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April 14th, 2011
Returning the federal budget to sustainability over the next decade will require a combination of cuts in discretionary spending programs, reforms in entitlement programs and increases in tax revenues. Many elected officials and interest group leaders believe that solidifying the nation’s finances can be accomplished with changes in only one or two of these areas. Democrats want to cut military spending and raise taxes on the wealthy, while Republicans want to cut domestic programs and reduce Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
With the limited exception of those of us lucky enough to live in Vermont, this is a lousy time to be a liberal. And it’s not going to get any better.
After years of battling Republican Gov. Jim Douglas, Democrats and Progressives in the Legislature have the luxury of working with new Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin. While Shumlin has put the kibosh on increasing taxes for the super-rich — he knows that would be political poison in his first term — he has otherwise set a remarkably progressive tone.
Finally some warmth! The patches of snow are almost gone in the shade-licked corners of the yard. As I write, we are having a true April shower, no sleet, no snow, just an honest rain.
ADDISON — New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) officials on Thursday said they remain confident that the new 2,200-foot Champlain Bridge will be completed on schedule by Oct. 9, and served notice that passersby will soon see major elements of the span put into place during the next few months.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Union High School boys’ lacrosse team showed flashes of promise in Saturday’s season opener against Woodstock, but the visiting Wasps carried an edge in play and took advantage of Tiger miscues to earn an 8-3 win.
Woodstock improved to 2-0. The Wasps earlier defeated Rutland, 10-4, and had a couple scrimmages under their belts.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury voters on Wednesday, April 13, will vote on a proposed 2011-2012 Mary Hogan Elementary School spending plan of $5,899,867, representing a 2.22-percent increase compared to this year. The vote will take place at the school district annual meeting slated to being at 7:30 p.m. in the school gym.
The proposed budget maintains current staffing levels, does not add any new programs and recognizes an enrollment increase of 10 students (for a total of 400), according to Mary Hogan Elementary School Co-principal Tom Buzzell.
BURLINGTON — A couple Fridays ago, veteran chef James Bachand of New Haven received a last minute request to whip up a delicious meal on short notice. While that’s not unusual for a professional like Bachand with more than three decades of experience in the kitchen, this request came with a twist.
This meal would be judged against dishes prepared by other professional chefs as part of a competition at an Iron Chef competition at the Reinhart Food Service annual trade show in Burlington.
ADDISON COUNTY — A group of well-published poets will rattle off a series of fresh poems at the New Haven Community Library this Thursday at 7 p.m. in celebration of national poetry month.
The Spring Street Poets, who perform in public only three to four times a year, is comprised of seven Addison County writers: Janet Fancher and Mary Pratt of New Haven, and Middlebury residents Jennifer Bates, Abigail Carroll, Karin Gottshall, Ray Hudson and group founder David Weinstock.