Visitors to the largest farm show in the Southeast can learn a lot about what the University of Georgia is doing for them atthe College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences tent.”Many of the things we do are quite apparent. But most of what we do is verysubtle,” said CAES Dean and Director Gale Buchanan.”But it’s very important. We support farmers and agriculture in Georgia, which haseverything to do with the food you eat and many of the clothes you wear.”The CAES tent at the Sunbelt Expo Oct. 20-22 near Moultrie, Ga., will show off some newfarm technologies. And it’s not just for farmers. “A lot of the work we do benefitshomeowners, too,” Buchanan said.CAES scientists can answer your questions about water quality, insects, pollutionprevention and student programs at the UGA agricultural college.The Farm/Home*A*Systprogram on display at Sunbelt helps Georgians protect themselves against improper chemicaluse.”We have a survey that asks about everything from yard fertilizer to wellheadprotection,” said Lisa Ann Kelley,a CAES pollution prevention specialist. “From that survey, we can help you make yourhome safer.”Kelley said the first 50 visitors who take home a survey from the pollution preventionexhibit will get a coupon for free water testing when they return the survey and a watersample.A CAES program that can help farmers and homeowners is Distance Diagnostics throughDigital Imaging. Throughout Georgia, 31 counties already have digital cameras, microscopesand computers with Internet connections. These stations make it possible to get quickanswers to plant problems.Project manager Julian Beckwith said this systemlets scientists diagnose disease and insect problems and get back to the farmer orhomeowner almost immediately.”It’s making a dramatic difference in how quickly a plant disease or insectproblem can be treated,” he said. “In many cases, it has saved the crop. Thespecialist could positively identify the problem and recommend a treatment in just a fewhours.”A working station of this system will be at the CAES tent. Beckwith said a few sampleswill be sent to scientists via the World Wide Web for diagnosis and treatmentrecommendations.The tent will have exhibits, too, on weather and agriculture, precision farming, agalumni and student recruitment. It will also house “The World of Insects: fire ants,honey bees, termites, roaches and a butterfly garden.”Buchanan said he’s excited about being part of the Sunbelt Expo.”This is a tremendous opportunity for Georgians to see what’s happening inagriculture,” he said. “There are so many new ways to approach everydayproblems. And we’re researching them and getting that information to the people who canuse it.”
By Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaResearchers at the University of Georgia have found that low-level exposure to a common class of antidepressants found in streams and ponds delays both development in fish and metamorphosis in frogs.The scientists are studying toxicity of a widely used group of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).The study has important environmental implications because some of these widely-prescribed drugs, which include Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and Celexa, have been found in low concentrations in surface water, particularly wastewater.“While these compounds are not acutely toxic at concentrations detected in the environment, our longer term studies indicate delayed development (in fish) and delayed metamorphosis (in frogs),” said UGA aquatic toxicologist Marsha Black who led the study.FishThe researchers found that low concentrations of fluoxetine (Prozac), the most commonly prescribed SSRI, significantly slowed development in Gambusia, or mosquitofish, which are often used to study toxicity on aquatic organisms. “We found that male sexual development slowed by two to four weeks,” said Ted Henry, a UGA researcher who also worked on the project.When the fish were around 80-85 days old, he said, the sexual maturity of those exposed to low levels of fluoxetine was significantly delayed. However, by the end of the study, when the fish were 145 days old, the same fish had caught up developmentally with the unexposed fish.“We’re scratching our heads right now as to exactly what this means,” Black said. “But we know that in water, timing is everything. Reproduction for some species is timed to coincide with algae blooms for example. And possibly if sexual development is delayed, timing of reproduction could be affected and you could see some population impact.”For the next phase of the study, the researchers will more closely examine the reproductive tissue of the fish affected by fluoxetine. Are they able to reproduce? Is there a reduction in the number of embryos? Or is there no ultimate effect? “These are some of the questions we’d like to answer,” Black said. “There are still a lot of unanswered questions.”FrogsThe researchers also found that metamorphosis in frogs exposed to low levels of fluoxetine took longer than usual. For frogs, particularly the land-based frogs of North America, such a delay could be a matter of life and death, Black said, because frog eggs are often laid in temporary water beds – ephemeral ponds and wetlands that dry up.“If the tadpoles have not developed and undergone metamorphosis by the time the water has evaporated, they’ll dessicate with the ponds,” Black said.The researchers strongly suspect that results implicate a disruption of thyroid function and will carry out further research this spring to confirm or deny their suspicions.