February 9, 2016


Nov. 10, 2010

Observer photos by Tim Simard

The annual Scholastic Book Fair put on by Families As Partners is taking place this week in Williston Central School. The public is welcome at the book fair, which is open Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.

New England title shot for CVU girls runners

Nov. 10, 2010

Two weeks after locking up their seventh Vermont Division 1 crown in eight years, the Champlain Valley Union High girls cross country team will be stepping out for the New England title on Saturday. The meet occurs at the same Thetford Academy course on which CVU reigned Oct. 30.

And the Redhawks have a decent opportunity at the regional honor, which they have won in the past.

Coach Scott Bliss’ runners are undefeated in team competition this season, with victories in highly regarded regional (Manchester, N.H., Thetford) and state (Essex, Burlington) invitationals, along with the state honors.

Key to the CVU hopes is the closely running group of cousins Summer and Taylor Spillane, sisters Adrienne and Julienne Devita and Aleksey Jordick. The harriers usually finish in a five-pack, one or two runners off the top runners in meets.

“Thetford is an interesting course,” Bliss said last week. “It starts with long downhill stretch followed by an uphill segment.”

He added that runners not familiar with the course can get fooled by the downhill start and run into later difficulty.

The Redhawks had been scheduled to participate in an invitational at Swanton this past weekend but opted out of the flat course test in favor of some team training.

— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent

Solid season for CVU field hockey team

Nov. 10, 2010

Champlain Valley Union High’s Lauren King makes a play on the ball during Wednesday’s field hockey playoff game against South Burlington High School. The Redhawks fell 5-0 to South Burlington, which went on to win the Division 1 crown. (Observer photo by Stephanie Choate)

A return to the Division 1 semifinals in 2010 after nine players graduated from the 2009 division tournament runner-up has to be considered a good season for coach Kate McDonald’s Champlain Valley Union High field hockey team.

The Redhawks finished 8-5-3 and made it to the semifinals a week ago Wednesday, where they fell 5-0 to eventual undefeated champion South Burlington High. The running Rebels went on to pop defending champ Hartford High 3-0 in Saturday’s title match at the University of Vermont for a perfect 17-0 season.

During the regular season, the Redhawks lost 5-0 to the Rebels at CVU and 2-0 Oct. 20 in South Burlington.

To spring the semifinal upset, CVU needed to get an early score that might give the speedy top-seeded South Burlington combine pause. Instead, it was the Rebels who became the early birds, knocking in a pair of goals within the first seven minutes en route to a hefty 4-0 advantage by intermission.

The Redhawks buckled down in the second half but were held off the scoreboard.

McDonald told the media that the team had hoped to start strong, but South Burlington’s early scores took away any possible CVU momentum.

Seven players will be graduated by the time McDonald greets hopefuls at next summer’s tryouts. This spring’s graduates will include tri-captains Mallory Hillman, Aubrey Deavitt and Louise Gibbs. Also departing are goalie Sami Kassel, Holly Bertolet, Kelsey Barrett and Madison Wetmiller.

— Mal Boright, Observer staff

Muddy end to strong CVU football season

Nov. 10, 2010

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

The offensive line of Champlain Valley Union High’s football team fails to get much going in the mud against Rice Memorial High on Saturday. Rice knocked CVU out of the Division 2 playoffs with a 29-8 victory. (Courtesy photo by Joe Kropf)

On a mostly cloudy, crisp, November day, Champlain Valley Union High’s second Division 2 football season came to an end Saturday on a muddy home field.

In the first playoff contest to be staged at the Hinesburg gridiron, the Redhawks learned that stout defense alone could not keep the Rice Memorial High Green Knights off the board for an entire game. The visitors used an effective aerial attack led by senior quarterback Chris McCormick to register a 29-8 victory.

Question: given the muddy (soupy) conditions, could the game qualify as a Souper Bowl?

Rice goes on to meet undefeated Middlebury High for the championship Saturday in one of three division-crowning games at Castleton State College.

CVU, which had handed the 9-1 Knights their only loss, 30-22 at their South Burlington field in early October, lost starting quarterback/defensive back Konnor Fleming early in the initial quarter. The offense was never able to recover its yardage chewing operation.

Fleming, the Redhawks’ primary running and passing threat, rolled out to the right sideline on the second play following a CVU (Derek Goodwin) recovery of a Rice fumble on the opening kickoff at the Knights’ 27. Fleming injured a knee on the play and was unable to return. He watched the second half on crutches. A further evaluation was scheduled for early this week.

With Fleming gone, the Redhawks’ usually diverse offense bogged down, due in no small part to a tough, aggressive Rice defensive line and linebackers. The Knights held CVU to three first downs, two of those via penalties, and 13 yards total offense.

As for the absence of Fleming being a reason for the CVU loss, Redhawks head coach Jim Provost would have none of it.

“This was Rice’s day today,” he said after the game. “They outplayed us. They have skilled players all over.”

Three backs, J.P. Benoit, Ian Solomon and Tyler Barnes, took snaps over the center for CVU but were unable to make much yardage running or passing against the Rice front wall.

In the meantime, McCormick and company did not manufacture much against the CVU defenders until midway in the second quarter and then with the gift of good field position. After a Rice punt put CVU back on its own 20, a Redhawk fumble turned the ball over to Rice for a first down at the Hawks’ 14.

A strong pass rush and alert secondary held McCormick to four incomplete passes.

“Our defense played unbelievably well,” Provost said of the overall effort by the defenders.

Following that rescue by the defense, CVU took over, but a third down interception gave Rice the ball at the 20 and this time McCormick connected with wideout Nicky Elderton for a scoring pitch with 3:38 left in the half. A two-point conversion throw to Billy Weaver made it 8-0.

CVU had its best offensive thrust after the Rice score.

Barnes returned the kickoff 30 yards to the CVU 35. Later, on a fourth down fake punt at the 44, Barnes scampered past a shocked Rice line for a first down at the Knights’ 36. It was the Hawks’ second deepest penetration of Rice territory (the first period fumble recovery at the 27 the deepest).

But a holding penalty quickly pushed the Redhawks back. A Rice pass interception was followed by a CVU intercept by deep defender Ryan Nakhleh at the CVU 6 to stop another McCormick aerial assault before halftime.

While the Redhawks remained stalled on offense in the second half (a trio of three downs-and-punt, 1 turnover, 1 second-down safety), McCormick authored a 58-yard drive midway through the third period, getting the score on a 5-yard keeper for a 14-0 lead with 6:44 left in the period.

Casey Tipson and Dan Bulger scored on short runs in the fourth quarter. A safety on a botched CVU snap from center gave the Knights their final points.

The Redhawks scored when defensive end Ryan Beaudry picked up a Rice fumble at the CVU 25 and legged out 75 yards through the mire for the end zone. Benoit grabbed a pass for the two-point conversion.

McCormick said after the game that he had difficulty getting feet planted for throws, but the rifle-armed passer was still able to connect 15 times in 31 tries for 240 yards and a touchdown.

CVU’s defenders intercepted him twice and the trench guys, led by linebacker Eric Palmer and tackle Dale Conger, sacked McCormick three times for 24 yards in losses.

Each team had six fumbles in the goo, Rice coughing up two and CVU one. Rice was intercepted twice and the Redhawks three times. It all worked out to four turnovers by each team.

Rice-CVU, Stats

Rice                        0            8            6            15  –   29

CVU                        0            0            0            8    –   8

Rice                        CVU

First downs                        16                        3

Rushing yards                        82                        13

Passing yards                        240                        0

Return yards                        80                        160

Comp-Att-Int                        15-31-2            0-9-3

Sacked-Yards lost            3-24                        0

Punts-Avg                                    4-31                        7-26

Fumbles-lost                        6-2                        6-1

Penalties-Yards                        9-90                        7-55

Abrupt finish to stellar season

CVU girls soccer team upset in playoffs

Nov. 10, 2010

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

From last season’s state Division 1 girls soccer championship match at Burlington High against the BHS Seahorses, to this year’s home semifinal contest a week ago Wednesday against Colchester High, the outcome for Champlain Valley Union High was the same: a vexing 1-0 loss.

