March 19th, 2015
MIDDLEBURY — Downtown Middlebury was a mob scene on Saturday afternoon as between 5,500 and 6,000 people filled the closed-off Main Street to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of the seventh annual Vermont Chili Festival.
The event brought people from many parts of the state to Middlebury to taste more than 50 chilies, enjoy a street band, an all-local beverage tent, a photo booth and more.
A few days ago, the Middlebury ambulance and Cornwall First Response were called to a home on Route 30 for a man described by the dispatcher as “unresponsive.”
As a volunteer firefighter, I put on my shoes and coat and headed out to see if I could help. Thanks to 911 numbering of residences, I knew about where the house was, and assumed I could pin it down once in the area. I started rehearsing in my head the CPR training we receive every other year. Thirty compressions, two breaths.
Several legislative committees have been working on bills to change Vermont’s system of K-12 education finance and governance. The package is likely to come up for a vote on the House floor soon. While the final shape of the legislation is yet to be determined, the political consequences of the issue have become clearer in recent weeks.
I’m writing today in response to the recent letter signed by various chiefs of police regarding marijuana law in Vermont.
I’m very glad that they have such concern for the young people of Addison County. As the father of a pre-teen I truly appreciate that they are looking out for the welfare of young people in our community. Reading their letter, however, leaves me feeling that they are a bit out of touch with reality.
Sunshine Week is a time to celebrate one of our nation’s most basic values, the public’s “right to know.” Our very democracy is built on the idea that our government should not operate in secret. James Madison, a staunch defender of open government, whose birthday we celebrate each year during Sunshine Week, wisely noted that for our democracy to succeed, people “must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.” Transparency enables the American people to hold their government accountable.
With Statehouse discussion dominated this session by the $112 million budget shortfall and education reform measures focused on consolidation and improving outcomes, energy-related issues have fallen out of the spotlight to the detriment of Vermonters.