Official Vermont presidential primary results released

first_img                Republican Ballot            Newt Gingrich                     4,937                      8.1%                                                                Jon Huntsman                     1,195                      2.0%                                                                Ron Paul                              15,343                    25.3%                                                                Rick Perry                                  543                    0.9%                                                                Mitt Romney                     23,955                     39.5%                                                                Rick Santorum                   14,345                     23.6% The Canvassing Committee members signed a Certificate of Greatest Number of Votes for Barack Obama in the Democratic Primary.  The Canvassing Committee members signed a Certificate of Greatest Number of Votes for Mitt Romney in the Republican Primary.  The certificates recited that it is the understanding of the Canvassing Committee members that delegates to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions will be bound according to party rules. The Democratic National Primary is scheduled for September 4-6.  The Republican National Convention is scheduled for August 27-30. Source: Vermont Secretary of State. 3.13.2012 Secretary of State Jim Condos chaired the statewide canvassing committee for the Presidential Democratic and Republican Parties at 128 State Street, Montpelier, on Tuesday and released the official presidential primary results.   Secretary Condos provided copies of the Official Report of the Canvassing Committee for the Presidential Primary Election for the Republican and Democratic candidates.  The results are provided on a town by county basis for the Presidential Primary. The statewide canvassing committee membership is set by state law as the chair of each major party, or his or her designee, and the Secretary of State.  In attendance this morning were Jim Condos, Secretary of State; Jake Perkinson, Democratic Party Chair; Morgan Daybell, designee for Martha Abbot, Progressive Party Chair; and Marty Searight, designee for Jack Lindley, Republican Party Chair. The total votes counted in both parties for the president was 103,264 for a 23% voter turnout.  There were 41,519 votes cast in the Democratic Primary with 40,156 votes for Barack Obama.  There were 61,537 votes cast in the Republican Primary with 23,955 (39.5%) votes for Mitt Romney. Democratic Ballot            Barack Obama                   40,156                    98.4%last_img read more

Brattleboro Retreat CEO apologizes to lawmakers for withholding information about patient overdose

first_imgBrattleboro Retreat,by Anne Galloway vtdigger.org Officials from the Brattleboro Retreat came to the Statehouse on Wednesday to tell lawmakers they regretted they werenâ t more forthcoming about an investigation at the facility that took place after a patient died of a drug overdose.The patient, Jared Fitzpatrick of Middlebury, was at the Retreat for alcohol detox and psychiatric treatment. He died several days after he grabbed methadone from a nurseâ s cart. Afterward, state and federal agencies investigated the Retreat to determine what happened. As a result of the probe, the hospital was cited for deficiencies in patient care.CEO Robert Simpson, VBM file photoRob Simpson, CEO of the Retreat, didnâ t tell lawmakers about the investigation, the nature of Fitzpatrickâ s death or the citations in February when he was called to testify about rumors regarding deaths at the hospital.On Wednesday, Simpson was back in the Statehouse, this time profusely apologizing to lawmakers. The CEO said if he could give his testimony again, he would.â I have listened to the tapes myself and if I could do it over, I would,’Simpson said.The Shumlin administration was also aware of the probe but didnâ t inform legislators about the Retreatâ s problems.At the same time the investigation was under way, state officials were pressing for fast passage of the community mental health bill, which creates a decentralized system for state patients with severe psychiatric problems who would have previously been treated at the Vermont State Hospital. The Retreat is the largest private hospital facility in the new decentralized system, with 14 beds. The state will pay for renovations to the Retreat and for services.In a previous story published by VTDigger.org, lawmakers said they didnâ t know about the extent of the regulatory issues at the Retreat until they were approached by the press more than a month after the legislative session ended.The investigations occurred in February and March.Several lawmakers said they should have been informed, because they were making a decision about a large investment of state money in private facilities.Sen. Claire Ayer asked the same questions over and over again during the daylong Health Access Oversight meeting: What should lawmakers know, when they should know it and who should tell them.The CEO cited a number of â mistakes’that he wished he could take back.â I failed to explain that the initial CMS visit was just the beginning of the process and that a subsequent report would soon be issued,’Simpson said in a statement he read to the committee. â My testimony did not make clear that the CMS review was not complete and there might be potentially standard or conditions of participation findings in an upcoming report. I also did not report back to the Committee after receiving the report and I should have. I deeply apologize for this oversight.âSimpson said the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare reviewed the Retreatâ s corrective action plan and a report should be filed very soon. He said he would make the information available to the committee.The CEO also said he wanted to â set the record straight on two questions.ââ On Feb. 8 I was asked by Sen. Mullin whether the patient death at the Retreat was from â natural causes,â ‘Simpson said. â My colleague Peter Albert and I both responded that we did not know because we understood that the medical examinerâ s preliminary findings were inconclusive. A recent media report has suggested that more specific findings were available at the time. If thatâ s the case, I want to assure the committee we did not know that when we testified and we answered the question to the best of our knowledge.âHe admitted that the Retreat had lost its â deemed status.ââ Unfortunately we found ourselves confused on this point,’Simpson said. â We did not interpret the communication from CMS correctly. But let me step back and make an important clarification: Losing deemed status is not on par with losing CMS certification, nor does it imply an immediate threat to our certification.âFor the time being, the Retreat is no longer admitting adult private patients until issues at the hospital had been completely cleared up, he said.Simpson pledged to keep do everything he can to inform legislators in future.Confusion remained though around exactly what information the Division of Licensing and Protection could be made available to lawmakers. Suzanne Leavitt, head of the division, said federal rules preclude disclosure of any information about an investigation until a corrective action plan has been filed by a hospital.Patrick Flood, commissioner of the Department of Mental Health, told lawmakers they have a right to know when deaths or other â sentinel’events and that information should come from him.â When someone in the custody of the state dies, especially in an unexpected way, it is a matter thatâ s legitimate for public inquiry and discussion,’Flood said.Flood said they would need to discuss what level of â event’would be appropriate to share with the public. He suggested, for example, that elopements might not be worthy of lawmakers’attention.Talking about â adverse events’like the deaths, Flood said â we stand ready to provide the information however best you decide to receive it.âHe agreed it is a â matter for public inquiry and discussion.âRight now the state and legislature do not have a process, and that is the heart of the problem, according to Flood. Lawmakers agreed they have no clear sense of what level of information they should get and suggested he provide them with some guidelines that they can then discuss to clarify what level of info they want.Flood also defended the Retreat, saying the hospital had been â an incredible partner in this difficult situation’after the Vermont State Hospital was damaged by Tropical Storm Irene.He said they had been â incredibly flexible’and willing to solve problems and â there have been some really difficult problems to solve.ââ The Brattleboro Retreat takes the hardest patients. They stand out in what they do,’he said, noting the facility takes patients from other hospitals that those hospitals canâ t handle.The Retreat now was 22 patients that are being treated under state custody though they only signed on for 15.He said there inevitably will be other problems, but â I have great confidence in the Retreat.ââ None of us can sit here and promise there wonâ t be another untoward event,’he said. June 13, 2012 vtdigger.orglast_img read more

