Month: January 2021

first_imgMilton CAT was the recipient of a Vermont Governors Council 2007Gold Award for Work Site Wellness, Physical Fitness & Sports.  At thestart of each workday, employees of this Caterpillar equipment dealer do a 10minute stretch routine led by their supervisors.  An annual Health RiskAssessment checks employees blood pressure and body composition. Wellness Coaches, USAprovides weekly confidential health counseling.  And the Milton CATcorporate office launched a Biggest Loser contest among its 12sites to encourage healthy weight loss.  The Richmond site winner lost 50 pounds. H. 887 and S. 283 build on the groundbreaking reforms included inHealth Care Affordability Acts of 2006, including the new Catamount HealthPlans and  Governor Douglas forward-thinking Blueprint forHealth,  which is helping Vermont lead the nation in efforts to change our health care systemto one focused on preventing illness and complications, rather than reacting tohealth emergencies.  Governor Douglas will highlight innovative wellnessprograms, such as Milton CATs, that are following the Blueprint model. Jason GibbsGovernorsCommunications Director109 State Street ¨ The Pavilion ¨ Montpelier,VT 05609-0101 ¨ www.vermont.gov/governor(link is external)Telephone: 802.828.3333 ¨ Fax: 802.828.3339 ¨ TDD: 802.828.3345 WHAT:          Governor to Sign Health Care Bills While not as sweeping as the 2006 Health Care Affordability Act, thetwo bills the Governor will sign tomorrow are significant next steps inimproving the cost and quality of our health care system.  Among otherprovisions, the legislation:increases access to Catamount Health for more Vermonters by alleviating some of the pre-existing condition concerns and by allowing people with high deductible individual market plans to purchase Catamount Health Plans without having to be uninsured for 12 months;relaxes the 75 percent rule for small businesses so they can continue to offer coverage even when their employee situations change;enhances the focus on chronic care and prevention at the local and community level, with a special focus on healthy weight and obesity;provides increased support for health care providers and takes further steps to promote the use of cost-saving information technology;moves forward with initiatives that encourage Vermonters to make healthier lifestyle choices; andworks to improve immunization coverage rates among the youngest children in Vermont and reduce the likelihood that children will acquire or spread a vaccine-preventable disease. ### WHERE:       Milton CAT, Route 2, One Cat Lane, Richmond, VT 05477 (Take Exit11 offI-89.  Head North on Route 2 toward Williston andMilton CAT will be on your right, before the bridge. ) WHEN:          Tuesday, June 10, 2008 10:00 a.m. Montpelier, Vermont Tomorrow (June 10, 2008), Governor Jim Douglas will visit Milton CAT, a business withan award-winning worksite wellness program, to sign two health care bills intolaw.  Governor Douglas will be joined by legislators, advocates, insurancecompany representatives and others as he signs H. 887 and S. 283.last_img read more

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first_imgVermont Auditor of Accounts Tom Salmon, who was rebuffed by the Democratic leadership last spring, announced today that he was switching parties and will join the Republican Party. Salmon won the position of state auditor as a Democrat in 2006 when he beat one-term incumbent Republican Randy Brock. That race saw Brock apparently win re-election in a very tight race, before a re-count gave the race to Salmon by 102 votes. Salmon cited the lack of fiscal responsibility among legislative leaders during the debate over the state budget. Salmon had offered to mediate discussions between Republican Governor James Douglas and the Democratically controlled Legislature, but was turned down by Speaker of the House Shap Smith. He said the Republicans are better able to manage the fiscal matters of the state, as represented by Governor Douglas.Salmon further said he will likely run for re-election for Auditor, but there is “a 10 percent chance,” he will run for governor or lieutenant governor instead. Several Republicans are deferring their decisions on 2010 until Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie decides what, if any, position he will run for. Dubie has indicated he is considering a run for governor. Douglas has already stated he will not seek re-election and will not run for any office in 2010. Salmon made his announcement at the State House shortly after 11 am on Tuesday September 8, 2009.Salmon, 46, has served in Iraq for long tours of duty in the US Navy Reserve while also holding the post of auditor. Thomas M Salmon is the son of the former Vermont Governor Thomas P Salmon, who served from 1973-1977 as a Democrat. The elder Salmon served as a surrogate during his son’s re-election campaign because serving military cannot also campaign for office. Salmon met little resistance in being re-elected last year.Vermont Business Magazine conducted a Q&A with Tom Salmon December 2007 with Robert Smith. In that interview he explained why he ran for auditor:”I ran for state auditor, because as a Rockingham Selectman, I had moved from a simmer to a boil about how fiscal management was occurring in the state. I really didn’t think that anyone was taking responsibility for the fiscal management of the parts of the state. Prior to being a selectman, I go back to December 2005. I’m a Navy Reservist, a Seabee, construction battalion, dirt sailors – we’re never on a ship, so when people see us in our greens they say, ‘Look mommy, it’s an Army man!’ I was in Gulfport, Mississippi, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. That situation moved me to want to commit to public service. I decided when I came home that I was going to run for the select board in Rockingham. The finances were a mess, the morale was not good, the divisive situation over buying the dam – you were here so you know.”Salmon is a CPA who was born and raised in Bellows Falls. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Boston College and was trained in auditing at Coopers and Lybrand (now known at Price Waterhouse Coopers) in both Hartford, Conn., and Los Angeles, Calif. He attained CPA status in 1993 and worked with a small public accounting firm in Southern California and later in Southern Vermont. Tom also became a licensed teacher and taught in the inner city of Los Angeles while continuing his accounting work.In 2002, Salmon and family returned to Bellows Falls until moving to St. Johnsbury. He is a former member of the Rockingham Selectboard, and is a member of the Vermont Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Certified Fraud Examiners Association, AICPA, and a member of various boards including the Three River Valley Business and Educational Partnership.Here is a copy of the letter Salmon sent to his supporters:”September 5, 2009Dear Friend,   It is an honor to serve  as Auditor for the State of Vermont. In 2006, I was elected as a Democrat. In 2008, I was re-elected on the Democratic/Republican ticket. 2010 will be different.I am changing my political affiliation to align myself with the party closest to my core beliefs. It is my belief that the VT Republican party is closest to accepting the realities of our times; and is therefore the party best equipped to manage the very real and troubling economic and social conditions which confront us not only today, but in the coming decade.As many of you know, in the face of the enormous fiscal crisis, I have sounded the alarm for new thinking, responsible budgeting, meaningful long-term planning and painful prioritization.When I returned home from Iraq, I witnessed first-hand a budget process rife with deficiencies and dysfunction.  There was little balance in the debate.As a Certified Public Accountant, I recently completed my required Ethics course for re-licensing.  The Professional Code of Conduct demands that I act with integrity, objectivity and independence. As Auditor, I have preached that Vermont is on an unsustainable track we cannot tax ourselves out of. I believe the majority of Vermonters do not want to see tax increases as a consequence of poor planning.  However, without major restructuring of human services, corrections management and public education (which together account for some 75% of our expenditures) we are going to find that situation unavoidable. Removing even greater sums of capital out of our job-creating private sector and the budgets of Vermont families will only hasten the ill effects of the current crisis. We all watch a healthcare reform movement focused on increased access rather than A) addressing the root causes of the problem B) fixing Medicaid and Medicare or C) promoting incentives and personal responsibility.  The big losers are our young people, the vulnerable elderly population and the viability of Vermont’s 1778 motto of “Freedom and Unity.”I am a believer in the America of hard work and “get oneself upstream” with a combination of personal commitment and external support.  I’m not a believer that all of our future tax dollars should go to interest on debt or “education, medication and incarceration.”  In the current form of these primarily government-controlled expenditures, this is a path leading to a dangerous imbalance of our “Freedom and Unity.”  Economic freedom is an essential component in achieving and maintaining political freedom.  Over the more than 200 years of our nation’s founding, too many of our fine soldiers have died for the protection of these freedoms. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you with full commitment and transparency. I promise to do my best to perform the job Vermonters have elected me to do.Thomas M. Salmon CPAVermont State Auditor”last_img read more

