ESSEX JUNCTION – The 83rd annual Champlain Valley Fair had one its best seasons ever with 299,168 people – about 1,500 more than 2003 – coming through the gates during the annual 10-day fair, held Aug. 28 to Sept. 6. The slight increase in attendance was due, in part, to enjoying one of the Vermont summers longest stretches of sunny weather during the final week of the fair. From an informal survey of license plates on the grounds, visitors from 41 states and several Canadian provinces attended the fair. From the standpoint of operations and quality, this was an outstanding fair, said David F. Grimm, general manager of the Exposition. We had excellent diversity in our grandstand which accounted for a 15% improvement over 2003. We received many positive comments about the cleanliness of our grounds, the variety of entertainment and the improvements we added this year. The Fair hosted two sell-out concerts for country music superstars Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith. The Fair opened with the good vibes of The Beach Boys. Other concerts included local jam bands Strangefolk and The Samples; a rocking Friday night concert with ZZ Top and nostalgic 35th anniversary tour concert by classic rock band, Yes on the second Saturday night. The remainder of the midweek grandstand shows included a freestyle motorcycle thrill show, Figure 8 Racing, a Demolition Derby and NTPA Grand National Tractor and Truck Pull on Labor Day.The Reithoffers Midway featured 35 rides and many special ride and admission discounts over the 10 days.Free daily entertainment included a live bear show, butter sculpture, an aerial thrill show, a juggling family, hypnotist, caricature artist, racing pigs, petting zoo, musicians and an authentic cowboy chuck wagon. Some $75,000 in competition premiums and prize money was awarded during the fair. Significant increases in entries to the art and photography department were realized, including a Best of Show landscape oil painting which carried a record-setting price tag of $12,000. A heavyweight pumpkin record was set at 1,042-pound pumpkin (previous record: 1,036 pounds in 2003) and it was one of the big surprises in the agricultural area considering the wet summer in the region. More than 150 people, including Vt. Gov. James Douglas, were on hand to honor the 2004 inductees into the Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame at the Champlain Valley Exposition in a ceremony held during the Fair.International Association of Fairs and Expositions popular summer Read and Win program was offered locally to area youngsters, grades K 5 in five counties. Approximately 1,000 completed the assignment of reading three books over the summer and received free admission to the fair on Aug. 30. Significant improvements were made to the fairgrounds and facilities over the summer for this years fair including the addition of $350,000 three-lane paved road connecting Route 15 and Route 2 to Exposition parking areas; a complete renovation of the Ware Building, including heating and air conditioning for the exhibit hall; and general fix-up and repainting of buildings and landscaping. The 2005 Champlain Valley Fair is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 27 to Monday, Sept. 5. Photos from the 2004 Champlain Valley Fair are posted in day-by-day photo albums at www.cvfair.com(link is external), which also include information about the Expositions year-round calendar of events.
Zutano, the Vermont-based designer of children’s clothing and toys and Northshire Bookstore, the Manchester, VT-based independent bookstore, are proud to announce that they will be launching a Zutano “store-within-a-store” in the upstairs children’s department on June 8th. The Zutano store captures the whimsical essence of Zutano, known for its one-of-a kind colorful patterns and stylish design. The space is modeled after Zutano’s flagship store in Montpelier as well as their store within New York City’s famed FAO Schwarz Toy Store. White-washed bead board wainscoting meets walls painted with Zutano’s signature sunny yellow. The center of the 250 sq. ft. space features an amazing sculptural display made of ‘tumbling’ red baby chairs with spaces for Zutano clothes to hang. A fantastic chandelier created from baby milk bottles casts a warm glow over the entire space. A fixture in the Manchester community for three decades, the Northshire Bookstore is intensely independent. They are deeply connected to the community, authors and Vermont. Housed in a historic, three-story 10,000-square-foot building, the Northshire Bookstore was founded by the Morrow family in 1976. The store, now run by the owners’ son Chris Morrow, has survived in this digital age through its relentless focus on customer service and listening to what customers want. It serves more that 200,000 customers a year, offers 35,000 titles and brings in authors to speak every week. It even provides a “Print on Demand’ service that can print customers’ books while they shop or enjoy lunch at the wonderful Spiral Press CafÃ©Zutano, available at more than 1,500 gift and specialty boutiques and retailers worldwide as well as on the web at select e-tailers and the Zutano e-boutique will offer its full product line, from newborn to toddler, of sweet and sophisticated designs to Northshire customers. The store will be staffed by a specially-trained Northshire employee who will know all of the facets of the Zutano product line.”We are thrilled to be working with the Northshire Bookstore, it’s an ideal Vermont business partnership come true,” says Michael Belenky, President of Zutano. “We share so many of the same business philosophies and lifelong dedication to our community in Vermont. Both Zutano and The Northshire have worked many years to build sustainable, long-term partnerships that are economically just and socially sound. Both companies create and nurture policies that help the community we live in thrive at its fullest potential. Being able to join forces and work together with such an anchor in the Manchester community is very special.” “We are really excited to have Zutano’s presence at the Northshire,” says Chris Morrow, owner of the Northshire Bookstore. “We are putting more and more effort into making our Children’s section world class. This is a great opportunity for both partners, as Zutano represents an internationally-respected brand with deep roots in Vermont and the store will be an amazing complement to our product offerings in the children’s department.”For Zutano, 2009 marks the company’s 20th year of creating the most colorful and creative clothing designs for children around the globe. Evolving from a New York City apartment into one of the most beloved and influential brands in children’s fashion, Zutano continues full-force as a category leader for design innovation and as a solid example of a sustainable global business in the hills of Vermont.The Northshire Bookstore is located at 4869 Main Street, Manchester Center, Vermont.Source: Zutano. Cabot, VT, June 8, 2009 –
