Vermont nonprofits convene at State House February 9

first_imgMore than 100 nonprofit leaders from across the state will convene at the Vermont State House on Thursday,  February 9th for the third annual Vermont Nonprofit Legislative Day.Nonprofit leaders will be in Montpelier to testify at legislative committees on the work and positive impact of Vermont’s nonprofits and to demonstrate their role as a positive economic force in the state of Vermont. There will also be a brief annual report on the work of Common Good Vermont and a 2:30 p.m. meeting with Governor Peter Shumlin on challenges facing Vermont’s nonprofits sector.Confirmed speakers for the day include Speaker Shap Smith (Vermont Legislature), Mark Larson (Department of Health Access), Jessica Oski (Sirotkin & Necrason), Floyd Nease(Vermont Association for Mental Health), Jacqueline Majoros, (Vermont Legal Aid), Sheila Reed ( Voices for Vermont’s Children), Peter Gilbert (Vermont Humanities Council)  and Liz Schlegel (Central Vermont Community Action Council).The agenda for the day includes: 8 ‘ 3 p.m. ‘- Registration Open/ Visit Partner Tables ‘ Room 11, Vermont State House9:00 a.m. ‘- Common Good Vermont Annual Meeting’ Room 11, Vermont State House9:15 a.m. ‘-Opening Remarks with Speaker of the House Shap Smith ‘ Room 11, Vermont State House9.25 a.m.  ‘- Nonprofit Legislative Briefing with Jessica Oski (Sirotkin & Necrason) & Mark Larson (Commissioner of VT Department of Health Access) – Room 11, Vermont State House10:00 a.m. ‘- Preview of the Days’ Schedule. How to Fan out and be Effective in the Statehouse, Liz Schlegel (Central Vermont Community Action Council)  ‘ Room 11, Vermont State House 10:30 a.m. ‘- Legislative Committee Visits-1:00 p.m. ‘- Devotional Reading, Peter Gilbert (VT Humanities Council) – House Chamber, Vermont State House 1:20 p.m. ‘ Secrets of Successful Advocacy with Floyd Nease (Vermont Association for Mental Health), Jacqueline Majoros, (Vermont Legal Aid), Sheila Reed ( Voices for Vermont’s Children),2:30 p.m. ‘- Meeting with Governor Peter Shumlin on Nonprofit Priorities, Room 11, Vermont State HouseMore information available at: is external) Common Good Vermont helps Vermont nonprofits to be more effective through networking events and a vibrant online resource center: is external). Vermont Nonprofit Legislative Day 2012is supported in part by CCTV Center for Media & Democracy , Vermont Community Foundation, KSE Partners, Sign-A-Rama, The Spencer Group,  Maclean, Meehan & Rice, Keybank, Fairpoint Communications, A.D. Henderson Foundation and Sovernet Communicationslast_img read more

KeyBank employees participate in nationwide community service day

first_imgMore than half of the employees of KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) nationwide participated in the company’s 23rd annual day of volunteer community service on Wednesday, May 22, including 100 in Vermont. Key staff spent the afternoon volunteering for a wide array of community service projects in neighborhoods across the nation. Two-thirds of branches were closed for the event.Burlington:  Key employees volunteered for various jobs at the Intervale Center, Dress for Success, Chittenden Emergency Food Shelter, Committee on Temporary Shelter, Community Health Center and Ronald McDonald House.Essex: Key employees painted, installed shelves and making general space improvements at the Essex Teen CenterWinooski: Key employees gardened to provide vegetables fresh food kitchen at Vermont Works for WomenWilliston: Key employeesbaked cookies/brownies, as well as assisting with outdoor projects at the Vermont Respite House,St. Albans: Key employees washed windows and staining decks for a fresh look at Care Partners Day CenterMiddlebury:  Key employees painted the Middlebury Library to give the interior a fresh lookRutland: Key employees helped with a fundraiser at the Rutland Housing Authority  Barre:  Key employees worked on general clean- up at the First Presbyterian Church.Neighbors Day began in Alaska in 1991, when a group of employees volunteered for an array of service projects in their communities.  The idea swept across the bank, where this year employees will donate an expected 30,000 hours, worth approximately $900,000.Over the 22-year history of Neighbors Day, employees have given more than half a million volunteer hours to their communities.One of the leading organized corporate volunteerism efforts in America, Neighbors Make the Difference Day is the signature piece in Key’s year-round philanthropic investment in its communities.  Each project is an extension of the company’s commitment to strengthening the quality of life in the communities where its employees live and work.  ‘As a bank, we help to improve the financial infrastructure of the cities and towns in which we do business,’notes Beth Mooney, KeyCorp’s chairman and chief executive officer.  ‘Neighbors Day comes from the heart: it reflects our employees’commitment and desire to make a very personal contribution.’About Neighbors Make the Difference DayKeyBank established Neighbors Make a Difference Day in 1991.  In 1993, the company rolled out Neighbors Day nationally as a means of enhancing the quality of life in the communities where its 15,500 employees live and work.  While some two-thirds of KeyBank branches close at noon on Neighbors Day, certain locations will remain open.  As always, customers will have access to ATMs, as well as online and mobile banking.  For more information, call 1.800.Key2YOU.  For details about Neighbors Day and KeyBank’s commitment to volunteerism, visit is external).About KeyCorp:KeyCorp was organized more than 160 years ago and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. One of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, Key had assets of approximately $89.2 billion at March 31, 2013.  Key provides deposit, lending, cash management and investment services to individuals and small businesses in 14 states under the name of KeyBank N.A.  Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit is external).last_img read more

Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery changes name to ‘Vermont Creamery’

first_imgVermont Butter & Cheese Creamery (VBCC) announced today that they will be changing their name to Vermont Creamery. The updated name is a result of acquiring the Registered Trademark for Vermont Creamery and a desire to further simplify the company name.‘We’ve been moving towards a more concise name for some time now,’ said company co-founder Allison Hooper. ‘Our products, which include both butter and cheese, are all made with pure, fresh and simple ingredients, and we feel that the name Vermont Creamery conveys what we do in a more memorable way.’Pioneers in the artisan cheese movement, Vermont Creamery will continue crafting some of the best, award winning artisanal dairy products in the country including fresh and aged goat cheeses, crème fraiche, mascarpone and cultured butter.  ‘We’ve been making high quality cheese and butter now for almost 30 years,’ said company co-founder Bob Reese. ‘This is just another step in our company’s story.’In their twenty-ninth year of business, Vermont Creamery is a leading American creamery crafting innovative, European-style dairy products. The creamery supports a network of more than 20 goat dairy farms, providing milk that meets the highest standards of purity, and is a proud contributor to the health of local agriculture. is external) Websterville, Vermont ‘ September, 26 2013 ‘ Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamerylast_img read more

Bad mortgages down in Vermont, but not as much as other states

first_imgThe September Mortgage Monitor report released by Lender Processing Services (NYSE: LPS) found that the majority (63 percent) of outstanding hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) have already reset from their initial interest rates. Within the loans that have not reset, approximately 75 percent were originated in post-crisis years, when over 60 percent of loans had credit scores of 760 and above. As LPS Senior Vice President Herb Blecher explained, these numbers bode well for the performance of ARMs as mortgage interest rates are expected to rise in the future.”Only 36 percent of outstanding hybrid ARMs are in a pre-reset status, and the vast majority of those are coming from newer vintages where loan quality has been pristine,” said Blecher. “That being the case, LPS looked closely at the remaining segment of pre-reset loans originated during the bubble years where underwriting criteria was not nearly as strict as post-crisis criteria — since it is these borrowers who could arguably be most negatively impacted by upward resets in their monthly mortgage payments — and sees little cause for concern. With interest rate indices near historically low levels, we found that they would need to rise on the order of 300 basis points for most of these pre-crisis hybrid rates to increase. Most of these borrowers are more likely to be looking forward to a reduction in payments, rather than an increase (though periodic rate floors may limit these decreases).”However, rising rates have had a significant impact on prepayment speeds, which are now at their lowest levels since May 2011. LPS saw prepayments decline across all investor categories, with GNMA and GSE segments seeing the steepest drops – both down over 50 percent since rates began their climb back in May. HARP-eligible loans – GSE loans with loan-to-value ratios of 100 percent or greater – have dropped sharply as well, declining over 40 percent. Finally, since interest rates drive refinances and refinances have been driving prepayments and originations, overall origination activity has declined as well, down more than 9 percent from last month and nearly 18 percent year-to-date.”Tapping data once again from the LPS Home Price Index, this month’s Mortgage Monitor looked at residential real estate transactions through August and found that year-to-date home sales remain at their highest levels since 2007. Distressed sales (both REO and short sales) continue to make up a smaller percentage of overall transactions. Of these, short-sale volumes accounted for 46 percent of distressed transactions in August — a declining share, but still historically high. While up 9 percent year-over-year, at just 0.4 percent month-over-month growth, home price appreciation is beginning to show signs of seasonal slowing. However, the pace of home price appreciation in 2013 is still greater than it was in 2012.As reported in LPS’ First Look release, other key results from LPS’ latest Mortgage Monitor report include:Total U.S. loan delinquency rate: ‘  ‘  ‘  6.46%Month-over-month change in delinquency rate: ‘  ‘ 4.23%Total U.S. foreclosure presale inventory rate: ‘ 2.63%Month-over-month change in foreclosure presale inventory rate: ‘  -1.29%States with highest percentage of non-current* loans: ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  FL, MS, NJ, NY, MEStates with the lowest percentage of non-current* loans: ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ WY, MT, AK, SD, ND*Non-current totals combine foreclosures and delinquencies as a percent of active loans in that state.Totals are extrapolated based on LPS Data & Analytics’ loan-level database of mortgage assets.To view the Mortgage Monitor Snapshot series, LPS’ video version of the Mortgage Monitor, go to…(link is external)About the Mortgage MonitorLPS manages the nation’s leading repository of loan-level residential mortgage data and performance information on nearly 40 million loans across the spectrum of credit products. The company’s research experts carefully analyze this data to produce a summary supplemented by dozens of charts and graphs that reflect trend and point-in-time observations for LPS’ monthly Mortgage Monitor Report. To review the full report, visit…(link is external)JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Nov. 4, 2013 — LPSlast_img read more

Champlain Community Service awarded $100,000 by The Gibney Family Foundation

first_imgChamplain Community Services, Inc has announced an award of $100,000 over three years from The Gibney Family Foundation of South Burlington. The grant represents an investment that enables CCS to fully launch its School2Work career development initiative for high school students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. School2Work partners with area high schools and businesses, and a number of partner agencies, to offer career development, industry-specific training, and job placement in the competitive economy,” said Michelle Paya, director of supported employment at CCS. The initiative builds on the expertise and resources of the agency’s nationally recognized supported employment program, Way2Work.Elizabeth Sightler, executive director at CCS, said, “We are thrilled to partner with The Gibney Family Foundation, and proud they recognize both our success in connecting individuals with disabilities to meaningful jobs and the potential for School2Work to help students transition to the workplace.Paya said School2Work built a successful model serving a limited number of students over the past two years, and now has the infrastructure and funds to hire dedicated staff and serve more students. Partnership with TGFF also extends School2Work’s reach to students who are blind or visually impaired, or facing a number of other physical challenges.At CCS, we believe full community membership for those we serve has to do with finding the most natural opportunities to belong. And I think the most natural way is through employment,” Sightler said. “In The Gibney Family Foundation, we have a strong partner that shares our values and priorities on this.Founded in 1967, CCS offers one-to-one supports to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Chittenden County and throughout northern Vermont. It is a Specialized Services Agency within the State of Vermont’s developmental services system, with a focus on vocational supports. More information is available at is external).Source: (Colchester, VT) Champlain Community Services. 11.14.2014last_img read more

ACTR marks 2 millionth ride on August 25

first_imgAddison County Transit Resources,Vermont Business Magazine Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) announces a major milestone in its service history. Ridership tracking indicates ACTR will deliver its two millionth ride on Tuesday, August 25, 2015.  To thank riders, ACTR’s buses will operate fare-free that day and each Bus System and Dial-A-Ride passenger will receive a gift, while supplies last.Community transportation services have come far in the past twenty-three years.  In the beginning ACTR had a handful of volunteer drivers who offered fee-based transportation services.  Over time, ACTR expanded its volunteer workforce, began serving senior meal sites, made all services more accessible, created 6 public bus routes, grew to a fleet of 21 buses, created 32 jobs and built a Community Transportation Center.“Since 1992 ACTR has gone from just an idea to an integral part of many people’s lives,” reflected Jim Moulton, Executive Director.  “Our staff and volunteers are all proud to provide services that are critical to the health and welfare of our friends, neighbors and relatives.  The two million rides we’ve delivered translate into a healthier community through access to work, school, medical care, social services, food security and more. They have also benefitted the environment by replacing so many single occupant car trips.”ACTR enhances the economic, social and environmental health of the region by providing community transportation services that are safe, reliable, accessible and affordable for everyone. To learn more about ACTR’s bus and Dial-A-Ride services, go to is external) or call 388-2287.Source: Middlebury, Vermont… Addison County Transit Resources 8.13.2015last_img read more

