For immediate release: April 9, 2007Treasurer Announces New Economically Targeted Investment ProgramMontpelier – Vermont State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding announced today that his office will soon be soliciting investment proposals for a new pension fund program intended to support economic and community development in Vermont. This initiative stems from a policy on economically targeted investments adopted by the Vermont Pension Investment Committee, which oversees more than $3 billion in retirement funds for Vermont teachers, state employees, and municipal employees.“Our pension fund trustees work hard to protect the workers and retirees who depend on our retirement funds and this initiative will not reduce our obligation in that regard. However, to the extent that we can support economic and community development in Vermont without sacrificing performance, it makes sense to do so,” Spaulding explained.Economically targeted investments are intended to generate market rate returns while providing collateral benefits that enhance quality of life and promote economic activity in a targeted area, in this case Vermont. Economic or social benefits do not justify lower returns or inappropriate levels of risk.Spaulding stated that the kinds of investment opportunities that may be appropriate for the pension funds include affordable housing, energy efficiency, venture capital, or timber. “Actually, we don’t want to limit the field of investment possibilities. We are hoping that creative minds will look over our policy and come up with some innovative proposals that meet our criteria for investment,” Spaulding explained.The program was developed to clearly articulate the criteria by which proposals will be judged and to solicit investment proposals from qualified managers once a year. The first request for proposals window will be May 1 – June 15, 2007. In order to be considered, proposals must, at a minimum:Target risk-adjusted, market-rate returns equivalent to or higher than other available investments in a similar asset class, andProvide a substantial, direct, and measurable benefit to economic or community development within the State of Vermont. Any investments will be placed with an experienced and capable manager in an applicable asset class; no direct investments will be considered.Parties interested in receiving more information on the program should go to the State Treasurer’s Web site at www.vermonttreasurer.gov(link is external) or call 802-828-1452.# # # # #Barbara F. AgnewAssistant to the Treasurer109 State Street, 4th FloorMontpelier, VT 05609-6200Tel: 802-828-1452Fax: 802-828-2772
West Bridgewater, MA (Tuesday, August 7, 2007) — Shaws Supermarket announced today that Shaw’s Vice President of Retail Operations, Peggy Pfaltzgraff-Holden, was named to Progressive Grocer’s first annual “Top Women in Grocery” listing for her outstanding efforts, involvement, leadership, and success in the supermarket industry. Of the fifty featured profiles, Pfaltzgraff-Holden was spotlighted alongside five other honorees from Shaws parent company, SUPERVALU, combining for the largest representation of a single grocery company on the list. Progressive Grocer is a leading grocery industry trade magazine. Peggy Pfaltzgraff-Holden serves as a regional VP of Operations in the company’s mountain region, overseeing 110 Shaw’s stores in four New England states — Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and northern Massachusetts. Pfaltzgraff-Holden’s held many retail positions in her 25 year career prior to coming to Shaw’s in July 2006, including director of store development of the drug division, district manager, regional HR manager, regional operations manager, division customer service manager and store director. During that time, she received several awards; the most recent being two Awards for Excellence – the 2002 Drug Division Eagle Award and the 2005 Drug Division Presidents Excellence Award, which are presented to an individual who represents outstanding contributions, executing at the highest level of the business and the delivery of the best bottom line results. Pfaltzgraff-Holden was also awarded the Dale Carnegie Highest Achievement Award.Through her passion for excellence, she provides strong leadership and support for her seven districts which have over 10,000 associates. She also encourages associates within her region to take an active role in the company’s CORUS program; a volunteer initiative started by Albertson’s Inc., In addition, Pfaltzgraff-Holden is one of the first organizers of MESA (Mentoring, Encouraging, Supporting and Achieving), the companys affinity group for women in management. “Peggy works hard day-in and day-out to serve our customers and our associates better than anyone else in the industry. Her knowledge and expertise make her an invaluable asset to the company and we are privileged to have her as part of our leadership team,” said Cindy Garnett, Shaw’s Vice President of Human Resources.In addition to Pfaltzgraff-Holden, SUPERVALUs executive vice president and CFO, Pamela Knous; executive vice president and COO of Supply Chain Services, Janel Haugarth; Shop ‘N Save president, Marlene Gebhard; ACME president, Judy Spires; and Retail West senior vice president of merchandising and marketing, Sue Klug were all recognized as grocery industry leaders.The list of women was selected by Progressive Grocer editors and was based on industry nominations. Several factors contributing to the choice included leadership and influence within both the nominees company and the greater supermarket industry, areas of responsibility, career accolades and achievements, industry and community involvement, and philanthropic activities. As a company whose customer demographics vary significantly across the country and whose primary customers are women, Shaw’s Supermarket understands that a diverse workforce is a vital component to its long-term success. Diversity empowers Shaws to make the best decisions based on product selection, merchandising, and marketing that are most relevant to its customers as part of its overall business commitment to being the best place to work, shop, and invest in the industry. “We appreciate the value that diversity offers and we constantly aim to diversify our workforce,” said Garnett. Diversity energizes associates, fosters creativity and innovation, and ultimately improves overall performance,” continued Garnett. “We are proud to have strong women in leadership roles and are excited about the growing presence of female leadership within the grocery industry.” Shaw’s, Osco and Star Market are a division of SUPERVALU INC. Throughout the six New England states, there are more than 200 store locations employing approximately 30,000 associates. SUPERVALU INC. is one of the largest companies in the United States grocery channel with 2,500 retail grocery locations holding leading market positions. SUPERVALU also provides distribution and related logistics support services to more than 5,000 grocery retail endpoints across the country. SUPERVALU currently has approximately 200,000 employees. For more information, please visit www.shaws.com(link is external) or www.supervalu.com(link is external).
