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American Flatbread hires new President

first_imgAmerican Flatbread Company, Waitsfield, VT, is pleased to announce the hiring of Victor Morrison for the position of President. After a 4-month search, involving nearly 50 applicants, Morrisons 20 years of Vermont management experience in both business and non-profit organizations earned him the role.”Victor’s diversified management background, MBA, strong financial experience and emphasis on relationship building and empowerment are a great combination. In the handful of meetings we have had thus far, our communication and teamwork have been very rewarding,” said George Schenk, founder and now “former” president of American Flatbread Company. With the installation of Victor Morrison as President, Schenk will remain vitally involved as the CEO of American Flatbread Company. The company has four primary facets: wholesale production of frozen flatbreads, company owned restaurants, restaurant franchising, and the Inn at Lareau Farm.Vice President, and 14-year employee, Camilla Behn noted, “Victor really rounds out our management skill sets and gives us the strength of big business experience that a lot of Flatbread employees do not have. Many of us have worked with George building American Flatbread for most of our careers.” Morrison, a Hinesburg resident and avid skier, will begin at American Flatbread at the end of January 2007.last_img read more

VEDA lowers interest rates for second time in two months

first_imgFor the second time in two months, effective April 1, 2008, the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA), will lower its interest rates for commercial financing. VEDAs variable rate for taxable borrowers will drop to 3.5%, and the Authoritys variable rate for tax-exempt borrowers will drop to 3%. In February, 2008, the same rates went from 6.5% to 5%, and from 5.5% to 4.5%, respectively. “This is VEDA’s way of doing our part to help stimulate Vermont’s economy,” said Jo Bradley, the Authoritys Chief Executive Officer. “VEDA is keeping pace with a lower rate environment that exists throughout the nation, and we believe lowering interest rates again for Vermonts business community is the right move at the right time to help stimulate jobs creation and economic growth.”Prospective commercial borrowers who may benefit from the new lower rates are Vermont companies engaged in manufacturing, processing, warehousing, research and development, recycling, travel and tourism, information technology, and other businesses as defined in statute. Also eligible for the lower rates are Vermont businesses who build, install or update technology and communications infrastructure, and Vermont nonprofit local and regional development corporations who borrow to plan and develop industrial parks, or build facilities for lease to identified eligible tenants.VEDA’s mission is to promote economic prosperity in Vermont by providing financialassistance to eligible businesses, including manufacturing, agricultural, and travel and tourism enterprises. Since its inception in 1974, VEDA has made financing commitments totaling over $1.3 billion. For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org(link is external) or call 802-828-5627.last_img read more

Lyndon State College Ground Breaking

first_imgVermont Congressional Delegation to Take Part inLyndon State College Ground BreakingLyndon Center, Vt. – Vermont Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders along with Representative Peter Welsh will all take part in ground breaking for the new academic and student activity building at the college August 12 at noon. The ceremony will take place in front of the Vail Center, followed by a reception in the Vail Student Center.Space for student clubs and activities has been at a premium at Lyndon for a number of years, and, with growing enrollment recently, academic space has also been tight. This building project, approved by the Vermont State Colleges board of trustees last year, will provide instructional and faculty office space and space for academic programs that are increasing in size and technological complexity. Its multipurpose student activity space will meet a range of cultural, entertainment, academic and social needs for the Lyndon student body.In addition to student activities, three academic programs will move to the building when it opens next August – Meteorology, Exercise Science and Business Administration. Meteorology, an area where technological advances are made at a fast pace, will gain laboratory space, a new research area, updated equipment, a recording room for students to practice their broadcasting, an observation deck and space for the Lyndon Institute for Applied Meteorology, which sponsors research and educational programs online.Business Administration, which currently shares the Harvey Academic Center with Visual Arts and the Recreation Resource and Ski Resort Management Departments, will occupy the entire second floor of the new building. This new space will provide a professional business atmosphere in which students and the department can carry on their consultations with and presentations to area businesses with which they work, such as those involved in the iWOW (Incubator without Walls) program. iWOW businesses from the Newport/Derby area are working with Lyndon students and faculty to streamline their business models to position themselves in the most favorable competitive stance in regard to potential big box stores that may come to the area.Perhaps gaining the most from the move will be Exercise Science. This growing area, which in the past focused on physical education, now serves a growing number of students in a field of expanding opportunities. Along with the B.S. in physical education, Exercise Science now offers degrees in pre-professional athletic training, strength and conditioning/health and fitness, sports management, sports medicine and a self-designed program. This area has grown so fast that the college has been hard-pressed to find adequate appropriate space, and a few of the classes have been held for some time in a converted racquet ball court.Dean of Business Administration Dean Hamilton estimates construction costs at $10 million. The money comes from a Vermont State Colleges bond and will be repaid with student fees over the next 30 years. Even though Lyndon is part of Vermont’s public higher education system, state funding is too low to fund the improvement and growth which are necessary to offer Vermont students the education they deserve. Fund raising is also underway, and naming opportunities are available. Fund raising will provide all of the $1.5 to 3 million dollars needed to equip and furnish the building. For more information, contact Dean of Institutional Advancement Bob Whittaker at 626-6427.Follow signs for parking, which will in the faculty/staff lot by the baseball field while the main Vail lot is under construction.Architect for the project is Smith-Alvarez-Sienkiewycz of Burlington, and H.P. Cummings of Woodsville, N.H., will be construction manager. Cummings recently worked at LSC in the same capacity during the construction of the Rita Bole Complex. A reception will follow the ceremony in the student center on the second floor of Vail.last_img read more

