by Peter Freyne
Today was the day of the annual kickoff breakfast of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce's winter series of Legislative Breakfasts. A Sheraton Burlington Ritual. A chance for lobbyists to buy breakfast. The first one under the LCRCC leadership of former state government bureaucrat, sorry, distinguished career agency/department head - Tom Torti. Tom Terrific, however, stayed away from the stage up front and instead hung out with the "players" parked on the back wall, beyond the tables just like the old days. Old Montpeculiar comrades like Dawn Terrill, Doug Racine (remember him?) and Gaye Symington.
Speaking of Symington, other than the Governor, nobody had more people wanting to talk to them after the breakfast ended than the Vermont woman who had become "Speaker" long before Nancy Pelosi did.
So why did I take a picture of Gov. Jim Douglas and UVM Prez Dan Fogel, you ask?
'Cause I haven't seen Ol' Danny Boy since he came back from a little health problem. Lost weight (as have I), and looks great, eh?
Besides, I was the only rep from the fourth estate who wanted to ask our chief executive a question. A question about the weather, actually.
"How serious do you consider this situation - no snow and global weather change. And is Vermont ever going to be the same again? I’m a little scared myself," I confessed.
Replied Gov. Douglas:
“I’m very worried about the economy this season when we see people skateboarding and playing golf in January instead of snowboarding and skiing, it’s very disconcerting because our winter economy depends on snow. There still is time but with each passing day that we don’t get a good snowfall, it’s troubling and our economy is certainly at risk.
"What the future holds is hard to say. The warmest year on record was 1891 but we’ve had several warm years in a row and I certainly hope that this won’t continue.
"Vermont will do its part to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, to participate on a national and international basis to provide some leadership on climate change but that’s going to take some time."