Creating jobs top priority in ‘Pulse of Vermont’ survey

first_imgAppendix: Education and Vermont’sQuality of LifeAppendix C contains an essay prepared by theauthors’both lifelong educators’on why so manyquality of life issues are influenced by education. Theessay goes beyond the present data and draws uponthe authors’ own disciplinary expertise in explainingwhy we should not be surprised that a state withsuch a high educational level should also enjoy sucha high quality of life. The essay draws upon sociology,economics, and philosophy to argue that educationis important not only for its role in promotingmobility and enhancing our personal development,but also because it is vital for economic growth andresponsible citizenship. Areas of Diminished Satisfactionsand ConcernsDespite the 20 year constancy that we see in thepersonal well-being of Vermonters, there have alsobeen some areas of diminished satisfaction’jobsatisfaction, for example, as well as satisfaction withrespondents’ towns, friends and families, and theirown educations. Vermonters’ trust in each other, whilefar higher than national levels, has declined in recentsurveys. Increasing proportions of respondents haveless confidence in the government in Montpelier thanpreviously, and worrisome proportions feel that lifein Vermont is getting worse. Finally, it appears thatsupport for public education is less than it was inearlier surveys. Individual Well-beingThe five surveys covering 20 years found remarkablestability in how Vermonters view their overall wellbeing.Their levels of happiness and satisfaction invarious domains of life have hardly changed sincethe first survey was conducted in 1990. Vermonters’thoughts about what constitutes ‘quality of life’ inthe Green Mountain State are also stable’mostlycentered on a ‘measured pace of life,’ and the ‘naturalbeauty’ of the state. Respondents’ perceptions ofneighborhood safety and their sense of belonging totheir communities also remained unchanged. MethodologyThe survey’s standard research methodologyyielded a sample of 407 adults who approximate thedemographic profile of the state. The response ratewas a healthy 60%. The recent national shift fromland-based telephones to wireless phones, however,has caused young persons to be under-represented,as were respondents in the lower educational andincome categories. The use of statistical ‘weighting’adjusted for many of these imbalances. Trends and Historical ContextThe interviews were conducted in the spring of 2010,a time of unusual economic dislocation and hardship,at the tail end of the ‘Great Recession’ that startedin late 2007. While the Vermont unemployment rateremained below national averages, the economicenvironment in the state was still considerably morechallenging than at the time of any of the other studies.Nine broad social and economic trends are highlightedthat set the backdrop for this 20 year analysis ofquality of life in Vermont. Public PrioritiesThe ranking of public priorities has been a centralfeature in each Pulse of Vermont study. This year,economic matters rose to the top. The risingimportance of maintaining family farms and localagriculture and concerns about the safety of the foodsupply showed the most dramatic change in priority. Economic AnxietiesNo single issue stood out so prominently in thisyear’s study as the state of the economy. In higherproportions than previously, Vermonters expresseda greater desire for job creation and were morepersuaded than ever that economic growthcontributes to an improved quality of life.People were less confident in their ability to retirecomfortably, and high proportions were worriedabout their ability to pay bills. Barely one in threeVermonters reported that they were ‘financially betteroff’ now than they were five years ago ‘ the lowestlevel reported in the five Pulse of Vermont studies. Somespillover effect was seen in increased worry about hightaxes and the financial situation of State government.The unemployed, native born Vermonters and thosewith less education and lower incomes were allimpacted more significantly by economic events thanother members of the sample and, as a group, gavelower ratings to most of the measures of well-beingand life satisfaction. An Online OptionFor the first time this project offered all Vermontersan opportunity to take an abridged online survey, inpart to see how the responses from a self-selectedsample might differ from the scientifically chosentelephone interviews. In response to a VermontPublic Radio spot and an insert in Comcast bills, justover 500 people completed the online survey. Whileresponses to some items were indistinguishablefrom the random telephone survey, many were quitedifferent, revealing more anger and anxiety overpublic issues than we observed in our random survey.Because of the self-selected nature of the respondents,the results of this online survey are only discussed ina separate textbox in Appendix B of this report. Thedata tables are available online at the VBR website. Source: Vermont Business Roundtable. http://www.vtroundtable.org/(link is external) This report is the fifth ‘Pulse of Vermont: Quality of Life Survey’ conducted since 1990. Each has used the same methodology of conducting 20 to 30 minute phone-based interviews with a statewide random sample of adult Vermonters. The interviews addressed questions about personal well-being and perceptions of various issues related to ‘quality of life.’ Many of the questions also focused on issues related to life in Vermont, such as confidence in Vermont-based institutions, trust in other Vermonters, aspects of life that seem to be ‘under threat,’ and public priorities. Each of the studies was conducted by the Center for Social Science Research at Saint Michael’s College under the sponsorship of the Vermont Business Roundtable. Since the first study was conducted in 1990, more than 2,000 people have been interviewed, allowing analysts to document various longitudinal trends. Demographic DifferencesCompared with other states, Vermonters are relativelyhomogeneous, yet there were still conspicuousdifferences between subgroups on most measures ofwell-being and quality of life. Income and educationwere the most important predictors of quality of life,and these two inter-related factors also helped explainthe differing public priorities among sample members.Two additional attitudinal questions were stronglyassociated with many measures of well-being’howmuch trust we have in our fellow Vermonters andthe emphasis one puts on the primacy of protectingone’s self and family from outside troubles. Themost trusting respondents were the most securefinancially, most committed to life in Vermont, andhad the highest confidence in many of the state’s central institutions.Their levels of various forms oflife satisfactions were also higher, as well as theirbelief that life in the state was getting better. Theyalso volunteered more and had a stronger sense ofbelonging to their communities. Gender, marital status,religiosity, nativity, and political orientation each alsoinfluenced various aspects of quality of life and wellbeing.last_img read more

