Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Trash 2 Art returns to Rutland July 19 -- Sign up now

CALLING ARTISTS OF ALL AGES AND SKILL LEVELS: The 2013 Trash 2 Art Contest & Exhibit returns to Rutland on July 19, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., during Friday Night Arts on Center Street in downtown Rutland. Download your entry form below, and we'll see you on July 19!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Get Invovled with the Home Energy Challenge!

Vermont Home Energy Challenge Volunteer Training
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Efficiency Vermont, in partnership with the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network and regional partners, will be conducting a series of trainings for volunteers participating in the Vermont Home Energy Challenge. The purpose of these trainings is to provide volunteers with the information and knowledge they need to effectively reach out to community members.

The session will be from 5:00-9:00 pm, with dinner and socializing from 5-6:00 with . Below is an agenda and schedule for the trainings.   All trainings are open to any individual regardless of where they live.

·         Dinner and Socializing
·         Welcome and Agenda Review
·         Overview of the Vermont Home Energy Challenge
·         Building Science 101 (how homes lose heat and how to stop it)
·         Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program
·         Key Message and Making Your Pitch
·         Home Energy Visits
·         Adjourn

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Urgent Action Item to Idle-Free VT Network

The Vermont Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in response to a petition submitted by the American Lung Association, Conservation Law Foundation, and Vermont Natural Resources Council, as well as being called on by Idle-Free VT and others, has developed a draft framework for a rule to limit vehicle idling.

The scope of this proposal sets a limit for idling of ALL MOTOR VEHICLES in Vermont: heavy-duty and light-duty vehicles.

While idling restriction bills have been submitted for a decade in the legislature, mostly targeted at vehicles in excess of 10,000 lbs. (medium- and heavy-duty), all but a school bus idling rule have failed to be enacted. One of the key issues impeding the progress of these bills has been objections by trucking industry lobbyists, feeling they have been unfairly targeted by not including all vehicles in an idling regulation. This, depite the fact that while heavy duty vehicles (which are predominantly diesel) are only a small fraction of the total population of cars and trucks, they contribute a disproportionately large share of air pollutant emissions. The DEC, agreeing that unnecessary idling of light duty vehicles also impacts public health and the environment, and wastes fuel, has included light-duty vehicles in this draft framework. This is exciting news as Idle-Free VT has advocated for a Vermont all-motor vehicle idling reduction law since its inception six years ago; the enactment of this rule will strengthen our ongoing educational efforts targeted at all motorists.

The DEC is seeking informal comments on the draft framework for a rule to limit vehicle idling (see below) prior to initiating a formal rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act. Please submit comments on the draft framework to Richard A. Valentinetti, Director, by February 5, 2013.

Most important in your comments is to indicate your basic support of this rule. You are welcome to submit specific comments based on the draft below. Idle-Free VT recommends that light-duty vehicles be limited to 3 minutes of idling: light-duty vehicles generally only need 30 seconds to warm up while diesels need three minutes or more. In urging support of this rule, you can use the facts listed on the Idle-Free VT website Idling Facts pages. You can also relate specific excessive idling events that have impacted you and may have allowed for legal recourse were there a rule.
General Limitation on Unnecessary Idling:

Subject to the activity-based exemptions set forth below, idling of heavy duty vehicles and light duty vehicles would generally be limited to no more than five (5) consecutive minutes in any 60 minute period while the vehicle is not in motion.  Limiting idling to no more than 5 minutes in any 60 minute period accommodates any necessary engine warm up, cool down, or portions of a pre-trip inspection that require the engine to be running.

Activity Based Exemptions:

The general limitation on idling set forth above would not apply in the following situations where idling is necessary:
(1) Operation of the vehicle’s engine is necessary in order to provide power for an auxiliary purpose such as loading, discharging, mixing or processing cargo, controlling cargo temperature, well drilling or servicing, farming, lumbering or construction;

(2) Operation of the vehicle’s engine is necessary in order to comply with federal or state requirements for maintaining a specific cabin temperature or verifying the functionality of safety equipment;

(3) Operation of the vehicle’s engine is necessary in order to operate defrosting, heating or cooling equipment to ensure the safety or health of the driver or passengers and not part of a rest period;

(4) The vehicle is being used as an emergency vehicle in an emergency situation;

(5) For heavy duty vehicles only, the vehicle is equipped with a sleeper berth and is occupied by the operator for the purpose of sleeping or resting;*

(6)  The vehicle is forced to remain motionless on a public road because of traffic conditions over which the operator has no control;

(7) The vehicle is being serviced and the operation of the engine is essential to diagnosing the problem, tuning the engine or checking the adequacy of the service performed; or

 (8) The operator has been instructed by a federal, state or local official to keep the engine running and the vehicle is waiting for, or undergoing, an inspection by the official.
*Auxiliary heaters and/or power units are available as factory installed equipment on new HDVs, or as retrofit installations on existing HDVs. This exception would sunset after a reasonable time period (e.g., 3 years) to allow HDV owners/operators to equip vehicles accordingly.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Creek Path Solar Farm

Green Mountain Power will formally commission the Creek Path Solar Farm, the company’s first major solar project in Rutland and part of their effort to make Rutland the solar capital of New England, Monday, December 17 at 11 a.m. The event will be held at the site adjacent to East Creek in Rutland City, accessible from Cleveland Avenue.

GMP officials will be joined by Mayor Chris Louras and other city leaders, SameSun of Vermont, which built the project, and students from Stafford Technical Center, who assisted on the project.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Rutland Reader

Rutland ReaderHave you heard of this great new publication in Rutland? The Rutland Reader is a weekly newspaper serving Rutland County, Vermont and the surrounding counties and regions of Southern – Central Vermont and upstate New York.

