by Bruce Lisman Affordability is a renewed slogan that has recently found its way into the vocabulary of Governor Shumlin and some members of the Legislature. Former Governor Douglas spoke often of it when combating the legislative impulse to regulate and tax Vermonters. Today, it’s being used as a euphemism for growing property taxes.
Vermont Business Magazine New weekly unemployment claims in Vermont fell for the second week and back below 1,000. Claims had been very low during the summer, trending under 500, but have been high since early October. Levels this year had been running consistently lower than those of last year, but are now nearly the same. For the week of Deember 13, 2014, there were 867 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont. This is a decrease of 203 from the previous week's total, and the same as they were a year ago.
Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Gurus call it a new flavor. Existing “Half Baked” fans, especially given the holiday season, may consider it more of a gift. To celebrate Half Baked’s decade and a half of success, and because everyone knows that the holidays can be a bit nutty, Ben & Jerry’s is proud to unveil Peanut Butter Half Baked! The newest version in the Half Baked family includes a tasty twosome of chocolate and peanut butter ice creams mixed with gobs of peanut butter cookie dough and fudge brownies.
Vermont’s Financial Literacy Task Force has released a report, “Vermont’s Financial Literacy Action Plan,” with recommendations aimed at strengthening Vermonters’ financial futures. The group has developed 13 actionable solutions that will lead to an increase in the financial wellbeing of citizens across the state. “When it comes to ‘money smarts,’ far too many Vermonters aren’t making the grade,” said Bob Allen, Windham Foundation president/CEO and task force chairman. “We have the opportunity to help lift our friends and neighbors out of financial turmoil.
During a news conference at the Route 106 North Market and Deli in North Springfield Friday, officials from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and members of the Hawks Mountain Ridge Riders (HMRR) showed off their new snowmobile trail groomer. A $77,000 USDA Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) helped the club purchase the equipment to help the snowmobile club improve trail conditions in Southeastern Vermont.
Two prominent Vermont conservation organizations recently teamed up with Green Mountain Power to go solar, lowering their energy bills and greening their electric energy footprint. This exciting collaboration will allow these organizations to power their offices with clean, local, renewable energy.
Earlier this month, ISO New England Inc, the operator of the region’s bulk power system and wholesale electricity markets, completed a multi-year transition to a new market system that allows generators to submit supply offers on an hourly basis, an enhancement that will help improve power system reliability.
As of today, the Department of Public Service has received in excess of 700 complaints regarding FairPoint Communication’s service since the work stoppage began in October. “The Department has grave concerns regarding the number of customers who appear to be experiencing serious delays in repair of service and we believe immediate remedial action is necessary,” said Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia. Today, the Department proposed, and FairPoint has agreed, to implement measures designed to ensure timely repairs for those most vulnerable without phone service.
US Attorney Tristram Coffin on Friday announced that he will be leaving his position next month after serving as Vermont’s top federal prosecutor since 2009. US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) praised Coffin for his years of service, and he committed to working quickly to find a highly qualified nominee to serve as Vermont’s next US Attorney. Coffin announced his plan to return to private practice and join the Vermont law firm Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC. DRM Managing Partner Paul H.
The Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) has asked for an expansion of a Preliminary Damage Assessment by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to include eight additional counties. The added counties are Addison, Caledonia, Essex, Grand Isle, Orange, Rutland, Washington, and Windsor. The assessment initially included Chittenden, Franklin, Lamoille, and Orleans counties.
T-Mobile USA, Inc has reached a global settlement on mobile cramming with Vermont and 49 other states, the District of Columbia, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission. “Cramming” is the placement of unauthorized third-party charges on a telephone bill. Together with the settlement with AT&T Mobility announced in October, this resolves the issue of mobile cramming for nearly half of Vermont’s cell-phone users.