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Stolen antique weathervane recovered 40 years later and returned to Vermont

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An antique copper weathervane that was swiped from a Vermont railway station 40 years ago has been found and was returned to the state last week, the Vermont Agency of Transportation has announced.

“We are delighted to see this valuable historic artifact and beautiful piece of art returned to its home here in Vermont,” Judith Ehrlich, the agency’s historic preservation officer said in a statement on Monday.

TRUCK DRIVER TICKETED OVER VERMONT TRAIN CRASH

An antique weathervane that once sat on top of a Vermont railway station before it was stolen in 1983 is shown on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Barre, Vt. The weathervane was recently found and returned to Vermont last week.  (Jennifer Hauck/The Valley News via AP)

The 1910 weathervane is of a steam locomotive and coal tender and was made by W.A. Snow Iron Works Inc. It sat on top of the White River Junction station in Hartford before it was stolen Nov. 3, 1983, the transportation agency said Tuesday. Nearly 40 years later, it was consigned to New York auction house Sotheby’s, officials said. The organization Arts Loss Register, which has a database of lost, stolen and looted art, antiques and collectibles, confirmed that the piece was the stolen weathervane, so the auction house pulled it from sale, the transportation agency said.

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The state currently owns the White River Junction station. Arts Loss Register worked with the state to return the weathervane last week, the transportation agency said. Sotheby’s paid the $2,300 cost to ship it to Vermont, the state said.

Ehrlich said the transportation agency is working with the state curator to pick a great location for the weathervane “so that it may be enjoyed once more.”

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Boston, MA

Joseph Slavet, ‘fearless’ and thoughtful watchdog of Boston government, dies at 104 – The Boston Globe

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Joseph Slavet, ‘fearless’ and thoughtful watchdog of Boston government, dies at 104 – The Boston Globe


In that era, “Boston politics was a struggle for the spoils of government between the Irish and the Boston Brahmins,” said former US representative Chester G. Atkins. “Joe was a significant part of moving politics beyond that to something that was professionalized, that was governed by rules and fairness, and on delivering services to everybody, not just to certain ethnic groups.”

Mr. Slavet, who also had been the first leader of the anti-poverty agency Action for Boston Community Development, was 104 when he died May 4 in NewBridge on the Charles in Dedham, where he had been living.

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As a key Boston official from the late-1940s into the 1960s, Mr. Slavet was “in a lot of ways the last living link to the transition of Boston from James Michael Curley to Hynes” and beyond, said Atkins, who before Congress had served in the Massachusetts House and Senate.

“Joe was in the scrum for a long time and was always respected as being thoughtful,” said Larry DiCara, a former Boston city councilor.

“Looking back, he was fearless, even when he was on a public payroll,” DiCara said. “He let it be known when he thought something was right or something was wrong. Some might have thought of him as a bit of a scold.”

In June 1960, amid what Mr. Slavet called the “frustrating and bitter experiences with the multimillion-dollar Prudential Center and Government Center projects,” he published a detailed and concise essay in The Boston Globe, breaking down why construction was lagging.

“Many of the crises, snarls, and wrangles which have beset the two projects can be attributed to planning pitfalls,” he wrote, detailing everything from an inhospitable tax climate to “the absence of a single city agency staffed by experience professionals to pull all the pieces together, to harmonize conflicting viewpoints, and to keep things moving.”

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After his leadership roles with the Boston Municipal Research Bureau and ABCD, Mr. Slavet moved into academia, first at Boston University, where he held a leadership role with the urban affairs department, and then at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he was a senior fellow at the McCormack Institute.

“He transitioned from a player in government and quasi-government entities to being an academic and was a pioneer in the early academic programs that looked at urban crises,” Atkins said.

In those university roles, “Joe was one of the earliest, and perhaps the earliest and most comprehensive thinker, about what we call today workforce housing,” Atkins said. “A lot of his work on housing is as relevant today as when he wrote it in the ‘70s and ‘80s.”

