July 18, 2019

PHOTOS: Protecting trees from beavers

July 29, 2010

Courtesy photos by Bethany Hanna

Local students helped the town in June in implementing a new method of protecting trees from beavers. Using material known as “Beaver Paint” — a mixture of latex paint and sand — students painted on the bottom 3 feet of trees to prevent beavers from removing them. More than 15 trees were painted near the Southridge neighborhood.

PHOTOS: Rain barrel workshop

July 29, 2010

Courtesy photos by Jessica Andreoletti

More than 30 Williston residents learned how to make rain barrels from a workshop held by the town on June 24. Rain barrels collect water from roof gutters and downspouts during rain events, reducing the amount of stormwater runoff leaving a property and entering nearby streams and rivers. Water collected by rain barrel can be used to water flowers, lawns and gardens.

The town plans to hold another rain barrel workshop in the fall.

The town thanked Paquette Full of Posies for donating materials for the workshop, the volunteers who helped prepare the barrels for the participants and Karen Bates for assisting with the workshop.

PHOTOS: Little League 9- and 10-year-old All Stars

July 29, 2010

Courtesy photos by Jeff Boliba

The Williston 9- and 10-year-old Little League All Stars advanced to the District Championship before losing to South Burlington on July 22.

The players included Brayden Bartlett, Greg Bolger, Jeffrey Boliba, Sam Gelin, Isaiah Lawlor, Jacob Murphy, Ian Parent, Liam Reiner, Zach Roy, Tyler Skaflestad, Matt Spear and Joe Warren. Greg Bolger managed the team, and Tom Parent was a coach.

PHOTOS: AAU basketball team 5th in nation

July 29, 2010

Courtesy photo

A team of 15-year-old and under girls from the area captured fifth place in a recent national AAU basketball tournament. The trip to the national event, held in Orlando, Fla., came as a result of the team taking its third straight Vermont title in May at the University of Vermont’s Roy L. Patrick Gymnasium.

Team members include Emma Joslin (North Country Union High School class of 2012), Lazrin Schenck (Champlain Valley Union High class of 2012), Ali Wells (Essex High class of 2012), Kari Lavalette (Essex High class of 2013) Elana Bayer-Pacht (CVU class of 2012), Sofia Lozon (CVU class of 2012) Isabella Esposito (Essex High class of 2012), Kara Sheftic (Essex High class of 2014), Caroline Limanek (CVU class of 2012) and Liz Maglione (Essex High class of 2013). The team was coached by Jessie Brosseau, Katie Lavalette and Mike Wells.

Sports Notes

July 29, 2010

Three from CVU on girls lax all-state team

Vermont’s high school girls lacrosse coaches named three Champlain Valley Union High players to their 2010 All-State teams.

Leading the Redhawks’ selections was junior attacker Amanda Kinneston, who was named to the first team.

Senior Erika Gobeille, a midfielder, earned selection to the second team while junior attacker Hannah Johnson was an honorable mention.

Local girls make mark in AAU national tourney

It has been a happy hoops summer for a team of 15-year-old and under girls from the area who captured fifth place in a recent national AAU basketball tournament.

The trip to the national event, held in Orlando, Fla., came as a result of the team taking its third straight Vermont title in May at the University of Vermont’s Roy L. Patrick Gymnasium.

Members of the team from Champlain Valley Union High were Elana Bayer-Pacht, Caroline Limanek, Sofia Lozon and Lazrin Schenck.

Kari Lavalette of Williston and Essex High was one of the team’s scoring leaders, averaging 14.6 points per game as the Lightning Selects went 6-2 in the tournament. The girls won four of the games with second half rallies.

Fifth place was clinched when Bayer-Pacht knocked in two free throws in the final 15 seconds to assure the victory over a team from Georgia.

Also on the team were Liz Maglione, Kara Sheftic, Isabella Esposito and Alie Wells, all of Essex, plus Emma Joslin of North Country Union High. Maglione was the team scoring leader with an average of 17 points.

Former CVU star makes the grade at Plattsburgh

The Champlain Valley Union High boys basketball team reaped the benefits of long-range bombs from three-point range and farther out by guard Ryan Poirier for a few winters.

Poirier was one of six Vermonters recently named to the State University of New York Athletic Conference academic team. Requirements for the team include a 3.3 grade point average and completion of a sports season.

In addition, Poirier made the Plattsburgh State all-academic first team for his grade-point average of 3.93, the highest by a PSU male athlete.

