Stephen R. Theroux, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Our participation in the SBLF program provided the opportunity to enhance our lending to small businesses throughout our markets in New Hampshire and Vermont. Under the program, we were able to increase our small business lending by more than 40%, funding more than $120 million in qualified small business loans during the initial measurement period, without placing pressure on our underlying capital levels. As we exit the program, we reflect on the SBLF program as a success for the Company, the Bank, our customers, and our stockholders.”About Lake Sunapee Bank Group Lake Sunapee Bank Group is the holding company of Lake Sunapee Bank, fsb, a federally chartered savings bank that provides a wide range of life-cycle banking and financial services. Lake Sunapee Bank has four wholly owned subsidiaries: Lake Sunapee Financial Services Corp.; Lake Sunapee Group, Inc., which owns and maintains all buildings and investment properties; McCrillis & Eldredge Insurance, Inc., a full-line independent insurance agency; and Charter Holding Corp., which wholly owns Charter Trust Company, a trust services and wealth management company. Lake Sunapee Bank Group, through its direct and indirect subsidiaries, operates 30 offices in New Hampshire in Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack and Sullivan counties and 16 offices in Vermont in Orange, Rutland and Windsor counties.NEWPORT, NH–(Marketwired – December 03, 2015) – Lake Sunapee Bank Group Vermont Business Magazine Lake Sunapee Bank Group (NASDAQ: LSBG(link is external)), the holding company for Lake Sunapee Bank, fsb, today announced that it has redeemed the remaining $8.0 million of its outstanding preferred securities issued under the US Treasury’s Small Business Lending Fund program. The redemption was funded with retained earnings. Following the redemption, the Company has no preferred securities outstanding under the SBLF program.
Vermont Business Magazine Québec, Vermont and the State of New York today announced that they will continue to work together to restore and protect the waters and natural resources of Lake Champlain. Meeting in Crown Point, NY, the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, David Heurtel, on behalf of the Premier of Québec, together with the Governor of Vermont, Phil Scott, officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and representatives from the states of New York and Vermont, joined Monday in the signing ceremony for the fourth edition of the Lake Champlain Action Plan, entitled Opportunities for Action: An Evolving Plan for the Future of Lake Champlain.Québec fully supports the Action Plan and contributes to its management as a member of the Steering Committee of the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) responsible for reviewing and implementing it. An accompanying message from the Premier of Québec confirms its commitment to implement the updated Management Plan alongside its Vermont and New York State partners.The plan itself and the formation of the Steering Committee charged with implementing it stem from the Environmental Cooperation Agreement on the Management of Lake Champlain, signed in 1988 by the Gouvernement du Québec, the State of Vermont and the State of New York, which recognized the need for concerted action to protect Lake Champlain, reduce pollution and restore the lake’s ecosystems.During his visit, Minister Heurtel held discussions with the Governor of Vermont, Phil Scott, and the Secretary for Natural Resources of Vermont, Julie Moore, on issues related to the protection of our common natural resources and the importance of collaboration to obtain concrete results in the fight against climate change. He also held meetings with EPA officials.Quotes:”The Gouvernement du Québec is an active player in the management of shared waters and the protection of natural resources. The renewal of this action plan illustrates the high degree of collaboration between Québec and its American partners for the protection of Lake Champlain, its ecosystems and its present and future uses. The Lake Champlain Basin is a public asset that we must all share. We are determined to carry forward the efforts deployed over numerous years to ensure the best quality of life for our children. Let’s do it for them!”David Heurtel, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate ChangeHighlights:Québec participates actively in the sound management of the water resources of Lake Champlain, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. For years, it has collaborated with various states in managing their shared watershed, for example through the LCBP, the Great Lakes Commission, the Conference of Governors and Premiers of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence, the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Water Resources Compact.Related link:The Lake Champlain Action Plan can be consulted on the website of the LCBP http://www.lcbp.org/about-us/opportunities-for-action/(link is external) VBM vermontbiz.comSOURCE CROWN POINT, NY, June 19, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – Cabinet du ministre du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques
National Bank of Middlebury,Vermont Business Magazine National Bank of Middlebury has been awarded an “Outstanding” performance evaluation for Community Reinvestment Act. The CRA categorization is an evaluation of a banking institution’s record of meeting the credit needs of its entire community including low and moderate-income neighborhoods.The criteria for the rating is as follows:The level of lending as related to loan-to-deposit (LTD) ratio compared to local and national peer averagesDistribution of originated and purchased loans made within the institution’s assessment area (AA)Overall borrower distribution of loans among borrowers of different income levels and businesses of different sizesInstitution’s responsiveness to community development needs in the AAThe National Bank of Middlebury is a $358 million independent community bank headquartered in Middlebury. The bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Middlebury National Corporation. The Bank has one-third ownership in an operating subsidiary, CommunityFinancial Services, LLC, which was created in partnership with two other financial institutions for the purpose of offering trust and investment services to bank customers. Affiliate activity was not considered as part of this evaluation.In addition to the Bank’s main office in Middlebury, VT, the Bank has six full service branches located in Brandon, VT; Bristol, VT; Hinesburg, VT; Middlebury, VT; and Vergennes, VT. Additionally, the Bank operates nine automated teller machines (ATMs), which include three stand-alone ATMs with one located at the Middlebury drive-up location and two ATMs located on the Middlebury College campus.NBM is a full service, intrastate institution, offering a standard array of traditional loan and deposit products for retail and business customers. Additionally, NBM offers a variety of consumer and commercial products and services including personal and business checking and savings accounts, mortgage loans, commercial loans, and electronic banking. The Bank’s website, www.nbmvt.com(link is external), provides a listing and description of its loan and deposit services.The Bank offers a variety of different account access alternatives including telephone banking, online banking with bill pay options, mobile banking, and e-statements. In addition to the above services for personal account customers, the Bank also offers account access alternatives for its business customers, including eCorp (online banking for business customers), eDeposit (remote deposit capture), merchant credit card processing, automated clearinghouse (ACH) origination, and bill pay service.Source: NBM. 10.1.2018
by Don Turner I’ve previously written about how our unfunded pension liabilities are Vermont’s sleeping giant. We owe our state employees and teachers about $4.5 billion more than we have in the bank. We’ve seen two credit-rating downgrades in one year. Our “funded ratio” (the ratio of assets to liabilities) is only about 64.3 percent, below the national average(link is external). We’ve lived through years of underfunding where, until 2008, the state made payments as low as 38.4 percent of what was recommended(link is external) by professional actuaries. We’re forced to spend hundreds of millions on required principal and interest(link is external) that would have otherwise gone towards higher education, child care, or any number of meaningful programs. And the projected rates of return on our pension investments are still far below actual returns(link is external). These are the facts.It’s true that, over the past few years, we’ve taken modest steps to reverse these trends, including dedicating more toward paying down this enormous debt. But so long as we refuse to have a serious conversation about fundamental pension system reform, these investments are like trying to bail out a boat without addressing the leak. It won’t work. First, we need to plug the hole.And to do that, we need to have a serious conversation about pension reform. Specifically, we need to look at switching the pension system for new hires to a defined contribution structure. Currently, most state employees are covered under a “defined benefit” program, which guarantees specific retirement payments and benefits. Defined contribution plans place invested contributions into an investment fund that the employee can control.The problem is that defined benefit plans with generous benefit structures (like Vermont’s) can lead to expensive consequences