The 89 funds within the UK local government pension scheme (LGPS) should pool assets into two or three infrastructure pools to service the half a dozen multi-asset arrangements, according to BNY Mellon, which also called for the government to stop promoting a “passive investment is best” agenda and mandate a uniform approach to discount rates.The recommendations, among others, were made in the investment company’s submission to the government’s consultation on reforms to the LGPS, which closes on Friday.BNY Mellon said the government’s asset pooling proposals would help drive down costs, achieve better investment outcomes and stimulate new infrastructure investment.It took issue, however, with certain aspects of the government’s position – for example, for advocating that LGPS should increase their use of passive management to lower management costs. It described this as promotion of a “passive investment is best” agenda.Paul Traynor, international head of pensions and insurance segments at BNY Mellon, said the government’s proposals “confuse price and value”, and that active management was “worth paying for”.“LGPSs shouldn’t move into passives and hope for the best,” he said. In the context of the government’s aspiration for the consolidation of the LGPS to boost infrastructure investment, BNY Mellon said two or three “infrastructure superpools” should be created rather than each of the six asset pools proposed by the government having their own infrastructure pool.While six LGPS pools “seems sensible”, said Traynor, BNY Mellon also said six LGPS infrastracture players was “too many”.“[F]rom an infrastructure perspective, limiting it further to two or three pools with portfolios in excess of £6bn (€7.7bn) would create even more synergies,” said Traynor.Others have previously suggested a single infrastructure pool should be created, but BNY Mellon said it would lack competition even though it would provide even greater scale.BNY Mellon’s report, entitled ‘LGPS Pooling: The Collective Good?’, said several factors, such as a growing population and low interest rates, support the government’s proposals for increased LGPS investment in infrastructure.But Traynor warned that the LGPS “shouldn’t be seen as an easy way to plug the nation’s funding gap”, citing the risks that come with investment in this asset class, such as construction and reputational risk.From social housing to discount ratesBNY Mellon makes eight recommendations in total, for the schemes and the government.They are wide-ranging, with the remainder addressing issues such as the formal structure of the LGPS pools, tax efficiency and the importance of allowing competition among pools.The investment manager also calls on the government to clarify its policy on social housing and IORP II, the EU directive on occupational pension funds currently being revised, “to give certainty to potential investors”.Another recommendation is for a “proper governance structure” to be established with respect to the decision-making powers of LGPS pools “to safeguard fiduciary duties of the trustee and prevent breaches of European Union competition laws and rules governing collective investments”.The final recommendation is for “some” local authorities to own up to the cashflow challenges they face in the medium to long term.“Whatever the overall health of the LGPS’s funding, some outlier local authorities are on course to face significant challenges to their ability to pay retirees pensions in the medium to long term,” said the investment manager.“The sooner these challenges are faced, the easier it will be to address them.”BNY Mellon also raised the issue of schemes’ funding from the point of view of data accuracy, noting that local authorities use different discount rates that make meaningful comparisons difficult and could be a stumbling block in the context of deciding on pools to partner with.To address this issue, it said the government should mandate a uniform approach to discount rates to facilitate the partnering process.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to BNY Mellon report: ‘LGPS Pooling: The Collective Good?’
Party on the highway? Sounds different and dangerous, and it happened on I-95 in Palm Beach County last weekend.Now, the FHP plans to step up its patrols.According to arrest reports, 26-year-old Alef Almeida and his passenger, 32-year-old Leonardo Lopes de Almeida, joined a large group of vehicles to do “doughnuts” early Saturday morning in the northbound lanes in Boynton Beach.Traffic was backed up for several miles, as the video obtained by The Palm Beach Post shows several vehicles spinning in circles and narrowly missing people standing feet away.The stunt led to Alef Almeida being charged with reckless driving, stopping traffic for a race competition and driving a motor vehicle while racing on a highway, parking lot or roadway.Meanwhile, Leonardo Lopes de Almeida faces one charge of riding as a passenger in a race competition.Both men, who are from Broward County, left the Palm Beach County Jail several hours later on their own recognizance.The other vehicles involved left the scene before FHP arrived.FHP Lt. Yanko Reyes told The Post, “We’re increasing our vigilance through the midnight shifts to make sure we deter these individuals.”Watch the video, obtained from The Palm Beach Post and our news partner, WPTV NewsChannel 5: