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Grand Isle awarded e-Vermont grant

NORTH HERO — Residents of the Champlain Is lands, traditionally isolated from the mainland,
this month opted for e-connectivity upgrades.

Grand Isle County is one of 12 relatively isolated areas that received grants to improve Internet applications in schools, municipal and civic networks and in commerce. The money is not used to bring broadbrand to the community, rather it teaches residents to make better use of the Internet.

It holds the promise of a great leap forward, said Ruth Wallman, executive director of the Lake Champlain Islands Chamber of Commerce.

12 communities selected to pilot e-Vermont project

A dozen rural communities across the state will receive digital tools and in-depth training as the initial participants in the new e-Vermont Community Broadband Project. The twelve will benefit from the expertise and resources of e-Vermont’s statewide partners as the local groups develop ways to take full advantage of the Internet for job creation, school innovation, providing social services, and increasing civic involvement.

Marlboro prioritizes its future

MARLBORO -- Building a community center and improving walkability in town were the topics of choice for Marlboro residents at the Vermont Council on Rural Development Community Visit meeting.

Held at the Marlboro Elementary School and attended by more than 70 members of the community, the meeting’s goal was to narrow the number of potential projects the town could tackle in the near future.

Strengthening food system in Vermont

Last year, the Legislature established the Farm to Plate (F2P) Initiative, which asked the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) to do a comprehensive inventory of the food-related assets and resources in the state including producers, processors, distribution systems, waste management, suppliers,
sales and support systems.

The question they were asked to answer is, "how can Vermont strengthen its local food system and s timulate development in the farm and food sector?"

Marlboro in second phase of discussions of future

MARLBORO -- Entering the second phase of its Community Visit Program in Marlboro, the Council on Rural Development’s community team will meet again with residents and begin to take some first steps toward action on April 29.

The community visit is designed to help the town consider the challenges before it, prioritize needs, build teams and action plans to address them, set strategies to get needed resources and gain connections with the advice of state, federal and non-profit leaders.

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.

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