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Springfield High School Students Bring a Little Peace

September 21, 2013 in Art, Community Development by Jen

Today is World Peace Day. To celebrate and raise awareness, students at Springfield High School created a giant peace sign made up of hundreds of handmade pinwheels. Rolling around the corner to this delightful, meaningful surprise was a most pleasant way to start the day!

If you get a chance, be sure to check it out in person.

Springfield High School Peace Sign

14th Annual RiverSweep – Sat., Sept. 7th

September 6, 2013 in Community Development by Kelly Stettner

RiverSweep BRAT
Come one, come all!  This is your chance to lend a hand to improve the health of the Black River, as volunteers of all ages turn out to haul trash and collect junk from the bed and banks of our favorite waterway.

Check in anytime between 8AM and noon at one of two headquarters — Springfield, at the Citizens Bank drive up by the footbridge in the Shopping Plaza; Ludlow, at the gazebo in the town green at Veterans Memorial Park by the Fletcher Memorial Library.

Stay for an hour or the whole morning- being a BRAT is fun!

Thanks to many local sponsors and supporters, we will once again offer free “thank you” tee shirts to all volunteers, plus lunch and drinking water (bring a bottle to refill!).

Help is still needed to cover the costs of running RiverSweep; if you can donate, please use the PayPal button on the BRAT website or mail a check to BRAT, 101 Perley Gordon Rd, Springfield VT 05156.  For tax-deductible donations, make your check out to (and mail it to) the ONRCD (our fiscal agent, the Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District), 28 Farmvu Rd, White River Jct VT 05001.  Juts note “BRAT” in the memo section, please.

Thank you for your support!

Read about the inspiration for the Black River Action Team

Like BRAT on facebook

From: black river action team news

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Springfield Blooms!

August 2, 2013 in Community Development by Jen

Early this morning before most of us had even made it out the door, the Springfield Public Works crew was hard at work.

The crew was quick to make sure most people driving through town would not even know any damage had been done during the night. The vandals who desecrated the flowers along Main Street will surely be disappointed when they wake up and see that everything appears to be normal and beautiful once again.

So, this is a shout-out to the crew members and Town of Springfield. To the folks who often hear about problems and rarely receive the call saying ‘thanks- you did a great job’, I hope you’re listening now.

[Update: It has come to our attention that along with the Town crew, there was at least one citizen, and probably more, who sprang into action early this morning. We think that makes this story all the better- the community working together, claiming their space and doing what needs doing. Kind of makes us all tingly. If you or someone you know was involved, please let us know so we can acknowledge you personally! (and... Thank you!)]

Main Street restored

Only shadows of the dirt piles remain

Flowers on Main Street replanted

Flowers repottedExit sign at Springfield bank

Let’s Celebrate!

To celebrate this Springfield spirit, we’ll be showcasing people’s favorite examples of how ‘Springfield Blooms’. Send pictures of a favorite garden, pretty flowers, or other images that demonstrate this spirit in bloom. You can email .jpg files to or via our brand new Facebook page.  Be sure to include your name so you can get full credit for all submissions!

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope


~Find ways you can Get Involved and help make a difference. ~




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McDonald’s is Closed. Long Live the Locals!

July 29, 2013 in Community Development, Farm & Agriculture by Jen

McDonald’s is officially closed. Although they will rebuild, the next three months provide perfect opportunities to explore other options in and around Springfield. In fact, it’s a great time to think about our choices and how they impact our local economy. To be clear:  I am an advocate for small, independent and local businesses.  I believe they are the backbone of a strong economy and essential for a healthy community, nation, and 12 Reasons Buy Localworld.

Studies from across the nation have demonstrated that spending at a locally owned establishment can generate 3-4 times as much value as dollars spent at a chain. This 2003 study showed how in one community, of $100 spent at a big box retailer only $14 stayed local, including all charitable contributions. Comparatively, of $100 spent at a local retailer,  $45 stayed local.

