Seven Days, May 6, 2020

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VERMONT NURSERY AND LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATION/GREEN WORKS AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

MAY 2020 VOL.27 NO.4

Birth Contemplation The uncertainty of welcoming a baby during a pandemic

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V ERM ONT ’S INDEP E NDE NT VO IC E MAY 6-13, 2020 VOL.25 NO.32 SEVENDAYSVT.COM

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KIDS VT MAY ISSUE INSIDE!

A pandemic literary journal (and coloring contest!) PAGE 29


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WEEK IN REVIEW APRIL 29-MAY 6, 2020 COMPILED BY GILLIAN ENGLISH, SASHA GOLDSTEIN & MATTHEW ROY University of Vermont campus

COMFORT CUDDLER

The Williston Police Department’s new canine, Duke, is the first police dog in the state to be used solely as a therapy pup. Just in time, too.

FILE: JAMES BUCK

CARRIERS’ DILEMMA

Coronavirus Claims a UVM Program A University of Vermont program that serves English language-challenged international students has become a casualty of the coronavirus. The Global Gateway Program, established in 2013 to help increase the university’s international student population, will “officially sunset” this fall amid a “complex and uncertain landscape” brought on by the pandemic, UVM provost and senior vice president Patricia A. Prelock wrote in an email to deans and department chairs on Tuesday. Universities around the country fear that the pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions may prevent some international students from attending college in the U.S. this year. That is particularly concerning for universities such as UVM, which has heavily relied on those tuition dollars. Foreign students, who are ineligible for federal loans, often pay full freight, making them attractive prospects for colleges that compete for a shrinking number of high school graduates in the Northeast. Global Gateway Program students were informed of the decision late last Friday night, according to an email obtained by Seven Days. The brief note stresses that the program’s cancellation will not impact those currently

SASHA GOLDSTEIN

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The driveway concert

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enrolled and said UVM remains “deeply committed” to international students and their success. Fifty students are enrolled in the program this academic year, with two final groups expected to complete it remotely this spring and summer before matriculating into the general population. The goal of UVM’s Global Gateway Program — an initiative of former president Tom Sullivan — was to increase international enrollment. The program focuses on students whose English skills fall below what’s required to be directly admitted to the university and generally lasts two or three semesters. Those who complete the undergrad program enter the university as sophomores; there’s also a master’s track. It was billed as an opportunity for international students to adjust to life in the U.S. while increasing campus diversity. In recent years UVM contracted with a London-based company called the Study Group to enhance its global reach. The company helped the university increase its percentage of international undergrads from 1 percent in 2013 to roughly 6 percent this academic year. Read Colin Flanders’ full story at sevendaysvt.com.

Waste haulers want to temporarily suspend state recycling rules over concerns that the material could carry COVID-19. Hazard pay, anyone?

DUSTY EXHIBITS

The Shelburne Museum will be closed this summer for the first time in its 73 years of operation. One for the history books.

$152 million

That’s how much the University of Vermont Health Network expects to lose this fiscal year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

TOPFIVE

MOST POPULAR ITEMS ON SEVENDAYSVT.COM

1. “Vermont Senate Approves $60 Million in Hazard Pay Grants” by Kevin McCallum. The grant program aims to reward the estimated 33,500 workers who put themselves at risk by remaining on the job during the pandemic. 2. “Scott Takes Further Steps to Reopen Vermont Economy” by Colin Flanders. Certain businesses can now have up to 10 people working at a time. 3. “Castleton University President Announces She Will Resign” by Colin Flanders. Karen Scolforo said she plans to step down May 31, after three years with the university. 4. “St. Michael’s College Discounts Tuition for Vermont Students” by Colin Flanders. St. Mike’s is offering reduced tuition for new students from Vermont to appeal to those wary of leaving the state. 5. “Vermont Pondering How to Move Homeless Out of Motels” by Kevin McCallum. The state is paying to house 1,700 homeless people, including more than 200 children. What to do next is an open question.

tweet of the week @northbranchvt

COVER UP

Riders on Green Mountain Transit buses are now required to wear face masks. As they should be.

I wish I had half the confidence of Vermont Mother Nature in April. Girl unapologetically dumped a bunch of snow the other day, then poured sunshine and 70 degrees on us and is now passive aggressively raining. Control freak she is. This state gives me whiplash! #vermont #vtlife FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @SEVENDAYSVT OUR TWEEPLE: SEVENDAYSVT.COM/TWITTER

WHAT’S KIND IN VERMONT

BAND-ING TOGETHER

On Monday evening, six Shelburne Community School students gathered in a driveway, spacing themselves six feet apart. At 6 p.m. sharp, they lifted musical instruments to their lips and blasted out the familiar refrain of “Let’s Go Band” — that five-note ditty you’ve heard at every sporting event ever — over and over again. The girls were among the hundreds of band students from six schools in the Champlain Valley School District who stood in front yards at the appointed hour and played their hearts

out to honor frontline heroes of the pandemic. Williston Central School band director Kim Thompson helped organize the event to give the students the feel of a concert performance. Several spring concerts were canceled when school closed, and Shelburne eighth graders weren’t able to go to Montréal for an annual band trip. “It was disappointing for everybody to leave school and lose our sense of community,” Thompson said. “For music in particular, everything we do is so collaborative.” “Let’s Go Band” is a classic tune that’s easy enough for the youngest band students, in fourth grade, to play,

and catchy enough to get the attention of neighbors. On Oak Hill Road in Shelburne, as the six girls played their clarinets and saxophones, neighbors sat in idling cars and cheered. At one point, Shelburne Community School music teacher Tim Buckingham hoisted himself halfway out of a car’s sunroof and rode past, waving a sign in support. A trumpet sounded its loud blat around the corner as another group of neighborhood kids joined the concert. “Musicians like having audiences. We like sharing our music with people,” Thompson said. “It’s not something that you just keep to yourself.” SASHA GOLDSTEIN SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

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LIT TO PRINT. founders/Coeditors Pamela Polston, Paula Routly publisher Paula Routly

deputy publisher Cathy Resmer AssoCiAte publishers

Don Eggert, Pamela Polston, Colby Roberts NEWS & POLITICS editor Matthew Roy

deputy editor Sasha Goldstein

FEEDback READER REACTION TO RECENT ARTICLES

Consulting editor Candace Page

stAff writers Derek Brouwer, Colin Flanders,

Paul Heintz, Courtney Lamdin, Kevin McCallum ARTS & LIFE

editor Pamela Polston

AssoCiAte editor Margot Harrison

AssistAnt editors Dan Bolles, Elizabeth M. Seyler MusiC editor Jordan Adams

CAlendAr writer Kristen Ravin

speCiAlty publiCAtions MAnAger Carolyn Fox stAff writers Jordan Barry, Chelsea Edgar,

Margaret Grayson, Ken Picard, Sally Pollak

proofreAders Carolyn Fox, Elizabeth M. Seyler AssistAnt proofreAders Katherine Isaacs,

Marisa Keller

D I G I TA L & V I D E O

dAtA editor Andrea Suozzo

digitAl produCtion speCiAlist Bryan Parmelee senior MultiMediA produCer Eva Sollberger MultiMediA journAlist James Buck

AudienCe engAgeMent speCiAlist Gillian English DESIGN

CreAtive direCtor Don Eggert

Art direCtor Rev. Diane Sullivan

produCtion MAnAger John James

designers Jeff Baron, Kirsten Thompson, Mollie Coons SALES & MARKETING

direCtor of sAles Colby Roberts

senior ACCount exeCutive Michael Bradshaw

ACCount exeCutives Robyn Birgisson, Michelle Brown, Kristen Hutter, Logan Pintka MArketing & events direCtor Corey Grenier sAles & MArketing CoordinAtor Katie Hodges A D M I N I S T R AT I O N

business MAnAger Marcy Carton

direCtor of CirCulAtion Matt Weiner CirCulAtion deputy Jeff Baron

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Luke Baynes, Justin Boland, Alex Brown, Chris Farnsworth, Rick Kisonak, Jacqueline Lawler, Amy Lilly, Bryan Parmelee, Melissa Pasanen, Jernigan Pontiac, Jim Schley, Julia Shipley, Molly Zapp CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS Luke Awtry, Rob Donnelly, Harry Bliss, Luke Eastman, Caleb Kenna, Marc Nadel, Tim Newcomb, Oliver Parini, Sarah Priestap, Jeb Wallace-Brodeur C I R C U L AT I O N : 3 5 , 0 0 0 Seven Days is published by Da Capo Publishing Inc. every Wednesday. It is distributed free of charge in greater Burlington, Middlebury, Montpelier, Northeast Kingdom, Stowe, the Mad River Valley, Rutland, St. Albans, St. Johnsbury, White River Junction and Plattsburgh, N.Y.

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Seven Days shall not be held liable to any advertiser for any loss that results from the incorrect publication of its advertisement. If a mistake is ours, and the advertising purpose has been rendered valueless, Seven Days may cancel the charges for the advertisement, or a portion thereof as deemed reasonable by the publisher. Seven Days reserves the right to refuse any advertising, including inserts, at the discretion of the publishers. DISCLOSURE: Seven Days publisher and coeditor Paula Routly is the domestic partner of Vermont Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe. Routly abstains from involvement in the newspaper’s Statehouse and state political coverage. Find our conflict of interest policy here: sevendaysvt.com/disclosure.

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BE COUNTED

The League of Women Voters urges everyone to participate in the 2020 Census, now under way. The U.S. Constitution requires the federal government to count everyone living in the country every 10 years. Every household should complete a census form — either online, by mail or by phone — by October 31, 2020. Participating in the census is our right and responsibility. Census data shape the future of our community. Census data determine our political power, representation in Congress, and funding for education, transportation, health care and so much more. Key federal programs rely on data and allocations derived from the census, including Medicaid, Medicare Part B, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, highway planning and construction, Section 8, Title I grants, special education grants, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Head Start. Census data are also used for apportionment of congressional and legislative seats, determining who represents you. Your privacy is protected. Under the law, census data can only be used for statistical purposes. Personal information cannot be disclosed for 72 years; U.S. Census Bureau staffers who have access to personal information are subject to a $250,000 fine and/ or up to five years in federal prison for wrongful disclosure of information. Recent reports show that Vermont has one of the lowest U.S. Census response rates in the country [Last 7: “Vermont Lags in Census Response,” April 22]. You can go online and fill out your census form in a matter of minutes. An accurate count is essential for allocating government resources, making good decisions about state and local projects, and allocating legislative seats. Visit 2020census.gov to fill out the census today. Catherine Rader

EAST MONTPELIER

Rader is a board member of the League of Women Voters of Vermont.

TO THE RESCUE

[Re “Story Time,” April 22]: As president and cofounder of the Vermont Holocaust Memorial, I would like to bring your readers’ attentions to our Vermont student essay contest entitled “Rescuers in the Time of COVID-19.” To acknowledge


WEEK IN REVIEW

SECONDHAND COVID?

TIM NEWCOMB

the heroism and sacrifice of Vermont’s medical, service and other personnel in the fight against COVID-19, the museum has launched a competition that will challenge Vermont students to reflect on the stories of neighbors and relatives on the front lines against this historic threat and how their values reflect those rescuers of the World War II Holocaust. For contest information and guidelines, interested students, teachers and families should visit holocaustmemorial-vt. org/2020essaycontest.

THE $116 MILLION QUESTION

[Re Off Message: “Data Show Vermont Air Guard F-35 Flights Spiked in April,” April 24]: In the Trump era, we have gotten dangerously blasé about lies from official figures. The old bumper sticker “If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention” should certainly apply when Col. Dave Shevchik of the Vermont Air National Guard states, “I am committed to transparency,” after having misled Seven Days, various city councils and all of us about the frequency of F-35 flights. Hiding behind “operational security” does not make the Air National Guard’s lies any less outrageous. When the planes fly over a family sheltered in place in Winooski, shaking the bricks of their house, it is not a military secret; it’s a waking nightmare. The F-35 flights must be shut down for the duration of the pandemic.

[Re Off Message: “Data Show Vermont Air Guard F-35 Flights Spiked in April,” April 24]: According to an October 30, 2019, Popular Mechanics article, the F-35 is estimated to cost $44,000 per hour to fly. In a recent letter to the city councils of Winooski, Burlington and South Burlington, the Vermont Air National Guard stated that they usually fly four to eight aircraft twice a day for four days a week, plus one weekend per month — conservatively, 12 one-hour flights per day for four days and 52 weeks, plus 12 flights once per month, for an estimated annual cost of $116,160,000. What could Vermont do with $116 million per year? Maybe support higher education or provide property tax relief. A more realistic schedule of two hours and 16 flights per day would result in an estimated annual cost of more than $300,000,000. In the Environmental Impact Statement, the United States Air Force stated that the F-35 would be four times louder than the F-16. However, there is absolutely no way to determine this: There was no scientific measurement of the F-16 or F-35 noise. Many airports around the country and the world have real-time noise monitoring, which not only measures the noise levels at various points along the flight path but also allows observers to track those levels via the web. Burlington International Airport could apply for a Federal Aviation Administration grant for such a system, but it has not done so. Clearly, the airport authorities and the politicians do not want the public to have real-time, scientific measurements of the noise created by the planes.

Andrew Simon

George C. Cross

Debora Steinerman

JEFFERSONVILLE

‘WAKING NIGHTMARE’

BURLINGTON

WINOOSKI

[Re Off Message: “Scott Takes Further Steps to Open Vermont Economy,” May 1]: We don’t allow smoking in stores because secondhand smoke causes cancer. Why in the world should we allow people to transmit a deadly virus in stores when they can easily wear a mask? Secondhand smoke takes years of multiple exposures to cause cancer, while one exposure to the novel coronavirus can kill. I am becoming increasingly concerned about the number of out-ofstate visitors I see in the stores without cloth masks. In southern Vermont we have a high number of vacation homes. The owners of those homes are coming up from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York — all hotbeds for the virus. They are staying for the weekend and going home. They don’t self-quarantine and, most importantly, many don’t wear cloth masks in public. Don’t get me wrong; I want out-ofstate visitors to come to Vermont. But after working so hard to get the COVID19 numbers down, we can’t afford to let them go up. There is no herd immunity in Vermont. Cloth masks and handwashing are our only protection. I am not fooling when I say this is a life-or-death situation. We need a rule from the governor that must be followed: No cloth face covering, no service! If he fails to act, I ask my fellow citizens to boycott stores that don’t require a face mask or a cloth face covering. Doug Friant

SOUTH LONDONDERRY

CORRECTION

Last week’s cover story, “At a Loss,” misstated Roger Guillemette’s relationship history. He was married, then divorced; he was unmarried at the time of his death.

SAY SOMETHING! Seven Days wants to publish your rants and raves. Your feedback must... • be 250 words or fewer; • respond to Seven Days content; • include your full name, town and a daytime phone number.

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contents MAY 6-13, 2020 VOL.25 NO.32

COLUMNS

SECTIONS

27 Hackie

20 Life Lines

42 Retail Therapy

46 Food + Drink

52 Album Reviews

50 Music + Nightlife

69 Ask the Reverend

54 Classes 55 Classifieds + Puzzles 64 Fun Stuff 68 Personals

FOOD

Standing Out Farmstands do brisk business as Vemonters seek local food

PAGE 46

Table Service New organizations step up to aid struggling Vermont food, beverage and restaurant sectors

PAGE 48

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STUCK IN VERMONT

Online Now

ON THE COVER

A pandemic literary journal (and coloring contest!) PAGE 29 COVER IMAGE HARRY BLISS • COVER DESIGN REV. DIANE SULLIVAN

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40

NEWS & POLITICS 11

ARTS NEWS 22

FEATURES 38

From the Publisher

Pandemic Pastimes

Other People’s Problems

COVID Containment Contact tracers hold the key to limiting new outbreaks

Second-Home Coming

State, towns prepare for summer influx of part-time residents

‘Being Human’

Death claims a disabled activist who influenced thinking on autism

A weekly roundup of virtual ventures from Vermonters

See More Kael

Couch Cinema: What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael

Safety Net

Three Vermont organizations help the arts and culture sectors with disaster preparedness

Book review: Afterlife, Julia Alvarez

Social Studies

You are what you tweet, and lately you’ve been sad

Talk It Out: Lily Died for Love by Eric George

We have

A discussion on the Burlington country songwriter’s ... Harry Potter record?

Be strong Vermont Let's work together and help those in need.

60 Main Street, Burlington, VT - gbicvt.org 8H-GBIC040820.indd 1

While many Vermonters are staying home to SUPPORTED BY: stop the spread of COVID-19, essential workers remain on the job. Eva spoke to some of them about what it’s like delivering mail, taking care of patients and stocking grocery store shelves during a pandemic.

4/2/20 12:21 PM

Find a new job in the classifieds section on page 60 and online at sevendaysvt.com/jobs.

We’ve all been through the wringer lately. Let’s celebrate when we can.

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

The Summer That Wasn’t

On Monday, Shelburne Museum announced that it would not open to the public for the first time in 73 years. Similar historic decisions have come from Camp Hochelaga in South Hero and the Aloha Foundation camps on Lake Morey and Lake Fairlee. It’s going to be a strange summer. But not, perhaps, Vermont’s worst. In 1816, the state’s most anticipated season never came. The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, a volcano in Indonesia, spewed ash into the atmosphere, causing weird weather around the globe. Vermonters experienced snow in June and freezing weather in August that killed crops. 1816 was known as “the year without a summer,” or “1800 and froze to death.” More terrifying, people didn’t understand what was going on. There was no telegraph, radio, telephones, internet or Front Porch Forum to explain the temporary phenomenon. Nineteenth-century Vermonters couldn’t just crank up the thermostat or run to the grocery store to pick up extra food. The best accounts of that time come from the journals of Vermonters who recorded their experiences. On June 8, 1816, Rufus Hovey from Brookfield wrote, “Froze all day. Ground covered with snow all day. Ground froze five or six nights. All the trees on the high land turned black.” Learning about “the year without a summer” is part of the Good Citizen Coronavirus Challenge, a civics project organized by Kids VT, Seven Days’ parenting publication; the May issue is inside this week’s paper. Each Wednesday, the “challenge masters” post new activities to goodcitizenvt.com in three timely subjects: history, news literacy and community engagement. The tasks illustrate how Americans have endured trials in the past, explain how to evaluate information online, and empower kids to pitch in and help their friends and neighbors. For each activity they complete, participants are entered into a weekly drawing to win a $25 gift card to Phoenix Books and other prizes. This past week, we asked kids to write three journal entries about the strange time we’re living in now. Amelia Stacey of Berlin sent this illustration with a written explanation: “This pandemic only gets worse. Grampie is sick and we can’t be there with him. I love him.” Find more entries on page 26. Documentation is one way to help make sense of a difficult experience, to put it in perspective, to get through it. This week’s Seven Days features essays, poems and cartoons from notable Vermonters reflecting on the pandemic, including Stephen Kiernan, Kimberly Harrington, Rajnii Eddins, Sue Halpern and James Kochalka. It’s our literary “quaranzine” — Want to help Seven Days and see Dan Bolles’ intro to the package on page 29. local journalism? Become a Super Reader. Also in this paper: local news. Lots of it. Look for the “Give Now” buttons at the top We’re mindful that, as Philip Graham said, of sevendaysvt.com. Or send a check with “Journalism is the first rough draft of history.” your address and contact info to: We are all part of it.

Paula Routly P.S. Thanks to Victoria Hughes at the Vermont Historical Society, who reminded us about “the year without a summer,” and to the Vermont Community Foundation and the Evslin Family Foundation for underwriting the Good Citizen Coronavirus Challenge.

Amelia Stacey’s journal entry

SEVEN DAYS C/O SUPER READERS P.O. BOX 1164 BURLINGTON, VT 05402-1164

For more information on making a financial contribution to Seven Days, please contact Corey Grenier: VOICEMAIL: 802-865-1020, EXT. 36 EMAIL: SUPERREADERS@SEVENDAYSVT.COM

SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

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news

MORE INSIDE

GOV’S BUD GETS SAFETY GRANT PAGE 15

EDUCATION

PUNCHED WOMAN FILES SUIT PAGE 17

ADVOCATE MEL BAGGS HAS DIED

Vermont State Colleges Plan In-Person Instruction This Fall

PAGE 18

COVID Containment

B Y C OLIN F L A N DER S

Contact tracers hold the key to limiting new outbreaks B Y K E N PI CA R D

SEAN METCALF

S

ince the arrival of COVID-19, Daniel Daltry has spent his days delving into the social networks of its Vermont victims — not their Facebook posts and Twitter followers, but the web of family, friends, neighbors and colleagues with whom they have spent time face-to-face. Daltry is a contact tracer at the Vermont Department of Health. His job is to interview coronavirus patients, determine whom they may have infected and track down those contacts so that they, in turn, can monitor their own health and self-quarantine to stop the disease’s spread. As state officials relax Vermont’s stay-at-home restrictions and restart the economy, contact tracing will be critical. Researchers believe the virus most often spreads from person to person, with one patient infecting an average of two or three others. Within weeks, a few cases can grow into thousands. At an April 29 press conference, Gov. Phil Scott likened the pandemic to a forest fire and described contact tracing as an essential tool for containing it. “[Coronavirus] testing will allow us to spot those embers early,” he said. “Contact tracing allows us to surround it in order to contain it.” But contact tracing also raises concerns about individual privacy, government surveillance and the rights of citizens to move around without being stigmatized for their health status. Civil liberties advocates warn that the government must balance legitimate public health concerns with respect for personal privacy.

Daltry, 44, is no newcomer to contact tracing. He spent a decade as a social worker, HIV/AIDS case manager and disease prevention specialist in Philadelphia and central Connecticut. He traced the contacts of people who were HIV positive, encouraging their friends, sex partners and those with whom they had shared needles to get tested, too. Since 2006, he has served as chief of the Vermont Department of Health’s HIV, STD and Hepatitis C program. After Vermont’s first reported case of COVID19 on March 7, he shifted his focus to the coronavirus and now helps oversee the state’s contact-tracing efforts. Here’s how that process works. When a physician or hospital notifies the health

department that someone has tested positive, Daltry or a colleague will immediately contact the infected individual, referred to as the “index patient.” Typically, the initial contact is made by phone, email or text. The first interview may be as short as five minutes, though most take 15 to 25 minutes, Daltry said, in part because the contact tracer wants to establish rapport and mutual trust. COVID-positive patients are encouraged but not required to cooperate. “Partnership with the individual is paramount,” Daltry said. “This isn’t a

HEALTH

COVID CONTAINMENT

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The Vermont State Colleges System said Monday that all of its campuses will welcome students back for in-person instruction this fall, despite a looming financial crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The move comes as the ailing college system finds itself within reach of a legislative bailout, with Vermont’s top lawmakers reaffirming their commitment over the weekend to helping the schools survive the next academic year so that the state can adopt a “transitional plan.” “This summer and fall, we will focus attention on creating a 21st century higher education system that meets the needs of Vermonters, our communities and our workforce,” Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe (D/P-Chittenden) and House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero) wrote in a joint statement released on Saturday. Ashe and Johnson were among thousands of Vermonters who opposed former chancellor Jeb Spaulding’s April proposal to close three state college campuses in an effort to address a multimillion-dollar deficit. Spaulding later withdrew his proposal and resigned last week over his handling of the matter. Karen Scolforo, president of Castleton University, has also said she will resign after learning that Spaulding’s plan included replacing her. Many fear that the damage has already been done, with some students now considering whether to continue with the state college system because of concerns that their school might shut down before they graduate. Sophie Zdatny, who is serving as interim chancellor until a longerterm one can be appointed, sought to steady the ship with Monday’s announcement that state colleges will join the University of Vermont in resuming in-person learning this fall. Noting that the system has extended application deadlines through the summer, Zdatny urged students to stick with the schools in spite of their recent turmoil and said she will work with lawmakers to produce the information needed to secure bridge funding. The system will then turn its focus to identifying a “viable path forward,” she said, a process she assured will remain “inclusive and transparent.” Contact: colin@sevendaysvt.com


Second-Home Coming

Mom and I are happy she chose to homeshare.

State, towns prepare for summer influx of part-time residents BY C OURT NEY L AMDIN

J

ustin Breiner is going a little stircrazy. Since mid-March, he, his wife and two young kids have been holed up in their home in downtown Stamford, Conn., the epicenter of that state’s coronavirus outbreak. With no end to the pandemic in sight, “we’re looking for a change of scenery,” Breiner said. Luckily for the family, they’re among thousands of out-of-staters who own a little slice of heaven in the Green Mountains. They typically visit for a week at a time, but with the kids’ summer camps likely canceled, other travel plans on hold and the ability to work remotely, the Breiners are planning to soon spend a month at their Stowe getaway — and they’re not the only ones hoping to shake the quarantine blues in Vermont. “Families are going to be looking for activities to entertain their kids all summer,” Breiner said. If people want to get away, “this is the year to do it.” Vermont’s population typically grows by 5 to 6 percent when snowbirds and secondhome owners arrive for the summer. State officials expect the increase to be as high as 10 percent this year, meaning about 60,000 more people — many from coronavirus hot spots in New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut — could soon be living in Vermont. In anticipation, Gov. Phil Scott has ordered those who arrive from outside the state to self-quarantine — defined as staying on your property and away from other people — for 14 days. The state also has bolstered its ability to test for the virus and to trace the contacts of those who are infected, two tactics officials say will help prevent a major outbreak of COVID-19. However, the state’s strategy is based on the honor system. There are few ways to ensure that new arrivals comply with the rules and no real measures in place to prevent them from bringing the coronavirus and spreading it in Vermont communities. Some municipalities with a substantial number of second homes have taken it upon themselves to bolster their defenses. The Town of Woodstock is sending letters to

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second-home owners from New York City, letting them know about the quarantine order. Stowe has assembled a volunteer group that delivers groceries to the homebound, flatlanders included. That’s a far cry from what’s happened in one coastal resort community in Massachusetts. The Town of Scituate went as far as shutting off water service to some vacation homes in order to keep outsiders away, the Boston Globe reported this week. In Vermont, state and local officials are confident that their more measured approach is the right tack. “There’s always that concern about reintroducing the virus,” said Michael Pieciak, Vermont’s commissioner of financial regulation, who has been tasked with using data to predict the ebb and flow of coronavirus cases. “But we think … that over the summer, this can be manageable in Vermont.” Worries about second-home owners arose early on in the pandemic. One of Vermont’s first COVID-19 cases was a Westchester County, N.Y., man who had decamped to his second home specifically “to escape the virus,” state Health Commissioner Mark Levine said in March. Vermonters began calling their legislators as they spotted a slew of cars from out-of-state presumed to be full of people fleeing urban virus hotbeds for greener, SECOND-HOME COMING

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news COVID Containment « P.12 STATEHOUSE

Vermont Senate Approves $60 Million in Hazard Pay Grants BY K E VI N MC C A L L UM

Essential workers making less than $25 per hour during the coronavirus pandemic would qualify for hazard pay of up to $1,000 per month under a bill approved last Friday by the Vermont Senate. The $60 million grant program aims to reward the estimated 33,500 nursing home workers, grocery store clerks and retail employees who put themselves at risk by remaining on the job during the crisis. Workers who put in at least 108 hours during one of the two periods covered by the grants — March 13 to April 14 or April 14 to May 15 — would qualify for the full $1,000 each period. Those who worked at least 34 hours would receive $600 per period under the bill. Though not without dissent during its development, the final bill won unanimous approval by the Senate. The bill says some of the $1.25 billion the state received from the federal CARES Act would cover the program cost. The measure is meant to address the inequity created by an increase in unemployment benefits. People laid off due to the pandemic are eligible for an additional $600 per week under the federal CARES Act. That could make it difficult for some employers to hire back enough workers to allow them to reopen, Sen. Dick Sears (D-Bennington) said. “Rewarding some of these people who are actually working rather than staying on unemployment is really the key piece of this bill,” Sears said. The House must still consider and approve the bill, and it would ultimately need Gov. Phil Scott’s signature. At a press conference last Friday, Scott was noncommittal about whether he’d sign or veto the legislation and seemed skeptical that the federal stimulus funds would cover the costs. “I understand it’s a noble effort, and I understand what they’re trying to do,” the governor said. “My question always goes back to: Where does the money come from? We don’t believe that the CARES Act can be used for this purpose.” Contact: kevin@sevendaysvt.com

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SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

rushed call, a ‘Give me all the names and dates … and just the facts, ma’am.’” The contact tracer asks whether the patient needs information about the disease or help addressing any health concerns. Then together they try to identify all the people with whom the index patient has been in close contact since first becoming infectious — generally, during the twoweek period before the positive test result. Sometimes, Daltry will jog the patient’s memory by referring to special events, such as an Easter dinner, Passover seder or workplace gathering. He has found that most patients have had a “fairly good” memory of people they have encountered in the previous 14 days. Helpfully, most Vermonters have had limited in-person interactions with people outside their homes since the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” directive was imposed. Next, the contact tracer will try to find the people who were exposed to the index patient. They are warned they could spread the virus and are advised to stay home, physically distance from others for 14 days and monitor themselves for coronavirus symptoms. All are urged to get tested, and the contact tracer will follow up later to see how they’re faring. If any of these contacts tests positive, the tracer will track down those they might have infected, and so on, in a widening circle. “It can balloon very far, very quickly,” Daltry said. There are limits. Contact tracers do not, for example, try to identify every shopper and store employee who was in the supermarket on the day the index patient bought groceries. The contact tracers focus on finding the people who spent the most time near the patient. “Traditionally, we’re looking for people you’ve been with for 10 to 15 minutes within a six-foot radius,” Daltry explained. Most commonly that means members of the patient’s household. However, if the index patient remembers even brief contact that involved kissing or shaking someone’s hand, those people are likely to get a call. In cases in which the index patient is too sick to speak, Daltry has worked with a spouse or other family member. Thus far, Vermont’s 53 contact tracers have been able to handle their workload, which has averaged about 34 new cases a week, according to state epidemiologist Patsy Kelso. That number is likely to rise soon as Vermont expands its testing capacity to 1,000 a day. Daltry has averaged just two to three contacts per index patient, but that number is expected to increase as people go back to work. Kelso announced last week that Vermont plans to hire another 40 to 50 contact tracers, bringing the total to about

100. The National Association of County and City Health Officials recommends deploying 30 tracers for every 100,000 people during a pandemic. By that standard, Vermont would need more than 180 tracers, but Kelso expressed confidence that the state’s stable of workers will be enough to handle a worst-case scenario of 900 new cases a week. New technology will help make that work easier. Vermont has signed a deal with MITRE to use the company’s electronic alert and notification system to provide daily texts, emails and phone check-ins with index patients and those they may have infected. Kelso emphasized that the technology will be used to stay in touch, not to monitor anyone’s movements. “This is not a location or proximity tracker,” she said. “It’s simply a system to help us monitor and collect more information on our cases and their contacts.”

