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Holcombe: School mergers leading to improved choices and options, greater affordability

Sun, 04/09/2017 - 4:50am -- tim

by Rebecca Holcombe, Secretary of Education When the towns of Bethel, Rochester and Royalton started to talk about how to move forward under Act 46, one of the first things they did was ask students what they wanted for their high school experience. The answer was loud and clear: more peers, greater depth and breadth of academic opportunities, and more extracurricular activities.  Community members wanted the same, but they also worried about affordability.

New forestry from old growth, better for carbon

Sat, 04/08/2017 - 11:51am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine New results from a 15-year study on Mount Mansfield and at the University of Vermont's research forest come to a surprising conclusion: Imitating old-growth forests enhances carbon storage in managed forestland far better than conventional forestry techniques. As the planet warms, carbon markets are getting hot too. Forest landowners have been looking for ways to enter these markets, making money from their commercial timberland not just by selling logs—but also by demonstrating that their land is absorbing climate-warming carbon dioxide from the air.

AllEarth pays $4 million for commuter rail cars

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 4:10pm -- tim

by C.B. Hall Vermont Business Magazine AllEarth Rail, an affiliate of Williston-based solar manufacturer AllEarth Renewables, has announced its purchase of 12 vintage rail coaches to be used in launching a commuter rail service in northwestern Vermont. AllEarth Rail president David Blittersdorf, who is also CEO of AllEarth Renewables, said that Texas's Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) had awarded AllEarth Rail a contract for purchase of the cars after it won a bid for the equipment over three other parties.

Senators demand fair treatment of student loan borrowers in public service

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 3:49pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) joined a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos led by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and sent by a total of 36 senators. The letter expresses concern over announcements that borrowers may not be able to rely on notices they have previously received about their eligibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

Vermont opposes president’s efforts to stall energy efficiency standards

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 1:46pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Attorney General TJ Donovan announced that the State of Vermont joined two multi-state actions to force the US Department of Energy (DOE) to finalize energy conservation standards for several consumer and commercial products. Efficiency standards are crucial for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving money for consumers. The standards apply to items such as ceiling fans, portable air conditioners, walk-in coolers and commercial boilers.

Welch Introduces generic pharmaceutical that could save $2.35 billion

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 1:01pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) and Representative David McKinley (R-WV) this week introduced the Fair Access for Safe and Timely (FAST) Generics Act. The legislation would thwart manipulation of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) drug safety regulations in order to block the production of generic alternatives to brand name medicines. This would increase consumer access to generic drugs, boost market competition, and ultimately save American consumers money.

Weekly unemployment claims edge back up

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 9:16am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims increased modestly last week after several weeks of spiking and falling. Claims were down from a year ago, as they've been most weeks this year. As expected, by industry, Services reported the most claims (50 percent of the total), as most sectors saw small increases. Services typically report the most claims.

For the week of April 1, 2017, there were 540 claims, up 71 from the previous week's total and 198 fewer than than they were a year ago.

Vermont students recognized for financial literacy

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 8:39am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine State Treasurer Beth Pearce  joined with Governor Phil Scott on Thursday to recognize student achievement in the “Reading is an Investment” program and the “Be Money Wise” financial literacy poster contest. Both programs are administered by the Treasurer’s Office to engage student interest in money management skills

FirstLight enables wireless carrier's small cell expansion in Tier 2 and 3 markets

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 4:38am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine FirstLight, a leading fiber-optic bandwidth infrastructure services provider operating in the Northeast, announced today a long-term dark fiber contract with a major wireless carrier for the implementation of a new metropolitan CRAN ring throughout Manchester, NH, Biddeford, ME and Burlington, VT.

Leahy statement on 'nuclear option' and Gorsuch nomination

Thu, 04/06/2017 - 4:59pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) delivered a shorter version of the speech below on the Senate Floor yesterday, in the run up to today’s votes on the nomination.  The cloture motion to shut off further debate failed in a vote of 55 to 45 [60 votes are required for cloture].  Majority Leader McConnell then invoked the so-called “nuclear option” to change the Senate rules on cloture for Supreme Court nominees, so they can be confirmed with simple majority votes and not the current 60-vote threshold.  Leahy opposes the nomination and also voted again