Celebrate Winter with the 2003 Vermont Winter Guide and Ski Vermont Map

first_imgWinter brings delicious comforts and exhilarating pleasures to Vermont. There’s no better way to celebrate the season than a well-planned visit to the Green Mountain State, using the Vermont Chamber 2003 Vermont Winter Guide and the Ski Vermont Map.The dynamic combination of the Guide and the Map points the way to Vermont’s hot spots, on and off the slopes. A variety of visitors will find the Guide invaluable, to learn where to feel the freedom of Vermont’s most thrilling trails, the best places to shop for everything from treats to antiques, and to locate the spas services winter bodies crave.The Vermont Winter Guide will help visitors dream, then help them take care of reality, knowing what to expect from the lodging they choose. At the end of the day, there’s nothing like slipping into an outdoor hot tub while relaxing at a Vermont country inn, legendary for hometown charm and hospitality. The listings in the Vermont Winter Guide will help you find your B & B, country inn, resort, or hotel; the Ski Vermont Map will bring you there.The Resources Section of the Winter Guide presents a portable library that will fit in any suitcase: Alpine and Nordic ski areas; snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dog sledding and ice fishing; maple sugarhouses, museums, and galleries; the Vermont Chamber Top Ten Winter Events, and more. Over highways and back roads, to resorts and beyond, choose entertainment from the Winter Guide to tickle any visitor’s fancy, then turn to the Ski Vermont Map to find the way.The 2003 Vermont Winter Guide, the Ski Vermont Map, and other Vermont information is available free of charge at 1-800-VERMONT or (802) 223-3443, or order information online free of charge from the Vermont Chamber website, www.vtchamber.com(link is external). The Guide tourism listings and editorial are also available on the Vermont Chamber’s website at www.vtchamber.com(link is external).last_img read more

First Brandon National Bank has earned 5-Star rating

first_imgFirst Brandon National Bank, Brandon Vermont has earned a 5-Star rating from BauerFinancial, Inc., Coral Gables, Florida, the nation’s leading independent bank rating firm. Five-stars denotes the absolute highest level of banking performance.First Brandon National Bank has earned the coveted 5-star rating for six consecutive quarters. (The award is based on an analysis of current financial data supplied by federal regulators, supplemented by historical data.)“We constantly receive phone calls from people worried about where they are putting their money; and with good reason,” noted Karen Dorway, president of the research firm. “With rouge institutions popping up on the Internet and elsewhere, many falsely claiming to be FDIC insured, it’s important to know there are still principled people running good, solid banks. First Brandon National Bank is one of those banks…a bank you can have confidence in.”First Brandon National Bank has been servicing the needs of its neighbors and friends in Rutland County for 141 years. Established in 1863, it now operates through four conveniently located offices in Brandon, Pittsford, and West Rutland.First Brandon National Bank: “Your 5-Star Community Bank.”last_img read more

