VCLF lends $2.9 million in first half of 2015

first_imgVermont Business Magazine In the first half of 2015, the Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) loaned $2,883,650 to Vermont’s small businesses, early education and child care programs, affordable housing developers, and facilities providing vital community services. VCLF Executive Director Will Belongia said, “For nearly three decades, the Loan Fund has been committed to creating opportunity and building healthy communities throughout Vermont.”“So far this year, our lending activities have advanced our mission to create and preserve quality Vermont jobs, safe and affordable homes, early care and community facilities, improving the quality of life for all Vermonters and the communities we call home,” Belongia added.Projects financed include:247 Pearl St., LLC, Burlington In Burlington, where the long-term housing vacancy rate averages 1% and affordable housing is urgently needed, 247 Pearl Street was an unused brownfield lot when VCLF collaborators Erik Hoekstra and Larry Williams from Redstone undertook this project to remediate and redevelop the site. The Loan Fund is financing construction of 29 rental apartments, four of which will be permanently affordable. The loan also created 32 construction jobs.ABC Academy, Milton ABC Academy is a full-day, year-round, child care program serving infants and toddlers alongside preschool and afterschool programs. VCLF helped them make facility improvements and purchase equipment. The loan preserved quality care for 22 children and will create opportunities for 16 new children and families; six jobs were preserved, and the three created.Aunt Sadie’s, LunenburgAunt Sadie’s manufactures and sells handmade artisanal candles, scented with natural essences and oils. VCLF helped them refinance existing debt, helping them become eligible for federal loan programs. The loan preserved four full-time jobs and one part-time job.  auntsadiesonline.com(link is external)  Outdoor Gear Exchange, Burlington (2 loans)Longtime VCLF partner Outdoor Gear Exchange used VCLF financing to purchase the Church Street home they had rented since 2011. These loans resulted in the preservation of 84 jobs and the creation of five new ones.  gearx.comBurlington Housing Authority, Burlington Vermont’s oldest and largest municipally-based housing authority, BHA has been preserving and developing affordable housing in Burlington for over 50 years. This year, they partnered with the Howard Center for Developmental Services to develop a “community house” on two BHA-owned properties VCLF financed construction and rehabilitation of the property. The loan created six new affordable homes and seven construction jobs. burlingtonhousing.orgBus Barns Bond, Burlington  The Bus Barns property, so-named as it was previously the site of Burlington’s City trolley barns, is on the State Registry of Historic Places. Now the historic site is being remediated and renovated to create 13 affordable rental homes in an area in which this is desperately needed. VCLF financing refinanced pre-existing debt, freeing up cash to keep the project moving forward. The loan also created 14 construction jobs.Hannon Home Center, MoretownSpecialists in kitchen & home design, and retailers of flooring, mattresses, appliances and more, Hannon Home Center used a VCLF loan for a number of purposes including inventory purchase, showroom remodeling and marketing. Now, HHC is able to hire two new employees to augment their team. hannonhomecenter.comHoriZinn Early Learning, VernonA 4-STARs-rated, licensed home provider, HoriZinn used VCLF financing for child care program-dedicated space. The loan preserves quality care for eight children and families, creates opportunities for four more and preserves one part-time and two full-time jobs.Little Lake Orchard, Wells Family farm Little Lake Orchard raises and sells strawberries, sweet corn, apples, pork and other delicious comestibles. They used VCLF financing to purchase equipment, make farm improvements, and to pay down existing credit card debt, putting them in a better position for the future. littlelakeorchard.com Living Well Community Care Home, Bristol and Burlington  Living Well Community Care Home is  a nonprofit licensed residential and assisted living care organization with facilities in Bristol and Burlington, providing service to many low-income and Medicaid clients. They used VCLF financing for predevelopment costs associated with the planning and expansion of their Burlington facility. The loan helps preserve care for 58 seniors, and preserves 30 jobs.  livingwellcarehome.org Puddle Jumpers, ShelburneThis full-day, full-year, home-based, 5-STARs program used a VCLF loan for renovations and expansions to their facility. The loan preserves quality care for 10 children and their families.Rollo Cedar Sawmill of Vermont, SwantonDavid Rollo buys cedar logs from local area loggers and custom mills them into rough cut lumber for businesses and consumers throughout the northeast.  He’ll use this loan to purchase a forklift and to refinance an earlier VCLF loan. cedarsawmillofvt.comShadow Creek Farm, FairfaxShadow Creek Farm leases land to grow vegetables for local restaurants and wholesalers. Planning become an organic and environmentally sustainable producer, they used VCLF financing to purchase new equipment and other sundries. They were referred to the Loan Fund by the Carrot Project (thecarrotproject.org) which supports small and mid-sized farms in accessing financing and technical assistance.Shires Housing, Bennington   Shires Housing, a developer of affordable housing in southwestern Vermont, collaborated with the Bennington Historic Rehabilitation Project to rehab historic multi-family buildings on three Bennington properties. They used VCLF financing for predevelopment and construction costs. The loan built nine new affordable homes and generated 10 construction jobs.  shireshousing.orgSunCommon, Waterbury (2 loans)SunCommon’s innovative approach to community-owned solar arrays is making solar energy affordable and available to a broad range of Vermonters. They used two recent VCLF loans to facilitate the production and installation of solar projects in Fairfield and Monkton. SunCommon currently employs 138 Vermonters. Suncommon.com Twin Pines Housing Trust, WilderTwin Pines Housing Trust develops and manages affordable housing in the Upper Valley. They used a loan to construct a new, energy efficient “VerMod” modular home to use as a sales model and, subsequently, to sell to a low-wealth/income qualifying Vermont family. The project is part of the Vermont Housing Conservation Board’s Shared Equity Program. tphtrust.orgThe Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) is a mission-driven, community-focused alternative lender. Our mission is to create opportunities that lead to healthy communities and financial stability for all Vermonters. We develop and promote capital-based approaches to issues of poverty and opportunity.VCLF has lent over $88 million to local businesses, affordable housing developers and community-based organizations that has created or preserved 4,800 jobs; built or rehabilitated 3,600 affordable homes; created or preserved quality care for over 3,600 children and their families; and supported community organizations providing vital services to hundreds of thousands of Vermonters.last_img read more

