Month: January 2021

Vermont gets $1.8 million from US Forest Service

first_imgIn Vermont yesterday, US Forest Service Chief Gail Kimbell announced the award of $50 million in grants, including $1.8 million for the Eden Forest in Vermont, to permanently protect twenty-four working forests across twenty-one states, through the Forest Legacy Program. This program permanently protects important private forestland threatened by conversion. The Forest Legacy Program conserves open space which allows us to respond to climate change, improves water quality and flows and connects children to nature, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The strength of the Forest Legacy Program is the cooperation between States, partners and private landowners all working together to protect environmentally and economically important forests that are threatened by conversion.Examples of 2009 projects include: forest essential for wildlife and recreation in Maine; pine ecosystem critical for threatened and endangered species in Arkansas and working forests that support rural jobs in Oregon.The Forest Legacy Program promotes voluntary land conservation by operating on the principle of willing buyer, willing seller. Private forest landowners are facing increasing real estate prices, property taxes and development pressure, which result in conversion of forests to other land uses. The Forest Legacy Program focuses on conserving working forests those that provide clean water, forest products, fish and wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.The 5,727-acre Eden Forest has been used for timber for the last 50 years and contains bear and bobcat habitat, among other species. The town of Eden is located in the Green Mountains in the northern part of Lamoille County. The forest project itself extends all the way to the Quebec border. Most Forest Legacy Program projects are conserved through conservation easements, allowing landowners to keep their forestlands while protecting them from future development.2009 Forest Legacy Program project grants:StateProjectFunding LevelMEMachias River$3,450,000CAChalk Mountain Area$3,000,000MNKoochiching Forest Legacy$3,500,000ASOttoville Rainforest Preserve$500,000MASouthern Monadnock Plateau II$2,200,000GASouthland$3,500,000PATree Farm #1$3,500,000VANew River Corridor$490,000WVSouth Branch$3,670,000MTNorth Swan River Valley$2,000,000MINorthern Great Lakes Forest Project$2,000,000NHCrotched Mountain$1,765,000COSnow Mountain Ranch$2,500,000NHGreen Acre Woodlands$1,200,000UTChalk Creek South Fork #2$3,100,000CAJenner Headlands$1,000,000MAMetacomet-Monadnock Forest$1,400,000MOLaBarque Creek$1,500,000ORSkyline Forest$1,500,000OHVinton Furnace Experimental Forest$2,000,000ARPine -Flatwoods Recovery Initiative$2,060,000IDGold Creek Ranch$510,000DEGreen Horizons$2,000,000VTEden Forest$1,800,000 TOTAL$50,145,000For 2009, the Forest Service selected 24 projects out of 83 excellent state proposals that totaled $193 million. Details of the President s 2010 budget released this week show 47 projects proposed with an increase in funding to more than $91 million.The Forest Legacy Program uses a national competitive process to select the most ecologically and socially important, threatened and strategic projects. The program consistently leverages more than a 50-percent non-federal match, well above the 25-percent requirement. In addition, each project needs to be at least 75% forested, comply with Federal appraisal standards and complete a multi-resource forest management plan.For more information on the Forest Legacy Program go to: is external)last_img read more

Governor Douglas signs controversial budget ‘companion’ bill

first_imgGovernor Douglas today signed the third of four bills pertaining to the FY 2010 budget into law but also sent a letter outlining his objections to provisions he believes are unconstitutional. The principal constitutional concerns involved the firing of state workers, which would give some review authority to the Legislature, and also gives the Legislature a role in state worker retirement plans. Douglas believes this is violates the separation of powers. He also said in his letter that it will make it more difficult to balance the state budget.Douglas had vetoed the budget, but the Legislature overrode his veto last week. The so-called companion bill did contain several provisions that Douglas had been pushing for, however, including the 40 percent capital gains exclusion for farmers and the elderly, restoring the Next Generation scholarships, and funding the Vermont Telecommunications Authority. The governor also noted that by signing the bill, it circumvents other questions about the validity of the process. The companion bill was voted on by the Legislature after the override.Attached is a copy of the letter. AttachmentSize Governor Douglas Message.pdf213.86 KBlast_img read more

