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Nothing is more dispiriting to a dairy farmer than dumping the day’s work into the manure pit, which is happening in Vermont and throughout the nation. The pandemic has had a cascading effect on dairy farmers, disrupting their supply channels and destroying the markets. They dump their milk …

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In the weeks since the COVID 19 pandemic has impacted our lives here in Vermont, we have all struggled to adjust. Our work lives, home lives and social interactions have all changed dramatically. In Franklin and Grand Isle Counties, these changes have affected some of us more than others. Th…

In every crisis there is a point when the leader says to those being managed, “Don’t tell me why it can’t be done, tell me how it will be done, and it would be best if it happened yesterday.”

President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis has meet with broad approval from 60 percent of Americans, according to this week’s Gallup poll. That may baffle many Vermonters, but the president’s polling numbers have been strong in a number of polls, in particular last week, through today.

As a state, we are about to learn the difference between what is essential and what is not. As commerce grinds to a halt, and expenses go skyward, the damage to the state’s budget will be nothing short of extraordinary. How we respond will define how well we emerge, and how we respond is goi…

As a state, we are about to learn the difference between what is essential and what is not. As commerce grinds to a halt, and expenses go skyward, the damage to the state’s budget will be nothing short of extraordinary.

There is an oft repeated rock climber’s prayer that goes like this: “Dear Lord, I realize I could be better, and do better, and I’ll get back to that in a moment, but right now I’ve got a problem. I’m hanging on to a little nubbin of rock, not sure I’m going to be able to make the next move.…

At this point in time I believe everyone understands the expectations as to preventive measures re: Covid-19 so I will not reinforce those measures. What I would like to focus on is all of the great work that is happening around the City and Town that many people may not be aware of. This pa…

Gov. Phil. Scott Tuesday ordered the closing of all Vermont’s restaurants and bars, effectively immediately. It’s another step in the state’s efforts to limit human interaction, thus slowing the spread of the coronavirus. With our schools, restaurants and bars closed, with with most business…

The headline from Sunday’s debate between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden was that Mr. Biden would pick a woman as his running mate. Assuming Mr. Biden wins the Democratic nomination and that he succeeds in beating President Donald Trump, she would be the f…

Gov. Phil Scott Friday declared a state of emergency in Vermont, enabling him to mobilize the necessary resources to deal with the repercussions of the coronavirus. He then spent roughly an hour answering any and all questions and doing so in a calm, completely transparent manner, with the s…

Twice, Vermont’s senator Bernie Sanders has said that whichever presidential candidate received the most delegates going into the party’s July convention should be declared the winner. A majority was not necessary; a plurality was good enough.

For those who will grasp at any straw that indicates the president’s political future is in trouble, the coronavirus is a gift. He was cavalier when he should have been serious. He exaggerated when he should have played it straight. He took the microphone when he should have handed it to peo…

Like most other things in life, we don’t have a clue about the coronavirus, the number of people who will die because of it, whether its mortality rate will exceed that of the flu, the damage it will do to the nation’s longest running bull market, or how prepared our health care system is to…

The Wall Street Journal last week made note that the total cost of the proposed programs by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders would expand federal taxation levels to a poi not seen since World War II. The New York Times Friday had a piece titled “The Bernie Sanders Personality Test”, in …

St. Albans City continued its forward march on Town Meeting Day, with voters giving their blessings to the city’s budget, a first-ever local option tax, the construction of a community pool at Hard’Ack, a bond to complete sidewalks in the city’s neighborhoods, and TIF bonds to redevelop the …

Bernie Sanders is right. The establishment is out to get him. He’s not surprised, nor are his fierce supporters, including President Trump, who tweets that nefarious party insiders are prying Mr. Sanders fingers from the hold he had on his party’s nomination for president, something that was…

Vermont legislators, in hopes of finding a fix to the dairy industry’s woes, last year engaged a marketing firm to identify opportunities the industry might have missed. The firm did as directed, with its answer being cheese. Premium cheese.

Beginning this week, the Messenger will be expanding our weekend edition to cover Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This means we will be publishing a print newspaper five days per week instead of six. The Friday paper is being repositioned as our expanded weekend edition and will have all of our…

A three-time Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times reporter. The first African American to be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Two Nobel Peace Prize winners. One of Fortune magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women.” The producer of the “Hunger Games” movies and a Golden Globes winner. And the author …

On Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March 3, there will be the typical budget items including proposals to fund our schools and municipalities, and there will be choices to be made between various people running for office, but on the ballots for St. Albans City and St. Albans Town voters there wi…

As a recent VPR-Vt PBS poll showed, Vermonters favor exempting development in our downtowns from Act 250 review, the state’s land use law. Two reasons explain the support: first is the understood need to strengthen our downtowns, second, is the benefit of building in community centers and no…

Bennington College is a private institution that is relatively well regarded in the annual U.S, News and World Report review of best colleges. It’s ranked 89th among the country’s liberal arts colleges. It has a student population of 735, not quite the size of many Vermont high schools. But …

We are about to enter the political season in Vermont and if there is a single common-denominator message universal to all campaigns it will be the need for jobs. Good jobs. The sort that pay livable wages. It’s always about the economy and what can be done to guarantee prosperity.

