Kevin Hoyt from Bennington, a native Vermonter, announced today he is running for governor as an independent. In a press statement, Hoyt described himself as a “life-long conservationist, environmentalist, a strong 2A supporter and advocate who believes in constitutional law.” The candidate said he is also “pro-cannabis, pro-tax reform, pro-term limits, pro-common sense and anti-corruption,” and invited citizens to check out his Facebook and Rumble sites to review his policies and ideas on abortion, climate change, firearm freedoms, economic growth and development, and his solutions to the opioid crisis and school reform and safety.
Sanders against term limits – Vermont’s ‘junior’ U.S. senator is against term limits but supports overturning U.S. Supreme Court decisions on corporate donations to candidates, he told a Lamoille County constituent. “I do not believe that imposing term limits on members of Congress is the best way forward,” he wrote in a letter forwarded to Vermont Daily Chronicle. “The real problem facing Congress is the corrupting influence of money on politicians who are forced to raise inordinate sums in order to win elections, and who are then beholden to the big money interests that contributed to their campaigns.” Reversing the 2010 Citizens United and 2014 McCutcheon decisions would reduce this problem, he said.
Nearly 50 students from Woodstock Union High School and Twinfield Union School on Wednesday traveled to the non-partisan Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston as part of “Vermont Day,” an educational visit for Vermont students to learn first-hand about democracy and the Senate legislative process. “My students felt empowered by the lively and civil debate and learned more about how U.S. democracy works in two hours than I can teach in a month,” teacher Chris Sheehan said.
Global industrial computer hardware manufacturer OnLogic has begun construction of its new $60 Million, 140,000 square foot global headquarters in South Burlington. Governor Phil Scott and Congressman Peter Welch joined OnLogic exec, officials from the City of South Burlington and others at the groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday. Located adjacent to the well-known Reverence sculpture, often referred to as the Whales Tails, in South Burlington’s Technology Park, the new facility will house all business functions for the 19 year old tech company.
May 27 –
Kesha Ram-Hinsdale has dropped out of the Democratic primary race for Congress and thrown her support to fellow Sen. Becca Balint (D-Windham), WCAX confirmed yesterday. Ram-Hinsdale will seek another term as Chittenden County senator. In the primary race, Balint is considered the current runner-up to frontrunner Lt. Gov. Molly Gray.
Vermont State Police coming to TikTok – the VSP have added a civilian position of Recruitment Specialist and hired Dale Nelson, who grew up on a Derby dairy farm and has a degree in videography. In addition to helping uniformed recruiters with social media, career fairs and advertising campaigns, he is involved in helping launch the Vermont State Police’s forthcoming presence on TikTok. VSP has 48 vacancies in its authorized strength of 333 sworn troopers.
The average price of regular gasoline in Vermont is $4.73/gallon, with Franklin County the highest average at $4.80 and Chittenden second at $4.79, according to gasbuddy.com. The cheapest is in Windsor County, at $4.61.
Armed private citizens terminated, and we do mean terminated, four active shooters in 2021 in the U.S.A., the FBI reports. So maybe semi-autos are useful even if deer are wearing Kevlar, President Biden.
Prop 5, the constitutional amendment to enshrine unrestricted abortion, is a “Public Health” measure, Former Health Commissioner and Democratic lawmaker Dr. Harry Chen argued in a May 25 commentary in the Bridge, the community newspaper for Montpelier. “At its core it is about public health,” Chen said, noting America’s poor record for maternal mortality. Waitaminute – wasn’t ‘public health’ the excuse given for eugenics, in both Vermont and Nazi Germany?
May 23 –
The only African-American member of the St. Albans Belonging, Equity and Inclusion Committee is a outspoken MAGA-loving local businessman Keith Longmore. The other members are uncomfortable with his outspoken brand of diversity, VT Digger reports. When the committee went around giving their names and preferred pronouns, Longmore said “American. MAGA. Make America great again. America first.”
No furries at Vermont high school – Students are not using litter boxes at Lamoille Union High School, the News & Citizen felt compelled to report May 5. Students are not identifying as “furries,” a term for dressing up as animals. A persistent rumor has resulted in many inquiring phone calls from parents, the school principal and superintendent said. The stories aren’t true and are a spin-off of a national social media narrative.
Montpelier marijuana retail store to open in July – Patients Alliance in Montpelier is likely to be the first Vermont retail pot store, the Montpelier City Council learned at its April 27 meeting, according to press reports. Stores in Burlington and Brattleboro are unlikely to open until this fall.
