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Green Mountain Coffee, Jane Goodall create brew to save chimp habitat

WATERBURY — Green Mountain Coffee is partnering up with Jane Goodall to help preserve chimp habitat with a new special coffee — Gombe Reserve.

Green Mountain Coffee and the Jane Goodall Institute unveiled Monday a new coffee — “Gombe Reserve—In Cooperation with the Jane Goodall Institute.”

The coffee is grown by members of the Kalinzi Cooperative, a group of 2,700 small-scale farmers who live near Gombe National Park in Tanzania.

The effort is not a fundraiser, company officials said. Rather, it’s a business model designed to support coffee farmers by giving them an above-market price for high-quality beans. At the same time, it hopes to raise awareness of Goodall’s work and protect chimp habitat.

The park is the site of Goodall’s groundbreaking research into chimp behavior, and the world’s longest-running field study of a wild chimpanzee group continues there today.

Social and economic pressures are closing in on the habitat, and the burgeoning human population, in its struggle to survive, has greatly deforested the land around the 32-squarre kilometer Gombe National Park. This deforestation has isolated the park, and limited the range of the chimps, and their ability to enlarge their communities.

Chimpanzees in the wild are on the brink of extinction. At the turn of the last century, about 1 million chimpanzees lived in 25 countries across western and central Africa. Today, their number has dwindled to perhaps fewer than 200,000, with significant populations found in only four countries.

Because coffee beans thrive under the shade of a forest canopy, they grow in harmony with chimps. Coffee farming gives farmers an incentive to preserve the forest, and a chance at economic stability.

"Our effort to involve local citizens in restoring the forests and practicing sustainable agriculture is the most important work we can do to ensure a future for the Gombe chimpanzees and the people of Africa," said Goodall in a statement.

The coffee has a floral top notes and vibrant flavors of tropical fruit, according to Lindsey Bolger, director of coffee sourcing and relationships for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

“Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has always had a values-driven approach to coffee, believing that coffee can help the greater good. We’re thrilled to work with the Jane Goodall Institute to bring this great coffee to market and, ultimately, protect the chimps,” Bolger said.

The coffee will be available for a limited time on Green Mountain's website. The 12 ounce bag sells for $17.95.

Shelters available to Vermonters displaced by storm

WATERBURY— Vermont power companies say several areas of the state will be without power for several days; with the hardest hit areas possibly being without power until Friday or Saturday.

The city of Rutland has experienced the greatest volume of outages in the state and residents there could be without power until the end of the week, state emergency official said.. Lyndonville and St. Johnsbury could both also be without power for several days, as could Woodstock and other towns in Windsor County.

Residents should call their local power company for more information on specific outages.

The Red Cross will open two shelters in the Rutland area at 6pm at the following locations:

• The Leahy Center at Rutland Regional Medical Center
• The Brandon Fire Department on U.S. 7 in Brandon.

Those who need shelter outside of those areas are asked to call the Red Cross to request a place to stay. Those numbers are:

• Northern Vermont Chapter: (800) 660-9130
• Central Vermont/New Hampshire Valley Chapter: (802) 773- 9159
• Green Mountain Chapter (south): (800) 288-3554

Motorists are encouraged to stay off roads in Rutland unless absolutely necessary. This will help city and CVPS workers to clear debris and restore power more quickly.

Residents are also asked to not call city police or fire unless they have an emergency or safety issue.

Requests for services can be made by calling the Vermont Emergency Operations Center at (800) 347-0488.

Everyone is encouraged to take safety precautions during the power outages (from CVPS):

• Treat any downed line as if it is live. Report downed lines to local utility or fire department and stay at least 30 feet away from the line; keep children and pets away as well.
• Be extremely careful when clearing trees or debris. Make every effort to ensure there are no power lines touching branches in any way. Trees conduct electricity and can cause electrocution if in contact with a power line.
• If using a generator, read and follow the owner’s manual before starting the generator. Never operate a generator inside any structure or near a structure. Use a transfer switch to ensure electricity is not accidentally fed onto a line where line crews are working.
• Keep freezers and refrigerators close as much as possible to prevent food spoilage.
• If power goes out, turn off all electrical appliances except one light so you will know when service returns.

A flood risk still exists in other areas of the state. The Whetstone Brook near Brattleboro is approaching flood stage and officials are monitoring water levels. Some nearby residents have been evacuated to temporary housing.

State offices in Rutland will not re-open until 10:00 Tuesday morning. State employees are asked to monitor the state Human Resources website for further delays.

Towns in need of assistance should call Vermont Emergency Management to request assistance or to report damage assessments.

Motorists are reminded to drive with caution throughout the duration of this weather event. As always they are advised to never drive across a road that is flooded as flood waters can cause unseen washouts and currents can sometimes be strong enough to sweep cars away.

Posted April 17, 2007

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