See Broadway’s Jersey Boys Suit Up for Their Final Curtain Call

first_img View Comments Big girls don’t cry, but it was tough not to get teary at the August Wilson Theatre on January 15. The Tony-winning jukebox musical Jersey Boys shuttered on Sunday after playing 4,642 performances on the Great White Way. The tuner began performances on October 4, 2005 and officially opened on November 6. Nicolas Dromard, Mark Ballas, Drew Seeley and Matt Bogart took their last bow as the four headliners in the beloved show. Frankie Valli himself was also in on the action and took the stage to say a few words (see below). Take a look at Broadway.com’s hot shots from the end of an era, but don’t fret—fans can still catch Jersey Boys on tour and across the pond. Nicolas Dromard, Mark Ballas, Drew Seeley & Matt Bogart(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser)center_img Also be sure to check out Jujamcyn Theaters President Jordan Roth’s video of Jersey Boys’ final moment on stage.last_img read more

Wildflower Pesticides.

first_imgWildflowers aren’t only beautiful and easy to maintain. Theycould soon be used in your home landscape as natural pesticides.”Insects are naturally attracted to wildflowers, and notall insects are bad,” said Kris Braman, a University of Georgiaentomologist. “With insects, there are the good, the badand the ugly. The key is to know which ones are which.”Attracting ‘Good’ BugsWorking in her lab at the UGA Georgia Experiment Station inGriffin, Braman has seen firsthand how much beneficial insects– those that eat the bugs we view as pests — love wildflowers.”The wildflowers give the beneficials somewhere to live,and this makes them stay where you want them — in your lawn eatingthe bad bugs,” she said.The “good” bugs include lady beetles, parasitic waspsand flies and several spider species. “You want to attractparasites and predators that feed on other pests,” Bramansaid. “So far, we’ve found wildflowers do an excellent jobof attracting beneficial insects.”You Need Lots of FlowersSo which wildflower varieties do beneficial insects like best?And which should you plant?”Wildflowers are usually sold in mixes containing manyflowers that are excellent hosts for beneficials,” Bramansaid. She is still working to identify the best ‘pest-fighting’wildflower varieties.Braman says the key is to select a mix that will produce flowersthroughout the year. “You want to have a series of bloomingplants so there’s something blooming and attractive to beneficialsall the time,” she said.Wildflower mixes can be bought at most home improvement orgarden centers or ordered through seed catalogs.Pick the Best for Your AreaNo matter which wildflower mix you select, make sure it’s theright one for your area. “Pick a mix that’s suitable forthe Southeast or the coast, depending on where you live,”Braman said.And now is the time to plant. “Put them out in the falland get them seeded before Thanksgiving for fall planting,”Braman said. “Late winter is another opportunity for somemixes. Always check your planting directions.”Adding wildflowers to your landscape is just one way to helpreduce the amount of pesticide you apply in your home landscape.Other Alternative Pesticides”You can also spot-spray when you see a pest problem,instead of cover-spraying,” she said. “And horticulturaloils are also excellent for targeting pests.”The next step in Braman’s research project is to compare thecosts of using wildflowers with pesticides to using just pesticides.”Wildflowers aren’t a total solution to pest control,”Braman said. “But we know they can certainly reduce the needfor pesticides. Our focus is to improve the habitat by takingadvantage of beneficial insects when we can.”(Lady beetle image by Scott Bauer, USDA. Photo of Kris Bramanby Sharon Omahen, University of Georgia College of Agriculturaland Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Market Moans.

