Chief Technology Officer Tom Evslin to retire from state government

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas announced today that Chief Technology Officer Tom Evslin will retire from state government on September 15. Evslin, 67, was recruited from retirement by Governor Douglas in March of 2009 to be Chief Recovery Officer to oversee Vermont’s use of stimulus funds and applications for competitive stimulus grants. When the temporary Office of Economic Stimulus and Recovery finished its job, Evslin was named Chief Technology Officer for the State and has been the Administration’s lead on Challenges for Change.“I want to thank Tom for his work on behalf of Vermonters,” said Governor Douglas.  “Tom’s extraordinary talents were critical as we deployed hundreds of millions of dollars in federal stimulus money quickly and transparently.  His leadership and broad understanding of the telecommunications world were vital to Vermont’s success in obtaining over $250 million in combined stimulus grants for smart grid and broadband expansion – ensuring the funding is in place to follow through on my eState goals of border-to-border high-speed internet access and cell phone coverage.”Vermont has been recognized as among the best states in deploying federal stimulus and the $250 million in broadband and the smart grid grant awards places Vermont at the top in per-capita funding in these areas. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity I had to work for Vermont as part of the Douglas Administration during these difficult times,” said Evslin.  “I’m particularly proud of the tremendous creative effort that state employees at all levels made to respond to Challenges for Change and find ways to serve Vermonters more effectively with less money.”As the point person for Challenges for Change, Evslin has been coordinating the various efforts to save taxpayer money through increased government efficiency and outcome-based budgeting.  Governor Douglas noted that “Tom’s ability to think outside-the-box and envision creative solutions to any problem has made him the ideal fit as state government has had to adjust its approach during the Great Recession.”Secretary of Administration Neale Lunderville also praised Evslin for his service to Vermonters.  “Tom has been an integral part of the Governor’s team as we juggled the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Challenges for Challenges and the enduring impact of the economic downturn on state budgets and the lives of Vermonters.  Tom’s work has helped to position Vermont well to rebound from the recession.”Before his first retirement, Tom Evslin and his wife, Mary, founded several successful technology companies and he was one of the pioneers of VoIP technology. Evslin also wrote a novel and a popular blog and he is an inventor on eight granted US patents. In the early 1980s, he served as Vermont’s Secretary of Transportation under Governor Richard Snelling.  The Evslins live in Stowe. At his request, Evslin worked for minimum wage, which he then returns to the State.Source: Governor’s office. 8.31.2010###last_img read more

The 2015 wheat crop has had a little of everything, but will it have a harvest?

first_imgBy Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — How could you describe the 2015 Sumner County wheat crop? Well, if you could list everything that could go wrong with a wheat crop: drought, over saturation of moisture, late freeze, wheat disease, hail, pests… etc., it can be associated with this year’s crop. “This wheat crop has had everything thrown at it but the kitchen sink,” said Randy Heim, Sumner County Extension Agent. So when it said and done will there be a wheat crop? Ask many Sumner County farmers and the prevailing wisdom is the wheat is dead or someone should administer the last rites. Heim, who considers himself an optimist, thinks there is some good wheat to be cut later this month. “I know we say it a lot, but it all depends on what happens between now and harvest,” Heim said. “Some of the wheat in the lower terraces have drowned out. But there is still some decent wheat out there.” Heim said it all depends on a number of factors and he anticipates that yields will be all over the place. Obviously, the first thing to happen if the 2015 wheat harvest can be salvaged is for the fields to dry out. Right now the 10-day forecast from The Weather Channel said there is chance of rain this weekend with 60 percent of rain on Monday and Tuesday.According to the Sumner Newscow rain gauge, 15.3 inches of rain fell in Wellington in May. While rain measurements vary greatly across the county, there is no doubt the amount ended up being too much of a good thing. “I think we would have been fine had it not been that last batch or rain we got over Memorial weekend,” Heim said of the 3-plus inches of rain on May 23-25. “It has been too wet for too long.” Heim said the combination of dry and wet conditions has produced a wheat head that is all over the place. During the dry spell, primary tiller shot up and was beginning to fill when the rains hit. That was great. But because of the abundance of moisture, the wheat plant produced a secondary tillers which is taking its time developing. So now, farmers are dealing with a plant of ripe primary tiller berries and those secondary tiller berries still not quite to ripe enough for maturity. He’s afraid the old berries will eventually shatter because it has been in the head so long. Then there are the other issues. Weeds are about to take off now that we have had a few dry (or dry type) days. Pests have also formulated causing another worry for farmers. In a twist of fate, a hail storm rolled through a patch of south-central Sumner County in April. Hail is usually a curse to all farmers, but this time it might have been a good thing because it set the wheat back enough that it had time to rebound and start all over, Heim said. It wasn’t too long ago, the 2015 wheat crops was on a respirator because of the drought. From October to April there was 4.73 inches of rain and just 1.5 inches from January to April 1. But then the rains hit. First it was a godsend, as the crop rebounded nicely over the first two weeks of May. “There for awhile we were going from nothing to an average to above average wheat crop,” Heim said. It was right around this time the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected that Kansas farmers would harvest 272 million bushels of wheat this years, which would put wheat production up 10 percent from last year’s harvest of 246.5 million bushels, the worst in 25 years. USDA official thought expected yields in Sumner County would be around 32 bushels an acre. But that was before the rain would not relinquish its hold on the area, leaving much of the wheat in the fields to rot. Heim is guessing that harvest won’t start until mid to late next week. Then there is the spring crops. The abundance of moisture should give the spring crops a good start. Problem is, farmers need to get in the field to plant, and time is running out. The window of opportunity to plant soybeans and milo and harvest a decent crop later is closing. Those who have already planted milo, may need to replant it again. The lone exception is corn that was planted early and is now robustly growing in fields, Heim said. As always, no matter what the condition of the crop is, the key to its success is what farmers can get for it. And the wheat market continues to stay low. As of Monday the price was $4.82 a bushel. Surplus level of grain in foreign countries, the highest in four years, has not helped the Sumner County wheat farmer. Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! 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