Inside Seven Days | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eva Sollberger’s Stuck in Vermont Video Series Hits 500 Episode Mark

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 12:10 PM

Seven Days, Vermont’s free, independent newsweekly, today released the 500th episode of Eva Sollberger’s video series, Stuck in Vermont. Since 2007, Sollberger has been documenting Vermont people, places, events and traditions in her videos, which are published each Thursday on Her Stuck in Vermont stories have been viewed nearly four million times on YouTube. Since 2012, Sollberger and her videos have also appeared weekly on the WCAX local news.

For her 500th episode, Sollberger wrote, directed and starred in a 22-minute musical, featuring several well-known locals, including actor

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Seven Days Wins Three First-Place Awards in National Media Competition

Posted By on Wed, Aug 9, 2017 at 12:49 PM

Seven Days, Vermont’s free, independent newsweekly, won three first-place awards at the annual Association of Alternative Newsmedia conference last month in Washington, D.C.

The AAN Awards recognize the most artful, compelling and courageous journalism produced each year by the alternative newsmedia. AAN member publications vary in size and circulation, and are based in cities across the U.S. and Canada; the annual awards contest gives these publications the opportunity to compete against their peers. This year’s competition consisted of 817 entries submitted by 67 publications; the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland conducted the judging. Seven Days’ awards included:

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Friday, May 26, 2017

What's the Deal With Our 50-Foot Donald Trump Cover?

Posted By and on Fri, May 26, 2017 at 4:33 PM

This week's Seven Days cover features an illustration by Vermont cartoonist and regular New Yorker contributor Harry Bliss.

How does something like this go from the original concept to the front of 36,000 newspapers? Here's our art director, Rev. Diane Sullivan, to explain:

And once you've taken a peek behind the scenes, make sure to check out the cover story, by Paul Heintz: "Trumpatized? Prominent Vermonters Reveal Their White House Worries."

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Vermont Restaurant Week Donates $21,380 to the Vermont Foodbank

Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 2:26 PM

Vermont Foodbank staff
  • Vermont Foodbank staff
A total of $21,380 was donated to the Vermont Foodbank as a result of Seven Days' 8th annual Vermont Restaurant Week. This popular event was presented by Vermont Federal Credit Union and organized by Seven Days.

“Vermont Restaurant Week is an incredible celebration of food for our community. It raises awareness about the issue of hunger in our state and helps us ensure all of our neighbors have the quality food they need to thrive,” said Vermont Foodbank CEO John Sayles. “We are so grateful to Seven Days, Vermont Federal Credit Union, City Market, the Vermont Community Foundation, sponsors, restaurants and customers who came together to make this generous gift possible. Their commitment helps work toward a reality where everyone in our community can celebrate the joy of good food.”

“This is Vermont Federal Credit Union’s eighth year as presenting sponsor for Vermont Restaurant Week,” said VFCU President and CEO Jean Giard. “We are proud to be part of this event, which supports the Vermont Foodbank and features our local restaurants.”

Many factors contributed to the total donation. Proceeds from the Bottomless Brunch Bash, a curated tasting event featuring local chefs, went to the foodbank. Donations also came from a panel discussion at ArtsRiot; from Aperitivo, a snacky social hour at Maglianero; event raffles; and a portion of sponsorship dollars.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Vermont Community Foundation provided a matching grant of $5,000 for the foodbank. The foundation was established in 1986 by Vermonters to serve their charitable goals and provides leadership in giving by responding to community needs, mobilizing and connecting philanthropists, and by keeping Vermont’s nonprofit sector vital with grants and other investments.

City Market/Onion River Co-op, one of the festival’s sponsors, made the Vermont Foodbank its 40 percent recipient in the store’s Rally for Change program during the month of April. That program encourages customers to round up their total at the register and donate the difference.

Lastly, participating restaurants were encouraged to set up individual fundraising pages on to help raise more money for the foodbank. The Hyde Away Inn & Restaurant in Waitsfield collected more than $2,000 for the cause.

More than 100 restaurants across the state participated in Vermont Restaurant Week this year. Each location offered special, prix-fixe meals during the event, which ran from April 21 to 30.

In addition to Vermont Federal Credit Union and City Market, this year’s sponsors were Vermont Creamery, Switchback Brewing Co., WhistlePig Whiskey, Swish White River and the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing, with media support from Jumponit and WNCS the Point.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Kids VT, Seven Days' Free Parenting Magazine, Wins Six Awards From National Parenting Media Group

Posted By on Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 1:29 PM

For the sixth year in a row, Kids VT, Vermont’s free monthly parenting magazine, took home the top writing prize at the Parenting Media Association’s Design and Editorial Awards Competition. The national competition recognizes excellence in journalism, photography and design in PMA member publications. The association announced the honors at its annual March convention in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Kids VT won the following awards in its size category:

“The writing in this publication is altogether original and engaging,” wrote the judge in the Overall Writing category.

The judge in the General Excellence category noted that, “Kids VT is unafraid to tackle complicated and challenging subjects.” An example: Freelance contributor Katie Titterton’s story from the April 2016 issue, about how Vermont parents navigate the “benefits cliff.” The term refers to the steep and sudden decline in health care benefits that a family faces if the parents’ income is just a few dollars over the maximum threshold for Medicaid.

“The author takes on a tough and important subject and clearly explains the topic,” wrote the judge in the News Feature category. “Not many parent’s publications would take on a complex issue like health care and be able to pull off a balanced and helpful piece. Excellent topic and superb journalism.”

This is the sixth year Kids VT has entered the PMA competition after the magazine was purchased by Burlington-based newsweekly Seven Days. The Kids VT staff recently redesigned the free monthly magazine for the first time since 2011 — the March 2017 issue is the first with several fresh new features, a kids’ activity section and a reorganized family fun calendar.

The PMA, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., represents more than 100 parenting magazines and newspapers in the United States, Canada and Australia. Kids VT is distributed free each month at more than 700 locations in northern and central Vermont. Its comprehensive calendar and weekly email newsletter, the Wee-Mail, keep Vermont families up-to-date on the latest local events. Find all of Kids VT’s award-winning content at

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Vermonters Find Jobs on Seven Days’ New and Improved Career Website

Posted By on Tue, Mar 7, 2017 at 11:48 AM

Seven Days is excited to announce the launch of its brand-new, mobile-friendly job board for Vermont job seekers and recruiters.

The improved digital service helps candidates find current, local and vetted employment opportunities according to their interests and talents. Human Resource professionals can now manage job listings and track applicants throughout the hiring process.

Job Recruiters can now...
  • Post jobs using a simpler, more descriptive form that includes key info about their company and open positions (location, application deadlines, video, images, etc.)
  • Make edits to the text of their live job postings and mark them “filled” when a hire is made.
  • Accept applications and manage the hiring process via the job board’s new applicant tracking tool.
Job Seekers can now...
  • Search for jobs by keyword, location, category and job type (full-time, part-time, etc.)
  • Set up job alert emails using the same search criteria above.
  • Save jobs to a custom list with their own notes on the positions.
  • Apply for jobs directly through the site.
  • Share jobs on all popular social media channels.
Seven Days is the local marketplace for recruitment advertising. We connect qualified employees — our readers — with the best places to work in Vermont,” said publisher and coeditor Paula Routly.

All jobs posted online are included in the weekly employment section of Seven Days. More than 80,000 readers across the state — some of whom may not know they’re looking for a job — pick up the print newspaper. The employment section of the website hosts an additional 10,922 online visits per week.

The new, improved digital experience lets “employers and job seekers manage the entire process from the site's dashboard,” said Michelle Brown, who has spent more than 17 years helping Vermont recruiters find qualified applicants through Seven Days Jobs. “At the same time, there is a live person to help you through the process, if you need it.”
Michelle Brown
  • Michelle Brown

There’s another reason to choose Seven Days Jobs over other online recruitment services, said Routly: “It supports our quality journalism.”

Human Resource professionals who are interested in starting a multi-media campaign to target Vermont job seekers should contact Michelle Brown at 865-1020 ex 21 or email her at

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Seven Days Wins 10 First-Place Awards, Including General Excellence, in Regional Media Competition

Posted By on Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 3:41 PM

click image Kymelya Sari, 2016 Rookie of the Year
  • Kymelya Sari, 2016 Rookie of the Year
Seven Days, Vermont's free, independent newsweekly, won 10 first-place awards in this year's New England Better Newspaper Competition — including General Excellence and top honors for crimes and courts reporting, video journalism, design and human interest feature story. Staff writer Kymelya Sari was chosen as Rookie of the Year for weekly newspapers in the six-state region. The contest is organized by the New England Newspaper and Press Association; winners were announced at NENPA's annual convention last week in Boston.

