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Category — History

Vote March 4, 2014

My thoughts on the Ward Seven ballot:

City council- Bianka LeGrand (D) vs. Tom Treat (R).  I know both of these candidates and I think either would do a fine job, but I’ll be voting for Tom.  Tom’s been my neighbor and friend for a decade.  I don’t always agree with him politically, but I know he shares my belief in civic fairness and fiduciary responsibility.  And let’s face it, it is healthier for a governing body to contain within it some competing ideas.  Tom will do a great job representing Ward Seven.  If you live in Ward Seven, please vote for Tom Treat for city council.

School Commissioner- Linda Deliduka vs. David Kirk.  I don’t know David Kirk, but I have known Linda just about my entire life.  My mother taught with Linda and they worked together as members of the Burlington Education Association (BEA).  It’s interesting that Linda’s on the other side of the table now.  I’m grateful to Linda for stepping up and running for the seat I had to resign from in 2012.  I have not watched a single school board meeting since I left the board, so I have no idea how Linda’s doing, but I support her for the sake of history.

1) School budget: Yes

2) Waterfront money: Yes

3) City tax: Yes

4) Buy the hydro plant: Yes

5) Ward boundaries: No.  Too convoluted.  All city councilors should represent roughly the same number people from the same kind of ward or district.

6) Confiscate “weapons?”: No.  What’s a “weapon?”  Anything can be used as one.

7) Ban firearms in bars?  No.  Unenforceable.  Solution seeking problem.

8) Lock guns in safes?  No.  Unenforceable.  Solution seeking problem.  And what if you need to get to your gun fast?


February 22, 2014   3 Comments

The Mayors of Burlington Vermont

I think this list includes all of the mayors except our current mayor Miro Weinberger.  You can see that quite a few Burlington streets are named for mayors- Woodbury, Crombie, Van Patten, Blodgett, Drew and Henry.  And look at Captain James E. Burke of the Starship Burlington over here! He served four terms between 1903 and 1935!

November 4, 2012   Comments Off

Harbor Hideaway

Harbor Hideaway restaurant on Shelburne Road is no more. I remember eating there once when I was really little. There was a real skeleton in a casket in the foyer, was there not?

Update. Yes.  There was .  My memories from 30 years ago or more still work.  Now where are my keys?

September 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

Just Before I Was Born

March 2, 2012   Comments Off

Bailey’s Music Rooms 1902

February 25, 2012   Comments Off

Non-Citizen Voting Rights

City Council Dem Caucus Chair Ed Adrian forwarded me this memo written by attorney Dan Richardson of “eat more kale” fame.  He indicates the city would have an uphill battle to give voting rights to non-citizens.

Click Here to Read Memo

December 30, 2011   1 Comment

November 10, 2011

It’s 11:15pm.

Events are swirling around and around like the plastic bag in American Beauty.  I need to capture the day before midnight. 

First of all I just saw the clip on WPTZ of Bob Kiss stepping in and doing the absolutely courageous and moral thing in asking the police to release Haley the protester and de-escalate the tension in City Hall Park tonight.  Most other mayors in America would have cowered beind their desks.  Bob stepped into a cold hard rain stayed true to his own heart.  In a very real sense this may have been his mayorship’s finest hour.  Bob I am so, so proud of you.  I want you to know that.

Earlier in the day a 35 year old man named Josh shot himself in City Hall Park and later died.

Last night Eugene and maybe some other members of Gogol Bordello played a show city hall park.  They are playing at Higher Ground tonight. 

From 7-8:30pm I took the kids to see my father who is 102 years old and my brother.  My brother would have had the power to get me into the sold-out Gogol show if I had anywhere near the energy to go.  Every time they come part of me wants to go, since the last Eugene performance I saw was a Fags show at Club Toast, but I never have wanted it bad enough to overcome my constant exhaustion from life- from parenting, home maintenance, school boarding, negotiating marriage, and the emotional toll from whatever it is I do for work.   Pamala Racine personally invited me to Gogol show three years ago ago and I didn’t even go then.  I had all the same excuses.  Then I think- Damn. Eugene is my age.  How does he have the energy?

There’s something happening with a blogger names Jim Romenesko.  He left the blog he worked for earlier than he was going to over being disciplined about proper attribution.  Readers are crying foul.  As a blogger I always use quotation marks and block quotes, but then again I don’t always do that with the ever-changing tagline.  I guess Romenesko did a sort of news aggregation site, so most readers may have accepted his links as tantamount to quotes.  Everybody has to decide how they want to behave out here in the internets and readers have to decide for themselves what standards they want to hold bloggers to.  My disclaimer has served me well.

And about the Democratic caucus Sunday… Well that’s the big event, huh?  I will have my interview with Jason Lorber transcribed and published before the caucus.  I’m sorry but I only got to interviewing two of the three and a half Dems running.   It’s all circumstantial.  Bram reached out to me about an interview and Jason just happen to come into the Bagel Cafe when I was interviewing Bram, so I offered to interview Jason too- really out of pure awkwardness.   As some of you have already guessed, I’m supporting Bram Kranichfeld for the nomination, but I extend an open invitation to interview Miro or Tim should either win Sunday.  I will reserve my endorsement for mayor itself until we are much closer to March.  There’s great freedom in being an independent, but of couse it comes at a price for anyone interested in an office higher than school board.  Like a wise man once told me “You saw what happened to Dan Smith.”

Thank you to the 154 visitors who read this blog today, most of whom are from Burlington.  See you tomorrow.

November 11, 2011   2 Comments

A Wink from Sadie

When I ran for city council in 1995 I was fortunate to meet she winked at me, I knew I was going to win.

November 8, 2011   Comments Off

Leopold: Ashe and Wright Knew

Here is the video of Jonathan Leopold telling Matty Tanner and “Mike Jones” that the Board of Finance was briefed in May of 2008 about Burlington Telecom’s inability to get financing and of its continued use of pooled city cash in violation of its certificate of public good.  May 2008 was about a year before the story broke and almost a year before the re-election of mayor Bob Kiss.  If Kurt Wright had wanted to, or had been smart enough to, he certainly could have used that information in the last election, and he probably would have won. You may recall that at the time the Board of Finance was made up of the following five people- Mayor Kiss, Chief Administrative officer Leopold and a city councilor from each party.  Democrat Andy Montroll, Republican Kurt Wright and Progressive Time Ashe.

Assuming Kurt Wright is the Republican nominee- he’s going to have to answer for this soon enough, but right now the Democratic party has a choice to make in about a week.  Are you telling me they’re going to be stupid enough to nominate Progressive Tim Ashe with that kind of baggage?  Jesus Christ!  I almost dare the Dems to do it because it would be so comically self-defeating.  First of all, he’s not even a Dem.  Duh.  Secondly he would lose!  Given the choice between Wright and Ashe, many moderate Dems and Indpendents like me would vote for Kurt.  People feel the city needs a change and a shake up.  Tim Ashe loudly proclaimed Kiss, Leopold and BT to be resounding success stories when he nominated Kiss for re-election.  He’s about as far from “change” and “shake-up” as it gets.

And Where’s Lloyd Benson when you need him?  This week the Vermont chapter president of the American Federation of Teachers called Ashe the best choice saying  “Tim Ashe is a young Bernie Sanders.”  That’s like saying The Phantom Menace is as good as the orignal Star Wars.  Ridiculous on its face.   Somebody’s got to say it…

“Senator, I served with Bernie Sanders. I knew Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Bernie Sanders.”

November 6, 2011   9 Comments