tagged w/ Vermont
This week officers in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals dismantled the largest dogfighting ring the group has ever busted by arresting 19 people.
At the Pennsylvania SPCA, a young pit bull named Spartacus ambles out of his cage and waits, focusing his eyes on Aime Berman, the medical director of the Pennsylvania SPCA.
"This is Spartacus," Berman says. "He came in the other day and clearly was chewed up in the face."
Spartacus sits quietly while Berman points to a notch in the dog's ear — a relic from an old fight, she says. He is one of more than 30 dogs officers rescued from five properties in Philadelphia. Spartacus is covered in tiny hairless scars and bloody cuts, including a big one on his nose.
Berman lifts up the dog's ear. "There's dried blood on the dog, and there's cartilage pushing out from the wound," she says. Spartacus was in the ring fighting when officers raided the house, and Berman thinks the officers' arrival may have prevented more injuries.
Full Story: http://www.vpr.net/npr/135492633/This week officers in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of... more
As we previously reported, the Vermont legislature, led by Gov. Peter Shumlin (D), has been considering a proposal to establish some sort of single payer health care system, where a single public insurer provides health insurance to all state residents, similar to the Medicare system for American seniors.
Last night, the Vermont House of Representatives debated and approved by a 92-49 a bill that would create a single payer system in the state. Shumlin praised the move as making Vermont the first state where “health care will be a right and not a privilege“:
After hours of debate, the Vermont House of Representatives approved a bill that would create a single-payer health care system in Vermont. It passed 92-49. In a meeting right after the vote, the house speaker, the governor and others who worked on the bill called it a historic moment for Vermont.
“Become the first state in the country to make the first substantive step to deliver a health care system where health care will be a right and not a privilege,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin.
The “bill outlines a four-year timeline leading to establishment of the statewide, publicly funded system. It begins by setting up the Green Mountain Care Board on July 1 with a budget of $1.2 million to begin planning the new system. It then creates a health insurance marketplace — or ‘exchange,’ of the sort required by last year’s federal health care legislation. And it then calls for converting the exchange to the Green Mountain Care system.”
Now that it has passed the House of Representatives, it will move on to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. A bigger hurdle Vermont faces is obtaining a waiver from the federal health care reform act and finding a way around federal ERISA laws — which “pre-empt states from enacting legislation if it is ‘related to’ employee benefit plans –that insurers could use to sue the state. The health reform law currently offers a waiver to states who meet certain standards by 2017; Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) has introduced an amendment that would move the waiver date up to 2014 — an idea that President Obama has endorsed.
This week, 200 doctors from 39 states including the District of Columbia signed an open letter saying they would seriously consider moving to the state to practice medicine if it enacted a single payer system. “The idea of having one set of rules, one form for billing, and knowing that all patients are covered – that would be wonderful,” said Scott Graham, a Kentucky family physician who signed the letter.
http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/25/vermont-single-payer-health/As we previously reported, the Vermont legislature, led by Gov. Peter Shumlin (D), has... more
By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger
Vermont is poised to abolish most forms of private health insurance, Lauren Else reports for In These Times. The state’s newly inaugurated Democratic governor, Peter Shumlin, unveiled his health insurance plan in early February. If the state legislature passes the bill, Vermont will become the first state to ban most forms of private health insurance.
The bill is getting support from some unlikely quarters:
On February 24, the Republican Mayor Christopher Louras, of Rutland, urged the state to adopt the single-payer legislation, noting that more than a third of the city’s $7 million annual payroll is consumed by healthcare costs. “The only way to fix the problem is to blow it up and start over,” Louras said.
A very bad doctor
In the Texas Observer, Saul Elbein tells the bizarre story of small-town huckster Dr. Rolando Arafiles and the nurses who exposed him as a quack and paid with their jobs.
Arafiles came to work at Winkler County Memorial Hospital in 2008. Nurses Anne Mitchell and Vickilyn Galle noticed that patients were walking out of his office with mysterious liquids. Arafiles was selling untested dietary supplements.
Sometimes, he even took patients off their real medicine and directed them to buy his cure-alls, which he sold online, and promoted in seminars at the local Pizza Hut. He prescribed powerful thyroid-stimulating drugs to patients with normal thyroid levels, a potentially lethal practice. He was also performing “unconventional” surgeries, even though he wasn’t a surgeon.
The hospital ignored the nurses’ complaints, so they reported Arafiles to the Texas Medical Board. After the board informed Arafiles that he was under investigation, Arafiles got his golf buddy, the local sheriff, to issue a warrant to search the nurses’ computers. The hospital fired the nurses. The local prosecutor indicted them for “misuse of official information” but these charges fizzled out. In 2010, the two women were awarded $750,000 in compensation from the county, but they still haven’t found new nursing jobs.
What are they doing out there?
Lon Newman is the executive director of Family Planning Health Services, a Wisconsin health clinic that offers birth control and other reproductive health care, but doesn’t provide abortions, or even abortion referrals. Anti-choice protesters picket the clinic anyway, Newman reports at RH Reality Check. They carry signs with misleading slogans like “The Pill Kills” and “Stop Chemical Abortion.”
Newman wonders why, given all the pressing problems in Wisconsin, the nation, and the world, some people make it a priority to hang out at Family Planning Health Services and badmouth birth control:
There are so many struggles for freedom, social justice, and disaster relief right now, that I do not think it is justifiable to be blocking access to health care for our uninsured neighbors who want to delay childbearing so they can finish school or take a new job or even wait to have children until they can afford them.
South Dakota institutes 72-hour abortion waiting period
The governor of South Dakota signed legislation this week that will force women seeking abortions in the state to observe a 72-hour waiting period. As Scott Lemieux argues in TAPPED, mandatory waiting period legislation is based on inherently sexist assumptions. By instituting a waiting period, the state is institutionalizing the stereotype that women seeking abortions are acting irrationally and must be coerced into waiting.
Body hatred hasn’t been this popular since the days of the hair shirt. Hundreds of millions of women, and no shortage of men, spend billions of hours and billions of dollars despising their bodies. A new movement is afoot to find the political in this very personal issue, Sarah Seltzer reports in AlterNet. This year, the Women’s Therapy Center Institute will hold a series of summits in New York, London, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Melbourne. In keeping with the theme of “Loved Bodies, Big Ideas” participants are discussing a range of ideas for helping to improve body image, including a so-called “reality stamp,” a seal of approval that would indicate that a photograph hasn’t been digitally altered beyond the bounds of reason. Come to think of it, a “reality stamp” could be useful for all kinds of politics.
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about health care by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Pulse for a complete list of articles on health care reform, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, health care and immigration issues, check out The Audit, The Mulch, and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger
Vermont is poised to abolish most... more
If you eat organic foods, there's a good chance it started here, at High Mowing Seeds in Wolcott, Vermont. OneDegreeTV visits Tom Stearns to discuss the process of cultivating, selecting and breeding better organic seeds, and how he and others in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom are helping to change the way we eat.If you eat organic foods, there's a good chance it started here, at High Mowing... more
Breaking News Updates Today In view of recent history the whiteness of the 2011 Academy Awards is a little blinding. Endofamerica 2011, Here are Just about End Of America, in fact what is The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot (ISBN 978-1933392790) is one of the most recent books published by the author Naomi Wolf.Breaking News Updates Today In view of recent history the whiteness of the 2011... more
Everyone thinks that Lombard Street is the crookedest street in the world. Well while it’s sort of become a landmark of San Francisco for being such, I hate to tell you, but that’s not really true.Everyone thinks that Lombard Street is the crookedest street in the world. Well while... more
Latest News Updates today's Beanpot Tournament opening round at TD Garden. This is the 59th annual Beanpot, which began in 195? at Boston Arena. When the women’s ice hockey Terriers lace up tonight against archrival Boston College, they will be playing for more than just bragging rights:Latest News Updates today's Beanpot Tournament opening round at TD Garden. This... more
Recently Complete News Updates Today The HGTV dream home revealing is going to be combined with the parade this year 2011. I doubt that anyone will match this year’s HGTV Dream Home giveaway – and the year is young.Recently Complete News Updates Today The HGTV dream home revealing is going to be... more
Latest Complete News Updates Speaking of HGTV, the network's latest Dream Home Giveaway starts today. New Year's Day is marked by two traditionally beautiful televised revelations, the Rose Bowl Parade floats and the newest HGTV Dream Home.Latest Complete News Updates Speaking of HGTV, the network's latest Dream Home... more
By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a self-described socialist who caucuses with the Democrats, became a folk hero to progressives when he took to the floor of the Senate for nearly nine hours on Friday to speak against the plan to extend tax cuts for the wealthy in exchange for extending unemployment benefits for millions of workers and extending tax breaks for the middle class.
