Lahti #3

Jessie Diggins (left, Afton, MN) and Kikkan Randall (right, Anchorage, AK) with Maiken Caspersen Falla after Falla won the women’s freestyle sprint at the Lahti World Championships and Diggins and Randall finished second and third. Sophie Caldwell (Stratton, VT) was a third American woman to make it into the sprint finals, finishing sixth. For a short gallery, click here.  For a full account of the race, click here.     

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Posted in 2017 Lahti World Championships

Lahti #2

Today the women’s 5-k and men’s 10-k qualifiers were held, races designed so skiers without World Cup points can compete. Racers from such unlikely ski countries as Iran, Lebanon, Ireland, Brazil, Venezuela and Armenia skied, along with others from countries like Australia, Iceland and Denmark. The top 10 in each race will get to race against World Cup skiers later in the competition. By the way, the guy with the big gray beard at the bottom is Juha Mieto, a many-medaled Olympic skier from the 1970s, said to be among the most popular celebrities in Finland. Click here for some details and results.  

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Posted in 2017 Lahti World Championships, cross country ski racing, Finland

Lahti World Championships #1

Today was the day before official competition begins at the 2017 World Nordic Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland.  It’s cold, sunny and the snow is granular and icy. Teams from around the skiing world were checking wax, practice-jumping the 100-meter “normal” hill,  and generally preparing for the biggest event of the year. Click here for a gallery from the day before the games start. Use the right-click arrow to speed things up.

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Posted in 2017 Lahti World Championships, cross country ski racing, ski jumping

State House Refugee Vigil

Several hundred gathered at the Vermont State House tonight for a candlelight vigil to express solidarity with refugees whose immigration to the U.S. has been halted. Big cheers for, among other things, Gov. Phil Scott’s refusal to enforce the federal immigration crackdown, and for Bernie Sanders. Click here for a gallery.

Below, a tribute to those killed in a mosque in Quebec City last week. Bottom, other images from the State House.     

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Posted in immigration demonstration, Trump, Vermont Tagged , |

Four Reasons

Four reasons to be optimistic about the future: Katie, Alice, Ruthie, and Beth. High school friends the day after Christmas, all out of college and working or going to grad school, all more than up to the challenges ahead. All of them were in the crowd Saturday at the Women’s March on Washington or in the NYC version of the same.

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Posted in Vermont, women

Eastern Cup #1

The New England Nordic Ski Association held its first Eastern Cup of the 2016-17 season at Craftsbury Outdoor Center Saturday and Sunday. Hundreds of skiers from New England and eastern Canada raced, in heavy snow on Saturday, rain and freezing rain on Sunday. If you want to see more, click here for a gallery. (If the gallery slideshow is too slow for you, click on the right arrow to speed things up.)

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Posted in Craftsbury Outdoor Center, cross country ski racing, Snow, Vermont, Winter

Rutland Welcomes #2

As part of plans to welcome 30 families of Syrian refugees to Rutland, VT, the local group Rutland Welcomes sponsors a weekly class in basic Arabic at the Unitarian Church. This is last week’s session with teacher Morgan Denehy (in blue shirt). No families have yet arrived, but the first are expected soon or in early 2017.

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Posted in Rutland, Rutland Welcomes, Syrian refugees, Vermont

World Cup at Killington

Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates her slalom win Sunday.

When bringing a weekend of women’s World Cup alpine ski racing from Europe to Killington, VT, was proposed, Eastern skiers all but guaranteed that they’d show up to cheer, and Killington guaranteed snow to race on. After all it would be the first women’s World Cup race in Vermont for 38 years. They all delivered Saturday and Sunday, when crowds estimated at up to 15,000 flooded the base of Killington’s Superstar trail. American Mikaela Shiffrin, who learned ski racing at Vermont’s Burke Mountain Academy, also delivered, by winning Sunday’s slalom. Spectators included her 95-year-old grandmother. Stories here, and here. And here.DSC_7721_1W DSC_7755_1WaDSC_7665_1WDSC_8267_1WDSC_7697_1Wa DSC_7688_1Wa  DSC_8224_1W DSC_7864_1WDSC_8133_1W DSC_7914_2W  DSC_7470_1W

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Posted in Skiing, Vermont, Winter

Rutland Welcomes

DSC_7163_1WVolunteer Marsha Cassel surveys donated furniture in the former Rutland Herald press room wearing a T-shirt selected for the occasion.

Rutland, Vermont, has had its share of difficulties in the past few decades, but community members have volunteered to welcome 30 Syrian refugee families that will be resettled in Vermont through the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program. The local group preparing for the refugees is Rutland Welcomes. Its members have stockpiled items refugees will need at locations around the small city at the foot of the Green Mountains in west-central Vermont and are working with landlords to locate suitable apartments. Last Saturday Rutland Welcomes held a furniture donation drop and brought the donations to join the furniture collected over the past few months and stored in the basement of the Rutland Herald.

The first few families of refugees should start arriving in early December and others are to continue arriving into the spring and early summer.

Rutland Welcomes information is here.

Below, Rutland Welcomes member Barbara Richter with the furniture-drop crew Saturday and checking a donated recliner. And the scene back at the Herald with volunteers Cassel and Jim Hill.DSC_7026_1W DSC_7015_1WDSC_7194_1W DSC_7168_1W  DSC_7043_1W DSC_7135_1W DSC_7127_1W

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Posted in refugees, Rutland, Syrian refugees, Vermont Tagged , , |

First Snow

20161026_7214_2WI know it was 70 last week, but the first snow has arrived on Vermont’s Mount Mansfield, and skiers and boarders have been walking up to ride down. Right on schedule. These are from yesterday. Rocky and grassy in places, but skiable.

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Posted in climate, fall foliage, Skiing, Snow, Winter