Beau Ties Ltd of Vermont names Liz Smith and Cy Tall new leaders

first_imgBeau Ties Ltd of Vermont,Vermont Business Magazine With the naming of a new executive leadership team, Beau Ties Ltd of Vermont has also renewed its commitment to Middlebury. Beau Ties Ltd has named Elizabeth Smith and Cy Day Tall as the company’s new Co-President/CEO. The pair will assume leadership over all corporate functions including merchandising, operations, production, marketing, technology, finance and sales.David Mutter, co-owner and Chairman, said in an announcement, “This is long overdue recognition of the leadership roles Liz and Cy have brought to Beau Ties over the last decade, and reconfirms our commitment to the Middlebury, VT community.“As Beau Ties has grown,” said Mutter, “our management routine has naturally evolved. Cy, Liz and I would caucus daily on everything from fabric selection to long-term strategy, and it became increasingly apparent to me that beyond working extraordinarily well together, Liz and Cy really drive excellence across the Company.“Liz Smith joined Beau Ties 17 years ago and has served in a series of leadership roles from customer service to sales. Her greatest impact, though, is her unique ability to serve as the ‘voice of the customer’” said Mutter. “No one knows men’s accessories better than she does. She is recognized throughout the industry for her ability to spot trends, translate them into innovative designs and curate collections that resonate with our customers – from individual buyers to, quite literally, The White House. Our customers return to us year after year because of the skills and service levels Liz has instilled at Beau Ties. It is reassuring to know that she will guide our team for years to come.“Prior to today’s announcement,” said Mutter, “Cy Tall served as Beau Ties’ Chief Marketing Officer, and was responsible for all marketing and promotional elements of the business. However, her analytical mind has proven to be as sharp as her creative flair, and her responsibilities have expanded to include Operations, Finance and Human Resources. Cy is the ultimate creative problem solver. Whether it’s a marketing campaign or a strategic decision, she’s able to disaggregate an issue and formulate a truly original approach. I know of no other executive who can freely jump from writing catalog copy to producing financial statements as quickly and as adeptly as Cy. I’m thrilled know she’ll be leading our team going forward.”Source: Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont. 1.13.2017. For more information about Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont, visit is external). Follow Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont on Facebook and Instagram at @BeauTiesLtd and on Twitter at @BeauTiesGuylast_img read more

