Archive - Dec 20, 2007
SHIRLEY GIARD OF Bridport gives a hug to her cat, Trucker, who returned home recently after going missing three years ago when the Giards’ former home burned down. Trucker was one of five cats that disappeared after the fire.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell
December 20, 2007
By MEGAN JAMES
BRIDPORT — There was a part of Shirley Giard that never gave up hope she might find her yellow cat, Trucker.
After a fire destroyed her Bridport home three years ago, Giard and her husband, Harold, assumed their five cats and yellow Amazon parrot were dead. They moved into another house on their farm property and thanked their lucky stars the fire hadn’t done more damage. After all, neither of them had been hurt and their two dogs made it out alive.
But even after settling into their new home, Shirley couldn’t stop thinking about Trucker.
Earlier this month, three years and one week after the fire, Giard saw something yellow darting off her front porch. The next day, her daughter caught a glimpse of the same thing, and went out to see what it was. It was Trucker. He had come home, just in time for Christmas.
“This is the greatest gift I could have gotten,” Giard said. “It’s a Christmas miracle.”
The yellow cat looked healthy, well-fed and a little older. Giard recognized him by the way he nuzzled his head under her chin when she picked him up. Giard’s dog, Lexi, also perked up when he saw his old pal.
“He must have found someone like us who feeds stray cats,” she said.
In the early days after the fire, Giard would wander over to the site of the old house and call the cats’ names. None ever responded. Each summer she would mow the lawn by the old homestead, keeping her eyes peeled for cats, especially Trucker.
December 20, 2007
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury residents on Jan. 31 will be asked for their feedback on the notion of slightly raising one or more of the town’s sales and use, meals, rooms or alcohol taxes as a means of generating revenues to help pay for a new in-town bridge.
Selectmen on Tuesday voted unanimously to call for the Jan. 31 public hearing, which will focus on the concept of Middlebury adopting “local option taxes.”
Residents would then get a chance on Town Meeting Day to vote for or against a plan to lobby the Legislature for a change in the town charter that would allow Middlebury to boost, by 1 percent, one (or a combination of several) of its sales and use, meals, rooms or alcohol taxes.
If the Legislature were to approve a charter change, selectmen would then have the authority to call a townwide vote to ask residents to endorse one or more local option taxes. The resulting revenues would flow into Middlebury’s general fund and be put toward paying off the proposed $16 million in-town bridge project. Middlebury College has already promised $9 million in financing for the project, the centerpiece of which would be a new bridge that would connect Main Street with Court Street across the Otter Creek, via Cross Street. That leaves a $7 million gap that selectmen are trying to creatively fill without hammering locals with a property tax increase.
“Certainly, (local options taxes) are an option that would allow us to get to our goal of financing the remaining $7 million for the bridge without having a significant impact on the property tax, which we are all very concerned about going through this budget,” said Selectman Dean George, who is chairman of the town’s bridge committee.
December 20, 2007
By CYRUS LEVESQUE
BRISTOL — The Five Town Massive, an annual arts and entertainment extravaganza staged in Bristol during the last week in December, will be shorter this year than it was last — only four nights instead of five — but organizers expect it to be even bigger.
“We’re trying to do the biggest show we’ve done,” said Josef Shafer, one organizer of the events and one of the original founders.
The upcoming Five Town Massive, which will be staged from Dec. 26 to 29 mostly at Holley Hall, will be the ninth. Shafer and several friends, now working as 9:37 Productions, founded it as a way to both help local artists find an audience and to bring art and culture created by independent artists from the wide world to Bristol and the other towns in northeastern Addison County. Shafer said that this year, he and the other organizers feel they have struck a good balance.
“We’ve always struggled to have enough content from Vermont and (the rest of) the world, and this year we’ve nailed it,” he said.
In previous years the Massive was a number of different events all on one night, until in 2006 Shafer and crew spread them out so each could have room to breathe as it were. The shortened schedule of this year’s Five Town Massive is simply because Christmas this year falls on a Tuesday, Shafer said. A full five-day schedule would have taken it into a Sunday performance, which they wanted to avoid.