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Posts from — March 2010

My First Problem on the School Board

They want me to use the email “,” but I’m just not sure about doing that. I’m not going to be an employee of the school district. I’m going to be one of its overseers. Wouldn’t my current email address “” be better for that purpose?

Thanks for reading Visit Often!

March 29, 2010   7 Comments

College Street Cam

From: Haik Bedrosian []
Subject: “Church Steeet Cam”
I clicked on the “Church Street Cam” feature on the front page of your website, and its view is of College Street. You should probably rename the feature “College Street Cam” if you want to be accurate.
RE: “Church Steeet Cam”
From: “Rebecca Holt”
To: “‘Haik Bedrosian’”
We appreciate the feedback and suggestion.
From: “Farre, David”
To: “” , “Holt, Rebecca”
You’re right! I’ve changed it to say College Street instead of Church.
David Farré
Digital Developer | Burlington Free Press
Re: “Church Steeet Cam”
From: “Holt, Rebecca” Add sender to ContactsTo: “”
Good suggestion. We are making the change.
Becky Holt
Associate Editor / Digital
The Burlington Free Press
From: “Haik Bedrosian”
To: “DavidFarre”
Thanks David. I think it also makes more sense because of the storied history of The Burlington Free Press at its College Street address these many years. College Street is part of your identity! Enjoy the sunshine today!

March 24, 2010   Comments Off

House Passes Health Care Bill

From the Yahoo News Blog Tonight:

10:47 PM ET: The House has passed health care reform by a vote of 219 to 212. They will now vote on the “fixes” they want to the Senate bill.

A couple more tweeks and the president will have something to sign.  I think despite its flaws, it’s probably good that this passed.  It’s going to help a lot of people.

March 21, 2010   Comments Off

City to Negotiate New Burns Contract

Burlington Telecom’s director Chris Burns is a private contractor.  He does not work for the city.  His contract is worth around $180,000 with no benefits and is set to expire soon.  It is currently being renegotiated. 

For comparison The School Superintendent makes $122,000 and the mayor makes $92,000, however their jobs come with benefits.

It seems rather odd to have a contractor running a whole department.  I’d be more comfortable with an actual employee of the city in that position.

March 21, 2010   2 Comments

Quick Mention

Because I was shaking hands all day on the second, I forgot to pick up my copy of the city’s annual report.  I finally got around to grabbing one from city hall at lunchtime yesterday.  Looking over it this morning- and I’ll admit the salaries section tends to get my attention- I noticed two things.  One- there are at least nine people who work for the School Department who make over $100,000, and two- The salary of Chris Burns, Burlington Telecom’s Director, does not seem to be in the book at all.  We may have to write someone at the city and ask about that on Monday.

Oh and one other thing.  The election results are official now.  In my own race I received 66 out of 181 votes cast.  That’s only 36%!  I have to question the legitimacy of my impending commissionership.

March 20, 2010   2 Comments

Tired Friday Night

I’m old and tired and my bones are weak.
The seed that planted me sat on the shelf a long time.
Ground smooth. My eyes have seen enough.

March 19, 2010   Comments Off

Blogger to WordPress II

WordPress is so much more luxurious than Blogger was, I can’t tell you.  I love it in here.  It’s like driving a Cadillac.  Power, performance, and much more intuitive amenities like built-in spell check, the ability to easily see the most recent comments regardless of where they’re buried in the blog.  It’s all internal to my off-shore server and has the tools to upload files directly into the server through a post like this….  Look I will throw in a picture right now and in doing so store it on my host.  Here’s my mom’s parents at Niagra Falls in 1935…

And quite honestly I think I’m picking up php a lot easier than I did html. It seems a little more intuitive. I have zero regrets about moving the blog. If anyone had a feed of my htm atom, please update your feed at the link above the blog title. Jay Vos I see you updated yours. Thank you.

Thanks for reading Visit often!

March 17, 2010   3 Comments

Mayor Speaks!

I feel like folks may be starting to catch on to this blog. For example look at this picture from the Wards 4-7 NPA blog

It feels like a vaguely familiar visual pun and juxtaposition.

So I attended the entire north end Neighborhood Planning Assembly meeting tonight at the Miiller Center.  Man that was the place to be.  Bob Kiss was the main attraction and he did very well in his speech, saying that he was going to try to go to one NPA per month for five months to get around to all of them in the city.

Loyal Ploof was selling “Proud Naysayer” buttons to chide the mayor about his election night comments about the new north end returning to a nay-sayer role, and the mayor did well to acknowledge the pins and other reactions to those remarks.  He discussed paving, which was good, sister cities and even threw a kind word my way for winning the Ward Seven School Board election.  He ended his speech to a very solid and sustained round of applause.  Bob knew we might be his toughest crowd out here in South Colchester, but that very genuine round of applause spoke to how regardless of politics, people really appreciate having the attention of their leaders.

Other highlights- Larry Solt is the father of Drummer Chris Solt from the legendary BHS rock group and Battle of the Bands winner Brass Tactics!

Kurt Wright spoke both as councilor-elect and as a state representatives.  He seemed almost giddy to report on when a committee he’s on will take up the city’s IRV charter change.

Our other state rep Mark Larson reported a little about Doug Racine’s senate health care proposal and said that in Vermont in the next three years, health care costs are expexted to rise by 100 percent.  I’m pretty sure that means it will double.  He said that would be an additional billion in health costs, so presumably that’s what the state is paying now.  My thought is that it’s the calender that’s driving those projected increases, in that’s it’s been sixty-five years now since 1945.

There’s a new sheriff in town on code enforcement and his name is former Burlington Police Officer Bill Ward.  He is taking names and writing tickets in that wild frontier land known as “Lakewood Estates.”

There was a lively discussion on a range of topics.  People are concerned about the state of our school buildings.  People are concerned about the city’s retirement fund.  People are concerned with vacant buildings.   And so on.

I get sworn in on the school board April 1, I believe.

March 16, 2010   3 Comments

The Ides of March

Beware the Ides of March.  Tonight the city council will be recounting the two Ward Two squeaker races from March 2.

March 15, 2010   Comments Off

Blogger to WordPress

I have successfully moved from Blogger to WordPress.  Hopefully we can aviod further imperial entanglements with Google.

I’m sure it will take me a while to get used to this new platform.  Gotta fix up the template and get the sidebar features back and stuff.  But I think I’ll be happy here.

Thanks to blogger for the good times.  We had three years, 100,000 visitors and almost a thousand posts together, but it’s time to move on.

Thanks to my readers for continuing to come to  The address does not change.  Visit often!

March 9, 2010   4 Comments