On Sunday, October 2, 2011 a group of friends and
neighbors from all around Vermont, and many points beyond, came
together to help those who needed help and to lend a hand to those
who needed a hand.
It was a day of music, laughter, great food and community spirit
and despite the rain, over 500 people came to participate and enjoy
the Concert for Killington Area.
When we first started to plan the concert we had a very ambitious
goal of raising $20,000 to help those in need in the towns around
the Killington area. We are happy to announce that we have raised
almost $40,000, as of today, and the total keeps growing.
It would be impossible to thank all of the musicians, business
owners, artists and professionals who made this event possible and
we are humbled by the generosity of those who came to enjoy the
We are truly blessed to live in a place where people care so deeply
about each other and are always willing to help their neighbors
"weather the storm."
The Concert for the Killington Area will not reverse the
devastation that was caused on that dark Sunday in August by
Tropical Storm Irene but the monies raised will go toward helping
families and friends start to rebuild and get their lives on the
road to recovery. We have chosen two charities to help distribute
this money and get it to those who need it most.
It is with a full heart and wide smile that we all say "Thank You!"
to everyone involved with the Concert for the Killington Area. We
could not have done it without your love and support.
Wishing everyone health, happiness and good friends to get you
through the hard times.
Peace to you all,
Joey Leone & the Committee of the Concert for Killington
To the Editor:
My parents and I are extremely grateful to the Castleton State
College Men's Hockey Team and C.S.C President Mr. David Wolk
for making C.S.C students available to Rutland City residents
in our time of need.
On Friday September 9, 2011, as I leaned on my shovel and wiped
the mud and sweat from my face, I looked up to see a Castleton
State College van stop and approximately 15 to 20 members of
the Castleton Men's Hockey Team approach me and offer to help
remove mud and debris from my basement.
Like many of my fellow Meadow Street residents, I was forced out
of my home on August 28, 2011 by flooding brought on by Irene.
Many of us struggled individually to reclaim our homes from
the wrath of water, mud and damage brought on by storm. The storm
brought out the best in all the individuals I encountered as I
worked to clean my home of mud, water and debris.
The Hockey Team members descended into my basement and almost in
unison began to shovel up mud and then carry the heavy buckets
up the stairs to the side of the street, where they dumped the
buckets and then returned to the basement to repeat their task
over and over.
In addition to being tireless workers, the members of the Men's
Hockey Team are a great group of young men who clearly understand
the meaning of "giving to the community." I cannot express in
words my appreciation for their hard work. I would still be in my
basement, shoveling up mud, had I not received such
After the C.S.C students piled back into their white van and drove
to their next location, an individual asked me "who they were."
I responded, "they are the C.S.C. Men's Hockey Team but as far
as I am concerned they are superheroes."
From: Joseph Zingale Jr.
10 Meadow Street, Rutland, VT
Reflections On Irene
by E. J. Willis
-How many times can you reach for the light switch when there is
-How many times will you try to flush the toilet when there's no
water in the tank?
-Now I know why a caged animal paces - can't get out this way,
can't get out that way - back and forth.
-Patience only lasts so long.
-There IS a morning after. Doesn't mean things are going to be
-Send every soldier you know of a packet of salt and pepper. It
helps the MRE's go down. Maybe a spoonful of sugar would help,
-I wonder how many candles equal one lumen. Is it too late to
thank all those people who gifted candles to me over the years?
Thankfully, I kept them all in one box. They are gone now, but were
-How do you get candle wax off the table, dishes, upholstery, your
clothes, the floor and the cat?
-Not to sound unappreciative, but how many times can you say thank
you to the same people for the same action and mean it?
-The sound of softly flowing water is beautiful, but loud, fast
water sets my nerves on edge.
-No matter how hungry I am, lima beans are not meant to be eaten
by human beings.
-Rain pattering on our steel roof is soothing; rain pounding on
the roof is not.
-If road closed signs are ignored, would bridge gone signs stop
-I now realize how dependent I am on electricity and I do not like
-I found that 3 days without water maxes my tolerance for hauling
buckets of water from the brook.
-We seniors have discovered we can live without internet and
cable, but the younger generation was very disturbed over that
-Phones are a necessity in an emergency and EVERYONE should have
cell service no matter where they live. This is more important than
a health care system that few desire!!
-Never ever get rid of your battery dependent radio! It may be
your only contact with the outside world, your only source of news,
your only comfort during the dark hours.
-Closeness during an emergency is not always comforting -
especially by the 3rd day without H2O.
-More people will walk outside the day after a storm than you knew
lived in your neighborhood.
-Newspapers are the local archivists. Their articles tell our
-The rest of the world is unimportant when you're living in a
-I can now fathom the resolve of the people of Louisiana who
continually face damages from hurricanes. Hurray for them!
-"It won't happen here" doesn't apply anywhere.
-Vermont is Vermont. Only those who live in Vermont would
understand how special, independent, friendly and unique the state
and its people are.
Dear Editor and Friends,
First, I need to say how incredible all the small towns in the
Green Mountain State have pulled together as a team in the
devastating aftermath of Irene. I also need to thank all the people
in the Killington area and the Killington Town Garage for there
support and help with the Kokopelli Inn clean up.
As I work through this rebuilding journey there are a couple of
quotes from two long time proven Killington business owners that
have helped me through this process. Casey Crompton said "be
patient, there is always a Silver Lining" and Steve Durkee wrote me
a note "It will get better." At this point these are difficult to
believe but we are doing our best.
Secondly, our new Vermont slogan is "I am Vermont Strong." If you
would have asked us 3 weeks ago we would have said, "Of course we
are, 'Vermont Strong.'" We would have included our home and
business, the Kokopelli Inn, as Vermont Strong, too. All of this
proved to be weaker than Mother Nature. She challenged us in ways
that no one expected. We are among those who have lost everything
in a blink of Mother Nature's eye.
Our loss includes our business, our home, and our jobs. We are
also hearing the effects of the loss on the hundreds of our
extended family, the Kokopelli tribe members. Families that have
planned annual holidays to be in Killington at our Inn are worrying
about the loss of their reunion location; and wedding guests are
scrambling to make other arrangements. From our seasonal shares who
visit every weekend to all our other guests, and our signature Pot
Luck Dinner Friday crew, are who make up the Kokopelli Inn
It breaks our heart to see that the Kokopelli Inn's wounds from
Irene run so deep. We pride ourselves on providing an Inn that
brings families together. The Inn has the space to accommodate
large families and guests. On August 28th, Tropical Storm Irene
came to us with the force of a Hurricane and took so much
In a matter of hours our home and business was destroyed. The
landslide that came from the swollen river up the hill, the huge
metal culvert could not handle. The house across the street
collapsed into the river then blocked the culvert completely and
the river turned toward us. The river that was filled with
boulders, mud, trees and the remains of the house ended up piling
up around the Inn. Boulders rolled through the front widows and
crashed through the walls like they were made of paper. The
boulders were followed by a flood of river water that came through
the windows and filled our basement.
Irene did leave her mark on the Kokopelli; it includes a mountain
of debris 8-10 feet deep that has locked into place like cement.
Our storage basement filled with water and our basement home
completely destroyed. The entire infrastructure is damaged, tons of
debris in our yard, and septic system. Our electric and heating
system is destroyed, the well is not working, the debris has
settled, and our parking lot is a rocky river bed.
Over the past 8 years we have used all of our resources trying to
build a successful B & B business in Killington. We have
sacrificed our time, money and energy. We have developed a strong
partnership with the town of Killington. We have worked closely
with the Killington Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development
and Tourism Commission, and the Killington Ski Resort organization.
The results of our partnership with the region have helped our B
& B business flourish with a strong extended family of loyal
As many of the other Vermonters affected by this disaster
understand, we are getting NO support from the insurance companies.
FEMA has given us some immediate assistance, which we are grateful
for, but it's a small fraction of what we will need to bring the
Kokopelli back to life.
Our story is not unique. We could substitute many businesses and
homes into our story. We are used to being the shelter from the
storm, being able to offer rooms to families who need a place to
call home. This is an incredibly challenging time for many people
throughout Vermont. The water has receded, roads are beginning to
open, and lives are moving on at a more normal pace.
However, there are many of us whose road is long and filled with
debris. Vermont pride and strength will continue to move us
forward. In the meantime, please know that if you have ever
considered a rock wall as part of your backyard that now is the
time to build it. We have plenty of rock at the Kokopelli, please
feel free to come by and take as much as you want!
We need help to fix the damage from Irene. We have submitted
applications for all the assistance that has been made available.
The cost in damages far exceeds the available funding. Cleaning the
building to make it safe for us to enter has reduced what we have
received drastically and we do not have money available to pay to
rebuild the infrastructure. We are looking for donations in
return for future weekend stays at a drastically discounted rate.
We need tradesmen willing to offer their time in trade as well.
Please contact us at Castrolmartin@aol.com for more info.
Hurricane Irene has been the worst, most destructive guest we have
had at the Kokopelli Inn. We welcome all at the Kokopelli, however
I hope if another Irene comes through Killington she chooses a
different place to stay.
