Snelling Center Issues Report on Strategies to Fund Road and Bridge Repairs

first_imgSnelling Center Issues Report on Strategies to Fund Road and Bridge RepairsNovember 25, 2008 – -The Snelling Center for Government reported today that surveys of business leaders and the public indicate that Vermonters want action to fix Vermont’s deteriorating roads and bridges.”Our surveys told us that Vermonters want transportation to be a high priority,” said Charlie Smith, president of the Snelling Center. “Bridge repair is at the very top of the priority list.”Data from the Agency of Transportation show that Vermont’s roads and bridges are deteriorating rapidly. Situations like the failing bridge in the Town of Richmond demonstrate how a village can be isolated and harmed when a bridge is closed. Moreover, the shortfall in funding for preventive maintenance and light repairs leads to much more expensive reconstruction projects.”Roads and bridges are a basic responsibility of government. This is a crucial issue for Vermont’s prosperity and for the viability of our communities in the coming decades,” Smith said.The Snelling Center’s report also indicates that Vermonters recognize that putting more money in roads and bridges will require political compromise.”While few people are enthusiastic about new taxes, a large majority supports taxes as part of the solution,” Smith said. “They also favor reallocation of current spending as part of the solution.” 89% of the business leaders and 63% of the general public said they favored a compromise even if it included an equal share from their “least favored funding source. “Vermonters are realists,” Smith said. “They want to be told the truth; they want priorities to be set; and they want problems to be solved.”When asked what tax source they would favor most, a strong majority cited user-related taxes such as gas and diesel fuel taxes, rather than income, sales or property taxes. The surveys also indicated support for major public borrowing to accelerate road and bridge repairs. 93% of business leaders and 79% of others favor public borrowing, with the majority favoring a debt increase of $220 million or more (i.e. 50% increase over current borrowing levels.)The Snelling Center for Government is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that fosters civic leadership and promotes informed citizen participation in public policy.For the full Vermont Roads and Bridges report, the Executive Summary, and the Critical Data Guide, go to: www.snellingcenter.org/vermontroadsandbridges(link is external).The Snelling Center for Government is a non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to fostering responsible and ethical civic leadership, encouraging public service by private citizens, and promoting informed citizen participation in shaping public policy in Vermont. For more information, please visit our website at www.snellingcenter.org(link is external).last_img read more

Barre’s Knapp State Airport to get $6.2 million in stimulus funds

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas joined U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today to announce a $6.2 million federal grant to rehabilitate a runway at Edward F. Knapp State Airport in Barre.  The project is estimated to create 54 direct and indirect jobs. The funds were made available by the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  Secretary LaHood was also joined by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Lt. Governor Brian Dubie. This money will put people to work in Vermont while providing an important investment in airport safety. That means boosting the economy in the short term through job creation and sustaining economic recovery in the long-term by making airports more efficient and secure, said Sec. LaHood.Gov. Douglas added, This project is a great example of the economic good that can be provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In the short term, construction projects like this one will provide employment opportunities for Americans in need of work during the current economic downturn.  In the long term, this project will have a lasting impact that will keep local businesses viable and competitive for years to come. This grant is another example of how the economic stimulus package is rebuilding our infrastructure and moving America in a dramatic new direction by creating millions of good-paying jobs, said Sen. Sanders. As a military and commercial pilot for the last 27 years, I know why the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have both identified taxiway and runway safety as a top priority, said Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie.  This ARRA investment in Vermont s aviation infrastructure will directly enhance safety at one of our state s premier airports, and equip it to serve the area s aviation needs for many years to come.Immediately following the announcement, Secretary LaHood met with Vermont officials to discuss additional transportation issues facing Vermont.  He then traveled to the State House for a town hall meeting where Vermonters had the opportunity to share with the Secretary the unique transportation challenges facing our state. I want to thank Secretary LaHood for coming to Vermont and for spending so much time listening to local officials and Vermonters about our important transportation needs.  I was encouraged to hear the Secretary express his opposition to increased federal gas taxes during this difficult economic time.  I agree, now is not the time for higher taxes on struggling families.  Instead we should work together to find creative solutions to our transportation challenges, Governor Douglas concluded.last_img read more

