July 24, 2019

Winter camping

    Courtesy photo by Bill Burbank
Max Ryan (from left), Max Rieley and Tommy Watson, members of Boy Scout Troop 692, relax in a snow shelter they made during a recent camping trip to Twin Hills Girl Scout Camp in Jonesville. Each scout or group of two to three scouts made a shelter to sleep in on the night of Jan 16.

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Sports Notes (1/28/10)

CVU Nordic skiers going to Craftsbury

A visit to the Northeast Kingdom and the Craftsbury Marathon is coming up Saturday for the Champlain Valley Union High Nordic ski team, which had some success last Friday in a 12-school event in Jericho Center.

Led by Abby Stoner and Kylie deGroot, the girls scored a substantial victory, outpointing runner-up Mount Mansfield Union High 22-57. Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans finished third with 91 points.

Stoner finished second to winner Larissa Kehne of U-32 by five seconds. Kehne posting a winning time of 22:32.

deGroot took third, with teammates Johanna Fehrs seventh and Sierra Frisbie 10th.

The boys team took fourth with 84 points to 48 for winning Mount Mansfield, whose Jack Gegman led the field.

CVU’s Sam Epstein paced the Redhawks with a ninth-place finish.


Busy schedule on mats for CVU wrestlers

A Tuesday night victory at St. Johnsbury Academy was followed Wednesday by a home meet against visiting Randolph Union High and Colchester High as the Champlain Valley Union High wrestling team gets set for Saturday’s invitational meet at Colchester.

The 42-36 triumph at St. Johnsbury was led by winners Patrick Shea (112 pounds), Ryan Stearns (135), Sam Fortin (171), Ryan Fleming (189) and James Dattilio (285).

Over the weekend, the Redhawks finished 19th in the prestigious Essex Invitational, a two-day event that drew some 28 teams from the New York-New England region.

Fortin took a fourth in his 171-pound division while Stearns was sixth among the 135-pounders.

“This is one of the toughest tournaments of the regular season,” CVU wrestling coach Rahn Fleming said. “We are not disappointed, we are determined. We’ll be back, we’ll be better.”


Two regular season competitions remain for Redhawk gymnasts

The Champlain Valley Union High gymnastics team will be on the road to close out the regular season in preparation for the annual State Meet on Feb. 13 at Essex High.

Randolph High (7 p.m.) will be the destination for a Friday visit, followed by a trip to South Burlington High at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Last Friday, the Redhawks scored a victory over U-32 in East Montpelier by a 125.55 to 112.15 tally.

Ashley Bachand (vault) and Madison Bourdeau (floor exercise) scored the victories for CVU, with Bourdeau taking a second on the vault and third on the bars.

Second places also went to Emma Sienkiewycz on the bars and Amanda Holman on the beam. Kelsey Darby was third on the vault and Ashley Dubois third on the beam.

Megan Kloekner garnered a third in all-around.


CVU’s Howard nominated as Athlete of the Month

Champlain Valley Union High’s Molly Howard, leading scorer on the girls hockey team, is one of five nominees for the Vermont Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association’s girls December Athlete of the Month award.

Howard, a junior, led the Redhawks to seven victories in eight December games, scoring 18 goals and adding at least nine assists.

Also nominated for the monthly award were Essex High basketball player Kari Lavalette (16 points per game), Montpelier High hockey player Erin Banfield (24 goals), Chelsea Montello of Fair Haven Union High for indoor track and Twin Valley High basketball player Devon Spirka (21 points per game).

Voting members of the VSSA will choose the winners in girls and boys divisions in a few days.

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Girls hockey looks to extend win streak (1/28/10)

Jan. 28, 2010

After recovering from a 1-3-1 pothole, the Champlain Valley Union High girls hockey team carried an overall 10-3-1 record and two straight victories in Wednesday evening’s contest against South Burlington High at Cairns Arena.

The game was scheduled for after press deadline. The Redhawks had nipped the Rebels 5-4 in the third game of the season.

CVU’s latest triumph came Friday, an 8-4 bopping of visiting Burr and Burton Academy of Manchester.

The offense was sizzling as KK Logan and Hannah Johnson each scored two goals and Molly Howard fired in one score and assisted on four others. It was Howard’s 23rd lamp lighter of the season, while Logan’s two goals boosted her tally total to 14. Amanda Armell scored her fifth goal in the last five outings while Alyx Rivard and Sasha Gunther also scored.