Two former Redhawks prep for Shrine game

July 29, 2010

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

When the Vermont Shrine football committee and coach Charlie Burnett selected graduated Champlain Valley Union High seniors end Matt Long and tackle Nathan Mills to be part of the team to take on its New Hampshire counterparts a week from Saturday at Windsor High School, they came up with all sevens.

The first two CVU gridders to make the Shrine team, Long wore number 7 and Mills 77 on the Redhawk combine that played its way to the Division 2 title game last fall.

And the fact the game is being played on Aug. 7 … well, that too could be a sign.

“I hope to go down there and help us beat New Hampshire,” Long said Saturday as he looked ahead to training camp opening this Thursday at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H., just over the Connecticut River from Windsor.

Long, an All-State performer at defensive end, was one of the original nominees to the team.

Mills, an alternate, was named to the squad July 8.

“I’m pretty excited about that,” Long said of the additional Redhawk.

For Mills, it was a call to, well, get into playing shape.

“I am really excited,” Mills said Tuesday. “I have been lifting weights and running outside. I’m in a lot better shape than a month ago.”

Last year, the behemoth tackle had a playing weight of 270 pounds.

“At the end of school I was around 290. Now, I am back to 278,” he said.

Long, who will play at Wesleyan University in Connecticut this fall, has been working out from guidelines provided by Wesleyan’s football staff. As a result of weight training and running, the 6-foot-5 Long is up to 220 from his CVU playing poundage of 200.

“He is just all muscle,” Mills said with a chuckle.

Both players like the idea of playing for Burnett, whose Essex High team rolled undefeated to the Division 1 crown last year. Burnett coached both players two years ago in his one season at CVU.

Current CVU coach Jim Provost is very pleased that the two made the Vermont team.

“If there is ever a kid who wonders if work in the weight room pays off, all he has to do is look at Matt,” Provost said. “He is Vermont’s player of the year and a great leader by example.”

Provost believes Mills should have been on the Shrine team for the beginning.

“He is very athletic for a guy his size,” said the coach. “He can get down not just the first but the second block from his offensive tackle position. Our backs really loved running behind him when we went to off-tackle plays.”

While both players are aware of the Granite State’s dominance of the game in recent years, they are optimistic that Vermont will perform well this year.

After all, both were part of the CVU surprise last year in which the Redhawks went from a Division 3 non-contender in 2008 to the penthouse of the Division 2 championship game in 2009.

So when did each of these solid veterans last year start believing they had something special going?

“For me it was the first game at Burr and Burton (in Manchester),” Mills said. “Two years before, we got crumbled by them down there. But this year I was not having a tough time pushing their guys around and we won big.”

Long said that for him it was the second game of the season at Division 2 Rice Memorial.

“We went there and really played well (a one-sided victory) against a Division 2 team, plus our fans outnumbered the Rice fans,” he recalled.

So now it is on the Twin-State contest and the big stage, where they would like to take part in one more surprise outcome.

Recipe Corner

Beef recipes with a twist

July 29, 2010

By Ginger Isham

Grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken and steaks are the norm for summer outings, but sometimes you need a little lift with something just a little different. Try the following recipes, which have a bit of foreign flavor.

Marinated Kabobs with Spices

(For the grill or oven broiler)

4 tablespoons butter (unsalted)

1 teaspoon each ground ginger and cumin

1/2 teaspoon powdered saffron

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

pinch of salt and cayenne pepper

1 cup grated onion

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced

1/4 cup pomegranate juice

Mix all together and blend well.

Rinse quickly in cold water and pat dry with paper towels 2 pounds of round, sirloin or other tender beef with no fat. Cut into cubes and place in shallow dish and pour marinade over all, turning to coat all sides. Let set for up to 2 hours at room temperature or in fridge overnight. Place alternately on skewers with small boiling onions or white onions cut into wedges. You can also add small tomatoes or eggplant slices.

Spicy Hamburger Patties

1 pound of lean ground beef

2 slices whole wheat bread

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1/4 cup parsley or cilantro or mint, finely chopped

1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

pinch of salt and cayenne pepper

Moisten bread with warm water and let stand 2 to 4 minutes until soft. Gently squeeze out excess water and tear into small pieces. Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Make into patties. Grill or use over broiler. You should have 6 to 8 patties. Serve with rice and vegetables or in warm pita bread with chopped onion, tomato and cucumber and some plain yogurt poured over all. In the Middle East these patties are known as “kofta” or “kefta.”


