0

Bleu Sky Creative Freshens Look for Two Vermont Businesses

first_imgBleu Sky Creative, a Burlington-based design firm, has redesigned the packaging for Cabot Creamery’s light 8 oz. cheddars, now known as Cabot Reduced Fat Cheddar, found in the grocery dairy aisle. After extensive consumer research, the new design calls attention to nutritional benefits while maintaining a classic look, reflected through hand-drawn illustration and classic typography.Bleu Sky has also helped GVV Architects, a Burlington architectural firm, redesign their web site. Their new site is project focused and articulates the firm’s variety of work in a clean and complementary interface.last_img read more

0

$3 million in Northern Border commission funding for economic development

first_imgRep. Peter Welch and leaders from throughout the Northeast Kingdom outlined economic development opportunities presented by the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) during a press conference Thursday morning in Newport.At Newport s Gateway Center, on the shores of Lake Memphremagog, Welch announced the first-ever round of funding appropriated to the NBRC by the U.S. House in July. The $3 million federal investment will help launch the four state regional commission, opening the door for increased funding opportunities for projects in Northern Vermont and its neighboring regions. This groundbreaking regional effort will help northern New England and New York develop a comprehensive economic development strategy and provide significant federal investment to community-based projects in the region, Welch said. By collaborating across state lines and investing in the region s tremendous assets, this effort will help the Northeast Kingdom and the rest of northern Vermont enhance its infrastructure and spur economic development. Most importantly, it will bring jobs to the region.Modeled after the highly successful Appalachian Regional Commission, the NBRC is a federal-state partnership focused on economic development in the northernmost regions of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and New York. Created in 1998 with the passage of the Farm Bill, the NBRC will fund community-based efforts ranging from broadband deployment to renewable energy projects to tourism development.Vermont s Caledonia, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille and Orleans counties are among 36 counties included in the regional development effort. The NBRC will include representatives from each of the states, as well as a presidentially-appointed co-chair.Welch was joined at Thursday s event by a broad range of leaders from the Northeast Kingdom, including Bill Stenger, president and owner of Jay Peak; Jon Freeman, president of the Northern Community Investment Corp.; Dave Snedeker, planning director of the Northeastern Vermont Development Association; Sen. Vince Illuzzi; Newport Mayor Paul Monette; Newport City Manager John Ward; and Trish Sears, CEO of Newport Renaissance.Source: Welch’s office.last_img read more

0

New Report: $1 cigarette tax increase would raise $6.7 million for Vermont and cut youth smoking

first_imgRaising Vermont’s cigarette tax by $1 per pack would bring in $6.7 million in new annual revenue to help close the state’s budget shortfall, while also reducing smoking and saving lives, according to a national report released today by a coalition of public health organizations.The report comes as states grapple with unprecedented budget shortfalls and face devastating cuts to education, health care and other essential public services. The report details the revenue and health benefits to each state of a $1 cigarette tax increase.In Vermont, a $1 cigarette tax increase would also:Prevent 3,600 kids from becoming smokers;Spur 1,900 current adult smokers to quit;Save 1,600 residents from premature, smoking-caused deaths; andSave $81.1 million in health care costs.A nationwide poll released along with the report found that 67 percent of voters support a $1 tobacco tax increase, with backing from large majorities of Republicans (68 percent), Democrats (70 percent) and Independents (64 percent).  The poll found that voters far prefer raising the state tobacco tax to other options for addressing state budget deficits. While 60 percent favored increasing the tobacco tax for this purpose, more than 70 percent opposed every other option presented, including higher state income, gasoline and sales taxes and cuts to education, health care, transportation and law enforcement programs.”This report shows that raising tobacco taxes is truly a win-win-win for Vermont. It is a budget win that will help protect vital programs like health care and education, a health win that will prevent kids from smoking and save lives, and a political win with the voters,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.The report was released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It is titled Tobacco Taxes: A Win-Win-Win for Cash-Strapped States.Currently, Vermont’s cigarette tax is $2.24 per pack, which ranks 9th in the nation. The national average is $1.34 per pack.  The scientific evidence is clear that increasing cigarette prices is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among kids. States will achieve even greater revenue and health gains if they also increase tax rates on other tobacco products, such as smokeless tobacco and cigars, and if they dedicate a portion of their new tobacco tax revenue to fund programs that prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit.Opposition to raising the cigarette tax further typically has come from Vermont retailers, who fear they would lose more business to New Hampshire, where the tax is already lower ($1.78, rank 16th). On the other hand, retailers have been concerned they would lose the advantage on its other borders, particularly losing consumers from New York, where the tax is $2.75 (rank 3rd), or more than 50 cents a pack higher, and consumers from Quebec, where the total cost of cigarettes is also higher than in Vermont.Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States. In Vermont, tobacco use claims 800 lives and costs the state $233 million in health care bills each year.  Currently, 18.2 percent of the state’s high school students smoke, and 2,700 kids try cigarettes for the first time each year.The national survey of 847 registered voters was conducted from January 20-24, 2010, by International Communications Research and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.  More information, including the full report, state-specific information and detailed poll results, can be found at www.tobaccofreekids.org/winwinwin(link is external).SOURCE: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —last_img read more

