Vermont Daily: Friday, October 16 edition

Questioning Barrett, Leahy repeats false claims, religious broadcasters say

Alliance for Defending Freedom (ADF) defended conscience rights among Vermont health care workers in 2016 suit

By Guy Page

Tuesday, October 13, during the second day of hearings to examine the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) repeated false information in his criticism of the judge for having spoken to Christian law students participating in a program of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), according to a statement issued yesterday by the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB)

In the exchange in question, as seen in this YouTube video (at one minute, seven seconds), Leahy asks Barrett: “Were you aware of the ADF’s decades long effort to recriminalize homosexuality?” Barrett replied, “I am not aware of those efforts, no.”

ADF refutes the charge laid by Leahy on its “setting the record straight” website page: “ADF has never supported the passage of laws criminalizing homosexuality.” MORE…

As winter approaches, heating fuel denied “red-tagged” homeowners

By Guy Page

As late-October cold weather moves in, hundreds of Vermont home and property owners are forbidden to fill up their heating fuel tanks.

These property owners have been “red-tagged,” or found by a mandatory heating fuel tank inspection to have inadequate above-ground fuel storage.

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) rule (enabled by a 2017 law) for above ground storage tanks requires inspectors to affix red tags on heating oil tanks that are at imminent risk of a fuel spill, the ANR website says.  Fuel distributors are not allowed to deliver fuel to a red-tagged tank until the tank has been repaired or replaced.  Homeowners had until July 31, 2020 to schedule their first inspection. After the first inspection they must have their tanks inspected once every three years.

The red-tag rule helps prevent costly spills of heating oil from aboveground storage tanks, ANR said. Last year, Vermont’s Petroleum Cleanup Fund spent over $1 million providing assistance to tank owners for tank upgrades and repairs and paying for cleanups associated with roughly 80 aboveground storage tank releases.  The Petroleum Cleanup Fund’s heating oil account is financed through a one-cent fee on each gallon of heating oil fuel.

The list of ‘red tagged’ property owners is published on the ANR website. It appears to grow every day. Twenty-eight properties have  been added this week alone. Meanwhile, according to a story in yesterday’s VT Digger, fuel tank installers are scrambling to keep up with demand – with some scheduling into December. MORE…..

Dem High Bailiff nominee wants more civilian oversight of police

Pro-pot lawyer, deputy sheriff and former bailiff seek Addison High Bailiff post

By Guy Page

Will Addison County choose a deputy sheriff, a former high bailiff, or a pro-legal marijuana lawyer to hold the office empowered to remove and then serve as the county sheriff? 

Addison County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Elmore, former high bailiff and unsuccessful candidate for sheriff Ron Holmes, and David Silberman, a Middlebury lawyer known for commercial cannabis advocacy, all want to be Addison County’s next High Bailiff. 

Democratic Nominee Dave Silberman (campaign photo)

The sparkplug for the three-way race for what is usually a sleepy, uncontested election is Middlebury lawyer David Silberman, a highly visible advocate for marijuana legalization. He says so on his website: “Since 2015, I’ve been one of the leading voices in Vermont for legalizing and regulating cannabis, volunteering hundreds of hours both in Montpelier’s halls of power and back home in Addison County, helping make Vermont the first state in the nation to legalize cannabis through its legislature.” MORE…..

Vermont State Police investigates report of possible gunshot near lawmaker’s home

VT STATE POLICE PRESS RELEASE — The Vermont State Police is investigating a report of a possible gunshot fired at or near a state lawmaker’s home Thursday morning, Oct. 15, in Enosburgh.

Rep. Felisha Leffler

State Rep. Felisha Leffler reported the incident at 12:45 p.m. Thursday and said she was awoken at about 5 a.m. by the sound of a gunshot. No injuries were reported.

Members of the Vermont State Police Criminal Division and Field Force Division are investigating the incident, assisted by the Capitol Police Department. At this point in the investigation, there is no additional evidence of a gunshot beyond the sound that was heard, such as obvious signs of damage to the residence.

Rep. Leffler reported that the incident occurred a day after she received a post card in the mail calling for her arrest. That post card was reported to Capitol Police, and further questions should be directed to that agency.

Anyone who has any information possibly related to this incident is asked to call the Vermont State Police in St. Albans at 802-524-5993. Anonymous tips also may be submitted online at https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.