Month: December 2020

St. Michael’s College becomes first fair trade college in Vermont

first_imgFair Trade principlesFair Trade focuses on strict economic, social and environmental criteria in the production of trade and agricultural products such as coffee, tea, cocoa, bags and clothing, therefore Saint Michael’s College takes the following steps:·Saint Michael’s recognizes that what we purchase, eat, and drink impacts producers and the environment.·Saint Michael’s hopes to improve working conditions of farmers and producers of agricultural and trade goods around the world.·Through this project, Saint Michael’s aims to curtail the evils of child and slave labor which have been found to be prevalent in the production of chocolate and clothing.·Through Fair Trade, Saint Michael’s supports sustainable farming techniques that protect the environment.·Saint Michael’s commits additionally to educate the campus about the importance of Fair Trade.·Saint Michael’s aspires to build on its Fair Trade status by making other Fair Trade products available over the longer term to the members of its campus community. Participants in the Fair Trade Café forum include: Fair Trade Café sponsoring groups include: Saint Michael’s Food Justice, Green-Up, and Peace and Justice Clubs; Office of Sustainability and the Environmental Council, Political Science Department and Environmental Studies Program, and the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Fair Trade accepted by students, faculty and administration To be declared a Fair Trade College, Saint Michael’s passed and agreed to a campus wide Fair Trade Resolution and Fair Trade Procurement Policy. These were accepted by the SMC Student Association (10-11-11), the SMC Faculty Assembly (10-21-11), and the SMC Administration (Cabinet) (10-31-11).‘The Food Justice club hammered this resolution out first, and got it passed by the Student Association,’ said Political Science Professor, Dr. Jeffrey Ayres, adviser to the club. ‘Being a Fair Trade College fits our mission of social justice,’ he said. As a Fair Trade College, Saint Michael’s resolves to1.    Work with the college food service contractor to make Fair Trade coffee, tea and bananas available in the dining facilities at all times.2.    Work with the food service contractor to make Fair Trade coffee and tea available for college held events.3.    Commit to integrate Fair Trade information and events into the programs and culture of the college, and ensure that the principles of Fair Trade continue to be part of the policy and social fabric of our communitycenter_img Saint Michael’s College has been named a Fair Trade College, the first in Vermont, and will be granted that official status at a Fair Trade Café ceremony as sanctioned by Fair Trade Universities on Thursday, Feb. 23, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in St. Edmund’s Hall Farrell Room (#315). The community is invited to the Café which includes a forum of speakers, a sampling of Fair Trade products and the signing of the Fair Trade College certificate by President Jack Neuhauser. ·Sandy Wynne’Burlington Fair Trade Network and SMC Alum·Rob Michalak’Ben and Jerry’s Global Director of Social Mission·Gabriela Ochoa Brenneman’Peace and Justice Center Program Director and Burlington Fair Trade Network·Andrew Driscoll’Equal Exchange and SMC Alum About Saint Michael’s College, The Edmundite Catholic liberal arts college, www.smcvt.edu(link is external). Saint Michael’s provides education with a social conscience, producing graduates with the intellectual tools to lead successful, purposeful lives that will contribute to peace and justice in our world. Founded in 1904 by the Society of St. Edmund and headed by President John J. Neuhauser, Saint Michael’s College is located three miles from Burlington, Vermont, one of America’s top college towns. Identified by the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s Best 376 Colleges, and included in the 2012 Fiske Guide to Colleges, Saint Michael’s has 1,900 undergraduate students and 500 graduate students. Saint Michael’s students and professors have received Rhodes, Woodrow Wilson, Pickering, Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other grants. The college is one of the nation’s top-100, Best Liberal Arts Colleges as listed in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report rankings.St. Michael’s College. 2.8.2012last_img read more

Air Force bristles at criticism of F-35 site selection process for Burlington

first_imgUS Air Force Executive SummaryJuly 3, 2012 Letter by Anne Galloway vtdigger.org Last week a South Burlington official alleged the US Air Force made a mistake in a scoring system used to rank Burlington International Airport as a top flight base for the new F-35 fighter jet.The Air Force responded ASAP with a press release attesting that the early analysis of the site had been â 100% validated’and the score issued for the airport was correct. Accusations that its analysis of the environmental impact of F-35s on Vermont communities were flawed are incorrect, according to a statement issued from Vermont National Guard Adj. Gen. Michael Dubieâ s office. Col. Roseanne Greco, a South Burlington resident, accused the Air Force of making a mistake in scoring the environmental impact of noise on the surrounding communities. She said in several television interviews, including one on WPTZ last week, that the Air Force gave a higher score to the Burlington location than it should have when it failed to recognize the affect of higher noise levels on about 1,000 homes in the vicinity. Typically, she told the TV anchor, an airport surrounded by homes would have received a score of zero. Grecoâ s inside information about the scoring results came from an anonymous source high up in the Air Force management food chain. Greco said she couldnâ t release the name of her source.The airport now hosts F-16s flown by the Vermont Air Guard, and the new fighter jets are purported to be much louder. Proponents of the F-35 plan, including Vermontâ s congressional delegation and Gov. Peter Shumlin say the new planes will bring hundreds of jobs to Chittenden County; opponents say the noise will lower property values and drive residents out of several communities, including South Burlington.Community opposition to the F-35 â bed down’plans has mounted in towns near the airport, including Winooski and South Burlington.Greco, who is city council president in South Burlington and led the effort oppose the project in a city vote, said the Air Force had made erroneous assumptions when it first issued an a rating number for the airport because it was based on an incorrect environmental impact score. Had the score been accurately reported in 2009, Greco said Burlington never would have been in the running as one of two sites for the F-35s identified nationwide. She asked the Air Force to provide the data from the rating process.The Air Force issued a statement asserting that its process for determining the base location in Burlington was â validatedâ . In a blow-by-blow analysis of the history of the project, the Air Force outlined its decision-making process that began in 2008. The military agency emphasized that it uses â criteria-based analysis to identify locations that are best suited to support any given mission.âIn phase one of the site analysis, the Air Force identified â no incompatible development issues below the 65 decibel Day-Night Average Sound Level noise contours.âIn phase two, the Air Force identified â some residential encroachment and sensitive noise receptors adjacent to the airfield’and considered this information during the selection process.The environmental impact statement, the third phase of the project, included noise contours â for the range of potential F-35A beddown actions at Burlington.âThe Air Force also emphasized its commitment to transparency. Greco had asked for detailed records of the scoring questions and answers. Her request was granted.In an interview on Wednesday morning, Greco said she is more convinced than ever that the Air Force made a mistake when it included erroneous data in its assessment of the impact of noise levels on surrounding communities.The data incorrectly assumed that there are no homes within the high noise level area (65 decibels or more) and no structures in the accident potential zones, she said.The flight path of the F-16 based at Burlington International Airport includes swaths of residential housing and buildings in the accident zones. The F-35 would follow the same path, but because of the higher noise levels associated with the aircraft it would have a larger environmental footprint and affect communities like Winooski that are not currently affected by F-16 noise.Greco alleges that the incorrect information was used in a scoring system that elevated Burlington to the top of the Air Force list.â They said no homes within noise area and no structures in clear (accident) zone,’Greco said. â Thatâ s how theyâ ve answered the questions. Because they answered both questions no, Burlington was awarded six points. What I have been told is a three point (reduction) alone would have taken Burlington out of being a preferred basing site (at the top of the Air Force list) and it wouldnâ t have even made the top three.âBurlington is in competition with guard bases in Jacksonville, Fla., and McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Eastover, S.C.The resistance from Vermont communities could help McEntireâ s bid for the F-35, according to a report from The State, a local newspaper in South Carolina.In all, 205 guard bases were originally considered for the F-35 base. The Air Force is looking for two sites.July 4, 2012 vtdigger.orglast_img read more

