FiberMark Converts Manufacturing Operations at Vermont Headquarters to Run on 100% Used Vegetable Oil

first_imgFiberMark Converts Manufacturing Operations at Vermont Headquarters to Run on 100% Used Vegetable Oil FiberMark, a leading producer of specialty papers and fiber-based materials for a variety of applications, today announced that it has converted the manufacturing operations at its Vermont headquarters to be able to run up to 100% used vegetable oil. With this conversion, FiberMark has become the first manufacturer in the state of Vermont and in the paper industry to generate part of its process energy from waste biofuel. The green steam produced by the vegetable oil not only powers FiberMark’s Brattleboro paper machine turbine and dries its papers, but also provides heat for the plant.Before the conversion, FiberMark consumed approximately two million gallons of number six fuel oil per year. Switching to used vegetable oil now allows the company to reduce its use of number six fuel oil and to significantly eliminate toxic sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, the leading causes of acid rain and common side effects of burning of fuel oil. The vegetable oil burns far cleaner than conventional fuel.Among the ancillary benefits of the conversion to vegetable oil has been the working environment for FiberMark plant employees. Since vegetable oil burns far cleaner than crude oil, atmospheric soot from the facility has been significantly reduced. Indicative of this change is the plants air opacity, which before varied from 5% to 7% and is now between 0.5% and 1.5%.The conversion to vegetable oil-fueled manufacturing is one of a number of environmental initiatives spearheaded by FiberMark. Others include:- FiberMark is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)- certified. This certification (certificate code SW-COC-003054) verifies the flow of FSC-certified forest products through FiberMarks supply chain and into its final products, assuring FiberMark customers that the papers they are choosing are made from trees harvested according to strict environmental standards and forest management practices.- All of the electricity consumed at FiberMarks Brattleboro headquarters is generated from fossil fuel-free sources (hydro- and nuclear power).- All FiberMark manufacturing uses aqueous (water-based) coatings.- FiberMark’s products are all elemental and process chlorine free, including the new Eviva paper line, which is made from 100-percent recycled fiber, including 30-percent post-consumer waste.- 100% of FiberMark’s Brattleboro waste water sludge is reused as landfill cover.”FiberMark is committed to executing environmentally sustainable practices wherever possible,” said Steve Pfistner, vice president of safety and environmental management at FiberMark. “Our manufacturing processes, our products, and our company culture are all designed to promote environmental responsibility. As the first in the paper industry to power manufacturing operations with vegetable oil to reduce our carbon footprint and conserve our natural resources, we will continue to pursue every opportunity to positively serve the environment.”About FiberMarkFiberMark offers distinctive covering materials that express brands, inspire designs, and make lasting impressions. With an extensive range of visual and tactile options, FiberMark materials provide an endless array of design possibilities for applications in the office products, publishing, luxury packaging, technical/industrial and graphic design markets. The company’s specialty fiber-based materials are enhanced with a variety of colors, finishes, and embossing techniques that create visual depth and invite touch. FiberMark’s design specialists work with creative teams to develop a look that captures a brand’s unique personality, differentiate it from competitors, and create impact. FiberMark crafts its materials in the U.S. and Europe, creating innovative solutions for world-leading brands.For additional information, contact:Laura Nelson or Kaycee RobertsSVM Public Relations(401) 490-9700laura.nelson@svmpr.com(link sends e-mail)kaycee.roberts@svmpr.com(link sends e-mail)last_img read more

Unemployment claims continue upward trend

first_imgWeek Ending February 7, 2009. There were 1,377 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, an increase of 38 from the week before.  Altogether 16,794 new and continuing claims were filed,  546 more than a week ago and 6,352 more than a year earlier. In addition, the Department processed 1,858 claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008, an increase of 42 from last week. The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external) Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at:  http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external)last_img

Vermont unemployment rate at 7.3 percent, job growth flat

first_imgTotalNumberNumberMay-09Apr-09May-08AreaLabor ForceEmployedUnemployedRate (%)Rate (%)Rate (%) VERMONT LABOR FORCE AND UNEMPLOYMENTLABOR MARKET AREAS BY RESIDENCE (Not Seasonally Adjusted)May 2009 Estimates Private Industries241.3241.5254.8-0.2-13.5-0.1-5.3Construction13.513.215.70.3-2.22.3-14.0Manufacturing30.931.135.1-0.2-4.2-0.6-12.0Durable Goods21.721.825.5-0.1-3.8-0.5-14.9Non-Durable Goods9.29.39.6-0.1-0.4-1.1-4.2Trade, Transportation & Utilities56.956.559.40.4-2.50.7-4.2Retail Trade38.238.040.30.2-2.10.5-5.2Trans., Warehousing & Utilities8.68.58.80.1-0.21.2-2.3Financial Activities12.612.612.90.0-0.30.0-2.3Professional & Business Services21.120.823.20.3-2.11.4-9.1Professional., Scientific & Technical12.812.713.60.1-0.80.8-5.9Administrative Support & Waste8.17.79.30.4-1.25.2-12.9Education & Health Services60.160.258.8-0.11.3-0.22.2Private Ed. Services13.513.613.2-0.10.3-0.72.3Health Care & Social Assistance46.646.645.60.01.00.02.2Leisure & Hospitality30.831.232.9-0.4-2.1-1.3-6.4Arts, Entertainment & Recreation3.73.93.8-0.2-0.1-5.1-2.6Accommodation & Food Services27.127.329.1-0.2-2.0-0.7-6.9Other Services9.59.59.90.0-0.40.0-4.0Total Government54.253.954.00.30.20.60.4State Government17.517.618.2-0.1-0.7-0.6-3.8Local Government30.030.029.60.00.40.01.4 May -09Apr-09May-08Apr-09May-08Apr-09May-08Total – All Industries295.5295.4308.80.1-13.30.0-4.3 Changes From May 2009April2009May 2008April 2009May2008 Total Labor Force361,000361,000355,00006,000Employment334,500334,700339,000-200-4,500Unemployment26,50026,30016,00020010,500Rate (%)7.37.34.50.02.8Vermont s labor force, employment and unemployment statistics are produced from a combination of a Statewide survey of households and statistical modeling. The data are produced by the Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program (LAUS) a cooperative program with the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Vermont Department of Labor.Vermont Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment in ThousandsBY NAICSPrelim.RevisedRevisedChange From:% Change From: PRELIMREVISEDREVISEDCHANGES FROM% CHANGES FROMINDUSTRY BY NAICSMay-09Apr-09May-08Apr-09May-08Apr-09MAy-08TOTAL NONFARM295,650291,950308,4503,700-12,8001.3%-4.1%TOTAL PRIVATE239,250235,650252,2003,600-12,9501.5%-5.1%GOODS PRODUCING45,75043,95052,2001,800-6,4504.1%-12.4%MANUFACTURING30,85030,80035,10050-4,2500.2%-12.1%Durable Goods21,80021,75025,65050-3,8500.2%-15.0%Computer & Electrical Equipment Mfg.8,5008,5009,2500-7500.0%-8.1%Fabricated Metal Products Mfg.2,5002,5002,5500-500.0%-2.0%Non-Durable Goods9,0509,0509,4500-4000.0%-4.2%Food Mfg.3,8003,7503,90050-1001.3%-2.6%CONSTRUCTION14,05012,35016,2001,700-2,15013.8%-13.3%MINING & LOGGING85080090050-506.3%-5.6%SERVICE-PROVIDING249,900248,000256,2501,900-6,3500.8%-2.5%TRADE, TRANSPORTATION AND UTILITIES56,50055,45059,0501,050-2,5501.9%-4.3%Wholesale Trade9,9509,85010,300100-3501.0%-3.4%Retail Trade37,90037,15039,950750-2,0502.0%-5.1%Food & Beverage Stores10,0009,85010,100150-1001.5%-1.0%General Merchandise Store2,7002,7002,8000-1000.0%-3.6%Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities8,6508,4508,800200-1502.4%-1.7%Utilities1,7501,7501,750000.0%0.0%Transportation & Warehousing6,9006,7007,050200-1503.0%-2.1%INFORMATION5,5005,5005,7500-2500.0%-4.3%FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES12,65012,55012,950100-3000.8%-2.3%Finance & Insurance9,4009,3509,65050-2500.5%-2.6%Real Estate, Rental & Leasing3,2503,2003,30050-501.6%-1.5%PROFESSIONAL AND BUSINESS SERVICES21,25020,45023,400800-2,1503.9%-9.2%Professional, Scientific and Technical12,70012,70013,4500-7500.0%-5.6%Administrative, Support and Waste8,2507,4509,600800-1,35010.7%-14.1%EDUCATIONAL AND HEALTH SERVICES60,15060,20059,100-501,050-0.1%1.8%Educational Services13,55013,85013,400-300150-2.2%1.1%College, Universities and Professional7,1507,3507,150-2000-2.7%0.0%Health Care and Social Assistance46,60046,35045,7002509000.5%2.0%Ambulatory Health Care Services16,15016,20015,950-50200-0.3%1.3%Hospitals12,70012,65012,050506500.4%5.4%Nursing and Residential Care Facilities6,9506,9506,85001000.0%1.5%LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY28,00028,15029,900-150-1,900-0.5%-6.4%Arts, Entertainment and Recreation3,8003,2503,900550-10016.9%-2.6%Accommodation and Food Services24,20024,90026,000-700-1,800-2.8%-6.9%Accommodations7,7508,9008,100-1,150-350-12.9%-4.3%Hotels & Motels6,9008,2007,200-1,300-300-15.9%-4.2%Food Services and Drinking Places16,45016,00017,900450-1,4502.8%-8.1%OTHER SERVICES9,4509,4009,85050-4000.5%-4.1%GOVERNMENT56,40056,30056,2501001500.2%0.3%Federal Government6,5006,2506,2002503004.0%4.8%State Government Education8,1508,8508,350-700-200-7.9%-2.4%Local Government Education25,20024,85024,9003503001.4%1.2%Other State Government9,3509,2509,750100-4001.1%-4.1%Other Local Government7,2007,1007,0501001501.4%2.1%NOTE: DATA COMPLIED IN COOPERATION WITH THE U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS ESTIMATES ARE PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO REVISION. SEE ANNUAL SUMMARY FOR DETAILSBeginning with the January 09 estimates CES has implemented a change to the Super Sector previously titled Natural Resources & Mining to Mining & Logging . It s merely a change of title to better reflect the true makeup of the Super Sector in CES.center_img Statewide Total – All Industries estimate is seasonally adjusted independently.Note: Beginning January 2009 Vermont will publish a seasonally adjusted Total-All Industries estimate for the Burlington – S. Burlington MSA.Produced by the Vermont Department of Labor in cooperation with the U.S Bureau of Labor StatisticsVERMONT(not seasonally adjusted) Barre-Montpelier29,40027,4501,9506.67.64.3Bennington13,55012,4501,1008.29.33.9Bradford5,0004,6503507.28.94.5Brattleboro23,80022,1001,7007.27.64.8Burlington-South Burlington114,300107,3506,9506.16.53.7Hartford20,05019,2508004.04.92.6Manchester12,10011,0501,0008.59.64.7Middlebury18,50017,2501,2506.77.83.8Morristown-Stowe20,65019,0501,6007.79.14.8Newport14,35013,0501,3009.211.16.1Randolph8,8508,1507508.49.05.5Rutland25,80023,1502,70010.49.96.0Springfield12,25011,2501,0008.38.94.5St. Johnsbury15,30014,1501,2007.79.84.5Swanton-Enosburg14,30013,2001,1007.59.04.5Warren-Waitsfield3,7503,5002506.96.33.2Woodstock3,7003,4502005.86.53.1Vermont Total357,950332,50025,4007.17.94.3 Note: Rate is unemployed divided by total labor force, expressed as a percent.Source: Vermont Department of Labor in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Burlington-S. Burlington MSA The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May 2009 was 7.3 percent, unchanged from the revised April rate and up 2.8 points from a year ago. While the job market remained stable and the unemployment rate was unchanged, monthly job growth remained sluggish. Unemployment rates for Vermont s 17 labor market areas ranged from 4.0 percent in Hartford to 10.4 percent in Rutland. Local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. For comparison, the May unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 7.1 percent, down eight-tenths of a point from April 2009 and up 2.8 points from a year ago. The May unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was statistically different form the April rate. Job and employment levels remained stable in May, said Patricia Moulton Powden, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor. This is the second month in a row where job and employment losses have plateaued from the steep declines of 4th Quarter 2008 and early 2009. While we do not see any significant signs of job growth yet, the Vermont labor market is doing better than the US as a whole.Job GrowthIn May, we typically see seasonal job counts begin to rise after their 1st Quarter lows. Before seasonal adjustment, Total Non-Farm (TNF) jobs grew by 3,700 over the month, but remain down by 12,800 or -4.1% on an annual basis. This rate of annual loss is slower than what we saw in the revised April numbers (-5.3%). Construction, (+1,700 jobs or +13.8%) led the over the month growth. Retail Trade (+750 or +2.0%), Administrative Support & Waste, (+800 or 10.7%) also grew unadjusted jobs over the month. However, only Healthcare (+900 or 2.0%), Government, (+150 or +0.3%) and Education, (+150 or 1.1%) showed any annual improvement.When seasonally adjusted, May job levels were essentially flat, (+100 jobs) from April, but still remain down by 13,300 or -4.3% from May of 2008. The Construction sector grew by 300 seasonally adjusted jobs or 2.3% over the month. Administrative Support and Waste grew by 400 jobs or 5.2% driven by landscaping and temporary services. The Retail Trade sector grew by 200 seasonally adjusted jobs or 0.5% over April. Leisure and Hospitality and Manufacturing were the largest job losers, shedding 400 and 300 jobs respectively.Employment GrowthVermont s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged in May at 7.3 percent as a result of almost no change in either the number of employed, (334,500) or unemployed, (26,500) Vermonters. Vermont s observed May seasonally adjusted employment, unemployment levels and unemployment rate were not statistically significant from April. For comparison purposes, the US seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 9.4 percent, up five-tenths of a point from the revised April rate of 8.9 percent.The preliminary estimates of nonfarm jobs for May, and the revisions to the estimates for November 2008 through April 2009, incorporate substantive changes made in the Current Employment Survey estimation procedures. These new procedures are designed to bring the aggregate monthly change in jobs for individual states into closer alignment with the change in national job counts reflected in the estimates produced and published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result of these changes, the November 2008 and forward estimates may not be totally comparable to previous months’ data. The impact of these changes in methodology will be better understood when we are able to make comparisons to Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. We expect to make these comparisons beginning in May of 2009. For details of these changes, please contact Andy Condon at the Vermont Department of Labor at 802-828-4153 or andrew.condon@state.vt.us(link sends e-mail).Vermont Labor Force Statistics (Seasonally Adjusted) Total – All Industries109.4109.2114.40.2-5.00.2-4.4last_img read more

Entergy announces new team to lead Vermont Yankee

first_img# In response to numerous concerns and issues that have been raised by Governor Douglas, Vermont Department of Public Service Commissioner O’Brien, state and federal legislative leaders and the public at large, Entergy Corporation has pledged to place the highest priority on restoring trust with Vermonters.Curt L Hébert, Jr, a past chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been designated to lead a team of Entergy specialists addressing Vermont Yankee matters. Hébert serves as Entergy’s executive vice president for external affairs and reports directly to J. Wayne Leonard, Entergy’s chairman and chief executive officer.The team has already begun to meet with public, business, labor and civic leaders in Vermont. Two Entergy officials with long experience in Vermont will play expanded roles on the team. They are Brian Cosgrove, who will manage relations with state government, and Larry Smith, who will coordinate communications and media relations.Among members of the team are Arthur Wiese, Entergy Corporation’s vice president for corporate communications; Kenneth Theobalds, vice president for government relations for Entergy’s Northeastern nuclear operations; Donald Vinci, vice president of business development for Entergy Nuclear; James Steets, vice president for Northeastern nuclear communications; and Allison Graves, director of federal energy policy.“This situation needs to be fixed and through Curt’s leadership and direct engagement with Vermont leaders, I have every confidence it will be fixed as quickly as possible.  We must and will do better.  