CVU outgunned the Bulldogs 49-18. Nicole Sisk blocked 14 shots in the Redhawks’ cage.


— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent


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Hoops team returns home with winning smile (1/28/10)

Jan. 28, 2010

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Having displayed some true grit in nudging past Mount Mansfield Union High 47-40 Monday night at the Cougars’ Jericho Center lair, the 9-4 Champlain Valley Union High boys basketball team will entertain North Country Union at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Bremner Gymnasium.

The Falcons will wing in with a 2-10 record as of Monday.

“It was a gritty victory,” a relieved coach Scott Bliss said after the hard-earned triumph over the young but determined MMU squad.

The Redhawks trailed 32-28 late in the third period before initiating a slow but steady 12-point run that carried late into the final reel. The Cougars didn’t score again until an Eric Suder put-back and free throw that cut the CVU lead to 40-35 with 1:47 left to play.

Redhawks point guard Chris Beaton, who had one of his best performances of the season, nailed two charity tosses at 1:37. But MMU’s Ethan Brown (15 points) then launched an intercontinental trey with 57 seconds on the clock, cutting the lead to 42-38 and causing angst on the CVU side.

The Cougars had to foul to stop the clock and the Redhawks, despite a so-so shooting night at the line, were able to drain enough charity flips to stay in command. Overall, CVU hit just 19 of 34 freebies.

Bliss had praise for Beaton, saying after the contest, “He carried us at times.”

The senior led scorers with 16 points, hitting five of six shots from the field while adding a pair of assists and four big steals.

Big contributions also came from center Will Hurd. Held without a hoop, the solid citizen hit three of four free throws and hauled down three of his nine rebounds in the prime time final quarter. Two of those rebounds came off the offensive glass on missed CVU free throws and kept vital possession of the ball for the Redhawks.

The Cougars varied man-to-man and zone defenses held Jake Donnelly to 13 points (4-for-10 from the floor), but the junior was invaluable with strong ball handling, eight rebounds and at least two assists.

Robert Russ chipped in with 11 points and five rebounds while big Eoin Karnes came off the bench and hauled in four rebounds — three of those and his lone free throw coming in the final reel.

“We played well late in the game,” Russ said.

That the Redhawks did.

“We moved the ball around and were patient, not taking the first shot that presented itself,” Bliss said.

The improving Mount Mansfield club led much of the way, at times by as much as four to six points, until CVU, on two free throws by Russ, opened that dozen-point run toward the end of the third period.

While Brown was the Cougar’s top gun with six of 10 from the floor, 6-foot-7 sophomore center Suder was a mountain near the CVU hoop, blocking five shots and hauling in eight rebounds to go with his seven points.


CVU                        12            10            10            15   –   47

MMU                       15            8              9               8     –   40


CVU (9-4)

Donnelly 4-10 5-7 13, Nigh 0-2 1-3 1, Hurd 0-6 3-6 3, Russ 4-8 3-6 11, Beaton 5-6 6-10 16, Gale 0-0 0-0 0, Clayton 1-1 0-0 2, Hart 0-0 0-0 0, Leckerling 0-0 0-0 0, Karnes 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 14-33 19-34 47.


MMU (6-7)

Lacy 2-6 3-4 7, Wright 1-1 1-2 3, Suder 2-9 3-5 7, Brown 6-10 2-2 15, Leland 0-6 0-0 0, Lavounty 2-3 0-0 5, Lecours 0-1 1-2 1, Sharrow 1-1 0-0 2, Chornyak 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-37 10-15 40.


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Boys hockey hits rough patch (1/28/10)

Jan. 28, 2010

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

After going 1-2-1 in their last four games, the Champlain Valley Union High boys hockey team needs to do some serious work to gain a top Division 1 playoff berth.

Two games this week could help the 8-4-1 Redhawks emerge from their slump: A road trip on Jan. 27 (played after press deadline) to Harwood Union High’s home ice, followed by an 8:30 p.m. Saturday home contest against Stowe High.

The latest loss was a 4-0 defeat to rival Essex High (12-2-1) at noon on Saturday at Cairns Arena. The Hornets, CVU’s foe in the last two Division 1 championship contests, evened the season series at a game apiece; CVU had triumphed 3-1 at Essex earlier this season.