Appeals court hands NRC a victory in Vermont Yankee license case

first_imgNorthstar Vermont Yankee,by Alan Panebaker vtdigger.org A federal court handed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) a win Tuesday in a case where the state challenged the federal agencyâ s permit for the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.The Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) and the New England Coalition (NEC) ‘a group that has worked to shutter Vermont Yankee ‘had argued that the federal permit issued in 2011 was invalid because Entergy Corp., the plantâ s owner, failed to obtain certification from the state that the plantâ s operation would not affect water quality in Vermont.But a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to address the issue.The plantâ s original owner, Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp., received the water quality certification under the Clean Water Act in 1970, but Entergy, the plantâ s owner since 2002, did not get a new certification when it applied for its current federal permit in 2006.Since the state and the environmental group never brought the issue up during that time, the court refused to hear their case.Between 2006 and 2011, the state and the New England Coalition never brought the issue to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, although NEC did raise the issue with the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board.â [T]he petitioners here were required under agency regulations to afford the full Commission an opportunity to pass on the section 401 issue before seeking judicial review. And they had repeated opportunities to do so,’the courtâ s decision reads.After raising the issue with the board, the state and NEC did not bring it up until after Vermont Yankee got a new license.â [T]he petitioners sat silent for two and one-half years thereafter, raising their section 401 objection only after the Commission issued the license renewal in March 2011,’the decision reads.Neil Sheehan, public affairs officer for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region I, said the federal regulators basically argued that if the state had wanted to raise the issue, it had four-plus years to do so after Entergy applied for a new license.â We said they had multiple opportunities to bring this up,’he said. â For instance, when the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruled, it made very clear that if there were any other issues that the state or groups wanted to bring up, they could.âState officials said the decision failed to address the real issue of water quality but instead focused on procedural nuances.John Beling, director of the Department of Public Service Public Advocacy Division, said in an e-mail to VTDigger.org: â We are disappointed that the court declined to address the substantive water quality issue Petitioners raised, instead finding that it should have been pursued further at the NRC. We felt strongly that the court should accept the petition that Vermont Yankeeâ s water quality certificate from 1970 is not adequate to cover another twenty year federal license.âBeling said the department is focused on the future, as the Public Service Board proceeding to determine the fate of the plantâ s state license unfolds over the next year. The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is currently pursuing water quality issues dealing with the plantâ s thermal discharge permit.â It seems to me the court got led down the rabbit hole of procedural nuance within the byzantine halls of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,’he said.Chris Kilian, vice president and director of the Conservation Law Foundation in Vermont ‘the firm that represented the New England Coalition, said it was unfortunate that the courtâ s decision deprived the state of the opportunity to ensure the plantâ s continued operation does not affect the stateâ s clean water.Kilian said it is unfortunate that the court missed the primary point that Congress intended to have the state and its citizens have primary control over protecting their waters and instead focused on procedural nuances.The state and New England Coalition will discuss whether to appeal the case either for a rehearing before the entire D.C. Circuit or with the U.S. Supreme Court.The decision deals another blow to the state of Vermont and local citizens groups trying to shutter the plant.In January, a federal judge found two state laws requiring legislative approval for the plant to continue operating were unconstitutional. The state and Entergy are both appealing that decision to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.Entergy is also seeking a certificate of public good from state utility regulators in light of the January decision that found the state could not bar the company from getting that permit without first getting approval from the Legislature. June 26, 2012 vtdigger.orglast_img read more

Leahy announces nearly $10 million Navy contract for Goodrich-Vergennes

first_imgCollins Aerospace,Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced Monday that Simmonds Precision Products, a subsidiary of the Goodrich Corporation operating in Vergennes, has been awarded a nearly $10 million contract from the US Navy. The contract is for 120 Health and Usage Monitoring Systems, or HUMS, to be used in certain Navy helicopters, and overseas by the Government of Australia, under the Foreign Military Sales Program.  The contract sustains jobs in Vergennes and lasts through March 2014. Earlier this year Leahy announced another contract amounting to nearly $10 million awarded to the Goodrich Corporation facility in Vergennes by the U.S. Army.  That contract was similar in nature and supported the procurement of 80 HUMS units produced at the Vergennes plant. The diagnostic systems produced by Goodrich-Vergennes give military mechanics essential feedback on a helicopterâ s engine performance, structural performance and rotor wear, allowing it to be serviced before major systems fail.  These systems eliminate the need for helicopters to be removed from service for routine maintenance, thus saving money, increasing safety and improving operational readiness. Leahy is a senior member of the Defense Departmentâ s budget committee ‘the Senate Appropriations Committeeâ s Defense Subcommittee — and has long supported Goodrichâ s work in Vermont.  The Goodrich manufacturing facility in Vergennes provides work for approximately 800 full-time employees, making it one of Addison County’s largest private sector employers.   Leahy said, â I am pleased to see this company prospering in Vermont and proud to announce this contract, which builds upon the Vermont plantâ s record of accomplishment and innovation.  Goodrich continues to be on the cutting edge of military technology and provides high-tech jobs to many Vermonters, which in turn strengthens the communityâ s economy and Vermontâ s economy.  These back-to-back contracts, including sales to U.S. allies, show how an earmark can become a crucial program of record that delivers for our national security and the safety of those who serve in uniform.â  Bill Lennox, Senior Vice President of Washington Operations at the Goodrich Corporation said, â This order from the Navy is due to the many benefits our HUMS system has provided the fleet.  This program started years ago with a strong vision from the Navy to reduce their fleet operating cost and improve safety and readiness.  Senator Leahy was instrumental in helping the Navy keep the program funded during those early years, and now the program is supporting high technology production jobs in Vermont.â  Leahy’s office, 7.2.2012last_img read more

North Country Hospital joins Healthy Food Partnership

first_imgNorth Country Hospital,When we say North Country Hospital is the place where ‘caring runs deep’we really mean it! Not only do we give our best in caring for our patients, we care about the food they eat and their over-all health.Our food and nutrition service has rolled out entirely new menu concepts for our patients and in the café. The new Hospital Healthy Food Initiative is the result of collaboration between our food service company Morrison and Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA). ‘We’ve been at the forefront of the industry on health and wellness for more than two decades. The PHA partnership is an extension of our philosophy of offering wholesome, nutritious, and better-for-you foods and will allow us to make healthful choices easy and even more accessible to millions of patients, staff and visitors,’said Tim Pierce, CEO, Morrison.In joining the initiative, Morrison agreed to make a commitment to adopt standards for nutrition labeling, healthy food marketing, wellness meal offerings, elimination of deep fat fryers, increases in healthy beverages and increases in fruits and vegetables offered.  World class chefs and nutritionists at Morrison have created delicious new recipes for hospital menus.Using the latest research on healthful eating and incorporating techniques that influence behavioral change in food consumption, Morrison will improve the health profile of the hospitals it serves by implementing such changes as:·                     eliminating 5.7 million pounds of sugar from bottled beverages·                     switching to exclusive use of whole grain or legume-based pasta in the 3.7 million pounds of pasta we serve each year·                     offering whole grains as an alternative to the 1.9 million pounds of rice served annually·                     offering better-for-you foods in place of high impulse low-nutrient food at cash registers·                     reducing fat calories by using healthier, misted oils exclusively in appropriate applications·                     and featuring images of healthy nutrient-rich food in our regular marketing promotions‘We believe we have a responsibility to help change people’s lives through healthier food environments,’said Gordan Lodewyk, NCH manager of food and nutrition services. ‘By joining with PHA, Morrison can help hospitals in their mission of becoming models of healthful eating and implementing practices that support a more robust and healthier food system. They will be supporting us in encouraging behavioral change in the hospital environment and the community.’last_img read more

Burlington named top desitination for American Beer Day (Oct 27)

first_imgAmerican Beer Day returns on October 27th to honor the nation’s favorite cold beverage and celebrate US brewers who have perfected their craft from coast to coast. To help guide thirsty patriots as they seek to imbibe, Roomkey.com(link is external) has listed its top destinations for craft beer, from Portland, Oregon to Burlington, Vermont. Each brew city on the list boasts exceptional breweries, offering locals and travelers alike the opportunity to enjoy uniquely American creations.Roomkey.com’s top seven craft beer destinations are:Burlington, VTThis sleepy college town has the most breweries per capita with just over two dozen filling the area. Magic Hat Brewing Company is one of the most recognized, and is a great place to check out beer being brewed.Denver, COHome of the Great American Beer Festival, Denver boasts more than 40 breweries. Coors might be the name that first comes to mind, but the craft offerings in the city are unbeatable. Almost any Denver hotel(link is external) will be near one of the breweries, but choose an Uptown location for walkable distances.Dallas/Fort Worth, TXThe DFW metroplex has a growing craft beer scene influenced by the history of Texas. Rahr& Sons, Franconia, Deep Ellum, Peticolas, Revolver, Lakewood, Four Corners, Community… these breweries, among others, have made a name for themselves in the Lone Star State.Kansas City, MOThis Midwestern city may be well known for their barbecue, but they’ve also got the right beer to go with it. Locals love Boulevard Brewing Co., which is now the second largest brewery in Missouri and the nation’s 10th largest craft brewer.Minneapolis/St. Paul, MNThe Twin Cities area boasts at least 30 breweries and proves that the Midwest is contributing their fair share of quality craft beer. The Fulton Brewery is home to a 9.2% ABV imperial stout – a great drink to warm up with during the brutal Minnesota winters. Click here to browse cozy hotel options(link is external).Portland, ORPortland has a whopping 53 breweries, more than any other city in the world. American-style hefeweizen was first debuted here at Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. in the ‘80s. Innovation is a tradition that has stayed true as the beer scene grows, shown with a new trend in eco-breweries.Portland, METhe Portland on the east coast isn’t too shabby either: Allagash brewery has been named one of the best brewery tours in America by TripAdvisor. Each of Allagash’s 15 microbreweries brings a distinctly East Coast flair to their beer, including several blueberry ales or the lobster logo on Geary’s Pale Ale.About Room Key®Room Key is an experience-tailored hotel search engine created by six of the world’s leading hotel companies.  The personalized service enables travelers to quickly and easily compare value for their stay – based on specific attributes and preferences most important to individual guests – and book directly with more than 100 leading hotel brands in 159 countries around the world.  With a continued focus on providing consumers the best, personalized value for their trip, Room Key also allows travelers to compare properties based on the pricing and benefits associated with their respective hotel frequent guest programs – something that cannot be done on any other online travel booking site.Room Key was founded in 2012 by Choice Hotels International (NYSE: CHH), Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H), InterContinental Hotels Group (NYSE: IHG), Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) and Wyndham Hotel Group, part of the Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE: WYN), or their respective affiliates.  Through a collaboration with Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), Room Key makes it easy to join the fight against cancer: for every stay booked on www.Roomkey.com(link is external), Room Key will donate $1 to SU2C through February 2017, accelerating vital research, delivering new therapies to patients and helping to save lives now. Visit the campaign website for more information:  www.Roomkey.com/StaytheNight(link is external).DALLAS, October 20, 2014 –  www.Roomkey.com(link is external)last_img read more

