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Jordan Commentary: Bridging the digital divide

Bringing high speed Internet access to all of Vermont is an oft-repeated and excellent goal for the state. There are countless ways that the Internet can, and does, improve the lives of Vermonters. Businesses have a tool for connecting with customers. Families can stay in touch no matter where each generation has put down roots. Citizens can get engaged with government activities from the town select board to Washington, D.C., including navigating state services without a trip to Montpelier.

Vermont Towns Vie for Next Round of EVermont Broadband Assistance

Earlier this year, the federal government announced that Vermont would receive the nation’s largest per-capita share of federal stimulus money — more than $170 million — to expand high-speed Internet access to every community in the state. It was welcome news for dozens of rural towns and villages that still don’t get it.

Since then, most of the public debate about universal broadband access has focused on the infrastructure: Who will supply it, by what means, how soon and for how much?

Netbooks expected in Pownal

POWNAL - Technology was the topic of much of the conversation at a recent Pownal school board meeting, at which an update on new student netbooks was given, as well as information about an afterschool computer club...

...Pownal is one of 12 communities statewide selected by e-Vermont, which is funded with federal stimulus money through the Vermont Council on Rural Development.

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Press Release: e-Vermont Offers Digital Tools for Rural Towns

MONTPELIER, VT – Vermont towns can get free help in learning how to take full advantage of the Internet to create jobs, drive school innovation, provide social services, and increase civic involvement. Twelve communities are already seeing benefits from the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project including consulting for businesses that want to grow their e-commerce, a digital forum to connect neighbors, computers for selected school classes, expanded access to the Internet at town libraries, and free trainings in computer skills.

If you build it, will they come?

ARLINGTON - Even if it weren't an election year, the chances are excellent that residents of Vermont would be hearing a lot about broadband. ...That part of the broadband equation - getting people online and tapping into the potential applications and benefits of high speed Internet, is at the heart of an initiative currently underway in Arlington, Sunderland and Sandgate, led by the Vermont Council on Rural Development's "e-Vermont" community broadband project...

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Audio ~ Front Porch Forum on Equal Time Radio

Michael Wood Lewis, founder of Front Porch Forum, explains how the simple web- or email-based social networking tool brings neighbors together, helps them organize, and saves them money or even finds them jobs. It's available for free to the 12 communities selected to participate in the next round of the community broadband project e-Vermont (applications due Nov. 17), for a fee for other communities who want to start up now, and they hope to have statewide coverage in 2011. 
Listen to audio.

Costello Commentary: Working lands futures

Paul, VCRD Executive Director, reflects on his cross-country bike trip and the working landscape effort we are embarking on.

2010 - Early this summer I rode my bike from the west coast home to Vermont. Covering over 3,000 miles of rural America, the trip avoided all cities, doglegging the back roads through Washington, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario and New York.

Art of Action ends in auction

For more than two years the Art of Action exhibit has toured Vermont. It's a collection of more than 100 pieces by Vermont artists. The artwork was inspired by the social, cultural and
political issues facing our state.

The exhibit has traveled to every county in Vermont. Saturday, over 30 pieces will be auctioned off at Union Station in Burlington. Almost 30 more pieces were donated to community
organizations around the state.

Marlboro's renewable resurgence: Town committee focused on energy use continues to grow

MARLBORO -- The Marlboro Energy Committee is growing and expanding the scope of its work. Energized by the town's recent participation in the Vermont Council on Rural Development's Community Visit Program, more residents have recently joined the committee, and the first steps toward new wind, hydro-electric and solar projects are under way.

Tom Simon, chairman of the energy committee, said their are multiple ongoing efforts that focus on facilitating both individual and community-based projects.

Pownal selected for e-Vermont project

POWNAL, Vt. -- Pownal is one of 12 communities statewide chosen to be a part of the e-Vermont Project, which is funded by money from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act through the Vermont Council on Rural Development, James Boutin, chairman of the Pownal Communications and Image Committee said Monday.

One of the first things the community will see from participation in the project will be 50 Dell Netbooks assigned to the third- and fourth-graders at Pownal Elementary School.

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