New research: Men who sexually harass subordinates fear being judged as incompetent

first_imgShare on Facebook Pinterest Share Most studies about sexual harassment have focused on the characteristics of victims, and how they experience and deal with the harassment. Some work that has been done on the perpetrators has shown that men in powerful positions are more inclined to sexually harass others.However, not all men at the top are harassers. In this study, Halper and Rios set out to understand whether there are specific aspects of a man’s disposition that make him more prone to misusing his power to sexually harass others, which can include attempts to gain sexual favours.The researchers conducted three different studies using a combination of adults and college students. In one study, 273 men had to imagine themselves in the powerful position of an interviewer who had to consider a female job applicant or that they were in a position of power over a female employee. These men were asked to indicate whether they would ask for sexual favours in return for securing her a job, a promotion, or some other job-related benefit. Participants also had to answer questions that measured their self-esteem and how narcissistic they were, as well as how important they perceived others’ opinion and criticism of them.The outcomes of the study support the idea that powerful men are especially inclined to sexually harass others when they worry that they will be perceived as incompetent. Having such a fear was consistently found to predict sexual harassment among men in powerful positions. The same did not hold true for women. These findings corroborate the theory that sexual harassment is in part a byproduct of a person feeling threatened and wanting to maintain his social status.“Fearing that others will perceive you as incompetent is a better predictor of sexual harassment than your self-perceived incompetence,” explains Halper.“The findings also suggest that men do not necessarily sexually harass women because they seek sexual gratification, but rather because their insecurity about being perceived as incompetent prompts them to want to undermine a woman’s position in the social hierarchy,” adds Rios.Halper and Rios believe that sexual harassment in the workplace should be examined more broadly than just being about soliciting sexual favours. They say companies should also work towards creating cultures that do not foster feelings of insecurity. Emailcenter_img LinkedIn Share on Twitter The numerous high-profile men who have recently been accused of sexual harassment may not have been simply exercising their power. Instead their behaviour could be related to feeling insecure and believing that others find them ill-suited to or undeserving of their dominant position.This is according to new research in Springer’s journal Sex Roles, which was led by Leah Halper of Ohio University and The Ohio State University, and Kimberly Rios, also of Ohio University in the US.The findings indicate that sexual harassment is not always about sexual gratification; sometimes it is about trying to look more competent and in control in the eyes of others.last_img read more

