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This year, all I want for Christmas is an open Internet. I’m looking at you, Congress.
Normally I’d just ask for an iPad. It’s not like I haven’t been drooling over that page on the Apple website for quite a while. Or maybe a new smartphone, since I may or may not have dropped mine on the treadmill earlier this week and done irreparable damage. Or, hey, maybe a new camera. Mine’s going on seven years old, and it’s getting harder to take photos or videos that anyone wants to see.
Randy Brock, the Franklin County state senator and former state auditor, announced two weeks ago that he would be running for governor in 2012 as the Republican candidate. What are the opportunities and challenges facing Brock as he begins his gubernatorial campaign?
Brock has experience as a statewide candidate, having run for auditor in 2004 and 2006. He is very knowledgeable on the issues facing Vermont, and will present his views effectively on the campaign trail. He will be a worthy opponent in debates with Gov. Peter Shumlin.
This year’s Christmas column comes in three parts: A Scrooge-like rant; an interlude in which the author repents of his Ebenezerish qualities; and an uplifting conclusion of peace, love and joy.
First, the rant.
Of all the aggravating little pieces of political correctness to which we have been subjected over the years, “Happy Holidays” is the worst.
VERGENNES — Last March, the Vergennes Union High School board’s level-funded budget of a little less than $8.9 million earned solid support in the five communities the school serves. Now the board is eyeing a third budget draft for the 2012-2013 academic year that could raise spending by 2.47 percent to a little more than $9 million.
ADDISON COUNTY — Despite the ever more chaotic rush for all things new and discounted during the holiday season, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed in years: the Thanksgiving turkey dinner.
Tradition held true this year, according to Addison County’s largest turkey producers, Misty Knoll Farm in New Haven and Stonewood Farm in Orwell. They say a sluggish economy hasn’t stifled the demand for Vermont-produced turkeys.
RIPTON — It’s the year of the protester, according to “Time” magazine, and Ripton’s Bill McKibben fits the bill. So well, in fact, that he made it onto the “People Who Mattered” list in the magazine’s annual year-in-review issue.
SALISBURY — Gerry Gossens has collected his share of hardware and accolades for his service in the state Legislature and on the leadership boards of more than a dozen local and statewide nonprofits.
Now Gossens’ volunteer contributions have been recognized throughout New England. The Salisbury resident this month received the New England Healthcare Assembly’s (NEHA) “Trustee Leadership Award,” conferred annually on a hospital trustee in the Northeast who has made exceptional contributions to the health care industry.
BRISTOL — The current Bristol Town Plan, first adopted in December 2001 and readopted in January 2007, will expire on Jan. 15, 2012, almost two years after a proposed rewrite was turned down by voters in 2010.
The fact that Bristol, a town where land development has been the subject of some controversy in recent years, will be without a town plan in effect has some legal and practical ramifications.