Thursday, October 11, 2018

Opinion: Put a hold on changes at Springfield Hospital

We’re worried. For the past three years Springfield Hospital has been losing money. It’s no wonder, after our recent personal experiences with their billing practices. Now, in bad financial times, they are considering replacing their current emergency department (ED) service with a new one.

Emergency Services of New England (ESNE) has provided uninterrupted ED coverage and a positive cash flow since 1980. Somehow changing ED coverage is going to make things right financially. Another bad decision.

The hospital employs over 800 people and is Springfield’s largest employer. It’s fiscal health is therefore a great concern, especially for the employees, but also for every resident of Springfield. We can’t imagine Springfield without Springfield Hospital.

We’re sure the reasons behind the hospital’s difficult times are multifactorial, but the responsibility for its success or failure rests on the shoulders of the CEO. Red ink for three of the current CEOs four-year tenure would indicate it’s time for a change.

Please investigate, on your own, our allegations but while our community is working through this tough situation please encourage the Springfield Hospital leadership to put a hold on making sweeping changes , like replacing ESNE, that will affect the hospital’s long term health.


Sincerely,

John and Corky Bond
Springfield, Vt.



74 comments :

  1. An investigative journalist ought to look into the 100 River Street implications to the hospital's bottom line.

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  2. This CEO is driving the hospital into the ground. Removing a small towns hospital providers that have created relationships with the locals and installing strangers to provide personal care is a devastating mistake.

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    Replies
    1. Wake up. Springfield is a dying town with terminal parasite infestation. No enterprise can flourish here. Over 70% of hospital ED patients have no insurance. There has been no self sustaining positive cash flow for years.

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    2. chuck gregory10/11/18, 5:42 PM

      None of these problems would exist if we had single payer health care! The medical system would be guaranteed the money to serve all the people, the town would save $500,000 on its health care coverage for employees, and Springfield's medical providers would act in the interests of the patients, not the bottom line.

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    3. I don't always agree with Chuck, but he's 100% right on this one. I have friends and relatives all over the world, both liberal and conservative, who think we're crazy to have the health care system we do. The country that put a man on the moon (50 years ago) can't do the one thing that many poor nations do, every day? National pride has been replaced with blind arrogance. We will never be great until we can guarantee healthcare, and a lot of other things, to EVERY citizen, like every other civilized nation does!

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    4. There is money to be made with the current system.

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  3. They would probably do a lot better financially if they improved the culture and functionality of the billing office. You ALWAYS get voicemail and have to wait for a return call if one happens at all. This affects timeliness of payment from patients AND insurance companies. Half the time its due to an problem submitting things correctly to the insurance company. Submit it correctly the first time, and the insurance company would have paid the bill already. I'm also aware of a recent situation where an infant was taken from his mother by the state due to opiate use. After 7 months a bill showed up for the mother for his care during his 5 days in the hospital. The hospital knew the situation. This bill should have gone to DCF if nothing else to process to his Medicaid. But 7 months for the first invoice to show up? How does that even happen in a business environment?

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    1. I agree their billing methods suk.

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  4. chuck gregory10/12/18, 8:53 AM

    There would be almost NO billing office under single payer.

    Toronto and Baltimore both have 900-bed hospitals. Baltimore employs 300 people in its billing department. Toronto, laboring under the scourge of single payer, has only 3. T-h-r-e-e.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our state government officials took a serious look at BernieCare/single payer four years ago and concluded that the taxpayers of this state could not afford it. What has changed in the last four years Chuck? The bottom line is there are not enough working people in this state to make it affordable.

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    2. It has to be done at the national level for it to work. Vermont is not the only state that would have problems. Doing things at the state level is just "divide and conquer," anyway. In order to pay for it, we would have to eliminate tax loopholes and other giveaways that the wealthy currently enjoy. Repealing the Trump tax cut is the first step. Most people aren't getting enough from that to matter, anyway. Every other industrialized country is capable of providing health care to its citizens; the only reason we don't is because the rich, and their lackeys, don't want it.

