YCQM Nov. 17, 2019

BURLINGTON, Vt. >> Darren: GOOD MORNING,
EVERYONE.
I'M DARREN PERRON.
RIGHT NOW ON CHANNEL 3'S "YOU
CAN QUOTE ME," IMPEACHMENT
INQUIRY.
REPRESENTATIVE PETER WELCH
DELIVERS A ONE LINER DURING THE
PUBLIC HEARING.
WE TALK TO THE CONGRESSMAN ABOUT
THE PROCESS IN A ONE-ON-ONE
INTERVIEW AND GET REACTION FROM
NORTH COUNTRY CONGRESSWOMAN
ELISE STEFANIK.
>>> UNSTABLE SLOPES.
IS A LANDSLIDE IN BURLINGTON
PUTTING PROPERTIES AT RISK?
WE TALK TO A GEOLOGIST ABOUT THE
POTENTIAL THREAT.
>>> AND THE NEW CITY PLACE
PLANS.
THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN THIS
MORNING.
THE STALLED CITY PLACE PROJECT
IN THE MIDDLE OF DOWNTOWN
BURLINGTON WILL NOW LOOK
DIFFERENTLY THAN ORIGINALLY
PROPOSED.
IT WAS GOING TO BE 14 STORIES.
NOW THE DEVELOPER SAYS IT WILL
BE TEN STORIES.
IT WILL STILL BE A MIX OF
SHOPPING AND RESIDENTIAL UNITS.
THE CITY HOPES NOW THE PROJECT
WILL GET DONE FASTER SINCE THE
PROJECT HAS BEEN SCALED BACK.
AND FOR AN UPDATE ON THE
PROJECT, I'M JOINED NOW BY
BURLINGTON MAYOR MIRO
WEINBERGER.
GOOD MORNING TO YOU.
>> Weinberger: MORNING, DARREN,
THANKS FOR HAVING ME IN.
>> Darren: THANKS FOR BEING
HERE.
THIS PROJECT OBVIOUSLY WAY
BEHIND SCHEDULE.
PART OF THE PHASE ONE OF THIS
PROJECT WAS SET TO OPEN IN
JANUARY.
OBVIOUSLY WAY OFF SCHEDULE FROM
THAT.
WHEN IS WORK SCHEDULED TO
RESUME?
>> Weinberger: WELL, THERE'S NOT
A PRECISE SCHEDULE.
WHAT THE DEVELOPER HAS SAID THAT
SEEMS POTENTIALLY REALISTIC TO
ME IS THEY WILL START THE
PERMITTING FOR REALLY TWO
PROJECTS.
THEY WILL PERMIT THE REPURPOSING
OF THE OLD MACY'S BUILDING WILL
BE A SEPARATE PERMIT THAN A NEW
PERMIT FOR THE CENTRAL BLOCK,
THE MALL THAT WAS TAKEN DOWN.
WE ARE ANTICIPATING THAT THEY
WILL BEGIN THAT FORMAL
PERMITTING PROCESS SOMETIME IN
THE FIRST QUARTER, EARLY SECOND
QUARTER OF 2020 AND IF THAT GOES
SMOOTHLY, THEY COULD BE IN
CONSTRUCTION SOMETIME IN 2020 IS
WHAT THEY'VE SAID.
THERE ARE ALSO THINGS THAT CAN
CAUSE THAT TO BE DELAYED.
I THINK AS VERMONTERS KNOW, THE
WAY OUR SYSTEM WORKS, IF THERE'S
CONTROVERSY AROUND THE ATTEMPTED
PERMITS, IT CERTAINLY POSSIBLE
THAT IT COULD TAKE TOMORROW
BEYOND THAT BEFORE THEY HAVE THE
FULL GO-AHEAD TOO GO FORWARD.
>> Darren: THIS IS A PRETTY
SIGNIFICANTLY SCALED BACK
VERSION OF THE ORIGINAL
PROPOSAL.
WHAT DID BURLINGTON LOSE BY
GOING WITH THIS SMALLER SCALE?
>> YEAH.
WELL, STILL A VERY SUBSTANTIAL
PROJECT, ABSOLUTELY A
TRANSFORMATION OF THAT PART OF
DOWN THAT WOULD MEET ALL THE
ORIGINAL GOALS OF THE CITY.
WE'RE STILL GETTING BACK THE
STREETS THAT WERE LOST DURING
URBAN RENEWAL THAT RECONNECTED
PINE STREET AND ST. PAUL STREET.
THERE'S STILL HUNDREDS, JUST
ABOUT AS MANY HOMES AS WERE EVER
ENVISIONED, ABOUT 300 HOMES.
THERE'S STILL A SUBSTANTIAL
AMOUNT OF GROUND FLOOR RETAIL.
THE BIGGEST CHANGE IS WITH
RESPECT TO OFFICE SPACE.
WHEREAS THERE HAS BEEN IN THE
ORIGINAL PLAN BEEN A TOWER
ESSENTIALLY THAT WAS GOING TO BE
ENTIRELY DEDICATED TO OFFICE,
THAT'S WHERE THE PROJECT WILL
HIT ITS BIGGEST FINANCIAL
CHALLENGE.