The 2000 Vermont Job Gap Study revealed the extent of Vermont’s “leaky bucket”- the amount of goods and services provided outside Vermont that could potentially be provided by in-state services.  The study found that the average person in Vermont spent $3,064 for food grown and/or processed elsewhere. While some of that food cannot be produced in this region, there are significant opportunities to capture more of those dollars in-state. They concluded that if Vermont could substitute local production for  just 10% of the food imported, it would result in $376 million in new economic outpout, including $69 million in personal earnings from the creation of 3,616 new jobs.

Those are big numbers, but what does that mean for Springfield? The 2010 Retail Market Study commissioned by Springfield on the Move indicates that Springfield residents are spending $4.8 million on food service & drinking places outside of Springfield, and an additional $8 million at food and beverage stores. (This does not include the losses from chains vs local establishments, just money spent outside of Springfield).  If we could capture just 20% of those sales, it would create nearly $2.5 million in revenue. How many jobs could that create? How much tax revenue? The numbers aren’t huge, but they are significant (approximately 25 jobs created). Add in the benefits of shifting additional revenues from national chains to local businesses and the potential impact begins to spread quickly.

And, it’s not just the economic benefits of buying local that matter. According to a 2012 national study by sociologists at LSU and Baylor University, “Counties and parishes with a greater concentration of small, locally-owned businesses have healthier populations — with lower rates of mortality, obesity and diabetes — than do those that rely on large companies with ‘absentee’ owners”. The fact that local establishments tend to use more local, fresher ingredients, is likely one contributing factor.

They say it can take 30 – 90 days to form a new habit. Imagine the possibilities if even half the people who used to go to McDonald’s tried out some new, local establishments and found one or two that they then used on a regular basis! I think it’s kind of exciting!

While there is room for growth, Springfield offers a solid variety of local food establishments- from restaurants and delis, to a farmers market, farm stands and a local food co-op. With the Springfield farmers market now accepting food stamps/ EBT cards, even more people can enjoy access to the fresh  food available there while helping support local producers.

Below is a list of a few of the local/ independent places around Springfield (this is a partial list, in no particular order). We hope to provide more in-depth profiles of some of these soon. Many of these restaurants and delis offer take-out and call-ahead service, so your meal is ready when you are. Check them out and support your local neighbors, farmers, and friends!

Perkins Country Deli – (click here for an article on the Perkins’ and their one year anniversary)- 20 Valley Street, Springfield, VT; 885-6325

Jenny Wren Cafe: (formerly Apron Strings Cafe): 41 Main Street, Springfield, VT; 885-1766

The Hole in the Hill: 30 Main Street, Springfield, VT; 885-4240

56 Main: 56 Main Street, Springfield, VT; 885-6987

The Sub-Way (Pizza and Subs): 85 Clinton Street, Springfield, VT;  885-1144

Springfield Community Market (aka Farmers Market): 6 Main Street, Springfield, VT- Saturdays 10 -2 June – Sept

Shanghai Garden:  129 Clinton Street, Springfield, VT; 885-5555

Springfield Food Co-op: 335 River Street, Springfield, VT

Riverside Restaurant: 244 River Street, Springfield, VT; 885-2161

Black Rock Steakhouse: 284 River Street, Springfield, VT; 885-2200

371 Restaurant: 371 River Street, Springfield, VT; 886-8300

Springfield Royal Diner: 363 River Street, Springfield, VT; 886-1400

Oriental Palace: 10 Clinton Street, Springfield, VT; 885-1144

Jasinski’s Park Street Market: 114 Park Street, Springfield, VT; 885- 9177

Jake’s South Street Market: 181 South Street, Springfield, VT;  885-5488

Jake’s Market & Deli: 197 Clinton Street, Springfield, VT; 885-3344

KJ’s Place Tavern: 3 Main Street, North Springfield, VT

Simply Baked in Vermont: Springfield, VT; 802-591-4190

Sonas Gluten Free Bakery Goods: 131 Clinton Street, Springfield, VT; 802-738-4076

The Summer Place: Springfield Plaza, Springfield, VT;

Black Watch Farm: 1233 Weathersfield Center Road, Springfield, VT; 263-5488

Wellwood Orchards: 529 Wellwood Orchard Road, Springfield, VT; 263-5200

Coger Farms & Greenhouses: 15 Baltimore Road, Springfield, VT; North Springfield, VT

