Government & Politics

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The Frequency
4:32 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Politicians, Candidates React To Health Exchange Downtime

Vermont politicians and political candidates weighed in on Tuesday’s announcement that Vermont Health Connect will be taken offline for fixes for weeks. Here’s what they had to say:

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott

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Commentary
3:34 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Woolf: Cost of Efficiency

Recently the media reported that fifteen Vermont ski areas would receive $5 million from Efficiency Vermont to help them purchase more than 2,000 energy efficient snow-making guns, replacing older, less efficient ones, and saving the ski resorts millions of dollars.
 

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Commentary
10:45 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Spencer Rendahl: Ice Bucket Challenge

I've had decidedly mixed feelings about the countless on line video clips I’ve seen of people dumping buckets of ice water on each other to help raise money to cure Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS.

About 30,000 Americans have this degenerative neurological disease at any time, making it an “orphan disease” which means research funding to find a cure is scarce, compared to more common diseases like cancer. So at first I was pleased to see anyone even talking about ALS – especially since it usually gets little public attention.

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VPR News
10:08 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Two Scottish Vermonters Weigh In On Referendum Vote

The Union Jack, St. George's Cross and the Saltire fly at Adderstone, England on Sept. 8.
Scott Heppell AP

On Thursday, Scottish voters will vote on whether or not to leave the United Kingdom and form their own independent country. While Scots living in Vermont don’t have a vote in the referendum, many are watching it closely, wondering if their native country will be forever changed by the end of the week. 

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VPR News
6:25 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Clean And Green? New Case Challenges Green Mountain Power's Renewable Energy Claims

The electricity produced by wind turbines on Lowell Mountain stays in Vermont. But the environmental credits belong to high-paying, out-of-state customers.
Toby Talbot AP

Green Mountain Power in recent years has installed wind turbines atop Vermont’s ridgelines and solar arrays in its fields. All fueling the delivery of clean, green, renewable power to conscientious Vermonters’ homes, right?

Turns out, that’s a matter of debate.

“If you were to ask Vermonters, ‘do they think that by buying GMP power from wind projects, they’re reducing their carbon footprint’ I’d venture to say a strong a majority of Vermonters would say, ‘of course that’s what we’re doing’,” says Vermont Law School professor Pat Parenteau. “The truth is, they’re not.”

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VPR News
5:30 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Despite Clouds, Burlington Celebrates Pride Parade

Brass Balagan, a group that describes themselves as a radical street band, performed at the Pride Parade.
Annie Russell VPR

Burlington residents took to Church Street in droves to celebrate the city’s annual Pride Parade. Despite clouds overhead and chilly temperatures, spectators lined the parade route and gathered in Battery Park.

LGBTQ groups, community members and local businesses marched in the parade alongside politicians and religious organizations.

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VPR News
5:00 am
Fri September 12, 2014

New DCF Commissioner Says Reforms Already Underway

Secretary of Human Services Harry Chen (right) and Commissioner for Children and Families Ken Schatz brief lawmakers Thursday on child welfare reforms.
Peter Hirschfeld VPR

The newly minted Commissioner for Children and Families spoke Thursday to the lawmakers scrutinizing his department. And Ken Schatz says reforms to child protective services are already underway.

It’s been a dark year for the Department for Children and Families. The deaths of two toddlers formerly under its watch have prompted a flood of public criticism. And operations at the department are the subject of a meticulous legislative review.

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Vermont Edition
4:39 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Governor Shumlin's Reelection Bid

Governor Shumlin faces Republican candidate Scott Milne, Libertarian candidate Dan Feliciano, and Liberty Union candidate Peter Diamondstone in the general election.
Peter Hirschfeld VPR

This week, Governor Peter Shumlin officially launched his reelection bid. We'll ask the Governor to explain his positions on the key issues facing the state.

Also on the show, we'll get an overview of the general election as it stands so far from VPR's Peter Hirschfeld.

Broadcast live on Friday, September 12 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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Vermont Edition
12:00 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Hands Off: The Logistics Of The Hand-Held Cell Phone Ban

As of October 1, the use of hand-held electronic devices while driving will be outlawed.
Toby Talbot AP

On October 1, Vermont’s new cell phone law goes into effect. This will prohibit the use of hand-held electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. While some people have wondered if they’d need to trade in their vehicle for one that is compliant with the new law, there are other options.

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VPR News
8:28 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

In Campaign Kickoff, Shumlin Vows To Finish Job On Single-Payer

At his campaign kickoff, Gov. Peter Shumlin said he is determined to continue down the path to single-payer and took a few shots at opponents.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

Peter Shumlin has kicked off his bid for a third term in the governor’s office. And the Democrat says he won’t rest until he’s put a single-payer health care system in place.

Vermont is one of only two states where governors serve two-year terms. And the brevity of the span between elections means sitting governors are pretty much always on the stump.

Gov. Peter Shumlin is no exception. And he’s spent much of the past summer using his official appearance schedule to tout his performance in office.

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