Central Vermont Public Service and the Vermont Department of Public Service have agreed to a rate settlement that will leave customer rates flat. In November, CVPS was authorized to increase its rates by one-third of a percent, while the DPS had suggested a decrease of 0.43 percent effective Jan. 1.Rates will remain unchanged pending Public Service Board approval of the settlement with the DPS. Accordingly, the bill for a residential customer who uses 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month will remain $73.11.By comparison, the same customer would pay up to $83.16 elsewhere in Vermont, and as much as $117.45 elsewhere in New England, according to the Edison Electric Institute.CVPS’s rates will serve as the base rates for a new alternative regulation framework approved by the PSB in September. Under the plan, CVPS’s rates will be adjusted every quarter to account for specified changes in power costs, and annually for specified changes in other costs and earnings.The new regulatory framework includes incentives to encourage CVPS to become more efficient and share related savings with customers. As part of the settlement, the PSB will investigate CVPS’s employee levels to ensure the company continues to operate efficiently.
Hey ya’ll, if you hadn’t noticed, in a minute “Black Mystery Month,” so sorry Charlie Chan, “Black History Month,” is about to fade into the sunset of the American consciousness. Another indicator that the month is about to come to a close is the media “joyriding” with recently released cinematic jewels that are about to join the future of BHM programming. The films “Red Tails” and “The Help” are about magical and romantic times. The stories profile the era when people of color had to rumble just to get a drink of water on a hot day and were faced with death because all they wanted to do was hang out and go to school with the ruling class; ya know, mundane and trivial stuff.As a few of the African-American actresses gathered to pick up awards for their performances, Viola Davis wore a stunning gown that prominently featured God’s endowments north of her waistline and I am not referring to the expensive weave that she was sporting. If her male employer in “The Help” had been aware what jewels were hidden under her work uniform, another title most likely to have been bestowed upon her would have been “the mistress.” Oh but I am sure that she was—well at least according to the acceptance speech that Hattie McDaniel gave when she accepted her Oscar for best supporting actress in the film “Gone With The Wind”— “a credit to her race.”Sports and entertainment are not separate entities. There are specific components of sports that make it life threatening on a game by game basis. There are also certain elements that compose our daily entertainment choices that pose a high risk for the performers as well. In any full contact sport, danger lies behind every route across the middle, every venture into the “painted” area and each journey across center ice. Also, when we travel to cinema houses to see action films, are we cognizant of what “stuntmen” endure to film the “action” scenes that cause us to sit on the edge of our seats. While viewing the NAACP Image awards, I sat on the edge of my seat when the Black Stuntmen Association recalled stories about how they had to fight and persevere just to place their lives in danger to pursue employment as stunt performers.The road to equality has been and continues to be paved in blood. When I hear all of these glorified stories about the social and economic struggles of any race of people I have and will always remain intrigued. We run our mouths about who received an invitation to the funeral of the late great megastar Whitney Houston and what they were wearing, but remain mystified concerning the graduation rates of our high school and college students.When it comes to our students and student/athletes, no child left behind just means that. They quit school, are in prison; and in some cases, as a result of escalating violence and immorality in our communities, have met their maker far too soon.There are definite and insidious cases of peonage that exist in our society. Let’s take “another” look at the system of secondary school and college athletics in America. (I say another because in my opinion a lot of people are still not getting it). What was the average unemployment rate of Black Americans being held, not living in but confined in the American south in 1862 just prior to being “liberated” and I use that term very, very, liberally. Well the jobless rate for people of color was very close to zero percent. When you have free labor you can hire as many employees as you please without any budgetary and fiscal restraints. It also appears that the only time the majority of Black student athletes become “unemployed” is when they step from under the “protective “umbrella of the NCAA.” Just as the southern majority did in slavery, the NCAA provides three hots and a cot for the athletes that fill their stadiums and arenas while pretending they demand academic excellence based on diluted G.P.A. standards. However the NCAA provides little and oftentimes no resources or safety nets for the athletes that may stumble slightly or fall prior to the completion of their education. For all intents and purposes, the one sided covenants and pseudo-obligations that the NCAA professes to have for all of the performers that rake in millions of dollars for them are voided as soon as the athlete steps across the borders of that particular campus. Don’t forget our high school educational system. If you look close enough you will plainly see that our secondary schools are nothing but a huge consortium of “grapefruit leagues” of which the primary purpose is to provide bodies for the incorrigible ruling powers of the NCAA. Talk about class warfare.Some folks are right; there is a continuation of the “war of the classes” that has been fought for the last 149 years with no peace treaty in sight. So when you hear some misguided fan complaining about the inflated salaries of Lebron James, Cam Newton or Prince Fielder, just softly reply in the words of the late Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson; “payback is real mother for ya.”(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-583-6741.)