May 28, 2020

Energy awareness

    Observer photo by Tim Simard
Aaron Dempsey, 8, rides a stationary mountain bike to learn how much energy it takes to light a compact fluorescent bulb, while his father Donald Dempsey (left) talks with Seth Wolcott of the Vermont Energy Education Program. The bike demonstration was a highlight of Saturday’s Williston Energy Fair, hosted by Williston Green Initiatives at Town Hall. See story below.

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Educators recognized as outstanding (10/29/09)

Oct. 29, 2009

Two teachers in Chittenden South Supervisory Union earned high honors at a recent event at the University of Vermont.

Williston Central School teacher Julie Longchamp received an outstanding teacher honor during UVM’s Outstanding Teacher Day. Longchamp was the honoree for CSSU’s elementary and middle schools.

Champlain Valley Union High School English teacher Jeffrey Evan earned the recognition for the high school.

UVM’s College of Education and Social Services, along with Vermont supervisory unions and school districts, have been honoring teachers with the awards for 29 years. Besides Longchamp and Evans, 70 other Vermont teachers were honored during an award ceremony on Oct. 21.


— Tim Simard, Observer staff


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Home playoff game for CVU boys soccer team (10/29/09)

Oct. 29, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Thanks to a stronger schedule, the Champlain Valley Union High boys soccer team earned the top seed in the Division 1 playoffs. The Redhawks will open pursuit of their sixth crown in the last seven years at home on Saturday.

The playoff game begins at 10:30 a.m., with the boys facing off against either eighth-seeded Harwood Union (8-6) or ninth-seeded Mount Mansfield Union (7-6-1).

The two teams met Wednesday at Harwood Union in Duxbury.

Neither potential foe would be a total stranger to the Redhawks. CVU trimmed Harwood 2-0 early in the season and captured two wins from the Cougars, the latest a 3-0 victory in Hinesburg a week ago Tuesday.

Burr and Burton of Manchester, boasting a 13-1 record along with CVU, drew the number two seed. The Redhawks were considered to have had the stronger fall schedule.

Coach T.J. Mead and his Hawks put the lid on the regular season Saturday with a 4-0 victory at North Country Union High’s pad in Newport.

Mike Clayton tallied his 17th goal while Kyle Logan logged his fourth and Nick Spencer his third. Nick Hart chipped in with two assists, giving him seven helpers for the campaign. Henry Sengle also passed off for an assist.

The Redhawks had help from the Falcons, who knocked the ball into their own net.

CVU net minder John Milbank made 10 stops while the Hawks unloaded 16 shots at NCU goalie Chad Letourneau.

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Girls soccer team seeks Saturday quarterfinal (10/29/09)

Oct. 29, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Its lone loss of the season, a 1-0 nipping Saturday at Burlington High, likely cost the Champlain Valley Union High girls soccer team a number one seeding in the Vermont Division 1 Tournament.

The position at the mountaintop and first round bye went to 12-2 Burr and Burton, even though CVU bumped off the Bulldogs 2-1 in overtime at Hinesburg early in the season. The second-seeded, 10-1-3 Redhawks drew a first-round home contest on Wednesday against 3-6-3 Essex High. The game was set to be played after press deadline.

A victory would vault CVU into a 3 p.m. quarterfinal at home on Saturday against 10th-seeded South Burlington (7-7) or seventh-seeded St. Johnsbury Academy (8-4-2).

The Essex pairing put the Redhawks against the Hornets for the second time in a week. Last Wednesday, Amanda Kinneston popped her second game winner in two outings for a 1-0 victory in which CVU outshot the visitors 15-8.

On Friday, the Redhawks came up short once again on the BHS turf, losing on a goal by the Seahorses’ Emma Feeney with 4:30 remaining in regulation.

Goalie Emily Sackett had eight saves for CVU while Stephanie Jaques rejected seven shots for BHS.

The last two tournament bids by the Redhawks have been ended by Burlington High at the Seahorses’ house. Last fall BHS moved on to take the championship.


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Playoff position at stake Saturday for CVU football team (10/29/09)

Oct. 29, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Currently second in the Division 2 football race, the 7-1 Champlain Valley Union High Redhawks will be in full playoff mode Saturday when they host 3-5 Fair Haven Union at 1 p.m. in the regular season finale.

“We have everything at stake,” CVU head coach Jim Provost said Sunday. “We will prepare as if this is a playoff.”

The Slaters are eliminated from any chance at one of the four playoff berths, and got nailed last Saturday, 41-20 by Otter Valley Union High, a team the Redhawks nipped 7-6 in Brandon a few weeks ago.

But Provost was not letting that apparent blowout color his thinking about Fair Haven.

