News, perspective, voting results and odds and ends from in and around Rutland's City Hall and the Rutland County Legislative delegation. Got a tip or suggestion? This is your place to talk with City Hall reporter Gordon Dritschilo, too.
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Larry Arnold, a Department of Homeland Security auditor in Vermont as part of the Hurricane Irene relief effort, commented during a seminar today that he liked Vermont in part because it reminded him of Germany.
"The towns, the quaint cities that I've seen, some with the cobble bricks on the ground," he said during a break.
Arnold said he was stationed in Germany with the military for four years and loved it.
"The people are very nice, hospitable," he said. "I've enjoyed my time here, the country feeling."
Arnold was speaking at a workshop for municipalities to help them get their accounting in line with what he and other auditors are going to want to see once the relief effort is finished.
Die volle Gechichte werden im morgenen Rutland Herald veröffentlichen.
(Apologies to Frau Burke, my high school German teacher, if I mangled that one, which I probably did.)
Since I have a story in tomorrow's Rutland Herald (got it in at the top this time) on the cogeneration facility Rutland Plywood just got a permit for, I figured I should confess to my status as a former employee.
I spent the summers of 1994 and 1995 on the glue deck. For those of you who don't know what that means, plywood is made by taking thin sheets of wood and gluing them together with the grain of the different sheets at right angles to one another.
I don't know if the technique has changed since, but in the mid-'90s there was a big machine that coated the sheets of wood with glue and spat them out. My job was catching them.
I just interviewed both Bill Cosby and Lewis Black for their upcoming shows at the Paramount. The story will be in this week's Invite section, which runs on Thursday.
Both interviews were rather sudden -- as I was trying to schedule each of them I was asked "well, can you do it right now?" I wasn't as prepared as I would liked to have been, but, fortunately, these kind of stories are fairly straightforward.
Cosby threw me right off my game. He answered the phone by screaming "Now what!" and went on like that for a moment before easing up with a chuckle.
I finally got a look at the details of Mayor Louras' proposed plan to encourage people to park in the deck.
Meter and pass rates would go up, tickets would more than double and the dollar-a-day lots would all close if the city adopted the plan as-written. On the plus side, if the state went along, the monthly parking rate in the deck would drop to $35 and the deck would get an hourly ticketing system.
For more details, check tomorrow's Rutland Herald. For fewer details, spend the day watching reruns of Hogan's Heroes instead.
As has now been reported in three stories on the subject, two by me and one by my esteemed colleague Brent Curtis, the Wales Street traffic study includes a proposal to make the street two-way between West and Center by eliminating seven parking spots.
Three of those spots are handicapped spots in front of the VFW. Now, just for fun, let's phrase that in a slightly more sensational and inflammatory manner:
The city is talking about taking parking spaces away from disabled veterans.
Looking at it that way, I'm a bit startled that we haven't seen a deluge of angry mail on the subject, and I'll be even more surprised if it actually happens.
To be fair, the aldermen who have discussed the issue and Downtown Rutland Partnership executive director Micheal Coppinger, who presented the study to the Aldermen Monday, have spoken of "relocating" those spots and working with the VFW. Should the proposal get that far, it'll be interesting to see how they find an acceptable substitute for spots right next to the VFW's front door.
I talked to Coppinger today, and he reminded me of his membership in the VFW Auxiliary and said his father often uses one of those handicapped spots, so the implications are clearly on his mind.
So, I was out yesterday. I was briefly tempted to live-blog the Board of Aldermen meeting while watching it on PEG-TV, but my wife convinced me that wouldn't seem like such a good idea once the cold medicine wore off.
Anyway, two things for your reading interest this morning: