House panel report critical of Vermont Yankee

first_imgThe Public Oversight Panel’s report created by Act 189 of the Vermont General Assembly was released today.  The panel was charged with providing information about the comprehensive vertical audit and reliability assessment of the Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee nuclear plant to the legislature as it determines whether the plant should be authorized to operate beyond the expiration of its current license.  The Public Oversight Panel’s report is critical to the legislature’s decision regarding whether or not to approve the continued operation of Vermont Yankee.The Panel has concluded that there are serious concerns that need to be addressed before an assurance of reliability can be met.  The Panel found several significant areas of concern with the plant. “The Panel’s concerns about continued operation of the plant are significant and not easy to resolve,” said Chairman Klein. “These concerns include the management of the plant, the low ranking of equipment reliability ENVY has received, high staff turnover, and many others.“Risks associated with the reliability of the plant need to be addressed before final decision making about the continued operation of the plant,” said Chairwoman Lyons. “This report adds to concerns the legislature has identified, including the lack of a power purchaseagreement, decommissioning and spent fuel storage.”  The Panel was designed to further transparency, public oversight and the public’s involvement in the reliability assessment of the plant. The independent safety assessment is critical to Vermont’s energy future and the panel’s report of this assessment has brought to light significant concerns regarding the reliability of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. “As we pursue a reliable, clean and affordable energy future it is critical that Vermonters are assured of the reliability of relying on this aging plant,” said Chairwoman Cummings.  “The independent reliability assessment of Vermont Yankee is critical to Vermont’s energy future and we will weigh the concerns of the panel before proceeding with a decision about the plant’s reliability.”last_img read more

Country Walkers ranked 11th nationally by Outside magazine

first_imgCountry Walkers has been named named to Outside magazine s (www.outsideonline.com(link is external)) second annual Best Places to Work list. Country Walkers was ranked No. 11 out of 30 selected companies. The full list and related story will be published in the May issue of Outside magazine, available on newsstands April 28, 2009. We are honored to be named as one of Outside magazine s best places to work in 2009, said Timo Shaw, President of Country Walkers. As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, this recognition allows us to commend our remarkable staff, whose dedication, hard work, and lively sprit have helped us solidify our reputation as an innovator in adventure travel.Outside s Best Places to Work list was compiled with the help of the Outdoor Industry Association (outdoorindustry.org) and Best Companies Group (bestcompaniesgroup.com). The year-long selection process began with an outreach effort that identified a wide range of non-profit and for-profit organizations with at least 15 employees working in the United States. Participating companies were then sent confidential employee-satisfaction surveys and employer-questionnaires to collect information about benefits, compensation, policies, job satisfaction, environmental initiatives, and community outreach programs. All of the results were analyzed by Best Companies Group experts, who selected the 30 companies that best enable employees to balance productivity with an active, eco-conscious lifestyle.  These 30 companies share a common belief: that the secret to success in any economy is empowering employees to live balanced lives and remain committed to their communities and the environment, said Michael Roberts, Executive Editor of Outside. Our winners know that happy workers are good for the bottom line. So even in the current financial storm, they re offering on-site fitness classes and massage, reimbursements for gym memberships and ski passes, flexible hours, amazing travel benefits, and opportunities for on-the-clock community service.Established in 1979, Country Walkers is the world s leading small-group walking tour provider, offering adventures in more than 75 destinations worldwide. From Vietnam to Vermont and nearly everywhere in between, Country Walkers tours feature local guides who lead guests on journeys filled with behind-the-scenes experiences, authentic cultural immersion, and exceptional cuisine and accommodations. The company recently launched new walking tours in destinations including Egypt, Laos & Vietnam, Maine, Alaska, Utah & Arizona, and Ecuador.ABOUT COUNTRY WALKERSCountry Walkers, based in Waterbury, Vermont (www.countrywalkers.com(link is external)) was established in 1980 and is the world s premier small group walking tour provider. Country Walkers offers well-crafted itineraries for Walking à la Carte, Classic Walking, Hiking, and Private & Custom vacations. All trips highlight superb cuisine, outstanding tour guides, and authentic accommodations. First Choice Holidays PLC is a leading international leisure travel company. It operates from 17 major source markets, has 8 million customers and 72 brands. For more information visit First Choice Holidays PLC www.firstchoiceholidaysplc.com(link is external).ABOUT OUTSIDE MAGAZINEOutside is America s leading active lifestyle magazine, with over two million readers a month. For more than 30 years, the magazine has covered travel, sports, adventure, health, and fitness, as well as the personalities, the environment, and the style and culture of the world Outside. Along with receiving many other accolades, Outside is the only magazine to win three consecutive National Magazine Awards for General Excellence. Visit the magazine online at www.outsideonline.com(link is external).ABOUT BEST COMPANIES GROUPBest Companies Group was formed in January of 2004, with the purpose of identifying and recognizing best companies around the country.  By using state-of-the art survey and indexing tools, BCG has been able to achieve that purpose on national, state-wide, city, and industry stages.  BCG will partner with B-to-B and consumer media and other business or human resource organizations to publicize the opportunity, encourage participation and to recognize those who are good enough to make the lists of Best Places to Work .  BCG currently manages 25 similar programs around the US and in Canada.  For more information and a complete list of Best Employer programs, visit www.bestcompaniesgroup.com(link is external)  Best Companies Group is headquartered in Harrisburg, PA.ABOUT THE OUTDOOR INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONFounded in 1989, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the premier trade association for companies in the active outdoor recreation business. OIA provides trade services for over 4000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers in the outdoor industry. Outdoor Industry Association seeks to ensure a healthy and diverse specialty retail and supply chain based on quality, innovation and service. To this end, OIA works diligently to raise the standards of the industry; increase participation in outdoor recreation to strengthen business markets; provide support services to improve member profitability; represent member interests in the legislative/regulatory process; promote professional training and education; support innovation; and offer cost-saving member benefits.Source: Country Walkers. Waterbury, VT (April 9, 2009)last_img read more

