The devastation from Tropical Storm Irene is evident throughout Vermont, from flood-blasted bridges to wrecked roadways to mud-crusted houses. But it’s the impact on small local businesses that got Todd Bailey motivated to create a statewide relief fund. The Vermont Irene Flood Relief Fund, administered by Central Vermont Community Action, will raise funds to help affected business owners get their doors open quickly. Donations can be made online or by check (www.vtirenefund.org(link is external)) and fellow businesses in unaffected areas of the state and around country will be holding fundraising events to support the effort. Bailey, a Montpelier communications professional at KSE Partners, has partnered with local organizations to launch the Vermont Irene Flood Relief Fund. Central Vermont Community Action Council will be acting as the fiscal agent, accepting these donations and providing the grant funds to businesses. The Vermont Irene Flood Relief Fund will be focused on raising funds to support small businesses affected by the flooding. Funds raised will be disbursed as cash grants, designed to help businesses keep operating through the immediate aftermath and storm clean-up. Bailey explains the rationale: ‘ Small businesses all over the state are digging out. They are paying employees to clean up and rebuild ‘ and in the meantime, no money is coming in. A short-term grant can be a lifeline for a local store ‘ and we need our businesses ready to go for the critical tourist season.’ Bailey launched a similar effort in Montpelier after the late May flooding damaged inventory and equipment for many downtown businesses. His grassroots fundraising effort ‘ begun with a ‘boot-filling’ on the State House lawn ‘ ultimately raised $27,000. Hal Cohen, Executive Director of Central Vermont Community Action Council, echoed the need for these funds. ‘Many small and micro businesses do not have the ready cash to carry them through a disaster, and it can take a while before loans are made available. This kind of support can be an excellent way to fill the gaps and keep small businesses in downtowns and village centers intact. We’re proud to partner on this statewide effort.’ Donation information can be found athttp://www.vtirenefund.org/(link is external). Businesses will be able to apply for fund relief, and a statewide review team will review applications and make grants available as quickly as possible. About the Vermont Irene Flood Relief FundThe Vermont Irene Flood Relief Fund has been founded by Montpelier resident Todd Bailey to raise funds for small businesses damaged by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene in August, 2011. All funds raised will be donated to help Vermont businesses come back from damage or losses sustained. www.vtirenefund.org(link is external)About Central Vermont Community Action CouncilFounded in 1965, Central Vermont Community Action Council (CVCAC) helps people achieve economic sufficiency with dignity through individual and family development. CVCAC is part of the nationwide network of Community Action Agencies; a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency and a Community Development Corporation. The organization serves over 15,000 low-income Vermonters each year in Washington, Orange and Lamoille counties and offers a number of statewide programs. www.cvcac.org(link is external) Montpelier, VT ‘ September 1, 2011 ‘
WE’VE BEEN HERE BEFORE.We haven’t been deregistered just yet! The media have misinterpreted the impact of the decision by the Charities Board to deregister Family First. They were quick to broadcast the news that we have been ‘stripped’ of our charitable status. The truth is that this is the intention of the Charities Board.But they had the same intention in 2015 – and thanks to your support – they failed. And we need to help them ‘fail’ again.To do that, we will be lodging papers this week in the Wellington High Court to stop them – again. The deregistration is not effective until 18 September, but under the Charities Act 2005 (ironically section 59), we can halt the process and lodge an Appeal with the Registrar of the High Court. And that’s exactly where we’re heading. So until the court rules on this issue, and for as long as we fight the issue – which we will ‘all the way’ because of the greater issue at stake of freedom of speech & belief and the role of marriage & family in NZ – then Family First is still a charitable organisation.You and I can ‘put a spoke’ in their agenda.It’s very important to understand – this issue is far far bigger than just Family First’s charitable status.As board member Bruce Logan wrote in May,…It is unlikely that Family First will ever find itself defending any issue of greater importance. Deregistration would be a legal victory for those ideologues who would take power away from the family and give it to the state…. Deregistration is a critical issue, but it is not the most significant. The desire for deregistration has its origin in an ideology that redefines the family…Please take a moment to read his full article by clicking the link below in order to understand what’s really at stake.Thanks so much for your messages of support and the gifts already made to our Fighting Fund.The freedom to speak about, believe in, and promote marriage and family is worth the fight.Bob McCoskrieNational DirectorLISTEN – Bob McCoskrie debates the issue on Radio NZ’s “The Panel”MORE INFO about the Charities Registration Boardhttps://www.charities.govt.nz/about-charities-services/charities-registration-board/TELL the Charities Board what you think mailto:CCRegistrationinfo@dia.govt.nz
A South African judge on Wednesday ordered that Oscar Pistorius undergo psychiatric tests to establish if he has a “general anxiety disorder,” raising the prospect of lengthy delays in his murder trial.Judge Thokozile Masipa said a “proper inquiry” was needed to test whether the sprinter had the disorder that could mean he was not fully responsible for his actions in shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year.Oscar Pistorius “The accused may not have raised the issue that he was not criminally responsible at the time of the incident in so many words, but evidence led on his behalf clearly raises the issue and cannot be ignored,” she said. “Mental illness or mental defect are morbid disorders … not capable of being diagnosed by a lay court.”Masipa said a full order will be made next Tuesday, when the court will reconvene, but indicated she may be amenable to a proposal for Pistorius to be treated as an outpatient.The tests were not meant as punishment, she said, adding that she was unconcerned by any delay caused as long as it was in the interest of justice.Pistorius could face up to 30 days of tests.Prosecutor Gerrie Nel had asked the court to have Pistorius committed Tuesday, after defence psychiatrist Meryll Vorster claimed the sprinter’s deep-seated anxiety would have given him a heightened fear of crime. During two months of trial, Pistorius’s lawyers have sought to portray him as manically obsessed with safety after a difficult childhood and in the face of high crime levels in South Africa.Those factors, they argue, help explain his reaction on Valentine’s Day last year when he allegedly believed his girlfriend to be an intruder and shot her dead through a locked toilet door.Nel said he did not believe Pistorius’s mental state was unusual, but warned the athlete’s defence team may try to use that evidence to limit sentencing, launch an appeal or reset the case.“My lady, accused persons have in the past replaced their counsel, particularly when things go wrong,” said Nel.