It's so easy, sometimes, to get caught up in the negative. That's why it's important to always celebrate the positive in equal measure.
Take the town of Brattleboro, for example. A little over seven months ago folks were eager to turn the page on 2011, a year which saw fires (most notably at Brooks House), floods (caused by Tropical Storm Irene) and tragedy (the shooting at the Brattleboro Co-op) mar the town in a number of ways.
Well, now we're almost at the end of July, 2012. And we think it's safe to say, the town - more specifically, downtown - is on the up-swing. Consider two recent front page stories from this week:
- "Brooks House project moving forward"
After more than a year since a fire gutted the downtown landmark, it was revealed that the corporation that was created to acquire and renovate the Brooks House has commitments for about 80 percent of the funding needed to complete the $18 million project and has begun leasing some of the space in the historic downtown property.
Developers are looking to create 36 market rate apartments and 40,000 square feet of retail, business and restaurant space in the property, and is hoping to have funding in place by October. In addition, Vermont is also considering the site as a future, proposed downtown campus for Community College of Vermont.
- "Town finally celebrates Union Station project"
Officials and other townsfolk on Wednesday afternoon cut the ribbon at
"Our goal was to make this a place people could enjoy, where they could create memories," Helene Henry said during the event.
The town still has further plans for the area, but Wednesday was a celebration of what had already been accomplished.
But there's more to consider than just these two stories.
How about the recently opened Whetstone Station, the newest downtown restaurant located at the site of the former Riverview Cafe? What about the new Co-op building opening? Sprout's owners making another go at it? Have you tried the new food cart - Humble Kitchen - at the Harmony Lot? Did you hear Salon Jacque was mentioned in Elle Magazine? Did you take part in the successful Take a Chance and Dance event?
These are just a few of the many success stories emanating from downtown Brattleboro. All this and more, plus ... have you noticed, there's not nearly as many complaints about the downtown traffic lights this year? Perhaps the bugs have finally been worked out of that system, too!
All in all, 2012 is shaping up to be a good year for downtown Brattleboro. A tip of the hat to everyone who had a part in it. And to everyone else: What are you waiting for? Go downtown!