Scheuermann: How are we doing? Final three weeks

first_imgby Representative Heidi E Scheuermann (R-Stowe) With just a few weeks remaining until the 2015-2016 Legislative Biennium concludes, various items are still being developed in both the House and Senate. Unfortunately, none of the items being considered will put us back on a path of fiscal responsibility and real economic growth. The Fiscal Year 2017 budget that passed the House raises General Fund spending by 4% this year, meaning a Comparable Annual Growth Rate over the last five years of 4.6%. As most of us clearly understand, this continues to be well above both the rate of inflation and the underlying economic growth in Vermont.In fact, the total budget – excluding federal funds and education spending – is $2.45 billion in FY 2017.(link is external) This is an increase of over $575 million since FY 2011.  And, how do we pay for this spending?  By instituting additional and higher taxes and fees on Vermont families and businesses over the last six years.  The tax and fee increases being proposed this year total $48 million, making a two-year total increase of $96.7 million.(link is external)While the Senate is still considering these various pieces of legislation, I do not expect numbers to change dramatically before everything is finalized.For ten years, I have fought for fiscal responsibility and a smart, comprehensive strategy for economic growth. Right now, however, as I look back on this last year, this biennium, and frankly, the last several years, I can’t help but think of missed opportunities, failed leadership and political agendas that put politics ahead of smart, long term public policy.While we have been able to put together some modest proposals for economic growth over the last several years, they have been overshadowed by the increased cost to Vermonters in taxes, fees, energy, and the already burdensome regulatory process; in addition to the Vermont Health Connect fiasco, and the countless reasons why so many Vermonters just don’t trust our government anymore.And this year, as many of us continue to try to make some additional progress on the economic development front, Governor Shumlin is hanging his leadership hat on the divestiture of our pension funds (on which our state’s retirees rely so much) from coal and Exxon-Mobil assets, and the legalization of marijuana. Regardless of how you feel about these particular issues, they are not what Vermonters have been pleading with us to do.  Instead, Vermonters have been asking us to reform state government in order to bring sustainability back; to reform our state’s education funding system to ensure property tax relief; and to put into place policies that will encourage private sector job growth.Rest assured, I will continue to fight for sound public policy through the final weeks of this session, but I am also looking ahead at what we might be able to accomplish in the next biennium. There are many changes coming to Montpelier next year.  With open seats for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, and both the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tem of the Senate leaving their posts as well, we can start to right this ship of state, if we have people in there who share our desire to do so.To be clear, we can make a difference!  We simply need to get involved!Toward that end, I am hopeful that Vermonters who share my desire, and the desire of so many others, to put us on a path to fiscal responsibility and economic prosperity, consider joining me either by running for office themselves, or by getting involved.If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact me.(link sends e-mail)INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR CONTINUES TO LANGUISHThe Independent Contractor bill, which passed the committee of jurisdiction unanimously on March 10th, continues to languish after the Speaker of the House sent the bill back to our committee for further work.To be clear, we are absolutely committed to working on some of the points of the legislation that big labor (labor unions) finds objectionable, but we have yet to come to consensus on the major sticking points.The concern that I have now is that we have simply lost too much time – that even if we pass a bill in the House, there won’t be enough time for the Senate to consider and approve it.And, if we are simply going to put something forward that “will be important for the next Legislature,” as the Speaker indicates in this article, I would prefer it to be the strongest possible message we can send, not an already compromised position.As I have said many times in the past, I have worked diligently for years, with colleagues from across the political spectrum, to do something that would ensure the many protections for workers historically in place are maintained, while ensuring that we position our state as a place in which the new, independent and collaborative workforce is encouraged to grow and invest.I believed strongly that H 867 did just that.  Unfortunately, big labor opposed it, and found an ear that was receptive.Given the lateness of the session, I expect we will know whether we come to some consensus on this bill by the middle of this week.JAY PEAK EB-5 FRAUDThe state’s business and political establishment was rocked last week by federal and state allegations of massive fraud by Northeast Kingdom EB-5 Project developers Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros. The lawsuits allege $200 million in EB-5 investor funds being “misused, ” and an additional $50 million being “misappropriated” by Mr. Quiros for personal use.Since the Jay Peak, Burke and Newport projects began, they have been seen by many as a beacon for economic and job growth in the Northeast Kingdom.  And, Mr. Stenger, specifically, became the poster child of successful EB-5 projects – lauded by the political establishment in both Montpelier and Washington.That has all come to a halt now, and with it, at least two of the projects that have yet to get off the ground – the ANC Bio facility, and the downtown Newport Renaissance Block.The good news is that some very important infrastructure is in place for the Kingdom to continue building upon for its economic vitality. From the Jay Peak Expansion to Q Burke, I am confident the people of the Northeast Kingdom will come together to ensure its success.In general, though, this is a truly sad development for the people of the Kingdom, and for all of Vermont.  It is absolutely clear that proper oversight of, and real accountability for, these projects was not in place for a very long time.  Kudos to Susan Donegan and the team at the Department of Financial Regulation for its diligence in uncovering all of this after the oversight was given to them last year.VERMONT TECHNOLOGY ALLIANCE (vtTA) REPORT RELEASEDI was really pleased to attend last week’s unveiling of the Vermont Technology Alliance Report – “Vermont’s Tech Employment: The Hidden Driver of our Economic Growth.”I have long believed that our technology sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy, and one of the sectors in which we have great opportunity. This report not only substantiates that assumption, but provides us great insight into the total economic impact of the sector.The following from the vtTA Press Release provides some detail about the specific findings:Highlights from the Vermont Technology Alliance Report include:Tech jobs make up 25% of all Vermont employment, representing 77,249 jobs. Vermont’s tech workers earn 63% more compared to the Vermont average wage.  A Vermont tech job pays and average annual wage of $72,732, while the average annual Vermont wage is $44,540.  This premium generates an additional $280 million for Vermont’s economy. Tech jobs generate an estimated $5.6 billion in wages, representing 40% of all Vermont wages.center_img Tech jobs are growing faster than Vermont’s total employment, with growth of 8.3% over the past ten years compared to the state’s average employment growth of 1.2%.  Tech jobs are projected to grow at a 7.5% annual rate from 2014 to 2022, the fastest growing in Vermont.I am hopeful that other legislators and public policymakers read this report to get a full picture of the opportunities that are in front of us.Rep. Heidi E. Scheuermann  April 19, 2016last_img read more

