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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Burlington Mourns Beloved Bartender Monique Ford

Posted By on Tue, Apr 6, 2021 at 4:53 PM

  • Courtesy of Matt Perry
  • Monique Ford
The first flowers appeared by the front door of Three Needs Taproom in Burlington sometime on Sunday night. By Monday morning, several more bouquets had joined those in the entryway of the Pearl Street bar, along with candles, a few cards and at least one bottle of Polar seltzer. As of this writing on Tuesday afternoon, the shrine is overflowing onto the sidewalk with flowers, tokens, candy, chalk drawings and other offerings to the memory of a Burlington legend.

Monique Ford died suddenly over the weekend. The cause has not yet been determined. Her unexpected death sent shockwaves through the Burlington community and beyond. In Queen City circles, social media have largely focused on two topics since Sunday: people registering for or getting the coronavirus vaccine and those sharing memories and grief about "Mo."

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Media Note: Josh Crane and Myra Flynn Join Vermont Public Radio

Posted By on Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 5:14 PM

Josh Crane (left) and Myra Flynn - COURTESY OF JOSH CRANE AND MYRA FLYNN
  • Courtesy of Josh Crane and Myra Flynn
  • Josh Crane (left) and Myra Flynn
Podcast producer Josh Crane and singer-songwriter Myra Flynn, a former journalist at the Burlington Free Press, have joined Vermont Public Radio as engagement producers. They'll primarily support the station's Brave Little State podcast, an investigative program that uses audience-sourced queries as the foundation of its stories.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Judge Says Vermont Law School Can Cover Controversial Murals

Posted By on Wed, Mar 17, 2021 at 6:00 PM

  • Khwaneigq |
In an order last week, a judge denied a preliminary injunction filed by artist Sam Kerson to stop his mural at Vermont Law School from being covered on the grounds that covering it would violate a federal statute protecting artwork. Kerson, the judge wrote on March 10, “is unlikely to succeed on the merits in this case.”

VLS is free to install acoustic panels on a frame in front of the mural, which the school says will not touch or damage the painting in any way. Kerson, who filed suit in December in U.S. District Court, wanted to halt that construction for the duration of the trial.

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Thursday, March 4, 2021

The Bushy Tale of Peanut the Squirrel

Posted By on Thu, Mar 4, 2021 at 8:12 PM

  • Peanut
Peanut, a squirrel with the backing of more than 9,000 humans, will live — contrary to the fears a Vermonter expressed in an online petition.

A blind squirrel who resides in a cage in Barre, Peanut will not be removed from her home with a wildlife rehabilitator, and the animal will not be euthanized, according to Col. Jason Batchelder, director of enforcement for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

“As of this moment, I don’t have any plans to [take] it,” Batchelder told Seven Days. “And the wardens don’t have any plans to do that.”

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Thursday, February 18, 2021

State Issues New Guidelines for Indoor Music Practice in Schools

Posted By on Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 4:20 PM

  • © JaCrispy |
The state of Vermont released new safety guidelines on Wednesday for in-person music education in schools. The pandemic-era protocols allow for indoor group practices under specific conditions for the first time since schools reopened in the fall. The move comes after months of advocacy by music educators pushing for the state to sanction indoor group rehearsals.

Among the guidelines are that musicians can play together indoors separated from each other at six-foot intervals. Rehearsal spaces must be equipped to complete three air exchanges per hour and one full exchange between rehearsals, which are limited to 30 minutes with no audiences.

Singers and musicians must wear masks at all times. Woodwind and brass players are permitted to wear masks with a slit for their instrument’s mouthpiece while playing. Those instruments must also be equipped with a bell cover — essentially a cloth mask for the end of the instrument.

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Monday, February 15, 2021

KeruBo Release New Vaccine-Themed Music Video, "Chanjo"

Posted By on Mon, Feb 15, 2021 at 3:29 PM

KeruBo's Irene Kerubo Webster (center) with AALV staff in the "Chanjo" video - COURTESY OF KERUBO
  • Courtesy of KeruBo
  • KeruBo's Irene Kerubo Webster (center) with AALV staff in the "Chanjo" video
Though Vermont's COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been relatively smooth, Afro-jazz artist and social worker Irene Kerubo Webster has noticed some hesitancy to get vaccinated among the Burlington area's resettled African community. Originally from Kenya, Webster works for the Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV), a nonprofit that helps Africans and other New Americans living locally achieve independence and acculturation.

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Thursday, February 11, 2021

Katie Runde to Paint Alexander Twilight Portrait for the Statehouse

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2021 at 4:10 PM

  • Courtesy of the Old Stone House Museum
  • Alexander Twilight
Middlebury artist Katie Runde has been commissioned to paint a portrait of Alexander Twilight to hang in the Vermont Statehouse, which will make him the first person of color featured in a portrait there.

Twilight, believed to be both the first African American college graduate and first African American legislator in the U.S., was a Brownington-based educator and minister who lived from 1795 to 1857. He was elected as a Vermont State Representative in 1836. Last year, state lawmakers established September 23, 2020, as Alexander Twilight Day.

The portrait was commissioned jointly by the Friends of the Vermont State House and the office of the Vermont State Curator and is being funded by the National Life Group of Vermont.

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Thursday, February 4, 2021

Waking Windows Postponed Until 2022

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2021 at 3:37 PM

Australian rock band Pond performing at Waking Windows 2017 - FILE: LUKE AWTRY
  • File: Luke Awtry
  • Australian rock band Pond performing at Waking Windows 2017
Waking Windows has been pushed back to May 2022.

After all but confirming the postponement in a January email to Seven Days, the Winooski-based indie music and arts festival's organizers released a statement on Thursday announcing their decision to not go forward with the event this year due to continued safety concerns around the pandemic. The 2020 festival, which would have marked the event's tenth anniversary, was also canceled because of the coronavirus.

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Friday, January 22, 2021

Jane O'Meara Sanders: Bernie Mitten Memes Are 'Really Cute'

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 4:41 PM

Little did Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) know what was to come... - BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/GETTY IMAGES
  • Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images
  • Little did Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) know what was to come...
Joe Biden is the president, but Bernie Sanders is an icon.

Their ascensions occurred on January 20 in Washington, D.C., at the inaugural ceremony at which Biden was formally elevated to the U.S. presidency. Sanders, a political independent and Vermont's junior senator, showed up informally — wearing gear that's true to himself and his home state: wool mittens made by an Essex Junction school teacher and a Burton jacket. His mask was blue, and disposable.

A candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination last year,  Sanders sat alone on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, socially distant, legs and arms crossed, and dressed for the weather (downright cold by D.C. standards). It was there that Brendan Smialowski, a photographer for Agence France-Presse, captured the shot seen 'round the world.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

UVM Diversity Guru Wanda Heading-Grant Heads to Carnegie Mellon University

Posted By on Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 4:26 PM

Dr. Wanda Heading-Grant - FILE: LUKE AWTRY
  • File: Luke Awtry
  • Dr. Wanda Heading-Grant
The University of Vermont is losing one of its longest serving and most accomplished experts on social justice. Dr. Wanda Heading-Grant, UVM’s vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion, has accepted a job at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. She starts the newly created position, as CMU’s vice provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion and chief diversity officer, on April 1.

Heading-Grant has been on the UVM campus since 1983, when she first arrived as an 18-year-old freshman, one of the university's only students of color at the time. A first-generation African American college student from Trenton, N.J., Heading-Grant went on to earn her doctoral degree at UVM before rising to one of the university’s highest administrative positions.

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