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Monday, November 19, 2018

After 20 Years, Hardware Store to Open in Downtown Burlington

Posted By on Mon, Nov 19, 2018 at 1:22 PM

The storefront - KATIE JICKLING
  • Katie Jickling
  • The storefront
A hardware store is setting up shop in downtown Burlington for the first time in roughly two decades.

Gordon Winters plans to open an Ace Hardware on College Street by early January. He's in the midst of renovating the 4,000-square-foot former office space and received his building permits from the city last week.

"There’s definitely a want for it, there’s definitely a need for it," Winters said.

The store, located next door to a Northfield Savings Bank branch, will contain typical hardware store amenities as well as wares that cater to the local population: packing and cleaning materials for college students, specialty plumbing for the city's older buildings, and a marine section for boaters, Winters said.

The store will be laid out in Ace's "urban downtown format" and will "pack a lot more stuff into smaller spaces," he said.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Feds Drop Burlington College Probe, According to Sanders Aide

Posted By on Tue, Nov 13, 2018 at 2:18 PM

Jane O'Meara Sanders (right) and her husband - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Jane O'Meara Sanders (right) and her husband
Updated at 3:07 p.m.

A spokesperson for Jane O'Meara Sanders said Tuesday that federal authorities have concluded a long-running probe into her tenure as president of the now-shuttered Burlington College.

"Jane Sanders has been informed that the U.S. Attorney in Vermont has closed its investigation of the Burlington College land deal and has decided not to bring charges of any kind," spokesperson Jeff Weaver said in a written statement. In a phone interview, Weaver said the feds had shared the news with O’Meara Sanders’ attorneys in “the last couple of days.”

Federal authorities had not previously confirmed the investigation's existence. Kraig LaPorte, a spokesperson for U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan, said Tuesday that he could neither corroborate nor refute Weaver's statement, but he noted that his office does "communicate with represented parties."

The news lifts a cloud that has hovered over O'Meara Sanders and her husband, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), for nearly three years. It comes as Sen. Sanders contemplates a second run for president.

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Hundreds Rally in Burlington to Protect Mueller From Trump

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2018 at 8:19 PM

Marchers in downtown Burlington - SOPHIE MACMILLAN
  • Sophie MacMillan
  • Marchers in downtown Burlington
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Burlington Thursday evening to protest President Donald Trump’s firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The event was one of 11 "Nobody Is Above the Law" protests across Vermont, organized to pressure Congress into protecting the independence and integrity of the ongoing investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Protesters chanted, "Two, four, six, eight, we want Mueller to investigate," and "Let Bob do his job," as they marched a winding route through downtown Burlington. Police escorted the protest, which blocked rush hour traffic. Some drivers honked in support of the demonstrators as they passed.
As the hundreds of sign-waving protesters massed outside Burlington City Hall, staffers for Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) all read statements from their respective bosses.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Burlington, South Burlington Voters Approve Big Bonds at Polls

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2018 at 12:18 AM

Rendering of the proposed renovation to Burlington High School - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Rendering of the proposed renovation to Burlington High School
Updated at 2:15 a.m. on November 7, 2018.

Big number, big question, big win.

The $70 million bond to rebuild Burlington High School passed resoundingly with 73.8 percent of the vote Tuesday. After all wards were tallied, the measure passed by a count of 13,383 to 4,734.

Although the price tag seemed scary to some residents, school and city officials got behind the proposal and, ultimately, so did voters.

"I voted yes," registered nurse Hannah Warren said while at the polls Tuesday. "I think investing in education is always beneficial for our community. The high school could definitely use some love."

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Friday, November 2, 2018

Vandal Defaces Controversial Burlington Parade Mural

Posted By on Fri, Nov 2, 2018 at 1:20 PM

A tarp covers the vandalized section of the "Everyone Loves a Parade!" mural in Burlington. - MATTHEW ROY
  • Matthew Roy
  • A tarp covers the vandalized section of the "Everyone Loves a Parade!" mural in Burlington.
Burlington officials say someone literally defaced the controversial “Everyone Loves a Parade!” mural this week.

Police Chief Brandon del Pozo said the vandal targeted white people, including Samuel de Champlain and Ethan Allen, depicted leading the parade. A Native American figure was unscathed, according to del Pozo.

“An unknown person applied a solvent to the faces of the people in the front of the mural,” del Pozo said, adding that the chemicals “melted the paint and the finish down to the wood.”

Once the faces were removed from the 124-foot-long mural, del Pozo said, the vandal spray painted pink dollar signs in their places. It marked the second time the mural had been recently vandalized.

“About two weeks ago … somebody spray painted ‘colonizers’ across the mural,” del Pozo said, “but it was over the laminate, so it could be removed.”

