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Posts from — March 2012

Obama in Burlington

Obama is coming to Burlington today.  By the time I’d learned about the visit, all of the affordable tickets were sold out.  I feel a little bad that my kids won’t go, but I don’t really care for myself.  I met Bill Clinton when he came.  How many presidents is somebody supposed to meet in a lifetime?  One’s probably good enough.  It is a little weird Obama won’t be meeting anyone for free.  Maybe that will turn out to be wrong.  I will vote for Barack Obama in the general election in November, unless Ron Paul somehow becomes the Republican nominee.

I hope Ed Adrian gets a good picture today.  Good luck Ed.

March 30, 2012   2 Comments

Dreams of the Casa Romano

Malletts Bay

March 26, 2012   1 Comment

Ed Adrian Exploring VT Senate Bid

Breaking News:

I received a fundraising email from Ed Adrian two hours ago:

From: Ed Adrian 
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 10:28 PM
Subject: Exploratory Senate Run

“Dear Friends…
…I am exploring a run for Vermont Senate.  I wanted you to hear it from me first.  That path will be a very short one without your help.  Right now I am trying to raise enough money to begin the journey.  Please consider a small donation in the amount of $10, $25 or $50 to help me prepare.

You can use this link –

As always please do not hesitate to call 233-2131 if you have any questions or concerns.
Best, Ed

“Ready To Work Together With the Next Generation of Leaders””

March 21, 2012   1 Comment

Before the Leaves Grow…

Miro… if you’re reading… I pretty much just have one request. Right about now with the leaves off the trees you can get a fairly clear view from the base of Pearl Street where the fountain is, straight down to the waterfront. There’s even something of a path on the hill there etched by folks seeking a short cut.

Take a walk down there sometime before the bloom and try to envision what it would be like to transplant the Spanish steps of Rome to that spot. That’s a grand vision, but even a wooden staircase and/or ramp system would tremendously enhance the synergy between the Battery Park and the Waterfront by proving a direct pedestrian link between them.

If you do build a permanent stair and ramp structure in that spot, with benches, landscaping, fountains and amenities, it would be an instant tourist attraction. A vantage for sunset watchers, and a treasure that would last centuries, not decades.

In a hundred years nobody will remember if you fixed Burlington Telecom or fired Larry Kupferman, but if you give the city a grand public work made of stone and iron, then you do have a shot at immortality. As a developer, perhaps you can figure out how to do this project. I hope you can see it. I hope you can do it.

March 12, 2012   7 Comments

Bikepath Meeting

(Via Joe Reinert at Mayor Kiss’s office…)

March 8, 2012


Updated Bike Path Feasibility Findings to be Presented

Burlington, VT. The Burlington Bike Path Task Force, appointed by the City Council, will hold a public forum to provide feedback on the recently completed Burlington Bike Path Improvement Feasibility Study:

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
5:30 – 7:00 PM
Contois Auditorium in City Hall
Burlington, Vermont

The Task Force will present the most recent findings from the rehabilitation study which includes cost and funding opportunities to save the 7.5-mile bike path.
Community input from the public forum will be incorporated into the Task Force’s final recommendation, to be presented to the City Council later this spring.
A fact sheet detailing the restoration plan will be available at the public forum.  To read the feasibility study and preview the fact sheet, please visit:

For more information, contact Task Force Chair John Bossange (802-578-7468) or Parks & Recreation Director Mari Steinbach (802-864-0123).

March 12, 2012   Comments Off

Better Then

I kind of feel my blog used to be better. Check out this page from the past…

March 8, 2012   Comments Off

Top Vote Getters

Yesterday I was kind of excited about the possibility of being the top non-mayoral candidate vote-getter in the city, but then I saw that Bernie O’Rourke got more votes than me.  As it turns out, the unofficial totals posted at the city’s website show a bunch more people than I thought beat my total.  Below are the top ten vote getters from yesterday’s elections in Burlington.  Looks like I’m number 8.

