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. True North Archives 07/03-10/06

Radio | Editorial | News & Views

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Campus in a Cornfield  By Martin Harris (07/10/06) "[T]hose hospital boards of directors which, recently or decades ago, chose to abandon a downtown facility in order to build a new campus out in the surrounding countryside, served their enterprises and constituencies far better than those which, for reasons of inertia or ideology, chose for their enterprises to remain in the urban core."

Housing Affordability By Frank Mazur (07/10/06) "If we really want to address housing affordability in Vermont we need to tackle impediments such as urban-growth regulations, lengthy planning process, complicated design codes, restrictive zoning, historic preservation, land conservation easements, wetland mitigation and open space preservation programs which all drive up the cost of housing."

The spirit – and emotions – of 1776  (07/03/06) This Fourth of July, perhaps Vermonters will not just celebrate having the freedoms the Revolution gave us, and which we all too often take for granted, but also to remember what drove our Founding Fathers to war to create those freedoms, and what had to be gotten rid of – taxes, regulations and system lacking in accountability -- for our freedom to exist at all.

News & Views Archives

Winhall weighs 'tax revolt'
PATRICK McARDLE, Staff Writer, Bennington Banner, 07/06/06
WINHALL — Plans for staging a symbolic "tax revolt" took another step forward Wednesday…. After a recent reappraisal in Dorset which increased the town's grand list by more than 50 percent, Select Board member Chris Brooks proposed the idea of joining with other towns to refuse to collect the state property tax…. [Rep.] Komline (R-Dorset) and the Dorset Select Board have created a three-pronged approach which includes Brooks reaching out to select boards in other towns. They are also working with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns to create a resolution. Komline intends to introduce a House bill that mirrors the resolution.

Burlington VT Cost Of Living Is Above National Average
July 6, 2006, Alex Martin - Channel 3 News
….housing prices are the main culprit driving up the cost of living…. Overall, the Burlington area was about twenty percent more expensive to live in than the rest of the country…. The results of the study show that utilities were 5.9 percent higher than the national average, transportation was 6.6 percent higher, grocery Items were 8.1 percent higher, health care was 8.4 percent higher, miscellaneous goods and services were 13.2 percent higher. Housing costs were 44.4 percent higher….

Education chief to hold meetings on school district consolidation
July 9, 2006
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. --Vermont's education commissioner wants to hear from the public about his proposal to consolidate the number of school districts…. Richard Cate plans to hold 38 meetings around the state starting in the fall to determine if there is support for his proposed plan to reduce the number of school districts from 284 to 63. "I want people to not think about how we could change the system, but rather if we were setting up Vermont's education system today, how would we do that…" 
Related: Cate’s Full White Paper
Related: The Perils of Consolidation by John McClaughry

Vt State Auditor Brock to Audit Medicaid
Rutland Herald, July 6, 2006
State Auditor Randy Brock said Wednesday he was planning an audit of Vermont's Medicaid public health insurance program, the largest single area of spending in state government…."Medicaid expenditures for the fiscal year ending on June 30 are expected to amount to $939 million," Brock said in a statement. "Medicaid is by far the number one government program in the state."

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan to pitch in Vermont for Bush impeachment
July 9, 2006, By DANIEL BARLOW
BRATTLEBORO – Anti-war icon Cindy Sheehan will travel to Vermont later this month to lend her support to the state's grassroots effort to impeach President George Bush…. Dan DeWalt, a Newfane selectman who organized a Town Meeting Day impeachment resolution, said Sheehan's appearance at the rallies will be a "call to arms" for the movement to remove Bush from office.

Loud and clear (Brattleboro Reformer Editorial, June 29, 2006) “If town residents have to tighten their belts to pay additional taxes and fees to cover the various deficits, town departments should also have to examine what they can do without…. Town officials have lost their credibility with residents….”

VT Governor suggests line-item veto for 'budgetary restraint' (By Darren M. "Allen Vermont Press Bureau, Times Argus, June 24, 2006). "Gov. James Douglas wants what his counterparts in 43 other states have: the ability to veto specific parts of the state budget without having to kill the whole thing. ...what he calls a necessary "tool of budgetary restraint…." 

Dorset Vt eyes tax strategy, Elected officials not backing down from their threat to set off a tax revolt. (By Patrick McArdle, Bennington Banner, June 22, 2006). "With local property owners facing a sizable tax hike, elected officials from Dorset are not backing down from their threat to set off a tax revolt... '“[F]or nine years we've been trying to get through, and we don't seem to be heard in Montpelier. It's just getting worse and worse and worse….'"

FreedomWorks-Vermont and Vermonters for Better Education Join Forces.  (06/15/06) Groups share mission of expanding school choice, stopping Universal Pre-K.

Vermont’s Fiscal Joyride (06/10/06) Vermont’s total state spending, in inflation adjusted dollars, increased by 170 percent in the past ten years, mostly in education and human services, while its population increased only 5 percent.

Governor Douglas allows H.880 and S.314 to become law without his signature. (06/10/06) Governor writes, "I am concerned that both bills will do little to constrain school spending in Vermont and may very well exacerbate what is already a crisis of affordability for many Vermonters."







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