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State pushes alternative Act 250 review

first_imgSource: Vermont Economic Development Dept. 9.9.9. The Douglas Administration is reminding people who may want to apply for an Act 250 permit that they can reduce the risk and upfront costs associated with the process by seeking to have the most problematic aspects of a project reviewed first. Rule 21 of Act 250, which allows a District Commission to conduct a review of less than all of a project’s Act 250 criteria in exchange for a minimum filing fee, has been on the books a long time, but is rarely used, officials said.“The economy is showing some signs of recovery, but in these uncertain times nobody wants to unnecessarily invest scarce capital without knowing the magnitude of risk involved in obtaining a reasonable return,” said Tayt Brooks, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development.“With this in mind, we’d like to remind anyone who is considering applying for an Act 250 permit that there is a rule in place to provide for partial reviews of proposed projects, thereby reducing the cost associated with risk,” he said.Under Act 250, the state’s development control law, proposed development projects must satisfy 10 criteria including impacts on the environment; traffic; local schools and services; and aesthetics.The fee for such projects generally is $4.75 per $1,000 construction cost, meaning a $100,000 project would cost $475, while a $1 million project would cost $4,750.But under Rule 21, an applicant can ask a District Commission to review a project against a particularly uncertain or potentially contentious criterion by paying only $150 instead of the standard fee.“This allows an applicant to avoid the risk – and cost – of preparing and submitting an entire permit application only to find out that one aspect of the project is going to be an insurmountable obstacle,” Brooks said.If project receives approval under the criterion or criteria, the rest of the proposal could be heard and the full application fee paid later, at which time the less contentious criteria would be reviewed. This would also allow developers to lay the groundwork for projects now, and then begin construction when the economic situation has become more favorable and financing more available.The partial findings and conclusions are valid for a period of time (usually up to five years) and are binding unless appealed within 30 days. “If the District Commission rules against an applicant, they can appeal the decision; modify the project; or decide the project was not worth investing any more funds, having lost only a minimal Act 250 fee and the cost of preparing a partial application,” Brooks said.For questions pertaining to Rule 21, interested parties may contact their local District Coordinator or Brooks at (802) 828-5218 or at tayt.brooks@state.vt.us(link sends e-mail) -30-last_img read more

Wakenaam hospital is part of the declining public health system

first_imgDear Editor,Every day, another horrifying public health story shocks the people of Guyana. Last week, at least three families were forced to use ice boxes to store the bodies of their deceased relatives in Wakenaam. Even as storage was a problem because of the malfunctioning mortuary refrigerators, deceased bodies could not be removed from the hospital because there was no doctor to sign-off the death certificates. One family complained that their relative died on Friday, but was still there on Sunday because they had to await the arrival of a doctor. Up to Sunday afternoon, there still was no doctor, and when checks were made about noon on Monday, a doctor was still unavailable to sign-off the death and so relatives were forced to continue using the icebox to keep the body from deteriorating.At Wakenaam District Hospital, the problems are many – the malfunctioning mortuary is obscene. But there are other problems. Availability of doctors has become a major concern for citizens in this humble farming community. In a discussion with the Chairman of the NDC on the island, he confirmed there is a major problem with missing doctors, with availability becoming periodic rather than sustained. This important district hospital, more often now, has no doctors. The Ministry of Public Health has completely ignored the urgent calls from citizens in Wakenaam and from the RDC of Region Three to address the doctor availability problem. Even as the availability of doctors, nurses and other service providers at the Wakenaam Hospital affect the delivery of public health, the availability of medicines has become a chronic problem. It is as if the Ministry of Public Health is in a mode of phasing out the Wakenaam District Hospital.Public health in Guyana has rapidly declined since May 2015. For most of that time, Ms Volda Lawrence, the People’s National Congress (PNC) Chairman, has been in charge of the Public Health Ministry. This lady, who vowed her only friends are “PNC-people” and that as the Chairman of the PNC and as a senior Minister in the APNU/AFC Cabinet her mandate is to find jobs “only for PNC-people”, failed to appreciate that public health must be for all people. She failed to recognise that when public health fails, it affects all Guyanese, including “PNC-people”. The next person who requires the use of a mortuary or an X-ray or medicines or doctors might well be one of these “PNC-people”. We never know the next person who needs the public health system.The rapid deterioration of the public health system is on display every single day, with newspaper, TV and radio news and public discourse stories highlighting the many struggles people endure as they try to access public health. A week ago, I had frantic calls from the Essequibo Island of Wakenaam about troubles at the district hospital there. This hospital, which should be a place where people go for their ailments, is now a place filled with its own ailments as described above.As Minister of Health, I worked diligently with our people, the public health staff and the Government to ensure we stopped the practice of iceboxes to preserve the bodies of our loved ones. We ensured that all our district hospitals were equipped to provide refrigerated storage of the bodies of deceased persons. But non-functioning mortuaries has become a malady of the public health system. There are occasionally reports that the mortuary of the GPHC, the premier hospital in Guyana, is down. There have been reports of other non-functioning mortuaries around the country. For many months now, the mortuary at New Amsterdam has been unavailable. Passing through Mahaicony two days ago, I was similarly told by residents that Mahaicony is not offering refrigerated mortuary service presently. At Fort Wellington, the refrigerated mortuary facility used is a private mortuary, paid for by the families of the deceased patients. It is heartbreaking that the public health sector adds further trauma and stress to people because they must worry about the preservation of the bodies of their deceased relatives.As this unnecessary stress intensifies within the public sector, the Minister herself has treated this important function of the public health sector as an orphan. In a recent trip to commission a repaired kitchen at the New Amsterdam Public Hospital, a few feet away from the empty, unused, broken-down mortuary, she completely ignored that the hospital forces people to use private mortuary services, at a cost many of them cannot afford. Even as people outside picketed her, trying to draw her attention to the non-availability of mortuary services at the New Amsterdam Public Hospital, she ignored any recognition that there is a problem.In the last week, Volda Lawrence, who still refuses to acknowledge the people fired her on December 21 and that she has been illegally squatting as the Minister of Public Health since March 21, has visited Regions Six, Five and Three. Ms Lawrence and her APNU/AFC colleagues have unfortunately been rejected by the people, having to speak to only people who were bussed-in and greeted with protesters everywhere. But even as they parade across these regions, brazenly funding their political campaign with taxpayers’ money, she totally ignores the many, many problems in a rapidly declining public health system. Ms Lawrence must take responsibility for a declining public health sector.Sincerely,Dr Leslie RamsammyFormer Health Ministerlast_img read more

How to be a Virtual Assistant Why Hire a Virtual Assistant

first_imgTo continue with my series concerning How to be a Virtual Assistant, today I would like to discuss why you should hire a virtual assistant. In a world where the new buzz term is “The Cloud”, we are beginning to realize that work can be done from anywhere in the world (as long as there is a stable internet connection!).Virtual Assistants have been working remotely from their home offices for years. They are small business entrepreneurs who are highly skilled in assisting management teams and existing support staff for all types of companies. Your operational support team does not necessarily need to work in house. Here are the reasons why:You are a small business that does not have the capital to hire a full time assistant but you do need helpYou do not have the time to set up your business travelYou need someone to assist with your online marketing strategy but it is not a full time positionYou need an assistant to manage emails and your calendarYou need to create and edit correspondenceYou need an assistant to manage your social media marketing such as your LinkedIn and Twitter accountsThese are just a few reasons why you should consider hiring a virtual assistant. Furthermore, keep in mind they are their own small business and should be treated as such.In my next post, I will talk about the various pay scales for virtual assistants. The scales are mainly based on skill level, experience and particular job description.Also, if you haven’t already, please sign up for our weekly newsletter “Viewing Value” where we collect and disseminate the best new ideas targeted at senior managers of expansion stage technology companies.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more