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Vermont Legal Aid gets $975K HUD grant to support Vermonters’ access to housing

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 4:12pm -- tim

Vermont Legal Aid has received a three-year Fair Housing Initiatives Program Grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to continue the Housing Discrimination Law Project’s work to ensure Vermonters’ access to housing and to challenge both individual and systemic discriminatory practices. The $975,000 grant will be disbursed over three years to fund Vermont Legal Aid’s statewide systemic and complaint-based testing project, fair housing counseling, representation in enforcement actions, education, and land use planning and policy advocacy with state and local officials.

Vermont Attorney General settles claims against mortgage company

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 2:55pm -- tim

Green Tree Servicing, LLC, a national servicer of residential mortgage loans, will pay Vermont consumers a total of $55,250 for the company’s debt collection practices and late payment of property taxes. Green Tree will also pay $176,750 to the State. According to Attorney General William Sorrell, the settlement is the first in Vermont to focus on mortgage-related issues since a series of multistate and federal settlements with national banks and servicers.

Graniteville landowners oppose two Rock of Ages plants

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 2:24pm -- tim

by John herrick vtdigger.org Brandy Ofciarcik-Perez pointed from her lawn to a sharp bend in the road as a flatbed truck carrying granite slabs overshot the center line in its trajectory down the hill toward her home. “People fly through here,” the 40-year-old dance instructor said, holding one of her three children by the hand. “I used to actually put up barriers.” Traffic is just one of the concerns raised by residents of Graniteville Road about an asphalt plant operating at the Rock of Ages quarry.

Campaign for Vermont seeks State Auditor review of education spending funding system

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 9:16am -- tim

Campaign for Vermont, a non-partisan citizen driven advocacy organization, has requested that Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer review the accuracy of “equalized pupil” and “education spending” calculations used by the Agency of Education and local school districts. These two highly obscure terms are defined in Vermont’s statutes and play a central role in setting local education property taxes, reallocating students from among school districts, and penalizing school districts with seemingly high spending levels per pupil.

Danforth Pewter, Gardener’s Supply to share solar power array

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 5:36am -- tim

Danforth Pewter and Gardener’s Supply Company, two nationally recognized Vermont-based specialty companies, have turned to the sun for emission-free solar power. The two companies will share the output of the newly installed Vermont solar array. The 144 KW system, constructed on the Pulling Farm in Addison features dual axis AllSun Trackers, manufactured nearby in Williston by AllEarth Renewables and a Power Purchase Agreement by SolarSense, LLC, a provider of clean, reliable and affordable power.

Vermont updates groundwater protection rule

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 5:34am -- tim

Vermont’s groundwater will now be better protected from pollution discharged into underground wells. Today the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued new Underground Injection Control Rules, replacing less protective 1982 standards. The rules regulate waste below ground through Vermont’s Underground Injection Control Program, authorized under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. 

“This new rule provides a strategic and targeted approach to increasing protections for Vermont’s groundwater,” said DEC Commissioner David Mears.

Deadline extended for new dairy farm production price insurance program

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 4:55am -- tim

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) is urging Vermont’s dairy farmers to take advantage of US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s decision to extend for a week the signup period for the new dairy farm production price insurance program created under the 2014 Farm Bill.

Vilsack on Wednesday afternoon announced that the signup deadline for the new Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) will be extended to December 5, 2014, and that the comment period for the new MPP-Dairy rule would be extended until December 15, 2014.

VHCB awards $3.65 million for affordable housing and land conservation

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 4:21am -- tim

The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board has approved $3,657,169 in grants and deferred loans to create, preserve or rehabilitate 152 affordable homes and to conserve 1,198 acres of farmland and working forest. VHCB Executive Director Gus Seelig said, “The Board is please to support these community-driven projects in all corners of the state.

Vermonters urged to 'Button Up' on November 1

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 3:38am -- tim

Heating season is here, and it’s time to button up. Standing before a display of weather stripping, caulking and other heat-saving materials at  Montpelier’s Aubuchon Hardware store, Gov. Peter Shumlin recently urged Vermonters to pitch in on the Button Up Vermont Day of Action on Saturday, November 1. “Button Up Vermont is a rallying day for us all to come together and tighten up our homes for winter,” he said.

California firm buys South Burlington retail property for $24 million

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 2:57pm -- tim

Loja Real Estate from Walnut Creek, CA, announced on Tuesday the acquisition of a three tenant shopping center tenanted by Trader Joe's, Pier 1 Imports and Healthy Living Market located off Dorset Street in South Burlington. Loja Real Estate purchased the property from a private investor for approximately $24 million. The transaction closed on October 15, 2014.

FairPoint sees rise in vandalism, unions call claim 'disgusting'

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 2:29pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine FairPoint Communications stated Tuesday that a spike in vandalism on its network during the ongoing strike is "no coincidence," an implication which the unions say is a "desperate" move on the telecommunication company's part. The worker stoppage on the Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine operations of the region's largest telecom has been bitter from the start. Negotiations began on a new contract last April.

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