StateAmountStateAmountAlabama$54,411,568Nevada$5,253,929Alaska$2,215,118New Hampshire$4,805,462Arizona$7,516,272New Jersey$61,937,486Arkansas$17,504,267New Mexico$5,567,987California$72,252,584New York$321,476,119Colorado$10,307,643North Carolina$48,137,960Connecticut$20,964,829North Dakota$2,073,197Delaware$3,986,200Ohio$77,937,803Florida$49,658,600Oklahoma$14,538,344Georgia$64,067,418Oregon$8,533,410Hawaii$9,454,397Pennsylvania$120,206,473Idaho$887,959Rhode Island$12,081,706Illinois$128,103,330South Carolina$20,297,831Indiana$21,570,606South Dakota$1,653,882Iowa$4,672,512Tennessee$50,216,600Kansas$9,880,896Texas$72,552,552Kentucky$31,838,124Utah$2,394,123Louisiana$43,544,357Vermont$1,948,080Maine$5,056,956Virginia$28,687,138Maryland$26,848,339Washington$26,602,619Massachusetts$52,240,068West Virginia$7,978,504Michigan$31,099,543Wisconsin$15,089,333Minnesota$28,166,333Wyoming$821,802Mississippi$20,313,957District of Columbia$14,193,015Missouri$27,595,445Guam$1,174,617Montana$2,574,655Puerto Rico$105,751,592Nebraska$8,023,289US Virgin Islands$5,389,187 TOTAL:$1,792,056,016 Source: HUD 2.10.12———————————————————————– US Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today awarded public housing authorities in Vermont $1.9 million in funding that will be used to make major large-scale improvements to their public housing units. See below for a complete list of housing authorities in Vermont that will receive this funding. Today’s grants are provided through HUD’s Capital Fund Program, which provides annual funding to all public housing authorities to build, repair, renovate and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. This funding can be used to make large-scale improvements such as new roofs and to make energy-efficient upgrades to replace old plumbing and electrical systems. ‘This funding will help housing authorities address long-standing capital improvements, but it only scratches the surface in addressing the deep backlog we’re seeing across the country,’ said Donovan. ‘Today, we are closer to helping housing authorities and our private sector partners undertake their capital needs over the long haul. With the passage of HUD’s 2012 budget, Congress gave HUD the go-ahead for a new, comprehensive and critical demonstration tool that we believe will help preserve and enhance America’s affordable housing, including public housing.’ In November 2011, Congress gave HUD the approval to test a comprehensive tool to preserve public housing and other HUD-assistant housing. Congress authorized HUD to begin a Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) as part of the Obama Administration’s comprehensive strategy to keep these public and other HUD affordable homes on firm financial footing. Public housing authorities need nearly $26 billion to keep these homes safe and decent for families. But given our budget realities, HUD proposed this innovative way to confront the decline of the nation’s public and affordable housing stock. In FY 2012, RAD will enable public housing authorities and owners to continue to make standard life-cycle improvements to their inventory and modernize or replace obsolete units to stem the loss of stock from private sector partners choosing to opt-out of affordable housing programs. The demonstrationwill bring more than 60,000 properties into a reliable, long term, project-based rental assistance contract ‘ and allow public housing authorities to raise more than $6.1 billion in private financing to reduce the large backlog of capital repair needs and in the process, support significant job creation in communities across the country. Sandra B. Henriquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, added, ‘We see Congress’ decision to allow this demonstration to begin as a victory, not only for HUD, but for countless communities that desperately want to improve their public housing and other affordable housing, as well as a victory for families who need quality housing they can afford and who want more options on where they might choose to live.’ Last year, HUD released Capital Needs in the Public Housing Program, a study that updated the national estimate of capital needs in the public housing stock in the U.S. The study found the nation’s 1.2 million public housing units are facing an estimated $25.6 billion in much-needed large scale repairs. Unlike routine maintenance,capital needs are the large-scale improvements required to make the housing decent and economically sustainable, such as replacing roofs or updating plumbing and electrical systems to increase energy efficiency. This study updates a 1998 analysis and includes costs to address overdue repairs, accessibility improvements for disabled residents, lead abatement, and water and energy conservation that would make the homes more cost effective and energy efficient. Over the last 75 years, the federal government has invested billions in the development and maintenance of public and multifamily housing ‘ including providing critical support through HUD’s Capital Fund, the grants announced today. Still, the nation continues to lose thousands of public housing units annually, primarily due to disrepair. To protect the considerable federal investment and respond to the growing demand for affordable rental housing, the Obama Administration proposed RAD. The details of the demonstration’s timeline and application are being prepared and HUD expects to issue a notice for public comment in the coming months. VERMONT FUNDINGHousing Authority Funding AmountBurlington Housing Authority$388,119.00Brattleboro Housing Authority$319,873.00Rutland Housing Authority$194,551.00Springfield Housing Authority$152,146.00Barre Housing Authority$348,839.00Winooski Housing Authority$247,551.00Montpelier Housing Authority$58,107.00Bennington Housing Authority$238,894.00 VT Total: $1,948,080 The FY2012 Public Housing Capital Funding by state:
