North Archives 08/07/06
| Editorial | News & Views
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everybody else, the "wilderness" needs to get a job.
By James Ehlers
"….There used to be a time
when we had working forests and working Vermonters. Now we have "wilderness"
and overworked Vermonters. Oh, we have jobs. Lots of them. Statistics tell
us our unemployment figures are exceptionally low, the retired aside. The
only problem is who wants to be a cabin boy or girl for the folks coming
to see the 'wilderness'?".... James Ehlers is Publisher Emeritus of
Elk Publishing, Inc
Preschool study committee packed with ringers.
By Rob Roper
"…. There is a lot at stake
in this debate. The cost for taxpayers could be enormous. Several hundred
small businesses are threatened. And the implications for some very vulnerable
citizens, 3 & 4 year olds, are tremendous. Vermonters deserve an honest
look at this policy. But this committee, as it has been constructed, is
not likely to give them one without significant attention and pressure
from voters." Rob Roper is State Director for FreedomWorks-Vermont,
and Editor of the Vermont Education Report
Facts about Universal Preschool
The following letter
first appeared in Burlington’s The Other Paper. It was signed by residents,
Joe Cousino, Allen Roberts, George Bowers, Frank Mazur, Lisa Yankowksi,
and Sheldon Katz
"In her June 25th legislative
report, Rep. Michele Kupersmith purports to clear up the confusion about
her and her legislative colleagues’ proposal to institute government-sponsored
universal preschool. To the extent Rep. Kupersmith cleared up any confusion,
she has, with all due respect, replaced it with misinformation….."
does it take to be an "expert" on global warming?
By Kevin Ryan
"...First of all, The Goddard
Institute, which Hansen directs, is far, far from "NASA’s top institute".
Rather, it is a small adjunct laboratory to the Goddard Space Flight Center
in Maryland, which employs over 10,000 scientists studying all aspects
of the Earth, the Sun and space. Meanwhile, the Institute in New York shares
its building with the restaurant from Seinfeld. I’m not kidding…" Kevin
Ryan lives in Burlington
Week in Review
percent of Vermont’s public schools fail to meet No Child Left Behind standards
By Molly Walsh, Free
Press Staff Writer,August 4, 2006
"…. Twenty-two percent of
the state's public schools failed to meet adequate yearly progress goals
this year, compared with only 3 percent in 2005. More comprehensive testing
pushed the number of schools missing yearly progress goals to 61, including
47 that failed to make the target for the first time…"
Related: For full
results, visit the Vermont Education Department at www.state.vt.us/educ/
and click on the "What's New" link.
Be Fooled - We Are On A Slippery Slope
Caledonian Record Editorial,
August 4, 2006
"The announcement this week
that St. Johnsbury's school tax rate is going up 7-cents-a-hundred seemed
innocuous enough….Connect the dots. If the residential school tax rate
goes up by 7 cents to $1.60 per hundred dollars of assessed value and the
appraisal goes up 50 percent for what is now a $100,000 house in St. Johnsbury,
the tax bill will not be increased by $70, but by $800. It will go from
$1,600 on a $100,000 house to $2,400 for the same house reappraised at
appeals net $95 million
By Sky Barsch, Free Press
Staff Writer, August 3, 2006
"SOUTH BURLINGTON -- The
company conducting the South Burlington citywide reappraisal overestimated
property values by $95 million -- or about 3.7 percent -- and 71 property
owners are still pursuing a third phase of the appeal process…."
approves budget increase for efficiency utility
By Ross Sneyd, Associated
Press Writer, August 2, 2006
"Efficiency Vermont's budget
will increase roughly 75 percent over the next few years, more than the
Douglas administration said was warranted for the state's energy efficiency
initiatives but not quite as much as advocates said it should…. Energy
advocates were thrilled with the decision, even though they called for
a tripling of Efficiency Vermont's existing $17.5 million budget….Business
groups asked the board not to increase the budget at all or, if it did,
to keep the increases to the rate of inflation…. The Public Service Board
said its decision would result in an increase this year of less than 0.2
percent, 0.5 percent next year and 1.2 percent in 2008…"
Reader’s Rebuttal: I
am writing to express our strongest possible opposition to increasing the
energy efficiency charge on the bills of Vermont electric ratepayers.
