Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross issued a decision today denying a petition seeking to impose mandatory best management practices (BMPs) on farms in the Missisquoi Bay Basin. The decision directed the Agency’s Agricultural Water Quality Program to accelerate its agricultural water quality compliance and enforcement activities in the Missisquoi Bay Basin.
Vermont showed a notable increase in the number of homes sold, according to the REMAX October Housing Report, but median prices fell again, as they had in September. Sales were up 15 percent, while the median price fell 5 percent to $190,000. Vermont was the only state in New England to see prices fall. Across New England, every state in the region showed solid year-over-year sales increases with the state of Maine in the lead, up 25.4 percent over 2013 numbers.
On Friday, Attorney General William H Sorrell, with the support of a number of interested groups, asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont to uphold Act 120, Vermont’s law requiring the labeling of genetically engineered (aka, GE or GMO) food. The Office also opposed Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction.
On Sunday’s Face the Nation, the venerable CBS newsman Bob Scheiffer revealed he was “dumbstruck when (he) heard the comments that are surfacing from an economist named Jonathan Gruber, who was paid $400,000 to help shape President Obama's health care plan.” In July, Jonathan Gruber was awarded a $450,000 contract with the State of Vermont to help design the funding for Vermont’s health care reform.
Secretary of State Jim Condos announced today that Vermont’s Elections Division will be conducting a random audit of the 2014 general election results. The audit will include six towns - a 50 percent increase from previous years. “Voting is one of the most important responsibilities and privileges that comes with being a citizen. Ensuring the election process is both honest and accurate is as important as voting itself,” stated Secretary Condos.
Reginald Riendeau, a logger from Orleans, will pay $60,000 in civil penalties for violating Vermont’s water quality and heavy cut timber laws. The court-approved settlement requires Mr. Riendeau to comply with a harvest plan for any new logging activity and to give notice to the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation before any new logging activity for the next three years. “There is no excuse for not protecting water quality on logging jobs,” said Attorney General Bill Sorrell. “Our forests are a vital part of our environment and economy.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved $6.3 million in loans for economic development projects totaling over $16.5 million throughout Vermont. Creation of more than 100 new jobs throughout Vermont is projected within three years of completion of the financed projects.
Vermont Health Connect, Vermont’s health insurance marketplace, kicked off the Open Enrollment period on Saturday. The marketplace allows Vermonters to compare options, see if they qualify for free or reduced-cost health plans, and enroll in the plans that meet their needs and budget. Open Enrollment, a three-month period is the time when Vermonters can change health plans – if they want to.
Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow opened for skiing and riding on Sunday, November 16. Four Okemo Mountain School students were the first in line to earn first-chair bragging rights. They ripped through a banner that welcomed snow-loving guests to the start of winter and Okemo’s 2014/2015 season. Okemo opened with top-to-bottom skiing and riding on 11 trails serviced by four lifts. Okemo Vice President and General Manager Bruce Schmidt served pastries and coffee to skiers and riders waiting for the official start to the season.
by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Vermont exports are down, the task of entering the export market can be daunting for a small Vermont company and some Vermont companies have been, frankly, ripped off by foreign entities. But a new-to-Vermont effort is generating intensive interest and initial success for a program called ExporTech.
ExporTech was started by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to bolster local exporting efforts for small companies and support the local exporting landscape.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Wednesday was presented with the WASH Advocate Award for his strong support for ending the global safe drinking water crisis. In a presentation in the US Capitol, Leahy was joined by Vermont advocates Carolyn Meub and Barbara Carris of Pure Water For The World. Also on hand was his wife, Marcelle Leahy, a Registered Nurse. In one of Leahy’s visits to Haiti to inspect relief efforts funded by Leahy’s panel in the aftermath of the massive 2010 earthquake, she visited a project headed by the Vermonters.
Improvements to Maple Street Apartments in Hardwick have made this 16-unit, senior housing development a warmer, safer and more attractive place to live--but not before the residents had to contend with the dust, noise and inconvenience of living through the 13-month rehabilitation process. To both mark the completion of the renovations and recognize the residents for their patience and cooperation, the two nonprofit owners of Maple Street Apartments treated the residents to a thank you luncheon on Thursday.