Cherry Hill Farm: 409 Highland Road, Springfield, VT; 885-5088

Cavendish Game Birds: 190 Paddock Road, Springfield, VT

Blais Farm: Intersection of Rte 106 & Rte 5, Springfield, VT

Black River Produce: (distributor for local foods to restaurants and food service industry)



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The Perkins’: Building a Family Business and a Dream

July 25, 2013 in Community Development, Stories by Jen

Danny and Debbie Perkins spent most of their careers in upstate New York, but always dreamed of living in Vermont. Debbie spent years running delis and mastering flavor combinations and cooking techniques. Danny worked at the same furniture company for 22 years before the fallout from the real estate bust changed that.  Together, Danny and Debbie decided to take that change as an opportunity to pursue their dreams.

Perkins Deli

Danny, Debbie and Chris Perkins

Building a Dream

Danny grew up visiting his family’s cabin in Southeastern Vermont. He loved the area and passed that love to his wife and son, Chris. Taking everything they had, they moved to the area and began to create their vision of bringing great deli flavors, home-style food, with a cozy, comfortable  space to a small community.

Today you can find Danny, Debbie, and Chris celebrating their one year anniversary at The Perkins Country Deli (20 Valley Street) in downtown Springfield. Alongside their deli meats and cheeses, they offer homemade specials from lasagna and meatball subs to pizza and classics such as tuna salad or egg salad. They post regular updates on their Facebook page and the reviews there are fabulous.

Community Feedback

According to Danny, it is the customer comments and reviews that are the most satisfying this first year. The community has been very supportive, but not everyone knows about them yet. Tucked away just out of sight of Main Street, they can be hard to spot and haven’t had much to invest in advertising. Fortunately, word of mouth is spreading and customers using the bank parking lot are sent directly past the storefront.

They  hope to soon be able to expand their hours (currently open 8 – 4 M-F and 8 – 2 Saturday). Sandwiches and meals are prepared in a clean, sunny, and open area. Being able to see everything that happens behind the counter was an important element for Debbie. It makes sense. If you’re going to spend time preparing things from scratch, you want people to see and experience as much of that as possible.

Perkins Deli Counter

Deli Counter

Fresh, quality ingredients were amongst the other  ‘must haves’ on Debbie’s list. That is why all the produce comes from Black River Produce, which Danny says is sourced from local farms and, although a little pricier than some options, the quality can’t be beat. They also support other local businesses. Heaven Scent Bakery supplies all their fresh pizza dough which Debbie works to perfection for every pie they make, topping it with fresh homemade tomato sauce- no frozen or canned short-cuts here.

Pursuing Passions

Debbie isn’t the only one with cooking talents. Their son Chris makes a sweet/ spicy hotdog sauce that gets rave reviews. And the talent doesn’t end there. Debbie creates one of a kind gifts such as dolls and scarves.  Although Chris is helping out at the deli, he also has a degree in graphic arts which is a fortunate thing for the Deli and anyone passing by.  The stunning sign and artwork that adorns the deli was all done by Chris.

Chris says that he was inspired by the architecture of the downtown buildings and wanted to showcase the beauty that surrounds their new location. As you can see, he captured that and something more in his art- perhaps even a little piece of the Springfield soul.

Sign and artwork by Christopher Perkins

Sign and artwork by Christopher Perkins

The Future

The pride in Danny’s voice is obvious when he talks about his son’s and wife’s talents. I suspect he may have some of his own, but he was far more interested in talking about them.

They hope in the next few years to be making even more people happy with their food- to be able to purchase their building and expand the inside seating. It’s not a ‘take over the world’ kind of dream. It’s the kind of dream and commitment our country was built on and that we may need a little more of: enough to live a full, happy life doing what you love with people you care about in a place that feels good.

Daniel and Christopher Perkins outside deli

Daniel and Chris check out the sign Chris made for the deli

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Willard on Water, Community, and Service

July 22, 2013 in Community Development, Springfield Citizen Awareness News by Jen

At 86, she may have been the oldest person in the room. Regardless of age, or perhaps in some ways because of it,  she was the most intimately familiar with the waterways of Springfield.

