News Briefs

News Briefs: Rutland Region

By Lani Duke

“Maker space” considered further

RUTLAND — Peter and Rick Gile, a father-and-son team who do business as Two Bad Cats, LLC, are not yet ready to pick a building or solicit grant money for the “maker space” they hope to develop in Rutland. Right now they and Rutland Economic Development Corporation are trying to see whether there is sufficient support in the local community to proceed. The next step they plan is to set up a “Maker Faire” as part of Rutland’s annual sidewalk sale on Aug. 1. The Giles anticipate setting up more than 30 10’x10’ display spaces, visible to the 5,000 or more attendees at the annual downtown sidewalk sale.

“We hope to see how many makers we have,” Rick Gile said in a May 20 interview, describing the gathering as a “test run.” The Giles’ test run joins a national movement of do-it-yourselfers and inventors—people who believe in a hands-on approach to life.

That often results in salable products or services. Makers may create something altogether new or they may transform vintage and everyday objects into something unexpected and unusual, maybe beautiful, maybe utilitarian. Unlike numerous other makers’ fairs, the Rutland version is for demonstrations only: “unique, inspiring, engaging, and interactive with observers,” said the Giles.

A positive public reaction to the Maker Faire would encourage the Giles to continue planning a maker space with REDC. Others call this type of endeavor an “incubator” space. Modeled much like the business incubators and farming cooperatives, the group could share space with the ability to buy and house equipment larger and more expensive than an individual entrepreneur may be able to afford on his or her own.

How does one get in? Submit an application and receive approval—there is no charge unless the applicant wishes to sell product.

Coke on Cottage Street

Michael Petruccelli has admitted in federal court that he distributed crack cocaine from a Cottage Street rooming house owned by his parents. Last November, he sold .08 grams to a police informant. He and the house drew national attention in a February New York Times story that reported the police had identified the house as owned by an absentee landlord and a “haven” for drug availability. The U.S. attorney’s office said in a claim to seize the two buildings that illegal drugs were being sold from the address and that property owners Rudolph and Francesca Petruccelli failed to stop the activity. The feds can claim property if owners allow federal drug violations there. A legal filing, however, states that the Petruccellis had informed law enforcement at all levels that there was illegal activity on the property, and had taken steps to remove people who were living there. They claim their Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendment rights have been violated. Whatever happens, property mortgage holder Second City LLC wants the $32,321 owed on the buildings . . . that’s a separate filing.

Hospital renovations

Work crews at Rutland Regional Medical Center (RRMC) are demolishing an old addition at the hospital’s rear, with plans to build a new one in its place. RRMC President Thomas Heubner said the Act 250 permit is already granted and work is underway to remove a vacant 1,900-square-foot addition known as the “rocket ship.” A 2,400-square-foot single-story addition will take its place. The $615,450 project is to house ophthalmologist Dr. John Coco, who switches from having a separate practice to being a hospital employee. Coco’s practice will reopen Sept. 15 at its new location. At the time of the opening, it is expected to hold only Coco and his 10-person support staff, but the hospital is seeking another ophthalmologist to join him in the practice.


to Rutland Regional Medical Center for being recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 40 hospitals in the country on providing “common care.”

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