The e-Vermont Community Broadband Project, led by VCRD, is now active in 24 Vermont rural communities. The towns are tapping into the expertise and resources of e-Vermont’s statewide partners as the local groups develop ways to take full advantage of the Internet for creating jobs and innovative schools, providing social services, and increasing community connection. These towns, selected from a larger pool of applicants, are among the first to explore how the Internet can be harnessed as a tool for addressing local challenges. ‘We’re working with rural communities to support the best use of high speed Internet tools in business, government, and education, and help eliminate the digital divide,’ says Project Director Helen Labun Jordan, ‘Rural regions can’t be left behind in digital skills. We may be receiving high speed Internet later than more urban areas, but e-Vermont is helping our towns make up for lost time.’e-Vermont is one of only twelve projects nationwide to have received first round funding from the federal Sustainable Broadband Adoption grants program and one of only two that takes a community-based approach. This program focuses on use of broadband after infrastructure has been developed, as both a complement to infrastructure funding and a way to build a better business case for broadband in previously underserved areas.The 2010 towns (see map) are already seeing great benefits, including:Sunderland – Arlington – Sandgate are adding technology to the celebration of their 250th Town Charter Anniversaries in 2011. High school community service students will create a website based on the historical holdings of Martha Canfield Library’s Russell Vermontiana Collection. Learn more.Gallup Brook Fencing, a small business in Cambridge, has the honor of being the first of many web sites to come that were launched with the help of e-Vermont and its partner the Vermont Small Business Development Corporation. Owners Troy and Jessica Steel worked with SBDC coordinator Pat Ripley on the design and content. To see the result, click here or read an online interview with the Troys.Five towns (Bristol, Ludlow, Poultney, Newport and West Rutland) are exploring the feasibility of creating public access Wi-Fi zones in their town centers in order to promote their communities and provide visitors with information about local events, services, entertainment and hospitality. These towns were originally inspired by Wireless Woodstock, a community-managed Wi-Fi zone that went live over the summer.
THERE is no end to the problems clogged, leaking or just old gutters can cause in a home.And with cyclone season bearing down on the Far North, now is the time for homeowners to get a rooftop steel check-up. Leaves and twigs can clog downpipes and gutters preventing water flow and causing flooding in and around the property. Water damage, rot and algae growth could also be a side effect.Depending on how close a house is to trees, Mosquito Cairns owner Dave Williams said most gutters and roofs need cleaning at least once a year and when he and his staff are on top of a house, the list of items they pull out of drains and roof cavities is astounding.“We’ve found all sorts of weird and wonderful things like emu feet in communities,” he said.“I’ve pulled out knives, utensils, machetes, shoes, school bags, bottles, hats, a doctor’s stethoscope, wallets, calculators, coffee cups, pillows, clothing. You name it, if it can be thrown or blown, we’ll find it.“But the biggest problem is people not getting their gutters cleaned and plants taking root. When you see a plant six inches above your roofline that could have a root system of four to six metres and it’s too late — it will have already blocked your downpipes.“I’ve taken out a tree growing in the middle of someone’s roof that was two metres tall.”Mr Williams also said during summer bats could drop hundreds of mango seeds on roofs.“Just that weight alone is enough to pull off your gutter,” he said.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days ago“One of the things people don’t realise as well is the amount of ants, cockroaches, worms and millipedes living in gutters. You can have an ant’s nest with hundreds of thousands of insects and they’ve got to go somewhere so they go down the walls and into the roof.“Once gutters overflow, you may end up water backing up inside the roof and coming down the internal walls and coming in contact with electricity, potentially risking lives.”Birds, bats, rats also snakes make their way into ceiling cavities via the guttering.Mr Williams said with the wet season traditionally started at the beginning of December and urged homeowners to get their gutters checked before the end of this month.He said while most operators tried not to turn customers away, they could not possibly attend to all the calls they receive the day after a massive downpour.