Entergy’s own standards, and our duty to Vermonters, demand it,” said Leonard. Meanwhile, DPS Commissioner David O’Brien told a legislative commission yesterday that he thought that removing lead negotiator Jay Thayer from his senior position at Vermont Yankee was “tokenism” on the company’s part. He said Entergy would have to do something “miraculous” to win back the trust of state officials earn the approval of the Legislature to relicense the plant.Entergy Vermont Yankee is seeking a 20-year extension to its license beyond its 2012 decommissioning. On January 7, Yankee officials reported tritium was found in a monitoring well at the plant in Vernon. An underground cement trench and another well, just this week, were also found to contain the radioactive isotope. Tritium is associated with nuclear fission. Yankee officials acknowledge it must be leaking from the plant, but have yet to find the source. Since the first finding, it was revealed that Yankee officials in 2008 and 2009 made inaccurate statements, some under oath, saying that there were no underground piping systems carrying radioactive material. That revelation eventually led to the state’s congressional delegation going straight to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to ask for an investigation, and then, last week, to Governor Douglas pulling his support for the plant until the leak is found and fixed and the company earning back the state’s trust. Douglas had been one of Yankee’s strongest supporters. Following that political pressure, Thayer was removed.“Entergy values and deeply respects our relationship with the state of Vermont and its business community and we are committed to Vermont for the long-term.  Since buying the plant in 2002 we have made more than $190 million in long-term investments at Vermont Yankee to make it a world-class nuclear facility,” said Hébert.“We are placing the highest priority on finding the cause of the tritium and remediating any contamination.  At the same time, we must reconcile the conflicting statements made to the Department of Public Service. To this end we have engaged the services of an independent, outside law firm to fully investigate the matter, and most importantly, to make sure it does not happen again,” said Hébert.The work of the specialized team dedicated to the company’s interaction with the Vermont officials is concurrent with Entergy’s ongoing investigation to identify the source of the elevated tritium concentrations in monitoring wells. That investigation is overseen by Entergy Nuclear senior management, including Michael Balduzzi, senior vice president and chief operating officer, and Timothy Mitchell, senior vice president for engineering and technical services.Entergy Corporation reiterated a number of other steps it is taking to address these matters, including the following items.   · Entergy retained an outside law firm to conduct a thorough, independent investigation pertaining to the company’s communications with the Vermont Department of Public Service. · Entergy is cooperating with all state and federal inquiries that the relevant agencies are conducting.· Entergy has installed additional testing wells at Vermont Yankee to monitor for tritium and increased the frequency of testing in order to conclusively determine the source of the tritium so that a remediation plan can be proposed to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.· Entergy has dispatched a project team of more than 20 highly skilled professionals to Vermont Yankee to ensure a fast, comprehensive assessment of the tritium situation.· Entergy has unequivocally acknowledged its responsibility for the controversy. One Entergy executive involved has issued a public apology.  He has been permanently relieved of his Vermont responsibilities and placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the full investigation.Entergy Reports Fourth Quarter EarningsEntergy Corporation (NYSE:ETR) of New Orleans, LA, yesterday reported fourth quarter 2009 as-reported earnings of $313.8 million, or $1.64 per share, compared with $170.6 million, or 89 cents per share, for fourth quarter 2008. On an operational basis, Entergy’s fourth quarter 2009 earnings were $334.9 million, or $1.75 per share, compared with $190.7 million, or 99 cents per share, in fourth quarter 2008. For the year, Entergy’s as-reported earnings were $1.2 billion, or $6.30 per share, and operational earnings were $1.3 billion, or $6.67 per share. These results compare with 2008 as-reported earnings of $1.2 billion, or $6.20 per share, and operational earnings of $1.3 billion, or $6.51 per share. Operational Earnings Highlights for Fourth Quarter 2009Utility, Parent & Other’s results were higher due to lower income tax expense, lower non-fuel operation and maintenance expense and higher net revenue.Entergy Nuclear’s earnings decreased as a result of higher income tax and non-fuel operation and maintenance expenses, partially offset by higher net revenue and other income.Entergy’s Non-Nuclear Wholesale Assets’ results improved due to lower income tax expense.“Both our utility and non-utility nuclear businesses delivered strong operational performance during a period of extraordinary global economic and financial uncertainty,” said J. Wayne Leonard, Entergy’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Looking ahead, signs of an improving economic environment, our market-based point-of-view, adherence to our disciplined risk management and the strength of our cash position provide a foundation that supports our strategic, operational and financial goals.”Other Business HighlightsEntergy Texas completed storm recovery for Hurricane Ike in November when it executed $545.9 million of securitization financing. Also, a stipulation agreement was reached with the Louisiana Public Service Commission staff in the storm proceedings in Louisiana.Entergy Texas made a new rate case filing with the Public Utility Commission of Texas at the end of December.The Nuclear Regulatory Commission agreed to extend the expiration date for the spin-off approval to Aug. 1, 2010.Entergy will host a teleconference to discuss this release at 10:00 a.m. CT on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010, with access by telephone, 719-457-2080, confirmation code 6584600. The call and presentation slides can also be accessed via Entergy’s Web site at www.entergy.com(link is