March 19, 2019

Scheduled for takeoff

Vermont Tech to partner with Vermont Flight Academy on innovative curriculum

March 31, 2011

By Luke Baynes
Observer correspondent

Andrew Verriotto (left) learns the art of flying from Vermont Flight Academy Assistant Chief Flight Instructor David Miller. (Observer photo by Luke Baynes)

Vermont Technical College and the Vermont Flight Academy are partnering to enable students to become licensed pilots while working toward a Bachelor of Science degree.

The four-year program, called “Aviation: Professional Pilot Technology,” would be the first of its kind in Vermont and will prepare students for a wide range of aviation careers, including flight instruction and commercial piloting.

The program was originally scheduled to begin in August but has been delayed while awaiting approval from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Brent Sargent, Dean of Vermont Tech’s Williston campus, is optimistic that they will receive approval by January of 2012, but said that students interested in the aviation degree can enroll at the college as undeclared majors and receive retroactive credit for courses taken in the interim.

According to Sargent, the delay is due to ongoing negotiations with the NEASC, which requires that all courses still in development be completely finalized before the program receives accreditation. Financial aid is also an area of discussion, due to the variable rates of the flight section of the program, which fluctuate based on fuel costs and the number of hours it takes students to complete flight training.

“We want to ensure that students who enroll in the program have financial aid eligibility for the flight portion,” said Sargent, citing it as a major reason for the delay. “You have tuition and then you have flight fees that are separate, so our goal is to ensure that it’s all one program so that students will be financial aid eligible for both.”

Doug Smith, VFA’s Chief Flight Instructor and a Vermont resident, was a pilot for Delta Airlines for 29 years. He stressed the importance the major airlines place on a college degree. He said the program will offer graduating students employment as VFA flight instructors and address the concerns many graduates might have about seeking initial employment in an industry that has been ravaged over the past decade by financial woes and corporate downsizing.

“The students will get their flight instructor certificates in their third year and everyone will be offered a job instructing that wants one,” Smith said.

He added: “We are actually providing the training for seven FAA certificates and ratings in this four-year program, and that’s all the FAA licenses, frankly, that you ever need. So it’s not just that we’re giving them a college degree. We’re actually giving them a card-carrying employability.”

He also hopes that having an accredited aviation degree will encourage greater gender equality in what has traditionally been considered a male profession.

“There are far too few females in this profession, and we aim to change that, because they tend to be some of the better pilots I’ve ever trained,” Smith said.

The Vermont Flight Academy is a Federal Aviation Administration approved flight school under Part 141 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, meaning that the curriculum is subject to FAA approval and the school is subject to regular FAA surveillance audits. Part 141 schools, as opposed to less structured Part 61 schools, are considered the gold standard for preparing students for careers in commercial aviation.

Still, Smith explained, the typical career path for pilots rarely finds them employed by the major airlines as their first job out of flight school and more often involves time spent as an instructor, which is precisely the opportunity VFA will offer graduates.

“The usual first job is as a flight instructor. You’re teaching flying, but you’re still logging hours as the pilot in command. And that builds up your total flight time. Most airlines like to see people doing flight instruction,” he said.

According to Sargent, the program will initially be able to accommodate 10 to 12 students, but he hopes to increase that number to as many as 20 in future years and says that interest in the program is already strong.

“Without advertising or any kind of informational release we’ve had a lot of interest from young people who have wanted to be pilots their whole lives,” Sargent said.

Smith agreed that the ideal candidate is one who has always dreamed of spending his life in a cockpit.

“If you’ve got the passion, nothing’s going to stop you,” said Smith.

Pounding the global pavement

Williston business sells nanotechnology

March 31, 2011

By Adam White
Observer correspondent

John Arnott, chairman of Ladd Research Industries, examines the effects of a vacuum evaporator on fragments of silicon monoxide at his company’s facility in Williston. (Observer photo by Adam White)

The thrusters fire on an unmanned communications satellite, changing the direction of its orbit around the Earth. A near-non-existent tissue sample is magnified a million times under the beam of an electron microscope. A proton zips through a mile-long, underground particle accelerator, helping scientists unlock the very nature of matter.
And the man whose Williston company makes it all possible closes yet another deal with nothing more complex than his word and a handshake.

“I’ve been a salesman all my life,” said John Arnott, chairman of Ladd Research Industries. “I’m the last remaining Willy Loman, from the old school. We’re in a technology market, but I am by no means a technical guy. I’m just a traveling salesman.”
Arnott estimates that he and his wife Rita spend up to 100 nights a year on the road – and that they logged close to 50,000 miles of travel last November and December alone. That dogged persistence helped Ladd become a world leader in nanotechnology, particularly the kind of specialized aperture discs used to regulate the fuel in a satellite thruster and focus the beam in an electron microscope.

“Because we have a specific ability that no one else has, we’ve carved out a place for ourselves in the global market,” Arnott said. “Basically, we make little holes in things.”
Margaret and Bill Ladd, who worked on the first electron microscope built in North America at the University of Toronto in the 1930s, founded Ladd Research Industries in 1954. Arnott began working at the company as a salesman in 1974.

Bill Ladd recognized the role aperture technology would play in many rapidly advancing areas of science, as well as ways to market other equipment and supplies to laboratories.
But the Ladds’ ambition eventually got the best of them, as the demands for their company’s technology simply could not support a staff that ballooned to close to 40 people. The company went under in the late 1980s, and the Arnotts bought it out of bankruptcy in 1991 with a new personnel vision that has proved ideal.

“We do more today with nine people than they did back then with 38,” Arnott said. “Their problem was that they had no versatility; they had way too many specialists. The secret to how we survive is that everyone’s willing – and able – to do everything.”

Some of Ladd’s staff came from backgrounds far removed from nanotechnology.

Production manager Casey O’Connor was a heating, ventilation and air conditioning technician before coming to Ladd 16 years ago, when he followed in the footsteps of his mother Pauline, a 20-year veteran of the company.

“I think it’s in my blood,” said O’Connor. “I picked it up rather quickly.”

O’Connor uses a drill with a miniscule spade bit to make aperture holes, typically one-tenth the diameter of a single human hair, in tiny discs of metal such as platinum and molybdenum. O’Connor said that Ladd has a serious need for more production help to keep up with the orders that keep pouring in, and that the skill set necessary for success at the job does not include any formal scientific training.

“You need good hand/eye coordination, manual dexterity and an eye for detail,” O’Connor said, “but probably, the biggest thing (you need) is patience. You can’t do this job if you’re frustrated or distracted; you need a clear mind.”

While O’Connor, fellow production manager Michael Bouchard and the rest of the Ladd team work hard to keep the company’s products on the cutting edge of technology, Arnott will stick to what he knows best: the road. Though he claims that he “hasn’t had a vacation in years,” his eyes light up when he recounts sales trips that took him into the jungle in Africa and caves outside Hanoi in Vietnam.

His son, J.D. – the president of Ladd and “brains behind the operation,” according to his father – has suggested using business technologies such as Internet conferencing to cut down on travel mileage, but he admits there is still a need for pounding the global pavement.

“Personal contacts are important in this business, and I’m not sure if you get that with computers and Skype,” J.D. Arnott said. “John’s role is one that we will continue to have; we might retire it with him, but I think he’ll fill it for many years.”

Men’s salon opens at Oasis Day Spa

March 31, 2011

By Tim Simard
Observer staff

Oasis Day Spa owner Jeff Paquette stands within the spa's new men's salon. The salon, due to open on April 1, will cater to a male clientele, with products and services geared specifically to men. (Observer photo by Tim Simard)

Beginning April 1, Oasis Day Spa is expanding to include more options for men. A new men’s salon will open adjacent to the spa, offering men’s haircuts, waxing and spa treatments.

The rock music playing on the radio and newly installed flat-screen high definition television also make for a more laid-back atmosphere, co-owners Jeff and Stephanie Paquette said.

“We have a good male clientele already, but a lot of men don’t come in because they feel it’s only female-oriented,” Stephanie Paquette said.

