WiFi Takes Off at Vermont’s Visitor CentersVisitors and Vermonters who travel the interstate system are connected better than ever before to work, friends and family as they travel through Vermont. A stop at many of Vermont’s visitor centers now allows travelers to access the Internet via a fast and reliable broadband connection.On November 14, 2007, Governor Douglas inaugurated free WiFi service at state visitor centers announcing that “Travelers using our major roadways can now use wireless Internet service free of charge. This advancement of my E-State Initiative will make this resource more valuable for business people, tourists and all those who use our highways.”Since May 2007 the State has seen a 1298% increase in WiFi usage by travelers.The initial setup of WiFi services at Vermonts visitor centers has been funded through ConnectVermont, a program managed by the Vermont Agency of Transportation and the Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development that aims to make traveling in Vermont safer and more convenient. Senator Patrick Leahy has secured $15 million in federal funding to allow the State to expand traveler services, enhance broadband Internet access and attract more visitors to Vermont through various ConnectVermont activities.More information about these projects is available online at www.connectvermont.com(link is external).Times have changed at Vermont’s visitor centers. While we used to see travelers stop to use our facilities now it is common to see them linger longer while sitting in a Vermont Folk Rocker and access e-mail or connect to work as they pass through the state said Ed von Turkovich, Director of the States Information Center Division. “Our usage is up dramatically and it is now common to see our visitors, who while commuting stop in to use the visitor centers as a temporary office,” said von Turkovich.Installing WiFi access at all state-operated information centers was a component of the Governors E-State Initiative to provide high speed Internet capability and mobile phone coverage to Vermonters in every community. “Providing High Speed Internet access to our visitors is one important piece of the puzzle” said Mary Evslin, Board Chair of the Vermont Telecommunications Authority. “Connecting Vermonters is critically important to the Governor’s initiative and to the State’s interest in ensuring that we have a comprehensive architecture of connectivity in place by the end of 2010.””For visitors to Vermont it sends the right message” said Al Levy of Summit Technologies the firm responsible for building the WiFi system on the interstate. “The world is moving at an ever-accelerating pace to connect itself via an ever-expanding world wide web. It only makes good sense that in Vermont visitors to our state know Vermont is following the same path,” said Levy.The State plans to continue expanding WiFi coverage at its visitor centers over the next 18 months. The State also plans to provide marketing opportunities to businesses looking for exposure on the State’s WiFi web portals located at visitor centers where WiFi has been installed. Businesses interested in exploring how they can benefit from this opportunity should contact Al Levy at Summit Technologies at 802-846-3030 x222 or firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail)# # #
Glenn McRae to be New Intervale Center Executive DirectorBurlington, Vermont – The Intervale Center has announced that its Board of Directors had appointed Glenn McRae as the organization’s new Executive Director.Glenn McRae has more than 20 years of experience in managing nonprofit organizations. Since 2003, he has been Director of Public Policy Development at the Snelling Center for Government. Previously he served as Executive Director of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility as well as the Association of Vermont Recyclers. He worked with the Vermont Community Foundation for twelve years to develop nonprofit leadership and management education initiatives. McRae has regularly consulted with nonprofit organizations on capacity building across Vermont and internationally. Holding a Ph.D. in Anthropology, McRae has been a member of the graduate faculty with the University of Vermont’s Master of Public Administration Program.Kalisa Barratt, Chair of the Intervale Center Board of Directors, commented, “Following a year of great challenges and successes, we find ourselves ready for new opportunities. As we move forward, I am extremely pleased that Glenn will be leading the Intervale Center. I think we’re lucky to have him. Glenn has a long history of working in nonprofit organizations and strong management experience. His social and environmental ethics match so well with all that we do. I believe that Glenn will bring fresh ideas and tremendous skills, which, with an exceptional team to support him, will enable the Intervale Center to achieve great things in the months and years ahead.”McRae will begin work as Intervale Center Executive Director on Monday, August 4th.The Intervale Center’s mission is to develop farm- and land-based enterprises that generate economic and social opportunity while protecting natural resources. Through the Center’s twenty years of operation, almost 350 acres of formerly abandoned, historically significant agricultural land in Burlington’s Intervale have been reclaimed and put to productive agricultural, recreational, and conservation use. The Intervale Center’s programs help support viable farms, increase access to local and organic produce, improve soil fertility, protect water quality through stream bank restoration, and educate young people about agriculture and healthy food.
