Governor announces $3.8 million in transportation enhancement grants

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas today announced that 30 Vermont communities in 2010 will receive a combined $3.8 million for transportation enhancement projects.Since 1995, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) has awarded enhancement grants to communities and non-profit organizations for a wide range of federally-eligible projects such as restoring historic buildings, rebuilding and extending sidewalks, enhancing the environment, improving hiking and biking trails, purchasing scenic easements and repairing historic bridges.  Since the programs inception, more than 330 grant awards have been made to Vermont communities totaling over $45 million.  These grants provide seed money so communities can complete important transportation projects they otherwise might not be able to afford, Governor Douglas said. The projects not only improve our existing transportation system, but they provide a significant contribution to the state s economy.The 2010 process was quite competitive and saw 45 applications with funding requests totaling over $8.7 million. Grant applications were reviewed by VTrans to affirm project eligibility, then were individually considered and awarded by a grant committee.  VTrans staff provides technical and limited project assistance to grant recipients.In keeping with the will of the Vermont Legislature that priority be given to pedestrian and bicycle facilities, over two thirds of the awards and nearly ninety percent of the funding went to pedestrian and bicycle facilities. Most of the remaining awards were given to either environmentally sensitive projects such as a wildlife crossing or the construction of new salt sheds, or other projects such as the reconstruction or repair of historic bridges.The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) passed by Congress in 1991 created the Transportation Enhancement Program. In 2005, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy For Users (SAFETEA-LU) reaffirmed Congress commitment to enhancing communities by increasing funding support for enhancement projects through 2010.Specific questions about the Transportation Enhancements Grant Program may be answered by calling 828-0583.Source: Governor’s office. 3.30.2010Enhancement awards for FY10 include the following: 2010 TRANSPORTATION ENHANCEMENT AWARDS County TownSponsorProject TitleAward AmtProject TotalBenningtonBenningtonVillage of North Bennington Sidewalks and streetscape study $15,000$18,750WindhamBrattleboroTown of BrattleboroDowntown Sidewalks$300,000$375,000ChittendenBurlingtonCity of BurlingtonBike Path Realignment $100,000$125,000RutlandCastleton Town of Castleton Sidewalks & Crosswalks$46,000$57,500RutlandCity of RutlandCity of RutlandRutland Creek Path $300,000$375,000OrleansDerbyVillage of Derby LineSidewalks Study$20,000$25,000WindhamDummerstonTown of DummerstonCovered Bridge Wing-walls$200,000$250,000Washington East MontpelierCross Vermont Trail AssociationCross Vermont Trail – US 2 retaining wall$300,000$375,000FranklinEnosburghTown of EnosburghMunicipal Salt Shed$50,000$62,500FranklinFairfaxTown of FairfaxFairfax Village Sidewalks Study$20,000$25,000FranklinFairfieldTown of FairfieldFairfield Sidewalks Study$24,000$30,000FranklinGeorgiaTown of GeorgiaMunicipal Salt Shed$50,000$62,500WindsorHartfordTown of HartfordN. Hartland Road Bike/Ped$275,000$343,750LamoilleJohnsonVillage of JohnsonSchool Street Streetscape$290,000$362,500LamoilleJohnsonTown of JohnsonVillage to LVRT Path Study$14,000$17,500AddisonMiddlebury & WeybridgeTown of Middlebury Pulp Mill Bridge Sidewalk Study$20,000$25,000AddisonMonktonTown of Monkton Monkton Road Wildlife Crossing $150,000$187,500LamoilleMorristownTown of MorristownVT 100 Sidewalk Scoping $16,000$20,000RutlandPoultneyTown of PoultneyE. Poultney Pedestrian Bridge Study$16,000$20,000WindhamPutneyTown of PutneyPutney Village Sidewalks $300,000$375,000WindhamRockinghamTown of RockinghamBridge Street Bridge Rehab$240,000$300,000BenningtonShaftsburyTown of Shaftsbury South Shaftsbury Sidewalk$73,000$91,250ChittendenShelburneTown of ShelburneShelburne Falls Ped Study $24,000$30,000Grand IsleSouth HeroLocal MotionCauseway Bike Ferry$300,000$375,000FranklinSt. AlbansAldis Playground TrustSt. Albans scenic easement $80,000$100,000BenningtonStamfordTown of StamfordMunicipal Salt Shed$50,000$62,500Washington WaterburyTown of WaterburyStowe Street Sidewalk$205,000$256,250RutlandWest RutlandTown of West RutlandMarble Street Sidewalks Study$20,000$25,000ChittendenWinooskiCity of WinooskiSidewalks to School$300,000$375,000LamoilleWolcottTown of WolcottLVRT Trailhead Study$20,000$25,000 ###center_img TOTAL AWARDS:$3,818,000last_img read more

