Local Analysis

USDA Upgrade Opportunity

USDA Upgrade Opportunity

February 27, 2021 at 11:35 am

RUTLAND HERALD 02/27/21 TIMES ARGUS 02/27/21 By Michael Shank Since receiving President Joe Biden’s nomination for secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack has indicated he’s newly committed to a USDA that prioritizes sustainable, regenerative and climate-resilient agriculture. It’s a welcomed shift from previous stints as USDA secretary under […]

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Animal Welfare in Rutland County

Animal Welfare in Rutland County

February 1, 2021 at 11:10 pm

RUTLAND HERALD 01/29/21 By Michael Shank For those who have been following this story in Brandon regarding our recently dismissed Animal Control Officer (ACO), a story the Rutland Herald covered recently, there’s some additional information and background that will be helpful in both unpacking what happened and preparing and equipping […]

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Getting Off Fossil Gas

Getting Off Fossil Gas

January 2, 2021 at 11:50 am

VTDIGGER 12/30/20 By Michael Shank Editor’s note: This commentary is by Michael Shank, of Brandon, who is communications director for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and adjunct faculty at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs. This month witnessed the launch of the first-ever “Gas Index,” which ranks American metropolitan […]

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Electricity is Cleaner and Healthier

Electricity is Cleaner and Healthier

December 27, 2020 at 7:27 pm

RUTLAND HERALD 12/26/20 TIMES ARGUS 12/26/20 By Michael Shank This month witnessed the launch of the first-ever “Gas Index,” which ranks American metropolitan areas on the leakiness of the gas supply chains that service their cities. This new index — of which Burlington ranks in the middle – takes into […]

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Drone photo during summer of Rutland, Vermont and the Green Mountains.

Working Toward Thriving Communities

November 5, 2020 at 10:49 am

VTDIGGER 11/04/20 By Michael Shank  Editor’s note: This commentary is by Michael Shank of Brandon, who is vice chair of the Rutland Regional Planning Commission and the chair of the Brandon Planning Commission. He was an independent candidate for a Rutland District seat in the Vermont State Senate. When the […]

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Rutland County Needs to Band Together for Broadband

Rutland County Needs to Band Together for Broadband

October 8, 2020 at 9:10 am

VTDIGGER 10/07/20 By Michael Shank Editor’s note: This commentary is by Michael Shank of Brandon, who is vice chair of the Rutland Regional Planning Commission and the chair of the Brandon Planning Commission. Many things in life are easier when done together. Whether it’s education, economic development, everyday chores or […]

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Band Together for Broadband

Band Together for Broadband

October 7, 2020 at 5:12 pm

MOUNTAIN TIMES 10/07/20 By Dr. Michael Shank Many things in life are easier when done together. Whether it’s education, economic development, everyday chores or even emergency response, when you have more hands and more help, the work is more efficiently executed and more effectively implemented. It takes a village to […]

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Broadband for All

Broadband for All

October 7, 2020 at 3:34 pm

RUTLAND HERALD 10/07/20 By Michael Shank Many things in life are easier when done together. Whether it’s education, economic development, everyday chores or even emergency response, when you have more hands and more help, the work is more efficiently executed and more effectively implemented. It takes a village to lighten […]

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Photo by Caleb Kenna

A Roadmap for a Resilient Rutland County

September 20, 2020 at 12:34 pm

By Dr. Michael Shank Published: September 20, 2020 Protecting our infrastructure – physical, economic and social – from shocks to the system should be everyone’s priority. It’s compromised by increasingly extreme weather, extreme economic hardship and extreme ideologies. Committing to a repair and reinvestment strategy, then, should be on everyone’s […]

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Education and Life Skills

Education and Life Skills

September 19, 2020 at 8:36 am

RUTLAND HERALD 09/19/20 By Michael Shank As a university professor who has worked for educators in the U.S. Congress and was raised by high school teachers, I’m constantly thinking about the education system and how best to equip the next generation of leaders. I’ve also been interviewing educators throughout Vermont, […]

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