Computer Connection, a division of Datamann, Inc., located in Vermont, and Epoch Software Solutions, located in New Jersey, have announced their partnership for the sale and support of CounterPoint software.CounterPoint is a retail management and point of sale software manufactured by Radiant Systems in Memphis, Tennessee, and is only available through authorized business partners.Computer Connection will maintain its status as an authorized CounterPoint Business Partner, meeting the requirements set by Radiant Systems. Epoch Software Solutions will continue its business in the Mid-Atlantic region, while using Computer Connection for additional resources and as its bridge to Radiant Systems. Together, the two companies will pursue retail customers in the east coast and Mid-Atlantic regions, as well as nationally.Bill Mann, General Manager at Datamann, Inc, feels this partnership will give both companies the extended resources necessary to continue growing the retail customer base while preserving the attentive and personalized customer service they are known for.Datamann acquired its Computer Connection division in 2006 to strengthen its multichannel integration. Established in 1975, Datamann provides catalog mail order software, marketing databases, and a variety of list processing services.
Governor Jim Douglas today reaffirmed Vermont s role as a leading voice on national climate policy and a champion of energy consumers by signing on to the newly formed 30-state Governors Climate Coalition, which will work with Congress to find common ground for a comprehensive national energy strategy and climate change action.The Governor, who takes over chairmanship of the National Governors Association in July, praised the gamut of states from across that country who signed on to the Coalition. These states have been leaders on the green front promoting renewable and clean energy, creating jobs and taking concrete steps to address climate change, the Governor said. The Governors Climate Coalition is in an important position to assist the federal government as it builds out a national energy policy that creates jobs and protects consumers and the environment. For too long the states like Vermont have had to fill the void left by federal in-action on national climate policy, Douglas said.Vermont was the first state in the nation to sign on to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the first state to mandate that revenue from the sale of its carbon emission allowances be used to improve energy efficiency and benefit consumers. I will be working to ensure that any federal legislation enacted is consistent with our RGGI goals and doesn t negatively impact states like Vermont, the Governor said. Vermont is the greenest state in the nation and we enjoy some of the lowest power rates in the region. To the extent possible, a cap and trade system should recognize and reward the effort of Vermont consumers who have achieved the lowest carbon footprint in the nation, the Governor said. Likewise, promoting efficiency is a winning path to job creation, cost savings and helps make Vermonters lives more affordable, the Governor added. In the end, a successful comprehensive energy strategy will have to reflect states needs and efforts while guiding a national course that protects the environment, industry and consumers.Coalition governors agreed on two underlying tenets which Douglas said will help guide the national debate over the proposed Waxman-Markey legislation now before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. Attached is the Governor s Climate Coalition statement of principles.Founding Coalition states and territories include: Vermont, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Guam, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.Source: Governor’s Office.
KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) today announced a second quarternet loss from continuing operations attributable to Key of $236 million, or $.69 per common share. Per share results for the current quarter are after cash and deemed preferred stock dividends of $164 million, or $.28 per common share. These dividends include a noncash deemed dividend of $114 million related to the exchange of Key common shares for Key s Series A Preferred Stock as part of the company s efforts to raise an additional $1.8 billion of Tier 1 common equity, and a cash dividend payment of $31 million made to the U.S. Treasury Department under the Capital Purchase Program. Results for the current quarter compare to a net loss from continuing operations of $1.128 billion, or $2.71 per common share, for the second quarter of 2008.The loss for the current quarter is largely the result of an increase in the provision for loan losses. During the second quarter, Key continued to build its loan loss reserves by taking an $850 million provision for loan losses, which exceeded net charge-offs by $311 million. As of the end of the quarter, Key s allowance for loan losses was $2.5 billion, or 3.53% of total loans, up from $1.4 billion, or 1.87% one year ago. The loss for the year-ago quarter was largely attributable to a $1.011 billion after-tax charge recorded as a result of an adverse federal tax court ruling that impacted Key s accounting for certain lease financing transactions. Our results continue to reflect the weak economic environment and the aggressive steps we ve taken to address credit quality, strengthen our capital position and control costs as we manage through this difficult credit cycle, said Chief Executive Officer Henry L. Meyer III.During the second quarter, Key successfully raised more than $1.8 billion in new Tier 1 common equity as required by the Supervisory Capital Assessment Program ( SCAP ) initiated by the U.S. Treasury and, as of today, is well on its way to further supplement that amount through an additional offer to exchange common shares for retail capital securities, which is currently in progress. The additional capital will serve as a buffer in the event the U.S. economy worsens considerably through 2010. Throughout the current financial crisis, Key s capital ratios have remained in excess of the well-capitalized levels established by the federal regulators. At June 30, 2009, Key had a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 12.42% and a Tier 1 common equity ratio of7.27%.Meyer continued: Key s fortified capital position will also enable us to support our clients borrowing needs and benefit from other business opportunities when the economy recovers. During the second quarter, Key originated approximately $8.2 billion in new or renewed loans and commitments to consumers and businesses. In conjunction with our efforts to improve Key s competitive position, late last year we initiated a process known as Keyvolution, a corporate-wide initiative designed to build a consistently superior experience for clients, simplify processes, improve speed to market and enhance Key s ability to seize growth and profit opportunities, Meyer said. Through this initiative, we expect to achieve annualized cost savings of $300 million to $375 million by 2012.Over the past fifteen months, we have been addressing certain noncore businesses, such as retailmarine and private student lending activities. We have also deployed new teller platform technology throughout our company. These and other efforts have resulted in a reduction in our employee workforce of approximately 8%, or 1,500 positions, over the fifteen month period.Compared to the year-ago quarter, our personnel costs are down 6%. Additionally, we have continued to build upon our relationship-based, client-focused business model. Our Community Banking business continues to benefit from these efforts as evidenced by a $2.7 billion, or 5%, increase in deposits compared to the second quarter of 2008.DIVIDENDSKeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) announced July 20, 2009, that its Board of Directors approved the following dividends for the third quarter, 2009:– A regular cash dividend of $0.01 per share of its common shares, or $0.04 per share on an annualized basis. The dividend is payable September 15, 2009 to shareholders of record on September 1, 2009.– A cash dividend of $1.9375 per share on the Corporation’s outstanding 7.750% Non-cumulative Perpetual Convertible Preferred Stock, Series A. The dividend is payable September 15, 2009 to holders of record on August 28, 2009, for the dividend period commencing on June 15, 2009.Cleveland-based KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $98 billion. BusinessWeek Magazine named Key the top bank in its Customer Service Champ 2009 edition, ranking Key 11th out of the top-25 companies that include many known for their customer service acumen. Key companies provide investment management, retail and commercial banking, consumer finance, and investment banking products and services to individuals and companies throughout the United States and, for certain businesses, internationally. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/(link is external). INVESTOR KEY MEDIA RELATIONS: www.key.com/ir(link is external) NEWSROOM : www.key.com/newsroom(link is external)SOURCE KeyCorp.