0

Caregiver and his employer charged with Medicaid fraud

first_imgA joint investigation by the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, has resulted in a caregiver and his employer being charged with billing Vermont Medicaid for services that were never provided. Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced today that Donald Crawford, age 48, of Bellows Falls, Vermont, and Jessica Kingsbury, 33, were each arraigned on September 28, 2010, in Vermont Superior Court, Criminal Division, Windsor County, on one felony count of Medicaid Fraud.According to papers filed in court, Mr. Crawford is accused of invoicing ARIS Solutions, the agency that processes timesheets for Vermont Medicaid waiver services, for services that were not provided, resulting in payment to him in an amount of $14,769.04 from the Vermont Medicaid Program. Ms. Kingsbury is accused of aiding and abetting Mr. Crawford in the filing of the fraudulent invoicing. Both parties each face a potential fine of up to $1,000.00 or an amount equal to twice the amount of payments obtained, or up to ten years in prison, or both. The court imposed standard conditions of release that govern the parties’ conduct while their cases are pending.Source: Attorney General, September 29, 2010last_img read more

0

TD Bank employees to volunteer at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf

first_imgTD Bank,Recently, the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank donated $35,000, equivalent to 87,500 pounds of food or 70,000 meals for families in need, to support the Vermont Food Bank. The Vermont Foodbank has a network of 280 partners around the state’food shelves, meal sites, shelters, senior centers and after-school programs’that reach as many as 86,000 Vermonters in need of food assistance.On Thursday, February 17, 2011, local TD Bank employees will volunteer at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, the Foodbank’s largest network partner, to assist with warehouse inventory, stock shelves, help clients complete paperwork and pick out their groceries.WHAT: Volunteers are a crucial part of every program at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. The dedicated hearts and hands of the community help Chittenden’s staff complete the countless tasks that go into feeding more than 12,000 people every year. TD Bank employees will assist with warehouse inventory, stocking shelves, helping clients complete paperwork and pick out their groceries in an effort to help fight hunger in Vermont.WHEN: Thursday, February 17, 20111:30 p.m. ‘ 2:30 p.m.WHERE: Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf228 North Winooski AvenueBurlington, VT 05401(802) 658 – 7939last_img read more

