The Mountain Times

°F Wed, April 16, 2014

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News briefs from the Rutland Region

Vermont in transition talks

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute considers Vermont in Transition during April. Roger Albee talks about Tipping Points in the History of Vermont's Agriculture on April 13, describing how Vermont agriculture developed from early settlements after the French and Indian War up through the present. On April 20, Angela Miller outlines the changes in her life as That New Woman Who Bought the Old Nelson Farm. Today her farm is known as cheese-making Consider Bardwell Farm of West Pawlet.

Writer Karen Lorentz focuses on The Ups and Downs of the Ski Industry on April 27. Vermont is #3 in the ski-state ranking.

Programs are 1:30-3 p.m. on Fridays in the Godnick Adult Center. Call 773-0184.

Crime on the upswing

We used to say that crime and criminal mischief in Vermont were pretty much confined to Burlington, if anywhere. Some locals say crime in Rutland has increased drastically in the last few years, and is not the peaceful home town they used to know. Violent crime is still a rarity. But the number of property crimes is high, nearly double the statewide rate as a whole, charts show. Locals' chances of being robbed in 1 is 22, compared to a statewide 1 in 43.

As March ended, two men held up a gas station/convenience store, and were captured. Someone lit three fires in Pine Hill Park the afternoon before. Two paintings were stolen from an art exhibit in the middle of the month.

Most arrests seem to be for illegal drug-related activity, including theft for money with which to buy drugs. Interim Police Chief James Baker bases his argument for the proposed methadone clinic on Rutland's drug difficulties, saying "Everything that we are doing in Rutland City is driven by this problem." The police department can't take care of other responsibilities because of how pervasive the drug problem has become.

Nor are the people arrested coming in from out of town, Baker observes, saying that those who are addicted are "kids raised in this city." The substances to which they are addicted are harder to intercept because, under other circumstances, they are legal prescription products. Cutting off demand must be the focus in order to diminish the number of crimes.

Stormwater separation proposed

Rutland City is proposing a stormwater separation project on Library Avenue to satisfy state requirements on sewage overflows. It calls for 5,000 new feet of storm sewer lines to pull stormwater from a 59-acre expanse that is fully developed.
Preliminary design work would take place in mid-2013, with a bond issue on the ballot the following March. Project completion would come by November 2015. The city would monitor overflow for the following 13 months to assess whether there need be additional work. 

Wales Street Deli opens

The building between Timco Jewelers and Two Sheas on Wales Street is back in the food business. Erik Bassalin has opened the Wales Street Deli at 38 Wales St., offering sandwiches, daily hot dish specials, homemade soups and a salad bar. Hours are mid-morning to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Facade matching on historic building

Pedestrians and motorists have wondered for years why the former car dealership at 151 West Street remained unrestored, surrounded by scaffolding. Work that started seemingly ages ago was halted awaiting a decision on how best to maintain the historic character of the 1927 structure. Original builders had decorated the exterior in art deco terracotta, a material seldom used in Vermont. Post Office authorities say they hope for a decision on how accurately to restore the exterior and still have time to finish the work by the end of September.

Art show planning begins

Members of the Carving Studio & Sculpture Center are planning the annual members' show, scheduled for May 19 through July 1 at the Gallery 259 Marble St., West Rutland. The show opens with a reception for the artists, open to the public, from 5 to 7 p.m., Saturday, May 19. Works must be turned in by Friday, May 11. Call 438-2097.

Sirloin Saloon closes

Sirloin Saloon, 200 S. Main St., Rutland, recently closed, citing recession induced economic pressure and rising costs. Owned by Amresco Commercial Finance of Noise, ID, the Rutland Sirloin Saloon, along with a Sirloin Saloon in Manchester and the Dakota Steakhouse in Latham, NY, had been leased by DWH1 Susan Schulze-Claasen for the past four years.

Started by Tony Perry as the Five Flys nightclub in 1963, the business became a steakhouse in in 1999. Perry sold it to several management employees, who financed their $17.5 million purchase through Amresco. It had a staff of 30.

Wonder what will happen to the waving wooden bears that stood on its front lawn for so many years.


Saturday, April 14 - Easter egg activities: West Rutland Public Library Famous Egg Story Day, 10 - 10:30 a.m. Egg stories, egg snacks, egg hunt. 438-2964. Rutland's Depot Park Egg Hunt 10 a.m. Ages 8 and under. 773-9380.

Sunday, April 15 - Ariel Quartet in classical chamber music concert at the Paramount Theatre, downtown Rutland, 3 p.m. 775-0903.

Tagged: rutland, rutland report