Pretty road for the moment; take it easy, Bernie

Pretty road for the moment; take it easy, Bernie

EB-5 Visa, EB5 Visa, EB5 Investments


Drifting into this year’s fourth quarter with a pile of summer ODDservations.

Well, this is the month to celebrate the completion of the Road to Stowe, a fantastic Route 100 upgrade from I-89 Exit 10 right through the town center on the combined efforts of the state and the town.

This moment is akin to picking up your brand-new car from the dealership and heading out for a showcase tour. Take all your tourism marketing photos now. Like your shiny new wheels, the road depreciation starts immediately.

Those beautiful highway markings, bike and turning lanes — now sharp, clear and prominent — will not look the same next April after a Vermont winter.

So the feds shut down the state’s EB-5 center. They said, “VRC no longer promotes economic growth .…” That’s the understatement of the decade.

We’ll limit the piling-on for this story. However, a lot of our prominent people, in both Montpelier and Washington, got away without paying a price.

EB-5 national cheerleader Sen. Leahy tossed his former Newport project buddies under the bus with the skill of president sociopath. Perhaps he’s forgiven if he can come up with some business development ideas and federal cash support to fill that huge hole in downtown Burlington.

And pursuant to an updated background check, Leahy should make sure these EB-5 victims receive their promised green cards from the federal government.

Using the “I ain’t got no dog in this fight” approach, but already witnessing the first consequence of those geniuses who forced the shotgun school marriage on three towns.

Can’t say I like everything the school’s district head honcho has done, but have no arguments on the continuous success results in Stowe’s schools.

This piling-on over the personnel legal clash has already consumed three weeks of newsprint. Looks more like small town score-settling than anything else. Wonder what happens when those agonizing over a potential 25-cent-per-head liability insurance increase see their property taxes linked to Stowe’s $25 million estimate in capital projects included with their own.

Navigating the back roads during the Route 100 construction this summer was a little less joyful rolling through Waterbury Center. The retirement/closing of the Grenier clan’s farm, fresh produce and bakery stop is greatly missed on several levels.

Yet, a retirement well-earned is worth celebrating. Hope it’s a long one.

It’s good to see people already seriously addressing the Stowe Arena dilemma, as in the overused phrase, “it is what it is and we’re on to tomorrow.” It seems simple from my seat in the penalty box. Ice Sept. 15-April 15; turf April 16-June 15.

The group meetings going on this month have to address the 90-day summer hole in some fashion. Ice is an option only if those who love ice year-round step up and find a philanthropist (or two) who love to skate. I’m guessing there would be no problem with a new name: Sugar Daddy Arena?

I couldn’t help myself from pondering while watching last month’s Democratic debate. Joe Biden, who’s been very careful to stay away from age and to be relevant to the millennial world, answered a query on communication, tossing out a bunch of options. I could envision the puzzled faces of young people looking at each other and saying, “What’s a record player?”

The debates have been interesting, yet certainly not inclusive topic-wise. Maybe the inquisitors on the scene for this month’s meeting with 12 Democratic survivors can pose the question, “How do you square your ambitious program proposals with a $23 trillion national debt?”


In my opinion within this opinion column, there’s nothing but respect for the good fight Bernie has waged over the years. One hopes he’s here to see some of the more doable policies of his lifetime labor materialize into a better life for all of America’s citizens.

Still, the opinion also extends to the belief that he will never be president, or even a wish that he become president. It didn’t take a very unfortunate heart attack to arrive at that opinion.

Yet, with that reality on the table, stepping to the sidelines for the family and accepting accolades for a job well done may be the best choice to keep his message in America’s discussions. There are many who will pick up the torch for his progressive future.

My naïveté regarding 21st-century life in rural Vermont was front and center when it was revealed this summer that more than 5 million oxycodone and hydrocodone pills were sold to pharmacies in Lamoille County between 2006 and 2012. 

Big Pharma likely is neither surprised nor unhappy. The United States and tiny New Zealand are the only countries in the world to allow legal advertising for direct-to-consumers prescription drugs. Their ads are pervasive and misleading. They are illusions. Young, happy actors/models, always smiling along with their joyful nuclear families in 4,000-square-foot houses, having fun in the park, partying with the girls, guys, super cute kids or loyal pets; always obscuring the identity of whatever disease is disclosed in a nanosecond visual, followed by other nanosecond visuals of required warnings and payment plans.

Vermonters love to tell everyone of its first-in-the-nation achievements in many circles. Circle a worthy one that Race Car Phil was first Republican governor to denounce the destruction foisted on us by president sociopath.

PBS keeps us on our toes: Rick Steeves’ “Fascism in Europe” is worth watching every time it pops up on the schedule until its not-so-subtle message to America sinks in.

And for this writer, watching 16 hours of Ken Burns and “Country Music” proved to be another not-so-subtle message that America has a continuously struggling subset of society that needs to be embraced in unity with the rest of the nation.


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