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Posts from — October 2011


October 31, 2011   Comments Off

Gunshots Last Night

Did anybody else hear gunshots coming from the direction of Colchester in the early morning hours before the sun came up today?  I did.  About three times in an hour I heard someone out there unload several rounds.  Could it have been hunters?  I don’t think a typical shooting crime would follow that pattern.  Nevertheless, it reminded me of my one semester at Temple University in north Philadelphia, where I frequently heard gunshots at night.  That was the fall of 1991.  It was sort of a prolonged seminar in American inner city race race relations.  The bar on campus there didn’t bother with ID, which was nice since I was only 18 at the time.  The subway rides from North Broad Street to City Center were tense.  The cafeteria had mice running around in it, and the lunch tables were segregated to a person white or black only without any signs or somebody telling you what to do. 

I made friends with the security guard who guarded the door of the student apartment building I lived in.  Don’t ask me his name.  It was twenty years ago.  But he was this friendly midde-aged black guy who alway smiled and shared some wisdom. He’d always ask me “Whaddaya say Haik?” which meant ‘what’s the good word?’ or ‘what’s new?’ -a form of hello modified to be more engaging.  He told me that when he used to guard the library he could tell who belonged there and who didn’t by looking at their shoes.  In a nutshell college kids had much better shoes than the members of the surrounding community, who might be trying to get into the library to defecate or bathe or sleep or steal.  The clothes kids wore back in the grunge era weren’t quite as helpful in making the distinction, apparently, but the shoes were the tell. 

Anyway Temple was expensive for me as an out of state student, it was far from home and let’s face it- I wasn’t going to be a film maker, which is what I was supposedly there to learn how to do.  I decided to cut my losses after the first semester and came home.  I took continuing ed classes at UVM, then enrolled.  Then quit to sell sandwiches.  Then joined the city council for a couple of years, then went to India, then Austin Texas for a year where I took some classes.  Then back here where I went to CCV.  Then UVM again. 

I did finally end up with a couple of diplomas to add to the one I got from Burlington High School in 1991- the year I pulled eleven percent in the mayoral race- toured Europe- and went to Temple in Philly.  I got an associate degree from CCV in 2001 and a Bachelor of Art degree from UVM in 2003.  I know the joke- A lot of people take twelve years to get a degree- They’re called “doctors.”  Or do doctors do it in eight?  I don’t know. 

What I do know is that I’m glad I did a bunch of stuff before I had kids who are now awake and will need me to feed them soon…  Thanks for taking this stroll down memory lane with me- which somebody out there literally triggered.

October 29, 2011   5 Comments

A Snippet of History

Here’s a letter from the mayor to the folks who are camping in City Hall Park tonight. 

Click here to read letter.

October 28, 2011   Comments Off

Stay Tuned…

October 28, 2011   Comments Off

My personal Web Log

Sometimes I just need to write, and I have to remind myself that it’s ok to do that here at BurlingtonPol. I don’t always have to have a news story or an interview to publish. Although I did interview Bram Kranichfeld Sunday. I have to transcribe that. I obviously understand this blog’s niche. It’s Burlington politics. But that doesn’t mean it’s not also my own personal web log. I just want to talk into the microphone.

I’d like to be reporting about the ward 4/7 democratic debate but I was too sick today to go. Sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, etc. I took a sick day. Got hot chocolate with my daughter and slept for about three hours. Then I woke up and went to a special school board executive session Jeanne called about a personnel issue. That made me cranky. It was an hour long meeting and I don’t really know much more than I knew before it. She says ‘so-and-so’ may have ‘such-and-such’ and when somebody asks ‘such-and-such like what?’ She says she won’t tell us. Well, we’re the school board aren’t we? We’re in executive session right now instead of sleeping off our colds, aren’t we? You work for us, don’t you?

Yeah right? Oh… Obama’s coming up on Leno. I’m going to vote for Obama again. No question. His race has nothing to do with it. I think his performance has been good. Not perfect, but good.

So I don’t know how the three Dems and Tim Ashe did at the Wards 4/7 “forum” tonight. Somebody write or comment and let me know. I do know the thing was not supposed to be a debate, but I call it that anyway. From the invitation to the candidates from the moderator…

‘Hi Miro, Jason, Bram, and Tim…The forum on the 25th will be similar to the one at Champlain School…et cetera, et cetera…The Forum will take place in the gym at the Miller Center starting at 7:00…etc, etc…We’ll have a moderator and time…etc, etc…After the prepared questions we’ll have questions from the audience…etc…There will be no debate or rebuttals, but candidates should be ready to emphasize and clarify how their points of view differ from the others. I want to keep argument at a minimum to preserve the amicable feeling tone of all the Democrats’ campaigns, as the winner of the caucus should feel free to call upon any of the other candidates for support and help in the election campaign in the future…Closing statements and summaries, et cetera…’ (emphasis added)

That’s a curious judgment isn’t it? That the winner should “feel free” to call upon “any” of the other candiates?  I asked Tim Ashe twice if he didn’t win the Dem nomination and the progs nominate Bob, whom would he support, the Dem or Bob?  And he wouldn’t answer me.

Obama did great on Leno.  I’m going to bed.

