Archive - Dec 30, 2009
MIDDLEBURY — A siren cut through Monday morning’s gray, flurry-filled sky above the Champlain Bridge and suddenly the anticipatory chatter among the assembled masses waned to a collective murmur.
In an instant, the wintry tableau before them was shattered by a loud thud, punctuated by a series of brilliant yellow and red flashes. Like a sand castle hit by a tsunami, the bridge dissolved into Lake Champlain from beneath a rising plume of thick, angry smoke, debris and dust.
Editor’s note: The change of the year is a good time to look back over the last 12 months and recall where we’ve been before diving into the 12 months ahead of us. We present this look back at 2009 to help you bring to mind the big stories of the year and also some of the smaller ones that have touched our lives in Addison County. Happy New Year!
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SHOREHAM — A Shoreham firefighter died in the line of duty while helping a fellow resident whose vehicle had slid into a ditch off an icy Richville Dam Road on Sunday, Dec. 27.
Vermont State Police said Peter J. Coe, 43, died after being struck by an oncoming pickup truck as he was helping free the stranded car from the ditch.
Coe, who had been a Shoreham firefighter for around a half-dozen years, was recalled as a dedicated volunteer who was always around to lend a hand and spread good cheer.
BRISTOL — Faced with a diminishing number of volunteers, the Bristol Rescue Squad is at a crossroads: Unless the squad adds a paid staff member to its currently all-volunteer roster, President Brian Fox is worried the ambulance corps won’t be able to meet the demand for its services in the Five Town region.
BRANDON — The Otter Valley Union School Board must feel like Sisyphus, a mortal in Greek mythology who was cursed to ceaselessly roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity. Such is the effort to fund local schools in the face of state tax increases and unfunded mandates.
The first public meeting on the proposed OV budget for 2010-2011 was held in the school auditorium on Dec. 16. While only about 12 people were in attendance, expect that number to grow in the coming weeks.
If we consider human nature, making New Year’s resolutions a singular endeavor is akin to pulling your fortune out of a cookie: it might just happen, but the odds are against it.
But involve your friends and neighbors in the effort, and the success rate jumps dramatically.
Taking that as a cue, let’s set a few resolutions for the New Year as collective communities and mark our progress as the year evolves.
In Middlebury, let’s resolve to:
MIDDLEBURY — Jugs that, once upon a time, held vast quantities of mayonnaise top the tall, slender windmill in Middlebury Union High School math teacher Jay Harrington’s classroom. But just like the rest of this sculpture — cobbled together from recycled materials ranging from an old computer hard drive to pieces of a bed frame — the mayonnaise jars aren’t what they used to be, trading in their job as ho-hum food containers for the much more exciting role of windmill blades.
After Monday morning’s demolition, the Champlain Bridge is history. It’s time for a few more hours of romanticized reflection, then a redoubling of efforts to build a new bridge in record time that will make the trip over the lake better in every way.
That, at least, should be the goal.
Just how could the new bridge serve the public better? Here are a few key ways, some of which have been previously suggested by readers, and are being tentatively considered by state officials: