The Mountain Times

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News briefs from the Rutland Region

Rutland City voters decided against investing $5.5 million in a granulated activated carbon filter system to purify its water, by about 200 votes. To meet federal drinking water standards, the city may have to change its chemical disinfectant from chlorine to chloramine, a chemical that a number of city residents consider dangerous. Were it not for the increasing stringency of federal requirements, the issue would not have arisen. However, the city's water has met federal standards recently, so there is no immediate need to chance chemicals.

City voters approved selling both Watkins and Dana school buildings by huge margins, in each case nearly 6,000 for the sales vs. less than 700 against.

For the first time in a while, Rutland City has more Republican representatives in state government than Democrats. Larry Cuppoli represents District 5-2 and Doug Gage represents District 5-4, while Peter Fagan covers 5-1. The sole Democrat in the foursome is Herb Russell. Tom Terenzini returns to the State House as Rutland Town representative.

State senators from Rutland stay the same: Bill Carris, Peg Flory, and Kevin Mullin. Rutland 2 (Clarendon, Proctor, Wallingford, West Rutland, and part of Tinmouth) representatives stay the same: Dave Potter and Tom Burditt.

Dave Remington saw the effects of huffing - the practice of inhaling chemicals to get high - when he lost a friend to the practice.
A recent public discussion at PEG-TV's studios looked at "huffing" and synthetic drug use. Huffing is being blamed for Carly Ferro's death. Substances that cause a temporary high but far longer "effects" are all around; many everyday substances are sold in aerosol cans. Limiting who can buy is not a practical solution because of the sheer numbers of products. Teaching the community about the dangers is likely to be a better long-term solution, and the danger is far more than temporary impairment: over time - and not long - huffing kills large numbers of brain cells.

Bath salts, now outlawed in Vermont, and "spice" are also common substances that can be ingested and need to be treated as dangerous as heroin, the panel said.

West Rutland's Dewey Avenue is being put back in shape after more than a year of being impaired. Work on the road had been delayed because Tropical Storm Irene struck soon after the collapse. Traffic has been squeezed down to a single lane; depending on weather, the road may again be fully usable by Dec. 7. GeoDesign Inc. of Windsor and Jack Bowen Excavating of West Rutland are among the contractors.

You know the holiday season is upon us when you hear the music of Handel's Messiah ringing from Grace Congregational Church. Rehearsals have already started and take place throughout November  on Sunday afternoons. For more info call 775-4301.

Stafford Tech's Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter recently collaborated with its counterpart chapter at Fair Haven Union High and its Lakes Region Police Explorers, and the Brandon Police Explorers in a partnership with the Dunkin' Donuts franchises of Rutland County plus Rutland County's police agencies and Regional Ambulance Service. Together they worked on a project that would reduce the frequency of speeding and the deaths and injuries that it causes.

The campaign slogan Slow Down, Stick Around is printed on ribbons and a card explains the risks of speeding. Originally, they intended to distribute the ribbons at highway rest areas and visitors centers but have expanded coverage to auto body and repair shops, chambers of commerce, car dealers, and libraries.

The past year was busy and productive for the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber moved its offices to the corner of West Street and Merchants Row, within the Downtown Rutland business district. Favorable results include not only higher visibility and ease of access, especially for tourists, plus a community conference room and Wi-Fi.

The Chamber touts the new $1 million instrument landing system installation at Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport. A new lighting system also guides approaching aircraft.

Another Chamber-promoted project was successful marketing of the Crossroads of Vermont Byway from West Rutland to Hartford.
During the previous year, the Chamber was instrumental in bringing the week-long Model T Ford Club International tour this summer. More events like this are on their way for 2013. The Horseless Carriage Club of America convention brings its pre-1917 cars to Rutland. Also coming are the Red Knights International Motorcycle Club convention, the New England Rally 2013 of Rally North America, and the annual Killington Classic motorcycle rally. All pump dollars into the Rutland economy.

Amid the 2012 event planning and promotion and its office relocation, the Chamber answered some 10,000 phones calls; mailed more than 200 requests for visitor guides and other information; and produced monthly electronic newsletters to communicate with its members and the community at large.

The Three Steps Forward program, an initiative connected to the Rutland Region Workforce Investment Board, recently reported that the program is gaining participants, with 17 young women taking part. Thirteen are studying

'Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By' World, a 15-week structured examination of the condition of poverty, how it affects the community and how it impacts personal lives. Participants evaluate their personal situation along 11 Quality of Life Indicators, selecting three areas of weakness against which to develop a plan of action.

Five of these young women are applying for financial aid to start CCV classes in the spring. Three who were unemployed when the program started are now employed part-time or seasonally. Four who lacked a high school diploma or GED are now enrolled in alternative high school and are attending classes. One will receive her diploma from West Rutland high school this fall. Great steps for all of them!

Participants entered the program after being initially referred by school counselors and/or members of the Young Women's Collaborative. The goal was to enroll individuals who would commit to completing at least the first phase of the program, the 15-week program. Working together, they bond with each other and facilitator Lynn Bondurant so they support each other as they proceed with their individual self-set goals."

Fri. and Sat., Nov.  16-17 - Grace Congregational Church hosts an annual holiday craft fair with crafts and baked goods, café, Christmas wreaths, and the Pink Pachyderm Room. Friday, 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 16 - Rutland Economic Development Corporation (REDC) celebrates its 75th anniversary and looks to the future with a gala at 6 p.m. in the Holiday Inn Rutland. GE Aviation receives Member of the Year award; cocktails, dinner, special recognitions, and dancing to Satin and Steel.
Fri. and Sat., Nov.  16-17 - Mill River Union High's Stage 40 theater company presents Broadway's Urinetown: The Musical. The family-friendly show portrays a town in the grip of a 20-year drought that has brought about a ban of private toilets and pee-for-pay public restrooms. 7:30 p.m. Call 775-1925.
Friday, Nov. 16 - Rutland High's Encore Theatre presents The Mouse That Roared. 7 p.m. Call 770-1134.
Saturday, Nov. 17 - The Knights of Columbus/Boys & Girls Club gymnasium hosts the Green Mountain Table Tennis Club's 49th overall (32nd annual) tournament, the Charles Edgar Memorial Table Tennis Tournament. Call Ronald Lewis, 247-5913, for specifics.
Sunday, Nov. 18 - Capital Cities Concerts, a 25-piece chamber orchestra comprising current and former players in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, NY City Ballet Orchestra, New Jersey, and Vermont Symphony Orchestras performs at the Paramount Theatre at 3 p.m. The emphasis is on rhapsodies and magic, with the major work of the matinee being Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante in E flat for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, and strings.
Call 775-0903.

Tagged: News Briefs, Rutland Region