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What the heck happened? One minute Pamela Polston and I were reporters at Vox, a little ol’ arts weekly we’d created, waiting for the new owners to ax our jobs. Now we find ourselves looking back over 20 years at the newspaper we own, which is now one of the most

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Pamela Polston

20years... AAN = Association of Alternative Newsmedia NENPA = New England Newspaper & Press Association PMA = Parenting Media Association VPA = Vermont Press Association

BY C ATH Y R E S ME R

A longer version of the Seven Days history — with three times as many timeline points — is online at sevendaysvt.com. Check it out; you might be in it.

expected. We’ve had opportunities to diversify and grow in a small market. Our great staff have found and delivered interesting content and made it look good — first in black-and-white newsprint and now in full color — on almost every platform imaginable. Readers and advertisers have acknowledged our efforts and rewarded us with their business and attention. Building that trust is something only a few lucky Vermontrepreneurs get to experience. But running Seven Days has also been challenging — in ways we never could have imagined in 1995, when our writers, all freelancers, still turned in their stories on floppy disks. Technology has enriched our work and made it more accessible, but it’s also imperiled many newspapers — and kept me awake countless nights. It has forced all of us in the media industry to innovate. Some things stuck; others didn’t. Figuring out what would work in our market has only deepened our appreciation for its singularity. We couldn’t have predicted that Seven Days would grow from 28 pages a week to more than four times that. Or that we would add a parenting magazine, dining and student guides, a bilingual tourist quarterly and a full-time video journalist. To say nothing of the events — singles parties, homebuyer seminars, Daysies awards, Tech Jam and Vermont Restaurant Week.

PAU L A R O U T LY, P U B L I S HER / C O ED I T O R

JANUARY 17: Seven Days launches its personal ads with a live Dating Game promotion. It runs every Wednesday night for 13 weeks at upstairs Nectar’s.

NOVEMBER 8: Paula Routly reports in Back Talk that Bob Denver, aka Gilligan, visited the Seven Days office. The paper publishes its first two iSpys, the better of which reads: “I spy with my little eye a M who’s sexy, sweet, caring, hairless, a morning person, huggable, has a fetish for cows and is keepable. Box P-14”

| 1996

1995 SEPTEMBER 6: The first, 28-page issue of Seven Days includes an essay by Peter Freyne, a short story excerpt by UVM prof Philip Baruth, and a pizza survey headlined “The Pies Have It.” The winner? Leonardo’s. The paper’s sole comic strip is dug Nap’s “Duane.”

Seven Days even produced a video game. Until 2013, I’d never played one. Pamela and I got into this business to publish a lively local weekly with good writing and design. That we’re producing so much more of it now hasn’t diminished that commitment. At the very least, we’ve tried to choose our words carefully, place them where they belong and spell them correctly. But the greater goal has been to move you — to understanding, admiration, tears, action, whatever — whether it’s Paul Heintz’s campaign-finance coverage or the Free Will Astrology column, Ken Picard’s exposé of prostitution in Vermont’s Asian “massage parlors” or Alice Levitt’s restaurant reviews. Our plan for the next 20 years? Pretty much what we outlined in our very first issue: “to provide a weekly mix of articles about people, places and things worth doing, as well as news — with a twist — reviews, opinion, entertainment and up-to-the-minute listings. In short, the definitive word on life in Vermont.” Now, with the web and social media, we aim to entertain and inform you truly seven days a week. And by “we,” I mean all of our 60plus employees. Fortunately, it’s not just me and Pamela anymore.

SEPTEMBER 13: Seven Days gets an email address, sevenday@ together.net, and classifieds section. The first of more than 1,000 mottos is: Better read than dead.

OCTOBER 18: The cover story is prescient: “Fermenting Revolution: Vermont’s beer biz hops to it” spotlights Long Trail, Otter Creek, Catamount and Magic Hat. Writer Irving Shelby Smith predicts: “The word ‘Vermont’ may soon also say ‘great beer’ to the rest of the nation.” Peter Freyne’s Inside Track debuts in Seven Days.

NOVEMBER 15: Peter Freyne pens the cover story: “Billy the Kid: William Greer, football folk hero or biggest drug dealer in Vermont?” The former Rice Memorial High School football star is accused, and later convicted, of masterminding Vermont’s largest pot and hashish smuggling operation.

DECEMBER 20: Tom Paine’s short story “From Basra to Bethlehem” appears in the first Winter Reading Issue. A few months later, it earns the paper a prestigious Pushcart Prize.

JANUARY 31: In “Winning Ticket,” Paula Routly gives a thumbs up to Man With a Plan, John O’Brien’s mockumentary about dairy farmer Fred Tuttle and his run for Congress.

PHOTOS: MATTHEW THORSEN

SEVEN DAYS • TWENTY YEARS SEPTEMBER 9, 2015

Paula Routly and Tito (2006-15)

unusual of its kind in the country. Seven Days is thriving in a media environment that has become less like All the President’s Men and more like The Hunger Games. In some ways, publishing Seven Days has been easier than we


FAQ

Three’s the Company

Q: How do you decide what to write about? A: In news, we look for JDLRs — anything that “Just Doesn’t Look Right.” Vermont has enough artists and other interesting characters to keep us in features forever.

Q: Are Seven Days’ cofounders Pamela and Paula, like, partner partners?

All good things come to... a succession plan. Three associate publishers are charged with charting the future of Seven Days: director of sales Colby Roberts, creative director Don Eggert and Kids VT executive editor Cathy Resmer.

A: Nope, it’s all business with those two.

Q: Who is Rufus? He’s listed in the masthead every week.

Colby Roberts

A: He’s an enigma wrapped in a white fur coat — the canine companion of production manager John “Jingles” James. He “works” long hours being adorable and gets a new job title every week.

Q: Your corporate name is Da Capo Publishing. Is there a Mr. Da Capo? A: Fuggedaboutit. “Da Capo” means “from the head” in Italian — appropriately, it’s a musical term that instructs, “start over again.” We did that 20 years ago, and still do every week.

Q: How has Seven Days managed to grow when it seems many other newspapers are declining? A: See “20 reasons” on page 4.

Q: Why don’t you write editorials? Is Seven Days endorsing Bernie? A. When Seven Days first started, nobody had time to research and write editorials — Pamela and Paula each wrote multiple stories a week. Nor would they have necessarily agreed on everything. By not taking a stand, it turned out, the paper avoided getting pigeonholed politically. That’s why we will not be endorsing Ol’ Bernardo or anyone else.

ILLUSTRATIONS: MARC NADEL

Cathy Resmer Don Eggert

Q: I recently moved to VT from the big city and I’d like to write a personal essay about my fish-out-of-water tale. Y’all are so darn quirky! Will you publish this? A: No.

MARCH 19: Seven Days introduces Webwise, a monthly column about the internet, by Margaret Levine Young and Jordan Young, the Cornwall-based authors of The Internet for Dummies.

OCTOBER 30: Pamela Polston reports on the music scene in a new column, Rhythm & News.

MAY 14: Webwise explains how to write an email.

| 1997 SEPTEMBER 9: In honor of the paper’s first anniversary, Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle issues a proclamation and calls Seven Days a “must read.”

NOVEMBER 6: Seven Days’ first Animal Issue debuts a readersubmitted pet photo contest called Paw Prints.

JANUARY 29: The first Cyber Issue contains reviews of Vermont websites and an essay by former Vermont Times writer Dwight Garner about his new gig at Salon. In Inside Track, Peter Freyne notes that the Burlington Free Press doesn’t have a website. Turns out the URL www.bfp.com goes to an S&M site called “Bound for Pleasure.”

JULY 16: Seven Days adds two new comic strips: “Dykes to Watch Out For” by Alison Bechdel and “Life in Hell” by Matt Groening.

● MAY 28: Pamela Polston interviews a 23-year-old Burlington woman in “What Happens After Rape? A survivor of sexual assault has her say.” NENPA (1st place, Human Interest Feature)

AUGUST 31: Princess Diana dies in a car crash.

DECEMBER 3: Peter Freyne reports on Howard Dean in Inside Track: “I’d say the guy’s got a serious case of presidential fever.”

SEVEN DAYS • TWENTY YEARS SEPTEMBER 9, 2015

SEPTEMBER 11: Seven Days’ first anniversary issue contains a local sex advice column by Lola the Love Counselor and a new monthly column: Peter Kurth’s Crank Call.

JUNE 5: Seven Days publishes the first installment of its shortlived music quarterly, 4/4, with a story on the 15th anniversary of punk club 242 Main and a comic by James Kochalka.

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TWENTY REASONS WE’RE STILL HERE

The last 20 years haven’t been so great for many newspapers around the country. Some publications are shadows of their former selves. Others, like the altweekly Boston Phoenix, have vanished altogether. So why is Seven Days still fat and happy? We came up with a few possible explanations: 1. Seven Days was “locavore” before there was a precious term for it. 2. It’s free — you can thank our advertisers for that. 3. In Vermont, our circulation drivers are more reliable than the internet. 4. You can’t wrap presents, make mulch or start a fire with Facebook. 5. iSpys. Maybe this week, right? 6. We actually live here. 7. You can’t do the Seven Days crossword online. 8. Unlike other local news outlets, we get to drop the F-bomb. Fuck yeah! 9. We really, really try to eliminate typos. 10. Who else would you nervously ask about your penis size if not for Lola, Mistress Maeve and Athena? 11. It’s nice lookin’. Admit it — you even read the ads. 12. For Seven Days, serious word play is not an oxymoron. 13. Vermont is far more sophisticated than our rinky-dink population would suggest. 14. Two words: job ads. ILLUSTRATIONS: SEAN METCALF

15. The fearless Peter Freyne launched our news section. See page 5. 16. You need something to read in the bathroom. 17. How else would you know what to do this weekend? 18. We bust our asses — no squat machine required. 19. It’s not all work: Think Mardi Gras, Art Hop and the Big Lebowlski. 20. YOU. Thanks for picking up the paper, buying ads, sending letters, pet photos, suggesting stories, voting for the Daysies and giving us so much to write about for all these years.

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JANUARY 8: Epic ice storm paralyzes Vermont for almost a week.

FEBRUARY 11: The “shocking results” of Seven Days first sex survey reveal Vermonters have a thing for TV weathermen. Which politician do Vermonters most want to bang? Howard Dean. Seven Days adds a crossword puzzle.

1998 l FEBRUARY 4: Seven Days publishes the first in a series of monthly restaurant reviews by nationally known critic Marialisa Calta of Calais.

NOVEMBER 4: In Back Talk, Paula Routly notes Fred Tuttle’s appearance on the “The Tonight Show,” during which he held up a copy of Seven Days to show his sole campaign ad.

l MARCH 11: Vermont lawmakers vote Peter Freyne Best Statehouse Print Reporter. Says then-senator Peter Shumlin: “Peter Freyne is the only columnist in Vermont who is consistently intriguing. Legislators grab Seven Days every week like kids in a candy shop — mostly out of fear, of course.” FEBRUARY 18: Seven Days gets its own domain name: sevendaysvt.com.

JUNE 3: Vermont Pub & Brewery honors Seven Days founders Pamela Polston and Paula Routly for “making Burlington a better place to live and play” with a live award ceremony at the downtown brewpub.

SEPTEMBER 8: Fred Tuttle defeats Jack McMullen in Republican primary election for U.S. Senate.

l OCTOBER 21: Seven Days art critic Marc Awodey wins the John D. Donoghue Award for arts criticism from the Vermont Press Association.

DECEMBER 19: The U.S. House of Representatives impeaches President Bill Clinton. DECEMBER 9: In Rhythm & News, Pamela Polston writes: “Now that Dennis Wygmans has confirmed the imminent sale of Club Toast to Club Extreme, everyone is getting all mistyeyed about their ‘last gig at Toast’ this month.”

| 1999 MAY 12: Seven Days apologizes for the “vampire fangs” that appeared on the photo of Sen. Vince Illuzzi in the previous week’s cover story by Paula Routly: “It was a couple of ill-placed dust specks in the camera room at B.D. Press that made him look so ‘long in the tooth.’ Our apologies for the bizarre, but accidental, foul-up.”

FILE: MATTHEW THORSEN

SEVEN DAYS • TWENTY YEARS SEPTEMBER 9, 2015

20years...

MARCH 25: Pamela Polston reports in Rhythm & News that Agents of Good Roots will play the grand opening of Higher Ground on April 15 in Winooski.


ix reporters create the robust news section in every issue of Seven Days and break stories 24-7 on our Off Message blog. But not that long ago, we had just one dogged journalist covering city hall and the Statehouse: the late, great Peter Freyne. For years, his Inside Track column was a must-read for Vermont decision makers and news junkies. It legitimized the paper in circles that were more interested in policy than personals. Or so they would have had us believe...

S

Ol’ Bernardo, and his nicknames for politicians became legendary: “Gov. Scissorhands” Douglas, “Ho Ho” Dean and “Straddlin’ Madeleine” Kunin. Peter left journalism once — for a brief stint as Kunin’s press secretary — but he was fired for making a sexually suggestive remark to a female reporter. Peter wasn’t easy to manage — and he generated a lot of angry phone calls — but we welcomed him with open arms when he jumped ship from a competing newspaper to join Seven Days in November 1995. We were two

stopped writing Inside Track on March 19, 2008. Six months later, a strep infection spread to his brain and he died on January 7, 2009 — just hours before the start of the legislative session. Vermont lawmakers remembered him with a moment of silence. He was 59. “Vermont has lost its own version of Mike Royko,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, a fellow Irishman, wrote at the time. “He brought insight to some of the biggest stories of our time here — the civil unions debate, the Dean campaign, the Jeffords switch and the war in Iraq.”

Peter’s Principles Remembering Seven Days’ first news hound

OCTOBER 13: In Inside Track, Peter Freyne labels the Burlington grocery store selection controversy as “the biggest political food fight of the modern era.”

OCTOBER 20: In Back Talk, Paula Routly reports on Harrison Ford’s Vermont visit during the filming of What Lies Beneath: “Nectar’s doesn’t take credit cards — not even from Harrison Ford. When the fun-loving star of What Lies Beneath found himself out of money at the end of a night of carousing in Burlington, he proffered the plastic. No go. Word has it one of his ‘body guards’ coughed up the cash.”

RUTHLESS AND CHARMING, PETER FREYNE WAS THE RARE REPORTER WHO COULD SKEWER A POLITICIAN IN HIS COLUMN AND HAVE A DRINK WITH HIM TWO DAYS LATER.

MARCH 15: Seven Days adds Hackie, a biweekly column by Jernigan Pontiac.

● | 2000 DECEMBER 1: Notable Vermonters reveal how they plan to spend the last night of the century in “Dropping the Ball? Celebrating New Year’s Eve, the Y2K way…” by Paula Routly.

DECEMBER 20: Vermont Supreme Court rules in Baker v. State of Vermont that same-sex couples are entitled to the benefits of marriage under the state’s constitution.

JANUARY 25: Hundreds of Vermonters flock to the Statehouse in Montpelier for a public hearing on same-sex marriage.

MAY 3: First editorial cartoon by Tim Newcomb, showing Howard Dean signing the civil unions bill behind closed doors, appears in Seven Days.

● NOVEMBER 21: The Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce names Seven Days Business of the Year.

FILE: MATTHEW THORSEN

AUGUST 11: In Rhythm & News, Pamela Polston notes that Eugene Hutz, formerly Eugene Nikolaev, is taking New York City by storm as a runway model — and making mustaches cool. His new band, Gogol Bordello, is a big hit.

SEPTEMBER 6: Seven Days adds a second section for employment classifieds, personals and comics.

OCTOBER: Business People Vermont puts Seven Days on its cover. The story is headlined: “Sevens and Elevens: Pamela Polston and Paula Routly have put in long hours to overcome tough odds at Seven Days, Burlington’s weekly alternative newspaper.”

DECEMBER 13: Al Gore concedes the presidency to George W. Bush.

SEVEN DAYS • TWENTY YEARS SEPTEMBER 9, 2015

JUNE 23: Burlington’s “already-sizzling housing market” is beginning to overheat. So says Kevin J. Kelley in “Gimme Shelter: There’s no place like home — if you can find one.”

months old and by no means sailing smoothly, but Peter couldn’t resist such a renegade operation. He delivered his column every Tuesday, like clockwork, just a few hours before we went to press. Peter never missed his deadline in the 13 years he wrote for Seven Days. Even on the occasion he fell down the stairs at Finnigan’s on a Monday night, he wrote Inside Track before he went to the hospital. He later gave up drinking, took up bicycling and joined the digital revolution. He used his blog, Freyne Land, to document his battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He approached his own story the way he did all of them: with honesty and humor. Peter survived cancer, but he

FILE: TIM NEWCOMB

A former cabdriver, Peter was a student in the barstool school of journalism. He taught himself how to find stories and cultivate contacts: He listened — and, in press conferences, posed uncomfortable questions that other reporters were too polite to ask. Ruthless and charming, he was the rare reporter who could skewer a politician in his column and have a drink with him two days later. Many of his “victims” became his sources — and, in some cases, friends. Public figures knew they had arrived when they landed in Inside Track, which the Vanguard Press started publishing in 1981 — the same year Bernie Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington. Peter dubbed him

BY PAUL A R O UTLY

Sanders called him “one of the most remarkable individuals I ever met.” Writer David Goodman settled on “the forerunner to Tina Fey.” For the past three years, Seven Days has hosted an Off the Record mixer in Peter’s memory on the first day of the legislative session. It’s “an event on opening day when lawmakers and journalists sheath their swords,” former AP bureau chief Chris Graff observed in his remarks at the inaugural event. He went on to remind the crowd, some of whom proudly wore on nametags the nicknames Peter gave them: “Peter believed in democracy, in the power of the press, and that freedom is something you fight for.” Peter would have preferred Graff ’s simpler version: “He had the best bullshit meter of anyone.” His successors strive for nothing less. 

5


HOW MANY SEVEN DAYZERS DOES IT TAKE... our brave staffers helped us launch Seven Days in September 1995. LARS-ERIK FISK designed the paper. MAGGIE STARVISH was the “front-desk person” in our subterranean Church Street office, in charge of reception, classifieds, circulation and whatever else came up. CLOVE TSINDLE compiled the calendar. And the incomparable RICK WOODS sold so many ads to local businesses that the first issue was 28 pages. Even as a startup, the company never had a cash-flow problem. By Christmas, we’d picked up news columnist PETER FREYNE, photographer MATTHEW THORSEN, designers SAMANTHA HUNT and KATHY ERICKSON and another reluctant but effective salesperson: BARBARA PEABODY. A year and a half later came MICHELLE BROWN, a consummate professional salesperson who works for us to this day. The first crew of delivery drivers — who on Wednesdays pick up and drop off thousands of papers in every direction within an hour and a half of Burlington (see page 12) — included NAT MICHAEL and HARRY APPLEGATE. Both still work for us and, in addition to Seven Days, distribute 7 Nights, What’s Good and our parenting publication, Kids VT. Over the years, dozens of remarkable people have lent their talents to Seven Days. Some of them, such as art director DIANE SULLIVAN and staff writer KEN PICARD, have worked with us for much of their adult lives. Associate publishers CATHY RESMER, DON EGGERT and COLBY ROBERTS have 45 years among them, and none is older than 42. Others, such as senior sales rep MICHAEL BRADSHAW and special publications manager CAROLYN FOX, left the company and came back. It takes creativity and hard work to “cover” our community. To make a newspaper from scratch every week, dozens of moving parts have to come together. The reporting, the editing, the photography, the calendar listings, design, proofreading. And then there’s the digital side — uploading all that content to the web, pushing it out via apps and email newsletters and making sure

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SEVEN DAYS • TWENTY YEARS SEPTEMBER 9, 2015

20years...