Congressmen call on NRC to reconsider Vermont Yankee closed-door meeting

first_imgThe NRC today canceled a closed-door session to discuss Vermont Yankee and instead is inviting elected officials to attend an already-scheduled meeting in Brattleboro April 12. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) had called on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reconsider its decision to hold a closed-door meeting with local, state and federal officials in Keene, NH, on April 14. Those interested in attending the meeting April 12 should be aware that the NRC might move the location to a larger venue.The Vermont delegation s letter follows. The NRC statement follows the letter:March 30, 2010The Honorable Gregory B. JaczkoChairmanU.S. Nuclear Regulatory CommissionWashington, D.C. 20555-0001Dear Chairman Jaczko:We write to follow up on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission s invitation to participate in a closed-door Government-to-Government meeting on April 14 in Keene, New Hampshire.We are committed to open and transparent government and to honoring both the letter and spirit of Vermont’s open meeting laws.  Avoiding Vermont s open meeting laws by holding this meeting in New Hampshire will only add to the growing public skepticism about the handling of oversight at Vermont Yankee, and could curtail participation from Vermont officials.While we recognize that the discussion of information relating to security considerations often requires confidential briefings, the discussion of broader issues surrounding this facility is of great interest to Vermonters and is a discussion that should be conducted in a public setting.We urge you to reconsider, and to hold the April 14 meeting in Vermont so that Vermont’s federal, state and local officials can fully participate. We look forward to hearing from you regarding this request.Sincerely,Patrick Leahy              Bernard Sanders                     Peter WelchU.S. Senator                U.S. Senator                            U.S. RepresentativeNRC statement on meeting for state, county and local officials regarding Vermont YankeeThe Nuclear Regulatory Commission has decided that rather than hold a separate meeting with local officials on April 14 in Keene, NH, on issues at the nearby Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, it will invite those same local government representatives to join the NRC at a public open house on groundwater contamination on April 12th in Brattleboro, Vt. The agency is in the process of contacting the officials to inform them of the scheduling change.The open house will take place from 1 to 8 pm at the Brattleboro Ramada Inn and will offer both elected officials and members of the public the opportunity to hear directly from NRC staff members on issues of interest at Vermont Yankee.The NRC has a long history of outreach to both the general public and state, county and local officials with respect to its regulatory activities and oversight of nuclear power plant issues. This single, open meeting will further the goal of providing open and transparent government.Source: Vermont Congressional Delegation. WASHINGTON, March 30, 2010. NRC, March 31, 2010last_img read more