“We know that the thyroid levels peak with metamorphic climax, when the legs and arms form and the tail resorbs” Black said. “We believe that fluoxetine inhibits the thyroid so we’re measuring the thyroid hormone levels next.” SSRIs in the environmentThe number of prescriptions for SSRIs has exploded since Prozac first came on the market 15 years ago. SSRIs are most often prescribed for depression, but are also used to treat anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, and social phobia. Because they are prescribed for chronic conditions, people take them for months or years, increasing the likelihood of build-up in surface water, Black said. A recent study by Baylor toxicologist Bryan Brooks found traces of fluoxetine in the tissue of bluegills in a Texas creek fed by discharges from a wastewater treatment plant. “Treated municipal drinking water should be fine, but [pharmaceuticals like SSRIs] may not be filtered out of wastewater,” Black said. “We should be putting a high priority on implementing technologies that remove them and other pharmaceuticals from municipal wastewater discharges.”The findings of the UGA study will be presented at the 24th Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicity and Chemistry next month.(Cat Holmes is a news editor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
Keith Fielder, Extension agent and county coordinator in Putman County, will lead the class. Fielder is a sideline beekeeper with around 40 production colonies. He attributes his passion for beekeeping to his Irish and English ancestors who came to Georgia in the late 1700s.He has been an invited speaker and guest lecturer on apicultural topics at state, national and international levels. Fielder serves on the staff of the annual Young Harris College-University of Georgia Beekeeping Institute and is the director of the UGA Welsh Honey Judging Program. He is also a Georgia Master Beekeeper and a Senior Welsh Honey Judge with international experience. In 2009 the Georgia Beekeepers Association named Fielder Beekeeper of the Year in recognition of outstanding service to Georgia apiculture.In addition to receiving instruction from a Georgia Master Beekeeper, participants in the beginner’s class can receive one hour of private — category 10 and 1 hour of commercial — category 21 Georgia pesticide credit for attendance. Refreshments will be provided. The class is open to the general public, but attendees are asked to RSVP by Aug. 1 by calling (706) 342-2214. A beginner’s beekeeping class will be presented at the University of Georgia Extension Office in Morgan County on Aug. 7. The class will meet from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Morgan County Extension Office at 440 Hancock St. in Madison. There is no charge for attendance thanks to a sponsorship by the Sumner Agency of Tifton. Topics will include how to get started, basic beekeeping equipment and assembly, colony site selection, where to get bees, whether to choose colonies or package bees and how to manage honeybee colony diseases and pests.
University of Georgia faculty will begin a series of pecan trials this winter to help identify better management practices for growers.New pecan trees will be planted at UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center in Toombs County for research and demonstration purposes. Andrew Sawyer, southeast Georgia area pecan agent for UGA Cooperative Extension, is spearheading several research projects with a team of UGA researchers looking at factors that impact the pecan industry such as variety selection, insect pest management, disease resistance, herbicide application rates and other input requirements. This research is funded by a Pecan Commodity Commission grant that was awarded last year.Sawyer, who began this new position in May 2019, is based in Statesboro and supports pecan growers throughout southeast Georgia. The position is funded by the Georgia Pecan Growers Association and UGA Extension to support Extension pecan specialist Lenny Wells at the UGA Tifton campus. The team will primarily study the effects of pecan scab fungus on various cultivars that grow well in the southeast. Pecan scab begins in the tissues of the tree trunk, and at bud break in the spring, the disease begins to rapidly spread through the limbs, leaves and eventually the nuts. It’s the most detrimental disease to pecans in Georgia, causing severe economic losses each year. Currently, trees must be treated with several applications of fungicides annually in order to produce a marketable crop, as it only takes 25% scab on shucks to minimize quality.’Desirable’, ‘Pawnee’ and ‘Stuart’ are some of the most common pecan varieties grown in Georgia, valued for their excellent yield and nut quality. Of the three cultivars, growers have shown a preference for ‘Desirable’, which has now become the most susceptible variety to pecan scab.“The most susceptible cultivars to this disease also happen to be the industry standards used here in the southeast,” explained Sawyer. “We didn’t use to see pecan scab in these cultivars, but over time, as the pecan industry became more or less a monoculture of ‘Desirable’, the disease has gained a foothold in orchards throughout the state. We are at a point that we shouldn’t be planting this cultivar in new orchards anymore. There may be some situations where growers are located in more northern areas of the state where this disease isn’t as hard-hitting, but most pecans are grown in warmer parts of the state where spraying from bud break to shell hardening requires an unsustainable amount of labor and money.”Sawyer hopes that through his research program, other low-input, marketable varieties will prove to be just as valuable as the current industry favorites. His recommendation for growers who are interested in establishing new orchards is to use a variety of cultivars to help minimize the risk of disease and pest issues.