Defensive Driving: The Cost Savings Factor

first_imgThe Vermont Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (Vermont NETS) and The Governor’s Highway Safety Program will present a conference titled Defensive Driving: The Cost Savings Factor, Thursday, October 3, 2002, 8:00am-12:00pm at the Clarion Hotel Burlington.Find out how traffic safety can save your company money. This conference is designed for Human Resource Directors; Safety Officers; managers and business owners. Traffic crashes can create personal and financial havoc with your business! Find out how you can confront this issue. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death and injury in the work place.When you attend the conference you will understand traffic safety from the law enforcement perspective. You will take the Distracted Drivers Test. Learn about occupant protection-it IS the law. Learn about the overall traffic safety picture in Vermont and learn about benefits of defensive driving techniques.The first section of the program will focus on the cost savings factor of defensive driving. We will look at the main cause of traffic crashes and the potential cost of traffic crashes to businesses.The second section of the program will feature Bill Wolfe, Highway Safety Director of the Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police. Wolfe will talk about defensive driving from the perspective of law enforcement.The third part of the program will be presented by Ted Minall, Law Enforcement Liaison for the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. Minall will focus on occupant protection as the key to a successful defensive driving program.Registration is $25/pp ($35/pp if register after 9/30/02). You may register by e-mail: meg@delaneymeetingsevent.com(link sends e-mail).This event is sponsored by Vermont Business Magazine, Vermont Council for Quality and The Vermont Truck & Bus Association. Vermont NETS is a program of The Vermont Chamber of Commercelast_img

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Hofmann to replace LaWare as secretary of Human Services

first_imgHOFMANN APPOINTED HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARYMontpelier, Vt. (November 12, 2008)- Governor Jim Douglas has announced that Commissioner of Corrections Rob Hofmann will soon be Secretary of Human Services. Cindy LaWare, the current agency head, is stepping down to explore other opportunities to serve Vermont.Governor Douglas thanked LaWare for her service. “Cindy has been an important and dedicated member of my cabinet and has served Vermonters with diligence and professionalism for the past seven years. I greatly appreciate her work to advance important elements of our agenda, including fighting to make health care more accessible and affordable, improving services for Vermonters with mental illness through the Futures plan, and implementing the Incarcerated Women’s Initiative, the Children’s Integrated Services initiative, and the statewide Housing Now initiative,” Governor Douglas said. “I hope and expect she will continue to serve Vermonters in the future.”Governor Douglas said Hofmann, who served as Vermont’s finance commissioner before moving to the Department of Corrections, has the right financial and human services management expertise for the new post.”Rob shares my views that the best social program is a good job and the best way to balance the budget is to grow the economy,” the Governor said. “He has proven to be an innovative, caring and pragmatic leader at the Department of Corrections, addressing some of our state’s most pressing challenges with balance and common sense. He also understands the challenge of building a responsible and compassionate budget during difficult financial times that protects the most vulnerable.. He will serve Vermonters very well as secretary of human services.”Hofmann’s appointment is effective November 23, 2008.ABOUT ROB HOFMANNRobert D. Hofmann of Waterbury Center, Washington County was born on August 3, 1960. He graduated from SUNY College at Cortland (BA History: Summa Cum Laude 1985). After working as a Business Analyst at Dun and Bradstreet in New York City, he attended Columbia Graduate School of Business (MBA Finance 1985), where he met his future wife, Kit Walker, a former Vermont teacher. Rob worked at American Express in New York City (1985-1990) in progressively challenging positions in financial services. From 1990-2003 he worked at Chittenden Bank in Burlington, VT first as Director of Marketing and later as Senior Vice President for Business Services.Rob served as Vermont’s Commissioner of Finance and Management from 2003-2005 and Corrections Commissioner since February 2005. He has been involved in his church, coaching his children’s sports teams and is a former board member of his college alumni association and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. The family holds dual citizenship: United States and Ireland and Rob hopes to work overseas after the kids leave the nest.###last_img

