Win (2) Tickets to the Huck Finn Jubilee!! The Huck Finn Jubilee has released their full 2015 lineup, which includes headlining performances from Dr. Ralph Stanley, Del McCoury Band, Railroad Earth, and Leftover Salmon. The festival is set for June 12-14 in the beautiful Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park in Ontario, California, just outside of Los Angeles.The festival will also include performances from Greensky Bluegrass, Infamous Stringdusters, Hot Rize with Special Guests Red Knuckles & The Trailblazers, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Jeff Austin, Steep Canyon Rangers, and Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass. The full lineup can be seen through the festival’s official website.With three days of camping and top-notch, truly influential bluegrass and jamgrass artists performing, Huck Finn Jubilee is shaping up to be one of the premiere folk festivals in North America. Tickets go on sale next Tuesday, February 17th at 10 AM Pacific.Check out the recap video of last year’s event:
Imani was just 15 when soldiers from the rebel group Interahamwe found her on the road in a remote region in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).The rape that followed devastated her, but in this troubled corner of the world, the sexual assault of a teenage girl by armed men is hardly unusual.The eastern DRC has been swept up in a maelstrom of violence against women that has swirled for more than a decade. An outgrowth of the armed strife that, since 1996, has involved a bewildering array of actors, from national armies to rebel groups to homegrown militias, the region’s sexual violence ranks among the worst in the world, going beyond that which often accompanies war, experts say.The rapes are epidemic and horrific in their details. Women are gangraped in public, taken into sexual slavery, and violated with guns, knives, bottles, and sticks. They are sometimes mutilated, with limbs chopped off by machetes, or raped while husbands and children are killed, houses razed, and crops burned.Through the efforts of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), researchers and physicians from Harvard and its affiliated hospitals are at work in the midst of the crisis, providing care for the women whose bodies are fractured by their experiences, reviewing the records of thousands of sexual assault victims, and conducting focus group interviews with members of the community.The researchers are also engaged in a project that focuses on the military men who are responsible for many of these assaults. In a pilot program they hope to expand to encompass as many combatants as possible, researchers travel to remote villages to talk to rank-and-file soldiers. Researchers acknowledge there is risk involved, but say they take appropriate precautions and rely heavily on local partners who have solid contacts, both in the community and in the military’s command structure. The work is essential, researchers say, if the problem is to be truly understood.“I know people make assumptions that [those] who do this are monsters, but if you close your mind to possible reasons people commit atrocities, you’re never going to understand why they happen,” said Jocelyn Kelly, research coordinator for HHI’s Gender Based Violence Program and the lead researcher probing soldiers’ attitudes.Understanding what’s going on in the DRC — the vast, turbulent nation that occupies Africa’s heart — is key if the problem is to be solved, according to HHI Co-Director Michael VanRooyen, associate professor of global health and population at the Harvard School of Public Health, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and director of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Division of International Health and Humanitarian Programs.The fighting in the eastern DRC began with a 1996 rebellion that ultimately led to the overthrow of longtime dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. A second conflict that began in 1998 led to the overthrow of his successor, Laurent Kabila, and claimed millions of lives, largely through disease and starvation. That second conflict ultimately involved eight African nations and has become known as “Africa’s World War.” Though a 2002 peace treaty ended the fighting across much of the nation, it has continued in the mineral-rich east.The ongoing violence has alarmed the international community. Some relief and aid organizations have been operating in the eastern border region for over a decade, along with troops from MONUC, the United Nations peacekeeping mission, which has been there since 1999.While the relief work is under way, VanRooyen said there have been few efforts to systematically gather data that can inform relief, recovery, and rehabilitation programs. That’s where HHI comes in, he said.“By looking at the data, we can learn things that the international community doesn’t know about how to characterize this abuse,” VanRooyen said. “We can learn from the data where the women come from, the types of militia involved, what happened afterward — whether they were rejected by their communities, which is a huge vulnerability — and how many women have physical problems related to their assault, such as incontinence and chronic pain.”HHI was founded in 2005 to do just such work. VanRooyen — an emergency physician with a long resume of relief work in crisis areas such as Kosovo, Rwanda, and Darfur — and Jennifer Leaning, professor of the practice of global health at the Harvard School of Public Health and a human rights expert who also has long experience in disaster and crisis situations, came together to found the organization.The two believed there was a disconnect between the hands-on crisis management practiced by relief organizations and the dispassionate collection of data and information that highlights the academic endeavor. Marrying the two, Leaning and VanRooyen believed, would provide an avenue for improving humanitarian and human rights work by both informing ongoing programs and collecting a body of best practices that groups in the field could draw upon.Since its founding, HHI has worked in trouble spots around the globe, such as Sudan’s Darfur region, and has ongoing projects with roughly 20 nongovernmental organizations, such as Doctors Without Borders, CARE, and Oxfam.