Wed, Dec 21, 2011 08:24 AM
Recent drug raids could lead to increased theft
Local law enforcement officers are warning that property crimes
will likely climb rapidly. Recent successful drug raids, pulling
some 2,000 bags of heroin or their equivalent out of the general
supply, have left local users desperate - and more likely to steal
others' money and possessions.
During a recent string of drug raids and motor-vehicle stops, city
and state police have taken in not only the above-cited heroin but
also lesser quantities of crack cocaine and marijuana, some cash,
and a handgun. Such success, however, comes with a price tag of
sorts, including car break-ins, burglaries, shoplifting, and
forgeries. Other users will try the hospital emergency rooms or
look for alternative substances.
So keep watching out for your neighbors and their properties and
don't leave valuable items clearly visible. Lock your doors.
Alderman Larson will not run for re-election
The first indicator of this spring's aldermanic race has surfaced.
Ed Larson has announced he will not run again now, citing health
reasons. Others who are eligible for re-election include Board
president David Allaire and William Notte who both plan to
Old schools, new uses
The old Watkins Avenue school building may,
by a twist of fate, end up providing housing for some of the people
who once came to the school for education. The Housing Trust of
Rutland County has agreed to pay the city school district $100,000
for the property. Built in 1892, the 9960-square-foot building
would become six units of senior housing, accompanied by a newly
constructed building on the same parcel intended to hold 9 to 10
Most recently, the building housed the district maintenance
department. Initially it went on the market with a $209,500 price
tag. Yet to come is a zoning variance from the city to allow
multi-family housing in a single-family zone.
Also headed toward a new future is the former Dana school building
on East Street. Generations of Rutland families speak fondly of the
old building, perched on 1.79 acres that overlook the downtown.
Younger folks put the brick building in their memory books as
headquarters of the city recreation department, organizer of summer
camps and other community-wide activities, or one of the city's
numerous happy pre-schools. Its appraised value is $247,000.
New restaurants open in Rutland
Panera Bread is scheduled to open its second bakery café in Vermont
on Dec. 21. Based in St. Louis, Panera Bread focuses on
antibiotic-free chicken and whole grain, handcrafted bread, with a
menu of soups, salads and sandwiches.
The Rutland location is what promises to be the second of a number
of Panera Bread outlets.
It's interesting to watch the growing concentration of food outlets
on South Main Street. Panera moved into a new building created
expressly for it, joining not-so-old Taco Bell in the easily
accessible parking and open space at Green Mountain Plaza.
Across Main is the relatively new Mama T's Country Kitchen, pushed
into being to feed people who came to Rutland to counter the damage
caused by tropical storm Irene and then moving into the former
Quizno's space. Its food draws rave reviews from people who've
eaten there. Will its reputation for good food be enough to
overcome its low visibility and poor access?
Also, rumors continue
to fly about the coming of a long-sought IHOP restaurant. Some
believe it will go in right alongside the Midway Diner; others look
at the site as having too many obstacles to overcome.
Downtown parking revisited
Parking regulations and charges have several purposes, some
seemingly at odds with each other. Encourage people to come
downtown to eat, shop, and do business, but not to park in one spot
for 40-50 hours so that other potential users are stopped from
parking and doing their business. Rutland's aldermanic board is
tackling this thorny issue again.
After considerable discussion, the Community and Economic
Development Committee voted to recommend a proposal designed to
encourage long-term parkers to use the downtown parking deck. The
approach is to tweak rates so that use of city parking meters and
parking in the deck cost roughly the same amount of money. To that
end, street parking fines will increase from $6 to $15, monthly
parking passes from $16 to $35, and long-term meters from 10 to 25
cents per hour. Deter Security will no longer have authority to
issue tickets in the Walmart parking lot and only rail passengers
may park in the Amtrak lot. Meters will go in any spaces that are
not yet metered.
Other changes may be in signage and an increase in
the number of 15-minute parking spaces.
The parking deck specifics will likely also change, with the deck
extending open hours until 1 a.m. (two hours), reducing monthly
pass prices to $35, adding hourly parking rate machines and
security cameras, and other improvements.
It appears likely that
short-term meter rates will not increase from 50 to 75 cents an
hour; nor will city parking cease in "The Pit." If passed, these
changes are not permanent, but are instead a step in the process of
finding better solutions.
Friday, Dec. 23 - Debby DuBay visits with book lovers about her
book of memories, Greetings from Rutland, at Book King