D-H launches $22M palliative care project

LEBANON, N.H. — A formal groundbreaking ceremony was held June 22 to begin the construction of the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. The new facility will offer 12 inpatient rooms with advanced, integrated, patient- and family-focused care through a multi-level system of support as end of life nears. Additionally, it will guide patients through treatments needed to combat life-limiting illnesses, and pain management to cope through illnesses. “The program and center for palliative care is patient- and family-centered,” said Dr. Kathryn B. Kirkland, interim chief of Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Section of Palliative Medicine, at the groundbreaking ceremony. “Our team works hard to ensure that the patients in all phases of life with an illness receive care that is aligned with their values and preferences; and that they receive treatment for physical symptoms, (and) psychological and spiritual support, so they can live as well as they can, for as long as they can.”

In March of this year, D-H trustees approved construction and site preparation on the $22 million project.

Major hotel project to begin

ST. ALBANS CITY — Old photos of downtown St. Albans show an area rich in a hotel economy, with accommodations on Main Street and many corners of the city. A major hotel project is scheduled to start in April, when Winooski development company PeakCM, in conjunction with the City of St. Albans, will break ground on a new Hampton Inn that project stakeholders say fits well into the new downtown streetscape.

Franklin County gallery gets new life

ST. ALBANS CITY — An old Franklin County art gallery is getting new life in downtown St. Albans. In late February, contractors were busy inside the 1,200 square feet of commercial space at 10 S. Main St., where the Artist In Residence co-operative gallery will reopen on the cusp of spring. For several years, the Artist In Residence gallery operated on a different Franklin County Main Street, in Enosburg Falls, but a “lack of membership” forced the gallery to close its doors in late 2015, according to Nancy Patch, the gallery’s executive director.

Energy Solutions: Ways to save on lighting

Improving the efficiency of your lighting is one of the best ways you can save on energy costs. Energy-efficient LEDs last up to 50,000 hours, generate less heat, and give better-quality light than older technologies. Switch frequently used lights first. The biggest return on LEDs comes from lighting that’s always (or frequently) on—for example, your exterior lights. Look at cooler and display lighting.

Community Capital of Vt. starts new program

Community Capital of Vermont, or CCVT, has established a business advisory services program to support its borrowers. The program was funded in 2015 by a $120,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, or SBA. CCVT, a nonprofit organization located in Barre, has a mission “to help small businesses and lower-income entrepreneurs prosper through the provision of flexible business financing.”
Executive Director Martin Hahn said the new program grew out of CCVT’s existing support for its borrowers. It provides free, targeted, short- or long-term assistance to borrowers and also pays for services such as marketing assistance, legal advice or Quickbooks training. CCVT’s grant grew from $50,000 three years ago to $120,000 in 2015; Hahn said the grant amount is based on the amount of capital they loaned the previous year.

New dental practice opens in Manchester

Equinox Dental, the new practice of Dr. Xandra Velenchik, opened its doors this past November in the heart of Manchester. Velenchik is currently accepting new patients of all ages, and is keen on creating a practice that serves the whole family. The space, which was previously occupied by colleague Dr. Andrew Schmid, has undergone renovations and offers patients a tranquil place to have their dental needs met. Gray paint coats the walls and white wainscoting lends a homey New England touch to the rooms, where state-of-the-art equipment has been installed. Creating a calming environment was important to Velenchik, who wants to change the notion that going to the dentist has to be an unpleasant nuisance.

‘Still small,’ Vt. Flannel marks 25th year

SOUTH BURLINGTON — The pre-Christmas rush hit 22-year-old Luke Baker hard on a midweek afternoon in December of last year. At the Vermont Flannel Company’s kiosk in the University Mall, Baker, youngest son of Vermont Flannel co-owners Linda and Mark Baker, was more than willing to chat about the family business, substituting for his father, who was called to their Woodstock store. Luke, however, was busy answering question after question from holiday shoppers about sizes, colors and washing instructions. After all, Vermont Flannel Company lounge pants are a popular holiday item and, well, ‘twas the season. “We’re the company that invented flannel lounge pants,” Mark Baker declared a few days later, during a phone interview.

Greenleaf Café debuts in Chester

The Greenleaf Café is a new business located on Pineview Drive in Chester. The owner is Elise Junker and the chef is Jessica Holmes, a longtime resident of the Okemo Valley. The café specializes in soups, salads, sandwiches, desserts, stews, chilies, quiches and lasagnas, for brunch and lunch Thursday through Sunday. This is a small café, and Holmes makes everything on the premises. She comes from a large Italian family, uses old family recipes, and also experiments with new dishes.

Partnership focuses on shared solar

Affordability and availability have dogged the solar energy industry, keeping it out of reach for many who want to participate. As a long-term energy investment, solar can produce a high return while reducing — or eliminating — fossil fuel consumption. It appeals to solar advocates as well as those who simply want a lower fuel bill, but barriers to widespread solar adoption have included the initial cost of setting up a solar energy system, which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. If you don’t own your roof or if it won’t produce an optimal amount of solar energy, there hasn’t been an easy way to purchase solar electricity for your home. That may be about to change in Vermont.

Limo service launched

In April 2015, Christopher Thayer and Brent Peterson founded Vermont Limousine and Shuttle Service, LLC. Based in Rutland, Vermont Limousine and Shuttle Service offers service to Rutland, Ludlow, Killington, Woodstock and the Manchester area — but is not limited to these areas. “I often go beyond my listed territory,” Thayer said. “It doesn’t matter where a client is located really. If I’m available, I’m their guy, even at 2 a.m., because that’s what we do.”
The business owns three 15-passenger vans, two black town cars and one 10-passenger stretch limousine.