Shelburne Museum Director Thomas Denenberg announced that the museum’s new arts center will be named the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education after the Pizzagalli family, longtime museum benefactors and local philanthropists. Additionally, the building’s exhibition and education wings will be named for Theodore H. Church and the family of J. Warren McClure, respectively. The Pizzagalli Center is named for James, Angelo and Remo Pizzagalli and their families. James Pizzagalli is past chairman and a current member of the board of trustees at the museum. The Theodore H. Church Exhibition Wing is named for Theodore Church (1925-2008), an art collector and owner of St. Albans-based Superior Technical Ceramics Corp., who supported Shelburne Museum for many years. The J. Warren McClure and Family Education Wing is named in honor of the McClures’ many major contributions to educational opportunity and access at the museum for over 40 years. ‘The Pizzagallis’support of this transformational project has been essential to its success. The Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education ensures that Shelburne Museum will continue to be a vital part of the state’s cultural landscape, allowing the museum to broaden educational offerings and serve as a hub for the community,’Denenberg said. ‘We are honored to recognize these major contributions from the Pizzagallis, McClures and Ted Church to the future of Shelburne Museum and its benefit to Vermonters.’ The Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education opens on August 18 with a ribbon cutting and day-long grand opening celebration. ‘We are pleased to support this new and important cultural and educational resource for Vermont. We believe strongly in Shelburne Museum’s mission and are proud to see the institution move forward with this building and with a year-round program of educational offerings and exhibitions,’James Pizzagalli said. The center is part of the Campaign for Shelburne Museum, a $14-million capital campaign, still underway. The campaign also includes an endowment to sustain the ongoing operation of the center and installation of a fiber-optic communications network throughout the museum’s 45-acre campus. Features of the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education include:5,000 square feet of gallery space that will be used for special exhibitions on a year-round basis. An auditorium with seating for 135, allowing the museum to offer lectures, presentations and symposia.The museum’s first classroom designed for classes and programs for audiences of all ages.Design that meets the LEED certification standards of the United States Green Building Council including: use of local materials ‘such as Adirondack stone, Vermont slate and beech wood floors ‘to reduce required transportation of materials and to support the local economy; wood products selected from sustainably harvested forests; and energy efficient heating, cooling and lighting. About Shelburne Museum: Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont is one of North America’s finest, most diverse and unconventional museums of art, design and Americana. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in a remarkable setting of 38 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the museum’s beautifully landscaped 45-acre campus. Shelburne’s collection includes works by the great Impressionists Claude Monet, Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas as well as a prized collection of folk art including trade signs, weathervanes and quilts. Shelburne Museum will remain open year- round with the opening on August 18 of the new Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education.IMAGE CAPTIONS:East side of Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education, Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vt.East side of Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education, Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vt. at dusk.SHELBURNE, Vt. (July 9, 2013) — Shelburne Museum
University of Vermont,By a vote of 335 to 303, University of Vermont staff members chose not to be represented by the Vermont State Employees Association union. A simple majority of employees who participated in the December 16-17 election was required to determine the outcome.The proposed bargaining unit approved by the Vermont Labor Relations Board consisted of approximately 760 employees in administrative/clerical, technical and specialist positions. The unit did not include temporary employees; work-study students; or employees in supervisory, confidential or management positions.Throughout the union organizing and election process, the university’s position was to ensure that employees had access to all the information needed in order to make an informed choice, as well as to encourage employees to participate in the election.