The Mountain Times

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News briefs from the Lakes Region 12.22

Holiday decorations are scarcer

If you notice that fewer homes in the Lakes Region seem as exuberant in their outdoor decorations, blame local vandals. Since before Halloween, this strip of western Rutland County seems hard hit by theft and destruction of yard ornaments. Boo, hiss, on the thoughtless individuals who have put a damper on one of the more charming elements of neighborhood cohesiveness.

Hubbardton Forge on PBS series

See your friends and neighbors on PBS when the channel shows a 10-episode segment of This Old House beginning in January. The show's winter project is renovating a beach house in Rhode Island which features 35 or more distinctive light fixtures made at the Vermont plant. 

Film crews are following the complete forging of the Brindille Pendant, a composite of six hand-forged "twigs" augmented with hand beading and sporting a white, square lamp cover

HDTV's Property Brokers also looks at Hubbardton Forge in an episode and it has been featured by the Science Channel's How It's Made.

GMC energy challenges

Green Mountain College professors Lucas Brown and Steve Letendre are leading a student team in designing and building a solar-powered recharging station to power up a plug-in vehicle. The station would draw solar power into roof-mounted panels, creating a heated space so that a plug-in vehicle inside will recharge more efficiently.

The two-semester project/charging station, funded by a $50,000 grant from Constellation Energy's E2 Energy to Educate program, is to house a Zap Truck, a three-wheeled all-electric two-passenger vehicle that can be used as a flatbed, pickup or dump truck - all small of course. It has a range of about 40 miles per day and 25 miles per charge.

Students in Professor Browns' environmental build and design course recently completed an additional energy efficient project, an 8x14 foot transportable urban farm shed. The shed is designed simply enough that a farmer can construct it and move it where it's needed using a circular saw and a pick-up truck.

Framed with a hollow grid system, the Occupy Vacant Lots, or OVaL, shed includes two greenhouse polygal back walls bearing 10 shelves for seed germination, a butterfly roof, five terra cotta water barrels for water collection, and a solar panel. Construction materials are nothing trickier than 2x4 and 2x6 pieces. Material cost was $4,285, including discounts from local shops and a donated solar panel.

Proponents see the shed as an important element at what they describe as a disconnected agricultural landscape, suitable for urban farmers. Students demonstrated dismantling the shed in about four hours, trucking it to a new site, and re-assembling it in about five hours. Permanent installation is near the college tennis courts, serving as a greenhouse and storage shed for the Champlain Valley Native Plan Restoration Nursery.

Tagged: Green Mountain College, lakes region, Lakes Region News