Revision awarded multi-million dollar helmet contract

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copyright the Chronicle July 12, 201

 

by Joseph Gresser

 

NEWPORT — Some of Vermont’s top political leaders joined Revision Military’s employees July 6 to celebrate a contract that could be worth as much as $98-million to the company. Revision CEO Jonathan Blanshay said the federal contract, under which his company will supply new, lighter helmets to the military, is the most important in Revision’s history.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, U.S. Representative Peter Welch, and Governor Phil Scott joined the company’s 150 Newport employees to mark the achievement and to see how the new protective gear is made.

The contract, which Senator Leahy announced in March, calls for Revision to supply as many as 293,870 to the military over the next five years. All of Revision’s helmets are made in Newport.

Eric Hounchell, Revision’s vice-president for armor and global operations, said the company has invested around $3-million in new equipment needed to manufacture the helmets. He predicted Revision would invest more in the plant and hire more workers as orders come in.

Mr. Hounchell said the major selling point for the helmet was that it weighs in at almost a quarter less than the company’s previous model. Reducing the weight of equipment soldiers must carry extends their range and effectiveness, Mr. Hounchell said.

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Governor Scott visits Albany

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copyright the Chronicle June 14, 201

 

by Joseph Gresser

 

ALBANY — Governor Phil Scott breezed into Albany Monday to sign a pair of bills that he said will help revitalize aspects of the state’s rural economy. One, a bill to increase the number of chickens a farmer may raise, kill, and sell from 1,000 birds to 5,000, was proposed and seen through to passage by South Albany’s own Billy Pearce.

The other, which aids forestry workers in a number of ways, was welcomed by Colleen Goodridge, who hosted the signing ceremony. Ms. Goodridge, the matriarch of Goodridge Lumber, a family business that specializes in white cedar, is also vice-president of the Vermont Forest Products Association.

Governor Scott was welcomed by a crowd of around 70 people that included legislators from around the Northeast Kingdom and state officials, including Secretary Julie Moore of the Agency of Natural Resources.

H.495, the new forestry law, includes a provision exempting logging equipment and the fuel used to run it from state sales taxes. The state will also loan or help loggers purchase pre-made skidder bridges to help them meet clean water requirements.

Governor Scott said the state hopes to have 25 of the bridges available for loan or lease this summer.

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Changing the way health care is delivered

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copyright the Chronicle November 16, 2016

 

by Joseph Gresser

On October 26 the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) gave its approval to a new way to pay for medical services, called the all-payer model. The next day Governor Peter Shumlin and Secretary Hal Cohen of the state Agency on Human Services followed suit, putting their names to an agreement that’s meant to reconfigure the state’s health care system.

Even before the election, Governor-elect Phil Scott said he thought the agreement was approved with too much haste. In interviews after voters picked him to succeed Governor Shumlin, Mr. Scott said he plans to look at the model more closely before deciding whether to continue on the path it sets out, or cancel the agreement.

The results of the national election may relieve him of that task. President-elect Donald Trump has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly known as Obamacare.

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Incumbents returned to office  

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copyright the Chronicle November 9, 2016,

County votes for Scott, Trump

Despite some hard fought races, Orleans County returned all incumbents to office Tuesday.

The closest contest was the Orleans-Lamoille House race, where Republican Mark Higley fended off a challenge, for the second time, from Democrat Katherine Sims. The vote was 1080-914. Both candidates are from Lowell.

Shortly before midnight Ms. Sims sent out a graceful concession note. “We came up just short but that’s okay, we fought hard,” she said.

In the Orleans-Caledonia House race, Democrat Sam Young of Glover and Republican Vicki Strong of Albany were easily re-elected with vote totals nearly double that of newcomers Matt Eldridge, a Glover Democrat, and Frank Huard, a Republican from Craftsbury.

Republican incumbents Mike Marcotte and Gary Viens also easily won re-election in House district Orleans-2. Mr. Marcotte was the top vote getter with 1,955, a tad more than Mr. Viens’ 1,923. Democratic challengers Ron Holland and Judith Jackson received 1,279 and 903 votes, respectively.

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Gubernatorial debate in Irasburg

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copyright the Chronicle July 6, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

IRASBURG — What choice do Vermont’s voters have in charting a course for the state’s future? With not only the Governor’s chair open this fall, but also vacancies in other statewide offices and legislative leadership positions, the question is far from idle speculation.