Kudos to students, schools on walkout

first_imgSchool superintendents and principals who blocked the March 14 student memorials to Florida shooting victims should be ashamed and embarrassed. They have forgotten the most basic goals of education, especially at the high school level, which include helping students understand issues in the world they are growing up in, to be involved students in their communities, and to exercise their right to vote every year of their life.In schools such as Niskayuna and Schenectady, school leaders worked with interested students to develop a meaningful memorial activity with well-organized plans. Schenectady’s program was so powerful and well done it commanded the lead story spot in the local news coverage. School leadership and the students are to be commended for the memorial they held.RICHARD TERRYSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%Schenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashSchenectady police reform sessions pivot to onlineEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusSchenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positions Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Big cannabis in the UK: is industry support for wider patient access motivated by promises of recreational market worth billions?

first_imgBMJ 18 March 2020Family First Comment: The British Medical Journal has uncovered links between companies, campaign groups, and individuals lobbying for wider patient access to cannabis for medical use and a parallel campaign to create a lucrative recreational market for the drug in the UK.We always said to ‘follow the money’.We need a similar investigation in New Zealand.The BMJ has uncovered links between companies, campaign groups, and individuals lobbying for wider patient access to cannabis for medical use and a parallel campaign to create a lucrative recreational market for the drug in the UK, Jonathan Gornall reportsWhen Charlotte Caldwell arrived at Heathrow on 11 June 2018 with a six month supply of cannabis medication to treat her son Billy’s epilepsy, it was no coincidence that journalists and TV crews were on hand for the press conference that followed the inevitable seizure of the drug by customs officers.READ MORE: is the tobacco industry supporting wider access to medical cannabis?News Medical 18 March 2020A new study published in the BMJ reveals disturbing connections between organizations and groups that are lobbying for broader access to medical cannabis and those who are fighting for the legalization of recreational cannabis. This raises questions as to the reasons behind the industry’s support for measures that will make it easier for patients to gain access to medical cannabis – is it because of the knowledge that by so doing, they will also be able to market the drug for recreational use in the UK?The projected market for medical cannabis in the UK is estimated to be $1.3 billion, while that of recreational cannabis is thought to be still more significant, at about $1.7 billion.Linkages between recreational and medical cannabis promotersThe study report has two parts and is authored by investigative journalist Jonathan Gornall for the BMJ. The first part deals with the nexus between the commercial groups that are campaigning to allow new markets to be opened for recreational cannabis and those individuals or patient groups that are working for a broader range of access to cannabis for medical use.One such example he cites is that of Steve Moore, who was formerly the CEO of the Big Society Initiative headed by David Cameron. Moore helped Charlotte Caldwell, the mother of a severely epileptic boy called Billy Caldwell, to fly to Canada to obtain medical cannabis for her son from a company called Tilray. However, when she flew back, the drug was seized at customs – a predictable outcome that was duly captured in the press and used to promote the legalization argument. Moore has helped to promote Caldwell’s case. However, his interest in cannabis is not just to ensure it can be used medically in a broader setting.Moore is also a strategic counsel for the Center for Medicinal Cannabis, which is a trade organization representing businesses and investors that deal with medicinal cannabis products. It has members such as the Supreme Cannabis Company, a Canada-based organization. Again, he is strategic counsel for Volteface, which is an advocacy group that was founded in 2017, to campaign for the legalization of recreational cannabis. Volteface and the Center for Medicinal Cannabis are the brainchildren of and are funded by Paul Birch, while Tilray’s chief executive was once an advisor to Volteface. Birch has said he supports both medicinal and recreational cannabis use. At the same time, Moore suggests the legalization of cannabis would not benefit any legal cannabis companies, nor is the government considering such reforms. However, the moves made by their organizations and by big cannabis companies do not support this view.The implications of these connectionsIan Gilmore, who directs the Liverpool Centre for Alcohol Research, has sympathy for the plight of patients who would like to exploit the medical effects of cannabis and cannabis extracts in their particular situations, but cannot because it is not