first_imgThe world has changed and the price U.S. farmers will get fortheir cotton has drastically fallen, all in just two short months.At Christmas, a farmer could get about 66 cents for a pound ofcotton. Now, that farmer can get only about 59 cents. This isn’t goodnews for farmers trying to decide how much land to plant in cottonin 2001.For each 1-cent drop in the cotton price, Georgia farmers loseabout $9.6 million in income. For each 1-cent drop, Georgia’seconomy loses about $28.8 million, says Don Shurley, an ExtensionService economist with the University of Georgia College of Agriculturaland Environmental Sciences.Shurley figures farmers need at least 65 cents per pound justto break even.It Looked Good for a While Historically, Shurley said, cotton prices tend to improve duringJanuary and February. The fall in prices since December is unusual.When prices do fall, they tend to fall later in the growing season,closer to harvest. Cotton is harvested in autumn.In the past two months, world and domestic cotton conditions havetaken a turn for the worse for U.S. growers.Late last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated worldproduction at 86.7 million bales. (A bale equals 480 pounds ofcotton lint).Adding the leftover stocks, this would be the smallest supplysince 1996. Leading cotton- producing countries, such as India,Pakistan and China, were expected to decrease production for the2000 crop.That was good news for growers. When the supply goes down, theprice goes up.However, Shurley said, the latest estimates show world productionat 88.1 million bales. The expected drop in production did notmaterialize. So supplies are higher than expected. Things Don’t Always Go as Planned Cotton farmers around the world plan to grow just as much or morecotton in 2001. This includes U.S. cotton farmers.Early conservative estimates say U.S. growers will plant about15.9 million acres of cotton this year, about 400,000 more thanlast year. The USDA will release final cotton estimates in March.World market conditions look gloomy. Domestically, things don’tlook much better. The U.S. textile industry, which buys 60 percentof the total U.S. cotton production, is hurting.”We’ve lost about 1.5 million bales of our own textile businesssince 1997,” Shurley said. That means 720 million poundsof U.S. cotton in 2001 will have to find a buyer somewhere elsein the world.Americans still like cotton. In fact, U.S. retail consumptionis growing strong, Shurley said. However, a higher percentageof that consumption is coming from imports of fabric and finishedproducts, such as shirts and jeans. This makes U.S. growers dependmore on exports and foreign textile mills.If the U.S. textile industry continues to suffer losses, and ifworld cotton production continues to increase, U.S. cotton farmersface tough decisions in the future.last_img read more

Closer to Consumers.

first_imgIn another symposium segment, key legislators and agriculture leaders will discuss value-added agriculture. The discussion will be moderated by the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism. The main goal of the symposium is to get people thinking about ways to increase farm incomes. “Growers must be innovative and progressive at times like these,” he said. “They must be willing to get closer to the consumer.” “Any way to bring dollars back into the rural economy needs to be explored,” Hudson said. The symposium will be at the Tifton Rural Development Center. Fees are $50 before Nov. 30 and $150 after. To register, call the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center at (229) 386-3416. Or go to www.ugatiftonconference.org. Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes will speak Dec. 14 about the state’s commitment to the future of a healthy agriculture. Growing new crops, processing old ones and using smarter marketing strategies and new technologies are a few ways to boost farm incomes. One such opportunity is in developing nutraceutical crops, or crops with health benefits. center_img Georgia farmers are facing a crisis. Crop prices are nearing some of the lowest levels ever as expenses keep climbing. Farmers are caught in a price squeeze they may not be able to overcome.The solution involves higher prices or lower costs. But most economists don’t expect the costs to improve. So farmers need to consider “value-added” opportunities for their farms.Trying to find ways to add dollars to rural economies, scientists, farmers and farm policymakers from Georgia and around the world will meet at the first “Symposium on Value-added Agriculture” Dec. 13-14 in Tifton, Ga.”Commodity agriculture is in trouble,” said Randy Hudson, coordinator of the emerging crops and technologies program in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Without federal support, most commodities are losing money for our producers.”Farmers must be empowered to produce and market beyond the farm gate,” Hudson said. “The economy of Georgia is heavily dependant upon a healthy and prosperous rural Georgia. The family farm and a profitable agricultural system are vital for rural economic growth.”The SolutionsHow can you add value to farm crops? Duane Acker, chair of the Iowa Agricultural Finance Corp., will talk about successes and failures of value-added ventures. Almost all Georgia crops have some nutraceutical value, he said. Through technology, the part of the plant that contains the health benefit could be extracted and marketed as a separate product.The SupportAt the symposium, Mark Drabenstott, vice president of the Center for the Study of Rural America at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, will brief participants on the state of commodity agriculture. “It is estimated that the current nutraceutical market is about a $5-billion annual industry,” he said. “In the next five years it could be as much as $20 billion.” “These national leaders will lay the groundwork of the value-added arena today,” Hudson said.last_img read more

Pink pickles?

