The news of the week may turn out to be today's release of a new Air Force report weighing the relative impact of basing F-35 fighter jets in Burlington and elsewhere. But, um, we haven't had a chance yet to read all 3000 pages, so we'll wait for the dust to settle before we throw it in our weekly list of winners and losers in Vermont news and politics.
Don't worry. There are still plenty of contenders for this week's Scoreboard. Without further ado, here it is for the week ending Friday, May 31:
AFSCME — In its fight to represent 7000 Vermont homecare workers, AFSCME got out ahead of the SEIU this week with a nice little PR stunt: marching 4000 signatures down to the Vermont Labor Relations Board to preemptively file for a yet-to-be-scheduled election. That provided reporters with an AFSCME-centered hook to write about what could become an interesting union-on-union fight.
Steve Goodkind — The iconic Burlington Public Works director announced this week he's retiring 32 years after becoming then-mayor Bernie Sanders' first City Hall hire. That means plenty more backwoods skiing, motorcycle touring and banjo pickin' for the dude, which definitely earns him a spot on our list of winners.
Ties and losers after the break...
Gov. Peter Shumlin — Shady Shummy managed to avoid any major new developments in his real estate saga this week, so that's a win for him. Also on the upside, no national news outlets — nor, oddly enough, the Republican Governors Association — have touched the story, with the exception of the Associated Press (their story made an appearance in the Huffington Post's politics section). On the downside? It's gonna be a long slow summer — and you can expect Vermont reporters to keep digging into this one.
Burlington Free Press — Props to the Freeps for posting a transcription of the Real Shum Shady dropping the [expletive-deleted]-bomb during an interview with reporter Terri Hallenbeck last Friday when he refused to let the paper videotape it. But why'd they let him get away with saying no?
Vermont Health Co-Op — The Department of Financial Regulation last week rejected the nonprofit cooperative's bid to sell health insurance through the federally mandated exchange. But this week, the co-op came out swinging, charging that DFR deliberately used inaccurate information to deny its application.
Brattleboro Retreat — The Windham County psychiatric hospital tried to push some positive news this week with an announcement that it's teamed up with Blue Cross Blue Shield to offer integrated mental health and traditional health care services. But as the Freeps' Nancy Remsen and VTDigger's Anne Galloway reported, things are not looking good for the Retreat, which remains on the verge of losing federal funding, thanks to rampant problems at the facility.
Your food — VPR's John Dillon really got into the weeds this week with a terrifying report on what went wrong last year at Green Mountain Compost. If you missed it, give it a listen — but put down that tomato first.
Colchester cows — They managed to escape — but then wandered onto I-89. What a bunch of moo-rons.