legally available.On the other hand, says Gilmore, there is the ever-present danger that false arguments from third parties will prompt such a move to legalize recreational cannabis. In his words, “We must not drift into the situation we found ourselves in with tobacco and alcohol, where global companies seeking to maximize their markets distorted the arguments, often through third parties. We must protect patients from having groups with conflicts of interest, building up unrealistic hopes.”Psychiatrist Marta Di Forti, who serves on the government task force to review the safety and effectiveness of cannabis in the treatment of pain, says she is unhappy about this association of patient cannabis groups and commercial cannabis companies. Her main concern is that this kind of lobbying could result in obtaining medicinal cannabis for many more medical conditions for which there is limited or no evidence of its efficacy.The problem with the current conversation on the medical use of cannabis is that it is making it easier and more normal to talk about cannabis in all kinds of settings where it would have been unacceptable earlier. This shift is acknowledged and welcomed by Stephen Murray, the executive director of Prohibition Partners. This is a private investment organization based in the UK, bent on making cannabis “more accessible and acceptable.” Murray observes that big investors in the corporate world are now becoming more and more involved in the spectrum of business opportunities that cannabis offers.The parent company of Murray’s firm, European Cannabis Holdings, recently split into a media wing and the Lyphe group of medical cannabis clinics, besides a medical cannabis ‘academy’ for clinicians, and an import-distribution company. The Lyphe group is also involved with Drug Science, headed by David Nutt, a sacked chairperson of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Drug Science is behind Project Twenty21, a huge trial of cannabis for seven different conditions from anxiety disorder to Tourette’s syndrome, to provide “largest body of evidence for the effectiveness and tolerability of medical cannabis” – but without a randomized controlled trial format, rather a general health questionnaire.Links between tobacco and medical cannabis researchThe second part of the report deals with the investigation of how the tobacco industry is funding research into medicinal cannabis. Here, Gornall examines the intricate network that has been woven between big commercial firms and the drive to legalize medical cannabis.In this second part, he uses Gavin Sathianathan as an example of the “new breed of cannabis entrepreneur.” Sathianathan is both the founder and the main shareholder of a private limited company based out of London, called Alta Flora, which markets “wellness products from natural sources.” In addition, he is one of the trustees managing United Patients Alliance (UPA), which is a cannabis support group led by patients; the chief executive of Forma Holdings which is an investment fund specializing in cannabis; and co-founder as well as director of Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies, which is a collaborative research effort including Oxford Universities.Among these companies, Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies is funded in part by Casa Verde Capital; an American venture capital firm co-founded by Snoop Dogg, US rapper, and influential promoter of recreational cannabis, and Imperial Brands (formerly known as Imperial Tobacco), the giant tobacco company. In defense, Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies’ spokesperson says that Imperial Brands holds only a small percentage of the company’s value and that the firm will not be interested in the UK recreational cannabis market even if restrictions in that country are relaxed.Twisting the narrativeHowever, Marta Di Forti is not convinced. She remembers the story of how tobacco and alcohol companies fed their own skewed version of facts to the public and the medical establishment through paid research and managed to get away with actively peddling deadly and addictive substances to young and old alike for decades before their bluff was called.Calling the fact that Imperial owns any stock in this cannabis research firm “dreadful and shocking”, Di Forti says, “It is always very dangerous to forget history and we are now seeing the sort of connections that we have seen happening before. We are lacking in funding for cannabis research from independent organizations such as the Wellcome Trust or the Medical Research Council. The result will be that more and more, you are going to see even prestigious and reputable academic institutions accepting money from some of these companies.”Ian Gilmore supports this stance: “It is vital that there is complete transparency in those making the case and supporting patient groups. We must not drift into the situation we found ourselves in with tobacco and alcohol, where global companies seeking to maximize their markets distorted the arguments, often through third parties. We must protect patients from having groups with conflicts of interest, building up unrealistic hopes.” up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Stafon Johnson announces lawsuit against university