“Since 2008, UGA researchers in Tifton have been working with alternative cultivars that are resistant to pecan scab, have low input requirements, are high yielding and produce great quality nuts. Some of the best varieties we’ve seen are ‘Excel’, ‘Lakota’, ‘Gafford’, ‘McMillan’ and ‘Kanza’ — a cold-tolerant variety that may be better suited for growers in north Georgia as well,” said Sawyer.Low-input cultivars provide an economic benefit to growers, especially in southeast Georgia, because orchards in this region tend to be managed through commercial practices, but on a much smaller scale than found elsewhere in the state.“When you have a smaller operation, but still have to shell out a lot of time and money into your crop, the cost-benefit ratio sometimes doesn’t work to your advantage,” said Sawyer. “That’s why these low-input cultivars are so attractive, it means growers can save more time and money and end up with a great quality, high-yielding product without all the heavy investments. So, the Vidalia Onion Research Farm will be a great location in this part of the state to observe these low-input cultivars,” he added.As research plots are established this winter, trees will be planted in such a way to accomplish both long-term variety research and short-term applied research goals. Sawyer and his team will be hosting several demonstrations at the research farm over the next few years to allow Extension agents and growers to participate in hands-on training about topics including planting, pruning, grafting, irrigation, pest and disease prevention strategies, and making herbicide treatments using different chemistries and rotations.To learn more about pecan varieties and management, see UGA Extension Circular 898, “Pecan Varieties for Georgia Orchards,” and UGA Extension Circular 1174, “Pecan Management,” both available at extension.uga.edu/publications. To keep up with the latest information from the UGA pecan team, visit pecans.uga.edu.
The elemental message communicated by Julie Borlaug during the 2020 D.W. Brooks Lecture on Nov. 10 was that no child should be born into a world with hunger and famine.Borlaug is vice president of external relations for Inari Agriculture, a seed company using data and biological science to transform plant breeding, and granddaughter of renowned American agronomist Norman Borlaug, who led global initiatives that contributed to the extensive increases in agricultural production referred to as the Green Revolution.Borlaug was the keynote speaker at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ virtual D.W. Brooks Lecture and Awards celebration. Five of the college’s most innovative and dedicated faculty members were recognized with the D.W. Brooks Faculty Awards for Excellence, the college’s highest honor.Gregory Colson, an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, received the D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has developed hands-on experiments and games for his classes to reinforce the material and give students a tangible experience to complement his teachings on economic theory.Esther van der Knaap, a professor in the Department of Horticulture and Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, received the D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Research. She has spent much of her career working to understand the genetic shifts that have occurred between ancestral, wild tomato varieties and modern, cultivated tomatoes.Tim Coolong, a professor in the Department of Horticulture, received the D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Extension. Coolong conducts vegetable field research and has worked on a broad variety of topics, from germplasm evaluation to food safety in vegetables to hemp production. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 2000, his master’s degree in 2003 and his doctoral degree in 2007, all from UGA’s Department of Horticulture.Phillip Edwards, a UGA Cooperative Extension county coordinator and Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in Irwin County, received the D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Public Service Extension. Edwards has conducted 139 applied research trials resulting in more than 50 state or national presentations and posters. He earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from UGA in 1984.Bob Kemerait, a professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, received the D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Global Programs. He has been a leader in U.S. Agency for International Development-funded projects to improve peanut production among small-scale farmers in Guyana, Haiti and the Philippines and recently received a Fulbright award to work with faculty and farmers in the northern Philippines.“We are delighted to honor these exceptional faculty members,” said Joe West, interim dean and director of CAES. “Each of them brings unique skills that strengthen our discoveries and dissemination of scholarly work through education and outreach programs. They exemplify the quality we strive for as a land-grant college.”This year’s award winners were recognized preceding the D.W. Brooks Lecture.Communication is the key to innovationDuring the lecture, Borlaug said that, to change the discussion in agriculture, it is important to foster acceptance of all of the innovation available, both in developing countries and developed nations.