Month: January 2021

Professionals earn master’s degree from Champlain College

first_imgProfessionals earn master’s degree from Champlain College BURLINGTON, Vt.–Twelve area professionals were among the graduates of Champlain Colleges online masters program in Managing Innovation and Information Technology in May. The area graduates were: Chad Berry of Burlington, Vt., a real estate paralegal with Wiener & Gale, PC in Burlington; Scott Eagle of Montgomery Center, Vt., the media coordinator for the office of Congressman Bernie Sanders; Jill Erwin of Waterbury Center, Vt., a network support specialist for Green Mountain Power; Sean Fairhurst of Burlington, Vt., a GIS applications developer for Fairhurst Professional Services, LLC; Elisabeth McCarthy of Shelburne, Vt., the catering manager with Sodexho Campus Services at the University of Vermont; Mahendar Narayan of South Burlington, Vt., a senior systems architect for Green Mountain Power; Danielle Ouellette of Bridport, Vt., an inventory specialist with Agri-Mark/Cabot; Michael Poczobut of Barre, Vt., a software engineer for IDX Systems Corp.; Gavin Schmidt of Burlington, Vt., director of technology at Shark Communications; Shubhashree Thekahally of South Burlington, Vt., a software engineering professor at Champlain College; and Julia Vaughn of Shelburne, Vt., the director of client services for Terry’s Tips. These professionals graduated from a business and technology program that is delivered completely online in a highly interactive, yet virtual environment. Taking as few as 18 months to complete, the program consists of small, instructor-led courses accessed via the Internet and it delivers a unique blend of business and information technology know how to position graduates to better manage technology use in their companies. http://www.champlain.edu/masters(link is external) # # #last_img read more

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Jobless level falls to lowest level in four years

first_imgVermont Department of Employment and TrainingVermont Unemployment Press ReleaseJune 17, 2005For Immediate ReleaseContact: Michael Griffin, 802-828-4153E-Mail: mgriffin@det.state.vt.us(link sends e-mail)Vermont Labor Force Statistics (Seasonally Adjusted) May 2005 April 2005 May 2004Total Labor Force 351,600 352,300 352,900 Employment 340,700 340,700 340,300 Unemployment 10,900 11,600 12,600 Rate (%) 3.1 3.3 3.6Montpelier — The Department of Employment and Training announced today that theseasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 3.1 percent, down two tenths of apercentage point from the revised April estimate. The change from last month was notstatistically significant.Unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 1.7 percent inHartford to 3.9 percent in Rutland and Springfield. Labor market area rates are notseasonally adjusted; for comparison, the unadjusted rate for Vermont was 3.0 percent.”Vermont’s unemployment rate dropped once more to its lowest level in four years,” saidPatricia A. McDonald, Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Training.”May’s early season job gains in leisure and construction were particularly encouragingsigns for the labor market.”The number of seasonally adjusted jobs grew by 2,200 in May, a considerably larger gaincompared to the changes from recent months. The largest increase came from the leisureand hospitality industries, which bounced back from a loss in April. Other small gainsresulted from growth in the construction industry, professional and business services andgovernment services. Expansion may also have occurred in sectors of the economywhich are not published. Additionally, the figure for total seasonally adjusted jobs mayhave slightly overstated actual gains.Before seasonal adjustment, total nonfarm employment grew by almost 4,000 jobs. Thegains occurred in the industries that usually expand as the summer months approach.Construction showed the largest growth, adding jobs at a rate on par with prior years.Entertainment, recreation and the food service industries began their usual summer hiringwith fairly typical gains. Professional and business services also experienced increasesrelated to seasonal hiring. Within the professional and business sector, administrativesupport led the growth with employment increases primarily from traffic control andlandscaping companies. Other job gains occurred in retail, manufacturing, and healthcare. Hotels, motels and other lodging experienced employment losses with the wrap-upof the winter tourism season. State and private colleges also showed a drop in jobstypical for the end of the academic year.Total nonfarm employment increased 1.6% over the last twelve months. The annualgrowth rate was slightly stronger than it was in April.last_img read more