Leahy praises EPA announcement of new limits on pollution from future power plants

first_imgSenator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) Friday praised the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of new, separate limits on the amount of pollution that new natural gas and coal power plants can release into the air.  The announcement is one of the first steps under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, which are the nation’s largest stationary sources of carbon pollution.  Leahy has long championed clean air and water policies and has been the Senate’s leader in pressing for curbs on the mercury pollution that has threatened the nation’s waterways and fisheries, and particularly the health of young children.  Following is Leahy’s statement on the EPA announcement: ‘The time for allowing power plants to be built that will dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air must end.  We have an obligation to future generations to curb carbon pollution and address the causes and impacts of climate change.  These proposed standards will minimize carbon pollution by taking advantage of modern, cleaner energy technologies that power companies already are using, to build the next generation of power plants.  If left unchecked, carbon pollution threatens our health and intensifies climate change, leading to more violent and more extreme weather that costs communities and the federal government billions in economic losses and disaster recovery costs, as we have seen in Vermont over the last decade. ‘This is a significant first step to address a public health challenge from future carbon-polluting power plants and in protecting downwind burdens on states like Vermont.  New standards for carbon pollution will have direct health benefits in Vermont by addressing climate change and the injury and death caused by extreme weather events and natural disasters, climate-sensitive infectious diseases, and air pollution-related illness including asthma.  ‘We now have curbs in place that help protect the American people from mercury, soot, arsenic and other air pollution from power plants.  But until now there have been no federal limits on carbon pollution.  This new step forward is exactly what the Clean Air Act requires and what the Supreme Court has upheld.  These new carbon pollution standards are a commonsense solution and a crucial step that I hope will lead to new discussions with the industry and other stakeholders for developing carbon pollution guidelines for existing power plants as well.’WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, Sept. 20, 2013) — Senator Patrick Leahylast_img read more

Berkshire Hills reports 43 cents Q3 2013 core EPS

first_imgBerkshire Bank,Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc (NYSE:’ BHLB), parent of Berkshire Bank, reported that, for the first nine months of the year, core income increased by 18% to’ $36.7 million’ from’ $31.0 million’ due to the benefit of organic and acquisition growth initiatives.’  Nine month core earnings per share increased by 3% to’ $1.47’ from’ $1.43.’  The benefit of business expansion has more than offset pricing pressures in the low interest rate environment.’ Third quarter core earnings totaled’ $10.7 million’ in 2013 compared to’ $11.4 million’ in 2012.’  The widely publicized reduction in residential mortgage refinancing demand led to a’ $0.10’ per share after-tax reduction in mortgage banking fees.’  As a result, third quarter core earnings per share decreased to’ $0.43’ in 2013, compared to’ $0.52’ in the third quarter of 2012.’  ‘ Results in the most recent quarter included 16% annualized loan growth and a 4% reduction in core non-interest expense, compared to the linked quarter, reflecting’ Berkshire’s’ recent initiatives in response to the mortgage changes.’ Nine month GAAP net income increased to’ $30.6 million’ in 2013 from’ $23.9 million’ in 2012.’ ‘  These amounts include net non-core charges primarily related to mergers, systems integration, and restructuring expenses.’  They also include a third quarter 2013 net non-core credit adjustment posted as an out-of-period correction to recognize prior period interest income on loans acquired in bank acquisitions, net of related taxes and a variable compensation adjustment.’  Nine month GAAP net income increased to’ $1.22’ per share in 2013 from’ $1.10’ in 2012.’  Third quarter GAAP net income was’ $8.1 million’ and’ $10.0 million’ in 2013 and 2012, while third quarter GAAP earnings per share were’ $0.33’ and’ $0.46’ per share, respectively.’ ‘  Non-core charges in the most recent quarter were primarily due to restructuring charges intended to reduce ongoing operating expenses and improve future profitability.THIRD QUARTER FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS16% annualized increase in commercial business loans and in total loans8% annualized increase in total commercial loans7% annualized increase in total deposits16% annualized increase in demand deposits3.93% net interest margin4% decrease in core non-interest expense compared to prior quarter0.58% non-performing assets/total assets0.32% net loan charge-offs/average loansCEO’ Michael Daly’ stated, “We had a good quarter and our business expansion initiatives have driven year-to-date earnings growth despite the headwinds resulting from the interest rate environment.’  At the beginning of the third quarter, we took action to further consolidate the benefits from our expansion.’  We renewed loan growth while trimming core expenses, achieving near-term core earnings and profitability targets.”Mr. Daly continued, “We expect to accomplish our long term objectives through market share growth in our New England andNew York’ footprint. We’ve attracted a strong team and assembled the infrastructure to enable us to be the preferred provider of financial solutions.’  Recently,’ George Bacigalupo’ was promoted to the position of EVP ‘ Commercial Banking.’  George is an accomplished regional commercial banking executive serving middle market businesses.’  Our commercial market managers produced strong loan growth in the quarter and business development prospects remain encouraging for the months ahead.”Mr. Daly concluded, “We are restructuring targeted operations to drive additional efficiencies arising from expansion and infrastructure investment.’  Non-core restructuring charges were recorded during the quarter, enabling us to lower ongoing operating expenses as demonstrated by our third quarter results.’  In addition, there has been good progress towards completing the purchase of 20 New York branches from Bank of America in January.’  We are targeting overall positive operating leverage in 2014 based on revenue growth and efficiency goals.”DIVIDEND DECLAREDThe Board of Directors voted to declare a cash dividend of’ $0.18’ per share to shareholders of record at the close of business onNovember 14, 2013, payable on’ November 27, 2013. This dividend equates to a 2.7% annualized yield based on the’ $26.21average closing price of’ Berkshire’s’ common stock during the third quarter of 2013.’ ‘ ‘ NOTE ON ACCOUNTING CORRECTIONDuring the most recent quarter, the Company recorded a correction to recognize’ $2.2 million’ of prior period revenue that was primarily related to interest income earned on loans acquired in bank acquisitions, together with an income tax adjustment.’  This included’ $0.9 million’ in additional revenue for the first half of 2013, with the remainder representing revenue which was not previously recorded in 2011 and 2012.’  After evaluating the quantitative and qualitative aspects of these adjustments, the Company concluded that prior period statements were not materially misstated, and therefore no restatement was required and no revision was necessary in the disclosure of the level and trend of earnings. The Company classified this revenue as non-core in its determination of core earnings.FINANCIAL CONDITIONBerkshire’ increased its earning assets by’ $227 million’ (5%) in the most recent quarter including growth of’ $153 million’ (16% annualized) in total loans, with growth registered in most major loan categories.’  Loan growth was funded in part with a’ $67 million’ increase (7% annualized) in deposits, and’ Berkshire’ made progress towards its goal of completing the purchase of more than’ $600 million’ in deposits from Bank of America in January. ‘ ‘ Measures of asset quality, liquidity, and capital remained within targets and the Company continued to maintain an asset sensitive interest rate risk profile.’  Tangible book value per share increased to’ $16.08’ and total book value per share grew to’ $26.98.Earning asset growth included the benefit of ongoing business development as well as targeted asset purchases, primarily consisting of medium duration government agency mortgage backed securities.’  Run-off of commercial real estate related loans decreased and total commercial mortgage loans increased at a 4% annualized rate.’  Commercial business loans continued to grow strongly, increasing at a 16% annualized rate for the quarter and 15% year-to-date.’  As a result, total loan growth turned positive for the year-to-date.’  A significant portion of residential mortgage production was retained in the portfolio, benefiting from promotion of 10/1 adjustable rate mortgages as an alternative to higher cost 30-year fixed rate mortgages.’  Consumer loans advanced at a 21% annualized rate in the quarter, mostly due to higher originations of prime indirect automobile loans byBerkshire’s’ Syracuse based consumer lending team.’  Based on quarter-end lending pipelines, the Company expects to produce further net loan growth during the remainder of the year.Asset quality metrics remained favorable in the most recent quarter.’  Quarterly annualized net loan charge-offs measured 0.32% of average loans.’  Quarter-end non-performing assets were 0.58% of total assets, compared to 0.52% at the start of the year.’  Accruing delinquent loans were 0.71% of total loans after nine months, compared to 1.11% at the start of the year.’  The loan loss allowance measured 0.83% of total loans at both of the above dates.The 7% annualized third quarter increase in total deposits included 16% annualized growth in demand deposits and 19% annualized growth in money market balances.’  Due to short term promotions, the cost of deposits increased slightly to 0.55% from 0.52% in the prior quarter.’  Deposit growth included a’ $49 million’ increase in commercial deposits, including the benefit of ongoing commercial relationship expansion.’  Total borrowings increased by’ $149 million’ as short term funds were used to support earning asset growth pending the completion of the deposit acquisition.’ ‘ The loan/deposit ratio measured 104% at quarter-end.’ ‘ Berkshire’ improved the utilization of its capital to support higher earning assets, with the result that the ratio of tangible equity/assets stood at 7.7% at quarter-end, compared to 8.1% at the start of the quarter.’ ‘  The ratio of total equity/assets stood at 12.4% and 12.9% at these dates, respectively.’ RESULTS OF OPERATIONSBerkshire’ posted year-over-year growth in net revenue totaling 17% in the third quarter and 24% for the first nine months of the year due primarily to its organic and acquisition growth strategies.’  Most categories of income and expense increased year-over-year including the impact of acquisitions.’  Core earnings increased by 18% for the first nine months with the benefit of overall business expansion.’ ‘ Berkshire achieved these results while bearing the costs of maintaining its asset sensitive interest rate risk profile, absorbing charges related to its branch and team expansion, and investing in technology and other infrastructure.’  GAAP earnings include the impact of net non-core charges related to mergers, systems conversion, restructuring, and securities gains.’  The reconciliation of net income and core income, together with related financial measures, is shown on tables F-9 and F-10 of the financial tables.’  The core return on assets measured 0.81% in the most recent quarter while the GAAP return on assets measured 0.61% after the non-core items.’  