“She” is Ms. Jean Willard.  Growing up on her father’s farm in North Springfield, she learned the lay of the land, understood deeply how the waters run and the importance of maintaining a clean water supply.

Jean Williard, town hall

Jean Willard outside Selectman’s meeting room

Ms. Willard brought more than knowledge from her youth to the Select Board at that meeting. She brought facts. It was clear she had carefully reviewed the documents related to the biomass project. She brought up potential conflicts with the proposal and the official town plan; required credentials that don’t appear to be being met by the project’s engineers; and the chemicals that will be injected into the land and aquifer area. She seemed unimpressed by the suggestion of one selectman that there was a possibility to inject the chemicals directly into the town’s sewer system so they “wouldn’t go in the ground”

At the end of her presentation, Willard implored the Board to “Please think about the value of drinking water. Make a decision to take it to the Public Service Board that you are concerned about what this plant will do to our only water source.”

As I watched her carefully navigate the stairs to leave, I realized how determined she must have been to even make it to the third floor meeting.

Upon arriving at the town hall, we had all been greeted with a note stuck to the door:  ‘Elevator out of Service. Sorry for any inconvenience’. With three flights of steep stairs, the lack of an elevator could mean a virtual lock-out for some citizens. Cane in hand, she had made her way up each flight, step by step. Slowly but surely. I was soon to learn that this approach is nothing new to Ms. Willard.

Intrigued by her determination and passion, I called her up. Following is a partial transcript of our conversation.

Jean Willard

You are very passionate about the water quality issues in North Springfield- what drives you to spend your time researching and talking to town officials?

J.W.: I’ve always been involved in public affairs. I served on the school board for four years, and with the town nine years. I always felt that if you are representing, you had a responsibility to know what the issues are. Whatever I did, I tried to get as much knowledge as possible.

In my experience, that is not true for everyone. During the town negotiations with Wheelabrator, [NH-VT Solid Waste Project], the town did not even have a copy of the agreement! I made sure we got a copy right away- and I read all of it.

Jean said she served with the town sometime in the late “1980′s-ish”, and some of that time was spent with two of the current Select Board members. She didn’t think she should name them.

Jean also serves with the North Springfield Preservation Society.

The school board wanted to sell the North School property for development. Since the beginning of the 1900′s, that has been the only recreation land in that area. We worked hard to ensure it stayed that way. It took a long time, but we were finally able to purchase it and preserve it. The Parks and Rec department has first dibs on the rec fields and in exchange they maintain it, just like they did when it was still a school.

Perseverance and Service

I was a dance and yoga instructor for 27 years.

Yoga? You must have been a bit of a pioneer in this area.

She chuckled and replied: In my early 40′s, I had to learn to walk again. I had four children, the two youngest were still in diapers, when I suddenly could not walk or use my hands. They think it may have been effects from Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

It was a really difficult time- and it gave me incentive to work. My husband was a very kind man and helped out whenever he could. While he worked, we had to have helpers care for the children. I didn’t want anyone else to raise my children.

One of my friends was the local dance teacher. I asked her if I could take ballet exercises- and, well, she didn’t say no [laughs]. She put up with my clumsiness very patiently. I slowly got better.

I worked with the youth at our church and we started using choreographed dance. It was one of the best teaching tools- you had to remember the notes, what to do, and feel the character. We had a sacred dance choir and the older students performed in four different states.

The church sent me to Castleton, along with the pastors wife, for dance lessons. She was taking several classes and since I was sitting up there, I decided to take a yoga class. I ended up teaching beginner to advanced yoga.

The land, the water and hopes for the towns future

I asked Jean what she sees as the biggest asset for the community?

With no hesitation, she responded: The people.

What are your hopes for the towns future?

Number One: Biomass does not belong on top of our aquifer. My father owned that land- he farmed it. I’m very familiar with the topography up there. My father was a college-educated farmer, but he didn’t just take agricultural courses, he took all the sciences- like geology. We would often talk about the lands. I learned that the whole region used to be a lake. There is a wide strip of sand – right about where they are planning to put this plant.

