Measles, Vermont, and Informed Consent, by Jennifer Stella (VACCINE CHOICE)

Second Vermont Republic

To our Dear Honorable Governor Shumlin,
The statewide members of our coalition want to express deep appreciation for your support in maintaining the delicate and critical balance between public health initiatives and individual rights. Since 1979, Vermont has honored this important balance by offering conscientious and religious exemption to parents. This was confirmed by the legislature in 2012 in the 133-6 House vote. 
images-1Mr. Governor, even the American Medical Association provides for religious and philosophic objections to its member doctors*. It is our most sincere hope that there will never come a time when the State feels it must compel mandatory vaccination without conscientious exemption on its citizens. Is mandatory vaccination the answer to measles? We think not, and concur with this pediatrician:
Measles. It used to be just a disease. Now it’s become a banner under which politicians gather to threaten one of our most sacred rights – the right to give informed consent…

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Results Based Accountability Report Released

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20150219RBACoverWe are pleased to announce the release of our first Results Based Accountability (RBA) report!

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC) launched an effort this year to improve how we track and measure performance using RBA. RBA is a framework used to measure how well an agency department, division, or program is performing. RBA looks to answer three primary questions: (1) How much did we do? (2) How well did we do it? (3) Is anyone better off?

The Watershed Management Division’s (WSMD’s) performance measures are organized based on our efforts to: protect, maintain, enhance, and restore Vermont’s surface waters; directly correlating to our mission. Seven performance measures focus on Division level efforts and four highlight efforts at the program level. Our Division Report can be found online here: http://www.watershedmanagement.vt.gov/WSMDPerformanceMeasures2016.pdf

Performance measures were compiled from each Division and organized at the Department level by the categories of: water, air…

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Vermont Gets Real About Local Food, by Rachel Carter (FARM-TO-PLATE)

Second Vermont Republic

Local food movements are trending across the country. For some, it’s the next “in” thing to do, but for many Vermonters, supporting local agriculture has been a way of life long before it was trendy.

So where does the term “food system” fit in when talking about local food? Everyone from academics to government officials are referring more to food systems when discussing sustainable agriculture, the future of farms, how to feed our growing population, and food equity challenges.

2VR-Food System DiagramAlso referred to geographically as a food shed, the food system includes all components of how food is produced and distributed—everything from farm viability and labor costs to consumer demand and food access to education and energy.

Our current food system is out of balance. We are far too reliant on food grown and distributed outside of our region and decisions made outside of our control. Even in locally conscious Vermont…

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Green is the new “Gray”

Green is the new “Gray”

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Hinesburg replaces old stormwater system with a Bioretention System to Improve Water Quality in the LaPlatte River

Completed Upper Treatment Cell Completed Upper Treatment Cell

At the beginning of October 2014, the Lewis Creek Association and the Town of Hinesburg constructed a new stormwater treatment system at the intersection of Vermont Route 116 and Silver Street.  With funds from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP), the partners replaced existing “gray” infrastructure (three stormwater culverts that emptied directly into the river) with green stormwater infrastructure (GSI).  GSI uses natural materials and processes to lessen the impact of the built environment on waterways.

Completed Lower Treatment Cell Completed Lower Treatment Cell

The Silver Street bioretention system improves  water quality by filtering pollutants that run-off from 7 impervious acres within the town.  Water flows through beds of 1,350 native plants and shrubs growing in a shallow depression lined with permeable soils.  By virtue of its careful construction…

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GMO Labeling Public Hearing

Rural Vermont – The hearing will take place on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, from 5 – 6pm in Room 10 at the State House in Montpelier.Additionally, the Attorney General has extended the deadline for submitting written comments on the rule by two weeks to Thursday, February 12, 2015.

There is a variety of additional information from the Attorney General’s office available here.

We encourage anyone, who is interested in helping to ensure that our GMO Food Labeling law is implemented effectively, to either attend this hearing or submit your comments to ago.GEFoodLabelingRule@state.vt.us before the Feb. 12 deadline.

 

Make sure you’re on the VT Right to Know email list so you will receive further updates as we continue to implement and defend our law.
Also, plan to visit the VT Right to Know booth at the 2015 NOFA-VT Winter Conference, Feb. 14-15 in Burlington.