CRUEL AND UNUSUAL?
Amid pandemic, inmates want out PAGE 12
VE R MO NT ’S INDE PEN DENT V O IC E APRIL 15-22, 2020 VOL.25 NO.29 SEVENDAYSVT.COM
The Man Behind the Mask Gov. Phil Scott leads Vermont through a historic crisis B Y PAU L HEI N T Z , PA G E 32
Summer theater season nixed
SHELTER IN PLAYS
An actor’s online quarantine log
ON THE RISE
Isolation spurs baking boom
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WEEK IN REVIEW APRIL 8-15, 2020 COMPILED BY GILLIAN ENGLISH, SASHA GOLDSTEIN & MATTHEW ROY
A Vermont game warden rescued an orphaned black bear cub found wandering on the Stratton Mountain access road. Therapy animal?
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has endorsed former vice president Joe Biden for president. Sanders made the announcement Monday afternoon during a Biden campaign livestream, saying he believes that his former opponent in the Democratic primary understands the country needs to move forward in an “unprecedented way” to address the “terrible pain” caused by the coronavirus. “Today I am asking all Americans — I’m asking every Democrat, I’m asking every independent, I’m asking a lot of Republicans — to come together in this campaign, to support your candidacy, which I endorse, to make certain that we defeat somebody who I believe ... is the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country,” Sanders said. “We need you in the White House,” Sanders went on to say. “I will do all that I can to see that that happens, Joe.” Vermont’s junior senator suspended his own presidential bid last week, citing a “virtually impossible” path to victory.
Biden, now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, praised Sanders after that announcement and appealed to Sanders’ supporters, promising to incorporate some of the progressive ideals championed by the Vermont senator into his own campaign. It appears that work has already begun. Sanders said Monday that his campaign staff has been collaborating with Biden’s over the last few weeks to form task forces that will work together on policies covering economic issues, education, criminal justice, climate change, health care and immigration. After Sanders made the announcement, Biden offered his gratitude and said that he believed people would be surprised by the number of issues the two men agree on. “If I am the nominee, which it looks like now you just made me, I’m going to need you,” Biden said to Sanders. “Not just to win the campaign, but to govern.” Colin Flanders’ story, and a trove of Seven Days’ Sanders coverage, is at berniebeat.com.
With Department of Motor Vehicles offices closed, the state will allow those with expired driver’s licenses to buy booze. And you get to skip the DMV lines.
That’s how many KN95 respirator masks Burton Snowboards acquired from China and donated to northeast hospitals, including the University of Vermont Medical Center.
MOST POPULAR ITEMS ON SEVENDAYSVT.COM
1. “Burlington Resident’s Zoom Meeting Meme Goes Viral” by Margaret Grayson. Sarah Woodard touched a nerve with her post about the strange new world of Zoom meetings. 2. “Burlington City Council to Consider Asking Scott to Suspend F-35 Flights” by Courtney Lamdin. The council ultimately asked the governor to halt the Vermont National Guard’s F-35 training flights. 3. “Ghost Planes Haunt Burlington International Airport” by Kevin McCallum. Commercial planes are still flying – even if they’re practically empty. 4. “Death Certificates Reveal Demographics of Vermont’s First COVID-19 Deaths” by Andrea Suozzo. Death certificates reveal new information about the Vermonters who have died from COVID-19. 5. “State Shutters Farmers Markets” by Jordan Barry. Farmers markets are not deemed essential under Gov. Phil Scott’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order and cannot operate.
tweet of the week
Copley Hospital in Morrisville is testing health care workers for antibodies that could signal immunity to COVID-19. A gamechanging advance.
@liamgriffin 4/7/20 Hey #BTV, get outside & see this one with your own eyes! Supermoon, very pink this evening. Something special in these weird times. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @SEVENDAYSVT OUR TWEEPLE: SEVENDAYSVT.COM/TWITTER
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More than 30 seasonal workers from Peru have been stuck at Jay Peak Resort since the pandemic took hold last month. Forced social distancing.
Hudson Brown and Officer Ben Herrick
It’s a tough time to be a kid. School’s closed. So are playgrounds. Playdates are now a virtual affair. But members of the Richmond Police Department are trying to bring some joy to socially distanced youngsters. Last week, officers started a party patrol: Parents can contact the department and request a visit for a kid who’s celebrating a birthday. “As adults, we all understand what’s going on and why we have to do what we have to do right now,” said Officer Ben Herrick, who pitched his chief on the idea. “But for these little kids, who have been taken out of school, and they’re not seeing their friends
and extended family and neighbors, being told they can’t have a birthday party is a pretty big impact.” By Monday morning, the department had already completed or scheduled nearly 20 visits, according to Herrick. One of the first recipients was Hudson Brown, who turned 10 on April 7. He was at home preparing to watch an educational show online when he heard sirens blaring. There in the driveway were two patrol cars and a fire truck, lights flashing. “It was awesome,” said Hudson, who was completely surprised. “I was pretty sure they were coming to arrest me!” Officer Herrick, donning an N95 respirator mask, handed Hudson a police evidence bag
full of trinkets and mementos from the department, including a card signed by officers. “They’re putting themselves out there and coming to all of our homes, which they don’t have to do,” said Hudson’s mom, Maria Brown. “This is a really great service they’re doing, especially for the kids.” An appreciative Hudson said it wasn’t the only nice gesture on his birthday. A friend drove over and put up a sign for him, a neighbor serenaded him, and he video-chatted with friends. “I feel like things happened this year on his birthday that probably wouldn’t have happened during a normal year,” Maria said. “It was a special day, for sure.” SASHA GOLDSTEIN SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
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FEEDback READER REACTION TO RECENT ARTICLES
The letter that appeared in last week’s Seven Days [Feedback: “Learning New Tricks,” April 8] was written collectively by the Addison County Early Childhood Educators. I was merely the messenger. The headline I suggested was: “To the Addison County Community and Our State Partners: An Open Letter of Gratitude.” Kathryn Torres NEW HAVEN WEYBRIDGE
The photo that accompanied the “Class Act” article depicted two sisters and their friend presenting signs for a virtual Spirit Day for their high school [802 Much, April 1]. A virtual Spirit Day is certainly a laudable pursuit! Our students are dealing with extraordinary disappointment and stress at this time. However, I find it extremely disconcerting that the photo depicts not just sisters (who live together and thus have no need to practice social distancing), but also a friend, who, I assume, does not live with the sisters. Indeed, she attends an altogether different high school. She definitely should be practicing social distancing from the sisters and not be next to them in a photo. Shame on Seven Days for publishing such a mixed message to our young people! Elaine Cissi
Editor’s note: As the story describes, Kaitlyn and Jasmine Little and their friend have all been living together during the stay-at-home order because the Littles’ mother is a busy essential worker. Members of the same household — whether or not they’re related by blood — are allowed to congregate together.
So, Vermont plans to follow the advice of our fascist president and open the gun stores [Off Message: “Vermont to Allow Firearm Sales During Outbreak,” April 3]. Will we also open stores for less essential items such as books and clothing? Most people who are interested in guns already have some, like I do. Does someone in the Trump family stand to gain from this?
WEEK IN REVIEW
Would we need a disease that targets children instead of seniors for anti-vaxxers to remember why people hang their hopes on vaccines? Sonia DeYoung
SUPPORT FOR SEVEN DAYS
Trillions of dollars are to be spent to try to recover from the coronavirus. How much will go to stockholders and executives of airlines who treat us so well? How about colluding Big Pharma? This money could help recovery with a substantial guaranteed jobs program, which Trump refuses to do. Geoffrey Cobden
WON’T MISS COMMENTS
This is in reference to your decision to stop accepting online reader comments [Feedback: “No Comments,” April 8]. I think you got it right when you wrote: “...right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.” Good for you. I read widely because I want to inform myself about what is going on. In times past, reader comments were a useful part of this: I gained from reading other people’s takes and insights. But in recent years, trolls and people with agendas not related to news have turned comments in many publications into sparring matches. It’s time to let go. Free speech has nothing to do with writing whatever pops into one’s head, including disrespectful terms and insults. News publications are themselves the expression of free speech. I like being able to get well-reasoned perspectives from many angles, in a wide range of publications written by talented, trained writers, without wasting my time on contests among amateurish wannabe pundits. A publication has no obligation to provide space for that. Rather, as in newspapers of the 20th century, it’s time to
return to curated comments, perhaps, that contribute to an enlarged understanding. Annie Stratton
I thought James Minnich’s letter [Feedback: “Vaccine Could Be Dangerous,” April 1] deserved to be taken seriously until I got to the last line, where he referred to “the public mania for vaccines.” He’s not just cautioning that a too-quickly-developed vaccine could be dangerous, which is true enough; he’s sneering at those of us desperate for a vaccine so we can resume our normal lives. A mania is “an excessive enthusiasm or desire; an obsession.” I don’t think there’s anything excessive about the public enthusiasm for what we’re being told is the only thing that will allow our society to fully reopen 12 to 18 months from now. I’m devastated at the thought of a year or more without seeing my siblings across the country or my elderly parents, but I’m lucky enough to be able to work remotely. For countless others, months of unemployment and hunger are in store, maybe livelihoods permanently lost. For all of us, it could mean loved ones dying. So yes, we’re obsessed. In her memoir An American Childhood, Annie Dillard writes that as a child she heard polio fearfully discussed every day for several years. In 1952 alone, 60,000 American children had polio, many of whom were paralyzed and over 3,000 of whom died. Dillard remembers her mother sobbing with relief when a successful vaccine finally appeared. Eventually polio was thus eradicated in the U.S.
This letter is simply to say thanks for the quality and breadth of your coverage these last weeks. As journalism has shrunk, Seven Days has had to transcend its beginnings as an “alternative” and become, in essence, the “paper of record” for our region. And the coverage during the pandemic shows it has earned that title: Day after day, you guys have provided clear, consistent and calm coverage of every aspect of life in Vermont during this odd and scary stretch, without resorting to sensationalism, and with compassion and even good humor when that was appropriate. Vermont seems to be weathering the storm relatively well — for that we can thank our political and health leaders, but also the journalists who serve as their bridge to the rest of us. It makes it all the more important that we come together to support what is clearly a necessary institution in the state. At least for a while, advertising may not be enough to do the job, so I hope others who can will join in providing financial support to Seven Days. And, at the very least, all of us can join in saying thanks for a job well done. Bill McKibben
[Re Off Message: “Burlington City Council to Consider Asking Scott to Suspend F-35 Flights,” April 10; “Pandemic Grounds Some Commercial Flights, but F-35s Continue to Prowl Skies,” April 3]: I live in Winooski outside of the “affected” noise zone of the F-35s and airport, FEEDBACK
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APRIL 15-22, 2020 VOL.25 NO.29
NEWS & POLITICS 11 12
From the Publisher Freedom Fighters
Inmates plead for release as COVID-19 sweeps through Vermont prison
Vermont Sues Man Who Sold Masks to Hospital at ‘Unconscionable’ Price
A private Democratic meeting leads to criticism
BY KEVIN MCCALLUM
BY DEREK BROUWER
UVM Nursing Students to Graduate Early to Help During Coronavirus
BY DEREK BROUWER
Former State Rep Dies From the Coronavirus BY COLIN FLANDERS
Vermont Senate Passes Eviction Moratorium During Historic First Video Vote
BY KEVIN MCCALLUM
Burlington Council Tells Guard to Cool Their Jets During Pandemic
ARTS NEWS 24
To Be or ... Not
The Quarantine Diarist
Culture: Sheltering in place, a Vermont-born actor performs — and multiplies — for social media
Food: King Arthur Flour’s Martin Philips talks sourdough, social media and baking with kids
Vermont’s summer theater season is a no-show
Vermont author Katherine Arden is in the running for an international award
Life Lines Food + Drink Classes Music + Nightlife Classifieds + Puzzles Fun Stuff Personals
The Need to Knead
Food: An isolated writer and mom joins the bread-making legions BY MARY ANN LICKTEIG
BY ANDREW LIPTAK
17 44 54 50 55 64 68
Retail Therapy Side Dishes FOOD Soundbites MUSIC Album Reviews Ask the Reverend ADVICE
BY MARGARET GRAYSON
BY PAMELA POLSTON
BY PAUL HEINTZ
28 47 50 52 69
BY CHELSEA EDGAR
BY COURTNEY LAMDIN
COLUMNS + REVIEWS
The Man Behind the Mask
Politics: Gov. Phil Scott leads Vermont through a historic crisis
BY COURTNEY LAMDIN
BY SASHA GOLDSTEIN
Community Health Centers Launches Mobile Testing for Homeless
Quick Lit: Echoes of Absence
CRUEL AND UNUSUAL?
Amid pandemic, inmates want out PAGE 12
The Man Behind the Mask
V E R M ONT ’S I ND E P END ENT VOI CE APRIL 15-22, 2020 VOL.25 NO.29 SEVENDAYSVT.COM
Gov. Phil Scott leads Vermont through a historic crisis B Y PAUL HEINTZ, PAGE 32
BY MARGARET GRAYSON
Summer theater season nixed
Stuck in Vermont: During the COVID-19 pandemic, Vermonters are staying connected and finding ways to keep positive. Musicians are posting performances online, makers are crafting medical supplies and Vergennes residents are hosting a nightly Bang-n-Clang parade.
ON THE RISE
Isolation spurs baking boom
COVER IMAGE JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
COVER DESIGN REV. DIANE SULLIVAN
Be strong Vermont Let's work together and help those in need.
60 Main Street, Burlington, VT - gbicvt.org 8H-GBIC040820.indd 1
SHELTER IN PLAYS
An actor’s online quarantine log
4/2/20 12:21 PM
Thank you to all who are keeping our communities running, supporting each other, and spreading love. After every storm the sun shines brighter than ever, encouraging growth and reminding us of the power of patience.
Visit us at: www.greenworksvermont.org Untitled-12 1
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Now More Than Ever There's no substitute for good, local journalism. It shines a light on what's hidden in the shadows. It holds those in power accountable. And it's essential to a healthy democracy. For almost a Quarter century, Seven Days has been a cornerstone of Vermont's local media. Whether analyzing politics under the Golden Dome or covering critical issues impacting our community, Seven Days makes us smarter and more engaged citizens. Now more than ever, as our communities are buffeted by a global pandemic, local reporting is an essential public service. Seven Days' COVID-19 tracker is updated daily, and Vermont Good To-Go supports local businesses by providing delivery and takeout options for all of us stuck at home. Their reporters continue to work through this crisis, providing us with information and stories about the impact of the virus on Vermonters. Seven Days is free, both online and in print - but producing it is not. As our need for local news has increased, advertising revenue has declined dramatically. That's why Ben @ Jerry's has purchased a series of weekly full-page ads in Seven Days over the next two months. e encourage you to join us in being there for Seven Days as it continues to be ther:e for us. You can do that by becoming a Super Reader and supporting their adve tisers.
cBen@Jerry's Homemade, Inc. 2020 29662a 10
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
4/13/20 2:58 PM
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Something to Celebrate
I was 35 when we started Seven Days. On Monday, I turned 60. I had planned to be in Mexico for the occasion — frankly, to avoid the whole thing — but instead I was glued to the computer, in my home office, in the middle of a pandemic, sweating into a bathrobe I have been wearing for the last month. I’m not big on birthdays, but when you’re born in a year that’s divisible by 10 — in my case, 1960 — you can’t help but fast-forward to the momentous ones. In 2000, four months into the new millennium, I turned 40. Two decades hence, I knew this one would fall during a leap year with Olympics and a presidential election, but I had not counted on the biggest global economic shutdown since the Great Depression. In short, this was not how I pictured my 60th. Anyone celebrating a milestone right now surely knows what I mean. In truth, nobody could have imagined how we’re all living today: hunkered down in our respective safe houses, socializing on computer screens that look like the old “Hollywood Squares” game show, venturing out to score supplies like masked survivalists. Seven Days has been documenting the new reality, from the medical preparations and budget impacts to takeout trends and livestreamed concerts. In her “Stuck in Vermont” video last week, Eva Sollberger found great examples of local communities getting through this tough time together in creative ways. This week’s issue of Seven Days marks the fourth we’ve put out remotely. The once-bustling office is pretty much abandoned, except for a few occasional employees. Instead of poring over the paper together, looking for last-minute errors on Tuesday nights, we are communicating via Slack and scrutinizing finished pages on a computer server. It’s slower, and harder on the eyes, but it seems to be working. Similarly, we’re finding new ways to sustain Seven Days financially. Iconic Vermont businesses have stepped up to support our local journalism. And thousands have sent donations or become paying Super Reader subscribers — or both. An Interested in becoming a Super Reader? outpouring of community support has given us Look for the “Give Now” buttons at the top of the confidence, and the cash, to keep going. sevendaysvt.com. Or send a check with your It’s one example of Vermonters coming address and contact info to: together to preserve what matters to them — SEVEN DAYS, C/O SUPER READERS and there are other bright lights in this week’s P.O. BOX 1164 BURLINGTON, VT 05402-1164 issue, illuminating a path of hard work and good deeds through this dark time. For more information on making a financial I can’t think of a better birthday present. contribution to Seven Days, please contact Corey Grenier: With gratitude, VOICEMAIL: 802-865-1020, EXT. 36
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
NURSING STUDENTS READY TO HELP PAGE 14
COVID-19 CLAIMS FORMER REP PAGE 15
BTV COUNCIL TO JETS: SHH!
Ridin’ High skate shop
Vermont Sues Man Who Sold Masks to Hospital at ‘Unconscionable’ Price B Y DER EK B R OU WER
Inmates plead for release as COVID-19 sweeps through Vermont prison B Y DER EK B R O UWER
upporters of Ridin’ High founder John Van Hazinga have been demanding his release ever since he was jailed last summer for dealing pot at his Burlington skate shop. They have repainted the shop’s exterior with the message “FREE BIG JOHN,” and more than 1,000 have signed an online petition protesting his incarceration for selling a plant “that countless businesses in other states are actively commercializing.” The cannabis cause célèbre mellowed last month after Van Hazinga agreed to plead guilty to a single federal charge of marijuana distribution. His sentencing is scheduled for June and, under normal circumstances, he might be out of prison by fall. Those months could make all the difference, however, as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps through the state prison where Van Hazinga is awaiting his sentence. The first employee at Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
tested positive on April 1. The next day, Van Hazinga’s attorney, Paul Volk, filed an emergency motion asking a federal judge to free his client in light of the risk to inmates. A lung condition makes Van Hazinga especially vulnerable, Volk argued at a later hearing.
IN SOME CASES, IT’S AN OPPORTUNITY
TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SITUATION. VINC E NT IL L UZZI
It took just a week for U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss to hear Van Hazinga’s case — light speed, by federal standards — and side with him over the objection of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Reiss granted his release from federal custody on April 9, just hours before test results revealed that 50 inmates and staff
at Northwest were already infected with COVID-19. Yet “Big John” remains locked up on a state charge without a date for release. And as he waits his turn to plead to the next legal gatekeeper, he may be running out of time. “This is a real emergency,” his attorney said. Virtually everyone with a stake in criminal justice in Vermont agrees that holding fewer inmates will reduce the risk and severity of coronavirus outbreaks in prisons. The fraught questions have been who to release, and how. That debate has underscored the ways in which the state’s criminal justice system is struggling to keep pace with COVID19’s spread. “We know that hours and days can make a huge difference,” said James Lyall, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont. “We need to move faster.” FREEDOM FIGHTERS
State prosecutors say a Williston businessman exploited a Vermont hospital by charging “unconscionable” prices for desperately needed surgical masks. Shelley Palmer, owner of Big Brother Security Programs, sold thousands of basic surgical masks to Central Vermont Medical Center last month as the hospital was trying to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. Such masks are worth around 10 cents each, but Palmer charged the nonprofit hospital $2.50 per mask, reaping an “exploitative gain” of at least $80,000, the Vermont Attorney General’s Office said. The state sued Palmer and his company Tuesday for illegal price gouging, claiming the sales violated Vermont’s Consumer Protection Act. The state is also seeking an emergency injunction to bar Palmer from selling more personal protective equipment, or PPE, in Vermont at exorbitant prices. Palmer’s primary business involves nonemergency transportation for people with specialized needs. In an interview Tuesday, Palmer said he foresaw the coming pandemic, which he calls the “chicken curse,” and began ordering supplies from China with the intent to resell them locally. He claimed he paid between 50 to 60 cents per mask but acknowledged his markup was still “steep.” “There’s no reason for me to spend all night long talking to the Chinese people if I’m not going to make any money,” he said. Palmer said he struck up a conversation with CVMC employees during a hospital transport in March and offered to sell his masks. He claimed he negotiated the deal with director of patient support services David Cheney. “I said, ‘What would you be willing to pay?’ He told me $2.50,” Palmer said. In court filings, Cheney said he told Palmer the hospital usually paid 6 cents per mask but that it had “little choice” but to buy them at Palmer’s quoted price. The state also accused Palmer of marketing the surgical masks as N95 respirators to a South Burlington urgent care clinic, a charge he denies. A court hearing is scheduled for April 22. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Backroom Zoom? A private Democratic meeting leads to criticism KEVIN MCCALLUM
B Y K E VI N MCCA LLUM
Rep. Cynthia Browning talking to reporters in March
ermont House Democrats are using their new videoconferencing skills to conduct more than just official legislative business. They are also turning to Zoom to hold private meetings about campaign and political strategy. House Dems assert that one recent meeting — convened by the Vermont Democratic Party — was appropriately closed to outsiders because the agenda was campaign-related and legislative business was not discussed. Critics say that such meetings, held on the same remote platform being used for official business, could stray into discussion of policy matters and thus foster distrust of the legislature’s transition to remote decision making during the coronavirus pandemic. Rep. Cynthia Browning (D-Arlington), a frequent critic of House leaders, including Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero), said the sessions may be legal but “don’t smell right” and should be either opened up to the public or ended. “Speaker Johnson is saying, ‘I’ve been so forthcoming and open and inclusive in this process,’” Browning said. “Yet they are still doing secret meetings. I just think that’s hypocritical.”
House Majority Leader Jill Krowinski (D-Burlington) defended the sessions, which have been held twice so far. The March 31 Zoom meeting that has been criticized on social media was organized to help lawmakers navigate a political landscape upended by the virus, she said. “This is a political meeting that is used to give our Democratic caucus members the tools to be successful in this unprecedented time,” Krowinski said. Cohosting the call with his Zoom account was Spencer Dole, House campaign director for the Vermont Democratic Party. Email invitations stressed that no legislative policy would be discussed, nor was it, Dole said. “This was a private call to talk about the 2020 election and campaign resources on how best for members to run in the COVID-19 era,” Dole said. The distinction between legislative meetings and political ones has long been muddled in Montpelier. Legislative leaders and their attorneys say the General Assembly isn’t bound by the state’s open meetings law, which imposes strict guidelines on public bodies such as the
EFFORTS TO LIMIT THE MARCH 31 ZOOM CALL TO HOUSE DEMOCRATS
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SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
4/10/20 3:26 PM
news Freedom Fighters « P.12
UVM Nursing Students to Graduate Early to Help During Coronavirus Crisis COURTESY OF JOSHUA BROWN
BY S A S H A GO L D S TE I N Kathryn Calisti
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
sidelined a proposal to expand the circumstances in which judges may reconsider an inmate’s sentence, fearing that a contentious debate would jeopardize other emergency legislation. Some lawmakers expressed specific concern about public backlash if the courts released inmates who had been convicted of particularly heinous crimes. In addition to calling upon the governor to hasten prison releases using an executive order, the ACLU of Vermont also sent letters to each state’s attorney last week pressing them to explain their position on a slate of incarceration-reducing steps. The prosecutors responded collectively on Tuesday, urging the ACLU to focus instead on improving housing and community services for returning prisoners. In an interview, the ACLU’s Lyall accused Smith, the human services secretary, of cherry-picking the numbers to portray FILE: MATTHEW THORSEN
Nearly 100 University of Vermont nursing students will graduate early and go right to work to help a health care system strained by the coronavirus crisis. Among them is 21-year-old Kathryn Calisti, who admitted she is nervous but nevertheless remains eager. “I’m ready to jump in and help out,” she said. “We’re well trained. We know more than we think we know at this point.” Most undergrad UVM students were scheduled to earn their degrees on May 17, but the in-person commencement ceremony has been canceled. Nursing students will now officially graduate on May 1, at which point the Vermont State Board of Nursing will grant them temporary permits to begin work immediately. Nursing grads normally study for exams and become registered nurses in August, and then they start working. The changes and temporary permits will allow the grads to get to work months earlier, noted UVM provost and senior vice president Patricia Prelock. They’ll take licensure exams after the crisis. “Everyone is feeling very grateful to the students and feel[ing] like this is truly a response to our land-grant mission, and is really giving back to the community in a meaningful way,” Prelock said. “It makes us really proud of our students and our faculty in making this decision.” Not all of the grads will be working directly with COVID-19 patients. Calisti, for instance, has been offered a job on the general surgery floor at the UVM Medical Center, where she previously worked as an intern. Prelock said that filling any positions will hopefully help “relieve some stress from an already overly stressed workforce.” Calisti, a Massachusetts native, is happy to be part of it. “Vermont is such a wonderful state, and they are in need of nurses,” she said. “So anything that I can personally do to help out, you know — I signed up for it. I want to get in there soon.” m
In the month since Gov. Phil Scott declared a state of emergency, Vermont’s prison population — which includes federal and state inmates across six facilities, plus those housed at a private prison in Mississippi — has declined from 1,649 to 1,413. The unprecedented 14 percent drop appears to be the result of a collective effort by law enforcement, the courts and the Vermont Department of Corrections, which has relaxed some early release requirements. Defense attorneys and civil liberties advocates insist it’s not enough. They say many elderly and medically compromised inmates are still trapped in close quarters without adequate supplies or medical support. But state officials have signaled that they aren’t interested in further aggressive action. At an April 10 press conference, Secretary of Human Services Mike Smith described the state’s elderly inmates as “hard-core criminals” who will not be released. Nevertheless, much of the authority over who enters and leaves Vermont prisons rests with the courts, not bureaucrats. Accordingly, prosecutors and judges have been scrambling to respond to a stream of inmates’ emergency requests for release. With the recent outbreak at Northwest, they may soon be overwhelmed. “We are getting this more and more every day, like constantly,” U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan said. Inmates have filed three types of petition. Those who are imprisoned pending trial or sentencing can ask for bail review; inmates who were sentenced on state charges within the last 90 days may seek reconsideration; and inmates who were sentenced more than 90 days ago can request a form of compassionate release. Whether the onslaught of requests will result in a smaller prison population that could ease any virus outbreak hinges on judges’ appetites for early release, said Emily Tredeau, supervising attorney for the state Prisoners’ Rights Office. “It could make a huge difference, depending on how far they go,” she said. Before the outbreak at Northwest, defense attorneys had filed about 50 motions for release around the state, according to Chief Superior Judge Brian Grearson. In late March, Grearson assigned all pending and anticipated hearings to a single judge, John Pacht, in Chittenden County. In an email, Grearson said he issued the order for logistical reasons and to achieve “consistency of rulings on a common issue.” Since the outbreak at Northwest, he has added two more judges to handle the spike in motions.
