Paul Frank & Collins Welcomes Associates to Firm

first_imgPaul, Frank & Collins, attorneys at law, is pleased to announce that Rebecca van Doren has joined the firm as an Associate. Ms. van Doren was admitted to the Vermont Bar on November 19, 2002, and will be concentrating her practice on general trial work, with a focus on intellectual property, including patent, copyright and trademark litigation, product liability, commercial litigation, and anti-trust matters.Ms. van Doren is a 1985 graduate (Dean’s List) of Arizona State University and a 1998 graduate of Arizona State University, College of Law (cum laude).Before joining Paul, Frank & Collins, Ms. van Doren worked as an Associate at Cohen, Kennedy, Dowd & Quigley, P.C. Ms. van Doren was also law clerk to the Hon. E.G. Noyes, Jr. of the Arizona Court of Appeals, and law clerk/bailiff for the Hon. Edward O. Ballinger of Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona. Ms. van Doren is also admitted to the Arizona State Bar and the U.S. District Court in Arizona.Paul, Frank & Collins, is pleased to announce that Chris Leff has joined the firm as an Associate. Mr. Leff was admitted to the Vermont Bar on November 19, 2002, and will be concentrating his practice on corporate and tax law.Mr. Leff is a 1994 graduate (magna cum laude) of the University of Vermont and a 2001 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School (magna cum laude).Before joining Paul, Frank & Collins, Mr. Leff worked in the Tax Department of Dorsey & Whitney, LLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mr. Leff is also admitted to practice law in the state of Minnesota.Formed in 1968, Paul, Frank & Collins is a full-service law firm serving commercial, institutional and individual clients throughout the United States and Canada.last_img read more

Mac Computers are Gorgeous

first_img24th June 2006 ,No doubt. Since they retain the hardware specs, and therefore, a lock on the hardware on which Jaguar will run, they’ve done a great job at making said hardware sleek, modern, and fancy. They’ve done a lot of work to make the computer look like a futuristic device.My Mac Book under load runs up to 95 degrees Celsius, or 203 degrees Fahrenheit. It isnt rocket science to understand that is extremely hot, easily hot enough toinflict a wound.Launching System Preferences, I immediately found that configuring the system was a breeze. The Mac jumped right online, and making the desktop look like Iwanted was more than intuitive. Setting up Mac Mail was also a breeze. Since my web mail account is POP3 enabled, I hopped on and pulled down my mail withouta hitch. Mac Mail is actually a nice program – not so much better than the equivalents in other worlds (Outlook Express, Mozilla Mail, Evolution, K Mail), but certainly an attractive and matching app.The new announced Mac: it was PowerMac G4 with dual 1.25 GHz processors, a 120 GB IDE hard drive, 512 MB DDR SDRAM, a “super drive,” which can record DVDs, a 64 MB video card, gigabit Ethernet, a 17″ flat panel studio display, and a fresh copy of Jaguar, Mac OS X 10.2. Here everything is packed perfectly; Setting up the Mac is easy.There are various Mac parts follow:eMac:Adapter, DVI to ADC VideoAdapter, DVI-I to ADC Video, V2Adapter, DVI-to-VGAAdapter, Power, AirPort Base Station, 220v, Euro (International Only)Adapter, Power, AirPort Base Station, 240v, Aust (International Only)AirPort, Card GuideAPPLE KEYBOARD, REQUIRES MACOSX 10.2+-KORAPPLE KEYBOARD, REQUIRES MACOSX 10.2+-TWNiMac (Flat Panel):AntennaCable, MicrophoneCap, Vent, Upper BaseDSPLY,15 XGA,LGCover, Open Top, Faraday CageInverteriMac (17-inch Flat Panel)Antenna, WirelessBattery, Lithium, 3.6ViMac (17-inch Flat Panel, 1GHz)iMac (Early 2001)eMac (USB 2.0)If you are thinking of buying Mac or Mac Part than i can suggest you a site who can be great benifitted to you “DVWARE!” Yes dvwarehouse Go to http://www.dvwarehouse.com(link is external) they are a leading independent reseller of quality new, used, and refurbished Macintosh computers, parts, and accessories.Thee have one of the most extensive inventory of Digital Video products, Mac Computers & Parts and Pro Audio & Video Equipment, all available at warehouseprices, all of them almost always ready for rapid delivery to you They offer the industry’s highest-quality products, more than 20,000 items are available for shipment every business day through our online store, at their lowest possible prices.Author: Monica CraftFor Listing visit http://www.dvwarehouse.com(link is external)(Best Online Computer Store).Just login tohttp://www.dvwarehouse.com(link is external) for all kinds of Mac Part You can also vist our other site for http://www.idigitals.com(link is external)for Computer Partslast_img read more

