Weekly unemployment claims dip again

Posted On Dec 31 2020 by

first_imgWeekly unemployment claims in Vermont decreased for the second straight week, as March results remained slightly higher than February. Last week there were 884 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont last week. This is a decrease of 75 from the week before and are 39 more than last year’s total.Altogether 10,141 new and continuing claims were filed, a decrease of 270 from a week ago and 2,171 fewer than a year ago. The Department also processed 1,501 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 16 fewer than a week ago. In addition, there were 731 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program, which is 23 more than the week before. The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external). Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external)  Meanwhile, US claims also continued to fall. In the week ending March 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 348,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 353,000. The 4-week moving average was 355,000, a decrease of 1,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 356,250.The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending March 10, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week’s revised rate of 2.7 percent.The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 10 was 3,352,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,361,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,385,750, a decrease of 13,000 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,398,750.Vermont’s unemployment rate fell two-tenths to 5.0 percent in January. See story HERE.last_img read more


Montpelier’s Susan Koch named 2016 Vermont Teacher of the Year

Posted On Dec 31 2020 by

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Susan Koch, a Union Elementary School Kindergarten and First Grade teacher in Montpelier, has been selected as the 2016 Vermont Teacher of the Year (VT-TOY), the Agency of Education announced today. In addition to teaching first grade, she has encouraged and developed the Educating Children Outdoors (ECO) Program in Montpelier. This outdoor education program has now spread to all of the grades at Union Elementary. All students are given the opportunity to learn in a natural setting throughout the entire school year.Also recognized are:·         Alternate Anne Marie Mahar, a science and biology teacher for grades 11-12 at Rutland High School; and·         Finalist Stephen Rand, an English teacher at Harwood Union Middle and High School for grades 9-12.Koch, Mahar and Rand will be honored by the State Board of Education at an event November 17. Rebecca Haslam of Champlain Elementary School is the current 2015 Vermont Teacher of the Year. Koch’s tenure as 2016 Vermont Teacher of the Year will begin January 1.As the 2016 Teacher of the Year, Koch will travel statewide visiting schools and working with teachers. In addition, she is Vermont’s candidate for the National Teacher of the Year award, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers. Koch will travel to Washington, DC, this spring for a reception at the White House, where she will meet the president.Susan Koch“I am proud to represent all of the incredible teachers and colleagues I have met, studied with, collaborated with, and admired.” said Koch. “Education today is a vibrant exciting profession. The role of a teacher in a child’s education has fundamentally changed. We are no longer lecturing student’s as they sit in a “one size fits all classroom”. Educators are providing unique learning opportunities for students that often include forest lessons, community visits, virtual field trips, and collaborative teaching. Students are creating their own knowledge, learning actively, setting goals, and reflecting upon their learning. The teaching profession is a dynamic and exciting field.”Since 1964, Vermont has participated in this program recognizing outstanding teachers. For more information about the Vermont Teacher of the Year program, go to: http://education.vermont.gov/department/awards/teacher-of-the-year(link is external).last_img read more


Senator McAllister suspended

Posted On Dec 31 2020 by

first_imgVermont Business Magazine The Vermont Senate this afternoon voted 20-10 to suspend Senator Norman H McAllister (R-Franklin). McAllister has denied the felony sexual assualt charges against him. The suspension would terminate if he is found not guilty or the charges are dismissed. A trial could start as early as February but will likely not start before March. This is believed to be the first time the Legislature has taken such action. Franklin County and the Senate as a whole will be down one senator. The vote was not partisan. According to vtdigger.org, McAllister himself voted against the suspension. According to the Burlington Free Press, he immediately left the Chamber.Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott, a Republican running for governor this year, issued the following statement about the Vermont Senate’s vote Wednesday to suspend McAllister:“Today the Vermont Senate, for the first time in history, suspended one of its own members – Senator Norman McAllister of Franklin County. It is unfortunate the Senate was forced to take such action in this unprecedented situation, as it is my belief Senator McAllister should have resigned before now. Senator McAllister is charged with serious criminal offenses, and from my standpoint, if it were a law enforcement officer or teacher accused of crimes of this magnitude they would be placed on administrative leave. This action allowed the Senate to govern its own member without getting involved in the criminal case, which could have been seen as influencing the case itself. It is now my hope the Vermont Senate can return to the issues at hand and work towards making Vermont a more prosperous state for families and businesses by concentrating on the fiscal fundamentals and growth of the economy.”Scott, who votes in the Senate only in case of a tie, had previously urged McAllister to resign.VtDigger: SENATE VOTES TO SUSPEND MCALLISTER(link is external)last_img read more


