Archive - Dec 2008
By ANDY KIRKALDY
VERGENNES — Facing a $224,000 deficit due to last winter’s soaring fuel bills and to trouble with the school’s heating and ventilation system, Vergennes Union High School officials slashed almost $200,000 of supplies, equipment and materials from a December draft budget in order to keep their proposed 2009-2010 spending increase at 4.9 percent.
By KATHRYN FLAGG
VERGENNES — Struggling to find a name for their newly formed band, Doug Hawley, Billy Yantz and Pat O’Brien stood on O’Brien’s driveway in Vergennes one night in 1964. They were teenagers — Yantz, the oldest of the three, was only 15.
The guys tossed around a few names, but as Yantz remembers it, nothing sounded quite right.
By JOHN FLOWERS
BRISTOL — Hundreds of Bristol residents were expected to bid a final farewell to Fred Jackman on Wednesday morning in a very public salute to a dedicated public servant, shrewd businessman, WWII veteran and iconic figure in Addison County’s firefighting community who died on Saturday at the age of 84.
As the Vermont Legislature and the Douglas administration work to achieve a balanced budget in light of a significant downturn in revenues, an emphasis on increasing revenues needs to be matched with proposed cuts. That has not happened to date.
Vermont has a few weeks to get its wish list in order before the federal government hands out parts of a $400 billion stimulus plan to stem the national recession and prime the economic pump. Faced with thousands of layoffs in recent months throughout the state, Vermonters, no doubt, want to know what Gov.
Hey, it’s two weeks ’til Christmas and from the constant bleating of news reports 24/7, we all know that the world’s economy is on life support. So, what do we do … dig a hole and hide, or look around us and see what life has to offer? Well, as Annie said, “the sun will come out tomorrow” — in fact, it’s out there now.
It seems appropriate, in this coming year of change, to talk about establishing new traditions. That doesn’t mean tossing out the old, but rather making way for the changes that are ahead and learning how to embrace them with all the richness of family rituals.
I speak for many, as an adult with three grown daughters, to recognize that the holiday traditions we celebrated 20 years ago when they were young, giddy and true-believers, are much different today. Not yet the granddad and with daughters in the Rockies and further West, the four of us gather when we can and celebrate togetherness simply because we miss each other and rejoice in the bonding of just being together.
We ski. We run. We hike, bike, kayak, swim, water-ski, rock-climb or just hang on the porch and gab away the hours. This past January we had cause to go to Hawaii to see an uncle of mine married and be part of the wedding party. We all took time off from work and school (not an easy thing in itself) and spent the better part of a week playing on the shores of Oahu and being with family. We played in the surf, toured the island, paid $10 each to open a clam and see what type of pearl would be inside; two of us took surfing lessons after the other two had to get back to their respective responsibilities, and we all had a memorable time together.
Three months later, two daughters and I met in Big Sur, California to run in their first marathon along that spectacular coast to Carmel. We started the race together, ran stride for stride for those 26 miles and crossed the finish hand-in-hand triumphant over our heads. That night I treated them to cocktails at Carmel’s Highlands Lodge and saw a glorious, blazing orange sunset over the Pacific in country made famous by photographer Ansel Adams. It was an occasion not to forget.
By KATHRYN FLAGG
ORWELL — When you hear “Santa Shop” it might conjure up images of a frosty North Pole workshop, staffed by Christmas elves and jolly old St. Nick himself.
Think again, at least if you find yourself at the Orwell Village School come Christmastime.
Every year, volunteers at the school transform the town hall gym into their very own “Santa Shop,” where students at the K-8 school can — for the price of just one dollar — select gifts for their families.
The hundreds of gifts — some brand new, some as good as new — are all donated by Orwell residents, and arranged on tables for the children to sift through. There are stuffed animals, puzzles and piles of toys for siblings. Earrings and ornaments, candleholders and coffee cups, bells and books — the choices are seemingly endless.
There may not be reindeer or elves manning this Santa Shop — but as children from the school streamed into the gym last Thursday, sifted through tables piled high with goodies, and consulted with each other on gift ideas, this particular incarnation proved just as festive as that North Pole outpost.
The Santa Shop tradition is among the school’s oldest — with a genesis that no one can quite pinpoint anymore.
Cathy Dundon, who heads up the event now, said the Santa Shop was already well established by the time she moved to Orwell 25 years ago.
“(Kids) like to give presents, too,” she said with a small smile and a shrug. “They’re usually the ones who are stuck home with the babysitters (during Christmas shopping).”