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.
By Dialogo March 23, 2011 Soldiers in Fort Hood, Texas field-tested the newest equipment for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear reconnaissance during an exercise 28 Feb. – 4 March. The new M1135 NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle, a Stryker-platform vehicle capable of detecting and identifying chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, commonly referred to as CBRN, hazards, was used by Soldier of the 181st CBRN Company. They also field-tested the new Dismounted Reconnaissance Sets, Kits and Outfits, or DRSKO. Outwardly the modular DRSKO looks like an unmarked storage container. But equipment inside allows Soldiers to detect and identify CBRN hazards as well as toxic industrial chemicals and materials. It also contains a variety of protective suits and equipment for decontamination, sample collection, marking contaminated areas, and hazard reporting. “The equipment we have is an extreme improvement over what’s been around in the past,” said 1st Lt. Jaciel Guerrero, the 3rd Platoon leader, 181st CBRN Company. “Not only do we have the capabilities to detect conventional weapons of mass destruction, normal chemical agents, biological, radiological and nuclear agents, but now we can detect a lot of the industrial chemicals and industrial materials you may find anywhere, no matter what country or what region you’re in.” The NBC RV Stryker, unlike its predecessor the M93A1 Fox, provides protection from small arms fire, houses a remote weapons system which enables the platoon to provide its own security, and has equipment that allows the Soldiers inside to collect samples without ever getting out of the vehicle. “It’s not just a chemical vehicle,” said Sgt. Dustin Goldman, an NBC RV truck commander with 4th Platoon of the 181st CBRN Co. “It’s a combat vehicle with chemical capabilities.” In the past year, the 181st CBRN Company has conducted various training on the equipment in locations such as Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. After a six-month fielding process, it was the first chemical unit to use the new equipment in a practical field exercise. “Everyday’s a learning process for us,” said Spc. Eric Klopp, a surveyor with 4th Platoon, 181st CBRN Co. “We might find a mistake here and there in our training methods and we correct them on the spot. There isn’t really a general set [Standard Operating Procedure] on this piece of equipment yet, so we are kind of creating our own as we go.” As Soldiers of the mounted reconnaissance platoon trained with the NBC RV, the Soldiers of the 3rd Platoon, 181st CBRN Co., the dismounted reconnaissance platoon, conducted sensitive site assessments with the DRSKO. “Not only are we a platoon that can deal with emergency situations, but we can also help civil affairs,” said Guerrero.”(If) you have a village where people are maybe getting sick and showing symptoms of certain types of chemicals or materials that may be toxic to a human, we can go out there, we can test water, we can test soil. We can test the walls inside of a building; pretty much anything the person may have come in contact with.” After training separately for a few days with their new equipment, the platoons were ready to work together on a mission, which culminated the last day of the exercise. Through the training, Soldiers not only gained valuable knowledge and experience from using the new equipment, but also insight into what it’s like to be on the cutting edge of CBRN reconnaissance technology. “The challenge is to field the new equipment and to make sure that all the Soldiers are constantly trained on the most cutting-edge technology that the Chemical Corps has to offer,” Brown said.
Peter Whittingham believes Cardiff have given themselves a “fighting chance” of staving off relegation with their victory at Southampton. “It would be nice to follow this up with another win on Saturday, back-to-back wins would be huge. It is about how we prepare again this week.” Victory against Mark Hughes’ side will be vital to any hopes they have of beating the drop and would be just the fourth in the league during Solskjaer’s reign. Arriving as Malky Mackay’s replacement in January, the Norwegian has so far struggled at the Cardiff City Stadium even though his approach has impressed the players. “He has brought an air of calmness, to be honest,” Whittingham added. “He wants us to play the right way, wants us to play football, but it is how we fight as well. “We did that and it is a great result for him and, of course, the fans.” In truth, the deciding factor at St Mary’s was the grit and determination Cardiff showed after Cala found the net. Southampton bossed the encounter but they failed to turn their dominance into goals, with manager Mauricio Pochettino bemoaning a lack of cutting edge afterwards. Saints midfielder Steven Davis echoed those sentiments and vowed to kick on when they travel to face his former club Aston Villa next weekend. “I think we played generally quite well, moved the ball well and had a lot of possession, created a lot of chances, but we didn’t do enough in front of goal before they got the first one,” he told Saints Player. “We’ll go away from it feeling disappointed and frustrated because we always look to win our home games and unfortunately we couldn’t do that. “It’s just a frustrating day more than anything because of the way that we’ve played. “There are positives to take but it didn’t drop for us in front of goal and we couldn’t get the three points so we have to look forward now to our four remaining games and try to pick up as many points as possible. “I think in the way we’ve shown in every game this season, the demands we’ve placed on each other to drive this club forward, and to try and drive each other on as much as possible, and there’s still four games with a lot to play for in our minds, so we need to play and train in that way.” Juan Cala was the hero at St Mary’s, with the centre-back’s wondrous 20-yard strike securing the Premier League’s worst travellers a vital 1-0 win. Few had expected Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to return from the south coast with a point never mind all three and that result has seen them claw back some of their relegation rivals. The Bluebirds remain 19th in the standings but have halved the gap to safety to three points as the season enters the final four matches. “It is huge,” midfielder Whittingham said. “It was a must-win for us and to get three points drags a lot of teams into it and gives us a fighting chance. “I said before it was a must-win. We felt like if we didn’t get three points then it would probably leave us a little bit out in the cold. “But it was a good result for us against a good Southampton team, so to get three points was unbelievable. “The last 10 minutes they had so much of the ball and putting it in our box, so it was about how we defended. “The boys defended really well and we’re really happy to get three points.” Next up for Cardiff is another must-win clash against Stoke, who head to south Wales buoyed by four wins from their past five matches. “It is going to take a lot of fight,” Whittingham said. “There are no easy wins in the Premier League. Press Association