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Re: “Keep BT Local, Ting Picked as Finalists to Buy Burlington Telecom

Tiki,
"The City's transfer of funds to support BT was not only legal, it was explicitly allowed by the Public Service Board in BT's CPG. Don't take my word for it, look it up. Also in the history files is two criminal investigations that found no wrongdoing and a defeated civil suit from disgruntled citizens."

The transfer of funds may have been legal but not being able to repay was illegal.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by BradD on 10/18/2017 at 7:55 AM

Re: “Keep BT Local, Ting Picked as Finalists to Buy Burlington Telecom

RE: Big Sadie - "The Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla in the parlor is the City's $17,000,000 liability which resulted from the improper (and illegal) transfer of General Fund money to BT."

The City's transfer of funds to support BT was not only legal, it was explicitly allowed by the Public Service Board in BT's CPG. Don't take my word for it, look it up. Also in the history files is two criminal investigations that found no wrongdoing and a defeated civil suit from disgruntled citizens.

1 like, 13 dislikes
Posted by Tiki Archambeau on 10/18/2017 at 1:41 AM

Re: “'Til Death Do Us Part: Maidstone's Grisly Murder-Suicide Was Domestic Violence

Vince illuzi said "You look at the system the participants did what they were supposed to. I don't know what an alternative response would look like."

An alternative response that could possibly have saved Molly's life would have been to move her to a safe house in an undisclosed location, where her abuser would not know how to locate her. It is mind boggling that the court had her stay in the Maidstone house, with nothing but a retraining order to keep him away. I have a friend in southern VT who is going through a similar situation, separated from a physically and emotionally abusive husband, and with a 4 year old. In her case, she was able to move with her child to a safe house for about 2 months when things were the most volatile and unstable, until she could then find housing away from her abuser. I know every situation is different though, and with all due respect to the state agencies involved, but we need more funding and staffing for safe houses and associated services statewide.

With deepest sympathies and condolences to Amy Benoit and her family, as we all mourn this horrible tragedy.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ernie Hotchkiss on 10/17/2017 at 10:32 PM

Re: “Walters: Legislative Panel Delays Wind Rules — Again

It's disappointing that Seven Days does not shed light on the personal connections and financial ties among VT's big wind proponents. On a national scale, Vermonters seem interested in transparency when it comes to knowing where our food comes from and who is funding certain political causes or candidates. Why aren't we looking at wind power the same way?

Posted by Laura P. on 10/17/2017 at 10:22 PM

Re: “Keep BT Local, Ting Picked as Finalists to Buy Burlington Telecom

2 cents... Continuing with conspiracy language like he "sent his lawyers to Citi to solicit a threat of litigation", only further hurts those trying to make believable points in support of your own cause.

15 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Dave Gibson on 10/17/2017 at 9:02 PM

Re: “McAllister Gets Probation, Not Prison, for Prostitution-Related Charge

Absolutely sickening. This man is a rapist and deserved the life sentence he was facing. The best we can hope for is that he and others like him spend eternity in hell. And the judge that would pass a sentence like this for crimes like this needs to be removed from the bench and disbarred.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by citizen on 10/17/2017 at 8:41 PM

Re: “McAllister Gets Probation, Not Prison, for Prostitution-Related Charge

Equal justice in America is a sham

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ernie Hotchkiss on 10/17/2017 at 8:22 PM

Re: “Keep BT Local, Ting Picked as Finalists to Buy Burlington Telecom

The mayor is the aggressive vocal minority to be contained. The missing 17 million that taxpayers contributed involuntarily -- about $1500 per taxable property -- could have best been recouped by maintaining city ownership. Properly managed in recent years, Burlington Telecom is turning a 3 million profit yearly. Residents never asked for a Citi Bank deal that required unloading an increasingly valuable asset dearly acquired. And if the 30 million owed Citi was invested in infrastructure, not siphoned or squandered, the value remains and the Citi debt could have been restructured. The suggestion that CIti might have pulled their fiber optic cable out of the ground is absurd. That would be vandalizing the collateral they foreclosed on. The mayor inappropriately tried to deep six the KBTL bid at the 11th hour as unviable, and even sent his lawyers to Citi to solicit a threat of litigation. He was properly rebuked by the six councilors who voted to move the KBTL bid forward. The arithmetic may suggest that Ting is the obvious choice, but a deeper analysis points elsewhere, beyond Comcast lite. Given that the city has agreed to be forced to sell this asset, the KBTL bid is in fact the most viable and fiscally prudent option.