first_imgBy Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaCan fruits and vegetables be canned without heating if aspirin is used? Why did the liquid in my dill pickles turn pink? How can you prevent corn-on-the-cob from tasting “cobby”?Since the National Center for Home Food Preservation Web site (www.uga.edu/nchfp/)was unveiled a year ago, food scientists from the University ofGeorgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences have fielded allkinds of questions from home canners, freezers and picklers allover the country.Pink pickles may not seem a serious problem. But many queries point to life-threatening or at least illness-causing situations, said Elizabeth Andress, a UGA Extension Service food safety specialist.”The most common and serious mistake home canners make is using boiling water to process vegetables,” Andress said. “It takes temperatures above 212 degrees to destroy harmful organisms, and this requires pressure canning for a known period of time. Boiling doesn’t take enough time to destroy the bacteria that cause botulism.”Don’t think that because some people inject Botox (botulinum toxin A) into their foreheads and frown lines to prevent wrinkles that botulism isn’t serious, Andress said.Botulism is still food poisoning. And it’s fatal 30 percent to 40 percent of the time. The same neurotoxin that paralyzes muscles, erasing frown lines, can paralyze the respiratory muscles when it’s eaten, making it impossible to breathe.All it takes is a jar of improperly processed or pickled okra or string beans.Why would people take a chance? Because their mother did it that way and their grandmother before that, and they’ve gotten away with it, Andress said.Another factor is fear: Pressure cookers still scare many home canners. Visions of boiling-hot green beans or tomato sauce spattering the walls and ceiling, with third degree burns thrown in, keep folks away from pressure canners.But that’s all in the past, Andress said.”Pressure canners have advanced significantly in the past 20 years,” she said. “Locking mechanisms will not allow you to open it if the pressure is too high, so the days of food flying everywhere are over. And if the steam builds up too much, a valve will open up to release pressure.”Along with techniques, the NCHFP Web site features a number of recipes, including spiced crab apples, watermelon rind preserves and golden pepper jelly.”The trend in home food preservation today is toward specialty items,” Andress said. “People aren’t doing the huge quantities they did in the past. They’re making pickles and relishes and jams, and often these are for gifts.”And in case you’re curious, overmature dill or yeast growth can cause pink pickles. The former is harmless, and the latter is not. So, if you see yeast growth (cloudy or slimy pickles), discard the pickles.No, don’t use aspirin in canning. It can’t be relied on to prevent spoilage or to give satisfactory products. Adequate heat treatment is the only safe procedure.And finally, to prevent “cobby” corn, after blanching the ears for the recommended time, chill them immediately with ice water until the cobs are completely cold. Partially thaw the ears of corn before you cook them.(Cat Holmes is a science writer for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Food Hubs

first_img“This is something that can affect all of our farmers,” said Julia Gaskin, coordinator of UGA Cooperative Extension programming in sustainable agriculture. Frank Riley, a farmer who grows corn and pumpkins, would like to develop a farmers market in Hiawassee, Ga. He was one of many small-scale farmers in attendance. “Food hubs are good for the community. They are good for everyone,” Riley said.Food hubs are locally managed, have the potential to generate jobs, improve rural economies and increase the capability of mid-scale farms. However, the creation and implementation of food hubs can be difficult. The success of food hubs depends on the joint effort of Georgia’s agricultural organizations, Gaskin said. A diverse group of agricultural leaders participated in a panel discussion at the event. The panel included Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and representatives from the UGA CAES, Fort Valley State University, Georgia Farm Bureau and Georgia Organics.“It’s not a trend; it’s not a niche,” said Jim Barham, an agricultural economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and one of the event’s speakers.Barham travels the northern and mid-western U.S. representing USDA. Georgia is the first state in the South to request the USDA at such an event, he said. “What (Georgia’s) doing is exactly what we want to see,” he said.Gaskin hopes to locate interested parties, form working groups and host an in-depth event, all to raise awareness for food hubs.The consortium includes CAES, Fort Valley State University College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology, and the Georgia Department of Agriculture. For more information about it, contact Gaskin at jgaskin@engr.uga.edu. Agriculture is Georgia’s largest economic sector, but 80 percent of the food purchased by Georgians comes from other states, according to a University of Georgia expert.Harald Scherm, associate dean for research at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, shared that statistic when he welcomed attendees to the Georgia Sustainable Agriculture Consortium’s kick-off event, “Food Hubs for the Future: Growing Georgia’s Mid-Size Farms.” Farmers, policymakers, business owners and others interested in food hubs turned out for the event Oct. 27 at UGA. The event was also broadcast via webinar.The recently created Georgia Sustainable Agriculture Consortium would like to see two food hubs developed in Georgia within the next 5 years.Historically, Georgia agriculture has been focused on large-scale production. Products are sold primarily through wholesale markets across the nation. Food hubs, a new concept, allow smaller-scale producers to directly sell produce and meats to consumers. The event focused on how food hubs can offer a channel for local farmers to reach local businesses. last_img read more

