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Comment Archives: stories: News + Opinion: Off Message

Re: “Vermont Lawmakers Consider Redefining What's an 'Attempt' to Commit a Crime

So, Governor Phil Scott is getting more mileage out of Jack Sawyer? taking away gun rights isn't enough? Are people now to be asked to prove themselves innocent in a court of law? WOW! Just WOW! The "Hysteria" in the statehouse knows no bounds it seems. Anyone that read the charges filed against Jack Sawyer, and paid attention to the details of his story should see that having had mental health issues he is going to walk on the charges against him. I guess he did make a convenient reason to sell the rest of us down the river though. Shame on you Governor Scott, and all you Representatives and Senators who would give away our rights for a little safety. I for one will be voting against anyone involved in this business in future elections.

Posted by Dean on 04/21/2018 at 11:00 PM

Re: “Gun Groups Sue to Strike Down Vermont's New Magazine Limits

Where we live we can choose what we want to do, or not do; that is our own business. That is freedom.
Don't mess with it. Mind your own business. The comments here indicate snowflakes abound.

If you want to make schools safer, teach the residents and students to use guns safely, to appreciate them, to become good marksmen, to know to never point a gun at anyone, to learn safe handling and care for a gun. Learn respect for them and their historical importance. The military would appreciate gun savvy kids too, not the flabby milquetoasts they have to choose from now who know nothing about weapons.

Currently, ignorance rules, but we are protected by the Constitutional guarantee that no law will ever trespass upon what a citizen may use as a weapon. It is illegal to do so. We know that, and will follow the Constitution.

If you want safer schools, allow staff to carry; post the grounds to inform others that the school is protected and violators may be injured if they act inappropriately. This would also be more fiscally responsible, not taxing us into poverty to pay for. That is responsibility. No arguments. Is this clear?

If you don't care about safety in schools, pretend that infringing upon citizen's rights will protect them. It won't.
The newly passed gun law in a disgrace to Vermont, and to America. It is shameful and will be overturned.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by timothy price on 04/21/2018 at 5:30 PM

Re: “Vermont Senate Votes to Override Scott's Veto of Toxics Bill

Greenberg, I assumed that you -- like everybody else in the world -- was well aware of the (in)famous study published in The Lancet -- England's premier peer-reviewed medical journal -- connecting vaccines with autism. The study was published in 1998 and was on the books for 12 years before it was found out to be fraudulent and retracted by The Lancet. For 12 years internet vaccine conspiracy theorists cited the study as proof of their whackjob beliefs. Anti-vaxxers still cite the study and proclaim that the retraction was part of the pro-vaccine conspiracy. Sen. Benning's rhetorical point was essentially valid: one can go on the internet and find "science" to support virtually any whackjob belief.

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/a…

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lancet

And your meaningless vacillations about whether you really did or did not urge that we follow the so-called "pre-cautionary principle" in avoiding chemicals is just silly. You did.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by knowyourassumptions on 04/21/2018 at 1:51 PM

Re: “Vermont Senate Votes to Override Scott's Veto of Toxics Bill

KnowYourAssumptions: "Wasn't there in fact a study published in a peer-reviewed medical journal in England saying that vaccines caused autism?" If there was, you should have no difficulty producing a link to it. Please do.

"You say we should follow the so-called pre-cautionary principle." Actually, I didn't say that. I tried -- in 300 words -- to delineate 2 choices and the implications of each. I did describe one as "according to the precautionary principle of what, in Benning's words, "may" cause harm.," thus explicitly referring back to what the senator had written so as not to have to repeat it..

For the rest, it's easy enough to set up a straw man and then knock it down. Senator Benning outlined several conditions -- all of which you simply ignore -- for what constitutes a chemical which "may" cause harm, one of which is "independent, peer-reviewed scientific research." Please produce your paper on the dangers of water.

By the way, water IS dangerous. You can drown in it. Indeed, that would be a good place to start your search for a peer-reviewed study on the dangers of hydrogen dioxide (which, by the way, would be di-hydrogen oxide).

