Thursday, May 30, 2013

Paul Newman Stars in Award-Winning Movie "The Verdict", June 8

The Verdict photo 1.JPG

Paul Newman Stars in Award-Winning Movie "The Verdict", June 8

"The Verdict", one of Paul Newman's greatest dramatic roles, will be FOLA's next movie at theLudlow Town Hall Auditorium on Saturday, June 8, at 7 PM.

The Verdict is a 1982 courtroom drama film which tells the story of a down-on-his-luck alcoholic lawyer who pushes a medical malpractice case in order to improve his own situation, but discovers along the way that he is doing the right thing. Since the lawsuit involves a woman in a persistent vegetative state, the movie is cast in the shadow of the Karen Ann Quinlan case. The movie stars Paul Newman, Charlotte Rampling, Jack Warden, James Mason, Milo O'Shea, and Lindsay Crouse.

Frank Galvin (Paul Newman), once a promising Boston lawyer, is now an alcoholic ambulance chaser who has lost all of his four cases over the last three years. As a favor, his former partner and friend Mickey (Jack Warden) throws him a medical malpractice case where it's all but assured that the defense will settle for a large amount. The case involves a young mother who was possibly administered the wrong anesthetic and is now in a coma. Her sister and brother-in-law are hoping for a settlement to properly care for the victim, and Frank assures them they have a strong case. Meanwhile, Frank becomes romantically involved with a woman he meets at a local bar, Laura.

Frank visits the coma-stricken young mother and is deeply affected. He then meets with the defendants: the Archdiocese of Boston, who run the Catholic hospital where the incident took place. As expected, the archdiocese offers a fairly substantial amount of money to settle out of court, but Frank declines the offer, as he fears that this may be his last chance to do something right as a lawyer, and that merely taking the handout would render him "lost." Everyone, including the presiding judge and the mother's relatives, is stunned by Frank's decision.

The Verdict garnered critical acclaim and box office success. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Actor in a Leading Role (Paul Newman), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (James Mason), Best Director (Sidney Lumet), Best Picture and Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (David Mamet).

The movie is free and open to everyone; donations to support the continuing display of movies are appreciated. Popcorn will be provided by the Berkshire Bank.  For further information, call 802-228-7239 or  You can see a preview of the film at

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Dear Friends and Neighbors:

On May 14th a small group of Mt Holly citizens presented the Select Board with a letter from their attorney threatening to sue the Board if they did not immediately stop working on the plan to replace the town garage.  This group of “eleven”  (who engaged the attorney) have not been happy with the way the School Board and Select Board (our elected officials) have proceeded with plans to replace the garage.  They have asked the same questions and made the same complaints repeatedly.  The School Board and Select Board have patiently responded to these individuals time and time again and while doing so have continued to plan the replacement of the garage in a manner that best serves the town.  Because these few selfish individuals did not get “their way” they have decided to sue!

For well over 200 years the democracy of small communities such as Mt Holly has been based on the town’s ability to put forth ideas, argue them from all perspectives, put it to a vote and accept what the majority ruled.  In some cases, individuals/organizations that did not prevail, petitioned the town for a revote and the matter was resolved.  Never has a group of people who did not get their way ever threatened to sue our town. 

As Town Moderator for well over 20 years I have witnessed very significant issues argued intelligently and emotionally by our citizens.  Act  60, Withdrawing from the Rutland Supervisory School Union, the addition of class rooms to our school and the original proposed gym expansion to name a few.   People felt very strongly about these issues and emotions ran extremely high.  But once the discussion was over and a vote was taken, the neighbors who differed on which direction to take on these issues continued to respect each other and worked to  move the town forward.

On the evening of May 14th this deep-rooted tradition of democracy was threatened.  If  this group has its way, our form of government will never be the same.  Now, if the minority opinion (and in this particular case the extreme minority) does not prevail, if they do not get the answers they want to hear and if the process that led to the decision is not acceptable to them…they will sue!  Do we want a future of lawyers deciding what is best for the town?  Do we want a large dollar amount budgeted each year for legal fees?  Do you want  our elected officials having to worry about being sued when they make a decision on behalf of our town?

