The Mountain Times

°F Thu, April 24, 2014

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Bridges Open Again

After much bally-hoo, worrying, and desperation, the bridges of Chester are now reopened and functional.

Construction crews worked overtime to replace the two Rte 103 bridges just south of the main business district in Chester so as to minimize the downtime to local businesses and commuters. The detour through Springfield is no longer necessary and, in the case of the southern-most bridge replace, the traffic lanes over that bridge have been expanded so as to conform to standard bridge widths.

Hopefully both the effected businesses and commuters using this traffic pattern will now return to their normal routines. We understand that all the involved area people and businesses are planning a party to celebrate the event. It was, not incidentally, a project completed ahead of schedule.

LPC-TV, the public access cable channel 8, 10, 20, and 21, that covers Mt. Holly, Plymouth, Ludlow, and Cavendish has earned a $1,000 award from the Berkshire Bank Foundation. The grant is towards the $125,000 capital project to renovated new studio space for LPC-TV in the former Tank Barn in the Ludlow Community Complex.

This Thursday, the area news program, TW3 (That Was The Week That Was), broadcast via LPC-TV on cable channel 8 and 20, will have an unusual feature for its programming. The program will feature the art therapy of Jane Hart, a part-time Cavendish resident. According to Jane, she'll have co-hosts Leo Graham and Ralph Pace doing artwork that is "very relaxing art-like activity which requires no background in art, no self-confidence in it and no enthusiasm for it. You'll be amazed and delighted at the results and there is no way to make a mistake . . . ." Given the lack of art capabilities in both men, this should be a most interesting half hour. TW3 broadcasts live on Thursday at 3 PM on LPC-TV; the program is rebroadcast throughout the ensuing week.

FOLA (Friends of Ludlow Auditorium) is preparing for a very active October program. On October 1 it will feature the popular area music of the Gypsy Reels. This will be followed by its "1st Thursday" movie on October 6, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." The following Columbus Day weekend, FOLA will cosponsor a Ludlow musical presentation of Civil War and Mark Twain era music with the piano virtuoso Jacqueline Schwab providing the music on Sunday, October 9. To top off the month's programming, FOLA will sponsor a healthcare panel discussion on Thursday, October 20. The panel discussion will be moderated by Kristen Carlson, WCAX's senior political correspondent; panel members will include statewide representatives reflecting both sides of the recently-enacted legislation designed to produce a single-payer healthcare program in the state.

To this mix, on November 4, FOLA will present original comedy skits written by Stan Hart and featuring a cast of area residents. Hart, who is a part-time resident in Cavendish, was the head writer for the Carol Burnett TV show.

FOLA is also joining with the Friends of Fletcher Memorial Library (FML) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of "To Kill a Mockingbird," the Pulitzer ward winning novel by Harper Lee. In keeping with the celebration of this great novel, the FML in Ludlow has joined with FOLA to feature this work as both an outstanding piece of literature and a milestone motion picture. The FML will conduct a discussion of the book at the Library on Thursday, July 28 at 7 PM. Copies of the book may be obtained from the Library. In conjunction with the book, FOLA has arranged to feature the film version as its "First Thursday," with the film showing on Thursday, August 4 at 7 PM at the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium. For information, call 802-228-8921 or 228-7239.

The Ludlow 250 Committee is busy planning the semiquincentennial celebration of the Ludlow's 250th birthday scheduled for September 16 and 17. The committee recently started its fund raising efforts to underwrite the activities with a massive mailing. Those interested in contributing to this project may send donations to: Ludlow 250 Committee, c/o Ludlow Town Hall, PO Box B, Ludlow, VT 05149.

Cavendish, also celebrating its 250th anniversary in October, will feature a tag sale on both the Cavendish and Proctorsville Greens on Saturday, July 30 as part of its fund raising efforts for its celebration.

Speaking of Cavendish, one of the fascinating pieces of historical lore is the tale of Phineas Gage, a railroad construction foreman, who, in 1848, had a tampering iron accidentally blown through his head. He survived this ordeal for 12 years and became a cause célèbre because of the accident. This past Sunday, the Cavendish Historical Society presented a discussion of the event and its impact on brain injury. As a note to this event, the explosive charge that caused the accident was found 30 feet from Gage after it penetrated his head.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will be the featured speaker at the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation on Saturday, July 30. Justice Breyer will discuss his recently published book "Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge's View." This will be the first public appearance by Justice Breyer in Vermont since he took his seat on the Supreme Court on August 3, 1994, and the Foundation is marking this special occasion with a festive celebration to honor the Justice and the Foundation's 51st anniversary.

 (If you have any comments, news, or positive gossip about the Ludlow area, contact Ralph Pace at

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