Month: December 2020

Teachers, boards reach tentative agreement in Rutland SWSU strike

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first_imgThe teachers and boards of the Rutland Southwest Supervisory Union have reached a tentative agreement on a multi-year contract, bringing a six-day strike to a close.  The deal came after almost 12 hours of talks with a federal mediator Wednesday, and represents the first time the sides have come to a contract accord in more than 645 days. â It was clear that both sides really wanted to do the hard work necessary to reach a settlement that is fair to us, fair to our fellow taxpayers and good for our schools and students,’said Kaitlin Cioffi, a Poultney High School biology teacher and the spokeswoman for teachers in the Poultney Teachers Association, the Rutland Southwest Education Association and the Middletown Springs Education Association. â We have missed our classrooms, and look forward to getting to work doing what we love: teaching our students.â  Details of the deal will be released once it has been ratified by teachers and each of the school boards in Poultney, Wells, Middletown Springs and Tinmouth. Classes were expected to resume Thursday morning. Vermont NEA POULTNEY ‘4/12/2012last_img read more

Vermont and nearly half of states score 5 or lower on injury prevention report card

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first_imgIn a new report, The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report, Vermont and 23 other states scored a five or lower on a set of 10 key indicators of steps states can take to prevent injuries.  Two states, California and New York, received the highest score of nine out of a possible 10, while two states scored the lowest, Montana and Ohio, with two out of 10.Injuries ‘including those caused by accidents and violence ‘are the third leading cause of death nationally, and they are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of one and 44. The Facts Hurt report, released today by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), concludes that millions of injuries could be prevented each year if more states adopted additional research-based injury prevention policies, and if programs were fully implemented and enforced.Overall, New Mexico has the highest rate of injury-related deaths in the United States, at a rate of 97.8 per 100,000 people, while New Jersey has the lowest rate at 36.1 per 100,000.  Overall, the national rate is 57.9 per 100,000 Americans who die in injury-related fatalities.Approximately 50 million Americans are medically treated for injuries each year, and more than 2.8 million are hospitalized.  Nearly 12,000 children and teens die from injuries resulting from accidents each year and around 9.2 million are treated in emergency rooms.  Every year, injuries generate $406 billion in lifetime costs for medical care and lost productivity.For The Facts Hurt report, TFAH and RWJF worked with a committee of top injury prevention experts from the Safe States Alliance and the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Prevention (SAVIR) to develop a set of indicators of leading evidence-based strategies that have been shown to reduce injuries and save lives.  Some key findings include:29 states do not require bicycle helmets for all children;17 states do not require that children ride in a car seat or booster seat to at least the age of eight;31 states do not require helmets for all motorcycle riders;34 states and Washington, D.C. do not require mandatory ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers;18 states do not have primary seat belt laws;44 states scored a “B” or lower on a teen dating violence law review by the Break the Cycle organization; and14 states do not have strong youth sport concussion safety laws.”There are proven, evidence-based strategies that can spare millions of Americans from injuries each year,” said Jeff Levi, Ph.D., Executive Director of TFAH.  “This report focuses on specific, scientifically supported steps we can take to make it easier for Americans to keep themselves and their families safer.”The report found that many injury prevention activities have been scientifically shown to reduce harm and deaths, for instance:Seat belts saved an estimated 69,000 lives from 2006 to 2010; Motorcycle helmets saved an estimated 8,000 lives from 2005 to 2009;Child safety seats saved around 1,800 lives from 2005 to 2009;The number of children and teens killed in motor vehicle crashes dropped 41 percent from 2000 to 2009; andSchool-based programs to prevent violence have cut violent behavior among high school students by 29 percent.The report also identified a set of emerging new injury threats, including a dramatic, fast rise in prescription drug abuse, concussions in school sports, bullying, crashes from texting while driving and an expected increase in the number in falls as the Baby Boomer generation ages.”Seat belts, helmets, drunk driving laws and a range of other strong prevention policies and initiatives are reducing injury rates around the country,” said Amber Williams, Executive Director of the Safe States Alliance.  “However, we could dramatically bring down rates of injuries from motor vehicles, assaults, falls, fires and a range of other risks even more if more states adopted, enforced and implemented proven policies.  Lack of national capacity and funding are major barriers to states adopting these and other policies.””While tremendous progress has been made in preventing and treating injury, it remains a leading cause of death for people of all ages and the number one cause of death for children,” said Dr. Andrea Gielen, ScD, Past President, SAVIR, and Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “Texting while driving, the increasing numbers of falls in older adults, domestic violence and the astonishing rise in misuse of prescription drugs mean we need to redouble our efforts to make safety research and policy a national priority.”The report also finds that funding for injury prevention for states from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) averages only $0.28 per American ‘and has dropped 24 percent from fiscal years 2006 to 2011 ‘and only 31 states have full-time injury and violence prevention directors, which limits injury prevention efforts. The report was supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is available on TFAH’s website at www.healthyamericans.org(link is external).Score Summary:A full list of all of the indicators and scores, listed below, is available along with the full report on TFAH’s web site at www.healthyamericans.org(link is external) and RWJF’s Web site at www.rwjf.org(link is external).  