Born in Boston on March 31, 1920, Joseph S. Slavet was a son of American-born Anna Adelman Slavet, and Dan Slavet.

In a 2007 interview for the Veterans History Project that is in the Library of Congress, Mr. Slavet said his father was born in an area that was then part of Russia, and had arrived in the United States as a teenager. Mr. Slavet said his father had been an apprentice plumber who later worked in a plumbing and hardware supply business.

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The older of two brothers, Mr. Slavet graduated from English High School and was a professional musician by his teen years.

“By 15, I was in a jazz band that played in ballrooms throughout New England,” he said in the Veterans History Project oral history.

He said he used his saxophonist income from those regional gigs to pay his way through Boston University, after turning down an offer to join a nationally touring band that would have paid the equivalent of about $3,000 a week in today’s dollars.

While a BU student, he learned that Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. “When I heard that, I turned to my mother and I told her that I think my life has taken another turn,” he recalled.

Serving in the Army, he landed in Normandy, France, seven days into the D-Day invasion. A gunnery officer, he was in charge of 40mm anti-aircraft weapons.

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His unit was in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. A few months later, the unit discovered a mass grave near a concentration camp.

“This was my first personal experience of what Hitler had done to the Jews,” he said in the oral history.

“Our officers were so enraged,” he recalled, and his unit insisted that because of their complicity with the Nazis, residents of the nearby village should remove the remains of those in the mass grave and give them all proper burials. Among those in the village there was “a lot of handwringing and denying and crying,” he said.

Back home after the war, Mr. Slavet resumed his education. Having graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from Boston University, he received a master’s in history from BU and a master’s in public administration from Syracuse University.

He also met Muriel Vigor at a dance. They married in 1947 and raised their family in West Roxbury. Mrs. Slavet died in 2011, and Mr. Slavet had lived in the Orchard Cove retirement community in Canton before moving to NewBridge on the Charles.

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Staying involved in public policy research long after his colleagues had retired, Mr. Slavet “didn’t stop working,” said his daughter Beth of Washington, D.C. “He always said he did some of his best work in his 80s.”

Mr. Slavet “was generally regarded as the straightest of straight arrows,” DiCara said.

A service has been held for Mr. Slavet, who in addition to Beth leaves two other daughters, Amy Glaser of Easton and Julie of Philadelphia; four grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren.

Mr. Slavet spoke only Yiddish when he started school as a boy, and he delivered his Bar Mitzvah speech in Yiddish. Just before turning 104, he attended his great-grandson’s bris “and he spoke so eloquently there,” Beth said. “He had an incredible life.”

Through his work in public service and academia, Mr. Slavet had a career “that spanned the significant transition of Boston from a city in decline to a city that once again became a city on a hill, and he was a pioneer in the marriage of higher education and municipal policy,” Atkins said.

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“To the very end Joe was calling balls and strikes, commenting on politics, calling people out who were self-serving, and praising people who were acting in the public interest.”


Bryan Marquard can be reached at bryan.marquard@globe.com.





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Pittsburg, PA

Pittsburgh-area non-profit organization collects supplies to distribute to those in need

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Pittsburgh-area non-profit organization collects supplies to distribute to those in need


GREEN TREE, Pa. (KDKA) — A non-profit organization in Green Tree is helping the environment. 

When stepping into Global Links, you’re met with thousands of donated chairs, beds, tables and other supplies that fill shelf after shelf. 

“Walkers and wheelchairs, sutures, anything you can think of that you might use in a hospital, we have it here,” Stacy Bodow, outreach and engagement manager at Global Links. 

All of the medical supplies are new. 

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“We have about 400 different soft supply items, medical supplies that you would see in any hospital that are regularly coming through,” Bodow said. 

One morning, KDKA-TV saw workers loading up furniture that will travel by land and then sea to Honduras, where a hospital recently burned down and lost everything. 

“Everybody got out safely, but the whole hospital is gone. They need to replace the entire thing,” Bodow said. 

Much of the items the non-profit organization sends were donated from local universities and hospitals like UPMC. It also partners with 1,200 local groups. 

“What can we do to help the communities and the environment overall?” said Michael Carlson, director of environmental services at UPMC Mercy. 

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The partnership between Global Links and UPMC has even helped keep unwanted items out of the landfill. 

“Waiting room furniture that we didn’t need in the hospital anymore,” Carlson said. “Things like that, that we were just storing. Instead of throwing it out in the dumpster, we’re donating it.”

But it’s the volunteers who are keeping things moving at Global Links. Many are from local universities, church groups or are retired. 

“This is fun,” one volunteer said. “It’s one of the best parts of the week.”

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Connecticut

Just Salad To Open Second CT Restaurant Location In Norwalk

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Just Salad To Open Second CT Restaurant Location In Norwalk


NORWALK, CT — Just Salad, a popular fast-casual restaurant chain that serves up inventive salads, wraps and warm bowls, has confirmed plans to open a second Connecticut location in Norwalk next year.

Just Salad Spokesperson Nicole Natoli confirmed to Patch the store is planned to open near Walmart at 644 Main Avenue.

While a specific date has not been announced yet, Natoli said the Norwalk location is tentatively scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2025.

“After opening our first Connecticut store in Fairfield last year,” Natoli said, “we’re excited about the opportunity to continue expanding our footprint across new local communities.”

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Just Salad currently operates locations in nearby states New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, as well as Florida and Illinois.

Last spring, Just Salad officially opened its first Connecticut restaurant at 2267 Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield. A grand opening celebration was held in April 2023.

In a statement sent to Patch, Mayor Harry Rilling said Just Salad’s decision to expand into Norwalk underscores the city’s growing reputation as a hub for diverse dining options.

“The Main Avenue area near Walmart, particularly near the Wilton border, offers several enticing factors for businesses,” Rilling said. “It is not only located on the cusp of two municipalities and directly off of the Route 7 connector, but it is within walking distance from iPark, ASML and Merritt 7, which all offer significant built-in customer pools. Its proximity to a major retailer like Walmart also helps ensure a steady flow of foot traffic, providing businesses with increased visibility and accessibility to potential customers.”

Rilling also noted the area’s demographic profile, which includes a mix of residents and commuters, offers a diverse customer base with varying preferences.

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“Norwalk’s overall economic vitality, coupled with its reputation as a walkable community and center of commerce and leisure activities,” Rilling said, “makes it an attractive location for businesses seeking growth opportunities.”

In light of the addition of another major chain to the city’s ever-growing roster of businesses, Rilling emphasized that Norwalk is “one of the fastest-growing cities in the state” that offers something for everyone.

“People are moving to Norwalk and opening up their businesses in Norwalk because of its world-class transit and the cultural institutions that anchor its two downtown areas that are centers of commercial activity: South Norwalk and Wall Street,” Rilling said. “Furthermore, Norwalk’s development as a culinary destination is evident by the number of new businesses and various cuisines opening in Norwalk, including businesses opening their second or third operations in [Connecticut]. This is the case for the upcoming addition of Just Salad’s second Connecticut location coming to Norwalk, and we couldn’t be more excited.”

Customers at Just Salad can choose from a wide menu of inventive salad combinations, including Crispy Chicken Poblano, Thai Chicken Crunch, Chipotle Cowboy and Buffalo Cauliflower, as well as warm bowls such as Peruvian Chicken, Chicken Fajita, Cilantro Lime Chicken and Edamame Crunch.

Wraps, avocado toast and smoothies are also available.

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“Overall,” Rilling said, “the decision to open new store locations in Norwalk, particularly in the Main Avenue area, reflects both the city’s appeal as a dining destination and the strategic opportunities it offers for businesses looking to expand their presence in the region.”



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