RURAL DEVELOPMENT INVESTS IN VERMONTUSDA Rural Development for Vermont announced that during FY 2004$50,236,513 was invested in Vermont loans and grants. RuralBusinesses in Vermont received almost $6.5 million in direct andguaranteed loans from RD affecting approximately 254 jobs. Otherexamples include $767,854 in grants to organizations striving toimprove the economic conditions of rural Vermont. Three agriculturalentities received a total of $165,737 in Value Added MarketDevelopment Grants. More info? visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/vt(link is external).
Green Mountain Power has received a Certificate of Public Good from the state of Vermont to build a nearly 1,000-panel solar array on property it owns in Berlin, Vermont. The project will generate 200 kilowatts of electricity, and is the largest permitted solar project in Vermont, GMP officials said.”This project is an important part of our overall energy and climate strategy to increase the amount of renewable energy generation in our state,” said Mary Powell, president and chief executive officer of Green Mountain Power. “Using renewables benefits our customers by supplying them with low-carbon emission, low-cost and highly reliable energy sources.”As part of this strategy, Green Mountain Power will soon file for approval of its Kingdom Community Wind project which will generate up to 63 megawatts of renewable wind power in Lowell, Vermont.The Berlin project will bring Green Mountain Power closer to its goal of helping to install 10,000 solar panels in 1,000 days — a commitment it made in November 2008. Through its own projects, and by providing incentives for customers to install panels, a total of 7,800 solar panels have been installed to date. With the addition of the 952 panel Berlin project, Green Mountain Power is nearly 90 percent of the way towards reaching its goal.The Berlin solar array will be Green Mountain Power’s third solar installation. In early 2009, the company completed a 58-kilowatt array that provides power for its Westminster service center. It also has a 4-kilowatt solar array at its Colchester headquarters, which powers its two plug-in hybrid vehicles.The solar panels will be installed on a fixed, ground-mounted system, covering approximately one acre of land. Work is expected to begin in the next few weeks and be completed by the end of this summer. The location is ideal for a solar installation, with open space to allow for a good sun resource. At full output, the array will generate enough power to serve 100 average homes.”We’re excited to bring this project to our customers. It’s good for Vermont, good for our environment and it gives us one more reason to be happy when the sun shines,” Powell said.About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com(link is external)) transmits, distributes and sells electricity and utility construction services in the State of Vermont in a service territory with approximately one quarter of Vermont’s population. It serves more than 200,000 people and businesses.Source: GMP. COLCHESTER, VT–(Marketwire – May 17, 2010) –
Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today welcomed the release of $50 million in federal stimulus funds for the ‘Vermonter’ rail line from St. Albans to Vernon, Vt.The high-speed rail project will be the second in the nation to break ground using funds that Congress approved in last year’s economic recovery act. (Maine’s ‘Downeaster’ line was first.)The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration using economic stimulus money set aside for the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program.The upgrades to this 190-mile stretch of track will allow trains to travel up to 59 mph ‘ and even 79 mph in some sections ‘ cutting valuable time off the route between St. Albans and Washington, D.C. The improvements could cut an hour off of the trip through Vermont and Massachusetts.Leahy said, ‘This is the biggest single investment in passenger rail improvements we have had in Vermont since Amtrak was created. We have long sought these improvements, which are just the ticket for a shorter and smoother ride on the Vermonter. I’m proud that Vermont is now moving forward with the largest single rail improvement project in the entire nation. This is a solid investment in our future and a vote of confidence in passenger rail service in Vermont.’Sanders said, “In the near future, this investment will create much-needed employment for Vermont workers. In the long term, it will strengthen our economy as we improve Vermont’s transportation infrastructure for both cargo and passengers.’ Sanders recently raised concerns with the Federal Railroad Administration over delays in releasing the funds. He said he was pleased by the speedy response.Welch said, “With the release of these funds, the Recovery Act is putting Vermonters to work and laying the groundwork for the future of Vermont’s transportation infrastructure. The speed with which this project is moving forward is a testament to Vermonters’ support for the many benefits of high-speed rail: commuting convenience, business development and environmentally friendly travel. Once again, the Recovery Act is reimagining and revitalizing Vermont’s infrastructure.”This project will install continuously welded rail and other track improvements, new crossties, and grade crossing safety improvements on track owned by the New England Central Railroad, which is contributing $20 million to the project. The improvements will also set the stage for more frequent service along this corridor and for extending the ‘Vermonter’ service to Montreal, Quebec.The Vermont congressional delegation also has written a letter of support for federal funding for a rail corridor project in western Vermont. The state has sought a $60- million federal grant for a rail line from Bennington to Burlington. Source: Congressional delegation. 9.29.2010
Vermont was recently named one of the best run states in the nation according to an analysis by the website 24/7 Wall St. The report considered fiscal data, such as GDP per capita, debt per capita and credit rating, as well as indicators of individual wellbeing. Vermont was number 4; Wyoming, North Dakota and Iowa were 1,2,3.“I am not surprised that Vermont is consistently recognized for being well run,” said Governor Jim Douglas. “We’ve worked hard to improve our fiscal outlook and increase the economic security of Vermonters. From helping more Vermonters access to high quality, affordable health care to ensuring that our bond rating is strong and our budgets balanced, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished for the people of Vermont.”The relative health of the Vermont economy and that of state government have been noted in other recent surveys. For example, a recent Associated Press analysis, which accounted for bankruptcy rates, foreclosure rates and unemployment, ranked Vermont as the 4th least “stressed” state in the nation.“While I am thankful that we have fared relatively well, individuals, families and businesses across our state are still struggling as a result of the Great Recession,” Governor Douglas added. “We must do more to make our economy more competitive, create jobs and protect our communities. We need to build on our strengthens, as highlighted in these recent reports, but also address our weaknesses, like tax and regulatory structures that put employers at a competitive disadvantage.”According the 24/7 Wall St: “Vermont, the second smallest state in the nation, has the third smallest debt, due in part to its tendency to budget conservatively. The state also boasts the third smallest percentage of people without health insurance and the second lowest rate of violent crime.”To read the full report, “The Best and Worst Run States In America: A Survey of All Fifty,” visit: http://247wallst.com/2010/10/04/the-best-and-worst-run-states-in-america…(link is external)Source: Governor’s office. 10.5.2010
Michigan58.83%58.11%61.01%60.69%60.47% CredAbility, one of the leading nonprofit credit counseling and education agencies in the United States, today released the CredAbility Consumer Distress Index results for the 2010 fourth quarter. The Index, a quarterly measure that tracks the financial condition of the average U.S. household, found that rising stock prices helped propel growth in consumers’ net worth. But lower scores in three of the index’s other four categories — employment, housing and household budget ‘ drove down the overall index. The health of household budgets declined each quarter in 2010 and is at the lowest level since the first quarter of 2009.For the quarter ended December 31, 2010, American households scored a 64.3 on the Index’s 100-point scale, down