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The coronavirus has upended the way we learn about candidates running for office. We’re limited in being able to talk to them directly. There are no crowds, which subtract from the energy. Most Vermonters are singularly focused on surviving; parsing through a candidate’s positions takes a se…

The 2020 legislative session in Montpelier feels like a marathon. It went from January to March, then April to June and resumes in August into September.  We dealt with the Coronavirus Relief Fund for small businesses, farmers, restaurants, lodging establishment, health care facilities and m…

When campaigning on the issues does not work for a candidate, step two is to discredit the opposition. That is the step Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe has taken with Molly Gray, his most serious rival in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.

   In this election season almost every candidate is promising to deliver “more affordable health care!” Most of them are at least subconsciously thinking  “I’ll support legislation to have the government compel somebody else to pay more of your health care costs. That ‘somebody else’ includ…

President Trump has shown how fragile our democracy is when we have a president who abuses his power and threatens the Constitution of the United States.

In the 1960s, the Canadian government inaugurated a monthly quota system for its dairy farmers and today those farmers say that if it weren’t for the supply management system the dairy industry in Canada would not exist.

I realize the Messenger deals with news of Franklin County - and statewide issues - but I can't help but register my concern over news that the City of Burlington appears to be on the losing end of its campaign to rebuild Church Street with the $120 million CityPlace project. This is terribl…

In mid-July the state of Vermont issued the guidance our school boards were to follow as they cobbled together plans to start the 2020-2021 school year. The guidance was not prescriptive; like the flippers on a pin ball machine, it was meant to keep things centered, with no one going off kil…

 If government makes you wear a face mask to help ward off the spread of the coronavirus, has it trampled on your freedom, your personal liberty?

I believe the decision by the Swanton Village Board of Trustees to suspend the Swanton art board is wrong. To push the decision back to January is just hoping the issue blows over with the wind. I support Black Lives Matter and the right to highlight racial discrimination in our community. I…

Since the Legislature adjourned, a number of Coronavirus Relief Bills have been enacted; Assistance for Agriculture (dairy and non-dairy), Healthcare and Human Services (long-term care facilities, adult days, hospitals, independent providers, home health agencies), Housing (landlords, tenant…

Gov. Phil Scott is offering hints that instead of asking Vermonters to wear masks, he may require them to. Let’s hope so. It’s a small ask, with potentially huge returns.

 After listening to the Swanton village trustees meeting on July 13, 2020, regarding taking the wonderful community's open canvas art walls down, all of them, til January 2021 and then reading "Mr. LaBombard needs to apologize to Swanton,"' I am compelled to share some thoughts and views to …

The most popular tagline for public figures running for office in Vermont is the call to hold down property taxes, which is another way of addressing the high cost of the state’s school system.

Having read the article in the weekend edition of the St. Albans Messenger entitled, “Police debate comes to Maple Run”,  I feel the need to weigh in.  For those of you who do not know me, I retired from the position of Special Education Director of MRUSD in June 2019.  Prior to this I serve…

As we debate the role of School Resource Officers [SROs] in our local schools it’s important to recognize the opportunity it presents, an opportunity that takes advantage of our small size, the closeness of our community, and our reputation for transparency, tolerance and open-mindedness. Th…

 I am writing this letter as a thank you to the group of people who provided a July 4th boat parade along Maquam Shore Road on Lake Champlain in Swanton. You brought holiday wishes to many and much happiness to my 87 year old father who loved the 4th of July. You were honking, waving your ar…

To school district superintendents, school boards, and school administrators who are considering recent requests to scrutinize and ultimately eliminate school resource officers, please remember:  On August 24, 2006, Christopher Williams entered Essex Elementary School, began shooting and kil…

Vermont’s hospitals have lost $107 million so far this fiscal year, an amount over eight months that has sent shudders of alarm throughout the health care community and its regulators.

David Hemingway explained more than he perhaps intended when quoted as saying he wanted Swanton to be the “quiet sleepy New England Town” it’s always been, and that he just wants “peace.”

 On Monday, July 13th, the Swanton Village Trustees decided to put an abrupt end to its free arts board project, citing a recent incident between a group of local artists and one resident who repeatedly and pointedly erased their artwork. These art boards had “turned into” what several in at…

It is easy to rag on Vermont. The cold. Taxes. High costs. Lack of diversity. No sun. But as the state with the least number of Covid-19 cases, and a state generally regarded as the safest, we’re looking pretty good. We’re not a state full of fools who have yet to figure out that masks are f…

Please, Governor Scott, step up to the plate and just REQUIRE that Vermonters wear face masks when inside stores & public buildings, or outside among groups of people in public.  You've been doing quite a good job of guiding the state through this new experience of trying to control a pa…

On June 17th, the U.S. Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act with a 73-25 vote. This, bipartisan legislation fully dedicates funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund, our nation's most successful conservation program, and funds repairs and maintenance projects for our public land m…

Political candidates come in two stripes: The first is someone who has the vision to see the world about them, the humility to understand the needs of others, the energy to drive change and the persistence to weather the opposition. The second is someone who puts themselves at the center, wh…

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 “I love to walk. Walking is a spiritual journey and a reflection of living,” wrote Edie Littlefield Sundby in I Was Given Three Months to Live. For many of us walking is a time for self-reflection or for recreation. For many others, though, it is a time of frustration or exclusion. For thos…

Four decades ago, St. Albans had two hospitals. The first was the St. Albans Hospital, located where Bellows Free Academy is today. The second was the Kerbs Memorial Hospital, built in 1948, on upper Fairfield Street. It soon became impractical for a community of our size to have two competi…

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In a recent virtual Veteran Town Hall, one Veteran expressed worry to me over the COVID-19 pandemic and one of his concerns was feeling unsure about how and when to seek health care that he knew was important but was wasn’t necessarily urgent or emergent. The White River Junction VA Healthca…

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We certainly cannot say, “All Lives Matter because some lives don’t matter at all especially in Vermont.  Pre-born human beings can be killed all nine months of pregnancy in Vermont.  Our Vermont Legislators even want to make it a Vermont Constitutional right to kill pre-born humans all nine…

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As we have shared in a letter and in telephone calls to our patients, NMC is transitioning out of providing outpatient addiction treatment services. As of July 31, 2020 this service will be provided in partnership with Howard Center, who are expanding services to provide patients with a loca…

Sophie Zdatny was named chancellor of the Vermont State College system on Monday. She has been in the role as in interim chancellor since April. She had been VSC’s general counsel and is regarded as someone who is a talented collaborator, a strong negotiator and someone committed to a sound …

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Our social distancing has given me the opportunity to do extended watching of activity in and around my deck. Sitting quite comfortably in a "zero gravity" lawn chair with binoculars at hand I’ve made this observation.  Years ago John Thoren gave me a gift of two Blue Bird Houses which I hun…

The Covid-19 pandemic has made politicking a struggle, like striking steel against the flint hoping an errant spark will catch the kindling afire. In the Democratic gubernatorial primary it’s been particularly tough for the two main challengers, Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman and former Secretary …

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Our state’s economy has been hit hard by the effects of Covid 19. The frightening circumstances faced by Vermont’s businesses and farmers statewide have not been ignored by our state legislature. What have they done to help Vermonters fight this Pandemic? 

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History was made again in the town of Georgia on Saturday the 20th of June. The Georgia town recreation area was dedicated to Peter and Frances Mallett.

The Scott administration, led by Agency of Human Services Secretary Mike Smith, is set to begin parceling out $275 million to the state’s health care system. The money, part of the federal stimulus package, is intended to help repair the damage incurred by the Covid-19 crisis. Vermont’s hosp…

Within the next month, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont will appear before the Green Mountain Care Board to present its proposed budget and to, most probably, defend a request for a rate increase. Wrapped inside that request will be last week’s news that the company lost $40.6 million, or 5…

Hello Neighbors in Enosburg and Montgomery,
My name is Dennis Williams, and I am running for the Vermont State Legislature in order to Represent Enosburgh and Montgomery in Montpelier.
As your representative I will fight for: a fair and aggressive economic recovery from the current pandemic;…

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman Tuesday embraced a report by State Auditor Doug Hoffer raising questions about the efficacy of Vermont’s All-Payer Accountable Care Organization [ACO] and whether the relationship between the ACO and the Green Mountain Care Board is in the best interest of Vermonters.

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 Montgomery voters are being asked to vote to approve an $18 million dollar (figure in literature) Bond on July 7, 2020 for the construction of "Streetscape" in the Center and Village, and at last evenings Zoom meeting learned there are three sewage disposal systems, two in the Center and on…

Teachers in Vermont will return to work mid-August, with their students following the week after. That’s roughly six weeks away. The Vermont-NEA is questioning whether our schools will be ready and it’s asking for a commission to put together a plan that meets the needs of educators, parents…

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Folks - I heartily agree with the statement: “All art is propaganda!”  I consider my own work to be propaganda (and I slyly add “On the side of the angels.”  By the way, the quote above is from one of my most respected authors, George Orwell.   

When former education secretary Rebecca Holcombe took aim at her Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman for being an anti-vaxxer it seemed an unusual tact; gubernatorial primaries typically focus on baseline issues, not whether Vermonters should be able to opt out of vaccinations.

Vermont’s students are set to begin school in the fall as they would in past years with the requirements being that their temperatures are checked daily and that the staff wear masks. Schools are also required to amp up their monitoring and to have the necessary cleaning supplies and protect…

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Just when the presidential campaign of Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders was on the verge of being unstoppable, the South Carolina primary happened. The influential endorsement of House Majority Whip James Clyburn — who called Mr. Sanders an “extra burden” for Democrats to carry - pulled the sta…

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President Trump said "the cupboards were bare" of ppe and ventilators when he took office, but they were bare three years into his administration. When asked about this he blamed Russian Gate, Ukraine Gate, and the impeachment, which is hogwash since there were adequate government resources …