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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

'Late Show' Spoofs Weed Legalization in Vermont With Tourism Ad

Posted By on Wed, Jan 24, 2018 at 1:22 PM

Vermont IS tiny compared to the rest of the universe! - SCREENSHOT
  • screenshot
  • Vermont IS tiny compared to the rest of the universe!
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott pledged millions of dollars Tuesday to help attract new state residents, but it looks like "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" beat him to the punch.

The comedy show on Tuesday spoofed the state's recent decision to legalize marijuana with a satirical Vermont tourism ad. The two-minute clip touts legal weed, and encourages visitors to explore the outdoors in the Green Mountain State — "or just stay inside on the couch, laughing with your friends!"

"Ski Stowe Mountain," the narrator intones, "or spend hours staring at your hands, thinking about things!"
Typical stoned Vermonters, apparently - SCREENSHOT
  • Typical stoned Vermonters, apparently
This ad, though, is not state-sanctioned. Are any of those stock images or shots actually from Vermont? Not the mountain scene at "Stowe." And it's full of tired clichés about weed smokers, including a Grateful Dead reference and a description of getting high and thinking about the size of the universe (and food). But hey, it's worth a watch.

Check out the full video, titled "Like Pot? Visit Vermont!" here:

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Saturday, July 2, 2016

'Running Wild With Bear Grylls' to Film on Lake Champlain With Likely Guest Shaquille O'Neal

Posted By on Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 2:41 PM

Jason Balmer, petty officer first class, at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Burlington. - MOLLY WALSH
  • Molly Walsh
  • Jason Balmer, petty officer first class, at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Burlington.
Stand by for a Shaq attack.

Ex-NBA great Shaquille O'Neal is expected to perform a stunt for a reality TV show filming an episode next week on Lake Champlain.

A producer for the NBC show "Running Wild With Bear Grylls" visited the Coast Guard station on the Burlington waterfront Thursday to ask them to participate in the event, said Jason Balmer, a petty officer first class who met with the producer.

The producer said the 7-foot-1 legend, who will be inducted this year into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, would likely be a guest on an episode to be shot Friday or Saturday on the New York side of the lake, according to Balmer. It would be filmed near the town of Willsboro, about 30 miles south of Plattsburgh. The episode will involve an aquatic derring-do, maybe involving a helicopter and a drone.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Thousands to Descend on Green Mountains for Rainbow Family Gathering

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 12:32 PM

A 2007 Rainbow Gathering in Bosnia - ALJAZ ZAJC / WIKIPEDIA
  • Aljaz Zajc / Wikipedia
  • A 2007 Rainbow Gathering in Bosnia
Up to 20,000 "members" of the Rainbow Family of Living Light will gather in the Green Mountain National Forest in the coming weeks. 

An unofficial website describes the Rainbow Family as the "largest non-organization of non-members in the world." Since 1972, the loose-knit, peace-loving group has descended on different national forests for annual gatherings that occur around July 4 and are open to all.

The group promotes intentional communities and nonviolence but its large get-togethers haven't always been conflict-free. There have been violent incidents and controversies over the environmental impact on the parkland where members camp. 

This year, according to the U.S. Forest Service, the Rainbow Family has chosen the tiny Rutland County town of Mount Tabor.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Exclusive: Burlington Mayor Spotted Shredding at Skate Park

Posted By on Wed, Jun 1, 2016 at 7:43 PM

Parks director Jesse Bridges, left, and Mayor Miro Weinberger get a skateboarding lesson with their daughters. - COURTESY OF THE MAYOR'S OFFICE
  • Courtesy of the mayor's office
  • Parks director Jesse Bridges, left, and Mayor Miro Weinberger get a skateboarding lesson with their daughters.
If you have plans Saturday, you probably want to cancel them. Seven Days has learned that Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger may be making his public skateboarding debut.

At noon that day, Burlington’s new waterfront skate park is being named in honor of the late Andy “A-Dog” Williams. A skateboarding competition is taking place as part of the ceremony. 

Weinberger has so far declined to confirm or deny whether he’ll participate. But he told Seven Days, “Well, I think you might want to show up and find out.”

It appears that in between drafting next year’s budget, overseeing the massive redevelopment of the Burlington Town Center and taking care of other city business, the mayor has been squeezing in early morning training sessions. 

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Friday, January 8, 2016

Slideshow: Scenes From Donald Trump's Visit to Burlington

Posted By on Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 1:46 PM

Love him or hate him, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump can draw a crowd. Hours before he was to appear at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts Thursday night, his supporters were lining up and anti-Trump activists were gathering to protest. The Donald’s descent on downtown Burlington will not soon be forgotten, thanks in part to our team of photojournalists — Matthew Thorsen, James Buck and Oliver Parini — who fanned out to capture these enduring images.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Opinion: The Donald Brings a Wild Trumpus to Burlington

Posted By on Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 2:44 PM

"The Man Who Would Be King" - MARC NADEL
  • Marc Nadel
  • "The Man Who Would Be King"
To celebrate New Year’s Eve, leading Republican presidential contender Donald Trump dropped a fat orange turd in Vermonters’ punch bowl. Just as the vegan kale dips were emerging from fridges all across the Green Mountain State, the Trump campaign announced its plan to park its bluster-fuck reality show deep in the bleeding heart of Burlington. The event — billed for 7 p.m. Thursday on the Main Stage of the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts — will be held just across the street from Burlington City Hall, a visible flip of the bird away from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) old mayor's office.