The core return on tangible equity measured 11.2% during the quarter, while the GAAP return on equity measured 4.7%.Compared to the linked quarter,’ Berkshire’s’ third quarter net revenue increased by 2%.’ ‘ Core net revenue decreased by 1% due to lower mortgage banking fee revenue.’  Net interest income increased by 12% while non-interest income declined by 22%, including a decrease in realized equity securities gains.Average earning assets increased by 2% in the most recent quarter.’  Most of the growth came later in the quarter, resulting in a 5% increase in period-end balances.’  In addition to earning asset growth, net interest income benefited from an improvement in the net interest margin to 3.93%.’  Net interest income during the quarter included’ $8.5 million’ in purchased loan accounting accretion, including’ $4.8 million’ related to recoveries on acquired impaired loans and’ $2.2 million’ related to the out-of-period accounting adjustment.’  Excluding purchased loan accounting accretion, the net interest margin measured 3.21% during the quarter, compared to 3.34% in the prior quarter due to the ongoing impact of the low interest rate environment on earning asset yields and changes in the asset mix.’ Non-interest income decreased to’ $12.1 million’ in the third quarter of 2013, compared to’ $15.6 million’ in the linked quarter.’  This included a’ $1.7 million’ decrease in mortgage banking fees and a’ $1.3 million’ decrease in other loan fees related primarily to loan sales in the earlier quarter.’  The decrease in mortgage banking revenue resulted from lower refinancing demand, tighter margins on secondary market activity, and higher retention of adjustable rate mortgages in the mortgage portfolio.’ The third quarter provision for loan losses increased to’ $3.2 million’ in 2013 from’ $2.7 million’ in the linked quarter and from’ $2.5 million’ in the third quarter of 2012.’  Net loan charge-offs totaled’ $3.2 million,’ $2.7 million, and’ $2.3 million’ for these periods, respectively.’  There were no significant changes in the Company’s charge-off metrics, which remain low compared to long term industry standards.’  Following the loan loss provision, the loan loss allowance remained unchanged at’ $33.2 million’ during the most recent quarter and for the first nine months of the year.’ Third quarter core non-interest expense decreased by’ $1.4 million’ (4%) compared to the linked quarter due to cost saving initiatives that were undertaken in the third quarter.’  Most major categories of expense declined.’  Full time equivalent staff decreased by 7% to 948 from 1,014 during the quarter.’  Compensation expense did not fully reflect the declining run rate during the quarter, and this was offset by higher variable compensation related to increased business production and the increased prior period revenue recognition.Total GAAP non-interest expense increased to’ $42.8 million’ from’ $37.9 million’ in the linked quarter due to’ $6.5 million’ of non-recurring charges in the most recent quarter, including’ $1.0 million’ related to the upcoming acquisition of Bank of America branches,’ $2.4 million’ in severance costs, and’ $2.8 million’ related to facilities restructuring costs.’  The latter charge related to nine properties that are being closed or consolidated.’  Two branches are being consolidated in the fourth quarter, and for the year,’ Berkshire’ will have consolidated five branch offices (7% of the total) to achieve greater efficiency following its acquisitions.’  The Company continues to evaluate restructuring opportunities in order to improve efficiency.’  The efficiency ratio improved to 61.0% in the most recent quarter.’  The effective income tax rate was 32.6% in the most recent quarter, which was generally in line with the Company’s expectations.CONFERENCE CALLBerkshire’ will conduct a conference call/webcast’ at’ 10:00 a.m. eastern time’ on’ Tuesday, October 29, 2013’ to discuss the results for the quarter and provide guidance about expected future results.’  Participants should dial-in to the call a few minutes before it begins.’  Information about the conference call follows:Dial-in:’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 888-317-6003Elite Entry Number:’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 8416293Webcast:’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ berkshirebank.com’ (investor relations link)‘ ‘ A telephone replay of the call will be available through’ Wednesday, November 6, 2013’ by calling’ 877-344-7529’ and entering conference number:’ 10034938.’  The webcast and a podcast will be available at’ Berkshire’s website above for an extended period.’  A PDF version of this release is available at’ Berkshire’s’ Investor Relations web site.BACKGROUNDBerkshire Hills Bancorp is the parent of Berkshire Bank ‘’ America’s Most Exciting Bank’®’ . The Company has approximately$5.5 billion’ in assets and 74 full service branch offices in’ Massachusetts,’ New York,’ Connecticut, and’ Vermont’ providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services.’ FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTSThis document contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.’  There are several factors that could cause actual results to differ significantly from expectations described in the forward-looking statements.’ For a discussion of such factors, please see’ Berkshire’s’ most recent reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on the SEC’s website at’ www.sec.gov(link is external).’ ‘ Berkshire’ does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements.NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURESThis document contains certain non-GAAP financial measures in addition to results presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”).’  These non-GAAP measures provide supplemental perspectives on operating results, performance trends, and financial condition.’  They are not a substitute for GAAP measures; they should be read and used in conjunction with the Company’s GAAP financial information.’  A reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP measures is included in the accompanying financial tables.’  In all cases, it should be understood that non-GAAP per share measures do not depict amounts that accrue directly to the benefit of shareholders.’  The Company utilizes the non-GAAP measure of core earnings in evaluating operating trends, including components for core revenue and expense.’  These measures exclude amounts which the Company views as unrelated to its normalized operations, including merger costs, restructuring costs, and systems conversion costs.’  Similarly, the efficiency ratio is also adjusted for these non-core items and for tax preference items.’  The Company also adjusts certain equity related measures to exclude intangible assets due to the importance of these measures to the investment community.’  Non-GAAP expense adjustments are primarily related to charges related to merger and acquisition activity.’  These charges consist primarily of severance/benefit related expenses, contract termination costs, and professional fees.’  There are additionally non-GAAP adjustments related to non-recurring securities gains, discontinued operations, the disposition of excess properties, and core systems conversion costs.’  In the most recent period, non-core restructuring charges are related to severance costs as a result of management and staffing changes, along with facilities costs related to excess facilities where the bank is exiting its occupancy and investment.’  As discussed previously, non-core items recorded in the third quarter of 2013 also included the after-tax impact of the out-of-period accounting adjustment, along with an adjustment of variable compensation based on the additional revenue recognition.CONTACTSInvestor Relations ContactAllison O’Rourke; Vice President – Investor Relations; 413-236-3149Media ContactRay Smith, Assistant Vice President ‘ Marketing; 413-236-3756BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC.CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS – UNAUDITED – (F-1)‘ ‘ ‘ September 30,June 30,December 31,‘ (In thousands)201320132012‘ Assets‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Cash and due from banks$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 61,149$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 56,623$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 63,382‘ Short-term investments15,71023,48234,862‘ Total cash and short-term investments76,85980,10598,244‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Trading security15,33015,56616,893‘ Securities available for sale, at fair value684,716568,268466,169‘ Securities held to maturity, at amortized cost46,92549,60451,024‘ Federal Home Loan Bank stock and other restricted securities42,34237,66739,785‘ Total securities789,313671,105573,871‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Loans held for sale27,06464,10185,368‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Residential mortgages1,313,6091,232,4881,324,251‘ Commercial mortgages1,366,1041,352,9131,413,544‘ Commercial business loans668,983643,924600,126‘ Consumer loans675,147641,350650,733‘ Total loans4,023,8433,870,6753,988,654‘ Less: Allowance for loan losses(33,248)(33,248)(33,208)‘ Net loans3,990,5953,837,4273,955,446‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Premises and equipment, net83,13688,64486,461‘ Other real estate owned3,5612,7131,929‘ Goodwill’ 256,871256,118255,199‘ Other intangible assets15,03016,33719,059‘ Cash surrender value of bank-owned