News February 23

Senator Sanders

Postal Service The U.S. Postal Service intends to carry out its plan to close a mail sorting facility at White River Junction, workers were told last night. "People are real upset," William Creamer Jr., the Mail Handlers Union president, told the Valley News. Sen. Bernie Sanders said he was "extremely disturbed" but added, "The fight continues ... I will do all that we can to try and keep the White River Junction processing plant open..." LINK

Say Cheese The U.S. Department of Agriculture will guarantee a $930,000 loan to Jasper Hill Farms in Greensboro to build cheese cave vaults. The project will support 20 existing jobs and create 14 new ones. Sens. Sanders and Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch said the project represents the bright future of Vermont's dairy industry, The Associated Press, Fox 44 and ABC 22 reported. LINK, VIDEO

Citizens United "Abolishing corporate personhood is really about restoring constitutional rule of law ... This is an issue where Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders agree, and one that should unite all Vermonters," Gaelan Brown wrote in a Burlington Free Press column. LINK

Saving Democracy "Although Sen. Sanders is far from the first congressman to stand up against Citizens United, he is one of the most delightfully fiery," Sady Doyle wrote in a column for In These Times. LINK

Mail Threats Someone sent letters containing threats and a suspicious substance to several members of Congress. The substance turned out to be harmless. Sens. Leahy and Sanders and Rep. Welch have not received the letters, WCAX-TV reported. VIDEO

The Fed Under pressure from both left and right - consider the unlikely alliance of Sen. Sanders and Rep. Ron Paul - the Fed has disclosed more of its actions during the recent financial crisis, but too much still takes place behind closed doors, economist Simon Johnson blogged at The New York Times. LINK

World

Syria A United Nations report concluded on Thursday that "gross human rights violations" had been ordered as state policy in Syria's 11-month-old crackdown at "the highest levels of the armed forces and the government," The New York Times reported. LINK

National

Obama Tax Proposal The Obama administration, seeking to promote domestic manufacturing without increasing the federal deficit, proposed Wednesday to offset new tax breaks for manufacturers by raising taxes on a wide range of other companies, The New York Times reported. LINK

Marines Killed in Arizona Seven Marines died after two military helicopters collided Wednesday night near Yuma, Ariz., CBS News reported.

Vermont

Health Care The Vermont House on Thursday is set to debate a bill that would set up a new health insurance exchange - or state marketplace for insurance coverage - in compliance with the federal health reform law passed two years ago, AP reported. LINK

Caribbean Co-Del Sen. Leahy and Rep. Welch are traveling to Cuba, Haiti and Columbia to inspect recovery efforts after the 2010 earthquake and to meet with government officials, AP reported. LINK

Solar Electronics Small Dog Electronics has installed a solar photovoltaic farm outside its corporate offices in Waitsfield. The solar trackers are from AllEarth Renewables in Williston, the Burlington Free Press reported. LINK

Lisman Group Probe Sought The Vermont Democratic Party has filed a complaint with the attorney general's office accusing the right-leaning adovcacy group Campaign For Vermont and its founder, retired Wall Street executive Bruce Lisman, of violating campaign finance laws, Seven Days reported. LINK

Freeps Goes Tab Gannett managers announced plans to turn the Burlington Free Press into a tabloid print edition and to establish a pay wall to charge readers for access to stories on its website, the Burlington Free Press reported. LINK