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We Can Make It Happen

By Samuel J. Gorruso

Back between 1992 and 1998, I was very proud to serve on the Rutland City Board of Aldermen, to represent my constituents and try to make the Rutland area a better place on their behalf. I recall many meetings and committee meetings where we tried to work with other municipalities to treat our area like a region that was a cooperative one and business friendly. Yes, we created an ambulance service, a transit service, a beautiful theatre, new business in our downtown and new business in Rutland Town and the list of other great accomplishments goes, on and on.

Just the other night, one of my co-workers called me and mentioned that his wife heard from a very good source that J. C. Penney was closing. This came as quite a shock because we’ve also lost Sears, Rutland Plywood, Moore Business Forms, Metro Mail, Mal Tool and a list of other businesses.

One night after just getting home from a televised board meeting, I received a call from radio announcer Alex Dunn, now deceased, and he had light to shed on a topic we were arguing about during that particular meeting. I’m pretty sure it was about tax stabilization for businesses that want to come to our “region” and bring us jobs. I recall Alex saying, “Just imagine, if someone was invited to bring their business to our area, we gave them free taxes for a period of time and free water and sewer, also for a period of time and their business would create one thousand jobs, just think, that’s a thousand houses, a thousand cars, a thousand appliances, a thousand living room sets.” Alex sure could make you wonder, just how much positive impact this scenario would have on our town, towns or our region as a whole. Then if the other businesses already here want it too, well, they are going to have to show how they can create some more jobs and get more of our people back to work.

I guess summing it all up, Alex had been upset by a feud between Rutland City and Rutland Town. He opened his radio talk show by repeatedly saying, “My name is Alex Dunn, I was born in Lake Placid New York, population twenty-five hundred and we hosted the Winter Olympics, TWICE!” This is all Alex said throughout his entire show and every time he said it, he said it louder, trying to prove a point, that if we can all work together, no matter how large or small our group is, we can make it happen, including bringing business to our region and making our community or region, prosper.

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Black River Good Neighbor Services Receives Major Donation

Black River Good Neighbor Services Receives Major Donation

Black River Produce has generously donated land to Black River Good Neigbor Services. Present at the document exchange were (l to r) Kevin Kuntz, Vice President of BRGNS; Mark Curran and Stephen Birge, owners of BRP; Peter LaBelle, President of BRGNS; Robert Evens, Treasurer of BRGNS; and Charles Hastings, Director of BRGNS.

Ludlow, Vt., -- The Board of Directors of Black River Good Neighbor Services in Ludlow has announced the receipt of a major gift from Black River Produce of North Springfield. The owners of BRP, Mark Curran and Steve Birge have given the Ludlow based food shelf the land on which BRP first ran their wholesale business in the late 1970’s.

Black River Good Neighbor Services operates a food shelf at 37B Main Street in Ludlow to serve the towns of Ludlow, Cavendish, Mount Holly and Plymouth. They have partnered with Black River Produce for many years to help feed the hungry and this latest gesture of generosity is most appreciated.

“This is quite overwhelming,” said Peter LaBelle, President of the Good Neighbors’ Board. “We are truly grateful for the kindness that Mark and Steve have shown to the people of Ludlow, and especially to our clients.”

Black River Produce began the wholesale distribution of produce from an old barn in the lot off Pleasant Street in the late 1970’s. They moved their operations to Proctorsville in 1989 when they outgrew the barn, and then moved to North Springfield in 2005, but still remember their roots in Ludlow. “We believe in giving back to the community that has been so good to us,” said Steve Birge. “Black River Produce is all about food and we hate the thought that there are people who cannot afford to eat. We just wanted to help Good Neighbors in some way.”

For additional information about Black River Good Neighbors call 802-228-3663. For more information on Black River Produce, see www.blackriver

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Killington and Pico Celebrate National Safety Awareness Month

Resorts partner with National Ski Areas Association to offer activities and deals promoting slope safety awareness

Killington, Vt. – Vermont’s Killington Resort and Pico Mountain celebrate the month of January, designated by the National Ski Areas Association as National Safety Awareness Month, educating skiers and snowboarders about slope safety awareness with special promotions and interactive displays.