On the Senate floor, Sanders accused his Republican colleagues of wanting to roll back the New Deal:
And that is, they want to move this country back into the 1920s, when essentially we had an economic and political system which was controlled by Big Money interests, where working people in the middle class had no programs to sustain them when things got bad, when they got old, when they got sick, when labor unions were very hard to come by because of anti-worker legislation.
Senate video servers were overwhelmed as over 12,000 people tried to watch online, John Nichols of The Nation reports.
“Instead of us having to compromise all the time, maybe it’s time of for some of the Republicans to start compromising,” Sanders told host Laura Flanders in an interview with GritTV. (Watch the video.)
Sanders said that over the past few days his office had received 2,000 calls congratulating him for his stance.
Despite Sanders’ eloquent appeal to level the economic playing field, the Senate seems poised to move on the Obama tax deal, notes Steve Benen at Washington Monthly the plan will fare in the House. The House Democratic caucus rejected the plan on Thursday in an unofficial vote.
Some Democratic House members have voiced their frustrations with the president. Still, Benen thinks it’s unlikely that House Democrats have any intention of scuttling the bill. Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats realize they will probably get an even less favorable bill if they wait until the Republicans take over control of the House.
Ed Brayton of the Michigan Messenger notes that while the two houses of Congress were negotiating, more than one million Americans had already lost their unemployment benefits at the end of November and hundreds of thousands more stand to lose their benefits in the coming weeks.
Roger Bybee of Working In These Times points out that the so-called “99-ers”, people who have been out of work for over 99 weeks, will not be helped by the proposed compromise on unemployment benefits extensions. Approximately 2 million people have already hit the 99-week wall on UI benefits. The so-called Grand Compromise won’t stop their benefits from running out.
The proposed deal, dubbed “benefits-for-billionaires” by GritTV host Laura Flanders, would also effectively end the Build America Bonds program, a program that allows cash-strapped states to borrow to maintain public services. As labor activist and commentator Bill Fletcher pointed out in an interview with Flanders, ending the bonds program is an attack on public sector retirement benefits. If credit dries up, the states will be unable to meet their obligations, such as retirement benefits promised to public sector workers. This is backdoor union-busting. If the state has no money, its contracts aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.
Taibbi vs. the Vampire Squid
Chris Lehmann of The Nation has a positive review of journalist Matt Taibbi’s new book, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America. The book is Taibbi’s wide-ranging take on the meltdown of the American economy from the housing bubble to the credit crisis and beyond. The Vampire Squid is Goldman Sachs, to whom Taibbi allots an outsize share of the blame for derailing the U.S. economy.
