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COLORS AT NEW HEIGHTS The Essex’s hot air balloon floated near Route 117 in front of Pinewood Plaza in Essex over the weekend. The balloon dropped to the river level then rose up over the bridge. MIKE TURNER

COLORS AT NEW HEIGHTS
The Essex’s hot air balloon floated near Route 117 in front of Pinewood Plaza in Essex over the weekend. The balloon dropped to the river level then rose up over the bridge.
MIKE TURNER

Do you vote?

Essex Governance Group seeks to improve civic engagement

The Essex Governance Group is a group of local leaders and residents working to engage Essex citizens in a conversation about ways we can continue to improve civic engagement and governance.
During the Heart & Soul community planning process, Community Connections emerged as one of six core values. What does Community Connections mean? People in this community want to keep in touch and be informed. They are interested in participating in our public life and want to have a say in community decisions. Community members also express the desire to be inclusive and welcoming as our community changes and becomes more diverse. Even so,

  • Under 2 percent of our community attended town/village meeting last year
  • Under 14 percent of registered voters voted in the last local elections
  • In a typical year, in order to participate in every Local, State and National vote, an Essex Town resident needs to vote four different times, a Village resident five times.
  • Our elected officials, board and commission members, and town meeting participants, do not reflect the growing ethnic diversity of our community.

We think our community can do better but we need your help.

Here’s how:

  1. Take a short survey to let us know how you participate and share your priorities: www.surveymonkey.com/s/Essexvotes
  2. Join us on Saturday, Nov. 8 from 12-4 p.m. at the Essex High School cafeteria to talk with your fellow Essex residents and local leaders about how we vote in Essex — now and in the future.

Why?

  • It will begin with a free lunch.
  • It will be interactive and we’ll have some prizes to give away.
  • We will share the results of the survey.
  • You will have a chance to share your ideas about how we can increase participation in our community.

For more information visit heartandsoulofessex.org.

Pollution prevented in Essex

IBM awarded honor for environmental excellence

The IBM Essex Junction facility was recently awarded the 2014 MVP2 Award for environmental excellence from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR). The winning project, “Industrial Waste Water Treatment Plant Resource Optimization”, is part of IBM’s long-standing focus on energy and environmental excellence, innovative technological solutions, and participation in regulatory initiatives with the Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Vermont. IBM Vermont has also won the award in 2007 and 2009-2013. These awards were for innovative energy management, waste water treatment efficiencies, community outreach and education programs in energy management, and innovative manufacturing that significantly reduced chemical use and waste generation.

There is a site-wide focus at IBM’s Vermont location on reducing chemical and energy use and waste generation. This initiative also includes the continued environmental performance in the semiconductor manufacturing operations and wastewater treatment plant. Through continuous improvement and by implementing improved process optimization, this facility has demonstrated that such reductions in energy and chemical use can be made without major capital investments.

“IBM Vermont is committed to leadership in continually improving our processes,” said Janette Bombardier, IBM Vermont senior location executive. “We embrace our role as an environmental steward, striving to continually meet or exceed the goals set forth by regulators, and by our own business objectives.”

The Essex Junction site has also received the VT Governors Environmental Excellence award recipient for 21 straight years.

IBM in Essex Junction was recently awarded the 2014 MVP2 Award for environmental excellence from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR). Pictured from left to right: Nathan Fiske, IBM Vermont Site Energy Manager, Vermont Congressman Peter Welch and David Kost, IBM Waste Water Engineer. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

IBM in Essex Junction was recently awarded the 2014 MVP2 Award for environmental excellence from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR). Pictured from left to right: Nathan Fiske, IBM Vermont Site Energy Manager, Vermont Congressman Peter Welch and David Kost, IBM Waste Water Engineer.
PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

 

TAKE A TIME OUT FOR TURTLES: Volunteers needed for nesting beach clean up day

The annual spiny softshell turtle beach cleanup day is on Oct. 25, and Vermont Fish and Wildlife is looking for volunteers to help. Participants are asked to arrive at North Hero State Park between 10 and 11 a.m.

Volunteers will pull up vegetation on nesting beaches to prepare turtle nesting sites for next year. They may also find a few hatchlings that occasionally remain in nests underground this late in the year. In addition to threatened spiny softshell turtles, these nest sites are also used by map turtles, painted turtles, and snapping turtles.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife biologist Steve Parren will have hatchling spiny softshell turtles on hand and will talk about his long-term recovery efforts with the species. Some hatchling turtles will be raised in captivity by the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center while they are small and most vulnerable to predation. They will be released back into Lake Champlain next spring.

“This is a great way to help conserve a threatened species right here in Vermont,” said Parren. “It’s also a fun way to learn more about the turtles and to see some recently hatched baby turtles.”

Participants are asked to dress in layers of warm clothes and to bring work gloves, a leaf rake, short-handled tools such as trowels, and their own lunch. Families and kids are welcome. The cleanup may run until 4 p.m., although participants can choose how long to assist.

“Last year we had nearly 50 participants, so we’re anticipating a strong turnout again this year,” said Parren.

To get to North Hero State Park, follow Route 2 north past Carry Bay in North Hero. Take a right on Lakeview Drive, just before Route 2 swings west toward Alburg. Follow Lakeview almost to the end until you reach the North Hero State Park entrance sign on the left. Drive to the end of the road always bearing right.

For more information, contact Eric Lazarus at 802-658-8505 or ericlazarus@myfairpoint.net.

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is looking for volunteers to help with spiny softshell turtle nesting beaches on Saturday, October 25 at North Hero State Park.  TOM ROGERS | VT FISH & WILDLIFE

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is looking for volunteers to help with spiny softshell turtle nesting beaches on Saturday, October 25 at North Hero State Park.
TOM ROGERS | VT FISH & WILDLIFE