This week FairPoint announced its plan to get out of debt, we got a glimpse at school budgets around the state trying to hold the line on spending increases, and the concerns about radioactive groundwater near Vermont Yankee continued. In the legislature, a bill to ban cell phone use among drivers was considered, and so was a new tax on junk food. And in Burlington, 150 performers prepared for this weekend’s annual Gospel Fest concert.
These were some of the voices in the news this week:
(Jeff Francis, Superintendents Association) "We know that in many communities budgets are going down. We know that in others they’re level-funded or just going up a very, very small percentage. I think it’s an indication that school officials are responding to the economy."
(CEO David Hauser) "Roughly two-thirds of our existing debt will be extinguished. As a result, FairPoint’s financial position and ongoing liquidity will be significantly strengthened."
(Nuclear consultant Arnie Gundersen) Tritium moves like water in a stream. And the other isotopes move like stones tumbling down the river. They move at a slower rate through the soil than the tritium. So the tritium is the first warning, but it’s not clear until they get close to the leak that it’s the only thing in the soil.
(Sen. Dick Mazza) "I think there’s still a purpose for cell phone uses out there. I’m not ready to say that we should ban them entirely… There are so many responsible folks out there that can use a cell phone."
(Rep. Paul Poirier) "We’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars fighting complications of obesity, diabetes and chronic heart disease…. And so part of our feeling is that there are numerous products that are sold as food that have absolutely no nutritional value.
(Evelyn Kwanza) "The word Gospel itself means ‘the good news.’ And we are celrating Black Hisotry Month, and this is also good news."