State of the art Health Club now open in Essex Junction

first_imgHammer Fit is Vermonts newest health and fitness center. The club offers Hammer Strength training equipment. The equipment is designed for joint comfort and natural planes of motion. The facility houses plenty of treadmills, cross trainers, bikes and elliptical trainers. Operations Director Jason Lefebvre states, The equipment is perfect for people of all fitness levels and it is ideal for people rehabilitating injuries.Hammer Fit brings a fresh attitude towards health and fitness. Personal Trainers set up all new members with a workout routine and goal assessment. There is also a Yolates studio located in the Essex Shoppes Complex. Yolates offers yoga, pilates, and a number of core classes.Hammer Fit opened on February 9th of 2005. The club now has close to 300 members. Sales Director Casey Garvey said, Members appreciate our hands on approach to fitness. We are committed to helping all of our members reach their fitness goals. Our personal trainers take a proactive approach to helping our members. I want every person that comes here to be educated to train efficiently and effectively.A Hammer Fit membership is unique because members are given a great deal of rewards. Members receive discounts at the Essex Shoppes and Cinema, The Inn at Essex and the New England Culinary Institute. The club offers affordable memberships, couple discounts, student rates, monthly draft memberships, senior discounts, corporate specials and much more. The club is located in the Essex Shoppes and Cinema Complex off route 15 in Essex Junction.For more information contact Casey Garvey.Hammer Fit21 Essex Way Suite 115Essex Junction, VT 05452(802) 878-0444last_img read more

National Life plugs into the sun

first_imgNational Life plugs into the sunFinancial Services Company Turns On Largest Solar Project in VermontMontpelier, Vermont (November 19, 2008) _ Electricity from the largest solar electric installation in Vermont – an array of 418 solar panels – is now helping to power National Life Group’s Montpelier headquarters.As the sun peeked out from the clouds, National Life CEO Thomas H. MacLeay and Gov. Jim Douglas joined together today in a rooftop ceremony to commission the new system and to praise the public-private financial partnership that made the project possible.A $200,000 state grant helped finance the $500,000 73 kW photovoltaic (PV) system.”This project is exactly what we envisioned when we created the Clean Energy Development Fund,” said the Governor. “We are supporting a diversified portfolio of clean energy technologies and leveraging private investments.”MacLeay said the combination of the state grant, federal and state tax credits and a solar incentive program from Green Mountain Power Co., made the project feasible.”This project makes economic sense,” said MacLeay. “More importantly, it makes environmental sense.””Emissions from electricity generation using fossil fuels are considered the leading contributor to global warming,” he said. “Solar has zero emissions.”National Life is eligible for a new incentive from Green Mountain Power. The SolarGMP program, which works with existing “net metering” programs, pays customers for all solar energy generated at a rate of 6 cents per kilowatthour above and beyond any net metering payments.”We are thrilled to support National Life’s very significant addition of solar in Vermont,” said Mary Powell, president and chief executive officer of Green Mountain Power. “We are convinced that by supporting major installations like this one at National Life, solar will become an important part of Vermonts energy future.”Ms. Powell also delivered a $40,000 check to MacLeay as part of a Green Mountain Power grant program.Leigh Seddon, vice president of engineering for Solar Works Inc., which installed the system, said, “National Life’s commitment to the environment is evident and we look forward to continuing our relationship with this project and with the planned installation of an upcoming solar thermal project.”That project, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, calls for 20 thermal collectors – 800 square feet of collector area – to be set on the roof. Projections are those collectors will be able to supply more than half of the hot water for National Life.”Vermont has tremendous sunshine,” said Seddon. “We have 30 percent more annual solar radiation here than in Germany, which is No. 1 in the world for installed solar. There is tremendous solar potential in this state.”The solar initiative is one of more than two dozen energy-related projects National Life has undertaken in the six years MacLeay has been CEO. Under his stewardship National Life Group has taken a leadership role pioneering a variety of environmental initiatives.That campaign will reach an impressive milestone at the end of this year when National Life hopes to win coveted LEED certification for its Montpelier headquarters. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Experts say LEED certification for National Life’s headquarters would be a first for a 50-year-old facility anywhere in the country. About National Life GroupNational Life Group (NLGroup) is a diversified family of financial service companies that has successfully forged a strong identity as a product innovator. Companies in the group offer a comprehensive portfolio of life insurance, annuity and investment* products to help individuals, families and businesses pursue their financial goals.NLGroup, a Fortune 1000 company, serves more than 700,000 customers. With 2007 combined revenue of $1.4 billion and net income of $109 million, NLGroup employs roughly 900 employees, with most located at its home office in Montpelier, Vt. Group companies also maintain offices in Dallas, New York, San Francisco, Boston and Philadelphia.The Group is made up of its flagship company, National Life Insurance Company, chartered in Montpelier, Vermont in 1848; Life Insurance Company of the Southwest, Dallas, Texas, and Sentinel Investments, Equity Services, Inc. and National Retirement Plan Advisors Inc., all based in Montpelier and are all affiliates. National Life Insurance Co. is licensed to do business in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Life Insurance Company of the Southwest is licensed to do business in 48 states and the District of Columbia. It is not licensed in New York. Each company is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations. Sentinel Investments is a unifying brand name for Sentinel Financial Services Co., Sentinel Asset Management, Inc., and Sentinel Administrative Services, Inc.” Securities are offered through Registered Representatives of Equity Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC, One National Life Drive, Montpelier, Vermont 50604 (802) 229-3900. National Life Group is a trade name of National Life Insurance Co., Montpelier, Vt., and its affiliates.About Solar Works, Inc.Founded in 1980, Solar Works is a full service renewable energy systems integrator and project developer providing solar electric (photovoltaic) and solar thermal solutions for commercial, education and institutional clients. Solar Works has industry leading expertise in engineering, design, project management, performance analysis, project financing and renewable energy credit programs. Solar Works breadth of experience means cost-effective clean energy projects delivered on-time and on-budget for their clients. Solar Works is a SunPower Premier Dealer with direct buying relationships with Schott Solar, Schuco and Suntech. For more information, please visit is external)About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power ( is external)) is an electric utility owned by Northern New England Energy Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gaz Métro, a leading Québec energy company with a long history of investment in Vermont. Green Mountain Power transmits, distributes and sells electricity and utility construction services in the State of Vermont in a service territory with approximately one quarter of Vermonts population. It serves approximately 94,000 customers.last_img read more

Seven Vermont citizens and organizations to be honored with Democracy Awards

first_imgVermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz will be presenting the 2009 Democracy Awards to seven Vermont citizens and organizations at the Vermont Statehouse on Thursday, February 12, at 3:30 pm.“These awards honor people who have promoted the tenets of democracy in Vermont.  Each of this year’s recipients is a shining example of leadership in the democratic process,” says Markowitz.The National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award will be presented to Kristie Bush, teacher at Montpelier’s Union Elementary School; Don Collins, former Franklin County state senator and educator; and WPTZ Television Newschannel 5.Receiving the Vermont Secretary of State’s Enduring Democracy Award are Dennis Bonanza, a teacher at the Community High School of Vermont; Bill Hoar, Barnet Town Clerk and Treasurer; Toni Little, Resident Advisor at Johnson State College; and Ashley Wheeler, Miss Vermont 2008. The Medallion Award was established by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) in 2001 to honor individuals, groups, or organizations with a record of promoting the goals of NASS in one or more of the following areas:  improving elections, with special emphasis on voter education and increasing voter participation; civic education, including the teaching, promotion, and study of this subject; and service to state government–specifically, as it relates to improving democracy in the state. The Vermont Secretary of State Enduring Democracy Award honors individuals and organizations that have shown an outstanding commitment to promoting democracy in the Vermont. Please visit our website at is external) for more information.last_img read more

Dorset’s Adams opens wood pellet plant

first_imgKatie Adams, who founded Cat Country Radio sixteen years ago, is now creating another Rutland based enterprise. Adams has taken a closed wood pallet mill in Clarendon, and, as she did with country music, is filling a void in the market. She s starting the first wood pellet plant in Vermont.Vermont Wood Pellet Co. LLC, formed with partner Chris Brooks, announces the opening of their manufacturing plant, giving Rutland a good-news story in tough-news times. The Vermont Wood Pellet Company mill has received all permits. Brooks, with five generations of lumber industry behind him, has completed construction of a test mill, with the full scale-operating mill nearing completion. The mill staff is testing and producing premium pellets from clean, high btu wood blend, which produces less than one percent ash residue.    We think users will be very happy with the results of heating with Vermont Wood Pellet Company pellets”.  After a year of research, buying the right equipment and securing the necessary permits, the first energy efficient pellets were test-produced on Saturday.  Carrara Mechanical Systems of Castleton designed and engineered the plant, which will initially produce 10,000 tons of wood pellets a year. A small-scale plant built by design, to harvest and heat within a 35-mile radius of Rutland. All logs are harvested from local Vermont woodlots, are processed locally and the pellets are distributed for sale locally.  Now Vermonters can truly Heat Local , states Adams.Vermont Wood Pellet Company s pellets are distributed by Bourdeau Bros.Source: Vermont Wood Pelletlast_img read more

Legislative session races to finish on back of $4.5 billion budget bill

first_imgThe Vermont House is expected to take up the $4.5 billion state budget either today or tomorrow, with a possible legislative adjournment tomorrow. However, Governor Douglas is expected to veto the budget bill if it comes to him in its current form, which is also expected. Even though the bill cuts income taxes across the board ($22 million total reduction), the governor has stated that he does not support the increase in overall spending and that total taxes are increasing $26 million, most of which is being bourn by the statewide property tax. Taxes are also being raised on capital gains, tobacco products and being initiated on liquor. If the governor vetoes the budget bill, the Legislature would probably reconvene in June. Legislators leaders maintain that the economic recession raises the need for state services, on the one hand, while on the other, state spending provides economic stimulus.Meanwhile, the $649 million capital and transportation bills have received wide support in the Legislature and administration. This spending is mostly targeted to road and bridge repair. Vermont’s transportation infrastructure is generally recognized as being in disrepair. Along with federal stimulus funds, which will pay for most of the road and bridge work, Vermont will be able to upgrade the infrastructure and increase related employment.The non-transportation part of the money – the capital bill – calls for $109 million, of which $38.8 million will come from federal stimulus funds and $70 million from state bonding. The biggest items on this list are $10.3 million for school construction projects, $8.6 million for state park and community project grants, $8 million for a new state office building in Bennington, and $6.8 million for the new state archives.Another bill the governor is likely to veto is the renewable energy bill. Among other objections by the Douglas administration, the bill sets rates for renewable energy projects, which typically is the responsibility of the Public Service Board. Department of Public Service Commissioner David O’Brien told VBM that the bill will raise rates to consumers. He said the green energy industry is building itself up on its own at a lower cost than the bill would demand.The price guarantees for producers would be 20 cents per kilowatt hour for wind generation, 30 cents per kwh for solar and 12 cents per kwh for methane (Cow Power, landfill generation). The average consumer price is about 12.5 cents per kwh now.O’Brien said the entire bill is poorly conceived as is not within the bounds of good public policy. Nor, as he sees it, is it good for economic development because it will make the price of power more expensive. He said if the maximum of 50 megawatts were reached, it would add about $9 million in consumer costs.”I don’t think it’s fair to consumers, especially middle income and lower income consumers,” O’Brien said. The Department of Public Service represents consumers in rate cases. He said the governor has not stated whether or not he will veto the bill as written.Other Highlights:An Act Relating to the State’s Transportation Program (H.438)Creates the framework for a state-bonding programLevies $9.2 million in motor vehicle feesCreates a two percent tax on gas at the retail levelCreates a three-cent tax on diesel fuelAn Act Making Appropriations for the Support of Government (H.441 & H.442)Increases tax on cigarettes and other tobacco productsPlaces a six percent sales tax on liquor sold at VT liquor outletsProvides for a tax amnesty programStudies the creation of a State Department of Revenue and the imposition of service-based taxesLowers the exemption threshold for the estate tax to $2 millionAn Act Relating to Capital Construction and Bonding (H.4 45) Provides funding for repairs at state welcome centers and historic state buildingsAppropriates money for the use of the Vermont Telecom Authority to leverage additional money for the state’s telecommunication and broadband servicesAuthorizes the head of any state agency to apply for funds made available through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.Source of Highlights: Vermont Chamber of Commerce.last_img read more

