Bristol


THIS IMAGE FROM a video posted by Robert Davis shows a bear nosing around the yard of his Meadow Lane home in Bristol at around 2 a.m. on April 24. When the animal came back for a repeat performance on April 27, Davis named him “Bennie the Bear” in a second video. See the video online at tinyurl.com/BristolBearBennie.
BRISTOL — A recent report on bear-human interactions is likely finding an interested audience in Bristol and environs, where more than a dozen social media posts last month told tales of bears in town. Basha Miles reported on Front Porch Forum that a bear had been in the backyard of her West Street home in Bristol. “I knew when I stepped out onto the front porch that it must have been a bear, because I found the metal container where I keep my birdseed (secure, I thought!) was tipped over and most of the seed was gone,” she wrote late last month. “Then my neighbor noticed that the iron pole...
BRISTOL — By Kevin Harper’s reckoning, Bristol has lost a lot of good jobs because there’s nowhere in town for businesses to grow beyond a certain size. In 2019, Harper reached out to a number of companies that had started out in Bristol — some in the Bristol Works business complex he co-owns — but then outgrew the town and moved on: Aqua Vitea, Autumn Harp, Bee’s Wrap, Danforth Pewter, NRG, Silver Maple Construction, Vermont Coffee Company. Collectively, Harper determined at the time, they employed more than 500 people with good paying jobs and benefits — and all had grown after they left...

Developers are hoping to break ground for Bristol’s Firehouse Apartments by the end of this year. The 20-unit neighborhood of mostly affordable housing will be located just east of the fire station on land that Evernorth (formerly Housing Vermont) and the Addison County Community Trust are purchasing from Bristol-based Stoney Hill Properties LLC. Image courtesy Evernorth
BRISTOL — Someday in the not-too-distant future, a few dozen Bristol residents will likely include some version of the following phrase when directing people to their homes: “Turn at the firehouse.” The Firehouse Apartments project, formerly known as the Stoney Hill residential development, is gradually making its way through the design and permitting process. The plan calls for 20 housing units in three buildings off West Street, just east of the Bristol Firehouse. Much of the development will be designated as affordable housing. “Several of the 20 units will be available to middle-income...

DAVID BLITTERSDORF Photo by Shem Roose
BRISTOL — He’s been away for nearly 40 years, but the “Albert Einstein of job creation” is about to return to Bristol. Renewable energy entrepreneur and crusader David Blittersdorf will bring his company AllEarth Renewables to the Stoney Hill business park upon completion of its first building, sometime next summer. (See story on Page 1A.) “For me, Bristol is where I started my career in renewables, and it’s why we’re back,” Blittersdorf told the Independent. Blittersdorf moved to Bristol after graduating from the University of Vermont with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1981. At the...

WALTER RUSCH
BRISTOL — After looking for Walter Rusch for a week, family of the 63-year-old man found his remains in a wooded area near his Bristol home on Saturday morning, police report. His death does not appear to be suspicious, according to Vermont State Police Detective Sgt. Lauren Ronan. Rusch’s family reported him missing at 5:45 p.m. on Friday, April 16. He was last seen at home overnight Thursday into Friday but was gone by 6 a.m. He is believed to be on foot and might have been spotted walking in downtown Bristol at about 11:30 a.m. on that Friday. Police said Rusch did not take his personal...

CATHERINE WILLSON LEAVES a couple loves of bread she baked on a bench in front of her home in Bristol for anyone to take. She has baked and given away more than 200 loaves of bread over the past 13 months. Sometimes she gives them to friends and neighbors, sometimes to local businesses and organizations, and sometimes bakes for strangers. Independent photo/William Haig
BRISTOL — Catherine Willson knows she gave away 225 loaves of homemade bread between March 20, 2020, and March 20, 2021, because she’s been keeping track in a notebook. She started off just giving bread away to friends. “Around loaf 30, I’d sort of run out of my friends, so I gave it to people on my street,” she told the Independent. “I was on a board, so I brought it to board members. And it just sort of went like that.” Kimball’s Office Supply. The Bristol Post Office. The folks at Bristol Electronics and the ski patrol at Mad River Glen. If the Bristol Food Shelf planned to be open on a...

TED LYLIS RECENTLY restored the carriage and frame that support this 19th-century Clinton Meneely bell, which has occupied the Holley Hall bell tower for 130 years. Next month, the bell and its frame will be displayed on the Holley Hall lawn, while the bell tower undergoes repairs. Independent photo/Christopher Ross
BRISTOL — For the last couple of weeks Ted Lylis has had Holley Hall’s 130-year-old bronze bell sitting on some timbers in his yard. Attached to its cast-iron yoke the bell weighs 500 to 800 pounds, Lylis estimates. Add in the wooden frame, standards and wheel, which are currently sitting in Lylis’s shop, and the whole thing’s probably pushing a half-ton. It was quite the production getting it there, Lylis told the Independent. First, Lylis had to climb up into the Holley Hall bell tower and attach turnbuckles, cable and steel angles to the bell frame because one of the standards (the capital...
ADDISON COUNTY — With the coronavirus pandemic still dragging on, organizers of three big annual parades have decided to call them off again his year. American Legions in Vergennes and Middlebury have canceled their respective Memorial Day parades. Then word came this week the the Bristol 4th of July Celebration is called off, too. “The 4th of July Committee in Bristol has voted to cancel the fireworks and parade festivities again this year due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation,” committee member Cecil Foster said in a Front Porch Forum posting this week. Foster quoted one member...

BRAD JOHNSON OF Starksboro was appointed to fill the MAUSD seat vacated last month when Caleb Elder resigned.
BRISTOL — After spending the first half of his life in the private sector Nate Levenson got involved in public education as an angry parent in Massachusetts. “I got involved in local schools as basically a school board member’s worst nightmare,” he told the Mount Abraham Unified School District board last week. “I was that angry parent who came to board meetings — hate to say it — who screamed a whole lot, thought everything the board was doing was crazy.” When he joined that school board he realized he didn’t understand half of what was going on, he acknowledged. Then he became a...
BRISTOL — This newspaper reported earlier that Bristol Community Gardens (BCG) was seeking a new spot. Well, now it has one — off Hewitt Road — and now BCG organizers are looking for new gardeners to tend the small plot when it gets going at the end of the month. There’s room for around eight new people. For $25, gardeners can use a 400-square-foot plot for the 2021 season. BCG has a working compost system, water at the site and shared tools. BCG uses organic gardening practices and is committed to being a responsible steward of the land. Those interested in joining BCG may contact Catherine...

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Addison County Independent