Wed, Jan 4, 2012 04:21 PM
Salt brine expands to Rutland
Vermont's experimentation in pre-storm salt brine road applications
appears successful enough that the program will expand into the
Rutland area this winter and go statewide eventually. Although
salt-brine facilities are expensive, road crews are saying that
using this technique, combined with other new technologies like tow
plows that clear two lanes at a time, is more cost-effective
overall. Vermont has been testing salt brine's efficacy since 2008,
along 1000 miles of state highway.
Additional salt on the roads brings with it a hazard for household
pets who get it on their feet and then lick their pads. When you
bring your dog back in the house after a walk on treated streets or
sidewalks, wash its feet and brush out its underside fur if it has
Rutland's giving spirit
Thank you, Casella folks, for donating $7,950 to Toys for Kids
right before Christmas.
Thanks, too, to Restoring Rutland and the Rutland Country Club for
donating $13,500 to Rutland City's Tropical Storm Irene relief
fund. The money came from a fundraiser organized by country club
head golf pro Greg Nelson and added to by other donations
And to CVPS for kicking off its last-resort emergency fuel
assistance fund with a $10,000 company donation plus a pledge of
$100,000 in matching funds.
Also thanks again to those who not only contributed to our
community but who also bled for it, 1,855 pints of life saving
Rethinking post-Irene repairs
Before tropical storm Irene deluged Vermont, scouring away
streambeds and scything away curves in river channels, only 25
percent of the state's rivers were considered stable. A recent
meeting of watershed experts urged a rethink of rebuilding and
development near flood zones.
You can tell how healthy a river is by how wiggly it is. A stable
river contains such features as a meandering channel, systems of
little falls (riffles), and pools, says Connecticut River Watershed
Council river steward (and professional fishing guide) David
Using larger culverts or bridges allows for ice flow space and
lessens the possibility of blow outs. Experts look to restore an
appropriate mixture of water and sediment, which can work together
to maintain water speed at a level that neither erodes nor deposits
too much sediment; a self-perpetuating balance.
River engineers continue to deal with results of the November 1927
flood, when Vermonters' attempts to "fix" that damage were
misguided river practices, such as filling channels to change a
river's course, building riverfront downtowns, and pulling out
weighty boulders that hold down lighter riverbeds.
Problems may exacerbate in the future unless policies change to
discourage building in a flood zone and reward rebuilding outside
Health Trust aids post-high school plans
The James T. Bowse Community Health Trust recently awarded $109,748
to Mill River Union High School for a new program to help students
develop post-educational goals. "Yransitions" targets students who
lack post-graduation career plans and provides incentive to remain
in school. It introduces post-high school grads to different career
options, including internships with local businesses to find their
Chaffee renovation campaign begins
A $30,000 Cultural Facilities Grant from the Vermont Arts Council
begins a fundraising effort to develop matches for an $84,000 Save
America's Treasures Grant; when complete, they will begin a capital
campaign for updating the historic building that houses the Chaffee
Art Center. The first home in Rutland to have central heating and
"Sunny Gables" was built between 1892 and 1896 as a private home
for George Thrall Chaffee and his family. One of the multi-faceted
entrepreneurs of his time, Chaffee was a banker but also farmed and
owned both a department store and a lumber mill. Like many another
businessman of his time, Chaffee used his own home as a showcase
for his business interests. Employing shingle-style construction
and incorporating a variety of popular European and Middle Eastern
styles, the house was a visual touchstone for the community and for
the Chaffee family interests.
Closed in 1925, Sunny Gables saw new birth in 1961 when it was
loaned to the Rutland Chamber of Commerce for the town's
bicentennial festivities. It was subsequently purchased by the
Rutland Area Art Association in 1976 and converted to a year-round
visual arts center in 1987. The Chaffee Building begins a series of
renovations that start with the installation of a new fire alarm
system, upgraded electrical service, total rewiring, devices and
efficient light fixtures.
Planning West Rutland recreation
The town of West Rutland is developing a master plan to improve its
recreation area and provide the services and activities that its
residents desire. The town recreation area on Route 133 is proposed
to be used as a center for all recreation activities. Proposals for
activities on the river and trail expansion into the town forest
area are expected.
Traffic flow and safety concerns are also important elements to the
master plan. The recreation area entrance is near a dangerous
corner that lacks pedestrian sidewalks.
Randolph-based engineering firm DuBois and King Inc. plans to hold
public information meetings with residents and bring in information
gathered from a townwide survey. A report in the spring should
provide guidelines along with project funding opportunities.
Seeking popular culture papers
The College of St. Joseph holds its first (Inaugural) Popular
Culture Conference April 13 and 14. It has issued a Call for Papers
on the "enduring figure of the barbarian in Western popular
culture." Got ideas on heroic fantasy, swords and sorcerers, comic
books, and their ilk? The proposal deadline is Sunday, Jan. 15.
Contact Dr. Jonas Pridas.
New local product: fresh frozen dinner for
Cris Phelps-Brown has added a new product line to her Good Dog!
Cookies, selling under the name K-9 Skinny Chicken. The
chicken-n-rice combo, a fresh frozen dinner for dogs, is available
only at the winter market now, but will soon appear in more local
See pivot points of Rutland history
Local historian/teacher Jim Davidson talks about four different
turning points in Rutland history on Friday afternoons in
Jan. 6, he will talk about naming and settling Rutland.
Jan. 13, he takes you through the railroad's laying tracks to
Rutland, enabling the community to develop industrially.
Jan. 20, he will explain how the old town of Rutland dramatically
split into four municipalities. Jan. 27, he will display photos of
a growing Rutland in 1900 and a discuss immigration, labor, and
other community changes.
These programs are part of the Osher Institute of Lifelong
Learning. Programs are from 1:15 p.m - 3 p.m. at the Godnick Adult
Center, 1 Deer Dr., Rutland.
Friday, Jan. 6 - A third generation of young people are growing up
on the sound values of Clifford The Big Red Dog and his special
person Emily Elizabeth. Clifford's adventures come to the Paramount
stage in the form of a totally new musical, with lots of music and
dancing, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 28 - Wallingford Memorial Rotary Club pork roast
dinner, 5 - 7 p.m. Take-outs available. Benefits community projects
and mill River union High scholarships. Call 353-5323.