All Customers asked to call CVPS if power is still out Friday morningCVPS is asking that all customers who are still without power as of Friday morning to contact the company at 1-800-451-2877.Due to damage in some areas that are affecting only single and small groups of customers, some without power may not be listed in the outage management system. As restoration efforts near a close, the company wants to assure that no one is left without power.If customers see that others in their neighborhood have power, but they do not, CVPS asks that those customers switch their breakers off and on to assure the problem is not localized inside their home.The company also reminded customers that while service lines or overhead wires that run from a pole to a house or business are the utility’s responsibility, the service cable that runs along the side of the house is the customer’s responsibility.If those service cables are damaged, customers should contact an electrician. The service bracket that attaches the service line to the house is generally maintained by CVPS. However, the weather head, attached to the service cable, which prevents water damage to the wiring, is maintained by the customer’s electrician.
Growing asicNorth Chooses ArizonaSemiconductor design service provider asicNorth of South Burlington has ended its global search, choosing Arizona to expand its operations. The company is currently hiring experienced engineers, with plans to grow its new Tempe, AZ, operation over the next few years.”asicNorth is growing into new markets,” said President Mike Slattery “After surveying many cities it was apparent metro-Phoenix was the best choice to provide the new business opportunities and skilled workforce needed for our expansion.””Arizona is an ideal base for companies who need to reach out to the world,” said Jan Lesher, Director of the Arizona Department of Commerce. “We are grateful asicNorth chose to locate in the state, where its presence will improve the local economy.””asicNorth brings enhanced value for the semiconductor industry in Greater Phoenix,” said Barry Broome, Greater Phoenix Economic Council president and CEO. “This high-tech firm will complement the existing base of high-wage, technology employers in the City of Tempe.”The expert logic and circuit designers at asicNorth provide highly skilled design services to the Semiconductor industry. asicNorth works with industry leaders such as Broadcom, Cypress Semiconductor, IBM, Qimonda, Teradyne and Zoran. The company is headquartered in South Burlington, Vermont with more than 40 employees.An ASIC is a chip designed for a particular application; commonly used in automotive computers to control vehicle functions and in PDAs. ASICs use existing circuit building blocks connected in new ways to achieve performance. It is far easier than designing a new chip from scratch. asicNorth provides solutions for both ASIC design and assembly and the pre-designed building-block infrastructure in leading edge silicon technologies.”We’ve been delighted by the proactive response we’ve received from State and local business organizations,” said Slattery. “We believe our new design center in Tempe is strategic to the future success of asicNorth.”
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – October 24, 2008 Doubletree Burlington Vermont today announced the launch of its Meetings by Doubletree package, along with more than 190 participating hotels throughout North America. Customers who book a block of more than 25 guestrooms on their peak event night will receive an all-inclusive package of meeting incentives and premiums designed to simplify and make meetings and events easy.Ideal for either business or social functions, the Meetings by Doubletree package at the Doubletree Burlington Hotel Vermont includes the following:~ Complimentary meeting room with minimum 26-room block on peak nights~ Complimentary high-speed Internet connection in designated meeting room with minimum 26-room block~ A dedicated Event Services Manager at each hotel~ Flexible food and beverage options~ Access to exclusive online event planning tools such as Guest List Manager and Personalized Group Web Pages “Even with the challenges of today’s business climate, organizations and groups are looking for clever, efficient ways to conduct those important executive meetings, conferences and training sessions. The need to meet, plan and train face-to-face is still just as important as ever. The new Meetings by Doubletree program simply offers our customers added incentive to check into our brand’s three million square feet of superior event and meeting space and fine accommodations in some of the most sought-after business and leisure destinations around the world,” said Merrilee Phelps Director of sales for the Doubletree Burlington Hotel Vermont.Online Event Tools Put Planners In The Power SeatAs a part of the Hilton Family of Hotels, the Doubletree Burlington Hotel Vermont offers a suite of online tools that puts control at a meeting planners fingertips 24/7. Through a unique suite of online tools available through the Meetings by Doubletree package, event leads can manage their attendees’ reservations and room block through a Guest List Manager and even communicate event-specific information and agendas to their respective group through a Personalized Group Web Page. These online features provide the necessary communications utilities for a meeting thats well-run, productive and a great reflection on the event planner.A Wide Selection of Food and Beverage and Audio-Visual Options Are AvailableJust as important, the Doubletree Burlington Hotel Vermont offers a wide range of food and beverage options for half-day, full-day and evening receptions and banquets. The Event Services Manager at the Doubletree Burlington Hotel Vermont is there to guide customers every step of the way through a comprehensive menu of healthy, as well as indulgent culinary choices to make the most of their meeting experience. Event Services Managers can also help event planners choose from the latest in audio-visual and lighting equipment and décor options to create anything from the most simple and classic to the most dramatic and elegant occasions.Double Hilton HHonors Event Planner Bonus Points PromotionMeeting planners who are members of the Hilton HHonors Guest Loyalty Program have even more incentive to take advantage of the new Meetings by Doubletree package. For every meeting booked and held between now and December 31, 2008 at the Doubletree Hotel Burlington Vermont, HHonors members who book a Meetings by Doubletree package may qualify to earn Double Hilton HHonors Event Planner Bonus Points.Customers who book a minimum room block of twenty-six rooms on peak nights receive complimentary meeting-room rental. Size of complimentary meeting room relative to the total room block and determined by the hotel. This offer is available only at participating hotels. Hilton HHonors Event Planner bonus is valid for new event bookings only and is awarded at the discretion of the hotel and may not be awarded on all group business events. For complete Event Planner Terms and Conditions, visit HiltonHHonors.com. Other restrictions may apply.For more information on Meetings by Doubletree, including a list of participating hotels and their incredible array of meeting facilities, packages and options, please visit our Groups and Meetings website at www.doubletree.com/doubletreemeetings(link is external).For more information on the Doubletree Burlington Hotel Vermont please visit our website at www.burlington.doubletree.com(link is external) or contact our hotel sales team directly at 802-660-7552.###
Judge Geoffrey W Crawford of the Vermont Superior Court, Civil Division, Washington Unit, recently issued two decisions upholding the confidentiality of criminal investigation and inquest records. In two separate cases, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Rutland Herald made public records requests to the Attorney General’s Office. The Herald’s request was also directed to the Department of Public Safety. The Court found that these requests were properly denied because the records are confidential under the Public Records Act.The ACLU filed suit over its request for copies of documents filed in court by the Attorney General’s Office to obtain cell phone tracking data. The Attorney General’s Office argued that any such documents could not be disclosed because they were part of an inquest proceeding that is confidential by law. The action filed by the Rutland Herald arose out of its request for records relating to a Vermont State Police criminal investigation into possible criminal conduct at the Vermont Police Academy. The Herald argued that the records should be disclosed because the investigation had been completed and no criminal charges were filed. In both cases, the Court concluded that the Legislature intended the requested materials to be kept confidential. The Court also concluded that the Legislature intended the confidentiality of criminal investigation records to continue beyond the conclusion of a criminal investigation.Attorney General William Sorrell reacted to the decisions: ‘There are good public policy reasons for protecting criminal investigative files from public disclosure, including protecting the privacy of victims of crime as well as that of individuals investigated but never criminally charged.’Source: Vermont AOG. 11.9.2010
