Cambium Group Launches Site for ManagedStorage International

first_imgCambium Group, LLC, a leading web site development firm specializing in innovative web site designs and content management systems launched a new web site for ManagedStorage International (MSI).MSI’s new site www.msiservice.com(link is external) presents a completely new design for the company. In addition to the website, Cambium Group designed print collateral to coordinate with the new look of the site, thus providing a consistent look and feel between media.Cambium Groups content management system is the ideal solution for MSI. The system allows me to instantly add, modify, or delete web content through an online interface without needing to use any internal IT resources, said Kevin Thomas, director of marketing communications for ManagedStorage International.In addition to the web site deployment, Cambium Group delivered a complete portfolio of presentation templates, collateral designs, and pocket folders. Their follow through and responsiveness was stellar and enabled a smooth deployment of our entire marketing campaign.The new site features a thorough architecture that clearly presents the solutions and capabilities of MSI. In addition, MSI can add or change pages throughout allowing them to expand the web site as their business changes and grows.The most powerful feature is Cambium Group’s content management system which allows MSI to easily and quickly keep new marketing promotions in front of new customers, and keep company news in front of their current customers and partners. Most importantly, the content management system provides MSI the ability to control their main site, as well as three separate password-protected micro sites for their partners. All content on each site can be controlled such as text, images, news items, events, helpful links, promotional spotlights, white papers (.pdf files), PowerPoint presentations, and keywords (meta tags).”The design work and web site development we’ve completed for MSI really demonstrates Cambium Group’s one-stop solution for integrating online and offline media”, remarked Cambium Group’s President, Scott Wells. “MSI’s new site is the result of an extremely smooth and well coordinated effort between our two companies.”last_img read more

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Chittenden Bank Announces the Retirement of President

first_imgChittenden Bank Announces the Retirement of President and CEO Lawrence W. DeShaw BURLINGTON — Chittenden Corporation(NYSE: CHZ) has announced that Lawrence W. DeShaw, President and CEO ofChittenden Bank, will retire at the end of the first quarter of 2005,after 34 years of dedicated service. “This decision did not come easy, after 34 years of service to Chittenden.Chittenden Bank means a great deal to me and I will truly miss everyone Ihave worked with over the years. I have chosen to make this transition ata time when Chittenden is strong and stable. The senior management teamis knowledgeable and fully committed to our customers. Our Board ofDirectors is engaged and experienced in all of the facets of business inthe communities we serve,” said DeShaw. Mr. DeShaw joined Chittenden in 1971, as a Loan Officer in the PersonalCredit Department and later that year was promoted to Treasurer. Over thenext 6 years, Mr. DeShaw was promoted to Assistant Vice President in thePersonal Credit Department and then Vice President of the Commercial LoanDepartment. In 1983, he was promoted to President of Mountain TrustCompany, an affiliate of Chittenden Trust Company at the time. In 1985,Mountain Trust Company was merged into Chittenden and Mr. DeShaw returnedto Commercial Lending. Soon after, he was promoted to the President ofChittenden’s Mortgage Company, where he remained for 2 years. Mr. DeShawwas then promoted to Executive Vice President in charge of Operations andTechnology for the Corporation and in January of 2003, he took over thePresidency of Chittenden Bank. Throughout his career, Mr. DeShaw has taken Chittenden through manydifficult and exciting times. In 1971, Chittenden’s assets were $173Million. Between 1971 and today Chittenden has acquired 10 banks and hasgrown the assets of Chittenden Bank to $3 Billion and ChittendenCorporation, the parent company to $6.1 Billion. In 1971, Chittenden Bankhad 14 locations. Today, they cover nearly every corner of Vermont with51 locations. Mr. DeShaw has been a key part of the Executive Management Team ofChittenden Corporation. He has aided in launching new products andservices to our customers, merged several acquired banks and most recentlywas involved in a significant system wide conversion. “At Chittenden Corporation, we all share a sense of sadness as Larryretires. We wish to thank him for his valuable contributions toChittenden and its clients,” commented Paul Perrault, Chairman ofChittenden Corporation. ABOUT CHITTENDEN BANK Chittenden Bank is a full-service, Vermont-headquartered and managed bankproviding a wide range of financial services and products to individualsand businesses. As the largest Vermont-based bank in the state, Chittendenoffers 51 locations. To find out more about Chittenden, visit our websiteat http://www.chittenden.com(link is external) or call your local branch. ABOUT CHITTENDEN CORPORATION Chittenden Corporation is a bank holding company headquartered inBurlington, Vermont. Through its subsidiary banks(1), the Company offersa broad range of financial products and services to customers throughoutNorthern New England and Massachusetts, including deposit accounts andservices; commercial and consumer loans; insurance; and investment andtrust services to individuals, businesses and the public sector. (1) Chittenden’s subsidiaries are Chittenden Bank, The Bank of WesternMassachusetts, Flagship Bank and Trust Company, Maine Bank & Trust Companyand Ocean National Bank. Chittenden Bank also operates under the nameMortgage Service Center and it owns Chittenden Insurance Group andChittenden Securities, Inc.last_img read more