FairPoint adds service in Fairfax, Weathersfield, Brandon and Killington

first_img### Consolidated Communications,FairPoint Communications has expanded broadband to hundreds more homes and businesses in Fairfax, Weathersfield, Brandon, Killington and Mendon.These new broadband rollouts are part of FairPoint’s pledge to bring total broadband coverage to half of its exchanges this year and are part of the company’s new fiber-based, high-capacity network called VantagePoint(sm).‘VantagePoint is enabling us to expand broadband service into areas with no high-speed Internet access and provide enhanced services across the state,’ said Michael K. Smith, FairPoint state president for Vermont. ‘Broadband availability opens the doors to the world for the residents and businesses in Vermont and is fundamental to the state’s future economic growth.’FairPoint’s VantagePoint network, a fiber core, IP-based network, providesresidential speed options as fast as 15Mbps.  Broadband service on the VantagePoint network means customers can smoothly stream live video, play online games and upload photos and large files with ease.  Always-on broadband access provides almost instant connections to information, news and entertainment.In Fairfax, FairPoint’s high-speed Internet service will reach customers along all or portions of the following streets: Alexzis, Allen Irish, Anderson, Barnett, Brewster, Fisher, Goose Pond, Lyons, Main, Maple, Maple Hill, Marsh Hill, Maxfield, Mountain, River, Rounds, Rowland, Spafford, U.S. Route 104, Wilson and Wimble.In Weathersfield, high-speed Internet service was recently expanded to reach customers along all or portions of the following streets: Ascutney, Comstock, Dake Hill, Gird Lot, Goulden Ridge, Lavigne, Morningside, Mountain View, Route 131, Tenney Hill, Thrasher and Victory.In Brandon, high-speed Internet service was added to reach customers along all or portions of the following streets: Castle Hill, Cobb Hill, Creek, Florence, Hacks Sawmill, High, High Pond and Union.In Killington and Mendon, high-speed Internet service was recently expanded to reach customers along all or portions of the following streets: Alpine, Brad Mead, Dean Hill, Fox Hollow, Merry Maple, Northeast, Northside, Old Coach, Overbrook, Robbins, Round Robin, Route 4, Windrift Ridge and Winterberry.Since April 2008, FairPoint has invested more than $50 million in the communications infrastructure and technology to bring broadband to Vermont, including building almost 1,000 miles of new fiber across the state.Internet packages start at $35.99 per month.  For additional information about FairPoint high-speed Internet prices and bundled plans, residential consumers can call 1.866.984.2001 or visit www.FairPoint.com(link is external).About FairPointFairPoint Communications, Inc., (NASDAQ: FRP) (www.FairPoint.com(link is external)) is a leading communications provider of high-speed Internet access, local and long-distance phone, television and other broadband services to customers in communities across 18 states.    Through its fast, reliable data network, FairPoint delivers data and voice networking communications solutions to residential, business and wholesale customers. VantagePoint(sm), FairPoint’s resilient IP-based network in northern New England, provides business customers a fast, flexible, affordable Ethernet connection.  The VantagePoint(sm) network supports applications like video conferencing and e-learning. Additional information about FairPoint products and services is available at www.FairPoint.com(link is external). You can also connect with FairPoint on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/myfairpoint(link is external)) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/myfairpoint(link is external)).SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (April 7, 2011)’FairPoint Communications last_img read more

Dynergy and Duke Energy Execs Concede an Industry in Decline

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Ken Silverstein for SNL:In 1980, about 70% of Duke Energy Corp.’s megawatt-hours came from coal. Today, it is 30% and by 2020, it will be about 25%.Indeed, Duke is moving ahead and investing in both renewable generation and in natural gas and the related infrastructure to compensate for its diminishing coal base. The company added 300 MW of solar power in the Carolinas in 2015 — a number that it expects to grow by 75 MW this year.At the same time, Duke is buying Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc., a local distribution company that earns a regulated return. That deal, which should be closed by year-end, will boost the utility’s stake in natural gas even more and help balance the company’s investments in electric and gas generation. Just this week, Duke closed its stock offering to help pay for the Piedmont deal, valued at about $6.7 billion.As for the company’s remaining coal fleet, Duke plans to continue investing in them to keep them efficient but makes no promise about their long-term viability.Full article ($): Duke Energy CFO: Coal fleet will wither but existing plants will be cleanChristopher Coates for SNL:Dynegy Inc. President and CEO Robert Flexon called for coal to push market innovation and evolve to compete against steady pressure from competitors and federal regulations or risk disappearing.“Coal assets are under attack economically and environmentally over the last couple of years and if there is anything we can do to drive the business model to a more efficient structure and utilize the scale of our portfolio to weather the storm, we should,” Flexon said.The company head offered a familiar list of industry challenges, from cheap natural and new and looming federal regulations, noting that he expected them to continue to weigh down the U.S. coal sector.In his presentation, Flexon stressed the need for changes to pricing, logistics and technology to make coal suppliers and those that burn coal competitive with natural gas.These included applying chemical scrubbing and rethinking coal combustion residuals, including coal ash, as a product rather than a liability. According to the company head, Dynegy is hoping to recycle all of its coal ash by 2020, eliminating all ponds and landfills in the process.Flexon did not downplay the impact of federal regulations, especially the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which he said has been designed to “crush coal.” However, he said it is now the responsibility of the industry to work together to minimize the impact of the new rule.“It’s the fault of the industry that we have not come up with more affordable ways to meet these new federal regulations,” Flexon said. “We gotta get better at this or coal is going to disappear.”Full article ($): Dynegy CEO says coal industry needs to do more or risk disappearing Dynergy and Duke Energy Execs Concede an Industry in Declinelast_img read more

