First Issue of Winooski Bridge - June 21, 2012

Dear reader:

This is the first issue of the Winooski Bridge, a community e-newspaper. Please read and forward by e-mail to friends, family and co-workers in Winooski.

Thank you,
Guy Page, editor & publisher


 6/21/2012 - Vol. 1 No. 1

E-News for Winooski / e-mailed first & third Thursdays 

City may get 347 new streetlights

The City Council June 18 heard a proposal to replace 347 streetlights with new, power-saving LED lights.

The work would be done by Green Mountain Power and would take up to a year. It would save the city about $1700 a month in power bills. Up to 100% paid for by Efficiency Vermont, Public Works Director Steve Palmer told the council.

LED stands for “light emitting diode.” LEDs have a bluish cast but offer as much illumination as the present, less-efficient streetlights. Not every city streetlight would be affected. Downtown’s lights would remain unchanged, and neighborhoods with privately-owned streetlights also are not included.

Mayor Michael O’Brien said the council would decide whether to proceed with the plan at an upcoming meeting.

Track stars honored

Winooski High’s state champion track stars were recognized June 18 by the City Council for their outstanding accomplishments this year.

In the Division 4 State Championships, Alicia Russell  won the high jump, Moriah Leary the long jump, and Jaren Miller the 100 meter hurdles and high jump. John Tran took second in the triple jump, third in the high jump, and fourth in the high jump. Mayor Michael O’Brien read a proclamation praising their accomplishments, to the applause of family, the Council, and about 60 onlookers.

Help determine Winooski’s future, work on Municipal Plan this Saturday

The city planning commission will work on the proposed Municipal Plan Saturday, June 23 9 am at the O’Brien Center. City Manager Katherine Decarreau said this week that input is needed and volunteers are welcome to participate. The plan is the basic planning document for the city’s future.

City office to close at 4:30 pm beginning July 1

Beginning July 1, city offices will be open Monday – Friday 7:30 am and close at 4:30 pm. At present the offices are open until 5 pm. However, City Manager Katherine Decarreau said that on days when heavy foot traffic is expected the offices will remain open until 5 pm.

WHS students affected by racism enjoy trust-building ropes course

A group of Winooski High School students planned, staged and raised funds for a one-day ropes course June 4 for fellow students who have been affected by racism.

A total of 35 people participated in the trust-building, communication-enhancing ropes course at Northern Lights in Essex Junction. It was led at every stage by students of OMNI, a school career development program. Three OMNI students explained that they wanted to do something positive for their fellow students because, as one told the Winooski School District board of trustees Wednesday, June 13, “racism is a form of bullying.” They raised money with grants from the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation and the Unitarian-Universalist Church. Also, Northern Lights agreed to charge less than usual because the students were working hard for a good cause. 

The students who attended came from many different ethnic backgrounds, and were selected because they had been affected by racism. During the ropes course, students were clearly “out of their comfort zone” and also had language barriers, which were overcome with hand signals and mutual support. The students said that since the ropes course, they have noticed more interaction among the participants.

A school board member remarked, “very good project. This is exactly what we need to keep moving forward.” The board urged the OMNI program to stage a similar event, perhaps at the beginning of the coming school year.

New community e-newspaper publishes first issue

You are reading the first issue of the Winooski Bridge, a community e-newspaper. The Bridge will be published on the first and third Thursdays of every month. News will include events of interest to Winooski residents, with a special emphasis on city government, the schools, coming events, history, and promoting understanding and communication among the city’s many different communities.

At least for the near future, there will be no “paper” version of the Bridge. It will appear via email and on a blogsite (more on that in coming weeks). As a simple, one-person volunteer effort, it will not try to offer all news of interest to Winooski. For example, both the City Council and School Trustee meetings covered earlier this month by editor/publisher Guy Page featured lengthy discussions of the F-35 controversy. However, this story was well-covered by other media. It is the intent of the Bridge to build bridges of communication and understanding by sharing lesser-known but still important local happenings.

Page lives in Cambridge with his son, a sophomore at St. Michaels College. In 1980 he was the editor of the Winooski Carillon community newspaper and in 1982 founded, edited and published the Winooski Eagle. From 1988 – 2002 he published the Colchester Chronicle. At present he is a lobbyist and communications professional working mostly in Montpelier. The Bridge is neither not-for-profit nor a money-making endeavor, it is simply a sincere attempt to offer a unique, needed service.    

Please send Winooski-related news and announcements of all kinds to winooskibridge@yahoo.com. At present email is the strongly-preferred form of communication. The editor reserves the right to not print or edit at will. Also, opinion pieces will, at least for the near future, be given a low priority for publication. Front Porch Forum remains the best way to express opinions about Winooski issues.