“We felt that it was very important for employees to be well informed on all union representation issues,” said Wanda Heading-Grant, vice president for Human Resources, Diversity, and Multicultural Affairs. “Given that the outcome of the election had the potential of determining the terms and conditions of employment for this group of staff for years to come, we felt it was critical to encourage employees to vote in the election.”“In the end, employees decided that it was not in their wish to have union representation,” said Heading-Grant. “The University of Vermont is an exceptional institution that depends on a community of dedicated people for its successful operation. The university has made remarkable progress in recent years. We are poised to reach even greater heights in the future. The excellent work of UVM staff is essential to fulfilling that promising future. I appreciate and applaud the many contributions they make to the realization of the vision for UVM. As we move forward, we are determined to sustain a positive work environment for UVM staff.”
Vermont Business Magazine The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is extending the public comment period on the Phosphorus Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for the twelve Vermont segments of Lake Champlain until October 15, 2015. On August 14, 2015, EPA made the phosphorus TMDLs for the Vermont segments of Lake Champlain available for public comment. The comment period was set to expire on September 15, 2015. In response to requests for additional time, EPA is extending the comment period for 30 additional days, until October 15, 2015. Further information and copies of the Lake Champlain TMDLs may be obtained on-line at http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/tmdl/lakechamplain.html(link is external) or by requesting a copy from the contact listed below. Comments may be submitted via the US Mail or by email to the contact listed below. Copies of the documents listed in the “References” section of the TMDLs may also be obtained from the contact below. Following the close of the comment period, the EPA Regional Administrator will issue a final decision and transmit the final TMDLs to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation. For further information or to submit comments please contact: Stephen Perkins, Lake Champlain TMDL Project Manager U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1 – New England 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 Mail Code OEP06-3 Boston, MA 02109-3912 Phone: (617) 918-1501 Email: [email protected](link sends e-mail)
by Governor Peter Shumlin Last week, the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance held a Rally for Safe Roads on the State House Lawn. In attendance were bicyclists, motorists, equestrians, motorcyclists and pedestrians and more than a few who could claim to be all of the above. The rally was a reminder of the recent tragedies we’ve seen on Vermont’s roads and our shared responsibility to do better. It was also a reminder that we should broaden our thinking of highway safety. At the end of the day, no matter how you’re getting there on Vermont’s roads, we all have a responsibility to other members of our community to help everyone get home safely. In the past ten years, there have been 691 lives lost on Vermont’s highways – that is the equivalent of the entire town of St. George or Waterville being lost to highway crashes. In addition, 3,873 people have suffered a serious injury on our highways – that is the equivalent of the entire town of Brandon or Bristol being injured in a life changing crash in this same period. One life lost or one injury is too many.The sad truth is most of these tragedies could have been prevented. The most vulnerable users of the road often pay a higher price for the results of other’s poor judgement on our roads. Cyclists, pedestrians, equestrians, motorcyclists, farmers on tractors, highway construction workers and motorists stand a much better chance of getting home at the end of the day when we all take responsibility for making Vermont’s roads safer by driving carefully and making smart decisions before we get behind the wheel of a vehicle.In thinking about the basic values that make Vermont what it is, the idea of shared responsibility by all users of Vermont’s roads is right in line with our overall sense of community. In the same way that a neighbor will pull you out of a ditch or help you stack wood up for winter, we are all obligated to play a part in making our roads safe for everyone. That’s the Vermont way, Freedom and Unity, and it’s time we started taking it to the streets. It doesn’t end with just being responsible for ourselves and our behavior. It includes helping to bring everyone else along. The Vermont Road User Pledge ends with a reminder to “share what I know about road safety with others.” That means sometimes having uncomfortable conversations with people who are putting others in danger. That means talking about hard things like, “Why don’t you wear a seatbelt?” or “Are you really okay to drive?” and to intervene or seek help in those moments that could save a life. You can take a stand for road safety by taking the Vermont Road User Pledge through the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance’s website.Everyone has a part to play since all users of the highway are members of our community– they are mothers, brothers, neighbors and friends. We have to think at all times when we’re on the highway – think about each other, respect one another, save a life. We can do better and we must do better to keep everyone safe.
