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Home, design and real estate quarterly

Bright Lights Good news, positive trends and stories of resilience from an awful year BY SEV EN D AYS STAFF, PAGE 42



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There’s been a blizzard of snowmobile sales as more Vermonters head outside during the pandemic. Now we just need some actual snow.

Activists marching in the summer

cost the University of Vermont Medical Center per day as workers tried to regain control of its system.





The Vermont Lake Monsters will no longer be affiliated with Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics. The team still hopes to play in Burlington this summer.

THINNER BLUE LINE The Burlington police force is shrinking, and the city should hire people to perform some nonemergency aspects of its work, acting Chief Jon Murad said last Friday. The department has 81 sworn officers, nine fewer than it did in June when the city council passed a resolution to reduce the force, by attrition, to 74 cops. Five departing officers said in exit interviews that they’re leaving because of the council’s efforts to “defund the police,” Murad said. Murad expects that number to keep dropping. Two officers were expected to leave by early January, bringing the roster to 79. Six others could also leave next year: three who are seeking other employment, two who will be on long-term military deployments, and one who is taking family leave. Still others could be tapped by the Vermont National Guard to help distribute COVID-19 vaccines, Murad said. When the number hits 76 officers, the department would have to cease coverage between 3 and 7:30 a.m., according to the chief. The officers on duty would be assigned to staff the police station and would only respond in person to the most serious calls, he said. The shift “is not something that we are thinking about ending lightly,” Murad said. “This is a serious move.”


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Murad is proposing that the city hire civilian staffers. His two-year plan calls for hiring 12 “community service officers” who would provide animal control, serve subpoenas, take fingerprints and handle other nonemergency tasks. The department currently has two such staffers. The plan would also add six “community service liaisons,” who are akin to social workers and would respond to calls from people experiencing homelessness, mental health crises and substance-use disorder. Murad said he’s proposing the staffing model because city leaders haven’t provided the department with their vision of a new public safety model. The council’s June resolution called for a “functional assessment” of operations, but six months later, that process hasn’t begun, he said. The report was due to the council in October. Kyle Dodson — the Greater Burlington YMCA president and CEO whom Mayor Miro Weinberger tapped as his director of police transformation — acknowledged that the process has taken longer than anticipated. He said he expects the assessment to be under way by early next year. “The sooner we have that information, the better off we’ll be,” Dodson said. Read Courtney Lamdin’s full story on sevendaysvt.com.


Beloved barbecue pit master Curtis Tuff died at age 83. Former governor Peter Shumlin told VPR that Tuff ’s blue bus off the highway in Putney was “the Vermont welcome center.”

OUTBREAK ACADEMY The Vermont Police Academy shut down after roughly half of the 23 recruits in its class contracted COVID-19. No remote learning for that school.

1. “Burlington Police Chief Proposes Civilian Reinforcements for Shrinking Force” by Courtney Lamdin. Acting Chief Jon Murad said the city needs a plan to replace the cops who have left. 2. “State Officials Slam Feds for Ending an Unemployment Benefits Program” by Colin Flanders. State officials criticized the U.S. Department of Labor for removing Vermont from a federally funded unemployment insurance program in the middle of the pandemic. 3. “Ben & Jerry’s Unveils New Colin Kaepernick Flavor ‘Change the Whirled’” by Sasha Goldstein. A portion of proceeds from sales of the nondairy dessert will go to Know Your Rights Camp, a nonprofit Kaepernick started. 4. “The Big Jab: Vermont Preps for First Shipments of COVID-19 Vaccine” by Derek Brouwer. By year’s end, the state will receive just a fraction of the doses it needs to vaccinate the groups deemed the highest priority. 5. “Vermont Tech Company Develops AI Software That Can Detect COVID Status” by Colin Flanders. A Vermont tech company says it has created artificial intelligence software that analyzes routine blood work to find markers of COVID-19.

tweet of the week @DenisonBe I also just saw someone walking a miniature horse on a leash down the sidewalk. Peak #BTV? FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @SEVENDAYSVT OUR TWEEPLE: SEVENDAYSVT.COM/TWITTER


SECRET SANTAS Renita Marshall was scrolling through Facebook several years ago when a neighbor’s post stopped her cold. “‘We might not have a tree or presents, but at least we have each other,’” a woman wrote to her four daughters, according to Marshall. “‘And that’s what the holidays are all about.’” It was a call to action for Marshall, who was raised in Section 8 housing in Barre. “I grew up with a mom who did everything Renita Marshall (left) receiving donated tires from Craig Premont of Vermont Quick Lube and Car Wash

she could but still struggled,” Marshall said. “When you believe in Santa, and Santa brings you an orange, it’s pretty defeating.” So Marshall rounded up some friends, and they bought a tree, presents for the four daughters and gifts the kids could give their mom. The Good Samaritans also bought a gift card so the family could have a nice Christmas dinner. Marshall, who still lives in Barre, felt like she’d done a good deed and thought that would be the end of it. “But then the next year, I heard of another family that never would have asked for any help and most likely weren’t going to have a very good Christmas — and so I jumped in again,” Marshall recalled. That was about 12 years ago. Marshall has since registered the annual charity drive

as a nonprofit, dubbed the Renita Marshall Helping Hands Foundation. She also rounds up donations in the fall so less fortunate kids headed back to school can buy new clothes Each year around Halloween, according to Marshall, people start nominating families for the coming Christmas. She picks one and starts accepting donations of cash and the actual presents the kids put on their lists. This year’s family is a single mom with three kids. Among the gifts: a set of winter tires and free installation, donated by Vermont Quick Lube and Car Wash of Barre. “It’s overwhelming how much people will give,” Marshall said as she began to cry. “It’s wonderful. Happy tears!” SASHA GOLDSTEIN SEVEN DAYS DECEMBER 16-23, 2020




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 Consulting editor Candace Page stAff writers Derek Brouwer, Colin Flanders,

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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,

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Margaret Grayson, Melissa Pasanen, Ken Picard, Sally Pollak proofreAders Carolyn Fox, Elizabeth M. Seyler AssistAnt proofreAder Katherine Isaacs 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 DESIGN CreAtive direCtor Don Eggert Art direCtor Rev. Diane Sullivan produCtion MAnAger John James designers Jeff Baron, Kirsten Thompson SALES & MARKETING direCtor of sAles Colby Roberts senior ACCount exeCutive Michael Bradshaw ACCount exeCutives Robyn Birgisson,

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The University of Vermont’s decision to cut at least 23 programs of study due to low enrollment is troubling [Off Message: “UVM Announces Plan to Eliminate More Than Two Dozen Academic Programs,” December 2]. Administrators and trustees of public universities should go beyond enrollment numbers and consider how small programs support the public interest and enrich the region. For example, UVM’s decision to cut the Historic Preservation master’s program because it has averaged fewer than five students per year is folly: Isn’t the continued preservation of Vermont’s historic buildings and artifacts in the public interest?  Niche programs such as geology, languages and culture — also on the chopping block — shouldn’t be penalized for being unable to increase enrollment. Assuming that programs have value only if they can recruit more students inappropriately attaches a private corporate model to a public institution. A public university’s academic departments are not small business ventures that require independent economic viability. A public university is an ecosystem whose interconnected components were never meant to be individually profitable, and some of which — like administrative offices — cannot be measured for profitability, lacking a direct link to tuition revenue.  Cutting arts and humanities programs imperils public universities’ mission to provide high-quality educations in diverse fields to an increasingly diverse student body. As Vermont funds public higher education at one of the worst rates in the nation, the answer to UVM’s budget problems is not for its leaders to cut programs, but rather for the state legislature to increase public higher education appropriations.  Vermont’s legislators will better serve constituents and the public interest by investing, not divesting, in public higher education. Rebecca Hains SALEM, MA


I am writing in response to comments regarding persons not wearing masks [Feedback: “Follow the Law,” December 2; “Enforcement Required,” December


the man behind the push to bring Higher Ground to Burton. Why not have Newman, Crothers and friends purchase the land for sale across from Dealer.com on Pine Street. They could build a structure that would emulate the great schooners that once plied the waters of Lake Champlain. I can envision a giant sail blowing in the wind as music flows over the Queen City. Perhaps I’m not a curmudgeon, after all.


Ron KruppÂ



9]. I am someone who has PTSD and am unable to wear any mask or shield without triggering a panic attack. I do not go anywhere that I can avoid, but even I enjoy a cup of coffee sometimes. Please be aware that not everyone is able to mask up. If I try to explain my situation to critics, I am disbelieved, so I will no longer offer an explanation. You don’t know me, and you are not the mask police. Please be kind. Kathleen McDonald



A huge shout-out of thanks and jubilation for [Off Message: “Ben & Jerry’s Unveils New Colin Kaepernick Flavor ‘Change the Whirled,’� December 10]. My daughter is anaphylactic to dairy and is so excited that Ben & Jerry’s has not only created another dairy-free option, but created one with love, purpose and for a cause! My daughter is 10. My son is 12. We participated in our first “walking protest� this summer. Having a voice, finding a purpose and sharing knowledge are such powerful things to give our broken world. And we cannot wait to try the yummy new ice cream. Stay healthy, safe and sane. Danna Hirsch



This month marks a year since the article by Paul Heintz, “Guarded Secrets,� about abuses in the Vermont prison for women. Perhaps more good things are happening than we know about. But, if so, what are

they? Who is responsible? Isn’t it time to bring more sunlight on these secrets? Michael Kiey



[Re Off Message: “Board Approves Burton’s Plan to Bring Higher Ground to Burlington,� September 1; Feedback: “Neighborhood Isn’t Ready,� November 4]: The City of Burlington continues down the rabbit hole. Just look at Memorial Auditorium, which gathers dust. Or how about the “Big Dig� with its deep hole? Don’t fall in. Or City Hall Park, which cost $7 million — now with more concrete, less grass and fewer trees. At least there’s a bathroom. And then there is the proposed Higher Ground music venue planned for a warehouse at Burton Snowboards. The venue would allow concerts seven nights a week with a capacity of 1,500 people and 500 vehicles. Closing time is 2 a.m. This would have serious impacts on nearby neighborhoods, including Queen City Park, where I live. There’s no plan for adequate sidewalks, crosswalks and bike lane infrastructure. And what about testing for an appropriate noise level? I can imagine laying my head on my pillow as a loud bass booms forth. The latest issue has to do with potential harmful chemicals in the groundwater from weapons manufacturers once housed in the warehouse. These pollutants could contaminate the water system in Queen City Park. I have a simple solution to the problem. Entrepreneur Alan Newman purchased ArtsRiot and is the co-owner of the Higher Ground nightclub along with Alex Crothers,

Thank you for Paula Routly’s recent piece referring back to the 1918 flu [From the Publisher: “Pressed for Time,� December 2]. I especially appreciate her point about why it was called the “Spanish flu�: Spanish newspapers were reporting on it while American papers were not. I teach about the topic and, in fact, was teaching about it during March of this year, when the current virus pushed classes online because of yet another pandemic. It’s frustrating to read articles that still refer to it as the Spanish flu despite the striking historical parallels. History repeats. This kind of thing shouldn’t. A friend in Barre was recently telling me about the memorial referred to in the article. I look forward to visiting it when the current virus is over.

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[Re “When State Meets Church,� December 2]: After reading Chelsea Edgar’s wellwritten article regarding Todd Callahan and the Ignite Church, I found myself with a couple of questions for the church. 1. Why do the church members have to gather at a certain time and a certain place to worship the Almighty for it to count? Can they not see the beauty and love in their everyday lives while keeping everyone safe? FEEDBACK

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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. Seven Days reserves the right to edit for accuracy, length and readability. Your submission options include: • sevendaysvt.com/feedback • feedback@sevendaysvt.com • Seven Days, P.O. Box 1164, Burlington, VT 05402-1164

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Pick up your holiday gifts and enjoy delicious eats at the City’s magical outdoor market featuring local artists, retailers, and cafes.

Please wear a mask. COVID-19 safety measures include:

mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing, booths spread out, 2 people per booth at a time, contactless payment.

For State and City guidance, please visit burlingtonvt.gov/covid-19/guidance

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19-‫ ﻧﺤﻦ ھﻨﺎ ﻟﻠﻤﺴﺎﻋﺪة ﻓﻲ ﻣﻮاﺟﮭﮫ ﻛﻮﻓﯿﺪ‬، ‫ﺑﺮﻟﯿﻨﺠﺘﻮن‬ Burlington, tuko hapa kusaidia dhidi ya Covid-19

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The RRC is here to help in response to COVID-19 recovery@burlingtonvt.gov 802.755.7239 burlingtonvt.gov/resources SEVEN DAYS DECEMBER 16-23, 2020

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contents DECEMBER 16-23, 2020 VOL.26 NO.12

COLUMNS 51 56 58 60 85


Side Dishes Soundbites Album Reviews Movie Review Ask the Reverend


Food Forward Grilling the Chef: At Healthy Living, chef Matt Jennings is thinking ahead

SECTIONS 22 50 56 60 63 65

Life Lines Food + Drink Music + Nightlife Movies Classes Classifieds + Puzzles 80 Fun Stuff 84 Personals


Fresh From the Oven Four new Vermont bakeries offer their wares direct to consumers

e home design real estat


Bright Lights


Nest winter issue Good news, positive trends and stories of resilience from an awful year PAGE 42

1 WINTER 2020-2






6 Inside a Winooski man cave of wonders

Hi, refi! Vermonters act on low interest rates

Plant swappers spread joy during the pandemic

Architects design with the climate in mind

A lockdowninspired apartment makeover

Getting fired up about kachelöfens









From the Publisher

Zooming In

Outward Boundaries

Mem and Pep

COVID-19 claims a Hardwick couple who were inseparable for nearly 68 years

Sick and Tired

Despite time and planning, a new wave of COVID-19 outbreaks in eldercare home is worse than the first

All Atwitter Again

Weinberger knew of Burlington police chief’s fake social media account

American Dream play-reading series addresses racial and social injustice

Off Script

Endangered Alphabets Project releases new book of puzzling word searches

Notable Women

Essex-based Art Herstory cards feature female painters of centuries past

Online Now

In a backcountry skiing boom, David Goodman’s new guidebook makes a grand entrance

Rooted in Antiquity

Vermont-based Böswellness uplifts African communities that supply frankincense and myrrh

The mills on the river, which once employed SUPPORTED BY: hundreds of workers, are one of the defining features of Winooski. A new exhibit at the Heritage Winooski Mill Museum features illustrations from artist David Macaulay from his 1983 book MILL, which may look familiar to locals.

The Wild Side

Five famous animals we lost in 2020

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See What’S PoSSible In a year defined by challenges, UVM can help clear the pathway to a brighter future.

Spring 2021 courses have been published and registration opens November 30th. Choose from hundreds of options, available on campus, online, and in hybrid format and use this time as an d to UVM this summer and achieve something that’s important to opportunity to earn credits toward your degree, career Want to master a new skill? Study project or management or digital just for fun. Explore advancement, take a course courses about what’s eting. Need to scratch a creativenow itch?and Take astart class indaydreaming photography possible in 2021. eative writing – they’re open to anyone. Whatever you want to

mplish, UVM is the place to go.

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Seasonal Help

A selection of notes from Super Readers

Outdoor classrooms, volunteer mask makers, virtual prom: Some positive local stories have emerged from this terrible year, and our cover package this week gathers and puts a bow on them. The silver lining for Seven Days these past nine months has been the love we’ve received from more than 2,000 Super Readers. While ad revenue tanked and our employees risked their lives to report and distribute the news, those of you who appreciate this newspaper and our efforts came through and helped. Concerned readers gave more than $35,000 between Saint Patrick’s Day and the end of March,and roughly the same amount in the month of April. By the end of the year, we will have received almost $200,000 from individuals who value Seven Days and the role it plays in our community: revealing its richness, informing and connecting all of us. So far, 761 donors have signed up to give us a fixed amount — from a few bucks to $100 — every month. Their combined contributions add up to revenue we can count on, to the tune of $2,000 a week. It really helps. Prior to the pandemic, our only reliable measure of reader appreciation was the number of papers that disappeared from our racks each week. Because Seven Days is free, we never really knew who was picking it up, nor did we have customer relationships with any of them. Now we do. Our Super Readers are friends and strangers, liberals and conservatives, rural and urban dwellers, journalists from competing media outlets and politicians of all stripes. Many of them write encouraging notes that we share with our whole staff. And there’s reason for hope. Although Seven Days’ ad revenue is down $1.5 million year-to-date from 2019, we saw sales steadily improve over the summer and fall. A federal Paycheck Protection Program loan in April and three subsequent state grants were perfectly timed. If we can get through the next three months, chances are the paper will pull through. Putting out a newspaper is expensive. It takes a lot of reporters, editors, photographers and designers to make what you’re reading. Just printing Seven Days costs about $10,000 a week. Shortcuts, such as fewer proofreaders or more syndicated content, lead to a lesser-quality product. Nobody wants that. As we like to say: “Seven Days is free; making it isn’t.” Everything considered, each Want to help Seven Days through copy “costs” about $2.50 — half the price of a the pandemic? Become a Super Reader. pumpkin spice latte. Look for the “Give Now” buttons at the top of Could you help us get through this winter sevendaysvt.com. Or send a check with your by paying $10 a month until our lives return address and contact info to: to normal? SEVEN DAYS, C/O SUPER READERS In return, we promise to guide you P.O. BOX 1164 BURLINGTON, VT 05402-1164 through the darkness by continuing to provide essential, insightful and even For more information on making a financial uplifting journalism. contribution to Seven Days, please contact Corey Grenier: With appreciation, VOICEMAIL: 802-865-1020, EXT. 36

Paula Routly












Dona and Patricia Bessette

Nurse Is First Vermonter to Receive a COVID-19 Vaccine B Y A N D R EA S U O Z Z O andrea@sevendaysvt.com

Mem and Pep

COVID-19 claims a Hardwick couple who were inseparable for nearly 68 years B Y COL IN FL AND ERS • colin@sevendaysvt.com


ona and Patricia Bessette became so close during their six-decade marriage that they were “totally connected” in their daughter Linda’s mind — Mom and Dad, Mem and Pep. She had long suspected that if one died, the other wouldn’t be far behind. A few years ago, Dona passed out at home, and Patricia, thinking he was gone, suffered a heart attack-like event known as “broken heart syndrome.” They both landed in the hospital. “She thought Dad was done, and she couldn’t stand it,” Linda said. Both recovered, though. Yet, in the end, neither went long without the other. Dona, 93, and Patricia, 88, died in their Hardwick home late last month after testing positive for the coronavirus. They left this life within 48 hours of one another, an ending that their son Cary “Bear” Bessette calls sad and sweet in the same breath. “It’s quite a love story,” Bear said of his parents, who spent their entire lives in Vermont and would have celebrated their 68th anniversary two days after Christmas. It is people like the Bessettes — older, 12


with underlying health problems — who are most likely to succumb to COVID-19, Vermont records show. Cards and condolences are still pouring in from the offspring of the Bessettes’ long-passed friends, the scores of families graced by their generosity and the caregivers whose efforts allowed them to live at home. “So many great laughs with them,” one wrote in an online tribute last week. “Both beautiful souls. They will forever have footsteps in my heart.” Many of the people they touched never realized that Dona and Patricia were an unlikely match: He was a high school dropout, quick to reach for a drink or rely on a joke; she grew up in a household where the rosary was recited several times a day. It wasn’t always easy, this budding love of theirs. Patricia’s father had even once suggested that she keep her “options open,” doubtful that his daughter could ever make an honest husband out of Dona. And yet they made it work, right up until the end. “They were meant for each other,” Bear said.

Dona, born in Hardwick on September 4, 1927, dropped out of school after eighth grade and found work on an oil pipeline in Victory. He shipped overseas a few years later to serve in a tank company during the Korean War but returned to Hardwick in 1951 after his brother and brother-in-law were killed in separate car accidents. Dona moved in with his widowed sister to help care for her young children and picked up a job shuttling mail between post offices. Each day, he navigated the stretched-out station wagon known as the “Hardwick Stage” to Montpelier and back, often taxiing people to doctor’s appointments or shopping trips for a nickel a ride. He might even have taken your order for the liquor store, Bear said, “though you hoped it wasn’t something he liked,” lest it arrive unsealed. Dona occasionally stopped at a bank in downtown Barre where a young woman named Patricia Murphy worked. One day, according to Bear, Dona asked a friend of Patricia’s whether she might go on a date



» P.14

Cindy Wamsganz rolled up her sleeve, and then turned to the camera and gave a thumbs-up. The injection she received on Tuesday afternoon was over in just a few seconds. With it, Wamsganz, an emergency department nurse at the University of Vermont Medical Center, became the first person in Vermont to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. The first 1,950 doses of the PfizerBioNTech vaccine arrived in Vermont on Monday, just three days after the U.S. Food & Drug Administration issued an emergency-use authorization for it. Health Commissioner Mark Levine said the state received another shipment of 1,950 doses on Tuesday morning. By the end of the week, another 1,950 are expected to arrive at pharmacies that have contracted with the federal government to provide vaccinations to residents and staff in long-term-care facilities. The news of the first Vermont vaccination came on the day the state reported the 100th death of a Vermonter with COVID-19 since March, and the day after the U.S. surpassed 300,000 deaths. “With these vaccinations, we mark the beginning of the end of this terrible pandemic,” UVM Health Network president and CEO John Brumsted said during a livestream of the first vaccination. Just 15 people were vaccinated on Tuesday, including first responders from Essex Rescue and the Williston Fire Department. The UVM Medical Center will ramp up access to vaccinations for its frontline workers by the end of the week, hospital president and COO Stephen Leffler said. The state is expecting to receive 5,850 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine each week through the end of the year. And Levine said that the state has placed a preorder for doses of the Moderna vaccine, which the FDA said on Tuesday is “highly effective.” That finding sets the stage for an emergency-use authorization, which could come later this week. If that happens, the state could receive more than 16,000 doses of that vaccine by the end of the year. Though the arrival of an effective vaccine is something to celebrate, state officials on Tuesday urged Vermonters to continue social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands. 

Sick and Tired

Despite time and planning, a new wave of outbreaks in eldercare homes is worse than the first BY D ERE K BROU WER • derek@sevendaysvt.com



ean Baker and her mother, Joan Bruns, lived just 10 miles from one another, but they endured the pandemic apart. Baker’s weekly visits to see Bruns at Elderwood at Burlington, the nursing home in the city’s New North End, ended abruptly in March when such homes began indefinite lockdowns. During phone calls, Baker could hear the isolation wearing on her 87-year-old parent. Physically ailing but mentally “very sharp,” Bruns became increasingly lonely. Some days she refused to get out of bed, Baker said.

Joan Bruns

Mother and daughter finally saw each other in August, when Bruns was briefly hospitalized. At the time, more frequent visits seemed on the horizon, as new COVID-19 cases remained low in Vermont. It was, instead, their last. The coronavirus struck 150-bed Elderwood on November 24, two days before Thanksgiving. Bruns tested positive six days later. Her mother wasn’t showing symptoms, Baker said, but when she called that day to check in, Bruns didn’t answer. The next morning, nursing aides walked into Bruns’ room and discovered her body, Bruns’ doctor told Baker. She’d died alone, before her daughter and the doctor even got a chance to discuss her treatment plan. “Elderwood did so well for so long,” Baker said. “It’s unfortunate that things took another turn.” A spike in new coronavirus cases this fall, driven initially by social gatherings, has spawned a series of outbreaks in Vermont’s long-term-care communities, killing 31 residents in the last month and infecting more than 375 residents and staff.

This still-unfolding disaster in the state’s eldercare industry is every bit as severe as the spring onslaught that claimed 32 residents, and it’s significantly more widespread. While the first wave of infection was confined primarily to two nursing homes in Burlington, the second one has stricken nine facilities, including five less-intensive residential care and assisted-living homes. As residents, families and staff of Birchwood Terrace Rehab and Healthcare and Burlington Health & Rehabilitation Center learned in the spring, outbreaks in such environments do not only kill the most vulnerable elders. They are mass-casualty events that unfold in slow motion, bringing weeks of pervasive dread and anguish. European researchers recently found that 43 percent of care home workers surveyed after the spring wave showed significant symptoms of anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. The crisis has returned to Vermont just before the homes’ residents and staff are expected to begin receiving doses of COVID-19 vaccine later this month. While the world outside their walls turns its attention to an immense immunization drive, their isolation feels more acute. “We’re trapped in this glass bubble,” said Serena Baker, a floor nurse at Elderwood who is not related to Jean Baker, “and we kind of feel a little forgotten in there.” Elderwood, the third-largest nursing home in Vermont, is battling the state’s largest outbreak yet seen in an eldercare facility, with 116 cases and 12 deaths. The home did not record a coronavirus case in the spring, even as nearby Birchwood Terrace was overwhelmed. Once the virus got inside, however, it spread rapidly. The ensuing crisis has engendered fury among some families and caregivers, who are in disbelief at how a home could be hit so hard so far into the pandemic. Nursing homes are vulnerable to outbreaks for many reasons, including the fact that the virus can spread before anyone shows symptoms. But 11 Elderwood caregivers told Seven Days that the facility was also ill prepared and that decisions in the first days may have compounded the problem. The



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Vermont Inmate Dies in Mississippi Prison B Y PAU L H E I N T Z paul@sevendaysvt.com

A 59-year-old Vermonter serving time for attempted murder died in a Mississippi prison, the Vermont Department of Corrections announced on Monday. Roberto Vargas of Newport City was found unresponsive in his cell at the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility on Sunday morning and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter, according to a press release issued by the department. Rachel Feldman, a department spokesperson, said it was not yet clear what caused Vargas’ death, though she said it was not suspicious and did not appear to be related to a COVID-19 outbreak that has plagued the prison. According to Feldman, Vargas had tested negative for the virus prior to his death. Defender General Matthew Valerio, who oversees Vermont’s Prisoners’ Rights Office, said he also was unaware of the cause of death. “The only thing I know is that it was somewhat unexpected because we aren’t aware of any preexisting medical conditions that would have given rise to it,” he said. According to press reports from the time, Vargas was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison in 2017 for the attempted murder of his wife two years earlier in what was described as a drunken rage. All but 15 years of the sentence was suspended. According to Feldman, Vargas had spent the past two years incarcerated at Tallahatchie, which is operated by the private prison company CoreCivic and houses Vermont’s overflow prison population. Currently, according to the department’s daily population reports, 194 Vermont prisoners are detained at the Mississippi facility. Vargas is the second Vermonter to die there, following a September 2019 death by suicide, Feldman said. The incident will trigger investigations by both the department and the Prisoners’ Rights Office, Feldman and Valerio said. Vargas is the first Vermont prisoner to have died behind bars since Kenneth Johnson in December 2019. Multiple reports ultimately found fault with the department and its medical contractor for failing to prevent Johnson’s death, and the incident prompted the state to rethink the way it investigates such incidents. At a press conference last month, Secretary of Human Services Mike Smith called an outside investigation performed by the Burlington law firm Downs Rachlin Martin a new example for how such inquiries should be conducted. According to Feldman, the department is close to finalizing its new investigative procedures, which she said would be followed in Vargas’ case. m



Mem and Pep « P.12 with him. When the message was relayed, Patricia replied, “I might — if he asked.” He did, and they married a year later, on December 27, 1952. He was 25. She was 20. They would have five children — four daughters and a son — over the next decade.  Patricia was a patient, selfless woman, traits that were tested in those early years as she dealt with “kids who were less than angels” and a husband who was “no saint,” Bear said. But she knew how to hold her own. When Dona broached the idea of purchasing his family’s farm after his father died, for instance, Patricia shot it down instantly. “I will not be a farmer’s wife, and you will not be a farmer,” she told him. And that was that. Years later, Dona would occasionally lament not making the purchase, only to have Patricia remind him that “you would have done it without me.”  “They were always a couple that looked out for each other,” said Lorraine Hussey, 92, one of Dona’s oldest friends. “They talked it over. They were always together. They thought the same, and they acted the same.” Dona’s youthful follies eventually gave way to more serious matters. He mastered the bygone art of recapping snow tires, helping frugal Vermonters eke a few more years of life out of their investment. He sold the refurbished tires out of an addition on his family’s home while Patricia did the books. The business was so successful that Dona sometimes would have to work through the night to keep up with demand. Before long, he was a full-fledged businessman: buying into and then owning a car dealership, building storage units, renting and flipping houses, and starting a school bus company that he later left to Bear. “Dad was a mover,” said his daughter Linda. “He could never sit still.” Patricia, meanwhile, ran the household. The scents of her labor filled the home nightly, from homemade spaghetti sauce to savory pork roasts to her famous baked beans, which she would usually pair with the “good hot dogs” — the ones with natural casing. Sundays stand out the most in Linda’s mind: Dona goading his litter out of bed with the sizzle of pancakes and French toast, the family abiding by a long-standing rule that whoever arrived in the kitchen first got his or her pick of the feast. Cramming into the car to attend mass at St. Norbert Church, with good behavior justifying a soda from the general store where Dona picked up his Sunday paper. Afternoons of board games and movies, or roaming around with neighborhood kids, squeezing every minute out of their weekend freedom before the flicker of the streetlights sent them home. “It was a happy place,” Linda recalled ruefully. “It was all good.”

Patricia and Dona Bessette

Family time was so cherished in the Bessette household that Dona started a regular reunion. He pushed to have it every year but was ultimately convinced that a biennial gathering would suffice. Starting around 1970, he and his four sisters took turns hosting the event, with aunts, uncles and cousins from all over converging on a single destination — by turns Vermont, Maryland, Virginia, Maine. The latest reunion was planned for this summer, until the pandemic arrived. Dona and Patricia also took pride in helping others. Both were heavily involved in what Bear calls “do-gooder organizations’’




— the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, the Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis, the American Legion, the Elks. Every Christmas, Patricia went down to the local market, handed the manager a list of groceries and asked to have a certain number of banana boxes filled. She would wrap them up and deliver them with Dona to families they knew were in need. “Our house was open to everyone,” Linda said. Decades passed, the children moved out, and Dona and Patricia adapted to life as empty nesters. They bought property in Florida and spent more and more time down South, heading out for evening boat rides. They picked up golf and joined a league for couples. They played cards, traveled and doted on their grandchildren, who called them Mem and Pep, shortened versions of mémère and pépère, the French words for grandmother and grandfather. But time, as it does, caught up with them. Crippling arthritis slowly ground Patricia to a halt. Parkinson’s-related dementia caused

Dona’s memory to slip. Bear and Linda helped set them up with home caregivers whose initial tasks were just to run errands and do chores. That evolved into someone being at the house all day. Then all day and all night. In the end, the Bessettes had two people in the house around the clock. Last month, Bear and Linda learned that one of their parents’ caregivers had tested positive for COVID-19. Dona and Patricia started showing symptoms shortly after, and they spent the next week in separate rooms at Morrisville’s Copley Hospital. Besides Dona’s occasional fishing or hunting trips, it was the longest they had been apart since they wed. When they were finally discharged the day before Thanksgiving, Linda could see how badly the virus was ravaging their already frail bodies, and she knew they were coming home to die. For years, she had been having weekly dinners at her parents’ house, sleeping over so that she could wake up the next morning to run errands with her mother or watch a golf tournament with her father. It hurt to see these two “bright sparks” in her life dimming. It hurt to know that she would soon not be able to bring them the Sunday paper or accompany them on their near-daily lunches at the Hardwick House of Pizza, where her parents were small-town celebrities, enjoying the pats on the back, the friendly waves and the Hey, how ya doin’s. This fall, Linda had the caregivers push together their hospital beds to resemble “their one big bed.” And, for a brief time after they returned home last month, it almost felt like nothing had changed, as if it were just another Sunday morning before the sun peeked through the windows and the kitchen filled with groggy kids, just Dona and Patricia — Mom and Dad, Mem and Pep. The inseparable duo. “They were just so happy to be home,” Linda said. “Together.” m

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Orphanage Task Force Finds Credible Evidence of Abuse — but Not Murder B Y COL I N FL A ND ERS • colin@sevendaysvt.com FILE: NATALIE WILLIAMS

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BuzzFeed story, with descriptions of severe neglect and abuse. According to the report, survivors recalled nuns using wooden paddles, rosaries and rulers to punish children for seemingly any reason — transgressions as simple as not making the bed correctly or looking out the window, for instance. Beatings sometimes resulted in broken bones or teeth. Survivors also alleged severe mental and emotional abuse, recalling how nuns would threaten them or say derogatory things about their parents. Many individuals recalled being locked in dark spaces — closets, attics, footlockers, old trunks. Some said there was a chair in the attic that the nuns tied them to. “Children were not nurtured or treated with kindness and love,” the report says. “Many reported that they did not experience any form of healthy, safe, nurturing touch, such as a hug. One cried at the memory of strangers’ hugs during a parade through Burlington celebrating the end of World War II. After years at the Orphanage, it was the first time the survivor could remember having been held with affection.” Several people said they were sexually abused by priests, sometimes with more than one adult present. Some survivors said nuns also sexually abused them. The task force sought to corroborate what it could about the allegations. But since murder was the only crime that was not bound by a statute of limitation, detectives spent significant time seeking to uncover evidence that might prove any homicides occurred. Donovan said investigators found “no credible evidence” to prove that any murders occurred at St. Joseph’s. “We believe this case is closed,” he said. “As in all cases, if new episodes were to emerge, we would assess that evidence and make the appropriate determination.” m


A task force investigating allegations of murder at the long-shuttered St. Joseph’s Catholic Orphanage found no evidence to substantiate claims that children were killed there, according to a report released on Monday. But the task force did find credible evidence of rampant physical, sexual and emotional abuse by the nuns and priests who operated the Burlington orphanage — claims that officials say were never properly investigated at the time. “It’s clear that abuse did occur at St. Joseph’s Orphanage and that many children suffered,” Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan said at a press conference on Monday afternoon, moments after releasing a nearly 300-page report on the institution. “Our community, and the institutions of the community, including law enforcement, turned a blind eye,” Donovan said. “We did not see them. We did not hear them.” The release of the task force’s report brings an end to a two-year investigation that was sparked by an August 2018 BuzzFeed News story titled “We Saw Nuns Kill Children: The Ghosts of St. Joseph’s Catholic Orphanage.” The story relied in part on depositions and firsthand interviews with former residents. Many of the allegations had also previously been documented in dozens of victims’ lawsuits filed in the 1990s and extensive reporting on the orphanage, primarily by the Burlington Free Press. One deposition from 1996 featured a former resident named Sally Dale detailing how she saw a nun push a child from a fourth-floor window. Another claim involved a nun pushing a young girl down a staircase, after which the girl was allegedly never seen again. Other former residents recalled various forms of abuse that BuzzFeed writer Christine Kenneally described as “the straightforwardly awful to the downright bizarre.” In compiling its own report, the task force, with the help of Burlington Police Department investigators, set out to speak with anyone who either lived at the orphanage between 1940 and the time of its closure in 1974 or was related to someone who had. It managed to interview nearly 50 people, many of whom shared claims matching those from the





12/14/20 1:50 PM


All Atwitter Again Weinberger knew of Burlington police chief’s fake social media account B Y S A S HA G OL D ST EIN & COU RTN E Y L AMDIN



Brandon del Pozo

Mayor Miro Weinberger

“As I think his deposition kind of suggests, he showed the account to me as if it were funny. I didn’t find it funny; I don’t think I laughed,” Weinberger said. “I found the interaction somewhat disconcerting, but at the time, the chief was a trusted member of my team. And it was unfathomable to me then that he would actually use the account, so I moved on with celebrations and would have never thought about the incident again, but for later events.” “I definitely left that conversation reassured that he would not use that account, that he had no intention of tweeting,” Weinberger said. At the same time, Weinberger acknowledged that he knew online criticism upset del Pozo. He said he had urged del Pozo on other occasions not to let antagonistic tweets get to him and told him “numerous times” not to answer critics, adding that his chief “knew that I did not approve of responding, or engaging, those kinds of posts in any way.” Winkleman provided screenshots of the @WinkleWatchers tweets in question to Seven Days and indicated that he thought del Pozo was behind them. When asked about them in an interview later in July 2019, del Pozo repeatedly denied he was behind the account or had sent the tweets. The truth didn’t come out publicly until December 12, 2019, when Seven Days asked Weinberger directly about it. Weinberger told Seven Days then that


del Pozo had come to his house the previous July 28 and told him “that he had created the account, made the tweets and that he had not been forthcoming” when he spoke to Seven Days about it. “I focused on this issue first thing the next morning when I came in and took a number of immediate steps,” Weinberger said. “I placed him on leave; I took away his gun, badge, his cellphone; we shut down his social media account; and I directed the city attorney and HR director to launch an investigation of what had happened, and very quickly the investigation turned up a number of things.” Asked on Tuesday why he hadn’t made clear then that he knew about the account, Weinberger said he “was very focused on describing accurately what I understood to be the really problematic incident in question: the tweets, and then the actions that I took in response to the tweets. “It simply didn’t occur to me, then or in the subsequent interviews, to go back and talk about this bizarre, brief, prior interaction,” Weinberger continued. “In retrospect … I wish I had made that part of my attempt to share the full record of what happened. It wasn’t the focus of what I was trying to communicate.” After the city’s investigation last July, del Pozo took a six-week medical leave of absence, with no public explanation of why or any revelation of the Twitter account. Weinberger said last December that del Pozo’s actions had been related to “an underlying mental health condition.”



urlington Mayor Miro Weinberger knew more than he publicly let on about the Twitter trolling scandal that led his former police chief, Brandon del Pozo, to resign last December. In a November 30 deposition in a civil case that was made public in a court filing on Monday, del Pozo asserted that he showed the mayor the @WinkleWatchers Twitter account that he created to troll a critic, before he’d tweeted from it. Weinberger acknowledged as much during an interview on Tuesday, a departure from previous statements that implied he had learned of the account only after del Pozo used it and admitted he had done so. Further, del Pozo said in the court filings that his badge and gun “were never taken” from him — despite Weinberger’s public comments to the contrary. The new documents, filed roughly a week after Weinberger won the Democratic Party’s nomination to run for reelection this March, have breathed new life into a scandal that became public in December 2019. Del Pozo’s undoing began on July 4, 2019, when he anonymously directed several tweets from @WinkleWatchers at one of his biggest critics, Charles Winkleman, and then deleted the account. Under oath, del Pozo told attorneys that he had shown Weinberger the account the previous day, before he’d sent any tweets from it. “It was after July fireworks,” del Pozo told Evan Chadwick of the law firm Chadwick & Spensley in a transcript that contained some typos and missing words. “[Weinberger] said, How’s it going? I said yeah, you know, it’s so frustrating to have the city’s best efforts like on the park and everything you attack. Like, wouldn’t it be interesting if somebody who constantly trolls people and is, like, bitter in his criticisms, like, was called out on it. And he laughed. He say, Yeah, you know. He didn’t say do it. He didn’t -- the whole thing was like maybe 30 seconds.”  Del Pozo continued, “I think he saw it as just me like venting and just trying to, like, you know, vent some stress.” The deposition was given in an excessive force lawsuit filed against del Pozo, two officers and the city. In an interview on Tuesday, Weinberger corroborated much of what del Pozo recounted. The mayor described it as a “bizarre, brief” encounter during a city party at the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. 

