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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion: Fair Game

Re: “Comcast Calling: Shumlin Backs a Donor's Mega-Merger

Comcast is bad for Vermont in many ways. One example, that should make any serious PSB question it's certificate of public good, is that they don't even bother routing within Vermont. Folks unfortunate enough to be Comcast customers will find their local Vermont traffic is going to Boston, Atlanta, and even farther-this to simply get to a neighbor, a server across the street, or one in Montpelier. While this may seem trivial to some, this communication network was meant to be a resilient network. By not routing locally, Comcast does a severe disservice to it's customers and Vermont as a whole.

As seen in events like Irene, connected communities are better able to respond to disaster. Folks who have local ISP's that habitually route within Vermont will have more resilient local connectivity, even while uplinks to the wider world are temporarily down. Communication can mean lives in times of disaster, and we will continue to rely more and more on the systems we build on the "inter-network", that is the Internet. Because of the way Comcast decides to peer and route their networks, I worry they may leave their customers locally unconnected when events like Irene come to call-and this is certainly not in the public interest.

It's really very simple, keep local traffic local. Comcast doesn't do this, every other ISP I've looked at in Vermont does.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Jessica Bright on 08/28/2014 at 11:46 AM

Re: “Cheer Up! There's No Bad News in Shum-Land

To send 5.7 mil to Georgia to hire 125 people to fix health care sends good $ after bad. For that kind of money we should have open 18 clinics for an entire year that any Vermont can walk into. It would be good journalism, paul, to show the voters the difference between common sense and money in politics. Hope you get round to covering my positions.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Emily Peyton on 08/04/2014 at 9:08 AM

Re: “Cheer Up! There's No Bad News in Shum-Land

Growth, growth, growth. Though it continually falls on deaf ears...perpetual growth on a finite planet is impossible. When are we going to come to terms with this reality? Everything else is just blah, blah, blah.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kai Mikkel Førlie on 08/03/2014 at 2:25 PM

Re: “Cheer Up! There's No Bad News in Shum-Land

Still wondering how it will be paid for.

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Paul Jones on 07/30/2014 at 12:48 PM

Re: “Granite State of Mind: Scott Milne's Ode to New Hampshire

I have to take issue with the comment "Milne evidently missed the memo that West Leb is a wasteland of sprawl, traffic and miserable chain restaurants." I'm a native Vermonter who lived for a few years in the Upper Valley and from my experience, Lebanon is a far more desirable place to live than White River Junction. I appreciate the planning commission's desire to see a renaissance in White River, but its strategy of prohibiting growth elsewhere has been a failure. The "sprawl" has been an economic boon to Lebanon, while White River Junction continues to be a rust belt village.

2 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Tom Bisson on 07/24/2014 at 2:10 PM

Re: “Oh, Boies! Shumlin's Campaign War Chest Dwarfs Milne's

I am a candidate for Governor with a growing base of support. I am fascinated with Paul's insistence that I am not worth his time to cover. Can anyone explain it? For the record, I am spending my own money, roughly $2000 so far in the race. I really want to get money out of politics, but Paul wants to keep it the singular bench mark of viability it would appear.

3 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Emily Peyton on 07/16/2014 at 11:16 AM

Re: “A Shot at the Sheriff: McLaughlin Faces a Challenge

Jim Barnett now works for the US Chamber of Commerce! What a great job for him! Feet on desk, coffee cup in hand, trip to the local eatery at noon. Once a loser, always a loser! Always backing a loser! This is as classy as you can get for ole Jim.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Walter Moses on 07/12/2014 at 12:39 PM

Re: “A Shot at the Sheriff: McLaughlin Faces a Challenge

The sherriff's office is the only true law enforcement agent in a constitutional republic such as Vermont and the US at large. It is charged with acting on behalf of the people as an agent of issue, enforcement and record of prosecution. Even the State's Attorney is technically subject to the assistance and advice of the constitutionally mandated sherriff. Of the two the position is inherently meant to be distanced from politics and favoritism as the experience of early colonists had led to a deep mistrust of the King and his prosecutors/henchman/cudgels. The neutrality of the sherriff is ensured by his or her popular election and often a requirement that they live in the community they serve (and protect). Both officers of the court are required to pledge similar oaths that demand an honorable defense of the constitution and the state.