For the state-by-state scoring, states received one point for achieving an indicator or zero points if they did not achieve the indicator.  Zero is the lowest possible overall score, 10 is the highest.  The data for the indicators are from a number of sources, including:  the Governors Highway Safety Association; the American Academy of Pediatrics; Break the Cycle; the Network for Public Health Law; momsTeam.com; the Alliance of States with Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs; and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.9 out of 10: California and New York 8 out of 10: Maryland, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington 7 out of 10: Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico and Tennessee 6 out of 10: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Nebraska, Virginia andWisconsin 5 out of 10: Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas,Utah, Vermont and West Virginia 4 out of 10: Michigan, Mississippi and New Hampshire 3 out of 10: Idaho, Kentucky, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming 2 out of 10: Montana and OhioThe 10 indicators include:Does the state have a primary seat belt law? (32 states and Washington, D.C. meet the indicator and 18 state do not)Does the state require mandatory ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, even first time offenders?  (16 states meet the indicator and 34 states and Washington, D.C. do not)Does the state have a universal helmet law requiring helmets for all motorcycle riders? (19 states and Washington, D.C. meet the indicator and 31 states do not)Does the state require car seats or booster seats for children to at least the age of eight? (33 states and Washington, D.C. meet the indicator and 17 states do not)Does the state require bicycle helmets for all children? (21 states and Washington, D.C. meet the indicator and 29 states do not)Does the state allow for people in dating relationships to get protection orders? (44 states andWashington, D.C. meet the indicator and 6 states do not)Did the state receive an “A” grade in the teen dating violence laws analysis conducted by the Break the Cycle Organization?  (6 states and Washington, D.C. meet the indicator and 44 states did not)Does the state have a strong youth sports concussion safety law? (36 states and Washington, D.C. meet the indicator and 14 states do now)Did the state enact a prescription drug monitoring program? (48 states meet the indicator and 2 states and Washington, D.C. do not)Did more than 90 percent of injury discharges from hospitals receive external cause-of-injury coding in the state, which help researchers and health officials track industry trends and evaluate prevention programs?  (23 states meet the indicator and 27 states and Washington, D.C. do not)STATE-BY-STATE INJURY DEATH RANKINGSNote: Rates include all injury deaths for all ages, for injuries caused by accidents and violence (intentional and unintentional) 1 = Highest rate of injury fatalities, 51 = lowest rate of injury fatalities. Rankings are based on combining three years of data (2007-2009) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System to “stabilize” data for comparison purposes.  The data are age-adjusted using the year 2000 to standardize the data.  This methodology, recommended by the CDC, compensates for any potential anomalies or usual changes due to the specific sample in any given year in any given state.  The numbers are based on how many deaths per 100,000 people.1. New Mexico (97.8); 2. Montana (86.5); 3. Alaska (85.8); 4. Wyoming (84.7); 5. Mississippi (84.3); 6.Oklahoma (83); 7. West Virginia (82.2); 8. Louisiana (80.1); 9. Arkansas (76.9) 10. (tie) Alabama andKentucky (76.5); 12. Tennessee (75.6); 13. South Carolina (71.7); 14. Nevada (71.3); 15. Arizona (70.7); 16. Missouri (70.2); 17. Colorado (67.8); 18. Florida (66.8); 19. North Carolina (66); 20. Idaho (65.3);  21.Utah (64.8); 22. Georgia (61.4); 23. Vermont (61.3); 24. Oregon (61.2); 25. North Dakota (61.6); 26. South Dakota (60.7); 27. (tie) Indiana and Kansas (60.4); 29. Washington, D.C. (60.2); 30. Pennsylvania (59.4); 31. (tie) Maine and Wisconsin (58.7); 33. Texas (58.5); 34. Washington (58.1); 35. Delaware (56.9); 36.Michigan (56.8); 37. Maryland (56.1); 38. Ohio (55.9); 39. Virginia (53.4); 40. Iowa (52.5); 41. Nebraska(51.3); 42. Minnesota (51.2); 43. Rhode Island (50.4); 44. New Hampshire (50); 45. Illinois (48.7); 46.Hawaii (48.3); 47. Connecticut (47.9); 48. California (47.6); 49. Massachusetts (41.1); 50. New York(37.1); New Jersey (36.1).Trust for America’s Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority.www.healthyamericans.org(link is external)The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they needâ the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime. For more information, visitwww.rwjf.org(link is external).The Safe States Alliance is a national, non-profit organization and professional association whose mission is to serve as the national voice in support of state and local injury and violence prevention professionals engaged in building a safer, healthier America.SAVIR is a national professional organization dedicated to fostering excellence in the science of preventing and treating violence and injury.  Our vision is a safer world through violence and injury research and its application to practice. SOURCE Trust for America’s Health  WASHINGTON, May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —last_img read more

