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Monday, December 11, 2006

The One and Only!

Hoffi89_1 A truly amazing man is he - 80-something Phil Hoff of Burlington. Philsie was Republican Vermont’s first Democratic governor, elected in the smoking and drinking 1960s - now the long gone “good old days.”

How times change. Neither one of us goes near either anymore.

There’s a shot of Gov. Hoff breaking ground way back when for something we all take for granted today - the Interstate Highway. What would we do without it? What will we do without it?

Bumped into Phil on Main Street in Burlington the other day. He’s still going strong and still battling for what he believes in. Lately you may have seen him in a TV ad for Death With Dignity Vermont. Hoff, along with former Gov. Madeleine Kunin and former Lt. Gov. Barbara Snelling are courageously leading a fight for legislation that will:

    •Guarantee that all adult Vermonters have legal end-of-life choices
    •Assure that mentally-competent persons who are terminally ill have the right to choose the manner and timing of death
    •Avoid the pain of unwanted tubes and machines that merely prolong the dying process

Check out the Death With Dignity website where you can watch the TV spot.

Hoff1 While we had him, we also wondered what Gov. Hoff thought about global warming. The current governor, Jim Douglas, and GOP legislative leaders say high property taxes to pay for public education is the big issue these days. Where does global warming rank?

Hoff ranks it right at the top, saying “We ignore it at our own peril.”

Yes, indeed.

Also wondered where Ol’ Phil stands on wind energy and the idea of having windmills on some of Vermont’s rural ridge lines.

Hoff told us wind power is “an essential part of the solution” when it comes to meeting Vermont’s energy needs.

“Will it solve it all? "asked Hoff.

“Hell, no!'

“Is it part of the solution?

“Hell, yes!”

Jim Douglas, are you listening?

Look, I’m in my late 50s, and in recent weeks have been experiencing my first post-mid-life crisis. 

Bumping into Phil certainly raised the old spirits!



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Ethan Allen

NPR had a story today on how State Farm Insurance is pulling out of some ocean-front communities and how other companies are dramatically raising rates. Maybe Jim Douglas has his head in the sand about global warming, but insurance companies believe it is real.


It's a good thing we aren't trying to build the interstate today. I'm sure CLF and VNRC would fight it tooth and nail like they do with the CIRC.

Your right Peter, those WERE the gold old days.


Funny how the Repubs bitch about high taxes, but they never met a highway project that they didn't like.

The circ highway is a dinosaur -- a project designed decades ago -- an expensive project that has few benefits and fewer proponents...

It'd be extremely expensive, increase our taxes incredibly ... but spend, spend,spend ... the Right wingers want to spend our money on an out dated project ... then they’ll bitch at Democrats for spending money on schools.


Hey Pizzamoron, err, man: We, of course, WOULD NOT be trying to build the Interstate highway system today -- it's an OBSOLETE transportation solution! The CIRC is a collosal waste of money. We can barely afford to maintain the roadway infrastructure we already have without adding more to it.


If there were no interstate transportation system in the state of Vermont, I suppose my families five hour trip to Seekonk, MA to visit the in-laws would be around 8-10 hours. That sure would cut down on the visits to see nana and papa for our kids. Their loss is my gain? Although, if the interstate didn't exist, I'm not sure my beautiful wife would have made her way up from hell (Seekonk) to attend UVM where we met and started our life journey together. Thank you interstate highway.


The debate isn't about the interstate. We built it. We've all paid a price for it. We've all benefited from it.

The debate is about the future ... what do we want for Vermont in the next 50-100 years?

What will we need to survive economically and environmentally?

It's a simple fact that we can't afford the roads that we already have, fees and taxes are increasing faster than our paychecks. Governor Douglas wants to spend, spend, spend -- with no end in sight.


yes, the debate is indeed about the future. The interstate highway system would not be built today because it is an obsolete system, but I am not suggesting we would be without an interstate transportation system today if we hadn't built the interstate highways. Increasingly, when I drive South to visit relatives, I despise the ever increasing traffic and dismay at the huge amuont of money continually spent chasing the ever growing traffic problem by widening roads only to have the traffic grow to fill the road. It is so frustrating that there are so few other transportation options than burning fossil fuel in the car and having to deal with city traffic. Riding a train would be so much more pleasant, and with enough riders and revenue it could work really well. I've heard it works well in Europe and Japan, why not here?


Forget Rail in Lamoille County we're gong to have a rail trail super VAST road aka path ha ha. Wait and see how much this thing ends up costing - but thanks to Senator Bartlett there's $25000 in this years budget for law enforcement on the trail not built yet. I'm a Bartlett supporter but this is getting nuttier by the mile.


Hey One Vermonter, I can tell your not from Vermont. Get a clue.


That last comment was for DV, not one vermonter.


As DV noted, "progressive" Bernie Sanders got $5 million to help VAST turn the Lamoille Valley railway into a recreational trail instead of working on restoring it as a working rail line.

No railroads and more snowmobiling, but lots of giant wind turbines to show how green we are.

rustbelt driver

seems everyone forgets the ridiculous rail project that connected Burlington with Charlotte so suddenly? It was featured in ABC's fleecing of America once. That was a colossal failure, and the lesson to be learned from that was that rail isn't going to solve the needs of people that are quite used to getting around in 10 mpg SUV's and trucks

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