What makes this situation even sadder is what this small group of people is upset over…the replacement of our town garage.  This is such a basic “no brainer” issue.  The condition of our town garage is so deteriorated it is beyond repair and must be replaced.   We must put into perspective how basic/fundamental the replacement of our town garage is. We, the tax payers, own the property (school property) which is ideally suited for this garage.  We do not have to purchase the land and there is a possibility for a joint effort with the school to generate electricity via solar panels.  The parcel will perc so the new garage will finally include a bathroom for the road crew (a luxury they have never had).  The garage will be located right next to the Salt Shed and will remain in close proximity to the   Municipal Office, Rescue Squad,  Fire Department and  the School.  All of our town facilities will continue to be located within a stone’s throw of each other, clustered for convenience and easy access.    For some completely illogical reason, the group of eleven feels that the town should spend time and money conducting a land search and an analysis of alternative site options.  This is just one of fifteen unnecessary studies/analysis/estimates that this group is demanding.

 I remember when we needed to replace the Fire Station in Mount Holly.  A group of citizens brought their own tools, and under the supervision of Miles Richards and Bug Flanders, the existing Mt. Holly Fire Station was built.  Nobody was paid and no expensive studies drove up building costs.  The building is doing fine decades later.  While a volunteer project is no longer feasible, replacing a town garage should not require multiple studies and analyses. Now, just as the Select Board is ready to present the town with the actual plans, the costs, contractor, etc. and then put it to a vote for approval of a bond for the construction…after four plus years in public planning, a small group of people who did not get their way demand that this process be stopped and if it goes forward they will sue!

Now that our collective blood pressure has reached an all time high, let’s take a moment to look at what this group is accusing our elected officials of doing…what their crimes are.  They are accusing our Select Board of being in violation of Vermont’s Open Meeting Law and violating the Policies of the 2008 Town Plan.  Are you kidding?  The discussion of the town garage has been in public for almost five years!  Go back and read the minutes of all these meetings (published in the Chit Chat)… Select Board meetings, School Board meetings and Planning Commission meetings.  I believe there has been more public discussion of this project than all of the discussion on any public building projects completed in Mt Holly since our town was founded.   If our Select Board is guilty of anything, it is being far too patient and forgiving of this group of eleven.

Let’s look at a few of the questions the group of eleven claim have gone unanswered.  These have been printed in the Chit Chat on two occasions and have been responded to several times. 

            Question:  Why is the new garage needed? 
Answer:  Once again the condition of the town garage is so deteriorated it is beyond repair!  It is truly that simple!

Question:  How will the cost of the new garage be paid?
Answer:  Unless there is some rich soul in the community who wants to pick up the tab, the garage will be paid through a bond…just like all other capital projects!

Question: How will the new garage uses impact the school activities and traffic flow?
Answer:  An absurd question.  Unless the school plans a field trip to visit the garage there will obviously be no impact on school activities!  Traffic flow??   Obviously the town vehicles using the garage will drive up and down the road.  Do we really need to pay for a traffic study to determine this?

Question:  What other sites have been considered that might serve the proposed uses as well or better than the site near the school?
Answer:  Let’s see, we have a site that will cost nothing to use, will perc so finally the town employees can have a bathroom (please feel free to experience the porta potty next to the existing town garage on a day that is below zero or above 80 degrees to understand this need), is located next to the other town facilities, etc.  So let’s ask the Select Board to spend more time and money trying to locate a comparable or better site???  Absurd!

Question:  What will happen to the existing garage?
Answer:  It   will be dedicated to the Mt. Holly Historical Society and forever preserved.  Only kidding but just trying to point out how ridiculous these “unanswered” questions are.  

 I urge all citizens of Mt Holly to attend the next Select Board meeting and show your support for and encourage the Select Board to continue their efforts to replace the Town Garage.  Please do not let a few misguided individuals with their own selfish agenda destroy the democratic traditions of our wonderful community.  Threatening to sue if you do not get your way is not how it is done in Mt Holly.  Instead of a costly lawsuit, we need to put the replacement of the Town Garage to a final public meeting, followed by a town vote.    
Sincerely, Ted Crawford

Tuesday, May 14, 2013




Patrick Melvin, bass player of the Vermont trio After the Rodeo, will give a nod to his early roots when he performs with his group in Proctorsville on May 19.  Although Melvin grew up in Mt. Holly, he spent much of his childhood visiting his grandparents John and Ferris Harris on Pratt Hill in Proctorsville.  The Harris couple were well known and well loved in town-- Ferris worked in the  library and in the small stone bank on Depot Street, while John was postmaster, athletic coach and author of the weekly newspaper column "Speaking of Sports."  John Harris was fond of telling people that Proctorsville was "the center of the universe."  Grandson Patrick grew up playing music and has been part of many groups, including Possum Haw and Whiskey Bullet.  Melvin will join After the Rodeo members  Matt Schrag and D. Davis to fill Proctorsville's Gethsemane Episcopal Church with lively tunes on guitar, mandolin and bass.  The concert is part of the Raise the Roof music series and will be on Sunday May 19 at 4:00.  Gethsemane Church is on Depot Street (next to Crows Bakery Cafe) and is handicapped accessible.  Donation of $10.00 at the door will fund future music-filled afternoons in the historic church.  For more information call 226-7497

