The Mountain Times

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News briefs from the Rutland Region

Donna Arnado's family commemorated her life as they served 123 holiday meals at the Open Door Mission recently. It was a fitting tribute to a woman who donated her Friday days off at the Mission. Taking part were her husband Paul Arnardo, brother Tom Austin and grown daughters Ashley and Heather Arnado, as well as longtime friend Richard Rivers who volunteers at the Mission himself and invited the family to participate.

Gift-of-Life Marathon organizer Steve Costello recently promised that, although this year's blood drive fell 14 pints short of the national record, the annual event is far from over. There is no reason to stop: blood is still needed each year, but the means of gathering it will take on new form. Future Gift of Life events will probably aim for a lesser number of pints and creative campaigning to bring out donors.

Rutland City households will no longer be as penalized for using large amounts of water. Costs to the city remain largely fixed regardless of the quantity of water used; the new billing system of $8.24 per 100 cubic feet and a combined quarterly meter and sewer fee of $46.60. Although property owners' bills will rise, the overall result will eventually be lower, city budgeteers say, as they set about detaching the amount used from resultant billings.

The alderman candidate slate for election in March has not firmed yet. Christopher Robinson had maintained that he ran last year for a one-year seat, filling an unexpired term to be part of the capital planning process without plans for re-election. Alderman Sean Sargeant says the position stresses his family too much for him to seek re-election. Tom DePoy may not run because his children have so many activities that he has a hard time attending meetings. Dave Wallstrom has been waiting for his family to join him in the decision-making process.

But Charles Romeo does plan to run, and Jon Kiernan is also committed to running for another term. Former alderman Ed Larson has decided he will run again, after taking a term off for medical reasons.

Some expenses are up, while other municipal budget areas are asking for level funding in Wallingford. The town select board anticipates finalizing the budget it will present to voters in March by Tuesday, Jan. 22. Town spending for gravel and truck maintenance are both slated for increases, plus creating of a truck replacement fund with a $30,000 tag the first year, and rebuilding part of Hartsboro Road for $25,000. Both the library and the rescue squad ask the same budget as the previous year, $34,000 and $10,000 respectively. Library users numbered 6,800 people in the previous year.

McFarland Press, a company specializing in serious non-fiction, recently released Conan Meets the Academy: Multidisciplinary Essays on the Enduring Barbarian, by Dr. Jonas Prida, assistant professor of English at the College of St. Joseph. A collection of 10 essays exploring the character of Conan the Barbarian, the book looks at the original Conan, written by Robert Howard and published in the 1930s pulp magazine Weird Tales, and also the popular culture Conan as he appears in video games, movies, folklore and parody.

Sunday, Jan. 6 - The Opera Theatre of West presents the one-act opera Noye's Fludde, a fresh look at the Biblical Noah, cast with local children taking the parts of Noye's family and twelve pairs of animals. Paramount Theatre, 2 p.m. 775-0903 for tickets.
Tuesday, Jan. 8 - The Palms Restaurant hosts a new book discussion group of 20- and 30-somethings from 6:30 to 8 p.m. This evening's topic is Erik Larson's Devil in the White City. The group plans to pub hop its get-togethers, so be on the watch for the next location and book.
Wednesday, Jan. 9 - The Rutland Free Library's Fox Room is the site for Soul Food Junkies, an exploration into the story of soul food and how its dietary traditions may affect the health of the African American community. 7 p.m.

Tagged: News Briefs, Rutland Region