Obviously, this Cafferty fellow denies history, legal tradition, the constitutional protection against the crown and all reasonable respect for firearms rights. The only thing that will stop his ilk is to vote early and often for Sherriff McLaughlin. Caff should run for King if he wants a bully pulpit! Yantchatka should also be targeted as an enemy of our cherished Vermont gun freedoms! First to the ballot box, then to the soap box, last to the ammo box!

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by William Floyd on 07/10/2014 at 8:39 AM

Re: “Traveling Salesman: Shumlin Pitches Himself Coast to Coast

Vermonters would be wise to consider how Shumlin's campaign has been heavily financed by non-Vermont money paid by out of state backers. It's interesting to note that had a right wing Republican governor done the same, people on the political left would consider that a form of operating under a foreign influence. With 50% of his funds sourced from out of state backers, who does Shumlin truly represent? The media is being swamped with articles with headlines like: "Democratic Party is the Party of the Rich." Democrats outspend and out-raise the Republican party by a 2:1 margin, so all the Koch Brothers focus by the left is really nothing extraordinary and exclusive to the political-right when you consider the hundreds of millions being spent by statist democrat financiers like George Soros and Mike Bloomberg. Both major parties have their large private financiers.

Posted by John Cisar on 07/02/2014 at 10:24 PM

Re: “Perennially Yours: Familiar Faces Challenge Shumlin for Governor

Hey awesome coverage! Thanks. Too bad your journalism is so shallow that you haven't come close to Matt Taibbi (formerly of Rolling Stone into the reality behind our financial faked collapse and the economic war against working people). If you had, then you might be more useful to the people as an educative source, and understood why after 2 runs for Governor 2010 and 2012, my call for a State Reserve Public Bank is now resounding throughout the land. Why my policies will result in more money for the things we need and a tighter government with less waste. And freer people! Money is the problem but who sees the monetary solution better than I ? This is my third run, hardly qualifying me for perennial status, but hey, I am thrilled that one day, Paul will find the journalistic courage, (or the shove from your readership) to pick up a phone and interview me 802 579 5524

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Emily Peyton on 07/02/2014 at 4:12 PM

Re: “Big Blues: Vermont Braces for a Post-IBM World

Media Notes
My Freep price increase went from $22.00 to $30.00 per month. Who are they kidding?
Cancelled my subscription today

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bill Lowell on 06/27/2014 at 2:01 PM

Re: “Big Blues: Vermont Braces for a Post-IBM World

Didn't get an invite to the Republican Event, too bad, they could use me.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Emily Peyton on 06/27/2014 at 8:45 AM

Re: “Big Blues: Vermont Braces for a Post-IBM World

So long to IBM in Vermont!

For over fifty years IBM has been a great neighbor asking little in return its being Vermont’s premier employer and providing constant flow of charitable and community generosity. IBM asked for very little in return – their main request was the construction of a circumferential highway VT Rt. 289 to ease traffic around their Essex Junction plant.

First discusses in 1967 and funded by the 1987 Surface Transportation Act with $50 million in Federal monies, the "Circ's" construction languished until 1997 when four miles of the proposed 15.8 bypass were constructed. The balance of the proposed highway has not been constructed as of 2014, and probably never will be.… As a result IBM employees have struggled through tough traffic for commuting with deliveries to and shipments from the plant suffering the same fate – for over forty years.

During the last ten years or so, IBM has continued to manufacture computer chips at its two Vermont plants and continued research and development of new products, however it appears that hey have not invested in production improvements and upgrades. In the “high tech” business, ten year old production facilities are considered obsolete and the products IBM produces here are nearing the end of their life cycle.

Like so much the Shumlin administration does, their last minute “play” to save IBM is too little too late. IBM’s decision as made years ago and the “noise” in the media today is merely the final death rattle of yet another venerable employer giving up on Vermont as a viable place to do business. The four million Shumlin has to offer IBM or its successor GlobalFoundries (hereafter “Global”) is mere “pennies” compared with the $2+ billion Governor Cuomo has ponied up to persuade Global to build their 8 billion facilities across the lake in Malta, NY.

Global’s interest in the IBM-Vermont operation is acquiring the valuable R&D personnel and products now under development – even if this aspect of the operation were to remain in Vermont, which Is unlikely, it would represent about 10% of the current staff.

The Shumlin administration’s efforts are reminiscent of the fire drill in an old Three Stooges flick – lots of activity without any useful action. Too bad that Shumlin hasn’t worked to make Vermont friendlier to businesses old and new – every day Vermont’ business situation looks more like some historic industrial museum rather than a vibrant evolving environment

Thanks to IBM for being a great neighbor for over fifty years, you will truly be missed when you’ve gone!

