Finally, A Place to Park in Downtown

first_imgBrattleboro has a lively downtownfilled with bookstores, antique stores, fine restaurants and cafes,upscale clothing shops, exotic import stores, hair salons and homefurnishings stores. It has a hotel and an art movie theater. But up tonow, it has suffered from its reputation as a town with no parking.All that is about to change. The new $9.6 million BrattleboroTransportation Center is getting ready to open in the heart of downtown,providing over 300 new parking spaces at affordable prices andfacilitating travel for pedestrians, motorists and cyclists.”By mid-October there will be convenient, safe, affordable,weatherproof parking 24 hours a day,” said Tom Appel, projectmanager, at a community briefing of downtown landlords, employees andresidents at the River Garden. “It is expected that the first two levelswill be open for parking on Friday, October 3, in time to accommodatevisitors to the second annual Literary Festival and the Gallery Walk,among the other fall events coming up.”Brattleboro is dedicated to maintaining a safe, effective andeconomically sustainable multi-modal transportation center, said JerryRemillard, Town Manager.”For a successful downtown, you need people living, working andshopping in downtown, Remillard said. “This project facilitates that likeno other. The BTC links Brattleboro to the regional transportationnetwork providing travel options for walkers, bikers and drivers. Therewill be hourly parking, long-term parking, parking permits and travelpermits. The town bus will stop there, bike racks will be provided, andhandicapped vans will be accommodated.”The Center will have a positive impact on downtown businesses, culturaland sporting events, Gallery Walk and the various downtown parades andfestivals that take place throughout the year. Visitors and shoppers willbe sure of having a place to park. Amtrak rider ship is expected toincrease now that travelers will have a place to park their cars long termand undercover.There will also be public rest rooms, a lobby with an informationcenter, and 8,000-square feet of high-ceilinged commercial space onFlat Street.The project is the culmination of a long-time goal of the Town ofBrattleboro, which partnered with the Vermont Agency of Transportation,the State of Vermont Downtown Program, and U.S. Senator James Jeffords(I-Vt.) to bring it to completion. Jeffords was able to secure federalfunding for both the garage and the refurbishing of Union Station, whichshares a building with the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center.”The Brattleboro Transportation Center is a wonderful example of how wecan bring vitality back to our downtown areas while at the same time makeimportant upgrades that will help residents and visitors alike,” Jeffordssaid. “Improving our public transit system is an essential step forstruggling downtown centers, and this project is a model for others tofollow.”The key to the center’s success will be the ability of employees andresidents of downtown to take advantage of it. That will free up most ofthe Main Street parking for people who want to come to town to shop.”We’ve lost some downtown businesses because employees didn’t have parkingavailable,” said Donna Simons of A Candle in the Night. “And parking hasalways been a problem for the residents of downtown.”The 120,000-square-foot building is located between Flat Street andElliot Street on the former Bradley parking lot site. It has entrances andexits on both streets and an elevator serving all four levels. This meansno more climbing a hill between Flat and Elliot streets. The area has alsobeen improved with safer sidewalks, attractive lighting and drainage,creating a more efficient and friendly route.A great deal of thought has gone into security. The space will beopen and well-lit, and have closed-circuit cameras that will be monitoredby the police station. Each level will also have two security phones thathook up with the police dispatcher. A fire detection system and asprinkler system have been installed throughout for additional safety.The Parking Enforcement Office will be located on the Flat Street side.Parking will be both by the hour through pay-and-display machines,and by the month with permits. Rates for daily parking (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.Monday through Saturday) will be: a $1.00 coin for 300 minutes (5 hours);25 cents for 75 minutes; 10 cents for 30 minutes; five cents for 15minutes.Open permit parking will be $25 a month. Reserved permit spaceswill cost $55 a month. This compares to $70 plus a month forcurbside/metered parking. Long-term parking will cost $5 a day withadvance purchase, excluding Sundays and holidays.Financing for the center came from a $4 million local bond, morethan $3.5 million in federal money, and $1.6 million from the VermontAgency of Transportation and the State of Vermont Downtown Program.The idea of a town parking garage was first proposed more than 20 yearsago. Various civic, business and town groups have tried to make it areality ever since. At one point, the Brattleboro Area Chamber ofCommerce went as far as pre-selling parking spaces to raise the money, butthe town voted down the project.The current facility is the result of the work of the DowntownParking Study Committee, a citizens group that was formed in 1997.”After nearly seven years of work by the citizens Downtown ParkingStudy Committee it is gratifying to see the project come to fruition,”said committee chairman Robert Woodworth. “We have believed all along thatthe Brattleboro Transportation Center will be the lynch pin project toBrattleboro’s future downtown viability.”The project was designed by the architectural firm of Wallace FloydDesign Group. The site was engineered by Stevens & Associates,managed by New England Management Company, and constructed by DEWConstruction.last_img read more

Northgate Apartments One Step Closer to Resident Control

first_imgNORTHGATE APARTMENTS ONE STEP CLOSER TO RESIDENT OWNERSHIP[Burlington, VT] Representative Bernie Sanders joined Northgate residents and funders today to commemorate a major accomplishment in advancing the long term preservation of Vermonts largest resident-controlled rental housing complex. Fannie Mae (FNM/NYSE), an investor in multifamily housing, donated its ownership stake in Northgate Apartments to one of the nonprofit owners, greatly reducing the cost of transferring the complex to the residents.As Burlington Mayor, I led the fight to prevent the loss of this critical affordable housing resource and ensure that it could remain an affordable, great place to live for the foreseeable future, Representative Sanders told the crowd. I applaud Fannie Maes donation of its interest and congratulate the residents in taking a huge step to extending resident control, he said.In the late 1980s, the owners of Northgate Apartments had an opportunity to re-develop the property, with the probable permanent displacement of the 336 families who lived there. Then-Mayor Sanders spearheaded the effort to acquire the HUD-assisted property, make needed repairs and capital improvements, and ensure that it remained affordable to low and moderate income families. The Vermont Housing Finance Agency, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, City of Burlington, HUD and the Bank of America were other key funders.Fannie Mae is committed to preserving affordable rental housing in Vermont, said Ignatius MacLellan, director of Fannie Maes Northern New England Partnership Office. We are honored to join our partners today as we work together to keep housing affordable for the residents of this community. Investing in affordable rental communities is essential to creating healthy and livable neighborhoods like Northgate, MacLellan noted.Housing Vermont, a nonprofit affordable housing developer and tax credit syndicator, is a co-general partner with Northgate Housing, Inc. (NHI), the residents organization in the Northgate ownership structure. Kenn Sassorossi, a Housing Vermont vice president, thanked Fannie Mae for assigning its partnership interest for $1 and said, Fannie Maes donation both evidences its commitment to affordable housing and underscores our shared commitment to perpetual affordability.NHI President Ted Wimpey stated, Perpetual affordability requires a commitment to responsible stewardship and lots of hard work. We gratefully thank Fannie Mae for its generous donation. Its active support of resident control and long-term affordability is absolutely essential to the continued success of Northgate Apartments.Northgate Apartments, located off North Avenue, offers 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments to families across a range of incomes. Rents range from $411 to $780 and 163 families qualify for rental assistance.Resident and NHI Board member John Vogt presented Fannie Mae with a plaque in appreciation for the role it played in Northgates success. Northgate is a great place to live and we will work to ensure that it stays that way for current and future residents, said Vogt.last_img read more

Vermont Chamber of Commerce names Betsy Bishop new president

first_imgThe Vermont Chamber of Commerce announced today the selection of Betsy Bishop as the President of the state s premier business organization, representing a diverse cross section of businesses around the state.Charged with leading the Vermont Chamber and its 1,500 members, Bishop said, I look forward to this opportunity to work with Vermont businesses, many of which are facing unprecedented challenges. With the volunteer board and Vermont Chamber members, I will continue to provide a strong voice for Vermont businesses as they strive to maintain employment levels and grow in this economy.A resident of East Montpelier, Bishop currently serves as the Commissioner of Economic Development. She recently completed the successful merger of two Vermont state departments, streamlining government and achieving cost savings for Vermont taxpayers. She was also instrumental in the passage of the 2009 package of economic development initiatives, including the enactment of a Vermont research and development tax credit.Bishop has worked for Governor Jim Douglas since his election in 2002, beginning with his transition team. She then went on to lead his policy and legislative team for six years as his Deputy Chief of Staff and recently as Economic Development Commissioner. Prior to this work, Bishop served as Vice President of Government Affairs at the Vermont Chamber of Commerce from 1994 to 1998, before starting her own company which advocated for businesses in the state legislative and regulatory arenas. She initially launched her career with eight years in marketing and advertising.Mark Saba, Vermont Chamber First Vice Chair, Chair of the Selection Committee, and owner of Vermont s Formula Ford Auto Group, said, Betsy s knowledge of business in Vermont and her understanding of the kind of advocacy that Vermont businesses need make her uniquely suited to lead the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.Bishop replaces interim Vermont Chamber President Chris Barbieri. Barbieri was President of the Vermont Chamber for many years before leaving in 2003 to run the Vermont Chamber s international trade office in Shanghai, China and has been serving on an interim basis since December. Betsy s proven ability to work with Vermont s diverse employer community and state leaders while balancing intricate policy issues will be an immense advantage to the Vermont Chamber and its member businesses, as we develop dynamic solutions to the challenges that lie ahead, stated Chris Barbieri, Interim Vermont Chamber President.After an extensive interview process, a search committee comprised of leading Vermont employers from diverse business sectors and sizes all around the state selected Bishop as the top candidate. She will begin working at the Vermont Chamber in mid July.last_img read more

Recovery act expands SBA microloan program

first_imgWith the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding an additional $50 million for loans and $24 million for technical assistance, the U.S. Small Business Administration is expanding its Microloan program and increasing access to capital for small businesses across the country. The approved new microlenders are: Vermont Community Loan Fund, Inc. of Montpelier, Vt.; Neighborhood Development Center of Saint Paul, Minn.; Cen-Tex Certified Development Corp. of Austin, Texas; The Emperor Organization of Tallahassee, Fla.; Staunton Creative Community Fund, Inc. of Staunton, Va.; Lane MicroBusiness (d.b.a. Dev) of Eugene, Ohio; FINANTA (American Street Financial Ser.) of Philadelphia, Pa; and Accion USA, Inc. of New York, N.Y.The program is shifting to funding provided under the Recovery Act now that it has exhausted the regular FY 2009 appropriations for $20 million in loans and $20 million in technical assistance. With the additional resources, SBA is focused on adding new lenders and encouraging entrepreneurs to seek out SBA-backed microlenders to finance their businesses. SBA s Microloan program provides a critical source of capital for entrepreneurs, including women, low-income individuals and minorities, who often have difficulty obtaining capital to start and grow their businesses, said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills.  With these resources, we can put more entrepreneurs and small business owners in a position to succeed and create jobs that will in turn help drive our nation s economic recovery.Since the Recovery Act, SBA has approved eight new applications from lenders to join the Microloan program, and has 15 new loans to microlenders for $10.7 million in Recovery Act funds ready to be disbursed.  Of the 15, eight are for new microlenders.SBA s Microloan Program supports microlenders by providing them with up to $3.5 million in low-cost loans from SBA to finance their lending to small businesses.  SBA s interest rate to microlenders is based on the five-year Treasury rate, with adjustments tied to a microlender s average loan size. Microlenders use the SBA funding to provide loans of up to $35,000 to entrepreneurs, which can be used for working capital and acquisition of materials, supplies, furniture, fixtures and equipment.SBA also provides grant funding to microlenders to finance technical assistance and counseling programs for their borrowers, including staff, classroom training and occupancy costs.  SBA s reimbursement is capped at 25 percent of the microlender s outstanding SBA loan portfolio.Organizations interested in becoming SBA microlenders must meet specific criteria in terms of organizational status, microlending experience and matching requirements from non-federal sources.  For more information, please visit: is external), email sends e-mail), or call 202-205-6485.Entrepreneurs who wish to learn about the Microloan program can visit:…(link is external). You can receive all of the SBA s News Releases via email.  To subscribe, visit is external)   and select Press Officelast_img read more

Hunger Mountain Coop will not expand in Waterbury

first_imgHunger Mountain Coop in Montpelier has decided that it is not in The Coop’s best interest to accept the offer from Pomerleau Realty to lease the RJ’s Friendly Market space in downtown Waterbury.‘Based on our market study and financial analysis, it was determined that it is not financially viable for The Coop to operate in that particular storefront’, explains Coop General Manager Kari Bradley. ‘Overhead costs were a particular challenge, as was its large retail area.’At this time, The Coop is not actively exploring this or any additional locations. However, planning for future operating and facility needs is part of The Coop’s current multi-year Cooperative Plan. According to Coop Council President Lydia Busler-Blais, ‘The Coop will consider expansion opportunities in the future if projected Member-Owner and sales growth exceed the capabilities of our current store, and Waterbury will certainly be part of that exploration. We are grateful for the valuable feedback we have received from all of our Member-Owners and surrounding community during this process.’Source: Hunger Mountain. 9.13.2010. Hunger Mountain Coop, located in Montpelier, Vermont is a community-owned natural market & café committed to building a dynamic community of healthy individuals, sustainable local food systems and thriving cooperative commerce. The Coop celebrated its 38th anniversary in 2010. is external)last_img read more

Vermonter Michael Hastings on the cover of the RollingStone

first_imgby Casey Hurlburt. Michael Hastings is the author of the RollingStone article titled ‘The Runaway General,’ which prompted General Stanley McChrystal to lose his position as Commander of US Forces Afghanistan. The controversial article has also brought about a wide variety of responses from the media, ranging from praise to disparagement.Hastings does not remember a time when he was not interested in the news, and he traces his journalistic beginnings back to the day when General Norman Schwarzkopf was to give a press conference at the beginning of the Gulf War in 1990, when Hastings was in fifth grade. Instead of going to Phys Ed, he asked his teachers if he could watch the press conference, ‘So I was sitting alone in the classroom taking notes on the Gulf War while the rest of my classmates were in gym class,’ he recollected.He also has a bit of a record getting on the bad side of authority figures. He went to two different high schools. In the first high school he went to, he had a column where he was ‘very critical of the high school’s administration, which annoyed the headmaster,’ he said.In 1997, he moved to Vermont as a junior in high school. He went to Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington, where he was banned from the school newspaper, ‘because’ he said, ‘I compared the principal to, I think I said he looked like Jabba the Hut – which was true – but that did not endear me to them.’ At the end of his junior year, he ran for class president, and won, on an anti-administrative platform, ‘which didn’t sit well with Jabba the Hut,’ he laughingly recalled, ‘But they couldn’t stop it, they can’t stop democracy,’ he added.Everything was going well until one day; about six months after Austin Powers first came out, he was advertising over the intercom ‘for Roses, or some sort of Valentine’s Day thing.’ He said of the product, ‘This sounds pretty shagadelic.’ He explained that this was before Austin Powers had become main stream, and so the word was not part of the vernacular yet, ‘This sent shock waves through the school… the school launched an investigation on the meaning of shagadelic. This is Rice, a Catholic school’ He was called into the vice principal’s office.‘There’s a pattern here establishing throughout my life,’ he said, smiling. ‘I was impeached. It was more like a coup than an impeachment, really, because there was no actual trial.’He was suspended and banned from student council.‘That was actually quite devastating to me at the time. I learned a valuable lessonâ ¦ choose your battles wisely.’Despite getting into a little trouble, his memories of Rice are fond, ‘Rice is a great school. I like picking on it, but it is a really great school – great teachers there. It’s a wonderful school and I’m really glad I went there.’ He played sports – lacrosse and soccer – and he also performed in school plays. Among his favorite teachers, Mike Paro, who taught contemporary history, stands out to him, ‘Mr Paro was one of those guys that you really look back on. He made us read Newsweek. He pushed us. I was always interested in that stuff, but he encouraged the news. And he came to a book reading I had here.’Hastings also added that he was supposed to go on a trip to Venezuela with Mr Paro his senior year of high school, but was banned from that as well. ‘That was painful,’ he recalled, ‘and it was all in the wake of the shagadelic incident. It’s like something out of Glee, some ridiculous kind of high school drama.’After high school, Hastings got a job working for Scholastic magazine, an educational magazine for young adults. Later, in his last year at NYU in 2002, he ‘was lucky enough,’ as he put it, to get an internship at Newsweek.‘I realized, ‘Wow, journalism is a way to get paid to write. And that’s what I love to do.’ I figured any profession where I get to call interesting people up and talk to them and then write about it is a pretty good way to do things. I was very fortunate that that happened. I started as an unpaid intern.’He received an email asking if anyone would like to work Friday and Saturday nights for free at Newsweek.‘I think I was the only one who actually responded. I wasn’t partying or anything at that point. So I started working Friday and Saturday nights at Newsweek for free,’ he said, ‘and there was this heat wave that summer and my apartment didn’t have air conditioning, but the office did. So I was in the office a lot – and they mistook that for hard work and dedication.’By the end of the summer, he had a temporary three-week contract, which continued to extend to a six-week, three-month, and one-year contract, until he was put on staff at Newsweek. After expressing quite a bit of interest in going overseas, he was finally appointed Baghdad correspondent. He eventually left Newsweek to write for other magazines, a risk that he felt was important for him to take.‘I had a great run at Newsweek. It’s where I learned how to be a professional writer and journalist. I loved the place. But sometimes you have to move on and try something different.’As a journalist, Hastings travels a lot, ‘Over the past year I’ve probably been overseas half the time, maybe more,’ he said. ‘On the one hand it’s great because you get to go to really interesting places, but on the other hand, some of the places you go to are not the nicest places in the world to visitâ ¦ it can certainly have its toll, and take a sort of emotional impact.’He says leaving Vermont is one of the hardest things about traveling.‘This is the problem with the traveling. Once you’re in Vermont you don’t want to leave. It’s hard to give up Lake Champlain and boating to go be in 130 degree heat in Southern Afghanistan where people are trying to, you know, kill you.’ But while he admits that leaving Vermont is difficult, he acknowledges his privilege as a journalist.‘As a journalist, I get to leave. I get to go and leave and that’s a very privileged position to be in. Whether it’s the Vermont National Guard, the soldiers who are over there on a 12-month deployment – who are over there right now – they don’t get to leave when they want. Or if you’re a soldier in the Afghan army, or an Afghan civilian who lives there. These people who have to live in these war zones and are there under orders – they don’t get the luxury to stay for a month or two or three, then go to Dubai, and then go back to Vermont.’‘It is tough to leave Vermont. That is one of the big challenges. At first you are so excited, then the more experience you get, you realize how special and precious peace is; not only peace and quiet but just living in a stable society where you can drive down the road and people aren’t trying to kidnap you and blow you up. And Vermont qualifies as a stable societyâ ¦ I highly recommend Vermont.’Hastings’ favorite place in Vermont?‘Well, I don’t know if I should say because it’s such a cool place, sort of undiscovered. On Lake Champlain, in Milton, is, I think, the greatest undiscovered gem in all of Vermont. Grand Isle and North Hero and all those places are really cool, but if you are on the lake in Miltonâ ¦ I like all parts of Vermont, but my favorite spot is Milton. I’m for the Milton renaissance.’So it isn’t too surprising that the kid who had a history of telling it like it is and bumping heads with administration in high school became the young professional journalist who ‘turned the news and American politics and the war effort upside down,’ according to Rachel Maddow of MSNBC the day after his article on Stanley McChrystal was published in RollingStone. Only this time, instead of being punished by the administration, the administration changed.His article received a wide spectrum of reviews by fellow journalists. Some accused him of breaking the rules, some criticized his ability to portray McChrystal accurately, some said he revealed problems and tensions in American politics, and one praised him as one of the only journalists left in existence.Hastings views the impact of his article with a sort of ‘being in the right place at the right time’ mentality. There is no doubt that he put time and research into his back story, but as he put it, ‘Like they say in NASCAR, you need to make your own luck.’He said, ‘People have said this stuff or written about it before, and it builds and builds and builds, and then there’s a story that all the sudden draws attention on these things, and at RollingStone you can do that in such a way that is a little more blunt.’ He added, ‘But it also shows how sometimes the media narratives that get constructed are much more fragile than they appear.’Hastings believes that his job as a journalist is to always question the conventional narrative, ‘What is the media narrative? Is it an accurate one? Is it worth while? How well does it stand up?’He acknowledges that these narratives can change over night, as it did for General McChrystal. Hastings himself was surprised at the impact of his article.‘I knew the material was strong and I knew we had a pretty solid story. I imagine a lot. I have an active imagination, but I never would have imagined what happened. I didn’t think General McChrystal would be fired. I thought he was pretty secure in his job. I wasn’t alone, I don’t think. That was the conventional wisdom – that he was pretty secure in his position. That conventional wisdom changed within 48 hours.’A week after Michael Hastings’ article appeared in RollingStone, John Pilger, investigative journalist and documentary film maker, was interviewed on DemocracyNow!. He responded to a critical comment that Lara Logan, Chief correspondent of foreign affairs for CBS made during an interview, ‘Michael Hastings has never served his country the way McChrystal has.’Pilger’s response: ‘Michael Hastings is serving his country. This country tells the rest of the world about its magnificent beginning, about its magnificent Constitution, about its magnificent freedoms. At the heart of those freedoms is the freedom of speech – and the freedom of journalism. That is serving your country. That is serving humanityâ ¦Hastings has proved – God bless him – that journalists still exist.’When asked what advice Hastings had for high school students, he said, ‘My advice is clichéd and it’s simple: do what you love to doâ ¦No matter what job you end up having, or profession you’re in, or anything in your life, you’re not going to please everybody. It’s impossible, anyway, especially if you’re taking risks and doing things that are not considered conventional or are a little different than what other people are doing. You’re going to expose yourself to a lot of criticism. But at the end of the day, as long as you know the motivations for what you are doing, and that those motivations are good and honest and have integrity, then I think it’s worthwhile to do.’ Casey Hurlburt is editor of NextUp, Your Guide to Life After High School in Vermont.  Photo by Glenn Moodylast_img read more

Shumlin asks school districts to hold down spending to hold down property taxes

first_imgSource: Shumlin’s office. 12.22.2010  AttachmentSize EDU-Estimated_Allocation_of_Federal_Education_Jobs_Fund.pdf508 KB Governor-elect Peter Shumlin today said that local school boards and communities are best left to make their own budget decisions and he will not ask the Legislature to enforce the voluntary education spending cuts recommended under Challenges for Change. At the same time, he said that local school districts will still receive $23.2 million less from the state this year. While much of that should be made up with the nearly $19 million in federal education stimulus money that the state received earlier this fall, the $19 million is a one-time allocation of funds and school districts should continue to develop fiscally sound budgets so as not to result in increased property taxes.He makes this announcement following last week’s report that school districts were unable to meet the $23.2 million voluntary reduction targets set earlier this year.‘We always knew that this would be a difficult year for school budgets,’ said Shumlin. ‘Our local boards and educational leaders have worked diligently to provide the quality education we expect from our schools and local voters expect. I trust our local school boards and voters to develop fiscally sound budgets that reflect the values we hold dear as Vermonters.’‘We are fortunate that Congress allocated $19 million dollars to our state to prevent layoffs,’ continued Shumlin. ‘I will encourage the Legislature to get this money in the hands of local school districts as soon as possible so they can develop their budgets in time for Town Meeting Day. The $19 million should serve as a bridge to a thoughtful and sustainable approach to reduced spending in order to avoid property tax increases.’Governor-elect Shumlin was joined by Education Commissioner Armando Vilaseca, Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding, Speaker of the House Shap Smith, President of the Vermont-National Education Association Martha Allen, Director of the Vermont Superintendents Association Jeff Francis, Director of the Vermont Principals Association Ken Page and Director of the Vermont School Boards Association John Nelson.‘I want to thank the leadership at the 14 supervisory unions who met or exceeded the targets set for them,’ said Commissioner Vilaseca. ‘I want to ensure that those who did reach deep down and made significant reductions are not penalized for doing so. Twenty-two additional Supervisory Unions partially met their targets and we appreciate their efforts as well. I will continue to recommend that in January the Governor and the Legislature release the $19 million Education Jobs Fund money to Vermont school districts as soon as possible in order to bridge some of the cuts from our local school budgets. Today my staff is releasing the anticipated amount allocated to each district. School districts will be able to decide locally if they prefer to use it during this current budget cycle, during the FY2013 budget cycle, or some combination thereof.’‘This approach does not require districts to meet the specific targets, but the $23.2 million dollar reduction will be booked in General Fund on a system wide basis,’ said Jeb Spaulding. ‘The way our education funding system works, if schools do not restrain spending they will see an impact in their tax rates.’last_img read more

Orvis announces 2011 winners of its commitment to protect nature grants

first_imgOrvis Company Inc,A team from the International Rhino Foundation tends to a black rhino in Zimbabwe. The IRF is one of four recipients of an Orvis Commitment to Protect Nature Grant for 2011. The Orvis CompanyThe Orvis Company announced today the winners of its Commitment to Protect Nature Grants for 2011. Every year, Orvis reviews projects submitted from around the world. From those submissions Orvis chooses the best ones to share with their customers in matching grant campaigns in their catalogs and online. This year’s projects reach around the globe and include: Protection of both the endangered black rhino of Zimbabwe and the Coral Triangle fishery at the intersection of the Indian and Pacific Oceans; as well as restoration of Montana’s famous Upper Clark Fork River and of the dwindling Florida panther populations. “The Orvis Company believes that if we are to benefit from the use of our natural resources, we must commit to protecting them. The winners this year exemplify that commitment,” said Orvis CEO Perk Perkins. Perkins recently received the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership’s Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award. “We are pleased to endorse these projects to our customers.”This year’s winners are: The International Rhino Foundation: The IRF is on the front lines in Zimbabwe protecting rhinos from poachers who have nearly wiped out the species. The IRF may be all that stands between the black rhino and extinction.The World Wildlife Fund’s Coral Triangle Initiative: The Coral Triangle harbors 75 percent of all known coral species and some 3,000 species of reef fish. WWF is teaching sustainable fishing practices to keep the “Amazon of the ocean” alive and thriving.The Clark Fork Coalition: Named by Meriwether Lewis after William Clark (both of the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition), The Clark Fork River is in dire trouble. The Clark Fork River Coalition and Trout Unlimited have teamed up in one of the most historic restoration efforts in our country’s history to restore vital trout spawning tributaries.National Wildlife Refuge Association’s Northern Everglades Program: Florida’s northern everglades region is home to some of the nation’s most threatened or endangered animal species, including the Florida panther. Orvis is helping to sponsor creation of a new refuge in the everglades to ensure some of our nation’s most endangered species live on for future generations.For the remainder of 2011, Orvis will match donations to the above efforts and reach out to its customers through both catalog and the Internet to encourage support. You can learn more about the Orvis Commitment to protecting nature and doubling your donation to these worthy and vital organizations at is external).About The Orvis CommitmentFounded in 1856, Orvis donates five percent of pre-tax profits each year to programs that protect nature and has raised over 10 million dollars through matching grant challenges with its customers over the last 20 years. You can read more about Orvis on their website at is external).  MANCHESTER, VT–(Marketwire – March 09, 2011) –last_img read more

Winners announced for Vermont Woodworking Design competitions

first_imgAt the recent VT Fine Furniture & Woodworking Festival thefinest wood craftsmen in Vermont exhibited their design entries in theVermont Woodworking Design Competition.The entries were displayed not onlyfor the judges, but for the public to give them an opportunity to see, firsthand, the broad scope of work designed and created by the state’s manyartisans. The panel of prestigious judges included Mark Schofield of FineWoodworking Magazine, Dan Faia of North Bennett Street School, and JamesMurray from Simon Pearce Glass. Judges enjoyed the day with their clipboardson hand, making notes that would help them decide who would walk away withthe 1st place awards in the various categories offered. Four professionalcategories were offered for Custom or Studio Furniture, ProductionFurniture, Custom Woodenware, and Carvings or Sculptures, in addition to onestudent/apprentice category for those 18 and enrolled in school forwoodworking. Pieces were judged based upon the quality of the craftsmanshipand the innovativeness of the design. The Competition was open only to thosepieces that are designed and made in Vermont, by Vermont woodworkers andstudents.SEE LIST WITH PICTURES BELOWFirst Place prizes were awarded in each of the categories to the followingprofessional woodworkers: production furniture to Brent Karner of ClearLakeFurniture for his Wall Unit, custom or studio furniture to Johns Congdon forhis Alienor Writing Desk; custom woodenware to Ted Fink of TJF Turnings, LLCfor his Heartwood bowl, and carvings and sculpture to TJF Turnings, LLC forPuzzle Piece Bowl.Chris Ramos took the 18+ student/apprentice award for his Office Desk, 2ndplace was awarded to Rachel Brydolf-Horwitz for her Cailligraphy Cabinet,and 3rd place went to Tyler Gebhardt for his Floating Top Hall Table.Comments from the judges on Ramos’ winning entry included, “Nice contrast oflegs & surface” and “Good design”. Ramos is in his final semester atBurlington Colleges’ Associates Degree in Fine Furniture Making program,which is implemented at the Vermont Woodworking School in Fairfax, VT.Rachel & Tyler made their entry while enrolled in the Burlington CollegeCertificate program. Students learn the fundamentals of woodworking, andfine tune their skills by participating in skills-based classes andworkshops offered by members of the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers. Toview more about the woodworking certificates and programs offered atBurlington College & the Vermont Woodworking School please visit is external).We would like to thank the following companies for their prize donations:Fine Woodworking Magazine, Alisam Engineering, Berkshire Products, SuperThin Saws, Groff & Groff Lumber, Inc., Blum Tools, Starrett, AmericanWoodworker, General Finishes, Woodworkers Journal, Waterlox, Dremel, andRockler Woodworking & Hardware. We would also like to thank the JacksonHouse Inn, The Kedron Valley Inn, and the Hawk Inn & Resort for providingaccommodations for our design competition reception guests. Cabot CreameryCooperative, Mac’s Market and Gillingham’s Store were also generoussupporters of our reception. We couldn’t have done it without everyone thatwas involved.Congratulations 2011 Vermont Fine Furniture & Wood Products Design Competition WinnersCustom/Studio FurniturePlaceItemWinner Click on image for larger photo1 2The HunterRich DeTrano Rich DeTrano Woodturner Ludlow. VTStudent (18 & over)1Office DesksChristopher RamosBurlington College Associate of Arts in Craftsmanship & is external)2Calligraphy CabinetRachel Brydolf-Horwitz Vermont Woodworking is external) 2Abacus TableMario Messina Mario Messina Designer Craftsman 2Norwegian TimeCarl Newton Carl Newton, Bentwood Box is external) 3Floating Top Hall TableTyler Gebhardt Vermont Woodworking is external) 3State of Craft TableDavid Hurwitz David Hurwitz is external) center_img Alienor Writing DeskJohn Congdon Johns Congdon Furniture Design  Design by Giovanna Brunini is external) 3Cherry LampDavid Hurwitz David Hurwitz is external)Carving & Sculpture1Puzzle Piece BowlTed Fink TJF Turnings, is external) Production Furniture1Large Wall UnitBrent Karner ClearLake is external)Custom Woodenware1Heartwood BowlTed Fink TJF Turnings, is external) Congratulations to everyone that entered into the competitions. A completelist of winners in all categories can be found is external). WOODSTOCK, VT-last_img read more

Japan’s Nippon Life to end lending for new coal projects

first_imgJapan’s Nippon Life to end lending for new coal projects FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Asahi Shimbun:Nippon Life Insurance Co. plans to become the first leading Japanese financial institution to reject investments and loans into new coal-fired power generation projects at home and abroad, a company source said July 12.The decision, made by Japan’s largest life insurance company, may have a domino effect across the financial industry.“It was difficult,” said a Nippon Life executive. “But we, as a life insurance company, which is supposed to offer society a huge public benefit, decided not to do that.”After the Paris Agreement against global warming took effect in 2016, many financial and other institutions in the United States and European countries ended their investments and loans to coal-fired power projects.As for Japanese companies, three mega-banks intend to set stricter standards when deciding on investments toward coal-fired power generation. Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Co. announced in May that it would not invest in construction of coal-fired power plants overseas.More: Nippon Life won’t invest in coal-fired power plant projectslast_img read more