VERMONT EDITION GOES DAILY BEGINNING AUGUST 13 ON VPR

first_imgVermont Native Jane Lindholm to Host New Daily NewsmagazineVermont Public Radio is breaking new ground this August 13th. The state-wide public radio service is launching a daily news magazine, Vermont Edition, with new host Jane Lindholm. The new program, airing weekdays noon-1 p.m., has grown out of the weekly Vermont Edition which VPR began in 2005.”Listeners have been asking for a daily regional news program for a long time,” says VPR President and General Manager Mark Vogelzang. “We took small steps, first launching the five minute Midday Report, then a weekly version of Vermont Edition. We’re very excited about providing listeners with a robust daily mid-day news magazine.”The daily Vermont Edition will bring listeners more news and conversation about issues affecting their lives, plus a bit of the unexpected. The program will be broad-reaching, covering issues, art, culture and music in Vermont and the surrounding region.”We’re going to consider the context of current events through conversations with newsmakers and people who make the region buzz,” says Lindholm. “We’ll go behind the news, diving into what makes this region unique.”On Fridays, VPR’s veteran journalist Bob Kinzel leads a discussion on politics, government and considers the week in review. Reporter Steve Zind, who served as host of the weekly Vermont Edition, continues with the program, serving as the program’s editor. And the program will keep its signature “slice of life” feature at the close of each broadcast. That might include a competition for a new peace song or a tongue-in-cheek report from the black fly festival in Adamant; a moving essay or a live performance and interview from Vermont’s music scene.Lindholm, 28, joined VPR this summer having served as director and associate producer of Marketplace, public radio’s award-winning national business program. Born in East Middlebury, Jane graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in Anthropology. She began her career writing and editing for “Let’s Go Travel Guides.” In 2001, Jane joined National Public Radio (NPR) as an editorial/production assistant for Radio Expeditions, a co-production of NPR and the National Geographic Society. She’s also worked with NPR’s Talk of the Nation and Weekend Edition Saturday.The debut of the daily Vermont Edition falls on the 30th anniversary of Vermont Public Radio’s first broadcast day. It also launches as Vermont Public Radio prepares to expand to two distinct state-wide services: one offering news and cultural entertainment and VPR Classical, featuring classical music 24 hours a day. Public radio favorites such as Car Talk, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, and A Prairie Home Companion will be on the VPR news service, along with locally produced music programs My Place, All the Traditions and jazz. The transition is expected to happen this fall.VPR can be heard at 107.9 FM in Burlington, 89.5 FM in Windsor, 88.7 FM in Rutland, 88.5 FM in St. Johnsbury, 94.3 FM in Bennington, 92.5 in Manchester, 94.5 in Brattleboro, 95.3 in Middlebury, 94.1 in Montpelier and online at vpr.net.VPR Classical can be heard at 88.1 in Norwich, 93.5 Bennington, 103.9 Hanover, 106.9 Manchester, 99.5 Middlebury,95.1 in Sunderland/Manchester, 99.5 Newbury, 106.9 Woodstock and online at vpr.net.Both VPR and VPR Classical are also available in HD Digital Radio in northern Vermont and the Upper Valley.last_img read more

KidSafe elects Board Officers

first_imgKidSafe Collaborative of Chittenden County is pleased to announce the election of its new Board Officers.President, Penrose Jackson, Community Health Improvement at Fletcher Allen Health Care;Vice President, Jay Fayette, Pizzagalli Construction Company;Treasurer, Kurt Liebegott, Problem Knowledge Coupler (PKC);Secretary, Suzanne Koch, Howard Center.KidSafe Collaborative engages agencies, community groups and individuals to work together to improve our community’s response to child abuse and neglect. For more information about KidSafe and its programs, please contact us at 863-9626.last_img

