Archive - Nov 6, 2006
By JOHN FLOWERS
EAST MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Land Trust (VLT) confirmed last week that it had sold a conserved East Middlebury farm to a young family who plans to grow beans, grains and organic vegetables at the 90-acre spread located off Route 116 and Airport Road.
The VLT purchased the former Elmer Farm earlier this year for $445,000 with support from the town of Middlebury, the Freeman Foundation and several individual donors. The VLT immediately conserved the farm in order to sell it for less money to a family dedicated to agricultural pursuits.
Through its new “Farm Access Program,” the VLT solicited interest from farm families interested in buying the Elmer Farm in order to launch a diversified agriculture business.
By MEGAN JAMES
MIDDLEBURY — If any athletes have a reason to fear the effects of climate change, skiers certainly do. In a sport that depends entirely on cold weather and snow, rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels across the globe pose a formidable threat.
That’s why Middlebury College is hitting the slopes with its newest initiative to fight global warming. Beginning this ski season, the college’s Snow Bowl ski facility, as well as the college’s Alpine and Nordic ski teams, will be entirely carbon neutral.
“The long-term effects of climate change will effect us all,” Snow Bowl Manager Peter Mackey said, “but those of us who love skiing, and want it to continue at this latitude, have an extra reason to start acting now.”
Candidates Q&A 2006
The following six questions, along with a requested word limit, were asked of each local candidate for the Vermont House.
The questions are not repeated in the context of each candidate’s response, but are recalled by subject at the beginning of each answer.
Election Day is Nov. 7.
1) HEALTHCARE: Are you satisfied with the state’s Catamount Health plan? If not, what additional steps should the state take to expand health care coverage. (Maximum 150 words.)
2) ELECTRICITY: Vermont’s contracts with Hydro-Quebec and Vermont Yankee expire during the next decade. What should Vermont do to meet its energy needs? (150 words.)
Vote for a change
As the nation prepares to vote tomorrow, Nov. 7, voters should consider the state of affairs in Washington, D.C., and to do their part to ensure a change in direction.
Such a change would press for an end to a federal tax policy that favors the wealthiest individuals over the middle class, more favorable environmental policies that require industry to limit further harm to the environment, federal regulations that prevent media consolidation in the hands of a few mega-corporations, deficit reduction measures so our children and grandchildren arenâ€™t paying for todayâ€™s excess spending, a health care system that delivers appropriate care to American citizens, and an educational funding system that is flexible enough to adapt to the changing needs of todayâ€™s global economy. For the past six years under President George W. Bush and the Republican-dominated Congress the nation has witnessed a steady deterioration on each of those fronts.
In the race between Democrat Peter Welch and Republican Martha Rainville for Vermontâ€™s lone seat in Congress, one issue is paramount: Do Vermonters want to enable President George Bush to maintain control of both the House and Senate, or will they cast a vote to place an appropriate check on this presidentâ€™s radical and disastrous agenda? If voters want Bush to â€œstay the courseâ€? on domestic issues and foreign affairs, then a vote for Rainville will help assure that path. If voters want a change in the nationâ€™s direction and a check on the president, then a vote for Peter Welch is critical.
Control of the U.S. House is so central to this election that it outweighs all other considerations.
This newspaperâ€™s concerns with the Bush administrationâ€™s mismanagement of our national resources and damage done to our international prestige over the past five years are well known to our readers (and those long-standing concerns, we might add, have largely been validated), so we wonâ€™t belabor the mounting perils that would face the nation if Bush is allowed to reign two more years with a rubber-stamp Congress.
Thatâ€™s the question to ask in governorâ€™s race
In the race for governor, Republican James Douglas has the advantage of incumbency and a record of compromise and modest achievement, while Democrat Scudder Parker offers a candidacy of vision and bold leadership. In choosing the stateâ€™s next leader, Vermonters must ask if maintaining the status quo is sufficient or if the times demand a bolder course of action?
There is no pat answer. The course the state has maintained for the past four years under Gov. Douglas has been steady, if not visionary.
But problems remain unresolved. Dairy farms continue to fail at an alarming rate; the stateâ€™s energy supply hangs in a precarious balance and yet the state has no comprehensive energy policy; the stateâ€™s teacher/pupil ratio is low and drives expenses resulting in high property taxes; while the Catamount Health Care plan is a step forward, many say it does too little to cut costs leaving a heavy burden on businesses; the stateâ€™s Medicaid bill will put an increasing burden on the budget in future years; and while the stateâ€™s population has been increasing modestly, the number of school-age children has been on the decline, thus creating a future shortage in the labor pool.
In the race for lieutenant governor, Vermonters have the opportunity to choose a candidate who would bring an extraordinary amount of energy, intelligence and enthusiasm to the stateâ€™s number two job. That candidate is Democrat Matt Dunne.
Dunneâ€™s background as a public servant is stellar. First elected to the Vermont Legislature as a representative of Hartland and West Windsor at the age of 22, Dunne spent the next four terms in the House and was elected Assistant Majority Leader in 1998, making him the youngest whip in the nation at the time. Along with other leadership roles in the House, he served as vice-chair of the Transportation Committee. During his time in the House, Dunne was a marketing executive in various capacities, including as the marketing director for Logic Associates, a top 500 software company based in Wilder that served the commercial printing industry worldwide.