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Vermont Tech Ranked Among Top 25 Schools in the North

Vermont Tech Ranked Among Top 25 Schools in the North

first_imgVermont Tech Ranked Among Top 25 Schools in the NorthRANDOLPH CENTER, Vt-Vermont Technical College this week was named among the top 25 Baccalaureate Colleges in the North by U.S.News & World Report.In its 2009 “Best Colleges” issue, Vermont Tech this year came in at number 24, up six slots from its number 30 ranking one year ago.”As you might imagine, we’re very pleased with this kind recognition,” said college president Ty Handy. “A lot of people put in a lot of long hours to make Vermont Tech the unique and special institution that it is, and it’s very gratifying, not only to be recognized for our efforts, but also to be among the few public institutions to make it into the rankings.”According to its web site, the U.S. News rankings system rests on two pillars: quantitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality, and its own nonpartisan view of what matters in education.The quantitative measures for baccalaureate colleges fall into six broad categories: peer assessment; graduation and retention rates; faculty resources (for example, class size); student selectivity (for example, average admission test scores of incoming students); financial resources; and alumni giving.Baccalaureate colleges are defined by U.S. News as “institutions [that] focus primarily on undergraduate education…but grant fewer than 50 percent of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. At these schools, at least 10 percent of undergraduate degrees awarded are bachelor’s degrees.”There are 319 baccalaureate colleges ranked within four regions of the United States: North, South, Midwest, and West. Vermont Tech is one of just two Vermont colleges to make the “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” list.last_img read more

Vermont Ranks Low on State Policy Climate for Entrepreneurship

Vermont Ranks Low on State Policy Climate for Entrepreneurship

first_imgSBE Ranks State Policy Climates for EntrepreneurshipWASHINGTON, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) just released its 13th annual rankings of the states according to their public policy climates for small business and entrepreneurship in the “Small Business Survival Index 2008: Ranking the Policy Environment for Entrepreneurship Across the Nation.”SBE Council chief economist Raymond J. Keating, author of the study, said: “The U.S. economy is in a serious downturn, and the outlook for a robust recovery seems remote. That means state and local policymakers face some very difficult decisions, especially on budget matters. Depending on the policy course that state lawmakers choose, they can either make the economic situation in their own state better or far worse.”Keating continued: “A significant impediment to small business, entrepreneurship and investment is public policy gone awry. Quite often, policies have unintended consequences for small businesses when they raise costs, create uncertainty and diminish incentives for starting up, investing in and building a business. On the other hand, positive policies can be advanced that enable small business growth, job creation and entrepreneurship. The ‘Small Business Survival Index’ measures these policy actions.”The “Small Business Survival Index” serves as the most comprehensive measure of the states in terms of which ones offer the most conducive environment for small businesses, and those that make it more difficult for entrepreneurs from a government-cost perspective. The factors included in the Index – taxes, various regulatory costs, government spending, property rights, health care and energy costs, and much more – matter a great deal to the competitiveness of each state and to the well being of small business.The 2008 Index has been expanded to cover 34 major government-imposed or government-related costs affecting small businesses and entrepreneurs. The measures are added together for an overall rating.In terms of their policy environments, the most entrepreneur-friendly states under the “Small Business Survival Index 2008” are: 1) South Dakota, 2) Nevada, 3) Wyoming, 4) Florida, 5) Washington, 6) Texas, 7) South Carolina, 8) Alabama, 9) Virginia, and 10) Colorado. The more difficult state policy environments for entrepreneurs include: 40) West Virginia, 41) Hawaii, 42) Iowa, 43) Vermont, 44) Massachusetts, 45) New York, 46) Minnesota, 47) Rhode Island, 48) Maine, 49) California, 50) New Jersey and 51) District of Columbia.For a complete list of state rankings, and to access the “Small Business Survival Index 2008” report, please look for the Index image on the right hand side (right below “Business Tax Index 2008”) on www.sbecouncil.org(link is external). SBE Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research, training and advocacy organization that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship.last_img read more

