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November 2010

November 19, 2010

Corm and the Coach are Back (Maybe)

Corm&CoachThe morning radio duo Corm & the Coach may (again) return to the virtual Vermont airwaves — this time on an Internet-based sports broadcaster Northeast Sports Network.

Steve Cormier ("Corm") and Tom Brennan ("Coach") are negotiating a deal to relaunch their show as part of a multimedia broadcast with NSN.

In a joint release, the two sides offered no specifics regarding how the show would be presented or when it might debut.

Corm & the Coach has been broadcasting to the Champlain Valley for nearly two decades and was among the region's most popular morning talk shows until it ended in 2008. Corm & the Coach returned to the airwaves in 2009 but stopped broadcasting in April when the station they were on fell into financial difficulty. The current plan would relaunch the pair's popular radio program with a few additions and the resurrection of a few old favorites. 

“We’re encouraged and excited about the potential of our partnership with The technology is out there to advance beyond a single form of broadcasting and there’s no better group for creating this relationship than NSN.” said Cormier. “No one else in this market is looking to do what we’re doing nor is anyone capable of it.”

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Leahy Takes Heat Over Support for Online Anti-Piracy Bill

DSC_3398 U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is coming under fire from Internet privacy and free speech groups for legislation he shepherded through the Senate Judiciary Committee that some believe is a ham-handed approach to clamping down on piracy and copyright infringement.

The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 19-0 vote, and has the support of Hollywood movie studios, the music industry, labor groups and the Newspaper Association of America.

'The bill provides law enforcement with the ability to stop websites dedicated to online piracy and the sale of counterfeit goods. The illegal products offered through these websites, which are often foreign-owned and operated, range from new movie and music releases, to pharmaceuticals and consumer products. Intellectual property theft costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion every year, according to estimates, and result in the loss of thousands of jobs, according to Leahy's office.

The bill would give the U.S. Department of Justice the ability to seek a court order to shut down specific domain names if they can prove to a court that the material being sold or distributed on that site violates US laws protecting copyrights. A "rogue" site, as Leahy calls it, is one whose sole purpose is to distribute contraband or illegal material.

However Internet privacy and free speech groups say the bill has the potential to cede Internet free speech to the government and the industry this bill sets out to protect.

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Tax This, Bill Sorrell!

This is not the author of this post, but it might as well be Dear A.G. Bill Sorrell, 

What were you thinking proposing a tax on sugary drinks? I mean, I realize that liquid sugar bombs like Amp Energy (58 grams) and Rockstar (62 grams) are making us all morbidly obese. Hell, I practically bleed Snapple Raspberry Iced Tea. But it's not the drinks' fault that water is totally boring without high fructose corn syrup and caramel color. 

Anyway, I'd like to submit that I think your idea is crap. Here's why: an extra penny-per-ounce tariff is not going to make me any less inclined to buy my mango-peach CRUNK (56 grams). If you think it will, you're crazy. What do I care about a 16-cent increase?

If you want to disincentivize sweet beverages (or liquid cavities as I call them), you need to make it really uncomfortable for people to buy them. Like I- need-to-take-out-a-second-mortgage-on-my-home-in-order-to-afford-it uncomfortable. Like enema uncomfortable. Take cigarettes. You practically have to be a millionaire to afford them. An average pack of smokes goes for $11 in New York City. That's the level of discomfort you want. Not 16 cents.

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November 18, 2010

Vermont Legal Aid Goes to Washington

111908-cover-houseinvise_0 Vermont Legal Aid staff attorney Grace Pazdan is heading to Washington, D.C. tomorrow to give the White House a piece of her mind. According to a press release issued this morning, Pazdan was invited to participate in a summit put together by the White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families and the Department of Justice's Access to Justice Initiative. Participants will include Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder, as well as housing and low-income advocates from across the country.

Their interest in Pazadan: As a Vermont Legal Aid attorney, she's represented scores of working-class Vermonters whose homes have been forced into foreclosure by sketchy or abusive lending practices. Earlier this year, Pazdan also worked closely with the Vermont Attorney General's office to craft a new law, which took effect in July, mandating that banks and other lenders enter into mediation with families at risk of losing their homes before any foreclosure proceedings can commence.

In October, Pazdan was featured in a Seven Days story about the Obama administration's Home Affordable Modification Program.

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Welch Wrangles With Rangel and Waters

16welch-cityroom-blogSpan * updated below *

The U.S. Congress may be in a "lame duck" session, but it's finding plenty of time to discipline some of its own members. And, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) is in the midst of it all as a member of a key subcommittee of the House Ethics Committee.

Technically, the Ethics Committee is called the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

In July, Welch was appointed to a special adjudicative committee with seven other committee members to examine whether Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Rep. Maxine Waters violated House ethics rules.

A special investigative panel of the Ethics Committee alleged Rangel committed a wide range of abuses, including failure to report rental income on a Dominican Republic villa, misuse of his congressional stationery for fund raising for an education center, and his use of three rent-controlled New York apartments.

The subcomittee found Rangel guilty on most of the ethics charges. It's unclear what punishment, if any, Rangel will receive.