Source: GMP. (Marketwire – August 11, 2009) – Sherry Olson of Plainfield, Vermont, is the winner of the 2009 Ralph Nading Hill, Jr. literary prize awarded annually by Green Mountain Power and Vermont Life magazine. Olson’s winning poem, entitled “The Paper Cutter,” describes finding a skilled tradesman who takes pride in his work and always wants to do the right thing. While looking for someone to sharpen her paper cutter, she finds more: “I imagine his heart, not the bodily pumping one, but the one folks like to say, of gold, burnished and soft, something, almost, I might carry in my pocket, reach in and touch.”Mary Hegarty Nowlan, one of the judges and editor of Vermont Life commented, “Ms. Olson’s poem was selected as the winner because of the simplicity of the language, which was clear and not overwritten. Her description of Ben Corliss, who lives in East Calais, draws you in and rings true as you learn about someone who may do something simple, but whose graciousness and kindness make you think about how you approach the world.”Olson grew up in North Carolina and Kentucky and received a BA from Earlham College. She worked as a teacher and volunteer coordinator at Central Vermont Adult Basic Education for more than 15 years and now leads poetry workshops and reading discussion groups for people of all ages, some under the auspices of the Vermont Humanities Council. Her favorite assignment has been leading a weekly poetry workshop at the Dale Correctional facility, which she did for many years. She believes everyone can write poetry, and helping people discover the thrill of writing poems is very exciting to her.Olson’s first book of poetry, “Breakfast At The Wayside,” came out in 2000. She is currently putting together a second manuscript of poetry.”The Paper Cutter” will be published in the fall issue of Vermont Life, which will be available in bookstores and on newsstands in late August.Olson will receive a $1,500 prize for the poem. The literary prize is named for the late Ralph Nading Hill, Jr., a Vermont historian and writer and long-time member of Green Mountain Power’s Board of Directors.This is the 20th year that the Ralph Nading Hill Literary Prize has encouraged writers in Vermont and it is now considered by Vermont writers to be one of the state’s premier literary prizes. Entries may include essays, short stories and poetry.The selection was made by an independent panel of judges: Mary Hegarty Nowlan, editor of Vermont Life; Tom Slayton, past editor of Vermont Life; Tony Marro, retired executive editor of Newsday; Alison Freeland, a 1994 winner of the Ralph Nading Hill, Jr., award for her story, “Shadbush”; Brian Vachon, retired vice president of communications at National Life of Vermont and a former Vermont Life editor; and Steve Terry, retired Green Mountain Power senior executive.The deadline for entries for this year’s contest is November 15, 2009. The contest is open to all Vermont residents, including seasonal residents and college students enrolled in Vermont colleges. Entrants may be amateur or professional writers. The focus of the work must be “Vermont — Its People, the Place, Its History or Its Values.” Entries must be unpublished and less than 3,000 words long. Staff of Vermont Life or Green Mountain Power and previous winners are ineligible. Send entries to the Corporate Relations Department of Green Mountain Power, 163 Acorn Lane, Colchester, VT 05446.
# # # As Vermont students returned to campus this week, Rep. Peter Welch held a roundtable Wednesday morning to discuss college affordability and gather input about pending legislation that could revamp the nation’s financial aid system.Welch was joined at the roundtable, which was held at Vermont Technical College in Randolph, by students and higher education officials from throughout Vermont. The group focused its discussion on the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R. 3221), which passed the House Education and Labor Committee this summer and which is expected to come to a vote in the House this fall.“Throughout Vermont, students and parents are struggling to afford college. While federal financial aid programs help many Vermonters pay their tuition bills, many more still cannot afford this most important investment,” Welch said. “As Congress weighs this comprehensive legislation, it is important for me to hear Vermonters’ feedback to ensure that we pass a bill that expands access and improves affordability.”H.R. 3221 is broad-ranging legislation that would increase the maximum size of Pell Grants, expand access to Perkins Loans, convert all new federal student lending to direct loans, create a new Community College Grant Program and simplify federal student loan applications.Participants in Welch’s forum included Tim Drew, a Community College of Vermont student, and Jessica Grout, a senior at Vermont Technical College. Representatives from the following organizations and institutions also took part: Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, Vermont Technical College, the University of Vermont, Champlain College, Norwich University, Union Institute and University, New England Culinary Institution, College of St. Joseph, Vermont Law School, Marlboro College, Goddard College, Burlington College, St. Michael’s College, Johnson State and Southern Vermont College.Source: Welch’s office.
Monday was the start of National School Lunch week and there was something to celebrate at Summit Street School in Essex Junction – a new milk contract that will provide 135 Vermont schools with milk that supports the health of our children, local farms and the environment.The Agency of Agriculture joined Vermont FEED, the Vermont Food Service Directors association to announce a new contract with Garelick Farms, based in Franklin, MA, that will provide schools with the choices they’ve been looking for, milk that comes from Vermont farms in 8 or 10 ounce recyclable plastic bottles and a chocolate milk formula with no high fructose corn syrup.”The sugar content of flavored milk can be a concern but this formula from Garelick farms, takes out the high fructose corn syrup and reduces the overall sugar content. They’ve also made sure kids still like it, and will drink it. It’s a good way to get more milk and more nutrients into our kids,” said Diane Bothfeld, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.The Vermont Food Service Directors Association (FDA) represents 135 schools in Vermont and has worked for nine years to find a milk supplier that would meet their requirements.”Due to the ability of the Food Service Directors Association to negotiate a competitive bid process and to distribute through our local food distributor we were able to bring Garelick into the picture in Vermont where it did not exist before,” said Bob Clifford, Food Service Director for Chittenden Central Supervisory Union and Co-Director of FDA.The new milk deal also provides greater support for our Vermont dairy farmers. Last year school milk contained about 40 percent Vermont milk, now 85 to 90 percent of the school milk comes from Vermont farms. The switch to Vermont milk is representative of the growing Farm to School efforts around the state. Abbie Nelson, Director of Vermont FEED (Food Education Every Day) said, ‘More and more of the food in the 52,000 lunches served at Vermont schools every day comes from Vermont.’Deputy Secretary Bothfeld addressed third graders at Summit Street school about the importance of supporting local farmers and being healthy. ‘And you know what is really important, that when the milk tastes good and it is the right size, you drink more and I like that because I work with dairy farmers in Vermont and every time you guys drink more milk, they get sales and everyone does real well.”The new contract also allows schools to switch from non-recyclable wax coated cardboard containers to the recyclable plastic. “Recycling is good because if you just threw stuff away all the time it would take up the whole entire world,” said Oliver MacGillivary, a Summit Street student.It seems this switch is a win all around, thanks to the efforts of the Food Service Directors Association.Source: Vermont Agency of Agriculture
FairPoint Communications has expanded broadband to hundreds of homes and businesses in Enosburg Falls.FairPoint will be bringing total broadband coverage to half of its exchanges this year, including Enosburg Falls, as part of the company’s new high-capacity network called VantagePoint.‘VantagePoint is enabling us to expand broadband service into areas with no high-speed Internet access and provide enhanced services across the state,’ said Michael K. Smith, FairPoint state president for Vermont. ‘Broadband availability opens the doors to the world for the residents and businesses in Vermont and is fundamental to the state’s future economic growth.’FairPoint’s VantagePoint network, a fiber, IP-based network, providesresidential speed options as fast as 15Mbps. Broadband service on the VantagePoint network means customers can smoothly stream live video, play online games and upload photos and large files with ease. Always-on broadband access provides almost instant connections to information, news and entertainment.FairPoint’s high-speed Internet service will reach Enosburg Falls customers along all or portions of the following streets: Bakersfield, Bogue, Boston Post, Brave, Butternut Hollow, Carpenter, Chimney, Coits Gore, Courser, Daigle, Deming, Enosburg Mountain, Horseshoe, Joyal, Longley Bridge, Nichols, Old Boston Post, Page, River, Sand Hill, Shadow, Tyler Branch and Witchcat.Since April 2008, FairPoint has invested more than $50 million in the communications infrastructure and technology to bring broadband to Vermont, including building almost 1,000 miles of new fiber across the state.Internet packages start at $35.99 per month.About FairPointFairPoint Communications, Inc., is a leading communications provider of high-speed Internet access, local and long-distance phone, television and other broadband services to customers in communities across 18 states. Through its fast, reliable data network, FairPoint delivers data and voice networking communications solutions to residential, business and wholesale customers. VantagePoint(sm), FairPoint’s resilient IP-based network in northern New England, provides business customers a fast, flexible, affordable Ethernet connection. The VantagePoint(sm) network supports applications like video conferencing and e-learning.Source: FairPoint Communications.
