By Lani Dukes
Contemplating Life Café holds official open house
FAIR HAVEN—Michael Mancino has opened the Contemplating Life Café in the former Carvey’s restaurant of Fair Haven. Though it first opened Feb. 13, it held its grand opening over Easter weekend.
Rita Carvey is the star of Mancino’s new business venture, whose chicken and biscuits specialty is expected to draw customers through the cafe’s doors. He has owned the building for a decade, renting it for six of those years to a day care center. More recently, it was vacant, until Mancino relocated from New Jersey to Vermont and spent the past six months restoring the building to a community eating spot.Hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with breakfast served all hours. The address is 447 Route 4A.
Emergency management flawed
MIDDLETOWN SPRINGS—State emergency management requirements have found the town of Middletown Springs lacking, Mary Lamson of the Rutland Regional Planning Commission (RRPC) told the town’s Select Board on March 10. One fault is the vacancy of the town’s Emergency Management Director position. The state requires that each town to have an emergency management director, coordinator or office, both for emergency reporting and for emergency and hazard mitigation planning.
Another fault is the town’s lack of a mitigation plan; the current one is expired. If revised and given the stamp of FEMA approval, it is good for five years.
Yet a third need is that for a new annual Local Emergency Operations Plan; it is due by May 1. All is not bleak. To qualify for the Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund (ERAF), which pays 75 percent of recovery costs, a town must have an advance plan and appropriate post-emergency action in place. Middletown Springs has flood insurance, a roads plan, and an emergency response plan. To qualify for the state’s highest reimbursement rate, the town need only file a hazard mitigation plan and a river corridor plan, both of which may be part of the pending Town Plan.
Emergency manager training is available from the state, and it will also soon be available from the RRPC. The planning commission currently hosts an emergency roundtable every other month to coordinate and share knowledge.
The emergency management vacancy spotlights the problem that many of Vermont’s smaller communities face—not enough residents who are ready, willing and able to take on the jobs required by the town’s charter or state regulations. Empty seats in Middletown Springs after the March 1 Town Meeting include town agent, first constable, auditor (a one-year and a two-year seat), trustee of Copeland Cemetery Fund, planning commissioner (a three-year seat), tree warden, fence viewer, service officer, Rutland Regional Transportation Council rep, and conservation commissioner.
As it is, the Board appointed Patty Kenyon as both building committee liaison and solid waste representative, Chris Fenton as town lands liaison, Herb Childress to new ordinance research, Terry Redfield as law enforcement representative, and Jim Webber to voting machine research, in collaboration with Laura Castle.
Empty positions remain unfilled in an age where many commute relatively long distances to their “day jobs.” Their hours of work may preclude their attending weekday evening meetings. 0
Freezin’ for a Reason raises over $12,000
BOMOSEEN—Freezin’ for a Reason organizers have reported raising over $12,000 for Shriners Hospitals for Children in Springfield, Mass. At least 62 people dipped into Lake Bomoseen’s chilly waters on March 13. Russ Marsan of Carpenter & Costin emcee’d the event, organized by Bruce Williams, treasurer for Cairo Shriners in Rutland. Each participant paid $30 to take the icy plunge, also raising $100 in donations.
Protective order issued for dogs
FAIR HAVEN—William Pearo of Fair Haven has been ordered to keep his three dogs on leashes while they are being walked or transported, have them securely fenced if they are in his house or yard, and have them evaluated by a veterinarian or other certified person to determine whether they are vicious. Pearo agreed with the findings of the March 8 vicious dog hearing and the March 8 Select Board ruling, saying that he was already in the process of erecting a fence to shield the three animals—ages 14, 7, and 4—from public view.
The ruling is in response to an incident that took place about 4:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15. Eric Gross was walking his dog Dexter, an American foxhound, when the three dogs came at him and Dexter. One grabbed Gross’s heavy winter glove, dislocating his shoulder. One sliced open Dexter’s throat. Gross did not immediately report the incident but waited until the following month. He says his dog is recovering and is finally going outside by herself. He no longer allows his children to walk the dog. And he remains in continual pain all day long, with the muscle pulled away from the bone in his arm. He says the unrepaired injury impacts his family life, because he can’t play ball with his children.
Awards and honors
PAWLET—The Town of Pawlet has received a $48,698 FEMA hazard mitigation grant to buy and install an emergency generator for Mettawee Community School. Its installation will, thereby, become an emergency operations center for the town. The award covers 75 percent of the generator’s cost and installation needs; a fund drive will raise the remaining $16,232.
Pawlet resident and Post Adjutant Steve Leach of Manchester VFW Post 6471 is chairing a committee to petition the state to officially name VT Route 103 from Clarendon to Rockingham as “The Desert Storm Veterans Memorial Highway.”