Lesli R. Bell, PT, CLT-LANA, owner of Timberlane Physical Therapy, received an Outstanding Achievement Award at the spring meeting of the Vermont Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association. Bell was recognized for her work as a caregiver and advocate for women with breast and truncal lymphedema, a condition that frequently develops as a result of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment procedures.In particular, the award honored Bell’s invention (together with Jogbra creator Lisa Lindahl) of the Compressure Comfort® Bra, an innovative compression garment designed to relieve the symptoms of breast and truncal lymphedema. After developing the prototype at Bell’s South Burlington practice, Bell and Lindahl co-founded a marketing and distribution company, Bellisse®, to raise awareness about truncal lymphedema and bring the Compressure Comfort® Bra to patients around the country. Now sold nationally, the Compressure Comfort® Bra has won awards from the medical community and widespread praise from breast cancer survivors.
BURLINGTON, Vt. Leandro A. Vazquez of Charlotte has been named to the Board of Trustees of Champlain College. Vazquez is an investment manager specializing in the commodity hedge fund business and structured financial products. He works mainly with European markets. Vazquez is married to Amy P. Vazquez and they have two sons, Leandro Jr., 9, and Santiago, 6. Both attend Charlotte Central School.Vazquez attended the University of Vermont and is an alumnus of Lynn University. He is an active Vermonter who enjoys cycling, skiing, hiking, hunting and fishing.Vazquez is joining the board of a 130-year-old private college that offers professionally focused programs balanced by an integrated core curriculum. Champlain College has become recognized as a national leader in educating students to become skilled practitioners, effective professionals and global citizens. U.S.News America’s Best Colleges has again ranked Champlain in the top tier of the best baccalaureate colleges in the north.
The Jay Peak ski resort has been ordered to restore wetlands and streams that were harmed when the resort discharged dredged and fill material into the waters during construction of its golf course in violation of the federal Clean Water Act. Jay Peak has agreed to the terms of EPA’s order and recently completed all restoration work prior to the order’s October 2010 deadline. The US Environmental Protection Agency last month ordered Jay Peak Resort, Inc to repair the damage done between 2004 and 2006 when it was building its golf course and discharged material without a required permit. According to EPA,the construction company working for Jay Peak Resort placed dirt, sand and rocks into numerous wetlands and streams, affecting a total of 2.15 acres.This case was brought to the attention of EPA by the US Army Corps of Engineers in the spring of 2008. Since then, the Corps and EPA have worked together in pursuing this case.The affected streams on the site flow into Jay Branch Brook, which flows into the Missisiquoi River, and then into Lake Champlain.The resort was ordered to restore the wetlands and streams in order to restore wildlife habitat, sediment trapping, and nutrient removal and transport functions. Wetlands provide valuable habitat for many species of wildlife. They also help to protect the health and safety of people and their communities. They filter and clean water by trapping sediments and removing pollutants, and they provide buffers against floods by storing flood water. Wetlands also store and slowly release water over time, helping to maintain water flow in streams, especially during dry periods.Source: EPA. 10.12.2010
Burlington International Airport (BTV),Governor-elect Shumlin today announced his “transportation team.” Brian Searles will be the Agency of Transportation’s next Secretary; Sue Minter will serve as Deputy Secretary. Searles, former Transportation Secretary under Governor Dean, currently is director of Burlington International Airport. He has led the airport during several rounds of infrastructure improvements and increases in passenger boardings.Dick Mazza, Brian Searles, Governor-elect Shumlin and Sue Minter at the transition office in Montpelier Monday afternoon. Photo: VBM Vermont Business Magazine.‘Brian Searles has the experience, talent and leadership abilities necessary to rebuild our state’s aging infrastructure and revitalize our public transit system in a cost effective manner,’ said Governor-elect Shumlin. ‘His leadership on this critical issue will be instrumental to our mission of job creation. I am thrilled that Brian has agreed to join my administration and thank him for his willingness to serve.’Brian has worked in the public sector for more than 40 years as a police chief, city manager and airport director. He has 13 years experience in state government including Exec Dir of the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council, Commissioner of Personnel, Deputy Secretary of Administration and Secretary of Transportation. For the past five years he has been Director of Aviation at Burlington International Airport. Brian Searles grew up in Essex Jct and received an M.S in Administration from St. Michael’s College. As Secretary of Transportation, Brian’s salary will be approximately $115,000.Searles will continue in his post at the airport until he is sworn in as secretary. The head of the airport is appointed by the mayor of Burlington, typically after a recommendation of the airport commission. The airport is part of the City of Burlington.Searles said that after 18 months in which air transport has suffered around the nation, and to some extent at BTV, passenger boardings in Burlington increased the last three months. He also said that Southwest Airlines buying AirTran could likely be a good thing for Burlington, as it would extend Southwest’s market to places like Burlington. AirTran had served Burlington from 2008 to 2009. ‘Sue Minter has incredible experience and an inspiring vision for the future of transportation in Vermont,’ said Governor-elect Shumlin. ‘Her understanding of the complex issues surrounding transportation make her uniquely qualified for this important role. I am grateful that Sue has agreed to take on this challenge.’As a member of the House Transportation Committee, Minter traveled around Vermont and was instrumental in drawing attention to the problem of Vermont’s deteriorating roads and bridges. For the last two years, she has served on the House Appropriations Committee, where she has overseen the budget of the Vermont Agency of Transportation. She has been widely respected in the Legislature for her ability to work across party lines to pass key transportation initiatives.Sue Minter received a BA from Harvard University, and a masters in Urban and Community Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As Deputy Secretary, Minter’s salary will be approximately $85,000. Also in attendance was Dick Mazza of Colchester, who is the longtime chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.With federal stimulus money drying up and the economy still sluggish, the administration and the Legislature will have fewer dollars with which to work. Shumlin stressed the need to “work smarter” with the limited resources available. He emphasized that maintenance of existing roads and bridges would be the priority over new, big ticket projects. As for the such big ticket items, he said he would not commit one way or the other to the Circumferential Highway in Chittenden County, but would gather interested parties to see what could be done. He said he did not want to be bogged down by a project that had frustrated every governor since Richard Snelling’s first term. The Circ was in the news last week following a negative report from the EPA over the Circ’s impact on local waterways. Another common theme during the press conference was the need to account for climate change, not only in the use of public transportation but also in the planning and development of downtowns.
LINKSAmerican Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials: Vermont Route improvementsVermont Rail Action Network: High-Speed Rail In Vermont?Federal Rail Administration: U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $2 Billion for High-Speed Intercity Rail Projects to Grow Jobs, Boost U.S. Manufacturing and Transform Travel in AmericaDOCUMENTSCommonwealth of Massachusetts: Vision for the New England High-Speed and Intercity Rail NetworkIn March and April, Gov. Peter Shumlin made several personal appeals to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for a portion of the high-speed rail funding that states like Florida turned down.On Monday, Vermont’s application was rejected in the third, and last, grant round. The funding would have extended the Western Corridor Amtrak Service. Twenty-four states applied for 15 awards. LaHood announced that about $945.2 million would go toward projects in the Northeast. The federal government has, to date, awarded $10.6 billion for improvements in the reliability, speed and frequency of existing lines. Of that amount, $5.8 billion is obligated.In a statement, Shumlin accentuated the positive and downplayed the negative. He drew attention to the $53 million in high-speed rail money the state had received last year through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act for improvements to the Vermonter rail line, which runs from St. Albans to Brattleboro and on to Penn Station in Manhattan. (The Vermont rail upgrades began last fall and are slated for completion in 2012.)The high-speed investments announced this week for other nearby states will indirectly benefit Vermont, Shumlin said, because they will result in faster travel times to New York.‘Vermont will see direct benefits from the funding received by our New England partners: the Connecticut project will support work for the Vermonter line and the major Northeast corridor projects in the New York metro area will ensure quicker clearance and reduced time travel for all trains,’ he wrote. ‘Additionally, the New York State project in the Albany area will directly benefit travel time for the Ethan Allen service.’Sue Minter, deputy secretary of the Agency of Transportation, said it’s clear the federal government wants to bolster the existing eastern rail Amtrak corridor before they expand another section. Sue Minter. VTD file‘It is a disappointment because we were really gearing up for that investment in the western corridor and seeing it as a critical link from Burlington to Rutland, which is one of highest priorities of the administration,’ Minter said.The current horizon for future federal funding for high-speed rail doesn’t look optimistic, according to Joe Flynn, rail director for the Agency of Transportation.‘It would have been wonderful to have gotten the award, and it would be disingenuous to say otherwise,’ Flynn said.The Burlington-Rutland line project is important for Vermont, Flynn said, but compared with projects in other states with denser populations, ‘our desire (to improve) the western corridor may not marry up to Washington’s radar screen.’