May 22, 2018

CVU girls soccer team remains unbeaten

Sept. 23, 2010

With almost a week since their last outing and a healing opportunity for the four players with nagging injuries since pre-season, the Champlain Valley Union High girls soccer team was home to visiting Mount Mansfield Union on Wednesday. The game was scheduled for after press deadline. It was the middle match in a three-game home stand set to wind up at 10 a.m. Saturday when Colchester High comes calling.

The Redhawks carried a 4-0 record into their Wednesday tussle, having dispatched current Division 2 champion and previously undefeated Milton High 2-0 in a rainy splash-a-thon on the Hinesburg heights last Thursday.

With a 3-0 record and having outscored their opponents 10-2, the Blue Devils commanded respect from the Redhawks.

“We saw them play at Essex (pre-season mini-games) and they were good,” CVU midfielder Kendall Berry said. “We were a little nervous.”

The two unbeatens rolled scoreless well into the second half, until Berry deposited a well-placed pass from the right sideline by Kate Raszka for a 1-0 lead. It was Berry’s third goal of the campaign.

Taylor Goldsborough slammed home her third tally of the season with 7:31 left, with an assist to Shelby Hanlon.

CVU generally had command in geographical play, with Milton goalkeeper Hillary Turner making eight stops. Redhawks’ goalie Emily Sackett had three saves and some nifty cover-up work out in the field.

— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent

Redhawks await gridiron showdown with Cougars

CVU defeats North Country Union on Saturday

Sept. 23, 2010

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

Drew Nick (4), an outside linebacker on the Champlain Valley Union High football team, lines up a North Country Union High runner for a tackle during Saturday’s game. (Courtesy photo by Joe Kropf)

“Our schedule is a minefield,” Champlain Valley Union High head football coach Jim Provost said Sunday evening, a little more than 24 hours after his Redhawks avoided one of those mines.

The Redhawks scored late in Saturday’s game to earn a 25-22 home victory over previously undefeated North Country Union High (2-1).

Next up, also on the Hinesburg gridiron sod, the Mount Mansfield Union High Cougars, who will be in full snarl following losses the last two weeks to the aforementioned North Country (22-13) and Middlebury Union High (18-12).

“Mount Mansfield is a really good team,” Provost warned.

MMU opened the season by inaugurating its new home field with a 13-6 triumph over Division 1 Essex High.

“They (MMU) are very physical and tough,” Provost continued. “They run a lot of misdirection. We have to tackle everybody.”

The last time the two teams met was in a Division 2 semifinal last fall in which the Redhawks prevailed. The Cougars will no doubt draw motivation from that fact and also that they are 0-2 in a highly competitive Division 2. The Redhawks are 2-0 in the division and overall 2-1.

Saturday’s thriller came down to a 49-yard pass and run connection from quarterback Konnor Fleming to the tall man with the hands, end Taylor Gingras, who made the catch some 15 yards out in the right flat and then hot-footed it into the end zone.

“I ran as fast as I could go,” Gingras said of the game-winning play.

There was just 2:10 on the clock as the Redhawks came from a 22-17 deficit with the third lead change in the final reel. Fleming scored the two-point conversion on a keeper.

“It was a perfect pass,” Provost said. “Konnor got drilled after letting the ball go.”

And Fleming was not done.

After the kickoff, the Falcons drove from their 38 for two first downs and a first and 10 from the CVU 39 with about a minute left and plenty of nervous twitching on the CVU sidelines and in the stands.

Fleming, in the CVU secondary, got in front of a Tre Sanville first down pass, grabbed it and bolted back 40 yards to the Falcons’ 30 to ice the contest.

“We knew they were out of timeouts and had to pass,” said the Redhawks’ quarterback-defensive back.

In a game filled with big plays, Provost said two important ones came on North Country’s possession prior to the game-winning pass. Linebacker Ryan Fleming and 260-pound lineman Dale Conger stopped Falcons’ speedster halfback Nick LeClair on third and fourth down bursts into the line; LeClair needed only 2 yards for a first down that could have just about ended the drama.

LeClair was a dashing and smashing presence most of the day. He scampered through and around CVU defenders for 236 yards including scoring jaunts of 70, 47 and 13 yards.

