Archive - Dec 2012
There are few things as boring as a dinner party where the dominant subject of discussion is what movies we’ve all seen. We’re all just casual moviegoers offering up pablum about how great Meryl Streep is and wasn’t the scenery pretty.
But a dinner gathering where the discussion turns to books? That’s my kind of party.
A conversation like that forces us to actually use our brains. To offer an informed view of why the novel we just finished was so remarkable, or what was lacking in the memoir that preceded it.
VERGENNES — A potential sale of Kennedy Brothers in Vergennes has fallen through, but the principals in the deal still hope for a lease arrangement that would establish a grocery store on the North Main Street landmark’s ground floor.
Vergennes resident Neil Swenor, a former longtime worker at Greg’s Meat Market in Middlebury, had hoped to buy the Kennedy Brothers property, which includes 4 acres and an almost 42,000-square-foot building.
It all happened one Thanksgiving weekend back in the 1980s after Richard Wood watched Miracle on 34th Street (as is his family’s Thanksgiving tradition). The South Burlington native latched on to what Alfred said in the movie: “Of all the ‘isms’ the worst of them is commercialism!”
On a lark, with the intention of taking on the “black” in Black Friday, Wood put on a Santa hat and headed out to the local shopping centers.
MIDDLEBURY — The question “What was General Lee thinking at Gettysburg?” has puzzled historians for decades. For Middlebury College geography professor Anne Kelly Knowles, the question came to her almost at the same time as a way to uncover the answer.
A pioneer in historical geography, Knowles uses geographic information systems (GIS) technology to shed light on historical questions and situations. The technology can process and analyze massive databases, so long as the data is attached to a physical location.
BRISTOL — The Bristol selectboard last week disciplined Police Chief Kevin Gibbs for his handling of a grant over three years.
On Dec. 17, the board held a disciplinary hearing in executive session to discuss Gibbs’ handling of a Department of Health grant. In public session, the selectboard voted to direct Town Administrator Bill Bryant to issue a written reprimand to Gibbs, and to require Gibbs to pay $6,895 in restitution to the police department by June 30, 2013.
BRISTOL — The host Mount Abraham Union High School girls’ basketball team used tough first- and third-quarter defense to turn back determined Otter Valley on Wednesday, 46-38.
The Eagles forced 13 of the Otters’ 28 turnovers and received nine of junior Ashlie Fay’s game-high 20 points in the first quarter to take a 15-5 lead after the first eight minutes.
This week’s writer is Haviland Smith, a retired CIA station chief who served in Prague, Berlin, Beirut and Tehran and as chief of the counterterrorism staff. He lives in Williston.
Middle East: Cauldron of conflict