Motivated in part by last year’s outcome at BHS, the top-seeded Redhawks dominated overall play, out-shooting the fifth-seeded Lakers 10-2 but never getting the ball past Colchester goalie Haley Forkey, a freshman.

The disappointing outcome was the final appearance in the red and white uniforms for 12 seniors, most of whom were no strangers to the tension of postseason action.

Colchester took a 10-4-3 mark into Saturday’s Division 1 championship game, where it lost 2-1 to 10th-seeded South Burlington High. The Rebels collected their first Division 1 title.

An old saying in sports has it that an underdog in a critical soccer game can make its bark significant if it scores first. Colchester did, and then packed in its defense near its net as the 14-2 Redhawks attacked.

The Lakers’ Lauren Bernard had scored the lone goal with 13 minutes and 21 seconds left in the first half after CVU had kept the ball in front of the Colchester cage most of the time from the game’s beginning.

It was only the fifth tally against the Redhawks all season.

CVU’s formidable attack took over and ruled field position the rest of the game, but could not dent the net through a crowd of defenders that at times resembled Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

Twice in the second half there piles of bodies in front of an empty Laker net — goalie Forkey was in the piles — but a Redhawks foot could not nudge the ball past the goal line.

CVU coach Brad Parker said after the game he thought until the end that CVU would score as his team maintained fierce pressure. But it was not to be.

“We had to defend like crazy,” the Lakers’ Bernard told the media.

They did.

Education Briefs

Nov. 10, 2010

MATHCOUNTS seeks members

Williston Central School’s MATHCOUNTS Competition Program is looking for sixth, seventh and eighth graders to join the team. The program provides students with problems that promote critical thinking and problem solving skills.

MATHCOUNTS competitions feature oral and written rounds, as well as individual and team events. Local competitions begin in February after a few months of coaching. Regional winners advance to statewide competitions in March, with the top four individuals and top coach having the chance to participate in the national competition.

Practices begin later this month, and will take place once a week after school. Anyone, including fifth graders, are welcome to join.

Register by Nov. 15. For more information, contact Cris Milks at cmilks@cssu.org or visit http://mathcounts.org/Page.aspx?pid=1854.

Nordic Ski Team hosts silent auction

The Nordic Ski Team at Champlain Valley Union High School will hold its annual silent auction on Nov. 22-23. The auction coincides with parent-teacher conferences at the school.

The registration table and auction items will be set up in the “four corners” area of the school from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Items should include sporting equipment, restaurant gift certificates, clothing and more.

Proceeds benefit the team’s wax and equipment budget.

For more information, contact coach Sarah Strack at sstrack@cvuhs.org.

CVU to hold Arts Night

Champlain Valley Union High School will host an Arts Night on Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. The evening will feature visual artwork on display throughout the school, and provide visitors a chance to speak with the artists.

Chorus and band performances begin in the auditorium at 7 p.m.

Shaw nominated for honor society

Kathryn Shaw of Williston, a member of the Bowdoin College class of 2011 majoring in history and environmental studies, was nominated for membership in Phi Beta Kappa. She was among 12 students nominated for membership last month.

Phi Beta Kappa Society is a national honorary fraternity for the recognition and promotion of scholarship. Nominations are based on academic records.

The students will be officially elected and initiated into Phi Beta Kappa at Commencement in May.

Police Notes

Nov. 10, 2010

Too tired to react

On the morning of Nov. 4, police received a call from a Williston resident who said “someone kicked his door in” the night before, according to police reports. He told police he had been tired and “went back to bed,” before calling 911 in the morning. Police deemed the case “unfounded.”

Burglary, stolen vehicle

Williston Police responded to a call from Munson Earth Moving on Aug. 15 and found the front gate to the property had been “destroyed,” according to police reports. Upon further investigation, it was discovered a truck had been stolen from the company, had been used to crash through the gate and was totaled, according to the report. Damage to the property, including the truck, was estimated at more than $9,000, the report notes.

The truck was recovered in South Burlington on Aug. 18, and DNA evidence found inside was sent to the Vermont Forensic Laboratory for analysis, according to police.

On Oct. 26, police received notification the DNA was a match to Todd Gorton, 41, of South Burlington, according to the report. On Nov. 3, Gorton was charged with burglary, aggravated operation of a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent and unlawful mischief, according to police. Gorton was cited to appear in Vermont District Court on Jan. 3, 2011.

Driving with suspended license

• On Nov. 1, Kelly L. Gibbs, 30, of Morrisville was charged with driving with a suspended license, according to police reports. Gibbs was issued a “roadside citation,” the report notes.

• Following a motor vehicle stop on Nov. 1, Jesse T. Thompson, 25, of Essex was charged with driving with a suspended license-criminal, according to police reports. Thompson was cited to appear in court.

• On Nov. 7, Linda A. Pierce, 36, of Burlington was charged with driving with a suspended license-criminal, according to police reports. No other information was released.


• William F. Stearns Jr., 24, of South Burlington was charged with retail theft from Best Buy on Nov. 1 after he was allegedly found to be stealing video games, according to police reports. No other information was released.

• On Nov. 4, William Stearns, 24, of South Burlington was charged with retail theft from Wal-Mart after “attempting to take several games,” according to police reports. The merchandise was valued at more than $700, the report notes. He was cited to appear in court.

Driving under the influence

• On Nov. 5, police received a report of a car with “people shooting signs with a pellet gun,” according to police reports. When police found the car, they charged Lance R. Boylan, 20, of Essex Junction with driving under the influence, according to the report. His blood alcohol concentration was .08, according to the report. A civil violation was also issued to a passenger for possessing an open container and for a “person under 21 with alcohol concentration of .02 or more,” the report notes.

• Robert W. McNeish, 52, of Fayston was charged with driving under the influence on Nov. 6, according to police reports. His blood alcohol concentration was .176, according to the report. The legal limit for driving in Vermont is .08. He was cited to appear in court.

• John D. Sanderson, 44, of Hinesburg was arrested on Nov. 7 on a charge of driving under the influence-refusal on Nov. 7, according to police reports. No other information was released.

Disorderly conduct

Zachary R. Trombi, 29, was charged with disorderly conduct on Nov. 5 after he was found shooting road signs with a BB gun from a moving vehicle, according to police reports. No other information was released.

Wanted person

Amanda Lund, 28, of Williston was arrested on an outstanding warrant for “failure to appear” following a traffic stop on Nov. 7, according to police reports. She was taken to Chittenden County Correctional Center. No other information was released.

Stolen truck

On Nov. 7, police received a report of a truck that had been stolen sometime between Nov. 6 and 7 from SD Ireland on Industrial Avenue. The truck was recovered in Essex Junction on Nov. 7, with all the windows “smashed out.” Anyone with information is asked to call Williston Police at 878-6611 or Crime Stoppers at 864-6666.

Recipe Corner

Food for flu season

Nov. 10, 2010

By Ginger Isham

In my cookbook collection I have a small book called “Garlic and Vinegar” that was put out by Global Digests and published by American Media Mini Mags Inc. in 2001. It is so interesting to read about the healing powers of these two foods.

A story in this book tells about outlaws who robbed homes during the plague in the Middle Ages. The people were too weak to fight back. When the thieves were caught the judge asked them why they risked their lives to get close to their victims. The thieves replied that they made a special drink and drank it before the robberies to protect themselves. It was the following recipe:

2 quarts of apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons dried lavender leaves

2 tablespoons dried rosemary leaves

2 tablespoons dried sage leaves

2 tablespoons dried mint leaves

2 garlic cloves, chopped

They steeped the dried herbs in vinegar for two weeks. Then strained it, added the garlic, and shook it to mix it well. They then would take 1 tablespoon every hour up to four hours before they began their robberies.

The judge was so impressed that he thanked them for the recipe and then let them go.

