NHBC reports new homes top 15,000

first_imgNew home growth is continuing with more than 15,000 new homes (to be built) registered in November, according to the latest figures from NHBC – which is the second highest monthly total of 2018.15,155 new homes were registered (11,135 private sector; 4,020 affordable sector), a 2% increase on the 14,802 a year ago (11,017 private sector; 3,785 affordable sector).For the rolling quarter, between September and November, 43,745 new homes were registered compared to 40,858 in 2017 – an increase of 7%. During this period there were 33,104 new homes registered in the private sector (31,146 in 2017: +6%) and 10,641 in the affordable sector (9,712 in 2017: +10%).Yorkshire & Humberside (+43%), Wales (+34%) and the South West (+21%) all experienced significant growth compared to the same period 12 months ago, with London down 16% and West Midlands down 11%. Overall, nine of the 12 UK regions saw an increase in new home registrations in the rolling quarter.NHBC, is the leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK and its registration statistics are a lead indicator for the new homes market.NHBC Chief Executive Steve Wood said, “As we reached the end of the year it was reassuring to see continued strong new home registration numbers, with growth across the majority of the UK.“Looking ahead to 2019, NHBC will continue to support the country’s house-building industry to deliver more, high quality new homes for consumers.”new home growth NHBC report new homes February 8, 2019The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Land & New Homes » NHBC reports new homes top 15,000 previous nextLand & New HomesNHBC reports new homes top 15,000The Negotiator8th February 20190253 Viewslast_img read more

EPA: THE CURE’S USUALLY WORSE THAN THE ‘DISEASE’

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Eric Allie / Cagle CartoonsBy Susan Stamper BrownLike the road to Hell, liberal ideas are usually paved with good intentions. But, as Ronald Reagan once said, “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.” And all that vast un-knowledge births monster government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, which end up doing more harm than good.Today, with more than 15,000 fulltime employees-strong and led by environmental extremists, Obama’s EPA is an agency gone-wild. A report just out by the Institute for Energy Research [IER] concludes the EPA’s finalized “Clean Power Plan” is filled with about as much junk as the EPA and contractors just pumped into Colorado’s Animas River.The Clean Power Plan effectually triggers the skyrocketing electricity prices Mr. Obama duly promised years back. Nevertheless, the EPA says the plan will save thousands of lives, improving the climate and our health. That is, barring additional EPA-caused environmental disasters.I presume then, we should trust the EPA, naively ignoring the effect high energy prices would have on low income families. Even EPA Chief Gina McCarthy admits, “Low income minority communities would be hardest hit.” Should we also ignore that former Obama administration Assistant Secretary of Energy, Charles McConnell says the costly and burdensome Clean Power Plan will, at best, only reduce global temperatures by a negligible one-hundredth of a degree, Celsius?The IER report says the plan could trigger “14,000 more premature deaths than it prevents by 2030″ because higher electricity costs reduces the ability to afford basic needs, effectively “making the poor poorer and the sick sicker.” Presumably also making the big government bigger and fat environmental activists like Al Gore, fatter. His wallet, I mean, of course.Apparently, it’s also tough luck for millions of Americans burning wood to stay warm. The same plan proposes an across-the-board ban — no matter where you live or what you can afford — on the sale and production of 80 percent of America’s wood-burning stoves. Forbes.com says, “Most wood stoves that warm cabins and homes from coast-to-coast can’t meet that standard. Older stoves that don’t, cannot be traded in for updated types, but instead must be rendered inoperable, destroyed, or recycled as scrap metal.”Or maybe the EPA will just throw scrapped stoves down the Animas River.In the aftermath of the recent toxic spill, and with likely infinitesimal accountability for its actions, the EPA marches forward in an unrelenting mission to empower itself and control our lives, regulation by unlegislated regulation.As I write, a Wyoming man faces the threat of a $75,000-a-day fine for building a stock pond on his property the EPA says includes “a dam on a waterway.” The pond purportedly violates the Clean Water Act because it lacked an Army Corps of Engineers permit and alleged “material” from his pond flows into other waterways. It matters not that the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office permitted the pond. Likely, the “material” from his pristine pond, fit for fish and waterfowl to flourish and cattle to drink, did not turn waterways a toxic Animas River orange.As usual, conservatives showed up to help the little guy fight big government. The Casper Star Tribune reports that GOP senators wrote to the EPA saying the agency’s actions are a “draconian edict of a heavy handed bureaucracy” more interested in “bankrupting” the landowner. You think?We know by watching all those lousy pharmaceutical ads that sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. It’s the same with the EPA. Back in the 1970s, it banned mosquito-killing DDT after an overreaction to an unsubstantiated book. Scientists today credit tens of millions of needless malaria-related deaths to the ban. And it continues. Seemingly, for every benefit derived from EPA meddling, there’s a list of damaging side effects as long as the Animas.last_img read more

French fancy

first_imgParisian chocolatier Maison du Chocolat has launched a range of macaroons for the summer. They include: Passion a dark ganache infused with passion fruit between a light almond biscuit; Andalousie an almond macaroon filled with fresh lemon zest infused into a dark ganache; Porcelana a dark macaroon, with a ganache made from the rare Porcelana cocoa bean; Pistachio a pistachio ganache in an airy almond macaroon; and Noisette crunchy nuts in a dark ganache.The macaroons will be available in La Maison du Chocolat’s boutique and Harrods in summer.last_img

Statisticians lend critical expertise to infectious disease research

first_imgA positive HIV test result was once a near-certain death sentence, with more than 75 percent of people infected with the virus in the 1980s dying from AIDS. Today, HIV can be managed with antiretroviral medication, and a cure doesn’t seem quite so out of reach—thanks in part to a group of statisticians and epidemiologists at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.These researchers, based at the Center for Biostatistics in AIDS Research (CBAR), are part of an international network of researchers—the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG)—whose work evaluating antiretroviral drugs and testing multi-drug regimens helped establish current treatment guidelines for HIV patients. Findings from the group’s studies have contributed significantly to the dramatic reductions in AIDS mortality in the U.S. and globally.CBAR researchers have a hand in the design, monitoring, and interpretation of more than 50 clinical trials (testing treatments on human volunteers) and laboratory studies each year through ACTG. They also work on more than 150 additional studies through the three other major National Institutes of Health-funded research networks for which they serve as statistical center, and collaborate with colleagues at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health AIDS Initiative.CBAR’s ongoing work on HIV includes studying the heightened risk of end-organ disease in the infected population as they age, and exploring new approaches for controlling HIV in infected patients with the ultimate goal of curing the disease. The group has also broadened its scope to include studies on the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Harvard’s Crimson Summer Academy gives teens academic edge