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  5. chuck gregory10/14/18, 9:14 AM

    10:12, the ONLY obstacle remaining at the time was the payroll tax. The JFO had computed a 14% tax, and Shumlin did not consider implementing a graduated payroll tax, one based on the income of the owner/CEO relative to the average pay of the bottom 50% of workers. To have done so would have meant that every owner and employee of a mom and pop store in the state would have had complete health care coverage for themselves and their family for 1/900th of what Wal-Mart would have paid for its employees' coverage. Every small business in Vermont would have been clamoring for it!

    And what would Wal-Mart do if they didn't like it? Move out of state?

    2:35, I've said this before: Vermont's per capita GDP is higher than that of most other nations, including France, which has the best health care system in the world. Because the 1% pays for the campaigns of 2/3d's of all candidates, we're not going to see the necessary tax changes happen at the national level, but we can do them at the state level-- our wealthiest happen to be just that different.

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    Replies
    1. Chuck, if the wealthy in this state are "that different," why don't we have universal health care, better schools, and a host of other things? The rich and powerful get their way everywhere else, why not here? If you take a good look at the wealthy of both parties, you'll see they really aren't that different. The Koch Bros. support a variety of liberal social causes; the liberal billionaires hate unions, regulations, and paying taxes, too. So what's the real difference, other than their rhetoric?

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    2. chuck gregory10/15/18, 4:24 PM

      3:22, your fourth sentence shrieks that you have no idea what you're talking about.

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    3. Hah! How many billionaires have you personally known, Chuck? I've known a few. Many of my family are millionaires! I speak from personal experience, unlike you, who gets his information from Vanity Fair! My first two sentences say it all; if the wealthy and the powerful in this state are so benevolent, why are so many people here poor? Got an answer for that one?

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  6. Springfield Hospital is poised to be a very successful healthcare organization. Unfortunately you need to wipe out the old upper management and replace all the C-suite and upper management with out of the box change agents that can revitalize this potential niche! This is not a new issue. This hospitals poor management and treatment of its staff can not be maintained. I no longer use this facility or any of its subsidiaries after having horrible experiences on all levels. It really is unfortunate as the potential for success is there but the management is so flawed. The Board of Directors has an obligation as trustees to look deeply into the issues and move to enact changes that will make this a survivable situation. Unfortunately, most board members do not have a great scope of their obligations or take these posts for the wrong reasons. Good luck it really is a sinking ship unless someone is willing to make broad change across the board!

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  7. The decision for a Single Payer "Welfare" Health Care Plan will be done at the ballot Box. VOTE NO and Vote NO to anyone who supports it, it will kill America and a small percentage of Tax Payers will pay the bill for all. Once the last few people that work to pay their Health care bills or get insurance from their employer get Free Health Care, they will also leave the work force and become Welfare Cases as well. VOTE NO!

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    1. And now, a public service announcement: Roger knows absolutely nothing about healthcare, or anything else. He is not to be believed, or trusted. Thank you.

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  8. Change form 1040 to replace "Do you want to contribute to the presidential election " with "Please contribute to the National Health Care fund".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When they change the form, it will not be a question of Do You Want to contribute or Please Contribute. There will just be a line and box that says your percentage just went from 28% or 35% to 38% or 45% or more, because the number of people that will be contributing will be very few. Why should they it's easier to just take and not work because others will pay "their fare shares".

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  9. chuck gregory10/15/18, 1:16 PM

    Some 30 years ago I heard the hospital had a board of "corporators," from which candidates were drawn for the Board of Directors. At the time it struck me that it was a good way to winnow out any non-corporate thinkers. I don't know if that's still the case. In America in general, boards of directors are composed of people nominated at the behest of the CEO and elected by those whom the CEO has already placed on the board.

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    Replies
    1. Philip Caron10/15/18, 4:01 PM

      Nationally, and now internationally, a large number of business leaders serve on each others' boards.

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    2. chuck gregory10/15/18, 4:32 PM

      Which, Philip, reminds me of the shakedown cruise of the Swedish warship Vasa, known by both the builders and the Swedish admiralty to be dangerously unseaworthy, but which, in deference to the corporate mindset of those times, was completed anyway.

      Equipped with the finest cannon, manned by the best Sweden had to offer, supplied with the most exquisite appointments and provendered for two years at sea, it served admirably in the defense of Sweden for two hours.

