Vermont Edition
12:30 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Acting Very Locally: Vermont’s Town Energy Committees

Projects like this solar barn have been completed through the efforts of town energy committees.
Vermont Natural Resources Council

Groups of volunteers in over 100 towns have been educating and facilitating home owners and municipalities transition to small-scale renewable energy or to find ways to reduce energy consumption. It’s the work of Vermont’s town energy committees.

Johanna Miller of the Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network discusses what these committees have accomplished. We also hear from Brattleboro Town Energy Coordinator Paul Cameron, Weybridge Energy Committee Chair Fran Putnam, and Waterbury State Representative Rebecca Ellis.  

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Vermont Edition
12:00 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Citizen Scientists, Unite!

Alison Wagner records the bird count in Fayston, as she takes part in The National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count in 2008. The annual event is one of the longest-running citizen science data collection projects in the country.
Toby Talbot AP

When scientists need massive volumes of data or they need data collected over a huge geographic range, they often turn to well-trained citizen scientists for help. From counting the populations of species, to monitoring water quality, citizen scientists are contributing to research and learning about science in the process. We dive into some of the research projects in Vermont that are boosted by citizen-gathered data. Our guest is Larry Clarfeld, an environmental educator at the North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier.

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The Frequency
11:59 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Pipeline Protestors Flee Company Official After Hour Long Sit-in

Police were on the scene as pipeline protestors stood and left the Vermont Gas Systems pipe yard.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

A group of protestors associated with Rising Tide Vermont briefly stopped work at a Vermont Gas Systems pipe yard in Williston Wednesday morning.

The group, singing protest songs and chanting, marched across a field and through the pipe yard before staging a sit-in at the entrance to the site, blocking vehicles from coming in or leaving.

Unlike at previous protests, like a “knit-in” that led to one arrest, the protestors fled as soon as a Vermont Gas official approached them. It was a coordinated effort to evade being served notifications of trespass.

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Public Post
11:30 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Vermont Property Tax Rates By Town

This is the time of year Vermont cities and towns set the municipal tax rates and start sending out property tax bills. Vermont property taxes pay for public education as well as municipal infrastructure and government services. As such, municipal tax rates vary widely based upon the level of service provided by cities and towns.

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Government & Politics
6:03 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Leahy Wants To Rein In NSA Surveillance

Senator Patrick Leahy has introduced legislation that makes major changes in surveillance programs used by the U.S. government.

As chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, Leahy has worked on this issue for several months.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Leahy said his goal is to end the massive data searches that the National Security Agency has conducted in recent years.

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VPR News
5:00 am
Wed July 30, 2014

State Seeks Applications From Windham County For Entergy Funds

The Commissioner of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Pat Moulton, seen here in 2005, will administer the development program.
Toby Talbot AP

Applications are now being accepted for the first round of funds provided by Entergy Vermont Yankee for economic development in Windham County. In a settlement with the state, Entergy agreed to pay $10 million over five years to help the region recover from the plant’s closing later this year.

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The Frequency
6:20 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Hanna Services To Be Held Friday

Funeral services for Cheryl Hanna will be held Friday at 3 p.m.  in the Ira Allen Chapel at the University of Vermont.  

The well-known Vermont Law School professor died suddenly on Sunday

According to a news release, law school trustee emeritus and former board chair J. Scott Cameron will speak at the service.

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VPR News
5:51 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

In Fight For Soda Tax, Stakes Getting Bigger

Anthony Iarrapino, who will lead the lobbying push for a 2-cent per-ounce excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, sits behind a display showing how much sugar some common drinks contain.
VPR/Peter Hirschfeld

Two years ago, Vermont’s House Committee on Health Care became the first legislative panel in the country to approve a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. The vote triggered a massive response from the beverage industry, which poured more than $600,000 into advertising and lobbying aimed at killing the measure.

“We really got outspent, big time,” says Tina Zuk, director of government relations for the American Heart Association. “I think we got outspent 80-to-1.”

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VPR News
5:33 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Delegation Sees Some Progress In End Of Recess Rush

Congress is scheduled to leave Washington at the end of the week with a number of critical issues still unresolved. Vermont’s delegation says there is hope for progress on two bills covering veterans’ health care and transportation funding.

The House and Senate are far apart on an immigration bill to deal with more than 52,000 undocumented children who have crossed the border.

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The Frequency
5:23 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Essex Junction Pays Up In Settlement Over Wastewater Spills

The Essex Junction wastewater treatment plant was undergoing upgrates when workers accidentally released more than 1 million gallons of undisinfected water.
Taylor Dobbs VPR File Photo

The village of Essex Junction will have to pay $22,625 in fines related to multiple unauthorized wastewater dumps last year, the state says.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Essex Junction wastewater plant wrongly released 1,954,853 gallons of un-disinfected wastewater into the Winooski River last summer.

The releases happened over two days, according to the DEC news release.

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