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Internet Contest Announced

BARTON: A contest to encourage Northeast Kingdom entrepreneurs and business owners to use the Internet was launched here Thursday, November 5, about two years before the state expects to see broadband availability across Vermont. Paul Costello, executive director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD), said his organization and the Small Business Development Center are sponsoring the contest because many potential users of the Internet have yet to incorporate the web into their plans.

A taxing question: Futurists ask: Can Vermonters have it all

The state's $6 billion annual budget provides taxpayers with everything from snowplowing to subsidized health insurance. Seemingly the only thing that's missing is enough money to fund it.

"The socially progressive policies that help support those in need in the state are a hallmark of Vermont," says the nonprofit, nonpartisan Council on the Future of Vermont, "but also strain the financial and delivery systems in place today."

Can you hear me now? Some worry that 'e-state' will disconnect communities

They inspire poets and painters, campers and climbers, scientists and souls yearning to touch the sky.

Who doesn't love the Green Mountains?

Vermonters who view them as the state's biggest barrier to up-to-date telecommunications.

Unlike more plugged-in places, Vermont has less than 200,000 high-speed Internet lines and cell phone service to only about 60 percent of its population, leaving many of the state's 621,000 residents feeling disconnected from the rest of the world.

McClaughry Commentary: Imagining Vermont

Submitted by John McClaughry

Four months ago the Council on the Future of Vermont released its report, Imagining Vermont: Values and Vision for the Future.

The report culminated an 18‐month, $400,000 process, during which some four thousand Vermonters attended over 100 meetings. Ably written and attractively produced, the report collected and transmitted the ideas and dreams of its participants of the possible Vermont of the future.

Higher ed: School costs are up — but so are student gains

Is Vermont’s ongoing fight over how to fund schools overshadowing gains in its classrooms?

When the Council on the Future of Vermont asked residents about their most pressing concerns, it heard fury about property taxes for education.

“We can’t pay $1.7 million for less than 50 students,” one Champlain Islands resident said.

The council heard fear about the fact the average college student-loan debt of $30,000 has leapt by more than 150 percent in the past 15 years.

Balance point

A statewide discussion among Vermonters about the environment and the economy has shown that the quality of the environment — the rural landscape of woods, farms, lakes, rivers — is a value deeply embedded in the identity and hopes of Vermonters. Simultaneously, Vermonters remain worried about economic prospects, particularly during a recession, and the opportunities that may or may not be available for jobs and housing.


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