July 23, 2014

Police Notes

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Feb. 24, 2011

Driving with suspended license

Miles MacArthur, 27, of Starksboro was cited on a charge of driving with a suspended license on Feb. 14, according to police reports.

Theft

•Rhonda Lowry, 28, of South Burlington was cited on a charge of retail theft after allegedly stealing $160 worth of merchandise from Best Buy.

•Police responded to a report of the theft of a Mobile Media Station from a local office building on Feb. 18, according to police reports. The investigation is ongoing.

•A purse was stolen from a shopping cart at Home Depot on Feb. 20, according to police reports. Anyone with information is asked to call Williston Police at 878-6611.

Violation of conditions of release

•Jack Provencher 38, of Williston was arrested for violation of conditions of release due to alcohol consumption on Feb. 14, according to police reports. No other information was released.

•Kamilla Sarkisova, 31, of Burlington was cited on a charge of violation of conditions of release on Feb. 18 after it was reported to police that she refused to pay a cab fare, according to police reports.

Fraud

A local resident called police in October 2010 to report his wallet stolen from his vehicle, according to police reports. The resident called police again on Feb. 15 to report that between Jan. 25 and 27, almost $4,000 worth of purchases were made on his Best Buy credit card, which he didn’t realize was in the wallet, according to the report. The case is under investigation.

Stray dog

On Feb. 16, police responded to a call from a Governor Chittenden Road resident regarding a stray dog that was found on his property. The dog is a tan and white female bulldog with no collar or tags. Anyone with information is asked to call Williston Police at 878-6611.

Suspicious person

On Feb. 18, police responded to a call from Wal-Mart regarding a possible theft from Home Depot. A man with a dark-colored jacket and blue jeans stashed a cart full of Home Depot property that still had security wrapping around it behind Wal-Mart, and left the area on foot, according to police reports. Anyone with information is asked to call Williston Police at 878-6611.

Burglary

•Williston Police are investigating a burglary at SD Ireland in Williston. The burglary occurred sometime in the early morning hours of Feb. 16, according to police reports. Several vending machines were broken into and cash and coins were taken out of the vending machines. Anyone with information is asked to call Williston Police at 878-6611.

•Williston Police are investigating a burglary at Ponderosa on Marshall Avenue that occurred in the early morning hours of Feb. 23. A “dollar bill changer was ripped off the wall,” vandalized and coins were removed from the machine. Anyone with information is asked to call Williston Police at 878-6611.

Driving with suspended license

Following a motor vehicle stop on Feb. 11, Robert F. Stricker, 29, of Troy was cited on a charge of driving with a suspended license-criminal, according to police reports. He was cited to appear in court on March 7.

Police notes are written based on information provided by the Williston Police Department. Please note that all parties are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Recipe Corner

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Bread Recipes I Can’t Live Without

By Ginger Isham

As someone who leads an active life and enjoys being with people, what was I going to do housebound for three days during our recent snowstorms? Well, I missed some swim sessions, shoveled the back walk and porch more than three times one day as the blowing, drifting snow kept promising to barricade us in so we couldn’t open the door to the outside world. The contrast inside the house was completely opposite the outside – warm and cozy, just the right environment for making bread. I made three batches of bread. This recipe is quick, easy, and healthy for the body and soul.

Hilary’s 100 Percent Whole Wheat Bread

3 cups warm milk, water or potato water

1/2 tablespoon yeast

1 tablespoon honey or sugar (I use 2-3 tablespoon honey)

1/2 tablespoon salt (I use a generous 1/2 teaspoon sea salt)

6+ cups whole wheat flour (I use white whole wheat and/or mix them)

Dissolve yeast in warm milk and honey and let stand for 8 to 10 minutes. Add oil and salt. Stir in 2 cups flour, add 1 cup at a time to make 4 more cups until dough forms a ball on the spoon. Turn out on to lightly floured counter top. Use as little flour as possible, so it doesn’t stick to counter and knead about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in bowl and cover, and let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours (until double in size). Punch down and let rise again for about 1 hour. Turn on to lightly floured counter and knead just enough to get any air bubbles out. Cut dough in half and shape into 2 loaves of bread. Place in oiled pans and let rise about 30 minutes. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

During the depression years time and money-saving recipes were basic but tasty. This recipe comes out more like thick, flat bread that can challenge the imagination.

