Cidery Delay

The Vermont Hard Cider Company, known for its Woodchuck Hard Cider, is delaying construction of a new cidery. The company says all the preliminaries (permitting, engineering, design, etc.) are taking longer than expected, so it won’t get started on the new $24 million facility in Middlbury until next year. VTHCC says sales are increasing at [...]

Broadband Build-outs Continue

Two announcements this week on the broadband front: Fairpoint Communications says the company is “boosting growth and speed in areas where demand is especially strong.”  Fairpoint says network upgrades will enable 69,000 residential customers, “to qualify for higher broadband speeds – up to 15M, based on distance.” (The company says business customers “can customize their [...]

EC Fiber Fights On

At March town meetings in 2008, voters in 27 Central Vermont towns embraced EC Fiber’s proposal to bring a high speed communications network to their communities, many of which had little or no broadband internet service. Legally speaking EC Fiber is set up as a municipality, with a governing board made up of delegates from [...]

Sunset Over The Mall

Here’s a fascinating article on the decline of the indoor shopping mall. What’s interesting is that Victor Gruen, the man who came up with the concept, thought they would check sprawl because they’d serve as hubs around which communities would be built. He envisioned them as more than a collection of stores, with libraries and [...]

Vermont Goat Milk Caramels Carry The Day

Here’s an article featuring Louisa Conrad and Lucas Farrell of Big Picture Farm in Townshend, winners at the ‘Oscars of Artisanal Food’ Sofi Awards in Washington. “Accepting the award for best confection, Conrad and Farrell joke about how their goats will like the shiny new object, then return to their table, flushed and giggly, snapping [...]

Tony Pomerleau Outtakes

Before I sat down with Tony Pomerleau for this VPR profile I read up on him and listened to a couple of past interviews. I discovered that certain stories he tells are part of his standard repertoire, and they’re full of details that don’t vary from one telling to the next.   It’s striking when [...]

Happy Campers In Braintree

The first time I met Karen Colby was last September when she was leaving a FEMA disaster relief center in Barre.   As a reporter, it’s always difficult asking someone to talk to you when they’re clearly distressed and the fallen look on Karen’s face spoke volumes. She and her husband, Paul Rea, own Abel Mountain [...]

More On The Declining Labor Force

Here’s some added context to my recent VPR story on the decline in the number of workers in Vermont (i.e. the labor force). There’s a national parallel to this and the points of disagreement mirror those in our piece. “The labor force participation rate (the share of working-age people who either have a job or [...]