Desert news in the Green Mountain State

So Tinmouth is about my favorite town in Vermont. It's tucked up in the hills, off the highway. Most visitors roll past it without knowing it's there. And it's one of the towns whose taxes support the library I work at. Thanks Tinmouth! Last Saturday I went to a curling bonspiel (The Verspiel! Woot!) which… Continue reading Desert news in the Green Mountain State


Free the compost!

I'm guessing a lot of folks got an exhortation to plant a rain garden in the junk mail in the last couple of weeks, just like chez Cooke-Smathers (link is to the full-blown piece, not the pocket-sized mailer). Why the junk mail is there is as simple as following the money: Lake Champlain is getting… Continue reading Free the compost!

In praise of teachers

Last week I happened upon a group of teachers holding a protest (after school hours) in Poultney, encouraging the Rutland Southwest Supervisory Union to resume negotiations with their teachers in advance of a possible strike. Monday, Bill Toscano, our Granville (NY) reporter, came in with a story and photos on the Future Business Leaders of… Continue reading In praise of teachers

Time to rethink rec.

Specifically, it's time to rethink the role the Recreation and Parks Dept. plays in Rutland City. Briefly, the genesis of this idea was running through a few disconnects in my head ... wait, that doesn't sound right ... in my head, I ran through a few disconnects. Yeah, that's better: As many of you know,… Continue reading Time to rethink rec.

So what’s so smart about it?

OK, I admit that I'm a bit of an early adopter. I've always liked gadgets. So I'm inclined toward accepting the new meters. But I think CVPS, GMP and the rest have really short sold themselves by not stressing more the fact that smart grid technology is what's going to let microgeneration work. A lot has been… Continue reading So what’s so smart about it?

Bad investments

It looks like the legislature is cooling off on forcing Green Mountain Power and CVPS to sell their interests in Velco to the state. For those not following the blow-by-blow on this one, GMP -- Vermont's second-largest utility -- is buying CVPS -- Vermont's largest utility; as both own large minority stakes in Velco, Vermont's transmission company,… Continue reading Bad investments

Poor options over state offices

Since Gov. Peter Shumlin first speculated about the future of the state office complex in Waterbury in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, I was intrigued by the possibility of state government rethinking how it provides services to the residents ... aka does its job. One of the first lessons I learned in the aftermath… Continue reading Poor options over state offices