At the Select Board meeting, Select Board member Mr. Yesman mentioned an offer he had made to set up a private meeting between Ms. Willard and Mr. Ingold, the Sr. Technical Director for the biomass project. Mr. Yesman indicated that the only reason it wasn’t set up was because Ms. Willard insisted on having other people present. I asked her what she thought of that offer.

JW: Number One: It would not be legal.

After being Chairman of the Executive Committee of the NH-VT Solid Waste Project- I learned that you do not go into private meetings without a witness.

This was one of the first things I had to battle as a Selectman. They were having an awful lot of executive sessions. They were not happy, but if they wanted to go into executive session and it wasn’t legal, I would tell them so. It didn’t make me the most popular.

The first meeting I went to, it was explained to me exactly how I should vote. I listened to them and then I looked into all the information- and voted the way I felt would be the best.

I think they sometimes forget they are representing all the people of the community.

It Takes a Village – Then and Now

J.W.: Back then, North Springfield was its own town. We became incorporated about 1950′s. We had our own school, own fire department. It was a very good fire department. They were all volunteers- just about every able bodied man in town had gone through the training. They actually beat the Springfield Fire Department to the Edna Brown fire.

That must have been a real bonding experience- to have all the men trained as volunteer fire fighters.

J.W.: It was a pretty tight community. There were 19 children within this area- all the parents were responsible for the children if they were in their yard. Everyone knew each other. My oldest son says they could never get away with anything. It was a good neighborhood to bring up children.

Are there things you wish were different now?

I don’t know my neighbors as well as I’d like. Mostly the age difference, I think. And I don’t get out as much anymore.

There was warmth and unity of that [earlier] time. Most of the work was done by volunteers- we had a very strong JC [Junior Chamber of Commerce], several of them were state officers. They were really strong young men and they did a lot. My husband was one of them, along with Bob Dufresne and a whole bunch of others.

You waved to everybody and always made a point of smiling at everybody who went by. There isn’t that unity now.

There was also much more respect for the churches. At one point, the men were working in the factories seven days per week, around the clock. They didn’t get a chance to go to church. So, the churches and people got together and asked the factories if they could go in later on Sunday- and they agreed. There was more cooperation- it was a real inter-community action.

Do you think there is any chance to recapture some of that sense of unity and warmth?

I don’t know. We didn’t have tv. Didn’t have computers. That sort of thing. We didn’t have the distractions. During war, we didn’t have the cars to ride around in, so had to walk everywhere.

You can see glimpses of it when there’s an emergency or when people come together to help somebody that needs it.

I think sometimes maybe people are afraid to be friendly with strangers. With good reason. It’s too bad you have to be that way, but really you have to teach your children not to be too trustworthy to strangers. I never really had to put up with that.

When I was younger, we lived on a hill farm in Townsend. My brother and I were the fifth generation to live there. You knew everybody. And everybody knew that if they came to the farm, they’d get a free meal. Usually they would offer to work and get a sack of potatoes.

People today cannot imagine what it was like during the depression years. Everybody on the farm had to work just to survive. We didn’t have much, but we were able to grow or make everything we needed- berries, milk, we made our own butter.

There was always room for somebody- whoever dropped by the farm. We canned a lot. Mother could always open a can to accommodate a guest. We were taught to always respect the people who came to the house. Some were not too clean, some in ragged clothes. They were always treated the same as everyone else.

Maybe that’s something we don’t have enough of, is respect for other people.


Both my parents were very active in state and town politics. My mother served as the Regional Director for the Women’s Farm Bureau. She was sent to Europe three times for international conferences. The last trip was just before the war started. While she was there, people were removing stained glass windows from some of the cathedrals in Belgium and Holland. It’s the only way some of them survived.

I was brought up to believe freedom isn’t free- it is everyone’s responsibility to make a contribution to society and the people around them.

My great grandfather built keystone bridges in southern Vermont- double-arch stone bridges. He fought in the civil war. After he died, they placed an epitaph in his honor on a bridge, now in the Townsend Historical Society. It says: “James Follett: man of God, builder of bridges and men”

That’s a lot to live up to.

