11/19/2017
Connect:

Eyes on the Ground

  Burlington- Filling Contois Auditorium beyond capacity and spilling into its outer chambers, an enormous crowd packed the Burlington City Council meeting on Monday night in eager anticipation of last ditch arguments over the basing of the controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Burlington International Airport. Voting 10-4 to reject a measure that would have barred BTV from accepting the F-35, the City Council then rejected by even wider margin a compromise measure to set of new noise limits in affected neighborhoods and prevent the acceptance of the aircraft until its second round of basing by the Air Force. Zealously backed by Vermont’s congressional delegation of Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Rep. Peter Welch the...
  Burlington- Gathering in the outer chambers of City Hall, dozens of Burlington citizens held a rally Monday night to oppose the basing of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Burlington International Airport (BTV). Intended to coincide with a set of proposed City Council resolutions against the deafening and expensive aircraft, organizers of the rally made careful note of City Attorney Eileen Blackwood’s announcement that BTV doesn’t hold the right kind of insurance for the F-35, making the City vulnerable to lawsuits and forcing the opposition’s resolutions to be potentially postponed until November 4th. Plagued by technical failures; astronomical budget overruns; and a design so poor that one aeronautical engineer described it as...
  Burlington- Meeting on Thursday at the Burlington Police Department, the City Council Ordinance Committee continued their process of re-examining the Queen City’s Livable Wage ordinance. Beginning with a lengthy public comment period, the committee slowly picked its way through section after section of the ordinance that sets the minimum wage for city contractors at no lower than $13.94 an hour. Unlike previous meetings, this one was dominated by a public comment period that stretched on for over an hour as numerous citizens and fellow City Councilors shared their experiences and perspectives regarding the Queen City’s dire need to maintain a livable wage ordinance. Among the first to speak was Donna Iverson, a long-time Burlington...
  Burlington- Meeting on Thursday, the Burlington City Council Ordinance Committee conducted a detailed discussion on the City’s Livable Wage ordinance, recently brought back into the spotlight by the exemption granted to the Skinny Pancake outlet at the Burlington International Airport. Focusing primarily on policy, Councilors Karen Paul, Sharon Bushor, and Committee Chair Chip Mason took a seemingly clinical look at the perceived limitations of the Queen City’s Livable Wage Ordinance established by the Clavelle administration in 2001. Apparently ignorant and unaware of federal subsidies for major airlines, Committee Chair Mason worriedly spoke about the potential economic harm the ordinance could inflict, "We're trying to attract...
  Tinmouth- Gathering on what is usually a quiet horse farm in southern Vermont, roughly 5,000 people converged on the scenic Forget-Me-Not Farm for the 19th Annual SolarFest. Arriving from across Vermont and the Northeast, attendees participated in a variety of workshops; performances; and activities designed to empower everyday citizens to become more engaged in climate justice organizing and the ongoing quest for a carbon neutral lifestyle. Transitioning from a sales and marketing oriented festival of years past; the most recent incarnation SolarFest has placed renewed emphasis upon education and community according to long time volunteer Haley Kenyon, “[We’re] continuing to maintain state of the art technology and education on...
“Everyone knows I’m an asshole, the point is they’re assholes.” - Michael Hastings on covering figures of power and politics. Not long ago, on June 19th, journalist Michael Hastings was killed in a fiery, high-speed car wreck in Los Angeles. A recipient of the 2010 Polk Award for National Reporting, Michael Hastings had seared his place in journalism history with his jaw-dropping expose of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s bitter dismissal of the Obama administration. Within just a few days of the The Runaway General being published by Rolling Stone, McChrystal was called to the White House where he was forced to resign. Leaving behind his wife Elise and family here in Vermont, Hastings’ death also leaves a profound vacuum in American...
​   Joining others from across the region, a bus-load of Vermonters traveled to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regional detention facility outside of Boston on Thursday to confront the federal agency over the unparalleled rate of detention and deportation of undocumented workers. In addition to ramping up their fight to stop the deportation of organizer and “Human Rights Hero” Danilo Lopez, Vermont’s Migrant Justice organization also made the journey to Beantown to show solidarity with the rapidly growing NOT1MORE campaign that has rallied across the nation against the Obama administration’s unprecedented policies of sweeping detention and deportations. Departing from Burlington in the morning, a bus-load of Vermonters (...
  Charlotte- Gathering quietly together at the Charlotte Congregational Church on a humid Monday evening, about two dozen citizens listened to the increasingly well known story of Danilo Lopez, the migrant worker and human rights advocate that now under threat of deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Initially arrested by Vermont State Police nearly two years ago while riding in a car, Lopez was then illegally transferred to Border Patrol custody. Though that particular incident managed to resolve itself (and be transformed into a major human rights victory for Vermont's migrant worker population), Danilo Lopez remains at the center of the growing immigration controversy.   September, 2011   September, 2011  ...
  Montpelier- Outraged at the exclusive and non-representative procedure surround the Addison Natural Gas Project about 30 citizens from across Vermont gathered to confront the Department of Public Service in Montpelier on Monday. Primarily comprised of members of Rising Tide Vermont, the demonstrators submitted a statement for delivery to Commissioner Chris Recchia demanding a more open and inclusive process before moving forward in with PSB hearings. The march on the DPS was sparked by the June 14th submission of pre-written testimony for the Addison Natural Gas Project. Heavily criticized by citizens as being extremely misleading and factually inaccurate, the testimony includes numerous statements by pipeline proponents but leaves...
  Burlington- Residents from across Chittenden County gathered in Burlington on Wednesday to discuss Burlington’s livable wage ordinance as well as a variety of other issues related to Vermont’s labor movement. Supported by local chapters of the AFL-CIO, UE, and VSCA; the community “listening session” was primarily organized by the Vermont Workers’ Center as part of it’s new push to participate in a Work with Dignity campaign that is spreading across the nation. Spurred by a recent City Attorney report revealing a 14% compliance rate with Burlington’s livable wage ordinance, the meeting’s 2 dozen participants rapidly expanded their discussion beyond Burlington’s seemingly toothless ordinance. Beginning with just a few discussion...

Pages