The Message for the Week in Chester, Vermont, stops publishing

first_imgAll employees at Twin State Valley Media Network, which includes the daily Eagle Times in Claremont, NH, the weeklies The Message for the Week out of Chester, Vermont, the Connecticut Valley Spectator out of Lebanon, NH, and The Weekly Flea, received an email Thursday, July 9 at 3:32 p.m. telling them that when the doors closed at 5, everyone was to leave their keys, take their stuff, and they were all laid off. Owner Harvey Hill took his media network into Bankruptcy Court on Friday morning, the day the last issue of the Eagle Times was published. The employees will get next week’s paycheck, all accrued vacation time, and health insurance through the end of the month.Hill said he was just sinking tons of cash into the business – $150,000 a month at times, just to keep it afloat. He said that, if he knew things would start breaking even in a year, he would still have to put $1.5 million in out of his pocket just to get to that point. He just wasn’t going to do that.The Message was doing okay, and getting better. Alone it might have weathered this storm. Tethered to the Eagle and Hill’s other papers, it was a losing battle.So, it’s unemployment for a while, and I won’t mind that for a month or two for sure! I’ve been working my ass off for Harvey – 7 days a week many times. We were really ramping up The Message content – double and triple the amount of in-house features in every issue.Robert Smith is co-editor of The Message and freelance writer/photographer for Vermont Business Magazine.EDITOR’S NOTE: Vermont Business Magazine began as an insert in the daily Springfield Times-Reporter in 1972 before being spun off into a stand-alone publication and eventually sold. The Springfield and Claremont dailies were eventually combined into the one Eagle Times. Eagle-Times, 2 other papers close doorsRutland Herald – Susan Smallheerlast_img read more

$65,000 grant will help Randolph create and save 33 jobs.

first_imgAgriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 145 recipients, including Randolph Area Community Development Corporation (RACDC), for more than $15.3 million in grants to start or expand businesses in rural communities. Through Recovery Act funding, businesses will be able to access to critical capital that will help with start-up and working capital loans, building and plant renovations, transportation improvements, project planning and other business needs. These Recovery Act grants represent the Obama administration s ongoing efforts to ensure strategic investments and increase economic opportunities in rural America, said Vilsack. Small businesses play an important role in building strong communities while providing vital products and services to local residents. This funding will help spur important economic development and strengthen communities in dozens of states around the country.RACDC was created to rebuild downtown Randolph after a series of fires in the early 1990 s decimated the downtown. Today, it supports community development and affordable housing goals in the greater Randolph Area. RACDC plans to use their grant of $65,000 to provide marketing services and technical assistance to two area businesses, LED Dynamics and the Randolph Farm Stand. Energy efficiency and local agriculture are two extremely important and growing sectors in our economy. said Julie Iffland, RACDC s Executive Director. We could not be more pleased with this opportunity to put Recovery Act funds to work helping these local entrepreneurs to innovate and thrive in their respective specialties.LED is a national innovator in LED lighting technology and products, started by two VTC graduates in 2000. The Farm Stand has quickly established itself as an important community institution by connecting producers of high quality local produce with consumers who value local agriculture and high quality food. RACDC will assist the businesses in developing a marketing strategy, including logo development and ad placement. In the case of LED Dynamics, the technical assistance will focus on marketing that promotes the use of their new products by informing potential commercial and industrial users of product availability and the competitive benefits of this relatively new alternative lighting product. In the case of Randolph Farm Stand, the technical assistance will focus on marketing that promotes and sustains their recent business and product expansion.Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the terms of the grant agreement. More information about USDA Rural Development can be found at is external).The funding announced today is being provided through USDA Rural Development s Rural Business Enterprise Program (RBEG), which helps finance new and existing businesses as well as employment-related adult education programs. RBEG funds can be used for start-up and working capital loans, building and plant renovations, transportation improvements, project planning and other business needs. Additional information on Rural Development s Business Programs may be found at is external) or by calling (802)828-6031.President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation s economy, create or save millions of jobs and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation s infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.More information about USDA s Recovery Act efforts is available at is external). More information about the Federal government’s efforts on the Recovery Act is available at is external).Source: RACDC. Montpelier, VT, July 28, 2009last_img read more

