Month: January 2021

first_imgI AM Presentations is proud to announce the recent web mastering outsourcing agreement reached with Best Breed of Findlay, Ohio. BestBreed is a national premium dog food manufacturer and has brought its web requests to Vermont’s I AM Presentations, owned by MichaelLaRocque of Swanton, who has developed interactive websites for numerous Vermont companies including Vantage Press, Burnt Mountain Designs, Pastore Financial Group, to name a few.last_img

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first_imgGovernorHighlights Blueprint for Health ReformsPraises Pending Omnibus Health Care Reform Bill Chronic conditionslike diabetes, cardiovascular disease and highblood pressure are the leading cause of illness, disability and death. They also constitute more than 80 percent of all health care spending.  Fifty-five percent of adult Vermonters have a chronic disease or condition.Eighty-eight percent of the states population over the age of 65 mustmanage one or more chronic condition. The Blueprint for Health offers realistic, achievable,sustainable and meaningful reforms of our health care system that everyoneagrees are necessaryreforms that will have a lasting and profoundlypositive affect on the lives and health of our fellow Vermonters,Governor Douglas said.  This program has continually evolved withvaluable input provided by physicians, nurses, educators, insurers and citizensand we will continue to listen, learn and refine this innovative program, whichI hope will be duplicated in other parts of the country. q       Eliminatethe 75% rule that permits insurance companies to drop small businesses withfewer than 75% of the employees covered under the employers plan shouldbe eliminated.  Governor Douglas said this provision is unfair, hurts both theemployer and the employees who are left without insurance and puts additionalstrain on government-sponsored programs. Douglas said the billrepresents an important next step in the effort to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for every Vermonter. The Governor said the bill, which contains many of his recommendationsto the Legislature, is a platform for meaningful progress on health care reformthis year.  This new model offers well-coordinated care that leverageshealth information technology tools, enhances self-management, and is closelyaligned with chronic care prevention efforts, said Craig Jones, MD,director of the Vermont Blueprint for Health. The Blueprint for Healthinvolves sweeping health reform and this conference provides us with anopportunity to bring the key stakeholders together, share successes, reviewprogress and refine our plan. When fully implemented, this cutting-edge effort will transform Vermonts healthcare delivery systemshifting it from a focus on acute care to a systemdesigned to more effectively care for and prevent costly chronic conditions.    GOVERNOR PRAISES HOUSE HEALTH CARECOMMITTEEWhile at the conference, the Governor also praised the House HealthCare Committee for their work on H.887, an omnibus health care reform bill for 2008.  ### q       Helpmove forward on the development of the states health informationexchange network, a key to improved quality of care and cost control on healthcare expenses. Were off to a strong beginning and Catamount Health Carehas put affordable health care within reach of uninsured Vermonters.  Morethan 4,000 previously uninsured Vermonters, with more enrolling every day, nowhave insurance they can afford and can get the care they need, when they needit, the Governor said.   Even with these achievements, the costof insurance remains one of the chief barriers to prosperity and the peace ofmind Vermonters deserve and Im committed to moving ahead withresponsible reforms to reduce the cost of insurance for families and smallbusinesses in the long-term. Initiated by Governor Jim Douglas, the Blueprint for Health is apublic-private partnership aimed at improving health care and reducing theoverall need for costly medical services. The conference was hosted by theVermont Department of Health and the Universityof Vermont, College of Medicine. Among other items, the bill includes provisions to: q       Makehealth care coverage accessible to more young adults by allowing parents tokeep them on their plans longer.  q       Enhancethe focus on chronic conditions and, as the Governor as proposed, focus onprevention at the state, regional and community levels. With so many areas of agreement among usand the financialsecurity of so many families at stakewe must launch these additional reformsthis year, Governor Douglas said.  And I appreciate the attentionthe House has paid to this important issue. Vermontsnew approach to healthcare is changing the way primary care providers operatetheir practices, officials at the Vermont Department of Health added.  Vermont is one of thefew states in the nation that is pushing ahead, through the Vermont Blueprintfor Health, toward a patient-centered medical homemodel of care. At its core, the medical home is an ongoingpartnership between each person and a specially trained primary care physician. South Burlington, Vt. Atthe fifth annual Vermont Blueprint for Health Conference March 25, Governor JimDouglas highlighted how Vermonts health care system is transforming fromthe traditional care delivery to a patient-centered approach that focuses onprevention and care for patients with chronic conditions.  The Governor alsopraised a health care reform bill currently pending in the House Health CareCommittee.last_img read more

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first_imgNew method helps Vermonters improve local internet accessibilityThe Vermont Telecommunications Authority has launched a mechanism that allows Vermonters to help cover wireless access for their neighborhoods. Available on the VTA website (http://www.telecomVT.org(link is external)), residents can sign up to offer their property silo, top of their barn, roof of their home or office, hilltop, and church steeple to an internet or service provider. Several farmers have already signed up and are offering use of their silos, and the Legislature has listed all of Vermonts public properties. Each site must match and maintain certain criteria, which is available in detail on the companys website. Once registered, an interested service provider will contact the lister directly to organize details. The sites can be offered for free, as public service, or for a lease fee. The new initiative is expected to dramatically increase internet access across the state.last_img read more

