Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin will sign into law a bill promoting renewable energy development and clean energy jobs in Vermont on May 25 in South Burlington. H.56, The Vermont Energy Act of 2011 continues Vermont’s efforts to promote a green economy and energy independence. It expands and improves Vermont’s successful net metering program which allows Vermont ratepayers to generate their own energy with renewable systems and run their meter backwards when producing excess power. Recognizing the peak power savings of net metered solar, the new bill creates a financial incentive to catalyze more net metered solar by requiring utilities to offer a 20¢ credit to solar net metering customers for the energy they produce.Governor, Peter Shumlin is slated to sign the bill on May 25 at the commissioning of a 150kW solar array at the Farm at South Village in South Burlington developed by Burlington-based Encore Redevelopment and installed by Montpelier’s Alteris Renewables. The array will provide carbon-free electricity for 100% of the Farm at South Village and South Village Community’s energy consumption needs. The array will also provide clean energy to the City of South Burlington for the City’s traffic lights. Martha Staskus, Chair of the Board of Renewable Energy Vermont (REV), the organization that supported and promoted this legislation says the bill helps keep Vermont on the map as a leader in renewable energy and energy efficiency. ‘The bill will spur the development of new local renewable energy, produce economic growth, and continue to grow clean jobs.’The bill also prevents a gap in funding for the successful Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF). This fund makes it more affordable for Vermont homeowners and businesses to install small-scale renewable energy systems. The bill includes expansions Vermont’s existing Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) districts, a program that allows towns to offer loans to homeowners looking to make energy efficiency retrofits. Other provisions provide incentives for consumers looking to install high efficiency biomass heating systems. It also establishes low sulfur and biofuel mandates for heating oil sold in Vermont, timed to match implementation by surrounding states. Date: May 25, 2011 Time: 1:00pm – 3:00pmLocation: South Village Communities, 130 Allen Road East, S. Burlington, VT. About Renewable Energy Vermont (REV), www.REVermont.org(link is external) REV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan trade association representing nearly 300 businesses, individuals, colleges and others committed to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and expanding the availability of renewable sources of energy in Vermont. REV works as the only advocacy organization dedicated solely to advancing renewable energy and efficiency in the state.
Lawyers agree to help with literacy campaign September 15, 2004 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Lawyers agree to help with literacy campaign Senior Editor Reading is an unnatural act?Well, not exactly unnatural, but it’s not something that the human brain, groomed by thousands of years of evolution and genetic transition comes hard-wired to do.Notwithstanding that, reading is essential in modern society. But given human background, it’s not surprising that many people have trouble with a skill that so many others regard as basic.And because it’s so basic and important, the Jacksonville Bar Association has set out to do something about it. At the invitation of Bar President Kelly Overstreet Johnson and Board of Governors member Hank Coxe, JBA and legal community representatives last month asked the board and lawyers statewide to help in the battle against illiteracy, particularly dyslexia, by joining a literacy speaker’s bureau.“Not only does literacy help our citizens function in society, but we see overwhelming evidence that illiteracy endangers public health and public safety,” said JBA President Reggie Luster. “A shocking 47 percent of our population is functionally illiterate, meaning those individuals cannot read well enough to fill out a job application. Our goal in this community is to make sure that literacy is a priority.”U.S. Middle District Judge Tim Corrigan said he has a selfish reason for joining the literacy effort. He noted he regularly has to sentence 18- to 21-year-old defendants to lengthy prison sentences and a common factor is their poor reading skills.“Eighty-five percent of juvenile delinquents have reading problems and many high school juvenile delinquents read below the fourth-grade level,” Corrigan said.Several programs around the country have found success in combating delinquency by teaching those kids to read, he noted.“Improving literacy is one effective way to improve the quality of life not only for those directly affected by these problems but for the community as a whole,” Corrigan said. “The Florida Bar, local bar associations, and lawyers individually as leaders in our community have a unique opportunity. . . to take a leadership role on the literacy issue.”Laura Bailet, a Ph.D. who works on reading problems with the Nemours Children’s Clinic in Jacksonville, provided information about the latest research on dyslexia.“What is dyslexia? It is a neuro developmental reading disorder. It is caused by subtle malfunctions in the brain,” Bailet said. “It is not caused by brain damage; it is not caused by low IQ. It is fundamentally a language-based disorder. It is not caused by a vision problem.”New MRI technology, which images the brain as it works, has actually shown differences in brain functions between dyslexic and nondyslexic people, with the dyslexic brains showing similar attributes, she said. What that research has shown is with specialized training, the dyslexic brains begin functioning more like regular brains as reading skills improve.“Reading is an unnatural act,” Bailey explained. “There are certain basic functions that our brains are genetically hard-wired for — learning to talk and walk. Reading is not one of those skills.”Studies have shown that about 17 to 20 percent of all children have serious reading problems, and another 20 percent have significant difficulties, she said, adding that’s about the same percentage of third-graders who had trouble with the state’s FCAT test. Most of those children are not receiving the special training or instruction that would help them. Preschoolers with dyslexia can be identified, and the earlier special training begins, the more effective it is, she said.Fourth Circuit Judge Karen Cole, who is heading up the literacy effort, said lawyers are needed because of their advocacy skills. A speakers’ bureau is being set up as part of the dyslexia campaign.“By combining the talents of lawyers, judges, physicians, and psychologists, we can ensure that all of our children know how to read,” Cole said.She said the literacy advocates hope to present their case to a meeting of voluntary bar leaders and to Florida Bar members at a statewide Bar meeting.Shortly after the meeting, Cole announced that 11th Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman and First Circuit Judge Marci Goodman have volunteered to coordinate speakers’ bureau efforts in their respective circuits.For more information contact Judge Cole at (904) 630-7154, Luster at (904) 354-0104, JBA Executive Director Diane Gill at (904) 399-4486, or Alan Pickert, chair of the JBA’s literacy project, at (904) 632-2424.
