University of Vermont Extension natural resources specialist Lisa Chaserecently received a grant to study rural recreation and tourism. Partnersin the collaborative study are Roel Boumans of the Gund Institute forEcological Economics; Todd Comen of the Institute for Integrated RuralTourism; Dick Foster of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food andMarkets; and Bruce Lauber of Cornell University’s Department of NaturalResources.The “Participatory Modeling of Recreation and Tourism in the NorthernForest” study received a total of $68,973. It will examine six sites –two in New York, two in Vermont, and two in New Hampshire — over athree-year period. Workshops in each community will focus on howrecreation and tourism are related to the economic, social, andenvironmental factors in each area, and how to make that relationship moreharmonious.Researchers will quantify the data gathered from the sites as they attemptto develop a generalized model of the inter-relationship betweenrecreational tourism and the communities it supports. Planned results ofthe study are a scholarly research article that examines the hypothesis ofa general model, a practical report for Northern Forest communities touse, and a user-friendly computer analysis that will help communitiesexamine the impact of recreation and tourism opportunities.The Northern Forest stretches from eastern Maine through New Hampshire andVermont into northern New York, a span of 26 million acres that is home toabout one million residents. NSRC received nearly $1.8 million in researchgrants to look at various aspects of the Northern Forest and thecommunities it supports; the money funds 25 proposals between $13,000 and$224,000. Don DeHayes, dean of the University of Vermont’s School ofNatural Resources, credits Senate Appropriations Committee on the Interiormembers Patrick Leahy (Vermont) and Judd Gregg (New Hampshire) with theorganization’s success in receiving this grant funding.The U.S. Forest Service has been monitoring the Northern Forest ecosystemfor 40 years at its Hubbard Brook research station. The NSRC grant expandson that work by “weaving together a network of sites and studies so we canbetter understand all the social, economic and natural challenges facingour region,” Gregg said.
Vermont Pure Holdings, Ltd. (Amex: VPS) announced its financial results for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2009 and that it will file these results on Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission today.Total sales for the three months ending January 31, 2009 decreased 5% to $15.6 million from $16.4 million for the comparable period a year ago. Gross margin also decreased 11% for the first quarter of 2009 to $8.1 million from $9.1 million in the comparable period a year earlier. Gross margin, as a percentage of sales, decreased to 52% in the first quarter of 2009 from 56% for the first quarter a year ago. Net income decreased to $95,000 for the three months ended January 31, 2009 compared to $512,000 for the comparable period last year.”Economic conditions in our marketplace have presented us with a challenging business environment in 2009,” said Peter Baker, C.E.O. of Vermont Pure Holdings, Ltd. “The economy has created an even more competitive environment not only resulting in lower sales but lower margins. In response, we have continued to lower our operating costs and increase the efficiency of our operations. Since some of the current changes in our market may not be cyclical, we are also analyzing how we do business in order to capitalize on new opportunities to expand our customer base,” Baker concluded.Vermont Pure Holdings, Ltd. (Amex: VPS), the largest independent home and office distributor of its kind in the United States, markets water, coffee and other home and office refreshment products throughout the Northeast through its subsidiary Crystal Rock LLC. The Company bottles and distributes natural spring water under the Vermont Pure(R) brand and purified water with minerals added under the Crystal Rock(R) label. The majority of its sales are derived from a route distribution system that delivers water in 3- to 5-gallon reusable and recyclable bottles. The Company continues to set high standards in the bottled water industry through its technical innovation, commitment to the environment and by integrating its family roots into relationships with employees and customers. More information is available at http://www.crystalrock.com(link is external). VERMONT PURE HOLDINGS, LTD Results of Operations (Unaudited) Three Months Ended: January 31, January 31, 2009 2008 (000’s $) Sales $15,552 $16,385 Income from operations $833 $1,546 Net Income $95 $512 Basic net earnings per share $0.00 $0.02 Diluted net earnings per share $0.00 $0.02 Basic Wgt. Avg. Shares Out. (000’s) 21,503 21,614 Diluted Wgt. Avg. Shares Out. (000’s) 21,503 21,614Note: This press release contains forward looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward looking statements, including integration of acquisitions, ability to sustain and manage growth, changing market conditions, and other risks detailed in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.WATERTOWN, Conn., March 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ –SOURCE Vermont Pure Holdings, Ltd.
