CVPS, DPS agree on smaller rate increase of 7.67 percent

first_imgCentral Vermont Public Service (NYSE-CV) and the Vermont Department of Public Service have agreed to a rate settlement that will reduce a November rate request.Driven by reliability and transmission improvements and increasing power costs, in November CVPS asked the Vermont Public Service Board to authorize an 8.34 percent rate increase under the company’s alternative regulation plan. CVPS and the DPS have agreed to reduce the increase, which is expected to take effect Jan. 1, to 7.67 percent. The agreement also amends and extends the company’s alternative regulation plan.Under the settlement, which must be approved by the PSB, the company’s allowed return on equity would remain at the current level of 9.59 percent. CVPS agreed to reduce its return on equity request and make an additional $13 million investment in the Vermont Electric Power Company by the end of the year, changes that reduced the size of the rate increase.Even with the increase, CVPS states that its rates will remain among the lowest of the major utilities in New England.Under the proposed base rate change, a residential customer using 500 kilowatt-hours per month would experience a $5.91 increase, from $78.11 to $84.02. By comparison, the same customer would pay as much as $121.80 elsewhere in New England, according to the Edison Electric Institute.Since 1999, CVPS rates have risen at a fraction of the rate of inflation in the energy sector, with a handful of increases and decreases, including a 1.15 percent decrease in July. Overall, rates in 2011 are expected to be 21.8 percent higher than in 1999. Based on the latest federal data available, the Consumer Price Index for Energy has increased 81 percent.‘We have worked hard to mitigate the need for a rate increase, and are pleased that the VELCO investment will help reduce the impact on customers,’ President Bob Young said. ‘The increase is driven in large part by increases in power costs and a large increase for reliability improvements and regional transmission costs.‘I wish we could forego an increase, but we must continue to invest in our systems and pay our share of regional transmission costs,’ Young said. ‘While it doesn’t eliminate the impact, I am proud to say we will continue to provide a value that is extremely competitive in the region, even after the increase.’Other Vermont utilities have received rate increases ranging from 3.11 percent to as much as 30.76 percent in the past 8 months.The new rates will serve as the base rates for 2011 under CVPS’s amended alternative regulation framework. Under the plan, CVPS’s rates are adjusted up or down every quarter to account for specified changes in power costs, and annually for specified changes in other costs and earnings.Source: CVPS. 12.22.2010last_img read more

Trail Mix – Vic Chesnutt Vinyl Release On New West Records

first_imgBefore a couple years ago, I knew very little of Vic Chesnutt.I heard his name bandied about whenever my friends discussed their favorite songwriters. I knew he was a tragic figure, having been confined to a wheelchair since the age of eighteen after a devastating car crash, and that he died entirely too young. I knew he still managed to play guitar, even with the limited use of his hands, and I remember being surprised to learn that he had a bit role in Sling Blade, one of my favorite films.Recent years have seen me make efforts to relieve my ignorance. When I became interested in Vic’s music, I didn’t have to look far for an expert in the field. Charles Fontaine, one of my best friends, is a long time fan, acquaintance, and unofficial archivist for Vic. His collection of recorded and print material is impressive, with shelf upon shelf in his den dedicated to hours of nearly long lost, but thankfully not forgotten, live recordings, outtakes, and demos. It is a collection that would make any collector of any artist jealous, indicative of untold hours of work and unparalleled passion.When I got word that New West Records was going to be releasing a collection of Vic’s work on vinyl, I knew that I needed to chat with Charles, who is a serious fan of both Vic’s music and vinyl.Charles, who is enjoying his first couple weeks of fatherhood with his new daughter, Violet, was kind enough to take some time to chat with me about Vic’s music, his personal journey through it, and the pending release of Vic’s catalog on vinyl.BRO – Care to reminisce on the first time you heard Vic play?CF – The first time I heard a Vic song, it wasn’t actually Vic. My foray into his music came through the band Live. It was 1994 and I really loved their record Throwing Copper. In my pursuit to hear more stuff from them, I came across their live cover of Vic’s song “Supernatural.” It was so different from what I had been listening to and it instantly captivated me. I immediately went to my local Cat’s Music and tried to order a copy of Drunk, Vic’s record that had “Supernatural” on it. It took what felt like forever for it to come in. Once I heard it, I was hooked. As for hearing Vic play live, I wasn’t able to catch him until 2002 at a little place in Nashville called 12th & Porter. After that, I made the effort to see him on every tour thereafter and we became friendly. He was a hoot and an all around genuine guy.BRO – At what point did you make the transition from avid fan to unofficial archivist?CF – The thing about Vic is that he was so prolific. During his shows, he would often perform songs that he had either just written or that had never been released. I guess it’s always been in my nature to be a completist, so I started looking for and discovering live shows to find those gems that were never put on album. I eventually amassed such a collection that I ended up putting out live compilations of the unreleased songs. Vic used to be very fond of those and, whenever I would see him, I would hand him my newest comp. He seemed to appreciate the effort, and he would usually follow up after listening and tell me how much he enjoyed them. I collected live recordings from Vic’s earliest days through his final gig in 2009, home demos, unreleased cuts, outtakes, and albums, and I released over ten volumes of unreleased tracks totaling close to 150 songs. Some of those unreleased songs ended up being recorded and released before Vic died, which I was always pleased about, because there some incredible tunes there that needed to be heard.BRO – What one record are you most excited about in this vinyl release from New West?CF – I’ve always been partial to the early Texas Hotel records, so it’s nice to see a reissue of those, and the later stuff he recorded for New West is also excellent, but what I am really, truly excited about is the late September mystery release, which I understand is supposed to be unreleased stuff. I have no idea where it was culled from, nor what era we are talking about, but it’s got me giddy.BRO – Tell me about swapping paintings with Vic.CF – Vic was a creative sort. He was a musician, painter, and playwright, an all round bohemian. When I graduated from college, I had a shiny new Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree and I wanted to make art that I considered to be different from what I was making in school. One winter’s day in 1995, I went into my studio and put the song “Panic Pure,” from Vic’s 1992 album West of Rome, on repeat. I allowed what I heard in that song to influence my creative process and, a few hours later, I had created what I considered to be my first non-college piece of artwork. As a token of thanks for his inspiration, I presented that painting to Vic before a show in Asheville in 2003. He hung it above his fireplace, which to me was the coolest thing ever. A few years later, Vic sent me a watercolor that he had created and it remains one of my most prized possessions.BRO – What record should a listener new to Vic’s work grab from this collection?CF – Among Vic fans, the aforementioned West of Rome is his masterpiece. I can’t disagree with that. But picking a favorite Vic album or song is like picking a favorite child. It’s damned near impossible. He has songs for every mood. Some songs are maudlin, while others are down right goofy. I would suggest starting at the beginning with 1990’s Little and working through Vic’s growth, just as he did. Vic developed as a songwriter and his sound aged in a way that tells his story better than any book could.A total of seven Vic Chesnutt albums are slated for release on vinyl this year. The first, Little, came out last month. The second installment, Drunk, will be hitting the streets soon. The seven albums are available in a bundle or individually. Interested fans and vinyl collectors should point their browsers here to check out purchase options.And be sure to check out “Soft Picasso,” from Little, on this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more