Governor Douglas Expands Food Assistance Eligibility

first_imgGovernor Douglas Expands Food Assistance EligibilityUp to 30,000 More Vermont Households May be Eligible for BenefitsBurlington, Vt. (September 10, 2008) – To help struggling households and seniors on fixed incomes address rising fuel and food costs, Governor Jim Douglas and Lt. Governor Brian Dubie today unveiled a new initiative to expand Food Stamp Program (FSP) eligibility to as many as 30,000 additional households in Vermont.The plan is the most recent addition to the Governor’s Fuel and Food Partnership-a collaboration of public and private partners charged by the Governor with marshaling every available resource to help Vermonters address the rising cost of fuel and food. The partnership is co-chaired by Lt. Governor Dubie.”Vermonters are feeling the pressures of the national economic slowdown in many ways, and low-income Vermonters and seniors on a fixed income are particularly stressed by the high costs of transportation, home heating fuel, and food,” said Governor Jim Douglas. “Through the efforts of my Fuel and Food Partnership, my administration, the Legislature and our community partners are dedicated to ensuring that no Vermonter goes cold or hungry this winter, or any winter. This expansion of the Food Stamp Program will assure that more Vermont children and families receive financial assistance to purchase high quality, nutritious food during this challenging time.”Governor Douglas said the expansion of the FSP eligibility includes two key provisions: (1) raising the current household income limit of 130% of the federal poverty level (FPL) up to 185% FPL; and (2) eliminating the current asset test to determine eligibility for affected households. The current asset rules limit eligibility by imposing resource limits which serve as a disincentive for lower income households to build savings for emergencies, home improvements, or vehicle repairs – all of which support self-sufficiency.The federal income limit of 130 percent FPL makes many low-income Vermonters ineligible for food assistance, even though they may have high expenses. Raising the income test to 185 percent of FPL aligns the food stamp program gross income test with that of many other benefits programs such as Farm to Family, Reduced School Meals, Commodity Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children, and VHAP for parents and caretaker relatives with dependent children in their households.”We’re very excited about this proposal, which gives thousands more Vermont families access to food assistance,” said Department of Children and Families Commissioner Steve Dale. “At present, there are over 28,000 households with over 57,000 individuals receiving food stamps in Vermont. This expansion could allow up to 30,000 more households to access food stamps, or ancillary benefits such as telephone Lifeline and Link Up credits, and free school meals for their children.”During state fiscal year 2008, Vermont households received nearly $60 million in food stamp program benefits. The new program expansion could mean up to an additional $12 million per year in direct food assistance to low-income Vermont families, with an average benefit in the region of $90 per month.”This expansion is extremely important for the 19,000 children in Vermont who are hungry right now,” added Dorigen Keeney, Director of Public Policy and Research for the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger, an organization which has advocated for this eligibility expansion. “Further, this expansion of the food stamp program will help alleviate the food crisis that many more children may otherwise face this winter.”The Governor and key Fuel and Food Partnership stakeholders will collaborate to create an outreach plan to connect with Vermonters who may be eligible for this expanded program and to work out details necessary to ensure the program’s success. The Department for Children and Families, which administers the federal FSP, plans to put the expanded program eligibility into effect on January 1, 2009.ABOUT THE FUEL AND FOOD PARTNERSHIPEvery Vermont family is facing the realities of soaring fuel costs-but Vermont is fighting back. That is why I launched a comprehensive and collaborative program-the Vermont Fuel and Food Partnership-to help Vermonters address increasing home heating, gasoline and food costs by marshalling every available resource in our state,” said Governor Douglas. “Solving these problems requires an effort that goes beyond government alone and we’re fortunate to have a strong network of community-based organizations and programs to help Vermonters when times get tough. Coupled with the programs and service available from local, state and federal governments and our other private and non-profit partners, we can address this challenge and succeed.”The Fuel and Food Partnership brings together all of the creativity, compassion, information and resources in Vermont to ensure that we make the most of every dollar and that no Vermonter is left in the cold. It will provide Vermonters, through a single entry, access to every available option and empowers them with the knowledge they need to lower their energy bills and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.”I established this task force, co-chaired by Lt. Governor Brian Dubie, to focus every effort and every resource Vermont can bring to bear to help manage the effects of higher energy costs on Vermont families,” the Governor added. “These are difficult times for working families, but Vermont has faced these kinds of challenges before, and is a national example of how deep community roots and a strong commitment to seeking new solutions can resolve even the most difficult challenges. I know that the strength and determination of Vermonters will lead us past these difficult times and leave us with a state that is stronger and more energy independent than ever before.”For more information, visit: http://helpforvt.org/(link is external)last_img read more

