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Friday, December 20, 2013

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

Posted By on Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 4:00 AM

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

Rutland. The blood in that town is like no other.

Here's the rest of the Scoreboard for the week of Friday, December 20:

Winners:

Dealer.com — Owners of the Burlington-based online marketing company scored big this week with its billion-dollar sale to New York-based Dealertrack TechnologiesState and local officials hailed the Dealer deal as evidence that Vermont is a great place to do business. But while officials at both companies say they'll continue to invest in Dealer's Burlington operations, it's too soon to say how the sale will affect the Queen City.

Rutland — In its final bid to take the national one-day record for blood collection, the city of Rutland did so — and then some. Tuesday's Gift of Life Marathon brought in 2337 pints of blood, besting the 1968-pint record set by Manchester, N.H., in 2011. Talk about a community coming together to get the job done!

The kids these days — Vermont won a $37 million federal grant to invest in early childhood education, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Thursday. The four-year Race to the Top grant is the largest single investment of its kind in state history, Shumlin said. Separately, the gov announced Thursday that five Vermont colleges will let high school seniors enroll free of charge as part of the state's "flexible pathways" program. 

Burlington political observers — Progressive Selene Colburn's entry into the race to represent Ward 1 on the Burlington City Council sets up another interesting competition in next March's city elections. Colburn will face Democrat Molly Loomis. That means at least two wards will see Dem-versus-Prog races and another two will see Dem-versus-Republican matches.

Seven Days — The news about newspapers ain't all gloomy! With its hiring of VTDigger reporter Alicia Freese this weekSeven Days has added two new reporting positions to its news team in the past three months. Better yet, the newspaper still hasn't fired me! 

 

Tie Score:

Health care security — Vermont Health Connect suffered another privacy breach last Friday when a customer service representative accidentally attached one user's application to another's. Though relatively minor, the episode drew headlines because of last month's dust-up over a previous security issue. By immediately briefing legislators about the breach, Department of Vermont Health Access Commissioner Mark Larson showed he learned from last month's episode.

 

Losers:

Dissent — House Speaker Shap Smith moved late last week to solidify Democratic control over the House Committee on Health Care, which has occasionally gone rogue when its independent, Progressive and Republican members have teamed up against the Dems. Smith's decision to replace Rep. John Mitchell (R-Fairfax) with newly anointed Rep. Kathy Hoyt (D-Norwich) not only gives Democrats more breathing room on an essential committee, but it provides Gov. Peter Shumlin with a close ally on the panel. Look for Hoyt, a two-time secretary of administration, to reemerge as a power player this winter.

State workers — As the state labors to process paper enrollment forms for those seeking health insurance coverage through Vermont Health Connect, more than 100 state employees have been mandated to work 56-hour weeks through the end of the year. The Vermont State Employees Association isn't happy about it — and says those workers haven't been adequately trained.

Hot dog aficionados — Burlington has lost a Church Street icon. Lois Bodoky, known to most as "the hot dog lady," died this week at the age of 92, WCAX reported. Be sure to pour out some ketchup and mustard in her memory.

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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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