What would you like to be remembered for?

For having worked with children and youth and that I cared about people and my community.

[  a thoughtful pause  ]

And no matter how old you are , or how young, there is a meaning to your life and a purpose for it.

Remember that each of us has a gift- maybe more than one- we have a place on this earth and a mission to complete.

Thank you, Jean. Your words and your dedication to serving the community are an inspiration. And, if I may say so, ‘That is a lot to live up to’.


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by Jen

Beautification Efforts Underway- Call for Volunteers

July 19, 2013 in Art, Community Development, Ideas & Projects, Stories by Jen

As  I was heading up to The Commons to see the special Community Band performance Tuesday night, I noticed a group of people on Mineral Street painting the cement retaining wall.

They didn’t appear to be vandals, so I stopped to check out what they were up to.

The Mural

There I met Mona Frye (pictured below) who told me about the mural project. What started out as a project of the Community School of Vermont has expanded to a community-wide effort. Funding has been provided by a number of area businesses and organizations.

Springfield mural flags

The large mural forming tells the story of Springfield. It seems fitting that the Vermont State Flag and the US Flag anchor the mural around the corner.

As you turn, you can see symbols and landmarks from Springfield emerging. The Calvary Baptist Church welcomes visitors at one end and towards the center, the Miller Art Center hovers majestically above the town.

Flowers adorn the bottom, mixing with a splash of colorful live foliage. I was told there is a large “Springfield” sign that will be added to the center of the mural when everything else is complete.

Appropriately, a Springfield Pride sign is proudly featured. And, as the project progresses, it is easy to see some of the reasons the town has to be proud- not just because of the buildings being shown, but because of the community and volunteers who are pulling together to do something that matters to them- and helps us all remember the beauty that surrounds us.Springfield mural- flowers

Get Involved: Call for Volunteers

There is still plenty of time to get involved- they are meeting every Monday evening around 7pm on Mineral Street. Everyone is welcome, as is any extra latex paint you might have laying around.

There is also a need for anyone with landscaping skills to help clear some areas to prevent water run-off from the hill and help preserve the mural.

Mona Frye explains the mural, the process, and why they need some landscaping assistance

Mona Frye explains the mural, the process, and why they need some landscaping assistance

A Facebook event was created to provide the most up to date information.

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Internet Speeds Springfield Development Prospects

July 16, 2013 in Community Development, Makers by Jen

Fellows Gear Shaper building, built in 1896, now features state of the art fiber optic internet

Fellows Gear Shaper building, built in 1896, now features state of the art fiber optic internet

We have been extolling the connections Springfield has to emerging tech fields and the huge potential of this area to tap into the rich history of innovation.

Today, Bernie Sanders released two articles related to Springfield and technological advances that will help spur economic development in this area.

The first focuses on the availability of ‘Ultra Fast Internet’ and it’s potential impact on the region.

An excerpt from Bernie Sanders:

Ultra-Fast Internet Speeds Give Springfield a Boost Share

This July 15, 2013 Bob Flint, the executive director of the Springfield Regional Development Corp., is hoping to persuade people from out of state to move their businesses to Springfield, Vt. The lure: ultra-fast Internet speeds that are on par with the world’s fastest connections. Springfield was a national manufacturing center for the tool and die industry.

In recent decades, with the industry in decline, thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs left the city. Now, an infusion of federal stimulus funds has brought some of the fastest Internet connections anywhere in the world to the Springfield area. The ultra-fast connections are generating enthusiasm for the economic rebirth of the region. “I‘m from here. I grew up here. I was here when things were going strong,” Flint said. “I care about this town. I believe in it. It’s a frequently-asked question down here: We were the machine tool capital of the world, what are we going to be?” Thanks to the federally-funded project, an answer to that question is emerging.