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For Moondyne Agency, School’s In

first_imgFOR MOONDYNE AGENCY, SCHOOL’S IN.Moondyne Agency has added assignments from Lake Champlain Waldorf School. The ad agency is providing the Shelburne based school with re-branded identity, print, and direct mail. Moondyne principal Ted Kohn opened the agency doors in Burlington this past Spring, offering brand advertising solutions to regionally based businesses. Kohn has held creative posts at a number of shops including Deutsch, Bates, Wunderman, and Doner.last_img

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$13 million estate tax windfall boosts Vermont’s revenue results for May

first_imgSecretary Lunderville concluded by saying, We are hopeful that the unexpected May estate tax receipts will keep revenue at or slightly above target for the current fiscal year (FY 2009). However, economists remain guarded about the state economy. There is still no clear indication that Vermont has reached the bottom of this recession. Although there are some small favorable signs, it is not clear whether Vermont will come out of this recession in a U pattern, or a W recovery, meaning that after the beginning of some growth, we could fall again before beginning the true recovery.Attachments: Detailed schedules of revenue results comparing the current fiscal year-to-date period with the same period from the last fiscal year. AttachmentSize May 2009 Revenue Results.pdf36.42 KB Today, Secretary of Administration Neale F. Lunderville released revenue results for the month of May. General Fund revenues exceeded the recently revised target for the month, as compared to the consensus revenue target, due solely to unexpected one-time $13 million Estate Tax receipts.  Year-to-date, General Fund revenues of $1,003.78 million (+$10.81 million, +1.09%) were slightly above target. Transportation funds were also up by almost 4 percent. Meanwhile, the non-property tax Education Fund revenues were off 2 percent. The person who died last year was not identified by the Vermont Tax Department, but the value of the estate was worth somewhere between $80 million to $100 million.General FundThe General Fund revenues of $65.61 million (+$11.61 million, +21.50%) for the month of May 2009 were above target against the recently revised forecast of $54.00 million. Without the unanticipated Estate Tax receipts for the month, the General Fund revenues for May would have been below target by -$1.98 million. Although the General Fund results for the month of May were above target, this was the result of unexpected estate tax receipts, rather than the beginning of a return to increasing revenues. Even with this one-time estate tax receipt, General Fund revenue receipts through May 2009 were -$87.73 million or -8.04% below the results through May 2008, said Secretary Lunderville.The monthly targets reflect the most recent FY 2009 consensus revenue forecast that was agreed to by the Emergency Board on April 24, 2009. The state s consensus revenue forecast is normally updated two times per year in January and July. However, with the downturn in the national and regional economy, the Emergency Board has been scheduling interim revenue reviews. The next consensus forecast is scheduled to be reviewed by the Emergency Board on July 16, 2009.Personal Income Tax receipts are the largest single state revenue source, and are reported Net of Personal Income Tax refunds. Different types of Personal Income Tax (PI) payments and refunds are included in this category, such as PI Withheld, PI Estimates, PI Refunds, PI Paid Returns, and PI Other . Net Personal Income Tax Receipts for May of $18.37 million were slightly under the target of $18.76 million (-$0.39 million or -2.08%). Year-to-date, the net Personal Income Tax results of $477.78 million were -$1.48 million or -0.31% below the target of $479.25 million.Corporate Tax receipts are also reported net of refunds. Corporate Income