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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion: Off Message

Re: “At Caucus, Burlington Dems Back Progressive Council Prez Knodell

Genese Grill got caught trying to run a dirty campaign and stir up negativity against her opponent by impersonating an anonymous commenter online, and her defense is that she's been using her real name on her campaign page? I would certainly hope so! If she *really* wanted to use her own name, surely she could easily find the account info button at the top of this very page?

However, this appears similar to her usual modus operandi of relentlessly spamming the Front Porch Forum with anti-mall material, which many believe led to that campaign's failure because people were put off by her long-winded posts there, often exceeding 10-15 pages daily. This abuse of public forums is quite in keeping with the political strategies of a post-Trump era. Grill also tried to sabotage Bernie's campaign by smearing his wife during the election because of a personal grudge over being unceremoniously fired from her last academic post, years ago. She didn't care if Bernie, whom she supported, lost; her only small-minded and petty goal was to keep Jane Sanders out of the White House as First Lady (see

However, if she doesn't get her way, we may expect to see this city council hopeful collapsing on the floor of the police station in tears again, which is where she was observed last summer after another failed campaign to stop the air show. Burlington, please dig deeper and ask yourselves who you really want having access to city government?

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by VivaONE on 01/16/2017 at 11:26 AM

Re: “Scott Plans to Merge Labor and Commerce, Lottery and Liquor

Wow. who squealed to 7 Days?

Posted by Tom A. on 01/16/2017 at 10:56 AM

Re: “Norwich University Band to Perform at Trump’s Inauguration

Well, I don't think it's a honor to "celebrate" a clown taking office in the White House, but I can understand why an organization aligned with our military would chose not to make a political statement of such proportions by refusing the invitation. Not that Norwich would, but I don't take this as an endorsement as much as it is a part of the identity of the school.

But everything about this inauguration is sad, sorry, and ludicrous, when viewed in the light of reality. Mr. Trump is not qualified for this. He is not an credible voice for our country. He is a charlatan in business and now in politics. That's not my opinion -- anyone who has been aware of him for the past three decades is well aware of who and what he is.

If we have no options short of armed resistance or military coup to prevent him from taking this office [him and the cadre of hyper-Right-Wing operatives who come with this package] -- and those extreme remedies are certainly OUT, being ways to destroy the very thing we'd like to preserve: Our Democracy! -- then we must deal with this transition as it takes place, resist the man in office, vote the blighters out at the first opportunity, and ... soldier on. [Sorry for a pun at such a sad time.]

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Pat Goudey O'Brien on 01/16/2017 at 9:21 AM

Re: “At Caucus, Burlington Dems Back Progressive Council Prez Knodell

BTW, who has been engaging in a "negative smear campaign"? The smears were thrown by CLC, the anti-Mall allies, and the Weinberger haters. Just look at Comrade Petrarca's and others' name-calling on this thread alone:

Capitalist exploitation
Gentrification agenda

If that isn't smearing people just because they have different ideas from you, I don't know what is. The fact is that the Mayor has put up with this name-calling for months and months without responding. Now your mad that the guy you've been smearing for months is mad? Really?

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by knowyourassumptions on 01/16/2017 at 9:20 AM

Re: “At Caucus, Burlington Dems Back Progressive Council Prez Knodell

Headline: "Politician Critiques Mayor's Speech Before Seeing Or Hearing It. Then Lashes Out At Critics"

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by knowyourassumptions on 01/16/2017 at 9:02 AM

Re: “At Caucus, Burlington Dems Back Progressive Council Prez Knodell

Also: who is it running a negative campaign here? We are not the ones calling people who voted yes on the mall vote anti-environmental, anti-senior, anti-labor, anti-affordable housing. We are not the ones calling almost half of the citizens of the city a "reactionary fringe". Criticism where criticism is due is a duty of all citizens. Negative smear campaigns are something else.

