Career-oriented Champlain College in Burlington, Vt., is introducing new bachelor’s degree programs this fall in Broadcasting, Mass Communication, and Marketing–which offers concentrations in Advertising or Marketing Management. With Champlain’s existing programs in Public Relations, Professional Writing, and Multimedia & Graphic Design, the new programs establish a dynamic team of offerings in the communications area. “The College has built a deep collection of programs,” said Nancy Kerr, director of the new Broadcasting and Mass Communication programs. “Champlain students will earn solid communication skills and they can choose to specialize in one of several exciting career fields.” The Broadcasting degree balances theory and practice, preparing students for work in areas such as television, radio, audio, video and digital production. New courses include broadcast management and programming, audio production, advanced video production and broadcast journalism. Students will gain hands-on experience with industry-quality equipment in a refurbished television studio, as well as in internships at Burlington-area media outlets and companies. “The curriculum is designed to give direction to the creative expressions of students, to offer them diversified technological expertise, and to provide them with practical training in writing for the media, media production and media management,” Kerr said. The new bachelor’s program in Marketing offers two career concentrations: Advertising and Marketing Management. Students spend their first two years learning about all that marketing has to offer from advertising and customer relationship management, to sales and Internet marketing. “We’ve designed this program so students get the fundamentals and a real-world understanding of marketing in their first two years, and they are well prepared as juniors to study a career concentration that matches their interests and goals,” said Elaine Young, the program director. The program provides two internship opportunities, including a competitive honors internship in the students’ senior year. “Hands-on learning is a vital component of our Marketing program,” Young said. “These internship opportunities reinforce students’ classroom experiences, and the added incentive of competition in their senior year will give students the opportunity to showcase the skills they will bring to the marketplace.” New courses such as account and brand management, non-profit and social marketing, and advanced advertising round out the marketing core. In the College’s new Mass Communication program, students will earn communication skills that can be applied to a broad range of careers. A required internship helps to further define career interests. Students will learn how their communications operate within a context of cultural, economic and technological factors. Through an understanding of this context, students will be poised to create ethical and enlightened work in the communications arena. For more information on these new bachelor’s degree programs, visit www.champlain.edu(link is external) or call the Champlain Admissions Office at (800) 570-5858.
Shelburne, VT: Tim Williams of Shelburne has launched Exterus Business Furniture, a contract furniture dealer specializing in office, healthcare and hospitality furniture. Services include sales, customer service, consultation, space planning and design, as well as delivery and installation. Don Gill has been hired as a Sales Representative bringing with him 30 years in the office furnishing industry. Hours of operation: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday thru Friday. 4750 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, VT 05482. 802-383-1770. www.exterusfurniture.com(link is external).
PSB approves CVPS alternative regulation planProvides for automatically adjusting rates on a quarterly basis to reflect fluctuating power purchase pricesRUTLAND – The Vermont Public Service Board has approved a Central Vermont Public Service (NYSE-CV) alternative regulation plan designed to better link customer and investor interests, improve efficiency and help control costs.”This construct will help CVPS better serve our customers, improve our credit worthiness, and encourage energy efficiency,” CVPS President Bob Young said. “This is an important improvement in Vermont regulation.”The board order concludes nearly a year of review, and sets the stage for a new system of rate review starting in 2009. It provides for automatically adjusting rates on a quarterly basis to reflect fluctuating power purchase prices, and includes mechanisms to cap cost increases and to share earnings and losses between shareholders and customers.”The decision by the board is a good compromise,” said Steve Wark, director of consumer affairs for the Department of Public Service, the state’s consumer advocate. “It gives the utility the structure it needs, and gives regulators comfort in the oversight process that we need. Overall, consumers will greatly benefit.”Alternative regulation is intended to send