A. Smith | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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A. Smith 
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Re: “Amtrak Trains Will Be Kept in the Rail Yard in Burlington

Why was this so hard?

16 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by A. Smith on 03/13/2020 at 9:13 AM

Re: “Solar Flares: Call to Double Vermont's Renewable Energy Capacity Ignites Debate

The solar industry is good at whining, that's for sure.

Here's the story from Massachusetts

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by A. Smith on 03/11/2020 at 10:31 AM

Re: “Peter Walke Takes Over as Vermont's Top Environmental Regulator

Today I've been processing and compiling the video and audio record of the Act 250 bill after it left the House Natural Resources, Fish & Wildlife Committee as it went through the House Gov. Ops, Appropriations, and Ways & Means Committees. The "deal" bill resulting from VNRC's agreement, led by Brian Shupe, with the Scott Administration, led by Peter Walke, created a huge mess that wasted a lot of legislators' time.

The "deal" bill failed because so many interests were excluded from the discussions between Peter Walke and Brian Shupe. This does not bode well for the Commissioner in his new job if this is how he will be running the Department of Environmental Conservation. The most glaring omission from the "deal" Act 250 bill was citizen participation. DEC already suffers from a lack of public process that seems to be getting worse, not better.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by A. Smith on 03/04/2020 at 2:54 PM

Re: “Deal to Streamline Act 250 Collapses in House Committee

We're disappointed that VNRC and the Scott Administration cut a deal in secret and undercut the good work of the committee on the first day of the second half of the biennium. Live and learn, folks. Collaborate and include all the stakeholders.

20 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by A. Smith on 02/21/2020 at 5:02 PM

Re: “Divided House Committee Signs Off on Compromise Act 250 Bill

This legislation, if passed as is, is going to greatly increases costs to state government, developers, citizens and towns.

16 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by A. Smith on 02/14/2020 at 8:29 AM

Re: “VPIRG to Support Candidates Who Will Fight Climate Crisis

VPIRG is also a 501(c)3. Federal law limits 501(c)3s to spending no more than 20% of total expenses on lobbying, yet VPIRG has 9 lobbyists in the statehouse this year. 501(c)3s are also required to do nothing to influence elections. They can encourage people to vote, but cannot tell people to vote yes or no, or to vote for specific candidates.

How will the public know which "VPIRG" they are hearing from, such as when the canvassers come to their doors this summer. Canvassing has traditionally been done by the 501(c)3. Will VPIRG be pulling a bait and switch this year, paying their canvassers to work for the PAC this year? Will they tell the public that they are now working for a PAC and not the 501(c)3? Or the 501(c)4?

This is murky territory the so-called environmental organization is entering.

37 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by A. Smith on 01/21/2020 at 9:40 AM

Re: “Burlington Police Chief Admits He Used an Anonymous Twitter Account to Taunt a Critic

From the July 2017 article linked in this story:

Del Pozo, too, said he's learned his lesson. He'll continue to express himself on his own social media accounts, but he's done posting on the individual Facebook pages of others.

"It may well have sufficed to put it on my own page or our own Twitter feed," he conceded.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by A. Smith on 12/14/2019 at 5:36 PM

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