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I am a civil engineer, a matter of considerable personal pride. And when I think about some of the significant challenges that Vermonters have met and overcome, many of the most impressive that come to mind (or at least the mind of a civil engineer) are feats in which engineering had a centr…

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On Thursday morning, hours before senators were sworn in to serve on President Trump’s impeachment trial, an independent, nonpartisan government watchdog confirmed what I have long suspected: When Trump froze congressionally appropriated military aid to Ukraine as part of an effort to compel…

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St. Albans Town resident, and former town selectboard member Paul Larner Wednesday summed the opportunity perfectly: “We [the town] benefit substantially from this — we’ve never been in this situation before.”

On Town Meeting Day South Burlington voters will be asked to support a proposed $210,000,000 complex for their middle school, their high school and an athletic complex, a project that will raise the property tax on a $350,000 South Burlington home by an estimated $1,500 a year for the next 3…

Last week, the legislature returned to Montpelier for the 2020 legislative session.  I could spend this update with an overview of everything, but instead, I will focus on a big issue to many of you and one that came up a few times today during our legislative breakfast in Swanton.  That iss…

Zero percent. That is the percentage increase being proposed for the City of St. Albans’ municipal budget. For a state that wrestles with affordability issues, that’s a standard most Vermont communities would enjoy. It’s also a zero percent increase that’s keeping pace with the seventh year …

The Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance, a priority for legislative leadership, is already sitting  in conference committee, before the first week of the Vermont 2020 Legislative session is over! As with all bills, there needs to be agreement between the Senate version and House version …

As a subscriber to the “Messenger” and a radio news listener, it is sometimes very disheartening to read or hear the news.  There are times when I don’t feel like opening the paper or turning on the radio.  The political divide in this country will only worsen in the upcoming impeachment and…

The City of St. Albans last week announced that Genesee & Wyoming’s American Rail Dispatching Center would be relocated in the old Fonda Container area off Lower Newton street.

In reference to the climate change protesters who rudely interrupted Gov. Scott's State of the State address: are we to assume they are all already owners/operaters of electric vehicles?

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Sen. Ruth Hardy, D-Addision, has introduced a bill to create a Community College Scholarship Program that would provide tuition-free scholarships for Vermont residents attending CCV. It would, from the outset, require a $6 million appropriation.

Last week, while I was out-of-state on vacation with my family, my detached garage caught fire in Swanton.  Fortunately, a passerby noticed the smoke and called in an alarm.

The Franklin County Legislative Delegation will be holding the first Legislative Breakfast on Monday January 13th from 8-9:30 am.  It will be held in a new place in Swanton this year at the Mississquoi National Wildlife Refuge located at 29 Tabor Road in West Swanton.  The public is invited …

Hope everyone had a great holiday. Now we need to get down to reality. First and foremost Bernie Sanders needs to step down and OUT of his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Vermont. He has not done a good thing for us Vermonters as he is all over this country protesting the good things ha…

The refrain has become routine. When Gov. Phil Scott stood before legislators Thursday to deliver his state of the state speech, he repeated what he has said before, which is that our population continues to decline and the continued decline threatens the future of our cities and towns.

It's a sad, albeit scary, day when a person or persons feel the need to post placards in public places saying that, "It's okay to be anti-Semitic." That's just plain wrong. It's not okay to be hostile to or prejudiced against Jews or hostile to or prejudiced against anyone who might be diffe…

The complete and absolute dysfunction we seen in Washington, D.C., is what we want to avoid in Vermont, which is the message being sent by leaders of both Vermont’s political parties as the session opens and the stage is set to deal with the state’s challenges. Whereas the tribalism in the n…

Republicans have hollowed out the Internal Revenue Service over the past decade, and it is showing: The agency’s audit rate has plummeted. If you pay your taxes, on time and in good faith, you should be outraged. If you believe it is important to obey the law, you should demand better. If yo…

Progressive David Zuckerman has essentially made it official this week that he will announce next week he will step down as Lieutenant Governor and challenge Gov. Phil Scott for Vermont’s top political office. Within political moments of the breaking story, Senate Pro Tempore Tim Ashe, also …

The Brattleboro Retreat is a not-for-profit psychiatric and addiction treatment center that is losing money and it finds itself continually going to the state, hat in hand, asking to be bailed out. This week, Vermont Human Services Secretary Mike Smith said no.

When Vermont legislators first began serious consideration of the move to a commercial market for cannabis, those in favor offered two central reasons why it was important to do so: tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue, and the elimination of the black market. Both appear elusive.

