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November 2010

November 30, 2010

Bite Club TV: Crafting Candy Canes

We all enjoy the crooked confections each Christmas, but few of us know how a candy cane is made. I certainly didn't. And I would never have guessed that it would involve pulling hot sugar on a meat hook until the candy makers' arms gave out.

That's what I learned when I visited Laughing Moon Chocolates in Stowe and got a crash course in candy cane making from owner Leigh Williams. Enjoy the video, but don't try this at home.

Alice Eats: Karma Indian Restaurant

334 Cornelia Street, Plattsburgh, NY, 518-561-8301

Karma My earliest memory is eating tandoori chicken back in New York. On Facebook, I list Indian buffets as my religion. Needless to say, living in Northern Vermont has been difficult for me.

I learned early on to stay away from the bland, greasy Indian food in the area and wait until I was in Montréal or New York to indulge. Recently, I started hearing good things about a closer option — Karma in Plattsburgh. Could I be just a ferry trip away from nirvana?

Karma was in a strip mall across from a KFC. This was the first good sign. Humble location? You must be doing something right to stay open.

Continue reading "Alice Eats: Karma Indian Restaurant" »

Judge Orders Psych Evaluation For Vermonter Who Threatened to Kill Obama

 You hear the one about the Vermont comedian who threatened to kill President Obama on Twitter?

The Secret Service wasn't laughing in August when 43-year-old Chris King of Bellows Falls tweeted a message to the White House that read, "I am dying inside. And I am plainly stating to you that I am going to kill the president." Agents arrested King at his home for the federal crime of "threats against president and successors to the presidency" in October. He's remained locked up since, while lawyers argue about whether he is competent to stand trial, and if he should be released from custody pending trial.

(Note: Video is from King's UStream page and apparently documents his trip to Senator Patrick Leahy's office in Washington, D.C. on June 28, 2010.)

Yesterday in federal court, U.S. District Judge William K. Sessions III denied King's request for release from custody, saying he believes that without psychological treatement, King poses a danger.

Continue reading "Judge Orders Psych Evaluation For Vermonter Who Threatened to Kill Obama" »

November 29, 2010

Hedgehogs on a Plane

Photo On the day before Thanksgiving, Jennifer Goldberg flew from Chicago to Vermont to spend the holiday with her family. Accompanying Goldberg on her journey was Thembi, an African pygmy hedgehog. Thembi is a emotional support animal — literally, he's a service hedgehog. 

You can't make this shit up. 

And of course, he has his own Facebook fan page

According to 21-year-old Goldberg, who was featured in the New York Times City Room blog after a chance encounter with a reporter on the airplane, Thembi helps her with her anxiety and depression.  Since getting him, Goldberg's grades at Northwestern University have improved, as has her social life. (Note to self: Get service hedgehog immediately.)  

Continue reading "Hedgehogs on a Plane" »

VT Law School Student and Prof Blogging from COP16 Climate Change Conference

COP16 Remember last year's global climate change conference in Copenhagen? The one that, despite Barack and Michelle Obama's best efforts, failed to produce a binding U.N. treaty to slow global warming?

Well, it's happening again, this year in Cancun, Mexico, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10. A Vermont Law School professor and student are attending the COP16 conference and blogging about it.

VLS assistant professor Katherine Garvey and third-year law student Dan Miller will aim to provide a local perspective on the U.N. "conference of parties," or COP16. According to a VLS press release, Garvey is there to see what Vermont can learn from Latin American countries that, like us, have greenhouse gas emissions from land use, agriculture and forestry. Miller is focusing on financing adaptation and mitigation projects, with emphasis on the role of the U.N. Development Programme, the release states.

Continue reading "VT Law School Student and Prof Blogging from COP16 Climate Change Conference" »

November 26, 2010

There are Family Feuds, and Then There's This

Turkey * updated *

There are Vermont State Police press releases that reporters scan and barely read, and then there are more interesting missives, such as the one that arrived this morning from the St. Albans barracks.

VSP releases generally take the Joe Friday "just the facts ma'am" approach — sometimes even less. Occassionally you'll get a wry comment thrown in for good measure.

I'll always remember one particular line I came across in the 1980s when I worked at the Barton Chronicle. A trooper in the Derby barracks was filling out the requisite paperwork to detail the damage done to a car after it struck a deer. Just how many times can you write, "The operator's vehicle struck a deer" in a given week?

That's where this trooper decided to take some literary license, noting: "the operator's vehicle struck a doe, a deer, a female deer."

What Trooper Timothy Woch's report below about breaking up a family fight in Franklin County lacks in references to famous musicals, it makes up for in scene setting.

So, I offer this post-Thanksgiving nugget in hopes that you can say no matter how bitter the argument or disagreement that you didn't have to call in the cops. And, when you did call them, that you didn't turn on them, like this family did.

Here the report as issued to the Vermont media at 12:41 a.m.