Retreat CEO Simpson selected as ‘2010 Grassroots Champion’ by AHA

first_imgBRATTLEBORO, VT (April 7, 2011) ‘  www.brattlebororetreat.org(link is external) Dr Robert E Simpson, president and chief executive officer of The Brattleboro Retreat, has been chosen by the American Hospital Association (AHA) as the hospital leader in Vermont who did the most in 2010 to help broaden the base of community support for hospitals, to advocate on behalf of patients, and to deliver the hospital message to elected officials. ‘In just a few years, Rob has become a state and national leader on mental health issues,’ said M. Bea Grause, president and chief executive officer of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems. ‘His commitment to providing compassionate, effective healing to adults and children has helped to both transform the Brattleboro Retreat and shape state and national policy in many arenas.  We are lucky to have him here in Vermont.’ Simpson will be recognized on Tuesday, April 12th in Washington, D. C., at the AHA’s 6th annual ‘Breakfast of Grassroots Champions’ at the Washington Hilton Hotel. The breakfast will take place during the AHA’s annual meeting. ‘I am honored that advocacy for mental health and addiction services is being recognized, and I see this award as the reflection of our true team effort at the Brattleboro Retreat,’ said Simpson. ‘Everyday we are inspired by the courage of our patients. Our employees are committed to providing excellence in care while advocating for those who may need a voice. At a time when hospitals everywhere have to be more innovative and efficient due to decreasing reimbursements at all levels, our grassroots efforts have never been more important.’ Under Simpson’s leadership, the Brattleboro Retreat saw a 23 percent growth in admissions in 2010.  As a result, the hospital has added beds and jobs. This growth surge was well ahead of similar hospitals in the country that grew by an average of three percent in 2010. ‘Dr. Simpson earned this special recognition through his dedication to the hospital mission, on both the local and national level, and we are looking forward to thanking him and sharing our deep appreciation for his work,’ said Rich Umbdenstock, president & chief executive officer of the AHA. Dr. Simpson says as a result of the increased patient demand and his hospital’s ability to manage growth, the Brattleboro Retreat is also adding more programs for different groups of patients ranging from returning soldiers and veterans to young adults who are in need of more treatment and services. In 2010 the Brattleboro Retreat provided care for approximately 5,250 adults, children and adolescents and experienced as many as 20’24 admissions per day during peak periods. Simpson has been serving the Retreat’s President and CEO since December 2006. For more information, go to www.brattlebororetreat.org(link is external)  The Brattleboro Retreat, founded in 1834, is a not-for-profit, regional specialty psychiatric hospital and addictions treatment center, providing a full range of diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitation services for individuals of all ages and their families. Nationally recognized for its premier treatment in behavioral healthcare, the Brattleboro Retreat offers a high quality, individualized, comprehensive continuum of care including inpatient, partial hospitalization, residential and outpatient treatment. last_img read more

Peabody’s Hand in Writing a Federal Coal-Bailout Initiative

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg News:Days after Energy Secretary Rick Perry requested a study on how to help coal-fired power plants, a lobbyist for the largest U.S. coal producer contacted the department to offer his advice. Many of those ideas became part of the department’s efforts to help the fuel source.Travis Fisher, a senior adviser at the department who coordinated the report, sought and received input from Raymond Shepherd, a top Peabody Energy Corp. lobbyist in Washington. Shepherd, a vice president for government affairs, said the department should highlight a key reason why coal is important: “On-site fuel storage increases reliability,” he said in an email. “Power generation can be interrupted by outages, weather events and competing market pressures.”The resulting study, released by the Energy Department in August, touted the value of power from coal-fired power plants, emphasizing just that point: on-site storage of fuel offers an important way to safeguard the electric grid’s resiliency. A month later the department proposed a rule to bail out coal plants, touting just those fuel-storage attributes. That regulation, if adopted, would be a boon for coal companies like Peabody. Neither natural gas nor renewable energy, coal’s chief competitors in electricity markets, have the fuel-storage attributes of coal.The emails also show that Peabody sought help from the Energy Department and other federal agencies to extend the life of the massive coal-fired Navajo Generation Station in Arizona. A Peabody mine supplies that plant.“We would love to get your insight on how DOE could work with the EPA and Interior to assist in keeping the plant open,” Shepherd wrote in an April 12 email.The emails show that the Energy Department’s study was not an objective look at the reliability of the grid as the department has maintained, said Casey Roberts, a senior attorney for the environmental group, the Sierra Club.The Sierra Club has joined with groups as diverse at the American Petroleum Institute and American Chemistry Council to oppose Perry’s proposed regulation.“These documents show the influence certain private interests had and the extraordinary access they had while the Department of Energy was conducting this study,” Roberts said in an interview. “The communications between Peabody and Department of Energy staff show a shared understanding that the objective of the DOE study was to preserve coal generation.”More: How Coal Giant Peabody’s Ideas Ended Up in Trump’s Coal Study Peabody’s Hand in Writing a Federal Coal-Bailout Initiativelast_img read more

Arkansas co-op announces plan to cut rates because of savings from solar power projects

