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September 2010

September 30, 2010

State Troopers in Trouble for Trying to Fix a Senator's Traffic Ticket

2073m * updated *

Two state police troopers are allegedly in hot water for trying to void a speeding ticket issued to Sen. Peter Shumlin earlier this summer.

News of the attempted fix comes months after the original traffic stop became public, one week after the Vermont State Troopers union endorsed Shumlin over his Republican rival Brian Dubie, and just weeks before Election Day.

The speeding ticket was originally issued June 17, a traffic stop made public by WCAX-TV. The station aired portions of Shumlin's roadside traffic stop recorded by an in-cruiser camera on the 6 p.m. news. It also posted the entire video of Shumlin's stop on his the WCAX website.

At the time, the station said it was interested in the story because they believed Shumlin tried to use his Senate identification card as a way to weasel out of a ticket.

Continue reading "State Troopers in Trouble for Trying to Fix a Senator's Traffic Ticket" »

September 29, 2010

Fake Syrup Becomes More Natural

Log+Cabin+All+Natural After much bellyaching by U.S. Rep. Peter Welch and some maple-producing compatriots in New Hampsha, the producer of Log Cabin "All Natural" Syrup has announced that it will comply with FDA guidelines and actually become natural. Apparently now, it's unnatural. Like dogs wearing goggles. Or doggles.

In a press release sent on Tuesday, Welch's office claimed partial victory in its quest to vanquish the offensive pancake topper, or at least get its producers to stop trying to pass off its syrup as real. According to a statement by Pinnacle Foods, Log Cabin's corporate parent, the company will remove the "caramel color," which apparently isn't natural. The xanthan gum and citric acid that are also found in the Log Cabin variety will remain. Cuz that shit's natural, obvs. 

Continue reading "Fake Syrup Becomes More Natural" »

September 28, 2010

Combo Platter: Fast Fare, Fat Toad, Food Fight

First Riverside, Then the World!

By Alice Levitt

When executive chef Dave Coolidge recently left the Essex Culinary Resort &  Spa, he wasn't idle long. Two weeks ago, he took on the role of executive chef at Sugarsnap. "They already have a great philosophy, and I want to expand on that philosophy," he says.

Earlier this summer, the localvore takeout and catering business, with its flagship store on Riverside Avenue, expanded to include a large prep kitchen and store at Technology Park in South Burlington.

However, co-owner Rob Smart has visions of even wider expansion. Coolidge, who joins Smart and Abbey Duke as one of the head honchos of Sugarsnap, is part of an equation that Smart says he hopes will make the business more accessible to the general public. The ultimate goal, he says, is to make Sugarsnap a national fast-food chain, "sort of like McDonald’s, but not McDonald's." That's right, Sugarsnap is not stopping at just two Burlington-area locations.

Continue reading "Combo Platter: Fast Fare, Fat Toad, Food Fight" »

Alice Eats: Pho Pasteur

38 Main Street, Winooski, 802-497-0289

Pho There may be eight Vietnamese restaurants in the Burlington area, but I still get excited each time a new one opens. I'm always eager to discover new dishes, and I am also perpetually searching for the perfect pho. The one at Pho Pasteur may not be the ideal, but it is a keeper.

The lacquered bowls are pretty at cozy and clean Pho Pasteur, in the space that used to house 38 Main Street Pub. However, the soup is not one of the more attractive ones I've seen. 

Don't let its slightly bare appearance fool you. The broth packs a flavor wallop. The base is richly beefy, but the sweet, meaty notes fade in the face of a strongly aromatic mix of spices. 

As the soup approaches, the cinnamon and cloves are so dominant that it almost smells like hot cider is on the horizon. Anise provides a nice licorice twist. The beef in the bowl arrives still raw in places, but cooks to a delicious brown at the table. The basil, bean sprouts, lime and jalapeño's on the side are fresh and tasty. All-around, one of the best.

Galbi I was delighted to see several dishes I had never tried before, such as a rice dish with Korean short ribs. The mound of grain came with an ample side of nước cham, a wonderfully balanced rendition of the tangy fish-sauce-based condiment that accompanies many Vietnamese dishes. The beef was crisp and lightly charred on the outside, with an interior of sweet and gingery meat and molten fat. The carrots, cucumbers and cilantro on the plate were perfectly fresh, even though it was Sunday evening, not exactly produce prime time.

The stir fried beef with lemongrass and crushed chili peppers is a far cry from the sweet and sour flavors common in the majority of this area's Vietnamese dishes. Bright lemongrass and earthy pepper combine in a surprisingly comforting way. The whole was flavorful enough that I ate the vermicelli without giving it a nước cham bath.

The best part? There are still lots of things I want to try. For example, several unique spring rolls including ones filled with chicken or charbroiled pork meat balls (one of my favorite things). And I have to save room for an avocado smoothie. Luckily, I live nearby!

New Date for Liza

Liza_show_page Liza is coming! Liza is coming!

