Sounds of 2008: Billboards

12/17/08 6:10PM

(Host) And now our series that listens back to the news and newsmakers of the past year.

One of those ``Sounds of 2008'' actually dated to 1968. That's when Vermont became the first state in the country to adopt a total ban on billboards.

Paul Bruhn of the Preservation Trust of Vermont says the ban has helped to preserve what we think of as Vermont.

(Bruhn) "You know, people come to Vermont and say, ‘hum... this is different here. Why is this place different?' And a big piece of that is the billboard ban. But it's also how we try to take care of the environment and be good stewards of the state."

(Host) But during the billboard ban's 40th anniversary, there was also an attempt by the Legislature to carve out an exemption.

Charlie Hunter is a member of the Bellows Falls Downtown Development Alliance. He describes what the alliance had painted on the side of a barn near Interstate 91.

(Hunter) ``And it depicts a shiny automobile - 1951 it says on the license plate - heading down a highway with a green field beside it and in the sky it says, ‘See Bellows Falls, Vermont.' Then in a shield over in the right it says, ‘two and a half miles south on five.'''

(Host) Lawmakers say that doesn't violate the spirit of the ban. They amended state law to allow handed-painted signs promoting designated downtowns. And so the Bellows Falls mural remains along Route 5 in Rockingham.

Click here to tell us your favorite sounds of 2008 or to listen to the entire series.  Click on the links below to listen to the original stories.

Billboard ban turns 40 

Proposed exemption for Bellows Falls mural worries enforcement agencies 

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people_places arts politics

Related Links

Bellows Falls sign Billboard anniversary
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