Vermont News: May 7, 2018

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Vermont News Highlights: Monday, May 7, 2018


Brattleboro Reformer

Bennington Banner; “Local group urges Sanders to visit Gaza” 5/3, A3; A local group, Brattleboro Solidarity, hosted a pro-Gaza rally on Friday. Sanders stated, “I share the concerns of many Vermonters regarding Gaza. The situation there is a humanitarian disaster and must be addressed immediately.”

Caledonian Record, Saint Albans Messenger; “House passes bill to import prescription drugs from Canada” 5/4, 5A; The Vermont House passed a bill, 141-2, that would allow the state to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. The bill will create a state entity that acts like a wholesaler and buys the drugs in Canada and then sells them in Vermont pharmacies. The concept of importing prescription drugs in order to save money is not new. Vermont’s then-U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders took busloads of people to Canada in 1999 to purchase prescription drugs at a fraction of U.S. prices (AP). 

Saint Albans Messenger; “Maple, Honey Producers Not Sweet On Added Sugars Label” 5/4, 1A; Producers of honey and maple syrup say the U.S. FDA’s upcoming requirement to update nutrition labels to tell consumers that pure honey and maple syrup contain added sugars is misleading, illogical, confusing, and could hurt their industries. A representative from Senator Sanders’ office attended a press conference with Rep. Peter Welch and Sen. Patrick Leahy to discuss their plan to fight the FDA requirement (AP).

Bennington Banner; “PBS series examines state’s political identity” 5/3, B7; Vermont’s outsized contributions to the national political scene are as fascinating as they are remarkable, and they are all chronicled in “Beyond Bernie: Searching for Vermont’s Political Identity,” a five-part web series produced by Vermont PBS. Holly Groschner, president of Vermont PBS, said “Senator Sanders has been a touchstone for this phenomenon. There are also cultural, political and historical forces driving the Vermont ethos explored in this series.”

Caledonia Record; Opinion; “They Never Learn… Giving Socialism Another Try” 5/5, A4; Columnist Geoffrey Norman writes a defense of capitalism.

Articles of Interest:

Burlington Free Press; “VT Guard deploying to Southwest Asia” 5/5, 12A; An air ambulance unit of the Vermont National Guard will deploy in June to Southwest Asia on a mission that could involve combat zones, the Guard announced Friday morning. The deployment includes about 60 members of the Army National Guard’s Charlie Company.

Valley News; “Vermont reports $55 Million Tax Surplus” 5/4, A2; The state is reporting a surplus of more than $55 million in tax revenue this year. The increase in tax receipts is driven by boosts in state income and corporate tax dollars, according to the Joint Fiscal Office (VTDigger).

Burlington Free Press; “Demolition of parking garage next then arrival of steel beams” 5/7, 3A; Demolition crews are racing to make up for a two-month delay, caused by the unexpected discovery of asbestos, in the CityPlace Burlington project downtown. As of early May, excavator operators have been focused on demolishing the parking garage that served the former Burlington Town Center mall.

Brattleboro Reformer; “Showing solidarity” 5/5, A1; As part of Diversity Day on Friday, nearly 300 students from Brattleboro Area Middle School and Brattleboro Union High School gathered to show support for the Black Lives Matters flag being raised in front of the school.

Burlington Free Press; Opinion: “Vermont can shift reading trend upwards” 5/6, 22A; Blanche Podhanski, the founder and president of the Stern Center for Language and Learning in Williston, writes about the recent release of the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Performance, stating, “Comparing favorably nationally is not a sufficient distinction when only 45 percent of our students are proficient in reading. And, when we continue to see declines that begin in 2015 and continued in 2017, it is disappointing to say the least.”