Governor Shumlin thanks Vermont National Guard for job well done

first_imgGovernor Peter Shumlin and Agency of Transportation Secretary Brian Searles on Thursday at a barbeque in Rockingham thanked Vermont National Guard members for more than a month of exemplary service helping the state recover from flood damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene. Five Vermont guard units deployed personnel to numerous Vermont locations where they helped state and municipal highway crews rebuild both local and state roadways. ‘Guard members worked incredibly long hours to help us rebuild Vermont’s roads and bridges better than we found them before Irene,’ Gov. Shumlin said. ‘Their service and sacrifice will be remembered for generations to come.’ Vermont National Guard road rebuilding crews will begin demobilizing this weekend. Guard units and personnel deployed to aid roadway recovery included members of the following divisions:·         86th  Infantry Brigade Combat Team·         86th Special Troops Battalion·         131st Engineer Company·         158th Civil Engineering Squadron·         Camp Ethan Allen Training Site “Between the two types of deployment ‘ federal and state ‘ this type of unit activation is much more meaningful because it takes place in our home state and affects our neighbors, our families and our friends,’ said Captain Annaliese Baumer, Commander of the 131st Engineer Company. ‘It is extremely different than deploying overseas. When you hit ground overseas, you are immediately put in a defensive posture which is a drastic contrast to a state deployment.’ Major recovery efforts conducted by Vermont National Guard members included: ·         Rebuilding Route 131 in Cavendish where the guard produced the roadway design, worked with local road crews, coordinated with stone pits and quarries, and provided the project’s manager. ·         Reconstructing Route 9 near Marlboro where the guard provided trucks and equipment (as well as their operators), and also graded and compacted the road. ·         Rebuilding Route 100 around Wardsboro where the guard rebuilt numerous sections of road. ·         Rebuilding more than a mile of Pike Falls Road in Jamaica where the road was washed away. The guard also provided scour protection to bridges, rebuilt numerous wash-outs, and made the entire roadway passable to emergency vehicles. ·         Repaired washed out sections of Turkey Mountain Road in Jamaica. ·         Rebuilding Davis Road in Cavendish. Vermont guard members also removed debris from numerous state and town roads, provided scour protection to numerous state and town bridges, and aided VTrans with other projects. ‘When we first arrived in both Wilmington and Cavendish, we were welcomed with open arms,’ Baumer said. ‘Citizens thanked us profusely, brought us food and many other comforts of home.  They housed us, cooked us meals, gave us haircuts, washed our equipment with their fire trucks, their kids painted us pictures, sang for us and even put on a play at the local school. They visited with us daily, shook our hands and took photos of us throughout the work day. Most notably, they shared stories of how Irene affected their families. And virtually everyone did that because Irene affected us all.’last_img read more

Students react to potential coffee price increase

first_imgSince sixth grade, Leanne Gutierrez, a sophomore majoring in public relations, has been drinking coffee to stay up to do homework. She now drinks three to four cups each day. Were coffee prices to rise, Gutierrez said she would feel the effects.Cup of Joe · Nadine Tan, a senior majoring in business administration with international relations, studies outside LiteraTea drinking coffee. Coffee prices might rise. – Katelynn Whitaker | Daily Trojan“[Price increases] would really affect me, especially since I’m a student,” Gutierrez said. “I have a limited income.”This situation could quickly become a reality, as experts and big corporations, including Starbucks, warn that climate change and other factors pose a significant threat to the supply of coffee and chocolate, a trend already leading some companies to raise prices.“There are changes in climate, but also in [land distribution] and drought trends,” said Roger Clemens, a former USC professor and chief scientific officer at ET Horn, a distributor of raw materials and ingredients.In response to declining production, several supermarket coffee companies, including Maxwell House and Folgers, increased prices by more than 25 percent between 2010 and 2011.Many students said they would not alter their coffee drinking habits as a result of raised prices.“I personally don’t think it would affect me,” said Tiffany Chang, a senior majoring in biological sciences. “If I had to pay more, I’d still drink it because I need coffee.”Another threat to coffee beans is a disease killing insects that pollinate the crop, Clemens said.“We call it colony collapse,” he said. “If you don’t have the insect population, you can’t get the plants pollinated.”Another highly demanded product, chocolate, might become much more expensive, according to a report from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. According to the report, the supply of cocoa could plummet because of rising temperatures in West Africa.As many would with coffee, students would continue to find ways to eat chocolate in the case of a shortage or price hike.“I wouldn’t eat less chocolate,” said Emily Frank, a sophomore majoring in business. “I love chocolate.”With population expected to increase from 7 billion to 9 billion in the next 30 years, countries will have to consider the trade-offs between producing coffee and essential food items, Clemens said.“You will see a tremendous change in agriculture and coffee is one of those crops that is going to change,” Clemens said. “Do you want to grow coffee, or do you want to grow lettuce or fruits, or the foods that can actually supply nutrition?”last_img read more