Archive - Apr 2010 - Editorial
Entergy’s decision Monday to nix plans to spin off six nuclear reactors, including Vermont Yankee, into a separate company that would be overburdened with debt is a welcome step forward in the state’s discussion about extending Vermont Yankee’s permit in 2012 by another 20 years. The spin-off proposal was widely criticized as a ploy to create an under-funded corporation (Enexus) that would have been more likely to default on decommissioning costs, while allowing Entergy to dodge those expenses at plants in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Michigan.
If you’d asked me what Easter meant when I was younger, I probably would have said that it had something to do with a six-foot-tall rabbit bringing cheap, foil-wrapped chocolate candies in a basket.
What do super-hot actress Megan Fox and I have in common? Other than our shared conviction that she is much sexier than me, not much. But there is one thing: Brachydactyly type D.
This is not a type of dinosaur; it’s actually a condition, one I’d like to say is characterized by flawless skin, come-hither eyes, pouty lips and a perfect figure. But I’m afraid it just means we have unusually short, fat thumbs.
When Vermont Commissioner of Education Armando Vilaseca released a report last week calling for cuts of $61 million out of the $1.5 billion annual education budget to help balance the budget in fiscal year 2011, you might have missed the political sleight of hand.
It went like this:
In the race to balance the estimated $150 million 2011 budget shortfall, the governor and company targeted a political issue that plays well to supporters: School spending and the desire to reduce school taxes.
Hey, Mt. Abe, buck up. Take the good with the not-so-good and make the best of up to $600,000 the federal government is offering in school improvement grants. That’s not a lot of money spread over three years, considering the union school budget is $13.2 million, but what’s not to like about the opportunity to assess the school’s strengths and weaknesses and devise a “transformation model” that figures out ways to improve the weakest links?
As long as Middlebury travelers are going to have to put up with traffic jams, delays, detours and other interruptions in daily travels because of the Cross Street Bridge construction and changes in surrounding roads for the next six months, let’s at least have some fun with it.
First, let’s give this project a snazzy name.
If you notice smoke signals wafting from the chimney at my Shoreham home any time soon, pay close attention: What may seem at first like the inviting trickle of wood smoke from our stove is really an SOS. • • • — — — • • •! Translation: We’re under siege, and the invading forces are winning.
A controversy brewing about the conditions governing bids from contractors that would like to build the new Champlain Bridge provides a window into the politics of labor issues in New York state and in Vermont. The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is the lead agency overseeing the bridge project. NYSDOT is considering including a “Project Labor Agreement” (PLA) as part of the bid conditions. The PLA would require contractors to give the highest priority to unionized workers in hiring for the project and to contribute to union benefit funds.