Blog Archive

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FCC Issues Stay on New Fax Regulations

first_imgActing on petitions filed by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and other concerned business interest organizations,the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a stay of newregulations governing fax advertisements until January 1, 2005.The FCC granted the stay request after receiving hundreds of commentsandrequests for interpretation from associations and other businesses overthe past several weeks regarding the rulemaking, published July 25 inthe Federal Register. ASAE and others argued that the fax regulations aswritten would significantly impede the marketing strategies and basiccommunications between associations and their own members. The new ruleswere due to go into effect August 25, but will now be given moredeliberate consideration to determine congressional intent.The delay will give companies time to obtain written permission from their customers and let the FCC consider the issue further, the agency said in the order.”We believe that, in light of this new information, the public interest would best be served by allowing senders of such advertisements additional time to obtain such express permission before the new rules become effective,” the FCC said. “In addition, this extension will allow the commission the opportunity to consider any petitions for reconsideration and other filings that may be made on this issue.”The FCC rejected a request from the American Teleservices Association to delay enforcement of all the changes to its telemarketing rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, including the national no-call list.last_img read more

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Vermont Department of Corrections commissioner testifies before US Senate

first_imgThe Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Corrections testified today before a Senate panel chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).  The hearing focused on state and local efforts to help inmates successfully and effectively reintegrate into their communities upon release.The Second Chance Act was first passed in 2008, and authorized federal grants for state and local governments and organizations to help provide literacy classes, job training, education programs, and substance abuse and rehabilitation programs for inmates.  The act is also intended to promote safety and improve communities by ensuring that people will become productive members of society, rather than returning to a life of crime, when they are released from prison.  The hearing Wednesday focused on the success of the grant programs authorized by the Second Chance Act.“The Second Chance Act helps to fund collaborations between state and local corrections agencies, nonprofits, educational institutions, service providers, and families to ensure that offenders released into society have the resources and support they need to become contributing members of the community,” said Leahy.  “The Vermont Department of Corrections and many others in Vermont have strongly supported this crucial piece of legislation, which gives me confidence that it is an important step in making our country safer.”Commissioner Andrew Pallito of the Vermont Department of Corrections testified at the hearing and discussed the successes of the Vermont Department of Corrections in transitioning offenders back into the community through increased citizen participation.  The Department has maintained a strong mentoring program, matching offenders with a “Circle of Support and Accountability,” a group of individuals trained to help inmates reintegrate into the local community.“Over the past few years, my department has been engaging and educating communities throughout the state about the importance of solid release planning for all offenders, including those with very violent histories,” Pallito said at the hearing.  “What differentiates Vermont’s response to reentry from traditional approaches across the country is the philosophical foundation of restorative justice principles and community involvement.  By providing returning offenders with high measures of support and accountability, fostering meaningful, participatory community connections, and leveraging the informal social influence exercised by families and neighbors, we effectively compliment best correctional practices for a more successful reentry process for offenders.”Member statements and witness testimony from the hearing on “The Second Chance Act: Strengthening Safe and Effective Community Reentry” can be viewed online.# # # # #Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,“The Second Chance Act:  Strengthening Safe And Effective Community Reentry”July 21, 2010Today, the Committee considers the important issue of how best to ensure that when people get out of prison, they become productive members of society, rather than returning to a life of crime.  Many states are making great strides with innovative prisoner reentry programs, and we will hear about some of those efforts today.  In 2008, we passed the Second Chance Act to give Federal, state and local governments additional tools to help inmates more successfully reintegrate into their communities upon release, and we will hear about the impact this important legislation is beginning to have nationwide. The Senate recognized the value of the Second Chance Act when, after a great deal of work and compromise, the bill was passed unanimously.  Next year, the Act will need to be reauthorized, and I hope that we can again work with bipartisanship to extend these important programs.  I was pleased to work with Senator Brownback, Senator Specter, and then-Senator Biden to pass the Second Chance Act, and I look forward to hearing about the good work that has come from it.  I know Senator Cardin has a strong interest in this area.  I would also thank Senator Whitehouse both for his leadership on prison reform and reentry and for helping with today’s hearing. In the past few decades, Congress and the states have passed several new criminal laws creating more and longer sentences for more and more crimes.  As a result, this country sends more and more people to prison every year.  There are currently more than two million people in jail or prison, and more than 13 million people spend some time in jail or prison each year.  Most of these people will at some point return to our communities.  What kind of experience inmates have in prison, how we prepare them to rejoin society, and how we integrate them into the broader community when they are released are issues that profoundly affect the communities in which we live. Even before we passed the Second Chance Act, Vermont and other states were implementing innovative programs to build safer and stronger communities by ensuring that people leaving prison receive the services that help them become productive members of society and keep them from committing additional crimes.The Second Chance Act builds on this important work by funding collaborations between state and local corrections agencies, nonprofits, educational institutions, service providers, and families to ensure that offenders released into society have the resources and support they need to become contributing members of the community.  The bill requires that the programs supported by these grants demonstrate measurable positive results, including a reduction in recidivism.  It takes an important step toward the goal of reducing the nationwide recidivism rate of 66 percent and decreasing the annual nationwide $8.2 billion dollar cost of incarceration.The Vermont Department of Corrections and many others in Vermont have strongly supported this crucial piece of legislation, which gives me confidence that it is an important step in making our country safer.  We are joined today by Commissioner Andrew Pallito from the Vermont Department of Corrections, who will share with us his experience with reentry programs in Vermont.  I know that Commissioner Pallito has had great success developing reentry programs and educating the community about their importance, and I look forward to hearing more about his innovative and exciting work in Vermont.I am also pleased to welcome Le’Ann Duran from the National Reentry Resource Center, and Sol Rodriguez from OpenDoors in Rhode Island.  We will hear her thoughts on how Second Chance Act support has strengthened safe and effective community reentry in Rhode Island and nationwide.As a former prosecutor, I believe strongly in securing tough and appropriate prison sentences for people who break our laws.  But it is also important that we do everything we can to ensure that when these people get out of prison, they enter our communities as productive members of society, so we can start to reverse the dangerous cycles of recidivism and violence.  The Second Chance Act helps break this cycle.  Source: Leahy’s office. WASHINGTON (Wednesday, July 21, 2010) –# # # # #last_img read more

