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194 posts categorized "Burlington"

August 30, 2012

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 17, 2012

Help Map Burlington's Neighborhoods With New Crowdsourcing Project

Where's the line between the Old North End and New North End? How far does Downtown stretch? How big is the Five Sisters neighborhood?

If you think you know the answers to these questions, your expertise is needed. Burlington cartographer Bill Morris of GeoSprocket created a tool that allows you to draw the Queen City's neighborhoods as you see fit. The results from all the submissions will be aggregated to form a consensus about where the 'hoods are. This project was inspired by a similar undertaking in Boston — check that out here.

What's the point in all this? Well, besides engendering a greater sense of neighborhood pride, it's almost time again to reassess the boundaries of Burlington's seven wards. There's nothing official or binding about this project, but it could help inform redistricting decisions. If you think it's silly to lump Lakeview Terrace and the stretch of North Avenue near Waggy's in with the New North End's Ward 7, now's the time to speak up.

Continue reading "Help Map Burlington's Neighborhoods With New Crowdsourcing Project" »

August 02, 2012

Chief Schirling Says Pic 'Clearly' Shows Protester Reached for Cop's Baton, Photographer Disputes Chief's Version

Protest Photo 1

Updated below: Chief Schirling retracts statement, apologizes for mistake. 

Does this photograph show a protester from Sunday's clash with Burlington police grabbing a cop's baton?

Burlington Police Chief Michael Schirling said on Vermont Public Radio's "Vermont Edition" today that the photo — snapped by Dylan Kelley and posted online at Seven Days — "clearly" shows the demonstrator in the black bandana grabbing the baton of police Lt. Art Cyr.

"What I see in the photograph, they have a hold of it," Schirling told VPR host Steve Zind. "They are clearly resisting and you can clearly see in the left of the photo, a man in a black bandana grabbed hold of Lt. Cyr's baton, and that is what precipated the first event."

Cropped-Photo in Question (Burlington, Dylan Kelley, 2012)Activists and cops have traded accusations about who's to blame for the incident in which police fired "stingball pellets" into a crowd of demonstrators blocking a bus of dignitaries from leaving a conference of New England governors and eastern Canadian premiers. The tension gave way to a moment of cooperation yesterday when demonstrators and their lawyer called for a dialogue with police about the events that led to the clash.

After hearing Schirling's remarks on VPR, the photographer who took the picture said he was "livid," calling Schirling's claim "an absolute lie."

"If you look at the picture, it clearly illustrates that that person's hand is not wrapped around the baton," said Dylan Kelley, who has photographed occupy protests around the country. "It is wrapped around a flag or banner or something else. If you zoom in on that lower left hand corner of the frame, and you look at that person's hand, it is not wrapped around the baton."

Kelley, who said he was at most four feet away from Cyr, sent Seven Days higher-resolution version of the photograph, which we zoomed in on and cropped to publish here. From the photograph, it's difficult to say what the bandana-clad protester is clutching, and Schirling was not immediately available Thursday afternoon to respond to Kelley's comments.

Update - 4 p.m.

Upon viewing the close-up of the photograph, Chief Schirling has retracted his earlier statement made on Vermont Public Radio. In a statement emailed to Seven Days and VPR Thursday afternoon, Schirling said:

"On the show earlier today I described a photograph from the 7 Days website that was given to us this morning as showing a man grabbing an officer's baton. A few moments ago 7 Days emailed us a much higher resolution enhanced version of the photograph. Upon examination of this new photograph we realize it is not the baton. We will work during our investigation and 'after action' review to try to determine what it is. Our assessment of this portion of the event was based solely on the photograph available earlier in the day. I want to be sure we set the record straight as quickly as possible as new information comes to light. I apologize for the error. We continue to ask that anyone with information about this incident, video, photographic, or otherwise, contact us so we may be as thorough as possible."

August 01, 2012

After Sunday's Tumult, Activists and Authorities Agree on Need for 'Conversation'

Jonathan LeavittThe confrontation that occurred on Sunday between some protesters and authorities is now giving way to expressions of cooperation by both sides.

Jonathan Leavitt (pictured at left in photo), who says he received 19 bruises from police pellets fired during Sunday's demonstration on College Street, called for a public dialogue with police and city officials. Reading a prepared statement at a City Hall Park press conference on Wednesday, Leavitt said, "Hopefully today will mark the beginning of an important conversation."

