Agencypartners offer new job-loss protection and low-cost mortgage insurance products Korpela said MGIC has worked with VHFA to offer two new insuranceprograms that should give VHFA borrowers new peace of mind. The announcements were made at a press conference attended by theGovernor, VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenterand MGIC Accounts Manager Jon Korpela. A detailed description of the newprograms is attached. ### Carpenter said the Agency’s new mortgage program—a 30-year,fixed-rate mortgage with a 4.75% interest rate—will be offered toqualified borrowers purchasing new homes in developments that have beenapproved by the Agency. Approved housing developments will be located inareas designated by communities for housing growth. “Our Agency and our partners are focused on providing the bestservice we can to consumers,” she said. “Any time we canoffer a new product or service like this, consumers win.” Carpenter said the new insurance products are another way VHFA workswith its partners to offer more and better options for consumers. Burlington, Vt. — Governor Jim Douglasjoined with Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) today to announce theAgency’s new $10 million mortgage loan initiative to help consumers find affordablehomeownership, and the Agency also rolled out two new insurance products beingprovided to VHFA borrowers by the Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation(MGIC). “This is another way of helping people realize their dream ofaffordable homeownership,” Carpenter said. “We’ll beworking with Vermont’sNeighborworks® Homeownership Centers to find potential customers andprovide home buying education. We feel this program also helps encouragethe development of affordable housing in areas where Vermont communities have decided they wanthousing built.” Contacts: Jason Gibbs, Office of the Gov.,(802) 828-3333John Fairbanks, VHFA, (802) 652-3424 GOV.DOUGLAS, VHFA LAUNCH NEW $10 MILLION AFFORDABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP PROGRAM The second product is low-cost mortgage insurance to qualifiedborrowers that carries a premium that is approximately 35 percent belowconventional programs. Tuesday, August 01, 2006 The first is a job-loss protection benefit, offered at no cost to VHFA borrowers. That product would provide a limited measure of protection against involuntaryunemployment. It would pay up to $2,000 per month for up to six months ifthe involuntary unemployment occurs during the first two years of the loan. “MGICunderstands the important role that homeownership plays in the American dream,Korpela said. “MGIC has been helping make the dream ofhomeownership a reality for nearly 50 years, and we are pleased to partner withVHFA to bring affordable home loan options to the people of Vermont. “Through these programs, qualifying VHFA borrowers can save asmuch as $100 per month on their mortgage payments,” Korpela said. “AndJob Loss Protection helps safeguard borrowers against losing their homes ifthey become involuntarily unemployed or disabled.” “Vermonters are still facing high housing costs, despite evidencethe housing market may not be as super-heated as in recent years,” Douglas said. “The concern over housingaffordability on the part of consumers, employers and the housing industryremains high, which is why we still need the kind of creative and effectivethinking that goes into programs like the ones we’re announcing today. Creating more affordable housing helps us create more and better paying jobs.” Jason GibbsGovernor’sCommunications Director109 State Street ¨ The Pavilion ¨ Montpelier,VT 05609-0101 ¨ www.vermont.gov/governor(link is external)Telephone: 802.828.3333 ¨ Fax: 802.828.3339 ¨ TDD: 802.828.3345
The US House of Representatives passed a resolution Wednesday morning honoring Captain Richard Phillips of Underhill, his crewmembers aboard the Maersk Alabama and the United States Navy personnel who secured his release.The resolution was authored US Representative Peter Welch and was cosponsored by 87 Members of Congress. It passed on a voice vote. Captain Phillips acted bravely and selflessly in the face of extraordinary danger, putting his own life at risk to protect his crewmembers. Like all Vermonters, I am tremendously relieved that Captain Phillips has returned home safely to his family in Underhill, Welch said. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the United States Navy for its quick, effective and heroic rescue of Captain Phillips.A similar resolution was expected to be introduced in the Senate Wednesday by Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders.Welch s comments on the floor of the House can be viewed by clicking here. Text of the resolution, H.Res. 339, is below:111th CONGRESS1st SessionH.RES. 339Expressing the sense of the United States House of Representatives regarding the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama, the kidnapping of Captain Richard Phillips by Somali pirates, the rescue of Captain Phillips by United States Navy SEALs and the crews of the USS Bainbridge, USS Boxer, USS Halyburton and Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 and for other purposes.ResolutionExpressing the sense of the United States House of Representatives regarding the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama, the kidnapping of Captain Richard Phillips by Somali pirates, the rescue of