MONTPELIER, Vt. The state has awarded nearly $438,000 in Municipal Planning Grants to communities across the state to help them plan for future growth and development. Governor Jim Douglas announced the Municipal Planning Grants Wednesday, which range from projects to update town plans and bylaws to funding downtown and village revitalization studies. These grants support the planning activities that are at the heart of smart growth, Douglas said. These investments will help promote economic and housing development in our downtowns and village centers, while protecting Vermont s working landscape.The Municipal and Regional Planning Fund was first established in 1988, and now offers grants of up to $15,000 to help Vermont municipalities develop their town plans and to conduct special planning projects.Through a competitive process, 40 Vermont towns across the state were awarded funds for a diverse collection of planning projects. The vast majority of the projects this year are traditional planning activities such as updating town plans, maps and zoning bylaws.However, there are also several downtown and village revitalization projects, including a study of pedestrian improvements in St Johnsbury, transportation and redevelopment planning for Merchants Row in Barre, an infrastructure and development plan for St Albans, and a master plan for School Street in Wolcott.The St. Johnsbury grant will fund a study on the adequacy and safety of pedestrian crosswalks on Main Street and in the Main Street Historic District. St. Johnsbury s downtown has made an amazing comeback since the fire that destroyed the Daniels Block in 2000, Douglas said. New shops and residences are bringing commercial vitality back, and this study will help improve pedestrian access.The $15,000 grant to the City of Barre will provide assistance to create new parking and traffic plans for the Merchants Row/Enterprise Alley space just off Main Street. Merchants Row is an important part of Barre s downtown, providing access and parking for not only Main Street merchants but for City Hall and the Barre Opera House, Douglas said.In St. Albans, a $15,000 grant will pay for a consultant to draft a Master Plan that will guide future development and infrastructure needs such as streets, sidewalks, bike paths, utilities, and parks. The people of St. Albans will be able to craft a plan that will continue to revitalize their downtown, which is an important center for commercial and residential activity in Franklin County, Douglas said. These grants support the work of Vermont s towns and the volunteers who serve on panels like planning commissions and development review boards, said Tayt Brooks, Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Their work is the foundation of our shared success.The Department of Housing and Community Affairs is part of the Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development. For more information please visit: http://www.dhca.state.vt.us/Planning/MPG.htm(link is external)FY2009 Municipal Planning Grant Program Award List: $437,720Addison County Regional Planning Commission: $35,225Town of Bristol: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $13,125 Implementation of a newly completed Town Plan including complete review of all existing zoning districts, update of zoning bylaws, creation of new maps, and consideration of subdivision regulations all with as much public input as possible.Town of New Haven: Municipal Plan Update — $6,600 Completes the Town Plan Update that was partially funded in the last round.Town of Orwell: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $7,500 The project reviews and revises the Land Use Regulations, encompass both zoning and subdivisions regulations, in preparation for Village Center Designation.Town of Shoreham: Municipal Plan Update — $8,000 Grant fund will support the Town Plan updateBennington County Regional Commission: $29,990Town of Bennington: Municipal Plan Update — $14,990 Hire the RPC to update Bennington Town Plan and conduct extensive public outreach.Town of Sandgate: Municipal Plan — $15,000 Grant fund will support the Town Plan update.Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission: $37,500City of Barre: Barre City Merchants Row/Enterprise Alley Planning — $15,000 Grant provides professional assistance to create new parking, circulation, and other use plans for the underused Merchants Row/Enterprise Alley space.Town of Plainfield: Municipal Plan Update — $7,500 Grant funds will hire a consultant to assist with the creation of a new town plan based on new surveys and outreach.Town of Waitsfield: Municipal Plan Update — $15,000 Underwrites professional Town Plan assistance to update and analyze the socio-economic and transportation data and coordinate extensive public outreach.Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission: $41,240Town of Hinesburg: Municipal Plan Update — $10,400 Hire a consultant to adapt the plan to account for accomplishments and new priorities since last revised in 2005, address the evolving Greenspace Plan, and share the plan as user-friendly on-line product.Town of Richmond: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $9,770 This project will result in updates to the zoning and subdivision regulations to conform with the 2007 Richmond Town PlanCity of South Burlington: Municipal Plan Update — $8,000 The City will complete the upgrade and revision of its Comprehensive Plan focusing on Future Land Use, “Grey” Infrastructure, Energy Planning, and Goals & Policies, with significant public input.Town of Underhill: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $13,070 Publicize and conduct public forums and public hearings on preliminary and final drafts of unified bylaws. Hire a consultant to facilitate forums and hearings and prepare preliminary and final documents.Lamoille County Planning Commission: $21,400Town of Belvidere: Municipal Plan Update — $7,450 This project will update and revise the Belvidere Municipal Plan. The current plan was adopted in 2005 and will expire on May 5, 2010.Town of Wolcott: Other — $13,950 Hire a consultant who will, through public outreach and professional guidance, develop a plan for School Street to help this area develop into a new village core for Wolcott connecting new facilities with existing ones.Northeastern Vermont Development Association: $59,060Town of Danville: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $14,720 Financial assistance to develop a detailed land use plan that will serve as the framework for new implementation strategies (regulatory and non-regulatory) that protect the town’s rural character.City of Newport: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw — $15,000 Revise the Newport City Bylaw-specifically for the Downtown/Main street Commercial Core District.Town of St. Johnsbury: Other — $14,340 Hire a consultant to study the adequacy and safety of pedestrian crosswalks on Main Street