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first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas today met with 10 other Governors, Cabinet members and high ranking Administration officials to discuss energy policy with President Obama and Vice President Biden.  The President and Governor Douglas agreed that a non-ideological, bipartisan approach is necessary to confront the nation’s energy challenges and investments in biofuels, biomass, hydroelectric, nuclear and other clean forms of power, as well as investments for efficiency will be critical to the America’s energy future.“I appreciate the opportunity to talk with the President on these important issues,” the Governor said.  “As Washington debates our national energy policy, Vermont’s lessons and achievements must be part of that dialogue.  From in-state efficiency measures to our regional partnerships, like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Vermont is confronting the challenges of energy independence and climate change on many fronts.”Vermont is among the leaders nationally in the level of carbon emitted from electric generation.  Governor Douglas was the first governor to sign onto the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  Vermont was a pioneer with the first statewide energy efficiency utility, Efficiency Vermont, and currently spends more per capita on energy efficiency measures than any other state.Governor Douglas also spoke today of the need to protect consumers and the economy as national energy policies evolves.  He also encouraged federal policy makers to adopt a non-carbon focused policy that embraces all forms of non-carbon power, including large hydro – affording consumers a wide array of choices and allowing utilities to access resources that ensure a reliable grid.“I often talked about the fact the Vermont has more methane digesters per capita – a fact we are proud of,” said the Governor.  “Combining small scale renewable sources with large scale renewable resources, like hydro power, is critical to maintaining low carbon emission in Vermont.”The Governor also noted in the meeting how investments in Smart Grid technology will further efficiency efforts already underway and help Vermont transition to new environmentally-friendly technologies.  Vermont recently received a nearly $70 million Department of Energy grant, which is in addition to nearly $70 million invested by Vermont utilities, to build-out a statewide Smart Grid.“Transportation remains the largest source of emissions in our state,” the Governor noted.  “A smart grid will not only help Vermonters and Vermont businesses save money by using energy more efficiently, it is a critical component of transitioning to next generation technologies, such as electric cars.”Source: Governor’s office. 2.3.2010.###last_img read more

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first_imgUS Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that Vermont will receive $8.5 million to turn around its persistently lowest achieving schools through the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program. These funds are part of the $3.5 billion that will be made available to states this spring from money set aside in the 2009 budget and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”When a school continues to perform in the bottom five percent of the state and isn’t showing signs of growth or has graduation rates below 60 percent, something dramatic needs to be done,” said Duncan. “Turning around our worst performing schools is difficult for everyone but it is critical that we show the courage to do the right thing by kids.”The $8,582,473 made available to Vermont is being distributed by formula to the state and will then be competed out by the state to school districts. In order for a school district to apply for these funds, it must have a state-identified “persistently lowest achieving” or a Tier III school — a school that has failed to meet annual yearly progress for two years and is not identified as a persistently lowest achieving school.However, Tier III schools can only receive funds once all of the state’s persistently lowest achieving schools have received funds. Vermont’s application, which includes its list of persistently lowest achieving schools, as defined by the state, can be found here: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/summary/index.html(link is external).School districts will apply to the state for the funds this spring. When school districts apply, they must indicate that they will implement one of the following four models in their persistently lowest achieving schools:TURNAROUND MODEL: Replace the principal, screen existing school staff, and rehire no more than half the teachers; adopt a new governance structure; and improve the school through curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time, and other strategies.RESTART MODEL: Convert a school or close it and re-open it as a charter school or under an education management organization.SCHOOL CLOSURE: Close the school and send the students to higher-achieving schools in the district.TRANSFORMATION MODEL: Replace the principal and improve the school through comprehensive curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time, and other strategies. Once schools receive SIG funds, they will be able to begin to spend them immediately to turn around schools this fall. States may apply to the Education Department for a waiver to allow them to spend funds over a three-year period. An additional $545,633,000 has been provided for SIG in 2010 and will be awarded to states to fund additional schools in the 2011-12 school year. The department has also made a request for an additional $900 million for the program in the 2011 budget.Source: US DOE 4.30.2010###last_img read more

