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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion: Economy

Re: “Massachusetts Republican John Kingston Runs a Christian Retreat in Vermont

John Kingston, aka. Thurston Howell III, is just a fear monger as shown in his latest commercial. "Fear those that don't look like you", that's Kingston's page from the Trump playbook. Hard working Americans don't need some lawyer from Winchester. We need Warren - a fighter for the middle class. Hey John your wife looks a little different - she here legally ? How ya like it pal

Posted by William Murphy on 08/30/2018 at 8:07 AM

Re: “Massachusetts Republican John Kingston Runs a Christian Retreat in Vermont

John Kingston - just another poser, a wolf in sheep's clothing. He was for the Republican neo liberal economic policies before he was against them or so he says. Middle class Americans don't need some shmuck from a white shoe Boston law firm.

Posted by William Murphy on 08/15/2018 at 8:45 AM

Re: “Some of Vermont's Highest-Paid Execs Run Nonprofits


Posted by Sean Moran 1 on 07/26/2018 at 9:30 PM

Re: “Some of Vermont's Highest-Paid Execs Run Nonprofits

I was employed at the UVMMC College of Medicine as a Standardized Patient and Teaching Assistant for 15 years...and came to the job with 8 years prior experience.

I worked year-round, but was kept as part-time, temporary for all those years...which meant I never got a raise, nor any benefits. I taught med students, but got no medical coverage.

I loved working with the students, who were consistently appreciative. But the lack of appreciation, in other forms, from other sources, eventually wore me down. I realized my self-respect was dwindling. Last November, after 23 years as an SP, I quit.

So yes, I think Dr. Brumsteads $2.2 million dollars a year is way, way out of line.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Vivian Jordan on 07/22/2018 at 12:10 AM

Re: “Vermont Cops Partner with Nonprofits to Fight Sex Crimes

A public records request about grant funding? Staff salaries? Maybe its reasonable to ask someone to put in what i imagine would be a fair number of hours to respond to one persons request to satisfy curiosity. But i think its a huge stretch to suggest that this might allow him to gather information about communications between law enforcement & prosecutors about a particular case that is already available through the prosecutors office. Prosecutors understand what communications are discoverable & take this obligation seriously. I think perhaps your article should mention that.

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Carolyn Hanson on 07/19/2018 at 2:25 PM

Re: “Nonprofit News: The Rise of Vermont Public Media

The importance of VT Digger shone through a few months back when Anne Galloway's reporting offered a very different lens on the Tim Ashe / Phil Scott budget standoff than Seven Days readers were getting.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Observer9 on 07/13/2018 at 4:42 PM

Re: “Meet the ‘Frequent Fliers’ of Vermont’s Nonprofit Boards


I believe it was Jesus who said the best way to help the poor is to make sure you yourself are wealthy first and stay wealthy even during terrible economic depressions, and occasionally throw some crumbs out when you feel bad.

Seems like my idea of Democracy, where poor and marginalized people are including in government and NGO decision making, is much more inclusive than your own Marxist defense, where a handful of elite get to control political and economic decisions and everyone else suffers their decisions. Sound familiar huh?

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by btv4all on 07/13/2018 at 3:49 PM

Re: “Some Vermont Nonprofits Loan Money to Employees and Board Members

This article illustrates why depending on government to regulate nonprofits is risky and unrealistic. There are simply inadequate resources for IRS and state regulators.

Another solution is improved self-regulation by nonprofit board members who reside in the community.

Nonprofit board members are responsible for governance and accountability. Nonprofit board members either allow, or prevent, such abuses. If board members want to prevent such abuses, they can achieve that through governance controls--the bylaws and provide for internal enforcement.

Boards that wish to prevent such abuses can pass a bylaw, as some nonprofits have done:

"All directors, officers, and trustees are prohibited from receiving loans, transfers of property, release of debt or lease obligations, or any similar form of financial benefit. Such prohibitions also apply to a spouse, sibling, parent or child, as well as any person residing with said employee."

This is one of many best practice bylaws that are described along with many others in my book "Advancing Nonprofit Stewardship through Self-Regulation: Translating Principles into Practice" (Kumarian Press). The book is based, in part, on a survey of "A" rated nonprofits who provided their bylaws that reveal their best practices and procedures that support good governance and ethical practice.