      Nobody was ever punished or even assigned blame except a shipwright who'd been dead for two years.

      Which leads me to think that maybe we need to escape a lot of today's corporate mindset....

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    3. Chuck How long have you been waiting and wanting to work that old retched story into a conversation, that didn't just come to mind.

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    4. Philip, businessmen serving on each other's boards is known as "overlapping directorships." It is how the wealthy and powerful engineer and control an economy to benefit themselves, at the expense of the community. Throw in a few corrupt politicians, and you have the "good-old-boy" network. It's nothing new, it's the oldest scam going!

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    5. Philip Caron10/15/18, 9:19 PM

      A new aspect is multinational corporations, whose owners control more money than most national governments, and who pick the countries with the policies most favorable to their bottom line to do business in and with. All the top western world leaders are connected with the leadership of these multinationals, usually as both former and future employees. Ditto all the cabinet and other high post appointees, and the heads of all the major international bodies like the UN, the World Bank, etc. Private interests now control almost every aspect of our lives, how much we make, interest rates, media exposure, prices of everything, what products are sold, tax rates, legislative issues, international relations, candidate for office, political platforms etc. etc. to the bitter end. These people were not elected; they have no term in office; the best interests they have at heart are nobody's but their own.

      Ref. for example, "Superclass" by David Rothkopf

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    6. Unfortunately if we wanted to get out of here and move to Mars the people you reference would be there to greet us with their greedy hands held out.

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    7. Very true, Philip. Globalism adds a new dimension to the old game. Even if we rose up and "took it back," our new leaders would be just a different bunch of "good-old-boys." Roger Daltry said it best: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." I try not to think about it too much, although maybe I should.....

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  10. Doc Adams got eggs or a drink for fixen a broken arm. That system worked. But since, some jerk came up with "insurance", and some lawyer started a new way to get rich.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My great-grandfather was a doctor until his death in 1943. He used to accept produce, and other services in lieu of payment, before health insurance existed. He started out life the son of a wealthy Bavarian nobleman. He worked until the day he died, and was flat broke at the end. This isn't television; get real, 5:32!

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    2. Sorry he died flat broke. He had good values helping people in need. Bet he voted democrate. Money wasn't his main concern.

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    3. No, money was not his main concern, the people of his community were. Not only did he vote Democratic, he was once that party's nominee for the Wisconsin State Senate. My point was that bartering for healthcare doesn't work. Sooner or later, someone has to pay. With universal single-payer, the cost is spread out over the entire public, making it cheaper for everyone. That's how private insurance is SUPPOSED to work, but doesn't. Private, for-profit health care puts profits before patients. Taking the profit out of the equation will give the people better health care, for less money.

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    4. And no Monetary reason for Doctors to spend 4, 8, 12 years to become great doctors and save lives. Then we have a doctor and Nurse shortage and actual Health Crisis across the country. Monetary and Capitalism works and drives innovation.
      If one of my family member's or Friends has a major health issue I want them to have the smartest and best there is.

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    5. Roger, we already have a health care system driven by capitalism. Guess what? WE HAVE A DOCTOR AND NURSING SHORTAGE! If money is the only motivation to get into health care, you're there for the wrong reason, anyway. I have no problem with doctors and nurses being paid, (you didn't actually read and understand my post, did you?) but for-profit hospitals and health insurers are unnecessary. All they do is milk the system. As usual, it's just another knee-jerk laisez-faire capitalist response on your part!

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    6. "Taking the profit out of the equation will give the people better health care, for less money"

      So this comment by you does not reflect what I wrote, who is going to run these not for profit Health Care centers, TAX PAYERS, when not all Americans work and pay taxes.

      Believe me taking the monetary portion out of the equation is not going to get us more doctors and nurses now is it.

      You need to find some "not for profit Psychiatric Center" and learn how not to call people names to get your point across.

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    7. It's a really sad commentary, Roger, that you can't tell the difference between the earned salary of a worker, and corporate profit. Not surprising, though.

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    8. More of the same cutting people down, always have to get a dig in, just shows your personality.

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    9. What do you call what you just posted, Roger? Just curious. Here's some sage advice: Better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. (OK, that was a dig!)

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    10. Much better if you were the one that came up with it, but just to sling around others wise thoughts means nothing.