“Otter Valley is a good team,” the coach said. “Fair Haven has nothing to lose and is going to throw everything it has at us.”

While the Redhawks trail only unbeaten Colchester High in the division, a loss would put them into a scramble of two-loss teams including U-32, Mount Mansfield Union, Middlebury Union and Milton High, with three of the five to enter the “new” season.

CVU holds a 7-0 victory over Middlebury, but lost 14-0 at home to Milton.

Last Saturday, the Redhawks took a trip back to Division 3 and regained the Route 116 title that they lost last year, with a 62-0 triumph over the winless (0-7) and banged up Mount Abraham Union High Eagles.

Provost unleashed a bevy of nine backs and was rewarded with 320 yards of ground pounding, led by freshman Tyler Barnes, who broke loose for 97 yards. Barnes’ total included 55- and 30-yard trips into the end zone.

Senior flashback J.P. Benoit also scored twice, once on a 4-yard run early in the first quarter and later with a 53-yard punt return down the left sideline.

Touchdowns also came from Collin Teator (7 carries, 88 yards), Eric Palmer on a 5-yard pass from quarterback Konnor Fleming, Fleming on a 27-yard keeper, quarterback Ian Solomon on a 31-yard scamper and Nick Meunier on a 1-yard plunge.

Reliable kicker Brian Cherhoniak was perfect on his first six extra point tries, had one blocked, then connected on the final two. The miss snapped a string of 17 straight successes.

Defensively, CVU held the Eagles to three first downs, all in the first half, and just 17 yards of offense.

Linebacker Palmer was a muscular presence defensively, as were linemen Mikey Bean, James Datillio and Dan Thabault, among others.

Defensive end Matt Long and three teammates did not arrive until the second quarter because of testing at CVU. After entering the game early in the second period, Long, on his very first play, threw MAU halfback Shawn Thurber for a 4-yard loss.

Long then continued to ravage the Eagles’ offense, racking up 15 yards in losses through the second and third quarters.


Redbird nest eggs

>  Seniors Datillio and Long have been named to the North team for the annual north-south all-star game at the end of the season.

>  Sophomore quarterback-linebacker Drew Nick missed the game due to a concussion. Provost said Nick will return to the lineup Saturday.

>  Lineman Cameron Fitzgerald, who suffered a concussion in the North Country game a week and half ago, may not play Saturday.

>  Chris Long of the Football Boosters performed a remarkable job, holding an umbrella so game statistics could be kept dry.



CVU-MAU, Stats

CVU            7            21            14            20  –   62

MAU            0            0            0            0     –   0


                                    CVU                        MAU

First downs                        7                        3

Rushing yards            320                        17

Passing yards                        15                        12

Return yards                        79                        148

Comp-Att-Int                        2-4-0                        3-10-1

Sacks-Yards Lost            0-0                        1-12

Punts-Avg                        1-49                        4-13

Fumbles-lost                        1-1                        2-1

Penalties-yards            2-21                        4-40


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Two from CVU earn Athlete of Month nominations (10/29/09)

Oct. 29, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Stellar play in September resulted in Athlete of the Month nominations for Champlain Valley Union High’s KK Logan in field hockey and Konnor Fleming for football.

Logan, a senior, scored eight goals and assisted on three others as the defending Division 1 champions rolled undefeated through the month. Logan also scored winning goals in overtime victories over Essex High and South Burlington High, both games on the road.

Fleming, a junior, helped the football Redhawks to a 4-0 mark by rushing for nine touchdowns and passing for four more. On defense, Fleming snared two pass interceptions to help preserve a 7-0 triumph over Middlebury Union High.

Logan is one of five nominees in the girls division of the Vermont Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association program.

Others are Brittany Pfaff of Rice Memorial High soccer, Jenna Griffith of Colchester High cross country, Jessica Edwards of St. Michael’s College cross country and Courtney Chadburn of Castleton State College soccer.

Joining Fleming as boys nominees are Max Librizzi of Essex High football, Jason Burnett of St. Michael’s College soccer, Gavin Callahan of Windsor High football, Jeff Sutherland of Mount Mansfield Union football, Evan Cassidy of Castleton State football, Dummerston road runner Justin Fyffe, Richie Hackett of Lake Region Union High soccer and Scooter Hayford of Twin Valley Union soccer.

September winners are expected to be announced within a week. All monthly winners are honored each summer at an awards luncheon.

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Flu defeats Redhawk runners (10/29/09)

Bugged in districts, harriers chase state title Saturday

Oct. 29, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

“The championship could be decided by sickness,” recovering Champlain Valley Union High cross country coach Scott Bliss said over the telephone Sunday.

“It depends on who gets hit this week,” the coach said with a cough.

Bliss lost a top runner and himself to the flu in last weekend’s districts, plus another runner to mandatory school testing.