Sanders warns of authoritarianism

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) deliver the following remarks at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Thursday morning: It is a pleasure for me to be here today at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. As you all know, Carnegie is a truly international institution with centers in five major cities across three continents, working to advance the cause of peace, democracy and the rule of law through engagement with all sectors of society in multiple countries.As we approach Independence Day, it is a moment to reflect upon our history, what makes this country so special, and what an enormous obligation we as citizens have to protect American freedom and democracy.Let me begin by saying this. There are enormous policy disagreements in Congress today and it should come as no surprise that I would disagree with the policies put forward by a Republican president who, in my view, is pushing a very anti-working class agenda and is stridently anti-environment.I am unalterably opposed to the Trump-Republican healthcare plans that have been passed in the House and introduced in the Senate, and will do everything I can to defeat them. In fact, I support a Medicare for all, single payer health plan. I would not expect a Republican president to do the same.I believe that climate change is one of the most immediate and pressing concerns facing the entire planet. It is unfortunate, but at this point I do not expect that President Trump or many of my Republican colleagues will hold the same view.I believe that, at a time of massive income and wealth inequality, we should not be giving huge tax breaks to the rich and large profitable corporations, as Republicans and the President want, but that in fact we need to ask the people on top to start paying their fair share of taxes. Virtually all of my Republican colleagues disagree.And on and on it goes. Whether it is education, criminal justice, immigration, gender equality, infrastructure or other major issues, there should be no great surprise that there are strong policy disagreements between Democrats, Republicans, Independents, conservatives, moderates or progressives. That’s what American democracy is about. We fight for what we believe in.But there is one very fundamental issue that we should not be disagreeing about. And that is, no matter what our political view – progressive, conservative or moderate – we must do everything that we can to preserve American democracy and oppose the current drift toward authoritarianism that I believe President Trump represents.And that is why I am here today. Let me give you some very specific examples of what I mean. It is no secret that public officials and politicians try to make the very best case they can for their point of view, and try to explain why their position is better than their opponents’. It also no great secret that politicians sometimes stretch the facts to make their best case. But there is no politician that I know, and certainly no president in the history of this country, who has told as many outrageous and blatant lies as Donald Trump has. Donald Trump told the American people that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally in the last election. His administration officials have repeated this claim. But let’s be clear: It is a lie. There is no evidence whatsoever for it. Republican election administrators from Mississippi to Nevada have stated their confidence that the 2016 election was not tainted by fraudulent voting.In fact the bipartisan National Association of Secretaries of State cast doubt on Trump’s lie stating, “In the lead up to the November 2016 election, secretaries of state expressed their confidence in the systemic integrity of our election process as a bipartisan group, and they stand behind that statement today.”This lie about our elections is also not simply the ravings of a sore winner. It is repeated with the intent of delegitimizing our electoral system. It sends a message to every Republican governor in the country to accelerate efforts to suppress the vote, to make it harder for people of color, poor people, old people, and young people, to participate in the political process. To stop people from voting who might vote against Republicans. Trump is trying to lower voter turnout based on a lie. Our job is to increase voter turnout. He also is attempting to preemptively cast doubt on the results of any future election that he might lose. His rhetoric has the effect of casting grave doubts over the electoral process in our country, and delegitimizing any president who might follow him, just as he tried to delegitimize the president who came before him, Barack Obama, through his leadership of the so-called “birther” movement. As you’ll remember, Trump’s path to the presidency began with his becoming the principal spokesman for the vicious and racist lie that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and therefore was not constitutionally eligible to be president.Just a few weeks ago, Trump told another outrageous lie, taking completely out of context a statement by the Muslim mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in the wake of the terrorist attack in that city. Mayor Khan’s message was: “Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. There’s no reason to be alarmed.” Trump blatantly mischaracterized this as if Khan was ignoring the threat and suggesting that people should not be alarmed by terrorism, and then used this lie to promote his divisive Muslim ban.What does it mean for our democracy if we have a president who lies all of the time? For a start, at a time of “fake news,” when websites spread fabrications every single day – the other day it was reported all across the internet that Clint Eastwood had died – it cheapens and lowers respect for truth, and advances the ideology of “alternative facts.” If the President of the United States, our leader, can consistently tell blatant lies, it makes it acceptable and easier for everybody else in public life to do the same. And when we have a discourse which is not based on facts, that is extraordinarily dangerous for democracy and the future of our country. And not unrelated to this pathological lying is Trump’s unprecedented and vicious attacks on the media. Now let me be clear, like every politician I have expressed criticism of media. In fact, the last chapter in my recent book expresses deep concerns about the nature of media coverage in this country – about what mainstream media considers to be important or not important. And like every public official I have been