Inmates’ success in winning release appears limited so far, though the judiciary couldn’t provide statewide figures. Essex County State’s Attorney Vincent Illuzzi said he’s been inundated with motions for bail review from every detainee in the county. The motions tend to be drawn up using the same template and often include an affidavit from the same Yale University physician who notes shortcomings in the state correctional system’s coronavirus readiness. Illuzzi said he has formally opposed the motions because the few detainees in his rural Northeast Kingdom county are held for good reason: They are charged with violent offenses or have a history of missing court dates, he said. In one of the motions, a defendant proposed to live with a woman he’d been convicted of assaulting — a request Illuzzi said might “be laughed
John Van Hazinga skating in 2007
out of court” in more normal times. “In some cases, it’s an opportunity to take advantage of the situation,” he said of petitioners. A judge sided with Illuzzi on several early requests, but last week, he said he lost to a defendant who had multiple failures to appear in court, had breached a confidential informant agreement with police and had been extradited from New Hampshire. “I think the judges are being sympathetic,” Illuzzi reasoned. But even sympathetic judges still adhere to rules that can seem byzantine during a fast-moving pandemic. Judge Reiss delayed ruling by a week on a contested motion for compassionate release filed by Brian Hoskins, an asthmatic inmate, because he couldn’t prove that he had first emailed a request to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Hoskins is incarcerated at FCI Danbury, a Connecticut facility where at least 83 inmates and staff have been infected. Late last month, Vermont lawmakers
inmates as the “worst of the worst,” and he called for the department to provide complete data. The Department of Corrections has acknowledged that more than 40 percent of the inmates still behind bars have medical issues that could put them at high risk for complications from the virus. Using publicly available data, Seven Days compiled a list of the 28 inmates who were moved last week from Northwest to the Northeast Correctional Complex in St. Johnsbury, which the state has repurposed as a quarantine facility for prisoners who have the coronavirus. They ranged in age from 21 to 59. Some were listed as detained pending trial, and at least eight had pending federal charges, a Seven Days analysis found. One of the men, Michael Hayes, had filed a motion for release just days before the move, citing the risk of infection. Hayes, whose attorney did not respond to a request for comment, faces federal weapons charges in connection with a homicide investigation.
Time to Take Out!
Federal prosecutors are not taking a blanket position on such motions and will consider an inmate’s medical history and prison conditions in deciding whether to contest their release, Nolan said. Her office has opposed many of the motions filed in recent weeks. In Van Hazinga’s case, the government cited his history of parole and probation violations to suggest that he would pose a public health risk if released. His noncompliant behavior suggested that he might disregard social distancing orders, federal prosecutors wrote. During the emergency hearing conducted before Reiss by telephone, Van Hazinga’s attorney surprised prosecutors by revealing that his 42-year-old client has reduced lung capacity, which could put him at risk if he contracts COVID-19. Volk claimed that Van Hazinga’s condition stemmed from a well-documented skateboarding crash in 2007 that left “Big John” in a coma. His lung problems are also described in a series of public blog posts that family members published while he was hospitalized after the crash, Seven Days found. When Reiss told Van Hazinga she would be wary of releasing him because of lung problems only to have him continue to be a “daily marijuana user,” the longtime voice for legalization eagerly renounced his affection for the drug. “I am proud to not have used cannabis since last year,” he told the judge. Reiss granted his release, but it was only the first step toward freedom. Van Hazinga was on state parole at the time of his federal arrest, so he is also being held on a warrant for violating the terms of his parole, Volk said. His real fate, then, rests with the Vermont Parole Board — but the next scheduled parole hearing for Northwest inmates isn’t until May 5. Volk said he plans to ask the board to release Van Hazinga before then, noting that “there’s no way John is the only one” detained on suspicion of violating parole. In an email, Parole Board director Mary Jane Ainsworth said the board has yet to receive any requests to rearrange its schedule in light of the coronavirus but that it would “review” one should it arrive. In the meantime, all inmates at the Northwest prison were tested for COVID19 last week. Volk said Van Hazinga had not been told the result of his test. “He’s hopeful that is an indication that he and the other folks who are in his pod are not positive,” Volk said. m Andrea Suozzo contributed data reporting.
Former State Rep Dies From the Coronavirus
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BY C O L I N FL AND ERS
A former Vermont legislator has died after contracting the coronavirus. Bernie Juskiewicz, a Republican lawmaker who represented the towns of Cambridge and Waterville in the Vermont House from 2013 to 2018, died on April 8 after being hospitalized with the illness. Juskiewicz’s former colleagues lamented his death on social media, recalling him as a highly respected lawmaker whose wit and sense of humor were matched only by his dedication to improving the lives of children. “His sharp mind, good nature, playful humor and his willingness to place service to the state above all else earned him tremendous respect,” wrote House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero). “His friendship meant a lot to me.” “He had a deep passion for the young people of Vermont and worked tirelessly to improve both secondary and higher education. And, he was just a great guy,” wrote former House speaker Shap Smith. Juskiewicz began his life in Vermont in 1978 after accepting a job at IBM. He served on several local governing boards, coached youth sports and was a founding member of the United Way of Lamoille County. During his stint in the legislature, he served on the education and appropriations committees and was also elected to the University of Vermont Board of Trustees, a position he still held. In a statement to Seven Days, fellow UVM trustee Frank Cioffi called Juskiewicz “an absolute gem of a person.” “He had a gentle nature, an infectious smile, and he always conferred a respectful demeanor with anyone he interacted with,” Cioffi wrote. “Vermont and UVM have lost a truly great Vermonter.” Juskiewicz leaves behind his wife, Suzan, three children and four grandchildren. Gov. Phil Scott ordered the state flag to fly at half-staff on Monday in Juskiewicz’s honor. “I had the privilege of working with him during his time in the legislature and saw firsthand just how committed he was to his community,” Scott said in a statement. “Although this terrible new disease took Bernie from us, the impact of his service will live on.” m
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SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020 15 4/13/20 3:29 PM
Community Health Centers Launches Mobile Testing for Homeless STORY & PHOTO BY COURTNEY LAMDIN
The Community Health Centers of Burlington has launched a mobile coronavirus testing service for the area’s homeless population. CHCB providers can now roll up to homeless camps or other shared living areas using a small cargo van that’s on loan from affordable housing developer Champlain Housing Trust. The service began late last week. “We’ve got our N95s, our visors. There’s booties and goggles in there, and that’s our kit,” CHCB nurse Anna Lisa Reynolds said on Monday as she peered into the nondescript white van parked at the center’s facility in Burlington’s South End. Heather Stein
Screenshot of Kevin Hoyt’s Facebook page showing Rep. Emilie Kornheiser moderating a Zoom meeting
Backroom Zoom? « P.13
“It’s a pretty simple process,” Reynolds said. “The fact that you can get to people is a game-changer.” CHCB is currently staffing a Vermont Department of Health drive-up testing site in South Hero, and there’s a similar operation in use at the Champlain Valley Exposition fairgrounds in Essex Junction. But many of CHCB’s homeless clients don’t have access to a vehicle, according to medical director Heather Stein. Bringing the test kits to the patients, instead of asking them to travel, reduces the chance that the virus will spread, she said. “It’s a big part of our mission to take care of people, no matter what their housing situation, economic situation, walk of life,” Stein said. “Reducing barriers to care is a big part of what CHCB does and a big part of our mission.” Though CHCB is based in Burlington, the van will travel wherever it’s needed, Stein said. It had already made a stop at Champlain Housing Trust’s Harbor Place, a Shelburne motel that typically houses people in crisis and is now serving as an isolation center for people with coronavirus symptoms. The health department provides the test kits and collects the specimens for processing at the state lab, according to Stein. She expects that staff running the van will collect up to 30 samples a week. m Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
Burlington City Council and small-town selectboards. State legislators say there’s nothing inappropriate about — or preventing them from — holding private off-site gatherings to discuss political strategy and messaging, to conduct training, or just to socialize. But Browning said she’s been in past offsite caucus meetings — including weekly Democratic “kitchen cabinet” confabs in the tax department building — where conversations about politics invariably bleed into policy debates. She thinks party leaders should clear things up. “Any time you have to get into a convoluted explanation about why what you’re doing is OK, you need to think, Is it really OK?” Browning said. Efforts to limit the March 31 Zoom meeting to House Democrats weren’t entirely successful. Bennington resident Kevin Hoyt, a gun-rights activist and former Republican candidate for the House, says he snuck onto the call briefly and took screenshots of the other participants until he was kicked off for refusing to identify himself. “The supermajority in a private, secret, illegal shadow government,” Hoyt declared on Facebook, where he posted the screenshots. The images show Rep. Emile Kornheiser (D-Brattleboro), who helped moderate the call, as well as most members of House Democratic leadership, including Krowinski, House whip Emily Long (D-Newfane) and House ethics panel chair
John Gannon (D-Wilmington). One image indicated 44 participants took part in the call. Johnson was not on the call but said its purpose was to help lawmakers learn to connect with their constituents during a time when they can’t knock on doors or hold traditional campaign events. Such outreach is especially important, she said, when Vermonters need the latest information about slowing the spread of the virus and weathering the economic fallout. “Constituent outreach and contact is absolutely the name of the game right now,” Johnson said, noting that political parties have access to voter registration information useful for outreach efforts. Despite such distinctions, the call was definitely not OK with Hoyt, who says he’s running for governor in 2020. He insisted that the Zoom call violated open meeting laws, and he railed against it as proof of a government run amok. He called the practice of lawmakers meeting remotely a “horrible mistake” that would make it easier for the government to “rig our elections.” “I needed a secret, fake name to get in,” Hoyt said in one video posted on social media. “I needed a password and code word to get into their little, tiny Democratonly meeting where 44 of our legislators were meeting in secrecy, talking about who knows what.” Asked by Seven Days how he gained access to the call, Hoyt initially said he would not reveal his source. Then he said, “To be truthful, I don’t even know my source.” He explained that a note left in
his car outlined the “fake name” and the “codewords and passwords” he would need to access the site. It was signed, simply, “Q,” he said. Last week, Hoyt put up a number of posts on Facebook, outlining his refusal to comply with coronavirus restrictions, his strong belief in the existence of the “deep state,” and his recent research into “Q,” short for “Q Anon” — an anonymous person or group online who claim to have knowledge of government secrets. Hoyt wasn’t the only interloper on legislators’ Zoom sessions of late. A Senate committee was disrupted by Zoom bombers who posted porn on-screen as the hearing was livestreaming on YouTube. And Joey Kulkin, the moderator of a Facebook page focused on Bennington politics, also obtained the call-in number for the Dems’ March 31 session and shared it with others. “Go to this meeting,” Kulkin wrote in a Facebook message, shared with Seven Days by Rep. Chris Bates (D-Bennington), which included the caucus call dial-in number. “And screen shot everyone you see. I’ll explain later. It’s a super secret group of reps.” Contacted by Seven Days, Kulkin claimed limited knowledge of the call, and then declined to comment. The Vermont Democratic Party has since instituted additional security restrictions for its Zoom calls. Future ones will have unique caller IDs and passwords for invitees, Dole said. m Contact: email@example.com
Vermont Senate Passes Eviction Moratorium During Historic First Video Vote
BY K E VI N MC C A L L UM
The Vermont Senate voted remotely for the first time in its history last Friday, passing a package of four bills that included a statewide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. All 30 senators, dressed in their Sunday best, participated in the video conference call from the comfort of their homes. Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman presided over the session from the nearly empty Senate chamber. Lawmakers have been meeting via conference call and videoconferencing platforms since closing the Statehouse on March 13 due to fears of spreading the coronavirus, returning only a few times as required. Last Friday’s session was at times comically tedious, entailing more than 20 separate roll call votes in which senators, to conform with remote voting rules, in-
already imposed a de facto moratorium on new evictions; several individual Superior Court judges had gone further to block pending evictions; and various federal laws or rules had called a halt to foreclosures on properties with federally backed loans. Sen. Michael Sirotkin (D-Chittenden) acknowledged that the bill’s scope was very narrow. He estimated that it would only affect about 25 properties in the state for which courts had issued writs of possession (aka evictions) in favor of landlords but for which a sheriff had yet to serve tenants the notice. All four bills were approved unanimously and after little debate. The process went smoothly aside from a few hiccups that by now have become commonplace with any large virtual group meeting. Sen. Dick McCormack (D-Windsor) had to shush an unseen family member
1954-2020 ESSEX JUNCTION, VT.
COURTESY OF DAVID ZUCKERMAN
The Senate chamber during remote voting
Susan Ainsworth-Daniels, 66, passed away Friday evening, April 3, 2020, at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vt. She was born March 23, 1954, in Springfield, Vt., as the daughter of Palmer Ainsworth and Aino (Palm) Ainsworth. She attended Springfield schools, graduating
OBITUARIES, VOWS, CELEBRATIONS
from Springfield High School in 1972. In 1976, she graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in social work. She later went on to get her master’s degree from Adelphi University. Susan was employed by the Champlain Housing Trust for 30 years as associate director of resident services. In that capacity, she supported thousands of people needing a helping hand. Susan was the kindest, most generous and gentle of souls and will be missed every day. She was not a person who measured happiness in wealth or material things, but in relationships, love and laughter instead. Her life touched so many walks of life. She loved her family and especially enjoyed her nieces and nephews, as well as great-nieces and -nephews. They brought her a great deal of pleasure and happiness. She loved spending time with them. Susan was an avid knitter and was always making hats, scarfs, mittens, etc., for them. Her nieces and
nephews treasured her gifts, made with so much love. She also gifted many beautiful quilts that she had made. Susan was a member of the St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Colchester, Vt., where she was senior warden and in the vestry. Her church community was very supportive, and she truly loved her church congregation. She is survived by her sister, Dana Leone; brother, John E. Prescott; nieces, Wendy Prescott Gorman and Elizabeth Chizmar; and nephews, John M. Prescott, Charles Leone, Daniel Leone, Jason Chizmar and Michael Chizmar. She is predeceased by her husband, Eugene Daniels; her beloved sister Ann Ainsworth-Demond; and sister Linda Ainsworth. Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to the Champlain Housing Trust Susan’s Fund at getahome.org/susan-ainsworthdaniels. Davis Memorial Chapel in Springfield, Vt., is assisting with arrangements.
Penelope Carlisle 1937-2020 BURLINGTON, VT. toned “yes” over and over and over during the more than two-hour-long meeting. “That was easy,” Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe (D/P- Chittenden) quipped with a grin after the final vote was tallied. The bills approved somehow seemed less consequential than the manner of their passage. One involves miscellaneous changes to legal requirements, such as allowing defendants to waive the need for them to appear in court and allowing documents to be notarized using remote technologies. Another allows sheriff’s departments, which are experiencing shortfalls in revenue from decreased transportation of prisoners, to more easily tap reserve funds. A third requires background checks on employees of private contractors that work in sensitive areas of state buildings. The most closely watched bill, however, was the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until 30 days after the lifting of Vermont’s state of emergency, which Gov. Phil Scott extended last week through May 15. By the time the Senate got this bill drafted and passed, however, its impact had been somewhat muted. Some courts had
making a racket during the debate. The video of Sen. Andy Perchlik (D-Washington) froze at one point, delaying his ability to vote on one item. And backlighting made Sen. James McNeil (R-Rutland) appear as a vaguely malevolent silhouette. At one point, someone’s phone vibrated loudly during a vote, and Zuckerman, a persistent enforcer of Senate rules against electronic devices in the chamber, offered a firm reminder. “Someone’s phone is ringing,” Zuckerman said. “This is a roll call vote!” The voting on each of the four bills took place multiple times, as the second and third reading of the bills — normally spaced a day apart — were compressed into a single, monotonous session. The bills will still need the approval of the House, which has yet to hold a remote vote, though it has set that process in motion, as well. m Disclosure: Tim Ashe is the domestic partner of Seven Days publisher and coeditor Paula Routly. Find our conflict-of-interest policy at sevendaysvt.com/disclosure. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Penelope S. Carlisle (“Penny”) passed away on March 25, 2020, surrounded by her family. Penny was born on April 29, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pa. Penny spent her early childhood in Montréal, Canada, while her father flew for the Royal Air Force. After the war, the Carlisle family moved to Burlington, Vt., where they became lifelong residents. Penny was always a gifted student. She attended Burlington High School (class of 1955) and then Swarthmore College. Being independent and eager to experience the world, Penny left college after two years and moved to New York City. Penny ultimately returned to Burlington and worked as a candy striper at Mary Fletcher Hospital. Her passion for nursing resulted in Penny graduating top of her class from Mary Fletcher School of Nursing (1962) while simultaneously caring for her first two children. Her notable career spanned more than 30 years, with rounds on the ICU floor (Montefiore Hospital, Bronx, N.Y.), infection control (Doctor’s Hospital, NYC) and clinical research (University of Connecticut). Penny loved spending time with her family, friends and kitty cat Vixen; traveling; cooking; appreciating Lake Champlain; and mainly taking advantage of life to the fullest. Penny will be remembered most as a devoted and caring grandma. Grandma Penny dedicated her loving self to her grandchildren without limit. Her grandchildren (and many of their friends) will miss Grandma Penny’s cool and worldly
Penelope Carlisle (second from left) with her daughters Leda, Mima and Sama
advice, oftentimes served with a side of her amazing macaroni and cheese. Penny is survived by her three daughters, Sama Carlisle Meshel of San Francisco, Calif. (and son-in-law Bernie Honigman); Mima Meshel-Esponda of West Hartford, Conn. (and son-in-law Ray); and Leda Carlisle Sedlock of Lawrence, Kan. (and son-in-law Charlie); as well as by seven grandchildren, Austin Meshel-Haun, Isabella Esponda, Natasha Esponda, Sophiya Esponda, Levi Sedlock, Charles Sedlock and Anelise Sedlock; many family members and friends, including Brian Wagner and David Narro of the Bronx, N.Y.; and sister Diana Inman of Burlington, Vt. Mommy, you will be missed dearly. Memorial services will be held in the springtime. In lieu of sending gifts or flowers, please consider a donation to shelburnefarms. org, smiletrain.org (two of Penny’s favorite charities) or your local humane society. SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
news FILE: KEVIN MCCALLUM
Burlington Council Tells Guard to Cool Their Jets During Pandemic BY C O U R TN E Y L A M D I N
An overwhelming majority of the Burlington City Council supported a resolution Monday that asks Gov. Phil Scott and Vermont’s congressional delegation to “do everything in their power to” suspend F-35 training flights during the coronavirus pandemic. The resolution — which was sponsored by all six Progressives and Sarah Carpenter, a Democrat — asks the powers that be to reassign Vermont Air National Guard members from F-35 flights to coronavirus response efforts “to reduce additional anxiety for our residents during this global emergency.” It passed 11 to 1, with Councilor Ali Dieng (I-Ward 7) casting the lone “no” vote. The council met via videconference. “It’s been clear that the community is incredibly stressed by these planes at this time,” said Councilor Perri Freeman (P-Central District), the resolution’s lead sponsor. “It’s not meant to be impolite or create problems; I think it’s really just honestly addressing a pretty straightforward concern that many, many people [have].” 158th Fighter Wing Commander Col. David Shevchik told Seven Days last Friday that the Guard’s federal F-35 mission can continue without detracting from the state’s COVID-19
efforts. Scott agreed, writing in a letter to F-35 opponents that the fighter jet mission is vital. The resolution is directed at Scott, as well as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). It emphasizes that Vermonters are affected by the jets’ “intense noise” while they abide by the governor’s stay-at-home order, which Scott extended last week through May 15. The Guard now operates 15 F-35s, with five more expected by September. Anywhere between four and eight jets take off twice a day, Tuesday through Friday, according to Shevchik. Dieng proposed an amended resolution that would ask Scott to reduce the jets’ flights by half while increasing the Guard’s “good efforts in mitigating the impact of COVID-19.” Dieng argued that it’s pointless to petition the governor for something he has already shot down.
Dieng’s amendment failed 9 to 3, with Councilors Joan Shannon (D-South District) and Chip Mason (D-Ward 5) also voting in favor. Councilor Jack Hanson (P-East District) said the pandemic presents a unique opportunity to ask higher-ups to address jet noise. “There is more willingness for folks to listen,” he said. Newcomer Carpenter (D-Ward 4) said it’s important to remember that the ask is temporary during a time of “significant stress.” About a dozen people who called in to the meeting’s public forum agreed. Lucy Gluck told councilors that Burlingtonians need quiet places to recover from coronavirus-related stress. “I’ve had three — at least three — times in the last two weeks that I’ve been out walking and had the jets go crashing over my head, just screaming over my head, and it’s unacceptable,” Gluck said. “Citizens of Burlington voted and said no to the basing of these jets, and the very least we can do right now is to say we’re in a highly stressful time. We need people to protect their health and their sanity.” But not everyone agreed the jets should stop flying. Dale Tillotson urged the councilors “to rip this BS resolution up” and focus instead on removing graffiti downtown. Callers Rick Bassett and Amy Magyar said keeping F-35s in flight ensures that Guard members are prepared to respond to emergencies, coronavirus-related or otherwise. Freeman countered that the U.S. is “heavily invested in military apparatus right now” and said halting F-35 practice flights wouldn’t “change our capacity to defend ourselves.” “The noise and the stress is actually more of a concern for public health,” Freeman added. m Contact: email@example.com
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If you have emotional health or addictions questions, reach out to the RRC Why am I engaging in various behaviors – like online shopping, gambling, substance abuse, and eating – in excess?
Handling Emotional Health and Addictions Challenges A VIRTUAL TOWN HALL MEETING
Thursday, April 16, 12-1 pm burlingtonvt.gov/resources
What should I do if I’m worried about one of my family members?
Why am I feeling anxious and/or depressed?
Anthony Jackson-Miller Mental Health Lead, RRC
Richard Bernstein, M.D.
Former Chief of Psychiatry, UVM Medical Center
Executive Director, Turning Point Center of Chittenden County
Program Coordinator, Howard Center Safe Recovery
High Risk Behavior Operations Manager, Burlington Police Department
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Waxaan xalkaan u joognaa inaan caawinno COVID-19
19- ﻧﺤﻦ ھﻨﺎ ﻟﻠﻤﺴﺎﻋﺪة ﻓﻲ ﻣﻮاﺟﮭﮫ ﻛﻮﻓﯿﺪ، ﺑﺮﻟﯿﻨﺠﺘﻮن Burlington, tuko hapa kusaidia dhidi ya Covid-19
बर ्लि ङ्ट न, कोभि ड-१९ वि र ुद ्धको सहयोगको लागि हाम ी यहा ँ छौ ।ँ COVID-19 health guidance
Assistance in completing the 2020 Census questionnaire (it’s more important than ever to be counted!)
burlingtonvt.gov/resources SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
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Health Care Workers: We See You P
omerleau Real Estate salutes all of the health care workers who are fighting the battle of our lives against the coronavirus, especially those who are on the front lines in our own community at the University of Vermont Medical Center. We join hundreds of other community “Thank you” members who are expressing their heartfelt will never be enough. #ThanksHealthHeroes appreciation online and Just know, are sharing some of these postings here as a way that our of showing our endless gratitude for what you are hearts are doing every day. with you. Please join us in thanking health care heroes LIINDSAY BALLARD at UVMHealth.org/HealthHeroes. — ERNIE POMERL EAU, POMERLEAU REAL ESTATE
My daughter and son in law entered UVMMC on April 7 to have their son who was born at 12:03 am the next day. I was present through a video for the entire birth. All the staff have been extraordinary throughout their stay. I can not be more grateful. They have not only done what they always do but to do it in the middle of this pandemic seamlessly putting my daughter and her family’s needs first. We will forever be in their debt. LINDA BRUNO
My son, Ezra, is 3D printing face shield components for Generator that is supplying UVM Medical Center. He has been running 4 printers for over 2 weeks straight and has made over 200 pieces. Thank you health care workers! JENNIFER RANZ
To everyone who is working tirelessly on our behalf at UVMMC, we see you. Thank you for continuing to push through and brave the very real risks to help us all. Thank you for your dedication, your sacrifices, your heart, your courage. Wishing you all health, strength, and all the PPE you need to do your jobs. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! ERIKA WASILESKI
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
My wife is one of the AMAZING M6 nurses and I work in Case Management. We came home to this sign from our neighbor the other day. The outpouring of support has been pretty amazing! Thank you! We are all #VermontStrong
“Thank you for your service.” As a veteran who has been the recipient of those words, I wish to pass them on to the heroes of our local medical community. Risking your own health and lives to do battle with an unseen foe in order to save lives and protect even more lives while armed only with knowledge, medicine, love and empathy is truly courageous. All of you are amazing individuals. Thank you for being there on the front lines for our communities and families.
When you chose your profession you probably never imagined you’d be in the situation you are in now, but for the rest of us, we cannot imagine getting through this without you. These words cannot even begin to say thank you for your selﬂess service to us all. Be well!
George & Rachel thank you for your service to care and protect us in the face of this national crisis. We totally respect you for your sacrifice; always have, always will, God Bless You All! GEORGE OUELLETTE
My daughter, and me, think you are ALL number ONE! Thank you so very much for being there for us at this time. We are staying home for YOU! Vermont strong!
Thanks to all my M6 co-workers who are part of the frontline!! I love you guys!! DONNA CLARK-KELSEY
Thank you for your selflessness and your enormous hearts. This is a photo of my neighborhood in Hinesburg. We lit luminaries to show support for doctors, nurses and medical professionals. Those of us that are fortunate enough to work from home are eternally grateful. CALEN KING
Bless everyone at UVM — doctors, nurses, dietary staﬀ, maintenance, housekeeping, radiology, and everyone I may have missed! You are in our thoughts and prayers!!!!