Cut a cantaloupe into 4 quarters (seeds removed) and fill the sections with fresh berries or vanilla ice cream balls. My favorite dessert after a spicy meal is just plain vanilla ice cream.

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

Liberally Speaking

Arizona law is unconstitutional

July 29, 2010

By Steve Mount

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the history of immigration in America, focusing on discrimination that various ethnic groups have suffered. In particular, I focused on the most recent groups to suffer, Hispanics and Latinos.

What I did not get into was the most recent issue, the state-level immigration policies that are scheduled to go into effect on July 29 in Arizona. The state law requires immigrants in Arizona to carry their immigration papers with them at all times. If a state or local law enforcement officer has a suspicion that any particular individual is an illegal immigrant, the officer is required to question that person about his or her immigration status.

The law has been excoriated by many other state and local governments, many going so far as to put official boycotts of Arizona in place, forbidding, for example, attendance at conferences held in Arizona. This is not to say that there is no support for the law. Nine states, including those as diverse as Michigan and Alabama, have officially endorsed the law in legal briefs.

According to Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, “Arizona, Michigan and every other state have the authority to enforce immigration laws.” Here, Cox is simply incorrect. Cox went on to lament that the Obama administration was spending taxpayer dollars fighting the Arizona law.

There are two major problems with this law, and they both run smack into the supreme law, the U.S. Constitution. The first is found in two parts of the original text of the Constitution, at Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4; and at Article 6.

Article 1, Section 8 is all about the powers of the federal government. The powers listed therein are not shared by the federal government and state governments. They are exclusively federal. These include the power to coin money, to establish post offices, to establish patents and copyrights, and the power to maintain an army and navy. In that list is Clause 4, which grants the power to establish a “uniform rule of Naturalization.” In this context, “naturalization” is an umbrella term that includes immigration policy.

States can argue that this clause does not, actually, include immigration, but they would then have to argue against almost 200 years of established legal precedent on the matter. The ability of states to convince the Supreme Court that its precedent on this issue is incorrect seems unlikely.

Article 6 simply buttresses this argument by noting that the Constitution and laws made under it are the supreme law of the United States. A law passed by a state that impinges upon federal powers is no law at all.

Finally, the law violates the 14th Amendment, which guarantees all persons due process under the law. Laws cannot be applied arbitrarily and capriciously. We rely on the judgment of our police officers for many things, and I applaud and support them in the application of that judgment. But here, Arizona police officers will have to make decisions about people based on their perception of an individual. What distinguishes a legal Latino immigrant from an illegal Latino immigrant? Is there something you can see in their eyes? A change in their skin tone? A certain scent a police officer can pick up? Anything, at all, that an officer can use as an objective measuring stick?

No, there is not. Either they will have to ignore the law or they will have to consider all persons who do not have their proper papers as illegals. The casting of this wide net will undoubtedly catch illegal immigrants. But it will just as undoubtedly catch legal immigrants and even native-born citizens of the United States.

Even if immigration was not the exclusive bailiwick of the federal government, these terms of the law are enough to render it null and void. It is my sincere hope that the courts that hear the case smack this law down with the full force of Constitution and send a message to all states that such a usurpation of federal authority will not be tolerated.

If the Obama administration should be spending taxpayer dollars anywhere, it is in fighting state violations of the Constitution. We have, after all, already fought a civil war over the issue of states trying to override federal authority over powers granted to it in the Constitution. What would be a waste, morally, legally and constitutionally, is to not fight Arizona’s law.

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.

Letters to the Editor

July 29, 2010


Vermont’s primary elections will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 24. Please note the Observer will not run any Letters to the Editor pertaining to the vote on Aug. 19, the edition prior to the election.

All Letters to the Editor written in regards to the election MUST be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 9, and will appear in the Observer on Aug. 12.

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

E-mail letters to editor@willistonobserver.com.

No more lights at Lamplite

I live in Lamplite Acres. As I sat in my house on July 22, the calm quiet was disrupted by a truck back-up alarm. I went to see what was going on and several men from Green Mountain Power were standing around the lamplight on my front yard and one of the men in the power box shutting off the power to that light. I spoke with them and they told me the town of Williston was having numerous lights removed. They were as surprised as I that I had not been notified.

I then contacted the town manager, who told me that this was a budget decision to save monies. I questioned the decision to remove the streetlight. His first response was there is nothing that can be done to stop it. He had received calls and the callers were split 50/50 regarding the removal.