first_imgFor three consecutive summers, nearly 100 local high school students received the opportunity to live and learn on Harvard’s campus through a program designed to engage them in advanced academic study.Known as Crimson Scholars, the students are immersed in Harvard culture each summer through the Crimson Summer Academy (CSA).Established in 2004, CSA is a rigorous academic program that annually provides enrichment opportunities to 30 low-income, high-achieving students from approximately 40 schools in Boston, Cambridge, and most recently, Somerville. Since its inception, more than 85 percent of CSA graduates have gone on to attend four-year colleges.“We are delighted to share our dedication to learning with so many talented and highly motivated, local students,” said Harvard President Drew Faust. “Attending college is more important than ever, and we hope that throughout their time at CSA, the scholars realize the many possibilities available to them to further their education. We are proud of their accomplishments here at Harvard, and we are confident that they will continue to succeed.”The rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors live on campus Sunday night through Friday. For the first two summers, they study a rigorous curriculum, which includes courses in writing and speaking, quantitative reasoning, and science and technology. During their third summer, they attend Harvard Summer School and take for-credit classes based on their interests.In addition to academics, the students receive courses in college and career planning, study skills, career exploration, and financial literacy. All scholars receive a weekly stipend to help offset the costs of not being able work a summer job. They can also take advantage of academic tutoring and guidance from their Harvard mentors throughout the school year.CSA scholar Junelle Matthias, a junior at Dorchester’s Codman Academy, talks with Academy alumni over lunch. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerAt the completion of the program, they’re awarded a $3,000 scholarship to use at the college or university of their choice, fully funded by the President’s Office.“CSA offers an outstanding educational opportunity to students who show high academic potential but have not had access to all of the resources necessary for full academic success,” said Maxine Rodburg, CSA’s director. “Our mission is to help these deserving and accomplished Crimson Scholars achieve admission to the country’s top colleges and universities, including Harvard.”After graduation from college, many of the students have pursued graduate degrees in business, education, law, medicine, public health, social work and other fields, she said.“They start exciting careers in these fields and in architecture, banking and finance, engineering, IT, media and social services,” said Rodburg. “We’re very proud of all of them. They inspire us every day.”CSA has nearly 300 graduates on tap to give current scholars a strong network of knowledge, expertise, and advice at their fingertips. A few years ago, Rodburg and the CSA’s associate director, Jamie Horr Shushan, began inviting CSA alumni back to campus to talk to Crimson Scholars about their personal career trajectories and their own time at CSA. Once a week, the alumni share their experiences, give advice, and answer questions.“I think it’s incredibly helpful for them to see other students, many of whom may have similar challenges or life experiences, but who with a little grit, determination and hard work, have gone on to succeed,” said Shushan. “Our goal was to help students expand their horizons about what was possible for them. I think so many of our students have preconceived notions about what they should do, and what should happen. Our intent was to show them that there are many, many options and many, many paths.”The returning alumni are not too far removed from being CSA students themselves, and some agree that it gives them a unique opportunity to connect with the current scholars, and hopefully have their advice and personal stories resonate.“I hope that they can see themselves in me because I was in their shoes not so long ago,” said Jide Olanrewaju, CSA ’07, who graduated from Hampshire College in 2011. “I think that when you have that mental picture in your mind — if he can do it, I can do it too — you have benchmarks, and success becomes more attainable.”The alumni often share messages about staying in the present, forming connections with teachers and mentors, and surrounding themselves with people who are going to hold them accountable. Others urge students to remember that everything and every experience is a learning opportunity, and to not stress too much about the process.But most say to enjoy every moment, because being part of the CSA family is an extraordinary opportunity that they can take with them for the rest of their lives. Crimson Academy alumni explain how program affirmed their college dreams Current scholars agree that alumni discussions are often a key part of their own CSA experience. Duy Tran, of Dorchester, a rising junior at Boston Latin Academy, said hearing the alumni talks shows him there is so much more after attending CSA.“It’s all part of a bigger journey,” he said. “There’s so much to look forward to in the future, and that’s really exciting.”Junelle Matthias, a rising junior at Codman Academy in Dorchester, said she likes how many of the alumni talk about how sure they were about their futures before attending CSA, but discovered new passions once they got there.“It was a very powerful message for me to know that I have so many options — many of which I might not even be considering right now,” she said.A group of scholars recently met with Massachusetts State Rep. Chynah Tyler, a 2007 CSA graduate, who welcomed them to the State House to share their concerns about their neighborhoods and to learn about her efforts to improve those communities.With a serviceable resource of CSA graduates, Rodburg and Shushan developed the Career Exploration Fieldwork curriculum, offering rising juniors an opportunity to utilize the network to explore various career options locally. Students went to Google, Harvard Medical School, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Sasaki Associates, Uber, and Vertex.Growing up, people always told Dana Mendes, CSA ’09, a member of Lehigh University’s 2013 graduating class, that he could do anything he wanted. But it was experiencing CSA the first time, he said, that he thought that might actually be true.“I mean there I was, sitting at Harvard. I was a high school kid and these people were really invested in me. I remember thinking, maybe I really can do anything and take whatever path I choose,” he said. “This was by far the biggest factor in me beginning to actually believe in myself and having enough strength to overcome some of the things I needed to overcome. Sometimes that’s all you need — someone to believe in you and tell you that you can do it.” A boost for city students Relatedlast_img read more