The Hornets were all over CVU from the opening drop of the puck Saturday, outshooting the Redhawks 12-4 in the opening period and 12-5 in the second frame.

Still, Essex’s lone score into the final two minutes of the second reel were a J.T. Begnoche slapper from the point with 7:01 remaining in the first period. CVU net minder Mark Albertson appeared to get a piece of the shot but not enough to deflect it from the net.

CVU continued to hang around until Essex’s Kyle Peckham scored a power play goal with 1:42 left in the second and Kurt Simendinger followed 23 seconds later with another score to put the Hornets up 3-0.

Begnoche put a lid on the contest at 13:39 of the final period with a hard shot after a sortie down the right wing, his second score of the day.

The Hornets did not allow much in the way of open ice for the usually hard-charging Redhawks. Robbie Dobrowski got off some decent rushes but came up blank, snapping a nine-game goal-getting string.

Kyle Logan, J.P. Benoit and Nate Lacroix also had serious attacks ridden off by the heady Essex defenders before getting solid open opportunities on goalie Chase Congreves or seeing shots go just wide. Congreves made 18 stops.


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Tough foes await Redhawk girls hoops team (1/28/10)

Jan. 28, 2010

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Its once-rumbling offense stalled Monday night by a pesky Rice Memorial High team for the second time this season, the 12-3 Champlain Valley Union High girls basketball team will try to get back into high gear Thursday night. The Redhawks face 9-6 Spaulding High, a team they nipped 47-44 in Barre in late December.


    Observer photo by Shane Bufano
Carlee Evans (3) of Champlain Valley Union High fights for a loose ball during the Redhawks’ 50-30 drubbing of North Country Union High on Friday.

On Monday, the Redhawks will travel to Burlington High to tangle for the second time with the 12-2 Seahorses, who have been rolling along since CVU nailed them 47-34 at Bremner Gymnasium on Jan. 5.

Rice, a mighty obstacle in scoring a 29-26 victory over the Redhawks in Hinesburg in December, once again derailed the Hawks, riding a third quarter 18-8 bash to a 47-39 victory on the Knights’ floor. Coach Stan Williams’ Redhawks had averaged better than 60 points a game in their previous four outings, all wins.

Allison Gannon fired in 13 points for CVU while guard Carlee Evans notched 10, hitting double figures for a second straight game.

In the Redhawks’ Friday night, home 50-30 victory over 6-6 North Country Union, Evans not only scored 10 points to lead the winners, but added six steals, four rebounds and three assists. She provided a steady hand in a loosely played affair dominated by more than 50 turnovers from the two teams.

After emerging from a narrow, 12-10 lead midway in the second period, the Redhawks, chilled by cold shooting, used a suffocating defense to gain a 24-13 edge by halftime and a comfortable 37-19 advantage at the third period buzzer.

Gannon, held scoreless and boardless in the first half, wound up with nine points and four rebounds, plus two steals and two assists.

Shea Hulbert rose up for a game-high 11 rebounds (8 points) and Kendal Kohlasch took down six rebounds to go with three assists.

Off the bench came Sara Riordan with a pair of threebies and Lindsay Hawley with seven points and two steals.

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Recipe Corner (1/28/10)

Main dishes — with or without meat

Jan. 28, 2010

By Ginger Isham

One of my favorite dishes for dinner is made with ground pork and takes little prep. It has an unusual ingredient and I like to tell people it is a secret — see if you can guess what it is.


Pork Szechuan

12 ounces linguine (cook as directed)

1 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons soy sauce with less sodium

12 ounces ground pork

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 to 1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 large carrot, shredded

1 tablespoon fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons peanut butter

Add small amount of oil to skillet. Sauté onion, garlic, carrot and ginger for 2 minutes. Add ground pork and cook until it loses its red color. Add chicken broth, soy sauce and red pepper flakes. Mix and stir in peanut butter. Heat and serve over linguine. Serves 3 to 4 people.


Tangy Lentil Salad

2 cups water

1 cup dried lentils

pinch of salt

1 bay leaf

1 cup cucumber, diced and seeded

1/2 cup celery, diced

1/4 cup red onion, diced

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard (can use 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons)

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Place water, lentils, salt and bay leaf into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cover and simmer for about 25 minutes. Drain and discard bay leaf. Combine lentils, cucumber, celery and onion in a bowl. Mix orange juice, mustard and vinegar with a whisk. Stir into lentil mixture, stir in cheese. Cover and chill. Makes about 4 servings. Serve with favorite bread sticks and fresh fruit or salad of your choice.