Michael Bloomberg had to know he was the target going into Wednesday’s presidential debate. Not a small target. Not something in the margins. He had to know he was to the other five remaining candidates what blood is to mosquitoes; a deliciously easy, nutritious snack.

According to a VPR-Vermont PBS poll — the first poll of the 2020 political season — Gov. Phil Scott has a commanding leader over either of his two announced challengers, Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman and former Vermont Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe. There cannot be anyone with a pulse who …

Few things are more identifiable as part of Vermont’s identity than Act 250, the state’s development review law, which is why when people tinker with it, its defenders become a bit unhinged. It’s been the law for a half century; if it kept growth to a minimum, and protected the environment t…

New Hampshire was not the win that Bernie Sanders would have hoped for; no Democrat has ever won the nation’s first primary with a smaller share of voters. He edged past former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar posted a surprisingly strong performa…

There is an honest debate emerging between the old guard in the town — made up, in part, of past selectboard members — and those trying to reimagine the future, a future that values working together more than working separately, and a future with a clear eye on what it takes to make our comm…

When RiseVt recently reported the results of its second Body Mass Index [BMI] study it was noted that the results were roughly the same as the study done two years prior; a little over 40 percent of our first, third and fifth graders were overweight or obese. The good news was that the perce…

Legislation is advancing in the Vt. Senate that would allow Efficiency Vermont and the Burlington Electric Department to spend up to $2 million over the next three years, with the focus on transportation and heating projects. They are supposed to be “free to innovate.”

It’s been a bad week for Democrats. Afrozen tick’s width from being horrible. The Iowa caucus was an unmitigated disaster, giving us an eternity’s worth of fresh Hillary Clinton based conspiracies. They failed in their impeachment proceedings. And the party’s leaders are staring down the bar…

The trustees for the Vermont State College system are staring at what is being called the “most challenging” start to a budget year the system has seen in recent memory. The unexpected part of the challenge is an increase in health insurance costs, anticipated to be in the $2 million range. …

A bill that would provide free tuition to Community College of Vermont students with family or individual incomes under $100,000 has been greeted with a cold shoulder by legislators who think it’s unaffordable and in defiance of “fiscal reality.” That’s hardly surprising. The legislative bud…

Before electric vehicles are in widespread use, we need to solve the problems of how to get electricity to them and how to pay for the roads they run on. So far these problems haven’t mattered because there are so few e-vehicles. In Vermont we are very well-positioned to deal with both problems.

The tobacco industry is pouring money into Vermont, the objective being to counter legislation that would ban flavored nicotine and vaping products, and, specifically, the ban on menthol cigarettes and e-cigarette products. The industry’s campaign includes, for Vermonters, an usual twist: In…

Vermont’s rural communities are intricately tied to our economy, identity and way of life. At the same time, all of Vermont suffers when our farm and forestry sectors falter.

One of President Trump’s favorite tweets regards the passage of his tax cut which he likes to say is the “biggest tax cut in history.” It wasn’t. Not close. Another favorite is that the border wall is about to be finished and that it’s impregnable. It isn’t, and it’s not. But he plunges on. …

From a modestly selfish perspective, the best news for Franklin County in Gov. Phil Scott’s budget address last week was his pledge to put $2.8 million toward the construction of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail [LVRT]. The money will be used to leverage another $11.3 million in federal dollar…

A week from tomorrow voters in Iowa will traipse to their individual caucuses to give the nation its first report on who is leading among the Democrats running for the presidential nomination. Depending on the poll, the lead has bounced from Pete Buttigieg, to Elizabeth Warren to Bernie Sand…

In the fall of 2017 RiseVt took the unprecedented step of figuring out the body mass index [BMI] of every first, third and fifth grader in Franklin and Grand Isle counties, all 2,000 of them. The purpose was to establish a baseline number from which future numbers could be compared. The foll…

Between the years of 2011 to 2019 the average price of a condominium in New York City soared from $1.15 million to $3.77 million, according to The Atlantic magazine. Almost half of the condominiums that have come on the market in the last five years remain vacant. Meanwhile, New York City is…

Gov. Phil Scott’s budget address, delivered Tuesday, was a careful match of limited resources against pressing needs in an election year that, for Mr. Scott, summoned the same pledge common to his tenure, which is that it can be done without raising taxes.

In a break from tradition, the New York Times Sunday endorsed two of the Democrats running for the presidency, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. Ms. Warren is the newspaper’s choice to lead the progressives, Ms. Klobuchar to lead the moderates. The newspaper, wi…

When it was public last week that there was $563 million in the pipeline for school construction projects between now and 2023, that was an rough estimate. Back of the envelope sort of estimate. And low. As much as a billion dollars low.

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…

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 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.

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.