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

A. Smith 
Member since Dec 9, 2015



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Re: “Climate Redaction: Report’s Slow Roll Sparks Skepticism

Interesting spin on the Climate Action Commission's membership, twice claiming that there was only one enviro rep., but VNRC, Energy Action Network, VEIC, VCRD, a solar installer, and others very committed to addressing climate change are on the commission. The full list is here http://anr.vermont.gov/about_us/special-to…. It is not accurate to say the membership is "heavy on business and administration figures." Walters appears to be carrying VNRC's whining water. If anything the commission was heavily populated by climate change activists and not nay-sayers.

As for the content of the group's recommendations (also at the above link is the final report), there are a lot of policy suggestions but not much for the average Vermonter to grab onto. We're all supposed to buy more stuff -- electric vehicles, air source heat pumps, wood pellet stoves. Expensive stuff.

Disclaimer: although I am listed as co-chair of the Technical Advisory Group, an appointment that generated opposition from VNRC, VPIRG and a UVM professor as reported in Seven Days, the TAG had zero role to play, likely due to the fuss from the green groups, and also the choice of the commissioners to focus on policy. I attended one meeting as requested, there was no name tag for me or the other co-chair waiting at the front desk like there was for the commissioners, sat in the uncomfortable bleacher seats, wasn't introduced except near the end in passing, it was pretty insulting.

On the Rutland County Senate race, Walters missed an important recent announcement, awesome farmer Greg Cox is running as an Independent.

21 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by A. Smith on 08/08/2018 at 10:31 AM

Re: “Another Vermont Pol Promises Broadband. Could It Work This Time?

VELCO has a fiber optic network, perhaps that could be useful. The way the state has built out broadband is puzzling. On my road, I have the choice of Comcast (Xfinity is what i guess it's called now) that the PUC required to be built out, and I have VTel's incredible high speed fiber optic, and my area is also served by VTel's wireless network. Triple redundancy. Yet other areas of the state have hardly anything. I don't get it.

8 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by A. Smith on 07/25/2018 at 12:28 PM

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

When the issue with Comcast was in the news in 2016 I looked at campaign contributions to Rep. Welch and the businesses regulated by the PUC and found something like 10 companies that the PUC regulates that had donated to Rep. Welch's campaign, including David Blittersdorf who was a speaker at one of Rep. Welch's fundraising events and has pursued numerous CPGs from the PUC as well as being the subject of numerous enforcement investigations with fines resulting. I was curious why Margaret Cheney was agreeable to recusing herself from Comcast cases but none of the others. I have no reason to believe that either Welch or Cheney are acting unethically, but I agree that it creates a perception of a conflict of interest that is not okay.

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by A. Smith on 04/20/2018 at 12:50 PM

Re: “Vermonters Increasingly Turn to Crowdfunding for Health Care Help

Does the person benefitting from the donations have to declare the money as income and pay tax on it?

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by A. Smith on 04/04/2018 at 11:21 AM

Re: “Conservative Senator Peg Flory to Hang Up Her Spurs

I can't find any news stories archived, but my recollection is that as chair of the House Judiciary Committee in around 2002, Rep. Flory was persuaded by testimony of Vermonters to move a bill out of committee that led to making medical marijuana available.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by A. Smith on 03/27/2018 at 7:05 PM

Re: “A Real Democrat? Hallquist’s Authenticity Issue

He could have covered the report VCE issued on Monday to educate the Vermont public about the complexity and ineffectiveness of Vermont's energy policies regarding the 90% by 2050 renewable goal. Low resolution version here, http://www.vce.org/abc.pdf. High resolution version on the http://vce.org blog. It was distributed to the media, including the author of this column, on Monday.

7 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by A. Smith on 03/15/2018 at 8:28 AM

Re: “Inclusionary Visions: Burlington Mayoral Hopefuls Pitch Common Goals, Competing Ideas

Renewable Energy Vermont and VPIRG have been carrying Blittersdorf's message to the statehouse. However, the testimony has not supported the spin that permitting costs more and that solar has slowed. The testimony of GMP, WEC, VPPSA, and the PUC all refuted the claims of VPIRG and REV and, by extension, Blittersdorf. While the media picked up the PR from the profiteers, nobody has yet covered the news that their claims are not true. In fact, solar is going gangbusters, which the evidence shows.

Look for the dates below for the documents that support the testimony


Margaret Cheney of the PUC and Patricia Richards of WEC https://youtu.be/cjSlcqrPI3I
Melissa Bailey of VPPSA: https://youtu.be/2xlQAV9w8No

16 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by A. Smith on 02/28/2018 at 10:18 AM

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