This is a high fiber dish and has 225 calories in a 1-cup serving. Use leftovers to fill pita pocket for lunch sandwich. Serve with snappy peas.


Snappy Peas

In a saucepan, bring 1 pound of frozen peas and 1/2 cup water to boil. Cover pan, reduce heat and cook until tender. Drain and add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, 1 minced clove garlic, 3/4 teaspoon (or less) lemon-pepper seasoning and pinch of salt. I would leave out the salt. Stir and cook 2 to 3 minutes and serve.


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


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Liberally Speaking (1/28/10)

My Facebook status: Revisit health care

Jan. 28, 2010

By Steve Mount

Facebook, in case you’ve been living under a rock the past year or two, is a great Internet service for keeping in touch with friends and family.

According to Facebook, I have 173 friends. Most of the time, our interactions are simple. I post a status to say what’s new in my life and my Facebook friends do the same. Every so often, I or they are moved to comment on those status updates in one way or another.

Status updates are generally of the “Wow, that movie was awful!” or “The recipe we cooked tonight was wonderful!” type. The kind of stuff that comedians like to poke fun at.

Last week, though, I was moved to post this (in the ubiquitous Facebook third-person):

“Steve is lamenting the loss in Massachusetts, but is thinking it needn’t be the end of health care reform. It could just be the end to all the unseemly deals needed to get this far.”

The update was, of course, about the loss in Massachusetts of Democrat Martha Coakley to Republican Scott Brown for a permanent replacement for Ted Kennedy’s seat in the U.S. Senate. The win was a surprise not only because Massachusetts has only 13 percent registered Republicans, but because just three weeks ago, Coakley was still leading in the polls. Brown’s win was primarily due to his ability to sway the Massachusetts independent bloc, blowing pundit predictions out of the water.

The win means an end to the supposedly filibuster-proof 60-40 majority the Democrats gained once Minnesota’s Al Franken finally took office back in July.

My Facebook status post brought comments from one of my liberal friends and several of my conservative friends, stirring a mini-debate.

Political debates on the Internet are nothing new, but often the debates take place behind the veil of some degree of anonymity. This debate, though, was not with anonymous avatars, with people I’d never met and never would. This debate was with friends, family and co-workers. That meant that vitriol was at a minimum, and thoughtfulness and reflection were at a maximum.

Most of the posts agreed in particular with my final point — that the Senate bill is a perfect example of what’s wrong with the legislative process. My conservative friends said that the abomination was because Republicans had been left out of the process. I replied that they seemed to forget all the committee hearings where the Republicans had more than ample time to give their input.

What was really responsible for the ugliness of the Senate bill, I noted, was how the Democratic leadership allowed the bill to be held hostage by other Democrats. Mindful of the razor-thin majority, a few Democrats were able to demand some pretty sweet deals for their states, deals the rest of us would be paying for. The most egregious example: Nebraska’s Ben Nelson was able to guarantee that his state’s Medicaid bill would be paid for by the federal government in perpetuity.

Thus far, I’ve supported passage of either the House or Senate version of the bill, despite these types of deals, so that we can get something out there, something that will stop insurance company abuses and save lives.

But given this change in the Senate, perhaps it is time to take a step back and have a fresh look at the problem. The debates have already been held, the discussion has already been had. We know those parts of the bills that have some Republican support. Let’s pass those parts now. These include the complete elimination of pre-existing conditions and of retroactive policy denial, and a cap on insurance company profit-taking.

Then, using the momentum of change from these reforms and the goodwill they will create between the Congress and the people, we can continue to pound away at the health care problem, working toward a public option with teeth, rather than the limp impersonation that the current bills contain.

This sort of strategy should help both parties. The Republicans can tout their support for some reforms and hope the public forgets all the stalling tactics and the spreading of misinformation that started last summer. The Democrats can show some movement on an issue that the majority of the public wants fixed, giving them something to hang their hats on as election season nears.

Win-win for the parties; but more importantly, a win for the people. Something worth posting a Facebook status update about.


Steve Mount has been a Williston resident since 1996. He is a software engineer at GE Healthcare and is devoted to his family, his country and his Constitution. You can reach Steve at steve@saltyrain.com or read his blog at http://saltyrain.com/ls.


