Bethel, ME – Sunday River Ski Resort – March 2007 At this year’s Package Industries Builder Conference, Vermont contractors G.P.I. Construction of Brattleboro and Connor Contracting of St. Albans win prestigious building awards.G.P.I. Construction won best of category for Most Unusual Building for Cersosimo Lumber of Brattleboro and Connor Contracting was awarded Silver Level Package Industries Buildership.Package Industries was founded in 1962. Since then, they’ve become the #1 manufacturer of high quality steel buildings in New England. They are very proud to offer the Package Steel Building System” exclusively through their builder network, which represents some of the best contractors in the Northeast.Package stands behind every building they manufacture. A promise made is a promise kept. Period. Package knows customers always have a choice – and they want to make it easy for them to choose Package Steel Buildings. That’s why they’re #1 in New England.
Vermont’s $182.9 Million Judgment on Behalf of Claimants and Creditors of Ambassador Insurance Co. Upheld on AppealMontpelier, Vermont –(September 10, 2008) The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion yesterday upholding a judgment of $182.9 million against PriceWaterhouseCoopers in favor of the courtappointed Receiver for Ambassador Insurance Co., Paulette J. Thabault, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA). Ambassador Insurance Co. (a Vermont domiciled surplus lines insurance company with headquarters in New Jersey) was seized in 1983 and placed into court-supervised rehabilitation and subsequent liquidation as a result of its insolvency. Since that time, the principal obligation of the Commissioner as Receiver has been to collect and distribute assets under court supervision in order to pay the rightful claims of persons insured and owed money by Ambassador.In the accounting malpractice lawsuit filed in 1985 against PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Ambassador’s outside accountants were charged with negligence in connection with audits of Ambassador’s financial statements that served to conceal from regulators the insurance company’s financial weakness and near insolvency. A nine week trial in federal court in Newark, NJ, resulted in a jury verdict against Defendants PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the estate of Arnold Chait, Ambassador’s former President.Yesterday’s opinion upholds the 2005 verdict and PriceWaterhouseCooper’s obligation to pay all of the resultant damages, and confirms judgment for the full $182.9 million. Commissioner Thabault is pleased with the result and considers the outcome to be another success for state-based regulation of insurance companies, noting that Ambassador policyholders and claimants will finally have the opportunity to receive the insurance proceeds they were due under Ambassador insurance policies as a result of these proceedings. “It’s been a lengthy process, to say the least, and I am gratified that the Court upheld the jury verdict and the District Court judgment,” Thabault said. “As a Department, we’re committed to protecting the interests of policyholders, and pleased that the years of work in connection with these receivership proceedings should allow us to make full payment to all policyholders,” Thabault said.
Vermonters’ interest in the newly enacted economic stimulus bill is so high that registration requests for Friday’s workshops on the plan have quickly outstripped capacity. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who organized the sessions, says signup requests topped 700 just days after online registration opened last week. Leahy Thursday announced that a second conference will be held late this month in Brattleboro to help accommodate Vermonters unable to attend Friday’s session, with details to be announced later.Leahy and Gov. James Douglas (R) are hosting the Vermont conference and workshops on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) – believed to be the first such statewide sessions in the nation since enactment of the stimulus package — where free workshops will help Vermont families, businesses and towns learn how the stimulus plan will help strengthen Vermont’s economy. The first conference will convene tomorrow, Friday, March 6th, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Champlain College in Burlington. The Vermont Procurement and Technical Assistance Center and the Vermont Small Business Development Center have cosponsored the conference, enabling Leahy and Douglas to offer the conference at no cost to Vermonters. Leahy and Douglas will kick off the conference with introductory remarks.Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee which helped craft the legislation, initiated the conference planning and has worked with Governor Douglas, Vermont Legislative leaders and federal agencies in organizing the sessions. Leahy earlier announced that Vermont will receive more than $700 million in direct federal investments under the new law in infrastructure improvements and social services. Leahy also anticipates that hundreds of small businesses and nearly every Vermont family will receive further direct benefits ranging from tax incentives to medical and unemployment coverage. Much of the bill’s help will be allocated by funding formulas; other benefits will depend on applications by businesses and governments for competitive grants, which will push Vermont’s total still higher. Leahy said, “The response has been phenomenal, and that is an encouraging sign about how rapidly and effectively we will be able to put this plan to work in stabilizing our economy and creating Vermont jobs.”Federal officials and representatives of state agencies will offer their perspective on the economic recovery package during seven workshop sessions focusing on: how to access infrastructure improvement funding; accessing energy and broadband infrastructure funding; assisting small businesses interested in doing business with federal and state agencies; identifying small business provisions that may help weather the difficult economy; accessing first-responder and criminal justice funding opportunities; identifying health, human services, and labor and education funding opportunities; and a session targeted at Vermont families trying to understand how the tax and grant opportunities in the legislation will directly affect their bottom lines. Participants can expect broad overviews of selected programs and question and answer sessions with program experts. Leahy noted that many of the funding formulas and program details contained in the legislation are still being finalized. He said he hopes the conference “will get Vermonters thinking about how the stimulus package can strengthen Vermont’s economy and lay the groundwork not only for the jobs of today, but also the jobs of tomorrow.” Detailed program agendas for the conference will be available Friday afternoon on Leahy’s website (leahy.senate.gov). Advance registration is required, and registration now is closed for Friday’s session.WHAT: Conference and Workshops on Vermont’s Stake in the American Recovery and Reinvestment ActWHEN: Friday, March 6th, at 1 p.m.WHERE: 265 South Willard Street, IDX Student Life Center, Champlain College, BurlingtonWHO: Vermont residents, small business owners, advocates, municipal officials; open to the pressONLINE: www.leahy.senate.gov(link is external)
Vermont Law School,Vermont Law School will open a Center for Agriculture and Food Systems next spring to support advocates, agencies, food hubs, incubators and farmers engaged in the creation of community-based agriculture systems in the United States and internationally.The new center will focus on legal and policy issues related to community-based agriculture, the regulation of food, the Farm Bill and agricultural subsidies, energy-efficient food production, energy independence for farmers and other issues key to retaining a successful working landscape for rural communities.‘Vermont Law School is the ideal place to initiate this effort,’ said Professor Marc Mihaly, director of VLS’s Environmental Law Center. ‘Vermont is synonymous with the farming landscape and leads the nation in sophisticated efforts to implement a sustainable agricultural system.’The Agriculture Center, which will be modeled after VLS’s highly successful Institute for Energy and the Environment, will build on recent efforts at the school. Those efforts include hosting a conference on ‘Food, Fuel, and the Future of Farming’ that attracted more than 200 scholars, activists and farmers. VLS also convened a colloquium with the Northeast Organic Farming Association and Rural Vermont on farmers’ market insurance issues. And VLS published The Farmer’s Handbook for Energy Self-Reliance, which was distributed nationally to more than 4,000 farmers and more than a dozen farmers’ forums.In the spring, VLS will recruit a director for the Agriculture Center who has national experience to work with the school’s environmental faculty and Summer Session faculty, many of whom have produced scholarship in this area. The center will be launched through the school’s 2011 Sustainable Food Systems Summer Scholar program; a noted academic or practitioner will be selected to spend two weeks in Vermont to conduct research and participate in colloquia. Students from VLS’s Agricultural Law Society will assist in the center’s work; many are expected to join Vermont Law School alumni who work with organizations such as the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the Center for Food Safety, and the Vermont Department of Agriculture.Source: VLS. 10.4.2010
Governor Peter Shumlin said today that the Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury, which was closed following Tropical Storm Irene, will not re-open, and outlined his plan to ensure Vermont’s mental health community has access to quality services across the state. The plan includes acute in-patient care in at least two locations, increased services that enable individuals to remain in their communities, expanded local emergency services, and increased support for effective programs helping those with mental health conditions. The governor said these improvements would be monitored and evaluated, and discussions about a long-term plan will continue, and acknowledged the need to talk about other inpatient capacity. ‘Building a replacement facility is years away at best, and we need to put services in place now to ensure all Vermonters have access to the care they need,’ Shumlin said. ‘The absence of the hospital creates the opportunity to fund community services for recovery that can help prevent the need for hospitalization. We believe that all of these actions taken together will meet Vermont’s mental health needs.’ The following actions are in motion: Establish a long-term agreement with the Brattleboro Retreat for 14 acute care beds. The Retreat has been helping since the flood to provide up to 15 beds and will make some renovations to allow them, on a long term basis, to care for individuals with higher needs for supervision and management. 2. Fund two additional ‘step down’ facilities (similar to Second Spring in Williamstown) for people ready to leave the hospital, so that individuals ready to move from the hospital to another setting for recovery have quick access to a bed. This will help ensure hospital beds are reserved for those in need for that level of service. Deliver on the long-overdue promise of community-based mental health services. Continue to find and secure a facility that can provide 15 beds for appropriate care and services for people in need of acute care. We have looked at many possibilities already and continue to search. Pine Ridge School in Williston is under active consideration, as is a site located near the Central Vermont Medical Center. Governor Shumlin praised the heroic efforts of Vermont State Hospital staff and patients for not only safely evacuating the facility during the tropical storm, but for staff continuing to travel far from home to provide support in other settings. He also thanked community hospitals for providing care to individuals whose needs often exceed what the hospitals are designed to handle. ‘This crisis is an opportunity to rebuild our mental health services to make them better than before. That’s just what we intend to do,’ the governorsaid. Goveror’s office. 10.20.2011