Sara Vaclavik | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Sara Vaclavik 
Member since Apr 26, 2017


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Re: “Despite Controversy, Burlington Principal Plans to Vet Student Newspaper Stories

I know this is not exactly a constructive comment, but -- if Green is looking to get fired for publicly visible ineptitude, he is doing a bang-up job. Not only did he vouch on public record for the competence of a staff membersubstantiated for multiple license violations -- he has now managed to open the Burlington School District to a lawsuit for violating Vermont state law. The dude is cruising for a career bruising...

46 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sara Vaclavik on 09/14/2018 at 10:36 PM

Re: “Unlikely Allies Open a Homeless Shelter in Lamoille County

Thank you for this article. I work in human services in Vermont, and I think a shelter Lamoille County is a boon. I am especially pleased with the fact it can accommodate families and single adults. I just have two suggestions/corrections. The article indicates that prior to the shelter at the Yellow House, "the closest shelters were more than an hour away, in Burlington and Vergennes." I am no expert in Vermont geography, but:

- With regard to shelter resources for families -- there have been the COTS family shelters in Burlington and the John Graham Shelter in Vergennes, but there has also been a shelter for families and single adults in Saint Albans (Tim's House, http://www.timshouse.org/tims-house-shelte…).

- With regard to shelter resources for single adults -- there have been the COTS Waystation and the community health center's winter warming shelter in Burlington, as well as the John Graham shelter in Vergennes, but
there has also been the Good Samaritan Haven in Barre, which has both year-round and seasonal beds (http://www.goodsamaritanhaven.org/) and expanded its capacity over this winter.

I am fairly sure the shelters in Saint Albans and Barre are closer to at least to Morrisville/Stowe area than the shelters in Vergennes and Burlington. I also want to stress that I don't point these resources out to make the point that a shelter in Lamoille County itself is unnecessary. It is absolutely needed and has been for some time, and it is immensely advantageous to anyone homeless in Lamoille County to be able to go to a shelter closer than one in Burlington, Barre, Vergennes, or Saint Albans. I am just pointing out the article is slightly misleading in its representation of what the closest (even if still distant) options for shelter have been previously for those in Lamoille County.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sara Vaclavik on 03/29/2018 at 1:08 PM

Re: “In Memo, Vermont Ed Secretary Discourages Student Walkouts

"However, this also means teaching them to do so in ways that are not disruptive to the rights of others and in ways that model the skills of democracy."

A student coming into school with a firearm and murdering their peers and teachers -- that is majorly "disruptive" to rights of others -- namely, the "right" to be able to go to school (as student, staff, or teacher) and be safe in doing so. I think a walkout is much less disruptive --in fact, not disruptive in any real sense, as it is planned for only seventeen minutes and in response to an issue that every person with a pulse should care about, potentially more than seventeen minutes of academic instruction. And perhaps my own education is deficient, but I was unaware that civil disobedience failed to "model the skills of democracy"? In my learning -- civil disobedience was framed as an essential "skill" in promoting democracy.

"My job is to try to do everything I can to maintain a safe and orderly environment [in schools]."

if this walkout may help raise awareness about and change the tide of school shootings, then it is promoting a safe and orderly environment in schools. If the secretary's job is to promote such an environment -- then her discouraging this walkout is in contradiction to her stated role of "doing everything" she can to maintain this kind of environment. Of course, I am making an assumption that the walkout will be productive in this sense -- perhaps a stretch to some, but it would appear to me that recent student activism on this issue has been key to getting legislators to start thinking about and drafting gun control policies.

22 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Sara Vaclavik on 03/01/2018 at 12:41 PM

Re: “Vermont Tax Department Sends Letters Seeking Unpaid Sales Tax

Cool. Before I get any letter about taxes owed, I expect to receive my renter's rebate. And no -- I don't want to have to take time out of my day to call the Department of Taxes and put on the pressure to receive the refund I am legally owed. And I am aware that I can check my refund status online, although this is pointless when I am repeatedly given the message that the Department "has no record of my return." The confirmation e-mail I received from the Department in April after I electronically submitted my return -- that's certainly proof to the contrary. And if it's an issue with the information on the return I filed -- I would have expected a phone call or a letter by now. So how about, before shaking down Vermonters for more taxes, the Department does its best to process Vermonters' renter's rebates and homestead declarations (which others have not received, leaving them with much higher property tax liability than they were expecting to pay)? Too bad Samsom's position is not elected -- I would mirthfully vote him out of office.

39 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Sara Vaclavik on 08/31/2017 at 4:27 PM

Re: “End of the Line? As Vermonters Cut the Cord, Rural Phone Customers Hear Static

Very interesting, informative, and well-written. Thank you for sharing!

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sara Vaclavik on 07/20/2017 at 5:21 PM

Re: “About Face: DMV Lets Cops Search Database of Driver's License Photos

"The commissioner, who took office in 2009, told Seven Days he was unaware of a 2004 state law that specifies the DMV 'shall not implement any ... processes for identifying applicants for licenses, learner permits, or non-driver identification cards that involve the use of biometric identifiers.'"

If this is true -- could the commissioner's ignorance of a law applying to his own agency be grounds for termination?

If this is false -- could the commissioner's complicity in violating a law applying to his own agency be grounds for termination?

So, basically -- can Ide be terminated from his position for his ineptitude or his corruption? Is that an option on the table?

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Sara Vaclavik on 05/26/2017 at 2:49 PM

Re: “Legislative Leaders Declare Budget Impasse With Governor

My sense is that if Speaker Johnson were to go along with a proposal entailing a statewide contract, she would experience backlash from unions in general (although most severely from the VT-NEA) and would have to cope with the loss of their support -- and potentially their attacks -- when she came up for re-election in two years. I imagine that the unions would paint her as complicit in leaving "working Vermonters" with less protection of their benefits.

On another point -- I view the VT-NEA's current objections as simply self-preserving. I presume that they believe that if the health insurance contract for teachers were a statewide one, they would lose substantial bargaining power. They are probably afraid that over time, the state will seek to increase teachers' cost-share and that they will not be able to rebut this increase, given that a statewide teachers' strike has horrendous optics. Personally -- I think the resolution to this impasse should come down to what would benefit the majority of citizens, and I am not sure that preserving the VT-NEA's bargaining power (by leaving contract negotiations at the district level) would do this, as over time the VT-NEA will likely push for contracts that will increase the tax burden on many Vermonters.

42 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Sara Vaclavik on 05/17/2017 at 4:25 PM

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