House Speaker Smith lays out legislative timetable

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first_imgby Nat Rudarakanchana February 20, 2013 vtdigger.org House Speaker Shap Smith outlined his provisional Statehouse timetable to the Republican House caucus on Tuesday: He suggested that lawmakers should be able to finish the session in the minimum 16 to 17 week timeframe for legislative doings and named a date ‘ May 8.Smith has consistently maintained the discipline required to keep within this minimum standard since he took over the House in 2008, and it looks like he’ s going for a fifth shot at the ring.The Speaker urged House lawmakers to push their bills out of committees within the next two weeks, just before Town Meeting Day, the first Tuesday of March. The cross-over deadline to send bills to the Senate is the week after legislators return from the town meeting break.Money bills in the Appropriations, Ways and Means, and Institutions committees, however, he said will likely need extra time and attention, as legislators face a ‘ tough’ budget.‘ This is a team effort. Hopefully it will continue to be a team effort. But there’ s no doubt about it: This [budget] is a tough one,’ Smith said.On Thursday, the House will continue debate on raising the property tax rate by five cents, a major increase, of which House Republicans are highly critical.This is the first in what is likely to be an ongoing battle over money bills, and it’ s this debate over taxes, capital expenditures and the budget that in the long run predetermines the schedule more than anything else. But with a ‘ super majority’ of Democrats in the House and Senate and a conservative Democrat on the Fifth Floor, Republicans and Progressives can do little else except kick up a little dust. When the Speaker, the most powerful man in the Statehouse sets the schedule, he sticks to it and pretty much everyone in the building eventually toes the line.The first step on the path to timely adjournment? The House passage of the Big Bill. Smith wants the lawmakers to vote on the House response to Gov. Peter Shumlin’ s budget by the last week of March. He wants the miscellaneous tax bill to be considered that same week, with the capital bill, which lays out the state’ s major infrastructure and long-term capital investments, including the Waterbury State Office Complex, to be out the week after.last_img read more

Vermont Community Loan Fund awarded $787,000 grant from federal CDFI Fund

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first_imgGrant to Support Job Creation, Child Care, Affordable Homes & ServicesVermont Business Magazine The Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF), a nonprofit, mission-driven lender, has been awarded a $786,840 grant from the US Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. The CDFI Fund awards grants to build capacity of loan funds and other financial institutions serving communities that lack access to financial resources.The grant will support VCLF’s community-focused loan programs, providing permanent lending capital to Vermont’s small businesses, early education and child care programs, community facilities and developers of affordable housing. VCLF’s lending programs focus on creating opportunities leading to healthy communities and financial stability for all Vermonters.Over the three year grant period, VCLF plans to lend more than $20 million to create or preserve 1,110 jobs, almost 650 affordable homes, quality early care & education for 1,000 children and essential services for over 100,000 Vermonters. “The CDFI Fund awards have been incredibly important to our ability to grow and to continue to build Vermont’s businesses and vital services, through the recession and beyond,” said VCLF Executive Director Will Belongia. “The grant not only provides us with significant lending capital, but also allows us to leverage additional funds,” Belongia added.VCLF is among 152 organizations awarded a total of $182.3 million in the CDFI Fund’s 20th year of grant funding, chosen from a pool of 374 applicants requesting over $439 million. In addition to VCLF, two other Vermont organizations were selected – Community Capital of Vermont in Barre, and Opportunities Credit Union in Winooski.Commenting on the grantees, CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan said “These important community partners are not only on the frontlines of economically distressed communities providing needed capital and credit, they are building a more inclusive economy which benefits the nation as a whole.”Belongia noted that the 2015 grant marks VCLF’s twelfth award from the CDFI Fund. “The fact that this highly competitive grant has been awarded to VCLF time after time speaks for the extraordinary efficacy of our lending programs. A vote of confidence of the highest order shows that we’re creating opportunities and healthy communities in Vermont, and moving mountains alongside the CDFI Fund and our other remarkable partners and supporters,” Belongia said.About the Vermont Community Loan Fund  The Vermont Community Loan Fund’s mission is to create opportunities that lead to healthy communities and financial stability for all Vermonters. Since our inception we’ve lent almost $88 million to local businesses, affordable housing developers and community-based organizations that has created or preserved over 4,800 jobs; built or rehabilitated more than 3,600 affordable homes for Vermont’s families, individuals and seniors; created or preserved quality care for over 3,600 children and their families and supported community organizations providing vital services to hundreds of thousands of Vermonters. For more information about the Loan Fund and its lending programs, visit www.investinvermont.org(link is external)About the CDFI FundSince its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $2 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions throughout the CDFI Program, the NACA Program, the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, and the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $43.5 billion in tax credit allocation authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program, and $525 million has been guaranteed in bonds through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program. To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, visit www.cdfifund.gov(link is external)   Source: VCLF 9.15.2015last_img read more

Weekly unemployment claims fall back to under 500

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first_imgVermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims fell again last week to a more typical, low summer level. However, claims in 2016 generally have been running above 2015 claims. For the week of July 16, 2016, there were 427 claims, down 113 from the previous week’s total and 64 more than they were a year ago. By industry, claims were higher for the month and for the year for construction, but fell steeply for Manufacturing; Service, as is typical, carried the most claims. Altogether 4,545 new and continuing claims were filed, a decrease of 149 from a week ago, and 151 more than a year ago.The Department processed 0 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08).Vermont’s unemployment rate fell one-tenth to 3.1 percent in May, as the labor force and total employment increased, along with a decrease in the number of unemployed. However, the overall jobs situation was not as strong as it was in April. SEE STORY.The June jobs report will be available July 22.The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external). Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external)NOTE: Employment (nonfarm payroll) – A count of all persons who worked full- or part-time or received pay from a nonagricultural employer for any part of the pay period which included the 12th of the month. Because this count comes from a survey of employers, persons who work for two different companies would be counted twice. Therefore, nonfarm payroll employment is really a count of the number of jobs, rather than the number of persons employed. Persons may receive pay from a job if they are temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, vacation, or labor-management dispute. This count is based on where the jobs are located, regardless of where the workers reside, and is therefore sometimes referred to as employment “by place of work.” Nonfarm payroll employment data are collected and compiled based on the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, conducted by the Vermont Department of Labor. This count was formerly referred to as nonagricultural wage and salary employment.last_img read more