The Vermont State Colleges this week announced the selection of two finalists for the position of president of Vermont Technical College. The names of the candidates were sent to the Board of Trustees by its presidential search committee following interviews with four candidates during the week of November 15. The two finalists sent to the Board of Trustees are Dr Kathleen Nelson, former president and President Emeritus of Lake Superior College in Duluth, Minnesota; and Dr Philip Conroy, Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing at Mount Ida College in Newton, Massachusetts.The trustees will interview the finalists and consider a selection at their regular meeting on December 9th.Forty-seven applicants from around the country applied for the position following a national search that was begun last June when former president Ty Handy took on the presidency of Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, FL. Members of a board-appointed search committee that included faculty, staff, students, trustees, and VSC Chancellor Tim Donovan narrowed that list first to eleven, then to four semi-finalists by early November. All four semi-finalists were then invited to campus for interviews, which concluded last week.Dr. Nelson served for 13 years as president of Lake Superior College, a comprehensive community and technical college serving approximately 4,500 students in both urban and rural communities. During her tenure at Lake Superior she was twice recognized as President of the Year by the Minnesota State College Student Association.Dr. Nelson was also the recipient of the Lake Superior College Student Senate Lifetime Achievement Award and the City of Duluth’s coveted Sam Solon Legislative Leadership Award. From 1995-1997 Dr. Nelson served as the Vice President and Chief Academic Officer of the Laurentian Community and Technical College District, and she was Interim Vice President at the Arrowhead Community College Region from 1994-1995.Lake Superior is part of the Minnesota State College system, which is comprised of 32 colleges spread over 54 campuses.Dr. Conroy is currently Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing at Mount Ida College, responsible for admissions, financial aid, marketing, publications, the web site, public relations, and retention related activities. He has served in this capacity since 2003. Prior to taking on his current role, Conroy served for six years as Vice President for Institutional Advancement.Before joining Mount Ida in 1997, Conroy served as the Director of Development for the College of Food and Natural Resources at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and as Director of Development and founding Executive Director of the Bridgewater State College Foundation, where he also served as a faculty member, financial aid officer, and alumni relations director.Mount Ida is similar in size to Vermont Tech with approximately 1500 full- and part-time students, 60 percent of whom live on campus. The college is comprised of five separate schools specializing in animal science, business, design, and the arts and sciences. It also offers a Master of Science (MSM) degree program in management.‘The search committee was very pleased with the quality of applications for the position,’ commented Search Committee chair and trustee Martha O’Connor. ‘In particular, we are pleased to send these two excellent candidates for consideration by the Board of Trustees.’
Stratton Mountain Resort,The Stratton Corporation (Stratton) and the Winhall-Stratton Fire District (District) will pay $55,000 in civil penalties and $25,000 to fund a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) under a Consent Order agreed to with the State of Vermont to settle claims that they violated their environmental permits in 2004 and 2008.Those who receive environmental permits must comply with the terms of those permits,’ said Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell. ‘Ski resorts hold a special place in Vermont’s culture and should be especially aware of the need to protect the Vermont environment that is so critical to their businesses,’ Attorney General Sorrell added.In the Consent Order entered by the Vermont Superior Court, Civil Division, Windham Unit, Stratton and the District admitted to two separate discharge incidents that violated the conditions of their Indirect Discharge Permits issued to them by the State:In December of 2004, a discharge associated with 821,000 gallons of secondarily treated effluent was released through an open valve at a wastewater treatment facility owned by the District and operated by Stratton. Some of the effluent overflowed from a holding tank and eventually was discharged into a tributary of the Winhall River.On January 7, 2008, a sewer manhole overflowed at the Stratton Mountain Resort, causing the release of raw sewage into an unnamed tributary which eventually flows into Stratton Lake.The violations resulted from inspections by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR). Since the incidents, Stratton and the District have taken corrective measures at their facilities to address the violations.The SEP payments, subject to final approval by ANR, will be for the purpose of undertaking trail work to mitigate and prevent erosion into the watershed of Middle Brook in the Towns of Winhall and Stratton. Source: Vermont January 5, 2010