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 04/21/2018 at 10:08 AM

Re: “As Scott Signs Historic Vermont Gun Laws, Protesters Call Him a ‘Traitor’

Yesterday I was not permitted to send a tweet to VT. Governor Phil Scott questioning his statement that by passing gun control legislation limiting what Vermonters can have for a weapon was "doing all he could to protect children in schools".

Many of us requested gun safety courses, gun competitions, allowing staff to carry, and posting warnings that staff was armed.

I was prohibited from sending this comment in any form, stated in any way. This in violation of the 1st Amendment, Should we be concerned about government's violations of our rights?

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by timothy price on 04/21/2018 at 8:53 AM

Re: “Gun Groups Sue to Strike Down Vermont's New Magazine Limits

Yesterday I was not permitted to send a tweet to VT. Governor Phil Scott questioning his statement that by passing gun control legislation limiting what Vermonters can have for a weapon was "doing all he could to protect children in schools".

Many of us requested gun safety courses, gun competitions, allowing staff to carry, and posting warnings that staff was armed.

I was prohibited from sending this comment in any form, stated in any way. This in violation of the 1st Amendment, Should we be concerned about government's violations of our rights?

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by timothy price on 04/21/2018 at 8:51 AM

Re: “Gun Groups Sue to Strike Down Vermont's New Magazine Limits

I see a lot of people "Interpreting" The Vermont Constitution to suit themselves, and their own beliefs. Maybe, just maybe, we should "Interpret" the Vermont Constitution in the true spirit that it was intended by the men who wrote it. Did the men who wrote this constitution own, possess, or even dream of firearms magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds? Likely not, as the state of the art firearms of their day were of the muzzle loading, single shot variety. However, If one could bring these men back to life, to answer questions about such magazines, It seems likely that they would answer with a strong affirmation that said magazines are indeed permissible, and even desirable for ownership by all persons. These men meant for the people of the state of Vermont to own and possess the latest and best firearms available to them. These men were in the midst of a battle to rid the state of control by oppressive government forces. They intended to pass along to their descendants, the right, and the equipment to do so, in the future if the need should arise. To that end, No thoughtful individual could come to the conclusion that the intent of the Vermont Constitution was to allow only the possession of "Politacally Correct" firearms, magazines, or ammunition. These men meant for the citizens of Vermont, to be protected from subjugation by any government, foreign or domestic.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Dean on 04/21/2018 at 7:22 AM

Re: “Montpeculiar: Retiring Rep Hawks Neckties at the Statehouse

Awesome story.

Posted by bobstannard on 04/21/2018 at 5:52 AM

Re: “Walters: Scott Proposes One-Time Money to Patch Education Fund

DC Welfare is here to save the day!!!!!!!!! Hooray Pat and Bernie! Thanks for the free stuff!

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Paul Lorenzini on 04/20/2018 at 9:12 PM

Re: “Walters: Corporate Contributions Ban Has a Tough Day

Public financing of elections. Period.

End the legalized bribery of Citizens United.

11 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by NorthOldEnder on 04/20/2018 at 7:36 PM

Re: “Walters: Corporate Contributions Ban Has a Tough Day

It is unfortunate but unsurprising to see Democrats and Republicans pushing back against this important legislation that would go a long way towards getting corporate money our of our elections. Right now a corporation can donate the maximum amount of money to any number of candidates of their choosing. This allows any corporation to give tens of thousands of dollars directly to Vermont candidates and political parties. Under S.120, a corporation would no longer be allowed to donate directly to candidates or political parties. It is true that they could continue to donate to PAC's, but they would be limited to donating $4,000 to a PAC. This has the potential to immediately stop tens of thousands of corporate dollars from being spent in our elections.

In reality, much of the money coming from businesses will not go into PAC's. In most cases the business owner will simply make a donation as an individual, or not at all. This creates greater transparency in our elections and helps limit the amount of corporate money flooding our political system.

