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  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1118.
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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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Between the Lines: Bob Dylan hiding in plain sight

Posted on July 25, 2013 |
By Greg Dennis



The Dylan tickets arrived in the mail a couple weeks before last Sunday’s show at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. I’d spent a ridiculous amount of money to get the best seats.

Dylan is 72 and he’s been a smoker forever and survived a weird heart ailment. So if you’re a fan, you always have to wonder if the next Dylan show you see will be the last one.

And having seen him perform in hayfields, outdoor venues, and cavernous basketball arenas, I wanted just once to see him up close.

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Greg Dennis: Making a wish list for spring

Posted on May 2, 2013 |
By Gregory Dennis



My current springtime list of things to do starts with this small mountain:

•  Buy electric lawnmower.

•  Mow grass the thickness of dreadlocks.

•  Regret that I didn’t buy a bigger electric lawnmower.

•  Try to remember where I stored my bicycle and summer car tires.

•  Send fly rod for repairs after I jammed it in a car window.

•  Buy new fishing waders to replace the ones that balloon into fat-man pants every time I step into a river.

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Between the Lines: Farming Vermont for wind power

Posted on April 18, 2013 |
By Greg Dennis



Sometimes it seems like environmentalists have put themselves on such a state of red alert that we can’t see a good thing when it’s right in front of us.

We’re so used to fighting every inappropriate intrusion upon Mother Earth, that even the idea of using wind to provide electrical power can seem like a threat.

So when they could be organizing to support alternative energy sources such as wind farms, a few environmentalists have decided that because wind power, like any energy source, has some small drawbacks, wind is a bad idea altogether.

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Between the Lines: In D.C., climate voices for the future

Posted on February 21, 2013 |
By Greg Dennis



Most Americans have never joined a political demonstration.

That’s too bad. Because as I was reminded again last Sunday while joining yet another demonstration, it can be tons of fun.

The rally this time was “Forward on Climate,” a boisterous gathering in Washington, D.C., of 35,000 people, who called on President Obama to block the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The future of the pipeline is up to Obama because it would cross the Canada-U.S. border to bring the dirtiest oil on the planet from Alberta to refineries in the southern U.S.

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Between the Lines: On climate, divestment as investment

Posted on January 24, 2013 |
By Gregory Dennis



There’s an esoteric-sounding word echoing across campuses and board rooms this winter.

Like many colleges and universities across the country, Middlebury College is suddenly facing demands from students, faculty and alumni about “divestment”: withdrawing investments from companies whose primary business is the production and sale of fossil fuels. UVM is facing similar demands.

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Between the Lines: Tar sands and Town Meeting Day

Posted on January 10, 2013 |
By Greg Dennis



Vermont town meeting is traditionally a forum for issues that are local and often relatively small — how much money to spend on mosquito control, for example.

But sometimes the matters brought to town meeting are global and large. Many towns, for example, voiced their opposition to the continuing war in Iraq in 2005.

This year, a number of Vermont towns will be considering another big question with global implications: Should they go on record as opposing a proposal to pipe highly polluting “tar sands” oil through Vermont?

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Between the Lines: Tar sands and Town Meeting Day

Posted on January 10, 2013 |
By Greg Dennis



Vermont town meeting is traditionally a forum for issues that are local and often relatively small — how much money to spend on mosquito control, for example.

But sometimes the matters brought to town meeting are global and large. Many towns, for example, voiced their opposition to the continuing war in Iraq in 2005.

This year, a number of Vermont towns will be considering another big question with global implications: Should they go on record as opposing a proposal to pipe highly polluting “tar sands” oil through Vermont?

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Between the Lines: Books: My picks and pans of 2012

Posted on December 27, 2012 |
By Greg Dennis



There are few things as boring as a dinner party where the dominant subject of discussion is what movies we’ve all seen. We’re all just casual moviegoers offering up pablum about how great Meryl Streep is and wasn’t the scenery pretty.

But a dinner gathering where the discussion turns to books? That’s my kind of party.

A conversation like that forces us to actually use our brains. To offer an informed view of why the novel we just finished was so remarkable, or what was lacking in the memoir that preceded it.

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Between the Lines: Christmas for Christians - and Jews, too?

Posted on December 13, 2012 |
By Gregory Dennis



Is Christmas a Christian holiday?

Maybe the people who keep urging us to put the Christ back in Christmas have a point. At a time when a growing number of Americans identify with no religious institution, we’ve lost much of the holiday’s religious value.

But many historians believe the historical Jesus was born in the spring. The timing and some of the rituals of modern-day Christmas (e.g., the tree hauled in from the forest) appropriate pagan, solstice celebrations for the purposes of the dominant religious paradigm of our time.

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