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Long Time State Historic Preservation Officer Retiring

first_imgVermont’s State Historic Preservation Officer has announced she is retiring from her post after 33 years of serving state government.Jane Lendway, who has led the Division for Historic Preservation since 2003, will step down on December 31.Jane has been a dedicated public servant and the results of her efforts can be seen in preserved barns in our fields and historic buildings in our downtowns and villages, said Governor Jim Douglas. On behalf of the people of Vermont, I extend my gratitude for more than three decades of excellent work.Lendway, 57, of Montpelier, joined the Division for Historic Preservation, part of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, in 1975.She served as a National Register and survey programs supervisor; federal and state preservation grants administrator; tax credit project reviewer; Certified Local Government coordinator, and preservation planner.Lendway helped develop the Certified Local Government, state grants and Vermont Downtown programs, and served as coordinator of the Downtown Program, which designates downtowns and village centers and administers benefits to them, from 1995 to 2003.In 2003 she became Acting State Historic Preservation Officer and was formally appointed to the office several months later.Prior to serving the State of Vermont, Lendway was with the Michigan History Division of the Department of State and National Park Service as a member of Michigans first historic resource survey team in 1974 and 1975.She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art and a master’s in art history from Michigan State University.She currently serves on the Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Commission as chairman of its Infrastructure Committee as well as on the Lake Champlain Basin Program’s Cultural Heritage Recreation Advisory Committee.In addition, Lendway is a Master Gardener who is co-chair of the Washington-Orange County Chapter. In this role, she has contributed countless hours to the historic gardens at the Justin Morrill Homestead State Historic Site in Strafford.Historic preservation is a development strategy that has stood the test of time, Lendway said. Reusing historic buildings saves energy, keeps debris out of our landfills, and maintains walkable neighborhoods and downtowns where people meet and greet one another. Vermont has a world class sense of place and we will continue to distinguish ourselves by taking care of it.The Division for Historic Preservation, part of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, includes programs devoted to the restoration and continued use of historic resources; protection of archaeological resources; education; the State and National Registers of Historic Places; and administration of the 10 state-owned historic sites.More at: www.historicvermont.org(link is external)last_img read more

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Unicel expands cell coverage in southern Vermont

first_imgUNICEL ADDS CELL SITE IN JAMAICA,ENHANCES MAGIC MOUNTAIN AND BROMLEY COVERAGE Latest Technology, Improved Coverage for Area Wireless CustomersColchester, VT – Unicel customers in northern Windham County can now benefit from better coverage and signal strength, a larger calling area, better voice quality and access to high-speed data transfer and other features.Unicel’s latest expansion of its wireless digital network includes a new cell site in Jamaica, housed at the Jamaica Community Church, and a newly enhanced cell site on Magic Mountain as part of the company’s ongoing investment in its network across Vermont. The cell sites offer superior cellular coverage in Jamaica as well as on Route 30 between East Jamaica and Bondville. Coverage also has been improved on Magic Mountain as well as on Route 11 between Peru and Londonderry, plus south on Route 100. Unicel’s network investment also has boosted wireless coverage at Bromley Mountain Ski Area.Unicel, which has been operating in the region since 1990, provides wireless services in primarily rural areas and plans to continue to add new cell sites based on customer needs and geography. The company recently announced five new cell sites in Vermont, including one in Windham County between Vernon and Guilford along Interstate 91.These new developments bring the total number of GSM-capable Unicel cellular sites in Vermont to 128, giving residents, travelers and business people the benefits of an advanced network. GSM technology is recognized as the worldwide standard for wireless communication.”Unicel is committed to making sure its customers experience the best in wireless service,” said Tom McLaughlin, director for Unicel.”Customers in Jamaica, Magic Mountain and the surrounding areas will notice big improvements in the clarity and strength of our signal.”Unicel’s lineup of data-compatible phones – including the Motorola Z6, V8 and the Q (with GPS navigation) – allow customers to enjoy features including high-resolution video capabilities, games and weather radar, advanced features such as Unicel’s Pictures2GoSM picture mail and Mail2GoSM e-mail program as well as additional services. To take advantage of these new features and the improved cellular network, customers need to have data-enabled phones.Unicel operates 12 retail stores in Vermont. Unicel products and services are also available through additional authorized cellular agents. Unicel’s specialized B2B team serves business accounts in the area.# # #last_img read more

