Saint Michael's College “We’ve been putting in some serious trees this week,” said biology Professor Declan McCabe Wednesday about a recent happy flurry of planting events — mostly in the College Natural Area over several days of this first week in May — but also on Arbor Day (April 29). Trevien Stanger of the environmental studies faculty – McCabe calls him “the Lorax” after a tree-honoring Dr. Seuss character given Stanger’s passion and deep knowledge about trees – was the primary mover and shaker of all these recent spring tree events, though McCabe has a regular hand in it too as chief steward of the Natural Area.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today vetoed H.715, the Clean Heat Standard bill. The House passed the bill 88-37. Senate passed it 23-7. The House would need 100 votes to override. The Senate would need 20. The bill gives authority to the Public Utility Commission to set policies and charges to fund measures to reduce greenhouse gases. Heating fuel dealers would provide most of the funds for the GHG reductions. The cost of clean heat credits would be established by the PUC and verified by the Department of Public Service.
Vermont State Police On May 6th, 2022 at approximately 1235 hours the Vermont State Police received a report of a two vehicle crash involving a farm tractor towing a piece of farm equipment and a motorcycle. Shortly after the initial call was received a Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy arrived on scene and advised that the operator of the motorcycle, Rodney Hall (age 71 of Milton), was deceased. Subsequent investigation revealed that the tractor appeared to pull into the roadway in front of the motorcycle which was traveling west on Route 105. The operator of the tractor, Jason Kennison (age 38 of Enosburg), was transported to the St. Albans Barracks on suspicion of DUI.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health today is reporting 386 cases of COVID-19 for Thursday (345 Wednesday). VDH also reported three additional deaths from the virus. The total death toll is now 642 lives lost. These are the first fatalities reported in May. Nearly all the recent deaths have been of people of at least 70. More than half of all deaths have been of Vermonters 80 or over.
Vermont Business Magazine The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) are announcing the winners of the 2022 ENERGY STAR Awards. These 210 organizations, which represent the top ENERGY STAR partners, are making important contributions in support of America’s clean energy transition. They come from 37 states and span nearly every sector of the economy, including Fortune 500 companies, schools, retailers, manufacturers, home builders, and commercial building owners and operators across the United States. In New England, 13 organizations across four of the states are leading the way in support of America’s clean energy transition.
Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Vermont Senate passed legislation to protect biodiversity and improve climate resilience (H.606). The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote. The bill now heads to the Governor for his signature. This policy was a recommendation of the state’s Climate Action Plan, adopted in December 2021. This bill calls for the creation of a statewide conservation plan that identifies a full range of conservation approaches to employ. Working with stakeholders from private landowners to land trusts, working land businesses, and the public at-large, the Agency of Natural Resources will be responsible for determining the tools, programs, and mechanisms needed to advance the conservation of 30% of our land by 2030 and 50% by 2050.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont House today reaffirmed its overwhelming support of the Legislature’s pension reform package by voting to override Governor Phil Scott’s veto two days after the Senate’s own unanimous override vote. The governor had anticipated the override but vetoed the plan May 2 "on principle" because it did not include an option for new employees to select an investment-type retirement plan like a 401(k) and because it did not sufficiently address a several-billion-dollar unfunded retirement obligation. He called the bill a "Band-Aid." Despite that, the bill passed without a single "nay" vote.
Vermont Business Magazine The federal government has authorized the Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) and Agency of Education (AOE) to provide a temporary food benefit to preK-12 students who would normally receive free or reduced-price meals at school. These benefits, called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT, are provided to students who missed meals at school due to COVID-19. Benefits are $39.90 each month for an eligible student who had at least one COVID-19-related absence. Approximately $3.6 million in benefits will be issued to 22,238 Vermont households for September 2021 through January 2022. This covers 33,234 students.
Vermont Business Magazine Anne Watson, currently serving as the Mayor of Montpelier, announced today that she is running for the Vermont Senate to represent the Washington Senate District in the 2022 Democratic primary election, to be held on August 9th. This announcement comes shortly after current Washington County Senator, Anthony Pollina, made it known publicly that he will not seek re-election.
Vermont Business Magazine Today Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos praised Vermont nurses on this year’s National Nurses Day. “Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system; they provide compassionate care to us and our loved ones in our times of greatest need,” said Condos. “The past two-plus years have demonstrated the essential role nurses play in caring for our communities, whether in our homes or health care systems, schools, or clinics. We are indebted to, and grateful for, the nurses who provide exceptional care and comfort to Vermont citizens. They truly make a difference in our lives.”
Vermont Business Magazine Seven Days, Vermont’s free, independent newsweekly based in Burlington, won 23 first-place awards in this year’s New England Better Newspaper Competition — including top honors in investigative, climate change and religious issue reporting, and the prize for general excellence. Staff writer Chelsea Edgar received the top reporting prize for all weekly newspapers in the region: Reporter of the Year. The contest is organized by the New England Newspaper & Press Association; winners were announced at NENPA’s annual convention in Boston on April 30. This competition is the largest and most comprehensive journalism recognition program in New England.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott signed bill H.629 into law giving adopted persons greater access to their adoption records. The Vermont Adoption Registry is the central point of contact for information about all adoptions that have taken place in Vermont since 1940. The registry is part of the Department for Children and Families.