Vermont House passes consumer protection bill

first_imgThe Vermont House of Representatives yesterday passed H. 254, a bill to protect Vermonters against deceptive business practices. The practices outlawed in H.254 include, misleading consumers into authorizing on-going credit card charges, adding unwanted charges to residential or business phone bills, and out-of-state companies masquerading online as a Vermont florists.‘Businesses actively attempting to perpetrate scams on Vermonters is simply unacceptable,’ said Speaker Shap Smith. ‘This bill will outlaw a number of the unscrupulous strategies some out-of-state companies use, as well as strengthen the security of the state’s personal information database.’The key components of H. 254 include:Protection against Misleading Business Practicesâ ¢ Phone Bill Cramming: The bill makes it illegal to charge consumers for goods or services in a phone bill unless they are explicitly authorized; legitimate supplemental phone bill charges are still protected.â ¢ Discount Membership Charges: The bill requires that consumers be notified of their right to cancel membership, requires periodic reminder notifications that the consumer is subscribed and prohibits membership programs lasting longer than 18 months.â ¢ Masquerading: The bill will make it an unlawful and deceptive act to advertise as a ‘local’ or ‘Vermont’ florist if the business isn’t currently located in Vermont. This will protect both consumers and the Vermont florist industry, which is threatened when revenue is siphoned to out-of-state online-order flower businesses.Notification of Security Breachesâ ¢ In the event of a security breach’when consumers’ personal data is lost or stolen’the bill requires the data collector to notify the Vermont Attorney General. Consumers already receive mandatory notification, but notifying the Attorney General will improve law enforcement’s capacity to act on the security breach.Information Technology Securityâ ¢ Strengthens the security of data held by state-level agenciesâ ¢ Clarifies that the Agency of Administration is responsible for Information Technology Security regimens.The bill passed the House unanimously. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.Source: Speaker’s office. 3.30.2011last_img read more

Hot off UCLA win, men’s volleyball will play GCU

first_imgThe USC men’s volleyball team plays No. 14 Grand Canyon University Friday evening.Redshirt junior outside hitter Jack Wyett jumps to go for the kill. Austin Paik | Daily TrojanThe team is coming off its biggest win of the season, with a down-to-the-wire 3-2 victory over crosstown rival UCLA on Senior Night. Coming into the game, UCLA was the No. 3 team in the nation riding a five-game win streak. Meanwhile, USC had just lost two games straight to UC Irvine and Pepperdine, respectively, two schools the Bruins had defeated. However, the Trojans took head coach Jeff Nygaard’s comments to heart about trusting the process and honoring their four seniors: setter Gert Lisha, outside hitter Jack Wyett, opposite hitter Jon Rivera and middle blocker Conor Inlow. As a former Olympian himself, Nygaard made sure to give every senior the reverence he knows they deserve, inserting Rivera into the starting lineup alongside the three other seniors. The rest of the players did their part in respecting their graduating teammates. Junior outside hitter Gianluca Grasso had 20 kills, two aces and two blocks while hitting .441 to lead the Trojans, while freshman middle blocker Sam Lewis added ten kills and five blocks. Usual starting opposite hitter Ryan Moss came off the bench to record nine kills, one ace and two blocks. It was Nygaard’s first victory over his alma mater, where he was a two-time National College Player of the Year in the mid-1990s, in six games.Meanwhile, Grand Canyon is coming off an easy 3-0 win against Benedictine University at Mesa on their own Senior Night for GCU’s nine graduating players. Their senior class is arguably the most important in the program’s brief history to date (GCU became the first for-profit university to participate in NCAA D-I athletics in 2004). Some of their accomplishments include reaching the 2017 MIVA finals, remaining in the top 15 for every week of this season, and compiling the best four-year win total in program history. Senior outside hitter Shalev Saada led the Lopes with 14 kills and seven digs on a .524 hitting percentage. Senior setters Puna Kaniho and Zachary Melcher split time, with Melcher leading GCU with two aces and 23 assists, while Kaniho drew the start and recorded 11 assists. All in all, Grand Canyon head coach Matt Werle made sure to play every single one of his seniors as a testament to all they have contributed to the program’s remarkable success over the past four years.For GCU, this will be their final game of the season, while USC has one more at Concordia University in Irvine after playing GCU. Now with a 7-17 record on the year, including a 3-7 record in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play, the Trojans look to build upon the momentum of the Senior Night festivities with two strong wins over two ranked schools. Both games have playoff implications in terms of USC’s seed.According to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation website, USC would clinch the MPSF Tournament’s No. 4 seed and quarterfinal home court with two wins this week.If USC splits the games, they will need to beat Concordia and lose to GCU. This is the only way that USC could earn the four seed in a possible four-way tie when factoring in Stanford — if the Cardinal wins once this week.If the Trojans, Eagles, Antelopes and Cardinal all finish with four MPSF wins, they would all have a 3-3 record in matches against each other. If USC wins 3-0 against CUI and loses 3-2 vs. GCU, USC’s set record vs. the tied teams would be 14-12 for the highest percentage within that tied group.Essentially, the Trojans can control their own destiny by securing victories in their two remaining matches; a single win or two losses makes things a bit more complicated. Regardless of what happens, it will be very interesting to see on Friday night if USC has finally flipped the switch on during this rollercoaster of a season.last_img read more