“We work with their data, analyze it, and get [the results] back to them,” VanRooyen said. “At any one time we’ll probably have two or three students, faculty, or fellows in the field.”As a University initiative rather than a School-based program, HHI seeks to draw on Harvard’s strengths in a broad array of disciplines by working with faculty in several Schools. Today, HHI has a core of 10 faculty members and 12 to 14 fellows.An oasis from the violenceHHI’s project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo began as an effort to support the mission of a hospital in the provincial capital of Bukavu. Panzi Hospital was founded in 1999 to provide maternity care to the region’s women. It quickly became apparent, however, that something sinister was affecting the area’s mothers, daughters, and sisters.“Our first patient was not a woman who needed care because of pregnancy. She was a victim of sexual violence and she was fractured and destroyed in the pelvic region and in the region of the vagina,” said Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist and the hospital’s founder. “We saw the numbers increasing, increasing, and increasing and now our clinic sees more than 3,000 women a year.”HHI’s collaboration with Panzi began after HHI visiting scientist Julie VanRooyen met Mukwege during a trip to New York. In their talk and in his subsequent speech at New York University Law School, Mukwege detailed the plight of the eastern DRC’s women.“I heard the stories he was telling and I just couldn’t go back to Boston and pretend I hadn’t heard them. I couldn’t forget about them and I really felt compelled to try to do something about them,” said VanRooyen, a urogynecologist and pelvic surgeon.The story she heard was of a seemingly inexhaustible stream of victims of sexual violence coming to the hospital with terrible injuries from their attacks. The hospital averages roughly 10 admissions from sexual violence each day, week in, week out, year in, year out.Once admitted, the women’s treatment often includes surgery to repair internal injuries. The violent rapes can tear the tissue separating the vagina from the bladder or anus. The result is incontinence, with the women constantly leaking urine or feces until the tears, called fistulas, are repaired.“Sadly, the weakest can’t get to us,” Mukwege said. “They are suffering from paralysis, from broken legs, from compound fractures, and so they’re not able to walk to us.”HHI’s clinical program at Panzi, administered through Brigham and Women’s Hospital, aims to support Panzi’s surgical staff. The HHI program brings highly skilled surgeons both to further train Panzi’s doctors and to augment the staff’s expertise.While important, the clinical program was quickly joined by the research initiative, which has the potential to affect far more lives.“We can keep sending doctors over and they can keep repairing fistulas, but ultimately, we’re putting a huge Band-Aid over a terrible wound,” said Julie VanRooyen, who directs HHI’s clinical program with Panzi. “It’s so much better to prevent the fistulas in the first place.”Records of terror in black and whiteIn February 2009, Imani — a pseudonym used to protect her identity — was again at Panzi Hospital. Though it had been 10 years since her rape by the Interahamwe at age 15, she had found it difficult to put the experience behind her. The firestorm of sexual violence wracking the region’s women had found her again and again. The most recent attack, in November 2008 in the city of Goma, was the fourth time it had happened.A few hundred yards from where Imani sat is the office of PMU Interlife, the humanitarian and development arm of the Swedish Pentecostal Church, which is helping support Panzi and HHI’s research mission there. One wall of the office is filled with shelves holding row after row of thick, 3-inch binders filled with thousands upon thousands of intake forms from victims of sexual violence.When the women are admitted, intake workers fill out forms on which they describe the attack, with details such as the woman’s age; the date, location, and nature of the assault; and whatever description of the assailants the women can provide.The records review has so far encompassed more than 1,000 cases from 2006 and is expanding to include other years. It – and other projects at Panzi — has been conducted by a team that includes Kelly, who is a Harvard School of Public Health graduate, Jennifer Scott, a resident in obstetrics and gynecology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC); Susan Bartels, associate director of the International Emergency Medicine Fellowship at BIDMC; and Sadia Haider, division director of family planning at BIDMC.The records show that no age is safe, with attacks reported on girls as young as 3 and women as old as 80. They reveal that while women in other countries are most vulnerable when they leave home — going to the market or the river to get water, for example — that isn’t the case in the DRC. There, half of all attacks occurred at night in a woman’s own home.