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Future of Vermont In the News

New green push aims to grow Vt. jobs
By Kevin O'Connor, Times Argus - Can Vermont simultaneously jumpstart its job market and help stop global warming? That’s the goal of organizers of a new Vermont Climate Change... more
Future of Vermont study finds second wind
By KEVIN O’CONNOR, STAFF WRITER Supporters believe the Council on the Future of Vermont’s 2009 report on concerns facing the state in coming decades was ahead of its time. But that wasn’t why Governor-elect Peter Shumlin and some 300 local and... more
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... more
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... more
Can you hear me now? Some worry that 'e-state' will disconnect communities
By KEVIN O'CONNOR 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... more
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... more
Higher ed: School costs are up — but so are student gains
By KEVIN O’CONNOR 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... more
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.... more
Paving paradise? Futurists question direction of Vt. development
By KEVIN O'CONNOR Staff Writer Is there an answer to the decades-long question of how to balance the state's environment and economy through land-use planning? "In testimony about land use and development, Vermonters focused on their desire for... more
Residents in charge of state's future
What Vermonters are most concerned about is universal -- preserving the working landscape, fortifying the unity of their communities, retaining the Vermont "brand," creating local energy sources, making sure their children get the best education,... more
Council studies Vermont’s priorities
After two years spent interviewing Vermonters young and old, blue collar and white, the Council on the Future of Vermont shared its findings on the hopes, aspirations and visions for the state as voiced by nearly 4,000 people who know it best. The... more
Futurists worry that Vermont farms have become too reliant on milk
By KEVIN O'CONNOR Staff Writer The Council on the Future of Vermont knows the state treasures its farms and forests. So why is it asking if there's too much of a good thing? Surveying almost 4,000 experts and everyday folk at more than 100... more
Stevens Commentary: Future of Agriculture
WILL STEVENS As Vermonters, do we want to live in a theme park - full of characters we've heard of but never met? Or would we rather engage, through agricultural activity, with our families, our neighbors, and our communities in meaningful ways? As... more
A rich future? Public wants plan for Vermont economy
By KEVIN O'CONNOR, Times Argus Staff Writer Long before last autumn's financial fall, the Council on the Future of Vermont found stunning agreement on residents' top concern: the economy. The only thing more surprising: People's worry over a... more
Howard Dean Commentary: Keep Vermont on track
By HOWARD DEAN Severe national recession has gripped our state and resulted in a major reduction to state budget revenues. Speaking from experience, I understand the difficult choices our leaders must make to balance the budget. The Legislature has... more
Study: Bright future for Vermont
In 20 years, Vermont will be more affordable, more energy self-sufficient, have better public transportation and will offer more economic opportunity. At least that's the vision set out in a new report on the state's future. After 18 months of... more
Leaders develop priorities for Vermont’s future
(Host) More than 500 Vermont leaders met at the University of Vermont on Monday to develop priorities for the future of the state. The conference was the final part of a two-year study looking at whether Vermonters' values are reflected in state... more
Summit starts search for state's future
BURLINGTON – Vermont, said Paul Bruhn of the state's Preservation Trust, "is a great place for the most part — and for the moment. But will we increasingly become Anywhere, USA?" Gather 500 leaders for a Summit on the Future of Vermont and you might... more
The ‘Future of Vermont’ could be history
A Summit on the Future of Vermont is scheduled for May 11 at the University of Vermont. The summit is the final step in a nearly two year long effort by the Vermont Council on Rural Development to take the temperature of today’s Vermont and plan for... more
‘Imagining Vermont’ Can state’s future bring freedom and unity?
