July 20, 2019

Sports Notes

Aug. 19, 2010

Former CVU golfer in good form

Jack Tomashot, the top player on the Champlain Valley Union High golf team this past spring, has been faring well on the links this summer.

Tomashot recently finished second by a single stroke to Rand Burroughs in the championship flight for the 2010 Cedar Knoll Country Club championship in Hinesburg. Burroughs fired a 159 in the two title rounds while Tomashot posted a 160.

Prior to that, Tomashot took third place in the Vermont Golf Association junior championships at Middlebury’s Ralph Myhre course, shooting a 76 to finish seven strokes off the winning 69 of Greg Scott.

Annual Red-White grid contest Saturday

The Champlain Valley Union High football team will wind up its first practice week Saturday morning with the annual Red-White intra-team scrimmage starting at 10 a.m.

It is an opportunity for parents and the general public to get a look at the 2010 edition of the football Redhawks.

Two CVU foes are June Athletes of the Month

Two longtime opponents of Champlain Valley Union High athletic teams have been named Vermont’s June Athletes of the Month by the Vermont Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.

Brittany Pfaff, a multi-sport star at Rice Memorial High, won four events in the state Division 2 track and field championships and followed up with a victory in the Vermont heptathlon to capture the girls Athlete of the Month honor.

Pfaff was also a standout soccer and basketball player for Rice.

One of the other nominees was Kylie deGroot of CVU, who led her girls tennis team to an undefeated season and the Division 1 crown.

The boys award went to Casey Harmon, a former South Burlington High star, who helped pitch Clemson University into the College World Series and then to third place at the Omaha, Neb. event.

Harmon was a familiar foe for CVU baseball teams and hurled the Rebels past the Redhawks three years ago in the Division 1 title test at the University of Vermont’s Centennial Field.

Practices open Monday for most CVU fall sports

Aug. 19, 2010

Observer photo by Greg Duggan Kevin McCarthy, defensive coordinator of the Champlain Valley Union High football team, runs drills at the opening day of practice on Monday.

While head coach Jim Provost and his Champlain Valley Union High football team head into their second week of practice sessions Monday, the rest of the fall sports programs will conduct their opening day of tryouts and practices.

Early birds will be coach T.J. Mead and his defending Division 1 boys varsity soccer team, which will have a double session for juniors and seniors. The first workout will go from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. They will return for another two-hour stint at 4 p.m.

The junior varsity under Jeff Evans will be on the field from 9 a.m. until noon.

Coach Brad Parker’s girls varsity soccer team will hold its initial workout from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The junior varsity A and B programs, directed by Katherine Riley and Corinna Hussey, are scheduled for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Field hockey aspirants will be on the field from 9 a.m. until noon under head coach Kate McDonald, junior varsity mentor Enid Wonnacott and freshman coach Sara Malcolm.

The boys and girls cross country teams with Scott Bliss at the helm will work out from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent

Board sets goals for school year

Aug. 19, 2010

By Greg Duggan
Observer staff

With the start of the 2010-2011 school year approaching at the end of the month, the Williston School Board has a set of four goals to pursue.

At its annual retreat earlier this month, the board chose four goals for the year: technology, communication, action planning and board to school connections.

School Board Chairwoman Holly Rouelle said the goals stemmed from a discussion with District Principal Walter Nardelli about the school district’s initiatives. When Nardelli asked if the School Board had any goals for the year, ideas ensued.

Board member Darlene Worth suggested the technology piece, Rouelle said. The goal involves knowing what types of computers are in use at other schools, and using technology available through laptop and desktop computers at the school. Rouelle said it was about “staying up to date with 21st century learning skills.”

“Communication is ongoing from last year,” Rouelle said, “it was a recommendation from the work with the (Williston Conceptual) Frameworks Committee.”

The committee was a group of teachers, administrators, parents and community members that formed to issue recommendations about the reconfiguration of the school district, which included a directive to improve communication with the community.

“We felt it’s an area we can always improve on,” Rouelle said, adding that the board plans to continue writing Letters to the Editor and posting information on the school website.

Action planning, Rouelle said, is to make sure the board is held accountable and pursues initiatives laid out in the school district’s action plan. The Observer could not obtain a copy of the school’s plan prior to press deadline.

