August 21, 2014

Girls lacrosse team seeks first win (4/23/09)

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April 23, 2009

Coach Julie Sloan and her Champlain Valley Union High girls lacrosse team will be eying their first victory of the campaign Saturday when they entertain the Rutland High Red Raiders at 11 a.m.

The youthful Redhawks are off to an 0-2 start following a 15-6 loss last Wednesday to defending state champion Middlebury Union and an 11-6 defeat Friday at Burlington High.

Junior Erika Gobeille and sophomore Lizzy Betz each knocked in a pair of goals in the Burlington game while sophomore Amanda Kinneston and junior Hillary Reichert added singletons.

Goalie Micheala Gobeille had eight saves.

In the Middlebury contest, Gillian Shelley, Michaela Cornbrooks, Erika Gobeille and Kinneston had the CVU scores.

— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent

 

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High scoring CVU boys lacrosse team heads south (4/23/09)

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April 23, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

With 44 goals in the scoring column and a 4-0 record in tow, the Champlain Valley Union High boys lacrosse team rolls south Saturday for an 11 a.m. session with the Red Raiders of Rutland High.

The next home game for the Redhawks is Tuesday, when Mount Mansfield Union High rumbles into Hinesburg for a 4 p.m. start.

Many CVU athletes are away on trips during vacation week, but that may not be a serious problem for coach Dave Trevithick, whose Redhawks have the blessing of depth as some 13 players have contributed to the outpouring of goals.

In last Friday’s 10-5 put away of Burlington High at the CVU field, it was Dean Priest, Wes O’Brien and Peter Hiser each notching a pair of goals, their initial tallies of the season. Max Valentine also scored for the first time.

Leading producers Owen Smith and Nick Hart each scored, as did Jake Marston.

Top point man for CVU is senior Sam Spencer, who lodged nine goals and five assists in the first three contests. Smith now has eight goals and Hart seven.

The Burlington game was not as close as the final score. The Redhawks took a 10-2 lead into the fourth quarter and then eased off the throttle, with the Seahorses chalking up a pair of pointers in the final 90 seconds.

An earlier Burlington score came at the beginning of the second period when CVU drew a three-minute penalty for an illegal stick. The CVU penalty killers limited BHS to three shots and one score during the player-short situation.

One of the defensive plays of the day came minutes later in the quarter, when CVU’s Ben Soll knocked the ball away from a BHS player moving into possible scoring position in front of goalie Eric Palmer. Soll quickly got control of the ball and charged into the Burlington end, where moments later Hart scored his second goal for a 7-2 CVU lead.

Palmer and William Dubuc served time between the pipes, with Palmer racking up seven saves in a little more than three periods.

 

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Fast start for CVU track and field teams (4/23/09)

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April 23, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

After logging solid team victories in their season-opening home meet last Thursday against visiting U-32 and Spaulding High of Barre, the Champlain Valley Union High track team will travel to Colchester High Wednesday for a four-school meet. Rice Memorial High and Middlebury Union are also in the competition.

 


    Observer photo by Karen Pike
Kendall Berry of Champlain Valley Union High launches herself through the air during the pole vault competition at the track meet hosted by the school on April 16.

 


    Observer photo by Karen Pike
Champlain Valley Union High’s James Pieper-Lococo clears a hurdle in the 300-meter race at the track meet held by the school on April 16.

“It was great,” CVU co-coach Eli Enman said of the victory last week.

The Redhawks prevailed in the boys events with 97 points to U-32’s 47 and Spaulding’s 46.

The CVU girls earned 87.5 points to 56.5 for U-32 and 41 for Spaulding.

Leading the boys in the pick ‘em up and lay ‘em down department were brothers Matt and Tony Sulva. Matt Sulva won the 800-meter run in 2-minutes, 5 seconds, with teammates Jason Clairmont and Zak Pete taking second and third.

Tony Sulva triumphed in the 1,500-meter in 4:42.35, Pete grabbing second place.

Matt Sulva then joined Sam Hughes, Pete and Clairmont to cop the 400 relay.

Tony Sulva hooked up with younger brother Chris, Dan Hebert and Josh Olsen for a win in the 800 relay.

“They all had decent times,” said Enman. “But these times will get faster.”

The Redhawks had rare success in the field events, an area Enman says is getting much attention this season.

Anthony Jordick, in his first season and therefore first meet, captured the long jump with 19.04 feet, an effort Enman called “surprising.”

Brayden McKenna won the pole vault and Dale Conger the shot put.

A first time out, first time winner among the girls was freshman Olympia Taheri, who dashed to a victory in the 400-meter scamper.

Emma Reisner won the long jump and took second in the 100-meter dash.

“She had a good day after working very hard over the winter,” Enman said of the versatile Reisner.

Rachel Cross won the 1,500-meter and was second in the 800. She teamed with Kendall Berry, Virginia Farley and Maddy Christian to score a first in the 800 relay.

Haleigh Smith took the 300 hurdles and tied for second place in the high jump.

 

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Education Briefs (4/23/09)

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April 23, 2009

CVU summer camp

Registration is open for the Champlain Valley Union High Summer Camp, which gives incoming freshmen a taste of life at the high school.

Former and current CVU students serve as counselors, and work with Camp Director Duncan Wardwell to provide activities centered on 12 interest areas. The areas include academic, artistic, athletic and technological options for the rising ninth graders. Campers choose three interest areas in which to participate.

Larger, group activities also take place during morning attendance, snack and lunch times.

The camp has two sessions: Session I takes place July 6-9 and 13-16; Session II occurs July 20-23 and 27-30. Both sessions run from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. each day. Space is available in both sessions and in all interest areas. Each session costs $280, or campers can enroll in both sessions for $500.

For more information, visit www.cvuhs.org, e-mail Wardwell at [email protected] or call 482-7194.

CVU reunion

The Champlain Valley Union High School class of 1969 is planning its 40th reunion for Aug. 1. The event will be held at Bolton Valley Resort. For more information, contact Jeff Isham at [email protected] or Rob Schryer at [email protected]

 

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Frameworks Committee returns to configuration work (4/23/09)

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Some parents push to keep current configuration

April 23, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

The Williston Conceptual Frameworks Committee reconvened last Thursday to continue devising options for what could become a drastically revised school district.

Specifically, the committee discussed reconfiguring the district by putting kindergarten through third grade at Allen Brook School, and fourth through eighth grades at Williston Central School.

At the same time, parents and teachers of students in the lower houses of Williston Central are asking the School Board and Frameworks Committee not to make major changes to the current system. They have advocated that Williston is a much stronger school district with first through eighth graders under one roof, a setup that now exists at Williston Central.

The committee’s new work came at the behest of the School Board, which asked the group to continue discussions after listening to its recommendations for a different configuration. School Board and Frameworks Committee member Laura Gigliotti proposed investigating a different configuration than what was proposed at an April 6 School Board meeting.

On April 6, the committee recommended putting all first through fourth grade students at Allen Brook, and housing pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and fifth through eighth grade at Williston Central. This option will continue to be considered by the committee as it develops a variety of grade span configurations within the newer option.

In its future meetings, per the School Board’s direction, the committee will not discuss the current school configuration. This will effectively ensure a building configuration change if the School Board adopts the Frameworks Committee’s final recommendations.

Parents and teachers of Williston Central’s Pinnacle House and Lighthouse are hoping the School Board will reconsider; a petition with more than 100 signatures from parents opposes change.

“We’re not against change, but give us the list of educational benefits for this change,” parent Dana Hark said at the School Board’s April 15 meeting.

The committee recommended against splitting up grades — putting some first grade classrooms at Allen Brook and some at Williston Central, for instance — so the School Board told the committee not to reconsider the current configuration.

“As community representatives, we have to consider it’s not just the people here saying, ‘Don’t change,’” board member Holly Rouelle said.

Parent Phil Swett said he believed major configuration changes had been in the works with the School Board for several years, well before the Frameworks Committee formed. He suggested the board make a decision now, foregoing any further Frameworks meetings.

“The more you bring to the public, the more opinions you’re going to get on this very opinionated discussion,” Swett said. “To allow more time is to allow a wound to fester in the community.”

Board Chairwoman Darlene Worth said the School Board was not going to make any final decisions until the Frameworks Committee presented again in late May or early June.

“The committee needs to finish its work,” Worth said.

At the Frameworks Committee’s April 16 meeting, members discussed 10 different grade span options within the new building configuration for Allen Brook and Williston Central schools. These options originally came from the committee during its Jan. 22 meeting, when the group considered all possible building configurations.

“We have a lot to do in a very short amount of time,” committee facilitator Mary Jane Shelley said.

The group looked at creating new kinds of lower houses. Options included a kindergarten through third grade structure, and another that keeps kindergarten separate while putting first through third graders together in one house.

For the upper houses, the committee discussed another variety of options. Fourth and fifth grade houses were considered, along with three-year houses consisting of sixth through eighth grade students. Several other grade groupings were also considered. When the committee broke into small groups, conversations revolved around whether some grade span options were even possible with the layout of classrooms and teacher licensure issues.

As promised at the April 6 School Board meeting, the public will have an opportunity to weigh in on the configuration changes. Sometime next month, a joint public and teacher forum will be held. The forum’s format will most likely differ than what has happened in the past, Worth said. An exact date is forthcoming.

 

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Failure to meet goals overshadows student progress (4/23/09)

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April 23, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

Williston students are performing better than Adequate Yearly Progress goals would lead people to believe, say school officials. In some cases, students nearly reached the progress goals set by the federal government, said Williston’s Math Curriculum Coordinator Rick McGraw.

“It’s a razor thin margin in some (subjects),” McGraw said.

In a presentation to the School Board last week, McGraw said in the four years Williston students have taken NECAP exams, there have been annual improvements in scores. This is especially true of two subgroups that have not met federally mandated progress goals: students on free or reduced lunch programs and special needs students.

“We’re now starting to get data to track some changes in individual students over four years,” McGraw said at the April 15 meeting.

While both subgroups in Williston still lag behind progress goals set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, McGraw finds the results encouraging, especially in the fields of literacy.

“There’s some real nice growth that you can see,” he said.

New England Common Assessment Program tests, better known as NECAPs, are given every fall to test reading and math skills of all students in grades three through eight, and in grade 11. Writing tests are given to students in grades five, eight and 11. Science NECAPs are administered in the spring.

The NECAP tests measure progress and determine whether school districts meet federally mandated goals called Adequate Yearly Progress. For the fourth year in a row, Williston failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress goals for free or reduced lunch and special needs students. The school has been placed on a corrective action program by the Vermont Department of Education for this year.

According to data tabulated by McGraw based on four years of NECAP results, students across the school and in all subgroups are progressing, although less so in math.

Williston students have seen a 7 percent increase in reading scores and a 9 percent increase in writing scores over the four years. Students in the subgroups have also, for the most part, progressed in both subject areas.

In terms of meeting Adequate Yearly Progress reading goals pertaining to free or reduced lunch students, McGraw said the school was just four students short of meeting proficiency levels. Eighty-six free or reduced lunch students were tested in math and reading. For special needs students, it wasn’t as close, but there was notable improvement, he said.

School Board Chairwoman Darlene Worth said the reading and writing data didn’t surprise her.

“I think it makes sense, because we’ve had reading recovery programs for three years now,” Worth said.

Only in math has there been stagnation in results. Students have barely increased their progress by 1 percent over four years, McGraw’s data shows.

“There’s really no significant change to be seen,” McGraw said.

McGraw said after the meeting that Williston’s free and reduced lunch subgroup fell 12 students short of meeting Adequate Yearly Progress goals in math.

“Math is an area we need to focus our attention on,” he said.

McGraw told the board he was not a fan of the NECAP exams when students first took them four years ago, but his opinions have changed since using the data provided.

“The more I learn about (the NECAPs), the more I like them,” he said.

He explained that the exam provides expert data that school assessments don’t always provide. McGraw said the tests are created with input from teachers across New England and accurately reflect school curriculums.

“It’s a good test to teach to,” McGraw told the Observer.

McGraw and District Principal Walter Nardelli said they expect even better results with next fall’s test. Literacy and math programs that started two years ago should be more accurately reflected.

McGraw said last summer’s extra help program for students who did not meet proficiency standards improved the scores for students in the most recent NECAP test, and adding a second summer school program this year should help even more.

McGraw even hinted it’s possible the school district could meet Adequate Yearly Progress goals in some capacity.

“That’s certainly achievable,” McGraw said.

 

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Police Notes (4/23/09)

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April 23, 2009

Driving under the influence

Robert D. Rock, 46, of Richmond was cited on a charge of driving under the influence on April 15, according to police reports. His blood alcohol test registered .105, the report notes. The legal limit for driving in Vermont is .08. He was cited to appear in court.

Illegal dumping

Donald Bevins, 73, of Williston was issued a Vermont civil violation complaint for illegal dumping. No other information was released.

Theft

• Corey M. Labor, 35, of Colchester, was “flash cited” for aggravated assault on April 13. He was cited to appear in court.

• On March 17, Rebecca Martin, 27, of Berlin was cited on a charge of retail theft from Wal-Mart, according to police reports. The value of the merchandise allegedly stolen was $66.50, the report notes.

No trespassing

Melissa George, 20, of Wolcott, and Joseph Peet, 23, of Stowe were issued no trespass citations from Plato’s Closet on April 13, according to police reports. No other information was released.

Driving with suspended license

• Following a motor vehicle stop on April 15, Melissa L. Holden, 22, of Essex Junction was cited on a charge of driving with a suspended license, according to police reports. Holden was cited to appear in court.

•Following a motor vehicle stop on March 20, Gregory R. Olsaver, 25, of Essex Junction was cited on a charge of driving with a suspended license, according to police reports.

• Following a motor vehicle stop on April 15, Dewayne C. White, 23, of Shelburne was cited on a charge of “criminal” driving with a suspended license, according to police reports. White was cited to appear in court.

• Following a motor vehicle stop on April 19, Morningstar M. Porta, 29, of Burlington was cited on a charge of driving with a suspended license, according to police reports. Porta was cited to appear in court.

Grand larceny

On April 15, the U.S. Marshal’s Service arrested Brooke D. Parker, 33, on suspicion of stealing more than $42,000 in 2005 from Wal-Mart in Williston.

On Aug. 7, 2005, Williston Police responded to Wal-Mart regarding the theft of overnight deposits. During the investigation, it was revealed that more than $42,000 in cash deposits was missing.

Parker was also missing and could not be located, according to police reports. Police requested assistance from the U.S. Marshal’s Service in locating Parker, who was found on April 15, 2009 in Rand, Wash., and taken into custody, according to the report.

Parker was using an alias of Regan Parker Stephens and may have used others, the report notes.

Parker has waived extradition, and will be transported to Vermont to face grand larceny charges, according to the report.

Anyone with information about this crime or any information about Parker is asked to call the Williston Police Department at 878-6611.

Disorderly conduct

Kyle T. Wolfe, 21, of Williston was cited on a charge of disorderly conduct at Wal-Mart on March 19, according to police reports. He was cited to appear in court.

 

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Everyday Gourmet (4/23/09)

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Wok your talk

April 23, 2009

By Kim Dannies

As a nation, we talk skinny but we eat fat. Who among us has not indulged the paradox of serving up greasy, tasteless Chinese take-out and calling it a family treat? As the spring break draws to a close, why not gather the gang, dust off the wok and whip up a savory specialty everyone can brag about: Healthy Ginger Fried Rice. The rice is loaded with fiber and fresh veggies, and the protein works as a condiment rather than the main feature. Any combination of pork, shrimp, chicken, tofu and scrambled eggs works just fine. While not strictly Asian, the asparagus gives the rice a nice springtime perk. I like to use brown rice, but basmati or jasmine works well, too (and then you can call it “Princess Jasmine Fried Rice”).