States will see significant new federal support in their efforts to help move Medicaid beneficiaries out of institutions and into their own homes or other community settings now and in the near future, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today.The Affordable Care Act provides additional funding for two programs supporting that goal, the Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration program and the Community First Choice Option program. Today, Secretary Sebelius announced thirteen States would together receive more than $45 million in MFP grants to start that program in their States, with a total of $621 million committed through 2016. In addition, HHS has proposed rules to allow all States to access a potential of $3.7 billion in increased federal funding to provide long-term services and supports through the Community First Choice Option program.‘Our country recognized in the Americans with Disabilities Act that everyone who can live at home or community-based setting should be allowed to do so,’ Secretary Sebelius said. ‘The Affordable Care Act provides States critical new dollars toward achieving that goal.’ Thirteen States Receive Money Follows the Person Program Grants The Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration program, which was set to expire in fiscal year 2011, is extended through the Affordable Care Act for an additional five years. The 13 States receiving awards today (see list and award amounts below) join the 29 States and the District of Columbia already operating MFP programs. Together, these States will receive more than $45 million in the first year of the program, and more than $621 million through 2016. The MFP program provides individuals living in a nursing home or other institution new opportunities to live in the community with the services and supports they need. Groups benefiting from these home-and-community based programs include the elderly, persons with intellectual, developmental and/or physical disabilities, mental illness or those diagnosed with several of these conditions. To date, these programs have helped 12,000 individuals move out of institutions and back into their communities. Today’s grants are expected to help an additional 13,000 people. ‘The Money Follows the Person program is hugely important to improving the lives of Medicaid beneficiaries,’ said Donald Berwick, M.D., administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which will implement the demonstration program. ‘This helps bring everyone, even those who in the past may have had no choice but to live in an institution, into the community where they can become full participants in the activities most of us take for granted.’ New Community First Choice Option Available to States Many of the same goals under the MFP demonstration are shared and supported by the Community First Choice (CFC) Option, created by the Affordable Care Act. Today, nursing homes and institutions are too often the first or only choice for people with Medicaid who need long term care. The goal of this new option is to give States additional resources to make community living a first choice, and leave nursing homes and institutions as a fall back option.Starting in October, this option will allow States to receive a six percent increase in federal matching funds for providing community-based attendant services and supports to people with Medicaid. Over the next three years’through 2014’States could see a total of $3.7 billion in new funds to provide these services. States currently receive Federal Medicaid matching funds for these activities at the State’s normal matching rate. Services and supports that can be provided under CFC include, but are not limited to, attendant services and supports that help individuals with activities of daily living such as bathing and eating, and health-related tasks through hands-on assistance or supervision. States may also cover costs related to moving individuals from an institution to the community, such as security and utility deposits, first month’s rent, and purchasing basic household supplies. To qualify for the increased Federal funds, States must develop ‘person-centered plans’ that allow the individual to determine how services are provided to achieve or maintain independence. States must also establish implementation councils with a majority membership consisting of persons with disabilities, elderly individuals and their representatives to advise in the design and implementation of Community First Choice option. The proposed rule, posted today, describes the details of this program and solicits public comment. The rule can be found at:http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2011-03946_PI.pdf(link is external). ‘There is more evidence than ever that people who need long-term care prefer to live in their own homes and communities whenever possible,’ said Dr. Berwick. ‘To restrict these individuals to institutions where even the simplest decisions of the day such as when to get up, what to eat and when to sleep are made by someone else must no longer be the norm. This new Federal funding will make a difference in people’s lives.’ MONEY FOLLOWS THE PERSON DEMONSTRATION GRANTS See below for the list of States receiving MFP grants today. Money Follows the Person Grant AwardeesStateGrantee1st YR. AwardFunds committed through 2016ColoradoColorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing$2,000,000$22,189,486FloridaFlorida Agency for Health Care Administration, Medicaid$4,203,999$35,748,853IdahoIdaho Department of Health and Welfare, Division of Medicaid$695,206$6,456,560MaineMaine Department of Health and Human Services$699,970$7,151,735MassachusettsMassachusetts Executive Office of Health & Human Services, Office of Medicaid$13,486,888$110,000,000MinnesotaDepartment of Human Services$13,421,736$187,412,620MississippiMississippi Division of Medicaid, Office of Health Services$1,341,394$37,076,814NevadaNevada Department of Health & Human Services, Division of Health Care Financing & Policy$800,000$7,276,402New MexicoNew Mexico Human Services Department, Medical Assistance Division, Long Term Services & Supports Bureau$595,839$23,724,360Rhode IslandRhode Island Department of Human Services, Division of Health Care Quality, Financing & Purchasing / Medicaid Division$2,503,021$24,570,450TennesseeTennessee Bureau of TennCare$2,357,733$119,624,597VermontDepartment of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living$2,123,975$17,963,059West VirginiaWest Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources, Bureau for Medical Services$1,267,373$22,220,423TOTAL$45,497,134$621,415,359
by Anne Galloway, www.vtdigger.org(link is external) May 9, 2011 Democratic lawmakers compromised with little difficulty on their few disagreements over specific expenditures in the capital bill last week. The sticking points ‘ money for a Montpelier biomass plant, funding for replacement plans for the Vermont State Hospital and a commitment to give the Vermont Telecommunications Authority significant funding for broadband ‘ came down to details, all of which were easily surmountable.The biggest change, proposed by Gov. Peter Shumlin, was a practical consideration that lawmakers embraced. Instead of passing a budget that is good for one year, as had been the practice for many years, Shumlin proposed a two-year capital budget. The first year is front-loaded with $92 million so that construction on new projects can continue unimpeded by changes in the political landscape. The second year budget, about $61 million, will be based on a capital budget adjustment that with the exception of a few ‘fenced off’ projects will be subject to re-evaluation in the fiscal year 2012 budget cycle.‘I think it’s a very good bill that is the result of very hard work throughout the session,’ said Sen. Bob Hartwell, D-Bennington.The two-year game plan gave the members of the House and Senate institutions committees some heartburn because the planning process was more rigorous, but lawmakers saw the advantages of the new system right away. Rep. Alice Emmons, D-Springfield, is pleased that particularly important construction projects, like the Colchester health lab slated to receive $28 million, won’t stall because of a lack of state funding. Local communities and local contractors will benefit from the two-year planning cycle, Emmons said.‘It’s really an economic development bill,’ Emmons said. ‘The longer contract has a ripple affect across the state.’Download a spreadsheet of the expendituresRead the conference committee reportThe state’s outlay for construction projects in fiscal year 2012 will include $7 million for the renovation of the Montpelier heating plant after all. (The Senate cut the funding, but restored it after language was added to the bill that tightens reporting requirements.)The Vermont State Hospital, which originally was given short shrift in the House version of the bill (it had been slated for $482,000 in carry forward money only) will now receive $2 million in new money for planning.The state lost federal certification for the Vermont State Hospital in 2003. Every year the state runs the hospital without the approval of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, it loses out on about $10 million in matching funds. CMS has determined that the facility is inadequate for the roughly 50 patients a day who need intensive, 24/7 mental health care.The 40-50 bed facility that would replace the existing hospital in Waterbury would be located on a four to five acre area near Central Vermont Medical Center and would include a basketball court, gardens and walking paths. The building would cost between $50 million and $60 million.‘We wanted to make sure that the Department of Buildings and General Services had the necessary resources to carry out a plan so if it works out it could be built in 2014, which would b e the end of a very long journey,’ Hartwell said.The Vermont Telecommunications Authority will receive $10 million in the first year of the capital budget and nothing in the second. Lawmakers have asked for quarterly reports to mark the VTA’s progress. The authority has been criticized for moving too slowly on the state’s broadband efforts. (Vermont has spotty wireless and fiber networks.)The VTA is authorized to bond for an additional $40 million for projects. This money has not yet been tapped.Lawmakers also included language in the bill that would make it possible for state employees to telecommute. ‘This may become a significant issue if gas becomes more expensive,’ Hartwell said.The state of Vermont maintains 