1)  5801 for Miro Weinberger running for mayor city-wide
2) 4326 for Barack Obama running for Democratic presidential nomination city-wide
3) 3746 for Kurt Wright running for mayor city-wide
4) 1664 for Melani Barch running for ward clerk in Ward 4
5) 1540 for Thom Fleury running for inspector of election in Ward 7
6) 1461 for Helen Hossley running for ward clerk in Ward 7
7) 1434 for Bernie O’Rourke running for school board in Ward 4
8) 1392 for Haik Bedrosian running for school board in Ward 7
9) 1338 for Nancy Nesbitt running for ward clerk in Ward 5
10) 1309 for Patick Halladay running for school board in Ward 5

One other interesting, but equally useless statistic is who among the uncontested candidates in the city had the most write-in votes against them.  Here’s the top 5.

1) 29 against Ed Adrian running for city council in Ward 1
2) 25 against Haik Bedrosian running for school board in Ward 7
3) 24 against Helen Hossley running for ward clerk in Ward 7
4) 20 against Sarah Jelen running for inspector of election in Ward 3
5) 19 against Melani Barch running for ward clerk in Ward 4

March 7, 2012   Comments Off

Weinberger Wins!

8:16pm Miro Weinberger has won the election for mayor of Burlington!  Congratulations to the mayor-elect…

10:55pm- Time for a little unpacking of the day’s events here in Burlington, Vermont.

*Thank you to Kurt and Wanda  for running honorable campaigns. 

* From a personal standpoint, thank you very much to the 1,392 people who voted to re-elect me to the school board from Ward Seven.  It’s an honor to serve you.  I believe I received the 4th 8th highest vote total in the city behind Miro, Kurt and Bernie O’Rourke. Oddly Bernie was the one school board member with an opponent on the ballot and he got more votes than all 6 of the rest of us who were unopposed.

*Thank you Lauren Glenn, Meghan O’Rourke, Nat Ayer, Jess Wilson and everybody at Channel 17 for hosting election HQ tonight, and to Kathryn Flagg, Paula Routly, Tyler Machado, Cathy Resmer, Andy Bromage and the rest of the crew at Seven Days for inviting me to blog with them there.

* Jay Vos, formally of the wonderful local blog “Blazing Indescretions” tells me that Blogger has deleted his entire blog because they mistook it for spam.  That is upsetting.

*The school budget passed  5359 to 4490 . 

*Council Winners by Ward:  1- Ed Adrian, 2- Max Tracy 3-Rachel Siegel 4-Byran Aubin 5-Chip Mason 6-Karen Paul 7-Paul Decelles  Congratulations all. 

*The council takes a step to the left.  Kurt departs in 4 and is replaced by a Dem.  Berezniak departs in 2 and is replaced by the Prog he Bram beat by 13 14 votes 2 years ago.  Paul Decelles, whom I voted for today, got 54 more votes than ge got last time, yet only won by 97 votes, beating Tom Ayres 52.6% to 47.3%.  Ayres is likely to run again next year when Vince Dober retires from the council.  Ed Adrian envisions a “New New North End” that is solidly Democratic.  Is his vision correct?

 *Chart and numbers stolen from Seven Days:

Burlington Mayoral Race

7 of 7 wards reporting results.
The winning candidate must receive more than 40% of votes to avoid a runoff.

Miro Weinberger (D) 5801 Kurt Wright (R) 3746 Wanda Hines (I) 498

Burlington City Council Races
Ward 1 Adrian (D) 709 Write-ins 0
Ward 2 Tracy (P) 503 Hammerslough (D) 297 Write-ins 0
Ward 3 Siegel (P) 755 Hurley (D) 440 Ruloff (I) 44 Salese (I) 40 Write-ins 0
Ward 4 Aubin (D) 1095 Kenworthy (R) 974 Write-ins 0
Ward 5 Mason (D) 1177 Daigle (I) 453 Write-ins 0
Ward 6 Paul (I) 1118 Write-ins 0
Ward 7 Decelles (R) 965 Ayres (D) 868 Write-ins 0

March 6, 2012   8 Comments

Town Meeting Day 2012

Tuesday 3:24pm

Election Day live-blogging in random chronological order.  Just got back from hanging out at Ward 7 polling place.  I go back and forth between standing with the dems and the republicans.  If I stand in the middle I block the way.  I got yelled at for that last time.  It isn’t easy being an independent so I was happy to see Wanda there for a while.  Some thoughts on the ballot:

I voted.  When I finally had the ballot in front of me and I had to make a choice, I wrote in Bob Kiss for mayor.  I cherish my freedom.

The wording of the school budget question is so poor, the budget might just pass.  It doesn’t ask for a tax increase.  It just says ‘spend 65 million? Y or N?’  You know it hadn’t occurred to me to think about how it looks on the ballot.  I’ll be wiser about that next year.  Don’t get me wrong, as I said earlier, I want the budget to pass today, but I think people should know what they’re voting on.

About 2000 ballots had been cast in Ward 7 as of 3pm including presidential primary ballots, so I think it’s safe to say at least 1000 people have voted in ward 7 as of now.

Helen Hossley told me the 200 annual reports they had to give out at Ward 7 were sold out by 10am.

I took the CNN exit poll.  Ron Paul Revolution!  Woot!

Poopsie and the kids are still at the Lorax.  I’m going to try to eat something and go to city hall to get an annual report.  I’m going to be on the seven days live blog later (if I can find it; link?)  physically seated at channel 17, home or both.  Does channel 17 have WiFi?  Anybody?  And I guess folks from the school board are meeting at RiRa’s later, but I’m not really sure why… The school board’s finance committee will be meeting with the mayor-elect tomorrow to either start picking up the pieces if the budget fails, or a nice meet-n-greet if it passes…

More later… (but not necessarily within this post.)


Monday Night:

I’m from Burlington.  I’ve never been to a town meeting.  I just didn’t want to call the post “Election Day 2012″ because I might want to save that title for November.

The 2012 race for mayor is almost over.  My guess is Wanda will get between 10 and 20 percent of the vote and that Kurt and Miro will each receive between 40 and 50 percent of the vote.  We will know the winner very soon after the polls close.

The school board will get at least one, and at most two new members.

The city council will get at least four, and at most five new members.

More later…

Tuesday morning…  Election/Town Meeting Day…

10:19am  I’ve been invited by Seven Days to join their live-blog tonight where I and several real journalists will unpack the day’s events.  I have not wanted to say much about the mayoral race.  I still don’t know who I’m going to vote for.  Hell, I might just write-in Bob Kiss.  Or myself.  In the race between Kurt and Miro, I have not wanted to step on either of their toes or hurt either of their feelings.  They are both good guys.  I think.  Kurt and I joined the city council together in 1995 and Poopsie knew him before that even.  I only ever heard of Miro a few months ago, and only ever met him in person twice.  Normally that dynamic alone would make my decision a slam-dunk for Kurt- but although I really like Kurt personally and respect him, I never ever pictured myself actually voting for him.  More often I’ve envisioned myself running against him.  Not because of his party.  I am an independent, and I vote however I want.  My most enthusiastic vote today will be for Ron Paul, for example.  It’s more because I have never been able to grasp what Kurt’s core philosophy is.  I think he would probably be an ok caretaker for the office of mayor, but I don’t imagine him really doing anything special with it, and I’m not sure how much he understands.  Miro on the other hand, I see as a bit of a wild-card.  He’s never been elected to anything, and I’m not sure of how much he understands either.  With Miro it kind of feels like he himself is simply the tip of the spear trying to pierce city hall, and just behind his smiling face the entire apparatus of the Democratic National Committee is waiting to come set up shop and control my city for the next 50 years.

I don’t know.  Let’s talk about the school budget.  I am voting for it.  As a member of the school board I was one of 2 votes against sending this version of the budget to the voters.  That is not the same thing as voting for or against this budget now that it is before the voters.  Most of why I am voting for it now, is because once a budget is put before the voters the effects of if failing are costly and damaging.  Let’s say a majority of the school board had voted against sending this version of the budget.  We would have come up with something else.  Personally, I would almost never vote against a school budget when it’s on a ballot in front of me.  As a school board member I have a responsibility to represent other people, and use my votes to try to send the best budget I can to voters.  So I just want to put that out there right now.  To vote against the budget as a school commissioner and for it as a citizen is not a reversal and not inconsistant.  I know it’s a nuance not everyone will grasp, but the votes are really for different things.

As is my tradition on the first Tuesday in March, I am not at work today.  It’s 10:58am, I have to shave, shower, vote and hang around the Ward Seven polling place a little bit.  Gotta promote my “fill in the bubble” campaign.  Me, Poopsie, Koko and Yana will all go vote together.  Then I will hang back, and Poopsie will take the Kids to see The Lorax movie.  Yup, ok… sounds like a plan…

More Later…

March 6, 2012   2 Comments

Just Before I Was Born

March 2, 2012   Comments Off