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August 30th, 2008

Mark Warner's DNC Keynote Address

Below are the remarks as prepared for delivery of former Virginia governor Mark Warner at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, August 25, 2008:

By Sen. Mark Warner,

My fellow Democrats. My fellow Americans. The most important contest of our generation has begun.

Not the campaign for the presidency. Not the campaign for Congress. But the race for the future. And I believe from the bottom of my heart with the right vision, the right leadership, and the energy and creativity of the American people, there is no nation that we can't out hustle or out compete. And no American need be left out or left behind.

Yes, the race for the future is on, and it won't be won if only some Americans are in the running. It won't be won with yesterday's ideas and yesterday's divisions. And it won't be won with a president who is stuck in the past.

We need a president who understands the world today, the future we seek, and the change we need. We need Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.

Now - I have a unique perspective on this race for the future. Like many of you, I was the first in my family to graduate from college. It was made possible by supportive parents, good public schools, and since my folks didn't have the resources, thank goodness for the student loan program.

After I graduated law school, it didn't take long to realize that America really wouldn't miss me as a lawyer. So I started a business. My first company failed in six weeks. My next one was much more successful. It failed in six months.

And then, a buddy of mine told me that there was this new idea. This thing called "car telephones" ... "cell phones." Friends told me: "Warner get a real job... No one's going to want a phone in the car." But I saw a different future. And with luck and a lot of hard work, I got in on the ground floor of the cell phone industry.

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Michelle Obama’s DNC Remarks

As you might imagine, for Barack, running for president is nothing compared to that first game of basketball with my brother Craig.

I can't tell you how much it means to have Craig and my mom here tonight. Like Craig, I can feel my dad looking down on us, just as I've felt his presence in every grace-filled moment of my life.

At six-foot-six, I've often felt like Craig was looking down on me too - literally. But the truth is, both when we were kids and today, he wasn't looking down on me - he was watching over me.

And he's been there for me every step of the way since that clear February day 19 months ago, when - with little more than our faith in each other and a hunger for change - we joined my husband, Barack Obama, on the improbable journey that's brought us to this moment.

But each of us also comes here tonight by way of our own improbable journey.

I come here tonight as a sister, blessed with a brother who is my mentor, my protector and my lifelong friend.

I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president.

I come here as a Mom whose girls are the heart of my heart and the center of my world - they're the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I think about when I go to bed at night. Their future - and all our children's future - is my stake in this election.

And I come here as a daughter - raised on the South Side of Chicago by a father who was a blue collar city worker, and a mother who stayed at home with my brother and me. My mother's love has always been a sustaining force for our family, and one of my greatest joys is seeing her integrity, her compassion, and her intelligence reflected in my own daughters.

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August 28th

New gravel pit proposed for Route 116 in Middlebury


MIDDLEBURY — A New Hampshire family is seeking permission from the town of Middlebury to establish a 16-acre gravel pit on land off Route 116 near its intersection with Quarry Road.

The Middlebury Development Review Board (DRB) is tentatively scheduled to hold its first hearing on the project on Sept. 22. Middlebury Town Planner Fred Dunnington said the DRB will consider, among other things, the proposed gravel pit’s proximity to the nearby Lindale Mobile Home Park; its potential impact on the town’s underground water supply; and the increase in truck traffic, excavation dust and noise the project would generate.

Ronald and Susan Fenn of Danville, N.H., are proposing the project. They own the 70-acre parcel on which the new pit would be located. Ronald Fenn was born and raised in Middlebury.

Susan Fenn said her husband’s family has owned the 70 acres off Route 116 for more than a century. They have now decided to develop a portion of it.

“We know there is gravel in there,” Fenn said of recent engineering studies at the site.

The Fenns have submitted a project narrative indicating the gravel pit site contains approximately 660,000 cubic yards of material. Plans call for an average of 35,000 cubic yards to be removed annually during the next 30 years. The Fenns said there are no plans to do any blasting or crushing at the proposed pit. The couple plans to lease or sell the pit property to an entity that would operate the business.

Excavation of the 16-acre pit would occur in four phases. Topsoil from each new phase would be set aside to reclaim the site of the preceding phase, according to the project narrative.

full story

UD-3 board mulls policy for student newspaper


MIDDLEBURY — The UD-3 school board will spend the next few weeks crafting a policy for the Middlebury Union High School Tigers’ Print newspaper that could range from continuing to allow the administration to pre-screen the content of the publication, to simply ensuring that students’ names are withheld from articles that could get them in trouble.

Board members on Tuesday decided to take that course after two hours of at-times impassioned debate, focusing on the balance of protecting students while allowing them the freedom to produce a newspaper with an unfiltered voice.

School leaders have been considering a policy since last spring, after a Tigers’ Print scribe printed the name of a student who confessed to having attended classes while under the influence of marijuana. That student was retroactively suspended from classes for three days. The UD-3 board’s policy committee met during the summer to gather a series of legal opinions and public testimony on potential ground rules for the student newspaper.

The policy committee on Tuesday unveiled two potential newspaper policies.

The first proposed policy calls for the journalism course teacher to be responsible for reviewing all material prior to publication. The superintendent or his designee, however, would have final approval over the material to be published. The policy also stipulates that the superintendent will not permit censorship “of any article because of administrative disagreement with the article’s viewpoint or opinions of the author, or merely because of any controversial nature of an article or its subject matter.” At the same time, the superintendent won’t allow into print any information that “could violate the rights of students, constitute discrimination of any portion of the student body, or advocate behavior that exposes all or a portion of the student body to harm.”

