Leap Year 2008: 29 Reasons Vermont Is the Place to Spend that Extra Day

first_imgThis month’s gift of a tucked-away day only comes once every four years. Here are 29 things to do in Vermont this Friday! “Ring in the 29th and watch it go with the Leap Year Special overnight stay at the Mountaintop Inn & Resort in Chittenden (www.mountaintopinn.com(link is external)). “Browse 29 books by Vermont authors at the independent Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne (www.flyingpigbooks.com(link is external)). “Order 29 seed packets from the Vermont Wildflower Farm, and deliver spring to your doorstep (www.vermontwildflowerfarm.com(link is external)). “Experience 29 minutes of nostalgia at your local antique shop (www.vermontada.com(link is external)). “Play 29 holes of indoor mini golf at Pizza Putt in South Burlington (www.pizzaputt.com(link is external)). “Savor 29 types of artisanal cheese from the almost 200 varieties made in Vermont (www.vtcheese.com(link is external)). “Lather up 29 Citrus Sunrise bubbles with Vermont Soap (www.vermontsoap.com(link is external)). “Try 29 varieties of coffee at the historic Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Visitors Center in Waterbury (www.waterburystation.com(link is external)). “Ride 29 snowmobile trails into the Northeast Kingdom from Lyndonville’s Wildflower Inn (www.wildflowerinn.com(link is external)). “Gobble up 29 flavors of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream (www.benjerry.com(link is external)). “‘Upgrade’ your soft-wear with 29 wardrobe essentials from Fat Hat Clothing Company (www.fathat.com(link is external)). “Try 29 drops of maple syrup on buttermilk pancakes created from mixes at Sugarbush Farm in Woodstock (www.sugarbushfarm.com(link is external)). “Spy on 29 species of birds from the porch of your favorite B & B (www.vtchamber.com(link is external)). “Sample the food of 29 New England Culinary Institute chefs and their students at NECI locations around the state (www.neci.edu(link is external)). “Take home 29 cider doughnuts from the Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury (www.coldhollow.com(link is external)). “Catch your breath on a 29-minute sleighride on your local farm (www.vtfarms.org(link is external)). “Kick back with 29 bottles of wine on a wall from some of Vermont 14 wineries (www.vtchamber.com(link is external)). “Knit, purl, knit, purl, 29 times to make a scarf with Kaleidoscope Yarns in Essex Junction (www.kyarns.com(link is external)). “Choose from over 29 teddy bears personalities at the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory in Shelburne (www.vermontteddybear.com(link is external)). “Spend an extra 29 minutes learning a new trail at your favorite ski resort (www.skivermont.com(link is external)). “Say ‘I love you 29 ways with 29 truffles from Birnn Chocolates (www.birnn.com(link is external)). “Dodge the bloodsuckers 29 times at the Burlington ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center’s featured exhibit, ‘Attack of the Bloodsuckers (www.echovermont.org(link is external)). “Take in 29 Grandma Moses creations at the Bennington Museum (www.benningtonmuseum.org(link is external)). “Shop 29 designer stores at the Outlets of Manchester. “Plan a paddling tour of 29 miles of the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail (www.northernforestcanoetrail.org(link is external)). “Choose a 29-letter name train from Maple Landmark in Middlebury (www.maplelandmark.com(link is external)). “Serve 29 dishes using recipes for Cabot Cheese products (www.cabotcheese.com(link is external)). “Stay at the Stoweflake in Stowe from February 29th to March 2 and enjoy the special Leap Day package (www.stoweflake.com(link is external)). … and the first thing to do in Vermont this Friday: Visit Vermont and play in your own backyard! The Vermont Hospitality Council is the largest division of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, promoting travel to and within Vermont.last_img read more

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Vermont’s Innovative State Housing Authority Reaches 40-Year Milestone

first_imgVermont’s Innovative State Housing Authority Reaches 40-Year MilestoneMontpelier — The Vermont State Housing Authority (VSHA) — the first state housing authority within the continental U.S.A. — is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2008.Vermont broke new ground in 1968 when Gov. Philip Hoff approached the federal Agency of Housing and Urban Development with a new concept: a housing authority free to operate anywhere in the state where housing-assistance services for low-to-moderate-income residents were not available from a local authority. HUD officials in Washington extended their unanimous approval, and the Vermont State Housing Authority was created by an act of the Vermont Legislature on March 23, 1968. Other states have since followed Vermont’s lead and established statewide authorities.The model has proven its merit, as VSHA now provides services that touch nearly every community in Vermont. VSHA assists 8,000 needy Vermont families to secure and retain safe and decent housing.VSHA has expanded its role greatly since 1968. The Vermont State Housing Authority works with private developers, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies to create, preserve, rehabilitate, and manage affordable housing for low-income Vermonters.It administers federal funds that come to Vermont for homeless assistance, and for the last two years has helped coordinate a statewide ‘Point-in-Time’ count of homeless Vermonters — an important step toward providing housing solutions. Plus, VSHA’s innovative Homeownership Program has helped more than 80 Vermont families move off of public rental assistance and become homeowners themselves — a program that has won national recognition and emulation.In noting his agency’s milestone anniversary, Richard Williams, VSHAs executive director since 1984, said housing affordability and availability have become critical public concerns in Vermont in recent years.”This is a very poignant time for us to be celebrating our 40th anniversary,” said Williams. “We are proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish for Vermonters over the past forty years, but the challenges have never been greater. We’re inspired and motivated by the knowledge that our services are needed more than ever.”# # #last_img read more