Del Pozo had suffered a head injury in a bicycle crash in June 2018. Weinberger and del Pozo both said that the chief had returned to work much sooner than he should have. During his deposition, del Pozo told the attorneys that he “was encouraged to take medical leave to be sure that the stresses that produced the behavior were addressed.” He also denied that he was disciplined. “My badge was never taken, and my gun was never taken, and I cannot emphasize enough that that is an inaccurate reportage,” del Pozo said in the partial deposition filed on Monday. Asked if the mayor had inaccurately reported those details, del Pozo replied, “I haven’t spoken with the mayor in a long time. You’ll have to ask him. “I never, ever, ever relinquished my shield or my gun,” del Pozo continued. “I state that on the record under oath.”  During Tuesday’s interview, Weinberger said there had been conflicting reports from del Pozo himself about what he had done with his badge and gun. The chief ultimately told city officials he’d left them on his desk. If he hadn’t, Weinberger said, “then that was in direct contradiction of what had been asked of him. It is essentially insubordination if that’s the case.” He added, “That is how I understand events, and I don’t know how to square that with what the chief is now asserting. I can’t explain the contradiction.” Del Pozo’s version of events has also been inconsistent. When coming clean about his trolling last December, the former chief explained that he’d made the @WinkleWatchers account on July 4. But his statements under oath make clear the account existed the day before. Publicly, del Pozo repeatedly downplayed the incident as a brief lapse in judgment. “It’s 45 minutes of my life spent anonymously tweeting [at] someone in a snarky way that does not befit the chief of police,” he told reporters on December 13, 2019, “and then, to be candid, denying it out of embarrassment to a reporter, which I think is the more serious problem.” After the trolling scandal erupted, del Pozo initially vowed to stay on the job. But he ultimately resigned on December 16, 2019, just four days after admitting he had made the account and lied about it.

“That’s why his gun and badge, etcetera, were taken, because we placed [him] immediately on administrative leave while we looked into it, to understand the extent of what had occurred,” City Attorney Eileen Blackwood said at the press conference on the day del Pozo quit. While working on follow-up stories in January, Seven Days asked Weinberger when, exactly, he’d heard about the tweets. “I had no idea what was going on with this until he came and saw me at my house, as I’ve said to you and many other reporters,” Weinberger said during a January 22 interview. “That was when I first learned of it.” The former chief did not respond to a request for comment. He has since moved from Burlington and has positioned himself as a police reform expert, writing op-eds for national news outlets and participating in podcasts.  He still retains a seat on the board of directors for the Howard Center, which provides mental health and substanceabuse services. Nearly 2,300 people have signed petitions calling for del Pozo’s



removal. The agency launched an internal investigation into del Pozo’s social media conduct in August. Weinberger admitted on Tuesday that he regretted certain aspects of his investigation, including his failure to ask del Pozo more about the conversation during which the chief lied to a Seven Days reporter. “If I had to do it over, there are things I would have handled differently,” Weinberger said. “And I don’t say that about many things from the last nine years,” he said, referring to his time in office. Del Pozo gave the four-hour deposition in a federal excessive-force lawsuit filed by Jérémie Meli, a young Black man who was knocked unconscious by former Burlington police sergeant Jason Bellavance during a September 2018 arrest. The citation was later dropped, and Meli sued in May 2019. Charlie and Albin Meli, his two brothers, were there during the arrest and are also plaintiffs. The litigants attended two mediation sessions, one in July and one in October, but couldn’t reach a settlement.

The plaintiffs hope to compel Weinberger to testify. Chadwick, the Melis’ attorney, had originally asked to depose the mayor for an hour, saying in court filings that he planned to query Weinberger about the mayor’s role in offering a $300,000 buyout to Bellavance, who accepted it and left the force. But after hearing del Pozo’s testimony on November 30, Chadwick asked the court for three hours of Weinberger’s time. The attorney wrote that del Pozo’s deposition “has raised significant issues as to [the] Defendants’ ability to tell the truth.” Chadwick’s filing on Monday was in response to a city effort to prevent Weinberger from being deposed. On December 1, the city’s attorneys asked the judge to intervene, arguing that the Melis had not identified the “exceptional circumstances” that federal courts have said are necessary to warrant deposing a high-level government official. They also argued that Weinberger’s discussions surrounding the Bellavance payout were privileged communications. The Melis’ attorney argued in this week’s filing that his clients have the right to ask Weinberger what he did “in response to the knowledge that his chief of police was setting up a fake social media account to troll critics of his administration.” The federal judge in the case, William Sessions III, was unpersuaded by an earlier attempt by Chadwick to tie the social media scandal to his clients’ excessive force claims. After del Pozo resigned last December, the Melis’ attorney asked Sessions to sanction the city because del Pozo had not disclosed the @WinkleWatchers handle in response to a discovery request about his social media accounts. Sessions ruled that the omission had not harmed the case and chided the lawyer for not working with the city to resolve the dispute. The city’s outside counsel, Pietro Lynn of the firm Lynn, Lynn, Blackman & Manitsky, said in court filings at the time that the plaintiffs were grasping at the scandal “as a ploy for more media coverage in this case.” The court has not yet decided whether the mayor will be deposed. Weinberger said on Tuesday that he worried sitting for a deposition would set a bad precedent in a city that is sued often. “I haven’t seen a compelling link between the chief’s social media and the incident in question,” he said. “So I think we will continue to resist that I should be deposed.” m Derek Brouwer contributed reporting.


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caregivers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared professional reprisal, said dangerously short staffing and inadequate personal protective equipment hampered the outbreak response. “They had enough time to educate their employees; they had enough time to get the PPE needed; they had enough time to implement a plan so that, when COVID hit Elderwood, they would know exactly what they needed to do,” said one of the caregivers, who became infected and quit. “But Elderwood dropped the ball.” According to Elderwood, the first case was discovered in a patient who had been transported to an emergency room and tested positive there. A second staffer said she had worked with that patient but was not told to quarantine. She said she continued to work directly with other residents, wearing a surgical mask and gloves, until three days later, when she and her coworkers were tested on-site for COVID-19. She tested positive and later became ill. “I was exposing them, probably,” the caregiver said of other residents. The state delivered nearly 1,500 N95 respirators after learning of the initial cases, said Monica White, director of operations for the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living. While many of Elderwood’s workers had been professionally fitted for the more protective respirators before the outbreak struck, some more recent arrivals had not. The staffers said they weren’t fit-tested and issued N95s until three days after the initial case was reported to the state. “We shouldn’t have been standing in line for an N95 when COVID is already in the building,” a third caregiver said. Elderwood is a corporate chain that operates nursing homes and assistedliving facilities around the Northeast. The company did not make a local manager available for an interview, citing the urgency of patient care. Spokesperson Chuck Hayes said the company is “not aware of any staff working with confirmed COVID-19 residents who were not equipped with and properly fitted for N-95 masks.” Some employees who had cared for the first infected resident may not have been instructed to quarantine by contact tracers because they were wearing PPE at the time. “This is standard practice across healthcare settings and in alignment with [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines,” he wrote in an emailed response to questions.

As cases increased, the home lost workers to infection and resignations. That has meant that, at times, one nursing assistant has done the work of four, caregivers said. Physical therapists helped fill in some gaps, as did staffers from the University of Vermont Medical Center and volunteers, but many of the caregivers said that patient care remained diminished. The home and state regulators say that the staffing levels, while reduced, have complied with federal requirements. “No clinician practiced above their license and resident safety was not compromised at any time,” Hayes said. White confirmed that a state surveyor conducted an on-site inspection of the home last week. She would not say whether the surveyor was following up on complaints, though some family members told Seven Days they had reported issues. Results of the inspection were not available by press time. Serena Baker, the floor nurse, said that she worked alongside just one LNA in her



unit on December 9 and 10, down from the usual four or five, but that employees and managers have joined together to ensure residents aren’t neglected. “I just feel like everybody is doing the absolute best that they can,” she said. Still, some families say they have struggled to get information about what’s going on inside the building. “The lack of communication is unbelievable,” said the close relative of an infected resident, who requested anonymity because she feared that the home would retaliate against her loved one. She said she’s received just two robocalls from the company with general updates about the outbreak. A recorded message, played for Seven Days by a family member of another Elderwood resident, assured that “we are well prepared to care for your loved one safely and effectively with adequate staff.” Lorna-Kay Peal’s husband, Michael Smolin, had lived at Elderwood for almost four years before the 89-year-old retired chemical engineer became infected with the coronavirus on November 28. Before March, Peal visited him almost daily, in part because, she said, he was the victim

WGDR PLAINFIELD & WGDH HARDWICK of documented instances of emotional and physical abuse at the home. She became his watchful advocate before COVID-19 locked her and other family members out. Elderwood did not keep Peal abreast of Smolin’s changing condition, she said. Peal was shocked when she got a call on December 3 from a staffer informing her that her husband had died. Peal said she put down her phone and raced through her house, screaming. “And finally I just took the phone and hung up,” she said. Then Peal, who felt she had been denied her opportunity to visit with her husband during his final moments, drove

Michael Smolin and Lorna-Kay Peal

straight to the facility and asked to see his body. A staffer helped dress her in PPE so she could go inside, she said. “I should have been kept aware of what was going on,” Peal said. “They owed me that. I owed it to Michael.” The state worked throughout the summer and fall, when cases in Vermont were low, to gird homes for future outbreaks, said White, the state regulator. The state helped coordinate N95 fit-testing at licensed homes, conducted infection control reviews, held Q&As and consultations with facility leaders, set up a rapid-response team that could assist homes through outbreaks, and more. The federal government, meanwhile, began providing performance payments to reward homes with few coronavirus cases. Elderwood received the largest payouts of any home in Vermont in September and October — $20,398 total. On November 12, as cases were increasing in Vermont, state regulators urged homes to begin testing employees more frequently than the once-a-month

regimen required by federal regulators. This month, Vermont distributed less reliable but quick-turnaround antigen tests to homes for daily staff screenings and recommended weekly laboratory tests for all staff. Last week the state also announced a $1.4 million emergency staffing program to help homes manage the severe staffing shortages that tend to follow an outbreak by deploying up to 40 crisis staffers. Planning for the partnership with TLC HomeCare in South Burlington began in early November, White said. Many of the homes have already turned to hospice nurses from Bayada Home Health Care to help ease sick residents’ pain. The company’s “COVID teams” were caring for about 50 hospice patients across several Vermont nursing homes last week. “Isolation is making things really rough for these folks,” said Sequana Skye, a 64-yearold Bayada nurse who is overseeing 16 hospice patients with COVID-19 at Berlin Health & Rehab in Barre. During her first visit to the home on a chilly fall night, Skye watched a man set up a lawn chair by a window to visit a resident inside. “It was heartbreaking,” she said. Hospice nurses are doing their best to attend to ailing residents, but the sheer number has limited what Skye can do. “I can’t sit in a room with Mary Jones for half an hour and hold her hand, because there are too many other people I need to attend to,” she said. “That’s, from a nursing perspective, really difficult.” Joan Bruns, the mother who died at Elderwood this month, had been most proud of her own hospice work, one of several jobs she had held in health care, her daughter said. Though Jean Baker was not able to be with her dying mother at Elderwood, she said she takes some solace in knowing she did not suffer for long. “I’m grateful for all they did for her,” she said of the home. “She had a good team.” After her mother’s passing, Baker remembered a conversation they’d had by phone back in March. “She said to me, ‘I could die before this is all over,’” Baker recalled. At the time, Baker thought her mother was being melodramatic. “I can remember thinking, This is crazy. This will all be over by August or September,” Baker said. “I had no idea how right she was.” m

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[Re “Raj’s Revival?” December 2]: My sense is that most people in the town are pleased that someone with a vision has purchased Green Mountain College. An empty campus serves no one, especially one that needs millions of dollars in repairs. Many of us have wondered what the new college might offer. We have mused about the possibility of a culinary arts program with its own farm-to table organic gardens, winery and downtown restaurant; or perhaps a sustainable carpentry program for building energyefficient homes, with solar panels and modern designs; even a school of natural healing with massage and herbal healing programs. Who knows what the future may bring?   Let’s give Raj Bhakta a chance. Our country has become so divided that it is easy to fall into a pattern of seeing someone from the other side of the political aisle as the enemy, but it does not have to be that way. A daring and innovative entrepreneur can sometimes provide the fuel for business ventures that benefit the community and help build a brighter future.  Green Mountain College was not quite the Shangri-la this article suggests. Although the college had many wonderful and creative students and employees, management decisions were made that contributed to its demise, such as the construction of an expensive wood-chip-burning plant that added to the college’s insurmountable debt. Also, many wonderful employees were forced out because of unfair management practices, especially (but not limited to) strong, outspoken women, lesbians and gay men. So perhaps a new beginning is a good thing. Mary Pernal



Courtney Lamdin captured the essence of the upcoming race for Burlington mayor [“Race On,” November 25]. Certainly the hole downtown, police violence and the pandemic are important. Perhaps some will wrongly blame Mayor Miro Weinberger for things beyond his control. I want to point out something not mentioned in the article — something that Weinberger did have control of: the waterfront. During his nine years in office, Weinberger somehow found the funds to completely transform the Burlington waterfront — the most progress of any Burlington mayor, in my opinion. Remember the old “bike path” painted onto that pockmarked industrial road through the “North 40 Reserve”? Weinberger had the path moved to the water’s edge, and the North 40 was magically transformed into additional park space, tripling the size of Waterfront Park. In fact, the entire bike path has been reengineered and resurfaced — a much-needed face-lift, the first in 35 years. Downtown, the bike path is finally being relocated to the west side of the railroad tracks between College and King streets. Numerous parklets have been created with exercise stations, a dog park, a skate park, the Community Sailing Center and an innovative new use for the old Moran Plant. Rock Point was preserved, and trails were constructed for public access. A new marina and park at the fishing pier are two more notable recent improvements. Weinberger’s accomplishments on the waterfront should not be overlooked in the upcoming mayor’s race. Rick Sharp



Looking for a straightforward example of social bias and systemic racism? I suggest the illustration on page 12 of last week’s Seven Days with [“Locked Down and Broke,” December 9]. Three people are shown dressed for and accompanied by tools of their trades, suggesting a cook, a musician and a white-collar professional. Our collective, inculcated biases are illustrated right along with the drawing of the broken net: a white, female figure represents the cook (keep ’er barefoot in the kitchen!). The musician is male and black (they’ve all got rhythm, you know!) And the businessperson is, yes, male and white (which is as He intended it.) This is systemic racism. A minimum of three departments — editorial, design and publishing — gave final approval to this illustration. Yet no





that inescapably come at you wherever you go and whatever you do. Does Seven Days want us also to infer that amid the pandemic, even though it has hobbled and killed irrespective of religion or faith, only Christianity counts? Gordon Bock



one said, “Er, folks, could we change at least one of the gender roles or racial clues or socioeconomic indicators here?” This is systemic racism. It is hard work to learn how to see where internalized biases conflict with who we think we are, whether “we” is an individual or a group. I have been reading and enjoying Seven Days since its Vermont Voice days. I know the staff and editors and publishers are not racists or misogynists or classists. I also know that we cannot eradicate deeply imbued biases and assumptions without first learning to see them in ourselves. Jessica Lane



[Re “When State Meets Church,” December 2]: Chelsea Edgar’s article is a good read — and makes some important points — until you get to the end of it and realize this: All the “houses of worship” to which the subhead of the story alludes house only Christians. To read Edgar’s piece, you’d think that Vermont doesn’t have a Jewish population or people who identify as Muslims ... or, well, anything but a Christian populace.  While pastors pooh-poohing the pandemic in their pews create controversy, and controversy tends to attract attention that results in more news coverage, what are the rabbis at Ohavi Zedek Synagogue and Temple Sinai doing? How are the imams at the Muslim mosques handling things? What of the other faiths, religions and sects that we have here in the Green Mountain State?  It’s challenging enough to be something other than Christian at this time of year, what with the ubiquitous barrage of Christmas-themed sales and advertising

[Re Off Message: “A Traveler Says Quarantine Info Is in Short Supply at BTV,” November 19; Feedback: “Signs Everywhere,” December 2]: Amid discussions of how to ensure that travelers don’t bring in more COVID-19 via hotels or airports, I wanted to suggest that our roadside facilities fail to sensibly reduce risk. In late October, I moved back to Vermont after several years’ absence and, at considerable expense, made sure to observe the 14-day quarantine after my moving truck and I arrived in Burlington. But as I crossed the state from the southern border, there was no way to get water or coffee without breaking quarantine. I tried. I stopped at one of the Vermont expressway’s beautiful rest stops, which had elaborate socialdistancing signage and spacing throughout but had inexplicably shut off its water fountains, ended coffee service and even emptied the vending machines.  When, desperate for coffee, I approached employees at the rest stop to inquire, one of them (unmasked, I noted) advised me to shop for whatever I needed at a store at the next exit.  When I pointed out that this would break quarantine, he more or less threw up his hands. It became clear that if I wanted so much as a drink of water, I would have to go indoors and break faith with my beloved state mere hours after entering. If travelers can’t refuel their bodies in these most basic of ways at airy, uncrowded, well-resourced rest areas, how can they avoid putting Vermont shopkeepers in older, poorly ventilated buildings at risk while on the road? The rest stops’ precautions seem at once theatrical and counterproductive.

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at the Green Mountains Community School House, an alternative elementary school, and also taught at the East Hill Farm School. She was involved in passionate advocacy for nuclear weapon disarmament, which included local campaigning and spearheading a group of Vermonters to march at the 1982 nuclear disarmament rally in New York City. In the mid-’80s, feeling a strong connection with the Indigenous peoples of Central America, Liza went back to school and graduated from Skidmore College’s “University Without Walls Program” with a degree in Spanish and Latin American studies. She spent two years living with families in Guatemala and Costa Rica, learning about their life and culture. In the early-’90s, Jim and Liza chose different roads to follow and parted ways as lifelong friends and co-parents as Liza moved to Iowa to study transcendental meditation, and then to California to earn a licence as a hatha yoga instructor. She later returned to the East Coast and Massachusetts, where she worked at Maharishi Veda

Health Center and contributed to the growth of Gaia Herbs, where she met her partner Mark Dello Russo. As farm manager at Gaia Herbs, Liza oversaw the company’s move to Asheville, N.C., where she and Mark lived for a couple years until the call of her beloved grandchildren — Sierra, Cody, Silas, Wesley, Georgia, Tabor, Wyatt and Clara — brought her home to Vermont. Liza had a passionate and lifelong appreciation for animals and the natural world. She was a vegetarian and would not kill a fly or a tick even if she found one crawling on her. She would just say, “Hello, little one” and brush it gently away. The gardens and the forestscape of her Topsham home were both beautiful and abundant. She loved playing with her grandchildren and had a way of bringing happiness to people around her. Liza spent the last few years of her life loved and cared for by the wonderful staff at Maple Ridge Memory Care, where her dancing, creativity, and sense of community and fun brought joy to both residents and caregivers. A celebration of Liza’s life will be held at a later date. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers or donations, those who knew and loved this wonderful woman protect and nourish their local landscape and the creatures who live there by perhaps planting a tree, hanging a pollinator house or introducing a child to gardening. Arrangements are being made through Guare & Sons Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at guareandsons.com.

Ohavi Zedek Synagogue in Burlington, Vt. Michael was born in New

York City, attended the Bronx High School of Science and graduated from City College with a degree in chemical engineering. He was a certified professional engineer and had a long and successful career in the pharmaceutical, food and health care industries. He was an early innovator in environmental cleanup processes. Michael will be remembered as a gentle man whose life had a significant personal and professional impact on many. His life was truly a blessing.

OBITUARIES Elizabeth Amaden

JUNE 13, 1943DECEMBER 7, 2020 WEST TOPSHAM, VT. Elizabeth “Liza” Anne Johnson Amaden passed away on December 7, 2020, at the age of 77. Liza was raised by Muriel and Lawrence Johnson in New Hope, Pa., with her brother Ron and sisters Audrey and Kathy, who knew her as “Betsy.” The sisters were great fans of “American Bandstand” and often had living room dance parties when they got home from school. Ski trips inspired a love of Vermont, and Liza moved to the Green Mountains in the mid-1960s; here, she married dairy farmer Jim Ameden and raised three children — Will, Don and Josie — on a farm in Londonderry. Liza helped to bring a whole new set of ideas to a historic multigenerational dairy, introducing a thriving vegetable business, occasional veganism to the family table, plastic bag recycling and enthusiastic skinny-dipping. She loved her old motorcycle, haying the fields and milking cows. Liza also brought music to the farm. She played guitar and sang, both to her family and at the local church. The three generations that have followed her have absorbed her love of music and singing together at family gatherings. Always a good teacher, Liza was a cofounder and teacher

Michael James Smolin

NOVEMBER 30, 1931DECEMBER 3, 2020 BURLINGTON, VT. Michael James Smolin was the beloved husband of Lorna-Kay Peal, father of Lee Smolin and David Smolin, stepfather to Allison Joy Dincecco, brother of the late Louise Reverby, grandfather of 10, great-grandfather of six, uncle, cousin, and friend. He was a dedicated member of Ohav Shalom Synagogue in Cincinnati, Ohio, and



Marion “Marianne” Josephine Birchall Goodson JANUARY 29, 1929DECEMBER 10, 2020 STOWE, VT

On December 10, 2020, Marianne J. Goodson, 91, departed this world peacefully of natural causes, at home, surrounded by soft music, love and family. Widely known as a gracious hostess of renowned parties and elaborate picnics, she was the light of any gathering. Marianne filled her home with warmth, wonderful food and those she cherished. Predeceased in 2014 by her beloved husband of 58 years, William “Bill” Goodson, Marianne is survived by children Gregg (LeeLee) Goodson, Derek (Sandra) Goodson and Lynne (Danforth) Cardozo, as well as grandchildren Matthew Goodson and Kelsey Goodson (Tyler) Dunn. Born on January 29, 1929, in Calgary, Alberta, into a family of six children, she identified as a true cowgirl at heart, and she was — a glamorous one at that. In 1949, she was honored with the title of Princess in the world-famous Calgary Stampede, riding in the parade on horseback in a fabulous fringed outfit, and adopted as an honorary member of the Siksiska

(Blackfoot) Nation. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Toronto to pursue a successful modeling career. There she met the love of her life, Bill. They married and moved to Montréal, where Bill was the publisher of the daily evening newspaper the Montreal Star. While in Montréal, Marianne became involved as a volunteer at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and coordinated popular trans-Canada train tours as fundraisers for the museum. Bill and Marianne began their family in the city, but as early as 1957 considered Stowe their home. They bought and renovated a 19th-century farmhouse into which they moved permanently in 1979. She and Bill were avid skiers and travelers. The Hotel Alex in Zermatt, Switzerland, was one of their favorite destinations. Along with raising their three children, Marianne was actively involved with the Vermont arts and the community of Stowe. Her contributions were many: She was on the board of directors

of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Vermont Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Vermont Mozart Festival. She also had a special place in her heart for the Vermont Youth Orchestra. Additionally, she was on the committee for the National Endowment Fund for the George Bishop Lane Series and involved with special events for the Robert Hull Fleming Museum, both associated with the University of Vermont. In Stowe, she was named to the board of directors of Stowe Performing Arts and later elected president of the board. She was also cofounder and member of the board of directors of the Helen Day Art Center. Despite these accomplishments, when asked what gave her the greatest pleasure in life, she readily answered: “Friends and family.” She also loved her porch with its view of her pond, wildlife and the mountains beyond. An invitation to Marianne’s for a swim, a drink, dinner or New Year’s Eve was memorable. In Marianne, Stowe has truly lost a gracious legend. Her family would like to thank all those who offered kindness, care and support in her final years. A memorial celebration will be announced when gatherings resume. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution in Marianne’s memory to your favorite charity and raise a glass in her honor.

WEDDING ANNOUNCEMENT John W. Spinney & Susannah K. Baumer John W. Spinney (parents Pam Sargent Spinney and Randall and Karen Spinney; four siblings; one nephew) and Susannah K. Baumer (parents LaVonne K. Baumer and Eric and Joyce Baumer; eight siblings; 17 nieces and nephews) joined their lives in an intimate elopement at 11:11 a.m. on November 11, 2020. The couple, with minister John Zimmerman-Hardman and friend Lori Rogers, hiked up to Pico Mountain reservoir

in Killington, Vt., for an outdoor marriage ceremony at one of their favorite places to recreate. JW, a disability equity and transition specialist at the Vermont Agency of Education and coach at QT2 Systems, and Zana, a professional caregiver for Home Instead Senior Care and coordinator for vacation home rental services, reside in Stowe, Vt. The newlyweds enjoy a life of adventure, which includes

traveling, cycling, hiking and skiing. They would like to express how much they miss their family and friends and look forward to celebrating their union in the future!

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arts news

Zooming In American Dream play-reading series addresses racial and social injustice B Y A L E X BROW N • alex@sevendaysvt.com


t a time without the possibility of live performance, Middlebury Acting Company has sought out a new role for itself and new subjects for Vermont audiences. The company created an online play-reading series called the American Dream Project, selecting six plays — five written by people of color — that reflect the racial and economic injustices this year has underscored. Using theater to prompt discussion, the series lets participants explore and experience the human consequences of systemic racism. Participants read a play in advance, join a live online audience to watch actors perform selected scenes, and discuss the work together. The Vermont Book Shop of Middlebury has partnered with Town Hall Theater to be a one-stop ordering source for the scripts. Online acting is fundamentally closer to a reading than to a performance, though viewers still see the text come to life. Without theater’s physical dimension, a Zoom presentation spotlights playwriting itself: scene structure and dialogue. MACo’s postscene discussion occurs in small breakout groups, with a full-group summary in conclusion. The series began on Sunday with Spinning Into Butter by Rebecca Gilman. It’s the only play by a white playwright, and white people are very much the center of the story. A student at Middlebury College in the 1980s, Gilman based her play on a real event at the school during her first year: After a Black student received intimidating messages, the entire campus wrestled with how to condemn racism. Set at a fictional college in Vermont, Spinning Into Butter offers no tips for subverting systemic racism. It only




acknowledges how impossible the project is, and how much the best efforts of liberal white people can set back the attempt. When it premiered in 1999, the play could be seen as a dark comedy of academic infighting and political correctness at a small liberal arts college. Aspects of the script have aged well, as Gilman’s characters embody the nuances of white people grappling (badly) with a doomed idealization of racial equity. If anything, the play is ahead of its time in showing white people scrambling to exonerate themselves from the charge of “discrimination” — a term that conveys both prejudice and the height of intellectual discernment. Structurally, the play leaves Black people offstage and gives one Nuyorican student a short scene in which to light a plot fuse. A play about white people is little help in unveiling the effects of racism, but it shines a bright light on the comforts of selfdeception and the limits of self-awareness. About 50 people joined the first play discussion. After providing background on the play and playwright, moderator Rebecca Strum introduced the scenes. Zoom, for all its virtues, is not an ideal theatrical medium. Without physical connections among actors, performers can only fill those little screen boxes with so much. But certain scenes come off well, and MACo made good use of the platform with an especially strong group of actors. Karen Lefkoe played Sarah, a college administrator charged with handling diversity issues. Brimming with white guilt, she’s looked deep enough to find she can’t eradicate her own racism, let alone help anyone else. Lefkoe’s strong performance captured the character’s frustration, as well as her restless wit. Nicholas Caycedo played a student Sarah grills about his ethnicity, which


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Karen Lefkoe and Nicolas Caycedo in a scene from Spinning Into Butter

would be key to unlocking a new scholarship she’s found as long as he’s willing to check the right box. Gary Smith appeared as a college dean primarily concerned with being applauded for his “flawless motives” for showing indignation about a racist in the student body. Mary Adams-Smith



portrayed a pragmatic administrator convinced that writing a 10-point plan will be enough to make the problem go away. Andrew Cassel played Ross, an art history professor who tries to convince Sarah that she can breeze through racial tension on good intentions alone. A long scene between the two of them is the play’s tour de force. The full complexity of a scene like this can’t emerge from two static images, but Lefkoe powerfully evoked the essence of Sarah’s struggle, with Casselas a solid foil. The discussions that followed centered on the quality of the performances as much as on the play itself. Actors and audience tackled the play’s themes together, using the opportunity to reflect on racism. The thoughtful discussion was evidence that MACo’s project will supply context and structure for important dialogue. In 2020, the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor catalyzed protest, awareness and change. Plays can inspire change, too. The American Dream series features one play each month through May 2021, and new participants are welcome to join. The series continues with Lynn

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Nottage’s Sweat, the story of a factory closure that triggers a racial reckoning. In The Royale, by Marco Ramirez, a Black boxer negotiates a title bout with a white fighter during the Jim Crow era. With bold language and characterization, Suzan-Lori Parks sets two brothers, both

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three-card Monte artists, on a quest for identity in Topdog/Underdog. In The Niceties, by Eleanor Burgess, a Black student’s paper about slavery leads to a confrontation with a white professor. The series concludes with Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, August Wilson’s story of white producers trying to exploit the singer and her band while the musicians themselves resolve conflicting ambitions. In a national awakening, nonfiction books about racism are best sellers right now. They’re enlightening yet inherently abstract as they examine issues culturally, politically and sociologically. A play invites a reader to stand in another’s shoes. The American Dream series transforms ideas into characters and stories, letting participants experience as well as reflect. m

INFO The American Dream Project online play series, produced by Middlebury Acting Company, Town Hall Theater and Vermont Stage, monthly through May 2021. $20 for series. See schedule and sign up at townhalltheater.org/events/theamerican-dream-project. Learn more at middleburyactors.org.

