by Paul Bousquet
EC Fiber announced this week its plans to provide high-speed internet and nation-wide telephone service to every business and residence throughout Barnard who chooses to opt for the service. The initial phase of work is already underway in bringing service along Routes 107 and 12 from Exit 3 on I-89 to the Barnard General Store area. This portion of laying fiber-optic cable is expected to be completed in August.
According to the announcement, the ECFiber Governing Board at its June meeting authorized an initiative to extend service to the rest of Barnard town. This requires a second round of capital-raising through a similar “friends and families” offering directed specifically to residents, businesses, and others who wish to support the deployment of universal broadband in Barnard.
Loredo Sola, Chairman of the ECF Governing Board said, “When we first took our plan to Barnard, we were inundated with residents offering to pay the entire cost of extending the Phase 1 trunk to their homes. This enthusiastic response inspired us to authorize a Barnard-only fund drive.” ECFiber will be organizing informational meetings for Barnard residents and businesses to explain the details of the plan. As soon as sufficient funds have been committed to build out the entire town, the Barnard Local Fund will close, and construction of Phase 2 will begin. ECFiber is a group of 23 towns working to build a community-owned, subscriber-funded Fiber-to-the-Home network to provide phone, television, and ultra-high-speed internet services to 100 percent of the homes and businesses in the member towns.
Phase 1, with construction under way and scheduled to go live in early August in bringing high-speed internet service to Barnard.
Forestry Consultant Addresses UN Conference
A month ago, Patrick Bartlett, well-known forester and founder of Bartlett Forestry and Wildlife, was a featured speaker at the Global Classrooms International Model UN Conference convened at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Over 250 delegates representing 24 countries from around the globe attended the 3-day conference. Bartlett addressed the topic Sustainable Forestry in the 21st Century.
One aspect of the conference that impressed Pat was that the entire delegation of 18 year old young adults could speak and understand English. Another revelation was that the general philosophy of sustainable forestry of all nations outside of the US was simply to not cut a tree. This was especially true of the delegates from South America and Indians from Canada where clear cutting has been so prevalent. Through his half-hour Powerpoint presentation, Bartlett explained in detail the job of a consulting forester in his commitment to protecting and regenerating forests and wildlife. Using examples from his 24 year experience in managing some 67,000 acres of forests for over 375 clients in Windsor County, he explained to the rapt audience how working together with landowners, selective cutting and proper land management practices can enhance the value of a woodland as well as create a flourishing wildlife habitat.
Bartlett concluded his riveting speech with a series of wildlife slides accompanied by the song ‘Circle of Life’ from Disney’s Lion King, a fitting finale to Bartlett’s message.
Later this year, Bartlett has been invited to speak at New York University in Manhattan.
Woodstock Farmers’ Market Debuts Expanded Space
Shoppers are being welcomed into the recently expanded retail space at the Woodstock Farmers’ Market. Owner Patrick Crowl and his dedicated staff are putting the finishing touches on the 990 square foot addition, 860 square feet of which is additional retail space. This expands retail space by nearly 50 percent.
Shoppers will be especially pleased with the new exit door and improved check-out flow. “This expansion will help to improve the in-store shopping experience for the local community,” said Crowl. Founded in 1992 by Patrick’s father, the Woodstock Farmers’ Market has become a landmark for artesan foods from around the world as well as quality regional and local meats, poultry, cheeses and farm-fresh produce. In addition, it features an array of wine selections, a bakery, and garden shop. From its modest beginnings, the market now employs a team of over 36 staff members who are passionate about the quality, variety, and presentation of food and food products. In 2009, the Woodstock Farmers’ Market was named Retailer of the Year by the National Association of the Specialty Food Trade.
The purpose of this column is to primarily recognize what is happening in the business community. You may reach Paul Bousquet via e-mail at Paulbousquet@comcast.net or by phone at 802-299-5265
This article first appeared in the June 23rd print edition of the Vermont Standard.