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Governor cuts Christmas tree for Montpelier office

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 4:12pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont’s Christmas tree industry received one of its early customers yesterday when Governor Peter Shumlin arrived at Isham’s Family Farm in Williston to select and cut a tree for the state Pavilion Office Building in Montpelier.  The Governor’s annual tree-cutting event not only signals the start of tree-hunting season for many Vermonters, but also draws some well-deserved attention to Vermont’s robust Christmas Tree Industry, which supplies over 134,000 trees to Vermonters and customers throughout New England and as far away as Bermuda.

Gaz Métro reports fiscal 2015 results, Vermont performance still strong

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 3:41pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Valener Inc (TSX: VNR), the public investment vehicle in Gaz Métro Limited Partnership based in Montreal, which owns Green Mountain Power and Vermont Gas Systems reported last week an increase in net income and normalized operating cash flows of $58.6 million for fiscal 2015, or $1.53 per common share, up 50% from fiscal 2014, easily covering the dividend payment of$1.022 per common share. The Energy Distribution Segment in Vermont recorded net income of $57.3 million in fiscal 2015, down $0.9 million, or 1.5%, from fiscal 2014.

Agency of Ag releases draft agricultural water quality rules for public input

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 1:45pm -- tim

by Ryan Patch, VAAFM The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets (VAAFM) has released a draft copy of the Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs) for a period of public comment which will run through December 18, 2015. This is a pre-filing period which will afford the opportunity for all interested stakeholders to review the Draft RAPs and provide initial comment before VAAFM will formalize the draft this winter and will then enter into the formal rulemaking process in the spring of 2016.

Burlington College cuts tuition 9 percent

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 1:40pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Is college worth the cost? This question has been discussed for decades, but now it is in the national spotlight. For many young people, the rising costs of college have put the American dream out of reach. Both parents and students are hitting the ceiling when weighing the growing costs of higher education. Burlington College has been focused on affordability throughout its history.

Smith: Shumlin’s refugee rhetoric is doing more harm than good

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 10:25am -- tim

by Mike Smith According to recent polls, I am in the minority in this country and probably in Vermont too when talking about allowing Syrian refugees into this country, and eventually into our state. I support the Syrian refugee resettlement program. I have an appreciation of, and affinity for, the refugee and resettlement programs in Vermont since my days as secretary of human services. But approximately two-thirds of Americans do not share this opinion. And although I don’t agree with their position I can certainly understand their concerns.

Budgets, staffing increase overtime for corrections officers

Sat, 11/28/2015 - 9:52am -- tim

by Elizabeth Hewitt Vermont correctional officers are consistently working large amounts of overtime, raising familiar questions about balancing the budget and burnout. Figures from the Department of Corrections show that the officers inside Vermont’s seven prisons consistently work many hours beyond the typical 40-hour work week. Over the last six months, correctional officers worked a collective average of 5,894 hours of overtime every two-week pay period.

Scott: Legislature must focus on the fundamentals

Sat, 11/28/2015 - 5:14am -- tim

by Phil Scott At the start of every legislative session since being elected lieutenant governor, I’ve urged legislators to evaluate every proposal based on whether it helps our economy, improves efficiencies or reduces costs. If the answer to any of those questions is “yes,” then I suggested they put it on the front burner. If the answer is “no,” I suggested it go on the back burner.

Unemployment claims increase, but still far lower than last year

Fri, 11/27/2015 - 7:36am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont's weekly unemployment claims, surged again to over 700 last week, but remain well below the same time last year, when they eclipsed 1,000. For the week of November 21, there were 795 claims, an increase of 129 from the previous week's total and 211 fewer than they were a year ago. Generally, claims have been running below last year's totals. Total claims were up in all regions of the state for the week, but down everywhere for the year.

Settlement reached between National Federation of the Blind and Scribd

Fri, 11/27/2015 - 4:29am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine As a result of a claim filed by Langrock Sperry & Wool, LLP attorneys Emily Joselson and Michele Patton, the National Federation of the Blind and Scribd, Inc have agreed to work together to provide access and make content available in Scribd’s subscription reading service and website accessible to the blind by the end of 2017. Available on desktop and mobile devices, Scribd’s service provides users access to e-books, audiobooks and other published content for a flat monthly fee.

Stratton Mountain to open for skiing and riding November 28

Thu, 11/26/2015 - 10:40am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Stratton Mountain will open for top-to-bottom skiing and riding on Saturday, November 28 with at least 5 trails ranging from novice to intermediate terrain. Stratton snowmakers took advantage of the window of cold weather and fired up over 250 HKD snowguns Sunday evening when the temperatures dipped as low as 12 degrees and have run at full capacity for over 24 hours straight.

State expects to have a say in new nuke rules

Thu, 11/26/2015 - 7:28am -- tim

by Mike Faher/The Commons As Vermont Yankee starts down the road of decommissioning, one of the biggest complaints has been the lack of a map. That’s about to change, as the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission on November 19 formally announced its intent to develop new, detailed regulations for decommissioning power plants. An initial public-comment period runs through January 4.