4 million square feet of space for offices, courtrooms, correctional facilities and customer, service and storage areas.The state’s biggest expendituresEvery year the state invests in tangible assets ‘ office space, courtrooms, correctional facilities, information centers, schools, dam maintenance and/or historic buildings.The state’s renovation, construction expenditures and investments in this year only represents about 2 percent of the state’s $4.67 billion budget.The $153 million capital bill is a long list of state investments in a hodgepodge of projects ‘ office building maintenance, statehouse renovations, water pollution control, school construction, park facilities, parking lots, information technology, broadband and affordable housing and conservation.Rep. Alice Emmons, D-Springfield, and the chair of the committee said the bill was challenging to put together, but the long-term planning approach is advantageous. In the past, a major project couldn’t ‘put a shovel in the ground until all the money was in hand,’ she said.‘We’re guaranteeing money for two years, and the state can start construction right away,’ Emmons said.A new $28 million health labThe health lab will be located on land owned by the University of Vermont, and it will be situated near the Colchester Research Facility off exit 16 on Interstate 89. A feasibility study of the project has been completed for the 58,000 to 59,000 square foot structure. The construction will cost $28 million, and the building will include labs for environmental chemistry, microbiology and radiological testing. The health lab will accommodate up to 52 employees. The project will go out to bid in the late fall, and construction is expected to take 18 months.Energy efficiency for state buildings a high priorityLawmakers have also set energy efficiency targets for state buildings. The objective is for the state to reduce energy consumption by 5 percent a year on a three-year, rolling average. The Department of Buildings and General Services will be charged with measuring results. In addition, the state will ask employees to lower their fuel use for transportation by the same amount over the next three years. Emmons said the Vermont State Employees Association is comfortable with the targets.The capital bill also includes the following items:Lawmakers have set aside $200,000 for the renovation of two to three Statehouse committee rooms. The House Speaker will decide which rooms will get a facelift. Last year, House Corrections and Institutions and a small conference room got a facelift.The state is looking to overhaul 120 State St., where the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Education are now located. Some members of the DOE staff are now working at a satellite office on the Barre-Montpelier Road, and the administration wants to bring all those employees back to 120 State St. Lawmakers have set aside $250,000 to renovate historic restrooms on the ground floor of the building and $250,000 for plans to retrofit the whole structure.The Secretary of State’s office will be moving this spring to the newly renovated 128 State St. (where Shumlin’s transition team was briefly housed. The Redstone Building where the offices are currently located will be mothballed for the time being. Emmons said they don’t want to let go of state-owned property until they know for sure the space isn’t needed.The Department of Corrections has asked for $1.4 million for renovations in order to move inmates to new locations. It will cost $454,000 to renovate the Chittenden County Correctional Facility to accommodate women from the all-female St. Albans facility. The state wants to spend $800,000 in retrofits for the St. Albans prison, which will be leased to U.S. Marshals for use as a detention center.Lawmakers have set aside $5 million ($2.5 million in each of the fiscal years 2012 and 2013) for the consolidation of the Rockingham and Brattleboro State Police barracks and construction of one public safety field station.The Department of Information and Innovation is to receive $5.78 million for the upgrade of the human resources computer system.Vermont Public Television will receive $805,750 in fiscal year 2012. There is no money budgeted for VPT in fiscal year 2013. The money is to be spent on field production equipment, energy conservation retrofitting at the Colchester studio and a fixed satellite uplink. Ann Curran, VPT community relations director, said the funding is part of a three-phase plan to upgrade the studio’s digital television infrastructure.The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board would receive $4 million, with a provision that the board make affordable housing preservation and infill projects in or near downtowns or village centers a priority. In addition, $500,000 of the funding must go toward the creation of public inebriate beds and transitional housing for inmates. Up to 20 percent of the total appropriation is to be allocated for conservation awards that maximize the drawdown of federal and private matching funds. Anne Galloway is editor of vtdigger.org