Harold Peacockwith some items found on the Velocity Property Group site at Targina. (AAP image, John Gass)Brass doorknobs dating back to the 1870s, a cologne bottle from the 1920s and octagon diamonds from a vintage chandelier were among the finds at a Taringa development site.Historian Harold Peacock was granted permission to scour the site by Velocity Property Group, the developer behind Ellerslie Crescent.“Back in 1884 the land around the country home (Ellerslie) was subdivided to start anew Brisbane suburb of South Toowong,” Mr Peacock said.“The original building is now gone but the boundaries of that block are still easily discernible.“I identified the location of the original home and the high western side appeared to be largely undisturbed.“A quick scan of the old newspapers told me that plenty of history took place on the site . . . I asked the builders if I could look around and they referred me to Velocity.”Velocity Property Group is building three luxury homes at 41, 43 and 45 Ellerslie Crescent, with the present character house, dating back to 1936, relocated to another part of the site and put up for sale.Velocity Property Group will build just three city-view homes at Taringa.Stage two of the development will see 23 luxury townhomes constructed at the 4200sq m site.Ellerslie Crescent is named after the original “Ellerslie” homestead, which was built in the 1870s and was home to leading stock inspectors, coal miners and bankers.Mr Peacock said the developer was immediately keen to unlock some of the site’s secrets.“We were interested to see what he might find to connect the history of the site to its new chapter,” Velocity managing director Brendon Ansell said.“His finds have been really interesting and we plan to incorporate some of them into the foyer of the apartment building in the final stage of our project.”With the use of a metal detector, Mr Peacock dug up:• Two beautiful 1870s brass door knobs believed to be from the original house• A glass stopper from the same period• A 1920s cologne bottle most likely from the original house• Several 1930-1950s Chandelier octagon diamonds most likely from the1930s homes• A 1950s screw-top ink bottle.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus21 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market21 hours agoSome of the items located by historian Harold Peacock (AAP image, John Gass)Mr Peacock said the original homestead and its location had been associated with some remarkable people in Queensland history.“From the 1870s there was Patrick Robinson Gordon, the Chief Inspector of Stock for 30 years and leader of Queensland’s early stock breeding industry who drafted the Meat Export Act administered in Queensland prior to Federation,” he said.“He was followed by Richard Davies Graham, a licensed surveyor and coal miner. Mr Graham opened mines in Bundamba and some of the best seams in Central Queensland. His huge economical legacy is still being felt today.“Then there was John Piper Mackenzie, the head office manager of the Queensland National Bank. Mackenzie is a descendant of Captain John Piper, the one-time commander of the Norfolk Island penal colony who became one of the wealthiest men in Australia. It’s after Captain Piper that salubrious Point Piper in Sydney is named.“Before the turn of the century was Edward Owen Rees who was an Insurance Agent ruined by the 1893 floods. He’s better known as the father of Lloyd Rees, the Australian landscape painter who twice won the Wynne Prize.”But Mr Peacock said it was John O’Neill Brenan, the Queensland ImmigrationAgent, public servant, and son of an Irish-born barrister, who likely lived on the site the longest.He said Brenan married the daughter of the Auditor-General and Chairman of the Queensland Public Service Board, and his son was one of the first Anzacs ashore at Gallipoli.Mr Peacock said his most exciting find was the brass doorknobs.“The doorknobs are the most exciting to me because so many hands have actually turned those handles,” he said.On development in Brisbane, Mr Peacock said it was inevitable.“Brisbane and everywhere else continues to develop, but that doesn’t mean history is lost, it just gets forgotten by some people,” he said.“I like to remember what came before us and connect it to real people.”Mr Ansell says he likes to take the same approach.“Wherever we can, Velocity Property Group strives to incorporate heritage homes into our projects so that they can experience a new chapter as a family home or business,”he said.“The heritage home here at Ellerslie Crescent and at our ‘The Hathaway’ project at Auchenflower have new town homes and apartments alongside them to balance the modern spaces and the heritage of the Queenslander homes.”The three luxury houses at Ellerslie Crescent, which are under construction, are priced from $1.665 million to $1.75 million, and are sized from about 480sq m to 520sq m.The heritage home has been relocated to 39 Ellerslie Crescent and is for sale now.