North Archives 10/10/06
| Editorial | News & Views
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Alert! Vermont needs SOS
By Frank Mazur
"With cash machines like
the income tax, sales tax and property taxes, Vermont government goes on
a spending spree every year. This lack of fiscal discipline is the
cause of Vermont’s un-affordability we’re now experiencing." – Frank Mazur,
a small business owner and former state representative, is chair of the
advisory board of Vermont FreedomWorks. Other columns can be found
vs. Northup: the Forest industry perspective on wilderness
By Bruce P. Shields
"….We just want government
to work as promised, and not be subject to the whimsy of various trendy
pressure groups like Forest Watch and Conservation Law Foundation, which
use their tax exempt status to wreck the rural economy…" – Bruce Shields
is on the board of Vermont Forest Products Association, and active member
of the Vermont Traditions Coalition and Vermont Farm Bureau, and past director
of VT Maple Sugar Makers. He lives in Wolcott.
Comments on State and Local Races
By Pete Behr
"... I should probably feel
sorry for Scudder Parker, since he seems to be tilting at windmills (literally),
and will no doubt lose big. … I believe Dubie’s very effective stewardship
will carry him to victory in November, which will be good for Vermont….
I would like to learn how Bernie Sanders prepared for his very long political
career in the years following his graduation from the University of Chicago
in 1964, until 1977, when his political career took off. His political
handlers will not respond to my request for an account of his formative
years. Anyone with information can email me." – Pete Behr writes a regular
column in the Woodstock Standard (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Parker & How to Address a Subject While Not Addressing it
"If you’re in need of a
chuckle this election season (in my informal survey, most respondents are)
you might want to savor the rhetoric concerning the 800-pound gorilla in
Vermont politics: school costs.…" – Martin Harris is the former President
of Citizens for Property Rights. He writes a regular column for the Addison
Parker, Socialized Medicine, Baby Carriages, and Machine Guns
Caledonian Record Editorial,
October 9, 2006
"….It seems that no matter
what the question to Parker is, his answer is to push socialized medicine.
Most recently, when asked how to contain educational spending, Douglas
backed a cap on annual increases in education budgets…. Implicit in Parker's
answer is his all-out support of single-payer health insurance, the acceptable
name for socialized medicine. It didn't matter that, as Douglas pointed
out, health insurance costs comprise only 9 percent of school budgets and
removing them would still leave 91 percent of the budgets…"
Tarrant meet in first head-to-head debate
By Ross Sneyd, AP , October
"With four weeks to go before
Election Day, Bernie Sanders and Rich Tarrant debated each other directly
for the first time Sunday….'I disagree with Mr. Sanders when he votes against
Amber Alert and I disagree with Mr. Sanders when he votes for the largest
tax increase in history,' Tarrant said in his opening statement, even though
he also said they agreed on such things as global warming, the struggles
of the middle class and the growing gap between the rich and poor…."
Welch’s Campaign Contribution Details on Political Money Line
Fans of tort reform may
cringe at the $10,000 contribution from the Association of Trial Lawyers.
Education reformers may wonder about the $10,000 from the American Federation
of Teachers, which is not even the union that represents Vermont teachers
(the NEA is -- they gave the Welch campaign $5,000). There's much more...
Weekly News Round Up
leads property tax revolt
By SABINA HASKELL, Brattleboro
Reformer, October 4
"JAMAICA -- The town on
Tuesday became the first in the state to ask the Legislature to repeal
Vermont's statewide property tax used to fund public schools. The Selectboard
voted unanimously, 5-0, to send a nonbinding resolution to lawmakers, telling
them the system is 'fundamentally broken and beyond repair.' The board
also chided legislators for failing to provide any tax relief for property
owners and complicating an already unwieldy system…."
revolt in Manchester
MIKE GLEASON, Bennington
Banner, October 9
"MANCHESTER — The town of
Manchester has joined the state's latest education '"tax revolt.' The Select
Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to endorse a recommendation by five
Republican state representatives — including Bennington's Joseph Krawczyk
Jr. and Londonderry's Rick Hube — to repeal the statewide property tax
in an effort to repeal Acts 60 and 68…. 'The Vermont Coalition of Municipalities
has long been concerned with the formula for education funding,' Webster
said. 'The Vermont League of Cities and Towns has just adopted a platform
where they call on the governor and legislature to repeal Act 60.' …."
Calls for Repeal!
By Nancy Remsen, Burlington
Free Press, October 6
"The Vermont League of Cities
and Towns voted Thursday to recommend repeal of the laws that govern the
way the state pays for schools -- including Act 60, the landmark 1997 reform
law passed in the wake of the Vermont Supreme Court's condemnation of previous
funding schemes. League members, meeting for their annual Town Fair at
the Barre Auditorium, said they wanted action during the Legislature's
next session and defeated a proposal to give lawmakers until 2009 to come
up with a substitute system…."
here to download the VLCT position paper (pdf format)
Beth Parent, WCAX,
"Vermont legislative leaders
say they will make education funding a priority in the upcoming session.
Some lawmakers even want to set a deadline for scrapping the current system,
known as Act 68. Now one group has come forward with a new plan to pay
for education -- but some of it's key points are already under fire. 'It's
something that periodically needs to be looked at,' said Steve Jeffrey,
of the Vermont League of City and Towns…."
debate: Logging vs. recreation
By Lisa Rathke, Times Argus,
"Rickey Harrington believes
he should be able to walk, hunt, drive a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle
on public land if he wants to…. 'It's philosophical and economical,' said
Ed Larson, executive director of the Vermont Forest Products Association,
a trade group for loggers, wood products manufacturers and landowners….
'Ask a real Vermonter, do you want wilderness, where you can't snowmobile,
go four wheelin' ... or would you like it open where you can have some
access? I guarantee they'll say they want some access,' he said…."
Gathering World Storm
By Barry Casselman, October
"….The gathering storm of
the 21st century is quite visible in many places in the world, but apparently
not sufficiently for many Americans to see it coming. When individuals,
including the president of the United States, try to warn the citizenry
that this storm has yet to hit the country in full force, they are dismissed
by many Americans, most of them bitter partisans of the party out of power,
as well as pacifists and radical populists, as prevaricators, warmongers
and incompetents…. Western civilization, with all of its warts and defects,
is the only pattern of hope and true progress the larger world has ever
known in its millennia of human activity…."
Democrats Page Mark Foley?
INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY,
"Right after Mark Foley
was revealed to have had inappropriate e-mail conversations with a 16-year-old
page, he resigned and checked into rehab. Now, what did Democrats know,
and when did they know it? Yes, you read that right: the Democrats…. Turns
out both the Democrats and several newspapers seem to have known about
Foley's problem as far back as last November… Why didn't they come forward
Definition of Political Opportunism
By Ann Coulter, October
"….But now, the same Democrats
who are incensed that Bush's National Security Agency was listening in
on al-Qaida phone calls are incensed that Republicans were not reading
a gay congressman's instant messages. Let's run this past the Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals: The suspect sent an inappropriately friendly e-mail to
a teenager -- oh also, we think he's gay. Can we spy on his instant messages?
On a scale of 1 to 10, what are the odds that any court in the nation would
have said: YOU BET! Put a tail on that guy -- and a credit check, too!..."
left wing’s speech thugs
New York Post, October 6
of Israel and others who want to win the War on Terror routinely see their
First Amendment rights trashed - while the university throws open its doors
to tyrants like Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
(the latter invitation being withdrawn under extreme public pressure).
On a seemingly more mundane
level - though the principle is important - the university recently suspended
an ice-hockey club after supporters passed out recruitment flyers that
contained a mildly offensive gender reference.
It was a misdemeanor if ever
there was one - but Columbia dropped the hammer on the hockey club anyway,
citing "an egregious violation of the rights of the students involved."
Well, if a sophomoric jibe
on a piece of paper constitutes an "egregious violation," what does the
violent, racially charged disruption of an appearance by a university-sanctioned
What about the students whose
right to hear the Minutemen was violated by a gaggle of left-wing louts?
They don't count?
Apparently not. University
officials haven't denounced what happened, though they've launched an "investigation."
(Of course they have.)