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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Hood's Off: Burlington White Nationalist Attended Charlottesville Rally

Posted By on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 6:58 PM

Ryan Roy in the VICE News video - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • Ryan Roy in the VICE News video
Update, August 16, 2017: Uno Pizzeria & Grill has confirmed it fired Ryan Roy.

A Vermonter was among the neo-Nazis and other “Unite the Right” types who shook up Charlottesville, Va., in a march-turned-mêlée last weekend. Today’s white supremacists don’t wear hoods, apparently, so as soon as the tiki-torch-wielding images went viral, internet vigilantes around the country started naming and shaming them.

Locals first recognized 28-year-old Ryan Roy in a Vice News video clip. Wearing a backpack and holding a torch, Roy is seen briefly chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!”

On Tuesday Seven Days tracked down Burlington resident Roy, who said the rally “showed that we’re a legitimate movement, that this is a movement of people. It’s not like a fringe thing.”

In a 25-minute interview, Roy admitted to attending the weekend’s events and spoke unabashedly about his “white identitarian” views.

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Burlington Residents React to Latest City Hall Park Redesign

Posted By on Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 11:13 PM

The 2017 City Hall Park design - COURTESY CITY OF BURLINGTON
  • Courtesy City of Burlington
  • The 2017 City Hall Park design
The newest version of the Burlington City Hall Park redesign drew a host of critiques and questions on Monday night.

About 50 people turned out to Burlington City Hall Auditorium to hear about the latest iteration of a years-long process to renovate the downtown green space.

The new plan, including tweaks to a version presented late last year, has one less diagonal pathway, additional seating and bike parking, as well as more bulletin boards, explained Meagan Tuttle, a planner with the city's Planning and Zoning Department. The current design includes space for a stand-alone public restroom and a spray fountain that could double as a light display.

The latest changes reflected public input and feedback from historic preservationists, said Tuttle. The park, with its current soil compaction and erosion, "is being loved to death," said David White, the department's director.

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No, Neo-Nazi Website the Daily Stormer Is Not Based in Burlington

Posted By on Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 9:18 PM

The hate map - SPLC
  • SPLC
  • The hate map
Burlington likely has little in common with cities such as Cullman, Ala., or Mountain View, Calif.

But the three locales share a dark designation: They’re among dozens on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate map,” which tracks hate-group activity across the U.S.

Various places on the map are marked with insignias associated with racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic groups. The map drew renewed attention after the weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Va., during a rally of white supremacists.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Chittenden County Humane Society CEO Nancy Cathcart to Step Down

Posted By on Fri, Aug 11, 2017 at 7:15 PM

Nancy Cathcart will step down from her post as head of the Humane Society of Chittenden County in September.

Cathcart, who has spent four years as president and CEO of the South Burlington nonprofit, will resign to focus on her health, according to a press release the organization put out on Friday. Her final day will be September 15. The release says:

In the fall of 2016, Nancy Cathcart was preparing for long-needed bilateral knee replacement surgery when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The Board and staff accommodated her leave of absence and part-time status through treatments. As she approached another extended leave of absence for knee replacement surgery, she made the decision to resign her position to focus on her healing and recovery.

Cathcart, who has worked in fundraising for numerous local and state nonprofits, called her tenure with the Humane Society "the greatest challenge and the greatest learning experience of my career."

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Burlington to Host Nationwide Mayoral Conference

Posted By on Fri, Aug 11, 2017 at 4:53 AM

Mayor Miro Weinberger in March 2017 - FILE: KATIE JICKLING
  • File: Katie Jickling
  • Mayor Miro Weinberger in March 2017
Move over, Miro Weinberger: There's a new batch of mayors coming to town.

Burlington will play host to leaders from about 40 cities across the country during the Mayors Innovation Project's three-day annual summer meeting, which begins on August 16.

The event is for policy wonks and those interested in collaborative brainstorming, said Satya Rhodes-Conway, the organization's managing director. Or, she added, there's the way former Madison, Wis., mayor Dave Cieslewicz referred to it: A gathering of the "nerd mayors of America."

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Fight in Burlington's City Hall Park Ends in Stabbing

Posted By on Wed, Aug 9, 2017 at 2:00 PM

  • Burlington Police Department
  • Conner Lucas
A fight Tuesday night that began in Burlington’s City Hall Park ended with one man slashed, a second stabbed in the neck and a third man behind bars, according to police.

Conner Lucas, a 28-year-old homeless man with an extensive criminal record, pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning to a charge of aggravated assault with a weapon. He was ordered held without bail.

