October 31, 2014

State meet on tap for CVU cross country10/23/08

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Oct. 23, 2008

The Champlain Valley Union High cross country teams return to Thetford Academy this weekend for the second time in the month, this time for the state meet.

Last Saturday in Swanton, the Redhawks scored well in the Northern District competition, as the defending state champion girls captured the team title and the boys took second in their grouping.

While South Burlington High’s Caroline Weaver smashed a 5-year-old meet record by winning the large schools girls event in 18 minutes, 18.89 seconds, CVU’s well balanced team captured four of the top nine places to ease past runner-up Essex High 36 to 57 in the team rankings.

CVU was led by Nora McFadden (fourth), Summer Spillane (fifth), Adrienne Devita (sixth), Danika Frisbie (ninth) and Laura Jackson (12th).

In the large schools boys division, CVU’s Tony Sulva hustled into second place, some 11 seconds behind winner Adron Pitman (16:07.49) of Mount Mansfield Union.

Redhawks following Sulva and helping CVU claim second place were Matt Mainer (ninth), Zack Pete (12th), Justin McKenzie (13th), Jason Clairmont (15th) and John Dixon (16th).

— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent

 

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CVU football playoff spot on the line10/23/08

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Oct. 23, 2008

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

“We control our own destiny,” said Champlain Valley Union High head football coach Jim Provost on Sunday as he looked ahead to Saturday’s (2 p.m.) regular season wrap up against visiting Route 116 neighbor Mount Abraham Union.

The game kicks off at 2 p.m. at CVU.

With Friday night’s critical 14-7 victory over Montpelier High in the books, Provost believes a win over the Eagles will cement a Division 3 playoff berth for the Redhawks, who are 3-4 overall and 3-2 in the division.

Mount Abraham is 2-5, its triumphs over Winooski High (20-6) and winless Mill River Union (56-0). Last weekend, MAU lost a close contest at home to Division 2 Milton High, 28-22, an outcome that got Provost’s attention.

“They (Mount Abe) only have two wins,” the coach said. “But they played a Division 2 team very tough last week.”

MAU took a 22-20 lead into the final three minutes of the contest.

Provost was pleased with the progress his team made in its Friday night triumph over the Solons, who had playoff aspirations of their own. After a scoreless first half, Montpelier bolted to a 7-0 lead with its initial possession of the second half. CVU then got the next two touchdowns and held onto the ball late in the fourth period to protect the lead.

“Our offensive line really came together in the second half,” the coach recalled.

Halfback Tommy Powers scored the six-pointers on eight-yard and one-yard runs, while C.P. Benoit accounted for the twofer after Powers’ second end zone sortie.

Provost praised the work of both backs, along with fullback Crawford Morris, who, he said, “picked up critical yardage for us.”

With the line producing the holes and the backs performing, CVU’s offense dominated the game after Montpelier had taken the lead in the third quarter.

Provost also credited the work of sophomore quarterback Ian Solomon, who took over when starting signal caller Konnor Fleming was injured in the second quarter. Fleming later went back into the fray, but only on defense.

“Ian did a great job in leading the offense,” his coach commented.

Overall, Provost thought his defense “was great all night,” and in particular pointed to the work of senior defensive back Robert Charland.

The veteran coach also praised the “loud following” of CVU supporters at the Capital City contest.

The one downer from the victory was the loss of wide receiver Michael Bonfigli with a broken collarbone.

 

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CVU

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Oct. 23, 2008

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

“Come on, my little muffins,” Champlain Valley Union High field hockey coach Kate McDonald shouts in encouragement during games.

 


    Observer photo by Greg Duggan
Champlain Valley Union High sophomore Lousie Gibbs (center) chases after the ball in the Redhawks’ 1-0 quarterfinal win over Colchester High on Friday.

On Saturday, McDonald and her muffins will be in the Division 1 championship contest against the winner of Wednesday’s semifinal between undefeated, top-seeded Hartford High (14-0-1) and fourth-seeded Mount Anthony Union (11-2-1). The likely site for the title tilt is the University of Vermont, with the starting time to be announced Thursday.

The championship trip follows Tuesday’s rain swept, 2-0 home semifinal victory over Middlebury Union High. It will be the Redhawks’ first appearance in the crowning event since rejoining Division 1 a decade ago.

Should the Redhawks face Hartford High, McDonald would be respectful, but not fearful, of the Hurricanes, whom they have not seen since a quarterfinal loss two years ago.

“We play our game, we will be all right,” McDonald said.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the attention was on the win over the Tigers, who had nipped CVU in double overtime in Middlebury in a 2007 semifinal.

“Coach really wanted this one and we did, too,” said goalie Elizabeth Goddette, who stopped four shots in posting her second straight playoff shutout and ninth of the season.

In knocking off Middlebury for the third time this autumn, the Redhawks got scoring production from two of the Kelseys on the team, a couple of Ks adding up to a W.

Senior Kelsey Gagnon snapped a scoreless deadlock with but 29 seconds gone in the second half, poking in a pass from sophomore Gillian Shelley after CVU rolled down the field to open the half.

It was the sixth goal for Gagnon, who is good at following special instructions from McDonald.

“When she tells me to do my magic, I do,” Gagnon said with a grin. That magic is usually a score.

Junior Kelsey Jensen, who just missed a goal in the first half after a dominating presence in front of Tiger keeper Casey O’Donohue, scored with 16:18 left in the game by getting in front after a penalty corner, faking right and left, and then firing the ball into the cage.

After a first half of solid defense in the CVU zone by, among others, Kathryn Powell, Louise Gibbs and Aubrey Deavitt, the Redhawks’ offense dominated the field over the final 15 minutes, allowing Middlebury just two short trips near Goddette.

“That seemed really good,” laughed the junior net minder.

Her teammates outshot the Tigers, 9-4.

Perhaps her mates wanted to give Goddette a rest after her nine stops in Friday’s tense 1-0 quarterfinal victory over Colchester, a big reason the Redhawks were able to wing their way into Tuesday’s contest.

One of those saves came on a second half penalty shot. Goddette slapped away a ticketed blast with a gloved hand to preserve the 1-0 lead that Katie Longshore’s goal had provided with 5:02 left in the first half. The ever present Shelley had the assist.

“We practiced on 100 penalty shots yesterday,” Goddette said at the time, agreeing that it was practice time well spent.

 

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Police Notes10/23/08

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Oct. 23, 2008

Domestic assault

Mark Beaulieu, 46, of Essex was charged with domestic assault on Oct. 20, according to police reports. Beaulieu allegedly hit his girlfriend during an argument at her Williston residence on Oct. 19, according to a police affidavit. The woman was punched “in the eye with a closed fist” and Beaulieu left the home before police arrived, according to the affidavit. Police noted the woman had “extreme redness” around her left eye, the affidavit states. Beaulieu came to the police station on Oct. 20, after police left a business card with a relative at his home, according to the affidavit. In his statement to police, Beaulieu said that his girlfriend “hit him in the nose and eye,” and said he did not punch her, according to the affidavit. He was held at the Chittenden County Correctional Center for lack of $500 bail, according to the affidavit.

Copper theft

Williston police are looking for information regarding the theft of a large amount of used copper wiring from a construction site in Williston. The theft occurred sometime between Oct.19 and 20. Anyone with information is asked to call Williston Police at 878-6611.

Sliced tires

Children’s bicycle tires were “sliced” and “paintballed” in the area of Lyman Drive on Oct. 13, according to police reports. Anyone with information is asked to call Williston Police at 878-6611.

Violation of conditions

Tracy Adair, 39, of Cambridge was “arrested for violations of conditions” on Oct. 14 after allegedly consuming alcohol, according to police reports.

Intoxicated person

A resident of Old Creamery Road called police on Oct. 14 after a “suspicious” man came to her door asking for directions, according to police reports. The police found the man, and determined he was intoxicated, with a blood alcohol content of .286, the report states. He was transported to Act 1, where he “was refused” and then taken to Chittenden County Correctional Center for detoxification, the report notes.

Driving under the influence

• Joseph Williams, 47, of Fairfax was charged with his fourth count of driving under the influence, and for driving with a suspended license on Oct. 16, according to police reports. His blood alcohol test registered .201, according to the report. The legal limit for driving in Vermont is .08. He was held at the Chittenden County Correctional Center for lack of $10,000 bail, according to the report.

• After being stopped for allegedly speeding, Patricia Ann Chandler, 48, of Williston was charged with driving under the influence on Oct. 18, according to police reports. Her blood alcohol content registered .109, according to the report.

Driving with suspended license

• James R. Wilkinson, 52, of Essex was charged with driving with a suspended license on Oct. 17, according to police reports. No other information was available as of press time.

• Carmen Hu, 45, of Williston was charged with driving with a suspended license on Oct. 19, according to police reports. She was charged after “admitting driving to Cabot earlier in the day,” the report states. No information as to the nature of the suspension was released.

Lost and found

• A tripod and backpack were found at the end of a driveway on River Cove Road on Oct. 14, according to police reports. Anyone wishing to claim the items should call Williston Police at 878-6611.

• A woman reported to police that she lost $500 in cash in the area of Bed Bath & Beyond and Boyer Circle on Oct. 14, according to police reports.

 

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Police chief still recovering from stroke10/23/08

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Oct. 23, 2008

By Marianne Apfelbaum

Observer staff

Williston Police Chief Jim Dimmick, who suffered a stroke in July, is still recuperating and no date has been set for his return to work.

“Chief Dimmick is continuing to make progress in his recovery,” Town Manager Rick McGuire wrote to the Observer in an e-mail last week. “(He) is staying in touch with various issues relating to the Department and has regular contact with staff.”

Dimmick, 53, was initially hospitalized in New York, where he was vacationing with family, after the July 12 stroke. He was then moved to the Fanny Allen Campus of Fletcher Allen Health Care for treatment, according to McGuire.

Now at home, Dimmick said he is undergoing treatment including speech therapy. He visited the Observer offices last month.

Doctors determined Dimmick had suffered a stroke related to a blockage in his carotid artery, Police Sgt. Bart Chamberlain said in an interview shortly after Dimmick was hospitalized.

A stroke occurs when blood flow to a region of the brain is obstructed, according to the Web site neurologychannel.com. The site defines an “ischemic stroke” as one caused by blockage in an artery that supplies blood to the brain, resulting in a deficiency in blood flow (ischemia), which appears to be the type that Dimmick suffered.

Chamberlain, who visited Dimmick in the hospital, said at the time that Dimmick was fully functional mentally, but could not communicate at full capacity.

“He is a very strong, healthy and determined person. I’m confident he is working as hard as he can to recover and return to work,” Chamberlain said.

In his absence, Chamberlain is serving as the acting chief.

 

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Recipe Corner

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Oct. 23, 2008

By Ginger Isham

Cabbage night

Once upon a time, cabbage night was known as the night before Halloween when devils were up to mischief. Young folks would soap windows, throw eggs or drape a roll of toilet paper around your car or tree. On Halloween the words are “trick or treat,” which I guess means if you don’t give out a treat they might trick you by doing one of the above — nothing harmful or destructive, but all in fun.

In this article, cabbage night holds a different meaning — cabbage for dinner. Cabbage has always been an unpopular vegetable, especially with the young folks. I guess you acquire a taste with age. It is high in fiber, rich in Vitamins C, K, A, B6 and potassium and manganese. You can add shredded cabbage to many clear tomato based soups to make them heartier. Pan fry shredded cabbage in a little butter and add a little cream with your favorite shredded cheese. Many Vermonters like shredded cabbage (coleslaw) with raisins, apples and celery, combined with mayo dressing. Other ways to serve cabbage include the following:

Crock pot cabbage soup

1/2 medium head of cabbage, shredded or cut fine

3 small zucchinis, diced

1 large clove of garlic, chopped

1/4 teaspoon basil

salt and pepper to taste

12 ounces of V-8 vegetable juice

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 can French onion soup (10 ounce)

1 or 2 cups spinach or Swiss chard

1/2 cup carrots, sliced thin

dash of Worcestershire sauce

Put all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Serves 6 to 8 people.

Hunter’s cabbage

1 3/4 pound cabbage, shredded

1 large onion, sliced thin

1 cup bacon, diced

1 cup ground beef

1 cup ground pork

salt and pepper to taste

3 cups red potatoes, sliced

1 cup beef broth

Fry bacon in a skillet, add onion and cook until wilted. Add beef and pork, salt and pepper and cook until meat is browned. Add cabbage, potatoes and beef broth. Cover skillet and cook on low for 30 minutes and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Ginger Isham was the co-owner of Maple Grove Farm Bed & Breakfast in Williston, a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road where she still lives.

 

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Recipe Corner10/23/08

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Oct. 23, 2008

By Ginger Isham

Cabbage night

Once upon a time, cabbage night was known as the night before Halloween when devils were up to mischief. Young folks would soap windows, throw eggs or drape a roll of toilet paper around your car or tree. On Halloween the words are “trick or treat,” which I guess means if you don’t give out a treat they might trick you by doing one of the above — nothing harmful or destructive, but all in fun.

In this article, cabbage night holds a different meaning — cabbage for dinner. Cabbage has always been an unpopular vegetable, especially with the young folks. I guess you acquire a taste with age. It is high in fiber, rich in Vitamins C, K, A, B6 and potassium and manganese. You can add shredded cabbage to many clear tomato based soups to make them heartier. Pan fry shredded cabbage in a little butter and add a little cream with your favorite shredded cheese. Many Vermonters like shredded cabbage (coleslaw) with raisins, apples and celery, combined with mayo dressing. Other ways to serve cabbage include the following:

Crock pot cabbage soup

1/2 medium head of cabbage, shredded or cut fine

3 small zucchinis, diced

1 large clove of garlic, chopped

1/4 teaspoon basil

salt and pepper to taste

12 ounces of V-8 vegetable juice

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 can French onion soup (10 ounce)

1 or 2 cups spinach or Swiss chard

1/2 cup carrots, sliced thin

dash of Worcestershire sauce

Put all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Serves 6 to 8 people.

Hunter’s cabbage

1 3/4 pound cabbage, shredded

1 large onion, sliced thin

1 cup bacon, diced

1 cup ground beef

1 cup ground pork

salt and pepper to taste

3 cups red potatoes, sliced

1 cup beef broth

Fry bacon in a skillet, add onion and cook until wilted. Add beef and pork, salt and pepper and cook until meat is browned. Add cabbage, potatoes and beef broth. Cover skillet and cook on low for 30 minutes and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Ginger Isham was the co-owner of Maple Grove Farm Bed & Breakfast in Williston, a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road where she still lives.

 

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Letters to the Editor10/23/08

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Oct. 23, 2008

Dubie is ‘dedicated candidate’

Brian Dubie wants our vote not as an ambitious politician only interested in gaining office, but to be able to serve us, and he puts great effort into all of his endeavors. While dealing with hostile members of the Legislature, Brian has the knack for smoothing out differences in a diplomatic way and in his travels in and out of the state or to other countries he is a valuable ambassador.

It comes easily to him because he is a Christian gentleman brought up in a family with good manners and respect for others. Along with his siblings, he was taught right from wrong and sets proper examples for our young people as he works to prepare them for productive lives in a safer environment.

Brian Dubie has served his state and country during his many years in the Vermont Air Guard, with tours of duty in other countries, often at critical times. Waiting in an armed and ready warplane for the word to engage in combat required faith, skill in his profession and the knowledge to carry out the mission. As an airline pilot, Brian realizes how important it is to prepare for each flight by checking all systems in the aircraft, studying the weather along the route and being familiar with recent changes in traffic control. This attention to details stays with him in his role as lieutenant governor of Vermont.

We have an honest, knowledgeable, dedicated candidate with an excellent track record who takes the time to acknowledge other people for their contributions. Martha Hanson, his office manager, makes visitors at ease and keeps business moving along. Penny Dubie and their children give one a feeling of confidence and support. Brian Dubie and those around him are a tremendous asset to Vermont, so let us vote for him regardless

of party affiliation.

J. Francis Angier

Williston

Outgoing rep endorses Macaig, Symington

I am not running for re-election to the Vermont House and I heartily recommend Terry Macaig to you as my successor, who I served with on the Selectboard. He came to the board already with a wealth of service to the community, and he has brought the same steady common sense to our thorny, townwide issues. Terry has the broad respect in Williston that is essential to be an effective representative.

The choice for governor also is critical and clear to me. I never mastered the sound bite as a politician. Our state is facing issues that are too important, and frankly, we all know that the answers are not simple gimmicks. I’ve seen all three candidates for governor in action, but only one who has brought together all the stakeholders and experts to forge real solutions on critical problems in energy, workforce development, health care, housing and education funding. It is the type of leadership we must have in these challenging times. I hope you join me in voting for Gaye Symington.

Rep. Mary Peterson, D-Williston

Support the Democratic representatives

Experience or judgment? That is the dilemma facing us in the national election this fall.

But here in Williston we are fortunate to have both in one candidate — Terry Macaig. I have had the honor of working with Terry in several capacities over the years. Whether it be through our town’s Selectboard, his continued active participation in Boy Scouting or his leadership at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Terry demonstrates every day the true meaning of citizenship. Terry is politically moderate, fiscally conservative and has an unwavering sense of personal integrity. He knows Williston families and Williston issues and, along with Jim McCullough, will use that experience to make a difference for us in Montpelier. Please join me in voting for Jim McCullough and my friend Terry Macaig for state representative on Nov. 4.

Jeanne Jensen

Williston

Agreeing with Terry Macaig

Terry is for fixing our roads and so am I. He is for finding other ways to fund education and so am I. He is not for decommissioning of Vermont Yankee in 2012 and I agree with him. And I think he is for the Circ and so am I. What a waste all these years fighting the Circ! He is for low-income housing. I am also for low-income housing.

Although a quiet man, he has had lots of experience with Williston’s government and would be an asset in Montpelier sharing what he has learned and been involved with here as we have had much growth and change in the last 30 years. He has experienced many pros and cons of issues and knows what the majority of the people of Williston have concerns about and how they feel about what’s happening in their town. I think he deserves a chance to represent us in Montpelier.

Ginger Isham

Williston

Ashe for senate

I am excited to be able to vote for Tim Ashe for Chittenden County State Senate. In his years on the Burlington City Council, Tim has worked with residents and with colleagues across party lines to create a new city-owned park, increase opportunities for affordable home ownership, encourage “green building” and protect workers rights, while holding the line on spending.

Tim understands the importance of making health care and energy affordable for all Vermonters. In his work with Cathedral Square, he has helped create affordable housing for seniors. With Bernie Sanders, who has endorsed him, Tim has worked with veterans and low income Vermonters to help connect them with the services they need. In these difficult economic times, we need a state senator with a proven record of getting things done for Vermonters. Tim Ashe has my enthusiastic support.

