first_imgIn a continuing effort to provide the best wireless service for local residents, Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest wireless provider, has expanded its digital network in Vermont, with a new cell site. The new site, located on an existing silo, provides improved coverage and capacity in Ferrisburg along Route 7.The new site is part of the company’s aggressive multi-billion dollar network investment each year to stay ahead of the growing demand for Verizon Wireless voice and data services, like two-way text messaging and Internet access, in New England.This investment is part of the company’s commitment to offer customers the most reliable service available on the nation’s largest wireless network. The company’s most reliable network claim is based on network studies performed by real-life test men and test women who inspired the company’s national advertising campaign. They conduct more than 300,000 call attempts monthly on Verizon Wireless’ and other national wireless carriers’ networks while traveling over 100,000 miles nationwide in specially-equipped company-owned quality test vehicles.”This network expansion will allow us to meet the growing need of local businesses and consumers for their voice calls and data applications, like our high-speed Express Network (sm) and two-way text messaging service,” said Bob Stott, Verizon Wireless regional president.Express Network is the company’s nationwide high-speed wireless data network, providing fast wireless Internet service, with bursts up to 144 kilobits per second (kbps). Express Network gives users full Internet access, intranet access and traditional email functionality via a laptop at unprecedented speeds for wireless access. Users can expect average speeds between 40 and 60 kbps, significantly higher than speeds being produced by competing technologies and comparable to, if not faster, than what PC users get when using a dial-up Internet service. Verizon Wireless has invested more than $8 billion over the last two years in its nationwide network, offering customers access to the most extensive wireless voice and data network in the United States.last_img read more


first_imgHelp for Import-Impacted ManufacturersLowell, Mass., June 6, 2005 The New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, Inc. (NETAAC), is a government funded non-profit organization that offers cost share assistance for imported-injured manufacturers through grants from the U.S. Department of commerce. NETAACs goal is to help New England manufacturers increase profitability and retain employees while competing with imported products.The New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers Executive Director, Richard McLaughlin, is pleased to announce the approval of the new grant from the US Department of Commerce, under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program for firms. These funds will allow us to continue our efforts within the six New England states, stated Mr. McLaughlin.Annually NETAAC provides grants for business services on a cost shared basis to assist New England manufacturers to compete profitably within foreign import markets. Mr. McLaughlin continued to state the NETAAC has assisted over 1200 New England Manufacturers through this program. To be eligible, manufacturers must show a decline in sales and employment, within the most recent twelve months, due to increasing imports into the U.S. domestic market.The Trade Adjustment Assistance for firms is a federal program, which is regionally managed. NETAAC is one of a network of eleven non-profit Trade Centers nationally. A recent study by The Urban Institute concluded, Participating firms do well as a result of their participation. They found that both sales and employment increased after assistance and at rates significantly better than those of a control group of similar firms did. They attributed this positive result to the depth of breath of technical assistance available through the program as well as the ability to customize the assistance to the individual needs of a firm and to deliver it through the best available outside experts.For more information about the New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, you can visit their website at www.netaac.org(link is external). Formal inquiries can be made directly to the center located at 600 Suffolk Street, Fifth Floor North, Lowell, MA 01844 or by calling (978) 446-9870.last_img read more


first_imgWHAT: Governor Jim Douglas will announce a partnership with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company at a news conference on February 12th to give away free $50,000 life insurance policies to families in need across Vermont.WHEN/WHERE: The Governor will hold a news conference on February 12th, 11AM at  the State House, 109 State St., Montpelier, VT in the Governor s Ceremonial Office to announce details of the program, including the date and time of a public application event where people can apply for free life insurance policies. He will also announce who qualifies for the program and how it benefits the children of Vermont.WHY: The free life insurance program is called LifeBridge. This is strictly a philanthropic program with no additional obligations or commitments from families who qualify for the free insurance policies. MassMutual is the only company in the nation giving away life insurance as part of a charitable giving program.The $50,000 benefit from these life insurance policies will help pay for the education of children if their parent or legal guardian dies during the ten year policy term. MassMutual hopes to give away up to ten million dollars in life insurance coverage in Vermont.EDITORIAL NOTE: If you can not cover the news conference, please contact me for a news release about how people can apply for free life insurance; interviews with LifeBridge experts in Vermont can be arranged.last_img read more


