Story + video: Shumlin promises to bring high-speed rail, natural gas pipeline to Vermont

first_imgby Anne Galloway vtdigger.orgFresh from a two-day jaunt to Montreal, Governor Peter Shumlin announced to the press on Wednesday that he hopes to see the construction of a high speed passenger rail line that links Montreal to New York in the near future. In addition, he is looking to solve the state’s long-term energy needs through an enhanced power agreement with Hydro-Quebec and the extension of a natural gas line from Chittenden County to Rutland. Shumlin, Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott and former Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie met with Quebec Premier Jean Charest and officials from Hydro-Quebec and Gaz Métro of Montréal, Québec, which owns Northern New England Energy Corporation, which in turn owns Vermont Gas and Green Mountain Power. Shumlin said he was grateful for Dubie’s willingness to provide introductions to Charest and the other officials. (He also joked about Scott’s expertise on the icy road way en route to Montreal and described it as a demolition derby. Scott is a well-known race car driver at Thunder Road, a local race track).Shumlin told reporters that the Quebec officials were surprised by his arrival with Dubie, his former campaign rival. Shumlin said they remarked such political amity was unprecedented in Canada.The visit was something of a trade mission, though it seemed that Vermont was buying and Quebec was selling ‘ power. ‘Quebec is our biggest trading partner,’ Shumlin remarked. ‘It’s an extraordinarily important friendship.’Shumlin said he continues to negotiate with Hydro-Quebec for additional power. Vermont has already sealed a 20-year agreement with the power company at a rate of roughly 6 cents a kilowatt hour. Shumlin declined to give specifics about the nature of the talks.‘It’s a buyer’s market,’ Shumlin said. ‘They want to sell us power.’Shumlin said he couldn’t say how much electricity the state will need until he completes a comprehensive energy plan that’s ‘credible.’ Until his advisors devise a comprehensive plan the state’s energy needs will be a ‘guessing game.’‘There is a glut of electricity on the market,’ Shumlin said. ‘They want to sell us power â ¦ and it’s a buyers’ market.’When asked whether he was trying to purchase Hydro-Quebec power to find a way to increase power reliability in the aftermath of the likely closure of Vermont Yankee, Shumlin said he is ‘eager’ to see the state expand its natural gas pipeline to Rutland. He said he believes the gas could help drive economic development in that area of the state. He said the project could give a boost to GE Rutland and Omya, the calcium carbonate extraction company in Florence, Vt.As for high-speed rail, the main sticking point is Homeland Security.‘I think we are learning from the ongoing reaction to 9/11 that we have to see the border as a border between friends,’ Shumlin said. ‘If it means we can’t (renew) passenger rail from Vermont to Montreal then the terrorists are winning.’  www.vtdigger.org(link is external) February 17, 2011last_img read more

Badgers, Crimson come into Saturday with long history

first_imgWhen the Wisconsin women’s hockey team takes to the ice this weekend against Harvard in the NCAA Quarterfinal, they’ll be building on a long-running history between the two squads.Seven years ago to the very day, March 10, the Badgers (27-7-2) and Crimson (23-6-4) met in the exact same game, one that ended up verging on four-and-a-half periods of overtime before Jinelle Zaugg finally answered the bell and terminated a 127 minute, 9 second scoreless drought.The longest game in UW history and the second longest game in the history of women’s college hockey would be the starting point of the 2007 title run for Wisconsin, its second consecutive title after winning the 2006 crown as well.Head coach Mark Johnson recounted his memories of the game in a press conference Monday, including an interesting intermission between the third and fourth overtime periods.“I remember we ran out of [food] in between the third and fourth overtime, and somebody had Skittles,” Johnson said. “The players were eating Skittles, and we were able to go out, and Jinelle scored a goal.“It was a long night. I’ll never forget sitting in the coaching room, I think it was probably going into the second overtime, and it was going to be on tape delay that night. So it was going to come back on at 10:30. And we’re sitting in the coaching room watching the start of our game while we’re still playing it at 10:30. And then come back in the next overtime, and it’s still going on.”Unlike the 2007 Wisconsin team, which had three either former or would-be Patty Kazmaier award winners, this year’s Badgers’ squad seems devoid of a true standout star, something that could make a title run a bit more difficult.After losing in the semifinals of the WCHA Final Face-off this past Friday, Wisconsin will have to put together three all-around team performances in order to take home the title.And for a team that has struggled to score goals lately, coupled with having one of the best defense’s in the nation, Saturday could make for another long, memorable night for both teams.last_img read more

March Madness 2019: Three storylines to follow in Round of 32

first_img March Madness 2019: Duke’s Zion Williamson pulls off freakishly athletic finish on fast break The first round brought four big upsets. The No. 13 seeded UC Irvine Anteaters advanced — and became Twitter celebrities because of their colorful nickname — and No. 12 seeds Liberty, Murray State and Oregon are also still alive.Can any of those four teams keep it going in the Round of 32? Will some other underdog slay a blue-blood program and march into the Sweet 16? Here are three storylines to watch heading into the Round of 32. Related News March Madness 2019: UC Irvine Anteaters score first NCAA win in upset, Twitter cheers Just over 48 hours into the NCAA Tournament and more than half the field has been eliminated.The attrition continues Saturday when the 32 remaining teams begin play. 1. Can Ja Morant continue his magic and carry Murray State to the Sweet 16?Ja Morant had a phenomenal game in No. 12 Murray State’s upset of No. 5 Marquette on Thursday. The sophomore All-American posted a triple-double with 17 points, 16 assists, and 11 rebounds, the first triple-double in the NCAA Tournament since Michigan State’s Draymond Green turned the feat in 2012.Now Morant and the Racers take on a deep and talented No. 4 Florida State squad Saturday at 6:10 p.m. ET. It doesn’t take much imagination to think the 6-3 Morant could do what another 6-3 All-American did in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, when Stephen Curry carried mid-major Davidson to the Elite Eight before a two-point loss to Kansas in the regional final. Not to say Morant will go on to match the two-time MVP Curry’s feats in the NBA, but he is a projected top-five pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, and presents matchup problems for anyone at the college level. But the Seminoles have won 15 of 17 and looked solid in beating No. 2 ranked Virginia in the ACC Tournament semis.2. Recent history suggests one of the No. 1 seeds will lose — but which one?No. 1 seeds once seemed to have a clear path to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. For example, all four No. 1 seeds advanced to the five Sweet 16s between 2005 and 2009. It’s been a different story in recent years. At least one No. 1 seed has failed to make the Sweet 16 in seven of the past nine tournaments. Putting aside Virginia’s historic first-round loss to No. 16 seed UMBC in 2018, six No. 1 seeds have fallen in Round of 32 action since 2010.Duke, Gonzaga, North Carolina and Virginia have all looked invincible at times this season, but have shown weaknesses. North Carolina and Virginia in particular looked shaky early in their first games. If you had to pick one of those four top seeds to falter this weekend, Virginia might be the best bet. The Cavaliers have lost their first or second tournament game four of the past seven years. But again, the Cavaliers finished ranked No. 2 in the country this season, and could well put together a run to the national championship.3. Which LSU team will show up in the Round of 32?No. 3 seed LSU entered the tournament arguably the hardest team to figure. The Tigers’ talent is unmistakable. They won 19 of their last 21 games in the regular season. But that momentum skidded to a halt after head coach Will Wade was suspended indefinitely before the last regular-season game. (Wade was suspended after news surfaced of an FBI wiretap involving possible recruiting violations.) The Tigers lost their SEC opener to Florida, and they squeaked by No. 14 seed Yale, 79-74 in their NCAA Tournament opener.Sophomore guard Tremont Waters, the team’s leading scorer at 15.1 points per game, told reporters Wednesday the team is using Wade’s suspension as a rallying point.“All season we’ve been saying, ‘We are a family. We are going to grow together. Keep pushing through everything, all the adversity that’s been thrown at us,’” Waters said Wednesday. “We know we have to come together as a family even more now because we don’t have our head coach.”No. 6 seed Maryland (23-10) poses a tough challenge for LSU Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET.last_img read more