WILLISTON, VERMONT – FreshTracks Capital II, L.P. (“FreshTracks”), a Middlebury-based venture capital fund with primary interest in Vermont investments, announced that it has invested an undisclosed amount in NEHP Inc. NEHP is a highly successful Vermont company that has developed a patented modular method of tool installation for semiconductor manufacturing and also provides hygienic piping and skid solutions to the life sciences industries.NEHP manufactures the high purity, SEMI compliant modules at its facility in Williston, Vermont and ships finished product to its customers around the world, including Applied Materials, IBM, Intel, and Nikon. FreshTracks’ investment was structured to accelerate the sales and marketing efforts of NEHP, as this profitable company executes the next stage in its growth strategy.”FreshTracks is very pleased to be a key part of NEHP’s expansion,” said Tim Davis, Managing Director of FreshTracks. “The market opportunity for NEHP’s patented modular solution for the semi-conductor industry is compelling. NEHP’s management team has done an excellent job growing the company since it was founded in 2000. FreshTracks has been monitoring the company’s impressive progress for the past 4 years, and we feel that now is the right time for an equity investment to truly accelerate growth. We are very excited to work alongside NEHP’s management in the coming years to realize that vision.” Davis joined the Board of Directors simultaneously with the closing of the transaction.”FreshTracks Capital has already been a great benefit to our company, and many others throughout Vermont,” said Adam Tarr, CEO of NEHP. “They were instrumental in helping us find our CFO, Robin Morris, and worked with our team to structure NEHPs banking relationship prior to the transaction. I am looking forward to working with Tim Davis. His background and experience provide the perfect fit to help fuel NEHPs continued growth.”NEHP is the second investment in FreshTracks’ second fund. FreshTracks provides a broad spectrum of equity financing to growing companies. Investments out of FreshTracks’ first fund include seed-stage financing provided to re-launch EatingWell, a food and nutrition media company located in Charlotte, early-stage financing for Mophie, an open-source, consumer-driven product design company based in Burlington that is currently focusing on iPod accessories, and later-stage financing during the going-private transaction for the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, the direct-to-consumer business based in Shelburne, VT.”FreshTracks is often the first stop for successful entrepreneurial Vermont companies seeking equity financing, no matter their size,” said Davis, “and now we are even more enthusiastic about the prospects we are seeing in the market, and the expanded capacity we have to invest in Vermont growth businesses with the recent closing of our second fund.”About FreshTracks Capital II, L.P.:FreshTracks Capital II L.P. (www.freshtrackscap.com(link is external) ) is the second fund raised by FreshTracks Capital and is part of the Village Ventures nationwide network of venture capital funds. Since its inception, FreshTracks Capital I has invested in 14 portfolio companies; NEHP represents FreshTracks II’s first investment for the new portfolio. FreshTracks focuses its investment in private growth-oriented companies, primarily companies in close geographic proximity to Vermont.About NEHP Inc.:Founded in 2000 and based in Vermont, USA, NEHP is a pioneer in the field of process piping solutions and modularization for the semi-conductor and life sciences industries. NEHP’s in-shop fabrication capabilities and on-site installation services include design, hygienic material acquisition, fabrication, quality assurance, and commissioning, start-up & documentation turn over packages for high purity process systems. NEHP is compliant with SEMI, cGMP, and BPE.NEHP’s process piping solutions and modularization techniques increase the efficiency of installation by reducing design time, down-time, installation and maintenance costs. NEHP is the holder of U.S. Patent #7.039.999 B2 for its innovative, modular installation methods of semiconductor fabrication tools.Applied Materials, IBM, Intel, Nikon, Vishay, Fluor, and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals are amongst NEHP’s worldwide customers.