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VTA awards $180,000 in broadband grants

first_imgThe Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) announced its three recipients for the 2008/2009 Broadband Grant Program, designed to create demonstration projects to test viable models for providing high speed Internet access to all Vermonters. The recipients were the Northern Community Development Corporation, the town of Stratton and the towns of West Fairlee and Topsham.Jon Freeman, president of the Northern Community Development Corporation, said that the grant award will help deliver broadband to much of eastern Essex County and improve the economy and overall lifestyle of the area.Rob Giunta of the town of Stratton said that broadband is equivalent to electricity in that both are essential to modern life. He also said that the grant will allow everyone in the town to interact with each other and the rest of the world, making life easier and more efficient.West Fairlee and Topsham received the grant for an extension of the fiber-to-the-home project funded by the federal Department of Agriculture’s RUS program and undertaken by Topsham Telecom.VTA is tasked with assuring mobile phone and Internet coverage to all Vermonters by the end of 2010.last_img

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Vermont Chamber of Commerce Names Christopher Barbieri as Interim President

first_imgChris Barbieri has been named Interim President of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. Effective on January 1, 2009, he will succeed Duane Marsh, who left to become Executive Director of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association. Chris Barbieri will remain in this position until a full-time replacement is hired.Barbieri stated, “I’m delighted to step in as Interim President. I look forward to working with our professional staff and volunteer leadership in meeting the many challenges facing Vermont’s business community.”In 2003, Barbieri stepped down as President of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce to head up the Asia Division with direct supervision of the Vermont Chamber’s international trade offices in Shanghai, China and Taipei, Taiwan. During his tenure as Director of the Asia Division, Barbieri worked to improve Vermont’s visibility within China and Taiwan and positioned the state as a place to do business and visit.Rick Milliken, Chair of the Vermont Chamber Board of Directors stated, “The selection of Barbieri will allow the search team the luxury of time to find the best candidate for President. During these uncertain economic times, it is important that the Vermont Chamber of Commerce finds the best person to lead and find solutions to the challenges as they relate to strengthening our economy and developing sound public policy for Vermont.”Milliken noted, “Our board unanimously voted to ascend Barbieri to the position of Interim President. Barbieri is a seasoned professional with knowledge of the Vermont Chamber staff and the issues that affect businesses throughout the state. We feel that the business community and our members are in good hands with his selection.”During the past five years, Milliken noted, “We appreciate the service that Duane Marsh has provided to the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and the business community. With Barbieri at the helm during the search for a permanent replacement, our members will be well represented as we move forward.”last_img

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Vermont, VITL get $12 million to computerize medical records