Vermont Moose Permit Lottery results are in

first_imgSHELDONVTD2 WASHINGTONVTJ2 EAST BARREVTJ1 CRAFTSBURY COMMONVTD1 RANDOLPHVTD1 SOUTH HEROVTB&C OLIVIAIST. JAMES ZACHARYRPERRY WILLIAMSTOWNVTH ISAACWMERRIAM DYLANRHARLOW CHITTENANGONYE1 SPRINGFIELDVTD2 BAILEY COLCHESTERVTG MONTPELIERVTG RICHARDSLEIGH WESTMINSTERVTM&O CLIFFORDCCLARK MONTPELIERVTH EDWARDJLONGWAY EDENVTB&C JOHNJCOMPANION BERLINNHE1 EAST MIDDLEBURYVTE2 ERIC TIMOTHY ALBANYVTD1 KRIS ANTHONYACLARK MANCHESTER CENTERVTD1 SHELDONVTE1 IRASBURGVTD1 NICHOLASSROWE COMSTOCK JOHNFMCCABE III LEGGETT KARLAGARDNER MILTONPMCWAYNE SOUTH BURLINGTONVTB&C GROTONVTG,H,I,J1,J2,L,M,O,P or Q ALBERTWST CYR DANIELLPREHEMO CHATHAMNYG,H,I,J1,J2,L,M,O,P or Q CAMBRIDGEVTE1 DAVIDRROBILLARD BRIANMBILODEAU VICKYRQUENNEVILLE JOHNSONVTB&C LEVESQUE DAVIDPWIMETT COLINCLUMBRA MARIABJACOBS DAVIDRLAMBERT FAIRFAXVTE1 MORETOWNVTG DORSETVTD2 BURLINGTONVTP&Q RICHFORDVTB&C LEEESTOODLEY CONCORDNHE1 TAMMYMMILLER STEVENTCROSBY BRAINTREEVTE1 MASURE NEWARKVTD2 JAMES JAMIESBOYER BRAINTREEVTB&C LINCOLNVTI RICHFORDVTB&C BRIDGEWATERVTM&O WESLEYACHANDLER RANDOLPHVTJ1 GUILFORDVTE1 NORTH TROYVTE2 VALRLAMONDA DUBLINNHB&C ESSEX JCTVTE1 FRANKLINVTB&C COLCHESTERVTB&C LAWRENCEPBERGERON ROCHESTERVTJ1 ESSEX JUNCTIONVTM&O FLORENCEVTG,H,I,J1,J2,L,M,O,P or Q CAROLYNEJHEBERT ADAMDBRAMAN ROBERTLBINGHAM RUTLANDVTD1 WILLIAMCBURTON PLAINFIELDVTH ALLENJBEAULIEU STARKSBOROVTI EAST BARREVTD1 NEWPORTVTB&C CEDRUSNHANNAN ISLAND PONDVTE1 NEWPORT CTRVTE2 BRANDONVTH NATHANJREIL MONTYPVACHON SHELBURNEVTJ1 GROTONVTD1 MONTPELIERVTD1 JENNAMSPRAGUE MATTHEWJHOCK RAYMONDSHALL KEVINQKING ARLINGTONVTD2 WOODBURYVTH BENNINGTONVTM&O MARKALEONARD ISLAND PONDVTD1 CRAIGAWILLIAMS DANAAJOYAL LISAAINGALLS BRIANRPIERCEJR.MIDDLETOWN SPRINGSVTE1 NEWPORTVTE1 DANIEL LISAMJACOBS DERBY LINEVTD2 WHITE RIVER JUNCTIONVTI ROUX BRYANLBENNETT BRUCE MARKAHIPES JOHNSONVTB&C PROVOST READINGPAD2 WINDSORVTD1 LEONARDJGERARDI TRAVISAGODFREY HOWARDRBEAUPRESR.MILTONVTB&C COLBYJGIROUX SHIRLEY ESSEX JUNCTIONVTJ1 STARKSBOROVTG,H,I,J1,J2,L,M,O,P or Q SOUTH HEROVTE2 THOMASHBROOKS BRANDONVTG,H,I,J1,J2,L,M,O,P or Q EAST HAVENVTE2 RICHMONDVTB&C FRANKLINVTB&C JAMEYCBURBO DAVID WILLISTONVTD2 MITCHELLHBARROWS TODDRCALEVRO JAMESBDESANTOS MORGANVTE1 WATERBURYVTG,H,I,J1,J2,L,M,O,P or Q ROBERTAACABBO BROOKFIELDVTJ2 SO ROYALTONVTB&C JOSHUASCARON BELLOWS FALLSVTJ2 GARYLCARTER CONNIEJKING ERICMRAINVILLE DAVIDJGUILMETTE MICHAEL GORDON ANDRE SPRINGFIELDVTE1 MORGANJGOUVEIA MICHAELRMILLER HYDE PARKVTD1 DELBERT SCOTTMCASTINE BUCHANAN BARREVTH MILTONVTB&C VERGENNESVTI CAMBRIDGEVTE1 ST. JOHNSBURYVTE1 FIRST NAMEMILAST NAMESUFFIXCITYSTATEWMUREGULAR PERMITVETERAN PERMITARCHERY PERMITCHADABROWN BARREVTE2 ASHLANDMAE1 CONNORTWALKER KENNETHECURTIS SOUTH ROYALTONVTD1 MATTHEWHGRAZIANO THOMASWWILLIAMS Vermont Business Magazine The winners of Vermont’s 2015 moose hunting permits were determined Thursday, July 16, at a lottery drawing in Barre. Governor Peter Shumlin, standing alongside Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter, started the computer-generated selection process that randomly picked 265 winners from more than 9,500 lottery applicants. The drawing is done by a random sort of applications that were submitted by a June 17, 2015 deadline. As part of the regular lottery drawing, a “special priority drawing” was held for five permits to go to applicants who have received, or are eligible to receive, a Campaign Ribbon for Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The unsuccessful applicants from the Iraqi-Afghanistan drawing were included in the larger regular drawing that followed. All applicants for both drawings who did not receive a permit were awarded a bonus point to improve their chances in future moose permit lotteries.The lottery was held for 40 moose permits to be used in the Vermont’s October 1-7 archery moose hunting season and 225 moose permits for the October 17-22 regular moose season. “Today’s lottery drawing helps celebrate one of Vermont’s successes in science-based wildlife management,” said State Wildlife Biologist Cedric Alexander.  “Vermont’s first moose hunt was in 1993, when 25 moose were taken with 30 permits issued.  We expect close to 120 moose will be taken this fall in a carefully regulated hunt.”Winners in this year’s moose hunting lottery are posted in a searchable database on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com(link is external)). If your name wasn’t drawn, you can still bid in Vermont’s auction for five moose hunting permits, which is open until August 13. Sealed bids must be received by Vermont Fish & Wildlife by 4:30 p.m. that day.  Contact the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department to receive a moose permit bid kit. Telephone 802-828-1190 or email [email protected](link sends e-mail). Vermont has about 2,400 moose statewide with the greatest concentration in the Northeast Kingdom.  Photo:  VTF&W photo by Steve Schaefer. Kevin Rice of South Pomfret, VT with the archery record 919 lb. bull moose he took last year during Vermont’s archery moose hunt.  All winning applicants will receive a winner’s packet in the mail. Winner’s packets were mailed to all winners on July 16, 2015.Completed forms must be returned to Fish & Wildlife no later than Monday, August 3, 2015.If you decide to decline your permit and receive a bonus point instead, please do so in writing and return it in the self-addressed envelope in your winner’s packet before August 3, 2015 or email to [email protected](link sends e-mail). Any questions, please contact our licensing division at 802-828-1190.Winners of moose permits for this year are below: PITTSFORDVTE1 E HARDWICKVTD2 EASTMAN JERICHOVTB&C RUTLANDVTG,H,I,J1,J2,L,M,O,P or Q HARDWICKVTD1 RYANJDUFRESNE ROBERTPJETTE SOUTH ROYALTONVTD1 WHITE RIVER JUNCTIONVTE1 FAIRFAXVTD1 DUMMERSTONVTE1 NEWFANEVTM&O FERRISBURGHVTD2 DEBORAHAGREEN SWANTONVTD1 ST ALBANSVTE2 STRAFFORDVTJ2 ST. JOHNSBURYVTJ2 WORCESTERVTH DRAGON EAST MIDDLEBURYVTE2 READINGVTH ADAM GUILDHALLVTD2 GLASTONBURYCTD1 CHELSEAVTE1 SOUTH BURLINGTONVTB&C ROBERT MARSHFIELDVTH ROBERTVHARNOIS MATTHEWDRAFUS GREENSBORO BENDVTE1 BENNINGTONVTL FETTERS HULL JAMESMWETHERBY JOHNSTON AUDREYAMALONEY JOHNAZARTARIAN PAULNKIK MATTHEWNTETREAULT DANNYMDOYLE LONGWAY DENNISGRODGER HIGHGATE CENTERVTB&C GARY RICHMONDVTG REED RICHARDAAMSDEN JAMESRMYERS WESTFORDVTL WINDSORVTE2 MOLLYMMITCHELL JEFFERSONVILLEVTD1 HYDE PARKVTD1 BENNINGTONVTP&Q FRANKLINVTM&O ST.ALBANSVTD2 MICHAELRALLARD ANTHONYBWHITAKER ROBERTRSHORTSLEEVE LARRYLSHEPARD, JR DANNYLGONYAW ALDENMGROUT CAMBER MIDDLESEXVTH GUETTI VERNONVTM&O MELISSASBOVEY BENSONVTG,H,I,J1,J2,L,M,O,P or Q MARYANNE DAVIDPWILLEY BLAIRTMOULTON OWENLASTBURY MORRISVILLEVTE2 QUEENSBURYNYD1 DENNISRSMITH BERNARD BRANDONVTE1 WESTFIELDVTB&C MOORESRLYNDONVILLEVTE1 SAINT JOHNSBURYVTD1 RICHFORDVTB&C DAVIDWTATROJRFRANKLINVTG,H,I,J1,J2,L,M,O,P or Q BARNETVTE2 ALFREDPOSIAS CROSBYMSARGEANT CHADMLANTAGNE WAUSAUWIM&O GEORGIAVTJ1 SPENCERJHOWARD SAINT ALBANSVTB&C JOHN RICHMONDVTE1 TIMOTHYEROBERTS RICHFORDVTH ROBERTCSCARBOROUGH MONTGOMERY CENTERVTD1 WEST CHARLESTONVTE1center_img RICHARDJZIOBRON JAREDDLAMARCHE CAMBRIDGEVTD2 PAULWHAYNES FRANCISPJENNINGS CHELSEAVTE1 MARKAGRISWOLD JASONMBRISSON WILLIAMHJENNISON HARDWICKVTI ZACHARYFSUDDABY JAMESAMARCHALAND ALBURGHVTE1 BRYANGWHITE WATERBURYVTI LONDONDERRYVTL FAIRFIELDVTE1 NICHOLASBCAMERON POULTNEYVTE1 MAYHEW BRUCEROLDENBURG CONLEY KINCAID BRIDGEWATER CORNERSVTM&O AARONJKING QUATT HALEYJTETREAULT JAMAICAVTE1 KEVIN FREDHVANCE JOHNDKIPP JAMESWPATCH NANCYLKOLESNIK POULTNEYVTD2 WESTFORDVTE1 TUNBRIDGEVTJ1 TIMOTHYPPALMER COLRAINMAI MONTGOMERYVTB&C BELLINGHAMMAH EUGENE IRASBURGVTD1 GARRETTJLAPERLE RANDOLP CENTERVTD2 DANA HINESBURGVTE2 WHITE RIVER JUNCTIONVTP&Q SOUTH BURLINGTONVTB&C BRAYTON RAYMONDCJETTE COLCHESTERVTD2 EAST MONTPELIERVTH SUMMERHILLPAJ1 SOUTH BARREVTE2 MILTONVTE1 HELLERTOWNPAE2 HYDEPARK VT.VTB&C BRIANDLEPINE BENSONVTG,H,I,J1,J2,L,M,O,P or Q DENNISRLOHREY ERICVJOHNSON WEST CHARLESTONVTD1 GEORGEEFIFIELD PERKINSVILLEVTM&O JAMESRLOGAN JAYVTE1 DANNYRWHITAKER JOANNAWATERHOUSE EAST DOVERVTP&Q BERNADETTEACOUTURE JAMESWGRINTER STUARTJDELIDUKA MARKEPOLLARD ROBERT BRIDGEWATER CORNERSVTM&O RICKYRSTOCKER PITTSFORDVTD1 LORENAHOGABOOM WEST WARDSBOROVTP&Q JAYCDEBONO MARCELLWPUTVAIN PUTNAM RAYMOND RUTLANDVTE2 E MONTPELIERVTM&O SOUTH BURLINGTONVTB&C BOOSKA HINESBURGVTD1 LAWRENCEEBEACH WOODSTOCKVTM&O MICHAELRCHARNEY EDENVTB&C RICHARDPPAUL LEONARD TIMOTHYPMURPHY DENISJMARCHEGIANI JOSHUADMCDONOUGH BRANDONVTI DWAYNE MCLEAN ANNEDSMITH CLARKSBURGMAP&Q KEVINJLOUZIER PHILIPFLENZ EAST HARDWICKVTD2 JAMISON SOUTH BURLINGTONVTE1 REBECCASROCHFORD HARDWICKVTE1 PLAINFIELDVTH JACOBMLINCOURT GREENSBORO BENDVTD2 TYLERJBATCHELDER NANCYLDEROSIA LINDAASTOWELL QUENNEVILLE JEFFERSONVILLEVTD1 HANCOCKVTI GUILFORDVTI RYANWPYTKO DANVILLEVTD2 CHARLES MATTHEWJGONYO ST. JOHNSBURYVTD2 EDWARDDEVANS BARREVTJ2 CORNWALLVTI KENNETHEBOYCE TREMBLAY ROBIN DUPUIS SUDBURYVTI JENISONMIB&C JEREMYWKING BRUCEHCRAM N SPRINGFIELDVTE1 JASONWMEARS JONE BENNINGTONVTP&Q LYNNETTEADEAETTE CASTLETONVTD2 PAULAMASCITTI GILMANVTJ2 TIMOTHY JEFFREYSFRENCH DRENNENWVB&C BENQADAMS E. DUMMERSTONVTD2 MANCHESTERMAG,H,I,J1,J2,L,M,O,P or Q DAVIDJBLACK QUINNEMARTIN HARTLANDVTM&O SHAWNGMESSIER DEREKACYPHER JAMESPSMITHJRWILLISTONVTE1 DIANELSHEPARD MARTIN JORDANTQUILLIAM MILTONVTE1 HAILEY VIRGINIAAGARRISON STEPHENMDAVIS JOHNWWAGNER CHARLOTTEVTG MCCARTHY SWANTONVTE1 PETERRBREEN CORYSCURTIS DOMPIERRE ROBERTWLENCKE JOHNPEVANS GEORGEWGOLDSWORTHY EAST HAVENVTE2 JAMESBREYNOLDS ROCHESTERVTJ1 RALPH JODYLNELSON EMERSON JESSICA SHELDONVTB&C HITT BRISTOLVTI WILLIAMTOWNVTD1 DAVIDJTATRO NEWPORTVTB&C ERICHPILKINGTON ANTHONYSPOTTER POND RYANGKESSLER LANCEESAWYER JEFFREYDLEGGIO ROBERTLSAWYER MICHAELEBOUCHER MICHELI BRANDONVTI MELISSAAMOFFATT BURLINGTONVTI MATTHEWJSHERWIN MONTGOMERY CENTERVTD1 DANIELOWHITE SCOTTKCOONS RANDOLPHVTM&O VICTORAATKINS VICTORPGAUDETTE SHORT ANDESNYD2 ORWELLVTE1 CUTTINGSVILLEVTL MICHAELJDESLANDES CHESTERVTM&O STEPHENGWALCOTT DAHANKMOHAMED SWANTONVTH GRAND ISLEVTB&C RICHFORDVTB&C BRIDGEWATERVTM&O BRIDGEWATER CORNERSVTM&O SALVADOR SCOTTARAWSON DIANEEOTIS WATERBURY CENTERVTJ1 POULTNEYVTM&O WHITE RIVER JCTVTE1 CRAFTSBURYVTD1 OAKDALENYH MORETOWNVTJ2 HARDWICKVTE1 VALERIEFVALLERAND LYNDONVILLEVTE2 ST JOHNSBURYVTD1 JESSEASPINA STAMFORDVTP&Q SHANEMCLARKE SHAFTSBURYVTP&Q ESSEX JCTVTB&C HINESBURGVTD2 SANDRALTHOMAS SHREWSBURYVTL WEST CHARLESTONVTD1 WALTERTTROESCHER REDWOODNYD1 TOUSANT HALL CROSS FAIRFAXVTE1 BARRE TOWNVTH MARIONESHELDRICK THOMASAHENDERSON GROTONVTH JEFF RUTLANDVTG,H,I,J1,J2,L,M,O,P or Q BRIANLBOUCHARD ZACHARY ORSONJHITCHCOCK SILBERTRLANOUE JR. LAKE ELMOREVTH JAMES WILLIAMTMEIGS WHITINGHAMVTP&Q JAMESFKASUBA JAMESEWESCOM LAWRENCEGLYNDS ST. JOHNSBURYVTJ2 MARKCMOORE KYLEWDEMERITT EAST CALAISVTE2 TUCKER BARBARA CHRISTOPHERTSTEVENS MICHAELSJACOBS POST MILLSVTD1 SANDRASOBRIEN RICHARDAWILBUR III WINOOSKIVTH PLYMOUTHVTM&O ISLAND PONDVTE1 JESSICAEWOOD JORDANIWHITE MICHAELJLAVALETTE PLYMOUTHMAJ2 HAROLD SHEFFIELDVTD2last_img read more

SVMC unites with local quilters to bring comfort to cancer patients

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Members of the Cancer Center Community Crusaders (known as the 4Cs) and the Quiet Valley Quilters have joined forces to support patients at Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center in Bennington. In October, the three organizations worked together to provide 14 handmade quilts to cancer patients whose treatment had ended who had transitioned to hospice care. The quilters are preparing quilts for six additional patients now. Cancer patients and staff build deep relationships throughout their appointments, sometimes over many years. Once a patient has transitioned to hospice care, they no longer come to the Cancer Center. Both patients and staff feel that separation.Quilters Nelle Knapp, Wendy Sharkey, Gloria Boutin, Pat LaFontaine, Sharon Shorey, and Daraine Niegoda present pieces from quilts they are assembling for cancer patients at SVMC. “Giving one of these beautiful quilts to a patient is a way of recognizing the significance of their journey and to continue to be there with them. It communicates that they are not alone,” said Charlene Ives, MD, a medical oncologist at the Cancer Center.The idea to give quilts arose more than a year ago. The staff had been giving personal gifts to patients to acknowledge their last treatment. These special gifts were meant to mark the transition between the end of treatment and the start of hospice care.  Honoring this transition seemed to help both patients and staff cope with the separation.  Ives became aware of other cancer treatment centers providing transition kits, which included quilts. She brought the idea to the Breast Care Program Leadership Team for consideration.  This group includes physicians, nurses, volunteers and others.Avis Hayden, a former SVHC employee, was part of this group and a member of the Quiet Valley Quilters Guild. She felt the Guild might be interested in providing quilts for these transition kits. She researched similar programs around the country, including Peace Health in Oregon. The staff there provided the details necessary to launch a program here in Bennington. Hayden introduced the idea to the Quiet Valley Quilters Guild — to date more than a dozen quilters have worked to sew blocks for the quilts.Hayden worked with the Cancer Center Community Crusaders to help fund the project. When approached with the project, Hayden said, “The 4Cs were very receptive. We couldn’t do this without their financial support. The Guild members provide a substantial amount of the fabric and certainly the time in design and sewing — but the larger pieces of fabric necessary for the quilt backs would have been a financial burden for Guild members had the Four C’s not stepped in.”“Most of our committee members are survivors or caregivers. So when Avis came to us with the idea of supporting patients with handmade quilts, it really resonated with us,” said Joanne Holden, a member of the Cancer Center Community Crusaders.Hayden also worked with the Quiet Valley Quilter’s Guild to organize quilters. More than a dozen quilters sew blocks for the quilts. The Group holds workshops a few times a year to assemble the blocks and finish the quilts, said Wendy Sharkey, the guild’s spokesperson.The staff at the Cancer Center will choose a quilt for each patient transitioning to hospice care, just as they have chosen special gifts in the past.“We will do this as a team. We hold each other up,” Ives said. “The quilts stay with the patients’ families after the patient passes away. It is a way of remembering this time in their loved one’s life.”About:Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC’s providers are members of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians, a multispecialty medical group operated in partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock. SVHC includes the SVHC Foundation; the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, a 150-bed long- and short-term care skilled nursing facility; and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), a 99-bed community hospital. SVMC also includes 19 primary and specialty care practices and primary care offices in Bennington, Manchester, Pownal, West Dover, and Wilmington, VT. The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and is the state’s first Magnet Center for Nursing Excellence, a designation it has held since 2002. To learn more, visit svhealthcare.org(link is external).last_img read more