Vermont Business Magazine Last season nearly sixteen thousand skiers and riders “checked in” with Ski Vermont to win prizes and bragging rights. After two successful years partnering with Trace Snow and Verizon Wireless, Ski Vermont is excited to partner with SnoCru to expand the Check In to Win(link is external) program to cross country skiers and snowshoe enthusiasts.“This season we wanted to be able to offer the same incentives to all snow sports enthusiasts, regardless of how they choose to recreate on snow,” said Ski Vermont’s Director of Marketing, Kyle Opuszynski. “We will award the first alpine skier, snowboarder and nordic skier that visits all of Vermont’s applicable resorts with brand new equipment.”The goal of the Ski Vermont Check In to Win program is to get skiers, riders and snowshoe enthusiasts to explore more of Vermont’s trails and resorts. Alpine skiers and snowboarders participate by downloading the Trace(link is external) application on their phone to track their days, runs and vertical feet. Nordic skiers and snowshoers will download the SnoCru(link is external) application to document distance and map their tracks.All participants are entered to win prizes each time they explore new resorts and can earn Vermont medals while competing against other skiers and riders in Vermont. Prizes come from Ski Vermont partners like Darn Tough, Rossignol, Burton, anon, Long Trail Brewing, Skida, Vermont Spirits, and more. The first skier, snowboarder and Nordic skier to visit all the applicable resorts will win Rossignol skis and bindings, a Burton snowboard and a Rossignol cross country set up respectively.Jayne Johnson from Milford, New Hampshire was the first winner to take home a pair of Rossignol skis and bindings as her reward for being the first to ski all 19 public Vermont resorts during the 2014-15 season. Read more about her adventures at skivermont.com.(link is external) New this year, winners will receive Trace tracking devices that mount directly to skis and snowboards, providing more accurate data than ever.The annual Vertical Challenge will resume in 2015-16 as well. The 2014-15 season winner, Rob Weiss from Albany, New York, logged almost two million vertical feet snowboarding at Killington Resort over an impressive 85 days on the hill.“Year after year, we continue to see Vermont’s biggest fans proving their dedication to our mountains and we applaud them for their efforts. We also envy their time on snow,” says Opuszynski.Watch Ski Vermont’s Check In to Win video(link is external) and stay up-to-date on opening dates(link is external) and conditions(link is external) at skivermont.com(link is external).
