Voices from the week’s news – February 22, 2008

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School funding, the state budget and the Democratic primary were only some of the top issues this week. We also followed stories about cleaning up Lake Champlain, a new energy contract with Hydro-Quebec, high gas prices, and the unsettling missing person case of Middlebury student.

Here’s a listen back to some of the voices in the news this week:

Middlebury College student still missing, few leads
(Addison Independent reporter Megan James) "The college is doing a good job of keeping people informed and updating their web site, but they have so little evidence…"

Energy experts say Hydro Quebec contracts likely to be renewed
(Bob Young, president of CVPS) "I think it’s a very high probability that we will have a new contract with Hydro Quebec. As many people know, we have started negotiations on the new contract. We started in the spring of last year and it is our expectation on the part of both Hydro Quebec and the Vermont utilities that we would finish our negotiations by the end of ’08. And hopefully have a detailed contract that we could then take to the Public Service Board for their review in 2009."

Welch calls for temporary suspension of strategic petroleum reserve deposits
(Congressman Peter Welch) "We’ll leave it to economists to define whether or not we’re in a recession but the reality is that people are hurting. And one of the things that is hurting them bad is filling up their car, filling up their pick-up. Businesses that depend on transportation are really getting clobbered. And I believe Congress and the president should take whatever concrete steps that we can, particularly when there’s no adverse impact on national security."

(Joe Choquette, Vermont Petroleum Association) "That may be a reasonable short term solution. In the long term, we’ve said for a long time what we need to do is reduce our dependence on foreign oil by developing the resources we have in the United States. And most of the lands and areas that hold significant deposits of petroleum crude oil are off limits to exploration. So we would advocate for more of supply side economics than demand side."

Towns say lake clean up too costly
(Anthony Iarrapino, Conservation Law Foundation) "I think the thing that Vermont really can’t afford is a dirty Lake Champlain that’s only getting dirtier and that proposals are on the table to increase pollution."

(Rutland Mayor Chris Louras) "To upgrade our plant, to allow us to take two tons of phosphorus out of our plant, would take about $8 million in capital improvement and $400,000 in annual operating costs. It would result in a 35 percent increase in Rutland City sewer rates.”

Democrats turn attention to March 4
(Former Governor Madelein Kunin) "We haven’t really begun to fight. And I sense a lot of strong support for Hillary Clinton. And, as we said at the beginning, every delegate is going to count in this race."




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