“My grandfather was part of the team that started the Green Revolution. I am asking for a different revolution — a change in the way agriculture is understood and accepted,” said Borlaug, who has developed agricultural partnerships between public, private and philanthropic groups to expand the mission her grandfather embraced. “My grandfather was a warrior against hunger, a mentor, a farmer, but first and foremost, a scientist. He believed that fear of change was the greatest barrier to progress, and his view of science is that it had to be used in battle against hunger.”Borlaug said it is crucial for technology and innovation in agriculture to be accepted and embraced, from the simplest innovations to the most complex.“In smallholder farmers, mostly female, I have seen firsthand the positive impact of innovation and technology in agriculture. And I am not talking about the highest form of technology. I am talking about the transfer of basic information and technology,” said Borlaug. “We need technology transfer equality. Farmers anywhere in the world deserve the right to have safe technologies.”Borlaug said that communication is key to the acceptance of innovation.“We have had huge changes in agriculture that have not been accepted because we haven’t communicated in a way the general public can understand. Why should the consumer care?” she said.Much of the negative public opinion regarding agriculture has been driven by misconceptions and mistakes that have been made along the way, both things that need to be addressed if the industry is to move forward in a meaningful, effective way.“If you look at my grandfather’s success in the Green Revolution and the agriculture industry, they have made huge strides in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. They also used a lot of fertilizer, but they did it to avert famine. … One thing the industry did in that case, is they self-corrected. Yes, there might have been consequences that weren’t intended, but we always self-correct and we want to do better,” Borlaug said.Part of that strategy to do better is to stop doing “business as usual” in agriculture, she added.“We need to stop talking about yields and … we need to start talking about gene editing and biofortification. We need to talk about how we empower farmers and give them a choice in how they farm. … We need to talk about how we save water. … We need to be honest with ourselves and with the public about what we are doing,” she said. “We also need to stop talking about the short term, the next 10 years, and start talking about the next 100 years.”From advanced weather information systems to drones and smartphones, technology has already begun to revolutionize agriculture.“Farmers in the field can take a picture of wheat rust and upload it, then it goes to CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym), those scientists look at it online and decide if it is UG99. If it is, they can mark it and continue to have information about where it has spread and where it is going,” said Borlaug, referring to a type of wheat stem rust that is present in wheat fields in several countries in Africa and the Middle East. The disease is predicted to spread rapidly through these regions and possibly further afield, potentially causing a wheat production disaster that would affect food security worldwide.In order to make technology work to end hunger and poverty, a new generation of leaders need to be welcomed into the industry.“You students need to be given a seat at the table and we need to accept your innovative and out-of-the-box ideas. We need to mentor you but also learn from you,” Borlaug said. “We want to be a catalyst and provide support and belief in the next generation, to give them a seat at the table and a platform for their ideas.”For a video of Borlaug’s full address and for more information about the legacy of D.W. Brooks, visit dwbrooks.caes.uga.edu.
Church Street Marketplace RESEARCH REPORT: Intercept Interviews of French-Speaking Quebec visitorsLabor Day Weekend, 2008 (Friday, September 1 through Monday, September 4, 2008)Introduction: The Greater Montréal, Quebec Market: More than three and one-half million people live just two hours north of Burlington, Vermont. Montréal is Quebec’s largest city and Canada’s second largest next to Toronto. The 2007 Canadian Census (Statistics Canada, Population of census metropolitan areas), reported 1.6 million people residing in the city of Montréal proper. More than 3.6 million live in the Montréal Census Metropolitan Area (Greater Montréal Area). French is the language spoken by 70.5% of the population (as of the 2006 census). Montréal is the largest French-speaking city in North America; second in the world after Paris. (STATCAN)Understanding French-speaking Quebecois: French-speaking Quebecois’ consumer behavior reflects continental French lifestyles in many ways. In general, French-speaking Quebecois spend relatively more money on food for home consumption, clothing, personal care and health items, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages (versus other Canadians).Why do Quebecois visit and shop in Burlington? Taxes and variety. In Quebec, two taxes are applicable on goods and services: the GST (5% Goods and Services Tax) and the PST (7.9 5% Provincial Sales Tax). Whenever the Canadian dollar moves close to parity with our dollar, American goods (minus a GST and PST) offer Canadians a better value. The size of the US market also plays a part in Quebec’s attraction to Vermont and the U.S., as our national stores, in particular, can offer a greater variety and depth of products.French-speaking Quebecois on Church Street: French-speaking Quebecois have always frequented Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace. But