Agricultural Development

first_imgWhen Maria Moore learned that scholarships were available to attend the Future Leaders Forum sponsored by the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD), she immediately applied.As a University of Georgia master’s degree student who will defend her thesis in food science and technology this fall, Moore is contemplating her next steps. The scholarship would allow her to attend both the forum and AIARD’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.Moore was disappointed to learn that she wasn’t selected to receive the scholarship, but just a few days later, she received good news — UGA alumnus Hiram Larew was providing funding for her to attend the conference.“AIARD is a wonderful organization for those who are professionally interested in international agriculture and rural development,” said Larew, who directed programs in sustainable development and food in countries around the globe prior to his retirement in 2015 as director of international programs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture. “By attending this year’s conference, Maria had a chance to meet lots of folks who will be important to her in her upcoming career.”Reflecting on the two-and-a-half-day conference, Moore certainly agrees with Larew’s assessment.“This is a very tight-knit conference of only about 125 participants, so I was able to meet almost everyone,” Moore said. “In addition, all of the meals are included in the conference, so I had the opportunity to talk in-depth with a wide range of professionals.”Moore’s first evening was spent with students and young professionals at a career workshop led by representatives of the U.S. Agency for International Development; DAI, a 40-year-old, employee-owned global development company headquartered in Maryland; Devex, a company that focuses on connecting professionals with funding and career opportunities in international development; and Catholic Relief Services, which works with organizations around the world to help the poor and vulnerable overcome emergencies, earn a living through agriculture and access health care.“The panelists provided helpful job search information, like the importance of tailoring your resume,” Moore said. “But they also emphasized the importance of more young people entering the field of international agriculture. They described us as the future of sustainable crop production both within the United States and around the world.”Following that initial meeting, Moore had the opportunity to meet her benefactor and be introduced to many of those attending the conference.“Hiram knows everyone,” Moore said. “He took the opportunity to introduce me and two other students that he sponsored to everyone at the conference.”During the next two days, Moore heard speakers address all aspects of the conference’s theme of climate-smart agriculture, including Dawn Rittenhouse of DuPont, whose keynote address made the case for businesses’ embrace of climate-smart agriculture; panel discussions highlighting emerging research and innovation in the area of climate-smart practices; presentations of best practices by field practitioners; an address by Marc Sadler, the global lead at the World Bank; and a session focused on finding funding for promising projects.Moore also heard a summary of a 55-page AIARD white paper, emphasizing the importance of climate-smart sustainable agriculture to improve food security, to be delivered to Congress following the conference.“One of my favorite presentations was ‘Lightning Talks,’ where speakers had only five minutes and 20 slides to present their topic. They were fascinating to listen to and gave such great wrap-ups on subjects, like the role of insect protein in food and the importance of maintaining soil health,” Moore said. “It was a lot to take in, but I was doing my best to take notes on all of the presentations.”In reflecting on the conference, Moore said she gained personal insight into her own carbon footprint and learned how companies reduce their impacts on the climate.“The U.S. has the second-biggest carbon footprint of any country in the world, and we waste 40 to 50 percent of the food we produce,” she said. “I came away not only aware of what companies can do to change those numbers, but that there are things beyond recycling that I can do.”She also came away having met both fellow students and long-time professionals, and with some clarification of her own goals.“As far as my career, I want to determine what I’m looking for that will lead me on the path of working internationally,” she said.last_img read more