that generate massive unfunded liabilities–which is exactly what we’re experiencing now.Let me be clear: I am not advocating for taking away the defined benefit plans guaranteed to Vermont’s state employees and teachers. All those in their current pension plans should be able to remain in them. We have an obligation to keep the promises we’ve made; not break them. Rather, I’m suggesting we change the pension structure only for new hires. Additionally, existing hires should be given the choice to opt-into a defined contribution plan. This proposal has been endorsed by Vermont pension-guru David Coates(link is external), former Governor and Treasurer Jim Douglas(link is external) (who oversaw multiple upgrades to Vermont’s credit rating), and has also been suggested by the Vermont Business Roundtable(link is external).Even the 2009 special pension commission chaired by Former Democratic Treasurer Jeb Spaulding reported that, while the majority of the commission did not want to implement a defined contribution plan at that time, “the majority did recommend further consideration of this issue in the future.”(link is external) It’s been 10 years since then; today is the future.Some, including Treasurer Pearce, stand in opposition to defined contribution plans. However, this stance remains in stark contrast to the growing number of states who are switching in-mass to defined contribution (or in some cases, defined benefit-defined contribution hybrid) plans. In a country that was once dominated by defined benefit plans, now over a third of U.S. states have moved away from them and towards full defined contribution or hybrid plans(link is external).Of the five states with the lowest funded ratios (according to Pew), four of them have moved to defined contribution or hybrid plans over the last 20 years in recognition of their need for structural reform. The only one that hasn’t is Illinois, whose pension crisis has progressively worsened, leading the state to near junk-bond status.(link is external)Additionally, the Treasurer’s assertions rely largely on some studies suggesting that defined benefit programs have better investment performance. But other studies(link is external) suggest defined contribution plans’ annualized net returns exceeds that of defined benefit plans for the 10 years preceding 2016. Look at it this way: The State of Vermont already offers a defined contribution plan for some 600 or so exempt state employees. It’s unfunded liability? Zero. That’s pretty compelling next to a $4.5 billion unfunded liability for our defined benefit plans.I’m not keen to rely on the Treasurer’s “expertise” on this matter. In fact, under Treasurer Pearce’s watch, we’ve seen our funded ratio decline, our credit rating get downgraded (twice), and our pension investment performances continue to struggle. Pearce also deployed and defended the disastrous “select-and-ultimate” rate system(link is external) from 2012 to 2015, which drastically reduced General Fund support for the pension system(link is external). We need a new perspective; not the same failed policies that got us into this mess.Contrary to what the Treasurer suggests, not only could a hybrid-defined contribution program save the state money, but it could also provide real benefits to plan participants. The vesting period (the amount of time an employee has to work before they’re eligible to receive all contributions) would be shorter. Workers would have easier portability of benefits. And employees would have more control over where their retirement funds are invested.Critics say that employees’ retirement funds would be left up to the whims of the market.But today, with ETFs, mutual funds, and government-guarenteed treasury bills readily accessible to even amateur investors, these claims are unfounded. Investment choice and control is especially useful for advocates of pension “divestment” from fossil fuels. If an employee has a moral objection to investing in a certain industry, they could choose to invest elsewhere with a defined contribution plan. Not so with today’s defined benefit program.We have an obligation to have this debate in a meaningful way, without the draconian attacks that will undoubtedly be thrown. We need to do what’s right for the state: for taxpayers, workers, and other residents alike. Not what’s in the best interest of the union bosses. Down the road, we can invest millions more in areas of shared priorities, from broadband to child care, if we have the courage to stop the bleeding now. Let’s have this conversation, and make meaningful change toward the positive fiscal health of our state’s future.Don Turner is a former Republican State Representative from Milton, former House Minority Leader, current Milton Town Manager and longtime member of the Milton Fire and Rescue departments. He was a candidate for lieutenant governor in 2018.
