Vermont Business Magazine Alan DeForest ’75 has been named chairman of the Board of Trustees at Norwich University. DeForest has served on the board since 2000. He replaces former Army Chief of Staff General Gordon R. Sullivan ’59, who joined the board in 1995, served as chairman since 2003 and stepped down at last week’s board meeting. Sullivan will continue to serve Norwich as Chairman Emeritus and Distinguished Leader in Residence, guiding Norwich in the following areas: Undergraduate Leadership; Peace and War Center; Center for Global Resilience and Security; Leadership and Change Institute; and as Honorary Chair of the Norwich Bicentennial.
Vermont Business Magazine Haskins Gas Service, Inc, a Vermont company, has agreed to pay $45,600 to 96 Vermont consumers and $15,000 in civil penalties to the State of Vermont to settle claims that the company violated Vermont consumer protection laws. The Attorney General found that when terminating propane service, Haskins failed to remove propane tanks and issue refund checks within the timeframes required by Vermont law.
Vermont Business Magazine How Vermont defines the relationship between employers and workers is one the most fundamental regulatory issues for Vermont’s economy. In a statement released Monday morning, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and the Women Business Owners Network said employers deserve clear and consistent rules to follow and workers deserve both flexibility and access to the workplace safety net, such as unemployment and worker’s compensation benefits.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (VTFPR) has awarded $586,764 to fifteen significant trail projects. This funding, available through state and federal funds in the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), will go towards maintaining and building public trails all over Vermont.
Vermont Business Magazine At the Vermont Retail & Grocers Association annual convention this past weekend at the Hilton Burlington, VRGA president, Jim Harrison, announced to members of the trade group that he would be stepping down at the end of the year. VRGA was brought about by the merger of the Vermont Retail Association and the Vermont Grocers Association. Harrison began his association career with VGA in 1987 and has continued as president of the new VRGA since the groups combined in 2014.
by Mike Smith There is a tactic that politicians sometimes use when they are in political hot water. The tactic is to blame others. Frequently, the goal is to cast blame far and wide so no one person is held responsible. Ironically, it’s a tactic we discourage our children from using when they say, “everyone is doing it” as a defense for bad behavior.
Attempting to spread the blame around, and therefore deflect blame, has been on full display as Governor Peter Shumlin addressed alleged fraud in the EB-5 program.
by Mike Faher/The Commons A warm, unseasonable winter has forced an undisclosed number of layoffs at Mount Snow ski resort in Dover. But resort administrators expect to hire back those employees soon. And they say the furloughs aren’t related to a $52 million cash crunch in the resort’s EB-5 foreign investor program — a problem that has slowed new development at Mount Snow.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Peter Shumlin on Saturday addressed the 129 graduates of the Vermont Department of Labor's Registered Apprenticeship Programs in electrical and plumbing trades. The programs are run in collaboration with Vermont Technical College under a grant from the Vermont Department of Labor. The ceremony was held at the VTC campus in Randolph Center.
by Gary Karnedy Vermont’s new sick leave law takes effect January 2017 (January 2018 for those who employ five or fewer employees). Although you still have seven months to determine how this law applies to your business, it would be wise to start reviewing your current policies and planning for the remainder of 2016 now. This will ensure a smooth transition once the new, and somewhat complex, law goes into effect.
by Nick Wallace The middle class is shrinking, but Vermont is the highest ranking state in the East for the "Middle Class." According to a 2015 analysis by Pew Research, for the first time in recent history less than half of American households are part of the middle class, with greater numbers of households moving into the upper and lower classes. Likewise, while middle-income Americans used to earn more than 60 percent of total US income, today their combined paychecks add up to just 43 percent of the whole pie. Vermont overall was eighth, as the Northeast and South generally ranked low.
Vermont Business Magazine Under normal weather and power system conditions, New England is expected to have the electricity resources it needs to meet consumer demand this summer, according to ISO New England Inc, the operator of the region’s bulk power system and wholesale electricity markets. Although electricity supplies are expected to be sufficient, construction work on the region’s natural gas pipeline infrastructure will limit delivery of natural gas to some power plants and require them to obtain fuel from different sources. However, ISO has commitments of about 2 gigawatts more than the historic peak demand. Another wild card is the amount of installed solar, which in New England is the equivalent output of two Vermont Yankee nuclear plants. That generation does constitute a challenge for ISO, as the actual output rises and falls with the sun.
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.