Captain Phillips by United States Navy SEALs and the crews of the USS Bainbridge, USS Boxer, USS Halyburton and Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 and for other purposes.Whereas on April 8, 2009, a group of armed Somali pirates hijacked the Norfolk, Virginia-based Maersk Alabama, a U.S. flagged cargo ship;Whereas this attack represents the first such attack on a U.S. flagged vessel in modern history;Whereas Captain Richard Phillips of Underhill, Vermont, commander of the Maersk Alabama, graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and has over 20 years of maritime experience;Whereas Captain Phillips and the crew of the Maersk Alabama were delivering a life-sustaining USAID shipment of over 8,000 metric tons of food aid to Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda when the ship came under pirate attack;Whereas the crew of the Maersk Alabama overpowered one of the pirate attackers, and Captain Phillips offered himself up in return for the safe release of his crew and ship;Whereas four pirates then fled with Captain Phillips to an 18-foot lifeboat;Whereas the United States Fifth Fleet immediately dispatched Maritime Patrol (P-3) Aircraft to locate and positively identify and monitor the Maersk Alabama to vector the closest U.S. Navy ship to the scene;Whereas the United States Navy destroyer USS Bainbridge, which had been patrolling the region due to increased pirate activities, arrived on the scene;Whereas the USS Bainbridge, under the command of U.S. Navy Commander Frank Castellano, monitored the conditions on the lifeboat and prevented the pirates from escaping;Whereas Commander Castellano served as the on-the-scene coordinator for the combined rescue efforts of the State Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation hostage negotiators, and the U.S. Navy;Whereas U.S. Navy SEALs quickly deployed to the scene;Whereas, while being held by pirates, Captain Phillips attempted a daring escape, diving into the ocean and trying to swim to safety before being recaptured;Whereas the pirates held Captain Phillips at gunpoint for 5 days;Whereas the Navy SEALs once again demonstrated their extraordinary bravery, skill, and professionalism in rescuing Captain Phillips;Whereas the USS Halyburton assisted the USS Bainbridge with the rescue operation, by skillfully ensuring that the pirates were blocked in their attempt to reach the Somali coast;Whereas the USS Boxer assisted in the rescue operation by standing by to provide immediate medical support, which was thankfully not needed in this operation.Resolved, that the United States House of Representatives—Commends the crew of the Maersk Alabama and Captain Phillips, who selflessly placed himself in harm s way to protect his crew;Recognizes the United States Navy, the crews of the USS Bainbridge, Boxer, Halyburton, and Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 for their role in the rescue;Congratulates the Navy SEALs on the scene for their decisive action that resulted in the rescue of Captain Phillips; andJoins all Americans in expressing great relief that the crew has returned home safely.
By James Dwinell, Vermont Business Magazine Rich Tarrant, one of Vermont s wealthiest, is no longer a Vermont resident; he now resides in Florida. Tarrant is best known for the amazing success of IDX, a health care information systems company which he sold in 2006 and now called GE Healthcare and still located in South Burlington.In 2006 Tarrant ran for the open US Senate seat vacated by Jim Jeffords. Though Tarrant won the Republican primary, he lost to Bernie Sanders in the general election. There were rumors of a possible interest in one day running for governor of Vermont, those days are now gone.After confirming his change of residency, Tarrant said, I don t want your story to suggest that I made the change because of dissatisfaction with Vermont. It was very complicated decision, but simply put, I am heavily invested in Florida real estate and as such it became clear to me that becoming a Florida resident made many things in the real estate field much easier and more beneficial. And I was spending more and more time in Florida. But all four of my start-ups are here in Vermont. There is no escaping the tax man, either here or in Florida.Tarrant is involved in a variety of business ventures here in Vermont, in the medical and education fields. The Tarrant Institute, centered at UVM, is an example of Tarrant s creative energy. We are providing an online learning system, called I-Leap, which is in schools in Milton, Burlington, and Manchester, he said. The system engages kids and allows them to learn at their own interest level and ability. One parent told me that his child says that not only does he enjoy the system and learns well, but that much of the disciplinary distractions have been eliminated. A grandparent of Milton I-Leaper had tears in her eyes talking about the difference it made for her grandson!The program is now in its fourth year (STORY, CLICK HERE). In an article posted on the UVM Communications website written by Jeffrey Wakefield, the Institute s director Penny Bishop has surveyed the schools where I-Leap is at work.Deborah Tarrant of the Richard E. and Deborah L. Tarrant Foundation shows the difference between the technologies students use inside and outside of school at a December 21, 2009, press conference. (Photo: Raj Chawla) Students in