CVPS to purchase Vermont Marble Power Division from Omya for $33.2 million

CVPS to purchase Vermont Marble Power Division from Omya for $33.2 million

first_imgCentral Vermont Public Service today announced that it will purchase the assets and service territory of the Vermont Marble Power Division of Omya Inc. for $33.2 million.Included in the sale are rights to serve about 890 customers in Proctor, including the Omya industrial facility in Florence, which will become CV s single-largest customer. Significantly, the sale also includes four hydroelectric facilities with a combined capacity of 18.1 megawatts. This purchase will create economies of scale that will benefit all of our customers, and will lead to expansion of the generation output from the four Vermont Marble dams through increased investment, CVPS President Bob Young said. It maintains Vermont control over the plants, which produce clean, reliable energy, and expands CV s role as the operator of the largest fleet of renewable hydroelectric generators in the state.Young said there would be significant benefits to the purchase:* It continues the state-supported consolidation of Vermont s electric utilities, creating further economies of scale.* CV will invest in upgrades and repairs that will improve hydroelectric output from the plants. CV plans to invest $12 million to upgrade the Vermont Marble facilities and operate them in consort with CV s existing Otter Creek hydro operations.* CV will invest in the Vermont Marble system, immediately replacing the main substation at the Proctor hydro site and spreading the approximate $1.5 million cost over CV s 159,000 customers rather than just Vermont Marble s customers.* CV will be able to provide Proctor residents and businesses with greater resources. For example, in the event of major storms, CV has nearly 30 line workers within an hour s drive of Proctor.* CV offers choices and services Vermont Marble customers don t have today, including automatic bill payments through CVPS Electripay, on-line bill payments, CVPS Cow Power ¢, various rate choices, budget billing, on-line bill review and outage information, and in the near future, CVPS SmartPower ¢, an advanced automated meter reading, outage detection and power management system. We welcome the opportunity to serve the people and businesses of Proctor that we don t currently serve, Young said.Other than industrial rates, Vermont Marble currently has the lowest rates in Vermont, largely because the company has subsidized residential customers for decades.Vermont Marble recently filed a rate case and rate redesign proposal which may increase residential rates increase up to nearly 24 percent absent the sale. Additionally, Vermont Marble said it has told state regulators it will need further increases if it maintains ownership of the company over the next couple of years, in part due to the substation work that is needed.Depending on how the rate design portion of Vermont Marble s case is concluded, small commercial and streetlighting rates may be higher than CV s rates. Residential customers are likely to pay more with CV, but the impact is unclear pending outcome of the Vermont Marble case, which will conclude before the sale. Even for those customers who pay more, I believe CV will represent a good value, Young said. We continue to offer rates that are among the lowest of any major utility in the Northeast. We continue to score extremely high in customer satisfaction studies conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, and we continue to excel in customer service and reliability, meeting all of our 17 service quality and reliability standards for six straight years the best record in the state.The reliability of power to VMPD s customers will remain consistent as the transaction takes place.The sale, expected to be completed by year-end 2010, is subject to the approval process set forth by the Vermont Public Service Board. The transaction also requires approval of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.Source: CVPS. 5.4.2010last_img read more

$55 million Army contract for Goodrich-Vergennes’ helicopter diagnostics unit

$55 million Army contract for Goodrich-Vergennes’ helicopter diagnostics unit

first_imgCollins Aerospace,Senator Patrick Leahy says a new $54,745,988 US Army contract with Goodrich for additional units of the company s groundbreaking helicopter maintenance diagnostic system, produced by the firm s facility here, shows the advanced system has quickly taken its place as a key maintenance feature of US military helicopter programs. Leahy just two months ago joined Goodrich employees here to mark shipment of the 2000th system, at that point achieving more than $100 million in helicopter diagnostic system contracts for the Vermont facility.Goodrich s Health and Usage Management Systems (HUMS) give mechanics feedback on a helicopter s engine performance, structural performance, and rotor function and wear, allowing a helicopter to be serviced before major systems fail.  Before the use of HUMS units, helicopters had to be removed from service for routine preventive maintenance.  This downtime unnecessarily grounded some helicopters that did not need servicing while failing to anticipate mechanical failures in others.  Leahy noted that before HUMS, helicopter maintenance was inherently costly and inefficient.  Worst of all, some pilots lost their lives in accidents caused by unforeseen but preventable mechanical problems.  HUMS units give maintenance crews the opportunity to predict and take action to prevent such tragedies.As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, Leahy led as the panel s early promoter of the concept and technology behind HUMS.  Enabled by his work, HUMS units have become standard equipment on military helicopters.The new Army contract, for purchase of new HUMS units for Black Hawk helicopters, will continue Goodrich-Vergennes work on the successful and popular project.  HUMS units are already onboard a variety of military and commercial helicopters including Black Hawks, Chinooks, Hueys, Cobras and Lakotas.  The Vermont Air National Guard s Black Hawk helicopters stationed in Burlington feature HUMS units.  This shows that HUMS has firmly taken its place as a cost-saving, life-saving tool in our helicopter programs, said Leahy.  In a relatively short time, what started as an R&D project in Addison County has proven itself and has become a mainstay of the Defense Department s helicopter maintenance efforts.Gary Loftus, Vice President and General Manager of Goodrich-Vergennes, said The men and women of Goodrich in Vergennes are very proud to be supporting the Army War Fighters with our HUMS equipment.  It means a lot to know we re contributing to their safety and mission success.Source: Leahy’s office. VERGENNES, Vt. (WEDNESDAY, June 2, 2010)# # # # #last_img read more