0

Leahy marks Sunshine Week with FOIA hearing

first_imgThe Congress has also made good progress in strengthening FOIA.  Last year, the Senate unanimously passed the Faster FOIA Act ‘ a bill that Senator Cornyn and I introduced to establish a bipartisan Commission to study FOIA and to make recommendations to Congress on ways to further improve FOIA.  We will reintroduce this bill later this week.  As Americans from every corner of our Nation commemorate Sunshine Week 2011, they have many good reasons to cheer.  I am pleased that one of President Obama’s first official acts when he took office was to issue a historic new directive to strengthen FOIA.  Just yesterday, the Department of Justice launched the new FOIA.gov website, which compiles all of the Department’s FOIA data in one online location. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) held a hearing Tuesday on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation’s premier open government law.  The nation is celebrating Sunshine Week, an observance of the importance of an open and transparent government.The Vermont Legislature is going through the process of rewriting its open meeting and open records laws (ACLU explantaion). ‘The right to know is a cornerstone of our democracy,’ said Leahy.  ‘Without it, citizens are kept in the dark about key policy decisions that directly affect their lives.  Without public access to government information, officials can make decisions in the shadows, sometimes in collusion with special interests, escaping accountability for their actions.  In the digital age, FOIA remains an indispensable tool in protecting the people’s right to know.Leahy is a longtime advocate of open, transparent government, and has been a leader in Congress in pushing for reforms to update and strengthen FOIA.  He is the co-author of the OPEN Government Act, which was signed into law in 2007, and which made the first major reforms to FOIA in more than a decade.  He is also the co-author of the OPEN FOIA Act, which required greater transparency for legislative exemptions to FOIA.  The legislation was signed into law in October 2009. Member statements and witness testimony, as well as a webcast of the hearing, are available online. # # # # # Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),Chairman, Committee On The JudiciaryHearing On ‘The Freedom Of Information Act:  Ensuring Transparency And Accountability In The Digital Age’   March 15, 2011Today, the Committee holds an important hearing on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  When Congress enacted FOIA more than 40 years ago, this watershed law ushered in a new and unprecedented era of transparency in government.  Four decades later, FOIA continues to give citizens access to the inner workings of their government and to guarantee the right to know for all Americans. I hope that the Congress will quickly enact this good government legislation.  There is also reason to cheer the recent unanimous decision by the Supreme Court in Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T Inc., concluding that corporations do not have a right of personal privacy under the Freedom of Information Act.  I am pleased that, in reaching this decision, our highest court honored congressional intent about the narrow scope of the personal privacy exemption to FOIA. These FOIA victories have made our Government more open and accountable to the American people.  But, our Government is still not as open and accessible to its citizens as it could ‘ and should ‘ be.Implementation of FOIA continues to be hampered by the increasing use of exemptions ‘ especially under section (b)(3) of FOIA.  Last year, Senators Grassley, Cornyn and I worked together on a bipartisan basis to repeal an overly-broad FOIA (b)(3) exemptions in the historic Wall Street reform bill, so that the American public will have access to important information about the state of our financial system.It is also essential that the American people have a FOIA law that is not only strengthened by reform, but properly enforced.  A report released yesterday by the National Security Archive found that, while there has been some progress in implementing the President’s FOIA reforms, only about half of the Federal agencies surveyed have taken concrete steps to update their FOIA guidance and assess their FOIA resources.  FOIA delays also continue to be a problem.  Twelve of the agencies surveyed had pending FOIA requests that were more than six years old, according to the report.  That is simply unacceptable.I am pleased that we have representatives from the Department of Justice and the Office of Government Information Services to discuss the Obama administration’s efforts to address these concerns and strengthen FOIA.  We are also fortunate to have a distinguished panel of FOIA experts to provide valuable perspectives on the importance of FOIA in guaranteeing the public’s right to know. I have said many times before ‘ during both Democratic and Republican administrations ‘ that freedom of information is neither a Democratic issue, nor a Republican issue.  It is an American issue.  I value the bipartisan partnership on FOIA matters that I have shared with Senator Cornyn over the years.  I will continue to work with Senator Cornyn, Senator Grassley and others on this Committee to advance freedom of information, so that the right to know is preserved for future generations.  I thank all of the distinguished witnesses that are appearing before the Committee today.  I look forward to today’s discussion. The Attorney General has also issued new FOIA guidance to help make our government agencies more open to the American people.  Last year, the Obama administration also issued another FOIA memorandum instructing federal agencies to update their FOIA training and guidance. The right to know is a cornerstone of our democracy.  Without it, citizens are kept in the dark about key policy decisions that directly affect their lives.  Without public access to government information, officials can make decisions in the shadows, sometimes in collusion with special interests, escaping accountability for their actions.  In the digital age, FOIA remains an indispensable tool in protecting the people’s right to know. WASHINGTON (Tuesday, March 15, 2011) ‘  # # # # #last_img read more

0

Roger Allbee appointed to Union Institute Board of Trustees

first_imgUnion Institute & University (UI&U), a private, non-profit university based in Montpelier, has announced the appointment of Roger Allbee to its Board of Trustees. Allbee is a leader in the advancement of agriculture in the United States and former secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets. ‘Roger Allbee’s knowledge, experience, expertise, and lifelong commitment to Vermont will help Union make a lasting, positive impact on higher education initiatives in Vermont and beyond,’ said Roger H. Sublett, president of Union Institute & University. ‘We are honored that he has chosen to serve on Union’s Board of Trustees.’ Allbee was appointed secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets in January 2007 by former Vermont Governor Jim Douglas. As secretary, Allbee administered one of the most diverse and publically watched agencies in Vermont, overseeing all facets of the state’s agriculture including animal health and welfare, agricultural development, water quality and nutrient management, international trade and trade policy, and food safety.  Before serving as secretary, Allbee was the executive director for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Services Agency for the State of Vermont. In this role, he was responsible for the execution of farm loan and farm program delivery to Vermont farmers and managed several offices throughout the state of Vermont. During his tenure as executive director, the Vermont FSA loan team received an USDA FSA Administrator’s Award. In addition to Allbee’s roles with the state of Vermont and the USDA, he also served as a senior international business consultant on agricultural trade policy and as a professional staff member of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture. He has also served as vice president of the former Farm Credit Banks of Springfield, Mass., and as an extension specialist at Cornell University.Allbee’s earned his B.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Vermont, and a master’s in agricultural economics from the University of Massachusetts. He has completed the Cornell University Agricultural Executives Program, and the Harvard Business School Agribusiness seminars. He served in Special Weapons of the U.S. Army with a rank of captain, and has received numerous awards including the Honor Award from the Soil and Water Conservation Society of America.Union Institute & University is a private, accredited university that has, since 1964, redefined higher education by placing learners at the center of their own education. Union serves more than 2000, self-motivated, socially conscious adults in rigorous faculty- mentored programs without interrupting professional, family, and community commitments. UI&U offers individualized programs of study leading to the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. In addition to its distance learning programs, academic centers are located in Cincinnati (OH), Los Angeles and Sacramento (CA), Miami (FL), and in Montpelier and Brattleboro (VT).www.myunion.edu(link is external) / Union Institute & University/ 62 Ridge St., Suite 2/ Montpelierlast_img read more