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Sunday, September 09, 2007


Freeps Don't think I can take the talk shows this Sunday morning. Watching John McCain or the ex-generals or the same old talking-head bs'ers coming up with some more twisted reasons to continue our Iraq War is simply too depressing.

And, may I say, my Sunday online edition of The Burlington Free Press is the perfect antidote.

Seriously, folks.

It's been my local daily newspaper since Jimmy Carter was president. And yes, indeed, there's been plenty to criticize over the years at the Gannett-chain's Vermont outlet...plenty.

But this dark and damp Sunday morning in beautiful Burlap, the local daily's packing four or five good long Vermont news stories. The special effort is both noticed and appreciated. After all, I've been newspaper junkie since Dwight D. Eisenhower was president.

Freeps Courthouse Reporter Adam Silverman's front-pager on the young Iraq War veteran back home in Winooski and in trouble with the law is top shelf. It's a side of Bush-Cheney Iraq War the Administration, no doubt, would prefer we did not see.

3 Another beauty is veteran writer Candy Page's feature on how Gov. Jim Douglas is NOT measuring up to his 2003 goal of cleaning-up Lake Champlain's toxic algae blooms.


And that older guy with the white hair who covers Burlington City Hall has a tasty, long tale that ought to satisfy the appetites of those wondering where the big zoning-reform struggle lies.  Many a good line in John Briggs' piece, such as:

Several councilors faulted Progressive Mayor Bob Kiss for his silence on the rewrite, with one observing that Kiss told the council at its last meeting about the hurricane damage to Burlington's Nicaraguan sister city, Puerto Cabezas, but said nothing about the rewrite.

"A weather report," said Keogh. "Why he's not there (on the rewrite), I don't know. If (former Mayor Peter) Clavelle were in there, he'd be leading the charge. The council's well ahead of Kiss on this. I think he's still catching up on his job description. I don't think he's exercised much leadership on this whole thing."

"He needs to communicate with councilors at the meeting," Gutchell said. "And he doesn't come across forcefully enough in saying we as a council aren't doing our job."

"I think there's a role for the mayor in making his vision known," said Montroll, adding he didn't understand Kiss' vision "completely, at this point."

Who does, eh?



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Oops, somehow your cut and paste of the Freeps article got screwed up. It left out the response by Clarence Davis and the mayor. See below.

Davis disagreed. "I think Bob's done a good job," he said. "He's stated his position. I think very rightly he's allowed the council to do the work they need to do to bring it forward."

Kiss, responding to the councilors' complaints, said he has made specific proposals on the rewrite that support downtown development and protect neighborhoods from precipitate change.

"I could come in and say, 'This is what I want to have happen,'" he said. "I'm not sure that's how you get to success. It hasn't been heavy-handed. I've been trying to work with 14 people on the City Council.

"I do think it's important we move forward on completing the rewrite," he said. "I don't think we should leave this to another time or another group. I'm not pessimistic. I think there is room here for agreement."


The Adam Silverman story is essentially an editorial blaming the Bush Administration for the juvenile delinquency of a kid who was already a delinquent before he joined the Guard. Yes, the war was wrong and, yes, Bush is a liar and an incompetent. But, no, Bush didn't turn this kid into a juvenile delinquent.


I'm sorry but I'm pretty much fed up with progressives with agendas that have nothing to do with the operation and maintenance (for lack of a better term) of the City of Burlington. This is yet another example of idealism gone too far.


Does anyone else find it laughable that anybody on the council feels they need to be told at all that they should do their job? While pushing personal beliefs can be counterproductive in some situations I suppose, it is sort of the mayors job right?


I see where you're coming from smeghead but substitute Kiss's social ideals with that of say someone from Take Back Vermont. I know a lot of people wouldn't tolerate someone like that as mayor, so why have someone who's the opposite from him? My idea of a Mayor is to operate and maintain a town in the most effective, effecient, and non-poitcally corrupt way possible not get bogged down in issues that have nothing to do with Burlington. While the devestation of Burlington's sister city in Nicaragua is important, it should not take precedent over the issues the town faces in the hear and now. At least that's my impression of what the article says and knowing Bob Kiss and what he stands for, that wouldn't be surprising.


It does not matter who the Mayor of Burlington was or is the sister city business would have been dealt with. The only reason this is any issue at all is because either the Mayor's opponents and/or the media have done a much better job defining who he is and what it is that he does or does not do. Mayor Clavelle would have addressed the sister city issue also but it would have be reported completely differently because he framed who he is as a leader not the media or his political opponents like Kiss has allowed.

I also have a question Brattlerouser. I may be mistaken but I thought you were in strong support of the impeachment movement here in VT and believed that Symington and Shumlin should have taken this up. Given your stance of what city gov't should be doing i.e. not dealing with issues outside of city management. Why is it ok for the state to stray out of state management issues? Your argument against Kiss is essentially the same exact argument those used in an attempt to shutdown any debate on impeachment.

Please bare in mind I understand the relevance of the two issues are completely different but your argument is not based on the relevance of the problem it is based on its relationship to your definition of gov'ts responisbilities.


Impeachment is a party issue that has something to do with national politics, therefore I think it's an appropraite venue for the statehouse. They did a vote on Iraq and they can do one on impeachment, so that's fine. But after witnessing three progressives take over the selectboard in Brattleboro, I'm beginning to see we should keep all social issues out of local governments both left and right wing. The new Brattleboro Selectboard came in with promises of openess, dialogue, and address more social justice issues. Well that's all nice and rosy but the board turned out to be a cross between "Animal House" and "Animal Farm!" and have not got done anything productive. After witnessing them, I'm beginning to think social issues (right or left leaning) "might not" be appropriate. I haven't committed to anything. All I'm saying is I'm witnessing idealism gone too far down here and this story on Bob Kiss is reminding me of our situation down here.

But if you want to bring up impeachment, taking over Leahy's, Sanders', and Welch's office was not necessary and Leahy said it eloquently in a recent interview with Philip Baruth at VDB. Check it out. It made a lot of sense to me.


No, I'm not trying to engage in a debate about impeachment or in any way implying your wrong or rigth. I'm simply curious about the justification for one and not the other from your perspective.


"Four legs good, Two legs better!" haha

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