Elizabeth Skarie

Williston

Thanks to CVU Football Boosters

In September, the Champlain Valley Union High School auditorium fundraising effort got a “boost” from the CVU Football Boosters through a collaboration on Spirit Day with food and beverage concessions. This was a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of the auditorium renovation project as well as to raise money toward the private fundraising goal. Our sincere thanks go to the hardworking Boosters, and especially Tracy Simmons and Kay Gault, for their energy and organization, and also to Lori Smith, for her help and for bringing such phenomenal leadership to Friends of CVU. Support like this brings us ever so much closer to ensuring a safe, accessible, and functional learning and performance space for all of our students and the CSSU community as a whole. Again, our thanks!

Jenny Blanchard, Charlotte; Nancy Boyle, Hinesburg; Ian deGroot, Charlotte; Meg Hart Smith, Williston; Joan Lenes, Shelburne; Connie Metz, Shelburne; Jonathan Milne, Williston; Elizabeth Skarie, Williston; Sandy Steingard, Charlotte; Sarah Tischler, St. George

The CVU Auditorium Fundraising Committee

 

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Guest column10/23/08

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Oct. 23, 2008

The T-word blocks policy debate

By Jack Hoffman

With a little less than a month to go before the election, it looks like we’ll go through another campaign cycle without an honest debate about taxes — in particular, taxes to pay for Vermont’s crumbling infrastructure. We seem to have arrived at a point where political leaders believe it’s more dangerous to utter the T-word than to neglect services government is expected to provide.

Vermont was forced to close two unsafe bridges this summer. We’re all dodging potholes on our way to work — and paying higher repair bills when we miss. The leading candidates for governor all acknowledge the obvious: We need more money in the transportation budget.

But none is willing to address the fundamental problem with the way Vermont raises money for our transportation system. None seems willing to have a forthright discussion, apparently because it necessarily means talking about new or different taxes.

The two major party candidates are proposing a deficit swap to prop up the highway budget. Both want to shift expenditures from the Transportation Fund to the General Fund — in effect, pay for certain expenditures out of the left pocket instead of the right. But that’s a phony argument because there isn’t enough money right now in either pocket.

The projected gap between General Fund revenue and obligations for fiscal year 2010 is already over $100 million. Shifting costs to the General Fund only makes that gap bigger.

The problem for Vermont’s Transportation Fund is that revenues decline as the price of oil rises and people buy less. Vermont taxes motor fuels by the gallon. Whether gasoline is $1 a gallon or $4, the state collects only 20 cents. The tax on diesel is 26 cents a gallon. In the last five years, gasoline tax receipts have dropped 7.5 percent and diesel revenues are down 10 percent. Meanwhile, according to the latest information posted by the Agency of Transportation, the price of asphalt has risen 123 percent in the last year.

The candidates acknowledge the problem and recognize that higher gas prices result in less tax revenue. But they don’t go to the next step. Not wanting to utter the word “tax,” they won’t even initiate a conversation about necessary changes to Vermont’s tax structure. Clearly, we’ll never get caught up on highway and bridge maintenance with costs growing and revenues shrinking.

The governor has said we need more help from the federal government. That is certainly true. We have huge infrastructure problems in this country that require a federal response, and we could have addressed many of them with the money we poured into Iraq or the recent bailout. But if we were honest about funding the war or the bailout, we would have raised taxes to pay for them rather than pass the bill on to future generations. To ask the federal government to pay for our roads is really to ask Congress to raise taxes so Vermont doesn’t have to.

There is nothing in Vermont’s Constitution that requires elected officials to sacrifice services in order to avoid raising taxes. In fact, it appears to say just the opposite.

In Article 9, the Constitution says, “… and previous to any law being made to raise a tax, the purpose for which it is to be raised ought to appear evident to the Legislature to be of more service to community than the money would be if not collected.”

It’s hard to see how deteriorating roads and bridges are providing more service to the community than a properly funded maintenance program. But it appears we won’t get a forthright discussion about paying for transportation during the election season unless voters demand it. There are still a few weeks left. Vermonters can tell candidates that simply promising “no new taxes” doesn’t answer the question of how we’re going to fix our roads.

Jack Hoffman is the senior policy analyst of the Public Assets Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that supports democracy by helping citizens understand and keep informed about how their government is raising and spending money and using other public assets

 

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Liberally Speaking10/23/08

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Oct. 23, 2008

By Steve Mount

Evaluating the local races

I’ve had a hard time deciding for whom to vote for governor.

This may come as somewhat of a shock if you’ve read these words over the past few months. It would not be inaccurate to call me a Democratic Party partisan. But I try not to make decisions purely based on party. And this year, there are three good choices. What’s a partisan to do?

I’ll circle back to the governor’s race — first, I want to offer my support for local Democrats Terry Macaig and Jim McCullough. McCullough is a longtime resident of Williston and a long-serving member of the Legislature. Though he may score low on some business group’s scorecard, I’m confident that he knows what business needs from Montpelier and will work to that end.

Macaig is also a longtime resident and shares many of my own views on local issues, notably on mandatory minimum sentences and on Vermont Yankee. These are important issues that will need to be worked out carefully and thoughtfully, and I’m confident Macaig will be an important part of that process.

As far as the Senate goes, my family has a personal relationship with Hinesburg Republican Diane Snelling,  and I do plan to give her one of my votes. From the Democratic column, I have long experience with Ginny Lyons of Williston, Ed Flanagan of Burlington and Doug Racine of Richmond. I still have some thinking to do on my final two choices for senator.

Guiding those choices will be my goal of maintaining a Democratic majority in the Statehouse. However, I think it is good to have a robust and vocal opposition, so I don’t want to see the Republicans and Progressives trounced.

And that brings me back to the gubernatorial race. Because I see positives about all three candidates, it has been a process of elimination to come to my decision.

Independent Anthony Pollina has good ideas and he is articulate. I used to hear him on the radio during lunchtime drives, and remember nodding in agreement as he spoke. But in the end, I think his position on Vermont Yankee is dangerous for the Vermont economy, and I fear his health care plan. I would be comfortable voting for Pollina for lieutenant governor — but not for the state’s highest office.

Jim Douglas has some good ideas, to be sure. He opposed an increase in the gas tax, his e-State initiative is a positive plan for our future and he supports Vermont Yankee. However, his refusal to support a clean-up fund for Yankee is troubling, and I disagree with his continued support for unnecessary road projects in Williston and Bennington.

Gaye Symington has a leg up on Douglas because of her party affiliation, and I agree with most of her published positions. I fully support Symington’s plan for Vermont’s infrastructure. The money we would spend on the Circ and on the Bennington Bypass could be put to much better use elsewhere, improving what we already have.

However, I fear her support for Yankee is limited to the plant’s decommissioning. I think Yankee needs to be a centerpiece of our energy plan and we need to work closely with Entergy to that end.

But the biggest reason I have had such a hard time getting behind Symington fully is a basic belief of mine — that the separation of powers is critical to making sure good laws are made. There are so many problems in Washington right now that I think we need to have a Democratic Congress and a Democratic president. I’m a bit afraid of what could happen if the Democrats are flush with power at the state level, though.

So that’s it. Do I support Douglas knowing I disagree with him on several key issues, but also knowing that for bills to become laws, they will have to be reasoned compromises? Or do I support Symington, knowing we agree on most issues, but fearing that the checks and balances of our system are in jeopardy when there is little need for compromise?

After some considerable soul-searching, I have decided to support Symington. We have tough times over the horizon, and I think that with the fourth estate keeping a close eye on our state government, the Democrats can pass laws that benefit the state without burdening the taxpayers. I urge you to support Symington, too, and give her a chance to steer us through the coming storm.

Steve Mount has been a Williston resident since 1996. He is a software engineer at GE Healthcare and is devoted to his family, his country and his Constitution. You can reach Steve at [email protected] or read his blog at http://saltyrain.com/ls.

 

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