“He is a very good player,” said Redhawks’ linebacker Drew Nick, who was making tackles all over the field and mano-a-mano with LeClair quite often.

While LeClair led a rumbling North Country ground game that amassed 316 yards, CVU showed a slick and neat aerial attack as Fleming completed 16 of 25 tosses for 216 yards. The passes included touchdowns to Gingras, Ryan Beaudry (16 yards) and Tyler Barnes (12 yards).

Gingras got his mitts on seven passes for 131 yards while Beaudry caught four for 45 yards. Matt Bauer grabbed three to pick up 26 yards.

A key pair of plays took place just before halftime. After linebacker Eric Palmer stuffed NCU’s back Fred LeClair for a 3-yard loss on a third-and-two run, NCU punted to CVU swiftie J.P. Benoit, who returned to the North Country 30. A personal foul penalty against the Falcons moved the ball to the 15 with less than 10 seconds left.

Call for Thunderfoot!

CVU’s kicker Tucker Kohlasch (two-for-two extra points) knocked a 24-yard field goal through the uprights for a 10-6 Redhawks lead, those three points ultimately the difference.

NCU-CVU, Stats

NCU                                    6                  0                  8                  8     –   22

CVU                                    0                  10                  0                  15   –   25


First downs                                     12                                    14

Rushing yards                                316                                    126

Passing yards                                   42                                    216

Return yards                                    74                                    155

Comp-Att-Int                                  4-5-1                                    16-25-1

Sacked-Yards lost                           1-6                                    1-7

Punts-Avg                                        3-29                                    3-28

Fumbles-lost                                    3-3                                    2-2

Penalties-yards                                4-45                                    4-16

CVU hosts Cougars Thursday in boys soccer

Sept. 23, 2010

After racking up four straight wins to open the season, the defending Division 1 champion Champlain Valley Union High boys soccer team returns to its Hinesburg heights field at 4:30 p.m. Thursday for only the second home contest thus far.

The Mount Mansfield Union High Cougars will provide the opposition. MMU took a 2-2 record into the week. Last Friday, it tripped up South Burlington High 3-0 at Jericho Center. The Redhawks blanked the Rebels 2-0 recently in South Burlington.

Zipping foes has been the main entree on the 4-0 Redhawks’ victory menu. They have outscored the opposition 15-0 and in general have dominated the fields of play.

The latest win was a 2-0 victory Friday in Swanton against previously unbeaten Missisquoi Valley Union High (4-1). After a scoreless first half, Tanner Tomasi scored to give CVU the lead early in the second half. Senior co-captain Kyle Logan then launched his second successful penalty kick of the season.

Goalie Jeffrey Wettstein had two saves for the Redhawks, who fired six shots at the Thunderbirds’ net minder Bart Benckert.

Last Wednesday, it was a brothers scoring act for CVU as Tino and Tanner Tomasi got balls past busy Harwood Union High goalkeeper Kayle Caley. CVU popped the Highlanders 2-0 in Duxbury to overcome a 16-save performance by Caley. Wettstein had just two stops for the Hawks.

— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent

Everyday Gourmet

Bok joy

Sept. 23, 2010

By Kim Dannies

I love to grill peaches, bok choy and shrimp and blanket them with a nutty sauce for the perfect transition-to-autumn meal. This easy Asian dish, loaded with flavor, texture and eye appeal, features bok choy, a delightful cool weather cabbage now peaking in the fall harvest. Bok choy has a firm white base and dark green leaves; please use baby bok choy — it is the most tender and optimal for this dish.

The peanut sauce is incredible; it has sambal oelek chili paste and peach nectar in it — two fun, cheap ingredients that are in the international section of your supermarket.

I first saw this combination of foods in Bon Appetit’s July 2008 issue and I’ve been enjoying variations on this recipe ever since.

Peanut sauce

Whisk together 6 heaping tablespoons of smooth natural peanut butter, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sambal oelek chili paste and 5 tablespoons peach nectar until smooth; season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.