The dedicated and compassionate staﬀ at UVMMC have supported me through my cancer diagnosis ﬁve years ago with the very best of care. They continue to do so even now in the face of this unprecedented crisis at the risk of their own lives. How lucky we are to have this team at our backs. We can never thank them enough. BRENDA BANKART
Thank you for being with our sister during her last days when we were unable to be because of the virus. You were a kind and loving surrogate family for her and we very much appreciate your selﬂess care. You truly are our heroes! DONNA MOODY
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Feedback « P.7 but our experience suggests otherwise. Multiple times daily, we are bombarded by 75-decibel noise indoors and 105-decibel noise outside from the F-35s. Although the sound is transient, you actually have to plug your ears if you’re outside and stop talking and wait if you are inside. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at 110 decibels hearing loss can happen in less than two minutes. There are many well-studied health impacts from noise, such as trauma, PTSD, birth defects, cardiovascular issues, etc. I can’t imagine the experience of those — especially babies, animals and children — who can’t cover their ears, who are living in lockdown even closer to the airport. I hope there is continued monitoring of the real effects of this new intense daily noise. It’s unlivable. I wasn’t opposed to the F-35s and appreciate what they and the National Guard do for Vermont and our country, but I am starting to feel traumatized in my own home. Suzanne Blain
During these challenging times, postal employees are working hard to ensure that residents stay connected with their world through the mail. Whether it’s medications, a package, a paycheck, a benefits or pension check, a bill, or a letter from a family member, postal workers understand that every piece of mail is important. While service like this is nothing new to us, the U.S. Postal Service needs our communities’ help with social distancing. For everyone’s safety, our employees are following the social-distancing precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials. We are asking people to not approach our carriers to accept delivery. Let the carrier leave the mailbox before collecting the mail. With schools not in session, children should also be encouraged to not approach a postal vehicle or carrier. If a delivery requires a signature, carriers will knock on the door rather than touch the bell. They will maintain a safe distance, and instead of asking for a signature on their mobile device, they’ll ask for the resident’s name. The carrier will leave the mail or package in a safe place for retrieval. We are proud of the role all our employees play in processing, transporting and delivering mail and packages for the American public. The CDC, World Health Organization and U.S. surgeon general
indicate there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail. With social distancing, we can keep the mail moving while keeping our employees, and the public, safe. Regina Bugbee PORTLAND, ME
Bugbee is district manager of the U.S. Postal Service for the Northern New England District.
The “Pass or Fail” Emoji That in the April 8 issue details that 18 school districts have yet to approve a budget and describes the situation as a “lesson in procrastination.” In South Burlington, voters rejecting the school budget on Town Meeting Day was an active learning classroom exercise in fiscal responsibility. The school budget presented to voters offered an unpalatable 7.96 percent increase in spending and a whopping 11.22 percent increase in the education tax rate. Compared to the previous year, the proposed FY 2021 budget increased the draw of assets from the state Education Fund by 11.3 percent. If all communities across the state increased their draw by that amount, the fund would have had to increase its assets by $190 million. Got any spare change, Seven Days? Gerry Silverstein
KEEP IT IN PRINT
[Re Publisher’s Note: “This Newspaper Is ‘Essential’ — and Handled With Care,” April 1]: Yes! A tangible, paper-format Seven Days, and other quality print newspapers, are essential. Indeed, I savor Seven Days from cover to cover, over several days. It’s easy to do with a paper format. I have limited body-mind tolerance for reading on a screen. Thanks for a paper copy every week, and thanks for your consistent candor. Hugo Liepmann
FOOD FOR ALL
[Re Off Message: “As Markets Dry Up, Some Vermont Dairies Are Dumping Milk,” April 3]: The realities we face today as food consumers and food producers are terrifying. We count on the courageous leadership of Vermont’s members of Congress and other farsighted progressives from around the country to plan and implement sustainable, life-affirming ways forward as we face this pandemic crisis together. I am horrified to see farmers around the country having to dump their milk and
plow under their crops for lack of functional distribution methods at a time when impoverished Americans are struggling to feed themselves. This is a catastrophe that will become even more critical after the fall harvest if national policies don’t redirect the supply chain now. We desperately need a national plan to address this terrifying situation, since ignoring the breakdown of this sector could easily result in even more widespread food insecurity, if not actual starvation for many. How can we address the urgent requirements of farmers and those living in food deserts to meet their overlapping and mutual needs? Could a national youth service supplement farm labor that has been drastically threatened both by the unconscionable immigrant labor policies of the current government and the dangers of the coronavirus? Programs of the Great Depression come to mind — ones that could help reduce the panic that has gripped both the country and the world. Some combination of the Green New Deal, Medicare for All and national nonmilitary service would so help us on the slow road to recovery, but farmers and the hungry can’t wait that long. Susan Rhodewalt
BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND
[Re Off Message: “Coronavirus Cases in Vermont Surpass 500 as Two More Die,” April 5]: The six-foot rule is useless outdoors with a breeze or wind. If you are six feet downwind from someone, you’re going to get his or her virus if they have it. If there is a breeze or wind, you and the person you are talking to should have your shoulders pointing to wind. If you don’t know where a light breeze is coming from, just drop a leaf to the ground and watch it. It’s just common sense.
I am amazed that Seven Days felt the necessity to publish such blatantly incendiary rubbish as Jake Pickering’s distorted diatribe in his letter “The Marxist Messiah?” [Feedback, March 18]. People who clearly do not comprehend history need to hit the books and learn that the Republican Party’s distorted fearmongering is self-serving and bears no resemblance to reality. The U.S. will only redeem itself on the world stage if real truths are based upon actual fact and not gutter press blather. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ programs are intended to help U.S. citizens benefit from their life services, instead of fill the pockets of the 1 percent. They are modeled after several European governments’ true Socialist programming, which ensures that, while there is incentive to profit, those who do are expected to support the general purse so that all may benefit. Social benefits. The writer is seen for what he is: uninformed and of limited intelligence. Look in the mirror and describe those robber barons who not only pocket massive dollar sums from the public purse while paying the least in wages, destroying environmental protections, deliberately spoiling the planet and wallowing in their ill-gotten profit. Your children, too, will be facing the effects of your ruinous ventures. James Rivis
My wife and I just had takeout from the Lucky Dragon, on Main Street in Bennington [“Good To-Go Vermont”]. Very good!
I take issue with the subhead on last week’s article “The Checks Are Not in the Mail,” which reads: “Self-Employed Vermonters Must Wait for Federal Unemployment Benefits.” After introducing the couple from Georgia, the article starts blaming the feds for Vermonters not receiving their benefits in a timely manner. Later it comes to light that the problem is actually the state’s antiquated computer system. Much like the problem with the 2013 launch of Vermont Health Connect, the State of Vermont is more concerned with its revenue flow due to excessive tourist and meals taxes because of the virus than with the citizens of this state. The article was well written but kind of misled the reader by blaming the current federal administration, instead of placing blame where it clearly belongs.
George Robinson GRAND ISLE
[Re “The Checks Are Not in the Mail: Self-Employed Vermonters Must Wait for Federal Unemployment Benefits,” April 8]: Why are they having unemployed people call in every week? Seems like a waste of resources! John Rapoza
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
From left: Sorsha Anderson, John Nagle and Chloe Fidler in The Merry Wives of Windsor
COURTESY OF DOK WRIGHT
To Be or … Not Vermont’s summer theater season is a no-show B Y PA MEL A PO L ST ON
ew Yorkers were stunned when Broadway went dark on March 12 to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. It was just one indicator of dire things to come for the city of more than 8 million. In Vermont, the last shows in the 2019-20 theater season quickly followed suit. For VERMONT STAGE in Burlington, for example, it meant bagging the final week of Marie and Rosetta, the entire run of The Pitmen Painters, and two Youth Company productions. Meantime, LYRIC THEATRE rescheduled its spring show, Matilda the Musical, for later in the year. Even a mere month ago, it didn’t seem unreasonable to hold out hope that, by June, life as we knew it would resume, stores and restaurants would reopen, and thespians would take to stages around the state. Alas, no. The summer of 2020 will be historic for its abruptly curtailed live entertainment — at least the in-person, non-social-distancing kind. Among the plays Vermonters will not get to see this year: Ring of Fire, Kinky Boots, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Returning to Haifa,
Annie Get Your Gun, Little Shop of Horrors, Waiting for Godot, Animal Crackers and many more. Summer theater stalwarts DORSET THEATRE FESTIVAL, WESTON PLAYHOUSE THEATRE COMPANY and SAINT MICHAEL’S PLAYHOUSE were among the first to announce the suspension of their entire seasons. Other companies posted anguished regrets on their websites. Not mincing words, UNADILLA THEATRE founder BILL BLACHLY simply wrote: “Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 season has been cancelled.” When possible, some theater groups are fast-forwarding. The SHELBURNE PLAYERS wrote that their spring production of Laughter on the 23rd Floor is moving to spring 2021. According to the Saint Michael’s Playhouse website, “our goal is to move the 2020 season in its entirety to 2021: same shows, same casts, same directors, same sets, same everything.” The VERMONT SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, too, is bypassing 2020 and moving its summer production of The Merry Wives of Windsor to next year. Some companies continue to ponder
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
late summer productions: maybe? Others still hope to at least mount their previously scheduled spring shows. In White River Junction, NORTHERN STAGE is asking ticket holders to “hold tight while we determine if and when we’ll be able to bring Frozen JR. and Million Dollar Quartet to our stage.” Vermonters who do not normally attend theater might not be aware of the complex algorithms of producing plays, how skipping a season jeopardizes their nonprofit presenters, and what it means to a small town to lose its accustomed summer audiences. “It’s a daunting time,” said DINA JANIS, artistic director of Dorset Theatre Festival, who noted that the organization typically hires for its summer productions in December and January. There are two layers, she explained: One is that each show has its own cast and crew, often from New York City. The other is a set of about 40 summer employees — “brought in from all over the country,” Janis said — for the theater itself. They handle administration, front of house, carpenters, sets, lights, and so on. “They
will come at the end of May and stay for the entire summer,” she noted. “We were pretty loaded in,” Janis continued. “We’d already gone through all that hiring. That was one of our biggest concerns — we wanted to be responsible to people [health-wise].” Pulling the plug on the season in early spring at least gave crews and casts ample notice not to come to Vermont to begin rehearsing. But Janis lamented the repercussions for the theater communities at large. “It’s a huge financial blow,” she said. “These people are just out of work.” It’s a blow to tiny Dorset, too — fulltime population 1,948. In addition to the influx of temporary summer residents, the theater productions “bring in 15,000 people,” Janis said. “The local economy is so dependent on that.” It’s a similar story in Weston, about a half hour away, where the Playhouse and its Walker Farm facility serve much the same community. “Summer residents go to both,” Janis said. “We’ve always worked together.” Weston’s executive artistic director SUSANNA GELLERT said that three of the
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Playhouse shows — Ring of Fire, Kinky Boots and Steel Magnolias — have been moved to 2021. “Emotionally, it’s been heartbreaking,” she said. “We’d put together a really great season.” Financially, the company has dodged a bigger loss because of the timing of the pandemic. “Ticket sales are more than 40 percent of our income,” she said. “It [would have been] a bigger risk to put together more than 100 theater makers … We stopped before we put it all together.” And with a full-time staff of eight, Gellert added, “We’re cutting our expenses to the bone and trying not to lay off people.” In Montpelier, LOST NATION THEATER also made the painful decision to cancel summer 2020 — except for the possibility of impromptu, simpler productions in, say, September. For now, the plan is to open the 2020-21 season in October with the production that would have been its last: Ragtime. After that, noted producing artistic director KATHLEEN KEENAN, the season will proceed with works that “salute” women — intended to recognize the centenary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Keenan said that the city has given LNT permission to reserve the chamber theater — aka Montpelier City Hall Auditorium — in case the company is able to schedule any late summer/early fall events. After all, no one else is likely to book anything, at least until voting — arguably the most important production of the year — takes place in November. Meantime, Keenan said, they’ll plan on streaming some archival productions, particularly those things “unique to Lost Nation,” such as works by Vermont author KATHERINE PATERSON and the late playwright/poet David Budbill. “We want to do things to keep up people’s spirits and oblige our ticket holders,” she said. And, like other nonprofit theater companies, LNT will also be launching a fundraising campaign. “Eighty percent of our revenue is gone,” Keenan said. “It’s one thing to be closed for a month, but four or five?” Surviving the pandemic is undeniably easier for theater groups with basically no overhead. “We are fortunate in that we don’t have full-time employees or a space,” acknowledged MELISSA LOURIE, artistic director of the MIDDLEBURY ACTING COMPANY . The group, which primarily performs at local TOWN HALL THEATER, decided early on to move its April production of Outside Mullingar to September.
But Lourie echoed Janis’ worry for those in her profession. “The theater community is really hard hit — no theater artist is getting paid right now,” she said. “And it’s a tough time for the [local] community.” The Vermont Shakespeare Festival is also unencumbered by overhead — the company is essentially founders JENA NECRASON and JOHN NAGLE. But the cancellation of this year’s season was particularly disappointing because they had taken last year off to regroup, plan for the future and build a strong board. They were energized to jump into this summer’s production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, said Necrason. As it happens, the cast is composed entirely of Vermont actors, she said, and all were able to reschedule for next summer. She and Nagle are now “reimagining” smaller-scale events for the fall and winter. On its website, Waitsfield’s SKINNER BARN indicates that its major production of the summer, Annie Get Your Gun, in late July is still on. But in a phone conversation, owner and actor PETER BOYNTON was skeptical. “I decided to say, ‘Let’s see where we are by May 1,’” he said. “Now it’s a real crapshoot whether we’re going to do our season.” Boynton, who is also losing summer weddings previously scheduled for his picturesque venue, said his musicals feature Equity actors and a full band. A typical budget, he said, is $30,000. And never mind potentially aborted ticket sales; there’s another problem with the “funding chain”: local sponsors — most of which are small businesses that will also be hurting economically. “I don’t think I’ll get my sponsorship budget this year,” Boynton said flatly, noting that it typically covered 40 percent of production costs. More than anything, though, he feels responsible for the health of his cast — some 20 people — and his audience, which is an older and more vulnerable demographic. “There’s just so much risk beyond the normal risk of putting on a show,” Boynton said. “I think we’re out until a vaccine [for COVID-19] happens. Who’s gonna come?” Post-pandemic, though, we might all gladly trade Zoom for theater seats. As Janis predicted, “There will be a longing for people to come together in a live space.” m
THE SUMMER OF 2020 WILL BE HISTORIC FOR ITS
ABRUPTLY CURTAILED LIVE ENTERTAINMENT.
Experience Vermont’s art and culture, virtually. Vermont Art Online is a resource that lets families, students, educators, and the public enjoy Vermont’s museums and galleries from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Virtual Exhibits: Enter art, history, and science museums across the state, interact with spaces and exhibitions, and click on objects for deeper exploration. Art at Home: Discover at-home activities from Vermont arts institutions to share with your family or students.
vermontartonline.org Presented in partnership with the Vermont Curators Group, and with generous support from the Vermont Arts Council and Vermont Humanities.
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SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
4/6/20 6:58 PM
Vermont author Katherine Arden is in the running for an international award BY AN D RE W L I PTAK
Vermont author has been nominated for the highest honor within the speculative fiction genre: the Hugo Award. On Tuesday, the organizers of CoNZealand, this year’s World Science Fiction Convention, announced the finalists for this year’s award, which include Waterbury author KATHERINE ARDEN’s Winternight Trilogy, for Best Series. Named for Hugo Gernsback, the editor of Amazing Stories magazine — the first dedicated science fiction pulp magazine — the Hugo Awards are a long-standing honor within the science fiction and fantasy community. Established in 1953, the award has recognized authors such as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein, N.K. Jemisin and Ursula K. Le Guin. Arden’s publishing career began in 2017 with the publication of her debut novel, The Bear and the Nightingale, a fantasy about a young woman named Vasya in medieval Russia who can see the spirits and magical creatures that exist in the background of the normal world. The novel became a New York Times best seller; Arden followed it up with The Girl in the Tower and The Winter of the Witch. The conclusion of the trilogy qualified it for this year’s Best Series award, which is the Hugo’s newest addition, established in 2017. In reaction to the nomination, Arden said, “The first time the Hugos came onto my radar was when I read Ender’s Game over and over as a kid. It had ‘WINNER OF THE HUGO AWARD’ emblazoned on the cover.” That introduction is common to genre fans: The award can help readers cut through the overwhelming pile of stories and find the best ones. “The possibility that a book of my own will have a similar bit on its cover is thrilling and surreal,” Arden said. While Vermont has its share of science fiction and fantasy writers, she appears to be the first to earn the nomination while living here. However, Arden isn’t the first person with Vermont connections to earn the honor. Fantasy author Piers Anthony — best known for his long-running Xanth series — was first nominated for the award in 1968 for his novel Chthon and earned three additional nominations in the next two years. Though born in Oxford, England, Anthony’s parents relocated to Winhall, Vt., when he was a child. He later attended Goddard College before joining the U.S. Army. Another nominee on this year’s Hugo ballot also has ties to Vermont: Alix E. Harrow, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history at the University of Vermont, won the Best Short Story award last year for “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies.” She’s on the ballot this year for her short story “Do Not Look Back, My Lion” and for her debut novel, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, which takes place primarily at a fictional mansion on the Vermont shores of Lake Champlain.
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THE AWARD CAN HELP READERS CUT THROUGH THE OVERWHELMING PILE OF STORIES
AND FIND THE BEST ONES.
For Arden, the nomination is recognition for the many years she’s put into writing her series. And she shares the honor, she said, with the entire team that worked to help bring her fictional, fantastical world to life. “The origin and progression of the Winternight books took almost eight years from conception to final paperback, and it involved so much effort from so many people,” Arden said. “This nomination feels like it’s honoring the collective effort, and I love that.” The 2020 Hugo Awards will be awarded later this summer in an online presentation during the WorldCon convention, which has been moved to a virtual platform because of the coronavirus pandemic.
INFO Learn more at thehugoawards.org and katherinearden.com.
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Echoes of Absence It’s hard to write a poem with a hole at its center. It’s hard to write anything about an absence, or to contemplate the empty space where something familiar once resided. The subject is intangible and therefore nearly incomprehensible. But poet KERRIN MCCADDEN’s pint-size gut-punch of a book wrestles the emotions of loss into 23 wrenching poems. Keep This to Yourself, McCadden’s second poetry collection, explores the death of her younger brother from an opioid overdose. The book won the 2018 Button Poetry Prize and was released in March. McCadden lives in South Burlington and teaches at Montpelier High School. In 2015, she won the inaugural Vermont Book Award for her first volume of poetry, Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes. That book introduced to readers McCadden’s skillful use of symbolism and deft exploration of life’s minutiae. Her poems are like rock tumblers: handfuls of gravel smoothed into something new and beautiful. Keep This to Yourself opens at the story’s end. The first poem is titled “When My Brother Dies,” and its first line establishes the collection’s theme: “It happened already,” McCadden writes. The rest of the book works backward from that event, in some cases quite literally, revealing in pieces how she lost her brother many times over. She documents family vacations intended to heal broken bonds, frightening encounters with men buying or selling drugs, childhood games, times when she believed her brother had gotten clean for good, and the day her parents adopted him. McCadden even describes mourning that’s not her own in a poem written from her mother’s perspective.
In some poems, her lines are clipped and deliberate. In others, the words spill out in one long breath, dashing across the page with no heed of punctuation. These approaches reveal different faces of the same sorrow. McCadden asks: What does it mean for someone to be gone? In the midst of her brother’s struggle with addiction, finding the moment when he was lost to her is even trickier. Was it when he stole money? When he went to jail? The first time the family tried everything they could to save him? The fifth? Even more confusing are the days when her brother doesn’t seem permanently gone at all. “My brother is lost. I can’t find my brother. I say it over again— / when I lost my brother. A back road I knew once and now / can’t find,” she writes in “Losing.” These lines capture processing the loss of someone who was absent, in some way, before they died. Later in the same poem: “Every next syllable said by everyone is my brother. / Silent mouths—these are where dead brothers live.” McCadden writes in tightly wound circles around her tragedy, wearing paths in the floorboards as she paces her house of grief. In this slim volume, we might only spend an afternoon there with her. But McCadden’s poems offer wisdom relevant to pains larger than her own — and a portal into the opioid crisis that has taken thousands of lives. M A R G A R E T G R AY S O N
INFO Keep This to Yourself by Kerrin McCadden, Button Poetry, 40 pages. $14.
Is your Feline Fabulous?
Enter our photo contest! The Humane Society of Chittenden County’s 2nd Annual Fabulous Feline Foto Contest is the place to show them off! Submit your favorite cat photo with a $30 donation and the community will vote for their favorites ($1 donation per vote). Your donations support pets & people in need. HSCC celebrated a record-breaking 1,226 pet adoptions in 2019!
The kitty with the most votes will earn the coveted People’s Choice award and have their photo prominently displayed in the April 29th issue of Seven Days! This online contest has already kicked off and the deadline for entries & voting is April 20th.
To vote or enter your Fabulous Feline, please visit gogophotocontest.com/hsccfabulousfelinefoto
of Chittenden County
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
4/13/20 9:48 AM
RETAIL THERAPY BY KRISTEN RAVIN
All Dressed Up (and Nowhere to Go) Seven wearable items and where to buy them locally
BY K R IS TE N R AVIN
t’s no longer news that many of Vermont’s small businesses are in a precarious position after closing their doors in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Now more than ever, Green Mountain State enterprises are relying on community support to stay afloat. Mary Margaret Groberg, owner of Notion Sewing & Craft in Montpelier, expressed her gratitude for community encouragement in a phone interview with Seven Days. “I’ve had folks just buying gift cards or placing an order, and they’ll write a note and say, ‘I wanted to put in an order just to support you and give you cash flow during this time,’ which I’m really, really grateful for,” she said. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed Vermonters’ daily lives but not their “buy local” spirit. “There are few things that have made me feel more connected to my community than that feeling of Oh! I can just call my friend down the street if I need new shoes or copy paper or whatever it may be,” said Groberg. “The fact that we have this amazing, vibrant community of small, locally owned businesses is so special.” This installment of Retail Therapy, a weekly series highlighting local shopping options, focuses on wearable items — loosely defined as anything you can put on your body. From cosmetics to cozy flannel pants to DIY protective face masks, here are a few items currently available from Vermont sellers. If you don’t see your favorite retailers here, seek them out; this list is by no means comprehensive.
April Cornell sewing kit
HOW TO BUY: Order
at aprilcornell.com or call 888-332-7745. ALSO TRY: Yarn and fiber crafts accessories from Bristol’s Yarn & Yoga (yarnandyoga. com).
Before leaving the house to grab groceries or fill up on gas, Vermonters are donning a new accessory: the face mask. Notion Fabric & Craft, a downtown Montpelier shop specializing in modern fabric, yarn and fiber crafting supplies, is offering DIY mask-making kits for sewers. Kits yield approximately 10 masks depending on size 28
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
featuring Cornell’s signature floral prints is available by the yard.
NO TIE CROSSBACK APRON
and style. Material options include canvas or cotton and flannel, and sets can come with or without elastic ties. HOW TO BUY: Order
at notionvt.com for shipping and free local delivery. ALSO TRY: Bandanas from Birdfolk Collective in Winooski or Waterbury Center (birdfolkcollective.com). See Birdfolk’s Instagram page for a bandana-to-face-mask video tutorial (@birdfolkcollective).
BEAUTY BOOSTER LIP & CHEEK COLOR
While loungewear and messy topknots have their appeal, it can feel refreshing to get done up — even if it’s for a Zoom meeting or a stay-at-home quarantine date night. Downtown Burlington day spa and cosmetics retailer Mirror Mirror has the goods to
give yourself an in-home makeover. For a quick and easy glow-up, dab on some dual-purpose Trish McEvoy Beauty Booster Lip & Cheek Color in raspberry, red, rose or plum. Order at mirrormirrorvt.com or call 861-7500 for free shipping. ALSO TRY: Lip balm from White River Junction’s Flourish Beauty Lab (flourishbeautylab.com). HOW TO BUY:
Sometimes sprucing up your wardrobe means going shopping in your own closet. A sewing kit from Burlington designer April Cornell helps individuals make the most of their existing garments — and maybe add some creative modifications. (That old jean jacket looks like it could use a Misfits patch!) This compact kit includes thread, needles, safety pins, foldable scissors and a measuring tape, all enclosed in a fabric snapclosure pouch. Looking to create something new from scratch? Fabric
On April 3, Vice published a story titled “Every 20-Something Is Now Obsessed With Making Bread.” With stay-athome orders barring public dining, folks are getting creative in the kitchen. Seasoned home cooks and newbies alike can look like pros in the Vermont Apron Company ’s 100 percent flax linen No Tie Crossback Apron. Made in St. Johnsbury and available in colors such as olive, lime and royal blue, the piece is a stylish and practical option for diving into what Vice calls “sourdough bro season.” HOW TO BUY: Order at vermontapron.com.
The Green Mountain Flannel Chef’s Apron from Johnson Woolen Mills ( johnsonwoolenmills.com). ALSO TRY:
DISCOUNTED GIFT CARDS
Yes, we know gift cards are not technically wearable items. However, a discounted gift certificate from Burlington’s Outdoor Gear Exchange is an investment in future outdoor and athletic endeavors — and a show of support for the store Seven Days readers voted “best outdoor outfitter” in 2019. Located on the Church Street Marketplace, OGE, which recently reopened its online store,
FPF – connection during times of crisis A critical asset for neighbors helping neighbors, people asking questions, government agencies and nonprofits posting updates, and more. Stay connected at frontporchforum.com.
is selling gift cards with bonus value. For example, $250 buys a credit of $275 for wearables such as ski helmets, bike shorts and climbing shoes. Staying active never goes out of style. HOW TO BUY: Order at gearx.com.