THE FINISH LINE IS NOT IN SIGHT. D ANIE L D ALTRY

Federal law requires contact tracers to protect the confidentiality of those they interview — one reason Daltry doesn’t show up at a patient’s front door in personal protective equipment. However, some index patients allow tracers to reveal their identities to those they may have infected. Nevertheless, contact tracers’ use of technology has raised concerns among civil libertarians. As Vermont writer Sue Halpern pointed out in an April 27 New Yorker piece, “Can We Track COVID-19 and Protect Privacy at the Same Time?” South Korea dramatically lowered its infection and mortality rates in part by tracking infected citizens through their cellphones, car GPS systems and credit card transactions. China aims surveillance cameras at the doorways of infected individuals to monitor their movements. Though no one is predicting that such authoritarian measures will be adopted in Vermont, the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union wants to ensure that any coronavirus-related data gathered by contract tracers is used only for legitimate public health purposes. “The ACLU-VT recognizes that the

COVID-19 virus poses a grave risk to public health, so we should not write off tools that might help mitigate the problem,” senior staff attorney Lia Ernst wrote in an email to Seven Days. “But we must also recognize that technology is no magic pill to stemming the COVID-19 pandemic.” Any government response to COVID must be no more intrusive than is absolutely necessary, she said. It must be grounded in science and public health and cannot be “punitive or stigmatizing.” She urged state health officials to keep all data confidential and limit how long it’s stored. The origins of contact tracing date back to the mid-1800s, when British physician John Snow, considered the father of modern epidemiology, traced the source of a cholera outbreak to a public water pump in the Soho section of London. Today, contact tracers still use many of the same techniques first developed by U.S. public health advisers in the 1940s to trace the spread of syphilis, tuberculosis and other diseases. For his part, Daltry said that while new technologies may help his work, he expects that most contact tracing still will be the old-school, shoe-leather variety that emphasizes person-to-person relationships. Though new contract tracers may be recruited from the ranks of health care, law enforcement and even journalism, he noted that the job requires a diversity of skills that can also include sales and marketing. Compassion and empathy are also key. Daltry was a religious studies major before becoming a social worker. “Did that prepare me for this? I don’t know,” he mused. “I thought I’d be anointing the sick rather than interviewing the sick.” Thus far, he said, Vermonters have been very cooperative. People often return his calls late at night, and some have agreed to self-quarantine even when reached while on vacation. “We’re in a very fortunate time in that there is a lot of information out there,” Daltry said. Because the pandemic dominates local and national news, “our community is incredibly educated about the nuances of COVID. “But we know this is going to be a prolonged battle,” he cautioned. “The finish line is not in sight.” Contact: ken@sevendaysvt.com


BUSINESS

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Scott Associate Lands Contract for Worker Safety Training

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BY K E VI N MC C A L L UM

The Vermont Department of Labor has awarded a $16,000 worker training grant to a trade group run by a close friend and supporter of Gov. Phil Scott, even though the department offers a similar coronavirus safety course. The department will pay Associated General Contractors of Vermont to train about 800 construction workers in techniques to prevent the spread of the coronavirus when they return to job sites in coming Richard Wobby Jr. weeks, said Sarah Buxton, the state’s director of workforce development. “I’m running an organization, and I’m The state approved the grant last looking at the bottom line every time I Thursday because the association’s walk out the door,” he said. executive director, Richard “Dick” Wobby After some complaints and confusion Jr., demonstrated that his course is “more over whether the training was required robust” than the free one offered by the before contractors could get back to state to help businesses meet new rules work, the association quickly dropped the requiring that workers be trained in social nonmember fee. It became clear that in distancing and hand hygiene before the real world, members and nonmemreturning to work, Buxton said. bers were going to be working alongside “The reason we are paying an organieach other, and everyone needed similar zation to do this is they came and asked training, he said. for funding,” Buxton said. “They said, ‘We “The board realized that in order to want to have a higher standard of care ensure a safer job site, they had to bite and to keep our companies open and keep the bullet a little,” Wobby said. the economy rolling.’” The program has since been offered free The grant is a small but telling to any employer, and more than 700 workexample of how organizations most ers have completed it to date, Wobby said. familiar with how decisions are made in After the board waived that fee, Montpelier — and by whom — are well however, Wobby pivoted to try to secure positioned to tap into the massive flow of a state grant to offset the association’s state and federal aid aimed at supporting costs. He argued that the state’s free and restarting Vermont’s economy. online course was insufficient to keep Wobby, Scott’s childhood friend and workers safe on complex job sites. longtime campaign supporter, runs The state course, produced by the a trade group that operates a variety Vermont Occupational Safety and Health of training programs covering worker Administration, is a 49-page online safety, some of which qualify for taxpayer document that, while informative, allows funding. workers to skip straight to the bottom, Wobby’s hunt for a new source of certify they’ve read and understood it, and state funds ramped up last month when print it for their records, Wobby noted. it became clear that training would be General contractors need assurance needed for workers returning to job sites that workers — whether their own around the state. employees, subcontractors or those Scott announced on April 17 that delivering supplies to job sites — actuhe would begin to “turn the spigot” to ally understand and commit to follow restart the economy by allowing some guidelines, Wobby said. nonessential businesses, including small While the construction industry is construction crews and landscapers, to “first out of the gate” with a training return to work on April 20 under strict program specific to its needs, Buxton said guidelines. These included urging workers the state is willing to offer assistance to wear masks and work six feet part at all to other trade groups that develop and times, among others. (Last Friday, Scott implement safety training tailored to tweaked his order to allow construction their specific needs. crews of up to 10 people.) “The state would be better off if everyThe association’s course went live on body took additional personal responsibilApril 20. It was initially advertised as free ity, personal steps to make sure that we for members and $200 for nonmembers. don’t have a setback in COVID-19 cases,” The idea was that nonmembers benefitBuxton said. m ing from the two-and-a-half-hour online course should help defray the significant Contact: kevin@sevendaysvt.com cost of developing it, Wobby said.

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HEALTH

South Burlington Aircraft Firm Turns Attention to Ventilators BY K E N P I C A RD

Ordinarily, when the engineers and software designers at Beta Technologies measure and design for air flow, they’re concerned with the aerodynamics of an aircraft, not whether a patient in respiratory distress is getting enough oxygen to stay alive. But in March, as COVID-19 created a worldwide shortage of mechanical ventilators, Steve Arms, a sensor engineer with the South Burlington electric aircraft developer, decided to take on the problem. With help from other Beta employees and physicians at the University of Vermont Medical Center, Arms designed, built and tested an emergency ventilator in about three weeks. The AutoVENT is designed to be small, portable, easy to use and inexpensive — about $500 to $600. One of several mechanical ventilators invented by Vermonters in recent months, the device is now undergoing emergency review by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Arms based the design on a standard bag valve mask, or Ambu bag, which emergency medical responders routinely use in the field. That device includes a mask that fits over the patient’s nose and mouth, a valve for delivering pure oxygen, and a footballsize bag that is squeezed manually to push air into the patient’s lungs. In the AutoVENT, mechanical parts compress the bag to provide the patient with oxygen. Within 48 hours of conceiving of the idea for the AutoVENT, Arms had a working prototype to demonstrate to physicians at the UVM Medical Center. They, in turn, “poked a lot of holes” in the initial design, Arms said, adding: “I learned a lot about respiratory therapy in a short period of time.” Those physicians included Dr. Mark Hamlin, a professor of anesthesia and surgery who is the medical director of respiratory care at the UVM Medical Center. Hamlin’s job has included coordinating ventilator resources throughout the state to ensure that Vermont’s hospitals were equipped to handle the expected surge in respiratory patients from COVID-19. “It’s been totally fascinating,” said Hamlin, who had never previously partnered with a private industry to develop a new medical device. “For them to [build] something for under 500 bucks is truly astounding.” m Contact: ken@sevendaysvt.com

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A Vermont Agency of Transportation employee tracks license plates coming off the Grand Isle ferry near a sign delivering the governor’s message

Second-Home Coming « P.13 cleaner pastures. In Stowe, the complaints about visitors became so heated that the town’s emergency management director took to Facebook to urge people: “Now is the time that we must come together as one and support our neighbors, regardless of their license plate color.” “There was a lot more anxiety about that, and rightfully so during that period of time,” said Pieciak, noting that cases were rising in Vermont and surrounding states in mid-March. The fear hasn’t completely dissipated. Windsor resident Mary Cain told Seven Days that she wouldn’t get out of her car at a Woodstock gas station recently because two New Yorkers were fueling up next to her. They weren’t wearing face masks. “I said [to one guy], ‘You couldn’t stay home?’ He didn’t say anything,” Cain said, later adding: “If we see that Woodstock is a hot spot in two weeks, we know that’s the [reason].” Woodstock town officials are doing what they can to ensure that visitors don’t cause a new outbreak. Knowing that the Upper Valley village of about 3,000 swells to 5,300 in summer, they sent letters on March 26 to every second-home owner hailing from the Big Apple, asking them to abide by a 14-day self-quarantine when they arrive. Scott issued a similar statewide mandate four days later. “We wanted to make sure we were focusing on folks who might have increased exposure to the virus,” Woodstock town manager William Kerbin Jr. said. “It’s just important that … we flatten this curve.” The town will send out a second round of letters to other seasonal residents in the coming weeks, he said.

The impending influx of second-home owners is also top of mind for town manager Scott Tucker in Wilmington, less than 12 miles from the Massachusetts state line. Because it is near Mount Snow and the Harriman Reservoir, two popular visitor destinations, Wilmington’s population in peak seasons can increase threefold, from just under 2,000 people to 6,000, Tucker said.

IF YOU ARE HERE, YOU ARE PART OF THE COMMUNITY, AND WE ASK THAT YOU BE COMMUNITY-MINDED. S TO W E TO W N MANA G ER C H AR L E S S AF F O R D

Still, the town manager isn’t too concerned that the virus will spread, as long as travelers follow Scott’s executive order. He’s especially heartened that one of Wilmington’s major seasonal communities, Chimney Hill, has posted a copy of the governor’s mandate on its website’s home page. Tucker only heard a little chatter among townsfolk who, early on in the pandemic, were afraid to visit Wilmington’s lone supermarket after seeing out-of-state plates in the parking lot. Perhaps locals haven’t forgotten how seasonal residents helped them recover after Tropical Storm Irene decimated their downtown nine years ago, Tucker said. “I heard stories of people stopping by with their kids at different places of business … helping them hoe out mud and everything else,” he said. “People were very generous with their time, their energy, their passion for the area and their money, as well.”

Out-of-towners are also omnipresent in Stowe. The Lamoille County municipality is home to about 4,400 people year-round, but in peak seasons its population grows to more than 20,000, including second-home owners, weekend tourists and daytrippers, according to town manager Charles Safford. Like many towns in the coronavirus era, Stowe has created public safety campaigns to promote social distancing and proper hygiene. None are specifically targeted at returning Vermonters, Safford said. He, too, thinks Scott’s mandated 14-day quarantine will do the trick. “If you are here, you are part of the community, and we ask that you be community-minded,” Safford said. “People have been understanding of the governor’s directive to date,” he continued. “We may have to make some sacrifices in order to minimize another flare-up.” More informally, the Stowe C19 Community Response team has some 140 members who are ready to grocery shop for homebound folks, including elderly snowbirds and seasonal Vermonters who will be quarantining. “We’re here for them,” said state Rep. Heidi Scheuermann (R-Stowe), a response team member. “We want them to reach out to us. We’re publicizing it all over the place. We have signs up in front of all the grocery stores to make sure that they know how to contact us.” Scheuermann thinks the 14-day quarantine will minimize the virus’ reach, but only if the word gets out. Scott discusses the policy at his thrice-weekly press conferences, but Scheuermann fears the message “gets lost in the shuffle.” Pieciak, the finance commissioner, thinks the directive is clear. Reminders are posted on the state website, at Burlington International Airport and in huge, orange letters on


state highway signs that direct new arrivals to stay home for 14 days. Data from border crossings, where Vermont Agency of Transportation workers have been counting inbound vehicles since April 1, show that there hasn’t been a surge of out-of-staters just yet. People can also use an online “executive order reporting tool” to tell on quarantine scofflaws, something about two dozen people have done so far, documents obtained by Seven Days show. In one, a Stratton-area resident described their shock when a neighbor from Brooklyn came over to ask for help moving a foosball table shortly after arriving from New York. “They are nice people ... however, their actions are frightening at this point,” the complainant wrote. “This is [an] obvious lack of public respect and a serious health risk while blatantly defying Vermont state orders.” Vermont State Police can ticket those who disobey the mandate. But so far troopers are asking for voluntary compliance, according to state police spokesperson Adam Silverman. If the rule-breaking continues, he said, troopers can refer cases to the Attorney General’s Office for possible prosecution or financial penalties. Last week, the health department announced it had stockpiled enough test kits to perform 1,000 tests a day, the most available since the beginning of the crisis. A health department spokesperson said some of those tests would be available to new arrivals who want to finish their 14-day quarantine early; details of such a program are not yet available. Meanwhile, more state workers are helping with contact tracing by reviewing the recent movements and personal interactions of people infected with the coronavirus. The strategy is expected to help slow further spread of the disease. “All of those factors together should give Vermonters confidence that their government is working with their best interests and safety in mind,” Pieciak said. “It’d be great to see the virus burn out in Vermont completely, and then we’ll just wait and see what a second wave might look like next fall.” The summer should be a good test. Breiner, the Connecticut dad, says his family is heading north as soon as Vermont ends its two-week quarantine requirement. The governor has not yet indicated when that might be. For now, “I’d rather stay back in Connecticut and let the kids run around,” Breiner said with a laugh. “It’s mud season in Vermont right now anyways.” m Contact: courtney@sevendaysvt.com

LAW ENFORCEMENT

Woman Punched by St. Albans Cop Sues City BY DER E K B ROUWER

A woman who was handcuffed when a former St. Albans police officer punched her is suing the city. Amy Connelly, of Highgate, was in a holding cell at the police station on March 14, 2019, when then-sergeant Jason Lawton pushed her into a wall and delivered an uppercut to her right eye. Two other officers, Zachary Koch and Michael Ferguson, helped Lawton restrain her on the floor. Connelly’s civil lawsuit, filed Monday in the U.S. District Court of Vermont, names all three officers, Chief Gary Taylor and the city. She contends that the police department subjected her to illegal detention and excessive force, violating her constitutional and statutory rights. The complaint also charges that the city failed to properly screen officers during its hiring process and that Taylor did not “adequately control, train, supervise and discipline police officers under his command.” Police department leaders said the incident went undetected until the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont filed a records request two months later. Lawton was fired and charged with assault last November. Taylor has said the other officers’ involvement was “minimal” because they didn’t see Lawton deliver the punch. Video of the officers’ conduct sparked scrutiny about police culture in St. Albans that has only intensified. Two former officers face active criminal investigations into their conduct. Last month, officer Zachary Pigeon was charged with aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping. The department has changed how it reviews incidents of physical force and added new training. City officials have steadfastly defended Taylor’s leadership. Earlier this year, in response to questions about an encounter involving a Taser, city manager Dominic Cloud accused Seven Days of drumming up controversy and invited the ACLU of Vermont to sue the city if it believed officers were using excessive force. On the heels of Pigeon’s arrest, however, Mayor Tim Smith said the city planned to convene a team to review the police department’s hiring practices. Cloud sounded a different note Monday. “The City has worked hard to address the concerns reflected in the Connelly complaint,” he said in a written statement. “Resolving the litigation is the next step in putting the matter behind us and we’re eager to do so.” m Contact: derek@sevendaysvt.com

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news

‘Being Human’

Death claims a disabled activist who influenced thinking on autism B Y K E VI N MCCA LLUM

W

hen Amelia “Mel” Baggs’ parents took young Mel on a hike years ago in a California forest, the child stopped them and pointed at one of

the trees. “She said, ‘There’s something wrong with that tree,’” Mel’s mother, Anna Baggs, recalled this week. No one could see anything amiss, but Mel ran around to the opposite side of the tree and discovered a large metal spike hammered into it. “She somehow feels things,” said Anna, who is 73 and lives in Northern California. “She just had this deep love of everything, and she had this feeling that she was connected to everything.” Amelia Evelyn Voicy Baggs, as Mel came to call herself, offered insight into the minds of those with autism and other disabilities and fought for them to be recognized as people. She died April 11 in Burlington at age 39. Mel died of apparent respiratory failure brought on by chronic health problems while staying in the apartment of close friend and fellow activist Laura Tisoncik. Mel identified as “genderless” and preferred genderneutral pronouns such as “they” and “their.” Mel became an influential disability rights activist and blogger after posting a 2007 YouTube video called “In My Language.” The video shows Mel interacting nonverbally with objects at home, waving their hands while humming, fiddling with a drawer knob, and rubbing their face against a book. Using a computer synthesizer that converts typed words into speech, Mel produced a voice-over that translated these movements as “being in a constant conversation with every aspect of my environment.” Mel hoped to illustrate that people who interact differently with their surroundings deserve to be treated as fully human. “There is a tendency to see disabled people, especially people with cognitive disabilities, as not quite human, as not experiencing life in any whole way,” Tisoncik said. “And that’s nonsense, of course.” Mel suffered from numerous physical ailments, used a wheelchair and was sometimes bedridden. Still, Mel inspired other autistic people and their families across the nation to fight for their rights in a health care system that often seems ill-equipped to treat patients with different communication abilities, Mel’s mother said. Mel dedicated the video to “all other people who are considered non-persons or non-thinking.” The video, and their writings, made Mel’s a distinctive voice in the neurodiversity movement, which aims to recast conditions such as autism less as illnesses and more as an inherent variable in human cognition. Mel was featured on CNN as offering rare insight into the mind of a person with autism and was the subject of a story in Wired magazine. The New York Times and Washington Post published lengthy obituaries, citing Mel’s influence in the field of disability rights. Such attention also drew detractors who questioned whether Mel was intentionally adopting the mannerisms of autism for attention. After the CNN coverage, 18

SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

Mel railed in blog posts against electroshock therapy and the oppression of “ableism.” They also wrote poetry. Mel wasn’t afraid to blast the quality of the health care they received, at times with ribald humor. In 2017, Mel wrote a post titled “When psychiatric services suck donkey balls (compared to other disability services).” In it, Mel argues that people with mental differences should receive the same quality of in-home care as those with physical disabilities. “It shouldn’t matter whether your inability to get the housework done is because you’re paralyzed, because you’ve got a chronic illness, because of a cognitive disability, because of terrifying hallucinations, because you’re depressed and feel worthless and drained of all energy, because you’ve got a movement disorder, or any combination of these and other things,” Mel wrote. “If you need the help, you need the help.” Mel needed the help. It took an outpouring of support to get their feeding tube put in several years ago, a procedure doctors initially resisted by saying Mel might be more comfortable without one, Tisoncik said “If we hadn’t put together what was essentially an international outcry, they probably would have insisted that she just die,” Tisoncik said. Mel moved to Burlington to be closer to Tisoncik, their “second mother,” after Mel’s parents retired to a small town with no services for Mel. For most of their 15 years in Burlington, Mel lived independently, with varying degrees of help from in-home care services. Mel was an avid artist who enjoyed painting and crochet. Mel was also a cat lover and a regular at the Burlington Farmers Market. Mel cherished their independence. But as their health challenges compounded, Mel moved in with Tisoncik, who did her best to offer care. That became infinitely harder as the COVID-19 restrictions took hold, Tisoncik said. “It was a struggle to take care of Mel and take care of myself,” she said. Mel suffered from osteoporosis, adrenal insufficiency and myasthenia, a chronic autoimmune disease that weakens muscles, Anna said. With recent travel restrictions in place, Anna was unable to visit Mel, and sending Mel medicine became more difficult. Anna heard in Mel’s voice fear about their declining health and, toward the end, their desperation. “She kept saying, ‘We’re going to die here.’ And she did,” Anna said. Despite a life of struggles — or perhaps because of them — Mel helped to broaden the conversation about neurodiversity beyond the autism spectrum to the concept of personhood. “Mel’s whole point was that every human life is a human life,” Tisoncik said. “There aren’t un-people.” m

HEALTH

ONLY WHEN THE MANY SHAPES OF PERSONHOOD ARE RECOGNIZED, WILL JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS BE POSSIBLE. ME L BAGGS

classmates stepped forward to point out that Mel had been able to speak while attending Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Massachusetts. That’s true, but intermittent speech is common in those with autism, Tisoncik said. Mel was diagnosed with autism as a teen. Their cognitive skills were “very uneven” and shifted over time, Anna said. Mel devoured adult astronomy books at the age of 5, was excellent at math and had a phenomenal vocabulary, but their social skills were limited. “If she typed, she was able to express herself so well,” Mel’s mother said. “But if she spoke, it was getting more difficult, and she finally wasn’t able to speak at all.” But man, could Mel type — more than 100 words per minute. On two blogs, one called “Cussin’ and Discussin’: Mel being human in a world that says I’m not,” they churned out pieces on a wide variety of subjects.

Contact: kevin@sevendaysvt.com


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READ, POST, SHARE + COMMENT: SEVENDAYSVT.COM/LIFELINES

lifelines

OBITUARIES, VOWS, CELEBRATIONS

OBITUARIES

Doris Elizabeth Wheeler Jenkins NOVEMBER 1, 1923APRIL 29, 2020 SHELBURNE, VT.

Our beloved Doris Elizabeth Wheeler Jenkins, 96, passed away peacefully on April 29, 2020, at the McClure Miller Respite House, in Colchester, Vt. Everyone who knew Doris was blessed by her humor, generosity, spirit and joy. Born in Greenfield, Mass., on November 1, 1923, Doris was raised by her parents, Bert and Margaret Wheeler, alongside her older sister, Margaret. In 1946, she married the love of her life, Russell E. “Brom” Jenkins Jr., who predeceased her in 1987. She never married again. Theirs was a true love story, and they raised three children together — Donald, Nancy and Rosemary — in Rochester, N.Y. Education was very important to Doris — and

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT Madelyn Dorothy Sampson

she taught us so much, just through being with her and by her example. Her mother, who became a caregiver to her siblings at age 12 in Barre, Vt., instilled in her a vision and belief in the value of education. She continued that tradition by proudly providing financial support and encouragement to all nine of her grandchildren to earn college degrees. Doris’ wish was that this amazing legacy would continue through the generations. Singing and music also filled Doris’ home. Music is another rich legacy she leaves for her family. As an avid music lover, she played the piano and sang for many years in the choir at her church, where she was an active member. Always with a ready smile, Doris poured out her heart in a way that made you feel extra special just to be with her. She enjoyed taking family to museums, the zoo, ball games, plays, swimming in her pool at Veldor Park, Lake Ontario, Nauset Beach on Cape Cod and Rochester Philharmonic performances. She also enjoyed golf, bridge and, of course, a frozen custard at Abbotts! She loved every moment of it. Her encouragement and confidence in each of us allowed us to make our own decisions in life. She always gave us unconditional support in our choices. Doris is survived by her son, Donald Jenkins (Naureen), of Boulder, Colo.; her daughter Nancy

Want to memorialize a loved one in Seven Days? Post your remembrance online and in print at sevendaysvt.com/lifelines. Or contact us at lifelines@sevendaysvt.com or 865-1020, ext. 10.

April 29, 2020, at Porter Medical Center, Miranda Sampson and Cyle Chaplin welcomed a girl, Madelyn Dorothy Sampson.

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Jenkins (Bryan Jackson) of Shelburne, Vt.; her daughter Rosemary Mishrell (Kirk) of Bath, N.Y.; her grandchildren Alison Barges, Meredith Barges, Amanda Gerlack, Emily Dusel (Clay), Matthew Jenkins (Meghan), Christopher Jenkins, Luke Mishrell (Jessica Kleiner), Glenn Mishrell and Annalee Mishrell; and her 12 greatgrandchildren. Also special to her were her niece Sarah Reeves (Scott) and nephew Andrew Kimball (Lisa), to whom she was like a second mother. On April 3, 2020, Doris moved to Bryan and Nancy’s home from the Residence at Shelburne Bay. In her final days, the phone rang off the hook with loved ones calling repeatedly to tell her how much they loved her and to share special stories and memories. She passed surrounded by love and held by Nancy and Bryan. Doris had such a positive impact on all our lives. She was an inspiration to us all and an example of a life well lived with grace, love and beauty. We will miss her bright smile, her jokes, her witticisms, her wisdom and her love. May she and “her Brom” be square dancing in heaven and holding each other close as we hold our love in our hearts for Doris, Mom, Grammie, Great-Grammie. In lieu of flowers, gifts in her honor can be made to Burlington Boys and Girls Club, Go Red for Women, Shelburne Museum or Shelburne Farms.

SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

Mark your family’s milestones in lifelines.

sevendaysvt.com/lifelines

Ethan Wallis Townsend

(partner Jay Brauch); stepmother Jeannie Martin Townsend; and grandfather Matthew J. Kearney Jr. He was predeceased by his father, Glenn Wallis Townsend; his brother Craig Martin; and his grandparents Ray and Van Blakeney, Moira Waldron Kearney, and Don and Polly Townsend. He is also survived by many, many dear friends and extended family. Ethan was a special person. He loved all animals, and all animals loved him, especially

dogs. He had recently returned to school, studying for his animal behavior certification. He touched many lives and brought great joy to all who knew him. We will all hold him close to our hearts forever. Donations in Ethan’s name may be made to Best Friends Animal Society. Go to bestfriends.org to make a donation. Ethan’s Montana family celebrated him with a memorial gathering on April 6, on Pete’s Hill in Bozeman. Social distancing prevented many from attending. That memorial can be viewed at the Facebook page Always Ethan Always. We will wait to have his Vermont celebration when COVID-19 precautions are lifted. Look for an announcement at a later date. Until then, share great stories and many laughs with each other, as Ethan would have.

thought, deep bonds with friends and some outrageously good times. Along with, and in spite of, his struggles, Eli both found and brought joy through music, his love of running and the outdoors, good food, humor, and friendship. It is hard to let him go or forget the indelible stamp of his presence in our lives. As much as Eli asked for a great deal from us individually, he also gave us much creativity and pushed us to higher levels of creativity, too. At times, no matter how fast he ran, rode, skied, worked or played, the peace he sought eluded him. Yet he was no stranger to questioning deeply, working hard, playing hard and striving earnestly. He had many, many mentors, champions, lovers and

friends. You know who you are. You know that you tried hard, and he did, too. You tried to help him feel worthy, loved and lovable. And he was reciprocal in letting you know how much he cared for you. We thank you all for your kindness. Eli leaves behind his father, Tom Howard, of Richmond and Stuben, Maine; his mom, Meg Howard, and her partner, Tom Northrop, of Huntington; his sister April, brotherin-law Ben Dangl, nephew Leon and niece Eulalia, all of Burlington; grandparents Jean Roberts and Howard Gross of Connecticut; many aunts, uncles and cousins; and beloved friends. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Howard Center or the Richmond Land Trust in the name of Eli Howard. Reach out to one another; to Earth, Sky and Water; and to us. A gathering will be arranged when we figure out how; meanwhile, feel free to share your memories on Remembering Eli Howard (facebook.com/ remembering-eli-howard-109407990761676). —With love, Meg and Tom N., Tom, April and Ben

DECEMBER 29, 1981APRIL 4, 2020 BURLINGTON, VT., & BOZEMAN, MONT.

Ethan Wallis Townsend, of Burlington, Vt., and Bozeman, Mont., passed away unexpectedly on April 4, 2020, in Longmont, Colo. We are heartbroken. Ethan left us far too early and will be deeply missed. Ethan was born December 29, 1981, in Northampton, Mass., to Marybeth Kearney Blakeney and Glenn Wallis Townsend. He is survived by his loving family; parents Jim and Marybeth Blakeney; brother Adrian Seth Townsend (wife Dixie Lee and children Meara, Cailan, Tori, Adrian and Odin ); sister Acacia Maris Blakeney

Eli Howard

FEBRUARY 10, 1988MAY 1, 2020 RICHMOND, ENOSBURGH & COLCHESTER, VT. Elias Brennan Jonathan Howard came into this world six weeks early on February 10, 1988. On May 1, 2020, he left the world early, as well. Reach high, Buddy ... You are finally free to fly. As a young child, Eli delighted in the great outdoors, building forts and enjoying the magical world of the Huntington River valley, Mount Mansfield Union school area and Bolton Valley, where he grew up. As he got older, his connection to nature continued. Always in motion, he ran and then ran some more; rode; and skied Nordic, racing to much acclaim. He took great joy in music and his wonderful friends of many ages, races, social groups, cultures and backgrounds. He had great compassion for the underdog and those differently abled. His adventurous years in the Chittenden East school system and St. Lawrence University provided him with many opportunities for deep


Burlington Resource and Recovery Center (RRC) 802.755.7239

If you or your family are experiencing mental health challenges, reach out to the RRC

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Anthony Jackson-Miller Mental Health Resource Lead, RRC

PANELISTS

Anna Bergman, MA

Psychotherapist, Bergman Counseling LLC

Michelle Fane, MS, LCMHC

Clinical Director, Outpatient Counseling Services, Howard Center

Marlon Fisher

Youth Corrections Service Specialist, State of VT Department of Corrections

Nerzada Turan, MA, LCMHC, LADC

Counselor, Riverstone Counseling Program/Spectrum Youth & Family Services

The RRC is here to help in response to COVID-19 Volunteer services

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Assistance in completing the 2020 Census questionnaire (it’s more important than ever to be counted!)

