From Taran Catania ’13:
Interested in coming on Ski Week, the annual Wesleyan ski and snowboard trip to Jay Peak, VT? Of course you are! Come to the info session, where we’ll be giving out the details on this year’s voyage up to Grampa Grunts for the last week of winter break (January 13-18, 2013).
After we talk about Ski Week, we’ll be having a meeting for anyone interested in joining Wesleyan’s Ski Team. No alpine racing experience necessary, but you should feel competent on skis – and if you have any racing experience, you should definitely head our way. And new this year: our race league will now be holding a freestyle competition for both skiers and snowboarders, as well as racing for snowboarders.
Have questions? Interested in either ski week or ski team but can’t make the meeting? Email us at wesleyanskiteam(at)gmail(dot)com.
Date: Tomorrow, October 25
Place: Exley 150
Beer, biking, and the great state of Vermont. Most of my deepest fantasies involve at least two of those delights. Wesleyan alumni and all-around bodacious dudes Greg Brodsky ’99 and Scott Cavanaugh ’99 apparently dream in a similar language, which is why they’ve taken it upon themselves to plan and, later this month, lead a “Vermont Bike and Brewery Challenge,” also known as “Pretty Much The Greatest Thing Ever.” Eric Swack ’14, who’s also involved (intergenerational Wesleyan bonding, here we come!), writes in with some of the key details:
Wes alums Greg Brodsky ’99 and Scott Cavanaugh ’99 are organizing a bike tour of Vermont breweries this August, run through Scott’s Mount Major Adventures. Vermont is a premier destination for both cycling, with its tranquil county roads, as well as beer, as it boasts the most breweries per capita of any state. We will visit over half of the breweries in the state, including The Alchemist, makers of the renowned Heady Topper! The trip runs August 25 – 29, and participants are welcome to join for as much or as little of the ride as they please, so join them for a day, a weekend or the full experience. The trip is free, so you do have to buy your own beer. Lodging and other info can be found on the site here.
“Bad Island” writer and multi-band mastermind Ben Bernstein ’10, sometimes known as B C B, sends in yet another homespun music video from the Wes/Brooklyn industrial complex. This one’s for “The Bad Man,” a mesmerizing and bizarre track by freak-folky Bennington College artist Trevor Wilson, who records with a vocal ensemble. Filmed in Crown Heights and BedStuy, the video employs a handful of fittingly creepy images, including facial closeups and a charismatic rabbit. Bernstein, who directed, writes:
“The Bad Man” is a song by Trevor Wilson about getting your identity taken. These Bennington folks make cool music. I felt that this song was about being so upset that it just kind of becomes beautiful… that a human can feel anything that much.
Brian Papish ’10 was DP and Andrew Gladstone ’11 also shot some of it. Hope you guys enjoy it/aren’t vegetarian.
The humans in the video are all Bennington students or alums, though Bernstein adds: “Filming a hunting-heat seeking python while holding a warm light was a lotta fun.” For more of Bernstein’s recent work, see “PRISM.”
Wesleyan alumnus Peter Shumlin ’79, the sitting Democratic Governor of Vermont, mounted a daring rescue of his bird-feeders in the face of staunch opposition represented by four bears on Wednesday night. As he was falling asleep at his home in the Vermont capital Montpelier, a group of blackbears entered the area and began assaulting his bird-feeders, hoping to capture the tasty birdseed held within. Unarmed and slightly groggy, Shumlin shouted at the bears to scare them off but upon the bears’ repeated return was forced to remove the bird-feeders from their vulnerable tactical position and secure them within the safety of his house. The bears put up stiff and aggressive resistance: “I was within three feet of getting ‘arrrh'” Shumlin stated afterwards. “You almost lost the governor. Security was not there.”
Nevertheless, Shumlin did manage to safely recover most of the bird-seed and the feeders, and was not harmed. He may now continue his bird-feeding hobby, which he says remains his “only connection to nature” while in the city. Vermont’s Fish and Wildlife Department, however, has urged homeowners throughout the state not to use bird-feeders at this time of year, citing the general abundance of food for birds and the attractiveness of birdseed to bears coming out of hibernation. The full story can be found here on Vemont Public Radio.