Please encourage your state reps to support S.120. This issue is to important to let die in committee because of poor excuses intended to obscure the issue.

10 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Joshua Wronski on 04/20/2018 at 5:43 PM

Re: “Welch Takes Campaign Cash From Telecom Regulated by His Wife

This is just another reason for Public Financing for elections . . . get the filthy corporate money OUT of politics.

Money is not speech. Only a dunce or Corporate Shill would think otherwise.

Citizens United does not offer equal protection under the law.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by NorthOldEnder on 04/20/2018 at 5:02 PM

Re: “Vermont Senate Votes to Override Scott's Veto of Toxics Bill

@ Greenberg: Wasn't there in fact a study published in a peer-reviewed medical journal in England saying that vaccines caused autism? And didn't it take many, many years for that study to be found out to be bad science?

@ Greenberg: You say we should follow the so-called pre-cautionary principle. There's no generally accepted definition of that term. I've heard at least Vermont elected official completely misconstrue the term. It means exactly this in layperson's terms: If we don't know with 100% certainty that a chemical is not harmful, we shouldn't allow it. So . . . I'm afraid of a chemical called hydrogen dioxide. It sounds like it could be dangerous. We don't know if it could be harmful. Therefore, I invoke the "precautionary principle" and we should not allow hydrogen dioxide in children's products.

But hydrogen dioxide = water.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by knowyourassumptions on 04/20/2018 at 5:01 PM

Re: “Walters: Scott Proposes One-Time Money to Patch Education Fund

The property tax rebate is the main culprit. Something like 2/3rds of legislators get the rebate. It is time people started paying their fair share. And how about for every child you have who attends public school, your taxes go up proportionally?

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by saysme on 04/20/2018 at 4:51 PM

Re: “Walters: Scott Proposes One-Time Money to Patch Education Fund

Stop the madness, i.e., Stop Raiding the Education Fund... and then blaming education funding for the financial state of affairs in VT.

Stop Raiding the Education Fund. Invest in our future. If we truly want people to grow their families in VT and revitalize our communities then nourish and steward our local schools.

Stop the madness. If you truly want people to move to the real VT ... beyond Chittenden Co... understand that having to put your child on a bus for a daring 30 - 60 mins ride over mountains in the snow and mud is not exactly what newcomers to the state are looking for when it comes to quality of life. Seriously. Stop Raiding the Education Fund.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Patricia M Sears on 04/20/2018 at 4:07 PM

Re: “Walters: Scott Proposes One-Time Money to Patch Education Fund

Last year the State gave out 173 million in income sensitivity payments . Payments can go as high as $8,000 for one home.
In 2015 payments gradually lessened for incomes between $90,000 and $109,000. In 2018 you can make up to $147,500 and still receive money back from the state on your Education taxes.
Simply be reducing this benefit back to levels of three years ago we would be able to plug a majority if not all the 40 million dollar gap in the Education Fund.
It would be a reduction in a benefit, not new taxes so it meets the Governor's criteria and at the same time the burden falls on those with higher incomes who have a greater ability to pay which should please Progressives and Democrats. It also recognizes that school boards have done their part in keeping increases within the rate of inflation and requires no further action this year on their part. Finally it would avoid another drawn out unproductive battle at the end of the year where more effort is put in to placing blame than finding a good solution.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by John Freitag on 04/20/2018 at 3:07 PM

Re: “Nonprofits Urge Vermont Lawmakers to Ditch Tax Change

No picture of Senator Ashe staring pensively into the distance? Thought that was standard for all articles in 7 Days . . .

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by NorthOldEnder on 04/20/2018 at 2:48 PM

Re: “Vermont Senate Votes to Override Scott's Veto of Toxics Bill

If the Democrats and VPIRG were truly interested in protecting public health, they would be doing everything possible to support VTANG in getting a different mission besides the F-35 fighter jet.

Instead, they have lined up behind Senator Leahy's F-35 military Keynesianism to destroy health and home values for thousands and thousands of constituents in Winooski and South Burlington. The newly expanded "not suitable for residential use" zone includes 2 elementary schools; child cares; places of worship; not to mention the homes of thousands of people. Licensed physicians have testified to Burlington City Council about the health consequences.

Democrats Peter Shumlin and Miro Weinberger accepted an all-expenses paid junket to Florida on Ernie Pomerleau arranged private jet to listen to F-35 take off. While wearing enormous noise-cancelling ear muffs to protect his hearing & a G.W. Bush-inspired "Mission Accomplished" flight suit, Shumlin then declared the F-35 quiet as could be, regardless of the Air Force's own Environmental Impact Statement to the contrary. Shumlin & Shap Smith then suppressed the proposed legislation by now retired Winooski State Representative George Cross to examine the impacts of the F-35.

Why do Mitzi Johnson, Becca Balint and the new legislative leaders remain deafeningly silent on this issue? Why does VPIRG tacitly endorse this? Whose public interest is Paul Burns working for? Is Patrick Leahy's real estate developer relative & Democratic Party campaign donor Ernie Pomerleau the only person who represents the "public interest"?

Former supporters of the Democratic Party see this toxics legislation for what it is. Politically savvy, token legislation to box in the governor. However, when there are real people and real children suffering real public health consequences thanks to reconfiguration of F-16's fuel tanks & the F-35 fighter jet basing, the Democrats & VPIRG are no where to be seen.

8 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 04/20/2018 at 2:01 PM

Re: “Vermont Senate Votes to Override Scott's Veto of Toxics Bill

The core question here is whether regulators should be guided only by high standards of proof, in which case well need to wait until some children ARE harmed or whether its preferable to regulate according to the precautionary principle of what, in Bennings words, "may" cause harm.

The implications of the former are clear enough: the only way to obtain evidence that a child "will" be exposed to [a] chemical and a probability that exposure could cause or contribute to an adverse health impact is for the chemical to have already caused such harm. How else would you be able to measure and assess those probabilities?

Following this principle, companies can continue to profit from exposing kids to chemicals UNTIL actual harm is proven. Given that most health impacts from environmental causes are statistical rather than directly causal, measuring them requires large populations and sorting out a VAST number of potentially confounding factors. This is no small undertaking.

On the flip side, if we follow the precautionary principle, we protect those who would have been exposed, even though SOME PORTION of them would have suffered no harm. In other words, SOME of the chemicals we prohibit turn out NOT to cause harm. And SOME companies will choose NOT to make products from them rather than risk bearing the liability they MIGHT incur.

There are downsides to either choice, but policy-making is often a matter of choices like these. In this case, the Republicans (and Senator Mazza) are saying that theyd rather see SOME innocent people harmed than potentially lose business which may have been perfectly innocent, while Democrats (other than Mazza) are saying the opposite: better to hold innocent people harmless at the risk of losing some innocent business than expose the population as a whole to potential harm.

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 04/20/2018 at 1:58 PM

Re: “Cambrian Falling: Trees Felled at Burlington Development Site

I can understand cutting the trees located in the footprint of the new buildings. But why clear cut every tree, especially the large, beautiful trees in front of the existing buildings where the plan calls for green space? The trees in the front of the existing building could have been worked into the landscape design. This is another example of thoughtless clearcutting without consideration for existing natural resources on the property. This kind of mndless cutting happened at the intersection of Maple and Summit Streets with the UVM alumni building renovation. Why dont we have more green architects and landscape designers in this town? The mindset here seems to be make a plan and cut down everything that doesnt fit within that plan, instead of creating a plan to work with what already exists on the landscape. Trees are not disposabe props. They are a valuable natural resource. Keep the Park Green will be working on a new Tree Preservation Ordinance so that there is a sane process to review tree removal and replacement for development and renovation projects.
To get involved, follow us on Facebook: Keep the Park Green

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Donna Canney Walters on 04/20/2018 at 1:57 PM

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