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5/5/20 9:25 AM


arts news Pandemic Pastimes 3 A weekly roundup of virtual ventures from Vermonters B Y PAMEL A PO LSTO N

WATCH

On Monday, SHELBURNE MUSEUM officially, and perhaps unsurprisingly, announced that it would be closed for the summer. That is, the physical facility. While that’s a bummer for so many reasons — smelling the lilacs, for one — the museum has significantly upped its online presence. Recently, the four-part exhibition “Color, Pattern, Whimsy, Scale” launched with a Zoom presentation witnessed by 150 museum members. It included remarks from executive director TOM DENENBERG and an item-by-item exploration of objects in the first part of the exhibit with bow-tied chief curator KORY ROGERS. The quartet represents a “decoding” of museum founder Electra Havemeyer Webb’s collecting philosophy, Rogers explained. The objets d’art under consideration were selected from her extensive Americana collection and other works in the museum’s trove.

THE FACT THAT ANY ONE INDIVIDUAL OR ORGANIZATION WANTS

TO SUPPORT ME CREATING JUST BLOWS MY MIND. NIKKI LAXAR

“Color,” for example, includes such treasures as the impressionist painting “The Grand Canal, Venice” by Edouard Manet, in which the starring hue is an intense blue. In Rogers’ discussion of a Victorian-era emeraldgreen dress, we learn the fun fact that green was a muchcoveted but regrettably lethal color in the 19th century: It was made with arsenic and absorbed by the skin of the wearer. Let’s just say it put the “die” in the dye. Each section of “Color, Pattern, Whimsy, Scale” will begin with a members-only virtual lecture. Afterward, the content is presented online; just click 22

SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

on “Hear from our curator” under the images. Oh, and you can download coloring pages of the items reduced to line drawings, and why not? Find it all at shelburnemuseum.org. At Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., the campus may be quiet, but the HOPKINS CENTER FOR THE ARTS is rocking its Hop@ Home series. This week’s theme is idolatry. That is, Dartmouth Idol. And, yep, it’s based on the popular TV vocal competition “American Idol” and pits the school’s best singers against one another. On Thursday, May 7, Hop@Home invites members to a virtual cocktail event with Dartmouth Idol director WALT CUNNINGHAM; then everyone in the whole world is invited to a YouTube program featuring highlights from the finals, as well as live chat with some contestants. It’s free, but sign up at hop.dartmouth.edu. BTW, if you miss this one, you can catch the crowdsourced Sourdough Dance-Off on Friday, May 8, at 3 p.m. It’s in week five, and still they rise.

DO

The Middlebury-based VERMONT FOLKLIFE CENTER is all about collecting stories, and it has wasted no time in engaging Vermonters in pandemic-related tale telling. Not just for posterity: Its Virtual Story Circle project offers participants an opportunity to pour out their feels right now.. What’s more, VFC declares, “a pathway through anxiety, fear and uncertainty lies in the act of listening as much as it does in the act of telling one’s story.” Two more online gatherings, facilitated by a VFC staffer, will take place before the Vermont stay-athome order is currently scheduled to be lifted on May 15: Saturday, May 9, 10 a.m. to noon; and Thursday, May 14, 3 to 5 p.m. Register for a session, learn how to start your own virtual story circle, or listen to previously collected stories at vermontfolklifecenter.org. We have to give a shout-out to another VFC project: Lineage Lines. That’s line as in telephone. Turns out, in the age of online everything, people actually calling each other is suddenly a huge thing, even among the texting cohort, according to the Federal Communications Commission. To explore that power of voice, VFC invites participation in a self-guided Lineage Lines project, supported by virtual workshops along the way, through June 19. Registration and details are at vermontfolklifecenter.org. PANDEMIC PASTIMES

» P.25

"Fox Moon" by Nikki Laxar

COURTESY OF NIKKI LAXAR

T

he online offerings from Vermont’s creative sector continue — and we’re the richer for it. Seven Days has reported on many virtual activities, both in print and on our Live Culture blog, since the coronavirus pandemic began and everyone hunkered down. As the quarantine drags on, most of us are still keeping our social distance and staying (mostly) at home. So we continue to count the ways to keep you occupied and maybe sane. This week we bring you options in the categories “Watch,” “Do” and “Help.”

Nikki Laxar


GOT AN ARTS TIP? ARTNEWS@SEVENDAYSVT.COM

See More Kael What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael B Y M AR GO T HA R R I SON

W

here do we find entertainment these days? On our laptops and in our living rooms. The streaming options are overwhelming — and not always easy to sort through. So, in this weekly feature, I review a movie or series that might otherwise be easy to overlook. THE MOVIE: What She Said: The Art of Pauline

Until May 14, stream the movie for $10 per household as part of the VERMONT INTERNATIONAL FILM FOUNDATION ’s Virtual Cinema program. On VTIFF’s page, you’ll find instructions for viewing the movie on your TV, plus an interview with the director from Seven Days contributing writer LUKE BAYNES. THE DEAL: If you were a movie lover in the 1970s or ’80s, you already know the work of Pauline Kael (1919-2001), who reviewed for the New Yorker from 1968 to 1991. Her opinions were strongly worded, contrarian and frequently very funny. They carried so much power that Bob Fosse and George Lucas, both directors she’d skewered, inserted parodic references to her into their work (remember evil “General Kael” from Willow?). Rob Garver’s documentary supplements material from Brian Kellow’s 2011 Kael biography with archival footage, readings from Kael’s work by Sarah Jessica Parker, and interviews with fellow critics and Hollywood luminaries, such as Quentin Tarantino, Paul Schrader and Alec Baldwin. Some were inspired by Kael; others had run-ins with her. This was a woman who took opinions about movies seriously and wasn’t afraid of making enemies. In one clip, Kael notes that she broke up with her date after they saw West Side Story together. (She hated it.) WILL YOU LIKE IT?: While Garver covers some of the criticisms of Kael — such as Renata Adler’s epic takedown — the documentary is primarily a celebration of her life and work. Fans will enjoy it; nonfans may not be won over. For the uncommitted or curious, however, What She Said is an entertaining WHERE TO SEE IT:

FANS WILL ENJOY IT;

NONFANS MAY NOT BE WON OVER.

COURTESY OF DEBORAH FEINGOLD

Kael (2019)

introduction to an era when movie critics for major publications wielded far more sway than they do today. There’s a feminist angle: Female critics were rare in Kael’s time, and her tastes and manner were not demure. Angry reader responses to her reviews often featured sexist language and assumptions, to which she riposted mercilessly. Garver breaks up the monotony of talking heads with clips from a slew of classic movies. These are great when they illustrate Kael’s writings: For instance, it’s enlightening to see clips from the obscure Katharine Hepburn film that inspired Kael to digress on what she called the “intelligent woman’s primal post-coital scene.” Other clips feel silly or distracting, such as a jokey comparison of Kael (not a Star Wars fan) to Princess Leia. The doc offers a key reminder that admiration for a critic is not the same as agreement. One interviewee, cultural critic Camille Paglia, recalls becoming a convert after reading Kael’s brutal critique of the films of Michelangelo Antonioni, which Paglia loved for all the same reasons that Kael hated them. I had a parallel experience in 1982, reading Kael’s review of my then-favorite film, Blade Runner. She was not kind — in What She Said, we learn that director Ridley Scott is still sore about that. But she described the movie with such intelligence and passion that I couldn’t stop reading. And she accurately predicted that its distinctive look would give it a “place in film history.” I had never before encountered a woman in public life with such an unapologetic voice and so much to say. In my teen years, Kael was my role model, introducing me to the films of David Lynch, Pedro Almodóvar, Jonathan Demme and other directors who would never otherwise have crossed my radar. Kael may have demanded absolute loyalty from the critics who emulated her (known as “Paulettes”), but her influence extended to many who disagreed with her as frequently as they agreed. (Much of what she says in her witty pan of The Shining is spot on, and I love the film anyway.)

The best film critics spark reflections that teach us something about both film and ourselves, and even when Kael was way, way off, she made readers think. So will this doc. IF YOU LIKE THIS, TRY...

• Bonnie and Clyde (rent on various services): Kael made her name with her wide-ranging 1967 defense of this Arthur Penn film, which other critics disparaged as heartless and violent. Or, on YouTube, watch “Ménilmontant,” the silent short that Kael described as her favorite film ever. • Life Itself (rent on various services): Roger Ebert (1942-2013), another

movie critic who inspired a cult of personality, is the subject of this 2014 biodoc. Not to be confused with the very bad drama of the same name. • The Story of Film: An Odyssey (on Hulu and Kanopy): Critic Mark Cousins helmed and narrated this British documentary series that offers a fascinating, idiosyncratic intro to film studies, reminding viewers there’s a film world outside Hollywood. Contact: margot@sevendaysvt.com

INFO See more upcoming Virtual Cinema at vtiff.org. SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

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arts news FILE: JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR

Flooding at the Waterbury Complex after Tropical Storm Irene

IT’S WONDERFUL IF THE FIRE CHIEF HAS BEEN IN YOUR BUILDING

BEFORE HE HAS TO BE THERE WHEN IT’S FULL OF SMOKE. RACHEL ONUF

Safety Net

Three Vermont organizations help the arts and culture sectors with disaster preparedness BY MARGARET GRAYSON

L

ast September, at the launch event for the Vermont Arts and Culture Disaster and Resilience Network, attendees were asked to rate potential disasters in terms of their likely threat to Vermont. Among choices were the usual suspects, such as natural disasters, as well as some more obscure possibilities, including space noise, recalled network organizer RACHEL ONUF in a recent interview. “Pandemic, of course, was on the list,” Onuf said. “And we all said it was low risk. One person said it was a medium risk.” Just a few months later, the disaster came to them as the coronavirus pandemic shut down gatherings and forced museums and galleries to close their doors. While VACDaRN, as the

ARTS

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SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

acronym goes, isn’t distributing grant money or organizing volunteers, it wants to help Vermont’s arts and culture sectors prepare for all kinds of emergencies, pandemics included. Onuf is director of the VERMONT HISTORICAL RECORDS PROGRAM , run by the state Archives & Records Administration, and she’s the state’s “roving archivist.” During non-pandemic times, she guides local historical societies on keeping their collections protected and relevant to their communities. VACDaRN is a partnership of Onuf ’s administration, the VERMONT ARTS COUNCIL and the Vermont Emergency Management Association. “Arts and culture organizations tend to have very little in the way of a safety net,” Onuf said. VACDaRN, she said, has a few “fairly modest goals”: Build relationships among people in the state’s

arts and culture communities, encourage them to collaborate across sectors, provide training and resources for emergency preparedness, and support artists who want to help communities move beyond a tragedy. Onuf also wants to strengthen communication between cultural institutions and their local first responders. “It’s wonderful if the fire chief has been in your building before he has to be there when it’s full of smoke,” she said. AMY CUNNINGHAM , deputy director of the arts council, said it’s vital that emergency management officials understand the needs of the creative economy, and vice versa. To that end, VACDaRN included BEN ROSE, recovery and mitigation section chief at the state’s Emergency Management Association, in much of its planning.

“For the folks like me and others in the arts and culture sector to have these open communications, and to have someone like Ben Rose from emergency management listening and understanding what our needs are … is just critical,” Cunningham said. “I can’t overstate how useful that is.” With a $15,000 grant in hand from the Performing Arts Readiness Project, Onuf and other organizers held a series of planning meetings in 2018 and 2019 to decide on VACDaRN’s focus. That slow, deliberate process has been somewhat subverted by the pandemic. The organizers hustled to get the VACDaRN website live with resources, and Onuf has been sending frequent emails to roughly 100 people working in arts and culture in the state, with links to national resources, webinars and funding sources. Onuf said she’s also interested in documenting how organizations rebound from the pandemic and the likely subsequent economic recession, creating case studies for future efforts. She had hoped the network would offer in-person trainings at some point, but that’s on hold for now. The pandemic has emphasized how unpredictable and surprising disasters can be. Vermont’s most recent disaster, Tropical Storm Irene, flooded buildings and wiped out historical covered bridges. But Onuf wants to do more than help organizations prepare for the dramatic, visible catastrophes. “We’re not just thinking about paper collections and what happens when they get wet,” Onuf said. “No two disasters are going to be the same. So how can you get yourself in the best position for whenever that thing hits?” Contact: margaret@sevendaysvt.com

INFO Learn more at vacdarn.org.


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Pandemic Pastimes « P.22 The VERMONT CENTER FOR ECOSTUDIES and the GREEN MOUNTAIN CLUB want to teach you how to identify northeast alpine flowers for the citizen science network iNaturalist. This Zoom workshop — on Thursday, May 7, 11 a.m. to noon — might not seem art-related, but, come on, have you ever seen a flower? The online training “will walk participants through the basics of recording their first observation on iNaturalist,” according to a description on the GMC website. The session is free, but donations are welcome. Bonus: no ticks. Sign up at greenmountainclub.org.

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COURTESY OF THE SHELBURNE MUSEUM

It’s no surprise that independent artists face unprecedented challenges in a pandemic: Audiences can’t gather for concerts, exhibition receptions, demonstrations, talks or classes. In other words, most artists are currently denied their means of making a living. BURLINGTON CITY ARTS established the BCA Artist Relief Fund to provide succor to such individuals. What might be more of a surprise is that the nonprofit launched with no seed money — no corporate support, no federal grants. Just individual private donations. And the need to fill that bucket is ongoing. BCA offers a maximum of $500 per individual grant. While anyone paying rent on an apartment in the Burlington area knows how far that will go, it can make a difference. As grant recipient BOB WAGNER put it, “Rent and groceries are the only real expenses these days.” The 39-year-old Burlington musician, a guitarist for KAT WRIGHT, expressed surprise that he received the funding. “I’ve never reached out for any grant in the past, and I thought the funds would be exhausted” when he did, Wagner said. He also applied for, and received, a grant from the VERMONT ARTS COUNCIL’s Rapid Response Artist Relief fund. “Finding out that I got both was, like, wow — the

arts community in Vermont is so on it, in a way the government isn’t,” Wagner said. He still has not received his unemployment benefits. “What really hit me was the immediacy of [the arts grants],” he continued. “These organizations were really there right away.” Visual artist NIKKI LAXAR of Burlington also received a BCA grant — the maximum $500. She reproduces her nature-based illustrations in watercolor, ink and collage as cards and prints and sells them through Etsy, local retail shops, Instagram and Patreon. “Many of my art outlets have been canceled or temporarily closed due to the COVID crisis, including small markets, gallery shows and a brewery solo show,” Laxar wrote in an email. “I had public art opportunities in the works that have been delayed [and] that will hopefully pick back up when the dust settles.” Laxar, 34, shares parenting of a 3-yearold with her husband, an essential worker in a grocery store. She was laid off from her part-time job managing a local jewelry shop. Her grant money, Laxar wrote, “will be put toward financially supporting my studio space, personal bills that my art income usually supports, and shifting my website to allow for original art sales through an e-commerce platform, now that people can’t see my art in person.” Laxar also applied for the VAC grant and received $360. Receiving both grants “has solidified the feeling for me that I’m really a part of this community, and that my artwork is appreciated and received with open arms,” she wrote. “The fact that any one individual or organization wants to support me creating just blows my mind and overflows my heart in such a positive way.” Wagner echoes the grateful vibes. “I’ve played music for so many causes,” he said. “I’m looking forward to helping raise money for future [funds] like this.” Potential donors can give at burlingtoncityarts.org/bcarelief and vermont artscouncil.org/covid-19. m Contact: pamela@sevendaysvt.com

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SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

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GOOD CITIZEN CORONAVIRUS

Challenge! s submitted ie r t n e e r a e r He 9-May 6: 2 il r p A , 4 # k for Wee HISTORY ACTIVITY: Read about the summer of 1816, aka the Year Without a Summer (find resources at goodcitizenvt.com/coronaviruschallenge). Vermonters documented this ordeal in letters and diaries. Write three journal entries this week to describe what you’re experiencing during the pandemic. (This activity was very popular and will be repeated in Week #5, May 6-May 13!)

Open to all K-12 students, this weekly Challenge focuses on history, community and news literacy — three topics that will help us all get through the pandemic.

Miriam Lawson, Fairfax, grade 6: May 3

May 4

Today I was home all day. Mostly I read my Trixie Belden Book outside. It got up to 78 degrees! I got a hammock chair swing for my birthday and I was doing a lot of reading in my chair. I took a walk with my brothers and dad along the trail that our neighbor made through the woods and lets us use.

Today it is not as nice outside. I am working on schoolwork. Mom homeschools me and my siblings. We have always homeschooled so our school routine hasn’t changed too much except we don’t have any field trips and we don’t get to see our friends at our homeschool group. I took my baby sister in the stroller to put some letters in the mail. I have been writing to seniors who are all alone because of the corona virus and I am writing to my friends.

Ursa Goldenrose, Hardwick, grade 4:

Desi Broadley, Bellows Falls, grade 5:

Day 49

Sevvi, Morrisville, grade 2:

May 5

I got up early again this morning. I think it was because I was so excited about today. Today is one of my friend’s 11th birthday and I also went to visit my grandmother in West Charleston for the first time since the shut down. It felt so weird talking through a mask and standing more than six feet apart.

First entry

Now that we are settled with online learning every day, it makes studies a little easier because I know what I am doing each day. In the afternoons when class is over, I plan the rest of my day. Two days a week, I go biking with my dad, and two to three days a week, I roller-blade for about an hour in the parking lot at the high school. Almost every evening, I practice my flute for half an hour. In between times, I will venture onto social media, posting daily activities, or playing my favorite games.

This morning when I went outside I saw the daffodills opening! They are very pretty and they smell like honey. This has been one of the nicest springs I remember. I am very happy to think I will be able to see my friends again in person, even though we can’t touch each other and we have to stay six feet apart. I feel like a flower that has opened itself to the sun.

I miss friends. Baddddddddddddddd dddddddddddddd. Second entry I am tired of things getting cancelled. Cause of the virus. I miss Mom. But she is doing video chat sessions. Also because of the virus. I wish it would get warm. This used to be Mom’s diary but she gave it to me. Third entry The weather was good. School is going well. But it is a pandemic so it cannot be perfect. Oh well. At least I have books and the weather is good too and I misssssss my friends bad.

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HACKIE

A VERMONT CABBIE’S REAR VIEW BY JERNIGAN PONTIAC

Ted’s Epiphany

O

h, man, let me tell ya — this whole experience has left me a changed man. For me, it’s always been all about work, work, work. You know, pinching the pennies, trying to get ahead. “My wife, Darlene, she’s like, ‘Ted, I love that you’re a hard worker and all, but you got to enjoy life, honey! You know, stop and smell the roses from time to time.’ Now, after all these years, I finally understand just what she means.” This customer is nothing if not voluble, I thought as we cruised through Swanton in my taxi. We were en route to the Rouses Point Bridge and, ultimately, Ted’s home in Ellenburg, N.Y. He was sitting in the “wayback” seats of the minivan, my strategy for maintaining the “six-foot rule” during these fraught times. “Your wife sounds like a smart woman,” I half-shouted over my shoulder. (Since the virus arrived, I’ve learned that a halfshout is generally what it takes to be heard by my fares sitting in the wayback.) “Those roses ain’t gonna smell themselves,” I added, driving home the point. I wasn’t sure about the life-changing “whole experience” he had referenced but assumed it had to do with the circumstances that had landed him where I’d picked him up: the UVM Medical Center. A bout with a life-threatening illness has been known to trigger the come-to-Jesus moment to which he alluded. “So, Ted — have you always lived in the North Country?” “Nope, but I was born there and grew up in Brainardsville, where my father was on the town road crew,” he explained. “When I graduated high school — that THE ARTFUL WORD would have been in,>let’s ’74 — I WEDNESDAYS 9:00see, p.m. moved to Connecticut, where I eventually landed a good job with International

Paper in Hartford. I lived there until 2016, when I took early retirement and me and Darlene moved back north to help care for my mother. My dad passed away in 2010.” “What was life like in Brainardsville back in the day? Were the area’s big factories still humming, or were they already beginning to falter?” “The latter. The North Country industrial belt has been faltering, like you say, since as long as I remember. I’d say the peak was probably during the postwar

to be done. Plus, we both were able to buy cars with all the money we earned. Hey, a buck-60 an hour added up back then!” We reached the Rouses Point Bridge, where I always look for the sign in the middle (at least I assume it’s the middle) that marks the New York-Vermont border. I noticed, also, that the ice was all gone, taking with it the colony of ice-fishing shacks that pops up every winter. I guess spring has actually arrived, I thought. Virus or not, nature proceeds. “So, you mentioned leaving the area when you graduated high school. That must have been a tough decision for you.” “That it was, my man. We were a tight little family, me and my folks. I remem-

WHAT MY DAD SAID GAVE ME

THE PERMISSION I NEEDED TO MOVE ON WITH MY LIFE. years in the ’50s, and since then it’s been a slow and steady decline. It’s a shame, really, but what can you do?” “It is a shame,” I agreed, and thought about a town like Malone, with its once proud and elegant downtown buildings now largely vacant and boarded up. That tableau is all too common across the upper tier of New York State. “But don’t get me wrong,” Ted continued. “I had a great childhood. I was an only child and my mother doted on me. I mean, not to the point of, like, smothering.” He paused to chuckle, I imagined, at some old memories. “Yup, my dad would hold her in check when she would get overprotective. “Anyways, my main point is that I loved being outside, even in the dead of winter. At age 13, I began to work at the local farms. By my senior year of high school, it was nearly a full-time job for me. I never did play any sports. I just preferred the farm work, me and my best bud, Tommy. We would be out there in the sun, baling hay, tending to the cows — whatever needed

ber it like yesterday, the discussion I had with my dad at the time. Keep in mind, he wasn’t exactly a big talker. He sits down next to me on the porch and asks me what my plans are after graduation. I tell him that the manager of the milk-processing plant said he’d offer me full-time work whenever I want to start. “My dad nods his head a few times slowly and doesn’t say a word for, like, a couple minutes. He then says, ‘Nothing wrong with that, Teddy. That’s some good, honest work. But with a high school diploma, all your skills and ability to operate just about any kind of heavy equipment, I think you could do better than that. Maybe you should check out what’s out there in the rest of the country. I’m grateful that I’ve had steady work with the town all these years, but you’ve got a bigger horizon. Just think about it, OK?’ “The thing is, I knew how hard it was for him to give me that advice. He knew that if I moved away it would break my mom’s heart, and that was the last thing he wanted

to see. But I guess he felt a bigger responsibility for my future. And, reflecting about it later, I think I had been planning to stay in the North Country on account of my mom. What my dad said gave me the permission I needed to move on with my life.” “To me, it just sounds like you had two great parents,” I said. “What a blessing. So, tell me — did it break your mother’s heart?” In the rearview mirror, I could see Ted chuckle. “It did,” he replied. “But she got over it, especially when I promised I’d be back for every birthday and holiday — a promise I stuck to with few exceptions. And, of course, for these last four years, we’re back permanently.” “It seems it all has worked out nicely for you,” I said. “How did your wife feel about leaving your home in Connecticut?” “It was tough for her. She comes from a big Italian family with deep roots in the Hartford area. We could never have kids, but we were always visiting with the extended family. It was different for me, but I learned to embrace it. Darlene really cares for my mother. To my mom, Darlene is like the daughter she never had. And her family often comes up here for visits, which is great.” I got the sense that Ted had always been an open and emotional guy by nature but that his experience at the hospital — his epiphany — had put him deeply in touch with the things that truly matter in life. Here’s hoping, I thought, that this precious insight remains close to his heart. And, as a secondhand beneficiary of that timely slice of wisdom, I hope it stays close to mine, as well. m All these stories are true, though names and locations may be altered to protect privacy.

INFO Hackie is a twice-monthly column. To reach Jernigan, email hackie@sevendaysvt.com.

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“WE ARE FAMILY�

Thank You Thank you to our friends in the community who continue to offer their support to our residents and staff. We appreciate the letters, posters, meals and words of encouragement.

Your gestures go a long way! Thank you to our community leaders - Mayor Weinberger and his administration and Dave Hartnett for always being there for us. Thank you to Dr. Stephen Leffler, Dr. Howard Schapiro, Dr. Michael LaMantia, Dr. Lynn Wilkinson and the leadership at UVM Medical Center, UVM Health Network Home Health & Hospice and Bayada Hospice. Your continuous support enabled our staff to continue to provide the highest level of care to our residents.

You are a true partner!

28

SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

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5/5/20 10:29 AM


Quaranzine GREEN MOUNTAIN

Welcome to Seven Days’ first (and we hope last) pandemic literary journal. There’s this guy I follow on Twitter. I’m not sure when or why I followed him or even who he is, really. I gather he’s some kind of famous because he has that little blue check by his name. Other than that, I know only that he lives in an apartment building in a Big City, which for our purposes is probably all that’s important. Anyway, when the world changed and our age of isolation began, blue-check guy started tweeting about his neighbor. Every morning, the neighbor would let his young son out on the balcony to scream at the top of his lungs. And most mornings, there would be a tweet about it. But the almost-daily, sub-280-character updates weren’t of the tweet-rage variety you might expect. Instead, they expressed an awed sort of admiration — for the dad who let his son go yell at the world, but mostly for the kid himself. Then one day, after several weeks had gone by, the dad went out to scream, too. Whenever this all ends — meaning the pandemic, not the world — I have a feeling that will be one of the lasting images burned into my mind, even though I never actually saw it and don’t know the people involved: a father and son, screaming together into the void, because it’s all they could do. There are billions of illustrative little stories like that one happening all the time, all over the planet, while we experience this defining period of global history — as that brand-new cliché goes — together apart. Over the past several weeks, Seven Days has endeavored to tell some of the most compelling and important tales from our small corner of the world. But certain kinds of stories — like, say, that of our friends on the balcony — require a slightly different touch, or a different perspective, from what journalism typically allows. So for this week’s edition, we called on a variety of Vermont storytellers — authors, poets and cartoonists — to reflect on how

CONTRIBUTORS Harry Bliss

life has changed in the past seven weeks and What It All Means … or maybe doesn’t. On the following pages you’ll find essays born of long drives in the country and short walks in the rain, of settling up with the Devil and with a kind, bourbon-sipping neighbor. There are cartoons on the trials of homeschooling and the therapeutic qualities of sawing wood. There’s a poem about hot sauce. In these true tales and several others, you may find some solace, or an observation that rings true, or a good laugh, or a poetic line that inspires reflections of your own. Or maybe you’ll just find a brief escape in some well-wrought words by talented local storytellers. Regardless, you can always step outside for a good scream. DAN BOLLES

COLOR THE COVER CONTEST! Looking for a creative outlet? You’re in luck! This week’s cover is a coloring page drawn by cartoonist Harry Bliss, and we want you to bring it to life. While you’re sitting around the house this week, grab your crayons, brushes and glitter, and dazzle us with your creations! Once you’ve completed your masterpiece, send us a photo. We’ll select our top five to advance to a public voting round. What’s the prize? The original artwork, courtesy of Harry Bliss. Start scribbling!

How to Enter

Post your creation to Instagram and tag @sevendaysvt! If you aren’t on Instagram, submit your photo at sevendaysvt.com/coloring. Submit your creation by Wednesday, May 13, at 5 p.m. to be eligible. Check our Facebook page on Friday, May 15, to see our top five favorites and to vote for yours!

is an internationally syndicated cartoonist for the New Yorker magazine and founder of the Center for Cartoon Studies’ Cornish Residency Fellowship for graphic novelists. Bliss’ cartoon collection with entertainer Steve Martin, A Wealth of Pigeons, will be published in November.

Stephen Cramer

His most recent book of poetry is Bone Music. His anthology Turn It Up! Music in Poetry From Jazz to Hip-Hop was just released.

Rajnii Eddins

Spoken-word poet, MC and teaching artist Rajnii Eddins has been engaging diverse community audiences for more than 27 years. His latest work, Their Names Are Mine, confronts white supremacy while emphasizing the need to affirm our common humanity.

Glynnis Fawkes

published Charlotte Brontë Before Jane Eyre and Persephone’s Garden in 2019. Her work has appeared in the Vermont Quarterly, Seven Days and the New Yorker website. She teaches at CCS and lives in Burlington with her family.

Sue Halpern

is the author of seven books, most recently the novel Summer Hours at the Robbers Library. She lives in Ripton.

Kimberly Harrington

is the author of Amateur Hour: Motherhood in Essays and Swear Words and the forthcoming But You Seemed So Happy. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Cut, the New Yorker and McSweeney’s.

Stephen Kiernan

is a Vermont novelist and journalist with more than 4 million words in print. His new novel, Universe of Two, comes out August 4.

Kristina Stykos

is a record producer and writer who also runs a professional gardening business, Gardenessa. Her album River of Light ranked second on County Tracks’ “Best Vermont Albums of 2019” list. Her recently published book of poetry and photographs, Ridgerunner, is now available in two editions from Shires Press.

Kirby Veitch

James Kochalka

was the first cartoonist laureate of Vermont. In 2019 his book Johnny Boo and the Ice Cream Computer won an Eisner Award.

Conor Lastowka

grew up in the Washington, D.C., area. He works as a senior writer/producer at RiffTrax. His novel The Pole Vault Championship of the Entire Universe is available at audible.com.

Eric Olsen

makes websites and music and feels pretty lucky just to be here.

Sean Prentiss

is the author of Crosscut: Poems and Finding Abbey. He and his family live on a lake in northern Vermont.

graduated from the New Hampshire Institute of Art. He is a fantasy artist and comic book colorist whose clients include IDW Publishing, the International Monetary Fund and McGraw Hill Education. He lives in Brattleboro.

