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Friday, October 11, 2013

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

Posted By on Fri, Oct 11, 2013 at 4:00 AM

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

Troopers, supers, guns, glass, reporters, editors, publishers, politicians, the dearly betrothed and... deer.

Here's the Scoreboard for the week of Friday, Oct. 11:

Winners:

Vermont's congressional delegation — Still no polls in Vermont (come on, Castleton!), but national surveys suggest that Sen. Patrick Leahy's, Sen. Bernie Sanders' and Congressman Peter Welch's no-compromise stance on the government shutdown/debt ceiling impasse remains popular in these parts. Runner-up winner: VPR's "Vermont Edition," which schlepped down to D.C. this week to broadcast a rare, three-way interview with Vermont's tres amigos.

Jim Deeghan — So much for two years in the slammer! After nine months in jail, the ex-Vermont State Police trooper is back in town. No word on whether he padded his time sheets in the prison kitchen.

David Blittersdorf — The wind magnate and AllEarth Renewables chief got cheeky this week by billing ISO New England $5490 after the regional transmission authority bumped his Georgia Mountain turbines offline. Runner-up winner: UVM, which is accepting a million-dollar donation from Blittersdorf for an endowed professorship on Friday afternoon.

Burlington Free Press reporters — Who will soon have one of the sickest views in the city from their new Bank Street digs. Note to Seven Days editor/publisher overlords: Where's my damn window?!

Deer — Because hunting legend Larry Benoit has bagged his last buck. May the great herd in the sky be plentiful.

 

Tie Score:

Guns in Burlington — The Burlington City Council's ordinance committee scratched a proposed assault weapons ban Wednesday, but advanced four other new gun-control measures. Councilor Rachel Siegel (P-Ward 3) said she switched sides and opposed the ban to make the package more palatable to state lawmakers, who'd eventually have to sign off on a charter change. But will the legislature — and governor — say yes to any gun-control measures?

Green Mountain glass — On the upside, a good old Vermont company — Simon Pearce — won a $5 million contract to provide the State Department with high-end glassware for U.S. embassies around the globe. On the downside, those are your tax dollars hard at work.

 

Losers:

Calendar 2.0 — The Champlain Valley Superintendents Association scrapped a controversial proposal this week that would have shortened summer vacation and added more time off throughout the year. Now the big question is whether the supers will spend the next year doing a better job of selling their plan — or just give it up.

Vermont's Democratic and Republican parties — Here in Vermont, we're all about high-minded civic discourse, amiright?! Well, you wouldn't know it if you read this week's inane, dueling press releases from the state's two biggest political parties. Any chance the party hacks would consider crawling back into their holes 'til next fall?

State budget crunchers — Faced with increasing compensation and insurance costs, Finance Commissioner Jim Reardon has ordered state agency and department heads to come up with level-funded budgets for the next fiscal year. Consider this the first move in another contentious budget fight that may consume the legislature next winter.

Vermont Health Connect — Gov. Peter Shumlin maintains that the roll-out of Vermont's new health insurance exchange is going just swimmingly. But insurance brokers, small-business owners and state-designated "navigators" don't all agree. Also, what's up with those paper applications?

Newport Daily Express — It's never good when a newspaper publisher calls the cops to escort his editor out the door. Worse yet when the editor goes to the cops with accusations that the publisher bullied his employees, pilfered company property and inflated circulation figures.

Weird weddings — Hey, we're all about Burlington International Airport thriving — or, at least, surviving — but hosting weddings on the roof of the parking garage? Ummmm... Runner-up loser: Whoever burnt the toast at the airport.

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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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