Sugarbush commits to lifelong learning with debut of $10 million family-friendly facilities

Sugarbush commits to lifelong learning with debut of $10 million family-friendly facilities

first_imgWith this week’s debut of a $10 million base-area expansion, Sugarbush Resort has once again strengthened its commitment to lifelong learning and the creation of new snowsports enthusiasts.Devoted to ski school and family-friendly guest facilities, the two recently completed structures are part of Phase 2 of the Lincoln Peak revitalization; the other component being an upgrade of 2.5 miles of snowmaking pipe servicing both Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen.Sugarbush’s Phase 2 improvements were financed through NBT Bank, VEDA, and EB5 funding, a federal program that uses foreign investment capital to put Americans to work. Sugarbush president Win Smith will host a grand opening celebration for the new facilities this Friday at 9 a.m., officially opening both ‘The Schoolhouse’ and ‘The Farmhouse’ to the public.Governor Douglas as well as other local and state officials are expected to attend.‘These new state-of-the art guest service facilities blend the inspiration of our local community with the adventurous spirit of the people who call Sugarbush their home,’ said Smith. ‘We’re extremely pleased to showcase these two stunning facilities.’The Schoolhouse, at approximately 12,500 square feet, will be the resort’s new hub of lifelong learning. The building will house the resort’s Micro, Mini and Sugar Bear snowsport educational programs, après-ski activities for children, and summer camp programs. The warm and welcoming structure features murals, sculptures and other artwork created by local artists, and provides slopeside on-snow access for the youth programs.The Farmhouse, at approximately 14,500 square feet, is dedicated to a variety of skier services and adult learning programs. This building will house the new Sunrise Café, ticket and season pass sales, public storage lockers and restrooms, the adult ski school, and rentals and repairs. The Farmhouse will also be home base for Sugarbush’s ‘First Timer to Life Timer’ program ‘ a pioneering ski industry program designed to recruit adults into skiing and riding with an approachable curriculum and an affordable price. Participants in the ‘First Timer to Life Timer’ program are rewarded with a free season’s pass to Sugarbush.Designed in a ‘Vermont vernacular’ architectural style, both The Farmhouse and The Schoolhouse have been integrated into a newly configured, snow-free entrance plaza to the Lincoln Peak base area. ‘Giving people new to skiing or riding a place to feel comfortable and welcomed is an important part of getting them to love the sport,’ said Smith. ‘The buildings are designed to provide skiers and riders of every level with a base area that truly feels like home.’ Work on the Phase 2 project began in mid-April and was general-contracted by Pizzagalli Construction, of South Burlington, Vermont.Landscaping will be installed in the spring to complete the resort’s new grand entrance. Phase 1 of the Lincoln Peak project included the creation of slopeside Clay Brook Residences, Timbers Restaurant, and the Gate House Lodge. It was completed in December of 2006.ABOUT SUGARBUSH:A 4-season resort in Vermont’s Mad River Valley, Sugarbush is located just 50 minutes south of Burlington’s International Airport. There are six mountain areas with more than 53 miles of trails, freestyle terrain, uncrowded slopes, cat skiing and extensive backcountry.Sugarbush’s skiing and riding season began on Thanksgiving Day and with an extensive snowmaking system and increasing natural snowfall totals is opening more terrain almost daily. See www.sugarbush.com(link is external) for updated mountain conditions as well as information on lodging and vacation packages.last_img read more