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the economy by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Audit for a complete list of articles on economic issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, health care and immigration issues, check out The Mulch, The Pulse and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a... more
New data revealed on Thursday shows that Vermont state government spends more than $700,000 annually to pursue Vermonters for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Based on the new findings, state Rep. Jason Lorber (D-Burlington) announced plans Thursday to introduce a bill that would decriminalize the possession of less than one ounce of cannabis.
http://www.jackherer.com/archives/pursuing-small-marijuana-cases-costs-vermont-700k-annually/New data revealed on Thursday shows that Vermont state government spends more than... more
Lisa Lavallee, 39-year-old woman from Enosburg, Vermont, has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of felony lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, a charge that was amended from felony sexual assault.
Lavallee was arrested in August 2009 and was at the time accused of allegedly engaging in sex with her friend’s 15-year-old son. Lavallee was reportedly caught in bed with the teen boy by the boy's uncle.
The teen initially denied to investigators that he had sex with Lavallee but later advised they did. Lavallee initially denied the claims.
According to court documents, police interviews with Lavallee and the boy reveal that she had been drinking with his mother all afternoon on Aug. 11. Lavallee needed a ride home, so the teen offered to have her stay at his place.
Lavallee told police they watched TV and talked for about 20 minutes. She asked him for a shirt and then went to bed.
http://femalesexoffenders.com/fso/index.php/the-news/224-lisa-lavallee-pleads-guiltyLisa Lavallee, 39-year-old woman from Enosburg, Vermont, has pleaded guilty to a... more
2 years ago
This issue of Vermont Catholic, has a cover that highlights accusations of pedophilia, while remaining blissfully ignorant of those accusations.This issue of Vermont Catholic, has a cover that highlights accusations of pedophilia,... more
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield wish a bill making its way through the Vermont Legislature had been law decades ago.
If they'd been allowed to set up as a benefit corporation their Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., the Vermont-based super premium ice cream maker, they might not have had to sell out to the British-Dutch conglomerate Unilever 10 years ago this week.
Benefit corporations are devoted to a triple bottom line of "people, planet and profits," said Andrea Cohen of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility.
Under legislation now proposed in Vermont and other states, they'd have their status as a benefit corporation — with an annual report on goals like environmental protection and community involvement — written into their charter. That would better enable them to dodge a takeover based purely on finances.
Sen. Hinda Miller, a principal sponsor of the Vermont legislation, said a benefit corporation could resist a takeover bid — and protect its social mission — even in the face of a lucrative price-per-share offer.
"It gives the board of directors the ability to say no to someone who is offering a good price for the stock," said Miller, a Democrat who represents Chittenden County. "They can say, 'Thanks for the great price, but we're not going to sell because we have obligations beyond the price of the stock.'"
To earn and maintain its status as a benefit corporation, a company would have to file an annual report, available for public review, listing and detailing progress toward goals like lowering carbon emissions, providing health care for part-time workers, or giving employees time off for community service.
Benefit corporation bills have been introduced in Maryland and Vermont, and are expected to get a hearing next year in Colorado, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Washington state, said Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab, a Philadelphia-area nonprofit promoting the benefit corporation idea. Similar legislation is expected to be filed in coming weeks in New York.
Maryland's has cleared both legislative houses of its Legislature and is awaiting action by the governor. Vermont's has passed the Senate and is expected to win House approval and then be signed by Gov. Jim Douglas.
Under traditional corporate law, a company's first duty is to maximize shareholder value. If Ben & Jerry's had declined the 2000 offer of $43.60 per share from Unilever — nearly 25 percent above Ben & Jerry's closing stock price a day earlier — it likely would have faced shareholder lawsuits, said Cohen and Greenfield, both now 59, in an interview.
As a benefit corporation, Cohen and Greenfield, hippie capitalists known for creating quirky flavors like Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey, would have been better situated legally to rebuff Unilever's offer and continue their tradition of holding a free folk-rock festival to coincide with their annual meeting.
READ MORE AT LINKBen Cohen and Jerry Greenfield wish a bill making its way through the Vermont... more
Earth Activist Training
Marshfield, Vermont July 25 –Aug 8, 2010
Co-taught by Starhawk and Charles Williams
Two weeks that can change your life and change the world!
