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a tomato slice on the turkey and sprinkle it with shredded carrot. Then on the lay a slice of provolone cheese over the
carrot then a green pepper ring on top of the cheese. Sprikle with sprouts. Cover with the other slice, lettuce side down.
The letuce should be stuck to the bread with honey mustard so it doesn't fall off when you turn it upside down to cover the
sandwich. Slice sandwich in half with a knife. Wrap in tightly in plastic wrap. Use too much wrap. Tape on label. Tadaaa!
Weighs one pound. Costs Four Bucks.
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses
yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your
teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed,
to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers,
against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and
no warrants shall issue,
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Ethan Allen Tower
"During the 1992 campaign, Bill Clinton
sometimes spoke of a 'twofer' (two for the price of one) presidency,
implying that Hillary would play an important role in his
The Radiator radio station has restored its internet and telephone services about month after losing them. Thank goodness. My Saturday show is premised on reading from blogs and taking live phone calls, so the last month has been a challenge. Anyway- I'll be on tomorrow from 11am-12pm on 105.9fm Burlington, once again streaming live at TheRadiator.org and taking your calls at 802.861.9666.
Paul Decelles says yesterday at the runoff polling place, he and some other guy had lines of people waiting to sign a petition to get instant runoff voting back to another city wide vote. He says they got around 450 signatures.
Instant runoff voting is over. If they got that many signatures in one day, it will be on the ballot soon. When it gets on the ballot, IRV is going to go down in flames. The Burlington instant runoff voting experiment will have lasted for exactly two mayoral cycles. It's back to the old system next time around. Bet on it.
According to Briggs at the Burlington Free Press, Vince Dober has defeated Eli Lesser-Goldsmith in the Ward Seven run-off by a vote of 515-425. As a result, the Democrats will not have a majority on the new city council.
Check it out. Uniform branding across the board. Visit the official site of the "All New" 'BurlingtonPol Radio' from 11a-12p Saturdays. That's the 105.9fm schedule page. Sunday starts the week, so scroll all the way down to Saturday AM, and read about all the station's other programming along the way. Still no internet for the last show. My cell held to the mike had difficulty. Sorry to my callers Poopsie and Micky who's calls echoed loudly. Thanks To DJ Matty for joining for the hour, and to that Dan Guy who called too.
Because of the special city council meeting last night, the Burlington GOP had to pull out of their regular 5:25pm show at Channel 17, So they asked me to fill in and host the show. It was a lot of fun. You can watch the show with a QuickTime Player here.
I might try to do it again sometime. I love the "talk-radio" style format of talking about news and politics and taking live calls on the air. Which reminds me- My radio show on 105.9 fm Burlington is tomorrow from 11am-12pm. I'm not sure if they got the streaming back up, but tune in on a real radio if you're in town. And if you have money, please consider underwriting the station.
3.PUBLIC FORUM (Time Certain: 6:35 p.m.) *Allotted Time: 20 minutes total
4.ORDINANCE: COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE – Downtown Use and Height #ZA 09-15 (Planning Department)(1st reading)
5.ORDINANCE: COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE – UVM Core Campus and Height Overlay #ZA 09-13 (Planning Department) (1st reading)
***** Update Friday March 13, 2009:
As you may know already, last night's city council meeting devolved to the point where president Wright actually called the police on councilors Adrian and Berezniak. I'm reserving commentary, except to say the events are unfortunate and regrettable. Shay Totten does an adequate job explaining what happened at Blurt.
If anybody wants to read the police report from last night, here it is.
After the ballots from Wards One, Two, Three and part of Ward Six were counted by the Board of Civil Authority, Kurt Wright has called off the recount. It is not immediately clear why.
Also, it appears Jane Knodell was the first to leave the meeting, while other councilors toiled on in their civic duty much later into the night.
Update 03.11.09 10:35am: Email from Kurt...
Good Morning Haik,
My original intention was to have entire City recounted but after 4 Wards were complete (except the 3rd round in Ward 6) it was clear that the recount was going to confirm the result. Four Wards were basically done and everything--except for a vote or two -- was matching up. I did not feel the need to drag everyone back for another night of counting.
I believe we accomplished our goal of confirming the integrity of the process as well as having the opportunity to explore how IRV works. Now it is up to the citizens of Burlington as to whether they want to continue with this system of voting in the future. I am sorry if you (or anyone else) is disappointed that we did not complete the recount, but as I said, I believe we accomplished our goal and it is time to move on. I appreciate and Thank all the people that gave up a night in order to do this important work.
