North Archives 09/19/06
| Editorial | News & Views
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By Frank Mazur
"Amtrak’s proposal that
Vermont participation in a rail demonstration project by buying new smaller
passenger cars to save the state money has a high cost despite their claim
it will increase ridership. If it were really such a win/win, Amtrak would
be making the investment themselves." --Frank Mazur is a small business
owner and was a member of the Vermont House from 1995-2004. He’s
also chair of the advisory board to FreedomWorks.
By Martin Harris
"I suspect it was she, at
the editorial desk, who opined that '“Vermont children continue to perform
at a high level,' in an editorial demanding that the present Governor cease
chiding local voters for adopting high-tax-increase budgets..."
Conservation Easements May Be Bad for Your Fiscal Health
Consult your selectman
before consuming in large quantities
By James Ehlers
"....We love wilderness
blindly. We love it so much, ironically, many of us will find ourselves
living in a place where there is no open forest or farmland, driven out
by those more well off with real estate attorneys and accountants versed
in the ways of getting others to pay their clients’ taxes for them. They
wield that clever tool known as a conservation easement, and they wield
it far more adeptly than any drunk with a corkscrew. The end result is
lower taxes for the conveyor of the easement and higher taxes for us, his
or her neighbors…." -- James Ehlers is Publisher Emeritus of Elk Publishing,
Inc. His columns also appear in Outdoors Magazine and Livin’ The Vermont
Senators Obstruct Common-Sense Parental Notification laws
By Mary Beerworth
"While legislators beholden
to special interest groups like PPNNE play abortion politics with our children’s
lives, as many as 150 minor girls in Vermont this year may find themselves
facing the worst day of their lives - all alone. The time has come to stop
shaking our heads in disbelief and demand that lawmakers pass a parental
notification law in our state and send it to the Governor’s desk for his
signature." -- Mary Beerworth is the Executive Director of Vermont Right
Money for More Schooling?
By John McClaughry "...The
preschool advocates are lining up to promote their cause before the committee.
They fervently believe that expanding the state's control over more children
at ever-younger ages is inevitably a good thing that taxpayers ought to
be pleased to support. This issue has unfortunately become shrouded in
lots of mythology. Here are some hard questions that a skeptic ought to
ask of the committee..." -- John McClaughry is President of the Ethan
leads Republicans into general election
By Ross Sneyd, AP, September
"Gov. Jim Douglas led his
fellow Republicans into the general election Wednesday with a call to his
'Agenda of Affordability,' promising to paint Democrats as too willing
to tax and spend….Douglas promised, however, to wage a spirited campaign
not only against his own opponent, Democrat Scudder Parker, but against
the Democratic leadership in the Legislature. 'Over the course of the last
legislative session, the majority in the House and Senate revealed time
and time again that their idea of affordability is to raise taxes so they
can afford more spending,' Douglas declared…."
first debate, Welch and Rainville lock horns
By Wilson Ring, Associated
Press Writer, September 15
"....'I think it's critical
for Vermont that we have a speaker from the Republican Party that will
support the interests of small business, that will not allow taxes to be
raised and that will give us an environment where we can grow jobs in this
state, where we can allow our businesses to flourish and we can help make
an environment where we can provide health care to our citizens,' she [Rainville]
Weekly News Round Up
for nothing: a look at homework
By Peter Berger, Stowe Reporter,
".... These critics denounce
[homework] as a burden on families that causes "horrible conflict" and
doesn’t help students learn. They claim parents have had enough, that schools
have been piling ever larger heaps of busy work on the backs of American
children since Sputnik. They condemn homework as "undemocratic" and an
"outrage" that "deforms" family life. That sounds awful. But is it true?
Are parents really up in arms? According to a 2003 Brookings-RAND report,
two-thirds have no problem with how much homework their children are assigned.
Only 10 percent think their children have too much, while 25 percent are
concerned because their kids have too little. You wouldn’t know it based
on the hype. Time magazine headlined: "The Homework Ate My Family: Kids
are dazed. Parents are stressed. Why piling it on is hurting students…."
The Barton Chronicle, September
"If VPIRG believes that
wind power is clearly in the public interest, why shouldn’t it become its
vigorous advocate, and take the Governor to task for opposing it? The problem
lies on VPIRG’s board of directors. Two members, Matt Rubin and David Rapaport,
are the principals in East Haven Windfarm, the company that wants to put
four demonstration wind towers on East Mountain and, ultimately, erect
50 windmills on the ridge lines of Essex County.... Both stand to make
money if the state approves their projects, and lose money — possibly a
good deal of money — if it doesn’t."
sex offender caught in Swanton. Man lived in St. Albans Bay, on wanted
list for 6 years
By Leon Thompson, St. Albans
"…. A Louisiana fugitive
and convicted sex offender was arrested by Swanton police earlier this
week and will be returned to his home state within the next month….Wheeler
was unsure how long Rogers had lived in Vermont or St. Albans Bay…. If
Rogers had been in Vermont longer than 10 days, he was required to register
as a sex offender, but he didn’t..."
Our Will to Win
By Ed Koch September 16
Note: MUST READ)
"…. I believe this war of
civilizations, which was brought to our shores in 2001, is one of the most
important wars we have ever fought. In the Revolutionary War back in 1775-1783,
we had extraordinary leaders, including George Washington, chosen as General
and Commander-in-Chief and later elected President of the United States.
We forget that he lost almost every battle at the time, but he ultimately
won the war. But there were moments -- the harsh winter at Valley Forge
-- when it all looked hopeless and Washington was sharply criticized by
fellow Americans. He had the strength to ultimately prevail and overcome
the military defeats and personal attacks on his abilities...."
firm stand has foes shaky
New York Daily News
"….The result is that Democratic
plans for taking one or both houses of Congress by arguing that Iraq has
nothing to do with the war on Islamic terror now look like a political
mistake as well as misguided policy. The change came because President
Bush confounded expectations by staying bullish on the war and because
Osama Bin Laden's deputy seconded Bush's view that Iraq is key to the global
conflict. If Dems have a plan B, now would be the time to start dusting
By George Will, September
"....Wal-Mart, the most
prodigious job-creator in the history of the private sector in this galaxy,
has almost as many employees (1.3 million) as the U.S. military has uniformed
personnel. A McKinsey company study concluded that Wal-Mart accounted for
13 percent of the nation's productivity gains in the second half of the
1990s, which probably made Wal-Mart about as important as the Federal Reserve
in holding down inflation. By lowering consumer prices, Wal-Mart costs
about 50 retail jobs among competitors for every 100 jobs Wal-Mart creates.
Wal-Mart and its effects save shoppers more than $200 billion a year, dwarfing
such government programs as food stamps ($28.6 billion) and the earned-income
tax credit ($34.6 billion)..."
The Monster at Our Door
By Robert Samuelson, September
"….If monster seems like
rhetorical overkill, then recall what the aging baby boom does to government.
Federal spending on the elderly is plausibly projected to double from 2000
to 2030 as a share of national income. About three-quarters of that increase
will be health spending -- mostly Medicare, but also Medicaid (70 percent
of Medicaid spending goes to the old and disabled). The projected increase
in health spending exceeds all of today's discretionary domestic spending
on schools, the FBI, the environment and much more…."
Path to Hysteria
BY Cyrus Nowrasteh, Wall
Street Journal, September 18, 2006
"My sin was to write a screenplay
accurately depicting Bill Clinton's record on terrorism." -- Mr. Nowrasteh
wrote the screenplay for "The Path to 9/11."