December 22, 2014

PHOTOS: CVU cross country at Burlington Invitational

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Sept. 23, 2010

Observer photos by Stephen Mease (www.stevemease.com)

The Champlain Valley Union High cross country teams traveled to Burlington for a meet on Saturday. The girls varsity team finished first in the event; the boys team placed third.

PHOTOS: CVU football vs. North Country Union High

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Sept. 23, 2010

Courtesy photos by Joe Kropf

Champlain Valley Union High hosted North Country Union High in football on Saturday, and used a late touchdown pass to earn a 25-22 victory.

PHOTOS: Williston Community Food Shelf

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Sept. 23, 2010

Observer photos by Greg Duggan

The Williston Community Food Shelf has struggled to keep the shelves stocked over the summer, and is seeking donations. The Williston Historical Society presented Food Shelf President Cathy Michaels with a $707.76 check on Sept. 16. Historical Society President Terry Macaig and Treasurer Jon Stokes made the donation, which was made with money raised at Williston’s Ice Cream Social on July 2.

For more information about donating to or volunteering with the Williston Community Food Shelf, visit www.willistonfoodshelf.com.


PHOTOS: Apple picking at Adams Apple Orchard

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Sept. 23, 2010

Observer photos by Marianne Apfelbaum

Beautiful weather on Sunday brought visitors from all over northern Vermont to Adams Apple Orchard & Farm Market.

PHOTOS: Williston goes solar

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Sept. 23, 2010

Observer photos by Greg Duggan

On Thursday, the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, or VPIRG, launched an initiative to make Williston one of the first two “solar communities” in the state. Residents Mike Isham and Sally Fellows have already installed solar panels at their homes. For more information about Solar Williston, visit www.vpirgenergy.org or www.solarenergywilliston.org.

Mini-metro tryouts start next week

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Sept. 23, 2010

Middle school basketball players looking for more time on the court can try out for Champlain Valley Union High School’s Mini-Metro program, beginning next week.

Mini-Metro is a competitive basketball league with teams from different high school districts. Games are held Sundays from the end of October through the end of January.

“It’s for the kids that are really passionate about basketball and are looking for extra competition,” Mini-Metro Coordinator Ute Otley wrote in an e-mail to The Observer. “It also is a great way to meet athletes from the other towns in the district that have common interests.”

Tryouts for seventh and eighth grade girls are scheduled for Sept. 27 and 29. Seventh and eighth grade boys’ tryouts are set for Sept. 28 and 30.

Tryouts for fifth and sixth grade girls are scheduled for Oct. 4 and 6, and fifth and sixth grade boys’ tryouts are set for Oct. 5 and 7.

Tryouts for the program — which is for Charlotte, Hinesburg, Shelburne, St. George and Williston residents — will be held in the CVU gym from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The program costs $90, which covers officials and gym use, equipment and a jersey.

For more information, visit https://sites.google.com/site/cvuminimetro/ or call Ute Otley at 425-6549.

— Stephanie Choate, Observer staff

This Week’s Popcorn

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‘Going the Distance’ stops short of truly big laughs

2 ½ popcorns

By Michael S. Goldberger
Special to the Observer

Convivial and often wittily informative about whatever letter generation it is we’re supposed to be concerned with of late, director Nanette Burstein’s “Going the Distance” doesn’t quite live up to its title insofar as creating laughter-causing entertainment. Drew Barrymore and Justin Long as the lovers divided by a continent can’t quite save the day.

Their bright, welcoming personages may have stood a better chance of spiriting the film along if Geoff LaTulippe’s screenplay could choose between strict farce and somewhat thoughtful comedy. The dilemma is reflected in Miss Barrymore’s face as she seeks a comfortable place to park her Erin, a would-be journalist who has fallen off her life track.

In the Big Apple on an internship with the “New York Sentinel,” the 30-year-old San Franciscan echoes the job market woes of her peers. And now, just to really tear her world asunder, she meets Justin Long’s Garrett, a record biz wonk also crying the career ladder blues. Gosh, they’re such nice, sweet kids. Wish I could offer both of them a job.

Oh well. Falling in love isn’t such bad consolation while you’re waiting for the economy to right itself from the worst downturn since my Great Uncle Moe thought better about leaping from his 30th floor window in ’29. They count the hours until Erin will return to the Left Coast to complete her masters at Stanford. Smart gal.

The day of departure arrives with no grand revelation. That is, except that they are in love. It is thus decided: Against all direly droll admonitions from both camps of friends, they will commit to a long distance relationship. But only the accountants at Verizon are smiling. Garrett resumes his guy routine. Erin returns to her overprotective sister’s house.

A pall is cast over the film. But not only because of the star-crossed circumstances. While both players benefit from some good writing in the wooing stage of the script, the same cannot be said for the ensuing, purgatorial aspect of the story. Though perfunctorily reflective and troubling, its lack of a subtextual counterpoint almost makes it a dirge.

Here, we need either really profound, very funny, or some combination of both. Because once it’s established, bad mood simply isn’t a very entertaining movie mode. Running out of oxygen and wriggling for direction, the tale turns mechanical and longs for the climax. The practically non-existent subplots fail to buoy matters.