Busy Day Bread

1 package of yeast

1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)

2 tablespoons molasses (I use dark maple syrup)

1 tablespoon melted shortening or vegetable oil (I use olive oil)

pinch of salt

1/2 cup rye or whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups white flour

In a mixing bowl dissolve yeast in warm water, add molasses and let stand 4 to 5 minutes until foamy. Stir in melted shortening, salt, rye flour, and white flour with a wooden spoon. Beat 50 times. Spread dough to a 6-by-8-inch circle on an oiled baking sheet. Let rise 30 minutes. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and brush top with melted butter.

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

Right to the Point

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Breaking down the Second Amendment

Feb. 24, 2011

By Kayla Purvis

Vermont should not have to send its relevant mental health records to the Federal Bureau of Investigation so that the information can be included in the database for gun background checks. Common sense says that mentally ill people should not be allowed to bear or keep arms, but they are Constitutionally – both federally and locally – given the right.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” If we remove the explanatory phrase “being necessary to the security of a free state,” the Amendment reads: “A well-regulated militia, [and] the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” This means that the United States has right to have a militia, or an army. It also means that the people have the right to not only own or have weapons, but to use them. There is an argument about exactly whom “the people” refers to. But using the knowledge of how the Founding Fathers carefully and tediously chose their wording as well as their usage of the same phrase elsewhere in the Constitution, I argue that “the people” refers to the citizens of the United States.

In the preamble to the United States Constitution, it states: “We the people…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” In this context, “the people” are the Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution. I am certain they were not granting the right to bear arms to the militia and themselves exclusively, nor would they be referring to just the militia. The militia was not responsible for ordaining or establishing the Constitution.

“The people” is also used when referring to how the representatives and senators from each state will be chosen.

“The right of the people to assemble.”

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons.” Powers not delegated to the federal or state governments are given to “the people.” There is no doubt that the phrase “the people” refers to the citizens of the United States throughout the entire Constitution. We should then assume that the same is true of the Second Amendment.

The Vermont State Constitution, dating back to before the Bill of Rights, states: “The inhabitants of this State shall have liberty in seasonable times, to hunt fowl on the lands they hold, and on other lands not enclosed….That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State….” So not only has the right to bear arms for hunting been granted, but also the right of citizens to bear arms to defend themselves and the State of Vermont.

According to The National Rifle Association, local governments in Vermont don’t regulate the possession, ownership, transfer, carrying, registration or licensing of firearms. And since the United States Constitution only binds the federal government, Vermont’s Constitution trumps the U.S. in this court case, and backs up the 2008 Supreme Court ruling in D.C. v. Heller that gun possession is an individual right.

“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The United States Constitution includes the verbs keep and bear. Still, using the assumption that the Founding Fathers were referring to U.S. citizens when using the term “the people,” the Second Amendment distinguishes between two different rights of the people.

Dictionary.com defines keep as follows: “to hold or retain in one’s possession; hold as one’s own; to have the care, charge, or custody of.” It defines bear as “to have and use; exercise.” This means that there is a distinction between keeping and bearing arms. Having a gun in your house is different than pointing it cocked and loaded in someone’s direction. The Second Amendment makes this distinction in the Founding Fathers’ word choice.

There is an NRA-supported federal law that prevents “those adjudicated as mental defectives or incompetents or those committed to any mental institution” from possessing, receiving, shipping, or transporting firearms or ammunition. This, even though it is a law that is punishable by life in prison, violates the rulings of the Supreme Court in both D.C. v. Heller and in McDonald v. Chicago (2010). Neither case had specifically asked if mentally ill persons could keep or bear arms. As a result, neither ruling is specific to that question. Therefore, the rulings should stand that all persons have the individual right to keep/bear arms. This makes the medical records that the United States Justice Department wants from the State of Vermont irrelevant and unnecessary – regardless of whether or not we think mentally ill persons should or should not have weapons.

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

Liberally Speaking

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The Basics of American Libertarianism

Feb. 24, 2011

By Steve Mount

For the second year in a row, Ron Paul, a Republican Representative from Texas, won the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference. The straw poll is seen as an indication of the most conservative voters’ choice for a presidential candidate in the next big election.

Paul has long been a darling of the extreme right. But I’m not here to write about CPAC, the straw poll, the 2012 presidential election, or even Ron Paul specifically. Instead, my topic this week is libertarianism.

Paul is widely seen as one of the most striking examples of a libertarian, and his rise to the top of the CPAC straw poll may signal a resurgence of libertarian sentiment in the far right wing of the conservative mindset.