October 26, 2011   8 Comments

More to Come…

Photo by hgh information Will Hurd

October 25, 2011   Comments Off

Ward 4/7 Democratic Debate

7pm Tonight at the Miller Center, 130 Gosse Court
Contenders for the Democratic Mayoral Nomination Square Off

October 25, 2011   Comments Off

Ward 5 Democratic Debate

From the clips I’ve seen it looked like a packed house at Champlain School.  I guess the debate was run by Paul Hochanadel? Huh. Nice one Paul. Anyway Mike Townsend from the Free Press panned it as weak tea. Townsend did mention Ashe saying something about ‘the bloggers…’

“Tim Ashe assured the audience of about 100 that the bloggers were wrong in criticizing him after he made a Johnny-come-lately announcement that he, too, wanted to be mayor.
For the record, Tim Ashe does not have tattoos on his “forearms” and he has never cooked “breakfast for Bob Kiss.””

Tatoos on his forearms? Could he have been talking about this picture I keep recycling?

I kinda think playing all nice and congenial is a bad idea for anybody but Tim Ashe. I mean if you’re going to sit right there and debate him and not mention the fact he was on the board of finance in 2008 and failed to say or do anything when Leopold told them BT was having trouble getting financing… well, I guess that means you don’t really want to win. I mean here’s a quote from the Board of Finance Minutes of May 1, 2008:

“Interim General Manager Chris Burns provided the Board a status report on the operations and finances for Burlington Telecom year-to-date. The Board then reviewed and considered the proposed budget and recommendations for both operations and capital improvements for Fiscal Year 2009. During this discussion, Councilor Wright joined the meeting of the Board by telephone at 5:20 p.m.

CAO Leopold made a motion, seconded by Councilor Ashe, to enter into Executive Session to discuss proprietary issues regarding Burlington Telecom operations and finances the premature disclosure of which could place the City at a substantial disadvantage. The motion passed unanimously. The Board went into Executive Session at 5:30 p.m.
The Board came out of Executive Session at 5:55 p.m.”

You want another one? From the Board of Finance Minutes of November 17, 2008:

“CAO Leopold advised the Board that the City should secure either a Letter of Credit or a short term financing to enable the City to carry the capital funding needs of the Electric Department and Burlington Telecom… “

Tim Ashe was right there when Leopold told the Board of Finance three years ago BT was broke. You might say these quotes don’t prove that, but these are the dates Leopold mentioned on the Matty and Stech Variety Hour when he was making the case that the council was warned. What is up with the three Democratic candidates? Have they done no opposition research?

Maybe they figure it’s a wash, or a non-issue somehow, since Kurt Wright was also right there on the board of finance and also failed to recognize the problem or do anything about it.

October 21, 2011   6 Comments

Kurt Wright Proposes Sale of Burlington Electric Department

Interesting idea Kurt. Let me think about it for a minute…

Ummmm… No. Vetoed. BED works fine the way it is. Thanks.

October 20, 2011   6 Comments


FROM:Haik Bedrosian
TO:Tim Ashe
October 19, 2011 7:10 PM

“Ashe said he’s running as a Democrat but would accept the Progressives’ endorsement if offered…” -from Shay’s Fair Game column today.

Hi again Tim,

For the record, would you please explain or reconcile the quote from Seven Days above with what you wrote to me 47 hours ago (” if i don’t win the caucus, i am out of the race… “) vis-a-vis the possibility of your continuing in the mayoral race even if you are not the Democratic nominee? It appears to be a direct contradiction.

Actually- It’s only a contradiction if we don’t assume Tim Ashe will be the Democratic nominee. The fact that the statement isn’t quilified in the quote is a curiosity. He should have said either “If I win the Democratic nomination, then I would also accept the Progressive one,” or “I would accept the Progressive nomination only if the Democrats nominate me first” or something like that.

For him to tell me “if i don’t win the caucus, i am out of the race…” (sic) and then tell Shay simply that he would accept the Progressive nomination gives me the impression he presumes he’ll win the Democratic nomination.

Maybe he will win the Democratic nomination, but there’s at least an appearance here that he’s counting a second chicken before the first one has hatched.

Are we also to assume the converse? That if the Democrats don’t nominate Tim Ashe, then the Progs won’t either? I guess so, because based on his statement he’d presumably not accept their nomination if that happened, even if the Progs offered it.

So let’s say the Democrats nominate Tim Ashe. If that happens are the Progs going to run Brian Pine or Emma Mulvaney-Stanak and split the left? Kurt Wright probably hopes so.

So this is what I think- If Ashe wins the Democratic nomination, the Progs will nominate him too. Then it’s Ashe vs. Wright. If Ashe does not win the Democratic nomination then the Progs might run somebody else preferring to split the left and elect Kurt elected over an actual Democrat.

So are these our choices to replace Bob Kiss? Already this early we know them? Tim Ashe or Kurt Wright? Oy Vey… forgive me if I don’t start break-dancing.


From: Tim Ashe
To: Haik Bedrosian
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 11:09 PM
Subject: Re: Re:

Do I still need to respond to this or is it now clearer? I would accept the P nomination IF I am still in the race having won the D caucus.

Tim Ashe
State Senator
Chittenden County

FROM:Haik Bedrosian
TO:Tim Ashe
Thursday, October 20, 2011 12:08 AM

Well, that is a response. Thank you, I guess,

And let’s say you don’t win the Democratic nomination, and the Progressives re-nominate Kiss. Under that scenario, whom would you support… the Democratic nominee or Kiss?

October 19, 2011   Comments Off