New England Center for Circus Arts gets $75K matching grant

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first_imgVermont Business Magazine New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) has received a $75,000 matching grant from the Jane’s Trust. Jane’s Trust offered NECCA the matching grant at the end of 2015. NECCA supporters met the challenge and the match was received in December. The total raised to date is now $1.218 million toward the $2.5 million goal.“From the beginning of this campaign four years ago, NECCA has been like The Little Engine That Could, defying all expectations,” says campaign director Lisa Barnwell Williams of Chanticleer Consulting.  “But even as we take a moment to savor how incredibly far we’ve come, it’s important to recognize that we’re only halfway there. I encourage every friend of NECCA, friend of circus, friend of Brattleboro to think hard about how you can help us reach our $2.5 million goal.”NECCA’s capital campaign “Everyone’s Home for Circus” will fund the newest custom-built circus arts trapezium building in the United States, built and located in Brattleboro, Vermont.Brattleboro’s Cotton Mill has been home for the young start-up. As the number of students and classes grew, and NECCA’s national and international reputation also grew, it became clear that NECCA needed a new home.NECCA broke ground on the trapezium building in September 2016 as part of the first phase of the project, which is anticipated to be ready for occupancy by July 2017. Progress on the new building is coming along smoothly after three months of construction with the footings and foundation walls now complete. Remaining on schedule, there’s another six months to go. Design and construction company Trumbull-Nelson, is currently backfilling the building in preparation for the steel installation. Special attributes like the foam pit and trapeze pit have been poured and are in place. Pending weather delays, a crane arrived Tuesday, January 3, in preparation for four loads of steel that came Wednesday as the structure goes skyward. By the end of January, the building, roof steel and mezzanine will be completed. Application of the membrane to the roof and sides will follow.   All in all, the trapezium building will be 8,600 sq. ft. incorporating a gymnasium for circus arts training and performances, plus administrative offices, lobby and reception. The trapezium will have a ceiling height of almost 40 ft., a tramp wall and trampoline. The trapezium will allow year-round, indoor flying trapeze training as well as fabric/silk, jugging, contortion, unicycle, partner acrobatics, German wheel, teeterboard and more.Two huge signs to be installed at NECCA’s new homeThe entire facility is designed to match the high level of technical training the center offers, and created to be welcoming and inspiring for all. The trapezium is handicapped accessible with discrete studios for youth and special needs students so that outside stimulus can be minimized. It will have high rigging points so professionals can come to Brattleboro to train and share their knowledge and creativity with local students, and it will have a clear span, flexible performance space that highlights the students and gives local audiences intimate access to some of the world’s best circus arts. It will offer communal spaces to allow local youth to mingle with international performers, and enable wheelchair-bound dancers to connect and collaborate with other acrobats.Phase two will be a smaller building that will include additional training studios as well as work and creative space for staff and coaches. We will continue refining phase two in 2017 and work on developing plans for funding and eventual construction.NECCA plays an important role in identifying and training the next generation of circus performers and circus instructors. NECCA’s programs are dependent upon state-of-the-art facilities. Aspiring professionals simply cannot develop the expertise they seek without maximum ceiling heights, top-quality equipment, and around-the-clock access to practice sites.Circus performers and teachers around the nation and the world look to NECCA as a leader, but as schools in other cities develop superior facilities that can support more comprehensive curricula, NECCA’s strength in coaching, philosophy and professionalism may not be enough to maintain its leadership role without state-of-the-art training facilities.The New England Center for Circus Arts, (NECCA) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit circus arts center offering programs for professionals, students seeking a professional career, and therapeutic and recreational programs for people of all ages. NECCA is in the process of building a new facility in Brattleboro that will be the newest custom-designed circus arts trapezium building in the United States.Source: BRATTLEBORO, VT—January 2, 2017—New England Center for Circus Artslast_img read more

MVP pays $70K penalty for overcharging for colorectal screenings

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first_imgVermont Business Magazine Michael S Pieciak, commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation, announced today that MVP Health Insurance Co has paid the state of Vermont an administrative penalty of $70,500 and reimbursed 470 Vermonters a total of $158,915 plus interest. An investigation conducted by the department revealed that between October 2013 and October 2016 MVP had overcharged a number of its insured members for colorectal screenings and services associated with the screenings, such as removal of tissue, laboratory or physician services, facility services and anesthesia.MVP has acknowledged the errors and has agreed to conduct an internal audit to ensure future compliance with Vermont laws.Pieciak said he appreciated the cooperation the department received from MVP during the investigation and is pleased with the corrective measures the company has taken to adhere to Vermont insurance regulations.“MVP has made commendable efforts to address the issues and correct its erroneous practices,” he said, “I applaud the company’s determination to prevent it from happening in the future. Good compliance is essential for consumer protection.”The administrative penalty will be paid to the state’s general fund.MVP, headquartered in Schenectady, NY, provides health and dental insurance for about 700,000 people nationwide and has approximately 1,600 employees. It is one of two insurers, along with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, to offer health insurance plans through Vermont Health Connect.Source: DFR 1.17.2017last_img read more