THEY WERE UNABLE TO LEASE THAT
UP FULLY, SO WHAT THEY ARE
PLANNING NOW IS A SIGNIFICANT
CHANGE AS THEY ARE REPURPOSING,
PROPOSING REPURPOSING THE FORMER
MACY'S BUILDING AS AN OFFICE
BUILDING THAT WOULD HOUSE THE
UVM MEDICAL CENTER, WHICH HAS A
LEASE WITH THE PROJECT, AND
MAYBE SOME OTHER OFFICE USE IN
THAT BUILDING.
AND THERE REALLY WOULD NOT BE
ANY OFFICE SPACE IN THE CENTRAL
BLOCK.
INSTEAD, IN ITS PLACE OR
PARTIALLY IN ITS PLACE WOULD BE
A SUBSTANTIAL HOTEL.
THEY HAVE PROPOSED AT LEAST AT
THIS POINT WHAT WOULD BE, I
THINK THE SECOND LARGEST HOTEL
FOR THE CITY.
THOSE ARE THE MAJOR CHANGES.
>> Darren: THE SHORTER TOWERS
THAT ARE NOW GOING TO BE THERE,
A LOT OF FOLKS ARE SAYING, WELL,
THIS IS ACTUALLY A BETTER FIT
FOR BURLINGTON.
DO YOU AGREE THAT SCALING DOWN
THE SIZE OF THOSE TOWERS MAKES
MORE SENSE?
>> Weinberger: YOU KNOW, I
THOUGHT THE FIRST PLAN WAS
GREAT.
I THINK THIS PLAN IS GREAT.
I THINK EITHER ONE ACCOMPLISHES
WHAT WE HAD HOPED TO AS THE
CITY.
THE TRANSFORM PART OF THE
DOWNTOWN INTO A VIBRANT MIXED
USE NEIGHBORHOOD, CREATES
HUNDREDS OF DOWNTOWN HOMES AND
JOBS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF
NEW TAX REVENUE FOR THE CITY AND
THE STATE.
I'M HAPPY WITH EITHER VERSION OF
IT GOING FORWARD.
I JUST WANT IT TO MOVE FORWARD
AND MOVE FORWARD AS QUICKLY AS
POSSIBLE.
THE DELAY IS -- WAS NOT THE WAY
IT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN AND WE
WANT IT TO BE AS SHORT AS
POSSIBLE.
>> Darren: BECAUSE AS YOU KNOW,
THERE'S A HUGE HOLE IN THE
MIDDLE OF DOWNTOWN BURLINGTON
RIGHT NOW.
SOME FOLKS HAVE TOLD US WHO OWN
BUSINESSES, IT IS IMPACTING
THEIR BOTTOM LINE.
SOME BUSINESSES HAVE EVEN SCALED
BACK THEIR HOURS, PARTICULARLY
ALONG BANK STREET.
WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THOSE
BUSINESS OWNERS AND IS THE CITY
DOING ANYTHING TO HELP THEM?
>> Weinberger: YEAH, I DO THINK
THERE'S SOME SPECIFIC BUSINESSES
THAT HAVE CLEARLY FELT SOME
IMPACT FROM THE CONSTRUCTION
AND, YOU KNOW, FROM THE
CONSTRUCTION, WHEN THERE WAS
CONSTRUCTION ON THE SIGHT AND
NOW FROM THE DELAY.
CERTAINLY I TRY TO USE THOSE AS
MUCH AS I CAN IN RECOGNITION OF
THAT, PLUS ONE OF OUR GREAT
RESTAURANTS.
WE ARE DOING A NUMBER OF THINGS
TO TRY TO MITIGATE THE IMPACT ON
THOSE AFFECTED, BUSINESSES.
WE GOT BROOKFIELD TO PUT BACK
SOME PARKING AND MOVE THE
BARRIERS THAT WE RESTORED SOME
PEDESTRIAN RIGHT-OF-WAY A BANK
STREET AND CHERRY STREET.
WE HAVE USED ADDITIONAL MONEYS
WE SECURED FROM BROOKFIELD TO
BEAUTIFY THE AREA.
THERE'S SOME NICE MURALS UP ON
BOTH CHERRY STREET AND BANK
STREET NOW, KIND OF AN ARTIST
EVENT THAT CREATED THOSE AND
WE'RE USING OTHER BROOKFIELD
DOLLARS TO GET THE WORD OUT THAT
BURLINGTON IS VERY MUCH OPEN FOR
BUSINESS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.
THE SHOPS ARE COMPLETELY FULL ON
CHURCH STREET.
THERE'S PLENTY OF PARKING
AVAILABLE IN DOWNTOWN
BURLINGTON.
WE'RE USING THAT BROOKFIELD
MONEY TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT,
MAKE SURE PEOPLE CONTINUE TO
THINK OF BURLINGTON AS A PLACE
TO DO THEIR HOLIDAY SHOPPING.
I DO, DARREN, JUST WANT TO STEP
UP FOR A LEVEL AND PUT THIS IN
PERSPECTIVE.
I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR
EVERYONE TO UNDERSTAND THAT EVEN
WHILE WE ARE GOING THROUGH THIS
TRANSITIONARY PERIOD, WHICH IS
GOING TO BE LONGER THAN WE HOPED
IT WOULD BE, DOWNTOWN BURLINGTON
REMAINS BASICALLY AS STRONG AS
IT'S EVER BEEN.
WE'RE AT HISTORIC HIGHS IN TERMS
OF THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE
VISITING, EATING, STAYING IN
DOWNTOWN BURLINGTON.
WE'RE NEAR HISTORIC HIGHS WITH
RESPECT TO SALES TAXES AND THE
NUMBER OF GOODS THAT ARE BEING
SOLD IN DOWNTOWN.
WE HAVE A NEW CHURCH STREET
MARKETPLACE DIRECTOR THAT
ANNOUNCED JUST YESTERDAY AND I
THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR
EVERYONE TO KNOW, CHURCH STREET
IS VERY MUCH ALIVE AND STRONG,
DOWNTOWN BURLINGTON IS STRONG.
>> Darren: YOU MENTIONED UVM
MEDICAL CENTER.
THERE ARE SOME TENANTS ALREADY
LINED UP.
ARE ANY OF THOSE FOLKS PULLING
OUT AT THIS POINT WITH THIS NEW
PROJECT PROPOSAL OR BECAUSE OF
THE DELAY?
>> Weinberger: YOU KNOW, RETAIL
TENANTS ARE -- SO THE RETAIL
TENANTS AND COMMERCIAL TENANTS,
THE UVMC IS STILL IN AGREEMENT
WITH THE DEVELOPERS.
THE DEVELOPERS HAVE SOME SERIOUS
WORK TO DO QUICKLY TO KEEP THAT
AGREEMENT IN PLACE.
THE HOSPITAL HAS PRESSURES ABOUT
WHEN VARIOUS SPACES THEY HAVE
LEASED, YOU KNOW, EXPIRE AND
BROOKFIELD IS GOING TO NEED TO
PERFORM IN THE WEEKS AND MONTHS
AHEAD TO KEEP THAT LEASE.
I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THAT THEY
DO THAT.
IT'S CERTAINLY A MAJOR GOAL OF
MINE TO KEEP THOSE HOSPITAL,
GOOD HOSPITAL JOBS IN DOWNTOWN
BURLINGTON.
THE RETAIL IS OFTEN SOMETHING
THAT REALLY CAN'T GET FULLY
LEASED UP UNTIL PROJECTS GET
CLOSER TO OPENING AND THERE HAD
NOT REALLY, BEYOND UVMC LEASE,
THERE HAD NOT BEEN OTHER LEASES
ANNOUNCED.
I DO THINK ONCE THEY HAVE A
SCHEDULE, THEY HAVE THE NEW
PERMITS IN PLACE, THEN YOU'LL
PERHAPS SEE THEM START TO ROLL
OUT MORE NEWS ABOUT LEASES.
>> Darren: TAKE US BACK.
WHAT WENT WRONG HERE?
>> Weinberger: YEAH.
WELL, I THINK A COUPLE THINGS
FROM MY PERSPECTIVE AS I -- YOU
KNOW, AND TO SOME DEGREE, THE
CITY IS ON THE OUTSIDE LIKE
EVERYONE WATCHING TO A CERTAIN
DEGREE WHAT THE DEVELOPER DOES
HERE.
THE CITY DELIVERED ON ITS PIECES
OF THIS, OF COURSE.
WE MADE THE ZONING CHANGE THAT
WE WERE COMMITTED TO DOING.
WE WENT TO THE VOTERS AND THEY
APPROVED THE TAX INCREMENT
FINANCING IN PUBLIC
INFRASTRUCTURE.
WE ARE IN THE PART OF THE
AGREEMENT NOW WHERE IT IS THE
DEVELOPER'S JOB TO DELIVER.
THEY CLEARLY HAD TROUBLE LEASING
UP THE OFFICE SPACE AND THAT
CAUSED A RECONSIDERATION OF SOME
OF THE PROGRAMMING AND DECISIONS
THEY HAD MADE.
I THINK A LOT OF THE DELAY OVER
THE LAST YEAR AS WE UNDERSTAND
IT IS DISAGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE
ORIGINAL DEVELOPER WHO STILL
HAS -- HE'S NO LONGER THE
DAY-TO-DAY DEVELOPER, THE PERSON
GETTING THE WORK DONE, BUT DOES
SILL HAVE AUTHORITY OVER CERTAIN
DECISIONS AND THERE WAS A
DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN DON AND
BROOKFIELD THAT WAS ONLY
RESOLVED RELATIVELY RECENTLY.
I'M HAPPY TO SAY IT WAS REPORTED
TO US AND REPORTED PUBLICLY AT
THE END OF OCTOBER THAT THOSE
DISAGREEMENTS WERE FULLY
RESOLVED AND THE PROJECT HAS
BEEN MOVING FORWARD AS YOU WOULD
EXPECT THE PROJECT TO IN THE
WEEKS SINCE.
I'M HOPEFUL THAT THEY'VE GOTTEN
THROUGH THAT, THEY'VE BEGUN TO
TURN THIS AROUND, BEGUN TO
REBUILD CONFIDENCE IN THE CITY,
THE CITY COUNCIL, AND HOPEFULLY
THE PUBLIC.