1 like, 12 dislikes
Posted by Sud End on 01/16/2017 at 8:24 AM

Re: “At Caucus, Burlington Dems Back Progressive Council Prez Knodell

Excuse me, " Know Your Assumptions," my Sud End name happens to be connected to an old Facebook account which has since been changed to my real name. But it comes up this way on the comments...I don't know why. As anyone who knows me knows, I am happy to express my criticisms, have done so on my campaign page, in the newspaper, and openly at city meetings, and have been doing so for years. My first comment came after reading about the Mayor's speech. I was reacting to quotes in the newspaper. The second came after watching the speech. Have a nice day.

1 like, 12 dislikes
Posted by Sud End on 01/16/2017 at 8:21 AM

Re: “At Caucus, Burlington Dems Back Progressive Council Prez Knodell

SEB8085 isn't commenting pseudonymously on an article about himself or herself!

What's even more amazing is that Grill's second comment here (8:36) pm shows that she criticized the Mayor's speech before she had even seen it.

12 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by knowyourassumptions on 01/16/2017 at 8:15 AM

Re: “At Caucus, Burlington Dems Back Progressive Council Prez Knodell

Is that seb8085 hiding behind a pseudonym????!
Hypocritical? Negative? Credible?

2 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Michael Long on 01/16/2017 at 12:25 AM

Re: “Norwich University Band to Perform at Trump’s Inauguration

I am happy to hear that the Norwich cadets will be representing Vermont in the Inauguration ceremonies in Washington on Friday. It is an honor to be invited to participate in the peaceful transition of power that has made the United States unique in the nations of the world. Norwich can be justly proud of its history of providing America with leaders in all fields and especially in the United States Military.

I'm sure that there are more than a few names of Norwich Alumni on the Vietnam Wall in Washington as well as on every list of men and women who have sacrificed so that Americans can live in peace and freedom at home.

Congratulations on the invite and march proud.

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by alpha1six on 01/15/2017 at 11:06 PM

Re: “At Caucus, Burlington Dems Back Progressive Council Prez Knodell

FYI, the person posting as "Sud End" is Genese Grill- the person running against Jane Knodell! Why doesn't she use her real name here, instead of trolling as a "commenter" with negative things to say about the other side?! Please, if you're going to run a negative campaign, at least own it, instead of hiding under a pseudonym!

18 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by seb8085 on 01/15/2017 at 9:54 PM

Re: “Burlington School Board Sends $85.5 Million Budget to Voters

Townie: Here's a link to an analysis Dr. Art Woolf did in 2014 of Vermont's school's performance:…

He concludes, "Vermonts education systems performance is, at best, about average for the nation and a case could be made that its not as good as the national average. Thats far below what most Vermont policymakers, parents, and taxpayers believe to be the case. Vermont does not get a better performing education system in return for its very high education expenditures. We should all be concerned about why that is the case."

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Chip Morgan on 01/15/2017 at 10:34 AM

Re: “Norwich University Band to Perform at Trump’s Inauguration

As a Norwich grad myself, I am very proud of my school and happy that they get this opportunity! I don't know where all the hate for Norwich is coming from... It's an amazing school with amazing people that prepared me for the REAL world and not your bubble wrapped fantasy land so many seem to live in. Say what you will, but unless you went there and know what it's really like, you may want to keep your negative comments to yourself because really you just come off as ignorant and arrogant.

22 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Thibault on 01/14/2017 at 11:41 PM

Re: “At Caucus, Burlington Dems Back Progressive Council Prez Knodell

Oh, Mr. Petrarca, you are a genius! Your inspired parody of tired, old American socialist radicals is priceless! I remember reading about these deluded old-time activists in history class in college! "Reds," they were called. And "Wobblies." They were so nave! They actually fell for their own slogans! But as we know the world moved on! I love your creative use of propaganda terms like "pro 1% gentrification agenda," "Orwellian doublespeak," "build the grassroots campaign," "Fight neo-liberal capitalism," and "fight neo-fascism." Genius, I say! Pure genius! Please, keep us laughing! Thanks!

17 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by knowyourassumptions on 01/14/2017 at 7:11 PM

Re: “Burlington School Board Sends $85.5 Million Budget to Voters

$85,500,000/3800 students=$22,368 dollars spent per student. This is nuts, and the financial hole these spends and accounting shell games are creating pretty much ensures there will be no city worth living in for our children. To cover, taxes will go up, home values down, taxes will need to go up more, and home values down more - a slow but vicious collapse to the bottom. Its time to cut the administrative fluff and ancillary programs, and focus instead on core academics.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Russell Beste on 01/14/2017 at 6:28 PM

Re: “Burlington Activist to Challenge Council President Knodell

Excuse me...the "reactionary fringe"? Hello, It's WE THE PEOPLE, participating in the democratic process.