In an interview a half-hour later, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said he welcomes a meeting with the activists and their representatives. He agreed there should be a "community conversation" about Sunday's events and about the general topic of policing at protests. An internal police investigation of officers' actions is getting underway, with results expected to be made available in about a month, the mayor added. A public meeting on the same concerns will be held sooner than that — in two or three weeks, Weinberger indicated.

Asked whether there could be a problem with the police investigating themselves, the mayor said "That thought has crossed my mind." But he expressed confidence in the integrity of such an inquiry and noted that there is considerable videotape evidence of what occurred when some demonstrators sought to block a bus carrying governors and Canadian provincial premiers who were taking part in a conference at the Burlington Hilton.

Continue reading "After Sunday's Tumult, Activists and Authorities Agree on Need for 'Conversation' " »

Mayor Weinberger Holds Photo Op, But Not a Question Op

Photo Op

Updated below with apology from mayoral assistant Mike Kanarick.

On Monday, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger's office alerted the local press to a "photo opportunity" that would take place on the back steps of City Hall at 9:40 a.m. the following morning. The occasion was the prelude to the mayor's first formal meeting with both Fletcher Allen Health Care CEO Dr. John Brumsted and the recently installed University of Vermont president, Tom Sullivan.

Photo ops are not a common occurrence in Vermont. They're staged publicity events more associated with the president of the United States than with the mayor of Burlington. Two other reporters in attendance — Joel Banner Baird of the Burlington Free Press and Greg Guma of VTDigger.org — said they had no recollection of a photo op in these parts.

Sure enough, though, the trio of local VIPs showed up on schedule with smiles for the cameras. Trying to follow up on last week's story about UVM's disinclination to construct more student housing, I asked Sullivan a question about why the university does not require juniors and seniors to live on campus — as, for example, St. Michael's College does.

Sullivan replied that in providing campus accommodations for 60 percent of its student body, UVM has already done more in this regard than have many other institutions of its kind. But before Sullivan could field a followup question — "Will UVM commit to building more student housing?" — mayoral aide Carina Driscoll intervened to announce that this was a photo op, not a press conference, so further queries would not be appropriate.

The White House press corps, by contrast, is sometimes able to get answers from the president to questions asked at "photo ops."

Weinberger, Sullivan and Brumsted then climbed the steps to city hall, paused for a few more clicks of cameras, and headed inside for their private discussion.

**Update**

Mayoral assistant Mike Kanarick, who was not present at the photo op, called soon after it ended to apologize for its abrupt ending. Kanarick said he wants to emphasize that "the mayor has an open-door policy." Kanarick also arranged for Seven Days to conduct a half-hour interview with Weinberger early this afternoon. A Blurt on the mayor's remarks during that session will be posted soon.

Photo credit: Kevin J. Kelley

'Occupy' Photographer Gets Close-Up of Burlington Pepper-Spraying

Occupy Burlington Convergence (Burlington, Dylan Kelley, 2012) 003_1Vermont photographer Dylan Kelley was in the middle of the action Sunday when police dressed in riot gear fired pepper spray and "stingball pellets" into a crowd of protesters at the conference of New England governors and eastern Canadian premiers. His pictures are some of the most arresting images to emerge from a melee that veteran demonstrators say is unprecedented in Burlington history.

Kelley posted the photos on his blog and the online news journal Vermont Commons, where he is a board member. They appear on Blurt by permission.

Kelley, a 25-year-old student at Burlington College, has been documenting the Occupy movement with his lens for months. He’s travelled all over the country photographing occupiers in New Hampshire, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Cleveland and Oakland.

“I’ve photographed all this stuff in various places where headlines are emerging,” says Kelley. “But to come back and be hanging out on College Street and see this go down, it feels like another thing entirely.”

Occupy Burlington Convergence (Burlington, Dylan Kelley, 2012) 012_1

Occupy Burlington Convergence (Burlington, Dylan Kelley, 2012) 006_1

More photos after the jump.

Continue reading "'Occupy' Photographer Gets Close-Up of Burlington Pepper-Spraying" »

July 31, 2012

An Anti-Climactic Protest Bids Govs and Canadian Premiers Adieu from Burlington

Protest 1

Corrected below regarding the Burlington police presence.

What one Occupy agitator had billed earlier in the day as "an awesome action" turned out to be an anti-climactic fizzle on Monday evening. About 30 demonstrators briefly jeered a convoy of New England governors and Canadian premiers exiting the U.S. Coast Guard station on the Burlington waterfront following a cruise on Lake Champlain.

The protest would have been a bit bigger, and perhaps more militant, if the dignitaries had not engaged their detractors in a semi-successful game of hide-and-seek. Even so, Monday's demo would probably not have replicated the commotion on College Street the previous day when Burlington police fired non-lethal projectiles. Their target: a few civil disobeyers among an outpouring of 500 law-abiding protesters. The confrontational cadre was trying to block buses carrying the govs and their Canadian counterparts to a dinner reception in Shelburne.

As a followup, a group of 50 or so dissenters had initially gathered at Perkins Pier under a hot sun late Monday afternoon. They waited about an hour, expecting the VIPs to set sail from the ferry dock, as had been indicated in publicity material for the conference taking place at the Hilton on Battery Street. The patient remnant then walked or cycled to a small park adjoining the Burlington Community Boathouse. The Spirit of Ethan Allen cruise ship had docked alongside, leading the protesters to assume that the govs and premiers would actually be setting sail from there.

Continue reading "An Anti-Climactic Protest Bids Govs and Canadian Premiers Adieu from Burlington" »

July 30, 2012

Video: Police Clash With Protesters Outside Governors Conference in Burlington

ProtestPolice fired pepper balls and sting balls at protesters outside the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers Conference in Burlington yesterday.

Activists from New England and Quebec converged on the Queen City for a day of protests outside the conference, which took place at the Hilton Burlington. The protests centered on Canada's mining of tar sands oil and what environmentalists believe is a plan to ship tar sands oil through the Northeast Kingdom. Protesters also rallied in solidarity with Quebec's student demonstrations and representatives from the Innu First Nation denounced Hydro Quebec.

The rallies were peaceful and non-violent all day long, with protesters numbering in the hundreds. But late in the afternoon, a small group of protesters attempted to block buses believed to be carrying the governors and premiers from leaving the Hilton's side driveway on College Street. It was then that protesters and police clashed and some protesters were shot with "less-lethal" munitions.

From a Burlington Police Department press release:

[Protesters] were warned several more times before a crowd control team of officers with plastic shields and helmets was deployed to walk ahead of the bus following standard procedure to ensure that protestors were not struck and to assist the bus in leaving. As the officers walked forward they were physically confronted by the crowd. Some began pushing back toward the officers, others sat on the ground while at least two others laid down locking arms. 

Click here to read the full account of the incident from the police department.

Below are some videos and photos shot by protesters and onlookers.

Continue reading "Video: Police Clash With Protesters Outside Governors Conference in Burlington" »

July 27, 2012

Adrian Drops Out of Chittenden County Senate Race

Local-adrian2With just a month to go before the Democratic primary, Burlington City Councilor Ed Adrian said Friday he's dropping his bid to represent Chittenden County in the state senate.

"I had too many balls in the air at the same time and I wanted to make sure I didn't drop one, so I guess last in, first out," Adrian says. "As things have sort of accelerated and other obligations have accelerated, it became apparent to me that I wouldn't be able to give it 100 percent."

Because primary ballots have already been printed and distributed to town and city clerks, Adrian says, his name will still appear on the ballot — though he says he would decline the Democratic nomination if he were to win it.

One of nine Democrats and 17 candidates total seeking to fill six seats in the Chittenden County delegation, Adrian was one of the first challengers to float his name as a contender back in March. With four incumbent Democrats seeking reelection, Adrian was principally competing with four other Democratic challengers for the remaining two slots on the party's ballot: Williston selectboard member Debbie Ingram, former state representative Peter Hunt of Essex, dog walker and filmmaker Loyal Ploof of Burlington and former state representative David Zuckerman of Hinesburg.

Adrian, who recently reported raising $6052 for his campaign, says he's confident he had "a good shot at winning" had he stayed in the race, but made the decision to drop out because he was overstretched. While he says he was aware when he entered the race that it would take a lot of time, he didn't realize "how it was going to be received at home."

"Sometimes you don't quite grasp the entire situation until you're in it," he says. "It's weird timing, but I wanted to do it enough in advance of the primary to give people enough notice."

Adrian had previously said he planned to leave the city council when his term expires in March 2014 and on Friday said that plan remained unchanged.

Photo credit: Matthew Thorsen, Seven Days

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