As we looked back on our 2013 newsmakers, many, we thought, were deserving of awards. While we wish we could hand out an Oscar to all our headliners, the following subjects truly had us captivated last year:
The Rock and a Hard Place Award
To the Alves family and Joe Coelho of Safeway Auto. Mr. Coelho constructed a towering wind turbine on his commercial property. The noise allegedly disrupts the lives of the Alves and other nearby residents. The installation was by-the-book, but Bristol police are still getting calls about the turbine noise, weekly. The issue was sent to Roger Williams University for mediation.
Bad Puppy Award
To Buster, a 3-year-old pit bull, who may not have actually bitten that mail carrier on Baker Street, but his gnarling was frightening enough to stop mail delivery to the entire street. A puppy panel later deemed Buster ‘vicious’ for his actions.
Most Thoughtful Reader Award
To Wayne Lisi, who offered to buy Paul Bohac a new bicycle after thieves stole two of Mr. Bohac’s bikes within a span of three weeks in October.
Father of the Year
To Manny DaSilva, who after losing his wife in July to lung cancer, stepped up to fill that parental void, blow-drying his two boys’ feet and all.
The Progress Award
To Mosaico Business and Community Development Corp., for its work renovating the Bristol Industrial Park. Slowly, but surely, the old mill complex could be a vibrant economic generator for the town.
To the participants of the Dirtball Parade. Highlighting the children’s summer reading program theme, “Dig Into Reading,” young bookworms marched around downtown, showing off their zeal for books.
Above and Beyond Award
When David Dupee fell off the Mt. Hope Bridge while working on July 23, Bristol police officer John Mylek arranged for Mr. Dupee’s brother, Aaron, to be brought from the airport to Rhode Island Hospital to be with David in his final hours.
Oops of the Year Award
To Mt. Hope High School administrators. Student athletes were introduced to a new academic policy during an orientation that would increase class fails to two, and still allow students to participate in sports. That policy lasted all of 24 hours. School committee members quickly scrambled to issue a retraction.
It’s a Pity Award
To all four of the town’s noble Sequoia trees. They are located at each corner of the town common, erected in honor of the town’s four founding fathers. But the trees aren’t looking so well. They’re fungus-infected and half of their canopies are barren. They will likely stay that way, said an arborist, because they are warm-climate trees and do not belong in New England.
Worst Haircut of the Year
To 22-year-old Jaret J. Moskal of Hobe Sound, Fla. Mr. Moskal was attending Roger Williams University when the Bristol apartment he was living in caught fire. Police and firefighters uncovered a cache of drugs and guns while extinguishing the blaze. He was later arrested on several drug possession charges, including intent to distribute.
Foot in Mouth Award
To Bruce Medley, owner of Prudence Island Ferry Inc., who, last summer, emphatically stated he’d stop ferry service on Dec. 1. He later retracted his statement, claiming he was overrun with emotion. Still, the Town of Portsmouth moved forward in seeking interested companies to offer the ferry service. Now ferry riders are anxiously awaiting the outcome of a hearing to determine whether a second ferry service is needed.