GMP’s Mary Powell named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business

first_img45Abby Schneiderman(link is external)For helping us make arrangements 31Jasmine Probst(link is external)For seizing the moments 39Alex Wolf(link is external)For leading a millennial girl gang 34Katrine Bosley(link is external)For moving at breakthrough speed 55Adam Grant(link is external)For pinpointing the secrets of success 33Abby Falik(link is external)For channeling teenage wanderlust toward social good 57Jonas Kakoschke(link is external)For opening doors and hearts 84Nicole Van Der Tuin(link is external)For turning mobile phone payments into credit histories 08John McDonough(link is external)For saving lives by saving time 59Tony Long(link is external)For luring DIY to defense 43Jill Szuchmacher(link is external)For prioritizing those who need Google Fiber most 79Markus Kressler(link is external)For providing refugees with a pathway to employment 11Glenn E. Martin(link is external)For empowering former prisoners 96Sally-Ann Dale(link is external)For energizing brands 60Ryan Coogler(link is external)For being a knockout filmmaker 46Adam Seifer(link is external)For helping us make arrangements 15Carlos Mario Rodriguez(link is external)For keeping Starbucks–and farmers everywhere–full of beans 51Jeff Turnas(link is external)For lowering the grocery bill 44Zainab Salbi(link is external)For being a voice of change 18Sarah Schaaf(link is external)For creating and curating the most clickable content on the Internet 03Jill Soloway(link is external)For televising the revolution 100Lilly Singh(link is external)For creating a unicorn business 26Yasmin Belo-Osagie(link is external)For developing female entrepreneurs across Africa 42Dani Rylan(link is external)For giving women a shot 16Karin Strauss(link is external)For storing data on DNA 29Will Ruben(link is external)For seizing the moments 31-40 23Félix Lajeunesse(link is external)For treating virtual reality as an art form 75Virgil Abloh(link is external)For expanding with style 27Baba Ramdev(link is external)For disrupting India’s $49 billion consumer packaged goods market 28Martin Lotti(link is external)For stretching Nike in new directions 83Emily Gipson(link is external)For getting television fans off the couch 10Amit Agarwal(link is external)For extending Amazon’s reach, one vendor at a time 91-100 02Divya Nag(link is external)For moving Apple into the doctor’s office 72Caitlin Doughty(link is external)For being an angel of death 07Cindy Holland(link is external)For offering Netflix viewers a lot more to binge on 48Mary Roach(link is external)For finding innovation on the front lines 65Neha Narkhede(link is external)For teaching businesses to read Kafka 04Jean Liu(link is external)For building China’s biggest ride-sharing business at breathtaking speed 74Jenny Lee(link is external)For finding the winners in China’s tech scene 98Ahmed Abdeen Hamed(link is external)For discovering drug links in hashtags 85Jerry Stritzke(link is external)For taking radical steps to improve corporate culture 94Moj Mahdara(link is external)For seeing beyond the cosmetic 73Kate O’Keeffe(link is external)For enabling huge companies to figure out the future, faster 30Laura Javier(link is external)For seizing the moments 68Jack Harrison-Quintana(link is external)For connecting the LGBT community to lifesaving opportunities 89Gabriella Gomez-Mont(link is external)For modernizing Mexico City 32Mary Powell(link is external)For getting us off the grid 62Stephen Alesch(link is external)For having interior motives 21-30 95Nancy Pfund(link is external)For finding a good return on social impact 37Kathleen Kennedy(link is external)For restoring the Force to “Star Wars” 49Wendy Davis(link is external)For continuing to stand up for gender equality 51-60 81-90center_img 71Ivan Askwith(link is external)For knowing how to get fans more of what they want 52Heben Nigatu(link is external)For mixing comedy with commentary 53Tracy Clayton(link is external)For mixing comedy with commentary 99Andrew Freedman(link is external)For making a joint effort 81Cassidy Blackwell(link is external)For combining razor-sharp storytelling with product marketing 63Emily Oberman(link is external)For giving Snoop’s product line some California cool 05Maria Grazia Chiuri(link is external)For turning a storied fashion house into a $1 billion juggernaut 58Tiffany Anderson(link is external)For seeing the whole student 56Mareike Geiling(link is external)For opening doors and hearts 61-70 69Ricardo Vice Santos(link is external)For being a fresh voice in messaging 54Brian Bannon(link is external)For checking in 22Anna Young(link is external)For enabling nurses to create their own solutions 20Adam Leibsohn(link is external)For creating and curating the most clickable content on the Internet 64Amy McDonough(link is external)For bringing exercise to the enterprise 41Jennifer Bandier(link is external)For turning leggings into art 09Dawn Shaughnessy(link is external)For getting elemental 97Brooks Headley(link is external)For beefing up meatless food 14Michael S. Smith II(link is external)For helping to hack the bad guys 13Mark Fields(link is external)For steering Ford in a more adventurous direction 19Alex Chung(link is external)For creating and curating the most clickable content on the Internet 71-80 25Kakul Srivastava(link is external)For seeing the people behind the code 01Lin-Manuel Miranda(link is external)For making history 17Rachel Tipograph(link is external)For making infomercials binge-worthy Green Mountain Power Corp,Vermont Business Magazine Fast Company today announced its annual ranking of the 100 Most Creative People in Business for 2016. Green Mountain Power CEO and President Mary Powell was selected to be on the list for her transformational leadership, helping customers transition away from the traditional grid. The magazine cited GMP’s innovation work, becoming the first utility to offer customers the Tesla Powerwall battery. Powell is No. 32. The No. 1 spot on the list this year is Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer, lyricist, and star of Broadway’s Hamilton.Mary Powell, left, and above helping light up the first Powerwall two weeks ago (STORY: GMP first in nation to offer Vermonters the Tesla Powerwall home battery). GMP photo.“This is a tremendous honor, and speaks to the cutting edge work taking place in Vermont to lead the way on a new energy future,” said GMP CEO and President Mary Powell. “As Vermont’s energy company of the future, GMP is partnering with customers on an exciting energy transformation that moves away from the 100-year-old grid system, to a new one that is more reliable, sustainable and cost-effective.”The magazine each year selects 100 visionary leaders. The goal is to highlight people putting ideas into action to create new opportunities and driving change within their own industries. The 2016 honorees are from a vast range of industries, from tech and design to energy, media, government and food, and they span the world from India to Costa Rica, Turkey, and Nigeria.  FULL LIST 90Kareem Ettouney(link is external)For letting us all be digital Michelangelos 76Susan Salgado(link is external)For spreading hospitality 77Bill Johnson(link is external)For helping ex-offenders–and detainees–get their lives back 78Christina Agapakis(link is external)For engineering microbes for new products 47Chris Young(link is external)For expanding Intel’s arsenal 80Asako Shimazaki(link is external)For importing the cult of Muji to the United States 92Princess Mette Marit(link is external)For applying the VC model to philanthropy 91Kamasi Washington(link is external)For breathing new energy into jazz 82Caitlin McFarland(link is external)For getting television fans off the couch 41-50 12Katie Nolan(link is external)For shaking up sports 38Dylan Field(link is external)For redrawing digital design 86Diógenes Brito(link is external)For taking radical steps to improve corporate culture 87Shannon Schuyler(link is external)For taking radical steps to improve corporate culture 88Michael Fenlon(link is external)For taking radical steps to improve corporate culture 40Chance The Rapper(link is external)For generating music that’s priceless 70Ida Tin(link is external)For going with the flow 36Sarah Snow(link is external)For hearing the deaf community 50Quincy Delight Jones III(link is external)For fostering harmony between mashup artists and copyright holders 24Paul Raphaël(link is external)For treating virtual reality as an art form 93Kate Roberts(link is external)For applying the VC model to philanthropy 66B.J. Novak(link is external)For putting everything in order 21Nick Bell(link is external)For creating and curating the most clickable content on the Internet 11-20 06Pierpaolo Piccioli(link is external)For turning a storied fashion house into a $1 billion juggernaut 35Sara Wallander(link is external)For putting a new face on H&M 61Robin Standefer(link is external)For having interior motives 67Dori Roberts(link is external)For giving STEM an after-school boostlast_img read more