BSD Superintendent Flanagan announces 100 Day Entry Plan

first_imgPlan to Focus on Equity, Engagement, and Deep LearningVermont Business Magazine On July 1, Burlington School District Superintendent Tom Flanagan launched his first day in the Burlington School District (BSD) by announcing an ambitious 100 Day Entry Plan, focused on bridging opportunity gaps in equity, empowering student engagement, and deepening community learning.“As educators, as students, and as community members, equity needs to constantly be at the forefront of our minds. Prioritizing engagement and creating opportunities for deep learning, especially in consideration of COVID-19 and this era of remote learning, are two of our top priorities as a District and at the heart of this entry plan,” said Flanagan. “As your new Superintendent, I am appreciative of the hard work already accomplished by our passionate faculty and staff and conscious of the work still to be done.”The 100 Day Entry Plan encompasses Superintendent Flanagan’s core beliefs, goals, and three main phases of implementation.Burlington School District Superintendent Tom FlanaganPhase one, completed in June, laid groundwork for Superintendent Flanagan’s transition, emphasizing relationship-building and learning.Phase two, the heart of the plan, will extend 100 days—from July 1 to October 9. Some activities include, but are not limited to, an equity and race workshop series for District and school leadership, a review of the BSD special education program, town hall meetings to engage families and the community, and the establishment of a professional development plan in collaboration with the BEA.Phase three looks to the future past October, outlining goals to analyze data collected in Phase 2 and the development of a five-year strategic plan.“Over the past four months Tom has made it a priority to meet remotely with District leaders, school administrators and students one-on-one. Although his official start date was not until July 1, Tom felt it was important to hear from many voices and to lay the groundwork for the coming school year,” said BSD School Board Chair, Clare Wool. “The Board, our District, and our greater community as a whole are motivated by Tom’s commitment—we are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work with Superintendent Flanagan!”The 100 Day Entry Plan was translated into multiple languages in written, oral and video formats to better access BSD’s many diverse families. “A key to getting started is to make sure I am reaching everyone in the community. This commitment to equity and engagement will be a common theme and is essential to developing a top quality school system together,” said Flanagan. “I can’t wait to get started.”Burlington School District (BSD) is a pre-k-12 public school system of about 4,000 students in Burlington, VT. BSD’s mission is to graduate students who: value different cultures, engage with the community, communicate effectively, think creatively, skillfully solve problems, and achieve at their highest academic, intellectual, and personal potential.Source: Burlington, VT — Burlington School District 7.1.2020 is external)last_img read more

HUUB continues partnership with six-time IRONMAN World Champion Dave Scott

first_img Related Multi-award winning triathlon outfitter HUUB Design has continued its partnership with six-time IRONMAN world champion, Dave Scott, for a further three years.The continued affiliation between HUUB and Scott will see them embark on advanced research projects and ‘bring exciting new developments to the bestselling Dave Scott apparel line, designed to ensure comfort and breathability in a faster garment’.The new line will feature training items and improved suits, which will ‘continue to set the benchmark for ultimate triathlon comfort across the three disciplines, whilst ensuring enhanced performance with improved aerodynamics’.Dean Jackson founder of HUUB Design said “Dave is a hugely influential individual in the industry and having him on board for another three years is a huge asset to our brand. He is pivotal to the line’s success, giving us invaluable intel and development ideas so we’re very excited to continue to work closely together in order to bring more innovation to the new line.”“I’m very proud to attach my name to the award-winning HUUB Dave Scott line of triathlon apparel,” said six-time IRONMAN world champion Dave Scott. “It represents our mutual commitment to producing the very best. Its innovative fit, style and function make it the preferred choice among serious triathletes worldwide. I’m honoured to work with a company like HUUB that is always raising the standards of what’s possible in technical apparel.”Coach to some of the world’s greatest triathlete’s, Dave Scott will also be supporting HUUB with training advice and guidance which can be found on the company’s website has been another successful year for HUUB Design: winning ‘Best Triathlon Wetsuit Brand’ for a third year in a row at the 220 Triathlon Awards and picking up the award for ‘Best Tri Suit Brand’; supporting several Paralympians and Olympians including the Brownlee brothers who won gold and silver at Rio 2016; and also announcing a new partnership with Swim Serpentine, one of London’s newest open water festivals.HUUB has also pioneered scientific research with its Measuring Active Drag (MAD) system, which the company cites as a key component in empirically proving performance enhancement in developed suit technology.www.huubdesign.comlast_img read more

