Archive - Editorial
June 17th, 2010
News this week that Exxon-Mobil not only paid no U.S. taxes last year, but also a received $156 million tax refund from the federal government, won’t go over well with the average American taxpayer.
A friend asked me the other day how long it has been since I graduated from high school. I did the quick math in my head (I graduated in 1982), and came up with 28 years. I hesitated saying the number out loud because it didn’t seem possible. Twenty-eight years? I did the math again and, darn it, I still came up with 28.
On a recent family trip to Oklahoma, I developed a whole new admiration for, and horror of, the airline industry. No other business I know of can provide so little for so much and still be in such high demand. (As a cell phone owner, I don’t say this lightly.)
Airline travel has become increasingly expensive, inconvenient and exhausting. It offers little incentive to keep customers coming back. Yet the airports are packed.
In late March, a little noticed, almost unreported event took place in the Middle East. The government of Qatar forced out the moderate leadership of one of Islam’s most popular, moderate websites and is reshaping it into a religiously more conservative media outlet. They have started by running news releases instead of the moderate and diverse content that the site, IslamOnline, was known for.
That Addison County might be the location of one of the state’s largest solar farms is exciting news in as much as it is another example of “green energy” being built for a future that is not so directly tied to fossil fuels. It is exciting, too, because when new technologies for such basic commodities as energy are used locally, that often sparks a corresponding interest in jobs related to that field — among students of solar energy, as well as niche businesses that might one-day feed into the solar energy industry.
I always thought I’d be able to tell folks exactly where I was when I decided to run my first long-distance race. You know, one of those sobering, psych-yourself-up moments you never forget.
Turned out to be quite the anti-climax, really. We were riding in the car around four months ago when our son, Mark, blurted out, “Dad, we’re running the half-marathon in Burlington this May.”
“Thanks for signing me up, son,” I believe I muttered under my breath. “Did you put me down for the firing squad, too?”
The 2010 Vermont election cycle will feature competitive races for many statewide offices, including secretary of state. After 12 years as secretary of state, Deb Markowitz is stepping down to run for governor. In recent years, several secretaries of state have gone on to become candidates for higher offices, including Markowitz, Jim Douglas (secretary of state from 1980 to 1992), and, for those with longer memories, Jim Guest (secretary of state from 1976 to 1980).
Even amid the rumbling of road construction in downtown Middlebury, you can hear the sound of their absence. The sound that isn’t a sound.
It’s the time of year when for just a couple quiet weeks, Middlebury gets fully handed back to the people who live here. The decibel level drops by double digits, the pace slows to that of a true small town, and suddenly all the faces you see are familiar ones.