Photo captions:File name jp_carrara.jpg: Paul Carrara and PJ Carrara, J.P. Carrara & Sons, accept the Chamber’s Business of the Year Award.File name citizen_year_award2.jpg: Lynn Coale, ACCOC board chairperson, presents John Tenny, Middlebury Select Board Chair, with the Chamber’s Buster Brush Citizen of the Year Award.File name chairmans_award.jpg: Lynn Coale, ACCOC board chairperson, presents Nancy Slater Cobden, recently retired from Hannaford Career Center, with the Chairman’s Award for her long-term support of the Chamber.File name community_achievement.jpg: Lynn Coale, ACCOC board chairperson, congratulates David Donahue, Middlebury College and John Tenny, Middlebury Select Board Chair, as they receive the Chamber’s Community Achievement Award.File name gov_douglas.jpg: Lynn Coale, ACCOC board chairperson, and Andy Mayer, ACCOC president, present Governor Jim Douglas with gifts recognizing his support of the Addison County Chamber. Gov. Douglas is a past president of ACCOC. The Addison County Chamber of Commerce recognized local businesses, organizations, and individuals with its annual awards during the Chamber’s annual meeting held on September 8th at Basin Harbor Club. Four awards were presented in front of a crowd of 135 attendees which included Governor Douglas, Chamber members and other local dignitaries. In addition to the award presentations, the Chamber membership voted on a new board of directors. J.P. Carrara & Sons was presented with the Business of the Year Award which is given to a business located in Addison County that demonstrates excellent business practices and provides a positive impact on the community. According to Andy Mayer, Chamber president, ‘J.P. Carrara & Sons has exemplified all of the award criteria, and has done so for a long time. One such criterion is for improving a facility which benefits the community. J.P. Carrara qualified not just by improving the Cross Street Bridge in Middlebury, but by building it.’ He went on to say that without their expertise the project probably wouldn’t have happened.In addition to the Business of the Year award, the Addison County Chamber presented its Buster Brush Citizen of the Year Award which is given to an individual who has made numerous contributions to the community without the expectation of acknowledgement. The award was given to John Tenny, Middlebury Select Board Chair, who has shown extraordinary leadership in challenging times. He has also shown tremendous dedication by serving on the Middlebury Select Board since 1995 and Chairman since 1997. His tenacity on the Cross Street Bridge project which had been 50+ years in the making helped bring it to completion. His relationship with Middlebury College ensured a collaboration that was instrumental in funding the Bridge. The Chamber’s Community Achievement Award is given to a not-for-profit organization for outstanding services and leadership to the community. The Chamber recognized the Middlebury Select Board, Middlebury College and the citizens of Middlebury for their efforts to make the soon-to-be-opened Cross Street Bridge happen. From figuring out where it should go, to accomplishing it without the state and federal government, to developing a partnership to pay for it, and utilizing the expertise of a local company in its construction, many pieces had to come together to make the Cross Street Bridge a reality.The outgoing board chairperson, Lynn Coale, presented the Chairman’s Award which is given to an individual or business who has donated time and effort for the continuing benefit of the Chamber. This year the award was presented to Nancy Slater Cobden, recently retired from the Hannaford Career Center. According to Lynn, ‘Nancy has been instrumental in keeping the Work Force Investment Board alive and well in Addison County and she has been a founding member and constant advocate for the Middlebury Arts Walk. She has been my assistant director at the Hannaford Career Center for the last eight years.’ Annual meeting attendees voted on the board of directors for the 2010-2011 year. New to the board this year are Robin Huestis, Round Robin Upscale Resale Shop and Grover Usilton, National Bank of Middlebury. Both are serving one-year terms expiring at the 2011 annual meeting. The board and members of the Chamber recognized Jim Daily, Porter Medical Center, who is leaving the board after serving two terms. Kris Merchant, Waitsfield Champlain Valley Telecom, is the incoming chairperson. Other board members include:· Bonita Bedard, Vermont HoneyLights, representing Five Town Business Council· Dan Brown, Swift House Inn· *Tim Buskey, Vergennes Residential Care· Lynn Coale, Hannaford Career Center: Immediate Past President· *Jeff Costello, The Middlebury Inn· *Andy Mayer, Addison County Chamber· Kate McGowan, United Way of Addison County· Mike McLaughlin, Breadloaf Corporation · *Kris Merchant, Waitsfield Champlain Valley Telecom· *Steve Misasi, Misasi & Misasi, PC· Patrick Norton, Middlebury College· Mike Rainville, Maple Landmark Woodcraft, representing Addison County Economic Development Corporation· Paul Richey, Basin Harbor Club· Bill Sayre, A. Johnson Lumber Company, representing Addison County Regional Planning Commission· Bill Townsend, J.P. Carrara & Sons* Designates Chamber Officers About Addison County Chamber of CommerceThe Addison County Chamber of Commerce (ACCOC) is an association of individuals representing business interests, working together to promote commercial business and tourism in Addison County. The Chamber can be found on the Web at www.addisoncounty.com(link is external). Source: The Addison County Chamber of Commerce. Middlebury, Vermont ‘ September 13, 2010 ‘