“If a woman can’t feel safe at home, while sleeping with her husband and children, where can she feel safe?” asked Scott.Other results show that women wait for months before seeking medical care, with an average time between an attack and arrival at Panzi of 16 months. Six percent of women reported becoming pregnant from their rape and 12 percent were concerned about sexually transmitted diseases or HIV/AIDS. Twenty-three percent of women lost possessions while just over one in 10 lost a child or husband.The research into the roots of the DRC’s gender-based violence has caught the attention of policymakers at the highest level. Kelly and Michael VanRooyen last year spoke with representatives of the United Nation’s Security Council to discuss their work and to suggest the kinds of information the council might seek to inform future action.The focus on the Congo — by HHI and a host of other organizations — has begun to pay dividends, VanRooyen said. In June 2008, the Security Council redefined sexual violence in the eastern DRC from a human rights issue to a security one, making it a candidate for Security Council review and action.“Our goal is to … better characterize the sexual violence happening in the Congo,” VanRooyen said. “We can bring it … to many organizations that work in the area, to serve victims of sexual violence and rape.”In Imani’s case, her physical injuries were healing under the care of Panzi’s physicians, though the HIV she contracted in one assault will require lifelong treatment. Her psychological wounds remain deep, however. She talks of suicide and of anger toward her only child, a little girl born from another of the attacks.Orphaned herself by the violence and with one dead sister, Imani doesn’t know the whereabouts of her remaining family. When it is time to leave the hospital, she doesn’t know where she’ll go or what she’ll do.Imani speaks of the life she wanted and now believes she’ll never have: with a husband and children born of love, not violence. In the eastern DRC’s traditional society, both she and her child are seen as contaminated, and her marriage prospects are poor. Her only family now is a child who reminds her of the most horrible days of her life.“At night when I sleep, I cry,” said Imani. “You see, my life is just rape, every day.”
On Monday, funk-rock outfit Lettuce expanded their Elevate Tour with the addition of 10 U.S. performances in January and February 2020. The band continues to tour in support of their recently released fifth full-length studio LP, Elevate, which arrived in June.Lettuce’s newly added dates begins with a performance in Greenville, SC on January 2nd and ends with a show in New Haven, CT on February 1st. The tour will also see the band—comprised of Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff (guitar), Adam Deitch (drums), Erick “Jesus” Coomes (bass), Ryan Zoidis (saxophone), Eric Bloom (trumpet), and Nigel Hall (organ/keys/vocals)—make stops in Charleston, SC (1/4); Houston, TX (1/23); Austin, TX (1/24); Dallas, TX (1/25); Tulsa, OK (1/26); Louisville, KY (1/28); Detroit, MI (1/29); and McKees Rocks, PA (1/30).A fan pre-sale for all newly announced shows begins on Tuesday, October 8th.The new dates come on the heels of the band’s recently announced extensive 2020 Europe tour. Next up for Lettuce is a performance at Fayetteville, AR’s George’s Majestic Lounge on November 6th.For a full list of the band’s upcoming tour dates, ticketing, and more information, head to Lettuce’s website.Lettuce 2020 U.S. Elevate Tour:1/2 Greenville, SC1/4 Charleston, SC1/23 Houston, TX1/24 Austin, TX1/25 Dallas, TX1/26 Tulsa, OK1/28 Louisville, KY1/29 Detroit, MI1/30 McKees Rocks, PA2/1 New Haven, CTView Tour Dates
Fugate said emergency managers need to anticipate that Florida residents will be apathetic about making preparations, even though the state was walloped by seven hurricanes in 2004-05. The biggest challenge for emergency managers is to make the public realize it’s critical to develop family plans and lay in supplies, he said. The theme of this year’s conference: “Maintaining the Vigil While Preparing for the Inevitable.” That, emergency managers say, is a diplomatic way of saying they fear Florida’s two-year break from hurricane damage could be over. Officials from 59 Florida counties, 30 coastal states and four Caribbean nations plan to attend the five-day conference, which starts today in the Broward Convention Center. The problem, they add, is residents might not feel a need to gear up, even though long-range predictions call for a busier than normal season, which officially will start June 1 and end Nov. 30. Gov. Charlie Crist is the scheduled keynote speaker for the main session Wednesday. Other notable speakers: Craig Fugate, state emergency management director; Bill Read, director of the National Hurricane Center; and climatologist William Gray of Colorado State University. “The job is always to try to get people to get ready for a hurricane, which can be so catastrophic to individuals who don’t have a plan,” he said. Carper, Indian River County’s emergency management director and formerly Broward’s director, said Florida was lucky that two Category 5 hurricanes, Dean and Felix, roared across the Caribbean last year — rather than turn in this direction. Lori Vun Kannon, a public safety manager with Broward emergency management and the conference’s vice president, calls it an opportunity for workers in various fields, including hospital care, law enforcement, government and weather forecasting, to take seminars to sharpen their