Two months after four horses were found starving, cold, and neglected and another was found dead at a Whitingham second home, the property owner and a caretaker were charged with animal cruelty. One police officer described the incident as one of the worst cases of animal cruelty he had ever seen, and among the worst on record in Vermont. The four horses found alive eventually recovered under foster care.
For the second year in a row, a white snow goose showed up with a flock of Canada geese that made Wheeler Field their temporary home. According to biologists, it isn’t unusual for a lost or injured snow goose to join a flock of Canada geese briefly, but unusual for one to stick with the flock for so long. “Geese do not like to be alone, and big, ugly companions are better than none.”
15 years ago:
Teachers at Whitingham School were hot under the collar after RIF (reduction in force) warning notices were sent to every teacher. The notices went out in response to a budget cut made at Town Meeting. Board members said the voter-mandated cuts would be achieved through reductions in Spanish language, mathematics, business education, and the school nurse. At the same time, Whitingham board members had stated their intention to maintain a K-6 school, consider combining their middle school grades, and to “pursue the unification of grades nine through 12.”
20 years ago:
Some downtown residents, and residents of lower Ray Hill, voiced their concern about the impact of a proposal by Old Red Mill owner Gerry Osler to erect a 20’ x 40’ tent with two barbecue pits, an outdoor kitchen and bar, and picnic tables in the parking lot next to the Wilmington Baptist Church. The residents were concerned that the noise from the diners would create a disturbance. One resident said “We feel that nobody has the right to expand their business at the expense of the people around them.”
Describing Wilmington Recreation Commission members’ frustration at having their attempts to create new projects thwarted, chair Kevin Hoyle said it was like “standing at an open window yelling into the wind.” He said the commission members just couldn’t do it anymore.
25 years ago:
As Wilmington was selected as one of three possible sites for the Volvo Tennis Tournament, opposition to hosting the tournament was heating up. Proponents planned to build a 250-acre park at the site of an old gravel pit on Coldbrook Road that would include a 15,000-seat sports stadium among other amenities.
Several people presented the Wilmington Selectboard with demands for more information and more public input. In a letter to the editor, more than a dozen residents of Coldbrook Road said they didn’t support the tournament, and suggested that summer visitors didn’t “need a three-ring circus in order to amuse themselves.” Opponents were concerned about the impact of traffic and new development in the valley, and suggested that the valley didn’t need the additional jobs (in 1989).
30 years ago:
Responding to a Town Meeting mandate from voters, the Whitingham School Board cut their budget by more than $60,000. Board members warned that the cut affected all areas of the school, and delayed the attainment of several goals.
Responding to a “Question of the Week,” three valley inn owners said a 1% increase in the rooms and meals tax wouldn’t affect their businesses.
Dover Selectboard members vowed not to spend more than $175,000 on an addition to the Dover Fire Department (now the location of the Dover Police Department).
40 years ago:
In a letter to the editor, John Rollman told the history of the Scandia Lodge, which had burned earlier in the year. Rollman said he, Harry Rollman, and Ann Rollman built the inn, then called the Novice Inn, a year after Mount Snow opened. It was the first new inn in the area. It was originally built with five guest rooms, sharing two bathrooms. After the first year’s success, the inn was expanded to accommodate 90 guests in 10 en-suite rooms, four rooms that shared a bath with another room, and several bunk rooms that slept four guests each. The inn offered a lighted area for night skiing, a toboggan run, and a skating rink. Ski movies were shown every night of the week. In the summer, the inn offered a swimming pool, tennis court, archery range, horseshoe pits, and jeep rides “into the back country.”