cross-border shopping by all Canadians, according to Statistics Canada, began increasing “significantly” in the last half of 2007 as Canada’s dollar reached parity with the U.S. dollar. Businesses on the Church Street Marketplace witnessed a dramatic increase in Quebec shoppers and diners throughout the summer of 2008.Intercept Interviews with French-speaking Quebecers over Labor Day Weekend, 2008: The Church Street Marketplace conducted 80 intercept interviews of Quebec visitors on its Mall block, between Bank and Cherry Streets during Labor Day Weekend, 2008 – Friday, September 1 through Monday, September 4. Here are the results (Source Questions 1 & 2 below):QUESTION # 3 What is the purpose of your visit? Tourism and shopping were the two largest responses gathered. Many people said they came to Burlington for the day to shop, dine and explore.Airport (1)Ambience (1)Boating (1)Camping (4)Dining (3)Events: Burlington Criterium/Bicycle Race (2)Go to beach (1)Hockey tournament (1)Concert: @ Fairgrounds (1)On Motorcycle Tour (1)Outdoor Sports (2)Shopping (15)Tourism (52)Visit with Family, Friends (7)Wedding, relatives, etc. (1)QUESTION # 4.What specific purchases did you make? French-speaking Quebecois visiting September 1-4 were either brand conscious, coming to the Street to purchase specific clothing brands not available in Canada, or price conscious, seeking out lower prices and bargains.Abercrombie (4)Advertise pizza restaurantsAeropostale (2)Ann TaylorArt suppliesBanana Republic (3)Bargains (4)Barnes & NobleBCBG OutletBen & Jerry’sBirkenstockBooksBooks, Gardener’s supplyBordersCappucino, boating suppliesCheddar CheeseChicoClothes (7)Electronics storesEMSFoodFood at Farmer’s MarketFoot LockerGood prices (4)Groceries (2)Hardware ACEHollister (2)HurleyJ. CrewJC PenneyJewelry (2)Kiss the CookLevisLindt Chocolate (3)Lots of stores not found in CanadaMacy’s (6)Men’s clothingNorth Face (2)Not so sweet iced teaOutdoor Gear (3)School Supplies for kidsScuffer RestaurantShoesShopping (14)SouvenirsSouvenirsTeenage brandsTimberlandToys, BeddingVictoria’s secret (2)WaterfrontWomen’s Clothes Yankee CandleQUESTION 5What can we do different or better to encourage you to return? Following are comments from those individuals surveyed. While those surveyed often responded about a number topics, individual responses have been separated out and categorized to identify trends and priorities.a. WAYFINDING SIGNAGE / INFORMATION / INFO IN FRENCH: This category elicited the most responses. Respondents suggested more wayfinding signage, particularly getting to and around the downtown. Signage in French was viewed as recognition of and appreciation for French-speaking Quebecois in the downtown. Requests for regional information on Church Street (hiking, biking, recreation) were also identified.* Better sign for University Suites; run down hotel.* City is bicycle friendly* Maps of bike routes* Need bike path info* More educational signs about town* Improve signage to tell people how to get to Marketplace. Put in French* Information about North Beach on Church Street* Hiking info on Church Street* More French signs on Church Street* Put in cross reference maps in the parking garages so that visitors can find stores and services by category.* Need Walking tours* More signs in French; sales people who speak French* Make area map more user-friendly.b. PARKING & TRANSPORTATION* More garage parking so we don’t have to feed the meter* More parking; clearer direction markings in garages; cross reference maps on street corners so visitors can find stores by category.* Better & less expensive parking* No direct flights from Toronto to Burlington; would like info on busses between Burlington and Montréal ; Burlington & Toronto; Seems to be no coordination between trains, buses, etc.; Need an info clearing house for ground transportation.* Parking for motorhomes close to ferry. Forced to park in Williston; a lot of confusion with recreational vehicles, lost market.* shuttle bus from Colchester to Church Street* parking is well organized; shuttle buses are a help.* Border crossing long; like it here, safe and close by; like the ferry crossingc. RETAIL: Respondents who came to shop were looking for trendy, national brands, good prices and later store hours. Because each retail store on Church Street sets its own business hours, the Street as a whole does not offer the customer uniform hours.)* More chain stores* Stores close too early for Montréalers, even on Saturday* Prices are higher than expected; would like to see lower prices* Tax discount provided in store for being Canadian; 11% at Macy’s who files for tax refund later with Canada* More stores for clothing; more trendy brandsd. ACCOMMODATIONS: Comments received focused on the need for more hotel rooms with lower prices.* Motels expensive and dirty* Need more hotel rooms;* Hotels; too expensive* Would like lower hotel costs; like that you are doing surveye. DINING* More seafood restaurants; not expensive at water’s edge* Need restaurant recommendations* Put in a fried dough stand* Website confusing for Burlington; prices not posted for hotels; map of Burlington on website.* Need Menus in French* Heat Breakwaters for a longer season with outdoor heaters.f. EXCHANGE RATE: For those Labor Day respondents who identified the exchange rate as important, they asked for greater acceptance of the Canadian dollar by Church Street merchants.* Some felt we should accept the Canadian dollar at par;* Many felt that all stores should accept Canadian dollars and calculate the exchange rate as necessary.* Some were quite offended that that was not the case.