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Vermont Working Landscape Council to address farm and forest economy

first_imgSurveys repeatedly show Vermonters want a strong working landscape for all its scenic, cultural, economic, environmental and recreational benefits. However if alarming trends that threaten its economic viability are not reversed, it will vanish within a generation.The Vermont Council on Rural Development is launching a new nonpartisan and broad-based partnership to keep Vermont’s farm and forest economy a vital foundation for the future of Vermont. The Partnership is proposing a bold plan. It has announced the 17 member Vermont Working Landscape Council (VWLC) that will develop the details to make this plan a practical reality. The VWL Council represents deep expertise in issues pertaining to farm and forest enterprises and rural development in Vermont. It is chaired by retired Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee and includes:Bob Ackland, VCRD Board, Recreation Development Consultant, WarrenCliff Allard, Allard Lumber Company, BrattleboroMarie Audet, Blue Spruce Farm, BridportDeb Brighton, Natural Resource Economist, SalisburyGreg Brown, VCRD Board, Retired Regional and State Planning Leader PutneyIndia Burnett Farmer, Northeast Vine Supply & Rutland Area Farm and Food Link, E. PoultneyPeter Condaxis, Ryegate Power Station, E. RyegateJacques Couture, Couture’s Farm, Sugarhouse and B&B, WestfieldAllison Hooper, VT Butter and Cheese, WebstervilleAndrew Kehler, Jasper Hill Farm, GreensboroGil Livingston, Vermont Land TrustJohn Meyer, Bardill Land and Lumber Company, MontpelierJan Rozendaal, retired Chittenden County Business LeaderRobin Scheu, Addison County Economic Development Corp., MiddleburyMichael Snyder, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and RecreationWill Stevens, Golden Russet Farm, Shorehamlast_img read more

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Burlington begins work on side streets with $1.6 million in federal funds

