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Between the Lines: School taxes — back to the blackboard

Posted on January 14, 2010 |
By Gregory Dennis



Pity the poor members of local school boards who have to put a budget before voters this March.

At least our schools’ administrators get paid to sort through the tangled mess that is Vermont school funding. But school board members go through this annual exercise in masochism out of their truly honorable sense of civic duty and doing what is right for our children.

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Douglas sings same old song - cutting taxes all the time

Posted on January 11, 2010 |
By Angelo Lynn



In his final State of the State address, Gov. Jim Douglas emphasized three familiar themes: promote job growth, cut taxes and reduce school spending. He’s been saying much the same thing for the previous few years to little success — a fact that he has too willingly blamed on his opponents.

In retrospect, he might have wondered if a more progressive agenda could have yielded better results.

Consider the state’s current plight and the possibility of a different approach.

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Editorial: What Vermonters expect of their new governor

Posted on January 7, 2010 |
By Emerson K. Lynn



Politics is nothing more than understanding ambition and the conditions that produce it, and there is a surfeit of both as the Vermont Legislature begins its work.

It will be a session unlike any other. Legislators will be faced with a $150 million hole in the budget that needs to be plugged. It has an unemployment trust fund that is about to run bone dry. And it is dealing with a state economy that is anemic, at best.

The general conclusion is that we must learn how to do more with less, or, as the governor suggests, to do less with less.

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Clippings: Lost decade? Not for next generation

Posted on January 7, 2010 |
By Angelo Lynn



The coincidence of having two of my three post-college-age daughters home over the holiday and it being the end of the first decade of the 21st century prompted this observation: While New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning economist Paul Krugman called the decade past “The Big Zero” for the economic stagnation that pervaded the Bush years, my daughters’ view of the decade was one of excitement and optimism.

Consider their perspective.

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Politically Thinking: 2010 legislative session kicks off

Posted on January 7, 2010 |
By Eric L. Davis



The legislative session that began this week will be one of the most important in years. Key budget policy issues — for the state and for school districts — are on the agenda. Vermont Yankee’s license expires in just over two years, and the Legislature must take positive action if the plant is to continue operating. Much of the session will be driven by the politics of the first open-seat gubernatorial campaign in eight years.

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Learn from decade past to prevent another 'Big Zero'

Posted on January 4, 2010 |
By Angelo Lynn



As the first decade of the 21st century slips into the annals of history, a review of the nation’s progress is useful if we are to avoid past mistakes and set a better course for the next decade. And it is as important for individuals to understand, as it is for the nation as a whole.

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Editorial: Making resolutions work

Posted on December 30, 2009 |
By Angelo Lynn



If we consider human nature, making New Year’s resolutions a singular endeavor is akin to pulling your fortune out of a cookie: it might just happen, but the odds are against it.

But involve your friends and neighbors in the effort, and the success rate jumps dramatically.

Taking that as a cue, let’s set a few resolutions for the New Year as collective communities and mark our progress as the year evolves.

In Middlebury, let’s resolve to:

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Editorial: New bridge, new opportunities

Posted on December 30, 2009 |
By Angelo Lynn



After Monday morning’s demolition, the Champlain Bridge is history. It’s time for a few more hours of romanticized reflection, then a redoubling of efforts to build a new bridge in record time that will make the trip over the lake better in every way.

That, at least, should be the goal.

Just how could the new bridge serve the public better? Here are a few key ways, some of which have been previously suggested by readers, and are being tentatively considered by state officials:

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Clippings: Watching the world through a lens

Posted on December 30, 2009 |
By Andrea Suozzo



On Saturday, when my cousins and I got back from skiing, we plugged my new camera into the computer and watched the videos we’d shot. On the screen, I licked the chairlift to see if my tongue would stick. My cousin Danny rolled his eyes.

“Maybe we should just record everything we do for half of our lives, then spend the other half watching it,” he said.

His comment got me thinking.

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Around the Bend: Reading proves cure for insomnia

Posted on December 30, 2009 |
By Jessie Raymond



Despite my love of sleep, once the lights go off I often find myself doing the other thing people typically do in bed. And I don’t mean counting sheep.

I mean worrying, of course.

There is no trouble so overpowering that it can’t get infinitely worse in a dark room with eight hours of quiet for it to fester in.

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