Local Analysis

Wild West Condition

RUTLAND HERALD 09/27/21 TIMES ARGUS 09/27/21 By Michael Shank A local zoning administrator once told me — when I served as chairman of the Brandon Planning Commission — that Vermont was the “Wild West” when it came to rules and regs. He’s not wrong. I’ve witnessed this in the lax […]

Rules That Protect the Majority, Rather Than Cater to the Few

VTDIGGER 03/26/21 MOUNTAIN TIMES 04/01/21 By Michael Shank This commentary is by Michael Shank of Brandon, communications director for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and an adjunct faculty member at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs. A local zoning administrator once told me — when I served as chair […]

USDA Upgrade Opportunity

RUTLAND HERALD 02/27/21 TIMES ARGUS 02/27/21 By Michael Shank Since receiving President Joe Biden’s nomination for secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack has indicated he’s newly committed to a USDA that prioritizes sustainable, regenerative and climate-resilient agriculture. It’s a welcomed shift from previous stints as USDA secretary under […]

Animal Welfare in Rutland County

RUTLAND HERALD 01/29/21 By Michael Shank For those who have been following this story in Brandon regarding our recently dismissed Animal Control Officer (ACO), a story the Rutland Herald covered recently, there’s some additional information and background that will be helpful in both unpacking what happened and preparing and equipping […]

Getting Off Fossil Gas

VTDIGGER 12/30/20 By Michael Shank Editor’s note: This commentary is by Michael Shank, of Brandon, who is communications director for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and adjunct faculty at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs. This month witnessed the launch of the first-ever “Gas Index,” which ranks American metropolitan […]

Electricity is Cleaner and Healthier

RUTLAND HERALD 12/26/20 TIMES ARGUS 12/26/20 By Michael Shank This month witnessed the launch of the first-ever “Gas Index,” which ranks American metropolitan areas on the leakiness of the gas supply chains that service their cities. This new index — of which Burlington ranks in the middle – takes into […]

Working Toward Thriving Communities

VTDIGGER 11/04/20 By Michael Shank  Editor’s note: This commentary is by Michael Shank of Brandon, who is vice chair of the Rutland Regional Planning Commission and the chair of the Brandon Planning Commission. He was an independent candidate for a Rutland District seat in the Vermont State Senate. When the […]

Rutland County Needs to Band Together for Broadband

VTDIGGER 10/07/20 By Michael Shank Editor’s note: This commentary is by Michael Shank of Brandon, who is vice chair of the Rutland Regional Planning Commission and the chair of the Brandon Planning Commission. Many things in life are easier when done together. Whether it’s education, economic development, everyday chores or […]

Band Together for Broadband

MOUNTAIN TIMES 10/07/20 By Dr. Michael Shank Many things in life are easier when done together. Whether it’s education, economic development, everyday chores or even emergency response, when you have more hands and more help, the work is more efficiently executed and more effectively implemented. It takes a village to […]

Broadband for All

RUTLAND HERALD 10/07/20 By Michael Shank Many things in life are easier when done together. Whether it’s education, economic development, everyday chores or even emergency response, when you have more hands and more help, the work is more efficiently executed and more effectively implemented. It takes a village to lighten […]