Police said the incident began with a dispute in the park. Lucas allegedly pulled an “edged weapon” and slashed the hand of a man who tried to break up the fight. The trio continued walking up Main Street until the scuffle escalated and Lucas used the weapon to cut a second man’s throat near the Church Street intersection, according to police.

Authorities responding to the scene just before 8:30 p.m. found the victim “bleeding profusely from a stab wound in the neck.” The unidentified victim was taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center for emergency surgery on a severed vein, police said. The man was reported to be in stable condition.

Police later arrested Lucas in Battery Park.

All three men knew each other and “frequent the park and the area of Church and Main” streets, police said.

At the time of the stabbing, Lucas was awaiting sentencing for domestic assault and violations of conditions of release, police said. He’d been arrested previously for aggravated assault, domestic assault, theft of services, unlawful restraint, disorderly conduct and disclosure of sexually explicit images without consent.

Tuesday night’s bloodshed culminated just three blocks south of Church and Cherry streets, where in March another homeless man, Louis Fortier, allegedly stabbed Richard Medina to death in broad daylight.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Details Trickle Out on Finalists in the Bidding for Burlington Telecom

Posted By on Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 11:20 PM

Burlington Telecom headquarters - ALICIA FREESE
  • Alicia Freese
  • Burlington Telecom headquarters
David Provost, chair of the Burlington Telecom Advisory Board, gave a two and a half minute public update on Monday night about the imminent sale of Burlington Telecom.

The brief presentation during a Burlington City Council meeting was the most substantial public update Burlington residents have received on the matter since the June 5 deadline for bids. Most of the deliberations have taken place behind closed doors.

Of the eight original bids to buy the Burlington-owned telecommunications company, the advisory board has chosen four finalists, Provost said.

Two "mature, financially stable companies" have put up "cash offers," Provost said. Both companies have experience operating fiber-to-home systems.

Another bidder is a private equity investor "with valuable local relationships and extensive telecom experience." That investor has a vision for "aggressive BT regional growth," Provost told the council. The fourth is Keep BT Local, a group of Burlington residents who propose cooperative ownership and who have publicly announced their interest from the start.

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Animal, Plant Collections Survive Fire at UVM's Historic Torrey Hall

Posted By on Thu, Aug 3, 2017 at 12:17 PM

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at Torrey Hall on the UVM campus. - SASHA GOLDSTEIN
  • Sasha Goldstein
  • Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at Torrey Hall on the UVM campus.
Updated at 5:53 p.m.

Animal and plant collections housed in a historic University of Vermont building survived “largely intact” after a fire broke out Thursday morning, the university said.

Construction workers soldering copper material on the roof of Torrey Hall sparked the blaze around 8:10 a.m., UVM said in a statement. By 10 a.m., the fire had been nearly extinguished, though hot spots flared up as firefighters from the Burlington and Malletts Bay departments tore out charred boards.

No injuries were reported, UVM said. The building will remain under “fire watch” for 24 hours.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Short-Lived Swing Set Makes a Splash in Burlington's South End

Posted By on Tue, Aug 1, 2017 at 12:57 PM

Swinging at sunset - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Swinging at sunset
Updated on August 2, 2017.

It appeared suddenly and mysteriously Sunday night: a swing set in about three feet of water in Lake Champlain off the shore of Burlington, north of the Blodgett Oven property.

Right away, people started wading in to try the pop-up playground. They were all smiles and squeals of delight.

Rosanne Whitney of Brewster, N.Y., was one of those to venture out Monday. She spotted the swing while passing by on the city’s bike trail.

“We thought it was something unique and fun,” Whitney said. “It’s just something so different. Once you’re out there, it’s pretty fun to use.”

But just as quickly as the playground appeared, it was gone. Around 11 a.m. Tuesday, workers with the Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Department disassembled the set.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Swastika, Racial Slur Found in Burlington Library Bathroom

Posted By on Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 12:47 PM

  • Courtesy of Fletcher Free Library
  • Fletcher Free Library
A custodian last Saturday discovered hateful graffiti scrawled in a restroom at Burlington's Fletcher Free Library that included a swastika and the racial epithet "Die niggers," according to city officials.

Library director Mary Danko and Mayor Miro Weinberger condemned the act as hate speech in a statement issued Friday.

The custodian took a photo of the graffiti and then painted over it, according to Katie Vane, the mayor's communications and projects coordinator. The library employee told Danko about the graffiti when he saw her on Tuesday, and the library director immediately notified the Burlington Police Department.

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