Both resorts support and promote Your Responsibility Code – the seven point code that outlines responsible slope behavior for skiers and riders, and Smart Style – a five-point safety message about the use and progression of freestyle terrain. Know the Code and Smart Style stickers and cards will be available for guests during the month of January. Mountain Ambassadors will trade their signature red jackets for bright yellow jackets that display important safety awareness messages based on Your Responsibility Code. Killington Resort, Pico Mountain and NSAA will also focus on providing information to skiers and riders about how to use lifts safely.

Buy a Helmet, Receive a Lift Ticket Voucher - Buy a helmet in any Killington or Pico Sports location or online at from January 16-25, 2015, and receive a voucher for a 1-day lift ticket valid any day after January 26, 2015, through the end of the 2015 winter season.

Creation Stations and Interactive Safety Awareness Displays - Look for the interactive display and Creation Stations in Ramshead Lodge at Killington and Pico Base Lodge, Saturdays and Sundays from January 3-31, plus Monday January 19, 2015. Kids can talk with Mountain Ambassadors, color safety-themed posters, get their pictures taken with the Know the Code! Logo, and enter a raffle to win a free snow sports helmet and other prizes.

On the Mountain - Mountain Ambassadors, ski patrollers and terrain park staff will hand out Know the Code and Smart Style stickers and cards in addition to giving away Get Smart - Freestyle Terrain Users Guides. Plus, guests who successfully answer a safety awareness quiz will win prizes.

Local Safety Poster Contest - In order to promote slope safety awareness and education to elementary school children, several area schools are participating in the resort’s local poster contest. Fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students will create posters illustrating any one of the seven points of Your Responsibility Code or one of the four elements of Smart Style. Posters will be on display around the resort and judged in two categories: Best Overall Safety Message and Most Creative Design. Two winners and two runners-up will receive prizes. Winners of the local contest will be entered in National Ski Areas Association’s national contest. For more information, check out NSAA.

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New Shows on PEGTV Channel 15

William Harris, of Sport Shorts with his first guest Abby McKearin

Below is William Harris, of "Sport Shorts" with his first guest Abby McKearin of Proctor High School.

PEGTV is pleased to announce two new shows to its channel 15 lineup. "The Inside Track" will debut this month and is produced by Duane Carleton. Its an introspective look at local musicians through one-on-one interviews talking about musical influences, lyric meanings, their backgrounds and of course includes wonderful music from Duane and his guest(s). His first episode invites musician Phil Henry onto the set and airs Mondays at 7:30 pm, Tuesdays at 2:30 pm and Wednesdays at 10:00 am. Look for new episodes monthly.

Also debuting this month is "William Harris' Sport Shorts" hosted and produced by William Harris. William invites local athletes, coaches and sports figures to talk about their sports careers, some highlights, and what they have planned next for the future. Abby McKearin from Proctor High School was his first guest and soon to follow is Lucas Czarnacki from Fair Haven Union High School. You can watch it on channel 15 on Wednesdays 7:00 pm, Thursdays 4:00 pm and Fridays at 11:00 am.

You can also find their air date schedule on our website or watch it via Video on Demand.

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The Paramount Theatre presents Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story

Rutland, Vt – Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, now in its 25th year, continues to thrill audiences on tour in the U.K. and around the world is now coming to Rutland, Vermont’s Paramount Theatre on Thursday, January 22, 2015 for one show only at 7:30pm. Tickets (starting at $39.50) are now on-sale and are available at the venue box office located at 30 Center Street in historic downtown Rutland, Vermont. Patrons can charge-by-phone by calling (802) 775-0903 or purchase online at The Paramount Theatre, a fully ADA compliant historic landmark is now in its 14th season of presenting world class, live entertainment.

Viewed by more than 20 million people in over 20,000 performances worldwide, Buddy opened in London's West End in 1989, and has been seen on Broadway, throughout Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Scandinavia, South Africa, the Netherlands and Singapore; winning numerous awards along the way. Buddy tells the story of Buddy Holly through his short yet spectacular career, and features the classic songs, "Peggy Sue", "That'll Be The Day", "Not Fade Away", "Oh Boy", Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba", The Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace" and many more!

The action takes place in Lubbock, Texas, Clovis, New Mexico, New York and Clear Lake, Iowa, between January 1956 and February 1959. Starting out as a Country & Western singer in Lubbock, Texas, Buddy and his two friends Joe and Jerry form ‘The Crickets’, and with the support of a local radio DJ, ‘Hipockets’ Duncan, they begin to carve out a career in music.

