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Vermont PBS’ Outdoor Journal premieres new season, January 27

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 4:34am -- tim

Vermont PBS’ Outdoor Journal, celebrating outdoor recreation in the northeast, enters its teen years this month, as the venerable program premieres its 13th season on Tuesday, January 27, at 7:30 pm. Winner of numerous regional and national awards, Outdoor Journal raises awareness of Vermont’s natural landscape and the region’s wondrous array of outdoor recreational opportunities.

McClaughry: Shumlin’s budget address offers more centralized government

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 4:33am -- tim

by John McClaughry In his earnestly delivered January 15 budget message, Gov. Peter Shumlin addressed many of the pressing issues left out of his inaugural address the week before. The coming year’s budget, Shumlin said, was “the toughest budget that I’ve put together.” Not much argument there. The flood of federal cash has reduced to a trickle, revenues are coming in well below projections, and the FY2016 General Fund faces at least a $94 million deficit.

UVM Extension Sustainable Transportation program

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 4:12am -- tim

A new national certification program is helping transportation companies nationwide reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve vehicle energy efficiency and save money. The eRating certification program, which recently completed its inaugural vehicle certification cycle, was developed by the University of Vermont Extension Certification for Sustainable Transportation (CST) program.

US average price of gas will fall below $2/gal this week, Vermont as low as $2.10

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 4:00am -- tim

American motorists will see something happen this week that has not occurred since March 25, 2009: The US average price of gasoline will slip below $2 per gallon. Meanwhile, Vermont gas is in the neighborhood of $2.40, but with some stations in southeastern Vermont boasting prices near or at $2.10.

VSAC earns EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification for superior energy efficiency

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 3:44am -- tim

Vermont Student Assistance Corp once again has earned the US Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR certification, which  signifies that its headquarters building performs among the top facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA.

Ski for Heat fundraiser goes for the cold hard cash to stay warm

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 3:29am -- tim

Fifteen years ago, Nordic enthusiast Martha Robertson, of Peru, Vermont, combined her passion for skiing with her passion for helping others in need to create “Ski for Heat.”  What started out as a local “ski-a-thon” in southwestern Vermont to raise $100 to help one family with heating fuel assistance has broadened its scope to aid low-income Vermonters throughout the state.

Voluntary timber harvesting guidelines adopted

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 3:13am -- tim

The Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is pleased to announce that Commissioner Michael Snyder has adopted a set of voluntary harvesting guidelines for private landowners to help ensure long-term forest health and sustainability. In 2013 the Vermont General Assembly passed Act 24, requiring the Commissioner of Forests, Parks, and Recreation to “develop voluntary harvesting guidelines that may be used by private landowners to help ensure long-term forest health and sustainability.”

New higher speeds, new Web site, new logo for Burlington Telecom

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 4:35pm -- tim

Mayor Miro Weinberger and Burlington Telecom General Manager Stephen Barraclough today reintroduced BT to the Burlington community, highlighting: BT’s ability to offer up to 1 Gigabit (1,000 MB) of Internet speed to its customers, a speed that is 100 times faster than the nation’s basic broadband speeds; and BT’s industry-leading customer satisfaction survey results. BT also unveiled its new logo, launched a new and improved Web site, and renewed its commitment to unbeatable customer service.

Vermont, NH congressmen call for assesment of FairPoint emergency network capabilities

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 3:08pm -- tim

US Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Representatives Peter Welch (D-Vermont) and Annie Kuster (D-NH) are calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to assess the ability of FairPoint Communications to operate emergency communications networks in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Miller: Addressing the health care cost shift is a win for business

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 11:55am -- tim

by Lawrence Miller, Chief of Health Care Reform As someone who for the past 25 years has owned, advised or worked closely with a Vermont business, I know firsthand how confusing our health care system is for employers. But here’s the most confusing aspect of all: Over the past three years, hospital budget growth has been kept at 3 percent, the lowest rate in 40 years. However, many private insurance premiums have risen way beyond that rate over that same time period. How can that be? The answer is the cost shift.

State auditor says ski area leases of public lands 'not kept pace'

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 11:14am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The ski industry has changed profoundly, but the long-term leases intended to boost this vital Vermont economic engine have not changed with it. Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer has released the findings of an investigation into the state’s land leases with seven ski resorts. The central aim of the inquiry was to evaluate the direct financial return to the public of the state leasing these unique land assets.

Vermont political leaders reaction to president's State of the Union

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 10:08am -- tim

President Obama offered his State of the Union address Tuesday night and Vermont's highest elected officials had general praise for it, especially the idea of revitalizing the economy of middle class earners. The president also called for paid sick leave, which Vermont's delegation and state Democratic leadership, have also called for. Leahy, who is very involved with normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba, spent most of his remarks on that subject.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont)