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Michael Pieciak: Local boy hits the road, makes good, comes home

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 3:27pm -- tim

by Joyce Marcel, Vermont Business Magazine It's hard to find anyone who has a bad word to say about Michael S Pieciak, the high-profile former commissioner of the state's Department. of Financial Regulation and the man who took the leading and highly visible role of Governor Phil Scott's "data guy" during the state's successful two-year battle against COVID. Pieciak resigned as commissioner on April 30, saying he wanted to explore other options. Then on May 4, State Treasurer Beth Pearce announced she would not be seeking another term because of health reasons. So Pieciak caught his breath, turned around and, on May 6, announced he was running for Vermont state treasurer to replace Pearce — with Pearce's endorsement. If it looks like collusion, that's because, in the nicest way, it is.

Statement of Senator Leahy on signing of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act for Commonsense Gun Safety Reforms

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 9:26am -- katie

The President signed into law a much-needed step forward to addressing our nation’s gun violence epidemic. As we continue marking mass shootings with more and more frequency, and the nation calls on its elected officials to legislate change, the inaction in Congress has been deafening.

But today, we finally have progress.  Earlier this week, the Senate convened to vote on its bipartisan agreement to address and prevent gun violence.  I am pleased that key provisions of my bill, the “Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act,” were included in the agreement and now have been signed into law.  This is a bill I have been working to pass for nearly ten years with Senator Collins and Senator Durbin, which strengthens penalties for straw purchasing and firearms trafficking.  These are serious crimes and should be treated accordingly.  I am confident these efforts will help increase safety in our communities, and I applaud the bipartisan negotiators for including these important reforms in their agreement.

BMAC, Vermont Studio Center each get $100,000 from Wolf Kahn Foundation

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 7:33am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Wolf Kahn Foundation, jointly with the Emily Mason | Alice Trumbull Mason Foundation (the distinct organization devoted to the legacy of Emily and her mother), has announced $800,000 in grants to six art institutions in New York City and Vermont. This includes $100,000 each to the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center and the Vermont Studio Center. Following the $8.1M single-seller Christie’s sale of works from the couple’s art collection in May 2021, the gift round marks the first joint philanthropic initiative of the two sister Foundations and pays homage to Emily Mason and Wolf Kahn’s personal experiences and collective passions across five intersecting themes: New York City; access to arts education; Vermont; gardens and the natural world; and printmaking.

McClaughry: Watch out for a heating oil crunch

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 5:33am -- tim

by John McClaughry Governor Phil Scott’s veto of the Vermont Climate Council’s urgently desired tax on heating oil for homes, businesses, churches, schools and government buildings stopped that plan dead in its tracks. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the governor and the Democratic leadership will try to find common ground to enact the vetoed Clean Heat Standard in 2023, to be put into effect in 2024. But right now Vermonters face a pressing problem: steadily rising gasoline, diesel and heating fuel prices.

Vermont DED program updates and grant opportunities

Sat, 06/25/2022 - 5:17pm -- tim

by Joan Goldstein, Commissioner, Department of Economic Development Greetings! This summer, the Department of Economic Development (DED) team has restarted our regional visits beginning with travel to Bennington, Franklin, Rutland and Lamoille counties. Our tours have been a blend of business meetups, brownfield site visits, walking tours of TIF districts and networking events. Our Regional Development Corporation partners provide important local knowledge and facilitate business assistance in their communities, serving as satellites of the work that happens at the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD). It has been impactful to collaborate in person again after our COVID hiatus and we receive invaluable feedback during these regional visits.  

Whetstone Beer Co. marks 10th year with new look and return to origins

Sat, 06/25/2022 - 4:15pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine On the eve of its 10th Anniversary, Whetstone Brands co-founders Amy Brady, Tim Brady, and David Hiler are marking the occasion by refreshing the brand that started it all - Whetstone. Originally opened as Whetstone Station, the legacy brewery will be reborn as Whetstone Beer Co. with new visuals and branding that celebrates their common love of brewing up adventures through beer, travel, shared experiences, and the great outdoors. When doors opened and brewing began at Whetstone Station in July 2012, the spirit of exploration and discovery through rail travel underpinned the concept. The space at the confluence of Whetstone Brook and the Connecticut River in Brattleboro was designed to pay homage to the building’s role in Brattleboro’s bustling railroad industry. 

REGISTRATION just OPENED to exhibit at the 2022 MADE in VERMONT Marketplace on October 1-3

Sat, 06/25/2022 - 2:13pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Made in Vermont Marketplace is an extraordinary opportunity for Vermont companies to showcase their Made in Vermont products to an audience of thousands of prospective customers in one weekend. The trade show is dedicated to promoting the great variety of Vermont-made products ... from furniture, specialty foods, clothing, wines and so much more! Only Vermont based companies that make their products in Vermont are eligible to exhibit. It will be held October 1 - 2, 2022, at the Champlain Valley Exposition.

State House vandalized, threats made

Sat, 06/25/2022 - 1:13pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine This afternoon, Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray issued the following statement in response to vandalism and threats at the Vermont State House following yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling: “As Vermont Capitol Police reported this morning, the Vermont State House was vandalized last night. The unknown vandals broke seven windows across the front of the building, including my office window. They also spray-painted the front portico, stating, 'if abortions aren’t safe, you’re not either'."

SVHC hails decreased need for PCR testing

Sat, 06/25/2022 - 1:04pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Employees of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) collected more than 110,000 COVID specimens at the COVID Resource Center (CRC) since January 2021. Clinical staff worked outdoors in inclement weather. Staff members throughout the organization spent time beyond their regular professional commitments to support the effort. Lab technicians worked overtime to deliver results. As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to decrease and the supply of rapid antigen tests has stabilized, the need for PCR testing has declined dramatically. Federal funding for centralized testing has ceased. In addition, most workplaces and travel destinations no longer require PCR testing. As a result, SVHC will discontinue offering PCR tests at the CRC at noon on Friday, July 1.

VRN: Black vultures, Gendered impacts of COVID-19, Library Spending vs Police Spending, more

Sat, 06/25/2022 - 11:19am -- tim

Vermont Research News Societies, cultures, and thoughts are powered, defined, and limited by language. A new study analyzes the success of a Vermont school which taught the Abenaki language to non-indigenous students in 4th and 5th grade classrooms in helping these students learn about and challenge colonialism and the social injustice of climate change impacts. The scholars conducted a series of semi-structured interviews and examined materials like lesson plans and parent handbooks. They found that the effort to de-center colonial or extractive conceptions of land use conflicted with the content and structure of other classes that the students were taking.

Vermonters react to US Supreme Court overturning Roe V. Wade

Fri, 06/24/2022 - 4:22pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Patrick Leahy: "Today’s opinion from a narrow majority of the Court is not the end of abortion.  It is the end of a woman’s right to safe reproductive health care.  It is the end of women’s choice.  It sets us back.  It does not move us forward. What message does this send to women?  That their choice — that their right to govern their bodies — doesn’t matter?  That politicians know better?"