life insurance100,29989,59288,198‘ Deferred tax asset61,61760,41057,729‘ Other assets45,91157,57975,305‘ Total assets$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  5,450,256$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  5,224,131$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  5,296,809‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Liabilities and stockholders’ equity‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Demand deposits$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 669,878$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 644,059$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 673,921‘ NOW deposits352,762356,695379,880‘ Money market deposits1,357,2011,295,7711,439,632‘ Savings deposits438,135444,586436,387‘ Total non-maturity deposits2,817,9762,741,1112,929,820‘ Time deposits1,064,0491,074,1121,170,589‘ Total deposits3,882,0253,815,2234,100,409‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Senior borrowings740,022590,826358,471‘ Subordinated notes89,66389,64789,617‘ Total borrowings829,685680,473448,088‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Other liabilities’ 65,35155,46581,047‘ Total liabilities4,777,0614,551,1614,629,544‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Total stockholders’ equity673,195672,970667,265‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  5,450,256$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  5,224,131$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  5,296,809‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ (1) Certain reclassifications have been made to prior year balances to conform to the current year presentation.‘ BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC.CONSOLIDATED LOAN & DEPOSIT ANALYSIS – UNAUDITED – (F-2)‘ LOAN ANALYSIS‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Annualized growth %(Dollars in millions)‘ Sept. 30, 2013 Balance‘ June 30, 2013 Balance‘ Dec. 31, 2012 Balance‘ Quarter ended’  September 30, 2013Year to date‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Total residential mortgages‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  1,314‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  1,233‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  1,324‘ 26%(1)%‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Commercial mortgages:‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Construction‘ 105‘ 128‘ 168‘ (74)‘ (50)‘ Single and multi-family‘ 132‘ 129‘ 124‘ 9‘ 8‘ Commercial real estate‘ 1,129‘ 1,096‘ 1,122‘ 12‘ 1‘ Total commercial mortgages‘ 1,366‘ 1,353‘ 1,414‘ 4‘ (4)‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Total commercial business loans669‘ 644‘ 600‘ 16‘ 15‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Total commercial loans‘ 2,035‘ 1,997‘ 2,014‘ 8‘ 1‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Consumer loans:‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Home equity’ ‘ 304‘ 310‘ 325‘ (9)‘ (9)‘ Other‘ 371‘ 331‘ 326‘ 48‘ 18‘ Total consumer loans‘ 675‘ 641‘ 651‘ 21‘ 5‘ Total loans‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  4,024‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  3,871‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  3,989‘ 16%1%‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ DEPOSIT ANALYSIS‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Annualized growth %(Dollars in millions)‘ Sept. 30, 2013 Balance‘ June 30, 2013 Balance‘ Dec. 31, 2012 Balance‘ Quarter ended’  September 30, 2013Year to date‘ Demand‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 670‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 644‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 674‘ 16%(1)%NOW‘ 353‘ 357‘ 380‘ (4)‘ (9)‘ Money market‘ 1,357‘ 1,296‘ 1,440‘ 19‘ (8)‘ Savings‘ 438‘ 444‘ 436‘ (5)‘ 1‘ Total non-maturity deposits‘ 2,818‘ 2,741‘ 2,930‘ 11‘ (5)‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Total time deposits‘ 1,064‘ 1,074‘ 1,170‘ (4)‘ (12)‘ Total deposits‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  3,882‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  3,815‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  4,100‘ 7%(7)%‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ (1)’  Quarterly data may not sum to annualized data due to rounding.‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC.CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME – UNAUDITED – (F-3)‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Three Months Ended‘ Nine Months Ended‘ September 30,‘ September 30,(In thousands, except per share data)2013‘ 2012‘ 2013‘ 2012Interest and dividend income’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Loans$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 50,025‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 39,497‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘ 142,549‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘ 113,335Securities and other’ ‘ ‘ ‘ 4,479‘ 3,626‘ 12,533‘ 11,116Total interest and dividend income’ ‘ ‘ ‘ 54,504‘ 43,123‘ 155,082‘ 124,451Interest expense‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Deposits5,278‘ 5,628‘ 15,693‘ 16,612Borrowings and subordinated debentures3,357‘ 2,270‘ 10,479‘ 6,416Total interest expense’ ‘ ‘ ‘ 8,635‘ 7,898‘ 26,172‘ 23,028Net interest income45,869‘ 35,225‘ 128,910‘ 101,423Non-interest income‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Loan related fees1,308‘ 1,340‘ 6,669‘ 3,990Mortgage banking fees444‘ 4,306‘ 4,790‘ 6,553Deposit related fees4,559‘ 3,775‘ 13,623‘ 11,238Insurance commissions and fees’ ‘ ‘ ‘ 2,473‘ 2,742‘ 7,877‘ 8,256Wealth management fees’ ‘ ‘ ‘ 2,137‘ 1,774‘ 6,471‘ 5,431Total fee income’ ‘ ‘ ‘ 10,921‘ 13,937‘ 39,430‘ 35,468Other832‘ 375‘ 1,722‘ 885Gain on sale of securities, net’ ‘ ‘ ‘ 361‘ -‘ 1,366‘ 7Non-recurring gain-‘ 1‘ -‘ 43Total non-interest income’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 12,114‘ 14,313‘ 42,518‘ 36,403Total net revenue57,983‘ 49,538‘ 171,428‘ 137,826Provision for loan losses’ ‘ ‘ 3,178‘ 2,500‘ 8,278‘ 6,750Non-interest expense‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Compensation and benefits18,506‘ 15,992‘ 54,398‘ 45,219Occupancy and equipment’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 5,614‘ 4,599‘ 17,119‘ 13,484Technology and communications3,304‘ 2,302‘ 9,775‘ 6,518Marketing and promotion’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 590‘ 419‘ 1,831‘ 1,548Professional services1,757‘ 1,327‘ 5,011‘ 4,185FDIC premiums and assessments856‘ 907‘ 2,574‘ 2,458Other real estate owned and foreclosures138‘ 42‘ 445‘ 215Amortization of intangible assets’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 1,307‘ 1,314‘ 4,029‘ 3,982Non-recurring and merger related expenses’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 6,516‘ 2,214‘ 12,355‘ 10,522Other4,196‘ 3,046‘ 12,665‘ 8,409Total non-interest expense’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 42,784‘ 32,162‘ 120,202‘ 96,540‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Income from continuing operations before income taxes’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 12,021‘ 14,876‘ 42,948‘ 34,536Income tax expense3,917‘ 4,847‘ 12,342‘ 10,040Net income from continuing operations8,104‘ 10,029‘ 30,606‘ 24,496Loss from discontinued operations before income taxes’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  (including gain on disposals of $63)-‘ -‘ -‘ (261)Income tax expense-‘ -‘ -‘ 376Net loss from discontinued operations-‘ -‘ -‘ (637)Net income’ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 8,104‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 10,029‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 30,606‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 23,859‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Basic earnings per share:‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Continuing operations$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 0.33‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 0.46‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 1.23‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 1.14Discontinued operations-‘ -‘ -‘ (0.03)Total basic earnings per share$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 0.33‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 0.46‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 1.23‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 1.11‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Diluted earnings per share:‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Continuing operations$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 0.33‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 0.46‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 1.22‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 1.13Discontinued operations-‘ -‘ -‘ (0.03)Total diluted earnings per share$ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 0.33‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 0.46‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 1.22‘ $ ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘  ‘ 1.10‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Weighted average shares outstanding:’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Basic24,748‘ 21,921‘ 24,835‘ 21,541Diluted24,873‘ 22,031‘ 25,001‘ 21,635‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ PITTSFIELD, Mass.,’ Oct. 28, 2013’ /PRNewswire/ –’ Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inclast_img read more

