February 5th, 2015
If you believed that the Shoreland Protection Bill was about fighting pollution in Vermont’s waters, you also probably believe that a tax on sugary drinks is a health care initiative. Both could not be further from the truth.
What about the gun bill, S.31?
There’s been some speculation on Front Porch Forum regarding my motives for co-sponsoring a bill that does three things: It puts Vermont in compliance with the federal law that requires Vermont to enter into a federal database (1) the names of certain violent felons and (2) the names of persons who have been judged in a court of law to be a danger to themselves or others. The third thing it does is require a background check during the sale of all weapons, while allowing for family members to gift guns to each other.
This is the start of my seventh year in the Vermont House of Representatives, and it is still as special as my first year. In many ways I am experiencing those freshmAn hurdles again due to my acceptance of a new and challenging legislative assignment. For six years I served on the House Transportation Committee. But after several conversations with House Speaker Shap Smith, I knew this 2015 legislative session was going to have a very different approach.
Town Meeting, it has been said, is “democracy being practiced in its purest form.” Thomas Jefferson called Town Meeting the “wisest invention ever devised by the wit of man for the perfect exercise of self government and for its preservation.”
Reading the Jan. 15 issue of the Addy Indy inspired me to pen this missive. Bob Foster, the Middlebury Moo Doo Guru, and Bill Moore, Vermont Farm Bureau lobbyist, painted farmers as the epitome of philanthropy.
Untrue as proven by the following scenario. A business in Bristol assessed at $2.5 million, the property tax, (calculated at the non-residential rate) would be $56,877.50. Farm buildings in Bristol assessed at $2.5 million, the property tax is $0.
MIDDLEBURY — Entering Tuesday’s home game with first place in the Lake Division on the line, Middlebury Union High School boys’ basketball coach Chris Altemose had points of emphasis for his Tigers.
To defeat a Commodore team that came to MUHS at 12-1, Altemose told the Tigers they would have to be solid defensively, particularly in keeping the VUHS ballhandlers in front of them; play at their preferred fast pace, but still make sure to get back and deny the Commodores in transition; and focus on rebounding.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Wrestlers from Vergennes and Middlebury union high schools fared well on Saturday at tournaments in Massachusetts and New York.
Faring best was Commodore 170-pounder Brandon Cousino, who won his weight class at the Mountie Invitational at Mount Greylock Union High School in Williamstown, Mass. Cousino won all four of his matches by pin and earned an extra trophy for the fastest pin recorded at the event, an 11-second victory.
SALISBURY — Although the temperatures strayed only a few degrees above zero for much of the tournament, the Lake Dunmore Ice Fishing Derby this past Saturday and Sunday drew 130 participants.
The annual tournament drew entries from 120 adults and 10 children to submit entries at the Kampersville Store. Dan Dragon recorded the largest fish caught, a 6.31-pound pike.