Nearly a year ago, we reported on an impressive number of Wes alums elected to congressional and gubernatorial office in the midterm elections of 2010. Among the notables was Peter Shumlin ’79, a former Vermont state senator from Putney who attended Wesleyan in the same class year as President Roth and later helped found Vermont’s Landmark College, one of only two colleges in the country designed for students with learning disabilities. Shumlin, a 55-year-old Democrat, had won the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor back in 2002, but that didn’t quite work out.
In 2010, Shumlin sought the highest office in Vermont and won, receiving 117,561 votes to Brian Dubies’ 113,227. The governor’s priorities in the first months of his term remain largely faithful to his campaign promises: reforming Vermont’s health care system and seeking to close the state’s Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.
Until last week, that is. Hurricane Irene ravaged through southern and central Vermont last weekend, destroying homes, killing at least three, and leaving a startling number of towns without electricity, phones, or adequate food supplies. Thrust suddenly into the national spotlight while dealing with Vermont’s worst national disaster in over 80 years, the freshman governor has proven himself an inspired leader in a state with relatively little experience in disaster management.
No, it’s not an awkward thing to do. Not when you’re in Middlebury, as The Hidden Ivies claims Wesleyan is. It’s clearly a mistake–towns and burys–because they seem to know we’re in central Connecticut (I’ll let you judge for yourselves if we’re safe, have a fair amount of off-campus social and commercial opportunities, and have easy access to those cities listed). Or maybe all liberal arts colleges really are the same?
Either way, the weather forecast gives reason to be somewhat grateful we’re in Middletown, CT and not Middlebury, VT. The (upgraded) Winter Storm Warning for us seems to indicate we’ll get some PSafe emails: [Updates in bold]
- HAZARDS… HEAVY SNOW… SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN.
- ACCUMULATIONS… 7 TO 12 INCHES OF SNOW ACCUMULATION… LOCALLY HIGHER IN ORANGE COUNTY… AND UP TO A HALF AN INCH OF ICE ACCUMULATION BY LATE WEDNESDAY.
- IMPACTS… TRAVEL WILL BE IMPACTED TUESDAY THROUGH AT LEAST WEDNESDAY EVENING. SNOW AND ICE ACCUMULATIONS WILL MAKE FOR DANGEROUS TRAVEL. ICE ACCUMULATIONS WILL LIKELY KNOCK DOWN TREE LIMBS AND POWER LINES.
- …ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY… (Grounds for closing school tomorrow please?)
Even just the snowfall at Middlebury is greater according to the Winter Storm Warning for them:
8 TO 14 INCHES ACROSS THE CHAMPLAIN AND SAINT LAWRENCE VALLEYS WITH 12 TO 20 INCHES ELSEWHERE.
So recently Vermont’s House of Representatives and Senate both voted to pass a bill to legalize gay marriage. In that vote, the House results were 95-52. Governor Jim Douglas, however, vetoed the bill when it got to his office. Today, the House voted 100-49 to override the veto and pass the bill into law (the veto had already been overridden in Vermont’s Senate 26-4). With that, Vermont becomes the first state to allow gay marriage through legislative action. The law will take effect in September. This news comes a few days after Iowa also began to allow gay marriage; on Friday the Iowa Supreme Court voided a state law banning same-sex marriages.
The discussion in Vermont was particularly personal; “gay and lesbian lawmakers took to the House floor last Thursday and told their own personal love stories.”* I can’t say I have been following this closely, so I will refrain from saying anything more than that it seems Vermont has taken a big step in the fight for equal rights for same-sex couples and, while opponents will probably continue to fight against marraige equality in Vermont, the significance of the law passing though the legislature, not the courts, likely a sign of more equality in the future.
For more coverage of the battle over same-sex marriage, check out:
*The news report on Vermont’s legislation
The news report on the Iowa Court Ruling
The NYTimes Topics Page for Same-Sex Marriage
Congrats to all the same-sex couples in Vermont who will now have the opportunity to wed.