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Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Seven Days Wins 23 First-Place Awards, Including General Excellence, in Regional Media Competition

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2022 at 11:27 AM

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Seven Days won 23 first-place awards — our best showing ever — at the New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA) convention in Boston last weekend — including General Excellence and Reporter of the Year.

Nearly 2,000 entries were submitted and evaluated by New England Newspaper & Press Association’s distinguished panel of judges. Seven Days competed against dozens of other newsweeklies around the region in the large-circulation weekly category.

1st Place Awards

Reporter of the Year
Chelsea Edgar

General Excellence
Seven Days
staff

Best Coverage of Coronavirus
Best Human Interest Feature Story

Chelsea Edgar, "Mother Load: A Year in the Life of Three Single Moms in Vermont"

BRIAN JENKINS / DIANE SULLIVAN
  • Brian Jenkins / Diane Sullivan
Science/Technology Reporting
Derek Brouwer, "Flight Path: BTV's Beta Technologies Is on the Cusp of a Breakthrough for Electric Aviation"
From the judges:  "Top shelf reporting on an emerging Vermont startup Beta Technologies. Well written and thorough reporting."

Climate Change or Weather Reporting
Kevin McCallum & Ken Picard, "Trickle to Torrent: The Climate Crisis Brings Both Deluges and Droughts to Vermont"
From the judges: "McCallum and Picard’s reporting on the aging water systems and potential for indoor farming is top notch."

Coverage of Protests and Rallies
Chelsea Edgar, "'Torn Apart': Fault Lines Over Trump, Racism and Justice Divide the Town of Johnson"
From the judges: "This entry excels by bringing in a multitude of voices and perspectives that reveal the many nuances of the community's divide. Well-crafted, empathetic and even-handed writing."

Crime and Courts Reporting
Colin Flanders, "Case Dismissed? Questions Persist About Police Investigation Into Ralph Jean-Marie's Disappearance"
From the judges: "This story exemplifies the importance of accountability journalism. The journalist moves beyond the official story from police to point to unexplored paths — and then delivers the evidence-driven story in a way that cannot be ignored."

Education Reporting
Alison Novak & Courtney Lamdin, PCBs at Burlington High School
From the judges: "While the subject matter can be technical, the writers took great pains to make the information clear and understandable. An impressive effort on a huge community story."

Environmental Reporting
Kevin McCallum, "Beekeepers Worry Pesticide-Treated Seeds Contribute to Hive Deaths"

Environmental Reporting
Margaret Grayson, "The Vermont Wild Bee Survey Finds and Identifies Hundreds of Species"
From the judges: "The stories feature solid reporting on a vitally important issue that threatens the food chain — as well as steps that officials are considering in order to deal with the issue."

Food Page or Section
Jordan Barry, Melissa Pasanen & Sally Pollak, Food + Drink section, March 3, 2021
From the judges: "This is local food journalism at its best: Timely, inclusive and compelling."


Government Reporting
Courtney Lamdin, Colin Flanders & Sasha Goldstein, "Dodson Plagiarized Portions of Report on Burlington Police Transformation"
From the judges: "Seven Days delivers a textbook example of excellent enterprise reporting, uncovering plagiarized passages of a "blue ribbon" report on police reform. This story should hang in every newsroom as an example of what municipal reporters can (and should) do."

Investigative /Enterprise Reporting
Derek Brouwer, "Investors With Questionable Records Want to Buy Five Vermont Nursing Homes. Will the State Let Them?"

Local Election Coverage
Courtney Lamdin, Burlington's Mayoral Race

Obituaries
Colin Flanders, "COVID-19 Claims a Hardwick Couple Married for Nearly 68 Years"

Arts & Entertainment Reporting
Dan Bolles, "Banjo Great Gordon Stone Celebrated With Posthumous Album"
From the judges: "A good feature can lead the reader to learn something, to become more appreciative of a subject or genre — and in rare occasions open a door to a whole new level of appreciation of a particular art form or subject they never knew, understood, or heard of before. This writer accomplishes all three in this informative, easy reading tribute that probably helped expose the subject to new audiences in his own home state and neighborhood."

