BurlingtonFreePress.com reports that Vermont public schools have ranked #3 in academic achievement behind # 2 New Jersey and #1 Massachusetts. this Ranking is a result of the Education Week Quality Counts survey.
Vermont ranked ninth among states on a chance-for-success index measuring demographic, economic and education attainment indicators. Virginia was No. 1 on the success meter and New Mexico was last.
The quality of education in Vermont makes it a great place to live. Are you thinking of buying a home in Ludlow, VT? Real estate here is affordable and offers an excellent quality of life. Visit my website to view all homes for sale in Ludlow and Okemo Mountain. Then, give me a call. I’m here to help!
Overture to Christmas in 21st Year
Just as an orchestra warms up an audience with a taste of the music to come, so does the town of Chester with its annual “Overture to Christmas.”Now in its 21st year, the event has grown to accommodate a number of holiday-themed events taking place locally. Details…
And if you are thinking you want to make Chester your new home, give me a call or visit my website. Here you can view all homes for sale, get current market values and more.
Mild weather is delaying opening of ski areas. The lack of snow coupled with rain and warmer-than-normal temperatures have forced even the largest ski areas in the state to delay their scheduled openings. There is a lot of cold air in Canada however it has not been able to push down here yet. Experts are watching the weather very closely in hopes of opening Thanksgiving weekend. Details
Thinking of buying or selling a vacation home in Vermont? Visit my website to view all real estate listings, get the current value of your home and more!
Small business owners can take advantage of accelerated tax depreciation benefits just by purchasing a new Land Rover before December 31, 2006. See your tax advisor to determine if you are eligible for this benefit. Visit landroverusa.com for details.
There are also tax advantages to owning Vermont real estate. The interest you pay on the mortgage for your personal residence is tax deductible. Are you thinking of buying central Vermont real estate? Visit ISellVermontRealEstate.com to view all Vermont real estate listings.
SKI Magazine Ranks Okemo In East Top Ten
In it’s annual Top 50 Reader Resort Survey, SKI magazine named Okemo Mountain Resort one of the top ten resorts in the East, and one of the best in North America for Grooming, Family Programs and Terrain Parks. Ranked eighth in the East, the popular southern Vermont resort also made the top-ten list in ten of the Reader Resort Survey’s categories: Grooming, Snow, Family Programs, Service, Lifts, Terrain Parks, Weather, Lodging, On-Mountain Food and Overall Satisfaction.
Thinking of buying or selling a vacation home near Okemo? Visit my website to view all Okemo real estate listings, get the current value of your home and more!
Identity theft is a serious crime impacting more than 10 million victims each year. Often, consumers first learn they are identity theft victims when they are in the process of buying or renting a home. The National Association of Realtors is working with the Federal Trade Commission to educate comsumers to minimize the risk of identity theft. This new initiative, Deter-Detect-Defend is focused on empowering consumers to protect themselves against identity and to minimize its impact.
‘Deter’ Tips to Share with Consumers
1. Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before you discard them.
2. Protect your Social Security number. Your Social Security number is the key to your identity and must be closely protected. Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on a check. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another identifier.
3. Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you know who you are dealing with.
4. Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails; instead, type in a Web address you know. Use firewalls, anti-spyware, and anti-virus software to protect your home computer; keep them up-to-date. Visit OnGuardOnline.gov for more information.
5. Don’t use an obvious password like your birth date, your mother’s maiden name, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
6. Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or are having work done in your house.
‘Detect’ tips to share with consumers
Be alert to signs that require immediate attention:
1. Mail or bills that do not arrive as expected
2. Unexpected credit cards or account statements
3. Denials of credit for no apparent reason
4. Calls or letters about purchases that were not made
1. Your credit report. This contains information about you, including what accounts you have and your bill paying history.
** The law requires the major nationwide consumer reporting companies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—to give you a free copy of your credit report each year if you ask for it.
** Visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com/ or call 1-877-322-8228, a service created by these three companies, to order your free credit reports each year. You also can write: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.2. Your financial statements. Review financial accounts and billing statements regularly, looking for charges you did not make.
‘Defend’ tips to share with consumers
1. Place a “Fraud Alert” on your credit reports. A fraud alert on your credit report tells creditors to follow certain procedures before they open any new accounts in your name or make changes to your existing accounts. Each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies has a toll?free number you can use to place an initial fraud alert. Only one call is necessary; the company you call will notify the other two. An initial fraud alert is active for 90 days. If you want to place an extended (seven-year) fraud alert, you must follow additional procedures.
** Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
** Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
** TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
Placing a fraud alert entitles you to free copies of your credit reports. Look for inquiries from companies you haven’t contacted, accounts you didn’t open, and debts on your accounts that you can’t explain.
2. Close accounts. Close any accounts that have been tampered with or established fraudulently.
* Start by calling the security or fraud departments of each company where an account was opened or changed without your authorization. Follow up in writing and include copies of supporting documents.
* Use the “ID Theft Affidavit,” available at ftc.gov/idtheft, to support your written statement.Get written verification that the disputed account has been closed and the fraudulent debts have been discharged.
* Keep copies of documents and records of your conversations about the theft.
3. File a police report. File a report with law enforcement officials – for example, state or local police. It will help you work with creditors who may request documentation that a crime has occurred.
4. Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Your information helps law enforcement officials across the country with their investigations.
** By phone: 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338), or TTY,1-866-653-4261
** By mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse Federal Trade Commission 600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, DC 20580
The 161st annual Vermont State Fair opens today and runs through September 10.
1. The first Rutland Fair took place in 1846.
2. In 1859 the first Rutland Fair was held at it’s present location.
3. The Fair was closed for the first time in 1917 due to an influenza epidemic.
4. The Fair started as a one day event.
5. In 1926 the Rutland fair was rated the third largest in New England and among the top 10 in the nation.
6. On June 17, 1939 the great fire completely destroyed the grandstand. The reconstruction of the grandstand took just 40 days.
7. In 1972 The Rutland Fair became officially the Vermont State Fair.
The Fair today offers 10 days of fun and entertainment for all ages. Hope to see you there!
Parents helping a child prepare for that first post-summer-vacation reading quiz often find themselves wondering if he has forgotten everything he learned the year before. Research shows that the “summer brain-drain” phenomenon is no figment of the imagination. Over summer vacation, children can forget more than two months worth of school instruction.
“Research by experts verifies what parents and teachers have long known – over the three short months of summer vacation, most children forget a significant amount of what they learned during the previous school year,” says Ron Fairchild, executive director of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Summer Learning. In fact, Johns Hopkins research shows that teachers typically spend four to six weeks reteaching last year’s lessons. “Parents can help children stay in shape academically by making learning a year-round habit,” says Fairchild.
So how can parents help children keep their brains in top condition for back-to-school excellence?
“First, make it fun,” advises Wendy Bronfin, vice president of education and product development at Educate Products, makers of Hooked on Phonics, the brand that over 2 million families have turned to for teaching their children reading, math and study skills. “There are a lot of great ways to integrate learning into your everyday activities, even while on vacation. Summer is a great time to spend with your child and foster a lifelong love of reading.”
Bronfin suggests coaching your child through the following year-round fun brain exercises:
* Keep kids reading. Before school starts, help your child choose a short list of books to read. While you can suggest a book, author, series or subject you think your child might enjoy, let the child choose what he wants to read. Reinforce the idea that reading is fun.
* A library visit is a great way to occupy a rainy summer afternoon. Suggest that your child invite a friend. Make sure everyone in your library party checks out something new and begins reading it that day. Make trips to the public library a regular family outing!
* Help your child prepare for the inevitable “What I Did on Summer Vacation” report he’ll have to give when he returns to school. Before taking a family vacation, read with your child about the destination.
* Help your child look up online the lyrics to fun summer-themed songs. Kids find computers fun and the technology can be a great way to boost their interest in reading.
* With summer comes a host of children’s movies. Before you take your child to the latest hit, sit down with him and read the book version first. Then see the movie and discuss which version he liked best and why.
* Make reading aloud a family experience. At the end of a long summer day, take turns reading from a classic book the whole family can enjoy. Set aside a regular family read-aloud time, usually 20 to 30 minutes, or as long as it takes to read a certain number of pages or chapters. This can become a favorite family tradition.
* Demonstrate that reading is part of everyday life by encouraging your child to read things found on summer vacation, like a newspaper from a new town, travel magazines, barbecue recipes, maps and game instructions.
* Play games that encourage reading and learning, like the classic I Spy game or a letter-sound treasure hunt, during which you hide around the yard treats or toys that all begin with the same letter.
* Try an activity kit. The Hooked on Phonics Super Activity Kits are filled with hours of brain-building, fun activities. The kits use a DVD loaded with MP3 songs, music videos, cartoons and adventures with Lou the Hippo to help keep kids educationally active during the summer. Each kit includes an activity pad, write-on/wipe-off journal and special erasable crayons and stickers, all in a convenient resealable package. Hooked on Math products are also especially relevant since research shows summer learning loss is more pronounced with math.
Hooked on Phonics products can be found at participating retailers or online at http://www.hookedonphonics.com/ or http://www.amazon.com/.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in southern Vermont prior to school starting this fall, you have just enough time. Visit my website to view all real estate listings, get a FREE home valuation, free reports and more.
An annual Music Festival and Fundraiser. Bring a blanket, a picnic basket and a frisbee! A great way to spend the day! Live music from talented musicians, food vendors, crafts, a pretty country setting and friendly people. All proceeds benefit the Race For The Cure.
Sponsored by: Motel-in-the-Meadow, Chester Music Shoppe & Flying Under the Radar.
When? July 15, 2006
Where? Motel-In-The-Meadow, Chester, Vermont
Thinking about buying or selling a Vermont home? Visit my website for all real estate listings, get the value of your home and more!
Theft Proof Your House
School is out! And this means family vacations. When preparing to leave home on vacation, we all put much time and effort into what we are taking with us, but not much thought to what we are leaving behind…our home.
Vacation time is prime time for burglars. Most communities experience a 10-18% increase in burglaries during the summer months. So, you will want to do everything you can to protect what is yours while you are not at home.
It surprised me to learn that most burglaries occur during daylight hours. CNN.com has 5 commom sense tips to make it hard for thefts to get into your home. Follow these tips and be safe!
Thinking of buying or selling a home? Visit my website to view all central Vermont real estate listings and to get a Free home valuation.