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Off Script Endangered Alphabets Project releases new book of puzzling word searches B Y D A N BOL L ES • dan@sevendaysvt.com


hat do you get for the word The puzzles are disorienting to the point nerd in your life who has where, Brookes noted, your eyes might well everything — and is a glut- cross as you try to solve them. In short, he ton for punishment? How said, they have a way of “making you feel about Endangered Alphabets Word Search really stupid.” And that’s part of the idea. Puzzles, the new book from Vermont-based “If the puzzles were straightforward, ENDANGERED ALPHABETS PROJECT? Sold on the even if the scripts came from all these nonprofit’s website, the book consists of different cultures, it would be like visiting word searches written in 11 obscure scripts the zoo,” Brookes said. When people from from around the world that will delight privileged backgrounds observe other and perplex casual solvers and language cultures, he explained, “there is a certain scholars alike. sense of tourism.” “People are interested “The assumption is that we in languages,” said Endando it right, and they do it differgered Alphabets Project ently,” he continued. Exposure to foreign scripts has a way of founder TIM BROOKES, who challenging that perception. created the book with EAP researcher CHARLOTTE ARTEMIS “When you’re out among WALSH. the endangered alphabets, you realize that the reason Brookes, who has a dry why the Latin alphabet is British wit, laughed when asked who the target audithe most popular and widely ence might be. Then he used alphabet is not because offered insight into how it’s better or more efficient puzzles written in or the easiest to learn, rare scripts such as which it isn’t,” Brookes said, Coptic (a hybrid of before tossing out a Warren Greek and EgypZevon reference: “It’s tian) and Syriac (a because at a crucial variant of Aramaic, point in history it had the language spoken the most lawyers, by Jesus) might inspire guns and money.” conversation about the role The book’s origin, like of language in preserving that of the Endangered imperiled cultures. Alphabets Project itself, “What I’m really hoping goes back to Brookes’ work is that some of these really several years ago with a man interesting issues about from the Chittagong Hill symbol processing and cogniTracts of Bangladesh who Tim Brookes and tion and language emerge out Charlotte Artemis Walsh ran a school for indigenous of this,” he said. kids. The man was one of Though they’re short, Brookes and the Marma, an indigenous people whose Walsh’s puzzles are fiendishly difficult to culture is eroding due to what Brookes solve. For one thing, most are built from called targeted marginalization by the unfamiliar glyphs and symbols. Bangladeshi government. The book contains two puzzles in each “When Bangladesh was founded, the script, and they function like traditional government denied there were any indigeword searches in that words can be found nous people and non-Bengali people in the vertically, horizontally and diagonally, but country,” Brookes said. With citizenship never backwards. Just remember that not and human rights withheld from groups all scripts are read left to right. And some, such as the Marma, a school for indigenous such as Bassah Vah, are what’s called kids was a radical and risky endeavor. boustrophedon, meaning lines are read in “This guy could have been arrested and alternating directions: left to right, then disappeared at any time,” Brookes said of right to left and so on. the school’s founder.




Because all school materials in Bangladesh are written in Bangla, indigenous students had no curricula in their own language or scripts. Brookes helped devise wall charts, posters and storybooks in a number of indigenous languages. He also began creating games, including word searches. That was a particular challenge, he noted, because “I don’t speak any of those languages.” But he’d observed, “If you want kids to learn anything, you’ve got to convert it into games.” Word games are “script rehearsal,” Brookes explained. From childhood games such as Hangman to the more sophisticated Boggle or Scrabble, they’re critical pieces of becoming fluent in a language. Brookes tasked Walsh, a journalist and former student of his at Champlain College, with sourcing material for the word searches and compiling them in different scripts. Deciding which scripts to include was generally a matter of logistics. “Invariably it boiled down to ‘Who could

we get hold of who is smart enough to speak English, because we’re too dumb to speak their language?’” Brookes explained. With help from sources around the world, Walsh built the puzzles. Brookes wrote script profiles to accompany each, offering historical and linguistic context and (often) details on how and why they’re endangered. “Some of these scripts were widely used and highly significant,” Brookes said, “but their culture was overrun or took a wrong turn or was slaughtered.” His goal is to “get people across that divide” between diversion-seeking tourists and those committed to a culture’s survival, so they’re “standing among the endangered alphabets and looking at them from that point of view.” 

INFO Endangered Alphabets Word Search Puzzles by Tim Brookes and Charlotte Artemis Walsh, Endangered Alphabets Project, 52 pages. $15. Order it at endangeredalphabets.com.

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arts news

Notable Women

Essex-based Art Herstory cards feature female painters of centuries past B Y PA M EL A POL ST O N • pamela@sevendaysvt.com





oes the name Artemisia Gentileschi ring a bell? How about Clara Peeters? Rachel Ruysch? Pat yourself on the back if you knew any of those artists from centuries ago; most people haven’t a clue. And ERIKA GAFFNEY would like to change that. Gaffney, who lives in Essex, is the entrepreneur behind ART HERSTORY, a line of blank note cards featuring paintings by women who, while sometimes well known in their time, are largely obscure today. Why? Well, that’s what happens to women in a paternalistic field. To be sure, that situation is slowly changing. Gentileschi’s prices have recently risen at auction and in museum acquisitions. ViacomCBS Networks International is developing a TV series about the artist. And a current exhibit called “Artemisia” at the National Gallery in London gives the brilliant Italian baroque painter (1593-1656) her due. The show, running December 2 to January 24, is getting rave reviews. Comparisons to Italian master painter Caravaggio (1571-1610) are not unwarranted; with a similarly naturalistic style, Gentileschi’s canvases tend toward biblical, allegorical themes, including unabashed violence. For her note cards, Gaffney has so far avoided such gory scenes — perhaps unappealing in that format — in favor of Gentileschi’s “Esther Before Ahasuerus,” a dramatic painting in the permanent collection of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Art Herstory is a small startup whose proprietor operates primarily from her dining-room table. Gaffney seeks out images that are in the public domain, downloadable for free on museum sites or available for a reasonable price from the rights holder. By profession, Gaffney is an acquisitions editor for scholarly publishers based in Amsterdam and London. Being in “the world of books” for the past 25 years introduced her to some of her artist subjects. But the idea for Art Herstory came to her a couple of years ago, Gaffney said, when she tried to find a premade card featuring Italian painter Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) for an art-historian friend. She couldn’t. “The idea struck me to make these


“Still Life With Rose Branch, Beetle and Bee” by Rachel Ruysch

“Esther Before Ahasuerus, 1628-1635” by Artemisa Gentileschi

cards myself,” she recalled. She launched her business on International Women’s Day in 2019. So far, Gaffney focuses on artists of the 16th and 17th centuries. Though they are the least known generally, she said, the Renaissance and baroque periods are “what I know the most about.” However, she asserted, “That’s not where [Art Herstory] will end.” She has moved into the 1800s — “there’s

an explosion of women [artists] in the 19th century,” Gaffney said. “But,” she added, “I don’t see going into more modern times, because others are already doing that.” Indeed. Why give the world more images of, say, Frida Kahlo? Bringing to light female artists from several hundred years ago is both a niche and a feminist mission. “I have a product that people don’t yet know they need,” Gaffney said.

Recently, she’s taken an interest in botanical painters such as Giovanna Garzoni (1600-1670), whose tempera-onvellum “Still Life With Bowl of Citrons” appears on one card. A large insect on one of the lemons might be the 17th-century ancestor of the much-photographed fly that landed on Vice President Mike Pence’s white head during his debate with Kamala Harris. Bugs were also common in floral compositions, particularly in 17th- and 18th-century Dutch paintings. Another card showcases “Still Life With Rose Branch, Beetle and Bee” by Ruysch (1664-1750). Though a gorgeous pink blossom dominates, the artist rendered a beetle with fearsome antlers on one side of the arrangement. (While the symbolism of insects in these works is manifold, the field of entomology itself burgeoned following the late-16th-century invention of the microscope.) Whether or not they inspire customers to delve into the tangled web of art history, Gaffney’s cards are lovely vehicles for writing notes to friends or family. Art Herstory currently offers 12 designs, plus two Christmas cards for the holiday season, a Gentileschi-themed magnet/bookmark combo, and a Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) porcelain ornament. The cards are sold singly or in packs on the Art Herstory website. Though Gaffney has placed cards in several museum gift shops nationally, her only Vermont retailer so far is Hinesburg’s BLUE COTTAGE. In addition to the website, which recently won an award from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender, Gaffney produces an e-newsletter and a blog with guest posts from art history scholars and others. Various art world folks have taken notice of Art Herstory, Gaffney said, but one surprising contingent of followers consists of historical novelists. “They do careful research, and they’re invested,” she observed. Gaffney called her venture “today’s news about women artists of yesteryear.” News to which the art world is finally paying attention. 

INFO Learn more at artherstory.net.

Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create. — OPRAH WINFREY

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P R O D U C E D B Y 7 D B R A N D S T U D I O — PA I D F O R B Y P O M E R L E A U R E A L E S TAT E


or years, Burlington residents have been pushing the city to make progress on two important goals: improved walkability, which will reduce its carbon footprint; and a healthy mix of locally owned businesses, to serve not just tourists but the people who actually live downtown. The new CityPlace Burlington project “has the potential to solve both problems,” according to University of Vermont economics professor Jane Knodell, a former Burlington city councilor. In the decades she served the city, Knodell says she heard from many Burlingtonians who wanted to see more stores selling ”the daily essentials of life.” And she listened to shop owners complain about sporadic foot traffic — heavy in the summer and fall, and on snowy winter weekends, but too light the rest of the time.

To keep local stores alive year-round, she says, “You need the demand. The demand has to be there.” More downtown dwellers would provide it. Kelly Devine, executive director of the Burlington Business Association, agrees. “If we really want to improve the walkability of Burlington,” she says, “we need to have as many people living downtown as possible.”

‘LET’S GO!’ The New CityPlace Burlington Will Benefit Everyone 30


BRINGING BACK THE NEIGHBORHOOD The new CityPlace Burlington project now under consideration would add 426 units of housing downtown, at least 85 of which would be classified as “affordable.” That’s an estimated 600 to 700 new residents, according to Dave Farrington, one of three local developers now managing the project. Also part of the plan is street-level retail space. The goal is for the buildings to host a mix of businesses to serve those who live nearby. Devine points out that the site of the new development used to be part of a functioning neighborhood; it was demolished to make space for an indoor mall and parking garage during urban renewal in the late 1960s. CityPlace would bring those streets back to life. “I use the Sesame Street analogy. You need the grocer, the librarian, the postal carrier,” she says. “It just makes for a much more dynamic environment.” Devine notes that the newcomers are likely to engage in the community, participating in fundraisers such as the annual Sleep Out that supports Spectrum Youth &

Family Services, or volunteering for the Vermont City Marathon. Knodell suggests that the people who move into the CityPlace apartments would likely be a more diverse group than the shoppers coming in to patronize downtown stores. Diversity of age, race, occupation and socioeconomic status “brings the vitality that great cities have,” she says.

MORE PEOPLE, FEWER CARS? Some of the new residents of CityPlace will likely have cars — the plans include 422 new parking spaces. But living downtown means that they may not need to own a car, especially if they work from home or in the city. The development will encourage residents to use alternative forms of transportation; it will include parking spaces for vehicles owned by CarShare Vermont, which can be easily reserved for the occasional out-of-town errand. The site is adjacent to the new Downtown Transit Center on St. Paul Street, which offers access to bus routes around Chittenden County, as well as link express service around the state. There will also be 300 bike parking spots on the property.

AN ASSET TO THE COMMUNITY In addition to providing more housing, the development has some exciting features of benefit to all Burlingtonians, not just the ones lucky enough to live there. These include: • A rooftop restaurant and observation deck, open to the public,


P R O D U C E D B Y 7 D B R A N D S T U D I O — PA I D F O R B Y P O M E R L E A U R E A L E S TAT E

The planned corner of Bank and St. Paul streets

with a view of the city and Lake Champlain. • 2,000 to 3,000 square feet of meeting, coworking and community space that will be accessible to all. • Pine and St. Paul streets reconnected between Bank and Cherry. • Broader sidewalks, new bike lanes and a larger greenbelt with trees. • Public art installations that will beautify the buildings and support local artists. • A state-of-the-art stormwater management system that will help reduce and filter the flow of runoff to Lake Champlain. • Solar panels, green roofs and energy-efficiency features that will cut utility demand

and reduce the buildings’ carbon footprint; both buildings will be LEED Gold certified. The new plans eliminate proposed commercial office space and a hotel. Both changes make the development better adapted for the post-pandemic era, according to Knodell. “In a way, the delays have helped us,” she says.

A TIME TO BUILD Burlington residents and business owners are eager to move forward with improving the three-acre vacant lot in the center of downtown, now jokingly known as “the hole” or “the pit.” More than 900 people have signed a petition at cityplaceburlington.com urging

the city to break ground on the project as soon as possible. Some have also left comments: Said Kellie Parks: “It’s time for trusted LOCAL development/ construction professionals to take this project to its long-overdue completion. They are personally invested in this community with the experience to finally make CityPlace a reality.” “Lifelong resident and want my town vibrant again,” noted Steve Sweeney. “It’s a good plan; LETS GO!!” urged Mike Godfrey. Devine and Knodell echo that sense of urgency. Knodell says that the city has been preparing for this project for years. There’s a reason the new transit hub is so close by, for example. It’s time to move forward, she says. “We’re ready for this.” 






Outward Boundaries


In a backcountry skiing boom, David Goodman’s new guidebook makes a grand entrance BY C H E L S E A E D GAR • chelsea@sevendaysvt.com



n 1987, David Goodman was a fledgling journalist living in Boston when he got a call from the Appalachian Mountain Club. That year, he’d written a piece for Cross Country Skier magazine about the revival of backcountry skiing, a backto-the-land-esque movement of purists and adrenaline junkies. Disillusioned with the commercialization of downhill skiing, Goodman suggested, they were reclaiming the forgotten mountain trails cut by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. The editors at the Appalachian Mountain Club asked Goodman if he’d be willing to write a guide to skiing in the Northeast. Goodman, stunned by his luck, agreed. For the next year, he lived out of his 1974 Dodge Dart, crisscrossing the Northeast in search of the most scenic backcountry tours. When the book came out, in 1988, he figured it might sell a few hundred copies. Instead, it sold thousands. In the 30 years since Classic Backcountry Skiing was first published, Goodman, who now lives in Waterbury Center, has attained something like guru status. The Boston Globe pronounced him “the godfather of Northeastern backcountry skiing”; Backcountry Magazine hailed the guidebook as “the bible of Eastern backcountry skiing.” Each decade, Goodman has released a revised edition; the most recent, Best Backcountry Skiing in the Northeast: 50 Classic Ski and Snowboard Tours in New England and New York, 32




which came out this week, is currently No. 1 on Amazon’s list of general Northeast U.S. travel guides. “David Goodman’s book is the most hotly anticipated Christmas gift since … Tickle Me Elmo?” joked Jen Roberts, co-owner of Onion River Outdoors in Montpelier. “If you had a copy, you could trade it for a couple hundred bucks on the streets of Montpelier right now.” Roberts, an avid backcountry skier herself, is only partly kidding; for weeks, she said, customers have been clamoring to know when she’s going to stock it. Backcountry skiing, broadly, refers to skiing outside the boundaries of a managed ski area. The bindings allow both uphill and downhill skiing, enabling people to schlep where they please. “We’ve been seeing an increased interest in backcountry skiing for years,” Roberts said. “The equipment has gotten so much lighter and better, and people are tired of the cost of downhill.” But Goodman’s newest guidebook has emerged in the midst of an unprecedented boom, which seems to be another

manifestation of the pandemic-induced outdoor gear frenzy. According to Roberts, Onion River Outdoors has more than tripled its sales of Nordic and backcountry ski equipment compared to last year. In Burlington, Outdoor Gear Exchange has seen a similar surge in demand. National outdoor retailer Recreational Equipment Inc., better known as REI Co-op, has reported a threefold bump in backcountry ski sales over the same period in 2019, as Goodman noted in a recent piece for the New York Times on prime backcountry skiing destinations. (Two Vermont locales, Bolton Valley and Brandon Gap, made it onto his list.) In some ways, backcountry skiing’s sudden arrival in the mainstream strikes Goodman as a bit surreal. “Who would have thunk we’d have a global pandemic that would make everyone want to ski in a way that wouldn’t force them to sit next to each other in a gondola?” he said. Goodman, 61, has pewter-ish hair, twinkly eyes, and the tanned, pinkish complexion of someone who spends a lot of time outside. When he’s not backcountry skiing, he writes

for publications such as the New York Times, the Boston Globe and Mother Jones. With his sister, Amy Goodman, host of the news program “Democracy Now!,” he has coauthored four New York Times best sellers on political corruption and social movements. Goodman met his wife, Sue Minter, a former Vermont gubernatorial candidate and secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation, while they were undergraduates at Harvard University. As Goodman tells it, his relationship with backcountry skiing began on a weekend trip with Minter to Killington, where he made a slight ass of himself on an icy, mogul-filled run. (She danced down the slope; he yard-saled and landed at her feet.) After that, Goodman said, he realized he’d have to bamboozle her into a different version of the sport if he wanted any chance of keeping up with her. But Goodman, a history buff and a dedicated hiker, was also drawn to the mythology of backcountry skiing, which had its first heyday in the 1930s, the era of the Civilian Conservation Corps. His guidebook is peppered with colorful bits of historical reportage, including this gem from an innkeeper in the Stowe area: “In most places, people cut roads over the valleys. But in Vermont, there was always some guy who had a girlfriend over the next ridge, so he cut a road over the top of the mountain.” Once downhill skiing became a booming



overcrowding at ecologically fragile areas to increased strain on rescue crews, who put themselves at risk to bail people out of dangerous situations. Then there are the dreaded avalanches. “Avalanches are an issue in most backcountry terrain, and the people who predict them are in a near panic about what’s coming,” Goodman observed. Before venturing into a place with few people and no cell service, and then threading yourself through trees at high velocity, Goodman recommends learning the basic principles of wilderness safety and making some contingency plans before you go — and, ideally, not going alone. “The No. 1 rule of backcountry skiing is that everything that can go wrong will go wrong,” he said. Goodman has a self-professed tendency to inveigle his co-adventurers with blithe promises of bluebird-day jaunts, which end in hitchhiking 20 miles back to the car after dark. This very thing happened once, near Lake Willoughby, when it was 5 degrees below zero; according to Goodman, he had promised his friends “a short outing.” On another occasion, he and a different group of friends eluded capture by law enforcement at a ski resort, which he declined to name, after ski patrol reported them to local authorities for not purchasing lift tickets. (Since they were merely passing through via the Long Trail, Goodman said, they didn’t need passes.) But to love backcountry skiing is to court mishap, and Goodman believes that a sense of humor is as essential as any wilderness survival skill. After all, the entire concept of skiing is sort of absurd. What else, besides extreme boredom and maybe a dash of hubris, could have moved the first person who climbed to the top of the tallest thing they could see, strapped on a pair of two-by-fours, and let gravity have its way? So Goodman tries to keep an upbeat view of the strange predicaments to which he’ll submit himself in the name of exhilaration, especially when he’s deep in the woods and miles from the nearest human. “Sometimes, when you’re out there, you look up and picture yourself suspended by the armpits in some impossibly tight gap between two trees, and you have to somehow get back to your car or else trigger panic among your loved ones,” he said. “That’s when you have to smile and say, ‘OK, now we’re really having an adventure.’” m

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industry, the rugged, high-mountain ski trails entered a decades-long period of dormancy. Then, in the 1980s, when Goodman arrived on the scene, backcountry was having renaissance. “Skiing had become industrialized and expensive, and a younger generation of skiers — I’d put myself in that camp — was looking for more wild country,” he said. “It’s that eternal quest, that drive to strike out for new terrain.” In Goodman’s view, the culture of backcountry skiing has been undergoing another radical transformation, and not just because of the pandemic. “It’s about skiing, but more profoundly, it’s about community,” he said. “Early on, backcountry skiing was very secretive. If you knew a place, you told one or two people, but not too many. But the problem with secrets is that they vanish into the wilderness, and if no one knows about it, no one cares about it, and it disappears.” In recent years, grassroots efforts have sprung up across the state to protect backcountry terrain. “The advances in equipment have lowered the bar to entry,” said Goodman. “Anybody who can downhill ski can do backcountry, and now there’s a whole movement of communitysupported skiing, like communitysupported agriculture.” In 2011, when Bolton Valley Resort’s backcountry ski land was on the brink of being sold to a private owner, a group of skiers and land conservationists worked with the Vermont Land Trust to form Friends of Bolton Valley Nordic & Backcountry. In two years, the group raised $1.8 million through more than 1,000 private donations to buy the land and turn it over to the State of Vermont. Today, the area is permanently protected as part of the 44,444-acre Mount Mansfield State Forest. In 2016, the Rochester/Randolph Area Sports Trail Alliance, a volunteer-run nonprofit, collaborated with Green Mountain National Forest to create the country’s first managed backcountry ski area at Brandon Gap, which has since become a mecca for powder hounds. The growing interest in skiing wild places, noted Goodman, has the secondary benefit of incentivizing people to care about the environment. In New England, the effects of the climate crisis on the ski season are already visible. According to a 2019 New York Times data analysis, the snow season in the Green Mountains has decreased by eight days over the past three decades. As Goodman writes in his guide, “If you care about backcountry skiing, you need to care about stopping climate change. The habitat of backcountry skiers is under threat.” But a rush of newcomers in this pandemic winter season could have a range of less desirable side effects, from

INFO Best Backcountry Skiing in the Northeast: 50 Classic Ski and Snowboard Tours in New England and New York, by David Goodman, Appalachian Mountain Club Books, 392 pages. $21.95.

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Rooted in Antiquity

Vermont-based Böswellness uplifts African communities that supply frankincense and myrrh B Y K E N PI CA RD • ken@sevendaysvt.com



uring the season of giving, no holiday gifts are more traditional than frankincense and myrrh. A Vermont-based company produces essential oils made from both and, in turn, provides its African partners with gifts that keep on giving, including food, safe drinking water, basic medical services and reliable income. Böswellness is one of the world’s only distilleries and suppliers of sustainable, fair-trade and certified-organic frankincense and myrrh products. Founded in 2005 by Mahdi Ismael Ibrahim, the Colchester-based company ’s core mission includes supporting its supplier communities in Somaliland, an autonomous region of Somalia that declared independence in 1991. Ibrahim, 52, is a former refugee who fled Somalia’s civil war in 1988, moving to Montréal before he immigrated to the United States. He now runs the company with his wife, Jamie Garvey, and business partner Casey Lyon, who met Garvey while they were attending the University of Vermont. Though the vast majority of the oils the company produces are sold wholesale to other manufacturers of retail goods, Böswellness also sells its own frankincense and myrrh products, including essential oils and hydrosols, directly to consumers. It’s fitting that a frankincense and myrrh company was founded by someone named Ibrahim, Arabic for Abraham, the common patriarch of three of the world’s major religions. In Christianity, legend has it that frankincense and myrrh were two of the three gifts the Magi brought to Bethlehem for the newborn baby Jesus. Spicy and aromatic like balsam, frankincense and myrrh often are used in the incense that Catholic priests burn during Mass and as incense in Episcopal and Eastern Orthodox services. Frankincense also creates the white smoke the Vatican uses to announce the selection of a new pope. But frankincense and myrrh, which are actually resins derived from tree species native to the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, have roots stretching back thousands of years and across many different cultures. In Judaism, frankincense and myrrh are mentioned in the Torah and Talmud


From left: Casey Lyon, Jamie Garvey and Mahdi Ismael Ibrahim


Frankincense resin


Böswellness’ distilling equipment

for their use in anointing priests and kings in Jerusalem’s Holy Temple. In Buddhism, the resins were traditionally used as incense during meditation and prayer. And in Islam, the prophet Muhammad directed his followers to purify their houses with the smoke of myrrh. That last practice continues to this day. As Ibrahim explained during a recent tour of the company’s distillery near Malletts Bay, his friends and relatives in Somaliland routinely use frankincense and myrrh in their homes. “My mom burns it every day in the house when she’s praying,” he said. “The smoke kills the bacteria in the air. It will immobilize mosquitoes, as well.” Throughout the Middle East and Africa, people often soak frankincense or myrrh in water before drinking it. Both have been used for centuries to treat arthritis, asthma and anxiety, and scientific studies have shown that they have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Frankincense, used by the ancient Egyptians to preserve the skin of mummies, is now added to modern skincare products to combat wrinkles and acne, Garvey noted. Both resins have long been used in the New World, too. Lyon, 44, grew up on a farm in southwestern Oregon. He remembers his family using myrrh, which in Arabic means “bitter,” as an unpleasant-tasting but effective homeopathic remedy. “Whenever we got sick, my mom would always be looking at an herbalist handbook,” Lyon recalled. “Goldenseal and myrrh were two of her go-to treatments … So when I smelled myrrh, when Mahdi, Jamie and I all started working together, it just took me back to being a child.” None of the three business partners had any prior experience making essential oils before Böswellness launched. The idea was conceived when Ibrahim returned to Somaliland in 2002 after his father was involved in a serious car accident. Following his death, Ibrahim returned to Vermont. One night his father came to him in a dream and, enveloped in frankincense smoke, asked him to do something to help his people back home. ROOTED IN ANTIQUITY SEVEN DAYS DECEMBER 16-23, 2020

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Rooted in Antiquity « P.35 Because his parents had operated a general store and Ibrahim had always wanted his own business, he began searching for ways to market frankincense, which has been harvested in Somaliland’s Sanaag region for centuries. After countless hours of research, Ibrahim arrived at a concept that seemed aptly Vermonty in nature: He would boil it in a process similar to how maple syrup is produced, using much of the same equipment. The major difference, Lyon noted, is that instead of collecting what’s left behind in the kettle, they condense and recapture the oils that get boiled off. “Like making moonshine,” Ibrahim suggested. Indeed, Ibrahim’s prototype still, which resembles a coffee urn, now sits in the lobby of the Böswellness distillery. In an adjoining room is the company’s industrial-size stainless steel distiller, in which about 22 pounds of essential oil is produced per day. While that might not sound like much, Ibrahim explained, he pointed out that only 4 to 5 percent of the raw resin ends up in the finished product. Stacked along three walls of the warehouse are hundreds of pounds of raw frankincense and myrrh, which arrive, like coffee beans, in hefty white sacks. Frankincense resembles jewel-size chunks of brown sugar. Myrrh is also crystalline and sticky but comes in larger and darker pieces, like peanut brittle. As Garvey noted, some “resin enthusiasts” keep large myrrh crystals around their homes, like geodes, for decorative or spiritual purposes. The harvesting process in Somaliland is similar to that of maple syrup, Ibrahim said. Frankincense comes from the Boswellia genus of trees — hence the company’s name — and is extracted by making a gash in the trunk, from which the resin oozes and then hardens into golden blobs. Böswellness uses two species to produce its myrrh oils, made from resins that flow naturally from the tree without incisions or taps. The resins’ route out of Africa sounds almost biblical. The arid, rocky and mountainous terrain where these hardy trees grow on limestone cliffs are owned by families and tribes who have exclusive access to them, Ibrahim said. His brother, Idris, the company’s head of sourcing in Somaliland, travels from village to village forging relationships with harvesters, who gather the resin by hand, carry it out of the mountains on foot and truck it to the Port of Berbera. From there, the frankincense and myrrh travel via transatlantic container 36


Boswellia trees in Somaliland

Building a well in the Dar Yalle village



ship to the Port of Montréal, where they’re loaded onto trucks and driven south to Vermont. The entire process takes several months. Like much of Africa, the history of Somaliland, a former British protectorate, is bound up in centuries of European conquest and exploitation, including the use of its frankincense and myrrh. So when Böswellness launched, Ibrahim said, they did something that might seem counterintuitive for a manufacturer: They deliberately paid above-market prices for the raw materials.

Workers with hydraulic drilling equipment in Somaliland

“Before, it was ridiculously cheap, and we were like, ‘No, we’re not going to keep it this way. We’ve got to help these folks and give them more income,’” he said. In fact, once Böswellness began paying its native harvesters more, the company’s European competitors had to match their prices or go without.

Ibrahim and his brother also met with village elders and asked what they needed to improve their living conditions. The requests were simple: access to clean water and food, basic health services, and better educational opportunities. As Lyon explained, children in these villages aren’t permitted to attend school until they’ve finished all of their chores. Girls in particular are expected to ensure that their families have water. If there’s no functional well nearby, he said, just filling water jugs and carrying them home can take all day. To help meet those needs, Böswellness directs 20 percent of its gross revenue to community development in Somaliland. Because of the region’s chronic water shortages, some of that money goes to digging wells, purchasing solar pumps and building water storage tanks in the villages and at schools. Böswellness also funds the Centre for Frankincense, Environmental, and Social Studies, a Somaliland-based research center that aims to protect the sustainability of the country’s budding frankincense industry. Ibrahim believes that Böswellness is the only company in the United States producing genuine and organic frankincense and myrrh oils. Which is not to suggest that other companies aren’t selling products that claim to contain those resins. “It’s become huge,” Garvey said. “Everyone and their grandmother uses it, and there’s a lot of crap on the market.” Since the company’s inception, she noted, one of its biggest challenges has been educating people about why they should pay a premium for Böswellness frankincense and myrrh. As she explained, some producers blend look-alike products made from pine with only a minuscule amount of authentic frankincense, label it “pure” and “natural,” and then sell it below what it costs to produce the real McCoy. Though less than 1 percent of the company’s revenues come from direct sales to consumers, Garvey added, “From the beginning we’ve always wanted people to know what real frankincense and real myrrh are like — and have access to them at a reasonable price.” For their part, Ibrahim and Lyon both say that one of the best parts of the job is that they work in a calm environment, especially given all the frankincense and myrrh in the air. “And, at the end of the day, we’re not just clocking in, going to work and going home,” Lyon added. “We’re doing something good for people.” It’s the true spirit of the season. m

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The Wild Side Five famous animals we lost in 2020

B Y M AR GAR ET GRAY SON • margaret@sevendaysvt.com

Baylor in a still from “The Mountain Dogs” by Aynsley Floyd




very so often, an animal captures the heart of the general public. This year, those creatures included the winner of Alaska’s annual Katmai Conservancy Fat Bear Week tournament; Joe Biden’s shelter dog, Major; and every feline who participated in the worldwide phenomenon of cat-butt Zoom-bombing. On a sadder note, in Vermont and New Hampshire, 2020 saw the deaths of several prominent animals that had caught the public’s attention over the years. They spanned species and geography, but one thing they had in common was the outpouring of love that followed their deaths. Here are our tributes to them.


Oliver the camel, North Ferrisburgh

Oliver “Ollie” T. Camel was a two-humped Bactrian camel who lived on a sheep farm along Route 7 in Ferrisburgh. According to a 2017 Addison County Independent story, Ollie arrived in Vermont in 2002, 3 months old, from a breeder in Wisconsin. His owner, fiber artist Judith Giusto, thought owning a camel would be interesting, both for the

Ollie and Shelburne Town Manager Lee Krohn

fiber from his coat, which she blended with merino wool, and for the marketing value of a unique and exotic animal. At the time of his death, the Independent reported, Ollie was 17 and weighed 1,500 pounds. Giusto declined to comment for this story, citing ongoing distress over the loss of Ollie. His February 21 death

was announced on his Facebook page, which was quickly flooded with farewell messages and photos from Ollie appreciators in Vermont and beyond. Twicedaily commuters and occasional visitors alike expressed the sentiment that the drive up Route 7 would never be quite the same.

Mink the bear

Mink the bear, Hanover, N.H.

Mink the black bear was a constant presence in the college town of Hanover, and a controversial one. In 2017, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department THE WILD SIDE SEVEN DAYS DECEMBER 16-23, 2020

» P.40 39

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The Wild Side « P.39 recommended she be euthanized after a lot better off now than we were five her cubs broke into a home. years ago, especially in that area, as far Nearly 10,000 people signed a petition as people knowing how to coexist with to save Mink, and New Hampshire Gov. bears … Hopefully, the attention that Chris Sununu stepped in and offered to Mink has brought and the lessons that work out an alternative solution with Mink has taught will make things better wildlife officials, according to New for the bears that are there.” Hampshire Public Radio. In 2018, Mink was relocated to the remote northern part Baylor the dog, of the state. But, by the summer of 2019, Stowe she’d trekked hundreds of miles back to Vermont’s best-known golden retrievers the Hanover area. made a mountain their stage. Sampson “We don’t really know why bears can and Baylor hiked Stowe Pinnacle Trail home so well, but they’re very good at every day by themselves, greeting and it,” said Andrew Timmons, bear project accompanying hikers. Their owner, Perry leader at the fish and game department. Schafer, lives near the trailhead; he told Mink and Hanover had a tumultuous media outlets that he couldn’t stop the history. According to dogs from escaping the house and rumor, a resident had fed her deliberately, hiking the trail. after which the bear Sampson and became accustomed Baylor were large, to snacking from bird mild-mannered, feeders and dumpsometimes smelly sters. Some people and always ready loved her; others to make friends. thought she was a Hikers could hear AY N S L EY F L OY D nuisance. them coming by But summer 2020 was relatively the gentle clank of the cowbells that hung uneventful, bear-wise, until Mink was from their collars. They were seen dozing found dead in August. Timmons said for hours on the Pinnacle summit. the cause of death wasn’t clear: She Massachusetts-based filmmaker and might have been hit by a vehicle or have photographer Aynsley Floyd met Sampsuccumbed to natural causes. son and Baylor on a trip to Stowe and Two of Mink’s three cubs from the was enchanted. During the fall of 2019, 2020 season were caught and taken to she hiked the trail with the dogs four a rehabilitation facility. In any given times to make a short film called “The summer, Timmons said, the Hanover area Mountain Dogs,” documenting the dogs’ hosts 10 to 15 bears, many of them likely treks and the enthusiastic reactions of related to Mink. those who encountered them. (Watch it “She became the poster child of the at newenglandfilm.com.) need for people to be responsible with “They’re sort of local celebrities,” food attractants,” Timmons said. “We’re Floyd said. “Several of the people I talked


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to actually chose to hike the Pinnacle Trail because they hoped to see the dogs.” People have reached out to Floyd to thank her for the film and express their love for the dogs. “Both dogs had such lovely personalities,” she said. “Both of them loved people, were extremely docile and were just excited by interaction they had with people. I really think that’s what motivated them.” Baylor died in November at the age of 12. Recent Instagram posts from Stowe Pinnacle indicate that Sampson — also 12 — is still hiking the trail by himself.

Marty the cat, Mount Washington, N.H.

Life at Mount Washington Observatory can be harsh. Weather observers live there in weeklong shifts, taking hourly measurements and conducting research. During the winter, they often have to wait out all kinds of inclement weather. The observatory regularly experiences winds more than 100 mph; in fact, the summit holds the world record for highest wind speeds measured by humans — 231 miles per hour in 1934. A cat-in-residence, then, is the perfect morale booster. The most recent feline, a fluffy black fellow named Marty, lived at the observatory full time for 12 years until his death in November. Marty won his post in an online public vote, beating out two other cat candidates, observer Ryan Knapp recalled in a blog post on the observatory website. Marty arrived at the summit at age 2. “He was high energy, springing from any and all objects around the summit like he was playing a game of ‘The Floor Is Lava’ or parkour,” Knapp wrote. Over the years, though, Marty mellowed; he even took to sitting in the laps of weather observers while they worked. Marty had a genetic condition that caused all his teeth to fall out a few years into his tenure at Mount Washington. Nonetheless, he was a consistent mouser and was fascinated by the wildlife that visited the summit. When the weather was decent, he followed staff around the mountaintop and hiked down to see various sights. Before his death, Marty was due to retire to a quieter life at a lower elevation



August 2017 Seven Days cover featuring Tank

at the end of 2020, Knapp wrote. But the cat tradition will continue on Mount Washington, according to Krissy Fraser, the observatory’s director of marketing and communications. Keep an eye out for updates in 2021.

Tank the dog, Burlington

When she started taking her rescue pit bull on regular walks around Burlington, Dina Senesac stopped being known by her own name. She was “Tank’s mom,” she recalled with a laugh. Tank, an 80-pound gray pit bull with a wide, goofy grin, loved to stop into shops on Church Street and greet everyone he met. “He was a very intense-looking dog but also one of the most gentle creatures you could possibly imagine,” Senesac said. He was a media ham, too. Besides gracing the cover of Seven Days in 2017, Tank appeared in videos for the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival and Waking Windows. “He applied to be a character in Lyric [Theatre’s production of ] Legally Blonde, but he was so big that the actress couldn’t pick him up, so he got understudied for that,” Senesac said. She liked to keep Tank in the public eye, hoping to help counter the stereotypical view of pit bulls as aggressive. Tank’s ears were docked, which led Senesac to suspect someone had wanted him to be a fighting dog before he was found as a stray in New York City. She adopted him when he was 4, and he quickly showed his loving personality. When Tank died in July at the age of 11, Senesac received hundreds of comments, some from people she didn’t know, all expressing love for the gentle giant. “He was beloved by many,” Senesac said. “I miss him every day.” 


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There’s been no shortage of food news in 2020, most of it bad. Vermont’s once-vibrant dining scene faces a bleak winter. Hunger and food insecurity are at record levels. In a study examining food system security published in November, researchers at the University of Vermont found that, between March and September, one in three Vermonters were food insecure — meaning they sought help from food shelves; bought cheaper, less nutritious food; or skipped meals to save money. Long lines of cars at food distribution centers are an iconic image of this year. We still found a few silver linings to serve up.

A “little free pantry”

• A surprising number of new restaurants opened, increasing options for Dominican fusion, poke, Indian, tacos, sandwiches, creemees and breweries.



ore than 1.6 million people worldwide have died of COVID-19 so far this year; more than 300,000 of them were in the United States, and 100 were in Vermont. The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the U.S. economy. It’s driving up rates of depression, anxiety and overdose deaths, and causing record numbers of parents, mostly women, to leave the workforce to care for their kids. And the pandemic has isolated us from friends and family when we need them the most. All of this has been taking place amid a bitter partisan battle for control of the federal government. Consequently, crucial relief measures that thousands of Vermonters rely on are scheduled to expire at the end of this month. The long-lasting physical, mental and emotional toll of our national nightmare has yet to be assessed. The only certainty about 2020: None of us who have lived through it will ever forget it. The December 14 issue of Time magazine hyperbolically declared 2020 “the worst year ever.” And yet, the past nine months of pandemic life have included numerous examples of Vermonters banding together to overcome challenges, doing their best with available resources and finding a way forward. Their kindness and creativity is beautiful to behold and gives us hope. As poet Wendell Berry wrote in “The Real Work,” “the impeded stream is the one that sings.” We’ve gathered some of these stories here, organized into five categories, along with tips, anecdotes and reflections of gratitude from our own lives and those of other Vermonters. May this compilation bolster you for the cold, dark weeks ahead as we wait for spring — and doses of vaccine.



• Local meat, CSA and farmstand sales are booming. MICHAEL TONN

Good news, positive trends and stories of resilience from an awful year

• Many local nurseries and garden centers also reported increased demand this year. The recent UVM food security study found that 42 percent of respondents reported hunting, gardening, foraging or preserving this year, many for the first time. • People receiving food assistance spent more of those dollars on locally grown food. The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont reported an increase in shoppers using 3SquaresVT/ SNAP benefits at farmers markets around the state. The nonprofit tripled the spending power of Vermonters using those benefits at farmers markets from August through October, when it doubled its Crop Cash match, according to Emmet Moseley, NOFA-VT’s Community Food Access programs coordinator. • New efforts such as ShiftMeals, Frontline Foods and Vermont Everyone Eats have put local restaurant employees to work feeding frontline workers and hungry Vermonters.


Stuffed canoa and empanadas at Café Mamajuana

• Some of the little free libraries that have popped up around the state have become “little free pantries” stocked with food and toiletries. People can take what they need or leave donated supplies. Former Seven Days political columnist Shay Totten hosts one at his North Avenue home in Burlington. “People are filling it,” he told WCAX-TV in August. “I still get a few extra things every time we go shopping every couple weeks. It is just getting consistently filled.” Find all Burlington locations at onegooddeedfund.org. • The United Methodist Church in White River Junction is home to a food pantry that includes a refrigerator. It’s out by the street, easy to use and accessible 24 hours a day. Anyone can take perishable and nonperishable items, as well as pet food and personal care supplies. A May 30 post on the church’s Facebook page heralded its opening: “We are thrilled to announce that some very kind, selfless volunteers have been diligently working this week in the high heat to build our new food pantry! This will allow us to continue the Sharing & Caring Food Program permanently.”


Many new concepts and terms entered our lexicon in 2020, including “flatten the curve” and “social distancing,” and we developed a new understanding of the word “essential.” This year, it has defined health care workers, teachers, grocery store cashiers, postal carriers, librarians — even reporters and newspaper delivery drivers. Also essential: volunteers. So many Vermonters have pitched in with help where it was needed. Here are just a few examples of how Vermonters have stepped up. • Vermont’s Republican governor, Phil Scott, prioritized public health above politics in this election year. He led the way in masking and encouraging Vermonters to take precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19.


From left: chef Jim Logan, Roumanatao Hassane, Jessica Lamonda and Jason Upton

Still Cooking at the Community Kitchen Academy

In their final week, they ran the truck themselves, planning a meal, buying the components and demonstrating good food sanitation. When Logan asked at graduation about favorite dishes they prepared, two of them mentioned their food truck meals. Jessica Lamonda loved making chicken pot pie. Ruomanatao Hassane fondly recalled her Asian peanut soup. “You fed a lot of people with that soup,” Logan said. “It was pretty amazing.” And, Hassane added, the homemade pasta. They all laughed remembering how the kitchen was covered in flour that day. Jason Upton’s favorite? A coconut curry chickpea soup. He enrolled in the course to learn to cook dishes like that, he said afterward. He saw a flyer for the Community Kitchen Academy after being laid off from his job in a kitchen at UVM. He wanted to learn to cook with spices and fresh, seasonal vegetables. Now, Upton is cleaning office buildings at night and taking classes during the day. “I cook for myself, my friends and family,” he said. “It’s a big joy for the day, [to] have a good meal.” The graduates each got parting gifts, including a professional knife set, and all three expressed a desire to give back by volunteering at Feeding Chittenden. Lamonda has started already; Hassane is working on her schedule. In a follow-up email, Logan said she had “just stopped in to tell us she just passed her driving test, and Chef Dave [Francis] helped out by driving around Burlington with her!” The program is now accepting applications for the next session.

Violet Bell

• Former Seven Days intern Violet Bell, a senior at Champlain College, got a job as an essential worker. “I was pretty bummed out with virtual classes and quarantining,” she wrote. “I felt like I wasn’t doing enough with COVID-19, so I became a pharmacy technician. It was a pleasant change of pace from my journalism major. It’s very satisfying, helping the people of Burlington outside of just social distancing. Being on the other side of the counter made me appreciate pharmacists so much more.” • In the early days of the pandemic, dozens of grassroots mutual aid groups sprang up around the state to help people meet their immediate needs — for groceries, for extra cash to cover utility bills, for a friendly voice in a time of uncertainty and isolation. Many of these groups are still active, performing spontaneous acts of neighborly assistance that most established nonprofits and charities aren’t nimble enough to pull off. For example, in Burlington’s Old North End, ONE Mutual Aid has


Many small businesses are struggling right now, especially hotels, restaurants and retailers. They generally have smaller profit margins and cash reserves than big corporations, which makes it harder for them to survive a downturn. The Paycheck Protection Program funneled $1.2 billion to 12,000 Vermont businesses, including Seven Days. Other federal and state relief funds have helped, too. Chambers of commerce, regional development corporations and downtown business associations have provided technical and promotional assistance. Seven Days has aided restaurants by creating Good To-Go Vermont, a directory of restaurants offering takeout service, and the Register, a directory of local retailers that offer online shopping. But crucial financial support has also come from another source: loyal customers. People all across the state are acting to save the businesses they love and encouraging others to do the same. “We need to support and sustain our local economy, our friends and neighbors,” Kat Patterson told Seven Days during the Gift Local Giveaway contest. “Gifting local keeps folks here in business. I feel that there has never been a better time to buy as local as you can whenever possible!” FILE: LUKE AWTRY

An intimate, in-person graduation ceremony took place at Feeding Chittenden in Burlington’s Old North End on November 20. It honored three adult students who had completed their studies at the Community Kitchen Academy. The seven-week culinary job-training program, funded by the Vermont Foodbank, is run by experienced chefs who offer instruction in meal planning, food safety and work habits. COVID-19 has disrupted it a bit — the sessions have been shortened, classes downsized, and there are few food-service jobs to be had right now. But both staff and students are determined to continue. The graduation took place in a spacious room where Feeding Chittenden normally serves communal meals. Those aren’t happening because of the pandemic. The handful of attendees all wore masks and sat or stood six feet apart. The graduates pulled down their masks briefly for photos. “I just want to say congratulations,” began chef Jim Logan. He then read a letter from John Sayles, executive director of the Vermont Foodbank, who commended them for staying the course when “the world is literally and figuratively on fire.” As part of their training, the graduates helped operate Feeding Chittenden’s food truck, parked outside of the building; it feeds roughly 70 people every Friday. Customers can leave tips, but they’re not charged for their meals; getting free food from a truck feels more normal than waiting in a line outside the front door. All told, the students prepared 3,000 pounds of food during the term.


David Sisco at Designers’ Circle & Vintage Jewelers

The state has encouraged this trend through its Buy Local Vermont program, funded by $425,000 in CARES Act dollars, which gave Vermonters money to purchase items from approved local vendors. The Burlington Business Association has run #SaveLocalVT auctions to help downtown businesses. And customer enthusiasm has been a theme of business stories in Seven Days since the start of the pandemic. Many of those featured have mentioned it. In an October “Retail Therapy” column on Burlington boutique Designers’ Circle & Vintage Jewelers, co-owner David Sisco told Seven Days he’d been hearing from customers wanting to buy something to give his 45-year-old store a boost. “This is the strength of a community,” he said. “It was, wow, such a blessing that occurred.”

» P.44 SEVEN DAYS DECEMBER 16-23, 2020


Bright Lights «


‘802 NICE’ GUY

From left: Logan, Eric and Devin Axelrod

SA SH A G OL DSTEIN Find previous “802 Nice” stories at sevendaysvt.com/802nice and email story ideas to sasha@sevendaysvt.com.



• In the spring, when Meals on Wheels lost 100 volunteers who had to step down because of the pandemic, Age Well, in partnership with the United Way of Northwest Vermont, recruited 300 new volunteers to help manage the increase in demand for services.

• A recent UVM food security study found that more than 40 percent of Vermonters had delivered food to someone in their community in recent months. • Neighbors and customers of Mawuhi African Market in Burlington’s Old North End mobilized to help owner Patience Bannerman move her store BRIGHT LIGHTS

» P.46

Sr. Pat Delivers Compassion and Goodies

Sister Patricia McKittrick loves her work. The gregarious Catholic nun and registered nurse is a community health improvement coordinator for the UVM Medical Center. She connects people in need with the help they require and facilitates connections among volunteers and organizations. It’s not a desk job. Sr. Pat, as she’s known, drives around in her Subaru station wagon, checking in on people and making deliveries — to aid groups, to families she knows, to people who need a winter hat. When she stops for coffee, she gets four cups and gives the others away. Her car is always packed with stuff. On a mid-December morning, she opened her back passenger door to reveal boxes full of donated cloth masks, a bag of pastries, some knitted sweaters, hats, scarves and mittens, a few donated winter coats, and a bag full of stocking stuffers. “There’s a lamp in there somewhere,” she said. Sr. Pat gathers these items from a variety of sources; after 26 years, she knows people. She works with a “wonderful, solid group of volunteers” through the hospital’s Health Ministries/Faith in Action initiative and through the Winooski Peace Initiative.  She regularly stops at Papa Frank’s to pick up donated food. She gets coffee, pastries and sandwiches from the Starbucks on Williston Road. “They put up a giving tree for us at the Starbucks in Essex,” she noted. She collects money from anonymous donors who ask her, “Do all your people have what they need?” — a tough question to answer in 2020. Sr. Pat doesn’t just distribute material goods; she wants the recipients to feel important, “because they are,” and to know that they haven’t been forgotten. Her religious order emphasizes showing compassion for all. She tries to keep that in mind and encourages others to do the same. “Kindness: It’s not just for nuns; it’s for everybody,” she said. Beneath her mask, it looked like she was smiling.

Drive-by baby shower in Winooski


We’ve written about Wood for Good, a father-and-sons team in Jericho that collected firewood and donated it to people who needed help heating their homes; a Barre college student who spearheaded a donation drive of electronic devices that Vermonters could use for telehealth appointments; and a woman who recovered from COVID-19 and donated her plasma to help those battling severe infections. These stories are everywhere in our community. Each week, when I set up interviews for the piece, I tell the subjects how much I look forward to the chance to discuss something happy when so much of the news is grim. They often say they feel the same. We talk, laugh and sometimes even cry during conversations that go on for much longer than we expected. It brightens my day when a source writes a note of appreciation for the work we do. The steering committee of 100 Women Who Care Chittenden County let us know that their membership doubled in the weeks after we covered the organization’s unique method of donating to nonprofits. “Because of 7 Days and its credibility we received many new members who were delighted to join our small but mighty group,” they wrote, adding, “You are the rock of our community.” Not hard to be nice, is it?

• Numerous volunteers and textile businesses have stepped up to provide free or low-cost cloth face masks.


When Seven Days started the weekly “802 Much” column three years ago, we wanted to highlight fun and weird stories only found in Vermont. But by the middle of March 2020, there weren’t many of those wacky stories to tell. We quickly saw something else worth highlighting: neighbors helping neighbors with food, clothes, shelter, books and games — even providing moments of pure joy and human connection. The newly rechristened “802 Nice” covers “what’s kind in Vermont” every week on page 5.

been fundraising to help residents with rent, car payments and food. Earlier this month, volunteers with Winooski Mutual Aid and Burlington nonprofit the Janet S. Munt Family Room delivered food and diapers to more than 25 families. There’s no formal registry of Vermont’s mutual aid networks, but you can find a list, along with contact information for the organizers, at sevendaysvt.com/ mutual-aid.


Sr. Pat is a bit more cautious than she used to be, because of the virus. As a cancer survivor, she’s at higher risk for COVID-19; she’s also over 65, though she won’t reveal her age. She now asks donors to load their own items into her trunk. But she’s found ways around many limitations. In September, she and a group of well-wishers surprised Winooski resident Sharan Deep with a drive-by baby shower; Sr. Pat had gotten

to know Deep and her family after they arrived in the U.S. from India in 2010 and thought they’d appreciate the gesture. “It was great!” Deep said of the shower. A line of several cars pulled up to her house, where she lives with her daughter, her husband, her parents and her brother. Sr. Pat and the crew dropped off a box of diapers, a few onesies, books, toys, a handmade hat and socks. Deep said she was speechless; she never imagined that someone would do this for her. When the group planned another baby shower for her sister-in-law, Deep and her family picked up coffee and doughnuts to serve. “It’s our culture,” she said. “We don’t let anybody go without treats.” As a Winooski police car drove past the gathering, Sr. Pat flagged down the officer, who stopped to join them and pose for photos with Deep’s daughter and nephew. They offered the officer coffee, too. “It was so special he stopped by,” Deep said. If Sr. Pat has a superpower, it’s creating moments like these. She believes they’re good for us all. Her own connections with friends, family and acquaintances help her fight off the sadness and loneliness of this time — even when she can only communicate through Zoom. “There’s strength in community,” she said. “That’s really important.” C AT HY RE S ME R




Bright Lights «


after her landlord declined to renew her month-to-month lease. A GoFundMe campaign raised more than $25,000 to help transition the African diaspora community hub to the ground floor at North End Studios on North Winooski Avenue. “Thank you to the whole neighborhood,” Bannerman told Seven Days reporter Sally Pollak in November. “The way the neighborhood people support [me] and show kindness, it’s overwhelming.”


Weddings, funerals, graduations, religious holidays and other gatherings of all kinds were postponed, downsized or canceled in 2020. But people found new ways to mark milestones, from drive-by birthday parties to drive-in menorah lighting services. This time also gave rise to new traditions that helped us feel connected.

DJ Craig Mitchell

Giving Teens a Pandemic Prom

• Some Hinesburg residents started a nightly ritual in early April called “Front Porch Noise” to show appreciation for health care workers in their Buck Hill neighborhood. One of them — Jamie Cudney, a pediatric nurse at the UVM COURTESY OF JAMIE CUDNEY

The Friesen family

Medical Center — began photographing families on their porches. Cudney said the gatherings ended in mid-June, but new traditions have taken their place. A “mystery rocker” started leaving brightly painted rocks on trails and along streets near mailboxes. Another neighbor put up a sandwich-board sign and changes the messages frequently to reflect local happenings. In an email, Cudney wrote, “We remain connected, for the better, since March!” 46


School dances, those hotbeds of close, physical contact, were canceled in the spring of 2020. High school seniors missed out on the opportunity to shake their groove thangs at prom, a cathartic rite of passage. Aiming to give this year’s graduates the special night of revelry they deserved, a coalition of local entities and personalities put on a virtual prom for Vermont’s 12th graders and the state at large. With support from the Vermont Agency of Education, the event, dubbed Prom Goes #VTstrong, was streamed online by music nonprofit Big Heavy World, broadcast live by Vermont Public Radio and hosted by DJ Craig Mitchell. Between hits from yesterday and today during the May 30 event, local and national celebrities piped in to offer words of encouragement to graduating seniors. “You’ve done something that no one else has — graduated during a pandemic,” said U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). “It’s unfortunate you couldn’t spend the last weeks and months with your friends … But you’re making the best of it. In this virtual prom, you’re continuing to do that. I wish you the best of luck. What memories you will have.” Even Ezra Koenig, front person of Brooklyn-based juggernaut Vampire Weekend, chimed in. The band was meant to play a huge show at the Champlain Valley Exposition earlier in May, presented by South Burlington nightclub Higher Ground. “I want to say congratulations to the graduating Vermont class of 2020,” Koenig said. “You guys rule, and the future is better with you in it.” According to Mitchell, the show was trending at No. 4 worldwide on streaming platform Mixcloud during the livestream. “I got a bunch of emails from high schoolers saying how much they loved it,” Mitchell said by phone. He also noted that VPR relayed to him a litany of messages from listeners wanting a breakdown of his playlist. Perhaps the most moving shout-out during the broadcast came from WPTZ-TV meteorologist Tom Messner. “This awful period of time that you’re living through — this is gonna pay major dividends for you,” he said in his trademark cheery tone. “You’re becoming prepared for the real world … When adversity hits again, and it will, you’re gonna know how to deal with it … When little things go wrong, and they will, you’ll realize they’re little things. And when things go right … you’ll appreciate them.” JO R D A N ADAMS

• Seven Days contributing editor Candace Page has had a similar experience: “My husband and I were new residents of Wake Robin when the stay-at-home order ended communal meals and activities. We didn’t know our neighbors on the street, so we were doubly isolated. Then a neighbor up the hill

suggested the nearby residents of six homes go out at six every night, stand in the street and bang pots in honor of frontline workers. Seven months later, we were still at it. When winter intervened, we moved our gathering to twice a week on Zoom. We don’t bang pots anymore, but we exchange news,

encourage one another and even organized a virtual Thanksgiving potluck. I have new friends and a tight little community I would otherwise probably not have found.” • Food writer Melissa Pasanen contributes this anecdote about Thanksgiving dinner: “A member of the painting crew working on my house, Sean Quinn, mentioned that his Thanksgiving was really different and special this year. His wife has been across the lake in New York caring for her elderly parents. Normally, the couple and their grown daughter, Caroline, head over to family in Saratoga Springs for a gathering of up to 16. This year, Sean and Caroline celebrated together — just father and daughter. Neither had ever roasted a whole turkey or made ‘the fixins,’ as Sean put it, so they joined forces. ‘We cooked all day, opened a bottle of wine, told stories, had laughs,’ Sean recounted. ‘It’s a day that I want to put in my pocket and pull out every so often.’”


Parents, caregivers, schools, camps and childcare providers have worked hard to help young Vermonters learn and play safely this year. By most accounts, the transition to remote learning has been difficult. But we uncovered a few positive progress reports. Emma Marden

• Numerous students have rallied against racism since the spring, raising Black Lives Matter flags at schools around the state. The movement to fly the flags started in 2018 but intensified this year after the killing of George Floyd sparked protests around the country and here in Vermont. In June, Emma Marden, 14, organized a gathering that drew 300 masked residents to celebrate raising the flag at Shelburne Community School. “Change can happen anywhere, anytime, starting with anyone,” she told the crowd. “It’s time for us to make a change.”


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Union Elementary School, Montpelier

Embracing Outdoor Classrooms


In early December, Westford School music teacher Becky Nowak posted a short video to Twitter showing her third-grade students playing “Hot Cross Buns” on recorders — outside. Dressed in colorful ski jackets, snow pants and winter hats, the 13 students stand six feet apart in the snow-dusted woods, the school building visible in the background. Nowak narrates the performance. “This is what teaching music in the time of the pandemic is like,” she says. The music teacher is one of many Vermont educators who transitioned to teaching outdoors this school year to reduce the chance of spreading COVID19. But the shift has also proven positive in other ways. “My experiences teaching in the woods this fall have been some of the most magical teaching experiences of my career,” wrote Jen Ellis, a secondgrade teacher at Westford School. She has been taking her students to learn in an outdoor classroom every day — thanks, in part, to a supportive principal, she said. Brewster-Pierce Memorial School principal Sally Hayes has championed the cause in Huntington. She said teachers have been using the 245-acre community forest adjacent to the pre-K-4 school for years. Right before the pandemic hit, she applied for a $50,000 grant from L.L.Bean and the Trust for Public Land to expand the school’s existing outdoor education program.

Union Elementary School, Montpelier



The grant funding, which arrived this fall, was perfectly timed. Teachers in all subject areas have taken advantage of multiple outdoor learning spaces scattered around the school, Hayes said. In PE, students hike and play Frisbee golf. In Spanish, they sing songs outdoors. Even the guidance counselor has been holding his classes in a tin-roofed, timber-frame pavilion on campus. “I feel like when teachers are given an opportunity to try something new,

like being outside, it broadens their scope for how they offer instruction,” Hayes said. At Thetford Elementary School, also situated next to a forest, every class has its own outdoor classroom. Many were built this summer with the help of parent volunteers, said principal Chance Lindsley. This fall, one class even managed to procure two goats and build a pen, complete with a seesaw for the pair to play on. The teacher of the class has been in awe of the learning the project elicited, giving students the opportunity to do everything from measuring perimeter and area to making a budget, Lindsley said. He anticipates that students will continue to go outside regularly through the winter. “They’re getting incredibly resilient, and so are the teachers,” Lindsley observed. At Union Elementary School in Montpelier, first-grade teachers built five outdoor classrooms, and other classes have been visiting nearby parks and preserves, said fourth-grade teacher Melissa Pierce. She and several colleagues used online platform DonorsChoose to crowdfund the purchase of camp chairs for their students this year. National Life Group bought chairs for all remaining classes. Pierce is hopeful that outdoor learning is here to stay. “Kids really want to be outside,” she said. And, usually, the ones who grump the most about bundling up to face the elements “are the ones who have the most fun.” A L I S O N N O VAK




• Students in Randolph Union High School’s Encore Theater performed a 1930s radio drama this fall — virtually, of course. The production was available to stream for free via the school’s website for a week. According to a report on the site, orangesouthwest.org: “When asked why the troupe was performing a work that was exclusively auditory, Senior Ana Turinetti responded, ‘Why not? ... By using a computer with a camera and microphone, I still got to hang out with like-minded, zany, and understanding people. We made it work — I enjoyed it.’” • In the spring, while learning remotely, the entire Winooski Middle School participated in a Good Citizen Challenge inspired by Kids VT. Students earned points by doing activities such as keeping a journal of their time in lockdown and writing poems to put in their windows at home to cheer up passersby. They did enough activities to meet their goal, which meant that coprincipal Kate Grodin got a pie in the face. Graham Resmer at the grill

• Seven Days deputy publisher Cathy Resmer reports that her 14-year-old son, Graham, is honing new skills. “He was heartbroken by the cancellation of sports seasons, his band practices and summer camp,” she said, “so he threw himself into becoming our household head chef. Making food for our family of four is something he takes pride in and does really well. It was a role reversal that’s helped him as much as it helps the rest of us.” • An afterschool club formed at Bellows Free Academy Fairfax to tackle the 2019-20 Good Citizen Challenge, which continued into the spring and summer. Members of the Good Citizen Club baked treats for frontline workers, made a video explaining the importance of proper mask wearing and organized donations 48


to the local food shelf. The group of seventh graders is currently working on a card campaign for local senior citizens, as well as the 2020-21 Good Citizen Challenge. Says team leader and parent Alice Scannell: “The great thing about this virtual lifestyle is, we can have a ton more kids join, and I don’t have to worry about finding space!”


Bright Lights «


To make it through 2020, Vermonters have had to find new ways to pass the time. To help Seven Days readers rediscover the Green Mountain State, we created a feature called “Vermonting” and a monthly publication, Staytripper. Both focused on exciting in-state adventures. Staytripper originally was going to end in October, but we got such great feedback about it that it’s now extended at least until spring. Here are a few things we hadn’t planned on doing in 2020 but which turned out to be fun. • Instead of traveling around Vermont, Bernie Paquette and Maeve Kim have been exploring their hometown of Jericho. In April, the couple set out to walk all of the town’s dirt roads. They’ve posted photos of their strolls and observations at jerichovermont. blogspot.com. Paquette has lived in Jericho for just five years, but Kim has been there since 1986. “This project just introduced me to my community in a whole new way,” she said in a phone interview. Paquette described the importance of traveling familiar routes at a slower pace and meeting and talking with neighbors. “The more you observe,” he said, “the more you realize what you’re missing.” • Many Vermonters streamed films and live music and theater performances for the first time this year — and, in some cases, that actually improved the experience. The Vermont International Film Festival offered online screenings of its films for the first time and got great feedback from attendees who appreciated being able to watch them at whatever time in the week was convenient. “I hate to say that having to become a virtual film organization is positive,” wrote VTIFF executive director Orly Yadin, who prefers live screenings. But, she said, future festivals will likely move to a hybrid in-person and virtual model. • Burlington’s South End Arts + Business Association has long wanted to offer an e-commerce option for art sales, but it was hard to invest the time and money

Mount Independence

Walking Away

Late last winter, in the early days of the pandemic, the places in and around Burlington where my daughter and I walk our dogs started to become more crowded. That trend accelerated as the weather got warmer. And why not? Walking is healthy, safe, accessible, free and easy. Walking outside is good for body and soul. As our regular spots attracted more people, we began traveling farther afield. On weekends, I’d put the dogs in the car and drive to the Mad River Valley to walk in the lovely Warren Town Forest. One day in mid-October, I went for a dirt-road ramble around Sodom Pond in Adamant. I hadn’t gone far when I saw a man walking toward me, dressed in camouflage and carrying a rifle. As we approached each other, he told me it was the first day of waterfowl season. “Are there a lot of hunters stalking the bush by the pond?” I asked him. “No,” he said. “You should be fine.” The finest times I’ve had since March have been outside taking walks, discovering or rediscovering the beauty and history of Vermont. While reporting a “Vermonting” story, I walked on the interpretive trails at Mount Independence in Orwell. On July 28, 1776, on this site near the narrows of Lake Champlain, thousands of Continental Army troops assembled to hear a colonel read the Declaration of Independence. At the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, I hiked up Mount Tom. The path cuts through one of the oldest planned and

Johnny at the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail

managed forests in the country, possibly the oldest. The pioneering land-stewardship project, which dates back to 1880, was initiated by a railroad magnate who grew up in Woodstock. Perhaps the best place in Vermont to walk and learn something about the state is on the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail in Ripton. The one-mile path meanders through the woods, along a river and past a meadow. Posted along the route are Frost’s poems. The trail is “a treasure,” according to Frost scholar Jay Parini, a professor of English and creative writing at Middlebury College. “I’ve always said there is no better field guide to Vermont than The Collected Poems of Robert Frost,” Parini wrote in an email to Seven Days. “He knew the trees, the flowers, the birds, the animals. He knew the seasons, which were imprinted on his soul. And there’s a poem for every season and then some: He registers the gradations of each season with a brilliance not matched by any other poet. I walk this trail every year several times, in different seasons; it always speaks to me.” S ALLY P O LL AK

to make it happen — until COVID-19. Executive director Christy Mitchell said the organization “needed that push.” SEABA broke sales records during this year’s South End Art Hop, and is still selling local art online at seaba.com.


• As Margot Harrison wrote in an August cover story: “After months of streaming movies from the couch, a stir-crazy nation rediscovered the drive-in.” In addition to Vermont’s three existing drive-in theaters in Colchester, Bethel and Fairlee, temporary outdoor screens popped up around the state over the summer, including in Barton, Lyndonville, Rutland and Stowe.

A+ ADAPTATIONS Vermonters were forced to make many changes this year. Here are a few we’d like to keep.

A wish of wellness is a gift that keeps on giving.

COCKTAILS TO-GO: Memo to the Scott

administration: Make this change permanent, please.

Happy Holidays! – Ceres Natural Remedies


of us who are lucky enough to work from home miss our coworkers and a dedicated workspace but love the chance to spend more time with our families — when we want to. MORE MAIL-IN VOTING: Vermont had

a record voter turnout — and few glitches — in both the primary and general elections this year. Good news for democracy. TELEHEALTH APPOINTMENTS: Virtual face time with the doctor is much more convenient, and sometimes it’s all you need. A VIRTUAL OPTION FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T ATTEND MEETINGS IN PERSON: This helps

make meetings more accessible for people with disabilities and those who live far away or lack transportation. We’ve shown we can do it; now let’s keep doing it. Sunset Drive-In, Colchester

• Seven Days staff writer Margaret Grayson appreciated having to rethink social plans: “This summer, my friends and I became regulars at local beaches and parks instead of bars — meaning we could cap off every hangout with a swim. Earlier, during lockdown, we also discovered the nerdy joy of solving crosswords together over Zoom.” • Select Design isn’t throwing its big holiday party this year; instead, the Burlington design firm has recruited local bands to play a livestream fundraiser on Friday, December 18, at selectdesign.com/2020. The event will benefit the Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation, which supports families of Guard members during deployments. Viewers can tune in and “buy” a song from the bands to help determine the set list in real time.


