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November 06, 2013

This Week's Issue: Little Italy, Big Prisons and a Band Called Phish

Cover-110613Happy November, everyone. If you're cooped up inside bemoaning the chill in the air and the absence of sunlight, hey, more time for reading Seven Days. And more time for a couch tour, if you're a Phish-head — our own Paul Heintz took a break from politics this week to look back at the Vermont band's 30 years on the jam circuit. Once you're finished with that long read, here are this week's newsy stories:

Read it all in print, online or on the iOS app.

September 25, 2013

This Week's Issue: Methadone, Molly and More

01

Grab your favorite pumpkin-flavored coffee drink — that little chill in the morning means fall is here, and the first Seven Days of the season hit the streets today. Here's what you'll find for news and politics this week:

Pick up this week's issue in print, online or on the app.

This week's cover image by the late Stephen Huneck is courtesy of the Stephen Huneck Gallery. See this week's cover story about the future of Dog Mountain.

September 18, 2013

This Week's Issue: Untangling Vermont's Health Care Exchange; Union Busting Allegations at SMC

Cover-091813Happy Wednesday, people. Here are the news and politics stories you'll find in the latest edition of Seven Days:

If those links aren't your style, read these stories in print or on the Seven Days app.

Cover illustration by Michael Tonn

August 22, 2013

Vermonters Follow in the Footsteps of Original MLK Marcher Richard Kemp

KEMP 001At least 50 Vermonters will be in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to take part in a mass march remembering and updating the historic protest held at the Lincoln Memorial 50 years ago.

Richard Kemp, 80, won't be part of the throng converging on the nation's capital this weekend to demand racial justice. He's been there, done that.

Kemp participated in the August 28, 1963, March on Washington with his wife and their six young children. They journeyed to D.C. by bus from Peekskill, N.Y., where Kemp was working for IBM.

Still an activist, Kemp recalls feeling "elevated, uplifted" for being part of what a book reviewer in last Sunday's New York Times described as "the most famous mass gathering in American history."

Continue reading "Vermonters Follow in the Footsteps of Original MLK Marcher Richard Kemp " »

August 21, 2013

Video: Fifty Years After Joining March on Washington, Sanders Looks Back

Sanders.UCFifty years ago next week, a young University of Chicago student activist took a bus to the nation's capital to take part in the March on Washington.

Now a 71-year-old U.S. senator from Vermont, that same man is reminiscing about what he calls "one of the most memorable and important speeches in the modern history of the United States of America."

In a video produced by his Senate office, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) appears in front of the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in August 1963. Gesticulating to the camera like a museum docent or a college professor, the senator recalls what he saw that day.

"I remember that very well, not by simply seeing it on TV or reading about it," Sanders says, pointing in the direction of the Washington Monument. "I was way, way back there — one of the several hundred thousand people who were here."

(Pictured above: Sanders leading a protest against discriminatory housing in 1962 at the University of Chicago.)

Continue reading "Video: Fifty Years After Joining March on Washington, Sanders Looks Back " »

July 29, 2013

Morning Read: Vermont's "World Citizen" Garry Davis Dies at 91

MorningreadLike many prophets, Garry Davis was egotistical, single-minded and ... uniquely in touch with a higher truth. The Vermont-based founder of the World Government of World Citizens, who died in Williston last week at age 91, gets a full-scale, strongly sympathetic send-off in today's New York Times.

"His rationale was simple, his aim immense: If there were no nation-states, he believed, there would be no wars," the Times observes.

Davis, the longtime companion of local philanthropist and activist Robin Lloyd, launched his world government in 1953 from the steps of the Ellsworth, Maine, town hall. His organization has since issued some 2.5 million "world passports." 

Davis was a regular at public meetings in and around Burlington. He often took advantage of the Q&A portion to pitch his project. Seven Days profiled Davis in 2001. Last month, a new documentary about his life was released, entitled My Country Is the World, and the World Is My Stage: The True Story of Garry Davis

Gary.Davis"Whether Mr. Davis was a visionary utopian or a quixotic naïf was long debated by press and public," the Times recounts. "His supporters argued that the documents he issued had genuine value for refugees and other stateless people. His detractors countered that by issuing them — and charging a fee — Mr. Davis was selling false hope to people who spent what little they had on papers that are legally recognized almost nowhere in the world."

It's clear, though, where the Times and writer Margalit Fox stand on Davis' unparalled act of chutzpah in declaring himself head of a world government.

"What is beyond dispute is that Mr. Davis’s long insistence on the inalienable right of anyone to travel anywhere prefigures the present-day immigration debate by decades," the obit opines. "It likewise anticipates the current stateless conditions of Julian Assange and Edward J. Snowden."

Read the full New York Times story here.

