Voices in the week’s news: September 12, 2008

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Politics aside, a lot was happening in Vermont this week. The town of Richmond was split in two by a bridge closure, homeless shelters expressed concern about the coming winter, milk prices for farmers and consumers were debated, a drop in state revenues caused concerns and an entrepreneur described his hopes for small-scale wind energy.

These were some of the voices in the news this week:

Bridge closure hurts business in Richmond

(Baker Ben Bush) "On the weekdays especially, when a lot of our customers and community are coming from the other side of the bridge on their way to work, we’re not seeing them because they’re going in the opposite direction. You know on the weekdays, now that we’ve seen a full weekday, we’re down between 40 and 50 percent."

Homeless shelters brace for difficult winter

(Linda Ryan, director of a St. Albans homeless shelter) "It’s really going to get a lot worse – the fuel, the way the economy is going right now and the cost of food. It’s unbelievable. … I don’t think we’re going to be able to meet all the needs. The community is going to have to come together with this because it’s going to be beyond everybody’s means."

Milk Commission looks for ways to boost farmers’ profits

(Agriculture Secretary Roger Allbee) "The evidence that the Milk Commission has collected by doing surveys of stores across the state is that while farmer prices have decreased over the last year, consumers prices have not decreased so there’s been that ratcheting effect."

State revenues decline, another sign of slowing economy

(Administration Secretary Neale Lunderville) "We’re hopeful we don’t have to revise our revenue targets. But if the challenges persist in the national economy and they continue to be felt in the state economy, we may have to do that."

Primary turnout expected to be low

(Secretary of State Deb Markowitz) "Turnout in a primary is driven by the ballot. The more contested races there are in a ballot, the higher up the ticket they are, the more people that come out. And in fact this is a pretty sleepy primary."

New technology could mean more backyard wind power

(Entrepreneur David Blittersdorf) "We would like to come to the homeowner and say, ‘look you want a wind turbine? Fine. Sign here.’ The next day at sunset, the wind turbine’s spinning in the breeze."

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