The state-of-the-art fiber optic service being rolled out boasts speeds of up to 1 gigabyte per second— something unmatched in the United States except by a pilot project by Google in Kansas City. That’s 100 times faster than the average Internet speeds commonly available now. The ultra-fast Internet speed offers the power to dramatically change how we think about education, health care, and business. The super-fast connections will provide Vermonters with better health care, educational opportunities, and the opportunities to build businesses and create jobs. Aside from Springfield, its 13 neighboring towns — Saxons River, Chester, North Springfield, Grafton, Bridgewater, Cuttingsville, Wallingford, Hartland, Killington, Pawlet, Danby, Mt. Holly, Middletown Springs – will be equipped with state of the art connections. Through a separate federal stimulus award, Waitsfield, Vt., will also be equipped with bolstered broadband connections. “Springfield is an example of how a federal, state, local and private partnership can significantly upgrade our infrastructure. The goal now is to use this resource to attract business and create good-paying jobs,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said. “Vermont may be on the verge of reaping enormous dividends from this historic investment in our future.”

[Read the rest of the story at Bernie Sanders' site]

The second article released by Sander’s today delves into the specific implications for access to information, particularly the opportunities for libraries, schools, and health centers.

It’s an exciting time in Springfield and we are looking forward to what develops next.

For other articles about technology and Springfield:


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by Jen

re.Find: A Thrift Boutique Opens on Main Street

July 15, 2013 in Community Development by Jen

Sharing Space, Friendship, and an Entrepreneurial Spirit

re.find: A Thrift Boutique storefrontThere is a new store in town and it’s looking pretty good. re.Find: A Thrift Boutique is now open and operating inside the Jenny Wren Cafe (formerly known as Apron Strings), at 41 Main Street in historic downtown Springfield.

The new boutique is a long-time dream of  owner Andrea Carr and offers a variety of new and gently used women’s clothing, accessories and shoes. Growing up, Andrea did a lot of thrifting and found a passion in rooting through and discovering hidden treasures. She wanted to bring a piece of that to Springfield and offer a place where people could shop for good quality clothing at truly affordable prices. She hopes her mix of hip and trendy hits just the right note for area residents and current customers of the cafe.

Although Andrea and Jen, (Jenevieve Johnson), the owner of the Jenny Wren cafe, have only known each other for about six months, their common interests helped solidify a friendship that led to the opening of the store within a cafe.  Of this shared space, they say: “The blend of the two businesses provides a funky and relaxing atmosphere where you can enjoy delicious food and drinks while taking home a treasure all in one stop!” Now that re.Find is officially open, you can check it out from 10 am to 6 pm daily.

On Saturday, July 20th, re.Find is having their Grand Opening celebration. There will be specials at both the boutique and the cafe.

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Tech Students Become Adobe Certified

July 11, 2013 in Community Development, Makers, Youth & Education by Jen

Multi-media and visual communication skills are important for web applications and technology development. Visual communication is a multi-disciplinary field encompassing graphic design, illustration, fine arts (like drawing and painting), and photography.

A global leader in multi-media development is Adobe, offering some of the most used tools for digital marketing and digital media services. With $4.4 billion in sales in 2012, their place in the evolution of online and digital services is almost certain. If you look, you are likely to see their products in websites, smartphones, tablets, televisions, and more.

As such, it’s probably safe to say that having skills and experience using Adobe products could prove valuable to those seeking careers in related fields. Having certification, along with a well-rounded portfolio, is even better, especially as you begin a new career.

This month, three RVTC students have taken steps to ensure they stand out from the crowd by becoming Adobe Certified Associates.

  • Alex DeWitt earned certification in Photoshop CS6
  • Wayna Zhang Manning earned certification in Adobe Dreamweaver CS6
  • Jordan D. Plaisted earned certification in Photoshop CS6 and Dreamweaver CS6
RVTC Tech Essential Students earn Adobe Certifications

RVTC students Alex DeWitt, Wayna Zhang Manning, Jordan Plaisted

About Adobe Certified Associate certification

The Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) certification indicates proficiency in Adobe digital communications tools.  Having  Nationally Recognized Industry Credentials can help students stand out in the job market, providing a clear way to demonstrate proficiency.

Adobe conducted research to identify the foundational skills students need to effectively communicate using digital media tools. Based on feedback from educators, design professionals, businesses, and educational institutions around the world, the objectives cover entry-level skill expectations for visual communication.