Coconut rice

Oil a deep pot that has a tight fitting lid. Place 2 cups Thai Jasmine rice, 2 cups coconut milk, 1 3/4 cups water, 2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut and pinch of salt together in the pot. On medium-high heat bring the rice to a gentle bubble, stirring regularly. Turn the heat to lowest setting and cover rice. Simmer 15 minutes. To check for doneness, stir rice with a chopstick. Most of liquid will be absorbed and the rice will be sticky. Turn off heat; rice will stay warm for an hour ahead.


Prep grill to medium-high heat. Arrange 2 peaches (each cut into 6 wedges), 16 large shrimp on skewers and 4 heads of bok choy (halved lengthwise) on the grill. Brush with 4 tablespoons of peach nectar. Brush all the items again with 1/4 cup of the peanut sauce (use a separate brush for raw shrimp).

Grill until peaches are slightly charred, 2 minutes per side. Grill shrimp and bok choy 3 minutes per side. Mound grilled food onto a platter and drizzle some of the peanut sauce over. Serve sauce and coconut rice on the side. Serves 4.

Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three 20-something daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to

Little Details


Sept. 23, 2010

By Katherine Bielawa Stamper

It was the morning commute. Several Roma — Gypsies — gathered at the Arles railway station en route to Avignon. Animated conversation mirrored the brightness and vitality of their mismatched clothes. Olive-skinned, dark-eyed and sporting a disheveled look, these women were the foot soldiers of a nomadic people misunderstood and maligned across Europe. We’d see them later along Avignon’s tourist track, soliciting money from passersby.

I watched from the distance. I so rarely see Roma interact with each other. They smiled and chatted in their closed circle. I’m used to solitary figures hovering in doorways, nursing babies or displaying toddlers with slightly dirtied faces, hands outstretched. I wonder about Roma men when I witness this seeming exploitation of women and children.

Roma, thought to be originally from India, live a largely separate but unequal existence in Europe. They experience overt discrimination. Their culture is misunderstood. Once concentrated in Eastern Europe, they experience greater mobility since the collapse of the Iron Curtain. When travelling, I aim for peaceful coexistence with Roma while guarding the contents of my wallet.

In Poland, a Roma woman once handed my then 4-year-old a candy when my husband’s back was turned. Being a kid, she unwrapped and plopped the treat in her mouth. What toddler wouldn’t be seduced by sweetness in an outstretched hand? The woman demanded cash. My husband walked away, clutching our daughter’s hand, with the woman in pursuit.

Our daughter learned to not accept flowers or pieces of candy under such circumstances. Seeming acts of generosity were, instead, business transactions.

Visiting a cathedral in Lviv, Ukraine several years ago, I quietly translated for my daughter a plaque listing Polish professors from Jan Kazimierz University murdered by the Nazis.

A Roma woman approached me mid-sentence in the sanctuary. She held her baby to her breast and stuck her hand obtrusively in my face. I ignored the gesture. She moved in closer as I continued the translation, explaining how Nazi’s targeted Polish intellectuals, Jews, homosexuals and Roma among others.

She moved in tightly, invading our Mother-Daughter space, muttering again her desire for cash. She thrust her beautiful, brown-eyed baby in my face.

I said, in a stern whisper — we were in a church — “daj spokoj,” which means, “leave me alone.” She persisted, forcefully, angrily. I continued, slightly louder, “Daj Spokoj.” Intent on separating me from the Ukrainian hryvnia in my money belt, she got in my face. One last time, I spoke but did not whisper, “DAJ SPOKOJ.”

She stared at me, anger bleeding through her dark eyes and blinked fiercely three times before leaving.

“She’s cast a spell,” I thought.

I didn’t say a word to my daughter, not wanting to frighten her.

Before leaving, my family left a donation in the church collection box as we typically do. The Roma woman sat perched in the doorway, rocking her baby.

I looked her in the eye, inhaled deeply and said, “God bless you,” in crystal clear English. In my mind, my blessing broke any spell she might have cast.

My Aunt Basia spent years as a special educator in Prudnik, a small town in southern Poland. Prudnik had a sizable Roma population, with some living in permanent housing and others in a temporary “camp” they established on the outskirts of town.

Roma children were disproportionately represented in special education classes. I guess this had more to do with cultural disconnects than it did with intelligence. Education was compulsory, and yet, some Roma children did not attend school. Girls were particularly vulnerable, given pressure to marry while still teenagers.

Basia befriended Markiza, a pretty, black-haired Roma girl in her class. Basia pitied the sweet girl entrenched in a culture that did not encourage her to look beyond early marriage and motherhood.

Basia walked to school. Few teachers had cars in communist Poland. She made a point of picking up Markiza each day. This was the only way to insure the girl’s presence. Her father, the local Roma leader, did not want his daughter to attend school. Markiza’s mother would later thank Basia for her special effort.

Markiza completed a basic education, was given in marriage to a much older man when she was 16 and moved away. Years later, Markiza visited her long-ago teacher. The divorced mother of several children told Basia, “If it wasn’t for you and what I learned in your classroom, I’d never have found the courage to leave my abusive husband.”

President Nicolas Sarkozy, frustrated by the ballooning presence of Roma in France, is resorting to rounding them up and depositing them on planes bound for Bucharest. Although some French protest these actions, deportations continue.

I may not be a fan of certain Roma practices. I find I am less of a fan of tactics that include raids, round-ups and deportations. If it’s the Roma people now, will Muslims or Africans or some other distinct minority be next?

Note: “Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey” by Isabel Fonseca provides insight into the Roma people and their culture.

Katherine Bielawa Stamper lives in Williston. Reader comments are welcome at or

Letters to the Editor

Impressed by Williston residents

The Sept. 9 issue restored my faith in the intelligence of our citizenry.

The letter by Dr. Glenn D. Goldman, refuting a previous column about the evils of salt, provided a factual discussion of the topic. In my many years of health practice I have heard far too many opinions with no scientific basis expressed by patients who have not taken the time to learn the facts.

The Guest Column by Williston residents Kathleen and James Bruce succinctly reminded us that religion is not a state-sanctioned entity and that all marriages are not made authentic by the blessings of a designated representative of religious practice.

Thanks to the editor of the Observer for including these for all to read.

Carol Stewart, Williston

On salt and tone

I was struck by Dr. Glenn D. Goldman’s comments in the Sept. 9 Observer, concerning Ginger Isham’s writing on the dangers of too much salt. Dr. Goldman claims that Ginger Isham made “inaccurate,” “embarrassing” and “preposterous claims.” Yet it’s clear from Dr. Goldman’s offering that Mrs. Isham’s claim that we all need to be conscious of too much salt consumption was clearly accurate. Dr. Goldman also states that both salt and sea salt, “in excess are probably unhealthy for most of us” (although I’m not quite sure for which of us this would be considered healthy?).

I appreciate that Dr. Goldman wants us to know that the iodine in salt has been extremely helpful for eliminating the occurrence of thyroid goiter, but I don’t understand why the need for such a harsh and condescending tone. I’ve enjoyed Ginger Isham’s columns and comments for so many years! I find her advice sage and her willingness to share her wisdom and family recipes generous and kind. The intent of her writing was clear for me. For Dr. Goldman, who encourages us to “educate yourself and actually believe science,” I offer this quote: “What greater wisdom can we find than kindness.”

Cynthia Rose, Williston

Vote for Michaud

Jay Michaud has the background, the leadership and the skills needed to make a great state representative for Williston.

Jay decided to run for the Vermont House because, like so many of us, he is frustrated by the Legislature’s inability to put aside partisan politics and deal with serious problems like the slumping economy, loss of jobs, staggering budget deficits and a crumbling infrastructure.

As a businessman, he knows how jobs are created and sustained. As a hard-working man, he knows how tough it is to get by in today’s economy. And as a community leader, he created what is now a successful football program at Champlain Valley Union High School, providing new opportunities for young students.

Please vote with me on Nov. 2 to put Jay Michaud’s talents to work for Williston in the Vermont House of Representatives.

Aimee Gale, Williston

Kids find Fresh Air in Williston

This year, 69 New York City children found out once again just how special summer is in northwestern Vermont. Fresh Air Fund hosts, volunteers and local supporters dedicated their time and efforts to help these inner-city youngsters experience simple summertime pleasures, including afternoons of swimming, fishing at sunset and roasting s’mores over a campfire.