The United States is host to the Libertarian Party, self-described as our third largest party, in terms of registered members. The Libertarian Party describes itself thusly:

“Our vision is for a world in which all individuals can freely exercise the natural right of sole dominion over their own lives, liberty and property by building a political party that elects Libertarians to public office, and moving public policy in a libertarian direction.”

Taken at face value, this statement sounds appealing. Boiled down to its basics, the statement expands on libertarianism’s two basic principles: freedom of thought and freedom of action.

The first of these is easy – I absolutely agree with the principle of freedom of thought. In fact, I think most Americans are on board with this basic principle.

It is in the second basic principle, freedom of action, that libertarians and I diverge. That being said, I agree with the broad idea that people should be allowed to do what they want, when they want, as long as no one else is harmed. The principle, though, taken to its logical extremes, quickly becomes troublesome.

The individual is important. But society matters, too. It has an interest in ensuring that its members are not only happy but healthy, too.

For example, under a libertarian state, the unregulated use of any substance would be perfectly fine, and government attempts to regulate those substances would not be allowed. Over time, science has made it clear that use of tobacco products is detrimental to any person’s health. There is not a single seriously-reported positive benefit of tobacco consumption.

Recognizing this, we tax tobacco products to the point where they are unaffordable by many; and the revenue is used, in part, to discourage further tobacco use. Such taxes and programs are completely contrary to the libertarian principle that anyone should be allowed to smoke or chew, period.

Similarly, libertarians do not see a place for government in social services. They would much rather see the poor, sick, and elderly taken care of by private charities, with funds willingly donated by individuals. Again, I agree with this in principle, but when reality raises its ugly head, it is clear that relying on private entities is insufficient.

A government such as ours should offer a minimum safety net. It cannot and should not be the only safety net, but in a society where we value human life and dignity above all other things, leaving this role to private charities is wrong-headed.

We often say that we live in a democracy. But this is not true. In a pure democracy, majority always rules. The rights of the minority are not relevant. In fact, “the rights of the minority” is a concept that a pure democracy does not hold. Instead, we live in a society that adheres to democratic principles, taking the best parts of democracy, like “one person, one vote,” and integrating them into our own system.

Likewise, libertarianism has a lot of great ideas. Its basic principles of freedom of thought and freedom of action are important to each of us. We accept these libertarian principles in general, and have integrated them into our system; applying modifications for the betterment of all members of our society.

Those who call themselves libertarians must continue to adhere to their principles – it is their right and duty. If they have ideas that are good for our country as a whole, it is only through their continued advocacy that those ideas will move from the fringes to the mainstream. With Republican Ron Paul as a de facto head of the movement, these principles will get a fair airing, and exposure to ideas is a benefit to us all.

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 [email protected] or read his blog at http://saltyrain.com/ls.

Letters to the Editor

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Feb. 24, 2011

Soldiers receive warm welcome

A welcome home party for Vermont Army National Guard Unit HHC Williston was held on Feb. 5 at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction. More than 200 soldiers and family members enjoyed wonderful catered food, fun children’s activities and bounce houses, DJ music, and great door prizes.

The Family Readiness Group of HHC Williston would like to once again thank the Williston voters for their generous support of the bake sale held in November, which greatly contributed to the success of the event. We would also like to thank Williston businesses The Edge Sports & Fitness, and Stove and Flag Works for donating fabulous door prizes. Thank you to Williston Girl Scout Troops #30663 and #30688, who provided help with the children’s activities.

Also, thank you to the Williston Girl Scout Daisy Troop, who created beautiful and heartwarming decorations for the party. The outpouring of support and donations for the party said a enthusiastic “Thank You” and “Welcome Home” to the soldiers and their families.

Peter Moreman, Co-Leader, HHC Williston Family Readiness Group

Guest Column

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Heads-up on Bloody Noses

Feb. 24, 2011

By Lewis First, M.D

Parents have been quite nosy recently with lots of questions about their children getting nosebleeds during the winter. Well, the clot thickens (so to speak) so let me provide some information on this topic.

Nosebleeds are probably as common as the common cold and are usually caused by nasal passages being exposed to dry air during the winter season. Recurrent colds and allergies can also make the inside lining of the nose quite raw, cracked and crusted, allowing blood vessels to come to the surface of the nasal lining. That can lead to bleeding.

Most nosebleeds can easily be managed at home by doing the following:

Stay calm and reassure your child that the bleeding will stop.

Have your child sit up — not lie down — to reduce the blood pressure in the head and the amount of bleeding that may occur.

