History

Monday, March 30, 2015

Zephyr Teachout Coming Home to Talk Corruption

Posted By on Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 5:39 PM

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  • Zephyr Teachout
Hot off a surprisingly strong run for New York governor in which she knocked incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo for a loop — and won a place on the TV talk-show circuit — Zephyr Teachout will be back on her home turf to talk politics.

Teachout will discuss her book Corruption in America when she takes the stage Thursday at Vermont Law School. The free event is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Chase Community Center at the South Royalton school. (Her father, Peter, teaches constitutional law there; her mother, Mary, is a Vermont Superior Court judge.) She’ll also be signing her book at Barrister’s Book Shop from 3:30-4:30 p.m. that day.

The 43-year-old Teachout, who grew up down the road in Norwich and teaches law at Fordham University, went from relative obscurity to prominence as the bee in Cuomo’s political bonnet during last year’s New York gubernatorial primary.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Jim Jeffords, Vermont Icon With an Independent Streak, Dies at 80

Posted By and on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 11:55 AM

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Updated at 4:53 p.m.

Former U.S. senator Jim Jeffords, an iconic independent and veteran Vermont politician, died Monday at age 80.

Near the end of his 40-year career in public office, the Rutland Republican stunned the nation in May 2001 when he left his party to become an independent. The move handed control of a closely divided Senate to the Democratic Party for the next 18 months and earned Jeffords a place in political history.

But according to his longtime chief of staff, Susan Boardman Russ, Jeffords’ most important contribution was not his defection from the GOP, but his decades of work fighting for education, the environment, dairy farmers and the disabled.

“That’s his legacy. That’s what mattered to him,” Boardman Russ said. “The publicity he got for switching parties I sometimes wish hadn’t happened because all those incredible things he did over those years got lost.”

Jeffords died Monday morning at the Knollwood Military Retirement Residence in Washington, D.C., where he had lived since the death of his wife, Liz, in 2007, according to former spokeswoman Diane Derby. 

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lake Champlain Mystery: Renewed Effort Will Seek Plane Lost in 1971

Posted By on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 6:52 PM

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  • File photo
Authorities in Vermont and New York plan to take another look for a plane that went missing 43 years ago over Lake Champlain. The private jet had five people aboard when it disappeared in a 1971 snowstorm.

It was a January evening when the 10-passenger twin engine jet left Burlington bound for Providence, R.I. The Rockwell Jet Commander, owned by an Atlanta real estate company, was recorded on a single radar blip at 5,000 feet, and "then was gone on the very next sweep just seconds later," according to a news release from the Vermont Department of Public Safety. 

Early searching was fruitless and, within days, the lake had iced over. The following April, small parts of the plane floated ashore in Shelburne. The plane has never been found, despite searches with infrared, sonar and submarine technologies.

According to the press release, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, which went missing in March, got people talking again about the Lake Champlain mystery. Individuals and state and volunteer agencies have formulated a plan to search the lake with more modern equipment, including side-scanning sonar, underwater vehicles and a submarine. Vermont and New York state police will be involved, along with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. Some boating traffic may be restricted; the efforts are scheduled to begin this month.

"The goal," said New York State Police Captain John Tibbitts, "is to locate and recover the remains to finally bring closure to these families." The plane was carrying two crew members and three passengers when it went down. 


Friday, March 28, 2014

Abenaki Artifacts to Return to Original Burial Ground

Posted By on Fri, Mar 28, 2014 at 6:01 PM

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Seven stone relics unearthed in the 1980s from an ancient Missisquoi Abenaki burial ground in Swanton will be returned to tribal members, the Preservation Trust of Vermont announced Friday.  

The relics surfaced in early March when the people who used to own the land put them up for auction. Upon discovering that they were listed on Duane Merrill & Company's auction website, members of the Abenaki community — as well as state employees in the Division of Historic Preservation — scrambled to stop the sale scheduled for March 30.

Seven Days covered the story in this week's paper, but the artifacts' fate remained in limbo at the time it was published. Ethan Merrill, who co-owns the Williston-based auction company, had agreed to take the items off the auction block — in deference to the Abenakis' beliefs — and he said he was working to broker a compromise between the consignors, John and Anita Boucher, and tribal representatives. Another plan, in which a private benefactor would purchase the artifacts and donate them to UVM's Fleming Museum, fell through last week.  

The Preservation Trust, a nonprofit founded in 1980 "to help communities save and use historic places," announced that it had helped facilitate a deal that was agreeable to the Bouchers and Abenaki tribal members. 

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

This Week's Issue: Little Italy, Big Prisons and a Band Called Phish

Posted By on Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 6:03 PM

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Happy November, everyone. If you're cooped up inside bemoaning the chill in the air and the absence of sunlight, hey, more time for reading Seven Days. And more time for a couch tour, if you're a Phish-head — our own Paul Heintz took a break from politics this week to look back at the Vermont band's 30 years on the jam circuit. Once you're finished with that long read, here are this week's newsy stories:

Read it all in print, online or on the iOS app.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

This Week's Issue: Methadone, Molly and More

Posted By on Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 5:13 PM

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Grab your favorite pumpkin-flavored coffee drink — that little chill in the morning means fall is here, and the first Seven Days of the season hit the streets today. Here's what you'll find for news and politics this week:

Pick up this week's issue in print, online or on the app.

This week's cover image by the late Stephen Huneck is courtesy of the Stephen Huneck Gallery. See this week's cover story about the future of Dog Mountain.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

This Week's Issue: Untangling Vermont's Health Care Exchange; Union Busting Allegations at SMC

Posted on Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 3:08 PM

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Happy Wednesday, people. Here are the news and politics stories you'll find in the latest edition of Seven Days:

If those links aren't your style, read these stories in print or on the Seven Days app.

Cover illustration by Michael Tonn

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vermonters Follow in the Footsteps of Original MLK Marcher Richard Kemp

Posted By on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 12:24 PM

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At least 50 Vermonters will be in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to take part in a mass march remembering and updating the historic protest held at the Lincoln Memorial 50 years ago.

Richard Kemp, 80, won't be part of the throng converging on the nation's capital this weekend to demand racial justice. He's been there, done that.

Kemp participated in the August 28, 1963, March on Washington with his wife and their six young children. They journeyed to D.C. by bus from Peekskill, N.Y., where Kemp was working for IBM.

Still an activist, Kemp recalls feeling "elevated, uplifted" for being part of what a book reviewer in last Sunday's New York Times described as "the most famous mass gathering in American history."

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Video: Fifty Years After Joining March on Washington, Sanders Looks Back

Bernie reflects on his youthful activism as a student at the University of Chicago.

Posted By on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 7:26 PM

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Fifty years ago next week, a young University of Chicago student activist took a bus to the nation's capital to take part in the March on Washington.

Now a 71-year-old U.S. senator from Vermont, that same man is reminiscing about what he calls "one of the most memorable and important speeches in the modern history of the United States of America."

In a video produced by his Senate office, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) appears in front of the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in August 1963. Gesticulating to the camera like a museum docent or a college professor, the senator recalls what he saw that day.

"I remember that very well, not by simply seeing it on TV or reading about it," Sanders says, pointing in the direction of the Washington Monument. "I was way, way back there — one of the several hundred thousand people who were here."

(Pictured above: Sanders leading a protest against discriminatory housing in 1962 at the University of Chicago.)

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Morning Read: Vermont's "World Citizen" Garry Davis Dies at 91

Posted By on Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 11:59 AM

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Like many prophets, Garry Davis was egotistical, single-minded and ... uniquely in touch with a higher truth. The Vermont-based founder of the World Government of World Citizens, who died in Williston last week at age 91, gets a full-scale, strongly sympathetic send-off in today's New York Times.

"His rationale was simple, his aim immense: If there were no nation-states, he believed, there would be no wars," the Times observes.

Davis, the longtime companion of local philanthropist and activist Robin Lloyd, launched his world government in 1953 from the steps of the Ellsworth, Maine, town hall. His organization has since issued some 2.5 million "world passports." 

Davis was a regular at public meetings in and around Burlington. He often took advantage of the Q&A portion to pitch his project. Seven Days profiled Davis in 2001. Last month, a new documentary about his life was released, entitled My Country Is the World, and the World Is My Stage: The True Story of Garry Davis

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"Whether Mr. Davis was a visionary utopian or a quixotic naïf was long debated by press and public," the Times recounts. "His supporters argued that the documents he issued had genuine value for refugees and other stateless people. His detractors countered that by issuing them — and charging a fee — Mr. Davis was selling false hope to people who spent what little they had on papers that are legally recognized almost nowhere in the world."

It's clear, though, where the Times and writer Margalit Fox stand on Davis' unparalled act of chutzpah in declaring himself head of a world government.

"What is beyond dispute is that Mr. Davis’s long insistence on the inalienable right of anyone to travel anywhere prefigures the present-day immigration debate by decades," the obit opines. "It likewise anticipates the current stateless conditions of Julian Assange and Edward J. Snowden."

Read the full New York Times story here.

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