Early estimates indicate that Vermont based Apple retailer, Small Dog Electronics recycled 150 tons of e-waste at their third annual Earth Day E-Waste Event this year, and it didn’t cost the public a dime.Cars filled with old TVs, computers and electronic peripherals lined up as early as 8:00 am to recycle their electronics for free. In the end, 100 volunteers unloaded 1,700 cars. All of the electronics collected will be processed in the United States by WeRecycle! in one of their two processing plants in Connecticut and New York. The Earth Day E-Waste Event is part of the company’s mission of social and environmental responsibility. “We have to find the best way to recycle what we sell and educate our customers about it. Although manufacturing processes are improving, computers, monitors and other equipment have some hazardous contents like cadmium, mercury and chromium that can leach into the soil and contaminate groundwater,” says Don Mayer, CEO and founder of Small Dog Electronics.Small Dog recycles e-waste safely and responsibly all year-round for about 25 cents per pound, a standard fee. This year the event cost Small Dog Electronics and their partners $60,000. When most companies are scaling back on community events, the leadership and social responsibility that Small Dog, SymQuest, Ben & Jerry’s, Green Mountain Coffee… and many others has shown through financial support of this event is remarkable. “Small Dog Electronics measures its success by people, PLANET and profit. This is the planet part in action and in this difficult economy when people are cutting back on everything, it is wonderful that like minded companies can join together to make a real difference. I want to thank all of our partners for joining with Small Dog Electronics is subsidizing this annual event,” said Mayer.According to news reports, in 2008 Small Dog’s event resulted in more recycling than similar events held nationwide. For more information about the event, and to learn more about e-waste, and what makes it so detrimental to the environment, visit www.smalldog.com/ewaste(link is external) .Small Dog Electronics, New England’s top Apple Specialist and reseller and the third largest Apple specialist in the US, was founded 1995 by the father and son team of Don and Hapy Mayer. Small Dog is a socially and environmentally responsible company and employer. For more information about Small Dog Electronics, and its product line of Apple computers, peripherals, iPods, software, and printers, visit their website at www.smalldog.com(link is external). Source: Small Dog
Four Vermont projects will receive grants or loans from the USDA to help reduce energy consumption. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the department is making available $13.04 million in loans and grants for 233 renewable energy projects in 38 states under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Under President Obama s leadership, USDA is working to increase the availability of renewable energy, which not only will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but also strengthen our economy nationwide, Vilsack said. The funding announced today will help expand America s renewable energy industry, which is a key part of the nation s long-term strategy for continued economic prosperity and energy independence.The loan guarantees and grants can be used for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements, feasibility studies and energy audits. These funds are not part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. For more information on the REAP program, which is authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill, please visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/farmbill/index.html(link is external). This is the second round of selections of the nationally competitive applications submitted for funding this fiscal year, offered Rhonda Shippee, Acting State Director for USDA Rural Development VT/NH. We expect additional announcements over the next few weeks as we come to our fiscal year close onSeptember 30. Applications for fiscal year 2010 REAP funding can be submitted after October 1, 2009.The projects selected vary from applicant to applicant. REAP funds can be used to fund projects like those selected in this round and described as follows:In Alexandria, NH, Lanciano Wind Energy, LLC will use their $50,000 grant to test the feasibility of a large wind power project in the towns of Danbury and Alexandria, NH. Should the project be determined feasible, NH energy consumers will have the likely option of at least 10-20 megawatts as an alternative energy source. said Luke Lanciano. Such a project will support the State of New Hampshire s resolution which seeks to have 25% renewable energy by 2025 and a renewable portfolio standard that obligates public utilities to work towards 20% renewable power in the electricity pool.Gale C. Howland Revocable Trust, owners of Roberts Laundromat and Carwash in Belmont, NH, will use their $5,985 energy efficiency improvements grant to install an energy efficient hot water system for their operation. They expect to realize a cost savings of over $3,600 annually.Vermont maple producers in Orange, Chittenden, and Franklin counties will use their REAP grants to install reverse osmosis equipment for their maple production operations. These businesses combined reduced energy consumption of 66 cords of wood and over 350 gallons of oil will result in an estimated $17,600 savings. The recipients are:RecipientTownAmountWayne FifieldThetford Center, VT$4,710Rodney and Glenda ParadeeSwanton, VT$3,316David Steinhour and Norman Fecteau & Steinhour SugaringRichford, VT$7,928Joseph JordanEssex Junction, VT$3,459Funding of each recipient is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the grant or loan agreement.USDA Rural Development s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting www.rurdev.usda.gov/vt(link is external) or calling (802)828-6034.
