Request for Public Comment on Broadband and Fiber Optic Expansion

SUMMARY: The Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) is seeking public input on issues affecting high-speed Internet coverage in Vermont, and how the VTA can best support broadband expansion using state funds appropriated in its FY2012 capital appropriation. In addition to comments related to broadband generally, comments specifically on expansion of fiber optic facilities are also being solicited.  Comments must be received by October 6, 2011.

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Getting Vital Information to the Public

Greetings all.

We have heard from many of you over the past 10 days and recognize what an amazing group of people we have in the Vermont library world! So many of you have become emergency response centers or stayed open additional hours or just listened to people who are confused or in shock after Hurrican Irene. As a new resident in Vermont it has been a real eye-opener about this state.

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FEMA Public Assistance Applicant Briefings – Tropical Storm Irene

The Vermont Agency of Transportation will be holding applicant briefings for communities in counties granted a Public Assistance disaster declaration following floods from Tropical Storm Irene. Attendance at this meeting is required to receive FEMA funding.  Every Vermont county except Grand Isle has received a Public Assistance disaster declaration.

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Disaster Assistance Information Available

Last week the President made a declaration of major disaster for Vermont in the counties of Chittenden County, Rutland County, Washington County, and Windsor County due to Hurricane Irene and flooding associated with the storm. Below is some informational materials on floods and how DisasterAssistance.gov can help survivors. For your convenience the flood flyer is also in Spanish. Please post so your patrons can have the most up to date information on how to apply for federal assistance. If you have any questions contact Alicia Gilligham as noted below.

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Steps To Applying For FEMA Assistance

Vermonters recovering from the impact of Tropical Storm Irene in Chittenden, Rutland, Washington, Windham, Windsor counties can now apply for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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VT Collections Salvage and Recovery Resources from NEDCC

Vermonters, NEDCC is here to help!

The Northeast Document Conservation Center is actively working with the
VT State Library, VT State Archives, and other VT institutions
responding to Hurricane Irene to distribute information about options
for salvage and recovery of cultural collections.

NEDCC has gathered resources including disaster assistance hotlines,
disaster recovery and remediation services, and collections care
information.

Follow this link:
http://www.nedcc.org/eblasts/2011VT_Floods.html

Please print and distribute to those without power or internet.

Northeast Document Conservation Center
Andover, MA
www.nedcc.org

IMPORTANT: Information on FEMA Resources for Libraries

Libraries:
I continue to get information from a variety of sources to help in libraries post-storm.

In order to get FEMA funding in Vermont, libraries should:

  1. Document all damage – even the smallest amount of moisture/water. Take lots of photos and take good notes with dates.
  2. Keep ALL receipts.
  3. Document all volunteer activity with a log of names and times of signing in and signing out.

See below for more information.

Martha Reid
State Librarian
Vermont Department of Libraries
802-828-3265

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Vermont Irene Aftermath Resource Guide from Marlboro College Rice-Aron Library

Marlboro College’s Rice-Aron Library has created a guide to post-Irene news and recovery resources. The focus is on southeastern Vermont, but others may find it of interest as well. Please feel free to reuse or modify if anything looks useful for your library or patrons.

http://libraryguides.marlboro.edu/irene

I hope that you and your libraries weathered the storm safely.

Best wishes,
Emily Alling
Library Director
Rice-Aron Library
Marlboro College

Need Information/Pictures From your Libraries

We need information and photos to document what is happening in libraries in this post-storm time. Please forward to me photos and stories from your library that illustrate damage that has occurred, changes in service to accommodate community needs, and that show how community members are using your libraries (folks using internet, phone, etc.) to cope with life post-Irene.

It’s an important story in our state and we want to make sure people know about what’s happening in our libraries.

My thanks to all of you – especially to those of you who are working under very difficult circumstances.  My hat is off to you all!

I will send out our current assessment of public libraries later today.

Marty

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