Dutch court affirms limit on publishing H5N1 findings

first_imgA Dutch court has upheld a rule that required virologist Ron Fouchier, PhD, to secure an export permit from the Dutch government last year before he could publish his controversial findings on a lab-modified H5N1 influenza virus with increased transmissibility, according to a ScienceInsider report yesterday.The ruling means that future similar H5N1 studies in the Netherlands would also need an export permit for publication, according to the story.Fouchier, of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, told CIDRAP News today that he would like to appeal the ruling, but he needs to wait for Erasmus’s lawyers to consider the options.The court decision relates to Fouchier’s report published in Science in June 2012, showing that as few as five mutations could enable an H5N1 virus to achieve airborne transmissibility in ferrets. Fouchier and his colleagues generated the virus through a combination of genetic engineering and serial infection of ferrets.Long before publication, Fouchier’s study, along with a similar one led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka, PhD, sparked concern about the potential for causing the intentional or unintentional release of a pandemic virus. The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) recommended in December 2011 that the studies not be published unless they were stripped of crucial details.But the board reversed the recommendation in March 2012, after reviewing the findings in more detail and after the authors provided additional information and clarifications. Kawaoka’s study was published in May 2012.But Fouchier had to obtain an export license before his report could see print. The Dutch government said the permit was required under European Union regulations issued in 2009 that are designed to prevent the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, according to ScienceInsider. The rules include dangerous flu viruses and related technical data.Fouchier applied for an export permit under protest and received it on Apr 27, 2012. When the government turned down a petition against the government’s action, Erasmus filed a lawsuit, the story said.It said Erasmus officials argued that the EU rules don’t apply to Fouchier’s data because the rules make exceptions for basic scientific research and for information already in the public domain. Fouchier contended that his study qualified as basic research because he sought to understand mammalian transmissibility of H5N1 and that the methods he used to generate mutant H5N1 strains were well-known.The court, however, ruled that making H5N1 airborne was “a practical goal” and therefore went beyond basic research, ScienceInsider reported. The court also said that, to preserve the regulations, any exceptions to them should be interpreted strictly and that scientists don’t have the right to decide whether their own work is basic research.The story said Fouchier and Erasmus have 6 weeks to decide whether to appeal their case to the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam.”The initial response as scientists is indeed to appeal,” Fouchier told CIDRAP News by e-mail today. “Given that this issue is way beyond scientific argument and sensible reasoning, but entered the arena of legal language and lawyers, I need to wait until our lawyers are back in town next week, before we can make a formal decision.”Fouchier said he does not expect that the ruling will affect his plans for research on the H7N9 avian flu virus, which emerged in China earlier this year, causing 135 human cases and 43 deaths. He is one of a group of scientists who in August detailed plans for various H7N9 studies, some of which could involve generating mutations that make the virus more transmissible (“gain of function” studies).”H7N9 is not on the list of EU directive 428/2009, so this ruling does not apply,” Fouchier said. He sent a long list of pathogens specifically cited in the EU regulation, which includes “highly pathogenic avian influenza virus” but does not mention H7N9.”This list is clearly a ridicule[ous] sum up of pathogens, without sensible reasoning in light of biological weapon threats,” Fouchier commented.He also said the court ruling could affect research in other EU countries, since the regulation in question is an EU one. “It thus applies to all EU member states. 100s of scientific publications annually on all of the pathogens below would require an export permit from national export authorities,” he said.One US virologist, Andrew Pekosz, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health, voiced concern about the ruling today. His research focuses on the interaction of flu and other respiratory viruses with the respiratory epithelium.In response to a query, Pekosz commented by e-mail, “To my knowledge, export licenses have been applied to specific items—certain cells, pathogens, plants, animals—or particular items/products from certain geographical regions. Putting a scientific manuscript into this kind of category seems to be a big departure from what these licenses were meant to do—which is to regulate items that appear very clearly on a list and are tangible things.”It seems to me to be very odd to apply these export principles to the experiments included in a scientific manuscript.”See also: Sep 25 ScienceInsider storyJun 21, 2012, CIDRAP News story on Fouchier’s H5N1 findingsApr 27, 2012, CIDRAP News story on granting of export license for Fouchier’s dataAug 7 CIDRAP News story on plans for H7N9 researchlast_img read more