Tax revenue results for May were $0.40 million versus the monthly target of $0.51 million, or -$0.11 million (-21.03%) below target for the month. Year-to-date, Corporate Income Tax receipts of $53.41 million were +$1.61 million or +3.11% above the target of $51.80 million.For the month, receipts for the consumption taxes (Sales & Use Tax and Meals & Rooms Tax) were slightly below target. Sales & Use Tax receipts of $14.68 million fell below target by -$0.06 million or -0.43%, and Rooms & Meals Tax receipts of $6.91 million fell short of the target by -$0.15 million or -2.12%. Year-to-date, Sales & Use Tax was $197.87 million (-$0.29 million, -0.15%) and Rooms & Meals Tax receipts were $108.86 million (-$0.56 million, -0.51%).The remaining components of the General Fund revenue were below target for the month, except Insurance and Estate Tax. Estate Tax receipts are inconsistent and subject to wide variation. For this reason, Estate Tax is always difficult to project accurately. The non-major tax component results for the month were: Insurance Premium, $5.92 million (+$0.23 million, +3.99%); Inheritance/Estate Tax, $14.05 million (+$13.59 million, +2952.07%); Real Property Transfer Tax, $0.51 million (-$0.06 million, -10.43%); and Other , $4.77 million (-$1.44 million, -23.16%). Year-to-date results for these components were: Insurance Premium, $52.45 million (-0.29%); Inheritance/Estate Tax, $22.12 million (+157.05%); Real Property Transfer Tax, $7.91 million (-2.20%); and Other , $83.39 (-1.95%).Transportation FundSecretary Lunderville also released the non-dedicated Transportation Fund revenue results today. Transportation Fund receipts for the month were $18.31 million, exceeding the current forecast by +$0.69 million or +3.92%. The favorable result for the month is due to above target performance in the Gas Tax, indicating that people have begun to drive more miles as the summer approaches. Year-to-date, the Transportation Fund revenues of $181.00 million were +0.34% above target. The results for the individual Transportation Fund revenue components were mixed for the month. Diesel Fuel Tax, Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use, and Motor Vehicle Fees all fell short of the monthly target. In addition to Gasoline Tax exceeding target as previously noted, Other Transportation Fund revenues also exceeded target for the month. The components of the Transportation Fund revenue for the month were: Gasoline Tax, $5.34 million (+27.87%); Diesel Tax, $0.73 million (-21.02%); Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $4.01 million (-7.10%); Motor Vehicle Fees, $6.48 million (-6.03%); and Other , $1.76 million (+33.92%). Year-to-date, the Transportation Fund revenue components for May were: Gasoline Tax, $55.56 million (+0.66%); Diesel Tax, $13.08 million (+0.20%); Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $38.70 million (-0.79%); Motor Vehicle Fees, $57.56 million (-0.08%); and Other , $16.10 million (+3.72%).Education Fund Non-Property Tax Education Fund revenue receipts of $11.04 million were released by Secretary Lunderville today; these receipts are -$0.24 million (-2.10%) below the May monthly target of $11.28 million. Non-Property Tax Education Fund revenues constitute approximately 12% of the total Education Fund receipts. Year-to-date, non-Property Tax Education Fund revenues were $135.67 million or -$0.40 million (-0.29%) below target. Results for the components of the non-Property Tax Education revenue for May: Sales & Use Tax, $7.34 million (-0.44%); Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use, $2.01 million (-7.08%); Lottery Transfer, $1.69 million (-1.65%); and Investment Income, $0.01 (-66.48%). Year-to-date results were: Sales & Use Tax, $98.93 million (-0.15%); Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use, $19.35 million (-0.79%); Lottery Transfer, $17.13 million (-0.22%); and Investment Income, $0.25 million (-19.56%).Conclusionlast_img read more

