The Vermont Economy

VPR's Steve Zind

VPR senior reporter Steve Zind focuses on the Vermont economy and its impact on our lives. Follow Steve Zind on Twitter, post comments on the stories, and let Steve know what local economy stories you think VPR should cover.

Steve Zind / VPR

It should come as no surprise that the use of landline phones in the U.S. keeps dropping. But for residents of remote parts of Vermont, landlines can be essential.

Lori Claffee is a member of the Union/Park Neighborhood Association which has been working to take back a neighborhood in Springfield. She is standing in front of a demolition site where a nuisance house was torn down.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Neighborhood activists, who are trying to clean up one of Springfield's toughest neighborhoods, say they'll only be able to tackle the problem one building at a time.

Musicians and child care advocates gathered at a Burlington recording studio last week to work on the arrangement for 'Something Beautiful'. Shown here, from the left, are Chris Dorman, Anna Gebhardt, Kat Wright, Bob Wagner and Josh Weinstein.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

If all goes as organizers plan, a 1,000-person flash mob will be singing and dancing on Church Street in Burlington October 1 in support of adequate early childhood care for Vermont's kids.

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed rolling back net neutrality regulations. On this "Vermont Edition," we look at what the changes are and how they could affect internet users.
Kynny / iStock

Net neutrality is the concept that all data on the internet is treated equally. The Federal Communications Commission instituted these regulations during the Obama administration.

Now, those rules could be rolled back to allow internet providers to offer "fast lanes" for those willing to pay for that access.

Victoria Quine leads a class during the New England Center for Circus Arts camp Wednesday.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The entire board of trustees of the New England Center for Circus Arts stepped down Wednesday. The board members announced their decisions late in the day after accepting the resignation of the embattled executive director Michael Helmstadter.

A new video, launching a $200,000 marketing campaign, focuses on Rutland County as a mountain biking destination.
screenshot from promotional video

Organizers hope a new $200,000 marketing initiative showcasing Rutland County — rebranded as the Killington Valley — will entice professionals in cities like New York and Boston to visit the region.

Some of the new duplexes that are part of the Hickory Street and Juneberry Lane Apartments, a $22 million affordable housing development in southwest Rutland.
Nina Keck / VPR

Rutland’s Forest Park housing project has been undergoing a $22 million affordable housing makeover that many say has turned a problem into an asset.

Railroad veteran Charlie Moore, left, has joined David Blittersdorf, right, in Blittersdorf's effort to establish commuter rail in Vermont.
Steve Zind / VPR

Wind developer David Blittersdorf has put millions of dollars into a plan to bring commuter train service back to Vermont, and the new service could begin as early as next year.

Howard Weisss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont grass-fed beef is in high demand, and if the market wants to continue to grow, there will have to be better collaboration in the industry.

At a news conference announcing Aspenti Health's new name, Gov. Phil Scott praised company officials for saving the company's 140 jobs, and for their continued work in drug prevention and treatment.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

The company formerly known as Burlington Labs has a new name: Aspenti Health.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

In Newport on Thursday, employees and company officials at Revision Military joined Sen. Patrick Leahy, Rep. Peter Welch and Gov. Phil Scott to celebrate a new federal contract.

Robbie Clark stands with some of his herd of milking cows in Ira. To avoid foreclosure, Clark and his mother, Mary Saceric-Clark, are selling their cows and farm equipment at a public auction on July 8.
Nina Keck / VPR

A sign out front the Milky Way Farm in Ira declares it a "Dairy of Distinction." But another sign may soon read "For Sale," as the family farm is facing foreclosure and must sell its equipment and cows at a public auction on July 8.

Jake Mendell and his fiance, Taylor Hutchison consider themselves lucky; the young farmers got their 30 acres of farm land from family.
Rebecca Sananes / Vermont Public Radio

Farming in Vermont is approaching a crossroads: The current generation of American farmers is nearing retirement. But for some young people looking to follow in those footsteps, financial barriers make a future in the field less affordable.

Janet and Jay Bailey, of Fair Winds Farm in Brattleboro, have operated a diversified horse-powered family farm for more than 40 years. The farm’s previous owner had donated the land to Earthbridge Community Land Trust, who later leased the land to the Baileys. In 2011, looking toward aging but wanting to ensure this land continue to be farmed, they formed an untraditional partnership.

John Silloway, David Silloway and Paul Lambert all have a hand in running their family's farm.
Courtesy: Silloway Farms

The number of dairy farms in Vermont continues to decline, with around 805 in business this spring.

While large farms, with more than 700 cows, are a growing sector of the dairy economy, small operations with fewer than 200 animals still make up 80 percent of the state’s dairy farms.

Cows on the Orr family's dairy farm, in Orwell, are pictured in this 2015 file photo. Anson Tebbetts, Vermont's agriculture secretary, spoke to VPR recently about Vermont's dairy industry and about challenges faced by the state's farmers.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR file

When Anson Tebbetts became Vermont's agriculture secretary earlier this year, he conducted a statewide listening tour to hear from farmers about the challenges they have been facing.

Jeff Hardy is general manager at Cersosimo Lumber in Brattleboro. Hardy says about 25 percent of the company's white piune goes to Canada, and the new tariff on imports could affect business.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The U.S. Commerce Department this week slapped a new round of tariffs on Canadian lumber coming into the states, and companies in Vermont are anxious to see how it could affect business.

The board responsible for regulating utility prices in Vermont is ordering a review of the state’s utility regulation system in Vermont, including the controversial regulatory model used by Green Mountain Power and Vermont Gas Systems for much of the past decade.

Director of Corporate Communication Jason Gorss confirmed Friday, "a small number of fab tools were impacted by a computer virus."
Steve Zind / VPR File

A computer virus recently infected a number of manufacturing tools at the GlobalFoundries plant in Essex Junction, a company spokesman confirmed Friday evening.

The Radio Vermont Group, which includes WDEV-AM in Waterbury, is for sale. Owner Ken Squier says at 82, he’s reached the age where he feels he must sell the stations.

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