Chuck and Barbara.
The Last Stand At "Fort Command"
by Ned Dyer
422-FIRE..now there's a number that would get your
attention. If you dialed that number from the time Irene left
town up until Sunday September 11th, you would have been connected
to the Killington Command Center (aka Emergency Response Center)
which was set-up on the second floor of the Killington Volunteer
Fire House on the Killington Road, but for this little tale
we have exercised a little poetic license and are calling the
center "Fort Command."
For the first week after the "Big Water" and like most people in
Vermont, I was dealing with my own issues. After I saw
daylight I felt a need to try and help in some way. At
10:00 a.m. on Monday, or it could have been Sunday or maybe even
Tuesday, I climbed the fire house stairs, turned right into "Fort
Command" and stopped dead in my tracks. There were eight or
ten tables with 4 to 6 chairs around them with Killington
volunteers using their personal cell phones, their own laptops,
telephones, maps, lists, water bottles, containers of cold
coffee and half eaten sweet rolls.
In the midst of all this there was Barry L., the "maker of
badges." ( I know, I saw "Blazing Saddles" too, so don't even say
it! Badges are necessary in emergency situations like
this.) What seemed like an eternity, I stared open-mouthed
trying to get a handle on what was happening. At that point
Steve D. welcomed me and handed me an instruction sheet, which I
never did get to read because Jill D. showed me a list of
volunteers and asked if I wouldn't call them to get there
availability and contact information-game on!
I bounced from table to table using my cell and whatever phone was
free, all the while watching Jeanne K. and Pat L. uploading data
into the data base, Hannah A. and Hal and Cindy B. compiling
volunteer and contractors lists, Betsy B. and Steve D. in a huddle,
Denise C., Kate, Kathy J. oand Pat F. fielding medical
issues, Patti McG. opening up the walking path to access Rutland,
Judy F. and Dottie D (who are the fastest phone picker-uppers east
of the Pecos), Steve Finer was at his desk as the gate keeper, Seth
and Suzie D. were everywhere, and the veterans told me it was like
that 24-7 the week before.
At one point Fort Command got pretty chaotic what with official
business and concerned citizens dropping by hoping to get
some information or any one of a number of valid reasons, so Steve
D. asked if I wouldn't watch the door and maybe redirect some
of the foot traffic. In my zeal I actually asked
Kathleen Ramsey the Town Manager, the nature of her business.
It's been nearly a week and I still blush at the thought of
For me it's been a week of awe and admiration watching a platoon
of locals step up and help direct food and water deliveries
where they are most needed, to get prescriptions to patients in
need, home inspections, setting up comfort stations, advising on
transportation routes, setting up a clinic for pets and generally
giving aid and comfort to an ailing community. But yet, thru
all of this, we couldn't get the needed mayonnaise airlifted to the
Comfort Station for the tuna fish.
So now it's Sunday, our last stand at " Fort Command".
Judy Findeisen is off doing inspections, Denise
Corriell has delivered the last of the prescriptions that
were delivered on Friday from the Pharmacies in Rutland, Steve
Duchan is heading off to Quebec to guide a bicycle tour, a new hot
line has been set up at the Town Office, Judy Evans, Marilyn and
their team are still manning the Comfort Station at the Butternut
and so here we are, Dottie and Pete DaCota and myself, the Llast of
the "Fort Command" Volunteers staring at the silenced phones
experiencing the first symptoms of withdrawal from
telephonitis, and they tell us we can't have a
Hi Mountain Times,
I just got back from CT where I DJ'd a wedding that had to be
moved from Mountain Meadows. The people couldn't thank me enough
for coming down. Besides that everyone that knew I was from VT came
up to me offering their support.
This is such a great community that people here and afar love.
That is why I'm so proud to live here and help out. Instantly I was
helping to deliver water, gas and supplies to stranded friends in
Pittsfield. The Pittsfield community really banded together in that
time of need. That is a special town.
I was hiking to Journeys End as that is the only way I can get to
K-town. Tonight I'm volunteering at the trail from 7pm-12am to help
people at the trail. Mendon is doing a tremendous job in helping
people. From the police to the construction workers to the
volunteers, it's all amazing. People can go to Mendon Town Hall to
sign up. So many people want to volunteer but all don't know
Your last few editions were classy and amazing.
I wanted to let you know that The Mountain Times's coverage and
online updates in the wake of Irene have been outstanding.
Really excellent work keeping everyone locally and beyond
informed. I read the online Times each Thursday and never
miss the hard-copy when I'm in the area.