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. Climbs Forbes’ “200 Best Small Companies in America” List

first_imgGreen Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. Climbs Forbes’ “200 Best Small Companies in America” List WATERBURY, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) has been named by Forbes as one of the “200 Best Small Companies in America” for the seventh time since 2000. The Company was ranked 55th on the list, up from 88th in 2007.Forbes singled out GMCR as an “Every Day Tech Star” for using technology that affects people’s every day lives. “Its Keurig Single-Cup Brewer has revolutionized coffee making for those not interested in making a whole pot,” the article says. “Single-cup penetration is still only 5% of U.S. households, leaving lots of room for growth.” Keurig is the single-cup market leader at retail in dollar sales and units sold, according to the NPD Group.”We are excited to be recognized for our performance, especially during a turbulent year for the market,” said Larry Blanford, President and CEO of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. “It’s gratifying to know that our strategy of creating a superb coffee experience, and leading with single-cup coffee, keeps us on the Forbes list, year after year.”The criteria used to screen the Forbes list of the “200 Best Small Companies in America” were rigorous. The ranking is based on return on equity, sales growth, and profit growth over the past 12 months, and over five years. A company’s stock performance was compared with that of its industry peers.About Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) is recognized as a leader in the specialty coffee industry for its award-winning coffees, innovative brewing technology and socially and environmentally responsible business practices. GMCR manages its operations through two wholly owned business segments: Green Mountain Coffee and Keurig. Its Green Mountain Coffee division sells more than 100 high-quality coffee selections, including Fair Trade Certified(tm) organic coffees, under the Green Mountain Coffee(r) and Newman’s Own(r) Organics brands through its wholesale, direct mail and e-commerce operations (www.GreenMountainCoffee.com(link is external)). Green Mountain Coffee also produces its coffee as well as hot cocoa and tea in K-Cup(r) portion packs for Keurig(r) Single-Cup Brewers. Keurig, Incorporated is a pioneer and leading manufacturer of gourmet single-cup coffee brewing systems for offices, homes and hotel rooms. Keurig markets its patented brewers and K-Cups(r) through office distributors, retail and direct channels (www.Keurig.com(link is external)). K-Cups are produced by a variety of licensed roasters including Green Mountain Coffee. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. has been recognized repeatedly by CRO Magazine, Forbes and SustainableBusiness.com as a good corporate citizen and an innovative, high-growth company.last_img read more

Vermont predicts excellent foliage season

first_imgVermont tourism officials are expecting a busy foliage season this year and encourage visitors to take advantage of midweek deals being offered through the fall. Dozens of inns, hotels, historic sites and museums are offering a variety of midweek specials during the fall foliage season as part of the statewide Midweek Peek promotion organized by the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing. Deals range from discounted lodging to reduced admission prices to free Vermont products. For details, visit www.VermontVacation.com/midweek(link is external). Foliage season is an incredibly popular time to come to Vermont, but visitors can still find a diverse range of options for lodging, dining and activities, especially midweek, says Vermont Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Bruce Hyde. Fall in Vermont is spectacular any day of the week, and we hope people will take advantage of the special Midweek Peek deals around the state.During fall foliage, Vermont s magnificent countryside shimmers in red, orange, green and gold, drawing millions of visitors here from all corners of the globe. Vermont forestry experts agree with the prediction that a beautiful foliage season is on the way. The trees throughout Vermont received an abundance of moisture this summer, which is one of the key ingredients to a bright foliage season, says Ginger Anderson, Chief of Forest Management for the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.  Vermont is currently experiencing a drying trend and will begin to transition into typical fall weather with warm days and cool nights. As that happens, we expect Vermont’s foliage to display magnificent autumn color.The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing offers a number of resources on its website at www.VermontVacation.com(link is external) for foliage season visitors. The site includes tips on planning ahead, a Lodging Availability Forecaster, and the Foliage Forecaster, which shows the progression of the colors across Vermont during a typical foliage season. Also included are seasonal stories and 20 different suggested driving tours. Visitors can also access the Vermont Travel Planner, an extensive database of lodging, dining, events, attractions and recreational opportunities. Weekly foliage reports will begin on Sept. 15 and will be available on www.VermontVacation.com(link is external) and also the state s toll-free visitor information line 1-800 VERMONT. Reports will be updated on Tuesdays and Thursdays through the end of October.Visitors make 14.3 million trips to Vermont each year and visitor spending adds an estimated $1.57 billion to the state s economy, according to VDTM research. The research shows that 23 percent of those visits, or 3.7 million, are during the fall season. Vermont is also the nation s leading producer of maple syrup and attributes much of its fall foliage beauty to the high concentration of sugar maples, the official state tree.Source: Vermont Department of Tourismlast_img read more