Vermont wins $3.1 million grant for healthier communities

first_imgVermont is in line to receive up to $3.1 million over the next five years as part of one of the country’s largest investments ever in promoting good health, the Vermont congressional delegation announced today. Vermont will be a leader in the new national initiative that also will limit spending by avoiding costly, chronic diseases in the first place, according to U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). The Vermont delegation had urged U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to include Vermont in the first round of grants. Dr. Harry Chen, the Vermont health commissioner, welcomed the grant. The state will use the first year’s installment of $621,760 to help decrease disparities in health care for poor people and minorities.  The department plans to focus on reducing tobacco use and promoting exercise and healthy diets.  Nationwide, Vermont was one of 61 recipients of grants to fight chronic diseases, the leading cause of death in Americans. Created by the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law, the new grant program will address the root causes of disease that often are related to economic, social, and physical factors. Sanders chairs a Senate panel on primary health care. ‘In America today millions of people are dying prematurely and are suffering from a number of diseases because of smoking and poor diets,’ he said. ‘Investing in disease prevention and healthier life styles will not only save lives and ease human suffering, it will also save health care dollars.  The truth is that it is a lot less expensive to invest in disease prevention than in hospital care.’ Leahy said, ‘Curbing chronic disease is a key path to keeping Vermonters healthier, trimming health costs and narrowing the health care gap that separates rich, middle-income and poor Americans.  It’s just common sense, and I am glad that Vermont will continue to lead and innovate on this and other elements of health insurance reform.’ Welch said, ‘Vermont has led the nation in creating better health care outcomes for all citizens, regardless of their economic means. This grant will help the state further that work,’ he said. ‘Providing preventative services to those in need will reduce the rate of costly, chronic conditions among vulnerable populations and better align health care spending to encourage healthier outcomes.’ In Montpelier, Commissioner Chen said, ‘This federal award will go a long way toward strengthening our rural communities’ capacity  to promote health, prevent chronic illness and reduce health disparities for all Vermonters ‘ wherever you live, work, play or get your health care.’ BURLINGTON, Vt., Sept. 27 ‘last_img read more

Bard of the Blue Ridge

first_imgBorn and raised in western North Carolina, Thomas Rain Crowe has written over 30 books, mostly about his native Appalachia. He spent three years growing his own food, chopping firewood, and living in a small cabin without water or electricity. He wrote about his Walden-like experience in his award-winning book, Zoro’s Field.Thomas Rain Crowe’s writing has always focused on cherishing and protecting Appalachia’s wild places—including the tangled wilderness of the human heart. His newest collection of poems, Crack Light, celebrates the wild beauty of Appalachia and the deep-rooted strength of its people: “When I am at work in my garden, I take off my shoes. I let my other hands embrace dirt. I plant myself in this place.”Rain Crowe’s poems are accompanied by Simone Lipscomb’s stunning photography in this mountain masterpiece.last_img read more