Rouelle suggested the goal of board to school connections. The board wants to have more meetings at the school, perhaps set up as morning coffee chats, where people in the school could converse with board members.

“We’re trying to improve visibility and transparency as a board,” Rouelle said.

Recipe Corner

Summer fruit recipes

Aug. 19, 2010

By Ginger Isham

It has taken me a little while to find the other recipes I knew I had but, at last, here they are and I hope they inspire my readers. So many times I use the same recipes and think others may also, but I always look for a new way to use the “fruits of our labor.”

Cold Strawberry Soup

1 quart of fresh or frozen strawberries

1/3 cup orange juice

1/4 cup cranberry juice

1/2 cup yogurt (plain and non-fat)

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons sugar or maple syrup

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix all ingredients and blend until smooth. Chill 2 to 3 hours. Garnish with dollop of whipped cream, fruit or mint.

A Forgotten Pudding

This is an elegant dessert for hot weather.

5 egg whites

1 1/2 cups sugar (I use 1/4 cup less)

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon and 2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring

1 cup heavy cream

1 quart of black raspberries

Beat egg whites until stiff and gradually add sugar. When stiff and glossy add cream of tartar, salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Grease a 9-by-9-inch baking dish and sprinkle with cornstarch. Pour meringue mix into pan and spread evenly. Place in preheated oven of 450 degrees. Immediately shut off oven and let meringue cook for 4 hours without opening oven. Remove from oven and let cool. Whip cream until stiff and spread over the meringue. Place in fridge for 4 hours or more. Serve by cutting into squares and top with crushed berries mixed with the remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Ursula’s Cold Summer Drink

A friend found this recipe on the Internet and served it to a few of us for lunch recently and it is delicious!

3 cups watermelon, cubed

2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries (without sugar), sliced

1 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Put all in blender and blend until smooth. You will want seconds!

Lime-Yogurt Dressing for Cantaloupe

Mix 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, pinch of cardamom seasoning, honey to taste. Pour over 1 cut-up cantaloupe and place in fridge. Serve cold.

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

Right to the Point

Keep religion away from Ground Zero

Aug. 19, 2010

By Kayla Purvis

9/11. What kinds of emotions stir up for you when you read about, hear about or see photos from it? I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s mostly negative feelings. Being close to a family directly affected by Sept. 11 gives me a very good look at the harsh reality of its aftermath. Building a mosque at Ground Zero is extremely disrespectful, and I cannot believe it was approved.

It’s not about religious intolerance. It’s not even about religious tolerance. It’s about standing up for the people who lost their lives on that ground because of people bearing the name of that particular religion. I think people are scared — scared to put their foot down and say no. No one wants to be accused of being racist. Showing respect for your own citizens by putting a restriction on building over their death site is not racism.

I don’t want the mosque to be built at Ground Zero. Not because it’s a mosque, not because of Islam and not because of racial profiling. But because thousands of Americans — of all nationalities — were killed in the name of Islam. Why then should we allow the construction of a shrine to that religion? By all means, build a mosque. But not on Ground Zero.

I am not arguing that mosques should be banned; that violates the first Amendment, and I believe in the freedom of religion. But I am arguing that approving the mosque at Ground Zero was a poor and disrespectful move. And it still would be no matter what religion it concerned. What if 9/11 was conducted in the name of Christianity, and the building of a church on Ground Zero was passed? How many of you would then have an issue with it? There is an extreme imbalance in the religious tolerance scale, and those who claim to be “open-minded” need to think about whether their tolerance is heavily one-sided.

In my experience, people accept most religions except Christianity simply because it’s the most controversial belief in our society. In all my years in public school, never have we accurately and correctly addressed the beliefs of Christianity. We freely talk about the values from the other major world religions, but never about Christianity. Why? Because people can’t see past the controversial beliefs (such as resurrection) and accept the values of love, forgiveness and trust that the whole thing is based on. Why is it acceptable to let one religion be a social taboo, but not any of the others? During World War II, being Jewish was taboo in certain places, and today we are taught that that was wrong. Take a look at today’s view of Christianity.