Leahy: Competition undermining sustainability of Northeast’s dairy farms

first_imgSenator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Saturday that the dairy crisis may make it easier to detect competition barriers that undermine prices paid to dairy farmers.  Leahy, who chairs the U.S. Senate s Judiciary Committee, brought a field hearing to St. Albans to examine competition and consolidation in the Northeast dairy market.  Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joined Leahy in the questioning.Leahy s long running concern about the concentration of economic power in U.S. agriculture in bigger and fewer corporations has intersected this year with the new Obama Administration s interest in reenergizing antitrust tools to protect consumers, farmers and smaller businesses.  As witnesses, Leahy invited the newly installed chief of the Justice Department s Antitrust Division, the Department of Agriculture s Chief Economist, and Vermont dairy farmers with varying views and operations.  The severity and urgency of this crisis cannot be overstated, said Leahy.  Not just here in Vermont, but across the country, our bedrock dairy industry is on the brink of collapse.  Dairy farmers who had hoped to pass their farms on to future generations are now weighed down with loans and are losing money every day.  They feel those dreams slipping quickly away.He continued:  Farmers are doing all the work, they are taking all the risk, and they are making investments that span not just lives, but generations.  They put their all into their farms, and all they ask is a fair price to keep their farms going.  That s only fair, and that s only right.Leahy said consolidation has led to a breakdown of competition, with Vermont dairy farmers not getting their fair share of the retail price of milk, while corporate processors appear to be raking in profits as they continue to raise prices to consumers.He noted, Earlier this year when prices paid to farmers dropped by more than a quarter from January to February, consumers only saw store prices cut by six percent.  This hurts both farmers and consumers, and suggests a much larger problem with competition and consolidation within the market.  When consumers are in the grocery store they don t realize that less than 40 percent of what they spend on a gallon of milk makes its way back to our dairy farmers.Leahy said his concerns eight years ago about the merger of Dean Foods and Suiza Foods have been validated.  It seems that market dominance has translated into overwhelming power in the dairy industry, and we have seen local dairies and processing facilities bought, and then closed.Leahy termed a welcome change the new attitude by the Obama Administration s Justice and Agriculture Departments in launching a fresh evaluation of competition and regulatory enforcement in agriculture markets, and he said policymakers in Congress and federal agencies need to focus on both short-term and long-term solutions to the current dairy crisis and to the worsening cycles that threaten the sustainability of the nation s dairy farms. Leahy s full statement follows (below).  Written testimony of the witnesses will be available soon after the hearing begins, at 10 a.m. (EDT) Saturday, Sept. 19, on the Judiciary Committee s website, at: http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=4055(link is external) Statement of Senator Patrick LeahyChairmanSenate Judiciary CommitteeCrisis on the Farm: The State Of Competition And Prospects for Sustainability in the Northeast Dairy IndustrySt. Albans, VermontSeptember 19, 2009I thank you all, everyone in this room, for coming today as we hold this hearing on the competition and crisis in the Northeast dairy industry.  I would like to thank Representative Peter Welch, who was unable to be here today but has been leading the charge to address the dairy crisis in the House.  We are grateful to all of our witnesses, and we know that some of you have made a great effort to travel to Vermont to participate.  Finally, I would like to thank St. Albans Mayor, Martin Manahan, for his hospitality.This is an official hearing of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Senate s official rules of decorum will be in effect.  We invite anyone who would like to express their views on the issues presented today to submit testimony for the record.Before we start, I would like to take a moment to dedicate today s hearing in honor of Harold Howrigan and his service to this community, to our state and to Vermont s dairy industry.  Harold was a great man, and a good man, whose accomplishments are as impressive as the personal legacy he has left behind.  There were certainly a lot of years in his life, 85 in all, and there was a lot of life in those years.  I am proud to have known Harold and am so fortunate to call him my friend.  I will always look back fondly of my memories and times with Harold and his lovely wife, Anne.  I know so many others will do the same.Here in Vermont, the dairy industry is a pillar of our state s economy, culture and landscape.  Though dairy farmers have long contended with the volatility of milk prices — even more than they have had to adjust to changing weather — today we face a crisis of epic proportions.  Prices have fallen to lows that no one in this room thought we would ever see.  The fact that the cost of production is higher than ever only compounds the problem, and has increased the gap between what it costs our farmers to produce milk and what they are paid for that milk. The severity and urgency of this crisis cannot be overstated.  Not just here in Vermont, but across the country, our bedrock dairy industry is on the brink of collapse.  So many of our dairy farmers who had hoped to pass their farms on to future generations are now weighed down with loans and losing money every day.  They feel those dreams slipping quickly away.In Vermont, we have lost 35 of our dairy farms this year, and last year we lost another 19.  Each loss of a Vermont dairy farm ripples through families, through our communities and through our economy.  It has been easy for many Americans to take American dairy farmers for granted.  