Economics Drive Decisions to Ramp Up Wind Power in Wyoming

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Christian Science Monitor:It’s a sunny day in early November in southern Wyoming, but the wind is blowing so hard that opening a car door is a chore. Signs on the interstate warn of gusts topping 70 miles per hour, and semi trucks have pulled over all along I-80. It’s difficult to hear a word Bill Miller says as he steps out of his truck at the top of a rise on the Overland Trail Ranch to describe the development taking place on the expanse below him.Of course, that fierce wind is exactly what makes this pocket of the West so desirable for that development. The Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project is slated to become the largest wind farm in the United States once it’s up and running. And it’s causing some in Wyoming – a state whose economy has been devastated by the decline of its bedrock fossil fuel industries – to rethink their attitude toward renewable energy.The 3,000-megawatt project near Rawlins is emblematic of a growing industry that is hitting its stride, and is fueled less by ideology than by economics. Gone are the days when wind power advocacy fell exclusively to liberals and environmental advocates. As the economics of wind power have become more viable, many staunch conservatives have come to view the industry as a fiscally responsible component of a diverse energy future. The Chokecherry and Sierra Madre project is bankrolled by Philip Anschutz, a Denver billionaire who made much of his fortune in the fossil fuel industry, is a major Republican donor, and is hardly a poster child for renewable-energy idealism. “We’re in the resource business,” says Mr. Miller, a native Wyomingite with a trim grey beard who grew up on a ranch and has worked for The Anschutz Corporation for 37 years, mostly on oil and gas projects. He now runs both the Power Company of Wyoming and the TransWest Express Transmission Project, the two Anschutz subsidiaries behind the wind farm and the transmission line that will carry its electricity from the expanses of Wyoming to urban California and the desert Southwest. “I try to ignore the political, ignore the policy, and think about it from an economic point of view.” Anschutz already owned the 500-square-mile working cattle ranch where the new wind farm is being built, and as Miller drives its bumpy roads, up to a plateau overlooking the site, with Elk Mountain rising in the distance, he points to the primary reason this project made sense: “This is, without exception, the best wind resource anywhere in the US.”For a state with such strong winds, Wyoming has actually been slow to enter the wind market. That honor goes to the Plains states like Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Many of those states – which are generally conservative, and supported Donald Trump in 2016 – generate a significant portion of their power from wind.When Kansas legislators voted two years ago to do away with its renewable portfolio standard mandating that 20 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2020, it was largely a symbolic action; more than 20 percent of Kansas’s power already came from wind energy by 2014. Today, about 30 percent of its electricity generation comes from wind.“A combination of the [federal] tax credit and improving technology has made wind very cost effective,” says John Nielsen, clean energy program director at Western Resource Advocates in Boulder, Colo. One of the biggest barriers to development has been a lack of transmission and an antiquated grid system, but Mr. Nielsen and others say that once there’s more regional connectivity, wind can become an even larger player.One key driver for the spike in wind has been the growing demand from companies and states looking for cleaner energy and climate solutions. That ideologically driven investment has propelled the industry toward an economy of scale that appeals to fiscal conservatives.“In a lot of these more conservative states the driver is the economics,” says Nielsen. “Ten years ago, the barrier to renewables was that they were more costly. Now, the barrier to really large-scale penetration is the existing system, that it’s not as flexible as it could be to integrate these resources.”More:  Why coal-rich Wyoming is investing big in wind power Economics Drive Decisions to Ramp Up Wind Power in Wyominglast_img read more

