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January 8th, 2012
Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the General Assembly, distinguished guests, fellow Vermonters:
Thank you. It’s been such a privilege to serve as Vermont’s governor over the past year. Our partnership of community, courage, and common purpose that has empowered us through the unprecedented challenges dumped upon us by Mother Nature, combined with our willingness to make the tough choices necessary to grow jobs and economic opportunities for all Vermonters, has made us stronger.
Trying to create good paying jobs has become a national obsession. All political candidates are for it; states and cities are devising ways to promote it; and every taxpaying citizen who is underpaid and overworked (or jobless) is clamoring for better jobs — preferably near their home.
With Mitt Romney’s razor-thin victory in Iowa’s presidential caucus, what’s the most telling number? Is it 8 — the margin by which he barely beat Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania who came out of nowhere in the past two weeks (then polling almost dead last) to surprise everyone? Is it 21 percent — the protest vote given to 75-year-old, grouchy libertarian Rep. Ron Paul of Texas? Or maybe 13 percent — the lousy showing by Newt Gingrich that landed him in a distant fourth place?
It was a day I thought would come a little later, but love sets its own time schedule.
In less than two weeks, our only daughter, Diane, will get married to her fiancé, Oshane.
Turning 50 and seeing a child get married during the same month. As if I needed further evidence that I am getting old.
Seems like only yesterday that I was writing columns in this newspaper about Diane being born, learning how to pronounce her hometown of Bristol, building fairy houses in the woods and eventually graduating from high school.
Regardless of the outcome of the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney is the only Republican presidential candidate with the organizational and financial resources to win the nomination. While any prediction about the outcome of the general election made 10 months in advance needs to be taken with a great deal of caution, I can construct a plausible scenario through which Romney could defeat President Obama.
Driving home this past Monday, I saw a scene befitting this winter season.
I’d like to report that it was a cross-country skier. What I saw, though, was not a skier but a golfer — hitting practice balls off one of the tees at the college golf course.
That’s all you need to know about what kind of winter it’s been for skiers and snowboarders.
Those of us who look forward to winter have grown accustomed to mild Novembers and Decembers. But it’s been many years since we’ve seen such a slow start to the ski season.
VERGENNES — Vergennes police on Dec. 28 charged a city man with stealing jewelry, much of it antique, from a family member at a Mountain View Lane home.
Cited was Nicholas Piper, 33, for grand larceny; police said they questioned him after the theft. Police allege that he stole jewelry that the victim estimated was worth between $5,000 and $10,000 and said that they recovered many of the items from pawnshops in Burlington and South Burlington.
In other incidents between Dec. 24 and Jan. 1, Vergennes police:
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury police responded to the reported assault of a 19-year-old man while he was walking a dog on Main Street on Dec. 28 at around 8:30 p.m. Police said two men allegedly pushed the victim from behind, causing him to fall. The men then allegedly punched and kicked the victim, dislocating his right shoulder, according to police. The victim was treated at Porter Hospital.