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Supermarkets, National retailers fined

By on January 1, 2021

first_imgThe Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets,through the work of its Consumer Protection inspectors, turns up about a dozensuch violations each year.  In mostcases, pricing discrepancies are minor and largely due to human error.  The Agency advises consumers to alwaysbe aware of what they are paying for items. Price Chopper St. Albans           $.10-.30                   Three major supermarket chains, one drug store chain, andone other national retailer have been cited and penalized for violating Vermontretail pricing laws.  Shaws, PriceChopper, and Grand Union Supermarkets; Rite Aid Pharmacy; and JC Penney have allagreed to pay penalties ranging from $1,000 to $3,500 for overcharging consumersfor items in their stores. Retailer          $2,255 For more information, contact Michael Duane, AssistantAttorney General, at (802) 828-3178, or Henry Marckres, Consumer ProtectionChief at the Agency of Agriculture at (802)828-3458. Price Chopper Essex               $.10-1.00                 “What concerns us is that these errors were on non-saleitems,” Assistant Attorney General Michael Duane said.  “When an item goes on sale, it isconceivable, albeit not acceptable, for a retailer to enter an incorrect pricewhen re-programming a scanner. However, when the error is on an ‘everyday’ price, that mistake isprotracted over a longer period of time, most often to the advantage of theretailer.” $1,035 The violations were discovered during routine surveys byinspectors from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.  In all five stores, inspectors foundthat prices at registers were higher than prices advertised on shelves forcertain items.  Those discrepanciesranged from $.02 to $14.  Aninvestigation found no evidence of intentional wrongdoing, but there werefactors about these discrepancies that concernedofficials. *Penalties are determined based on the number ofviolations at an individual store $.10-.40                   $1,035 JCPenny Berlin                       $1.50-14.00               Shaws Williston            Price Chopper Colchester           $.02-.29                   $1,605 $.02-14.00              center_img $1,305 $2,255 Price Chopper Burlington           $.10-1.00                 $.04-2.00                 $5,755 (More) $2,105 Supermarket Chains Fined Nearly $20,000 for Violating VTRetail Pricing Laws $2,550 Rite-Aid St. Johnsbury              $.10-1.00     Grand Union Swanton               $.10-1.00                 Total                “Our advice to consumers is to be vigilant in checkingout that the shelf price actually rings up at the same price at checkout,”Agriculture Secretary Steve Kerr says. “This is especially so when customers buy many items at one time, like insupermarkets.  Our Vermont retailstores generally have good track records, but human error can occur, and we wantto know about it.” Range of ScannerDiscrepancies            Penalty* $19,900 Shaws Waitsfield        last_img read more

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As roads open, CVPS crews pour into the area

