Vermont Governor Jim Douglas, along with a crowd of state and local dignitaries, Smokey the Bear, Santa Claus, and Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter, trekked into the National Forest from Somerset to bid farewell to a 44-year-old Green Mountain native. The subject of all the attention was a 4,000 pound, 55-foot balsam fir tree selected by the National Forest Service to grace the lawn of the nation’s capital in Washington, DC. Before it was severed at the trunk, the tree was given an Abenaki blessing by Nanatasis Bluto-Deventhal.
Wilmington’s Old Home Week Committee began gearing up for the town’s 2010 Old Home Week celebrations.
15 years ago:
After years of cable television woes in Dover, subscribers were encouraged by news that Southern Vermont Cable would purchase Gateway Cable’s Dover assets. Gateway, the subject of numerous complaints from local subscribers, was facing fines and possible revocation of its license based on an investigation by the Vermont Public Service Board. Local cable television operator Cliff Duncan was already making a push into Dover.
Wilmington was gearing up for a lawsuit against the state over Act 60. At a special meeting, voters allocated up to $209,000 to fund the lawsuit, which was prepared by the Rutland firm Reiber, Kenlan, Schwiebert, & Facey.
20 years ago:
Wilmington Selectboard members said they weren’t ready to commission a study on the feasibility of combining the Dover and Wilmington police departments, but they agreed to continue discussions with Dover. Wilmington Police Chief Tom Donnelly, who had announced his retirement a week earlier, said the regional police force could be a plus for the valley, and there would be a “greater guarantee of having additional staff available.” But Donnelly said that increasing numbers of visitors at Mount Snow could result in increased demand for police services in Dover – which could mean less coverage for Wilmington under a consolidated police force.
25 years ago:
Wilmington Selectboard members pleaded with state legislators for more “common sense” in state government. At a meeting with Rep. Dave Larsen and Sen. Peter Shumlin, selectboard member Ann Manwaring said there was “a high degree of suspicion among local people” of the Legislature, thanks to incidents such as “raiding the transportation fund” year after year to supplement the general fund.
Local residents attended a meeting with Ann Lusk, the coordinator of the Stowe Recreation Path, who expounded on the benefits of creating “greenways” such as the proposed Valley Trail. Lusk said the path was a boon to Stowe’s economy because of its added attraction as a recreational alternative. After the path was built, she said, there was a greater influx of summer visitors who used the path and patronized the businesses in its proximity.
30 years ago:
The town of Dover agreed to settle on a final payment on the debt of former Dover Town Manager John Roque. Ten years earlier Roque embezzled $24,572.35 from the town. Over the ensuing decade, he paid back $14,000, but payments dwindled until he paid only $10 in 1986. Roque’s attorney claimed Roque was suffering from a medical problem, and offered the town a “full and final” payment of $4,200.
35 years ago:
The race for representative from Vermont attracted candidates from the Republican and Democratic parties, as well as candidates from Liberty Union Party, Citizens Party, Libertarian Party, and Small is Beautiful Party (which won a small 80 votes). Republican Jim Jeffords, the incumbent, easily bested his opponents.
Republican governor Richard Snelling won a fourth consecutive term, despite a challenge from Lt. Gov. Madeleine Kunin.
45 years ago:
For the third time in a year, the town of Wilmington hired a new attorney to represent them in their dispute over Act 250 violations with Haystack Corporation. Selectboard members also met with Haystack Corporation owners American Mortgage Investors in an effort to negotiate before the case went to the environmental board.
Killington bought Sunday River Skiway near Bethel, ME. Killington president and CEO Preston Leete Smith would send a young Les Otten to run the small ski area.
Former Mount Snow Vice President John Christie purchased Saddleback Ski Area in Maine. Within his few weeks at the helm of the ski area, Christie was able to drum up some interest from investors who were willing to fork over money to build condominiums at the resort.