Precisely on schedule, Vermont’s liberal social media sites went into warp drive. As their apoplexy subsided, local progressives began brainstorming suitable responses to the billionaire blowhard, including a petition drive calling on the Flynn to cancel the event. Thankfully, the petition was yanked long before its self-evident hypocrisy sparked an embarrassing lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont.

Since then, other lefty calls to public action have appeared, most of which have sounded about as moving as a laxative ad. To paraphrase a few:

Get a free ticket to the Trump rally, then refuse to show up — gasp! — thereby leaving the theater half empty. Because nothing cows unbridled tyranny like a row of vacant seats and short lines for the toilets.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Bernie Sanders
Meet the Winners of the Sanders Sound Off!

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 5:16 PM

The people have spoken, and they've crowned a winner in our Bernie Sanders imitation contest.

More than 40 contestants had called our hotline and recorded an imitation of Brooklyn-born Sanders' speaking (and shouting) voice. They touched on crucial themes — underwear, billionaires and damn emails — from the Vermont senator's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Many were quite impressive. Others weren't, but we respect the effort. Our panel selected five finalists, and we posted their audio takes online for you to vote.

The winner is Sam Pelletier of Maine, who delivered with his bit on ordering cheesy bread for Sanders volunteers. Congratulations, Sam, and we hope you can make it to Burlington to use your prize: tickets to see Bernie imitator and comedian James Adomian at the Vermont Comedy Club!

In second place: a rant on global warming and underwear by Tony O'Rourke of Williston, who noted in his message that he's "one of those dirty Republicans."

In third place is Joel Levin of New York City, who railed against the Republicans who are double-dipping and triple-dipping their chips. (You'll notice there's a food theme to many of these imitations.)

The fourth-place winner, David Houston, had this suggestion for Ben & Jerry's:

Fifth place went to Joel Najman, whose voice you may recognize from his show on Vermont Public Radio.

And although this one didn't make the final round, it made us laugh.

Thanks to everyone who entered. And now, do we need to have a talk about how much time you've been spending in front of your bathroom mirror perfecting your Bernie impression?

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Bernie Sanders
Blame Bernie Sanders: Man to Ride Unicycle from Vermont to D.C.

Posted By on Tue, Nov 3, 2015 at 2:44 PM

Corbett and Lil' Bernie - PETER CORBETT
  • Peter Corbett
  • Corbett and Lil' Bernie
Let's see the Koch brothers try this.

At 9 a.m. Sunday — one year before Election Day 2016 — Shutesbury, Mass., resident Peter Corbett will set out from Burlington on his unicycle and start pedaling toward the White House, 550 miles away, in hope of raising money for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, he says. "1 Wheel, 1 Nation, Government 4 All," he's dubbed the effort.

Corbett, 57, a Burlington native, plans to cover 25 miles a day and arrive in D.C. during the first weekend in December. He's hoping to raise money from curious passersby and internet fans, and be joined on the road by people using cars, motorcycles, unicycles, "fast pogo sticks" and whatever else they can use to keep up.

For each $100 he raises, Corbett says, he will put a ping-pong ball into his backpack, which, he hopes, will eventually swell into a ... wait for it ... super pack! Get it?  (The Federal Election Commission did not comment on Corbett's plan, probably because we felt too self conscious to call and ask about it.) 

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Bernie Sanders
Sunshine Daydream: What Would Bernie Sanders Say to Deadheads?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 3, 2015 at 9:21 AM

As the Grateful Dead wraps up its final set of shows this weekend as part of its "Fare Thee Well" tour, I got to wondering: What would it be like if Bernie Sanders, Vermont's independent senator and 2016 presidential contender who's also in the Midwest this week, were allowed to address the tens of thousands of Deadheads at Chicago's Soldier Field on the Fourth of July? With just the right speechwriters — and a little help from Vermont's senior senator (and veteran deadhead), Patrick Leahy — it might go a little something like this: 

My fellow Deadheads:

As I travel around and around this great nation of ours, I’ve met too many Americans going down the road feelin’ bad. Whether it’s here in Chicago or down in New Orleans, they don't need a Washington politician to tell them that the American middle class is going to hell in a bucket.

Oh, baby, it ain’t no lie: This country faces more serious problems today than at any time since the Great Depression. The Wall Street billionaire class has become a friend of the devil and turned our great nation, this American beauty, into a brokedown palace.

Today, we have more income and wealth inequality than any other major country on Earth, where the gap between the very rich and everyone else is wider than at any time since the 1920s. A handful of billionaires, their super PACs and their lobbyists have flooded our democracy with a black muddy river of corporate campaign donations. Meanwhile, the rich man in his summer home is singing, “Just leave well enough alone.” But his pants are down, his cover’s blown.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bernie Sanders
Vintage Video Captures Bernie Sanders' Folk Recording Session

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 4:24 PM

In case you haven't noticed, Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) career hasn't exactly suffered since Seven Days unearthed his long-forgotten folk recordings last September and introduced them to the world via Bernie Beat.

Inside and outside the Beltway, musical and political connoisseurs have enjoyed listening to him croon such favorites as "This Land Is Your Land." Now Vermont's junior senator is making a run for the Democratic presidential nomination — and drawing big crowds on the campaign trail.

A related feast for the senses has surfaced on a YouTube video discovered Wednesday by BuzzFeed. It captures Sanders and company recording "Freedom" in 1987. Seven Days founder and co-owner Pamela Polston is among the backup singers lending her pipes to the effort. (Skip ahead to 1:10 and check her out on the right.)

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