skills. “We know at some point Florida will be impacted again by a hurricane, and the only way we can mitigate that impact is through planning and preparing,” said Tony Carper, president of the Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference. Instead, they’ll be bracing for hurricane season and trying to instill a renewed sense of urgency for public preparedness — after two quiet years in 2006 and 2007 in this state. “What if Dean had hit Miami-Fort Lauderdale?” he asked. FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — When more than 2,500 emergency managers, rescue workers and government officials descend on Fort Lauderdale this week, they won’t be spending much time at the beach. She said the conference is also an opportunity for emergency managers from around Florida to plan ways to help each other. Ken Kaye can be reached at [email protected] or 954-385-7911. “It’s the one time we can all come together and talk about our experiences,” she said. “It’s good to know the game plan as we go into season.”
At the crash site, Collins treated Ybarra, who was complaining of back pain. The state agency is accusing Collins of not making “direct voice contact with medical control,” a standard procedure for San Antonio paramedics who remain at a scene for more than 20 minutes. The Texas Department of State Health Services mailed notices to Mike Gardner, William Bullock, Jeremy Huntsman and Michael Collins. The Fire Department had already disciplined them for their roles in the assessment of Erica Nicole Smith, whose vital signs were not checked after a head-on collision in December. The state agency in part is accusing Gardner of failing to check for Smith’s vital signs even after he “witnessed the patient move” – an allegation that had not previously been levied publicly against Gardner. About 4 a.m. on Dec. 16, a Pontiac GS driven by Jenny Ann Ybarra of Seguin veered into oncoming traffic on Loop 410 near Rigsby Road and collided with a Honda Accord in which Smith was the front-seat passenger, police said. Weeks later, the Fire Department permanently barred Gardner from working as a paramedic in San Antonio and transferred him to the firefighting division. It also de-authorized Huntsman, Bullock and Collins as San Antonio paramedics for an indeterminate length of time and transferred them to the firefighting division, where they remained Thursday. Fire Union President Chris Steele said the paramedics were weighing their options Thursday and suggested the high profile of the case led to the state agency’s action. “Such failure(s) resulted in your incorrect conclusion that the person was deceased or near deceased and therefore did not need medical care,” the notice says. Fire Chief Charles Hood on Thursday declined to comment. But Assistant Fire Chief Mario Guerra said it’s the state agency’s prerogative to make decisions that relate to any paramedic’s certification or license. “That’s the state’s call,” said Guerra, who oversees the EMS division of the Fire Department. Since 2004, the agency has investigated cases involving the city’s fire department 11 times, although violations were not necessarily found in every case. On Thursday, a grand jury indicted Ybarra for both intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault. The investigator asked police to request that paramedics return to the crash site. Bullock and Huntsman arrived about 5:45 a.m., and the investigator told them Smith was still breathing. None of the men could be reached Thursday. Meanwhile, Gardner treated two victims in the Accord: Sabrina Shaner, the driver, who police said was intoxicated, and Amber Wilson, a passenger in the back seat. Both had minor injuries. Smith, her brain exposed and blood streaked down her face, was left untreated in the Accord. SAN ANTONIO — A state agency that certifies paramedics wants to punish four emergency responders in the San Antonio Fire Department who were involved in a bungled emergency response last year, including one who reportedly “witnessed the patient move” and yet failed to treat her, according to a notice of violation sent to the paramedic last week. Smith, a 23-year-old Texas State University student who was awaiting certification as a respiratory therapist, suffered severe head injuries in the wreck and was left untreated at the scene for hours. She died the next day. “They’ve already been punished,” Steele said. “The guys are already not on the ambulance, so it’s kind of redundant.” The state agency in part is accusing Huntsman and Bullock of “not making physical contact with that patient to check or measure the patients (sic) vital signs.” In the June 6 letters, the state agency proposes suspending the paramedic certifications of Gardner, Bullock and Huntsman for one year and reprimanding Collins. Each has about a week to request a conference or hearing on the proposed punishment. According to a medical examiner’s investigation report released in February, a police detective and an evidence technician told a medical examiner’s investigator that Gardner and Collins left the scene “despite police having pointed out to the paramedics that the victim continued to take breaths.” Huntsman “advised me that the victim was dead, and that Dr. (Donald) Gordon would be upset if they hooked the monitor up to a dead body,” the report said. When the detective lifted the tarp, the investigator “could hear and see that (Smith) was breathing short, shallow breaths,” the report said. Huntsman eventually agreed to call the Fire Department to free Smith from the car, the report said. She died about 30 hours later.Staff Writer Elizabeth Allen contributed to this report.
His stage credits included touring productions of Dreamgirls as well as Jesus Christ Superstar and the 25th anniversary tour of Les Misérables, in which he took on the iconic musical theater roles of Judas Iscariot and Jean Valjean, respectively. Clayton’s additional Broadway credits included The High Rollers Social and Pleasure Club, Once Upon a Mattress, The Civil War, It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues and Bells Are Ringing.His screen credits included appearances on The Big C, The Equalizer, Elementary, Homeland and, most recently, a memorable 2019 episode of Pose in which he played the stepfather to Tony and Emmy winner Billy Porter’s character Pray Tell.Clayton is survived by his wife Linda and son Matthew. Lawrence Clayton(Photo: Emilio Madrid for Broadway.com) Lawrence Clayton in a publicity photo for Dreamgirls (Photo by Martha Swope) View Comments Lawrence Clayton, who was last seen on Broadway in the Tony-winning revival of The Color Purple, has died at the age of 64. According to Deadline, he passed away on November 2 after a two-year battle with glioblastoma cancer.Born on October 10, 1956 in Mocksville, North Carolina, Clayton went on to study at North Carolina Central University. He made his Broadway debut in the Tony-winning musical Dreamgirls as the replacement for Obba Babatundé as Effie’s songwriting brother C.C. White.
by Alicia Freese vtdigger.org Representative Peter Welch, D-VT, is on board with President Barack Obama’s decision to allow individuals to extend their current health insurance plans for one year ‘ and with Governor Peter Shumlin’s preliminary decision to table a delay in implementation of Vermont’s mandatory health care exchange program.Obama needed to offer that one-year extension in order to keep his word, Welch said. The president had repeatedly said that Americans who like their health insurance plans could keep them under the Affordable Care Act, which was not true for plans that failed to meet minimum requirements.‘The bottom line is this is an issue that the president is addressing. He made a promise and a promise made is a promise kept,’ Welch said.The decision is also expected to bring Democratic lawmakers, who were threatening to break ranks with the White House, back into the fold.Welch said he thinks Congress needs to be fully committed to ‘rolling up our sleeves’ and fixing problems with the Affordable Care Act. To that end, he’s backing legislation drafted by House Democrats, which mirrors the executive order Obama announced Thursday. The GOP-led House is expected to vote it down.Beyond that, Welch said he didn’t plan to support other immediate legislative ‘fixes’ that are being floated in Congress.‘Right now the two priorities are the website ‘ that’s got to be operational ‘ and, number two, keeping the commitment the president made,’ Welch said.The House approved legislation Friday, drafted by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., that would allow people to continue to purchase new plans that don’t meet the ACA standards. Obama, whose order only permits people already on those plans to keep them for a year, has said he will veto Upton’s bill if it reaches his desk.Welch said that the bill ‘reintroduces a race to the bottom’ for insurance policies and would undermine the ACA.Vermont’s lone representative said he would defer to Shumlin on the decision to not permit Vermonters to extend their plans for a full year. And while he encouraged constituents to call his office if they are having problems with the exchange, he trusts that the Shumlin administration will remedy the situation.‘The state is really taking the lead on this,’ Welch said. ‘Of course I’m reading that there are some issues there, but right now most of the issues arising are being handled by the governor and the people in Montpelier.’
The first annual Made in Vermont Marketplace will take place this weekend, April 12th & 13th, at the Blue Pavilion Building at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction. This the only trade show in Vermont that showcases the wide variety of quality products made right here in the Green Mountains. The show will feature wood producers, specialty food products, Vermont’s finest spirits and so much more. This is your opportunity to come and enjoy browsing, tasting and purchasing products all under one roof. You will be able to meet and talk with each artisan, maker and manufacturer of these fine goods. With over 75 exhibits, you will discover products you did not know existed in Vermont. SEE LIST OF EXHIBITORS BELOW.The Made in Vermont Marketplace is open Saturday April 12th from 9 am until 6 pm and Sunday April 13th from 10 am until 4 pm.There will be raffle prizes given away every hour and a Vermont Teddy Bear giveaway as well. Vermont Teddy Bear will also be raffling off a giant Teddy Bear at the end of the show so don’t forget to fill out a raffle ticket. You do not have to be present to win the giant Teddy. Champlain Chocolates, our ticket sponsor, will be giving away one free coffee at their new restaurant in Burlington, the South End Kitchen on Pine Street. The coupon for the free coffee is on the back of each ticket. Parking is free thanks to our parking sponsor, Co-operative Insurance Companies of Middlebury.www.madeinvermontmarketplace.com(link is external)Look Who Will Be Exhibiting! Bertek Systems, Inc.Birds in Wood, LLCBlake Hill PreservesBoyden Farm, LLCButterworks FarmCabot Creamery CooperativeCaledonia SpiritsChamplain OrchardsChimney ScrubberCobb Hill Frozen Yogurt LLPCommonwealth DairyCo-operative Insurance CompaniesCreative Labels of VermontCurve Trends MarketingEden Ice Cider CompanyExactBuiltElm Brook FarmFreedom FoodsFresh Tracks Farm Vineyard & WineryGrafton Village Cheese Co.Green Village SoapGrey Owl DesignGringo Jack’sHall Home Place Ice CIderHealthy Paws Barkery, LLCImageTek LabelsJed’s Maple ProductsJohnson Woolen MillsKimball Brook FarmMarla McQuistonMy Brigadeiro, LLCNorth Branch VineyardsSienna Fontaine IllustrationSignaramaSinclair MillworksSmugglers’ Notch DistillerySnow Farm VineyardSumptuous Syrups of VermontSweet Basil CardsThe Gourmet GalThird GenerationTrue North Granola, LLCVEDA/ VACC – Vermont Economic Development Authority/ Vermont Agricultural Credit CorporationVermont CreameryVermont DistillersVermont Drying RacksVermont PhotoInkjetVermont Rolling PinsVermont Smoke and CureVermont SpiritsVermont Teddy BearVermont Trophy & EngravingVermont Verde Antique LLCVERY TEMPTING COMPANIES LLCVT Agency of Agriculture, Food & MarketsVT Agency of Commerce and Community DevelopmentWCAX-TV3WhistlePig Straight Rye WhiskeyWoodchuck Hard Cider CompanyWozz! Kitchen Creations
Vermont Business Magazine The Small Business Administration announced the 2016 Vermont small business award winners today. The top prize, the Vermont Small Business Person of the Year, is awarded to Tom Stearns, High Mowing Organic Seeds founder and owner. He is being recognized for growing his company, increasing sales, employee growth and contributing to the local community. High Mowing Organic Seeds is a farm-based company located in Wolcott that produces and distributes vegetable, flower and herb seeds throughout the US and Canada. High Mowing Organic Seeds is the first organic company guaranteeing all of its seeds are non-genetically modified organism verified.Tom Stearns, High Mowing Organic Seeds founder and owner.Stearns launched his company in 1996, and in its first year sales were $2,000. By 2001, business had grown to such an extent Stearns began to contract with other local farmers to grow his seeds. Twenty years later his company has grown to be one of the top organic seed companies in the U.S., and today has more than 60 employees.The other 2016 Vermont winners are Mansfield Heliflight as the Exporter of the Year, Shat Acres Highland Cattle as the Family-Owned Small Business of the Year, Sweet Crunch Bakeshop & Catering Company as the Woman-Owned Business of the Year, Power Play Sports as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Snug Life as the Micro-Enterprise of the Year and Desai Management Consulting as the Minority-Owned Business of the Year.Each year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.“Small business owners represent the best of the best and showcase daily their entrepreneurial spirit and what it takes to be successful in today’s evolving and competitive business environment,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the Small Business Administration.Stearns and the 49 other state winners are invited to attend the ceremonies in Washington, D.C. May 1 to 2 where they will be awarded their individual awards, along with the naming of the 2016 National Small Business Person of the Year. “There are more than 28 million small businesses serving as the economic engine of our country, employing half of the private sector and creating two out of three net new jobs. If our small business sector was a country, its output would rank number three above Germany and Japan. I’m looking forward to welcoming these talented entrepreneurs to their nation’s capital and celebrating their stories to shine a light on American ingenuity and innovation,” said Contreras-Sweet.In the spring, all of the Vermont small business winners will receive their awards during the 2016 Vermont Small Business Awards Ceremony cohosted by Vermont Business Magazine at the Shelburne Museum Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education located in Shelburne, Vt. The ceremony is open to the public and registration will be available in May.2016 Small Business Person of the Year WinnersALABAMA Xiomara Hernandez Bracken Owner Bouncing Parties, Inc. ALASKA Connie Core-Dubay CEO/OwnerCold Spot Feeds, Inc.ARIZONA Paul A. Smiley President Sonoran Technology and Professional Services, LLC ARKANSAS Regina Renee Radke CEO Wade Stuart Radke COO Galley Support InnovationsCALIFORNIA Helen Margaret Russell Co-Founder and CEO Brooke Jean McDonnell Co-Founder and PresidentEquator Coffees and Teas, Inc.COLORADO Reed Howard Silberman Founder/CEO Ink Monstr CONNECTICUT Peter Newman CEO Victoria Newman Executive DirectorGreenwich Education GroupDELAWARE Chris J. Bisaha Joseph A. Baker Co-OwnersHenlopen City Oyster HouseDISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Robert C. Palmer CEO Creative Business Solutions, Inc.FLORIDA Sherry L. Acanfora-Ruohomaki Owner/President K9 Kampus LLC GEORGIA Catherine A. Downey CEO CATMEDIA, Inc. GUAM David J. John President ASC Trust CorporationHAWAII Raymond Jardine Jr. Chairman & CEO Native Hawaiian Veterans, LLC IDAHO Enrique F. Contreras Ana M. PazOwnersConpaz Inc. dba Enrique’s Mexican RestaurantILLINOIS Dwayne Steven Jackson President & CEO Software Tech Enterprises, Inc.INDIANABaziel W. Vrient President Albert W. VrientOperations ManagerAgdia, Inc.IOWA Anthony D. Halsted Owner Hoover’s Hatchery Co., LLC KANSAS Roger Lee Ward IIIDana Marie WardOwnersGreat Day Moving (Marathon Moving & Delivery LLC)KENTUCKY David Allen Dafoe Founder/CEO 8th Street Ventures Dba Flavorman, dba Distilled Spirits Epicenter LOUISIANA Angela O’Byrne President/Owner Perez, APCMAINE Margo Walsh Owner Maine Works LLC MARYLAND Patrick Babasola Munis CEO NewWave Telecom & Technologies, Inc.MASSACHUSETTS Robert Jacob George Founder, President and CEO StratComm, Inc. MICHIGAN Russell Beaver President RB Construction Company MINNESOTA Gloria Jean Freeman CEO Olu’s Home/Olu’s Center MISSISSIPPI Mike PornovetsOwnerEverything Kayak LLCMISSOURI David Laurence BaileyFounder & PresidentBaileys’ RestaurantsMONTANA Greg Thayer CEO Eugene Thayer DirectorMontana Merchandising, Inc. Dba Montana Milling, Inc.NEBRASKA Yolanda F. Diaz Member/Owner Little Miss Fashion LLC NEVADA Bradley J. BurdsallOwner and OperatorThe Egg WorksNEW HAMPSHIRE Elie El-Chalfoun Owner/OperatorMega-XNEW JERSEY Charles Olivo Founder and Principal Stonefield Engineering and Design LLCNEW MEXICO Karl S. Halpert President & CEO Private Label Select Ltd. Co. NEW YORK Tammy Ann Loewy Wynde Kate ReeseOwnersGreen Goddess Foods LLCNORTH CAROLINACharles Ashton CreechPresidentThomas Howard ChappellVice President – MaintenancePlus TeamNS Aviation, LLC dba North State AviationNORTH DAKOTAJon Simmers CEO Bismarck Aero Center OHIO Sally Hughes CEO Caster Connection OKLAHOMAEllis “Lanny” McIntosh Founding Principal, CEO The McIntosh Group OREGON Jeremy MurfinGeoff MetsJohnpaul SimonetOwners/Members5.S.G. LLC dba Five Star GuitarsPENNSYLVANIA Dr. Wei-Shin Lai Chief Executive Officer AcousticSheep LLC PUERTO RICO Fernando J. Rodriguez President Prime Janitorial Service Corp. RHODE ISLAND Thomas Parsons Kellogg III President Parsons Kellogg LLC SOUTH CAROLINA JoAnne LaBounty President Spartanburg Meat Processing Co., Inc.SOUTH DAKOTA Janet R. Eining Owner Cellular Only Connection, Inc.TENNESSEETerence Andrew Douglas President Alliant CorporationTEXASYolanda Arriola President and CEOSouthwest University at El PasoUTAHJay Benjamin BroadbentPresidentAlpine Home Medical Equipment LLCVERMONT Thomas M.L. Stearns PresidentHigh Mowing Organic SeedsVIRGIN ISLANDS Brianne B. Beatty Ryan B. Skinner OwnersFlagship, LLCVIRGINIA Caroline Anne Taylor RN-President Taylor Made Diagnostics, Inc.WASHINGTON James “Kiwi” Ferris President Edensaw Woods, Ltd. WEST VIRGINIA Arria Hines President & CEO Allegheny Science & Technology Corp. WISCONSIN Mark Matthiae CEO Crystal Finishing Systems, Inc. WYOMINGAnthony Andrew AguireePresidentTriple A Building Services, Inc.
The Roeland Park building that sat across the street from Taco Republic is now a pile of rubble.Demolition, a future restaurant, more parking and even food trucks were part of the discussion about one of Roeland Park’s hottest corners – the southwest edge of 47th and Mission Road.Demolition has begun on the office buildings at the site and is expected to be complete this week.But don’t expect construction to begin on a new restaurant yet. Tony Krsnich, president of Flint Hills Holdings, which purchased the property, told the Roeland Park City Council on Monday that he is still working to find a restaurateur for the site. He told the City Council that he has talked with restauranteurs for concepts that include a sushi restaurant or a wood-fired grill but those ideas have not materialized.In December, he indicated to the Roeland Park City Council that Bread & Butter Concepts, the company that runs Taco Republic as well as BRGR and Urban Table, was likely to be the restaurant partner for the site. That deal appears to have fallen through.However, Krsnich said that he’s more determined than ever to find a restaurant for the site.“We couldn’t be more bullish on the project but we are back to the drawing board,” he said.In the meantime, Krsnich requested that the City Council loosen parking restrictions at the site. He has an existing parking lease agreement with Taco Republic, which is across the street in Kansas City. Kan., to provide 12 spaces for the restaurant. Krsnich asked for “as many parking spots as possible” while he continues to search for a restaurant at the site.“Our livelihood for the success of this project is going to be predicated on the success of Taco Republic,” he said.The City Council ultimately agreed to allow Krsnich to continue using 12 spots on the site for up to one year. But the governing body made it clear that anything beyond 12 spaces would have to go through a more detailed special zoning process just as other developers are required to do.That’s, in part, because a parking lot without a structure is not allowed in that area.City Councilors also expressed concern that a promising corner could turn into a non-revenue producing parking lot for a restaurant in another city.“We’re merely the parking lot for the Kansas City restaurant and I don’t see what benefit that would have to any of the parties involved other than Kansas City, Kan. and the Taco Republic,” said City Councilor Jennifer Gunby.Increasing visibility for the area is important, she said. But she was concerned that customers would park and take their wallets and sales tax into another city.Others expressed concern that the parking lot could be a long-term problem.Krsnich said he has talked to homeowners in the area about temporarily using some of the lot for food trucks until a restaurant can be developed. The response, he said, was favorable. The possibility would allow the city to collect sales tax. He emphasized that food trucks were not part of his long-term plan because that wouldn’t pay enough to cover his expenses.“We need the brick and mortar restaurant, Krsnich said. “We just obviously can’t force it. We can’t bring a restauranteur out of thin air.”However, he hasn’t formally presented a request for food trucks and city administrators said there are no written provisions for food truck in the city code.Several City Councilors urged the developer to seek additional input from the 47th and Mission Road Committee, a multi-jurisdictional advisory group composed of members from Westwood, Roeland Park and Wyandotte County’s Unified Government.