Proctors needs to upgrade restroom

first_imgYes, our public restrooms are outmoded and need help. I’m handicapped, so it’s difficult to access some public restrooms, scooting up and down stairs.When my husband and I attended Proctors recently, we sat in the balcony. During the intermission, I waited in such a long line for the restroom that the lights were dimmed as I returned to my seat. The balcony restroom must be at least 100 years old, with only a few stalls, one labeled “out of order.”We have always known that women take longer to use a restroom than men. Why aren’t there more stalls in women’s restrooms?I’m willing to start a fund to help Proctors modernize the balcony restroom. Why can’t they design and build one similar to the downstairs restroom? There’s plenty of space. We don’t need a large lounge.Emily KochNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Puccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

It’s a Rasen Gimme for McCoy

first_img Press Association Pipe said: “He’s an inspiration to all the jockeys and to everyone in racing. “He’s marvellous for our sport and it’s just great we’ve got someone like him. “Now, he’s finally beaten me. All of us in racing are so proud of him for doing it.” Tony McCoy set a new personal best as victory aboard It’s A Gimme in the Betfred Summer Plate at Market Rasen took him past old ally Martin Pipe’s career total of 4,191 winners. McCoy had equalled the mark with the appropriately-named On The Record at Uttoxeter on Wednesday, and went one better as the Jonjo O’Neill-trained 2-1 market leader It’s A Gimme claimed the feature event of the day at Lincolnshire track. The perennial champion jockey cut a confident figure throughout the two-and-three-quarter-mile Listed event and slowly eased his mount into contention heading down the back straight. The seven-year-old looked likely to run away with the prize as he tracked the leaders into the home turn, but stable companion Lost Legend, ridden by Richie McLernon, gave McCoy and favourite-backers a real fright. There was little to chose between the O’Neill pair jumping the final fence, but in trademark fashion McCoy lifted It’s A Gimme home to triumph by a length and three-quarters. Mazuri Cowboy was third. A mud-splattered McCoy walked back to the weighing-room while It’s A Gimme received treatment for exhaustion. He said: “The horse is OK. He’s just tired. He’ll be all right.” McCoy said: “I was lucky Jonjo had a few in the race and put me on this one. This is a willing little horse, who kept finding for me. “The record was just a very personal thing between me and Mr Pipe. He set the standard and revolutionised training. He is someone I held in high esteem and we had great times together in my time as his stable jockey. “We’ve had a bit of banter pretty much since I’ve ridden my 4,000 winner. It’s only a personal thing and I will be putting in a satisfying call tonight.” McCoy was presented with a 20kg Lincolnshire Poacher cheese by the racecourse management in honour of his achievement. last_img read more

