By Guy Page
Saturday, President Donald Trump announced at a press briefing Vermont and Texas will be the first two states to reopen for business.
Friday, April 17 Gov. Phil Scott ordered the following business activity re-opened on Monday, April 20:
- outdoor businesses and construction operations with crews of two or less
- single-person low contact professional services, such as appraisers, attorneys, realtors and others
- more retail operations may operate through phone-in or online ordering, and curbside pickup or delivery
Some Vermonters are demanding the restrictions end now. Similar to protests in Michigan, New Hampshire and other states, a grassroots demonstration on the State House lawn urging a return to normal has been planned for Wednesday. Gov. Scott has repeatedly promised he will reopen the economy “the spigot a quarter turn at a time,” making data-driven decisions. As of 1 pm Friday Vermont has seen 793 Covid-19 cases and 35 deaths.
Not all of the national news about Vermont has been positive. Fox News Sunday night covered Vermont State College (VSC) Chancellor Jeb Spaulding’s plan to close three Vermont state college campuses due to Covid-19 enrollment losses suffered this year and projected for next year.
Spaulding announced Friday his plan to keep the state college system afloat by closing campuses in Lyndon, Johnson and Randolph.
Negative reaction and grassroots organization was strong and swift. Former Democratic House Majority Leader Floyd Nease, a former Johnson resident and son of a college president, noted in a Facebook post that six of the 13 Vermont State College trustees live in Chittenden County and none live in any of the endangered campus host towns.
Protest Vermont State College Closures, a Facebook protest group organized by NVU professor Ben Luce, had 3600 followers as of Sunday afternoon. 200 demonstrators in Johnson cheered an announcement that Gov. Scott opposes the closures and wants the Legislature to find a solution. A VSC trustee vote on Spaulding’s plan set for tomorrow has been postponed.
Luce called for a doubling of VSC’s appropriation. Scott opposes closures and burdening Vermont taxpayers. He urged the Legislature to find innovative solutions that cost-effectively prepare students without closing campuses.
Read more of Guy Page’s reports.
2 thoughts on “Trump, Scott say some professions can return to work tomorrow; college campus closure vote postponed”
As student populations decline and tuitions fall off, something has got to give. We all complain about the high cost of education in Vermont with increased spending, then when reality hits and positive steps are taken to face up to it, the screamers come out of the woodwork. I for one applaud Spaulding’s taking responsible steps to deal with this issue.
The colleges should conduct STAY-AT-HOME virtual classes on a permanent basis.
Media labs should be set up to enable faculty to prepare virtual classes and broadcast them to ALL PRE-QUALIFIED COMERS FAR AND WIDE, for a suitable fee.
A large number of buildings would no longer be needed.
Those buildings should be repurposed for energy-efficient, low to medium income housing.
That is called restructuring to become modern.
It is at least 2 decades overdue.
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