customers more accurate and timely price signals, whether costs rise or fall, and create incentives for CVPS to operate efficiently. The PSB and DPS will maintain oversight over the company and its rates through annual reviews and regular quarterly updates of CVPS’s costs and rates.”We find that alternative regulation is in the best interests of CVPS and its ratepayers – a conclusion that both CVPS and the Vermont Department of Public Service have strongly supported in these proceedings,” the board said in its decision. The 56-page order details significant benefits for customers and the company.”The Modified Plan we adopt today provides a number of benefits. For instance, the power cost adjustment mechanism will result in more timely recovery of CVPS’s reasonable power costs, which can vary significantly due to changes in the wholesale market and which comprise nearly 60% of CVPS’s total cost-of-service,” the board wrote. “This should help CVPS achieve an investment-grade corporate credit rating, which, in turn, will enable the Company to attract capital on more favorable terms than it presently does. This enhanced financial posture and lower capital costs will help CVPS as it begins to negotiate for resources to replace the two major long-term contracts for power from the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station and Hydro-Quebec that expire in 2012 and 2015, respectively. Ultimately, these positive effects of CVPS’s strengthened financial profile should redound to the benefit of ratepayers in the form of lower rates and more favorable contractual terms in securing Vermont’s long-term power supply beyond 2012.”The Modified Plan provides direct benefits to ratepayers as well. First, the Modified Plan affords the Company a lower return on equity, which in this case will directly lower the costs that CVPS seeks to collect from ratepayers. Second, the Modified Plan institutes an earnings sharing mechanism that offers ratepayers the prospect of additional rate relief as CVPS improves its earnings by operating more efficiently and cost-effectively.”Under the order, CVPS’s return on equity will drop from 10.71 percent to a previously agreed-upon rate of 10.21 percent. The board plans to investigate and set base rates for CVPS in the coming months, which will be implemented sometime in 2009. The alternative regulation plan will be in place through 2011.
The 2009 Small Business Person of the Year and Champion Award recipients will be honored at a ceremony sponsored by Vermont Business Magazine and the US Small Business Administration (SBA). Governor James Douglas will present the Small Business Person of the Year award to Mark Bonfigli, CEO and Founder of Dealer.com, Burlington, with additional remarks from Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss, SBA Vermont District Director Darcy Carter, and others. Champion awards will be presented to:Jim Sault, Porter Music Box, RandolphTara Lynn Scheidet, Tara Lynn Studio, SuttonJohn Vincent, Vincent s Drug & Variety, WaterburyGail Wheel, Wheel House Designs, Hyde ParkMatt Cota, VT Fuel Dealers Association, MontpelierMajor Randall Gates, VT National Guard, ColchesterStephen Paddock, VT Small Business Development Center, MiddleburyMary Peabody, University of Vermont Extension, BerlinWHEN: Wednesday, June 10, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.WHERE: Burlington Waterfront Park: Under the Discover Jazz tentDIRECTIONS: In downtown Burlington, follow Main Street to the corner of Main and Battery. Turn right on Lake St. Look for event signage near the white tents at the end of Lake St. Parking is available at College and Lake St, and in lots and garages throughout downtown Burlington.
Director Art Jones and Bruce Bouchard, Executive Director of The Paramount Theatre, announced today that the feature-length Rutland-focused documentary, “The Blood in this Town” will be presented in a “Sneak Preview to Benefit the Paramount Theatre” on Saturday, Oct. 23, at 6:30 p.m. There will be two additional “Sneak Previews” at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24. Proceeds will benefit The Paramount.”The Blood in this Town” is a 95-minute documentary chronicling Rutland’s drive to revitalize itself during America’s deep economic crisis. The film uses the town’s record-breaking Gift-of-Life Marathon blood drive to explore how a struggling, post-industrial town can revive itself from the grassroots up. From initiatives like the Rutland Creative Economy and the creation of a year-round Farmers’ Market to entrepreneurial startups and the building of a world-class trail system in Pine Hill Park, Rutland shows how a community’s determination and true-grit creativity can provide a way forward for thousands of struggling towns across America.”The film shows sides of Rutland that many people may not even realize exist,” said Jones. ‘Rutland, despite some big challenges, has an amazing range of imaginative, energetic people who are not waiting around for change to come to them. More and more, they are uniting, putting political and other