On a more serious note, I drink 1/2 to 1 cup of hot water lots of mornings when I first get out of bed. Years ago, a nurse friend told me she did this. It makes sense to warm the body and start the juices flowing after lying still all night. When I think my throat feels scratchy or my family is having colds, I add 1 teaspoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey (not garlic) to the hot water and sip it before I eat breakfast. I have read that vinegar and honey will help a cough. Who knows if this is why I have not been ill in years?

During cold and flu season the remedy was always chicken soup. The “Garlic and Vinegar” book has an easy recipe called Chicken Soup Plus.

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

28 ounces low-fat, low-salt chicken broth

2 carrots, sliced thin

2 stalks of celery, sliced thin

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped fine

Sauté the onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add rest of ingredients, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Just before serving, stir in 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and stir well. Serve hot.

Flu season hint: I change my pillowcases on the bed every two to three days during winter and flu season months.

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

Right to the Point

Disappointed with Vermont

Nov. 10, 2010

By Kayla Purvis

On Nov. 3, at 9:30 a.m., Lt. Gov. and Vermont gubernatorial candidate Brian Dubie conceded the race for governor to Sen. Peter Shumlin. The vote was too close to call Tuesday night, and by Wednesday morning, neither candidate had broken 50 percent. In Vermont, this means that it has to be taken to vote in the Legislature. Since the Legislature is a Democratic majority, it did not make sense for Dubie to call for that process when the vote would ultimately go to Shumlin anyway.

Many say that Dubie was just trying to make himself look good, but those that know him know better; Dubie was just being himself when he conceded the race to Shumlin. It was a courteous and respectful thing to do not only for his opponent, but for our state. He did not want to cause trouble or use up time by insisting on a legislative vote.

I do not consider Shumlin’s win to be a victory for Vermont. He is not the right type of politician for the Green Mountain State, nor do I believe him to be nearly as good-natured as Dubie. Shumlin is too much of a Washington politician for my taste, and I am sad to see that our state has elected such a type.

As I said in my endorsement column a few weeks ago, I have had the privilege of volunteering a little time on the Dubie campaign. I got to meet Dubie a couple of times, and when I did, I knew that he earnestly cared about meeting me; he ran his campaign for Vermonters, and he knew the importance of hearing them out. Dubie is the type of leader who remembers your name and your story, and who will tour around the state of Vermont to listen to the concerns and stories of people in every corner.

I was fortunate enough to get to listen to Rep. Patty O’Donnell, R-Vernon, one rainy fall day in Burlington, and she told stories about how Shumlin neglected his own county when it had businesses tanking left and right, and how he never showed up to a single meeting. The people of Windham County were calling on their senator to help them and be there for him, and he never made an appearance. Is this the type of governor we want? Not for me, and not for my Vermont.

I feel I should address the negative ads that we saw towards the end of both campaigns. The mudslinging ads are something Vermonters are not used to, and it put a lot of us out. In comparison to some ads in other states, though, the ones released in Vermont this election were nothing. I am not impressed with nor condoning the ads on either candidate’s part, but I can and will argue that the ads we saw released against Shumlin were not characteristic of Dubie.

I have grown up in the same community as Dubie. I went to youth group with his youngest daughter. His wife taught at my school. My grandfather, a colonel, knows his brother from the National Guard. I’ve met his mother’s old best friend while out campaigning. I go to school with his nephews. One of his relatives was my elementary and middle school P.E. teacher.

With such a close race, and the outcome that it had, I can’t help but wonder if maybe I could have done something more to help Dubie win. I want a governor who I can run into at church, or at the grocery store or attending an event where his daughter Casey is performing.

One thing Shumlin said that struck me was that he couldn’t wait for the Dubie who cares about his family and the state of Vermont to come back after the campaign was over. I wanted to stand up and point out that Dubie’s family was sitting there in the crowd supporting him … and where was Shumlin’s? Dubie’s wife Penny was always by his side during his campaign, whether it be at rallies or debates. His daughter Emily was also present a number of times, as was Casey. Shumlin had no right to say that Dubie doesn’t care about his family.

I am disappointed in Vermont for choosing Shumlin. I think his plans for Vermont are unsafe and not well thought out, and I think he is too sneaky of a politician for a state with such unique political patterns. Shumlin has not convinced me that he will take care of my state, and he is not the right fit for Vermont.

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

Liberally Speaking

Analyzing the 2010 Election

Nov. 10, 2010

By Steve Mount

Interpreting election results can be as tricky as predicting them. Given that, I suggest you add my voice to all the others you’ve heard in the past week as you make up your own mind.

At the state level, I am proud of Vermonters as we did two things: we bucked the general trend toward the right, but at the same time, we were maverick-like in our choices at the state level.

With so many office-holders giving up their seats this year, many of the main offices were fresh for the taking: governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state.

Williston itself showed a conservative streak in its vote for governor, with Republican Brian Dubie winning the vote 53 percent to Democrat Peter Shumlin’s 46 percent. Statewide, though Shumlin pulled in just under 50 percent of the vote (to Dubie’s 47 percent) and Dubie conceded the race. The selection of governor will, technically, be left to the Legislature, but Dubie’s concession virtually guarantees Shumlin’s eventual win.

In the lieutenant governor’s race, the Republican Phil Scott beat Democrat Steve Howard 48 percent to 41 percent; in Williston, Scott pulled in 54 percent of the vote to Howard’s 39 percent.

And finally in the secretary of state’s race, Democrat Jim Condos beat out Republican Jason Gibbs 54 percent to 44 percent; in Williston, the numbers were similar, 54 percent to 46 percent.

Based on Williston’s vote in the top two races on the ticket, I still have a lot of work to do here, trying to convince the majority of my neighbors that the best choice for Vermont is left-leaning. I hope the governor’s actions help me out in that regard!

My impression is that Vermonters in general were not particularly impressed with the tone the political advertisements took in Vermont this campaign season, particularly in the governor’s race. At the same time, I was impressed with much of Peter Shumlin’s advertising, especially his “whiteboard” series, which condensed complex issues down to their bare bones, and may have made a real difference in the campaign.

Shumlin’s unerring support for closing Vermont Yankee also resonated with many Vermonters (though not with your humble columnist), and ads touting his business experience also raised confidence in many Vermonters.

The wide margins won by our current members of Congress show yet again the power of incumbency, especially when there is a general air of satisfaction with the incumbent’s work. The best advice I would have for any newly elected member of Congress from Vermont is to represent the state vigorously and to keep your nose clean. With those two things under your belt, a long-term job seems easy to keep.

Nationally, of course, this is no time for liberals to celebrate. Though the polls told us it was coming, hope sprung eternal that the losses would not be so bad. Democrats did retain control of the Senate, but likely because only a third of the body was up for election.

In the House, the swing from Democratic to Republican control is one of the biggest on record. Since Democrats, however, still hold the presidency and the Senate, the next two years are going to be the Republicans’ chance to show not that they can flex their muscle, but that they can compromise.

The 2010 election made one thing clear: the American public is impatient. Given what they got in 2008, President Obama and the 111th Congress accomplished a lot, but in the face of continued unemployment near double digits, it seems that we as a people think the Republicans can do better. I’m not sure they can, but I’m not going to wish that they fail. I hope that Republicans and Democrats both can set aside their differences and work to finding solutions to our national problems.

We’ll also see if the gleam of the Tea Party continues to shine, or if it will tarnish as its new leaders, including Senators-elect Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, try to influence legislation in the 112th Congress. Fortunately for their states, and us all, the worst of the Tea Party, Sharon Angle and Christine O’Donnell, went down to defeat. Even Alaska’s Joe Miller seems, at this writing, to have lost to write-in incumbent Lisa Murkowski.

I’m confident that Democrats are willing to work with Republicans to get the tough work of governing the nation done. The next two years will show the American people if the Republicans are just as willing, or if the obstructionism they’ve been known for in the last two years will continue to be a feature of their governing strategy for the next two years.

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.