Daily Archives: January 12, 2016

Gosh, maybe Vermont isn’t such a bad place after all

We hear a lot of bad news about Vermont, especially from Republicans. They seem to be hoping Vermont will fail, based on their constant bad-mouthing. (Interesting that a plank of Phil Scott’s economic platform is more resources on marketing the state as a place to do business. If Vermont sucked as bad as the VTGOP thinks, any such marketing would be, ahem, lying.)

And then once in a while we get a ray of sunshine piercing through their doom and gloom. Today comes Politico Magazine’s third annual ranking of the 50 states (plus D.C.) in “State of the Union” terms. i.e. which states are in the best (and worst) shape overall.

And where do they rank Vermont?

Third.

Third best in the country.

It should be pointed out here that Politico isn’t exactly leftist. It is, in fact, a bastion of conventional thinking. And this ranking was based on a wide variety of factors: health, education, financial security, unemployment, crime, overall well-being, prosperity. Fourteen categories in all.

Nice little state we’ve got here, eh?

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Today’s Free Press front page is just perfect

The Burlington Free Press’ descent into whoredom continues apace. Today’s front page encapsulates every worrying trend in the devolution of a once-adequate newspaper — sorry, “media property.”

The front page, for those not close enough to a library or convenience store to give it an eyeball, features Don Sinex, owner of the Burlington Town Center Mall. Sinex is seeking city approval for a complete makeover of the mall, including two 14-story towers that would be the tallest human-made buildings in the city. Sinex is certainly newsworthy; it’s the layout, and all the surrounding circumstances, that illustrate the shortcomings of the Queen City’s Newsroom Of The Future.

For starters, there’s the fact that the Free Press has been giving this story constant, breathless coverage for quite a while now — interrupted only by its ardent pursuit of Trump-related clickbait. I understand that this is a major story regarding the development of downtown Burlington, and I don’t mind quantity coverage with some balance to it. This, however, is giving over the paper’s most valuable real estate to Sinex.

And if you don’t think this was a pro-Sinex puff piece, just look at the headline:

Last Best Plan for Burlington Mall

If that isn’t an editorial, I don’t know what is. The paper could have said “Developer Touts Last Best Plan” or something like that, but no. This Is “The Last Best Plan.”

Subtle.

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