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first_imgAugust 31, 2011 ‘ 5 pm. With more than 270 bucket trucks, diggers, track and other all-terrain vehicles, Central Vermont Public Service crews accessed some of the isolated areas in central and southern Vermont today.As of 5 pm, more than 63,000 of the 73,000-plus customer outages have been restored, with 9,500 remaining. Addison and Bennington County outages were restored today, while work continues in Windsor, Rutland, Windham and Orange counties.Governor Peter Shumlin today visited the CVPS storm command center on Post Road in Rutland before he went to the survey road and electrical system damage in central Vermont. CVPS President Larry Reilly and Senior Vice President of Operations, Engineering and Customer Service Joe Kraus took the governor on a tour of central scheduling, the planning chief’s area, and the logistics planning center. Matt McCoy, a retired brigadier general in the Army National Guard, who heads up CVPS’s logistics group, told the governor that the team delivered more than 800 lunches to our field workers through the state today.‘We really appreciate the administration’s support, especially the support of the Agency of Transportation, the Department of Public Service and Vermont Emergency Management,’ Kraus said. ‘We could not do this without the assistance and support of our state and town officials, and of course our customers, which have been wonderful.’CVPS crews poured into the town of Rochester to cheers from residents who were gathered at the town offices. Crews fanned out across the town and neighboring communities, putting up downed power lines and planning how to rebuild lines that were washed away.  Meanwhile, a small army of electrical maintenance workers began work to clean up and rebuild the Rochester Substation, the heart of the local grid. A portable substation was also dispatched.Many workers were showered with well-wishes.  ‘I think I’ve been told ‘I love you’ more in the last five hours than in the last five years,’ said CVPS spokesman Steve Costello, who went into Rochester with line crews and delivered hundreds of local Vermont newspapers to residents desperate for information.Crews in Windham County poured into the East Dover area today with bucket trucks, two digger vehicles and tree workers to begin work to build a new temporary line to get power to East Dover village, which they hope to complete tomorrow. CVPS workers have also been clearing road in that area as they go. Crews also delivered poles to the Wardsboro and Jamaica area on Route 100 between Route 30 and Wardsboro village to do all the repair work they could, in anticipation of Route 100 road construction work.‘We’re doing any repair work we can do now, so that when we do get access through Route 100, we can energize as many customers as possible as quickly as we can, once we have access,’ said Brattleboro Operations Supervisor Dave Miller.Crews out of our Springfield District poured into the towns of Weston, Chester, Cavendish, Rockingham and Cambridgeport. ‘We had bucket trucks, diggers, excavators and all-terrain vehicles all throughout these areas today, and in some cases we are rebuilding new lines in new places,’ said Springfield Operations Supervisor Ed Whittemore.‘Crews made really good progress in Mt. Holly and Killington today,’ said Operations Supervisor Chris Gandin. Crews brought nine transmission and distribution bucket trucks up the mountain, along with a digger bucket, track bucket vehicle, four-wheeler and another all-terrain vehicle, along with tree contractors.CVPS continued to caution that complete restoration remains dependent on road access, and could take weeks for customers who are still isolated. A specific CVPS support team is continuing to work on travel strategies with local and state Agency of Transportation officials to coordinate alternative access points to washed out routes throughout the state, but it’s difficult work and will take time.Crews and support staff have been working 18- and 20-hour shifts since before the storm began, and will continue to do so until the restoration work is done.  CVPS urged Vermonters to use extra caution around waterways, many of which are still flowing at very high levels.  ‘A lot of the smaller rivers, creeks and brooks may have dropped back considerably, but the water is still moving much faster than normal,’ said Mike Scarzello, CVPS’s generation asset manager.If a customer’s home or business was flooded, and their electric service panel was affected by water, it has to be examined by a qualified electrician before CVPS can restore service.Up-to-date outage numbers (by town) can be found at: http://www.cvps.com/CustomerService/outages/(link is external) and http://vtoutages.com/(link is external) What’s left of the Rochester Substation stands covered with corn stalks, grass, rocks, mud and weeds in the mountain town along Route 100, its fence and sign knocked down by flood waters.  CVPS crews are rebuilding the heavily damaged substation and bringing a portable substation in to try to restore power as quickly as possible. Photo: Steve Costello, CVPSlast_img read more

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On the Blogs: Long-Festering Mine-Cleanup Liabilities Demand an Honest Assessment of Their Origins