NENPA members submitted 3,226 entries, split among five categories: daily newspapers with circulation up to 30,000; daily newspapers with circulation more than 30,000; weekly newspapers with circulation up to 6,000; weekly newspapers with circulation more than 6,000; and specialty publications. Seven Days — which circulates 36,000 copies every Wednesday — competed against numerous other large, New England weeklies.

Seven Days' 10 awards included:

  • First place for General Excellence. "Well-written and researched stories," commented one judge. "Superb weekly paper."
  • First place, weekly newspaper Rookie of the Year, for Kymelya Sari. "I applaud the paper for creating a new beat on the immigrant and refugee communities," one judge wrote. "Most importantly, thank you to Kymelya Sari for the depth and quality of writing that makes the beat crucial to the readers." Sari, a Singapore native, first came to Seven Days as a reporting fellow, after earning a master's degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism. She is now a staff writer.
  • First place, Overall Design and Presentation, for the Seven Days design team. "Takes design risks...and succeeds!" gushed the judge. "It's a weekly that's light on the eyes, yet not afraid to tackle issues."
  • First place for Best Overall Website. "An excellent website and perfectly suited to its altweekly style," noted the judge. "Solid user interactivity across the website."
  • click image Eva Sollberger
    • Eva Sollberger
    Two first-place awards for senior multimedia producer Eva Sollberger's weekly web video series, "Stuck in Vermont": News Video, first place: "Stuck in Vermont 427: Trumpnado Hits Burlington;" Entertainment Video, first place: "Stuck in Vermont 446: Hanksville Mud Bog."
  • A first place in Crimes and Courts Reporting for Mark Davis. In particular, the judge praised his cover story, "A Second Chance: A Vermont Sheriff Risks His Career by Hiring a Sex Offender." "The reporting, interviews and documentation reveal a tale of conscience, struggle and complexity — and also forces the reader to reconsider the meaning of justice and redemption."
  • Mark Davis also won first place for his Human Interest Feature Story, "Right in Rutland: Will Mayor Chris Louras Fall on his Sword for 100 Syrians?" 
  • Kymelya Sari also took first place for Racial or Ethnic Issue Coverage, for her cover story on hate-crime victim Fatuma Bulle, who has become an advocate for refugee women and families. Readers "were treated with a well-written, deeply reported feature that introduces them to a victim who refused to be victimized," wrote the judge.
  • click image Paul Heintz
    • Paul Heintz
    click image Terri Hallenbeck
    • Terri Hallenbeck
  • First place for "Right-to-Know" for Terri Hallenbeck and Paul Heintz. The pair wrote about Seven Days' decision to contest subpoenas received as a result of the investigation of Sen. Norm McAllister. "Seven Days invested significant financial and editorial resources to challenge subpoenas issued for three of its reporters," noted the judge. "This type of investment reflects an admirable commitment to freedom of the press. When the paper could have easily accepted the subpoenas, it instead fought them and educated its readers about the First Amendment every step of the way."
Seven Days scored second-place honors for specialty publication, for the newly redesigned What's Good: A Seven Days Field Guide to Burlington. Political editor Paul Heintz won second place for political columnist and local personality profile for his cover story on Northeast Kingdom developer Bill "Sunshine" Stenger.

Finally, Eva Sollberger, Diane Sullivan and Bryan Parmelee shared an honorable mention in the feature video category, for "Stuck in Vermont 434: Stuck Inside a Vermonter's Colon." The video, which documents Seven Days art director Rev. Diane Sullivan's colonoscopy, memorializes her brother, Michael, who died of colorectal cancer in 2003.

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Candace Page Inducted Into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 1:18 PM

Candace Page
  • Candace Page
Vermont journalist Candace Page has been inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame. Formerly of the Burlington Free Press, the Seven Days editor was recognized at the annual convention of the New England Newspaper and Press Association. “I can’t think of another living Vermont journalist who is more deserving of the honor,” said Seven Days publisher and coeditor Paula Routly, who nominated Page for the distinction and spoke on her behalf at the hall-of-fame dinner last Friday night in Boston.

Vermont-born, Brown-educated Page came to work at the Burlington Free Press in 1981, after stints at the Providence Journal and the United Press International. At the Free Press, she rose through the ranks from city hall reporter to features editor, editorial writer, editorial page editor, Statehouse bureau chief, assistant managing editor and managing editor. After mastering almost every job in the newsroom, she went back to reporting. For eight years, Page tackled long-form environmental stories on topics that ranged from local endangered species and the science of algae blooms to the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.

“Her deeply informed reporting on the natural world guided civic debate about protecting Vermont's heritage of land and water, especially Lake Champlain,” wrote Christine Chinlund, now a managing editor at the Boston Globe, in her nomination letter for Candy, her former colleague at UPI. “Her work gave readers fresh insight into the value of, and risks to, the natural resources so important to the state. That contribution will be felt for decades.”

Four others supported Page’s nomination: Addison County Independent publisher Angelo Lynn, Seven Days Statehouse reporter Terri Hallenbeck, former Lake Champlain Basin Program director Bill Howland, and Mike Kilian, a former Burlington Free Press editor who is now the news director at the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“If you want to understand fully the people, unique places and natural environment of Vermont, you want to immerse yourself in the body of insightful work produced by Candace Page as a journalist over the last several decades,” Kilian wrote in his nomination letter. “No observer went further, dug deeper or reached greater heights.” Kilian also attended the Boston induction ceremony.

Page “retired” from the Free Press in 2013, but she continued to write food and features stories for the Gannett-owned daily. Last year, she started editing news stories on a freelance basis for Seven Days. That gig has grown. In addition to coaching young writers, Page now co-directs the independent weekly’s legislative coverage with political editor Paul Heintz. She brings good judgment and a vast institutional memory to Seven Days.

Other Vermont journalists in the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame include: Chris Braithwaite, Kevin Crosbie and Lucy B. Crosbie (The Chronicle, Barton); Phillip C. Camp Sr. (The Vermont Standard, Woodstock), J. Warren McClure, John Donoghue and Michael Donoghue (Burlington Free Press), John Drysdale and M. Dickey Drysdale (The Herald of Randolph), Suzanne Gillis (Vermont Woman), Emerson Lynn (St. Albans Messenger), Angelo Lynn and William J. Slator (Addison County Independent), Tom Kearney (Stowe Reporter), Ross Connelly and David Morse (Hardwick Gazette), H. Gordon Smith (Caledonian Record), R. John Mitchell (The Times Argus) Robert Mitchell (The Rutland Herald), Pamela Polston and Paula Routly (Seven Days).

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Seven Days Promotes Dan Bolles, Welcomes New Music Editor Jordan Adams

Posted By on Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 2:47 PM

Seven Days, Vermont’s free, independent weekly newspaper, has promoted its longtime music editor Dan Bolles to assistant arts editor. After 10 years as frontman of Seven Days’ popular music section, Bolles has passed the mic to his assistant, Jordan Adams.

Bolles joined Seven Days as music editor in 2007. He is one of just four 
people to have held the title since Pamela Polston and Paula Routly created the publication in 1995. Polston, the former lead singer for the Decentz, first wrote and edited the section.

During his turn as music editor, Bolles has won recognition for his writing from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, the Vermont Press Association and the New England Newspaper and Press Association. He stayed longer in that role than any of his predecessors. “In recent years,” said Polston, “I cautioned Dan that the day would come when he might not feel like going out to clubs all the time. That day finally came.

“I am delighted and relieved that Dan chose to stay with Seven Days, and wants to take on new challenges as a writer and editor,” she added.
In his new role, Bolles will assist arts editor Polston, and will continue to write about music, comedy, sports and general features. Bolles also supervises Adams, and remains the editor of Seven Days’ annual What’s Good: A Field Guide to Burlington, published each August.

“I'm excited to branch out into wider areas of interest and tell different kinds of stories from the Vermont community,” Bolles said. “And I'm thrilled to continue my career with Seven Days and to help guide our coverage of the next generation of local music alongside Jordan.”

Jordan Adams joined Seven Days as assistant music editor in Aug
ust 2016. A native Vermonter who grew up in Charlotte, he spent part of the last decade living in San Francisco. During his Left Coast stint, Adams worked as a nanny — or, as he calls it, a "manny" — and co-hosted radio programs on pirate airwaves. He deejayed and spent many nights at the legendary Fillmore nightclub. Eventually, Adams realized he was “too much of an East Coaster to remain in groovy California” and returned home.

Now, as music editor, he assigns and writes music features and reviews, writes band spotlights and the weekly Soundbites column, compiles the music listings, and goes out to clubs. A lot.

"When I'm at a concert, I'm in church. That's how I worship,” Adams said. “Music is my higher power, and I'm kind of a nut about it."