Their hard work and steady contributions to the Nation s dinner tables and to our economy are a vital part of the infrastructure that is the miracle and the blessing of America s farms.  They provide a highly perishable product that puts them more directly at the mercy of fluctuating markets and costs of production.  We need both short-term solutions to get out of this crisis, as well as long-term solutions to make sure we do not return to this tumultuous cycle of volatility that threatens farmers very survivability.  That is the purpose of this hearing and of all of the efforts being made to stimulate the dairy industry.The Senate Judiciary Committee continues to keep a close eye on competition issues in the Northeast dairy market.  The current crisis only serves to illuminate the industry s structural issues.  We are looking to the agencies that administer our laws to learn whether they have the tools necessary to protect dairy farmers and consumers, and whether those tools can be used to promote sustainability of family farms. While many areas of the economy are suffering in this recession, the dairy industry is particularly hard hit.  With consumer demand down, the price paid to farmers for milk has fallen to record lows.  Consumers, however, have yet to see such a massive corresponding drop in retail prices on store shelves.  We have long blown the whistle on this disconnect between the price farmers receive for their milk, and the retail price consumers pay in grocery stores.  Earlier this year when prices paid farmers dropped by more than a quarter from January to February, consumers only saw store prices cut by six percent.  This hurts both farmers and consumers, and suggests a much larger problem with competition and consolidation within the market.  When consumers are in the grocery store they don t realize that less than 40 percent of what they spend on a gallon of milk makes its way back to our dairy farmers.Farmers are doing all the work, they are taking all the risk, and they are making investments that span not just lives, but generations.  They put their all into their farms, and all they ask is a fair price to keep their farms going.  That s only fair, and that s only right.The consolidation in recent years throughout the agriculture sector has had a tremendous impact on the lives and livelihoods of American farmers.  It affects producers of most commodities in virtually every region of the country, and it affects Vermont s dairy farmers.For decades, dairy farming in Vermont seemed immune from the consequences of restructuring and consolidation, because cooperatives also served as milk processors for local or regional markets.  National markets did not exist.  But times have changed and the structure is dramatically different today.  The result has been a breakdown of competition, with Vermont dairy farmers not getting their fair share of the retail price of milk, while corporate processors appear to be raking in profits as they continue to raise prices to consumers. As I think about the gap between retail and farm prices I cannot help but think back to 2001 and the Dean Foods merger with Suiza Foods.  That merger created the largest milk processing company in the world, and I continue to be disappointed that the Justice Department under the previous administration approved it.  Just as I had feared eight years ago, it seems that market dominance has translated into overwhelming power in the dairy industry, and we have seen local dairies and processing facilities bought, and then closed.  While Dean Foods buys roughly 15 percent of the Nation s raw fluid milk supply, their strategic alliances with other entities expand the company s influence much further.  One of these alliances is with the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), the cooperative that represents 22,000 dairy farmers in 43 states.  While it is difficult to point to one cause of the dairy farmer s plight, Dean Foods is posting record-setting profits and paying huge executive salaries.  Meanwhile, the prices for dairy farmers are at all-time lows and forcing multi-generation farms out of business.  This raises serious questions about the state of competition in the Vermont dairy market, and throughout the Northeast.In the past, farmers unsatisfied with the prices offered by a processor or manufacturer could market directly to consumers.  But those opportunities for independent marketing have been all but eliminated. Time and again, many powerful interests have opposed our efforts to ensure free and fair markets for agricultural producers.  Last month s announcement that the Department of Justice and the Department of Agriculture will be holding their first-ever joint workshops to discuss competition and regulatory enforcement in the agriculture industry is a welcome change.  I am pleased that Assistant Attorney General Varney, the Department of Justice, Secretary Vilsack, and the Department of Agriculture are taking these issues so seriously.  We will hear first-hand testimony today about how, and why, Vermont dairy farmers are hurting.  Bringing this hearing to St. Albans will ensure that Vermont s voice and Vermont s experience will help inform Congress about these issues.  We want to build a hearing record that will let policymakers in Congress and Federal agencies hear directly from the farmers who are coping with this crisis every day.  And as a part of that record, on behalf of Vermont s Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee, who unfortunately was not able to be here today, I would like to officially submit a copy of the Vermont Milk Commission s Final Report. Senator Sanders and I recognize that today is a holiday for many, and we understand why Vermonters may not have been able to travel to this hearing.  With that understanding, I invite all Vermonters to submit testimony for the record, which will remain open until September 30.  Information about how to submit testimony is available here today.I look forward to the testimony of all of today s witnesses as we continue to seek new ways to address the dairy crisis and improve market opportunities for America s farmers and ranchers.  Source: Leahy’s office. ST. ALBANS, Vt. (Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009)last_img read more