external). A replay of the teleconference will be available through Feb. 9, 2010, by dialing 719-457-0820, confirmation code 6584600. The replay will also be available on Entergy’s Web site at www.entergy.com(link is external).Utility, Parent & OtherIn fourth quarter 2009, Utility, Parent & Other’s as-reported earnings were $107.0 million, or 56 cents per share, compared to a loss of $82.6 million, or 38 cents per share, in fourth quarter 2008. On an operational basis, fourth quarter 2009 earnings were $116.2 million, or 61 cents per share, compared to a loss of $62.5 million, or 33 cents per share, in fourth quarter 2008. Operational earnings for Utility, Parent & Other in fourth quarter 2009 reflect lower income tax expense associated with the net effect of annual consolidated income tax adjustments across the Entergy companies. A favorable tax reserve adjustment also contributed following issuance by the Louisiana Department of Revenue of a private letter ruling related to securitization of Katrina and Rita storm costs. In addition, the absence of regulatory charges associated with rate proceedings at Entergy Arkansas in 2008 was the primary driver of lower non-fuel operation and maintenance expense, as well as a contributor to the lower income tax expense compared to fourth quarter 2008. Also contributing to the earnings improvement versus the same quarter last year was higher net revenue.Residential sales in fourth quarter 2009, on a weather-adjusted basis, increased 4.6 percent compared to fourth quarter 2008. Commercial and governmental sales, on a weather-adjusted basis, increased 3.0 percent year over year. Industrial sales in the fourth quarter increased 7.1 percent compared to the same quarter of 2008.Residential, commercial and industrial classes reflected sales growth as a result of increasing economic activity in Entergy’s service territory. The improvement in industrial sales in fourth quarter 2009 was driven by the large industrial customer group, particularly in chemicals and refining. Small and mid-sized industrial customers are slowly showing signs of recovery from the recession, but their usage continued to be negatively affected in the current quarter. Also, a portion of the quarter-over-quarter increase in sales for all customer classes was the result of the absence of outages for the September 2008 hurricanes, most notably in the industrial segment. Industrial customers are typically billed at the beginning of the month, and as such these outages for hurricanes Gustav and Ike were reflected in October sales. Near normal weather versus warmer-than-normal weather in fourth quarter 2008 also provided a modest increase in sales volume.For the year 2009, Utility, Parent and Other earned $561.4 million, or $2.88 per share, on an as-reported earnings basis, compared to $422.0 million, or $2.22 per share, in 2008. Operational earnings in 2009 were $588.4 million, or $3.02 per share, compared to $477.4 million, or $2.43 per share, in 2008. The increase in operational earnings in 2009 was driven by higher Utility net revenue with the absence of hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008 contributing. Another factor in the improved results at Utility, Parent & Other was lower operation and maintenance expense, due primarily to the absence of Entergy Arkansas regulatory charges noted above. Also contributing to the earnings improvement was a lower overall effective tax rate for Utility, Parent & Other in 2009 versus 2008. Partially offsetting these items was an increase in depreciation and amortization expense in the current year due to increased plant in service.Entergy NuclearEntergy Nuclear earned $169.5 million, or 89 cents per share, on an as-reported basis in fourth quarter 2009, compared to as-reported earnings of $226.6 million, or $1.14 per share, in fourth quarter 2008. On an operational basis, fourth quarter 2009 Entergy Nuclear earnings were $181.5 million, or 95 cents per share, versus $226.6 million, or $1.18 per share, in the last quarter of 2008. Entergy Nuclear’s operational earnings decreased as a result of higher income tax expense in the current quarter due primarily to the net effect of the annual consolidated tax adjustments. Also contributing to the lower results was higher operation and maintenance expense during the quarter due to the absence of refueling outages in the quarter and associated deferral of costs. Partially offsetting these items was higher net revenue as a result of higher generation due to 32 fewer refueling outage days in the current quarter and increased pricing. Higher other income associated with decommissioning trusts also provided an offset to decreased earnings. A smaller impairment recognized on Entergy Nuclear’s decommissioning trust funds in the current period contributed to higher other income, as well as higher earnings realized on decommissioning trust investments in 2009.For the year 2009, Entergy Nuclear earned $631.0 million, or $3.22 per share, on an as-reported basis and $675.0 million, or $3.45 per share, on an operational basis. This compares to as-reported earnings of $797.3 million, or $3.97 per share, and operational earnings of $797.3 million, or $4.07 per share at Entergy Nuclear in 2008. The decline in Entergy Nuclear’s operational earnings in 2009 was due primarily to a higher effective income tax rate as well as an increase in operation and maintenance expense. Impairments on Entergy Nuclear’s decommissioning trust funds in 2009 exceeded amounts recognized in 2008, and were partially offset by higher realized earnings on decommissioning trust investments, also reflected in other income.Non-Nuclear Wholesale AssetsEntergy’s Non-Nuclear Wholesale Assets business earned $37.2 million, or 19 cents per share, on both as-reported and operational bases in fourth quarter 2009 compared to $26.5 