Vermont Telecommunications Authority announces new board members

Vermont Telecommunications Authority announces new board members

first_imgThe Vermont Telecommunications Authority recently welcomed new Board members, Pam Mackenzie, Chairwoman, and Representative Sam Young of Glover.  Ms. Mackenzie, a former Comcast executive and active Board member with Chittenden County United Way and Vice Chair of the Vermont Public Television Board of Directors was appointed by Governor Shumlin.  Prior to joining Comcast in 2006, Mackenzie held various positions within the cable industry, including serving as Area Vice President of Adelphia Communications of Northern Ohio, Area Vice President for Adelphia in Western Pennsylvania. Mackenzie has also served as Regional Manager and General Manager for several systems in Arizona and California. Before entering the cable industry, Mackenzie held several posts at the White House during the Carter Administration, including Director of Logistics, Management Analyst and Assistant Director of Presidential Correspondence. Throughout her career, Mackenzie has been consistently involved in the communities she manages and is involved in many industry and community organizations. She served on the executive committee for the national board of directors for Women in Cable & Telecommunications (WICT), serving as the Chapter Development Chair, and also served as a WICT New England Chapter Advisor. Mackenzie was one of three advisors across the country that was recognized by WICT as a Chapter Advisor of the Year in 2008.  Sam Young is the owner of Think or Sink, a web development and Internet marketing company. He has developed the web sites for a number of Vermont businesses.  Mr. Young’s appointments to the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development and the Joint Committee on Information Technology positioned him well to develop a firm grasp of the challenges to infrastructure development in rural Vermont. From those seats he was a proponent of Act 53, which changed some of the powers and duties of the VTA and ultimately lead to a $10 million 2 year capital budget allocation to the VTA.Other Board members include Trevor Crist, of Inntopia, Karen Marshall, Chief of ConnectVT, and Deputy State Treasurer, Steve Wisloski. Peter Meyer, a former staff member of the Public Service Board and Vice Chairman has been on the VTA Board since its inception in 2007.last_img read more

‘The Supreme Court Can’t Save Coal’

‘The Supreme Court Can’t Save Coal’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Daniel Gross for Slate:Investors in coal, owners of coal mines, and the politicians who carry their water consistently misunderstand the nature of coal’s decline. Yes, federal standards and rules such as the Clean Power Plan are an important part. But they’re not the only part. The war on coal is happening on many fronts. And the Supreme Court can’t do much about them.First, there are the states. Lots of people simply don’t want coal in their energy-generation mix. It pollutes, it’s a comparatively dirty business, and it’s the opposite of trendy. And utilities are regulated at the state level. Some 29 states have renewable portfolio standards, which dictate that a certain (and rising) percentage of power used in the state derive from sources other than coal and fossil fuels. Others impose air-quality standards that make coal an unviable source. On the East Coast, nine states with a combined population of about 41 million have entered a regional greenhouse gas initiative that effectively limits emissions. And guess what? There is virtually no coal generation in those states. Oregon is considering a law that would ban the use of coal-generated electricity in the state by 2030.The war on coal is happening on many fronts. And the Supreme Court can’t do much about them.Second—and this is the main factor coal partisans fail to grasp—there’s no greater enemy of coal than cheap natural gas. It’s abundant, difficult to export, and burns cleaner than coal. It’s also dirt cheap and a pretty good fuel for producing electricity. Utilities and power generators are switching from coal to natural gas in part for environmental reasons, but largely for economic ones. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in November natural gas accounted for 33.8 percent of electricity generated in the U.S., up from 28.2 percent in November 2013. In the same time period, coal’s market share of electricity generation fell from 38 percent to 29.2 percent. A Supreme Court ruling won’t make natural gas more expensive.Third, power production is a business with long planning cycles. And over the past decade, the industry has been plotting ways to burn less coal—in part because of existing regulations and the threat of future ones, but also because alternatives are making more sense. According to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal initiative, about one-third of the nation’s coal-burning capacity has been retired or is on the road to retirement. So far this year, coal production is down by about one-third from the corresponding period in 2015. No Supreme Court ruling will change that trajectory.Fourth, renewables are taking a bite out of coal. Renewables aren’t just emissions-free. They’re now a viable business that provide long-term monetary savings to customers. The unexpected extension of the tax credits associated with building and operating wind and solar farms has given new life to those industries. The business is booming. Texas, Iowa, and other states in the plains are building massive amounts of wind-generating capacity. People are in the business of purchasing energy by buying it from renewable producers rather than from coal plants. That won’t change if the Supreme Court invalidates the clean power plan.Fifth, nongovernment and nonstate actors are waging their own war on coal. Today, every global company has a plan to reduce emissions. They operate in the U.S., where the debate over climate change and what to do about it is continuing. But they also operate in many other countries where the debate is settled and the policy picture is clearer. Companies need to invest in renewables for their brand but also to operate effectively. So we see the rising trends of companies building their own emissions-free power plants on their roofs and making direct deals to purchase the output of renewable plants. Earlier this week, conglomerate 3M agreed to buy the output of a 120 MW wind farm. A class of high-status corporate officials with large budgets has now been given a mandate to build and acquire zero-emissions electricity. That won’t change if the Supreme Court invalidates the Clean Power Plan.Full article: The Supreme Court Can’t Save Coal ‘The Supreme Court Can’t Save Coal’last_img read more