Following are the specific objectives and skills required to pass the certifications, from the website:

Adobe Visual Communication using Photoshop CS6 objectives

Setting Project Requirements
  1. Identify the purpose, audience, and audience needs for preparing image(s).
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of standard copyright rules for images and image use.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of project management tasks and responsibilities.
  4. Communicate with others (such as peers and clients) about design plans.
Identifying Design Elements When Preparing Images
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of image resolution, image size, and image file format for web, video, and print.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of design principles, elements, and image composition.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of typography.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of color correction using Photoshop CS6.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of image-generating devices, their resulting image types, and how to access resulting images in Photoshop.
  6. Understand key terminology of digital images.
Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS6
  1. Identify elements of the Photoshop CS6 user interface and demonstrate knowledge of their functions.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of layers and masks.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of importing, exporting, organizing, and saving.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of producing and reusing images.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of and select the appropriate features and options required to implement a color management workflow.
Manipulating Images by Using Adobe Photoshop CS6
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of working with selections.
  2. Use Photoshop guides and rulers.
  3. Transform images.
  4. Adjust or correct the tonal range, color, or distortions of an image.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of retouching and blending images.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of type.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of filters.
Publishing Digital Images by Using Adobe Photoshop CS6
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of preparing images for web, print, and video.

Adobe Web Communication using Dreamweaver CS6 objectives

Setting Project Requirements
  1. Identify the purpose, audience, and audience needs for a website.
  2. Identify web page content that is relevant to the website purpose and appropriate for the target audience.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of standard copyright rules (related terms, obtaining permission, and citing copyrighted material).
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of website accessibility standards that address the needs of people with visual and motor impairments.
  5. Make website development decisions based on your analysis and interpretation of design specifications.
  6. Understand project management tasks and responsibilities.
Planning Site Design and Page Layout
  1. Demonstrate general and Dreamweaver-specific knowledge of best practices for designing a website, such as maintaining consistency, separating content from design, using standard fonts, and utilizing visual hierarchy.
  2. Produce website designs that work equally well on various operating systems, browser versions/configurations, and devices.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of page layout design concepts and principles.
  4. Identify basic principles of website usability, readability, and accessibility.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of flowcharts, storyboards, and wireframes to create web pages and a site map (site index) that maintain the planned website hierarchy.
  6. Communicate with others (such as peers and clients) about design plans.
Understanding the Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 Interface
  1. Identify elements of the Dreamweaver interface.
  2. Use the Insert bar.
  3. Use the Property inspector.
  4. Use the Assets panel.
  5. Use the Files panel.
  6. Customize the workspace.
Adding Content by Using Dreamweaver CS6
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of Hypertext Markup Language.
  2. Define a Dreamweaver site.
  3. Create, title, name, and save a web page.
  4. Add text to a web page.
  5. Insert images and apply alternative text on a web page.
  6. Link web content, using hyperlinks, e-mail links, and named anchors.
  7. Include video and sound in a web page.
  8. Add animation and interactivity to content.
  9. Insert navigation bars, rollover images, and buttons created in a drawing program on a web page.
  10. Build image maps.
  11. Import tabular data to a web page.
  12. Import and display a Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel document to a web page.
  13. Create forms.
Organizing Content by Using Dreamweaver CS6
  1. Set and modify document properties.
  2. Organize web page layout with relative and absolutely positioned div tags and CSS styles.
  3. Modify text and text properties.
  4. Modify images and image properties.
  5. Create web page templates.
  6. Use basic HTML tags to set up an HTML document, format text, add links, create tables, and build ordered and unordered lists.
  7. Add head content to make a web page visible to search engines.
  8. Use CSS to implement a reusable design.
Evaluating and Maintaining a Site by Using Dreamweaver CS6
  • Conduct technical tests.
  • Identify techniques for basic usability tests.
  • Identify methods for collecting site feedback.
  • Manage assets, links, and files for a site.
  • Publish and update site files to a remove server.

There is still space available to  local students entering 10th – 12th grade who want to learn skills in Website Development, Photoshop, Animation, and Game Development. Contact RVTC to learn more.