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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bernie Sanders
The Bernie Sanders Drinking Game

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 12:59 PM

When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) formally launches his presidential campaign Tuesday evening at Burlington's Waterfront Park, he'll likely deliver a stump speech unlike anything you've ever heard before.

OK, that's not true.

He'll almost certainly deliver the same speech he's given since he first ran for Senate in 1972. (It didn't work so well that year. He won just 2.2 percent of the vote.)

If you've heard it all before, consider spicing it up a bit. Bring a road soda to the shore of Lake Champlain and play the Bernie Sanders Drinking Game — brought to you by none other than Seven Days. If you miss the speech and find yourself bored at home, play the game to Sanders' 8.5-hour faux-libuster or our Bernie Beat archive of historical Sanders coverage.

What are the rules? It's simple. Drink every time Sanders:

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

St. Mike's J-School Gives Away Books; Chaos Does Not Ensue

Posted By on Thu, May 7, 2015 at 1:42 PM


Nobody enjoys celebrating the decline of traditional journalism more than journalists. We revel in the knowledge that the skills we learned just a few years ago are already antiquated, that a glorious past has faded into an uncertain future. So naturally, we dropped all our afternoon plans yesterday when we heard that the Saint Michael's College Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts Department was giving away old journalism books on a first-come, first-served basis.

College administrators apparently decided to give their journalism students a glimpse of the uncertainty that awaits them on the outside: They decided to boot the department from its comfy home in the Bergeron Education Center and relocate it to smaller digs in the basement of another building. A health and wellness center will take its place.

A dispossessed department giving away antiquated tools full of outdated wisdom for a fading industry? We could not have been more excited.

I rushed over to campus to make sure I would have a decent spot in line when doors opened at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Good thing I did.


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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Record Cold Kills Champ

Posted By and on Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 11:35 AM

Farewell, Champ. - JOHN JAMES
  • John James
  • Farewell, Champ.
Lake Champlain has been fully frozen over since February. Even for a sea monster, that's a heckuva long time to hold your breath.

Somehow, Vermont's most elusive aquatic creature missed the memo about the open ferry channel between Grand Isle and Cumberland Head. An ice fisherman found the big guy belly up under Malletts Bay. Sushi anyone?

Happy April Fools' Day!

We'll spare you the fake stories today (with the exception of this one) but hit the button below and you'll find some made-up headlines from the Seven Days staff that got us chuckling. Got your own suggestions? Shout 'em out in the comments and we'll add the best ones.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Super Troopers 2 Is Ready to Shoot, Soliciting Crowdfunding

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 3:44 PM

Image from indiegogo.com - BROKEN LIZARD
  • Broken Lizard
  • Image from indiegogo.com
It's been a pretty lousy time here in Vermont. Temperatures haven't climbed above zero since August, according to the Seven Days meteorology department. Water pipes seem to be cracking every few minutes. Even our maple syrup season is running late.

But along comes news that reminds us of all that is good and just in Vermont and the world.

The men of Broken Lizard, better known as the maple syrup-chugging, meowing, faux Vermont State Police troopers from the cult film Super Troopers, announced yesterday that they have written a sequel and hope to begin filming this summer. 

"We’ve been waiting for years to do this, and meow the time has come," the comedy troupe announced yesterday. "Our mustaches are thick, furry, and authoritative. The script is written and we’re getting all antsy in our pantsy to start shooting. There’s just one problem..."

They need money. On their Indiegogo crowdfunding page, Broken Lizard says it needs to raise at least $2 million to make the movie. Anything above $2 million would allow the team to make the "best movie ever" complete with "more full-frontal Farva" and "the ability to hire someone who knows how to operate a camera."

Judging from the early results, Captain O'Hagan will be pistol-whipping anyone who says "shenanigans" again in no time. As of this writing, which comes one day into the fundraising campaign, the comedy troupe has raised more than $1.9 million.

Super Troopers 2 - Official Indiegogo Campaign Video from Broken Lizard Industries on Vimeo.

Broken Lizard didn't reveal much about the script, or where they would film Super Troopers 2. (The original movie was filmed in upstate New York.) 

Perks for donations include copies of the script, aviator glasses and a badge, premier tickets, and even an appearance as an extra in the film. We at Seven Days are passing the hat in hopes of scrounging up $35,000, which would score us one of the patrol cars used in the movie: The chickenfuckers at other Vermont media outlets would be totally envious of our new company vehicle. 

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Vermont Dignitary Visits Seven Days, Avoids Questions

Posted By on Tue, May 6, 2014 at 11:49 AM

  • Corey Grenier

In a devastating blow for office productivity in Burlington's South End, a moose showed up today. And did stuff. That people could take pictures of. When they weren't busy scurrying away when it changed directions and headed for them.

The moose, which appeared to be quite young, ambled along the bike path, walked the railroad tracks, took a brief dip in Lake Champlain, scurried up Battery Street, and took over the Twitter feeds of pretty much everyone who was close enough to take a picture, or knew someone close enough to take a picture. Like, for example, this one.
  • Logan Pintka

Local office workers (including almost everyone at Seven Days, not that it's our production day or anything), taxi drivers, television crews, passersby — basically, everyone stopped and stared. And occasionally retreated behind something large.

A police officer on the scene said that nobody at his department or Vermont Fish and Wildlife was interested in capturing the moose and plan to simply let it find its way home. Officers fanned out across the area, however, to make sure curious observers didn't get too close or do anything too stupid.

The first sightings of the moose came in South Burlington this morning, police said. Local dispatchers say they have been swamped by calls, and urged people to stay the heck away.