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Friday, October 26, 2018

'Howe' Now: UVM Drops 'Bailey' From Library Name Over Eugenics Ties

Posted By on Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 6:54 PM

  • Courtesy Of University Of Vermont
  • Guy Bailey
University of Vermont trustees voted Friday to remove former UVM president Guy Bailey's name from the Bailey/Howe Library because of his ties to the Vermont eugenics movement of the 1920s and 1930s.

The new name will be the David W. Howe Memorial Library. Howe was a UVM alumnus and a publisher of the Burlington Free Press who died in 1969. A dedication plaque in the library says that Howe's "lifelong interest in the progress of his newspaper, community, state and university helped stimulate others to greater achievements."

The decision is subject to another vote Saturday by trustees, and is expected to pass.

University President Tom Sullivan praised the move, which was recommended by a campus Renaming Advisory Committee.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

ACLU Appeals to Vermont Supreme Court for Burlington Cops' Body Camera Footage

Posted By on Tue, Oct 23, 2018 at 11:59 AM

  • Oliver parini
The American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont is going to the state's top court in hopes of obtaining Burlington police body camera footage of an alleged use of force against children.

Burlington resident Reed Doyle says he saw officers threaten to pepper-spray a group of children in Roosevelt Park in June 2017. Doyle said that as one of the youths walked backward with his hands up, an officer pushed him forcefully with both arms. The boy, who appeared to be 11 to 13 years old, protested and was arrested, Doyle claims.

Doyle submitted a written complaint to the police department and police commission. Frustrated by what he said was a lack of followup, he filed a public records request for body camera footage.

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Arkansas Man Gets Probation for Scamming Developer Don Sinex

Posted By on Fri, Oct 19, 2018 at 1:34 PM

Michael Marshall - KATIE JICKLING
  • Katie Jickling
  • Michael Marshall
An Arkansas man received one to two years' probation Friday for his role in a scam that defrauded Don Sinex and the Burlington Town Center of nearly $30,000.

Michael Marshall, 61, pleaded no contest to possession of stolen property worth more than $900, a felony. Two other charges, identity theft and false impersonation, were dismissed.

Marshall's attorney, Margaret Jansch, argued that Marshall had unwittingly been swept up in a more complicated scam targeting the Burlington developer.

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Committee: Remove 'Bailey' From the UVM Library's Name

Posted By on Thu, Oct 18, 2018 at 5:37 PM

  • Courtesy Of University Of Vermont
  • Guy Bailey
A University of Vermont committee has unanimously recommended that trustees remove former president Guy Bailey's name from the campus library because of his ties to the Vermont Eugenics Survey and its racist theories.

The Trustee Renaming Advisory Committee found that while Bailey "had numerous positive accomplishments that are part of his extensive legacy," his involvement in the eugenics survey was "fundamentally at odds" with the mission of the university, a report released to Seven Days on Thursday shows.

UVM's board of trustees will have the final say on the question. Trustees are expected to review the recommendation at an October 27 meeting.

The question about the name of Bailey/Howe Library surfaced last spring during student protests for racial justice that shut down traffic and disrupted classes. Changing the name was one of their many demands.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Parkland Students to Bring 'Glimmer of Hope' to Burlington

Posted By on Wed, Oct 17, 2018 at 8:56 PM

  • Courtesy photos
Alex Wind prefers not to discuss the details of the shooting that killed 17 people at his high school in Parkland, Fla., in February.

The 17-year-old senior survived the horrific day. On Friday, he will appear with two fellow students in Burlington to promote their book, "Glimmer of Hope," and the March for Our Lives campaign to stop gun violence.

"This is something that is going to be plaguing us our entire lives," Wind said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "But it comes to a point where we have to say, what’s now is now, and we need to be focused on that.”

Last winter, a young gunman sprayed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with bullets. Former student Nikolas Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of murder.

The 6 p.m. stop on the Glimmer of Hope tour will take place at the First Unitarian Universalist Society in Burlington. Tickets sold out Sunday. Phoenix Books is sponsoring the event.

Wind will appear with two other students from the school: David Hogg and Emma González. They will participate in a moderated question-and-answer session and will sign books.

Some of the student activists have left the school to tour the country and advocate for gun safety measures. They are urging young people to register to vote and use the democratic process for change.

Friday's appearance will be Wind's first on the Glimmer tour. He still attends the school. "It's completely changed the entire atmosphere, the entire landscape," Wind said. "There's not a specific thing to point out. It's just the looming feeling."

Wind did not know Cruz, and didn't want to speculate on his motive — or even think about him. "No one is focused on him," Wind said. "We don’t want to be concerned about him and his face, because he is someone that caused harm and we don’t like to talk about him."

The campaign's goals include voter registration, a federal universal background check for gun purchases, a ban on semiautomatic assault rifles, and more funding to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

It's not a partisan effort, Wind said. "We can all come together and agree on one thing — that this country needs change."

The book's title is not an accident, he added. "The glimmer of hope is the young people, the people who are going to the polls next, the people who are going to the polls now. We don’t like the way things are happening and we're going to change them."

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