The Mountain Times

°F Thu, April 17, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

News briefs from the Rutland Region

CONGRATULATIONS
To the Sabataso family and staff at The Palms Restaurant, recently celebrating the business's 80th anniversary.

To the Rutland Free Library for a successful weekend of Mini-gold Madness. An estimated 250 individuals putted their way through the 18 holes set up both upstairs and down among the stacks. About 100 adults tackled the course the first day it was open, while about 150 children came in the following day. The event gave the library an opportunity to display its many uses.

To chef Stephen Sawyer and his Table 24 Restaurant for being showcased in the inaugural edition of Best Chefs America, a 386-page coffee table book. Honorees were chosen as the result of telephone interviews with their peers.

To Greg Cox, recently honored by the Rutland South Rotary Club for his spearheading the creation and development of the Vermont Farmers Food Center.

ART OF PRACTICE
The Chaffee Art Center has been hosting the exhibit The Art of Practice, work by ten members of the North Chittenden Women's Art Collective. Bonnie Baird, Althea Bilodeau, Marion Campbell, Julie Fredette, M. Elizabeth Holland, Jane Kilik, Gabrielle McDermit, Kathryn Milillo, Jeannie Podolak, and Elizabeth Sojourner all have work in the show. It will remain on display in the Chaffee's downtown gallery, 75 Merchants Row, until Saturday, April 27.

WONDERFEET SEEKS HOME
The Wonderfeet Children's Museum is looking for a permanent location so that it can develop into a regional destination. Among its potential locations are the Mintzer property on Strongs Avenue, and the Vermont Farmers Food Center on West Street. It has also been considering the former Book King store front on Merchants Row. Also in planning are new exhibits, one with a history theme, the other on robotics, possibly supported by General Electric. And monetary support is coming in the form of an April 30 pig roast fundraiser, planned by Roots the Restaurant and Earth Waste Systems. To donate or volunteer, visit wonderfeetkidsmuseum.org.

ONE-ACT SUCCESS
Mount St. Joseph Academy recently hosted the high school One-Act Play Festival, with plays from Mill River, Otter Valley, and Mount Abraham union high schools and People's Academy High School entered as well as its own entry Irene, a production based on local peoples' experienced by the 2011 tropical storm and subsequent flooding. Otter Valley's Walking Stick Theatre group is going on to the state finals will represent our area at Randolph April 5 and 6.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
State regulatory officials have approved a pipeline that would bring natural gas to our region, entering the state at Highgate to travel south to Middlebury and then Rutland. Business leaders tout the low cost energy it would provide, benefiting farmers as well as manufacturers. Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce executive vice president Tom Donahue recently spoke at a meeting in Hinesburg, describing the pipeline as an "important investment" for the western corridor. The pipe would cross Chittenden and Addison counties and enable the company to provide natural gas to International Paper Co. in Ticonderoga, NY.

Other people are not so sure that the pipeline is a benefit, expressing concerns that it presents a "safety and ecological disaster in the making." The environmentalist coalition Rising Tide Vermont claims hypocrisy on the part of Vermont, banning fracking while desiring to bring in natural gas produced by fracking; opponents say that natural gas is not "clean energy." On Sept. 11 there will be a public hearing in Middlebury.

FILLING DREAMS
One dream builds on another for some people. Wallingford's Bethany Bosch is dreaming of swimming the English Channel, a 21-mile stretch of frigid water between England and France, an ordeal that is expected to take 18 hours in the water, scheduled for September 2014. She has already swum eight miles in Lake Champlain in 2010 as a fundraiser for the Greater Burlington's YMCA aquatic programs, and 10 miles in Lake Memphremagog for the Kingdom Swim in both 2011 and 2012.

Partnering with Natalie Boyle of non-profit Intrepid Adventures, Bosch benefited from an evening of dining and dancing in downtown Rutland recently, raising both funds for her swim and awareness of Boyle's dream of an aquatic center in Rutland. Thanks to Three Tomatoes and Merchants Hall for hosting the event, and to featured performers Rick Redington, Gypsy Reel and Extra Stout.

PUBLIC EDUCATION VOTE
Rutland Town voters recently nixed their school budget by a 255 to 229 count. Their vote was a second-time around, after voters defeated the initially proposed budget by 470-457. Although only about half the number voted in the second election (484 to 936) and the budget had decreased by $128,036, the re-vote lost by a greater margin than the budget vote had received on Town Meeting Day (a 26-vote difference compared to a 22-vote discrepancy).

On the surface, it would seem that there is a geographical component to the vote results. Voters living east of Route 7, voting at the school, narrowly approved the budget, 185-184, but those living west of Route 7, voting at the town hall, rejected the measure, 71 to 44.

The select board's members worry what else can be trimmed out of the budget and what else can be deleted without affecting curriculum offerings.

CLARENDON
Clarendon first constable Rick Wilbur recently resigned his law enforcement post because he has been elected to the town's select board. The new select board chose Michael Klopchin as board chairman and Robert Bixby as board clerk, while appointing Linda Trombley as administrative assistant.
The Clarendon select board also committed to an "experiment" in the town road crew's work schedule, planning a work week of 10-hour days Monday through Thursday, while being on call Fridays. A town meeting exit poll resulted in a nearly even division between those who wanted to stay at the present Middle Road location and those who favored a new site (45-35).

The town is getting a new truck with which to plow its roads next winter. After a $21,000 trade-in from an older town truck, the cab and chassis costs $57,665 from Clark's Truck Center in Jericho, with a body, plow and hydraulic system costing $62,597 from Tenco New England of Barre.

HOME BUILDING AWARDS
Stafford Technical Center's construction technology program won recognition from the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Southern Vermont recently, winning the category Single Family Home under 2,000 Square Feet. Other local winners included Timber Post & Beam Homes of North Clarendon, for the category Residential Renovation-Addition; and Harrington Custom Building of West Rutland, for the category Energy Efficiency New Home. Glendenning, LLC of Wallingford was among the recipients of an award for its participation.

INCREASED ACCESSIBILITY
Christ the King School will receive new sidewalks and ramps, partially funded by moneys from the Vermont secretary of state's office. The school is receiving $5,000 to become more accessible because it is a polling site for the city's Southeast Rutland is one of 11 municipalities in the state to receive funds for polling place accessibility.

JAVA NEWS CLOSES
Java News, that little coffee shop on the ground floor of the Asa Bloomer building, has closed as owners Tom and Verna Navin retire. The couple had hoped to sell the business but placing it on the market had brought no buyers.