Directors of Public Prosecutions discuss measures to combat criminality in…

first_img(British High Commission in Bridgetown Press Release) Directors of Public Prosecutions (DPPs) from 17 Caribbean (countries) came together at a conference held in Miami on 31 October–1 November to discuss some of the major challenges they face in prosecuting serious organised crime in the region, and to explore ways of overcoming the changing manifestations of criminality. Barbados, the OECS countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines; Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Belize and the British Overseas Territories were all represented. DPPs discuss measures to combat criminality in the region (from left, seated): Zoe Lash – Criminal Justice Adviser to Jamaica; Sirah Abraham – Criminal Justice Adviser to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean; Hilary Ryan – Criminal Justice Adviser to the Overseas Territories; Maia Hibben – CSSF Programme Manager Trinidad and Tobago; Marybeth Grunstra – US Department of Justice; Vyana Sharma – Senior Legal Advisor Attorney General’s Office and Ministry of Legal Affairs Trinidad and Tobago (Photo via British High Commission Bridgetown) You may be interested in… JURIST Project launches Model Sexual Offence Guidelines Conference delegates heard presentations from leading international experts in various areas of criminal law, including gang violence, social media evidence and leadership and management amongst other topics. The conference highlights included a presentation by Ms. Claudette Thompson, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Jamaica, who addressed the obstacles to the successful prosecution of cases of gang violence, and the practical steps which can be taken to make a difference in the investigation and prosecution of gang violence; On the second day, Mr. John Riesenberg, Associate Director, Department of Justice in Washington and Ms. Donna Babb Agard QC, DPP of Barbados, discussed the key challenges in using social media and computer evidence, explored the changes which must be made to legislation and procedures so as to make a positive difference, as well as the opportunities for regional and international collaboration in the use of social media and computer evidence. Criminal Justice Adviser to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Sirah Abraham, whose post is funded by the United States of America and the United Kingdom, lauded the conference as yet another demonstration of the US’s and UK’s commitment to improving the investigation and prosecution of the criminal cases, not only in the light of the increasingly serious threats of gang violence, firearms and cyber practices faced by the region, but also the need to engender public confidence in the region’s justice system. DPP Valston Graham from St. Kitts and Nevis, praised the timeliness and relevance of the conference. He said “this was another extremely successful DPP conference. It was an excellent opportunity for the DPPs to come together and discuss important issues that affect the daily discharge of our duties. We had two days of vibrant and focussed discussions on a number of key issues. It is great to see how much this conference has grown and the impact it has created on the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions within the region. One of the recurring themes has been the constructive and beneficial network that has developed between the Directors since the inception of this conference. We appreciate the commitment of the organisers, who continue to demonstrate their willingness to develop the DPP offices in the region.” For more information, please contact Malissa Brathwaite, Communications Officer Email: malissa.brathwaite@fco.gov.uk; Tel: + 1 (246) 430-7867; http://www.gov.uk/world/barbados Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Oct 2, 2017 Canadian Prime Minister to meet with CARICOM Heads of Government in BarbadosPrime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, will travel to Bridgetown, Barbados to participate in the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to build even stronger ties with the region.The Conference will be held 18-19 February 2020. The announcement was made Tuesday 11 February via a press…February 11, 2020In “31Intersessional”Statement by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States on Cuban Medical Brigades(The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Press Release, Sunday, June 21, 2020) — The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) expressed its deep appreciation to the Republic of Cuba for the medical support provided to six (6) member countries of the Organisation to assist with efforts to combat the spread of…June 23, 2020In “Antigua & Barbuda”Caribbean States prepare to battle illegal fishing(Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism Press Release)— Eighteen border control officers from seven Member States of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) are currently undergoing a four-week training course in Fisheries Prosecution and Interdiction, organized by the Barbados-based Regional Security System (RSS) in collaboration with the CRFM Secretariat, the Government of…July 22, 2019In “Antigua & Barbuda”Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

