Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility announces five new board members

first_imgVermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) announces the appointment of five new board members. ‘The staff and current board of VBSR are pleased to welcome five talented and capable people to serve on the VBSR Board of Directors. These new leaders will help VBSR continue to be a vital and positive force for socially responsible business policy and practice in Vermont’, said Andrea Cohen, Executive Director of VBSR.  Brian Dunkiel, of Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel and Hand, and current VBSR Board Chair said,  ‘VBSR has just adopted an updated strategic plan and these new board members will play a critical role in ensuring that the goals are achieved.  The 2012 Board is diverse in size, sector, and geographic region. VBSR’s smart business strategies have never been stronger or more relevant to strengthening Vermont’s economy and communities’ The five new board members include: David Blittersdorf, David Epstein, Stephen Morris, Avram Patt and Markey Read.David Blittersdorf is the founder of AllEarth Renewables, a company dedicated to the development, manufacture and deployment of residential-scale, grid-tied renewable energy systems. He currently lives in Charlotte in a home completely powered by renewable energy sources.David Epstein is a partner in TruexCullins Architecture and Interior Design, a long-time VBSR member He also currently serves on the board of the Vermont Foodbank and as a member of the Shelburne Historic Preservation and Design Advisory Committee.Stephen Morris, the co-founder of The Public Press, a book-publishing business that provides options for writers whose works are too specialized for traditional publishers. He is also the editor and publisher of Green Living and the author of six books. Avram Patt is the General Manager and CEO of Washington Electric Co-op, a consumer-owned rural electric utility that has been an early leader in promoting energy efficiency and developing local and renewable power supply sources. He also represents an 11-state region in the resolutions process of the National Rural Electric Cooperative association.Markey Read has worked for the past twenty years providing leadership development, team building, and professional employee development services to employers and individuals throughout Vermont with the company she founded, Career Networks. Markey is also the chapter coordinator for WBON in Williston, and is a member of the American Society of Training and Development.last_img read more

Mountain Mama | Fear, Flowers and Favorite Rivers

first_imgThey say that courage isn’t the absence of fear, rather it’s staring fear in the face and doing precisely the things that, in equal measure, give your life meaning and terrify you. A good dose of fearlessness is required to live the best possible life. And yet, every time I go a month or two without getting in my kayak, my head churns over all the reasons I shouldn’t paddle anything hard.  This past weekend I was cursed with a particularly overactive imagination. I thought about a recent conversation when a friend asked me whether I had a will. I don’t.Of course I should. I’m a lawyer, I know all the ways an estate can get hung-up. I have a four-year old who depends on me. On the way to the put-in of my favorite Class IV run, one question looped in my head. What happens to my four-year old if anything happens to me on the river?I needed a break from my son and craved a day of being something other than a mom. My son started every sentence with mommy and it grated on me, just hearing that word and his need for my help and attention. Now that I had that break I so dearly needed, I nearly talked myself out of paddling before we even got to the put-in. Even felt like a bad mom for wanting time to myself and wondered if he was still crying to the sitter over my departure.20160225_183723The water was so crystal clear. Even from my vantage point at the put-in, I could count the rocks on the riverbed, some ten feet underwater. The river turned just out of sight, where the real action begins.Something about the verdant moss combined with the opaque emerald water beckoned me so I ignored the nagging voice that was saying I should prioritize time with my son, especially now when he still like to hang out with me. I had the chance to paddle with two of my favorite people on a river that I hadn’t been on for four years. The first drop was followed by half a dozen more, the frothy whitewater a cold splash of reality. I was alive in the moment, studying the precise fold of a wave, the angle to boof a rock. The energy between us was palpable after every drop. I recognized every rapid, knew with certainty the ways in which the run could go wrong. I felt a few inches behind where I wanted to be, just off enough to keep me humble and aware. Everything else fell away, all my responsibilities and endless to-do lists. I stopped thinking about my son, worrying I wasn’t doing my best as a parent.Before the biggest rapid, we eddied out and my friend told me the line. After the first drop, grabbing the eddy on the right was optional.“So will you get the eddy?” I asked. Whenever I feel uncertain, I cling to a plan.She responded off-handedly. “It all depends where I am after the first drop. If it makes sense, I’ll go into the eddy. If not, I’ll angle right and paddle hard through the second drop.”That’s when in sunk in that the antidote for fear is softening to the opportunities that present themselves, about remaining as open as possible. I exhaled and then kayaked with purpose.After the first drop the rest of the rapid opened up, and I could see precisely where I wanted to be. I was rusty, so still fought the pushy whitewater to stay on line.I smiled a big, toothy grin, unable to contain the moment.We paddled the rest of the river, happy to be together again, the three of us, in this place, one that resonates within each of us as sacred. I didn’t even flip upside down, much less come close to needing a will in place. And when I did get home, my son greeted me with a bouquet of flowers, one that he picked out especially for me. “These are beautiful, mom. Like you,” he said. I pulled him into a hug, his body folding into mine and inhaled him, which smelled all the sweeter to me after getting on the river.[divider]More from[/divider]last_img read more

Men’s marijuana use increases miscarriage risk for women, new research finds

first_imgABC News 14 October 2019Family First Comment: More reasons to avoid drugs…“When men smoke marijuana once a week or more, their partners are twice as likely to experience a miscarriage when pregnant, according to Boston University researchers who examined over 1,400 couples before they got pregnant… Smoking marijuana may negatively affect sperm quality and the change in sperm quality may drive the increased occurrence of miscarriage.”New research is highlighting the role men play in infertility and miscarriage.When men smoke marijuana once a week or more, their partners are twice as likely to experience a miscarriage when pregnant, according to Boston University researchers who examined over 1,400 couples before they got pregnant.The researches asked the couples about marijuana usage over the past two months and then followed them as they got pregnant and, in some cases, miscarried.The majority of men in the study did not smoke marijuana, with only 8% smoking once a week or more. Nearly 18% of the couples in the study reported a miscarriage.Smoking, but less frequently than once a week, did not have an association with miscarriage rate, according to the research.One reason for the increased risk of miscarriage with male marijuana use, according to researchers, is that smoking marijuana may negatively affect sperm quality and the change in sperm quality may drive the increased occurrence of miscarriage.READ MORE: read more