Nanovic Institute grants support student research

first_imgAfter taking a class on French philosophy, sophomore Sheridan Rosner pursued her interest in the work of Albert Camus, an Algerian-French existentialist fiction writer, through a Nanovic Institute grant that sent her to see materials on Camus in Aix-en-Provence, France.Rosner said she received a winter break research grant from the Nanovic Institute for European Studies to travel to Aix-en-Provence in early January and study manuscripts and displays in an exhibition there.“Most of [Camus’] stuff is published, but I wanted to look at the originals,” Rosner said. “There was a lot of stuff that was published but you would never be able to find here — like random articles, random journals, Algerian journals that you would never find here that were on display.”The Nanovic Institute provided $36,530 to 16 students to conduct one-week research projects over the break in areas ranging from literature to philosophy to architecture, according to associate director Dr. Anthony Monta.Courtney Rae Haddick, a senior studying architecture, said she received around $2,500 to travel to Switzerland to study the architecture of towns in the Alps. A native of Salt Lake City in the Rocky Mountains, Haddick said she wanted to understand how Swiss towns were able to develop while respecting the mountain landscape around them.“The places that going into it I expected to study a lot were the big cities like Interlaken and Lugano, but they’ve been overdeveloped almost as much as these places in the U.S.,” Haddick said. “Not that I wasn’t expecting it, but I didn’t realize I would actually learn more from the tiny towns that I went past on a train from Lugano to Interlaken.“As far as where would be ideal to site a residential development or something like that, the examples might not be to look at these cities that every tourist that wants to go to Switzerland knows about, but actually it might be these small towns.”Monta said the Nanovic Institute offers grants every break, and students who receive those grants generally work with faculty members to craft their proposals and research methodologies.“We find, break after break after break, that the students who work closely with a professor on their research project have more focused, more fully developed, more concrete proposals, and those typically are funded,” Monta said.Dr. Julia Douthwaite, a professor of French who has worked with many students on European and French research, said meeting with faculty in the weeks before the application deadline is crucial to developing a plan that is specific and detailed enough for the students to execute well.“It takes a little bit of time to come from a big idea, like, ‘I’m interested in Hugo,’” Douthwaite said. “You need to work on the influence of Hugo’s frustration with the Catholic church in 1829 as seen in ‘Les Miserables’ and then look at pamphlets published in 1829 in a church in France and see how that might be echoed in the character of Quasimodo or something like that.“The way I help them is basically paring away by saying, tighter, tighter, make it more focused so it’s something you can accomplish in one week.”Tags: Europe, grants, Nanovic Institute, research, winter breaklast_img read more

