A Wednesday Surprise? | Freyne Land

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bernie Sanders
A Wednesday Surprise?

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2006 at 9:19 AM

*Updated* with a Douglas Surprise!

Took the Ol’ Saturn to McCaffrey’s Sunoco at North & North. Inspection Day. Couple tires, a tie rod and the damn battery light. Tossed the bike in the trunk, so we had a nice pedal back to the Southend through the sunshine. A lone jogger in Battery Park. That lake. Those mountains. Forgot the damn camera!

Just got home and got word that Gov. Jim Douglas has called a last-minute presser for 11 a.m. the morning at which he will announce his new Secretary of Natural Resources.

Well, it won’t be Anson Tebbetts. We know that.

Will it be Marvelous Martha Rainville?

Or a complete surprise?


*Update 4:30 p.m.

Gov. Jim Douglas is going to let actions speak louder than words. It what appears an excellent move to checkmate the Democrats' pre-legislative drumbeat about "global warming," Gov. Scissorhands announced today he has picked a former Sanderista to be Vermont's new top environmental cop. Douglas is tapping George Crombie, Burlington Mayor Bernie Sanders'  head of the Burlington Department of Public Works (and Mayor Peter Clavelle's after Bernie went to Washington).

George was widely respected during his eight years at the helm of water and sewer, streets and sanitation in the People's Republic of Burlington, Vermont. Kinda brought the Queen City's infrastructure up to date.  He subsequently went on to work in the Massachusetts state environmental agency.

Vermont environmental activists were taken off-guard. One CLFer called it  "a complete surprise."

Paul Burns over at VPIRG, who knows Crombie from his Massachusetts days, put out a statement that read in part:

"George Crombie comes to this position with a depth of experience on a wide range of environmental matters.  That background should serve him well in this position.  But as ANR Secretary, we'll be looking for leadership from him so that the administration can move beyond the mere implementation of the governor's modest environmental agenda."


Hey, here's the sunset out across the backyard. Can you find the Burlington Electric power-generating windmill in the shot?

By the way, downtown was jumping this afternoon. Yours truly was on the two-wheeler  and had lunch at Sweetwaters with Jeezum Jim Jeffords' now out-of-work press secretary Diane Derby. Diane's got the radar up for something new.

"Sweets" was a very busy joint today, but great service.


AND, one more....

There was a surprise at Shaw's on Shelburne Road this afternoon. Yours truly was hitting the old salad bar - our favorite spot the last couple years during our post-Irish Whiskey phase. 

Who drives up, but WDEV talk-show host Mark Johnson and his darling daughter Stella Rose?

Ol' Mark and I used to hang out together in the "good old days" when Bernie was the mayor of Burlap, George Crombie ran public works and Ronald Reagan was the president. In fact, Mark was the city hall scribe for the Freeps at the time.

Twenty years ago, yours truly got promoted to the editor's job at the old Burlington-based alternative weekly the Vermont Vanguard Press.  With the added duties, we offered Mark something completely different - our WDEV "Friendly Pioneer" Burlington news beat. He went for it and the rest, as they say, is history. 

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About The Author

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne

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.

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