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Sanders calls for extension of unemployment insurance even as Vermont’s rate falls

first_imgEven as the Vermont unemployment rate for September fell to 6.7 percent, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called today for immediate action by Congress to extend unemployment insurance benefits. Sanders is a cosponsor of legislation that would help the almost 2 million Americans who are in danger of losing their benefits by the year’s end by extending jobless benefits for a minimum of 14 weeks in all states and by 20 weeks in states with unemployment rates of 8.5 percent or higher.An estimated 1,860 Vermonters will use up their unemployment benefits by the end of the year, according to a recent report by the National Employment Law Project.“In the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and at a time when long-term unemployment is extremely high, we cannot turn our backs on jobless Americans by letting their unemployment insurance expire,” Sanders said. “In my view, Congress should pass a reasonable extension in unemployment benefits so that workers who have lost their jobs during this severe recession get the help they deserve while they try to find new jobs to support their families,” the senator added.The Vermont jobless number for September ticked down from 6.8 percent in August and July, according to the US Department of Labor, but the number was substantially worse than the 4.8 percent jobless rate in Vermont during September, 2008. Nationwide, unemployment for September stood at 9.8 percent.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has tried to bring up the legislation for a Senate vote, but Republicans have objected. The House last month approved legislation that gives 13 weeks of extended benefits, but only in 27 states that have unemployment rates of at least 8.5 percent.The bill to extend benefits would cost $2.4 billion, an amount covered by also extending the federal unemployment tax through June 30, 2011. According to the Congressional Budget Office, every $1 spent on unemployment benefits has generated $1.61 in economic activity.Vermonters are eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits for no more than 72 weeks.  The State of Vermont provides 26 weeks of insurance, followed by 33 weeks of federal aid – which was extended as part of the stimulus package –, followed by another 13 weeks of state coverage.  The eligibility length differs between states. Source: Sanders’ office. WASHINGTON, October 21, 2009last_img read more

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Governor Douglas to lead NGA in discussing health care, economy

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas, chairman of the National Governors Association (NGA), will lead the nation’s governors at their annual winter meeting in Washington this weekend.  At the meeting, governors will address critical issues, including health care reform and the economy.  They will also meet with President Obama, members of his Administration, business leaders and other experts for discussions on a host of issues and challenges facing states.“It is a great honor and responsibility to chair the National Governors Association,” said Governor Douglas.  “This is a critical time as our nation and the states are facing enormous fiscal and economic challenges.  This weekend is an opportunity for governors to meet with one another, the President and his Administration and others from the public and private sector to discuss ways to get our economy back on track, create jobs and address pressing challenges, like health care.”Governor Douglas has focused his chairmanship of the NGA on health care and Saturday’s opening plenary session will offer an overview of his initiative, Rx for Health Reform: Affordable, Accessible, Accountable.  During the session, governors will discuss transforming health care delivery with guests Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and associate professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, and Dr. Jack Cochran, executive director of The Permanente Federation. On Sunday, the focus of the plenary session will be health care and the economy, with financial journalist Maria Bartiromo, anchor of CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” moderating the discussion.“While the path forward for health reform in Washington is unclear, reform is happening in the state,” the Governor remarked.  “I am proud of the steps we have taken in Vermont.  My chairman’s initiative focuses on helping governors lead the way in improving the quality of our system, providing more insurance coverage and addressing key cost drivers to ensure we have a system that is affordable, accessible and accountable.”As NGA chairman, Governor Douglas has invited Canadian Premiers for a special session on Saturday, “Common Border, Common Ground,” which will focus on common challenges, innovative policy solutions and issues related to trade, border security, energy and the environment.  “Having the Premiers and the Governors meet is a tremendous opportunity to advance our shared interests,” the Governor remarked.  The governors will spend time with Adjutants General from across the country as well.Governor Douglas and his colleagues will also have the opportunity to meet with President Obama.  On Sunday they will attend the White House for a black-tie evening with President and Mrs. Obama.  The following day, the governors will return to the White House for meetings with the President and members of his Cabinet to discuss the issues being debated in Washington and how they will affect the states.“I appreciate President Obama reaching out to the nation’s governors and listening to our concerns,” said the Governor.  “It will take all of us working together at the federal, state and local levels to rebound from this recession.”The meeting will conclude Monday afternoon with a plenary session focused on redesigning states in the post-recession economy.  Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody’sEconomy.com, and Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company, will join governors to examine the economic landscape facing the country and states over the next several years.Source: Washington, D.C. – Governor’s office. 2.19.2010 ###SATELLITE COORDINATES – C-BAND ANALOG Saturday, February 20, 20104:00 – 4:30 Easter Time (1600 – 1630)Galaxy 19 CBAND @ 97 Degrees WestTransponder C – 8 AnalogUL Frequency 6085 VerticalDL Frequency 3860 Horizontal (Audio 6.2 & 6.8)Sunday, February 21, 20104:00 – 4:30 Easter Time (1600 – 1630)Galaxy 19 CBAND @ 97 Degrees WestTransponder C – 8 AnalogUL Frequency 6085 VerticalDL Frequency 3860 Horizontal (Audio 6.2 & 6.8)Monday, February 22, 20103:30 – 4:00 Easter Time (1530 – 1600)Galaxy 19 CBAND @ 97 Degrees WestTransponder C – 8 AnalogUL Frequency 6085 VerticalDL Frequency 3860 Horizontal (Audio 6.2 & 6.8)last_img read more