Best wishes to you and your team.
Hurricane Irene: Seven Days Later
by a proud Vermonter
In the past seven days I've haven't missed a meal or been without
clean water to drink, I have had a warm bed to sleep in. I've been
able to communicate with the people I care about most.
In the past seven days people I know have lost friends, family,
their homes, their valued and cherished possessions and the pets
they loved. These same people have stood up, helped their neighbors
where they could and started to move forward.
In the past seven days I've been disappointed by no one.
In the past seven days I have watched strangers become neighbors;
neighbors become friends and friends grow closer as they stood side
by side and faced adversity and destruction. I've been reassured by
the reaction of people I've grown to depend on and pleasantly
surprised by people who I've had little regard for in the
In the past seven days I've heard our communities called "Islands"
but felt closer to the surrounding towns and their residents than
In the past seven days I've done the best I could with what I had
but am still humbled by those who did so much more with so much
less. I've not worried about what I needed, or what I was missing,
but instead focused on what I had and using the tools I had to
In the past seven days I haven't argued about religion, politics
or the 1% local option tax.
In the past seven days the things I've heard people say the most
is "What can I do?" or "How can I help?"
In the past seven days the best thing I've heard someone say is
"Mother Nature didn't send Irene to Vermont to teach us a lesson;
she picked Vermont to teach everyone else a lesson…on how to bounce
Dear Mountain Times
Thanks for you most resent issue September 1st. I can't believe
you were able to pull this off considering everything.
I wish you well and again thank you for keeping us informed. It is
the unknown that is the worst.
For those of you finding it tough to get specific information
about your property: The Curtis Insurance Agency offers to drive
over to your Killington Property and report what they find
there. Send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Jon D. Curtis, P.E.
I am a Killington homeowner (second home) and have been a devoted
reader of your paper for years - I was moved by your piece on
the situation in town. My wife and I almost put our family in the
car in New Haven CT on Saturday morning and drove up thinking we
would be safer up there. We are still without power but nothing
like what you are exeriencing.
I can't imagine what you are all going thru now but I admire your
spirit and the role your article will play in keeping people's
hopes up. If you have any information on the condition of houses on
Tanglewood Drive off of West Hill Road I would be grateful - my
home is 117.
I spoke to my friend Boris Pullsmaker yesterday who owns
Hinterland Organic and he has been stranded in Woodstock and unable
to get back to Killington due to the washouts on US-4. Our friends
at Setab were similarly unable as they are at Rutland. Our thoughts
are with you all thru this and I look forward to all of your
Thank you for working to get your publication back up amidst the
devastation. I live in Killington and feel pretty far removed from
what is going on in our corner of the world.
Again, an amazing amount of gratitude to you and yours for posting
photos and news to your website. From my perspective, you offer the
most comprehensive coverage for our town.
Luckily I am safely at home caring for my 3 1/2 year old son while
my husband reports to work for Killington Resort, doing what ever
he can to help the resort and the community. Thus far my big
contribution is giving away the diapers we no longer need to a
resort guest in need. I hope their baby wears size 5.
Other than taking care of my family and donating some diapers, I
feel isolated and unsure of how I might help others. I am not a
reporter, a journalist or anything close (I am the Human Resources
Manager for Farm & Wilderness), but if there is anything I can
do to help in these efforts from the "Island of Killington" do
please let me know.
Dear Mountain Times
I am a second home owner in Vermont and share both your sentiments
in this morning's online post as well as your attachment to the
local area.I am heartbroken to see what has happened to the Central
and Southern VT region and to think of the long road to recovery
We love Killington. We have had a home in Sunrise Village
for the last 7 years and enjoyed the area for many years before
then. Sunrise, as you mention, remains cut off, and we have
no idea what the situation is up there on the mountain.
Looking at the destruction along Rte 4 it's easy to imagine a
similarly dire situation farther up the hill. We heard one of
our full time neighbors did walk to safety on Route 100 and is with
friends who do have power - very good news.
Being so far away and powerless to help is extraordinarily
frustrating, but your reports and photos are extremely
comforting. While we cannot be with you in person, we are
with you in spirit. Stay safe and thanks again for getting
Dear Mountain Times,
Just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for the reporting
on Killington. As second home owners at Mountain Green we are
obviously very concerned about our property. The damage to the
roadways is incredible.
Each time we arrive in Killington one of my first priorities is to
pick up a copy of your paper. I enjoy reading it to find out
what is going on and relax with the great articles. So of
course I searched for you yesterday to find out what is going on
and your reporting and photographs have been very helpful.
Keep up the great work.
Irvington New York.