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November 16, 2010

"Superchef" Flies to Bluebird

Food-planetchef Visitors to Burlington's Bluebird Tavern tonight will get a taste of something unexpected: a new chef. Both Aaron Josinsky and his wife, manager Laura Wade, have left their jobs at the buzzed-about localvore eatery.

In Josinsky's place, Michael Clauss (pictured), late of The Daily Planet and a recent Bocuse d'Or contender, has entered the kitchen. Clauss left the Planet in August "to do his own thing," according to that restaurant's co-owner Copey Houghton. Josinsky — a semi-finalist for a James Beard Foundation award for his work at the Bluebird this year — and Wade could not be reached for comment on what Bluebird owner Sue Bette called "new challenges." They will both continue to tie up loose ends at the eatery's office through this week.

"Laura and Aaron did a tremendous job laying a strong foundation for their leadership," says Bette via phone. "They're certainly an inspiration to our team." When Clauss cooks his first meal at the Bluebird tonight, he will certainly have big shoes to fill, but Bette has no concerns. "The Bluebird is strongly tied to its mission," Bette says of her restaurant, which changes its menu nightly to pay optimal homage to the ingredients that arrive each day.

Though Bette says Clauss plans on putting his own stamp on the Bluebird's cuisine, he plans to keep the menu firmly in line with the aesthetic pioneered by Josinsky. No matter what, Tavern Tuesdays will never be quite the same.

Video: Turducken Construction

Some of us have simple dreams. One of mine was to make a turducken. I realized it when I headed to the Farmer's Kitchen at Turkey Hill Farm in Randolph. Watch in shock and awe as I learn to debone a turkey, chicken and duck, then stuff them into each other.

Once you've recovered, follow the easy recipe below to make a turducken breast of your very own. Then, read my article about turducken-making, with a sidebar about the turkeys who grew up in my house with me. Yes, inside.

Alice's Super-Easy Turducken Breast

1 whole bone-in turkey breast

3 boneless chicken breasts

1 boneless, skinless duck breast

Poultry pins



1 small loaf sourdough bread

1 large apple, peeled and cored

1 tablespoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons dried sage

One cup chicken stock
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Tear sourdough into small chunks and place in a large bowl. Dice apples to desired thickness. Throw in herbs and mix in stock until texture is uniform.

With a boning knife, remove meat from turkey bone. You don't have any appendages in the way, so it should be smooth sailing. 

Once turkey is deboned, lay on a pan skin-side down. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts, leaving enough turkey on each side to wrap around them later. Season chicken, then add duck breasts. Spread those liberally with stuffing.

Gather both sides of the turkey and hold together, as if pinning clothing. Thread pins through meat, first in one direction and then the other, to make sure each pin is in place. Do this until the contents are firmly sealed inside turkey. Place turducken in oven on a V-rack and cook 16 minutes for each pound. Super easy, right?

Alice Eats: Grand Buffet

66 Pearl Street, Essex Junction 802-879-9669

It's no secret that we live in a culture of irony. Everyone knows that entertainment has become little more than a wink and a nudge these days. Just turn on the Cartoon Network. Fewer pundits have addressed irony in food.

Hotdogchicken Oh, it's there. Thousands of websites are devoted to it. Cake Wrecks blogs embarrassing birthday and bachelorette pastries every day. This Is Why You're Fat tweets peeks at excessive culinary creations several times a day.

 This outlook is helpful with a job like mine. It's better to be amused than angry at quirky service or food that is just plain weird. My visit to Grand Buffet last night was a powerful exercise in ironic eating. World, let me introduce you to "hot dog fried chicken" (right).

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Humanitarian Dr. Paul Farmer Speaks to Packed House at St. Michael’s

Farmer-st-mikes About 700 college students, faculty and local social-justice activists crammed into the McCarthy Arts Center at St. Michael’s College Monday night to hear humanitarian Dr. Paul Farmer discuss his work in Haiti.

Farmer was scheduled to speak at 7:30 p.m., but the main auditorium was filled by 7. Several hundred more people crowded into an overflow room, where they watched a video feed of Farmer’s talk. Many more milled about in the building’s lobby, straining to hear him speak.

“As you can imagine,” Farmer told the crowd, “this has been a very difficult year for Haiti.”

Farmer is intimately familiar with the Caribbean island nation — the physician and medical anthropologist is best known for cofounding Partners in Health, a nonprofit that got its start in Haiti and provides health care services to the poor in several countries around the world. Farmer, a professor at the Harvard School of Medicine, is currently the UN Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti; former president Bill Clinton is his boss in that capacity.

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November 15, 2010

Dubie Puts House Up for Sale, Heads Off to the Woods

NNEREN_4033553_14 Lt. Governor Brian Dubie is leaving his hometown and headed for the woods — literally.

Dubie tells Seven Days he put his Essex Junction home up for sale and is moving onto the family property he owns up in Fairfield.

The Dubies own several pieces of land: a nearly 100-acre piece of land where they operate a maple sugaring business; two acres with a cabin on it and another 25-acre parcel with a farmhouse. The cabin is valued at $112,000 and the house and 25 acres is valued at roughly $300,000. The sugarwoods is valued at more than $515,000.

The race for governor put on hold a long-range plan to relocate to his family’s property in Fairfield, Dubie said.

“Sugarwoods in Fairfield calls,” Dubie told Seven Days.

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