A Seattle-based law firm says that two top executives of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc (Nasdaq: GMCR) exercised nearly $8 million in stock options prior to an SEC inquiry. GMCR filed amended forms with the Securities & Exchange Commission today that state that the two transactions made by one of the executives in September were, in fact, part of a pre-arranged trading plan executed in August.The law firm, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, is investigating allegations that the Waterbury coffee company made a series of materially false and misleading statements related to the company’s business and operations in violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. There also have been two separate lawsuits filed in Burlington.According to filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the two key executives at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters subsidiaries exercised large amounts of stock options in the weeks just prior to announcing to investors on September 28, 2010, that the company was the subject of an inquiry by the SEC into its ‘revenue recognition practices and the Company’s relationship with one of its fulfillment vendors.’SEC Form 8-KR. Scott McCreary, president of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters subsidiary Specialty Coffee Business Unit, exercised 200,000 Green Mountain Coffee Roasters stock options and sold them at $33.08 per share on August 18, 2010, filings with the SEC show. Total proceeds for the stock sales amounted to about $6.6 million.SEC Form 4 McCrearyMichelle Stacy, president of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters subsidiary Keurig Inc, exercised 30,000 Green Mountain Coffee Roasters stock options and sold them at $30.95 per share on August 18, 2010. She exercised another 5,000 options and sold them at $35.40 per share on September 13, 2010 and, finally, exercised 5,000 options at $37 per share on September 21, 2010. Total proceeds for the three stock sales amounted to about $1.3 million, SEC filings show. SEC Form 4 StacySEC Form 4 StacySEC Form 4 StacySEC Form 4a StacySEC Form 4a StacyHowever, the amended forms indicate that Stacy had entered into a 10b5-1 trading plan on August 13, 2010. The 10b5-1 is intended to avoid such an appearance of impropriety by pre-arranging sales of stock for executives, and other insiders, that are blind to the executive. The plan specifies ahead of time the amount, price and date at which the shares should be traded.GMCR’s Suzanne DuLong, VP of Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, said of the legal aspects of the case, “I can’t comment on pending litigation.”As for the SEC inquiry, DuLong said, “We continue to cooperate fully and voluntarily.”Reed Kathrein, a partner with Hagens Berman, in an email said of today’s amended filing that it is “a little late to claim that it is not suspect.”Kathrein added, “The law is clear that a plan will not protect you if it is set up to take advantage of non-public inside information.”He added, “If the plan were properly put in place, at a very minimum, the ethical thing to do would be to put it on hold when material inside information is known. The company could have and should have closed all trading by insiders regardless of the plan.”The SEC’s Division of Enforcement informed GMCR on September 20 that it was conducting an inquiry and made a request for a voluntary production of documents and information.GMCR’s filing stated, “Based on the request, the Company believes the focus of the inquiry concerns certain revenue recognition practices and the Company’s relationship with one of its fulfillment vendors. The Company, at the direction of the audit committee of the Company’s board of directors, is cooperating fully with the SEC staff’s inquiry.”A class-action lawsuit has already been filed in US District Court in Vermont. The lawsuit alleges that Green Mountain artificially inflated the company’s stock price by issuing inaccurate and unreliable financial statements, which were not prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and SEC rules.http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/october/green-mountain-coffee-facing-slew…The Hagens Berman’s investigation focuses on the SEC’s inquiry concerning ‘certain revenue recognition practices and the Company’s relationship with one of its fulfillment vendors.’ Neither the SEC nor Green Mountain Coffee Roasters management have disclosed details of the investigation.However, Hagens Berman released a statement saying that since Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’ largest fulfillment vendor, M Block & Sons Inc., warehouses physical inventory of Keurig machines and K-Cups, takes orders from retail customers, ships the products and collects receivables, it is possible that it concerns the propriety of so-called ‘bill-and-hold’ transactions. Under Financial Accounting Standards Board rules, if M. Block & Sons initiated such transactions due to inadequate warehouse capacity, the transactions may be proper. However, if the transactions were initiated by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters solely for the purpose of accelerating revenue, then they would be misleading.Following the close of trading on September 28, 2010, shareholders learned of the SEC’s inquiry into Green Mountain Coffee Roaster’s revenue recognition, that it had been notified by the SEC of this investigation as early as September 20, 2010, and that the company was expected to take a restatement charge in the near term ‘ rendering the company’s prior reported financial statements and reports unreliable, false and materially misleading. Following this announcement, shares of the company fell from $37 per share to a low of $27.47 per share. Its STOCK PRICE opened today at $33.40. About Hagens BermanSeattle-based Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP represents whistleblowers, investors and consumers in complex litigation. The firm has offices in Boston, Chicago, Colorado Springs, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Founded in 1993, HBSS continues to successfully fight for investor rights in large, complex litigation. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com(link is external). Source: Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP. SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–10.27.2010. http://www.hbsslaw.com/cases-and-investigations/GMCR(link is external). Vermont Business Magazine. Securities & Exchange Commission.
US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today awarded more than $3.6 million in funding to keep 24 of local homeless assistance programs in Vermont operating in the coming year. The grants announced today form a critical foundation for the Obama Administration’s Opening Doors strategy, the nation’s first comprehensive plan to prevent and end homelessness. For a summary of the Vermont grants announced today, visit HUD’s website.Today’s announcement also comes just a week before thousands of volunteers in nearly every city and county conduct a national one-night count of homeless persons and families. HUD’s Let’s Make Everybody Count! campaign is intended to document trends in homelessness that are crucial to local planners’ efforts to prevent and end homelessness in their areas.‘There is a tremendous need on our streets and in our shelters among those experiencing both long-term homelessness as well as families confronting a sudden economic crisis,’ said Donovan. ‘These grants are the life blood for thousands of local housing and service programs that are doing the heavy lifting to meet President Obama’s goal of ending homelessness.’Barbara Poppe, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Executive Director, added, ‘Across federal agencies, we are aligning mainstream programs towards a goal to prevent and end homelessness. While we continue to strengthen public-private partnerships in Washington and across the country to meet this goal, today’s grants provide essential support to continue the progress and meet critical needs of those who experience the crisis of homelessness.’In June, 19 federal agencies and offices that form the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) submitted to the President and Congress the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness. The full report is titled Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. The plan puts the country on a path to end veterans and chronic homelessness by 2015; and to ending homelessness among children, family, and youth by 2020.Last September, HUD announced that it would renew funding through HUD’s Continuum of Care programs to existing local programs as quickly as possible to prevent any interruption in federal assistance. HUD will award funds to new projects later in the year.HUD’s Continuum of Care grants provide permanent and transitional housing to homeless persons as well as services including job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care. Continuum of Care grants are awarded competitively to local programs to meet the needs of their homeless clients. These grants fund a wide variety of programs from street outreach and assessment programs to transitional and permanent housing for homeless persons and families.HUD’s homeless assistance grants are reducing long-term or chronic homelessness in America. Based on the Department’s latest homeless assessment, chronic homelessness has declined since 2005 due to significant investments to produce thousands of units of permanent supportive housing for those who had been living on the streets. While the total number of homeless persons in America dropped slightly between 2008 and 2009, the number of homeless families increased for the second consecutive year, almost certainly due to the ongoing effects of the recession. In the last 10 days of January, volunteers from across the country will attempt to count the number of homeless persons living in shelters and on the streets as part of a national point-in-time count. For more information about HUD’s ‘Let’s Make Everybody Count!’ campaign, visit www.hud.gov/homelesscount(link is external).Based on HUD’s 2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), volunteers throughout the nation counted 643,000 homeless people during a given night in January 2009. In addition, HUD found that during 2009, 1.54 million people used emergency or transitional housing programs in 2009. A typical sheltered homeless person is a single, middle-aged man and a member of a minority group. Of all those who sought emergency shelter or transitional housing during 2009, the following characteristics were observed:Ã 78 percent of all sheltered homeless persons are adults;Ã 61 percent are male;Ã 62 percent are members of a minority group;Ã 38 percent are 31-to-50 years old;Ã 64 percent are in one-person households, andÃ 38 percent have a disability.In addition to HUD’s annual grant awards, HUD allocated $1.5 billion through its new Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing (HPRP) Program. Made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, HPRP is intended to prevent persons from falling into homelessness or to rapidly re-house them if they do. To date, more than 750,000 persons have been assisted through HPRP.HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov(link is external) and espanol.hud.gov.