Governor Douglas appoints Chad Schmidt Bennington County Sheriff

first_imgSource: Governor’s Office. 9.14.2009 Governor Douglas today announced the appointment of Chad Schmidt as Bennington County Sheriff.  Schmidt replaces Gary Forrest who retired after 24 years as Sheriff. “I want to extend my congratulations to Chad,” said Governor Jim Douglas.  “I believe he has the experience and skill to keep our communities safe.”Schmidt has 14 years experience in the Bennington Country Sheriff’s Department serving most recently as Deputy Sheriff.  Schmidt is a graduate of Southern Vermont College where he received a degree in criminal justice as well as the Vermont Police Academy in Pittsford, VT.  He also received a certificate of completion in courses focused on leadership and administrative development at the FBI National Academy in Virginia.Schmidt is an active member of the greater Bennington community serving as a member of the Moose Lodge, Elk Lodge, a former member of the Bennington Rural Fire Department and a volunteer at the AARP Drivers Safety Program.  Schmidt is married with two children.  They reside in Pownal.last_img read more

CVPS meets all 2009 service quality standards

first_imgCentral Vermont Public Service met all of its service quality standards in 2009, the sixth straight year it achieved that goal.  “We believe that’s the best record in Vermont,” said Joe Kraus, senior vice president for engineering, operations and customer service.CVPS has 17 service quality measures. CVPS measures and reports to state regulators on everything from how quickly we answer calls to bill accuracy, customer service, outage numbers and duration, and safety.  All Vermont utilities have some standards and are required to file annual performance reports with state regulators.In the Customer Information Center, CVPS employees answered 87.8 percent of calls within 20 seconds, beating the standard of 75 percent.  Not one call was blocked due to system overload or other issues.  Other key measures:92 percent of customers said they were satisfied following customer-initiated contact, up 1 percent from the previous year.  The majority of such contacts are due to overdue bills.Just 0.0886 percent of bills were inaccurate.CVPS reported an average of 1.9 outages per customer, lasting 2.3 hours, excluding one major storm.  That beat standards of 2.5 outages per customer lasting an average of 3.5 hours.  CVPS has among the most rugged, rural service territories in the country.Both reliability standards improved.  In 2008, the average customer lost service 2.4 times for an average duration of 2.8 hours, excluding major storms.“We continue to make significant investments in our system to improve service quality and reliability,” Kraus said.Source: CVPS. 2.3.2010last_img read more

Ben & Jerry’s thirty-second annual free cone day today, March 23rd!

first_imgSource: BURLINGTON, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–3.23.2010 Participating Scoop Shops across the country will open their doors from noon 8 pm on Tuesday, March 23rd to serve up the latest of the company s newest super-premium quality and values-led flavors. It s an annual tradition started by Ben & Jerry as a way to give back to the communities that support their local scoop shops.The 2010 scoop shop line-up includes some great new flavors including more made with Fair Trade Certified ¢ ingredients.Milk & Cookies This new flavor is leading the pack using Fair Trade ingredients. Vanilla Ice Cream with a Chocolate Cookie Swirl, Chocolate Chip & Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Pieces.Chocowlate Chip Fair Trade Certified Vanilla Ice Cream with Fudge Cows. Available in Scoop Shops only.Peanut Brittle Peanut Brittle Ice Cream with Peanut Brittle Pieces and a Caramel Swirl.Maple Blondie Vermont Medalist, Hannah Teter, goes for the gold again with her flavor: Maple Ice Cream with Blonde Brownie Chunks and a Maple Caramel Swirl.With the new Milk and Cookies flavor and Chocowlate Chip, Ben & Jerry s is furthering its efforts to use Fair Trade Certified ingredients in all of its products globally by 2013. Product quality and social benefit are two pillars of our three-part Mission Statement, said Social Mission Director Rob Michalak.Ben & Jerry s Fair Trade commitment means that every ingredient that can be sourced Fair Trade Certified ¢, now or in the future, is Fair Trade Certified ¢. Globally, this involves converting up to 121 different chunks and swirls.In thinking globally yet acting locally, many of the community-based Scoop Shops partner with non-profits to celebrate Free Cone Day, and share the spotlight, as they kick-off the ice cream season.Now that you ve got the scoop, you know where you can get the scoop! See you March 23rd! Log on to is external) to determine the closest participating Scoop Shop near you.About Ben & Jerry sBen & Jerry s produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and ice cream novelties, using high-quality ingredients including milk and cream from family farmers who do not treat their cows with the synthetic hormone rBGH. The company states its position on rBGH on its labels. Ben and Jerry s products are distributed nationwide and in selected foreign countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry s Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry s, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. The goal of the social mission is to integrate a concern for the community into as many day to day business operations as possible while maintaining the product and economic missions. The move to Fair Trade ingredients is driven by that commitment. For more visit is external).last_img read more