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    11. Roger, you haven't had an original thought since I've known you. The same tired right-wing radio/internet claptrap that I've been hearing for decades. No, quotes are never original. But at least mine are wise! Goodbye, Roger!

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    12. We'll that tired old right wing radio and internet crap has helped to get the US in a better position, hope it helps keep the Single Payer Health Care at Bay. And the more and more I listen at watch (also watch MSNBC, Channel 3 News and some CNN to know what we're up against) we might just be keeping the House and Senate in 21 days, which is something abnormal for a midterm with a change in the White House in the previous election. I think the more and more that Liberals, Resist, Protest and fight, the better the Republicans look like normal people and not Little Children that don't get their way. Someone should tell Bill and Hillary bye bye, and why Eliz Warren brings up her Indian issue 22 days before and election is beside me, she never thought that through, Liberals need to find someone to lead and it should not be any of the ones making news these days for sure.

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  11. Why does Trump have to make himself a jerk almost every day in front of the American people and the world. Birds of a feather flock together.

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  12. chuck gregory10/16/18, 11:37 AM

    Jonas Salk spent years and years trying to develop a preventive immunization for polio. When he finally succeeded, he gave the patent rights to the American people. He lived a comfortable life, and he wasn't greedy. A lot of American health care providers are just like him. Insurance companies never will be.

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  13. Someone needs to look into the management from top to bottom. I know first-hand many from the Surgical Suite who been let go or left before they were fired due to the poor management practices. I've even seen Facebook pictures from nurses in the surgery rooms as they "joke around", yet nothing gets done about it. I know of one nurse who had a car accident while she was high but the managers looked the other way. Even HIPA violation complaints get swept under the rug. It seems suspicious that many good long-time employees have been let go for little or sketchy reasons. Many surgeries get rescheduled or transferred because equipment or medicines were not available as the outside vendors stopped shipping due to large amounts of overdue monies they are owed. I am sure other suppliers like Hunter North, etc. are owed great amount of monies. With as much money as they owe and are losing, I doubt a larger hospital like Dartmouth would even want to purchase them. I truly think some serious outside investigation needs to be done, either by a reporter or a state/federal office or both!

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    Replies
    1. I know of someone who was fired recently for not being a "team player" after 19 years of working for the hospital. She was given no notice, just fired. Funny how you can work for a company for that long and yet not be a team player.

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    2. Sounds like they were culling the people who had they most benefits and pay.

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    3. It's not just the hospital. I've experienced some problems with the clinic, too. It seems they are reluctant to perform tests, or administer treatment, in certain cases. I once saw a patient be refused treatment, because they said they were afraid the insurance company wouldn't pay, even though it was covered. Last I checked, that's not even legal!

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    4. That's corporate doublespeak, 4:49. Not being a "team player" means not going along with the corporate "policy," which usually means the employee refusing to do something illegal or unethical. I've gotten the boot more than once for that. It usually involves billing.....

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  14. chuck gregory10/16/18, 5:12 PM

    If the employees were unionized, things would have to be done by the book. Union employees take their duties and responsibilities much more seriously when they know they're in the right and management's corner-cutting is in the wrong. When they don't have union protection, they have to go along with shoddiness.

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    Replies
    1. Chuck, my first hand experience working in a union environment contrasts starkly from what you suggest. When cut backs are warranted, be it lack of business or merger, those with least seniority go first. Backlash being, those that are the future of the company quickly become indifferent to job performance. Pay, promotions, and job security are all a function of tenure. Customer service, loyalty and a job well done mean nothing. Should they stay on board, those toxic attitudes fester a lifetime becoming perversity norm throughout the workplace. That in large is why every union manufacturer in the area failed while their domestic, non union, counterparts are flourishing in this economy.

      At young age I rejected that structure. My employer lost their most talented technician, and I opened the door to an amazing career.

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    2. 6:07, could you please name the "non-union counterparts" to the major manufacturers that left town? The number of people who work there, and the average salary they are paid? I don't see anything here that's even close to the type and level of employment that Fellows, Bryant, J&L, etc. had.

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    3. Oh, by the way, the companies didn't "fail." They're all doing very well, somewhere else!