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first_imgWeek Ending May 2, 2009. There were 1,104 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, a decrease of 397 from the week before. Altogether 18,005 new and continuing claims were filed, 425 less than a week ago and 8,237 more than a year earlier. The Department also processed 2,265 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 143 more than a week ago. In addition, there were 1,342 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program which is an increase of 43 from the week before. 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)last_img

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first_imgThe early burst of warm weather brought sunny skies and Spring skiing and riding conditions to Stratton, but it also meant great things for golfers as well. Thanks to Mother Nature s glow, Stratton s 27-hole championship golf course opened on Monday morning, five days earlier than expected, a rare feat for an elevated mountain course. Stratton has had a long tradition as a hotbed for summer golf. Designed by Geoffrey Cornish, the resort was a six-time stop on the LPGA Tour. Three different layouts (Mountain, Lake and Forest) will challenge golfers of all abilities, with picturesque views of Southern Vermont s highest peak. The fifth hole of the Mountain course is the longest Par 5 in Vermont at 621 yards from the blue tees. Stratton is one of only two public access courses in the state with more than 18 holes. Cedar Knoll in Hinesburg also has 27 holes.Opening day golfer Mike Ciotti takes aim on the Lake Course at Stratton Mountain Resort (Photo: Stratton Mountain Resort)Source: Stratton. 5.17.2010last_img read more

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first_imgDairy farmers who say attorneys representing them are not looking out for their best interests have filed opposition to the proposed settlement submitted in the class action antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vt. Acting on behalf of its dairy farmer owners, Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA), together with Dairy Marketing Services, LLC (DMS), also has filed objections to this settlement.DFA and DMS’ filing on January 18 joins at least 24 dairy farmers ‘ representing diverse cooperative members and independent producers ‘ who submitted their own affidavits challenging the fairness of the settlement.”We objected on behalf of our members because the attorneys for the entire class of dairy farmer plaintiffs have favored one segment of the class while it penalizes another segment,” said Brad Keating, chief operating officer for DFA’s Northeast Area. “As the milk marketing entity representing many of the members of this class, we have a responsibility to ensure their interests are fully considered.”In its filing, DFA and DMS cite concerns that the settlement creates both winners and losers in the class of dairy farmers represented by a single law firm by taking market access from one group of dairy farmers at the expense of another within the same class. The filing also describes how, if the settlement is approved, dairy farmers stand to incur financial damages by receiving a lower pay price for their milk.A provision in Dean Foods’ proposed settlement would allow the dairy processor to determine, in its sole discretion, the competitive market price at which it will purchase up to 60 million pounds of milk per month from non-DFA and non-DMS sources for a period of 30 months.DFA’s filing recognizes the business rationale for Dean Foods to manage its ingredient costs. However, if approved, this settlement is likely to create a downward ripple effect on current pricing for milk purchases from DFA, DMS and other milk suppliers in the Northeast. In turn, other customers will make demands for price equality.The result is price erosion for all dairy farmers.”This provision seems to undercut the very reasons why we at St. Albans decided to join DMS in the first place ‘ to work together with other co-ops to make sure that we were able to serve an increasingly consolidating marketplace, and to do so in a way that will protect prices and premiums for dairy farmers,” said Ralph McNall, president of the board for St. Albans Cooperative Creamery and a dairy farmer who independently filed opposition to the settlement.An additional component of the proposed settlement calls for a payment of $30 million in damages (less $10 million in attorney fees) to be paid to dairy farmers who produced raw Grade A milk in Federal Order 1 and pooled raw Grade A milk in Federal Order 1 from January 1, 2002, through December 9, 2010.”This $30 million settlement has been touted as a real win for dairy farmers,” said Greg Wickham, DMS general manager. “We believe the per-farmer award has been highly exaggerated, but more importantly, we believe the benefit of a small one-time cash payment is far over-shadowed by the long-term negative impact on farmers’ wallets.”After the money is divided among the approximately 13,000 dairy farmers who pooled milk in Order 1 (based on the most current Market Administrator’s Annual Statistical Bulletin, as of 2009), the average farmer stands to receive approximately $1,500.If the market is disrupted such that there is even a meager reduction in milk price, the impact to farmers’ milk checks would be swift and substantial, Wickham said. For example, a 5-cent-per-hundredweight reduction in pay price would cost a farmer milking 300 cows as much as $3,400 in lost revenues in a single year.”The proposed settlement that these class representatives and their lawyers have negotiated takes sales away from dairy farmers, turns those sales over to someone else, threatens to help undercut our organization, and pits dairy farmer against dairy farmer with the end result that prices are bound to fall,” McNall said.Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) is a national dairy marketing cooperative that serves and is owned by nearly 17,000 members on more than 9,500 farms in 48 states. Global Dairy Products Group, a division of DFA, is one of the country’s most diversified manufacturers of dairy products, food components and ingredients, and is a leader in formulating and packaging shelf-stable dairy products. For more information, call 1-888-DFA-MILK (332-6455) or visit www.dfamilk.com(link is external).Dairy Marketing Services (DMS) is a milk marketing joint venture between Dairylea Cooperative Inc., Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. and St. Albans Cooperative Creamery. Annually, DMS markets approximately 16 billion pounds of raw milk produced from more than 8,000 Northeastern U.S. farms. DMS continually works to increase efficiency on milk assembly, hauling and administration.SOURCE Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. KANSAS CITY, Mo., Jan. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Editor’s Note: Additional information and background materials are available online at www.dfamilk.com/newsroom(link is external).last_img read more