slightly from 64.4 in the third quarter of 2010. For all of 2010, the index showed a small improvement, moving up from a score of 63.9 in 2009’s fourth quarter.A score below 70 indicates a state of financial distress. The average U.S. consumer has been in financial distress for 10 consecutive quarters, according to the Index. The last time the index was above 70 was in the second quarter of 2008.According to the index, the 10 states ranked as the most financially distressed account for nearly 33 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. These states include California and Nevada in the West; Michigan and Indiana in the Midwest and Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Mississippi in the Southeast.While U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased 3.2 percent in 2010’s fourth quarter, the CredAbility Consumer Distress Index indicates that the increased economic activity has not yet helped many Americans.”The increase in the GDP in the fourth quarter and 2010 has not yet translated into improved financial health for many average American families,” said Mark Cole, CredAbility’s chief operating officer and the executive responsible for the CredAbility Consumer Distress Index.”Improved stock prices have increased the value of 401(k) and other investment accounts in the average U.S. household, but high unemployment continues to stifle income growth, causing many homeowners to miss mortgage payments,” Cole said. “While an increase in consumer spending helped the economy in the fourth quarter, the index showed that an increasing number of people failed to prudently manage their household budgets. This lack of savings could cause financial problems if they need to rely on their savings in the future.”Based on the index’s data, Cole said that a tale of two different American families is developing in America. “The family with one or two stable jobs is seeing their investments grow again and is beginning to spend more of their household income,” he said. “But families that have lost a job or seen other income sources reduced, and who don’t have enough income to invest, have experienced increased financial distress.”Unfortunately, millions of families are in the second category. In 2010, approximately 14.8 million people ended the year unemployed, more than 1 million families lost homes to foreclosure and 43.6 million Americans used food stamps to buy groceries.”For the second straight quarter, Michigan posted the worst score on the Index with a 58.83. To see a detailed explanation of how the Index works and a national map, go to www.CredAbility.org/ConsumerDistressIndex(link is external). A link to the Index will also be posted on the CredAbility Twitter account, which can be found at http://twitter.com/CredAbility(link is external).Other highlights from the fourth quarter index include:Seven states, led by North Dakota (79.35) and South Dakota (76.94), scored above the distress threshold of 70 points. Others were Nebraska (74.84), Wyoming (74.09), New Hampshire (72.3), Vermont (71.3) and Iowa (70.05).Seven more states and the District of Columbia are within two points of moving out of financial distress. These states are Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Virginia, Utah, Connecticut and Colorado.Among the most distressed states, Nevada moved from No. 6 to No. 3 and Florida moved from No. 7 to No. 5. For the first time in 2010, North Carolina moved into the top 10 most distressed states at No. 9.Some states’ level of distress improved during the past quarter. Indiana, which had ranked as the No. 5 most distressed, is now No. 7. Ohio, which had ranked No. 8, is now No. 11.Fourth quarter Index data by state: Montana69.20%69.28%69.51%69.99%69.75% Massachusetts69.58%68.96%68.37%68.18%68.08% District of Columbia69.31%68.55%64.64%66.07%65.72% Mississippi59.24%58.76%60.62%60.57%60.69% Nevada59.27%60.71%59.23%59.16%59.56% Utah68.38%68.58%67.65%67.79%68.15% North Dakota79.35%79.45%78.95%78.89%79.25% New Jersey66.47%66.44%67.67%67.42%67.40% Kentucky61.63%61.72%63.38%62.83%62.03% Georgia61.26%61.24%61.37%61.24%61.13% Oklahoma67.98%66.88%68.63%69.02%69.10% Missouri62.78%62.43%64.62%64.37%63.97% States Indiana61.16%60.68%62.61%62.27%61.74% Delaware65.23%65.53%66.96%66.34%66.00% Minnesota69.38%69.30%69.75%69.01%68.14% Florida60.21%60.81%61.01%60.70%60.48% Oregon66.04%65.88%64.66%64.29%63.72% New York66.25%66.61%67.79%67.45%67.35% South Dakota76.94%76.19%77.43%77.21%75.62% Q4 2010Q3 2010Q2 2010Q1 2010Q4 2009 Louisiana64.00%65.07%67.64%68.13%68.59% National64.32%64.40%65.23%65.04%63.96% Maine64.80%64.29%66.04%65.78%65.46% Connecticut68.29%68.20%69.23%69.04%68.96% California61.39%61.31%61.71%61.36%61.29% Wisconsin66.91%66.27%68.05%67.48%66.59% Arizona63.81%63.98%62.05%61.75%61.62% Washington64.99%64.88%65.60%65.59%65.71% Iowa70.05%69.91%71.40%70.97%69.98% Texas66.07%66.48%65.89%65.82%65.36% Alabama60.03%60.23%61.89%61.60%61.46% Kansas67.77%68.41%70.26%69.79%69.29% Alaska67.82%67.31%70.70%70.68%70.70% South Carolina60.56%60.10%61.29%60.63%60.09% New Mexico64.74%65.35%65.72%65.64%65.42% North Carolina61.38%61.66%62.28%62.11%61.53% Pennsylvania65.07%65.23%66.99%66.92%66.61% West Virginia63.76%63.22%64.50%64.11%63.39% Virginia68.41%68.50%69.30%69.16%69.21% Tennessee61.53%61.54%62.26%61.72%60.97% Idaho66.54%67.28%65.11%64.51%64.48% Nebraska74.84%74.87%76.09%75.47%74.20% Ohio61.41%60.83%63.06%62.60%62.18% Arkansas63.79%63.94%65.73%65.24%64.54% Colorado68.16%68.23%68.34%68.31%68.15% Rhode Island62.29%62.57%63.70%63.33%63.20% Vermont71.32%70.88%72.05%71.63%71.07% New Hampshire73.30%72.77%70.64%69.26%69.07% Wyoming74.09%72.54%72.80%72.83%72.76% Illinois63.79%63.01%64.66%64.45%64.43% Hawaii65.40%65.51%68.65%67.96%67.84% Maryland67.33%67.58%68.94%68.94%68.89% ATLANTA, Feb. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — CredAbilit
Casella Waste Systems Inc,Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CWST), a regional solid waste, recycling and resource management services company, announced that it acquired a MSW landfill in McKean County, PA out of bankruptcy proceedings on February 24 for $0.5 million in cash and the assumption of certain contractual obligations.The roughly 230 acre landfill is permitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to accept 1,000 tons per day of MSW by truck and 5,000 tons per day by rail. While a rail siding is permitted at the site and the property abuts a railroad spur, the company has no immediate plans to build a rail siding. The site has over 33.5 million cubic yards of permitted airspace. The company estimates the net present value of assumed contractual obligations and closure and post closure liabilities at approximately $4.2 million.”Acquiring the McKean landfill out of bankruptcy proceedings was a great opportunity to add an additional MSW landfill within our northeast footprint for a great price,” said John W. Casella, chairman and CEO of Casella Waste Systems. “The McKean landfill adds a great strategic asset in our Western Region, and allows our team to better balance tonnages across our landfills to minimize transportation costs and maximize permit utilization.””Our management team in the Western Region knows this site well, and they have already hit the ground running to source new tonnages to the site and improve operational performance,” Casella said.About Casella Waste Systems, Inc.Casella Waste Systems, Inc., headquartered in Rutland, Vermont, provides solid waste management services consisting of collection, transfer, disposal, and recycling services in the northeastern United States. For further information, contact Ned Coletta, vice president of finance and investor relations at (802) 772-2239, or Ed Johnson, chief financial officer at (802) 772-2241, or visit the company’s website at http://www.casella.com(link is external).Safe Harbor StatementCertain matters discussed in this press release are “forward-looking statements” intended to qualify for the safe harbors from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can generally be identified as such by the context of the statements, including words such as we “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “intend,” “estimate” and other similar expressions, whether in the negative or affirmative. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about the disposition and the industry and markets in which we operate and management’s beliefs and assumptions. We cannot guarantee that we actually will achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements made. Such forward-looking statements, and all phases of our operations, involve a number of risks and uncertainties, any one or more of whic h could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in our forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include or relate to, among other things: the risk that liabilities assumed in connection with the acquisition exceed our estimates, or other factors beyond the company’s control. There are a number of other important risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. These additional risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, those detailed in Item 1A, “Risk Factors” in our Form 10-K for the year ended April 30, 2010.We undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. RUTLAND, VT–(Marketwire – March 01, 2011) – Casella Waste Systems
