Stowe Area Association presented the Stowe Business Person of the Year award at their Annual Membership Dinner, which was hosted on June 19th by Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa. The Annual Stowe Business Person of the Year 2012 honor was awarded to Michael Diender, owner of the Sun & Ski Inn and Suites. Diender started his career in the hospitality industry 36 years ago when he attended the hotel management school in Maastricht, Netherlands. From there, Michael moved to the United States for an internship, and it was in Florida that he met his wife Debi and decided to stay. He subsequently managed several hotels in the Disney World area. In 1985 the Dienders vacationed in Stowe where they fell in love with the community. For years Michael wanted a business of his own and they decided to purchase the Grey Fox Inn. Between 1986 and 2001, they transformed the Grey Fox Inn from a 19 room renovated farm house inn, into a AAA 3-star mini-resort. Michaelâ s pride and joy was creating the Dutch Pancake CafÃ©, a tribute to his Dutch heritage, which became a favorite among tourists and local residents. In 1998, Michael and Debi purchased the Sun & Ski Inn and a few years later created another Stowe first, the Stowe Golf Park. Looking to slow down a little they sold the Grey Fox in 2004. In 2011, to their great surprise their daughter Rachel and son-in-law Mark asked to enter the family business. Rachel & Mark have been operating the Sun & Ski Inn since January. Over the years Michael has also focused his energies on improving Stowe as a tourist destination. He has been a long time member of the Stowe Area Association and served as its President from 2000 to 2006. Heâ s been an active member of Rotary and currently serves as its President, a member of the Stowe Vibrancy Committee, and currently serves on the Design Review Board. He was also a notable leader in Stoweâ s effort to create a local options tax for the benefit of the community and visitors. In his presentation speech at the dinner, Chuck Barawâ President of the SAA board of trusteesâ said, â Michael can be truly characterized as being polymathic.’He explained, â he is an individual with many interests and with a depth of knowledge in a wide variety of subjects.â As Michael transitions into retirement, he will remain an active advisor for the Sun & Ski Inn, and will remain on the Board of the Stowe Area Association. Both Michael & Debi are looking forward to enjoying time in their home, traveling and spending time with their daughters Donna and Rachel and 4 grandchildren, and welcoming a fifth in January 2013. Stowe Area Association, located in the resort community of Stowe, Vermont, is a tourism marketing organization as well as being the Chamber of Commerce. Stowe, VT (June 25, 2012) Stowe Area Association
The USD35 million loan to GAC will finance the group’s purchase of up to six supply ships to support offshore oil rigs. Three will operate in Kazakhstan, while the others will operate in Africa and the Middle East. Erland Ebbersten, GAC Group vice president for Europe, Africa, Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Sea, said: “GAC’s expansion underlines the group’s commitment to the Caspian region. We believe we can contribute significantly to development of the energy infrastructure in the Caspian, and we welcome IFC’s support in making this meaningful task possible for us.”Kazakhstan has been unable to exploit its large reserves of oil and gas largely because of a lack of infrastructure, support services, and equipment. Financing for new ships and equipment has been difficult in the country and the wider region, as entry and exit costs are high, because the only route out of the area is frozen for up to six months of the year. The global financial crisis has exacerbated this challenge.
The senior judge in charge of modernising the courts service has hit out at ‘ill-informed comments’ from lawyers and ‘misunderstandings’ about controversial plans to test out-of-hours courts.In a letter despatched over the weekend, Lord Justice Fulford sets out to ‘demystify’ the flexible hours courts pilot, insisting the plans are ’not a disguised attempt to persuade, or force… legal professionals and others to spend more time at court than they do at present’. The letter was sent to all judges via the judicial intranet and the Law Society and Bar Council, a spokesman for HM Judiciary said.Court sessions will be split so as to enable a longer court day – but populated by different people, the judge says.Last week HM Courts & Tribunal Service confirmed details of the new pilot, to take place over six months from this autumn. Six courts have been selected, as was mooted back in March before the testing was put back by the general election. The plans are proving highly controversial, with the Criminal Bar Association pledging to support barristers who refuse to participate in the ’fundamentally flawed’ scheme.’In my capacity as the Judge in Charge of Reform, and in light of public comments – particularly from members of the legal profession – I thought it would be helpful to attempt to demystify the proposed Flexible Operating Hours Pilots,’ Fulford writes. ’I regret the extent of the widely-broadcast misunderstandings and ill-informed comments from a range of sources.’The Judicial Executive Board has discussed the proposed pilots on a number of occasions. It is vital that we improve the use of the courts and tribunals’ estate. We already struggle to maintain our buildings and it is hard to justify spending scarce funds on courts and tribunals that are not adequately utilised. We must use our assets to the greatest possible (but always sensible) extent, without asking anyone to work longer hours than at present.’Fulford acknowledges concerns raised by lawyers about the impact of flexible hours on diversity in the professions and how they will work. But he adds: ’We have listened to these concerns, but the whole point of running the pilots is to test fully all the concerns expressed. We approach this project with an entirely open mind as to whether flexible operating hours is a viable goal.’If it works it works; if it doesn’t, it doesn’t…a significant, detrimental impact on diversity in the professions is not a price judges are willing to pay.’Fulford notes that previous initiatives testing flexible court sittings have failed. But he stresses that lawyers are now operating in a ‘radically altered world’ in which ’digital and IT changes are transforming the opportunities for moving cases readily between judges, advocates and venues far more readily than in yesteryear, and there is a marked improvement in our preparedness to operate outside jurisdictional silos’.The project team has developed an ‘Invitation To Tender’ to secure experts in independent evaluation.Fulford stresses that there are no plans for a national rollout, concluding: ’If the ideas [the pilots] explore do not pass muster, then they will fade into history at the end of the six-month period. However, if any of the models succeed, we will consider with HMCTS the circumstances in which we may repeat the relevant arrangements on a more regular basis.’Law Society president Joe Egan commented: ’Fees for criminal legal aid work were frozen in cash terms for more than 20 years, and then substantially cut. Criminal legal aid practices already operate at little or no profit. Under this new government plan solicitors would be expected to attend court during unsocial hours for no uplift in pay. Firms would have to pay out additional staff costs without any compensation. It is not acceptable to operate a pilot without paying solicitors properly for the additional cost they will incur as a result.’
Three amateur boxers from the national team, the Black Bombers, eye a move to the professional ranks next month.Long time captain of the Bombers, Manyo Plange, a flyweight, light heavyweight Ahmed Saraku, and super light weight Frederick Lawson believe experiences from major local and international events including the last two Commonwealth Games means they are ready to be professionals.The three boxers will fight for the last time as amateurs next month in an Africa championship in Cameroon.Manyo Plange told Joy Sports he has been an amateur boxer for nine years and thinks it was about time he moved on.Source: Joy Sports/Ghana