The Mountain Times

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Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

News briefs from the Rutland Region

Fourth town against wind power project
West Rutland recently became the fourth town to oppose the proposed wind power project on the Grandpa's Knob ridgeline, at least for the time being. But the select board also agrees that their minds could be changed, depending on whether project proposer Reunion Power presents a strong enough argument for the benefits and the impacts on the ecosystem remain minimal.
The growing public clamor compelled the West Rutland board to take a stand now rather than waiting for a public vote in November.

Of the four towns where the turbines are planned, the West Rutland select board meeting was the first in which residents spoke in favor of the project or urged more fact-gathering.
Some proponents look at perceived success in Europe for the lofty wind turbines, especially in Germany where touring on the autobahns seems to always include vistas of the revolving daisy shapes. Although the turbines seem to appear frequently in agricultural areas and they are perceived as cost-effective, wind- and water-generated electricity together contribute less than 2 percent of the German power supply.

Business and personnel changes
Mitchell Golub takes on leadership for the Vermont Achievement Center, following Kiki McShane's recent resignation. Golub has previously been Sheldon Academy's director of education.

Wallingford and another nearby town will share the law enforcement services of Joe Castle, hired through the Rutland County Sheriff's Department. He is an experienced office, having six years of patrol duties in a small New York community. His employment is funded by a federal Cops grant designed to provide 40 hours of coverage a week, year-round in two communities.
NeighborWorks of Western Vermont recently elected a new slate of directors, headed up by Rich Carlson as president; attorney Kathy Allen, vice president; West Rutland town Clerk Jayne Pratt, secretary; and banker Christopher Carpenter, treasurer. New to the NeighborWorks board are attorney James Leary, mortgage loan originator Lou Maguire, and Vermont Law School student Kate Thomas. Continuing on the board are business owner Cindy Adams, insurance agent Ken DeCandio, and banker Ron Bower.
John Sly recently resigned his position as Rutland Town police chief but will continue as a reserve officer; he will also continue being a sergeant for the Rutland City Police Department and a private practice of accident reconstruction and forensic examination. He is also resigning from his Rutland Town constable position.

The Rutland Town police department had already lost a policeman this year, John Paul Faignant retired this spring. Faignant became town selectman this year and is the second constable in the 4054-person community. The town currently has an open 26-hour-a-week law enforcement opening.

After refurbishing the Royal's Hearthside Restaurant at the intersection of Routes 4 and 7 last summer and garnering local acclaim, LaGasse's Hearthside Grille has closed its doors.

The West Rutland school board has refused to renew its contract with school principal Juanita Burch-Clay, an action to which a number of parents object. She had been the school's top administrator for just one year.

Rotary Memorial Garden
The Paul Harris Memorial Garden at the Little Red School House in Wallingford is now complete and was recently dedicated. Rotary clubs and individuals throughout the New Hampshire/Vermont district contributed to the effort.

Battling crime
More than 80 individuals recently joined mayor Chris Louras and other city officials at the Howe Center to discus reducing drug-related crime in Rutland. A newly created municipal task force - consisting of the mayor, police and fire chiefs, building inspector, health officer, city attorney, and Rutland Redevelopment Authority executive director - to develop a strategy of short-, mid- and long-term goals.

Part of the overall strategy realizes that blighted properties and drug-related activity seem to go hand-in-hand. If decaying properties disfigure a neighborhood, public safety and public health issues are also evident.

Interim police chief James Baker says the state Corrections Department also must be part of the effort, and providing more effective supervision of its charge who are not incarcerated.
The city's Community and Economic Development Committee is considering a tax stabilization policy that may help reduce the number of blighted properties. Current tax stabilization efforts have targeted employee increases in active businesses, but proposed additions would cover purchase and renovation of rundown structures if the process also established active business on site.

Art activities
The Chaffee Art Center recently closed the vendor application process for its annual August Art in the Park open-air celebration. It continues to look for volunteers to staff the August 10-12 event. Call 747-7900.

The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center's Emerging Sculptors Exhibition opens Friday, July 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. The opening reception includes a life celebration of Keiko Van Guilder at 6 p.m. The display remains open through Sunday, August 19.

Rutland Free Library
Refresh your summer reading supply inexpensively with Summer Monday Night Book Sales Monday, July 9 - and subsequent Mondays - at Rutland Free Library. 4 - 8 p.m., 773-1860.

Come early and stay for the 6:30 discussion of Lyme Disease and the black legged tick in Vermont, presented by David Wallstrom of the Vermont Department of health and Abigail Serra of Lyndon State College.

Losing track of library book due dates or the status of books on hold and waiting for you? The new Library Elf service sends e-mails or text messages to keep you up-to-date on your library account. Sign up is free.

Lani's Picks
Sunday, July 8 - Rutland City Band evening concert in Main Street Park.
Monday, July 9 - Groundbreaking for Rutland Creek Path, 10 a.m. Park vehicles at Northwest Elementary, 88 Pierpoint Ave.
Tuesday, July 10 -- Summer Sunset 5K Running Series at Pine Hill Park at Giorgetti Park. 773-1853.
Wednesday, July 11 - Marble City Swing Band, Main Street Park (corner of Main and West streets, Rutland, 7 - 8:30 p.m.