HEARD ON THE STREET: 8.4.16

Police Warn Of Common Crash Spot

From the Montpelier Police Department Facebook Page July 21:

MONTPELIER — In the last two days we’ve responded to multiple crashes with airbag deployment and injury in the same area of Berlin and River Streets.

One was a result of an operator running a red light, sideswiping another vehicle and sending it head on into a pickup truck. Another was a rear end crash where an operator was transported to the emergency room.

We’re fortunate to have low speed roads throughout much of Montpelier but our most significant crashes typically occur on this Route 2 corridor where the speed limit is between 35 and 45 miles per hour.

As you can see, crashes can occur even in nice weather so please slow down, drive defensively, and, if the worst happens, we’ll be there.

 

Cabot H.S. Grad Is Coaching Nigerian  Olympic Basketball Team

RIO DE JANIERO — Will Voigt, a graduate of Cabot High School and former coach of the local Vermont Frost Heaves semi-pro basketball team, is now the coach of the Nigerian basketball team that is one of 12 teams competing in the Olympics in Brazil this month, according to a July 25 article in the Wall Street Journal.

Voigt, a 39-year-old resident of Idaho, is the son of Fran Voigt, co-founder of the New England Culinary Institute, and Ellen Bryant Voigt, former Vermont poet laureate and a 2015 winner of a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. He has held basketball-related jobs for most of his life, including a stint as video coordinator for the San Antonio Spurs, a coaching job in Norway and a five-year gig as coach of the Bakersfield Jam, an NBA D-league team.

According to the Journal, Voigt’s connection to Nigeria began when he became friends with the Nigerian-born general manager of the Toronto Raptors. At the GM’s request, Voigt volunteered to travel to Nigeria to conduct basketball camps, and last June he was selected to be the national team’s coach. Under Voigt’s leadership, Nigeria won an African-wide tournament that gave it an automatic Olympic berth.

Although the Nigerian team is currently ranked 25th in the world and in 2012 lost to Team USA by 83 points, it recently beat No. 4 ranked Argentina in an Olympic tune-up game. “This is not the Jamaican bobsled team,” Voigt told the Journal.

 

On Bicycles And Road Closings

From Brent Curtis, public outreach coordinator for the Agency of Transportation:

This week I heard from a number of people from around the state who had the same question: “Do people on bicycles have the right-of-way in crosswalks?” I thought that was a good question so I checked with the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition website and here is what I found out. “Bicyclists do not have the right-of-way in crosswalks under state law unless they dismount and walk …” Thank you to all the folks who showed interest in this topic. I found the website to be filled with lots of information covering a variety of topics. Please take a look qt http://www.localmotion.org/vbpc.

Local-area Road Projects

  • Route 12 in Montpelier will have lane closures and detours during bridge work on the Spring Street bridge. Expect delays.
  • Vermont Route 100B south of Moretown Village has a one-lane bridge project. Expect lane and speed reductions.
  • Vermont Route 14 from Calais to Greensboro has roadwork going on that will slow traffic.

 

Montpelier City Clerk’s Office Will Be Open on Saturday for Early Voting

MONTPELIER — City Clerk John Odum announced that his office will again be open for early voting on Saturday August 6 for four hours (from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) to accommodate residents who would like to cast their August 9 Statewide Primary ballots prior to next Tuesday’s Election Day.

Early voting numbers suggests an unusually high turnout for a statewide primary in Montpelier, possibly reaching Annual City Meeting turnout levels. The Clerk’s office encourages citizens to take advantage of early voting opportunities to avoid lines on Election Day.

Providing for weekend voting hours the Saturday before elections is now considered standard procedure by the Clerk’s office, and city voters should continue to expect to have Saturday voting opportunities for all elections going forward.

 

Shoplifter Nabbed on Langdon Street

MONTPELIER — Another shoplifter has hit town and was quickly caught.

Yvonne Baab, owner of Global Gifts on Langdon Street, said a teenage girl walked out of her store with several items without paying for them Sunday, July 31. “She diverted the sales clerk’s attention,” Baab told those attending the Montpelier Business Association’s meeting August 3. Baab said the girl asked the clerk to toss her coffee cup in the garbage. But, since the coffee had been purchased at Capitol Grounds, her name was on it: “Mackenzie.”

The clerk then saw the girl go into other Langdon Street stores and come out again, at one point pulling a pair of sandals out from under her shirt after going in and out of The Shoe Horn.

Police were notified and she was apprehended. She was reportedly visiting Montpelier on vacation. “I don’t think she was a first time shoplifter,” Baab said.

 

Businesses Brace For ‘Big Dig’ 2017

MONTPELIER — City officials are revving up for more planned paving projects, and city officials are putting out the word early to allow business owners time to prepare. “Next summer most of State and Main are going to be dug up,” said Claire Benedict, owner of Bear Pond Books. “It is going to be a nightmare.”

But, Benedict said there are ways to make the best of it and now is the time to start thinking about it. “Let’s get ahead of it,” she said. Jessie Baker, assistant city manager, put out a list of projects on the schedule and business owners discussed strategies during the August 3 Montpelier Business Association meeting. Ideas included requesting road work be done at night, setting aside certain days to be construction-free and creating a cute name. Some pointed to how the City of Barre worked so hard to put a positive spin on their recent massive Main Street closure and urged the public to keep shopping. Another idea was to create a motto such as, “I Dig Montpelier,” and wear it on a T-shirt with pride.

Whether the work should be done in May to June or after the Independence Day celebration on July 3 came into question. It suits Montpelier Alive to hold off until after July 3, but then the bulk of the work would occur in July and August, which retail store owners say are their prime times for sales apart from December. The conversation is ongoing and the topic will be on the next agenda for the Montpelier Business Association scheduled for Wednesday, September 9. “We have a good community. If you point out to them ‘we need you,’ they will respond,” Benedict said.

 

Business Owners Praise Langdon Street

MONTPELIER — “Langdon Street looks amazing,” said Jessica Turner, owner of Capital Kitchen, referring to the recent urban arts installed on that street by local architect Ward Joyce. Onion River Sports spokeswoman Talia Brooks agreed, saying she hopes Joyce installs more works of this kind. Joyce and a team of volunteers and sponsors put in giant paintings, sculptures and flowers to bring beauty to the outdoor space. The words were spoken during a Montpelier Business Association meeting August 3. Joyce is trying to organize volunteers to water the plants, which are part of the project.

 

Savoy Theater Changes Hands

MONTPELIER — “The news has been on the street for some time now, but we are officially announcing that the Savoy will be changing ownership in the next few weeks,” wrote Terrence Youk in an email to The Bridge. “These past six-and-a-half years have been an extraordinary time for both me and the theater. The community has been incredibly generous during difficult times at the Savoy, which has moved me deeply. In turn, I think the improvements of the facility and additions of state-of-the-art technology have made the theater better and more vibrant than ever.”

The new owner is James O’Hanlon. He has been working at the Savoy as a projectionist for some time. “I have every confidence that he will continue the mission of the Savoy of bringing Central Vermont the finest in independent and foreign film. Many thanks to you all for your support over these years and for embracing, James, as he shepherds in a new era at the Savoy.”

The Savoy is known for its large selection of independent movies, children’s films, documentaries, and diverse foreign film titles. For membership details and schedule go to www.savoytheater.com.

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