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Senate votes to restore Transpo funds to towns

first_imgThe Senate today passed S. 154, a bill that will fully fund the town highway aid payments in April 2009. The Douglas Administration and the Legislature had previously agreed to withhold half of the $3 million, quarterly payment because of the state’s fiscal situation. The state’s Transportation Fund revenues continue to sag. The Transportation Fund in March was $400,000 below its target. The reaction from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, which lobbies on behalf of municipalities, was unequivocally opposed to the cuts because it would force the towns to either cut highway projects or raise taxes. Vermonters can not afford to let their local roads and bridges fall into a further state of disrepair or pay higher property taxes, saidSenator Mazza, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.   By passing this bill, the Senate has ensured that town s will not be forced to defer construction maintenance or raise Vermonters property taxes. It has been the Senate s intent all along to fully fund the towns with their April payments, said Senator Peter Shumlin.  Towns will be able to use these much needed funds to pave our roads, repair our bridges and create good paying jobs for Vermonters.The bill passed the Senate, 26 to 0, and now moves to the House for consideration.last_img read more

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Legislative leaders give Entergy November 1 deadline for new Vermont Yankee power contract

first_imgWe have established this firm deadline in order to allow sufficient time for an orderly and thorough review of any agreement by the Public Service Board and then by the Vermont General Assembly.   July 28, 2009Mr. Jay ThayerC/O MacLean, Meehan and Rice45 Court StMontpelier, Vt 05602 Dear Mr. Thayer: Speaker Smith and Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin today sent a letter to Entergy Corporation to inform them that it will be very difficult for the Vermont General Assembly to act on the question of continued operation of the Vermont Yankee plant unless a power purchase agreement is reached between Entergy and Vermont utilities before November 1, 2009. The letter is pasted below.  Even if those reliability concerns are resolved in the plant s favor, the Vermont General Assembly cannot in good conscience approve continued operation of Vermont Yankee without a thorough analysis of the economic impact of continued operation compared with other current and emerging alternative power supplies.  The contract and its details are critical to the central issues of economic relative to the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant that the legislature must consider.  Sincerely, Vermont Yankee has provided significant benefits to the people of the State of Vermont. Unfortunately, these benefits have been overshadowed by recent examples of operational missteps that have given us, and many Vermonters, serious pause about continued operation of the plant from a reliability standpoint.  We are writing to inform you that it will be exceedingly difficult for the Vermont General Assembly to act in 2010 on the question of continued operation of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station unless a power purchase agreement between Vermont utilities and Entergy is filed with the Vermont Public Service Board before November 1, 2009.   Senator ShumlinPresident Pro TemRepresentative SmithSpeaker of the House We have established this deadline in a spirit of cooperation, not confrontation.  We know that you have a complex negotiation to complete in uncertain financial times.  The State of Vermont also faces many financial challenges that will drain our time and energy during the 2010 session. We are determined that all of our decisions in 2010 be based on good information that is well analyzed. To achieve that goal, we must insist on the schedule set out above for completion of your power purchase agreement with Vermont utilities. Source: Shumlin’s officelast_img read more