first_imgAlmost $12 million was awarded today to help Vermont doctors and hospitals move from paper records to state-of-the-art computerized medical records. The US Department of Health and Human Services awarded the Vermont Department of Human Services more than $5 million. Another $6.8 million will go to Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc. The funds are from the economic recovery program that Congress approved last year.VITL was designated as a Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center by Dr David Blumenthal, the national coordinator for health information technology. VITL is one of 32 centers designated nationwide, assisting health care organizations to computerize medical records and use the technology to provide better care.”We at VITL are delighted to receive this grant from the Office of the National Coordinator. We appreciate the support we have received from our congressional delegation, the governor and stakeholders throughout the state. The regional center grant will help Vermont accelerate the transformation of its health system through the adoption of electronic health records in support of our ambitious Blueprint for Health initiative,” said Dr David Cochran, VITL’s president and CEO.Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers like VITL are funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Congress has appropriated approximately $30 billion to help US health care providers nationwide invest in electronic health records systems. VITL and other regional centers will assist physician practices in improving patient care and meet the criteria to receive the ARRA funds.VITL will be offering Vermont physician practices a package of services, including educational programs, onsite consulting, and project management. VITL has developed its programs over the last several years under funding from the state of Vermont and the Vermont Health IT Fund, and is ready to immediately begin working with additional physician practices.VITL is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that operates as a partnership between the public and private sectors. VITL’s mission is to collaborate with all stakeholders to expand the use of secure health information technology to improve the quality and efficiency of Vermont’s health care system.Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) said the funds will help state agencies, hospitals and doctors’ offices develop a standardized system that will improve patient care and maintain the confidentiality and security of patient records.Governor Jim Douglas said Vermont has led the nation in innovative efforts to improve the quality of health care and slow the growth in costs.Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, secured another $1.4 million over the last two years for VITL to work with doctors and independent pharmacies to adopt electronic medical records. “Electronic records hold the potential to provide billions in dollars of user savings to our health care system nationwide,” he said.  “These federal funds will help Vermont continue to lead the country in adopting medical records technology statewide. Better records mean better patient care and safety for Vermonters.  They mean improved health outcomes, and they reduce the potential that small but significant details may be missed.”Sanders, a member of the Senate health committee, said the grants “will help us address soaring health care costs, reduce medical errors, and make it easier for patients to get quality care anyplace in the country.”Welch said, “Containing the ever-growing cost of health care is key to expanding access to all Americans, and adopting electronic health records is a critical step toward bending the cost curve. These grants will help medical providers and state agencies provide better care to patients, while contributing to efforts to drive down the cost of health care.”Douglas, cochairman of the National Governors Association State Alliance for eHealth, called widespread adoption of health information technology “a critical part of health care reform” and said the grants “will be a vital step forward in our efforts.”Nationwide, $975 million in grants were awarded to help states and health care providers adopt health information technology and encourage doctors and hospitals to continue to move from paper to electronic record-keeping. The awards will help make health information technologies available to more than 100,000 hospitals and primary care physicians by 2014.Modernizing and integrating the health care record-keeping system will reduce health costs for the federal government by more than $12 billion over the next 10 years. The new records system also promises to reduce medical errors and vastly expand the amount of clinical data available for research.Source: VT Congressional delegation, VITL. 2.12.2010last_img

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Lowell voters support GMP wind project in 3-1 vote

first_imgGreen Mountain Power Corp,Voters in Lowell yesterday voted 342 to 114 at Town Meeting to support the development of the Kingdom Community Wind project proposed by Green Mountain Power and Vermont Electric Cooperative.”We are thrilled that the people in Lowell have overwhelmingly embraced the idea of harnessing the wind on Lowell Mountain to bring stably-priced, renewable power to customers of Green Mountain Power and Vermont Electric Cooperative,” said Mary Powell, president and chief executive officer of Green Mountain Power. “This project is different than many that have been proposed, in that GMP and VEC customers will benefit from utility-owned generation and in the way we included the community in a broad discussion of the benefits of the project.”Town officials reported that 456 of 581 registered voters cast ballots in the voter-approved Australian vote, including more than 200 absentee ballots.David Hallquist, chief executive officer of Vermont Electric Cooperative, said, “The large voter turnout in Lowell showed that people thought carefully about the benefits of this project and wanted to express their opinions. We are so pleased that the voters — all members of VEC — believe that this is a project that should move forward.”The proposed wind farm will be located on Lowell Mountain in the town of Lowell, and will have associated transmission and substation upgrades in Lowell, Westfield and Jay. It will be located on private land and consist of 20-24 wind turbines with a rated capacity of 2.5 to 3.0 megawatts (“MW”) each and a maximum capacity of up to 63 MW. The final number and capacity of the wind turbines have not yet been determined, and will depend in large part on the results of on-site wind resource assessment, environmental and other studies. The site could potentially provide enough locally-generated, carbon-free renewable electricity to meet the annual needs of 20,000 average Vermont households.Green Mountain Power and Vermont Electric Cooperative have met frequently with local townspeople to ensure that they fully understand what is being proposed, including meeting in neighbors’ homes and going door-to-door to answer questions.”We have set a new standard for how wind plants should be developed in Vermont,” Powell said. “We have demonstrated that by communicating openly and regularly and ensuring local benefits, Vermonters can support wind power in their communities. We appreciate the trust the community has placed in us and we will do our best to make Kingdom Community Wind a project they can be proud of,” she added.Hallquist said, “We really appreciate how the people of Lowell took the time to meet with us and learn about the project, including accompanying us on day-long trips to see an operating wind farm in New Hampshire. Many, many people have been very thoughtful in considering what a wind farm will bring to their community.”Green Mountain Power and Vermont Electric Cooperative have said that they would only move forward with the project if the host town supported it. Now that the vote results are in, the companies will begin the process of applying to the Vermont Public Service Board for a Certificate of Public Good.”We look forward to the full exploration of this project in the Vermont Public Service Board review process, and hope to receive approval so that we can bring this resource to our customers,” Powell and Hallquist said in a statement. “We believe this project will bring economic benefits to the Northeast Kingdom,” they added.About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com(link is external)) transmits, distributes and sells electricity and utility construction services in the State of Vermont in a service territory with approximately one quarter of Vermont’s population. It serves more than 200,000 people and businesses.Source: GMP. COLCHESTER, VT–(Marketwire – March 02, 2010) – —last_img