Reporting on Religious Issues
Chelsea Edgar, "In Enforcing Pandemic Precautions, Vermont Treads Lightly in Houses of Worship"

Entertainment Video
Eva Sollberger, "Winter Dipping With Katharine Montstream and the Red Hot Chilly Dippers"
From the judges: "Beautifully shot and captures the intensity of this community of dippers."
Feature Video
Eva Sollberger, "Founders Hall on Saint Michael's Campus Is Selectively Dismantled"

News Video
Eva Sollberger, "Stuck in Vermont: The Tran Family Patriarch Gets Vaccinated"

Sports Video
Eva Sollberger, "Stuck in Vermont: 'American Ninja Warrior' Amir Malik Trains in Essex"

Headline Writing
Seven Days staff

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Monday, October 18, 2021

United Therapeutics CEO Martine Rothblatt and Beta Technologies Founder/CEO Kyle Clark to Speak In Person at Vermont Tech Jam

Posted By on Mon, Oct 18, 2021 at 8:30 PM

Martine Rothblatt and Kyle Clark - ©ANDRE CHUNG (ROTHBLATT)
  • ©Andre Chung (Rothblatt)
  • Martine Rothblatt and Kyle Clark

Vermont startup Beta Technologies has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to fund its drive to pioneer electric aviation. On Saturday, October 23, Beta founder and CEO Kyle Clark and its first customer, Martine Rothblatt, CEO of United Therapeutics, will speak in person during a special keynote presentation at the end of the 2021 Vermont Tech Jam.

About Beta and Kyle Clark

Based at Burlington International Airport, Beta Technologies is trying to do something that’s never been done before: manufacture a fleet of battery-powered aircraft capable of transporting people and cargo, and design the battery-charging infrastructure to support it.

Hundreds of companies around the world are racing to build battery-powered planes; air travel is a significant source of the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change. Beta is one of the leaders of the pack. It has already received orders for planes from customers including United Parcel Service, aka UPS.

Vermont native Kyle Clark founded Beta in 2017. He’s a pilot, engineer and former hockey pro who had a vision for an electric aircraft that could take off and land like a helicopter, then fly like a fixed-wing plane. One of the company’s other competitive advantages? Martine Rothblatt, Beta’s first customer, who now serves as one of the company’s directors.

About Martine Rothblatt

Rothblatt has been blazing trails for decades. A regulatory attorney, she cofounded Sirius Satellite Radio and helped develop the technology that made it possible. In 2013, she was the highest-paid female CEO in the U.S., earning $38 million. She’s also a pioneer in the field of digitizing human consciousness. The ambassador for her efforts in that realm, Vermont-based Terasem Movement Foundation, is a robot, Bina48, created using the downloaded memories of her wife, Bina.

In the 1990s, one of the couple’s daughters was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension, a fatal disease. In an effort to save her daughter’s life, Rothblatt researched possible treatments and started a biotech firm, United Therapeutics, to pursue them. Today the company sells five FDA-approved medicines that treat the disease; her daughter now works for the company.

Still, the only cure for the disease is a lung transplant, and there’s a severe shortage of available organs. So United Therapeutics plans to manufacture them. To deliver the organs to recipients in time, the company needs a special kind of aircraft. That’s where Beta comes in.

A July 31 Bloomberg Businessweek article about Rothblatt and her quest outlines the challenges and Martine’s extraordinary background as a lawyer and a trans woman who came out in her forties. The story quotes Liana Moussatos, an analyst at an investment firm, who’s been tracking Rothblatt’s work. “Martine is a different kind of person in general,” said Moussatos. “Once she has her mind set on something, she’s going to figure it out.”

In a special keynote presentation, Seven Days writer Chelsea Edgar will moderate an in-person conversation between Clark and Rothblatt about how they met, what led them to work together, and how their unique partnership has the potential to change Vermont — and the world.

More than 40 local employers will be hiring at the Tech Jam, which takes place at Hula, a lakeside tech campus in Burlington. The job fair portion of the event runs from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., and 1:30-3:30 p.m. Beta Technologies will also be hiring at the event. Tech Jam attendees can try its MobileDome flight simulator, which will be parked outside Hula.

The presentation begins at 4 p.m., and requires a ticket for Session #2 of the Tech Jam, $10 in advance, $15 on the day of the event. A reception will follow with light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Register for the event, and find more information, including a list of Tech Jam exhibitors, at techjamvt.com.

Masks will be required indoors at the Tech Jam in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Local Employers Recruit and Reconnect — in Person — at the 2021 Vermont Tech Jam

Posted By on Fri, Sep 24, 2021 at 10:55 AM

COURTESY
  • Courtesy
Find a great job, meet collaborators and be inspired at the 2021 Vermont Tech Jam. This annual career and tech expo, powered by Seven Days newspaper, is back — in person, and in Burlington — on Saturday, October 23, at the new Hula lakeside tech campus.