Leahy offers ‘blunt’ rejection of DeVos

first_imgStatement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)On The Nomination Of Betsy DeVosTo Be Secretary Of The Department of EducationSenate FloorFebruary 6, 2017After a whirlwind confirmation hearing and committee vote, the Senate tomorrow will vote on the nomination of Betsy DeVos to lead the Department of Education.  I will be blunt:  I do not believe she has the qualifications to uphold the Department of Education’s primary goal – that of ensuring that all students have access to a quality, public education that allows them to succeed. As a father and grandfather, I understand well the impact of education on our children.  When students have access to strong public education from the beginning, they are more likely to succeed in the long term. Our nation’s public schools hold the promise of student success through strong state accountability measures and legal protections regardless of one’s race, income, or learning ability.  They offer nutritious meals for underserved students, many of whom receive their only meals of the day at school. Public education means strong teachers and school leaders, technology in the classroom, and assessments that test not just how well a student can memorize material for an exam on one particular day of the year, but on how much they have grown over the course of many months.  It means that schools have counselors and nurses, and that they operate under a modern infrastructure that supports those with disabilities and in foster care. Public education also means that both the states and the federal government are held accountable for everyone having access to the same, excellent resources. In fact, just over one year ago, this body agreed with these protections and passed the Every Student Succeeds Act by a margin of 85 to 12.  It was the firm agreement among the majority of the Senate that all students deserve access to critical public school resources in order to succeed.  We made a promise that we would do better by our students; that public schools would be the premier standard for outstanding education for all. Unfortunately, the nominee before us does not share these same goals.  Ms. DeVos has referred to public schools as a “dead end.”  She has instead advocated for the privatization of education, and funneled millions into organizations and initiatives that promote private school vouchers and school choice.  These efforts diverted public funds toward private schools that are not held to any anti-discrimination or accountability standards. At her confirmation hearing, she did not seem to understand that the Individuals with Disabilities Act – a landmark law – is a federal law that public schools in all states must follow.  Lastly, Ms. DeVos and her family have contributed to anti-LGBT causes and anti-women’s health efforts, which are in direct conflict with her leadership role at the Department of Education.  How can a nominee who disagrees with the Department of Education’s mission be fit to oversee that agency and promote the civil rights of schools and college campuses?Betsy DeVos also appears to oppose efforts to expand college access.  In her testimony before the Senate HELP Committee in January, Ms. DeVos would not agree to work with states to offer free community college to eligible students, instead saying that, “nothing in life is truly free.”  She also admitted to knowing little about the Pell Grant program and federal student loans, as neither she nor her children have ever had to use such resources. This is just out of touch with the real-life, kitchen table experiences of millions of students and families that rely on these funds to make college attainable.With college tuition rates having climbed more than 300 percent in the last decade, it is unacceptable to deny students federal financial resources.  As it is, students are increasingly saddled by insurmountable student loan debt, and many forego starting a family or buying a house or a car.  Many of these students have also fallen prey to for-profit institutions, many of which continue to offer the false promise of gainful employment upon graduation.  In reality, many of these institutions offer non-transferrable credits or unaccredited degrees, and are increasingly shuttering their doors, leaving students with egregious debt, and nowhere to turn to finish their degrees.The Department of Education has an extremely important role to ensure all students — of every race, income level, or whether that student has disabilities or not — have access to the critical tools provided by public schools and by student financial aid programs.  Thousands – thousands – of Vermonters have called or written to me worried that Ms. DeVos does not agree with these principles.  I share their concerns, and I cannot support her confirmation. It is dangerous and short-sided to confirm someone who has so much to learn about our nation’s public schools and the challenges they face.  Universal free public schools were a revolutionary American invention.  Let’s strengthen public schools, not snub them.  Ms. DeVos is the wrong choice for our children, and for our nation’s future.  Our public schools need strong leadership, not someone who has made undermining their success her life’s work.  I strongly oppose this nomination, and I urge my fellow Senators to vote no on this confirmation vote.last_img read more