I am still gratified to have been the leader in the first round of voting (first place votes) as well as the second round and to have come so close to winning even in the final round. It was a tremendous experience and Hopefully most citizens felt I added something to the debate.
I am remain in the Legislature, but in terms of City politics I will return to the ranks of what I was before--a concerned citizen that loves our City.
To the people that didn't vote--shame on you. To the thousands that did, thank you.
Good luck with with the blog Haik,
Thank you Kurt for your service to the city and to the state, and for running a very decent and honorable campaign for mayor. And thanks for asking for a recount. I think it was worth it to verify at least some of the machine totals.
Rerun from 01.15.09 Note: Eli Lesser-Goldmith will be competing against Vince Dober in a runoff election on March for the seat being vacated by Craig Gutchell. Voting will take place at the Miller Center on Gosse Court. *****
After wrapping up my show last Saturday at The Radiator on College Street, I stopped in to Stone Soup next door to get a cup of coffee. Inside I ran into Democratic Ward Seven city council candidate Eli Lesser-Goldsmith (photo right) and sat down with him for an impromptu interview.
He showed me a copy of his fist piece of campaign literature and I asked him how the door knocking was going. Although he said that by Saturday he had only knocked on about 100 doors so far, Eli was adamant that he will knock on every door in the ward at least two times. It's an ambitious goal in Ward Seven, which has the largest land area and least population density of any ward. When I mentioned this he said "I'm undaunted."
When the conversation moved to issues Eli outlined three main areas he wants to work on.
This first of the three was development. Lesser-Goldsmith says he supports building new senior housing at the site of the Motor Vehicles Department on North Avenue, but that most new development should take place downtown. He says the city "could have done a better job" on the recent zoning re-write and that it should have been more lax in terms of parking requirements. He believes that Planning and Zoning should be merged into Public Works and that "design review is a thorn in the side for a lot of people." He says permitting should be a faster process and gives Burlington developers credit for being "tenacious" in the face of cumbersome regulations.
The second issue Eli touched on was jobs. He said higher, denser buildings downtown would provide more room for business to grow, citing Fuse marketing as an example of a company recently forced to move out of the city because they could not find the office space in Burlington they needed. He said the city needs to attract new businesses and that he could personally act as a "go-between" toward that end.
Our jobs discussion moved tangentially toward the issue of transportation. Eli said "the fact that we have only one bus line in the new north end is a total joke." He said he'd like to see changes in the funding structure of CCTA to make federal funds correlate to ridership, and more park and ride facilities just outside the city to alleviate traffic congestion.
The third thing Lesser-Goldsmith promises to focus on if elected is the issue of parks and the waterfront. I of course tried to sell him on the idea of stairs from Battery Park to the Waterfront and he seemed to like the concept. We discussed making the College Street Shuttle more user friendly by bringing the drop-off / pick-up point back to the loop near the boathouse. This had been the bus stop in the past, Eli said, but traffic problems forced the bus stop to move to its current location at One Main Street. We discussed gating the loop as a possible means to avoid those past problems. "The waterfront has been a huge missed opportunity for the City of Burlington" Eli said. "The more people we get to the waterfront the better."
He said the "North 40" should be cleaned up and turned into a giant park for the time being. When I asked if he supported the Moran Plant redevelopment as it's proceeding, he said he liked the idea of re-using the building. Noting that the process is already underway he said "Sometimes when you're given lemons, you have to make lemonade- let's embrace that." But while he supports the proposed sailing center as an appropriate use of the building, he is much less enthusiastic about the climbing wall and children's museum proposals. Instead he said he prefers to see a mixed use for the building that would include high-end condominiums, a cafe and an observation deck.
Wrapping up our discussion, we touched on the topic of government transparency and responsiveness. He liked my idea of an official online forum where city officials could discuss issues online, in writing and in real time. He even went so far as saying he would actually blog live from the city council meetings themselves. When I suggested some might say this would distract from his duties as a councilor, he assuredly replied "I can multi-task." "If elected" he proclaimed, "I'll be the most easy-to-communicate-with city councilor Burlington has ever seen."
"Bowling Alone" is a super famous article/book. Some disputes about terms and measurement of "social capital" but has been a very influential work. Perhaps most notably, Putnam is focusing on the very phenomenon highlighted by de Tocqueville (the guy I sent you earlier): American civil society/association membership. In 1830, Tocqueville finds such association widespread, novel (he's French), and crucial to the American democratic system. In the 1990's Putman claims that such association has been on the decline since the 50's and as a result, democracy is suffering.
I just got an email from Kurt Wright. He WILL be asking for a recount. Kurt wrote:
"...I have decided that I am going to request a recount--not because I expect it to change the result, but because so many people have literally begged me to do this.