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SBA supports a record $1.4 billion in loans in New England in 2011

first_imgIn New England, the US Small Business Administration supported 4,543 loans totaling a record $1.4 billion in 2011 in New England. (SBA’s fiscal year ran from October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011). This compares with $1.2 billion in 2010 which represents a 14 percent increase this year over 2010 results. The SBA guaranteed 3,959 loans through its flagship 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program for a total of $783.5 million. These loans are available to purchase or construct real estate, equipment and inventory, to finance fixtures and leasehold improvements, and for working capital.SBA’s Certified Development Company/504 Loan Program participants were responsible for $636 million in loans to 584 small businesses to construct, purchase or rehabilitate fixed assets such as land, buildings, and machinery and equipment.‘This is fantastic news for small businesses and we’re very pleased with the results our two main loan programs showed in 2011,’ said SBA New England Regional Administrator Jeanne A. Hulit. ‘This positive trend means that the SBA has provided small businesses with the tools they need so they can power the economy and create jobs.’ Eastern Bank was the #1 SBA 7a lender in New England with 343 loans totaling $24.5 million and the #1 SBA 504 first mortgage lender in New England approving 27 mortgages totaling $9.6 million.Citizens Bank was the second highest producer with 241 loans for $35 million and TD Bank North ranked third with 177 loans totaling $40 million. Completing the list of top ten SBA lenders in New England are: Sovereign Bank, People’s United Bank, Bank Rhode Island, Webster Bank, Enterprise Bank & Trust Co., Northway Bank, and Rockland Trust Company. ‘Our strong partnerships with the 235 lending institutions that participated in SBA lending throughout New England have led to significant financing opportunities for small businesses that could not obtain financing otherwise,’ said Hulit.Both Massachusetts and Rhode Island posted record dollar volumes this year.  Massachusetts supported $595 million and Rhode Island $152 million. And nationally, spurred in part by unprecedented loan volume in the year’s first quarter, small business loans backed by SBA reached the highest mark in the agency’s history.  SBA supported over $30 billion continuing the rebound begun in 2009 and returning to healthy pre-recession levels in the final three quarters of the year. For more information about SBA programs and services visit our website at www.sba.gov(link is external) .last_img

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Royal Bank of Scotland Ends Financing for New Coal Projects

first_imgRoyal Bank of Scotland Ends Financing for New Coal Projects FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:Royal Bank of Scotland will no longer fund Arctic oil projects and has pledged to cut lending to firms profiting largely from coal as part of an updated energy policy.The changes cover the mining, power and oil and gas sectors and are aimed at taking a tougher line on climate change. They mean the bank will not provide “project-specific finance” to new coal-fired power stations, new thermal coal mines, oil sands or Arctic oil projects, or those involved in “unsustainable” vegetation or peatland clearing.RBS will also tighten restrictions on general lending to mining firms that source more than 40% of their revenues from thermal coal, and power companies that generate over 40% of their electricity from coal. The former threshold was 65%.Its efforts have been commended by the responsible investment group ShareAction, which has been pushing a number of firms to ramp up their environmental sustainability policies. ShareAction’s project manager, Sonia Hierzig, said: “The strengthened energy financing policies of RBS implement many of ShareAction’s recommendations for more robust management of climate-related risks. They also make RBS the bank with the strongest energy sector policies out of the top five UK banks.”RBS’ director of sustainable banking, Kirsty Britz, said: “If we’re going to support our customers in the long run, then it means addressing the challenge of climate change and the risks and opportunities it presents. We want to help build a cleaner, more sustainable economy for the future, and these policy changes form part of our broader approach to this major issue.”More: RBS Cuts Lending to new Coal and Arctic Oil Projectslast_img