Decarbon8-US supports decarbonisation technology companies

first_imgThrough its newly launched Decarbon8-US impact fund, the company hopes to support the technologies needed to address climate change.Molly Shor, E8 Screen Committee Chair and Member of the D8 Investment Committee, said, “Decarbon8 offers everyone an opportunity to help address the generational crisis of climate change by supporting decarbonisation innovation.”“These companies have proven technologies that are ready to go, and we are excited to give investors a chance to learn about them and participate in their growth.”Out of the 38 start-ups that applied for the funding, the following three will benefit:Earthly Labs, a Texas-based company giving small craft breweries and other industrial facilities a change to capture and recycle CO2 emissions. Earthly Labs’ decarbonisation technology is ready to scale, drive by a beverage-grade CO2 shortage and momentum for circular economies and sustainability.Steelhead Composite, a Colorado-based company who provides specialised vessels for storing hydrogen that can be found in automobiles, maritime ships, and stationary and backup power, and even in space.Xeal, based in Los Angeles, is offering an advanced software platform for electric vehicle charger networks that is connecting multi-unit properties and workplace customers and their drivers.Decarbon8-US has said it will invest a minimum of $50,000 in Earthly Labs, a minimum of $40,000 in Steelhead Composites, and a minimum of $25,000 in Xeal.Mike Rea, E8’s Executive Director, said, “This fund and its flexible options make it easy for anyone to participate in climate innovation and returns, regardless of expertise, wealth and free time.”last_img read more

LOGIC contracts: Solving the puzzle

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

CEVA expands managerial team

first_imgCurrently head of contract logistics in South America, he succeeds Carlos Velez Rodriguez.Meanwhile, Guillaume Sauzedde has been appointed managing director of the recently-expanded cluster covering Germany as well as Eastern and Central Europe, effective November 30.As HLPFI reported here, Sauzedde joined CEVA from Kuehne + Nagel in October.www.cevalogistics.comlast_img

New fares boost high speed traffic

first_imgSPAIN: Presenting on March 20 the results of the first 12 months of the market-based fares structure introduced by RENFE in February 2013, Development Minister Ana Pastor reported that the number of passengers carried on high speed services had grown by 23⋅47% from 12 million to reach 14⋅9 million in February 2014. Over the same period, revenue had grown by 6⋅95% from €733m to €784m, with average train occupancy up from 65% at 73%.Aiming to offer a more flexible range of fares to increase ridership, particularly amongst younger travellers, the new pricing structure has seen the average price of a journey in ‘turista’ (standard) class fall by 27⋅5%, with discounts of up to 70% available on more restrictive advanced-purchase fares. Valid for a year, a railcard for passengers aged between 14 and 25 offers a 30% discount on high speed and long-distance fares.Other innovations have included mobile phone ticketing, used by 4⋅8 million passengers, and a RENFE ticketing app downloaded by 200 000 customers in two months. Internet booking now accounts for 44⋅85% of high speed ticket sales, up 48⋅24% on the year before.During 2014, commercial strategy will include offering its passengers a more ‘personalised’ service, with quiet cars to be introduced and onboard wi-fi trialled on high speed services. RENFE’s new Tempo loyalty card programme enables holders to also earn points when purchasing hotel accommodation, car hire and meals at the Cinco Jotas restaurant chain.last_img read more