None of this would be possible without Rhonda Plant, your local Fresh Air Fund volunteer leader, who works throughout the year to make sure host families and children have the opportunity to enjoy memorable summertime experiences together. I invite you to join Rhonda and the local Fresh Air Fund committee to help spread the word about the wonderful opportunity of hosting next summer.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to over 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. For more information on how you can help to continue this wonderful tradition of volunteering, please call Rhonda Plant at 951-5928 or visit

Jenny Morgenthau, executive director, Fresh Air Fund

Support Scott and Dubie

Vermonters are blessed to have two well-qualified candidates running for the state’s top leadership positions in November. A team of Phil Scott as lieutenant governor and Brian Dubie as governor is the leadership Vermont needs to guide it through difficult economic times.

As lieutenant governor, Dubie transformed the previously forgotten position into that of Vermont’s top ambassador — traveling to other states and countries to foster creating Vermont jobs. His determined efforts helped bring to the state needed jobs.

Meanwhile, Scott has served Vermonters in the state senate. While other senators caved into political pressure, he stood fast to fiscally conservative principles. Vermonters have benefited from his firm resolve.

Please support Phil Scott and Brian Dubie in November as they pursue right-sizing state government, reducing taxes and growing jobs. It’s a winning team!

Mike Benevento, Republican candidate for state representative, Williston

Guest Column

Friendship: the foundation of all that really matters

Sept. 23, 2010

By Edwin Cooney

It’s true, I’m neither a psychologist nor a sociologist — although I very briefly considered majoring in sociology in college. Still, as I see it, anyone who spends 60 plus years on this planet of ours and pays careful attention to the lives of people around them ought to be eligible, at the very least, to receive a certificate in sociology. Even more than family, the most precious earthly institution is “friendship.”

Some people will tell you that they have lots of friends. Others will say that they don’t have a lot of friends, but the ones they do have are very close indeed. Of course, some of us are by nature very self-analytical while others don’t really feel comfortable with self-reflection. Thus, the non self-reflective would probably insist that their lives are more decorated by friendship than the self-reflective types would assert.

Since everyone considers U.S. presidents fair game for critical analysis, let’s examine two self-reflective vs. non self-reflective presidential personalities.

On the night of Monday, Nov. 1, 1976 — election eve — CBS political commentator Eric Sevareid made the following observation about the two major party presidential candidates, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. Carter, said Severeid, seemed always to be re-examining his psyche as a progressive white southerner, a nuclear engineer/businessman and born-again Christian, while President Ford didn’t seem to realize that he even possessed a psyche! He further suggested that Jerry Ford followed a combination of his experiences and instincts and thus left his mind alone. Jimmy Carter was far from friendless and comfortable in his own skin, but one could reasonably assume that Jerry Ford probably had more “friends” than the self-probing Jimmy Carter.

Like people, friendships are born and die every day. It is my experience, however, that the deaths of most real friendships are seldom peaceful. Sometimes all it takes is one genuinely principled decision or act to destroy the intellectual and emotional bond that has been in existence between two people for decades. Invariably, that occurs when the root of a misunderstanding is poorly handled by one of the parties in the conflicted friendship. Usually, the sense of having been betrayed is what triggers the conflict.

Friendships are invariably of different types and levels. Like the foundation or scaffolding of a physical structure, friendship invariably bears the weight or pressure of human relationships brought about by both internal and external forces.

It has become fashionable in recent years here in America to proclaim that the “family is the foundation of our society.” (This is one of the many “politically correct” assertions that Conservatives, who insist that only Liberals suffer from “political correctness,” themselves insist on.) Yet this proclamation has many holes in it.

If the family unit has been handed down to us from our “Founding Fathers” as the absolute moral core of our national worthiness, it’s indeed remarkable that George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had very little regard for their mothers. Mary Ball Washington complained too much about her son’s financial parsimony. (According to author Kenneth C. Davis of the “Don’t Know Much About …” series, as an adult, Washington never introduced his mother to his wife or invited her to his home.) Susanna Boylston Adams was too fiery tempered for her son’s comfort and she is little mentioned in the voluminous Adams’ family papers. Jane Randolph Jefferson was said to have a “zero existence” in Jefferson’s life. Also, there are numerous multifaceted social, religious and even financial conflicts within many families. Invariably, children quarrel over inheritances, brothers struggle for the most powerful position at the top of the family corporation, and widows often bear the jealousies of stepchildren. Absent genuine friendship within families, the family loses its ability to be a nurturing force in people’s lives.