THEY GOT A WAYS TO GO WITH THAT
STILL, BUT IT DOES FEEL LIKE
IT'S MOVING IN THE RIGHT
DIRECTION TO ME NOW.
>> Darren: CAN YOU GUARANTEE TO
VOTERS THAT THIS PROJECT WILL
MOVE FORWARD?
>> Weinberger: I CAN'T GUARANTEE
IT.
THAT'S THE NATURE OF A PROJECT
LIKE THIS WHERE WE'RE COUNTING
ON A THIRD PARTY, OUTSIDE PARTY
TO DEVELOP THEIR PROPERTY.
WHAT I CAN GUARANTEE TO PEOPLE
IS THAT WE HAVE STRUCTURED THIS
AGREEMENT SO THE CITY THE
FINANCIALLY PROTECT, SO THEIR
DOLLARS ARE NOT AT RISK, AND WE
HAVE ACTUALLY PUT IN PLACE
THINGS IN THE ORDINANCE NOW, IN
THE LAW, WHERE WE WILL GET THOSE
STREETS BACK.
WE DON'T KNOW EXACTLY WHEN THEY
WILL BE DONE, BUT WE ARE PRETTY
CLOSE, AS MUCH AS WE CAN
GUARANTEE IT, WE'LL GET THAT
IMPORTANT PART OF THE STREET
GRID RESTORED, AND I THINK
BECAUSE -- AND THIS IS KIND OF,
DARREN, FROM AN OUTSIDE
PERSPECTIVE, BECAUSE WE LET THE
DEVELOPER GO FORWARD AND TAKE
THE BUILDING DOWN, THERE'S NO
GOING BACK.
WE'RE CLOSER TO THE MIXED USE
VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOOD WITH HOMES
AND JOBS AND THE RESTORED
STREETS THAN WE'VE EVER BEEN.
IF WE HAD NOT ALLOWED THEM TO DO
THAT WHEN THEY WANTED TO DO IT,
AT THEIR EXPENSE, I'LL POINT
OUT, WE COULD BE IN A SITUATION
NOW WHERE THE PROJECT JUST KIND
OF IS MUDDLING ALONG AND THEY --
THE DEVELOPERS RECONSIDERED AND
WENT BACK TO HAVING THE SAME NOT
WELL PERFORMING MALL BUILDING.
I'M GLAD THAT'S WHERE WE ARE.
WE ARE GOING FORWARD AND IT IS
CLEARLY TAKING A LITTLE LONGER
THAN WE HOPED IT WOULD.
I'M HOPEFUL 2020 WILL BE THE
YEAR THEY GET THROUGH THAT ONCE
AND FOR ALL AND WE SEE ONLY
STEADY PROGRESS FROM HERE TO THE
END.
I DO BELIEVE WE'LL ALL LOOK BACK
ON THIS PERIOD AS A TRANSITION,
A TRANSFORMATION THE CITY NEEDED
TO GO THROUGH AND WE'LL BE
STRONGER FOR ULTIMATELY.
WE DON'T KNOW EXACTLY HOW MUCH
NEW TAX REVENUE THIS REDESIGN
PROJECT WILL GENERATE.
THAT'S BEING CALCULATED RIGHT
NOW AND WE WILL HAVE UPDATED
PROJECTIONS FOR THAT, I EXPECT
FAIRLY SOON.
IT IS, I THINK, LIKELY IT MAY
NOT BE QUITE AS MUCH AS WAS
INITIALLY PROJECTED.
WE ANTICIPATED THAT POSSIBILITY
WHEN WE WENT TO THE VOTERS AND
WE WERE CLEAR WHAT OUR
PRIORITIES WOULD BE IF WE HAD TO
SCALE BACK THE AMOUNT OF PUBLIC
INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT THAT
WOULD BE NECESSARY, SO WE HAVE A
PLAN FOR THAT AND WE'LL KNOW IN
THE WEEKS AHEAD IF THERE IS SOME
KIND OF CHANGE TO THAT THAT'S
GOING TO BE NECESSARY.
>> Darren: THE ORIGINAL PRICE
TAG ON THIS WAS $225 MILLION.
DO WE KNOW WHAT THIS NEW
SCALED-BACK VERSION WILL COST?
>> Weinberger: THE DEVELOPERS
HAVE NOT YET PUT OUT A NEW
ESTIMATE.
I THINK IT'S NOT THAT THEY'RE
HIDING ANYTHING FROM US.
IT'S THAT, AS YOU CAN SEE FROM
THE CONCEPTUAL DESIGNS THAT
THEY'VE SHOWN, THEY'RE STILL
FAIRLY PRELIMINARY.
THEY WERE LOOKING FOR SOME
INITIAL READ FROM THE COUNCIL
AND THE PUBLIC ABOUT THIS
DIRECTION BEFORE GOING FURTHER.
THEY'RE TRYING TO DO WHAT WE'VE
DEMANDED THAT THEY DO, REALLY,
WHICH IS KEEP US INFORMED ABOUT
THEIR PROGRESS AS THAT PLAN GETS
REFINED AND THERE WILL BE
UPDATES TO THOSE FIGURES, BUT
WE'RE JUST NOT THERE YET.