In late December, signs proclaiming it is “okay to be anti-Semitic” were found stapled to telephone poles in St. Albans. It was the second time in the last several months such signs were displayed, and the timing was purposeful; it was in the midst of the celebration of Hanukkah.

The Jews gave us so many good things. Why are they so hated? For 4000 years Jews have inscribed the First 5 books of the Bible over and over, word for word, letter for letter, and learning the meaning of these words, passing them on to the next generation. There are many rules and laws about…

For Vermonters following the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, his fund-raising numbers for the last quarter were nothing short of remarkable. His $34.5 million was tops among his Democratic rivals and it came on the heels of a heart attack that would have crippled most candidate…

America’s millennials have been tagged with a variety of “self-medicating” challenges including pot and prescription drugs, but, surprisingly, alcohol consumption is not one of them. Millennials, people between the ages of 22-38, are increasingly opting out of the “next day hangover” more co…

I have been a St. Albans Town resident for more than 40 years, and I have never been more opposed to anything than this ridiculous idea of a year-round swimming pool.

Demographics are destiny, goes the cliche, which in Vermont’s case means that if our future is to be marked by continued prosperity we will need to figure out how to do better with what we have. Vermont’s declining population twined with a sharp decline in the nation’s mobility rate present …

A few years ago I learned that as we edge closer to our 60’s we feel more sharply time going by and the changes that come with age, especially the loss of friends.

I believe state lawmakers and most Vermonters have good intentions when it comes to climate change and our environment. I don’t believe the TCI or carbon tax falls in line with those values. The carbon tax in its current state will affect people with good incomes very little and only hurt th…

I have been a St. Albans Town resident for more than 40 years, and I have never been more opposed to anything than this ridiculous idea of a year-round swimming pool.

Funding from OneCare Vermont – the organization leading the state’s “all payer” experiment in health-care reform — is keeping an innovative and proven system of support for vulnerable Vermonters called SASH (Support and Services at Home) operating in all corners of Vermont.

Most of our regular readers will know that the property tax is one of the major sources for funding Vermont’s public school system. Properties in Vermont are divided into two groups: non-resident property and resident property.

I'd like to thank the town and city manager for their attempt to answer questions about the pool at Hardack, for the general public to vote on in March 2020.

The Voters/Taxpayers of Saint Albans Town will be asked to approve $2.75 million dollars in additional property taxes at Town Meeting in March.

When the Legislature convenes in January it’s a given that legislators will be dealing with abuse issues exposed at the women’s prison in South Burlington. How legislators respond to proposed changes will determine whether Vermont’s correctional system will function any differently than it has.

We stare at our children and envy their lightness of being, like snowflakes swept along the hard edge of winter’s first breath. They are spared the cares that shadow their parent’s lives. Their Christmas orbits are drawn with the truest of lines; you are their center, and they yours.

St. Albans City and Town are proposing to construct a year-round community pool at Hard’ack. Each community will ask their voters to approve $2.75 million at Town Meeting in March. The City Council intends to pay the City’s share with part of the local option tax; the Selectboard intends to …

We’ve had a busy and productive year to cap off the decade. I couldn’t be more grateful to our town staff, who work tirelessly to deliver the services and amenities we expect of Milton. Team morale is strong and we’re all ready for another exciting year of working with friends.

In the early evening hours of Dec. 19, 2019, in the U.S. House of Representatives, Donald John Trump became the third U.S. President to be impeached. As the impeachment votes were cast, Mr. Trump was in Battle Creek, Michigan, standing before 10,000 boisterous admirers, treating the impeachm…

The Town of Highgate and the Highgate School Community  has lost a dear friend. David Roddy passed away on Tuesday evening, December 17th.  Much will be said about David and all of the ways in which he enriched the lives of people who had the good fortune of knowing him.  Perhaps the people …

The lies and propaganda that ran amok on the Internet during the last election cycle still appear to be sprinting: Misleading political posts have already topped 158 million views this year. The New York Times reports that few, if any, 2020 candidates have employed teams devoted to rooting o…

Affordable housing continues to be a key part of any Vermont discussion when it comes to growth and the ability of the state to attract businesses and workers. Our housing stock is among the nation’s oldest, what we have is limited in numbers and is expensive, particularly in Chittenden Coun…

When the bipartisan defense spending bill is signed into law this week, the U.S. will become the last rich country on earth to provide federally mandated paid family leave. While it only affects about 2 million government workers, this is a welcome, long-overdue step. And the real work is ju…

Burlington’s police chief Brandon del Pozo resigned from his position Monday, the victim of his own misdoing. He created an anonymous Twitter account to take on a local troll, and he lied about doing it when asked. He lost the trust.