Organic Seeds

first_imgGermplasm banks and seed collections — like the one in Griffin administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — hold thousands of older and wild varieties of the crops we grow today. Many have desirable traits — flavor, disease resistance, novel appearance — that have not been fully catalogued, but could be bred into existing vegetable varieties to make them more sustainable, more productive or tastier. Organic growers need seeds that pass muster for organic certification as well as seeds for varieties that are well suited to organic production. And those varieties are just not being developed fast enough, said Suzanne Stone, a graduate student in the horticulture department at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The market for organic produce increases every year as does the number of farmers stepping up to meet that demand, but the number of seed companies catering this growing market is still relatively limited. The problem is that there seems to be little interest in breeding for this second category of farmers, Stone said. “It can take 10 years to release a new cultivar,” she said. “We need to keep the support going for these [breeding] programs because we’re here, ready to do the work. There are great heirloom varieties that need improved disease resistance. There’s a germplasm bank in Griffin, Georgia, where we can go and get all kinds of exciting germplasm for our crops. We just need the funding and the time to do the work.” The result will be a flavorful, disease-resistant, compact melon plant, producing small, farmers-market-ready, “personal-size” melons that leave plenty of room between rows to make manual weeding easier. Stone is seeking her doctorate in horticulture, advised by Dr. George Boyhan, and is working in the college’s organic breeding program. For the past few months, she has been encouraging Georgia’s small and organic farmers to take stock of what improved traits they need from their seed and start working with breeders at UGA to get new varieties produced. Stone will talk about organic breeding programs and the need for farmer collaboration at the 2015 Georgia Organics conference Feb. 20-21 in Athens.While resistance to disease and insects are assets that all farmers want in their crops, other desirable attributes are fairly specific to each production practice, Stone said. While some older, garden-centered varieties and heirlooms offer good flavor and unique appearance, most lack good disease resistance. Seed companies are not actively working to update varieties that are reliable and profitable for, specifically, small or organic farmers. Organic, naturally grown and other small-scale farmers are growing for totally different markets. Both organic vegetable breeders, like Stone, and conventional breeders who work with row crops believe that the traits carried by some of these older and native varieties could help make all agriculture more sustainable. It’s just a matter of supporting the research of scientists who are working to investigate these plants and breed the improved traits into our current crops.center_img Stone has spent the last few years developing a watermelon cultivar that will work well for organic growers. She started with a compact melon variety and has worked to select favorable traits from controlled cross-pollinations. That’s where public university breeding programs come in, she said. Novel appearance, flavor and the ability to produce a steady stream of produce throughout the season are paramount for smaller growers who sell at farmers markets and directly to restaurants and consumers, Stone said. Variable ripening and size are not only OK—they can be a good thing for a farmer trying to stagger harvests and maintain a season-long supply for customers. When the melon is released, it will be adapted to grow in Georgia—where watermelons are big business, but almost none of the production is organic.Stone hopes that organic farmers will start to think a little more critically about the varieties they grow here in Georgia and of some crop attributes that might make their farms more productive. Southeastern vegetable breeders, like those at UGA, are eager to work with organic and naturally grown farmers. “In organic agriculture we have a lot of room for improvement in terms of productivity,” Stone said earlier this month at the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Savannah. “We need to think about the crops that we’re growing in our organic systems and making sure we select varieties that thrive in conditions unique to that system. “ Conventional and large-market farmers need plants that produce as many uniform fruits and veggies as possible in a narrow window of time to facilitate harvest. They often need their produce to be tough enough to endure shipping and to meet grocery store size and color requirements. “Organics are only 4 percent of U.S. food market,” Stone said. “It’s growing rapidly every year, but it’s still a tiny part of the market, so seed companies are not breeding for organic growers. It’s just economics.”last_img read more