9 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by Michael Long on 10/17/2017 at 7:12 PM

Re: “Keep BT Local, Ting Picked as Finalists to Buy Burlington Telecom

Can we talk about KBTL people shushing public commenters who spoke out in favor of other bids? At one point, President Knodell had to say "he gets to finish!" after a bunch of KBTL-ers tried to give a commenter the hook the second his red light went off (something no one did for pro-KBTL comments). Not only is KBTL a vocal minority peddling a really bad idea, many of them are jerks about it. See also the "capitalist pigs will be slaughtered" comment made to Councilor Roof.

31 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by stellaquarta on 10/17/2017 at 5:06 PM

Re: “Keep BT Local, Ting Picked as Finalists to Buy Burlington Telecom

The Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla in the parlor is the City's $17,000,000 liability which resulted from the improper (and illegal) transfer of General Fund money to BT. That liability is evidenced by outstanding "stabilization bonds" which the City issued to convert the General Fund deficit to debt. Those bonds are secured by a pledge of the City's full faith and credit. They are payable by the taxpayers. It seems to me that the City Council has a duty to maximize the cash it receives from the sale of BT so that all or significant portion of those proceeds can be applied to paying down the "stabilization bonds", thereby reducing the taxpayers' exposure. Acquiring an equity stake in "Son of BT" should be a secondary concern.

28 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Big Sadie on 10/17/2017 at 4:02 PM

Re: “McAllister Gets Probation, Not Prison, for Prostitution-Related Charge

This is pathetic. Yet another case of human trafficking, exploitation and sexual abuse of a young woman by a male in a position of power/authority over her -- and no punishment! Sound familiar?? More than a little ironic that his lawyer describes him as someone who's "been of service to the community" when the only person he's been of service to is himself. This kind of "justice" ensures that McAllister's perverse attitude toward women will carry on to the next generation. Sickening.

15 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by DeeBee on 10/17/2017 at 4:00 PM

Re: “Keep BT Local, Ting Picked as Finalists to Buy Burlington Telecom

Its interesting to see how much this thread favored Ting and Schurz. Yet sad to see Councilors - in particular the one that teaches economics, to be bullied by an increasingly aggressive vocal minority. The intimidation and bully tactics used are not OK. Adam Roof shared this in his email about the vote :

"I have been disappointed in the style of civil discourse surrounding this issue. Over the last week or so Ive taken calls where Ive received outright political threats and harassment. Last week I answered a call from a blocked number informing me that if I did not vote for KBTL I would have a target on my back and that capitalist pigs will be slaughtered."

Although Adam also shared how much support he gets from good and decent constituents, I think that if we want to have strong and effective leaders, we need to treat them with due respect. Or we'll end up with more "leaders" that cower to the mob instead of leaders like Adam that vote for what's really best for the city and its residents.

- Dave Gibson

31 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Dave Gibson on 10/17/2017 at 3:55 PM

Re: “Keep BT Local, Ting Picked as Finalists to Buy Burlington Telecom

Liz, why hasnt KBTL looked for lower interest capital and offered a higher offer to the city of Burlington? The offer price is low due to the high interest rate. This has a double negative effect on Burlington tax payers. Less money in our coffers up front and more of our telecom money leaving Burlington to cover the holding costs of high interest rates. I fully support a Co-op model but do not like the figures at all. Something doesnt seem proper here. Is there someone from KBTL that can answer the question of why they havent searched for better financing options?

27 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by batman on 10/17/2017 at 3:33 PM

Re: “McAllister Gets Probation, Not Prison, for Prostitution-Related Charge

That's why more women don't come forward when "exploited" or sexually assaulted....sad....

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by GeishaGirl on 10/17/2017 at 3:31 PM

Re: “McAllister Gets Probation, Not Prison, for Prostitution-Related Charge

That's why more women don't come forward when "exploited" or sexually assaulted...

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by GeishaGirl on 10/17/2017 at 3:30 PM

Re: “Keep BT Local, Ting Picked as Finalists to Buy Burlington Telecom

With a multinational corporation like Ting, when you do get connected to our state of the art fiber optic network your rates will soon look more like this, which is where the industry is going, to tier your telecom rates the way your phone rates work (the more data you use, the more you pay):
https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/local…

9 likes, 30 dislikes
Posted by Liz Curry on 10/17/2017 at 2:39 PM

Re: “Keep BT Local, Ting Picked as Finalists to Buy Burlington Telecom

These comments are full of inaccurate assumptions. This might help clarify: https://vtdigger.org/2017/10/13/brian-pine…. Borrowing $12M at 14% with a 1.5 debt-coverage ratio results in the same payment as the multinational and national corporations cost of funds to carry double the KBTL debt load, and their debt-coverage ratios could be lower - the Council and public have asked but this question has not been adequately answered.

10 likes, 33 dislikes
Posted by Liz Curry on 10/17/2017 at 2:31 PM

Re: “McAllister Gets Probation, Not Prison, for Prostitution-Related Charge

Naturally he didn't get prison. He's a wealthy, well-connected member of state government. There is one set of laws for people like him and one set for the rest of us. You can bet that if he had been poor or unconnected to the state establishment he would have seen the inside of a jail cell. Vermont state government: just as corrupt as every other government with ten times the hypocrisy.

17 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Leonard Bast on 10/17/2017 at 1:58 PM

Re: “Keep BT Local, Ting Picked as Finalists to Buy Burlington Telecom

As a taxpayer and current BT customer I was very disheartened that six councilors voted for the Keep BT Local bid last night, thereby eliminating Shurz--a stable, family owned telecom and media conglomerate around since the 1800's--from the selection process. As a telecom consumer I value the great service and choice created by competition between healthy firms. What makes firms healthy is strong cash flow and robust working capital.

KBTL is by far the weakest bid and should never have been included as a finalist by BTAB's selection process. The junk credit at 14% interest fueling this highly leveraged proposal is indicative of considerable risk lenders have placed on a KBTL operation. With insufficient working capital available KBTL will start hemorrhaging cash under the crushing weight of their liabilities. Ensuring BT can provide sustainable service for their customers is as important to me as protecting taxpayers from the near-term risks of litigation (brought out by either Blue Water and/or Citi) and fiscal pressures that are likely with a lower bid. In the wake of financial mismanagement of BT under the Kiss admin these risks should not be taken lightly.

I have heard the arguments by KBTL; that is BT's current EBITDA is sufficient to service $12m in debt at 14% interest. However, the assumptions used in such an optimistic foward-looking analysis make even Elon Musk look bearish!!!

Paco DeFrancis
BTV GOP

34 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 10/17/2017 at 12:07 PM

Re: “Nurse Shortage Puts Vermont Parents on the Hook for Kids' Care

As a professional caregiver, I would not want to be a home care provider for several reasons including low pay, uncompensated travel time, and wear and tear on my car. Not to mention, the added burden of traveling long distances to reach unplowed driveways in the winter and being alone should any unexpected medical emergency arise.

The government will need to reconsider how it reimburses such care if it wants to attract quality caregivers. And, this is just the tip of the iceberg folks. Nursing homes are grappling with constant understaffing as well and the situation will only worsen as the U.S. population continues to grow older and sicker.

Posted by Lisa McCormack on 10/17/2017 at 10:27 AM

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