In an about face, Whitingham voters passed their school budget at a special Town Meeting, and restored cuts that had been made after the budget was defeated in an 83 to 81 vote at the annual Town Meeting in March. The budget passed at the special Town Meeting, 108 to 68.
A New York couple filed suit against Donald Towne, of Searsburg, claiming that he bilked them of $35,000 in a real estate deal involving his Heather Mansion property. According to the couple, Cynthia and Henry Kielkucki, the money was for a down payment on the property. Towne denied the charges, and said he was the victim of a scam. He said the Kielkuckis had loaned him the money, with interest, to complete restorations on the mansion. Towne also accused the Kielkuckis’ attorney of legal harassment.
15 years ago:
In what may have been the first ever Tea Party tax protest, more than 20 Dover residents joined 200 protesters from around the state at an antitax rally on the Statehouse steps. Many sported teabags, a move initiated by the Dover Selectboard in honor of a more famous protest against taxation without representation, the Boston Tea Party.
Ed Metcalfe, of Jacksonville, announced the formation of the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum in the former Marlboro Inn building on Hogback Mountain. Metcalfe had recently purchased the Luman Nelson wildlife collection, nearly 600 taxidermy specimens collected between the 1890s and 1930s. The collection included such rarities as an albino squirrel and a passenger pigeon. The collection is currently on display at the museum, along with many live animal exhibits.
20 years ago:
John “Crying Wolf” Smith opened JS Wilderness Tours. Smith, along with Tony Tarr and Charlie Turner, offered guided fishing or hiking tours of the area. Tours started at $25 per person, and $75 for groups of four. Explaining why people would want to hire him as a fishing guide, Smith said “When nobody else gets bites fishing, I still get my limit for the day.”
The National Forest planned to add 2,200 acres of land in Dover to the Green Mountain National Forest. The land had been in receivership by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and had been owned by Vermont Land Corporation in 1972. The large parcel stretched from Blue Brook Road to Rice Hill, and north from Johnson Hill and Valley View roads, and abutted the Dover Town Forest – combined, the two parcels offered residents 3,600 acres of public land.
25 years ago:
Haystack proposed the construction of a 17,000-square-foot base lodge and 420-space parking area at the foot of the mountain, along with a 10-building, 65-unit condominium project. The plans for Powderhorn Village, as the condo complex was to be named, also included 10 parking garages, 10 parking lots, and ski trail access. The “new” base lodge has since been torn down.
Mount Snow had plenty of trails open for spring skiing, and adult lift ticket prices were reduced to $18 for a full day.
35 years ago:
Commenting on a superintendent’s order to remove from the vocational school bus the AM/FM radio that a bus driver on the route had installed, Deerfield Valley News writer Mike Twine said: “A superintendent should have a heart as big as his authority. Just because he had to walk to school (maybe three blocks) and the Japanese transistor wasn’t yet manufactured, he doesn’t have to deprive today’s children of a little music to brighten the day. Even if the music sounds to adults more like the fertility rite of concrete jungle.” The driver was fired.
40 years ago:
The newsstand price for a copy of the Deerfield Valley News doubled, from 5 cents to 10 cents.
Mount Snow and the Putney Bicycle Club announced that they would host a bicycle race featuring international Olympic hopefuls. The weekend event included a 25-mile circuit race through mountainous Vermont countryside , a 30-mile road race, and an 80-mile race that included two laps through West Wardsboro, Towshend, Newfane, and Williamsville. The weekend was capped by a 10-mile time trial.
Bennington Travel offered a 22-day tour of Italy, Greece, and Yugoslavia for $695.