Vermont Town Meetings vote 14-1 against relicensing Vermont Yankee

first_imgFor complete survey findings, go to http://www.CivilSocietyInstitute.org(link is external) on the Web.METHODOLOGYThe Civil Society Institute survey by Opinion Research Corporation was conducted February 19-22, 2010 among a sample of 802 adults comprising 399 men and 403 women 18 years of age and older living in the state of Vermont.  Completed interviews are weighted by two variables,  age and gender, to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total state population, 18 years of age and older. The margin of error for results based on the total sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points.  ABOUT THE CIVIL SOCIETY INSTITUTEBased in Newton, MA, the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (http://www.CivilSocietyInstitute.org(link is external)) is a think tank that serves as a catalyst for change by creating problem-solving interactions among people, and between communities, government and business that can help to improve society.   Since 2003, CSI has conducted more than 25 major national and state-level surveys and reports on energy and auto issues, including vehicle fuel-efficiency standards, consumer demand for hybrids/other highly-fuel efficient vehicles, global warming and renewable energy.  In addition to being a co-convener of CLEAN, the Civil Society Institute also is the parent organization of 40MPG.org (http://www.40MPG.org(link is external)) and the Hybrid Owners of America (http://www.HybridOwnersofAmerica.org(link is external)).  EDITOR’S NOTE:  A streaming audio recording of the March 1, 2010 news event at which the Vermont survey results were announced is available on the Web at http://www.CivilSocietyInstitute.org(link is external).SOURCE Civil Society Institute, Newton, MA. MONTPELIER, Vt., March 4, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ As predicted based on a survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) for the nonpartisan and nonprofit Civil Society Institute, the vast majority of Vermont Town Meetings deliberating this week the fate of the Vermont Yankee came out in support of closure of the controversial nuclear reactor by 2012.  The final tally of Town Meetings in Vermont opposing the relicensing of Vermont Yankee was 14-1.  The town of Rockingham was alone in passing a pro-Vermont Yankee resolution and, even then, only by a margin of three votes, according to reports.  Towns voting in favor of shutting down Vermont Yankee were: Thetford, Bristol, Fayston, Brookfield, Montgomery, Woodstock, Moretown, Waitsfield, Danville, Cabot, Huntington, Sharon, and Jamaica. Additionally, Cambridge elected to table the issue.Pam Solo, founder and president, Civil Society Institute, said:  “Our survey pointed to the likelihood that the Vermont Town Halls would come out along the lines of the earlier Vermont Senate vote to close Vermont Yankee by 2012.  With literally dozens of other reactors plagued with similar tritium leaks, we see a clear message here for a U.S. nuclear power industry:   You can’t sell Americans on the notion that you are providing ‘clean and safe’ power at the same time that you are leaking a radioactive substance into wells and other bodies of water.  Citizens in other states may not be able to intervene as directly in reactor issues as Vermonters can, but the Town Hall votes and our survey findings suggest that Americans are unlikely to remain silent about tritium leaks and other legitimate safety concerns.”The Civil Society Institute’s scientific survey of 802 adult Vermont residents was based on Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) polling that took place February 19-22nd immediately before the Vermont Senate vote on Vermont Yankee relicensing.   CSI believes that the findings resonate nationally in that a main driver of deteriorating public support for Vermont Yankee centered on the leaking of radioactive tritium, a problem that also is playing out at 27 or more of the nation’s 104 reactors across 31 states.Key survey findings reported by Opinion Research Corporation included the following:About two thirds of Vermont residents (65 percent) say “reports about Vermont Yankee leaking radioactive tritium into testing wells and surrounding water” make them “more likely to support the 2012 closure of the reactor.”  That includes 44 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of Independents.  Of those Vermont residents who heard about the radioactive tritium leak at Vermont Yankee, nearly four in five (79 percent) said they are concerned about it, including more than half (52 percent) who are “very concerned.”  Only about one in five (21 percent) of this group said that they were not concerned, with just 6 percent saying they were “not concerned at all.”  Even when the 20 percent of state residents who have not heard about the tritium leak are added, the percentage of all state residents who are concerned about the tritium leaks at Vermont Yankee still accounts for 63 percent of the state’s adult population.  Overall, 71 percent of state residents are “less supportive now of Vermont Yankee, the nuclear reactor, than [they] were six months ago.”  That includes 57 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of Democrats and two thirds of Independents.  Given a choice, fewer than one in 10 Vermont residents (9 percent) would ask their power company to use nuclear energy to power their homes, compared to 71 percent who selected “wind, solar and other clean-energy technologies.”The fact that Entergy has been unable to find the source of the tritium leaks makes more than three out of fourVermont residents (76 percent) “less confident in the company’s ability to safely manage a nuclear reactor”.About half of Vermont residents (49 percent) see nuclear power as a “power source of yesterday,” compared to compared to 94 percent for solar, 92 percent for wind and 78 percent for hydroelectric as “power sources of tomorrow” that should play a bigger, rather than smaller, role in the U.S. energy supply picture.  Nine out of 10 Vermont residents (89 percent) say that Entergy — not Vermont taxpayers — “should have to foot the bill for decommissioning Vermont Yankee.”  That includes 83 percent of Republicans, 94 percent of Democrats and 90 percent of Independents.68 percent of Vermont residents would support closure of Vermont Yankee in 2012 “assuming that a combination of increased energy efficiency, clean energy, such as hydroelectric, wind and solar and natural gas could be used to offset the electricity from the reactor.”  That includes 48 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of Independents.  71 percent of Vermont residents would support closure of Vermont Yankee in 2012 “assuming that many new jobs could be created through investments in new clean energy technologies, such as hydroelectric, wind and solar.” That includes 47 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of Democrats and 72 percent of Independents.  Only 46 percent of state residents trust Entergy to clean up the tritium leaks at Vermont Yankee, compared to 47 percent who do not.Two thirds of Vermonters now give Entergy a low rating for “trustworthiness” — with 37 percent saying “very low” and 29 percent “somewhat low.” Only about one in four state residents (26 percent) give Entergy high marks for trustworthiness.Nearly three out five state residents (58 percent) give Entergy low marks for “competence” — with 26 percent saying “very low” and 33 percent “somewhat low.” Fewer than one in three (29 percent) give Entergy high marks for competence.Four out of five state residents (79 percent) have heard about the tritium leaks at Vermont Yankee.  Only 20 percent have not.last_img read more

Seven Vermont citizens and organizations honored with 2010 Democracy Awards

first_imgVermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz presented the 2010 Democracy Awards to seven Vermont citizens and organizations at a ceremony at the Vermont Statehouse on December 21.‘These awards honor people who have promoted the tenets of democracy in Vermont. Each of this year’s recipients is a shining example of leadership in the democratic process,’ says Markowitz.The National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award will be presented to Frank Bryan, University of Vermont professor and author; the Burlington Free Press; and John Cushing, Milton Town Clerk/Treasurer.Receiving the Vermont Secretary of State’s Enduring Democracy Award are student interns Ellie Beckett, Katie Levasseur, and Courtney Mattison who helped usher through Proposition 5; and Susan Clark, Middlesex town moderator and author.The Medallion Award was established by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) in 2001 to honor individuals, groups, or organizations with a record of promoting the goals of NASS in one or more of the following areas: improving elections, with special emphasis on voter education and increasing voter participation; civic education, including the teaching, promotion, and study of this subject; and service to state government–specifically, as it relates to improving democracy in the state.The Vermont Secretary of State Enduring Democracy Award honors individuals and organizations that have shown an outstanding commitment to promoting democracy in the Vermont.Frank Bryan, University of Vermont ‘ Frank Bryan is considered an expert on Vermont politics, in particular Vermont’s town meeting tradition. He has authored several books and publications, including the 2005 ‘All Those in Favor: Rediscovering the Secrets of Town Meeting and Community.’ Over the years he has been a vocal champion of Vermont local government and the town meeting tradition. In 2007 his testimony was instrumental in passing Act 124, making town meeting a holiday in Vermont.Burlington Free Press – The newspaper is being honored for its extraordinary, bipartisan, in-depth coverage of Vermont’s election. In addition to its regular election coverage, the Burlington Free Press posed questions to the candidates and published candidate responses on its front page and on its opinion page almost daily for months leading up to the election. In addition, the newspaper hosted multiple live web debates and sponsored a political blog that kept Vermonters informed and engaged in the election process.John Cushing ‘ John Cushing has served as the Milton town clerk/treasurer for over 40 years! He is recognized as a leader among his peers and served as the president of the Vermont Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Association and on the secretary of state’s town clerk advisory committee. Over the years he has been instrumental in getting key legislation passed relating to the administration of elections in Vermont.Ellie Beckett, Katie Levasseur, and Courtney Mattison – While interning in the Vermont State House, these three students proposed a constitutional amendment that would permit 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the time of the general election to vote in the primary election. They put this forward to Senator Jeanette White and testified on the merits of the amendment (which became known as Proposition 5) before several legislative committees. The amendment passed out of two legislatures and Proposition 5 was approved by the citizens of Vermont in the 2010 general election.Susan Clark ‘ Susan Clark is being recognized for her commitment to enhancing Vermont’s local democracy. Not only did she coauthor of “All Those In Favor: Rediscovering the Secrets of Town Meeting and Community,” but she has been an ardent advocate of town meeting. Through her efforts we now permit towns to adopt a representative town meeting and individuals have the right to take town meeting day off from work. Not only has she contributed to enhancing democracy for the state of Vermont as a whole but she has contributed greatly to her own town, spearheading efforts to energize citizen participation and serving as the town moderator.Visit www.sec.state.vt.us(link is external) for more information about programs offered by the Secretary of State’s Office.last_img read more