DEW Construction wins AGC-VT Best Builder award

first_imgDEW Construction Corp,DEW Construction Corp was among five companies awarded an Associated General Contractors of Vermont (AGC-VT) Best Builders Award for Outstanding Quality of Work and Effort at the AGC-VT Annual Meeting held at the Sheraton Hotel on December 7, 2010. DEW received recognition under the New Construction category for using Innovative Construction Technologies on the Tram Haus Lodge project at Jay Peak Resort in Jay, VT. The Tram Haus Lodge is a five ‘story, 57-suite hotel that offers a mix of studio, 1 and 2 bedroom units along with a bar and restaurant with seating for up to 180, a fitness studio and spa, coffee shop and bakery, a small retail store and a rental and repair shop. The project also includes an underground heated parking garage for hotel guests. The DEW team for the Tram Haus project included Jerry Davis, Senior Project Manager; Willis Whitaker, Superintendent; Dave Lothian, Assistant Superintendent; Karl Bahrenburg, Project Engineer; Andrew Rouille, Project Engineer; Chris Bertrand, Field Engineer and Sonya Samalis, Project Administrator. The Architect for the Project was Gardner Kilcoyne Architects out of Burlington, VT. ( Photo credit: Susan Teare Photography)Source: DEW. Burlington, VT, December 7, 2010last_img read more

Vermont CEOs forecast improvements for first six months of 2011

first_img3. How do you expect your company’s employment to change in the next six months? 1. How do you expect your company’s sales to change in the next six months? EmploymentINCREASENO CHANGEDECREASEQ1 200457%38%4%Q2 200450%48%2%Q3 200459%37%4%Q4 200458%39%3%Q1 200555%38%7%Q2 200549%42%9%Q3 200549%44%7%Q4 200560%35%5%Q1 200654%39%7%Q2 200650%45%5%Q3 200643%49%7%Q4 200653%41%5%Q3 200840%42%18%Q4 200825%35%40%Q1 200923%37%40%Q2 200921%50%29%Q3 200934%46%20%Q1 201040%52%8%Q2 201046%45%9%Q3 2010355213Q4 2010511138% Change from Q3/10 to Q4/1016%-41%25%Totals may not equal 100 due to rounding. The Roundtable is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of 120 CEOs of Vermont’s top private and nonprofit employers, representing geographic diversity and all major sectors of the Vermont economy, with an aggregate economic impact of $135 billion and employing 15 percent of the state’s workforce. The Roundtable is committed to sustaining a sound economy and preserving Vermont’s unique quality of life by studying and making recommendations on statewide public policy issues.. 