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Posts from — August 2010

Shumlin Wins Democratic Gubernatorial Nomination

Poopsie Endorsement Seen as Key Factor in Narrow Win…

Breaking News…

Tonight has been a crazy primary election for the Democratic nomination for governor, but I’m getting ready to call it so I can publish this post and go to bed.  I’ll just live blog the AP results until I’m comfortable clicking “publish.”  Thanks to Seven Days for their fun chat room tonight.  Yeah I know.  It’s not live blogging if don’t publish it, right?  Well I count myself as a reader too, so it’s “live” as I write it to me.


12:47am- 88.5% of precincts reporting- Racine up by 13 votes- 16,443 (25.1%) to Shumlin’s 16,430 (25.1%)
1:01am-88.8% of precincts reporting- Racine up by 81 votes- 16,656 (25.1%) to Shumlin’s 16,575 (25.0%)

Wait a minute- I can just cut and paste from the Times Argus site…
1:13 a.m. – With 234 of Vermont’s 260 (90%) precincts reporting, Peter Shumlin’s lead is just 87 votes in the Democratic governor’s primary.

Peter Shumlin – 17,053 votes (25%) Doug Racine – 16,966 votes (25%) Deb Markowitz – 16,456 votes (24%) Matt Dunne – 14,222 votes (21%) Susan Bartlett – 3,524 votes (5%) (Associated Press and Times Argus figures)

1:33am- Alright.  Screw it.  I’m ready to make the call.  Based on the numbers still out in the southern counties, now officially projects- Peter Shumlin has won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.  Good night.

August 25, 2010   Comments Off

Marc Estrin

Marc is my former next door neighbor and an important Burlington writer.  He makes my blog list.

The Good Doctor Guillotin
The Annotated Nose
The Lamentations of Julius Marantz
Golem Song
The Education of Arnold Hitler
Insect Dreams, the Half Life of Gregor Samsa
(now also in German, from Parthas Verlag, Berlin)

Rehearsing With Gods: Photographs and Essays on the Bread & Puppet Theater (with Ron Simon, photographer)



Facebook profile:

Facebook page: Novels and other Texts:

August 23, 2010   Comments Off

Last Week’s Baruth Tweet-Up

I haven’t forgotten my responsibility to blog about AWOL II (After Work/Off-Line) a Baruth for State Senate campain event that happened last Tuesday, August 10th from 4-6 pm at August First Bakery in Burlington.

When I arrived Philip was talking to Ed Adrian who was just leaving to get to a Markowitz for governor campaign event.  Ed tried to get me to come along.  “C’mon,” he said “you’re officially undecided aren’t you?”

“I don’t know…Poopsie’s pretty into Shumlin.  We might be a Shumlin household…”

This was the first time I’ve ever been to August First.  I first went to August First in August.  Great ambiance.  Great setting.  Sitting there I felt like I could as easily be in San Francisco.

I hung out with Charity Tensel for a while.  She helped organize the event.  As Charity and I talked, I kept an ear to Philip’s informal round-table with four or five interested attendees.

Lauren Ober was there buying coffee or pie or something, and Charity was all excited to meet her.  “I love your writing!” Charity told Lauren Ober adoringly.

“And I also, have read some of your writing,” said I.  Ober said something neutral, and hustled out with the aura of a rugby player with a minor wound.  Thinking about Lauren Ober always gives me pause.  She has a career and I don’t.   How can that be?

Um… that was it.  I got back to my car just before it started pouring rain.

August 17, 2010   1 Comment

Amount Enclosed

Why do bills always ask you to write the amount you’re enclosing?  What?  Like they’re not gonna look at the check?

August 14, 2010   1 Comment

Greg Guma

…been here longer than me.

August 11, 2010   Comments Off

Bernie Dreams

A long time ago I had a dream about sipping tea in a hot spring in the Himalayas with Bernie Sanders and the Dalai Lama.  Later in real life Bernie endorsed me for the city council, and I did actually meet the Dalai Lama in the Himalayas.  I went to a hot spring too, but that was in Idaho.  Last night I had a dream I was talking to Bernie Sanders on a train on its way to DC.  He was being unusually friendly, but coy.  I asked him about the logistics of how he won mayor as an independent.  He was all smiles.