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Workers tackle record-breaking storm, forecasters predict additional heavy snow in southern Vermont

first_imgTired utility crews are making steady progress today in the wake of a hard-hitting one-two-punch storm system that caused 88,000 Central Vermont Public Service customer outages.  As of 5 p.m., 8,500 customer outages remained, but storm recovery is likely to extend through the weekend into Monday.  Across the Northeast, nearly 750,000 customers lost service Thursday night and Friday morning as high winds tore through the region.“This storm recovery will be remembered as one of the most complicated in our history,” spokeswoman Christine Rivers said.  “We’ve had two back-to-back major storms in the span of a few days, and Albany National Weather Service forecasters have predicted additional snow in southern Vermont through Saturday night.  Each wave would have been a challenge by itself.  Together the first two waves caused more customer outages than any storm in our history.”Joe Kraus, senior vice president for engineering, operations and customer service, said employees and contractors, many working 18-hour shifts, are weary, but have devoted themselves to the effort.  “There is an awful lot of determination in the people working this storm,” Kraus said.  “Given the weather Thursday night, I came in this morning expecting to find a downtrodden workforce, but everyone was upbeat, focused and determined to help our customers.”Kraus, a 28-year CVPS veteran, said customers have been helpful and supportive throughout the recovery.  “We know it’s a hardship for our customers, and we appreciate how positive they’ve remained when talking with employees,” Kraus said.  “That’s like fuel in the tank for people who are stretching to get the job done.”High winds Thursday night and Friday morning knocked down trees, broke poles and tore down power lines.  Widespread outages occurred across the state, with Addison Bennington, Orange, Rutland, Windham and Windsor counties hardest hit.Restoration is expected to be complete in Addison, Chittenden and Franklin counties tonight. Caledonia County should be cleaned up by Saturday. Recovery will last through the weekend, possibly into Monday, in parts of Bennington, Rutland, Orange, Windham and Windsor counties. Forecasters are predicting an additional 6 to 20 inches of snow in southern Vermont through Saturday night, which could slow progress, and potentially produce additional outages.“We will restore service to lot of customers tonight and Saturday, but some repairs will take longer,” Rivers said.  “There are hundreds of separate problems to address.”Rivers said advanced planning was critical to the storm response, which includes dozens of outside crews, many brought in before the storm even hit.The 2007 Nor’icane, a wind event similar to last night’s, caused 68,000 customer outages, and recovery efforts totaled more than $5 million. “While a final estimate is not yet available for this storm, the costs will no doubt be measured in millions,” Rivers said.As part of the restoration effort, CVPS:Brought in 83 outside two-person line crews and support staff from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine and Ontario, along with 15 tree crews, and other Vermont contract crews. An additional 10 crews from Hydro-One in Ontario are also on the way for Saturday.Provided midday meals for workers to take when they went out in the morning, to minimize down time.Returned numerous CVPS retirees to work to assist in the recovery effort.Coordinated efforts with Vermont Emergency Management and other utilities.Moved dozens of CVPS employees from areas like HR and information systems into storm support roles.CVPS offered several safety tips for coping with the outages:· Treat any downed line as if it is live, even if appears to have been down for a long period of time. REPORT the line to your local utility and fire department, stay at least 30 feet away from the line, and keep children and pets away as well.· If using a generator, read and follow the owner’s manual before starting the generator.  Never operate a generator inside any structure or near a structure.  Use a transfer switch to ensure electricity is not accidentally fed onto a line where line crews must work.· Keep freezers and refrigerators closed as much as possible to prevent food spoilage.If power goes out, turn off all electrical appliances except one light so you’ll know when service returns.  Then, turn equipment back on slowly.Source: Central Vermont Public Service. 2.26.2010.last_img read more