first_imgThe following statement is being issued today by Vermont Attorney General William H Sorrell and the Mortgage Foreclosure Multistate Group:”It has recently come to light that a number of mortgage loan servicers havesubmitted affidavits or signed other documents in support of either ajudicial or non-judicial foreclosure that appear to have procedural defects.In particular, it appears affidavits and other documents have been signed bypersons who did not have personal knowledge of the facts asserted in thedocuments. In addition, it appears that many affidavits were signed outsideof the presence of a notary public, contrary to state law. This process ofsigning documents without confirming their accuracy has come to beknown as “robo-signing.” We believe such a process may constitute adeceptive act and/or an unfair practice or otherwise violate state laws.In order to handle this issue in the most efficient and consistent mannerpossible, the states have formed a bi-partisan multistate group to addressissues common to a large number of states. The group is comprised of bothstate Attorneys General and the state bank and mortgage regulators.”Currently 49 state Attorneys General have joined this coordinatedmultistate effort. State bank and mortgage regulators are participating bothindividually and through their Multistate Mortgage Committee, whichrepresents mortgage regulators from all 50 states. Through this process, thestates will attempt to speak with one voice to the greatest extent possible.”At the end of this statement is a list of the participating states.Our multistate group has begun inquiring whether or not individualmortgage servicers have improperly submitted affidavits or otherdocuments in support of foreclosures in our states. The facts uncovered inour review will dictate the scope of our inquiry.”The Executive Committeeis comprised of the following Attorneys General Offices: Arizona,California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New York, NorthCarolina, Ohio, Texas, and Washington; and the following state bankingregulators: Maryland Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation,New York State Banking Department, and the Pennsylvania Department ofBanking.”Source: Vermont AG. 10.12.2010.Participating Attorneys GeneralAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaii Department of the Attorney General / Hawaii Office of Consumer ProtectionIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyomingParticipating State Bank and Mortgage RegulatorsArizona Department of Financial InstitutionsArkansas Securities DepartmentConnecticut Department of BankingD.C. Department of Insurance Securities and BankingFlorida Office of Financial RegulationIdaho Department of FinanceIllinois Secretary of Financial and Professional RegulationIndiana Department of Financial InstitutionsIowa Division of BankingKentucky Department of Financial InstitutionsLouisiana Office of Financial InstitutionsMaine Bureau of Consumer Credit ProtectionMaine Bureau of Financial InstitutionsMaryland Office of the Commissioner of Financial RegulationDivision of Banks, Commonwealth of MassachusettsMichigan Office of Financial & Insurance RegulationMinnesota Department of CommerceMississippi Department of Banking and Consumer FinanceMontana Division of Banking and Financial InstitutionsNebraska Department of Banking and FinanceNevada Financial Institutions Division and Mortgage Lending DivisionNew Hampshire Banking DepartmentNew Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance – Office of Consumer FinanceNew York State Banking DepartmentNorth Carolina Commissioner of BanksNorth Dakota Department of Financial InstitutionsOhio Division of Financial InstitutionsOregon Department of Consumer and Business Services – Division of Financeand Corporate SecuritiesPennsylvania Department of BankingRhode Island Department of Business Regulation – Division of BankingSouth Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs Tennessee Department ofFinancial Institutions Texas Department of BankingTexas Finance Commission and Consumer Credit Commissioner VermontDepartment of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health CareAdministrationWashington State Department of Financial InstitutionsWest Virginia Division of Banking WisconsinDepartment of Banking Wyoming Division of Bankinglast_img read more


first_imgby Anne Galloway, www.vtdigger.org(link is external) April 27, 2011 In a historic vote on Tuesday, the Vermont Legislature created the enabling legislation for a first-in-the-nation universal health care system. The state Senate approved the visionary plan for a single-payer system in a 21-9 vote after four hours of debate. The split was largely along party lines.Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, campaigned on a promise to create a single-payer system in Vermont that would contain health care costs and give all of the state’s residents universal access to medical care. On Tuesday, Shumlin made good on the first step toward fulfilling that promise, and just five hours after the Senate vote, he marked the legislative victory in an appearance on MSNBC’s ‘The Rachel Maddow Show.’Shumlin said in a statement to the Vermont press: ‘Today the Legislature took a huge step toward making Vermont the first state in the first in the nation to control skyrocketing health care costs and remove the burden of providing health care coverage from small business owners. This bill is good for Vermonters and Vermont businesses.Many Vermont businesses, however, believe otherwise. Though small employers have said they will benefit, some larger employers actively lobbied against the bill. Opponents of H.202 argued that the legislation would leave businesses in the lurch during the transition period between 2013 and 2014 when the state is required under federal law to participate in insurance exchanges. The opposition was led by insurance brokers (the Fleischer Jacobs Group, Business Resource Specialists), business associations (Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Grocers Association and Vermont Retailers Association), large employers (Dealer.com, Biotek, Rhino Foods and IBM). The Senate debate on Monday and Tuesday centered on changes to the legislation that would have made it more palatable to these groups.Sen. Vince Illuzzi, R/D-Essex Orleans, who proposed two amendments that would have made the bill more business friendly, said companies are afraid ‘we will end up with a plan most won’t be able to afford.’The legislation sets the state’s health care system on a new trajectory. Instead of continuing to use an insurance model for covering the cost of care, the bill moves the state toward an integrated payment system that would be controlled by a quasi judicial board and administered by a third party entity. The system would be funded through a broad-based tax.The universal health care system would be implemented in 2014, if it clears 10 very high hurdles, including the receipt of a federal waiver. Otherwise it wouldn’t kick in until 2017.Longtime single-payer advocate Dr. Deb Richter was ecstatic about the Senate passage of the bill.