Healthy Ginger Fried Rice

Rice: Prep ahead. Measure 5 cups of brown rice and cook in a rice cooker, or steam rice in a closely watched pot. Place cooked rice into a large prep bowl. (Let the kids stir it with a chopstick.)

Veggie prep: Chop 2 large onions; dice 3 cups baby carrots; slice 6 stalks of celery; seed and dice 3 large bell peppers (red, orange and yellow); slice a large bunch of asparagus into bite-sized pieces.

Reserve veggies (set aside for later): 2 cans water chestnuts, drained and chopped; 1 12-ounce bag of fresh bean sprouts; 2 cups frozen peas, thawed.

Final topping: Thinly slice 6 clean scallions; slice 1 head of bok choy width-wise into thin ribbon slices.

Protein prep: Dice bite-sized chunks of roasted pork, chicken or shrimp to make 3 cups. Scramble 3 eggs, chop up mass, cool.

Dressing prep (do this while veggies sizzle in the wok): In a food processor mince 6 large garlic cloves along with a 3-inch hunk of peeled fresh ginger; add 1 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of chili garlic sauce; process 1 minute.

In a hot wok or large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Add onion and carrot and sauté for 10 minutes; season lightly with kosher salt, layering flavors with each veggie. Add celery, and cook 5 minutes more. Add peppers, cooking 5 minutes more. Add asparagus and protein for a final 2 minutes. Deglaze the wok with 6 ounces of sherry.

Add the cooked veggies to the rice. Add the reserved veggies. Pour dressing over rice, gently folding ingredients together. Place on serving platter and top with scallions and ribbons of bok choy. Makes 12-14 servings; the rice reheats beautifully, too.

Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three college-aged daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.

 

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Little Details (4/23/09)

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Stephanie's Story

April 23, 2009

By Katherine Bielawa Stamper

“Grandma was always baking cookies,” Stephanie remembers, “and when I was sick, she’d mix honey with vinegar for me to drink.” The remedy may not have tasted good, but it worked.

Stephanie’s grandmother, an immigrant from Austria, shared an apartment with her and her mother in Burlington’s Old North End. The older woman provided warmth and stability for a little girl whose mother found herself incapable of adequately parenting her only child.  Stephanie’s grandmother offered homemade meals — including her granddaughter’s favorite dumpling soup — and a loving heart. Stephanie’s father remained absent, kind of like a character in a Tennessee Williams’ play. She did meet him — when she was 9.

Stephanie attended H.O. Wheeler School, where she liked art, especially painting and drawing. By age 7, she was taken from her mother and placed in the first of several foster homes.

“I left in the middle of second grade. I was sad. I was too young to understand what was going on,” Stephanie says. “My Grandma tried to get custody of me, but she got sick. She broke her hip and then had to have a blood transfusion. The blood was tainted with Hepatitis C.”

Stephanie lost the one adult who’d been a stable, supportive force in her young life.

“I moved to a foster home in Underhill. I took my kitten so I’d have something familiar,” she recalls. “The family had horses and I started riding. I loved the horses.”

Stephanie’s apartment near Taft Corners, which she shares with her 11-month-old son, is neat and tidy — with a sprinkling of toys. The walls are decorated with images of horses, pulled from the pages of a colorful calendar. Numerous ribbons, won in horse shows, are suspended above her bedroom window. At 22, she’s justifiably proud of furnishings purchased with her own earnings.

Stephanie moved back in with her mother at age 12. The state stepped in within a year, placing her in a new foster home. Stephanie is respectful, careful not to elaborate on why she could not live and thrive under her mother’s care. Stephanie tried living with her mother one more time when she turned 18. She stayed for two months before calling Spectrum Youth and Family Services to request assistance.

“I went to Spectrum. I lived in their shelter before moving into the SRO (Single Room Occupancy) Program. I lived there for two years. They really helped me,” Stephanie reflects. “They helped me earn my GED and get a job.”