The full report, including detailed scorecards for every state, is available online at ww.hrc.org/sei(link is external).The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community. Vermont Business Magazine The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, in partnership with the Equality Federation, has released its second annual national report assessing the status of state legislation affecting LGBT equality across America, including in Vermont. Vermont falls into the second highest-rated category, “Solidifying Equality.””There are a number of things Vermont can do to achieve our next and highest classification—’Working Toward Innovative Equality’,” Xavier Persad, Legislative Counsel, Human Rights Campaign, told Vermont Business Magazine. “Though Vermont currently has relatively extensive laws protecting the LGBT community, it lacks laws protecting youth involved in the adoption or foster care system from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Additionally, the state does not prohibit discrimination in jury selection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”The addition of certain parenting laws that impact LGBT people would also help elevate Vermont’s ranking. These include changes to state law that expressly prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in the placement of foster youth; require prospective parents to receive training regarding LGBT youth in areas like cultural competency and legal requirements; and that grant limited recognition to de facto parents for visitation or custody.”Furthermore, mandating the collection of data on hate crime incidents based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and requiring that information to be reported to the federal government, would strengthen Vermont’s inclusive hate-crime laws. With regard to youth-related laws, the State can mandate that schools have suicide prevention policies to protect all students, including LGBT-youth who are at a substantially increased risk of suicide. Vermont should also join the growing number of states that protect youth from so-called “conversion therapy”—dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”Lastly, additional steps like expressly allowing for transition-related coverage for transgender people through state medicaid, extending transgender-inclusive health benefits to state employees, and requiring single-occupancy restrooms to be gender neutral would build on the great progress Vermont has already achieved in ensuring equality for its LGBT residents.”The State Equality Index(link is external) (SEI) reveals that, even with historic progress on marriage equality, there are extraordinary state-to-state disparities in LGBT non-discrimination protections, including in the workplace, and efforts continue by equality opponents to pass state-level legislation that would sanction discrimination and undermine even minimal existing protections.“Even with marriage equality the law of the land, the battle for LGBT rights at the state level continues to be a story of successes and setbacks,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Though a number of states are expanding access to non-discrimination protections for LGBT people and their families, a majority of states are still struggling to reach even a basic level of equality for LGBT people.”“This year will be one of our most challenging yet, with our opponents in more than two dozen states pushing deeply harmful laws that undermine critical protections in the guise of ‘religious liberty,’” Griffin said. “Equally troubling are disgraceful bills targeting the transgender community — from preventing transgender people from using public facilities, including bathrooms, that accord with their gender identity, to denying them the ability to make gender and name changes on crucial identification documents.”While more than 111 million people live in states where LGBT people lack clear state-level protections against discrimination in the workplace, the SEI points to a few encouraging signs – particularly in areas related to LGBTQ youth, health, and safety. States like Utah, New York, and Illinois expanded access to equality for LGBT people and their families, while others strengthened existing hate crimes laws, improved access to transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage, and protected LGBT youth from harmful “conversion therapy”.The SEI assesses statewide LGBT-related legislation and policies, good and bad, in five areas: parenting laws and policies; non-discrimination laws; hate crimes laws; youth-related laws and policies; and health and safety laws and policies. Based on that review, the SEI assigns states to one of four distinct categories(link is external).Six states and the District of Columbia are in the highest-rated category, “Working Toward Innovative Equality”These states and the nation’s capital have robust LGBT non-discrimination laws covering employment, housing and public accommodations, as well as protections in the realm of credit, insurance, and jury selection. Most allow transgender people to change official documents to reflect their gender identity. Almost all bar private insurers from banning transition-related healthcare. LGBT youth are protected by anti-bullying laws, as well as innovative measures in some states that address conversion therapy, inclusive juvenile justice policies, homelessness, and sexual education.The states are(link is external): California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington.Six states are in the category “Solidifying Equality”These states have non-discrimination protections and are considered high-performing but not cutting edge on LGBT equality. Many of these states allow transgender individuals to change gender markers on official documents. More than half do not allow second parent adoption. These states have relatively robust anti-bullying laws, but bad laws begin to crop up in this category. The states are(link is external): Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont.Ten states are in the category “Building Equality”These states have taken steps toward more robust LGBT equality, including passing basic non-discrimination and hate crimes laws. They allow gender markers to be changed on official documents, but have few protections for transgender health care. Some lack explicit gender identity protections, and several lack comprehensive anti-bullying laws. Bad laws are more common, so advocates work to stop bills that undermine LGBT equality, and to pass more comprehensive non-discrimination laws. The states are(link is external): Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Utah, and Wisconsin.Twenty-eight states are in the lowest-rated category “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality”Most of these states(link is external), including Arizona, North Carolina, Texas, and Florida, have many laws that undermine LGBT equality, from those that criminalize HIV and sodomy, to measures allowing religious-based discrimination against LGBT people. None have non-discrimination laws that explicitly include sexual orientation or gender identity protections; few have hate crime laws with those protections. LGBT advocates largely work to kill bad bills and pass municipal protections for LGBT people.“Last year our community faced a barrage of attacks on our freedoms, but we are more united and better prepared than ever to continue our momentum toward equality for all,” said Rebecca Isaacs, executive director of Equality Federation Institute. “This report serves as an important tool for advocates to keep pushing forward. We’re not going to stop until all LGBTQ people and their families are able to reach their full potential, free from discrimination, no matter what state they live in.”