‘I’m absolutely thrilled,’ Richter said. ‘It’s one of the best days of my life. I’ve given 400 speeches over the last 10 years and it feels like the work was worth it. We have a ways to go, but this is a step in the right direction.’A universal health care system is the only way to cover everyone and contain costs, Richter said.The passage of H.202 marks the first time any state in the country has attempted to provide universal care and a cost containment system that addresses administrative costs, hospital budgeting and uniform payments to doctors, Richter said.Whether the federal government will give Vermont a waiver to adopt a universal health care system in 2014 is an open question. Richter said the state has a 50-50 chance of getting the exemption from the Affordable Care Act. Even so, she believes Vermont’s attempt to create a single-payer system is worthwhile.‘You go for what you want, not for what you think you might get ‘ that’s what the bill does,’ Richter said.The Senate debate focused on the state’s implementation of the insurance exchanges that are required under federal law. The Affordable Care Act has mandated that states provide an actuarial value for insurance products (the insurance equivalent of a per unit price mechanism that allows consumers to compare the cost of on the shelf grocery items). The federal government has set up very general guidelines for the actuarial levels for insurance products insurers must provide under the exchange. The idea is to create an easy system for comparison between health insurance benefit plans that offer a dizzying array of deductibles, co-insurance, co-pays and premiums. The products, under the federal requirements, range from bronze (60 percent actuarial value) to silver (70 percent), gold (80 percent) and platinum (90 percent). It also puts minimum requirements on the ‘qualifying plans.’ Many of these mandates are already in Vermont law. Insurers, for example, are not allowed to ‘cherry pick’ consumers who are healthy and create pools without a cross-section of the sick and healthy populations.Read this summary of the ACA requirements from Kaiser Foundation.The Affordable Care Act requires individuals without insurance to buy into the exchange or face a $695 fine. Families of four with incomes of less than $88,700 qualify for tax credits. Businesses with more than 50 employees that do not buy insurance face a penalty of $2,000 per worker.The fight between employers and proponents of H.202 was about the potential for mandatory inclusion of businesses that have between 50 and 100 workers in the exchange. Sen. Hinda Miller, D-Chittenden, and Illuzzi argued that requiring companies of that size to participate in the exchange could jeopardize their economic viability. Employers in that range tend not to self-insure and so are not protected under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.The federal law allows states some flexibility. States can decide what benefit plan levels can be offered, for example. They can also determine the size of the businesses that must be included in the exchange. The Shumlin administration pushed for intent language in the bill that could have led to the inclusion of businesses with 50 to 100 employees into the exchange. Proponents of H.202 have said it’s important to include these 28,000 workers in the state’s insurance exchange in order to build toward a single-payer system.An amendment proposed by Sen. Diane Snelling, R-Chittenden, and approved by the Senate struck the intent language. The Green Mountain Care board, which will oversee the health care reform effort including the exchanges, is charged with producing a report that would outline the impact of excluding the 50-100 employee group on the exchange, which the Shumlin administration wants to use as a stepping stone toward the single-payer system.Illuzzi proposed two amendments that would have forced the state to include a broader array of insurance carriers in the exchange would have specifically allowed health savings accounts and high deductible plans under the exchange and would have allowed ‘nonqualified’ plans outside the exchange. H.202 allows for two carriers.‘Let’s not kid ourselves it will be more than one carrier,’ Illuzzi said on the Senate floor. ‘It will likely be Blue Cross Blue Shield. It will be two carriers in name only. Both will be required to offer same (plans). It will be a change without a difference.’Anya Rader Wallack, Shumlin’s special assistant on health care, said she was impressed by the Legislature.‘A lot of people worked very hard educating themselves in a short period of time,’ Wallack said. ‘This isn’t simple stuff. I was impressed with the amount of effort both bodies have put into this.’The Shumlin administration was heavily involved in drafting the bill, H.202, though by the time the legislation reached final passage it had changed somewhat from its original incarnation, which was based in part on recommendations from Professor William Hsiao, the renowned Harvard economist who created a single payer system for Taiwan.Over the next year, the Shumlin administration will hire a director of health care reform and the chair of a quasi-judicial board. The board would be in place by January of 2012 and would begin the arduous task of sorting through the maze of federal laws, waivers, benefits, provider reimbursements, system financing and cost containment options.H.202 will be read in the House Health Care Committee on Wednesday morning. Rep. Mark Larson, D-Burlington, said he expects the bill will go to conference committee in several days. He expects to have no major beefs with the Senate version.