While residing at Spectrum, Stephanie worked and saved money for an eventual apartment of her own. She was a cleaner at Fletcher Allen Health Care and worked at Burger King. She settled into a full-time job, delivering auto parts in the used car she bought herself. Evenings, she moonlighted at a farm, cleaning stalls and feeding horses.

“Spectrum was helpful when I had no place to go. Everyone was nice there. I could go to the drop-in center to eat meals and play games,” Stephanie remembers.

Spectrum connects homeless, runaway and at-risk youth with food, housing, education, employment and medical resources.

Stephanie moved to Williston a couple of summers ago when an affordable apartment became available. She commuted to Burlington for work. She’s the primary caregiver of her son, although his father is involved. Returning to the workforce and finding an apartment in the country, closer to nature, is an eventual goal.

In the meantime, Stephanie cares for her son, taking him for walks and marveling at how quickly he is growing. She’s just about ready to bring him to the library to participate in story times and play activities. Motherhood is wonderful and yet, it can be a little isolating. Her car needs new wheel bearings — a repair that costs $160. She walks most places with her son in his stroller.

After routinely working 50-hour weeks, Stephanie finds herself on public assistance. She does not view this as a long-term arrangement. Living on limited means requires occasional trips to a food shelf.

“I used to sometimes go to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf in Burlington,” Stephanie says. “Here (at the Williston Community Food Shelf), they are really nice and very helpful.  You’re only allowed to visit once a month, but they let me go twice once when I really needed food.”

Stephanie appreciates that clients at Williston’s food shelf are able to choose their items. She opts for macaroni and cheese, canned fruit and applesauce — because her son loves applesauce.

“They usually have muffins from Starbucks on Saturdays. They even had candy for Easter,” Stephanie says with a smile.

The Williston Community Food Shelf could not exist without the generosity of local businesses and individuals. On May 1-7, an online auction — featuring donated artwork from local artists — will be held to raise money for this very important resource. Please go to www.wcfs.cmarket.com to view and bid on artwork. If preferred, cash donations can be made directly from the home page. For further information, please contact Kim at [email protected]

Many of us need a helping hand at one time or another. I hope this piece affords a view of Williston through the eyes of a young mother trying to do right by her child in a way her mother was unable to do for her. If you meet Stephanie at the library or while she’s out with her son on one of their walks, offer a welcoming smile. Friendship nurtures just as much as food.

Katherine Bielawa Stamper lives in Williston. Reader comments are welcome at [email protected] or [email protected]

 

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Letters to the Editor (4/23/09)

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April 23, 2009

Roundabout reservations

Judging from the letters to the editor and talk around town it seems that the subject of a roundabout in Williston Village is an unfinished conversation. I, too, have serious reservations about the roundabout.

My husband and I have driven in many European countries and the United Kingdom and have driven through many roundabouts. They serve to slow traffic on open highways and to better distribute vehicles within towns. Concerning congestion, Mr. Jim Dillon (“Letters to the Editor: Real-world roundabouts,” April 16) refers to Switzerland and other countries in saying he has never seen more than two cars waiting to enter a roundabout. In contrast, we have often waited with several cars to enter. In many European towns roundabouts are entered only by traffic lights which control flow from several busy roads.

There seems to be agreement that a roundabout in Williston would have to be very large in order to accommodate trucks or farm vehicles. Such a large structure would take out the gas pumps at the Kwik Stop and reach the front steps of Williston Federated Church. This would put the store out of business and would render the front of the historic church inaccessible.

Chris Roy says the roundabout would be a “modern” one. In a historic village where residents can’t change their windows without approval from historic preservation authorities, how is it possible for the town to build a large “modern” roundabout that affects historic structures? Given the single lane roads and volume of traffic at rush hour, wouldn’t traffic lights be required to regulate the even flow of cars into the roundabout? If so, why not just put traffic lights at the existing intersection?

I believe Williston residents need to be intentionally included in this conversation. Otherwise, the Selectboard cannot say, “Residents’ views were not disregarded” (“Letters to the Editor: Roy explains Selectboard decision,” April 16).

Sally Stockwell-Metro

Williston

 

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