Outerwear, accessories and indoor loungewear from Burlingtonheadquartered Burton (burton.com). ALSO TRY:
VT MOUNTAIN PEAKS UNISEX TEE Chilling at a coffee shop or seeing a movie on a cinema screen is off-limits at the moment. Fortunately for Vermonters, the state has ample open-air destinations where folks can experience natural wonders while practicing social distancing. New Duds’ VT Mountain Peaks Unisex Tee is a sartorial reminder of the places we can still visit. Sold by the Colchester screen-printing and embroidery operation, the soft cotton/poly shirt is adorned with the names of Vermont’s 10 highest mountain peaks, including Camel’s Hump, Killington Peak and the highest of them all, Mount Mansfield.
FLANNEL LOUNGE PANTS
As Vermonters stay home and stay safe, leisurewear has become a way of life. The Vermont Flannel Company keeps the homebound comfy with its Flannel Lounge Pants. Wear them while vegging on the couch with wine in hand, or pair them with a business casual button-down for a virtual work meeting — who would know? For every online order, Vermont Flannel will donate the funds to provide 10 Vermont Foodbank meals. Those who click “buy” on these plaid jammies can sleep easy knowing they ’ve chipped in to help people in need. Order at vermontflannel.com for free shipping. ALSO TRY: Cute and cozy PJs from Burlington- and Stowe-based Green Envy Boutique (shopgreenenvy. com). HOW TO BUY:
HOW TO BUY: Order at newduds.net for free
Graphic tees from Vermont Clothing Company (vermont clothingcompany.com) in St. Albans.
Retail Therapy is a column about shopping local in the coronavirus era. Got a product or store suggestion? Email carolyn@ sevendaysvt.com.
shipping. ALSO TRY:
Look for FPF’s new mobile app in the Apple® and Google Play ® app stores. Untitled-43 1
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HONOR YOUR SENIOR ON-AIR! PRESENTS...
SPOTLIGHT Want to give your senior student a special shout out? Share your message with us and we’ll mention them live on the radio.
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS: Visit one of the Facebook pages for these stations
• Record your message and upload the video to our page.
• Listen to our stations to hear your senior salute. SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
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STAY HOME. SLOW THE SPREAD. STAY HEALTHY. Staying Active While Staying Safe Around The House
• Biking - Go on a bike ride around the neighborhood, alone or with your family. This could become the ‘gym’ portion of the day for school-age children. Remember to always wear your helmet!
It’s tempting to sit on the couch and watch a screen during this time of important social isolation, but we also need to keep our bodies active. 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week is suggested. Under the current stay at home orders, you are allowed outside to exercise and do tasks around the house and yard, and there’s still plenty you can do while still remaining safely six feet apart.
• Gardening – Tend to your emerging gardens or start a container garden on your deck. Be careful to pace yourself and not to strain your back and knees.
SAFETY FIRST! While the stay at home order doesn’t prevent us from leaving our homes to exercise, we should all be cautious about any activity or travel which could result in unnecessary injuries or accidents. It’s important to avoid injury so that hospital staff can serve those who need the most support. When you do decide to get outside, here are some general guidelines we recommend: • Stay Close To Home – To reduce risk, walk on your street or a local wooded area instead of driving to a location. If you must drive, limit your travels from home to 10 miles, and only travel with members of your household. • Respect Signs And Cautions – Many public facilities, trails and parks are closed at this time to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Please respect these notices and choose alternative areas to exercise. Remember to stay six feet away from other people you encounter. Slow down and move aside to let others pass, avoid crowded public recreation areas and be patient. When you return home, wash your hands. • Wear Proper Clothing – Make sure your shoes and clothing fit properly and aren’t too restrictive. If you are exercising outside, wear reflective clothing and be aware of your environment. If you are exercising by yourself outside, and maintaining social distancing, you probably don’t need to wear a mask at this time. • Stay Hydrated – We all wake up dehydrated. Start each day with an 8-ounce glass of water, and remember to drink some more water during the day. Coffee doesn’t count because it dehydrates you. Drink water with exercise, even if you don’t feel thirsty. • Warm Up Before You Exercise – Do a few stretches with your arms and legs to increase your blood flow and loosen your muscles. March in place for a minute or two before heading out.
• Get Online – If you can’t get out of the house, there are lots of free online exercise videos you can use. Find one that fits your fitness level, and yet challenges you a little bit. There are plenty of low-risk, safe and healthy activities to do outside. Spending as little as five minutes per day outside in green space helps reduce your cortisol, the hormone that produces stress. Take care of yourself, get outside and most importantly, stay active! Find more information on how to stay healthy while staying home and social distancing at: UVMHealth.org/COVIDwellbeing
With temperatures warming, this is the time when we normally start thinking about vacations, family gatherings and neighborhood barbecues. Of course, everything is different this year. But it’s important to remind ourselves every day that our collective actions thus far are making a difference in flattening the COVID-19 curve, and we’re going to get through this. It will take all of us, working with perseverance and patience, to slow the spread of this illness. So we at UVM Health Network are asking that you stay the course: Stay home, maintain distance from others, wash your hands and make sure you seek medical care when you need it. Let’s stick together in the fight against this virus so that, in the not-sodistant future, we can all be together again.
CHOOSE LOW-RISK ACTIVITIES You may have more time on your hands these days, but now is not the time to tackle a risky household project, or learn a new hobby or sport that could land you in the hospital. Here’s what you can do: • Walking – Our region is beautiful in the spring – the trees are beginning to bud, the crocuses and daffodils are beginning to sprout. It’s a great time to go for a daily walk.
Find COVID-19 updates and sign up for a weekly email from the experts at the UVM Health Network
John R. Brumsted, MD President and CEO The University of Vermont Health Network
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
Feeling Down? Anxious? Try This 3-Minute Mindfulness Activity. Mindfulness can allow us to gently focus our awareness on what’s happening “in the moment.” You cannot control what happened in the past. You cannot control what may happen in the future. You can focus on the present moment and benefit from the peace it can bring.
Answers to Your COVID-19 Questions From Our Infectious Disease Expert Tim Lahey, MD, is an infectious disease doctor and professor of medicine at the University of Vermont.
THE 3-MINUTE BREATHING SPACE EXERCISE 1. During the first minute, begin breathing and focus on answering the question “how am I doing right now?” Focus on any feelings, thoughts, and sensations that arise. 2. During the second minute, focus solely on the act of breathing. 3. During the third minute, expand your attention from the act of breathing to the in’s and out’s of your breaths and how they affect the rest of your body.
Is My Video Doctor’s Appointment Secure? During this time of social distancing, we are relying on new ways to connect and communicate, especially using video chat. Video has helped us connect with our families, coworkers, and now, even our doctors. Many medical practices use the video chatting program called Zoom to conduct video appointments, and you may have heard recent reports of security and privacy issues with Zoom. The Zoom program used by the UVM Health Network is secure and private.
ADDED LEVELS OF SECURITY FOR YOUR VIDEO HEALTH VISIT The UVM Health Network’s cybersecurity experts have implemented a HIPAA compliant telehealth service, which encrypts all meeting data and chat messages. All necessary systems are in place to protect patient information, including the added extra step of requiring a pass code for all Zoom video visits. Talk with your doctor to find out if a video visit is right for you. If so, you’ll be scheduled and contacted by a support team member who will help you prepare for the visit.
VIDEO SECURITY TIPS FROM OUR EXPERTS Whether connecting with your doctor or connecting with your loved ones via video, it’s important to do what you can to keep your data and information secure. Here are some tips to keep in mind. 1.
Keep your app software up to date so you have the most secure version downloaded on your device. 2. Use passcodes or waiting room features on video apps to keep uninvited parties out of your conversations. 3. Ensure the invitations you receive for video meetings are sent from a trusted source. 4. If you are using Zoom, use the ‘Lock the Meeting’ feature which allows you to block any unwanted guests into your meetings once you have full attendance.
Will wearing a homemade face mask when I leave my home protect me or those around me from infection? We don’t know for sure. Some studies with influenza viruses suggested that cloth masks can increase the risk of infection by holding onto the body’s moisture and thus trapping viral particles near the face. Other studies showed that a fraction of viruses blown against a cloth mask in a lab setting were stopped, suggesting maybe the mask could help prevent transmission. And that’s it. That’s what we have — definitely not the best evidence on which to base an important decision. And yet, here we are, with the world clamoring for a decision. Knowing how anxious people are to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, and how that anxiety might tempt the general public to use up some of the medical masks that are desperately needed to keep doctors and nurses safe, the CDC and the State of Vermont have recommended the general public wear homemade cloth masks. The WHO has not. As time passes, we’ll see how this evolves. In the meantime, the UVM Health Network is directing all employees to wear medical masks for in-person patient care activities and cloth masks for staff who are not in close patient contact, as well as members of the public who enter its facilities.
Staying at least 6 feet away from people outside your home and good hand hygiene are still the best ways to prevent infection.
Should I wear gloves in public? I wear gloves while caring for patients, but never out in public. The reason is that gloves can be contaminated in exactly the same way as your hands, so they’re really no better at protecting you from whatever you pick up in the outside world if you touch your face. It’s not like the virus burrows in through your skin or anything like that. Stick with handwashing.
If I was infected with the virus, will I be immune after I recover? Can I transmit the disease after I recover? We don’t know the answer yet. After infection with most viruses, immunity occurs. Antibodies were detectable for 2-3 years after people were infected with SARS, the closest cousin to the virus that causes COVID-19. If it’s present, immunity can slow the spread of a viral infection through the population, because eventually everybody around the infected person is already protected. So far we have not seen any convincing cases of relapsed COVID-19, which makes me hopeful immunity does occur. For more answers to your questions from Dr. Lahey and the latest information from the experts at UVM Health Network, go to UVMHealth.org/COVID19-7D SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
The Man Behind the Mask Gov. Phil Scott leads Vermont through a historic crisis B Y PAU L HE INTZ
JAN. 21 First COVID-19 case confirmed in the U.S. 32
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
JAN. 24 Dr. Mark Levine first mentions COVID-19 in weekly report to Gov. Phil Scott
n the lobby of the governor’s office, a large whiteboard mounted on an easel warns visitors to “STOP” and wash their hands before entering and leaving. There is, however, nobody left to warn. Five weeks after the global coronavirus pandemic arrived in Vermont, the fifth floor of Montpelier’s Pavilion Office Building is on lockdown. Visitors are prohibited and employees scarce, allowed to come to work only when absolutely necessary. The lights in the reception area are switched off, and the offices of senior staff are empty. These days, only Gov. Phil Scott remains, running state government via videoconference from his corner office overlooking the Statehouse. “I know that everyone is just a phone call or a Skype call away,” he said. “But it’s been noticeable when I walk down the hall and I’m the only one here — and that happens a lot.” From his lonely perch, the 61-year-old governor is overseeing the response to the greatest crisis Vermont has faced since the Great Depression. Already, the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 29 Vermonters and infected a total of 752 others. It has ripped through nursing homes — killing 10 at Burlington Health & Rehabilitation Center — and scaled the walls of Northwest State Correctional Facility, where at least 50 prisoners and officers have contracted the disease. To slow its spread through the rest of the state, Scott has ordered strict mitigation measures that would have been unimaginable months ago: dismissing schools, closing businesses and confining most Vermonters to their homes. These decisions may have saved lives, but they have crippled the economy, decimated the state’s finances and left more than 73,000 unemployed. “Had you asked me any time before this whether I’d be shutting down businesses in Vermont, it would’ve been a resounding no. Never. Not on my watch,” said Scott, a second-term Republican and former business owner. “But here I am.” In the absence of leadership at the federal level, governors around the country have stepped up to fill the void. They’ve had to devise their own testing programs, source their own face masks and compete with one another for a limited supply of ventilators. As governor of the second smallest state in the union, Scott has found himself fighting a global pandemic with the resources of a midsize metro area. He’s had to
FEB. 3 Vermont Department of Health activates Health Operations Center to monitor coronavirus
supplement his staff of 17 with a hastily recruited group of former government officials who volunteer from their home offices. And he’s had to count on local business owners to fabricate face shields and navigate Chinese supply chains. Seven Days interviewed 30 people who have worked with or for the Scott administration as it has navigated the coronavirus crisis. Those who have spent the most time with the governor described his approach as data-driven, decisive, calm and empathetic. “I would go to war with this guy,” said Secretary of Human Services Mike Smith, a former Navy SEAL. Even Scott’s adversaries praised him for putting public health before politics. “He’s listening to the experts,” said Vermont Democratic Party chair Terje Anderson. “He’s working collaboratively
Scott is overseeing the response to the greatest crisis Vermont has faced since the Great Depression. with the legislature, by all accounts, and that’s very different from what we’re seeing in Washington.” The pressure is undoubtedly taking a toll on the governor. “It’s a lot on his shoulders,” said House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero). “It’s a lot of stress. It’s a lot of hours.” Like many frontline workers whose weekends have become indistinguishable from their weekdays and whose nights resemble their days, Scott says he feels like he’s stuck in a time warp. “I’m living in dog years, because a day seems like a week, a week seems like a month, a month seems like seven months,” he said. After returning home late one night last week and showering, Scott recalled, “I started putting on my clothes for the next day. And I caught myself when I put on my dress shirt, and I thought, Oh, wait a second. No, this is night. I’m just getting home … The routine is just constant, so you lose track of where you are.” It’s too soon to know how Vermont will fare in an outbreak that has devastated some states and countries while just glancing off others. It’s too soon to know whether Scott has overreacted, underreacted or struck just the right balance.
FEB. 4 Dr. Levine first briefs Gov. Scott’s cabinet on the coronavirus threat
MAR. 1 N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu alerts Gov. Scott to COVID-19 patient in White River Junction
PHOTOS: JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
Gov. Phil Scott last week in his Montpelier office
But at a press conference last Friday in the basement of the Pavilion, the governor and his advisers expressed cautious optimism that the state’s worst-case projections might not come to pass. In the weeks since Scott ordered Vermonters to stay home, the disease’s growth rate had begun to slow, said Commissioner Mike Pieciak of the Department of Financial Regulation. The administration now believes the state might have the medical capacity to treat every patient as the pandemic peaks in late April or early May, though hundreds may still be hospitalized and thousands infected. “This news is positive. However, our future is not guaranteed,” Pieciak said, a protective face mask hanging around his neck. “The trends can turn on a dime if we stop and relent from social, personal and professional sacrifices that everyone is making in their daily lives.” MAR. 2 Gov. Scott forms coronavirus task force
Scott, who had arrived at the press conference wearing his own camouflage mask, emphasized that his administration was “not declaring victory at this point in time.” And he pointed out a cruel irony: “The more successful we are with this social distancing and all the measures we’ve taken, the more it’s going to look like we overreacted,” he said. “And I’ll take the blame, the burden of that, over the alternative path where we have more deaths than we predicted.”
‘When It Became Real’
On the first day of March, Scott received an alarming phone call from New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. “It was basically, ‘We have a problem,’” Scott recalled Sununu saying. A Dartmouth-Hitchcock medical center employee had contracted the coronavirus while traveling in Italy, Sununu informed him, and had broken quarantine to attend a party at a White River Junction nightclub on February 28. It wasn’t news to Scott that COVID-19 posed a threat to Vermont. His health commissioner, Dr. Mark Levine, had first warned him about it in a weekly report at the end of January and had briefed his
MAR. 7 First COVID-19 case confirmed in Vermont
cabinet days later. The Department of Health had activated its Health Operations Center in early February and was monitoring Vermonters who had recently returned from China, where the virus originated. On the day of the White River Junction party, Levine and other state officials had announced the formation of a coronavirus task force at a press conference in Waterbury. “Now is the time for all of us to prepare mentally and logistically for possible disruptions to our daily lives,” Levine had said. But according to Scott, it was Sununu’s call that woke him up to the crisis to come. “That’s when it became real to me,” he said. “Suddenly it struck me how vulnerable we really were by the actions of one person.” A week later, on Saturday, March 7, Smith, the human services secretary, was getting ready to go to bed when his phone rang. “I picked it up, and Mark Levine says, ‘You know why I’m calling,’” he recalled. “I said, ‘Yeah, I do.’” Health department officials had determined that a patient at Bennington’s Southwestern Vermont Medical Center had been diagnosed with the disease. It was the first known case in Vermont. Scott, who was attending a Norwich University hockey game, learned of the
MAR. 10 Vermont activates State Emergency Operations Center
situation from his chief of staff, Jason Gibbs. The governor left the arena to take a call with Smith, Levine and Gibbs. “I don’t even think I got through the first period,” Scott said. The news came as lawmakers and administration officials were returning from the legislature’s annual Town Meeting Day recess. Public Safety Commissioner Mike Schirling had been vacationing in Florida but hopped on a plane home a day early to help activate the State Emergency Operations Center in Waterbury. “Clearly the workload was going to change,” he said. Vermont Emergency Management, a division of Schirling’s department, had been “dusting off” its pandemic plans to prepare for the arrival of coronavirus, he said. But it soon became clear that they wouldn’t suffice. Ordinarily, according to Vermont Emergency Management director Erica Bornemann, disasters come and go in a relatively short period. And, typically, neighboring states or the federal government can lend a hand. Neither has been the case this time. “The major challenge is really rooted in the scale and duration of the event,” Bornemann said. “We had plans, but even at the national level the best plans could not have contemplated the challenges this event has given them.”
‘Flare in the Air’
Vermont has never seen a two-week period of government intervention quite like the one that began on Friday, March 13. That day, legislators voted to shutter the Statehouse and, at a late-afternoon press conference, Scott declared a state of emergency. “While many will either not get [the coronavirus] or see mild symptoms, we all have to do our part to slow it down to protect the ill and older Vermonters who are at risk,” Scott told reporters at Montpelier’s Vermont History Museum. “This is the lesson from other countries like China and Italy, where efforts to slow the spread were not implemented early enough and now we see them struggling.” The initial declaration prohibited gatherings of 250 or more people, restricted access to long-term care facilities and expanded unemployment insurance to cover those affected by the disease. It would serve as the legal basis for a series of subsequent orders that would, in the coming days, close down much of the state. “That was the first flare in the air that folks needed to buckle down and hold on,”
MAR. 13 Gov. Scott declares state of emergency; Statehouse closed
THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK
MAR. 15 PreK-12 schools ordered to close SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
The Man Behind the Mask « P.33
MAR. 16 First COVID-19 case detected at Burlington Health & Rehabilitation Center 34
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
New Cases of COVID-19 Diagnosed in Vermont
Rolling average represents the average number of new cases over the previous seven days. 40
20 ROLLING AVERAGE
MAR. 17 Childcare centers ordered to close
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disrupt the lives of medical professionals with children in the system. On the same day Holcombe made her demand — though not as a result of it, administration officials say — Scott ordered schools closed within the next three days. “I think there was a tremendous amount of relief when the decision was made,” French said. Others have criticized the administration for acting too swiftly and failing to consult those affected by a decision. Not long after the Department for Children and Families closed the Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center last month to make room for psychiatric patients diagnosed with COVID-19, two young people escaped from a makeshift replacement facility in St. Albans. Steve Howard, executive director of the Vermont State Employees’ Association, said the incident could have been avoided had Woodside staffers been given the opportunity to weigh in on the suitability and security of the facility. “That was just stupid,” he said. “They needed to slow that down.” The rollout of a plan to require each school district to care for the children of essential workers was equally rushed and required multiple amendments after the fact. Johnson, the House speaker, said that while the process appeared chaotic at
MAR. 19 First two COVID-19 deaths in Vermont
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and calming approach to ease people into each new level of restriction or executive order to ensure that people actually comply with them,” Ashe said. “At the end of this, it’ll be that approach of getting buy-in at each step of the way that will likely be what makes our efforts pay dividends.” Early in the crisis, some Scott critics questioned whether he was moving too slowly. Two days after he declared a state of emergency, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Holcombe called on him to close the state’s schools and criticized him for failing to lay the groundwork for such an action. “Gov. Scott’s response to the coronavirus is inadequate,” she wrote on Twitter on March 15. “The administration must move faster & more aggressively.” Holcombe, who had previously served as Scott’s education secretary, was hardly the only one seeking the dismissal of K-12 schools. Parents, superintendents and the state teachers’ union, the VermontNational Education Association, were all making a similar case. “People were looking for direction,” said Holcombe’s successor, Education Secretary Dan French. In his view, the question wasn’t whether to close the schools but when. Doing so before there was evidence of community spread could prove ineffective, and it would further
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times, such an outcome was likely unavoidable, given the circumstances. “Honestly, with every single [order] I heard some people saying we really needed to do this yesterday or last week, and I’ve heard other people say, ‘What the heck? We’re not there yet!’” she said. “So you’re never gonna hit 100 percent on that. But in the grand scheme of things, I think we did hit the relative sweet spot.”
‘Here We Go’
Former health commissioner Harry Chen was quarantined at home in late March after returning to Vermont from a trip to Uganda to teach emergency medicine. He was restless and wanted to lend a hand. Word of his interest soon reached Smith, the secretary of human services. “Mike Smith called and basically said, ‘We need you,’” recalled Chen, an emergency room doctor who also once held the secretary’s job on an interim basis. “Luckily, I didn’t think about it too much and said, ‘Sure.’” With Levine focused on day-to-day management of the Department of Health, Smith was looking for help planning for a medical surge in the event that the pandemic overwhelmed existing hospital resources. A key component of his work, Chen said, was “beating the bushes for health care providers who aren’t already engaged.”
MAR. 20 Nonessential surgeries ordered to be canceled
MAR. 21 Gatherings restricted to 10 or fewer people; close-contact businesses closed
SOURCE: VERMONT DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH • CHART: ANDREA SUOZZO
said Tayt Brooks, a senior administration staffer. “Your life is going to change.” Over the course of the next week, Scott issued decrees one by one, closing the state’s schools, then its restaurants and bars, then its childcare centers. He suspended nonessential surgeries, further restricted gatherings to just 10 people and shut down “close-contact” businesses, such as gyms and barbershops. Day after day, Scott appeared at press conferences alongside Levine — a tall, gangly physician — to answer questions about each new order and to explain that it had been driven by “the data and the science.” According to Levine, Scott has yet to overrule one of his recommendations, though every significant decision requires sign-off by the governor’s office. “I’d say there wasn’t a lot that we had to really push down anyone’s throat,” the commissioner said, calling the state’s approach “pretty darn aggressive.” The Republican governor’s progressive approach to public health may have something to do with the views of his spouse, Diana McTeague Scott, a nurse at a central Vermont doctor’s office. “I certainly hear about some of the challenges people are facing and the struggles they have,” he said. “So I would say it would have to influence me in some ways.” (Given that she could be exposed to COVID-19 at work, the couple is taking precautions to avoid infecting one another, the governor said; if either experiences symptoms, Scott plans to sleep in his state office.) As Scott rolled out the mitigation measures, he often telegraphed his next move. Advisers say the goal was to avoid surprising Vermonters about what was to come and to give them time to emotionally — and sometimes logistically — prepare. When the governor ordered businesses and nonprofits to implement work-fromhome plans on March 23, for example, he made clear that more draconian measures would follow. Sure enough, the next day he issued his most sweeping directive yet: a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order that closed all but the most critical businesses. Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe (D/P-Chittenden), a frequent adversary, hailed the governor’s communications strategy. “I think he’s just taken a very measured
Smith and Scott, meanwhile, were beating the bushes for other veterans of state government to return to service in a moment of need. Even in the best of times, Vermont’s governors are chronically understaffed — relying on just 17 employees on the fifth floor of the Pavilion to coordinate an 8,300-person workforce spread across nearly 30 agencies and departments. When the governor needed help fixing the messy closure of the state’s childcare system, he turned to an unlikely, bipartisan pair: Neale Lunderville, who had served as Republican governor Jim Douglas’ administration secretary, and Liz Miller, who was Democratic governor Peter Shumlin’s chief of staff. “The call comes, you gotta answer it,” Miller said. “I think I texted Liz something to the effect of, ‘Here we go!’” said Lunderville, who had previously been pressed into service to run Shumlin’s Tropical Storm Irene recovery efforts. Lunderville’s partner, Dennise Casey — who ran two of Douglas’ campaigns and served as deputy chief of staff — also joined the team, as did Clarence Davis, who had recently served as interim deputy secretary of human services. Smith, especially, needed the help. The Agency of Human Services is a massive bureaucracy that accounts for half the state’s spending. It includes the Department of Health and five other departments serving Vermont’s most vulnerable populations — inmates, children, the elderly, the poor and those with mental illness. Near the start of the crisis, Smith recruited Kerry Sleeper, a former public safety commissioner, to serve as his interim deputy secretary. The Vermont native had been commuting to Washington, D.C., for more than a decade and had recently retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “He built the emergency operations center and the operations plans — and we need that integration between AHS and the emergency operations center,” Smith explained. Sleeper said he “couldn’t imagine doing anything else at a time like this, quite honestly,” but he doesn’t intend to stay. “I have assured Mike I’m not interested in a long-term state government role,” Sleeper said. Before the outbreak, the Scott administration was already stocked with veterans of the Douglas administration, including Gibbs, Smith, Brooks, Secretary of
Administration Susanne Young, Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs Brittney Wilson, and director of workforce expansion Dustin Degree. With Lunderville, Casey and Sleeper back in the fold, it might as well have been a cast reunion. “When you’re in a crisis situation, knowing the people that you’re working with and leading with, understanding how they work, having been through previous crises in the past is invaluable,” Sleeper said. “It’s absolutely invaluable.”
