The Mountain Times

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News Briefs for the Rutland Region

PRACTICAL EDUCATION
Three new homes will rise on Rutland's River St., all built by students from Stafford Technical Center. Over the next six years, about 60 students in Stafford's construction technology, electrical/plumbing, and forestry/natural resources programs will gain hands-on experience toward careers they may follow for a lifetime.

The process begins with the school and its Student Craft Corporation's appearance for Rutland's Development Review Board, asking for approval to subdivide the one-acre residential property at 144 River St. into four lots, one of which already contains a dwelling. Each of the other three parcels, over time, becomes a learning lab for Stafford students.

Purchase of the property, owned by Carl Frankiewicz, hinges on the city's allowing the subdivision. The school also asks that each of the three projects be able to move directly on to the building permit process without further subdivision permitting. Each of the single-family, single-story structures would take two years to complete, the same length of time that a given student class receives at Stafford, so each participating class would work on one project from beginning to end.

Stafford teens have already constructed 10 moderately-priced new homes in Rutland since 1994. Together, they contributed $1.7 million to the city's grand list

YOUR OPPORTUNITY
PEGTV is looking for volunteers who will help with election coverage on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Workers meet at the offices in the Howe Center at 6:15 p.m. in preparation to begin gather voting results at 7 p.m. Call 747-0151 to volunteer- and you get fed as you work!

CONFLICT ARISING
Juanita Burch-Clay, former principal at West Rutland School has filed a lawsuit against the Rutland Central Supervisory Union, the school board altogether, and Superintendent Debra Taylor, Board Chair David O'Rourke and Vice-Chair Mike Moser individually. She is looking for monetary damages, claiming wrongful firing, defamation of name and reputation, and violation of the state open meeting law. She also wants her job restored. The board could not let her go until the two-year contract had reached its end, her suit states.

The school board's termination hearing summation complains that she failed to perform teacher evaluations, tell parents about a new teacher, turn in timely budget reports, and meet federal student achievement requirements. She allegedly resisted authority, making plans for the school that differed from those the board intended.

One school board member, Lisa Garcia, sides with Burch-Clay, saying the other board members worked against the principal. Garcia voted against firing Burch-Clay. Her view is that the administrator was insensitive, the other board members were malicious, and other factors led to the termination. The outcome still seems undetermined. For now, West Rutland students receive the leadership of a temporary principal, three days a week.

RUTLAND FOOD SUPPLY
The Vermont Farmers Food Market will begin its winter season on Nov. 3 as planned, organizer Greg Cox has been saying all along. It's still true. Although the money supply seems a little strained, the number of volunteers and their enthusiasm seems to be making up the difference, donations of labor and materials are filling in the gaps.

Thank you, all you wonderful volunteers, for making and keeping this depth of commitment for locally grown food and supporting your neighbor farmers and food producers.

Keep it coming. Volunteer work crews are needed each Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until the market opens
BUSINESS TIDBITS
Jason Crowley has applied to the state Agency of Natural Resources for a salvage yard permit at his 55 Pleasant St. home, so he may buy totaled motorcycles from insurance companies, store them in his basement and garage, and sell the parts online.

The city's aldermen recently voted unanimously to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, using its power to prohibit via zoning. Rutland is the second Vermont municipality to do so; Stowe has already done so. Fair Haven's Planning Commission is also considering the measure.

The Rutland County Parent Child Center is buying the former Wellspring of Life Christian Center and an adjacent building, both sited at 16 Chaplin Ave. Together they total 12,000 square feet, about one-third more than the non-profit's current location on Pleasant St. The Vermont Community Loan Fund is financing the $375,000 purchase; the sale is expected to close before the end of 2012, with relocation by springtime.

The Rutland Area Cash Mob plans to converge on Rutland Discount Food and Liquidation Center, 88 Cleveland Ave, at 2 p.m. Oct. 27, wearing purple in memory of Carly Ferro. Members are to show up and spend a minimum of $20 cash in support of locally business. The organizing principle is that, for every $100 spent in a locally owned, independent business, $68 stays in the community, used for taxes, payroll, and other needs, whereas that same money spent at a chain store only returns $43 locally.

Organized n May, the group has 'mobbed' Mr. Twitters, Reincarnation Upscale Resale & Fabulous Finds, Shear Heaven Salon & Day Spa, and Boardman Hill.

Donald Babcock and Ruthellen Weston have opened The Bookmobile book store in the old Home Loan store front on Merchants Row, between the Sandwich Shoppe and Fruition. Its selection is primarily used books but also a few new titles, a bit weighted in the area of cookbooks and building/architecture. It also carries greeting cards and some gifts.

Cris Phelps Brown says her Good Dog! Cookies recently started selling at the The House Of Glass, 11 Evelyn St.

CHANGES
Rutland High School is changing the way it educates students, helping them catch up if they fall behind, jointly setting goals with them with the students agreeing to work to meet those goals. More than 300 of its 1,038 enrollees register for tutorial study help.
The school is switching toward a multi-disciplinary system, so that reading, writing, and critical thinking are part of all subject areas, according to the freshly issued position paper What We Believe and What We Do that principal Bill Olson recently presented at a regularly scheduled school board meeting. Teachers work together in professional development communities, with the intent of transforming the school "from the roots up."

LANI'S PICKS
Saturday, Oct. 20 - Mill Village Chapel Craft Show and Holiday Bazaar on Route 7 north of Rutland. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 775-5339.
Saturday, Oct. 20 - Theatre students from Mt. Abraham High School, Twin Valley High School and Rutland High School present a play they've created that day, using costumes and other objects that they've found. See it at Rutland High, 22 Stratton Rd., at 7 p.m. Call 770-1134 for details.
Sunday, Oct. 21 - Raise funds for the American Cancer Society in a three-mile walk at Diamond Run Mall. Call 227-2345 for specifics.
Sunday, Oct. 21 - The best-selling comedy recording artist in history brings his Apocalypse Tour to the Paramount stage at 7 p.m. Weird Al Yankovic has amassed more than 12 million album sale, his own TV show and a number of specials. See this phenomenon for yourself. Call 775-0903 for tickets.

Tagged: News Briefs, Rutland Region