by John herrick vtdigger.org Brandy Ofciarcik-Perez pointed from her lawn to a sharp bend in the road as a flatbed truck carrying granite slabs overshot the center line in its trajectory down the hill toward her home. “People fly through here,” the 40-year-old dance instructor said, holding one of her three children by the hand. “I used to actually put up barriers.” Traffic is just one of the concerns raised by residents of Graniteville Road about an asphalt plant operating at the Rock of Ages quarry.
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 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’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.
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.
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.
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.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence. The annual awards honor the actions taken by Vermonters to conserve and protect natural resources, prevent pollution and promote sustainability.
Applications are encouraged from:
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.
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.
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.
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.