Special Twilight Sparkle edition! Cute pony make me feel all warm inside on cold day, aww.
Newly minted State Senator Eldred French, for accomplishing the rare task of legitimately failing upwards. As you may recall, State Representative French lost his bid for re-election in November through no particular fault of his own; redistricting put him in direct competition with incumbent Republican Dennis Devereux, who won their face-off. On election night, Speaker Shap Smith singled out French as a particularly tough loss, citing his exemplary service as a State Rep.
Then, State Sen. Bill Carris unexpectedly resigned, citing health reasons. And now, French has been named by Governor Shumlin to fill out Carris’ two-year term in the Senate.
In retrospect, it’s a good thing he lost in November; otherwise, he’d be one of 150 in the House. Now, he’ll be in a much more exclusive club: the 30-member Senate.
Smartass New York foodies Madeleine Davies and Sen. Chuck Schumer, for dissing Vermont’s culinary goodness. Davies wrote a brief post for Jezebel.com about Vermont coming in first in the nation in cats per-capita. That’s fine, but why-oh-why did she have to toss in a completely ad hominem slap at our dairy industry?
Vermont’s previous accomplishments include the production of not-as-good-as-Wisconsin cheese and Brigham Young.
Oh yeah? Well, at least we don’t color our cheese BRIGHT ORANGE.
As for the usually-distinguished Senator from New York… as chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, the Chuckster got to be emcee for President Obama’s inauguration. Part of his job was arranging an inauguration lunch, which relied heavily on New York products. That’s fine, but why-oh-why did he have to say that his state has “the best maple syrup”? C’mon, Chuck; it’s unbecoming for such a skilled politician to be caught telling such an obvious falsehood.
After the jump, moose on the loose, a dirty, dirty Lincoln, and a poke in one’s own eye.
An intrepid Vermont moose, for going viral with his December guest appearance on the slopes at Sugarbush Resort. A brief video clip of the moose venturing on the slopes and chasing a skier has been viewed nearly 160,000 times on YouTube. Video dude Bill Applegate recalled the encounter: “At first it was just amazing to see a moose and then it started walking towards us and it went from amazing to scary pretty quick.”
Yes, he’s from Massachusetts. Why do you ask?
The Statehouse’s dirty Lincoln. Er, that’s a marble bust of Lincoln on a pedestal directly opposite the front doors. Civil War historian Howard Coffin says it’s one of the best Lincoln sculptures you can find — but he adds that it’s time for Abe to get some TLC: “He’s discolored, he’s dirty and in desperate need of cleaning.” The estimated price tag: $12,000.
The Senate panel gave Coffin a positive reception, which is only as it should be. With a Lincoln movie among 2012’s best, and with 2013 being the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, you don’t want to have a dirty Lincoln welcoming visitors to the Statehouse.
Bob Klein, the first and only director of The Nature Conservancy’s Vermont office. He’s been in charge since the office first opened in 1979; he will step down in April.
During his tenure, the Conservancy has purchased or helped conserve nearly 200,000 acres of significant land across the state. And he grew the Vermont chapter from an all-volunteer group to an office with a staff of 14. Happy trails to Bob Klein, and may the Conservancy’s next director prove just as productive and durable.
The financially troubled Keene, NH-based Baybutt Construction, for continuing to affect businesses and institutions on both sides of the Connecticut. Last week, Baybutt got the Thumbs Down for bollixing the Rockingham Library project; this time, its financial difficulties have led to lost sales and 11 layoffs at the Brattleboro Food Co-op.
General Manager Alex Gyori blamed the layoffs — and a 3% pay cut for managers — on lower than expected sales in 2012 due to delays in its reconstruction. Mostly thanks to Baybutt, the opening of the new Co-op was delayed for seven months. And that meant lost sales. Not the worst effect of Baybutt’s financial woes, but it caused unnecessary harm to one of Bratt’s brightest spots and the loss of work for eleven employees.
Me, for jumping to conclusions about last week’s visit to the Vermont Foodbank by members of Bruce Lisman’s Campaign for Vermont. Based on a poorly-worded press release and my own disdain for CFV, I speculated that its visit to the Foodbank was nothing more than a publicity stunt.
However, Foodbank Director “Not That” John Sayles has let me know that the CFV crew spent a good three hours “sorting 4000 pounds of grocery salvage product.” And he adds that, yes indeed, Bruce Lisman himself was part of the work crew.
So, good on you, CFV, for doing some real, meaningful work. And a reminder that the Foodbank relies on volunteers to sort incoming food, and welcomes the participation of all kinds of groups at their Barre and Brattleboro locations.
And now, I shall carefully remove my finger from my own eye. And wonder how Twilight Sparkle can be so damn happy with an entire HOOF in her eye.