My point is, saying no to the mosque is being argued as religious intolerance by those who approve it. My question to those people who do approve of the mosque is this: What if it were any other religion? Consider them all. Would you really say yes to a synagogue? A temple? What about a church?

It’s no different than a killer requesting that his victim’s family hang his picture up on the wall.

We can show religious tolerance and acceptance without resorting to disrespecting the thousands who were killed at Ground Zero. I will not bend over backwards and disregard all those people just to avoid being called a racist. If someone wants to believe you or I are racists, then they will. Some people who read this will regard my opinion as racist. I say, “So be it.” But if anyone took a second to put aside their bias regarding my religious beliefs, they would see that what I am saying is not based in religious tolerance or intolerance. It’s based in sympathy and respect for the people we consider victims of an attack that shook our country.

Just because a mosque would stand on that ground does not mean that suddenly profiling and hard feelings and blame toward Islam would disappear.

It’s not profiling Muslims as terrorists. It’s not viewing one religion as superior to another. It’s having enough courage to say that honoring your dead is more important than pacifying someone else for the sake of saving face.

Williston resident Kayla Purvis is a rising senior at Champlain Valley Union High School.

Liberally Speaking

Denounce right-wing attacks on mosque

Aug. 19, 2010

By Steve Mount

“Thou shalt allow religious freedom.”

This is as close to a secular commandment that the United States has. Along with the freedoms of speech, of the press, of assembly and of petition, freedom of religion is an important First Amendment right.

We have often let ourselves be blinded to our freedoms (adding “under God” to our Pledge of Allegiance, for example, as a counter to communist godlessness, and in doing so violating the spirit of religious freedom). Some of the figureheads of the Republican Party and conservative movement, however, have latched on to a new issue to garner support while not only turning a blind eye to the principle, but actively disrespecting it.

In case you have not heard, there is a brouhaha brewing about a new building being proposed for 51 Park Place in lower Manhattan. The building, aptly named Park51 and financed by Islamic community groups, will contain a gym, an auditorium, a restaurant, a library, childcare facilities, a Sept. 11 memorial and, controversially, a mosque.

Over the past month, the shrill right has begun to keen about this issue. Such Republican luminaries as Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich have publicly denounced the project. One person, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, is advocating not just a halt to the building of the Park51 mosque, but a halt to the construction of all mosques across the United States.

Driven by the talking heads, some less thoughtful right wing sheep have begun to flock to the city to hold up placards and protest signs. I’m almost too embarrassed for them to reprint what they say, but the only way to illustrate the lunacy is to do so:

– “Don’t glorify murders of 3000 – no 9/11 Victory Mosque”

– “Islam builds mosques at the sites of their conquests and victories”

– “A mosque at Ground Zero spits on the graves of 9/11 victims”

All of this lunacy over nothing.

The truth is that the proposed mosque is not at Ground Zero. Imagine, for a moment, that Burlington’s Town Center mall is Ground Zero. The location of the mosque in New York City is equivalent to where Burlington’s Fletcher Free Library is. No one would say that the library is “in” the Burlington Town Center mall. It is a mistake at best, and a deception at worst, to say that the proposed site is “at” Ground Zero.

All of this lunacy is contrary to a cherished American principle.

I think it is safe to say that if Park51 was going to hold a chapel, church or synagogue, then there would be not so much as a single breath wasted on it. The fact that it is a mosque should not be relevant.

An argument is that Islam is a religion of violence, and allowing the mosque at Park51 is akin to allowing a terrorist training ground in the middle of Lower Manhattan. This guilt by association only works because many people buy into the notion that Islam is a religion of violence. What Islam has is an unfortunate number of fanatics who twist the religion to their own agenda, and that’s no reason to stop construction at Park51, let alone, of course, a nationwide moratorium.

Based on that sort of logic, the actions of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh would have stopped construction of Catholic churches; Scott Roeder’s killing of abortion doctor George Tiller and Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph should have closed down other Christian churches. Religious terrorism is not unique to Islam. We cannot paint an entire religion with the brush given to us by these zealots.

Fortunately, at the end of the day, cooler heads will prevail. Though some called it a political risk, President Obama came out firmly in support of the Park51 project, as has New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Americans, regardless of creed or political leaning, should lend their support to the groups responsible for the Park51 project. If you cannot, perhaps you should rethink your feelings about religious freedom in general.