THEY'RE NOT THERE YET.
>> Darren: MAYOR, THANK YOU FOR
JOINING US.
>> Weinberger: VERY GOOD TO BE
WITH YOU, DARREN.
THANKS FOR COVERING THIS EARLY
AND LOOK FORWARD TO BEING BACK
WITH YOU SOMETIME SOON.
>> Darren: THANK YOU.
NEXT, WHAT CONGRESSMAN PETER
WELCH AND CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE
STEFANIK ARE SAYING ABOUT THE
IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS, AND LATER,
ARE PROPERTIES IN PERIL?
>> Cat: A LANDSLIDE FROM THE
HALLOWEEN STORM CLOSES
RECREATIONAL TRAILS ALONG THE
WINOOSKI RIVER.
I'M CAT VIGLIENZONI AND COMING
UP, I ASK THE CITY ABOUT THE
SAFETY OF THE BUILDINGS RIGHT UP
THERE ON RIVERSIDE AVENUE.
>>> NOW, THERE IS ONE WITNESS.
ONE WITNESS THAT THEY WON'T
BRING IN FRONT OF US, THEY WON'T
BRING IN FRONT OF THE AMERICAN
PEOPLE, AND THAT'S THE GUY WHO
STARTED IT ALL.
>> I'D BE GLAD TO HAVE THE
PERSON WHO STARTED IT ALL COME
IN AND TESTIFY.
PRESIDENT TRUMP IS WELCOME TO
TAKE A SEAT RIGHT THERE.
[ LAUGHTER ]
>> Darren: THAT WAS THE
ONE-LINER FROM CONGRESSMAN WELCH
THAT MADE NATIONAL HEADLINES.
AFTER DAY ONE OF THE HISTORIC
IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS, HE SNAPPED
BACK AT REPUBLICAN
REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN OF
OHIO WHO SUGGESTED DEMOCRATS
WEREN'T ALLOWING THE COMMITTEE
TO QUESTION THE PERSON WHO
STARTED IT ALL, MEANING THE
WHISTLE-BLOWER.
OUR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT
KYLE MIDURA TALK TO CONGRESSMAN
WELCH ABOUT HIS KEY ROLE IN THE
HEARINGS AND WHAT HE'S LEARNED
SO FAR.
>> Kyle: REPRESENTATIVE WELCH,
THANK YOU FOR MAKING TIME FOR US
TODAY.
YOU HEARD THE TESTIMONY BEFORE
FROM BOTH OF THESE DIFFERENT
ACTORS.
>> Welch: RIGHT.
>> Kyle: WHAT STOOD OUT TODAY,
ANYTHING DIFFERENT?
>> Welch: THERE WAS AN
ADDITIONAL PIECE OF INFORMATION
VERY SIGNIFICANT, AMBASSADOR
TAYLOR SPOKE ABOUT THE PRESIDENT
CALLING MR. SONDLAND IN UKRAINE
ON THE 26th OF JULY, THE DAY
AFTER THE INFAMOUS CALL, WANTING
TO KNOW VERY URGENTLY WHERE ARE
WE ON THE INVESTIGATION.
>> Kyle: YOU SAID FOR A WHILE
NOW YOU WERE READY TO IMPEACH
AND REMOVE THIS PRESIDENT.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AT THIS POINT AS
THE MOST DAMAGING EVIDENCE?
>> Welch: YOU KNOW, FIRST OF
ALL, NONE OF US ARE EAGER TO DO
THIS.
THIS IS A VERY DIVISIVE MATTER
AND THE EVIDENCE THAT THE
PRESIDENT WAS USING A FOREIGN
ACT TO -- IN AN EFFORT TO GET
UKRAINE TO DO AN INVESTIGATION
TO HELP HIM IN THE 2020
CAMPAIGN, THAT'S VERY, VERY
SERIOUS.
>> Kyle: REALLY, ABOUT FOUR
POINT.
YOU BOIL DOWN THE REPUBLICAN
DEFENSE OF THE PRESIDENT AT THIS
POINT.
THEY ARE THAT THE ROUGH
TRANSCRIPT SHOWS NO PRESSURE,
THEY ARGUE BOTH PRESIDENTS DENY
THERE WAS ANY PRESSURE EXERTED,
THEY SAY UKRAINIAN
INVESTIGATIONS NEVER CAME
THROUGH AND THE AID WAS RELEASED
ANYWAY, AND FINALLY, THEY SAY
UKRAINE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THE AID
WAS BEING WITHHELD WHEN THE JULY
25th PHONE CALL TOOK PLACE.
DO ANY OF THOSE POINTS EXONERATE
THE PRESIDENT IN YOUR MIND?
>> Welch: THEY DON'T AND I THINK
THEY'RE FAIRLY THIN.
THE BOTTOM LINE HERE, NUMBER
ONE, THE PRESIDENT CLEARLY WAS
LINKING THE MEETING IN THE WHITE
HOUSE WITH THE UKRAINIANS AND
THE RELEASE OF THE AID TO
GETTING HIS WAY.
>> Kyle: ULTIMATELY, DO YOU
THINK THESE HEARINGS SWAY ANYONE
HERE IN CONGRESS, SWAY ANYONE IN
THE AMERICAN PUBLIC?
>> Welch: THAT'S A PROFOUND
QUESTION.
WE'RE IN THIS QUESTION WHERE
EVERYBODY IS ENTITLED TO THEIR
OWN SET OF FACTS, AND OUR JOB,
THE ONLY THING WE CAN DO IS TRY
TO PRESENT IN AS CONFIDENT AND
CLEAR WAY AS POSSIBLE AND DO OUR
DUTY AND THEN IT WILL BE UP TO
INDIVIDUALS TO DECIDE WHAT THEY
BELIEVE AND WHAT THEY THINK IS
THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
>> Kyle: REPRESENTATIVE WELCH,
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.
BACK TO YOU.
>> Darren: REPUBLICAN
CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK IS
ALSO A KEY PART OF THE HEARINGS.
EARLY INTO HER QUESTIONING,
STEFANIK CHALLENGED THE
CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRAT ADAM SCHIFF,
ABOUT WHETHER HE WOULD RESTRICT
THE WITNESSES' ANSWERS,
SUGGESTING HE DID THAT DURING
CLOSED DOOR DEPOSITIONS.
SCHIFF MAINTAINED HE WOULD ONLY
DO SO IF LAWMAKERS WERE TRYING
TO EXPOSE THE IDENTITY OF THE
WHISTLEBLOWER.
STEFANIK TOLD US TWO MAIN THINGS
PROVE THE PRESIDENT DID NOTHING
WRONG.
>> Stefanik: ONE, UKRAINE DID
RECEIVE THE AID, AND NUMBER TWO,
THERE WAS NO INVESTIGATION INTO
THE BIDENS.
AGAIN, THIS STARTED WITH THE
WHISTLEBLOWER'S COMPLAINT
ALLEGING THAT THERE WAS
POTENTIAL INVESTIGATION INTO THE
BIDENS, WHICH THERE WAS NOT.
>> Darren: THOSE HEARINGS RESUME
ON TUESDAY.
>>> UP NEXT, WE EXAMINE A
LANDSLIDE IN BURLINGTON.
DON'T GO AWAY.
>> Darren: SAFETY CONCERNS FROM
GEOLOGISTS ABOUT A BUSY
BURLINGTON STREET.
THIS IS A 3D RENDERING FROM
UVM'S SPATIAL ANALYSIS LAB OF
THE SLIDE OFF RIVERSIDE AVENUE.
IT HAPPENED AFTER THE HALLOWEEN
STORM AND IT COULD POTENTIALLY
PUT BUILDINGS AND PEOPLE IN
DANGER.
HERE'S CAT VIGLIENZONI.
>> Cat: IF YOU'RE A REGULAR
WALKER ON THE RIVER WALK TRAIL,
YOU'VE PROBABLY NOTICED THIS
SIGN TELLING YOU THE TRAIL IS
CLOSED.
THE REASON IS THIS LANDSLIDE
WHICH CAME DOWN FROM RIVERSIDE
AVENUE IN THE HALLOWEEN STORM.
>> THE FLOOD WATERS HAVE BEEN
HERE, YOU CAN SEE THE VEGETATION
KNOCKED DOWN IN THE DIRECTION
THE WATER WAS FLOWING.
>> Cat: UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
GEOLOGY PROFESSOR PAUL BIERMAN
TAKES THE RIVER WALK HOME FROM
WORK.
HE PICKS UP ON NATURE'S CUES
THAT YOU OR I MIGHT MISS, LIKE
TREES TILTING SIDEWAYS.
>> THAT'S PROBABLY THE BEST
INDICATION THAT THE SLOPES ARE
UNSTABLE.
>> Cat: IN APRIL, HE SAW
SOMETHING ELSE.
>> I SAW SOLE BIG CRACKS IN THE
GROUND IN ONE OF THE PARKING
LOTS I WAS WALKING THROUGH AND A
COUPLE OF CARS WITH WHEELS
HANGING OFF THE GROUNDS AND
THOUGHT SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE.
>> Cat: BY EARLY OCTOBER, THE
FISSURES WERE BIG ENOUGH THAT HE
WARPED THE CITY AND STATE THAT
SOMETHING WAS COMING.
>> I SAW THE TENSION CRACKS AND
THE STEEP SLOPE AND THE GRANULAR
MATERIAL DUMPED THERE AND I
THOUGHT BIG RAINSTORM, THIS IS
GOING TO COME DOWN.
>> Cat: AND THREE WEEKS LATER IT
DID.
AS CITY STREETS FLOODED
HALLOWEEN NIGHT, THE GROUND HERE
GAVE WAY, SENDING TONS OF
MATERIAL DOWN THE BANK.
>> YOU LOOK AT THIS RIGHT IN
FRONT OF US HERE, HERE'S ONE
DUMP TRUCK LOAD AND ANOTHER AND
ANOTHER AND ANOTHER UP TO THE
TOP THERE.
>> Cat: IT'S NOT THE LARGEST
SLIDE TO HAPPEN ON RIVERSIDE
AVENUE.
\M YOU LOAD 16 TONS, WHAT DO YOU
GET \M
>> Cat: IN 1955, THE ROAD WAS
WIPED OUT.
