January 1, 2007
By JOHN FLOWERS
ORWELL — As the town of Middlebury’s director of operations, Dan Werner keeps track of a lot of pipes, from four-inch water mains to jumbo culverts.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Each Tuesday night, Werner makes the long drive from his Orwell home to Montpelier, where he spends a solid two-and-a-half hours with another set of pipes — bagpipes, as a member of the Catamount Pipe Band.
It’s indeed a labor of love for Werner, who took up the bagpipes later in life, during his mid-40s.
“I think it came from when I was a kid,” Werner, now 50, said of his deep-seated love for the odd looking Scottish musical instrument. “My parents took us to parades, and that sound kind of stuck with me. Over the years, I always said, ‘I’ve got to do that.’”
January 1, 2007
By CYRUS LEVESQUE
MIDDLEBURY — In the three years since the Vermont Biofuels Association was founded to increase demand and capacity for locally produced biofuels — a term that describes biologically based fuels like ethanol and methane — the industry has changed a lot. According to Netaka White, executive director of Middlebury-based VBA, the industry in 2007 will see a large change to one of its smallest components: algae.
“Next year is going to be a big year for algae. You watch,” White said.
White expects that some researcher or company will find a controlled way to produce biodiesel from algae in the coming year. By 2008, he predicted algae-based fuel systems could be commercialized. If successful, this could make a big difference to production of biodiesel in Vermont.