Proposed prepaid product protections: changes to Regs. E and Z

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Jane PannierIn an effort to defend prepaid product consumers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing what it sees as strong, new federal protections. The intent is to provide protections to consumers whether they are sending a payment, swiping a card, or scanning their smartphone. As comments are due 3/23/2015, let’s take a closer look at what the CFPB is proposing.The centerpiece of the proposed rule is a new “Know Before You Owe” disclosure that would provide consumers with information about costs and risks before they purchase the prepaid product. In addition, the proposed rules would limit consumers’ losses when funds are stolen or cards are lost, require issuers to investigate and resolve errors, provide easy access to account information, and impose credit card protections if credit is offered in conjunction with the prepaid account. For financial institutions, this means an expansion of Reg. Z and Reg. E consumer protections to devices and products not previously covered by these regulations.What’s a Prepaid Product?It’s important to begin by looking at the scope of what the CFPB considers a prepaid product. Under the proposed changes, prepaid products include prepaid accounts that are cards, codes, or other devices capable of being loaded with funds by either the consumer or a third party; usable at unaffiliated merchants or for person-to-person transfers; and are not gift cards (or certain other related types of cards). This would include, for example, mobile prepaid accounts that can store funds, as well as payroll cards; certain federal, state, and local government benefit cards; student and financial aid disbursement cards; tax refund cards; and peer-to-peer products. In other words, prepaid products that can be used to make payments, store funds, withdraw cash at ATMs, receive direct deposits, and send funds to other consumers. continue reading »last_img read more

Camels, bison at Animal Adventure enjoy old Christmas trees as special treats

first_imgHe said the bison may even toss tree up to 15 feet in the air! Dromedary camels Randy and Lucy used their tree as a snack and toy to play with. If you’d like to donate a tree to the park, it has to be tinsel-free and can be placed by the red dumpsters at the large red barn. HARPURSVILLE (WBNG) — Camels and bison at Animal Adventure Park enjoyed old Christmas trees as a special treat on Friday afternoon. Bison at the park also received a tree to play with, Patch saying, “they will eat them, they will play with them, and they get much more rambunctious than some of our other species.”center_img Patch mentioned trees are inspected for hooks and ornaments pieces before being given to animals and are only given to those that can safely digest them. “To really put another use to something that’s already been celebrated by humans, and now by animals, that’s just fun all the way around.” Park Owner Jordan Patch said, “They are capable of eating just about anything in that harsh desert environment that they’re from, so eating a pine tree is no different than eating the sticks, twigs, brushes, prickers, cacti, you name it.”last_img read more

Govt introduces new social benefits as 2.8 million lose jobs

first_imgIndonesia’s preemployment card program, a social safety net offering aid similar to unemployment benefits, saw an immediate spike in interest within a few days of its launch, as 2.8 million people have lost their jobs nationwide as a result of businesses temporarily halting operations.Just a day after the program was launched on Saturday, 1.4 million people applied for benefits worth a total of Rp 3.5 million (US$223)  — to be given for four months — in the first registration phase, according to data from the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister.The program, which was part of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s campaign pledge, initially aimed at providing Indonesian workers the necessary skills training for work. “Our objective is slightly shifting,” Denni Puspa Purbasari, the president director of the program’s management, told an online talk on Monday.“We initially wanted to reduce youth unemployment, but now we were also focusing on furloughed workers, those who have lost their jobs or small entrepreneurs who have lost customers.”Read also: Indonesia advances pre-employment card program to tackle pandemic impactsWith a budget of Rp 20 trillion, the program will cover 5.6 million participants aged 18 years or above who are currently not attending university, particularly those who have yet to receive any social assistance. As many as 2.8 million people have lost their jobs as of Monday, according to data from the Manpower Ministry and the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan). More than half were furloughed and place on paid or unpaid leave.Employment data from August 2019 shows that 7.05 million people are unemployed in Indonesia, representing a 5.28 percent unemployment rate.“The scope of the preemployment card needs to be widened, eased and accelerated,” said Center of Reform on Economics (CORE) Indonesia research director Piter Abdullah. “With limited data, there’s a risk that disbursement will not be well-targeted — but it’s better than nothing. Therefore, it’s important that social aid is not politicized.”Many businesses have been laying off or furloughing workers as they temporarily shut down operations in line with the government’s large-scale social restriction (PSBB) measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.Read also: COVID-19 impacts across Indonesia’s business sectors: A recapIntroduced earlier this month, the policy mandates the suspension of schools and offices, as well as religious and public activities, with only essential businesses allowed to operate.Domestic factory activities have contracted to a record-low level in the first quarter of this year at 45.64 percent, according to Bank Indonesia’s Prompt Manufacturing Index.“Our employment conditions are very concerning,” said the Manpower Ministry’s training and productivity supervision director general, Bambang Satrio Lelono.“Therefore, we hope recipients [of the preemployment card program] can choose courses that will open up job opportunities, either in the same industry or a new one. They can use the training according to their needs or opportunities in the future job market. The program can help them develop their own businesses.”Nearly 200,000 workers in tourism, which has by far been the hardest-hit by the outbreak, are set to apply for the program, according to data from the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry. More than 1,200 hotels in 31 provinces have temporarily closed, according to the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI). Of those, 844 have registered their 74,100 employees with the preemployment card program.“We’re worried that many hotels and restaurants don’t care enough to register their employees, but workers in this sector highly need the social aid,” PHRI chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani told a teleconferenced briefing on Wednesday. “Many hotels have yet to give us their employee data.”Read also: Tourism will take at least a year to recover from COVID-19 outbreak: EconomistsAround 7,000 travel agents in the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA) have been forced to take measures such as cutting salaries and furloughing workers in order to avoid layoffs, said ASITA chairman Nunung Rusmiati.“We are trying very hard not to lay off our workers, but we would struggle if we don’t cut their salaries,” Nunung said at the same online event. “So, some of the measures we’re taking include cutting workers’ salaries by 50 percent and giving them unpaid leave.”The preemployment card program offers 900 courses, including English for tour guides, accounting, information technology and business management, in partnership with eight institutions, such as online learning platform Skill Academy and e-commerce platforms Tokopedia and Bukalapak.Eligible recipients who have registered at prakerja.go.id will receive their benefit via bank transfers or e-wallet platforms GoPay and LinkAja to ease the disbursement process.Riza Roidila Mufti and Adrian Wail Akhlas contributed to this storyTopics :last_img read more

