Petitions available for conservation district elections

The State Natural Resources Conservation Council has made nominating petitions available for the statewide elections of district supervisors in each of the fourteen natural resource conservation districts (NRCD).

NRCDs are local subdivisions of state government established under the state’s Soil Conservation Act to cooperate with landowners and municipalities in applying conservation practices to the land. Conservation districts sponsor and coordinate the technical and financial assistance to address water quality, stormwater runoff, erosion, soil quality, watershed planning, and conservation education in schools and to the general public. Conservation districts offer a unique and powerful vehicle for citizens to become involved with local conservation work and establish programs that protect their environment.

Anyone interested should visit www.vacd.org/conservation-districts/orleans-county/ for information about the Orleans County NRCD, or essexcountynrcd.org for more information about the Essex County NRCD.

To have a name placed on the November 28, 2017 election ballot for the office of district supervisor, a person must have a minimum of 25 signatures on nominating petitions. Anyone owning one or more acres of land and residing within a district may run for, or sign a nominating petition.

One supervisor will be elected for the Orleans NRCD board, and two will be elected for the Essex County NRCD board. The positions are for a term of five years beginning January 1, 2018. The deadline for submitting nominating petitions to either office is November 17, 2017.

Nominating petitions and additional information may be obtained by contacting Heather Robinson at (802) 424-5353 or the Natural Resources Conservation Council administrator at (802) 424-3149. — from NRCD.

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VSAC scholarship season opens November 1

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation’s (VSAC) annual publication, “Scholarships for Vermonters,” is now available with information on more than 126 programs totaling $5.7 million worth of scholarships for eligible Vermonters looking to finance their education and training after high school.

Scholarships — like grants — are financial aid that recipients do not need to pay back. Scholarships are offered by many different groups and individuals for all kinds of achievements, and to all kinds of students. They are usually competitive, with eligible applicants competing for a limited number of awards.

Thanks to an endowment of nearly $400,000 from the estate of Roger W. Stewart, students from Orleans County will be able to apply for both the Hi-Low Farm Orleans County 4-H Scholarship and Hi-Low Farm Lowell Vermont Scholarship annually beginning with the academic year 2019-20.

Mr. Stewart, of Lowell, was a retired dairy farmer who died in 2015. He “had an amazing work ethic and was just a wealth of information for those he worked with. He was very well respected … both by the farmers in Orleans County and … statewide,” according to his obituary.

New scholarships for academic year 2018-19 include:

$2,500 from the Tatarczuch Family Scholarship for business study, open to students seeking a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or business management.

$2,500 from the Tatarczuch Family Scholarship for technical study, open to students who are the first in their family to attend a postsecondary program and seeking an associate’s degree in a technical field.

Beginning Wednesday, November 1, VSAC will have links to complete the online unified scholarship application, or USA, and required transcripts, recommendations, or other documentation can be uploaded right at the VSAC website. Anyone interested should visit VSAC’s scholarship page for more information.

To access the VSAC scholarship booklet for the 2018–2019 academic year, students can download a PDF version, order a free print version by mail, or request a copy from their high school guidance counselor

The scholarship booklets also will be distributed to agencies, colleges, and libraries.

The deadline for these VSAC-assisted scholarships is February 16, 2018. For more information, call (888) 253-4819 or e-mail [email protected] — from VSAC.

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Newport orchestra looking for players

The Newport Area Community Orchestra (NACO) currently has openings for the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, string bass, clarinet, oboe, French horn and trombone. Anyone who plays any of these instruments and wants to join should contact the orchestra.

NACO plays a fall concert and a spring concert each year. For more information, visit www.newportareacommunityorchestra.org, or call music director Ken Michelli at 766-3021. — from NACO.