Vermont Senators Patrick Leahy (D) and Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) reported Wednesday that Vermont local governments are set to receive $896,432 for Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) – the federal payments to local governments that help compensate communities for nontaxable federal lands within their boundaries. Fifty-six towns and counties in Vermont will receive payments, ranging from $214 to $70,513. PILT payments nationally declined this year, but Vermont will see a 2 percent rise over last year and a four percent increase from two years ago. PILT payments can be used by communities in their budgets for things such as firefighting and emergency response or school or road improvements. Leahy, Sanders and Welch have long supported the compensatory payments to Vermont communities. Leahy is a senior member of the Subcommittee on the Interior and the Environment, which has jurisdiction over funding for the Interior Department and the PILT Program.The PILT formula is based on the number of acres of federal entitlement land within each county or jurisdiction and the population within that area. The lands include the Green Mountain National Forest and the National Park System, lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and land affected by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation water resource development projects, and others.The top recipients in Vermont are listed below:County Payment Total AcresCHITTENDEN TOWN $70,513 29,409WOODFORD TOWN $60,063 25,051RIPTON TOWN $53,230 22,201SUNDERLAND TOWN $52,471 21,884HANCOCK TOWN $46,244 19,287PERU TOWN $41,206 17,186WINHALL TOWN $37,912 15,812GRANVILLE TOWN $35,461 14,790BENNINGTON COUNTY $35,403 26,630MOUNT TABOR TOWN $31,922 25,117ROCHESTER TOWN $30,197 12,594TOTAL $896,432 410,454Source: Vermont congressional delegation. WASHINGTON (WEDNESDAY, June 30, 2010) –
There were 886 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, an increase of 184 from the week before, as claims increased following a steady decline to a level close to last year at this time. Altogether 12,365 new and continuing claims were filed, a decrease of 120 from a week ago and 2,270 fewer than a year earlier. The Department also processed 2,109 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 21 fewer than a week ago. In addition, there were 953 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program, which is an increase of 2,692 from the week before. The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external). Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external)
There were 1,194 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, an increase of 358 from the week before. Altogether 12,022 new and continuing claims were filed, an increase of 180 from a week ago and 2,450 fewer than a year earlier. The Department also processed 1,950 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 76 fewer than a week ago. In addition, there were 891 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program, which is a decrease of 7 from the week before. The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external). Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external) Vermont’s unemployment rate also continued to fall. The February rate was 5.6 percent, down one-tenth from January and down 1.1 points from February 2010. CLICK HERE FOR STORY
Governor Peter Shumlin today announced he will appoint Burlington attorney Thomas G Walsh to the Environmental Division of the Superior Court. Walsh, who has practiced environmental law for 18 years, will replace retiring Judge Merideth Wright. ‘It is a great honor to be appointed by Governor Shumlin as an environmental judge,’ Walsh said. ‘The Environmental Division is important to our State’s natural resources and our economy. I look forward to serving our State and applying my energy and experience to ensure that the Environmental Division is regarded with integrity and fairness.” ‘Tom will bring strong experience in all facets of environmental practice and a common sense approach to the bench,’ Shumlin said. ‘I’m sure that he and Judge Durkin will ensure decisions are issued in a timely manner and are consistent with the law.’ Walsh is a founder and managing partner in Walsh & Monaghan LLP, a full service law firm focusing on land use and environmental law. Prior to law school, he practiced environmental engineering for four years with a national environmental consulting firm. He received his BS in Agricultural Engineering from Cornell University in 1986, and his Juris Doctor and Masters in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School in 1993. Walsh served as Associate General Counsel for the Environmental Board from 1999 to 2005. He chairs the Board of Directors of the Intervale Center. The Environmental Division has statewide jurisdiction to hear appeals from state land use permit decisions (Act 250), state environmental permits and other decisions of the Agency of Natural Resources, and from municipal land use zoning and planning decisions. Shumlin noted the strong pool of applicants for the seat. Also serving in the Environmental Division is the Honorable Thomas Durkin.Governor’s office: 11.1.11