Six of 10 school merger votes approved

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first_imgScott and Holcomb: More work must be done to reduce the costs of overhead so we can invest in academicsVermont Business Magazine Vermont voters across the state gave their approval to a majority of school district merger proposals offered during Town Meeting Day 2017. All told, six of the 10 proposals received voter approval. Voters in 40 school districts across 10 supervisory unions gave their approval to merge into larger school districts.Governor Phil Scott and Secretary of Education Rebecca Holcombe issued the following statement after school districts in Windsor, Windham, Caledonia, Essex, Bennington, Rutland and Addison Counties voted to consolidate district governance on Town Meeting Day.“We are proud of these communities and their school boards for their hard work, charting a course that will lead to a higher quality, more affordable and more equitable education system. These larger districts will be able to provide more stability, support and affordability for schools and tax payers. If the votes are not changed on reconsideration, voters in 38 towns in seven supervisory unions voted this week to merge 37 school districts to create six new unified districts. Voters in three additional districts approved a merger, although this merger will not go forward because it was contingent on a successful second merger in some neighboring districts where the vote failed. With these latest votes, 96 towns representing 21 supervisory unions, have voted to merge 104 school districts into 16 unified union school districts and four modified unified union school districts since Act 46 was enacted. The fact remains, however, that much more work must be done to reduce the costs of overhead and infrastructure so we can invest more in academics, early care and education and higher education in our state.“The mergers approved on Town Meeting Day include one district that pays tuition for all students in PK-12; two districts that operate schools through grade eight and tuition older students; and three districts that operate schools for all grades. Not only will this provide flexibility to enhance educational quality, but it will reduce administrative costs and allow our systems to focus on improving learning and increasing options for our children. After this week’s votes, 57 percent of all students live, or will soon live, in a unified district.“Act 46 has inspired conversations in communities around the state about how to support quality education for all children, in a more affordable way that directs more funds to educating students, versus overhead costs. This is hard work, and long overdue. Vermont has about 24,000 fewer students than we did 20 years ago. Two out of every three homes in Vermont have no school-age children in them. Just as some families move into new homes when their children move out so they can maintain the same quality at a lower cost, so too do some of our communities need to provide a better and more affordable ‘home’ for their children’s education. Unified systems are having powerful conversations about how to manage staffing levels and infrastructure more efficiently, structure themselves to get more value out of every dollar, and expand choices and opportunities for the children they serve. “We thank communities for the hard work they are devoting to imagining a strong, quality education future for our children. We also know that by being disciplined in grades K-12, we can free state dollars to support children in early care and learning, as well as post-secondary programs. This will create a cradle-to-career continuum of learning that supports our children, teachers and workforce – and that is the very best in the country. Investing in a cradle-to-career system is critical to making Vermont an education destination and to growing our economy, reducing the demand for social services and creating greater opportunities for all Vermonters.”“The types of changes and opportunities contemplated by Act 46 require that school board members navigate some of the most challenging and significant issues facing public education today,” said Nicole Mace, executive director of the Vermont School Boards Association. “As you can see by yesterday’s historic results, Vermont’s school board members have risen to the challenges posed by declining enrollment, rising costs, leadership turnover, and growing inequity in student opportunity, and are charting a positive course forward for public education in Vermont.  This course builds upon our strengths but recognizes that preserving the status quo is not in the best interests of the students and communities we serve.”The successful merger votes include:Addison-Rutland (Slate Valley);Bennington-Rutland (Taconic & Green);Cal North & Essex-Cal (Kingdom East);Cal North, Essex-Cal & Essex North non-op (NEK Choice);Windham Central K-12 (West River);Windsor Central.Voters in 13 districts voted against merging, resulting in failed merger proposals in:Rutland Central & Rutland Southwest K-6 (Wells Springs);Windham Central K-6 (River Valley);Windham Northeast.While voters in Rutland Central & Rutland Southwest K-12 (Quarry Valley) approved their merger proposal, the merger will not occur because Rutland Central & Rutland Southwest K-6 (Wells Springs) defeated their proposal.In many places, voters approved merger proposals by wide margins, including:Cal North & Essex-Cal (Kingdom East) 973-337 (74 percent)Bennington-Rutland (Taconic & Green) 1,596-540 (75 percent)Windsor Central 900-296 (75 percent)All told, 43 districts will be reduced to 12 districts, six of which will be union school districts.“In most communities, work by local officials to understand and confront the challenges facing schools and taxpayers leads to support for unification,” said Jeff Francis, executive director of the Vermont Superintendents Association. “I am impressed both by these vote results and the sentiment behind it – which is creating better opportunity for students and greater affordability for taxpayers.”Source: Vermont School Boards Association and Vermont Superintendents Association. Governor Scott. 3.8.2017last_img read more

