The Mountain Times

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New briefs from the Rutland Region

ECONOMY MAKING PROGRESS
Although we miss the convenience of Sabby's and will surely miss Mary Fran's Art & Antiques on Center, don't forget that there is positive news, too, in Rutland's downtown. There will soon be a new Apple store in the former Aubuchon hardware location on West Street, and Green Mountain Power plans to open its new energy innovation center in the former Eastman's building. Both will bring people to the downtown, people who are likely to eat and shop downtown, says Joan Hill of the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce.

Long-time Rutland resident and realtor Jim Pell says he sees the economy beginning to turn around. He's seen similar slumps in the Rutland economy although none quite this acute. New police chief Baker is making positive changes in curbing illicit substance trade.

WEST RUTLAND TECH
West Rutland made great strides in the inaugural year of the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project, one of only 12 communities across the state chosen for this high tech venture. Not only did the town gain a public access Wi-Fi zone in the heart of the community, it also received a duplex scanner on which to create back-up digital land records that are accessible for individual use.

Fifth and sixth graders each received a netbook package and training to equip them for a 21st century education. Thanks to town manager Mary Ann Goulette for leading the initiative and all the other town folks who helped the project.

BUILDING A NEW FUTURE
Construction on Green Mountain Power's 150-kilowatt energy collection project was scheduled to begin with a completion time of six to eight weeks. Overseeing the project is SameSun of Vermont, working with such other local companies as J.P. Carrara & Sons, Fabian Earth Moving, Tool Craft of Rutland and Green Mountain Electric Supply.

Green Mountain Power is already making good on its pledge to develop a solar city initiative for Rutland, and making Rutland the city with the most solar capacity per capita in the Northeast.
The three-acre lot had been used for a different kind of energy development, a coal-to-gas plant.

Green Mountain Power is also exploring the viability of a duct-less air-source heat pump pilot program in the city of Rutland. The federal energy department claims that heat pumps, because they capture heat and move it, produce up to four times the energy they release. Technology improvements have made them more feasible for extreme climates like Vermont; in the past, their use had been more recommended for more moderate climates.

RUTLAND MAYORAL RACE BEGINS
Before the votes in the Nov. election were all cast, let alone counter, Rutland's board of aldermen chair David Allaire had already declared his candidacy for mayor, an election that will not take place until March. Allaire has already announced some of the goals for his administration, if he should win: more focus on eliminating illegal drug dealers in Rutland, raising Rutlanders' perceptions of their community, and the city's image in the eyes of others.

OF RAIN AND WIND
Tropical storm Sandy blew into the Rutland community recently, into a community prepared for trouble. Green Mountain Power and the Rutland City Department of Public Works crews were waiting and ready, and grateful that, for the most part, their services were not needed.

The highest wind velocity recorded was in North Clarendon, a mere 53 mph compared to the peak of 72 mph on Mount Mansfield, and far below the predicted blasts of up to 80 mph. Rutland's American Red Cross shelter opened Monday night and closed the next day, having served only five local people. A couple of electrical transformers caught fire, and were soon dealt with by city firefighters. Emergency pros say there no injuries or accidents caused by the storm. Be grateful for personnel who were ready when not needed, rather than needed and lacking.

LANI'S PICKS
Friday, Nov. 9-Middlebury Actor's Workshop performs that masterpiece of political vilification, Richard III, trimmed down to a two-hour adventure into Shakespearean intrigue. Paramount Theatre, 8 p.m. Call 775-0903 for tickets.
Sunday, Nov. 11- In celebration of what would have been his dad's 100th birthday, Arlo Guthrie plays tribute to his 'old man.' For all those who ever sang 'This Land Is Your Land' with or without banjo accompaniment, at the Paramount Theatre, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 10- Rutland City formally dedicates the River Street bridge as the Merritt A. Edson Memorial Bridge. The Rutland native was a U.S. Marine Corps general who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War II. He organized the Vermont State Police and served as executive director of the National Rifle Association.
Wednesday, Nov. 14- Ron "Tater Salad" White, member of the "Blue Collar Comedy" group, brings his Moral Compass tour to the Paramount Theatre at 7 p.m. Be warned; the performance is for "mature audiences only."
Wednesday, Nov. 14- Rutland Free Library hosts the Community Cinema offering Solar Mamas, a story of a 30-year-old mother in Jordan who studies in India to become a solar engineer. The showing begins at 7 p.m. Call 773-1860 for more info.

Tagged: News Briefs, Rutland Region