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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion

Re: “Some Make the Case to Keep Burlington Telecom

Selling BT would be a huge, very short-sighted, mistake. Burlington residents overwhelmingly support BT. We built our own freaking high-speed future-proof fiber optic network that every private entity (opponents and proponents alike) are drooling over - keep BT public!!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by lava on 08/01/2014 at 2:20 PM

Re: “Some Make the Case to Keep Burlington Telecom

I guess i don't understand why it cannot be expanded to Colchester, winooski, uvm and champalin college, etc.
I mean it is basically the modern version of our sewers and power lines - everybody needs it and if it is a good product (and not comcast) then it can be profitable, flexible (community wise) and a desired piece of our infrastructure. I guess it has to to do with the so called public service board... but I have to beleive that would be the way to go

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Doug Mcsweeney on 07/31/2014 at 12:33 PM

Re: “Media Note: Charnoff Leaving VPR for North Carolina

Its great to see a man who I've known my whole life be so we'll known, respected, and have a professional career that really " worked" for a community. Good luck Neil, as I know wherever your travels take you, you will succeed. Your friend Todd Widelitz

Posted by Todd Widelitz on 07/31/2014 at 9:10 AM

Re: “Finances Put Burlington College's Accreditation at Risk

Anyone who wanted to know something of Christine Plunkett's "leadership" skills had only to look at her associations with the debacle that was the Gailer School, where Plunkett was in charge of the finances and where general mismanagement and financial mismanagement were the order of the day. One should note that mismanagement killed that school, which is nothing but a bad memory now. My association with Burlington College was brief, but very unpalatable. The school was in bed with several local politicos, including Jonathan Leopold of the Burlington Telecom scandal. The faculty, such as it was, was a revolving door of clueless souls who wandered in unknowingly to teach part-time, unaware of what they were in for. There are a few good students but most are people who attend Burlington College simply because they could pay the tuition, and no other college would admit them. The administrators had all carved out little fiefdoms for themselves and woe unto anyone who challenged their well-guarded turf. Christine Plunkett has no academic background (she is an accountant) and had no prior experience in being the president of a college or the head of a school. This was a recipe for disaster right from the start. The fact that it is such an extravagant disaster of such convolutions is somewhat surprising, though not entirely. If it were a sitcom it might be funny, but in real life not so much.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Leonard Bast on 07/31/2014 at 6:28 AM

Re: “Finances Put Burlington College's Accreditation at Risk

Unfortunately, many people are in positions of leadership who got there based on criteria other than their competence. The continuing theme is board governance; Boards are made up mainly of people who enjoy the stature of serving on a board, but have zero interest in searching for a new CEO when the current one obviously lacks the necessary skill set. The problem is not bad CEOs, many try their best and simply lack the know-how, the problem is Boards that are stacked with people who rarely discipline or take action against lousy CEOs. Each one of us knows at least one CEO that should have been fired years ago, but most Boards will let companies go bankrupt before they'll search for a competent CEO.

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Penelope on 07/30/2014 at 8:37 PM

Re: “Finances Put Burlington College's Accreditation at Risk

As someone who has witnessed the leadership and financial management of Ms. Plunkett, I am not surprised NEASC's confidence is not bolstered by her handling of finances. While a farce of a budget is submitted to the board of trustees ever year, it is never followed. Ask any department head what their budget is for their department is and they can't answer, because every financial decision is made one by one by the administration. Money is spent without regards to objectives, budget constraints or the college’s ability to actually pay those bills.

Plunkett and her administration have haphazardly attempted to create alternate revenue streams. Before they even finish getting one started, they are off to the next. The result being half-baked programs and events that end in failure. The Music Program and the Mighty Mozart series just being the latest victims. Before that they established a Continuing Ed program and that was so badly marketed, the majority of the classes were canceled. They toured China and hired a recruiter to recruit Chinese students to the college, which contributed zero new students. The Institute for Contemplative Studies doesn't exist. Just to name a few.

The business office and admission office have literally been revolving doors under this administration. In recent month, a flurry of staff members have quit. The staff and faculty are afraid to speak out, because anyone who has either been fired or driven out. Incompetent staff members have not only made it through all the cuts, but have been promoted based on their status of as "friend" in the us vs. them environment that exist under her leadership

The ironic part is Ms. Plunkett masterminded the departure of the former president based on issues of morale and a culture of fear. I don't think morale and fear can get much worse there than it is now.

15 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by btv-res2 on 07/30/2014 at 8:07 PM

Re: “Some Make the Case to Keep Burlington Telecom

Sell it. The city has demonstrated it is not capable of running a business and in less then 10 years it will be obsolute.

4 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Steve Gould on 07/30/2014 at 5:16 PM

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

Still wondering how it will be paid for.

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

Re: “Burlington-Rutland Passenger Rail Line Coming

137 million for track upgrades???? For that much money they could buy every regular passenger and electric car and make the trip in 5 1/2 hours. Do not forget that FEDERAL Money comes from us taxpayers.