Champlain College advances in ‘Best Colleges’ ranking BURLINGTON, Vt. (Aug. 26, 2008) – Champlain College has advanced to 12th place, up seven places from 19th, in the latest ranking in the 2009 Americas Best Colleges, published by U.S. News & World Report. According to America’s Best Colleges, Champlain ranks 12th in the listing of ‘Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the North’ which includes all the New England states, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania. There are 320 colleges in four regional categories of institutions that focus on undergraduate education and offer a range of degree programs in the liberal arts and professional fields. Champlain College tied with two other schools, Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Seton Hall University in Pennsylvania. Cooper Union in New York was ranked number one in the North. The ranking system, now in its seventh year, is controversial among many higher education institutions. However, the publication’s editors defend its annual lists as a useful tool for parents and students. According to the authors of the America’s Best Colleges, the rankings are ‘an excellent starting point because they offer the opportunity to judge the relative quality of institutions based on widely accepted indicators of excellence. You can compare different schools’ numbers at a glance, and looking at unfamiliar schools that are ranked near schools you know can be a good way to broaden your search.’ The report uses a range of statistics and criteria such as SAT scores, graduation rates and peer assessment to formulate the ranking. Admission officers at Champlain College agree that the ranking is one way for students to learn about a school. ‘More importantly, we have found that prospective students are able to make the best decisions about their educational choices after visiting the campus, meeting other students, touring the facilities, examining cost and financial aid options and using that knowledge and their intuition to determine if a school is the right fit for their interests and career choices,’ said Mary Kay Kennedy, vice president for enrollmen and student life at Champlain College. v The annual college ranking report is timed for release just as students across the country head back to college. More details are available at www.usnews.com(link is external)Orientation begins Aug. 29 for new students and classes begin on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at Champlain College.Champlain College, a private baccalaureate institution, was founded in 1878. Champlain has approximately 2,000 undergraduate students, presenting 32 states and 17 countries. Located in Burlington, Champlain College offers Education in 3 Dimensions, a unique, multi-faceted approach to professional development, academic excellence and community-based life experience education over four years. Champlain also offers study abroad programs with campuses in Dublin, Ireland and Montreal, Quebec and extensive online and continuing professional education To learn more about Champlain College, visit www.champlain.edu(link is external).
FAIRPOINT DELIVERS NOTICE OF CUTOVER READINESS; EXPECTS CUTOVER AT THE END OF JANUARY 2009CHARLOTTE, N.C. (November 26, 2008) FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NYSE: FRP) today announced it has delivered its irrevocable notice of cutover readiness to Verizon Communications (Verizon). With the delivery of this notice, FairPoint expects to conclude its Transition Services Agreement with Verizon at the end of January and transition its customers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont to the Company’s approximately 60 new, state-of-the-art fully integrated systems. The exact date of cutover will be set by Verizon in early December.Gene Johnson, chairman and CEO of FairPoint stated, “A January cutover would be a truly historic event for our Company and for the residents of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. We again thank the employees of FairPoint, Capgemini U.S. LLC (FairPoint’s lead integration partner), the Public Utility Commissions/Public Service Board and their staffs, Liberty Consulting Group and Verizon for fostering a collaborative work environment necessary to permit us to declare our readiness for cutover. We will continue to maintain our focus through cutover to ensure a smooth and efficient transition.”About FairPointFairPoint Communications, Inc. is an industry leading provider of communications services to communities across the country. Today, FairPoint owns and operates local exchange companies in 18 states offering advanced communications with a personal touch, including local and long distance voice, data, Internet, television and broadband services. FairPoint is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FRP. Learn more at www.fairpoint.com(link is external).This press release may contain forward-looking statements by FairPoint that are not based on historical fact, including, without limitation, statements containing the words “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates” and similar expressions and statements. Because these forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results, events or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such factors include those risks described from time to time in FairPoint’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including, without limitation, the risks described in FairPoint’s most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q on file with the SEC. These factors should be considered carefully and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. All information is current as of the date this press release is issued, and FairPoint undertakes no duty to update this information.Source: FairPoint Communications, Inc., www.fairpoint.com(link is external).# # #