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• Publisher and coeditor Paula Routly is grateful for mandatory changes to her exercise routine: “Swimming laps keeps me sane, but I don’t like sharing a lane. To avoid it, pre-pandemic, I rarely ventured to the pool before 8 p.m., when most people are calling it a night. And when Vermont pools reopened in June, with a one-swimmer-per-lane rule, I was quietly, guiltily thrilled. The gyms also introduced online reservations. For a place in the pool, you to have to book a lane for a specific time three days in advance. I don’t like getting up at 5 a.m. to sign up, but making that date gives me something to look forward to: an hourlong solo swim, in the daytime, with my thoughts — the best kind of isolation.” m

This holiday season, give the gift of comfort and hope with a donation to the American Red Cross. Every 8 minutes, we respond to disasters big and small. Your gift provides shelter, meals and financial support to families with nowhere else to turn. Donate today at redcross.org

WANT MORE UPBEAT NEWS? Check out St. Albans-based website EVER WIDENING CIRCLES at everwideningcircles.com, which promises “good news, no politics and a better life online.” Get uplifting links, poems and nature photos from GAYE SYMINGTON, former speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives and Democratic candidate for governor — and current president of

the High Meadows Fund — by subscribing to her MORNING MESSAGES EMAILS at stayingconnectedwhiledistancing.org. See photos of local holiday light displays by searching the hashtag #VTLIGHTSTHEWAY on social media, and submit your own stories of random acts of kindness at governor.vermont.gov/ rays-of-kindness. 4T-AmRedCross121620.indd 1



12/11/20 1:23 PM



Food Forward At Healthy Living, chef Matt Jennings is thinking ahead

Matt Jennings at Healthy Living Market & Café in Williston

BY SA L LY POL L AK • sally@sevendaysvt.com


n July 2019, a year after chef Matt Jennings closed his Boston restaurant, Townsman, he moved with his family to Vermont. He lives with his wife, Kate, a pastry chef, and their two sons in Charlotte, where they grow vegetables and raise animals. “I’ve always loved Vermont, and my wife is originally from Arlington,” said Jennings, who attended New England Culinary Institute in the mid-1990s. “We’ve always talked about coming back. Once we were freed up from restaurant life, we said, ‘Let’s go.’” Before they opened their Boston restaurant, Matt and Kate owned and operated Farmstead in Providence, R.I. A five-time James Beard Award nominee and former competitor on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef Showdown,” Jennings, 44, is the author of the 2017 cookbook Homegrown:





Cooking From My New England Roots. He’s also the founder of a food consulting business, Full Heart Hospitality. In Vermont, Jennings has a couple of projects in the works. He’s the vice president of culinary at Healthy Living Market & Café, where in January he and his team will launch a new house brand, HL Fresh at Home. It will feature a variety of prepared foods, including preassembled meals, designed to highlight seasonal and locally produced ingredients, Jennings said. The menus will change four to six times a year. His “side hustle” is a new project with Kate called Red Barn Kitchen. Though the details are still taking shape, the venture will involve growing food and preparing and serving it. There could be a teaching component, too. Red Barn Kitchen will be driven by Jennings’ “food ethos”

and informed by his interest in creating conversations around food, which he called “an incredibly important part of our social structure.” Jennings talked to Seven Days by phone about long-ago summers, sauté pans and Christmas brisket. SEVEN DAYS: Name three things you always have in your refrigerator. MATT JENNINGS: Local milk, now that we live in Vermont and have two growing boys. Black garlic. I just love it, and we use it in a lot of different ways. Vegetables — we eat a lot of vegetables at home. Hardy greens of some sort — kale or mustard greens, collards, Swiss chard. We love hardy greens. SD: What do you recommend for a holiday gift for a home cook? MJ: I think that a really great utilitarian pan is something that everybody could use — a sauté pan that you can use for everything from making omelettes on Saturday



mornings to cooking a breast of chicken. Something that can take a beating, that’s high quality — ideally anodized steel or stainless steel is a great choice. Also, a Santoku knife. It’s a Japanese knife, a really great chef ’s tool. They’re very versatile. I like to use them for everything from vegetable preparation to cutting fish to all sorts of things — cutting my kids’ carrot sticks. They do it all. (Jennings expounded later, by text, on the collection of pots and pans that will do it all: “Having some stainless and some anodized in your collection is the ideal scenario,” he wrote. “Different pans/ metals for different uses, but a few ‘utilitarian’ pan styles help slim the selection. I like a great fry pan, sauté pan, a great saucepot or braiser, a nice roasting pan, a small stockpot and a cast-iron pan. You can do everything with that.”)



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After a decade at the Hanover Inn’s PINE restaurant, executive chef JUSTIN DAIN has left to open his own restaurant: OAKES & EVELYN, coming to Montpelier in early February 2021. The chefowner will be joined by chef AMANDA CHAMPAGNE, his longtime “right-hand girl” at Pine, Dain said. Oakes & Evelyn will be located at 52 State Street in the space most recently occupied by KISMET. Kismet chef-owner CRYSTAL MADERIA moved her restaurant back to its original location on Barre Street in September. Dain and Champagne currently reside in New Hampshire, though both are originally from Vermont. Dain, who grew up in Waterbury, has degrees from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and NEW ENGLAND CULINARY INSTITUTE

in Montpelier. Springfield native Champagne also graduated from NECI. “We both wanted to come back to Vermont. This is something we’ve been talking about for a lot of years,” Dain said. “This is the thing I’ve always wanted to create.” For two years, Dain said, the pair scouted locations in the Waterbury, Burlington, Montpelier and Stowe areas. On State Street, the intimate room with its open kitchen appealed to Dain. “I know it’s a crazy time, but this spot spoke to us,” he said. “It feels like the space I’ve always wanted to open.”


Home to Cook

■ Collect, separate, and process that waste ■ Generate clean renewable energy ■ Support local dairy farms

It’s only waste if you waste it! From left: James Ives, Emily Chism, Amanda Champagne and Justin Dian of Oakes & Evelyn in Montpelier

Scallop crudo will be on the menu at Oakes & Evelyn

Oakes & Evelyn is named after Dain’s late maternal grandfather and a great-aunt on his father’s side, both strong supporters of his culinary career. Everything is on track for opening the first week of February, he said, with limited indoor dining and takeout, including to-go cocktails created by beverage director and house mixologist JAMES IVES. Dain described the menu as modern farmto-table with global touches. Dishes might include Maine scallop

crudo with Japanese sweet potato, yuzu, apples and crispy butternut squash, or a local cheese course “three ways” with cheese served straight up, in custard and in fondue. The chefs also specialize in fresh pasta, such as ravioli filled with locally farmed mushrooms served with a truffle-cream sauce and roasted root vegetables. The welcome in Montpelier has been warm so far, Dain said: “I’ve had farmers on the street come up to me to ask about selling to us.” m

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CONNECT Follow us for the latest food gossip! On Twitter: Sally Pollak: @vtpollak. On Instagram: Seven Days: @7deatsvt; Jordan Barry: @jordankbarry. Untitled-41 1



11/10/20 10:32 AM

Fairy Floss macarons from Small Oven Pastries

what she used in Paris, she said — but is sticking with imported French butter. The response has already surpassed her usual number of weekly pickups in Paris. “To come here and have it be this nice, and then for people to be so nice — and to have the food thing sort of work out right away — it’s both exciting and terrifying,” MacDonald said. J.B.

Haus to Haus Das ButterHaus, Charlotte, dasbutterhaus@ gmail.com, instagram.com/dasbutterhaus. Order deadline is December 18 for pickup at ShakeyGround Farm Stand on December 24.

Four new Vermont bakeries offer their wares direct to consumers B Y JOR D AN BAR RY & ME LISSA PASANEN


Belle Pâtisserie Belleville Bakery & Catering, Burlington, instagram.com/bellevillevt, bakery@bellevillevt.com

Shelley MacDonald isn’t just starting a new business, she’s figuring out life in a new city — and country. The Canadian baker moved to Burlington 52


in the fall after 11 years in Paris. MacDonald, 54, and her husband fell in love with Burlington’s sense of community while vacationing there. Now she’s entering its food scene one loaf of brioche at a time with Belleville Bakery & Catering. The name nods to her French influence but translates to “beautiful city,” which MacDonald said was fitting for her new home. MacDonald ran a home-based bakery and catering business in Paris, where she studied pastry at Le Cordon Bleu and worked toward her Certificat d’Aptitude Professionnelle Pâtissier diploma. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the couple’s immigration slightly, but adapting to Vermont life is going well: They’ve already bought a Subaru. MacDonald spent the first two and a half months in Burlington waiting for her equipment to arrive from Paris, making galettes with a rolling pin she borrowed from her Airbnb host.

“I started with things that required no pans and no mixer,” she said. Now that she’s in her permanent apartment — and her equipment has arrived — she can bake her full repertoire. Subscribers to MacDonald’s email newsletter receive a weekly update on what she’s baking; they can then claim items “for sampling” and pay her by donation. I jumped on an offer for buttery brioche loaves and delicate almond-blueberry tarts topped with a perfect swirl of mascarpone whipped cream, all of which I picked up at her new apartment on a Friday afternoon. I donated the suggested retail value: $9 for the large brioche and $7 for the tart. The donation model encourages customer feedback, MacDonald explained, which is what she’s looking for as she adapts her recipes to American ingredients and figures out what Vermonters want to buy. She happily bakes with flour from King Arthur Baking — better than



n these challenging times, we’ve noticed a small, sweet (and sometimes savory) trend. Over the past nine months, a new crop of bakers in and around Burlington has been whisking, crimping and piping their way into our hearts and homes. Aided by social media, word of mouth and changing consumer behavior, these new bakeries are all skipping the middleman and selling direct-to-consumer. Smells like sweet success to us.


Fresh From the Oven

An unexpected layoff isn’t usually a good thing. But for Meg Dawson, losing her job in the struggling restaurant industry provided an opportunity to get creative and bring her skills directly to her customers. “I had always wanted to do something on my own, and this kind of forced me into it,” Dawson said. The Charlotte resident, 29, was laid off from her pastry chef job at Philo Ridge Farm in the early fall. By midOctober, she had launched Das ButterHaus. In the run-up to Thanksgiving, she sold 140 pies through email and Instagram direct messages. “I was not expecting such an overwhelming success,” Dawson said with a laugh. “And it was definitely overwhelming.” Dawson worked in restaurants in Brooklyn and her hometown of Richmond, Va., before moving to Vermont, where she baked at Shelburne Farms and the Great Northern prior to Philo Ridge. Many restaurants have cut their pastry programs during the pandemic,

Brown-butter hazelnut wedding cookies from Das ButterHaus

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Blueberry-almond tart and a large brioche loaf from Belleville Bakery & Catering

so Dawson’s recent career change isn’t unusual. The value of pastry programs to restaurants can be difficult to quantify, she explained, and they’re often not a priority. “Those customers who are buying $2 breakfast pastries are loyal, though,” Dawson said. “The rise in success of these direct-to-consumer bakeries is proving that there’s a demand.” I ordered one of Das ButterHaus’ 140 Thanksgiving pies, opting for the apple and quince ($26) made with fruit from Scott Farm Orchard and an all-butter crust. (Gluten-free buckwheat crusts were also available.) The pie was so tempting when I picked it up that I dug into it immediately, though Thanksgiving was the next day. Dawson focuses on rustic baking with whole grains and local produce; she hopes to partner with farmstands in the future, using them as ingredient sources and retail outlets. The rustic approach is clear in her holiday offerings. A baker’s box for two ($28) includes an assortment of treats and breakfast pastries: everything from cookies for Santa to breakfast and snacking cakes. The pastries are simpler than Dawson’s elaborate Thanksgiving pies, but she hopes they’ll bring comfort and joy. “There’s something about any kind of baked good or pastry that feels special,” she said. J.B.

Pie Perfect Pie Society, 916 Shelburne Rd., South Burlington, 324-2811, piesocietyvt.com

“I have been obsessed with pie since I was very little,” Jonathan Davis said. He was

explaining the roots of his latest culinary enterprise, Pie Society, which launched in August. As evidence, Davis offered an autobiography authored in kindergarten that highlighted his love of apple pie. The young foodie also documented a mythical world populated by creatures who ate only pie. Davis, now 28, went on to work at a number of Vermont bakeries, restaurants and confectioners, including Mirabelles Bakery, then in Burlington; the Spot in South Burlington; and Vermont Cookie Love in North Ferrisburgh. In late 2015, he opened the Starving Artist Café in South Burlington in the Davis Studio, an arts education center and school founded by his mother, Teresa Davis. When the pandemic closed his small breakfast-and-lunch restaurant in midMarch, Davis expected to reopen it, he said. But the forced pause was an unexpected opportunity to take stock — “a reset and reevaluation,” in his words. Taking the pandemic as “a creative challenge to figure out a new approach,” Davis came up with his new pie-only, direct-to-consumer business model. He enjoys the focus and control and has no plans to go back to restaurant work. Each week, Pie Society offers at least three pies, including two savory options, one of which is always vegetarian. Each makes a satisfying supper for three to four adults. Orders must be placed by Wednesday evening for pickup in Burlington on Thursday or at Davis Studio on Friday. Davis relishes the opportunity to perfect his crust recipes and to play FRESH FROM THE OVEN

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SD: If there’s a regional Vermont cuisine, what do you think its defining qualities and characteristics are? MJ: Well, I’ll just say that one of the main draws, and one of the main reasons that Kate and I moved back to Vermont, was because of the incredible food ecosystem that exists here. It is rich with producers and artisans. I believe this state has always represented that. Food has always been central to my Vermont experience. I think it’s pretty incredible ... [and] doesn’t really get talked about. There’s so much to be explored — from small family farms to small production creameries. There’s really a breadth of [the] food industry that kind of goes undiscovered. I think the casual visitor to Vermont would be surprised at the amount of culinary DNA that we have in such a small state. SD: How and when did you get into cooking? MJ: My first kitchen job was when I was 14, a summer job, peeling vegetables and emptying trash and scrubbing sauté pans in the dish pit in a little café. And I just got bit by the bug, and I never really looked back. I tried liberal arts school for a little bit, but that was a no-go. I went back to culinary and felt immediately at home, and I never left, for better or worse. SD: Can you talk a bit about Red Barn Kitchen, the project you and Kate will launch next year? MJ: It’s meant to be, quite honestly, my passion project and my side hustle. I think COVID has not quite yet revealed what form it will take. We know that we’ll be serving people food in some capacity. The goal is perhaps to do some light home catering, food for off-site events, and maybe the occasional cooking class or workshop. It’s a way for me to keep my hands in ingredients and be inspired, and eventually bring my team there, as well, from Healthy Living. It’s a great opportunity to show people how food gets grown

and how it ends up on the plate, and to continue the job that I have to encourage the next generation to cook. We jumped into growing this past year in earnest and learned a lot, and sure made a lot of mistakes. We just love being surrounded by food and the beauty that surrounds it, and bringing it to life. SD: What do you think the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the restaurant industry will be? MJ: If I had that answer, I’d probably be

storytelling. It’s important for us to connect with consumers in a way that’s tangible, through the product itself. But I also think that food has the ability to transport us. So, when my chefs are designing new items for our menus at Healthy Living, I encourage them to think about what story they want to tell through that food. How do we get the guests to connect to the dish: where the ingredients are coming from, what the seasonal inspiration might be. It could also be trend-

Matt Jennings (leaning on case) with staff at Healthy Living Market & Café in Williston



Food Forward « P.50

a millionaire. That’s like looking into the crystal ball right now. We certainly are coming out of this thing, if and when we do, with great learning about how volatile our industry is — us as the general population, as the consumer. I hope that this creates a real transparent conversation with the consumer [about] recognizing what immense challenges restaurants have in front of them every single day. Restaurants have needed support from the consumers for years; some get it, and some don’t. People can get involved in helping the industry. People can vote with their fork. SD: What does a chef take into consideration when preparing meals for people to heat and eat at home, as opposed to cooking for restaurant diners? MJ: Portability — how does it travel? That’s important. For us, it’s about some element of

driven. What are the trends that we want to create? Not chase, but create. I’m trying to get my chefs to start thinking about how we can contribute to the brand heritage of a business like Healthy Living. SD: What are you planning to make for Christmas Eve dinner, and who will you be eating with? MJ: This year it will just be the four of us: my wife, myself and the two boys. I’m pretty excited, because the chefs [at Healthy Living] have been carving out — no pun intended — a Christmas brisket special, and I think I may just end up being lazy this year. It’s been kind of a tough year. I think we all deserve a little bit of a break. m This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.

INFO Learn more at healthylivingmarket.com.


food+drink Fresh From the Oven « P.53 MELISSA PASANEN

within the constraints of the nine-inch pie pan. His menu ranges from traditional favorites, such as chicken pot pie and apple, to Jamaican meat pie and gingerpear with red wine spice. His all-butter crust boasts layers of flaky perfection, which Davis tweaks slightly depending on the pie. Recent orders of bratwurst, kale and Long Trail Ale gravy pie ($24), chickpea korma pie ($22), shoofly pie ($13) and the ginger-pear ($15) delivered plenty of pie pleasure. For his substantial, vibrantly flavored fillings, Davis takes equal inspiration from locally sourced ingredients and recipes from around the globe. The crumbtopped, molasses-rich shoofly pie, for example, is based on one that Davis’ Pennsylvania Dutch great-aunt June still makes. The just-right-spicy Indian-style chickpea korma, studded with chunks of sweet potato and cauliflower in curry sauce, seemed perfectly at home in its American-style crust. Pie Society represents the best kind of fusion comfort food — something we can all use more of these days.



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Jonathan Davis of Pie Society

with blackberry buttercream and blackberry-sage gelée; thyme-almond shells sandwiched salted-honey buttercream. Storied Sweets During her former career as a librarian, Small Oven Pastries, 177 Maeck Farm Rd., Berman took courses at King Arthur Baking Shelburne, 424-8192, smallovenpastries.com. in Norwich. While living in Boston, she Order deadline is December 19 for delivery studied at the Cambridge School of Culibefore December 25. nary Arts. Elizabeth Berman comes from a family of Baking “became my happy place,” bakers, but “I didn’t really grow up baking,” Berman said. She found deep satisfaction she joked. “I grew up eating.” in sharing the food she made. “I love bringBerman, 40, credits her affinity for ing people joy,” she said. creative flavor and texture Berman had never tasted combinations to the fine the notoriously tricky French baked goods of her youth. pastry before her first mac“Grandma’s killer cinnamon aron class. She was immedirolls slathered with crunchy ately hooked on the challenge peanut butter: a revelation!” — and the result. “They are very mercurial,” she said of she enthused. That creativity is evident E LIZABETH B E RMAN macarons. “They take on the in the French-style almond flavors you impart to them.” Her Nutcracker: Land of Sweets macarons she produces for Small Oven Pastries, which she launched in August collection (starting at $11 for six) alludes from her Shelburne home. Orders are deliv- to the dances in the beloved ballet. Le ered free in Chittenden County or can be Chocolat (Dance Espagnole) pairs dark picked up in Shelburne. chocolate with a bright hit of orange. The delicate almond shells are crunchy Le Thé (Danse Chinoise) glitters with on the outside, chewy within and sand- lemon sugar and sandwiches a smoky wich silken fillings. Berman creates infused tea-flavored white chocolate ganache. Swiss buttercreams and flavored chocolate Danse de la Fée-Dragée stars a hauntganache, her own jams and fruit curds. (A ingly delicious cardamom-plum jam in bonus: Macarons are naturally gluten-free, honor of the eponymous Sugar Plum although Berman’s kitchen is not certified Fairy. because she also bakes with flour.) “I love making the collections, Many of Small Oven’s flavors change because they tell a story,” Berman said. seasonally. A fall collection (starting at $6 This baker apparently still has a bit of for three) was inspired by herbs from local librarian in her. farms. Vanilla bean macarons were filled M.P. M.P.



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Making Radio Waves Some big news out of Goddard College: Its radio station, WGDRFM, is in the process of becoming an independent entity after nearly 50 years of operation. While it’s possible that 6v-onecowvt.com120920.indd 1 12/7/20 3:40 PM the physical station itself, including tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of broadcasting equipment, a performance area and other facilities, will remain on the Plainfield college’s campus, operations and licensure are currently Find, fix and feather with being transferred to an independent Nest Notes — an e-newsletter group of citizen media volunteers. filled with home design, Going forward, the station will be known as Central Vermont Community Vermont real estate tips Radio, and its call letters will not and DIY change. decorating WGDR’s impending departure from Goddard is the result of several years of inspirations. budget restructuring as the college has worked to maintain its accreditation with the New England Commission of Higher Education, according to station director (and pop-Americana singer-songwriter) KRIS GRUEN. He explained that WGDR is no longer able Sign up today at to meet the financial requirements set sevendaysvt.com/enews. in place by the Corporation for Public

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Broadcasting’s Community Service Grant. Without that grant, the college cannot afford to keep the station operational. That’s why Goddard is essentially gifting the service to CVCR. Gruen, along with a new governing board and network of community supporters,

spearheaded the rebirth. Currently, the station is fundraising to ensure a smooth transition. It aims to collect $50,000 by the end of 2020 and is already a good way toward that goal. WGDR’s website lays out its monthly operating costs, as well as expenses tied to the transformation, such as $6,000 in legal fees that come with the license transfer. The new board consists of Gruen, a Goddard alum; JOSEPH GAINZA, former Vermont field secretary of the American Friends Service Committee and current head of Vermont Action for Peace; JUDE SARGENT, a longtime social justice activist (and co-owner of Pie-in-the-Sky Bed & Breakfast and Retreat); and MARK MICHAELIS, host of the station’s longrunning folk music program “Acoustic Harmony.” Despite the tight December 31 fundraising deadline, Gruen said in a video chat that donations have been rolling in and he’s feeling optimistic. He explained that WGDR, though housed and previously funded by Goddard and grant money from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, has always been primarily staffed and bolstered


by community members, rather than the school’s students. This differs from other Vermont college radio stations, such as the University of Vermont’s WRUV-FM, which is staffed largely by UVMers. “One of the things that makes WGDR so unique but also challenges it so much is that it’s always been a twoheaded hydra,� Gruen said. “It’s always had an obligation to be a necessity to its listenership in central Vermont and beyond — but also, off-air, how it can be valuable to Goddard’s product, which is academic programs and enrollment.� According to Gruen, social justice has long been a key tenet of WGDR, which will continue post-transition. “[It’s] rare for a media outlet of any kind to claim a bias like that,� Gruen said. Currently, WGDR offers a combination of locally produced shows and syndicated programs distributed by Pacifica Network. He noted the station’s history of covering such topics as workers’ rights, homelessness and LGBTQ issues. He pointed to the weekly show “Moccasin Tracks� as unique to Vermont airwaves. The program, which airs Mondays at 10 a.m. and Tuesdays at 4 p.m., is dedicated to perspectives germane to the Abenaki Nation and other Indigenous North American populations. WGDR changing hands is a bigger deal than it may seem. Of course, a college losing its student-run radio station would be disappointing and detrimental in its own way. But, as I know from my own experiences deejaying on a couple of community stations in San Francisco, such outlets have irreplaceable value; they offer not just a platform to promote social justice but a much wider diversity of perspectives and formats than do commercial stations. Community stations are true pipelines for the First Amendment, ensuring that regular people can take control of the airwaves, if only for an hour or two per week. And generally, such stations aren’t beholden to the interests of advertisers or corporate underwriters. Additionally, terrestrial broadcasts are more financially accessible than internet-only stations: If you have a radio, you have free, around-the-clock access. There’s also less of a barrier to creating content. People who are still

developing their skills can take the mic and tell their stories. Gruen conceded that because WGDR’s programming is assembled by seasoned pros and novices alike, it sometimes “comes across as less careful.â€? But, he added, “to our listenership, it feels extragenuine and unguarded and raw. “What’s so important about this is that [WGDR] is a place where you can witness true public care for a community,â€? Gruen continued. “It’s citizen action through media. People ‌ want to improve their community, region, country and world so much.â€?

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Gruen Pains

While I’m on the subject of Gruen, he and I commiserated during the aforementioned video chat about a shared disappointment earlier in the year. Pre-pandemic, we both had planned to be in Copenhagen, Denmark, during the first week of April, I as a tourist and he as direct support for rock singer-songwriter JESSE MALIN. Neither happened, and the timing of the world shutting down just weeks prior felt pretty cruel. I’m mostly over it now. We were supposed to meet up at some sweet cafĂŠ or whatever, shoot the shit, and talk about Gruen’s forthcoming album — which was pushed back because of the pandemic. For now, you should check out some of his recently released singles, such as the thigh-thumping “Nothing in the World,â€? on Spotify. 

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6radley, Blood in the Water (SELF-RELEASED, DIGITAL)

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An October Instagram post from Bradley Yandow, aka South Burlington trap metal artist 6radley, shows a stack of pay stubs Yandow says he earned as a paper boy saving up for guitar lessons. “Been grinding for my music since 12,” he wrote in the caption. The singer, rapper and guitar player has indeed been on his grind, releasing three short EPs and a Christmas single this year. Before the trippy slice of yuletide trap, Yandow put out the three-song EP Blood in the Water on October 10. Yandow pulls from pop, hip-hop, hard rock and nu metal across the trio of tracks. His stage fit — a Jason-style mask modified with blacklight paint and chain mail over the mouth, paired with a distressed flight suit — is in line with theatrical acts such as Slipknot, KISS and Eminem. If his work is

Xander Naylor, Continuum (CHANT RECORDS, CD, DIGITAL)

I was at a house party in 2008 with some bandmates. It was a pretty tame affair for the most part, but a failure to ask the important questions led me to ingest a rather robust mushroom chocolate. Long story short: I suddenly no longer desired the company of other humans. So my iPod and I took a walk around the city that lasted what seemed like days, listening to music that turned to colors before my eyes. Now, I’m not claiming guitarist and composer Xander Naylor’s new album Continuum gave me full-on flashbacks, but when the sax break hits about three minutes into opening track “Lunar Acropolis,” I started to feel the walls breathe a little. Don’t even get me started on the freak-out at the end of “Pursuit.” For those actually under an influence, I can see that moment being very similar to the psychedelic boat ride in the 1971 version of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

any indicator, Yandow may well be a fan of all three. It’s also possible that he absorbed Marshall Mathers’ early proclivity toward graphically violent lyrics. In “Rough Little Hole,” Yandow creates a bloody scene in which his protagonist, shall we say, reclaims cash from the wealthy: “Leave you lying eyes wide / Dead in a wet ditch / Money clip / Credit cards / Taking all of it / Getting cash back / This was my money first, trash.” At least the aggression is directed at a symbol of inequity instead of, say, women, as in Eminem’s early hits. Dude also has bones to pick with what he calls “the average religious zealot” with a “sense of superiority and entitlement,” whom he addresses in “Communion.” With its gloomy tones, heavy beat and distorted vocals, the EP’s lead single is appropriately placed on Spotify’s Dark Trap playlist alongside tracks by New Orleans horrorcore duo $uicideBoy$ and New York City trap metal duo City Morgue.

“Eat the Rich (GOD BETTER FALL IN LINE)” is a blistering referendum on capitalism and God himself, growled over a beat by Homele$$, a New Orleans beat maker whose music is featured on all three tracks. The overall mood is aggressive, but the hook is pure desperation: “God better fall in line / Cuz pushing us around can’t be funny all the time.” Yandow isn’t big on literary devices or intricate rhythms in his songwriting. Instead, he’s straightforward and insistent — there’s no missing his disdain for those who abuse positions of power. As he puts it in “Eat the Rich,” “Words have never filled hungry mouths.” Yandow tore through 2020 with not only multiple releases but also a brand concept complete with visuals, a dramatic persona and even a logo. The full package shows Yandow’s grasp on the importance of memorable visuals in the social media era. It also supports his strong point of view and should satiate local listeners looking for some hardhitting catharsis. Visit 6radley.com to find Blood in the Water on various streaming platforms.

Naylor, a Vermont native, left the Green Mountains for New York City to study his craft years ago. He earned a degree in jazz performance and studied classical North Indian Hindustani music under tabla master Samir Chatterjee. Along with touches of progressive rock, he deftly integrates those disciplines into his compositional and guitar playing styles to create a striking sound. While 2018’s Transmission made expert use of that fusion, Naylor has ascended to another level with Continuum. From start to stop, the record zigs and zags, never resting on a single feel or style, never staying too long in a groove, and never allowing the listener to get comfortable. In many ways, Naylor’s fluid compositions can feel like particularly frank discussions. And that’s partly the idea. In an email to Seven Days, Naylor explained that his record is “about breaking through the barriers of digital screens and facing others eye-to-eye.” That notion manifests in his riveting, almost confrontational music. “Surrender” is an apt example. The

tune starts with a pensive, slow-burn buildup that explodes into a frenetic powerhouse that would be at home on a Mars Volta record. By song’s end, though, it is all serene beauty once more. Naylor enlists some serious talent on Continuum. Along with his touring lineup of drummer Raphael Pannier, bassist Nicholas Jozwiak and alto saxophonist Elijah Shiffer, the composer brings in a crew of gifted NYC luminaries. Among them, Alec Spiegelman (Amanda Palmer, Anaïs Mitchell) contributes baritone sax, Body Language’s Angelica Bess lays down guest vocals, and Alex Asher (Beyoncé, John Brown’s Body) supplies trombone. The album is full of virtuosi and creative provocateurs, and Naylor harnesses their talents for an album that simultaneously tweaks the mind and moves the body. By the final song, “Leverage,” a pulsating prog-rock-style banger with stabbing horns, whirlwind drumming and wild guitar work from Naylor, I started debating my now decade-long ban on taking hallucinogens — which, frankly, would pair with Continuum like red wine with a nice pasta dish. The good news is that Naylor’s music does so much lifting, a chemical assist is not needed. Continuum is available at xandernaylor. bandcamp.com.


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movies Mank ★★★


The deal

Once, screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) was the toast of Hollywood, with a renowned wit that made him a favorite dinner guest of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. But by 1940, years of boozing and gambling have caught up with “Mank.” The washed-up scribe heads into the Mojave Desert to convalesce from a broken leg, dry out and write a screenplay commissioned by young wunderkind Orson Welles. The subject? A thinly disguised Hearst, portrayed in unflattering terms. As he dictates a draft of what will eventually become Citizen Kane to his secretary (Lily Collins), Mank wallows in memories of his glory days; of his friendship with Hearst’s mistress, Marion Davies (Amanda Seyfried); and of how it all went wrong.

Will you like it?

Every aspect of Mank is a love letter to vintage Hollywood and old-school moviegoing. The film is shot in luminous black and white, with “cigarette marks” to signal the reel changes to an imaginary projectionist. The compositions are

dramatic. The soundtrack echoes and pops. People in Mank don’t just talk; they fire off strings of stylized banter like people in the screwball comedies that Mank used to write. For every brilliant one-liner (“If I ever go to the electric chair, I’d like him to be sitting in my lap,” Mank says of studio head Louis B. Mayer), there’s at least one tortured mixed metaphor. When Oldman and Seyfried are quipping in tandem, it’s hard not to be reminded of the parody of His Girl Friday on “BoJack Horseman.” All of this makes for an extremely talky movie that was tailor-made for film buffs, full of gossip and inside jokes — and, for the most part, it’s entertaining. But the elder Fincher’s screenplay runs into trouble when it attempts to turn Mankiewicz into a sympathetic — nay, heroic — figure who stood up against fascism and the Man, here represented by Hearst, Mayer and the California Republican Party. That effort involves delving into the minutiae of a 1934 gubernatorial campaign and placing a great deal of weight on Mank’s supposed sympathy for Democrat Upton Sinclair. There’s also a clunky “save the cat” moment in which a minor character informs us that Mank saved an entire village from the Nazis (an exaggeration, though he did sponsor many refugees). There’s nothing wrong with wanting to elevate the underdog, a man whose contribution to Citizen Kane was dismissed for decades in favor of Welles’. But Mank pivots too quickly from sarcasm to sentimentality, telling us to like Mank because his heart is in the right place. We’re expected to tut-tut at his bad behavior

QUIP OR FLOP Seyfried and Oldman share sparkling repartee in Fincher’s period pastiche.

while smiling fondly at him, much like his long-suffering wife (Tuppence Middleton). Though she bears the sobriquet “poor Sara” in their circle of friends, she quips right back at him and never speaks a word of reproach. Overall, the film could have used a few breaks from the relentless quipping. Even the heroes of those old movies paused occasionally to look at themselves in a metaphorical mirror, and I’m not sure they’d have let themselves off as easily for their indiscretions as Mank lets Mank off. My guess is that, if you were a fan of the Aaron Sorkin-scripted combination of wordy snark and moralizing in Fincher’s The Social Network, you’ll be a fan of Mank, as well. For this viewer, the elaborate pastiche is a lot more successful as an aesthetic object than as a story.

If you like this, try...

• Citizen Kane (1941; HBO Max, rentable): Whether you like Mank or not, it should inspire you to revisit Welles’

e h T 60


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ur streaming entertainment options are overwhelming — and not always easy to sort through. This week, I watched Mank, director David Fincher’s tribute to old Hollywood and to his late father, Jack Fincher, who wrote the screenplay. The film was released on Netflix after a brief theatrical run and is likely to be an awards contender.

classic before it leaves HBO Max on December 31. • Gods and Monsters (1998; Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, rentable): Can’t get enough of classic Hollywood stories? Ian McKellen received an Oscar nomination for playing director James Whale (Frankenstein) in this period piece about the man’s final days. For portraits of jaded screenwriters, In a Lonely Place (1950; Tubi, rentable) and Sunset Boulevard (1950; CBS All Access, rentable) are indispensable. • Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994; rentable): Before Mankiewicz went to Hollywood, he honed his fast wit at the Algonquin Round Table, a group of New York writers known for what we’d now call merciless snark. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays Dorothy Parker in Alan Rudolph’s unjustly forgotten film portrait of that Jazz Age scene. MARGO T HARRI S O N


The Kinney Wine Trail! Check out our expanded selections at amazing everyday prices!

. e n i w e m o s e u c s e “R It’s trapped in a bottle.“ 7/21/20 12:56 PM


Hilary Swank and Michael Ealy in Fatale

NEW IN THEATERS FATALE: In the latest twist on Fatal Attraction, Hilary Swank plays a detective who won’t leave a married man (Michael Ealy) alone after they have a one-night stand. Deon Taylor (The Intruder) directed the thriller. (102 min, R; Essex Cinemas) MONSTER HUNTER: The Capcom video game becomes an action adventure in which a team of U.S. Army Rangers find themselves in another dimension fighting terrifying monsters. Milla Jovovich and Tony Jaa star. Paul W.S. Anderson, the auteur behind the Resident Evil movies, directed. (99 min, PG-13; Essex Cinemas; Sunset Drive-In)

NOW PLAYING THE CROODS: A NEW AGEHHH In this sequel to the animated comedy hit, a prehistoric family finds itself forced to cohabit with its more evolved neighbors. With the voice talents of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds; Joel Crawford directed. (95 min, PG; Essex Cinemas, Sunset Drive-In) THE GRINCHHH1/2 Dr. Seuss’ tale of a green grouch determined to ruin Christmas gets a new animated rendition with the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Angela Lansbury and Pharrell Williams. Yarrow Cheney (The Secret Life of Pets) and Scott Mosier directed. (90 min, PG; Sunset Drive-In) HALF BROTHERSH1/2 Two long-lost siblings with little in common, one American and one Mexican, find themselves on a road trip that retraces their dad’s immigration path. Luke Greenfield (The Girl Next Door) directed the comedy, starring Luis Gerardo Méndez, José Zúñiga and Connor Del Rio. (96 min, PG-13. Essex Cinemas) I’M YOUR WOMANHHH In this crime drama set in the 1970s from director Julia Hart (Fast Color), Rachel Brosnahan plays a woman on the run with her baby. With Marsha Stephanie Blake and Arinzé Kene. (120 min, R; Essex Cinemas)

WILD MOUNTAIN THYMEHH1/2 Emily Blunt plays an Irish farmer with a big crush on her neighbor (Jamie Dornan) in this romantic drama from writer-director John Patrick Shanley (“Moonstruck”), also starring Christopher Walken and Jon Hamm. (102 min, PG-13; Essex Cinemas)


OPEN THEATERS ESSEX CINEMAS & T-REX THEATER: 21 Essex Way, Suite 300, Essex, 879-6543, essexcinemas.com SUNSET DRIVE-IN: 155 Porters Point Rd., Colchester, 862-1800, sunsetdrivein.com

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11/17/20 9:39 AM

Get safe for the holidays with new winter tires!

holiday deals



Give the gift of safety this holiday season You can buy in person or on the web @ www.vttireonline.com.

