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October 24, 2012

Photos: Leahy and the Clintons Inaugurate Industrial Park in Haiti

When we heard Monday that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was hangin' in Haiti with Sean Penn, Ben Stiller, Donna Karan and Richard Branson — oh, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former president Bill Clinton — we wanted to send our best photojournalist to get the goods.

But he was tied up trying to snag a photo of Lenore Broughton.

So we did the next best thing: We asked Leahy, an enthusiastic amateur photographer himself, whether he could spare a few photos. He obliged.

Here's a great shot Leahy captured of the Clintons in action:


Continue reading "Photos: Leahy and the Clintons Inaugurate Industrial Park in Haiti" »

October 23, 2012

Photos: Georgia Mountain Turbine Blades To Blow Through Downtown Burlington


Ever wondered why industrial wind power is running into so much heavy turbulence in Vermont? Anyone who's never gotten a close look at just how large those turbines are may want to head into downtown Burlington tomorrow morning starting at 3 a.m. That's when the first wave of turbine blades bound for Georgia Mountain, the 10-megawatt wind project in Milton and Georgia, roll out of the Burlington railyard, up Battery Street then attempt to make the right turn up Main Street.

"Attempt" is the operative word. According to Burlington Public Works Director Steve Goodkind, who was in the train yard Tuesday morning, it remains to be seen whether each of the 163-foot blades (not including the size of the extended cab truck and rear trailer) will be able to corner the turn without taking out trees, poles and other roadside hazards. "Three trees, two trees, one tree — we're not really sure how many will have to go."

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October 19, 2012

Poll: VT Candidate Fashion — Who Wore It Best?

We once again interrupt our really pretty serious campaign coverage to bring you this bit of election-year infotainment.

Every candidate running for office knows that how you look is almost as important as what you say. But politicians, as a rule, don't have huge fashion palettes to work with. For the fellas, there's the shirt and tie, with an optional blazer. For the ladies, it's a Hillary-style pantsuit or a Palinesque pencil skirt and blouse.

But in Vermont — a state known for its trendsetting fashion sensibilities — candidates are finding subtle ways to spice things up: a fleece vest here, a yellow rain slicker there. Hey, they don't call us the Milan of New England for nothing!

So here's a game for you politics/fashion junkies, using photos the candidates themselves posted on their Facebook pages. With apologies to US Weekly, we present "Vermont Candidate Fashion: Who Wore It Best?" Two candidates wearing the same attire — you decide who looks better. Check back for results.


Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin, or Democratic Attorney General Bill Sorrell

Fleece Vest 5 Fleece vest 6

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October 10, 2012

OMG! Cautionary Sidewalk Stencils Appear in Downtown Burlington


My smartphone was safely stowed in my pocket this morning as I walked in to work, which is probably why I noticed these new stencils on the sidewalk in downtown Burlington. Naturally, I took my phone out after I saw them and snapped some photos.

The paint looked pretty fresh. Anyone know who put them there or why? I took these at the intersection of Main Street and South Winooski Avenue, Main and Pine streets., and Main and South Champlain streets.

Update: Mystery solved! Not surprisingly, the people-powered transportation advocates at Local Motion are responsible for these sidewalk safety messages. Thanks to alert reader Liam Griffin for the tip on our Facebook page.

Continue reading "OMG! Cautionary Sidewalk Stencils Appear in Downtown Burlington" »

September 11, 2012

Video: Shumlin Launches Reelection Campaign Monday at Nectar's

DSC04185Gov. Peter Shumlin capped off his first official day on the campaign trail by touting his economic record to a rowdy crowd of supporters at Nectar's Monday evening.

"We're growing jobs, we're delivering on promises to get tough things done, and we are making extraordinary progress to make this state a better place to get a job, a better place to make a living and a better place for our kids to prosper," Shumlin said.

After spending the summer putting off questions about his long-running campaign for reelection, the governor finally embraced his status as a candidate Monday, touring the state from Bennington to Rutland to Burlington. At Nectar's, he found a welcoming reception from cabinet secretaries, legislators, staffers and donors.