Vermont has high energy prices.
High energy prices stimulate efficiency and conservation. The energy savings
from increased efficiency and conservation ought to pay back a ratepayer’s
wise investment in efficiency and conservation technology.
I have followed this issue
for some years, and have discussed the workings of the Energy Efficiency
Utility with its Contractor. I have never been able to ascertain any coherent
rationale for taxing all ratepayers to provide services to some ratepayers,
when the cost-saving results of those services ought to justify the ratepayer’s
to educate ratepayers on the advantages of efficiency and conservation
is properly within the scope of the Department of Public Service. The present
Efficiency Utility program is not. Increasing the tax on ratepayers to
from $18.4 million a year to the $52.5 million requested by CLF and VPIRG
is clearly an unwise and unjustifiable confiscation of peoples’ resources
to benefit other people who have no valid claim to public subsidies, and
should be paying their own way.
-- John McClaughry, President,
Ethan Allen Institute.
poll shows Sanders, Douglas leading; House race tied
By Ross Sneyd, AP Political
Writer, July 31, 2006
"MONTPELIER, Vt. --A new
poll shows Rep. Bernie Sanders with a big lead in his race for the U.S.
Senate and Gov. James Douglas with a comfortable lead as he aims for re-election.
But the poll suggested the contest for the U.S. House was a dead heat at
the moment. Several campaigns questioned the details of the poll…."
says he would address waste in health care system
By Lisa Rathke, Associated
Press Writer, August 1, 2006
"A central Vermont doctor
announced Tuesday that he was running for lieutenant governor as a Progressive
to push for broader health care reform. Dr. Marvin Malek, 53, said he would
use the office to map out how the state could create a universal health
care system, paying for it with broad-based taxes while reducing waste
in the health care industry…."
says Social Security needs study, not privatization
By Ross Sneyd, AP Political
Writer, August 3, 2006
"Social Security needs the
scrutiny of an independent, bipartisan commission that could recommend
ways to guarantee its long-term future… candidate Peter Welch said Thursday….
Martha Rainville, one of his GOP opponents, agrees privatization is a bad
idea…. State Sen. Mark Shepard,…said… that giving retirees the option of
taking a small portion of their Social Security savings and investing it
in the private market would save the federal government money and earn
a better return for beneficiaries…."
Get the Facts on the Social
Security Issue: Social
Security Reform, by Max Papas, Policy Director, FreedomWorks
education? Charter school does it for less
NH Union Leader Editorial,
August 4th, 2006
"….Seacoast Charter, founded
two years ago, is a public elementary school that provides a rigorous curriculum
and emphasizes the arts. It even teaches Shakespeare…. Seacoast Charter
provided its highly sought product for an average cost of $6,500 per pupil
this past academic year. The average per pupil cost for a New Hampshire
public school is $11,200."
Running Out for Video Choice Bill
exclusive in VT)
By Brendan Steinhauser
"….the Senate still has
enough time to pass legislation that would resonate with voters by saving
them $10.6 billion a year on their cable bills and adding $167 billion
in gross domestic product while creating 212,000 jobs nationwide over the
next five years. Passing meaningful telecom reform that opens the market
for video programming to real competition would be a win for consumers
while providing new opportunities for innovation and investment…."
Reform Has Been a Bust
By Ryan Sager
"….The bad news for McCain,
though, is that the very existence of this proposal -- with or without
his support this time around -- highlights an inconvenient truth: The core
of his domestic-policy portfolio, campaign-finance regulation, has been
a bust. Politics is no less corrupt than before McCain-Feingold was passed
in 2002. And, in the minds of many Americans, things have actually gotten
interview with Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel Must Finish the Job
by Kenneth R. Timmerman,
Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2006
"NewsMax senior correspondent
and Middle East expert Kenneth R. Timmerman is in Israel reporting on the
conflict there. Timmerman reports from Kiryat Shemona in this exclusive
interview with former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu…."