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August 30, 2013

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

ScoreboardPaul Heintz is on vacation, so this week's scores have been tallied by Seven Days digital media manager Tyler Machado. (CONFIDENTIAL TO HEINTZ: You picked a hell of a week to take off, dude!)

So who won and lost the week in Vermont news and politics?

Stoners, Catamounts and Lake Monsters, oh my!

Here's the Scoreboard for the week of Friday, Aug. 30: 


Almost Everyone — Entergy's announcement that it will shut down Vermont Yankee in 2014 was good news for everyone — except, of course, the folks who work there. Entergy saves some loot. Vermont ratepayers won't notice the difference since local utilities weren't buying its power anyway. Environmentalists will close the book on decades of activism. And nearly every political entity in Vermont (and elsewhere!) scored an easy layup — even if cheap natural gas was the final death blow for the state's sole nuclear power plant.

Pot smokers — Attorney General Eric Holder says the Justice Department won't challenge state laws legalizing marijuana. That should ease the minds of Vermont's marijuana reform opponents, including House Speaker Shap SmithRunner-up winner: Sen. Patrick Leahy, who may have forced Holder's hand on the issue.

More winners, and losers, after the jump...

ArizonaIts "better than Vermont" fall tourism campaign is completely insane, but you know the old saying about there being no such thing as bad press. Runner-up winner: Vermont Life, whose response was pitch perfect.

Vermont Public Radio — I'll cop to my web-guy bias here, but VPR's latest Mapping the Money interactive was a welcome departure from the countless stories about the anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene. Colors! Charts! Clickable things! Wheeeee!

Radio Bean This place about to blow oh oh oh oh oh oh oh. Runner-up loser: The poor saps who spent as much as $63.75 on tickets to Ke$ha's trainwreck of a concert in Essex. Get off my lawn, you glitter-covered kids.

Nursing Moms — Who now have a private place to breastfeed inside Burlington International Airport, thanks to a new "nursing lounge." Beats getting kicked off an airplane!


Environmentalists — Middlebury College could have been the highest profile school to date to divest from fossil fuels, but college prez Ron Liebowitz shot the idea down this week. At least there's Vermont Yankee to take the edge off.


Vermont Yankee employees — The nuke plant's 650 employees — 260 of whom are Vermonters — are the big losers in Entergy's announcement this week, and Windham County residents are understandably concerned about that area's economic outlook in a post-VY landscape. But it could be worse: Yankee will still need employees for years after the shutdown.

UVM students — Who now face mellow-harshing fines of up to $250 for possessing booze or pot in dorms. Runner-up losers: Burlington residents, who will now deal with even more Res Life-dodging students in residential 'hoods, puking on sidewalks and blasting "Blurred Lines" at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday. 

Post-Irene Vermont — Sure, Waterbury and Wilmington look better today than they did two years ago. But ER patients and mobile home owners are among the groups still feeling the negative effects of Irene. And when the next big storm hits — and rest assured, it will — will we be better off?

Lake Champlain — The blooms are back. Ew.

The Vermont Lake Monsters — Burlington's hometown ballclub were literal losers, falling to eight straight defeats before finally breaking their losing streak Thursday night. Hope the Monsters find the winning touch for their final homestand of the year, which kicks off Saturday night.

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