‘The core composition of the bill remains identical to what passed in the House,’ Larson said. ‘There are differences between the two bills but they are things we can work out.’Larson said those details include a change in the dynamic of the board. ‘We want to make sure it’s an independent board.’He also referred to the so-called ‘Mullin’ amendment, which set conditions for implementation of Green Mountain Care, the single-payer style system that would be created under H.202. Larson said he thinks the new criteria for the implementation standards need to be more clearly defined.‘It has to be clear what hurdle has to be overcome,’ Larson said.Anne Galloway is editor of vtdigger.orglast_img read more


first_imgTupelo Music Hall in White River Junction is partnering with the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce to help the many area victims of Tropical Storm Irene. The music venue is presenting a full weekend of music, ‘A Weekend of Giving,’ to benefit the Chamber’s efforts to raise funds to be turned over to The Upper Valley Haven to get food, clothing, building materials, and whatever storm victims may need directly into their hands.Tupelo will kick off the weekend with a great night of music and dancing with the Gully Boys on Thursday, September 8 at 8 pm. Tickets for the General Admission show are $10, with all proceeds going to the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce’s fund for residents of Hartford who were affected by Hurricane Irene. To purchase tickets, call 802-698-8341 or visit www.TupeloHallVermont.com(link is external). The show is presented with the support of Yellow House Media.The popular Upper Valley band will play the first hour “unplugged” and finish up with a classic set of Grateful Dead and originals. The band’s line-up includes band leader Bill Temple on vocals, Rich Meijer and Al Romero on guitar, Dave Clark on bass, and Jimmy Brewer on drums. Tupelo continues their ‘Weekend of Giving’ by donating $5.00 of every ticket sold from their upcoming shows: Leo Kottke 9/9, Renaissance 9/10, and Ellis Paul 9/11 to local families in need of assistance from the devastation of Hurricane Irene. ‘Tupelo is grateful for the warm welcome we’ve received in the community in our first year, and since we are a part of the community, it’s only natural to help when our neighbors are in need,’ said Scott Hayward, owner of Tupelo Music Hall.  ‘I’m thrilled that Tupelo wanted to work with the Chamber to help coordinate this wonderful event to benefit our community. We are stronger when working together,’ said Mollie Martin, Executive Director of the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce.  For more information about this event and HACC’s Hurricane Irene Relief Fund, please call 802-295-7900.last_img read more


first_imgUniversity of Vermont,A gift from James Edward “Ted” and Danielle “Dani” Virtue of Rye, New York, will fund construction of a new synthetic turf field on the campus of the University of Vermont. Virtue Field, as the new facility will be called, will serve as the home for the UVM men’s and women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s soccer teams and will also be used for campus recreation activities. It is the first phase of a planned stadium project that will include grandstand seating for 3,000 spectators, game-day locker rooms, public restrooms, concessions, and storage space.”The generosity and commitment of the Virtue family to our athletic program is truly remarkable,” said Dr. Robert Corran, UVM associate vice president and director of athletics. “I cannot overstate the impact this project will have on our lacrosse and soccer programs, and indeed the entire campus community. Our coaches and student-athletes are more than excited to see this project come to fruition, and I am thrilled to join them in extending our most sincere thanks and appreciation.”The new field is located next to Moulton Winder Field and UVM’s new outdoor track facility slated for completion in approximately three weeks. Phase one of construction, which began in early August, includes the field installation, perimeter fencing, temporary seating, and a scoreboard. Completion is expected by the end of October, weather permitting. The UVM men’s and women’s lacrosse teams will play their 2012 home games at Virtue Field.”We are tremendously grateful to the Virtue family for this generous gift, which allows us to proceed immediately with construction of an impressive new addition to UVM’s athletics facilities,” said O. Richard Bundy, III, UVM vice president for Development and Alumni Relations, which oversees fundraising for the university. “By elevating our competition space for lacrosse and soccer so dramatically, Virtue Field is a powerful and visible example of the significant impact that private giving can have on the quality of the student experience at UVM.”The 127×87-yard surface will be made of Revolution fiber manufactured by FieldTurf, which the company says is the most durable of its kind. A patented FieldTurf infill formula ensures player safety and is one of the most player-friendly surfaces on the market.”We could not be more excited for UVM and the Catamount administration,” said FieldTurf President Eric Daliere. “We take great pride that UVM has put their trust in our product and our company. We look forward to providing our innovative turf system in Virtue Field. The student-athletes will truly enjoy competing on this surface for many years to come.”The UVM Athletic Department is currently raising funds for the second phase of the project. Alumni and supporters of UVM Athletics are encouraged to contact Pat McBride, senior director of major gifts for UVM Athletics, at 802-656-7720 if they are interested in contributing to the project.last_img read more