Fair Haven, Richford, Barre receive public safety grants

first_imgVermont Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch announced Wednesday that three Vermont towns will receive grants for the improvement of public safety services through the purchase of equipment and upgrades.  This funding comes from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.This Recovery Act funding is provided through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities program, which helps finance essential community facilities for public use in rural areas.  The funding for Vermont, is part of $33 million in funding assistance USDA Rural Development is providing to 74 community facility public safety projects in 26 states across the country.  Through this program, USDA ensures communities can provide essential public safety infrastructure to rural families.Below is a list of the Vermont recipients:· Town of Fair Haven: $157,500 loan and $44,600 grant. The funding will be used to purchase a fire truck.· Town of Richford: $86,900 grant. The funding will be used to purchase an ambulance.· Barre City: $37,400 grant. The funding will be used to refurbish an ambulance and purchase new defibrillator equipment.Source: Vermont Congressional delegation. WASHINGTON (May 26, 2010) –# # # # #last_img read more

UVM gets $400,000 grant to digitize historic newspapers

first_imgThe University of Vermont of  Vermont Libraries has been awarded funding from the National  Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in the amount $391,552 to support the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project.The UVM Libraries will work collaboratively with partners in the Vermont Department of Libraries, the Ilsley Public Library of Middlebury, and the Vermont Historical Society to select, digitize, and make available up to 100,000 pages of Vermont newspapers, published between 1836 and 1922, from the collections of the Vermont Department of Libraries and the University of Vermont. The digitized newspapers will be made freely available to the public via the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America database3.The project builds upon work of the NEH-funded Vermont Newspaper Project which, from 1997 to 2001, identified, cataloged and microfilmed close to 1,000 historical Vermont newspaper titles in over 3,000 libraries, historical societies, and other repositories throughout the state.By 1830, many towns in Vermont had their own local newspapers. Examples include Brandon’s Vermont Telegraph, a reform newspaper that supported women’s rights, the abolishment of capital punishment, temperance, vegetarianism, and anti-slavery and Woodstock’s Working Man’s Gazette, a voice for farmers, mechanics, and artisans in the 1830s.The Vermont Digital Newspaper Project will provide a window into Vermont’s participation in key moments in American history, such as abolition of slavery, the Civil War, westward expansion, the influenza pandemic, and the First World War.Project partners talk about the immeasurable impact digital access to these materials will provide for researchers.Project director Birdie MacLennan, of the UVM Libraries says, “This will go a long way in dissolving information barriers by offering an important link to Vermont history, for scholars, researchers, historians, genealogists and the general public. It’s a dream come true for users, who have been asking us for years when Vermont newspaper content will be made available online. We are pleased to now be able to say:  Coming soon, to a computer near you!””We’re really thrilled to be partnering with UVM and others,” says State Librarian Martha Reid. “The Vermont Newspaper collection is one of the state library’s most widely used. It will wonderful to have it freely available to the world. Particularly to Vermonters who are doing local history or family research, this will be an invaluable resource.”Chris Kirby, of the Ilsley Public Library says, “We have lots of patrons who come in doing genealogical research and this will greatly enhance their abilities. They’ll be able to search ancestors by last name and call up any stories about them.”Vermont Historical Society Librarian Paul Carnahan says, “It will have a tremendous impact on local history research in Vermont. A lot of research boils down to information found in newspapers and until now there has been no easy way to get at it except sitting in a dark room with microfilm and winding your way through reels one at a time. It will be like day and night.”Source: UVM. 7.15.2010                                                                                              ###last_img read more