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first_imgSource: The Boys & Girls Club of Burlington. 10.15.2010 Citizens Bank,The Boys & Girls Club of Burlington is pleased toannounce a $5,000 grant award from the Citizen’s Bank Foundation topartially fund the career readiness and life skills program, KnowHow2Go. Init’s fourth year, the KnowHow2Go Program introduces middle school andhigh school youth to the college process and possible career choices inorder to encourage and prepare them to pursue higher education options.The program is a series of educational sessions designed to inform membersabout good study habits; setting goals; guiding students to high schoolcourse selection that leads them to a higher education path. Additionallyparticipants learn the basics of handling personal finances and accessingcollege loans; attend college and business visits, and receive homeworkassistance and extensive mentoring support.Brigitte Ritchie, Citizens Bank Vice President for Public Affairs andCommunity Relations, says ‘We are proud to support this initiative of theBoys and Girls Club of Burlington. Helping our local youth attain academicsuccess and pursue career opportunities will ultimately enrich ourcommunity and strengthen our economy. The personal approach that the Clubtakes in reaching its members is a positive model worthy of note to othercommunity organizations.’The grant leverages the Club’s ability to attract additional funding toexpand the number of cohorts of youth served. The Club is tracking theimpact of this program as we guide our second cohort of high schoolgraduates through their college experiences. About the Boys & Girls Club of BurlingtonThe Boys and Girls Club of Burlington serves over 1,000 children and teenseach year. We operate three sites in Burlington and Winooski providingeducational, recreational, and character development opportunities throughafter school, evening, and summer programs. Our mission is to inspire andenable youth in our community, especially those who need us most,to realize their full potential as productive, healthy, caring andresponsible citizens.last_img read more

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first_imgNorthstar Vermont Yankee,Entergy Vermont Yankee’s charitable contributions committee agreed to funding requests from more than 100 local non-profit organizations in 2010. The funding, which totaled more than 300,000 dollars, helped fund everything from senior meals and music lessons to library upgrades and fire department equipment.In 2010, the organizations receiving Vermont Yankee charitable contributions included: Vernon Reactors (Girl’s AAU Basketball Team), Pioneer Valley Regional High School, Brattleboro Senior Center, Keene High School Boys Lacrosse Team, Twin State Field Hockey Team, Brattleboro Union High School, Brattleboro Blaze AAU Basketball Team, Brattleboro Elks, Terrill Watson Scholarship, Grace Cottage Hospital, Chesterfield Sport Booster, Relay for Life, Harris Hill Ski Jump, Post 4 Baseball ‘ Keene, Thomas Clayton (VT State Science Fair Award Winner), Iskandar Khan (VT State Science Fair Award Winner), Chester Barber (VT State Science Fair Award Winner), 2010 Chesterfield Fun Run, Trinity Christian School, Brattleboro Hockey Education, Brattleboro Retreat, University of VT, American Cancer Society, Leland & Gray, Town of Halifax, Brattleboro Generals, Hinsdale Lion’s Club, MRHS Hockey Team, Bellow Falls Union High School, Brattleboro Middle School, Chesterfield Corn Roast, FireCracker Fury Elite, Brattleboro Walk in Clinic, Brattleboro Country Club, Touch A Truck, Friends of Music – Guilford, Guilford Central School, Academy School, Jeffrey Frizzel, Town of Brattleboro – Nelson Skating Rink, Western Ma. Council Boy Scouts of America, Guilford Fire Dept Aux, Friends of Girls’ Hockey, Girls on The Run, Deerfield Valley Sponsorship Annual Ice Fishing, Keene High School Boys Soccer Team, Christmas Stocking, Brattleboro Winter Carnival, North South All Star Football Game, Daniel Webster College Basketball, Keene Youth Lacrosse Association, Keene Men’s Softball Assoc., Hinsdale Middle School, NH Dance Institute, Vernon Police Dept., Toys for Tots, Building a Better Brattleboro. Girls on the Run, VT State Science Fair, VT Principals Assoc., Town of Guilford, Holton Home, Friends of the Brattleboro Music Center, Kurn Hattin Homes, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, Dummerston School, Parks Place Community Resource Center, Operation Outreach USA, Town of Brattleboro Parks & Rec., Academy Elementary School, Brattleboro Parks & Recreation Withington Skating Rink and Fourth of July Celebration, Newfane Elementary School, Strolling of the Heifers, Grow Vermont, Lily Garden Learning Center, Greenfield Comm. College, Southern VT Health Services, Colonial