first_imgExcavation work began today on lower Church Street as part of a $1.6 million project which will significantly re-design pedestrian and streetscape elements of lower Church Street and Saint Paul Street.In 2005, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity: A Legacy for User (SAFETEA-LU) act provided transportation funding to communities across the country. Through the efforts of Senator Patrick Leahy, the City of Burlington received $3 million for specific improvements on the Church Street Marketplace as part of the Church Street Marketplace Improvement Program and $3 million for improvements on the side streets to the Church Street Marketplace.The improvements undertaken in this phase of work include new traffic signals, crosswalks, curbs, sidewalks, street lighting, and road surfaces.  Over the summer, work will occur along St. Paul Street between Main Street and College Street and on Church Street between Main Street and King Street.  The project cost is $1.6 million, which includes $323,000 in local match funding, with the remainder covered by SAFETEA-LU funds. This investment in Burlington’s downtown core will enhance the vitality and economic opportunity on these blocks that border the Church Street Marketplace. ‘The Church Street Marketplace is the crown jewel of Downtown Burlington and a true treasure for Vermont,’ said Senator Patrick Leahy.  ‘I was pleased to work with the city to upgrade the Marketplace’s aging infrastructure and begin to incorporate the side streets and alleyway into the overall Church Street experience.  These improvements will ensure that Church Street continues to be a vital and vigorous place for residents and visitors alike for years to come.’  Senator Leahy has secured more than $14 million in federal funding for the Church Street Marketplace since its inception.  He obtained $5.4 million in 1979 to get the Marketplace started, and over the past decade he has secured $9 million more to help refurbish Church Street.  These funds have been used to brick the City Hall Block; overhaul the antiquated electrical system; install new trees, benches, and information kiosks; reconstruct the alleyway to the Marketplace Garage; and prepare for streetscape improvements along the side streets of Main, St. Paul, College, Bank, and Cherry.  The side-streets project now underway includes upgrades to sidewalks and ADA compliance issues, minor improvements to major intersections, providing bulb-outs, mid-block crossings, and use of on-street kiosk parking meters. The following lists the components: â ¢ Installation of bulb-outs at key intersections;â ¢ Granite curbing with brick solider course;â ¢ Cold plane pavement and overlay;â ¢ New catch basins (with narrow openings and flush to pavement where needed);â ¢ Slow speeds to 20 mph;â ¢ New ‘countdown’ crossing signals, pavement and new ramps;â ¢ New mid-block crossing on St Paul Street;â ¢ Lower Church Street and St. Paul re-configuration and improvement;â ¢ Additional lighting upgrades for downtown fixtures;â ¢ Additional way-finding;â ¢ Bicycle transportation improvements;â ¢ On-street parking using kiosk payment;â ¢ Additional plantings; andâ ¢ Consistent sidewalk pavement and widths at key areas.‘The City is pleased that work has started on this important project,’ said Mayor Bob Kiss.  ‘These improvements will enhance the experience of residents and visitors in our downtown and central business district, promote economic vitality, and improve quality of life.  I appreciate the support of Senator Leahy in making this project possible.’last_img read more

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Winners Announced: Green Mountain Environmental Leadership Awards

first_imgA celebration took place on Thursday evening, April 14, at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, where individuals and organizations were recognized for their leadership and contributions to Vermont’s environment. Green Mountain Environmental Leadership Award recipients: (left to right)Citizen Scientist Award: Lori Fisher, Lake Champlain CommitteeWhat a Great Idea! Award: Richard Travers, Freeaire RefrigerationCourage in Leadership: Sarah Dopp, S. Burlington Land TrustFourteen finalists from around the state were present at the first annual Green Mountain Environmental Leadership Awards that drew close to 150 people and was hosted by both ECHO and FreePressMedia.    All of the guests were treated to a keynote address by David A. Donath, president and trustee of the Woodstock Foundation, which owns and operates the Billings Farm & Museum and is the primary operation partner of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park. His address touched upon Vermont’s leading role in environmental stewardship and this rich heritage which has created a state that is now the epicenter of the green movement.  The awards presentations immediately followed Mr. Donath’s remarks with Phelan Fretz, ECHO’s Executive Director acting as emcee. Close to fifty submissions were received for this first year and these were whittled down to 14 finalists for three categories: What a Great Idea!, Courage in Leadership, and Science Citizen.  And the winners are: WHAT A GREAT IDEA! Award ~ RICHARD TRAVERS, Freeaire Refrigeration In the 1970s, Richard Travers wondered why refrigerators couldn’t use the ample supply of Vermont’s cold, outdoor air to help keep the food cold. Today, Freeaire Refrigeration, based in Waitsfield, supplies refrigeration equipment to warehouses, retailers and other businesses that take advantage of cold outdoor air. Because of this design, the units use less electricity than traditional refrigeration. COURAGE IN LEADERSHIP Award ~ SOUTH BURLINGTON LAND TRUST, Sarah Dopp In 2008, the city of South Burlington decided to build a new police   station on a centrally located, municipally owned piece of land.  The South Burlington Land Trust swung into action, letting voters know that the land, now known as the Wheeler Nature Park, is the city’s largest natural area and includes hardwood forest, ledge, wetlands and wildlife. The message resonated with the community, and the police station project was relocated. CITIZEN SCIENTIST Award ~ THE LAKE CHAMPLAIN COMMITTEE, Lori Fisher The blue-green algae that appear in parts of Lake Champlain in the summer is disgusting   — and deadly. While UVM has a regular lake wide monitoring program, more monitoring was needed along the shoreline where people and animals play. In 2003, the Lake Champlain Committee organized citizen scientists to take weekly samples along the Missisquoi Bay and have added other locations. The data are used to understand what triggers the algae blooms and determine when beaches should be closed to prevent health hazards. Each winner received a check for $1000 plus a hand blown glass carafe made by Simon Pearce Glass Blowers of Vermont. Each carafe, which symbolizes the natural elements of fire, earth, air and water, was etched with the name of the award and the year it was received.ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center is located at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, on Vermont’s Burlington Waterfront. ECHO features 70 live species, more than 100 interactive experiences, changing and permanent exhibits and seasonal events ‘ all exploring the Ecology, Culture, History, and Opportunity for stewardship of the Lake Champlain Basin. The 2.2 acre Leahy Center environmental campus is also highlighted by the Lake Champlain Basin Program Resource Room, UVM’s Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, Lake Champlain Navy Memorial, ECHO’s Eclectic Gift Shop, and ecology-themed Café, managed by Sugarsnap. Open year-round, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve & Day. For more information visit echovermont.org, call (toll-free)1.877.324.6386, or write to ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, One College Street, Burlington, VT 05401.last_img read more

