The rows of cars and pickups that once filled the giant parking lots at the old Goodyear and Cone Blanchard plants in Windsor were a testament to the town’s vitality and blue-collar spirit. But for the last 25 years or so, those lots have mostly sat empty. So to drive into town on a Saturday night last month and find a chock-full parking lot — this one behind St. Francis of Assisi Church — was a sweet reminder on the way Windsor used to be.
I understand completely why anyone might be eager to find a way to reach Barnard that doesn’t involve driving through Woodstock. Motoring in and out of that speed trap can be expensive. Take it from someone who knows. But a helicopter? That seems a bit over the top. Strange but true. Last month, John J. Noffo Kahn applied for a town zoning permit to build a 2,500 square foot concrete helipad, complete with lights for night landings and takeoffs, at his $18 million vacation estate
When it comes to philosophies about taxation, school funding, and even motorcycle helmets, Vermont and New Hampshire tell a Tale of Two States. And it appears there will soon be a new addition to the list: Pot. Both states are debating whether it’s time to stop treating marijuana smokers (and pot-brownie eaters, too) as criminals. Any guesses on which state is most likely to adopt a less punitive stance? Vermont lawmakers appear ready to pass legislation this spring that would no longer make it a
This is terrible to admit, but when I see a poster tacked to a general store bulletin board about a “missing cat,” I tend to think the worst. Between speeding cars and prowling coyotes, I figure, the odds are better of a 16th seed winning March Madness than Fluffy making it home in one piece. And on those occasions when Fluffy actually resurfaces, it’s hardly news in a country with 86 million cats. (That fun fact is courtesy of the American Pet Products Association’s website.)
At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, moguls skier Evan Dybvig crashed to the snow and immediately grabbed his right knee — what remained of its shredded ligaments, anyway — in pain. Emergency medical workers hurried onto the slope, but Dybvig declined their help. He struggled to his feet and skied to the finish line on one leg. Dybvig, now 37, has approached his last eight years as a co-owner of Whaleback ski area in Enfield with the same never-quit attitude. He left
Newport, Vt. — The natural beauty of the Northeast Kingdom’s snow-capped peaks, frozen lakes and large tracts of open farmland make this corner of Vermont an easy place to romanticize. Even the frost heaves seem gentler. “Looking for a mall?” asks the North Country Chamber of Commerce’s website. “You won’t find it here.” What you will find, however, is that life in the hardscrabble Kingdom — particularly during winter months — requires more than a fondness for ice fishing. “You’ve got to love it here
The federal program that paves the way for foreigners to gain permanent residency in the United States by investing $500,000 in private economic development projects in places like the Northeast Kingdom has many redeeming qualities. In Vermont at least, transparency is not one of them. The names and addresses of hundreds of foreigners who have enrolled in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ EB-5 program are tightly guarded secrets. When I asked Immigration Services for the information, a spokeswoman said I should try Vermont officials.
I’ve heard old-timers say that Town Meeting isn’t what it used to be, and they’re probably right. Not as many people seem to show up or speak out as they once did. And the power to decide important town business has flowed to appointed administrators (see Norwich and its 200-foot communication tower), leaving voters with the unfulfilling leftovers. (See the proposed “Rights of Nature” amendment to the Vermont Constitution that would declare that fish are people, too.) For the most part, Town Meeting has pretty
Imagine a violinist without his violin, a surgeon without her scalpel, Dale Earnhardt Jr. without his No. 88 Chevy. When thieves broke into Dave Tupper’s workshop in Canaan, they took more than electric drills, sanders and saws. They stole his livelihood. “These are things I can’t do without,” Tupper said. “I lost just about everything.” Like many of us, Tupper didn’t keep an up-to-date inventory of everything he owned, but he estimates it’s going to cost at least $8,000 to replace the stolen tools. Tupper,
As she has been doing for much of the last half century, Mary Shatney, the 75-year-old owner of the Polka Dot diner, drove into downtown White River Junction shortly before dawn on a recent Saturday. But instead of turning into the narrow driveway behind the diner, as she usually does, she drove another 25 yards or so. Shatney, whose body weight barely exceeds her age, then proceeded to dock her 2002 silver Cadillac DeVille horizontally smack across three angled parking spaces on Main Street, hoping