Democrats, Republicans split over Douglas’ stimulus plan

first_imgGovernor announces Vermont economic stimulus packageGovernor Jim Douglas announced a $214 million dollar economic stimulus package in hopes of making Vermont the first state to bounce back from the national recession. His 15-point plan, which would cost the state $3 million in spending but generate more than $70 million alone in its first year, has caused a rift between Republican and Democratic leaders who are scrambling to review it before the session comes to a close in two weeks.The package, which the administration says could generate more than $214 million for the state in the next five years, addresses issues of construction, housing, transportation, student loans, and even proposes two tax free holidays.One suggestion involves state bonding for $80 million over the next five years to pay for road and bridge repairs, which would create construction jobs and accelerate infrastructure repairs. Even though Douglas previously rejected an increase in the state’s bonding, he says that his administration reduced the state’s bonding debt, and that a harsh winter, increase in gas prices, higher construction costs, and the current state of the economy mean Wall Street investment firms will understand if the state needs more money.He also proposed reducing the $30 million annual transfer from the Transportation Fund to the General Fund by $4.5 million every year beginning in 2010. The cut would last until the transfer was reduced to $15 million that would go towards state police funding.In an attempt to address the current housing shortage, Douglas’ package proposes leveraging state retirement funds to provide $17.4 million to help first time home buyers and low income Vermonters hold onto their houses. He also wants to pass a portion of his New Neighborhoods housing proposal which would streamline permitting, generating 400 additional housing projects and $22 million in construction jobs.The plan also calls for student and small business loans, and tax credits for manufacturing businesses in areas with higher unemployment. There is also talk of a two day sales-tax free tax holiday and a week of no sales tax on Energy Star- related home appliances.Reactions were split along party lines, with support coming from Republicans and disapproval from a majority of Democrats, who believe that his housing plans are over politicized and over promised and that the entire package is hastily constructed. There is concern over whether the stimulus plan can go through legislature before the session ends in two weeks.Full text of Douglas’ speech can be found at www.vermontbiz.com.last_img read more

Go Red for Women Luncheon Wednesday in Burlington

first_imgThe Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center will be a sea of red on Wednesday, Feb. 16, as nearly 500 women ‘ and some men ‘ will gather for the fifth annual Go Red for Women Luncheon.‘This is going to be a powerful and life-affirming day,’ said Melinda Moulton, CEO of Main Street Landing and volunteer co-chair of the luncheon.‘We are honored that so many people have worked to put this together, and that so many women are telling us they can’t wait to attend,’ said Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power and volunteer co-chair of the event. ‘We asked this question at last year’s luncheon, and are still seeking the answer,’ Moulton said. There are two Heart-to-Heart Workshops scheduled from 11 to 11:30 a.m. One is limited to 25 people, with Michelle Hooper from the AHA teaching CPR. Peter Spector, M.D., electrophysiologist with the University of Vermont Medical Group at Fletcher Allen, will present the other workshop, titled ‘Marching without the Beat of a Drummer: The Heart’s Electricity and Atrial Fibrillation.’ At 9:45 a.m., Moulton will moderate a panel discussion entitled ‘Is Work/Life Balance Possible?’ Registration for the Go Red for Women Luncheon begins at 8 a.m. At 9 a.m., Shyla Nelson of The Good Earth Singers will lead the attendees in a session of chanting. The Go Red for Women Luncheon is set for Wednesday, Feb. 16, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington. Tickets are $50 each. For information or to purchase tickets, call 802.288.8307, email Joy.Blandford@heart.org(link sends e-mail) or visit heart.org/vermontgoredluncheon. Lauren Maloney of FOX44 and Tara Madison of Star 92.9 are the emcees of the luncheon. Macy’s and Merck are the national sponsors of Go Red for Women. Presenting sponsor of the Go Red for Women Luncheon is Fletcher Allen Health Care. A Picture and A Promise sponsor is NorthCountry Federal Credit Union. Main Street Landing is a local sponsor. Media sponsors are FOX44, Star 92.9 and the Burlington Free Press.About Go Red For WomenGo Red For Women is part of the American Heart Association’s solution to help save women’s lives. With one out of three women still dying from heart disease, we are committed to fighting this No. 1 killer, which is largely preventable. GoRedForWomen.org, a premiere source of information and education, connects millions of women of all ages and gives them tangible resources to turn personal choices into lifesaving actions. We encourage women and the men who love them to embrace the cause. For more information, please visit GoRedForWomen.org or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278). The movement is nationally sponsored by Macy’s and Merck & Co., Inc.# At noon, the luncheon program begins, hosted by Lauren Maloney of FOX44 and Tara Madison of Star 92.9. Melinda Estes, M.D., president and CEO of Fletcher Allen Health Care, is the keynote speaker. Shelburne resident Michelle Johnston, who suffered sudden cardiac death on Oct. 27, 2009, at the age of 38, will share her story. Jenni Johnson and the Junketeers will wrap up the day with music guaranteed to get everyone up and dancing.last_img read more

Bridging the brand gap between marketing & staff

first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Marketing may put the public face on the brand, it is the staff who must live the brand every day. Great credit union brands are built with a triangle approach:  management, staff, and members. In an ideal world management leads the brand, staff lives the brand and members love the brand.In many cases, effective brands fail at the staff level because of that gap between the brand and staff. Successful brands involve staff at every level. Financial institutions doing branding must conduct brand training with their staff and develop brand standards for their staff.Credit Union Of Texas ($1.2 billion, Dallas, TX) recently rebranded their credit union. As part of that rebrand, they took each staff member through brand training—almost 300 employees.“We wanted all of our people buying into our new brand,” said Chris Lederer, vice president of marketing and brand management. “The training gave employees the opportunity to understand the critical role they play—from frontline to support staff. Branding is not just about marketing—it’s about how staff delivers that brand to our members and each other every day.” continue reading »last_img read more