Dozens of local startups and technology companies will be exhibiting and hiring, including:

The Tech Jam takes place at Hula, a former oven factory that has been renovated into a net-zero office and coworking facility powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Hula is also a sponsor of the event, along with Mascoma Bank, Coldwell Banker & Hickok and Boardman, Norwich University and the Vermont Technology Council.
Martine Rothblatt and Kyle Clark - © ANDRE CHUNG / COURTESY OF BETA
  • © Andre Chung / Courtesy of BETA
  • Martine Rothblatt and Kyle Clark
This year’s event is divided into two sessions. Admission is free for the first session, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. A ticket for session two, from 1:30 to 6 p.m., costs $10 and includes the keynote presentation: an interview with BETA CEO Kyle Clark and BETA adviser and client Martine Rothblatt, entrepreneur, futurist and CEO of United Therapeutics. The pair will discuss how their partnership evolved, and how it’s transforming the field of electric aviation.  (Note: Rothblatt was previously scheduled to appear virtually, but will now be presenting in person.)

Tech Jam organizers are encouraging attendees to be vaccinated and will be following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention masking guidelines for indoor events. For more information, tickets and registration, visit techjamvt.com.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Seven Days Wins 25 Awards in Regional Media Competition

Posted By on Fri, Apr 23, 2021 at 5:12 PM

click image Photo of Riverbank Church, featured in the story, "Good News? Evangelicals Are 'Planting' Dozens of Churches in Vermont's Rocky Soil" - COURTESY OF CHRIS GOEPPNER
  • COURTESY OF CHRIS GOEPPNER
  • Photo of Riverbank Church, featured in the story, "Good News? Evangelicals Are 'Planting' Dozens of Churches in Vermont's Rocky Soil"
Seven Days, Vermont’s free, independent newsweekly, won nine first-place awards in this year’s New England Better Newspaper Competition — including top honors in investigative, history, social issue and religious issue reporting. The paper also won nine second-place and seven third-place awards — 25 total.

The contest is organized by the New England Newspaper & Press Association; winners were announced at NENPA’s annual convention — held virtually this year — on April 8. This competition is the largest and most comprehensive journalism recognition program in New England.

Seven Days’ first-place awards included:

  • Investigative Reporting: “Guarded Secrets: Claims of Sexual Misconduct, Drug Use Plague a Vermont Prison for Women” by Paul Heintz
  • Arts and Entertainment Reporting: “Public Libraries Adapt to the 21st Century … and Uphold Democracy” by Seven Days staff
  • History Reporting: “Refugee Who Survived the 'Voyage of the Damned' Says 'People Haven't Learned Anything'” by Colin Flanders
  • Excellence in Newsroom Collaboration: “Worse for Care” by Derek Brouwer and Andrea Suozzo
  • Social Issue Feature: “HOWLing at the Moon: A Women's Collective Grapples With a Gender-Fluid Future” by Chelsea Edgar
  • Reporting on Religious Issue: “Good News? Evangelicals Are 'Planting' Dozens of Churches in Vermont's Rocky Soil” by Chelsea Edgar
  • Headline Writing: Seven Days Staff
  • Sports Video: “Stuck in Vermont: Green Mountain Athletic Association 10K in Scenic Charlotte” by Eva Sollberger
  • Feature Video: “Stuck in Vermont: The Downes Family Recovers From COVID-19” by Eva Sollberger

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Keep The Kids Busy Over Winter Break With the Good Citizen At-Home Challenge

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2020 at 10:30 AM

Good Citizens with Gov. Phil Scott at the Statehouse in March, 2019. - JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
  • Good Citizens with Gov. Phil Scott at the Statehouse in March, 2019.
Looking for fun, educational projects to keep the kids busy over winter break? Help them take the Good Citizen At-Home Challenge!

This statewide youth civics initiative is organized by Burlington-based Seven Days newspaper and its parenting publication, Kids VT, with support from the Vermont Community Foundation. Since 2018, the Good Citizen Challenge has encouraged young Vermonters to learn about history, government and news literacy, as well as ways they can pitch in to help out their communities.
Sophia Oszurek with a colorful sign made to cheer up neighbors and passersby - MARY JANE OSZUREK
  • Mary Jane Oszurek
  • Sophia Oszurek with a colorful sign made to cheer up neighbors and passersby


Adult-child teams are encouraged in the new Challenge, which launched December 9. It includes more than 40 activities designed for this pandemic winter — many of them provided by Good Citizen partners. Participants choose which activities to do. All of them can be completed at home or from a safe social distance.