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Patent reform bill would help save US jobs

first_imgA unanimous vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday sent comprehensive patent reform legislation to the full Senate for the third time since 2008. The Patent Reform Act is authored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).Congressional efforts to reform the nation’s patent system first began in 2005. The legislation approved by the Judiciary Committee Thursday is the product of years of work and compromise. Enactment of the Patent Reform Act of 2011 will make the first significant changes to the patent system in nearly 60 years, and will create and protect American jobs without adding to the nation’s deficit.‘A balanced and efficient intellectual property system that rewards invention and promotes innovation through high quality patents is crucial to our nation’s economic prosperity and job growth,’ said Leahy. ‘The Patent Reform Act will allow our inventors and innovators to flourish. And it will do this without adding a penny to the deficit. I hope that the Senate will act quickly, so that we can win the future by unleashing the American inventive spirit.’‘The United States is the most innovative and entrepreneurial nation in the world,’ said Hatch. ‘If we are going to maintain our enviable position at the forefront of the world economy, it is absolutely essential for us to have an efficient and streamlined patent system. This bipartisan legislation, which would be the first major overhaul of our patent system in nearly six decades, is an important step toward maintaining our global competitive edge.’‘An effective and efficient patent system will help spur innovation and inventions and improve patent quality, and as a result, will provide incentive for entrepreneurs to create jobs,’ Grassley said. ‘I hope the full Senate will soon have an opportunity to debate this bipartisan legislation.’Leahy is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Hatch is the Committee’s senior Republican member and a former Chairman, and Grassley is the panel’s incoming Ranking Republican.The Patent Reform Act makes changes to inter partes review, Patent and Trademark Office funding, and supplemental examinations. The legislation will also transition the nation’s patent system to a first-inventor-to-file system, create a first-window post-grant review process, provide certainty in damages calculations and findings of willful infringement, and includes important provisions to improve patent quality. The bill is based largely on a bill introduced in the 109th Congress by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Congressman Howard Berman (D-Calif.).The compromise legislation on which the patent Reform Act of 2011 is based was supported by the Obama administration and by industries and stakeholders, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the United Steelworkers, the National Venture Capital Association, the Association of American Universities, and companies representing all sectors of the patent community that have been urging action on patent reform proposals for years.  WASHINGTON (Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011) ‘last_img read more

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Vermont State Hospital director says facility is No. 1 problem

