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Digital divide targeted in e-Vermont project

Unlike Google’s lottery-like “Fiber to the Communities” project, the e-Vermont initiative doesn’t promise super-high-speed Internet to every home.

But e-Vermont will deliver: This summer, 12 rural communities will receive financial and technical assistance to connect residents, businesses, schools and local government or strengthen the digital connections they already have.

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Change is a challenge

As the Legislature undertook its work this year, it faced the daunting challenge of filling a $154 million budget gap, and yet legislative leaders showed a curious lack of urgency or concern.

One of the reasons was that many of the tough decisions that awaited both the Legislature and the Douglas administration had been obscured by a bewildering fog. The fog was called Challenges for Change.

Residents brainstorm for a new economy

The public has spoken on the future of the city's creative economy.

It will include a clearly-defined identity for Rutland and a railroad or children's museum, the result of a vote by about 100 locals Wednesday night after a three-hour public forum held at Rutland's Paramount Theatre.

The Rutland Creative Economy's first large-scale forum since 2006 was meant to recruit new volunteers for community projects, ranging from creating artistic bike racks to reconstructing Center Street Alley.

It was also a call for direction.

Rutland To Discuss 'Creative Economy'

(Host) Rutland residents will get a chance to talk about what they'd like to see happen in the city Wednesday night at a public forum sponsored by Rutland's Creative Economy.

As VPR's Nina Keck reports, organizers are hoping for a big turnout similar to what the group had at its inception four years ago.

(Keck) Tara Kelly, chair of Rutland's Creative Economy, says over four hundred people showed up four years ago to dream big about what they wanted Rutland to become.

$2.5 million Stimulus Grant Launches e-Vermont: the Community Broadband Project

MONTPELIER, VT – A $2.5 million federal Stimulus Grant from the federal Agency of Commerce, announced today, completes the funding to launch the $3.8 million e-Vermont Community Broadband Project. This major campaign to stimulate broadband use in 24 Vermont towns will be produced by a partnership of organizations dedicated to expanding broadband access and its practical use. The “e-Vermont Partnership” will be led by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) over the next two years.

Secretary Locke announces recovery act investments to expand broadband internet access and spur economic growth

WASHINGTON – U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced 10 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act investments to help bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth, create jobs, and improve education and healthcare across the country. The investments, totaling more than $63 million in grants, will increase broadband access and adoption in more than a dozen states.

Community building time

Lest anyone think all is doom and gloom in Rutland – and between the economy and the state of affairs at the south end of Wales Street, there are plenty of those stories in the city these days – along come the good folks at the Creative Economy to remind us of the positive energy in and around the community.

Values, Vision and Unification in Addison Northwest Supervisory Union - 2009

This report synthesizes the discussion from public forums in the Addison NW Supervisory Union on the Renewal of Public Education for the 21st Century. The inputs were presented to the ANWSU Board, the School Boards of the Supervisory Union, and the people of the five communities that make up the union: Addison, Ferrisburgh, Panton, Vergennes, and Waltham as they prepare for a vote on whether to unify their school boards. Read the report.

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