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. True North Archives 09/26/06

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Delegation should support Vermonters wanting to testify in DC on "Wilderness" designation
By Senator Mark Shepard, R-Bennington
"….Just as he has been doing throughout this process, Governor Douglas is working to ensure the voices of the Vermonters who will be most negatively affected by this legislation will have an opportunity to be heard in Washington. The governor is doing his job. In fact, it is Leahy, Jeffords and Sanders whom we should chastise.  It was their job to make sure these Vermonters had an opportunity to testify in Washington. In this, they failed…." -- Mark Shepard is a Vermont State Senator from Bennington County

Related: Contact info for the Governor: 800-649-6825 or 828-3333.

The Underhanded Wilderness Grab of 2006
By John McClaughry
"Ever since 1975, the advocates of turning Vermont’s 400,000 acre Green Mountain National Forest into a wall to wall wilderness, entered only by the occasional foot traveler, have pressed their cause with relentless determination. Now, with the help of the state’s two Senators, the Vermont Wilderness Association and its allies are on the verge of their greatest victory...." --John McClaughry is President of the Ethan Allen Institute (

Government by the Democrats, of the Democrats and for the Democrats
By Kevin Ryan
"…Burlington Electric Department General Manager Barbara Grimes and Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss are endorsing a plan to sell the 199 acres of undeveloped land to the Intervale Center, a private agriculture company who farms there, for a the bargain price of only $200,000. No, that isn’t a misprint. 199 acres of prime undeveloped land for $200,000, less than the price of the average single family home in Burlington. Sort of makes you want to make a counter-offer, doesn’t it?...." – Kevin Ryan lives in Burlington. He can be reached at

Pollyanna and Cassandra, Part II
By Martin Harris
"….Technically, Vermont schools did earn a passing grade by federal standards: C+.  They earned that C+ by substituting their own preferred test, the New England Common assessment program, or NECAP, for the federal National Assessment of Educational progress, or NAEP test. Vermont students also take the federal tests, but don’t have to publicize the results or be graded on them, which is just as well, because Vermont students (like those in other states) can manage to achieve only in the low 200’s out of 500 on such federal exams as math and reading. That’s probably an F…." – Martin Harris is the former President of Citizens for Property Rights. He writes a regular column for the Addison Eagle and Rutland Tribune

Campaign ‘06

Governor Douglas on right track with Wilderness

Congratulations to Gov. Douglas for standing up for the majority of Vermonters and opposing further "Wilderness" designation in the Green Mountain National Forest.  The overwhelming majority of Vermonters have expressed opposition to expansion of acreage under this non-management scheme despite the claims of radical preservationist groups.

The Forest Service’s own report admits there is no social, economic or scientific reason to expand wilderness in the GMNF but, succumbing to political pressure, they still opposed the majority of public opinion and proposed an additional 17,000 acres be added.  The Vermont Congressional Delegation further insulted the majority by proposing a further increase to 48,000 acres.

The Wilderness Designation will degrade wildlife habitat and reduce the animal carrying capacity of the forest.  It will make it difficult, if not impossible for people with disabilities to access the forest.  It will cause economic harm to the towns that are nearby.  It will not even allow rescue helicopters or machinery of any kind to evacuate someone injured or ill inside the "Wilderness" area – that is how ridiculous this is.

The Vermont House of Representatives saw this issue as so important; it elected to pass a resolution against any further expansion of "Wilderness" designated acreage in GMNF.  Many of the towns surrounding the forest as well as individual citizens also provided letters against expansion of "Wilderness".

Governor Douglas is absolutely correct in this matter and deserves tremendous support for his actions.  The Vermont Congressional Delegation deserves disdain.

--Ed Gallo, Richmond, Hunters Anglers Trappers Association of Vermont

Nelson's pot bust becomes issue in Vermont race for U.S. Senate
By John Curran, Associated Press, September 18
"MONTPELIER, Vt. --It didn't take long Monday for word of Willie Nelson's pot bust to make its way to the campaign trail.The country singer, who appears in television commercials on behalf of U.S. Rep. Bernard Sanders' campaign for the U.S. Senate, was arrested along with four other people in Lafayette, La…."

Primary losers file actions over Sanders' endorsement, withdrawal
By John Curran, Associated Press, September 20
"…. Drown, 62, said he filed a petition Tuesday in Superior Court for Washington County alleging that Sanders and Carleton conspired to violate election laws by running Sanders when they knew he wouldn't run as a Democrat in the Nov. 7 election…. Drown asked the court to order the party to put a Democrat on the ballot…."