House passes Welch’s bipartisan Home Star bill

first_imgThe US House on Thursday passed bipartisan, job-creating legislation that will help three million families refit, renovate and insulate their homes, while putting 170,000 Americans to work. Authored by Representative Peter Welch (D-Vermont), the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act (H.R. 5019) passed the House by a vote of 246 to 161. The bill, which provides direct incentives to consumers to make their homes more energy efficient, received key endorsements from supporters ranging from President Obama to the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. Home Star is a practical, common sense investment in job creation and energy savings. By partnering with the private sector and homeowners, this bipartisan bill will create jobs in construction, manufacturing and retail, Welch said. Vermont has shown that investing in energy efficiency works. Now the rest of the country will have a chance to benefit from the Home Star hat-trick of job creation, energy savings and reduced carbon emissions.Home Star is a two-year program designed to spur home energy retrofits by providing direct incentives to homeowners to install American-made, energy-saving products and conduct whole-home retrofits. The legislation will help three million families save an estimated $200-$500 a year on their utility bills, saving homeowners close to ten billion dollars in the next decade.Introduced by Welch on April 14, H.R. 5019 was cosponsored by a bipartisan group of legislators, including Chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-Mich.), Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) and Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). Home Star was based on an earlier bill introduced by Welch last March, called Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (H.R. 1778), which was passed by the House as part of the Waxman/Markey energy bill (H.R. 2454).Home Star received key backing from nearly 500,000 businesses and organizations. On Wednesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Association of Home Builders announced that votes related to H.R. 5019 would be considered in their annual legislative scorecards. President Obama endorsed the initiative last December, and his administration said in a statement Wednesday that it, applauds the bipartisan efforts that have brought H.R. 5019 to the House floor.H.R. 5019 includes two types of consumer incentives. The first, Silver Star, provides up-front rebates for specific energy-saving investments, including insulation, duct sealing, windows and doors, air sealing and water heaters. Homeowners receive up to $1,500 per improvement capped at a total of $3,000 or 50 percent of the total project cost.The second, Gold Star, rewards homeowners who conduct a comprehensive energy audit and implement measures to reduce energy use. Consumers receive $3,000 for a demonstrated energy savings of 20 percent, plus an additional $1,000 for each additional 5 percent energy savings capped at $8,000 or 50 percent of the project cost.Click here for more on Home Star and here for video of Rep. Welch speaking in favor of Home Star on the House floor Thursday.Source: Welch’s office. 5.6.2010last_img read more

AT&T expands mobile broadband coverage in Killington

first_imgAs part of its continuing network investment to support growing demand for advanced mobile devices and applications, AT&T today announced the activation of a new mobile broadband cell site at Pico Peak that will enhance coverage for area residents and visitors to the mountain. With mobile broadband speeds, AT&T customers can surf the Web, download files faster, and enjoy the very latest interactive mobile applications.The new cell site is one part of AT&T’s ongoing efforts to drive investment and innovation to deliver the nation’s best, most advanced mobile broadband experience for customers. With the nation’s fastestmobile broadband network, AT&T provides accelerated mobile data speeds and simultaneous voice and data capabilities.”We want you to have an extraordinary experience when you make a call, check e-mail or surf the Internet on your device ‘ even from the mountain top. Investing in Vermont’s local wireless network is just one way to accomplish this,” said Steve Krom, vice president and general manager, AT&T in New England. “In addition, our recently announced agreement to acquire T-Mobile USA will strengthen and expand our network in Vermont. If approved, this deal means that we’ll be able to expand the next generation of mobile broadband ‘ 4G LTE ‘ from our current plan of 80 percent of the U.S. population to 95 percent.”AT&T’s mobile broadband network is based on the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) family of technologies that includes GSM and UMTS, the most widely used wireless network platforms in the world. AT&T has the best international coverage of any U.S. wireless provider, providing access to voice service in more than 220 countries and data service in more than 200 countries. AT&T also offers voice and data roaming coverage on more than 135 major cruise ships, as well as mobile broadband services in more than 130 countries.AT&T also operates the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network with more than 24,000 hotspots in the U.S. and provides access to more than 135,000 hotspots globally through roaming agreements. Most AT&T smartphone customers get access to our entire national Wi-Fi network at no additional cost, and Wi-Fi usage doesn’t count against customers’ monthly data plans.SOURCE AT&T Inc., April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/last_img read more