Embers of Rockhurst-SM East rivalry restoked in late 1990s now burn bright

first_imgSophomore standout Lucas Jones and the Lancers will try to make it two victories in a row over Rockhurst Friday.Shawn Hair can’t recall exactly what had led to the decision in the early 1990s to end the annual Rockhurst-SM East series that stretched back to 1975, but when the new head basketball coach took over at SM East in 1996, he knew he wanted the Hawklets back on his schedule.[pullquote]“It’s evolved into this must-see kind of game…And I think the fact that I’m a Rockhurst grad myself added some fuel to the fire.”–Shawn Hair[/pullquote]”I think there had been a controversial call in one of those last games and there were some hard feelings,” he recalls. “But I remember thinking we ought to get that game back.”A 1982 Rockhurst graduate himself, he saw plenty of potential in restoring an annual game between the two high schools that draw largely from the same area. So Hair went to work reengaging Rockhurst’s athletics department, and by his third season, the Lancers and the Hawklets had a date on the court.Over the course of more than a decade and a half, that game had grown into something even Hair might not have been able to foresee: a rivalry so intense it packs the gym every year with exuberant fans. Fueled by a stretch of close games that featured Rockhurst star Conner Teahan (who went on to play for the University of Kansas) and the Lancers’ J.D. Christie, but the mid-2000s, both school’s fan bases were circling the game on their calendars.“It’s evolved into this must-see kind of game,” Hair said. “That stretch from 2002 to 2006 is when the rivalry really took off. And I think the fact that I’m a Rockhurst grad myself added some fuel to the fire.”The renewed series has been notable for its streaks. Rockhurst won three games in a row from 2000-01 to  2002-03. The Lancers won the next five meetings. Then the Hawklets took the following four, only to have their streak broken last year when the Lancers knocked them off at home 62-50.The 9-3 Lancers face the Hawklets in this year’s game at 7 p.m. Friday in the SM East gym. GET THERE EARLY.(Big thanks to Kevin Booker for the game history stats. You can follow him on Twitter at @BookerT3)last_img read more

Gophers keep hopes high for Big Ten

first_imgGophers keep hopes high for Big TenTwo wrestlers on No. 5 Minnesota enter the meet as No. 1 seeds. Derek WetmoreMarch 3, 2010Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintWith nearly two weeks of practice since the close of the regular season, the No. 5 Minnesota wrestling team turns to the Big Ten Championships this weekend. The tournament will be held in Ann Arbor, Mich., with the preliminary round beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday at Crisler Arena . There will be sessions throughout the day Saturday and Sunday with the championship rounds beginning Sunday afternoon. Minnesota (12-5, 7-1 Big Ten) enters the tournament with two top-ranked wrestlers and nine of their 10 wrestlers ranked in their respective weight class in the Big Ten. For senior Jayson Ness (133 pounds), this will be the second No. 1 seed of his career heading into the conference tournament as he enters on a 25-match win streak, including a perfect 23-0 this season. His freshman season he earned his first No. 1 ranking at 125 and became the Big Ten champion. Last season was NessâÄô debut at 133 where he finished the Big Ten tournament with a fourth place finish. Ness and his teammates have high expectations for the weekendâÄôs tournament. âÄú[My goal is] definitely a Big Ten championship and [to become] national champ,âÄù Ness said. While the focus at practice over the last two weeks has shifted to individual agendas, the wrestlers have not lost the team mentality. âÄúThe best thing you can do for the team is place at the Big Ten tournament,âÄù Ness said. Senior Dustin Schlatter (157) also claims a top seed as he rides a 14-match win streak. He is 6-0 after making a midseason switch from 165 to 157 and enters the tournament with the No. 1 seed for the third time in his career. Schlatter already has two Big Ten titles to his name, and if he can secure the Big Ten title this year, Schlatter would only be the seventh Minnesota wrestler in history to win at least three Big Ten titles. Junior Mike Thorn (141) is the next highest ranked wrestler at No. 2 in his weight class. Zach Sanders (125) and Scott Glasser (174) follow closely behind at No. 3. Rounding out the Gophers ranked wrestlers are No. 4 Ben Berhow (heavyweight), No. 5 Sonny Yohn (197) and both Cody Yohn (165) and Mario Mason (149) at No. 7 in their respective weight classes. Kaleb Young (184) will also be competing for the Gophers. Of these wrestlers, Thorn, Glasser and Sanders have all seen Big Ten tournament action before, while the rest of the wrestlers will be getting their first taste this weekend. Thorn and Sanders finished in fifth place last year in their respective weight classes. Ness said the team will not look ahead to the national tournament, but is hoping for a strong showing at the Big Ten. The more success a team has in conference tournaments, the more intimidating they can be if they advance to the national stage. âÄúSending a message and wrestling hard each match will help you in [the] next match,âÄù Ness said. âÄúIf you beat a guy up âĦ guys will look at that at the national tournament and see it. It kind of gets in their head.âÄù The Gophers have held the No. 5 national ranking for 10 straight weeks after moving up from sixth. A big part of what helped them secure the fifth spot was eight wins against top 25 ranked teams in the regular season. All five of MinnesotaâÄôs losses came at the hands of teams ranked in the top four.last_img read more