At-Home Challenge activities include:
  • Listening to episodes of VPR’s “But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids” and "Brave Little State," as well as “Before Your Time,” a podcast from the Vermont Historical Society and Vermont Humanities
  • Shoveling snow for neighbors
  • Reading five articles in a local newspaper
  • Making a poster for Green Up Day
  • Organizing a donation drive for a local charity using Front Porch Forum
  • Streaming films including The Social Dilemma, Boys State, Coded Bias, Ethan 2018 and The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords

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Monday, December 7, 2020

Seven Days Wins “Newspaper of the Year” Recognition in Regional Media Competition

Posted By on Mon, Dec 7, 2020 at 10:09 AM

JAMES BUCK
  • James Buck
Seven Days, Vermont’s free, independent newsweekly, is a New England Newspaper of the Year. The paper bested dozens of other regional large-circulation newsweeklies in a competition organized by the New England Newspaper & Press Association. The results were announced in a virtual award ceremony last month.

The judges were impressed by the ”tremendous amount of content” in Seven Days — both in print and online — and praised everything from the presentation of obituaries to the web design and navigation. “I could spend hours on the site!” one observed.

As for story selection, another noted, “They appear to cover stories that are controversial and that other papers may not cover. Lots of … important local issues but also interesting and thought-provoking articles.” The judges hailed the paper’s hallmark feature stories, food and drink section and “extensive coverage of all types of entertainment."

Asked what struck them most about Seven Days, the judges answered; “The investigative reporting;” “Tons of ads and classifieds;” “The amount of content;” and “I would read this every week.”

The recognition is well-timed, according to Seven Days publisher Paula Routly. “Everyone on the team can celebrate this one,” she said, “and that’s just what we all need to keep going in this pandemic.”

Seven Days also received two “Publick Occurrences’” awards in the competition — named after America’s first newspaper in 1690 Boston. NENPA presents up to 16 Publick Occurrences awards annually for “the very best work that New England newspapers produce each year.”

The judges selected "Worse for Care," a joint investigation by Seven Days and Vermont Public Radio that exposed safety violations in Vermont’s state-regulated eldercare facilities. One judge noticed the “smart and convincing reporting and editing” in the series, produced by VPR’s Emily Corwin and Mark Davis, and Seven Days’ Derek Brouwer, Matthew Roy, Candace Page, Andrea Suozzo and James Buck.

The second award went to "Guarded Secrets," an investigation into Vermont’s prison system written by Paul Heintz. One judge called it “a top-notch investigative report.”

Monday, October 19, 2020

Seven Days Wins Five First-Place Awards in National Media Competitions

Posted on Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 7:11 PM

Seven Days, Vermont’s free, independent newsweekly, won four first-place awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia in a virtual ceremony on September 18. One of the winning entries, a joint project with Vermont Public Radio about Vermont’s state-licensed assisted living and residential care homes, received a national Edward R. Murrow award for investigative reporting from the Radio Television Digital News Association on October 10.
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The AAN Awards recognize the most artful, compelling and courageous journalism produced each year by the alternative newsmedia. AAN member publications from cities like Austin, Chicago, Boston and Burlington compete against each other. This year’s contest included entries submitted by 55 publications in the U.S., Canada and Norway.

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Seven Days and Vermont Public Radio Win 2020 National Edward R. Murrow Award For Investigative Reporting

Posted on Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 2:18 PM

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Vermont Public Radio and Seven Days have won a 2020 National Edward R. Murrow award for their 2019 series “Worse For Care,” a joint investigation into Vermont’s assisted living and residential care homes for the elderly. The award for Investigative Reporting in the Small Market Radio Division was presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association on October 10.

“It’s an honor to win for a collaborative journalism project that pulled together the best reporting, editing and data skills at our two organizations,” said Sarah Ashworth, VPR’s vice president of news. “By working together we were able to do something much larger in scale than we would have been able to do alone. It’s a good reminder that when two organizations set aside competitive pressures and work toward a common goal, we can have a big impact.”