Choose from household goods, building materials, clothing, electronics, holiday decorations, and more... Barre: Hyde Park: Burlington: Williston:

Evolution Winter - Plows Through Snow - Studdable For Extreme Ice Traction - Made In The USA

Tuesday – Saturday 10AM – 4PM Tuesday – Saturday 9AM – 5PM Tuesday – Saturday 10AM – 5PM Monday – Saturday 10AM – 6PM



resourcevt.org Purchases and donations make a difference in your community by supporting programs for Vermonters in need GG4t-Resource111820 1

Discoverer True North


Severe weather rated all seasons for all but the worst days

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ow n WHAT?

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From rough city streets to gravel roads the Discoverer EnduraMax™ tire has the durability you need for whatever the road has in store.

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Remarkably quiet on the road, thanks to the unique tread pattern that minimizes tire noise.

TREADWEAR WARRANTY* Highway I City/Rural Streets I Rough Roads ENDURAGUARD™ Uneven Pavement I Gravel DESIGN A durable internal construction helps the tire keep its shape when driving over rough and uneven surfaces, giving you better contact with the road and achieving a full tire life through even wear. with the durability Made

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Severe Weather Rated

ARMOR BELT™ TECHNOLOGYDURABLE-TREAD™ TECHNOLOGY Helps steel to extend the life of yourthe tire tread with in Extra strength belts, like ones ultra-durable materials that resist wear and tear our off-road tires, provide the tire strength from rough road conditions like gravel and uneven which can quickly wear outcan other help tires. to stand city upstreets, to rough roads, and to improve handling control. WINTER GRIP™ TECHNOLOGY Confidently tackle the changing seasons with sawtooth grooves to enhance snow traction and control in wintery conditions.

Severe Weather Rated

*For complete product and warranty details, please visit www.coopertire.com or coopertire.ca. ©2020 Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. All Rights Reserved.

Cut here!


Remarkably quiet on the road, thanks to the unique tread pattern that minimizes tire noise.

ENDURAGUARD™ DESIGN A durable internal construction helps the tire keep its shape when driving over rough and uneven surfaces, giving you better contact with the road and achieving a full tire life through even wear.

ARMOR BELT™ TECHNOLOGY Extra strength steel belts, like the ones in our off-road tires, provide the tire strength to stand up to rough roads, and can help to improve handling control.

Nordman 7

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- Improved Traction On Ice And Compact Snow During Cornering, Braking And Acceleration. - Enhances Wet Braking And Handling Even In Lower Temperatures. - Environmentally-Friendly Natural Material. - Studdable Snow Tires




From virtual yoga classes to delicious recipes, movie suggestions and crafting ideas there is something for everyone asking NOW what?

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of off-road tires, for on-road driving.

*For complete product and warranty details, please visit www.coopertire.com or coopertire.ca. ©2020 Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. All Rights Reserved.

Hakkapeliitta 9

The Seven Days team has reinvisioned our weekly Notes On the Weekend newsletter to include creative, constructive and fun ways to spend your time from a safe social distance.



Small/Midsize SUVs

Not responsible for any typographical errors 5/28/20 10:02 AM

2V-VtTire121620 1

12/15/20 2:25 PM



drumming DJEMBE & TAIKO: JOIN US!: Digital classes! (No classes onsite 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.


family ONLINE MUSIC CLASSES FOR TODDLERS & PRESCHOOLERS: Join Musical Munchkins for 10 weeks of interactive, family-centered fun at home this winter. Go for a sleigh ride, dance with a bear, drum with a snow mouse! Embark on make-believe adventures like these while your kids sing, dance, drum and play with instruments and puppets. Agespecific for toddlers, preschoolers. Beginning Jan. 8, Fri., Sat., & Sun. Cost: $125/10-weeks ($100 before 12/20). Free demo classes avail. Location: Online. Info: 8452311, musicalmunchkin swithandrea@gmail.com, musicalmunchkins.net.

gardening LIFE LESSONS HARVESTED FROM MY GARDEN: How have you bloomed from where life has rooted you this year? What life lessons have you harvested from your garden? Join Julie Rubaud (Red Wagon Plants) and Ferene Paris Meyer (All Heart Inspirations) for this storytelling workshop sharing life lessons learned from personal gardens and beyond. Register online: shop.redwagonplants.com/ shop/events/35. Sat., Dec. 5, noon. Cost: $25/Subsidized fees avail. Contact Ferene at allheartinspirations@gmail.com. Location: Online via Zoom. Info: Red Wagon Plants, 482-4060, info@redwagonplants.com, redwagonplants.com.

language ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE WINTER SESSION: Our six-week winter session starts on January 11, offering online French classes for adults. We also offer private lessons for those who are more comfortable with one-on-one

them throughout life. IBJJF and CBJJ certified black belt sixthdegree instructor under Carlson Gracie Sr.: teaching in Vermont, born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A five-time Brazilian National Champion; International World Masters Champion and IBJJF World Masters Champion. Accept no Iimitations! Location: Vermont Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, 55 Leroy Rd., Williston. Info: 598-2839, julio@bjjusa.com, vermontbjj.com.

instruction. We serve the entire range of students, from true beginners to those who are already comfortable conversing in French. Six weeks beginning Mon., Jan. 11. Location: Online. Info: Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region, Micheline Tremblay, 881-8826, education@aflcr.org, aflcr.org. EXPERIENCED NATIVE PROFESSOR OFFERING ONLINE SPANISH CLASSES: Premier native-speaking Spanish professor Maigualida Rak is giving fun, interactive online lessons to improve comprehension and pronunciation and to achieve fluency. Audio-visual material is used. “I feel proud to say that my students have significantly improved their Spanish with my teaching approach.” -Maigualida Rak. Read reviews on Facebook at facebook.com/spanish onlinevt. Location: Maigualida Rak, Online. Info: Maigualida Rak, spanishtutor.vtfla@gmail.com, facebook.com/spanishonlinevt.

martial arts

Holiday Cheers!!

We are Fully stocked with tents, Lights, fans, Soils and Nutrients

Offering online ordering and quick pick-up as well as gift-wrapping, shipping, and complimentary home delivery within a 10-mile radius! We'll make it as easy for you as we can and contribute to a healthy and economically viable community.

all you want for your year round gardening needs

BLUE HOLIDAY WORKSHOP & RITUAL: Not everyone is cheery for the holidays, Holiday Gift Certificates especially this year. Some experience illness, isolation, available economic uncertainty, hidden open 11-4 tues-sat grief or loss. This workshop is a safe space of acknowledgment 802-453-4797 11 MAIN ST BRISTOL and acceptance. We will include Just come on down or time for conversation, meditation, ritual and sharing coping Stay connected on strategies for getting through facebook and instagram the season. All are welcome. Sun., Dec. 6, & Mon., Dec. 14, 7 38 Main Street | Middlebury, VT p.m. Cost: $8/, $12, $16, sliding DON’T FORGET OUR NOVELTY SEEDS (802) 388-2061 | vermontbookshop.com scale. Location: online. Info: Rites of Passage, LLC, Kristabeth Atwood, 825-8141, ritesof passagevt@gmail.com, seven daystickets.com/organizations/ 8V-emeraldgrows120920.indd 1 12/7/208V-VtBook111820.indd 8:03 PM 1 11/2/20 3:52 PM rites-of-passage-llc.

yoga EVOLUTION YOGA: Come as you are and open your heart! Whether you’re new or have practiced for years, find support you need to awaken your practice. Offering livestream and recorded classes. Give the gift of yoga with a gift card on our website. Flexible pricing based on your needs; scholarships avail. Contact yoga@evolutionvt.com. Single class: $0-15. Weekly membership: $10-25. 10-class pass: $140. New student special: $20 for 3 classes. Location: Evolution Yoga, 20 Kilburn St., Burlington. Info: 864-9642, evolutionvt.com.

VERMONT BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU: 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 bullyproofing and self-defense life skills to avoid becoming victims and help them feel safe and secure. Our sole purpose is to help empower people by giving them realistic martial arts training practices they can carry with


gift certificate

A gift everyone will love — a great night out this holiday season! For every $100, receive an additional $20 Offer ends Christmas Eve.

Fire & Ice

Vermont’s Iconic steakhouse

Prime Rib, Lobster, Local Ground Beef & much more!

26 Seymour Street | Middlebury | 802.388.7166 | fireandicerestaurant.com

6H-fire&ice112520.indd 1

11/23/20 4:22 PM



Check them out for important and useful information, including Act 250 permit applications, foreclosures, notices to creditors, storage auctions and planning and zoning changes.

Contact Katie for a quote at legals@sevendaysvt.com; 865-1020 x10.



2020 TALENT SHOW FOR The Kids VT Spectacular Spectacular is happening virtually this year — on WCAX Channel 3 — now through December 18 during the 4 p.m. newscast. Tune in every day to see kids, between the ages of 5 and 16, from all over the state showcase their talents!


COMING UP: DEC 16: Phin Holzhammer DEC 17: Lucas Moran DEC 18: Andre Redmond

Visit kidsvt.com/talentshow for the full schedule SPONSORED BY:





Society of Chittenden County

housing »


Cinnamon AGE/SEX: 8-year-old female Dutch mix ARRIVAL DATE: November 17, 2020 REASON HERE: She was not a good fit for her previous home. SUMMARY: A dash of Cinnamon can make all the difference, and this independent lady is ready to spice up your life! Cinnamon is an active senior bunny who would prefer to be the only rabbit in her new home. She has plenty of binkying left to do and would love to do it in a new loving home. If you’re looking to add a bun to your family, visit hsccvt.org/small-animals to schedule a visit with Cinnamon!


on the road »

Our website shows all animals who are currently available for adoption, but they’re just a small portion of those in our care. While some new arrivals are ready to find their new homes right away, most spend extra time with us while they receive necessary medical care, behavioral training and socialization. Between on-site residents and those staying with foster families, we typically have between 70 and 90 animals in our care. Sponsored by:


pro services »


buy this stuff »


music »


jobs »





CLASSIFIEDS on the road

CARS/TRUCKS 2010 TOYOTA PRIUS Just inspected, great snow tires, brand-new brakes, new oil change, clean & well maintained, WeatherTec floor mats, 130,000 miles. $7,000. Call 802-989-9254. 2012 KIA FORTE, HATCHBACK Clean, 1 owner. Auto., 4-door, 4 cylinders, bronze color. 113,500 miles. Asking $5,500/ OBO. Call Doris at 802-999-9844 or email sageconnection@gmail. com. 2012 MINI COOPER COUPE Black, 83,803 miles. 6-speed transmission. 38-41 MPG. 2 sets of factory rims, snow tires already mounted for winter. $6,500/OBO. 802-291-4056.

2012 TOYOTA CAMRY, LOW MILEAGE Black, 63,500 miles, excellent condition. Incl. snow tires. Contact Noah at 802-881-4924. 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)


FOR RENT 2-BR & 3-BR NOW, BURLINGTON Roomy 2-BR & 3-BR in Burlington avail. now. Great locations w/ off-street parking. No pets. Refs. req. Joe’s cell: 802-318-8916. AFFORDABLE 2-BR APT. AVAIL. At Keen’s Crossing. 2-BR: $1,266/mo., heat &

CLASSIFIEDS KEY 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


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

HW incl. Open floor plan, fully applianced kitchen, fi tness center, pet friendly, garage parking. Income restrictions apply. 802-655-1810, keenscrossing.com. BURLINGTON Single room, Hill Section, on bus line. No cooking. Linens furnished. 862-2389. No pets. FLEXIBLE 3- OR 4-BR APT. Apt. w/ living area. Upstairs has kitchen, BA + additional room. Gas HW & heat, HDWD floors. $1,700/mo. + utils. Call 864-0341. 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. PINECREST AT ESSEX Joshua Way, Essex Jct. Independent senior living for those 55+ years. 1-BR avail. now, $1,240/mo. incl. utils. & parking garage. NS/ pets. 802-872-9197 or rae@fullcirclevt.com. TAFT FARM SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY 10 Tyler Way, Williston, independent senior living. Newly remodeled 2-BR unit on 2nd floor avail., $1,390/mo. inc. utils. & cable. NS/pets. Must be 55+ years of age. cintry@fullcirclevt. com or 802-879-3333. TAFT FARM SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY 10 Tyler Way, Williston, independent senior living. Newly remodeled 1-BR unit on the main floor avail., $1,185/ mo. incl. utils. & cable. NS/pets. Must be 55+ years of age. cintry@ fullcirclevt.com or 802-879-3333. TAFT FARM SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY 10 Tyler Way, Williston, independent senior

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: 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

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

living. Newly remodeled 1-BR unit on the ground floor, w/ restricted view avail., $1,095/mo. incl. utils. & cable. NS/pets. Must be 55+ years of age. cintry@fullcirclevt. com, 802-879-3333. WINOOSKI 2-BR 2-BR, 2nd-floor apt. in Winooski. Gas stove, full BA, LR. No pets. Offstreet parking. $1,200/ mo. Call 864-0341.

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; disinfect BA, kitchen & common areas after use). Wi-Fi, cable, W/D on-site, back porch, garden. Tobacco outside only. Inside: 420-friendly. Mo.-tomo., $600/mo. + $100 dep. Incl. all utils. Dennis Ailor: 520-203-5487.

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.


ADOPTION COUPLE HOPING TO ADOPT Kind & fun-loving VT couple can provide a safe & loving home for your baby. If you are pregnant & considering adoption, we would welcome hearing from you. jonandtessa.weebly. com, 802-272-7759.

AUTO DONATE YOUR CAR TO CHARITY Receive maximum value of write off for your taxes. Running or not! All conditions accepted. Free pickup. Call for details. 855-9780215. (AAN CAN)

BIZ OPPS 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)

EDUCATION ATTENTION ACTIVE DUTY & MILITARY VETERANS! Begin a new career and earn your degree at CTI! Online computer & medical training avail. for veterans & families! To learn more, call 855-541-6634. (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) OVER $10K IN DEBT? Be debt-free in 24-48 mos. Pay a fraction of what you owe. A+ BBB rated. Call National Debt Relief: 877-590-1202. (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) SAVE YOUR HOME! Are you behind paying your mortgage? Denied a loan modification? Is the bank threatening foreclosure? Call Homeowners Relief Line now for help: 1-855-4395853. Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-8

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

p.m.; Sat: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. All times Pacific. (AAN CAN) 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. ET. (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/ text). Milton. HEARING AIDS! Buy 1 & get 1 free! High-quality rechargeable Nano hearing aids priced 90% less than competitors. Nearly invisible. 45-day money-back guarantee! 1-833-585-1117. (AAN CAN)

MISCELLANEOUS 4G LTE HOME INTERNET Now avail.! Get GotW3 w/ lightning-fast speeds + take your service w/ you when you travel! As low as $109.99/mo.! 1-888519-0171. (AAN CAN) 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)

BAKEOFFBRAZILIANVT Brazilian cheese bread roll (gluten free). Pao de queijo. For more information please contact me at 802-324-7176. HUGHESNET SATELLITE INTERNET Finally, no hard data limits! Call today for speeds up to 25mbps as low as $59.99/mo! $75 gift card, terms apply. 1-844-416-7147. (AAN CAN)


Buyer or Selling? Let’s make it happen. HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Robbi Handy Holmes • 802-951-2128 robbihandyholmes@vtregroup.com Client focused Making it happen for you!

PSYCHIC COUNSELING Psychic counseling, 16t-robbihandyholmes121620.indd 1 12/14/20 1:47 PM channeling w/ Bernice Kelman, Underhill. 30+ years’ experience. Also energy healing, chakra Closes Mon., Dec. 21 @ 12PM balancing, Reiki, rebirth131 Dorset Lane, Williston, VT ing, other lives, classes, more. 802-899-3542, kelman.b@juno.com.

Firearms, Coins & Collectibles

HOME/GARDEN LEO’S ROOFING Shingle, metal & slate repair. Standing seam replacement. Roofing repair or replacement. Call for free estimate: 802-503-6064. 30 years’ experience. Good refs. & fully insured. Chittenden County.

Winchester Collectibles, Cartridge Boxes, Firearms and More

Trucks, Vans, Automobiles

By Order of Bankruptcy Court Closes Mon., Dec. 28 @ 12PM 982 Mansion Dr., Bennington, VT

buy this stuff

Preview: Tue., Dec. 22 from 11AM-1PM

FREE STUFF FREE FURNITURE ITEMS Vintage vanity dresser, 7 drawers, w/ mirror & bench; top surface fair condition, drawers good. Solid wood bed headboard, for 3/4-size bed. 802-879-6206.


THCAuction.com  800-634-7653

SEVEN DAYS DECEMBER 16-23, 2020 8v-hirchakbrothers12162 1

12/14/20 10:34 AM











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a. Prior to the site visit, all potential attendees must confirm in writing, which may be via email to the State Coordinator (aaron.brondyke@ vermont.gov), that they will abide by this protocol.

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Site Visit Instructions: All site visit participants shall be required to observe the following protocol prior to, and during the site visit:

802-846-9551 Krista802RealEstate.com



Virtual Prehearing Conference: 10:00 AM via Microsoft Teams (see below)


Krista Lacroix



In-Person Site Visit: 8:30 AM at 266 Queen City Park Road, Burlington, VT 05401

j. Everyone attending the site visit must have completed a VOSHA-approved and employer- sponsored training program regarding COVID-19. Additional information about VOSHA- approved training may be found on the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s website. See https://accd. vermont.gov/covid-19/

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Pursuant to Act 250 Rules 16 and 20, the Commission is convening an online prehearing conference (“PHC”). A PHC, in summary, has narrow goals and is designed to identify the parties

Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2021

i. Everyone attending the site visit must have access to either a hand washing station, consisting of soap and water, or hand sanitizer.


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A prehearing conference is hereby scheduled to convene:

f. No one may attend the

h. Everyone attending the site visit must wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when in the presence of others.


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g. Everyone attending the site visit must observe strict social distancing of six feet.



e. No one may attend the site visit if they have had contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 unless they have self-quarantined for 14 days following such contact or 7 days followed by a negative COVID-19 test.




ACT 250 NOTICE APPLICATION 4C01746,4C0368-3 SITE VISIT AND PREHEARING CONFERENCE 10 V.S.A. §§ 6001 - 6111 On December 2, 2020, The Burton Corporation filed application number 4C0174-6,4C0368-3 for a project generally described as redevelopment of an existing 83,000-square foot manufacturing building into a mixed-use facility, including a performing arts center, and associated parking improvements. The project is located at 180 and 266 Queen City Park Road in Burlington, Vermont. This Project will be evaluated by the District 4 Environmental Commission in accordance with the 10 environmental criteria of 10 V.S.A. § 6086(a). A copy of the application and plans for this project are available for review online at the Natural Resources Board web site (http:// nrb.vermont.gov) by clicking on “Act 250 Database” and entering project number 4C0174- 6,4C0368-3.

d. No one may attend the site visit who has displayed any of the symptoms of COVID-19 recognized by the Vermont Department of Health. No earlier than 24 hours prior to the appointment, all attendees must take their own temperatures to determine whether they have a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater. If requested, attendees must submit to a temperature test with a no-contact thermometer.



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Note to Prospective Parties: Pursuant to Vermont statute and Act 250 Rules, any person seeking to participate as a party to this proceeding MUST make such a party status request “on or before the first prehearing conference.” Accordingly, all prospective parties are obligated to log in or call into the PHC scheduled below, or to file a written party status petition in advance to the Commission at NRB. Act250Essex@vermont. gov. Failure to timely appear on the PHC call or video conference call, or to timely file a written request by the date of the PHC, thereafter bars a person from participating as a party in the proceeding, and any such person will thereafter lack legal standing to appeal any decision on this matter made by the District Commission. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) State of Emergency, all prospective parties are asked to supply an email address, a street address, and a mailing address to the District Commission by email (NRB.Act250Essex@ vermont.gov) for receiving service of notices on the proceedings.

c. If any portion of the site visit will be conducted inside, all occupancy limits established by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development must be followed even if that results in a limit of less than 25 people. See https://accd.vermont. gov/content/maximumretail-occupant-loadduring-covid-19 (last visited June 10, 2020).

site visit if they must travel from any location from which visitors to Vermont are required to self-quarantine unless they have self-quarantined for either 14 days or 7 days followed by a negative COVID-19 test. A map of such locations can be found at the Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s website. See https://accd. vermont.gov/covid-19/ restart/cross-statetravel (last visited August 19, 2020)


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b. No more than 25 people may attend the site visit.


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and the issues. The PHC will be followed by the issuance of a Prehearing Conference Report and Order (“PHCRO”), which will prescribe any informational filing requirements, preliminary party status rulings, and the scheduling of a merits hearing at a later date.


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with the following information:

k. No more than three people shall occupy any single vehicle traveling to or from the site visit.

• Dial: 802-828-7667 • Enter Conference ID: 657 787 993#

l. Everyone attending the site visit must refrain from touching communal objects, including but not limited to site plans, unless they are cleaned and disinfected between each touch. Virtual Prehearing Conference Instructions: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), this prehearing conference will necessarily be conducted remotely via Microsoft Teams video conferencing software. To receive a Microsoft Teams invitation via email, please e-mail the State Coordinator (aaron.brondyke@ vermont.gov) by no later than Wednesday January 6, 2021, at 4:30 PM. If you are unable to participate using the Microsoft Teams platform, you may still call in to the conference

If you would like further information regarding participation in this prehearing conference, please contact the State Coordinator (aaron.brondyke@ vermont.gov) by no later than Wednesday January 6, 2021, at 4:30 PM. If you have a disability for which you need accommodation in order to participate in this process (including participating in a public hearing, if one is held), please notify us as soon as possible, in order to allow us as much time as possible to accommodate your needs. Dated this 7th day of December 2020. By: /s/ Aaron J. Brondyke Aaron J. Brondyke, State Coordinator, 111 West Street, Essex Junction, VT 05452 802-595-2735

aaron.brondyke@ vermont.gov

BURLINGTON DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD TUESDAY, JANUARY 5TH, 2021, 5:00 PM PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE REMOTE MEETING Zoom: https://us02web. zoom.us/j/82200877 340?pwd=WWdaYnB hOXBOSUQzVGtZRXo 5R1ZFUT09 Webinar ID: 82200877340 Password: 842557 Telephone: +13126266799 or +19292056099 or +13017158592 or +13462487799 or +16699006833 or +12532158782 1. 21-0491CU; 194 South Champlain Street (RH, Ward 5S) Cheri Campbell Requesting a shortterm rental (bed and breakfast). 2. 21-0520CA/CU; 31 North Prospect Street (RL, Ward 1E) Kesha Ram Change of use to duplex; removing boarding house.


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3. 21-0536CA/CU; 14 Strong Street (RM, Ward 3C) Erica Giannone and Missa Aloisi Addition over single story portion of home; replace windows and install door. 4. 19-0202CA/MA; 44 Lakeside Avenue (ELM, Ward 5S) Lakeside Ovens LLC Time extension request for renovating buildings for assembly, office, and seasonal recreational use. Rework parking and circulation. Merge north and south lots into one. 5. 20-0037CA/MA; 266 College Street (FD5, Ward 8E) Hotel Y Burlington LLC>\n> Time extension request for building renovations and addition for hotel, below grade parking structure, and rooftop bar and restaurant. Plans may be viewed upon request by contacting the Department of Permitting & Inspections between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Participation in the DRB proceeding is a prerequisite to the right to take any subsequent appeal. Please note that ANYTHING submitted to the Zoning office is considered public and cannot be kept confidential. This may not be the final order in which items will be heard. Please view final Agenda, at www. burlingtonvt.gov/dpi/ drb/agendas or the office notice board, one week before the hearing for the order in which items will be heard.

FULL BOARD OF ABATEMENT OF TAXES, DECEMBER 21, 2020: NOTICE CITY OF BURLINGTON FULL BOARD OF ABATEMENT OF TAXES The Full Board of Abatement of Taxes of the City of Burlington will meet via ZOOM on Monday, December 21, 2020* to hear and act upon the requests for abatement of taxes and/ or penalties from: *The City Council

Post & browse ads at your convenience. Meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. The Full Board of Abatement of Taxes Meeting is part of this agenda, no set start time. 405 Investment Corporation, 405 Pine Street, 053-1-005-000 M&W Developers, LLC, 98 North Avenue, 043-3-115-000 Ronald A. and Michele H. Morin, 501 Shelburne Street, 057-4-028-000 Maximillian Hurd, 226B South Union Street, 049-4-205-001 John P. Sullivan and Jennifer L. Sullivan, 97 Overlake Park, 054-1-153-000 Ashley & Bernice Walenty, 6 Glenwood Lane, 028-2-003-000 Vermont Organization for Jewish Education, 42 Summit Street, 050-1-016-000 Ana Milizia, 499 South Prospect Street, Unit 1, 054-3-011-009

LAKE IROQUOIS RECREATION DISTRICT NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING The Lake Iroquois Recreation District, a Union Municipal District located in Chittenden County, Vermont, will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 to receive public comment on its proposed operating budget for Fiscal Year 22. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 4:30 via zoom. Please contact Bruce Hoar at 878-1239 for the zoom log in. Please contact Bruce Hoar, staff person, Lake Iroquois Recreation District at 878-1239 for copies of information relating to the proposed budget.


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NOTICE OF APPLICATION TO BROWNFIELDS REUSE AND ENVIRONMENTAL LIABILITY LIMITATION ACT PROGRAM Please take notice that Spear Street Associates, LLC; 600 Spear EBT, LLC; and 600 Spear FJT, LLC whose mailing address is One National Life Dr., M-230, Montpelier, VT 05604, is applying to the Vermont Brownfields Reuse and Environmental Liability Limitation Act Program (10 VSA section 6641 et seq.) in connection with the redevelopment of property known as 600 Spear St. in the city of South Burlington, Vermont. A copy of the application, which contains a preliminary environmental assessment and a description of the proposed redevelopment project is available for public review at the City of South Burlington City Clerk’s office and at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation offices in Montpelier, Vermont.


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Independent Living for Adults 55+ Opening February 2021

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR MARKET-RATE APARTMENTS Juniper House is part of the Cambrian Rise neighborhood off North Avenue in Burlington, It is Cathedral Square’s newest mixed-income community, featuring 70 independent-living apartments and a variety of amenities for adults ages 55+. INCOME REQUIREMENTS for Market-Rate Apartments: One-person households: Annual income must be between $51,350 and $77,040. Two-person households: Annual income must be between $58,700 and $88,080. MONTHLY RENT (all-inclusive except for phone and cable TV): One bedroom ..........$1,223 Two bedrooms........$1,573 TO LEARN MORE & APPLY Visit cathedralsquare.org/juniper-house or call 802-863-2224. Untitled-3 1

Cathedral Square is a nonprofit, equal-opportunity employer and housing provider. Our communities are welcoming and inclusive, embracing diversity in all its forms. SEVEN DAYS DECEMBER 16-23, 2020


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[CONTINUED] Comments concerning the application and/or the above referenced documents may be directed to Shawn Donovan at (802) 522-5683 or at shawn. donovan@vermont. gov. Comments may also be submitted by mail to the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Waste Management Division, One National Life Dr.-Davis 1, Montpelier, VT 05620; attention: Shawn Donovan.

NOTICE OF SELFSTORAGE LIEN SALE LYMAN STORAGE 10438 Route 116 Hinesburg VT 05461 802-482-2379 Notice is hereby given that the contents of the self-storage units listed below will be sold at public auction by sealed bid at the Lyman Storage facility. This sale is being held to collect unpaid storage unit occupancy fees, charges and expenses of the sale. The entire contents of each self-storage unit listed below will be sold, with the proceeds to be distributed to Lyman Storage for all accrued occupancy fees (rent charges), attorney’s fees, sale expenses, and all other expenses in relation to the unit and its sale. Any proceeds beyond the foregoing shall be returned to the unit holder. Contents of each unit may be viewed on Saturday 01/09/2021,

commencing at 10:00 a.m. Sealed bids are to be submitted on the entire contents of each self-storage unit. Bids will be opened one-quarter of an hour after the last unit has been viewed on Saturday 01/09/2021. The highest bidder on the storage unit must remove the entire contents of the unit within 48 hours after notification of their successful bid. Purchase must be made in cash and paid in advance of the removal of the contents of the unit. A $50.00 cash deposit shall be made and will be refunded if the unit is broom cleaned. Lyman Storage reserves the right to accept or reject bids. Unit 015 ~ Lynda J Moureau 2345 N Craycroft Rd. Apt. # 23 Tucson AZ 85712

NOTICE OF TAX SALE TOWN OF COLCHESTER The resident and nonresident owners, lien holders and mortgagees of lands in the Town of Colchester in the County of Chittenden are hereby notified that the taxes or delinquencies assessed by such Town remain, either in whole or in part, unpaid on the following described lands in such Town, to wit: Property Owner: Tonya Gabert (Love) with interest of Ditech Financial, LLC Property Address: 102 Canyon Estates Drive, Parcel ID # 22-0480030000000. All and the same lands and premises conveyed to the said Tonya Gabert by Quitclaim Deed of Brian Gabert dated August 14, 2007 and recorded at Volume 594, Page 346, and by Warranty Deed of Benjamin C. Martin, II and Gail E. Martin to Brian Gabert and Tonya

Gabert dated March 27, 2001 and recorded at Volume 346, Page 213. Ditech Financial, LLC’s interest is by Complaint for Foreclosure in the matter Ditech Financial, LLC f/k/s Green Tree Servicing LLC v. Tonya L. Gabert and Citibank (South Dakota) N.A., Occupants of 102 Canyon Estates Drive, Colchester VT dated June 6, 2018 and recorded at Volume 837, Page 673, Judgment and Decree of Foreclosure by Judicial Sale dated January 17, 2019 and recorded at Volume 861, Page 202, and Certificate of Non- Redemption dated August 26, 2019 and recorded at Volume 861, Page 201 of the Land Records of the Town of Colchester, Vermont. Amount of delinquency, interest, cost and penalties: $106,639.15 Reference may be made to said deeds for a more particular description of said lands and premises, as the same appear in the Town Clerk’s Office of the Town of Colchester. So much of such lands will be sold at public auction at the Town of Colchester, 781 Blakely Road, Colchester, Vermont 05478, on the 14th day of January, 2021 at 10:30 a.m., as shall be requisite to discharge such taxes with interest, costs and penalties, unless previously paid. Property owners, mortgagees, and lien holders may pay such taxes, interest, costs and penalties in full by cash or certified check made payable to the Town of Colchester. At tax sale, successful bidders must pay in full by cash or certified check. No other payments accepted. Any questions or inquiries regarding the above-referenced sale should be directed to the following address: Kristen E. Shamis,

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Monaghan Safar Ducham PLLC, and the Town of Colchester give no opinion or certification as to the marketability of title to the above-referenced properties as held by the current owner/ taxpayer. Dated at Colchester, Vermont, this 19th day of November, 2020. Julie Graeter, Collector of Delinquent Taxes Town of Colchester

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF VERMONT. The 2019-2020 General Assembly proposed two amendments to the Constitution of the State of Vermont, and the upcoming 2021-2022 General Assembly must concur with each proposed amendment in order for it to be submitted to the voters for final approval. The proposed amendments are described as follows: Proposal 2 would amend the Vermont Constitution to clarify that slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited.

NOTICE TO CREDITORS STATE OF VERMONT DISTRICT OF CHITTENDEN SS. PROBATE COURT DOCKET NO. 20-PR-01143 In re the Estate of Elizabeth L. Gadue Late of Burlington, Vermont

Article 1 of Chapter I of the Vermont Constitution would be amended to read:


That all persons are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety; therefore no person born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person as a servant, slave or apprentice, after arriving to the age of twenty-one years, unless bound by the person’s own consent, after arriving to such age, or bound by law for the payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited.

To the creditors of the estate of Elizabeth L. Gadue late of Burlington, Vermont: We have been appointed personal representatives of the above-named estate. All creditors having claims against the estate must present their claims in writing within four (4) months of the date of publication of this Notice. The claim must be presented to us at the address listed below with a copy filed with the register of the Probate Court. The claim will be forever barred if it is not presented as described above within the four (4) month deadline. Dated December 1, 2020 Signed /s/ A. Mark Gadue, /s/ Anne G. Biafore A. Mark Gadue and Anne G. Biafore, c/o Little & Cicchetti, P.C., P.O. Box 907, Burlington, VT 054020907 802-862-6511 Name of Publication: Seven Days Publication Dates: 12/9/20 and 12/16/20 Address of Probate Court: Chittenden District Court PO Box 511 Burlington, VT 05402-0511

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Esq., Monaghan Safar Ducham PLLC, 156 Battery Street Burlington, VT 05401, kshamis@msdvt.com, (802) 660-4735

Article 1. [All persons born free; their natural rights; slavery and indentured servitude prohibited]

Proposal 5 would amend the Vermont Constitution to ensure that every Vermonter is afforded personal reproductive liberty. Article 22 of Chapter I of the Vermont Constitution would be added to read: Article 22. [Personal reproductive liberty] That an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course and shall not

be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.

