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April 8th, 2015
One of the downsides of us still having a landline — besides all the young people thinking we’re geezers — is that pretty much the only calls we get on it are from telemarketers.
Last week, I got one that really threw me. The caller said she was from the Cancer Is Really Awful Foundation or something, one of those vaguely real-sounding organizations that either save millions of lives or are shams run out of abandoned warehouses. You never can tell.
An Addison County, Middlebury icon. How many of us have walked through the aisles of Greg’s hearing the voice, “Can I help you find something?” or “Good morning, you look well”? Plus a hug to many of his customers.
Greg’s Meat Market did very well. The true success was driven by a caring individual whose absence created a real void for many of us who relied on Greg’s products and personal service. Little is known of Greg’s caring, his generosity to the elderly and unfortunate.
The news has seemed sour and sad too often these last weeks: the steady parade of people who don’t want to have to see any solar panels out their windows, the attack on small schools, and the demise of Greg’s Market. And then I read the usually wonderful Greg Dennis decrying Otter Creek Brewery for phasing out Copper Ale and replacing it with the new Backseat Berner.
Let me get this straight: The House of Representatives and the Senate, dating back some six years and with support for the governor’s office in recent years, have consistently outspent income by a wide margin yet we are supposed to feel good about this year’s balancing act because all is well with the efforts to cut spending.
There is no victory in this budget.
It has never been a secret that I have always believed that the school boards in the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union were shirking their duties. It has gotten terribly worse with the crippling effects resulting from the adoption of the Vermont Superintendents Association version of policy governance.
Can Congress be saved?
No one is talking about abolishing this once august institution. But Congress is suffering from a well-deserved reputation for partisan bickering and gridlock, which have resulted in little recent action to address the nation’s challenges.
And as for global issues such as the environment — well, let’s just say the solutions are not going to emerge anytime soon from Capitol Hill.
Do we have small schools and small school districts or tiny schools and tiny school districts?
Will expanding the size of school districts and getting rid of supervisory unions increase or decrease democracy?
Can we embrace a new sense of our local community?
Does H.361 get rid of local school boards?
These are all questions related to the legislature’s initiative to change governance in our PreK-12 school system in Vermont contained in H.361 as passed by the Vermont House last week.
The most significant news out of Montpelier over the last few weeks was the passage, by the House, of the fiscal year 2016 budget, a tax bill to help make it work, a Clean Water bill and the Education bill.