The Politics of Cynicism
Caledonian Record Editorial, Sept. 19, 2006
"Now that the dust has settled from Primary day, perhaps we can stop holding our nose. The rank smell of political cynicism that disgusts so many and causes them to sit elections out ought to fade, but not disappear completely…."

Vermont Weekly News Round Up

Students have voice in video game bill
Local educator’s research focuses on related violence
By Rick Burnham – St. Albans Messenger, September 20
"…. Julie Benay is taking aim at violent video games and what she believes is the havoc they wreak on the minds of young people, and she is enlisting the help of a Bellows Free Academy-Fairfax organization to help her do it…."

A Change Is In Wind For UPC
BY Jeanne Miles, Caledonian Record, September 25
"UPS Vermont Wind will be filing revised testimony concerning a proposed project in Sheffield and Sutton with the Public Service Board today. Matt Kearns, project manager for UPC, would not be specific, but said it does have to do with the company's plans to build a commercial wind farm in Sheffield and Sutton…. UPC plans to erect 20 398-foot wind turbines between Hardscrabble Mountain and Libby Hill in Sheffield and another six in neighboring Sutton…. Sheffield and UPC have worked out an agreement whereby the town will receive payments of between $400,000 and $550,000 a year if the project is completed. In exchange, Sheffield has agreed to support UPC's efforts to gain a certificate of public good from the PSB."

State, Feds appeal Circ Highway ruling
By Greg Elias, Williston Observer, September 21
"State and federal officials plan to appeal a court ruling that required a costly environmental study and halted construction of the Circumferential Highway in Williston…. That environmental study now underway, however, has cleared the way for alternatives in Williston. The dozens of options considered at the study’s outset have been narrowed to eight alternatives that fall into four broad categories: build the Circ Highway as originally designed; construct a boulevard-style road along the Circ route; widen Vermont 2A and/or replace traffic lights with roundabouts; or combine elements of both plans. A no-build option also remains a possibility…."


Low Tax States Economically Outperform High Tax States
By MHPC, September 19
".... States with low taxes have greater job creation and wage growth than states, like Maine, with high taxes," said Scott Moody. "If Maine policymakers are serious about increasing economic activity and providing Mainers with the same economic opportunities that residents of low tax states experience, they need to lower the tax burden on Mainers…." The analysis found that the ten lowest tax states… had population growth that was 172.1 percent higher, personal income growth that was 31.9 percent higher, and employment growth that was 78.6 percent higher..."

Environmentalists are new foes of some of the world's poorest
By Phelim Mcaleer, Rocky Mountain News, September 23
"....It was surprising that environmentalists would lie, but the most shocking part was yet to come. As I spoke to the Western environmentalists it quickly emerged that they wanted to stop the mine because they felt that development and prosperity will ruin the rural "idyllic" lifestyle of these happy peasants..."

Mike Gets Halfway Radical
By Heather MacDonald, New York Post
"Mayor Bloomberg has broken the most fiercely guarded taboo in the poverty industry…. Anyone who dared to point out that such self-destructive decisions as having a baby out of wedlock or dropping out of school were the proximate causes of poverty was lambasted for "blaming the victim…." There is a far more effective action the mayor could take to reduce poverty in New York, one that would require violating the second-most dangerous poverty-industry taboo: promoting marriage…. Bloomberg should put as much energy into stamping out illegitimacy as he has into stamping out smoking...."

Fun Union Facts
Wall Street Journal, September 19
"....This month marks the deadline for the last of the nation's unions to file newly expanded disclosure reports, known as LM-2 forms…. Hard-working union members deserve to know, for example, that of the AFL-CIO's $82 million in discretionary disbursements from July 2004 to June 2005, only 36% went to representing members in labor negotiations -- which is what unions were created to do. A whopping $49 million, or 60% of its budget, instead went to political activities and lobbying, while another $2.4 million went to contributions, gifts and grants. The National Education Association was even more skewed toward politics, spending only 33% of its $143 million discretionary budget on improving its members' lots."
(Non-WSJ subscribers may be able to read this article here:

'Republicans Will Make History'
By Ken Mehlman, Wall Street Journal, September 22
"...Last month's narrowly averted plot to blow up airliners bound for the U.S. from Great Britain is a stark reminder that we are engaged in an extraordinary and dangerous global war. In 46 days, the American people will make an important decision about how we prosecute that war: Do we stay on the offense and use every tool available to defeat the enemy, or do we elect leaders who would weaken America and surrender key tools we need to defeat the global jihad? ...."







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