Vermont mayors call for mental health and prop tax reforms, addiction prevention, treatment, enforcement initiatives

first_imgThe Vermont Mayors Coalition today announced its 2014 legislative session goals and its commitment to collaborate on and advocate for these areas of common interest to their cities and towns.’  At a news conference in the State Capitol’s Cedar Creek Room, the Coalition released its Legislative Policy Summary for the 2014 legislative session, including calls for:’ ‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Mental health system reform;‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Statewide property tax reform to promote education cost containment;‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Addiction prevention, treatment, and enforcement initiatives;‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Strengthening Vermont’s downtowns; and‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Waterway protection from stormwater run-off .’ The Vermont Mayors Coalition was created last year by Vermont’s eight mayors and includes:’  ‘ ‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Bill Benton, Vergennes;‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Liz Gamache, St. Albans;‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  John Hollar, Montpelier;‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Thom Lauzon, Barre;‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Chris Louras, Rutland;‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Paul Monette, Newport;‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Mike O’Brien, Winooski; and‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Miro Weinberger, Burlington.’ Seven of the eight mayors attended the announcement.’  Although unable to attend, Mayor Monette also supports the Coalition’s 2014 agenda.’ The mayors offered the following statements about the issues of common interest they are collaborating on and advocating for during the 2014 legislative session: ‘ Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon:’  ‘It’s an honor to be working closely again with my fellow mayors during this legislative session to meaningfully address issues that are critical to improving our quality of life and to the success of all Vermont communities.’  Whether we’re talking about drug addiction, mental health system reform, homelessness, or fiscal challenges, Vermont’s mayors often find themselves battling these problems and more on the front lines.’  Our collective perspectives and skillsets will be invaluable as we work with the Legislature and Shumlin Administration to find solutions.’’ Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger:’  ‘Vermonters have witnessed too many tragedies related to the mental health system over the past year, and a shortage of treatment opportunities, combined with a rising volume of need, is putting too much strain on our emergency rooms and law enforcement agencies.’  The Vermont Mayors Coalition joins health care professionals, community non-profit leaders, and law enforcement in supporting improvements to both the capacity and quality of the state’s mental health system.’Montpelier Mayor John Hollar:’  ‘As mayors, we have an obligation to ensure that our communities are affordable.’  The rapid rise in education spending makes it more difficult for municipalities to invest in our other community needs, and makes it harder for businesses to invest and families to live in our cities.’  The Mayors Coalition urges the Legislature to take action this year to contain the increasing cost of education.’’ Newport Mayor Paul Monette:’  ‘Downtowns are the strength of our communities, and we mayors are pleased with the Governor’s proposal to increase the Downtown and Village Center Tax Program by $500,000 to a total of $2.2 million of tax credits.’  Many downtowns have been struggling over the past few years, and this program is vital to building owners who wish to upgrade their historic buildings by adding elevators along with façade and code improvements.’  The available tax credits are a great incentive for building owners who might otherwise let their buildings deteriorate.’Rutland Mayor Chris Louras:’  ‘As mayors of communities that have long recognized the fact that the opiate addiction epidemic cuts across all neighborhoods and families, we applaud both the Governor’s and Legislature’s resolve to combat this scourge as the statewide problem it is through its commitment to invest in an effective and progressive treatment model to address the demand side, while developing a more robust and coordinated law enforcement effort using local, state, and federal resources to address the supply side as well.’St. Albans Mayor Liz Gamache:’  ‘Strong downtowns are essential for the health and well-being of all Vermont communities. ‘ When we create jobs and economic opportunity, fill vacant storefronts, attract investments in our downtowns, we create critical opportunities and hope that directly and indirectly impact the quality of life for Vermonters.’  The Mayors Coalition knows that strong Vermont downtowns help build strong communities.’Vergennes Mayor Bill Benton:’  ‘The Vermont Mayors Coalition recommends that the Legislature’ make immediate, structural changes to the’ state education funding’ formula that strengthens accountability for monies spent,’ increases the voting population that has a vested interest’ in school budget expenditures, and incorporates incentives for long-term cost containment.’Winooski Mayor Mike O’Brien:’  ‘Again this year, the Vermont Mayors Coalition has worked collaboratively to identify issues that are important to our respective communities and to the State as a whole.’  We are asking the Legislature to address them and pass meaningful legislation during this session.’Vermont Mayors CoalitionLegislative Policy Summary2014 Legislative Session ‘ January 16, 2014’ The Vermont Mayors Coalition is advocating for state action to support municipalities in the following areas:‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Mental Health System Reform‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Statewide Property Tax Reform to Promote Education Cost Containment‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Addiction Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement Initiatives‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Strengthening Vermont’s Downtowns‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Waterway Protection from Stormwater Run-off ‘ Mental Health System ReformThe Vermont Mayors Coalition recognizes that one of the most significant challenges our state faces today is the capacity to provide treatment opportunities and health care delivery systems for members of our communities who suffer from psychiatric illness.’  Our communities are home to many individuals who do not have access to the psychiatric treatment they need due to the limited availability of trained personnel and the overcrowding of our health care facilities.’  In some cases, these individuals can present a significant danger to the public and themselves.’  Additionally, unreasonable demands are being placed on our law enforcement agencies to serve as first responders to situations involving people with psychiatric illness, causing officers not specifically trained as mental health specialists to assume that role.’  While the police have become the de facto mental health workers, our emergency rooms and prisons collectively have become the de facto state hospital.’  The Coalition advocates for improvements to both the capacity and quality of treatment, supporting mental health reform in these areas:‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Timely review:’  The judicial review process relating to some psychiatric treatment decisions can take months.’  S.287 would provide patients access to a quicker judicial review process.‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Community-based services:’  Increase the effectiveness of these services.‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Statewide inpatient capacity:’  Ensure adequate statewide inpatient capacity that is crucial for individuals to receive the treatment they need in the appropriate environment.’  Such capacity also will alleviate the overcrowding of our emergency departments and help our police departments focus on law enforcement.Statewide Property Tax Reform to Promote Education Cost ContainmentPer pupil spending in Vermont has doubled over the past ten years, while the statewide student population has fallen by nearly 20 percent.’ ‘  As stewards of municipal budgets, the members of the Coalition are concerned about the growth of educational spending and the impact it will have on our cities.’  Moreover, we need to increase funding for pre-K education, investment made more difficult based on the rapid growth in K-12 spending.’  The Coalition supports the following initiatives to address the rise in education property taxes:‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Create an Administrative Education Cost Reduction Commission with comprehensive administrative consolidation powers and a mandate to find sufficient savings to fund new investment for children ages 0-5 years old.’ ‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Lower the High Spending Threshold to provide a greater incentive for districts that spend above the statewide average to reduce their spending.’ ‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Create a stronger link between increased local spending and tax rates.Addiction Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement InitiativesThe Coalition supports the Governor’s call for an all-hands-on-deck effort to address the state’s rising opiate addiction crisis.’  Vermont’s cities have seen substantial increases in property crimes and, as noted by the Governor, the number of Vermonters seeking treatment for opiates has risen dramatically since 2000.’  The Coalition believes that prevention, treatment, and enforcement all are essential elements of this effort.’  Increasing treatment impacts the demand side, and increasing enforcement impacts the supply side.’  The Coalition endorses the Administration’s four-point plan, including:‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Increasing treatment across the state through the allocation of more than $1 million in additional resources and support to existing treatment centers ‘ enabling them to alleviate long waiting lists, statewide recovery centers, and substance abuse and mental health treatment services for Reach Up recipients.‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Addressing drug addiction within the criminal justice system by promoting timely, evidence-based assessments to identify and help treat those in immediate need.‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Promoting stronger and more coordinated law enforcement efforts through a new mapping portal, the reorganization of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Cabinet, full funding of state drug task forces, and strengthening of criminal penalties.‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Taking a comprehensive and creative approach to prevention and looking specifically to the positive role that education and medical providers can play in this effort.’ ‘ Strengthening Vermont’s DowntownsThe Vermont way of life is directly tied to healthy downtowns for our municipalities and villages.’  The Coalition supports the following reforms to continue the progress enjoyed in Vermont’s downtowns during the last two decades:‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Passage of the Shumlin Administration proposal to increase the $1.7 million cap on the Vermont Downtown & Village Center Tax Credit Program by $500,000, resulting in $2.2 million in available tax credits for historic rehabilitation projects, code improvement projects, and façade improvement projects.‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Implementation of the Department of Housing & Community Development’s recommendation (December 15, 2013) to modify the smart growth, mixed use residential jurisdictional thresholds for Downtowns, Growth Centers and Neighborhood Development Areas, resulting in a more streamlined approval process.’ ‘ Waterway Protection from Stormwater Run-offThe Coalition recognizes that phosphorous run-off into Vermont’s lakes and streams is a serious problem that must be addressed more vigorously than it is today.’  The Coalition supports total maximum daily load (TMDL) reform as long as it is:‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Effective:’  The new TMDL interventions result in meaningful improvements to water quality.‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Fair:’  All Vermonters benefit from healthy lakes and streams and, therefore, all Vermonters should contribute to the stormwater protection system.‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Efficient:’  The state’s finite stormwater protection resources should be expended by consideration of a number of project goals, including:’  significant level of phosphorus reduction; high impact; ability to achieve rapid resolution; and low cost.PHOTO: Vermont’s mayors had prime seating in the House balcony during Governor Shumlin’s State of the State address January 7, 2014. From right, Chris Louras, Rutland; Liz Gamache, St Albans (in red); Thom Lauzon, Barre; John Hollar, Montpelier; and Miro Weinberger, Burlington.Mayor’s Coalition Members:‘ ‘last_img read more

Brandthropology launches “The Benefactory” with Laboratory B and Vermont Technology Alliance as first tenants

first_imgBrandthropology, Inc,Brandthropology announced the creation of a tech & arts hive called “The Benefactory.”  The space will host various groups that benefit the community within the firm’s offices in the Soda Plant on Pine Street. Initial tenants include Laboratory B and the Vermont Technology Alliance.“We’ve been inspired by the creative community that surrounds us on Pine Street, within Burlington and the greater Vermont community,” said Matthew Dodds, Chief Brandthropologist and the company’s founder. “We’ve been excited to see the maker space movement grow locally, and are launching a new hybrid, one that takes a tech/arts/marketing angle, all wrapped up in a ‘maker difference’ theme.  Imagine MacGyver meets Matisse meets Madmen meets Mother Theresa.”Matthew Dodds from Brandthropology and Jesse Krembs and Justin England from Laboratory B celebrate the signing of their new lease in The Benefactory.Brandthropology, now celebrating its thirteenth anniversary, has been an active community supporter over the years, providing pro-bono counsel and services for area non-profits including ReSource, the Vermont Technology Alliance and the Williston Food Shelf.   The firm also supports the local arts community, hosting talks and free educational seminars on marketing topics in venues such as CCTV’s “Media Maven” series, SEABA seminars and TEDx events. “Setting aside a community-focused space and branding it as ‘The Benefactory’ is a way to give physical expression to our vision of what highly evolved marketing is all about,” said Matthew Dodds. “We believe that technology, creatively engaged against community needs, represents the greatest opportunity we have to positively impact the world.  It’s only natural that Vermont, with its history of technological and social innovation, should lead the way.”About BrandthropologyBrandthropology is an award-winning Vermont-based marketing firm working with a diverse mix of international, national and local clients. The company specializes in brand development driven by the creation and administration of highly evolved marketing ecosystems. Equally at ease in both traditional and digital environments, the firm’s integrated approach and metrics-informed processes evolve brands, ensuring that their clients stay in concert with customer and prospect needs. www.brandthropology.com(link is external)last_img read more

Blue Flame, Liberty Propane give CVOEO $10,000 for WARMTH

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Blue Flame and Liberty Propane (both AmeriGas companies) has presented the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity with a check for $10,000 for their WARMTH Program. The check was presented on June 29 to Jan Demers, CVOEO Executive Director, by Bill Rhino, account manager for AmeriGas. The WARMTH program aids local residents in need of funding to help individuals and families heat their homes during times of crisis.According to Bill Rhino, “AmeriGas and its employees are thrilled to be able to provide to our community in this way.”“CVOEO is a fantastic organization doing amazing work – Project WARMTH has helped more than 80,000 families facing heating emergencies in the middle of Vermont’s cold winter,” said Becky Newsome, area sales manager for the AmeriGas companies in New England. “They share our dedication to our community and it’s so nice to be able to make this contribution.”last_img read more