2. How do you expect your company’s capital spending to change in the next six months? CapitalINCREASENO CHANGEDECREASEQ1 200462%30%8%Q2 200443%41%15%Q3 200451%42%7%Q4 200445%46%9%Q1 200555%37%8%Q2 200549%43%8%Q3 200557%38%5%Q4 200550%35%15%Q1 200645%45%10%Q2 200653%40%7%Q3 200640%50%10%Q4 200656%39%5%Q3 200838%42%20%Q4 200817 %43%40%Q1 200912%38%50%Q2 200917%51%32%Q3 200931%46%23%Q1 201050%42%8%Q2 201051%38%11%Q3 2010374815Q4 2010491734% Change from Q3/10 to Q4/1012%-31%19%Totals may not equal 100 due to rounding.center_img -###- The chief executives of Vermont’s leading businesses appear increasingly poised for improvement in all three of the survey’s metrics: sales prospects, capital expenditures and employment levels for the winter and spring months of 2011, when compared against the previous survey period. The mood was assessed near the end of calendar year 2010 and released today by Vermont Business Roundtable Chair Bill Stritzler and President Lisa Ventriss.According to Roundtable President, Lisa Ventriss, ‘Overall, these data present an important upswing in economic outlooks among the state’s leading CEOs and we’d have to go back to our pre-recessionary surveys of 2006 to find similar percentages for growth expectations. Specifically, our members’ strong sales forecasts (71 percent of respondents expect an increase compared to 59 percent in the previous survey); capital expenditures (49 percent compared to 37 percent, previously) and employment (51 percent compared to 35 percent, previously) tell a positive story,’ Ventriss said.Chair Stritzler, the Managing Director of the Jeffersonville-based Smugglers’ Notch Resort, says the results of the CEO survey reflect encouraging attitudes across all sectors of the marketplace. ‘These data tell us that business leaders are prepared to again invest not only in physical infrastructure but, more importantly, in their workforces. This is very good news for Vermont and Vermonters. But at the same time, we must remember that these changes are fragile; there are still areas of concern in the numbers.’‘In sum, we are encouraged by these results and believe that the economy continues to strengthen.’ said Stritzler.The Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Survey provides a forward-looking view of the economic assumptions and attitudes of chief executive officers for 120 of the state’s top employers that have an aggregate economic impact of $135 billion and employ 15 percent of the state’s workforce. Vermont’s agriculture, construction, education, health services, finance, real estate, insurance, hospitality/leisure, manufacturing, information, utilities, professional/business services, wholesale trade, and non-profit industries are represented. The response rate for this quarter was 65 percent. Historically, rates have varied from 35 to 73 percent.   SalesINCREASENO CHANGEDECREASEQ1 200483%13%4%Q2 200480%15%4%Q3 200471%25%4%Q4 200477%22%1%Q1 200578%19%3%Q2 200575%23%2%Q3 200574%24%2%Q4 200572%24%4%Q1 200678%20%2%Q2 200678%22%0%Q3 200669%25%6%Q4 200673%23%4%Q3 200851%35%14%Q4 200827%46%27%Q1 200933%30%37%Q2 200941%31%28%Q3 200934%49%17%Q1 201063%19%18%Q2 201069%24%7%Q3 201059356Q4 201071623% change from Q3/10 to Q4/1012%-29%17%Totals may not equal 100 due to rounding. Source: Vermont Business Roundtable. 1.4.2011last_img read more

