From a distance | Freyne Land
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Friday, February 8, 2008

From a distance

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2008 at 8:53 AM

A little after 7 AM. Waiting for the electrician-guy. To get the new furnace [we think it was made in Germany - hey, what’s made in America anymore besides footballs for the Super Bowl?] and hot-water heater up and running. They had trouble getting it started last night, reading the manuals and instructions over and over.

It was on when they left around 8:30, but it didn’t last long. Got two little electric portables that worked just fine overnight.

Central heating is really such a 20th Century luxury. It put the hot-water-bottle industry, which some of you white-haired folks recall, out of business.

click to enlarge montpeculiar_december.jpg

Saw Montpeculiar from a distance yesterday - like normal people do.  Bagged it due to the weather - smart, right?

So, what happened with the healthcare reformers’ Lobby Day #2?

WPTZ-TV had a little report, showed folks in some auditorium with Dr. Deb Richter talking. Couldn't tell where it was actually, but it wasn’t the Statehouse.

WCAX-TV, “Vermont’s Own”  had absolutely no coverage of it. Statehouse Reporter Kristin Carlson filed a piece on the Senate Judiciary Committee looking at relaxing the marijuana possession laws.

God forbid!

Then in HealthWatch, the other Kristin, Anchorwoman Kristin Kelly had this reefer-madness-style read-over:

A new study finds smoking pot triples the risk for gum disease. Researchers in New Zealand examined 9-hundred young adults. Of those with new cases of gum disease -- they say one-third was the result of smoking marijuana. The increased risk exists even for light smokers -- and for people who don't smoke cigarettes. The researchers say toxins in marijuana destroy circulation -- and prevent the gums from healing. Gum Disease can lead to tooth loss. It also increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

As goes New Zealand, so goes Earth!

Ah! 7:30 and the furnace guys are here and the electrician guy, too! Gonna get this baby running!

Associated Press Reporter David Gram went the pot-route, too. Filing a cannabis story on the world’s largest newswire, but unlike Ch. 3, he led with the Vermont House’s landslide approval of the Hemp Bill, and tacked the Senate Judiciary’s dalliance with the more potent strains of pot on the end.


Friday's Burlington Free Press had a Nancy Remsen front-pager on the House Commerce Committee hearing about the evils of junk mail! And inside, they had Terri Hallenbeck's version of the Senate committee on the marijuana roll. Didn’t see a peep online about the Hemp Landslide on the House floor, though.

The out-country newspaper “chain” - Rutland Herald and Times Argus - did not ignore the healthcare protesters. Let’s face it, the issue isn’t going away. They put it out front, too: “Sparks fly at Statehouse hearing on single-payer health care.”  Here.

In a phone interview last night, Dr. Richter told Freyne Land  that 100 people signed their “Healthcare for All” sheet under the Golden Dome on Thursday. Considering the weather - not bad, eh!

She said I’d missed a good one - the passions were flowing, as Dan Barlow reports. Richter said they wanted Health Committee Chairs Sen. Doug Racine and Rep. Steve Maier to agree to hold a public hearing on H.304 - the reform bill that would cost the insurance companies and hospital paper-pushes significant buckaroos, while covering all Vermonters hospitalization costs like governments do in the rest of civilization.

Chairman Doug and Chairman Steve, both Democrats, she said, declined.

Didn’t Racine run for governor once?

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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.

More by Peter Freyne


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