Casey Research, a leading provider of investment research, with over 30 years of history, specializing in geopolitically informed investing, energy, base and precious metals, and technology, concluded its most recent summit, The Next Few Years in Boca Raton, FL. There they provided insight into the global economy, portfolio strategies, and specific investment ideas and recommendations. “I think the next few years are going to be critical as we move out of the eye of the hurricane, which is where we are right now, and enter the following edge of the hurricane. And it is going to be much bigger in all ways than it was a couple of years ago,” said Casey Chairman and Founder Doug Casey. “You can identify investment opportunities by taking advantage of politically caused distortions in the market such as the current unprecedented levels of government interference in monetary and fiscal policy.” To view a portion of Mr. Casey’s presentation go to: www.caseyresearch.com/caseyvideo(link is external).Presentations from Casey’s blue ribbon faculty provided participants unique insights into these market distortions and identified unique investment opportunities. Featured speakers included industry leaders such as Chris Whalen, co-founder of Institutional Risk Analytics and author of Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the America Dream; John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics; and James Rickards, Senior Managing Director Tangent Capital Partners.Chris Whalen discussed his grave concerns over this country’s misplaced reliance on the housing market to grow national wealth. “Housing is the thing that gives me nightmares. We have used housing as a growth engine in this country and the reality is it does not grow national wealth.” To view a portion of Mr. Whalen’s presentation, see: www.caseyresearch.com/whalenvideo(link is external).Another issue of concern for speakers, including James Rickards, is the conscious effort to devalue the US dollar in an effort to boost net exports. “If consumer spending and investments are flat and government spending hits the wall the only thing left is net exports. How do you drive net exports?” asks Mr. Rickards. “You try to devalue the dollar which is what has been behind QE, QE2 and low interest rates. The problem is it’s never worked.” For a video excerpt of Mr. Rickards’ presentation, visit:www.caseyresearch.com/rickardsvideo(link is external).John Williams gave participants a detailed explanation as to why he thought current actions were hiding the fact that the US is still in the thick of a great economic and banking solvency crisis. “We are heading into a really bad inflation problem, one that will eventually become a hyperinflationary great depression,” said Mr. Williams. A portion of Mr. Williams’ presentation is available at:www.caseyresearch.com/williamsvideo(link is external).Casey Research has made this sold out event available in a complete audio collection. For more information on the full list of speakers and availability of the CDs go to: www.caseyresearch.com/cd(link is external).To find out more about Casey Research go to: www.caseyresearch.com(link is external).SOURCE Casey Research STOWE, Vt., May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/
Saint Michael’s College,The second annual Saint Michael’s College Community Service Day has drawn some 119 employees volunteering to do a variety of service activities for the day, Wednesday, May 25, both on and off the Colchester-based campus. Participants were encouraged to join in the ‘opportunity to come together with your colleagues and to give back to your community.’ Staff AwardsService activities from 9 a.m. to 12 noon will be followed by lunch and Annual Staff Awards Ceremony in Alliot Hall that will honor six employees for their commitment, service and dedication. The six to be honored were nominated by their colleagues, and will be identified for the first time at the ceremony. ‘This project celebrates the Saint Michael’s community by doing good work together,’ said Angela Irvine, director of foundation relations and service-day team member. Participants, including vice presidents, cafeteria workers, computer specialists, librarians, professors and others, will be doing the following activities: On CampusBaked Love: making meals for area familiesCampus Grounds: raking, sweeping entrances & around dumpsters, cutting ivy, weeding flower bedsChapel: spring cleaningCommunity Garden: garden prep, planting and weedingEarly Learning Center: cleaning and yard workLibrary Archives: cleaning and organizing5 paint crews, painting St. Joe’s porch, dugouts on 300s field, Old Fire Station, handrails of dorm entrances, and bus stop; walkways and seat numbers on Ross sports center bleachersPower washing of building exteriorsWindow washing Off CampusCamp Ta Kum Ta: yard work, spring cleaning, handy workCatamount Family Center: trail maintenanceCOTS: spring cleaningRock Point School: yard workShelburne Museum: gardeningWinooski Senior Center: deliver meals on wheels and bake treats for BINGO event Learn What Matters at Saint Michael’s College, The Edmundite Catholic liberal arts college, www.smcvt.edu(link is external) . Saint Michael’s provides education with a social conscience, producing graduates with the intellectual tools to lead successful, purposeful lives that will contribute to peace and justice in our world. Founded in 1904 by the Society of St. Edmund and headed by President John J. Neuhauser, Saint Michael’s College is located three miles from Burlington, Vermont, one of America’s top college towns. It is identified by the Princeton Review as one of the nations Best 371 Colleges, and is included in the 2011 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Saint Michael’s is one of only 280 colleges and universities nationwide, one of only 20 Catholic colleges, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Saint Michael’s has 1,900 undergraduate students, some 500 graduate students and 100 international students. Saint Michael’s students and professors have received Rhodes, Woodrow Wilson, Pickering, Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other grants. The college is one of the nation’s top-100, Best Liberal Arts Colleges as listed in the 2011 U.S. News & World Report rankings.-30-