* Increase acceptance/recognition of Canadian dollar;Many merchants we’ve spoken to after this survey said accepting Canadian at par is problematic; they’re not willing to absorb any losses. This may be due in part to contracting profit margins.g. PUBLIC RESTROOMS* Need more public restrooms, better marked locations* Need street corner rest roomsh. SAFETY: Safe and Non-Threatening. Those who participated in focus groups in Boston and Montreal, as part of the 2007 Burlington Branding Study, described Burlington as safe, non-threatening, and manageable: almost like ‘a city outside America’ and ‘more Canadian’ than even Americanized Toronto.i. PARKS* Need a Downtown playground for children to use while parents shop.* Love the dog parkGENERAL COMMENTS from the Labor Day, 2008 Interviews:* Don’t change. Love the small town feel compared to Montréal. Rural areas are so close by. Love how authentic you are (4 responses compressed, combined)* Need a room-finder service for hotels.* Need Information for vacationing in this country;* Need more Canadian flags displayed as well as discounts, free stuff, Quebec music, teen stuff, giveaways.* Great visit* Happy (21 similar responses)* Good prices* Like the happy, polite sales staff* Just got here. Like the ambience. The “un-Montréal .”* Keep it like it is; Like it fine as is; Like it here; quiet like the beach* Love farmer’s market; friendly, open attitude.* Love the friendly atmosphere of the street; Love the opportunity to sit outside in a clean, safe, fun environment. Street entertainers are excellent; Love the pedestrian mall and all the street vendors* No changes. Like how friendly and informal it is compared to Montréal* Regular visitors once a year* Very happy, love the bilingual signs as a gesture of friendshipTo assist our primary audience- business owners and managers on Church Street who are selling to our Quebec visitors – this report includes excerpts from the 2007 branding study, conducted by Charism Advisors for the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. These findings both validate the Labor Day survey and provide guidance on marketing to French-speaking Quebecers.* Montréalers want to think of Burlington as different: a border crossing to a ‘whole new world.’ For Montréalers: Burlington is a world away, but very accessible. It is the architecture, signage, landscape (“It’s massive,” green, clean, open, wide angle), food, and customs. Burlington is about great shopping. Stores they can’t get in Montréal (Victoria’s Secret) and “great deals.” It can be a stopping off point en route to Southern New England or destination in itself.* Burlington as a Get Away: According to the Branding Study, Montréalers think of Burlington as a “get away” — a place that allows urbanites to escape to the country and to town. Burlington offers escape and relaxation, even while enjoying it’s more urban-like dimensions (food, art, design, music, relative sophistication).* Escape, not Retreat: Quaint and charming came up frequently in focus groups, particularly in reference to Church Street, Inns, and residential architecture. A Montréaler in a focus group said, “It really looks like that!” There is a fantasy, picture-postcard aspect Burlington. It is an escape, but not a retreat. This differentiates Burlington from smaller more rural destinations.* Authenticity: People coming to Burlington are searching for a simpler, cleaner, greener, slower place that is also living, real, contemporaneous, and vital.* Acceptance: Chill not Frosty: Montreal and Boston focus groups described Burlington as welcoming, non-judgmental, supportive, and collaborative. As one Montréaler said, people are chill (vs. “frosty”), and mind their own business. But, when you talk to them or ask for help they are very nice. Being respectfully distant while collaborative, supportive, and accepting of all opinions and lifestyles, creates a very positive climate for our visitors, according to the study.SOURCE QUESTIONS:1. What is your POSTAL CODE? The majority of those visiting from September 1-4 were from Montréal and suburbs south of the city. A smaller portion of those visiting were from the Eastern Townships G0A1H0, Quebec City, QC G1E5M7, Beauport, QC G1L1B1, Quebec City G5Y3R2, St.-Georges-Est, QC G6T5K4, Victoriaville, QC G6V8Z2, Levis, QC H1K4L7, Montréal, QC H1P2N5, Saint-Leonard, QC H1P3E9, Saint-Leonard, QC H2B2P5, Montréal, QC H2B2V9, Montréal, QC H2E1M3, Montréal, QC H2E2Z1, Montréal, QC H2G2H1, Montréal, QC H2V3W1, Outremont, QC H2X3R4, Montréal, QC H3H1H5, Montréal , QC H3P2J3, Mont-Royal, QC H3R2N7 Mont-Royal, QC H3Y2K9, Westmount, QC H3Y2T5, Westmount, QC H3Y3A4, Westmount, QC H3Z1M2, Westmount, QC H4A1H1, Montréal, QC H4A1L8, Montréal, QC H4A3N3, Montréal, QC H4B1Z2, Montréal, QC H4B2W4, Montréal, QC H4H1B5, Verdun, QC H4V1B2, Cote Saint-Luc, QC H4W3H8, Côte-Saint-Luc, QC H7M3B5, Laval, QCH7M5Z2, Laval, QCH7N1B5, Laval, QCH7W4R4, Laval, QCH7X1M2, Laval, QCH8Y2W8, Roxboro, QCH9G2O7, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QCH9H4Z5, Kirkland, QCH9W4R5, Beaconsfield, QCJ0E1A0, Abbotsford, QCJ0E1M0, Dunham, QCJ0E2L0, Valcourt, QCJ0L1B0, Kahnawake, QCJ2K2L6, Cowansville, QCJ3H6J8, Mont-Saint-Hilaire, QCJ3L5W1, Chambly, QCJ3P5N3, Sainte-Anne-de-Sorel, QCJ3Y8G8, Saint-Hubert, QCJ4B5S9, Boucherville, QCJ4B8L8, Boucherville, QCJ4G2L2, Longueuil, QCJ4H3G4, Longueuil, QCJ4K2T8, Longueuil, QCJ7R5M1, Saint-Eustache, QCJ7V0G4, Vaudreuil-Dorion, QCK1C1C6, OntarioK1R0A2, OntarioL3P2T5, OntarioL9H2B1, OntarioM2R3E7, OntarioV8S3V4, British ColumbiaV9T4M3, British ColumbiaQUESTION # 2 Description of party: men, women, children: Surveyers asked respondents for the total number of people in their party including men, women and children. We were not specific about age of adults or children. Largest percentages of visitors were women; this may be due to the Street’s dominance in women’s apparel and accessories. Total PercentagesMen/Hommes 96 38%Women/Femmes 117 46%Children/Enfants 40 16%*Total number of people in party surveyed. 