Posted by Steven L Dunn on 07/30/2014 at 9:29 AM

Re: “VLS Professor and Legal Commentator Cheryl Hanna Dies

Such a loss. My deepest condolences to her family

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Deb Glottmann on 07/30/2014 at 1:49 AM

Re: “Shumlin: No Large Sites in Vermont for Undocumented Children

Governor, you are so very wrong on this issue...... we have starving kids all over the world..... we have laws here in our country...... laws are made to be enforced are they not... so when we have ILLEGALS meaning lawbreakers come into out country, illegally,,,,,, we do not say congraduations,, you are hereby going to be a immigrant, or refugee,,,,,,,,,,, we have to send them back...... once you say they are okay, there will be no ending to them..... only a communist socialist would want to keep them here over the law abiding ones that have had paperwork in for years waiting for the chance to come....... you are aiding and abiding crooks... and the penalty for aiding a crook is accessory and need to be sent to prison...... either act like a governor and go on record,, no illegals here in Vermont nor any other state.... we pay enough taxes here in Burlington to teach refugees..... maybe you are a millionaire and can afford
it,,,,,, most of us can't. now shape up Mr. Governor.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Ken Peterson on 07/29/2014 at 5:51 PM

Re: “VLS Professor and Legal Commentator Cheryl Hanna Dies

From the beginning, as a VPR listener, Cheryl Hanna's commentaries stopped me in my tracks: so clear, eloquent & with mastery, I knew I was listening to a most important voice...a most important thinker. With Cheryl Hanna as their mother, her young children have surely had a magnificent & nurturing deepest condolences to her children & her husband & everyone in her family.

14 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Peggy Sapphire on 07/29/2014 at 5:41 PM

Re: “Vermont Sex Offender Registry's Problems Persist

Seth Lipschutz's analogy of sex offenders is ridiculous. Sex offenders and terrorists have been hated in EVERY era. Give them a fair defense but PLEASE do not MINIMIZE the damage they do to our society.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by a.gal99 on 07/29/2014 at 11:49 AM

Re: “VLS Professor and Legal Commentator Cheryl Hanna Dies

Cheryl Hanna has left behind a significant body of work in both the legal realm and with her extraordinary ability to make complex issues understandable by non-lawyers. Her demeanor was always gracious and kind. She never talked down to listeners, but engaged them with her dialogue and knowledge. Her kindness and clarity will be missed. Condolences to the family and her listening community. She gave all who heard her commentary the gift of insight and understanding.

14 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Bonnie Duncan on 07/29/2014 at 11:38 AM

Re: “VLS Professor and Legal Commentator Cheryl Hanna Dies

a beautiful piece. :( thank you, paul

13 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by DeeBee on 07/28/2014 at 10:02 PM

Re: “VLS Professor and Legal Commentator Cheryl Hanna Dies

My condolences to the family and community . Very sad .

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Sandy McCloskey Sabado on 07/28/2014 at 7:34 PM

Re: “A Boutique Hotel Proposed for Winooski's Roundabout

I'm not against the Hotel, though I would heartily welcome a modest grocery. If the parking is solved (underneath the hotel preferably) a hotel might actually give another reason (in the form of tax profits to the state) to improve pedestrian traffic safety (as would a grocery!) Thankfully the state is already planning to do work to modify the roundabout and, basically, put in place the engineers' original design. Winooski is a vibrant and eclectic area - anyone who avoids it is probably doing a service to those of us who go there to enjoy all it has to offer.

Posted by Ma on 07/28/2014 at 9:12 AM

Re: “Burlington Telecom Deal Faces State Scrutiny

I am writing to correct the factually inaccurate lead of Kevin Kelley’s blog post that was published on July 23 and then updated, but not corrected, on July 25 after Seven Days was notified of the error.

Kelley’s post regarding the Burlington Telecom (BT) regulatory proceedings in front of the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) begins, “Aggressive questioning by state regulators on Tuesday revealed that Burlington officials did not try to determine the market value of the city-owned telecommunications network prior to agreeing to sell it to a local businessman for $6 million.”

In fact, the day-long hearing – as well as extensive related written testimony – documented exactly the opposite: that the Weinberger Administration spent nearly two years working to secure as much value as the market would bear for BT.

The Weinberger Administration ultimately succeeded in this effort – despite the considerable legal, regulatory, political, and economic complexity surrounding BT – and secured two competitive financing proposals for $6 million. This financing is an essential element of the settlement agreement with Citibank that, if approved by the PSB, will both lift the financial cloud that has hung over the City for nearly five years, and give the City up to four years to find as good a long-term resolution of BT as possible (despite the many grave mistakes made with BT before 2010 that put any future for BT in jeopardy prior to the settlement).

For further information regarding the BT Settlement Agreement and Bridge Financing proposal please see these links:


Mike Kanarick
Chief of Staff to Mayor Miro Weinberger

Posted by Mike Kanarick on 07/27/2014 at 10:36 PM

Re: “Media Note: Charnoff Leaving VPR for North Carolina

It sure is difficult to see "family" move on! Neil has been a part of thousands of VPR listener's daily life and his voice will be sorely missed! All the best to a VPR treasure and hopefully Neil will find the more temperate climate a fair exchange for leaving the beautiful Green Mountains.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Nan Abbott-Hourigan on 07/26/2014 at 2:34 PM

Re: “Bloomberg: IBM's Negotiations With GlobalFoundries "Have Ended"

If the states, NY and VT don't bail the division out by offering significant tax incentives and promoting lower electric rates, the local economies will go bust. Get ready for a ghost towns in Vermont. Fishkill is close enough to NYC and others, it will survive. The landscape will look really different by 2020.

5 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by jlb15 on 07/26/2014 at 8:43 AM

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