After an inauspicious start at Decca Records in Nashville, Buddy and the Crickets sign a contract with up-and-coming innovative record producer, Norman Petty. Within hours of meeting they start to record Buddy’s biggest hit “That’ll Be The Day” which will rocket up the charts to number one in a matter of weeks. Buddy Holly & the Crickets suddenly become the hottest act in the country.

Now successful, the Crickets travel to New York, where Buddy meets and proposes to Maria Elena Santiago, the Puerto Rican receptionist of his music publisher, after a courtship which takes all of five hours! Newly married and ambitious, Buddy completely shifts his focus to New York and an inevitable rift develops between him and the Crickets. After a declaration of home truths during a recording session in Clovis, the band split and Buddy unexpectedly finds himself having to pursue a solo career. The ‘Winter Dance Party 1959’ is a tour that is travelling by bus through the Midwest, quenching the teenage thirst for the new music called Rock & Roll. The tour is hard work, the weather conditions appalling and the performers are alternating between sleeping in the luggage racks and dropping into hospital to be treated for frostbite.

Here, Buddy’s final performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, with Ritchie Valens (“La Bamba”) and the ‘Big Bopper’ J.P. Richardson (“Chantilly Lace”) is recreated. After the concert, Buddy breaks his promise to his pregnant wife not to fly as he and the other two headliners board a small plane and fly off into the night for Moorhead, Minnesota, only to crash into a ploughed field shortly after take-off. There are no survivors.

The tragedy snatches away the lives of three dynamic musical talents – Buddy Holly (22), Ritchie Valens (17) and the Big Bopper (28) – and as the legend says, it was “the day the music died.”

Buddy Holly’s brief life has become the stuff of legend. Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story is a celebration of the life and times of the young man with spectacles and catches that unique mixture of innocence, determination, humor and charm that was Buddy Holly, and wraps it up into a package that has become the most successful rock and roll musical.

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NAMI Vermont Offers Mental Illness and Recovery Workshop in Manchester

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Vermont (NAMI Vermont) will offer the Mental Illness and Recovery workshop for family members, peers, professionals, and community members who want to learn more about mental illness and recovery. This daylong workshop will be hosted by Manchester Fire and Rescue on Saturday, January 17th in Manchester Center, Vermont.

This workshop will provide basic information about major mental illnesses including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder.

The workshop will also provide an overview of effective treatments for mental illness, accessing services throughout the state, evidence based practices available in Vermont, coping strategies and crisis prevention, recovery and next steps for making progress.

“NAMI Vermont is committed to educating the public about the needs of the one in four Vermonters affected by mental illness through our new workshop. Participants leave with a wealth of new information and resources. Many of the participants move on to join one of our support groups that we have available for both family members and individuals who have been affected by a mental health condition,” said Laurie Emerson, Acting Executive Director of NAMI Vermont.

The NAMI Vermont Mental Illness and Recovery workshop is free and is made possible by a grant from the Department of Mental Health. For more information or to register, call Carla Vecchione, Program Director at NAMI Vermont, 600 Blair Park Road, Suite 301, Williston, VT 05676 (800) 639-6480 ext 102 or email

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Vermont (NAMI Vermont) is the state chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Through the dedicated efforts of grassroots leaders, NAMI focuses on three cornerstones of activity: Support, Education and Advocacy.

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Rutland Regional Offers February Safe Sitter® Classes

Rutland, Vermont– Do you feel comfortable leaving your young teen home alone-even for short periods of time? Are you ready for your young teen to start watching younger siblings or begin babysitting but you aren’t sure if they are ready? Register your son or daughter for our upcoming Safe Sitter® classes and have peace of mind that they are prepared.

Rutland Regional Medical Center offers monthly Safe Sitter® classes with the next session held Saturday, February 7 and Sunday February 8. Additional classes will be held March 14 and 15; April 11 and 12; May 16 and 17 and throughout the year.

Classes are held 9am to 4pm at 254 Stratton Road in Rutland and pre-registration is required. The fee for the class is $60.00 with scholarships available based on need. To register for this program or for more information, please visit or call 802.772.2400.