The town has failed the residents. They should have notified the residences that were going to have the lights removed. Once the decision (one that is a safety issue) was made to remove the lights, they should have contacted each resident by mail and got their input on how they feel regarding the streetlight on their property. Then maybe the property owners could have made the decision whether to remove the lights. Those of us who liked it and wanted it would still have it. The 50/50 numbers might have turned out more positive if they had included the property owners.

I am stunned the town would remove lamplights from Lamplite Acres. The residents of this community are constantly walking in this area, and the “Lamplites” added a bit of security for those that have to walk their animals in the evenings. Now, one of the focal points of the neighborhood and my property is gone.

Ron Bliss, Williston

Durham announces assistant judge candidacy

As Chittenden County court officer for the last 13 years in both the District and Family courts, and as a previously longtime deputy sheriff in Pennsylvania, I am uniquely qualified for the post of assistant judge.

I am the proud single father of Kacie, a senior at South Burlington High School. I understand the challenges and strains that family members experience during divorce or other family court actions and how devastating it can be for the children involved.

My courtroom experience with a variety of cases has provided me with an objective perspective and I am committed to serve all people who come before the court, whether represented by an attorney or not. In small claims court, I will bring my commonsense approach to decisions that are rendered. I also look forward to performing any other duties assigned by the judicial bureau.

I welcome the opportunity to work closely with Sheriff Kevin McLaughlin in the creation of a budget that is equitable for all concerned. I also will enjoy working with the wonderful people who serve the sheriff as deputies and office personnel, many of whose valuable services often go unnoticed by the general public.

In addition to my professional activities, I have engaged in community volunteer endeavors in a number of different organizations throughout the years.

It would be my pleasure to serve the residents of Chittenden County as assistant judge.

Richard Durham, South Burlington

Guest Column

Without a healthy lake, we break

July 29, 2010

By Ross Saxton

“I don’t go in the lake, so I don’t give a sh!%.”

This quote, which is directly from a resident who lives on Lake Champlain, describes the unfortunate attitude that some people have toward the lake’s health and safety. You don’t need to go in the lake to be affected by it; you just need to live somewhat near the lake to feel its effects — whether it be physically, economically or its influence on the quality of your life.

If Lake Champlain disappeared tomorrow, a lot of Vermonters and New Yorkers would be out of not just a job, but also a lifestyle. We have two options — we can keep doing what we’re currently doing and let lake pollution get out of control, or we can each make a few small changes and bring the lake we love and know back to a safe, clean and economic magnet that will pay dividends now and into the future. I know, the lake obviously won’t disappear overnight, but if we keep polluting it with things such as septic waste, dog feces, pesticides, personal care products and phosphorous from our lawns and farms, it might as well not even exist. What’s the point of being next to a lake that no one can (or wants to) swim in, fish in, boat on, drink from or smell?

Much of our local economy would evaporate if the lake becomes more undesirable. Our superior quality of life, one of the primary reasons many of us live here in Vermont, will go belly-up if we don’t do something soon. Our property values would also take a hit. Don’t forget where our drinking and bathing water comes from, either — more pollution in the lake means more chemicals in our tap water and more taxes to buy and administer these chemicals. If we do the necessary things to reduce our own impact on the lake, stormwater fees, like Burlington and South Burlington currently have, can be reduced, or prevented in the case of towns such as Colchester and Shelburne.

But the Green Mountains and forests aren’t going anywhere, so we would at least still have those to support our economy … right? Maybe not, if our past behavior toward the lake is similar toward our forests.

The connection between our forested mountains and the lake is quite intimate, so while we focus our attention to the small things we can do for the lake, like cutting our grass 3 inches or higher, only applying necessary fertilizers to our lawns and redirecting downspouts away from roads and driveways, it is also essential to make sure that development is done in a way that has minimal affects on our waterways and water bodies. Maintaining naturally vegetated buffers of 50 continuous feet away from surface waters is a great example of a smart development approach that will benefit our waterways and us.

The great thing is that a few easy and unobtrusive changes in our behavior can have a significantly positive influence on the lake, which in return will reward us with incomparable economic and quality of life benefits. Together, with these small and simple changes, we can choose to keep our children healthy, maintain fish and other native aquatic species in the lake and keep money in our pockets. What’s your choice?

Ross Saxton is the program manager for the BLUESM Certification Program at Colchester-based Tethys Corp. Ross can be reached at 383-8400 or ross@weareblue.com.