Toledo Washington is one of five rural communities nation-wide selected to participate in President Obama’s Cool and Connected pilot program!

Vision:TOLEDO is proud to announce that Toledo Washington is one of only five communities in the United States to be awarded the opportunity to participate in President Obama’s Cool and Connected Pilot Program. Representatives from Vision:Toledo, City of Toledo, and ToledoTel were told by program coordinators that 250 letters of Interest for the program were submitted. According to the press release from USDA(United States Department of Agriculture) and EPA(Environmental Protection Agency), “Partner communities will receive direct technical assistance from a team of experts to develop strategies and an action plan for using planned or existing broadband service to create connected, economically vibrant main streets and small-town neighborhoods. By combining broadband service with other local assets, such as cultural and recreational amenities, this assistance can help communities attract and retain investment and people, revitalize downtowns, diversify local economies, and improve walkability.”

Below are a few questions we have been asked thus far:

What does this mean for Toledo? No one is exactly sure yet. We do know that the award is for assistance and expertise to help discover what it is we’d like to do, and expert assistance to create a plan of action. We do know that the aim of the program is to leverage existing broadband and other local assets, to create social benefits for Toledo.

When will this happen? Toledo representatives will be given a packet of homework and will work with the program’s team via conferences calls to prepare, and a workshop will be held some time in November in Toledo.

How can I find out more? You can view the official press release here. You can find out more about the Cool and Connect pilot program here. Vision:Toledo will remain committed to providing its community with updated information as it is made available. You can connect with us on facebook and if you are not “into” facebook, you can sign up to receive daily posts about what’s going on in Toledo here at the “Other Toledo column” There is a signup field at the bottom of the “Other Toledo” page.

Q&A and Book Signing by Local Astrophysicist and Celebrity Scientist Ethan Siegel at the Toledo Community Library April 21st, 7 PM

Astrophysicist and celebrity scientist Ethan Siegel will explain gravitational waves and answer questions about deep space at the Toledo Community Library on Thursday, April 21, 2016, at 7 p.m.

Siegel is a resident of Toledo and said he was delighted by the community interest in the discovery of gravitational waves. Dr. Siegel will explain the significance of the waves and how this changes our understanding of the universe, and he will also answer space questions and sign copies of his new book “Beyond the Galaxy: How humanity looked beyond the Milky Way and discovered the entire Universe.”

About the book:

For millennia, humans struggled to make sense of what’s out there in the Universe, from all we can see to that which lies beyond the limits of even our most powerful telescopes. Beyond the Galaxy traces our journey from an ancient, Earth-centered Universe all the way to our modern, 21st century understanding of the cosmos. Touching on not only what we know but also how we know it, Ethan Siegel takes us to the very frontiers of modern astrophysics and cosmology, from the birth of our Universe to its ultimate fate, and everything in between.

“Whether you are learning about the Universe for the first time, taking an introductory course or looking for the latest update on modern developments in the story of what we know about the Universe and how we’ve come to know it, this book is designed to start at the very beginning of human exploration and take you through the most important developments that led to our present understanding of all there is,” Siegel said.

“Beyond the Galaxy” is for sale on Amazon:

Contact Ethan at


Concept pageSteamboat Alley project coordinator Jamie Cummings is seeking donations to be used for the community project to renovate the alleyway between the two buildings on Cowlitz Street, between S. 3rd and Ramsey Way. Pavers have already been donated. The list of other items still needed include: crates, wood barrels, metal barrels, plastic barrels, rope, pallets, paint, sand, screws/bolts, lumber, plywood, plants, planters, potting soil, sheet metal, metal tubing, and steamboat parts.

Jamie can be reached at or by calling 864-2602