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YWP: Waiting for Winter

Ella Staats is a freshman at Burlington High School. Courtesy photo
This week's Young Writers Project entry is "Waiting for Winter by Ella Staats, a freshman at Burlington High School.

 

New York joins Vermont in fracking ban

Paul Burns, executive director of VPIRG, holds up a photo of a fracking operation. VTDigger staff photo.
The state of New York has banned hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. The state’s top health official said it would be “reckless” to allow fracking without more research on its environmental effects.

 

Federal funds help libraries upgrade Internet service

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott speaks at a news conference Wednesday at Aldrich Public Library in Barre. Photo by Tom Brown/VTDigger
Nearly one-quarter of Vermont’s public libraries will offer the fastest available Internet speeds, thanks to a federally funded program. The service is crucial to Vermonters who don’t have Internet access of their own.

 

Protesters demand action on single payer, condemn Shumlin’s reversal

A protester burns a medical bill in a demonstration against Gov. Peter Shumlin's decision not to pursue single payer health care in the next legislative session. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger
A protest organized by the Vermont Workers’ Center sought to advance the cause of single payer health care, despite Gov. Shumlin’s decision that it is fiscally unworkable.

 

State plans to bring some inmates back from Kentucky prison

Department of Corrections Commissioner Andy Pallito. VTD/Josh Larkin
Because of a drop in pre-trial detainees and the opening of a new transitional housing unit, the state expects to return 46 inmates from a for-profit prison in Kentucky. Vermont has been under pressure from advocacy groups to stop sending inmates out of state.

 

New report on DCF again calls for more staff, better training

Cindy Walcott, deputy commissioner of the Department for Children and Families, answers questions on the death of Winooski toddler Peighton Geraw at a news conference Thursday in Burlington. Photo by Laura Krantz/VTDigger
A third report on the Department for Children and Families came to similar conclusions as the other two: DCF needs more front-line staff, better training, and a stronger focus on opiate addiction’s impact on families.

 

Utilities to reduce solar credit; solar industry unworried

Solar panels on the McKnight Farm in East Montpelier make use of the state's net metering program. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger
A new state law will allow more state residents to join “net metering” programs, but will slightly reduce the value of the energy credits they receive. Solar installers say the industry is robust enough to thrive even with the reduction.

 

Margolis: Leading means being able to say you lost

Peter Shumlin signed the historic health care reform act on the Statehouse steps on Thursday. VTD/Taylor Dobbs.
Gov. Peter Shumlin may have wasted a lot of time and money, but in the end he at least stood up and took the heat, even though the decision to move away from single payer health care wounded him and his supporters.

 

Digger Projects

2014 Election Micro-Site

The 2014 midterm elections are here. Access our comprehensive coverage, including debate archives, candidate profiles, side-by-side comparisons, campaign finance connections, and more. Visit project

VTDigger's Legislator Lookup

Enter your address in VTDigger's Legislative Lookup to find your lawmakers and learn more about them, including biographical and contact information, sponsored bills, voting records, committee memberships and campaign finance details. Visit project

Campaign Finance Database

VTDigger's Campaign Finance Database allows you to find out who gives to political campaigns and how candidates raise money in Vermont.

For the first time, and at no cost to taxpayers, users can easily search for donors and candidates by name, quickly retrieve aggregated totals, and explore business and family connections between donors. Visit project

VTDigger / Castleton Institute Poll

The VTDigger/Castleton Polling Institute poll is based on data from 682 interviews drawn from a random sample of registered voters in Vermont. Interviews were conducted by phone by from March 31 to April 7, 2014. Thirteen percent of interviews were conducted with registered voters on cellphones. The data reported are weighted based on estimations of the population of Vermont registered voters to account for differential in response rates among age groups. Visit project

A User's Guide to Vermont Health Connect

This special section explains how Vermont's health care exchange works for individuals and small businesses. The guide includes interactive subsidy graphs, a navigator map and detailed information about subsidies, penalties and tax ramifications. Visit project

Commentary

Joe Benning: Now what?

Perhaps we can renew the health care discussion without the rhetoric that caused polarization in the search for a solution.

Pete Novick: Education funding – We can’t get there from here

An absolute reduction in education costs is what Vermont needs today.

John Odum: Whither Shumlin’s legacy?

Single payer was going to change everything for everyone, and for the better. Or at least that was the plan.

Quote of the Day

“My discussions with people go like this: They say, ‘I want you to lower my property taxes.’ I say, ‘What would you like me to do to lower your property taxes?’ Everyone has different ideas. The challenge we have as a Legislature is trying to bring consensus on how you solve the articulated problem most people feel, which is lower my property taxes.” — House Speaker Shap Smith

See more quotes

Comments

  • Joyce Wilson commented on Protesters demand action on single payer, condemn Shumlin’s reversal: Rob, Here is the 2013 link to the per capita (...)
  • Tom Sullivan commented on Protesters demand action on single payer, condemn Shumlin’s reversal: Hey Rob, The single payer fiasco would have b (...)
  • Bob Zeliff commented on Joe Benning: Now what?: The ACA did has accomplished many positive re (...)
  • Rama Schneider commented on Protesters demand action on single payer, condemn Shumlin’s reversal: I don't know how the prices after subsidies c (...)
  • Ann Manwaring commented on Pete Novick: Education funding – We can’t get there from here: Unless the State takes over and runs our scho (...)
  • Kathy Callaghan commented on Protesters demand action on single payer, condemn Shumlin’s reversal: No one from the administration has yet explai (...)
  • Rama Schneider commented on Joe Benning: Now what?: Jim, beyond a doubt there is blame for both s (...)
  • James Ehlers commented on Joe Benning: Now what?: Thank you for your leadership, Senator Bennin (...)
  • Jim Christiansen commented on Joe Benning: Now what?: The Dems had the Presidency, the Senate, and (...)
  • Ed Hutchinson commented on Washington Electric proposes fees to offset net metering costs: So let me get this straight. I get an EV to r (...)
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