million, or 13 cents per share, on an as-reported basis, and $26.5 million, or 14 cents per share, on an operational basis, a year ago. Income tax benefits were the primary drivers in both quarters. The current quarter reflects a tax benefit recognized on a capital loss associated with the sale of stock of a merchant fossil generation subsidiary to a third party. In the fourth quarter 2008, a closing agreement was reached with the Internal Revenue Service allowing a capital loss. As a result, a provision for tax uncertainties that existed on this item was reversed.For the year 2009, Entergy’s Non-Nuclear Wholesale Assets business earned $38.7 million, or 20 cents per share, compared to earnings of $1.3 million, or one cent per share, in 2008. As-reported and operational results were the same in both periods. The earnings increase in 2009 was driven by a decrease in income tax expense due to the fourth quarter 2009 benefit noted above, plus a second quarter decrease in valuation allowance on loss carryovers. Quarterly income tax effects in 2008 were largely offsetting.OutlookEntergy is affirming 2010 earnings guidance in the range of $6.15 to $6.95 per share on an as-reported basis, assuming a business as usual operation for the full year. Operational earnings per share guidance ranges from $6.40 to $7.20 per share and excludes $(0.25) per share of projected dis-synergies associated with the spin-off of Entergy’s non-utility nuclear business and plans to enter into a nuclear services joint venture. Guidance for 2010 does not incorporate a special item for expenses anticipated in connection with outside services provided to pursue the spin-off. The level of these charges in 2010 will vary depending upon resolution of the spin-off.Business SeparationThe announced spin-off of Entergy’s non-utility nuclear business will establish a new independent, publicly traded company, Enexus Energy Corporation. In addition, Entergy and Enexus intend to enter into a nuclear services joint venture, with equal ownership, with the joint venture being named EquaGen LLC. The state regulatory decisions and financing continue as the critical path items in finalizing the spin-off transaction. The transactions are subject to various approvals. Final terms of the transactions and spin-off completion are subject to the approval of the Entergy Board of Directors.Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $10 billion and approximately 15,000 employees.Additional information regarding Entergy’s quarterly results of operations, regulatory proceedings, planned spin-off of its non-utility nuclear business and other operations is available in Entergy’s investor news release dated Feb. 2, 2010, a copy of which has been filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Form 8-K and is available on Entergy’s investor relations Web site at www.entergy.com/investor_relations(link is external).In this news release, and from time to time, Entergy Corporation makes certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, Entergy undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. There are factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, including (a) those factors discussed in (i) Entergy’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, (ii) Entergy’s Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, June 30 and September 30, 2009, and (iii) Entergy’s other reports and filings made under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, (b) the uncertainties associated with efforts to remediate the effects of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike and the January 2009 Arkansas ice storm and recovery of costs associated with restoration, and (c) the following transactional factors (in addition to others described elsewhere in this news release and in subsequent securities filings): (i) risks inherent in the contemplated spin-off, joint venture and related transactions (including the level of debt to be incurred by Enexus Energy Corporation and the terms and costs related thereto), (ii) legislative and regulatory actions, and (iii) conditions of the capital markets during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements. Entergy cannot provide any assurances that the spin-off or any of the proposed transactions related thereto will be completed, nor can it give assurances as to the terms on which such transactions will be consummated. The transaction is subject to certain conditions precedent, including regulatory approvals and the final approval by the Board of Directors of Entergy.View Complete Earnings Release [PDF]Privacy Policy | Legal Information©1998-2009 Entergy Corporation, All Rights Reserved.Source: Entergy. 2.3.2010last_img read more

Welch calls on FDA to investigate “natural” syrup product

first_imgRepresentative Peter Welch on Wednesday called on the Food and Drug Administration to investigate a new syrup product that appears to violate FDA labeling rules.The ‘All Natural Syrup’ marketed by Log Cabin Syrup, a division of Pinnacle Foods LLC, appears to include ingredients the FDA does not allow in products labeled as ‘natural.’‘Vermont’s hardworking maple sugar makers are known far and wide for producing the highest quality maple syrup available. Any artificial syrup product masquerading as ‘natural’ confuses consumers and dilutes the value of one of Vermont’s finest products,’ Welch said. ‘I am asking the FDA to take swift action to enforce its regulations and preserve honesty in labeling.’The House Committee on Energy and Commerce, of which Welch is a member, has jurisdiction over the FDA.Welch joins Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee in urging regulators to determine whether Log Cabin Syrup has violated FDA standards.