UVM trustees approved a $404 million budget on May 21. For the fourth straight year, undergraduate in-state tuition will be $16,280; out-of-state, $41,280. Trustees also agreed to renovate the Joseph L. Hills Agricultural Science Building, the future home of the ambitious new Food Systems Research Center.
from May 19 –
The Chester town librarian has resigned over pushback from the library board about her plans to hold a Drag Queen Story Hour on June 4, the Chester Telegraph reports.
The Chittenden Solid Waste District will be seeking approval from voters in member municipalities for a $22 million bond on Election Day in November, CSWD officials told The Morning Drive on WVMT this morning.
The Vermont Dept. of Health has a web page offering tips for parents searching for baby formula. The list of “don’ts” include watering down formula, homemade formula, and substituting goats milk. Ordering online is okay but be careful, VDH advises.
Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) yesterday verbally bashed Sen. Rand Paul on the floor of the U.S. Senate for slowing down the eventual passage of $40.1 billion in aid for Ukraine and “global food aid,” and lamented the Senate won’t spend more to fight Covid-19.
Vermont’s muzzleloader season antlerless deer permit applications are available online at Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s website and from license agents. Hunting for antlerless deer will be allowed statewide during the archery season. One deer of either sex will be allowed during the October 22-23 youth and novice weekend hunt. The muzzleloader seasons on October 27-30 and December 3-11 will have antlerless permits available for 19 of Vermont’s 21 Wildlife Management Units.
Gov. Scott and Rep. Peter Welch were scheduled at noon today to announce over $16 million in broadband construction grants that will bring fiber broadband speeds to residents of Bolton and several towns in the Northeast Kingdom.
from Monday, May 16 –
Two state employees were fired and one resigned for refusing to follow the state’s mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy implemented in 2021, a state official reportedly told the Burlington Free Press. 8,575 state employees attested to full vaccination, 622 did not and needed to mask and test. Three employees were suspended without pay, one was reprimanded, two were fired and one resigned rather than comply.
Four Vermont Planned Parenthood clinics to close next month – Bennington, Hyde Park, Middlebury and St. Albans – “to ensure the organization is sustainable,” the state’s largest abortion provider announced last Friday the 13th of May. The Newport clinic closed in February. “We have made the difficult but strategic decision to close five of our part-time health centers effective June 12,” said Kai Williams, Senior Vice President of Health Care Delivery. PPNNE will expand its days of operation at Barre, Brattleboro, and Williston.
Property taxes to decline 9% – According to the Campaign for Vermont, the Joint Fiscal Office projects that the “yield” (don’t ask, it’s way too complicated) set in H737, the school tax bill, will result in a statewide average tax rate of $1.385 and an income tax rate of 2.32%, a decrease of about 9% from last year.
Reduced pay for Corrections staff – A pandemic-related recruitment and retention package of shift bonuses created last August expired April 24 and will not be renewed, according to the Vermont State Employee Association newsletter. Bonuses had been given for a broad range of shifts, but now apply only to overtime, weekend, and holiday shifts.
Friday May 13 –
Sen. Chris Pearson (D/P – Chittenden) will not seek re-election, he announced on Twitter yesterday. “Today I have started to let people know I will not be seeking re-election. It’s been an incredible honor and a great challenge to serve in the House & Senate. In some fashion I’ve been part of every election cycle since 1998 and it’s time to do something else.”
Windham County Senate vacuum – With both Sens. Becca Balint and Jeanette White not running for VT Senate again, there are (so far) two Democrat candidates and one Republican. Former Rep. Nader Hashim of Dummerston and social justice advocate Wichie Artu of Athens have announced they’re running as Democrats, the local newspaper The Commons reported May 4. Longtime GOP activist Rick Morton will run as a Republican.
Addison County Sheriff Peter Newton won’t run for re-election, he announced in an online video, according to the May 5 Addison Independent. The announcement reportedly came days after media reported on an Feb. 26 domestic disturbance at Newton’s home. He reportedly said in the video (which is no longer public) that he will go into construction with his sons, and that it would be better for his mental health if he leaves the law enforcement profession.
Two iconic advertising pitchmen living Vermont have made an ad to sell pajamas to benefit Make-A-Wish. Jonathan Goldsmith, The Most Interesting Man in the World for Dos Equis beer, and Tom Bodett, who kept the light on for you at Motel 6, have created a video for PajamaGram to raise money for Make-A-Wish. Goldsmith has a home in Manchester, and Bodett lives in Dummerston.
The most dangerous street in Vermont may be Valley Street in Springfield. While investigating the third in a spate of recent shootings, state police found that Paul Lachapelle Jr., 26, of Valley Street was in possession of brass knuckles and in possession of heroin. He was arrested and is due to appear in court on both charges. They also found and arrested a woman wanted for aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. Pelkey arrested Krystal Pelkey, 35, of Springfield on Valley Street without incident. She’s being held on $500 bail.