By on December 31, 2020

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Ken Ward Jr. for the Charleston (W.V.) Gazette-Mail:Earlier this week, The New York Times had the latest of the recent national stories to take a stab at explaining the impending crisis regarding the cleanup of decades of pollution problems related to coal mining. The Washington Post had its own version of this story a few months ago.It’s great that these issues are getting national attention. But this attention is long overdue. And one thing that is a bit worrisome is that there is a tone in the stories that sometimes makes it seem like this all came out of nowhere — that no one possibly could have imagined this crisis.That’s just not true.Part of the problem is the focus in the coverage on the issue of “self bonding,” in which mining companies basically promise they have the money available for cleanups, rather than actually posting insurance bonds that would fund reclamation if they went belly up. The real issue in my mind is less self-bonding, and more the simple nature of states being allowed to run permit programs based on bond “pools.” Rather than requiring full-cost bonds — surety of some sort to cover the actual projected reclamation costs — companies pay a per-acre bond that goes into a common pool. It’s no surprise to readers of this blog that the per-acre bonds never covered the actual reclamation costs, let alone long-term water treatment.And for many, many — many — years, environmental and citizen groups like the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy have been preaching that the bond pools (like West Virginia’s Special Reclamation Fund) didn’t have enough money — and would literally collapse if there were a collection of serious coal company bankruptcies.In West Virginia, state regulators have never forced mine operators to post bonds or otherwise obtain insurance that would cover the full cost of land reclamation or water treatment at their mines. Instead, operators post bonds in smaller amounts, or they “self bond” by showing regulators they are financially healthy.A “bond pool” or “special reclamation fund,” which also includes money from a reclamation tax on all mine operators, is used by Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Special Reclamation to clean up mine sites that are abandoned since passage of the 1977 federal strip-mining law. That bond pool itself has, for years, struggled with maintaining enough funds to pay to clean up mines left to the state’s supervision when companies go belly-up.It’s going to take a lot of work from smart people to find ways out of this mess — but one thing that is important in solving this and so many other coalfield issues is being honest about how the problems came to be.Full item: The looming coal cleanup crisis On the Blogs: Long-Festering Mine-Cleanup Liabilities Demand an Honest Assessment of Their Originslast_img read more

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RDC litigation update: USAA wins second lawsuit against Wells Fargo

By on December 17, 2020

first_img continue reading » We blogged a couple of months ago with some updates on recent patent litigation between USAA and Wells Fargo, and now there are new developments in this ongoing litigation as well as a related lawsuit between USAA and a technology vendor. As background, in late 2017/early 2018, USAA sent many credit unions letters from a firm called Epicenter Law. These letters alleged that the credit union’s remote deposit capture (RDC) technology infringed on patents owned by USAA. Through these letters, USAA sought voluntary licensing fees from other financial institutions. Rather than making specific demands, these letters invited credit unions to call the firm to discuss licensing USAA patents.In its ongoing efforts to be “reasonably compensated”  for making investments in and holding various patents for RDC technology, USAA filed two lawsuits against Wells Fargo in the summer of 2018. In the first of these lawsuits, a jury found in favor of USAA and determined that Wells Fargo willfully infringed on two of USAA’s patents. These patents are:An “alignment guide” in the view of a mobile device’s camera to assist with image capture, which can be automatic once the image of the check is within the alignment guide (US Patent No. 8,699,779); and ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Open competition for the award “Marco Polo – famous travel writer”

By on November 18, 2020

first_imgThe Croatian Association of Tourist Journalists and Writers in Tourism, in cooperation with the Association of Tourist Journalists of the Croatian Journalists’ Association, is announcing a competition for the awards “Marco Polo- famous travel writer“For 2020. Learn more about all application conditions HERE, and the Marco Polo Awards Regulations can be downloaded here. Proposals for the award are submitted from the date of publication of the competition on the official website until November 15, 2020. The evaluation committee reserves the right to request a supplement to the incomplete proposal, as well as to withdraw from consideration of the proposal submitted late.center_img The annual award is given to an individual journalist for the best travel report if it is in accordance with the Ordinance on the awarding of prizes, medals and recognitions “Marco Polo – a famous travel writer”.last_img read more

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‘My salary is enough to rent a helicopter’: KPK chair Firli Bahuri denies violating ethics

By on October 19, 2020

first_imgCorruption Eradication Commission chairman Firli Bahuri has said his salary is enough to rent a helicopter, dismissing suspicion that a recent trip he made using a helicopter taxi service is an ethics violation.“I used my salary to expedite and simplify my tasks. I did all of that to support my duties and not for luxury. My salary is enough to rent a helicopter, not to live a life of luxury,” the two-star police general said in a written statement on Monday as quoted by tempo.co.Firli published the statement in advance of his ethics hearing with the antigraft body’s supervisory council scheduled for Tuesday. He was accused of committing an ethics violation following reports of him using a private helicopter on a personal trip from South Sumatra’s capital of Palembang to the city of Baturaja in the same province in June. The Indonesian Anti-Corruption Community (MAKI) reported Firli to the supervisory council, accusing the chair of living a “hedonistic lifestyle”.Firli confirmed that he would attend Tuesday’s hearing. “This mechanism is an activity to clarify and explain in detail the object of the problem. I really appreciate this process,” he said. (mfp)Topics :last_img read more