Scott + Partners Inc,Across Vermont, architects, builders and contractors are working to create more energy-efficient businesses and homes. Efficiency Vermont is proud to recognize a select number of those projects with its annual ‘Best of the Best’ Awards.Essex Junction firm Scott + Partners Architects was honored with a Merit Award and an Honor Award for its work for the East Montpelier Emergency Services Building and the State of Vermont Forensics Lab Building respectively.Award recipients were recognized at Efficiency Vermont’s Better Buildings by Design 2011 conference this month. The conference focused on energy-efficient building design, construction, and renovation, and was attended by more than 1,000 professionals.The work of Vermont builders and contractors was considered in three areas of energy efficiency: commercial new construction and major renovation, residential new construction and residential renovation. The ‘Best of the Best in Commercial Building Design & Construction’ recognizes innovative and integrated design approaches for energy efficiency in Vermont’s commercial, institutional, industrial, and multifamily buildings.For East Montpelier Emergency Services, Scott + Partners Architects created a new, energy-efficient building to house the town’s fire department and provide a training area for the town to utilize. The new facility includes efficient foundation, wall, and roof insulation as well as energy-efficient lighting and plumbing. All exterior windows are triple-glazed units that provide added insulation and comfort. Technology includes high efficiency ductless split air conditioners, demand-based ventilation, radiant floor heating and an air energy recovery unit.Estimated cost savings for the building are approximately $4,800 annually, with estimated energy savings of approximately 34,800kWh. Scott + Partners Architects was also honored for work for the State of Vermont Forensics Lab Building in Waterbury, VT, where the firm predicts a 50 percent reduction in annual HVAC costs and a 32 percent reduction in total building energy usage due to energy efficiency work.The building is a 34,000 square foot addition to the existing Vermont Public Safety Building. The space is used for ballistics testing, DNA processing, chemical matching and more. Scott + Partners Architects was charged with designing and building a structure that would serve the Vermont Department of Public Service for the next 50 years.The work displayed by all of the winners shows that Vermonters can save energy and money while also creating comfortable spaces for homeowners, businesses and schools for the long-term.For more information and a complete listing of all awards winners, please visit http://efficiencyvermont.com/pages/Business/BuildingEfficiently/BetterBu…(link is external)About Scott + Partners ArchitectsScott + Partners, Inc., is a full service architectural firm located in Essex Junction, Vermont providing planning and design services throughout Vermont and the Northeast. Architectural planning and design services include: Site Planning, Building Design, Interior Planning and Design, Building and Facility Programming, Building Code and Accessibility Reviews/ADA Compliance Assessment, Building Forensics and Project Specifications.About Efficiency VermontEfficiency Vermont was created by the Vermont Legislature and the Vermont Public Service Board to help all Vermonters reduce energy costs, strengthen the economy, and protect Vermont’s environment. Efficiency Vermont is currently operated by Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), an independent organization under contract to the Vermont Public Service Board. VEIC is a Vermont-based nonprofit organization founded in 1986. For more information, contact Efficiency Vermont at 888-921-5990 or visit www.efficiencyvermont.com(link is external).