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Eat Local Challenge to kick off with harvest festival


MIDDLEBURY — Local foods aficionados will kick off this year’s third annual Eat Local Challenge in a manner befitting a movement dedicated to celebrating locally produced food: they’re breaking out their forks and casserole dishes and turning out for a picnic.

But the Addison County Localvores, as the individuals behind the Eat Local Challenge are dubbed, have more up their sleeves than a simple potluck. This year, for the first time, the month-long challenge to eat locally grown and produced foods will include a harvest festival that should prove educational, entertaining and, of course, appetizing.

Slated to take place on the Middlebury town green — or, in the case of rain, in St. Stephen’s on the Green Episcopal Church — the Sept. 6 festival represents what Monkton resident Jonathan Corcoran called the localvores’ efforts to reach beyond their core of dedicated supporters to the “next concentric circles” in the community.

“This year we thought, wouldn’t it be great to try to draw more people in, and wouldn’t it be great to try to educate people about how to actually do more eating locally?” said Cornwall resident Kristin Bolton, one of the localvores organizing the kick-off event.

Definitions for what constitutes locally produced food vary — do foods baked or processed locally from ingredients produced from afar count? — but a general rule of thumb is that anything grown within 100 miles of one’s home is local.

full story

August 27th

U.S. Rep. Jim Leach's DNC Speech

Speech at Democratic convention by former U.S. Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa

As a Republican, I stand before you with deep respect for the history and traditions of my political party. But it is clear to all Americans that something is out of kilter in our great republic. In less than a decade America’s political and economic standing in the world has been diminished. Our nation’s extraordinary leadership in so many areas is simply not reflected in the partisan bickering and ideological politics of Washington. Seldom has the case for an inspiring new political ethic been more compelling. And seldom has an emerging leader so matched the needs of the moment.

The platform of this transformative figure is a call for change. The change Barack Obama is advocating is far more than a break with today’s politics. It is a clarion call for renewal rooted in time-tested American values that tap Republican, as well as Democratic traditions.

Perspective is difficult to bring to events of the day, but in sweeping terms, there have been four great debates in our history to which both parties have contributed. The first debate, led by Thomas Jefferson, the first Democrat to be elected president, centered on the question of whether a country could be established, based on The Rights of Man.

The second debate, led by Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican to be elected president, was about definitions—whether The Rights of Man applied to individuals who were neither pale nor male. It took almost two centuries of struggle, hallmarked by a civil war, the suffrage and abolitionist movements, the Harlem renaissance and a courageous civil rights leadership to bring meaning to the values embedded in the Declaration of Independence.

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Hillary Clinton's DNC Speech

Below are the remarks of Hillary Clinton as prepared for delivery at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, August 26, 2008:

I am honored to be here tonight. A proud mother. A proud Democrat. A proud American. And a proud supporter of Barack Obama.

My friends, it is time to take back the country we love.

Whether you voted for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose. We are on the same team, and none of us can sit on the sidelines.

This is a fight for the future. And it’s a fight we must win.

I haven’t spent the past 35 years in the trenches advocating for children, campaigning for universal health care, helping parents balance work and family, and fighting for women’s rights at home and around the world . . . to see another Republican in the White House squander the promise of our country and the hopes of our people.

And you haven’t worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer through more failed leadership.

No way. No how. No McCain.

Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our President.

Tonight we need to remember what a Presidential election is really about. When the polls have closed, and the ads are finally off the air, it comes down to you -- the American people, your lives, and your children’s futures.

For me, it’s been a privilege to meet you in your homes, your workplaces, and your communities. Your stories reminded me everyday that America’s greatness is bound up in the lives of the American people -- your hard work, your devotion to duty, your love for your children, and your determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles.

You taught me so much, you made me laugh, and . . . you even made me cry. You allowed me to become part of your lives. And you became part of mine.

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August 25th

Vermonters 'staycation' close to home


STARKSBORO — As the last session of “Camp Common Ground” drew to a close last week, multigenerational campers piled into cars, boarded airplanes and took off for home. With the family camp attracting visitors from 40 states and several different countries, that trips home can, at times, be arduous. 

For East Middlebury residents Bryan Carson, Holly Stark and their seven-year-old son Max, the end-of-vacation trek was, instead, a scant 21-mile jaunt down Route 116.

The family’s decision to vacation close to home — to “staycation,” as Carson quipped — is a trend many Vermonters have embraced to reduce vacation stress, take advantage of their own backyards and, in many cases, save time, resources and money. 

Though the “staycation” is by no means a new phenomenon, according to Steve Cook, Vermont’s deputy commissioner of tourism and marketing, it has, he said, “been the word of the summer.” The Department of Tourism and Marketing has promoted in-state vacations to Vermonters for the last four years, and now, Cook said, other states are launching similar campaigns. Both New York and Connecticut kicked off their first-ever marketing campaigns for in-state tourism this year.

It’s a trend that seems to be catching on. At Kampersville in Salisbury, owner Jean Wisnowski said she’s never seen so many Vermonters flock to the Lake Dunmore campground.

“It’s unbelievable,” Wisnowski said. “I’ve never in my life seen a summer like it.”

When she asks new campers about where they’re from, she said, she’s increasingly hearing from residents of Burlington, Winooski, and White Hall, N.Y. It’s a notable change of pace for a business that usually attracts visitors from New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire.

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