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    4. @ 7:04, I normally wouldn't engage in responding to idiot trolls, but just to prove the point to all readers here just how pathetically stupid you are, here's how it shakes out. This fall at IMTS no machine tool branded as Bryant, J&L, or Fellows was on exhibit. Meanwhile Haas has become the largest machine tool company worldwide. They produce more CNC lathes than all other manufacturers combined. Gleason of Rochester, NY is the leading manufacturer of gear shapers, gear shaper cutters and scudding in North America. The internal grinder market is fragmented with Okamoto USA assembled in Illinois being the largest player. Each of these companies inherited some of the best rising talent in Springfield.

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    5. Just as I thought. The "contemporaries" you spoke of are NOT in Springfield, they're somewhere else, as are the ones that left here. They didn't "inherit" anything; they hired it somewhere else. Apples and oranges. I worked in the machine tool industry for years, so I know how it "shakes out." I watched as all the non-Union shops went to China, but not before the crooked CEO's bankrupted them and stole everybody's pensions! I deprived many of my NON-UNION employers of my services. Leaving was the only way to get my money out before the companies were driven into the ground! None of it would have happened if the Union had been there. YOU'RE the idiot troll!

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    6. Philip Caron10/17/18, 1:35 PM

      Bryant, Fellows, and J&L did fine for years with unions in place. Bryant was the world leader in grinding machinery and technology for decades, while it was a union shop. Business, despite cycles seen as normal back then, was on average fine. Everything changed when a predator, Goldman, took over the shops. It wasn't the unions.

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    7. @ Philip 1:35 PM, Yes our local shops were unquestionably world leaders for years. However the manufacturing business model changed in the '80s with the advent of very accurate, reliable CNC machine tools. Machines just like those manufactured by Blanchard, Bryants, Fellows and J&L. Such highly productive machines could out produce a manual machine on the order of 7:1. The new business model for manufacturing was to specialize in one operation only, i.e. EDM, grinding, turning, heat treat, multi axis milling, gear cutting, plating, etc. The efficiency became impossible to compete against. No longer could a manufacturer make a part start to finish under their own roof profitably. However, union local 218 had binding, union contracts that prohibited out sourcing. Scrap loss and labor costs skyrocketed. The writing was on the wall and still union officers refused to make concessions. I equally blame corporate mgmt for agreeing to such suicidal contract. Enough selfishness and incompetence to go around for everyone.

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    8. chuck gregory10/18/18, 8:26 AM

      7:00, you describe a replay of "Grounded," the story of the bankruptcy of Eastern Airlines. The difference was that the various unions fought each other rather than co-operating to counter the predatory Frank Lorenzo (who lived comfortably ever after).

      There needed to be thinking outside the box. With the shop town mentality slowly dying off, the way is opening up for Springfield workers to do it right the next time.

      Delete
    9. Philip Caron10/18/18, 10:49 AM

      Maybe you're right, Anonymous 7:00 AM. That was certainly a factor. Goldman was merely the bringer of the news. The business model did shift, as companies expanded into other countries for parts and labor, countries with very different conditions. There was money to be made, and not with unions. Unions, stuck in the old ways where a single wage earner could raise a family, where "made in the USA" was a symbol of pride. Owners were losing out paying for all that, for sure. Much better to get every possible penny out of every transaction, and translate every value into dollars and cents to be exploited, and mass produce bare necessities that people could afford on lower pay. Big business made that happen, changed everyone's lives, and we didn't even have to elect them to get it. But just be careful, those who praying to MAGA: you might actually get what we had before. (Not holding breath.)

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    10. We DID elect them, Philip, starting with Reagan. Now it's "Mourning in America!" No, MAGA will not bring back the good old days. For that, we'll need Unions and higher taxes. Globalism and supply-side economics are an ever-downward spiral. At some point, when they've run out of underdeveloped nations to exploit, it will cost more to produce a product than it can be sold for. The "Dust Bowl" of the Great Depression is an example of this. When that happens, we'll see a global economic collapse that'll make the Dark Ages look like the Renaissance. Glad I won't live to see it.

      Delete
  15. Roger, hasn't trump taught you anything about cutting GOOD people down. He does it every day. And people like you laugh. Look at his "hired" cheer leading squad behind him at his rallies laughing along while he bullies whomever is the target at the moment. Just a bunch of a hols .