Why the Lakers’ 2019 NBA playoff odds are next to impossible

first_imgDateTeamRecordMarch 9vs. Celtics40-26March 12at Bulls19-48March 14at Raptors47-19March 15at Pistons33-31March 17at Knicks13-52March 19at Bucks49-16March 22vs. Nets34-33March 24vs. Kings32-32March 26vs. Wizards27-38March 27at Jazz37-28March 29vs. Hornets30-35March 31at Pelicans30-38April 2at Thunder40-26April 4vs. Warriors45-20April 5at Clippers38-29April 7vs. Jazz37-28April 9vs. Trail Blazers39-26Meanwhile, the Clippers (18th-toughest remaining schedule) and Spurs (21st) travel relatively easy roads down the stretch. The latest projections show the last two teams in the West playoff field will finish around 44-45 wins, meaning the Lakers would need to go 14-3 for the mere possibility of reaching the first round. (And that’s without mentioning the Kings or the additional help the Lakers need.)Good luck with that.Vegas sportsbooks are already operating as though the Lakers have been eliminated.Yep, we’re all done here. Vegas knows.The dreaded triple-X odds for Lakers to make the playoffs.Westgate has taken the prop off the board after the Lakers’ loss to the Clippers last night.— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) March 5, 2019 The Lakers are still mathematically alive in the race for the 2019 NBA playoffs, but not even IMF agent Ethan Hunt would accept this mission. After losing to the Nuggets on Wednesday night, the Lakers are 6.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with only 17 games left on their regular season schedule. This latest blow came only days after a brutal defeat at the hands of the Clippers, one that prompted reporters to ask LeBron James what he expects the team to do when — not if — it is eliminated from postseason contention. MORE: LeBron, Lakers have one inexcusable reason for missing playoffs”Continue to be a professional, and be as great as you can be every single night, no matter the circumstances,” James said. “‘Cause someone is always watching.”Asked what he expects from the team’s motication if the Lakers get eliminated, LeBron said he doesn’t know, but said for himself: “Continue to be a professional, and be as great as you can be every single night no matter the circumstances. ‘Cause someone is always watching.”— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) March 5, 2019Notice that James didn’t scoff at the question or shut it down by informing media members the Lakers will make the playoffs against all odds. He seems to be resigned to the fact that Los Angeles is already done, and well, he’s right.The Lakers are buried in the Western Conference standings.If we weren’t talking about the Lakers and LeBron, this team would have been written off before falling to the Clippers. That loss just reinforced what was already known.Los Angeles is now closer to the Grizzlies at No. 14 than the Spurs in the No. 8 slot. The Lakers are down to a less than one percent chance of reaching the postseason, according to FiveThirtyEight’s latest projections, the same odds as the Pelicans, a team that has placed its top-five player on a minutes restriction.Playoff seedTeamGames back1.Warriors—2.Nuggets23.Rockets54.Thunder5.55.Trail Blazers66.Jazz87.Clippers88.Spurs8.5—Kings12.5—Timberwolves15—Lakers15—Pelicans16.5—Mavericks18—Grizzlies19—Suns30.5The Clippers and Spurs already own tiebreakers against the Lakers.The battle for LA was important not only because the Lakers needed to rack up as many wins as possible, but also because of the tiebreaker implications.NBA tiebreakers are first determined by head-to-head records, then by division records. The Lakers could even the season series at 2-2 with one more head-to-head game remaining on April 5, but the Clippers (11-3) are far superior to the Lakers (7-6) within the Pacific Division.As for the Spurs, San Antonio already took three of the four matchups against the Lakers, so that head-to-head tiebreaker is gone.The Lakers’ remaining schedule is brutal.It’s a rough road ahead. The Lakers face the 10th-toughest remaining schedule, according to Tankathon, and only five of their final 17 games come against teams under .500. last_img read more