The Mountain Times

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News Briefs from the R

Loan from the state to help decrease storm water runoff
A $1.26 million loan from the state may provide the necessary funds for a final design to remove storm water from the city's wastewater processing plant. The aldermen recently gave the Department of Public Works authorization to apply for the loan. The city will contract with Otter Creek Engineering for the final project design, which will provide a firm enough estimate on which to solicit bids for the construction.
The Northwest Neighborhood Sewer Separation Project includes installing 5,000 feet of new storm sewer and system components, enough to eventually remove the storm water from a 59-acre area, thereby preventing an estimated 10 million to 15 million gallons in overflow. Completion will probably take about two years. It will reduce processing costs and, hopefully, assure that the city will no longer exceed state overflow limits.

Rec department infrastructure needs improvement
Recreation officials plan meetings to discuss repairing the lining of White's pool and whether or not to demolish the field house at Rotary Park. If the "protective skin" of the pool lining is not replaced, the pool structure will soon be damaged, according to Bob Peterson of the Parks Department.
Alderman Top DePoy objects to tearing down the field house because it was built by the Rotary Club and could still serve the community, even though that might best be at another location.
Contractors have been studying both the leaky roof at the Courcelle Brothers building on North Street Extension. The Rec Department is already moving storage into the building in preparation for its becoming the department's administrative and maintenance facility as well as providing some programming space.
City playing fields are still recovering from the effects of Tropical Storm Irene. Some programs have been displaced to alternate locations since the 2011 floods as the turf's root base recovers.

New faces in city law enforcement
Rutland police chief James Baker recently introduced three newly hired law enforcement staffers to the Rutland City Police Commission. Officer Charles Whitehead is a Rutland native, and has been a member of the Brandon Police Department and a Rutland County Sheriff's Department deputy. He joins the Rutland department with his own police dog.
Also new are Elias Anderson and Emilio Rosario. Anderson is currently taking a 16-week training at Vermont Police Academy. A graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, he is from the Albany, NY area.
Rosario is also in a training course at the Academy.  He has 10 years officer experience with the Vermont Department of Corrections and has specialized gang activity training. Even with these three new hires, the city's PD is understaffed but now only six below its full-authorized force.
Other police personnel news: Ken Mosher recently received a promotion from patrolman to corporal; he is considered a Vermont leader in investigating domestic violence.
Longtime administrative secretary Carolyn Boothroyd is leaving the department after 16 years of service.
Police schedule city patrols based on the calls that come into the dispatch center; residents who want to see increased patrol coverage in their neighborhoods need to call in their requests or concerns, chief Baker said at the recent Police Commission meeting. Northwest residents had attended the meeting to complain of reckless speeding drivers and open drug deals. The more complaints, the greater the police presence, officers say.

Personnel changes
Former assistant building inspector Robert Barrett is taking the 'assistant' off his job title, as aldermen divided the positions of zoning administrator and building inspector into two separate jobs. James Simonds had performed both functions; given the choice of which title to keep, Simonds chose the zoning appointment.
West Rutland School is looking for a replacement middle-school science teacher. Shawn Lenihan was to return to the classroom he had left in the spring, coming back for an in-service day. But the day before the training day, he emailed a resignation letter. As the school board accepted his resignation, it also fined him $500, as provided in the teachers' contract, to allow for advertising the open position he created so late in the year.

Rutland arts receive awards and funding
The Vermont Arts Council plans to present Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service in the Arts to both Bruce Bouchard, executive director of the Paramount Center, Inc., in Rutland, and Carol Driscoll, head of the Carving Studio & Sculpture Center in West Rutland.
Both of their organizations are current Arts Partnership three-year grant recipients.
The Carving Studio received a $7,000 grant to support its programs and services including residencies, international exchanges, educational workshops, exhibitions, lectures, and special events.
The Paramount also received $7,000, in this instance to support the Creative Partnerships Series, Vermont Artist Series, and economic/municipal outreach initiatives.
VAC also announced Cultural Facility grant awards, $30,000 to the Paramount to support the installation of a projection, reception, and sound enhancement system, and $30,000 to the Town of West Rutland to support the renovation of the basement bathrooms in the Town Hall Auditorium.

Project Vision sees success in some areas
Simple tactics in Depot Park have been successful in curtailing drug transactions, Rutland City Police Chief James Baker told the Rutland Region Workforce Investment Board recently. Removing the benches and trimming shrubs and trees have made the park less desirable for people who want to buy or sell drugs; since the modifications, there have been no complaints about trafficking in the park.
Changing the environment is key to making many of the changes Rutland needs to shed drug-related problems, Baker told the group. Project Vision collects data to pinpoint needs and focus on underlying problems; it includes collaboration between partners, including faith-based organizations and building relationships in neighborhoods.
It recognizes that domestic violence is a by-product of broken people and that job training is part of the long-term strategy.
RRMC changes energy source
Rutland Regional Medical Center (RRMC) will convert its heating and hot water system to use compressed natural gas rather than the currently used fuel oil, under a contract recently signed with NG Advantage LLC. The energy provider will use its "virtual pipeline" of high-tech carbon fiber composite tractor-trailers to deliver the CNG to RRMC in lieu of a natural gas pipeline. The advantages are a 30 percent savings on fuel costs and a 26 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and nearly all particulates. CNG consumption is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2014.

Heritage Trail misses a few
The recently created African-American Heritage Trail omits an important figure who lived and worked in West Rutland: the Reverent Lemuel Haynes, who fought in the Revolutionary War, then became a minister, and is considered to be the first black man to shepherd a white congregation in the U.S. (in Connecticut). His conversational wit often appeared on the pages of local newspapers, while he led the Congregational Church that stood just off today's Route 4A. Haynes also figured in Manchester, Vt. history with the 1820 publication of Mystery Developed. It chronicled the flawed conviction of Jesse and Stephen Boorn, thought to have murdered their brother-in-law Russell Colvin until the man re-appeared in another community.
It also omits the story of Lucy Terry Prince, perhaps the first published African-American female poet. Living in Guilford, she defended her family's rights and property in court against the threats of a white neighbor in the 1780s. Perhaps these people lack mention in the African-American Trail because no markers, buildings, or museums exist to which to tie their stories.

Purple Chandelier to open by Ace
Interior decorator Allison Messier-Gamble is moving her boutique the Purple Chandelier to 269 N. Main St., Rutland, just north of Ace Hardware. Cay Cotrupi, a former boutique owner, and Terry DeYong, shepherd, weaver, and millinery expert, are joining her. Their specialties include treasures, antiques, jewelry, home décor, timeless apparel, fancy women's hats, and Vermont-made products. Jesse Savage's hand-forged iron goods are another specialty. Classes will teach weaving, millinery, ceramics, and home décor.
The store will be open Monday and Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lani's weekly picks
Friday, Sept. 20 - Chaffee Art Center's fall members' exhibit, 16 S. Main St., begins. 775-0356.
Saturday, Sept. 21 - Curbstone Chorus holds its fourth annual show at Mill River Union High. 2321 Middle Road, North Clarendon. Guest performers include the Spoon Mountain Singers from Tinmouth, the Rutland High School Chamber Singers, and the Golden Tones, better known as Olivia Gawet and Taylor Morneau.
Sunday, Sept. 22 - Pine Hill Parks hosts its sixth annual duathlon, a 5K trail run followed by a 10K mountain bike race loop. Register at Godnick Adult Center.
Wednesday, Sept. 25 - Update on health care reform implementation from Peter Welch. Franklin Conference Center, 1 Scale Ave., 8 a.m. check-in.