Grosvenor governor

Posted On Oct 18 2020 by

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CABE’s capital energy audits

Posted On Oct 18 2020 by

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Harry Potter And The Cursed Child

Posted On Oct 16 2020 by

first_imgAfter a wham bam success on London’s West End, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, Parts One and Two has finally arrived on Broadway. And the ticket prices are part of the spectacle. They’re not cheap. Still, translated into human values, this Potter is a deal.Written by Jack Thorne, and based on the story as he developed it, with J. K. Rowling and John Tiffany, the production takes over the entire Lyric Theatre. It’s an installation really. And it’s here to stay, as evidenced by the branded signage all over the interior and exterior of the renovated theater.As directed by John Tiffany, the British director whose staging of The Glass Menagerie on Broadway mined the poetry of Tennessee Williams’ classic work, this production showcases the richness of Rowling’s story telling.Tiffany is masterful at the art of morphing realism with fantasy and magic. Only the essential elements of theater craft — neither pyrotechnics, nor spectacle — reign here. In this production, we’re captured by the innocence of child’s play. It’s more like watching kids act out magic in their bedrooms than a series of staid magic tricks.From this perspective, we see an older Harry looking at himself, and his son Albus, in his dreams; portraits that talk; actors who project themselves through walls; characters who disappear into bookshelves; and suitcases that function as gravestones. And all of this requiring nothing more than the richness of theatrical imagination and childlike inspiration . . . or so it would appear.Movement director Steven Hoggett, who also designed the movement for The Glass Menagerie, brings his wizardry to the choreography of The Cursed Child. The swirl of those Hogwarts’ capes has never felt so dramatic, nor the entrances and entrances from dream sequences so mystical, nor the parents searching for their children with flashlights so well-orchestrated, as they are here.And that doesn’t even include the fabulously cinematographic opening to Part II, with men in black strutting their stuff with virility.More than the convincing work of theater artists, Cursed Child calls on the humanity of its characters. To that end, it’s wonderfully well cast, with several of the actors making their Broadway debut.In the central role, Albus Potter, Harry’s Hogwarts-age son, Sam Clemmett is darling. And as his father, Jamie Parker resembles Robin Williams. He has that affable, every guy effect, while still revealing the character’s serious side.What is most interesting about the acting style is its truthfulness and immediacy as reenactment. Rarely do the actors exude the emotions of the moment, however, they recreate those feelings in an expressive, albeit objective way.While realistic, the acting focuses on the essence of character, rather than its personal or idiosyncratic aspects. In this story about filial relationships, friendship, and loyalty, the characters Albus and Harry are representative of generic boyhood and fatherhood.There is unity to the acting style. Noma Dumezweni portrays Hermione, the minister of magic, who is devoted, hard-working, and clever. Anthony Boyle, as Scorpius Malfoy, Albus’s best friend, is a jewel of a boy, and Jessie Fisher plays Delphi Diggory, the child of Voldemort, who hails from a long and drawn out history of evil.That the children in this story appear mature beyond their years is very much to the point. As Harry puts it, at the moment of seemingly irrevocable crisis, “It’s up to our sons now. They’re the only ones who can save us.”Through the telling of this tale, we’re reminded of the courageous high school students in Parkland, Florida, and all over the United States, who stand up for a safer world, without weapons of violence. Ours is a youth crusade, much like Harry and Albus have set in motion.Go see it. Even if you haven’t read the novels, the play is highly enjoyable.MY FAIR LADYResurrecting the male gaze is splendidly alive in this Lincoln Center revival of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s classic, My Fair Lady. Voyeurism, scopophilia, and narcissism are the pleasures and pitfalls to which Henry Higgins and his gentlemanly sidekick, Colonel Pickering, fall prey.In Bartlett Sher’s spirited production, the satire of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, on which the musical is based, shines with classic charm. After all, a woman who starts out complaining “All I want is a room somewhere,” and ends up the belle of the Embassy Waltz, declaring, “I could have danced all night,” has arrived at the fountain of feminist reckoning.Fortunately, the production is anything but staid. Just hearing Lerner and Loewe’s unforgettable songs, “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “On the Street Where You Live,” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face” is incredibly invigorating. The lush orchestra (Ted Sperling, Music Direction), and the set with staircases that lead to more staircases (Michael Yeargan, Set Design), makes the action as lively as a Marx Brothers comedy.Much of this rests on the finesse of these fine actors. As Eliza Doolittle, Lauren Ambrose is a breath of fresh air, with a beautifully-trained singing voice that is surpassingly sweet and beguiling. A delightfully understated actor, her Eliza has the air of being childishly devious, albeit righteous and golden-hearted. Indeed, Ambrose creates the character of Eliza, rather than the icon Audrey Hepburn made of her.Playing the invincible, unassailable Henry Higgins, Harry Hadden-Paton is way too handsome to be dismissed. He gives us the sense that he’s an easy-going actor, still the character he builds is sonorous and powerful. And Allan Corduner as Colonel Pickering is an adorable, familiar feeling sidekick.Meanwhile, Diana Rigg makes a nostalgic return to the Broadway stage, as Henry’s mother — his avenger of sorts. A sophisticated woman of means, Mrs. Higgins is not to be conned by a man, even if it is her own son. As Alfred P. Doolittle, Norbert Leo Butz demonstrates his range as an actor and unabashed gifts as an entertainer. Portraying the clownish, alcoholically enabled good-for-nothing, Eliza’s father, Butz is a veritable soap box on the failures of middle class morality and the merits of usury.True to Shaw’s wont, the poor flower girl who learns to speak overcomes the great divide that separates the classes. And Eliza’s transformation into an elegant, fashionable, well-heeled woman, speaks to the power of innocence, the bounty of education, and the irresistible force of a woman’s charm.To that end, Christopher Gattelli’s choreography of waltzes is a statement in grace, as well as satire. More than a guilty pleasure, My Fair Lady is a joy, an undaunted celebration of emancipation. Sharelast_img read more


