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January 15th, 2015
VERGENNES — Officer Adam O’Neill, a three-and-a-half year veteran of the Vergennes Police Department, and his canine side-kick, K9 Kane, on Nov. 21 graduated from the 16-week Police Canine Patrol School held at the Vermont Police Canine Academy in Pittsford.
Gov. Peter Shumlin and Vermont Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross had to know that the farming community would take issue when the governor proposed in his Inaugural address to make changes to the state’s Current Use tax program that would penalize farmers who pollute waterways. What they also had to suppose was that the majority of Vermonters would not think it was unfair for farmers to be willing to accept a share of the responsibility for cleaning up the state’s waterways, particularly those that run into Lake Champlain.
The liberal Public Assets Institute recently asked all Vermonters a compelling question: Are your school taxes a problem? In seeking public response, one would think they will be flooded by responses from taxpayers who are angry about their high property tax bills.
My dad died Christmas morning. In November he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. It was also in his bones and spreading. He came to terms with it quickly. He was ready. He had lived a good life, he felt, one that had lasted longer than he ever expected. My sister, Torri, and brother, Todd, and I tried hard to match the peace and grace and acceptance he showed.
New Year’s resolutions. Are they still a thing?
I don’t mean are they still an annual cultural ritual. I mean are they still a thing by Jan. 15? I think I missed the open enrollment period.
Not that I really care. Sure, I might have felt like making a few resolutions on New Year’s Eve as the ball dropped, but I had already been asleep for over two hours at that point. Perhaps “Stay up until past midnight at least once during 2015” should have been my first resolution. (Let’s say past 10 p.m., just to keep things realistic.)
This week’s writer is Vergennes Chief of Police George P. Merkel, who is president of the Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police.
As the debate over school funding heats up I would like to add my voice to those who view our school taxes too high AND unfairly allocated. I believe the two problems are interrelated.
In this last election cycle a precious few enlightened Citizens beheld the voice of one crying in the wilderness, a lone echo, and they cast their votes in the hope of a rebirth, a renaissance, a new beginning. I was humbled and profoundly grateful for these heroic voters from across Vermont from Shelburne to Shoreham, to Orwell, Whiting and Middlebury.