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Campaign for Vermont seeks State Auditor review of education spending funding system

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 9:16am -- tim

Campaign for Vermont, a non-partisan citizen driven advocacy organization, has requested that Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer review the accuracy of “equalized pupil” and “education spending” calculations used by the Agency of Education and local school districts. These two highly obscure terms are defined in Vermont’s statutes and play a central role in setting local education property taxes, reallocating students from among school districts, and penalizing school districts with seemingly high spending levels per pupil.

Danforth Pewter, Gardener’s Supply to share solar power array

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 5:36am -- tim

Danforth Pewter and Gardener’s Supply Company, two nationally recognized Vermont-based specialty companies, have turned to the sun for emission-free solar power. The two companies will share the output of the newly installed Vermont solar array. The 144 KW system, constructed on the Pulling Farm in Addison features dual axis AllSun Trackers, manufactured nearby in Williston by AllEarth Renewables and a Power Purchase Agreement by SolarSense, LLC, a provider of clean, reliable and affordable power.

Vermont updates groundwater protection rule

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 5:34am -- tim

Vermont’s groundwater will now be better protected from pollution discharged into underground wells. Today the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued new Underground Injection Control Rules, replacing less protective 1982 standards. The rules regulate waste below ground through Vermont’s Underground Injection Control Program, authorized under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. 

“This new rule provides a strategic and targeted approach to increasing protections for Vermont’s groundwater,” said DEC Commissioner David Mears.

Deadline extended for new dairy farm production price insurance program

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 4:55am -- tim

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) is urging Vermont’s dairy farmers to take advantage of US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s decision to extend for a week the signup period for the new dairy farm production price insurance program created under the 2014 Farm Bill.

Vilsack on Wednesday afternoon announced that the signup deadline for the new Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) will be extended to December 5, 2014, and that the comment period for the new MPP-Dairy rule would be extended until December 15, 2014.

VHCB awards $3.65 million for affordable housing and land conservation

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 4:21am -- tim

The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board has approved $3,657,169 in grants and deferred loans to create, preserve or rehabilitate 152 affordable homes and to conserve 1,198 acres of farmland and working forest. VHCB Executive Director Gus Seelig said, “The Board is please to support these community-driven projects in all corners of the state.

Vermonters urged to 'Button Up' on November 1

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 3:38am -- tim

Heating season is here, and it’s time to button up. Standing before a display of weather stripping, caulking and other heat-saving materials at  Montpelier’s Aubuchon Hardware store, Gov. Peter Shumlin recently urged Vermonters to pitch in on the Button Up Vermont Day of Action on Saturday, November 1. “Button Up Vermont is a rallying day for us all to come together and tighten up our homes for winter,” he said.

California firm buys South Burlington retail property for $24 million

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 2:57pm -- tim

Loja Real Estate from Walnut Creek, CA, announced on Tuesday the acquisition of a three tenant shopping center tenanted by Trader Joe's, Pier 1 Imports and Healthy Living Market located off Dorset Street in South Burlington. Loja Real Estate purchased the property from a private investor for approximately $24 million. The transaction closed on October 15, 2014.

FairPoint sees rise in vandalism, unions call claim 'disgusting'

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 2:29pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine FairPoint Communications stated Tuesday that a spike in vandalism on its network during the ongoing strike is "no coincidence," an implication which the unions say is a "desperate" move on the telecommunication company's part. The worker stoppage on the Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine operations of the region's largest telecom has been bitter from the start. Negotiations began on a new contract last April.

Major GMP hydro expansion approved on Otter Creek

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 1:22pm -- tim

With a federal license now in hand, Green Mountain Power plans substantial improvements to Otter Creek hydroelectric units that will increase rated capacity of the century-old plants by almost 65 percent. In the new license order, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a GMP proposal to upgrade stations in Proctor, New Haven and Weybridge, allowing the expansion of the combined plants from 14 to 23 megawatts. The three stations were purchased in 2010 from the Vermont Marble Power Division of Omya.

'Vermont Celebrates American Craft Week' awarded top American Craft Week event for 2014

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 12:36pm -- tim

Each year American Craft Week, the premier public celebration of handmade craft in America in all 50 states, awards Star Winners in various categories. This year’s “Top Event of 2014’ winner was awarded to “Vermont Celebrates American Craft Week.” This was a group award and it included special designation to the State of Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing; Vermont Crafts Council, Brandon Chamber of Commerce, Brandon, VT and the Chaffee Art Center, Rutland, Vermont.

Almost 90 percent of Vermont schools offer Farm to School programming

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 5:53am -- tim

October is National Farm to School month, and Vermont has much to celebrate. Vermont is a national leader in the Farm to School movement. More than 89 percent of Vermont schools report that they participate in Farm to School programming, according to the USDA’s Farm to School census. Programs vary depending on the district, but each incorporates the 3 C’s of Farm to School engagement: classroom, community, and cafeteria.