VPR and Seven Days reporters obtained five and a half years’ worth of complaints and state inspections, detailed in thousands of pages of documents. The series revealed troubling patterns of inadequate care that led to dozens of injuries and indignities, and at least five deaths.

“Worse for Care” was produced by Emily Corwin and Mark Davis of VPR, and Derek Brouwer, Matthew Roy, Candace Page, Andrea Suozzo and James Buck of Seven Days. In addition to a series of print, digital and on-air stories over four weeks, the project included Vermont Elder Care Navigator, a searchable database at eldercare.sevendaysvt.com, built by Suozzo, Seven Days data editor, and populated by the project team.
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"This project was months in the making," said Seven Days news editor Matthew Roy. "In November 2018, both of our newsrooms reported that the State of Vermont had seized control of three eldercare facilities from an out-of-state owner after food shortages and financial problems. That's what prompted Andrea Suozzo to file our initial public records requests in January 2019. Unlike nursing homes, which are regulated by the federal government, Vermont's eldercare facilities are monitored by the state and the recordkeeping discourages public scrutiny. This series helped shed light on the cracks in the system, and made the state's inspection reports readily accessible. It also familiarized our newsrooms with these issues — knowledge that has helped us cover the coronavirus pandemic."

Since 1971, RTDNA has been honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast and digital journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards. Among the most prestigious in news, the Murrow Awards recognize local and national news stories that uphold the RTDNA Code of Ethics, demonstrate technical expertise and exemplify the importance and impact of journalism as a service to the community. Murrow Award-winning work demonstrates the excellence that Edward R. Murrow made a standard for the broadcast news profession. A full list of 2020 award winners is available here.

In addition to the Murrow Award, “Worse For Care” won an Association of Alternative Newsmedia award — first place in the Innovation category. Find a full list of 2020 award winners here. The AAN awards recognize the most artful, compelling and courageous journalism produced each year by the alternative newsmedia. AAN member publications vary in size and circulation; publications such as the Austin Chronicle, Chicago Reader and Seven Days compete against each other. This year’s competition consisted of entries submitted by 55 publications in the U.S., Canada and Norway.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Slideshow: We've Covered a Lot of People in 25 Years

Posted on Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 4:23 PM

Seven Days has found plenty of fascinating characters tucked away in these Green Mountains and valley s over the past 25 years. On the road less traveled, which inevitably turns to dirt, we’ve turned up a tornado chaser, two Vermont Supreme Court justices and the first female football coach in NCAA Division 1 history — at Dartmouth College. Almost all of them were eager to talk about their lives and work.

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One exception: Republican strategist Stuart Stevens resisted Seven Days for two years before finally agreeing to be profiled. In a 2017 cover story titled “GOP Refugee,” Paul Heintz wrote 5,000 words explaining the “Trump-bashing, ad-making, novel-writing adrenaline junkie” who worked on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign — and four other White House races. After the 2016 election, Stevens retreated to Vermont to “lick his wounds” and ponder his next moves.

Three years later, his Stowe home has become a film set for powerful television ads for the Lincoln Project, in which a former Navy SEAL calls out President Donald Trump for cowardice and worse. In his new book, It Was All a Lie, Stevens describes Trump as a “traitor.”

Political operatives, poets and professors. Entrepreneurs, attorneys and activists. When you read about a Vermonter in Seven Days, you get the full story of a life. Our reporters spend weeks researching and interviewing their subjects, and that includes speaking to other people, friends and foes, about them. Does a person’s background and experience predict their passions? Their successes and failures? Reading about others gets at the heart of human nature and, in the hands of a good writer, reveals something about ourselves.

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If you appreciate Seven Days’ in-depth profiles of Vermont people and can afford to help us financially, please become a Super Reader.

For the past 25 years, our local media company has depended almost entirely on advertising revenue from local enterprises to pay the bills. Since March, COVID-19 has severely challenged that business model.

To thrive for another 25, we need your help. Can you cover us?

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Video: Seven Days Celebrates Its 25th Birthday With 'Pass it On'

Posted on Wed, Sep 9, 2020 at 3:20 PM

For the past 25 years, our local media company has covered news, arts, music, food and culture in Vermont. To celebrate the milestone, we asked Seven Days staffers, local celebs and one lucky Super Reader to "pass it on" in this video by Eva Sollberger. It features lots of familiar faces and an original song from the Seven Days house band Enemy of the People.


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