Resort Maps, Discovery Map form the world’s largest illustrated map publisher

first_imgDiscovery Map International, Inc.,Waitsfield, Vermont-based Resort Maps, creator of more than 100 hand-drawn travel maps across the United States, Canada, England, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico, recently announced its acquisition of Discovery Map International of La Conner, Washington. The acquisition unites two of the leading publishers of illustrated maps in the United States. Both companies have published colorful hand-drawn free visitor maps of popular destinations for more than 25 years. ‘We are thrilled to be coming together with Discovery Map for a number of reasons,’ said Peter Hans, president of Resort Maps Franchise, Inc. ‘Beyond being able to work with an innovator like Victoria Starr, her talented staff and map owners, it gives our company a coast-to-coast presence and opens the door to a number of expansion possibilities. We focus on the user experience; so having our maps available across the country will give travelers a consistent resource to find great places to eat, shop, stay and play.’Combined, the new company will boast 90 independent owners in 150 markets, in 33 states and four countries. Annual circulation will top 25 million maps in the new entity’s first year of operation. ‘Resort Maps is a top-flight company that shares our commitment to producing first-class, user-friendly maps,’ said Victoria Starr, owner of Discovery Map International. ‘This unification is going to produce some unbelievable maps, both in print and online, and soon lead to Discovery Maps being available via handheld devices.’ In addition to printed maps, Resort Maps has developed a mobile application for iPhone and iPad. The app is available for free at the App Store.In terms of day-to-day operations, the new company will maintain offices on both coasts, with headquarters in Waitsfield, Vermont and Discovery’s current office in La Conner, Washington.  The company will also maintain websites at discoverymap.com and resortmaps.com.  For more information on any of the 100+ Resort Maps destinations or if you interested in potentially owning a Resort Maps franchise, please visit www.resortmaps.com(link is external). Alternatively, you can call 802-496-6277.About Resort Maps®Headquartered in the Green Mountains of Vermont, Resort Maps® has been creating and publishing visitor maps in the northeastern U.S. since 1986. In 1993, Resort Maps® expanded its reach by creating a franchise model for distribution of its colorful, hand-drawn maps of resort towns and cities. With its recent acquisition of Discovery Map International, Resort Maps’ network has grown to 150 markets in 33 states and four countries (US, UK, Canada, and Costa Rica). More than 25 million Resort Maps will be printed and distributed in 2012.For more information on Resort Maps and/or the franchise opportunity, visit www.resortmaps.com(link is external) or call 802-496-6277.Resort Maps franchises serve cities and towns in California (Carmel, Monterey, San Diego), Colorado (Boulder, Breckenridge, Cherry Creek, Colorado Springs, Denver, Vail & Beaver Creek, Estes Park, Fort Collins, Glendale, Summit County), Delaware ( Rehoboth Beach), Florida (Boca Raton, Clearwater Beach and Gulf Beaches, Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach, Delray Beach, Key West, Melbourne, New Smyrna Beach, St. Augustine), Georgia (Savannah/Tybee Island), Kentucky (Lexington) Maine (Bar Harbor/Acadia, Boothbay region, Camden-Rockland, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Mt. Desert Island, Portland, Wells, York-Ogunquit), Maryland (Annapolis, Eastern Shore, Ocean City,  Solomons Island, St. Mary’s County), Massachusetts (Berkshires, Brewster/Harwich/Dennis, Chatham-Orleans, Eastham-Wellfleet, Falmouth, Hyannis-Yarmouth, Martha’s Vineyard, Newburyport, Plymouth, Sturbridge, Worcester), Michigan (Northern Michigan/Petoskey/Harbor Springs; Traverse City), New Hampshire (Franconia/Notch Region, Hampton Beach, Hanover/Lebanon , Keene, Lakes Region, Mount Washington Valley, Portsmouth), New Jersey (Barnegat Bay, Cape May, Hoboken/Jersey City, Hunterdon, Lambertville , Long Beach Island, New Brunswick, Ocean Grove, Point Pleasant, Princeton, Sandy Hook), New York (The North Fork, Lake George , Lake Placid, Saratoga Springs, East Hampton), North Carolina (Asheville, Brunswick County, Chrystal Coast, Hendersonville, Outer Banks, Sandhills, Wilmington), Pennsylvania (Bucks County, Chestnut Hill, Delaware River Valley, Gettysburg, Lehigh Valley, The Main Line, Lancaster County), Rhode Island (Newport, Providence), South Carolina (Charleston, Hilton Head,), Tennessee (Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge), Vermont (Addison County/Brandon, Barre/Montpelier, Burlington, Killington/Rutland, Mad River Valley, Manchester, Mount Snow, Okemo, Smugglers’ Notch, Stowe, Waterbury/Richmond, Woodstock/Quechee) and Virginia (Alexandria, Northern Neck & Middle Peninsula) ‘as well as towns and cities in Canada (Charlotte Coastal Region), England (Chicester, Lewes), Puerto Rico (San Juan, Vieques, Culebra) and Costa Rica (Escazu-Santa Ana).  New maps coming soon in North Lake Tahoe, CA; South Hampton, NY; Charlotte Harbor/Venice/Gulf Islands, FL; Orlando, FL; Tucson, AZ; South County and Block Island, RI and Georgetown, DC. Discovery Map®:Arizona (Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, Sedona), California (Carlsbad, Los Gatos, Saratoga), Colorado (Durango, Steamboat Springs), Florida (Amelia Island, Destin), Georgia (St. Mary’s), Idaho (Coeur d’Alene, McCall, Sandpoint, Sun Valley), Montana (Bozeman & Big Sky, Butte, Kalispell, Missoula, West Yellowstone, Whitefish), New Mexico (Santa Fe, Taos), North Carolina (Charlotte), Oregon (Bend), Virginia (Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Norfolk, Richmond, Virginia Beach), Washington (Anacortes, Bellingham, La Conner) Wisconsin (Door County).last_img read more