In a 17-minute speech, Shumlin outlined the achievements of his first term and goals for a second term while hammering Republican opponent Randy Brock's health care plan. Though much of his speech focused on the brewing debate over competing health care plans — a debate the incumbent appears to relish — Shumlin told Seven Days afterward that his campaign would be squarely focused on selling his economic record.

We'll have more on Shumlin's campaign kickoff in Wednesday's Fair Game. For now, we leave you with a video of the governor's speech and some photos from the event.

Continue reading "Video: Shumlin Launches Reelection Campaign Monday at Nectar's" »

September 06, 2012

Reporter's Notebook: Kind Of Sort Of Covering Romney At A Hardware Store

IMG_2318If a guy walks into a hardware store and nobody sees him, does anybody care?

That was the question I asked myself Wednesday as I skulked around LaValley Building Supply in West Lebanon, N.H., waiting for something to happen.

Inside was this guy named Mitt Romney, who doesn't like dogs very much and who is also running for president of the United States. He's been at camp this week — debate camp, that is — in nearby West Windsor, Vt. But with Democrats hogging the spotlight down in Charlotte, Romney briefly emerged from his pal's $3.9 million lair to conduct a few television interviews in the closest purple state he could find — in what appeared to be the handtool and glove aisle at LaValley's.

I happened to be in Norwich at the time and, alerted to the visit by a tweet from WCAX-TV's Adam Sullivan (thanks, bro!), I popped on down to the West Leb strip, figuring that if the Romney event was a bust I could at least drop by Lebanon Pet & Aquarium Center to check out the fish.

It was, in fact, a total bust.

Though I waited patiently for nearly two hours, I failed to catch a single glimpse of that perfectly coiffed hair, that casually unbuttoned dress shirt or that reassuringly square jaw. I went there for Mitt, but all I got was Randy Brock.

Continue reading "Reporter's Notebook: Kind Of Sort Of Covering Romney At A Hardware Store" »

September 03, 2012

Photos from Sanders' Burlington Labor Day Rally

IMG_2308Nothing says "Labor Day" like a sunny September day, free hot dogs and a rip-roaring tirade from Vermont's very own Sen. Bernie Sanders.

At Sanders' annual Labor Day rally and barbecue Monday afternoon in Burlington's Battery Park, you could have it all. And then some.

"What we are saying today is that this country and the wealth of this country belongs to all of the people and not a handful of billionaires," the finger-wagging, self-described socialist told an approving crowd of a couple hundred fellow travelers.

Sanders' 15-minute stem-winder wrapped up a well-attended event featuring a performance by the Gordon Stone Band, remarks from a slew of Vermont labor leaders and — in true Bernie style — plenty of free food for the masses. Ol' Bernardo's warm-up acts stayed on-message, repeatedly calling him a champion of workers' rights and organized labor's favorite U.S. senator. But about a dozen opponents of the proposed basing of F-35 planes at the Vermont Air National Guard's South Burlington headquarters — which Sanders supports — held signs just off-stage protesting Sanders' stance.

We'll have more on the rally in this week's Fair Game, but for now, we leave you with some crappy iPhone-shot photos of the event:

Continue reading "Photos from Sanders' Burlington Labor Day Rally" »

August 29, 2012

Sorrell Clings to Thin Lead in Attorney General Primary; Race Too Close to Call

TJ and wifeIn case you missed it last night — or more accurately, early this morning — the last political hurrah on the old blog was our wrap-up of primary night, including photos, videos and charts from the top races around the state. This story was reported by Paul Heintz, Tyler Machado and Andy Bromage.

For weeks, the Democratic contest for attorney general seemed too close — and too unusual — to predict. Tuesday night brought no swift resolution.

At the end of primary night — with 245 of 258 precincts reporting — Attorney General Bill Sorrell held a narrow 619-vote lead over challenger T.J. Donovan, according to the Associated Press. But with more than 40,000 voters casting ballots, neither campaign seemed fully prepared to declare victory — or defeat. 

“This has been a really long six months and I’ve said several times this is more a marathon than a sprint,” Sorrell told a crowd of supporters at Burlington’s Courtyard Marriott after emerging for the first time at 10:15 p.m. “We’ve got about a mile or so more to run, and I’m feeling great.”

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