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New power contracts cloud future of Navajo plant

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Arizona Republic:The board of directors overseeing the Central Arizona Project canal on Thursday approved two deals for power to partially replace what they expect to lose next year when the embattled Navajo coal plant near Page closes.Coal miners from the Kayenta Mine protested at the state Capitol on Wednesday and attended the board meeting of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, asking the board to put the vote on hold for three months. The board did not listen. The vote was unanimous except for one member, Mark Lewis, who abstained because of a conflict of interest.One of the power deals approved Thursday will result in the construction of a 30-megawatt solar plant somewhere along the canal, which will sell power to CAP for just 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, one of the cheapest contracts of its kind. The other agreement is a five-year deal for power from SRP from a variety of sources.Combined, the contracts only cover about 14 percent of CAP’s power needs, and officials said if Middle River or another entity can successfully take over the coal plant, they’ll consider taking its power—if it’s offered at a reasonable price.Joe Greco, senior vice president of Middle River Power, addressed the board Thursday. He did not disclose a possible price for the plant or provide other specifics. He said his company could operate the plant efficiently and economically for customers. Greco characterized his company’s intentions as serious and said it was looking at options “to keep the NGS operating well into the future.”Board members denied Greco’s request to delay approval of agreements to buy power from several firms for some of the energy necessary to move Arizona’s water, saying it needed to move ahead and noting the aqueduct has relied on multiple power sources in the past.More: Despite protests from Navajo miners, Central Arizona Project approves power deal New power contracts cloud future of Navajo plantlast_img

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Power markets in U.S. Northeast, Texas, and North Carolina begin to follow California trend toward more renewables, less natural gas

first_imgPower markets in U.S. Northeast, Texas, and North Carolina begin to follow California trend toward more renewables, less natural gas FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Green Tech Media:California has been a haven for solar developers for years. Beginning in 2006, the gigawatts’ worth of solar in its yearly queue of requests rivaled the state’s gas capacity. Wind hasn’t been far behind. And four years ago, energy storage additions began to creep in.According to Prajit Ghosh, head of global strategy at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, those trends have become even more pronounced in the last two years and have nearly knocked gas from the California queue entirely.“Really, in the last two years, it’s all solar, wind and storage. There’s no gas,” Ghosh said onstage Tuesday at WoodMac’s Power & Renewables Summit in Austin, Texas. “We know that story.”California is arguably a unique case. So what happens when taking a look at that same snapshot in other regions around the country?Ghosh pointed to ERCOT, Duke Progress North Carolina’s territory and the cradle of natural gas, PJM, as indications of a monumental shift in electricity markets.“There are some markets that need gas, especially where there’s a lot of coal,” said Ghosh. “It seems like even those markets — PJM, the home country of gas — even there, a lot of gas is being replaced by renewables. It’s a reasonable question to ask: Are we already in this new paradigm where solar, storage and wind are the default choice?” Many energy industry stakeholders, such as utilities, oil and gas majors, and even the federal administration, would likely answer that question with a no.Just last month, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that PJM’s annual capacity factors for natural gas, which indicate how often a generator is run, were found to have increased between 2013 and 2017. The regional grid operator’s natural gas capacity grew 18 percent during that time. PJM’s growth in natural gas capacity factors was the largest among regional transmission organizations, but EIA noted the rest of the country has also seen natural-gas-fired electricity increase in the last five years. While low-cost natural gas has pushed out coal capacity, renewables have begun to compete on price as well. Utility requests for proposals that incorporate more renewables and increased investments from oil majors show that even the biggest incumbents are beginning to reckon with the clean energy transition.More: Have Solar, Wind and Storage Become the ‘Default Choice’?last_img

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