Beatrice Growing Wind Turbine Legs, 24 Jackets Installed

first_imgSeaway Heavy Lifting’s vessels Stanislav Yudin and Oleg Strashnov are working full-steam at the Beatrice offshore wind farm site and have installed 78 pile sets and 24 jacket foundations so far, according to the project’s latest Notice to Mariners.The 588MW offshore wind farm will consist of 84 wind turbines and two Siemens Offshore Transformer Modules (OTMs), all placed on top of jacket foundations.The piling works, carried out by Stanislav Yudin, are expected to be completed by the end of October. Oleg Strashnov is scheduled to be working on jacket installation until December 2017 and then resume in May 2018, weather permitting.The first Siemens 7MW turbines will be installed in summer 2018, with the wind farm anticipated to be commissioned by the end of 2019.Beatrice is located in the Outer Moray Firth off Scotland, approximately 13km off the Caithness coastline.last_img read more

Frustrated by obstacles, Baron gives up on Peruvian offshore block

first_imgUK independent Baron Oil has decided to relinquish Block Z-34 located offshore Peru due to “impediments to activity” caused by the country’s lack of regulation. Baron said on Friday that the decision was made on Thursday, November 9, after a unanimous vote by all parties eligible to vote on the matter.The company added that the Peruvian oil and gas regulator PeruPetro would be informed of the decision.“The block has been in Force Majeure since 2014, and under these circumstances, the Z-34 partners are entitled to exercise their right to relinquish Block Z-34 and, consequently, to request that the $3.6 million work program guarantee bond be released. If this is agreed, Baron expects to recover a substantial portion of the bond, free of tax,” the company said.The block is 70 percent owned by Baron Oil’s subsidiary Gold Oil with the remaining 30 percent being held by Uruguay’s Union Oil and Gas Group (UOGG).Bill Colvin, chairman of Baron, said: “The Z-34 group has been frustrated by the impediments to activity in Peru created by the lack of regulations relating to deepwater drilling and the need to change existing regulations to accommodate such activities. Although new legislation is promised shortly, we are of the view that activities will continue to face unexpected delays and additional expense, creating uncertainties that impact the economic evaluation of the prospects. We have therefore taken the difficult decision to relinquish the block.”It is worth reminding that Baron Oil tried to farm-out the block through a deal that would make UOGG an owner of 80% of the stake. However, after UOGG failed to meet its financial obligations for the farm-in following the approval of the public deed in February 2017, Baron decided to terminate the farm-out agreement.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more