Freezing fruits and vegetables

first_imgFreezing is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to extend the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables.Properly frozen fruits and vegetables will retain much of their fresh flavor and nutritive value. Texture, however, may be somewhat softer after thawing than fresh versions.The extreme cold stops growth of microorganisms and slows down changes that cause spoilage and affect quality in food, but will not sterilize food, said Elizabeth Andress, a faculty member in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.“It’s important to use good sanitary practices when preparing and packaging food for the freezer,” said Andress, director of the National Center for Home Food Preservation. “When thawing the food, it’s important to use good temperature control to prevent the surviving bacteria and molds from becoming a problem on warming food. Fortunately, most vegetables can be cooked right from the frozen state. If you need to thaw foods before using them, inside the cold refrigerator is the safest way to do so.”  For additional tips on thawing and using frozen foods, visit nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze/thawing.htmlPackage the food for best protection in the freezerPlastic bags are the most frequently used packaging material for freezing food items, although you can also use plastic freezer containers or glass canning/freezing jars.Packaging materials must be durable and leakproof, easy to seal with airtight sealing surfaces, able to protect foods from off flavors or odors and should not become brittle or crack at low temperatures.“Don’t use paper cartons, like milk boxes,” Andress said. “Many plastic containers foods are packaged in for purchase, like yogurt, dips and sour cream, do not provide characteristics for preserving quality in the freezer. Some materials may let air and moisture through them which is not good. Freezer-weight plastic bags, freezer foil and coated freezer paper are good for odd shaped foods.”Preparing the foodFruits should be washed and sorted before freezing. Discard those that are poor quality or not yet ripe.Rinse the fruit under cool, running water while rubbing skins to clean them well. For fruit with firm peels, use a clean vegetable brush and scrub well. Allowing fruit to soak in water is not recommended because it will cause loss of nutrients and flavor.“Stem, pit, peel or slice fruit as desired,” Andress said. “Prepare enough fruit for only a few packages at a time to prevent browning.”Light-colored fruits or any that brown once cut can be put in an ascorbic acid water bath to hold them as you get your batch prepared for packaging.“Pure ascorbic acid in a powder form is available online, in drugstores or in stores with freezing supplies or as vitamin C tablets,” Andress said. “For a bath to hold your fruit as you are cutting and trimming it, use one teaspoon dissolved in one gallon of cool, clean water.”If you purchase vitamin C tablets, use those with as few other ingredients as possible. Crush as many as you need for 3,000 milligrams (one teaspoon) to dissolve in one gallon of water.You can also buy commercial ascorbic acid mixtures with canning and freezing supplies; follow the directions on the label.Use vegetables at peak flavor and texture. Whenever possible, harvest in the morning and freeze within a few hours.Wash vegetables thoroughly in cold water and sort according to size for blanching and packing. Blanching, or scalding, vegetables in boiling water or steam for a short period of time should be done to ensure highest frozen food quality and shelf life.“Blanching stops the action of enzymes that can cause loss of flavor, color and texture over time in the freezer,” Andress said. “Blanching time is crucial and varies with the vegetable and its size. Under-blanching stimulates the activity of enzymes and is worse than not blanching at all; over-blanching can cause loss of flavor, color, vitamins and minerals.”Specific blanching times for vegetables can be found at nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze.html.Water blanching is the most widely-recommended method for blanching vegetables.Use one gallon of water per pound of vegetables. Put the vegetables in a blanching basket or strainer and lower into vigorously boiling water.Place a lid on the pot and start counting blanching time as soon as the water returns to a boil. If the water does not come quickly back to a boil, you are using too many vegetables at one time.The link above provides detailed directions for freezing each type of vegetable.As soon as blanching is complete, cool vegetables quickly to stop the cooking process by plunging the basket of vegetables immediately into a large quantity of cold water.Cooling vegetables should take as long as blanching. Drain vegetables completely after cooling.“You do not want to package vegetables for the freezer that still have water clinging to them, as this is not good for food texture and quality,” Andress said.Fruit packsThere are several ways to pack fruit for freezing, such as a syrup pack, sugar pack and unsweetened dry or tray pack.“Many fruits have better texture and flavor if packed in sugar or syrup,” Andress said. “However, sugar is not needed to preserve the fruit.”A sugar syrup can be made by dissolving sugar in water completely and then pouring it around and over fruit in the container.You may need to heat the water to get all of the sugar dissolved, but completely cool or even refrigerate the syrup to get it cold before using on fruit.Use 2 3/4 cups sugar to four cups of water for most fruits. For mild flavor or very sweet fruits, use 1 3/4 cups sugar per four cups of water.About one-half to two-thirds of a cup of syrup is needed per pint of fruit.To make sugar packs, simply sprinkle sugar over the fruit and mix gently until the juice is drawn out and the sugar dissolved. Pack the fruit with the juices into your container or bag“Making sure all the sugar is dissolved before freezing yields better fruit quality,” Andress said.Tray or dry packing works best with berries and smaller fruits that give good flavor without sugar.Larger strawberries could be cut into halves. Simply spread a single layer of washed, trimmed fruit on shallow trays and place in your freezer.When the fruit pieces are frozen firm, promptly package and return to the freezer before they soften. These fruit pieces remain loose and any amount needed can be poured from the container and the package re-closed.Those fruits that begin darkening as soon as cut edges are exposed to air, such as peaches, apples, pears and apricots, will benefit from some ascorbic acid being added in the package as well as using a holding bath.Fruit can also start to darken during thawing. Ascorbic acid or purchased mixtures may also be used in syrup or mixed with dry sugar for those fruit packing methods.Add half a teaspoon (1,500 milligrams) of pure powdered ascorbic acid to cold syrup shortly before using, stirring gently so as not to add air. To use in sugar or dry packs, dissolve in two or three tablespoons of cold water and sprinkle over fruit just before adding sugar.Packaging and labelingMost foods require headspace between the packed food and closure to allow for expansion as food freezes. Headspace recommendations can be found at nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze.html.All packaged food should be at room temperature or cooler before putting in the freezer.“Do not overload your freezer with too much warm food at one time,” Andress said. “Quick freezing is best for frozen food quality.”Spread the new packages around until they are frozen, then they can be stacked together if desired. Freeze foods at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. To facilitate more rapid freezing, set the temperature control at -10 degrees or lower about 24 hours in advance.Keep your freezer at 0 degrees or lower for best food quality in storage and to obtain the expected shelf life.“Be sure to label all foods with name of food, date and type of pack,” Andress said. “Most fruits and vegetables will remain high in quality for eight to 12 months. Longer storage will not make the food unfit for use, but may impair its quality.”It is a good idea to post a list of the frozen foods with freezing dates near the freezer and check the packages off the list as they are removed.For more information on freezing fruits and vegetables with directions for individual items, visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation online at nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze.html.last_img read more