critical of this or that type of media coverage. Nothing new there.But Trump’s critique of mainstream media is very different. During his campaign, Trump riled up crowds against the press calling them “scum,” “horrible,” and “lying, disgusting people.” When Trump claims that all of mainstream media is “fake news,” not to be believed, what does that say to the average American? Is there nothing that we should believe in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and other newspapers throughout the country? Is there nothing we can believe on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, or other TV networks? Is all of it a lie, out to disparage Mr. Trump? Where does that lead us as a nation?Back in January, when Trump was being criticized for offering “alternative facts” about the size of his inauguration crowd, Republican Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas put it this way: “Better to get your news directly from the president. In fact, it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth.”In other words, according to the Congressman, there is one person in this country who can tell us the truth, and that is the president. What does that suggest about the future of democracy?There is a reason our founders enshrined the press as the one profession specifically protected in the bill of rights: A well-informed citizenry is necessary for democracy to function correctly. The power of knowledge, access to information, belonged in the hands of the people, not the government.There should also be widespread concern not only with President Trump’s attacks on the media, but with his disregard for the separation of powers inherent in the Constitution of the United States. His outbursts at judges are far from random temper tantrums of a billionaire used to getting his way. On the campaign trail he attacked a federal judge’s impartiality based on his ethnic background. And as President he attacked the federal judge who blocked his immigration executive order, referring to him as a “so-called judge.” What is even more alarming was Donald Trump’s insistence that the judiciary itself did not have the power to even review his immigration orders.These statements do not simply reveal disagreements with court rulings, which would not be unusual, but rather an effort to delegitimize a co-equal branch of government, and diminish its constitutional ability to limit and constrain his power.All of these tendencies are even more concerning when understood in light of Trump’s consistent admiration for authoritarian leaders. Many Americans find it rather strange that the president of the United States, a nation that has led the world in promoting democracy, seems to be more comfortable with autocrats and authoritarian politicians than with leaders of democratic nations.How does it happen that we have a president who attacks everyone – Democrats and Republicans, business leaders and beauty queens, journalists and movie stars – yet at the same time has nothing but nice things to say about Russian President Vladimir Putin, and other authoritarian leaders?Frankly, I know that many Americans are scratching their heads and trying to figure out why Trump has such an affinity for President Putin, a man who has severely repressed democracy in his own country, spent the last number of years trying to destabilize democracy in other countries, and trying to weaken the trans-Atlantic alliance.When questioned about Vladimir Putin’s murders of journalists, after briefly acknowledging the concern responded, “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country.”Why does President Trump have such kind words for President Duterte of the Philippines who is seriously undermining civil rights and liberties in his own country? Why does he seem so comfortable with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, a hereditary monarchy which treats women as third class citizens, and which promotes Wahhabism, a radical and extreme version of Islam that has spread throughout the Muslim world? Just yesterday, Trump sent congratulations to Saudi Prince Mohammad Bin Salman congratulating him on his elevation to Crown Prince. Really, Mr. President? Are we really excited that Saudi Arabia will remain an undemocratic monarchy for the foreseeable future?But again, this is a pattern. In April we saw Trump sending congratulations to Turkish president Erdogan for his victory in a referendum that would vastly expand Erdogan’s power and further weaken Turkey’s democracy. But Trump had nothing to say in May when, just after a meeting in the White House, Erdogan’s bodyguards beat up a number of peaceful protesters right here in Washington. Let me also be clear that the drift toward authoritarianism is not just something we’re seeing in the United States. Around the world – in the Middle East, in Europe, and elsewhere – we have seen the resurgence of a politics of resentment and bigotry, where legitimate anger about unaccountable and ineffective governance has been exploited by leaders who seek to divide us rather than unite us. Where understandable fear about personal safety and security has been used to curtail peoples’ rights, and to surveil and control them.What has been going on in the global economy, and why there is so much distrust and alienation from governments around the world, is beyond the theme of my remarks today, but let me just say this, in the United States over the last forty years, we have seen the middle class shrinking, and a massive of transfer of wealth to the people on top. While the average American today works longer hours for lower wages, twenty Americans now own as much wealth as the bottom half of the population. And this type of oligarchy is exactly what is happening in much of the world. Globally, the top one percent now owns more wealth that the bottom 99 percent of the world’s population. Even more incredible, the wealthiest eight people on earth own more wealth than the bottom half of the world’s population – 3.7 billion people. Let me conclude as I began. Our country, the international community, and our planet face enormous problems. Our job as a people is to lay these very serious problems out on the table, bring our people together, and to have honest and serious debate as to how we can go forward. Our duty is to respect our Constitution and to strengthen our democracy, not undermine it. And in this regard I would hope that all of us – Republicans and Democrats and Independents, progressives, conservatives, moderates – can come together to protect the country we love. Source: WASHINGTON, June 22, 2017 – Senator Bernie Sanderslast_img read more