253 100%Additional Sources:* Statistics Canada; http://www.statcan.ca/menu-en.htm(link is external)* Bank of Montreal: The State of Retail in Canada:http://www4.bmo.com/popup/0,2284,35490_15688524,00.html(link is external)* Promoting consumer goods and services in Quebec, Canada’s distinct, French-speaking market Business America, Nov 1, 1993 by Julie Snyder. Copyright 1993 U.S. Government Printing Office; Copyright 2004 Gale Group;* Burlington Branding Study, Charism Advisors, January, 2007.Prepared by Ron Redmond, Executive Director, Church Street Marketplace District; Edited by Scott Hendrickson.
The second in a series of Regional White House Forums on Health Reform took place today in Burlington, Vermont. The forum was hosted by the University of Vermont and was moderated by Governor Jim Douglas of Vermont and Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts. Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform, represented the Obama administration. Forum participants included doctors, patients, providers, insurers, policy experts and health care advocates of all kinds both Democrats and Republicans who discussed the urgent need to provide high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans, and to curb skyrocketing health care costs that are draining our federal and state budgets, devastating families and small businesses, and undermining our long-term economic prosperity. Today s forum was a tremendous success, said Governor Douglas. The discussion was very helpful and with so many viewpoints represented, I know the White House will come away from this with many good ideas for how we build a more affordable and effective healthcare system in America. In keeping with the Obama administration s commitment to an open, inclusive, and transparent process for health reform, the forum brought together a diverse group of people to voice their concerns and ideas on reforming our health care system. Health care reform in Massachusetts has become a national model with more than 97% of residents insured in just two years, said Governor Patrick. But affordability is still a big challenge and we need payment reform and better cost containment across America to make healthcare truly available for all. Vermont, like Massachusetts, is a model for the rest of the nation, Governor Douglas continued. Our Blueprint for Health, Green Mountain Healthcare products and our Chronic Care Initiative are all programs that will help us bring down the cost of healthcare and lead healthier lives. We really appreciate the opportunity to share these programs with the rest of the country.And Nancy-Ann DeParle represented the Obama Administration. Today we continued our important national conversation on health reform, DeParle said. Exploding costs are bankrupting families and burdening businesses, dragging down state and local budgets, and piling up our national debt. The time to act is now.Regional White House Forums on Health Reform will also be held in Iowa, North Carolina, and California throughout the rest of March and early April. Anyone interested in participating in the discussion can visit www.HealthReform.gov(link is external) to submit their questions.
In recent weeks, many Vermont hurricane- and tropical storm-damaged businesses have sought emergency financing assistance from the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA). In addition, VEDA wants to make sure Vermont farmers also take full advantage of the special financing assistance. ‘On August 28th, Governor Peter Shumlin announced the immediate availability of up to $10 million in special low-interest VEDA financing for Vermont businesses and farms who suffered damage as a result of Hurricane and Tropical Storm Irene,’ said VEDA Chief Executive Officer Jo Bradley. ‘While we’ve been receiving numerous applications for financing assistance from flood-damaged commercial businesses, we are concerned that Vermont farms damaged by Irene may not be completely aware of resources that are available to them,’ Bradley said. Additional financing for the emergency program, enabling the Authority to offer the lowest-possible interest rates, was approved by the State’s Emergency Board on September 13th. ‘We understand affected Vermont farms are still assessing the damages they sustained as a result of this terrible storm,’ said Bradley. ‘We encourage farmers to contact us as soon as they are able to.’ Emergency agricultural financing for farms damaged by Irene is available through VEDA’s agricultural financing program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC). The maximum loan size under the program is $100,000. The interest rate on the emergency VACC financing is 1% for the first two years with no payments required during the first year. At the beginning of the third year, the rate will adjust to the VACC Prime variable index. VACC financing is available for a variety of farm losses and damage attributable to Irene, including crop supplies, seed, livestock, fertilizer, machinery and equipment, fuel, lost inventory, and storm-related repairs to land, buildings and machinery. Applications will be reviewed and loans approved on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funds are exhausted. For more information, or to apply on-line, please visit www.veda.org(link is external), or email firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail).