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Vermont gasoline prices fall 2.3 cents

first_imgAverage retail gasoline prices in Vermont have fallen 2.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.77/g today. This compares with the national average that has stayed flat, moving just 0.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.66/g, according to gasoline price website VermontGasPrices.com.Including the change in gas prices in Vermont during the past week, prices today are 86.9 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 1 cent per gallon flat than a month ago. The national average has decreased 6.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 76.1 cents per gallon higher than this day a year ago.About VermontGasPrices.comGasBuddy.com operates over 200 live gasoline price-tracking websites, including VermontGasPrices.com. GasBuddy.com was named one of Time magazine’s 50 best websites and to PC World’s 100 most useful websites of 2008.Source: Vermont, VT, February 8, 2010, VermontGasPrices.comlast_img read more

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Rutland Regional Medical Center achieves the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence

first_imgVermont Council for Quality announced today that Rutland Regional Medical Center has achieved the 2009 Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence. Rutland Regional Medical Center will be honored at Vermont Council for Quality’s 12th Annual Recognition and Award Ceremony on May 21, 2010 at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont.“Rutland Regional Medical Center is proud to have achieved the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence. This displays the caliber of staff and commitment to provide quality patient care we have at our organization. Through all of our hard work and dedication we have reached another milestone in our Journey to Excellence.” Said Thomas W. Huebner, President, Rutland Regional Medical Center.The Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence recognizes organizations in Vermont that successfully achieve performance excellence within their management systems and operations. Award recipients are evaluated by an independent board of Vermont Performance Excellence Examiners in seven areas:  leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process management; and results. The evaluation process includes approximately 1,000 hours of review and an on-site visit by a team of volunteer examiners to clarify questions and verify information in an organizational self-assessment application.“The Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence is the highest level of recognition for an organization that demonstrates outstanding performance, achievement, and results in Vermont. The Vermont Program for Performance Excellence is proud to honor Rutland Regional Medical Center for their role model status by continuously improving their processes and systems through the use the Performance Excellence Criteria. Rutland Regional Medical Center demonstrates that using a proven, systematic framework for excellence will help to ensure their sustainability and meet the challenges in health care. We are pleased to recognize their commitment and dedication to performance excellence,” states Laurie Emerson, President of Vermont Council for Quality.Founded in 1896, Rutland Regional Medical Center has grown from a 10-bed hospital on Nichols Street with eight attending physicians into Vermont’s second largest health care facility. Rutland Regional has 188 licensed beds and more than 120 physicians trained in 35 specialty areas. Rutland Regional Medical Center is fully accredited by the Joint Commission and is licensed by the State of Vermont. It is a member of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, the American Hospital Association and the Voluntary Hospitals of America-New England.Vermont Council for Quality was founded in 1996 as a non-profit corporation that serves as a resource for Vermont organizations and individuals to build and achieve performance excellence. VCQ is modeled after the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Program and is one of 40 state and local award programs in the United States. VCQ provides continuous improvement education and training, organizational self-assessments, feedback reports, recognition and awards, networking opportunities, serves as a resource referral for information, knowledge, and sharing of best practices within and between Vermont organizations. For more information about Vermont Council for Quality, please contact Laurie Emerson, President at the organization’s Colchester office: at 802-655-1910 or visit our website at www.VermontQuality.org(link is external) to learn more.Source: Vermont Council for Quality. 4.28.2010last_img read more

