April 25th, 2013
The reason Vermont’s dairy industry can get its product to market depends, in no small part, on the labor of an estimated 1,500 undocumented workers. The majority come from the southern region of Mexico, some come from Guatemala and other areas. Together they are a vital part of what makes a difficult life on the farm bearable.
They are also a big part of the reason Ben & Jerry’s can make its ice cream, or our cheese-makers their cheese, or our milk producers the milk that fills our cereal bowls.
My toaster and I haven’t been getting along lately. I don’t know what’s wrong. Toasty just hasn’t been himself. Now, to be clear, I don’t actually call my toaster Toasty in real life. I’m not crazy. It just seems like for the purposes of this column it will be easier if I can refer to my toaster by name. I thought about Bob or James or William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor II, but I am sticking with Toasty.
MIDDLEBURY — A good-size group of competitors gathered on the covered deck of Mr. Up’s restaurant in downtown Middlebury Saturday afternoon to pull in the Vermont States armwrestling tournament. Winners took home a sharp-looking hooded sweatshirt; those who earned second and third place got trophies.
The event was organized by Bill Sinks and George Sheldrick.
Jessalyn Carosella was the only lightweight entry in the women’s division; and organizers noted that she was four months pregnant.
The other afternoon I found myself standing next to a lovely young woman. She wore a flowing ankle-length skirt and an expression of pure contentment. Her languid movements and placid countenance reflected the soul of a person who has transcended the pressures of daily life and found a space where time has no meaning.
I wanted to kick her in the shins.
Now it’s time for the healing to begin. Our community needs closure. Let’s make things get back to normal. Today, we will start moving on.
After every tragedy in a community — especially those that gain media attention — we hear these stock phrases. They are well-meaning and they speak to our natural — sometimes desperate — hunger for order in the midst of chaos. But, to me, they feel so wrong.
ADDISON COUNTY — On Wednesday, April 17, Vermont State Police closed Route 17 between Route 7 and the New Haven town green for nearly six hours after a truck rolled over and spilled gasoline.
At a few minutes before 2 p.m. that day troopers responded to a report that a welding supply truck carrying flammable material had gone off the north side of the roadway and rolled on to the passenger side.
The driver, identified as 54-year-old Thomas Velde Sr. of North Clarendon, was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured.
As is so often the case in Vermont’s early April, the weather and water conditions leading up to opening day of trout fishing were fickle. When the week began, rivers were running unseasonably low and clear thanks in large part to a lack of snow. Very fishable water levels and visibility, combined with a series of warm sunny days during the first half of the week, seemed to promise a delightful — and perhaps even successful — opening day.