Safe Sitter® teaches young teens (11-13) everything they need to be safe when they’re home alone, watching younger siblings, or babysitting. Students will learn life-saving skills such as how to rescue someone who’s choking, and helpful information like how to prevent injuries and how to get help if needed. The lessons are filled with fun activities and role-playing exercises. Safe Sitter® graduates are prepared with the knowledge they need to prevent problems and handle unexpected emergencies.

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Two Holidays Represented at Transfer Station

Two Holidays Represented at Transfer Station

At the Rutland County Solid Waste District transfer station a lonely pumpkin, probably a remnant from Halloween, rests next to the large mound of discarded Christmas trees. In the sub zero temperatures many cars were observed carrying Christmas trees on the way to their final resting place. Sam's Good News Photo

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Visit Vermont Fish &Wildlife at the Yankee Show

Essex Junction, Vt. – The annual Yankee Sportsman’s Classic show will be held January 16, 17 and 18 at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction, and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is inviting you to visit their exhibits and attend their seminars at the show.

“We are looking forward to talking with as many people as possible at the show,” said Nicole Corrao, information and education specialist with the department. “It’s a great opportunity for us to share the latest information about fish and wildlife, and it gives people a chance to talk to us about fish and wildlife issues. Our wardens, biologists and other staff will be at our exhibits.”

Be sure to visit Fish & Wildlife’s stocking truck display and see how hatchery staff raise and stock hatchery fish. An underwater camera will provide an up-close look at trout on the hatchery truck.

Fish & Wildlife is also sponsoring three seminars on Saturday, January 17 – on Vermont Deer at 12:00, Women Hunters Q&A at 1:00, and Whole Deer Processing at 3:00. The seminars will cover the current status of the deer herd, tips for women interested in or just beginning to learn about hunting, and techniques for preparing delicious local venison for meals.

Hunters, anglers and trappers will be able to buy their 2015 licenses and be entered into a raffle to win an L.L. Bean fishing kayak or a new shotgun.

Show hours are Noon to 7 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Learn more about the show at: ( ).

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Green Thumbs at Work Garden Grants for Small Businesses

Burlington – The Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Community Garden Network are offering grants for small businesses to establish workplace food gardens.

The Green Thumbs at Work grants are open to any Vermont business or organization with fewer than 50 employees. The gardens can be in-ground or raised beds. The total grant award is $1,750, which includes $500 for materials, a $250 Gardener’s Supply gift certificate, and $1,000 of garden planning support and technical assistance from horticulturalist Charlie Nardozzi and the Vermont Community Garden Network. Eight grants are available in 2015.

The application deadline is Friday, Jan. 30, 2015.

The Green Thumbs at Work program provides a means of physical activity and stress reduction, increases access to fresh produce, and promotes opportunities for other wellness activities. The employees must be the primary users of the garden and beneficiaries of the food.

Workplace gardens can also increase employee engagement, camaraderie, and healthy behavior.

The technical assistance provided through the grant program helps each business determine the type and size of garden that best meets its needs, and develop strategies to ensure the garden will be successful throughout the 2015 season and for years to come.

In the words of the 2014 Green Thumbs grantees:
“Having a garden at our worksite has increased employee's sense of community.” -Karina Dailey, Trudell Consulting Engineers, Williston

“The garden has changed the work day by providing a break and getting outside more.”– Bob Kottkamp, Black River Good Neighbor Services, Ludlow

The biggest success of the summer was “having fresh veggies that the employees could use at lunch during the day or take some home.”– Joe Peters, TJ Mold and Tool, St. Johnsbury

Grant winners will be selected based on readiness to develop a workplace garden, including the existence of a wellness coordinator or wellness committee, the ability to provide matching funds and in-kind services for garden development, employee participation, and clear articulation of how the garden will help meet employee wellness goals.
Green Thumbs at Work grant winners will be announced Feb. 23.

For more program details and a link to the online application, go to
, or call (802) 861-4769 for more information.

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Bomoseen residents have been very generous

By Davene Brown

The Lake Bomoseen Association is pleased to announce that the KILL the MILfoil 200 Club campaign has reached the $40,000 level. Lake owners and users have been very generous and this sends the message that many folks care and want to do what is necessary to reduce amount of milfoil in our beautiful lake.