Governor Peter Shumlin unveiled a new website today, BroadbandVT.org, a one-stop information resource and interactive tool for Vermonters to use in the quest to obtain statewide, universal availability of broadband service. ‘I think we are all well aware that some Vermonters are without broadband service today,’ the Governor said. ‘We have federal, state and privately funded projects in progress to build more broadband connections. As we achieve the broadband build out, we need to identify those remaining unserved areas down to the location level.’He said one of the important features of BroadbandVT.org is it allows Vermonters to participate and tell us where ‘ down to their individual home addresses — they know service is missing. ‘But the site does more than tell us where service is not — it also tells us about the types and speeds of broadband already in use,’ said Karen Marshall, Chief of ConnectVT. ‘For those Vermonters who are fortunate and already enjoy high speed access, the site identifies service options at any residence, business, or address in the state, as well as detailed information about the service providers. It also works on a dial-up connection, and can direct visitors to the nearest location offering public, high speed Internet access.’ BroadbandVT.org was designed as a neutral, broad based and singular resource for all things broadband. The central element of the site is the coverage map ‘ which is continuously updated to reflect the data input from visitors ‘ a process known as ‘crowdsourcing.’ The map includes various overlays that identify areas without service, existing broadband service speeds, and public facilities, such as libraries, that offer broadband service. The map is updated on a 24-hour cycle to reflect the information recently gleaned from Vermonters visiting and providing data to the site. ‘Key projects by Sovernet, VTel, FairPoint, Cloud Alliance, EC Fiber and others are building fiber connections deep into our communities, and beginning to create a canopy of wireless broadband in many areas of the state. We are coordinating with the Department of Public Service and providers to keep people informed as to when service will be available,’ said Marshall. ‘I encourage all of our residents to visit BroadbandVT.org and let us know where and how you get broadband. This information will be invaluable as we aim to complete our broadband infrastructure together, by 2013,’ Shumlin said. Source: Governor’s office. 5.12.2011
Darn Tough Vermont,Darn Tough Vermont, domestic manufacturer of premium all-weather performance socks, is smashing growth projections set earlier this year. Last February, Darn Tough Vermont announced it was hiring more employees and increasing its knitting machine inventory by nearly 50 percent. After second-quarter assessments, the sock maker says it is investing an additional $400,000 into its hosiery mill this year, most of which will be allocated for more Italian-made seamless knitting machines, the most sophisticated seamless knitting machines available. The company also expects to continue adding jobs. ‘People are willing to pay for quality,’ said Ric Cabot, founder and president of Darn Tough Vermont. ‘Maybe even more than ever, consumers are making well-informed, deliberate purchases and looking for products that are made in the USA or guaranteed. They’re spending their dollars very wisely. We are seeing growth through all of our branded channels of distribution.’ Given Darn Tough Vermont’s rapid growth since the company’s inception in 2004, Cabot feels they’ve earned a place in the hosiery history books. ‘Northfield, Vermont may just be the new sock capital of the world,’ he said jokingly. The town of Fort Payne, Alabama once held the title of ‘Sock Capital of the World,’ but the last major hosiery mill there closed its doors and headed overseas earlier this year. A roadside sign proudly proclaiming Fort Payne as the ‘Sock Capital of the Word’ has since been removed, and the title is up for grabs as far as Cabot is concerned. ‘Volume needn’t be the driving factor for the ‘Sock Capital’ title,’ added Cabot. ‘It should be based on quality.‘Unlike so many hosiery and textile mills who have succumbed to the cost-savings of offshore manufacturing, our mill and our jobs are here to stay,’ asserted Cabot. ‘More importantly, we’re not just holding our ground but growing at a rapid rate in a challenging business environment. We’d like to take the ‘Sock Capital of the World’ title back to the United States. Heck, let’s bring it to Northfield, Vermont. This is where the title belongs.” About Darn Tough VermontDarn Tough Vermont is a domestic manufacturer of premium, all weather outdoor socks, with headquarters in Northfield, Vermont. Darn Tough Vermont offers products in six active wear categories: ski/ride, hike/trek, run/bike, lifestyle, hunt and kid’s styles. The company’s product is distinguished from industry competitors by: 100% USA manufacturing; small needle knitting which results in more stitches per inch and exceptional durability and cushioning; an exclusive blend of either Coolmax® or ultra-fine merino wool for softness, fit, durability and moisture management; and a unique unlimited lifetime guarantee policy. For more information, visit: www.darntough.com(link is external). –>