SFCC Visual Arts Gallery Presents ‘Odd Nature’

first_imgThe work is made possible through the generous support of The Ballinglen Arts Foundation and Brigham Young University. SANTA FE ― Santa Fe Community College’s Visual Arts Gallery presents the exhibition, “Odd Nature,” which opens with a reception 5-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13. The show continues through Oct. 10. SFCC’s Visual Arts Gallery on the campus of Santa Fe Community College, 6401 Richards Ave., is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, contact Gallery Director Linda Cassel at 505.428.1501, The artists have collaborated on projects for the past ten years. The group, along with select students from Brigham Young University, is participating in an artists’ residency through Aug. 25 in Iceland. According to Hean, the artists “will interact and create in response to the theme of ‘Odd Nature’ – a phrase that spontaneously and mistakenly arrived while several members of the group were sharing a studio visit and conversation. Our initial responses generally explore the relationships we have with humanity and the natural world, and the impact both seem to have upon one another.” Karina Hean, Visual Arts Chair and full-time instructor at the New Mexico School for the Arts based in Santa Fe, has curated the exhibit. She is part of a collaborative team with members from the U.S. and Europe. The team features two designers, a musician and nine visual artists representing practices that include painting, drawing, printmaking, letterpress, book arts, video, performance art and installation work. SFCC News: Participants in the exhibition include Nuala Clarke, Melinda Ostraff, Joe Ostraff, Joanna Kidney, Karina Hean, Claudine Bigelow, Melanie Mowinski, Jeffery Hampshire, Gary Barton, Sally Weaver, Michelle Rowley, Jen Watson, Mercedes Ng and Linda Reynolds.last_img read more

Peter Lyons Selected For Eisenhower Medal

first_imgPeter B. LyonsANS News:Peter B. Lyons, an American Nuclear Society (ANS) Fellow and member since 2003, is set to receive the Dwight D. Eisenhower Medal in a virtual award ceremony presentation Monday, June 8 during the 2020 ANS Virtual Annual Meeting.Lyons is being recognized for his influential leadership in nuclear technology policy over five decades and for the vital role he played in the nuclear renaissance of the early 21st century.A distinguished career: During his career, Lyons worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, as a commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and as assistant secretary for nuclear energy in the Department of Energy.In 1997, after nearly three decades at LANL, Lyons joined the staff of Sen. Pete Domenici (R., N.M.) as a scientific advisor. In that role he crafted Domenici’s “A New Nuclear Paradigm” speech, which set a foundation for the resurgence of nuclear power in the United States.Lyons also helped Domenici lay the groundwork for the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative and the Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems program. At the DOE, Lyons championed efforts to secure federal funding for small modular reactor development and for the Nuclear Energy University Program, among many other contributions to the future of nuclear energy.A high honor: The Eisenhower Medal is awarded to individuals in recognition of outstanding leadership in public policy for nuclear science and technology or outstanding contributions to the field of nuclear nonproliferation. It was established in 2014 by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy Division and was elevated to the status of a top-tier ANS award in 2018.last_img read more

