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August 2012

August 31, 2012

Grazing: The Waning Summer of Rosé

RoseIt’s less than 12 hours until August turns a corner. For me, it signals a sad close to a season that begins in early June and wends its way through three glorious, salmon-colored months: the season of sipping rosé, almost to the exclusion of other colors.

When I went to pick up another bottle of the pink stuff this week, the usually teeming display of rosé had disappeared; the remaining bottles had been relegated to a mid-shelf rosé ghetto. With heavy heart, I grabbed a bottle of pale Blaufrankisch and resolved not to let the moment die. So that you might consider joining the crusade, here are some wines you can (and should) keep drinking until the rain starts lashing your window — or until they become stranded behind an autumn display of Syrah or Cabernet Franc.

What makes rosé so ridiculously perfect, besides being the anathema to sticky, hot days, is that it pairs like a glove with almost any kind of food. It's cheap, too, or at least can be found for a song. Sparkling rosé can help you wash down anything from fries to oysters to acorns and seeds (why not indoctrinate squirrels, too?). 'Still' rosé loves on BBQ pork, salads, tarts, burgers, or even any iteration of tomatoes you’ve dreamt up in the last few, red-stained weeks. The wisps of acid in a dry rosé deftly meet those in food, punch for punch; their inevitable fruitiness makes for satisfying patio pounding.

Continue reading "Grazing: The Waning Summer of Rosé" »

Movies You Missed 54: The Moth Diaries

Moth-diariesThis week in movies you missed: teenage lesbian vampires, oh my! Or, perhaps, ho-hum.

What You Missed

When a mysterious new pupil named Ernessa (Lily Cole, pictured) comes to exclusive, girls-only Brangwyn School, she brings trouble for young Rebecca (Sarah Bolger). Traumatized by the suicide of her father, a famous poet, Rebecca has been leaning hard on the support of her wan but nurturing roommate and best friend, Lucie (Sarah Gadon).

But now Lucie and Ernessa are developing a close friendship — some would say too close. Rebecca, who's been taking a class in vampire fiction from the school's hot new teacher (Scott Speedman), is becoming convinced that Ernessa is literally sucking the life from Lucie. Can she convince anyone else?

Continue reading "Movies You Missed 54: The Moth Diaries" »

August 30, 2012

Super PAC Hits Super PAC for Super PAC-ing


Demonstrating an apparent dearth of self-awareness, a Vermont-based "super-PAC" whose creation opened the door for super PACs to operate in Vermont released a statement Thursday decrying the influence of an out-of-state super PAC in Tuesday's primary election — and using the situation to justify its own existence.

Got it? Didn't think so. Let me take you back.

Six weeks ago, a liberal advocacy group called Vermont Priorities announced it was launching Vermont's first home-grown super PAC, allowing it to raise and spend unlimited funds on state elections. Why? Because the folks behind it — Vermont Priorities chairman Bob Stannard (pictured) and the group's consultant, KSE's Todd Bailey — were greatly a-feared that big, bad out-of-state super PACs would get all up in Vermont's otherwise pure elections.

By starting their own, way more awesome super PAC, Stannard and Bailey reasoned, they'd be ready to do battle with Karl Rove and the dreaded Koch brothers when those dudes inevitably came to town. Meanwhile, without all those pesky campaign finance restrictions, Vermont Priorities would able to raise and spend as much as they liked to elect their fellow liberals to office!

Click here to continue reading on Off Message, our new politics blog.

20 Years After Clinton-Gore, a Burlington Artist Reflects On His Iconic T-Shirt Design

Curefortheblues-1While Republicans from around the country gather in Tampa this week, a Burlington designer is looking back on his small but significant contribution to a different presidential campaign.

In the summer of 1992, Doug Dunbebin was a graphic artist living in Beltsville, Md. when he came up with a design and slogan for the Clinton-Gore ticket that would soon catch fire and become one of the iconic images of the 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns.

In June 1992, then-candidate Clinton appeared on the "Arsenio Hall Show" and ripped out a bluesy version of Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" on his tenor saxophone. It was a seminal moment in Clinton's political career — as Hall remarked afterward, "It's good to see a Democrat blow something other than an election" — and earned him new found respect and support among young and minority voters.

Click here to continue reading on Off Message, our new politics blog.

Burlington City Councilor Ed Adrian to Resign

Ed AdrianBurlington City Councilor Ed Adrian (D-Ward 1) is resigning effective September 30. He informed fellow councilors in an email this morning.

Did he do it to spend more time with his family? Adrian tells Seven Days that he's stepping down for a "combination of reasons."

"There's no great revelation there," he says. "I just think the Senate race actually brought some clarity to me and the path I need to choose right now, and it's not one of volunteer political service. It's just the fact that [council service] is a great consumer of time that puts pressure on everything.

"I know that sounds nebulous," he added.

Click here to continue reading on Off Message, our new politics blog.

August 29, 2012

After Primary Cliffhanger, Sorrell Pivots to Republican Opponent

DSC04153After a late-night cliffhanger of a primary, Democratic Attorney General Bill Sorrell on Tuesday launched the next phase of his bid to keep his job: a general election fight against Republican businessman Jack McMullen.

"I do have a tough race and it's going to be so great to not have it be a primary, because there are very real differences between myself and my Republican opponent," Sorrell told a rowdy crowd of Democrats at a party unity rally staged at Burlington's Main Street Landing.

"For one, I'm admitted to the bar and can practice law in the courts of this state and he can't. He's wealthy; I'm not. He thinks we should drop the Vermont Yankee — the Entergy — appeal. There's no way we're going to do that," Sorrell said. "He thinks our food labeling laws are bad for business. I think they're good for consumers, and I'm going to uphold and enforce those laws."