(Seven Days staff members Corey Grenier, Sarah Cushman, Alicia Freese, Ethan de Seife, Ashley Cleare, Don Eggert, Colby Roberts, Andrea Suozzo, John James, Alice Levitt, Aaron Shrewsbury, Bobby Hackney, Diane Sullivan, Michael Bradshaw, Robyn Birgisson, Cheryl Brownell, Julia Atherton and Logan Pintka contributed to this report.)

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

In Burlington City Hall, Eyes on the Ball

Posted By on Tue, Oct 29, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Two conflicts played themselves out more than 1000 miles apart from each other last night. 

In Burlington City Hall, friends and foes of the F35 were making their last-ditch appeals to the city councilors, who by the end of the night rejected two anti-F35 resolutions with 10-4 and 11-3 votes.

In St. Louis, Mo., two teams were both seeking their third win in the World Series. Ultimately, the Red Sox prevailed with a 3-1 win over the Cardinals.

But Councilor Norman Blais (D-Ward 6), probably wasn't surprised by either outcome, because he managed to have his eyes on both the meeting and the game. 

In a photo taken at the meeting and posted publicly on Facebook by a man named Ben Eastwood, Blais' laptop screen shows a man swinging a bat. "I found it almost by accident when I was trying to zoom in on the map they were handing around the council and noticed what they were watching," Eastwood writes in an email to Seven Days.  

Could Blais have clicked on the browser window by accident, or was the councilor tuning out the F35 debate to watch the game? Neither, apparently.

"I didn’t do it accidentally, I wanted to find out what the score was," Blais says candidly.

Elaborating, the councilor explains, "I didn't even have to stop listening to the discussion. I clicked on [the window showing the game], looked at the score, and then continued listening to the meeting."

Photo courtesy of Ben Eastwood. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

In Health Exchange Roll-Out, Shumlin Distinguishes Between "Nothing-Burgers" and "Something-Burgers"

Posted By on Fri, Oct 4, 2013 at 6:54 AM


Two days after his administration launched a new web-based health insurance marketplace, Gov. Peter Shumlin said Thursday that problems plaguing Vermont Health Connect were a little more "something-burger" than "nothing-burger."

At the same time, Shumlin said his administration was "making great progress" in resolving glitches and accelerating connectivity to the online exchange, through which 100,000 Vermonters are expected to buy health insurance. 

"This is a good news story," the governor said Thursday afternoon at a Statehouse press conference. "This is the biggest technology transformation in health care in the history of America. We are delivering on the promise that was made to help low-income people get access to insurance."

In discussing the system's roll-out, Shumlin found himself revisiting a prime metaphor he cooked up at another press conference two weeks before. At the time, the governor was asked about his administration's recent admission that Vermont Health Connect's online payment processing system would not debut until November 1 — a month later than promised.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Grocers Honor "Big Dick" Mazza with Ridiculous Roast

Posted By on Wed, Oct 2, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Who knew Lt. Gov. Phil Scott and Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell (D-Windsor) were so theatrically inclined?

Well, the secret's out now that the two have starred in a video roast of their colleague, Sen. Dick Mazza (D-Grand Isle), produced by the Vermont Grocers' Association. (If you're not familiar with the legend of Dick Mazza, BTW, you should definitely check out Seven Days' 2011 profile of him, written by my former colleague, Andy Bromage.)

Mazza, whose family has operated Mazza's General Store in Colchester since 1954, was presented with the industry trade group's "person of the year" award at its annual convention last Friday at South Burlington's DoubleTree Hotel.

With it came the 15-minute video written, in part, by Scott and Campbell and starring such notable Green Mountain thespians as Gov. Peter Shumlin, Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and former governor Jim Douglas. It was directed by local filmmaker Dennis Bathory-Kitsz.

"We have some talented actors masquerading as politicians," says VGA president Jim Harrison. 

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Bernie Sanders
Which Harry Potter Characters Do Vermont's Muggle Senators Look Like?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 2:11 PM

BuzzFeed, American journalism's leading purveyor of cats and clickbait, has a new listicle finding the Harry Potter character doppelgangers in Congress, and both of Vermont's senators make appearances. It's also full of animated GIFs, so it's basically a Daily Prophet issue.

Anyway, about half of these comparisons are really, really stretching it (that Hagrid? come on), including Sen. Patrick Leahy. But that's probably fortunate, as Leahy has perhaps the least flattering of all the comparisons: Lord Voldemort from Sorcerer's Stone, when (SPOILER ALERT for the five people who haven't read or seen Potter at this point) Voldemort was just a weird face on the back of some other guy's head. And the resemblance is not exactly striking.

Sorry, Buzzfeed! Better leave this kind of thing to Andy Bromage, Seven Days photo-blog editor emeritus famous for classic Off Message posts like "Who Wore It Best?" and "Totally Looks Like."

Sen. Bernie Sanders makes an appearance, too, but we won't spoil that one for you. You'll have to click through to see that one. Hint: not Dumbledore!

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Media Note: Barton Chronicle Reporter Looks On as His Car Gets Stolen

Posted By on Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Let's say you're a thief looking to steal a car. You probably don't want to be seen, so you wouldn't want to commit the crime in broad daylight. And competent reporters are usually on the lookout for unusual things, so stealing a car from a newspaper's parking lot might be a bad idea. And since you can't drive a stick shift, you'll swipe an automatic. Right?

Not if you're this hotshot wannabe bandit in Barton.

Yesterday afternoon, someone stole Barton Chronicle reporter Paul Lefebvre's SUV from the office's parking lot — in broad daylight, as Lefebvre looked on:

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