January 9th, 2012
WEYBRIDGE — It was 1982, and Jim D’Avignon Sr. thought the time was right for him to spend a little less time under the hoods of vehicles at the family business, the Weybridge Garage, in order to give back to his community as member of the town selectboard.
MONKTON — In just a few weeks, Addison County musician Mark LaVoie will be heading to the tropics on a sold-out luxury cruise.
Sounds ritzy, but for LaVoie the trip will be a working vacation. The East Monkton harmonica player forms one part of a blues-roots duo with New York City-based blues singer Bill Sims Jr., and theirs will be one of nearly 30 groups to perform aboard the week-long Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise in the Caribbean.
BRISTOL — Heading into its second year, Hogback Community College has doubled its course offerings and is expanding beyond the realm of ecology-focused classes to incorporate courses in health, acting and even homebrewing. The first classes start later this month with some getting under way later in the spring.
Based in the five-town region around Bristol, this offshoot of Vermont Family Forests — a local nonprofit dedicated to environmental conservation — doesn’t offer grades and doesn’t have a campus.
MIDDLEBURY — Friday’s boys’ basketball game at Middlebury Union High School had everything one might hope for: atmosphere, a comeback, an outcome not decided until a final shot hit the rim, coaches engaged in a chess match, an outstanding individual performance, teamwork, clutch hoops and free throws, and even solid officiating.
And for the 4-2 Tigers it offered even more: Their biggest win of the young season, 53-50, over a Fair Haven team that came in at 5-1.
Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the General Assembly, distinguished guests, fellow Vermonters:
Thank you. It’s been such a privilege to serve as Vermont’s governor over the past year. Our partnership of community, courage, and common purpose that has empowered us through the unprecedented challenges dumped upon us by Mother Nature, combined with our willingness to make the tough choices necessary to grow jobs and economic opportunities for all Vermonters, has made us stronger.
Trying to create good paying jobs has become a national obsession. All political candidates are for it; states and cities are devising ways to promote it; and every taxpaying citizen who is underpaid and overworked (or jobless) is clamoring for better jobs — preferably near their home.
With Mitt Romney’s razor-thin victory in Iowa’s presidential caucus, what’s the most telling number? Is it 8 — the margin by which he barely beat Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania who came out of nowhere in the past two weeks (then polling almost dead last) to surprise everyone? Is it 21 percent — the protest vote given to 75-year-old, grouchy libertarian Rep. Ron Paul of Texas? Or maybe 13 percent — the lousy showing by Newt Gingrich that landed him in a distant fourth place?
It was a day I thought would come a little later, but love sets its own time schedule.
In less than two weeks, our only daughter, Diane, will get married to her fiancé, Oshane.
Turning 50 and seeing a child get married during the same month. As if I needed further evidence that I am getting old.
Seems like only yesterday that I was writing columns in this newspaper about Diane being born, learning how to pronounce her hometown of Bristol, building fairy houses in the woods and eventually graduating from high school.