Sorrell's pivot to the general election came just an hour and a half after Democratic challenger T.J. Donovan conceded to Sorrell by phone, admitting that he'd narrowly lost a rare, intra-party fight against the 15-year incumbent.

Click here to continue reading this post on Off Message, our new politics blog.

Results from Vermont's Other Big Primary Match-Ups

The attorney general race is getting most of the attention on the morning after Vermont's 2012 primary, but as Paul Heintz wrote about in his Fair Game column on August 8, there were plenty of other interesting races dotting the state's voting landscape. Here's a roundup of some other notable results:

Governor - Progressive

First, the statewide races: Martha Abbott was the only announced candidate for governor in the Progressive Party primary, and it was expected that she would drop out of the race so as not to siphon away too many left-wing votes from Gov. Peter Shumlin. But some of Shumlin's most vehement detractors mounted a write-in campaign to nominate activist Annette Smith for the Progs.

See the rest of the results — with helpful charts and graphs — on Off Message.

Sorrell Clings to Thin Lead in Attorney General Primary; Race Too Close to Call

TJ and wife

UPDATE, 8/29 at 10:00 a.m.: T.J. Donovan says he'll likely concede the race this morning. For the latest updates, stay tuned to our new politics blog, Off Message.

This story was reported by Paul Heintz, Tyler Machado and Andy Bromage

For weeks, the Democratic contest for attorney general seemed too close — and too unusual — to predict. Tuesday night brought no swift resolution.

At the end of primary night — with 245 of 258 precincts reporting — Attorney General Bill Sorrell held a narrow 619-vote lead over challenger T.J. Donovan, according to the Associated Press. But with more than 40,000 voters casting ballots, neither campaign seemed fully prepared to declare victory — or defeat. 

“This has been a really long six months and I’ve said several times this is more a marathon than a sprint,” Sorrell told a crowd of supporters at Burlington’s Courtyard Marriott after emerging for the first time at 10:15 p.m. “We’ve got about a mile or so more to run, and I’m feeling great.”

SorrellStanding beside a screen projecting the night’s promising but uncertain results, Sorrell said, “We’ve got a while to wait, but that’s okay. Because between being 600 or so votes up and 600 or so votes down, I choose option A.”

Greeting supporters next door at the Burlington Hilton, Donovan told Seven Days that with a dozen precincts left to report, he “owed it to everybody to see what the votes are.”

But Donovan did not sound hopeful he would pull out a win.

"It's gonna be tough," he said, adding that he would be “unlikely” to call for a recount — as a candidate within two percent of a winner is entitled to do  — given the apparent size of Sorrell’s lead. "We've worked hard and I want to see this thing through. Somebody had us down 20 points a week ago.”

The AG's primary was the most expensive for that office in state history and the first competitive race for Vermont's top law enforcement job since Sorrell took office in 1997. Buoyed by $184,000 in super PAC advertising, Sorrell may well have fended off a challenge from an ambitious and well-organized young challenger who relentlessly hammered Sorrell's 15-year record during the five-month campaign.

For the second time in two years, Democrats faced the prospect of converging for a pre-scheduled "unity rally" on Wednesday with no clear winner. And with Republican AG candidate Jack McMullen waiting in the wings, Dems will be anxious to put the primary behind them and get the general election started.

Continue reading "Sorrell Clings to Thin Lead in Attorney General Primary; Race Too Close to Call" »

August 28, 2012

Tonight: Vermont Primary Election Results and Live Chat

250-voteHappy primary day, Vermont! Can you smell the democracy in the air?

Per Seven Days tradition, we'll be running a live blog and chat with our reporters and readers tonight, starting at 6 p.m. and going until...late. Paul Heintz and Andy Bromage will be out in the field, and we invite you to stop by and tell them about the big election day news in your town. I'll be back at 7D headquarters gathering the latest updates. We'll post results of the contentious races, including the big Democratic attorney general race, as we get them. Click here to go to our Vermont primary election page.

Haven't voted yet? Polls close at 7 p.m. tonight. Here's a list of polling places from the Secretary of State's office. If you still haven't decided who to vote for, you're not alone. In the Sorrell vs. Donovan battle, check out Andy Bromage's piece on the race, and take another look at their August 15 debate. Paul Heintz spotlighted some of the other big primary races in his Fair Game column a few weeks ago.

We'll see you tonight at 6 p.m. Until then, let us know how turnout is in your town and what your neighbors are talking about in the comments.

Alice Eats: The Inn at Shelburne Farms

2012-08-19 01.06.461611 Harbor Road, Shelburne, 985-8498

We all need a taste of luxury now and then. Usually, in those cases, we assume that those meals will be stressful on the wallet. But smart diners know that even at the finest restaurants, meals earlier in the day can cost a fraction of rich dinner prices. To give both me and my billfold a treat, I indulged in brunch at the Inn at Shelburne Farms.

We were led through the grand entrance to a table for two just below a painting of the original homeowner, Lila Vanderbilt Webb. It had taken me weeks to get a reservation, and the joint was indeed jumping. Our server warned us from the beginning that the kitchen was backed up and it would take 15 to 20 minutes for our food to arrive.

2012-08-19 01.21.13That ended up being more like 30 or 45 minutes, but good conversation in opulent surroundings is really the goal at Shelburne Farms. I wasn't in a hurry.

And the food was worth it. The veal and pork terrine was tender and smoky — perfect for a Sunday picnic in Provence. It was bathed in tarragon Hollandaise that had just a whisper of anise flavor. Eggs were poached perfectly and lent an extra layer of creaminess to the plate, which also included microgreens and an herb crostini. It was a delicious plate, but for $13, the portion was more like an appetizer than a hearty breakfast.

Continue reading "Alice Eats: The Inn at Shelburne Farms" »

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