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MAY 24: Sen. Jim Jeffords leaves the Republican Party.

2001 MARCH 21: Paula Routly hangs out on Church Street with an ex-con in “Street Smart: On Burlington’s Church Street, a man called ‘Highway’ steers troubled kids in the right direction.” VPA (1st Place, Best Feature)

1996

FIRST ANNIVERSARY STAFF PHOTO

Top from left: Barbara Peabody, Kathy Erickson, Lars-Erik Fisk. Second row: Maggie Starvish, Pamela Polston, Paula Routly, Rick Woods. Bottom row: Samantha Hunt, Clove Tsindle.

people see it on Facebook. To say nothing of finding interesting stories in the first place, and selling the ads to enable us to pay for everything. Not everyone thrives in a deadline-driven work environment; others embrace the pace and discover skills they didn’t know they had. But all of the people listed on page 8 and 9 — both staffers and freelancers — contributed in some way to making Seven Days the media company that it is today. For their labor and loyalty, we are eternally grateful. PAU L A R O U T LY

OCTOBER 7: U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan begins.

SEPTEMBER 11: Nineteen Islamic terrorists fly four commercial jets into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, killing almost 3,000 people.

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SEPTEMBER 19: Seven Days art critic Marc Awodey writes about his architect father, who helped design the World Trade Center. The original blueprints for the towers accompany the story. SEPTEMBER 12: In Inside Track, Peter Freyne analyzes the Bush administration’s chaotic response to the attacks the day before.

SEPTEMBER 7: In honor of Seven Days’ seventh anniversary, Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle proclaims September 7, 2002, to be Seven Days Day. “Seven Days has become essential reading for anyone wanting to stay current with Burlington’s — and Vermont’s — cultural happenings and political shenanigans,” he says.

AUGUST 7: Paula Routly bares all to get the scoop on a nudist camp in Sheldon Springs. “Undercover Story” makes the cover.

SEPTEMBER 25: Peter Kurth pens final Crank Call.

| 2002 APRIL 17: Pamela Polston passes the torch to new music editor Ethan Covey. JUNE 19: Paula Routly interviews part-time Vermonter Judith Levine about her radical writings and national reaction to her new book Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex. Levine later becomes a columnist for Seven Days.

JULY 31: In Inside Track, Peter Freyne outlines an “Enron-style conspiracy” at Fletcher Allen Health Care overseen by CEO Bill Boettcher.

NOVEMBER 5: Republicans win majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate. Jim Douglas is elected governor.


MAIN PHOTO (clockwise from bottom left): Matthew Thorsen (lying down), Megan James (on shirt), Michael Bradshaw, Margot Harrison, Aaron Shrewsbury, Jeff Baron, Mark Davis, Nicole DeSmet, Hannah Palmer Egan, Brooke Bousquet, Eva Sollberger, Kirsten Cheney, Matt Weiner, Paul Heintz (on shirt), John James, Rufus, Don Eggert, Colby Roberts, Paula Routly, Diane Sullivan, Alice Levitt, Terri Hallenbeck, Andrea Suozzo, Cathy Resmer, Neel Tandan, Bobby Hackney Jr., Meredith Coeyman (on shirt), Dan Bolles, Nancy Remsen, Ken Picard, Ethan de Seife, Lisa Matanle, Molly Walsh, Pamela Polston, Kymelya Sari, Marisa Keller, Carolyn Fox, Michelle Brown, Robyn Birgisson, Alison Novak, Kaitlin Montgomery, Logan Pintka, Alicia Freese, Kristen Hutter, Cheryl Brownell, Matthew Roy, Kristen Ravin, Nicole Christopher, Ashley Cleare, Julia Atherton, Corey Grenier. Absent: Brett Stanciu, Diana Todisco.

2015

DELIVERY DRIVERS (bottom, left to right): Harry Applegate, James Blanchard, Joe Bouffard, Pat Bouffard, Colin Clary, Donna Delmoora, Paul Hawkins, Nat Michael, Dan Nesbitt, Ezra Oklan, Melody Percoco, Tomas Ruprecht, John Shappy, Dan Thayer.

PHOTOS: MATTHEW THORSEN

SPECIAL THANKS... to Melinda Moulton who allowed us to use the Wing Building patio as the site for this photo. Coincidentally, we’re all standing on a time capsule that was buried there in 1995!

| 2003 MARCH 19: U.S. invasion of Iraq begins. NOVEMBER 6: Former Vermonter Hayden Carruth is honored with four readings around the state — and a spot on the cover of Seven Days. Paula Routly delivers “The Whole Carruth.” VPA (1st Place, Best Feature)

● APRIL 2: In Local Matters, a new biweekly column, Ken Picard chronicles the state of Vermont.

JUNE 18: Ken Picard documents the increasing presence of Mexican farmworkers on Vermont dairy farms in “Green Mountain Campesinos.” “Pinched by low milk prices and a shortage of workers willing to put in long, grueling hours for low pay, Vermont dairy farmers are increasingly looking south of the border for hands to keep their operations running.” VPA (1st place Best Local Story, nondaily)

JUNE 26: Music editor Ethan Covey wins John D. Donoghue Award for arts criticism from the Vermont Press Association. JUNE 23: Howard Dean announces he’s running for president.

OCTOBER 4: Fred Tuttle dies of a heart attack on the same Tunbridge farm where he was born.

OCTOBER 22: Seven Days writers ask, “Whither Winooski?: Is the Onion City becoming Burlington’s Brooklyn?” “Downtown Winooski is essentially a parking lot,” says Higher Ground co-owner Alex Crothers, “and it has so much potential.”

● JULY 30: You picked the Daysies! Seven Days reveals the winners of the first Seven Daysies Readers’ Picks.

SEPTEMBER 17: Before there was Facebook and MySpace, there was Friendster. Cathy Resmer explores the early social media site in “Best Friendsters?: Casting a worldwide personal network without leaving home.” Zephyr Teachout, Howard Dean’s director of online organizing and outreach, is “excited” about its potential: “It’s even better for organizing than it is for dating,” she says.

OCTOBER 29: Paula Routly passes the arts and culture torch to contributing editor David Warner, whose new column is called State of the Arts.

SEVEN DAYS • TWENTY YEARS SEPTEMBER 9, 2015

FEBRUARY 13: In Inside Track, Peter Freyne reports that all but one of Fletcher Allen Health Care’s board of trustees resigned after Gov. Jim Douglas called on them to step down.

MARCH 12: Ethan Covey profiles DJ A-Dog in “Vinyl Answer.” “Inching the volume higher on the classic funk track pulsing through the room’s speakers, he cuts his hand across the record, sending forth a staccato flurry of notes. A soft murmur of praise rises from the assembling crowd. Heads nod in approval. A-Dog lets slip a thin smile, then turns to rummage through a black crate overflowing with 12-inch vinyl.”

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Seven Who Got Away…

It’s always sad when talented employees decide to leave. The only consolation is they have a tendency to move on to other amazing things. And we can say we knew them when... Plenty of Seven Dayzers have gone on to greatness, but here’s a small sampling of their adventures and accomplishments:

Lars-Erik Fisk ART DIRECTOR, 1995-1996 Since he left Seven Days, Lars has worked on and off as art director of Phish’s visual design department. He’s masterminded the performance art, sculpture and supporting architecture at 10 Phish shows — most recently the Magnaball in Watkins Glen, N.Y. Between productions, Lars got an MFA from Columbia University, established two artist-in-residency programs in Vermont and spent seven years as manager of Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, where he transformed five shipping containers into a house on the grounds. For the past two decades, Lars has continued to make art, including his iconic large “ball” sculptures. One is at Burlington’s Union Station; two are on High Street in Boston; yet another is at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Mass. He’s got an upcoming solo exhibition at Manhattan’s Marlborough Gallery. Lars lives in Brooklyn with his girlfriend and three feral cats.

Samantha “Mandy” Hunt DESIGNER, 1995-1998 Samantha only wrote one or two stories for Seven Days — she was an awesome designer — but she’s made a name for herself in the literary world. She left Vermont for New York City, where she landed a design job at the Village Voice. By the time she left there, in 2003, to start teaching at Pratt Institute, McSweeney’s had published three of her stories. In 2004, Samantha’s first novel, The Seas, won a National Book Award for writers

under 35. Four years later came The Invention of Everything Else, a novel about the later years of inventor Nikola Tesla. The book was a finalist for the United Kingdom’s prestigious Orange Prize, now known as the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Samantha has been published in the New Yorker, the New York Times and New York magazine. Her work has been featured on “This American Life,” “Studio 360” and WNYC’s “Selected Shorts,” as well as at the PEN/Faulkner Reading Series, Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival and BAM’s Next Wave Festival. Her new novel, Mr. Splitfoot, is forthcoming, along with a collection of stories titled Beast. She has three daughters with journalist Joe Hagan.

Jim Lockridge

SEVEN DAYS • TWENTY YEARS SEPTEMBER 9, 2015

DAN BOLLES • DAVE BOOTH • DAVID BOUFFARD • JANE BOUFFARD • JOE BOUFFARD • MICHAEL BRADSHAW • STACEY BRANDT • MEG BRAZILL • ANDREW BROMAGE • CALEB BRONZ

JONATHAN BRUCE • STEFAN BUMBECK • BRIDGET BURNS • MATT BUSHLOW • ROB CAGNINI • RO

MACIEJ CEPLOWSKI • KANAD CHAKRABARTY • MEGAN CHAMBERLAIN • KIRSTEN CHENEY • X

ASHLEY CLEARE • MEREDITH COEYMAN • MAEVE COHEN • MICHAEL COLBY • COURTNEY COPP •

SARAH CUSHMAN • MARK DAVIS • ALLISON DAVIS • ETHAN DE SEIFE • DONNA DELMOORA

MIKE DIBIASIO • DAVID DIEFENDORF • PETER DIFONZO • BROOKE DOOLEY • LINDZEY DRAPE SARAH TUFF DUNN • ROBIN EARLE • DON EGGERT • CHARLES EICHACKER • JOHN ELWORT •

ASHLEY FLANAGAN • JOHN FLANAGAN • RHONDA FORCIER • CAROLYN FOX • GARY FRANKEL • JOHN

PAUL GIBSON • ELIZA GILES • GRETCHEN GILES • LINDA GIONTI • STEVE GOLDBERG • MIKEY GONG

COREY GRENIER • LEO GRIFIN • BOBBY HACKNEY, JR. • STEVE HADEKA • TERRI HALLENBECK • ERIN H

RYAN HAYES • CELIA HAZARD • DAVID HEALY • PAUL HEINTZ • PAUL HESS • JOSH HIGHT

SAMANTHA HUNT • JASON HUNTER • HELEN HUSHER • KRISTEN HUTTER • DAVID HYM

JUDITH LEVINE • ALICE LEVITT • AARON LEWIS • JASON LIGGETT • AMY LILLY • SHAWN LIPEN

REV. ROGER ANTHONY YOLANDA MAPES • CYPRESS MARRS • T.J. MARTIN • JOSEPH MAUNTLER •

CHARLIE MCGANN • LEANORA MCLELLAN • JOSH MECHAM • MELANIE MENAGH • SEAN METCA

KAITLIN MONTGOMERY • BILL MULLINS • LLU MULVANEY-STANAK • GLEN NADEAU • MARC N

ALISON NOVAK • LESLIE O’HALLORAN • KATE O’NEILL • LAUREN OBER • MO OH • EZRA OKLAN

OLIVER PARINI • CHARLEEN PARISEAU • LINDA PARISH • NANCY PAYNE • BARBARA PEABOD

SIMON PLUMPTON • SUZANNE PODHAIZER • PAMELA POLSTON • JOSH POMBAR • JERNIGAN PO AMY RAHN • ROBIN RANON • KRISTEN RAVIN • CASEY RAE • CRAIG REARIC • KATHERINE R

KATIE RIEGELMAN • PATRICK RIPLEY • COLBY ROBERTS • KATRINA ROBERTS • HEATHER ADRIAN ROWLAND • JESSICA ROWSE • MATTHEW ROY • AMY RUBIN • TOMAS RUPRECHT • SARAH

ANDREW SAWTELL • MATT SCANLON • SHAWN SCHEPS • JIM SCHLEY • JOANNA SCOTT • R AARON SHREWSBURY • JORDAN SILVERMAN • FRANK SMECKER • EVA SOLLBERGER • BR

HEIDI STONE • MERYL STONEHOUR • REV. DIANE SULLIVAN • ANDREA SUOZZO • ERIK SWA

GEORGE THABAULTBECKY THARP • DAN THAYER • MATTHEW THORSEN • DIANA

SARAH VAN ARSDALE • TARA VAUGHAN-HUGHES • STEVE VERRIEST • BOB WAGNER • JEB LINDSAY WESTLEY • DAVID WHITE • BRUCE WHITEHALL • SANDRA WHITEHALL

RICK WOODS • KRYSTAL WOODWARD • JUSTIN WYGMANS • JORDAN YOUNG • MA

| 2005

● MARCH 10: Paula Routly starts writing a monthly feature, Edible Complex, to cover Vermont’s growing food scene.

MAY: Seven Days publishes the first 7 Nights, an annual dining and nightlife guide with listings of every restaurant in northern Vermont. The first edition is 100 pages. AAN (Honorable Mention, Special Section)

FEBRUARY 9: Vermont musicians honor the late Big Joe Burrell in “Ode to Big Joe: Remembering the man with the mellow saxophone” by Pamela Polston. Burrell died February 2.

NOVEMBER 2: George W. Bush is reelected president.

MAY 4: Music editor Casey Rae interviews rocker Grace Potter in “Grace Notes.” “It probably won’t be long before the rest of the world knows about Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. Already one of the most talkedabout acts in the Green Mountains, Potter and company are beginning to attract the attention of some music-biz big shots.” MARCH 9: Laura Winterbottom is murdered in Burlington.

APRIL 28: Seven Days launches its first blog, 802 Online, by Cathy Resmer.

APRIL 20: Sen. Jim Jeffords decides not to run for reelection; Bernie Sanders enters the Senate race.

● PHOTOS: MATTHEW THORSEN

8

JANUARY 18: Former Fletcher Allen CEO Bill Boettcher pleads guilty to conspiracy charges.

SASHA BELL • NANCY BERCAW • JESSICA BERNSTEIN • ELLEN BIDDLE • CHRIS BILLUPS • R

NOVEMBER 10: The U.S. defense budget could surpass $500 billion in 2005. How much of that comes back to Vermont? Ken Picard and Cathy Resmer do the math in “War Gains: Vermont’s Pentagon payout — what’s our bang for the buck?” VPA (2nd place, Best State Story)

AUGUST 4: Cathy Resmer explores a capital city union drive in “A More Perfect Union: Montpelier’s downtown workers are fighting for their rights — to organize.” VPA (1st place, Best Local Story)

| 2004 ●●

JULIA ATHERTON • ALICE AUSTIN • MARC AWODEY • BARBARA BABCOCK • KYM BALTHAZAR •

KEVIN J. KELLEY • CALEB KENNA • BOB KILPATRICK • NICK KIRSCHNIT • RICK KISONAK • ALL

It’s hard to imagine Jim Lockridge devoting creative energy to anything other than Big Heavy World — the nonprofit he founded in 1996 to document, promote and inspire the Vermont music community. But in the early days, he designed Seven Days — and was so fast and talented that we tried everything humanly possible to keep him in the art director chair. But BHW was his calling, and Jim has since dedicated his life to “growing a group of volunteering teens in the living room of a band house into an independent grassroots music office that helps Vermont get the credit it deserves for its deeply talented and diverse music community,” as he puts it. His day job is in highway safety, at the Youth Safety Council of Vermont and the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance. He and his wife, Victoria St. John, have a 14-year-old daughter, five cats, two dogs and a big lizard.

JANUARY 19: Presidential candidate Howard Dean places third in Iowa caucuses, gives a speech to supporters during which he pledges to keep fighting — and shrieks in what will become known as “the Dean scream.”

LARRY ALEXANDER • RILEY ALLEN • TERRY ALLEN • PAUL ANTONSON • MARYELLEN APELQ

ANN-ELISE JOHNSON • EMILY JOHNSON • SALLY WEST JOHNSON • GLYN JONES • KIRK KARD

ART DIRECTOR, 1996-1998

20years...

BEST STAFF E VER!

JUNE 22: Seven Days brings on Judith Levine as a regular contributor. Her Poli Psy column is about “the uses and abuses of emotion.”


Bold type indicates a current staffer. Sincere apologies to anyone we inadvertenty omitted!

■ Editors and staff writers ■ Design and production staff ■ Sales and marketing staff ■ Circulation drivers

■ Administrative staff ■ Freelance writers ■ Freelance illustrators, cartoonists

QUIST • MICHAEL AMATO • HARRY APPLEGATE • ROB ARENA • LOU ARMISTEAD • TIM ASHE

• JEFF BARON • MICHAEL BARRETT • KRISTI BATCHELDER • JUDY BEAULAC • ALISON BECHDEL

ROBYN BIRGISSON • JAMES BLANCHARD • ROB BLEVINS • HARRY BLISS • JUSTIN BOLAND PAT BOUFFARD • BROOKE BOUSQUET • CINDY BOYCE • BRITT BOYD • ADAM BRADLEY • PHIL BROWN • ALEX BROWN • KATHERINE BROWN • MICHELLE BROWN • CHERYL BROWNELL

OD CAIN • MARIALISA CALTA • JESS CAMPISI • LIZ CANTRELL • TOM CATTANEO • GARY CAUSER

XIAN CHIANG-WAREN • ALICE CHRISTIAN • CHELSEA CLARK • CHARITY CLARK • COLIN CLARY

• HOPE CORBIN • ETHAN COVEY • ELISABETH CREAN • CELESTE CROWLEY • JUSTIN CROWTHER

A • ASHLEY DELUCCO • BILL DERWAY • NICOLE DESMET • MEGHAN DEWALD • TOM DEWITT

ER • JEFF DREW • HEATHER DRISCOLL • ANDY DUBACK • MICHEL DUBOIS • TED DUNAKIN KATHY ERICKSON • ERIK ESCKILSEN • MICHAEL FISHER • LARS-ERIK FISK • KATHRYN FLAGG

N FREEMAN • ALICIA FREESE • PETER FREYNE • ANNE GALLOWAY • GWEN GARLAND • JOHN GENTILE

GWER • DIANA GONSALVES • JUSTIN GONYEA • JEFF GOOD • MYESHA GOSSELIN • SUSAN GREEN

MUSIC EDITOR, 2004-2007

MEN • MICHAEL IVES • PAUL JAFFE • JOHN JAMES • MEGAN JAMES • EVE JAROSINSKI

Casey left Seven Days to do battle in Washington, D.C., on behalf of musicians and other creative types at the Future of Music Coalition. In eight years there — the last three as CEO — he has become an expert on intellectual property law, technology policy and the world of nonprofits. As such, he’s a regular commentator on the impact of technology on creators in media outlets such as NPR, the Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Billboard, the Los Angeles Times and the Hill. Casey even gets to testify before Congress from time to time — occasions when he begrudgingly wears a suit. Casey designed and teaches an original course on disruption and reinvention in the creative industries at Georgetown University’s graduate school, and is on the faculty at Berklee College of Music. He’s president of the nonprofit National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, and still serves on the board of Vermont’s own Big Heavy World. Casey lives with his wife, Faith Swords, in a house with more guitars than people, and is teaching his 5-year-old stepdaughter to play drums.