Merchants Bank wins ‘Best of Show’ for VermontMatters.com Website

first_imgA key ingredient to success – in banking and in business – is building personal, face-to-face relationships with people. And the goal of the VermontMatters.com Website has always been to celebrate some of the many meaningful banking relationships Vermont’s only statewide independent bank has nurtured over the years.Apparently, this approach rings true with more than just Vermonters. It has struck a chord with the leading financial marketers in America. At the 16th Annual FCS Annual Portfolio Awards, held on Thursday, May 13, the Financial Communications Society (FCS) recognized 28 financial services providers for excellence in their marketing.From the hundreds and hundreds of entries, the winners list included an impressive array of the largest and most successful financial organizations in America. Fidelity Investments, MetLife, Allstate and American Express were among those recognized.Standing out from the crowd of nationally recognized firms was Merchants Bank.The VermontMatters.com Website was recognized with two prestigious awards at this black-tie affair attended by over 400 industry experts.VermontMatters.com was awarded a Gold in the category of Website in the Corporate Image category.And then, the big surprise of the night was unveiled. VermontMatters.com was awarded “Best of Show” in the Interactive Media category.Thomas S. Leavitt, Merchants Bank Executive Vice President commented, “These two awards are another piece of validation for our efforts here in Vermont. As a bank, we strive to provide products, service and delivery that rival any offered in the country. We believe these two awards reinforce the fact that we can compete, and win, against anyone.”VermontMatters.com was conceived and developed by Hinesburg-based Cottage 10. Cottage 10 has been working with Merchants Bank since early 2009 on a number of strategic marketing initiatives.Vermont Matters®. Merchants Bank strives to fulfill its role as the state’s leading independent community bank through a wide range of initiatives. The bank supports organizations throughout Vermont in addressing essential needs, sustaining community programs, providing small business and job start capital, funding financial literacy education and delivering enrichment through local sports activities.  Merchants Bank was established in 1849 in Burlington. Its continuing mission is to provide Vermonters with a statewide community bank that combines a strong technology platform with a genuine appreciation for local markets. Merchants Bank delivers this commitment through a branch-based system that includes: 34 community bank offices and 42 ATMs throughout Vermont; local branch presidents and personal bankers dedicated to high-quality customer service; free online banking, phone banking, and electronic bill payment services; high-value depositing programs that feature Free Checking for Life®, Cash Rewards Checking, Rewards Checking for Business, business cash management, money market accounts, health savings accounts, certificates of deposit, Flexible CD, IRAs, and overdraft assurance; feature-rich loan programs including mortgages, home equity credit, vehicle loans, personal and small business loans and lines of credit; and merchant card processing. Merchants Bank offers a strong set of commercial and government banking solutions, delivered by experienced banking officers in markets throughout the state; these teams provide customized financing for medium-to-large companies, non-profits, cities, towns and school districts. Merchants Trust Company, a division of Merchants Bank, provides investment management, financial planning and trustee services. Please visit www.mbvt.com(link is external) for access to Merchants Bank information, programs and services. Merchants’ stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market system under the symbol MBVT. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. Source: Merchants. 5.25.2010last_img read more