Five more companies that charged Vermonters’ phone bills settle with AG

first_imgFive companies that charged local consumers and businesses on their telephone bills for services to which many of the affected Vermonters say they did not consent have entered into settlements with the Vermont Attorney General’s Office, bringing to 13 the number of such settlements since mid-March of 2011. Together, the five firms billed over 3,600 Vermont consumers and businesses over $280,000, all of which must be refunded, if that has not already been done. In addition, each will pay the State of Vermont $10,000 in penalties and costs.Attorney General William H. Sorrell said that the settlements are part of his Office’s continuing crackdown on ‘cramming,’ or the placing of unauthorized inadequately-noticed charges on local telephone bills. ‘Most Vermonters have no idea that they can be billed for non-telephone services by their local phone carriers; we won’t allow other companies to take advantage of that,’ he added.In all five cases, the charging company failed to comply fully with a Vermont statute requiring that notice be mailed to consumers and businesses before charges appear on their local telephone bills. That law has now been strengthened to ban most such charges outright, the first such law in the country.In addition, one of the companies used what the Attorney General’s Office considered to be a deceptive telemarketing script, which stated that the purpose of the call was not to sell a service (which it was), but to update the prospective customer’s online listing.The settling companies are:aDigitalVillage.com, LLC, based in Lake Mary, Florida, which charged over $43,000 to 749 Vermont consumers for a webhosting and email service between 2007 and 2010.More Yellow Pages, Inc., based in Sunrise, Florida, which charged almost $57,000 to over 500 Vermont businesses for online business listings between 2008 and 2009.Personal Voice, Inc., based in Clearwater, Florida, which charged over $49,900 to 578 Vermont consumers for a voicemail service between 2004 and 2008.Voice Mail Services, Ltd., based in Las Vegas, Nevada, which charged over $89,000 to 1,144 Vermont businesses for a voicemail service between 2006 and 2010.Voicenet Telephone, LLC, based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which charged over $57,000 to 648 Vermont consumers for a long distance calling plan between 2005 and 2010.To date, the Attorney General’s initiative has resulted in 13 settlements providing for more than $890,000 in refunds to over 9,400 Vermont consumers and businesses.Attorney General’s Office October 20, 2011last_img read more

Key4Women Forum raises $6,000 for Vermont Women’s Fund

first_imgThree hundred  women from throughout Vermont  gathered at the Sheraton  on  November 2 for the 10th annual Key4Women Forum to discuss courage in leadership and why courage is vital to the achievement of success by women in business.All proceeds from the Key4Women Forum were donated to Vermont Women’s Fund and totaled more than $6,000.  Over the event’s 10 years, more than $55,000 has gone to the organization.‘The Vermont Women’s Fund appreciates KeyBank’s ongoing commitment to women’s leadership and professional development,’ said Catherine Kalkstein, executive director of the organization. ‘We also applaud Key’s efforts to support the Vermont  Women’s Fund’s mission  of empowering women and girls.’The Forum, ‘Creating a Culture of Courage: The New Leadership Challenge,’ featured leadership and customer service expert Cindy Solomon, who returned to the Key4Women Forum for the second consecutive year. The Forum is designed to educate and empower women in business ‘ business owners, leaders, decision makers and non-profit directors ‘ through the insight and advice of a dynamic national speaker. Cindy’s presentation discussed the four types of courage and when and how to invoke each for success in business, why finding the courage to move forward is the key to success in today’s new business economy, and how to inspire courage personally and professionally.‘Courage in the face of uncertainty is something that every woman in business is familiar with,’ said KeyBanker Amy Mailloux. ‘Timely sharing of information is a big part of Key4Women’s goal of providing ongoing education for women. We feel that this year’s theme is something that everyone can relate to, and we’re glad that women will be able to use what they’ve learned to achieve personal and professional success.’The forum also featured the presentation of the 2011 Key4Women Achieve Award Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power and member of the boards of directors of Vermont Public Radio, the Vermont Land Trust, Champlain College, VELCO, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield.  The Achieve Award recognizes a woman who has provided inspirational leadership in business and her community.About Key4WomenAs one of the nation’s largest financial services companies and top small business lenders, Key provides financial services to thousands of women-owned businesses in 14 states. Founded in 2005, Key4Women helps women business owners achieve their goals by providing access to capital, customized service, networking events, and educational opportunities. Key4Women has lent $3 billion to qualified women business owners since 2005 and committed to lending another $3 billion by 2012.About KeyBank KeyBank N.A. is one of Vermont’s largest financial services companies. A strong proponent for local economic growth, Key companies provide investment management, retail and commercial banking, retirement, consumer finance, and investment banking products and services to individuals and companies throughout the United States and, for certain businesses, internationally. The company’s businesses deliver their products and services through branches and offices; a network of approximately 1,500 ATMs; telephone banking centers (1.800.KEY2YOU); and a Web site, Key.com, that provides account access and financial products 24 hours a day.BURLINGTON, VT., November 2, 2011  KeyCorplast_img read more