Another resource of mine is "Accountability and Ethics in Nonprofit Organizations" in Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy and Governance, (Springer International Publishing, 2018), which addresses many additional ethical principles, namely Independent Sector's 33 Principles of Good Governance and Ethical Practice.

Solutions are not easy-- but failures can best be prevented with improved self-regulation--not more government regulation. Also, it is necessary to provide for enforcement of bylaws through reporting requirements and access for records to all board members. This requires empowering board members to self-regulate and provides great opportunity to improve the status-quo. Christopher Corbett, Albany NY

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Former Regulator on 07/13/2018 at 10:29 AM

Re: “Meet the ‘Frequent Fliers’ of Vermont’s Nonprofit Boards

Hey, bvt4all, you don't know that all these profiled board members are wealthy, nor do you know how much they have or have not done to alleviate Vermont's poverty, bigotry and suffering. I suspect they have done a lot more than a troll like you. Wealthy and white they may be, but they're not just sitting around on their butts playing bridge. I suspect each of them has done more good for society in one week than you will do in your whole life, you sniping Marxist. These people don't have to do charitable work; they volunteer; they give their time for probably meager compensation, if any. My hat's off to them.

8 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Eric J on 07/12/2018 at 9:38 PM

Re: “Meet the ‘Frequent Fliers’ of Vermont’s Nonprofit Boards

These board members seem to have more in common with each other--including a blinding whiteness--than they do with those they serve. Every board should include meaningful representation of those who are affected by the organization...with the possible exception of the Humane Society.

7 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Martha Molpus on 07/12/2018 at 9:09 PM

Re: “Massachusetts Republican John Kingston Runs a Christian Retreat in Vermont

Better check and make sure he's not part of the polygamist group in Utah known as the Kingston clan.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Gi Grape on 07/12/2018 at 9:38 AM

Re: “Nonprofit News: The Rise of Vermont Public Media

This is very fine reporting--thank you for it. And thank you to VTDigger and 7Days for filling much of the journalistic void left by the collapse of the dailies. The other thing that disappears when journalism dwindles is the sense of how a community functions--the high school sports, the obituaries. Thank heaven we have WDEV and (where I live) the Addison Independent to fill in those holes as well.

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by billmckibben on 07/11/2018 at 4:09 PM

Re: “Meet the ‘Frequent Fliers’ of Vermont’s Nonprofit Boards

Maybe if boards recruited regular, working class people and people of color, then paid them for their time and expertise, instead of relying on a handful of wealthy residents who have the schedule and time to devote to multiple boards, nonprofits wouldnt have as much trouble filling seats.

But then all those wealthy board members (like the ones profiled here) and 6-figure EDs would have to actually interact with the poor people they say they want to help, and that would make them feel uncomfortable when they have to contend with the fact Vermont has as much poverty, bigotry, and suffering as every other state, and they have done little to alleviate it or meaningfully empower poor residents because they deserve their BMWs and their mansions and vacations and second homes and $1,000,000 retirements so why should they have to make meaningful sacrifices when the poor can continue to suffer and they can feel good donating a few hours or a few thousand dollars to keep the hoards away from their economically-segregated communities?

25 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by btv4all on 07/11/2018 at 3:06 PM

Re: “Nonprofit News: The Rise of Vermont Public Media

Interesting read; thanks for the info. Looking at VPR's financials all I can say is; must be nice.
It's worth noting that over here at the scrappy independent commercial station The Point we've had Ann Galloway from VT Digger on weekly for several years.
Now, in contrast to VPR, our mission is musical. We see our station as a place folks who listen to VPR can come to when they've want a change from news and spoken word content. But we also take seriously our multi-faceted commitment to the community. So we take about 7 minutes each Monday morning to cover 3 stories with Ann or another of the journalists from VT Digger; it's the Monday Montpelier Report. Mondays at 8am. As they might say elsewhere; information at
We're also promotional partners with VT PBS, in particular supporting their music programming... including their locally produced Bardo series featuring local resident Ryan Miller of Guster fame.
I guess what I'm saying is that, despite our different economic models, when it comes to underlying philosophies our diverse organizations have a lot in common.
Zeb Norris, Morning host, The Point

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by zebnorris on 07/11/2018 at 1:05 PM

Re: “Massachusetts Republican John Kingston Runs a Christian Retreat in Vermont

Oh noes! There's Christian republicans in Vermont, like that's a literal hate crime crime or something!