The College Board released its fifth annual AP Report to the Nation today, and highlighted Vermont as a national example in preparing students for college. Vermont saw the largest five-year increase in the country in the percentage of its student population scoring 3 or higher on at least one AP (Advanced Placement) exam in high school. Vermont is leading the nation in getting its students college ready for the second year in a row, said Michael Bartini, Regional Vice President for the College Board. Kids are thinking about college, and behind that are the teachers and administrators who deserve credit for the work they have done to provide these opportunities.The AP exam is a measure of a student s content mastery of college-level studies in specific academic disciplines. According to College Board, an exam grade of 3 or higher is a strong predictor of a student s ability to succeed in college and earn a bachelor s degree. In Vermont, 19.8 percent of the public high school class of 2008 earned a 3 or higher on one or more AP exams during high school. This compares to 15.2 percent of the nation.The number of Vermont students taking the AP exam is increasing. In 2008, 2,056 students (or 29 percent) from Vermont s public high schools took at least one AP exam during high school compared to 1,915 in 2007 and 1,377 in 2003. In 2008, 1,406 students earned a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam compared to 1,313 in 2007 and 961 in the class of 2003. What the results tell us is that more and more Vermont students are challenging themselves to college-level coursework in our schools, said Commissioner Armando Vilaseca. And even better, more and more are meeting that challenge.College Board also reported an increase in the number of low-income Vermont students taking AP exams. Nearly eight percent, or 160, of Vermont s low-income students took the AP exam, with 92 earning a 3 or higher.To view the complete national report, as well as Vermont s results, visit http://www.collegeboard.com/press/releases/releases_main.html(link is external).
On October 22, 2009 the Vermont Community Foundation will host a Kick-Off event for Middlebury Unplugged, an energy challenge for downtown Middlebury businesses. The Kick-Off, open to the public, will begin at 7:30 a.m. and will offer energy-saving tips to local business and residential home owners. At the end of the event, Middlebury Unplugged coordinators will hand out energy monitors and data-logging software to businesses, so that they can track their electrical usage in real time at no cost.The energy challenge will be a three-month competition among fifteen Middlebury businesses to see who can reduce their utility bill by the greatest percentage. The Vermont Community Foundation will fund the project with a grant from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, matched by a smaller grant from the Community Foundation, and will oversee the competition in partnership with Central Vermont Public Service, Efficiency Vermont, Middlebury College, and Middlebury Area Global Warming Action Coalition (MAGWAC).“We’re excited about this project,” says President and CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay. “It’s a chance for all of us in Middlebury to challenge ourselves about our energy use, and to start learning how to live in a new energy reality.“The energy monitors come with display units that will be placed prominently on the cashier counters at all participating businesses, so that customers can follow the progress of their favorite stores throughout the competition. Local residents can also check out the businesses and read up-to-date information online at the Middlebury Unplugged Website, www.vermontcf.org/middunplugged.For(link is external) more information on the Vermont Agency of Natural Resource’s Vermont Community Climate Change Grant Program that funded this project, please visit http://www.anr.state.vt.us/air/Planning/htm/ClimateChangeApp.htm(link is external)The Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) helps individuals, organizations, and businesses cultivate their love of giving through opportunities to learn, lead, and grow as philanthropists. The VCF has more than 500 charitable funds, each of which was established to build healthy and vital Vermont communities. In addition, the VCF offers planned giving, nonprofit agency endowment management, and other services that help charitable partners achieve their missions.###
Average retail gasoline prices in Vermont moved just 1.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.79/g today. This compares with the national average that has increased 4.7 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.74/g, according to gasoline price website VermontGasPrices.com.Including the change in gas prices in Vermont during the past week, prices today are 84.9 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 2.4 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 9.7 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 80.8 cents per gallon higher than this day a year ago.About VermontGasPrices.comGasBuddy.com operates over 200 live gasoline price-tracking websites, including VermontGasPrices.com. GasBuddy.com was named one of Time magazine’s 50 best websites and to PC World’s 100 most useful websites of 2008.Source: VermontGasPrices.com 3.8.2010- 30 –
Governor-Elect Peter Shumlin announced today the appointment of Dr. Harold (Hal) Colston as Executive Director of the Vermont Commission on National and Community Service. The Commission, with a state-administered $2 million grant from the federal government, coordinates Americorps National service programs and other volunteer and community services across Vermont.Colston is currently executive director of the nonprofit organization NeighborKeepers, and is an adjunct professor at Champlain College, where he lectures about building community through volunteerism. He previously serviced as diversity coordinator at the Howard Center in Burlington, and is the founder of the Good News Garage in Burlington, which has been featured in several national media outlets.”Hal has dedicated his professional life to volunteerism and efforts like the Good News Garage that make life better for all Vermonters,” Gov. Elect Shumlin said. “He’s been recognized nationally as a leader in this area. We are very lucky to have his ideas and commitment at the helm of the Vermont Commission on National and Community Service.”The commission consists of a maximum of 15 governor appointed citizens supported by a staff of four, and housed in the Secretary’s Office in the Agency of Human Services. The programs are largely funded through federal dollars, with relatively small local matches required.Colston’s salary will be $65,000.