As a reminder, the primary elections are taking place next Tuesday. There are choices to be made on both the Democratic and Republican ballots. Primaries are much less well attended than the general election, but I hope that if you were not sure about voting on Tuesday, a few words of encouragement will sway you.

Voting is another of our cherished rights, and we should not waste it. Please, vote on Tuesday.

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

Aug. 19, 2010

A lovely drive

I wanted to express my thanks to all those who make the beautiful drive along Vermont 2A possible.

Thank you to the donors who fund the purchase of the plants and materials.

Thank you to the laborers who do all the work of planting, weeding, watering and pruning. As a gardener, I know how much work that is.

Thank you to the town of Williston for making the space available for these oases of color.

Because of the contributions of so many, driving along Vermont 2A (which I do nearly every day) is a source of pleasure and pride.

Erika Mellmann, Williston

Thanking the fire department

I would like to say thank you to Jeff Leete of the Williston Fire Department. On Thursday, Aug. 5, I visited the fire station with my grandson, Connor. Jeff gave us a wonderful tour of the station, showed us all the equipment, explained what it was used for and how it worked. Connor was very impressed and appreciative of the time he took with us. I am very grateful that Jeff is a member of our fire department. Thanks again.

Don Ciosek, Williston

A wonderful new trail

The mile-long jaunt from Pleasant Acres over to the bike path and ball fields behind Williston Central School on the newly completed Allen Brook Extension Trail is a delight. Except in times of very high water, I expect it will be used continually by dog walkers and others who seek a quiet place to get a little fresh air and exercise. Many thanks to the landowners whose cooperation made the trail possible. Not to mention the Vermont Agency of Transportation for funding the project and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps for doing the trail construction. For those looking for the trailhead, it is tucked in behind the small cedar trees near the entrance to the Chatham Woods development, off North Williston Road.

Tony Shaw, Williston

Guest Column

Innovation: improving medicine and the economy

Aug. 19, 2010

By Douglas E. Schoen

The federal government just announced that the nation’s unemployment rate is still hovering around 10 percent. Voters have seized on this news by demanding that their leaders find a way to drive that number down.

Indeed, a recent Gallup poll found that 31 percent of Americans view the economy as the most important problem facing the country today; 22 percent saw jobs as the nation’s main concern. A recent Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll revealed that one in three registered voters viewed jobs and the economy as the top priority for the federal government.

As President Obama has pointed out, the economy has actually started creating jobs — 83,000 in June alone. But signs of life in the economy have also caused more people to re-enter the workforce and actively search for work. That’s why the unemployment rate has edged higher.

Lawmakers can do more to create employment opportunities, enable entrepreneurship and aid business creation. Stimulus funds and emergency federal aid certainly helped stop the bleeding during the height of the economic downturn. But to foster job creation over the long haul, our leaders must encourage private-sector growth and investment — particularly in the next generation of innovative industries.

The American economy has fundamentally changed over the last few decades. Regrettably, many manufacturing jobs that have disappeared in recent years aren’t coming back. But jobs in emerging industries can take their place — if we support them.

Take green jobs. In the near future, alternative energy technologies — like wind turbines and nuclear power — could emerge as viable competitors to coal, oil and natural gas. These industries will need plenty of workers.

Another sector that’s poised to take off is biotechnology. Between 2008 and 2009, the industry’s income jumped ninefold — from $400 million to $3.7 billion. The venture capital raised by American biotech companies hit $4.6 billion last year. And biotech firms themselves invested nearly $45 billion in U.S.-based research projects last year.

Nationally, biotech companies are directly responsible for 686,000 jobs — and that number is growing. What’s more, the products of biotech research — cutting-edge medicines — often save taxpayers money by reducing overall health care expenses.

Green jobs and biotech jobs aren’t just for people with Ph.Ds. In both industries, construction workers, food-service providers, accountants, facilities managers, lab assistants and countless others are needed.

Thus, investments in these industries have a multiplier effect on employment — dollars spent on hiring new research scientists lead to the creation of jobs in other industries.

The government can take some simple steps to cultivate innovative sectors like biotech and alternative energy and set this country up for sustainable job growth.

