Governor Jim Douglas today announced a new partnership with the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association that gives the go-ahead to expand tapping on some state land. The announcement came as the Governor kicked off the 8th annual Maple Open House Weekend at Marcia Maynard and Ken Denton s sugarhouse in Cabot. Maple sugaring is a vital piece of our agricultural and forest products economy, the Governor said. I am very pleased that the state will be able to make this modest contribution to this important industry with an agreement that promotes responsible stewardship of sugarbushes on state land.Under the agreement, the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation will license sites that it deems appropriate in state forests and state parks to sugarmakers, who will be required to abide by state land policies and management efforts while operating the sugarbushes. The Department expects to have as many as 11 sites licensed and operational for next season. There are few things we take more seriously than our forests and our well-deserved acclaim for forest products like maple syrup and quality timber, said Jason Gibbs, commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation. This commonsense partnership recognizes this and strengthens the tradition of Vermont s working landscape.Vermont is the largest U.S. producer of maple syrup and approximately 500,000 gallons of 5.5 million pounds of syrup is produced annually, according to the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association. We have a proud tradition of sugarmaking here in Vermont, said Rick Marsh, president of the association. We re excited to be working with the state in taking the next step to promote and protect the Vermont maple syrup brand.
Olivier Giroud Lower league opposition have already defied the odds to reach the quarter-finals of the FA cup this season, but there was to be no shock on the cards at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal continued their trophy defence against a disappointing Middlesbrough.Bradford and Reading both caused cup upsets by toppling Premier League opposition, yet a much-fancied Middlesbrough failed to live up to their pre-match hype as Arsenal dominated throughout.Olivier Giroud’s first-half double handed Arsene Wenger’s side complete control over the Championship high-flyers and, in truth, the scoreline flattened a lacklustre Boro with Tomas Mejias producing a string of impressive saves.A late flurry from the visitors saw a Kike header strike the woodwork, but the Gunners could have racked up a more comprehensive result with sharper finishing.Arsenal made a predictably measured start to proceedings, allowing plenty of touches for debutant Gabriel Paulista at the heart of Arsene Wenger’s back-four, with Santi Cazorla’s dipping free-kick testing the hands of Tomas Mejias early on.Kenneth Omeruo’s inch-perfect tackle prevented Alexis Sanchez from connecting with Danny Welbeck’s neat flick inside the box, before Giroud sent a curling effort towards the top corner only for the Boro goalkeeper to parry the ball to safety.But a typically stylish Arsenal move carved open the first goal of the tie on 26 minutes. Studied approach play from the home side was injected with purpose when Cazorla found Kieran Gibbs with acres of space on the left, whose crisp pass across the face of goal was poked home by Giroud.And the Frenchman was on target again three minutes later to undo all of Middlesbrough’s early resilience. The 28-year-old latched onto Sanchez’s in-swinging corner for his tenth goal of the season, firing an exquisite first-time volley past Mejias with the visitors’ marking leaving little to be desired.The Championship side fashioned their first shot five minutes before the break when Albert Adomah fired a skidding drive towards goal, but was foiled by a comfortable save from Wojciech Szczesny who returned to Wenger’s starting line-up at the expense of David Ospina.The hosts resumed full control after the restart and could have put the game beyond any doubt on 52 minutes when Calum Chambers set-up compatriot Danny Welbeck with a clever pass, but the England striker’s attempted dink over the on-rushing Mejias bobbled wide.The ex-Real Madrid shot-stopper was then called into action to deny the slippery Ozil from firing in Arsenal’s third, but Mejias produced his best save of the match just after the hour mark, reacting expertly to tip Sanchez’s point-blank header around the post.A superb last-ditch challenge from Tottenham loanee Ryan Fredericks foiled the advancing Sanchez, before a rare Middlesbrough corner almost led to the Gunners’ third. The hosts countered with pace and verve culminating with Cazorla in possession on the edge of the Boro box but, surprisingly, the stand-in skipper lacked composure, thumping the ball over the crossbar.The arrival of Theo Walcott exposed Middlesbrough’s tiring backline, but the 25-year-old was denied by the brilliant Mejias. Szczesny was then extended for the first time when Adomah’s sizzling effort whistled past the post, before Kike sent an arrowed header into the woodwork, but it was all too little too late for Boro.With little threat coming from Aitor Karanka’s side Arsenal sealed the win with minimal fuss and with Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City already eliminated, many will fancy Wenger’s side to go all the way for a second consecutive season. 1