STATE OF VERMONT VERMONT SUPERIOR COURT FRANKLIN UNIT, CIVIL DIVISION DOCKET NO: 7-1-20 FRCV LAKEVIEW LOAN SERVICING, LLC. v. ANDREW H. MONTROLL, ESQ., ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF MARLENE L. SHAPPY OCCUPANTS OF: 519 Sand Hill Road, Enosburg Falls VT MORTGAGEE’S NOTICE OF FORECLOSURE SALE OF REAL PROPERTY UNDER 12 V.S.A. sec 4952 et seq. In accordance with the Judgment Order and Decree of Foreclosure entered October 12, 2020 in the above captioned action brought to foreclose that certain mortgage given by James J. Shappy Jr. and Marlene L. Shappy to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as nominee for PHH Mortgage Services, dated April 6, 2007 and recorded in Book 109 Page 642 of the land records of the Town of Enosburg Falls, of which mortgage the Plaintiff is the present holder, by virtue of an Assignment of Mortgage from Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as nominee for PHH Mortgage Services to Lakeview Loan Servicing, LLC dated March 19, 2019 and recorded in Book 136 Page 181 of the land records of the Town of Enosburg Falls, for breach of the conditions of said mortgage and for the purpose of foreclosing the same will be sold at Public Auction at 519 Sand Hill Road, Enosburg Falls, Vermont on January 12, 2021 at 12:00PM all and singular the premises described in said mortgage, To wit: Being all and the same lands and premises conveyed to James J. Shappy and Marlene L. Shappy by Deed of Darlene Fowler of approximate even date herewith and to be recorded in the Town of Enosburgh Land Records. Said lands and premises being more particularly described

as follows: Being all and the same lands and premises conveyed to Darlene Fowler, Thomas Fowler, and Michael Greenwood, by Quit Claim Deed of Darlene Fowler and Thomas Fowler dated August 28, 2002 and recorded September 19, 2002 at Book 94, Pages 94-95 of the Town of Enosburg Land Records. Darlene Fowler and Thomas Fowler took title as husband and wife, as tenants by the entirety and Michael Greenwood took title as joint tenant as between himself and Darlene and Thomas Fowler. The interest of Michael Greenwood was conveyed to Darlene Fowler by Quit Claim Deed dated January 5, 2008 and recorded January 28, 2008 at Book 106, Pages 358-359 of said Land Records. Thomas Fowler is deceased with death certificate dated February 8, 2003 at Book 22, Page 61 of said Land Records, vesting title solely in the name of Darlene Fowler. Said lands and premises being more particularly described as follows: Being all and the same lands and premises conveyed to Darlene Fowler and Thomas Fowler by the following two Deeds: Parcel One: Warranty Deed of Timothy Hayes and Lori Hayes dated July 12, 1999 and recorded at Book 85, Page 27 of said land records. This parcel is subject to State of Vermont Homestead Exemption Determination HE-6-0267 recorded at Book 85, Page 26 of said Land Records. Parcel Two: Warranty Deed of Timothy Hayes and Lori Hayes dated September 29, 1999 and recorded at Book 85, Page 373 of said Land Records. This parcel is subject to State of Vermont Deferral of Permit number DE-6-2511 recorded at Book 85, Page 24-25 of said Land Records. Reference is made to a survey prepared by Harvey W. Chaffee dated June 22, 1999 and recorded at Map Book 3, Page 56 of said Land Records. Reference is hereby made to the above instruments and to the records and references contained therein

in further aid of this description. Terms of sale: Said premises will be sold and conveyed subject to all liens, encumbrances, unpaid taxes, tax titles, municipal liens and assessments, if any, which take precedence over the said mortgage above described. TEN THOUSAND ($10,000.00) Dollars of the purchase price must be paid by a certified check, bank treasurer’s or cashier’s check at the time and place of the sale by the purchaser. The balance of the purchase price shall be paid by a certified check, bank treasurer’s or cashier’s check within sixty (60) days after the date of sale. The mortgagor is entitled to redeem the premises at any time prior to the sale by paying the full amount due under the mortgage, including the costs and expenses of the sale. Other terms to be announced at the sale. DATED: November 19, 2020 By: /S/Loraine L. Hite, Esq. Loraine L. Hite, Esq. Bendett and McHugh, PC 270 Farmington Ave., Ste. 151 Farmington, CT 06032

THE CONTENTS OF STORAGE UNIT 0103519 LOCATED AT 28 ADAMS DRIVE, WILLISTON VT, 05495 WILL BE SOLD ON OR ABOUT THE OF DECEMBER 31ST 2020 TO SATISFY THE DEBT OF DANIEL P WEST. Any person claiming a right to the goods may pay the amount claimed due and reasonable expenses before the sale, in which case the sale may not occur.

THE CONTENTS OF STORAGE UNIT 0103676 LOCATED AT 28 ADAMS DRIVE, WILLISTON VT, 05495 WILL BE SOLD ON OR ABOUT THE 30TH OF DECEMBER 2020 TO SATISFY THE DEBT OF NAOMI SHAW. Any person claiming a right to the goods may pay the amount claimed due and reasonable expenses before the sale, in

which case the sale may not occur.

TOWN OF ESSEX ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT PUBLIC HEARING Municipal Conference Room 81 Main Street, Essex Jct., VT January 7, 2020 6:00 PM COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to the COVID-19 / coronavirus pandemic, this meeting will be held remotely and recorded via Microsoft Stream. Join via Microsoft Teams at https://www. essexvt.org/870/5481 Join-ZBA-Meeting. Depending on your browser, you may need to call in for audio (below). Join via conference call (audio only): (802) 377-3784 | Conference ID: 480347627# Public wifi is available at the Essex municipal offices, libraries, and hotspots listed here: https://publicservice. vermont.gov/content/ public-wifi-hotspotsvermont 1. CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING-Appeal Zoning Administrator’s Decision: Abutting Landowners (Barch, Beaman, Chapman & Haxel) appealed the issuance of a zoning permit to construct a duplex located at 101 Brigham Hill Rd in the AR Zone. Tax Map 14, Parcel 15-603. 2. CONDITIONAL USEMiriam & Gary Sturgis: Proposal for an accessory dwelling unit that exceeds 30% located at 155 Osgood Hill Rd in the C1 Zone. Tax Map 16, Parcel 3-202. 3. Minutes: December 3, 2020 Note: Visit our website at www.essexvt.org if you have questions or call 802-878-1343.

TOWN OF WESTFORD PLANNING COMMISSION NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2021, 6:30PM To join the Zoom Meeting click: https:// us02web.zoom.us/j/88 104863301?pwd=TTlU UkZRQis1WjRodDcrMH NlR1owZz09 Or dial: +16465588656 US (New York) Meeting

ID: 881 0486 3301 Passcode: 0118 Notice is hereby given to the residents of the Town of Westford, Vermont that the Westford Planning Commission will hold a hearing Monday, January 18, at 6:30 PM on Zoom to consider for adoption the Westford, Vermont 2021 Town Plan pursuant to Chapter 117 of Title 24, Section 4387 and 4384, Vermont Statutes Annotated. By state statute, municipalities must prepare and update their town plan every eight years; the current Westford Town Plan is set to expire 90 days after the end of the COVID-19 State of Emergency per Act 92 (the plan would have otherwise expired on May 14, 2020). The plan update affects the entire geographic area of town and focuses on the following: to add an enhanced energy plan to conform to the standards in 24 V.S.A. §4352, to pursue additional designations, programs and services to support town center area revitalization, to improve multimodal transportation options and safety, to update data and information in the plan to be as current as possible, to create an implementation strategy, and to incorporate goals and policies that will make Westford a more flood resilient community. The Westford, Vermont 2021 Town Plan contains 10 chapters, which include: Introduction; Historic Features; Population, Housing & Existing Land Use; Facilities, Utilities & Services; Economic Development; Transportation, Public Land & Trails; Energy; Natural Resources & Features; Future Land Use; Implementation Plan. This plan is intended to be consistent with the goals established in Title 24, Section 4302. The Westford, VT 2021 Town Plan can be viewed at https:// westfordvt.us/townplan/ or by requesting a copy by emailing townclerk@westfordvt. us or calling (802) 878-4587.

NOTICE TO PUBLIC OF INTENT TO REQUEST RELEASE OF FUNDS On or about December 28th, 2020 the City of Burlington will submit a request to the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (the Agency) to release the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (PL 93-383), the National Affordable Housing Act, as amended, to undertake a project known as COVID HVAC Improvements for the purpose of implementing a COVID ventilation grant program to assist businesses and nonprofits in improving their ventilation/HVAC systems. The purpose of this program will be to encourage upgrades to ventilation systems and the utilization of HEPA filters in the hopes of limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The project is located at scattered sites throughout Burlington. The total estimated cost of the project is $98,440 in State CDBG-CV funding. The activities proposed are categorically excluded under HUD regulations at 24 CFR Part 58 from National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements. An Environmental Review Record (ERR) that documents environmental determinations for this project is on file at the municipal office of the City of Burlington at 149 Church Street, Burlington, VT 05401, and may be examined or copied by appointment December 17 th – 24 th . To schedule an appointment please call 802-735-7002. Any individual, group, or agency may submit written comments on the ERR to the City of Burlington Attn: Christine Curtis, Community Development Specialist I, ccurtis@ burlingtonvt.gov. All comments received by December 24th will be considered by the City of Burlington prior to authorizing submission of a request for release of funds. The City of Burlington

is certifying to the Agency that Miro Weinberger in his official capacity as Mayor consents to accept the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts if an action is brought to enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental review process and that these responsibilities have been satisfied. The Agency’s approval of the certification satisfies its responsibilities under NEPA and related laws and authorities and allows the City of Burlington to use CDBG funds.


The Agency will accept objections to its release of funds and the City of Burlington’s certification for a period of fifteen days following the anticipated submission date or its actual receipt of the request (whichever is later) only if they are on one of the following bases: (a) the certification was not executed by the Certifying Officer, Mayor Weinberger; (b) the Town has omitted a step or failed to make a decision or finding required by HUD regulations at 24 CFR part 58; (c) the grant recipient or other participants in the development process have committed funds, incurred costs or undertaken activities not authorized by 24 CFR Part 58 before approval of a release of funds by the Agency; or (d) another Federal agency acting pursuant to 40 CFR Part 1504 has submitted a written finding that the project is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of environmental quality.

for all.

Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the required procedures (24 CFR Part 58, Sec. 58.76) and shall be addressed to the Attn: Environmental Officer, Agency of Commerce and Community Development, One National Life Drive, Davis Building, 6th Floor, Montpelier, Vermont 05620. Potential objectors should contact the Agency to verify the actual last date of the objection period.

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72 DECEMBER 16-23, 2020






EQUIPMENT COORDINATOR Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP) and its New Hampshire Energy Education Project (NHEEP) are searching for their veep.org/aboutnext Executive Director Visit responsible for planning, budgeting, us/join-our-team/ fundraising, administration, oversight of AdminCommKitsCoord for educationalallprograms, management of the details. staff, and public relations.

VEEP and NHEEP support energy and climate education in schools throughout the two state region. See all the details at veep.org/about-us/join-our-team/ executive-director-job.

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Champlain Community Services is a distinguished developmental services provider agency with a strong emphasis on self-determination values and employee and consumer satisfaction.


Direct Support Professional Join our Direct Support Professional team to work one-on-one with individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism. Feel good about what you do, enjoy your job, receive a comprehensive benefits package and feel a deep sense of appreciation from your employer. This is an excellent job for applicants entering human services or for those looking to continue their work in this field. Variety of positions available. Send your cover letter and application to Karen Ciechanowicz at staff@ccs-vt.org.

Overnight Supports Be a part of a team working with a considerate, resourceful, wheelchairusing man with a budding talent for photography and political activism. You will support him in his home and a variety of community activities based on his interests. Candidates must be able to lift fifty pounds and be comfortable providing personal care. Experience is helpful but willing to train the right candidate. Submit a resume, cover letter, and three professional references to fmiller@ccs-vt.org.

Respite Opportunity Provide support to a humorous gentleman with autism who enjoys getting out and about, creating puns and relaxing. Contact Brook Lockwood for more information blockwood@ccs-vt.org. Come work for a place where, true to our mission, we are ‘Building a Community Where Everyone Participates and Belongs’ both within the workplace and out in the community. Visit ccs-vt.org, click on ‘Be a Part of It’ and apply today! E.O.E.

Dismas of Vermont seeks fulltime Assistant House Director (AHD). The AHD assists with administration and residential life, coordinates volunteers and5v-ChamplainCommunityServices121620.indd interacts with residents as well as manages data, social media, and supports fundraising.



Bachelor’s or Associate’s Degree and two years’ experience in related skill areas or equivalent required. Strong computer and interpersonal skills. Experience with challenged or marginalized populations a plus. Applicant must have valid driver’s license and dependable car. E.O.E.

The Vermont Judiciary is recruiting for a full-time, permanent Docket Clerk, who will perform specialized clerical duties including data entry and extensive customer service over the phone.

Benefits: $18.00 – $20.00 per/ hour, 401(k), Dental/Health/ Life/Vision Insurance, Paid time off. Send cover letter and resumes to: kim@dismasofvt.org.

Candidates shall submit a complete and up-to-date Judicial Branch application and resume. An electronic version of the Application may be found at: vermontjudiciary.org/employmentopportunities/staff-openings.

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Located in Burlington. High School graduate and two years of clerical or data entry experience required. Starting at $17.11 per hour with excellent benefits, paid holidays and leave time. Job code # 20028.

This position is open until filled. Equal opportunity employer.

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Projected salary range $50,000 to $60,000, generous combined time off benefit, PJC does not currently offer a health plan. TO APPLY: Applications must be submitted through pjcvt.org/jobs website. Submit a cover letter, resume, professional writing sample (3-5 pages), and three references, with contact information. Use pdf only. FOR QUESTIONS, please contact Chuck Brewer at PJCVT@pjcvt.org.

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12/15/20 9:30 AM


The role of the Executive Director is to strengthen the organization’s long-term vision, create innovative strategies, facilitate teamwork, and unite diverse constituencies around shared solutions. Team leadership, fundraising, and communication are core responsibilities. The ED must have a strong understanding of economic and racial justice issues, particularly institutional racism, white privilege, classism, in addition to knowledge of issues related to peace, human rights, and globalization.

12/15/20 9:36 AM

OFFICE MANAGER Black Dirt Farm in Greensboro Bend is hiring an Office Manager. The Office Manager is the primary point person 9:52 AM at the farm for administrative functions, sales, and customer service. This role includes bookkeeping, outreach, administrative oversight, and customer support for the farm’s enterprises, products and services. BDF is a diversified farm in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. At Black Dirt Farm we believe thriving as a farm means cultivating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace where individuals can flourish and grow. For a full job description visit: blackdirtfarm.com/ employment.

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MECHANIC Seeking qualified applicant with five years of experience in general maintenance and repair of municipal vehicles and maintenance equipment. A valid Commercial Driver’s License is required. Salary is based on years of experience and qualifications. Hiring range is $49,540 to $57,186. Submit application and resume to slabarge@ colchestervt.gov. Application deadline: 12/29/20. For application and full job description visit: colchestervt.gov/321/ Human-Resources. E.O.E.

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12/14/20 1:54 PM


MAINTENANCE & MECHANIC (Electrician) Full-time position available for a licensed or journeyman electrician to join our Buildings & Grounds department to perform general building and equipment maintenance and repair, with an emphasis on electrical systems. Position requires practical skill and knowledge in such trades as light carpentry, HVAC and grounds maintenance, including snow removal, mowing, trimming, fertilizing, and athletic field line painting. Must hold current Driver’s License. Preferred qualifications include: electrician or journeyman license; minimum 4 years’ facilities maintenance experience or related field or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

The Greater Burlington YMCA provides a diverse organization of people of all ages joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of youth, healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. As a Y employee, you’ll be inspired to make a difference each day in a position that matters.With a strong mission and core values, we offer a cause you can believe in. Y Early Childhood Programs offer developmentally appropriate activities in nurturing, respectful environments, while meeting the needs of our families. As an accredited organization by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and a 5 Stars rating from the State of Vermont Quality Rating and Improvement Scale, you’ll be a part of a team that values structure, consistency, and development of both children and staff. Our expanding Early Childhood Program is expanding with new spots for infants and toddlers. We are seeking a full-time Head Teacher to lead and teach our children between the ages of 6 weeks to age 2, in our newly furnished program space located on College Street in Burlington. Requirements: At least twenty (20) years of age and meets one of the following criteria: • Vermont Early Childhood Career Ladder Level 4 A or B • A Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood, Child or Human Development, Elementary or Special Education, or Child Family Services and at least one year of experience working with children birth to age 8 • A Bachelor Degree with the completion of at least 30 college credits with an early education or school age focus and at least one year of experience working with groups of children ages 8 or younger • Hold a current Vermont Agency of Education Teaching License with an endorsement in Early Childhood, Early Childhood Special Education or Elementary Education

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Delivery Driver

73 DECEMBER 16-23, 2020

Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice

Center for an Agricultural Economy is seeking a full-time delivery driver to join its Farm Connex team. Farm Connex is a food product delivery service that supports over 60 farms and food producers across Vermont by transporting their products to over 200 market locations on a weekly basis.The delivery driver is a critical team member in the aggregation, organization, and distribution of farm products to these market destinations.

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Early Childhood Educator Head Teacher

Send your cover letter and resume to HR@gbymca.org for employment consideration. The Greater Burlington YMCA is an E.O.E.


To apply and view the full job description please visit our website at: hardwickagriculture.org.

For information, email David Hannigan: dhannigan@u32.org. Apply via SchoolSpring.com, Job ID 3386305.

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Medical Assistant

12/11/20 2:04 PM

Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) has a variety of openings available, including RNs, LNAs, Ultrasound Technologist, Radiologic Technologist, Sr. Multi-Modality Technologist and Medical Lab Technician or Medical Technologist.

Seeking full time experienced medical assistant to join our busy OB/GYN practice NVRH also has Administrative Positions, clinical team. Experience in Information Services and Environmental Services women’s health is preferred openings. Shift differentials & per diem rates offered! but not required. Looking for someone that can work Full-time, part-time and per diem positions accurately and efficiently in available. Excellent benefits including student a fast paced environment. loan repayment, wellness reimbursement, low The position requires cost health plan choice and more! For competency in taking vitals, information to apply, visit nvrh.org/careers. phlebotomy, immunization administration, assisting with medical procedures and 12/11/20 10:46 AM medical intake. Candidate4t-NVRH120920.indd 1 should also be comfortable The Business and Advancement Associate reports to the Director of with EMR systems, medical terminology, and general Advancement and the Business Manager and is responsible for providing computer skills. administrative assistance in both departments. He/she will work closely with the Business Manager to manage accounts receivable and deposits and to Looking for an individual manage the integration of our fundraising software with QuickBooks. He/ with good interpersonal and she will manage the donor database and provide additional administrative communication skills, who support for the Advancement and Business offices as needed. understands the importance

Business & Advancement Associate

of providing quality customer service and has a willingness to be flexible with duties in order to meet the needs of the patients and the clinic. Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to jobs@maitriobgyn.com.

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Proficiency in QuickBooks and advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office (especially Excel) required. Basic mapping knowledge a plus. * Hours: 20-30 hours/week.

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* Flexibility to work from home part time. Send resumes to: tmacguffie@gmvs.org.

12/14/20 7:15 PM




DECEMBER 16-23, 2020

Strategic Account Manager EXPERIENCED DIESEL TECHS WANTED • RATE OF PAY: $23-$33/HR • 2+ years of experience as Diesel Tech, with CDL License • Diagnosing & repairing medium and heavy duty vehicles • Writing up accurate & descriptive work performed details • Verifying vehicle performance by conducting test-drives

Fair Housing Project Community Organizer

Select is looking for an experienced Strategic Account Manager to own key client relationships and deliver creative outcomes within our growing base of iconic global consumer brand partners.

As part of CVOEO’s Housing Advocacy Programs team, the Fair Housing Project Community Organizer will coordinate a statewide effort to support local housing committees and assist with outreach and education projects, including a new statewide library partnership and data collection initiative. This is a one-year, grantfunded position.

Responsibilities: foster client relationships by understanding and defining the outcomes they seek, collaborate and communicate with internal stakeholders, and engage clients using Select’s growing suite of marketing technology products.

Competitive hourly wages and benefits including PTO and Kenworth sponsored training. Email resume, cover letter and salary requirements to: resume@newenglandkw.com or call 802.985.2521 and ask for Parker Shenk.

Qualifications: 3-5 years experience in a consumer brand marketing agency or inside a consumer brand firm, a strong understanding of the consumer brand space, modern marketing practices and today's omni-channel landscape, and experience managing relationships with multiple complex deliverables on budget and within deadline. Bachelor degree preferred.

Full job description and application details at cvoeo.org/careers.

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12/7/20 11:56 AM

Apply: careers@selectdesign.com Full Listing: www.selectdesign.com/careers


208 Flynn Ave., Burlington, VT (802) 864.9075


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Join the team at Gardener’s Supply Company

MONTPELIER, VT – The Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission seeks an adaptable, self-motivated Planner or Senior Planner to work with our team of dedicated professionals. Apply to join our team if you enjoy leveraging the power of people working together to achieve shared goals!

We are a 100% employee-owned company and an award winning and nationally recognized socially responsible business. We work hard AND offer a fun place to work including BBQs, staff parties, employee garden plots and much more! We also offer strong cultural values, competitive wages and outstanding benefits!

Marketing Coordinator This person will provide support for a variety of our Marketing efforts. The primary responsibilities of this role include assisting the Direct Marketing, “E-Team”, and Production sub-departments execute key tasks and provide strong quality assurance. The ability to manage deadlines and details while thinking big picture is key! Our ideal candidate will have work experience or a 2-year degree in ecommerce/marketing; excellent MS Office experience, specifically Excel; basic html skills and/or experience using Access a plus; and proven ability for strong, efficient QA. Interested? Please go to our careers page at www.gardeners.com/careers and apply online!

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12/7/20 10:22 AM

This position requires broad knowledge of municipal and regional comprehensive planning and plan implementation techniques. It focuses on fostering improvement and maintenance of road infrastructure, rail corridors, airports, public transportation networks, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and the connections among them using lenses of energy, land use, natural resources, and economics. Candidates should be highly creative with a passion for building collaboration among volunteer boards, municipalities, and State and Federal agencies. Successful candidates will enjoy working in rural areas, have a degree in planning or related field, and have a minimum of 3 years (Planner) or 7 years (Senior Planner) experience in regional or local planning. Excellent oral and written communication skills and experience using Microsoft products required. Attendance at evening meetings required. Experience with local or regional transportation planning preferred. Information at centralvtplanning.org. This is a full time, permanent position with a salary range of $40,000-58,000 (Planner) or $50,00070,000 (Senior Planner). Commensurate with demonstrated technical and soft skills. Excellent benefit package and outstanding team environment. Submit a cover letter, resume, three references, and salary expectations to waninger@cvregion.com. Position open until filled; application review begins January 4, 2021.

Looking for a Sweet Job? Our mobile-friendly job board is buzzing with excitement. Job seekers can: • Browse hundreds of current, local positions from Vermont companies. • Search for jobs by keyword, location, category and job type. • Set up job alerts. • Apply for jobs directly through the site.

Start applying at jobs.sevendaysvt.com

CVRPC is an E.O.E. and maintains a drug-free workplace.

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4/14/20 2:06 PM



SIGN INSTALLER SB Signs is growing, and looking for a sign installer to join our team. Sign installation is a constantly varied job, so we're looking for someone who can think on their feet to respond to different expectations at on-site jobs. Our ideal candidate is professional and upbeat, with experience working with tools, comfortable at heights and outside in all weather conditions, and willing to learn new skills. All job-related training will be provided, but prior experience with construction/handyman or electrical work is a bonus.

Send resumes to: hr@sbsigns.net.


2:47 PM



Sign On Bonus - Up to $2,000

Bread Loaf Corporation, Vermont’s integrated company of architects, planners and builders, is excited to add a Designer to its highly successful and diversified Architecture department. We are looking for Designers with strong design portfolios, excellent communication skills and the ability to think on their feet and solve problems. We want people who enjoy working in a team environment and are interested in an integrated design/build approach.

Full-time, part-time & per-diem positions may be available*

The Nursing Assistant is responsible for specific aspects of direct and indirect patient care under the direct supervision of a Registered Nurse. High School diploma or equivalent. LNA, licensed in Vermont.

Ideal candidates will have a professional degree from an acLEARN MORE & APPLY: credited school of architecture and a minimum of three years of uvmmed.hn/sevendays experience doing commercial, industrial and institutional work. He or she must be proficient in Revit, InDesign, Enscape, Photoshop and Illustrator. At Bread Loaf, Designers are critical 4t-UVMMedCenterLNA100720.indd 1 members of a project team - developing proposals; answering RFQs; and creating project designs, technical solutions, drawings, specifications, and project documents.

Visit our website, www.breadloaf.com, for information about our company. Send your resume to resumes@breadloaf.com. E.O.E.

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10/5/20 11:58 AM


12/8/20 11:19 AM

Join the team at Gardener’s Supply Company

LOCATION: Montpelier, Vermont (Preferred) or Remote RESPONSIBILITIES: Fountains Land is an industry leader specializing in real estate and land sales, including timber land, large acreage parcels, estates, houses, and recreational property, with offices located from Georgia to Maine. This full-time position will provide support marketing for the northern real estate team, and general office manager duties. REQUIREMENTS: We are seeking a highly motivated individual with the ability to work independently as well as in a team environment. Must possess an organized and methodical approach to work and be proficient with computers and office software, including Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe Creative Suite (especially InDesign and Photoshop). The ideal candidate will have experience with WordPress, Constant Contact and a CRM database such as Salesforce or ACT! The idea candidate will be creative, but also have strong attention to detail related to copywriting and layout design. Must have excellent written and oral skills and be able to accurately transcribe and relay information, and have or quickly gain some basic knowledge of real estate concepts and general real estate regulations and laws. Candidate must also possess basic bookkeeping skills. Essential Functions: Marketing duties include, but are not limited to coordinating with Marketing Associate to assist with advertising, social media, content and database management, and management of MLS systems and advertising. This position is primarily responsible for assembling and editing marketing property reports, maintenance of files, record keeping, research, database entry and upholding company branding standards. Education and Experience: An associates or bachelor’s degree is preferred. A minimum of 3 years’ experience in marketing, business and/or office operations in the real estate industry experience a plus. SALARY: Commensurate with experience & education. Paid vacation, sick time and holidays.

We are a 100% employee-owned company and an award winning and nationally recognized socially responsible business. We work hard AND offer a fun place to work including BBQs, staff parties, employee garden plots and much more! We also offer strong cultural values, competitive wages and outstanding benefits!

Sales and Service Specialist We’re searching for several Sales & Service Specialists to join our Contact Center team! These individuals will be on the phone with customers, building relationships and representing our company in ways that reflect our core values. He/she will contribute to average order size and strive for customer satisfaction on sales as well as service calls. Our ideal candidate will have previous service and sales experience and exceptional communication skills as well as the ability to research solutions to customer problems or to answer questions. Interested? Please go to our careers page at www.gardeners.com/careers and apply online!

DURATION OF POSITION OPENING: Until position is filled. CONTACT: Submit all resumes/cover letters via email to jobposting6@fwforestry.com. 7t-F&WForestryServices121620.indd 1

75 DECEMBER 16-23, 2020



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DECEMBER 16-23, 2020

SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS SHARED LIVING PROVIDER Howard Center is seeking a Shared Living Provider to provide a fulltime home to a social 16-year-old girl who likes animals and dancing. Ideal provider would be an excellent collaborator and have strong observation, interpersonal, and communication skills. This role requires a provider who is able to be engaging and compassionate while being able to establish routine/structure, provide consistent supervision, and follow a detailed support plan. Ideal applicant would have knowledge or experience related to mental health, developmental disabilities, and/or supporting teens. Compensation: $35,000 tax-free annual stipend and access to a generous respite budget. Interested applicants contact patfraser@howardcenter.org or call (802)871-2902.

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11/24/20 12:04 PM

John Graham Housing and Services 69 Main St, Vergennes, VT 05491 802-877-2677

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR John Graham Housing & Services seeks an experienced and committed Executive Director to lead an organization successful in providing housing, counseling, and support to those in need in Addison County. John Graham Housing & Services provides shelter, housing services, case management, food and support to those most in need in Addison County, Vermont. The new executive director would be responsible for the John Graham’s personnel management, administration, and operations. This would include overseeing the planning, implementation, funding, and evaluation of both services and housing.

Do you love working with children and have an excellent driving record? The Essex Westford School District is seeking two fulltime bus driver to transport special needs students to and from school. This position will also assist with sanitization of vehicles. Position is approximately 35 to 40 hours/ week. Work schedule may include split shifts beginning as early as 6:00 am and ending as late as 5:00 pm. Hours worked as a driver pay $20.00/hour. Excellent benefits package available including family medical and dental; life insurance; paid sick/family, personal and holiday leaves; and a retirement plan with up to 6% employer contribution after two years of service. Candidates with a CDL class B with Passenger and School Bus endorsements preferred, but we would consider candidates with no CDL who would be willing to drive a minivan while training towards CDL. Training towards CDL available.

MINIVAN DRIVER Do you love working with children? Are you looking for part-time employment? The Essex Westford School District is seeking part-time minivan driver to transport special needs students to and from school, and to transport our high school students to the Burlington Technical Center. This position will have additional duties related to COVID-19 such as screening students, ensuring students are following COVID safety practices, and assisting with sanitization of vehicles. Work schedule may include a split shifts beginning as early as 6:00 am and ending as late as 5:00 pm. Position pays $18.00/hour. Candidates must have a VT driver’s license with an acceptable driving record. Individuals with a CDL class B with Passenger and School Bus endorsements desirable to serve as a backup school bus driver preferred. Training towards CDL available for interested applicants.

For consideration, please apply through Schoolspring.com (job ID 3404935), contact Jamie Smith at (802) 857-7037 or jsmith2@ewsd.org, or mail cover letter and resume to:

Essex Westford School District Attn: Maxine Breuer 51 Park Street Essex Jct., VT 05452 10v-EssexWestfordSchoolDistrict101420.indd 1

To learn more about John Graham Housing & Services and this position including a full job description, please visit:


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12/14/20 2:12 PM


6/29/15 5:11 PM



77 DECEMBER 16-23, 2020

Craft Beer Delivery Driver

Customer service oriented team player to deliver Lawson’s Finest beer to retail accounts throughout Vermont. CDL preferred but willing to train the right candidate.


Marketing Communications Specialist

Counseling Service of Addison County is seeing clinicians in several departments within the agency. Work with a creative approach to crisis work in homes, communities and schools with children, adolescents and families with emotional and behavioral challenges and developmental disorders or with adults to treat, understand and alleviate symptoms related to improvement of mental health, substance use, behavioral, and relationship distress. We believe in a team of supportive colleagues and the importance of high-quality supervision.

Contributes to existing marketing programs while assisting with the development of new deliverables and initiatives.

Apply here: lawsonsfinest.com/about-us/join-our-team.

Master’s degree required, licensed preferred and/or license eligible after rostering. Full time positions with comprehensive benefits or part time available. Send resumes to: hcamara@csac-vt.org


Equal opportunity employer

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South Burlington, Vermont HELP DESK OPERATOR

12/4/20 1:27 PM

The City of South Burlington is seeking a collabora-

experienced professional Citythroughout northern Uniontive, Bank,energetic, headquartered in Morrisville,and Vermont and with offices Manager. South Burlington is aforgrowing and dynamic Hampshire, is seeking a Help Desk Operator our Information Technology department.

community in Vermont of almost 20,000 people with a strong tradition of civic engagement. The Help Desk Operator is a key member of our IT team whose primary respons The Manager to a five-member Council technical support forreports approximately 200 end-users.City Essential tasks include excel traditional formtechnical of government. skills,ina akeen ability to council-manager troubleshoot and resolve problems, and providing The Manager supervises over 170 employees, a LAN/WAN environment. Additional responsibilities include develmaintaining the help ops and administers a $26 million operating knowledgebase creation, computer training, and assistingbudwith ongoing network with expenditures of over $57 million including otherget Information Technology operations as needed. special funds and enterprise funds. The Manager also Position requirements include proficiency in Windows, MS Office, and a basic unders oversees all personnel, financial, departmental, and networks and the ability to learn additional software and hardware is required. E labor-relations matters. iSeries operating systems is a plus. Computer certification and/or one to three years o

NETWORK SYSTEMS ENGINEER Union Bank, a highly successful commercial bank headquartered in Morrisville, Vermont and with offices throughout northern Vermont and New Hampshire, is seeking an experienced Network Systems Engineer. With this position comes the possibility for remote work for the right candidate living within our market territory. Responsibilities for this IT professional level position will include providing proactive and reactive support and administration of the LAN/WAN infrastructure. This includes firewalls, routers, and multilayer switching, overall network design, corporate servers, PC maintenance, and VoIP telecommunications equipment. Individual must be proficient with high end routers, switches, and firewalls. Individual must also be proficient with current VMware ESX and SAN infrastructure. Must have a detailed understanding of Active Directory in a Windows domain, and Windows PC and server operating systems, and be knowledgeable in Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL, and other Microsoft enterprise environments including other client-server based applications.

is preferred. Excellent written and oral communication skills, the ability to work in The salary range is $128-$138,000 and is commensuhigh rate degree of trust and integrity is essential. with experience, and includes an excellent ben-

package. for the position of South This efits position is locatedCandidates at our Morrisville corporate office.

City Manager have Union worked and/or SalaryBurlington will be commensurate with must experience. Bank offers a comprehensiv lived in Vermont in a prior position, have experience including 3 medical plan and 2 dental plan options, 401(k) retirement plan with a as fully a City/Town manager, five years of workand in sick leave, and te match, paid life and disabilityplus insurance, paid vacation municipal government and be demonstrably familopportunities.

Requirements include a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or equivalent, a high level of security configuration knowledge of Cisco and Checkpoint firewalls, routers and switches as well as IP protocols and standards. Proven CISSP, CCIE, CCSP, CCDP certification with a security focus is preferred. Proven experience in a Windows LAN/WAN environment. A working knowledge of SQL and Exchange design and administration. Support and/or programming of an IBM iSeries system is a plus.

iar with municipal development and working with private developers. To be considered for this position, please submit a cover letter, resume, For further information and a job description, please references and salary requirements to: visit our website at southburlingtonvt.gov.

Salary will be commensurate with experience. Union Bank offers a comprehensive benefits program including 3 medical and 2 dental insurance plan options, 401(k) retirement plan with a generous company match, life and disability insurance, and paid vacation and sick leave along with continuing education opportunities.

Deadline for applications to be received is 4:30 pm

Human Resources Monday, January 4, 2021. Union Bank

To apply, please send a confidential cover letter, re-

To be considered for this position, please submit a cover letter, resume, references and salary requirements to:

P.O. Box 667and three references to: sume, Morrisville, Vermont 05661 – 0667

Jaimie Held, Human Resource Manager Attn: City Manager Search careers@unionbankvt.com 575 Dorset Street South Burlington, VT 05403

Human Resources-Union Bank P.O. Box 667 Morrisville, Vermont 05661 – 0667 careers@unionbanknh.com

EOE ~ Member FDIC Applications also accepted via email:

jheld@sburl.com with City Manager Search in the subject line.

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DECEMBER 16-23, 2020

Northeast Kingdom Human Services has the following openings in the Caledonia and Orleans County areas: Child, Youth and Family Services Program Manager The CYFS Program Manager is a full-time position that will oversee direct service staff in both our Newport and St. Johnsbury locations. The ideal candidate will have a Master’s degree in Human Services, Mental Health Counseling, or Social Work, and the ability to become licensed, or already working towards licensure. Supervisory experience in a mental health setting is preferred. This is a rewarding and challenging position, which includes assisting in program planning and development, and supporting children and their caregivers with service plans and community integration. Annual Salary is $43,680 plus, depending upon education, experience, and license status.

Embedded Clinician – North Country Pediatrics Office The Embedded Clinician will work full-time in North Country Hospital’s North Country Pediatrics office, in Newport, VT. This position will be providing individual therapy and crisis support to pediatric patients and their families. The Embedded Clinician will also provide care coordination and case management services. Educational requirements are a master’s degree in social work or a master’s degree in an appropriate human services field, and the ability to become licensed, or already working towards licensure. This is a full-time position with an annual salary of $42,640 plus, depending upon education, experience and license status.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner In collaboration with the Psychiatrist, this full-time position will see clients from our St. Johnsbury office or via telehealth. The PMHNP will perform psychiatric nursing assessments to accurately diagnose acute and chronic psychiatric and mental health issues, and develop treatment plans based on practice guidelines and evidence-based standards of care. The PMHNP will prescribe necessary medications based on clinical indicators and will provide individual, couple or family psychotherapy. A master’s degree in nursing, and board certification in psychiatric mental health are required. Vermont certification as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (preference for certification in both adult and child/adolescent areas) is also required for this position. Applicants must have or be willing to obtain a Suboxone waiver. Two or more years of experience in provision of public or private mental/behavioral health clinical services is preferred. Annual salary of $124,987 plus, depending on credentials and experience.

Outpatient Therapist The Outpatient Therapist will provide individual, couple, group, and family counseling services, and develop and implement effective client treatment plans. The ideal candidate will have a master’s degree and be dually licensed as an LADC and LCMHC, or be working towards dual licensure. Experience working with children, adults and addictions services is preferred. This is a full-time position in our St. Johnsbury office, with a salary of $42,640 plus, depending upon education, experience, and license status.

CRT Therapist and Intake Coordinator The Therapist and Intake Coordinator will provide services to our adult Community Rehabilitation and Treatment (CRT) client population. This position will conduct comprehensive intake psychosocial assessments, to evaluate an individual’s appropriateness for different programs within NKHS, including CRT initial assessment. The CRT Therapist and Intake Coordinator will provide service coordination, referral and special rehab services, as well as counseling and support services. The ideal candidate will have a master’s degree in a recognized field of mental health, social work, or related discipline, and will be eligible for licensure. Experience as well as clinical and systems knowledge of working with seriously and persistently mentally ill adults is preferred. This is a full-time position, serving both the Newport and St. Johnsbury CRT programs. Annual salary is $42,640 plus, depending upon experience, education and license status.

EMR Implementation Specialist The EMR Implementation Specialist will lead the design, implementation and upgrades of the organization’s information systems. This position will serve as the in-house application expert, and will lead the implementation of information system projects. The EMR Implementation Specialist will also be responsible for systems set-up, configuration and design to facilitate best practice workflows and reporting, and will design comprehensive testing, troubleshooting and maintenance procedures to ensure quality. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in the field of computer science, information technology, engineering, information systems, mathematics, OR experience installing, configuring, documenting, testing, training, and implementing new applications and systems. Knowledge of the principles and methods of project management is also required. This is a full-time position, serving both our St. Johnsbury and Newport offices. Annual salary is $57,200 plus, depending on education and experience. Benefits for full-time employees include: Health insurance (vision and prescription coverage included), dental insurance, life insurance, short-term and long-term disability, long-term care, AFLAC supplemental insurance plans, 125 Flex Plan-medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts, 403(b) retirement plan with company match, generous paid time off (including 12 paid holidays) and an outstanding employee wellness program. Join our team and advance your career today! To learn more about current job openings, please visit nkhs.org. Apply through our website or send resume and letter of interest to jobs@nkhs.net. NKHS is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace dedicated to pursuing and hiring a diverse workforce. 15t-NKHS121620.indd 1

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Making a Holiday Shopping List? CHECK IT TWICE — FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO GIFT LOCAL! We need to support and sustain our local economy, our friends and neighbors. Gifting local keeps folks here in business. So many small businesses have been impacted by COVID-19, I feel that there has never been a better time to buy as local as you can whenever possible! Kat Patterson

For every dollar you spend at a local business,


stays in the local community.

When you gift local, you are supporting your community in more ways than one, and you are purchasing gifts that are thoughtful, unique and well made. Erin Bombard

(SoUrCe: BuSiNeSsWiRe)

Shop smart and shop small — your choices will impact us all. Vermont merchants have faced many challenges this year and need your support — especially this holiday season. Visit shoptheregister.com for all the info on shopkeepers who are selling their products online for local delivery or curbside pickup. Browse by categories ranging from jewelry to electronics, outdoor gear to apparel. Remember, when you buy a gift locally, the recipient isn’t the only one who benefits. The entire community does!

ThE ReGiStEr Is GeNeRoUsLy SuPpOrTeD By:

Check out our...

Holiday Gift Guide for a curated roundup of local gift ideas for your friends and family. sevendaysvt.com/gift-guide-2020



fun stuff






Parents and Teachers: Looking for ways to keep the kids busy this winter?

Help Them Take the Good Citizen At-Home Challenge! Choose from a wide variety of civics-related activities. CONGRATULATIONS to Katie from Montpelier who sent in the first entry! She completed Government activity #3, writing: “I learned how to borrow books with my library card and my kindle and the overdrive app.”

“Come meet the wife and kids, and then we’ll have you for dinner.”

Katie will be entered into a drawing for a gift card to a local bookstore on DECEMBER 30. You can be, too! Visit GOODCITIZENVT.COM to see the activities and submit your work.


Take the challenge at goodcitizenvt.com Powered by: With support from:

Empowering Vermont’s youth to close the opportunity gap.

Partners in the Good Citizen At-Home Challenge include:

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fun stuff RYAN RIDDLE


Making it is not :( Keep this newspaper free for all. Join the Seven Days Super Readers at sevendaysvt.com/super-readers or call us at 802-864-5684.

82SR-Comics-filler071520.indd SEVEN DAYS DECEMBER 16-23, 2020 1

7/14/20 3:32 PM

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.



According to researcher Nick Watts and his documentary film The Human Footprint, the average person speaks more than 13 million words in a lifetime, or about 4,300 per day. But I suspect and hope that your output will increase in 2021. I think you’ll have more to say than usual — more truths to articulate, more observations to express, more experiences to describe. So please raise your daily quota of self-expression to account for your expanded capacity to share your intelligence with the world.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Temporary gods are deities who come alive and become available for particular functions and are not otherwise necessary or called upon. For instance, in ancient Greece, the god Myiagros showed up when humans made sacrifices to the goddess Athena. His task was to shoo away flies. I encourage you to invent or invoke such a spirit for the work you have ahead of you. And what’s that work? 1. To translate your recent discoveries into practical plans. 2. To channel your newfound freedom into strategies that will ensure freedom will last. 3. To infuse the details of daily life with the big visions you’ve harvested recently. What will you name your temporary god? TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Author Virginia Woolf said that we don’t wholly experience the

unique feelings that arise in any particular moment. They take a while to completely settle in, unfold and expand. From her perspective, then, we rarely “have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.” With that as your starting point, Taurus, I invite you to take a journey through the last 11 months and thoroughly evolve all the emotions that weren’t entirely ripe when they originally appeared. Now is an excellent time to deepen your experience of what has already happened, to fully bloom the seeds that have been planted.


(May 21-June 20): “Wonder is a bulky emotion,” writes author Diane Ackerman. “When you let it fill your heart and mind, there isn’t room for anxiety, distress, or anything else.” I’d love for you to use her observation as a prescription in 2021, Gemini. According to my understanding of the coming year’s astrological portents, you will have more natural access to wonder and amazement and awe than you’ve had in a long time. And it would make me happy to see you rouse those primal emotions with vigor — so much so that you drive away at least some of the flabby emotions such as anxiety, which are often more neurotic than real.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I’ll use the words of Cancerian painter Frida Kahlo to tell you the kind of intimate ally you deserve. If for some inexplicable reason you have not enjoyed a relationship like this before now, I urge you to make 2021 the year when you finally do. And if you have indeed been lucky in this regard, I bet you’ll be even luckier in 2021. Here’s Frida: “You deserve a lover who wants you disheveled ... who makes you feel safe ... who wants to dance with you ... who never gets tired of studying your expressions ... who listens when you sing, who supports you when you feel shame and respects your freedom ... who takes away the lies and brings you hope.” LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In 2019, singer Ariana Grande got Japanese characters tattooed on her palm. She believed they were a translation of the English phrase “7 Rings,” which was the title of a song she had released. But knowledgeable observers later informed her that the tattoo’s real meaning was “small charcoal grill.”

She arranged to have alterations made, but the new version was worse: “Japanese barbecue grill finger.” I offer you this story for two reasons, Leo. First, I applaud the creativity and innovative spirit that have been flowing through you. Second, I want to make sure that you keep them on the right track — that they continue to express what you want them to express. With proper planning and discernment, they will.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): While sleeping, most of us have more than a thousand dreams every year. Many are hard to remember and not worth remembering. But a beloved few can be life-changers. They have the potential to trigger epiphanies that transform our destinies for the better. In my astrological opinion, you are now in a phase when such dreams are more likely than usual. That’s why I invite you to keep a recorder or a pen and notebook by your bed so as to capture them. For inspiration, read this testimony from Jasper Johns, whom some call America’s “foremost living artist”: “One night I dreamed that I painted a large American flag, and the next morning I got up and I went out and bought the materials to begin it.” Painting flags ultimately became one of Johns’ specialties. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I composed a prayer that’s in alignment with your current astrological omens. If it feels right, say it daily for the next 10 days. Here it is: “Dear Higher Self, Guardian Angel, and Future Me: Please show me how to find or create the key to the part of my own heart that’s locked up. Reveal the secret to dissolving any inhibitions that interfere with my ability to feel all I need to feel. Make it possible for me to get brilliant insights into truths that will enable me to lift my intimate alliances to the next level.” SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Author Herman Hesse observed, “Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world.” I hope you will prove him wrong in 2021, Scorpio. According to my reading of astrological omens, the rhythms of life will be in alignment with yours if you do indeed

make bold attempts to favor music over noise, joy over pleasure, soul over gold, creative work over business, passion over foolery. Moreover, I think this will be your perfect formula for success — a strategy that will guarantee you’ll feel at home in the world more than ever before.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “Our thinking should have a vigorous fragrance, like a wheat field on a summer’s night,” wrote philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. I encourage you to adopt that joyful mandate as your own. It’s a perfect time to throw out stale opinions and moldy ideas as you make room for an aromatic array of fresh, spicy notions. To add to your bliss, get rid of musty old feelings and decaying dreams and stinky judgments. That brave cleansing will make room for the arrival of crisp insights that smell really good. AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Have you heard the term “catastrophize”? It refers to when people experience a small setback or minor problem but interpret it as a major misfortune. It’s very important that you not engage in catastrophizing during the coming weeks. I urge you to prevent your imagination from jumping to awful conclusions that aren’t warranted. Use deep breathing and logical thinking to coax yourself into responding calmly. Bonus tip: In my view, the small “setback” you experience could lead to an unexpected opportunity — especially if you resist the temptation to catastrophize.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): My Buddhist friend Marcia says the ultimate goal of her meditation practice is to know that the material world is an illusion and that there is no such thing as “I” or “you,” no past or future. There is only the qualityless ground of being. My Sufi friend Roanne, on the other hand, is a devotee of the poet Rumi. The ultimate goal of her meditation practice is to be in intimate contact, in tender loving communion, with the Divine Friend, the personal face of the Cosmic Intelligence. Given your astrological omens, Pisces, I’d say you’re in a prime position to experience the raw truth of both Marcia’s and Roanne’s ideals. The coming days could bring you amazing spiritual breakthroughs!


N E W VI D E O ! Eva Sollberger’s

Watch at sevendaysvt.com 4H-Stuck121620.indd 1

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12/15/20 5:18 PM

Respond to these people online: dating.sevendaysvt.com WOMEN seeking... SWEET, ADORABLE, SENSUAL, SPIRITUAL, YOUTHFUL I try to listen from the heart and speak from the heart and seek the same from my partner. I love to dance and hope to find a good dance leader. I enjoy taking hikes to be in the forest, not just to get to the destination. I enjoy light and playful as well as stimulating conversation. Garwood, 59, seeking: M, l FABULOUS, FUN AND FIT! Looking for a companion who can keep up with me. I love the outdoors, being close to nature, and staying active and fit. Looking for a someone, not a something. VTcoco, 51, seeking: M, l LET’S PRETEND Let’s pretend the world is healing, and we can celebrate together. I love comedy improv, swimming, my family and great food, reading and being read to, travel and adventures. Looking for a healthy, funny, intelligent guy who likes jazz and world music, cooking, travel, and the outdoors. Are you comfortable with yourself and with me, a strong and independent gal? Mangosmom, 60, seeking: M, l JOYFUL Looking for a funny person ’cause I’m funny, too! Creative type! I love going to galleries and museums. Kind, compassionate, like to travel, go boating and be on beaches. I see life through optimistic eyes. Scout, 67, seeking: M, l

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See photos of this person online.

W = Women M = Men TW = Trans women TM = Trans men Q = Genderqueer people NBP = Nonbinary people NC = Gender nonconformists Cp = Couples Gp = Groups


ADORABLE, WITTY AND UNIQUE! Ah, the beginning of another season in Vermont. The one made for playing in the snow, hot chocolate, popcorn and movies, a warm fire. The one I seek is mellow yet full of life. Stories to share, being silly and looking at life positively. Arms to hold me, kisses at a whim. Meet and see where it goes? Pollyanna, 59, seeking: M, l OPTIMIST RETIREE SEEKS COMPANY A bit crazy even thinking of trying to get together with someone right now, but why not? Hope to travel as soon as humanly possible to a warm place in the spring. Spring training? Golf? Beach? I feel we are all in a transformative time now. It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine! ihappy2, 67, seeking: M, l

STRONG, INDEPENDENT, INTELLECTUAL Ski? Dinner? Speak any foreign languages? No rednecks or men who will break under heavy use. Must be well educated, well traveled and cultured. 420-friendly, and no man-babies looking for a mama! pip, 56, seeking: M, l INTUITIVE, CREATIVE, A GOOD LISTENER! I’m a good person who enjoys good food to eat, good wine to drink, good books to read, good stories to share and good friends to spend time with. I have been called the “Quick of Wit.” My friends say that I am funny, caring, creative, sometimes edgy, and that I not only tell good stories, I write them! Sentient, 66, seeking: M, l

COUNTRY GIRL LOVES MOTORCYCLE RIDES Affectionate country girl looking for a man who knows how to treat a lady. I have a great sense of humor, and you should, too! Love to horseback ride, take walks, bike ride, hike and enjoy each other’s company. I can also make a mean cheesecake! CURIOSITY22, 62, seeking: M, l

SUNNY, HAPPY AND FUN I love sharing fun things with a partner. I love sailing and the beach in the summer and skiing and skating in the winter. I love playing almost all sports except hunting. I also love theater, dance and music. Looking for someone who enjoys the same and is laid-back and not too serious. snowflake123, 49, seeking: M, l

FLAVORFUL, SPIRITED. I CONTAIN MULTITUDES. It’s virtually impossible to condense a personality into such a small container. I happily contradict myself, if the spirit moves me. I say “yes” to life while remaining grounded. I value connection, honesty and personal insight. I’m looking for someone courageous enough to also say “yes” to life. katya, 54, seeking: M, l

OUTDOORSY AND ACTIVE I enjoy being active in all of Vermont’s seasons, adventurous and spontaneous travel, gardening, home projects, outdoor recreation, good food, and small concerts. Am also content with museums or the New Yorker and a front porch. Raise animals for my freezer. Am a loyal friend. NEK. I am looking for a close companion and am open to all that entails. NEK026, 59, seeking: M, l

YUP, I’M A DREAMER... Are you into conscious living? Spirituality? Nature? Honesty? Compassion? Laughing? Maybe you’re a hopeless romantic? I am seeking a lasting relationship with a likeminded man. Looking for my best friend to share adventures, love and life’s ups and downs. I like to hike, ski, relax, talk, ponder especially with you. naturgirl, 67, seeking: M, l

CUCKOO ABOUT ADVENTURES I’m just looking for a new friend. I’m somewhat new to the area and would like to find someone who likes to talk, hike, or do anything that doesn’t involve going to the bar or lots of drinking! NDrootsNYbuds, 38, seeking: M, l

LOYAL, KIND AND HONEST I’m a very gentle person, drama free. I love to cook, and I keep myself busy doing all kinds of art. I like to walk (with a partner will be better). I’m living my dream, and I want to share it with my partner. Pepita13, 70, seeking: M, l FUNNY, ACTIVE ACTIVIST AND ADVENTURIST Recently moved to Vermont from D.C. Would like to meet people for social/ political activism, hiking, hanging out and socializing. Always up for new adventures, like discussing world events. Am compassionate, enjoy outdoor activities. I’m nonjudgmental and appreciate the same in others. I’ve been involved in activism around racial equity, health care and disability rights ... but don’t take myself too seriously! AnnieCA, 67, seeking: M, l


HERE’S TO SECOND CHANCES Widowed, fit, fun, financially secure WF with serious BDSM/kinky fantasies that I want/need to explore. Looking to find 50- to 60-y/o male with experience in the much less vanilla side of sex for dating and/or LTR. bestisyettobe, 53, seeking: M, l

MEN seeking... BACKCOUNTRY SKIER, HIKER, LEFT ACTIVIST Looking to share recreation, deep friendship and love. About myself: cerebral, intense and passionate. Crave touching, sharing affection. Enjoy sharing hiking, backcountry skiing, mountain biking with peers or a lover. Enjoy the company of big dogs, most music and love to dance. Active for my age. “Retired” into an engaged life doing progressive-socialist organizing, a radio show and outdoor activities. SkiDog, 73, seeking: W, l

EXCESS IN MODERATION Too many years in school, just about long enough in architecture, divorced with three adult children nearby. Recently retired, into design and build projects, gardening, outdoor adventure, health and fitness. Grateful for milk fat, animal fat, veggies born in rich soil, grandchildren, children and their partners, woods, water, and sky. More when we meet. Tell me about yourself. GoldnGreen, 64, seeking: W, l

NEW TO THIS I have a poetic nature and an adventurous spirit. I’m seeking a woman to share conversation and take walks with. Let’s get together for a cup of tea. Chapter2, 67, seeking: W, l

THOUGHTFUL, KIND AND CONSIDERATE I’m currently retired and looking for someone local who takes care of her physical appearance and isn’t a couch potato. One activity I enjoy is cooking with my partner, although I’m not a true chef. Are you financially secure? I also like to travel and enjoy live theater when it’s available. I’m also a dog lover. callisto, 67, seeking: W

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TRANS WOMEN seeking... GENEROUS, OPEN, EASYGOING Warm, giving trans female with an abundance of yum to share (and already sharing it with lovers) seeks ecstatic connection for playtimes, connections, copulations, exploration and generally wonderful occasional times together. Clear communication, a willingness to venture into the whole self of you is wanted. Possibilities are wide-ranging: three, four, explorations, dreaming up an adventure are on the list! DoubleUp, 63, seeking: M, Cp, l

GENDERQUEER PEOPLE seeking... LONELY AND WAITING FOR YOU Lonely Carolina immigrant looking for an amazing woman. I love to cook, clean and generally make my partner as happy as possible. I’m comfortable both with my full beard and burly coat, or with my pretty pink lacy dresses and blond curls, whichever makes you happiest. I value trust above all else. Oh, and I give killer foot rubs! Neneveh, 24, seeking: W, l

COUPLES seeking... COUPLE LOOKING FOR FUN! Adventurous, silly, easygoing, freespirited. Agd09090, 26, seeking: Cp, l LOOKING FOR COUPLE OR PERSON We want to meet others in the mood to open themselves to another couple for whatever happens. Cpl4fun, 32, seeking: Cp, Gp HELP US BRANCH OUT We are a couple of over 30 years. We love to spend time together, enjoying good food, good beer/wine and good company. We enjoy the outdoors, camping, hiking, skiing. Looking for other couples to become friends with that can help us explore and branch out. We love each other very deeply and want to share that love with others. CentralVTCpl, 54, seeking: Cp, Gp COUPLE SEEKING WOMAN We are very open and honest. Clean, safe and totally discreet. We are looking for a woman who wants to try new adult things with a couple. We want to role-play and try some kink. Newboytoyvt, 50, seeking: W, l


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


EAVES, SMILE IN THE EYES! You were checking out with wine and a wreath. I was making coffee. We said hello! I miss seeing the smile in your eyes more regularly. I wanted to tell you about the Côtes du Rhône in my car and ask if we could share, but my confidence eluded me. Share a bottle and a walk sometime? When: Saturday, December 12, 2020. Where: City Market South End. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915203 SWEET CLOVER LOVE Hey. You checked me out at Sweet Clover Market — and, wow, did you catch my eye. The SpongeBob mask made me know that it was love at first sight, because I, too, love SpongeBob. I couldn’t see under the mask, but your smile lit up the room. I think this could be the one ... but I don’t know your name. When: Saturday, December 12, 2020. Where: Sweet Clover Market. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915202 DUTTON BROOK DRIVE-BY You: rugged and courteous in a pickup truck. Me: fit but flustered runner with music playing too loud. Us: hiking together next weekend? When: Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Where: Addison County. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915201 SILVER FOX IN SILVER YARIS I saw you pulling out of the skate park in your silver two-door Yaris. Driving all slow. So laid-back you don’t even use your blinkers. I just thought to myself, Damn, he’s fine. Let’s grab a taco? And fries? When: Saturday, December 5, 2020. Where: A_Dog Skatepark. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915200 SHAMWOW Not a moment passes that I don’t think of you. —Scoots. When: Friday, May 18, 2018. Where: in my dreams. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915195

‘DO I DARE?’ A question on your plate; time for you and time for me? And time yet for a hundred indecisions, and for a hundred visions and revisions before the taking of a toast and tea. In the room the women come and go talking of Michelangelo. And indeed there will be time to wonder... When: Saturday, November 2, 2019. Where: on our feet. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915199 PUMPING GAS AT VALERO You: black hair wearing a mask in your zippy Nissan Titan. Me: sitting in my tastefully stickered Kia while my gas pumped. Shot in the dark, but you look fun; meet up over a drink? When: Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Where: Barre-Montpelier Rd. Valero station. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915198 HEY, SMOKING IN THE RAIN It was Center Rd., not Hardwick St. I should have said something while we were moving that tree out of the road in the rain. Your dark eyes struck me. Still thinking about them. We did wave to one another as I drove past you in your truck. Wanted to say hello. Curious. When: Monday, November 30, 2020. Where: Greensboro. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915197 KELLEE ON OKCUPID It’s been a while since we chatted on OKCupid. We corresponded about winter and a new snow blower you bought. I hope you’re well. —Chris. When: Friday, February 5, 2016. Where: OKCupid. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915194 LISA ON BURROWS TRAIL SUNDAY We leapfrogged and stumbled down the Burrows Trail. I’m still feeling your warmth. Wondering all sorts of things. Walk in beauty, dear one. When: Sunday, November 22, 2020. Where: Camel’s Hump. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915193


Irreverent counsel on life’s conundrums

Dear Reverend,

I feel like whenever I have sex, I can’t have an orgasm, but my boyfriend finishes so fast. What do I do?

Auntie Climactic

(FEMALE, 19)

THANKS FOR THE SMILE Thanks to the Goodwill worker in Williston who appreciated my mother’s antique lantern. Even small interactions can turn a bad day right around. I really appreciate it! You asked for my name and said it was great meeting me. I wish I had asked for yours. I’ll have to find more things to donate. When: Saturday, November 21, 2020. Where: Goodwill. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915192 TO MY MARILYN MONROE To my forever love, MM. Every lifetime we are drawn to each other. I am so grateful to keep finding you. Our connection is everlasting and worth everything to me. This life and the next, I love you always. Your James Dean. When: Sunday, October 9, 2016. Where: Jericho barn. You: Woman. Me: Nonbinary person. #915191 MISSING BEAN-DIP DAYS To the woman who needs fancy leggings and cozy at-home leggings: I miss the carefree days of 2019 when we could sit and laugh right next to each other, even high-five if compelled. Hopefully soon we can study and make an epic bean dip, just like old times; until then, wash your hands, wear your mask and stay home. When: Wednesday, November 20, 2019. Where: buck hunter at Akes. You: Woman. Me: Woman. #915190 GREG, WE MATCHED ON MATCH Not sure how to connect with you. We have a lot in common, and you seem very fun! When: Friday, November 20, 2020. Where: Match. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915189 NORTHFIELD SEPTUM RING GIRL You complimented my septum ring, and I think yours is perfect. Maybe we can do the coffee thing outside of me buying it from you? When: Friday, November 20, 2020. Where: Northfield. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915188 MIKE B. OF NYC/BUMBLE MISS? Perhaps you were home for a short time, or COVID restrictions made you leave? I saw your match, but my right swipes are rare and can be painstakingly slow. When I finally decided, alas, you were gone. If you return to Colchester sometime soon, try again! Or reach out here. Me: 53, happily independent and active. When: Tuesday, November 10, 2020. Where: Bumble. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915186

Dear Auntie Climactic,

This reminds me of a scene in a movie I recently saw that took place in a sex education class. The teacher compared women to conventional ovens that need time to preheat in order to get things cooking, whereas men are more like microwaves: ready to go — and fast. It’s a tale as old as time. In general, women take longer to reach orgasm than men, and the majority of women don’t achieve orgasm through vaginal intercourse alone. Clitoral stimulation is key. If you and your partner are both into oral, that’s a great way to get started. Try different positions (you on top, for example) that allow you to have more control over your sensations. You can also take

COLCHESTER AVE. Kelly, I am sorry. Please forgive me. —David. When: Thursday, November 19, 2020. Where: Burlington. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915187 HANNAFORD-UPON-ESSEX You were shopping with your daughter, and we made eye contact a couple times. Was it a coincidence or something more? If you would be up for meeting from a distance, I would, too! When: Monday, November 16, 2020. Where: Hannaford, Essex. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915185 SUSAN Saw your profile on Match.com. I found it quite intriguing, to say the least. You are around 70. Let’s chat. Oh, you live in the Burlington area. When: Thursday, November 12, 2020. Where: Match. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915184 KINNEY DRUGS, BARRE-MONTPELIER ROAD We chatted while waiting. You liked my dreads, and I liked your black T shirt that said something about “good people on earth.” We spoke again, but I should have asked for your name. Care to chat again, maybe exchange names? When: Wednesday, November 11, 2020. Where: Kinney Drugs, Barre-Montpelier Road. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915183 STRAWBERRY BREAD BAKER Sorry to have missed you at the flu clinic; it was the highlight of my 2019. Hope that you are doing well, staying healthy and continuing to make your indelible mark on the world. As always, missing you terribly. Happy birthday. When: Wednesday, November 6, 2019. Where: downtown BTV. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915182 BERLIN POND I thought I’d lost my keys (but didn’t). You offered to lend us your car. I appreciate your very kind gesture. It’s people like you who bring light into the world, and it’s my hope our paths will converge again soon. Thank you. When: Monday, November 9, 2020. Where: near Berlin Pond. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915181 HOPEFULHEART You have been spied! Tag, you’re it! When: Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Where: Seven Days. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915178

matters into your own hands — literally, or with the aid of a vibrator or other toy. I could go on about the need to talk to your partner about what rings your bell and to extend foreplay before penetration, but, in all honesty, it

CITY MARKET, TWO BEEF STICKS In front of the prepared food cooler, the woman in the silver puffy jacket gesticulated in our direction. At the checkout, I asked, “That’s it?” looking at the two Vermont beef sticks in your hand. I just wanted a snack. You said good night to everyone before driving off in your Bolt, your kindness unmasked. When: Sunday, November 8, 2020. Where: City Market, downtown Burlington. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915180 BREAK LIGHTS, BREAK LIGHTS Break lights near the barn you have spied. It’s too bad it’s still dark out. Be nice to see your smile. When: Friday, November 6, 2020. Where: ???. You: Woman. Me: Man. #915179 LOOKING GOOD IN THOSE JEANS. Looking right. Hella tight. Would love to take you out for a night. As long as you wear those jeans, anything is possible. K, if you’re waiting for a sign, this is it. Just give me the signal, and I will send her to the airport with a one-way ticket to Santa Fe. With us, we could be magic. When: Wednesday, November 4, 2020. Where: Main St. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915177 COLLIN AT COSTCO Saw you this morning in passing while running errands. Curious what’s under the mask. Caught a glimpse of your name badge as you passed by me a second time: Collin. Figured I’d take a shot in the dark here. When: Saturday, October 31, 2020. Where: Costco. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915175 BLUE TOYOTA TACOMA To the Blue Toyota Tacoma: Almost every morning I’m heading south and you are heading north. Would be nice to catch up sometime. You have been spied back. When: Saturday, October 31, 2020. Where: Route ???. You: Man. Me: Woman. #915174 CUTE BIKE PATH DOG DAD You and your cute shepherd passed me, my roommate and our dogs in front of the sailing center. Your pup walked over to say hello, and I wish you had, too. Your smile was to die for. Meet at the dog park one day? When: Tuesday, October 27, 2020. Where: Burlington bike path. You: Man. Me: Man. #915173

sounds like your boy needs to work on his long game. So, I’d like to give him some homework — but it’s the fun kind. He should try edging (also called the stop-and-start technique). This is when you masturbate to the brink of orgasm, then chill out a bit and start over. You repeat that a few times before allowing yourself to climax. It takes some time and practice, but it should help him gain some control over his speedy ejaculations. It’s also fun for a woman, so why not join him? This is an extremely common problem, but with communication and experimentation, hopefully the two of you will have a great time working it out. Good luck and God bless,

The Reverend

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I’m a gay male seeking a gay male, 65+. Inexperienced but learning. Virgin. Love giving and receiving oral. #L1465 I’m here now, and you knew me as Yourdaddy921, etc. and Boomer2012, etc. Contact me via mail, please. #L1458 49-y/o SWM seeking female for friendship with benefits. I am feminine, fit, mostly vegan. I enjoy yoga, hiking and biking, books, some cooking, and cuddling to a good movie. Seeking romantic lady for friendship. #L1457

SWF, 59 y/o, seeking “playmate” (M or F) for companionship and increased joy! Prefer my age, but open. “Old souls” seeking to expand their worlds. Avid reader, writer and news junkie. Love animals, music, food and adventures. I follow the golden rule and expect the same. 420-friendly. Let’s have coffee. Chemistry would be a miracle, but who knows. #L1464

I’m a mid-aged male seeking a male or female in these reclusive, masked times. I’m a long-distance runner, walker and aerobic distance-goer looking to share runs in the spirit of Joy Johnstone, Ed Whitlock, Larry Legend, George Sheehan — connecting to that endorphined tranquility and making sense of our lives. Any age. #L1462

I am a 68-y/o male seeking an advanced lady skier between 45 and 58. Jay and Smuggs pass. 19 countries + ALK. Five years Beirut. Zero Druidic. Last reads: Candide, How Fascism Works, Story of O. Adventures best shared. #L1463

I’m a 71-and-a-half-y/o male from Rutland County seeking a female. Netflix, cable junkie. Hope to dine again post-COVID. Love the Maine coast a couple times a year. Sedate lifestyle. Retired law enforcement. #L1461

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I’m a 34-y/o male seeking 18- to 45-y/o female. I’m smart, artistic, funny and open-minded. Love music, books, movies and looking at the cosmos. A cat guy, but like all animals. Looking for love and friendship. #L1456 I’m a male (65) seeking a female (50 to 65). Fit, friendly, frolicsome fella favors fanciful female for fabulous fall friendship. I’m vegetarian, healthy, humorous, reflective and highly educated. Interests are hiking, gardening, dogs, creativity, Scrabble and pillowtalk. #L1455 I don’t live in Vermont anymore, but I’m here semiregularly. I’m a 39-y/o lady friend seeking men, but anyone for friends to write to, maybe more. Hike, ski, lounge, eat, drink, converse. It’s COVID; I’m bored/lonely. What about you? #L1454

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Reply to these messages with real, honest-to-goodness letters. DETAILS BELOW. SWM, 60s, seeking woman around 58 to 68. Handyman. Enjoy skiing, cooking, weekend getaways. Tired of quarantine. Are you? NEK. #L1453 SF, 42, living in Chittenden County seeks SM for potential LTR. I’m a nerdy gamer, morning person, coffee drinker, nonsmoker. Kind, industrious. Seeking similar. The world is our opportunity! #L1452 53-y/o discreet SWM, 5’10, 156 pounds. Brown and blue. Seeking any guys 18 to 60 who like to receive oral and who are a good top. Well hung guys a plus. Chittenden County and around. No computer. Phone only, but can text or call. #L1451 SWF seeks conservative male age 62 to 72, Addison/ Burlington area only. Turnons: har cut, shave, outdoorsy, hunter, camper. Turn-offs: smoker, drugs, tattoos. Me: 5’8, average build, blue/brown, glasses, enjoy nature, have a Shelty, birds, old Jeep, farm raised. Need phone number, please. #L1450

I’m a bicurious 41-y/o male seeking bicurious married or single men, 18 to 45, for some very discreet fun. Good hygiene, hung and H&W proportional a must. Let’s text discreetly and have some DL NSA fun. #L1449 Attractive SWM, 51, living around the Burlington area. Seeking a curvaceous female for some casual fun with no strings attached. All it takes is some good chemistry... #L1447 I’m a mid-aged male seeking a M or F any age or gender. Wonderful youth, caring person. Male, 5’9, 147. Older mid-aged loves long-distance running, writing, literature, poetry, drawing, folk and jazz. Looking for a great friendship for hikes, walks, talks. Best to all. #L1446 I’m a single female, mid60s, seeking a male for companionship and adventure. Retired educator who loves kayaking, swimming, skiing and travel. Well read. Life is short; let’s have fun. #L1445

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Good News, Positive Trends and Stories of Resilience from an Awful Year; COVID-19 Claims a Hardwick Couple who Were Inseparable for Nearly 6...

Seven Days, December 16, 2020  

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