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June 14, 2013

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

Scoreboard.newWho won and lost the week in Vermont news and politics? 

The answer lies below in the Scoreboard for the week ending Friday, June 14:


Ken Picard — More than a week after the Seven Days reporter (disclosure: his desk is 10 feet away from mine!) broke a story about prostitution in Chittenden County massage parlors, local law enforcement and the rest of the media are finally catching up. Runner-up losers: The "johns" who've continued to frequent Harmony Health Spa since and got busted by the fuzz Wednesday. What's the matter? Those dudes don't read Seven Days?!

Queen City cyclists — You better pull over for this one: If Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger gets his way, the city's next Department of Public Works chief will be... a bike geek. What does Local Motion's Chapin Spencer know about plowing snow and filling potholes? We'll find out soon enough.

Backcountry skiers — Good news this week for the "old goats" who tear up the woods in the Bolton backcountry. The gnar will be shred-able in perpetuity thanks to a million-dollar fundraising effort led by the Vermont Land Trust and funded in part by the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.

More after the break...

Tie Score:

Gov. Peter Shumlin — Here's the good news for Shummy: His neighbor's hiring this week of two politically involved Republican attorneys lets him cast the Dodge affair as a partisan witch hunt. The bad news? Those attorneys will do their best to screw him over — politically and financially — and they may well succeed. The worse news? Six Vermonters have requested a formal review of the situation and the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living may be getting involved.

Rusty DeWees — The Logger's pretty much a household name in Vermont, but his congressional trial balloon hasn't exactly soared to the heavens. If this guy's serious about running against the big dogs, he's gotta find a better message than: I wanna help people.

Burlington Progressives — They made a big stink this week over the secrecy of a legal memo justifying drone strikes— ahem, I mean, justifying the city's no-trespassing ordinance on Church Street. But where were they when the the Burlington City Council passed the ordinance? Oh yeah, they voted for it.



IBM employees — Bad news out of Big Blue this week, but how bad? The company's not saying. Which brings us to our Runner-up loser: IBM itself, whose decision not to reveal Vermont layoff numbers doesn't make it look like the greatest corporate citizen. You'd think that after everything the state of Vermont has done to please the company over the years, it would at least be straight with us.

Vermont State Employees Association — Executive director Mark Mitchell lost his job Wednesday, but the biggest loser is the state workers union itself, which is now engaged in a very bitter and very public leadership battle. No matter which side prevails, you can expect the 5200 members of the state's second-largest union to suffer the consequences.

Jeremy Dodge — Will Shumlin's neighbor's interests be served by his new legal team? And who's paying their bill? Nobody will say. All this detracts from Dodge's (mostly) sympathetic image as a victim of gubernatorial malice.

Death in Brattleboro — As the Brattleboro Reformer's Howard Weiss-Tisman reported Friday, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital voted earlier this week to preclude its docs from prescribing life-ending medication on hospital grounds. Weiss-Tisman quotes a hospital industry rep saying BMH might be the first to take advantage of the hospital exemption rule included in Vermont's recently enacted "Death With Digni-cide" law. 

Air Force number crunchers — Honest mistake or not, now's a bad time for the the Air Force to bungle the numbers of how many people sent supportive comments about basing the F-35 in South Burlington. Credibility gap much?

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