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Right to the Point (1/28/10)

A better change for America

Jan. 28, 2010

By Mike Benevento

You can sense it. We all know it. America’s political mood is once again changing. The recent election of Republican Scott Brown to take “Ted Kennedy’s seat” in the U.S. Senate confirmed the pendulum is swinging back to the right. Ordinary citizens have had enough of Congress and President Barack Obama’s agenda. They want change. So, let’s carry the momentum into November’s elections.

Americans are sick and tired of the past year’s massive spending spree. We want smaller, more efficient government — at all levels. We do not need an increasingly bloated bureaucracy taking more control of our lives along with the higher taxes it demands.

As Americans, we are frustrated with an unresponsive leadership and having our voice ignored. While Washington tells us to be satisfied with “only” 10 percent unemployment, families worry about paying bills. It is penny-pinching time for most. Meanwhile, a seemingly uncaring Congress increases our nation’s debt ceiling without batting an eye.

Americans are upset with the government’s overspending and its growing size. The voters want fiscal responsibility. People are fed up with expensive stimulus packages, bank bailouts, auto company takeovers and health care overhauls — while we little people pay the bills. You have heard it before and it is true: Wall Street benefits while Main Street suffers.

Washington’s status quo no longer works. It is time to replace incumbents who do not favor reducing taxes, limiting government and minimizing power. The same goes for the Vermont Legislature.

Last year, as Vermonters faced difficult financial times, Gov. Jim Douglas, Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie and legislative Republicans called for reduced state spending. The Democrat-controlled Legislature refused to cooperate.

Instead, Vermont Democrats ignored economic realities, overrode Gov. Douglas’ veto, and passed an unsustainable state budget. Using federal money as a crutch, they increased spending at a time when Vermonters were cutting back. The results were inevitable.

Vermont currently faces a $150 million deficit. Montpelier now has to make huge budget cuts across state government. This will have a corresponding negative effect on government services. Unsurprisingly, Vermonters are not pleased.

People are working hard. In fact, especially in Vermont, many of us toil at two jobs trying to make ends meet. We worry about having a decent and steady source of income to provide for our family. While we would sure love it, we are not looking to get rich. We simply want more time with our family and friends and more freedom to follow our own pursuits.

Americans simply want to raise their family, do their job and live their life — with minimal government interference, regulation and taxation. Government’s purpose is to support the American way of life — not control it. More and more, however, control is what it feels like Washington is striving for.

Constant government spending greatly infringes upon its citizens’ ability to choose. The more the government takes, the less flexibility people have to spend on what they need or desire. Eventually, left untouched, government will suck the life and spirit out of its workers in an apparently endless quest for power and wealth redistribution.

We demand responsiveness from our representatives. We do not need leaders who put special interests above ours. We especially don’t need those that mostly look out for themselves and turn a deaf ear toward their constituents.

In November, let’s elect politicians who listen to us, support traditional family values and prefer limited government. Let’s elect people who favor reducing taxes. Let’s elect conservatives.

There are many good conservatives looking to make a positive difference in local, state and federal government. They’ll need loyal and energetic supporters to assist their campaigns. Volunteers will be needed to write letters, hand out flyers, wave banners, install lawn signs, make phone calls, talk to others and help raise money.

It is time for conservatives to step up to the plate. While money is appreciated, donating your time and effort is most important. Become involved. Spread the word.

You can make a difference — especially at the local level. Don’t allow those that you disagree with to run the show. Take action!

If you want to get involved, here are three great places to start:

> The grassroots Tea Party movement calls for smaller government, less taxes and better representation. Vermont’s organization recently changed its name to the Green Mountain Patriots. For more information, check out www.greenmountainpatriots.com.

> The Vermont Republican Party (www.vtgop.org).

> The Williston Town GOP. Contact Bret Powell at 878-5347 for more information.

Together, conservatives can bring about a better change for America. Please join us.


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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Letters to the Editor (1/28/10)

Jan. 28, 2010



Town Meeting and elections will be held on Tuesday, March 2. Please note that on Feb. 25, in the issue just prior to Town Meeting Day, the Observer will not run any Letters to the Editor pertaining to the vote.

All Letters to the Editor written in regards to Town Meeting and the March 2 election MUST be received no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 15, and will appear in the next issue of the Observer when it publishes on Feb. 18.

Please be aware that normal guidelines will apply, including a 300-word limit for all letters.