‘Pure Vermont maple syrup is a signature product of our state, and any product that is mislabeled and tries to imitate it must be dealt with,’ Allbee said. ‘Congressman Welch’s letter to the FDA is greatly appreciated.’Welch’s letter is copied below:September 8, 2010Margaret Hamburg, M.D.CommissionerFood and Drug Administration10903 New Hampshire Ave.Silver Spring, MD 20993Dear Dr. Hamburg,Log Cabin Syrup, a division of Pinnacle Foods LLC, recently began marketing what it is calling a new, ‘All Natural Syrup.’ According to FDA guidelines, a product labeled ‘natural’ may not contain added colors, flavors or artificial substances.This so-called ‘natural’ product includes the following ingredients: syrup (brown rice, sugar, maple [4 percent]), water, natural flavor, xanthan gum (natural thickener), caramel color, citric acid. Log Cabin’s product appears to violate the FDA regulations.While most Vermonters have a discerning eye ‘ and palate ‘ for real maple syrup, the countless consumers outside of our state who have come to expect quality from natural Vermont products may be fooled by this misleading labeling. Therefore, I ask your agency to immediately investigate this product and determine whether it is in violation of FDA policies.I look forward to hearing back from your agency on the progress of your investigation.Sincerely, PETER WELCHMember of Congresslast_img read more

HUD awards $1.4 million to HIV-AIDS housing programs in Vermont

first_imgToday, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $1,430,000.00 to the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, a grantee of HIV-AIDS housing programs in Vermont. This supportive housing grant will offer critically needed housing and support services to extremely low-income persons living with HIV/AIDs. During each of the next three years, this HUD funding will help provide permanent supportive housing so they can manage their illnesses while receiving critically needed support services.The funding announced today is offered through HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA) and will renew HUD’s support of these previously funded projects in Vermont (see project description below).‘These grants are a vital source of support to the local programs that are on the ground working to keep families healthy,’ said New England Regional Administrator Barbara G. Fields. ‘Knowing that you have a place to call home can make all the difference to the wellbeing of families living with HIV/AIDS, many of whom have been on the brink of homelessness.’ GRANTEE NAMECITYAWARDVermont Housing and Conservation BoardMontpelier$1,430,000TOTAL$1,430,000 These projects have estimated that about 40 percent of the households to be assisted will involve persons who have been homeless.  The grants announced today also support the Obama Administration’s new strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, an unprecedented initiative announced last June at the White House.  In February 2011, HUD released its plan to guide the agency’s actions under the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.  As the nation’s housing agency, HUD will contribute a variety of housing resources to promote better integration of housing interventions into comprehensive HIV care systems. Housing assistance and related services funded by HOPWA are an essential part of the comprehensive system of care for low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS.  A stable home environment is also vital for these households in allowing them to access consistent medical care and maintain their health.  Furthermore, secure housing can be a platform for improved quality of life. Ninety percent of HOPWA funds are distributed by formula to cities and states based on the number of AIDS cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HUD’s formula grants are managed by 124 local and state jurisdictions, which coordinate AIDS housing efforts with other HUD and community resources.  HUD is making available a record $334 million in HOPWA funds this year to help communities provide housing for this special needs population.  Overall, these resources assist 60,669 households annually to promote stable housing and reduced risks of homelessness for those living with HIV and other challenges. HOPWA FY2011 Permanent Supportive Housing Renewal Grant SummariesVermont The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) is awarded a HOPWA permanent supportive housing renewal grant for $1,430,000 to continue a statewide HIV/AIDS housing and supportive services program.  This innovative program provides long-term rental assistance, short-term emergency housing assistance, and the provision of supportive services and case management through regional AIDS service organizations.  The program integrates housing, health care, and a range of supportive services, into a single statewide delivery system.  This project will support 30 individuals annually with tenant-based rental assistance and 108 households with short-term rent, mortgage and utility assistance.  Additionally, 251 individuals will receive supportive services annually.  This collaborative partnership includes the following organizations:  Vermont Committee for AIDS Resources, Education and Services, AIDS Project of Southern Vermont, Vermont State Housing Authority, and HIV/HCV Resource Center.last_img read more

Last Mile Ride raises $48,000 for end-of-life care