Da Capo Publishing Inc., dba Seven Days, was founded by Pamela Polston and Paula Routly in 1995, and is now owned by Polston and Routly, as well as associate publishers Don Eggert, Cathy Resmer and Colby Roberts. In addition to its six free publications, the Burlington-based company also produces two annual events: Vermont Restaurant Week and the Vermont Tech Jam, a career and tech expo. Its editorial staff has received numerous journalism awards from entities including the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, the Parenting Media Association, the New England Newspaper and Press Association and the Vermont Press Association.

Seven Days has been named Business of the Year by both the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Burlington Business Association. In 2013, Editor & Publisher selected Seven Days for inclusion in its annual feature, “10 Newspapers That Do It Right.” In 2015, Polston and Routly were inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame.

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Seven Days Hires Staff Writers, a Columnist and a Deputy News Editor

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 10:54 AM

Paul Heintz
  • Paul Heintz
Seven Days is expanding its news team in anticipation of the upcoming legislative session.

Political editor Paul Heintz is giving up the hard-hitting “Fair Game” column he has penned for four and a half years to focus on investigative reporting in the new year. He’ll oversee his successor, John Walters, who has an extensive background in radio and print journalism. Walters is retiring his blog, The Vermont Political  Observer, aka the VPO, to take over Fair Game — the fourth brave soul to do so 
John Walters
  • John Walters
since Peter Freyne started the political column originally dubbed “Inside Track.” Walters will also be contributing to Seven Days’ Off Message blog. “John has a strong voice and  a keen eye, which make him uniquely suited for the column ist role,” said publisher and coeditor Paula Routly. “Paul has done an amazing job with Fair Game — but that demanding beat restricts his ability to dig into bigger projects. He’s chomping at the bit to do that.”

Alicia Freese
  • Alicia Freese
Alicia Freese, who has been covering Burlington politics for the past two and a half years, is being promoted to Seven Days’ Statehouse team in Montpelier, joining columnist Walters and reporter Terri Hallenbeck. The Tunbridge native attended Pomona College and got her start in journalism covering the legislature for VTDigger.

Filling in for Freese in Burlington: Seven Days recently hired Katie Jickling of Brookfield, who started writing  
Katie Jickling
  • Katie Jickling
for the Herald of Randolph when she was still in high school. Jickling won the  Vermont Press Association’s Rookie of the Year award before she had graduated from Hamilton College in 2015. She wrote her thesis on  community journalism.     

Former Burlington Free Press reporter Candace Page has been working as a freelance editor at Seven Days since  spring 2016. “Although she’s technically retired, Candy is too curious about the world to sit back and watch the news,” said Routly. “Lucky for us, she’s 
Candace Page
  • Candace Page
discovered that she really enjoys coaching young writers.” During her 32 years at the Free Press, Page had almost every job in the newsroom, including managing editor, editorial page editor and capital bureau chief. Page and Heintz will direct the legislative reporting team this winter.

Also assisting news editor Matthew Roy is  deputy news editor Sasha Goldstein. Before he joined the Seven Days news team last June, Goldstein was a breaking news editor and staff writer at the New York Daily News. Prior to 
Sasha Goldstein
  • Sasha Goldstein
that, he was a reporter for The Day in New London, Conn. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2009.

Seven Days has renewed its commitment to covering Vermont’s New American communities by hiring 2015 Columbia University Journalism School graduate Kymelya Sari, who completed a year-long reporting 
Kymelya Sari
  • Kymelya Sari
fellowship for Seven Days in June. During her fellowship, Singapore native Sari penned numerous stories about immigrants and refugees living in Vermont. She joined the editorial team  in October as a full-time staff writer.

“We’ve come a long way since ‘Inside Track’ was all the news you could find in Seven Days,” said Routly. In the past five years, the news department has added six writers and an assistant news editor.

The entire news team will be on hand at Seven Days’ annual “Off the Record” mixer for rookie and returning legislators.  It’s in memory of Freyne, who died on the opening day of the legislative session. The 2017 event is Wednesday, January 4, in the Cedar Creek Room at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier.

Da Capo Publishing Inc., dba Seven Days, was founded by Pamela Polston and Paula Routly in 1995. In addition to its six free publications, th e Burlington-based company also produces two annual events: Vermont Restaurant Week and the Vermont Tech Jam, a career and tech expo.

In 2000, the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce selected then-5-year-old Seven Days as Business of the Year. Eight years later, the Burlington Business Association did the same, citing the company’s exemplary business practices, contributions to the community, and promotion of a positive image for Burlington, as well as business success. In 2013, Editor & Publisher selected Seven Days for inclusion in its annual feature, “10 Newspapers That Do It Right.” In 2015, Polston and Routly were inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame.

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