Pinterest Email Share on Facebook LinkedIn Share on Twitter A new study, published in Archives of Sexual Behavior by researchers affiliated with New York University’s Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR), compared self-reported sexual experiences related to use of alcohol and marijuana. Since marijuana has increased in popularity in the U.S., the researchers examined if and how marijuana use may influence risk for unsafe sexual behavior.“With marijuana becoming more accepted in the U.S. along with more liberal state-level policies,” notes Joseph J. Palamar, PhD, MPH, an affiliate of CDUHR and an assistant professor of Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center (NYULMC), “it is important to examine users’ sexual experiences and sexual risk behavior associated with use to inform prevention and harm reduction.”In this study, the researchers interviewed 24 adults (12 males and 12 females, all self-identified as heterosexual and HIV-negative) who recently used marijuana before sex. Compared to marijuana, alcohol use was more commonly associated with social outgoingness and use often facilitated connections with potential sexual partners; however, alcohol was more likely than marijuana to lead to atypical partner choice or post-sex regret. Share Alcohol was commonly used as a social lubricant to meet sexual partners, and this was related, in part, to alcohol being readily available in social gatherings.“Interestingly, some users reported that the illegality of marijuana actually facilitated sexual interactions,” notes Dr. Palamar. “Since smoking marijuana recreationally is illegal in most states and smoking it tends to produce a strong odor, it usually has to be used in a private setting. Some individuals utilize such private or intimate situations to facilitate sexual encounters”.While users often described favorable sexual effects of each drug, both alcohol and marijuana were reportedly associated with a variety of negative sexual effects including sexual dysfunction. For example, marijuana use was linked to vaginal dryness and alcohol was commonly described as increasing the likelihood of impotence among males.The researchers noted that the sexual effects tended to be similar across males and females, and both alcohol and marijuana were generally associated with loss of inhibitions. Both drugs appear to be potentially associated with increased feelings of self-attractiveness, but possibly more so for alcohol, and participants reported feelings of increased sociability and boldness while consuming alcohol.While some participants reported that marijuana use made them more selective in choosing a partner, many participants– both male and female–felt that their “standards” for choosing a partner were lowered while under the influence of alcohol.“It wasn’t surprising that alcohol use reportedly led to less post-sex satisfaction than marijuana,” said Dr. Palamar. “Participants reported feelings of regret more frequently after sex on alcohol, but compared to alcohol they generally didn’t report poor judgment after using marijuana.”When smoking marijuana, participants tended to reported increased feelings of anxiety or a sense of wariness in unfamiliar situations that they did not generally seem to experience after using alcohol. Therefore, these drugs appear to have different effects with regard to socialization that may precede a sexual encounter.“Sexual encounters on marijuana tended to be with someone the individual knew,” comments Dr. Palamar. “Sex on alcohol was often with a stranger so the situation before sex may be much more important than the drug used.”Marijuana and alcohol are associated with unique sexual effects, with alcohol use reportedly leading to riskier sexual behavior. Both drugs appear to potentially increase risk for unsafe sex.“Research is needed continue to study sexual effects of recreational drugs to inform prevention to ensure that users and potential users of these drugs are aware of sexual effects associated with use,” emphasizes Dr. Palamar. “Our results can inform prevention and harm reduction education especially with regard to marijuana, since people who smoke marijuana generally don’t receive any harm reduction information at all. They’re pretty much just told not to use it.”
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JEB Fasteners Ltd v Marks, Bloom & Co (a firm)  1 All ER 583 applied; Cavendish Funding Ltd v Henry Spencer & Sons Ltd  PNLR 122 considered. (4) The consequences of the incorrect valuation being provided by the defendant was that the claimants paid an excess of £18m. Accordingly, that figure represented the loss suffered (see ,  and  of the judgment). Caparo Industries plc v Dickman  1 All ER 568 considered; South Australia Asset Management Corp v York Montague Ltd (sub nom Banque Bruxelles Lambert SA v Eagle Star Insurance Co Ltd)  3 All ER 365 considered; Nykredit Mortgage Bank plc v Edward Erdman Group Ltd (No 2)  1 All ER 305 considered; Aneco Reinsurance Underwriting Ltd (in liquidation) v Johnson & Higgins Ltd  2 All ER (Comm) 929 considered. In 2001, the claimant companies retained the defendant firm of chartered surveyors and property consultants to advise them in relation to the acquisition of a site for development. That site fell within an ‘enterprise zone’ which was eligible for enterprise zone tax allowances, which had an effect on the value of the property. The second claimant was created as an investment vehicle established to enable individual investors to invest in the site. It was appointed trustee after the start of the relationship between the first claimant and the defendant. Pursuant to that retainer, the defendant provided positive advice about the site’s commercial prospects, and valued it at £63m, with enterprise zone tax allowances, and £48m without. The claimants contended that the defendant’s advice substantially overstated the commercial prospects, and that the value of the site was fundamentally flawed. The claimants issued proceedings seeking damages for breach of contract and/or in negligence. The claimants sought damages from the defendant in respect of all the losses they suffered as a result of entering the transaction. The claimants calculated the damages on the basis of the difference between the price paid together with any profits earned, and its actual subsequent market value. Alternatively, they sought damages on the basis of the difference between the price paid and its true value at the time of acquisition. The defendants questioned whether the second claimant was a proper party to the litigation, denied liability and causation, and put quantum in issue. The claim would be allowed. (1) On the evidence, it was established that the defendant had been retained by the claimants and had agreed to prepare the valuation on the terms the claimants alleged. Additionally, the defendants owed the claimants a duty of care in tort (see - and  of the judgment). (2) It was established law, inter alia, that the process of valuing real property had strong subjective elements. It was an art not a science, and not every error of judgment amounted to negligence. There was a ‘bracket’; a ‘permissible margin of error’. It was a necessary pre-condition to liability that the final valuation figure was shown to be wrong, i.e. ‘outside the bracket’. Where the court was considering whether a valuation was in itself negligent, the claimant normally had to show not only that the valuer fell in some way below the standards to be expected of a reasonably competent professional, but also that the valuation fell outside the range within which a reasonably competent valuer could have valued the asset. Where the valuation was made up of a number of different aspects, a different methodology might have to be adopted in relation to different aspects because of the nature of the particular valuation process with which the court was dealing. In general, the bracket should only be assessed by arriving at a bracket for each of the variables rather than only for those variables that were alleged or found to have been negligently assessed. If the valuation was outside the range, the professional might escape liability if he could prove that he exercised reasonable skill and care. If the valuation was found to fall within the range, the claimant would still be entitled to succeed if it could demonstrate that it had suffered loss as a result of negligent advice given in the course of, or in addition to, the valuation process. Whatever the range might be, the court had to form a view as to what the correct valuation would have been. If that ‘correct valuation’ fell outside the appropriate range of the actual valuation, damages would be assessed by reference to that figure. It followed that damages should not be limited to the excess over the highest valuation which would not have been negligent (see - of the judgment). Applying that approach, the competent valuation of the site on an open market valuation without the benefit of the enterprise zone allowance should have produced a figure of £34m. The figure supplied by the defendant of £48m was well above that. It followed that the defendant’s valuation was in breach of duty and negligent. The figure including the enterprise zone allowance should have been £45m. The figure supplied by the defendant of £63m was in breach of duty and negligent (see  and  of the judgment). Information or advice – Reliance on skill and judgment – Valuer Capita Alternative Fund Services (Guernsey) Ltd and another v Drivers Jonas: Queen’s Bench Division, Commercial Court (Mr Justice Eder): 9 September 2011 Goldstein v Levy Gee (a firm)  All ER (D) 12 (Jul) applied; Dennard v PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP  All ER (D) 192 (Apr) applied; K/S Lincoln v CB Richard Ellis Hotels Ltd (No 2)  All ER (D) 138 (Jun) applied; Singer and Friedlander Ltd v John D Wood & Co  EGD 569 applied; Merivale Moore plc v Strutt & Parker  All ER (D) 403 applied; South Australia Asset Management Corp v York Montague Ltd (sub nom Banque Bruxelles Lambert SA v Eagle Star Insurance Co Ltd)  3 All ER 365 applied; Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee  2 All ER 118 considered; Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority  4 All ER 771 considered. (3) The claimants were, in the circumstances, able to demonstrate that the advice played a real and substantial part in inducing them to invest in the site, which established the element of causation necessary (see  and  of the judgment). Sue Carr QC, Graham Chapman and Lucy Colter (instructed by Bond Pearce LLP) for the claimant. Roger Stewart QC, Sian Mirchandani (instructed by Berrymans Lace Mawer LLP) for the defendant.