“Studies suggest that in states with more hospital-based palliative care programs, patients are less likely to die in the hospital, are likely to spend fewer days in the ICU, have better pain management and higher satisfaction with their healthcare,” said Dr. Sean Morrison, director of the National Palliative Care Research Center and the study’s lead author. “Some studies have reported that palliative care may also prolong life. And beyond patient benefits, the overall cost savings to hospitals have been well documented.”The Report Card demonstrates considerable improvement in the growth of palliative care. (Out of a total of 2,489 hospitals nationwide who participated in this survey, about 1,500 provide palliative care services.) This number is expected to grow significantly over the next five years, but barriers continue to exist in three key areas: Workforce, Research and Access.The report gives seven states plus the District of Columbia an A: Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon,Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Only three states, Vermont, Montana and New Hampshire, received an A in 2008.More than half of the fifty states received a grade of B. Seven states improved from a D to a C (Georgia,Kentucky, New Mexico, Texas, South Carolina, Louisiana and Wyoming).Nevada saw dramatic gains, rising from a D to a B grade. Only two states ‘ Delaware and Mississippi ‘ got an F. Oklahoma, Alabama and Arkansas improved from an F in the last report card to a D in 2011.For state and district rankings and policy recommendations visit www.capc.org/reportcard(link is external). The Center to Advance Palliative Care ( www.capc.org(link is external) , www.getpalliativecare.org(link is external) ) and The National Palliative Care Research Center www.npcrc.org(link is external) are affiliated with Mount Sinai School of Medicine and are dedicated to increasing quality palliative care services.SOURCE Center to Advance Palliative Care NEW YORK, Oct. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — To view the multimedia presentation, click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/52418-palliative-care-state-by-state-report-c…(link is external)”America’s hospitals have a strong history of caring for patients and families during the most difficult of times,” said Rich Umbdenstock, President and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “Hospitals and other health care organizations are taking the lead in ensuring health care is patient-centered, reflecting patient’s desires including palliative care assistance.” Congress learned today just how well their home states are doing in terms of caring for our sickest Americans. According to a “Report Card” published by the Center to Advance Palliative Care, the nation overall gets a “B” grade, up from a “C,” when the report was first released in 2008.”The good news is that over the last ten years hospital palliative care teams have more than doubled,” said Dr. Diane E. Meier, director of the Center and co-author of the study America’s Care of Serious Illness: A State-by-State Report Card on Access to Palliative Care in Our Nation’s Hospitals. “The bad news is that despite its enormous benefits to patients and care givers, millions of seriously ill Americans still do not have access. Given the will of Congress to assure patients receive high quality care while reducing costs, it seems that palliative care should be a natural part of that prescription.”Palliative care is a medical specialty that helps people facing serious and chronic illness more comfortable by alleviating pain, treating a host of other symptoms and focusing on their quality of life. It is appropriate at any age and any stage of a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.
Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott and Secretary of Commerce and Community Development Lawrence Miller, who have been leading a task force to organize coordinated and affordable removal of flood-damaged mobile homes from mobile home parks, announced a work plan for that project, as well as some unexpected good news: thanks to successful fundraising, the cost to each individual homeowner will be less than anticipated. When the group initially announced the program in September, the anticipated cost to each homeowner who enrolled was $1,500 – a substantial savings over the typical removal cost, which ranged from $3,500-$4,500 for older homes. The group was able to achieve these savings by creating “economies of scale” whereby demolition contractors would work on several homes at the same location at the same time. Thanks to an outpouring of donations after that announcement, the task force is now able to offer a $1,500 credit to each homeowner – making the removal service essentially free. “With the large donations that have come in from groups like Aubuchon Hardware, the Argosy Foundation and Ben and Jerry’s, and with the help of the Vermont Community Foundation to raise yet more funds, we’re at a point where we’re confident announcing that the program will, in fact, come at no cost to mobile home owners,” said Secretary Miller, who worked closely with VCF on fundraising efforts. Lt. Governor Scott, who has worked with the Associated General Contractors of Vermont to organize contractor teams, added that the task force is now ready to begin demolition at Weston’s Mobile Home Park in Berlin, which had the highest number of substantially damaged mobile homes after Irene. Approximately 70 homes at Weston’s were damaged in the flood, and the task force believes about a dozen of those homeowners will take advantage of this removal program. Pre-construction meetings with homeowners will take place next week. Any Weston’s resident who is interested in taking advantage of this program will need to attend one of the following sessions, to be held at the park: Monday, October 24, 2:00 PMMonday, October 24, 5:00 PMWednesday, October 26, 4:00 PM At these meetings, task force representatives will explain the process and make sure that each homeowner has completed all of the steps required to proceed with removal. First and foremost, homeowners need to have completed the FEMA grant process and be satisfied with their awards, since FEMA requires that the individual still own their home in order to receive financial assistance. Homeowners also need to produce evidence of title, show written consent from any lenders holding a lien on their home, be in good tax standing with their town, and sign a general release form. Contractors will begin demolition at Weston’s starting Monday, October 31. For residents of other flooded mobile home parks, information packets will be mailed out early next week, and homeowners will have until November 15 to register for the program. People can register or get more information by calling the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity at (802) 660-3455, ext. 204. Demolition teams will be mobilized for each of those parks as soon as all interested homeowners have completed the required paperwork and the FEMA application process. “I’m anxious to move forward on this project, as are all of the affected homeowners,” said Lt. Governor Scott. “Recovery from a disaster as large as Irene takes a lot of time, money, and patience – all of which we’re running out of as winter approaches. We wanted to expedite removal of these homes and make it as cost-effective as possible, so that mobile homeowners could be given a clean slate to put a new home on their lot,” he said. “I’d also like to thank my partners on this task force: Secretary Miller, the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, the Vermont Community Foundation, the Associated General Contractors of Vermont, and the law firm of Downs Rachlin Martin,” Scott said. “We brought the right people together to get the job done.”
Vermont Transportation Secretary Brian Searles today joined officials from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray; Congressman John Olver; and MassDOT Secretary Richard A. Davey; and US Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo in Greenfield, MA, for the groundbreaking ceremony to kick-off reconstruction of the Pan Am Southern’s rail line between East Northfield and Springfield, Massachusetts. The ‘Knowledge Corridor’ project, so-called because of the number of colleges and universities in proximity to the rail line, will serve as the operating track for the Massachusetts segment of Amtrak’s Vermonter passenger train when construction is completed in 2013. ‘The State of Vermont has been an ardent supporter of this initiative as it’s moved from early vision, to broader study and planning phases, to our strong endorsement of Massachusetts’ application for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding needed to realize this important transportation milestone. Returning our passenger service to this line has been a goal since we first began the state-supported Vermonter service in April 1995,’ said Secretary Searles. ‘The reductions in travel time and delays, and the increased reliability of the service upon completion of the project, will provide a stronger link between communities in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the New York metropolitan region served by Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor trains,’ he added. ‘We also view it as a key component of our effort to restore passenger rail service over the US-Canada border into Montreal, Quebec.’ Additionally, Secretary Searles noted, ‘The anticipated growth in ridership and corresponding revenues this realignment is expected to yield will aid Vermont in containing the future costs of providing this critical travel option for both residents and visitors to our state and the New England-New York region.’ On June 30, 2011, MassDOT signed the agreements with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) that will enable Amtrak’s Vermonter train to again travel the historic Massachusetts ‘Knowledge Corridor’ route between Springfield, MA and East Northfield, MA. The Project will utilize a $73 million Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to undertake rail improvements in the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts. The Pan Am Southern is a joint venture between Pan Am Railways and Norfolk Southern. Revitalization of the Knowledge Corridor route will restore passenger trains traveling between St. Albans, VT, and Washington, DC to their original route. The construction is expected to begin in late 2011 and be completed in late 2013. VTrans. 10.21.2011