IEEFA Energy Finance 2016: U.S. Natural-Gas Pipeline System is Being Overbuilt

IEEFA Energy Finance 2016: U.S. Natural-Gas Pipeline System is Being Overbuilt

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Panelists at Energy Finance 2016 detailed this afternoon how energy companies are overbuilding natural gas pipelines in several states.Jonathan Peress, a lawyer for the Environmental Defense Fund, called for “a more robust needs assessment” by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on such projects.“As we deploy more renewables, if we can price gas services for what they’re worth so that alternatives can compete, we can call forth from the market a better mix of services, many of them clean energy resources.”Peress says pipeline overbuild has gained momentum with the fracking boom, and that “it’s going to get worse … the market need is not what’s indicated by the contracts.”“It looks like we are going to have a relatively overbuilt system,” Peress said.Carrie La Seur, an IEEFA board member and Montana-based energy-industry lawyer, said challenges to eminent domain are increasingly important in landowner fights against projects that include the proposed Sandpiper pipeline across North Dakota and Minnesota. IEEFA Energy Finance 2016: U.S. Natural-Gas Pipeline System is Being Overbuiltlast_img read more

Alpha and Peabody, in Multimillion-Dollar Salary Reports, Cite ‘Talent’ and ‘Excellence’ of Executives Who Led Companies Into Bankruptcy

Alpha and Peabody, in Multimillion-Dollar Salary Reports, Cite ‘Talent’ and ‘Excellence’ of Executives Who Led Companies Into Bankruptcy

first_imgAlpha and Peabody, in Multimillion-Dollar Salary Reports, Cite ‘Talent’ and ‘Excellence’ of Executives Who Led Companies Into Bankruptcy FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Julie Silvederio for SNL:Arch Coal Inc.’s Chairman and CEO John Eaves, and Peabody Energy Corp.’s President and CEO Glenn Kellow received $4.9 million and $4.8 million in total compensation in 2015, respectively, according to amended Form 10-K filings released April 29.Arch said its compensation program is designed to attract, motivate and retain highly talented executives.Peabody highlighted Kellow’s strategic vision and leadership in the areas of portfolio optimization, operational excellence, organizational efficiency, fiscal focus and health and safety were critical to the enterprise achievements in 2015, as the major factors in determining his nonequity incentive plan compensation.Full article ($): Arch Coal and Peabody Energy CEOs each had pay approaching $5M in 2015last_img read more

Australian water utilities band together in wind power purchase

Australian water utilities band together in wind power purchase

first_imgAustralian water utilities band together in wind power purchase FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Thirteen Victorian water utilities have banded together to forge a major renewable energy off-take deal that will supply between 20 and 50 per cent of each corporation’s total electricity needs, and lower water bills for consumers.The utilities, under an umbrella organisation called Zero Emissions Water Ltd (ZEW), have signed a deal with the 200MW Kiamal Solar Farm – Victoria’s largest such project to date, which is being developed in the state’s north-west by Total Eren.Victorian water minister Lisa Neville said on Tuesday that the power purchase deal, starting October 2019, meant the utilities would be able to source electricity at “a much cheaper rate” than would be possible individually.This would not only slash the utilities’ emissions, but reduce operating costs in what is a notoriously energy intensive industry, and allow those savings to be pass on to consumers.Total Eren’s Kiamal Solar Farm has been setting the pace for corporate renewables financing deals in Victoria, namely with the fast-growing energy retailer Flow Power, which is contracted to buy 50MW of capacity from Kiamal, to offer to its business clients, including Mars Australia.More: Victorian water utilities ink major off-take deal with state’s biggest solar farmlast_img read more