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‘Irreversible Decline’ in Coal

first_img‘Irreversible Decline’ in Coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Nick Cunningham for Time Magazine:While oil and natural gas could see prices rebound as demand rises, coal has very little hope of ever seeing a price rebound again.Demand for thermal coal is declining, a trend that appears to be “irreversible.”That is the conclusion from Goldman Sachs, which published a new report on the global coal and gas trade on February 15, and reported on by SNL. For coal producers, this is the latest in a long line of grim warnings, all of which point to a future of shuttered power plants, mine closures, and bankruptcies.Last fall, Goldman Sachs made headlines when it predicted that “peak coal” was drawing near. “The industry does not require new investment given the ability of existing assets to satisfy flat demand, so prices will remain under pressure as the deflationary cycle continues,” the investment bank wrote in September 2015.Full article: Decline of Coal Demand Is ‘Irreversible’last_img read more

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Community choice is adding further momentum to California’s transition

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Forbes:California is on track to meet its clean-energy goals a decade early thanks in part to communities demanding and delivering renewable energy faster and cheaper than utilities can, according to a report released this morning.A growing number of community choice aggregators (CCAs) in California are not only delivering a higher percentage of renewable energy than utilities, they’re also causing utilities to offer a higher percentage, according to the report by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation.“The  rise of  CCAs has had  both direct and  indirect positive effects  on overall renewable energy  consumed in California, leading  the state to meet its 2030 RPS  targets approximately ten years in advance,” write Luskin Center director  JR DeShazo, lead author Julien Gattaciecca and co-author Kelly Trumbull.CCAs allow communities to make their own agreements with energy providers. California’s CCAs offer a minimum of 37 percent renewable energy, a maximum of 100 percent. They average 52 percent renewable energy.Investor-owned utilities offer renewable content between 32 and 44 percent.CCAs only make up about 10 percent of California’s energy market, but they’ve had an outsized influence. As they pull customers away from traditional utilities, the utilities find themselves offering a higher percentage of renewables because of long-term contracts they’ve signed with renewable-energy producers.As a result, even traditional utilities expect to offer 50 percent renewables by 2020. California’s standards call for that level of renewable penetration by 2030.The authors expect the state’s three utilities—Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric—to have an average of 67 percent renewable energy in their portfolios by 2025.CCAs are also growing rapidly and are expected to blossom their market share to 16 percent by 2020.More: Community Choice Is Driving California’s Precocious Energy Revolution Community choice is adding further momentum to California’s transitionlast_img read more