Debutant Ngidi leaves India reeling in 287-run chase

first_imgPRETORIA, South Africa (Reuters) – Debutant Lungi Ngidi took the key wicket of India captain Virat Kohli as South Africa closed in on victory in the second Test with the tourists reeling at 35 for three on a misbehaving wicket at the close on day four yesterday.India are chasing 287 for victory to square the three-match series, but that looks a long way off on a wicket providing extreme variable bounce.Cheteshwar Pujara (11) and Parthiv Patel (five) will resume on the final day, trying to find a way to score runs against a fired-up home seam attack getting plenty of assistance from the pitch.Kohli, who scored a brilliant 153 in the first innings, would have been key to India’s plans in the run chase, but he was trapped lbw for five by an excellent delivery from Ngidi that came back into him sharply and kept low.Ngidi, 21, had earlier bagged the wicket of opener Lokesh Rahul for four with his first delivery of the day, a loosener the batsman carved straight to Keshav Maharaj at point.Murali Vijay (nine) was the first batsman to fall, bowled by Kagiso Rabada from another ball that kept low.India had worked their way back into the Test by bowling South Africa out for 258 in their second innings.Starting the day on 90 for two, AB de Villiers (80) and Dean Elgar (61) put on 141 for the third wicket, a potentially match-winning partnership.But de Villiers was one of three wickets for the excellent Mohammed Shami (4-49) in the morning, followed by Elgar and Quinton de Kock (12).Ishant Sharma (2-40) and Jasprit Bumrah (3-70) wrapped up the innings, despite a battling 48 from home captain Faf du Plessis.The International Cricket Council (ICC) also announced yesterday that they had fined Kohli 25 percent of his match fee and handed him one demerit point for an incident the previous day.He was sanctioned for repeatedly complaining to umpire Michael Gough about a damp ball after a rain delay and aggressively throwing the ball to the ground.SOUTH AFRICA 1st innings 335 INDIA first innings 307 SOUTH AFRICA 2nd innings (o/n 90 for 2)Aiden Markram lbw Jasprit Bumrah 1Dean Elgar c Lokesh Rahul b Mohammed Shami 61Hashim Amla lbw Jasprit Bumrah 1AB de Villiers c Parthiv Patel b Mohammed Shami 80Faf du Plessis c & b Jasprit Bumrah 48Quinton de Kock c Parthiv Patel b Mohammed Shami 12Vernon Philander c Murali Vijay b Ishant Sharma 26Keshav Maharaj c Parthiv Patel b Ishant Sharma 6Kagiso Rabada c Virat Kohli b Mohammed Shami 4Morne Morkel not out 10Lungi Ngidi c Murali Vijay b Ravichandran Ashwin 1Extras: (b-2, lb-5, w-1) 8Total: (all out, 91.3 overs) 258Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-3, 3-144, 4-151, 5-163, 6-209, 7-215, 8-245, 9-245.Bowling: Ashwin 29.3-6-78-1, Bumrah 20-3-70-3, (w-1), Sharma 17-3-40-2, Shami 16-3-49-4, Pandya 9-1-14-0.INDIA 2nd inningsMurali Vijay b Kagiso Rabada 9Lokesh Rahul c Keshav Maharaj b Lungi Ngidi 4Cheteshwar Pujara not out 11Virat Kohli lbw Lungi Ngidi 5Parthiv Patel not out 5Extras: (b-1) 1Total: (3 wkts, 23.0 overs) 35Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-16, 3-26.Bowling: Philander 6-3-6-0, Rabada 5-2-9-1, Ngidi 6-2-14-2, Morkel 5-3-4-0, Maharaj 1-0-1-0.last_img read more

DPS warns of student drug abuse, opioids

first_imgMultiple University officials, including DPS Chief John Thomas, have sent messages to the community to raise awareness of drug abuse and the resources USC offers students. (Daily Trojan file photos) According to Thomas and Van Orman, students should be aware of the risks posed by prescription medications such as oxycodone, Percocet, Vicodin, morphine, fentanyl and heroin.  In an interview with the Daily Trojan, DPS Captain Edgar Palmer said the recent student deaths sparked increased concern regarding drug use. While Palmer said DPS hasn’t noticed a formal pattern indicating higher rates of drug use, he has witnessed an increase in students calling the department and seeking help. “What I have seen more of is students that are calling because they need assistance, and we are happy for that in that the person recognizes they need help and they call us,” Palmer said. “We get to the scene, and we are able to connect them with some type of service.” “In addition to the direct effects of each substance, drugs shared for recreational use can be tainted or mixed with other substances to increase its effects, sometimes without a user’s knowledge,” the letter read. “This practice is rising and is linked to overdose and deaths.” California has also recently faced issues with recreational drugs such as cocaine being laced with fentanyl, an opioid that has caused thousands of deaths across the nation. “If you’re feeling like you might harm yourself, or you’re feeling like you’re having trouble coping, and you are using drugs and alcohol, there are means to get that student help,” Palmer said. “But it is something that we need to be made aware of.” In a letter to the USC community, Department of Public Safety Chief John Thomas and Chief Health Officer Sarah Van Orman warned students about the risks of drug use, particularly opioids. Since the start of the semester, at least nine students have died. Three of these deaths have been confirmed as suicides, and some of the others are still under investigation, but University officials suspect some of the deaths could be related to drug and opioid use. “I think that when you’re rooming with another student and that student is having issues, it is certainly my belief that someone is aware, and when someone is anywhere, I think the thing that people tend to do is keep quiet about it and pretend like it’s not there,” Palmer said. “And when something happens, it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, I saw that coming,’ so I think when you see someone in need or there is a problem, I think that — even anonymously — you need to alert someone.” The letter encouraged students to seek treatment and to speak with their medical providers to discuss options. Thomas and Van Orman also told students about Naloxone, a nasal spray that can reverse the impacts of an accidental overdose that can be found at the on-campus pharmacy. In 2016, the American College Health Association released a set of guidelines to help universities prevent and create strategies for treating opioid misuse among students. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, accidental drug overdose is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for individuals under 50, and nearly two-thirds of overdose deaths in 2016 involved prescription medication or illegal opioids. Students are able to anonymously ask for help from the University or recommend a peer by contacting Trojans Care 4 Trojans, an initiative from the Office of Campus Wellness and Crisis Intervention.  “There have been several recent overdose deaths or what are perceived as overdose deaths,” Palmer said. “We just don’t know [the cause] yet because the coroner’s report has not come back. So this is just an assumption, but in these recent deaths, narcotic abuse is something that has been considered.” Palmer encouraged people in the community to support one another by identifying students who need help.last_img read more