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Vermont average gasoline prices at $2.90

first_imgAverage retail gasoline prices in Vermont have fallen 1 cent per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.90/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 2.1 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.93/g, according to gasoline price website VermontGasPrices.com.Including the change in gas prices in Vermont during the past week, prices yesterday were 70.6 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 1.6 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 6.8 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 72.1 cents per gallon higher than this day a year ago.”Last week we saw a correction in oil and wholesale gasoline prices,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst. “With wholesale gasoline prices down as much as 30 cents per gallon since last Monday, I expect retail gasoline prices to fall as gasoline stations continue to sell through their more expensive inventory and buy cheaper supply, passing on lower prices to motorists.” DeHaan says that the correction in oil prices wasn’t much of a surprise, noting that fundamentals continue to show growing supply. “If the sentiment that ruled last week continues to weigh on traders, we could see the average price for gasoline drop across much of the country, just in time for Memorial Day weekend,” he adds.About VermontGasPrices.comGasBuddy.com operates over 200 live gasoline price-tracking websites, including VermontGasPrices.com. GasBuddy.com was named one of Time magazine’s 50 best websites and to PC World’s 100 most useful websites of 2008.  Source: VermontGasPrices.com. 5.10.2010last_img read more

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VNRC, Fish & Wildlife Report – A Decade of Progress: Wildlife Considerations in Local Planning