Four of the five candidates seeking a major party gubernatorial nomination in the August 9 Primary election offered their answers on a variety of major issues when they faced off in front of an audience of over 200 here on June 29.

Republicans Bruce Lisman and Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott each made a case that he would be the best choice to head their party’s ticket. Former state Senators Matt Dunne and Peter Galbraith contended for the Democratic nod.

Former Agency of Transportation Secretary Sue Minter, who also is vying for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, had a scheduling conflict that kept her from attending, according to a campaign spokesman.

The Progressive Party, also considered a major party, has not put forward a candidate for Governor…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Craftsbury Academy graduation: Lieutenant Governor was featured speaker

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Craftsbury graduates celebrate the end of their high school careers in a traditional fashion.   Photo by Joseph Gresser

Craftsbury graduates celebrate the end of their high school careers in a traditional fashion. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle June 17, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

CRAFTSBURY COMMON — Craftsbury Academy graduated a class of 17 students Friday, June 12.  Looking at her seniors seated near her on the stage in the school’s new gymnasium, Principal Merri Greenia smiled broadly as she made a clear political statement.

“When small schools work, they work best,” she said.

After a legislative session that placed the state’s smaller school districts squarely in the crosshairs of budget cutters, Ms. Greenia’s message was unmistakable.

And Craftsbury’s Class of 2015 had every right to feel pride in their school and their own accomplishments.  Almost half the graduating class was National Honor Society members….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Editorial the Chronicle endorses…

copyright the Chronicle 10-31-2012

What follows is the least important part of the Chronicle’s election coverage.  We have tried, in the course of this election season, to give the candidates a fair opportunity to speak for themselves, and our readers an opportunity to speak for the candidates of their choice.

But political endorsements are an old journalistic tradition, and one that in a few races we feel compelled to follow.

 For state senator:  Starr and Rodgers

 With the departure of Vince Illuzzi from the state Senate, Orleans County is left with one legislator with an honest claim to deep experience and long seniority, and the influence that comes with them.  Bobby Starr has served in both houses in Montpelier.

He served a highly effective stint as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and has a reasonable chance of taking over the chairmanship of the Senate Agriculture Committee if he is returned to Montpelier.  To fail to give him that opportunity would be to squander what little influence the Northeast Kingdom has over the conduct of the state’s business.

For the second choice for the two Senate seats in the Orleans-Essex district we endorse John Rodgers.  He and Representative Bob Lewis both have experience in the House.  Our review of their records indicates that Mr. Rodgers’ is stronger — that he has dealt effectively with issues that are closer to the heartbeat of our corner of the state.

Mr. Rodgers lost his House seat two years ago because he felt he was too busy with his small construction business to campaign.  He has clearly learned his lesson.  And as we watch his continuing struggle to juggle the demands of his own and the public’s business, we are reminded of an old adage:  If you want to get something done, hire a busy man.

 For lieutenant governor, Phil Scott

 For lieutenant governor we like the incumbent, Phil Scott.  As a Republican who presides over a Senate dominated by Democrats, Mr. Scott has proven to be an agile leader as well as an extremely bipartisan one.

In a State House where party bickering often gets in the way of conducting the state’s business, Mr. Scott has kept his mind on the job.  From his place behind the podium, he neither scolded his colleagues nor blamed members of the opposition when a piece of legislation went begging for action.

As a lieutenant governor Mr. Scott has also been an active one outside the State House.  He has traveled throughout the state talking to workers about the jobs they do, and often showing a willingness to roll up his sleeves and pitch in.

Perhaps his love for racing at Thunder Road has instilled in him a respect for people who work with their hands.  Whatever the reason, it’s a commendable trait to see in any politician — especially one from a party that often seems aligned with power and wealth.

 For state treasurer, Beth Pearce

 In the treasurer’s race we recommend the election of Beth Pearce.  She has ably performed the duties of the position over the past two years in a nonpartisan fashion.  We believe that as the state moves toward taking a greater role in Vermont’s health care system, it will be important to have a treasurer who can work in a cooperative fashion to oversee major changes in a responsible fashion.  Ms. Pearce, in our judgment, fits that bill.

Editors’ note:  The Chronicle’s endorsements are based on a consensus of the editorial staff.  Opinions are the writer’s own.  This is the last edition before the election, which means we have edited out negative comments that might lead a candidate to wish to reply. This website, www.bartonchronicle.com, will be open for endorsements or other comments through November 2.  You may leave a reply here or send a letter to: [email protected]

 

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