Those who find themselves orphaned or rejected from the family unit definitely must rely on friendship if they are to realize the tenderness and nurturing gifts of the human heart. For such people, the possibility of abandonment is ever present. If the ever present possibility of rejection is their prevailing lot, so too is the ever present opportunity to dare to build friendships.

By definition, rich lasting friendships are sanctuaries in which one’s personal assets and liabilities may find loving acknowledgment and gentle adjustment, where tolerance prevails over temper, and where encouragement enhances even the sternest advice.

Individually — as the product of our mutual social, emotional and spiritual dependence — friendship is the haven of caring we offer one another in which we may safely, however haltingly, strive and ultimately fulfill all of the things about which we’ve ever dreamed.

Edwin Cooney is a national political and historical columnist.

Williston businesses honored for growth

Sept. 23, 2010

By Greg Duggan
Observer staff

At the eighth annual 5x5x5 Growth Awards ceremony last Thursday, Williston companies made an impressive showing. Of the 25 Vermont businesses honored for their strong growth over the past five years, four make their home in Williston: DEW Construction Corp., Instrumart, MicroStrain Inc. and New England Air Systems Inc.

The awards ceremony, which was open to the public, is hosted each year by KeyBank and Vermont Business Magazine. Five companies are chosen in each of five categories for their growth in the five previous years. Lesli Blount, KeyBank’s director of Community Relations & Public Relations, said the awards serve to honor the fastest growing companies in the state.

“We started it when we were coming out of a challenging economic time, and we’re there again,” she told the Observer.

The awards, Blount said, recognize and celebrate the role that Vermont-based businesses play in the economy.

Growth is determined by a company’s financials. Each year, Vermont Business Magazine sends a survey to businesses throughout the state and then keeps track of financial progress. From the data collected in the survey, Vermont Business Magazine can determine which businesses have experienced the most growth. Awards are then given out in five categories: Construction, Manufacturing, Service and Technology, as well as one category that changes each year; this year the fifth category was Companies 25 years Old or Older.

Instrumart received a 5x5x5 Growth Award in the Service category. The industrial instrument supplier had expanded by 117 percent in the past five years, according to a press release from KeyBank.

“We were surprised when we heard about it a couple months ago. Obviously in this economy when you’re talking about growth, it’s a pretty exciting thing,” said Duncan Adamson, director of marketing for Instrumart.

He noted that many companies dealt with layoffs and diminished business over the same time period.

In addition to financial growth, Adamson said Instrumart has expanded its employee base as well. He did not have an exact number, but said when he joined the company eight years ago it had 15 or 16 employees. That number is now close to 40.

On Monday, however, Instrumart will complete its move out of Williston and open at a location in South Burlington.

DEW, which earned its growth award in the Construction category for 50 percent growth, was not a first-time winner. President Don Wells said his company has been honored five times in the eight-year history of the 5x5x5 Growth Awards.

“It’s exciting that, particularly in this business climate, that we’ve been able to continue to grow,” Wells said.

DEW was founded in 1997, and Wells said that year the company did approximately $6 million worth of volume. Last year, that number was up to $95 million, and Wells said he expects the volume for 2011 to be between $120 million and $130 million.

He attributed the growth to DEW’s approach to the construction delivery process and ability to manage the funds and requirements of clients.

Contacts at Microstrain and New England Air Systems had not returned phone calls by press deadline.

In addition to the Williston businesses, Waterbury-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. was recognized in the category for Companies 25 years Old and Older. The company, which opened a facility in Williston last fall, grew by 484 percent.

The ceremony also featured a guest speaker, KeyBank’s Chief Investment Strategist Bruce McCain. He spoke about the recession, and what to expect as the economy emerges from the downturn.

Chief ‘well below the legal limit’ in DUI case

Sept. 23, 2010

By Marianne Apfelbaum
Observer staff

The town of Williston and the Vermont State’s Attorney’s office are conducting reviews of an incident in which the town’s new police chief was brought to state police barracks for suspicion of driving under the influence.

