Manure Friday! | Freyne Land
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Friday, September 15, 2006

Manure Friday!

Posted By on Fri, Sep 15, 2006 at 3:46 PM

*Updated at bottom at 5:50 P.M. Friday*

*Updated CIRC SECTION  7 P.M. (good link)*

Candy Page’s juicy “Manure World” feature in today’s Burlington Free Press Living Section got my juices flowing this Friday morning.

Never really took a moment before to realize a dairy cow pumps out 21 tons of manure in a year. For the 64 Fairfield, Vermont milkers Ms. Page focused on in her piece, that’s 1300 tons in a year. For the 37,000 cows in the Missisquoi Bar watershed, that’s about 775,000 tons or 1.5 billion pounds of manure a year.

Holy shit!

The phosphorous in the manure run-off does wonders to keep the algae blooming in Lake Champlain.

I’ve been reading about the problem since landing here for good back in 1979. At least there’s finally a little federal funding to help Vermont farmers clean up their acts on this one, eh? Imagine one day the headline: “Lake Champlain Getting Cleaner!”

Dream on, right?

Trying to look at the bright side. It ain’t easy as some of you may know. Especially if you caught our president’s Rose Garden presser this morning. The bad movie at the top continues, folks.

Speaking of manure, we got this press release earlier today from the Rich Tarrant for Senate Campaign:

TARRANT TO SANDERS:  LET’S DEBATE

The Tarrant for Senate campaign today called on Congressman Bernie Sanders to debate.
Now that the primary is over it’s time for Congressman Sanders to start talking about the issues.  We’ve been in touch with the Sanders campaign to set up a debate schedule, but have not heard back,” said Tarrant campaign manager Tim Lennon...

The Tarrant campaign has received numerous debate requests from organizations around the state.

“Congressman Sanders has accused our campaign of lying about his record.  We hope he will stand up and have an honest dialog about his record and not run a campaign on 30-second sound bites or photo ops,” Lennon said.

The Sanders response?

“I don’t know what Rich Tarrant’s talking about,” Sanders’Campaign Manager Jeff Weaver told Freyne Land. “We’ve already agreed with debate organizers to attend at least 10 debates with Mr. Tarrant.”

He didn’t have the schedule in front of him, but he said he thought the first one was on September 30 at Champlain College, to be hosted by Christopher Graff. The topic: U.S. foreign policy.

“I don’t know what Mr. Tarrant’s is complaining about,” said Weaver. “That’s far more debates than most people who are doing as poorly as he is doing in the polls would get.”

Asked if  Sanders would agree to more than 10 debates, Weaver replied, “Look, we have always wanted this to be a campaign about the issues because we know, not think, we know that when Vermonters see the difference between Bernie Sanders and Rich Tarrant on the issues, this race will be over.”

Ouch!

Caught a bit of the Peter Welch v. Martha Rainville debate this morning on WDEV’s “The Mark Johnson Show” - live from the Tunbridge World’s Fair. Didn’t catch any blockbusters in between incoming phone calls here at the ranch. But I liked the audience question about what was the favorite book each candidate had read?

Martha went first and said “The Bible.”

Peter kinda chuckled and said he couldn’t let Martha take the Bible all by herself, after all, there was his Roman Catholic schooling to acknowledge. So he claimed a piece of the Bible, too. Then he added War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Perfect pick when running against the former head of the state’s National Guard during wartime, eh?

As they say in French “Twoshay!”

This just in: Peter & Martha go at it again Monday night at 7:30 PM at the Doubletree Motel on Williston Rd. in South Burlington (the old Ramada). It’ll be broadcast live on VPT. VPR’s Steve Delaney is the moderator. It’s sponsored by AARP and the public is invited. No admission charge and FREE BEER!

Just kidding about the beer.

And continuing with our Friday “manure” theme, this just in from Jim Douglas Central Montpeculiar:

MONTPELIER – The State of Vermont and the Federal Highway Administration today filed a notice of appeal from the May 2004 United States District Court decision finding insufficient the environmental documentation supporting construction of segments A and B (Williston and Essex) of the circumferential highway...

****************************************************************************************

Updated CIRC SECTION  7 P.M. (good link)*

Holy shit! The Douglas administration lost that case two years ago over in U.S. District Court! Our governor, you'll recall, had used all his good connections with the Bush White House to speed up the CIRC's construction after years of delay. Got it on the fast-track just days before the 2002 election. Only problem was, the speed-up was illegal. The Douglas Team unsuccessfuly tried to rush past the need for an up-to-date Environmental Impact Statement as required by federal law. And they did it with Bush White House connections and a straight face.

Instead, they ran in 2003, Jimbo first year as governor,  with a EIS done in the old days of the mid-1980s when I was an editor at the now-defunct (but memorable) Vanguard Press. They ran on a 1986 EIS, a study from a time without cell phones or grape tomatoes or email and people smoked cigarettes in restaurants. Attorney Judge William Sessions simply wasn't buying it.

Supposedly, the Douglasadmonsitration has been working on a new EIS that allegedly will examine all transportation alternatives to the CIRC Highway's constuction. Things like roundabouts and actual public transit. Or is the one-human-per-car, bumper-to-bumper crap, the way we all want it to be in 10 years, too?

I thought the Guv's Transportation Team (now headed by former political Boy Wonder and advisor Neale Lunderville, who gave up a Pfizer sales job after about three months to return to Vermont to replace whatshername as Gov. Douglas Secretary of Transportation) was looking at alternatives to the old sure-fired sprawl builder?

Live and learn.

VPIRG’s Paul Burns had this emailed reaction:

“Seems as though they are willing to explore  'all available avenues' in order to AVOID having to investigate the real transportation needs and options available to the people of Chittenden County.

"How exactly does wasting more money on unnecessary litigation like this fit into the "affordability agenda?"

Good question.

**************************************************************************************************

*UPDATE*  5:50 P.M.

Two things:

1. Democrat Scudder Parker will be launching his first TV spot next week.

2. The Sanders' Campaign forwarded this list of 10 debates with Tarrant that Mr. Weaver said they have agreed to so far, including VPT, WCAX-TV and WPTZ-TV.

*Champlain College & VT Council on World Affairs 9/30   7:00 to 8:30 PM
*Association of VT Credit Unions 10/10  11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
*Candidates Forum with a focus on disability issues 10/11  7:00 to 9:00 PM
*League of Women Voters 10/12  7:00 to 9:00 PM
*AARP 10/13  7:30 to 9:00 PM
*VT Law School Debate 10/17 6:30 to 8:15 PM
*WCAX 10/22 or 10/29 TBD
*VPT "Super Tuesday" 11/5 "around 6:00ish" PM
*WPTZ 10/23
*Williston Central School Candidates Forum 10/6 9:30 to 10:30 AM

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About The Author

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne

Bio:
Peter Freyne, 1949-2009, wrote the weekly political column "Inside Track," which originated in the Vanguard Press in the mid 1980s; he brought it to Seven Days in 1995. He retired it shortly before his death in January, 2009. We all miss him.

More by Peter Freyne

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