Continue reading "There are Family Feuds, and Then There's This" »

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us here at Seven Days. Well, we're not actually "here" — we're taking the day off, and we hope you are, too. We'll be back tomorrow.

In the meantime, enjoy this video, in which the Vegetarian Librarian demonstrates how to make a homemade tofurkey dinner. It was submitted to Blurt by the Reverend Diane Sullivan, one of our designers, who will be attempting this feat today.

November 24, 2010

Burlington Telecom and CitiCapital Agree to Terminate $33.5 Million Lease

ImagesTalks between Burlington Telecom and CitiCapital have officially broken down, forcing the city telecom to return equipment it bought through a $33.5 million lease agreement with the financier.

In a letter filed with the Vermont Public Service Board late Tuesday night, BT's attorney, William Ellis, said the transfer of equipment shouldn't interrupt existing service, but that remains a possibility.

In mid-November talks stalled between the city and CitiCapital. The impasse ocurred when the city refused to agree to terms being offered by CitiCapital to make good on its lease.

"As a result of this impasse, Burlington and CitiCapital have agreed that the equipment lease is terminated. Now that the lease is terminated, the city will obtain replacement equipment either through a partnership or other means, which will allow CitiCapital equipment to be de-installed and returned," Mayor Bob Kiss announced via email early Wednesday.

It's unclear how much time Burlington Telecom and the city will have to un-install the equipment it bought with the borrowed funds and hand over the goods to CitiCapital. It's not yet clear how Burlington Telecom will find the money — or a new private partner — to re-install equipment in order to keep phone, television and internet services flowing to its thousands subscribers.

According to the letter to the PSB, CitiCapital has agreed to let the city return the equipment "as soon as practical."

"The city is presently researching several options," wrote Ellis to the PSB. "Those options include the purchase of replacement equipment, which would allow the CitiCapital equipment to be de-installed and returned, as well as potential partnership opportunities consistent with the city's obligation to propose a cure to the board."

Continue reading "Burlington Telecom and CitiCapital Agree to Terminate $33.5 Million Lease" »

November 23, 2010

Vermont Recount Rundown

* updated below - today's recount challenge was decided by a Vermont judge*

Ballot_Box_XSmall The Monty Python-esque shout of "I'm not dead yet!" seems to be the rallying cry for the 2010 election.

Three weeks beyond the November 2 election, we still don't know for sure just how many Democrats, Progressives and Republicans will be in the House come January 5. That's because there were nine recount requests around Vermont.

So far, two recounts have been held.

The first recount, in Orange County, was held on November 19, but the results were challenged in court. The recount results upheld the election day win by four votes, with Progressive incumbent Susan Hatch-Davis over Republican Rodney Graham. A Vermont Superior Court judge certified the recount Monday, assuring the victory for Hatch-Davis.

Another recount — in a House district encompassing Royalton and Tunbridge — was held yesterday. On election day,  Democrat Sarah Buxton defeated Republican incumbent David Ainsworth by a single vote.

The recount ended up with an 880-880 tie, and one vote was being challenged. That single vote, according to sources, was lightly penciled in for Buxton, but Ainsworth wants a judge to throw it out. If he’s successful, a special election would be held to determine the winner.

A judge could rule as early as today on that race. * This afternoon, a judge ruled in favor of Buxton, giving her a one-vote victory.

Continue reading "Vermont Recount Rundown" »

Alice Eats: Archie's Grill

4109 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, 802-985-4912

There are now plenty of places to get a locally farmed burger. However, most of those restaurants have a certain level of formality and prices to go with it. It's hard to find a local patty with all the fixings for less than twelve dollars. Burlington's The Chubby Muffin has one, but the tiny café is only open for breakfast and lunch. Enter Archie's Grill, an ultra-casual, quick service resto with the motto "A fresh approach to fast food."

Just like at a fast food spot, diners order their meals at the counter. From there, they can take their meal home or wait to bring it to one of the tables lit by blue blown-glass lamps. In an attempt to keep things as local as possible, I eschewed the Hebrew National hot dogs and chicken of anonymous origin in favor of a Laplatte River Angus Farm burger and Misty Knoll Farm turkey burger.

Turkeyburger The turkey burger appeared on a section of the menu titled "Veggie Heads." The meat was really more like a sausage than a conventional patty, combined with a mix of feta cheese, red onion, basil and organic carrots. I found the crunch of the inarguably fresh vegetables a tad distracting. And I prefer the texture of my burger to be more uniform. The roasted red peppers on top were more my speed — soft with a fine edge of char. Chipotle aioli (identified on the menu as "chipotle aioli sause") lent the burger a mildly spicy, earthy flavor and a much-needed hint of fat. I asked for a side salad to accompany the already healthy burger. I ate it with a biodegradable fork — flatware, cups and plates are all recyclable at Archie's.

Continue reading "Alice Eats: Archie's Grill" »

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