By KEVIN O’CONNOR Staff Writer Surveying residents from northernmost Alburgh to southernmost Vernon, the Council on the Future of Vermont found on-the-spot agreement: Everyone loves the state. They just differ on same-sex marriage. And issues of... more
Gold Commentary: Vermont's future starts today
STEVE GOLD COMMENTARY ~ Times are tough and news is bleak. One response is to bury our heads in today's details and sit on our hands in fear of tomorrow. While an appealing approach for some, inaction won't solve our current problems or bring us any... more
Ackland Commentary: Being part of Vermont's and The Valley's future
By Bob Ackland Is The Valley a picture of Vermont? If you want to know for sure take the time to hear or read the just released findings of the Council on the Future of Vermont (CFV). As a board member of the Vermont Council on Rural Development (... more
Hanna Commentary: Acting in leadership
(HOST) Commentator Cheryl Hanna is a professor at Vermont Law School and a member of the Council for the Future of Vermont. She's been thinking about Vermont's potential to be a leader in these turbulent times. (HANNA) I know that for many... more
The Vermont identity
Vermonters have reverence for the state's rural landscape, and they hope for economic development that will provide jobs and housing for the future. They cherish their small communities and value their ability to participate, and they cherish the... more
Group readies forum results
As Vermont evolves and the economic climate changes, it seems the need for a broad assessment of the state, along the values of the people living here, crops up periodically. The Council on the Future of Vermont was created by the Vermont Council... more
Artful Dodger
...It was a lot of words, but the message was simple: At a time when public funding for necessities such as roads and schools is imperiled, public arts funding could simply cease to exist. When the recession chopping block comes out, programs that... more
What do today's state trends say about tomorrow?
The nonpartisan Council on the Future of Vermont made news last week by releasing a report warning that the state's lack of diversity may endanger its growth. Noting that dairy totals nearly 80 percent of agricultural sales, for example, the study... more
Study notes Vt. trends over two decades
COLCHESTER -- Agriculture in Vermont depends more heavily on a single commodity -- dairy -- than in any other state. Yet despite efforts to diversify the farm sector, sales of most nondairy products have remained relatively flat since 1991. These... more
Challenges lie ahead for Vermont, new report warns
Vermont takes pride in its dairy farms and a population that rates high in national health rankings. And that could be a problem, the Council on the Future of Vermont warns. The nonpartisan study group has released a new report, "Vermont in... more
Report studies trends shaping Vermont’s future
(Host) The Council on the Future of Vermont was formed two years ago to help the state chart a course for the next two decades. And now two St. Michael's College professors have identified the most important trends that are shaping that future.... more
Study: Vt. Tourism Stagnant
Shelburne Museum is one of Vermont's top tourist attractions. Upwards of 110,000 people visit every year from states across the country. But only half of all visitors to the museum are out of staters. "And that has shifted in the last 20 years... more
Agriculture Takes Center Stage in Montpelier
Agriculture took center stage in Montpelier Wednesday. The Vermont Sustainable Agriculture Council told lawmakers about its top issues for the session. They include promoting local food and generating energy on farms. The council is a partnership... more
Meeting focusses on Vermont's future
What will Vermont look like in the next 20, 30 or 40 years? The Council on the Future of Vermont will be in Brattleboro Thursday night to ask that very question. The Council wants to know how Windham County feel about where the state is now and... more
Maintaining balance
For more than a year, the Council on the Future of Vermont (CFV) has been going around the state listening to Vermonters and striking up a dialogue on where we are, where we are going and the forces that will shape our future. The Windham County... more
Poll says Vermonters value landscape, community
A new poll confirms some long-held assumptions about Vermonters. They cherish the state's working landscape ... its sense of community... and its independence. But the poll also shows that people worry that the state faces some challenges that... more
Shaping the future through art
Lyman Orton was putting together a 2006 art exhibition from his private collection, "Lost Vermont Images," when the work inspired him to look in another direction: Not back at the way Vermont was -- but forward to what it might be...The Vermont... more
Survey Tries to Pin Down Vermont Values
Politicians, business leaders, and the public often talk about "Vermont values." But what exactly are they? A new survey released Monday attempts to quantify those in a scientific way. "The question is what are Vermonters' common values?" asked... more
Rising Cost of Living a Major Concern
Researchers at the University of Vermont released a survey Monday showing many residents share a common vision of their state ... Virtually all of those responding - 97 percent - said they value Vermont's "working landscape and its heritage" - a... more
Burlington CFV Forums
For 45 seconds, no one in the small crowd seated in City Hall's Contois Auditorium clamored for a turn at the microphone Thursday evening. Paul Costello, director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development, didn't look surprised. He repeated the... more
Chris Graff Commentary
Speaking in 1931 to the Vermont Commission on Country Life, Vermont Supreme Court Justice Wendell Stafford said, "Of Vermont have many books been written, many pictures painted, many songs sung. Yet who shall say that he has ever really seen Vermont... more
Steve Delany Commentary: Deciding Our Future
For the first time in a generation Vermonters are being asked to help define what the state's future should be. The Council on the Future of Vermont is nearing the end of a two-year process of inquiry, asking people in each county what challenges... more