IT WAS LATER REBUILT WITH FILL.
THAT 1955 SHIED WAS RIGHT NEXT
TO THE -- SLIDE WAS RIGHT NEXT
TO THE AREA THAT GAVE WAY DURING
THE HALLOWEEN STORMS.
>> THAT IMPLIES THIS AREA IS
CAPABLE OF GENERATING REALLY
LARGE LANDSLIDES, WHICH IF ONE
OF THOSE WOULD HAPPEN UNDER ONE
OF THESE BUILDINGS WOULD
CERTAINLY, IF PEOPLE WERE IN IT,
RESULT IN FATALITIES.
>> Cat: HE'S PARTICULARLY
CONCERNED WITH A YELLOW HOUSE
TEETERING ON THE EDGE.
>> WHEN YOU SEE GROUND CRACKS,
THAT'S AN INDICATION THAT A
LANDSLIDE IS GOING TO HAPPEN.
>> Cat: WE WEPT TO SPEAK WITH
RESIDENTS TO SEE IF THEY WERE
CONCERNED WITH THEIR SAFETY.
NO ONE ANSWERED WHEN THEY
KNOCKED.
WE WERE TOLD IT'S A RENTAL, BUT
BUSINESS OWNERS ON EITHER SIDE
SAY THEY'RE AWARE THE SLOPE IS
FAILING.
>> THIS BASICALLY HAD GONE, YOU
KNOW, UP TO ABOUT RIGHT HERE.
>> Cat: ED COUILLARD SAYS HE'S
BEEN TRYING TO PROTECT
BURLINGTON COLLISION CENTER'S
PROPERTY EVER SINCE HURRICANE
IRENE ERODED HIS TROY.
HE ALLOWED A TREE SERVICE
COMPANY TO PUT WOOD CHIPS AND
LOGS THERE.
HE SAID THE CITY AND STATE
RECENTLY VISITED HIM AND TOLD
HIM HE NEEDED ENGINEERS AND
PERMITS TO DO IT CORRECTLY.
HE SAYS IT'S FRUSTRATING.
>> I DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY EXPECT
ME TO DO.
I'VE BEEN HERE 30 YEARS.
I DON'T WANT TO GO NOWHERE.
THIS IS LIVELIHOOD RIGHT HERE.
>> Cat: JUST THE STREET AT
HALL'S WELDING, HE'S NOT
CONCERNED.
>> I DON'T FEAR FOR THE
BUILDING.
I DON'T THINK BEHIND ME HAS
MOVED TO YEARS I'VE BEEN HERE.
>> Cat: EPPS HOPING FOR HELP
FROM THE CITY AND STATE SO HE
CAN STAY.
>> I DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT
WALKING AWAY.
I MEAN, 30 YEARS HERE.
>> Cat: WE WEPT TO THE
BURLINGTON PUBLIC WORKS
DEPARTMENT TO SEE FEST GOING TO
HAVE TO.
>> IT DEPENDS ON WHAT THE
EXPERTS RECOMMEND.
IT'S BEEN -- I WOULD SAY IT
COULD BE POTENTIALLY VERY
EXPENSIVE.
>> Cat: BILL WARD IS THE
DIRECTOR OF PERMITTING AND
INSPECTIONS.
HE SAYS THE CITY IS CONCERNED
ABOUT THE AREA AND THAT
ASSESSMENTS ARE PLANNED SOON TO
FIGURE OUT HOW STABLE THE GROUND
IS AROUND THESE PROPERTIES.
IN THE MEANTIME, THE CITY WANTS
LANDOWNERS TO LEAVE IT ALONE.
>> ANY ADDED WEIGHT COULD CREATE
A MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM.
>> Cat: BUILDINGS HAVE BEEN
CONDEMNED ALONG RIVERSIDE AVENUE
BEFORE BECAUSE THEY WERE HANGING
OVER THE BANK.
WARD SAYS THE STATE OF THESE
DEPENDS ON WHAT ENGINEERS SAY.
IS THERE A CONCERN FOR THE HOME
AND THE SAFETY OF THE OCCUPANTS
INSIDE?
>> SURE, WHAT THE CITY WOULD
WANT IS SOME GEOTECHNICAL
ENGINEERING TO DETERMINE EXACTLY
WHAT THE ADDITIONAL RISKS ARE.
>> Cat: THE MAIN CONCERN FOR
RIVERSIDE AVENUE, IS IT THE ROAD
ITSELF?
>> I DON'T THINK SO, NOT AT THIS
POINT.
>> Cat: BIERMAN ISN'T SO SURE.
>> THIS IS WHAT WE TEACH
STUDENTS CAUSES LANDSLIDES.
>> Cat: HE SAYS HE WANTS TO SEE
A BIGGER DISCUSSION ABOUT THE
SAFETY OF BUILDINGS ON STEEP
SLOPE AND HE HAS A DIFFERENT
ROUTE HOME NOW.
>> Darren: CAT AND GEOLOGIST
PAUL BIERMAN JOIN ME NOW.
GOOD MORNING TO BOTH OF YOU.
CAT, YOU TALKED TO THE STATE.
WHAT'S THE STATE SAYING ABOUT
THIS?
