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Guest editorial: Vermont's tax challenge

Posted on November 19, 2009 |
By Emerson K. Lynn



If half a company’s revenue came from five percent of its customer base, the CEO would begin each day with the same ritual: prayer.

That’s a narrow base upon which to build hope, let alone a sustainable business.

To an extent, that’s Vermont’s issue, not at the corporate level but with state government. We have a spending level that is disproportionately dependent on a progressive income tax structure and a paltry number of taxpayers.

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Clippings: 51 Main bridges town's generations

Posted on November 19, 2009 |
By Angelo Lynn



In business, it’s not always possible to achieve your mission the first year out of the block. But there’s evidence that 51 Main Street in Middlebury has come pretty close.

Roll back the clock with me to a scene there last April. It’s a cold, blustery Thursday night and one would have expected Middlebury’s Main Street to be quiet at the 8 o’clock hour.

This night, however, was different.

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Around the bend: Shopping early yields mixed results

Posted on November 19, 2009 |
By Jessie Raymond



In the past, we’ve generally started our Christmas shopping around Dec. 18.

There’s a powerful adrenalin surge that comes from the mob hysteria the week before the holiday. Similar to the running of the bulls in Pamplona every July, the shopping of the desperate in the mall every December is an annual rite that draws thousands, thrills the participants and poses a serious threat of trampling. Granted, the risk of being gored at the mall is comparatively small, but it’s still a pretty good time.

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Between the lines: Giving thanks lightens the load

Posted on November 19, 2009 |
By Gregory Dennis



When a dark mood overtakes me, I force myself to feel grateful.

“Think of three things you’re thankful for,” a small, wise voice inside will say. “Just three little things.”

“OK. I’m grateful for the dinner I had last night. And for having friends. I’m usually grateful I’m alive.”

If that little recitation fails to turn the tide, I’ll try to name three more things for which I’m grateful. And three after that.

As I build a little mental pile of my personal blessings, it becomes easier to bear whatever fictitious burden I imagine myself to be carrying.

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'Our country, right or wrong?' Critical thinking wouldn't hurt

Posted on November 16, 2009 |
By Angelo Lynn



Adding a personal story to the health care debate, Randolph Herald editor/publisher Dick Drysdale wrote the following editorial several weeks ago about a Randolph couple that had spent the summer in Canada and experienced that country’s health care system. It’s worth a read not because it tells us about the Canadian health care system, but because it reveals the shortcomings of our national bias.

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A tough year for budgets

As school boards get into the nitty-gritty of next year’s budgets during these last weeks of November and early December, we wonder how they will heed warnings from state officials to rein in spending if they are to avoid state-mandated cuts.

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Have a vision? Send it in

f you have a vision of how you would like Middlebury to grow over the next 10 to 20 years, now is the time to share your thoughts with town officials.

The Middlebury Planning Commission is starting a multi-year process of updating the town plan and it is seeking direction from town residents. “We feel that inviting more people to tell us what they think and having listened to more people, we will have a better plan and people will feel as if they’ve been heard,” Planning Commission Chairman John Barstow said in an Addison Independent story last Thursday.

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Clippings: Sitting out the Quidditch World Cup

I never intended to play Quidditch again. I played one or two games in the first Quidditch World Cup at Middlebury College, back when it was definitely not a “World Cup.”

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Electricity supply to be a key issue

Posted on November 12, 2009 |
By Eric L. Davis



he future of Vermont’s electricity supply will be a major issue in next year’s legislative session and gubernatorial campaign. While the federal government has the primary responsibility for regulating the safety of nuclear power, Vermont law requires that the Legislature must approve an extension of Vermont Yankee’s authority to operate beyond the expiration of its current license in 2012.

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PSB: How is Entergy's spin-off better for Vermont consumers?

Senate President Pro Temp Peter Shumlin and House Speaker Shap Smith are right to question the alleged benefits of allowing Entergy to spin off its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant (and five others) into a separate holding company called Enexus. On the face of it, the spin-off does little more than free Entergy, a debt-free and profitable company, of future expense while creating a new company — loaded with debt — to shoulder the burden of decommissioning five aging nuclear plants in the not-so-distant future.

Finding the benefit to Vermont in such a deal is perplexing.

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