differences aside to work together for the good of the town. That’s something this nation as a whole can learn from, and should know about.’Jones added, ‘Parts of the film will surprise, maybe even shock local people. Yet in many ways, Rutland is shattering expectations of what a small town can do. Ultimately it’s a story of spirit and determination.’The documentary was filmed over seven months – from December 2009 to the summer of 2010 – covering the day-long action of last year’s dramatic Gift-Of-Life Marathon, a range of dynamic community initiatives, and day-to-day life in town. The film was crafted from over 52 hours of footage and 40 individual interviews.The Gift-of-Life Marathon, organized by Central Vermont Public Service and WJJR-FM, is more than just a blood drive. While it has twice broken the New England record for single-day blood donations, it is also a rallying point for the greater Rutland Community, a block party focused on community giving and revival. From school children to churches, businesses to non-profits, the community has made the event a central focus of the holiday season, in the process helping to save thousands of lives in the marathon’s seven-year run. The 2010 Gift-of-Life Marathon is gearing up to recapture its New England record, which was broken by a Boston blood drive at Fenway Park on Sept. 11.”We started the film with a focus on the blood drive, but that became an allegory for the larger story of Rutland,” Jones said. “There’s a blueprint for revival talking shape here, and our hope is that ‘The Blood in this Town,’ can help bring Rutland’s drive-to-revitalize to the nation’s attention.’The film was made by Art Jones of Great Jones Productions in New York. Jones is a veteran filmmaker who began his work in documentaries on PBS’s “Frontline” in the 1980s. Since 1991, he has headed Great Jones Productions – writing, directing and producing documentary-based films for a host of educational, cultural and corporate clients, including IBM, Merck, YMCA and Time Warner ‘ thereby creating a funding engine for the development of documentary and narrative films.His three prior theatrical films – “Dodgeball”, “Going Nomad” and “Lustre”, have received nationwide acclaim and release, first playing in the Tribeca, Hamptons, SXSW, and Cinequest Film Festivals. His films have been broadcast on PBS, HBO, the BBC and ARTE.Looking to the future, Jones aims to bring “The Blood in this Town” to a range of national and international film festivals, en route to the eventual goal of theatrical release and national broadcast via outlets such as PBS, the Sundance and Independent Film Channels.The Oct. 23 “Sneak Preview of The Blood in this Town, a Feature-Length Documentary, to Benefit the Paramount Theatre” will include a pre-film cocktail hour (6:30-7:30 p.m.), a short pre-film discussion, the sneak preview (7:45 p.m.) and a talk and Q&A session afterward with Jones. Tickets are $25. Tickets for the Oct. 24 showings at 1:30 and 4 p.m. are $6 for adults and $4 for children.Tickets go on sale, Friday morning Sept. 24, at the Paramount Box Office, at www.paramountlive.org(link is external) or 802 775-0903. The film’s website is www.bloodinthistown.com(link is external).
With cooler temperatures are forecast for the weekend, near-peak color is expected to emerge in the Northeast Kingdom and the higher elevations of the Stowe-Morrisville area of Lamoille County. State foresters say most areas of northeastern and north central Vermont are showing vibrant fall colors that are near, or in some higher elevations, at peak. Elsewhere, expect various stages of color across the state, including the mountain and river valleys where the foliage change ranges from early to mid-stage. ‘The foliage is nearing peak in the mountains of Richford, Montgomery and Enosburg. The valley is starting to show some very nice color (just getting to mid-stage color) and it makes a nice drive through the valley and into the Mountains,’ says Nancy Patch, Franklin-Grand Isle County Forester. The lower elevations along Lake Champlain remain predominantly green. Some hillsides in central Vermont appear to be muted this week, apparently due to a combination of weather-related factors. Longtime forester Russell Barrett explains, ‘Anthracnose (a fungus), a heavy seed crop, and saturated soils seem to be working overtime to make brownish-yellow the dominate color’ on these hillsides. Still, other areas in the region are showing the traditional bloom of red, orange and yellow. The color change is moving slowly into mid-stage in the lower Champlain Valley and the foothills of the Taconic and Green Mountains. However, the mountain ridges and pockets in the higher valleys from Middlebury Gap south to Danby, along the spine of the Green Mountains, are advancing fro mid-stage to near peak color with plenty of vibrant yellows, golds and oranges. ‘Many higher elevations also have nice patches of bright red, particularly Route 100 south from Warren to Rochester, Route 125 from Hancock to East Middlebury and Route 4 west from Killington to Rutland,’ reports spotter Tom Olson, Vermont Maple Museum. At the lower elevations across the broad Champlain Valley, he adds, ‘Soft Maples in marshy areas and around Lake Hortonia are displaying bright reds and oranges-a great contrast against the beige and brown backdrop of swamp grass, wild rice, and cat tails.’ In southern Vermont mid-stage color is showing along the higher elevations while the early stages in the valleys are splashed with the crimson of maples in moist soils. For current road conditions and detailed planning information, please check our frequently updated map: http://www.vermontvacation.com/vtopenforbusiness.htm(link is external) Best Bets: In northern Vermont, recommended scenic routes for peak color viewing include Route 114 between Lyndonville and Norton, Route 58 from Irasburg to Montgomery Center, Route 105 from North Troy to East Charleston, and Route 102 along the Connecticut River. Also try Route 232 through the Groton State Forest, Route 2 between Marshfield and Lunenburg, Route 215 in Cabot, and Route 15 between Walden and Cambridge. Good bets also include back roads in Burke, Peacham, Barnet and Danville, which offer a variety of close-up and long-range views. Look for nice vistas on Interstate 89 from South Royalton to Richmond. Colorful foliage can also be seen on Route 108 between Stowe and Cambridge, Route 100 between Warren and Stowe, and Route 12 between Montpelier and Elmore. Mid-stage to near-peak foliage color is also emerging in west central Vermont: Route 4 west from West Bridgewater to Killington and Sherburne Pass (including the Killington Ski Area Access Rd); Route 103 north from Ludlow to Route 7 (nearing peak); Route 140 west from Mt. Holly to Wallingford and Middletown Springs; Route 155 north from Weston to East Wallingford; and Route 7 south from Middlebury to Brandon. In southern Vermont, suggested drives include Route 11 between Peru and Chester, Route 30 between Winhall and Newfane, Route 7A between Manchester and Bennington, Route 35 from Townshend to Grafton, and Route 9 between Bennington and Brattleboro. The Vermont Hospitality Council advises making advance reservations because the most popular lodgings may fill early on busy weekends during the foliage season. Some innkeepers may require a minimum two-night stay, especially on busy weekends. Vermont tourism officials encourage visitors to take advantage of midweek specials during the foliage season as part of the statewide ‘Midweek Peek’ promotion. Deals range from discounted lodging to free Vermont products. For details, visit www.VermontVacation.com(link is external) Also available on the website are several tools for planning a Vermont Fall Foliage tour: Fall Foliage ForecasterLodging Availability ForecasterScenic DrivesFall Travel Tips For more information, visit www.VermontVacation.com(link is external). Sept 29, 2011
National-4.1%-1.1% Oregon-4.3%-3.3% Rhode Island-2.7%-0.7% Single FamilySingle Family Excluding Distressed Kansas1.2%3.9% StateChange by State New Jersey-1.2%-1.5% Indiana-0.7%0.7% Nebraska1.2%0.8% New Mexico-4.7%-2.5% Arizona-9.0%-7.7% Wisconsin-4.7%-3.3% South Carolina0.6%2.1% Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA-5.8%0.2% Arkansas-1.8%-1.0% Vermont home prices fell six-tenths of one percent over the last year as distressed sales pushed down what otherwise was an increase of 3.1 percent in the price of an average home whentroubled properties were removed from the equation. Both numbers, however, remain considerably better than most other states and the nation as a whole. CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), a leading provider of information, analytics and business services, today released its September Home Price Index, which shows that home prices in the US decreased 1.1 percent on a month-over-month basis, the second consecutive monthly decline.According to the CoreLogic HPI, national home prices, including distressed sales, also declined by 4.1 percent in September 2011 compared to September 2010. This follows a decline of 4.4 percent* in August 2011 compared to August 2010. Excluding distressed sales, year-over-year prices declined by 1.1 percent in September 2011 compared to September 2010 and by 2.2* percent in August 2011 compared to August 2010. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate owned (REO) transactions.”Even with low interest rates, demand for houses remains muted. Home sales are down in September and the inventory of homes for sale remains elevated. Home prices are adjusting to correct for the supply-demand imbalance and we expect declines to continue through the winter. Distressed sales remain a significant share of homes that do sell and are driving home prices overall,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.Highlights as of September 2011Including distressed sales, the five states with the highest appreciation were: West Virginia (+7.0 percent), Wyoming (+3.8 percent), South Dakota (+3.6 percent), Maine (+3.5 percent), and North Dakota (+3.1 percent).Including distressed sales, the five states with the greatest depreciation were: Nevada (-12.4 percent), Illinois (-9.2 percent), Arizona (-9.0 percent), Minnesota (-8.3 percent), and Georgia (-7.2 percent).Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the highest appreciation were: West Virginia (+13.2 percent), Maine (+5.8 percent), Wyoming (+4.8 percent), Montana (+4.4 percent), and Kansas(+3.9 percent).Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the greatest depreciation were: Nevada (-9.6 percent), Arizona (-7.7 percent), Minnesota (-5.9 percent), Michigan (-4.8 percent), and Delaware (-3.7 percent).Including distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the national HPI (from April 2006to September 2011) was -31.2 percent. Excluding distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the HPI for the same period was -21.9 percent. Of the top 100 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) measured by population, 82 are showing year-over-year declines in September, the same as in August. Full-month September 2011 national, state-level and top CBSA-level data can be found athttp://www.corelogic.com/HPISeptember2011(link is external).*August data was revised. Revisions with public records data are standard, and to ensure accuracy, CoreLogic incorporates the newly released public data to provide updated results. September HPI for the Country’s Largest Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) by Population: Single FamilySingle FamilyExcluding Distressed Maryland-1.6%0.1% Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX-0.1%2.8% Utah-4.3%-0.8% Mississippi0.0%0.6% New Hampshire-3.2%-1.1% Minnesota-8.3%-5.9% North Carolina-0.5%0.4% Montana-0.3%4.4% Ohio-6.0%0.0% North Dakota3.1%3.4% Kentucky-1.7%0.2% Alaska0.8%1.4% Colorado-1.5%-0.2% Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-9.7%-1.9% Washington-5.6%-1.9% Missouri-4.4%-1.6% Alabama-4.6%2.4% Iowa-0.4%0.3% Florida-3.8%-1.7% Michigan-3.7%-4.8% District of Columbia1.4%0.3% Philadelphia, PA-0.3%-0.4% West Virginia7.0%13.2% Maine3.5%5.8% Hawaii-2.0%0.9% Tennessee0.7%0.1% CBSAChange by CBSA Idaho-5.1%0.0% Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV1.0%2.3% Vermont-0.6%3.1% Delaware-5.8%-3.7% Texas-1.4%1.6% Source: CoreLogic.September HPI State and National Ranking: Pennsylvania-0.1%0.6% Wyoming3.8%4.8% Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX-4.3%0.9% California-6.5%-1.6% New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ2.2%2.9% Oklahoma-0.2%0.4% Louisiana-0.6%2.2% Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA-7.8%-3.9% Virginia-0.2%0.7% September 2011 12-Month HPI Connecticut-3.5%-3.6% September 2011 12-Month HPI Georgia-7.2%-3.6% Massachusetts-2.2%-1.6% New York2.4%2.5% South Dakota3.6%1.2% Illinois-9.2%-2.5% Nevada-12.4%-9.6% Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ-8.0%-7.1% Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA-6.3%-4.0% MethodologyThe CoreLogic HPI incorporates more than 30 years’ worth of repeat sales transactions, representing more than 65 million observations sourced from CoreLogic industry-leading property information and its securities and servicing databases. The CoreLogic HPI provides a multi-tier market evaluation based on price, time between sales, property type, loan type (conforming vs. nonconforming), and distressed sales. The CoreLogic HPI is a repeat-sales index that tracks increases and decreases in sales prices for the same homes over time, which provides a more accurate “constant-quality” view of pricing trends than basing analysis on all home sales. The CoreLogic HPI provides the most comprehensive set of monthly home price indices and median sales prices available covering 6,607 ZIP codes (58 percent of total U.S. population), 608 Core Based Statistical Areas (86 percent of total U.S. population) and 1,146 counties (84 percent of total U.S. population) located in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. About CoreLogicCoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) is a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, analytics and services to business and government. The Company combines public, contributory and proprietary data to develop predictive decision analytics and provide business services that bring dynamic insight and transparency to the markets it serves. CoreLogic has built one of the largest and most comprehensive U.S. real estate, mortgage application, fraud, and loan performance databases and is a recognized leading provider of mortgage and automotive credit reporting, property tax, valuation, flood determination, and geospatial analytics and services. More than one million users rely on CoreLogic to assess risk, support underwriting, investment and marketing decisions, prevent fraud, and improve business performance in their daily operations. The Company, headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., has more than 5,000 employees globally. For more information visit www.corelogic.com(link is external).Source: CoreLogic SANTA ANA, Calif., Nov. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ —