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Category — Philip Baruth

Obama’s Challenge II

Thursday, January 26, 2012 10:50 PM

Hi Philip,

How’s it going?  Jeanne mentioned there might be a bill in your senate committee that takes up the allowed dropout age.  I’m in favor of not allowing kids to drop out.  I did a short post on it  Got anything I can add to it and attribute to you about this bill Jeanne mentioned, should it exist?


Friday, January 27, 2012 8:19 AM


Good to hear from you — I keep checking Burlingtonpol for breaking gossip on the mayor’s race, but you seem stubbornly fixated on performing the job the voters elected you to do . . . but what about my needs? A photo of Kurt kicking a puppy, or Miro pushing an old woman down a service elevator when he thinks no one’s looking?  Enquiring minds want to know . . . because you’re the only one who does Burlington in HD.

We do have this bill, and we heard testimony all of yesterday.  Everyone we talked to — the reps for the teachers, the school boards, the principals, the literacy advocates, higher ed, everyone with a stake in educating kids and eliminating the drop-out rate altogether — thinks the idea is powerful and very worth pursuing.  New Hampshire made this change not too long ago.  But NH also dropped about $6 million into robust new retention programs over the last three or four years — because if you suddenly close the legal drop-out door to a small but resource-intensive population, you need to think really carefully about their needs, and the needs of the kids who would now be sharing classroom space with them for an additional two years. So like everything, it’s money.  If we make this move, it costs — just like expanding pre-K or early college programs.  And in this environment (Post-Irene, Great Recession) fists are tight.  My bottom line?  We created the land-grant college system during the Civil War.  We can do this now, if it’s the right thing to do.  And more and more I think it is.

Feel free to use any or none of that rant . . . and I’ll see you soon.


January 27, 2012   Comments Off

Baruth Wants Sustainable UVM President

Good post by Philup Baruth about the pressure to pay executives more and more. Philip is talking about the president and others at UVM (eg Provost and former city councilor Jane Knodell who gets over 250K/yr) but it seems to me some of the very same things might be said about pay for Burlington school principals and district administrators. Did you know the school board recently voted 13 to 1 to raise principal pay? Guess who voted no.

Click here to read “Demand A Sustainable President” by Philip Baruth

November 18, 2011   Comments Off

The Sixth Annual VDB/GMD Political Barbeque and Hamburger Summit

Thank you Philip, and John (sorry I missed you), and wonderful to see everyone there today- Selene, Maggie, Ed, Jack, Kesha, Minor H, Bill, Seth, Charity and all other wonderful friends who make this event so special every year. I love this thing, not just for the beach and the free beer- but also because of all of you.

July 9, 2011   Comments Off

Election Day 2011

No balloons this year.  Sorry.  Can’t afford ‘em.

In the city council races today only 2 of 7 wards are officially contested and the incumbents in the two contested wards, Brennan and Dober in 3 and 7 respectively, will both win handily.  Dave Hartnett running as a Democrat to replace Nancy Kaplan in Ward 4 faces a dark-horse write-in challenge today from Ralph Montefusco.   That sums up the council races.

The school board races are just as uncontested this year, with 5 of seven wards’ candidates walking on.  The outcomes of the two contested school board races are less certain than those for city council.  In 5 it’s incumbent Fred Lane vs. challenger Paul Hochanadel.  In 7 it’s incumbent Nathan Moreau vs. Challenger Ed Scott.  Both races are toss-ups.

Who I’m voting for- I live in Ward 7.  My vote for school board is a secret.  As I said, my prediction for school board in 7 is “toss-up.”  For city council in Ward 7, I can’t bring myself to vote for either guy, so I’m just going to write myself in.  If you have the same issue, you’re welcome to write me in too (“Haik Bedrosian”), but as I said- I fully expect Dober to win easily.

OK let’s talk about the ballot items a bit.

1) School Budget: I’m voting yes.  I predict it passes with around 54% of the vote.  People will want to mollify their guilt for voting no on the general fund tax increase, by voting yes for the school budget.

2) City Tax Increase: I’m voting no.  I predict it fails with around 40% of the vote.

3&4) Burlington Electric Bonds.  I’m voting yes.  I predict narrow passage for both.

5) Changing the way we elect mayor from 40%+plurality wins, to 50%+ wins:  I’m voting no.  Charter changes should not be based on face-saving measures designed to make last year’s losers appear consistent.  Fail.  And I predict it does fail with 49% of the vote.

6) The charter change in question 6 is purely to express that the existing practice of allowing a majority of a quorum to pass things is correct.  It changes nothing.  I’m voting yes.  I predicts it passes with about 60% of the vote.

7) Take the treasurer off the Board of Finance: I’m against fixing a policy around a particular personality, and I think this is an attempt at that.  However, this measure would take away the mayor’s de facto second vote on the board of finance, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Per se it wouldn’t have much practical effect because the finance board would still get its info from the treasurer, but I can see how for some it would be considered a start toward tipping the power balance between the council and mayor closer to equilibrium.

8) Advisory reforendum on keeping affordable housing:  Sure.  Why not?  I’ll vote yes for this and predict is passes with about 60%

Comments are open.  Consider this an open thread to talk about the Burlington elections today.  And don’t forget to vote!

March 1, 2011   5 Comments

Classic Blogger Picture

In today’s VDB post Philip laments having less time to blog since joining the Vermont Senate, and doing so somehow manages to publish this awesome picture again. If you recall, it’s a group photo from the first blogger barbecue in 2006.  My little girl wasn’t even born yet, and the only traditional media to show up that day was the publisher of The Vermont Guardian, Shay Totten.

Bloggers (standing, left to right) Steve & Eve Benen, Bill Simmon, Neil Jensen, Christian Avard, John Odum, Charity Tensel (kneeling, left to right) Haik Bedrosian with son Koko, and Philip Baruth

February 9, 2011   Comments Off

Philip Baruth’s Last School Board Meeting

It was great to see Philip at the school board meeting last night, but bitter-sweet because it was his last.  A few of us met up at American Flatbread after the meeting to raise a toast to our friend, his service on the board and his future in Montpelier.  Thank you for your service Philip!

February 2, 2011   1 Comment

Blogosphere Imploding

Re-Run from 
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Odum leaves Blogging, Dow Drops 416 points

Update- Right after I wrote the post below the row of stars, I noticed all the other blogs in the world (our world, anyway) have covered the same story. I guess the Snarky angle is way off base. I guess this was more about the 2nd VT Republic folks publishing where Odum works and implying they are paying for him to… what? Attack them? Who cares? I don’t really get this story. But it does remind me we’re all about a paycheck away from going off the air. If that makes any sense.


Odum is leaving GMD. He posted a farewell there and Baruth followed it up, so it’s official. If it was just Odum saying he himself quit, I wouldn’t be too sure. But if Phillip writes about it, you can pretty much hang it on your wall. And yes, this is true even if Baurth is just basing his post on Odum’s post and nothing more. I trust VDB more than my own blog. It doesn’t have to make sense. Read my disclaimer.

I think it’s public knowledge there was something happening between John Odum and a Mr. Snarky Boy. Just last week Odum revealed Snark’s ID to be this guy.

Freaky. Whether this Colby guy is Snaky, and whether Snarky had something to do with Odum’s departure, we don’t know for sure. We do know Snarky has written some very not nice things about Odum. Frankly I don’t see why Odum would be a target for harrassment. He is a great political blogger, but I’ve always found him to be a pretty mainstream Democrat- he never said anything too radical or outright offensive. I would worry way more about the some of the shit I say at Carpetbagger. Odum’s very likable it seems to me. Then again maybe those likeable, mainstream qualities of his drove some already crazy-radical more crazy. Who knows? I just hope it all turns out ok for Odum.

Odum announced he’s out yesterday. That’s a loss and I’m sorry to hear it. Of course I jumped over to SnarkyBoy to see what he had to say about it and I saw his post, also from Monday, called “A Day to Remember” but it wasn’t about Odum. It was about skiing and it was posted hours before Odum’s post.

So there’s that.

Related links from around the world (our world):
Odum’s last “huzah”
The whole Baruth and nothing but
She’s Right
Reason and Chaos
Five Before Brimstone
Cathy Resmer
Live & Local
Sky Barsch
Snarky Boy

November 17, 2010   Comments Off

Picks and Predications Election Day 2010

It’s a serious form of exhibitionism to want to tell people who your voting for, but based on this blog’s traffic stats, I’m guessing I find at least 200 voyeurs willing to accommodate me on election day.

I live in Chittenden 3-2 so I’m just going to tick off who I plan on voting for by looking at the sample ballot on the City’s website.

*Constitutional Amendment to let folks register to vote at 17 if they will be 18 by the time the general election rolls around: Yeah, I guess. Hey if that means you turn 17 in January like I did you can vote on Town Meeting in March even before turning 18? Hmmm. I don’t know anymore. Maybe I won’t vote on this.

*For Congress Pick: Peter Welch Prediction: Peter Welch
*For Governor: Pick: Peter Shumlin Prediction: Peter Shumlin
*For Lieutenant Governor: Pick: Steve Howard Prediction: Phil Scott
*For State Treasurer: Pick: Jeb Spaulding Prediction: Jeb Spaulding
*For Secretary of State: Pick: Jim Condos Prediction: Jim Condos
*For Auditor of Accounts: Pick: Doug Hoffer Prediction: Doug Hoffer
*For Attorney General: Pick: William Sorrell Prediction: William Sorrell
*For State Senate: Picks: Philip Baruth and Andy Montroll Prediction: They both win.
*For State Representaive: Pick: Angela Chagnon Prediction: Mark Larson
*For Probate Judge: Skip it.
*For Assistant Judge: Skip it.
*For State’s Attorney: Pick: TJ Donovan Prediction: TJ Donovan
*For Sherriff: Skip it.
*For High Bailiff: Skip it.
*For Justice of the Peace: Picks: Ed Adrian, Terry Bailey, Angela Chagnon, Paul Decelles, Vince Dober, Thom Fleury, Jim Flint, Carmen George, Maggie Gunderson, Selene Hoffer-Shall, Michelle Lefokowitz and Kurt Wright. Prediction: Terry Bailey wins on the strength of this blog’s preceding post.

*Ward Three Special City Council Seat: Vince Brennan has probably already won.  His absence will be felt on the school board.  Good luck on the council Vince!

November 2, 2010   3 Comments

Philip Baruth for State Senate


May the Force Baruth You.

He’s thoughtful and intelligent and will make the senate closer to the public and vise versa.  Vote for Philip Baruth for State Senate on Tuesday.  This is not a paid endorsement.

October 31, 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