This is a big weekend for Killington: First the Dew Tour, a major snow sports event, will get TV sports news' attention to the mountain.
Then there's news from England that another one of the world's highest-profile athletes is coming to Killington for treatment. Mario Balotelli, a striker on the Manchester City club in the British Premiership, signed for 25 million pounds. He's working with Bill Knowles at iSport Training on the mountain.
A little unfortunate that it's so cold, leading to coverage like this from the Guardian's website:
City's decision to send Balotelli to the remote clinic in Killington, Vermont, where it is currently -18C, demonstrates how seriously they are taking the player's recurrent knee problems ...
As Peter Shumlin is sworn in, it is the valedictory moment for the former governor, including a nice package in our paper today put together by my colleague at the Times Argus, Steven Pappas.
Our paper, following Associated Press style, called him James Douglas, which always seemed a little stilted. Particularly, perhaps, because the ability to deal with Vermonters on a casual, first-name basis is part of Douglas' charm. He clearly enjoyed that part of his job. For the record, he is the best reader of kids' books at Friday Night Live. Don't take my word for it; I'm quoting a 6-year-old expert.
That low-key, "aw shucks" demeanor could be a valuable tool for dodging hard questions at times, particularly on policy his administration was pushing, but he was refreshingly open and honest as a habit, so it was hard not to grant him an occasional "Gee, I don't know, I'm no expert on that." What it didn't do was hide the sharp political mind behind the persona. If anybody understood the full, political and social implications of a policy decision, it was Jim Douglas.
HIstory will be a better judge of the large arc of the Douglas Administration, but both friends and foes recognized his even demeanor, respect for those with different views and basic decency. The starting point for any honest analysis has to be that he did his very best to make the state better.
I enjoyed the opportunity to work with Mr. Douglas, regardless of whether we were in agreement or opposition on any given subject. Watching him navigate issues, particularly no-win ones like ridgetop windmills, was a master class in small-state politics.
I wish him well at Middlebury and into the future.
Online readers got a leg up today on print readers, as we had an unusual incident last night right before press time. Having just finished putting a page on the press with an article on the fine job Brandon firefighters did putting out a 2 p.m. blaze at 2335 Franklin Ave (Route 7), we were dismayed to hear an alarm call on the scanner for what was clearly a major fire at the same address.
We updated the print story as best as we were able on very limited resources, but then ran with a full online version of the nighttime fire, which finished what the afternoon one had started. We would have covered it the same in the predigital era, but just couldn't have updated the information in a timely way.
Thanks to reporter Cristina Kumka for going back to the fire scene a second time, to photographer Vyto Starinskas for getting a video shot, edited and up, and to Crystal Lewis, our morning web person, who makes sure the online version is as fresh as possible. Great work, everybody.