Archive - Editorial
October 22nd, 2009
We shouldn’t even have to tell you where you’re having lunch this Saturday, Oct. 24, or what you’re bringing. You should already know. I’m bringing a pot of hot pumpkin soup and maybe my apple crisp, the kind with the crunchy topping flavored with maple syrup. Can’t beat it when it’s hot. Where are we going? To the gigantic Middlebury potluck lunch, and while the food will be delicious, the cause is the driving force.
For all too long, firefighting in America has been the sole monopoly of government, usually organized at the very local level of cities and communities and often relying on volunteers. While firefighting serves the community, this public stranglehold needs to be broken for a variety of reasons.
The hearing before Middlebury’s Development Review Board on Monday night concerning the proposed Fenn Gravel Pit off Route 116 in Middlebury fits the mold to the letter: it was tedious, contentious and frustrating for the public. Unfortunately, that’s the process (the applicant must present their plans in full at the initial hearing, which seldom leaves adequate time for questions) and there are few, if any, shortcuts to that first step.
A proposed railway tunnel in downtown Middlebury connecting the Main Street underpass to the Merchants Row underpass is an imaginative vision that deserves wholehearted support from town officials and community residents — and creates the opportunity to address adjacent problems that have gone unresolved for far too long.
Now that Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie has announced his intentions to run for governor, the state’s political landscape has become a lot clearer — and that landscape might pose a surprisingly stiff challenge for Democrats to take back the governor’s seat.
In a recent commentary, Jason Gibbs, state commissioner of the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, wrote an upbeat piece about his department “doing everything it can to generate economic activity and create jobs.”
Not to nick-pick, but that’s a big statement — even for a politician.
But let’s come back to that in a moment.
A petition circulating throughout the UD-3 school district is imploring the Middlebury Union High School administration, board and teachers to “adopt a culture of excellence mandated at the highest administrative levels.” The petition has been greeted with enthusiasm by the board and administration, though early responses suggest that restricted finances will hamper how much can be done to effect changes on test scores that petitioners say are too low.
Certainly, current test scores validate the need for change.
When Vermont Commissioner of Education Armando Vilaseca visits the Vergennes Union High School board of education next week he is expected to have two key items on his agenda: school board consolidation and “school transformation.” VUHS has been a statewide leader on both issues (see story Page 1) and is deserving of the attention Vilaseca’s visit brings to the school. But we also hope the commissioner will spend a few moments talking about what the state needs to do if we are truly going to compete in the global marketplace.