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Gently used clothes can help those in need

SkillsUSA is gearing up for its annual Clothing Drop and Swap. People are encouraged to bring their gently used clothing to the Elks Lodge on the Newport-Derby Road in Derby on Friday, November 17, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Early donations cannot be accepted as there is no place to store the clothes. The swap takes place on Saturday, November 18. It starts at 8 a.m., with an end time yet to be determined. Donations will benefit local individuals and families in need. For more information, call Celine Champine at 334-5469, extension 3435. — submitted by Celine Champine.

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State shooting ranges open for use 

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has two shooting ranges currently open for use by the public, one in Hartland and another near Island Pond. Both ranges are open seasonally from April to mid-December.

The West Mountain Shooting Range in East Haven has a 100-yard shooting range and target frames at 25, 50, 75, and 100 yards. The range is located on the South American Pond Road on the West Mountain Wildlife Management Area.

Users over the age of 15 are required to have a valid Vermont hunting or fishing license and may bring one guest.

“Vermont has some of the safest and most conservation-minded hunters anywhere,” said Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter. “We provide these publicly accessible ranges so they can sight in their rifles and practice their shooting skills.”

More information about the ranges, including required rules of use, can be found on the Vermont Fish and Wildlife website at www.vtfishandwildlife.com/hunt/shooting_ranges. — from Vermont Fish and Wildlife.

 

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Fish and Wildlife lists big game reporting stations

Vermont hunters who take deer, bear, or turkeys must bring them to a reporting station within 48 hours. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department keeps an updated list of big game reporting stations on its website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com), with a map showing their locations.

“Bringing your deer, bear, or turkey to a reporting station is greatly appreciated because it enables us to collect important information on where and how many of them are taken during hunting seasons,” said Mark Scott, Fish and Wildlife’s director of wildlife. “It also provides the opportunity to gather biological data at some of the locations during youth deer weekend and opening weekend of the November deer season.”

Big game reporting stations and state warden contact information are as follows:

Orleans County:  State wardens are Jason Dukette, Derby, 334-2904; Jenna Reed, Newport Center, 334-1215; and Mike Scott, Barton, 525-5501.

Reporting stations can be found at Bob’s Quick Stop in Irasburg, Craftsbury Village Store in Craftsbury, Currier’s Quality Market in Glover, Degre Auction Service in Westfield, Evansville Trading Post in Brownington, Green Mountain Sporting Goods in Irasburg, Lanoue’s General Store in Orleans, Mister O’s Sporting Goods in Newport; Smith’s Grocery in Greensboro Bend, The Lucier Store in Newport Center, and Wright’s Enterprises in Newport.

Caledonia County:  State wardens are Dennis Amsden, Danville, (802) 751-7695; Lieutenant David Gregory, Lyndon Center, (802) 626-4390; and Specialist Russell Shopland, East Hardwick, 472-3040.

Reporting stations can be found at Paul’s Whistle Stop in McIndoes Falls, Rick’s Gun Shop in East Burke, Riteway Sports in Hardwick, The Village Sport Shop in Lyndonville, Upper Valley Grill in Groton, Wheelock Village Store in Wheelock, and West Barnet Quick Stop in West Barnet.

Essex County:  State wardens are Sergeant Trevor Szymanowski, North Concord, (802) 695-1314; and Randy Hazard, Bloomfield, (802) 962-3492.

Reporting stations can be found at Barnie’s Market in Concord, Cunningham’s Full Station in Canaan, Lunenburg Variety in Lunenburg, and Northern Wildlife in Island Pond. — from Vermont Fish and Wildlife.

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Broth sold at Hemp Festival recalled

The Simmering Bone, a Waitsfield company, is recalling 14 ounce jars of its beef and chicken broth products that were adulterated and produced without the benefit of state or federal inspection.

The recalled products are labeled as “the Simmering Bone Classic Chicken Broth CBD Booster Blend,” and “the Simmering Bone Fire Roasted Tomato and Shiitake Beef Broth CBD Booster Blend.” The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 44798” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

A total of four jars of the products subject to the recall were sold at the Vermont Hemp Festival in Burke, on September 9.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider. Under USDA Recall Classification, this situation is defined as a Class I with a high health risk.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase. Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Rachel Collier, owner of The Simmering Bone, at (802) 578-7579. — from Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets.

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Montpelier seeking art proposal for public space

The city of Montpelier is seeking proposals from a Vermont artist or team of artists for a major public art installation for the One Taylor Street Redevelopment Project. The deadline for submission is Wednesday, November 1.

Visual, craft, or design artists in all media — including landscape architects and interior designers — are welcome to apply to create what the city hopes will be a “work that inspires people to come together,” according to the request for qualifications (RFQ) posted on the city’s website. “Elements of Montpelier’s history and ethos should be key inspirations for the work,” the RFQ states.

In March, the city — in collaboration with Montpelier Alive and the Community Engagement Lab — received a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help fund a master plan for public art for the city, and to commission the city’s first major public work of art. Known as “Montpelier ArtSynergy,” the project is expected to be completed — with the artwork installed — by the spring of 2019.

A seven-member selection committee, which includes city officials, Montpelier residents, and design professionals, will select three finalists from the proposals received. The finalists will receive a small stipend to create a scale model of each proposal to present to the public. The final choice will be made by the city council.

The one-acre Taylor Street site is a former scrapyard and train depot currently in use as a parking lot for state employees. The city of Montpelier plans to transform it into a state-of-the-art transportation and commercial center and public park. The project is funded through the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration and the city.

The RFQ can be found at www.montpelier-vt.org/bids.aspx?bidID=27.

All materials must be submitted to Kevin Casey ([email protected]) no later than November 1. — from Community Engagement Lab.

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Ag and forest grants available

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets is making over $1-million in grants available through the following grant programs:

The Working Lands Enterprise Board is offering over $750,000 in available grant funding for the fiscal 2018 program year. Eligible Vermont agriculture and forest sector businesses may submit applications beginning October 3, 2017. The application period for service providers will open on October 31. This year, there will be two separate categories within the service provider investment area. Details of each investment area will be announced upon release of the request for applications. Working Lands grant applications involve a two-step process: an initial letter of intent and, if selected, submission of a full application. Grants are for eighteen months and are typically tendered in early spring.

Business investment applicants may include loggers, farmers, and manufacturers doing business in Vermont who utilize Vermont agricultural or forestry products, and other businesses such as processors and distributors that support the growth of farm and forest sector businesses. Grant funds can be used for projects that will take a business to the next level, including equipment, infrastructure, and marketing.

This year the Service Provider Investments will contain two categories: a smaller funding pool for regional groups, research and development, and/or pilot programs; and a larger, multi-year funding pool for fundamental working lands services. Projects may include workforce training, marketing, or market research, business planning, or other activities that support the growth and viability of farm and forest sector businesses. Most service providers are non-profits, but some for-profit projects may also be a good fit for this category.

Informational videos will be posted online on October 3 at workinglands.vermont.gov/apply/rfp. For additional information contact Noelle Sevoian at [email protected], or (802) 585-9072, or visit vermontworkinglands.com.

For a third year, the agency is offering trade show assistance grants to assist producers in connecting with new markets and buyers to exhibit at out-of-state trade shows. The application period for these grants will open November 1, and funding will be allocated on a first come, first served basis until funds are depleted. All grantees will be expected to contribute a one-to-one match. This year’s grants will be available to out-of-state trade show exhibitors and requests will be granted for $1,000 to $2,500.

Funds may be used to assist with the cost of marketing assets, booth design, freight, registration, as well as other eligible costs.

For additional information contact: Lauren Masseria at [email protected], or (802) 505-5413, or visit: agriculture.vermont.gov/domestic_export/trade_show_grant_application.

The Vermont Farm to School Grant Program will release its request for applications (RFA) for the 2018 grant round on October 2, 2017. Funds totaling $213,000 will be available for schools to invest in a farm to school program. The program works to improve nutrition among Vermont’s children by connecting food producers to their local schools, as well as providing enriched educational experiences and curricula. The grant enables Vermont schools to engage students in their local food system by incorporating local food and farm education into their cafeterias, classrooms, and communities.

On Wednesday, October 11, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., the agency will host a webinar for all potential farm to school applicants. The webinar will cover all the basics of the request for applications. There will be time to ask questions during this interactive webinar. Anyone interested in joining the webinar will find a registration link in the RFA. The webinar will also be recorded and posted on the Vermont Farm to School Program webpage.

For additional information, contact Ali Zipparo at [email protected], or (802) 505-1822.

The Produce Safety Improvement Grant Program will offer two rounds of funding that provide over $74,000 in available funding per round. These grants will be for farms with average annual produce sales of greater than $25,000, for produce safety improvements which help prevent or reduce produce safety risks on farms growing “covered produce,” as defined by the Food Safety Modernization Act, produce safety rule. The application period for the first round will open in mid-November, and will be announced on the produce program webpage at: agriculture.vermont.gov/produceprogram. The second round of grants will open in June, 2018.

For additional information contact Tucker Diego at [email protected], or (802) 828-2433.

All applications for these grants are tendered through the agency’s grants management system (GMS) at: agriculturegrants.vermont.gov. Each grant program will be listed as a “Funding Opportunity.” Applicants must first register in the GMS prior to submitting an application for grant funding. — from the Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets.

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Borderlines exhibit on view at the Highland Center

A new exhibit called Borderlines will be on view from October 1 through November 26 at the Highland Center for the Arts in Greensboro.

The center will host an opening reception on Thursday, October 5, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The show will feature four artists reflecting on gender, culture, politics, and the environment, with acrylic paintings by Chuck Trotsky, illustrated books by Anna Weisenfeld, sculptural installations by Gampo Wickenheiser, and mixed media collages by Vanessa Compton.

Mr. Trotsky is an alter-ego painter. While his creator Ben Barnes paints the first-person experience of living in Vermont, Mr. Trotsky has no boundaries, no rules, and no reputation to spoil. His first body of work was painted in secret and after over a year was installed and exhibited anonymously. 
In this new collection of paintings he uses pop-culture images as a language to present the viewer with painted “studies of gender.” Society’s stereotypes are blurred, often by a shifted context or anachronism. A subtext of feminism, commercialization, and body image finds a voice in bright colors, familiar yet enigmatic imagery, typography, and geometric composition. The paintings are all acrylic on panel, often utilizing angled panel edges or other three-dimensional art-as-object construction.

Ms. Weisenfeld makes delicate, one-of-a-kind handmade accordion books that, at first glance, appear quite whimsical. Upon closer inspection the viewer discovers something is most definitely off. These “almost worlds” question the world we all live in and are made using a variety of paper, gouache, pastel, pen and ink.

Mr. Wickenheiser looks to light, shadow, form, and space to communicate his findings as a witness to the world.

“My efforts can be literal, with little room for interpretation,” he said, “or they can be vague, with openness for emotion and perspective to take hold. Hopefully they will have fire of heart and cool of mind to be honest in my interpretations.”

Ms. Compton finds the images that inspire her collages wherever she goes: plane, train, automobile, trading post, mountaintop. Countless pieces of hand-cut paper, culled from a decade’s worth of hunting through books and magazines, create a kaleidoscopic effect that is released onto the canvas by hands, scissors, gel medium, acrylic, and oil. She is moved by the ways the planet has been worshipped and defiled and the ability for it to come back again with its eastern cathedrals of forest and panoramic horizons of the West. Her work has a specific lens on the First Nations people of North America, but she follows a trail of broken promises the world over.

All four exhibiting artists live and work in the Northeast Kingdom.
 The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, call (802) 533-9075, or visit www.highlandartsvt.org. — from the Highland Center for the Arts.

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