Casella Waste Systems opens compressed natural gas fueling station for its vehicles

first_imgAs part of its ongoing effort at resource conservation, and to explore and deploy clean, fuel-efficient vehicles, Casella Waste Systems today opened a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in Chittenden County, its first facility companywide. Natural gas-powered trucks and vehicles are among the cleanest vehicles available and, with the discovery of new natural gas in North America, natural gas prices have decreased significantly.  In addition they also have significantly lowered tailpipe emissions.‘We are thrilled to cut the ribbon on this facility, and to add three natural gas-powered trucks to our fleet,’ John Casella, chairman and chief executive officer of Casella Waste Systems, said.  ‘Several years ago we began to explore replacing existing diesel trucks with natural gas-powered trucks.  We quickly discovered that the environmental and economic benefits were obvious ‘ these vehicles cut particulate emissions by 95% and carbon monoxide by 75%, they’re quieter than traditional diesel engines and, because of the lower cost of natural gas, they offer potential economic savings as well.’ ‘I congratulate Casella Waste Systems on its leadership in becoming an early adopter of cleaner fleet vehicles,’ said Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin.  ‘We have significant opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Vermont through alternative fuel-powered vehicles in the transportation sector. Casella Waste Systems has made an enormous impact by choosing natural gas.  Moving off foreign oil to cleaner alternatives like natural gas is an excellent step that I hope other businesses will examine closely as they build to replace their fleet vehicles,’ Shumlin said. ‘Casella Waste Systems is a thoughtful company, combining positive business practice with respect for the environment,’ said Don Gilbert, President and CEO of Vermont Gas Systems.  ‘While there are many natural gas vehicles in service around the world and in other states, currently Vermont only has a few.  The strong North American based gas supply and its relatively low price combined with our desire to decrease greenhouse gas emissions create a unique opportunity for Vermont.  Casella’s leadership has demonstrated how Vermont businesses can save money and promote a cleaner environment through utilizing natural gas vehicles in their fleets,’ Gilbert said.Casella’s new facility consists of six fueling stations, allowing vehicles to be refueled overnight.  Currently, Casella deploys three CNG-powered (Compressed Natural Gas) vehicles in Chittenden County and expects to take delivery on three more vehicles by mid-summer 2011, at which time 20 percent of the company’s daily collection routes in the county will be serviced by CNG vehicles.While natural gas vehicle (NGV) technology has been available for years, the strong supply outlook and decline in prices for natural gas in North America has made transitioning to NGV’s more economical. Casella plans to add several more CNG-powered vehicles to its fleet this coming year, and has planned to build 2 additional fueling stations in other communities it serves throughout the northeastern US. About Casella Waste Systems, Inc.Casella Waste Systems, Inc., headquartered in Rutland, Vermont, provides solid waste management services consisting of collection, transfer, disposal, and recycling services in the northeastern United States. For further information, contact Joseph Fusco, vice president, at 802-772-2247, or visit the company’s website at http://www.casella.com(link is external). PHOTO: John Casella, Governor Shumlin, Joanna Underwood from Energy Vision, and Don Gilbert. (Vermont Business Magazine)WILLISTON, VT. (May 13, 2011) ‘last_img read more