Blow the nose to free up any large clots that can interfere with applying pressure.

Apply direct pressure to the soft part of the nose for 10 minutes with the child sitting up and leaning forward so they are less apt to swallow the blood.

Don’t release that pressure until 10 minutes have elapsed.

It is not a good idea to re-blow the nose after this, or it will disturb the new clot that has successfully formed. A cold compress or ice pack to the nose can also help stop the bleeding.

How can you prevent nosebleeds from occurring? Humidifying the air in your home will help, as will applying Vaseline to the inside of the nose to keep the lining moist and to prevent irritation. Picking the nose will also not improve the situation, so remember to keep their fingernails short if they do pick, and remind your child they can pick their friends, but they should not pick their nose or their friend’s nose.

When should you worry about a nosebleed?

If the bleeding is occurring through both nostrils

If it continues for over fifteen minutes

If the bleeding appears to be heavy and is accompanied by dizziness or weakness

If it is the result of a fall or blow to the head

If prolonged bleeding also occurs from other areas like the gums or from a cut

If it occurs more than three or four times a week.

If this is the case, have your pediatrician examine your child’s nose and if necessary perform some additional studies.

Hopefully, tips like this will stop-up any concerns you have and prevent you from seeing red the next time you are worried about your child’s nosebleeds.

Lewis First, M.D., is chief of Pediatrics at Vermont Children’s Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.

Around Town

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Town Meeting Day 2011 Guide

Monday, Feb. 28

Town and school meeting: Williston Central School auditorium, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, March 1

Voting: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Williston Armory, 7846 Williston Road.

Budget highlights

Proposed town budget: $8,064,520

Proposed bond: Up to $1.5 billion for maintenance and upgrades to the town’s public sewer system

Proposed school budget: $16,303,507

Election highlights

Selectboard (three years, one seat): Debbie Ingram and Shelley Palmer

Selectboard (two years, one seat): Jay P. Michaud

Town School Board (three years, one seat): Joshua Diamond

Town School Board (two years, one seat): Kevin Mara

Town School Board (one year, one seat): Giovanna Boggero

Champlain Valley Union School Board (three years, one seat): David Rath

The Observer and Citizen earn journalism awards

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Feb. 24, 2011

The Williston Observer and The Charlotte Citizen earned five awards at the Vermont Press Association’s annual banquet in Montpelier on Feb. 17.

VPA Executive Director Mike Donoghue said the annual competition for the top Vermont journalism awards is open to the state’s 10 daily newspapers and four-dozen non-daily newspapers that circulate in Vermont.

The list of awards:

The Best of Vermont – General Excellence (non-daily): Second place, Williston Observer.

Feature photo, (non-daily): First place, Greg Duggan, Williston Observer.

Best headline writing (non-daily): Second place, Greg Duggan, Williston Observer.

Best sports writing (non-daily): Second place, Mal Boright, Williston Observer.

Feature writing (non-daily): Third place, Stephanie Choate, Charlotte Citizen.

The papers are owned by Williston Publishing and Promotions, LLC.

Food Shelf needs donations to avoid cutting services

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Feb. 24, 2011

By Tim Simard
Observer staff

The Williston Community Food Shelf, which serves economically struggling residents on a year round basis, needs funds quickly in order to avoid cutting services.

The nonprofit organization is $4,000 short of its fundraising goal for the first quarter of 2011. Without that money, the Food Shelf might need to reduce assistance to clients, said President Cathy Michaels.

Michaels said donations dried up after a busy holiday season in November and December. The January and February months are generally the quietest of the year in terms of donations, but the need for food and money remains, Michaels added.

If the Food Shelf can’t make up the $4,000 shortfall, the organization may need to cut services. Michaels said clients, who are allowed to make two visits to the Food Shelf per month, might be asked to come only once a month for a temporary period. The Food Shelf might also forego purchasing perishable items, such as milk and eggs, until money becomes available.

“Those are choices we don’t want to have to make,” Michaels said.

The Food Shelf opened in Maple Tree Place in 2008, helping needy families in Williston, St. George, Essex, and Richmond. The organization moved its headquarters to a smaller location at the Taft Farm Village Center on Cornerstone Drive in January 2010.

Michaels said the Food Shelf wants to increase its fundraising events and hopes a local volunteer can step in, and  guide the organization in the right direction.

“We need to find someone in the community who has a fundraising background,” Michaels said. “Fundraising will always be a top priority so we can keep up the needs of our clients.”