MAR. 23 Businesses and nonprofits urged to implement work-from-home procedures
MAR. 24 Vermonters ordered to “Stay Home, Stay Safe”
‘Every Element of the Machine’
At every level of state government, workers have stepped up and, in many cases, taken on new roles to combat the pandemic. Department of Motor Vehicles employees have fielded phone queries for the Department of Labor. State troopers have joined Department of Health staffers in tracing the contacts of COVID-19 patients. Parole officers have relieved corrections officers in the state’s understaffed prisons. State property managers have leased hotels and motels to quarantine the infected. Procurement specialists have helped businesses retool to produce medical supplies. “Every element of the machine has turned towards COVID-19,” said Deputy Commerce Secretary Ted Brady. When Scott needed somebody to model the spread of the coronavirus to determine whether the state had enough equipment and hospital beds, he turned to Pieciak, whose Department of Financial Regulation typically oversees the insurance and banking industries. “I wasn’t anticipating the thought that we might be tasked with looking at the rate of disease growth, but that’s what the governor asked that we coordinate,” said Pieciak, who enlisted the help of academics and consultants. “We certainly said we’d be happy to help.” All the while, many of these state workers have continued to do their day jobs. “Medicaid still needs to run. DCF still needs to manage foster care,” Lunderville said. “It’s an extraordinary burden for folks, and they work around the clock.” In recent weeks, they’ve done so largely from home. Excluding those who work at the state’s 24-hour facilities, such as prisons and mental health institutions, roughly three-quarters of the workforce has gone remote, Young estimated. THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK
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Even the State Emergency Operations Center, which typically operates out of a war room in Waterbury, went fully virtual for the first time last week. According to Bornemann, the emergency management director, doing so was essential to keep her staff safe and ensure continuity of operations — but it also posed new challenges. “It means we have to be a lot more deliberate about deliberating,” she said. “It means we’re on the phone most of the day.” In the early weeks of the outbreak, a skeleton crew of seven senior Scott staffers remained on the fifth floor of the Pavilion. They were required to keep their distance from the governor and closely monitor themselves for symptoms. Last week, in order to protect Scott, Gibbs ordered everyone else home. Only those specifically invited — to staff a press conference, say — are allowed to return. Secretary of Commerce Lindsay Kurrle finds herself running a state agency under the same roof as her three children, ages 13, 17 and 19. That doesn’t mean she has time to ensure that they’re adapting to remote learning. “I am here and I see their faces, but there are times when I get to the evening and I realize I haven’t really been able to check in,” she said. According to Kurrle, Scott frequently touches base with her and fellow cabinet members to make sure they’re coping with the personal strains of the crisis. Those who can’t work from home typically have the hardest, most dangerous and most essential jobs. Chris Cole, commissioner of the Department of Buildings and General Services, calls the custodians and maintenance workers who deep-clean the state’s facilities and keep them running “heroes” of the COVID-19 response. And then there are the corrections officers, at least 18 of whom have already contracted the coronavirus in the state’s prisons. The state workers’ union recently negotiated a $1.50-per-hour premium for those who work in 24-hour facilities or have direct contact with the public. Those who work with or near COVID-19 patients get a larger pay bump of 20 percent. But Howard, the VSEA chief, says that’s not enough to compensate for the hardship and risk. “There’s just real fear. You can hear it in people’s voices,” he said. “‘I don’t want to get sick. I don’t won’t to die. I don’t want to get my family sick.’”
‘The Vermont Method’
Gov. Phil Scott addressing reporters last Friday in Montpelier
‘On Its Own’
Scott has never been fond of President Donald Trump, but he’s been careful to avoid criticizing his fellow Republican’s response to the pandemic — perhaps because the president has taken to using the nation’s emergency supplies to reward his allies and punish his enemies. “I’m sure in the aftermath there will be enough time for criticism, so I’ll just stick to the positive points,” the governor said, singling out for praise Dr. Anthony Fauci, the omnipresent director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah Birx, Trump’s coronavirus response coordinator. Scott also called Vice President Mike Pence, Trump’s coronavirus point man, “extremely helpful” to Vermont. By mid-March, according to Scott, the state was running low on testing supplies and was in danger of running out within days. “So I called Gov. Sununu and I asked him if he happened to have any supplies that we could borrow, because it didn’t appear that the federal government was coming through as quick as we needed,” Scott recalled. Sununu didn’t have any to spare but organized a three-way call with Pence. “We had a good conversation that Saturday afternoon, and he pledged to get us more, which he did, and bailed us out,” Scott said. Others are more direct about the failures of the feds. “We clearly, as a nation, were unprepared — and that’s a fundamental responsibility of the federal government to ensure we are prepared for contingencies,” said Sleeper, the former FBI official and deputy
MAR. 26 Schools ordered closed for remainder of academic year; Vermont unemployment claims soar to 15,000 36
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
conferences, during which he typically delivers a brief pep talk and then recedes to the back of the stage. “In his responses, he’s got the experts with him and he’s deferring to them, rather than answering questions on his own and making stuff up off the top of his head,” observed Johnson, the House speaker. “And unlike the president, this governor is willing to make difficult choices with the specific goal of protecting the health and safety of Vermonters.”
human services secretary. “The state was and is literally on its own in the planning and response realm.” According to Bornemann, Vermont was “operating under the assumption” that it could draw down a vast quantity of gear and equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile. But, she said, “We’ve gotten all we’re going to get.” Levine points to two actions the Trump administration could have taken to contain the outbreak: increase testing capacity and
I would go to war with this guy.
H UMAN S E R VIC E S S E C RETA RY MIK E S MITH
broaden the travel ban from China to Italy and the rest of western Europe earlier than it did. But, the health commissioner said, “We deal with the hand we’re dealt.” Scott’s leadership style couldn’t be more different from Trump’s. Those who work with the governor say he immerses himself in the details of the state’s response but doesn’t pretend to know all the answers. According to Bornemann, he’s the first governor she’s encountered who tunes in every day to the State Emergency Operations Center’s updates. “He’s got his video on. We can all see him in his office,” she said. “Those are important measures to show folks that are on the ground that he cares — that he is very engaged.” The contrast with Trump is particularly clear at Scott’s thrice-weekly press
MAR. 27 President Donald Trump signs third coronavirus relief package into law, providing an estimated $2 billion to Vermont
Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) learned from a congressional colleague that a Connecticut lumber baron was about to order hundreds of thousands of face masks from China to distribute to local health care workers. The man, who regularly did business in China, also had ties to Vermont and wanted to know whether the state was interested in joining the order. Welch quickly informed Lunderville and Miller. “Welch reaches out to us and says, ‘I got this guy, and you need to call him tonight — like, the order’s going in,’” Lunderville said. Scott was on the phone with the Connecticut man in no time. “I said, ‘You don’t know me. I’m Gov. Phil Scott, and this is probably the last thing I ever imagined I would ever be doing — coldcalling someone on a Friday night, asking if they had any N95 masks available,’” Scott recalled. “He said, ‘I’d be more than willing to help Vermont, my second home.’” Welch was impressed. “It was a turnaround time of two hours, if that. And that’s good work,” he said. Now 100,000 surgical masks and 500,000 KN95 masks are on their way to Vermont. “It’s not a typical role,” Schirling, the public safety commissioner, said of the gubernatorial procurement. “The governor is both the lead on all of these things and he steps in to play utility player, as necessary.” When the state realized it needed more ventilators, Scott called Adam Alpert, whose family had recently sold BioTek, the Winooski-based life sciences manufacturer. “I didn’t know why I was calling him, but I thought, Here’s a guy who’s wellconnected throughout the world, and maybe he could help us,” Scott said. Sure enough, Alpert knew the owner of a major ventilator manufacturer and got in THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK
MAR. 30 Travelers ordered to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in Vermont; first COVID-19 case detected at Birchwood Terrace
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S E V E N D AY S V T. C O M / S U P E R - R E A D E R S
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
touch. According to Schirling, the state has since placed an order, though it’s not clear when the ventilators will arrive. “Unfortunately, it’s not like Amazon Prime,” he said. “It really does feel to me like he is engaged, understands the subtlety of the problem,” Alpert said. “I came away kind of inspired … In the crisis that befalls us, he was displaying the kind of qualities I’d hope to see from leadership.” Throughout Vermont, businesses and nonprofits have been working to provide the medical supplies the state desperately needs. Revision Military in Essex has donated face shields, Portabrace in Bennington is producing masks, and Burton in Burlington is donating goggles and masks and manufacturing face shields instead of snowboards. “We’re using the Vermont method, which is: Who do you know?” said Cole, the buildings and general services commissioner, who has coordinated the procurement process with Schirling and Charlie Miceli, a supply chain specialist at the University of Vermont Medical Center. Last month, the trio caught wind that Concept2 — the Morrisville-based rowing machine manufacturer — was working to obtain a large quantity of masks from China to distribute to health care providers in the area. The company’s Shanghaibased parts supplier had relationships with factories that made the masks and was preparing to ship 500,000 to Vermont, according to Trevor Braun, a Concept2 product designer. Within days, the state had piggybacked on the order and purchased another 2 million. “It was really sort of heartening to see how trusting they were of Concept2 and our supplier to bring in critical supplies in a critical time,” Braun said. Those masks reached a Shanghai airport late last week and could arrive in Vermont soon. Al Gobeille, a senior executive at UVM Medical Center and former human services secretary, said the ad hoc procurement process had benefited from the personal familiarity of those involved. He said he’d known Schirling well since Gobeille was running Burlington’s Breakwater Café & Grill and Schirling was the city’s police chief. “So when I called him and said we need to talk about [personal protective equipment], it wasn’t like, ‘Do I trust you?’” APR. 1 First COVID-19 case detected in an officer at Northwest State Correctional Facility 38
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
Gobeille said. “There was never a minute of that.” Sometimes Scott plays an even bigger role in the process. Earlier this month, he saw television news reports showing Vermont National Guard members building a medical surge facility in Essex. He was impressed but also alarmed. “None of them were wearing masks. They weren’t socially distancing,” the governor said. “So I called Tracy [Delude], my scheduler, who does quilting, and I said, ‘Tracy, I need some masks. I need some built. And I’d like some cool kinda masks.’” Delude tracked down a bolt of camouflage fabric, and Scott got in touch with Vermont Glove owner Sam Hooper through his brother, Rep. Jay Hooper (I-Brookfield). “I said, ‘If I can get you this material, can you make me these masks?’” the governor recalled. Two days later, Scott delivered the final product to the Essex surge facility — and kept one camo mask for himself.
‘Everyone Knew That We Were Vulnerable’
Five weeks into the crisis of his career, Scott appears to be getting good marks from most quarters. Even Holcombe, the Democratic rival who initially called his approach “inadequate,” now credits him for “trying to keep us at home, keep us socially distanced and expand the use of testing.” “I appreciate what the governor has done to respond to the public health crisis,” she said. According to Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, who is also seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, Scott “has responded reasonably quickly and relatively effectively.” But the governor is hardly out of the political woods. His decision to shut down large portions of Vermont’s economy has frustrated and confused many business owners, who have closed up shop and laid off tens of thousands of employees. Since Scott issued his “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order last month, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development has received more than 3,700 requests for additional guidance, according to Deputy Secretary Brady. Some have expressed confusion over whether their business must close, while others have complained about competitors flouting the rules. “I think I’m not going out on a limb to say there were entities and companies who APR. 2 State modeling projects peak coronavirus caseload approaching
The Man Behind the Mask
I’m living in dog years, because a day seems like a week, a week seems like a month, a month seems like seven months. GO V. P H IL S C O T T
were not happy to stop work,” said Brooks, the senior Scott staffer. “Most companies do not want to shut down.” Certain sectors, such as the construction industry, have been particularly vocal — arguing that they can perform their work without spreading the disease. “It came as a shock. We’re the only state that has construction shut down to the extent that it’s shut down,” said Dick Wobby, executive vice president of the Associated General Contractors of Vermont and a longtime friend of the governor. “Geez, New Hampshire’s got construction rolling. Maine’s got it. People are dying left and right in New York, and they’ve still got construction going.” Wobby added that “the naysayers” in his industry have since come around and now understand the need to stay home.
APR. 5 Vermont infection rate surpasses 500 cases, 22 deaths
Kurrle, the commerce secretary, said she suspected the decision had weighed heavily on Scott, a former owner of DuBois Construction, the Middlesex excavation company. “If I had to guess, that’s been a really tough one, but he has stood with his conviction that, right now, we need to keep Vermonters healthy and keep them alive,” Kurrle said. In the rush to deploy the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, the administration created unanticipated problems for some industries. The directive required the tourism sector to cease taking reservations for all future visits — including hotel stays for weddings scheduled for 2021. “That is quite puzzling and is something that we are working to get changed,” Vermont Chamber of Commerce president Betsy Bishop said last week. “They’re operating in a very fast-paced way, and all the nuances of the future and road map to recovery probably aren’t top of mind.” Days later, Scott remedied the problem in a new order, allowing reservations after June 15, as long as the state of emergency is over. Scott’s executive orders have also led to mass layoffs. Since mid-March, more than 73,000 Vermonters have filed initial claims for unemployment insurance, catapulting the state’s unemployment rate to 23 percent. “The enormity is just really, really incredible,” said Degree, the director of workforce expansion. “It’s truly massive. The deluge of claims is being processed by the Department of Labor’s 1970s-era IBM COBOL mainframe, which frequently crashes under the burden. Degree refers to it as “legacy software from the silentfilm era.” Complicating matters, Congress recently extended unemployment insurance to sole proprietors and the selfemployed — but left the implementation of the program to the states. Ashe, the Senate president, says he fears the resulting “double tsunami” will overwhelm the department and further delay payments. “We’ve made very clear to the governor that that’s the thing our constituents are suffering from the most right now,” he said. At Scott’s press conference last Friday, Interim Labor Commissioner Michael Harrington acknowledged the hardship the problem has caused. “We can do better, and we will do better,” he pledged. Though Scott is hopeful his executive orders have spared the lives of many Vermonters, they did not prevent the fatal
APR. 9 Universal testing at Northwest State Correctional Facility detects major COVID-19 outbreak
APR. 10 All emergency orders extended through May 15
Downtown St. Albans outbreak at Burlington Health & Rehab, nor a more recent one at Burlington’s Birchwood Terrace nursing home, which has claimed three residents. And if more inmates and officers at Northwest State Correctional Facility — or the state’s five other prisons — become infected with COVID-19, the outcome could get even deadlier. “I don’t know what we could have done differently, but certainly those are areas that weigh heavily on me, because I knew that we were vulnerable there,” Scott said of Vermont’s nursing homes and correctional facilities. “Everyone knew that we were vulnerable, and we weren’t able to keep that from happening.” For weeks, the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont and other criminal justice reform groups have urged the administration to provide medical furlough to prisoners who are old or unwell, arguing that doing so could save their lives. Though the Department of Corrections has recently reduced its in-state prison population from 1,649 to 1,413, it has resisted implementing a broad-based furlough initiative. At the governor’s press conference last Friday, Smith struck an unusually caustic tone, insisting that he would not release “hard-core criminals” and listing the violent offenses committed by many older prisoners. Scott and Levine both blame the federal government for providing insufficient testing resources early in the outbreak. “I have no regrets about anything beforehand, because it was all out of our state’s control,” the health commissioner said. “But now that it’s in our control, I feel very positive about the fact that the first thing I said was, ‘We’re gonna do more testing.’” At the same time, Levine continues to insist that, even if every Burlington Health & Rehab patient had been tested as soon as the first was diagnosed on March 16, his department would not have responded differently. “All of the things that our [epidemiological] teams do when they go into a facility like that are done whether you’re testing or not,” he said. Similarly, even though at least 32 prisoners at Northwest State were infected before any showed symptoms, the Department of Health does not plan to test inmates at the other state prisons until “we have a reason to do so,” Smith said.
‘A Different Normal’
Every decision Scott has made since the coronavirus reached Vermont, he said, has felt like “the biggest, most difficult decision” yet. But, he added, “I think that the decisions of the future may be even more difficult.”
Unlike Trump, who promised weeks ago that church pews would be filled by Easter Sunday, Scott has studiously avoided setting expectations for when he might lift his executive orders. Naming an arbitrary date, he has said, would be irresponsible. Even when he recently extended all of his existing orders through May 15, he made clear that his timelines could still shift forward or backward. At a press conference on Monday, Scott acknowledged that the extension “was a disappointment for many,” but he and Levine suggested there was reason for optimism. “The number of new cases per day is getting smaller, and it’s leveling off,” Levine said. “We seem to be approaching, if you will, a plateau. We’ll see if that is a sustained phenomenon or just a trend over several days.” And while the commissioner acknowledged that the risk of infection was still great for vulnerable Vermonters in prisons, nursing homes and other such facilities, he emphasized that the state had avoided “major outbreaks or spikes” in the general population. The administration is already planning for the next stages of its response. Last weekend, Levine named a group of experts to study the serological testing that may help determine who has developed immunity to COVID-19 and can therefore safely return to work. On Tuesday, Scott appointed a task force to consider how to reopen and rebuild Vermont’s economy. He also spoke by phone with Sununu and Maine Gov. Janet Mills about the states’ respective approaches and how they could coordinate. Scott said at Monday’s press conference that he would take a “phased approach” to dismantling the new regime he has created. “We will continue to watch the trend and our hospital capacity so that as soon as we can begin to dial back some of these steps in a measured, responsible, safe manner, we will,” he said. Someday, the governor promised, “We’ll slowly be able to get back to normal.” But, he warned, “It may be a different normal than we had before.” m Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Disclosures: Paul Heintz’s spouse, Shayla Livingston, works for the Vermont Department of Health. Tim Ashe is the domestic partner of Seven Days publisher and coeditor Paula Routly. Find our conflict-of-interest policy at sevendaysvt.com/disclosure.
DELIVERS FOR YOU!
A list of shops that are still open with curbside or delivery.
Give them a call or order online!
Ace Hardware ........................................................................... (802) 527-7007 As the Crow Flies .................................................................... (802) 782-4147 Beverage Mart ......................................................................... (802) 527-7437 Bob's Meat Market ................................................................. (802) 524-6195 Boston Tailoring ..................................................................... (802) 524-5686 Dollar Tree ................................................................................. (802) 528-0031 Eaton’s Fine Jewelry ................................................... email@example.com The Eloquent Page ................................................................ (802) 527-7243 Family Dollar ............................................................................ (802) 524-5927 Food City .................................................................................... (802) 524-5453 The Frozen Ogre ..................................................................... (802) 527-1200 Green Mountain Hemp Company ..................................... (802) 782-8416 Hometown Beverage............................................................ (802) 752-4130 Petals and Blooms ................................................................. (802) 782-9002 Rail City Market....................................................................... (802) 524-3769 Rail City Salon .......................................................................... (802) 527-5027 Revive Salon & Spa ................................................................ (802) 527-2000 St. Albans Co-op Store ......................................................... (802) 524-6581 Village Frame Shoppe .......................................................... (802) 524-3699 The UPS Store .......................................................................... (802) 782-8326 What a Yarn ............................................................................... (802) 393-0121 4t-CityofStAlbansDowntown041520.indd 1
4/13/20 10:47 AM
Healthcare Workers First Responders
Delivery Drivers and Mail Carriers Seven Days and all the Local Journalists
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and many others! 4t-deborahbrouwer041520.indd 1
to all our
keeping our community going! We will all get
together. SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
4/8/20 3:04 PM
The Quarantine Diarist Sheltering in place, a Vermont-born actor performs — and multiplies — for social media B Y CH E L SEA ED GAR
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
PHOTOS COURTESY OF JACOB TISCHLER
t the beginning of March, 29-year- old actor Jacob Tischler moved to New York City and got a job as a bartender at the Belasco Theatre in Times Square. On Thursday, March 12, his second and final day of work, Broadway suspended all performances amid growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, and the Belasco went dark. That Sunday, with no job prospects on the horizon, Tischler left his apartment in Queens and set out in his Toyota Prius for his parents’ house in Williston, where he has been rusticating ever since. To cope with being unemployed and sequestered at home, he began filming short sketches of life in hermitage and uploading them to Facebook and Instagram. In most of the videos, he performs both as himself and his doppelgänger, with whom he quarrels, processes his anxieties, and plays the occasional game of rock, paper, scissors. In one sketch, Tischler One stumbles upon Tischler Two fishing in a pond, using his headshot and résumé as bait. “Someone’s gonna bite!” Tischler Two insists, his voice quavering a few notes below hysteria. In another, Tischler One and Two sit across from each other at a picnic table, eating almonds and arguing about whether actors should be considered essential workers. To drive home the point that actors do not, in fact, save lives, Tischler Two pretends to choke to death on an almond while Tischler One drones on in an impassioned defense of theater. A mischievous little banana peel of a jazz ditty, reminiscent of the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” theme, drifts along beneath the dialogue. Over the past few weeks, his daily posts have gained a devoted following. “I’m honestly living for these right now,” one person wrote in response to the fishing video. “I don’t have the power to make you an essential business,” reads a comment on the picnic table sketch, “but I will let you know that you (and your posts) have become an essential part of my day.” Tischler is five-foot-nine-and-threequarters, with dark, extremely healthylooking hair. His Instagram bio proclaims him “the slowmo high-fiver from Broad City’s ‘Fattest Asses’ episode.” When he appeared as the showman Cosmo Brown in a Maryland theater production of Singin’ in the Rain, the Washington Post called his
Jacob Tischler and his doppelgänger sharing a moment over a bowl of rising sourdough
performance “a lung-bursting display of sheer vaudevillian prowess.” Tischler got his theatrical start at age 8, at the Circus Smirkus youth camp in Greensboro. He returned every summer and toured around the Northeast with the troupe until he left Vermont to study acting at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Among the skills he lists on his current résumé, lately repurposed as fishing tackle, are advanced juggling, pillow spinning and balancing a chair on his face. Since he graduated from college in 2013, Tischler has performed with theater companies throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic. He gravitates toward roles that demand a certain degree of antic flamboyance: In 2017, he played Tony Manero, also known as John Travolta’s character, in a Philadelphia theater company production of Saturday Night Fever; that same year, he appeared on the stage of the Highland Center for the Arts in Greensboro as Nick Bottom, the quintessential Shakespearean fool in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “With Tischler’s background in clowning, he knows how to connect with an audience,” said Josh Shack, director of programming and alumni relations at Circus Smirkus, who has known Tischler since his Smirkus days. “There’s an
Tischler One and Tischler Two quarreling over almonds
element of acknowledging that it’s a live performance, that what you’re seeing is happening in the moment,” he added. That sense of authentic, disheveled spontaneity happens to be a key ingredient in a successful social media presence, particularly at a time when vast swaths of the population haven’t zipped
themselves into a pair of skinny jeans in at least a month. Anyone who appears to have had a professional haircut probably isn’t practicing social distancing and, therefore, should not be trusted. Tischler, who was clean-shaven when he began his quarantine sketches, now sports a compulsory scruff, his razor long forgotten in Queens. When he started posting his selfisolation content in mid-March, Tischler had about 1,800 Instagram followers; since then, he’s gained at least 600 more. But he doesn’t like to think about the videos as a vehicle for his personal brand. “I feel like it’s dangerous for anyone to enter the social media world with the aim of growing their audience and seeking validation,” he said. “Honestly, my biggest success so far is that I haven’t run out of new ideas.” His ideas seem to possess a caffeine-like potency: Tischler said he’s been waking up at 6 a.m. every day without an alarm, his nerves jangling. In a phone interview in early April, Tischler said that making the quarantine videos has effectively become a full-time job, an expenditure of physical and mental resources that he deems “dumb.” “It’s the best worst job ever!” he exclaimed. “Never
in my life have I created this much in such anxious overachiever in a short-sleeve a short period!” white button-down. The latter is usually In the absence of the familiar rhythms the bane of Tischler’s existence. “The guy of work and rehearsals, he’s poured his in white is really my worst self,” he admitenergy into the high-wire act of making ted. “I kept messing up his part, because art to get himself from one day to the next. whenever you’re trying to be someone Given the increasingly bleak outlook for who’s obsessed with not messing up, you industries that rely on human gatherings mess up the most.” for revenue, Tischler can’t help but worry That introspective tendency lends that he might not have a career on the Tischler’s work an intimate, almost other side of this pandemic. therapeutic quality. But he also has a “I have phone appointments with self-deprecating streak, which keeps his my therapist every Friday at 10 a.m., material from becoming shtick. One of and whenever we try to discuss that, we his recent productions was inspired by realize that there is literally zero point an episode of real-life self-flagellation: in talking about it,” he said. “I don’t like He embarked on a recipe for a red-winethe idea that every single investment braised pot roast, only to discover that he I’ve made toward my career has been had accidentally defrosted a pork shoulfor naught. I don’t like the idea that der. He spiraled. His mother, seeing his I’m still paying $1,000 a month for my agony, piled on in jest: “‘How could you apartment. have done this!’” Tischler howled over the “So we talk about day-to-day strategies phone, imitating her faux disgust. “‘This — how to stay connected is the worst thing that’s to people, how to exist ever happened! You’re with my parents in this not worthy of life!’” confined space,” Tischler A few days later, he continued. “And the turned this harangue weird dialogue that goes into a sketch, which on with me is that I have features Tischler One moods, things that I’m unsuccessfully attemptjustified in feeling bad ing to juggle while about, and I don’t want Tischler Two lounges to impose them on my in a chair nearby. When parents.” Tischler One drops Creating videos has his juggling pins in JACOB TISCHLER become a sort of life raft. despair, bemoaning his Each morning, Tischler ineptitude, Tischler Two writes songs and sketches, then spends begins to castigate him. “You know what? the day filming and editing them on his You’re right. You’re actually right,” he iPhone; if he gets a call or text in the says, pointing to his chest. “I hurt here.” middle of recording, he has to start all His parents join the mockery, yowling over again. their disappointment. One of Tischler’s recurring bits is a That scenario offers a peek into barbershop quartet, which he dubbed the Tischler’s proclivity toward perfectionBarnies in honor of the New London Barn ism, which this period of retreat has Playhouse in New London, N.H., one of allowed him to mine for his art. In New his theatrical alma maters. Multiplying York, he said, he existed in a perpetual himself by four requires painstaking state of worry, a sense that he was always work: A recent Barnies number, one of staving off failure. Tischler’s original compositions, took “I say that with a great amount of nearly five hours to shoot and edit. He gratitude, because I know how fortunate filmed separate takes for each member I am to have the opportunities I’ve had,” of the quartet, taking care to position he said. “But honestly, I’m really enjoying himself so that an elbow or a shadow myself here, and I feel incredibly lucky to wouldn’t disappear into the crease have had this time to exercise my creative between the frames when he spliced muscles.” them all together. When Tischler eventually does go (In fact, Tischler has harnessed this back, he hopes that New York will be an technological void to artistic effect: entirely different city — a place where, Another of his videos features Tischler just maybe, he can stop being so hard on One vanishing into the great in-between, himself. m then reemerging, panicked and shirtless, as Tischler Two looks on in horrified Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org disbelief.) Each of the Barnies has a distinct INFO persona, from an agreeably stoned- Find Jacob Tischler’s quarantine videos on seeming dude in a jean jacket to an Instagram: @yaycub.tischler.
NEVER IN MY LIFE HAVE I CREATED THIS MUCH IN SUCH A SHORT PERIOD!
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SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
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Local businesses are answering the call
Burton staff are swapping lenses from mirrored to amber on some of the 1,300 Helix goggles Anon donated to Goggles for Docs. The amber tint will be easier to use in a hospital setting, and the Helix model fits over existing eyeglasses.
Surgeon Catherine Logan, MD wearing a pair of donated goggles.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF BURTON SNOWBOARDS
he snowboarding season ended early this year; by the end of March, ski resorts from Bolton to British Columbia had shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of wallowing in grief, the staff of Burlingtonbased Burton Snowboards took action. “Right now,” reads a post on the company’s blog, “the question on our minds isn’t: When can we snowboard again? It’s: What can we do to help?” Burton is just one of dozens of local businesses that have stepped up to help Vermont communities during this unprecedented crisis. Local entrepreneurs and their staffs have devised creative ways to strengthen our communities and fill the gaps in our social safety net. Some are making donations; others have shifted their businesses to respond to local needs. Read on to learn about some of their efforts. We hope they inspire you to buy local next time you make a purchase, rather than looking for the cheapest item on Amazon. Jeff Bezos is not going to make face masks for you or deliver pastries to your town’s first responders.
SKIRACK in Burlington is donating ski goggles to Goggles for Docs, which distributes goggles to doctors who need protective equipment. BIRCHGROVE BAKING in Montpelier now offers “Sweeten a Day” boxes. From their Facebook page: “When you order one, we will box up a selection of our day’s pastries and distribute them to the local hospital, police and fire department. Support a small business and our community’s frontline workers all at once.” 42
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
In a blog post entitled “How We’re Joining the Fight Against COVID-19 and How You Can, Too,” BURTON SNOWBOARDS lists the ways it’s aiding the effort. These include: • Donating half a million KN95 masks to hospitals. The first shipment of 200,000 went to hospitals in Vermont and to DartmouthHitchcock medical center in New Hampshire; the next shipment is bound for New York City. • Transitioning its Burlington prototyping facility from producing
snowboards to making face shields for hospitals. • Donating 1,300 Anon goggles to Goggles for Docs. • Giving health care workers access to a 50 percent discount on Burton merchandise, “so when you’ve made it through the front lines, you can enjoy your own line in the mountains.”
THE SKINNY PANCAKE is feeding Vermonters in need through a new program called ShiftMeals: a local food response to COVID-19. Created in partnership with the Intervale Center, the Vermont Community Foundation and the High Meadows Fund, ShiftMeals are prepared in the Skinny Pancake’s food commissary in Winooski and delivered to sites in
JEFF BEZOS IS NOT GOING TO MAKE A FACE MASK FOR YOU OR DELIVER PASTRIES TO YOUR TOWN’S FIRST RESPONDERS. AQUA VITEA KOMBUCHA of Middlebury has come up with a new use for the alcohol it extracts from its kombucha. According to its Facebook page: “We’re diverting this resource to make Surface Cleaner for our medical community, and partnering with Barr Hill Gin (made by CALEDONIA SPIRITS) to produce Hand Sanitizer. Every time you purchase our Kombucha, the extracted alcohol from your bottle will end up in the hands of people that need it. We’re all in this together.” SILO DISTILLERY has also started producing alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Other businesses producing sanitizer include LUNAROMA and SAIL VT.
Burlington, Montpelier, Waterbury and Quechee. Anyone can sign up for a meal or donate to the cause at skinnypancake.com/shiftmeals. According to the website: “We serve anyone and everyone who needs a meal: laid-off restaurant workers, musicians, artists, gig workers, farmers, anyone affected by this crisis. You might not have the cash, you might not have access to the store, it doesn’t matter, if you need help, we’re here for you.” An April 10 Facebook post noted that ShiftMeals had delivered 640 meals that day to more than 200 individuals and families. Sign up for a meal or donate to the cause at skinnypancake.com/ shiftmeals.
P R O D U C E D B Y 7 D B R A N D S T U D I O — P A I D F O R B Y P O M E R L E A U R E A L E S TAT E
How can you help local businesses?
Restaurants, retailers and other businesses play a vital role in our community, and right now, they’re struggling.
Order from a local restaurant. Find Vermont restaurants offering takeout, delivery and curbside service at Seven Days’ new directory, updated daily: goodtogovermont.com.
Buy a gift card or season pass. Buy a gift card or season pass — or become a member. For example, Flynn membership begins at $50 a year and includes discounts and advance ticketing opportunities.
Shop local online. Some Vermont retailers are still fulfilling orders through their websites and even offering discounts on in-state delivery.
Call a local store to get the latest info. Don’t just rely on online information or social media — pick up the phone. During the coronavirus chaos, many small businesses don’t have time to update their websites.
Pay a little extra to support a local retailer. Consider it an investment in your community. Think you found a better deal on Amazon? Ask yourself: When was the last time Amazon donated to local charities or sponsored local events?
What are you doing to break the Amazon habit? Share your story about buying local with this hashtag or by visiting sevendaysvt.com/savelocalvt. You’ll be entered to win a gift card to a local restaurant or store — extra credit for creativity! Dazzle us, and we’ll publish your contributions to inspire your neighbors.
Before you buy... THINK LOCAL • SHOP LOCAL • ACT LOCAL • SAVE LOCAL Burlington-based virtual bookkeeping service RECONCILED is oﬀering free 20-minute CFO consultations for business owners who need help applying for SBA assistance or who could use some expert bookkeeping advice. Learn more at getreconciled. co/covid-19resources.
Employees at VERMONT TEDDY BEAR in Shelburne have switched from producing the company’s signature product to making cloth masks with donated materials. Cathy Carlisle of Vermont Teddy Bear told WCAX-TV that the company hopes to make and distribute 3,000 of
these now-essential items. “We are giving priority to anyone who is in the medical profession in one way or another, whether it is veterinary medicine, nursing homes — we have given some to janitors, those who clean our building,” she said. Seven Days circulation director Matt Weiner
picked up a donation of 20 of them for the paper’s delivery drivers. FAT HEN CLOTHING CO. in Quechee is also giving away handmade cloth masks to local groups and individuals. The retailer’s employees had sewn 1,200 of them as of Tuesday. LITTLE MOROCCO CAFÉ in Burlington’s Old North End is closed for takeout, but the restaurant is serving free hot soup and rice three times a week from 3 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. STOWE STREET CAFÉ in Waterbury is also making and distributing free community meals. Businesses using 15 or more computers can get a free consultation with NPI TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT of South Burlington. Its website promises that NPI will “answer your questions and provide technical advice on remote-workplace issues — and we won’t make it a sales call.” The company has also compiled remote-working tips at npi.net/ making-the-remote-workplace-work. TRENT’S BREAD in Westford has been donating more than 100 loaves a week to local food shelves, including Feeding Chittenden. Bread baker Trent Cooper — who took over Gérard’s Bread Bakery — said people who need bread can email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Union Street Media founder Ted Adler, Nicole Junas Ravlin of JunaPR and former Burlington Free Press publisher Brad Robertson created LOVE VERMONT, a free, pop-up directory of local businesses selling merchandise or taking orders online. The site also includes links to businesses’ GoFundMe campaigns. As of press time, the site oﬀered more than 200 options. According to the Love Vermont FAQ page: “It’s our hope that by providing this resource, we’ll be able to mobilize loyal customers to provide much-needed support for their favorite places in town.” ■ THIS ARTICLE WAS COMMISSIONED AND PAID FOR BY:
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
King Arthur Flour’s Martin Philip talks sourdough, social media and baking with kids B Y MAR GAR ET GRAYSON
uring the coronavirus pandemic, every day at King Arthur Flour is like the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, according to baker Martin Philip. As more people stay home, they’re turning to their kitchens to feed their families and pass the time. And Norwich-based King Arthur, which has long maintained a baker’s hotline and robust social media presence, is often where they turn for baking advice. In March, King Arthur received more than 34,500 messages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, a 228 percent increase over March 2019 numbers. The company’s 25-person call center received more than 23,000 calls in a month. On social media, King Arthur representatives respond to nearly every comment, offering tips, applauding inventive suggestions and acknowledging frustrations about the difficulties bakers now have finding flour and yeast on grocery store shelves. “I think that nobody in the industry does it in the way that we do it, with the energy that we do it with and the intention to share our joy for baking, however it manifests,” Philip said. “We’re breaking all the records.” A professional baker at King Arthur since 2006 and the author of Breaking Bread: A Baker’s Journey Home in 75 Recipes, Philip typically teaches classes
and consults with professional clients. Now, he’s filming his home baking for the King Arthur social media channels, offering advice on how to dive into bread making and work with whatever is in your pantry. Philip spoke to Seven Days on the phone in early April from his home in White River Junction. SEVEN DAYS: Can you give me an overview of what the last few weeks have looked like for you and for King Arthur? MARTIN PHILIP: Like for many businesses, this has just never happened before, on so many different levels. King Arthur was, I think, ahead of the curve a little bit in trying to assess and identify the need for people to work remotely. So I’ve been at home for — I’ve lost track of days. It might have been a year, but I think it was probably more like a couple weeks. I’m baking all the time at home, with my son. I recognize everything that I’m baking, and I’m using a
lot of the same words that I always use. But the playing field has totally changed. There really is very little to sort of grasp on to, in terms of things that are recognizable, beyond baking, which is why I think people are gravitating toward that. It’s something that brings us together and fosters community. It’s comforting, and it’s also a distraction. It fosters focus and quiet. SD: You folks have been doing a lot on social media and seeing increased engagement. What kinds of questions are people asking? MP: They especially want to bake bread right now. It’s a lot of, “How do I make bread? What do you need to make bread? Can I start sourdough today and then make sourdough bread tomorrow?” If only. We’re getting a lot of substitution questions right now, too: “Can I use white whole wheat in a recipe that calls for all-purpose?” We are proud to be a resource for those kinds of questions and support bakers. SD: King Arthur social media comments seem to be mostly really happy. But people are still stressed and frustrated if they can’t get all the ingredients they LOAFING AROUND
Homemade bread baked by Seven Days reporter Margaret Grayson
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
The Need to Knead
An isolated writer and mom joins the bread-making legions B Y M ARY A NN L I CKTE IG
THE FOLK HOUR
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MARY ANN LICKTEIG
hen I came home from Costco a few weeks ago loaded with toilet paper and wine, I joked to my neighbor that I was ready to shelter in place. But the concept of social isolation was getting serious a few days later when I stood in the baking aisle at my local grocery store, feeling compelled to buy yeast. You don’t bake bread, I told myself, as an internal conversation ensued. It just seems like I should buy yeast. We’ve got to be ready to hunker down and stay put. With yeast, flour, water and salt, we can make bread. People have done this for millennia. So I bought the yeast, a single strip of three quarter-ounce packets. I soon wished that I had bought more. I baked three loaves of bread within a week. Needing to restock flour and yeast, I found that Market 32 and Shaw’s were out of both. Later, reading comments posted on a King Arthur Flour bread recipe, I noticed that many of them were recent. Everyone’s baking bread, I thought. A phone chat with company reps confirmed it. Traffic to King Arthur’s website was at record highs. Perennially most-searched recipe Easy Cheesecake had been booted to No. 18. The top 15 were all bread related. Ha! my savvy-shopper self gloated to She Who Dared to Question. So baking bread was a good idea. Actually, I’ve long wanted to master baking with yeast. Years ago, I even harbored the notion of baking all of my family’s bread. I also planned to clean out the attic as soon as all four of my kids were in school. The youngest will graduate high school in three years, but the attic is still packed, and bread making still strikes me as an elusive art, a mystical alchemy of science and secrets gradually revealed over time. But I’m diving in. And it’s not because I think stores are going to run out of bread; I just feel compelled to make my own. It’s part nesting, part therapy and part proving that, despite being laid off, I can still produce something useful.
THURSDAYS > 6:00 P.M.
Loaves of hearth bread coming out of the oven
However you psycho-slice it, the virus shooting around the globe triggered my baking instinct. Once colleges shifted to online classes and my daughter returned home, all of my hatchlings were back under my wing. Not only home but virtually forbidden to leave the nest. Instantly, I started flitting about — tidying, sweeping, scrubbing, vacuuming, spritzing, shining. If we’re going to be housebound around the clock, I thought, it should feel nice to be here. And safe: Those spray bottles are filled with bleach water. And there are mouths to feed! The first two days, I whipped up two loaves of pumpkin bread and veggie lasagna. More than ever, feeding my family wholesome, homemade food feels paramount — though not necessarily to them. In addition to my daughter in college, I have three sons in high school. One of them teased apart that lasagna, curled his lip and scoffed, “Are those carrots?” He and his brothers eat a lot of scrambled eggs, cold cereal, and boxed mac and cheese. But even they are now baking. The carrot hater made lemon bars, and one of his brothers has made Ina Garten’s sour cream coffee cake three times.
HOWEVER YOU PSYCHO-SLICE IT,
THE VIRUS SHOOTING AROUND THE GLOBE TRIGGERED MY BAKING INSTINCT.
BAKING NEEDS COVERED! Stocking flour, yeast and more 8 SO. MAIN STREET ST. ALBANS
My husband, who had never in his life 524-3769 made a batch of cookies, stirred up Joy Curbside pick-up available the Baker’s brown butter chocolate chip cookies, and my daughter made them a RAILC IT Y M ARK E T V T.CO M few days later. Yes, baking is something to do, but for me it’s more than that. It’s an attempt to 12v-RailCityMarket041520.indd 1 4/13/20 keep harm at bay and to maintain some sense of control. While the coronavirus swirls around out there, I need to feel safe in here. Disinfecting doorknobs and light switches provides some peace of mind; baking provides an opportunity to nurture. Bonus: aromatherapy. Much, of course, is out of my control. My dad lives in a nursing home in the Midwest. He’s 89 and frail, and it seems like he’s in a tinderbox. I can’t protect him. I can’t visit him. But I can call and I can write letters. I also can scoop flour into a measuring cup, tap the side so it settles and then level it with a knife, the way my mom taught me. I can pack brown sugar into a measuring cup and then admire the clean, exact With your shape it retains after it falls into a mixing financial support, bowl. I can slide a teaspoon up the side of we’ll keep a baking soda box to fill, pack and smooth it in one precise motion. delivering and Baking is therapy, agree many of the making sense thousands now posting on Instagram of the news. with hashtags such as #coronabaking, #stressbaking and #quarantinebaking. SEVENDAYSVT.COM/SUPER-READERS
THE NEED TO KNEAD
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Loafing Around « P.44 need. How does your team handle more disgruntled comments and messages? MP: I think that what we try and do is be really consistent in our messaging and explain the problem. The reality is that there’s been quite a rush on ingredients. Grocery stores are open fewer hours with reduced staffing. And those staffing shortages extend all the way up the supply chain. Fortunately, there is no lack of wheat supply. There’s plenty of wheat that can be milled. It’s just a matter of things being replenished, and we ask for everyone’s patience. I think the vast majority of people understand that these are unprecedented times. I have begun to see pictures and news coming from customers from all over the country of flour on the shelves. My wife shopped today for the first time in a week and a half. She said there was flour on the shelves in Hannaford. SD: So you’re buying your flour just like everybody else? You’re waiting for it to come into the grocery store — no inside track? MP: Not really. We’re in the same boat as everybody, and I don’t feel like it’s fair for me to cut the line, anyway. My only inside track is that [at King Arthur] we have a studio, which is well stocked, and we had to cancel all shooting, so we have some flour in there kicking around. I can go in there and sort of pilfer. But the other day I was down to a cup or two. And I said, “Man, what am I going to do?” That’s when I started thinking about tortillas. I took a regular white flour tortilla recipe and subbed in buckwheat and whole wheat and all these other things. It’s not just being frugal. It’s also a matter of boosting flavor. We’re making it work like everybody else. SD: Do you have any frequently asked sourdough questions or troubleshooting tips that you find are helpful to people?
IF THE PEOPLE IN YOUR HOUSE LIKE THE BREAD YOU MAKE,
THEN WHAT YOU’RE DOING IS GOOD ENOUGH. MARTIN P H IL IP
SD: My last question for you is about what, for me, is the most dreaded part of the baking process. What’s your strategy for doing the dishes? MP: When I bake, there are no dishes. MP: I’ll give you my stump speech. Begin with high-quality ingredients that are consistent. That’s a great place to start with any type of baking. Measure them properly. There’s no guesstimating with a digital scale. If you take 10 people in a room and you have everybody scoop a cup of flour, there will be 10 different results. But if you have everybody scoop 120 grams — now we’re talking. What a lot of people forget as it relates to bread is that the yeasts, which are present in either commercial yeast or in the sourdough culture, are ambient beasts. They respond to their environment. Temperature controls are more important than people realize. And make sure that you’re using a recipe that is tried and true. Don’t necessarily chase the first rabbit-hole recipe that you find on the internet. Find a source that you know is reliable, that tests their recipes not once or twice but 25 or 50 times. Don’t waste your valuable ingredients. I find it all interesting because it’s what I do, but at the end of the day, there’s an old French saying: The proof
The Need to Knead « P.45 Experts agree, too. “Baking has the benefit of allowing people creative expression,” Donna Pincus, an associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at Boston University, told HuffPost in 2017. “There’s a lot of literature for connection between creative expression and overall wellbeing.” Baking, Pincus continued, is an exercise in mindfulness and can reduce stress. “Baking actually requires a lot of full attention,” she said. “You have to measure, focus physically on rolling out dough.” 46
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
SD: Do you have any particular tips for people who haven’t baked with their kids before and want to start? MP: Start with things that are short, that they can eat quickly. Sourdough bread may be that thing where they’re like, “What, come back tomorrow? This sucks.” Do things that they can see — beginning, middle and end — and that they can also touch. Have them help with mixing. I don’t know if I’m uptight in the kitchen, but I like things to look nice and have a good texture and those things. But let them make some shapes, proof them and put them in the oven and see how it goes. Be willing to take some risks. I think you’d be surprised what they become in terms of serious bakers.
comes out of the oven. If you think about it in relation to baseball, it doesn’t really matter how cool the windup looks. What matters is how the ball crosses the plate. Baking is the same way. If the people in your house like the bread you make, then what you’re doing is good enough. Let that be your proof. SD: Your son, Arlo, has appeared in some of your videos. Did you guys bake together often before this? MP: We call him the roti master because, since he was a little kid, he was there with the longest tongs I could find in the house, flipping a roti — which is like a stovetop naan. I think the kids have it in their veins. My middle child  has a little cottage cupcake thing going on, and she makes fantastic cupcakes. My oldest  has had her hands in the mixing bowl since before I was even a professional baker. I feel like I’ve been lucky to get Arlo  involved. And he’s been loving it. The comments have just been insanely positive. So many people are sort of uplifted by seeing us work together.
Kneading bread is a meditation. You fold the dough toward yourself, push it away with the heels of your hands, turn it 90 degrees and do it again, over and over, while inhaling the earthy, nutty smell of yeast. So many people are doing more important things than I am during this pandemic. They’re taking care of the sick and the elderly; hustling to develop vaccines, medications and ventilators; driving buses; running grocery stores and pharmacies; and riding a 24-hour torrent of breaking news to keep us informed. I stay home and keep my kids at home. I help them study for math tests
SD: What? MP: If I’m making bread, I mix in the bowl, and as I’m mixing I scrape down the sides. The dough ferments in the bowl. When I’m ready to shape, I scrape it out, and the bowl really needs very little work. Bread in general requires few tools. The big tool that we use, you carry around with you all day. It’s your hands. At the bakery at King Arthur, there’s a reason that the dish pit is on the pastry side and not on the bread side. Pastry is a little bit more painful. A good strategy is to have a bowl with leftover dishwater in it. And as soon as you use a tool, put it in the water, and it will clean up much more easily. And you can always selectively apply that other rule, which is that if you cook you don’t clean. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length. Contact: email@example.com
INFO Learn more at King Arthur Flour on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or at kingarthurflour.com.
and edit some of their essays. But really, they don’t want much help. It’s my nature to feel like I am never doing enough. I’ve now baked five loaves of bread. (I struck gold when I found a one-pound block of vacuum-sealed yeast at Market 32. And then flour — all-purpose and bread flour — at City Market, Onion River Co-op.) A run on staples is sure to be one of the lasting memories of COVID-19. This pandemic is historic, heartbreaking and scary. And we can’t see the end yet. But when bread hits the oven in my kitchen, instantly — if temporarily — all smells right with the world.
From our family to yours,
thinking of friends, patrons and loved ones. We are committed to community and looking forward to a time when we can all break bread together again.
SERVING UP FOOD NEWS BY JORDAN BARRY
FILE: HANNAH PALMER EGAN
Produce from LePage Farm at the Capital City Farmers Market
Oﬀ the Market FARMERS MARKETS TEMPORARILY SHUTTERED UNDER “STAY HOME, STAY SAFE” ORDER
As the winter farmers market season wraps up this month, market managers and their advisory boards have anxiously awaited guidelines from the state for how they can adapt their operations for the summer season during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a call with farmers market managers, farmers and partner organizations on Friday, April 10 — followed up with a document signed by Secretary of Agriculture ANSON TEBBETTS later that day — the VERMONT AGENCY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS communicated that farmers markets are not deemed essential under Gov. Phil Scott’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order and therefore cannot operate. According to the guidance document, the closures are temporary and “the State and many of its wonderful farmers markets have been discussing potential mechanisms for markets to operate during this public health crisis, and we expect to allow some form of a farmers market in the very near future.” Prior to Friday’s guidance, markets across the state had already put measures in place to ensure proper social distancing and minimize personto-person contact, including drivethrough models, online ordering and no-interaction pickup systems. Several markets, including the BURLINGTON FARMERS MARKET and the STOWE FARMERS MARKET, planned to delay the start of their summer seasons. In a meeting of the state SENATE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE on April 9, held on Zoom and livestreamed on YouTube, Agency of Agriculture representative ABBEY WILLARD told senators that the guidance expected Friday would be “reasonable” and “not that surprising to
folks who have been paying attention and following the guidance so far.” Willard said the Scott administration was looking at protocols for limiting person-to-person contact at farmers markets, including preordering and drop-off arrangements for essential food items. “It’s not going to be the same type of event that we typically associate farmers markets with, unfortunately,” Willard said. “But I believe it’s going to provide an aggregated space for Vermont farmers to reach a variety of customers and get their product out to people who are more comfortable purchasing and buying curbside from farmers they know.” Partway through Friday morning’s call with Tebbetts, market managers were surprised to hear that no form of farmers market, even those with adaptations to limit person-to-person contact, could be held. The NORTHEAST ORGANIC FARMING ASSOCIATION OF VERMONT has been an outspoken advocate for the safe continuation of farmers markets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with the VERMONT FARMERS MARKET ASSOCIATION, NOFA-VT has published a proposal outlining recommendations for markets to operate “in a way that protects public health and the health of market vendors and staff.” In an email to Seven Days on Friday afternoon, prior to the agency’s release of the oﬃcial guidance, NOFA-VT marketing and communications manager KIM NORMAN MERCER wrote, “We believe that farmers markets are as essential as grocery stores, and can operate safely during this pandemic. Farmers markets are a vital tool in building a resilient local food system, therefore, we are seeking to support all farmers and consumers to connect through modified, safe markets.”
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SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
Tim Lewis with Vedora at the Monkey House
FILE: MATTHEW THORSEN
News and views on the local music + nightlife scene BY D AN BOLLE S
How Is Tim Lewis Doing? There’s no getting around it: Quarantine sucks. Sure, sure, the extended downtime can be kind of nice, provided you’re healthy; still have a reliable income; are well stocked on books, TP and bourbon (and, food, I suppose); and don’t have small children or anxious pets pinballing around your house from dusk ’til dawn. In other words: The downtime is nice provided it is actually downtime, which it isn’t for many of us. And even then, relaxing is always better when it’s not the only option, right? And also when there isn’t a malignant cloud of existential dread hovering over everything. But what about for people who don’t just wistfully long for the days of being able to leave the house to grab a beer or catch a movie or run screaming from their kids or any of a million other small things we no longer take for granted? What about for those whose life forces, whose fundamental reasons for being, 50
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
Listening In Here’s a peek at what’s been on my bunker hi-fi lately. THE STROKES, The New Abnormal DOGLEG, Melee PORRIDGE RADIO, Every Bad CAROLINE ROSE, Superstar PHOEBE BRIDGERS, “Kyoto”
whose very identities are inextricably tied to being able to go to a place and do a thing? This is all a long-winded way of asking a very serious quaran-question: How the fuck is TIM LEWIS doing? For the unfamiliar, Lewis is, inarguably, the most knowledgeable and impassioned fan of Vermont music … well, ever, probably. You might not know him personally. But if you’ve been to a local rock show in the greater Burlington area at any point in the last, oh, 30-plus
years or so, you know him. He’s the guy with the long gray hair standing directly in front of the stage, often clad in a snazzy sport coat, rocking the eff out. Lewis is a fixture in the local music scene, maybe even more so than any individual acts. Not only does he get out to see more live music than anyone else, he dutifully chronicles his rock-and-roll adventures on Facebook. As I put it in a 2013 profile, “His Facebook page is like the Yelp of local music.” Local bands come and go. But Tim Lewis is eternal. He’s also pretty bored. “I’m starving a little bit, musically,” he told me over the phone last week in his typically gentle, understated manner. It was almost a month to the day since the last show he’d seen: surf-rockers the HIGH BREAKS and their OZZY-lovin’ counterparts, SURF SABBATH, at Foam Brewers in Burlington. He even recalls the last song he heard: the latter band’s cover of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid.” “Yeah, I remember that pretty clearly,” said Lewis with a chuckle. Amazingly, Lewis said he hasn’t tuned
in to many livestream concerts since entering self-isolation. He works in the call center for Gardener’s Supply and has set up an office in his bedroom so he can work remotely. Business has been booming for local gardening centers as Vermonters get their homesteading on for the apocalypse — that is, when not tending to their sourdough starters. After spending 10 hours taking orders for basil starts and potting soil, “I just can’t stare at a computer anymore,” Lewis said. He’s as surprised as you are that he hasn’t caught more online concerts. “I realized that one of the things I like the most about live music is just being out in that space and listening to the sound reverberate around the room,” he said. “It’s kind of not the same.” One thing that is the same: Lewis is continuing to produce his weekly local music radio show, “The Sounds of Burlington,” which airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on WBKM.org. He’s had no shortage of new material to spin, including recent releases from EASTERN MOUNTAIN TIME, HANA ZARA and ROUGH FRANCIS.
COURTESY OF MORRELL BUNBURY
Nathan Hartswick and Natalie Miller
Lewis also recently released Live From Robot Dog With Tim Lewis Vol. 3, the latest installment of his series of live studio recordings at RYAN COHEN’s Robot Dog Studio. The 52-track compilation features tunes by the likes of MATTHEW MERCURY, the RED NEWTS, CRICKET BLUE, JESSICA RABBIT SYNDROME, SAD TURTLE and many, many others. Lewis doesn’t know when he and Cohen will be able to start recording bands again for that series. But he does know which show he’s most excited to see whenever the world returns to some semblance of normal. “Whatever the first show is,” he said.
Bo nu s
GOT MUSIC NEWS? MUSIC@SEVENDAYSVT.COM
SLIPPERY STUFF Puzzle by J. ReynoldsANSWERSNo. ON P.632 65 »
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both scheduled to appear this June. A festival on that smaller, lower-cost — or perhaps no-cost — scale “feels like a reasonable version of the jazz festival to happen,” Lafayette said. She couldn’t speculate on when such an event might be in the cards, since there’s no way of knowing when it Pharoah Sanders SOUNDBITES
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4/14/20 2:21 PM
NEED SOME ADVICE ON LIFE? the
REVEREND A sage and sassy adviser to answer reader questions on matters large and small.
What’s your problem? Send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
REVIEW this Moose got tha juice, System Overload (SELF-RELEASED, DIGITAL)
At this point in the coronavirus era, who hasn’t made a calming quarantine playlist? Mine is called “Chill Pill” and is full of R&B and melodic hip-hop songs by rapper-singer Rod Wave, recently deceased Philadelphia MC Chynna and G.O.O.D. Music’s rising star 070 Shake, as well as tracks from Lil Baby and Gunna’s 2018 joint album Drip Harder. My most recent additions to the list are by Winooski hip-hop artist Jacob Therrien, who performs as Moose got tha juice. On his EP System Overload, Therrien finds a balance between melodic and lyrical styles as he espouses a YOLOtype attitude across five catchy tracks. I find it comforting to give myself over to
Robin Gottfried, Our Trip Up in Time (SELF-RELEASED, DIGITAL)
There is truly a fine line between subtle nostalgia and a big ol’ plate of cheese. One lyric about a woman being like “a fine wine,” or a gooey chunk of saxophone needlessly inserted, and a promising genre experiment can become a parody of itself. Burlington singer-songwriter Robin Gottfried walks this fine line like a tightrope. His latest album, Our Trip Up in Time, comes decked out in all the regalia of late ’70s/early ’80s yacht rock. It will have you reaching for a Christopher Cross album and pouring yourself a piña colada. The good news is that, by and large, Gottfried’s skill and earnestness keeps his balancing act firmly on the promising side. With only a few exceptions — “Next to Nothing” tries to weaponize soft boy saxophone and,
his short-term mentality at a time when what-ifs can be paralyzing. On the opening track, “BAND$,” Therrien raps “Fuck a lick, I make money quick / Spend that with my bitch, get it back / I been getting good on how to bend a pack, make it last / Damn, life be moving fast.” That last part is for damn sure. My first thought upon reading the title of “Control” was Janet Jackson — specifically, Jackson’s 1986 single, “Control,” from the album of the same name. Turns out, the music does indeed channel Jackson, but it’s her slow jam “Any Time, Any Place,” from the 1993 album Janet. And Therrien’s song is not a power-claiming anthem like Jackson’s 1986 cut but the opposite. In the hook, Therrien, who is associated with the Hella Fader crew, warbles, “Need to let go, lose all control / Look up far, pray to the stars.” These lyrics hit like a reiteration
of the Serenity Prayer (“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…”). Perhaps this is a valid approach at a moment in history when anxiety levels are higher than the artist in his Instagram pics. Production, which Therrien credits to London- and Canada-based producer dxfective., is a poppy, trappy treat. On “SWISHAS,” dreamy effects are a soft backdrop for Therrien’s hard-ish lyrics about smoking “mad blunts.” In the same song, he reveals his motivation for making music: “Do this for my homies, brother, mother and my dad / Fuck, I know they sad, I gotta make ’em proud.” True, we only live once, but let’s make it count. System Overload came out on February 14. Therrien described it on Facebook as his “Valentine’s Day gift to the world.” I find the hubris in this post warranted, because I’m in love with the EP as a bit of quarantine escapism. System Overload is available at SoundCloud.
lordy, it’s too much — the native New York City musician steers his good ship where it needs to go. On sunny tracks such as “All I Need to Make It Through,” Gottfried rides an electric piano groove to sing about the only vice he needs — you guessed it, true love. You gotta love yacht rock for its unbridled romanticism. Our Trip Up in Time is awash with the spirit of love and the enduring promise that love can overcome all. Maybe I’ve just been locked up in my house too long, but listening to an album so dedicated to positivity and affection got me all misty-eyed. Sometimes you just want to set aside the cynicism and emotional barricades that modern life dictates and embrace the fluffy stuff. Where the record gets tripped up (see what I did there?) is Gottfried’s tendency to drift into jammier pastures. I know what you’re thinking and, no, I’m not using this as another opportunity to lament one of my less-cherished genres. Plenty of artists who flit in and out of
the jam scene can marry that style with other forms. However, doing so with ’70s soft rock can re-create some of the most egregiously shitty sounds the Grateful Dead ever peddled. Songs such as “Estimation of the Situation,” with its sterile funk and envelope-filter guitar solo, gave me bad flashbacks to Bob Weir’s ’80s solo records. To be clear, Gottfried is a hell of a guitar player. The record is filled with tasty licks and bluesy riffs. He also handles the bass and keys, as well as lead vocals, so there’s no doubting his talent. When Gottfried operates from his points of strength, such as on the country-tinged “Time and Time Again,” the results are really quite pleasing. For example, the record closes on the standout track “Zeroes and Ones.” Gottfried’s voice rings out clear as he croons over a Randy Newman-esque tune about algorithms and, of course, love in the digital age. Our Trip Up in Time is a defiant genre piece by a musician seemingly uninterested in masquerading as something he’s not. Download it at zoerobin.com and let a little sun in.
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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 51
will be safe for people to congregate again. But she said that as soon as organizers can, they will focus on putting something together, ideally prominently featuring stages along Church Street. “It’s really going to be a wait and see,” she said. “What are people’s appetites for this kind of thing when it comes to safety?” The economy will be another factor, she said. “A lot of people are in dire straits right now,” Lafayette observed. “So, being set up to do a large amount of free events feels like something that’s gonna be needed more than ever.” Amen to that.
I don’t know about you, but I could use a good laugh. Fortunately, our good pals at the Vermont Comedy Club have us covered, coronavirus be damned. For the past month, VCC co-owners NATALIE MILLER and NATHAN HARTSWICK have built a solid schedule of weekly livestream shows, from improv with the UNMENTIONABLES on Thursdays to standup open mics on Wednesdays to a double dose of kid-friendly fare on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. But the real gem is the weekly variety show “Talk to Us! (Please)” every Friday at 8 p.m. on Instagram at @ vtcomedy. The format is loosely modeled after a late-night talk show, with Miller and Hartswick doing topical monologue jokes at the top — complete with canned laughter — and the Unmentionables’ BRIAN DELABRUERE doing a short improvised bit. Guests typically include a big-name comedian, such as HARI KONDABOLU, TODD GLASS and NIKKI GLASER, who have all appeared in recent weeks. The couple also welcomes a “local hero,” such as a nurse, a grocery worker or someone else on the front lines against COVID-19. And there are musical guests, too — MADAILA’s MARK DALY and MYRA FLYNN turned up recently.
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classes design/build UX DESIGN BOOTCAMP: In this 12-week, full-time course, you will learn both user experience (UX) design and user interface (UI) design. You will quickly advance through topics of increasing complexity, applying creative problem-solving skills to design based on research. You will leave this course career ready, knowing every step of the design process. Jun. 8-Aug. 28, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Location: Burlington Code Academy, 182 Main St., Suite 305, Burlington. Info: Sadie Goldfarb, 978-380-2440, sgoldfarb@ burlingtoncodeacademy.com, burlingtoncodeacademy.com.
drumming DJEMBE & TAIKO: JOIN US!: Digital classes happening now! (No classes on-site for now.) Taiko: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Djembe: Wednesday. Kids and Parents: Tuesday and Wednesday. Private digital conga lessons by appointment. Let’s prepare for a future drum
gardening GET A GREEN THUMB AT HOME!: Local experts from Red Wagon Plants offer webinars with professional tips on planting, feeding, and harvesting vegetables, fruit, flowers and more. Enjoy a hands-on learning experience from the comfort of your home while Red Wagon Plants provides you with all of your gardening needs and knowledge. Thu., Apr. 16, 23 & 30; May 14; & Jun. 25, 5:30 p.m.; Sat., Apr. 25, 10 a.m. Cost: $5. Location: Red Wagon Plants’ webinar on Zoom. Info: 802-4824060, email@example.com, redwagonplants.com.
gathering outdoors! Schedule/ register online. Location: Taiko Space, 208 Flynn Ave., Suite 3G, Burlington. Info: 802-999-4255, burlingtontaiko.org.
Feldenkrais MOVE OUT OF PAIN: ONLINE CLASS: Uwe Mester, a German certified Feldenkrais practitioner with 15-plus years of teaching experience, is now offering online Feldenkrais classes via Zoom. Classes are offered on a donation basis. Find out how you can improve your movement and physical awareness from your living room! For more information, including class schedule, testimonials and registration, please visit Uwe’s website at vermontfeldenkrais. com. Turner Osler, MD, a retired UVMMC trauma surgeon with more than 300 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, has come to Uwe’s classes for the past nine years. Dr. Osler holds a Q&A following Uwe’s Tuesday and Saturday online classes to answer any medical questions
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regarding the current pandemic. 5 weekly classes. 1-hour class; contact Uwe Mester to register. Location: online. Info: Vermont Feldenkrais, Uwe Mester, 802735-3770, firstname.lastname@example.org, vermontfeldenkrais.com.
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Students will learn realistic bullyproofing and self-defense life skills to avoid becoming victims and help them feel safe and secure. Our sole purpose is to help empower people by giving them realistic martial arts training practices they can carry with them throughout life. IBJJF and CBJJ certified black belt sixthdegree instructor under Carlson Gracie Sr.: teaching in Vermont, born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A five-time Brazilian National Champion; International World Masters Champion and IBJJF World Masters Champion. Accept no Iimitations! Location: Vermont Brazilian JiuJitsu, 55 Leroy Rd., Williston. Info: 802598-2839, email@example.com, vermontbjj.com.
CLASSES MAY BE CANCELED OR MOVED ONLINE DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. PLEASE CHECK WITH ORGANIZERS IN ADVANCE.
class. Pay as you go, or support us by becoming an unlimited member. Daily drop-in classes, including Flow, Kaiut, Flow/Yin, Destress, Yoga Therapeutics classes led by physical therapists. Dive deeper into your practice! $10-15/class; $140/10-class card; $10/community class. New students $100/10-class card. New! Student Monthly Unlimited just $55/mo. Location: Evolution Yoga, 20 Kilburn St., Burlington. Info: 802-864-9642, evolutionvt.com.
yoga EVOLUTION YOGA: Now offering online classes. Practice yoga with some of the most experienced teachers and therapeutic professionals in Burlington, from the comfort of your home. All are welcome. Sign up on our website and receive a link to join a live
10/29/19 3:50 PM
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Angel: A Happy Tails Update Angel arrived as a stray in November 2019 with an unknown neurological condition and skin issues that were making her very uncomfortable. However, she never let her challenges dampen her spirits, and HSCC staff immediately fell in love with Angel! With proper medical care, lots of TLC and time to help her comfort level around new people, Angel began looking and feeling better than ever. Angel met her new loving family In January 2020 and, luckily for staff, she’s even been back to visit her old friends!
DID YOU KNOW? Vermont state law mandates that stray dogs must be held at the animal control facility in the town where they were found for a mandatory period (determined by the town, usually one week) before coming to a humane society or animal shelter. This mandatory holding period is provided to allow owners of missing dogs to claim their pets and retain ownership. HSCC can only accept stray dogs from local animal control and law enforcement. If you have lost or found a dog, please contact your animal control officer or police department!
Her new people say, “We are now, more than ever, so grateful that she is in our lives with her crazy antics and comforting presence. We could never thank HSCC enough for bringing her into our lives!”
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EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY All real estate advertising in this newspaper is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 and similar Vermont statutes which make it illegal to advertise any preference, limitations, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, handicap, presence of minor children in the family or receipt of public assistance, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or a discrimination. The newspaper will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate, which is in violation of the
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CalcokuView and post up to SEVENDAYSVT.COM/CLASSIFIEDS
Show and tell. » Using the enclosed math operations as a guide, fill 6 photos per ad online.
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FANCY WICKER BASKET/TOTE Multicolored picnic basket or tote w/ carrying cords & attached lid, 8” x 10” x 12”; $45. Call 540-226-4478, texts OK. rcserves@hotmail. com.
SEVERAL CERAMIC OWLS Including batteryoperated clock & solar night light, 4-13” tall, all reasonably priced. 540-226-4478, texts OK. rcserves@hotmail. com.
COVID 19 T-SHIRT “IF YOU CAN READ THIS STEP BACK SIX FEET.” smallbatchdesign company.com, smallbatchdesigns@ gmail.com, Facebook: Small Batch Design Company.
HOUSEHOLD ITEMS CLEAN-OUT SALE: ALL MUST GO! Microwave, slow cooker, tableware, silverware, cookware, pans, knife set, TV, DVD player, bedding, lamps, Tupperware, wicker chest, coolers, jug, vases. Call 540226-4478, texts OK. email@example.com.
the grid using the numbers 1 - 6 only once in each row and column.
9 8 1 2 3
2 9 Difficulty - Hard
CALCOKU BY JOSH REYNOLDS
SUDOKU BY JOSH REYNOLDS
DIFFICULTY THIS WEEK: HH
Fill the grid using the numbers 1-6, only once in each row and column. The numbers in each heavily outlined “cage” must combine to produce the target number in the top corner, using the mathematical operation indicated. A onebox cage should be filled in with the target number in the top corner. A number can be repeated within a cage as long as it is not the same row or column.
numbers 1-9 only once in each row, column and 3 x 3 box.
DIFFICULTY THIS WEEK: HHH
Post & browse ads There’s no limit to online. at yourthe convenience. Complete following puzzle ad bylength using the
MISCELLANEOUS RINNAI DIRECT-VENT FURNACE Used Rinnai direct-vent wall furnace, 20,7008,200 BTU. Incl. all parts & installation manual. $950/OBO. 540-226-4478, texts OK. rcserves@hotmail. com.
TAKING OUT THE MIDDLE
ANSWERS ON P. 59
Place a number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers one to nine. The same numbers cannot be repeated in a row or column.
ANSWERS 6 ON8P. 597 3 9 5 1 2 4 H = MODERATE HH = CHALLENGING HHH = HOO, BOY!
1 4 3 9 8 7 5 2
5 3 2 6 7 1 4 9
9 2 4 1 5 8 3 6
2 1 7 4 9 5 6 8
4 6 5 8 1 3 2 7
8 7 6 3 2 4 9 1
3 9 8 5 6 2 7 4
6 5 1 7 4 9 8 3
7 8 9 2 3 6 1 5
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
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ACT 250 NOTICE MINOR APPLICATION #4C0329-22 10 V.S.A. §§ 6001 - 6093 On March 18, 2020, Andrew Hood and Mansfield Industrial Associates, LLC, filed application number 4C0329-22 for a project generally described as construction of four warehouse buildings, an access road, a pedestrian pathway and associated site improvements. The project is located at 1 Allen Martin Drive in Essex, Vermont. The application was
deemed complete on April 2, 2020 after the receipt of supplemental information. The District 4 Environmental Commission is reviewing this application under Act 250 Rule 51-Minor Applications. A copy of the application and proposed permit are available for review at the office listed below. The application and a draft permit may also be viewed on the Natural Resources Board’s web site (http://nrb.vermont. gov) by clicking on “Act 250 Database” and entering the project number “4C0329-22.” No hearing will be held and a permit may be issued unless, on or before May 4, 2020, a person notifies the Commission of an issue or issues requiring the presentation of evidence at a hearing, or the Commission sets the matter for a hearing on its own motion. Any person as defined in 10 V.S.A. § 6085(c)(1) may request a hearing. Any hearing request must be in writing to the address below, must state the criteria or sub-criteria at issue, why a hearing is required and what additional evidence will be presented at the hearing. Any hearing request by an adjoining property owner or other person eligible for party status
Show and tell.
View and post up to 6 photos per ad online.
under 10 V.S.A. § 6085(c) (1)(E) must include a petition for party status under the Act 250 Rules. Prior to submitting a request for a hearing, please contact the district coordinator at the telephone number listed below for more information. Prior to convening a hearing, the Commission must determine that substantive issues requiring a hearing have been raised. Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law may not be prepared unless the Commission holds a public hearing. If you feel that any of the District Commission members listed on the attached Certificate of Service under “For Your Information” may have a conflict of interest, or if there is any other reason a member should be disqualified from sitting on this case, please contact the District Coordinator as soon as possible, and by no later than May 4, 2020. If you have a disability for which you need accommodation in order to participate in this process (including participating in a public hearing, if one is held), please notify us as soon as possible, in order to allow us as much time as possible to accommodate your needs.
Parties entitled to participate are the Municipality, the Municipal Planning Commission, the Regional Planning Commission, affected state agencies, and adjoining property owners and other persons to the extent that they have a particularized interest that may be affected by the proposed project under the Act 250 criteria. Non-party participants may also be allowed under 10 V.S.A. Section 6085(c)(5). Dated at Essex Junction, Vermont this 6th day of April, 2020. By: /s/Rachel Lomonaco, District Coordinator Rachel Lomonaco, District Coordinator 111 West Street, Essex Junction, VT 05452, 802-879-5658 rachel.lomonaco@ vermont.gov ACT 250 NOTICE MINOR APPLICATION #4C0688-6 10 V.S.A. §§ 6001 - 6093 On March 31, 2020, Peter and Kristie Kapusta, 32 South Hill, Underhill, VT 05449 filed application number 4C0688-6 for a project generally described as the afterthe-fact construction of a 36ft x 28ft barn for use as a workshop along with storage; and
Post & browse ads at your convenience. present-day construction of a 24ft x 28ft in-law suite in the loft of the barn, along with installation of a water and septic system. The Project is located at 32 South Hill in Underhill, Vermont. The District 4 Environmental Commission is reviewing this application under Act 250 Rule 51—Minor Applications. A copy of the application and proposed permit are available for review at the office listed below. The application and a draft permit may also be viewed on the Natural Resources Board’s web site (http:// nrb.vermont.gov) by clicking on “Act 250 Database” and entering the project number “4C0688-6.” No hearing will be held and a permit may be issued unless, on or before April 30, 2020, a person notifies the Commission of an issue or issues requiring the presentation of evidence at a hearing, or the Commission sets the matter for a hearing on its own motion. Any person as defined in 10 V.S.A. § 6085(c)(1) may request a hearing. Any hearing request must be in writing to the address below, must state the criteria or sub-criteria at issue, why a hearing
is required and what additional evidence will be presented at the hearing. Any hearing request by an adjoining property owner or other person eligible for party status under 10 V.S.A. §6085(c) (1)(E) must include a petition for party status under the Act 250 Rules. Prior to submitting a request for a hearing, please contact the district coordinator at the telephone number listed below for more information. Prior to convening a hearing, the Commission must determine that substantive issues requiring a hearing have been raised. Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law may not be prepared unless the Commission holds a public hearing. If you feel that any of the District Commission members listed on the attached Certificate of Service under “For Your Information” may have a conflict of interest, or if there is any other reason a member should be disqualified from sitting on this case, please contact the District Coordinator as soon as possible, and by no later than April 30, 2020. If you have a disability for which you need accommodation in order to participate in this process (including
There’s no limit to ad length online.
participating in a public hearing, if one is held), please notify us as soon as possible, in order to allow us as much time as possible to accommodate your needs. Parties entitled to participate are the Municipality, the Municipal Planning Commission, the Regional Planning Commission, affected state agencies, and adjoining property owners and other persons to the extent that they have a particularized interest that may be affected by the proposed project under the Act 250 criteria. Non-party participants may also be allowed under 10 V.S.A. Section 6085(c)(5). Dated at Essex Junction, Vermont this 1st day of April, 2020. By: _/s/ Stephanie H. Monaghan Stephanie H. Monaghan District Coordinator 111 West Street Essex Junction, VT 05452 802-879-5662 stephanie.monaghan@ vermont.gov STATE OF VERMONT SUPERIOR COURT PROBATE DIVISION CHITTENDEN UNIT DOCKET NO. 106-1-20 CNPR In re: Marilyn Mercia Benis NOTICE TO CREDITORS To the Creditors of: Marilyn Mercia Benis, late of Hinesburg, Vermont. I have been appointed to administer this Estate. All creditors having claims against the decedent or the estate must present their claims in writing within four (4) months of the date of first publication of this notice. The claim must be presented to me at the address listed below with a copy sent to the Court. The claim will be barred forever if it is not presented as described above within the four (4) month period.
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Dated: March 29, 2020 /s/ Jason Benis, Fiduciary of the Estate 12 Lamoille Street, Essex Junction, VT 05452 (802) 324-2725 Name of Publication: Seven Days Publication Date: April 15, 2020 Name and Address of Probate Court: Vermont Superior Court, Chittenden Unit - Probate Division, PO Box 511, 175 Main Street, Burlington, VT 05402-0511
Call or email Katie Hodges today to get started: 865-1020 x10, email@example.com 1 58 Untitled-25 SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
6/6/16 4:30 PM
ORDER The Affidavit duly filed in this action shows that service cannot be made with due diligence by any of the method provided in Rules 4(d)-(f), (k), or (1) of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure. Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that service of the Summons set forth above shall be made upon the defendant, Rolann M. Roberson a/k/a Rolann Roberson , by publication as provided in Rule[s] [4(d)(1) and] 4 (g) of those Rules. This order shall be published once a week for 2 weeks beginning on April 15, 2020 in the Seven Days, a newspaper of the general circulation in Franklin County, Vermont and; once a week for 2 weeks beginning on April 15, 2020 in the SentinelTribune, a newspaper of the general circulation in Wood County, Ohio. A copy of this summons and order as published shall be mailed to the defendant Rolann M. Roberson a/k/a Rolann Roberson, at 121 E. Lightner Street, Bradner, OH and 2502 Bronson Road, Saint Albans, VT 05478 Dated at St. Albans, Vermont this 10th day of March, 2020 /s/ Honorable Samuel Hoar Presiding Judge Franklin Unit, Civil Division STATE OF VERMONT SUPERIOR COURT PROBATE DIVISION CHITTENDEN UNIT DOCKET NO.: 65-1-20 CNPR In re ESTATE of Gary A. Lacey NOTICE TO CREDITORS To the Creditors of Gary
4 6 31 14 3 10+ 9 8 7 5 2
A. Lacey, late of Colchester, Vermont. I have been appointed to administer this estate. All creditors having claims against the decedent or the estate must present their claims in writing within four (4) months of the first publication of this notice. The claim must be presented to me at the address listed below with a copy sent to the Court. The claim may be barred forever if it is not presented within the four (4) month period.
Dated: March 31, 2020 SIgnature of Fiduciary: /s/ Daniel Quinones Executor/Administrator: Daniel Quinones, c/o Kolvoord, Overton & Wilson, P.C. 6 Joshua Way, Suite B, Essex Junction, Vermont 05452 802-879-3346 firstname.lastname@example.org Name of Publication: Seven Days Dates of Publication: April 8, 2020 and April 15, 2020 Name of Probate Court: Chittenden District Probate Court, P.O. Box 511, Burlington, Vermont 05402
THE TOWN OF BOLTON IS SEEKING REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS FOR TOWN ASSESSOR SERVICES AND TOWNWIDE REAPPRAISAL DUE BY 3 P.M. ON MAY 18, 2020. The full RFPs are available on the Town of Bolton website: www. boltonvt.com WARNING POLICY ADOPTION CHAMPLAIN VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT The Board of School Directors gives public notice of its intent to adopt local district policies dealing with the following at its regular meeting scheduled on April 28, 2020:
B3 - Board Member Conflict of Interest D5 - Substitute Teachers D6 - Volunteers D9 - Complaints from the Public About Personnel D10 - Drug and Alcohol Testing: Transportation Employees F3 - Tobacco Prohibition H2 - Public Solicitations/ Advertising in Schools H4 - Gifts Policy H5 - Fund Raising Copies of the above policies may be obtained for public review at the Office of the Human Resources Dept. in Shelburne, VT.
8 5 322 6+ 6 711 3÷ 4 9
7 9 2 4 1 5 8 3 6
6 3 12 1 7 4 9 5 6 8
6 9 4 625 2÷ 8 133 8+ 2 7
5 8 7 6 3 2 4 9 1
3 1 6 2 4 5
1 2 4 3 6 7 9 5 8 8 1 9 55 7 2 6 4 3 2 9 6 7 8 1 4 Difficulty 3 - 5Hard
Using the enclosed math operations as a guide, fill the grid using the numbers 1 - 6 only once in each row and column.
SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020 4v-free-colors.indd 1
Summons was first published and file it with the Court, you will lose this case. You will not get to tell your side of the story, and the Court may decide against you and award the Plaintiff everything asked for in the complaint. 6. YOU MUST MAKE ANY CLAIMS AGAINST THE PLAINTIFF IN YOUR REPLY. Your Answer must state any related legal claims you have against the Plaintiff. Your claims against the Plaintiff are called Counterclaims. If you do not make your Counterclaims in writing in your answer you may not be able to bring them up at all. Even if you have insurance and the insurance company will defend you, you must still file any Counterclaims you may have. 7. LEGAL ASSISTANCE. You may wish to get legal help from a lawyer. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you should ask the court clerk for information about places where you can get free legal help. Even if you cannot get legal help, you must still give the court a written Answer to protect your rights or you may lose the case.
Dated: April 9, 2020 Signed Theodore J. McGuinness, Executor Address: c/o Little & Cicchetti, P.C. P.O. Box 907, Burlington, VT 05402-0907 Telephone: 802-8626511 Email: ben.luna@ lclawvt.com Name of Publication: Seven Days Publication Date: April 15, 2020 Address of Court: Chittenden Unit Probate Court, P.O. Box 511, Burlington, VT 05402-0511
THIS SUMMONS IS DIRECTED TO: Rolann M. Roberson a/k/a Rolann Roberson 1. YOU ARE BEING SUED. The Plaintiff has started a lawsuit against you. A copy of the Plaintiffs Complaint against you is on file and may be obtained at the office of the clerk of this court, Franklin Unit, Civil Division, Vermont Superior Court, St. Albans, Vermont. Do not throw this paper away. It is an official paper that affects your rights. 2. PLAINTIFF’S CLAIM. Plaintiffs claim is a Complaint in Foreclosure which alleges that you have breached the terms of a Promissory Note and Mortgage Deed dated December 20, 2006. Plaintiffs action may effect your interest in the property described in the Land Records of the Town of Saint Albans at Volume 204, Page 291. The Com-
plaint also seeks relief on the Promissory Note executed by you. A copy of the Complaint is on file and may be obtained at the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court for the County of Franklin, State of Vermont. 3. YOU MUST REPLY WITHIN 41 DAYS TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. You must give or mail the Plaintiff a written response called an Answer within 41 days after the date on which this Summons was first published, which is April 15, 2020. You must send a copy of your answer to the Plaintiff or the Plaintiffs attorney, LORAINE L. HITE, Esq. of Bendett and McHugh, PC, located at 270 Farmington Avenue, Ste. 151, Farmington, CT 06032. You must also give or mail your Answer to the Court located at 17 Church Street, St. Albans, VT 05478. 4. YOU MUST RESPOND TO EACH CLAIM. The Answer is your written response to the Plaintiffs Complaint. In your Answer you must state whether you agree or disagree with each paragraph of the Complaint. If you believe the Plaintiff should not be given everything asked for in the Complaint, you must say so in your Answer. 5. YOU WILL LOSE YOUR CASE IF YOU DO NOT GIVE YOUR WRITTEN ANSWER TO THE COURT. If you do not Answer within 41 days after the date on which this
NOTICE TO CREDITORS To The Creditors Of: Betty McGuinness, late of South Burlington, Vermont I have been appointed to administer this estate. All creditors having claims against the decedent or the estate must present their claims in writing within four (4) months of the date of the first publication of this notice. The claim must be presented to us at the address listed below with a copy sent to the Court. The claim will be barred forever if it is not presented within the four (4) month period.
STATE OF VERMONT SUPERIOR COURT CIVIL DIVISION FRANKLIN UNIT DOCKET # 466-12-19 FRCV NRZ PASS-THROUGH TRUST II, U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION AS TRUSTEE Plaintiff v. ROLANN M. ROBERSON A/K/A ROLANN ROBERSON OCCUPANTS OF: 2502 Bronson Road, Saint Albans VT Defendants SUMMONS & ORDER FOR PUBLICATION
STATE OF VERMONT SUPERIOR COURT PROBATE DIVISION CHITTENDEN UNIT DOCKET NO. 1315-1010 CNPR In re Estate of Betty McGuinness Late of South Burlington, Vermont
59 6/12/12 3:25 PM
ATTENTION RECRUITERS: POST YOUR JOBS AT: PRINT DEADLINE: FOR RATES & INFO:
JOBS.SEVENDAYSVT.COM/POST-A-JOB NOON ON MONDAYS (INCLUDING HOLIDAYS) MICHELLE BROWN, 802-865-1020 X21, MICHELLE@SEVENDAYSVT.COM
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TWO OPEN POSTIONS COLCHESTER FIRE DEPARTMENT The Career Firefighters will perform fire suppression, fire prevention, emergency medical services, hazardous materials mitigation, and maintenance of emergency vehicles, equipment and fire station. Qualified applicant must be at least 18 years of age, hold a High School Diploma or equivalent, hold a valid driver’s license, Vermont Firefighter Level One Certification or equivalent, and/or possess Certification as Emergency Medical Technician. Background check is required. See colchestervt.gov/321/ Human-Resources for complete job description and to apply. Annualized wage is $43,891 plus a competitive benefit package. Submit cover letter, resume and application by 3PM Monday, May 4, 2020. E.O.E.
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Harwood Unified Union High School District is IMMEDIATELY seeking school custodians for the 2nd shift. Experience is preferred, but not required. Competitive rate of pay and benefits are offered. Please submit a letter of interest, resume 1:02 PM and 3 letters of reference to: Ray Daigle Harwood Unified Union S.D. 340 Mad River Park, Suite 7 Waitsfield, VT 05673 Position open until filled. EOE
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OFFICE & SYSTEMS MANAGER
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a small, 3/20/20 independent, boarding school on Lake Champlain, is currently hiring for the following position:
Material Handler Maintenance Mechanic
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Seeking an experienced professional to manage our front office, support students and staff, and work closely with the Head of School to ensure a successful annual appeal and other fundraising initiatives. More information available here: rockpointschool.org/ office-and-systemsmanager.
At Keurig Dr Pepper, the safety and well-being of our people is our top priority. This extends to our candidates, as well. While we are pausing in-person, onsite interviews at this time, we are continuing recruitment efforts in many of our departments. Please continue to apply online to our available positions and if selected to move forward in the process, we will communicate next steps for a virtual-based screen or interview.
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SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
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SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
R E A L
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E D I T
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SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY BY ROB BREZSNY REAL APRIL 16-22
ARIES (MARCH 21-APRIL 19):
Aries artist Vincent van Gogh got started on his life’s work relatively late. At ages 25 and 26 he made failed attempts to train as a pastor and serve as a missionary. He didn’t launch his art career in earnest until he was 27. During the next 10 years, he created 860 paintings — an average of 1.7 every week — as well as over 1,200 additional works of art. For comparison, the prolific painter Salvador Dali made 1,500 paintings in 61 years. During the coming 12 months, Aries, you could achieve a van Gogh-like level of productiveness in your own chosen field — especially if you lay the foundations now, during our stay-at-home phase.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Most authors do their writing while sitting on chairs in front of desks. But long before there were standing desks, poet Rainer Maria Rilke and children’s author Lewis Carroll wrote their books while standing up. Novelist Henry James had eight desks but typically paced between them as he dictated his thoughts to a secretary. And then there have been weirdos like poet Robert Lowell and novelist Truman Capote. They attended to their craft as they lay in their bed. I suggest you draw inspiration from those two in the coming weeks. It’ll be a favorable time to accomplish masterpieces of work and play while in the prone position.
(May 21-June 20): While sleeping, most of us have more than a thousand dreams every year. Many are hard to remember and not worth remembering. But a beloved few can be life changers. They have the potential to trigger epiphanies that transform our destinies for the better. In my astrological opinion, you are now in a phase when such dreams are more likely than usual. That’s why I invite you to keep a pen and notebook by your bed to capture them. For inspiration, read this testimony from Jasper Johns, whom some call America’s “foremost living artist”: “One night I dreamed that I painted a large American flag, and the next morning I got up and I went out and bought the materials to begin it.” (Painting flags ultimately became one of Johns’ specialties.)
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939) was a renowned author who wrote The Good Soldier, a novel that has been called “one of the 100 greatest novels of all time.” Yet another very famous author, Henry James (1843-1916), was so eager to escape hanging out with Ford that he once concealed himself behind a tree to avoid being seen. You have astrological permission to engage in comparable strategies during the coming weeks. It won’t be a time when you should force yourself to endure boring, meaningless and unproductive tasks. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I hope that during the coronavirus crisis you have been entertaining wild truths and pondering the liberations you will initiate when the emergency has passed. I trust you have been pushing your imagination beyond its borders and wandering into the nooks and crannies of your psyche that you were previously hesitant to explore. Am I correct in my assumptions, Leo? Have you been wandering outside your comfort zone and discovering clues about how, when things return to normal, you can add spice and flair to your rhythm? VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I like this quote by the author Jake Remington: “Fate whispers to the warrior, ‘You cannot withstand the storm.’ The warrior whispers back, ‘I am the storm.’” Although this passage is more melodramatic than necessary for your needs
in the coming weeks, I think it might be good medicine that will help you prevail over the turbulence of the coronavirus crisis. Getting yourself into a storm-like mood could provide you with the personal power necessary to be unflappable and authoritative. You should also remember that a storm is not inherently bad. It may be akin to a catharsis or orgasm that relieves the tension and clears the air.
40 years, he walked from his home to pay a devotional visit to the Church of the Gesù. According to my reading of the astrological factors, now would be an excellent time for you to engage in reverential rituals like those — but without leaving your home, of course. Use this social-distancing time to draw reinvigoration from holy places within you or in your memory.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Libran rapper and
stand the current chapter of your life story, you have been doing the unspectacular but yeoman work of recharging your spiritual batteries. Although you may have outwardly appeared to be quiet and still, you have in fact been generating and storing up concentrated reserves of inner power. Because of the coronavirus crisis, it’s not yet time to tap into those impressive reserves and start channeling them into a series of dynamic practical actions. But it is time to formulate the practical actions you will take when the emergency has passed.
activist Talib Kweli says, “You have to know when to be arrogant. You have to know when to be humble. You have to know when to be hard, and you have to know when to be soft.” You Librans tend to be skilled in this artful approach to life: activating and applying the appropriate attitude necessary for each new situation. And I’m happy to report that your capacity for having just the right touch at the right time will be a crucial asset in the coming weeks. Trust your intuition to guide you through every subtle shift of emphasis.
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Scorpio artist Marie Laurencin (1883-1956) enjoyed a colorful fate. One of the few female Cubist painters, she was a prominent figure in the Parisian avantgarde. She was also the muse and romantic partner of renowned poet Guillaume Apollinaire. But there came a turning point when she abandoned her relationship with Apollinaire. “I was twenty-five and he was sleeping with all the women,” she said, “and at twentyfive you don’t stand for that, even from a poet.” Is there a comparable situation in your life, Scorpio? A role you relish but that also takes a toll? Now is a favorable time to reevaluate it. I’m not telling you what you should decide, only that you should think hard about it.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Sagittar-
ian sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1596-1680) was a prodigious, inventive creator. One scholar wrote, “What Shakespeare is to drama, Bernini may be to sculpture.” He designed and built public squares, fountains and buildings, many in Rome, which embodied his great skills as both sculptor and architect. Unlike many brilliant artists alive today, Bernini was deeply religious. Every night for
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): As I under-
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Aquarian poet Jacques Prévert offered a variation on the famous Christian supplication known as the Lord’s Prayer. The original version begins, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” But Prévert’s variation says, “Our father who art in heaven: Stay there.” Being an atheist, he had no need for the help and support of a paternal deity. I understand his feeling. I tend to favor the Goddess myself. But for you Aquarians right now, even if you’re allergic to talk of a divine presence, I recommend that you seek out generous and inspiring masculine influences. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you will benefit from influences that resemble good fathering.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): How skillful are you at expressing what you want? Wait. Let me back up and reformulate that. How skillful are you at knowing what you want and expressing the truth about what you want to the people who might ultimately be able to give it to you or help you get it? This is the most important question for you to meditate on in the coming weeks. If you find that you’re fuzzy about what you want or hazy about asking for what you want, correct the problems.
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FEISTY FAUN SEEKS FUN I am a fun-loving critter looking for men to play with. I am a transsexual femaleto-male person and love my gendermuddled body. I am looking for some regular playmates, more than a one-time thing. I am passionate, very sexual and know what I like. You should be a hungry giver. Tiger77, 42, seeking: M, l
TRANS WOMEN seeking... TRANSFEMME PERSON SEEKING TRANSFEMME FRIEND I’m a transfeminine/nonbinary person looking for a transwoman/transfemme friend/mutual supporter/mutual wing girl for friendship, discussion, backing each other up and understanding each other’s experiences. I’m interested in the arts, the climate, justice and humor. WingedGirl, 51, seeking: TW, Q, NC, NBP SUBMISSIVE SEEKING... Looking to expand my experiences. I am open to many different scenes and roles. tina1966, 54, seeking: W, TW, Q, NC, NBP, Cp, Gp
COUPLES seeking... SAFELY SEX UP THE QUARANTINE! Super fun and mischievous couple, socially aware and can find the fun in anything — including social distance! Let’s have a striptease in the McD’s parking lot! Let’s have Zoom lingerie cocktails! Let’s play virtual Scrabble — whatever turns you on amidst global pandemics. Let’s get creative. She is 5’7, curvy/strong pinup type; he is cuddly baseball build, 5’10. Smartblonde007, 40, seeking: W, Cp, l TO MAKING IT COUNT! We’re a couple exploring and adding something exciting to ouzzzr lives. She is 31 y/o, 5’6, curvy and beautiful. He is 32 y/o, 6’, average athletic and handsome. We’re looking for friends and friends with benefits. We love movies, board games, hanging out, outdoor activities, stimulating conversation, sex, family and a bunch more. We’re clean, disease-free and tobaccofree. LetLoose, 31, seeking: W, Cp ONE NIGHT We are a really fun couple looking for a man to join us for a threesome. No sex, just oral, but will make it worth your while. Photos available if you’re interested, and will ask the same from you. WEX, 45, seeking: M SWINGER COUPLE Couple in early 50s looking to have fun with a male partner. Husband likes to watch but also join in. Wife is a knockout little hottie who likes to cut loose. Looking for a male between 40 and 50 for some serious adult fun. Only well-hung men need apply — at least nine inches, please. Spaguy, 52, seeking: M, Gp
If you’ve been spied, go online to contact your admirer!
MATTY Your name is Matty. You’re white, probably late 30s, cute, big smile, a little chubby. You wear mostly black. Maybe you work in a restaurant? Maybe you live in the ONE? Or else I just met you walking in the ONE last summer. Sound like you? When: Saturday, June 1, 2019. Where: ONE. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915028
SPOTTED AT VERMONT LIQUIDATION STORE You were buying king-size pillows and asked me to go before you. You left the store for your SUV and saw me and then showed me a car accident that happened to your car recently. Let’s talk soon. When: Friday, March 27, 2020. Where: liquidation store, Williston. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915023
GOODBYE TO ALL THAT Thank you for closing the door behind me and sealing the door where conditional love lives. Can’t own your own stuff; your memory, faulty. It’s not love to demand someone be other than who they are just to please you. Call me by my name you never would. Things you had been “holding on to for some time” are released. Goodbye. When: Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Where: overlooking the Intervale. You: Man. Me: Man. #915027
TRADER JOE’S CHECKOUT LINE I should’ve written this weeks ago. I noticed you on a Saturday morning. I think you’re vegan! We checked out in the lines next to each other. I left just before you. If you see this, I’d love to get coffee once we can leave our houses. When: Saturday, March 7, 2020. Where: Trader Joe’s. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915022
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK Grim-visaged war hath smooth’d his wrinkled front; / And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds / To fright the souls of fearful adversaries, / He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber / To the lascivious pleasing of a lute. When: Thursday, September 24, 2015. Where: Calahan. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915025 BEAUTIFUL BIRD-WATCHER You were on the Burlington bike path with a black coat, binoculars, sweet smile and eyes like a tiger. I was the runner with the black pants and blue shirt. You pointed out the red-winged black bird and told me that was a sign of spring. Look me up, lover, and I’ll fly away with U. When: Saturday, March 28, 2020. Where: Burlington waterfront bike path. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915024
BLOND BOY IN BLACK TRUCK I noticed you smiling at me in front of the Radio Bean. I waved goodbye as we parted ways; you waved back. We met again on Shelburne Road. I was held back at a stoplight but managed to catch up. You were behind me until the turn for Vergennes. This is the curly-headed brunette in the black Crosstrek. When: Friday, March 20, 2020. Where: Burlington. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915021 TRUE LOVE REIGNS Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this sun of York; / And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house / In the deep bosom of the ocean buried. / Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths; / Our bruised arms hung up for monuments; / Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings, / Our dreadful marches to delightful measures. When: Sunday, March 24, 2019. Where: Queen City. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915020
HELLO HAPPINESS I’m getting your emails, but it’s not letting me respond. Dennis. When: Monday, March 23, 2020. Where: profiles. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915019 FRIDAY, SOBBING AT CITY MARKET I nearly walked into you as you left the co-op. You were almost blind with tears, sobbing as you walked. I wish I had asked you what was wrong. Small comfort, but it is the least I can do to hope you see this and know that one stranger that day cared about you and carried your pain with them. When: Friday, March 20, 2020. Where: downtown City Market. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915018 AMOR I try to ignore my feelings for you, but I find myself not able to control them anymore. I love you, and I miss you! When: Friday, March 20, 2020. Where: in the night sky. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915017 LATE-MORNING LAKEFRONT WALK To the recent central Illinois transplant: Thank you for the impromptu latemorning lakefront walk and talk. When: Thursday, March 19, 2020. Where: Burlington waterfront. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915016 OAKLEDGE PARK WALKING BRITTANY SPANIEL Midafternoon. I was walking with my sister. You were walking with your dog, an elderly Brittany Spaniel, you told me. I’d like to ask more questions, starting with your name. When: Friday, March 13, 2020. Where: Oakledge Park. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915015 NO MORE TIES I’ve done everything I promised and more. All our dreams could be a reality now. I’m sorry it’s too late and I wasn’t there for you as I should have been. I’ve been there every day for you and the kids, even though it’s not wanted, and will always be here. I love you, dudes. When: Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Where: passenger seat — hold my hand, kid. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915014 HARDWICK PARKING LOT, NOON You were soaking up some early spring sunshine. Radiant, with big silver hoops and long stray whisps of dark hair dancing in the wind. I had on an orange hat. You make my heart dance. Let’s soak up some sun together, at the beach. When: Monday, March 9, 2020. Where: Hardwick. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915013
Ask REVEREND Dear Nervous Neighbor,
Irreverent counsel on life’s conundrums
I live in an apartment building with 12 units. For the most part everyone has been great about staying away from each other, but one of the people in my building has been having a bunch of people over about once a week. I’m concerned for my safety, but also I’m not sure if this is something I can or should report, or how to even go about that. What should I do?
Nervous Neighbor (FEMALE, 28)
I’m assuming you don’t want to approach this person, but have you left a note on their door expressing your concerns? Perhaps you could talk to your landlord and have them send a message to all tenants outlining the basics of the governor’s stay-at-home order. Dropping a dime on a neighbor is never all that cool, so it would be lovely if a friendly reminder could do the trick. However, if this person is dumb enough to host parties during a pandemic, you might need to take more drastic action. The Vermont State Police website, vsp.vermont.gov, has a page devoted to “Stay Home,
YOU CAN’T HAVE ENOUGH KARMA Thank you for offering to help me out until I located my credit card by the coffees. Please say hi if you see me again out and about. When: Monday, March 9, 2020. Where: City Market. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915012
FRIDAY A.M., CUMBY’S, RICHMOND, 3/6 Dressed in a gray jacket with leopardprint shoes, I looked in while you looked out. I said hello to Bill. You turned to leave, and we locked eyes. Time stopped. Brown Tundra hunk, you followed me in my blue Dodge toward Hinesburg, and I was bummed when you headed away to Williston. You: tall, strong and instantly attractive! Wowser! When: Friday, March 6, 2020. Where: Richmond Cumberland Farms, 7:15 a.m. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915009
MATTY WITH THE BIG SMILE I was walking with my son on Rose Street last summer. Not sure what we saw in each other from so far away, but we both had shit-eating grins down the block. You said I was gorgeous and that you hoped my man knew how lucky he was. He didn’t. But that’s over! Would love to see that smile again. When: Thursday, August 1, 2019. Where: Rose Street. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915011 CHIROPRACTOR OFFICE ROMANCE I’ve seen you few times at my chiropractor’s office. It seems like we are flirting, but I can’t tell for sure. I am hoping we are, because I think you are quite cute. I’m not bold enough to ask you out unless I know you feel them same. I’ll do my best to remember your name this time! When: Friday, March 6, 2020. Where: doctor’s office. You: Woman. Me: Non-binary person. #915010 HANKSVILLE WOMAN FROM GOOD HEALTH We met a few weeks ago. I have metal in my leg from too much football, and you have metal in your spine from California. You spoke of taking care of your parents. You were compassionate, positive and wonderful. I’ve been thinking of you since. I’d love to get in touch. When: Thursday, February 20, 2020. Where: Good Health. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915008 CO-OP CUTIE You: in the craft beer aisle, searching for a special flavor. Me: in the next aisle over, doing the same. I found that flavor when I saw you in your red hoodie, gently picking up each can with those strong hands. Maybe sometime, somewhere we can sip a brew from the same glass. Would love to see you again. xoxo. When: Friday, March 6, 2020. Where: Hunger Mountain Co-op. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915007 BABY, BABY! No one wears those plaid pajamas like you do. I can’t wait for my next asparagus omelette. I love you so. When: Thursday, March 5, 2020. Where: in the kitchen. You: Woman. Me: Woman. #915006
Stay Safe” enforcement. It says that enforcement of the executive order should “be handled primarily through education and voluntary compliance.” It also recommends that anyone witnessing any kind of noncompliance should call their local law enforcement agency. So I gave my local police department a jingle and asked whether a person should report parties or
CITY MARKET ON 3/5 To the woman with great salt-andpepper hair, black jacket and cool boots: You reappeared, passing in front of my vehicle. Sometimes a seemingly insignificant encounter makes a difference. I just wanted to say, “Thank you.” When: Thursday, March 5, 2020. Where: City Market. You: Woman. Me: Woman. #915005 THE FAITH THAT GROWS I’ll speak to you like the chorus to the verse / Chop another lime like a coda with a curse / Come on like a freak show takes the stage / We give them the games we play, she say / “I want something else to get me through this life, baby.” When: Wednesday, March 4, 2020. Where: the Velvet. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915002 WE KINDA DANCED TO RHJ You are seeing someone now, which sometimes has me feeling guilty for feeling this way — but occasionally I wonder, is it wrong of me to want one night with you? Just to cuddle and badly sing along to our favorite songs? It’s not even sexual in nature. I just want a good last memory of holding you in my arms. When: Saturday, October 1, 2016. Where: Lake Champlain. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915001 WE POINTED AT EACH OTHER I just happened to be thinking of you when I saw you for the second time today. The coincidence surprised me, and I was compelled to point. There’s more to it than that, but I’ll tell you that some other time ... if we ever cross each other’s paths. You have a warm and inviting way about you. When: Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Where: on the street. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915000
gatherings. Seems there might be a little gray area, because the person I spoke with didn’t say yes right away and asked me if there was a noise complaint. When I explained that I was more concerned about the spread of the virus, she said it would be best to call when the party is happening, and an officer would be dispatched to assess the situation. I imagine a visit from Johnny Law will put an end to the pesky parties. In the meantime, wash your hands, don’t touch your face and stay at home as best you can. Good luck and God bless,
The Reverend What’s your problem?
Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. SEVEN DAYS APRIL 15-22, 2020
A lady in jeans / prefers meat to beans / in the fall of life / not anyone’s wife / locally organic / not into panic / cooks on fire / Computer’s on a wire / well trained in art / a generous heart / spiritually deep / easy to keep. I’m a W, 52, seeking M. #L1399
59-y/o submissive GM. Looking for someone to enjoy times with. #L1403 I’m a 79-y/o retired teacher seeking a mature lady who can help operate a guesthouse together and enjoys gardening, nature walks and traveling. Nonsmoker. #L1402 I’m a 58-y/o woman seeking a mature 30- to 45-y/o male who likes a no-nonsense, worldly life “off the grid” and outside the lower 48. Fast and furious or slow and easy. Nothing in between. Only honest, fun-loving, industrious and adventurous men need apply. #L1401
Spring has sprung. Looking for guys to enjoy the change of season. I’m fun and intelligent, with varied interests. I like everything; mostly sub, but not always. No text/email. I want to talk with you. Central Vermont. Bears are a plus. #L1400 GWM in late 60s, very friendly, honest, caring and understanding. I’m retired, home alone, and it is very lonesome. It’s been a long winter. Looking for a friend who can help me out once in a while. I don’t look or act my age at all. I have been recouping from surgery. I can tell you more later if you write. Should have a car. Live in central Vermont. #L1398
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I am divorced of 34 years. I am 5’11 and 230 pounds. I am a very positive person, happy, thoughtful. Like good conversation and caring, honest people. I like the outdoors. I work and would enjoy good company. #L1397
I’m a W seeking a M. I’d like to meet a happy man who focuses on the good things in the world and shares my interest in nature, animals, music, star/ UFO gazing and possibly future tiny house living. #L1393
Looking for a fun friend. Me: woman 60 years young. Active, adventurous, creative, fit, friendly, flexible, fun, generous, improvisational, independent, outdoorsy, silly, smart, stubborn. You: man, 45 to 60 years young. Charming, educated, fit, flexible, funny, generous, independent, kind, outdoorsy and happy. #L1396
53-y/o virgin looking to meet cute girls between 23 and 43. She’s gotta like to wrestle, be fun, be playful and like the outdoors. Be honest; no games. I don’t do drugs, drink, smoke or chew. Friends first. Been hurt too many times. Trust and honesty are important in friendships and relationships. Please write to me and send a picture. #L1392
I’m a 47-y/o male seeking a woman 33 to 47. I am looking for a long-term relationship leading to marriage. I’m a gentleman, honest, loyal, looking for one woman to spend my life with. #L1395 I’m a 37-y/o man seeking a man. Pretty low-key guy. Goodlooking for my age. Want to find the man who will complete me. Hope to hear from you! #L1394
I’m a single man looking for a single female, age 35 and up, with or without kids. Someone who likes the outdoors and activities. I’m very romantic. I’d like someone to go away with on the weekends, and I love to cuddle. I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs. I got a brand-new hot tub in the backyard. I don’t email often but prefer writing or phone calls. #L1387
I’m a 56-y/o male seeking a male same age or older. I am a fella who likes interesting people. I like to think it could enhance life and make it more fun. #L1391 Gay white male looking for hookups, maybe more; see where it goes. 5’10 and a half, dark brown hair, good looking, brown eyes, slender. I clean and do windows for a living and run a rescue for animals and give them a forever home, so you have to be an animal lover. If interested, get back to me. #L1390 I’m a fella seeking interesting humans. Reasonable human searching for interesting people to act as momentary diversions on the road to the grave. Make life interesting! #L1383 We bumped butts about 8:00 at the Walmart in Berlin. You turned around and asked if I enjoyed that as much as you. You wore rimmed glasses. You had cat food in your cart. I would really like to meet you. Me: woman. You: man. #L1382
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