Rick Veitch

was born in Bellows Falls and began drawing comics at an early age. He is cofounder of Eureka Comics, specializing in educational and informational graphic novels. In April, he was named the fourth Vermont cartoonist laureate. He lives in West Townshend with his wife, Cindy.

Jodi Whalen

is an artist and illustrator in Burlington. Her style is quirky and boundless, and her artwork includes cartoons, inspirational illustrations and bread lamps for August First, the bakery-café she owns with her husband.

QUARANZINE SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

» P.30 29


Happy Birthday When our friend G. turned 8 the other day, her parents whisked her off to Montréal for a celebratory breakfast. They had farm-fresh eggs collected that morning, brioche French toast and chocolat chaud, as Québécois folk songs played in the background. At lunchtime they sped off to New York City for ballpark franks and maple ice cream made with Vermont Grade A syrup from trees tapped just a few weeks before. Dinner, G. thought, might be in Paris — it was going to be a surprise, but she was pretty sure there would be pomme frites and a triple-layer gateau for dessert. G. told me this as she sat on the hood of her parents’ car, which was parked off to the side of the gated road between her house and mine. She was 20 feet or so away — far enough to keep us all safe, but not so far that I couldn’t admire her fancy new ankle-strap shoes, gauzy princess dress and tiara bedecked with forsythia. Earlier in the day, I watched my daughter “shop” for G.’s birthday presents on her bookshelves, pulling down volumes she had loved when she was 8, and gathering the stuffed animals G. liked to play with when she visited, back when neighbors casually stopped by each other’s homes. My husband made a card and I dropped everything into a shiny pink bag left over from Christmas and tied it with a ribbon. We put the bag on G.’s side of the gate, then retreated when her mother retrieved it, even though they had been self-quarantined for nearly a month, and so had we. The gate was a physical reminder that, for the time being, we are all a danger to each other. But birthdays are also a reminder that, even in the midst of a pandemic, we need to take time to celebrate life itself. This one may not have been ideal: It was one of those chilly April days when snow fell in the morning, the dogs had to stay home because they are constitutionally opposed to social distancing, and we had to outshout the wind. But it was merry and carried along by flights of fancy. (Though, to be honest, my first question, when G. told me she’d been to Montréal that morning, was to ask how her parents were able to convince the border guards to let them cross into Canada.) 30

SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

And it was refreshing to engage with each other without a screen in between and the inevitable lag that comes from our insanely slow and inadequate rural internet. (Don’t get me started. Or maybe do. The internet here in Ripton doesn’t even achieve what the Federal Communications Commission considers minimally acceptable, and no number of calls to Consolidated Communications seems likely to change that.) Less than 24 hours later, though, there we were on Zoom, one small tile in the mosaic of our friend Lisa’s family and friends, who were gathering to toast her on her 65th. There was red wine, white wine, craft beer, hard cider, herbal tea and seltzer, lifted up in her honor from all corners of the country. As more people logged on, we were each reduced in size, till we were postage stamps on a virtual birthday card. It wasn’t long before talk turned to the pandemic — how could it not? Lisa and her husband, David, are both physicians in New York City. A few weeks before, David, a nephrologist, told me that one thing that hadn’t received much coverage in the press was that COVID-19 attacked the kidneys. He was expecting dialysis units like the one he ran to become the new front line. And there he was, on this very day, quoted on the front page of the New York Times because the future he’d predicted had arrived. Questions ping-ponged back and forth to him and to Lisa, an infectious disease doctor, who serves as the epidemiologist for a consortium of medical centers around the city. “My phone never stops ringing all day long,” she said, which was both an explanation and code for us to change the subject. Someone held their dog to camera, then everyone did, and for a few minutes the dogs took over the party. Then there was more chitchat — talk about meals we had made, books we were reading, Zoom cocktail parties and Zoom game nights. At some point, someone starting singing “Happy Birthday” and everyone joined in. We were so well practiced from washing our hands that we almost sang it twice. S U E HALP E RN


ERIC OLSEN

Breathe

Willow Talk I have been taking pictures of my neighbor’s tree for the past seven weeks. I don’t remember why I started, but now, whenever I venture outside to walk the dog or fetch yesterday’s mail (yes, we let it “air out” in the mailbox for 24 hours — don’t you?), I stop in the middle of our dead-end street to look up at the willow weeping high above the cedar hedge. And then I take its picture.

✺ Laptop cameras aren’t kind to me. I look like a retired boxer in Zoom meetings. A client recently asked if I was tired. “I guess we’re all tired,” he said. “This whole thing’s like prison. Maybe worse.” I thought about not saying it but couldn’t help myself. Everything’s different now. I leaned in so the camera accentuated my swollen eyes and cauliflower ears. “No, it’s not,” I told him. “I’ve been to prison. Trust me, this isn’t anything like it.”

✺ I took the dog for a walk in the rain last week. It wasn’t something either of us wanted to do — it just needed to be done. I stopped at the tree and looked up, cold water pouring off me in steady streams. The willow’s tendrils whipped about. I raised my arms, Shawshank-style, and tried imagining those long, thin leaves draped over my hands, my elbows. The cauldron sky roiled high above the earth. I wanted to think about redemption, about what comes next, but the dog yelped and tugged at his leash, reminding me that there were more pressing matters to tend to.

✺ The day before Governor Scott reminded Vermonters to leash their dogs at all times as an added precaution, two unleashed dogs ran up to me on Mount Philo just after sunrise. I raised my hands and stepped far off the road, into the woods.

“You’re fine with them, right?” the dogs’ owner smiled. I shook my head. “No, not really. They should really be on a leash.” She pointed at her earbuds. “Sorry, I can’t hear you.” I thought about not pursuing it but couldn’t help myself. Everything’s different now. I pointed at her dogs and yelled, “They should be on a leash!” Her smile crumpled into a scowl. “YOU should be on a leash!”

✺ The man in the choke chain collar waiting in line outside of Trader Joe’s began vaping through his black bandana mask. Giant clouds like floating sheep. My initial shock was quickly replaced by a deep admiration for his strict adherence to mask protocol. If only the rest of us had a fraction of his dedication. This vaping man may’ve set the pandemic gold standard, a true hero for our time — maybe not the hero we wanted, but certainly the one we deserve.

After another day in isolation, a day where family and community shrink smaller in practice, the little girl startles in the middle of this March night calling, Papa, and when I arrive, she whines, My lips hurt. Moments later, My tummy hurts. She demands I sleep beside her, hands weaved together like the smallest nucleus as she struggles to decline into sleep, which takes over an hour, and as she finally fades, her mind no longer kneading over COVID, corona, isolation, and self-distancing, all concepts her mama and I try to whisper about but words now of little girl’s tongue, her breathing becomes a ghost of a wisp, shallow and beautiful and as I listen to the music of it, I cannot help but nightmare-imagine to another state so many stay-in-place orders away to my brother’s bedroom where I must imagine—since we cannot actually visit for fear of all this crowned sickness— to the few words he uttered yesterday morning when I called after hearing the news, he rasped, It’s so hard to breathe. S E AN P RE N T I S S

✺ There are other photogenic tableaux in my neighborhood that are probably more deserving — the budding maples and blooming magnolias, the goldfinches pecking at red bird feeders — but it’s the willow I keep returning to. I don’t know why. I read that in its native China, the weeping willow is a symbol for immortality and rebirth. Maybe I should pretend that’s the reason and just be done with it already.

✺ A high school friend insists on calling it “the China Flu” on Facebook. Suffice to say, we don’t see eye-to-eye on many things. I thought about arguing with him like I usually do but couldn’t help myself. Everything’s different now. I closed my laptop and went for a walk.

✺ Its leaves are longer and more golden than they were when this all started. Normally I wouldn’t have noticed this, but this year is far from normal. Maybe I’ve been standing beneath a weeping willow for seven weeks just to see it change. As it turns out, it became something else without ever having left its home. Kind of like us. ERIC OLSEN

QUARANZINE SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

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What If This Means Nothing at All?

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SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

KIMBERLY HARRINGTON

What if we’re not better after all this? What if we haven’t learned a damn thing? If your real and virtual social networks are filled with people of privilege, this is the undercurrent. You might start to believe the reason for a global pandemic is to make every single Alison Roman recipe, reach the end of Netflix, bake all the bread, take up beekeeping, get ripped. When the announcement came that schools were closing — as Jon, my future ex-husband, with whom I still live, temporarily lost his job — we retreated into our corners, we ran on adrenaline from the novelty of fear and disruption. Let’s batten down the hatches. But also: Let’s learn something. Let’s attempt to comprehend an actual existential threat. But also: Let’s come out of this better than we were before. It did not start well. On the same day I wrote an article for the Cut about how to work from home with kids, I yelled at my actual kids as they argued with each other, “LIKE I’M IN THE MOOD FOR THIS SHIT.” Later that same day I announced to my family, but mostly to myself, “Don’t judge how other people cope.” Watch your shows, keep your bees, get those abs of steel, honey. Throughout the day, on whatever day it is now, I watch others’ wheels come off on Instagram. I’m sucked into the darkest dens of pandemic humor on Twitter. I’m assaulted on Facebook by senior photos from the 1980s, as if any current high school senior gives a damn what reflections you might have on your own ancient prom. All the while, we’re changing the topic. We know what we fear most is death. We worry it will come without being able to hold a hand, touch the hair, say, “I love you. I forgive you. I will be OK, we will be OK.” We fear we will

have to say or hear it through a screen, a dystopian nightmare. And if we actually avoid death this time, what if this whole experience didn’t mean anything? What if we come out of the pandemic the same flawed, fucked-up people who went in? What if we aren’t better? What if we’re actually worse? What if we remain traumatized by the sight of bare hands, the thought of sweaty people jammed into a club shoulder-to-shoulder, the entire concept of sticking your tongue in someone else’s mouth? What if we lose the shirts off our

backs? What if we lose our last scrap of hope? What if, for those of privilege, we begin to grasp that death, trauma and financial ruin can happen for no good reason at all? What if those bootstraps you kept telling others to pull up break off in your own hands? I have found myself wrapped up in surprisingly casual conversations with my two teenagers about death, about the point of life. They have brought this up on their own. We’ve lingered way past my bedtime, my self-cut hair looking like it was styled by a typhoon. And I

tell them, in that way parents do, Ah yes, this is actually a Big Question. A lifelong question. I tell them that they’re only at the beginning of asking questions like this and may never be satisfied with the answers. And I tell them that, as I get older, the only point I can figure out is the day right in front of me. Even then it’s only minute-by-minute, putting one foot in front of the other. When Jon and I were dating and I’d spin out about the unknowable future, he’d respond, “One day at a time.” It was


contagion contained. One weekend I drove from Burlington to Vergennes and back, playing Radiohead so loud I gave myself a headache. Last weekend, with the power of fury behind me, I made it almost to Rutland before I calmed down. My dog was with me, so I stopped to let her out at a cemetery before we turned around and headed home for another week in lockdown. Cemeteries have become the only places I can collect my thoughts, the only places powerful enough to snap me out of my pity-party bullshit. The sun was shining and this cemetery was empty, save the souls I could not see. Wind chimes on graves caused me to whip around, looking for loose dogs. I came across the weathered grave of a 2-day-old baby who lived and died in 1950. That was a different time, I thought. As if death was solvable now. As if the reason I was in a cemetery an hour and a half away from home wasn’t evidence to the contrary. I came across more modern, smooth tombstones — for a girl only 7, a teenager born the same year as me, several 20-year-olds lost to different wars. What was the point of any of it? What if the dead can’t hear wind chimes? Who are all these Instagram posts for, these Twitter jokes, these bees and loaves and quads? We are launching ourselves into space any way we can right now. We are sending transmissions to anyone who will listen. Can you hear me? Do you see me? Do I matter? Am I good? Will you remember me when I’m gone? We made our way back toward my car, where I had pulled off the narrow, potholed road and onto grass stubborn enough to still believe in spring. A looming statue of Jesus with outstretched arms looked down on us. My dog growled and ran away from it, barking. She thought he was coming for us.

KRISTINA STYKOS

a mantra his mother, Janie, had adopted as she persevered through ovarian cancer. But I wanted actual answers. And his actual answer grated on me to the point that, if I saw it coming, I’d cut him off with “I swear to God, don’t ‘one day at a time’ me right now.” Now, decades later, I have finally come around. Look at all these ghosts we have on our calendars. Look at the shadow lives we would be leading if not for this. Look at everything we would be complaining about, that now we’re desperate for what it represents. Boring and predictable has never sounded so good. It’s a hell of a thing to feel wistful about a dodged pelvic exam. What is the future, anyway, other than specific wishes pinned on a grid that owes you nothing? Last weekend I was so furious with my family and my circumstances that I walked out of my house and said only, “I’m leaving.” I’ve had to drive to get away. The walks I used to take to clear my head now often leave me more stressed and angry. Bike paths are too crowded and I fear every runner that puffs past me, every little kid on a bike who swerves within a foot of me, every dog still off its leash as the owner shouts, “He’s friendly!” Bitch, I never cared how friendly your dog was before all this and I especially don’t care now. I grew up loving cars and I loved the thinking that I did inside them. First as a kid, with my forehead pressed against the window, watching the landscape timelapse past me. Wondering about life. Then, as a teenager, chewing up country roads, pulling over to smoke a cigarette and stare at the stars. Now, my car is a spaceship that I launch into the countryside. I get in and floor it in one direction until I’m calm. I think of all the places I wish I could stop along the way — the destination used to be the point. But now I just drive somewhere and back, keeping my

Crossing Buels Gore Driving past houses at twilight, the lights of others are easier to see, islands of being, glimpsed & longed for through bare branches, an alpine glow of sorts, the hundreds of ski chalet exiles, who now, for the life of them, are just happy for space & to cling to the shelter of cliffs. Their trails are empty, smatterings of snow unlock the deep mountain ravines, oxygenated water

pummels the isolated creeks to their peak, over-spilling a red-hued forest and way lower, the farm runnels. It’s all around us, the cure, aiming like sap for the tank yet uncollected, planted by God, like trees but six feet apart - did I say my heart is a wreck, wandering from here, to who knows where next? KRI S T I N A S T YKO S

K I M B E R LY HA R R I N G T O N QUARANZINE

SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

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33


Not the Quintessential COVID-19 Poem When the whole COVID-19 isolation thing started, I thought I’d be writing a bunch of emotional, heartfelt poems about what it meant to be physically cut off from the rest of the world. About what it meant to have so much time with two of the people (my wife and daughter) I love the most. About the challenges that isolation from most of the world and increased contact with my immediate family would bring. We make art from our challenges and scars, right? I’m about to make myself sound like a real jerk here. And I guess I deserve it. When I was in college, I was in a creative writing class with a girlfriend. I just loved the heck out of this girl. So one time when we met up she said that her apartment had just been broken into. I can’t believe I’m repeating this, but my first response was … “That’s great material for a poem!” She broke into tears, and I mentally slapped myself for thinking about creative content instead of just giving the girl a hug. In the next 15 seconds, I gave the girl a hug. I think about that a lot, and it was 23 years ago. Months later, she would write about the break-in. But at the moment, it was too soon. So those emotional, heartfelt poems that I expected to write in the wake of COVID-19, well, they haven’t happened yet. It might be too soon for me. But it’s OK to not be writing the quintessential COVID-19 poem right now. It’s OK to not have an immediate response. In the meantime, there’s hot sauce. I love hot sauce. I have hundreds of bottles of hot sauce. And my response to COVID-19 has been to write about something that is completely un-COVID-19-ish. Some people escape into episodes of “Tiger King” or reruns of “Seinfeld.” It turns out that I write about hot sauce. I’m sure that, given time, a deeper response to the pandemic will come. But right now, this is what I have: dozens of poems (if you can call them that at this point) about hot sauce. Maybe it’s a dispassionate response, even a form of escapism. But I just have to throw myself into something, and for now this is it.

34

SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

Chile The word hails from Nahuatl, the Aztec language that gave us chocolate, avocado, tomato, peyote. During spiritual fasting, the Aztecs abstained from chilis & sex, & only conjecture can tell us which was harder to renounce. Tell me it’s the one that has to do with your tongue, & that’s the most nebulous hint in the history of hints. Chile: the least chilly bite ever to turn the back of your throat, lips, rim

Damn Nationals This is all my fault, folks. On October 30, 2019, with the Washington Nationals trailing by a run in Game 7 of the World Series, I made a deal with the Prince of Darkness. He would allow my beloved Nats to win in dramatic fashion. But in return, Washington would never win against my mortal enemies, the New York Mets, in 2020. Small price to pay, I thought, as I signed with a quill pen dipped in someone or something’s blood. Two minutes later Howie Kendrick clanged a two-run dong off the right field foul pole to put the Nats up for good. I was extremely happy. The next morning, I started humbly intimating to friends and family that the team had won because of my arrangement with Satan. I was expecting a few attaboys, some backslaps and thumbs-up emojis. Instead I received a torrent of wailing and existential fear, which is a lot to bear when you’re “day after a Game 7 World Series win”-level hung over. A friend patiently explained that this Lucifer guy is known for introducing unexpected ironic consequences into his business deals. This was news to me. The friend turned hostile, berating me, saying that every single depiction of the Devil in popular culture involves this trope. “Oh, yeah. That rings a bell,” I lied — because I didn’t want to look like an idiot.

And now here we are. The Nats will never beat the Mets this season because, due to the coronavirus, there likely is no season. Frankly, enforcing the letter of our agreement by unleashing a global pandemic seems like a bit of a desperate flex on the part of Old Scratch. Maybe a touch of overcompensation? I did a little more digging into this pop-culture Devil stuff, and you know what he’s never depicted with? Large, visible genitals. Just something to think about. Regardless of Beelzebub’s wang size, I’m not happy about the situation. Having no baseball is bad. Having no baseball because of a devastating virus is much worse, because it gives sports haters a license to Put Things in Perspective. “Really puts things in perspective,” they say, as if they are blessing one of Plato’s cave dwellers with wisdom from on high instead of quoting a cliché on the level of “Live, Laugh, Love” Etsy décor. It would be easy to dismiss these people as nerds, but that isn’t fair: Many of them are actually dweebs. Plus, I have perspective. After all, I didn’t sell my soul to the devil. That would be ridiculous. It was just a game. My soul would have

of tongue, to the most glorious tinder. Blink, & you see sequins, & then the love scene turns into a heist. S T E PHE N C R A M E R

Good Bourbon Makes Good Neighbors On the third anniversary of her husband’s death, I asked Joan how she’d been feeling. My next-door neighbor for many years, she was well into her eighties then, but plenty spry. She told me she missed him. The house was quiet without his booming voice (he’d been a bit deaf in the later years). She said sometimes she got terribly thirsty. “That’s not good,” I said. “You have to stay hydrated. I could loan you some of my bicycle bottles, they’re impossible to spill. You could have one by your bed, one by your chair.” “No,” she answered, “I mean bourbon thirsty.” “Well, I’m a beer and wine and rum guy,” I said. “I don’t know anything about bourbon.” “I was a teacher for many years,” Joan replied. “I can teach you.” And so our friendship entered a new phase. She’d make us a casserole dinner, I’d fill glasses with ice and bourbon, and while


been worth at least two World Series wins. Hoping to atone for my role in all this, I decided to give back. On March 26, what would have been Major League Baseball’s opening day, I broadcast an RBI Baseball simulation of the 1987 MLB All-Star Game to a few hundred viewers on Twitch. I even convinced a reporter for the Washington Post to cover it. Sports reporters are desperate for content right now. I think I could get one to come watch me do my laundry if I tricked them into thinking I was a severely malnourished Mike Trout. I assumed my improv comedy experience would prepare me for announcing a game and I was right: Years of doing bad improv made it much easier to do bad commentary. The Post reporter described my performance as “Boom Goes the Dynamite without the natural charisma.”

Increasingly desperate for a baseball fix, I consulted the Minor League Baseball schedule. If the virus subsided by July, would the Vermont Lake Monsters be able to take the field? But sadly, due to MLB’s rumored contraction of the minor league system, Champ’s favorite team may have played its last short season. The silver lining is that, by ceasing to exist, the quality of the product would only dip slightly. Centennial Field was last renovated shortly after the Mighty Casey struck out. And Lake Monsters games were never slick affairs. One of the Lake Monsters’ between-inning entertainment activities consists of two kids throwing plastic bottles into a recycling bin. The winning child receives a free hot dog, and the losing recycling bin gets banged by a Houston Astros prospect. I always thought it was dumb, but that was before the sports drought. Now that I have three hours a day to fill where I used to be watching baseball, I tried to find some parents who would let me pay to watch their children toss garbage around. I was banned from Front Porch Forum almost immediately. So what’s next? Tracking down bootleg streams of Taiwanese minor league games? Rewatching my World Series documentary DVD a 30th time? Throwing water bottles into the trash myself? The past few weeks actually have Put Things in Perspective, and that perspective is this: Global pandemics suck big time. If you know any goat-legged fellows who can do something about this situation, I’ve still got a soul to offer. C O N O R L A S T O WK A

she savored her drink with reverentially closed eyes and I choked mine down sip by sip, we would sit and ridicule the president and have a high old time. Then the virus came. Now 89 and some months, Joan is no fool, no weakling, and not one to become dependent. But she knows she’s in danger, if she ventures out into the world. So, for once, she allowed me to do things for her. Mainly it was groceries, her requests so modest it embarrassed me — a flat of water bottles, a package of paper towels. She’d call to say thanks, but her real purpose was to find out how much I had spent, because she was determined to settle up with me. In her view — implied but never spoken — fetching things from the store was kindness on my part, but actually paying for them would be charity, and Joan wanted none of that.

One day, she went all out and asked me to pick up some coffee. Also, laundry detergent pods. Both of my grown sons are home from New York City for the duration, so my grocery receipt totaled in the hundreds. But on her thank-you call she insisted I calculate how much her goods had cost. What is it to be alive, when our normally free existence and community are reduced to solitude in our homes? Is an insistence on being ourselves, our actual, stubborn selves at all times, perhaps a sign of strength and determination to survive? Is that how we make it to 89, still appreciating a stiff bourbon on the rocks? A few days later, I was out in another neighbor’s field and spotted a car in my driveway. I hurried home, but the car was gone before I arrived. However, in my garage there was a container of fresh cookies. And taped to it, a check from Joan for $37. S T E P HE N KI E RN AN QUARANZINE SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

» P.36 35


In Our Wake Inside these hands A golden chance Within these walls A castle falls While all the peasants dance Where does one turn In a house of mirrors If everywhere you look there you are If silence becomes too loud to hear over the birds’ Songs When touch seems a distant stranger fuzzy and still wet with hazy memory No one said anything about the masks we’d wear over the masks we wore Before And yet the sun still shines through gloom And flowers dare to bloom I saw a patch of onion A robin thrusting its chest out Eyed me suspiciously As if to say What are you doing here It appears we are still here Maybe we can outlive and outgrow our shadows Maybe life will look us square in the eyeball And not notice our flinching Imperceptibly Or see it and still forgive us our immortal mortalities Maybe today will be the day the walls part like seas and the ceilings raise and the light has its way with us Maybe the rain will merge with the sweat born of our contained lives and become indistinguishable Maybe we’ll take ourselves out of ourselves cast away the plastic packaging And see something more alive Something more fun to play with Than fear and Shallow mirrors Maybe we can be friendly to ourselves even when the world is not watching When the ceaseless eye of Babylon has gone to sleep or long died We can be here Creating musing Imagining Envisioning Life as it could and can be and leave what it was and is In our wake R A JN I I E D D I N S

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SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020


Landscape Award Winners

CHURCH HILL LANDSCAPES, INC. - FANNY ALLEN LEARNING GARDEN PROJECT


11th Annual Vermont Nursery & Landsca WINNERS The VERMONT NURSERY AND LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATION’S (VNLA) INDUSTRY AWARDS PROGRAM is in its 11th year. This program brings recognition to outstanding landscape design and installation. The objective of the program is to promote excellence and encourage greater awareness of the aesthetic and environmental benefits of landscaping. The Industry Awards Program is open to current VNLA members actively offering professional landscape services. Members are allowed to submit up to three projects per year. All installed landscapes are eligible. The judging is conducted by a panel of industry professionals, which includes landscape architects/designers, nursery professionals, and horticultural educators. Projects are judged upon their own merits against a set of nine criteria. The nine criteria include: • client/project goals • design considerations • plant choices • degree of difficulty • installation • hardscapes • maintenance • overall effect • overall comments Each entry is scored individually with a total of 100 points possible. The three award categories are: Excellence, Honor, and Merit.

EXCELLENCE AWARD

Church Hill Landscapes, Inc. | www.churchhilllandscapes.com Fanny Allen Learning Garden | Graham MacHarg | Charlotte, VT

EXCELLENCE AWARD

diStefano Landscaping, Inc. | www.distefanolandscaping.com Cliff With a View | David Burton | Essex Junction, VT

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S

I N D


ape Association Industry Awards Program HONOR AWARDS

Distinctive Landscaping | www.distinctiveland.com

Landshapes | www.landshapes.net

Family Matters | Miles Weston and Brian Pellerin | Charlotte, VT

Hillside Stabilization Makes Space for Outdoor Living Caroline Dudek | Richmond, VT

MERIT AWARDS

Distinctive Landscaping | www.distinctiveland.com

Earthscapes | www.earthscapes.com

A New Approach | Charlie Proutt and Christian D’Andrea | Charlotte, VT

Spear Street Retreat | Rick Rice | Shelburne, VT

U S T R Y

A W A R D

W I N N E R S !


ABOUT THE VERMONT NURSERY AND LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATION/GREEN WORKS

ABOUT THE VERMONT CERTIFIED HORTICULTURIST PROGRAM

The Vermont Nursery and Landscape Association/Green Works is a non-profit trade organization representing Vermont’s green industry professionals since 1964. We are also the producers of the biennial Vermont Flower Show. The VNLA mission is to support and strengthen the horticulture industry of Vermont by promoting a greater awareness to the public of green industry professionals and the value of landscaping, plants, products, and services our members have to offer. The VNLA is a place to network, share information and ideas, and advocate for positive change within the green industry. We are committed to being a powerful resource for our members and the public, as well as promoting high standards of professionalism and fostering a sense of community. You can view a complete listing of our members and learn more about the VNLA/Green Works at www.greenworksvermont.org.

The VNLA initiated this certification program in 1988. The VCH program is designed to provide the public with professionals who have undergone a rigorous certification process and who must maintain continuing education credits each year toward re- VERMONT CERTIFIED HORTICULTURIST certification. VCH certified professionals subscribe to a code of ethics that promotes high ethical standards and keeps them on the forefront of the green industry. Vermont Certified Horticulturists are located in all areas of Vermont, most are affiliated with garden centers and landscaping firms. When visiting a garden center or hiring a landscaper, ask to speak to a “Vermont Certified Horticulturist.” You can view a complete listing of VCH professionals at www.greenworksvermont.org.

VCH

VNLA/GREEN WORKS ANNUAL AWARDS 2019-2020 Horticultural Achievement Award THIS AWARD is given to individuals connected to the horticulture industry in Vermont and is our most prestigious award. It is given to individuals who are over 40 years of

age and whose accomplishments have advanced our industry through education, plant delvelopment, growing, literature, or through outstanding personal effort.

Ralph Fitz-Gerald | Horsford Gardens & Nursery | Charlotte, VT | www.horsfordnursery.com

Environmental Awareness Award THIS AWARD is given in recognition of an individual that has implemented

an environmentally sound practice that contributes to the protection of our environment.

David Fried | Elmore Roots Fruit Tree Nursery Elmore, VT | www.elmoreroots.com

Retailer of the Year Award THIS AWARD is presented annually to a retail garden center or greenhouse

operation that stands apart for their excellence in customer service, quality of plant material, knowledge, creativity, innovations in marketing, presentation of retail space, and overall customer experience/satisfaction.

Claussen’s Florist Greenhouse & Perennial Farm Colchester, VT | www.claussens.com

Young Nursery Professional of the Year Award THIS ANNUAL AWARD was established by the New England Nursery Association and has now been adopted by the VNLA. It rewards and honors participation, achievement and growth by an individual who is involved in the horticultural industry and who is 40 years or younger. This individual has demonstrated involvement with their state or regional association and has contributed to the growth and success of their company of employment.

Michelle Blow | UVM Plant & Animal Biology Facilities Department Burlington, VT

Allen B. Crane Horticultural Employee Acknowledgement Award THIS AWARD is sponsored by member Claussen’s Florist & Greenhouse in honor of Allen B. Crane, head grower there for over 42 years. This award recognizes employees that make a difference in the horticultural industry. The winner receives a cash prize of $275. Nominees must be employed by a member business for a minimum of 5 years, be exemplary leaders and display an ability to grow and excel in the workplace and beyond.

Lily Belisle | Red Wagon Plants | Hinesburg, VT | www.redwagonplants.com

2020 Student Merit Awards THIS AWARD is given annually to one student each from the University of Vermont and Vermont Technical College and they receive a $500 merit award from the VNLA. These students are nominated by their professors because they have shown outstanding interest and commitment to the field of horticulture.

UVM: Josiah Gilbert | Craftsbury, VT VTC: Kimberly Myers | Montpelier, VT

Dig Deeper www.greenworksvermont.org P.O. Box 92, N. Ferrisburgh, VT 05473

Toll Free: 888-518-6484 Local: 802-425-5117

-Find a member professional near you -Learn more about The VNLA -The Vermont Flower Show -View award-winning landscapes -Landscape and plant resources

HIRE A PROFESSIONAL NEAR YOU!


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4/28/20 4:31 PM


Visiting friends AND your mortgage lender might look different now but its still possible.

Other People’s Problems

I STILL believe one on one is so very important. Right now it may need to be on a video conference but we can get you ready to purchase a home when you are ready. Give me a call today and we will get things moving.

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Book review: Afterlife, Julia Alvarez

KELLY A. DEFORGE

BY J IM S C H L E Y

H

Senior Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS: 103643

ow responsible is any one of us for easing or solving the problems of others? Especially when they might have brought on those difficulties by their own bad choices — and we have a load of troubles of our own? The main character of Julia Alvarez’s novel Afterlife is newly a 30 Kimball Avenue, Suite 200, widow, deeply South Burlington, VT grief-struck. ublocal.com • 802-318-7395 Though she kdeforge@unionbankvt.com repeats to herself a self-help mantra that it’s always best to put her own ease and wellbeing first, she’s unable to 8v-unionbankkellyd050620.indd 1 5/4/20 1:15 PM shrug off the urgent needs of other people, including her neighbors and relatives. Alvarez is the author of 21 previous books: fiction for adult and young people, poetry, essays, and memoir. She is writer-in-residence emerita in the Department of English and American Literatures at Middlebury College, where she has taught since 1988. Alvarez and her husband, Middlebury ophthalmologist William Eichner, are the cofounders of Alta Gracia, an ecological coffee farm and literacy center in the Dominican Republic, where Alvarez was born. We are open for in-store and Her first novel for adults in 14 years, Afterlife offers two stories, entwined. curbside business! Antonia, the novel’s protagonist, has Show your mom some love with a recently retired from teaching literature beautiful blooming hanging basket or at a Vermont college; she is also less than spring planter! a year into the still strange and precarious experience of bereavement. Her seem802-453-5382 ingly healthy husband, Sam, died of a 2638 Ethan Allen Hwy heart attack while driving to meet her at New Haven, VT 05472 their favorite restaurant. greenhavengardensandnursery.com Antonia lives next door to a dairy farm where two undocumented young men from Mexico work for a growly farmer; he’s ambivalent about hiring and lodging migrants yet sorely in need of their labor. Mario and Juan ask

BOOKS

Mother's Day!

38 Untitled-10 1

SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020 5/4/20 10:28 AM

HER FIRST NOVEL FOR ADULTS IN 14 YEARS

OFFERS TWO STORIES, ENTWINED. Antonia, who is fluent in Spanish, for help dealing with the imminent arrival of Mario’s novia, or fiancée. When Estela arrives, she is very (and unexpectedly) pregnant. Antonia is the second sister in a thorny foursome of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, who are spread out around the U.S. but remain powerfully connected. The sisters (Izzy, Antonia, Tilly and Mona) were born in quick succession, 11 months apart, which makes them almost twins: For a month

every year, each is the same age as the one who preceded or succeeded her. Yet the sisters differ passionately from one another, and among the wonders of Afterlife is how Alvarez stages the specifics of their personalities while also conveying the high-intensity magnetism of siblings’ two-way and four-way relationships. “Sometimes it feels as if only together are they a whole person — referred to reverentially as ‘the sisterhood,’” she writes. To extricate herself from the tense situation of the migrants next door, Antonia accepts an invitation to celebrate her birthday with a sisters’ reunion in Chicago, but the eldest sister never arrives. The other three end up hiring a couple of private investigators to try to find Izzy, missing somewhere between Massachusetts and Illinois. Readers who loved Alvarez’s splendid first novel, How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (1991), will recall a constellation of four young immigrant sisters in that book, as well. The Afterlife sisters are older, bickering constantly, cajoling for favors, and kibitzing over romances, professions and money. They share memories of Mami and Papi and keep always in play a particular pride in their Dominican American lineage. Alvarez also used a parallel structure in her 2006 novel Saving the World. There, a present-day Vermont couple, writer Alma and her husband, Richard, are sucked into disaster in the Dominican Republic, where they’ve gone with “Help International” in response to the AIDS crisis. Their story alternates with sections of the historical novel Alma is writing, a chronicle of an experiment to deliver smallpox vaccines to the Caribbean using young boys as “carriers.”


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With its two deadly contagions, Saving the World is freshly timely in the current pandemic. While that novel used a story-withina-story structure, the two narratives in Afterlife are concurrent, with Antonia moving back and forth between her home in Vermont and the search for her lost sister. Either plot alone would suffice for an engaging story, but combined they multiply the emotional force of Antonia’s predicament. In places, Alvarez’s writing here seems

FROM AFTERLIFE When no one answers her knock at the trailer, Antonia heads for the barn, where she finds Mario shoveling fresh sawdust from a wheelbarrow into each stall. In the milking parlor, José is manning the machines, softly cursing at the cows. Antonia remembers overhearing some farmers who had brought in their workers at the Open Door Clinic. She’d been called in to translate that night. Both the hospital and the clinic were seeing an increase in Spanish-speaking cases, but unlike the hospital, the clinic couldn’t afford off-site interpreting services. The farmers were talking among themselves about how they preferred women milkers to men. Antonia had dismissed them as sexist comments, until she realized their point was that the women were gentler with the animals. The cows actually give more milk. The little calves thrive. Psst! Mario! She calls to him, startling him. Is el patron around? He shakes his head. Your novia called again. The coyotes are threatening her. Who are these people you hired? she asks, as if Mario should have checked references first, done his due diligence. Ay, doñita, ay. The young man clutches his head. What is he to do? The coyotes are insisting on the dropoff fee to Burlington even if they put la novia on a bus in Denver. He has sent those chingados all the savings he had, borrowed the rest. The paisanos all pitched in. That’s how they work it. First, I bring my novia or wife or sister or little brother with your help. Then I help you bring yours. Slowly and all together, we rebuild our lives here. A nest, a home, not just a trailer on shifting sand.

chatty, as allusions to the “narrow path” of mourning, good cop/bad copy dichotomies, and the need to face “dragons” seem too-often repeated. Yet this may be intentional to convey how Antonia’s mind roams, circles and doubles back. Alvarez uses a “close” third-person narration, gliding closely beside what in another writer’s hands would be a more ordinary first-person point of view. By contrast, Antonia’s sister Tilly has a marvelous way of upending clichés by mangling them as she talks: “We have more churches per square root than anywhere” … “a pigment of my imagination” … and “that bitch was a wolf in cheap clothing.” Also at odds with the sometimesshopworn chestnuts of Antonia’s inner monologue is her ardent, evocative way of quoting poems and stories she has loved and taught for decades. These lines — from T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Rainer Maria Rilke, Basho, Emily Dickinson and others — arise as she searches for her bearings, inseparable from her mental texture and persuasively rooted in her long devotion to teaching. Antonia endlessly interrogates her role and place in the world. Three questions drawn from a Leo Tolstoy story are her compass points: “What is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?” A stylistic choice that works exceedingly well in Afterlife is Alvarez’s layering of dialogue into the narrative without quotation marks. While the technique might sound confusing, it never is, keeping the prose fleet and immediate, like flowing thoughts. Alvarez also skillfully embeds Spanish words and expressions in ways that feel natural and inevitable. Our language, like our society, is metamorphic, transforming as we speak. Antonia’s empathy for everyone she encounters, though at first tempered with wary self-protectiveness, is the great gift of Afterlife. One of the novel’s paired stories ends in catastrophe, while the other has a complicated but more joyous outcome. Ultimately, Antonia embraces the credo her husband inherited from his mother: When called on by people in trouble, “Well, let’s see what love can do.” m

INFO Afterlife by Julia Alvarez, Algonquin Books, 272 pages. $25.95 hardcover; $12.99 ebook.

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NEED SOME ADVICE ON LIFE?

Social Studies You are what you tweet, and lately you’ve been sad BY MARGAR E T GR AYS O N

R

the

REVEREND

What’s your problem? Send it to: asktherev@sevendaysvt.com

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SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

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3/31/20 5:18 PM

CULTURE

LUKE EASTMAN

A sage and sassy adviser to answer reader questions on matters large and small.

oughly 500 million times a day, someone in the world writes a tweet. Every second, nearly 6,000 bursts of text, image and emoji, 280 characters or less, are sent out into the world. About one-third of them are in English, but users worldwide use Twitter in many languages to share their feelings, food, pets, work, classes, relationships and nearly every other aspect of their lives. For every funny dog picture, there’s an ill-informed yet confidently delivered opinion; for every news article, a joke. Twelve years ago, researchers at the University of Vermont’s Computational Story Lab designed a use for all those billions of tweets: the Hedonometer, software that uses tweets to track global happiness. What the Hedonometer has confirmed about the last two months probably won’t surprise you: We’ve all been really bummed out. The UVM researchers, led by Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth, struck a deal with Twitter to scrape a random 10 percent of all tweets daily. In 2008, when they started, this was a novel idea, and the tweets came at a rate more akin to a trickle than today’s fire hose. The lab’s backlog now contains more than 10 billion tweets in English alone and spans more than 180 languages. The Hedonometer tracks 10 of those languages. Researchers crowdsourced rankings of 10,000 unique words on a happiness scale. The happiest English words are pretty obvious — “laughter,” “happiness,” “love.” People are also pretty happy when they’re talking about vacations or family members. Prior to the pandemic, the unhappiest words included “terrorist,” “cancer” and “suicide.” But the coronavirus has had an unprecedented effect on the Hedonometer across languages. Usually, when something bad happens, there’s a dip in global happiness that lasts about a day before our collective attention moves on. Holidays tend to cause similarly brief but dramatic happiness upticks. On March 11, 2020, Tom Hanks announced he had the coronavirus, the

National Basketball Association canceled its season, President Donald Trump banned European travel to the U.S., and stock markets plummeted. The following day was the saddest in Hedonometer history. “There’ve been lots of sad days on Twitter. There’s these big dips when a celebrity dies or there’s a natural disaster or a mass shooting,” Danforth said. “But there’s never, in the entire history of our instrument, been a sustained sadness like we’ve been seeing.” Every day in March, he said, has been collectively sadder than the day of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. And

the saddest words on Twitter? That list is now dominated by pandemicrelated terms such as “ventilator,” “sanitizer” and “quarantine.” Computational Story Lab research can tell us about more than our global mood, though. The lab has produced a wide variety of reports based on analyses of tweets, which researchers are now using to better understand how global society is responding to and processing the coronavirus pandemic. Those researchers can tell you, for example, exactly when most of the world was and wasn’t paying attention to the coronavirus. “The world’s collective attention


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spike next, according to social media activity. “Saying that something predicts something else is a very hard thing to do,” Dewhurst said. He hopes his research “could have predictive power” at some point in the future, but he doesn’t imagine it will do much to help us address the coronavirus pandemic, which is already embedded so deeply in our lives. “There will be future pandemics. This is something that we know,” Dewhurst said. “One of the things that interested us is that the words that were associated with future percent changes weren’t specific to coronavirus.” Rarely do we face something as unpredictable as this pandemic, Danforth said. When the impending disaster is a hurricane, for example, we can launch satellites and observe storm patterns and predict, with reasonable accuracy, how soon the hurricane will make landfall. Most importantly, our increased attention on the hurricane doesn’t affect its path. “The hurricane doesn’t change its track because of the forecast. And we, in this epidemic, have changed our behavior quite dramatically,” Danforth said. “When you make predictions about a social system, as opposed to a physical or technological one, there’s a lot more uncertainty.” It’s not all bad news out of the lab. In recent days, the Hedonometer’s global happiness level has slowly crept back up. We’re now at the happiness level of March 7 — which, to this reporter, feels like a lifetime ago. Maybe we’re just adjusting to our new normal, or maybe things are actually looking up. One thing’s for sure: Wherever this pandemic goes from here, we’ll be tweeting about it. m

USUALLY, WHEN SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS,

THERE’S A DIP IN GLOBAL HAPPINESS THAT LASTS ABOUT A DAY.

Contact: margaret@sevendaysvt.com

INFO Learn more at hedonometer.org.

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RETAIL THERAPY BY CAROLYN FOX HOW TO BUY: Order from Burlington’s Crow Bookshop (crowbooks.com). ALSO TRY: Lucy Knisley’s You Are New, a picture book perfect for expecting parents or baby story time, from Manchester C e n t e r ’s No r t h s h i re B o o k st o re (northshire.com).

BODY OIL

A professional massage or manicure may be out of the question for Mom right now — but you can still create a serene at-home spa experience for the woman who always carries so much on her shoulders. This Ginger Elixir + Arnica Body Oil, from White River Junction’s Flourish Beauty Lab, contains ginger and cinnamon for a warming shoulder massage, as well as arnica flower to help ease aches and inflammation. Ahhh. Morey Hill Farm flowers

Love Still Blooms L

HOW TO BUY: Order at flourishbeautylab. com for shipping, local delivery or pickup. Save the glass bottle for refills! ALSO TRY: Her Wellness Spa Set, including a honey mask, body scrub and body balm, from Vermont-based Tata Harper (tataharperskincare.com).

Seven gifts for Mother’s Day and where to buy them locally

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SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

pivoting to smaller retail sales this season, but he noted the uncertainty of revenue: “From a farm perspective, it’s completely impossible to predict anything, let alone in this circumstance.” Still, he reported, “we have wonderful local support here.” He’s already sold out of tulip bouquets for Mother’s Day, “one of the celebrated days of the floral calendar,” he said. “It’ll be interesting to see how [business] evolves past Mother’s Day.” Read on for our roundup of petals and other presents for Mom that, just maybe, will help your family find a way to embrace this moment and move forward. Your purchases will show our local economy a little love, too. If you don’t see your favorite retailer below, seek them out; this list is by no means comprehensive.

FLOWER CSA

Talk about flower power: In tough times, fresh blooms can lift the spirit. For the bouquet that keeps on giving, floral CSAs have been sprouting up around Vermont. They’re just like your veggie share, but with flowers and botanicals. June Farm in Burlington offers a Flowers for the Soul subscription, and Craftsbury’s Morey Hill Farm runs a Summer Bouquet Share

and a Summer Bucket Share — you choose whether you want to play floral designer. Sign up at junefarmvt.com or moreyhillfarm.com, or research a local flower CSA near you. ALSO TRY: Many traditional florists, including Kathy and Company Flowers in Burlington (kathycoflowers.com) and In Full Bloom in Shelburne (infullbloomvt.com), are offering curbside pickup or delivery.

COURTESY OF LINDSEY LEICHTHAMMER

ove in the time of coronavirus looks different. Instead of a warm embrace, it’s meaningful eye contact through FaceTime. Instead of a birthday party, it’s a parade of honking cars rolling down your street. And for that May holiday honoring the person who brought you into this sweet and sometimes messy world? Well, new Mother’s Day traditions must be forged, too. Under continued stay-at-home orders, some families aren’t able to physically gather. Others have lost loved ones near or far, or are facing illness themselves. And even moms and kids who occupy the same healthy household can’t simply go out for a festive brunch, like in the good old days of … February. The pandemic is “a time of sadness and lots of different emotions, quite frankly,” said David Johnson, owner of Morey Hill Farm. “You have to embrace it and move forward.” That’s why this week’s guide to supporting local retailers during the shutdown focuses on gifts that will lend a little magic to Mother’s Day, on Sunday, May 10. We may be isolated, but moms can still be celebrated. In Craftsbury, Johnson’s flower farm is typically tied to life’s big, happy occasions — not just Mother’s Day but weddings and anniversaries, too. “As far as events being canceled or postponed, that is directly impacting what people are buying,” Johnson said. In response, he’s

HOW TO BUY:

GO TO SLEEP (I MISS YOU)

When Lucy Knisley became a mom, she started documenting the everyday hallmarks of parenthood in spontaneous pen-and-ink cartoons. They record all that’s exciting and exhausting about raising a tiny human — that new-baby smell, the horrors of teething, the way an infant’s hair sticks up after a nap. Knisley, who honed her craft at White River Junction’s Center for Cartoon Studies, collected her best sketches in Go to Sleep (I Miss You): Cartoons From the Fog of New Parenthood, released in February.

MOTHER’S DAY MEAL

At this point in the pandemic, what parent isn’t totally over the endless routine of cooking and dishwashing? Colchester’s Cloud 9 Caterers saves the day with truly special multicourse meal kits for pickup or delivery every Wednesday through Sunday. And now the catering company is even improving upon breakfast in bed. Its Mother’s Day brunch feast includes rhubarb-stuffed French toast, smoked local brook trout and quiche. Pay a little more for a BYOB mimosa or Bloody Mary drink kit. Place your brunch order at cloud9takeout.com by 4 p.m. on Friday, May 8. ALSO TRY: A three-course takeout dinner from Kismet in Montpelier (kismetkitchens.com). HOW TO BUY:


Community Heart & Soul is seeking a

President – Executive Director I founded Community Heart & Soul some 15 years ago and by year’s end

BAKED GOODS THAT GIVE BACK

COFFEE AND A MUG

HOW TO BUY: Order at thirtyodd.com.

Get a coffee subscription from Winooski’s Vivid Coffee (vividcoffee. com). $2 per bag is donated directly to baristas at partner cafés who are out of work due to COVID-19. ALSO TRY:

Is it really a celebration if there’s no cake? (Or grasshopper brownies, or whoopie pies, or chocolate chip cookies...) This Mother’s Day, order some treats for the family from Montpelier’s Birchgrove Baking, and then pay the sweet gesture forward. Birchgrove invites customers to FILE: JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR

In Burlington’s South End, Thirty-odd’s doors are closed, but the shop is working hard to funnel funds to local artisans, as always. Among its five Support the Makers boxes is this coffee-and-mug set to help Mom start the day off right. (And by that, we mean caffeinated.) Choose a handmade mug from K.B. Ceramics, Christopher Vaughn Pottery or Ergo Pottery to go with a tasty roast from Brio Coffeeworks.

HOW TO BUY: Purchase at yogarootsvt.com.

White River Junction’s Upper Valley Yoga (uppervalleyyoga.com) offers livestream classes, plus a free weekly recorded session. ALSO TRY:

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ONLINE YOGA CLASS

These days, many parents are juggling working from home and ’round-theclock childrearing. “Me time” may feel like a fantasy far out of reach. To allow Mom a little balance and a breather, gift her an online yoga class from a local studio, along with a promise to be left alone for an hour. Yoga Roots, with locations in Shelburne and Williston, offers sessions in core flow, vinyasa, yin yoga and more. Purchase a virtual sampler pack to let Mom pick and choose a few of her faves.

we’ll have near a hundred Heart & Soul communities across rural America. I and our staff want an experienced leader who can lead a significant expansion of Heart & Soul. Someone who understands why small cities and towns make such great places to live and raise families, to start a business in, and relocate to.

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5/4/20 4:39 PM

“Sweeten a Day” with a donation that will be “converted into pastries” and delivered to health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. Order at birchgrovebaking.com. ALSO TRY: Miss Weinerz in Burlington (missweinerz. com) sells sweet treats and accepts “d o u g h n a t i o n s ” to support free care packages for community members in need.

HOW TO BUY:

INFO Retail Therapy is a column about shopping local in the coronavirus era. Got a product or store suggestion? Email carolyn@ sevendaysvt.com.

STAY HOME, STAY ACTIVE The Seven Days team has reenvisioned our weekly Notes On the Weekend newsletter to include creative, constructive and fun ways to spend your time as you socially isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic. From virtual yoga classes to delicious recipes, movie suggestions to crafting ideas, there is something for everyone asking, “NOW what?”

S U B S C R IB E AT S EV EN DAYS V T.C OM SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

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Taking Control A new Vermont-made app helps users manage panic attacks

they think, Man, I can’t even relax. I must be failing at this; I have no control over my body.” The app counters that feeling by giving users something to do while they’re experiencing one of these episodes. It asks them to measure their body’s responses and provide data on what led to the attack. “By tracking your physiology and understanding the patterns of your body,” said Ellen, “you’re able to take that control back.”

PANICMECHANIC’S ORIGIN STORY

Ellen and Ryan McGinnis COURTESY OF SALLY MCCAY

T

he coronavirus pandemic is making everyone a little anxious. But for people already suffering from anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorders, the virus and related uncertainties are a serious and growing threat. “The coronavirus pandemic is pushing America into a mental health crisis,” reported the Washington Post on May 4. “Anxiety and depression are rising.” Panic attacks are a common feature of anxiety disorders. These intense episodes can come on at any time and cause extreme physical distress. Symptoms include racing heart rate, trembling, sweating, difficulty breathing and the feeling that the attack will never end. People who suffer panic attacks often say they feel like they’re dying; in fact, some of them end up in hospital emergency rooms — an awful experience during normal times, and one that could expose them to COVID-19 today. Reliably effective treatments for these episodes are scarce. 44

SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

Biofeedback, one promising option, involves charting physiological changes as they happen, but it typically requires medical monitoring. That can be hard to access in the moment — a barrier to treatment, given that panic attacks occur without warning. In April, researchers at the University of Vermont introduced a new solution: the PanicMechanic smartphone app. Created by Shelburne residents Ellen and Ryan McGinnis, PanicMechanic gives users the ability to measure their body’s physiological response to a panic attack while it’s

happening — using their smartphone. It’s available in Apple’s App Store for $19.99, roughly the cost of a doctor’s visit copay. Starting May 6, the couple is making it free for all frontline workers (see sidebar). During an April interview on WCAX-TV, Ellen, a trained clinical psychologist and assistant professor at UVM’s Center for Children, Youth and Families, explained the app’s appeal: Often during panic attacks, she said, “people are told just to breathe and try to relax. And then, while they’re having a panic attack,

Ellen McGinnis speaks from experience. The Shelburne native used to have panic attacks herself. She describes them on the PanicMechanic website: “I was in graduate school for clinical psychology, meanwhile, at home I was experiencing a couple of panic attacks a week. I was hyperventilating, my heart was pounding, I felt dizzy. It felt like they were lasting forever.” During a phone interview, she explained that in 2012, during the second year of her PhD program at the University of Michigan, she learned about biofeedback and tried it herself. “I took my own pulse in my living room, graphed it out, then did that during panic attacks for two to three weeks,” she said. It worked. She hasn’t had a panic attack since, and she has had success using a similar technique with multiple patients. Ellen’s experience with biofeedback provided the initial spark that led to the app. She worked with her husband, Ryan, an assistant professor of electrical and biomedical engineering, to figure out how to use a smartphone as a measuring tool.

HOW IT WORKS Like Ellen, Ryan grew up in Vermont — in Charlotte — and graduated from Champlain Valley Union High School in 2005. The two were friends there and started dating after they both landed at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. After graduation, both earned their doctorates at the University of Michigan. The couple moved back to Vermont in 2017 and are now quarantining with their two young sons. Ryan explained that the technology is similar to that used by a pulse

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


oximeter, the device that clips onto your finger at the doctor’s office and measures heart rate and oxygen saturation. To use PanicMechanic, you put your finger over the camera on your smartphone with the light on, and the app records a video. You can actually see the blood flowing through your capillaries and watch the color changing, he said. “It’s super cool.” The app also asks the user to rate the severity of the attack and record the conditions leading up to it. Different screens ask questions about sleep, exercise, diet and

got assistance from the school’s technology transfer specialists; other faculty collaborators helped them use machine learning to improve the accuracy of the user-collected heart-rate data. In July 2019, the McGinnises hired Steve DiCristofaro of New Yorkbased Synbrix Software to produce the iPhone app. Burlington-based nonprofit game design studio Rad Magpie is building the Android version, with help from a grant from the Vermont Department of Economic Development. Ellen said it should be available by early June.

STARTING MAY 6, PANICMECHANIC IS FREE FOR ALL FRONTLINE WORKERS. alcohol consumption. This gives the user something to focus on and also provides data that will help them better understand their triggers so they can prevent future attacks. PanicMechanic’s red, white and mauve color scheme validates the sense of alarm users feel while interacting with it, while also holding out the promise of de-escalation. Supportive messages such as “Hang in there!” and “You got this” add to the effect. The couple noted that the app is meant to be used in addition to, not instead of, professional clinical care. “It’s one of the first examples of an app that uses objective measurements of your physiology within a digital mental health framework,” Ryan told WCAX. “It’s really exciting.” Participants who used the app during a UVM study reported that it helped the duration and severity of their panic attacks. One wrote: “I found it extremely reassuring and validating. Particularly, being able to plot my heart rate and being asked to reflect on my level of anxiety feels like taking some measure of control over a very uncontrollable experience.”

A TEAM EFFORT To produce PanicMechanic, the McGinnises founded a company, Allostatech, that grew out of their academic research at UVM. They

PanicMechanic is Allostatech’s first project, but the McGinnises are already looking into the next one: an app to help screen preschoolers for signs of anxiety or depression. It would involve assessments of movement and speech, Ellen explained. James Hudziak, director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families at the UVM College of Medicine and Medical Center, is excited about the prospect of that project, which will use wearable sensors for early detection of child anxiety. He calls PanicMechanic “a simple and beautiful example of digitally delivered cognitive behavioral therapy.” Hudziak is hopeful that advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence and biomedical engineering can help provide valuable clinical data and possibly aid in mental health treatment. He has known Ellen since she was in high school, and recruited her to join his team at UVM. He’s eager to see what she and Ryan will come up with. “UVM is lucky to have them both,” he said.  THIS ARTICLE WAS COMMISSIONED AND PAID FOR BY:

INFO

The PanicMechanic App is available on the App Store; available soon on Android. $19.99, free for frontline workers. panicmechanicapp.com

FRONTLINE WORKERS GET THE APP FOR FREE From the creators of PanicMechanic: We are so thankful for all of the frontline health care professionals, first responders, postal workers and all essential employees. We know that this is an immensely stressful time and we want to show our appreciation and support by gifting you the PanicMechanic App to help you manage your panic attacks. Just tag us in a picture of you at work (or email a pic to customerservice@ allostatech.com) to get your free app!

MORE INFO Are you or someone you love in crisis? Access free, 24-7 support through Vermont’s Crisis Text Line. Here’s how it works: 1. Text “VT” to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis. 2. A live, trained crisis counselor receives the text and responds quickly. 3. The volunteer crisis counselor helps you move from a hot moment to a cool moment. • Learn more at vtcrisistextline.org. • Reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800273-8255, or call Vermont 2-1-1 for information about local services. SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

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Standing Out

1342 Route 100, Westfield, 744-2406, berrycreekfarmvt.com

JORDON BARRY

Farmstands do brisk business as Vermonters seek local food B Y JOR D AN BAR RY

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SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

In a Zoom meeting of the state Senate Committee on Agriculture last Friday, Hannah Sessions of Blue Ledge Farm in Salisbury shared that, while a trend toward direct-to-consumer sales had been growing, the pandemic sped things up. “This crisis is an opportunity … It’s opened our eyes to what may be a better and more sustainable way for us to do business,” Sessions told the committee. Blue Ledge has added a tiny stand to its farm — one that resembles a Little Free Library — and she said it’s been moving an “astonishing amount of cheese.”

“People are looking for the opportunity to buy local,” Sessions noted. “Directfrom-farmer sales are going to be the future for farms of our size … Shortening the food chain is where we’re going to find resilience.” In the same committee meeting, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont policy director Maddie Kempner told senators that farmers are “pivoting as a service to their community members.” She explained that, while increasing direct sales is working well for those who can do it, infrastructure and staffing can be

COURTESY OF BERRY CREEK FARM

ermont’s quintessential roadside farmstands, stocked with produce, eggs and maple syrup, are busier than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. With restaurants forced to close and guidelines for farmers markets up in the air, many farmers have doubled down on self-sufficiency; they’ve shifted to direct-to-consumer sales and reinvented their farmstands. Alissa Matthews, agriculture development specialist for the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, has noticed an increase in individual farms and farm collectives thinking creatively about direct sales. “I’m so impressed, but I’m not surprised,” she said. “Farmers are such innovative, caring beings. They’re making decisions about how to collectively help each other feed their communities.” That collaboration among farms includes everything from aggregating products in food hub and delivery models to stocking neighbors’ products in farmstands so that customers have a greater variety from which to choose. “This community-level food-system work has always been there, and farmers have really led the charge,” Matthews said. “But now everybody is putting an ear to it and figuring out how the pieces fit together.”

Berry Creek Farm

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barriers for farms that have relied largely on wholesale in the past. One of the uses of NOFA-VT’s newly created COVID Response Fund will be to support farmers as they expand to new markets and learn how to operate with online and direct-to-consumer models. Farms big and small, old and new are taking matters into their own stands. More of their operations are online than in the past — web orders and curbside pickup have replaced self-serve cash boxes — but the stories of farmer ingenuity and adaptability are straight out of the folklore. Here are five of them.

The farmstand at Berry Creek Farm opened on May 1, as it does every year. But opening day looked a little different this season at the 158-acre organic diversified vegetable and berry farm in the Northeast Kingdom. Rosemary Croizet and her husband, Gerard, sell the majority of their farm’s products through a CSA model; the farmstand is a social hub where customers spontaneously purchase items for dinner or find inspiration in something new. During the pandemic, those purchases will have to be premeditated — and ordered through the farm’s new web store. “About a month ago, we decided that the only way we were going to navigate this safely was to do some sort of online platform,” Croizet said. “It’s kind of a cookie-cutter thing, but we’re trying to make the best out of a crummy situation.” On opening day, the website listed 475 items, including bags of greenhouse spinach, strawberry-maple jam, plant starts, dairy products from Butterworks Farm and compost from Vermont Compost Company. Some were available for pickup the next day, others to preorder for later in the season. Rather than ring up customers at the cash register, Croizet will fill orders and leave them on the stand’s porch. “It’s a totally different mindset, and with that comes a fair amount of anxiety on our part,” she said. “Will it work? I don’t know.” One reassuring sign, though, is the number of calls Croizet has gotten already this season. Berry Creek’s CSA has grown, and customers were asking to buy plants while there was still snow on the ground. “People are definitely focused on food, and on local food,” she said. “I’ve heard from my CSA members that they

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BLACK DIRT FARM

393 Stannard Mountain Rd., Greensboro Bend, 533-7033, blackdirtfarm.com

Sue Wells

For Gilbert, who worked for southern Vermont farmstand institution Dutton’s Berry Farm early in his career, the increased on-farm business is welcome. “I’ve always wanted to have a more robust farmstand operation,” he said. “It’s heartening to see the people who are going to eat what you grow walk away with their bag of greens.”

will be stocked with eggs, seasonal vegetables, and sauces, pickles and jellies made from her produce. Meanwhile, Wells is thankful to be driving around and making deliveries. Most of the orders are from longtime customers who are familiar with her products, she explained. Maintaining these relationships will be more important than ever to the farm’s bottom line; the current state guidance won’t allow sampling of products at farmers markets, which is how Wells has garnered new customers in the past. To fulfill delivery orders, she sets up a temporary farmstand of sorts in the Staples parking lot in Burlington. Wells said she’s happy to see people and maintain the connections she fostered at the markets. “I’m hoping to help feed people around my area and give people who know my products in the surrounding areas a place to get them,” Wells continued. “I don’t expect to make much money off of the farmstand, but I wish I would.”

The farmstand at Black Dirt Farm

MATTHEW ROY

FARMER SUE FARM

NEW LEAF ORGANICS

343 Lawyer Rd., East Fairfield, farmersuefarm.com

Farmer Sue’s chicken, duck and goose eggs are farmers market staples. To keep her dedicated customers in omelettes during the pandemic, Sue Wells is trying several new things, including deliveries to Burlington and Stowe, a website, and a farmstand. “The times are very, very hard and stressful,” Wells said. “I’ve never done any of these things before, but I’m really enjoying it.” Her on-farm focus is fixing up the farmstand building and getting it ready to open. “I don’t have a whole lot to put in there at this point [in the season],” Wells said. “But we’re slowly getting it started up.” She isn’t sure how many people will make the trek to Farmer Sue Farm, which she warned is “way out in the country.” But Wells is hopeful that her advertising efforts — including the farm’s new website, sharing information on Facebook, new business cards and eventually signs for the main road — will draw shoppers to the stand, when it

4818 Bristol Rd., Bristol, 349-7369, newleaforganics.org

JORDAN BARRY

Black Dirt Farm affectionately calls their on-farm retail operation “the littlest farmstand ever.” It’s a minor part of the business plan for the diversified farm, which produces garden compost, worm castings, pasture-raised eggs, meat birds, and seasonal greenhouse and field crops. “I don’t know that it’s a particular bellwether one way or another, but we’re definitely seeing a brisk business in the stand right now,” said owner Tom Gilbert. The self-serve farmstand is “so small you have to already feel rather intimate with somebody to be standing in it with them,” Gilbert explained. Its outof-the-way location on Stannard Mountain has historically made the stand an inconvenient food option for many people. Yet so far this spring, the microgreens are flying out of the fridge. Preordering for curbside pickup at the local grocery stores has to be done in advance, so the stand has become a go-to place for emergency bags of salad mix. These customers aren’t necessarily new for Black Dirt, but their shopping habits are — and not just the sanitization measures the stand’s signs encourage. “We’re starting to see folks who already ate our products shifting where they’re buying those, and they’re showing up on the farm more,” Gilbert said. The increase in on-farm business is reassuring, he said, especially while the farm’s retail and restaurant accounts are up in the air. The farm team has revisited this season’s crop plan four times in the last four weeks. They’ll diversify a bit more this year, adding to the handful of cash crops — salad greens, baby greens, tomatoes — that they’ve grown in the past for local chefs. Black Dirt is also adding to the list of products it carries from other producers: pea shoots and spinach from an employee’s market garden, sourdough doughnuts, and even free masks made locally.

COURTESY OF BLACK DIRT FARM

don’t want to go to the grocery store anymore.” Small adaptations — standardizing the size of pieces of cheese the stand sells from local cheesemakers, or figuring out how to sell eggplants of different weights — will be sorted out as they arise throughout the season, Croizet predicted. “We’re figuring it out as we go,” she said. “Humor is good, and I just hope everybody has a lot of patience. Farmers are very adaptive, but if we get sick, we don’t get sick days.”

New Leaf Organics’ farmstand

Reopening the farmstand was always part of the plan for this season at New Leaf Organics. Hosting weddings has usually comprised about half of the Addison County farm’s business; rather than sell at the farmers market this year, the farm aimed to focus on its CSA and bringing people to the farm for events. “We quickly realized the events were not going to fly,” owner Jill Kopel said. “Our weddings started dropping like flies, but it became clear that there was increased demand for veggies and plants.” To stock the stand as quickly as possible, Kopel decided to buy staples from other farms — items such as eggs and remaining storage crops — while waiting for New Leaf ’s own fields to yield the needed quantities of produce. The farm also added an online version of the farmstand and is offering local delivery. “The farmstand seemed like an asset we had been underutilizing the past five or six years,” Kopel said. “A lot of customers called and emailed to find out how to access our stuff, so hopefully this will keep a few more people out of the supermarkets.” Customers looking for prepared food to go will find vegetarian meals from Tessa Holmes’ Blossom Whole Food Kitchen and Catering in the farmstand, too. Holmes shares the farm’s renovated barn, which Kopel said is a “really fun collaboration.” “Instead of offering all of the on-farm STANDING OUT SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

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Table Service

New organizations step up to aid struggling Vermont food, beverage and restaurant sectors B Y M E L I SSA PASANEN

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group of about 40 Vermont restaurants has launched the Vermont Hospitality Coalition and is actively seeking more members, said co-organizer Sue Bette, owner of Bluebird Barbecue in Burlington. “This crisis is such a tidal wave for restaurants,” Bette said. “It has the potential to sink all size boats.” The grassroots organization is working with local chambers of commerce, area associations and national industry groups to advocate for the specific needs of restaurants and other food and beverage destinations that have been forced to shutter or radically change their business models during the COVID-19 shutdown. “We didn’t have a unique association for our industry like the [Vermont] Brewers Association,” Bette explained. “We want to support each other, to advocate for each other.” Another group of current and former food, beverage and hospitality professionals recently announced the launch of On the Fly, which offers free consultations to Vermont businesses in those sectors. “Nearly all of us got our starts in kitchens or front-ofthe-house, working in restaurants and hotels,” said On the Fly founding member Sas Stewart, cofounder of Stonecutter Spirits and founder of Adventure Dinners. “We have a deep understanding, appreciation and respect for what it takes. You don’t open a restaurant to get rich; you open a restaurant because you love it.” On the Fly members have expertise in the fields of consumer research, grant writing, product marketing, business consulting and insurance. After filling out an intake form, business owners are paired with appropriate group members for an initial consultation and action plan. Stewart said the collective welcomes additional volunteers with relevant experience.

Standing Out « P.47 dinners and events we were going to do this summer, people can come and pick up Tessa’s meals for takeout,” she said. “So far it’s been a really big success.” New Leaf is in the process of applying for electronic benefit transfer approval and hopes to be able to accept 3SquaresVT in the farmstand this summer. It’s one of many farms around the state taking these steps to improve on-farm access to food for people shopping with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. “We’re trying to be as flexible as we can with anyone who expresses interest in buying our food this year,” Kopel said. “People have really come out of the woodwork to throw value behind accessing local food and supporting our farm,” Kopel said. “It’s more important than ever now, and it feels like a really bright spot.” 48

SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

A hopeful message at Butch + Babe’s in Burlington on March 19

FOOD On March 17, Gov. Phil Scott ordered all restaurants and other dining and drinking establishments to close for in-person service to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Takeout and delivery are permitted. While some food businesses have pivoted to that new model, Bette pointed out it makes less sense for others — such as her barbecue operation, which is temporarily closed. The statewide order will extend until at least May 15. But even after restaurants can welcome on-site customers again, no one expects business to be back to normal for a while, or perhaps ever. Bette cited a recent James Beard Foundation survey that found only one in five restaurant owners in the U.S. had confidence they’d be able to reopen. She also shared a National Bureau of Economic Research report projection that restaurants have just a 30 percent chance of staying open if the COVID-19 crisis lasts four months. That’s the lowest business survival rate of any sector. “This is really a cash-flow-dependent business,” Bette said, adding that most independent restaurants have maybe a two-week cushion of savings. Industry statistics show that, for every $1 the typical restaurant takes

HUDAK FARM

599 St. Albans Rd., Swanton, 527-1147, hudakfarm.com

The Hudak farmstand has been a familiar feature in Franklin County for more than 40 years. The high-visibility spot right on Route 7 is the main retail outlet for the farm’s fruits and vegetables, plant starts, and flowers, though it is also a vendor at the Burlington Farmers Market. Marie Frey “feels lucky” to have her farm’s history on her side, but it hasn’t made navigating the challenges of operating during the pandemic much easier. “At any given moment this week, I have vacillated between hopefulness and despair,” she told Seven Days in an email. The farm has had a busy early spring, fulfilling online orders. Creating a webbased system was “like making a catalog,” Frey said in a follow-up phone call. “It

in, 90 cents go immediately back out to cover payroll, rent, ingredients and other costs of doing business, she detailed. On top of the standard industry challenges, most Vermont restaurants were just emerging from the midMarch slow season when they had to close. “Unless you’re in a ski town,” Bette said, “that would be our weakest time.” Bette said restaurant owners appreciate the federal safety net that expanded unemployment insurance offers to their laid-off employees. However, aid for small businesses, specifically the Paycheck Protection Program, falls critically short where restaurants are concerned, she said. Businesses that cannot reopen or operate in any normal way in the near term have essentially no way to meet the criteria for loan forgiveness, Bette explained. And without that forgiveness, the current loan payback schedule will saddle restaurants with more debt while they are still in a very fragile situation. The Vermont Hospitality Coalition has already met with each of the state’s congressional staffs, Bette said. One of its key messages is that Vermont needs its restaurants. “The tourism industry is so critical to our economy in this state,” Bette said. “Restaurants mean a big deal to our economy.” m Contact: food@sevendaysvt.com

INFO To learn more about the Vermont Hospitality Coalition, email hello@vthosp.com or go to bluebirdbbq.com to fill out a coalition interest form. Learn more about complimentary consulting services at ontheflyvermont.com.

was grueling — adding all the seed packets, every variety of petunia.” Frey described herself as a hands-on, notebook-and-pencil person; she said she’s grateful for the work her employees have done to get the system up and running — and for her son’s help in building the web platform. “He has been pushing us to offer online ordering for quite a while, and I always told him, ‘It’s the last thing I need,’” Frey said with a laugh. Now that the state’s greenhouses are permitted to open under the recent turn of Gov. Phil Scott’s reopening “spigot,” Frey said she finds herself “doing the splits”: deciding whether to stick to an online model or welcome the public in to shop. The farm has settled on a bit of both, hanging up old storm windows for protection and requiring customers to wear masks when shopping in person. As much

as possible, Hudak Farm will encourage customers to order online to keep things safe and streamlined. The old open farmstand right by the road will be used for curbside pickup, though it presents a problem for perishable products. “We have our own pork, and we sell local beef, chicken and rabbit; that part will require some figuring out,” Frey said. Those items are available online right now, but customers aren’t seeking them out. “Somehow the character of the place endures, and people aren’t used to getting that stuff right now here, so they’re not looking for it,” she explained. “As time goes on and the processing plants in the Midwest shut down more and more, people will be more aware of what’s offered locally.” m Contact: jbarry@sevendaysvt.com


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TALK IT OUT:

Lily Died for Love by Eric George

A discussion on the Burlington country songwriter’s … Harry Potter record?

B Y J O RD A N AD A M S, DAN BOLLES, CHRIS FARNS W O R TH & K R IS TE N R AVIN

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ast month, Eric George, the prolific Burlington songwriter and erstwhile host of Radio Bean’s Honky Tonk Tuesday, released Lily Died for Love, a 10-song album inspired by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Seven Days music writers had some thoughts about that, which we discussed in the following free-flowing conversation.

DAN BOLLES: So, Eric George went and made an entire album inspired by, of all things, Harry Potter. I have a lot of questions, but let’s start here: What’s more surprising, that the guy who will probably have written three new records in the time it takes us to have this discussion — and will have hand-printed the album booklets with a quill pen on paper he made himself and stitched together with yarn — wrote an album inspired by the Boy Who Lived, or that Lily Died for Love is really good?

KRISTEN RAVIN: I’m not surprised that Eric embraced a concept for this album. He’s usually got a specific idea driving his collections, be it protest songs, a punk project or, in this case, kid wizards. What did surprise me was how the themes Eric highlighted struck me, even though I’m not a fan of the series. I hear lyrics about bigotry, parental sacrifice, inequality in education, and moral and ethical obligations. (Full disclosure: My exposure to HP is limited to hearing my little brother blast the audiobooks from his childhood bedroom when we were growing up. However, I have seen enough memes to know that Neville Longbottom — best name ever — grew up to be hot.)

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SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

KR: Chris raises a question I also have about Eric’s timing: Is there a need for an album inspired by a fantastical children’s series during a pandemic? My instinct says yes. Eric announced the April 1 release date on Instagram on February 22, before shit really hit the fan in Vermont. I’d be interested to know if and how the current state of the world has reshaped Eric’s view of this work and what it means to listeners. BTW, is there a name for HP stans? Pott Heads? JORDAN ADAMS: Chris, to quote one of my favorite TV shows, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” when people say they’re Ravenclaw, they really think that they’re Gryffindor, but they don’t want to sound braggy. (Total Hufflepuff over here, by the way. They were the stoner house, right? The true Pott Heads.) Personally speaking, I don’t go to music to reinforce my politics. I’m more likely to be absorbed by an album that borders on expressionistic — in this case, a fine,

Eric George

MATTHEW THORSEN

CHRIS FARNSWORTH: Unlike Kristen, I’m all about that Potter life. (House Ravenclaw, thank you very much.) But when I first heard that Eric — whose

work I like — was making a HP-themed album, I felt like shaking my head and harrumphing, “This is no time for wizards, bro.” The world is straight-up plummeting into shit town. So, in my mind, we need bards like Eric to speak truth to power and write songs about the Panama Papers, latestage capitalism or why I still don’t really like the new Tame Impala record. Instead, we get Lily Died for Love. And, of course, it was exactly what I needed.


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stylistically dynamic collection of tunes that use Harry Potter touchstones as a jumping-off point to explore different shades of humanity.

it’s a great record, period. We still have no idea what to call Potter fans. (Wanndabes? Quibbitches?) And rock-and-roll Eric is a goddamn wizard who could probably be a Gryffindor or a Slytherin. Did I miss anything?

CF: But there’s no doubt that Eric George is Gryffindor, right? I got 40 seconds into this album, and I fucking knew it. As soon as he sang, “Dying doesn’t let the love let up” — which absolutely wrecked me — I knew it. Ten points, Ravenclaw! (Ravenclaw, Jordan.) DB: Why are we so sure Eric belongs to one of the “good” houses? Gryffindor doesn’t have a monopoly on goodness or heroism. The most heroic and selfless actor in the whole saga is likely Severus Snape, the head of Slytherin. Both Harry — a parseltongue, no less — and Dumbledore were nearly sorted into Slytherin for their potential greatness instead of Gryffindor, whose primary qualification for admittance is (yawn) courage. Slytherin, however, prizes ambition, shrewdness and cunning. Any songwriting wizard as prolific, inventive and consistently great as Eric possesses those traits in spades. Also, consider the tenderheartedness he shows on “Draco,” a song that conjures empathy for Draco Malfoy — the Barron Trump of the Potterverse. Folks, Eric George is a Ssssslytherin. JA: I was going to say the same thing about “Draco,” Dan. It’s a far cry from Harry and the Potters’ “In Which Draco Malfoy Cries Like a Baby,” which has a bit more schadenfreude to it. And, yes, Harry and the Potters is exactly what you think it is. There’s a whole wizarding world of HP-related music projects out there. Lily Died for Love stands out because it’s accessible to Muggles like you, Kristen. KR: Totally! I’ll give this album plenty more listens after this conversation is over. I’m an Eric George fan, and I like that his instrumentation has become more dynamic over his last few releases. Eric’s early albums are acoustic-guitar-driven. But here he brings in keys, accordion, strings and drums in addition to his guitar work, and he makes it sound easy. I love rock-and-roll Eric. Earlier I mentioned some of the themes that spoke to me. A question for you Pott Heads (seriously, is there an

HE GETS AT THE HUMANITY HIDING UNDER THE CLOAKS AND SPELLS

IN A WAY THAT’S PRETTY MOVING. K R IS TE N R AVIN

actual word for the HP Beyhive?): Does Eric put forth any interpretations that might stir up controversy among fans? CF: I sort of wish he did, but I didn’t find anything controversial in the lyrics or themes. That’s not due to any lack of artistic bravery on Eric’s part, but rather the universal themes of the story itself. I know there’s some stuff online about Rowling maybe not being as tolerant as she comes off, but the story itself leaves no bones. Love is all, which is a theme embodied by Lily Potter and her (ultimately sacrificial) love for her son, Harry. Eric’s understanding of the power of that theme suffuses the record. And, yes, give me rocking Eric George all day. “What Is Right, What Is Easy” is a full-on blues-rock ripper, with a sprinkling of that 1970s SoCal magic Eric has in his back pocket. If there’s anything controversial about Lily Died for Love, it’s how applicable Eric can make blues-rock to teenage British wizards. DB: So, to sum it up: Lily Died for Love isn’t just a great Harry Potter-themed record,

CF: If Eric turns out to be a Hufflepuff, the internet is going to crucify us. All the Potterists will boycott the paper. Potterpeeps? Harry Palmers? (Not that last one, sorry, I googled the wrong Harry Potter, um, parody.) My final thought is that I hope Eric starts the weirdest trend in Burlington music history, and next month we see Francesca Blanchard’s Dune-themed EP drop, followed by a Henry Jamison and Caroline Rose duet about the work of Ursula K. Le Guin. KR: Dumbledorks? Wiz Kids? Whatever. Creating an album inspired by something that many, many people already love could come off as a cheap bid for Instagram likes or a viral video — like when Ryan Adams made that Taylor Swift cover album. But not the way Eric did it. As Jordan said, he gets at the humanity hiding under the cloaks and spells in a way that’s pretty moving, and might even inspire me to pick up the first book. JA: Kristen, neither an invisibility cloak nor the words “expecto patronum” will shield you from the Potterverse once your daughter reaches mid-grade school. Regarding Lily Died for Love, George exceeded my expectations for listenability and execution. And I love the nods to his long-running Radio Bean honky-tonk sessions on the in-universe protest anthem “Fountain of Brethren.” Plus, it not only shows us what a Harry Potter nerd George is (I actually had to google “fountain of brethren”), but it reinforces the politics he put forth on his 2018 album, Two Hands // Songs of Resistance. This discussion has been edited and condensed for clarity and length. Contact: music@sevendaysvt.com

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REVIEW this Fern Maddie, North Branch River

pioneers who sang of hard times, the natural world and magic that hadn’t yet been disproven. Maddie is one of many Vermontbased folkies to tap producer Colin McCaffrey to bring her songs to life. (She also initially tracked with Kristina Stykos, another local legend.) McCaffrey always makes his clients’ material

sound beautiful, but it’s evident that he and Maddie shared a particularly strong vision here. The six tunes seem to materialize from foggy shores and darkened glens, with Maddie’s banjo urgently fizzing and popping throughout. “Low and Lonesome” opens the album with an inquisitive disposition. Maddie asks a barrage of questions, as if she were amassing them to write in a letter. “Let me know just how your mind turns / Does it spark like flint and iron? / Let me know just how your skin shows / Does it shine out like the moon glows?” she sings with a sense of longing. McCaffrey’s viola and Maddie’s banjo meander under the songwriter’s crystalline vocals. The eeriest and most stirring piece arrives at the EP’s midpoint. Tempered and initially unsettling, “Two Women” is a sinuous tale of selkies, mythical women who had the ability to change their form from human to seal or

other creatures. The tune emphasizes women’s deep-seated connection with nature. The ladies described in the tune effortlessly transition between human and beast, a choice they make for themselves. Maddie’s harmonies with guest vocalist Colleen McNamara curl and twist together over a simple drone. Maddie’s pickin’ skills come to the forefront on the EP’s title track, a rollicking ditty that again finds its creator bellowing questions toward the horizon. But here, there’s a sense that these inquiries (“Where did my time go? … Where did my love go?”) are rhetorical, and that she has already made peace with the answers. Maddie’s sharp instincts and clear dedication to the history and craft of her genre are striking. North Branch River establishes her as powerful new voice in Vermont’s folk music scene. Stream and download North Branch River at fernmaddie.bandcamp.com.

funk, new wave and rock. The album opener “El Rapido” signals the aforementioned Chili Peppers with its funky, shifting rhythms. I picture a festival audience tipsy on hoppy craft beer and a day of disc golf under the hot sun doing their best white-people dance moves to “Stupefio.”

Several songs such as “WorldGray” and “Come on Down Now” feature lyrics looking at dynamics between men and women in relationships. Others are plain weird. In “____ On ____,” a song Dr. Frank-N-Furter could have written if he had started a band with Dick Dale and Joe Strummer, Davis sings about a barroom creep hunting his prey, only to be apprehended by the FBI and thrown in prison. “Then a glory hole / In time and space appeared / A big blue knob came out / And he was speared.” OK, got it. Except I don’t actually get it at all. Weird doesn’t mean bad — I’m just not on Davis’ plane. Twenty-four-year-old Davis coproduced ADAD with Vincent Freeman, who recorded and mixed the album at the Underground in Randolph. Notable contributors include Davis’ old Coquette bandmates Titien and Cobalt Tolbert, who pitched in on drums and vocals, respectively. Davis also scored

a guest vocal appearance by Dharma Ramirez of the now-defunct Brattleboro rock band the Snaz. Singer Amanda Ukasick essentially duets with Davis on “Stupefio,” sounding like a more powerful version of Burlington soul chanteuse Kat Wright. With his first release, Davis was not only unabashedly wacky but ambitious, as well. ADAD comes with a sister album called ELECTRICS, on which eight of the nine cuts are electronic versions of the songs on ADAD. If you’re into old-school video-game music, this is the version for you. Overall, Davis’ style is not my cup of tea, but his talent and unbridled quirkiness are admirable. There’s truly never a dull moment on ADAD — this bass player is fully in the spotlight. ADAD and ELECTRICS are available at adad.bandcamp.com and other streaming services.

(SELF-RELEASED, DIGITAL)

I recently coined a new genre while watching the film Blow the Man Down. The flick chronicles two bereaved sisters who get caught up in a deadly web of corruption pervading their sleepy Maine fishing village. I called it a real “noir’easter,” a term that nods to the style and tone of classic film noir, the culture of the Northeast region and the fury of a nor’easter, what we New Englanders call a big-ass storm. Batten down the hatches, people, because singer-songwriter Fern Maddie’s North Branch River is a noir’easter if ever I did hear one. As a folk artist, Maddie doesn’t touch on the kind of treachery showcased in most film noir. But her work does exude a tantalizingly dark mood, evoking the archetypal stoicism of settlers and

ADAD, ADAD (SELF-RELEASED, CD, DIGITAL)

A scene in the 2006 Dixie Chicks documentary Shut Up and Sing illustrates how a bass player’s creativity can go unrecognized. Speaking with Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, singer Natalie Maines says she’d feel bad if she played bass in a band and received writing credit equal to that of her bandmates. With the central Vermont rock trio Coquette and, now, his solo project under the pseudonym ADAD, bassist Angus Davis does anything but blend into the background. Seven Days’ Jordan Adams described Coquette’s 2017 album Three as chock-full of “twisting, polymorphic rhythms, strobing time signatures and interpolative vocal bursts.” Davis’ debut solo album, also called ADAD, is just as eclectic, woven with elements of jazz,

GET YOUR MUSIC REVIEWED:

52

J

SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

JORDAN ADAMS

KRISTEN RAVIN

ARE YOU A VT ARTIST OR BAND? SEND US YOUR MUSIC! DIGITAL: MUSIC@SEVENDAYSVT.COM; SNAIL MAIL: MUSIC C/O SEVEN DAYS, 255 S. CHAMPLAIN ST., SUITE 5, BURLINGTON, VT 05401

Say you saw it in...

NOW IN sevendaysvt.com

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Erin Dupuis VERMONT REAL ESTATE COMPANY

Color the Cover

Dependable, valued experience and integrity. A Realtor you can trust.

CONTEST!

®

LOOKING FOR A CREATIVE OUTLET? You’re in luck! This week’s cover is illustrated by Seven Days and New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss, and we want you to bring it to life. So grab your crayons, brushes and glitter, and dazzle us with your creations! Start scribbling!

WHAT’S THE PRIZE? The original artwork, courtesy of Harry Bliss.

Contact me today to learn about our competitive rates.

802.310.3669 erin@vermontrealestatecompany.com vermontrealestatecompany.com 431 Pine St. Suite 118 Burlington, VT 05401 4T-EDupuis032520.indd 1 4T-EDupuis050620.indd

35 ANNUAL TH

HARRY BLISS

WEEK

Goes Virtual!

How It Works:

• Submit your artwork at SEVENDAYSVT.COM/COLORING or share it with us on Instagram by tagging us @sevendaysvt. Deadline to enter: WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, AT 5 P.M. • The top five entries narrowed down by the Seven Days staff will be shared on our Facebook page for a public voting round MAY 15-19. FOR MORE DETAILS, VISIT SEVENDAYSVT.COM/COLORING 2V-ColoringContest050620.indd 1

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Sponsors

May 9 - 16 Media Sponsors

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46

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classes

CLASSES MAY BE CANCELED OR MOVED ONLINE DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. PLEASE CHECK WITH ORGANIZERS IN ADVANCE.

THE FOLLOWING CLASS LISTINGS ARE PAID ADVERTISEMENTS. ANNOUNCE YOUR CLASS FOR AS LITTLE AS $16.75/WEEK (INCLUDES SIX PHOTOS AND UNLIMITED DESCRIPTION ONLINE). SUBMIT YOUR CLASS AD AT SEVENDAYSVT.COM/POSTCLASS.

dance

yoga

ONLINE BEGINNER TAP CLASS: Join me each week for a prerecorded beginner tap class! Learn basic steps and a short dance combination in each video, keep the video forever, and practice whenever your heart desires! No tap shoes required. Video released every Wednesday. Cost: $8/30- to 45-minute class. Location: online link through email. Info: Allison Piette, 6734933, allisonpiette@gmail.com.

EVOLUTION YOGA: Now offering live online and recorded classes. Practice yoga with some of the most experienced teachers and therapeutic professionals in Burlington, from the comfort of your home. Sign up on our website and receive a link to join a live class; a class recording will be sent after class. Pay as you go or support us by becoming an unlimited member. Join us outside this summer for Yoga on the Lake and Yoga in the Park. Registration is open for our 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training for Health and Wellness Professionals. Now offering flexible pricing based on your financial needs. Contact yoga@ evolutionvt.com. Single class: $0-15. 10-class pass: $100. $55 student unlimited membership. Summer unlimited pass Jun.Aug.: $195-275. Scholarships avail. for all pricing options. Location: Evolution Yoga, 20 Kilburn St., Burlington. Info: 8649642, evolutionvt.com.

drumming DJEMBE & TAIKO: JOIN US!: Digital classes starting March 30! (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 gathering outdoors! Schedule/register online. Location: Taiko Space, 208 Flynn Ave., Suite 3G, Burlington. Info: 999-4255, burlingtontaiko.org.

Center, Waterbury Center. Info: 585-1025, spanishparavos@ gmail.com, spanishwaterburycenter.com.

martial arts

language SPANISH CLASSES LIVE & ONLINE: Join us for adult Spanish classes this summer using online video conferencing. Learn from a native speaker via small group classes, individual instruction or student tutoring. You’ll always be participating and speaking. Lesson packages for travelers, lessons for children. Our 14th year. See our website or contact us for details. Beginning week of Jun. 1. Cost: $270/10 weekly classes of 90+ min. each. Location: Spanish in Waterbury

VERMONT BRAZILIAN JIUJITSU: Brazilian jiujitsu is a martial arts combat style based entirely on leverage and technique. Brazilian jiujitsu self-defense curriculum is taught to Navy SEALs, CIA, FBI, military police and special forces. No training experience required. Easy-to-learn techniques that could save your life! Classes for men, women and children. Students will learn realistic bully-proofing 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 sixth-degree 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 Jiu-Jitsu, 55 Leroy Rd., Williston. Info: 598-2839, julio@bjjusa. com, vermontbjj.com.

LAUGHING RIVER YOGA: Increase confidence and decrease stress. Enjoy inspirational teachings, intelligent alignment and focused workshops through daily livestream and on-demand yoga classes. Check out our virtual library and practice with us live at the Burlington Surf Club starting June 15. All bodies and abilities welcome. Daily classes, workshops, 200- & 300-hour yoga teacher training. Cost: $10/single class; $39 unlimited livestream; $49 unlimited livestream and on-demand classes; a portion of proceeds benefits the Vermont Foodbank. Location: Laughing River Yoga, Chace Mill, Suite 126, Burlington. Info: 343-8119, laughingriveryoga.com.

Sponsored by: CLASS PHOTOS + MORE INFO ONLINE SEVENDAYSVT.COM/CLASSES 54

SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

2v-NEFCU-crossword050620.indd 1

5/5/20 4:35 PM


Humane

Society of Chittenden County

COURTESY OF KELLY SCHULZE/MOUNTAIN DOG PHOTOGRAPHY

Sweetie’s Happy Tail “When I first met Sweetie at the humane society last year, she was (HSCC staffer) Triana’s office cat. I’d just moved back to Vermont from Massachusetts, and I’d had my eye on Sweetie for months. A lot of people had passed her by because of her “Sour Patch” personality, but that was honestly what drew me to her. I knew that under the swatting, hissing exterior, there was a kitty with potential. Triana had spent a lot of time getting to know Sweetie during her six-month stay at HSCC, and she was Sweetie’s biggest advocate. She knew that with a lot of time, patience and treats, Sweetie could become an amazing companion, and with her advice in mind I took my new cat home. Since then, Sweetie has truly blossomed into her namesake. The cat that used to want nothing to do with anyone is glued to my side, constantly meowing for attention. She greets me at the door when I get home from work and sleeps with me at night. She loves to play, and she’s even learning to get along with a new feline sibling! I’m endlessly thankful to HSCC and Triana for bringing us together and for giving this former sourpuss a chance. I couldn’t imagine life without Sweetie.”

