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Schubart: Legislative false economies

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 10:23am -- tim

by Bill Schubart As the legislative session winds down, it’s time to consider what happened, what didn’t, and more important, why? Many Vermonters are vocal about wanting their government branches to change how they do business; others have altogether given up on government’s ability to better their lives. And while it’s fine to distrust and criticize government leaders, an outright anti-government stance, unfortunately, denies help, hope, and invites tyranny.

Norwich University concludes ROTC Centennial Symposium

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 4:40am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Norwich University hosted 12 generals and admirals, 40 classroom presentations, two keynote lectures and a moderated panel discussion last week to commemorate 100 years of Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and to discuss the future of the leader development program. As the birthplace of ROTC, Norwich University celebrated ROTC’s centennial anniversary with the “ROTC Centennial Symposium: Preparing the Next Generation Leaders in a Complex World” on April 21-23, 2016. The symposium brought over 150 VIPs to campus including representatives from the Australian and Macedonian attachés as well as the Canadian Military Service Academy, to debate, discuss and celebrate ROTC.

Ingrid Jones named Director of Fair and Impartial Policing and Community Affairs

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:52am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Department of Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn and Vermont State Police Director Colonel Matthew T Birmingham announced Thursday that Captain Ingrid Jonas has been selected to serve as the first Director of Fair and Impartial Policing and Community Affairs for the Vermont State Police.  This new position will be charged with developing and implementing a comprehensive program to ensure fair and impartial policing practices at all levels of the state police, building relationships of trust with minority communities, diversifying the workforce,

Windham County Economic Development Program releases 2016 RFP

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 4:05pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Windham County Economic Development Program (WCEDP) has released the 2016 Request for Proposals for competitive grant funds. The WCEDP is meant to promote economic development in Windham County by providing funds to stimulate job creation through business start-up, expansion, or relocation, encourage entrepreneurial activity, and strengthen the economic development infrastructure to ensure a strong foundation for transformational economic activity.

Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence winners announced

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 3:21pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award winners have been selected. This year’s recipients include Global Foundries in Essex Junction (two awards), Lyndon Furniture in Lyndon, WallGoldfinger in Randolph, Addison County Solid Waste District, Boardman Hill Solar in West Rutland, the Stowe Farmer’s Market in Stowe, the Vermont Foodbank, the Vermont Energy Education Program, the St. Johnsbury Academy, and TRY for the Environment.

OPM, Champlain College deliver truED and academic excellence government-wide

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 1:00pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Champlain College Wednesday celebrated the one-year anniversary of the truED® alliance with the US Office of Personnel Management. The agreement provides Federal employees, spouses, and eligible adult dependents access to affordable online education in mission-critical and highly competitive fields. Leaders across government recognized this milestone during “Federal Workforce 2020: Turning Today’s Experience into Tomorrow’s Talent” by joining in support of the alliance, and shared plans to increase participation and enhance talent development efforts within the Federal workforce.

With pipeline dead, plans in limbo for Vernon gas plant

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 11:56am -- tim

by Mike Faher/The Commons After more than a year of intense planning and contentious debate, the Vernon natural-gas plant project has come to an abrupt halt. Energy giant Kinder Morgan decided April 20 to pull the plug — at least for now — on its Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, and that means there will be no fuel supply for a proposed 600-megawatt gas-fired Vernon plant. Local officials noted that Kinder Morgan has “suspended” the pipeline project, meaning that work might resume at some point. But they are also prepared to move on to other projects that could help replace tax revenue and jobs lost due to the closing of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

NRCS to help Vermont farmers measure conservation impacts on water quality

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 10:59am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the availability of $2 million to help farmers install edge-of-field stations that monitor water quality as it leaves their fields, providing data to evaluate the success of various conservation efforts. The funding is available to farmers located across key watersheds in nine states, including Vermont, and is part of USDA’s ongoing commitment to measure the effectiveness of a wide range of conservation initiatives. Applications are due by July 8, 2016.

Data from edge of field water quality monitoring system helps measure impacts of conservation practices

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 10:50am -- tim

Soil health leads to improved water qualityby Amy Overstreet Lorenzo Whitcomb manages North Williston Cattle Company in the Lake Champlain Basin of Vermont with his brother and nephew. The 800-acre, 224-head cattle operation is a sixth-generation family farm that incorporates conservation stewardship with cutting edge technology, including solar energy and robotic milkers. Whitcomb is a firm believer in stewardship and is dedicated to ensuring that his farming activities have a minimal impact on water quality. Now, he’s taking soil and water conservation to the next level with a unique edge-of-field monitoring system. This enables water to be analyzed which helps determine the amount of nutrients and soil lost from agricultural fields during runoff events. 

Shumlin signs into law automatic voter registration

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 10:40am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine With some governors working to make it harder for citizens to vote, Governor Peter Shumlin today signed a law to make it easier. The bill (H458), signed into law at Montpelier City Hall, automatically registers eligible Vermonters to vote when they apply for a state driver’s license. President Obama has called for so-called automatic voter registration (AVR) laws to be adopted nationwide. Vermont is now the fourth state with such a law.

Feds OK big drop in Vermont Yankee insurance

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 10:15am -- tim

by Mike Faher/The Commons It isn’t cheap to maintain an insurance policy on a nuclear power plant. But, as of this month, Entergy Vermont Yankee is getting a big break on premiums: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the company can cut its onsite proper-damage insurance coverage from $1.06 billion to $50 million. Citing the fact that the Vernon plant has been shut down for more than 15 months, the federal agency says a much smaller insurance policy still will be adequate to cover cleanup and decontamination work resulting from any accident.