Solar panels seem to be sprouting up everywhere these days: on roof tops, on walls and even in fields. Between 2008 and 2012 the cost of photovoltaic panels plunged by 77 percent. With these lower costs, many Vermonters wonder if it now makes financial sense for them to install solar panels on their homes.
Recently the media reported that fifteen Vermont ski areas would receive $5 million from Efficiency Vermont to help them purchase more than 2,000 energy efficient snow-making guns, replacing older, less efficient ones, and saving the ski resorts millions of dollars.
The state of Vermont is equipping 12 public buildings, including prisons, with solar energy systems. Thursday Governor Shumlin and the leaders of several businesses held a news conference at the first solar array under construction, for the Northeast Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury.
The complex of low buildings surrounded by barbed wired fencing perches on a scenic knoll on Route 5 just south of town.
In the fall of 1813, John James Audubon, the great ornithologist and painter, witnessed passenger pigeons flying overhead for three days; he estimated that at times more than 300 million pigeons flew by every hour. “The light of noon-day,” he wrote, “was obscured as by an eclipse …” He was stunned by the beauty of the aerial twists and turns when a hawk took after them.
All the rain we’ve had this summer has been great for gardeners, but it’s also been good news for the species of mosquitoes that like to breed in artificial containers: the little pools created in your drain spouts, bird baths, and garbage can lids. Those are the mosquitoes that carry some of the diseases we all worry about, like West Nile, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, also known as EEE.
Alan Graham is the Vermont State Entomologist, and he joins us again today to tell us about this year’s mosquito season.
You might have heard about these blue-green algae blooms on Lake Champlain. But do you know what they smell like? What causes them? The health effects? VPR reporters Annie Russell and Taylor Dobbs take a field trip to an active bloom in St. Albans Bay to get some answers.
Randolph is about to build a new wastewater treatment facility and has a settlement agreement with the state regarding violations at the old plant. Concerns are raised over litter and vandalism at recreation areas in Wallingford, Norwich and Waitsfield. And school and town officials in Pittsford aim to lower last year's $68,000 heading bill at Lothrop Elementary School.
Last winter it cost $68,000 to heat Pittsford's Lothrop Elementary School. The school board has put together a plan that it thinks will reduce the school's annual heating bill by $40,000, but first school directors must find a way to pay for the project.