first_imgVermonters overwhelmingly want to conserve wildlife habitat such as deeryards, trout streams, and bear habitat. Cities and towns have made noticeable strides in improving attention to wildlife habitat and natural resource conservation, and nearly every municipality recognizes wildlife habitat as an important local resource, according to a recent report issued by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and the Vermont Natural Resources Council. The report, Wildlife Considerations in Local Planning ‘ An Evaluation of a Decade of Progress in Vermont, was based on a detailed assessment of all municipal plans and related zoning bylaws and subdivision regulations adopted by Vermont communities. About VNRCThe Vermont Natural Resources Council is an independent, member-based, nonprofit research, education, and advocacy organization founded in 1963 to protect Vermont’s environment, economy, and quality of life. The report is the result of months of detailed, technical, and comprehensive review of 248 town plans, 219 municipal zoning regulations, 204 zoning bylaws, and 137 subdivision regulations. The report compared results from a similar study performed ten years ago, and offers specific findings and recommendations.A summary of the report findings are provided below: ‘Community outreach and technical assistance for land use planning is a priority for us,’ said John Austin a wildlife biologist with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. ‘This report affirms the many benefits of the Department’s Community Wildlife Program and technical assistance from organizations like Regional Planning Commissions and non-profits like Vermont Natural Resources Council and others,’ Austin added.  Subdivision regulations are an increasingly important tool for conserving habitat:Of the 133 subdivision regulations reviewed, 89% include planning standards, 46% of which mention wildlife habitat.51% of municipalities in Vermont have subdivision regulations; however only 8% of these municipalities include a specific definition of wildlife habitat in these regulations. In light of these positive findings, the authors found there is a noticeable disconnect between what wildlife values Vermonters say they want to conserve and the actual implementation of those goals in zoning and subdivision regulations. The report recommends that the state and others continue to help communities bridge the gap between their planning vision and the implementation of that vision. In addition, the report suggests that municipalities need to pay more attention to specific concepts that affect  wildlife and habitat conservation, such as habitat fragmentation, habitat connectivity, invasive species, and climate change.  The information highlights the importance of wildlife and land to Vermonters and draws a connection to the myriad of interests including hunters, anglers, trappers, hikers, bird watchers, local schools, and many more. The report demonstrates that towns overwhelmingly recognize the public benefits of wildlife habitat. Over the past decade, municipalities have made many gains in mapping and recommending protection of wildlife habitat in municipal plans. The report credits the work of the Fish and Wildlife Department and technical assistance providers in increasing the availability of resources for towns. According to VNRC and the Fish and Wildlife Department, there needs to be a shift from planning to implementation over the next 10 years. ‘There is a huge need for more technical assistance as we shift towards implementation given that decisions are made at a local level by volunteers on planning commissions and development review boards,’ said Brian Shupe, Deputy Director of VNRC. Vermont relies heavily on local government for land use planning. For instance, according to an in-depth review of subdivision activity in eight towns conducted by VNRC, just five of 380 subdivision proposals were subject to Act 250 jurisdiction.center_img While most towns  recommend the conservation of wildlife habitat in their municipal plans, the report documents a significant lag between plan recommendations and actual implementation of binding standards in local bylaws. Municipalities have improved attention to wildlife conservation through land use plans:Ninety-nine percent of municipal plans identify wildlife habitat as an important resource.Ninety-nine percent of municipal plans identify some form of habitat or wildlife feature (an increase of 8% from 2000).Ninety-one percent of town plans include mapped data (up from 52% in 2000.)Eighty-seven percent of all municipal plans recommend the protection of wildlife habitat.Eighty-six percent of plans include some form of natural resource inventory data (up 11% from 2000.)Eighty-three percent of municipal plans note public benefits associated with wildlife habitat (up from 62% in 2000).Only half of municipal plans identify the effect of habitat fragmentation on wildlife habitat (42% note the importance of habitat connectivity and travel corridors)Just two percent identify the importance and/or relevance of climate change effects on wildlife habitat To read the report and its recommendations go to either the VNRC’s website (VNRC.org) or the Vermont Fish and Wildlife website (vtfishandwildlife.com). ‘Over the past several years, more and more Vermonters, through their town plans, have clearly and repeatedly said, ‘our wildlife heritage is important’ ‘ now there is a need for on-the-ground work to assure those values are reflected in specific municipal policies,’ said Jamey Fidel, VNRC’s general counsel and forest and biodiversity program director. ‘This is especially true in light of Vermont Supreme Court guidance that instructs that towns must be very specific with natural resource and wildlife habitat conservation and protection policies,’ added Fidel.  Local zoning lags behind municipal plans·   ·         A small percentage of the zoning bylaws reviewed contain conditional use standards or site plan requirements that mention wildlife habitat or specific wildlife related considerations.Of the 211 zoning bylaws reviewed, 88% include conditional use standards, but only 17% of these standards mention wildlife habitat.75% of zoning bylaws include site plan requirements, but only 18% of these standards mention wildlife habitat.51% include some form of conservation district (49% of which mention wildlife habitat).39% include explicit riparian buffers (the average buffer width was 42 feet)22% include a forest reserve district (40% of which specifically mention wildlife habitat).2% of the municipalities include a specific definition of ‘wildlife habitat’ in their zoning bylaws.1% of the municipalities (3 municipalities) include a wildlife habitat overlay district. ‘Decisions about the long-term health of the state’s wildlife habitat lie largely in the hands of local boards, commissions and private landowners, who meet in our town halls and school cafeterias,’ said Jens Hawkins-Hilke, a conservation planning biologist with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. ‘These very busy and committed volunteers have day jobs, families, and in many cases need additional technical assistance to implement their town’s vision for its wildlife.’   About the Vt Fish and Wildlife DepartmentThe MISSION of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is the conservation of fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the people of Vermont.  www.vtfishandwildlife.com(link is external)last_img read more

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Vermont Yankee back in service following refueling, maintenance

first_imgVermont Yankee. 11.3.2011 Northstar Vermont Yankee,The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon is back on line after completing its twenty-ninth refueling and maintenance outage. Control room operators returned the plant to service on Tuesday, November 2 at 11:52 pm. Operators will gradually raise the plant’s output to full power over the next few days.       Entergy Nuclear Site Vice President Mike Colomb said the successful outage was due to the excellent craftsmanship and safety focus of all the workers. More than 850 craft workers supplemented the Vermont Yankee staff for the 25 day, round-the-clock outage work.The work scope during the outage involved replacing approximately one third of the fuel assemblies in the reactor and maintenance activities, tests and inspections on plant equipment which runs throughout the operating cycle.Refueling and maintenance outages are scheduled every 18 months and the influx of outage workers represents a major economic benefit to the area.Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity and delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 15,000 employees. last_img read more

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