Rystad Energy: 2020 will be a record year for Australian renewable energy development

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:Despite a massive drop in renewable energy investment seen last year, Australia’s renewable energy sector is forecast to have another record year in 2020. According to consultancy Rystad Energy, large-scale PV projects will be the largest source of new capacity additions this year, totaling 1.96 GW.Four large-scale PV projects, each with a capacity of 200 MW or more, are set to complete commissioning this year: Darlington Point (275 MW), Limondale (249 MW), Kiamal Stage 1 (200 MW) and Sunraysia (200 MW). The capacity to come online is geographically concentrated in New South Wales, with 51.5% – or 1.01 GW – scheduled to start operation in the state, Rystad finds.Overall, 3.6 GW of renewable energy capacity is expected to complete commissioning, up from 2.6 GW in 2019. Wind development will account for 1.57 GW, while 0.1 GW will come from batteries. It is also likely that new markets will begin to open up as pilot hydrogen projects come online and the off-grid sector takes off, led by the mining and oil & gas industries, Rystad finds. “The Australian renewables sector has been through a bit of a quiet spell as few new projects have broken ground in recent months, but we expect the industry to bounce back in the second half of 2020,” says Gero Farruggio, Head of Australia at Rystad Energy. “Projects with power purchase agreements (PPAs) and winners of government auction schemes and grants are scheduled to enter the construction phase, developers will be shifting to more favorable parts of the grid in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, and projects are lining up in central and northern New South Wales to replace the coal-fired Liddell power plant that is due to close by April 2023.”Rystad Energy expects between 1.0 GW and 1.5 GW of new utility PV projects will break ground in Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) in 2020. These projects will be located in southeast Queensland, central and northern New South Wales and central/eastern Victoria. For utility wind, there are currently projects representing 7.9 GW that have received development approval. This includes about 5.3 GW of projects larger than 350 MW and located in favorable parts of the grid with owners that have development experience, Rystad says.[Marija Maisch]More: Australia poised for record large-scale PV rollout in 2020 Rystad Energy: 2020 will be a record year for Australian renewable energy developmentlast_img read more

Blue Ridge Outdoors Top Towns: Louisville, Kentucky

first_imgAs one of the largest metropolitan centers in on our Top Towns contest, Louisville offers an impressive number of outdoor recreation opportunities for adventure enthusiasts.The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, accessible from Louisville via I-69, is a vast inland peninsula and provides endless flatwater paddling, spelunking, fishing, and camping. If you’d rather head for the hills, take I-64 east toward the Red River Gorge canyon system — a nationally designated natural landmark. Simply put, the Red is the best climbing destination in the East, with sandstone cliffs that are home to hundreds of routes for beginners and world-class climbers alike.Cudas_IB_0814_2Louisville’s Forecastle Festival is one of the most anticipated music festivals of the year, and hiking opportunities abound in Daniel Boone National Forest.Vote now at blueridgeoutdoors.com!last_img read more

Video of the Week: DPS Skis The Shadow Campaign Sanctuary

first_imgThe Shadow Campaign // SanctuaryDPS is a boutique ski brand based out of Salt Lake City that exists because of South American skiing.In the summer of 2001, DPS founder Stephan Drake was spending yet another season in Las Leñas, Argentina, when he met Swiss skier Cyrile Boinay. In a smoky wine bar the duo vented their frustration on the lack of progressive shaping and materials in the ski industry — and the idea emerged to start a ski company. They founded “DB Skis” that year and after a few years of toiling and Boinay’s eventual departure, DPS was born in 2005. These are some of the most beautiful, technically advanced, consciously shaped skis on the market, and we highly recommend you get on a pair this winter. And, you can enter here to win a ski getaway to West Virginia.last_img read more