Most of the Food Shelf’s donations come from individuals and businesses. Michaels said it’s difficult for Food Shelf volunteers to continuously ask businesses for donations, and she hopes there might be different ways to reach the community. For instance, the Food Shelf held an online art auction last year that brought in much needed funds during the spring months.

And while the Food Shelf deals with funding issues in the short term, it’s also looking ahead. Fundraising will continue to remain an issue, but the Food Shelf also needs to expand. When it moved to Cornerstone Drive, the organization had to adapt to a smaller space, which remains a challenge as more families continue to visit. Michaels said there is added space available adjacent to its ground floor location. She hopes an expansion can occur later this year, pending available funds.

Michaels also said the Food Shelf needs volunteers to help in creating a database of clients, and a certified public accountant volunteer to audit the books once a year. She also said volunteers with experience in any field are always welcome.

“We have a core group of volunteers that really help make this a wonderful place,” she added.

Food and monetary donations can be dropped off at the Food Shelf during its operating hours: Tuesdays, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m;  Thursdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Checks can also be mailed to the Food Shelf at P.O. Box 1605, Williston, VT 05495.

Wildlife study could determine development

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Feb. 24, 2011

By Tim Simard
Observer staff

Bobcats, such as this one spotted in Williston near Taft Corners last year, are part of a new wildlife study. (File photo)

Balancing wildlife conservation with development in Williston has always been a tricky task, but new information could help the town toe that line.

For the past month, Williston planners and wildlife trackers from Huntington-based Arrowwood Environmental LLC, an ecological consulting firm, have been collecting data to determine where Williston’s animals roam most frequently. Town officials urged residents to visit Town Hall and mark locations on a map where they most commonly see wild animals. Some homeowners along established wildlife corridors even allowed trackers to access their property to search for animal signs.

While Williston sits in the foothills of the Green Mountains, it still acts as a habitat for countless woodland creatures, large and small, said Planner Jessica Andreoletti. People who live in Williston and outside of town are sometimes surprised at the variety of wildlife, especially in a town known for its business and retail areas.

According to the map posted at Town Hall, residents have found smaller animals – such as coyotes, fox, and bobcats – roaming their backyards and along the sides of busy roads. Even larger animals, like deer, moose and bear, sometimes get spotted by locals.

“We have a lot going on here in town,” Andreoletti said.

Determining where all these animals roam, and how far these corridors stretch, remain the most important goals of the tracking project, Andreoletti said. Knowing the updated locations of the wildlife corridors will help planners determine areas that might need a light touch when it comes to development.

A $10,000 grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program, along with allotted money from the town, helped fund the $16,000 study, Andreoletti said.

Once Arrowwood Environmental completes its work, which could be as early as next month, the data will be given to the University of Vermont’s Spatial Analysis Laboratory to update existing wildlife corridors. Students would then map the corridors, which planners will present to the Selectboard and town residents. The town has already enlisted the help of the Vermont Natural Resources Council, an environmental organization that has dealt with similar processes throughout the state.

Andreoletti said the tracking and map making is only the first step in an ongoing process. Eventually, the town will hold several public meetings to gather input on possible wildlife habitats and any changes to current development laws this information might create. She admitted there could be some spirited debate ahead.

“It’s going to be a long process,” Andreoletti said. “By the end, hopefully we’ll find out how important wildlife is to Williston residents.”

South Burlington underwent a similar study and implemented development changes to a part of its community. South Burlington’s Planning and Zoning Director Paul Connor said the city began a study in 2002 and adopted wildlife protection standards for “medium-sized mammals” in 2006. It was part of an analysis that also included new designations for open space, Connor added.

Many of the open space and wildlife standards applied only to a section of South Burlington known as the “Southeast Quadrant,” which borders Williston along the Muddy Brook.

“There’s always been an interest in accommodating wildlife in that part of the city,” Connor said.

The regulations urged landowners to seek development in other parts of town instead of the Southeast Quadrant, and even offered incentives, Connor said. He added that some residents challenged the guidelines, especially those with development plans in that part of South Burlington.

While Williston’s study could soon mirror South Burlington’s results, Connor said the wildlife study proved invaluable to many of the city’s residents.

“It can be a very positive process for all involved,” he said.

Andreoletti said she hopes for a constructive process and stressed the importance of determining wildlife corridors and habitats for managing future development.

“We’re part of a region here and it’s important to see where Williston sits in a network of corridors throughout the state,” she said.