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Subscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access SIGN UP TODAY 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 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 community
Aneeka Herold of Maneneberg High school was diagnosed with brain cancer. To commemorate cancer awareness month, Manenberg High School hosted a cancer awareness day last Thursday, where they honoured one of their Grade 8 pupils who was diagnosed with brain cancer.Doctors discovered a tumour in Aneeka Herold’s brain in September last year. Her mother, Zayaan Herold, noticed that there was something wrong when Aneeka’s speech began to slur. She took Aneeka to a doctor in Heideveld, where she was referred to a day hospital. At the hospital, doctors told Ms Herold that her daughter was experiencing normal “growing pains” and she was sent home. A week later, the pain still persisted and doctors gave her a referral letter for the Red Cross Children’s War Memorial Hospital. Two weeks later, Aneeka went to Groote Schuur Hospital for a scan and doctors discovered a tumour on her brain.In February this year, Aneeka underwent radiation treatment to reduce the size of the tumour so doctors could operate, but before the operation took place, it was discovered that the tumour had grown bigger, covering a large part of Aneeka’s brain, meaning that surgery was no longer an option.In August, she lost the feeling in her left leg and later that month in her right leg, and was confined to a wheelchair. Three weeks ago Aneeka went for a check-up where doctors told her that there was nothing more they could do for her.At the event last week, Aneeka’s best friend Nurah Hendricks, spoke about their friendship.“I met Aneeka at her house for the first time when my uncle introduced me to her.“We visited each other all the time. Aneeka is very kind-hearted and always likes to share. We were separated in Grade 5 but reunited in the same class in Grade 7 again. In the middle of the year, Aneeka stayed absent a lot and I went to her mother and asked her what was wrong with Aneeka. Her mother said she was tired all the time. She went for X-rays and they discovered the tumour. I was so sad, but I decided that I need to be there for her. My friends and myself then decided to visit Aneeka,” said Nurah.Ms Herold’s advice was that people should always keep track of their health.“Radiation treatment can help or can’t, but it is important to get checked out,” said Ms Herold.The programme also included a speech by Ruth Smith, one of the parents who had lost her child to cancer.Selina, Ms Smith’s daughter, was seven years old at the time. In 2012, over the Easter weekend, Selina’s leg started swelling.The following Monday, Ms Smith took her to the hospital and doctors said there was nothing wrong with her leg and wrapped a bandage around it.Ms Smith did not go home because she believed that something was wrong. She stayed until the night shift nurses came and asked them to do an X-ray to put her mind at ease. She was then given a referral letter to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, where doctors discovered the cancer.The following week she was sent to Maitland Cottage Home for surgery and stayed in hospital for a month. Selina underwent chemotherapy for two and a half months.Ms Smith described how she slept at the hospital during that time.“I only came home weekends. The chemotherapy gave Selina different moods every day.“There were days where she refused to go for chemo and I had to beg her to go. I asked God for strength to get me through it,” said Ms Smith.In 2014, Selina’s cancer came back, in other parts of her body. She told Ms Smith that she did not want more operations and wanted to be put in a wheelchair.Doctors were able to remove 99 percent of the tumour in her spine but could not remove the remaining 1 percent. Ms Smith said that Selina was okay for a while but one day she couldn’t breathe properly and had water on her lungs. Doctors drained her lungs and gave her a 50 percent chance of survival. Selina decided that she did not want any further operations or treatment.“On Sunday June 28, 2015, Selina struggled with her breathing again and I said let’s go to the hospital for oxygen but she said no,” said Ms Smith.She passed away the following day.Ms Smith that her daughter had a place in many people’s hearts, both old and young.She said that people should look after themselves.“Look after your body, it is a temple from God for you to look after. I miss her a lot, and I thank God every day for being on my side,” Ms Smith added.Ms Smith said she would like to thank Red Cross Children’s Hospital’s oncology unit for everything they did for her daughter.