DID YOU KNOW? We maintain a year-round free pet food shelf at our facility, where pet owners can find food and supplies to help care for their furry family members. Available supplies are donation-based, vary from time to time, and are limited to two items per household per month. In keeping with current COVID-19 guidelines, the food shelf is available outside of our building on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please practice social distancing and proper health measures (clean hands before and after, wear a mask if able, etc.) when visiting!

housing »

APARTMENTS, CONDOS & HOMES

on the road »

CARS, TRUCKS, MOTORCYCLES

pro services »

CHILDCARE, HEALTH/ WELLNESS, PAINTING

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APPLIANCES, KID STUFF, ELECTRONICS, FURNITURE Sponsored by:

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INSTRUCTION, CASTING, INSTRUMENTS FOR SALE

jobs »

NO SCAMS, ALL LOCAL, POSTINGS DAILY

NEW STUFF ONLINE EVERY DAY! PLACE YOUR ADS 24-7 AT SEVENDAYSVT.COM. SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

55


CLASSIFIEDS on the road

CARS/TRUCKS CASH FOR CARS! We buy all cars! Junk, high-end, totaled: It doesn’t matter. Get free towing & same-day cash. Newer models, too. Call 1-866-5359689. (AAN CAN)

We Pick Up & Pay For Junk Automobiles!

Route 15, Hardwick

802-472-5100

3842 Dorset Ln., Williston

802-793-9133

housing

FOR RENT 1-BR APT. Large sunny apt. on second floor. Off-street parking for one car. NS/pets. $950/mo. + dep. & utils. Call 802-373-0593. 2-BR BURLINGTON APT. Spacious kitchen, LR, BA downstairs. 2 BRs upstairs. Ample closet space. HDWD floors, off-street parking, porch. $1,200/mo. + util. Avail. now. Contact landline: 864-0341. AFFORDABLE 2-BR APT. AVAIL. At Keen’s Crossing. 2-BR: $1,266/mo., heat & HW incl. Open floor plan, fully applianced kitchen, fi tness center, pet friendly, garage parking. Income restrictions apply. 802-655-1810, keenscrossing.com.

CLASSIFIEDS KEY

sm-allmetals060811.indd 7/20/15 1 5:02 PM

appt. appointment apt. apartment BA bathroom BR bedroom DR dining room DW dishwasher HDWD hardwood HW hot water LR living room NS no smoking OBO or best offer refs. references sec. dep. security deposit W/D washer & dryer

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 law. Our

56

SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

housing ads: $25 (25 words) legals: 52¢/word buy this stuff: free online services: $12 (25 words)

KEEN’S CROSSING IS NOW LEASING! 1-BR, $1,054/mo.; 2-BR, $1,266/mo.; 3-BR, $1,397/mo. Spacious interiors, fully applianced kitchen, fi tness center, heat & HW incl. Income restrictions apply. 802-655-1810, keenscrossing.com.

HOUSEMATES NEED A ROOMMATE? Roommates.com will help you find your perfect match today! (AAN CAN) SMALL ROOM DOWNTOWN, NOW In stylishly Clorox-clean, remodeled house. Respectful living w/ others in this new normal (wash hands prior to entering building; completely disinfect BA, kitchen, & common areas after use). Wi-Fi, cable, W/D on-site, back porch, garden. Tobacco outside only. Inside: 420-friendly. Mo.-to-mo., $600/ mo. + $100 dep. Incl. all utils. Have a plan for self-quarantining, preferably outside of the building!

LAND MILTON, VT., 4+ ACRES Located on Corral Dr., this land has had many improvements done, is in agricultural zoning & has almost 60 acres of common land. Plus, near Lake Champlain. RICHMOND, VT., 47 ACRES In Southview, 5 mins. from town. Approved for primary & accessory dwelling, & borders other larger tracts of land. True Realty & Land Co. Inc. 802-879-6100.

display service ads: $25/$45 homeworks: $45 (40 words, photos, logo) fsbos: $45 (2 weeks, 30 words, photo) jobs: michelle@sevendaysvt.com, 865-1020 x21

print deadline: Mondays at 4:30 p.m. post ads online 24/7 at: sevendaysvt.com/classifieds questions? classifieds@sevendaysvt.com 865-1020 x10

Homeshares BURLINGTON

Share apartment w/ avid sports & music fan in his 50s. Seeking housemate to assist w/ light evening meal, errands & flexible nighttime presence. No rent. Shared BA.

E. MONTPELIER Active woman in her 80s who enjoys tending plants & volunteering, seeking housemate for a bit of companionship & gardening. $400/mo. (all inc.) Private BA; shared kitchen.

ESSEX JUNCTION Professional & her son who enjoy gardening, painting & birding, seeking cat- and dog-friendly housemate. $500/mo. Shared BA.

Finding you just the right housemate for over 35 years! Call 863-5625 or visit HomeShareVermont.org for an application. Interview, refs, bg check req. EHO Homeshare-temp2.indd 1

OFFICE/ COMMERCIAL OFFICE/RETAIL SPACE AT MAIN STREET LANDING on Burlington’s waterfront. Beautiful, healthy, affordable spaces for your business. Visit mainstreetlanding.com & click on space avail. Melinda, 864-7999.

SUBLETS/ TEMPORARY FURNISHED 2- OR 3-BR DOWNTOWN NOW! $1,600-2,000/mo. + $1,000 dep., Wi-Fi/cable, W/D, + utils., parking (1 car). Walk to Church St. & waterfront. 500 feet from bus stop. Don Shall, 802-233-1334.

services

readers are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised in this newspaper are available on an equal opportunity basis. Any home seeker who feels he or she has encountered discrimination should contact:

BIZ OPPS

HUD Office of Fair Housing 10 Causeway St., Boston, MA 02222-1092 (617) 565-5309 — OR — Vermont Human Rights Commission 14-16 Baldwin St. Montpelier, VT 05633-0633 1-800-416-2010 hrc@vermont.gov

BECOME A PUBLISHED AUTHOR! We edit, print & distribute your work internationally. We do the work; you reap the rewards! Call for a free Author’s Submission Kit: 844-511-1836. (AAN CAN)

HELP WANTED: FULL-SERVICE TAILOR Needed for ground-floor retail tailoring opportunity in the South Burlington area. Must be a self-starter & able to work independently, partial ownership potential. Call Rich at 802 497 7437 or email terrallc@aol.com.

COMPUTER COMPUTER ISSUES? Geeks On Site provides free diagnosis remotely 24-7 service during COVID-19. No home visit necessary. $40 off w/ coupon 86407! Restrictions apply. 866-939-0093. (AAN CAN)

EDUCATION TRAIN ONLINE TO DO MEDICAL BILLING! Become a medical office professional online at CTI! Get trained, certified & ready to work in months. Call 866-243-5931. Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-6 p.m. EST. (AAN CAN)

ENTERTAINMENT DISH TV $59.99 for 190 channels + $14.95 high-speed internet. Free installation, smart HD DVR incl., free voice remote. Some restrictions apply. 1-855-380-2501. (AAN CAN)

FINANCIAL/LEGAL AUTO INSURANCE Starting at $49/mo.! Call for your fee rate comparison to see how much you can save. Call 855-569-1909. (AAN CAN) BOY SCOUT COMPENSATION FUND Anyone who was inappropriately touched by a Scout leader deserves justice & financial compensation! Victims may be eligible for a significant cash settlement. Time to file is limited. Call now. 844-896-8216. (AAN CAN) NEED HELP W/ FAMILY LAW? Can’t afford a $5,000 retainer? Low-cost legal services: Pay as you go, as low as $750-1,500. Get legal help now! Call 1-844-821-8249, Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-4 p.m. PCT. familycourtdirect. com/?network=1. (AAN CAN) SAVE BIG ON HOME INSURANCE Compare 20 A-rated insurances companies. Get a quote within mins. Average savings of $444/year! Call 844-712-6153. Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Central. (AAN CAN)

4/27/20 4:15 PM

STRUGGLING W/ YOUR PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN PAYMENT? New relief programs can reduce your payments. Learn your options. Good credit not necessary. Call the Helpline, 888-670-5631. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST. (AAN CAN)

HEALTH/ WELLNESS GENTLE TOUCH MASSAGE Specializing in deep tissue, reflexology, sports massage, Swedish & relaxation massage for men. Practicing massage therapy for over 14 years. Gregg, gentletouchvt.com, motman@ymail.com, 802-234-8000 (call or text). 1-STOP SHOP For all your catheter needs. We accept Medicaid, Medicare & insurance. Try before you buy. Quick & easy. Give us a call: 866-2822506. (AAN CAN) PSYCHIC COUNSELING Psychic counseling, channeling w/ Bernice Kelman, Underhill. 30+ years’ experience. Also energy healing, chakra balancing, Reiki, rebirthing, other lives, classes, more. 802-899-3542, kelman.b@juno.com.

HOME/GARDEN KINGSBURY SEPTIC SERVICES Local experts are skilled in providing any septic services you may need: tank pumping, hauling, inspection, maintenance, jetting, camera scoping & more. We are avail. 24-7 for septic emergencies. We are a locally owned & operated business, serving & employing Vermonters for over 40 years. Our friendly customer service & quick response make us stand out above the rest. Call us for your complete septic solutions. 802-496-2205, ext. 44. Email us: septicservice@ kingsburyco.com. Check us out: kingsburyco.com. MOWING/SPRING CLEANUP We offer lawn care services. We do mowing & trimming & yard work, as well. We will do spring up. We will rake your yard, bag debris & take it away. If you have a brush pile, we can take that away, too. Text or call 802-355-4099 or email skyhorse205@ yahoo.com. WET BASEMENT? Drainage systems. Interior or exterior. Foundation repair or replacement; block, concrete or stone. Sill replacement, beams, etc. 40 years’ experience. Michael Lyons, North Country Construction and Painting. 802-453-3457.

buy this stuff

ELECTRONICS DIGITAL TURNTABLE DENON direct drive digital turntable w/ highquality cartridge in very good condition. Contact mike.pepper1947@gmail. com.

MISCELLANEOUS ATTENTION, VIAGRA & CIALIS USERS! A cheaper alternative to high drugstore prices! 50-pill special: $99 + free shipping! 100% guaranteed. Call now: 888-531-1192. (AAN CAN)

MUSIC »


Calcoku SEVENDAYSVT.COM/CLASSIFIEDS »

Using the enclosed math operations as a guide, fill the grid using the numbers 1 - 6 only once in each row and column.

9+

16+

ShowSudoku and tell.

numbers 1-9 only once in each row, column and 3 x 3 box.

72x

2-

1

16+ 3÷

5 9

4-

2 6 5 4 6

36x 3-

18x

60x

2-

CALCOKU

Difficulty - Hard

BY JOSH REYNOLDS

Open 24/7/365.

View and post up to Post & browse ads Complete 6the following puzzle by using photos per ad online. at yourthe convenience.

5 2 8 4 3 6 4 7 1 4 4 9 2 8 7 5 3

No. 635

SUDOKU

Difficulty: Hard

BY JOSH REYNOLDS

DIFFICULTY THIS WEEK: HHH

DIFFICULTY THIS WEEK: HHH

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.

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.

1

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4 1 3 9 6 5 2 8 7 9 7 6 8 2 4 1 5 3 8 P. 5 ANSWERS ON 59 2 7 1 3 6 4 9 H = MODERATE HH = CHALLENGING HHH = HOO, BOY! 1 9 5 6 4 7 8 3 2 2 8 4 1 3 9 7 6 5 TWO-CHANNEL CONNECTION 6 3 7 2 5 8 4 9 1 ANSWERS ON P. 59 » 5 4 1 3 8 2 9 7 6 3 6 9 4 7 1 5 2 8 7 2 8 5 9 6 3 1 4

2

6

5

Extra! Extra! There’s no limit to ad length online.

Fresh. Filtered. Free. What’s that

buzz?

Find out what’s percolating today. Sign up to receive our house blend of local news headlines served up in one convenient email by Seven Days.

SEVENDAYSVT.COM/DAILY7 8v-daily7-coffee.indd 1

1/13/14 1:45 PM

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SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

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REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS: List your properties here and online for only $45/week. Submit your listings by Mondays at noon to homeworks@sevendaysvt.com or 802-865-1020, x22.

BROWSE THIS WEEK’S OPEN HOUSES: sevendaysvt.com/open-houses SWEET CAPE IN WATERBURY

SUN FILLED TOWNHOUSE

WATERBURY | 73 ASHFORD LANE | #4799280

Spacious & bright 3 bedroom, 2 bath Cape with a wonderful open kitchen featuring an island, dining space, and plenty of storage. Large mudroom. Walk-out basement. Fenced area, raised beds, and great deck! All close to I-89 for easy commuting! $379,900

Impeccably maintained, Energy Efficient Green Building Silver Certified Townhome built by Sterling Construction. Open floor plan on first floor offering hardwood, large eat-in kitchen with granite counters and south facing living room with built-in shelf. The second floor features a master bedroom with walkin closet, second bedroom, full bath and laundry. $379,000

Julie Lamoreaux 802-846-9583 Julie Lamoreaux.com

CLASSIC HILL SECTION

BURLINGTON | 75 BROOKES AVE. | #4801838

Spacious home in neighborhood just a short walk to medical center, UVM and downtown. 3+ bdrms. 2.5 baths, 2nd flr. laundry; 9’ ceilings, office/study and master suite; extensively updated & remodeled. Contact owner/Broker for showings & list of improvements. $669,900

PERFECT WILLISTON LOCATION

SO. BURLINGTON | 123 SO. JEFFERSON RD. | #4793852

WILLISTON | 24 KETTLEPOND LANE #5 | #4787220

Erin Dupuis 802.310.3669 erin@vermontrealestatecompany.com vermontrealestatecompany.com

HW-ErinDupuis1-050620.indd 1

Beautiful Second floor flat at Finney Crossing offering an open floor plan, kitchen with granite countertops and a 3 head mini split, energy efficient A/C system. Two spacious bedrooms, one with attached 3/4 bath & walk-in closet. Attached 1 car garage. Wonderful neighborhood with pool, tennis and clubhouse. $314,900

Erin Dupuis 802.310.3669 erin@vermontrealestatecompany.com vermontrealestatecompany.com

5/5/20 HW-ErinDupuis2-050620.indd 8:37 AM 1

homeworks List your properties here and online for only $45/ week. Submit your listings by Mondays at noon.

Call or email Katie Hodges today to get started: 865-1020 x10, homeworks@sevendaysvt.com

Anthony Gamache 802-238-0268 apgama@yahoo.com brianfrenchrealestate.com

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music

FOR SALE 5-STRING GOLD STAR BANJO 2018 Gold Star banjo in mint condition. Mahogany resonator/ neck, no-hole tone ring, rosewood fingerboard, high-gloss finish, nickel plating, Presto-style tailpiece. $1,350. 802658-2462, guitboy75@ hotmail.com.

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5/5/20 8:39 AM

INSTRUCTION ANDY’S MOUNTAIN MUSIC Online lessons! Affordable, accessible, no-stress instruction in banjo, guitar, mandolin, more. All ages/skill levels/interests welcome. Dedicated teacher, results, convenience. Andy Greene, 802-658-2462; guitboy75@hotmail. com, andysmountain music.com. BASS, GUITAR, DRUMS, VOICE LESSONS & MORE Remote music lessons are an amazing way to spend time at home! Learn guitar, bass, piano, voice,

SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

4/27/20 1:36 PM

violin, drums, flute, sax, trumpet, production & beyond w/ pro local instructors from the Burlington Music Dojo on Pine St. All levels & styles are welcome, incl. absolute beginners. Come share in the music! burlington musicdojo.com, info@ burlingtonmusicdojo. com. GUITAR INSTRUCTION Berklee graduate w/ 30 years’ teaching experience offers lessons in guitar, music theory, music technology, ear training. Individualized, step-by-step approach. All ages, styles, levels. Rick Belford, 864-7195, rickb@rickbelford.com.

6/6/16 4:30 PM

STUDIO/ REHEARSAL REHEARSAL SPACE Safe & sanitary music/ creative spaces avail. by the hour in the heart of the South End art district. Monthly arrangements avail., as well. Tailored for music but can be multipurpose. info@ burlingtonmusicdojo. com, 802-540-0321.

mont Route 100 Duxbury Vermont 05676. All bids are due by May 8 th 2020 at 3:30pm. Questions call Kyle Guyette at 802-244-6135.

DUXBURY WINTER SAND HAULING The Town Of Duxbury is looking for bids on hauling 5,000 yards of winter sand from Varin’s Gravel Pit in Bolton to the Duxbury holding yard. All sand must be delivered by October 9 th 2020. All bids must be delivered, or mailed, in sealed envelopes labeled “Winter Sand Hauling” to the Duxbury Town Office at 5421 Ver-

NORTHSTAR SELF STORAGE WILL BE HAVING A PUBLIC AND ONLINE SALE/ AUCTION FOR THE FOLLOWINGSTORAGE UNIT ON MAY 20, 2020 AT 9:00AM Northstar Self Storage will be having a public and online sale/auction on May 20, 2020 at 3466 Richville Road, Manchester, VT 05255 (Units M-13/96/98) and online at www.storagetreasures.com at 9:00 am in accordance with VT Title 9 Commerce

and Trade Chapter 098: Storage Units 3905. Enforcement of Lien Unit # - Name - Contents M-13 - Melissa Herriger Household Goods M-96 - Helen Hurley Household Goods REQUEST FOR LETTER OF INTEREST FROM QUALIFIED BUILDING ENVELOPE COMMISSIONING AGENTS The Winooski School District is requesting letters of interest from qualified Building Envelope Commissioning Agents for their upcoming Capital Construction Project – Letters of Interest should be in the form

of an email sent to the Owner’s Project Manager (OPM), Tom Barden at tom@tombarden.com and should be sent to him before 2:00 PM, Monday 5/11/20. Following the advertising period, an RFP will be issued to interested and qualified Building Envelope Commissioning Agents work to be performed at the Winooski School District during the upcoming Capital construction project.


SEVENDAYSVT.COM/CLASSIFIEDS

STATE OF VERMONT PROBATE DIVISION CHITTENDEN UNIT DOCKET NO.: 468-420 CNPR In re ESTATE of: Vivian R. Salimone NOTICE TO CREDITORS To the Creditors of Vivian R. Salimone, late of Williston, Vermont. I have been appointed executor of 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. Date: 5/1/20 Signature of Fiduciary: /s/ Lisa Northup Executor/Administrator: Lisa Northup, 49 Conifer Ct, Burlington, VT 05401. 802-9858818 lgnorthup@ netscape.net Name of Publication: Seven Days Publication Date: 5/6/2020 Name of Probate Court: Vermont Superior Court Chittenden Unit Probate Division, PO Box 511, Burlington, Vermont 05402 STATE OF VERMONT SUPERIOR COURT PROBATE DIVISION CHITTENDEN UNIT DOCKET NO.: 504-420 CNPR In re ESTATE of Neil K. Pollard NOTICE TO CREDITORS To the Creditors of Neil K. Pollard, late of Essex Junction. 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 this 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: 4/30/2020 Signature of Fiduciary: Casey Pollard Executor/Adminstrator: Casey Pollard, 131 Highmeadow Road,

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Post & browse ads at your convenience. East Fairfield, VT 05448 802-373-9427 casey. pollard@vtmechanical. com Name of Publication: Seven Days Publication Date: 5/6/20 and 5/13/2020 Name of Probate Court: Chittenden Unit, PO Box 511, Burlington, VT 05402 STATE OF VERMONT SUPERIOR COURT PROBATE DIVISION CHITTENDEN UNIT DOCKET NO.: 1575-1119 CNPR In re ESTATE of: Ellen Powell NOTICE TO CREDITORS To the Creditors of: Ellen Powell, 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 first publication of this notice. The claim must be presented 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: 4/22/20 Signature of Fiduciary: /s/ C. Lani Ravin, 67 1/2 Lafountain Street, Burlington, VT 05401. 802-338-5542. Name of Publication: Seven Days Date of Publication: 4/29/20 Name of Probate Court: Vermont Superior Court Chittenden Unit Probate Division, PO Box 511, Burlington, Vermont 05402 STATE OF VERMONT SUPERIOR COURT PROBATE DIVISION CHITTENDEN UNIT DOCKET NO.: 385-320 CNPR In re ESTATE of PETRONELLA C. MAITLAND

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NOTICE TO CREDITORS To the Creditors of: Petronella C. Maitland, late of Williston. 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: April 28, 2020 Signature of Fiduciary: /s/ John Maitland Executor/Adminstrator: John Maitland, c/o Launa L. Slater, Esq., Jarrett & Luitjens, PLC, 1795 Williston Rd., Suite 125, South Burlington, VT 05403 (802) 8645951 Name of Publication: Seven Days Publication Date: May 6, 2020 Name of Probate Court: Chittenden Probate Court, P.O. Box 511, Burlington, VT 05402-0511 THE BURLINGTON SCHOOL DISTRICT, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE FOOD SERVICE DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION OF VERMONT (FDA) WILL RECEIVE SEALED BIDS FROM FULL SERVICE FOOD/SUPPLY DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES, ON OR BEFORE, BUT NO LATER THAN, 10:00 AM, MONDAY, JUNE 1ST AT THE BURLINGTON SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICE, 150 COLCHESTER AVE, BURLINGTON, VT 05401. The sealed proposals will be opened at the same time and address. Notification of the award, if any, will

be made no later than 60 days from the date of opening. Please address proposals to the attention of Doug Davis and follow the submission directions in the Bid Packet. Anyone interested in receiving a full bid packet or more information, contact Doug Davis, Director of Food Service at 802 864 8416 or vermontfda@ gmail.com or ddavis@ bsdvt.org WHITNEY HILL HOMESTEAD CATHEDRAL SQUARE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT SERVICES Cathedral Square is seeking proposals for Construction Management services for a renovation/repair of Whitney Hill Homestead, an affordable, 44-unit, senior living community in Williston. Complete RFP details and all exhibits can be found at Duncan Wisniewski Architects website (https://www. duncanwisniewski.com/ news). Deadline for proposals is May 27, 2020 no later than 3pm. For all questions regarding this project please email Michael Wisniewski (michaelw@duncanwisniewski.com) and Sam Beall (samb@duncanwisniewski.com) from Duncan Wisniewski Architects. No questions relating to the proposal will be entertained after May 25th at 5pm. Cathedral Square is an equal opportunity employer. Women Owned, Minority Owned, Locally Owned and Section 3 Businesses are encouraged to apply.

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STATE OF VERMONT SUPERIOR COURT PROBATE DIVISION CHITTENDEN UNIT DOCKET NO.: 45-1-20 CNPR In re ESTATE of: Margaret P. Shaub NOTICE TO CREDITORS To the Creditors of: Margaret P. Shaub, late of Burlington, Vermont. I have been appointed to administer this estate. All creditors having claims against the decedent or the state must present their claims in writing within four (4) months of the first publication

of tis notice. The claim must be presented to be 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: 4/27/20 Signature of Fiduciary: /s/ Karen J. Unsworth Karen J. Unsworth, c/o Unsworth LaPlante, 26 Railroad Avenue, Essex Jct., VT 05452 802-879-7133 carisa@ unsworthlaplante.com Name of publication: Seven Days Date of Publication: 5/6/20 Name of Probate Court: Vermont Superior Court, Probate Division, Chittenden Unit, PO Box 511, Burlington, VT 05402

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SEEKING COMMENT ON CARES ACT FUNDING FROM HUD AMENDMENT TO FY19 CONSOLIDATED PLAN FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY SOLUTIONS PROGRAM The Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Agency of Human Services have developed an Amendment in response to COVID-19 to the FY19 Consolidated Plan to include the new CARES Act Funding under Public Law 116-136 dated March 6, 2020 for the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG-CV) and the Emergency Solutions Program (ESG). Upon review and approval of the Amendment, HUD will issue new grant agreements to the respective Agencies for this funding. Interested parties are encouraged to go to the

Department’s website at https://accd.vermont. gov/housing/plans-data-rules/hud to review the Draft Amendment to the Consolidated Plan FY19 Action Plan which proposes how the state intends on using the CARES Act funding. Please email or call Cindy Blondin at Cindy. Blondin@vermont. gov or 828-5219 or toll free at 1-866-933-6249 with any questions. DHCD will be accepting written comments to the Amendment but they must be received by May 14, 2020 no later than 4:30pm at the DHCD, 1 National Life Drive, Montpelier, VT 05620-0501, ATTN: Cindy Blondin, or e-mail comments at Cindy.Blondin@ vermont.gov. For the hearing-impaired please call (TTY) #1800-253-0191.

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REQUEST FOR LETTER OF INTEREST FROM QUALIFIED MOVERS The Winooski School District is requesting letters of interest from qualified Movers for their upcoming Capital Project – Letters of Interest should be in the form of an email sent to the Owner’s Project Manager (OPM), Tom Barden at tom@ tombarden.com and should be sent to him before 2:00 PM, Monday 5/11/20 The moving portion of the project is planned to start with a small move in June 2020 and the rest of the moves starting in March 2021, running through to August of 2022 – There are 10

planned moves for the contract period, the details of which will be included in the formal RFP – The moves involve moving classroom and office type furniture from one section of the campus to another – There is no off-site moving anticipated The RFP will be issued on Wednesday 5/13/20 with more details about the project and the bidding schedule.

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REQUEST FOR LETTER OF INTEREST FROM QUALIFIED HVAC COMMISSIONING AGENTS The Winooski School District is requesting letters of interest from qualified HVAC Commissioning Agents for their upcoming Capital Project — Letters of Interest should be in the form of an email sent to the Owner’s Project Manager (OPM). Tom Barden at tom@tombarden. com and should be sent to him before 2:00 PM, Monday 5/11/20. Following the advertising period, an RFP will be issued to interested and qualified Commissioning Agents for HVAC commissioning work to be performed at the Winooski School District.

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SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

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60 MAY 6-13, 2020

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

YOUR TRUSTED LOCAL SOURCE. JOBS.SEVENDAYSVT.COM

DFA is seeking qualified individuals for the following full-time job opportunities:

SECURITY OFFICER

Ice Cream Mix Operator Dryer Operator Class “A” CDL Driver Warehouse Worker Product Utility Worker Maintenance Technician

Seeking qualified individuals to join the Security team on a per diem basis covering both planned absences (vacation, holiday) and unanticipated absences. Valid driver’s license and clean driving record required.

DFA offers an excellent benefit package including health, dental, vision, fully funded pension and more. To apply visit dfamilk.com/careers. EEO/AA/Female/Minority/Disabled/Veteran

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TOW N OF DU X B U RY

LEARN MORE & APPLY: uvmmed.hn/sevendays

LANDSCAPER

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ROAD FOREMAN

FULL-TIME, YEAR-ROUND

POSITION

The Town of Duxbury is accepting applications for the position of Road Foreman. This position is a working supervisor role that plans and oversees all municipal highway operations in order to advance the safe and effective functioning of the highway department, including municipal construction projects and maintenance of municipal roads, vehicles, and equipment. Additional information is available at DuxburyVermont.org under Employment Opportunities.

For full job description and to apply go to: topdoglandscaping.com

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5/4/20

To apply for this position, please email letter of interest, resume, and references to DuxTC@myfairpoint.net or mail to: Duxbury Selectboard Town of Duxbury 5421 VT Route 100 Duxbury, VT 05676. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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5/1/20 12:59 PM

The Vermont Electric Power Company has an opening for a SYSTEM OPERATOR OR TRAINEE. Please see the Careers section on our website, velco.com, for more information.

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YOUR TRUSTED LOCAL SOURCE.

JOBS.SEVENDAYSVT.COM

4/24/201x2 12:34 JobsPM Filler.indd 1

Is currently seeking a...

Youth Adult Navigator Full Time

For more info, go to:

https://bit.ly/35F04wz

VT Association of Conservation Districts 5/1/20 2V-Spectrum050620.indd 12:44 PM

CONSERVATION PLANNER

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5/5/20 9:42 AM

VACD seeks qualified candidates to fill a fulltime Conservation Planner (CP) position in St. Albans. This position supports the work of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to provide conservation planning assistance to farmers enrolled in Farm Bill programs. The position will be located in the St. Albans NRCS Field Office and cover Franklin, Grand Isle and Lamoille counties. Planner 4:41 PM responsibilities include providing technical assistance to farmers necessary for the development of Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMPs), as well as other planning and implementation assistance for farms seeking enrollment in USDA programs administered by NRCS or to meet Vermont’s Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs). Knowledge of soils, agricultural conservation or diversified agricultural practices, map development, and water quality issues are desired. Excellent verbal, interpersonal, computer, and communication skills as well as completion of a 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree with a focus in natural resources, agriculture, soils, or agronomy is required. Position requires fieldwork and travel within the region. Starting salary is $16.87/hour and includes health benefits, sick, holiday and vacation leave. Visit www.vacd.org for detailed job description. Send resume, cover letter and contact information for three references by May 15th to: Joanne Dion at joanne.dion@vacd.org or to VACD, PO Box 889, Montpelier, VT 05601 EOE

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5/4/20 12:27 PM


FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @SEVENDAYSJOBS, SUBSCRIBE TO RSS, OR BROWSE POSTS ON YOUR PHONE AT JOBS.SEVENDAYSVT.COM

NEW JOBS POSTED DAILY! JOBS.SEVENDAYSVT.COM

Manager SHARED LIVING PROVIDER WORK FROM HOME! Howard Center is seeking a Shared Living Provider in Burlington or South Burlington to support a kind, free spirited 34 year old man passionate about music. The ideal provider will be peer-age, no children, a non-smoker, have experience with brain injuries, and comfortable providing set-up assistance for personal care. A home that requires minimal use of stairs is preferred, as client walks with a cane. The provider will have a generous support package, including respite and a tax-free annual stipend of $28,000. Please contact Patrick Fraser at patfraser@howardcenter.org or call 802-871-2902 for more information.