Port of Hueneme Gets EDA Grant

first_imgU.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that the Port of Hueneme was one of this year’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant awardees. The award of nearly $1.5 million to the Oxnard Harbor District will be used to make improvements to the wharf and berth of this critical shipping hub.Projections for this project are that 127 jobs will be created and an additional 3,000 existing jobs will be retained.“Our nation’s ports provide critical access for imports and exports and shape America’s role in the global economy,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The EDA investment announced today will enable [the Port] to increase its capacity, leading to jobs and potential opportunities to expand trade and exports.”The Port’s Commission President Jess Herrera said: “This EDA grant recognizes the Port of Hueneme as a unique asset to our community and region. It will increase our capability to improve and maximize our port’s infrastructure which will expand our operational effectiveness, create well-paying jobs and keep us competitive in the global economy.”EDA’s investment will provide funding needed to prepare for the deepening at the port as well as make improvements to the pier and wharf, which will provide access to larger capacity vessels.[mappress mapid=”21051″]last_img read more

The club scene this weekend

first_imgGalaxy eventsThere will be an Urban Chic Friday party on Friday August 26. Kurt Busch, October Brothers and Bhavesh Chana will provide the entertainment. * On Saturday August 27, it is Showcase Saturdays and Ladies Night Out at Club Galaxy, featuring Dr Jules, Kurt Busch and DJ MD. Women enter free between 9pm and 11pm.* On Saturday September 3, the Ladies Night Out event will feature a host of DJs.West End eventsThere will be a Women’s Month celebration at the month-end corporate sundowner on Friday August 26. Mary-Jane, Abigail Bagley, Chandre Chay and bands N2, Phaze 4 and Urbane Groove will perform.* On Saturday August 27, Molly Baron and Friends will entertain, with special guests Salome and Sammy Webber. Tickets cost R100. Call Lynne on 071 260 700 to book. On Sunday August 28, Erica Vivace and her band will be on stage at the Sunset Sundays. Doors open at 6pm. Entry is free before 9pm. There will be a jazz demo by Unique Jazz Studio from 7pm to 8pm. For reservations email read more

Egypt Foreign Minister pushes for ‘definitive solution’ to Palestine conflict in…

first_imgThe two sides discussed efforts to put into action the Israel-Palestinian peace process, building on a vision put forward by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in a speech on May 17. Echoing Sisi’s words, Shoukry said Egypt was willing to provide “all possible forms of support” for lasting peace to be realized, Reuters quoted.They talked about the aim of reaching a comprehensive, just and definitive solution to the conflict through the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with its capital in East Jerusalem, said Al-Masry Al-Youm.According to Reuters, Shoukry warned against stagnation in the state of relations between Israel and Palestine, saying that the current situation is neither “stable nor sustainable”, and does not serve the best interests of either people.During the talks, the outcome of the ministerial meeting held June 3 in anticipation of the Paris international peace conference was addressed, in addition to a recently published report compiled by the Middle East peace Quartet, which upheld the notion of a definitive solution to the conflict. Shoukry also shared the results of his visit to Ramallah on July 29, during which he discussed with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Egypt’s commitment to seeing both sides push to achieve peace.Shoukry stressed that the starting point for any future negotiations has to be respect for international legitimacy, reported foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid in a statement.Both sides have to believe that engaging seriously in direct negotiations is the only means to achieve peace, he went on, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm. The key factor for success will be an unfaltering commitment to that end from both sides.According to Reuters, Netanyahu expressed willingness to consider the Arab peace plan, on the condition that alterations are made to some aspects of the it.Talks between Shoukry and Netanyahu also covered threats to stability in the region and counter-terrorism efforts. The status of Deir Sultan church in Jerusalem — affiliated to the Egyptian Coptic Church —  was also brought up. Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held extensive talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday evening, in a visit made to Tel Aviv to discuss matters of regional conflict and to restoke peace talks with Palestine.The meeting extended for more than two hours and was followed by a lengthy discussion over dinner hosted at the Israeli prime minister’s house, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported on Monday.last_img read more