No surprise that this week’s news was dominated by the financial crisis in Wall Street investment banks, with Vermont’s congressional delegation voting for and against bailout packages. The Vermont National Guard prepared to learn about its next deployments, and heating assistance came through for low-income people. Science teachers reacted to low test scores, and we marked the passing of poet Hayden Carruth.
These were some of the voices in this week’s news:
(Congressman Peter Welch) "We have fundamental problems that we’ve got to address and it’s going to take a return to the basics and that’s having an economic agenda that focuses on building and strengthening the middle class helping entrepreneurs rather than speculation."
(Sen. Patrick Leahy) "There are days when I sit here and go, ‘this is crazy – everything’s falling apart here.’ And then I look at pictures of my home in Middlesex and I say, ‘Hang on, hang on – just a few more days and Marcel and I will be back there.’"
(Hal Cohen, Central Vermont Community Action Council) "For particularly the lowest income people in our state, it’s going to get them about 60 percent of their fuel costs covered. The problem is that they still have to come up with the 40 percent.”
(Adjutant General Michael Dubie) "I still hear that people feel good about going to Afghanistan as opposed to going back to Iraq, because that’s where the large majority of our deployments have been."
(Pat Fitzsimmons, Vermont Department of Education) "We have many amazing science teachers in Vermont and I really have confidence that they will use the data to recognize their strengths as well as build on those areas that need improvement."
(Poet Hayden Carruth, reading "The Cows at Night")
But I did not want to go,
not yet, nor knew what to do
if I should stay, for how
in that great darkness could I explain
anything, anything at all.
I stood by the fence. And then
very gently it began to rain.
Thank you. (applause)