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  16. Springfield Hospital is a small community-based hospital, trying hard to keep that 'home town' feel. However, with the Federal Government adding more and more regulations, and with American citizens becoming lawsuit happy, it is increasingly difficult to provide safe, quality and efficient care to the customers. I agree with a post above....Someone needs to look at the Administrators (all of them) and evaluate processes they insist are necessary to remain viable. Removing ESNE from the Emergency Room is like removing the 'right arm' of the body. Yes, they may be a contracted service, but they are a real part of the hospital family, and outsourcing for a different, possibly cheaper group of providers is NOT the answer. The worker bees continue to work as hard as they can, while Administration feels they can 'amputate' local, community-based provider services. That is a true shame. There are few employees that don't take their jobs to heart. This is more than a 'business' to them, and to think otherwise of them is ignorance on the reader's part.

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  17. chuck gregory10/17/18, 9:02 AM

    My union experience was with nurses. The unionized ones didn't put up with the cr*p a management imposes on non-unionized ones. They didn't have to.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Mitch, Ryan, and Rubio have a good idea, eliminate Medicare and Social Security and forward those savings to the individuals that really need it, Trump's buddies, the filthy rich.

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    Replies
    1. Correct Roger, I miss spoke, Trump has already reduced taxes on the rich and now Mitch is looking for funds to fill the gap. SS and MC.

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    2. but President Trump shot that idea down. "I'm not touching Social Security," the president told The Associated Press.

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    3. chuck gregory10/19/18, 10:22 AM

      Said our president who as a candidate took 121 different positions on 26 topics. It all depends on who speaks to him last.

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  19. As is the case with most of our Politicians they blow like the wind, so single him out of you want to but look at the results of what he has done. From a conservative's perspective he has kept most of his promises that matter to me, working to secure the border, increasing/rebuilding the military, and cutting taxes are 3 of the biggest. But watching the economy grow as well as the stock market, which effects 401K's are bonuses. When I get my ballot in 2020 it will not be voting for Michael Avanti, Bernie Sanders, Eric Holder or Elizabeth "Pocahontas" Warren which seems to be the front runners for Democratic Party. Tell me they are a crew of Swamp Rats and have always held their position firm and never lied. Never said Mr Trump was perfect, but he sure has changed up Washington and some politics for the better, I'll over look certain things, we don't have a choice unless Jesus is coming back.

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  20. chuck gregory10/19/18, 2:42 PM

    Glad to know you're making over $70,000 a year, Roger. Those of us who make less (over 50% of the country) are going to see our tax cuts disappear in five years, to be replaced by higher taxes-- and the less we make, the higher our taxes will be compared to the people earning more than us!! You people over $70,000 won't have that happen. And now Congress, having given $1 trillion to the one percent, is going to cure the shortfall by cutting Medicare and Social Security. Hope you're not on SS or Medicare!

    I sleep better because the border is "secure" and the military got $600 billion it didn't ask for. Call me stupid....

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  21. Chuck You are making assumptions on my yearly salary, so that's bogus. I still stand for Trump and the country we have now, and shutter to think what would happen if any of the socialite I listed get voted in, I don't want my grandchildren to live in a Socialist country like Venezuela, or China.
    There is a reason that there are 4000 people on there way here from Guatemala, to take our handouts and live in a country that is greater than ever. I am still working so no SS, but never mention Trump SAID his is not cutting SS, so spin it around.

    And back to what this Post is about, Please vote no to anyone wanting to Socialize our Health Care!

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  22. VOTE DEMOCRAT ACROSS THE BALLOT. DUMP TRUMP.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Watch out roger, thousands of illegal migrants are coming across the southern border and will vote DEMOCRAT when they get here for the mid terms.
    Hum what about the northern border.

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  24. chuck gregory10/19/18, 8:10 PM

    If you're not making at least $70,000 a year, Roger, then Trump's tax cut is hurting you. Maybe you should be worried less about Guatemalans who would swell our population by 0.0012% (about as great in size on the body politic as a fingernail clipping on the human body) and a little more about why he should take money from you (and your grandchildren) to give to the 1% ?

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