DASHIAN • JENN KARSON • MARCY KASS • TITO KEEFE • JEANNE KELLER • MARISA KELLER

LIE KLEIN • JAMES KOCHALKA • SAM KUNZ • PETER KURTH • KATE LADDISON • CRESTON LEA

NSKI • JIM LOCKRIDGE • CHRISTINE LOWELL • JACK LUTZ • TYLER MACHADO • ABBY MANOCK

• LISA MATANLE • HALEY MATHIS • JOANNA MAY • MATTHEW MAZZOTTA • ANDREW MCCARTHY

ALF • NAT MICHAEL • MATT MIGNANELLI • GARY LEE MILLER • ANNE MINDELL • BRIAN MOHR

NADEL • DANIEL NESBITT • HEIDI NEVEU • TIM NEWCOMB • HILARY NILES • SUSAN NORTON

N • MAX OWRE • SAM OYER • HANNAH PALMER EGAN • TED PAPPADOPOLOUS • STEPH PAPPAS

DY • MELODY PERCOCO • EMILY PETERS • KEN PICARD • JESSICA PICCIRILLI • LOGAN PINTKA

ONTIAC • SARAH POTTER • RON POWERS • SARAH PRIESTRAP • RENEE PROULX • ALDETH PULLEN EILLY-FITZPATRICK • NANCY REMSEN • CATHY RESMER • ROBERT RESNIK • LILLY RICKNER

R ROBINSON • REBECCA ROGERS • EMILY ROSE • ELIZABETH ROSSANO • PAULA ROUTLY RYAN • DAN SALAMIDA • GABRIELLE SALERNO • JESSE SARGENT • KYMELYA SARI • KIM SCAFURO

RUSSELL SCULLY • GLENN SEVERANCE • JOHN SHAPPY • TIM SHARBAUGH • JULIA SHIPLEY ETT STANCIU • MAGGIE STARVISH • STACEY STEINMETZ • MOLLY STEVENS • BILL STONE

ANSON • TOM SYKAS • ANNA SYRELL • TIFFANY SZYMASZEK • NEEL TANDAN • JON TAYLOR

A TODISCO • MICHAEL TONN • SHAY TOTTEN • AMY TRUEX • CLOVE TSINDLE

B WALLACE-BRODEUR • BRIAN WALLSTIN • MOE WALSH • MOLLY WALSH • MATT WEINER • TELOS WHITFIELD • AUDREY WILLIAMS • SADIE WILLIAMS • JOHN WILSON

ARGARET LEVINE YOUNG • DELIA ZAMORA-CROSBY • MOLLY ZAPP • KIRT ZIMMER

MAY 30: Bolton cartoonist Alison Bechdel discusses her forthcoming book, Fun Home, in “Life Drawing: With a new graphic memoir, cartoonist Alison Bechdel proves she’s more than just a Dyke to Watch Out For” by Margot Harrison. The book is later adapted for the stage and becomes a Tony Award-winning Broadway show.

| 2006 NOVEMBER 7: The Vermont Press Association gives Ken Picard the Mavis Doyle Award for excellence in news reporting. Music editor Casey Rae and associate editor Margot Harrison tie for the John D. Donoghue Award for arts criticism. The VPA gives Seven Days the first of six General Excellence awards.

NOVEMBER: Seven Days receives a Community Leadership Against Domestic Violence Award from the Vermont Council on Domestic Violence.

Mike started freelancing for Seven Days while still a student at Middlebury College. The Monday after he graduated, he joined the staff as a news writer. He threw himself into the environmental beat and made a habit of staying up all night to write big stories. He left Seven Days in May 2009, moved to Vietnam, and later began freelancing for the Associated Press. He now writes regularly for the New York Times and is the Vietnam correspondent for the Economist. His work has also appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and more than a dozen other publications. Mike writes about travel, politics, business, food, health, environment, architecture, real estate and the arts. He has reported for the Times from nine countries, and his newspaper and magazine assignments have taken him to such varied places as a refugee camp in Myanmar and a walnut forest in Kyrgyzstan. He’s engaged to fellow journo Cat Barton. They met at a press conference.

Anne Galloway FREELANCE WRITER, 1996-2010 Anne was never on staff at Seven Days, but she was a regular freelancer for more than a decade — mostly contributing reviews and features about visual arts. During that time, she worked full-time writing and editing at the Rutland Herald and the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus — early indicators that she had the work ethic and juggling skills to create her own “publication.” When the Times Argus laid her off in 2009, Anne started VTDigger. org, Vermont’s online-only news source. Six years later, it employs 10 on an annual budget of $736,000, and the site averages 140,000 unique or individual readers per month. Anne and her husband, Patrick Kane, live in East Hardwick and have two grown children.

SEPTEMBER 28: Seven Days hires its first food writer, Suzanne Podhaizer, and creates a regular weekly food section in the newspaper.

DECEMBER 27: Burlington residents have discovered a new way to communicate, writes Cathy Resmer in “Neighbors Congregate in Front Porch Forums.” “The free service allows people to receive email newsletters containing announcements from their neighbors. Forum users write about everything from petty crime to politics to lost cats.”

● MARCH 1: Seven Days introduces readers to the concept of instant runoff voting by inviting them to pick which comics the paper should keep. Lloyd Dangle’s Troubletown is eliminated in the first round.

MARCH 7: Burlington voters elect Progressive Bob Kiss as mayor in two rounds of instant runoff voting.

● MAY 24: In advance of a reunion concert on May 27, the Pants talk with music editor Casey Rae in “Classic Fit: Vintage but not distressed, Burlington’s beloved ‘90s band the Pants roll up their cuffs for one more show.”

AUGUST 15: Inside Track columnist Peter Freyne launches a blog called Freyne Land.

NOVEMBER 7: Democrat Peter Welch wins Vermont’s sole House seat; Bernie Sanders is elected to the U.S. Senate. OCTOBER 7: Michelle Gardner-Quinn is abducted and murdered in Burlington.

SEVEN DAYS • TWENTY YEARS SEPTEMBER 9, 2015

AUGUST 29: Hurricane Katrina makes landfall in New Orleans.

STAFF WRITER, 2007-2009

Casey Rae

HANLEY • CHERYL HANNA • ABE HARRISON • MARGOT HARRISON • JUSTIN HART • PAUL HAWKINS

TER • CORIN HIRSCH • RUTH HOROWITZ • SAMUEL HOROWITZ • LUCY HOWE • JOE HUDAK

Mike Ives

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, 1996 CLASSIFIEDS, PERSONALS AND CIRCULATION MANAGER, 1996-2000 The former Bag of Panties bassist left Seven Days in 2000 to join his bandmates in Brooklyn. There he worked a series of humiliating jobs before he found a better one at the Village Voice, coordinating marketing and promotions. In 2003, Glenn had the “dumb luck” to land a marketing manager position at the Onion. “For six years, I worked one wall away from the greatest comedy writers of our modern times,” he recalls, noting Aziz Ansari was his intern. Glenn is now e-commerce director for Brooklyn Brewery and coproducer of the Found Footage Festival, which showcases videos found at garage sales and thrift stores and in warehouses and Dumpsters throughout North America. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Hellene London, and their 2-year-old son, Auggie.

and photographers

SEPTEMBER 10: In honor of Seven Days’ 10th anniversary, Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle proclaims September 10 Seven Days 10th Anniversary Day and gives the staff a key to the city. It doubles as a bottle opener.

Glenn Severance

9


Good Eye

Seven Days photographer Matthew Thorsen gets the picture B Y PA M EL A POL STON

atthew Thorsen came into the Seven Days fold shortly after we started the paper. His first photo was of studio producer Joe Egan, in the October 25, 1995 issue. For the first few years, his black-andwhite images, with dramatic borders created in the darkroom, defined the paper’s arty look. As time passed, his photos reflected a picture-taking sea change: from analog film to digital. Goodbye, darkroom, hello, learning curve. Matt acknowledges grappling with digital cameras — which in the beginning were “not very good” — and a whole new way to process images. In addition, Seven Days gradually evolved from an arts-and-culture paper to one with an increasing number of hard news stories. Photojournalism was a new world, too, for this photographer best known for his carefully composed portraits. Over time, the photos in Seven Days reflected not just an evolution in image technology but the development of a uniquely talented photographer. The addition of news and food coverage to the paper presented continual visual challenges. Matt met them head on. Because of Seven Days’ broad circulation area, we have long worked with freelance photographers around the state — most notably Jeb Wallace-Brodeur in central Vermont. But we finally made Matt the official staff photographer in 2014, acknowledging his dedication to the paper and the sheer magnitude of his work. One of Matt’s projects outside of Seven Days was his “Sound Proof” collection of band photos, coordinated by Big Heavy World. An exhibit of these images toured the state, including a stint in the Governor’s Gallery. “We all owe thanks

M

to Matt for lucidly and artfully saving for us the fondest memories of a musical era in the ‘Sound Proof’ exhibit,” says BHW founder and director Jim Lockridge. As an early art director of Seven Days, worked with Matt on the paper. “His eye has no equal, and he shares his work with humility and kindness.” Matt has always had an idiosyncratic sense of composition. One challenge of shooting for a media outlet is that he’s picturing “someone else’s story,” he says. If he were to tell his own, the photo would include (and sometimes does) information that the subject revealed to him after the reporter left. The life of a newspaper photographer is not without other difficulties. Matt has blown out a knee and “had to crawl back to the car.” He’s been kicked out, chewed out and snarled at. Once, he got “locked in the back of a police car — that was a bummer.” Turns out the officer got an emergency call while Matt was on a ride-along. In recent years, Matt says he’s enjoyed shooting for Kids VT. “The kids are funnier,” he observes. “They’re joyful.” Conversely, he also likes photographing “people in a state of loss,” such as refugee families. “When I go to someone’s place, I am very reverent,” he says. As with any journalist, Matt appreciates the variety in his work. “I like that the jobs are something I never could imagine,” he says. “That’s like a gift.’” And sometimes, an assignment he thought would be dull proves to be the opposite. “My mantra is, this could be the best story ever,” Matt says. “So why couldn’t it be the best picture ever?” m

10

JANUARY 11: Seven Days publishes its first email newsletter, Notes on the Weekend.

FEBRUARY 4: The first episode of Eva Sollberger’s web video series Stuck in Vermont debuts on the Seven Days website. It spotlights a comics exhibit at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe.

JANUARY 26: Seven Days is a lead organizer of the first Vermont 3.0 Creative/Tech Career Jam, a “job fair on steroids” that draws 1,800 people to the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center in Burlington.

| 2007 JANUARY 25: Peter Freyne is diagnosed with lymphoma and begins blogging about his impending chemotherapy on Freyne Land. “Let me tell ya, after all those years of writing about the bloody monster of an underground garage that Bill Boettcher and the Boys stuck four stories deep into Hospital Hill, I’m finally getting to become intimately familiar with it. And helping to pay for it.”

MATTHEW DOUGLAS

SEVEN DAYS • TWENTY YEARS SEPTEMBER 9, 2015

20years...

AUGUST 1: Rusty DeWees takes off his clothes for the cover of the Daysies issue.

APRIL 9: The Burlington Business Association names Seven Days Business of the Year, citing the company’s financial success and contributions to the community and promotion of Burlington.

JUNE 18: Peter Freyne writes his last blog post, “Signing Off.”

| 2008 MAY 30: Ken Picard documents abusive labor practices in “Hot and Soured: Slave wages and unsafe housing, exposing the unsavory side of cheap Chinese in Vermont.” AAN (3rd place, Investigative Reporting)

SEPTEMBER 20: Theater critic Elisabeth Crean wins the John D. Donoghue Award for arts criticism from the Vermont Press Association.

DECEMBER 19: Suzanne Podhaizer sucks down seafood with oyster expert Rowan Jacobsen in “Shuck and Awe.” AAN (1st place, Best Food Writing)

MARCH 19: Peter Freyne pens his last Inside Track; Seven Days launches Blurt: The Seven Days staff blog.

APRIL 29: Seven Days introduces Fair Game, a political column by Shay Totten, former founder and editor of the Vermont Guardian.

AUGUST 27: Seven Days publishes the first edition of What’s Good: The student’s off-campus guide to Burlington. AAN (1st place, Special Section)


HIS EYE HAS NO EQUAL, AND HE SHARES HIS WORK WITH

HUMILITY AND KINDNESS. J IM L O C K R I D G E

Clockwise from top left: The late Seven Days art critic Marc Awodey; governors Jim Douglas and Howard Dean; the late George Thorsen Sr.; Dr. Annie Starvish; the late peace activist David Dellinger; WPTZ meteorologist Tom Messner; Matthew Thorsen (self-portrait); Brian, Craig and Clement Rainville; former VSO conductor Kate Tamarkin PHOTOS: MATTHEW THORSEN

JANUARY 7: Peter Freyne dies on the first day of the legislative session. Lawmakers recognize him with a moment of silence.

| 2009 OCTOBER 26: The second Vermont 3.0 Creative/Tech Career Jam takes place at Champlain College during an economic slowdown. Organizers decide to scale back to one Jam a year.

NOVEMBER 4: Seven Days hosts its first election-night live blog on sevendaysvt. com using CoverItLive. Barack Obama is elected president.

JANUARY 16: Pamela Polston and Paula Routly designate a Seven Days succession team: Creative director Don Eggert, online editor Cathy Resmer and director of sales Colby Roberts become associate publishers.

JANUARY 28: “This is the wild, wild West media-wise, and nobody knows what the future holds,” says the 36-year-old publisher of the Burlington Free Press. Cathy Resmer takes on the competition in “High Noon for the Burlington Free Press: Can Brad Robertson save Vermont’s largest daily?” AAN (2nd place, Media Criticism)

● MARCH 3: Burlington voters reelect Progressive Mayor Bob Kiss in the third round of instant runoff voting.

APRIL 23: Seven Days announces a media partnership with WPTZ News Channel 5: Seven Days reporters will appear on-air three nights a week.

JUNE 25: Pop star Michael Jackson dies.

OCTOBER 7: Seven Days switches to a short tabloid size with no fold. The move to Upper Valley Press allows for full color on all pages.

● APRIL 7: The Vermont legislature overrides Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto and legalizes same-sex marriage.

MAY 20: Ken Picard asks a hard question in the cover story “Continuing Ed: Three and a half years after his near-fatal car crash, is Sen. Ed Flanagan still up to the job?”

JULY 24: Seven Days hosts “One Glove: A Michael Jackson Tribute Night” at Higher Ground, with a Who’s Bad karaoke contest and a Man in the Mirror costume contest.

SEVEN DAYS • TWENTY YEARS SEPTEMBER 9, 2015

NOVEMBER 19: Tiny-house builder Peter King of Bakersfield appears in episode 105 of Stuck in Vermont. The video goes viral.

11


SARAH RYAN

Paper Trails Special deliveries from the Seven Days road crew B Y PA M EL A POL STON

very week, Seven Days’ sales team, writers, editors, designers and proofreaders race against time to put out a brand-new issue, filled with fresh content and free of charge, for our readers. But all that hard work would be for naught if we didn’t have drivers to bring the product to the people. Currently, some 15 drivers — aka “delivery technicians” — load up their cars and vans and ferry 36,000 papers to nearly 1,200 locations across central and northern Vermont, as well as Plattsburgh, N.Y. Like postal workers, they’re undeterred by heat or cold, drenching downpours or winter snowstorms. And because Seven Days’ circulation is audited, they also keep meticulous track of deliveries and returns. The odd thing is, many of the other employees — those in sales, editorial and design — never even meet these drivers, who convene at the loading docks in our

E

12

JANUARY 25: Seven Days launches the Daily 7 — a weekday email newsletter featuring the top seven Vermont stories across all media.

2010 JANUARY: Don Eggert, Cathy Resmer and Colby Roberts become minority owners of Seven Days.

FEBRUARY 17: In an issue devoted to stories about the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, Seven Days writers explore Entergy’s lobbying efforts, the legal ramifications of shutting down Vermont’s only nuclear power plant, and how Yankee’s downstream neighbors feel about it.

MARCH 3: On Town Meeting Day, Burlington voters repeal instant runoff voting.

DECEMBER 6: Seven Days purchases Kids VT, Vermont’s free monthly parenting magazine. “We have great confidence that we are leaving our ‘baby’ in the best possible hands,” says Kids VT editor and copublisher Susan Holson.

FEBRUARY 1: Some readers are confused by Cathy Resmer and Don Eggert’s Twitter parody cover of the first Media Issue, so Eva Sollberger makes a video explaining tweets, hashtags and trending topics. AAN (Honorable Mention, Innovation/Format Buster)

APRIL 27: Megan James and Margot Harrison analyze the state of local public broadcasting in “Boxed In: Can Vermont Public Television survive in a changing media landscape?” AAN (2nd place, Media Criticism) MAY 2: Osama bin Laden is killed.

| 2011

● ● FEBRUARY 24: Vermont Senate votes to close Vermont Yankee. TIM NEWCOMB

SEVEN DAYS • TWENTY YEARS SEPTEMBER 9, 2015

20years...

Sarah Ryan was one of Seven Days’ first freelance illustrators. She now works with Creston Lea, custom painting his guitars.

MAY 14-20: Seven Days organizes the first-ever Vermont Restaurant Week, during which more than 50 restaurants offer prixfixe meals APRIL 24 -MAY 3 over seven days.

NOVEMBER 17: In “Three Bird Night,” Alice Levitt gets a wrap on turducken, one layer at a time. AAN (1st place, Food Writing)

● FEBRUARY 1: The first issue of the redesigned Kids VT — Seven Days’ parenting magazine — hits the streets. PMA (1st place, Best Cover Illustration, newsprint.


building every Wednesday morning. By the time the press trucks in the papers and the drivers whisk them away, the rest of us are focused on creating the next issue. But Seven Days drivers often develop rich relationships with people along their routes. They get the kind of firsthand feedback that other employees can only experience vicariously at staff meetings — when our ever-cheerful circulation manager MATT WEINER gives us reports from the field. Stressful day at the office? Angry letter to the editor? Matt shares the love and makes it all worthwhile. For this dedication to our drivers, we asked Matt to pen a few thoughts, and this is what he wrote:

TOMAS RUPRECHT has been delivering Seven Days between Middlebury and Rutland every week for the past three years, and he also likes to share his experiences from the road. In fact, he’s been turning some of them into thoughtful, observant little essays. Tomas, who claims he has “the best job at Seven Days,” appreciates how both he and the recipients on his route are “links in a chain” of relationships. One of his mini stories demonstrates just how special those relationships can become:

Few things in my life have left me with a more rewarding feeling than spending a day bringing Seven Days to the public. I have been doing it every week since 2006. Even now, as circulation manager, I still get out on Friday evenings to tidy things up and deliver some restocks around Chittenden County. It’s the smiles and interactions that keep me going out on the road. Indeed, it is a surreal experience having folks erupt with praise and joy at almost every location you walk into on a Wednesday. The way people’s faces light up when they see you coming through the door with arms full of Seven Days. The endless support and gratitude as you work your way through your delivery zone. At times it feels like approaching the finish line of a marathon. We have some very loyal readers, to say the least. Folks love the opportunity to share how they feel about the paper, as well as the state of the media in general. I’ve been the recipient of countless five- to 10-minute speeches on why Seven Days rocks. People like to tell me their favorite sections of the paper, or how loyal a follower they are. It’s a sure thing, when you arrive with the papers, to hear, “Yes! It’s the best day of the week!” Where else is Wednesday the best day of the week?

| 2012

● AUGUST 28: Tropical Storm Irene hits Vermont. JUNE: Contributing writer Alice Levitt becomes Seven Days’ second full-time food writer.