Thank you for inviting our participation in the public input part of city-wide planning projects. We have showed up in droves, attended meetings and filled out questionnaires. But quite frankly, WE THE PEOPLE are weary of participating in these sessions, only to have our interests passed over in favor of developers with big pockets. Your pace for development is too frenzied. Where the rubber meets the road, in the finalization stage of plans, we want our input to be incorporated.

Many of us were outraged when 60+ WE THE PEOPLE's show up for the public input part of a city council meeting to weigh in before the council vote to approve the Burlington College property development plan. When 75% of those WE THE PEOPLE's comments were not in favor of the plans as presented, it seems prudent that you would slow down the pace to consider and incorporate changes to address those concerns. We want councilors and a mayor who will not only listen, but advocate for what we tell them is important to us. You asked. We spoke. You listened. But you DID NOT ADVOCATE for WE THE PEOPLE. My vote goes for s(he) who advocates for me.

WE THE PEOPLE are not opposed to the downtown suburban mall nor upgrades to City Hall Park. We want our interests included in shaping the finalized version of development plans.

WE THE PEOPLE are reading the fine print and details. We are informed and actively engaged, and we will put forth a slate of candidates who not only listen, but advocate for us.

4 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Donna Canney Walters on 01/14/2017 at 2:04 PM

Re: “At Caucus, Burlington Dems Back Progressive Council Prez Knodell

Prior to the Coalition for a Livable City's(CLC) challenge to Wall Street multi-millionaire Don Sinex's zoning ordinance-busting 14-story Mall, Miro could easily count on his city council minions like Knodell, Shannon, Hartnett, et,al to coalesce around his pro-1% gentrification agenda. His narrow citywide victory (except Wards 2/3) is now being challenged in the courts by the CLC. This unraveling of his plans is what's at the heart of his outrageous smearing and, as previous poster correctly stated, "Orwellian doublespeak". This desperation is a sign of weakness. People now smell his blood in the water. We all have two challenges: One, defeat Knodell and Shannon and Deane at the polls on March 7. Two, build the grassroots campaign to overturn his gentrification plans for City Hall Park, Memorial Auditorium and the Champlain Parkway. Fight neo-liberal capitalism while we fight Trump's neo-fascism

11 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by Albert Petrarca on 01/14/2017 at 1:14 PM

Re: “Burlington School Board Sends $85.5 Million Budget to Voters

Nuts ! The budget goes up over 5 % with increased bonds ,these bonds being nothing more then deferring current costs to future tax payers . Nuts ! The vote being 8 to 4 with some of the 4 voting against because the spending increases were NOT big enough . Nuts !

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rich ard on 01/14/2017 at 12:21 PM

Re: “At Caucus, Burlington Dems Back Progressive Council Prez Knodell

After months of dialogue and city council speeches, those who opposed a zoning change to allow 14-story buildings are reduced to sound bites of "no growth", anti-growth" and in this forum, "anti-everything". There is an unwillingness to listen and acknowledge the voices of nearly half the voters. Growth is good when thoughtful, and it follows true public process - when it takes the most vulnerable citizens into account along with a changing climate. PlanBTV, our guiding public document was ignored when it came to a handshake with a developer to re-zone the city center. That pre-development agreement was essentially unchanged by public opposition. Now the mayor demonstrates further misunderstanding of citizens. The "fringe" he talks of, are all the hard working people in Burlington who have trouble affording market rate housing and living on less than livable wages. I'm delighted that independent thinkers have stepped up to represent the citizens and provide an alternative to Miro cronyism.

15 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by Amey Radcliffe on 01/14/2017 at 11:01 AM

Re: “Walters: Between a Rock and an Ethics Code

So the Vermont Liberal Observer blog IS still alive!

7 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Carl Werth on 01/14/2017 at 8:36 AM

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