaving Jessica and Brandon Mott’s hometown, Shepherd, Texas, in shambles. Unable to idly watch their hometown fall apart, the young Starksboro residents loaded hundreds of pounds of supplies into a U-Haul, strapped their 2-year-old daughter, Danika, into her car seat, and headed home to pick up the pieces themselves. As the Motts set out on their journey Sept. 5, Essex resident Karen Alderman served as mission control, sending them incoming cash donations from community members via PayPal and tracking their progress via Facebook....

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Music nonprofit wins arts grant

Music-COMP, a music-education-based nonprofit operating out of Essex Jct., received a $3,000 Arts Impact grant from the Vermont Arts Council last month. The award was one of 71 grants, totaling just over $438,400, awarded by the council to artistic institutions and endeavors around the state. Fifteen grants were awarded to artists and organizations in Chittenden County. Eleven will support Burlington artists and organizations like the Vermont Independent Film Festival and the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. The remaining four Chittenden County grants were divvied between Huntington, Shelburne, Colchester and Music-COMP in Essex. Music-COMP provides online music composition classes...

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A first-timer’s trip to the fair

The carnival barker leaned against the counter of a gaudy kiosk, filled to the gills with stuffed animals the size of third-graders. In front of him, 12 orange-sized rubber balls were stacked in three pyramids of four apiece. Three large plastic basins hung from a plywood board a tantalizing five feet back from the counter. If you can land two balls in one of the generously sized basins, you win a prize, he explained, sinking a few shots over his shoulder without really trying. Simple. I already knew how this game worked. Some sucker from out-of-state, lured by the...

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