Yankee Magazine names local Vermont establishments to 2011 ‘Editors’ Choice’ list

first_imgAPRIL 30-MAY 1: WOODSTOCK, Spring Farm Festival. A weekend packed with traditional seasonal activities at Billings Farm & Museum, including the annual shearing of the Southdown flock. Farmers demonstrate plowing skills with oxen and draft-horse teams; plus horse-drawn wagon rides and more. 802-457-2355; Northern VermontDog Mountain’Best Dog Day Afternoon, St. JohnsburyJay Peak Resort’Best ‘Que with a View, JayJohnson Woolen Mills’Best Local Disguise, JohnsonKingdom Trails’Best Mountain Biking, East BurkeMount Pisgah’Best Hike in the Kingdom, St. JohnsburySouth CentralKedron Valley Stables’Best Place to Saddle Up, S. WoodstockSingleton’s Store’Best Smoked Meat, ProctorvilleSkunk Hollow Tavern’Best Locals’ Bar, Hartland Four CornersSugar & Spice’Best Pumpkin Pancakes, MendonUnicorn’Best Eclectic Gift Shop, WoodstockWoodstock Farmers’ Market’Best Picnic Fixings, Woodstock JULY 9: CRAFTSBURY COMMON, Antiques & Uniques. Head up to the Northeast Kingdom and peruse the wares of some 100 antiques and crafts vendors, including jewelry makers, quilters, potters, woodworkers, and more, all on the Common. Listen to live music, and don’t forget to visit the grill and the legendary bake-sale tent. 802-586-7596; Southern VermontBatten Kill Canoe Ltd.’Best Day Paddle, ArlingtonBrattleboro Books’Best Bargain, BrattleboroJ.K. Adams Co.’Best Kitchen Woodenware, DorsetLatchis Hotel & Theatre’Best Bargain, BrattleboroLowell Lake State Park’Best Place to Swim, LondonderryMarket Square Summer Series’Best Free Weekend Fun, BenningtonRattlesnake Café’Best Tex-Mex, BenningtonRockingham Meeting House’Best Really Old Building, Bellows FallsThe Hermitage Inn’Best Locavore Inn Dining, West DoverWindham Hill Inn’Best Overnight Splurge, West Townshend JUNE 3-5: BRATTLEBORO, Strolling of the Heifers. Friday evening features a gallery walk and live music, plus the River Garden’s “Ultimate New England Sandwich” competition finale. Saturday brings the 10th annual parade of flower-bedecked dairy calves strolling up historic Main Street. Don’t miss Saturday’s “Live Green Expo” (crafts, cheesemaking, conservation exhibits, and films) at the Brattleboro Retreat and Sunday’s “Tour de Heifer” (three farm-to-farm bike rides). 802-258-9177; is external) JULY 29-AUG. 7: WILMINGTON, WHITINGHAM, DOVER, Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival. The Mount Snow area turns blue for this 10-day celebration of a native New England superfood. Check out the full roster of events: parade, street fair, jam making, kids’ activities, bake sales, beer, art, music, and blueberry specials at local restaurants. 802-464-8092; Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England, on newsstands April 26, has named 39 local establishments in Vermont as ‘Best of New England ‘ Editors’ Choice’ winners for 2011. This designation is awarded by Yankee’s editors and contributors, who name select restaurants, lodgings, and attractions in New England to the exclusive list. This special issue also names 20 ‘Top Events’ in Vermont, for a total of 120 events across New England. For 35 years, Yankee’s Travel Guide has been the most widely distributed and best-selling guide to the six-state region, providing readers with a comprehensive vacation-planning tool and daily reference. ‘Our ‘Best of New England’ issue is about where we live and play and raise our families. These places happen to be the cities and villages, the beaches, mountains, and forests, where visitors from around the world come to spend precious vacation days,’ says editor Mel Allen. ‘We’ve filled our pages with the places we want to see, and have seen, and will see again. Immerse yourself in these places to visit, as beautiful as any in the world, plus more than 250 ‘Bests,’ our recommendations for inns, shopping, sights, restaurants, adventures, and what-have-you.’ Editors’ ChoiceThis year’s Travel Guide features 288 ‘Best of New England ‘ Editors’ Choice’ selections. The listing for each establishment includes a description, address, phone number, and Web site, if available. The ‘Editors’ Choice’ establishments from Vermont include: Champlain RegionAddison County’Best Road Biking, West Central VermontBasin Harbor Club’Best Waterfront Resort, VergennesBurton Snowboards’Best Bargain, BurlingtonCafé Shelburne’Best Traditional French Fare, ShelburneDead Creek Wildlife Management Area’Best Birdwatching, HuntingtonFresh Market’Best Bargain, BurlingtonFriend Ship’Best Sail, BurlingtonGérard’s Bread’Best Artisanal Bread, WestfordNorth Beach Campground’Best Urban Camping, BurlingtonVermont Farm Tours’Best Custom Cheese Tours, WinooskiVermont Wildflower Farm’Best Walk on the Wildflower Side, Charlotte JUNE 18-20: LAKE CHAMPLAIN, LCI Father’s Day Fishing Derby. Adult and junior anglers compete for awards, cash, and prizes in a gorgeous setting. Cold-water, cool-water, and warm-water divisions include 12 species in seven categories. A major fundraising event for Lake Champlain International, a conservation nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the watershed. Preregistration required. 802-879-3466; MAY 28: BENNINGTON, Mayfest Arts & Crafts Festival. Historic Main, School, Silver, and Valentine streets transform into pedestrian thoroughfares hosting more than 190 artisans (selling jewelry, pottery, fine art, and more), vendors, and entertainers, plus a beer garden and great food. 802-442-5758; AUG. 27-SEPT. 5: ESSEX JUNCTION, Champlain Valley Fair. Celebrate agriculture at the Champlain Valley Exposition fairgrounds, with circus acts, shopping, gardening exhibits, great food, blue-ribbon competitions, livestock, horse shows, concerts, and more. 802-878-5545; JUNE 11-12: STATEWIDE, Vermont Days. Free admission at all Vermont State Historic Sites and State Park day-use areas. Visit the Web sites for lists of monuments, homes, and outdoor recreation and natural areas. 802-828-3213,; 802-241-3655, JUNE 11-12: MANCHESTER, Antique & Classic Car Show. Some 40 classes of autos and 800 antique vehicles, all at Dorr Farm. Silent auction, raffles, live music, vendors, tech sessions, parade, and more. 800-362-4144; MAY 21: DERBY, Dandelion Run. The world’s prettiest weeds are the backdrop for this half-marathon (with relay options) along dirt roads and through bright fields in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom. Gather at the Derby Beach House at Lake Salem. 802-334-8511; JULY 24: SHELBURNE, Vermont Cheesemakers’ Festival. Meet the artisans, sample regional cheeses and other local foods, and check out the seminars at Shelburne Farms’ Coach Barn; visit the historic Farm Barn to watch the cheesemakers at their craft. 800-884-6287; vtcheesefest.comcenter_img Yankee Magazine was founded in 1935 and is based in Dublin, New Hampshire. It is the only magazine devoted to New England through its coverage of travel, home, food, and feature stories. With a paid circulation of over 350,000 and a total audience of nearly 2 million readers, it is published by Yankee Publishing Incorporated (YPI), a family-owned, independent magazine publisher. In 2011, Yankee Magazine was named a finalist in the national City and Regional Magazine Association’s annual awards in four categories: General Excellence, Excellence in Writing, Photography, and Multimedia. 2010 marked Yankee Magazine’s 75th anniversary as New England’s magazine. YPI also owns the nation’s oldest continuously produced periodical, The Old Farmer’s Almanac. More information about Yankee: New England’s Magazine is available at: Dublin, NH (April 26, 2011)’ AUG. 9-13: NEW HAVEN, Addison County Fair & Field Days. A big agricultural event at the county fairgrounds, with all the favorite sights and sounds: crafts, 4-H exhibits, live entertainment, midway, parade, ox and tractor pulls, draft horses, kids’ barnyard, livestock judging, fair food, and more. 802-545-2557; SEPT. 3-4: BENNINGTON, Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival. An event with the slogan “Vermont Stinks!” is bound to be fun. Head over to Camelot Village to celebrate this glorious bulb in all its odorous forms, including ice cream, jelly, dips, dressings, salsas, even margaritas. Plus workshops on growing and harvesting. 802-447-3311; JUNE 24-26: ESSEX JUNCTION, Vermont Quilt Festival. New England’s oldest and largest quilt event fills the Champlain Valley Expo, with more than 500 new and antique works on display. Shop more than 85 booths brimming with quilts, fabrics, and gifts; choose from 80 classes and lectures; plus appraisals, gallery talks, and demonstrations. 802-872-0034; JULY 27-SEPT. 5: WAITSFIELD, WARREN, FAYSTON, Vermont Festival of the Arts. The Mad River Valley hosts dozens of events in 50 locations, from music, workshops, exhibits, and tours to craft demonstrations, fine-art shopping, and culinary feasts. 802-496-6682; APRIL 30-MAY 1: ESSEX JUNCTION, Everything Equine. Seminars, exhibits, and presentations devoted to the love of horses, featuring speakers and experts in equine science, industry, and competitive sports. Plus an equine art show, 4-H corner, and more, all at the Champlain Valley Expo. 802-878-5545; AUG. 5-7: BURLINGTON, Festival of Fools. Celebrate the joy of street theater, circus arts, music, comedy, and community. Four main stage locations at Church Street Marketplace and City Hall Park. 802-865-7166; JUNE 17-19: QUECHEE, Quechee Hot Air Balloon, Crafts & Music Festival. Come to the Quechee Green: food, music, kids’ activities, skydiving demonstrations, 20 colorful hot-air balloons on scheduled flights, balloon rides, beer garden, and 75 crafters and vendors. 800-295-5451, 802-295-7900; North CentralCamel’s Hump’Best Epic Climb, WaterburyOhana Camp’Best Family Summer Camp, FairleeP & H Truck Stop’Best Highway Diner, Wells RiverRichmond Victorian Inn’Best Burlington ‘Burbs B&B, RichmondStowe Kitchen Bath & Linens’Best Bargain, StoweThe Alchemist Pub and Brewery’Best Brewpub, WaterburyWaitsfield Pottery’Best Pottery, Waitsfield MAY 1: ROCKINGHAM, Herricks Cove Wildlife Festival. Take an early-morning stroll through a renowned birding area and spot a variety of winged species along the Connecticut River. Plus live “Wildlife Encounters,” nature presentations (including guests from the International Wolf Center), guided strolls, workshops, crafts, storytelling, and great food. 802-843-2111; is external) SEPT. 10: PLYMOUTH, Plymouth Cheese & Harvest Festival. Celebrate Vermont’s bounty of the season! Cheese tasting and recipe contest, sheep shearing, farm-life and craft demonstrations, BBQ, wagon rides, live music, and more, all at the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site. 802-672-3773; Call ahead to confirm dates, times, and admission prices.‘Editors’ Choice’ selections and ‘Top Events’ will also be recommended on For more information visit: Top EventsThe ‘Top 20 Events’ in Vermont, according to Yankee Magazine, include:last_img read more