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‘Why Time Flies’ will show you a good time

“Why Time Flies: A Mostly Scientific Investigation” by Alan Burdick, 2017, Simon & Schuster, $28
Your last vacation was really fun. Those seven days felt like 10 minutes. And then you were back to work, where 10 minutes can seem like seven days. Why is that? How come enjoyable things whiz by fast and why do you wake up seconds before the alarm goes off?

New Vermont tax code to focus on fraud prevention

 MONTPELIER — Last week, the Vermont Department of Taxes and the IRS began accepting tax returns for the 2016 tax year. There are a few changes the department would like taxpayers to know about. The department continues to experience a rise in attempted tax refund fraud, an alarming trend that mirrors what is happening in other states and at the federal level. State revenue departments and the IRS are implementing procedures to help protect the taxpayer’s money. Vermont taxpayers will be asked to provide a Vermont driver’s license or state-issued identification card number when filing.

What’s the best way to make extra money?

 “Ask Brianna” is a Q&A column from NerdWallet for 20-somethings or anyone else starting out. I’m here to help you manage your money, find a job and pay off student loans — all the real-world stuff no one taught us how to do in college. Send your questions about postgrad life to askbrianna@nerdwallet.com. Q: I’d love to earn some extra cash in addition to what I make at my 9-to-5 job, but I’m not sure where to start. Any ideas?

Photo courtesy of Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships

A small efficiency experiment with big results

 
At Efficiency Vermont we are always looking for new ways to help our customers save energy. Two years ago we started considering how we could work with businesses to help them save big by cutting their energy use in half. We had a lot of questions: Would businesses be interested? Would our customers be willing to rise to the challenge? Would the projects be economically viable?

What’s smarter — Paying off debts or investing?

If you’re just starting out in your career, you will need to be prepared to face some financial challenges along the way. But here’s one that’s not unpleasant: choosing what to do with some extra disposable income. When this happens, what should you do with the money? Your decisions could make a real difference in your ability to achieve your important financial goals. Under what circumstances might you receive some “found” money?

Is an amicable divorce possible?

By Christina Ubl
Your marriage isn’t working. You respect each other but have drifted apart over the years, for whatever reason. Now you and your spouse have decided to divorce and close this chapter of your lives. You’ve heard the stories and perhaps witnessed a few horrors through friends or family who have divorced. That doesn’t mean you need to have the same experience.

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‘Ray & Joan’ hints at mystery behind power couple

By Terri Schlichenmeyer
“Ray & Joan” by Lisa Napoli, Dutton, 353 pages, $27. To go. Whoever put those two delicious words together really knew what they were doing: Order your food, ask for it “to go,” save yourself time and eat wherever you want. You might not even have to get out of the car. Yes, “to go” are magic words but, as in the new book “Ray and Joan” by Lisa Napoli, there are still things you can’t take with you when you do.

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Leadership tips from the Peanuts gang

Sometimes, you just have to laugh.
That’s how it is with business: you have to laugh because if you didn’t, you’d cry. It’s been that way for the past few years. Up and down, good and bad, and there’s always room for improvement. So, why not find that help and laugh a little more by reading “You’re a Leader, Charlie Brown” by Charles Schulz and Carla Curtsinger?

From left, Debbie Lang of the Barns at Lang Farm shows off healing jewelry from Marsya Ancker of Marsya Mind Body Spirit.

Businesses flock to chamber’s annual holiday party

BURLINGTON — As it has for decades, KeyBank played host to the annual Holiday Party in downtown Burlington in December. The event served as a networking event of Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce (LCRCC), with Farrell Distributing, Lake Champlain Chocolates, and Cheese & Wine Traders joining as sponsors. Several local businesses celebrated both the season and strong economic years, and that included the hosts. Don Baker, Vermont market president at KeyBank, said, “We’re coming off maybe our strongest year ever. The economy is gradually getting better, and there’s lots of optimism, post-election, for growth.

Matt Dion, the plant manager of Adams North Barre, shows Efficiency Vermont’s Liz Gamache and Josh Kelman around the granite shed.

Rock-solid partnership forms with granite manufacturer

It seems simple, but it bears repeating: Keeping costs down helps Vermont businesses succeed, and energy is one of those costs. We can help business owners reduce that cost with energy efficiency solutions, and strengthen storied Vermont industries like granite manufacturing in Barre. The granite industry in Barre reaches as far back as the early 1800s, and it expanded in 1875, when the central railroad reached Vermont. As the granite industry grew, so did the city of Barre. Yet the granite industry is not thriving as it once was.