E-mail letters to editor@willistonobserver.com.


Put items on ballot

After reading the article (“Balloting rejected for major issues”) in the last Observer, it’s obvious that the officials that we elected have decided to totally ignore the wishes of the voters of the town of Williston. This is a disgraceful situation. We rejected funding for the ambulance question two years ago, and the Selectboard has taken it on themselves to say yes, we can afford that, and we can do it without a vote. Horrendous!

Secondly, they have taken the roundabout issue on themselves, and said no to voting, maybe to Town Meeting that they well know not many people attend. They say they have the out on that because of the legal opinion given them by our town attorney from Hinesburg that says, according to last week’s article, “State law gives the board the final word on non-budget issues. And even then, state and federal highway officials have the last say because it is a federally funded project on a state highway.” OK, so now we have the obstacle of the local Selectboard and the highway department.

In my opinion, this roundabout makes no sense at all. For one thing, there isn’t room enough for an adequate size one, and I have seen for myself in another state, where there was a huge roundabout, it became too dangerous, and was finally taken out five or six years ago, and stop lights put in instead. Traffic there flows at a much calmer speed, and it’s just so much easier to get through that intersection.

We need to make it known to the state highway department just how we feel about the roundabout, and probably the governor as well. Last I knew it was still a democracy, not a dictatorship, as the Selectboard seems to want.

Hazel Winter, Williston


Editor’s note: The Selectboard decided on Monday night to put the roundabout decision to a ballot vote; the ambulance will remain part of the proposed budget for fiscal year 2010-2011.


Open letter to the Williston Selectboard

I read with dismay that the Selectboard has decided to rule by fiat on the issue of the latest fire department expansion (the ambulance question). The Selectboard is within its legal rights to exclude the taxpayers and voters in major decisions. As our elected representatives the aforementioned decision is legal. The question is, is it ethical?

I am not aware of any criticism of St. Michael’s Rescue, which has provided efficient service to Williston for years. In 2007, the voters rejected the ambulance proposal by a significant margin. Now, it appears the voters are to be bypassed in yet another fire department expansion.

In times such as these, with 10 percent of the population jobless and the rest of us hard-pressed to meet taxes and living expenses, the town should not incur an additional expense of $231,915. Contrary to the claims of Chief Morton, there are no free rides and the taxpayers will face yet another tax increase. The so-called “escape clause” in case of falling revenues will never be invoked and the six new employees of the original proposal will be added over the next few budget cycles.

In an attempt to lessen this year’s tax increase, the town of Williston has declined to fill openings in the police department, cut after-school programs and reduce overall services. The local school system and the high school have produced minimal growth budgets. The Selectboard appears not to feel the same restraints and with a notable lack of sensitivity has chosen to exclude the voters from the decision-making process.

In our representative form of government, elected officials can legislate as they choose, so long as it is not contrary to the law of the land. Elected officials should not, however, forget that the appearance of propriety is as significant as the law. Issues previously rejected or questioned by the voters should be returned to them for consideration.

Michael Mauss, Williston


Residents deserve a say

While reading through last week’s article (“Balloting rejected for major issues”), I noticed that the Selectboard recently decided to fund an ambulance service through the annual operating budget, so that they can bypass a town-wide vote.

Last time I checked, the ambulance service failed the vote three years ago. This shows that the residents of Williston did not want the ambulance. We are in an economic tough spot, and I’ve seen no data showing that St. Michael’s is incapable of providing this important service.

If it’s a public service addition, it should at least be approved through the public. We should spend our money on supporting our understaffed police department, rather than purchasing the ambulance.

Calvin Benevento, Williston


Help for Haiti

We are encouraged by the President to donate funds to help those struggling in the aftermath of a 7.0 earthquake that has killed many thousands and hurt many more in the Caribbean island nation of Haiti.

At the same time the current administration is considering removing the deductibility of charitable contributions, which will severely restrict just such donations by private citizens.

The U.S. taxpayers will pay out $598 billion dollars, or 22 percent of the UN budget this year. I wonder how much of that mountain of money will ever make it Haiti? Haiti is a welfare nation that has the world’s highest concentration of NGOs giving out aid. Encouraging productivity and freedom can lift people out of poverty, not endless handouts or the forced reintroduction of a socialist dictator like Jean-Bertrand Aristide at U.S. gunpoint.

Shelley Palmer, Williston



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