In many ways, I would prefer to move on--for myself personally that is--but I do agree with people like yourself Haik who believe this is the right opportunity to take a close look at how the system worked. This is not about me, it is about the process. I accept the result and am gratified to have come so close and to have actually received the most 1st place votes--and even won on the second round as well. I also understood that this was the system we have in place and knew this result was a possiblity. If voters do not like this system they have the ability to change it--but that will not come from me..."
*The Clerk Treasurer's office confirms that Kurt has requested a recount and says that by state law the city council must convene a special recount meeting within five days of Kurt's request.
*Charlie Papillo of the "Charlie and Ernie" show on 620AM WVMT tells me Kurt broke the news on their show first this morning. Darn. I thought I had the scoop.
*Shay has some quotes on this from various officials over at Blurt.
*Kurt tells me he was typing his email to me while talking to Charlie and Ernie on the phone, so they scooped me by just minutes. I trying to handle coming in a close second as well as Kurt.
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I'm not going to rub it in too much, , but Shay mentioned his belief that 7D broke the news of Kiss's re-election to the state first. But they broke the news Tuesday night at 8:20, while I broke the news here at BurlingtonPol at 8:17. I was blogging at the channel 17 studio while watching live feed from city hall and I had the info at the same time they did. So to the best of my knowledge, BurlingtonPol broke the news to the state, not Seven Days.
I left a comment explaining this at Blurt, but I just wanted to include a record of his mighty triumph here too. It's a slow news day- although the world is still waiting with baited breath for Kurt Wright's decision about whether to ask for a recount or not. I really hope he does, and I've written to Kurt promising to vigorously defend him against any charges of sour-grapes if that's his choice. It's not about sour grapes. My first-choice vote was for Bob and I still want a recount. It's about election integrity.
As Ronald Reagan famously said "Trust, but verify."
Welcome to BurlingtonPol's new feature- "Local Media Errors" where I'll be bringing attention to some of the misleading statements and egregious errors of fact that frequently appear in our local media. Burlington Free Press, Seven Days and WCAX- this is your warning. You're not getting paid to get it wrong. From now on when you make a mistake, or when you're just too damn lazy to get the facts right, you'll have to answer to the Great and Powerful BurlingtonPol and my army of loyal readers.
The first person to receive this blog's swift and merciless justice is Sam Hemmingway from The Burlington Free Press. Today online and on the front page the physical newspaper above the fold, Hemmingway writes:
"A dejected Kurt Wright said he might challenge the instant runoff vote system that had him ahead in the contest for mayor of Burlington for two rounds of vote counting."
One could make a semantic argument that asking for a recount would "challenge" the system to prove the votes were counted correctly, but Sam should know damn well that what Kurt would be challenging is the count only, not instant runoff voting itself.
In my interview with him on February 22, Kurt wright said very cleary that he would not challenge IRV because it was supported by the voters. Kurt said:
"I was asked by Channel Three News when they talked about IRV last week if- because I was the only candidate that had some issues with IRV- I mean I think there's pros and cons to it- so they asked if I was elected would I work to overturn the system, and my answer is no, because voters voted for it. If there was any move to overturn IRV, I think it would have to be a citizen lead initiative."
Maybe Hemmingway worded it that way to stir-up more debate about IRV, but it's wrong, it's poor reporting, and I'm calling him on it.
Local error-riddled media- this is your wake up call. Get it right or be destroyed. The choice is yours.
Bob kiss has been re-elected mayor of Burlington in the 3rd round of Instant Runoff...
1st Round: Wright first, Simpson, Smith eliminated 2nd Round: Montoll eliminated. 3ndRound: Vast majority of Montroll voters vote Kiss for second choice. Kiss elected.
Final round count: Kiss: 4313 Wright: 4061
*Congratulations and thank you to all the candidates in this election for a great race. *Congratulations to Ben Pacy on what appears to have been a smooth, uneventful election.
Update 10:00pm- Kurt Wright just told Shay Totten that he has not ruled out asking for a recount, not because he expects the results to be overturned, but as a service to those of us who still have concerns about the process. I fully support this idea, and I urge Kurt to please ask for a recount.
We ought to do it 1) just to make sure that we can; and 2) so that those of us who do have concerns about IRV and election integrity can feel fully confident that our new election process is trustworthy.
I am very psyched and happy that Bob won, but I would feel even better about this election if we did a hand recount, to put the safeguards through their paces. Kurt-please go for the recount. You would be doing us an invaluable public service.
The polls just closed and I'm at the channel 17 studio waiting to speak with Ken Picard and Bill Simmon on the air.