A permaculture design certificate course with a grounding in earth-based spirituality, and a focus on organizing, activism, and social permaculture as well as urban and rural land-based systems. Learn how to heal soil and cleanse water, how to design human systems that mimic natural systems, using a minimum of energy and resources and creating real abundance and social justice. Explore the strategies and organizing tools we need to make our visions real, and the daily practice, magic and rituals that can sustain our spirits. Participatory, hands-on teaching with lots of ritual, games, projects, songs, and laughs along with an intensive curriculum in ecological design.
Cost: $1400-$1800 sliding scale. Work trade and scholarships available, apply early!
This will be a rustic EAT. We will camp on the land, attend class in the Earthship, and eat as much local food as we can (including wildcrafted food).
Location: Neruda Community in Marshfield, VT http://neruda.editide.us/
Childcare can be arranged for children over 3 at additional cost.
For more information: www.EarthActivistTraining.org
800-381-7940 (USA). email: firstname.lastname@example.orgEarth Activist Training
Marshfield, Vermont July 25 –Aug 8, 2010
MONTPELIER, Vt. — In an unusual state foray into nuclear regulation, the Vermont Senate voted 26 to 4 Wednesday to block operation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant after 2012, citing radioactive leaks, misstatements in testimony by plant officials and other problems.
The last time a reactor in the United States was closed by a vote of the public or its representatives was in June 1989, when the voters of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District decided to shut the Rancho Seco reactor. The issues in that case were mostly economic; the plant kept breaking down, forcing the district to buy electricity from neighbors, and it had been shut from late 1985 to early 1988 for repairs.
Commissioned in August 1966 and given its operating license in March 1972, Vermont Yankee is one of the older plants in the American inventory of 104 power reactors. The oldest still running is Oyster Creek, near Toms River, N.J., which is of a similar design and opened in December 1969.
Oyster Creek recently won a 20-year extension of its initial 40-year license, although, to the anger of its opponents, plant owners announced a few days later that it, too, was leaking tritium.
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/02/25/us/25nuke01/25nuke01-popup.jpgMONTPELIER, Vt. — In an unusual state foray into nuclear regulation, the Vermont... more
Yesterday for the first time in U.S. history a state legislature voted to shut down a nuclear power plant. This is a huge victory for Vermonters and our clean energy future. The Vermont State Senate voted 24-6 to close Entergy's Vermont Yankee, rejecting the Obama administration's plans for "nuclear renaissance."
Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen discovered late last year that then Vice President of Operations Jay Thayer had lied about the existence of underground pipes containing dangerous, radioactive tritium beneath the plant. Tritium up to 37 times the acceptable federal limit has been found in nearby wells and radioactive water may be leaking into the Connecticut River.
Despite President Obama’s announcement last week of 8.3 billion dollars in loan guarantees to build the first new nuclear plant in thirty years, Vermont has taken a bold stand on nixing nuclear power. Vermont knows that nuclear energy can’t be a part of our energy future. We need investment in renewable sources of energy to power our future and put people back to work.
“When Americans have the choice about the kind of energy they want in their communities, they don’t want nuclear. Vermont has shut down the myth of the so-called nuclear renaissance," said Greenpeace’s Nuclear Policy Analyst Jim Riccio.
But the fight isn’t over. Entergy is a powerful corporation and its executives are not above telling outright lies about its plants and practices to hide the dirty truth about nuclear power from us. Just look at Entergy's website for the Vermont Yankee: SafeCleanReliable.com. Neither safe. Nor clean. Nor reliable. Discuss.
In a 26-4 vote, the Vermont legislature voted yesterday to deny the relicensing of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant when it expires in 2012. A clear victory for our environment and the people of Vermont against this toxic energy source only a week after Obama made loan guarantees to build more of them in Georgia.In a 26-4 vote, the Vermont legislature voted yesterday to deny the relicensing of the... more