I-Leap say that learning is more interesting, meaningful, and relevant to their lives compared with their earlier school experiences, an evaluation shared by many parents. There’s a point to what we’re learning, one Milton student said. My daughter’s grades have improved since being involved in this program, said an Edmunds parent. She has always had a problem with focusing, but now with the laptop, I have seen her sit, focused, completing her work. I really see the advantages of bringing our teaching methods current with technology. Edmunds social studies teacher Brent Truchon reported a marked change in classroom participation. For the first time in the history of my teaching career, every student’s hand was raised, in a recent class, he said.Governor Douglas upon hearing the news of Tarrant s change of residency, said, Rich is a Vermont entrepreneur and community leader who has contributed and continues to contribute so much Vermont. His decision to change his residency is an example of how tax laws can make a difference in where people decide to live. We need legislators who understand that.Not forgetting Tarrant s roots, Penny Bishop said, The Tarrant Institute focuses only on Vermont. The Tarrants have been our sole source of funding until we recently received a $200,000 grant from the stimulus funds. Middle school is our focus. Kids who are failing in math or English, and who have a less then 80 percent attendance record, or receive poor behavior comments on their report cards have only a 20 percent chance of graduating high school. Success is when we see these kids engaged in a relevant curriculum with meaningful technology and succeeding while being directed by teachers who we have trained.Vermont Business Magazine. 6.17.2010
The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) today opened the small stretch of Route 14 in East Montpelier that had been closed since early October. The closure, which ran about a quarter of a mile from Route 14’s intersection with Route 2 to Northstar Fireworks, was initiated on October 6 due to complications stemming from Tropical Storm Irene. VTrans on September 26 first restricted this section of Route 14 to one lane when the roadway began sliding into the Winooski River. Engineers originally believed the road could be repaired while maintaining one lane of traffic, but the undermining accelerated, forcing a total road closure on October 6. Once the road was closed, highway crews stabilized the riverbank and rebuilt the roadway. Paving was conducted earlier today, and the roadway is now opened to two-lanes of traffic. While the road is open to public travel, work is expected to continue in the area for several more days. Motorists should expect occasional delays until work is complete.Tropical Storm Irene hit Vermont on August 28, damaging more than 500 miles of state roadway. All but 19 miles have been reopened to public travel. Questions regarding storm-damaged roads and bridges related to Tropical Storm Irene can be answered by calling VTrans’ Irene Storm Center at 1-800-Vermont. People can also visit VTrans’ website at www.aot.state.vt.us(link is external) where they can sign up for travel updates for their mobile phone, and follow the agency’s progress on both Facebook and Twitter. VTrans 11.1.11
Some 15 Post Offices across Vermont, plus two service centers, will be spared elimination, saving 245 jobs, at least foSenator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) joined senators from around the country today to announce that the US Postal Service voluntarily agreed to their request for a five-month moratorium until May 15 on closing postal facilities. The moratorium would give Congress more time to consider postal reform legislation, including a bill introduced by Sanders. ‘I am pleased that the Postal Service has announced that it will impose a moratorium on closing or consolidating post offices and mail processing facilities. This moratorium will give Congress the breathing room it needs to enact comprehensive postal reform and protect universal service while ensuring the postal service will succeed in the 21st century.’ Sanders authored a letter signed by 22 senators calling for a similar moratorium to be imposed by Congress. The letter was sent to Senate leaders on Friday. The announcement today follows a meeting yesterday between Sanders and several other senators with U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Thurgood Marshall. At the meeting, the senators expressed concern over the impact of reduced service and the loss of thousands of jobs. The Postal Service is in the process of studying the potential closure of nearly 3,700 mostly-rural post offices, including 15 in Vermont. In addition, the Postal Service is considering closing the mail processing facility in White River Junction, Vt., which would cost 245 jobs. Nationwide, as many as 100,000 jobs are at stake. The moratorium would prevent the Postal Service from closing facilities in Vermont and elsewhere until May 15, 2012. The Postal Service in September announced plans to review its mail processing network in the hopes of reducing costs and increasing efficiencies. The Postal Service is currently considering the elimination of overnight delivery and studying the possibility of closing 3,700 mostly rural post offices and 252 mail processing facilities.WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2011