Town Manager Rick McGuire said Williston Police Chief Roy Nelson was awakened by a phone call to his home just after midnight on Sept. 13. The call was regarding a man with a rifle at a location on Mountain View Road who was allegedly drinking heavily and threatening to harm himself or others, according to Williston police. McGuire said Nelson drove to the location “to see if he could help,” and was approached by a Vermont State Police officer assisting at the scene.

The officer reportedly detected the odor of alcohol on Nelson’s breath, and the chief was taken to the Williston barracks; a test determined his breath-alcohol concentration to be .031, according to Brooks McArthur, Nelson’s attorney. The legal limit for driving in Vermont is .08.

Referring to local television and print coverage of the incident, McGuire said, “Not all press reports have been accurate.”

McGuire was notified of the situation at 2:15 a.m. on Monday. He said Nelson was found to be “well below the legal limit … and was free to go back to the scene and take command again, which he did.”

McArthur noted that Nelson was not at his desk or patrolling when he was called, and has not been suspended.

“No laws were broken,” McArthur said.

McGuire is awaiting the results of the State’s Attorney’s review.

“There are a range of actions I can take,” he said. “Until I know all the information, I can’t accurately tell what will happen.”

McArthur said as part of the state’s review of the incident, a chemist will conduct a “back relation analysis” to figure out “the average of what an alcohol concentration would be” at the time Nelson was driving his vehicle.

“We’ll have more to say after the state’s attorney’s office completes the process,” McArthur said.

Nelson came to Williston in July from the Cromwell, Conn. police department, where he was a captain.

“I am confident of a positive outcome,” he said.

Community Food Shelf limps through summer

Pantry needs donations

Sept. 23, 2010

By Greg Duggan
Observer staff

Cathy Michaels, president of the Williston Community Food Shelf, talks about the available supplies. (Observer photo by Greg Duggan)

With Thanksgiving and subsequent winter holidays more than two months away, the Williston Community Food Shelf is in the midst of one of its toughest times of the year.

Through the summer and into the fall, the food shelf tends to see donations decline. This year has been no different, said food shelf president Cathy Michaels.

“We’ve definitely struggled to keep food on our shelves these last few months,” Michaels said.

Michaels believes this summer was even worse than the last for donations. Coupled with a growing number of food shelf clients — from 104 families in April to 176 last month — and children unable to get free and reduced-price meals from schools, the food shelf had a hard time keeping up with demand.

The food shelf receives regular donations from several sources, including Essex Alliance Church, frozen meat from Hannaford and fresh produce from the Observer’s Plant a Row for the Hungry program, through which local gardeners provide fruit and vegetables.

Large quantities of donations, however, tend not to return until shortly before Thanksgiving. Michaels said the holidays often evoke thoughts of people in need of food.

“This is actually better than I’ve seen it,” Michaels said last Thursday while looking at the supplies. “In about a week, most of this will be gone.”

Michaels was at the food shelf to accept a check for nearly $710 from the Williston Historical Society, which raised the money during the town’s Ice Cream Social on July 2.

“It’s huge, because in this economy we’ve seen a decline in the donations we’ve received,” Michaels said.

She expects to use the money to buy food such as milk, eggs, butter and orange juice.

Historical Society President Terry Macaig said the group used to donate Ice Cream Social proceeds to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf in Burlington years ago, before the Williston Community Food Shelf opened. The Historical Society has donated to the Williston Food Shelf the past couple of years.

After accepting the check from the Historical Society, Michaels discussed ideas for next year’s Ice Cream Social with Macaig and Historical Society Treasurer Jon Stokes. The three brought up the possibility of placing a donation bin at the end of the ice cream line.

Stokes also thanked everyone who contributed to the Ice Cream Social.

Michaels said the food shelf needs to work on fund-raising, and expects donation boxes in the schools to fill up with students back in class. She encouraged volunteers to help out at the food shelf.

As for donations, Michaels said the food shelf tends to prefer money instead of hard goods, which allows volunteers to scan resources and then purchase items in short supply.

For more information about volunteering for or donating to the Williston Community Food Shelf, visit