The first preliminary results from the city are indicating Democrat Nancy Kaplan has won the open seat in Ward 4. Well there's one prediction I got wrong.
7:42pm Kaplan wins with 957 to Kenworthy's 923.. 7:43pm Update Caldwell wins in Ward Three 498-461 7:45pm Emma Mulvaney-Stanak has won in Ward Two... 7:52pm Runoff in Ward Seven... Blais: 461, Dober: 612, Lesser-Godsmith: 618. 8:02pm Mayoral Race: No majority winner in first round. Instant-Runoff to decide winner... 8:17: IRV Third Round: KISS WINS. 8:30pm Bushor wins in W1, Shannon wins in W5, Kehoe wins in W6
Poopsie and I voted around 12:45PM at Hunt School. Word at Ward Seven is that turnout has been steady all day. According to the ballot counter on the machines, mine were the 729th mayoral and 781st city council ballots to be cast. Fewer people are voting in the mayoral race than are voting "down ballot" in Ward Seven so far. Are people not happy with the choices for mayor or with IRV? Or are things just getting screwed up again? I also heard unofficial reports of ballots not being accepted by the machines, and of at least one person whose ballot went into what looked like a trash bin after being rejected by the machine. Unofficial reports, mind you.
How has your experience been today? What's the word from where you vote?
I am so late with this endorsement. I didn't really feel right about openly supporting Bob before I had actually published my interviews with all the candidates. I realized that would be weird when Eva Sollberger asked me if I had an endorsement at the Seven Days debate, just minutes after Kurt and I had agreed to meet. I actually had the stink of responsibility on me this election. I promised Eva I'd eventually make an endorsement and here it is...
...But first: Let's dispense with the pleasantries and get the city council endorsements and predictions out of the way. No graphics for the city council races. Sorry kids. Quick and dirty. Here we go.
Note: Ward Three- David Cain: Listen dude, you do not want to join the city council and have your first newborn baby in the house at the same time. Bad idea jeans. I know that as a rule it's wrong to bring up a candidates family as a reason to support his opponent, but this may be a valid exception. I'm not trying to sound sexist, but you should be there for your baby. Plus, you may be a touch over-ambitious. You're already an engineer and a lawyer. Simma-Donna. You're still young. And what the hell is "UC-La?" I've heard of Pepperdine!
Note: Ward Seven- Eli Lessor-Goldsmith: You must keep your promise to live-blog from city council meetings.
OK. Now the mayor's race-
Prediction- Only a fool would pretend to know how this one will go down. I will say this, though. I remember running into Richard Sugarman up at UVM the day before Town Meeting in 1993. He was frantically scrapping around, looking for Clavelle votes in a panic.
A national change-election in 1992 preceeded a Burlington change-election in 1993. Same for 1980 nationally and 1981 here. Obviously 2008 was a national change-election. So if it worked out that way here in Burlington for 2009, there would be precedent.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
Bob Kiss has done a very good job in his first term. When it comes to what counts- the budget, taxes, streets, sidewalks and basic city services- his challengers don't go there. They go after vague concepts like "leadership."
Peter Clavelle left a mess behind for Bob Kiss to clean up and a couple of live grenades with their pins pulled to boot. Joe McNeil's insane sexual misconduct and Brendan Keleher's corrupt personal raid on the pension fund jump to mind.
If Kiss loses, I think he'd have a right to contemplate the twisted irony of a universe that would give Clavelle fifteen years as mayor and him only three. Which is to say, I think Bob Kiss is a better mayor than Peter Clavelle was. Kiss created a rainy day fund for the city. Wisdom. Quiet wisdom.
If it ain't broke don't fix it. Don't be fools Burlington. Stick to the devil you know. Dance with the one that brung ya. Don't change horses mid-stream.
And yes. Everybody hates Jonathan Leopold. Everybody thinks Leopold has too much power, or is the one really running the city. But let's remember people. The whole CAO system is new. I think we will have some of the same complaints with the next CAO too. I mean you slip in a brand new position right below the mayor and above everyone else, and sure people are going to see the person in that position as running the city. The CAO system is stupid. The mayor is the CAO. I don't understand why having someone who wasn't elected helping to do the mayor's job is a good thing at all.
But let's face it also. Leopold is Bob's main problem. To be honest I wish he's fired him a year ago. Absent that, they could have at least manufactured some public disagreement for show, so that Bob could have been seen as putting Leopold in his place a time or two. No need to have a real disagreement even, but it would have helped this mayor a lot to have invented one for public consumption. Play a little "good-cop" to Leopold's "bad-cop." But no. He didn't. So here we are.
