Vermont tops the 2012 list of states with the highest per capita number of Peace Corps volunteers, says a report released Dec. 12. There are 45 currently-serving Peace Corps volunteers who call the Green Mountain State home, making it the number two Peace Corps volunteer-producing state in the nation on a per-capita basis, with 7.2 of every 100,000 residents currently serving in the Peace Corps.
The U.S. Senate faces another showdown over whether to debate a bill that would require more campaign finance disclosure in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is one of the sponsors of DISCLOSE Act, which stands for Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act.
The Rozalia Project for a Clean Vermont estimates that the shores of Lake Champlain and major river watersheds in Vermont have 3.8 million pounds of trash and debris. Much of this is a result of the 2011 spring flooding and Hurricane Irene. Rozalia Project and the VT Dept. of Labor are teaming up to get rid of that harmful trash and debris--with the help of many volunteers.
Fire departments in many Vermont towns are getting smaller, as older firefighters retire and younger men and women are too busy or disinterested to replace them. That’s not the case in Waterbury, where would-be volunteers often have to put their names on a waiting list. Nor is it the case in Stowe, where it's not unusual for sons and daughters to fight fires alongside their parents.
For much of this year’s legislative session, Vermont has been embroiled in a debate over whether to end the “philosophical exemption” — essentially, a right of refusal for parents who want to enroll their children in school or child care without immunizations. The list of shots called for by the state Health Department and the federal Centers for Disease Control number roughly 20 by the time a child enters kindergarten.
If you are 17 and will turn 18 by Nov. 6, we have some good news for you. You can have a say in which candidates should be on the Nov. 6 election ballot. This is true for the first time in Vermont.
The University of Vermont ranks No. 5 on the 2012 top Peace Corps volunteer-producing colleges and universities in the category of medium-sized institutions. There are currently 42 undergraduate alumni serving overseas. Last year, UVM had 34 alumni volunteers and was No. 13 in the 2011 rankings.
Tropical Storm Irene has been a defining moment in Vermont history, House Speaker Shap Smith told his Democratic colleagues during their annual caucus to plan for the upcoming legislative session. The speaker reminded lawmakers of the importance of listening to their constituents, even if they didn’t agree with them.
Vermonters answered Gov. Peter Shumlin’s call to help their neighbors recover from Tropical Storm Irene during "VT Clean Up Day," which came two months after the most damaging flood to hit the state in recent memory.
Over the past few months, Winooski has launched a rebranding campaign, complete with a design-forward new logo and community-building events. These efforts, along with a retooled farmers market, are in part the work of the reenergized Winooski Community Partnership, a downtown business organization aimed at making the city an attractive, vibrant urban center.Link to full article
In Rutland, the most hotly debated issue was not the municipal or school budgets but a $3.9 million bond vote to upgrade the city's recreation department.Link to full article
The airwaves in Vermont in recent years have increasingly been turned over to the vox populi — the voice of the people. Community-radio stations have mushroomed in numbers in the state during the past decade, giving volunteers a chance to play music, talk about current events or simply entertain listeners within close range of the generally low-powered stations. Community radio, though, is about more than boosting the public’s on-air abilities. It’s about presenting music and thoughts that might not make it onto commercial-radio stations.Link to full article
The Montpelier Master Plan that will provide a framework for the city's development for years to come is moving through the final stages, and the public will have a few more chances to weigh in on the 226-page document before it becomes final, including at a meeting on Monday. The master plan has been in the making for about three years, starting with EnVision Montpelier, a community planning initiative that began in 2007.Link to full article
When the state wanted to revise its wetland rules, a paid notice ran in 16 Vermont newspapers, alerting the public to the proposal and explaining how they could weigh in. Those ads would cease or shrink -- replaced by online postings -- under a proposal that is part of the "Challenges for Change" the state is considering to save money and increase efficiency. The move would save an estimated $100,000 paid to newspapers for the ads. "The more accessible the rules are, the better chance people will see them," said Tom Evslin, the state's chief technology officer, arguing that putting the ads online not only will save money but make them accessible to a larger segment of the population. With time, he said, people would get used to looking online for the ads.Link to full article
A state panel charged with brainstorming ways to slice millions of dollars from education spending will meet in public after critics complained the group’s closed-door sessions are undemocratic. Members of the Challenges for Change Education Design Team decided Thursday that their meetings will be open to the public starting Monday.Link to full article