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Greg Dennis: Early days at the Valley Voice

Posted on August 14, 2014 |
By Gregory Dennis



You’d have to be a little crazy to start a weekly newspaper in rural Vermont today. The economics just aren’t there.

You also had to be crazy to start a weekly paper here 40 years ago. But that didn’t stop a bunch of us from doing so, when we launched the Valley Voice in the summer of 1974.

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Greg Dennis: Diagnosing a case of summer fever

Posted on June 25, 2014 |
By Gregory Dennis



Case Number: 12345

Patient: G. Dennis

Age: 61, going on 10

Primary symptoms: Smiles far too often. Breathes deeply of the June breeze. Prone to random, pointless walks outdoors. Delusions about the length of the current season.

Dear Dr. Freud:

I write to refer to you a patient, a Mr. G. Dennis, whose ailments are too serious for me to deal with as a psychotherapist. I trust him to your care in hopes your methods can help this poor soul.

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Greg Dennis: Growing the $3,000 tomato

Posted on May 29, 2014 |
By Gregory Dennis



This is the story of the thousand-dollar tomato.

Or, “How Our Hero (I Use the Word Loosely), an Inexperienced Gardener with More Money than Sense, Started His Garden Late, and Expensively.”

It all began not with the need for a garden, but for a vacation. The annual mid-summer escape to Maine was a distant dream when I began casting about for something to break up the work months between Christmas and August.

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Greg Dennis: Lasting, local steps toward divestment

Posted on April 16, 2014 |
By Gregory Dennis



It’s one thing to launch a national political movement. It’s another and much larger challenge to see it gain momentum.

Remember Beyond War? Remember the Million Man March? Me neither.

So the growing success of the national movement for fossil fuel divestment is all the more impressive. Launched just a couple years ago by 350.org (which itself originated on the Middlebury College campus), the divestment campaign has proven it has staying power.

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Greg Dennis: College-town collaboration is a winner

Posted on April 2, 2014 |
By Gregory Dennis



Every year after Town Meeting Day, Vermonters get an interesting glimpse at what we “really” think about some controversial statewide issues. That glimpse comes courtesy of State Sen. William Doyle’s survey distributed at many town meetings.

This year’s findings are worth noting on several counts, from legal weed to wind power. But before we consider those statewide issues, let’s first turn to some local ones.

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Gregory Dennis: Remembering the 'lost' ski areas

Posted on March 19, 2014 |
By Gregory Dennis



When the definitive history of Vermont is written, skiing may not be much more than a footnote.

But the New England Lost Ski Areas Project ensures it will be a lively footnote. And the project reminds us that skiing is an inextricable part of the history of Vermont and even Addison County.

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Gregory Dennis: Town office plan – cussed and discussed

Posted on March 4, 2014 | Blog Category:
By Gregory Dennis



Former Middlebury town planner Fred Dunnington sent along photos taken in the tropics with the underwater camera he got as a retirement present this past summer. With the temperature on Monday night hovering at zero, selectboard Chairman Dean George said at Middlebury’s town meeting he was glad someone was enjoying warm weather somewhere.

Dennis Cassidy asked the moderator, former Gov. Jim Douglas, if he was ready to declare he was running for governor again. Douglas dryly quipped that Cassidy was “out of order on many fronts.”

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Greg Dennis: Remembering the granddaddy of holidays

Posted on December 24, 2013 |
By Gregory Dennis



There’s an old saying that you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.

To which I would add that while you can take the boy out of Christmas — you can turn him into a non-Christian, tree-hugging dirt worshipper — you can’t take the Christmas out of the boy.

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Dismantling the myth of JFK’s Camelot

Posted on November 14, 2013 | Blog Category:
By Gregory Dennis



We all remember where we were when we heard the news.

I was in Miss Howard’s classroom.

It’s funny the little things you recall from 50 years ago. Miss Howard was young, pretty and friendly. But she was overweight, and everyone knew she would have a hard time finding a husband.

My classmates and I spent the time before and after school that fall playing touch football, and arguing about whether the ball carrier had actually been touched with two hands or just one.

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Gregory Dennis: The union drive by Porter nurses

Posted on October 31, 2013 |
By Gregory Dennis



Running a healthcare system such as Porter Medical Center is no easy job these days.

In addition to managing a budget of $69.8 million amid the continuing pressure to keep costs down, there is the looming prospect of cuts in Medicare payments and the uncertainties of a fluctuating patient population.

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