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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Burlington, South Burlington Voters Approve Big Bonds at Polls

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2018 at 12:18 AM

Rendering of the proposed renovation to Burlington High School - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Rendering of the proposed renovation to Burlington High School
Updated at 2:15 a.m. on November 7, 2018.

Big number, big question, big win.

The $70 million bond to rebuild Burlington High School passed resoundingly with 73.8 percent of the vote Tuesday. After all wards were tallied, the measure passed by a count of 13,383 to 4,734.

Although the price tag seemed scary to some residents, school and city officials got behind the proposal and, ultimately, so did voters.

"I voted yes," registered nurse Hannah Warren said while at the polls Tuesday. "I think investing in education is always beneficial for our community. The high school could definitely use some love."

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Zuckerman, Down-Ballot Democrats Win Vermont’s Statewide Races

Posted By and on Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 11:00 PM

Lt. Gov. Davis Zuckerman - JAMES BUCK
  • James Buck
  • Lt. Gov. Davis Zuckerman
Updated at 1:38 a.m. on November 7, 2018.

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, a Progressive and Democrat, will return to the Statehouse for a second two-year term.

The organic farmer from Hinesburg beat out Rep. Don Turner (R-Milton), the House minority leader, in the race for Vermont's No. 2 job. With all but six precincts reporting late Tuesday night, Zuckerman led Turner 57 percent to 39 percent.

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Vermont Gov. Phil Scott Elected to Second Term

Posted By on Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 10:12 PM

  • Sophie MacMillan
  • Gov. Phil Scott
Updated at 2:30 a.m. on November 7

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott cruised to reelection Tuesday night, beating Democratic challenger Christine Hallquist, who conceded the race around 10:20 p.m.

With all but four districts reporting, Scott had clinched 55 percent of the vote to Hallquist’s 40 percent. That’s larger than his margin of victory in 2016, when he beat Democrat Sue Minter by nine percentage points.

Throughout the campaign, the first-term governor touted his efforts to hold the line on taxes and fees and repeated his pledge to make Vermont more affordable.

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Bernie Sanders Wins Third Term to U.S. Senate

Posted By on Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 7:01 PM

Jane O'Meara Sanders and Sen. Bernie Sanders arrive at the Robert Miller Community & Recreation Center to vote Tuesday morning. - SOPHIE MACMILLAN
  • Sophie MacMillan
  • Jane O'Meara Sanders and Sen. Bernie Sanders arrive at the Robert Miller Community & Recreation Center to vote Tuesday morning.
Updated at 11:37 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) coasted to reelection Tuesday night, winning a third term to the U.S. Senate without breaking a sweat. The Associated Press called the race for him at 7:00 p.m. sharp, the moment polls closed.

About two hours later, the AP projected that U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) won a seventh term representing Vermont’s at-large seat in the U.S. House.

Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist from Burlington, faced Republican real estate agent Lawrence Zupan of Manchester, as well as seven other candidates, in a race that never quite took off. Sanders campaigned infrequently in the state, spending much of his time stumping for Democratic candidates across the country. He agreed to take part in just one debate and one candidate forum.

With 253 of 275 precincts reporting at 11:35 p.m., Sanders had 66 percent of the vote compared to 27 percent for Zupan.

At a Vermont Democratic Party gathering at the HiltonBurlington, Sanders told an enthusiastic crowd, “Being a United States senator from Vermont has been the honor of my life.”

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Women in Nude Photo Shoot Say Online Backlash Proves Their Point

Posted By on Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 9:26 AM

A photo from the campaign - COURTESY OF JOHN SCHREINER
  • Courtesy of John Schreiner
  • A photo from the campaign
The Vermont women who posed nude for a get-out-the-vote campaign say they’re undeterred by internet trolls and naysayers who have disparaged them over the past week.

Since Seven Days reported on the "Grab Them by the Ballot" campaign, the story has gone viral, garnering publicity from such outlets as the UK's Daily Mail — and vitriolic responses from others. Organizer Dawn Robertson said the response has only hardened the resolve of most of the 10 women who dropped trou in a bold statement on sexuality, empowerment and ownership of their bodies.

The response has been particularly harsh from right-wing news organizations and websites. Fox News, Breitbart and the Blaze wrote about the “Democrat women” who decided to protest Republican policies with nudity. “YUCK!” screamed a headline from the Gateway Pundit, a website rife with conspiracy theories. “Democrat Women Get Naked to Protest GOP With ‘Grab Them by the Ballot’ Campaign.”

Rush Limbaugh, too, decided to disparage the women on his talk-radio show.

