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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Last Track

Freynes_last_track_2 As you may have noticed, dear reader, the writing stopped in Freyne Land two weeks ago, both here in cyberspace and over there in the print edition of Seven Days in the "Inside Track."

Here's why.

Been covering the Vermont political/news/media scene since autumn 1979. Way back before Bernie Sanders ever won an election and nobody had heard of Howard Dean M.D. other than his patients.

And for most of that time, I simply could not believe they were actually paying me to have so much fun!

But in the last few years, what had been pure pleasure had turned into work - drudgery, in fact.

Not good.

Depression set in. Cancer followed. And, surprise! surprise! - beating the darn cancer did not change things. The depression, which those who've been there know is utter misery, came back. Why?

Because being "successful" at one's job does not mean being "happy" with one's life.

It has not been easy, mes amis, but the lesson learned in the last month has been positively enlightening.

I deserve to be happy - as do you -  and if that means putting the period down, ending the paragraph on the last "Inside Track" then so be it!

Life is short. As my ol' pal Mike always said, "We're not here for a long time, we're here for a good time." And as I've come to realize, one cannot begin that new chapter of life until one closes the page on the current one. It's a big step to take, a risky one, but until one takes it, the misery reigns supreme.

Health-wise, things haven't been this good in Freyne Land in decades. And the writer within - the non-political columnist - has a whole lot of material that's been waiting much too long to get out.

Stay tuned. We continue our good relationship with Seven Days as contributing editor and blogger and who knows what's next?

The simple fact is that life is good...and getting better.

And I haven't been able to say that in years!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Obama Wins Vermont!

Mayor_kiss The only question is - how large Obama's Vermont win will be?

"I understand the numbers are good here in Ward 5," Burlington, Vermont's Progressive Party Mayor Bob Kiss told yours truly and Reporter Anya Huneke from NECN during lunchtime at Burlington Electric on Pine Street.

"I voted earlier today," said Kiss, "and I did vote for Barack Obama for president."


"I tried to think back to 1968," said Da' Mayor of Burlap. "I voted for Eugene McCarthy over then-president Johnson. McCarthy was an agent of change [and] in some respects, I hope that Barack Obama measures up to that as well."

Actually, Sen. McCarthy lost the Democratic nomination to Hubert Humphrey, who lost the presidential race in November to Republican Richard Nixon.

What would an Obama win mean?

"I think he’s bringing this message of change," said the Ol' Kisser. "Whether he can deliver on that, I think it’s a good message for this state and time."

Deancnn Howard Dean voted in Ward 5 around 8:30 this morning. The press wasn't there. But the chairman of the DNC did appear on CNN via satellite this afternoon from WCAX-TV. Wolf Blitzer asked Dr. Dean if he was getting concerned things were getting “too nasty” between Hillary and Barack?

DEAN: This is a pleasant walk in the park between what’s going to go on between the Democratic nominee and the Republican nominee. The two candidates are very close on the issues They’re incredibly articulate. Both are well-qualified to be president of the United States. The real fight’s going to start when we have the nominee.

Who did Ho-Ho vote for?

DEAN: I didn’t take a presidential ballot. If I’m gonna be neutral, you really have to be neutral all the way. So I voted for the school budget and so forth and so on, but did not take a ballot for the presidency.

Who's gonna win?

DEAN: Let’s see what the voters do. The voters are the key . The voters will make this decision. It will not be made by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and myself. It will be made by the people of America voting in these primaries. We’ve had 20 million people turn out and vote so far. That’s a 50 percent greater turnout than the Republicans. That’s incredible, and apparently it’s a record turnout today. Two million people voted early in Texas. That’s unbelievable!

P.S. Yours truly's taking a week off from the "Inside Track" print edition. Squeezing in a little vacation week. Check back for online updates.

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Bernie Monday

Fqhcsbernie Sen. Bernie Sanders held a presser on health care at his Burlington office Monday morning before flying back to Washington and the budget battles ahead this week.

The folks joining him represented the seven Federally Qualified Health Centers, FQHCs, across Vermont. Five years ago there were just two, and the application process is currently underway for three more. FQHCs provide medical and dental care to Vermonters in need on a sliding scale.

Sanders: "We are making progress in the state of Vermont. In the last five years tens and tens of thousands of Vermonters have access on a sliding-scale basis to high quality healthcare and high-quality dental care, and we are trying to move forward even further. Today we’re looking at Springfield and Windham County. We’re looking at Addison County. Within a couple years we hope to be down in Bennington County.

"We’re gonna continue to fight to increase funding for the FQHCs so that the day will come, not only in Vermont  but all over America when any person regardless of income will be able to walk into a  high-quality community health center  and get the health and dental care, mental-health counseling, low-cost prescription drugs that they need.  That’s the point."

Q. And when do you think that day might be, within 10 years?  20 years?

Sanders: Well, that has something to do with politics and I suspect has something to do with who’s the president....

And yes, Ol' Bernardo said he is voting in the presidential primary. Casting an absentee ballot before flying back to Washington on Monday afternoon. He'll vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary, but declined to say which candidate will get his vote.

Sanders: "I am an Independent. I happen to think that the current administration will go down in history as one of the worst administrations in American history. They’re moving us in the wrong direction in almost every single area of public life. I hope our country will elect Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton as the next president.  As an Independent I’m not going to be involved in the primary, but when the Democrats do select their nominee, I’m going to campaign as hard as I can to elect Obama or Clinton because I think this country must move in a very different direction."

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