Bliss and his Redhawks are looking ahead to Saturday’s Vermont Championship competition at Thetford Academy. The boys and girls teams had to settle for runner-up finishes in the districts last Saturday at Missisquoi Valley Union High in Swanton.

For the girls, who bowed to a winning Essex team 39-54, a seven-year string of district crowns came to an end.

With Adrienne Devita sidelined by illness, CVU’s girls still took second in the individual finishes as Summer Spillane captured the spot. Aleksey Jordick came in fourth.

Essex runners grabbed the next four places to land the coveted team title.

Zach Pete had a solid second place run for the boys team, which wound up 12 points (43-55) behind titleholder Mount Mansfield Union High. Justin Mckenzie joined teammate Pete in the top 10 by taking sixth place.

Will the team be healthy for this Saturday? Bliss was asked.

“Knock on wood, I think so,” he replied.


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Field hockey squad opens playoffs with win (10/29/09)

Second game postponed to Thursday

Oct. 29, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

As the Champlain Valley Union High field hockey team is finding out, southern cooking is more than black eye peas and hush puppies.


    Observer photo by Greg Duggan
Emmaleigh Loyer (center), who scored the only goal in Champlain Valley Union High’s quarterfinal win over Middlebury Union High, controls the ball during Friday’s game.

The 15-0 Redhawks had to handle 11-3-1 Mount Anthony Union High’s recipe of a combination of goals and defense Wednesday afternoon in Hinesburg in a semifinal playdown. CVU needed a win in the game, played after press deadline, to punch a return ticket to the Division 1 championship test at Castleton State College on Friday or Saturday. The date and time of the title game had not been announced before deadline.

The Patriots gained Wednesday’s test with CVU with a 1-0 victory over Rutland High on Monday, a contest postponed from Saturday. That delay caused the scheduling change of the semifinal game, originally scheduled for Tuesday.

As was the case Friday, second season victories do not come easy. The defending champion Redhawks had to bear down hard to nudge past Middlebury Union High, 1-0, in a home field quarterfinal match.

Emmaleigh Loyer stroked the game’s lone goal some 12 minutes into the first half, whacking in a rebound. It was her 11th score of the season.

Loyer, who leads the team in assists, sort of had another in that the goal came on a rebound of her own shot.

After that, the CVU defense played a big role in keeping the Tigers off the board, despite some serious snarling around the Redhawks’ cage.

Middlebury’s best chance may have been with just 30 seconds gone in the game, when the Black and Orange clads rolled down the field and cut loose a point blank shot at CVU net minder Elizabeth Goddette, who made a sharp and difficult save.

“I was able to reach out and stop it with my hand,” the goalie said later.

The Tigers had four more shots at Goddette plus several close-in opportunities that were repelled by the deep defenders led by Aubrey “The Terminator” Deavitt, who herself turned aside a labeled Middlebury shot late in the second half.

But CVU also kept Middlebury net minder Kayla Whittemore occupied. She came up with 14 stops, including nifty saves off Kelsey Jensen, Molly Burke, Loyer and Kelcey Lamphere while KK Logan consistently moved the ball into close attacking range.

It was CVU’s third victory over Middlebury, one in overtime, as the Tigers closed out their season at 6-7-3.


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Recipe Corner (10/29/09)

Halloween recipes

Oct. 29, 2009

By Ginger Isham

I miss the 30-plus trick or treaters we used to get when our children were small. I had fun setting up the step ladder with a sheet over it that had black eyes for a ghost-like look and a circulating fan under the stepladder to make the sheet move.

One time I cooked spaghetti and strung it on baling twine that I had threaded through two sides of an upside down cardboard box. The little goblins had to put their hands in an opening in the box to get a bag of candy. The cold spaghetti felt like worms.

Another time, our son sat in a rocking chair with a large pumpkin basket on his head, wearing old coveralls, a flannel shirt, big gloves and boots. He did not look real. We tied a string onto the rocking chair and around the corner into the dining room. Someone hid there and pulled on the string to make the chair rock. The pumpkin man even changed his position or moved an arm or leg.

If you can find a head form of styrofoam used to display wigs you can make the eyes, nose and mouth shapes black with magic marker. Place a black hood or scarf around the head and add a black shirt with collar tight around neck. Display this on your stairs with shirt arms spread out to look as though it has half a body. It’s one of my old time favorites!

Here are some other ideas:

> Carve a jack-o-lantern and then slice off one side. Put treats or veggies in the side you cut off, which serves as a dish. It looks like the pumpkin was hit on the side of the head. You can serve dip with the veggies.

> Cut boiled eggs in half. Place a thin slice of tomato between each egg and hold it together with toothpick. Put slices of green olives on for eyes.