April 1, 2003 News and Notes

first_img Anthony J. Fantauzzi III, of Fowler White Boggs Banker, has been elected to the Leadership Council of the American Diabetes Association. Phillip Turner King, of Fisher, Rushmer, Werrenrath, Dickson, Talley & Dunlap, P.A., Orlando, has been elected to membership in ABOTA and Central Florida chapter of same. Todd Katz, president of Tarpon Coast National Bank, has been voted chair of the Florida Bankers’ Association’s Government Relations Committee. Tom Scarritt, president of Scarritt Law Group, joined other trial lawyers in presenting a seminar titled “Proving and Defending Damages” in Tampa. Charles B. Costar III, a shareholder with Zimmerman, Shuffield, Kiser & Sutcliffe, P.A., Orlando, was appointed the chair’s at large representative on the Orange County Board of Zoning Adjustment. Carolyn House Stewart, of Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen, Tampa, has been elected international secretary of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Frank Brogan, of Greenberg Traurig, Ft. Lauderdale, will serve as fund-raising campaign chair for the Broward County Chapter of the United Way. Charles D. Tobin, of Holland & Knight, LLP, Washington, D.C., facilitated a panel discussion titled “Hot Issues in Access, Newsgathering, and Subpoenas,” at the American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law conference in Scottsdale, Az. Eduardo Palmer, of Steel, Hector & Davis, LLP, Miami, served as chair of the first annual Miami International Arbitration Conference in Miami Beach. Karen Stedronsky, of Baker & Hostetler, LLP, Orlando, co-wrote an article titled “Developing Timeshare in the Bahamas,” which was published in the January 2003 issue of Developments Magazine. McGuire Woods, LLP, Jacksonville, received a Gold IMA award in an independent survey that reviewed and rated the Web sites of the 250 largest law firms in the U.S. T. Spencer Crowley and Jason S. Lichtstein, associates of Gunster Yoakley, were named to the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Transportation Executive Committee. Carolyn Delizia, Tyra Read, and Laurie Anton, associates with Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., Fort Myers, have been appointed as officers of the Lee County Association for Women Lawyers, and will serve as president, vice president and secretary/chapter representative respectively, for a one-year term ending in 2004. Thomas M. Messana, of Ruden, McClosky, Smith, Schuster & Russell, P.A., was selected to contribute an article to the 2002 Bankruptcy Law Update, a book which provides in-depth analysis of issues impacting bankruptcy practice. Stephen R. Looney, of Dean, Mead, Egerton, Bloodworth, Capouano & Bozarth, P.A., Orlando, participated in a panel discussion titled “Coggins Automotive Corporation: Is LIFO Recapture a Dead Letter?,” at the ABA Tax Section’s S Corporations Committee 2003 midyear meeting in San Francisco. Leslie O’Neal-Coble, of Holland & Knight, LLP, Orlando, was elected to membership of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Pedro Freyre, of Akerman Senterfitt, Miami, received the Ghandi King Ikeda Award from Morehouse College in honor of his service to the community, working for peace and unity. Bruce A. Blitman, of Ft. Lauderdale, participated in a panel discussion about mediator ethics at The Florida Academy of Professional Mediators/The Florida Association of Professional Family Mediators’ Advanced Training seminar in Orlando. Stephenie M. Biernacki, of GrayHarris, Tampa, will serve as a teen court judge for the Hillsborough County Juvenile Diversion program. Robert L. Parks, of Haggard, Parks, Haggard & Bologna, P.A., Coral Gables, was presented with the National Service to Youth Award from the Boys and Girls Club of America in honor of his 20 years of service to the organization. Patrick A. Moran, of Ruden, McClosky, Smith, Schuster & Russell, P.A., Ft. Lauderdale, spoke at the Second Annual Forum on Commercial Finance & Asset Based Lending in Las Vegas. His topic was “The Effect of Sarbanes-Oxley Legislation on Public Finance Companies and on the Public and Private Companies in their Portfolios.” Stephen H. Sears, of Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen, Tampa, has been elected chair of the board for a three-year term. Harry S. Cline, of Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen, Clearwater, will serve as president of the firm from 2003-06. David R. Punzak, of Carlton Fields, St. Petersburg, has been elected chair of the Florida International Museum board of directors. Jeff E. Rubin, of Talianoff Rubin & Rubin, Miami, has been reelected chair of the United States Sailing Center, an official Olympic training facility in Miami. He has also been elected treasurer of the creditors’ rights section of the Commercial Law League of America and president of South Miami Hospital Associates. Douglas J. Chumbley, of Carlton Fields, Miami, has been appointed to the Florida Defense Lawyers Association board of directors. April 1, 2003 News and Notes April 1, 2003 Regular Newslast_img read more