News August 25

Senator Sanders

March on Washington Sen. Bernie Sanders was among the more than 200,000 people who gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington 50 years ago to hear the Rev. Martin Luther King deliver his "I Have a Dream" speech. Since then, Sanders said, there has been some real progress in breaking down barriers of discrimination and segregation, including the election and re-election of an African-American president. But Sanders said the country is worse off than it was in 1963 in unemployment, low wages and more wealth disparity, according to an Associated Press report in the Times Argus, Rutland Herald and Brattleboro Reformer. In the Valley News, Sanders said the anniversary is a time to reflect on progress that has occurred but also to realize that the country has a long way to go. LINK, LINK, LINK

‘I Have a Dream’ Sen. Sanders credits King with shaping the values he holds to this day, he told WPTZ-TV. He spoke about his experience at the march. “It was just a huge crowd of every kind of people – African- Americans, whites. There was a real sense of joy and optimism because the success had already occurred before King’s speech just by huge numbers who showed up. It was very positive day.” Fox 44 and ABC 22 aired video of Sanders at the Lincoln Memorial. “We have come a long, long way in a lot of areas in fulfilling some of the visions that this great man had. But on the other hand let us not forget for one second that a lot of his dreams still have not been fulfilled.” VIDEO, VIDEO

Moran Plant Plans Redevelopment plans for the 1950s-era Moran power plant on the Burlington waterfront range from a showcase for the arts to an expansion of the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center. “The most successful ones advance the idea that the heart of this thing is the community,” said Peter Owens, the city’s director of Community and Economic Development. Owens worked in the 1980s with then Mayor Sanders on waterfront redevelopment, the Burlington Free Press reported. LINK

Vermont Attractions A Burlington Free Press profile of Katharine Montstream said the Burlington artist studied at the University of Colorado and stayed for a couple years after college. But she missed the East and started thinking about a place to move. “Burlington attracted her for several reasons: The big lake; Bernie Sanders; a handful of colleges; skiing; and the location being four hours from her parents. Not necessarily in that order.” LINK


Syria The Syrian government accused rebels of using chemical weapons Saturday and warned the United States not to launch any military action against Damascus over an alleged chemical attack last week, saying such a move would set the Middle East ablaze. The accusations by the regime of President Bashar Assad against opposition forces came as an international aid group said it has tallied 355 deaths from a purported chemical weapons attack on Wednesday in a suburb of the Syrian capital, The Associated Press reported. LINK


March on Washington Tens of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall Saturday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 March on Washington, listening as political and civil rights leaders reflected on the legacy of racial progress over the last half-century and urged Americans to press forward in pursuit of King's dream of equality. The event was sponsored by the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network, Martin Luther King III and the NAACP, CBS News reported. LINK

A Veteran’s Suicide Army veteran Daniel Somers service in Iraq, including multiple combat missions as a turret gunner, left him with severe post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Somers felt frustrated in his efforts to get mental health and medical care from the Department of Veterans Affairs. And he was caught in VA’s notorious disability claims backlog. When Somers, 30, shot himself in the head, his case seeking full disability for his PTSD had been awaiting resolution for 20 months, according to The Washington Post. His parents, Howard and Jean Somers, have been meeting with VA officials and congressional staffers to tell their son’s story. LINK


March on Washington “The anniversary of the March on Washington reminds us of what is possible when people look past their differences and work toward a shared goal. When President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, he declared: “Through this act, and its enforcement, an important instrument of freedom passes into the hands of millions of our citizens,” Sen. Patrick Leahy wrote in a Burlington Free Press column. LINK