Alex Chaffee | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Alex Chaffee 
Member since Jan 29, 2015


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Re: “A Coding Academy Prepares to Launch in Burlington

Fact check: when Eric Siegel and I wrote code for Casablanca Video there was no such thing as a website. We wrote them a custom inventory management system running on an Apple ][+. :-)

Posted by Alex Chaffee on 10/31/2017 at 1:30 PM

Re: “Keep BT Local Faces Uphill Battle in Bid to Buy Burlington Telecom

We don't want to know their confidential business info. We just want to know their names.

1 like, 6 dislikes
Posted by Alex Chaffee on 08/31/2017 at 9:25 PM

Re: “Keep BT Local Faces Uphill Battle in Bid to Buy Burlington Telecom

knowyourassumptions writes, "As a taxpayer, I want the Council to put an absolute premium on how much money it can get for BT."

Fair enough. But as a taxpayer, I want to put a premium on how much *value* we can get for BT, not just maximize the top-line price of a deal.

And remember, the terms of the deal say that the City will get a diminishing amount of the total sale. I don't know the exact figures (*), but let's say they accept a $30M deal and the city gets to pocket $5M of that, for a one-time boost of ~3% of a single year's budget. We've already spent over $16M on BT (I've also heard $50M ?) so that means we are selling it at a steep loss.

And remember, it's profitable now; all future profits will go to its new owners. The co-op would return profits to its members (who are by definition citizens of Burlington) over time, just like City Market. We citizens would stand a much better chance of getting our money's worth with the co-op option.

(*) the dollar amounts in question are very confusing, what with debt vs investment vs capital expenditures vs bailout vs interest all being tossed around, and I'd love to see a clear accounting on what the city has actually spent over the past 20 years since the initial resolution, as well as how much it would actually receive from various deals

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Alex Chaffee on 08/31/2017 at 2:50 PM

Re: “Dean Doubles Down on Trump Cocaine Comment

Donald Trump is famously a teetotaller; his older brother was an alcoholic and died young, and Trump's claims of never using drugs or alcohol seem to be one of the few true aspects of his self-myth. Which makes this low blow (jokingly accusing him of doing coke when he probably just had allergies) all the more asinine and petty.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Alex Chaffee on 09/29/2016 at 2:35 PM

Re: “Fetching and Kvetching: A Dog Park Annoys Some of Its Neighbors

leaterhune, dog licenses are already required at the dog park, and I've seen volunteers ask people to leave whose dogs were unlicensed. Vaccinations are important and without a license we have no idea what a dog's health status is.

raincntry, amen to "We don't charge fees for basketball courts, tennis courts, trails, soccer or baseball fields, skate parks, or bike paths. Singling out dog parks is patently unfair." (But I think you meant park users are "conscientious" (thoughtful) and not "contentious" (argumentative) :-))

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Alex Chaffee on 08/04/2015 at 11:56 AM

Re: “Fetching and Kvetching: A Dog Park Annoys Some of Its Neighbors

Lee Brown is quoted saying, "People go over there, and they hang 'round in the middle of the park and chitchat while their dogs run rampant" -- as if that isn't the entire point of a dog park. Dogs need to socialize. So do their humans. The Starr Farm dog park has a great community of humans who keep an eye on their dogs and separate them when things get too barky or growly. Councilor Hartnett's suggestions are counterproductive: making the park smaller would make it harder for owners to defuse incidents, and therefore cause more noise. And I'm curious just how much city maintenance this volunteer-run park requires, and how making the park smaller would change that? As far as I know the only city maintenance is trash pickup.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Alex Chaffee on 08/04/2015 at 11:49 AM

Re: “WTF: Why Is Burlington Often Abbreviated as BTV?

I always thought it stood for Burling Ton Vermont... which is dumb but at least it makes some sense.

17 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Alex Chaffee on 01/29/2015 at 1:55 PM

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