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Arkansas Business:The Arkansas Advanced Energy Association examined utility trends, heard from industry leaders and bestowed awards for energy efficiency and renewable innovations Tuesday in Little Rock. But the annual conference’s “mic-drop moment” came when an award winner announced that he’ll be seeking the state’s first utility-wide electricity rate decrease tied to savings from solar power.Mark Cayce, CEO of Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corp. of Camden, drew a standing ovation from the energy efficiency and solar crowd at Heifer International headquarters when he made the rate announcement after receiving the association’s initial Advanced Energy Pioneer Award.“I made some pretty bold statements in support of solar power when the Legislature was considering solar policy, predicting that solar could actually bring rates down,” Cayce told the gathered renewable energy entrepreneurs, contractors and utility representatives. “Today I can announce that after our most recent rate study, on Oct. 17 we’re going to be seeking a 4 and 1/2-percent rate decrease at Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corp.”OECC, which serves about 7,000 members in south Arkansas and north Louisiana, was an early solar adopter as a partner with Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc. in a 12-megawatt array to power defense plant operations in East Camden in 2016. At the time, the array was the state’s largest solar project. OECC later built its own community solar station outside its Camden headquarters, and partnered with Today’s Power Inc. on an array for Southern Arkansas University Tech in Camden.Cayce has said that solar power saves the cooperative’s members by significantly reducing the amount of power the utility has to buy at premium prices during peak summer usage.“That was the mic-drop moment,” said Josh Davenport, CEO of Seal Solar Solutions of North Little Rock, describing Cayce’s rate-cut announcement. “We hear about cost-shifting from solar, but this is savings-shifting,” he said, referring to the common utility argument that solar adoption shifts infrastructure costs to utility customers who don’t have solar power. “This is the opposite,” Davenport said.More: At advanced energy event, solar power fuels a surprise rate-cut plan Arkansas co-op announces plan to cut rates because of savings from solar power projectslast_img read more

Bangladesh taking second look at 28GW of planned coal-fired generating capacity

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享China Dialogue:Bangladesh’s minister of power, energy and mineral resources, Nasrul Hamid, surprised energy watchers recently when he said the country is planning to “review” all but three of 29 planned coal plants.“We are keeping the three coal-fired power plants that are under construction. At present, we are aiming for [40 to 41GW of total generation capacity], where only 5GW is coal based,” said Minister Hamid during a webinar run by the Centre for Policy Dialogue. “We are reviewing how we can move from coal-based power plants.”Bangladesh has one of the largest coal power pipelines in the world, a total of 29 power plants amounting to 33.2GW of capacity, according to a 2019 study by an Australian organisation that tracks fossil fuel investment. If the minister’s comments become government policy, up to 26 power plants accounting for 28GW of capacity could be put under review. That’s 90% of the coal pipeline.“It would dramatically swing the nation’s power development away from coal,” said Simon Nicholas, energy finance analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).“Coal power is no more a cheap option and it’s becoming more expensive for imported coal. Hence, the government is reconsidering its earlier plan on coal-power generation in its energy mix”, Mohammad Hossain, director general of the ministry’s research body, Power Cell, commented in the webinar, echoing Minister Hamid’s suggestion to review coal power plans.The 29 coal power plants currently in Bangladesh’s pipeline are at varying stages of development. The three that Minister Hamid suggested will continue as planned – Rampal, Matarbari and Payra – have entered construction and are nearing completion. Their financiers include Chinese, Japanese and Indian export credit and international cooperation agencies. Other projects have signed engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deals, equity investment deals or are only at the stage of memoranda of understanding.Though of a much larger scale than elsewhere, Bangladesh’s potential pivot from coal is not an isolated incident this year. In June, the 700MW Qasim coal power project in Pakistan was cancelled, in large part due to lack of demand. A number of Vietnam’s coal power projects, long plagued with financing and construction start problems, are also looking increasingly unfeasible in the post-Covid world. In a consultation session held earlier this month, Vietnam’s Energy Institute suggested that the country’s next decade-long power plan due to come into force next year could see up to 9.5GW of planned coal capacity cancelled and 7.5GW postponed until at least 2030, about half of the country’s total planned coal power.[Tom Baxter]More: Bangladesh may ditch 90% of its planned coal power Bangladesh taking second look at 28GW of planned coal-fired generating capacitylast_img read more