Millennials and Religion: The failing relationship

first_imgBy Celina DeCastroA news report in Jamaica shortly after the recent Easter celebration drew attention to the fact that young people do not have the same views of Easter as their parents. The findings of that report was accurate as religion has little or no appeal to millennials.The Pew Research Center, has found that fewer millennials are less likely to affiliate with any religious tradition or identify themselves as part of a Christian denomination.One in four adults under the age of 30 consider themselves atheist, agnostic, or have no religion, the center stated.While some believe that the higher power no longer exists to them, others believe that the label of religion keeps us from understanding each other.South Florida Ryan Nisman, 22-year-old of Puerto Rican descent, who recognizes himself as agnostic, feels that religious labels cause prejudice and hate towards other religious groups.“Why hate someone because they choose to call your god by another name?” Nisman said.Agnostics feel God’s existence cannot be neither proven or unproven. They subscribe to the notion that it is impossible to know if God exists.While some argue the existence of God or a higher power and are avid church goers, some millennials also believe in a higher power but choose not to join a church.Leila Gonzalez, 35-year-old of Palestinian and Columbian descent, was raised in the Catholic church but left after finding faults with the church.“My religious base means having more of a relationship with God rather than having to follow the man-made rules and laws we were taught in Catholic school,” Gonzalez said.Other millennials feel the church also does not agree with the lifestyle they have chosen.“I’m not waking up before 10 on a Sunday morning to go to a place to be told that I’m going to hell because I would prefer to marry a woman,” 18-year-old Panamanian-American Hailey Crosthwaite said.One millennial who did not want to be named felt that God was not working in his favor.“When I was a kid I went through a lot and somewhere throughout the challenges, I started praying to God, but nothing worked. I kept on praying and praying and then one day I just stopped and took in the pain from my challenges. I just stopped believing in God,” he said.Millennials although they do not follow a religion all seemed more in tuned with their own spirituality. Most will march for the causes they believe in, help the poor and those in need, donate, but chose not to be defied because they do not follow mainstream religions.last_img read more

New Development Center to Improve Satellite Sensing and Communication Technologies

first_imgRF payload components are important for all space missions. In fact, one or more RF subsystems are embedded in every spacecraft Lockheed Martin produces. Using its partnerships with suppliers and research universities, the center will develop a variety of technologies commonly incorporated in RF payloads, such as antennas, arrays and transmitters for the full spectrum of bandwidth. A new development center at the Lockheed Martin facility in Denver, will advance satellite sensing and communication technologies known as Radio Frequency (RF) payloads. The RF Payload Center of Excellence will focus on developing reconfigurable payloads and advancing satellite systems that many already rely on, for high-def television broadcasts to GPS transmissions and secure government communications. The new facility reduces cost and accelerates development by uniting researchers, manufacturers and analysts at one location. Bringing people together improves schedule, reduces transportation costs and enhances collaboration between related teams.The RF Payload Center of Excellence will reinvent the process of payload development through advanced technology research and streamlined manufacturing. Lockheed Martin’s Digital Tapestry uses the same set of digital information to interweave virtual design, 3-D printing and automated assembly, test and inspection. This digital approach maximizes common products, cuts cost and cycle times, and it mirrors the payload strategy of the Optical Payload Center of Excellence, which opened earlier this year. The facility co-locates the majority of payload development, production and testing, a first for Lockheed Martin. The center serves as the hub for a network of experts in industry and academia focused on the future of RF technology. Lockheed Martin has shaped this technology arena for more than 50 years, producing over 170 payloads.last_img read more