Theater, Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, United Way of Windham County, Winston Prouty Center, Youth Services of Windham County, Gateway Foundation, Springfield Vermont Family Center, Brattleboro Senior Meals, Town of Bernardston, Opera Theater of Weston, Brooks Memorial Library, Bellows Falls Middle School, Boy Scouts of America Green Mountain Council, Brattleboro Youth Hockey, Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center, Pioneer Valley Regional High School, Windham County Sheriffs, Windham County Child Care, Community Action Brattleboro Area (CABA), Town of Northfield, Mass., Chesterfield – American Legion Post 86, Dummerston Vol. Fire Dept, Sophia’s Hearth, Guilford Cares, Windham County Safe Kids, Brattleboro Last Night, Brattleboro Fire Dept, and the Vermont Food Bank.In addition, Vermont Yankee’s community project for 2010 focused on exterior and interior renovations to the Brattleboro Boys and Girls Club which included the participation of 30 Entergy Vermont Yankee employees. Independently, VY employee contributions and company matches totaled $135,898 to United Way distributed to the three local counties VY and its employees also supported Hurricane Katrina and Rita relief programs, and numerous other employee-initiated fundraising efforts.Entergy Vermont Yankee’s charitable contributions committee, which considers funding requests, is made up of Entergy Vermont Yankee employees who are active in their communities. They meet every four-to-six weeks to review requests and allocate funds in accordance with the Entergy donations program criteria. The organizations receiving the funds in the form of sponsorship, open grants and charitable foundation gifts are primarily located in Windham County in Vermont, Cheshire County in New Hampshire and Franklin County in Massachusetts.Source: Vermont Yankee. 2.3.2011. Local non-profit organizations seeking Entergy Vermont Yankee funding should contact Larry Smith, Entergy Vermont Yankee charitable contributions committee chairman at 802-258-4118.last_img read more

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first_imgCentral Vermont Public Service reported this monrinng that an army of CVPS line crews, assisted by 17 other Vermont crews and 23 crews from Connecticut, New Hampshire and New York, are in full force in Windsor and Bennington counties today. About 1,545 customer outages of the more than 12,000 affected after Monday’s snow and ice storm are left to restore.Most customers should have their power back on by late tonight, but complete restoration could carry into Wednesday, especially in the hard-hit areas around Springfield.‘We’re flooding Bennington and Windsor counties with crews today,’ said CVPS spokeswoman Christine Rivers. ‘There are still hundreds of tree limbs, lines and damaged equipment to repair in those areas, so the going will be slow today, but we expect to make great progress.’CVPS crews and contractors battled the elements yesterday, cutting their way through ice-laden tree and tree limbs in southern Vermont, and whiteout road conditions, and in some cases impassable roads, in central and northern Vermont. Field crews reported a quarter to a half an inch of ice in southern Vermont, and close to an inch on Mt. Ascutney.‘Ice damage is among the most troublesome a utility can experience, and since temperatures haven’t risen to allow the ice to melt yet, crews and contractors will continue to battle the remaining ice today,’ Rivers said. ‘Crews and support staff will continue to work as quickly as is safely possible until all of our customers have their power restored.’CVPS has moved its own crews to the areas hardest hit, and are being assisted by crews from Ludlow Electric, Vermont Electric Co-op, Green Mountain Power, Bemis Line Construction and Northline Utilities. Crews from Connecticut and New Hampshire joined us last night.Up-to-date outage numbers (by town) can be found at: http://www.cvps.com/CustomerService/outages/default.aspx(link is external) and http://vtoutages.com/(link is external) CVPS offered several safety tips for coping with the outages:* STAY AWAY FROM DOWNED POWER LINES. Don’t touch or even go near downed wires! These wires can be energized and can cause serious injuries or death. If the line is blocking the road or in contact with a vehicle with people inside, call you local police or fire emergency number first. Then call CVPS. Instruct others to keep at least 50 feet away, and keep pets and livestock away as well.* Assume all objects touching the power line are also energized. Never attempt to remove trees or limbs from any utility lines! Notify CVPS of the situation.* 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 must work.* Keep freezers and refrigerators closed as much as possible to prevent food spoilage.* If power goes out, turn off all electrical appliances except one light so you’ll know when service returns. Then, turn equipment back on slowly.Additional safety tips can be found at: http://www.cvps.com/Safety/StormSafety.aspx(link is external)last_img read more

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