by John McClaughry Once again, following the horrific shooting in Orlando, the advocates of gun control are in full voice. Congressional Democrats have even conducted an unprecedented sit-in and shoutfest to stop the workings of the House of Representatives. The difficulty the Democrats face is that, stripped of the emotion and politically driven posturing, their legislative demands either flagrantly violate the Constitutional rights of law abiding citizens, or are hopelessly ineffective and unenforceable against would-be terrorists and mass murderers.Take the Universal Background Check. Omar Mateen, the ISIS-supporting Muslim who killed 49 at an Orlando nightclub, purchased his weapons lawfully by passing a background check. The Democrats say we need to find lots more reasons to disqualify “people who shouldn’t have guns”, and require checks for every transfer, without exception.How would the Federal government ‘s functionaries identify the new “people who shouldn’t have guns”, so as to include Mateen? “Reasonable suspicion”, a criterion that liberals strongly opposed when it took the form of the New York City “stop and frisk” law and “driving while black” on I-95.Amy Goodman, the national spokesperson for the left wing organization Democracy Now!, gives us a clue. She interviewed the leader of the gun confiscation movement in Australia, where there is no constitutional protection for firearms owners.Goodman quoted Rebecca Baker as saying, “A crucial part of the new laws is proper checking of the background of people who are applying to have guns. It’s not only domestic violence, it’s about depression and abuse, and many other factors [that] can make a person at risk of violence, not to mention people who are vehemently racist or resentful.”Donald Trump echoes this view, when he said that people who “have even an inclination toward terrorism cannot buy weapons, guns.”In the hands of people like Goodman (and Obama), the “no buy” list is likely to end up including hundreds of thousands of people who were ever rumored to have been treated for depression, or had a vocal argument with his or her significant other, or screamed at his kid’s soccer coach, or was mugged by a person of another race, or legally owns a gun in Hawaii, or professes a religious faith whose Holy Book instructs followers to “slay the idolators”, or are fed up with high taxes and stupid regulations, or refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding, or won’t agree that “climate change is real”. The government won’t notify those listed, and when they discover they’ve been wrongfully listed, they would face an arduous and costly trip to the Federal judiciary for due process to get their name off.Persons who know they are ineligible to buy a gun from a licensed dealer usually don’t even make the attempt (which is itself a felony). They acquire their guns by informal exchanges, or they steal them. Once that expanded “no buy” list fails to keep a firearm out of the hands of the next shooter, it’s a short leap to Australia: repeal our Second Amendment, and confiscate privately owned firearms.That poses a real problem: resistance. JD Tuccille, writing at Reason.com, points out that a California law to register “assault rifles” (sic) in 1990 resulted in 7,000 registrations, out of an estimated 300,000 semiautomatic rifles in private hands. In New Jersey, out of more than 100,000 firearms affected, a similar law brought in 947 people who were target shooters, 888 who rendered their guns inoperable, and four who surrendered them to the police.Tuccille’s conclusion: Americans won’t easily submit to a law that takes away their Constitutional right, and as jurors, they won’t find an otherwise innocent defendant guilty for possessing a forbidden firearm.How about banning any semiautomatic rifle that “resembles” an M-16? Such rifles are functionally identical to ordinary semiautomatic hunting and self-defense rifles. They are called “assault rifles” because they are scary looking, with pistol grip, flash suppressor, bayonet mount etc. An ordinary semi-automatic rifle without the grip, produced in rainbow colors, would do every bit as much damage with equal efficiency. (A military assault rifle fires multiple rounds with one trigger pull, and civilian ownership is heavily regulated.)Banning the gun does not solve the mass murder problem. Until Mateen’s rampage in Orlando, the worst massacre by a private citizen in American history – 38 schoolchildren and six adults – came from a bomb planted under a school in Bath Township, Michigan in 1927. It was perpetrated by a man angry about high taxes and losing an election for town clerk. Universal Background Checks, vague and fanciful reasons for blocking a purchase, and gun confiscation simply won’t work in a nation with 300 million guns in private hands, at least without a civil war.Of course, the people proposing such ideas don’t really care if they will work, so long as those awful weapons (and their defenders) take the blame, government becomes far bigger and more intrusive, and the all-powerful state triumphs over the antiquated Bill of Rights protections of the Constitution.John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute (www.ethanallen.org(link is external)).
