January 21, 2021

Governor Shumlin wants Entergy to pay Vermont’s legal expenses

first_imgNorthstar Vermont Yankee,by Anne Galloway, www.vtdigger.org(link is external) April 30, 2011 The Shumlin administration wants Entergy Corp to pay for any legal expenses the state may incur as it defends itself against a lawsuit Entergy initiated against the state two weeks ago.That counterintuitive payment approach is called a ‘billback,’ according to a Department of Public Service official, who assured the Senate Finance Committee on Friday, such legal maneuvers are ‘an age-old tradition.’If the state, for example, was bringing a case in front of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, it could charge Entergy for the cost of hiring experts and lawyers, according to Sarah Hofmann, deputy commissioner of the Department of Public Service. The ‘causer,’ or the entity that caused the need for a legal suit, is liable for the cost, she said.The ‘bill backs’ would be effective immediately if the Legislature adopts the new statutory language as part of H.56, the omnibus energy bill, which was unanimously voted out of committee on Friday. The bill will go to the floor of the Senate early next week.The change in statute would make Entergy Corp. liable for the state’s legal expenses, including responses to public records requests and the preparation of litigation in the case, which the corporation lodged against the state in U.S District Court in Burlington.Entergy alleges that the state went back on its word when the Legislature passed a law in 2006 requiring Entergy to obtain permission from lawmakers on a license extension for Vermont Yankee, which is, under a 2002 memorandum of understanding, set to shut down March 21, 2012. The Louisiana-based nuclear power company’s case is based on the question of pre-emption. Entergy argues in its complaint that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which approved a new license for the company in March, has pre-emptive authority over state law.Attorney General Bill Sorrell has said the suit could be protracted and potentially costly if it goes all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. CORRECTED Just this week, Sorrell’s office may have lost a data mining case heard by the Supreme Court Justices. Cheryl Hanna, a legal expert and professorwith Vermont Law School, wrote in an opinion piece last week that sheanticipates if Vermont loses the case, in which it defended a new law regulating access to physician records, it will likely cost the state about $1 million.A court would rule on who would pay the damages in the Entergy lawsuit, Hofmann said. And the state, if it loses, could be responsible for not only its own legal costs, but also those of the plaintiff.Sen. Randy Brock, R-Grand Isle-Franklin, asked Hofmann: ‘Is it common that if someone sues us that they charge us legal fees for representing us in that lawsuit?’He put it another way: ‘If a state vehicle runs me over and I sue the state, the state requires me to pay for experts hired by the state to testify against me.’Hofmann replied that ‘It’s not unusual to see a bill back for the cost to the causer.’ At the end of the litigation, the federal judge decides who gets awards for attorneys’ fees and costs.The Vermont Attorney General’s office and Shumlin’s legal counsel Beth Robinson support the change in statute.‘We stand firmly behind the language,’ Robinson said. ‘We think it’s the right thing to do.’  Anne Galloway is editor of vtdigger.orglast_img read more

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Faced with the challenge of digital disruption, we must question everything

first_img 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Greg Crandell Greg Crandell provides strategy, market planning, business development, and management consulting to financial technology firms and their clients – Credit Unions and Banks. For more years than he wishes to admit, … Web: queryconsultinggroup.com Details News Flash!  Digital disruption is rapidly changing the financial services marketplace, and you need to ACT NOW if you wish to remain relevant.The above really isn’t “new” news.  Since the advent of the Internet we’ve all been moving toward a digital landscape that requires we think again about the ways in which we deliver service and our abilities to compete and to survive.  No day passes in our industry without multitudes of people writing about and talking about the direction credit unions must head if they wish to thrive.I’ve been thinking hard about the ability to thrive in this digital age of business.  And I’m especially interested in how the vast majority of credit unions, those under $1 billion assets, can thrive.  I can’t help but wonder how relevant is the advice given to our industry regarding what it takes to thrive in a world focused on data and digital technology when it’s not clear how many of our credit unions can survive in this business environment, given their limited resources.Is it wrong for credit unions under $1 billion in assets to expect to survive?  Is the asset number even larger, $3-$5 billion? Can credit unions “well under” $1 billion or more in assets find a sustainable path forward?  Should they even try?For some, these questions are insulting to ask.  But they must be asked and answered by each and every credit union,  especially by those credit union leaders who read all the words and hear all the talk and go back to their offices and ask themselves “how can we do this, given how little we have to invest and how little risk we can accept?”Where We StandDigital disruption continues to rapidly change our world. The pace of change is not going to slow.  And everyone appears to agree that credit unions, if they wish to succeed, must not only provide superior experiences for everyone but also decide and act with more speed and agility. The challenges presented by most everyone I read or listen to are focused on “strategy, engagement, technology, experience and culture.”  All of these are topics worthy of research, debate, and action. They are the areas in which credit unions must engage fully if they are to find successful paths forward.  And some of them will. But what do you do if your credit union does not have the resources (money and people) to invest in all the work that must be done to succeed in this digital age?  Do you quit? Or do you find another way?Why $1 Billion, or $3-5 Billion?I’ve been involved in financial services and fintech for more than 3 decades and remember well that the answer to the question of “how big do you have to be to succeed going forward?” was always “twice the size we are today.”  That answer always earned a chuckle, but always sounded “about right.” After all, who wouldn’t be better off with more resources?But that answer no longer rings true to me.  Today, twice $100 million in assets won’t get the job done. We have entered a world where technology demands constant care and feeding.  Change is the new black; and there’s no going back. The costs paid to remain technically relevant (and data savvy) are too large and too constant for credit unions of insufficient size and resource to tackle alone.   And, more often than not, researchers find that financial institutions of all stripes need $3 -5 billion or more in assets to fund the necessary efforts to stay relevant. We may not like it. But it is likely true.Digital transformation demands we ask again, can we succeed on our own?Thoughtful, experienced leaders talk about digital transformation as if it were something new.  It’s not. Digital transformation is quite simply the name given to the latest business environment changes that demand strategic response. Technology has brought us a changed environment that we must respond to, as we responded to legal and regulatory changes that upended how we did business in the past.  What is different from past changes, is the size and scope of the impact. And this time, that impact might demand a radical response for those who can’t meet the change on their own. This reality is why we need to talk about strategy in the digital age, and not talk only about digital transformation. We have to think about our organization’s ability to respond to the challenges confronting us before we talk about the broadly-framed responses offered by others, and how those responses might work for us.Collaboration and Consolidation of Resources Might be Your Only Path ForwardTechnology has taken us to a place where surviving may be harder than ever, and we need to confront this fact directly.  Our largest credit unions may well have the resources to compete on their own. But the rest of us may need to reach out to other credit unions to gain the scale of operations (and money, and people) needed to move forward and to thrive. Our industry has done great things together.  We formed Corporate Credit Unions and CUSOs to gain scale in payments, investments, technology and more.  We came together to research challenges and find opportunities. And we talk together, a lot. But outside of the small group of our largest credit unions, we will likely find that the rest of us must now focus our efforts on consolidating our resources to meet the data and technology-driven challenges now upon us.  Either that, or we start talking about how long we can survive, rather than how we can thrive.And This Path May Only Be Followed by Small and Mid-size Credit UnionsNow, the big question: if our billion-dollar credit unions have the resources to act on their own, collaboration and consolidation by other credit unions may have to take a very different form from what we’ve asked of each other in the past.  For in the past, we hoped both large and small credit unions could work together to reach economies of scale using aggregated capital and resources largely provided by the larger credit unions. But now, the vast majority of credit unions, those well under the $1 billion and up category, may be the only ones that must come together to find the answers and scale of operations to survive, and then to thrive. Can we learn from the largest credit unions?  Yes. Should we rely upon them? Maybe not.Faced with These Challenges, We Must Be Willing to Question EverythingThe above is a “big thing.”  It’s seemingly more painful to consider than is the topic of digital transformation, because it asks us to question both our past behavior and our future course.  And it asks us to consider a model of cooperation we have largely avoided to date; but we cannot pick and choose when confronted with existential circumstances. We have to find a way forward and all paths (and questions) have to be considered.  And we need to realize this and discuss it. Here’s to embracing the notion of “questioning everything”, including our ability to work together and our reasons for being.last_img read more

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Rio 2016 was an ‘iconic Games,’ says IOC’s Bach

first_imgBy Karolos GrohmannRIO DE JANEIRO,(Reuters)-The Rio de Janeiro Olympics, which come to an end today, were an iconic Games despite a long list of problems and a lack of cash, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said yesterday.A day before the closing ceremony of the first Olympics in South America, Bach said the performances of athletics combined with the purpose-built venues had made the Games a success and proved less affluent nations could host the Olympics.“These were and still are iconic Olympic Games in many respects,” Bach told reporters.“We have seen iconic athletes across all sports, seen athletes who were icons and even strengthened their positions like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. And others who became icons here.“We all saw the level of competition over all sports was extremely high, with stunning performances from the athletes. This really is the spirit of the Games,” he said.Rio organisers struggled with transportation, security, empty stands and a shortage of funds as Brazil was gripped by its worst recession since the 1930s, with political turmoil further hampering preparations.Rio won the right to host the Games in 2009 amid a booming economy but due to a severe economic crisis over the past few years organizers had to get advance payments from the IOC while also asking for public funds to complete preparations.Bach defended the IOC’s choice of Rio saying it would have again chosen the Brazilian city because the Olympics were staged “in the middle of reality”.“I think this is a really iconic Games. It is also Games in the middle of reality. They were not organized in a bubble. They were organized in a city where there are social problems, social divides, where real life continued and I think it was very good for everybody.“To be close to reality and not to have it in a bubble for 16 days, the Games somehow being isolated. To be in the middle of it, to see reality and by seeing this to put sport into perspective.”Organisers, who had pledged Rio would be the safest city in the world during the Olympics, repeatedly had to apologize for incidents of crime involving athletes, media or visitors.Critics had said the Games were the last thing Brazil needed, with money better spent on social welfare projects instead.An ongoing political crisis with suspended President Dilma Rousseff facing an impeachment trial and interim President Michel Temer being deeply unpopular, only added to the Games’ problems.“The IOC has shown that it is possible to organise Olympic Games also in countries which are not at the top of the GDP (gross domestic product) ranking,” Bach said. “It has shown great solidarity and seen great solidarity.“We have shown that we are ready to face social reality and to address this.”last_img read more

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Black Bombers confident of qualifying more boxers to Olympics

first_imgThe Amateur Boxing Federation is confident of qualifying a considerable number of boxers to the Olympics later this year after a string of outstanding stunning performances at a try-out championship in Benin over the weekend.All six boxers who featured at the championship won their bouts convincingly against African power houses including Nigeria, Togo, and hosts Benin.According to the President of the Amateur Federation, Gideon Quartey, despite it being a preparatory tournament ahead of their main qualifiers, the boxing federation is convinced the team will put up a good show in Cameroun  later this month to qualify for the multisport event in Rio.“The three nation tournament went on well for the boxers, four of our boxers who went for the tournament won and two lost.”“I think boxing is possible of qualifying for the Olympics and that’s the challenge boxing now and that’s the challenge now.”The Association have been hampered with a luck of funds but the President insists that they are doing their best for the promising boxers. “We have told our boxers to do their best and qualify whilst we deal with the others.”Four Black Bomber qualified to 2012 London Olympics.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

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