Chris in S. Burlington | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Chris in S. Burlington 
Member since Feb 26, 2014



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Re: “Christine Hallquist, First Transgender Nominee for Governor, to Face Phil Scott

More of the same, the F-35 fighter jet Democrats continuing to do their thing. When asked by the Burlington Free Press, Hallquist pledged to support the F-35 basing and everything that entails, including the destruction of health and home values for the most vulnerable Vermonters. Regardless of negative impact on Winooski and South Burlington's working poor, the elderly, immigrant refugees, etc. This is the "justice" Hallquist believes in and, to use Hallquist's words, the "economic programs" Hallquist supports, "especially [for] people on the lower end of the economic spectrum." Military Keynesianism uber alles. The Democrats again lining up behind a candidate who is OK with people being forced out of their homes for pennies on the dollar (including from Bill Niquette's award-winning, energy efficient and affordable Kirby Cottage homes). A gubernatorial candidate whose F35 stance is to "support the Congressional delegation" and their newly expanded "not suitable for residential use" zone. To support the shady backroom deal & strange pressure exerted to change the Air Force's own rating system and objective basing criterion, as exposed by Bryan Bender, Boston Globe's national security correspondent.

Whatever Hallquist and the Democrats have to say about "justice," it is only a distraction from their complete fusion with the military-industrialists. Voted for Obama twice based on the 2008 campaign rhetoric, and he sadly ended his two terms with the shameful distinction of longest wartime president in US history, having continued the neo-con wars in Afghanistan and Iraq his entire 8 years (and doubled and tripled down on the intervention-first, regime change nonsense in Syria and Libya).

Thank you to the other 3 primary candidates, who, combined, earned more votes than Hallquist, and showed real courage and integrity in standing on principle and breaking with the Lockheed-Martin Establishment Democrats/"Progressives," i.e., Leahy, Bernie, Shumlin, Shap Smith, et al.

9 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 08/15/2018 at 12:12 AM

Re: “Big Vote on Main Street Project Looms in Winooski

Is this really a good financial investment, given Patrick Leahy and the Democratic Party's insistence on basing the F-35 fighter jet at Burlington International Airport has put virtually the entire city of Winooski in the new "not suitable for residential use" zone? How many properties may need to be bought out by the Federal Aviation Authority? How many tenants other than the most heavy, industrial uses will want to line up for space that they know is already deemed "not suitable for residential use"?

Not sure what the trouble is behind Redstone obtaining financing but I would expect lending banks are being forced to look very closely at the reality of the F-35 fighter jet and its negative impact on Winooski.

The Vermont Democratic Party's military Keynesianism giveth; and it also taketh away.

7 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 05/02/2018 at 11:39 PM

Re: “Barton Man Busted After Blasting Smoke Detector With a Shotgun

The old style smoke alarms, that had a tiny radioactive isotope, were reliable, lasted a long time and rarely created false alarms (in fact, I don't believe my parents ever had a false alarm in over 30 years, including our growing up years). The new style smoke alarms are photo-electric and a disaster. False alarms, beeping (usually at 3 AM, just after you got the baby back to sleep & put your head on the pillow). Doesn't seem to matter if you replace the battery or not. You need to replace them almost once a year, maybe once every two years if you're lucky.

Whatever regulation mandated elimination of the old style smoke alarms seems a perfect example of regulatory overreach. Probably lobbyists for the new-style smoke alarm manufacturers wrote the regulation - knew it would provide huge profits for their client who could continually crank out cheap photo-electrics that consumers are forced to constantly replace. The photo-electrics also do not seem to like humid air or marine climates.

8 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 05/01/2018 at 10:17 PM

Re: “Scott's Education Plan Includes Proposed Tax Penalties

Best idea is probably just to pass a state constitutional amendment to overturn Brigham and go back to the system of letting local jurisdictions control their own local schools, without all the monkey-wrenching from Montpelier. Let local property taxpayers vote on their school budgets, and know the tax money is going to their schools instead of first to Montpelier and then redistributed all around the state via a formula so complicated only 2 or 3 people in the entire state understand it (as several state legislators have told me). Since Montpelier got their hands on it, the money is not even used strictly for K-12 anymore. They have begun spreading it to other purposes. No wonder taxes keep going up.

Brigham seemed well-intentioned at the time but has not panned out as it was sold. Vermont student population has continued to decline, including in rural jurisdictions, and people like retiring Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe have used Brigham to increase inequity rather than reduce it, contrary to everything the Supreme Court said in Brigham. For example, Ms. Holcombe told Burlington it could not use its own money from payments in lieu of taxes program for the schools, in spite of acknowledged greater needs of student demographics in Burlington.

Scrapping Brigham and Act 60 and letting local jurisdictions control their own budgets would let Vermont rejoin the rest of America with respect to school financing. The income tax idea proposed by Democrats last month would have the same problems we have now since it retains control in Montpelier and would likely even jeopardize school budgets because of the variability and inconsistency of income tax revenue year to year.

19 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 04/24/2018 at 6:29 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.

9 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 04/20/2018 at 2:01 PM

Re: “Into the Arena: Gov. Phil Scott Confronts the Gun Issue Head-On

Be careful what you wish for. Phil Scott is the only thing standing between the Democratic legislature and a host of higher taxes; fees; increased regulations, etc. I believe moderate independents will stay with Phil Scott. Die-hard Democrats will probably never support him, even with his signature on the gun legislation.

For die-hard Republicans, is it really worth going back to the Shumlin and Shap Smith years? The millions of tax dollars thrown down the toilet bowl exploring an unrealistic universal health care bill? Vermont taxpayers will never get that money back. Think of the good it could have done in other areas or back in pockets of taxpayers.

Is it worth further jeopardizing school budgets and economy by switching to the income tax to fund schools, including raising taxes on renters and on higher income geographically mobile residents, who have the resources and opportunities to leave the state? Is it worth adding a carbon tax to increase penalties on the rural economy (when no other state in the nation has one, and even West Coast "blue" states like Washington have rejected it)? Is it worth going back to the assault on the Green Mountains and open spaces via give-aways to industrial energy companies and Democratic Party campaign donors like Blittersdorf with no respect for zoning and natural resources protection, including wildlife corridors?

Democrats have made clear these are just a few of the policies they want. Likely result of mobilizing against Phil Scott would be return to single-party control in Montpelier.

If you are a 2nd amendment absolutist, why not support the NRA in legally challenging the restrictions signed by Scott? If anything, abandoning Phil Scott makes it more likely there will be even more gun restrictions passed in Montpelier; not less.

10 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 04/18/2018 at 11:58 PM

Re: “Burlington Schools Superintendent Weighs In on Race Controversy

Board members like Porter who hired Mr. Obeng might consider reimbursing Burlington taxpayers the legal fees spent on the immigration shenanigans involved in bringing Mr. Obeng from Canada to Burlington School District.

Although no question Obeng is qualified, immigration authorities disagreed and rejected his original visa application for "extraordinary ability." They said BSD can find someone equally qualified among the 320 million plus people already living in United States.

Porter and Board did not accept this. Instead of going back to the hiring file, they instead let BSD lawyers then misrepresent to immigration authorities that Obeng was primarily coming to US to work as UVM adjunct professor (and not because he was hired as superintendent). UVM cooperated with this nonsense by conveniently hiring Obeng, after-the-fact, after his 1st visa application was rejected. Conveniently, UVM never bothered to post the position nor consider any other candidate.

Obeng now has different, 3-year visa, that expires in 2019; & has left UVM faculty. . . supposedly the primary reason he came to US.

There were certainly good reasons to hire Obeng but when BSD (and UVM) had to engage in border-line immigration fraud just to get him, it puts a black eye on the whole process & undermines the credibility of all involved.

Had Obeng then at least honored his public commitment to live in Burlington, made to the community before he was hired, he may have overcome this. Instead, he decided his family should live in South Burlington and enrolled his children there (with highest-paid teachers in the state). And then needed City Council to further bail him out, by passing special legislation to dilute the residency requirement.

Is the overarching message to students essentially do whatever is necessary to game the system?

38 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 04/07/2018 at 7:15 PM

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