> Spray small pumpkins with silver or gold paint. When dry, print names on the pumpkin with a black marker or make a face. These make good decorations for place settings for dinner.

> Make a batch of popcorn. Take clear plastic gloves and place a candy corn in the bottom of each finger to look like a fingernail. Fill the rest of fingers with popcorn and tie with a twist.

> Make your own face make-up. Mix 2 teaspoons Crisco, 3 to 4 drops glycerin (buy at a drugstore) and food coloring until you have a smooth paste. Add 5 tablespoons cornstarch and 1 teaspoon flour. Mix well.

To remove the make-up, use cold cream or baby oil.

> Make a batch of meatballs and slice each one in half. Place the cut side down on top of a tablespoon of ketchup. Arrange cooked spaghetti around the meatball to look like hair.

> For a Witches Brew, place a scoop of orange sherbet in a clear glass and slowly fill the glass with ginger ale. Add a straw, to which you have attached a large black or orange gumdrop to one end for a broom.


Have a safe and happy Halloween!


Ginger Isham lives with her husband on a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road.


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Right to the Point (10/29/09)

Of church and state

Oct. 29, 2009

By Mike Benevento

“Separation of church and state. Separation of church and state.”

Those that strive to remove religion from the public square recite that little ditty over and over again in nauseating fashion. They repeat the phrase so much so that you would think it is a truism dating back to the founding of the United States.

The long forgotten truth is the passage does not appear anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. It never has. It never should.

Contrary to what today’s secularists want you to believe, the United States was founded with a firm reverence to God. The founding fathers were very religious men. They believed God bestowed special blessings upon America, making it an exceptional nation. As such, they were extremely thankful for the many gifts God gave the fledgling state.

Right from the start, the Constitutional framers recognized the importance of faith in everyday life. They knew that a strong spiritual upbringing goes hand-in-hand with being a good citizen. Thus, the government should not restrict religion.

Along with keeping religion free, the founders feared a state-sponsored religion like that which existed in Great Britain at the time. The United Kingdom had recognized the Church of England as its official religion — something the founding fathers wanted to avoid. While most colonialists were Christians, the framers wanted to ensure America did not favor one religion over another.

Wary of government intrusion, the founders limited its power in the U.S. Constitution. Economics professor Walter Williams of George Mason University recently wrote, “At the heart of the American idea is the deep distrust and suspicion the founders of our nation had for government …”

The Bill of Rights — the first 10 amendments to the Constitution — established America’s religious freedom. The First Amendment declares, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of a religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

Concerning religion, there are two parts (clauses) to the First Amendment. The Establishment Clause prevents government from creating or recognizing a national religion. The Free Exercise Clause limits government’s restriction of religious activities. As long as people are not doing anything illegal, they are free to worship (or not worship) as they desire.

For over 160 years, the government — especially the courts — respected the spirit and intent of the First Amendment. It did not establish a national religion and religious freedom was not abridged.

According to’s Reed Carson, changes started in 1947 as of a result of the Supreme Court’s Everson v. Board of Education decision. Justice Hugo Black, writing for the majority, slipped into the opinion a view of his own entirely contradictory to the court’s ruling.

Carson noted that Black added a new and previously unknown legal principle: The first amendment erected a high and impregnable wall between the church and the state. Black based this new dictum on a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to a Connecticut Baptist community. Written 14 years after the First Amendment was passed, Jefferson’s letter celebrated the fact the amendment protected the church from the state.

Jefferson wrote, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”

Ironically, as Carson writes, Jefferson’s letter was intended to reassure the Baptists that the new federal government would not endanger the free expression of their religion. The purpose of the wall was to protect the church from the state. It was not, as Black misinterpreted, to protect the state from the church.

Since that fateful Supreme Court decision, government has slowly eroded religious freedom. Instead of the First Amendment, the mystical wall of separation between church and state is commonly cited in court decisions. In fact, many Americans wrongly believe the First Amendment did not protect religious freedom, but instead discussed the separation of church and state.

Today, while an overwhelming majority of Americans believe in God, many secularists are in charge of the country. Secularists, atheists and other non-believers aim to shut religion out of the public sector. They are greatly aided by an upside-down interpretation of the Constitution, which was supposed to protect the church. Thanks to the Supreme Court, the First Amendment is nowadays employed against religious organizations.

Unfortunately, government suppression of religion is one of the best examples of what Professor Williams meant when he wrote, “We are losing what’s made our country great. Instead of moving toward greater liberty, we’re moving toward greater government control of our lives.”


Michael Benevento is a former Air Force fighter jet weapon systems officer. He has a bachelor’s degree in Military History and a master’s in International Relations. Mike resides in Williston with his wife Kristine and their two sons, Matthew and Calvin.


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