14 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Brooke Paige on 06/25/2014 at 8:39 PM

Re: “Party Time: Vermont Republicans Struggle to Stay Relevant

McCain saved Bernie's bacon on the VA mess. If Bernie is such a supporter of the Vets how come he and the majority in the US senate couldn't come up with a similar solution? I think Bernie was conflicted between support for the Vets and support for the public sector unions whose members work the VA facilities. Given his lack of initiative on this matter he sides with the union over the Vets. He also may have a difficult time explaining support for a national single payer, government run health care system (which the VA clearly is) in the aftermath of this debacle which resulted in life threatening rationing and falsification of records.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Wendy L. Wilton on 06/11/2014 at 11:21 PM

Re: “Governors United: Shumlin's DGA Fights Connecticut's Campaign Finance Law

Shumlin's behavior is consistent with his record. With the exception of signing the GMO labeling bill, which he really had to sign because of overwhelming public support for it, Shumlin has shown himself to be a corporate guy, not a governor with the well being of the people or the land as his priorities.

Posted by Baruch Zeichner on 06/08/2014 at 2:42 PM

Re: “Governors United: Shumlin's DGA Fights Connecticut's Campaign Finance Law

Democrats only object to big money if it isn't coming their way.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by John Schmidt on 06/04/2014 at 7:59 PM

Re: “Smokin' Mirrors: Shumlin's $116,000 E-Cigarette Lesson

Members of Vermont's House of Representatives and all employees of the Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention who are interested in finding out the truth would do well to read this brochure, published by the UK's National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT) produced in partnership with Public Health England. Authored by researcher Hayden McRobbie and peer reviewed by researchers Peter Hajek, Robert West, and Lynne Dawkins, The title of the 16 page brochure (4 pages of which are scientific references) is simply "Electronic Cigarettes."

If nothing else, read the Executive Summary contained on page 2.

Posted by Elaine Keller on 05/24/2014 at 11:34 PM

Re: “Smokin' Mirrors: Shumlin's $116,000 E-Cigarette Lesson

Reynolds is a very late player to enter the game. In fact, it isn't even in the market quite yet. The Reynolds VUSE e-cigarette is only being sold in two states as a test market experiment. Vermont isn't one of them.

But the fact of the matter is that as e-cigarette sales have doubled several times, smoking rates have gone down. There is currently zero evidence that e-cigarette use leads young people to smoking. The available evidence contradicts that idea. Smoking rates among youth fell dramatically, and the data from SAMHSA tells us that smoking initiation rates are also down.

I fail to understand how the World Health Organization and the Vermont Department of Health can possibly believe that if smokers cannot quit, it is safer and healthier for them to continue to inhale tar, carbon monoxide, solid particles, and thousands of chemicals of combustion along with their nicotine. What proof is there that continuing to smoke must be safer?

Most of us had already tried the products that Rhonda Williams prefers. Numerous times. And kept relapsing. Some of us had given up on giving up. So those "proven" methods had proven to be 100% ineffective for us. Switching to e-cigarettes works!

Finally, a word about flavors. Most new e-cigarette users try to find a flavor of liquid that matches their favorite brand of conventional cigarette. When that proves to be impossible, they move on to more pleasant flavors. The thing that science needs to take a hard look at is that many, if not most, who switch away from tobacco flavors find that our liking for the flavor of tobacco disappears---making it very unlikely we will ever relapse back to smoking those yukky-tasting cancer sticks.

Posted by Elaine Keller on 05/24/2014 at 11:23 AM

Re: “Smokin' Mirrors: Shumlin's $116,000 E-Cigarette Lesson

Its too bad it takes dirty money, but I never support higher taxes. Besides the health windfalls for traditional smokers that moe howard mentioned, onlookers are spared having to inhale secondhand smoke and our streets and highways are spared thousands of fiberglass butts and bic lighters that never biodegrade. I know it seems a little strange to see these things in bars and restaurants, but we should spare these people an additional tax burden and the state of vermont more pork dollars which would surely get diverted to militarizing the police force anyway.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by DorianGray on 04/25/2014 at 9:11 AM

Re: “Smokin' Mirrors: Shumlin's $116,000 E-Cigarette Lesson

It's so funny that the FDA says e-cigs are bad, when they've given their blessing to an e-cig for smoking cessation that requires a prescription to use, instead of over the counter.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris Parker on 04/23/2014 at 2:13 PM

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