Archive - Oct 2009 - Editorial
Nothing will be pleasant when tackling the task of shoring up the state unemployment compensation fund. Sacrifices will have to be made by the business community in the form of increased taxes into the fund, and by workers who have lost their jobs.
As compassionate Vermonters, the notion that unemployed workers may have to do with less is tough to hear, but we all must brace for the pain that comes with shared sacrifice.
I took off for New York earlier this month, cutting out of work a bit early on a Friday afternoon to make the trip. Almost all of my dearest college friends flocked to the city after graduation, so an outing to New York is a bit like one-stop shopping at a big-box store: Somewhere, in a city of 8 million some odd people, are a half-dozen friends waiting for me; I just have to elbow my way through never-ending aisles of strangers, knick-knacks and two-for-the-price-of-one deals to find them.
FairPoint Communications’ resort to bankruptcy court to restructure its debts raises important policy issues for state and national legislators and utility regulators. FairPoint, Vermont’s dominant provider of landline communications services, bought Verizon’s landline operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont in early 2008. FairPoint, which had been a small company serving rural markets in southern states, added more than 1 million new customers in the Verizon deal, along with over $2 billion in debt.
We shouldn’t even have to tell you where you’re having lunch this Saturday, Oct. 24, or what you’re bringing. You should already know. I’m bringing a pot of hot pumpkin soup and maybe my apple crisp, the kind with the crunchy topping flavored with maple syrup. Can’t beat it when it’s hot. Where are we going? To the gigantic Middlebury potluck lunch, and while the food will be delicious, the cause is the driving force.
For all too long, firefighting in America has been the sole monopoly of government, usually organized at the very local level of cities and communities and often relying on volunteers. While firefighting serves the community, this public stranglehold needs to be broken for a variety of reasons.
The hearing before Middlebury’s Development Review Board on Monday night concerning the proposed Fenn Gravel Pit off Route 116 in Middlebury fits the mold to the letter: it was tedious, contentious and frustrating for the public. Unfortunately, that’s the process (the applicant must present their plans in full at the initial hearing, which seldom leaves adequate time for questions) and there are few, if any, shortcuts to that first step.
A proposed railway tunnel in downtown Middlebury connecting the Main Street underpass to the Merchants Row underpass is an imaginative vision that deserves wholehearted support from town officials and community residents — and creates the opportunity to address adjacent problems that have gone unresolved for far too long.
Now that Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie has announced his intentions to run for governor, the state’s political landscape has become a lot clearer — and that landscape might pose a surprisingly stiff challenge for Democrats to take back the governor’s seat.