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:The number of jurisdictions pursuing a goal of 100 percent renewables keeps growing. Puerto Rico looks to be next, with a late November plan from the island’s governor and a proposal before the legislature both calling for 100 percent renewables by 2050. In October, a diverse group of clean energy advocates also published a proposal, “Queremos Sol,” that outlines a path to all-renewables by the same year.Agreement on the territory’s energy system seems to have coalesced around a renewable portfolio standard and timeline. “I can’t think of any entity that’s said it’s opposed to 100 percent renewables by 2050. That certainly is progress,” said Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), which contributed to the Queremos Sol report. “That’s a consensus that didn’t exist before the hurricane.”It’s taken months to get to this point. And while the long-term vision seems to have been clarified, stakeholders remain divided on short-term goals. “What the problem is, and what we need to be careful about, is how different organizations and groups propose to get there,” said Ruth Santiago, a lawyer at local environmental group Comité Diálogo Ambiental and a contributor to the Queremos Sol report.In its August fiscal plan, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) said it was looking to convert some plants to burn natural gas and that it would cost $500 million to build a liquefied natural gas import terminal. When the utility’s current CEO, José Ortiz, came aboard, he said natural gas would support a future with more renewables. PREPA did not respond to requests for comment about the proposed RPS, but in its fiscal plan the utility lays out a path to a generation mix in 2023 that’s 32 percent solar and wind and 41 percent gas.The group of engineers, environmentalists and clean energy advocates who wrote the Queremos Sol proposal are pushing for integration of renewables now. Santiago said investing in natural gas in the short term might be “disastrous” and will likely impede investment in solar.“Renewable energy and storage technologies are available now,” said Kunkel. “And if your goal is to get to 100 percent renewables by 2050, you should start investing in them now. The most important challenges are going to be what investment decisions get made in the next few years. Most of Puerto Rico’s power plants are old and [need] to be replaced in any event. What they get replaced with really matters in terms of what type of fuel infrastructure you’re locking yourself into for the next several decades,” she added.More: Inside Puerto Rico’s quest for 100% renewables: A clash over natural gas Battle brews over short-term energy investment plans in Puerto Rico
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Clean Energy Wire:Germany’s detailed coal exit path and the end-date to coal-fired power generation remain unknown only days before a highly anticipated phase-out proposal is due to be published. A leaked draft of the final report of the country’s coal commission seen by the Clean Energy Wire suggests agreements on compensation for coal plant operators, support for affected mining regions, and measures to shield consumers from rising power prices. The draft also refers to Germany’s 2030 emission reduction targets for the energy sector as a guideline for the exit in accordance with its mandate. But the most pressing details from a climate perspective still need to be thrashed out during a marathon session scheduled for Friday 25 January: How many coal-fired power plants will go offline in the near future, and when will the last one be switched off?The draft document runs to 133 pages, and contains only five pages where details still need to be settled – but these concern a plan for coal power plant closures. Passages detailing the exit path are still littered with empty brackets “[XX]” that need to be filled with dates and coal power plant capacities following the final round of negotiations. The draft also doesn’t specify whether the embattled Hambach Forest, which has become a symbol for anti-coal activism in Germany and beyond, will be preserved.Germany’s coal exit commission was set up to find economic prospects for coal workers and regions before spelling out measures to reduce carbon emissions in line with Germany’s climate targets, and naming an end date for coal-fired power production, the most prominent blemish on the former climate action pioneer’s emissions record. This order is reflected in its official title: “Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment.”Officially, the commission’s last meeting will take place on 1 February. But the task force hopes to wrap up negotiations on Friday 25 January, so a safety buffer remains in case a compromise can’t be reached by that date, sources close to the commission told the Clean Energy Wire.The coal commission’s proposal is not legally binding, but since the task force is backed by a large majority in parliament, the government is widely expected to follow its recommendations.From a climate policy perspective, the key issue is how many power stations Germany will switch off in the short term, because this will have the largest impact on the country’s total emissions over time compared to other measures. Seven of Europe’s ten most CO2-intensive power plants are located in Germany. Shutting these down early would save a lot of cumulated emissions over the years.More: German coal exit timetable to be settled in last minute talks Key details of German coal phase-out plan still to be finalized as deadline looms