Vermont Cookie Love is a locally owned business serving exceptional products in an environmentally conscious way. Our store was born out of a commitment to local ingredients and clean fresh food ... and a love of cookies. We sell rich, all-natural cookies, frozen cookie dough, cookie gift boxes, and award-winning ice cream. To expand and grow our retail store, we are seeking an experienced Manager with 3 years’ restaurant experience to join our innovative, upbeat, talented team. Managing while working alongside staff to produce product and serve customers, you will also help expand our offerings. To succeed in this role, our new Manager will bring the standards and ideals of a professional restaurant, a love of brainstorming and innovation, and the skills and enthusiasm for managing and working with a great group of people. You must also be comfortable with computers and administrative work.

Apply online: https://bit.ly/2SE9OlE

61 MAY 6-13, 2020

Director of Operations At Jasper Hill, our strength is our drive to be the standard bearer for quality and innovation in the artisan cheese industry. To help us continue our growth, we are seeking an experienced Director of Operations with food industry experience to join our highly skilled team. While maintaining smooth daily business activities, the Director of Operations will streamline work based on the priorities of the executive team to contribute to the long-term success of Jasper Hill.

To succeed in this role, the Director of Operations will ensure quality of operations, WANTED: 4t-HowardCenterSLP042920.indd 1 4/27/204t-VTCookieLove050620.indd 6:45 PM 1 5/5/20 2:56 PMinspire staff and guard the values of the Jasper Hill Family of Businesses. The ideal candidate WORK REMOTELY with youth at the Northlands Job is ambitious and performanceKey Auto Group is looking for a hands-on Manager of our Detail oriented with exceptional people Corps Center in Vergennes, VT. Work one or two, Shop. The Automotive Reconditioning Manager will oversee skills and has experience in food 7-8 hour shifts each week (your choice). a large inventory of new and used vehicles, must be able to safety and policy. $50.00/hour. Please contact Dan W. Hauben multi-task, lead a crew of detailers, and maintain efficiency within ASAP for more information. Thank you! Send resumes to: the department. The ideal candidate will have management work@jasperhillfarm.com experience in an automotive detail shop, positive attitude and 714-552-6697 omnimed1@verizon.net

DETAIL SHOP MANAGER

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

can-do mentality. The candidate should have a hardworking personality, demonstrated leadership qualities and eagerness to improve, excellent communication and customer service skills. 2v-OmniMed050620.indd Valid driver's license and clean driving record are required.

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Send resumes to: mfelber@keyauto.com

CNC Machinist

We are an equal opportunity employer and prohibit discrimination/ harassment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

T OW N O F J E R I C H O

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(South Burlington)

5/4/20 6:10 PM

Highway Maintenance Worker

FINANCIAL ANALYST Become a key part of one of Vermont's leading venture capital firms.

The Town of Jericho is accepting applications for a Highway Maintenance Worker Level II. This is a full-time position which requires a CDL and the ability to routinely work outside of regular working hours. The ideal candidate will have at least two years of experience in highway maintenance, snow plowing, construction procedures and methods at the municipal level. Equipment operation experience is a plus.

Work with finance veterans to help accelerate local Vermont food and beverage companies into industry defining players.

The starting hourly wage is dependent on qualifications. The Town of Jericho offers excellent benefits, including health and dental insurance and a retirement plan. An application and job description can be downloaded from www.jerichovt.org. They are also available at the Jericho Town Hall, at 67 VT Rt. 15, Jericho, M-F 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Completed applications can be submitted to Paula Carrier in person, via email at pcarrier@jerichovt.gov or via mail to PO Box 39, Jericho, VT 05465.

Send your resume to Max Doherty-Konczal at

Position is open until filled. 5h-TownofJericho042920.indd 1

5/4/20 4:46 PM

maximiliondoko@gmail.com.

Machinist will work independently in an extremely casual and flexible work environment. You will support the business by fabricating recurring inventory parts, as well as custom parts upon request. You will respond to requests for machined parts as required, and you will independently schedule yourself. Working to prints, sketches and verbal instructions. Career machinist/toolmaking skills are appreciated, but not required. A basic knowledge of general machine shop practices, machinery and tooling is sufficient. Some degree of CNC mill experience is desirable. An excellent position for a retiree looking to fill some time or work a few hours a week with very flexible hours. Partial benefits extended to part time employees. Call 802-863-6873 or email: susith@tridyne.com

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ATTENTION RECRUITERS:

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POST YOUR JOBS AT JOBS.SEVENDAYSVT.COM FOR FAST RESULTS, OR CONTACT MICHELLE BROWN: MICHELLE@SEVENDAYSVT.COM

MAY 6-13, 2020

TOWN OF WILLISTON DISPATCHER

The Town of Williston, Vermont is seeking a full-time dispatcher to receive, prioritize and relay all emergency and nonemergency communication for the Williston Police Department. Applicant must have a high school diploma or equivalent, supplemented by course work or experience in typing and general clerical work, office equipment, or communication systems. Experience with dispatching emergency services preferred. Current salary range is $40,250-$51,000. To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume as PDF file by email to Joshua Moore at Joshua.T.Moore@vermont.gov. For more information call (802) 233-0588 or visit our website: town.williston.vt.us. The position is open until filled but the preferred filing deadline for completed applications is May 15th, 2020.

PAYROLL SPECIALIST

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4/28/20 10:52 AM

Colchester School District is seeking a qualified Payroll Specialist. This position is responsible for processing the payroll and performing other necessary procedures/duties associated with payroll and/or fiscal-related functions. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily, in addition to having an Associate’s Degree in Accounting or other appropriate discipline, plus 3 to 4 years of relevant payroll/accounting/ bookkeeping experience or a combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and skills are acquired. Direct experience with governmental accounting as it applies to school districts is a plus. This is a full-time, full-year position with a generous benefits package. Interested candidates can view full job description and must apply on-line at SchoolSpring.com Job #3233590.

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4/3/20 10:29 AM

LIVE-IN CARE PROVIDER Howard Center is seeking a live-in care provider to support a quiet, friendly married couple in their 70s living in the Burlington area. The provider must speak Nepali and be comfortable assisting with personal care, medication monitoring, palliative care, and working with medical staff. The ideal provider will be a peer-age female with prior medical experience. The provider will share a furnished apartment with the couple. Compensation includes a $60,000 taxfree annual stipend and generous respite budget.

New, local, scam-free jobs posted every day! jobs.sevendaysvt.com.

For more information or to submit an application, please contact Patrick Fraser at patfraser@howardcenter.org or 802-871-2902. 12-postings-cmyk.indd 1 4t-HowardCenterSLP050620.indd 1

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FRAN KRAUSE

Have a deep, dark fear of your own? Submit it to cartoonist Fran Krause at deep-dark-fears.tumblr.com, and you may see your neurosis illustrated in these pages.

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Hunkering Down

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U N E A S Y P I E R C E T E R P O T O C R I E A S E C A R P T R A R E O A N E D O N E E I R S W O R D P R O M I T E T A L I G H T S C O U T E S T H E

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HARRY BLISS


FREE WILL ASTROLOGY BY ROB BREZSNY REAL MAY 7-13 CANCER (June 21-July 22): Novelist Marcel

Proust was a sensitive, dreamy, emotional, self-protective, creative Cancerian. That may explain why he wasn’t a good soldier. During his service in the French army, he was ranked 73rd in a squad of 74. On the other hand, his majestically intricate seven-volume novel In Search of Lost Time is a masterpiece — one of the 20th century’s most influential literary works. In evaluating his success as a human being, should we emphasize his poor military performance and downplay his literary output? Of course not! Likewise, Cancerian, in the coming weeks I’d like to see you devote vigorous energy to appreciating what you do best and no energy at all to worrying about your inadequacies.

TAURUS {APRIL 20-MAY 20)

“The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious,” says businessperson and entrepreneur John Sculley. You Tauruses aren’t renowned for such foresight. It’s more likely to belong to Aries and Sagittarius people. Your tribe is more likely to specialize in doing the good work that turns others’ bright visions into practical realities. But this Year of the Coronavirus could be an exception to the general rule. In the past three months, as well as in the next six months, many of you Bulls have been and will continue to be catching glimpses of interesting possibilities before they become obvious. Give yourself credit for this knack. Be alert for what it reveals.

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20): For 148 uninterrupted years, American militias and the American army waged a series of wars against the native peoples who lived on the continent before Europeans came. There were more than 70 conflicts that lasted from 1776 until 1924. If there is any long-term struggle or strife that even mildly resembles that situation in your on builder ositive own personal life, our Global Healing Crisis is mptoms a favorable time to call a truce and cultivate peace. Start now! It’s a ripe and propitious time and to end hostilities that have gone on too long.

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LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “Fortune resists halfhearted prayers,” wrote the poet Ovid more than 2,000 years ago. I will add that Fortune also resists poorly formulated intentions, feeble vows and sketchy plans — especially now, during an historical turning point when the world is undergoing massive transformations. Luckily, I don’t see those lapses as problems for you in the coming weeks, Leo. According to my analysis, you’re primed to be clear and precise. Your willpower should be working with lucid grace. You’ll have an enhanced ability to assess your assets and make smart plans for how to use them. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Last year the Baltimore Museum of Art announced it would acquire works exclusively from women artists in 2020. A male art critic complained, “That’s unfair to male artists.” Here’s my reply: Among major permanent art collections in the U.S. and Europe, the work of women makes up 5 percent of the total. So what the Baltimore Museum did is a righteous attempt to rectify the existing excess. It’s a just and fair way to address an unhealthy imbalance. In accordance with current omens and necessities, Virgo, I encourage you to perform a comparable correction in your personal sphere. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In the course of my life, I’ve met many sharp thinkers with advanced degrees from fine universities — who are nonetheless stunted in their emotional intelligence. They may quote Shakespeare and

discourse on quantum physics and explain the difference between the philosophies of Kant and Hegel, and yet they have little skill in understanding the inner workings of human beings or in creating vibrant intimate relationships. But most of these folks are not extreme outliers. I’ve found that virtually all of us are smarter in our heads than we are in our hearts. The good news, Libra, is that our current Global Healing Crisis is an excellent time for you to play catch up. Do what poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti suggests: “Make your mind learn its way around the heart.”

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Aphorist Aaron Haspel writes, “The less you are contradicted, the stupider you become. The more powerful you become, the less you are contradicted.” Let’s discuss how this counsel might be useful to you in the coming weeks. First of all, I suspect you will be countered and challenged more than usual, which will offer you rich opportunities to become smarter. Second, I believe you will become more powerful as long as you don’t try to stop or discourage the influences that contradict you. In other words, you’ll grow your personal authority and influence to the degree that you welcome opinions and perspectives that are not identical to yours. SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “It’s always too early to quit,” wrote author Norman Vincent Peale. We should put his words into perspective, though. He preached “the power of positive thinking.” He was relentless in his insistence that we can and should transcend discouragement and disappointment. So we should consider the possibility that he was overly enthusiastic in his implication that we should never give up. What do you think, Sagittarius? I’m guessing this will be an important question for you to consider in the coming weeks. It may be time to reevaluate your previous thoughts on the matter and come up with a fresh perspective. For example, maybe it’s right to give up on one project if it enables you to persevere in another.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The 16-century mystic nun Saint Teresa of Avila was renowned for being overcome with rapture during her spiritual devotions. At times she

experienced such profound bliss through her union with God that she levitated off the ground. “Any real ecstasy is a sign you are moving in the right direction,” she wrote. I hope that you will be periodically moving in that direction yourself during the coming weeks, Capricorn. Although it may seem odd advice to receive during our Global Healing Crisis, I really believe you should make appointments with euphoria, delight and enchantment.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Grammywinning musician and composer Pharrell Williams has expertise in the creative process. “If someone asks me what inspires me,” he testifies, “I always say, ‘That which is missing.’” According to my understanding of the astrological omens, you would benefit from making that your motto in the coming weeks. Our Global Healing Crisis is a favorable time to discover what’s absent or empty or blank about your life, and then learn all you can from exploring it. I think you’ll be glad to be shown what you didn’t consciously realize was lost, omitted or lacking.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “I am doing my best to not become a museum of myself,” declares poet Natalie Diaz. I think she means that she wants to avoid defining herself entirely by her past. She is exploring tricks that will help her keep from relying so much on her old accomplishments that she neglects to keep growing. Her goal is to be free of her history, not to be weighed down and limited by it. These would be worthy goals for you to work on in the coming weeks, Pisces. What would your first step be? ARIES (March 21-April 19): According to Aries author and mythologist Joseph Campbell, “The quest for fire occurred not because anyone knew what the practical uses for fire would be, but because it was fascinating.” He was referring to our early human ancestors, and how they stumbled upon a valuable addition to their culture because they were curious about a powerful phenomenon, not because they knew it would ultimately be so valuable. I invite you to be guided by a similar principle in the coming weeks, Aries. Unforeseen benefits may emerge during your investigation into flows and bursts that captivate your imagination.

CHECK OUT ROB BREZSNY’S EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES & DAILY TEXT MESSAGE HOROSCOPES: REALASTROLOGY.COM OR 1-877-873-4888

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JUST TESTING THE WATERS Ask, and I shall tell. Kidd43, 43, seeking: W, Cp, l CURIOUS, FRIENDLY, FAITHFUL Looking for friend, companion and maybe more! Randy70, 70, seeking: W

Respond to these people online: dating.sevendaysvt.com WOMEN seeking... THINKING ABOUT IT... Probably everyone thinks they’re smart, funny, and reasonably good-looking, so no news there. So, what I hope to find: a reader, thinker — someone who likes movies, theater, museums, travel, music, conversation, and the Oxford comma. Three years into widowhood, I realize I could really use someone to share experiences with. The range of those experiences would have to be explored. ZanninVT, 63, seeking: M, l REAL, POSITIVE, SPONTANEOUS AND AFFECTIONATE I am looking for someone to watch a good game with and listen to great oldies. Someone who can talk and listen. Must love dogs. If my dog and/or my kids like you... 0519, 51, seeking: M SLIGHTLY STIR-CRAZY QUARANTINED WOMAN HERE! You: Zoom, dogs, cats, coffee, politics, companionship, early morning walks, sometimes hilarious, well-read, sexy, love good food, good books, outdoors and good women. Me: artist, Zoom, dogs, cats, critters, flowers, herbs, veggies, politics, good conversation, sometimes quiet, sometimes raucous, funny, sexy, love good food, good books, outdoors, mountains, conversation, hiking, skiing, touching. Looking for you. Lisarezz, 63, seeking: M, l

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SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 2020

FAERY QUEEN Tender heart, sensual lover of earth and water, leader in life looking for strong, grounded, passionate love. FaeryQueen, 50, seeking: M, l REALLY? ME? THANKS! I love to make people laugh, and squirm, and wonder! I carry a six-foot stick to make people wonder ... and squirm. I’m overly fond punctuation. Widowhood and viruses stink. 2020 was meant to be a year of new beginnings. Wanna suck some coffee through a cotton mask and give it a try? Boodles, 69, seeking: M READY FOR SOME FUN I like to hook others up at times. Maybe it is my time to enjoy life and reach out a bit! I love to laugh. VTSPORTGO, 60, seeking: M LIVE AND LOVE Very easygoing but protective of self and family. I like open-minded individuals who are willing to try new adventures. I love to be outside all seasons. Hiking all year. Love the water and kayaking. Fishing is fun, as well, and I don’t mind if I’m not catching. Just moved to Burlington and looking to meet new friends. Sudokull, 67, seeking: M, l CREATIVE, FUNNY, GREAT FRIEND Just looking to meet new friends. I am honest and creative and funny. Enjoy cooking, dancing, hiking, music and museums. Looking for friendship and a fun someone to explore this life with. Artiste, 67, seeking: M COUNTRY GIRL ON THE WATER I’m passionate about being outside. Walking, hiking, snowshoeing, paddling, horseback riding. I love food, going out or staying in. Wood fires on a snowy night. Family time. Conversation about anything interesting. I’m enjoying renovating my house. I love Vermont but enjoy traveling. Woodburygirl, 56, seeking: M, l LUCKY IN LOVE AND NICARAGUA I loved being married. Sadly, he died young. I own gorgeous land in Nicaragua and want a partner to develop it with me as an artist/surfer retreat (as soon as we get rid of the small problem of a dictator killing his own people). A perfect life is Vermont in summer and Nica in winter, but only with a terrific man. You? W, 72, seeking: M, l MOUNTAINS, SUNSHINE, COFFEE, CONNECTION I am a fit, caring, down-to-earth person looking to share adventures. I hope to have honest and interesting conversations and maybe learn something in the process. I am also innately curious and will want to learn all about you. I have no interest in small talk — I’m looking for authenticity. I’m happy to chat and would like to meet in person. lovemountains, 55, seeking: M, l

LIBERAL, MUSICAL, READER I love to read, listen to and make and write music, sing and talk with my friends, play the guitar, be with children, be outside, contra dance. A goal is to visit every library in Vermont. I am a conscientious composter, and I grow tomatoes. I am a retired kindergarten teacher and minister. Seeking a man for friendship/relationship. musicdance, 77, seeking: M, l ENTHUSIASTIC, EARTH-SPIRITUAL, GREGARIOUS DRAGONFLY LADY Namaste. I’m a naturalist/writer who enjoys hanging out with insect enthusiasts, woods walking, photographing wildlife by kayak, and enjoying time with close friends and family. I’m looking for a man to share passions with me, especially if they include exploring used book stores, artisan/new-age shops ... adventures we can discuss over surf and turf or sushi. Namaste. DragonflyLady9, 71, seeking: M, l CENTERED, SENSUAL, TALL AND FIT If I could spend a day with any two men, they would be Freddie Mercury and Leonard Cohen. Sunday morning in bed — really hot black coffee, the paper and music. If you are a Trump voter, smoker or narcissist, we won’t hit it off. If you love books, movies and my two favorite men listed above, we probably will. Zenda889, 66, seeking: M, l ENJOY LIFE TO THE FULLEST I enjoy gardening, animals and reading, and I split my own wood (electric splitter). I love cooking and contra dancing, and I have a new hobby: shape note singing. countrygirl1, 77, seeking: M, l OUTDOORSY, HONEST, HEALTHY MUSIC LOVER Hi there! I’m an optimistic, funny, smart, nature- and animal-loving kind of gal. Spending time together with someone who makes you smile, and has your back, is a gift. I’m a world traveler who has recently returned to Vermont. I am looking for a friend first to enjoy life and Vermont. If it turns into something more, bonus! Bella2020, 62, seeking: M, l

MEN seeking... EXPLORE THE WORLD OK, need something here, but I’m much better communicating directly. Summer is almost here, and it’s time to get out from under this gloomy spring and dodgy virus. polarplunge, 47, seeking: W TRANSPLANTATIOUS I just returned to Vermont after 40 years in Texas (Houston and Austin). I went to college here and was an alpine ski racer. So, now I’m combining skiing in winter and boating/sailing in the summer. The beauty of Vermont is revealing itself to me in not-sosubtle ways, but there’s something missing. That’s where you come in! Summerbreeze, 63, seeking: W, l

LIVING ALONE IN A PANDEMIC Kind, thoughtful, honest and empathetic but comfortable in my own skin. Eccentric and deep thinking. Love travel and music, from the Flamingos to G Flip. Hopeless romantic but with mileage. Definitely a long shot but a very good person. Steady and no drama. Fill my days with biking, long walks, daily visits to the gym, beaches and following/researching my interests. wdw72557, 62, seeking: W HEY Looking for open-minded folks who are not too serious about anything except having a nice time with an educated and nice-looking person. Men or couples where male is bi. BBplayer, 67, seeking: M, Cp LAID-BACK, CHILL, 420-FRIENDLY Looking to meet new people and explore Vermont. When quarantine ends, where to go? 802K420, 32, seeking: W, l CARING OPTIMIST I’ve lived in Vermont 16 years and love it. Belief in social justice, or helping others, is important to me. I also think it’s important to be able to drop all seriousness sometimes. I work out, run, do yoga. My life is satisfying, yet I am lonely due to the absence of a partner in crime! artrunner, 76, seeking: W, l NATURE’S TRAILS Let’s go outside and play. Do you enjoy nature in all its forms? Maybe cold, driving rain isn’t so great, but pretty much everything else is good. Prefer nonmotorized activities and roads less traveled. Would enjoy some easygoing company. Highlander58, 61, seeking: W DOING MY OWN THING Hi. I’m looking for fun. I’m outgoing, and I love an adventure. Open to friendships that could grow into long-term friendship or relationship. Vtcarpenter, 55, seeking: W, Cp TALL, TALLER AND TALLEST I’m fairly new to Vermont, so looking for new friends. I like drinking and hanging out. Would rather hang out and shoot the moon than go out and do stuff on the town. Jasonbor34, 35, seeking: W, l GENTLEMAN, COMPASSIONATE, CONVERSATION, HONEST, SENSITIVE I love the outdoors and do about everything. Being positive and active are musts. Looking for new adventures with someone. I am well traveled and educated in life! I have learned what it takes to have good friends and hope to find a new friends and maybe more. Be safe, but come explore! Philodave, 72, seeking: W, l PATIENT, ATTENTIVE BI GUY Yep, life would be simpler if I were straight, but I’m not. Fit, energetic, discreet bi guy looking for safe, sane, well-endowed (just being honest) male FWB — someone who enjoys foreplay, not fastplay. Big request, I know. Even taller order is I’d really like to hook up with just one guy that shares same the interests and needs a discreet buddy. 2ndwind, 62, seeking: M HARDWORKING, FRONT-PORCH SITTING I am a steward of Small Hill Farm in Lincoln, Vt. I like working the land and have marketed a variety of crops over the years. I enjoy craft beer sampling

— not interested in smoking or drugs. Attend yoga once a week. 251 Club member. Etienne, 71, seeking: W, l CARING, HUMOROUS, AMBITIOUS, POSITIVE PERSON I’m very happy, positive, caring, ambitious, funny. Good sense of humor, and I love conversation. Working76, 61, seeking: W, l

GENDERQUEER PEOPLE seeking... 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

COUPLES seeking... TO MAKING IT COUNT! We’re a couple exploring and adding something exciting to our 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 ATTRACTIVE MARRIED COUPLE Attractive, caring and honest married couple looking to meet a female for fun times both in and out of the bedroom. She is bi-curious; he is straight. We are very easygoing and fun to be around. Will share a photo once we communicate. Let’s see what happens. VTcouple4fun, 49, seeking: W SEASONED, REASONED, FRIENDSHIP AND CONVERSATION Older couple seeks new friends to enjoy honest conversation. Couples, women, or men. We are not seeking benefits though we are open to discussion if all are inspired. We’d love to meet and converse over a nice meal. We love warmth and open people. Our place has a hot tub for cold winters, and we have a massage table. Seasoned, 69, seeking: M, W, Cp, Gp, l FULL TRANSPARENCY Adventurous, educated, open couple married 12 years interested in meeting another open couple for some wine, conversation, potential exploration and fun. She is 40 y/o, 5’11, dirty blond hair. He is 41 y/o, 5’10, brown hair. Seeking Cp, W. ViridisMontis, 42, seeking: Cp


i SPY

If you’ve been spied, go online to contact your admirer!

dating.sevendaysvt.com

RUNNER WITH DOG To the runner I met today: I am an animal painter. You asked me if I was going to skateboard down Camel’s Hump. I would like to meet you again sometime. When: Saturday, May 2, 2020. Where: Battery Park. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915042 BIKE PATH ROLLERBLADERS This is a letter of appreciation for all the bike path rollerbladers. Thank you for keeping it funky and adding zest to the lakefront experience. I’m particularly talking about the mustard-yellow sweater wearer who glanced back and then nonchalantly spit as I passed you under the old train tracks with my silly bike horn around 5:30 on Saturday, headed south. When: Saturday, May 2, 2020. Where: bike path, Burlington. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915041 ‘OH, YOU GOTTA LOVE IT’ Some nights I wish I could go back in life. Not to change it, just to feel a couple things twice. 28 at midnight; wonder what’s next for me? Longevity. Wonder how long to check for me? Probably forever if I stay in my zone. We speak on this generation but can’t change it alone. When: Friday, May 1, 2015. Where: in the city. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915040 RUNNING ON ROSE STREET You have tattoos, and I saw you running with earbuds in and an iPod on your arm. Yeah, that’s it; I saw you and thought you were cute. I don’t even think you saw me. Such a strange time that just seeing someone seems significant. Coffee someday? Meet at a park and talk from six feet away for now? When: Tuesday, April 28, 2020. Where: Rose Street. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915039

MATTY, ONE, LAST SUMMER Matty. We met on Rose Street last summer. We started smiling at each other from down the block. I was walking with my son. You said I was gorgeous and that you hoped my man knew how lucky he was. He didn’t, and your comment haunted me until I ended it. Still interested? Jamie. When: Saturday, June 1, 2019. Where: Rose Street. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915038 RE: AMOR Sad to know there’s others out there with crushed hearts. Probably a stretch on my part to hope the one who once briefly owned my heart but then went silent could still have feelings. (I still think about her every day.) She’s a raven-haired beauty with a wolf spirit. When: Sunday, April 19, 2020. Where: in the night sky. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915036 RE: AMOR Your post could apply to so many with squeezed hearts. Can you give a hint that only this person would know? When: Friday, March 20, 2020. Where: central Vermont. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915035 RE: AMOR A hint, please. So many injured hearts out there. When: Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Where: central Vermont. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915034 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

Ask REVEREND

DO YOU KNOW I just love when I’m with you. Yeah, this thing is on 10. We used to be friends, girl, and even back then you would look at me with no hesitation, and you’d tell me, “Baby, it’s yours. Nobody else’s.” That’s for sure. When: Monday, October 22, 2018. Where: 9 a.m. in Dallas. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915033 RE: AMOR You will never know how much I’ve missed you and how much I want to hold you in my arms. If you really miss me, you know how to find me to let me know. When: Friday, March 20, 2020. Where: in the night sky. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915032 RE: CO-OP CUTIE I’d love to meet up sometime! You looked so sexy in your green overalls and Darn Tough socks with sandals. I see you are a Bernie Sanders supporter with your Feel the Bern shirt. I’d love to feel the burn. Maybe we can stare into each other’s eyes from six feet away... No Rona. When: Monday, April 13, 2020. Where: Hunger Mountain Co-op. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915030 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 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 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

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

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

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 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 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 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

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Irreverent counsel on life’s conundrums

Dear Reverend,

I was married for 18 years — my divorce was finalized in January. I can’t remember the last time I had sex, and I was looking forward to getting out there to find a new partner. Seems like that’s not going to happen anytime soon due to this pandemic. Masturbating gets old quick. Got any tips?

Wilted Willie (male, 52)

Dear Wilted Willie,

You’re in luck! May just happens to be International Masturbation Month. You could try the old “use your other hand” trick, but masturbation technology has come a long way since the days of lotion and socks. How ’bout you kick it up a notch and get yourself some fun items to play with? You could start out simply by buying a few kinds of lube, but why not get a little more adventurous? There are many options for masturbation toys for men, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some look like body parts, and some don’t. There’s something for everyone. I can’t speak from experience, but I hear that the Fleshlight is fantastic. You can even support a Vermont business by visiting Imago’s website: imagoxxx.com.

Fantasize about whatever floats your boat. Explore other erogenous zones on your body. Don’t be afraid to let your freak flag fly, because when you go solo, the only person who needs to salute is your pal Johnson. An orgasm has all sorts of health benefits, including reducing your stress level, helping you sleep and boosting your immune system. So, go ahead: Get handsy with yourself, and don’t worry about doing it too much. I promise it won’t make you go blind or get hairy palms. Good luck and God bless, If you’re into porn, that’s great. But if you always rely on it to get the engines fired up, take a break and use your imagination. Relive old sexual experiences; dream up new ones.

The Reverend

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Internet-Free Dating!

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

I’m a 31-y/o woman seeking a fun and energetic 31- to 38y/o man. I’m seeking a Godbelieving, Christian faith-based man. I don’t drink or smoke. I like to go dancing, listen to music, travel. #L1408 I’m a 61-y/o woman. Aquarian INFJ Reiki master looking to be part of or create a spiritual, artistic, self-sufficient community further south. Seeks kind, open-minded, gentle kindred spirits, lightworkers, starseeds to explore life’s mysteries and help each other. Cat lovers very welcome! #L1406

I’m a 59-y/o male seeking a male or female age 40 to 80 who is a nudist. Want company in the woods in northern Vermont. #L1407 I’m a GWM seeking GWM. Into everything except anal. Many interests including railroading and astrology. #L1405 Dirty old man seeks dirty old lady. Watching dirty movies. Dirty in bed. Dirty minded. Love kissing and oral. Alone and single. Age/race, no problem. #1404 59-y/o submissive GM. Looking for someone to enjoy times with. #L1403

HOW TO REPLY TO THESE LOVE LETTERS: Seal your reply — including your preferred contact info — inside an envelope. Write your penpal’s box number on the outside of that envelope and place it inside another envelope with payment. Responses for Love Letters must begin with the #L box number. MAIL TO: Seven Days Love Letters

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PUBLISH YOUR MESSAGE ON THIS PAGE!

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Submit your FREE message at sevendaysvt.com/loveletters or use the handy form at right.

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We’ll publish as many messages as we can in the Love Letters section above.

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Interested readers will send you letters in the mail. No internet required! SEVEN DAYS MAY 6-13, 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 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

Reply to these messages with real, honest-to-goodness letters. DETAILS BELOW. 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 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 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 II’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 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 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 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 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

Describe yourself and who you’re looking for in 40 words below:

Required confidential info:

(OR, ATTACH A SEPARATE PIECE OF PAPER.)

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AGE + GENDER (OPTIONAL)

seeking a____________________________________________ ___________ AGE + GENDER (OPTIONAL)

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_______________________________________________________ MAIL TO: SEVEN DAYS LOVE LETTERS • PO BOX 1164, BURLINGTON, VT 05402 OPTIONAL WEB FORM: SEVENDAYSVT.COM/LOVELETTERS HELP: 802-865-1020, EXT. 10, LOVELETTERS@SEVENDAYSVT.COM

THIS FORM IS FOR LOVE LETTERS ONLY. Messages for the Personals and I-Spy sections must be submitted online at dating.sevendaysvt.com.


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