In the short term, policymakers should encourage private-sector employers to make new hires — and retain current employees — by enacting a payroll tax holiday. Such a holiday would especially benefit entrepreneurs and small businesses owners. Many biotech firms are themselves small businesses, so payroll tax relief would accomplish two goals: bolstering America’s commitment to a strong biotech sector and creating new jobs.

Leaders of both parties have already spoken approvingly of this initiative in general terms. A bipartisan move like this is essential given the fact that unemployment remains incredibly high.

The federal government should also provide tax incentives for “angel” investment funds, which supply much of the start-up capital for entrepreneurs.

Longer term, our leaders must improve science and math education in our public schools. Too many students with interest or aptitude in these subjects don’t receive the support and instruction they need. Today’s children will comprise the next generation of energy scientists and medical researchers. Our schools must produce top-flight students — or innovative companies will be forced to set up shop elsewhere.

If our leaders fail to position America to take advantage of the growth opportunities portended by emerging industries, our economy will be no better off 30 years from now than it is today. By supporting biotech, alternative energy and other innovative sectors, lawmakers can expedite the creation of new jobs and set the national economy back on its feet.

Douglas E. Schoen was a campaign consultant for more than 30 years and is the author of “Declaring Independence: The Beginning of the End of the Two-Party System.”

Fire Department receives award

Aug. 19, 2010

The Williston Fire Department recently accepted the 2009 Bronze Station Style Design Award from Fire Chief magazine.

The award was presented at the station by architect Alan Brown of Dore & Whittier Architects Inc.; Brown was the lead architect for the station.

The Williston Fire Station was chosen from 87 stations nationwide. New stations were evaluated, with the results published in a recent edition of Fire Chief Magazine. The Williston station is also featured for the month of August in the 2010 Awards Calendar.

The award was given largely for the functionality of the building, which was conceptualized after much research by Fire Chief Ken Morton.

Prior to the construction of the Talcott Road station, administrative functions and equipment storage had been dispersed throughout five locations in Williston. With all operations now in one place — as well as dorm space for eight people — the station can be staffed 24 hours a day. Currently, one full-time firefighter/EMT works at the station at night; the firefighter/EMT has support from on-call members sleeping at the station.

The community can also use the fire station, which as a community room with seating for 40 people. The community room, also used as a training room, was constructed to easily transform into an Emergency Operations Center, creating a single location for Police, Fire, EMS, and Public Works in the event of a natural disaster or emergency requiring the coalition of these integral departments.

Chocolate maker opens Williston facility

Aug. 19, 2010

By Greg Duggan
Observer staff

A well-known Vermont company has moved a portion of its operations to Williston.

Burlington-based Lake Champlain Chocolates opened a packaging and distribution center at 290 Boyer Circle on Aug. 9.

“They’re shipping as of that Monday,” Meghan Fitzpatrick, marketing specialist for Lake Champlain Chocolates, said earlier this week.

Fitzpatrick said all of the company’s shipping operations will operate out of the Williston location. Orders will range from wholesale shipments to catalogue and online sales.

“With increased sales in our mail order business, numerous partnerships with companies such as Vermont Teddy Bear, Crate and Barrel, Whole Foods and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, as well as the addition of 20 new products to the 2010-2011 catalog, the move will provide us with the extra space we need to continue this growth,” Allyson Myers, director of Sales and Marketing, said in a press release.

The move was a relocation from a building on Pine Street in Burlington, which Lake Champlain Chocolates shared with Dealer.com, a fast-growing company that builds websites for auto dealers and manufacturers. Lake Champlain Chocolate’s move allows Dealer.com to expand into the vacated space.

Lake Champlain Chocolate’s factory and retail store remain at 750 Pine St, where it has been since 1998. Since it’s founding in 1983, the company has always had a spot on Pine Street.

“It’s a location dear to everyone who’s been here for a long time,” Fitzpatrick said.

The company’s long-term goal is to find one central location for all operations, though Fitzpatrick did not know where that would be. She said Lake Champlain Chocolates signed a seven-year lease for the space at Boyer Circle.

The move comes shortly before the company’s fourth quarter, which Fitzpatrick said is the busiest time of the year as Lake Champlain Chocolates ships fall and holiday products.