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Nepotism not always bad, Mahfud MD says

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first_imgHe said Indonesia was not unique in that regard, and that nepotism was not necessarily a bad thing.Read also: ‘Political dynasties’ to take center stage again in 2020 electionsMahfud then cited an example in Bakalang, East Nusa Tenggara, where the sibling of a local politician offered to take over their relative’s post due to the latter’s incompetence.“So those who practice nepotism don’t always have bad intentions,” he added.Political discourse surrounding the forthcoming regional elections has recently been rife with speculation regarding the candidacy of several family members of the country’s top officials.Among them are President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s eldest son Gibran Rakabuming Raka and son-in-law Bobby Afif Nasution, who are running in the mayoral races in Surakarta, Central Java, and Medan, North Sumatra, respectively.Other notable names include Vice President Ma’ruf Amin’s daughter Siti Nur Azizah and Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto’s niece Rahayu Saraswati Djojohadikusumo – both running in the South Tangerang mayoral race. (rfa)Topics : In response to controversy surrounding the candidacy of incumbents’ and political elites’ relatives in the upcoming regional elections, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD has said that the nepotism is not against the law, nor is it inherently contradictory to the country’s democracy.According to Mahfud, the practice of nepotism is inevitable in any major political event, including the regional elections set to take place on Dec. 9.“Many of us may dislike nepotism. But we have to admit, there’s no legal or constitutional reason to prevent a person from being running for office based on nepotism or [family connections],” Mahfud said during an online discussion on Saturday as quoted by kompas.com.last_img read more

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Governor Wolf: Trump Administration’s Fuel Economy Plan Rips off PA Consumers, Workers, Communities

By on October 16, 2020

first_imgGovernor Wolf: Trump Administration’s Fuel Economy Plan Rips off PA Consumers, Workers, Communities Economy,  Energy,  National Issues,  Press Release,  Statement Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf issued the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Trump Administration’s plan to weaken current fuel efficiency standards:“The EPA’s plan to weaken fuel economy standards hurts Pennsylvania’s consumers, workers, and everyone who wants to breathe cleaner air. Fuel economy standards are lowering gas bills, spurring innovation to create jobs, keeping air cleaner, and creating demand for cleaner domestic energy and renewable technology,” said Governor Wolf.“The current standards have led to the development of new technologies, manufacturing innovation, and new jobs throughout the U.S., while reducing consumer expenditures on gasoline. These standards were developed with substantial public input and rely on scientific evidence to promote advanced vehicle technologies and reduce air pollution, while saving Pennsylvanians at the pump.“Rolling back these standards will cost consumers every time they fuel up and is another example of the Trump Administration’s disregard for its responsibility to protect the health and safety of American citizens. At a time when advanced manufacturers are expanding in Pennsylvania and developing the next generation of clean vehicle technologies, we need to encourage innovation, not turn back the clock. I strongly urge the EPA to prioritize public health over special interests and abandon this reckless plan to roll back fuel savings standards.” SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img April 04, 2018last_img read more

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​KLP sues Danske Bank after scandal deals €12m blow to shareholding

By on September 29, 2020

first_imgBergan described the lawsuit KLP had joined – which is seeking DKK1.5bn (€201m) in damages – as a very standard class action.“We participate in class actions quite often; whenever there is money on the table we claim our right in the settlement, and monitoring the cases that are out there is a service we get from an external provider,” she said, adding that in certain jurisdictions, including Europe, it was necessary to be part of the action from the beginning in order to be part of the settlement.While KLP would opt out of any collective actions it thought were unreasonable, she said this particular case was not considered as such.Sigetty told IPE the plaintiffs in his action were mostly pension funds, asset management trusts and similar entities.“The investors suffered losses because Danske Bank did not comply with the money laundry legislation and its obligations to inform the market of important matters,” he said.“When this was reported by the press, the shares dropped more than 50% over time as matters were revealed,” said Sigetty. Norway’s Kommunal landspensjonskasse (KLP) has confirmed it has joined one of the many investor lawsuits now underway to seek compensation from Denmark’s biggest bank after a huge money-laundering scandal halved the value of its shares in two years.KLP is one of 63 plaintiffs in a writ submitted on 27 December 2019 in the Copenhagen district court by lawyer Ole Sigetty, partner at the firm Németh Sigetty.Jeanett Bergan, KLP’s head of responsible investment, told IPE: “In the last two years, our holdings of Danske Bank equities have lost half of their value as a result of the money-laundering case.”The NOK745bn (€75bn) pension fund’s stake in the Danish bank is now worth NOK120m, she said, providing a figure which implies the fund lost around €12m. Danske Bank headquarters in CopenhagenThis collective lawsuit is only one of the class actions being brought against Danske Bank for investment losses suffered as a result of the affair that pension funds have joined.Danish law firm Njord is working on a case and partner Thomas Ryhl told IPE it expects to file well before the end of this year.“We expect to file the joint claims of a double-digit number of large institutional investors, each representing a number of savings and pensions funds,” he said.A year ago, the firm said it assessed that Danske Bank had failed to comply with its obligations to disclose information to the market about the gravity and scale of the money laundering issues in a timely manner — which resulted in inflated prices for the bank’s share.Ryhl said he would argue that since then, the actions of public authorities and other claimants, as well as the stories covered by the media, had only served to further strengthen the case against Danske Bank.In October 2019, US law firm Grant & Eisenhofer said a second wave of lawsuits in a case it was bringing had been filed in Copenhagen’s city court by an international coalition of institutional investors in the ongoing financial fraud case against Danske Bank.Olav Haazen, a firm director who represents the investor group, told IPE the group included five pension funds from three Scandinavian countries.“Class actions are an important part of the legal system to provide a justice tool for smaller individuals”Jeanett Bergan, head of responsible investment at KLP“Since the second wave of filings, we have over 200 institutional investor claims and our damages claims are approximately $800m,” adding that with a third wave of claims his firm would file in February, this figure would probably reach €1bn.In a general comment on the class actions, Danske Bank said in a statement it was defending itself against these claims.“The timing and completion of any such lawsuit is uncertain, and we consider any development together with our external counsel. At this stage, we have no further comments,” the bank said.Bergan said that despite the legal case, KLP was on good, cooperative terms with Danske Bank.“We have a very good dialogue with Danske Bank, and they are now making sure they have the AML (anti-money laundering) system in place to lower future risks,” said Bergan.“A lot of people would criticise investors for being part of these cases, because it is the shareholders who carry the cost of them. But at the same time, if we didn’t take part, we would lose out because we would not benefit from the recovery,” she said.Bergan said it was also important to be involved for the sake of broader corporate responsibility, and the necessity of having it tested in law.“Class actions are an important part of the legal system to provide a justice tool for smaller individuals,” she added.last_img read more

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Wärtsilä Re-Liquefaction Plants Ordered for New LNG Carriers

By on September 28, 2020

first_imgFinnish engineering company Wärtsilä has won a deal to supply its re-liquefaction plants to three liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, currently under construction.One of the vessels in question is being built at South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) yard for the international owner and operator Gaslog. The other two are for Norway-based Knutsen and are being built at the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) yard. The ships were ordered in April, May and June 2017, respectively.The re-liquefaction plant ordered for these vessels features Wärtsilä’s latest mixed refrigerant (MR) technology, an energy efficient solution for smaller liquefaction applications. The new installation will have a capacity of 1.5 – 2.5 tons/hour (t/h). The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled for delivery commencing February 2018.“We are proud of the success of Wärtsilä’s advanced re-liquefaction plants based on MR technology, and this success is reflected in these latest orders,” Timo Koponen, Vice President, Flow & Gas Solutions at Wärtsilä Marine Solutions, said.last_img read more

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