“They replace the vagina hats as a means of inspiring and spurring female [turnout],” he said on his November 2 show, according to a transcript posted on his website. “No matter where you look on the left, you have virtually nothing but hatred motivating people. Hatred and anger.”

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On Election Eve, Vermont Candidates Make Final Appeals

Posted By and on Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 12:41 AM

Phil Scott arrives in South Burlington with wife Diana and their dogs, Denali and Tucker. - PAUL HEINTZ
  • Paul Heintz
  • Phil Scott arrives in South Burlington with wife Diana and their dogs, Denali and Tucker.
Vermont's major-party candidates for governor crisscrossed the state Monday on the final day of campaigning before Tuesday's election.

During a 14-hour tour of all 14 counties, Republican Gov. Phil Scott committed to making Vermont a more affordable place to live if he were reelected to a second two-year term. Democratic challenger Christine Hallquist, who traveled from Bennington to St. Johnsbury, touted her universal broadband plan and told voters she'd be a more collaborative leader than the incumbent.

The two candidates have waged a civil but spirited campaign since winning their respective primary elections in August. While early voting figures provided by the Secretary of State's Office indicate that turnout will be higher than usual for a midterm election, a Vermont Public Radio/Vermont PBS poll conducted early last month suggested that Scott and fellow incumbents have no cause to worry.

In addition to the gubernatorial contest, Vermont's ballot features races for a U.S. Senate and a U.S. House seat, five other statewide offices and all 180 legislative seats. Voters will also elect county officials, such as sheriffs and state's attorneys, to four-year terms, and they'll weigh in on a variety of local ballot initiatives.

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Monday, November 5, 2018

Storm Café to Close as Middlebury College Considers Future of Old Stone Mill

Posted By on Mon, Nov 5, 2018 at 5:33 PM

Old Stone Mill building in Middlebury - COURTESY OF STORM CAFÉ
  • Courtesy of Storm Café
  • Old Stone Mill building in Middlebury
The Storm Café in Middlebury will serve eggs Benedict and corned-beef hash one last time this weekend.

The restaurant inside the Old Stone Mill will close Sunday as building owner Middlebury College ponders new uses for the historic structure.

"It's bittersweet," said John Hughes, who has owned the restaurant with wife Beth Hughes for 13 years.

The final closing time Sunday might not be the usual 2 p.m., he added.

"I'm pretty sure we'll be serving until the last of the regulars stop coming in or I run out of food," Hughes said.

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Friday, November 2, 2018

Walters: Scott, Hallquist Continue Modest Fundraising Pace

Posted By on Fri, Nov 2, 2018 at 8:30 PM

Gov. Phil Scott (left) and Christine Hallquist - GLENN RUSSELL | JAMES BUCK
  • Glenn Russell | James Buck
  • Gov. Phil Scott (left) and Christine Hallquist
In their final pre-election campaign finance reports, Republican Gov. Phil Scott continued to outpace Democratic challenger Christine Hallquist. As has been true throughout the campaign, both candidates raised money at a relatively modest pace compared to gubernatorial campaigns in recent years.

Hallquist did raise enough money to underwrite a limited TV ad buy in the closing days of the race — her first foray into television. According to campaign manager Cameron Russell, her ads will feature endorsements from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), former vice president Joe Biden and others.

Scott reported raising nearly $127,000 between October 15 and November 2, bringing his fundraising total to $688,521. At the same point in the 2016 campaign, Scott had raised close to $1.5 million.

Hallquist reported financial contributions of $94,049 in the most recent period, bringing her campaign total to $507,451. At the same point in 2016, Democratic candidate Sue Minter had raised slightly less than $2 million.

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Vandal Defaces Controversial Burlington Parade Mural

Posted By on Fri, Nov 2, 2018 at 1:20 PM

A tarp covers the vandalized section of the "Everyone Loves a Parade!" mural in Burlington. - MATTHEW ROY
  • Matthew Roy
  • A tarp covers the vandalized section of the "Everyone Loves a Parade!" mural in Burlington.
Burlington officials say someone literally defaced the controversial “Everyone Loves a Parade!” mural this week.

Police Chief Brandon del Pozo said the vandal targeted white people, including Samuel de Champlain and Ethan Allen, depicted leading the parade. A Native American figure was unscathed, according to del Pozo.

“An unknown person applied a solvent to the faces of the people in the front of the mural,” del Pozo said, adding that the chemicals “melted the paint and the finish down to the wood.”

Once the faces were removed from the 124-foot-long mural, del Pozo said, the vandal spray painted pink dollar signs in their places. It marked the second time the mural had been recently vandalized.

“About two weeks ago … somebody spray painted ‘colonizers’ across the mural,” del Pozo said, “but it was over the laminate, so it could be removed.”

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