$1.3 million grant to help Vermont State Police combat opioid epidemic

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced a grant of more than $1.3 million for the Vermont State Police (VSP) to continue its aggressive work fighting the opioid epidemic in Vermont. This was the second-largest of only eight grants awarded nationwide through the highly competitive COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force (AHTF) grant program that Leahy created in the fiscal year 2015 Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill. In his new role as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy worked to fund the program at $10 million in the fiscal year 2017 enacted CJS appropriations act, despite the Department of Justice proposing to eliminate the program.  The VSP will use the $1.3 million award to continue funding the five troopers and one analyst hired with the first grant of more than $1.4 million that it received in 2015 through the AHTF grant program.  Leahy also is a leading champion of this and other COPS programs on the Judiciary Committee, which oversees the program.Leahy said:  “I designed the Anti-Heroin Task Force grant program specifically with the Vermont State Police’s Drug Task Force in mind.  The vital and highly successful investigative work that the Task Force does in Vermont is a key component of our fight against the scourge of addiction that touches communities and families across our state.  The detectives and analysts dedicated to the anti-heroin task force, whose work is supported with these funds, work to get right at the heart of Vermont’s distribution networks, targeting those who profit from the misery of Vermonters and their families.”“We know that enforcement is only one element of the fight against opioid addiction, and I will continue to work to see that funding to support prevention, education, treatment and recovery also reaches those who are in need,” Leahy said.  “But we must do everything in our power to stem the flow of these deadly drugs, and I applaud the work of the Vermont Drug Task Force in helping to do that.”President Trump’s budget for fiscal year 2018 proposed eliminated funding for the AHTF grant program.  Despite the administration’s proposal, Leahy was able to ensure that the fiscal year 2018 Senate CJS appropriations bill includes $12 million in funding for the program, a $2 million increase over fiscal year 2017.Vermont State Police Colonel Matthew Birmingham said:  “The funds from this award are an important part of our enforcement strategy focused on dismantling heroin trafficking networks in Vermont.  We will continue to work with our partners in treatment and prevention to stem the impact that heroin and opiates have on Vermonters.  We are grateful to Senator Leahy for his efforts to create and sustain this funding.”Source: (WEDNESDAY, Nov. 29, 2017) — Leahylast_img read more

Air Force secretary reaffirms F-35 basing in Vermont

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger on Thursday released a letter from US Air Force Secretary Dr Heather Wilson written in response to the Mayor’s April 9, 2018 letter (see letters below). The mayor’s letter included the City Council’s March 26, 2018, resolution requesting the Secretary of the US Air Force provide an alternative mission for the Vermont Air National Guard (VTANG) at the Burlington International Airport. This resolution was approved following a public vote in March 2018.Secretary Wilson’s letter, which the Mayor’s Office received on May 23, 2018, responds to the central question posed by the mayor, City Council, and the voting public: Whether the Air Force could provide an alternative mission for the Vermont Air National Guard.Secretary Wilson writes: “We expect the first F-35 aircraft to arrive in Burlington in 2019. This decision was finalized in 2013 after a 48-month review which assessed 205 locations and concluded that the Burlington International Airport was the best Air National Guard option. If that decision were to be reversed, the Vermont Air National Guard would likely lose their flying mission upon the retirement of the F-16s. The Air Force is much smaller than it was at the end of the Cold War. We have fewer bases and fewer aircraft. As a result, some states no longer have flying missions for their National Guard and the competition to secure new missions is fierce.”Mayor Weinberger issued the following statement in response to the letter:“I welcome Secretary Wilson’s response to Burlington, which provides clarity in two important respects. First, it signals the United States Air Force’s continued commitment to its 2013 decision to base F-35s at the Burlington International Airport. Second, it provides a strong confirmation of what many of us have long thought: reversing the F-35 basing decision at this late date would likely lead to the end of the VTANG flying mission, jeopardizing hundreds of jobs and threatening the strength of our region’s economy. This clear, decisive communication should bring some measure of resolution of this issue to the community.”Separately, Major General Steven Cray, adjutant general, Vermont National Guard, said in response to Wilson’s letter:”The Vermont National Guard thanks Secretary Wilson for her careful review of the resolutions sent to her from Vermont.  We appreciate the confirmation of the decision that was made in 2013.  As we have previously stated, the men and women of the Vermont Air National Guard continue preparing for the arrival of the F35 in September of 2019. We will be ready.”RELATED STORIES:Weinberger rejects City Council resolution, announces ‘strong support’ for F-35 basing at BTVScott: F-35 mission essential to the state’s economy, security and future of VTANGAir Force secretary says F-35 only option for VermontBurlington gets the F-35Source: Mayor. VTANG. 5.24.2018last_img read more