February 2006 Press Release
B.V. Nails Closed by Vermont Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists- February 10, 2006
Secretary of State Honors Vermonters for Their Contributions to Democracy - February 13, 2006
New Business Starts Stay Strong in 2005 - February 22, 2006
Vermont Secretary of State
Office of Professional Regulation
For Immediate Release:
February 10, 2006
B.V. Nails Closed by Vermont Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists
On February 8, 2006 the Vermont Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists closed B.V. Nails, located at 210 Northside Drive in Bennington by suspending its shop license. The Board also suspended the manicurist license of the shop's owner, Thong Ngo. The Board's order of suspension was based on its finding that the shop violated sanitation standards and that unlicensed people were providing services. The suspensions will stay in effect pending further proceedings.
Vermont Secretary of State
For Immediate Release:
February 13, 2006
Secretary of State Honors Vermonters for Their Contributions to Democracy
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz is joined by Governor Jim Douglas and Representative Bernie Sanders in recognizing six Vermonters during a statehouse ceremony.
Montpelier. Secretary of State Deb Markowitz today honored six Vermont citizens who have demonstrated a strong commitment to promoting the tenets of democracy. Former U.S. Congressman Richard Mallary was the featured speaker at the event and both Governor Douglas and Rep. Bernie Sanders stopped by to offer words of congratulations. Markowitz presented the National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award to Vee Gordon, a longtime member of the Vermont League of Women Voters, Senator William Doyle of Washington County and William Haines, a retired social studies teacher and director of Project Citizen, a civics program for middle school students.
The Medallion Award Program is a program established by the National Association of Secretaries of State in 2001 to honor individuals, groups, or organizations with an established record of promoting the goals of NASS in one or more of the following areas: Improving elections, with special emphasis on voter education and increasing voter participation; civic education, including the teaching, promotion, and study of this subject; and service to state government--specifically, as it relates to improving democracy in the state.
Markowitz also presented the Vermont Secretary of State Enduring Democracy Award to Robert Paolini, the Executive Director of the Vermont Bar Association, Benson Scotch, Former Executive Director of the Vermont ACLU and Candace Page a long time reporter at Burlington Free Press.
The Vermont Secretary of State Enduring Democracy Award honors individuals and organizations that have shown an outstanding commitment to promoting democracy in the Vermont.
Markowitz said, “These six Vermonters represent the true spirit of democracy. They are all shining examples of creative participation in the democratic process. They lead by example and they actively teach others how to participate. All of them deserve recognition for their efforts to enhance and improve our democracy and all of them deserve our thanks.”
Background information on this year’s winners is as follows:
National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Awards:
Vee Gordon has generously contributed countless hours to the League of Women Voters organization in Vermont where she is a past president. She has been a fixture in the Vermont Statehouse for many years where she carefully monitors the House and Senate committees on a variety of issues including civic education, election reform and others. Many years ago, she spearheaded a League of Women Voter’s project that involved producing a film and companion book called Funding Education in Vermont. Vee’s mission to bring civics back in to schools is well known and appreciated by lawmakers, teachers and community members. She is part of the Vermont Civics Steering Committee which just recently held the first ever Civics Summit in Vermont at the State House for teachers and school administrators. As June Carmichael, the long time treasurer of the League of Women Voters says, “when you put Vee in charge of something—it always gets done.” We are grateful for her 30+ years of service to the League of Women Voters and to the state of Vermont.
Senator Bill Doyle has devoted his life to public service, the furthering of civics in Vermont, and the safeguarding of our democracy. He has been a State Senator since 1969 and a professor of government at Johnson State College from 1958 to the present. During his lengthy career in the statehouse Senator Doyle served on the Senate Government Operations Committee which provides principal oversight of Vermont’s elections. For many years he served as its chair. Senator Doyle works tirelessly to improve Vermont’s democracy and to encourage others to get involved in the political process. To this end, he makes it a point to get his students involved in government and he has provided countless opportunities for Vermont youth to spend time at the State House. Senator Doyle is well known for his annual town meeting survey which informs the legislature about important policy issues concerning Vermonters. Senator Doyle also writes a weekly Vermont History column and he has authored several publications about Vermont politics and history. Senator Bill’s lifelong commitment to public service and to improving our democracy is a gift to Vermont that deserves our recognition and thanks.
William Haines, during his long career in education, has shown a remarkable commitment to teaching Vermont youth about what it means to be responsible members of a democratic society. Bill was a beloved social studies teacher at Montpelier High School. When he retired from teaching, he took on Project Citizen, a middle school civic education program designed to engender interest in public policy. Bill has worked across Vermont helping teachers integrate this hands-on program into their curriculum, and he has greatly expanded the number of participating schools. Project Citizen is a success in Vermont because of his hand-on approach, and by working directly with the students involved he has ensured that their experiences will have a lasting impact. In addition to his work with Project Citizen, Bill is the Secretary of The Vermont Debate and Forsenics League, and he has coached the debate team at Montpelier High School for many years. He also serves as Chair of the Worcester Selectboard, as town meeting moderator, as a school board member, and as president of the volunteer fire department. Bill’s dedication to civic education and democratic involvement has inspired a generation.
Vermont Secretary of State Enduring Democracy Award:
Robert Paolini, in his role as Executive Director of the Vermont Bar Association, has made it a priority to support the movement in Vermont to bring civics alive in our classrooms. Under Bob’s leadership, The Vermont Bar Association donated many hours to coordinate the first ever Vermont Civics Summit for teachers and administrators at the Statehouse. Bob also chairs the Vermont Civics Steering Committee. His dedication has made a tremendous difference in communicating the message about the importance of civics education. Under Bob’s leadership the Vermont Bar Association developed the Center for Public Education with a weekly public access television show and brochures to inform Vermonters about the many laws that affect us and to encourage a greater appreciation of the importance of the legal system to our democracy. Before bringing his talents to the Vermont Bar Association, Bob served two terms (1987 – 1991) in the VT House representing the towns of Waterbury, Duxbury, and Huntington. The State of Vermont is lucky to have Bob at The Vermont Bar Association – educating Vermonters about the legal system and making civics in schools a priority.
Benson Scotch, the recently retired Executive Director of the ACLU, has spent his entire legal career working to enhance and improve our democracy. At the ACLU Ben worked hard to highlight the importance to our democracy of protecting the individual rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the Vermont Constitution. Prior to serving with the ACLU, Ben was Senior Staff Attorney to the Vermont Supreme Court for 15 years. A Harvard Law School graduate, Ben began his career in public service by working for a summer at the Association of American Indian Affairs. He then became a member of the legal board of the American Jewish Committee, a civil liberties organization in NYC. During the 1970’s Ben was the Assistant Attorney General in Vermont, with a focus on environmental enforcement. Ben then served as Staff Counsel to Senator Patrick Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Whether by sticking up for our civil rights with the ACLU, or by influencing important decisions about Vermont’s system of justice as counsel to the Vermont Supreme Court, or working on issues of national importance as staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ben used his considerable intellectual and legal skills in the service of democracy and the public interest.
Candace Page is a senior reporter covering environmental and farm issues at the Burlington Free Press, where she has worked since 1981. The free press serves and important role in our democracy by holding government leaders accountable to the people, publicizing issues that need attention, educating citizens so they can make informed decisions, and connecting people with each other in civil society. Candy is a lifelong Vermonter whose love of Vermont and commitment to accurate and insightful reporting has helped to strengthen Vermont’s democracy. During her distinguished career at the Burlington Free Press, Candy has served in many capacities, including among others, as the Capitol Bureau chief, editorial page editor, city hall reporter and managing editor. In addition to her work as a reporter, she also oversees training for the newsroom. Candy has received many regional and national awards over the years for her writing, projects and editorials. We are lucky to have her as one of Vermont’s most respected news reporters.
Past recipients of the NASS Medallion Awards in Vermont include Rep. Denise Barnard, Earl Haynes of The Rutland Herald, and Bennington College student Shira Sternberg. Past recipients of the Secretary of State’s Enduring Democracy Awards include former legislator Judy Crowley and Larry Coffin, a teacher at Oxbow High School.
Vermont Secretary of State
For Immediate Release:
February 22, 2006
New Business Starts Stay Strong in 2005
Filings with Vermont's Secretary of State's Office Show New Business Starts leveled off in 2005
Montpelier. Secretary of State Deb Markowitz announced today that the number of new businesses registered with her office's Corporations Division during the year 2005 has leveled off. In 2005, 9,358 new business entities were formed in Vermont. These numbers include newly formed Vermont domestic, professional and foreign corporations, tradenames and LLCs. In 2004, the 9328 new business starts represented the highest number of new filings Markowitz’s office had seen in over a decade. The fact that the new businesses registered in Vermont have leveled off at this strong rate may mean that we can expect to continue to see strong interest in starting businesses in Vermont.
"That nearly ten thousand new businesses registered this year is good news,” said Secretary Markowitz. "Our business-starts statistic is a good barometer of confidence within the business community and shows that Vermont's economy continues to be strong," Markowitz said. According to Markowitz, corporate dissolutions have continued to stabilize. The 504 dissolutions in 2005 represent a small decrease from the 525 dissolutions in 2004.
The 9,358 new Vermont business starts in 2005 include businesses that have been formed as corporations, as limited liability corporations and those using a tradename. Markowitz said “not every form of business entity saw growth this year. As in the past few years, much of this year’s increase comes from a jump in new businesses forming as limited liability corporations (LLC).” The 3124 new LLCs registered in 2005 reflect an increase of over 300 from the 2,801 newly registered in 2004. Markowitz said, “It is notable that the registration of new LLCs continue to drive the overall growth in Vermont’s business starts. Over the past five years the number of new LLCs has increased by about 300 a year,” said Secretary Markowitz. “It is not surprising that there continues to be a lot of activity among limited liability corporations," said Markowitz. "LLCs are the wave of the future in the business community because they offer both flexibility in organizational structure and tax status. It will be interesting to see how much more growth in new filings we experience with this business entity before filings begin to level off."
Markowitz said “The 975 new foreign corporations filed in 2005 represent a decrease of about 121 from the new filings registered in 2004. In addition, we have seen a reduction in the number of registration of new tradenames, with 4212 new tradenames filed this year as compared to 4,296 filed in 2004.”
In addition to seeing a steadying in growth for certain for-profit enterprises, the Secretary of State's office also experienced a small increase in filings of new non-profit corporations. For the past five years there has been nearly 400 new non-profit corporations registered each year. This year 457 new non-profit corporations registered in Vermont.
The Office of the Vermont Secretary of State licenses and registers foreign and domestic corporations, non-profits, LLCs, and tradenames and is the repository for Uniform Commercial Code filings. Information about the services offered by the Corporations Division, including registration forms and searchable databases, is available at www.sec.state.vt.us.
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