August 9, 2010   2 Comments

Travis Roy Foundation

The following is an email from our good friend and frequent BP contributor Jonas about a fun event to support a worthy cause.  I hope you don’t mind Jonas, but I didn’t see how I could write it better than you.




It’s summertime, and that means in about a month, I’ll be heading to Jericho, VT to participate in the annual Travis Roy Foundation fund raising whiffle ball tournament. Yes, whiffle ball. I’ve attached a few documents that explains things, but here’s the short version: the Foundation raises money for spinal cord research and to help support those with spinal cord injuries. They do good, and important work. The annual weekend tournament has grown every year to include 20+ teams from around the New England/NY region. Last year, we raised about $200,000 over the weekend.
Once again, I’m lucky enough to be able to participate. Below is a link to my donation page: everything can be done online now. Please, take a few minutes to check out the page, and the links to the Foundation site. Then, take another 2 minutes to donate a bit. Any amount is greatly appreciated….but the more, the merrier. And of course, your donation is tax-deductible. Some of you have donated in previous years, and I thank you for that. 

My page:

If you’re in VT for the weekend of Aug 6-8, please come check out the tournament. It’s free, it’s fun, and we play in a replica of Fenway Park, for you Sox fans (and Wrigley, for you Cubs fans). 
Please email me if you have any questions. 
Thank you,

August 5, 2010   2 Comments

32 Surveillance Cameras Later

I had a nice chat with recent BHS assistant principal (and current Wheeler interim principal) Brian Williams this evening and he gave me the skinny on the cameras at the high school. According to Brian there are is/are:

3 cameras in C Building intended to deter theft of valuable equipment stored there; 4 cameras in the tech center intended to deter theft of valuable equipment stored there; 4 cameras in the cafeteria intended to deter naughty behavior; 1 camera in front of the school; 8 cameras around the grounds and exterior of the school (but none in c woods) to record who comes and goes; 3 cameras in the lobby; 1 camera outside the girls’ locker room; 2 cameras outside the boys’ locker room; about six other cameras in various places throughout the school.

Brian explained the plan for these cameras’ installation has been in the works for a couple of years and as Molly Walsh reported Sunday, they were installed during the last school year. Mr. Williams is clearly a big supporter of the cameras and touts what he sees as their effectiveness as a deterrent. “We had rash of thefts from the locker rooms” he explained “things like ipods, cell phones and cash were being stolen almost daily.” However after the cameras went in the thefts just about stopped completely, said Williams.

Williams said the cameras were “innocuous” in their placement and appearance, and provide school officials a much faster and more accurate method for figuring out events they might have previously been forced to piece together from conflicting accounts. He cited the case of a student fight in the cafeteria that precipitated numerous interviews about who did what, juxtaposed with another fight caught on camera outside the school’s main entrance. “With that one, we just had it” he explained, pointing out the cameras’ elimination of mystery and the detective work it generates.

August 3, 2010   Comments Off

Blindsided by 32 Surveillance Cameras

So I’m on the School Board’s Policy and Advocacy Committee, ok?  And for the last couple of months we have been working on writing the School District’s surveillance camera policy. The superintendent and her assistant seemed to tell our committee that we already had a camera here and there, and the lawyers thought we’d better have policy about their use. That seemed perfectly reasonable, and I think we wrote a pretty good policy.

But this morning I read Molly Walsh’s story about it in the Burlington Free Press from Sunday “Burlington schools consider surveillance camera policy.” in it she writes:

“During the 2009-10 school year, district officials installed 32 cameras in and around Burlington High School. They also installed a camera at the Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes.”

Um… 32 cameras at BHS? Jeanne never told our committee this. That does not seem like a small detail to me. We already have 32 cameras at one school? It probably wouldn’t have changed the policy at all, but I can’t imagine it wouldn’t have colored the discussion about it somewhat.

This is the second time I have learned important school information from the media that I should have learned from the superintendent. And I’ve been on the school board, what? Four months? Yeah. That’s just not good.

August 2, 2010   5 Comments