Bob is my first choice. He's the best. And if we toss him out we're a bunch of fools who when full of bread, forget about bread and think only of circuses. Are we so petulant as to stomp our feet and complain because Bob Kiss is not a fire breathing dragon, or clown juggling bowling pins?
The entire nation is crumbling around us, but Burlington is still pretty good. We have good leadership now. We're going to toss out, the oldest, wisest, smarted, most serious person in the race? The one with a track record of doing a pretty damned good job?
We can't be that stupid. If you're reading this on election day and you're still making up your mind, I urge you to vote for Bob Kiss as your first choice for mayor today. Do it because it's in the best interest of our city.
Yes. Yes. You want to know my second choice, and all of that. Stupid IRV. Fine. My second choice is Dan. Dan F. Kennedy Smith. If we're going to change, then let's really change. I'm talking Camelot. I share a generational connection with Dan. He speaks in terms of solar power and regional planning that allows people to walk places instead of drive. I get that. His learning curve would be huge and he'd have all these developers crowding around him trying to tell him what to do, but I still like him. I think he would be very engaged and he would excite a lot of interest in local politics, which can only be good for this blog. Plus, it was Dan's campaign that got me started doing all my interviews with the mayoral candidates. They reached out to me, and once I had interviewed Dan, I was stuck. I had to interview everybody else too. So you can thank Dan Smith for that.
I toyed with making Kurt number two, but nah. Kurt's number three. Andy's number four. Regardless of what may actually happen today, this is what I see. I see Marcellus Wallace telling both Kurt and Andy "You came close, but you never made it. If you were going to make it, you would have made it before now."
Again- the pictures may not accurately predict what's going to go down tonight. But what the hell. I have to give you people something. You're good readers and you deserve it. During this election you have given this blog your clicks and comments more than ever before, and I'm very grateful.
Thanks for reading BurlingtonPol.com. Visit often!
The following is a faithfully transcribed telephone conversation between me and Green Party member James Simpson recorded on March 1, 2009 between 7:15pm and 7:21pm. Jame Simpson is currently running for mayor of Burlington.
HB: First of all I’m recording the call. Is that OK?
The weather tomorrow is predicted to be cold and cloudy like today, but with less snow. I'm lucky enough to have Tuesday off, so I can saunter down to Hunt School with the family, and we can vote at our leisure. I'm not sure if there's going to be an "Exit Voices" blog or not.
I saw Kurt and Dan doing "Honk and Waves" this morning. It's going be a long cold say for those of you who will be standing at the polls tomorrow. Whoever will be bringing you hot coffee and food all day has a critical job.
You are encouraged to read the four interviews I did with the mayoral candidate before voting. Links to the interviews are in the top right corner of this blog.
And stay tuned to BurlingtonPol for the next 36 hours for my endorsements, predictions, analysis- and and a surprise last-minute interview with Green Party mayoral candidate James Simpson!
And when it's all over but the shouting, the shouting happens here. I'll be opening up the floor for the more post-mortem, emotional catharsis than you can shake a stick at!
The fun starts now! I'll be back soon. Right now the floor is yours...
The Seven Days Staff Blog "Blurt" usually gets almost twice the number of visitors as this blog. And why not? They have maybe a dozen paid writers and the full arsenal of Seven Days resources and web-tools at their disposal, while I am just one guy with limited computer skills and limited time.
That's why it's so sweet when I occasionally get more visitors then them. Sunday's total visitors- Blurt: 169 BurlingtonPol: 201.
Boo-Yah! Take that Pamela Polston and Paula Routy! You're lucky I don't own a printing press...
Update: BurlingtonPol Beats Blurt IV: Not just beats. Crushes. Monday's Visitors- Blurt: 253 Burlingtonpol: 307
The following is a faithfully transcribed conversation between me and Republican Ward Four city councilor Kurt Wright recorded at The Bagel Cafe and Deli in the Ethan Allen Shopping Center on North Avenue on February 22, 2009 between 11:00am and noon. Kurt Wright is currently running for mayor of Burlington.
HB: OK so I’m recycling the questions I asked Andy, and like I said I’ll keep it short and sweet because the less transcribing for me, the better. KW: I hear ya.
HB: And actually, you know, if it’s shorter you’re gonna more readers sticking though it for the whole thing anyway… KW: I’ll try not to blather on.
HB: Violetta wouldn't even read the entire Bob Kiss interview. She was like 'it's too long.' [Laughter] KW: [Laughter]
HB: Alright. I asked Dan and I asked Andy, so I’ll ask you. Why do you want to be mayor? KW: I want to be mayor because...
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