US Probes Report of Alleged Iranian Cyber-Attack Plot

first_imgBy Dialogo December 14, 2011 The United States said on December 12, it is looking into a “very disturbing” report that implicates a US-based Venezuelan diplomat in an alleged Iranian plot to launch cyber attacks against US nuclear plants. Livia Antonieta Acosta, currently Venezuela’s consul in Miami, Florida, is described in a report by New York-based Hispanic television network Univision as an accomplice in the plot. “We did see the Univision report and are cognizant of the allegations they’ve made,” State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters, describing the allegations as “very disturbing.” Toner added: “We don’t have any information at this point to corroborate it… We’re looking into it and continue to assess what additional actions we might take.” Univision said that Acosta, during her service as second secretary at the Venezuelan embassy in Mexico in 2007, participated in the alleged plot to target sensitive US national security facilities, including nuclear power plants. “We obviously take Iranian activity in the hemisphere seriously. We monitor its activities closely,” Toner said. In October, the United States, already gripped in a showdown with Iran over its refusal to come clean on its nuclear program, accused the Islamic Republic of a plot aimed at assassinating the Saudi ambassador in Washington.last_img read more

New York to test for antibodies, governor mandates face covering

first_imgIt isn’t yet clear whether people who were previously infected will be immune and if so for how long, experts say.Cuomo announced that another 752 New Yorkers had died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. He failed to give un updated toll but that number would take statewide deaths past 11,000.The illness has claimed more than 27,000 lives across the United States, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University.Cuomo said he would sign a decree that would come into effect in three days requiring that everyone in the state cover their mouth and nose when unable to maintain social distancing outside.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been recommending that US citizens wear masks since April 3. Topics : New York has developed its own antibody test that could help detect those immune to coronavirus as the state looks to gradually end its shutdown, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.He made the announcement as he ordered all residents of the state — the epicenter of America’s coronavirus outbreak — to cover their faces when in stores or using public transit.Cuomo said 2,000 people would be tested a day, as he works on a plan for a phased reopening of New York, without speeding up the spread of COVID-19 again, following its weeks-long shutdown.center_img “We’re going to prioritize the antibody testing for first responders and essential workers,” Cuomo told reporters. “It’s a finger prick test so it’s not terribly invasive.”Officials are battling with how to get crippled economies up and running again without increasing the rate of infections as the world awaits a vaccine for the deadly virus.Cuomo said he had a “blueprint” centered on testing residents for the virus, and then tracing and isolating those who have it to control the spread.Health officials believe antibody tests that have just entered the market and look for whether a person has been previously infected are crucial in answering questions about immunity.last_img read more

Ronaldo cries ‘persecution’ after appeal against 5-game ban is rejected

first_imgMADRID, Spain – Cristiano Ronaldo blasted his treatment by the Spanish Football Federation as “persecution” after his appeal against a five-game ban was rejected yesterday.The World Player-of-the-Year missed the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona later yesterday and will miss Madrid’s first four games of the season in La Liga.“Impossible to be immune to this situation, 5 games!!” Ronaldo posted to his 108 million followers on Instagram.“It seems to me exaggerated and ridiculous; this is called persecution!“Thanks to my teammates for the support and the fans!!!”The Portuguese captain was controversially sent off as Madrid won the first leg of the Super Cup 3-1 on Sunday at the Camp Nou.Ronaldo had come off the bench to fire Madrid into a 2-1 lead but was booked for removing his shirt in celebration and then saw a second yellow card when referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea adjudged he had dived trying to win a penalty eight minutes from time.After being shown the 10th red card of his career, Ronaldo then lightly pushed the referee.On Monday the Spanish Federation (RFEF) issued Ronaldo with an automatic one-game ban for the red card plus an extra four-match suspension for the push.Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has also expressed his anger at what he believes is an excessive punishment.“When you look at everything that happened, to think Cristiano won’t play five games with us… it is infuriating,” Zidane said on Tuesday.Ronaldo will be absent when Madrid begin their defence of La Liga on Sunday at Deportivo la Coruna as well as for home games against Valencia and Levante and a trip to Real Sociedad.Ronaldo will, though, be free to play when Madrid begin their Champions League campaign on September 12 or 13. (AFP)last_img read more