Four-way stop best solution for intersection
I completely agree with Jim McCullough on a solution for the Mountain View Road/North Williston Road intersection. I have lived on Governor Chittenden Road for 12 years. I cross through that intersection daily and have worried daily since my son got his driver’s license whether he and my daughter will get through the intersection safely as they head off to school. I also often cross through that intersection as a pedestrian to walk my dog along the bike path.
Like Jeff Fehrs, I have never had the luxury of letting my children cross that road to bike to school alone — it is just not safe. We have new families moving in on our road and unless we get a better solution, this will be the case for them as well.
North Williston Road has only gotten busier in the past 12 years. The cars have only gotten faster and the drivers seem to be in a bigger hurry than ever. Crossing through the intersection has only gotten more dangerous.
I agree the more affordable (by ten times), simple and common sense option of making this intersection a four-way stop is the right one. The speed of the cars commuting up North Williston road is not appropriate given the intersections proximity to the pedestrian path. A four-way stop will check the speed of those hurried cars commuting through our town. Further, Vermont drivers may not know what to do in a roundabout, but they certainly understand what to do at a four-way stop: stop, it is the law.
The four-way stop is an affordable solution that makes perfect sense. I say let’s give that a try before we overspend on a less-than-perfect solution.
Rescue dogs visit Heartworks School
Mike Halpin of Essex Junction and his dogs, Sadie and Mollie -— of The New England K-9 Search and Rescue Unit “Scent to Serve” — visited HeartWorks School in Williston on April 3 to showcase their search and rescue skills for the children and teachers at the school. Following an indoor demonstration and brief talk about the wonderful work that the K-9 unit does to assist in finding missing people in the New England area, the trio performed sample search and rescue techniques out on the playground area, even locating someone who was hiding behind a tree.
Both the trainers and the 13 canines in the unit wear work vests equipped with special search and rescue equipment as they perform their duties, working closely with area law enforcement agencies as they assist in tracking and locating individuals who are lost or missing. Mike instructed the children that if they should ever become lost in the woods that they should “Hug a Tree,” which means to find a large tree to sit under as they wait for someone to find them and to stay put and not wander around.
Of their more than 180 searches together, Mike told of his most rewarding rescue, which involved working with 9-year-old Sadie, along with the rest of the K-9 unit, to find a 6-year-old boy at 2 a.m. who had been lost in the woods for 13 hours.
During the demonstrations on the playground, 9-month-old Mollie used her training in shepherding to circle around and around the older dog Sadie as she “protected” her and guided her to a safe place. After the successful completion of both training and actual search and rescue tasks, the dogs are rewarded with playtime using their favorite Frisbee.
We would like to thank Mike, Sadie and Mollie for sharing their impressive life-saving skills with our school community and would also like to thank the Gernander family for arranging this exciting demonstration for the children. For more information about the work this amazing group does throughout the New England area, visit www.nek9sar.org.