Left on stage to appease and ferry us through the movie’s awkward patch, Mr. Long convinces us of Garrett’s basic uprightness. But there’s no real dimension there. Miss Barrymore, on the other hand, takes the challenge with interesting, if not always successful, results. Suddenly, she is 35, and this calls for more than likeable froth.

Happily, the actress brings her movie star quality to the show. After all, she is a Barrymore, and we do so want things to work out for E.T.’s very first friend on Earth. Meshing her natural glibness with an attractively emerging age line here and there, Drew curries our favor. Too bad her chemistry with Mr. Long’s suitor is just so-so.

Occasional comic aid comes from each of the lovers’ seconds. Offering a one-two punch of absurdity from Garrett’s corner are Charlie Day’s squeaky-voiced, weirdo roommate, Dan, and Jason Sudeikis’s Box, an encyclopedic harbinger of relationship-related doom. The two are available for beers, advice and succor whenever there’s trouble in paradise.

Watching Erin’s back with over-the-top, mother hen anxiety and a general disdain for romance in general, is her sister, Corinne, portrayed by Christina Applegate. Controlling and cynical, her powerful sway has husband Phil (Jim Gaffigan) pitifully henpecked. His ineffectuality serves as a humorous warning of what can go wrong if you leap carelessly.

But none of the old wives tales and cautioning bromides about long distance relationships stands a chance against the unfolding amour. At least not initially. Remember, all things are possible with new love, and this winsomely smitten pair is determined to be proof positive that where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Yet time takes its toll. Budgetary constraints relegate Erin and Garrett’s longed for intimacy to E-mails and phone calls. While they manage an occasional visit, the all-too brief liaisons prove inherently stressful. And then Erin receives what ordinarily would be great news. An age-old quandary in a new coating, it figures to be a real game changer.

Although it’s all anticlimactic by this point, we cheer on the protagonists anyway. But our fealty is not so much for the suffering sweethearts as for the idea of everlasting love itself. Still, while it isn’t a bad way to spend some time, fully recommending “Going the Distance” would be going a little too far.

“Going the Distance,” rated R, is a Warner Brothers Pictures release directed by Nanette Burstein and stars Drew Barrymore, Justin Long and Christina Applegate. Running time: 102 minutes.

Road Watch

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Burlington

Road construction will reduce traffic to one lane at times or allow local traffic only on the following Burlington streets:

• Peru Street

• George Street

• Prospect Hill

• Colchester Avenue

• Pomeroy Street

• Colonial Street

• Loomis Street

• School Street

• Weston Street

• St. Louis Street

Road construction on Colchester Avenue from Prospect Street to Nash Street will run through Oct. 15. Traffic delays are expected.

Work on drainage and manholes on South Winooski Avenue starting at King Street through the end of the project limit may cause traffic delays but there will be no road closures during the week. Traffic control will be present.

Colchester

Work on Holy Cross Road will continue until mid-October. Traffic control will be present when required.

Essex Junction

Work on Pearl Street between the main gate of the fairgrounds and the intersection with the post office will last through Nov. 1. Most of the work will be between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., with occasional night work possible. Two-way traffic will be maintained at all times with traffic control present, but motorists may experience short traffic delays.

South Summit Street is CLOSED from Pearl Street to Cherry Street from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for road construction. Traffic will be detoured, and traffic control will be present. To accommodate school traffic, South Summit Street will be open from 7:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., and then from 2:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. This project is expected to be completed by Oct. 5.

Interstate 89

There will be lane and shoulder closures at various places between exits 10 and 16 northbound and southbound through Oct. 30.

Drivers should be aware of construction activity near the exit 14W northbound ramp.

Southbound traffic approaching exit 15 should stay in the left lane due to work painting the bridge over the Winooski River and to shorten the exit 15 on ramp. The speed limit is reduced to 50 mph in this area. This project will continue through the end of October.

Work to improve the exit 15 northbound ramp on Interstate 89 in Winooski may cause minimal traffic delays.

Jericho

Sidewalk construction on Route 15 from Lawrence Heights to Griswold Street will cause periodic lane closures through September.

Milton

Traffic on West Milton Road near the Lamoille River will be reduced to one lane due to road construction. Traffic control will be present, and this project will continue through Oct. 1.

Richmond

Work under the deck of the Interstate 89 Bridge over U.S. 2 will reduce the overhead clearance on U.S. 2 to 14 feet, 6 inches. Motorists should also be aware of workers at the sides of the road.

There will be work on the Checker House Bridge on U.S. 2 during the week. On Thursday, bridge traffic will be reduced to one lane and the remaining lane will be only 8 feet wide. Motorists can expect long delays at times and alternate routes are suggested.

Utility companies working in the area of the Checker House Bridge on U.S. 2 and on the north side of U.S. 2 from French Hill to the Winooski River Bridge may reduce traffic to one lane at times for the next several months.

South Burlington

No parking is allowed on Airport Drive in front of the airport until Oct. 8 to accommodate the delivery of large construction materials.