OCTOBER 28: Seven Days organizes the fifth Vermont Tech Jam in the vacant Borders store.

JANUARY 16: Seven Days and Kids VT start a media partnership with WCAX Channel 3. Writers appear three nights a week on “The :30” and twice monthly on the morning news.

These drivers and their stories represent so many others, past and present. Like the recipients of Seven Days along all those paper routes, we are deeply grateful to the many drivers who have served them over the years. In addition to Nat, HARRY APPLEGATE has been part of the delivery team since very early on. So have JOE and PAT BOUFFARD, who also played an integral role in the creation of our distribution routes. Where would we be without you? Big love to previous longtime circulation manager STEVE HADEKA, and to current manager Matt Weiner and his team: HARRY APPLEGATE, JEFF BARON, JAMES BLANCHARD, JOE BOUFFARD, PAT BOUFFARD, COLIN CLARY, DONNA DELMOORA, PAUL HAWKINS, NAT MICHAEL, DAN NESBITT, EZRA OKLAN, MELODY PERCOCO, TOMAS RUPRECHT, JOHN SHAPPY and DAN THAYER. 

MARCH 6: Democrat Miro Weinberger is elected mayor of Burlington.

● MARCH 3: The Parenting Media Association honors redesigned Kids VT with six awards in its circulation class, including Best Overall Writing and Best Overall Design.

JUNE 27: Seven Days promotes Andy Bromage to news editor; Paul Heintz takes over the Fair Game political column.

NOVEMBER 6: President Barack Obama is reelected.

DECEMBER 5: Seven Days’ first mobile app BurlApp debuts.

● JUNE: Seven Days publishes the first issue of BTV: The Burlington International Airport Quarterly, with articles in English and French.

OCTOBER 24: Seven Days’ digital media manager, Tyler Machado, wins an honorable mention in MyWebGrocer’s annual HackVT competition. He offers tips on “How to Hack It in a Hackathon: Lessons from a 24-hour coding project in Winooski” in the Tech Issue. SEPTEMBER 17: RIP Blurt, Seven Days’ staff blog. Writers now post to politics and news blog Off Message, food blog Bite Club and arts blog Live Culture.

SEVEN DAYS • TWENTY YEARS SEPTEMBER 9, 2015

JANUARY 11: Andy Bromage takes over the Fair Game column from departing political reporter Shay Totten.

FEBRUARY 1: Burlington Mac product designer Jerry Manock remembers his old boss, the late Steve Jobs, in “iWitness” by Paula Routly. “Jobs wasn’t in favor of focus groups, which were very popular at that time. He’d say: They’re going to base their knowledge on what exists now. I know what is going to exist five years from now, and they’re not going to understand that.”

Along with so much else Seven Days took on in your 20 years, the legalization of same-sex marriage was so profound for so many of us in Vermont. In the early days, as some people were making homophobic comments and even tossing out the paper because you had same-gender personals and queer cartoons like “Dykes to Watch Out For,” you never wavered. You interviewed drag queens and activists, and sponsored the Winter Is a Drag Ball. You covered civil unions with the care and respect we were not getting in other local media. As Seven Days won respect and prestige, you brought us along with you. And now Seven Days is 20 and an award-winning, premier publication. Alison Bechdel is on Broadway. And we have full marriage. I’m a queer with rights now, and still delivering this amazing publication — me and my dog. Thank you for all these years — it has been so brilliant.

FILE PHOTO

OCTOBER 17: Shay Totten reports on the local Occupy Wall Street movement in “Two Days, Two Rallies Bring Hundreds to ‘Occupy’ Burlington.” “On Saturday, the roughly 500 protesters filled a city block as they moved, en masse, up Church Street.”

Otter Creek Bakery in Middlebury is a gem of a spot that has a deep assortment of everything one would expect from a bakery. More often than not, after delivering their papers, I’d treat myself to a cookie or some homemade petit pains. About a year ago, I trudged into the bakery through heavy snow with my stack of papers. I was on my way out when someone stopped me at the door and handed me one of their soft pretzels — on the house. A small token of appreciation for a delivery driver under attack from the elements. This baked-good gesture did not go unnoticed. A letter of thanks was due. Better yet, a postcard. Who doesn’t love a postcard? I decided to send Otter Creek Bakery a postcard praising my newfound love for soft pretzels. I found an incredible Janis Joplin stamp, and off it went. Fast-forward a week and I was back on my route delivering this fine publication. While at the bakery, I asked if they got my postcard. Their answer came in the form of another pretzel. I tried to say no, but found myself carrying the pretzel out the door. In my mind, only one thing could come next. When I got home that night, I fashioned another postcard professing my love of pretzels. Born out of the stormiest of Vermont days was a genuine and kind gesture, which in turn led to a correspondence that acknowledged and paid tribute to it. A year later, this unspoken arrangement of postcards for pretzels is still carrying on.

NAT MICHAEL has been with Seven Days since the paper’s very first week. She lives in Underhill and her route covers northwestern Vermont. When we asked her to contribute to this anniversary piece, her feedback surprised us. It wasn’t about delivering papers, per se, but about what Seven Days has meant to her. She warns, “It’s personal and soppy.”

13


Was There Something in the Water? W B Y PAUL A R OUT LY

seven terms — after an unplanned hiatus. A Republican ousted him in 1993, in part because Clavelle supported extending health-care benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian city employees. Turns out he was on to something. As was the VERMONT FREEDOM TO MARRY TASK FORCE, founded the same year as Seven Days. And the annual gender-bending WINTER IS A DRAG BALL is still showing Vermonters new ways to break the ice 20 years later. Vermonters were also discovering good food, craft beer and real coffee. Muddy Waters and Uncommon Grounds Coffee and Tea had both opened the year before — helping us get through the startup phase. The locavore-boosting VERMONT FRESH NETWORK started in 1995. The coincidence of THREE NEEDS TAP ROOM & BREWERY, THE SHED BREWERY and the VERMONT BREWERS

hat was it about 1995 — the year Seven Days first hit the streets? Bill Clinton was president, the federal interest rate was 6 percent and the economy was good. That year, the government-owned internet went private, but technology had already changed the newspaper industry. As a result of desktop publishing, typesetting equipment and darkrooms were fast becoming relics of the past. Just as crucial for the founders of Seven Days, “There was a good entrepreneurial vibe” in Vermont, recalls Marc Sherman, who started Burlington’s OUTDOOR GEAR EXCHANGE that same year. Vermont got its first Walmart, in Bennington, but that didn’t deter Sherman or the owners of CROW BOOKSHOP, EYES OF THE WORLD or SMALL DOG ELECTRONICS, all of which went on to prove that local, independent stores can compete head-tohead with national retailers. “We were in 800 square feet on Main Street,” Sherman recalled, “and Woolworth’s — then one of the largest retailers in the country — occupied the space we’re now in.” Crow outlived Borders Books and Music. Local small business owners got inspiration from Vermont Teddy Bear, which was growing so fast it built a brand-new headquarters in Shelburne that year. And Ben & Jerry’s had gone from “counterculture to part of the culture,” observed Sherman. “That was a good representation of what was happening in Burlington.” Progressive Mayor Peter Clavelle was back in office in 1995 for the third of

African, Latino, Asian, and Native American Community Organization (ALANA) Black Dog Sports, Killington Burlington City Arts’ Firehouse Gallery (now the BCA Center) Centerpoint Adolescent Treatment Services, South Burlington and Winooski Chill (founded by Burton), Burlington Church Street Tavern, Burlington Coffee Lab International, Waterbury Community Capital of Vermont, Barre The Crate Escape, Richmond Crow Bookshop, Burlington Eyes of the World, Burlington Fuse, Winooski Green Mountain Concert Services, Williston Islamic Society of Vermont, Colchester La Villa Bistro, Shelburne Magic Hat’s Mardi Gras, Burlington Mimmo’s Pizzeria & Restaurant, St. Albans

SEVEN DAYS • TWENTY YEARS SEPTEMBER 9, 2015

JANUARY 9: Legislators, lobbyists and reporters mingle at the Vermont Statehouse on the opening day of the legislative session during the first Off the Record Mixer in honor of Peter Freyne.

Nordic Barn, Stowe Orton Family Foundation, Shelburne Outdoor Gear Exchange, Burlington Penguin Plunge Special Olympics Vermont fundraiser, Burlington PestPro, Burlington Pines Senior Living Community, South Burlington Red House Building, Burlington Seth Yacovone Band Shalimar of India, Burlington Shearer Acura, South Burlington The Shed Brewery, Stowe Small Dog Electronics, Waitsfield SolarFest renewable energy festival, Middletown Springs Sovernet Communications, Bellows Falls Spruce Mortgage, Burlington Sunup Bakery, Killington Three Needs Taproom & Brewery, Burlington Timberwolf Manufacturing Corporation, Rutland

Vermont Animal Cookies, Woodstock Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center, Randolph Center Vermont River Conservancy, Montpelier Vermont School Leadership Project at the Snelling Center for Government, Williston Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, Montpelier Vermont Young Playwrights Project, Burlington Vertek Corporation, Colchester Vermont Brewers Association, Springfield Vermont Community Foundation, Middlebury Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force, Montpelier Vermont Fresh Network, Richmond Vermont Genealogy Library, Colchester Vermont Kung Fu Academy, Essex Junction Vermont People With AIDS Coalition, Montpelier Willy D’s Furniture Store, Colchester Winning Image Graphix, Pittsford Winter Is a Drag Ball Compiled by Ken Picard

MARCH 4: Editor & Publisher magazine selects Seven Days as one of “10 Newspapers That Do It Right 2013.”

JUNE 27: Seven Days, Kids VT and Birnam Wood Games create Runoff, an educational video game about water pollution. The arcade version lives at ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain.

JULY 30: Seven Days begins publishing obituaries, starting with Vermonter and “world citizen” Garry Davis, who died July 24.

DECEMBER 12: Seven Days wins the Vermont Press Association’s General Excellence Award in the nondaily category — for the sixth time. The judges praise the paper’s “huge sense of place” and its “terrifically readable and well-presented articles. Kudos to the New Yorker of the North!”

MAY 14: Seven Days publishes the first issue of Nest, a quarterly home, design and real estate supplement to the paper.

| 2014

● APRIL 15: Two bombs explode at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 264 others.

MATTHEW DOUGLAS

14

2013

“Nectar’s was in its heydey,” Sherman said. “And [Club] Metronome.” Club Toast popped up a few years later. “It does seem to be that there was a palpable energy during that time that was both youthful and optimistic, and maybe even a bit reckless,” said Crow Bookshop owner Keith Terwilligar. “I’m not sure if it was the relative ‘peace and prosperity’ of the Clinton years, or the promise of the internet, or the fact that there were a lot of really cool things happening in the arts and culture, but it’s hard not to look back on those years and recognize a fertile environment for all kinds of beginnings.” We’re not done yet. To all the other businesses, organizations and events listed below or that we might have missed, happy 20th — and many more! 

that Vermont beer could one day challenge maple syrup for icon status. The arts scene was no less lively, which gave all of us at Seven Days plenty to write about. The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts had completed a multimillion capital campaign. BURLINGTON CITY ARTS opened the FIREHOUSE GALLERY on Church Street. The Grateful Dead’s 1995 Highgate show, and Jerry Garcia’s death, predated our first issue, but Phish just kept getting bigger. That summer, the band played Saratoga Springs, Great Woods and Sugarbush. “City Hall Park was occupied by Phish heads — the tour kids,” Sherman recalled, conceding it was great for business. “If nothing else, they certainly needed shoes.” Other local music was thriving, too.

FOUNDED IN 1995

20years... FEBRUARY 13: Kristin Carlson from WCAX turns the camera on Eva Sollberger for the 300th episode of Stuck in Vermont.

ASSOCIATION should have been a heads up

JULY 3: Seven Days gets graphic. Writers and cartoonists collaborate on news and arts stories for the first-ever Cartoon Issue.

SEPTEMBER 20: Atlantic writer James Fallows notes Seven Days’ unusual success in a blog post titled “Strange Tales From the North Country: A Profitable (Print) Newspaper.”

JANUARY 8: Musicians and friends reminisce about DJ A-Dog, who died of leukemia on December 26, 2013, in “Burlington Remembers Andy ‘A-Dog’ Williams” by Dan Bolles.

JUNE 11: More than 3,300 pages of emails shed light on Burlington’s school budget crisis in “Emails Reveal Tensions, Doubt as Burlington School Budget Deficit Emerged” by Alicia Freese. VPA (1st place, Best Local Story)


Wise Women ost newspapers that offer a relationship advice column rely on a nationally syndicated feature. Seven Days has been locally oriented from its beginning, and so it was only natural to hire our own advice goddess. For this 20th anniversary look back, our previously anonymous columnists have agreed to be outed. Now we can tell you that NANCY STEARNS BERCAW created the persona of “Lola the Love Counselor” in 1996. She was a freelance writer then and is still a contributor to Seven Days and Kids VT, as well as publications around the world. Nancy is also the author of Brain in a Jar: A Daughter’s Journey Through Her Father’s Memory, and blogs at braininajar.net. She works at the University of Vermont. A little more than a year later, Nancy passed Lola to then-associate editor RUTH HOROWITZ. It’s a testament to her sound advice over the next eight years that fellow employees took to calling her “Rabbi Ruth.” She’s still a writer and lives in Providence, R.I. After Ruth moved from Vermont, Lola retired and “Mistress Maeve” was born. Or rather, was created by thensalesperson ALLISON DAVIS. Her sassy,

M

BY PAME L A P O L S TO N

sexy persona is still the stuff of legend, at least among Seven Dayzers and the many lovelorn readers who sought her counsel. Allison, who now lives in New York City and works in media, had to let Maeve go in 2014, and encouraged us to find a new adviser. So we did: “Ask Athena” also comes from a local writer whose advice we find thoughtful and candid. Who is she? That’s for us to know and you to find out … someday. We asked our previous advice columnists three questions, and here’s what they had to say:

What was your most memorable query? LOLA/NANCY: It’s hard to remember! Setting the tone for the very first column stands out, though, because I had to come up with the question as well as the answer. We had to introduce the readership to Lola and what she could do for the horny and lovelorn. We didn’t want her to be too risqué, or blasé. I think the whole Seven Days staff (which was maybe seven people) weighed in on the tone for Lola’s debut. LOLA/RUTH: A query that still haunts me is one I never answered in print. Lola received a rambling, multiple-page, handwritten letter from a man who

SEPTEMBER 17: In “‘Run, Bernie, Run,’” political editor Paul Heintz follows Sen. Sanders to Iowa to gauge support for a possible presidential run. Seven Days launches the Bernie Beat, an online repository of historical photos, archival materials and articles from Vermont’s alternative media spanning Sanders’ political career, from 1972 to the present.

Lola No.2 RUTH HOROWITZ

detailed a history of abuse (I think by a woman). He’d been in counseling for years but didn’t trust his therapists. There was no way to fit his “question” into the column’s format, but I couldn’t ignore him. I somehow ended up visiting him at his home and basically telling him I had heard him. I’m not sure if that did him any good, but it assuaged my conscience. Sort of. MAEVE/ALLISON: So many questions had to do with anal or body hair — Vermonters seem really curious about both! At least one of the anal questions was deemed too hot for print and was relegated to the blog. That was probably the most memorable.

Did you learn anything about sex? LOLA/NANCY: I learned that people were still pretty pent up in the late ’90s! Their hangups ran the gamut from women asking men out on dates to how to get a reluctant man to go down on his girlfriend. I do recall my response to the latter: “Tell him that it’s ‘down or out’!” LOLA/RUTH: What I learned about sex by doing the column was how little I know about sex.

FEBRUARY 20: Pamela Polston and Paula Routly are inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame.

APRIL 24-MAY 3: More than 100 restaurants participate in Seven Days’ sixth Vermont Restaurant Week, which raises in excess of $20,000 for the Vermont Foodbank.

Mistress Maeve ALLISON DAVIS

MAEVE/ALLISON: I received way too many

letters asking how to jumpstart a stagnant sex life from loving partners who had allowed their intimacy to dwindle into bed death. This terrifies me. While it’s possible to breathe life back into the bedroom, the best practice is to never let it die. That’s why it’s called being sexually active — you have to stay actively engaged.

Do you still give advice to friends? LOLA/NANCY: I do, but these days everyone does. Lola mourns for the halcyon days of decorum and innuendo. LOLA/RUTH: I sometimes give friends relationship advice, but I’m not sure they’ve ever taken it. And give sex advice? Never. Way too embarrassing to talk about. MAEVE/ALLISON: I do, but I’ve learned that all relationship advice boils down to the same few things, regardless of circumstance: Get clear with your partner(s) on expectations, ask for what you want, and never cheat. If you’re open and honest about what you want, there should be no reason to stray — unless, of course, you have your partner’s blessing. 

JULY 15: Political editor Paul Heintz makes his second trip to Iowa to see Sen. Sanders on the campaign trail. “‘Summer of Sanders’: Bern-storming the Midwest with Vermont’s favorite son” is reprinted in papers in California, South Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

JULY 17: Says Gawker: “The best site for following [Bernie] Sanders and his career is that maintained by Vermont’s alternative weekly Seven Days.”

| 2015

● SEPTEMBER 18: Seven Days gets a shout out on “Hardball With Chris Matthews” for unearthing Bernie Sanders’ 1987 recording, We Shall Overcome.

DECEMBER 13: Kids VT produces the first “Spectacular Spectacular: A Talent Show for Vermont’s Rising Stars” at Higher Ground in South Burlington. NOVEMBER 26: Seven Days hires veteran Burlington Free Press Statehouse reporters Terri Hallenbeck and Nancy Remsen.

SEAN METCALF

AUGUST 9: A police officer in Ferguson, Mo., fatally shoots 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Lola No.1

NANCY STEARNS BERCAW

APRIL 15: Seven Days publishes the results of its Weeders Survey.

JUNE 8: On the Live Culture blog, Pamela Polston reports that “Fun Home Wins Big at the Tonys!” The musical based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir wins five Tony awards, including Best Musical.

JULY 18: Seven Days Live Culture blog wins first place for arts blog at the Association of Alternative Newsmedia awards.

JULY 16: The Vermont Press Association gives its John D. Donoghue arts criticism award to Pamela Polston and its Mavis Doyle award for news reporting to political editor Paul Heintz.

SEVEN DAYS • TWENTY YEARS SEPTEMBER 9, 2015

JUNE 18: Most people know Sen. Dick Sears as the chair of judiciary and for his work on a legislative committee charged with reforming the Department for Children and Families. In “From State Ward to the Statehouse,” Mark Davis reveals that Sears started life as foster child. VPA (1st place, Feature Writing)

For Seven Days’ sex columnists, no question has ever been too daunting, silly or gross

15


Seven Days: 20th Anniversary Issue, September 9, 2015  

A look back on two decade of Vermont news, views and culture

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