first_imgFormer USC tailback Stafon Johnson filed a lawsuit against USC in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday.Johnson claimed negligence on behalf of former assistant strength coach Jamie Yanchar and the school related to a severe throat injury he sustained during a weightlifting accident in September 2009.The other story · Johnson’s lawsuit alleges that a former USC assistant strength and conditiong coach is responsible for the severe throat injury he sustained during a mandatory team workout in September 2009. – Daily Trojan file photo Along with his mother, Kim Mallory, and attorney Carl Douglas, Johnson held a news conference Monday afternoon in Beverly Hills announcing the filing of a personal injury lawsuit against Yanchar and the university. During the gathering, he read from a prepared statement, while Douglas and Mallory answered questions from the media.Seeking unspecified damages for medical-related expenses, pain and suffering and loss of potential earnings in excess of $25,000, the lawsuit alleges that Yanchar was not paying attention to Johnson at the time of the accident.“Defendant Yanchar’s negligent, careless and reckless act and omission, in striking the bar with his body, was something that Mr. Johnson was not expecting to occur and he was therefore unprepared for the bar to be knocked off balance,” read the lawsuit.In the aftermath, Johnson was forced to undergo several surgeries and therapy for injuries stemming from the incident.On Sept. 28, 2009, Johnson dropped a barrel carrying 275 pounds of weight on himself while bench pressing in USC’s weight room during a mandatory team weight lifting session, causing serious injuries to his throat, and causing him to be hospitalized for approximately three weeks. He missed the remainder of the season.The lawsuit, however, insists that Johnson did not drop the bar on his throat, as reports initially indicated.“What we say occurred is that the bar was basically knocked out of his hand, causing it to fall on Stafon’s neck, almost causing him to die,” Douglas told reporters during Monday’s news conference. “We think for that, those that are responsible should be held responsible for their actions.”Yanchar spent the last season with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, working for former USC coach Pete Carroll in a similar capacity. Two weeks after Carroll departed for the Seahawks, Yanchar was hired, leaving his position as interim strength coach.“USC firmly believes it was not at fault in Stafon Johnson’s unfortunate weightlifting accident,” USC said in a statement released Monday afternoon. “We are sorry that Stafon was injured. USC and the entire Trojan Family have been exceptionally supportive of Stafon from the minute the accident occurred. We are disappointed to learn that Stafon has decided to file a lawsuit against USC.”To read more about the lawsuit, click here.last_img read more

Tickets now on sale for the Fort St. John International Air Show

first_imgTickets are now on sale for the Fort St. John International Air show in July.This year marks the 100th Anniversary of Powered Flight in Canada. To honor the centennial, the restored and painted F-86 Sabre “Hawk One” is expected to make a guest appearance. The Canadian Forces Snowbirds and Skyhawks will also be performing.In July 2007, more than 8,000 people attended the evening show. Thousands of dollars were donated to local charities and non-profit societies in the North Peace.- Advertisement -This year, all homeschooled students, as well as students in the Christian Life School and Kindergarten to Grade 7 in School District #60, will be receiving a free admission ticket in their year-end report card.Tickets are 15 dollars each for adults, ten dollars for seniors and students, and free for children with the purchase of an adult ticket. Tickets can be purchased at the Visitor Centre, Petron Communications, Quality Inn Northern Grand, and online at of volunteers are needed to put on the 2009 Air Show.  To apply as a volunteer, visit to sign up online or call (250) 787-7100.Advertisement The event will be held on Sunday, July 19, 2009 at the North Peace Airport.last_img read more