Vermont Could Receive Over $25 Million in Home Heating FundsWaterbury, Vt.-Governor Jim Douglas praised the U.S. House of Representatives for their historic vote on September 25, 2008, to fully fund the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) at $5.1 billion, the maximum funding level authorized for fiscal year 2009.Governor Douglas said the LIHEAP provision was included in the House-passed version of a Continuing Resolution which would fund the vast majority of government programs at fiscal year 2008 levels through March 2009.”The House’s decision to fully fund the LIHEAP program for this coming year-at nearly double the 2008 appropriation-is an indication that they understand the critical importance of the LIHEAP program for all states,” said Governor Jim Douglas. “I want to thank Congressman Welch for his leadership on this issue and his colleagues for their support for this critically important program. The northeastern governors are all very grateful that the House has responded to our calls for full funding of LIHEAP.””We now urge the Senate and president to quickly follow suit,” Governor Douglas continued. “If they can find $700 billion to bailout Wall Street, surely than can find the resources to keep low income Americans warm this winter.”Last year, Vermont received a LIHEAP block grant of $11.7 million, and an overall total of nearly $19.4 million in funding, when contingency funding is included in the equation.Governor Douglas said if the Senate passes the measure supported by the House, and the President signs it into law, Vermont stands to receive almost $25.6 million in block grant funding from the program. This is more than double last year’s base funding, at almost $14 million.”Vermont was able to provide the most generous LIHEAP benefit in the nation to low-income residents last year,” added Secretary of the Agency of Human Services Cynthia D. LaWare. “Due to the skyrocketing costs of home heating fuel this year, the LIHEAP program must be fully funded if we are to ensure a similar benefit level to our LIHEAP recipients this year. The House’s commitment to this issue is a very positive step toward making this a reality, and I urge the Senate and the President to address this issue immediately.”Vermont is actively engaged in a variety of statewide efforts to address the challenge of rising fuel and food costs. For more information about the Governor’s Fuel and Food Partnership, and what State and community partners are doing to help keep Vermonters warm this winter, please visit: http://helpforvt.org/(link is external)###
THE history of cricket as a subject could be added to the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examinations Physical Education curriculum if the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has its way.WICB Marketing and Communications Manager Carole Beckford says that the body wants to have the subject added, saying the intention is to have the younger generation understand how important the sport is to Caribbean unity.“Physical Education is already on the CXC (Caribbean Examinations Council) Curriculum. Because of the strong history of cricket as a subject, we thought it would have been an important partnership with CXC to ensure that the history of West Indies Cricket is being carried on – that people understand how important it is, whether it’s social, business or political.If a young student passes through the region and does Physical Education, they’ll understand not just the physical part of it, but the historical and the social context as well,” she said.Beckford was a member of the panel that looked at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) syllabus for Physical Education.“Physical Education is being looked at broadly. For example, at the SBA (School Based Assessment) level, you could jolly well do a cricket project as part of your assessment. It’s just to get it as a subject matter for P.E,” she says.She adds that CXC already has a responsibility to fostering Caribbean unity.“Caribbean unity (can already be seen) through CXC, CARICOM, Caribbean exports, and all those organisations that seek to unify the region.“CXC is from an academic development perspective and cricket is a topical subject. The history is important. It’s not just about pride; it’s about carrying on the legacy of what cricket has done and what it continues to do for the Caribbean.”Beckford and the WICB have been meeting with CXC in order to make curriculum addition a reality and she says talks between both organisations are still ongoing. (First Published in the Jamaica Star).