ELN Member Wanted by Interpol, Captured in Colombia

first_imgBy Dialogo July 16, 2013 A member of Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas, wanted by Interpol for rebellion, conspiracy and terrorism, was captured in a military operation, the Colombian Army said on July 15. “Diego Armando Jiménez Gonzáles, alias ‘Diego’ or ‘El Gringo’, leader of the terrorist support network of ELN’s Efraín Pabón Pabón Front, was captured,” the Army said in a statement. Twenty-six-year-old Jiménez Gonzáles was captured in a military operation conducted in Arauca department (western border with Venezuela); he spent four years in the ELN, according to the institution. The detainee was “wanted by Interpol under the charges of rebellion and conspiracy with the purpose of extortion and terrorism.” According to the Police, Jiménez Gonzáles “was in charge of extortion, coordination logistics regarding military equipment and uniforms, and terrorist actions” for the ELN. The ELN is the second largest guerrilla group in Colombia, with 2,500 members, and so far not involved in the peace talks held between the government and the communist FARC. However, the ELN has stated its interest for opening peace talks with the government.last_img read more

Long Island Alligator Count Hits 19 in 1 Year

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The 19th Long Island alligator (SCSPCA)A 19th alligator has turned up on Long Island since a year ago last month.Suffolk County SPCA officers rescued the 2-foot-long American Alligator on Wednesday from a Miller Place home, the nonprofit agency said.The owner turned in the gator after missing the recent reptile amnesty day—the second such event on LI since the gators started popping up in Nassau and mostly Suffolk in September 2012, according to Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk SPCA.The alligator appeared to be in good health and will be turned over to a Licensed Reptile Facility, he said, adding in a news release that “the owner did the right thing by calling us … rather than setting it loose somewhere.”The incident also comes after 850 snakes were recently found in a Shirley man’s home.To report an animal issue to the Suffolk County SPCA, call 631-382-SPCA or visit www.suffolkspca.us.last_img read more

The ‘Third Era’ of IT will bring massive changes to the data center

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Rich NapolitanoImagine you worked in a data center a decade ago and then moved to a remote island. Ten years later, you’ve returned and it’s your first day back in the data center. You walk in and survey your surroundings. The servers have all been virtualized. Much of the software controlling them has changed.In short, it’s a very, very different world.But then you notice something strange: Despite the huge datacenter changes, the networking gear today is virtually indistinguishable from the way it was when you left a decade ago.That’s about to change as we enter what I call the “Third Era of IT.” With Big Data, mobile, and the Internet of Things putting an ever greater strain on the network, the status quo is about to get thrown on its head.As someone with three decades in the IT industry, I can appreciate how far the networking industry has already come, even as we stand on the verge of yet another huge change. When I first started at the minicomputer company Digital Equipment Corporation, in the early ‘80s, the IT industry was monolithic, meaning everything — storage, compute, networking, applications — was combined in one central mainframe/minicomputer.last_img read more

Credit unions begin recovery process even as Harvey continues

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Southeastern Texas credit unions have begun the long process of recovery even Tropical Storm Harvey continues to batter the region.The Cornerstone Credit Union League reported roughly 50 credit union closings–and numerous additional branch closings–in southeastern Texas as of late Monday morning.“We’re in fairly constant contact with our credit unions in the gulf area,” said Jon Gorman, senior vice president of communications and outreach of the Cornerstone Credit Union League. “We’re continually reassessing what is going on down there, and have a disaster response team in place and actively delivering support the credit unions affected by this disaster.”Gorman said travel is the one of the biggest issues for many credit union employees with regard to assessing Harvey’s impact on credit union operations. “Anecdotally, we’ve heard employees can’t get to their credit unions because of the flooding, or they can’t get out of their neighborhoods because of the flooding.”last_img read more

On Compliance: Recent ruling and new definition prime FCUs for membership growth

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Federal credit unions have new growth opportunities thanks to a recent appeals court decision on field of membership and the National Credit Union Administration’s new definition of a “member in good standing.” These regulatory changes will make it easier for federal credit unions to grow by attracting new members as well as by taking action against problem members.D.C. Circuit Ruling Primes Federal Credit Unions for Membership GrowthThe most important recent regulatory development affecting credit union growth is the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s August 2019 decision in American Bankers Association v. NCUA, which upheld virtually all aspects of NCUA’s 2016 update to its Field of Membership and Chartering Manual.In 2016, NCUA updated its field of membership rules to allow federal credit unions to have more flexibility to decide which parts of a U.S. Office of Management and Budget “core-based statistical area” with a population up to a 2.5 million individuals that they wanted to serve. The 2016 revisions also removed a requirement that the federal credit union had to serve the urban “core” of the CBSA and allowed a federal credit union to add areas adjacent to the CBSA if real-world evidence—such as commuting patterns—showed that the adjacent area was part of the same local community. In addition, the 2016 final rule raised the population limit on “rural districts” to a million people.last_img read more