The latest and largest contributor to the 200 Club is Green Mountain Seeds, Inc. of Bethel, VT who has invested $20,000. Thanks go to this company and to all donors to date. Having started the club in September of last year we are extremely grateful to all donors.

Different levels of giving have been formed: Bronze is $200 to $999, Silver $1,000 to $9,999, Gold is $10,000 to $19,999 and Platinum is for donations of $20,000 or more.

Contributors will be listed on the LBA website (lakebomoseen.
). We invite any users of Lake Bomoseen to join in the fundraising to purchase (which has now been done), maintain and operate the Eco-Harvester. Check for $200 or more can be mailed to LBA, PO Box 655, Castleton, VT 05735.

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SPORTS LIVE in HD Returns to the Paramount with NFL Playoff Broadcasts

SPORTS LIVE in HD has returned to the Paramount Theatre for the Post-Season NFL Playoffs starting on January 10th and will continue through the Super Bowl on February lst.

Broadcasts will continue on Sunday the 18th with the NFC Championship game at 3:05 and the AFC Championship Game at 6:40 pm. Doors will open 45 minutes prior to kickoff.

This special SPORTS LIVE in HD Series will conclude with the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 1st at 6:30pm. Doors for this game will open at 5:00 pm. This game will feature the AFC Champs vs. the NFC Champs and will be broadcast from the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.

The Paramount Theatre, as part of its new civic engagement initiative, is proud to offer the broadcasts free of charge. Donations will be greatly appreciated and cash bar and concessions will be offered by Roots the Restaurant.

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Proctor Fire Department closes out 2014 with a promotion

By Joseph G. Bernor

Proctor Fire Department finished 2014 with a total of over 2,400 volunteer hours. They responded to almost 80 calls and conducted monthly training and maintenance meetings. They were in several parades in Rutland County and a yearly Fire Safety day at Home Depot in Rutland and one at the Proctor Grammar School.

During the course of the year they responded mutual aid to Pittsford, Rutland Town and West Rutland for calls and also worked with Regional Ambulance, Vermont State Police, Rutland County Sheriff’s Department and Red Cross.

Every two years they have election of officers. This election saw Chief Vinni Gatti, Assistant Chief Thomas Valach, Captains R.J. Elrick and Josh Webb, Lieutenants Kevin Blongy and John Burns all retain their positions. Congratulations go to Senior Firefighter Kevin Blanchard who has been promoted to Lieutenant.

The department wishes good luck to Firefighters Jacob Webster, Greg Elrick and Justin Blongy who have moved on from the department. But they also welcome two new Firefighters who will start on January 1st. Firefighters Jeremy Waite and Patrick Banks who both have previous Firefighting experience.

Proctor Fire Department has served Proctor and the surrounding communities since 1898 and currently has 23 Firefighters and one Junior Firefighter, Shaun Blanchard, who will turn 18 this year on May 22.

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Six Quick Tips for Sub-Zero Winter Driving

When it comes to winter car care, many motorists think of antifreeze and batteries, but vehicles need extra attention when temperatures drop below zero. These six quick tips will help your vehicle perform at its best during cold weather months.

1) Keep the gas tank at least half full; this decreases the chance of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.
2) Check the tire pressure, including the spare, as tires can lose pressure when temperatures drop. Consider special tires if snow and ice are a problem in your area.
3) Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
4) If you’re not trying to defrost the windshield or warm the interior, modern cars are ready to be driven right away. Idling longer than 30 seconds in most cases is unnecessary for the sake of warming up the engine. The best way to warm up your car is to drive gently at the start.
5) Change to low-viscosity oil in winter as it will flow more easily between moving parts when it is cold. Drivers in sub-zero temperatures should drop their oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30 as thickened oil can make it hard to start the car.
6) Consider using cold weather washer fluid and special winter windshield blades if you live in a place with especially harsh winter conditions.

Sub-zero temperatures can have a real impact on your vehicle. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance and rough idling, and very cold temperatures reduce battery power. If you haven’t had your vehicle checked recently, a thorough vehicle inspection is a good idea so you can avoid the aggravation and unexpected cost of a breakdown in freezing weather.

For more helpful auto care information, motorists can order a free copy of the recently updated 80-page Car Care Guide for the glove box at

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