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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion: Fair Game

Re: “Whose Records? Public Information Law Can Be a Maze

F for transparency.

Posted by The Oracle on 04/26/2017 at 2:52 PM

Re: “Whose Records? Public Information Law Can Be a Maze

How ironic that you quote Jon Groveman. When he was ANR General Counsel and I filed public records requests, his response was that it would cost $1000 just to prepare the redaction log. The then-author of this column filed a similar request and was told the same thing. Under Gov. Shumlin, Jon Groveman participated in not complying with the law, which at the very least requires state agencies to provide a record of the documents they decline to provide, and the reason why. His successor filled four years of public records requests for me, and there was no charge.

Posted by A. Smith on 04/26/2017 at 1:20 PM

Re: “The Black Box of Ethics: Proposed Panel Would Operate in Secret

Vermont government offices trying to institute Fascist policies. Awesome. Expect nothing less from our legislature

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by FreedomToThink on 04/20/2017 at 8:16 PM

Re: “The Black Box of Ethics: Proposed Panel Would Operate in Secret

More like a Black Hole ...

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by saysme on 04/20/2017 at 5:59 PM

Re: “The Black Box of Ethics: Proposed Panel Would Operate in Secret

"The Black Box of Ethics: Proposed Panel Would Operate in Secret" WHY??? What are they trying to hide???
When they want to pass a bill that has SECRET in it, makes me wonder especially when it's the democrats trying to push it through..SNEAKY comes to mind..

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Donna Boutin on 04/20/2017 at 2:43 PM

Re: “The Black Box of Ethics: Proposed Panel Would Operate in Secret

VPIRG continually makes the link between money in politics and the buying of votes. They are heavily invested in buying votes. Why didn't you mention VPIRG's hypocrisy?

12 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by A. Smith on 04/20/2017 at 9:14 AM

Re: “The Black Box of Ethics: Proposed Panel Would Operate in Secret

Ethics reform fail.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by The Oracle on 04/19/2017 at 12:53 PM

Re: “Ashes to Ashes: Smoking Bill Puts Senators in Bind

What about cannabis? These people exude hypocrisy.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by clamjam22 on 04/13/2017 at 12:35 PM

Re: “Ashes to Ashes: Smoking Bill Puts Senators in Bind

Tobacco is one of the most destructive drugs on our society, and unlike heroine, the health effects of this dangerous drug not only effect the user but everyone around them. It is incredibly addictive and the industry adds ingredients to cigarettes to make them even more so.
Not only does smoking dramatically increase your risk for lung cancer and throat and mouth cancer, it is also a leading cause of lung disease like emphysema that leaves folks drowning in their own lung secretions, unable to leave bed or walk across the room without an oxygen tank. It contributes to heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of premature death in this country.
It also adds these risks to any children exposed to this toxic smoke, as well as asthma and other effects on growing and developing bodies.
We routinely restrict the activities or make allowances for folks as they come of age. Drinking is restricted to over 21, young adults are allowed to stay on their parents insurance until their mid 20s.
Restricting access to smokes is a good start that will save lives, improve health, and save the people of Vermont millions in medical bills.
This isn't a liberal versus libertarian issue. This is a common sense issue, and should be at the heart of anyone who cares about the health of our state.
Senators Pearson and Ashe, as fellow Progressives I am particularly puzzled by, and incredibly disappointed in, your lack of support for this needed measure.

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by BenEastwood on 04/13/2017 at 10:38 AM

Re: “The Media Bern: Sanders Keeps Vermont Press at Arm's Length

Without commenting on the entirety of the accusations and implications in this snotty little tirade, let me ask this question: if you were a public figure with a choice in the matter, would you talk to Seven Days? Seven Days performs a valuable public service, but its news staff/editorial writers are pretentious self-important smart-asses, puerile college newspaper wannabes pretending to be adults. As exemplified in this article, they generally think that they themselves are a vital and interesting component of stories, regardless of the ostensible subject. Journalists injecting themselves into stories are charlatans; opinion editors injecting their egos into stories are fools. Senator Sanders' judgement may be called into question on a number of fronts, but he'd be plain crazy to interact with Seven Days on any level, ever.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by prion on 04/12/2017 at 8:58 PM

Re: “Ashes to Ashes: Smoking Bill Puts Senators in Bind

Only Vermont would try to make tobacco less legal and heroin more legal (safe injection sites).

17 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by ReneBushey on 04/12/2017 at 5:44 PM

Re: “Ashes to Ashes: Smoking Bill Puts Senators in Bind

Ex-smokers might want to skip this comment for now.

Truth bomb: tobacco is great! So long, that is, as there are mechanisms for controlling/ceasing one's consumption.
Everybody envies that ideal social smoker who can have a smoke at the club a few times a year without any harm (and for those who hyperbolically claim one smoke kills, even the research of insurance companies, whose accuracy is highly incentivized, acknowledges that when not to excess, there's no perceptibly increased risk).
And with good reason: smoking can be great fun--even healthy--it's true. By contrast, nanny state oppression might even drive youth to literal drugs.

Vermonters know this. The issue is one of moderation, of temperance. Some, though far from all, have this in spades without any external assistance. Others, not so much. You know this. And since potentially addictive substances can distort discipline/objectivity in-the-moment, the solution for all is a confidential tobacco card/registry used to purchase tobacco products (e.g., simple linkage to one's license / free card for the unlicensed).
Then, opting-in would confidentially track and allow for reviewing one's tobacco consumption, as well as setting limits/alerts or even temporary/permanent prohibitions on oneself--irreversible without great effort, preventing any purchase beyond that which a Vermonter allows him or herself.
Maximal pleasure, revenue, and discipline.

Some will bum smokes, yes, or even smoke butts (ugggghhh) though this is only minimally sustainable. Straw buys should be disincentivized, yes. An initial system opt-out to protect privacy/liberty seems good.
This system proposal is obviously highly speculative/tentative and partial by necessity.
With this system in place, there's also some small chance limited smoking by youth could become generally safe, though, yes, Sen. Degree's proposal certainly seems most prudent for now.

Btw, brava for Sen. Flory's courageously frank discussion, defense of youth rights, and defense of liberty.

8 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by vtcommentary on 04/12/2017 at 5:31 PM

Re: “Ashes to Ashes: Smoking Bill Puts Senators in Bind

Saying that smoking causes cancer is BS, my grandmother never smoked nor my grandfather they both died from cancer, I don't smoke and I have cancer for the 3rd time..You have to register for the Military at 18, you're old enough and your brain is mature enough to go to war..but heaven forbid you're not smart enough to drink or smoke..
A lot of old people smoke and drink and a lot of them are in the state house, seems to be a lot of hypocrites in there..No one force you to drink or smoke..and No one has the right to tell you how to live your life..especially the fools in the State house..just because their pea size brain thinks they know it all and they have the right to tell us how to live..they can go toI h-ll..bunch of liberals..

As for the Morning Consult poll,, what a joke, surveyed 282 people..must had been from Montpelier or Burlington..I know there's more then 282 people in VT..but Morning Consult out of DC..probably a democrat polling place..

A course old sell out bernie is touring the country on the taxpayers dime.heaven forbid he should use his own money..wonder how many more bills he won't be around to vote on..oh wait he doesn't give a crap about Vermonters..just cares about our money..I know quite a few democrats who won't be voting for him again...They don't trust him anymore..

11 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Donna Boutin on 04/12/2017 at 3:51 PM

Re: “Ashes to Ashes: Smoking Bill Puts Senators in Bind

If 18 year olds should be able to make their own decisions on tobacco, as some Senators have opined, why shouldn't they make their own decisions regarding alcohol?

Are we equating age to judgement? Or are we trying to gauge physical development?

I've heard we ought to restrict alcohol purchases based on age because the brain's prefrontal cortex continues developing until age 25. Meaning, young people may not be well-equipped to make such decisions - and that the decision to consume alcohol would impair some aspects of physical development. If that is correct, does this argument influence legislators' stances on restricting alcohol purchases?

Would the 'progressive-turned-libertarian' Senators be in favor of reducing the drinking age to 18, if they could do so without running afoul of the federal government? Or do they believe alcohol and tobacco purchases should be restricted at different ages?

16 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Scott Pavek on 04/12/2017 at 11:45 AM

Re: “Watchdog Whistle: This Vermont News Website Tilts to the Right

Here's a good example contrasting Watchdog's reporting with Digger's reporting.……
Both articles are about a meeting held in Tinmouth on Sunday. Only one of them contains what I consider "news" for the local community, which is that the person who is charged with killing is neighbor is out on bail. For those of us who live in this area, that is important information. I learned it from reading the news report, above, but only from one of the two sources. Who is doing a better job of reporting?

Posted by A. Smith on 04/12/2017 at 10:15 AM

Re: “House Discord: Speaker Finds Harmony Doesn't Last

So far I have been very impressed with Governor Scott's very deliberate and measured approach in performing his job as Governor. I certainly don't know all his appointees but have been pleased with those I do know. Take your time with the remaining few and get them right!

13 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Bob Frazier on 04/05/2017 at 9:47 PM

Re: “House Discord: Speaker Finds Harmony Doesn't Last

"It sets back your ability to get the job done," says Bill Lofy, who oversaw hiring as governor Peter Shumlin's chief of staff when he took office in 2011. "You need capable people in those positions to implement the governor's agenda. [Without them,] it makes state government less responsive."

Vermont would have been much better off if Mr. Shumlin had been a lot slower in hiring folks.

15 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Bruce Post on 04/05/2017 at 6:31 PM

Re: “Watchdog Whistle: This Vermont News Website Tilts to the Right

Well, let's look at the Franklin Institute VS the CMD (Center for Media & Democracy).

CMD is a 501C3 non profit founded in 1993 by a group of progressive journalists. Their funding sources have included grants from G Soros and the Schwab Institute - who do not disclose donors.

Tit for Tat. As usual.

Folks: Read both sides. The truth and positive change lie in the middle.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Not a Sheep on 04/01/2017 at 7:48 AM

Re: “Watchdog Whistle: This Vermont News Website Tilts to the Right

Re: So yeah, conservative, Tea Party, far right, free-market, limited government (except when it comes to immigration?) ... And except when it comes to policing women's heath care. Bah!

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by leaterhune on 03/30/2017 at 1:38 PM

Re: “Watchdog Whistle: This Vermont News Website Tilts to the Right

Here you are getting a full crank on about Watchdog having a tilt to the right, while your rudder is jammed to the port having "Seven Days" in tight circles to the Left.
What is it with the Proggy people that cannot seem to grasp that they took an Oath of Office when they assumed that elected place. Did that say something about upholding the laws of the State and Country? It didn't say only the ones you happen to like.
The State's economy vies with Venezuela for who will reach bottom first. You don't have enough people in the state to pay the tax load to get out from under the unfunded liabilities. Yet there is that willingness to dump on anything Conservative; but it isn't the Conservatives mired in debt.
One thing we can be thankful for in "Seven Days" is there isn't eight of them.

18 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Vermont Woodchuck on 03/30/2017 at 12:23 PM

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