Archive - Nov 5, 2007
BRISTOL ASSISTANT FIRE Chief Peter Coffey, New Haven Chief Mike Dykstra and Bristol Chief Mark Bouvier take a much-needed break after battling an early morning fire at Beck’s Alley Antiques Shop in downtown Bristol last Friday.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell
November 5, 2007
By CYRUS LEVESQUE
BRISTOL — The Beck’s Alley Antiques Shop on Main Street in Bristol burst into flames Friday morning. No one was hurt and firefighters quickly brought the fire under control, but damage to the building was heavy.
“It looks like there is an extensive amount of damage inside,” said Steve Leopold, co-owner of the building with his wife Bridget. He said they have lost most if not all of the antiques inside.
The blaze began around 7 a.m. Linda Smith, owner of the Village Corner Store across the street from the antiques shop, said that a regular customer first noticed flames and called her attention to it. She came out to look in time to see the windows blow out from the heat, and called 911. The Bristol and New Haven fire departments responded quickly and blocked off that section of Main Street for about three hours while they worked.
According to the Bristol Fire Department Assistant Chief Peter Coffey, the fire probably started on the west side of the building near the main door of the antiques shop. Neither the cause of the blaze nor the extent of the damage had been determined as the Addison Independent went to press. Bridget Leopold said that there was a propane gas heater next to that wall of the building.
Neither of the neighboring buildings was damaged.
November 5, 2007
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) will soon initiate a total of $2.25 million in repairs to approximately eight miles of railroad line that will encompass much of downtown Middlebury and extend into New Haven.
That was the word last week from AOT Rail Program Manager Richard Hosking, who said work had been scheduled even before the Oct. 22 train accident in Middlebury that saw 18 freight cars derail with some of them spilling gasoline into the Otter Creek. Vermont Railway officials have cited a broken section of rail line as the cause of the accident.
Hosking said the first leg of the project will involve replacing rail ties and tracks beginning at the line’s intersection with Elm Street, extending south for around three miles. Work on the ties — the wooden planks that the metal tracks sit on — is scheduled to begin next spring. The AOT will then contract with an outside firm to replace the actual rail in a job Hosking hopes will begin next fall.
The AOT has budgeted $1.5 million for this segment of work, according to Hosking.
Also slated for work next year is a segment of the rail line extending from Elm Street north for around five miles into New Haven. That project, budgeted for $750,000, will involve replacing rail ties.
“In the future, we may come in to replace the rails,” Hosking said. “The rail there is in better shape than the rail south of Middlebury.”
In the meantime, he believes the current rail line in Middlebury is safe for freight traffic — in spite of some of the split ties and loose spikes that have unnerved area residents.
“The rail that’s in there now is perfectly adequate,” Hosking said. “The reason we are replacing it is to make sure any improvements we do meet passenger rail status.”
November 5, 2007
By MEGAN JAMES
MIDDLEBURY — The deer hangs upside-down above fresh snow, a chain wrapped around the base of its antlers seeming to pull it closer to the ground. On one side of the dead animal is the grill of a truck, on the other a folded lawn chair.
The black-and-white photograph, taken on Route 100 in Londonderry, was the first in a series Orwell artist May Mantell began upon moving to Vermont eight years ago, a series that focuses on animals killed, intentionally or otherwise, and their unlucky place in the human world.
A show of the photographs, titled “Animals, a Requiem,” is on display at the Johnson Gallery of the Christian A. Johnson Memorial Art Building at Middlebury College through Monday, Nov. 12. On Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 4:30 p.m. Mantell will discuss her work in a talk at the gallery.
For Mantell, taking pictures of dead animals is a way to acknowledge not just the indifferent human approach to animal death, but to human death as well.
“I think of them as poems about mortality,” she said.
This became clear to Mantell in 2003 at the start of the Iraq war. At the same time, almost to the day, she brought her camera to the Orwell coyote derby and took pictures of piles of coyote corpses as they were dusted with a light snow. That’s when she knew her work over the last few years had a theme.
“It wasn’t anything I could put my finger on,” she said. “It was just a real sadness about the way humans often treat each other and other creatures, without considering the preciousness of life.”