10 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by James Boudreau on 07/11/2018 at 11:23 AM

Re: “Massachusetts Republican John Kingston Runs a Christian Retreat in Vermont

Why is this news? It appears that no laws have been broken. So, what's the reason for the article? Because he's a Republican operating a perfectly legal Christian retreat in Vermont? I used to think the right's yammering about liberals being intolerant was just so much nonsense, but "news" articles like this are causing me to wonder if there might not be some truth to the claim.

15 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Leonard Bast on 07/11/2018 at 10:46 AM

Re: “Professional Fundraisers Keep a Large Cut of the Cash They Bring In for Nonprofits

VPIRG, Vermont Public Interest Research Group, are terrible. A few years ago I was into their agenda, until I became suspicious of their helpers' persistence. Why would they keep coming back and back? Seemed so Non-non-profit. Sure enough, I cornered one of them and found out the large percentage of the received pledges they got to keep. Burns, VPIRG'S boss, endorsed this deceitful method of fundraising and should be fired because of it. It's shameful and dishonest.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Eric J on 07/09/2018 at 8:42 PM

Re: “Is Anyone Watching Vermont's 6,000-Plus Charitable Organizations?

While no defense of status-quo, the reality is: costs to regulate nonprofits are difficult, or impossible, to defend. For most states they are simply not economically feasible.

This is no new problem. Marion Freemont-Smith, a legal scholar, deals with this in her book "Governing Nonprofit Organizations" (2004), concluding without more funding, IRS and states cannot perform enforcement duties. She concludes: government will not step in to regulate if it lacks tools to effect change and nonprofits bent on reaping private benefit will not alter behavior if government fails to perform regulatory duties (p.471).

It can be well argued government regulation will never prevent, or solve, ethical failures due to cost of regulation. Besides, regulation where it does step in--is only after failure occurs.

Taking a different tack, I found self-regulation is necessary, though not easy, solution and wrote a book instead emphasizing improved nonprofit ethics, governance and accountability at board level. It is entitled: Advancing Nonprofit Stewardship through Self-Regulaton: Translating Principles into Practice (Kumarian Press). It is based, in part, on a survey of "A" rated nonprofits who provided their bylaws revealing best governance and ethical practices readily replicated in other nonprofits.

I also address improved self-regulation in: "Accountability and Ethics in Nonprofit Organizations", Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy and Governance (2018), Springer International Publishing, which builds upon prior work and research on nonprofits.

These resources may be helpful to those who favor improved self-regulation-- crafted by nonprofit boards-- rather than increasing state funding for greater government regulation. Christopher Corbett, Albany NY.

Posted by Former Regulator on 07/08/2018 at 4:45 PM

Re: “Professional Fundraisers Keep a Large Cut of the Cash They Bring In for Nonprofits

I stopped giving to the Professional Firefighters years ago when I found how little of my money actually went to the firefighters.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kathy Callaghan on 07/07/2018 at 12:43 PM

Re: “Does Vermont Have Too Many Nonprofits?

I have spent 18 years in the nonprofit sector here in VT. I can say that without a doubt the answer is not to reduce staff and rely on volunteers, as Greg Cox asserted. We're mostly very underpaid and overworked people to begin with, and having less paid staff and more volunteers, which take a whole lot of extra time to manage and who turn over frequently, is completely unsustainable. This may be an unpopular view, but what needs to happen is that state and federal government reinvest in all the services they've cut so that the bulk of the mission based work in VT doesn't have to fall on the backs of organizations that have to piece together bare bones budgets every year to get by. We cannot continue to nickle and dime necessary services that help the state's most vulnerable people and environments and then wonder why everything is falling apart. You want less nonprofits and more collaborations? Fine. Fully fund the efforts and a lot of us can stop trying to appeal to rich donors who have never been in our shoes. We can stop just scraping by while helping others who are also scraping by.

16 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Laura Hale on 07/06/2018 at 10:09 AM

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