first_imgGifford Healthcare,Gifford Medical Center’s sixth annual Last Mile Ride held on Saturday, Aug. 20, attracted a record 219 motorcyclists, 23 cyclists and raised $48,000 for end-of-life care.The charity motorcycle ride was the Randolph hospital’s sixth annual. Since it’s start in 2006, rider numbers and money raised have climbed significantly. That first year just 74 riders turned out and $7,000 was raised.The leap in participation is due to word of mouth and support for the cause, according to hospital organizers. Gifford offers special care in a garden-side suite for patients at the end-of-life. The ride supports extra services for these patients and their families and also helps patients in advanced illness or choosing to die at home with special needs and last wishes.The steady climb in dollars raised for the cause is due to the support of sponsors, including many area businesses, and riders’ fund raising efforts. Riders who raise the most win prizes.This year rider Larry Richburg of Randolph took the top prize of a $300 gift card to Wilkins Harley-Davidson in South Barre after he collected more than $2,000 for the cause.‘I’m in the Rotary Club. I hit up everybody at Rotary. I think just about everybody in Rotary donated something. I also put a little something in the church bulletin at Bethany Church. I got a lot from people at the church. I sent an e-mail to my wife’s contact list for family and friends,’ says Richburg of how he was able to raise so much.There were also people who sought out Richburg. ‘I can’t believe the number of people who just call and say ‘I have a check for you.’ It kind of goes to show what kind of fund-raiser and project this is. You don’t find that very often.’Coming in second was Frank Drown of Northfield, who raised more than $1,700, and won a leather motorcycle jacket from Frank’s Motorcycle Sales and Service in Essex Junction.Drown’s daughter Naomi spent her final days in the Garden Room at Gifford before dying at home in 2008 at the age of 25. She had a rare cancer.Since, the tight-knit Drown family has made the Last Mile Ride an annual event. This year Frank rode with daughter Alicia, daughter Olivia drove a second bike and wife Sandra rode with a friend.For Sandra, the ride is a time of reflection and healing. ‘I just love it,’ she says.For Frank, who strives to be the first one registered for the ride each year and is relentless in his fund raising efforts, the ride, in part, is a chance to help other families as his was helped.‘The benefits received by the patients and families by this fund are not replaceable by words,’ he says, using his own experience as an example. ‘We have our memories. We have our conversations. But watching the CD of the photos set to music (the family received following their stay in the Garden Room), there’s nothing that can replace that. We have that forever. Not only that, but the people involved in the Garden Room, it’s a genuine care that this fund-raiser puts forth to the families and to the patients. It’s just overwhelming.‘My personal experiences with what this program gave me drive me. I could do this every year and never replace what I got out of it.’Ride founder Lynda McDermott of Randolph, a Gifford inpatient nurse, was also once again a top fund-raiser.‘I just feel a personal responsibility,’ McDermott says. ‘When a family goes through the death of a loved one, that creates a long-term memory. These memories never go away. It’s a memory that I want to be as positive as possible. Even though it’s a sad moment, there can be a joy in this. I’m trying to help these families cherish these last times with their loved ones.’Not all participants have had an experience with the Garden Room, of course. Participants this year came from as far away as Colorado, Connecticut and Maine. For the ride, the motorcyclists traveled 112 miles around central Vermont, assisted by a group of combat veterans, who served as road guards, and Orange County Sheriff Bill Bohnyak, who led the ride.Cyclists were also a part of this year’s ride. Last year, Gifford nurse Marci White did a 38.4 mile loop from Gifford to Northfield and back. This year, other cyclists were invited to join her on the same route and Green Mountain Bike Patrol helped cyclists along the route.The ride also included a Harley raffle again this year and the winner of the 2011 Iron 883 was Rochester’s Jay McGill-O’Rourke. A long-time motorcycle enthusiast, McGill-O’Rourke was clearly thrilled to win the new Harley.‘It’s the first thing I’ve won since I was in Cub Scouts, so that was 48 years ago,’ he said.McGill-O’Rourke has been riding since he was 15 and is into collectibles. The bike he rode in Saturday’s ride was a 1974 BMW. His newest bike is 1983 Honda. ‘This will put me back in the main stream,’ he says of the new Harley he’ll soon collect from Wilkins.A quilt made by Gifford staff went to Janet Whitacker of Stockbridge, who couldn’t ride this year but stopped Saturday to make a donation and buy raffle tickets.Organizers marveled at the outpouring of support from participants and non-participants alike.‘It always amazes me the amount of support we receive for our event. To know that so many people contribute their time, resources and energy to help others who they will probably never even meet is a humbling experience,’ said Ashley Lincoln, director of development, marketing and public relations at Gifford.Photo by Robin Palmer: Motorcyclists leave Gifford Medical Center in Randolph on Saturday for the start of the Last Mile Ride.Gifford Medical Center in Randolph, Vt., is a community hospital with family health centers in Bethel, Chelsea, Rochester and Sharon and specialty services throughout central Vermont. Gifford is a full-service hospital with a 24-hour emergency department, inpatient and rehabilitation units, a day care, an adult day care and a 30-bed nursing home, the Menig Extended Care Facility, which opened in 1998 on the main campus. The Birthing Center, established in 1977, was the first in Vermont to offer an alternative to the traditional hospital-based deliveries and continues to be a leader in midwifery and family-centered care.The hospital’s mission is to improve individuals’ and community health by providing and assuring access to affordable and high-quality health care in Gifford’s service area.Next year’s ride will be held on Aug. 18.last_img read more