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Editorial: Don't stop now, your community needs you

Posted on March 9, 2015 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



In the wake of Town Meeting Day, residents may think their exercise in democratic responsibility has been fulfilled. Not so. On the contrary, in almost every town there are important issues that require continued public conversation and engagement.

Certainly that’s the case with the communities whose school budgets were defeated.

full story

Editorial: Voters' message on school budgets — Keep moving forward

Posted on March 4, 2015 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



School budgets around the state, for the most part, fared better this year than last when 34 budgets were defeated in town meeting balloting. Why the difference? Largely because the average school budget increase was held to just under 3 percent, compared to much higher increases in 2014.

But there is also the perception that the Legislature is responding to the changing landscape caused by the steep decline in the number of students in Vermont (it’s down 21,000 in the past two decades), the low teacher-pupil ratios and the consequent high per-pupil cost.

full story

Editorial: Bill promoting vaccinations deserves public support

Posted on March 2, 2015 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



With several cases of measles occurring in the state last year, there is an increasing risk that continuing philosophical exemptions to vaccinations could put Vermont’s public school children in harm’s way. That’s because Vermont’s vaccination rate is coming close to 90 percent, a dangerous territory because below that rate is when contagious diseases — like measles, mumps and small pox — take hold and spread.

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full story

Editorial: Education bill sets the stage for Town Meeting discussion

Posted on February 19, 2015 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



Consider how it might work if a legislative proposal to create a single school board per school district were approved this session. The measure, for example, would phase out the seven elementary school boards in the Addison Central Supervisory Union, the UD-3 board (representing the Middlebury Union Middle School and the Middlebury Union High School), and the supervisory union board. In their place, one district board would represent that seven-town constituency with one combined budget.

full story

Editorial: Changes to ID-4 budget process would benefit voters

Posted on February 16, 2015 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



One of the roles of any public governing body is to encourage maximum public participation in decisions crucial to the community. Public participation, after all, is the foundation of democracy.

full story

Editorial: Ding-dong, Phase II is dead. But will we pay even more?

Posted on February 12, 2015 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



  Before the whoops and hollers of relief die down in light of Vermont Gas Systems’ decision to abandon Phase II of its natural gas pipeline through Middlebury, Cornwall and Shoreham en route to the International Paper plant in Ticonderoga, let’s assess the consequence of that decision, and whether the pipeline deserves the public ire heaped upon it.

full story

Editorial: President's speech frames the political debate for 2016

Posted on January 21, 2015 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



The brilliance of President Obama’s state of the union speech Tuesday night was that it set the political stage for the presidential election two years from now in terms favorable to Democrats.

full story

Editorial: Gov. Shumlin's budget sets bold challenges

Posted on January 19, 2015 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



Gov. Peter Shumlin had little choice in his third-term budget address last Thursday but to propose significant cuts in spending and propose some increases in the state’s revenue stream. The state is facing a $94 million shortfall in fiscal year 2016, and he did what no politician likes to do: propose cuts in spending and tax increases.

full story

Editorial: Of sacred cows and runoff

Posted on January 15, 2015 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



Gov. Peter Shumlin and Vermont Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross had to know that the farming community would take issue when the governor proposed in his Inaugural address to make changes to the state’s Current Use tax program that would penalize farmers who pollute waterways. What they also had to suppose was that the majority of Vermonters would not think it was unfair for farmers to be willing to accept a share of the responsibility for cleaning up the state’s waterways, particularly those that run into Lake Champlain.

full story

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