Business Interiors Completes Seventh Generation Headquarters

first_imgBusiness Interiors has completed the furniture installation for Seventh Generation’s Burlington Vermont Headquarters. This project is expected to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification for Commercial Interiors. The new space features the latest in open office design planning in conjunction with a vast array of products from the Steelcase product portfolio. All furniture was carefully selected to coincide with the strictest of environmental standards as determined by the US Green Building Council and Greenguard Institute.In addition to demonstrating a wide variety of furniture and technology products, this project exhibits the entire capabilities of the Business Interiors Design Team. Environmental products assessment, color finish selection, daylight/views planning, workplace performance surveying and future needs evaluation were applied to create a functional space to maximize workplace performance.For more information about this project, or to explore ways to work with Business Interiors, call 1-800-635-4874 x21 to speak with Owen Milnelast_img read more

Leahy expands health care Web page

first_imgSen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) this week posted an expanded Web page on health care reform on his Senate website. The new feature offers Vermonters up-to-date information on health care reform plans currently before Congress and invites Vermonters to submit questions and comments to Leahy on each of the proposals. Leahy periodically will respond to comments, individuals own health care system experiences and questions submitted by Vermonters and will post highlights on the webpage.Vermonters can access this webpage at http://leahy.senate.gov/issues/health/VermontVoices.html(link is external)Leahy said, Over the past several months thousands of Vermonters have shared with me their personal experiences with our current health care system and their suggestions for improvements. This is a way to harness the Internet to expand that dialogue with Vermonters as the debate intensifies on health care reform plans that will soon be before Congress.Vermonters can visit the webpage at http://leahy.senate.gov/issues/health/VermontVoices.html(link is external) or email healthcare@leahy.senate.gov(link sends e-mail) to submit their comments, questions and stories.Source: Leahy’s office. (WEDNESDAY, August 12, 2009) —last_img read more