first_imgby Anne Galloway, www.vtdigger.org(link is external) May 18, 2011 Not long ago the notion of going to Waterbury was shorthand for a journey into the stigmatizing world of mental illness. For decades, the small burg near the posh ski town of Stowe was identified with the sprawling campus of the Vermont State Hospital. At one point, the facility housed about 1,400 psychiatric patients. In the 1970s, as the deinstitutionalization movement took hold and community mental health services became the mainstay of psychiatric treatment in Vermont, the hospital discharged hundreds of patients. By the early 1980s, about 200 patients resided at the facility.Eventually, the Victorian era brick buildings with slate roofed-turrets and stately facades were transformed from psychiatric units into office spaces for departments and agencies of state government.The facility is so enormous it can accommodate the two largest agencies of state government ‘ the Agency of Natural Resources and the Agency of Human Services ‘ plus the Department of Public Safety.While Waterbury is now most often associated with the Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream plant on the outskirts of town and the Waterbury State Office Complex, the Vermont State Hospital has never disappeared from the premises. Today, the ‘Brooks’ building houses up to 54 patients at a time.The facility is now located in the back of the complex, mostly hidden from view. The severely mentally ill patients are kept cloistered in what the outgoing executive director of the Vermont State Hospital calls a ‘prison-like’ environment. The unit is small and staff and patients function in very close quarters. Patients are kept in their rooms most of the time. There is no gymnasium, no garden area, no vocational shops, and very little space for family visitation. When a patient screams or yells or slams a door the sound reverberates through the wards unabated.Terry Rowe, who has served as the executive director of the hospital since 2004, is the first to say the facility is ‘as safe as it can be, but it doesn’t have the physical environment you would really want it to have for a relative or a loved one.’Rowe is leaving what she describes as an extremely stressful 24/7 position to take a 9 to 5 desk job in the Agency of Human Services next month (she’ll be managing the child abuse registry).Since 2004, Rowe has presided over the 54-bed facility for the state’s most acutely mentally ill patients during a tumultuous period in the aftermath of two patient suicides at the hospital in 2003. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services decertified the facility shortly afterward and has repeatedly denied recertification of the hospital since (and the roughly $10 million in annual federal funding that goes along with it). The Department of Justice conducted an investigation into the management of the facility in 2006 and found a number of civil rights violations. The department charged that the hospital failed to ‘protect patients from suicide hazards and undue restraint, provide adequate psychological and psychiatric services and to ensure adequate discharge planning and placement in the most appropriate, integrated setting.’Rowe says she has worked hard to make improvements. The hospital was partially renovated; she began inviting volunteers ‘ musicians, dancers, dog therapy providers ‘ into the facility in an attempt to boost morale. Vermont State Hospital. VTD/Josh LarkinDespite these efforts, since Rowe took the $78,000 a year job eight years ago, she has faced a torrent of negative publicity regarding her management of the state hospital. In a recent interview, she said the bad press destroyed the reservoir of good will necessary for the hospital to succeed. Last month, a patient set a fire in one of the rooms with an alcohol wipe, a battery and a piece of tinfoil. At about the same time, hospital staff went to the press with complaints about mandatory overtime.Rowe takes full responsibility for both incidents. She said the fire was handled in a by-the-book response by staff (who immediately put out the flames with a fire extinguisher). The staff complaints affected her deeply. Though Rowe says she instituted an advance voluntary overtime system right away, the rift with her staff forced her to reconsider staying on at the hospital.As for the long-term failure to procure federal recertification, Rowe points to a structural problem that she says fundamentally undercuts the staff’s day-to-day efforts to make the experience at the hospital as therapeutic as possible: The Vermont State Hospital facility is an unhealthy environment for patients.Patients who at one time would have been separated into different units for treatment are now concentrated in a small space. Violent criminals with mental illness share space with elderly Vermonters with dementia and behavioral problems. Patients with anti-social personalities live on the unit with developmentally disabled patients and people with traumatic brain injury, patients with psychosis and people who exhibit self-harming behaviors.The comingling of patients who require different therapeutic treatments in separate psychiatric units into one small space has led to a spiraling series of problems that have plagued the state hospital for a decade.There is the added difficulty of providing patients with sufficient access to the outdoors. The Vermont State Hospital is in a very public location inside the state complex. A road cuts past the yard.‘When I first came here the fences were open and you could see right in at the patients it was almost like a little bit of a zoo,’ Rowe said. ‘People could stop and look at the patients behind a fence.’Individuals in different categories of mental illness require different therapeutic treatments. In the current physical environs of the hospital, it’s very difficult to provide discrete psychiatric therapies, according to Rowe.‘There’s the concentration of those people who are most difficult to treat are now all assembled in one area whereas before you might have had more of those patient types with their own unit,’ Rowe said.Most hospitals, in contrast, have separate floors for different kinds of health needs ‘ an orthopedic floor, cardiac floor, a labor and delivery floor.‘We don’t have that,’ Rowe said. ‘We have all of the different patient needs all on the same unit. When you begin to think of that you realize you have patients who have a propensity toward violence there’s a way of interacting with them that can be helpful but as they’re expressing that violence, what occurs is that the in-patient unit is impacted by that so that staff feel less safe because they know a patient is having an extremely difficult time managing his or her behavior. Other patients are frightened because they see this patient unable to manage his or herself and when you have danger like that on the unit on an ongoing basis it begins to impact the therapeutic environment. I think that most therapeutic environments really rest upon having safety so that you know you have an environment within which you can explore what’s happening inside of you. You can work with people around your symptoms or engage with people therapeutically. When there’s an enormous amount of fear on the in-patient unit, it affects everybody from the other patients and the staff.’The situation, in Rowe’s view, exacerbates violent patient behaviors. The Vermont State Hospital has the highest rate of injury to employees in state government, according to Rowe. The Department of Corrections and the Vermont State Police both have lower incidences of at-work injuries, she said.It’s common for patients to punch, kick or spit at state employees who work at the hospital. Over a two-year period, nearly 200 workers were injured at the facility.Read the Vermont state workforce injuries report‘I actually see that (injury rates) as a significant issue and really I think calls into question broad systemic need,’ Rowe said. ‘We need to think more broadly at who is coming to the hospital, how are patients being provided care in this setting, and is this the appropriate setting for all of these patients.’Though the staff has been trained in conflict de-escalation techniques, she said ‘there are times when a patient and it happens fairly regularly where a patient won’t respond to that and patients strike out at staff members.’A lingering problemThe state Legislature and Gov. Jim Douglas attempted to find a privatized solution to the Vermont State Hospital. There was talk of shutting the facility down and replacing it with services at community hospitals around the state.The Douglas administration pushed for the construction of small facilities associated with private community hospitals, but the $1 million per bed price tag for buildings on the Fletcher Allen Health Care and Rutland Regional Medical Center campuses dashed public support.The Futures Project, as it was called, was a five-year study process. In the end, nothing was built.Every year the state doesn’t take action it costs the treasury about $10 million.Now, eight years after the federal government pulled financial funding for the hospital, the arguments about what to do with the Vermont State Hospital have come full circle: There is talk of building a new $50 million facility with a 50-bed capacity in Berlin near the Central Vermont Medical Center.The Legislature has set aside $2.5 million for a feasibility study and conceptual drawings for a new facility.‘I worry about the fatigue people may have about the Vermont State Hospital and Futures Planning, and I don’t know if we’re really at the end of that discussion,’ Rowe said. ‘People just really want the discussion to be over with, but I when I look at the patients here I think about who is mentally ill in Vermont and how are we meeting those needs in Vermont, be it in the correctional facilities or within the Vermont state hospital or in the community or in the community hospitals and I think about what are those units of care that best serve the different populations that we know have mental illness. I think we have a commissioner and deputy commissioner who are extremely open-minded in understanding these issues more thoroughly but it seems to me that it’s essential that we talk about what the best models of care are to meet those different groupings of need.’Rowe declined to offer a proscriptive solution to the facility conundrum, except to say that she thinks the state’s correctional system needs to be part of the discussion. She suggests that the state could combine populations between the Vermont State Hospital and the Department of Corrections.She also came up with an analogy that compared services offered by private hospitals and state-subsidized mental health care treatments at the Vermont State Hospital with the educational system. In public schools, all-comers are welcome ‘ underprivileged and special needs have equal access to education. Likewise, the state hospital cares for people with the most intractable problems ‘ regardless of cost.‘You see the private education system able to be more selective with the student population,’ Rowe said. ‘That creates a certain environment for those students that doesn’t necessarily exist in the public environment. In some ways it feels analogous that the private hospitals really are selecting who is coming on their in-patient units. And that actually matters then certain patient populations can be served in those settings more effectively than if they had come to our setting or they’re providing a different level of care than what we are providing.’  Anne Galloway is editor of vtdigger.org  Photo: Vermont State Hospital Director Terry Rowe. VTD/Josh Larkin.last_img read more

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Tatro Brothers Concrete closing, to auction equipment

first_imgDale Tatro, President of Tatro Brothers Concrete in Hyde Park, Vermont, is retiring from the construction business and has retained the Thomas Hirchak Company to sell all of his rolling stock, equipment and tools. The auction will be held at their 878 Route 15, Hyde Park location on Tuesday, September 27th at 10 am.  Auction will be available for online Real Time Bidding through www.proxibid.com/ThomasHirchak(link is external). Highlights include: Concrete Pump Truck, Dump Trucks, Hydraulic Excavators, Skid Steer & Wheel Loaders, Pick Up Trucks, Trailers, Crane Truck, 18,000 Square Feet of Symons Forms, Finishing Equipment, and more. Tatro has been in business for 24 years. Source: August 22, 2011 Thomas Hirchak Company www.THCAuction.com(link is external)last_img read more

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