and Main Street Historic District.Town of Troy: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $15,000 Hire consultant to rewrite the zoning bylaws for consistency with the new town plan and compliance with Chapter 117 requirements.Northwest Regional Planning Commission: $41,150Town of Berkshire: Municipal Plan Update — $10,300 Hire the RPC to assist with the update to the Berkshire Town Plan, including a strong public participation component.Town of Fairfax: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $10,850 Hire the RPC to work with Town on a revision to the Zoning Bylaws and Subdivision Regulations for consistency with Town Plan.City of St. Albans: Other — $15,000 Hire a consultant to create a Master Plan that will guide future development and infrastructure needs (streets, sidewalks, bike paths, utilities, lighting, parks, water/sewer, etc.).Town of Swanton: Municipal Plan Update — $5,000 Hire the RPC to update the 2005 Swanton Municipal Plan with current data and analysis and solicit new community input on municipal goals and policiesRutland Regional Planning Commission: $43,705Town of Castleton: Municipal Plan Update — $14,980 Complete the update of the Town Plan including an extensive economic development element, a comprehensive public involvement program, and revision of goals, objectives and strategies.Town of Chittenden: Municipal Plan — $15,000 Grant funding will assist the update of the Chittenden Town Plan, including a strong public participation component.Town of Mt. Holly: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $13,725 Revise the 1998 Subdivision Regulation for compliance with the 2008 Mount Holly Town Plan and to ensure that are legally enforceable.Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission: $23,400Town of Springfield: Municipal Plan Update — $7,700 Town Plan update.Town of West Windsor: Municipal Plan Update — $8,700 The Planning Commission will update current Town Plan maps, and the following chapters to its Town Plan: Energy, Housing, and Economic Development, with strategic updates to Natural Resources and Future Land Use.Town of Windsor: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $7,000 Update of the Windsor Zoning Bylaws.Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission: $61,750Town of Norwich: Municipal Plan Update — $12,800 Preparation and public review of the final draft of a new comprehensive town plan based on several years of research, public surveys, and public workshops. The project includes the plan, maps, and graphics.Town of Pittsfield: Municipal Plan Update — $13,100 The Town, with assistance from the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission will revise the Pittsfield Town Plan to reflect resident’s vision for the future.Town of Randolph: Municipal Plan Update — $15,000 The project will revise the Town Plan, paying special attention to the downtown and village areas.Town of Rochester: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $7,075 This project will bring Rochester’s 1976 Subdivision Regulations into compliance with the Town Plan.Town of Sharon: Municipal Plan Update — $7,775 This project will update the town plan, focusing on the utilities and facilities, transportation, and energy sections.Town of Strafford: Municipal Plan Update — $6,000 The Town, with assistance from the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission will revise the Strafford Town Plan to reflect resident’s vision for the future.Windham Regional Commission: $43,300Town of Dummerston: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw Update — $6,500 Hire professional planners to assist the Dummerston Planning Commission in a comprehensive rewrite of the existing Zoning Bylaw.Town of Guilford: Zoning and/or Subdivision Bylaw — $7,550 The grant underwrites technical assistance and public outreach to help the planning commission draft new Zoning Bylaws.Town of Readsboro: Municipal Plan Update — $11,250 Underwrites technical assistance for the rewrite of the Readsboro Town Plan focusing on writing clear policies, village revitalization, and wind energy.Town of Rockingham: Municipal Plan Update — $3,000 The project would update the Town Plan maps.Town of Wilmington: Municipal Plan Update — $15,000 Town Plan Update in general concentrating effort on land use, energy, housing, economic development, recreation and implementation sections.
RealtyTrac(R) (www.realtytrac.com(link is external)), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its February 2009 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report(TM), which shows foreclosure filings – default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions – were reported on 290,631 U.S. properties during the month, an increase of nearly 6 percent from the previous month and an increase of nearly 30 percent from February 2008. The report also shows one in every 440 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in February.Vermont had the second lowest rate in the nation (ranked 49th) and Nebraska was ranked 50th. New Hampshire was 19th, Massachusetts 26th, Connecticut 14th, Rhode Island 30th, Maine 39th, and New York was 35th.”The increase in foreclosure activity from January to February is somewhat surprising, given that many of the foreclosure prevention efforts and moratoria in place in January were extended through most of February as well,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “There were some notable exceptions to this: a 45-day voluntary moratorium in Florida expired at the end of January, and foreclosure activity there was up 14 percent from the previous month; and many New York foreclosure proceedings delayed by a new law for an extra 90 days appear to have hit the system in February, when the state’s foreclosure activity increased 23 percent from the previous month.”Nevada, Arizona, California post top state foreclosure ratesWith one in every 70 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in February, Nevada continued to document the nation’s top state foreclosure rate. Foreclosure filings were reported on 15,783 Nevada properties during the month, a 9 percent increase from the previous month and a 156 percent increase from February 2008.Arizona posted the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate in February, with one in every 147 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month, and California posted the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 165 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation’s 10 highest were Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, Oregon and Ohio.California, Florida, Arizona post highest foreclosure totalsForeclosure filings were reported on 80,775 California properties in February, the most of any state and a 5 percent increase from the previous month. The state’s foreclosure activity increased 51 percent from February 2008, with auction sale notices increasing nearly 179 percent – the