Disgruntled clients: the Ombudsman gives us a glimpse

Posted On Sep 30 2020 by

first_img Follow Rachel on Twitter This week the Legal Ombudsman took a small baby step on a very long and distant path that may – or may not – ultimately end in the publication of complaints upheld by LeO against named law firms. That may or may not happen, and certainly not before February 2012. But what LeO did begin publishing last week was some anonymised accounts designed to give an insight into the types of complaints it receives, and the way it deals with them. And it makes for quite a good read. Each one is a personal story of something that went wrong in the client’s life (because, as we all know, it’s almost always the bad things in life that you need a lawyer for). So there are tales of people being locked out by their landlords; having plastic surgery that goes wrong; buying a holiday home and then finding in the deeds that it can’t be let out. While some solicitors in the examples have clearly behaved poorly – like the chap who does not reply to correspondence, and when his exasperated client turns up on his doorstep, assures him that everything is fine and neglects to mention that actually he ceased trading two months ago – in many of the examples it is clear that the complainants are actually just blaming their lawyer because they lost their case, or are blowing small issues out of proportion. The tone of the stories is very accessible, written in colloquial language, and it is clearly aimed at members of the public rather than solicitors. So I found it interesting that many of the examples were actually showing that LeO had found in favour of the law firm rather than the complainant. The client rejected the Ombudsman’s findings in seven of the 12 case studies published. Far from drumming up business for itself, actually one gets the impression that LeO may be trying to stem the tide of unwarranted complaints that it is probably facing. After all, the Ombudsman received 500 calls on its first day when it opened last October, and figures to date suggest it will probably have dealt with 80,000 calls by the end of its first year. Plus, while the vast majority of clients are happy with the service they receive from their lawyer, when things go wrong they do seem to get far angrier with solicitors than they do with other people or businesses who provide a service. At the extreme end of the spectrum, Samson recently revealed that he had received 10 death threats from dissatisfied complainants. Perhaps the Ombudsman’s annual report due out on 14th July will shed some further light on the cost of all these complaints to the profession.last_img read more


New car carriers for WWASA

Posted On Sep 29 2020 by

first_imgWWASA is a car carrier and ro-ro shipping services provider and according to company president and ceo, Jan Eyvin Wang: “Although the car carrying market at the moment might be somewhat weaker than we would like, we believe that the long term underlying growth potential for deep sea transportation of cars and high and heavy equipment is strong and positive.”Each post-Panamax carrier will be 200 m long with a beam of 36.7 m. The vessels will have the capacity equivalent to 7,930 ceus each. The contract arrangement also includes an option for another two vessels.”These vessels are specially designed to cater to the demands of the automotive, rolling equipment and manufacturing industries, with regard to both capacity and quality,” explained Arild B Iversen, president and ceo of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL).Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) is a joint venture between WWASA and Wallenius, established in 1999, providing a combination of shipping and logistics services worldwide.www.2wglobal.comlast_img read more


IMO increased limits of liability enter force

Posted On Sep 29 2020 by

first_imgThe limits in the LLMC Protocol 1996 were raised and subsequently adopted in 2012 by IMO’s Legal Committee, following a proposal to increase the limits submitted by 20 State Parties to the LLMC Protocol.?The amendments to the LLMC Protocol 1996 raise the amount claimable for loss of life or personal injury on ships not exceeding 2,000 gross tonnage, to 3.02 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR), up from 2 million SDR.For larger ships, additional amounts are used in calculating the limitation amount: for each tonne from 2,001 to 30,000 tonnes, 1,208 SDR (up from 800 SDR); for each tonne from 30,001 to 70,000 tonnes, 906 SDR (up from 600 SDR); and for each tonne in excess of 70,000, 604 SDR (up from 400 SDR).The amendments also raise the limit of liability for property claims for ships not exceeding 2,000 gross tonnage, to 1.51 million SDR (up from 1 million SDR).For larger ships, additional amounts are again used in calculating the limitation amount: for each tonne from 2,001 to 30,000 tonnes, 604 SDR (up from 400 SDR); for each tonne from 30,001 to 70,000 tonnes, 453 SDR (up from 300 SDR); and for each tonne in excess of 70,000 tonnes, 302 SDR (up from 200 SDR).The 1976 LLMC Convention sets specified limits of liability for certain types of claims against shipowners, including: claims for loss of life or personal injury; and other claims, such as property claims (including damage to other ships, property or harbour works), delay, bunker spills and pollution damage. The Convention also allows for shipowners and salvors to limit their liability except if “it is proved that the loss resulted from his personal act or omission, committed with the intent to cause such loss, or recklessly and with knowledge that such loss would probably result”.www.imo.orglast_img read more


Government ‘admits lawyer snooping unlawful’

Posted On Sep 28 2020 by

first_imgLegal professional bodies today called for formal measures to protect professional privilege following a reported admission by the government that its policies governing the interception of communications between lawyers and their clients were unlawful.The admission was made in submissions to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which is hearing a case brought by Libyans Abdul Hakim Belhaj (pictured) and Fatima Boudchar, who were rendered to Libya in 2013 in a joint operation by UK and US security forces.Belhaj and Boudchar filed a case with the tribunal in 2013 alleging that UK intelligence services had eavesdropped on confidential communications between them and their lawyers while the pair were in detention.Last November, the government was forced to release documents showing that such interceptions had taken place.Legal activist charity Reprieve has today released emails from the Treasury Solicitor’s Department which state the practice was not compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.The email said: ‘The respondents accept that since January 2010 the policies and procedures for interception/obtaining, analysis, use, disclosure and destruction of legally privileged material have not been in accordance with human rights legislation specifically article 8(2) of the ECHR.’The Libyans’ lawyer, Cori Crider, of Reprieve, accused the government of allowing intelligence agencies free rein to spy on communications between lawyers and their clients. The Law Society said the documents released before the tribunal illustrate the inadequacy of the existing law. ‘The absence of explicit protection for legal professional privilege in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) has been of longstanding concern to the Law Society and we have raised our concerns with the Home Office. ‘Legal professional privilege protects a client’s fundamental human right to be candid with their legal adviser without fear of later disclosure to their prejudice. Legal professional privilege is essential to the administration of justice and a pillar of rule of law.’Its concerns were echoed by the Bar Council. ‘Spying on conversations protected by legal professional privilege is fundamentally unacceptable and constitutes a breach of the rule of law in all but a handful of highly exceptional cases,’ said Alistair MacDonald QC, chairman of the bar.Recent anti-terror measures ‘drove a truck through this centuries’-old principle’, he said.‘If the state eavesdrops on privileged communications to gather intelligence, clients will feel unable to speak openly with their lawyers, which will damage their case, and could wreck it.‘The only situation in which private communications between lawyer and client should be capable of being spied on is when they are made in furtherance of a criminal purpose, and the law should reflect that.’last_img read more