Cat Scan

News… and then some.

Posts Tagged ‘sustainability

WCAX Rendezvous PKG 8/17/13

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By Cat Viglienzoni — August 24, 2013

Took a break from reporting for about a month while I filled in anchoring and got a new role at the station!

I filled in on the weekend, though, and went to cover a meetup of activists concerned about large-scale energy projects (like wind farms, etc.).

The challenge I ran into with this piece was trying to make it different than the other energy-protest related stories we had done (we have done many).

I didn’t want to wear my sunglasses in the standup, but naturally there was just enough of a breeze to wreck havoc with my hair if I didn’t. Ah well.



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August 24, 2013 at 6:03 AM

WCAX Monarch Butterfly Concerns PKG 3/21/13

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By Cat Viglienzoni — March 25, 2013

It has been a while since I’ve been able to go out and do a science piece, but when I saw a survey come out with some alarming statistics about the monarch butterfly population in Mexico, I thought that would be a good way to localize that to Vermont (where the monarch is the state butterfly).

So I went and talked to a conservation biologist who works with insects in the state — and he had both good news and bad news. The good news is that given the right conditions, the butterflies can reproduce rapidly. The bad news is that there has been a downward trend for a decade that may not get better soon.

It aired on WCAX at 6 p.m. on March 21, 2013 and again the next morning on my show.

The citizen science aspect of it was particularly interesting to me, since it was not the first time I’d encountered it doing a science piece. It seems to be a growing trend within the science community, to get people involved. And new technology has in many ways, I think, made that possible. It accomplishes two goals: educating the public and getting data (when, like he said, there just aren’t enough researchers or funding to do it).

I’m curious to see where this trend goes in the future — I think it will be interesting.


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March 25, 2013 at 2:47 PM

WCAX Nulhegan Abenaki Land Purchase PKG 12-22-12

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By Cat Viglienzoni — December 26, 2012

Over the weekend I was out on a reporter shift (day 6 of the work week!) — and it was my most on-the-road reporter shift yet. It involved a trip up to Barton, VT (that’s a couple hours away from where we’re based in South Burlington), in the snow, in 20-degree temperatures.

Sounds fun, right? I should have dressed warmer because I couldn’t feel my toes at the end (especially in the standup)! In fairness, when I left the house it said it would be 36 degrees…

This was an important story to do though, because of the long road to land ownership that the tribe faced. It aired on WCAX on Saturday, December 22 and again on that Monday.

I had to log that piece and write it in the car on the way back –we got back to the station with an hour before showtime, so I had to type up the piece as fast as I could and hand it off to Mark to edit while I wrote and edited my VO/SOT on holiday skiing. But I got it in and done on time, so that was great.

And then I got the employee recognition of the week for that and the fact that I then came in on my Sunday to help with producing and a breaking news fire. Never a dull moment…


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December 26, 2012 at 3:56 PM

WCAX Electricity Efficiency Grant PKG 10/1/12

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By Cat Viglienzoni — October 3, 2012

As promised in my last post, the second installment of Mondays work — this one is the evening news piece that I did. It was a shorter piece (by our station’s standards) on a new grant/initiative in Burlington to introduce “on-bill financing” to small business owners looking to upgrade to more electrically-efficient appliances, etc. but who didn’t have the upfront capital to invest.

It ran in the A block of the 6 p.m. news on October 1, 2012.

It was not designed to be a longer piece because to be more in-depth I needed to actually go talk to small business owners, and due to the time constraints of that particular day (and the fact that I think it’s still a bit early to track them down, seeing as they hadn’t heard about the initiative yet), I was not going to be able to do that. It would be a good follow for sometime after the new year when the program actually rolls out.

So a decent piece for what it was, I thought.


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October 3, 2012 at 4:19 PM

WCAX Bike Composting PKG 7/11/12

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By Cat Viglienzoni — July 15, 2012

I’m a bit delayed in posting this but anyway…

This week’s reporter piece was a fun feature on a pilot program being tested by the University of Vermont. They’re trying to compost whatever they can, but areas like offices are hard to reach, so they wanted to try to find a way to collect compostable materials from those locations without running a truck there.

Hence bike composting, where local bike cooperative One Revolution rides between 20 or so places on campus and collects those materials from about 30 places before dropping them off at the compost coolers. I had done a quick read-up on it for one of my noon newscasts a few weeks back and wanted to follow up on it.

It must have been a slow news day, because this piece actually aired in every WCAX newscast that night, debuting at 5 p.m., running again at 6 (shown here), and then again at 11. Because of that, I chose not to run it again on my show in the morning because there was a high probability that it had already been seen by many of our viewers. (Not because I didn’t think I’d done a good piece!) So I gave another reporter pkg that show time.

Something I didn’t get to mention in the piece because I ran out of time, but people might wonder, is whether the bags smell. The answer I got is that they haven’t had complaints about that, and it helps because the bags, which are compostable too, have a cellulose lining (prevents leakage) and are also very breathable, which means they don’t create an anaerobic environment that bacteria flourish in. So the rotting process doesn’t happen as quickly. Plus, since pickup happens twice a week, the food scraps aren’t left sitting long enough to get really nasty.


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July 15, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Park Spark – Fall 2010, or: “that dog poop lamp piece”

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By Cat Viglienzoni — May 23, 2011

I hope the title of this post didn’t gross you out. I promise there’s a rhyme and reason behind what I do.

Believe it or not, despite (or perhaps because of) its unusual content, this is probably my favorite or second-favorite piece I’ve done. And I hope you’ll watch it to see why.

The gist of this piece is that I went out to a dog park in Cambridge to check out a unique project that harnessed the methane from dog waste to power a lamp in the park. By burning the methane, the gas (which is far worse for the environment than carbon dioxide) was broken down into two components: carbon dioxide and water.

Unfortunately, it never officially aired for a student news station. But if I’d had the chance to air it, I totally would have.

I did this piece with my teammate and friend Katie Eastman, who did most of the shooting. I conducted my own interviews and wrote and edited everything.

There isn’t TOO much I’d change on this version, except for that I needed to conclude my otherwise-good standup a bit sooner instead of taking another step. The hands also needed to go down. (However, that was the third real standup I’d done ever, so it wasn’t that bad, considering. The dog was also rather cooperative.)

My teacher and classmates loved it. I had people asking me during the spring semester about three or four times if they could use this piece in their shows for practicum classes (and I allowed them to, even though I reminded them it was VERY outdated at that point, considering the project was taken down at the end of September 2010). But people had a hard time remembering the project’s name, so it earned the title I have in quotes: “that dog poop lamp piece.”

I love this piece because it shows an example of the way science can be directly related to everyday life and how a reporter can break down a concept to explain to people how a project like this works and why it matters. It doesn’t hurt that the piece also has cute puppies running around everywhere either.


Written by Cat Viglienzoni

May 23, 2011 at 6:17 PM