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Comment Archives: stories: News + Opinion: Politics

Re: “Burlington Mayor's Attempt to Diversify Leadership Falls Short

Well, how racially diverse is the Burlington professional obstructionist-anti-everything-just-say-no community? I only see old white people obstructing projects and vandalizing murals -- mostly old white males. Obstructing the Town Center Mall development? Old white males. Defacing public property? Old white males. Obstructing the City Hall Park renovation? Old white males. Obstructing the Southern Connector? Old white males. Filing obstructionist lawsuits? An old white male attorney on behalf of old white male clients. Has the white male leadership of AHANDJOB (Aging Hippies Against All New Development, Jobs, or Business) done ANY national recruiting at all to attract obstructionists of color (OOC) to Burlington? No! I demand that the leadership of AHANDJOB step down and that a full national search for diverse obstructionist leadership be conducted!

And while we're at it, shall we go back and look at Bernie's city hall staff and CEDO leadership to see how many women and people of color the Dear Socialist Leader had? How about his successor, Mayor-for-Life Peter Clavelle? How about Bob Kiss?

Posted by knowyourassumptions on 06/15/2019 at 4:07 PM

Re: “Burlington Mayor's Attempt to Diversify Leadership Falls Short

Seven Days moving in the right direction but barely scratching the surface of what you could uncover. Turn your attention to the actual city departments and start by the highest salary average which will lead to a department with the most political connections. You might be surprised how many qualifications are missing in the leadership realm of one department in particular but the candidates always have strong connections to City Hall or Montpelier. As a publically owned entity, this should not happen. Please keep digging.

15 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Tired of it on 06/13/2019 at 5:21 PM

Re: “Burlington Mayor's Attempt to Diversify Leadership Falls Short

Seven Days - how racially diverse is your staff? Last I checked, your writing staff is like winter in Vermont.

Professor Seguino makes some good points but she's also doing her best to stay relevant even though her reports can't pass the review of her own peers. They don't even agree with her calculations.

Vermont is a difficult state for recruiting diversity. Forget about the city of Burlington, check in with other major companies (Dealer, 7thGen, BJ) and see what their diversity numbers are. Poor. I don't blame the mayor for choosing the most qualified candidate for heads of departments.

33 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by AbS on 06/13/2019 at 9:23 AM

Re: “Burlington Mayor's Attempt to Diversify Leadership Falls Short

Reprinted by popular demand:


By PATRICK CASHMAN
06/12/2019

Now I'm thinking an elected official like the City Assessor but instead the City Race Assessor.
Every year you could get your assigned race along with your property tax bill, and if you disagree you could file an appeal with the Board of Race Listers (undoubtedly Ms. Sequino would be one of the first candidates). Every four or five years, when the diversity balance is out of whack or the social media market value of different minority groups shifts, the city could call for a city wide race reappraisal and would visit each citizen, assess them on a pantone scale and perhaps a questionnaire or hearing, either affirm or change their race, etc. It could be stressful though; "I was Chamorro for the decades, but now I'm Polynesian? Mom's gonna be pisssssed" or "my father was a Slav, his father was a Slav, but suddenly I'm Circassian? They just pogromed me right out of my own house"

13 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Ted Cohen on 06/13/2019 at 5:20 AM

Re: “Burlington Mayor's Attempt to Diversify Leadership Falls Short

Now I'm thinking an elected official like the City Assessor but instead the City Race Assessor.
Every year you could get your assigned race along with your property tax bill, and if you disagree you could file an appeal with the Board of Race Listers (undoubtedly Ms. Sequino would be one of the first candidates). Every four or five years, when the diversity balance is out of whack or the social media market value of different minority groups shifts, the city could call for a city wide race reappraisal and would visit each citizen, assess them on a pantone scale and perhaps a questionnaire or hearing, either affirm or change their race, etc. It could be stressful though; "I was Chamorro for the decades, but now I'm Polynesian? Mom's gonna be pisssssed" or "my father was a Slav, his father was a Slav, but suddenly I'm Circassian? They just pogromed me right out of my own house"

26 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Patrick Cashman on 06/12/2019 at 5:30 PM

Re: “Burlington Mayor's Attempt to Diversify Leadership Falls Short

When do we stop dividing ourselves? There is one human race. Divisions into different "races" are archaic and don't make things any better.

33 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Ethan Rogati on 06/12/2019 at 5:20 PM

Re: “Burlington Mayor's Attempt to Diversify Leadership Falls Short

Personally, as a person of color and a former City of Burlington employee, implicit bias and cultural competency training does not really happen, for employees or department heads.

When you are first hired with the city you undergo a few hours of orientation that includes a small segment that pretty much mentions the following: the city is an equal opportunity employer so don't be racist or sexist; and sexual harassment is bad so don't do it. Both are, of course, true but the city does not go into further discussion on the subject before moving on to the next item on the orientation agenda. Myself and my fellow coworkers never received any follow up training. This orientation occurred a few years ago so it may not accurately represent the current HR orientation process today.

The department head I worked for received the so called " implicit bias and cultural competency training" and after this training they were to present what they learned to the staff in order to mediate a discussion of cultural competency and how the staff could do better at recruiting or reaching more diverse constituents. The former may have happened but the latter never did.

During my tenure with the city, I experienced prejudicial comments and incredibly racist interactions with department board and committee members. These incidents were never properly reported to HR for fear of retaliation and hostility.

With all this being said, the city as whole, starting with HR, requires greater lessons to understand their failings in order to actually address the very relevant injustices that occur every day in our country.

25 likes, 31 dislikes
Posted by Angry Woman of Color on 06/12/2019 at 4:12 PM

Re: “Burlington Mayor's Attempt to Diversify Leadership Falls Short

Patrick Cashman, per usual, is spot on.

That is why I am replating his comment below, as we say in the newspaper trade:

"'Stephanie Seguino, a University of Vermont economics professor who studies race and gender inequality, explained that Weinberger's cabinet currently contains no racial diversity because Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race, and del Pozo identifies as white.'

"Really? Is 'race taxonomist' an elected position or appointed? Perhaps instead of using a single person's opinion we could steal from 'The Chappelle Show' and hold an annual race draft to see which races get which people."

Bravo, Patrick Cashman.

21 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Ted Cohen on 06/12/2019 at 2:07 PM

Re: “Burlington Mayor's Attempt to Diversify Leadership Falls Short

Is it because *most qualified* under this council and administration seems to be code for *elitist Ivy League education and coming from a wealthy background*?

30 likes, 24 dislikes
Posted by cwinklem on 06/12/2019 at 1:57 PM

Re: “Burlington Mayor's Attempt to Diversify Leadership Falls Short

It isn't just about putting people of color in positions of power in city government - it's also about creating a workplace culture that supports them. Having worked along side some of the few people of color employed by the city over the years and heard how incredibly difficult it was for them, city government has a lonnnnggg way to go. There have been diversity committees for years, and nothing moves forward. A big part of that is the will to change. It has to come from every department at every level. The fact that the mayor has had people of color in the final three candidates to choose from for department head positions and chose white guys who looked like him and had the same background is not a coincidence.

27 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Laura Hale on 06/12/2019 at 1:47 PM

Re: “Burlington Mayor's Attempt to Diversify Leadership Falls Short

"Stephanie Seguino, a University of Vermont economics professor who studies race and gender inequality, explained that Weinberger's cabinet currently contains noracialdiversity because Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race, and del Pozo identifies as white."

Really? Is "race taxonomist" an elected position or appointed? Perhaps instead of using a single person's opinion we could steal from "The Chappelle Show" and hold an annual race draft to see which races get which people.

30 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Patrick Cashman on 06/12/2019 at 1:00 PM

Re: “An F-35 Preview Shakes Up Winooski

@justahuman and @ConcernedVter, I understand these arguments and think these are some valid points. Especially about living next to Air Force Base or if you join Navy & serve on air craft carrier, what do you expect. As to yuppy transplants, that is part of it but negative impacts to many native Vermonters as well, life-long residents of Winooski, South Burlington, etc.

Reporting about Luke Air Force Base was interesting as much because it apparently goes without saying to everyone who lives there that, yes, F-35 is much louder than F-16. Very different from what politicians like Shumlin been saying for years. In December, 2012, Leahy's cousin-in-law, developer Ernie Pomerleau, paid for an all-expenses paid trip to Florida so Weinberger and Shumlin could listen to F35 take off. While wearing enormous noise-muffling earphones, Shumlin then remarked: "Volume, seems to me, is about the same," Shumlin observed [in comparison to F16]. "Listening to this has been a real eye opener," he said. "Its a different sound, but its surprising how quiet the F-35 is." VTANG Major General Cray also tried to obscure dramatic noise difference by saying, "Noise is a difficult subject for anyone to understand," as if Air Force scientists and FAA experts who rated Burlington last because of noise impact have no idea what they are doing.

Difference with Luke Air Force Base or Hill Air Force Base is Burlington International Airport is commercial airport for civilians. Not Air Force Base. Basing could have been a win-win for state, civilians and Guard if Shumlin and Leahy had cooperated to build new 9,000 foot runway and VTANG exclusive base in Franklin County or Northeast Kingdom. Instead, Shumlin threw away $100 million plus of real tax dollars on ill-fated pursuit of universal health care that everyone knew was not workable.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 06/08/2019 at 4:22 PM

Re: “An F-35 Preview Shakes Up Winooski

The comment:
"The most common response residents who complain about the noise get from others is that they should have known when they bought their house. Arizona law requires sellers to disclose when a property is located around a military airport. But some long-term residents say they didn't know the F-35s were coming when they bought their house, and they didn't know the noise would get louder, more frequent, and later at night." is a typical NIMBY ism. It is a military air base. Did they think there would be no changes or airplanes would not get upgraded? It is the same as people who buy homes near gun clubs or farms and then complain they did not know it would be noisy or smelly.

10 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by ConcernedVter on 06/07/2019 at 5:23 PM

Re: “Running Unopposed, State's Attorney Sarah George Campaigns for Reform

She is soft on crime, especially quality-of-life crime. A recent example is Peter Krag, who robbed a 90-year-old woman inside Market 32 on Shelburne Rd, and got off with barely a slap on the wrist.

Posted by G Chesterton on 06/07/2019 at 2:39 PM

Re: “An F-35 Preview Shakes Up Winooski

Exposure to this type of noise raises your cortisol levels..
as if there werent enough stressors and anxieties.

10 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Kathy on 06/07/2019 at 2:36 PM

Re: “An F-35 Preview Shakes Up Winooski

I cant wait for housing prices to drop. Anyone looking to sell a house thats too lound give me a shout. All the rich yuppies/flatlander transplans wont be pricing out locals for once because they are to picky. Love it. I have been living next to F35s for years and could not care less about the noise, its not that bad.

15 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by justahuman on 06/06/2019 at 2:51 PM

Re: “An F-35 Preview Shakes Up Winooski

Just another long example of the government evading issues they knew the answers to years ago....we've seen this unfold so many times throughout history. Spending hundreds of millions of taxpayers money on remediation that didn't have to happen, etc. There are more appropriate basings for the F35 than here. And I agree with Hillary Gombar, this is another example of environmental racism. I know the response will be, if you don't like it move....well that's fine for people who can move....environmental racism is about people who CAN'T move. Fly the F35's over the Hill Section in Burlington and the responses would be very different.

19 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by RB on 06/06/2019 at 11:37 AM

Re: “'The Last Minute to Play': Oil Mogul Skip Vallee Takes the Fight to Cancer

American taxpayers, not pharmaceutical companies, have funded the research behind every new drug since 2010. Skip Vallee lies even as he dies in order to harm us all with his insane hatred of democrats. It is likely we all paid for the drugs that are extending the life of this miserable human being. Socialism is the word republicans use to fool poor people into keeping the tax system rigged so rich people like Skip Vallee can hoard more money.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Penelope on 06/06/2019 at 6:51 AM

Re: “An F-35 Preview Shakes Up Winooski

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local…

"Jim Palmer wore earplugs to bed on Tuesday. The night prior, noise from military jets flying overhead kept the Goodyear resident up until after midnight. He called Luke Air Force Base in the morning to complain. The base's response, summarized by Palmer, wasn't comforting: Get used to it."

Some Didn't Know Skies Would Get Louder

Luke Air Force Base still trains F-16 pilots, along with F-35 pilots. The base is phasing out its F-16 program, while its F-35 program is growing. F-35s are considerably louder than F-16s, and there are dozens of flights a day. . .

The most common response residents who complain about the noise get from others is that they should have known when they bought their house. Arizona law requires sellers to disclose when a property is located around a military airport. But some long-term residents say they didn't know the F-35s were coming when they bought their house, and they didn't know the noise would get louder, more frequent, and later at night.

Palmer bought his house in PebbleCreek in 2013, before the F-35 program came to Luke in 2014. The community is a couple miles from the base, close to the runway. PebbleCreek is an age-restricted, 55 and older community, and Palmer says a wonderful place to live. Except for the noise. "It's become very difficult to live here, with the planes," he said.

VTANG estimating 4-8 flights per day, 4 days per week, 288 days per year.

19 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 06/05/2019 at 9:03 PM

Re: “An F-35 Preview Shakes Up Winooski

https://vimeo.com/311077348

Here is video documentary/investigation from someone in Denmark. F35's going to Skrydstrup Air Base. They went to Hill Air Force Base in Utah as part of investigation. Recorded 118 decibels in residential neighborhood in Utah, with F35 flying overhead. Multiple readings of 115, 116, 117 decibels. As loud or louder than live rock concert. Most is in Danish & would be great to get translated, to add English subtitles. Some is in English, when they interview Americans in Utah.

A representative for Hill Air Force Base states: "It is louder. I mean, there's no denying. The aircraft is louder because it's a different type of aircraft. But, again, a lot of it is perception."

"I look at it like playing a piano. An F-16 is more like playing the top keys. It's a shorter, higher pitched sound. Versus with the F-35 it's a lower, I say more 'grumbly' type sound. So it reverberates longer. You feel it a little different. So how you hear it, it does come off as that louder perception too."

She seems to get defensive later in the video when he asks her about the F-35 being 4X louder than the F-16.

A pilot says: "It's similar to the F-16 engine. It's just bigger and more powerful. As you've seen, the F-35 is bigger so it needs a bigger engine as well."

17 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 06/05/2019 at 8:48 PM

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