June 28, 2013

A World Government Based in Vermont? Find Out About It Tonight

Garry-davis-old-new-posterFounded by Vermont's own Garry Davis, the World Government of World Citizens will mark its 60th anniversary in September. That makes it older than the governments of 30 or so of today's nation-states.

 Not familiar with the World Government of World Citizens? Haven't heard about this self-proclaimed entity that issues passports that have occasionally been recognized at international borders?

 An introduction is available Friday evening at Off Center for the Dramatic Arts in the form of a film-in-progress called My Country Is the World and the World Is My Stage: The True Story of Garry Davis. The biopic produced and directed by California filmmaker Arthur Kanegis traces Davis' colorful career, with a focus on the global authority he unilaterally decreed on September 4, 1953.

That has to rank as one of history's greatest instances of chutzpah. But while Davis did have experience as a Broadway song-and-dance man, he wasn't playacting in establishing his very own world government.

Continue reading "A World Government Based in Vermont? Find Out About It Tonight" »

April 12, 2013

Amid National Feminist Debate, VPT Airs New Kunin Documentary

1984DebateAnne-Marie Slaughter and Sheryl Sandberg might be hogging the limelight when it comes to the national debate over women in the workplace, but in little ol' Vermont, it's a veteran stateswoman who has taken up the banner for better access to childcare, paid parental leave and flexible work schedules — all factors that former governor Madeleine Kunin believes would encourage women's leadership and participation in the workforce.

That advocacy is on display in the new documentary Madeleine Kunin: Political Pioneer, which debuts tonight on Vermont Public Television at 9 p.m. and is also available to stream online. The hourlong documentary is charts the private and political life of Vermont's first woman governor. If you've been following the national debate about women in the workplace — or if you're just eager to see some particularly rad, 1970s- and '80s-era Statehouse archival footage — it's worth a watch. (Keep your eyes peeled for former governor Jim Douglas' particularly rad, plaid suit coat: fantastic.) 

Watch Madeleine May Kunin: Political Pioneer on PBS. See more from Vermont Public Television Documentaries.

 

Writer, producer and director Catherine Hughes worked as a journalist for WCAX in the 1980s during Kunin's three terms as governor. "Even I, who had paid some attention to her career, was still amazed when I really sat down and looked at everything she's done," says Hughes.

Continue reading "Amid National Feminist Debate, VPT Airs New Kunin Documentary" »

April 04, 2013

John McClaughry: Free-Market Conservative and…Champion of Frogs?

FrogsJohn McClaughry has never been shy about offering his opinions on just about anything done by the state or federal government. An ex-state senator, former speechwriter and senior policy advisor to President Reagan, and founder of the free-market think tank, Ethan Allen Institute, McClaughry made a career out of wading hip-deep into the weeds of public policy matters. 

Perhaps all that time spent in bureaucratic swamps explains McClaughry's personal fondness for frogs.

Evidently, though, McClaughry is shy about admitting to his secret, 50-year side gig as champion of croaking amphibians. Beginning in 1961, McClaughry, under the pseudonym Nestle J. Frobish, dubbed himself "Chair-Creature of the Worldwide Fair Play for Frogs Committee." In that role, he launched a campaign to skewer the political aspirations of a then-California state assemblyman, then later U.S. congressman, named Jerome R. Waldie.

Waldie's damnable offense? As a freshman Democratic lawmaker from Antioch, Calif., he introduced a one-line bill in the California State Assembly that read, "Frogs may be taken using slingshot." At the time, McClaughry was a college student at UC Berkeley — another difficult concept to wrap one's head around. McClaughry describes his alter-ego Frobish as "an outraged liberal who thought this invasion of the rights of the frog was wholly unconscionable and embarked on a crusade that eventually came to victory 44 years later."

Continue reading "John McClaughry: Free-Market Conservative and…Champion of Frogs?" »

February 01, 2013

Quiz: Know Your Vermont State Symbols

Painted-Turtle-1_Young

Should kale be Vermont's official state vegetable? State Senators Anthony Pollina (P/D-Washington), Bill Doyle (R-Washington) and David Zuckerman (P/D-Chittenden) recently introduced a bill to make it so. The leafy green has gained prominence locally as a result of Bo-Muller Moore's "Eat More Kale" shirts and stickers — and subsequent trademark troubles. (No word on whether Chick-fil-A and Healthy Choice yogurt are planning to lobby against kale's selection.)

That's not the only point of emblem business this session. A group of House Reps are sponsoring a bill that would make Vermont's state reptile the painted turtle — which is odd, as the painted turtle already became the state reptile thanks to the efforts of Cornwall Elementary School students in 1994.

You might not know that Vermont has an official state soil (Tunbridge soil series), state fossil (white whale) and three state rocks (granite, marble and slate). After the jump, we've embedded a quiz to test your knowledge of 12 state symbols.

Continue reading "Quiz: Know Your Vermont State Symbols" »

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