>> Cat: THE STATE SAYS BASICALLY
THAT THE GROUND CRACKS AT THE
TOP OF THE SLIDE INDICATE THAT
POTENTIALLY THERE COULD BE
ANOTHER LANDSLIDE COMING.
THEY ALSO SAID, THOUGH, THEY
WANT THE GEOTECHNICAL EXPERTS TO
DETERMINE IF THERE ARE
STRUCTURES AT RISK.
THEY THINK THERE'S STILL MORE
WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AT
THAT SITE.
>> Darren: PAUL, YOU'VE DONE
RESEARCH INTO GEOLOGICAL HISTORY
OF RIVERSIDE AVENUE IN THAT
AREA.
WHAT DID YOU FIND OUT?
>> Bierman: WE FIND FROM 1872,
1947, 1962, THE AREA IS TREE
COVERED AND STABLE.
ONCE PEOPLE GET INVOLVED IN
1962, 1965, YOU SEE EVIDENCE OF
FILLING AND SLIDING.
>> Cat: AND SO YOU HAVE BEEN
TELLING ME ABOUT OTHER LANDSLIDE
EXAMPLES, SPECIFICALLY ONE IN
JEFFERSONVILLE IN 1999.
THERE ARE ANY PARALLELS THAT YOU
SEE BETWEEN THAT SLIDE AND
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN BURLINGTON?
>> Bierman: SURE, I SEE THE
BIGGEST PARALLEL IS IT'S THE
SAME TYPE OF GEOLOGIC MATERIALS.
>> Cat: THERE WAS A HOUSE
CONDEMNED IN JEFFERSONVILLE.
>> Bierman: ABSOLUTELY, HANGING
RIGHT OVER THE EDGE.
>> Cat: IS THAT POTENTIALLY WHAT
WOULD HAPPEN IN BURLINGTON?
>> Bierman: AND YEAH IT WON'T BE
THE FIRST ON RIVERSIDE AVENUE.
THERE'S BEEN HOUSES AND
BUILDINGS CONDEMNED BECAUSE OF
THE SLIDES.
>> Darren: PAUL, WE HAVE A 3D
MAP THAT WE SHOWED AT THE TOP OF
THIS SEGMENT FROM UVM'S SPATIAL
ANALYSIS LAB.
WHAT DOES THIS TELL US?
FOR THOSE OF US WHO DON'T WORK
IN THIS AREA, WHAT ARE WE SEEING
HERE?
>> Bierman: SURE.
IT GIVES YOU WONDERFUL VISUALS
OF WHAT THE SLIDE LOOKED LIKE,
BUT FOR US AS GEO SCIENTISTS, IT
LETS US CALCULATE THINGS LIKE
THE VOLUME OF MATERIAL THAT
FAILED.
THE STATE HAS SHOWN LIDAR
IMAGERY THAT LETS US GET
TOPOGRAPHY BEFORE THE SLIDE IN
AT LEAST TWO DIFFERENT TIME
FRAMES AND WE CAN COMPARE IT AND
LEARN ABOUT THE SIZE OF THE
SLIDE AND ALSO THE POTENTIAL OF
THE MATERIAL THAT FAILED.
>> Cat: WHEN EXPERTS GO TO THAT
SIGHT, WHAT SORT OF THINGS WILL
THEY LOOK FOR TO TRY TO FIGURE
OUT IF THIS AREA IS GOING TO BE
SAFE?
>> Bierman: I THINK WE ALREADY
KNOW THE AREA IS RISKY AS
GEOLOGISTS, BUT GEOTECHNICAL
ENGINEERS BRING THEIR EXPERTISE
IN FOUNDATION STABILITY AND THAT
BEING UNDERMINED FOR HOUSES AND
BUSINESSES, AND WHAT DOES THAT
IMPLY.
>> Darren: YOU SAID SHORING UP
THE AREA MAY NOT BE THE BEST
OPTION.
WHAT THEN?
>> Bierman: STUDYING THESE,
WE'RE BETTER OFF LETTING HILL
SLOPES BE HILL SLOPES AND TRY TO
GET PEOPLE OUT OF HARM'S WAY.
THE SLOPES ARE PARTICULAR
UNSTABLE BECAUSE THE AMOUNT OF
FILL DUMPED IN OVER THE LAST 50,
60, 70 YEARS THERE, SO IT MAY
TURN OUT TO BE A WHOLE LOT
CHEAPER AND MORE EFFICIENT AND
SAFER TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO
RELOCATE THE EXISTING BUSINESSES
AWAY FROM THE AREA, PUT THE
TREES BACK ON, GET THE PARKING
AREAS OFF, TURN IT BACK TO GREEN
SPACE AND LET IT BE RATHER THAN
DEAL WITH VERY EXPENSIVE
REMEDIATIONS TO THE SLOPE.
>> Darren: THANK YOU FOR THAT,
PAUL.
CAT, THANKS FOR YOUR
INVESTIGATION INTO THIS.
THANK YOU ALL FOR WATCHING.
THE NEWS CONTINUES NEXT ON THE
WEEKEND.
HAVE A GREAT DAY, HE HAVE BEEN,
AND WE'LL SEE YOU SOON.
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