most of any category on a year-over-year basis.Florida foreclosure activity increased nearly 14 percent from the previous month and 43 percent from February 2008 – thanks in large part to a nearly 158 percent year-over-year increase in auction sale notices and a 128 percent year-over-year increase in bank repossessions. With 46,391 properties receiving a foreclosure filing, the state posted the nation’s second highest state total in February.Arizona posted the third highest state total in February, with 18,119 properties receiving a foreclosure filing during the month – a 23 percent increase from the previous month and an 88 percent increase from February 2008.Nevada, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Georgia and Virginia also reported foreclosure totals that were among the nation’s 10 highest.Sunbelt cities post top metro foreclosure ratesOne in every 60 Las Vegas housing units received a foreclosure filing in February, giving the city the nation’s highest foreclosure rate among metro areas with a population of at least 200,000. The city’s foreclosure rate was more than seven times higher than the national average. Another Nevada metro area posted a foreclosure rate in the top 10: Reno-Sparks ranked No. 8, with one in every 108 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.The Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., metro area documented the second highest foreclosure rate in February, with one in every 65 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month.Six California cities registered foreclosure rates among the top 10: Stockton at No. 3 (one in 67 housing units), Modesto at No. 4 (one in 68), Merced at No. 5 (one in 74), Riverside-San Bernardino at No. 6 (one in 80), Bakersfield at No. 7 (one in 85), and Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 10 (one in 111).With one in every 110 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, the Phoenix metro area posted the ninth highest foreclosure rate in February.Report methodologyThe RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing reported during the month – broken out by type of filing at the state and national level. Data is also available at the individual county level. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default – Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction – Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). If more than one foreclosure document is filed against a property during the month or quarter, only the most recent filing is counted in the report. The report also checks if the same type of document was filed against a property in a previous month or quarter. If so, and if that previous filing occurred within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state the property is in, the report does not count the property in the current month. U.S. Foreclosure Market Data by State – Feb 2009 Properties with Foreclosure Filings Rate State Rank Name NOD LIS NTS NFS REO — U.S. 54,064 55,509 78,234 28,729 74,095 42 Alabama 0 0 312 0 401 32 Alaska 0 0 112 0 91 2 Arizona 3 0 12,258 0 5,858 18 Arkansas 162 0 1,050 0 404 3 California 43,072 0 18,831 0 18,872 11 Colorado 4 0 3,126 0 1,089 14 Connecticut 0 1,793 3 118 306 33 Delaware 0 0 0 203 70 District of Columbia 135 0 180 0 64 4 Florida 0 27,492 4 12,923 5,972 8 Georgia 0 0 7,073 0 3,112 27 Hawaii 102 0 364 0 71 5 Idaho 1,003 0 669 0 92 7 Illinois 0 6,882 1 4,362 2,973 13 Indiana 0 1,386 3 1,603 1,414 37 Iowa 0 0 215 0 364 28 Kansas 0 149 1 375 646 43 Kentucky 0 95 0 219 284 40 Louisiana 0 2 4 494 178 39 Maine 115 0 124 0 22 16 Maryland 0 2,183 0 470 523 26 Massachusetts 0 1,498 0 486 956 6 Michigan 0 0 7,838 0 4,726 23 Minnesota 5 0 1,089 0 1,480 44 Mississippi 0 0 173 0 121 21 Missouri 3 0 1,592 0 1,534 46 Montana 0 0 10 0 44 50 Nebraska 0 0 0 3 10 1 Nevada 8,406 0 4,560 0 2,817 19 New Hampshire 0 0 586 0 153 29 New Jersey 0 1,783 2 840 654 38 New Mexico 0 133 0 140 100 35 New York 0 3,200 2 729 370 36 North Carolina 217 0 492 0 1,330 47 North Dakota 0 0 0 15 22 10 Ohio 0 4,453 2 3,376 3,400 34 Oklahoma 261 0 542 0 227 9 Oregon 33 0 2,803 0 772 31 Pennsylvania 0 1,686 5 1,383 1,118 30 Rhode Island 0 0 197 0 212 20 South Carolina 0 1,129 1 393 950 48 South Dakota 0 0 0 30 2 17 Tennessee 0 0 1,994 0 1,697 24 Texas 19 0 5,943 0 4,565 12 Utah 523 0 674 0 608 49 Vermont 0 0 0 0 11 15 Virginia 1 0 3,198 0 1,624 25 Washington 0 0 2,055 0 966 45 West Virginia 0 0 90 0 21 22 Wisconsin 0 1,645 0 567 774 41 Wyoming 0 0 56 0 25 % Change % Change Rate State 1/every X from from Rank Name Total HU (rate) Jan 09 Feb 08 — U.S. 290,631 440 5.92 29.95 42 Alabama 713 2,997 -22.50 0.99 32 Alaska 203 1,390 21.56 37.16 2 Arizona 18,119 147 23.48 87.76 18 Arkansas 1,616 797 6.60 16.01 3 California 80,775 165 5.23 50.62 11 Colorado 4,219 504 -2.41 -37.38 14 Connecticut 2,220 648 34.46 1.00 33 Delaware 273 1,424 56.90 19.74 District of Columbia 379 750 83.09 11.47 4 Florida 46,391 188 13.79 42.97 8 Georgia 10,185 389 2.81 33.47 27 Hawaii 537 944 59.35 275.52 5 Idaho 1,764 358 16.67 129.39* 7 Illinois 14,218 369 -1.59 62.34 13 Indiana 4,406 631 -3.29 -14.40 37 Iowa 579 2,296 -14.48 22.41 28 Kansas 1,171 1,041 76.09 156.80 43 Kentucky 598 3,187 -10.88 25.63 40 Louisiana 678 2,742 39.79 4.31 39 Maine 261 2,669 -15.26 28.57 16 Maryland 3,176 730 -14.09 -20.92 26 Massachusetts 2,940 926 -12.55 -24.73 6 Michigan 12,564 360 10.04 14.67 23 Minnesota 2,574 895 36.48 63.84 44 Mississippi 294 4,268 6.91 98.65* 21 Missouri 3,129 846 26.73 -9.80 46 Montana 54 8,065 10.20 -70.17 50 Nebraska 13 60,062 -58.06 -94.37 1 Nevada 15,783 70 9.27 155.93 19 New Hampshire 739 804 -1.47 14.93 29 New Jersey 3,279 1,067 -34.49 -41.43 38 New Mexico 373 2,311 127.44 -25.99 35 New York 4,301 1,846 23.03 -17.97 36 North Carolina 2,039 2,023 -14.54 -49.68 47 North Dakota 37 8,393 -28.85 68.18 10 Ohio 11,231 451 0.29 8.14 34 Oklahoma 1,030 1,576 5.86 -42.49 9 Oregon 3,608 446 -20.02 127.78 31 Pennsylvania 4,192 1,307 13.85 73.58* 30 Rhode Island 409 1,102 -45.10 -8.30 20 South Carolina 2,473 818 0.41 254.30* 48 South Dakota 32 11,164 -17.95 23.08 17 Tennessee 3,691 738 0.79 -25.57 24 Texas 10,527 896 7.92 -14.14 12 Utah 1,805 513 0.78 40.14 49 Vermont 11 28,312 83.33 175.00* 15 Virginia 4,823 679 -10.12 15.19 25 Washington 3,021 908 -3.79 36.08 45 West Virginia 111 7,952 50.00 184.62 22 Wisconsin 2,986 857 10.63 24.78 41 Wyoming 81 2,992 -2.41 26.56 *Actual increase may not be as high due to data collection changes or improvementsAbout RealtyTrac Inc.RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com(link is external)) is the leading online marketplace of foreclosure properties, with more than 1.5 million default, auction and bank-owned listings from over 2,200 U.S. counties, along with detailed property, loan and home sales data. Hosting more than 3 million unique monthly visitors, RealtyTrac provides innovative technology solutions and practical education resources to facilitate buying, selling and investing in real estate. RealtyTrac’s foreclosure data has also been used by the Federal Reserve, FBI, U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee and Banking Committee, U.S. Treasury Department, and numerous state housing and banking departments to help evaluate foreclosure trends and address policy issues related to foreclosures.IRVINE, Calif., March 11 /PRNewswire/SOURCE RealtyTrac
*** Gifford Healthcare,Gifford’s Best Kept Secrets’ was the theme of the Randolph hospital’s 105th Annual Meeting of the Corporators held Saturday evening at Gifford. It is also the theme of the medical center’s 2010 year-in-review Annual Report.The report and meeting described the hospital’s efforts around cancer, surgical and emergency care. Talked about were little known programs like the Gifford Adult Day Program in Bethel and inpatient rehabilitation in Randolph, and the availability of high-tech diagnostic imaging.‘‘I didn’t know Gifford did that.’‘ It’s a statement hospital staff and leaders hear regularly, hospital Administrator Joseph Woodin told corporators filling Gifford’s Conference Center. ‘So we put it in the Annual Report. I hope you read it and get the word out.’Also described were the hospital’s 11 consecutive years making its budget and operating margin.‘Our goal has always been an operating margin of 2.5 to 3 percent,’ said Woodin.Others have seen their budget dollars and operating margins swing wildly from highs to lows. Showing Gifford’s financial stability over the past decade, and thus modest but consistent investment, Woodin noted, ‘We actually do work quite differently than other organizations.’Part of its success is due to its planning efforts. The medical center is amid its fourth consecutive three-year strategic plan.‘What does the community need? What do our patients need? What does the hospital need?’ Woodin said the planning process asks and addresses.The current plan aims to make Gifford a medical center of choice for patients, staff and health providers by addressing quality, relationship building and teamwork. Long-term facility planning is another important component, but temporarily on hold due to looming health care reform and budget cuts in Montpelier.Woodin called Vermont a leader in the nation when it came to health care and showed a chart from the Commonwealth Foundation, an independent, non-profit research institute, ranking Vermont top in the United States when it comes to health care.‘In Vermont, we do very well. We’re currently the standard,’ said Woodin, who has testified before the Senate Finance Committee on health care reform. ‘My caution to the politicians is that we’re not trying to go from a C or D grade. We already have an A.’Rather than complete reform, or slashing budget cuts, Woodin proposed cost saving ideas that could be implemented now to reduce health care costs statewide. Not duplicating X-rays or other studies as patients move between community and tertiary care hospitals was one example. Limiting health care advertising was another. A third addressed the hospital budgeting process and savings that could be realized from a two-year budget cycle.Health care reform has been, and will continue to be, a discussion at all hospital Board of Trustees meetings, Chairman Bob Wright said, describing the active board’s monthly meetings and participation in committees. ‘It’s a well-informed board,’ he said, calling Gifford an ‘affective’ and ‘conscientious team.’‘Gifford’s pretty special. I’ve heard this from many different sources and in many different circumstances,’ said Wright.ElectionsWelcomed to that active board was Lincoln Clark of Royalton, a past board member. Clark replaces former Vermont Technical College president Ty Handy who has moved to Florida. Corporators were unanimous in their support for Clark.Also unanimously supported were new corporator members Rod and Marilen Tilt, John and Ruth Lutz, Mona Colton, Carol Bushey and Mike Ross.Awards and scholarshipsA host of awards and scholarships were also announced.Betina Barrett-Gallant, a Gifford employee and daughter of the late Dr. Richard Barrett, named Stockbridge resident and operating room nurse Fern Rogers the winner of this year’s $1,000 Dr. Richard J. Barrett Health Professions Scholarship.The award is given annually by the Medical Staff to an employee or employee’s child pursuing a health career. Rogers is pursuing her registered nurse degree at Vermont Technical College.The Philip D. Levesque Memorial Community Award is given annually to a White River Valley organization involved in the arts, health, community development, education or the environment. Levesque was Gifford’s president and chief executive officer from 1973-1994.This year’s winner of the Levesque award is the Granville Volunteer Fire Department, family physician Dr. Ken Borie announced. The volunteer fire department will use the funds to buy medical equipment to help launch a first response team to medical emergencies in Granville, Hancock and the surrounding area as necessary.And William and Mary Markle Community Foundation grants amounting to nearly $25,000 were given to 14 area organizations, including several food shelves and many children’s recreation programs.This year’s winners, announced Development, Marketing and Public Relations Director Ashley Lincoln, were:â ¢ Bethel Food Shelf ‘ $1,490 to purchase a refrigerator and freezerâ ¢â ¢ Cabot Recreation Dept. ‘ $1,500 for snowshoes and soccer goalsâ ¢â ¢ Chelsea Little League Baseball ‘ $1,580 for a pitching machine and pitchers’ screenâ ¢â ¢ Chelsea Recreation Association ‘ $2,000 for summer camp swimming lessonsâ ¢â ¢ Gifford Family Center ‘ $1,800 for family educational workshopsâ ¢â ¢ Gifford Pharmacy Department ‘ $2,718 for ‘Cactus Smart Sinks’ for the safer disposal of medicationsâ ¢â ¢ Green Mountain United Way ‘ $1,200 for its Building Healthy Communities activity programâ ¢â ¢ Randolph Area Food Shelf ‘ $2,500 toward its building relocation and renovationsâ ¢â ¢ Randolph Elementary School ‘ $1,500 for an industrial-grade food processor for the Farm to School Programâ ¢â ¢ Randolph Village Fire Dept. ‘ $750 for a gas detector for a new pumper truckâ ¢â ¢ Randolph Wrestling Club ‘ $1,500 to create a nonprofit club and program supportâ ¢â ¢ Randolph Youth Basketball ‘ $1,575 for a score clock and other program supportsâ ¢â ¢ Rochester Public Library ‘ $2,000 in matching dollars toward the purchase of an elevatorâ ¢â ¢ South Royalton Community Food Shelf ‘ $2,495 for a freezerâ ¢Formally the Gifford Community Health Grant Program, the grants were renamed for the late Bill Markle and his wife Mary in 2009. Bill Markle had been a former board member and long-time supporter of Gifford. Mary Markle was in attendance, along with about 90 others, at this year’s Annual Meeting when the grants were announced.Gifford has been offering the annual grants to community non-profits for 10 years, amounting to nearly $250,000 given to the community in the last decade, Lincoln noted.Special presentationThe meeting concluded with a special presentation from Gifford’s Surgery Division leaders ‘ Medical Director and general surgeon Dr. Ovleto Ciccarelli, Vice President of Surgery Rebecca O’Berry and nurse manager Jamie Floyd.The trio described the breadth of surgical and specialty services at Gifford, including podiatry, urology, orthopedics, ophthalmology, general surgery, anesthesia, neurology and pain management.‘We’re very unique. Many hospitals of larger size don’t have this amenity,’ Dr. Ciccarelli said of the pain management care provided by specialist Dr. Lan Knoff.O’Berry said that was the beauty of Gifford.‘We never think of ourselves as a small institution. We look at ‘What does the community need?’‘ she said.Urology is an example. There are only 400 urologist in all of the United States and Canada. Gifford currently has two working part-time as well as a full-time, experienced urology physician assistant. And the medical center just recruited a third provider, Dr. Richard Graham, who is slated to start in May.Gifford also offers some specialties in multiple locations for the convenience of patients, including urology, which is in Randolph and White River Junction. Podiatry is in three locations ‘ Berlin, Randolph and Sharon.Specific services were also described along with technology and quality improvements.Floyd called cataract surgery ‘ a simple, quick and needle-free procedure ‘ one of the most ‘life altering’ surgeries. ‘It’s really amazing to walk into an OR with someone who can’t see and to walk out 20 minutes later with someone with nearly 20/20 vision,’ he said.New technology included updated sterilization machines, a new ‘mini c-arm’ for use by primarily Gifford’s podiatrists to get an image or continuous live view of a joint during surgery.Thanks to the generosity of a donor, who gave the hospital $200,000 to purchase a stereotactic breast biopsy system, the hospital will soon add this technology. Stereotactic breast biopsies are less invasive than surgical options and especially beneficial for women with an abnormality near the chest wall.Quality improvements have included a move toward a latex-free operating room, a surgical safety checklist and patient survey, and even new clocks ‘ a small but meaningful change.Previously, clock times varied by several minutes one way or the other. A patient could leave the operating room at say 11:26 a.m. and ‘ remarkably ‘ arrive in recovery suite at 11:24 a.m. Or, they could leave operating room at 11:26 a.m. and not arrive in the recovery suite ‘ just a short distance away ‘ until quite a few minutes later.The new clocks are linked to a central radio transmitter, meaning each reads the same time and patient charts reflect these accurate, consistent times.Source: Gifford www.giffordmed.org(link is external). Photos Gifford Medical Center Administrator Joseph Woodin speaks at Saturday’s 105th Annual Meeting of the Gifford Corporators ‘ a citizen body that helps oversee the hospital, serves as community liaisons and committee members, and elects the Board of Trustees.Kitchen and maintenance teams.Surgery Division Medical Director and general surgeon Dr. Ovleto Ciccarelli describes the vast array of surgery and specialty services available at Gifford.Podiatrist Dr. Paul Smith uses the ‘mini C-arm’ during surgery.
The Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross announced today the closing of the last of their thirteen emergency shelters that were opened around the state in response to Tropical Storm Irene. Longer term housing arrangements have been made for the last few residents at the Red Cross shelter at the Hartford High School in White River Junction and it officially closed as of noon. The widespread flooding and destruction from Irene forced many residents from their homes, and many took refuge in the thirteen Red Cross shelters that were opened after Irene hit Vermont on August 28, 2011. These Red Cross shelters were staffed with trained volunteers to meet the needs of the people staying there, including a safe place to stay, hot meals, emotional support and other assistance in response to the disaster. Now that water levels have receded and roads are being reopened, residents are able to return to their homes or to other longer-term housing arrangements. Red Cross emergency response vehicles have criss-crossed the state delivering food and clean-up supplies to residents after the storm, and Red Cross outreach teams have canvassed affected neighborhoods doing damage assessment and contacting residents to ascertain their emergency disaster relief needs. As the nature of the disaster response changes from immediate storm relief to longer term recovery efforts, the role of the Red Cross is also changing. The Red Cross will continue to provide disaster relief to those affected by Irene, and will also work with our disaster relief partner agencies in the longer term recovery for the state. ‘The American Red Cross is dedicated to providing disaster relief whenever storms such as Tropical Storm Irene impact our communities,’ said Timothy Stetson, Chief Response officer of the Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross. ‘Opening and staffing these shelters is just one of the many ways that the Red Cross helps our friends and neighbors every day.’ Stetson added that the Tropical Storm Irene response has been a huge disaster affecting thousands across multiple states, and the Red Cross response will cost millions of dollars. He asks if anyone would like to assist the Red Cross in helping others to consider making a donation. About the American Red Cross:The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization ‘ not a government agency ‘ and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org(link is external) or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org(link is external). please click, text or call to donate to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit www.redcross.org(link is external) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. This gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. 9.13.2011
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Ian Austen for the New York Times:An electrical plant on the Saskatchewan prairie was the great hope for industries that burn coal.In the first large-scale project of its kind, the plant was equipped with a technology that promised to pluck carbon out of the utility’s exhaust and bury it underground, transforming coal into a cleaner power source. In the months after opening, the utility and the provincial government declared the project an unqualified success.But the $1.1 billion project is now looking like a green dream.Known as SaskPower’s Boundary Dam 3, the project has been plagued by multiple shutdowns, has fallen way short of its emissions targets, and faces an unresolved problem with its core technology. The costs, too, have soared, requiring tens of millions of dollars in new equipment and repairs.“At the outset, its economics were dubious,” said Cathy Sproule, a member of Saskatchewan’s legislature who released confidential internal documents about the project. “Now they’re a disaster.”The utility that runs the project, SaskPower, and advocates for carbon capture argue that the setbacks are typical teething problems associated with any new and complex technology.“Over time, as more companies, countries engage in carbon capture and storage technologies, the price for everybody is going to come down,” Mike Marsh, the chief executive of SaskPower, told a legislative committee in January. “That will make it easier to employ.”The Boundary Dam Power Station sits near a wealth of resources not far from the North Dakota border.Hundreds of years of coal reserves are buried under the ground nearby, virtually eliminating transportation costs. And the mining creates employment in an area with limited job prospects.“It’s a low-cost, stable supply,” Mr. Marsh said. “There’s a tremendous opportunity in North America to continue to utilize coal.”To the utility and the provincial government, the process known as carbon capture and storage seemed tantalizing when a review of the power system began 11 years ago.The technology offered a way to stick with coal in a carbon-conscious era. It was especially attractive in Canada, where rising emissions from the oil sands have more than offset reductions elsewhere, including Ontario’s abandonment of coal-fired electrical generation.Through the process, machinery would first remove most of the soot and ash from the coal’s exhaust. The exhaust would then pass through a kind of chemical called an amine that would snatch the carbon, in the form of carbon dioxide, out of it. The gathered carbon dioxide, separated from the amine, would be compressed, moved through pipelines and ultimately buried underground.Variations of the technology have been used as far back as the 1920s. And small demonstration projects have largely worked, including one in Norway that opened in 2012.Boundary Dam, which received a major Canadian subsidy and opened in September 2014, was the first full-scale deployment of the technology to cut emissions from burning coal. Saskatchewan picked a process owned by Shell, encouraged by its history with petrochemicals.At the outset, the utility and the province said the project was working as intended, capturing 90 percent of the plant’s carbon. It was the equivalent, they said, of taking 250,000 cars off the road. Environmentalists and politicians from around the world came to check out Boundary Dam.But the success story disintegrated last November when Ms. Sproule, a member of the opposition New Democratic Party, unveiled the confidential documents in the provincial legislature. She wouldn’t identify the people who provided the documents, although the government confirmed their authenticity.The documents showed that the system was working at only 45 percent of capacity. One memo, written a month after the government publicly boasted about the project, cited eight major problem areas. Fixing them, it said, could take a year and a half, and the memo warned that it was not immediately apparent how to resolve some problems.A chart covering the first year of operation showed that the system often didn’t work at all. When it was turned back on after shutdowns for adjustments and repairs, the amount of carbon captured sometimes even dropped.The buoyant public remarks, Mr. Marsh said, accurately reflected the company’s early assessment of the system. “We were very optimistic when this plant came online,” he said.Still, he acknowledged that “there were a few statements that it was achieving more than it had.” Mr. Marsh characterized many of the problems as design issues, such as inadequate temperature control systems, rather than fundamental flaws.But Boundary Dam has exposed a problem with Shell’s process when used with coal exhaust. Despite the plant’s initial filtering, tiny particles of ash still remain in the exhaust and contaminate the amine, reducing its ability to grab carbon, Mr. Marsh said.The control room of a carbon capture and storage facility at Boundary Dam Power Station. Credit Michael Bell/CPTOR, via Associated Press“Over all, we are pleased with the performance of the capture technology,” Shell Canada said in a statement, adding that it was working with SaskPower “to optimize operations and capture any lessons that can be applied to improve future projects.”But the costs are piling up.One shutdown last spring to clean and replenish the chemical cost 17 million Canadian dollars. Mr. Marsh said that the company was still looking for a way to prevent the contamination.The repeated shutdowns have caused SaskPower to miss multiple carbon dioxide deliveries to Cenovus Energy, the Canadian oil company that signed a 10-year contract with the utility to buy most of the gas. (Cenovus uses carbon dioxide to force oil from largely depleted wells.) SaskPower has had to pay 7 million Canadian dollars in penalties, offsetting most of the 9 million Canadian dollars in payments received.On top of that, the carbon system is a voracious consumer of the electricity generated by Boundary Dam, which has 150 megawatts of capacity. Mr. Marsh testified that about 30 megawatts of capacity were consumed by the system, and an additional 15 to 16 megawatts were needed to compress the carbon dioxide.Tim Boersma, the acting director of the energy security and climate initiative at the Brookings Institution, said that extensive power loss is a significant factor keeping other utilities from following SaskPower’s lead.“That is exactly the reason this is not going to fly,” Mr. Boersma said. “The plant’s efficiency goes down so dramatically.”As it continues to sort out the plant’s problems, SaskPower is damping expectations. The utility cut its emissions reduction target for this year to 800,000 metric tons, from one million.The company said it is working with the engineering firm that designed the project to solve the problems and increase efficiency. Mr. Marsh said there were indications that performance was improving. Last month, the utility said the system was working at 67 percent of capacity.Even some environmentalists are hoping for a turnaround.George Peridas, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s climate and clean air program, said his group did not endorse the use of coal, but it accepted that coal would continue to be part of the energy mix.Carbon capture, he said, will be a “vital part” of reducing emissions. Based on discussions with SaskPower, Mr. Peridas said he was confident that Boundary Dam would eventually work out.“I don’t see any indication that the carbon capture system of this plant is broken,” Mr. Peridas said. “It’s had a bumpy start.”Technology to Make Clean Energy From Coal Is Stumbling in Practice A Marquee ‘Clean Coal’ Project Is Failing
Column: Coal optimism in Australia hides unease about long-term problems FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:BRISBANE—Coal miners supplying Asia’s rapidly growing economies have plenty to be optimistic about as prices and demand appear robust, but they should be wary of getting caught up in the positive feedback loop that nearly destroyed them before.This week’s inaugural Energy Mines and Money conference in Brisbane, the heartland of the industry in top coal exporter Australia, was a sea of optimism about the outlook for the industry. Prices have been on an upward trend since bottoming in 2016 after five years of losses, and miners are once again making good profits amid strong demand from top importers China and India, new consumers such as Pakistan and the reliable veteran buyers like Japan and South Korea.But at the back of the minds of many Australian miners is the fear that they have seen this movie before, and they don’t want the same ending. In 2012, the industry was cock-a-hoop over forecasts that pointed to massive import demand growth in Asia, led by China and India. Problem was it was pretty much all wrong.A well-respected industry consultant and forecaster boldly claimed in early 2012 that China would be importing 1 billion tonnes of coal by 2030, and India would be up to 400 million tonnes. But these forecasts now look hopelessly optimistic, given China’s coal imports were 270.9 million tonnes in 2017. While imports have risen for two years, they are still well below the record 327.2 million tonnes from 2013. While China’s coal imports may rise slightly this year, it’s unlikely they will reach 300 million tonnes, and that 1 billion tonne forecast looks well out of reach.The [new] optimistic forecasts also fail to account for political pressure to move away from coal, not only in China, but increasingly in India. It’s likely that those countries planning on building coal plants powered by imports will also come under mounting pressure from environmental activists, who have become increasingly sophisticated in targeting how coal plants are financed and insured.In fact, if there was another common theme to this week’s conference in Brisbane, it’s that the coal sector still doesn’t fully grasp that array of forces now being deployed against it. The mantra of coal as ‘cheap and reliable and the only way to electrify the masses of people still without power’ was still repeated, and clearly believed.But scratch a little further and miners will tell you of the incredible difficulties in developing projects, with increased government scrutiny and regulation, the rising threat of public opposition and the dearth of financing, notwithstanding a seemingly large pool of investment funds. The inability of India’s Adani to actually start building its Carmichael mine in Queensland, the world’s largest planned mine aimed at supplying the seaborne market, plays on the industry’s mind, as does the virulent public opposition to the mine’s development.More: COLUMN-Resurgent coal exporters should be wary of blinkered optimism: Russell
State regulators tell Georgia Power to add 2,210MW of new solar by 2024 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Atlanta Journal Constitution:Georgia will rely more on the sun to generate electricity as it retreats from its once overwhelming reliance on coal.The state Public Service Commission’s five members — all Republicans — unanimously directed Georgia Power to make its biggest increase ever in renewables, nearly doubling the solar capacity of the state’s largest utility. The addition — 2,210 megawatts of new capacity from solar panels by 2024 — is enough to power more than 200,000 homes of the company’s 2.6 million customers.“It’s one of the cleanest and cheapest generation (sources) we can have,” PSC chairman Lauren “Bubba” McDonald said.He successfully pushed to more than double the amount of solar Georgia Power initially proposed as part of an update to its long-range energy plan. Most of the new solar generation is expected to come from large-scale commercial arrays rather than homeowners’ rooftops.But coal plants, once the dominant power source in Georgia and favored by President Donald Trump, are a shrinking part of the state’s energy mix as they become less economically viable. The PSC agreed with Georgia Power’s recommendation to close five coal-burning units, one at Plant McIntosh near Savannah and four more at Plant Hammond near Rome. The company started winding down operations this year.Georgia Power particularly heralded the PSC’s approval of 80 megawatts of battery energy storage, which could help store solar power. The project “is critical to growing and maximizing the value of renewable energy for customers as we increase our renewable generation,” Allen Reaves, the Atlanta-based company’s senior vice president, said in a press release.More: Georgia commissioners, all Republicans, increase solar power, cut coal
Solar development taking hold in Kazakhstan FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:JSC Kazakhstan Electricity and Power Market Operator (JSC KOREM) has revealed that the winner of the auction for a 50 MW solar power project in Kazakhstan’s Otyrar district is Italian oil and gas producer Eni.The group’s LLP Arm Wind unit offered the lowest price (not including VAT) of KZT 12.49 ($0.032)/kWh. “The ceiling auction price – KZT 29/kWh (excluding VAT) during the trading session decreased by 2.3 times,” JSC KOREM said.The 50 MW project is a joint initiative under the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in cooperation with the UN Development Program. Eni is already active in the Kazakh energy market as a joint operator of the Karachaganak field. It is also an equity partner in various projects in the northern part of the Caspian Sea, including the giant Kashagan fieldThe auction has delivered a price which is lower by at least a third than those seen in the country’s first renewable energy auction in October 2018, when the final prices of the four selected PV projects, totaling 170 MW, ranged from KZT 18.6 to KZT 18.6.In another auction that was finalized in September, JSC KOREM selected a 10 MW PV project submitted by Russian developer Solnechnaya Sistema LLP, which offered a price of KZT 9.9/kWh, and a 26 MW solar project presented by KazSolar 50 LLP, which submitted a bid of KZT 16.97/kWh. The Solnechnaya Sistema LLP project will be built near the country’s Aral district, while the KazSolar 50 LLP plant will be built in the Shet district.Several more projects are being built outside the country’s auction scheme, including a 128 MW solar project by Total Eren and a 50 MW project by Suntech, among others. In January, German developer Goldbeck Solar said it had finished a 100 MW solar project near the town of Saran. That project also operates under a 15-year PPA, at a price of KZT34.61/kWh ($0.091). [Emiliano Bellini]More: Italy’s Eni wins Kazakhstan’s 50 MW solar auction with $0.032/kWh bid