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U.S. Coal Job Numbers Essentially Unchanged in 2017

first_imgU.S. Coal Job Numbers Essentially Unchanged in 2017 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Nearly two-thirds of U.S. coal producing states lost coal mining jobs in 2017, even as overall employment in the downtrodden sector grew modestly, according to preliminary government data obtained by Reuters.Unreleased full-year coal employment data from the Mining Health and Safety Administration shows total U.S. coal mining jobs grew by 771 to 54,819 during Trump’s first year in office, led by Central Appalachian states like West Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania – where coal companies have opened a handful of new mining areas.But the industry also lost jobs in other Appalachian states like Ohio, Kentucky, and Maryland; the western Powder River Basin states Montana and Wyoming; as well as in several other states like Indiana, New Mexico, and Texas.Texas lost the largest number, at 455, and Ohio was a close second, losing 414, according to the data. Pennsylvania, which gained 96 jobs in 2017, is also expected to go negative soon after Dana Mining announced this month it would close a mine employing about 400 people.Overall, the number of U.S. coal jobs is still lingering near historic lows at less than one-third the level in the mid-1980s, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, as the industry loses market share to cheaper natural gas.More: Exclusive: Trump’s coal job push stumbles in most states – datalast_img read more

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Oklahoma utility makes it official, 650MW Oklaunion coal plant to close in October

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享RTO Insider:Public Service Company of Oklahoma formally notified ERCOT on Tuesday that it will retire the coal-fired Oklaunion Power Station in the Texas Panhandle.PSO filed a notification of suspension of operations for the plant, effective Oct. 1. Market participants have until Feb. 11 to file comments before the grid operator makes a final decision.American Electric Power, PSO’s parent company and the plant’s operator and majority owner, said in September 2018 that it planned to shut down Oklaunion by October 2020 over concerns that the plant’s production costs were no longer competitive.The 34-year-old, 650-MW plant’s ownership is split among utilities in both ERCOT and SPP. AEP Texas owns a 54.69% interest in the plant. The other owners are the Brownsville Public Utilities Board (17.97%) in South Texas, PSO (15.62%) and the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (11.72%).The retirement leaves ERCOT with 22 operational coal units, accounting for the mothballing of CPS Energy’s two J.T. Deeley units, which have 871 MW of capacity. ERCOT has lost almost 6 GW of coal-fired generation since 2017.[Tom Kleckner]More: PSO officially retires Oklaunion coal plant Oklahoma utility makes it official, 650MW Oklaunion coal plant to close in Octoberlast_img read more

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Column: Coal is losing steam in crucial Vietnamese market

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Hanoi is smudging coal’s prospects.Battered in green-minded Europe, thermal coal producers have been leaning instead on appetite from fast-expanding emerging economies, particularly in Southeast Asia. A change of direction in Vietnam suggests that support may be fading.An energy strategy for the decade through 2030, outlined last month, reduces the role of the dirtiest fossil fuel in favor of wind, solar and gas. That’s a huge step for a country of nearly 100 million that’s growing at 6% to 7% annually and anticipating a power shortage starting in 2021 — not to mention one that until recently had planned to roughly triple its fleet of coal-fired power plants. Vietnam forecasts power demand will more than double in the coming decade.The change of heart reflects a financing squeeze, cheap gas and U.S. pressure on Vietnam to reduce the trade surplus with its largest export market. Combine that with decreasing costs for renewable energy, and growing domestic concerns about air pollution. Then add in the fact that, in the short term, the urgency for extra power may cool as the country gets over the direct and indirect impact of the coronavirus on manufacturing investment. Coal’s sell-by date just moved a lot closer.It’s hard to overstate Asia’s role in coal. The region has, alone, kept the single-largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions from falling off a cliff. Its extra consumption has helped global coal demand grow marginally in recent years, despite sharp drops in demand in the U.S. and Europe. The region now accounts for almost 80% of global coal power generation, and most of that boost has come from Southeast Asia, led by Vietnam and Indonesia. Vietnamese coal imports almost doubled in 2019.Hanoi isn’t turning away altogether from the fuel that provides about 40% of its electricity. Its national energy development plan backs large-capacity and high-efficiency units, plus so-called ultra-supercritical technology, which is less polluting. Yet it advises that spending be targeted elsewhere, including on the grid, on gas and on renewable energy. The National Steering Committee for Power Development has recommended scaling down coal’s share in power generation to 37% by 2025 from around half. That eliminates 15 gigawatts of planned projects — significant for a country with about 20GW of installed coal capacity. The final update to the power development plan isn’t due for a few months, but these signals should already be ringing alarm bells for miners.[Clara Ferreira Marques]More: Coal’s sell-by date just moved closer Column: Coal is losing steam in crucial Vietnamese marketlast_img read more

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Daily Dirt: Outdoor News for April 11, 2013

first_imgGround Zero: Hot Springs, N.C.Your outdoor news bulletin for April 11, the day Apollo 13 launched for the moon and Napoleon lunched for Elba:Stomach Bug Invades Appalachian TrailThings are getting buggy on the A.T., and we’re not talking about mosquitos. The U.S. Forest service released a statement warning A.T. hikers near Hot Springs, N.C. of a 24-hour stomach bug being passed around. The viral illness seems to be concentrated in the 70-mile stretch between Hot Springs and Erwin, Tenn. No word on what to do about it, but we have to assume this is not the beginnings of a A.T. trail zombie apocalypse. It’s hard to tell the difference between a sick thru-hiker and a zombie anyway. The full statement is below:“A number of hikers have been sickened by a severe, 24-hour stomach virus that is being passed between hikers. Shelters to avoid include No Business Knob, Big Bald and Hogback Ridge. A section of the Appalachian Trail runs through the Appalachian Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest, to the north and south of Hot Springs.”Carytown Gets a Beer FestWe already mentioned the Monument Avenue 10k today but Richmond, Va. is also making a play to join the craft beer elite with its first annual Carytown Craft Beer Festival. The festival will take place this Sunday, April 14 in…Carytown. The fest will spotlight regional beers paired with local restaurants. Already known for microbreweries like Legend, Hardywood, and 3 Brother, this festival will also include Starr Hill, Center of the Universe Brewing Company, Devil’s Backbone and more. There will of course be live music and a relatively svelte $15 advanced ticket, which includes souvenir pint glass. This is great news for beer lovers in Richmond and beyond.Recluses on the Looses No MoreIt was a bad week for recluses, but a good week for law enforcement as they will not have to scour the backcountry looking for these solitary men any longer. First, Troy James Knapp, the Mountain Man of Southern Utah was arrested on Tuesday. Knapp had been on police radar for over seven years for breaking into cabins in the Wasatch, evading officials and basically living in the wilderness with only his survival skills. Then Christopher Knight, the North Pond Hermit, was caught breaking into a cabin in Maine. Knight claims to have had contact with only one other person in his three decades of off the grid living and is suspected of over 1,000 burglaries in the area. These two guys lived out in the backcounty avoiding detection for years, so I have to say this makes the legend of Bigfoot a little more plausible. The question is: how many more of these guys (or gals) are there out there? I guess, at least two more than there used to be.last_img read more

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Video: Sherpa Adventure Gear Celebrates Mount Everest’s Heroes

first_imgEver since Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hilary’s first ascent in 1953, Mount Everest has made its way onto nearly every climber’s bucket list. People from all nations flock to Nepal in hordes to tackle the greatest challenge of their lives. But in light of the peak’s worldwide popularity and the endless line of foreign climbers Everest attracts, it’s easy to forget the community that calls it home.The Sherpas, natives of Nepal and the Himalayan region, live in the literal shadow of Mount Everest. Without them, most of those famous expeditions wouldn’t have made it past base camp. Sherpas bear the loads of the expeditions and take many of the risks.Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 12.47.33 PMSo Tashi Sherpa, the founder of Sherpa Adventure Gear, asks an important question: where is their recognition, their support? Sherpa names usually don’t make it onto the news or into the trip reports, and they rarely get fair compensation. Sherpa Adventure Gear aims to rewrite that story.Tashi created Sherpa Adventure Gear in honor of his uncle, who was one of the original Sherpa climbers to accompany Hilary and Norgay. The products that Tashi makes, including jackets, pants, hats and lifestyle clothing, first go to the Sherpas themselves, the best gear testers out there. Tashi also hires the Sherpas (at good pay and working conditions, no less) as the heart of his company and donates a portion of each sale to a special fund for Sherpa education.This short video on Sherpa Adventure Gear applauds the inspirational Sherpa people and makes a great introduction to Tashi’s revitalizing efforts.last_img read more

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15 Alabama State Parks are on the Chopping Block

first_imgTalladega Scenic Byway courtesy of Chris HartmanA recent budget crisis in Alabama could force as many as 15 state parks to close their gates to the public.According to Alabama State Parks Director Greg Lein, quoted in an article posted to WHNT News 19, those parks include Bladon Springs, Chickasaw, Bucks Pocket, Paul Grist, Florala, Blue Springs, Roland Cooper, Rickwood Caverns, Cheaha Park, Lake Lurleen, DeSoto, Lakepoint, Guntersville, Joe Wheeler, and Frank Jackson.If the plan goes through, not only would the parks turn away potential visitors, but they would lose critical funding earmarked for upkeep and maintenance.One of the parks on the chopping block—Cheaha Park—is home to the state’s tallest mountain, while Guntersville and Joe Wheeler are considered two of Alabama’s most treasured natural areas. The closures could also effect portions of Alabama’s famous Pinhoti National Recreation Trail.Lein told WHNT that the parks in question have reported subpar profits over the last three years while the 7 parks that would remain open under new budget cuts have been more financially stable.For more in depth information about this developing situation and what you can do to help support Alabama’s state park visit Alabama State Parks Partners on Facebook page.To learn more about outdoor recreation opportunities in Alabama click here.last_img read more

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