Central Vermont Public Service has been named a Tree Line USA Utility and winner of the 2011 Tree Line USA Award by the National Arbor Day Foundation.The award is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters, and recognizes utilities that provide high-quality tree care, annual worker training in tree care and tree planting and public education programs. This is the ninth straight year CVPS has been recognized as a Treeline USA Utility.‘Utility providers like Central Vermont Public Service are setting a good example about the importance of recognizing the taking of care of a valuable community resource like trees,’ said John Rosenow, the founder of the Arbor Day Foundation.CVPS is on the cutting edge of forest management in the utility industry, creating practices that have improved reliability and the environment. The CVPS Forestry Department’s innovative and cost-effective forestry program has reduced herbicide use by 90 percent, and CVPS was the first utility in the country to replace fossil-based chainsaw oil with oil made from animal fat.The forestry department at CVPS consists of five certified arborists with degrees in urban forestry, environmental science, forest studies and botany. These employees put environmental policy first, under the belief that sound environmental policy ultimately improves tree health and reduces outage problems.‘By focusing on the quality and type of trees in our rights-of-way, rather than clear-cutting like most utilities, we have improved biodiversity, plant health and service quality,’ said Duane Dickinson, the systems forester for the company.CVPS has planted dozens of crabapple orchards in transmission corridors to ease out taller species and reduce the need for cutting, mowing or even selective spraying. The trees selected for this purpose hold their fruit well into the winter, providing an excellent feed source for wild turkeys. As a participant in the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Energy for Wildlife Program, the company also focuses on soil conservation, native plant protection and water-quality in streams, lakes and other bodies along rights-of-way, aesthetics and education.The company also plots deeryards with GIS, and manages transmission corridors to improve deer habitat by providing good feed and cover.‘We’re not just forest managers, but stewards of the environment,’ Dickinson said. ‘As a utility, we understand that our work affects the environment, but we strive to incorporate best practices to not only reduce our impacts but actually improve wildlife habitat.’