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first_imgThe Vermont Department of Labor announced today the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for August 2011 was 5.9 percent, an increase of two-tenths of a percent from the July rate.  Compared to a year ago, the rate is lower by one-tenth of a percentage point.  Despite the increase, Vermont still has one of the lowest state unemployment rates in the country and is well below the national average of 9.1 percent.  Additionally, the current state rate is well below Vermont’s recent high of 7.3 percent percent in May of 2009 which was during the height of the last recession. The employment numbers do not include the bulk of Hurricane Irene-related impacts, as the storm hit on August 28. However, the first two weeks of September saw a spike in unemployment claims.‘The employment picture in Vermont has softened as the summer has progressed, and has become complicated by the disruptions to local economies due to the flooding in May and now Hurricane Irene.  We anticipate some temporary and permanent worker displacement as a result of the disaster.  On the ‘flip side’, we have also seen significant numbers of job openings for cleaning, repair, restoration and demolition work as a result of the hurricane.   Also, three industries of note each reported job gains: Professional & Business Services, Local Government, and Trade, Transportation & Utilities Work. ‘It is important for employers and workers to know that resources are available to assist them rebound from the disaster.  As a result of the governor’s efforts, Vermont has qualified for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, which has broader eligibility parameters than regular unemployment, including assistance for people who are self-employed. The claims line for new claims is 1-877-214-3330. In addition, the Department of Labor regional Career Centers can match employers with job seekers, and offer a wide array of services that can assist the business community and the public, and those office numbers are posted on our website. We urge the employer community to list your job openings with our offices so that we can help you keep your business moving forward,’ said Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan. State of Vermont Overview The Vermont seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by two-tenths of a percent in August to 5.9 percent.  The comparable rate over the same time period for the United States was unchanged; remaining stable at 9.1 percent.  The seasonally-adjusted Vermont data show the total Vermont labor force is unchanged over the month.  Total employment declined by 500 while total unemployment increased by 600.   None of these over the month changes were statistically significant.  July unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 3.7 percent in Hartford to 7.8 percent in Newport (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted).  For comparison, the August unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 5.4 percent which reflects a decrease of two-tenths of a percent from the July level and a decline of one-tenth of a percent from a year ago. Analysis of Job Changes by Industry The preliminary ‘not seasonally adjusted’ jobs numbers for August show an increase of 1,200 jobs when compared to the revised July numbers.  This reported over the month change does not include the 150 job decrease between the preliminary and the revised July estimates due to the inclusion of more data.  As detailed in the preliminary ‘not seasonally adjusted’ August data, Total Private reports an increase of 800 jobs and Government reports an increase of 400 jobs.  In the private sector, Professional & Business Services (+750 jobs) and Leisure & Hospitality (+650 jobs) reported the largest nominal increases.  Reported job declines over the month by industry were minimal with a 350 job loss in the private industry Educational & Health Services being the only one of note.  The seasonally adjusted data for August reports a 1,400 jobs increase from the revised July data.  As with the ‘not seasonally adjusted’ data, this over the month change is from the revised July numbers which experienced a downward revision from the preliminary estimates by 200 jobs.  A review of the seasonally adjusted August numbers shows the job gains were distributed across both Private and Government employers.  Vermont’s Private Industries reported an increase of 800 jobs while Total Government reported a 600 job increase.  As with the not-seasonally adjusted data, the seasonally adjusted data had few over the month changes of significant magnitude.  The three industries of note each reported job gains: Professional & Business Services (+700 jobs), Local Government (+500 jobs) and Trade, Transportation & Utilities (+400 jobs).  All other over the month fluctuations by industry were +/- 200 jobs or less. Vermont Labor Force Statistics (Seasonally Adjusted) Total Labor Force359,800359,800360,0000-200   Employment338,800339,300338,400-500400   Unemployment21,10020,50021,600600-500   Rate (%)5.95.76.00.2-0.1Vermont’s labor force, employment and unemployment statistics are produced from a combination of a Statewide survey of households and statistical modeling.  The data are produced by the Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program (LAUS) a cooperative program with the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Vermont Department of Labor.RELATED: http://vermontbiz.com/news/september/weekly-unemployment-claims-continue…        Changes Fromcenter_img August2011July2011August2010July2011August2010last_img read more

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