Vermont Business Magazine On Wednesday, the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) voted to approve the experimental all-payer waiver agreement. Gov. Shumlin will sign the All-Payer Model (APM) into law on Thursday, once again overhauling the state’s healthcare system. Expressing a lack of confidence in the Shumlin Administration, House Republican Leader Don Turner asked GMCB Chair Al Gobeille to provide a letter before the vote, assuring that the APM complies with all the benchmarks (including the requirements for any Medicare waiver agreement made between Vermont and the federal government), as specified under Act 113 of Vermont law.Rep. Turner said, “I am disappointed that Mr. Gobeille chose not to honor the reasonable request to provide a written assurance. Given the gross mismanagement of healthcare reform projects over the past six years by the Shumlin Administration, and the numerous unanswered questions regarding the risks and outcomes of the All-Payer Model, I would have liked to see the head of the independent GMCB offer a measure of certainty to Vermonters, at the very least.”“I find the haste with which the Shumlin Administration has sought to enact APM, coupled with the glaring lack of civic participation and media coverage leading to the GMCB vote today, deeply regrettable,” Rep. Turner added.“Robust democracy requires that those in power not shirk the heavy lifting of persuasion and public dialogue. While elected officials are accountable to the voters, the same is not true for state appointed bureaucrats. To ensure that all future decision-making follows a more transparent and inclusive process, I call that we seriously consider the possibility of eliminating the Green Mountain Care Board, and reinstating the State Legislature’s authority in dealing with the healthcare needs of Vermonters,” Rep. Turner concluded.
Vermont Business Magazine Howard Center announced today that Deborah Richter, MD, was recently hired to provide services and supports to those in recovery from alcohol and substance use. The appointment follows the recent closure of Maple Leaf Farm, as Howard Center and other providers seek to provide continuous service for individuals who previously had been enrolled at Maple Leaf. Richter was employed by Maple Leaf Farm and, post-closure, continuously served her clients through a temporary placement at the Vermont Department of Health. Richter will be working at Howard Center’s Pine Street Counseling two days a week and will soon be joined by a nurse and a licensed alcohol and drug counselor.Deborah Richter, MD. Howard Center photo.Richter practices primary care and addiction medicine in Vermont and is a past president of Physicians for a National Health Program. Her extensive speaking engagements include addresses to community and church groups, Rotary Clubs and other business groups, medical student and physician groups – about the need for and merits of a universal health care system.Richter serves as president of Vermont Health Care for All, an organization that educates the Vermont community about the structure and features of universal health care systems. She received a two-year fellowship from the Open Society Institute, which allowed her to educate employers about the benefits of a universal health care system.She is the co-author of several books on health care, and her work has also been featured in several national publications.She lives with her husband in Montpelier Vermont.Howard Center offers life-saving professional crisis and counseling services to children and adults; supportive services to individuals with autism and developmental disabilities who need help with education, employment, and life maintenance skills; counseling and medical services for those struggling with substance use disorders, and intensive interventions and supports for adults with serious and persistent mental health challenges. Last year we helped more than 16,000 people. Howard Center is a funded agency of the United Way of Northwest VermontSource: Howard Center. 3.22.2017 www.howardcenter.org(link is external)