Greece’s state-owned utility tries again to sell three coal-fired power plants FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Greece’s Public Power Corp (PPC) relaunched the sale of three coal-fired power plants on Friday with a March 19 deadline for expressions of interest, after a previous tender last month failed to attract any satisfactory bids.Former bidders, which include Mytilineos, GEK Terna, and Beijing Guohua Power Company, are entitled to express interest in addition to new ones, according to the tender document.PPC, which is 51 percent state-owned, is selling the plants in northern Greece and the southern Peloponnese region after a European Union court ruled it had abused its dominant position in the coal market.The sale is part of a list of reforms Athens needs to complete to qualify for the disbursement of further aid as part of its post-bailout surveillance by the European Commission.PPC has said it wants to conclude the sale by May and that it has been in touch with investors from the United States, Russia and China to attract new bidders.More: Greece’s Public Power relaunches coal-fired power plants sale
Chris McCandless, also known by the pseudonym Alexander Supertramp, was an American hiker who sought an increasingly itinerant lifestyle as he grew up. He is the subject of Into the Wild, a nonfiction book by Jon Krakauer that was later made into a full-length feature film.We asked our readers to sound off on what they thought of the Chris McCandless and his adventure. These are their answers:“The dictionary’s definition of a hero is a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. Chris McCandless fits this definition perfectly. Ability he did not lack, and he had an abundance of courage with anything he tried. Chris was extraordinarily talented. He excelled in almost anything he attempted and let nothing stand in his way. During Chris’s year and a half adventure around the Western United States he showed all of the qualities of a hero. He dropped everything he owned to take away the barriers that society had subconsciously imposed on him to discover who the real Chris McCandless was. A bold and stubborn risk it was, but more importantly Chris took the risk—something many people would never dream of even attempting because they can’t predict the outcome. That’s why Chris is a hero, because he did something so many can’t. He set out on an adventure to enjoy what little time he had on this beautiful planet.”—Austin Peton, Blacksburg, Va.“I think from a literary sense John Krakauer has made Chris McCandless an example of a hero. As a human being, I feel it’s a shame that McCandless’ life ended at such a young age. I wish he would have made better decisions in many of his outdoor pursuits and the way he dealt with his family, but as a character I believe he is an essential lesson in social progression. Currently in America, we are losing sight of the simple things through working too many hours, while we live among homogenized suburban trappings and big-box hell. Many times I have wanted to step away from it all and release my free spirit within. Reality inevitably prevents this. But every time I go back and read “Into the Wild” I can’t help but feel inspired to at least make small changes in my life, appreciate my natural surroundings, and embrace the purest things around me, even if they aren’t always easy to see. If McCandless can make me see these things, then personally I have no choice but to call him a hero.”— Jim Barry, Raleigh, N.C.Many, many people waste away their lives being a slave to something (career, debt, etc.), not really ever being free from its grasp. Chris was just someone who did what we all should do: follow your heart.“While many of the underlying principles by which he tried to lead his life are indeed admirable, I don’t believe he can be called hero. Like many of us, he found that the societal trappings of everyday life in America made him long for a more simple existence. The reason however that many of the rest of us choose not to walk away is that we have a responsibility to those we love and those that love us. There’s a point in a person’s life where they must realize that they do not just live for themselves. Christopher McCandless was unfortunately too selfish to ever come to this realization. He instead chose to put his family through what I could only imagine must have been two years of hell without so much as a whisper of his whereabouts. Could you do such a thing to your loved ones? A hero, in my mind, must be selfless—someone who puts the lives of others above their own. Christopher McCandless does not fit that description.”— Jeremiah Leroy, Asheville, N.C.“It’s cool that he went out and explored the world and didn’t get caught up in society’s expectations. That’s great—I’m all for it. Many, many people waste away their lives being a slave to something (career, debt, etc.), not really ever being free from its grasp. Chris was just someone who did what we all should do: follow your heart. This doesn’t make him a hero, but it does make him pure and true.”— Jon Livenood, Knoxville, Tenn.“Chris McCandless was a troubled young man who tried to live off the land in the wilds of Alaska and starved to death. He went into the bush without bothering to master necessary skills. He didn’t have a map, wore jeans (a real sign of a newbie), and carried 10 lbs of rice but no crampons. McCandless had no respect for wilderness, too much arrogance, or maybe he just wasn’t thinking. He was not a kid or a boy; he was a 24 year old man. If Chris had a map, he would have seen that the safe way out, the best way to cross the river was only a half-mile down where there was a gauging station built by the U.S. Geological Survey. That’s how Jon Krakauer, the author of “Into the Wild,” and his companions reached the bus. Chris wanted to go into Alaska as terra incognito but there was a bus there and cabins a few miles away. How incognito could it be? In a documentary about the movie, Krackauer explained McCandless’ thinking: “If the whole world is mapped, then don’t look at the map.” That’s suicidal.”— Danny Bernstein, Asheville, N.C.