‘We may have to do it without large sums of federal funding,’ Flynn said. ‘We may have to look at other ways to do it.’Flynn pointed to the $19.8 million earmark for transportation obtained by former Sen. James Jeffords, I-Vt., who retired from office in 2006, as a possible source of funding for passenger rail development on the western corridor. ‘We shouldn’t curl up in a ball because we didn’t get the grant,’ Flynn said.He suggested that the agency needs to determine exactly what it would take ‘to get Amtrak here so that it’s a competitive form of transportation.’Amtrak revenues and ridership are both up, Flynn said. About 140,000 people used passenger rail in Vermont last year. The state appropriated $4.5 million in subsidies for Amtrak in fiscal year 2012.The Ethan Allen Express, which runs from Rutland to Albany, and the Vermonter are both ‘in the black,’ according to Flynn. In the last fiscal year, revenues increased by $838,000, and the taxpayer subsidies for the service decreased accordingly.Meanwhile, the $52.7 million improvements to the Vermonter rail line could increase train speeds by as much as 20 miles per hour, Flynn said. Once the upgrades are completed, trains will be able to travel at a rate of 59 miles per hour and up to 79 miles per hour in certain areas.It currently takes about 10 hours to travel from St. Albans to New York City by train. The improvements on the Vermont line will shave 27 minutes from the total travel time; additional upgrades in Connecticut and Massachusetts will carve another hour from the trip, according to Flynn.‘The Vermonter has high travel time,’ Minter said. ‘The more we can do to reduce travel time, the more we can increase ridership.’Minter said the agency is actively discussing a northern run to Montreal via St. Albans. The rail project would involve designing a security checkpoint in Montreal, she said. Anne Galloway is editor of vtdigger.org by Anne Galloway, www.vtdigger.org(link is external) May 11, 2011 Despite the Shumlin administration’s best efforts, the third time wasn’t the charm for the Amtrak western corridor project. The U.S. Department of Transportation passed over Vermont’s most recent bid for $83 million in funding for track improvements that would have enabled the state to offer passenger rail service from Burlington to Rutland. The western corridor is now used for freight.Dig Deeper
Governor Peter Shumlin announced today that Verizon Wireless recently activated a new cell site in Warren that expands wireless voice and 3G data coverage at Sugarbush Resort and the town of Warren, as well as the surrounding areas. The company invested in Washington County to continue to stay ahead of increasing demand for reliable voice and mobile Internet access, moving the state closer to the Governor’s goal of statewide service by the end of 2013. ‘The expansion and improvement of cellular service throughout Vermont is paramount for industry, tourism, safety and our citizens. With the investment in and installation of a new tower to support mobile voice and data, Verizon Wireless has demonstrated the important part that our cellular carriers play in achieving our goals,’ said Gov. Shumlin. ‘This tower is critical to all three- it supports our ski industry and the people who work here; it delivers better service to tourists who travel from around the world to ski at our resorts and expect world class communications, and will help keep our citizens safe throughout the mad river valley.’ Verizon Wireless has invested more than more than $3 billion in its New England network since its inception in 2000, to increase coverage and capacity on behalf of customers. Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G network, a company spokeswoman said. ‘We’re appreciative of Governor Shumlin’s recognition of this private investment,’ said Christine Berberich, president of the New England Region for Verizon Wireless. ‘Today people across Vermont are increasingly relying on wireless tablets, smartphones and apps to stay organized and connected. Our investment in Washington County – and across New England – has kept us ahead of these consumer trends and underscored our belief that any mobile device is only as reliable as the network it runs on.’ Advantages of Expanded 3G Service at Sugarbush ResortVerizon Wireless’ recently expanded 3G data coverage at Sugarbush Resort empowers more customers using tablets, notebook computers or smartphones to:· Find and download useful apps ‘ like GPS-enabled maps with turn-by-turn directions· Surf the Web to check favorite blogs and read breaking news· Harness weather and snow report apps and download trail maps· Share photos and videos, staying connected with family and friends through social networking, from the slopes· Work on-the-go with fast file sharing “Visitors to Vermont’s mountains are among the savviest of technophiles,” said Ski Vermont President Parker Riehle. “While they choose our resorts to ‘unplug’ from work and the bustle of their respective cities, they still desire immediate access to media and communications that have become a part of our day to day lives.”Verizon Wireless and Ski Vermont (Vermont Ski Areas Association) recently announced that Verizon Wireless is now the official wireless partner of Ski Vermont. Among other activities, Ski Vermont and Verizon Wireless will coordinate certain Internet, digital and social marketing efforts, work collaboratively to generate earned media, cross promote in printed material, organize events at ski areas and Verizon Wireless’ retail stores, and share access to consumer events and trade shows throughout the Northeast.Source: Governor’s office, 12.9.2011