Friday, May 10, 2013

"The Sky Blue Boys" Entertain in Ludlow May 25

"The Sky Blue Boys" Entertain in Ludlow May 25
It’s a venerable tradition as old as American music itself… And that’s why FOLA will be presenting ‘The Sky Blue Boys’ at the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium on Saturday, May 25 at 7 PM.
Willy and Dan have played together for decades. They formed the celebrated Vermont bluegrass band Banjo Dan and the Mid-nite Plowboys in 1972 and have toured and recorded extensively in that context, as well as sitting in on shows and recording sessions for many of the region’s top acoustic musicians. But never far from their hearts were the sounds they learned to love long ago – the simple moving sounds of the early “brothers duets.”
It’s that clean, evocative sound The Sky Blue Boys now recreate for audiences throughout New England…a reminder of things past, and of things constant.
Tickets are $8 a person and may be purchased on-line at using a credit/debit card or PayPal. A $1 handling fee is added to the total order. Orders will be fulfilled within 24 hours. Tickets may also be purchased in Ludlow at Peoples United Bank, the Book Nook, the Wine and Cheese Depot, or at the door on May 25. For further information, call 802-228-7239 or

“War Horse” Next FOLA Movie, on Saturday, May 11

“War Horse” Next FOLA Movie, on Saturday, May 11 
Click HERE for preview
“War Horse” will be the next FOLA movie in the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium on Saturday, May 11, at 7 PM
Set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War, War Horse begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets-British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter-before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man’s Land. The First World War is experienced through the journey of this horse-an odyssey of joy and sorrow, passionate friendship and high adventure. 
Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly wrote, “The project is tailor-made for Saving Private Ryan Spielberg, the war-story specialist, as well as for E.T. Spielberg, the chronicler of boyhood desires and yearnings for family.” Christopher Tookey of Daily Mail gave the film 5 out of 5 stars and called it “Spielberg’s finest hour”. Rex Reed of The New York Observer gave the film 4 out of 4 stars and said, “War Horse is a don’t-miss Spielberg classic that reaches true perfection. It’s as good as movies can get, and one of the greatest triumphs of this or any other year.” 
Roger Ebert said the film contained “surely some of the best footage Spielberg has ever directed”. He wrote, “The film is made with superb artistry. Spielberg is the master of an awesome canvas. Most people will enjoy it, as I did.” Richard Roeper praised War Horse by saying, “What a gorgeous, breathtaking, epic adventure this is.” He gave the film 4.5 out of 5 stars. Ty Burr of The Boston Globe said that the film was a work of full-throated Hollywood classicism that looks back to the craftsmanship and sentimentality of John Ford and other legends of the studio era. 
The movie, per FOLA policy, is free and open to everyone; donations to support the continuing display of movies are appreciated. For further information, call 802-228-7239 or

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Special Thank You

Friends, Family and the whole town of Mount Holly and Ludlow,

      First of all I wanted to say Thank You, for all your best wishes, cards and donations we received.. I've been working on how to say what we feel about the gratitude you've shown us. While down on my back for three months it allowed me lots of time to think of what is important in life and all the things we take for granted. Many times when I was feeling depressed I would be handed cards and flowers. I guess you can't know how great it made my wife and I feel.
        We also wanted to give a special thanks to Diana Garrow and Marcy Tanger for putting together the fundraiser. Never thought I'd have one for me.Thanks to everyone who donated and came to it. We are Speechless.

        All of us will never be able to look at Mount Holly the same again. Home sweet home will ring true from now on.  So many people to thank and not enough time to do it. I guess the best way to say it is "Thank You"'  Thank you seems like a real sort of simple thing to say but we find it truly says it all.

       Before I came home from the hospital the first time we wanted to let everyone know that the Mount Holly Snow Drifters got together and built a wheelchair ramp with lumber donated by LaValley's Lumber. Kirk and Mike built the ramp ( A real blessing) It's so hard to put down in words the love that has been shown to us in so many ways . What a great town to call home.. So again, again and again...Thank You All!!!

With Our Love,
Randy, Phyllis, Josh and Leslie.