Motorists should be aware of construction vehicles entering and leaving the main entrance to the Holiday Inn on Williston Road during the day.

Road construction on San Remo Drive will reduce traffic to one lane at times.

Underhill

Pleasant Valley Road is open for two-lane traffic but the travel will be rough until the road is repaved in October. Motorists should be aware of construction and utility vehicles and people working along the side of the road in the work zone.

Westford

Weather permitting, on Sept. 18 there will be line striping throughout the project limits. During the week, weather permitting, there will be paving of tie-ins and abutting driveways throughout the project limits along with general cleanup work.

Williston

Culvert repair on South Road near the entry from Oak Hill Road may cause minimal traffic delays. Motorists should be aware of construction vehicles in this area.

Winooski

Crews will be working on Route 15 near exit 15 throughout the week. The project will include various lane closures on Route 15 from exit 15 on-ramp to Florida Avenue.

County wide

Motorists should be alert for bridge washing and mowing along all county roads. Minor traffic delays should be expected.

For additional information, contact Administrative Advantage at 802-872-9757. More information on current activities at the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization is available online at www.ccmpo.org.

Volunteers

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The listings below are a small sample of needs from more than 200 agencies, available by going online to www.unitedwaycc.org and clicking on “Volunteer.” If you do not have computer access, or would like more information about the volunteer opportunities, call 860-1677 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

PICNIC

Lund Family Center is celebrating families created through adoption and needs volunteers to lead activities, monitor food and games, help with set up, parking and much more. A great group or individual volunteer opportunity. Sept. 25, shifts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

CAMP CLOSE UP

Common Ground Center/Camp Common Ground in Starksboro needs volunteers to help close down for the season. Tasks include moving outdoor furniture, stacking tables and chairs, boxing dishes, books and games, clearing gardens and more. Oct. 12-13, four-hour shifts from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

GET IN THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Vermont Children’s Aid’s “Holiday Spirit” program helps families affected by the criminal justice system provide gifts for moms and dads to give to their children. A volunteer is needed to contact businesses and community groups to request donations, organize family requests, organize donations and help with the holiday events at the North West State Women’s Correctional Facility and in the community. Flexible scheduling through December.

DATA ENTRY

Vermont Children’s Aid is looking for volunteer help to get its new database up and running during September and October. Volunteers should be comfortable with computer entry and respect confidentiality. Flexible scheduling.

REORGANIZE

Goodwill Industries of Northern New England is on the hunt for volunteers with organizational, painting and decorating skills to help with one-day projects in Burlington area stores. Flexible weekday, evening and weekend scheduling.

HELPING HABITAT

Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers for marketing, data entry, writing articles and fund-raising to help the organization continue to provide homes for those in need.

> Online and e-marketing: Help reach more supporters and increase communication with existing supporters through e-mail, website and other electronic tools. Background in marketing, fund-raising or donor management would be ideal.

> Data Entry: Enter volunteer profile information into a database and help schedule volunteers for work days on a Habitat site. Most work can be done from home.

> Writers: Write articles for quarterly newsletter. Articles include interviews with volunteers, special events, home maintenance and energy saving tips, updates on build projects and more. Writing can be done from home.

> Fund-raising: Serve on the Fundraising Committee to help raise money to build more houses for families in need. Become involved in fund-raising activities including a summer picnic, open houses, house dedication events, phone-a-thon, wine tastings and more. About five hours a month.

> Grant Writer: Experienced grant writer to help apply for grants to build more homes. Work can be done from home.

Cross country team to divide for Saturday races

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Sept. 23, 2010

Champlain Valley Union High senior Daniel Hebert finishes fourth in the varsity boys cross country race at the Burlington Invitational on Saturday. Hebert clocked an official time of 17:21.12. The Redhawks finished third as a team. (Observer photo by Stephen Mease)

Fresh from solid performances the past two weekends in the Essex and Burlington Invitationals, the Champlain Valley Union High cross country team will send groups to U-32 in East Montpelier and also to an invitational event in Manchester, N.H. to test New England competition.

The top boys and girls runners are going to New Hampshire, with the junior varsity harriers heading to U-32.

On Saturday, the CVU girls laid down a marker for the state’s other competitors by winning a second team title in two weeks of highly competitive races.

The Redhawks scored a 43-57 win over second place Essex High in the 15-team Burlington event. The Hornets’ Markie Palermo followed up her victory the previous week in the Essex Invitational at the Catamount Family Center with a Queen City triumph.

Palermo posted a time of 19 minutes, 22.63 seconds to outdistance runner-up Summer Spillane of CVU by about 32 seconds.

The well-balanced Redhawks had Adrienne Devita take fourth, Julienne Devita eighth, Aleksey Jordick 11th and Sophie Hess 18th.

CVU’s boys (116 points) took third at Burlington behind winning St. Johnsbury Academy (42) and second place Essex High (73).

St. Johnsbury’s Hayden Bunnell posted a close, 2-second victory over Brendan Copley of Colchester High.

The Redhawks’ Dan Hebert took fourth and Nick Bouton cracked the top 20 in 18th place.

— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent