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September 2008

September 26, 2008

Homelessness Advocates to Guv-Hopefuls: Can You Spare $50,000 Dimes?

Two nights ago, if you drove by Burlington's Waterfront Theatre before the first of this year's gubernatorial debates, you probably saw a bunch of colorful signs hyping Republican Gov. Jim Douglas and his major campaign rivals, Democrat Gaye Symington and Progressive-turned-Independent Anthony Pollina. Here's what you didn't see: More than 60 homelessness advocates rallying outside the building's back entrance.

"Hey, hey, ho ho! We ain't got no place to go!" they yelled. The crowd included residents of a homeless shelter on lower Church Street, as well as the directors of three nonprofits dedicated to serving Vermont's homeless population: The Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) in Burlington, the John W. Graham Emergency Shelter in Vergennes and Samaritan House in St. Albans.

All three directors announced that their shelters are at overflow capacity. Translation: They are turning homeless people out onto the streets for lack of resources. "Hey, Jim, we're in a jam!" said the crowd.

The best short-term fix state officials could provide, the directors said, would be a $500,000 emergency appropriation to Vermont's homeless shelters. Just after 6:30, Anthony Pollina showed up, pledged his support and roundly criticized Jim Douglas' record. After Pollina waved goodbye and entered the Waterfront Theatre, House Speaker and Guv-hopeful Gaye Symington got an earful from COTS Executive Director Rita Markley.

Gov. Jim Douglas used a different entrance.

Non-Linear Aquatic Gypsy-Grass

That's how Mountain Standard Time describes its sound. Sounds a lot like bluegrass to me.

Non-Linear Aquatic Gypsy-Grass:
n. (genre) 1. non-linear: outside the box, not "square" 2. aquatic: flowing, organic,
water-like 3. gypsy: full of movement, very danceable 4. grass: as in bluegrass.

On to week #2 of my free music files. If anyone wants a copy of the show send an email to [email protected]. Below is the show info along with links to find out more information about the band.

Continue reading "Non-Linear Aquatic Gypsy-Grass" »

September 25, 2008

Mr. Ding-a-Ling

Summer_2008_409 Every Wednesday, the Mr. Ding-a-Ling truck rolls down South Champlain Street and stops in front of our office. I bet this dude makes at least $20 a trip just from Seven Dayzers.

I took a picture of a bunch of us lining up yesterday for our frozen treats. I always get a Chocolate Eclair. That's Alice Levitt smiling at the camera. Bob is at the window, Ryan and Diane are still trying to decide.

This might have been Ding-a-Ling's final visit for the season. See you again next year, MDAL. Hopefully you'll switch to Friday afternoons in 2009...

September 24, 2008

Tank of Horrors

Img_0555 The usually happy-slappy Seven Days fish tank has suddenly become a teaming pool of death.

We thought that one of the Cryps was pregnant. Then we kinda started thinking it was some kind of tumor. But it seems as though she exploded in the night and was eaten. There was nothing left but a bit of spine and fish skin. Bridget thinks the Cryp may have just passed away peacefully, but it was a "super tastey tumor" that the other fish just couldn't resist.

Meanwhile, one of the Bloods started to look not-so-hot. It's been suggested that the gang violence was caused by a little Romeo and Juliet action, but there's no real proof.

Anyhoo... the Blood had been laying on the bottom of the tank for a couple days and we decided to take matters into our own hands. Fish euthanasia is not a pretty business, but something had to be done. I'd heard that freezing a sick fish is one of the more quick and painless options. So we put him in a cup in the freezer — with a lit candle and a kinda weird blow-up smiley face guy for good measure (on top of the freezer, not in it).

He's been in there for about 15 minutes or so. I just checked and it seems like he's gone to his reward. We were discussing what to do with the remains, but I think we may just keep him in the freezer until we can find a cure.

September 23, 2008

Strange Tuesday

It's oddly mellow here for a Tuesday afternoon and I was just killin' some time whilst waiting to lay out the film section. The Veer website is always good for that. There's a section on the site called "The Skinny" that always has links to interesting stuff. A few of my faves are below.

Type is Art

Ten Thousand Cents

Growing Jewelry

Rotary World Clock

Douglas On the Attack

Forget the financial meltdown on Wall Street, crumbling cooling towers at Vermont Yankee and the high price of gas and fuel oil.

What Vermonters really care about — if we are to believe Gov. Jim Douglas’ new TV spot — is whether House Speaker Gaye Symington should release the personal finances of her husband!

Here’s a link to the ad, which hits the airwaves tonight. No word on how long it will run.

So why is this is an issue? Symington’s financial disclosure faux pas is more than a month old and has essentially fallen off the radar.

One word, says Douglas campaign spokeswoman Dennise Casey: “Trust.”

Continue reading "Douglas On the Attack" »

September 22, 2008

Music from the Tunbridge World's Fair

Adrienne_young Ollabelle_2 I have a couple of live shows from the Tunbridge World's Fair. Both are soundboard quality from Flac format to audio CDs. I grabbed these from bt tree via bit torrent. First, I have Adrienne Young and Little Sadie which took place earlier in the afternoon at the grandstand on 9/13. And the second show is Ollabelle which was later in the evening of 9/13. Both shows were recorded by Bill Koucky. I kept a copy for myself, of course, but I'd like to get them out to anyone who wants them. More info below...

Continue reading "Music from the Tunbridge World's Fair" »

September 19, 2008

Matchy Matchy

Img_1967 Judy and I like to coordinate our food items and dining ware with our outfits. Img_1970

September 18, 2008

Bush = Manson?

Charlotte Dennett, the Progressive Party candidate for attorney general said Thursday that if elected she would assign the man who put Charles Manson behind bars to try Pres. George W. Bush on charges of murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.

That prosecutor — 74-year-old Vincent Bugliosi of Los Angeles — joined Dennett at a Burlington press conference. She is the first candidate, or elected official, in the country to publicly sign on to Bugliosi’s legal theory that Bush can be tried for murder once he leaves office.

Bugliosi, a registered Democrat, said his impetus is not partisan. In fact, even as a Democrat he backed McCain in 2000.

Bugliosi’s basic premise is that Bush lied to U.S. citizens and Congress before invading Iraq, and, given the more than 4000 soldiers and tens of thousands of civilians who have been killed since the war began, Bush can therefore be tried for conspiracy to commit murder

Vermont knows this loss perhaps more than any other state.

“Vermont has had the highest per capita highest losses of any state in the nation, 36 communities have had town meetings where they voted for impeachment,” said Dennett. And, Vermonters are frustrated the impeachment effort didn’t go anywhere, she added.

In order for her to appoint Bugliosi and take the case forward, Dennett first has to oust long-term Democrat Attorney General Bill Sorrell. Sorrell was appointed to the post in 1997 and elected to the job in 1998. He faces Dennett, Republican Karen Karin, and Liberty Union candidate Rosemarie Jackowski this fall.

Bush needs to be held accountable for not just war deaths, but the use of torture, illegal detention and suppression of dissent. Dennett was inspired to take up this case after reading Bugliosi’s new book, aptly titled The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder.

“What we want to do and are determined to do is return to a principle to what this nation is all about and that is that no man — even the president of the United States — is above the law,” said Bugliosi. “The evidence on his guilt is clear.”

Bugliosi claims the evidence that Bush lied to the American people and Congress is clear. One item: On Oct. 1, 2002 Bush told the nation that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat, while just six days earlier he had received a report saying just the opposite.

A document called “The White Paper” — the combined findings of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies — said Hussein was not a threat. That information was deleted from the version of the report provided to Congress, claims Bugliosi. In fact, the report said Hussein would only become a threat if he knew his country was attacked. That report has since been fully declassified.

“What could possibly be worse and more criminal than for Bush and his people to keep this all-important conclusion from the American people?” said Bugliosi.

On the issue of whether Congress would be complicit in his conspiracy charge, Bugliosi said no. The reason? The consent lawmakers provided by giving the OK to go to war and then later funding the war is negated because that consent was based on fraudulent evidence, he said.

If elected, Dennett said she would begin to assemble her team and establish a legal case before Bush officially leaves office on January 20. She also said she would raise money to pay for the prosecution, rather than use taxpayer dollars.

Bugliosi believes while Bush could be pardoned for federal crimes, he could not be immune to state prosecution. Also, Bush could not be tried by an international criminal court because the U.S. was not a signatory to its creation back in 2002.

As a Los Angeles District Attorney, Bugliosi successfully prosecuted 105 out of 106 felony jury trials, including 21 murder convictions without a single loss.  He is best known for prosecuting Charles Manson, an experience he documented in Helter Skelter.

Dennett has been practicing law in Vermont since 1997 and has been an investigative journalist for more than 30 years. 

No Muddy Shake for You!

As Seven Days' online editor, I'm the person responsible for moderating the comments people leave on various 7D-related websites. The majority of this comment moderation happens on 7 Nights, our dining and nightlife site.

There are more than 700 Vermont restaurants and bars listed on 7 Nights, and users can rate and comment on them all, which generates a pretty steady stream of material for me to review.

We don't edit comments, but there are rare occasions when we delete them, either because they're off-topic, or violate our commenting policy. Sometimes we get comments from disgruntled restaurant employees or competitors who want to settle the score. I weed those out as best I can.

And every now and then, we get a comment that deserves a wider audience. I read one this morning that I thought was worth sharing. It's about Muddy Waters, the cozy hippie coffeehouse on Main Street in Burlington. For the record, I love Muddy's. And so, apparently, does this 7 Nights user, whose screenname is "BTVORBUST." I think that comes across in this comment:

Muddy's is unquestionably still my go-to source for all my caffeine-related needs in Burlington. However, this evening I had to bite my tongue and stifle my anger and frustration at a very irritating and annoying encounter with the counter server. Usually I get my Muddy's fix around mid-day on my way in to work, but tonight I found myself absolutely craving a "Muddy Shake" (their impossibly rich milkshake made with just espresso and vanilla ice cream) on my way home from work around 10 PM, well ahead of their closing time of 11PM. (I live 80 miles from Burlington, a 1 hour 45 minute drive, so I was reeeeeeeeeeally looking forward to nursing a Muddy Shake on my long late night commute home!) But the server told me I couldn't have my Muddy Shake because they arbitrarily "stop making them at 9:00" and was fed some line about how "it takes forever to clean all the equipment" used in the making of the shakes. I protested politely, and got a roll of the eyes, a deep sigh, and a very sullen "I'm not supposed to get the equipment dirty after it's been cleaned and put away. I'd be here all night cleaning." Really? Seriously? A blender? Does it really take forever to clean a blender? ... If it's on your menu board, and you're open for business, and I'm willing to pay $5 for a Muddy Shake... is there really, seriously, a GOOD reason why I can't have my Muddy Shake? Come on, folks. Customer wants Muddy Shake. Customer is standing there with a $5-spot in hand. Doors are open for business. Make customer his darn Muddy Shake! Period!

I typically refrain from commenting on comments, but this time I can't resist. First of all, dude, an 80-mile commute? What are you thinking? No wonder you're so bent out of shape about your shake. Can you just not find a job where you live? Can you not afford to move to Chittenden County? Or do you really want to live that far away? How can you even afford a Muddy Shake given all the money you must be spending on gas?

Secondly, I want to implore the powers-that-be at Muddy's to find this guy and give him a free shake, to compensate for his frustration.

And finally, as the moderator of this online conversation, I suggest a compromise. Why not develop a take-out arrangement? If BTVORBUST calls ahead, Muddy's can make a shake for him in advance, and he can come by and pick it up on his way out of town. This isn't just about customer satisfaction, folks, this is a public safety issue. He needs that espresso shake to stay awake on his long drive home. I personally don't want to be on the road with this dude that late at night when he hasn't had his caffeine.

Muddy's? BTVORBUST? Can you work this out?

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