Revision Military Newport wins $98 million contract for advanced combat helmet

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first_imgRevision Military Ltd,Vermont Business Magazine In a development with direct implications for future work at Revision Military Newport, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) announced today that the US Army awarded Revision Military a contract for as much as $98 million to produce the next generation of combat helmets for soldiers. The announcement follows an intense competition for the project. Revision Military, the world leader in integrated head systems based in Essex Junction, said in its own statement that the contract is for the Advanced Combat Helmet Generation II (ACH GEN II). This five-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) helmet contract (W91CRB-17-D-0008), awarded on a full and open competition basis to Revision, has a maximum value of $98,111,803 and estimated completion date of March 6, 2022. Revision said its ACH helmet is up to 24 percent lighter than the legacy ACH helmet system and this contract represents the first large-scale, significant advancement in ACH technology in 15 years.Since last contracted by the US Army in 2012—when Revision delivered a total of 180,000 ACH helmets—Revision said it has invested millions of dollars in new manufacturing equipment and processes, research into the characterization and optimization of advanced ballistic materials, and in the building of a world-class team of scientists and engineers in order to evolve the Company’s capabilities.Additionally, since 2013, Revision’s Newport, Vermont facility—where helmets for this contract will be manufactured—has expanded by 16,000 square feet, and the number of employees that work at this facility has more than doubled. As a result of these ongoing investments, and the development of composite materials technological expertise, Revision was able to exceed the weight reduction requirements stipulated in the Army’s solicitation by a sizable margin: The ACH Gen II solicitation required a minimum 15 percent weight reduction compared to the current ACH helmet; Revision’s solution offers up to 24 percent weight reduction over the legacy ACH design, pushing the envelope of attainable weight reduction while maintaining superior ballistic protection.Leahy is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which oversees the Senate’s work in writing annual defense budget bills.  He has been a longtime supporter of Revision Military’s presence in Newport — a facility that will be essential to executing the five-year contract for up to 293,870 helmets.Leahy said in the statement:  “This was an intense competition that draws on the reliability and skill of Revision Military’s workforce in Vermont.  The quality of these helmets will protect soldiers from ballistic impacts, while also making them more comfortable with their up to 24 percent lighter build.  Like all Vermonters, I am incredibly proud of the men and women at Revision Military Newport for their hard work and dedication, both of which greatly contributed to Revision being selected for this contract.  In past visits to the facility I have seen firsthand the commitment these employees have to their trade, a commitment depended on by the men and women of our Armed Forces.”“With this solicitation, PEO Soldier challenged the helmet industry, raising the technology bar substantially. Revision answered in a big way, dedicating significant resources to set a new standard for lightweight helmet design and performance,” said Jonathan Blanshay, CEO. “Revision has been a proud U.S. Army supplier since 2005, and our investment in this program epitomizes Revision’s unwavering dedication to forward-thinking head systems technology and manufacturing. In the years since Revision was last contracted by the U.S. Army, we’ve become a much stronger company and head systems technology innovator, securing helmet contracts around the world—including for the British Army’s VIRTUS program—and emerging as the vanguard of the U.S. helmet industry. We’re excited to provide this cutting-edge technology to troops in the field who will benefit greatly from the improved performance and significantly lower weight of this next-generation head system. In short, Revision has fully modernized the traditional ACH helmet, bringing this crucial equipment up to speed with the fast pace of modern warfare.”The Newport facility has more than doubled the size of its workforce since 2013, with 186 current employees.Revision is dedicated to re-envisioning military head systems with integrated technologies that feature new, cutting edge materials, in a variety of designs and configurations, to exceed all customer requirements. With extensive knowledge of ballistics, electronics, optics, power, and other innovative technologies, Revision is a creative solutions provider, capable of designing and developing custom head protection solutions to meet the changing needs of global militaries.“With this solicitation, PEO Soldier challenged the helmet industry, raising the technology bar substantially. Revision answered in a big way, dedicating significant resources to set a new standard for lightweight helmet design and performance,” said Jonathan Blanshay, CEO. “Revision has been a proud U.S. Army supplier since 2005, and our investment in this program epitomizes Revision’s unwavering dedication to forward-thinking head systems technology and manufacturing. In the years since Revision was last contracted by the U.S. Army, we’ve become a much stronger company and head systems technology innovator, securing helmet contracts around the world—including for the British Army’s VIRTUS program—and emerging as the vanguard of the U.S. helmet industry. We’re excited to provide this cutting-edge technology to troops in the field who will benefit greatly from the improved performance and significantly lower weight of this next-generation head system. In short, Revision has fully modernized the traditional ACH helmet, bringing this crucial equipment up to speed with the fast pace of modern warfare.”“This was an intense competition that draws on the reliability and skill of Revision Military’s workforce in Vermont,” said Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). “The quality of these helmets will protect soldiers from ballistic impacts, while also making them more comfortable with their up to 24% lighter build. Like all Vermonters, I am incredibly proud of the men and women at Revision Military Newport for their hard work and dedication, both of which greatly contributed to Revision being selected for this contract. In past visits to the facility, I have seen firsthand the commitment these employees have to their trade, a commitment depended on by the men and women of our Armed Forces.”Over Revision’s history, the Company has delivered 1.1 million helmets to the U.S. military, with an additional 300,000 helmets internationally. Across all of these program deliveries, Revision has never received a single warranty claim for product malfunction or defect, has never had to recall a single faulty product, and has never failed a single Lot Acceptance or First Article test. Revision is also the most experienced and most knowledgeable Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) manufacturer in the industry. With robust design and development expertise, significant investment in efficient, high-volume manufacturing, and vertical integration, Revision stands ready to meet this U.S. Army’s demand, and will use the revenue generated through this program to continue to build capabilities and advanced innovations to benefit the U.S. military for years to come.ABOUT REVISIONRevision develops and delivers purpose-built protective soldier equipment for military use worldwide. The company, which began with eyewear, has expanded to face, head and torso protection as well as energy storage and power management products, continues to develop innovative capabilities for integrated, performance-enhancing soldier systems. To that end, Revision brings together the most advanced expertise, state-of-the-art facilities and finest technical minds. Privately owned and ISO 9001:2008 certified, Revision’s operational headquarters is located in Essex Junction, Vermont, USA, with additional offices in Montreal, Canada, The UK, and Luxembourg. Revision”s plant in Essex Junction focuses on military eyewear.Source: (TUESDAY, March 21, 2017) – Leahy. Business Wire.  www.revisionmilitary.com(link is external)last_img read more

Mad River Distillers to release limited Burnt Rock Bourbon Sept 19

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first_imgVermont Business Magazine Mad River Distillers of Vermont is proud to announce the distillery’s new Burnt Rock Bourbon will be released in extremely limited quantities on Tuesday, September 19 at select Vermont and Massachusetts retailers and bars. “We were looking for a different bourbon experience, something spicier with a bit of smoke to it,” said Mimi Buttenheim, Mad River Distillers’ president. “The maple wood smoke allowed us to showcase our Vermont roots.”Entirely different from the distillery’s flagship four-grain, wheated bourbon (corn, wheat, oats, and barley), Burnt Rock Bourbon is a 12- to 18-month old corn, rye, and maple wood-smoked barley named after a popular hiking trail up Burnt Rock Mountain in Mad River Valley, Vermont.“We hand-built our smoker from a used steel drum and smoke the malted barley over maple wood from our property at Cold Spring Farm,” said Alex Hilton, general manager and distiller at Mad River Distillers. “The corn we used was grown organically in Vermont, and the rye adds a nice spice element to complement the smoke. As they say, ‘Smoke it if you got it.’”About Burnt Rock BourbonTasting Notes: Sweet maple smoke and cedar with orange spice on the nose and tastes of citrus, caramel, rye, tobacco, and bright herbal notes. The finish is long and chewy – reminiscent of a fine single malt.Bottled at 92 proof with 46% ABV.Each bottle is hand-numbered.Massachusetts release will be 40 cases (240 bottles) of 750ml bottles for $52.99 each and Vermont release will be 75 cases (452 bottles) of 375ml bottles for $39.99 each.About Mad River DistillersMad River Distillers was founded in 2011 by John Egan, Brett Little, and Maura Connolly to produce high-quality, handcrafted spirits using locally-sourced, non-GMO ingredients and Cold Springs Farm’s exceptionally pure natural spring water. The Warren, Vermont-based distillery, which is now distributed in New England, New York, and California, currently produces four rums, three whiskeys including Hopscotch, and Malvados Apple Brandy, which was a 2016 Good Food Awards winner. Visit madriverdistillers.com and follow on social media @madriverdistillers.An official release weekend for Burnt Rock Bourbon will be held at the distillery’s Burlington Tasting Room, 137 St. Paul St., Burlington, Vermont from September 22nd through 24th with details forthcoming. Follow the tasting room on Instagram @madriverdistillersBTV and Twitter @DrinkMRD for updates.Photo Caption: Mad River Distillers Burnt Rock Bourbon will be released in limited quantities at select retailers and bars in Vermont and Massachusetts on Tuesday, September 19th.Source: WARREN, Vermont (September 6, 2017) – Mad River Distillers of Vermontlast_img read more