BCBSVT offers options for Medicare beneficiaries

first_imgBlue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont,Vermont Business Magazine Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT) has announced its competitively priced Medicare Part D prescription drug plan options for the 2016 open enrollment period. BCBSVT, in a joint venture with three other New England Blue plans, contracts with the federal government to offer prescription drug coverage, called Blue MedicareRx (PDP). The 2016 open enrollment period runs from October 15 to December 7, 2015. Enrollment is effective on January 1, 2016.   In addition, BCBSVT offers Medicare supplement plans that can support Vermonters achieve a worry-free retirement. Medicare supplement plans provide assistance with costs not paid by Medicare, like co-insurance, co-payments and deductibles. Vermonters turning 65 or just retiring may be eligible for Vermont Medigap Blue—supplemental coverage offered through BCBSVT’s Vermont Health Plan. Vermont Blue 65 is another Medigap policy option for Vermonters covered by Medicare Parts A and B. These plans provide members with coverage throughout the U.S., their choice of doctors and hospitals and access to local, personal service. “We have many product options designed to meet the coverage needs of Vermonters eligible for Medicare. Our Vermont-based staff is available by phone or in person at our central Vermont and South Burlington offices to help individuals find the plan that works best for them,” says Catherine Hamilton, vice president of consumer services and planning.BCBSVT representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to discuss BCBSVT’s broad suite of Medicare coverage options. You can get help by phone at (800) 255-4550(option 2) or in person at the BCBSVT Information and Wellness Center (150 Dorset St., South Burlington Blue Mall) or at the BCBSVT headquarters (445 Industrial Lane, Berlin).Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, in a joint venture with three other New England Blue plans, contracts with the Federal Government to provide Part D benefits. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc., Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc., Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont are the legal entities which have contracted as a joint enterprise with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and are the risk-bearing entities for Blue MedicareRx plans. The joint enterprise is a Medicare-approved Part D Sponsor. Enrollment in BlueMedicareRx (PDP) depends on contract renewal.About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont:Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the state’s oldest and largest health insurer, providing coverage for about 250,000 Vermonters. It employs about 400 Vermonters at its headquarters in Berlin and its Information and Wellness Center in South Burlington’s Blue Mall, and offers group and individual health plans to Vermonters. More information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is available on the Internet at www.bcbsvt.com(link is external) Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.last_img read more

Cavendish men charged with unlawful logging, face up to 11 years in jail

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Matthew Wyman, 31, and Joey Wyman, 34, of Cavendish, Vermont, were arraigned Tuesday on charges arising from unlawful logging of trees on state land. Matthew Wyman was arraigned on two counts of unlawful mischief and Joey Wyman was arraigned on two counts of sale or possession of stolen property. According to documents filed with the court, a maple tree and a yellow birch tree were unlawfully cut down in Proctor Piper State Forest and removed and sold to a lumber yard for more than $1,200. The documents allege that Matthew Wyman cut down the trees without permission and Joey Wyman transported the logs for sale with his truck and trailer.Both men pleaded not guilty at their arraignments in Vermont Superior Court, Windsor Criminal Division. They were released by the court on conditions, including a condition that they not enter upon the property of Proctor Piper State Forest. If convicted, Matthew Wyman faces imprisonment for up to five years, six months and fines of up to $5,500 and Joey Wyman faces imprisonment for up to 11 years and fines of up to $6,000.The charges stem from an investigation by Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife with assistance provided by Vermont State Police and Chester Police Department.Vermont AG: June 8, 2016last_img read more

Governor Shumlin names winners of $2.25 million in downtown tax credits

first_imgDowntown St Albans was a major beneficiary of the tax credits. VBM file photo.Vermont Business Magazine Governor Peter Shumlin today announced the allocation of $2.25 million in state tax incentives for 21 projects, supporting over $47 million in downtown and village center construction and rehabilitation projects. Two municipalities will receive sales tax reallocation dollars. In Winooski, the award will be used in conjunction with a new mixed use development and function venue “The Strand” at the city’s Circle, and in St Albans, reallocated taxes will support public infrastructure improvements associated with the new Hampton Inn on Lake Street. SEE FULL LIST BELOW“Five years ago nobody would have considered building a new hotel downtown. In 2015 we opened a new hotel in Burlington and now we have hotel projects in the works here in St. Albans and in Winooski and Barre,” said Gov. Shumlin. “I am proud that my administration was able to play an important role in supporting downtown revitalization – fixing up old buildings, moving state offices to downtowns, and offering support for these hotels that allow visitors to stay longer, spend more money and enjoy all that Vermont’s downtowns have to offer.”The Shumlin administration’s commitment to build a better and stronger future for Vermont’s downtowns and villages is paying off, with more new and renovated buildings and businesses opening statewide,” said Lucy Leriche, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. “These historic centers are at the heart of our culture and economy. We have seen first-hand how revitalizing downtowns positively affects communities and entire regions.”“I am so proud and thankful for the incredible state and local collaboration that helped businesses stay in downtown St. Albans and with the construction of a new state office building and parking garage.” said Mayor Liz Gamache. “Once complete, this hotel will help St. Albans take yet another big step toward unlocking our downtown’s full potential.”The downtown and village tax incentives have proven successful in helping to transform communities(link is external), supporting new housing, attracting new businesses, fostering business expansions, and creating good jobs in downtowns and villages across the state.In 2013, the Shumlin administration increased the amount of tax incentives from $1.7M to $2.2M, allowing the program to fund 10 more projects annually. In the last five years, $13M in tax credits to 171 projects leveraged $240M in total investments in historic buildings, and in the last three years, $1.2M in sales tax was reallocated to support the construction of five new downtown buildings with a total value of $80M.In 2016, tax credits will offset the costs of major investments to support projects in communities large and small; from fit-up improvements for Trout River Brewing Co. in Springfield and major renovation of a blighted block in downtown Newport for mixed commercial and residential use, to rehabilitation and code upgrades of the Waterbury Center Grange for use as a community arts center, and the expansion of the South Royalton Memorial library to make this historic building accessible to all. Other project highlights include installation of a sprinkler system to a central downtown block and the home of J & H Hardware in Bellows Falls; rehabilitation of a former convent and school in Montpelier by the Center for Arts and Learning; renovation of the upper floors of the Clement Building in downtown Rutland to provide downtown housing for students attending Castleton University; re-use of a former house in St. Johnsbury by the Fairbanks Museum for use as a café, radio station, and community room; and projects that will create safe, code compliant housing in Brattleboro, St. Albans, White River Junction and Winooski.The state designation programs(link is external) in the Agency of Commerce and Community Development(link is external) targets investments to build strong communities and promote the efficient use of land, infrastructure and resources. Almost 150 community centers are designated (downtowns(link is external) and villages(link is external)), allowing them to receive priority consideration for state grants, limited Act 250 review and access to state tax incentives.Source: Governor Shumlin 9.22.2016last_img read more