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MHI Vestas to install largest turbines to date at Scottish floating offshore wind farm

first_imgMHI Vestas to install largest turbines to date at Scottish floating offshore wind farm FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Offshore Wind Journal:Turbine OEM MHI Vestas has confirmed it will supply five V164-9.5 MW turbines for the Kincardine floating offshore windfarm in Scotland.The deal means the Kincardine windfarm will be the first floating project in the world to feature wind turbines over 9 MW.MHI Vestas chief executive Philippe Kavafyan said, “Bringing our technology and experience to Kincardine in Scotland confirms our long-term commitment to commercial-scale, floating offshore wind projects.”As floating offshore wind accelerates toward its full potential, MHI Vestas anticipates substantial learnings from Kincardine, enabling the turbine supplier to better understand installation and commissioning techniques, main component interactions, and power production.Kincardine, located 15 km southeast of Aberdeen Bay, will feature the five V164-9.5 MW turbines in addition to a single V80-2.0 MW turbine that has already installed. The six-turbine project will feature Windfloat semi-submersible foundations and be in water depth of 60-80 m.More: MHI Vestas confirms Scottish floating windfarm deallast_img read more

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Germany’s EnBW looks to tap into U.S. offshore wind market for future growth

first_imgGermany’s EnBW looks to tap into U.S. offshore wind market for future growth FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:It’s neither easy nor cheap to get a piece of action in the U.S. offshore wind market these days, but EnBW has come tantalizingly close. In last December’s auction for a trio of lease areas, the winning development groups ponied up a record $135 million each for prime zones facing Massachusetts. Bidding through its East Wind LLC unit, EnBW was the last developer left on the sideline — its final offer of $128 million falling just short after more than 30 rounds of bidding.History seldom remembers the also-rans. But EnBW, a large German utility, still has every intention of putting its stamp on the U.S. offshore wind market. The company’s scale and track record suggest that, even in a crowded field, the market should take those ambitions seriously.The Massachusetts auction underscored just how rich the stakes have become in the U.S. offshore wind market. The winning groups were all backed by deep-pocketed global energy companies, including Shell New Energies and Norway’s Equinor.In the face of such competition, small developers will now struggle to find a way into the U.S. market. But EnBW is among Europe’s largest energy suppliers — with annual revenues of more than €20 billion ($22.4 billion), and a decade-long track record of building and operating offshore wind farms off Germany’s northern coasts. It has more than 600 megawatts under construction in the North Sea right now.Like all major German utilities, EnBW has been forced to transform the way it thinks and invests in response to the country’s Energiewende, or pivot from nuclear energy and toward renewables. And like many European utilities — EDF, Ørsted and Enel among them — EnBW is now looking to the vast U.S. renewables market for growth.Its first big step into the U.S. came a year ago, when the company formed a joint venture to develop a floating project off California with Trident Winds, a small developer based on the West Coast. These days, EnBW has “refocused” its efforts around the nearer-term opportunity in New York and New Jersey, White said.More: How EnBW plans to become the next big U.S. offshore wind playerlast_img read more

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Australia’s booming utility-scale battery market expected to add 500MWh in 2020

first_imgAustralia’s booming utility-scale battery market expected to add 500MWh in 2020 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Australia’s grid-scale battery market had a record year in 2019 and is expected to sail past 500MWh in 2020 and add at least double the amount of new energy storage capacity as the nation’s residential sector.The latest annual Australia Battery Market report from SunWiz says a total of just over 143MWh of commercial and grid-scale batteries was installed in 2019, eclipsing the 69MWh installed in 2018.Not only did this number combine with residential installs to deliver a whole-of-market record for 2019, but it was a record for non-residential scale deployment, with four projects combined delivering as much capacity as the Hornsdale Power Reserve – South Australia’s Big Battery.“This was a record year for battery installation,” said SunWiz managing director and report author Warwick Johnston. “The residential capacity decreased, but this was offset by an increase in non-residential battery capacity to reach a new record year.”And while the cumulative tally for Australian battery installations for 2015-2019 puts residential storage well ahead of non-residential at 738MWh and 361MWh respectively, this trend is expected to be flipped in 2020. According to the report…SunWiz expects “at least 500MWh of non-residential storage to come online in 2020, dwarfing the 143MWh record commissioned in 2019.Renew Economy notes there are a number of projects that did not make the SunWiz list that have a chance to come online this year, or next, including the 600MW Victoria Big Battery (no MWh details yet) proposed by Neoen and Mondo Power.[Sophie Vorrath]More: Australia’s big battery market set to add “at least” 500MWh in 2020last_img read more