Yep, Burlington's Flynn Center rescheduled Liza Minnelli, for November 3, and a thousand Vermont Broadway fans and wannabe divas are no doubt already planning what they're going to wear to the show. That is, if they can get a ticket.

Flynn members can begin scarfing those up at 10 a.m. on September 30 — that's this Thursday — while the nonmember rabble have to wait until October 6. Who wants to bet the show will sell out before then?

If I get one, I'd happily swap it for Spamalot. Any takers?

Legalization Question Goes up in Smoke at Council Meeting

Marijuana_leaf1 An effort to ask Burlington voters in November if they support the legalization, taxation and regulation of cannabis and hemp went up in smoke Monday night when the measure failed by a six-six tie vote of the Burlington City Council.

The resolution was offered by Councilor Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (P-Ward 3) and backed by five of her colleagues: Councilors Ed Adrian (D-Ward 1), David Berezniak (D-Ward 2), Sharon Bushor (I-Ward 1), Bram Kranichfeld (D-Ward 2) and Joan Shannon (D-Ward 5).

Those voting against the resolution were: Councilors Paul Decelles (R-Ward 7), Vince Dober (R-Ward 7), Nancy Kaplan (D-Ward 4), Bill Keogh (D-Ward 5), Karen Paul (I-Ward 6) and Kurt Wright (R-Ward 4).

Councilor Mary Kehoe (D-Ward 6) was absent and one Ward 3 council seat remains vacant.

A group of citizens had gathered about 1200 signatures, just shy of the 1600 needed to get an item on the city ballot. The ballot question would have been non-binding.

California and the city of Detroit are weighing in on the issue this fall, too.

Continue reading "Legalization Question Goes up in Smoke at Council Meeting" »

Maritime Museum Withdraws from Moran Redevelopment

6a00d83451b91969e20120a911e313970b-320wi The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum has withdrawn its plans to develop a shipwreck center as part of Burlington's ambitious effort to redevelop the former Moran electric generating station on the city waterfront.

The news came late Monday and drew a swift response from Mayor Bob Kiss.

"While I'm disappointed that the Maritime Museum has decided to withdraw from the Moran Project, the city’s financial plan has been structured to allow for this possibility," said Kiss."The redevelopment of Moran continues to be an exciting opportunity for Burlington's Waterfront and the city’s future."

This is the second time a local nonprofit has bailed on its plans to become one of three tenants at the site. The other two anchor tenants are Ice Factor, a Scottish-based company that wants to create an indoor, family adventure center, and the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center. The Vermont Children's Museum was originally part of the three anchor tenants, but withdrew about one year ago.

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September 24, 2010

Bye Bye, Blockbuster

Old Cell Phone Douglas Back in March, I asked on this blog, Is It Too Soon to Be Nostalgic for Video Stores?

If Blockbuster is your store of choice, the answer could be yes, as the company just filed for bankruptcy. Many of its stores are likely to go the way of the gigantic cellphone that Michael Douglas showed off in Wall Street (1987).

I mention Wall Street because yesterday I was in Burlington's Waterfront Video picking up a copy. I wanted to see the original Oliver Stone movie, which I missed the first time around, before reviewing the sequel that hits theaters today.

You'd think Wall Street would be easy to grab, being so old it features a gigantic cellphone and outrageously decadent '80s interior decor. But both DVDs (original and special edition) were checked out the first time I stopped by.

Continue reading "Bye Bye, Blockbuster" »

Shumlin: The $10 Million Man

Shumlin Late today, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Shumlin finally bared his assets. So, how much is he worth? More than $10 million.

Nearly half of that value — $4.55 million — is derived from his real estate holdings. He owns, or has a stake in, 17 separate properties Windham County, including his own Putney home.

He also owns a cabin on Cape Breton Island in Canada valued at $230,000.

Another sizable chunk of Shumlin's net worth — almost $4.2 million — is held in various stocks, cash and investments. He has another $1 million in stock in Putney Student Travel, his family's business, and seven vehicles worth a total value of $126,000. One of those vehicles is a 1964 Porsche and the other is a 1952 Dodge truck — the latter is the first vehicle he ever owned (see below to download the complete list).

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Will Burlington Say, 'Yes We Cannabis'?

Reefer+madness Burlington's City Council Monday night will decide whether to add an advisory referendum to the November ballot asking voters if they want to legalize — and tax — marijuana and hemp.

The non-binding question would ask voters if they back the following statement: "The people of Burlington support the legalization, regulation and taxation of all cannabis and hemp products."

Supporters hope to use this vote as a way to convince lawmakers and other leaders to reconsider the national prohibition on marijuana.

A group of citizens has been collecting signatures for several months in hopes of getting the question put on the ballot by citizen initiative. However, that effort fell about 400 votes shy of the required 1653 signatures by the September 23 deadline.

Councilor Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (P-Ward 3) is sponsoring, and supporting, the resolution. She decided to ask the council to put the question on the ballot because she believes Burlington voters should have a chance to weigh in on this question.

Continue reading "Will Burlington Say, 'Yes We Cannabis'?" »

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