The Pollution of the Open Road

first_imgDear EarthTalk: Freight companies like FedEx, UPS and all those 18 wheelers on the highways probably generate a lot of pollution and global warming. Is anything being done to address this? – Michael Brown, Washington, DCFreight companies operating in the U.S. and beyond do generate significant amounts of pollution. While transportation technologies and fuels have gotten more efficient in recent years, freight demands have grown considerably over the past two decades. Today, in the U.S. alone, for example, freight is responsible for about a quarter of all transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.Most freight trucks, locomotives and ships run on diesel engines, which are major sources of emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and carbon dioxide (CO2). Repeated exposure to nitrogen oxide-based smog and particulate matter has been linked to a wide range of human health problems, and we all know what CO2 emissions are doing to the planet’s atmosphere and ecosystems in terms of global warming.According to a 2005 analysis by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHA), heavy duty trucks are the biggest villains, accounting for 77.8 percent of total U.S. freight greenhouse gas emissions. Boat, train and airplane freight contribute 10.8, 8.7 and 2.8 percent respectively.Besides filling up loads completely and keeping equipment well tuned, shippers can reduce emissions via smarter operations and procedures. Software developed by UPS’s Roadnet helps logistics managers re-engineer their fleet routing, preventing tons of emissions and saving millions of dollars and in the process.Newer Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions standards aim to reduce nitrogen oxide and particulate matter pollution from freight operators upwards of 60 percent by 2020. They are a step in the right direction, but the failure of Congress to pass substantive federal legislation limiting CO2 emissions means that a growing freight sector will continue to pump out more and more greenhouse gases.A recently released report by the tri-lateral North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA’s) Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) lays out a vision for how to make freight—the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in North America after electricity generation—more efficient and less polluting across Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.The report identifies some scary trends. For example, emissions from freight-related vehicles grew 74 percent between 1990 and 2008—some 40 percent more than emissions growth from passenger vehicles over the same time span. Also, while emissions by light duty vehicles are expected to drop 12 percent by 2030, freight truck emissions are expected to grow by 20 percent. To start turning the freight sector around, CEC recommends that the three countries party to NAFTA start shifting to lower carbon fuels, putting a price on carbon emissions and replacing crumbling infrastructure. These fixes won’t be cheap, but CEC claims they will save money in the long run and clean up of North American freight altogether. 1 2last_img read more

Help! I’m Dreading Bikini Season

first_imgDear Mountain Mama,Longer days and warmer temperatures mean that summer is just around the corner. Summer is absolutely my favorite time of year except for one small thing – bathing suits. While I love the feeling of paddling bare-armed or soaking up sun along the river’s edge, just the thought of putting on a bikini fills me with dread. So much so that it’s tempting to stay covered up all summer long.Any tips?Yours,Bikini Fearing Dear Bikini Fearing,When we expose ourselves after a winter of jeans and sweaters, it can be scary. Our eyes seem to almost search for every dimple, lump, wrinkle, and sag. And what we look for, of course we find.If the body image ideal we hold most sacred is that of a taunt teenager, we will inevitably be left disappointed. We do not have the ability to turn back the years before gravity, babies, and long stints in the office took their toll.The choice we do have is how we define the ideal body. We can look in the mirror and be disgusted by the cellulite that’s taken permanent residence on our upper thighs. Or, if we squint, perhaps we can see those same dimples as the mirror reflection of the gentle slopes of a mountain ridge we hold dear. I’ve started telling myself that I have my very view of the Blue Ridge etched onto my body, as if a tattoo artist had inked it there.And when I look at my rounded, soft stomach, I think of the gentle start it provided to my son’s life. I see gratitude in the curves, for nurturing and housing my little boy when he was becoming ready for this wonderful world.Every time I catch myself lamenting my “thick” or “big” legs, I remind myself how many hundreds of miles those legs have carried me. I think of how capable they’ve been in carrying me and a pack on some of the Great Walks in New Zealand. Or I think of how they pedaled my bike across the state of Wisconsin one summer.Even my stretch marks look beautiful these days. They remind me of the waves of the Atlantic that I so long to see every year around this time. My stretch marks are exactly the same shape as the ripples that fade into the horizon as I sit on the beach watching the last of the pastel-streaked sky on the long, lazy evenings of cherished family vacation.Bikini Fearing, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to see cellulite or mountain ridges, whether you want to see stretch marks or ocean waves. Look for the gratitude, and you’re sure to find it.Here’s to lathering up and soaking up the rays!Mountain Mamalast_img read more

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