 It will highlight things to do, upcoming events, food and restaurants, community topics and more. Better yet, Sustainable Rutland board member Jim Sabataso is the editor and our coordinator, Steve Peters, is writing the Rutland Bites column.

Get a copy every Wednesday online or in print on Thursdays. It's free! Check it out!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Saving Town Money: Implementing Your Energy Audit

Efficiency Vermont and the Rutland Regional Planning Commission invite you to learn how your town can save money and energy by improving the efficiency of public buildings.

Join them in Rutland on Thursday, November 8, to learn more! Sara Davie and Peter Adamczyk from Efficiency Vermont will present, and former Shrewsbury selectboard chair and energy contractor Steve Spatz will be on hand. Light refreshments will be served.

The evening is intended for town energy committees, select board and planning commission members, town staff, and school officials.

This workshop will provide detailed information on energy audits, efficiency improvements, and how to pay for energy efficiency projects in schools, town halls, and  other municipal buildings.

Do you need a copy of your town building's energy audit? Call Philip Picotte at RRPC at 775-0871 ext. 205 or e-mail ppicotte@rutlandrpc.org


Friday, November 2, 2012

Same Sun Celebrates One Year Anniversary

Join Same Sun on Sunday, November 11th, as they celebrate their first year of business.
"We have been so fortunate to meet so many wonderful people on this journey and are excited to see you -- whether you are a customer, colleague, friend or just someone that wants to learn more.  Hope you can make it!"
 RSVP to: events@samesunvt.com

Same Sun of Rutland focuses on sales and installation of Solar Electric Systems for homes and small businesses in Vermont. They seek to promote and increase awareness of solar technology and its benefits -- environmental, economic and pride of ownership.

Like them on Facebook  and check out their YouTube videos

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Leasing Your Land to a Farmer Workshop

On November 10, 2012, the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link will be hosting a  workshop with Land for Good. This workshop is for private landowners interested in making their land available to farmers for agricultural production, members of community organizations interested in assisting local farmland owners to keep agricultural land in active production, and farmers interested in leasing issues.

Affordable access to land is one of the biggest hurdles that new and growing farmers face in Vermont. Farming on land held by non-farmers can be a win-win opportunity for owners and farmers.

A panel with representatives from: Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL), Land For Good, University of Vermont, and Vermont Land Trust will discuss these topics:
  • Assessing your land and understanding the needs of farmer-tenants
  • Crafting a lease suitable for both parties
  • Legal, financial, tax, insurance, liability and other considerations
  • Finding a farmer and maintaining good communications
  • Resources to support the landowner, including the new handbook, "Leasing to a Farmer"
When: November 1st, from 1 - 4pm
Where: RAFFL offices, 67 Merchants Row, 3rd Floor, Downtown Rutland

For additional information, please contact Tara Kelly, tara@rutlandfarmandfood.org, (802) 417-7331.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Vermont Farmers Food Center Opens November 3rd

The Vermont Farmers Food Center, a nonprofit creation of the Vermont Farmers' Market, located on 251 West Street, Rutland, will open its doors  at 10 a.m. on November 3, 2012,  It will be the permanent home of the  Winter Farmers' Market which will operate every Saturday throughout the winter months until it closes May 11, 2013.   The Farmers' Market will then move to its traditional summer location at Depot Park in Rutland.  

The former Mintzer site has been extensively renovated and includes a handicapped- accessible rest room and plenty of free off-street parking.  Approximately fifty Farmers, specialty food vendors, and local artisans will welcome shoppers and visitors to their new winter home.

There will be fun for the whole family.   Local musicians will provide live music and volunteers will be available and ready to talk about the Center.  They will answer questions about future plans that include a commercial kitchen, food and cooking classes, storage, freezer and processing areas for farmers to fast-freeze foods.  The Vermont Farmers Food Center will also host food festivals during the summer months when the Farmers' Market moves to Depot Park.

The long-planned Bike Path will open at Georgetti Park the parade of well wishers and bike enthusiasts will end at East Creek near the Vermont Farmers Food Center at approximately 11 a.m.
The Vermont Foodbank will also move to the Vermont Farmers Food Center  where it will open its southwestern Vermont Distribution center.

Come and welcome the Vermont Farmers Food Center, the Winter Farmers' Market, the Vermont Foodbank and the long-awaited Bike Path.   See the new Center  and hear about the exciting plans for the Center's future.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Energy Workshops in the Rutland Region

 There are two informative energy workshops happening in Rutland during the month of November.

1. November 1, 6:00 PM – Regional Forum on Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan
Location: Rutland Free Library (Fox Room), 10 Court Street (at Center Street), Rutland City

2. November 8, 7:00 PM – Workshop on Improving Efficiency in Municipal Buildings
Location: Rutland Regional Medical Center (CVPS/Leahy Center), 160 Allen Street, Rutland City
Light refreshments will be served. This event is designed especially for members of Select Boards and energy committees, plus town and school staff.

Efficiency Vermont, in partnership with the Rutland Regional Planning Commission, will be hold a November 8 forum on improving energy efficiency in municipal buildings. Specifically addressed to towns, villages, and schools that have completed energy audits or similar assessments, this workshop will also be helpful to any local official interested in learning about energy audits, efficiency improvements, and ways to finance those improvements.  Speakers from Efficiency Vermont and a professional building energy efficiency company will make presentations and answer questions. For more information, contact: Paul Markowitz, Community Energy Program Manager, Efficiency Vermont 802-540-7608 or pmarkowitz@veic.org.