Wed, Oct 19, 2011 08:22 AM
Some community traditions barely survive, teetering on until there
is too little interest in them. Others thrive over time, although
they may change their appearance, scheduling and frequency.
Taking the train in and out of Rutland is one of those traditions.
Railroads were a much bigger part of Vermont life before the days
when nearly everyone owned or had access to an automobile. Now,
riding the train is regaining some of its lost prestige. Once each
day, you can board the train for a five and a half-hour ride from
Rutland to New York City, or disembark earlier at Castleton, Fort
Edward/Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, Rensselaer,
Hudson, or Whitecliff.
Just over a year ago, this popular Ethan Allen Express route began
stopping at the renovated Castleton Depot, instead of the closed,
decaying station in Fair Haven. It's now just a short walk to
Castleton State College. Since this change, the new station has
averaged about seven passengers a day.
Built by the Rutland and Whitehall Railroad in 1850, The Ethan
Allen Express offers a refurbished indoor waiting room, a deli,
bakery and coffee shop, and complimentary parking. Passenger
numbers continue to grow, according to the Vermont Agency of
Rutland Celebrates Halloween
There's a hush in the Rutland air during late October; not many
people are on the street or in stores. They are all probably busy
working on costumes and floats for the annual Halloween parade.
Saturday, October 29, with be the 52nd Halloween Parade in Rutland.
A string of other activities are also offered throughout the
weekend including the "Running Scared" Halloween 5K, the crowning
of the "Pumpkin Princess and Mr. Jack-O-Lantern" plus many business
specials and deals to be found. This year's program adds fireworks
to top off the evening.
Photo by Stacy Bates
Rutland's Halloween Parade continues a 52-year
The Rutland parade probably seems familiar to almost any comic
book enthusiast, having first appeared in DC Comics soon after its
inception in 1959. The parade's fame brought the likes of the
Joker, Avengers, Batman, Captain America, Thor and Dr. Strange to
walk in Rutland's line-up, and consequently depicted in these
brightly-colored, specialty publications.
Comic book collectors who subsequently visit Rutland may recognize
local landmarks, first glimpsed in the pages of publications by
Marvel, DC Comics, and Gold Key.
Climate change may delay foliage
The timing of three-day weekend Columbus Day, celebrated the
second Monday in October, often coincides with Vermont's most
spectacular fall foliage weekend. Local hotels rely on a heavy
inundation of tourists to fill lodgings across the state. That
fortuitous timing may be falling out of phase, though, according to
a recent climate study; the great autumnal color change seems to be
occurring at later and later dates throughout the northern
A number of factors appear to determine when deciduous tree leaves
change their color and then drop. Shortening days, temperature
change, or variances in amount or timing of precipitation may drive
this change. Disease such as fungus or virus may also alter foliage
color change timing and its brilliance or lack thereof.
Research is now underway to pinpoint reasons for the foliage time
change. Over time, a delayed autumn tourist season may conflict
with other scheduled events like college homecoming. And the
further back in time the trees wait to change their hues, the more
likely it is that they will be sporting a large crop of leaves when
the first snows arrive, increasing the risk of broken branches and
resultant downed power lines.
Downtown parking changes and costs
Downtown Rutland parking meter rates may take a sharp rise in an
effort to drive vehicles off the street and into the parking deck.
Plans are in place to terminate parking in "The Pit" at the corner
of Wales and Center streets and the Wales Street parking lot, and
put more restriction on parking in the Rutland Shopping Plaza.
Meters would go into meter-less parking places on Center, Church,
and Wales streets. Long-term parking passes would also increase in
cost as would parking tickets.
This plan, drawn up by Rutland mayor Chris Louras, also calls for
reduced monthly parking rates within the deck itself. Under this
plan, the deck would stay under state ownership. In the past, the
state has urged the city to take control of the deck, partially
because the state has a limited security budget that leaves the
deck open to vandalism.
Downtown interests generally agree that the deck is valuable to
the downtown, but disagree in how to best utilize and protect it
from abuse. Its four levels were designed for 600 parking spots
plus an interchange for both Marble Valley Regional Transit and
Greyhound buses. It's also close to the Rutland Amtrak stop and is
a convenient place to pick up a cab to the regional airport or
catch a shuttle to hotels or to the mountains for skiing.
The proposal additionally calls for the state to drop monthly pass
fee and to install an hourly meter system. Installing cameras in
the walkway between the deck and Center Street and developing a
no-vagrancy zone throughout the deck, would help paying users feel
safe. New and improved signage would also help casual users to find
and utilize the structure.
Events: Lani's picks
Friday, October 21 -- Enjoy the owl demo brought to the Rutland
Free Library by the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS). A
VINS representative speaks about the web of life and lets you meet
a pair of owls up close and personally. The Rutland Free Library is
located on 10 Court St. in Rutland. Call 773-1860 for
Friday & Saturday, October 21-22 -- Instead of soaring with
owls, tumble down the rabbit hole with Alice as the Rutland Youth
Theatre presents Alice in Wonderland at Rutland Intermediate
School. Call 773-1853 for details.
Saturday, October 22 -- If you have memories of doin' The
Loco-Motion and boppin' At The Hop, spend Saturday night listening
to The Chiffons and Danny & The Juniors at The Paramount, 30
Center St. Rutland. Call 775-0903 for tickets.