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Friday, August 9, 2013

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

Posted By on Fri, Aug 9, 2013 at 4:00 AM

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Who won and lost the week in Vermont news and politics?

Switch-bumpers, snake-haters, calculators, power companies, TV stations, defense attorneys, creepy travel writers and more!

Here's the Scoreboard for the week of Friday, Aug. 9: 

Winners:

Brooks McArthur — The Burlington defense attorney played some serious offense this week on behalf of his client, Burlington Police Department Deputy Chief Andi Higbee. When the Vermont State Police refused to give the Burlington Free Press a copy of a cruiser cam video of Higbee's July DUI arrest, Brooks took it upon himself to hand over a copy. A savvy way to score points with Freeps transparency czar Mike Donoghue and shift the conversation to why Higbee was pulled over in the first place. 

WPTZ-TV — Last month WCAX-TV announced that, come September, it would expand its news coverage to weekend mornings. But the station's main competitor, WPTZ-TV, beat Channel 3 to the punch, launching its own weekend news programming last weekend without fanfare. What's more? Channel 5 will feature four full hours of news coverage — twice as much as Channel 3's promised.

The Timothy Szad Beat — The recently-released sex offender is back in town after a brief trip to California. And that's got the state's cops and courts reporters in a tizzy reporting his every last move. Public service journalism or tabloid reporting?

Patrick Leahy — Because the U.S. Senate President Pro Tem's got some very special friends in the entertainment, defense, telecom, legal, tech and beverage industries.

Peter Welch — A BuzzFeed puff piece on the Vermont Congressman's bipartisan street cred netted something even better for Welch: a glowing editorial from the Saint Albans Messenger's Emerson Lynn echoing Welch's — ahem, BuzzFeed's — talking points.

Losers and tie score after the jump...

Tie Score:

Green Mountain Power — Vermont Yankee has settled a lawsuit with GMP over the nuker's 2007 cooling tower collapse, the Rutland Herald's Susan Smallheer reported Tuesday, so that's good for the electric power behemoth. But the utility got spanked pretty hard that same day by the CEO of ISO-New England, who wrote that GMP knows exactly why the grid operator recently curtailed power produced by GMP's Lowell Mountain Wind. Also, was GMP really not expecting snow in Lowell?

Losers:

Clumsy people — 500,000 gallons of partially treated sewage spilled into the Winooski River last weekend after a worker at an Essex Junction wastewater treatment facility "bumped into a switch," reported WPTZ's Lauren Victory. Let's go ahead and not send that worker down to Vermont Yankee, eh?

IBM employees — First layoffs. Now furloughs. What's next for Big Blue's workforce?

Math skillz — Just 38 percent of the state's public schools met the feds' math proficiency standards this year. That's barely half. I mean, way less than half. Shit, this math stuff's hard.

Samuel L. Jackson — Because there now seem to be mother-effing snakes in mother-effing Leddy Park. 

Richard Bangs — For writing the creepiest homage to Vermont we've ever read

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About The Author

Paul Heintz

Paul Heintz

Bio:
Paul Heintz is a staff writer and political editor for Seven Days. He wrote the "Fair Game" political column from May 2012 through December 2016.

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