Oasis’ men’s salon will have a separate entrance from the day spa and feature two haircutting stations and two sinks. And while the ambiance might be more “SportsCenter” than scented candles, men will still have access to the spa, including massages. The salon will also carry a full line of men’s hair care products previously unavailable at Oasis.

Jeff Paquette said he and Stephanie came up with the idea of the salon two months ago. By transforming their office and knocking down a nearby wall, the salon took form over just a few weeks.

“It’s funny how fast this came together,” Jeff Paquette said. “But it’s also something we felt we really needed to do to grow.”

Oasis opened in Williston 10 years ago with only a few employees, the Paquettes said. Today, the spa employs 30 people, with another five to start with the men’s salon opening.

The salon will have similar hours to the day spa, the Paquettes said. There’s a possibility of opening for a few hours on Sundays, as well, they said. For more information, contact Oasis Day Spa at 879-9499.

Portelli leaves lasting impression at WCS

March 31, 2011

By Tim Simard
Observer staff

Williston School District receptionist Carmen Portelli. (Observer photo by Tim Simard)

After a little more than three years as the receptionist with the Williston School District, Carmen Portelli is saying goodbye to students, teachers and staff who have become her extended family.

Thursday, March 31, is Portelli’s last day with the school district. A familiar face to everyone at Williston Central School and a reassuring voice to parents over the phone, Portelli said her brief tenure with the district left a mark on her she never could have imagined.

“I’m in awe of these last few days,” Portelli said. “I’ve gotten so much love here I can’t even tell you.

Calling Portelli “extremely talented,” District Principal Walter Nardelli said many who frequent the reception desk will miss her. Replacing her will not be easy, he said.
“Somebody is going to have some big shoes to fill,” Nardelli said.

Portelli is leaving the school to become the office manager at the new Peak Veterinary Referral Center, due to open on Hurricane Lane on April 11. Instead of working with students each day, Portelli will be the friendly face pet owners will see when entering the center, which will treat sick animals for Champlain Valley residents.

“It’ll be a different position with different challenges, but I’m really looking forward to it,” Portelli said.

But before Portelli leaves the school district, she must say her goodbyes. It’s something she admits will be emotional and difficult.

Every day, many of Williston Central’s 800 students pass by her office. Some wave enthusiastically as they rush through the halls to class, others stop in to say hello or talk about their day, good or bad. These interactions with students is what Portelli said she’ll miss the most when she moves on.

“They’re all wonderful,” Portelli said. “You just never know what questions they’re going to ask, what stories they’re going to tell, or what jokes they’re going to pull.”

Portelli started her receptionist job in late 2007, replacing longtime staff member Mavis Tremblay. Before that, she worked as a volunteer and paraeducator in the school system. As receptionist, Portelli mastered the ability to immediately recognize voices on the other end of the phone. Remembering faces and names was another skill Portelli honed. She believes she can identify many of the current Williston Central students, as well as Williston students currently at Champlain Valley Union High School.

“It’s like having a family of 1,200,” Portelli said, also the mother of three daughters.
On Monday afternoon, while taking phone calls and finishing her duties, more than one staff member and student stopped over to wish her good luck. Seventh grader William Yakubik said he met Portelli when she was a paraeducator and the two stayed friends. At times shy, Portelli helped Yakubik create a stronger voice for himself, he said.

“She let me hold a leadership role in school, and I enjoyed that,” Yakubik said.

Fellow seventh grader Ryan Lackey said Portelli has always lent a sympathetic ear anytime he needed to talk to someone. He wasn’t looking forward to her exit.
“It’s going to be really sad, but I hope to see her around town still,” Lackey said.

Outside her office a number of months ago, Portelli hung a bell urging people to ring it if they’re happy. She said she put it there to remind students there is much to be happy about, especially on bad days. Even though Thursday will be a sad one for Portelli as she says goodbye, she plans to ring the bell loud and clear to remind everyone at Williston Central how proud and content they made her feel every day.

Selectboard prepares for Town Plan review

March 31, 2011

By Tim Simard
Observer staff

The Williston Selectboard received its first look at a draft of Williston’s Comprehensive Plan Monday night, readying itself to review the document and ask pointed questions. Planning and Zoning Director Ken Belliveau, along with Planning Commission Chairman David Yandell, presented the Town Plan to the board, highlighting revisions and explaining details.

“We’re not changing much,” Yandell told the board. “This is the direction for Williston over the next five years. We see it as a good direction.”

Williston must update its Town Plan every five years, like all communities in Vermont, in accordance with state law. The Selectboard last ratified a Town Plan in February 2006, which represented a substantial rewrite of previous documents.

Beginning in late 2009, the Planning Commission worked with community members and identified areas of the current Town Plan that could use improvements. Some of the changes included expounding on an energy conservation section and making Williston a leader in green living, Yandell said.

The Town Plan draft also recommends zoning changes in the South Brownell Road neighborhoods, as well as creating zoning exceptions for the Porterwood Drive neighborhood and Lake Iroquois homesteads, both located in the rural and agricultural sections of town.

The draft also urges the protection of working landscapes and open spaces by recommending tax abatements to certain landowners. Planning Commission member Kevin Batson told the board this abatement would help certain property owners keep their lands and not be forced to subdivide due to rising taxes.

The Selectboard didn’t ask specific questions about the Town Plan, and intend to review it chapter by chapter throughout April. The board will also take public testimony on the plan, hoping to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Since the current Town Plan expired in February, the board stated its intent to approve the plan in a timely manner. Belliveau said according to state law, the town can’t make any zoning changes or alterations to the bylaws this year until it approves a new Town Plan.

“I’d say the month of April will be a big month,” Town Manager Rick McGuire said.
Selectboard Chairman Terry Macaig added: “Yes, we certainly have our work cut out for us.”

Town boards need volunteers

March 31, 2011

By Tim Simard
Observer staff

A number of vacancies continue to exist on several town boards and commissions, leaving Williston officials trying to find suitable replacements. The all-volunteer positions range from vacancies on the Planning Commission, to openings on the Community Justice Board.

“We’ve had people step into vacant positions recently, but we still need help,” admitted Town Manager Rick McGuire.

McGuire posted notifications of board and committee openings on the town’s website earlier this year, which helped generate some interest. But the Planning Commission will soon be short two members, and the Development Review Board has been in need of a seventh member since late last year.

Planning and Zoning Director Ken Belliveau said the lack of members on both government bodies lessen the exchange of ideas and sometimes hamper results. A fully staffed board also leaves enough wiggle room if other members can’t make certain meetings. Last year, the Development Review Board had to cancel meetings at a late date at least once because not enough members could attend. The board needs at least five members in attendance to reach quorum.

Belliveau said anyone interested in serving on the Planning Commission or Development Review Board shouldn’t worry about having special experience.

“But you do like people on your boards that have some basic knowledge of the task at hand,” Belliveau said. “You don’t have to be an engineer, you don’t have to be an architect. Just be a well informed citizen.”

The Planning Commission recently lost longtime member Debbie Ingram after she was elected to the Selectboard earlier this month. Commission Chairman Dave Yandell, another longtime member, also told the Selectboard two weeks ago he intends to step down once a replacement is found.

Belliveau said the Planning Commission is, first and foremost, a policy-making board. It handles the creation of many important town documents, including Williston’s bylaws and, more recently, the Town Plan. These commission projects then go before the Selectboard for final approval.

“With the (Planning Commission), they’re thinking about the big picture,” Belliveau said. “With the (Development Review Board), that’s for somebody who really wants to focus on the nitty gritty detail of a project.”

The Development Review Board often decides the fate of building projects throughout Williston. All major development ventures, from small property subdivisions to the large-scale Finney Crossing, must earn final permit approval through the board.
The board remains short one member after longtime Chairman Kevin McDermott stepped down last year and Scott Rieley entered in as chair.

As for other committee vacancies, the Selectboard recently appointed three residents to the Community Justice Board and two to the Recreation Committee. McGuire said other important openings exist, including a spot on the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission. He also said the town is in need of an alternate member for the Chittenden County Transportation Authority’s governing board.

If anyone is interested in applying for a board or commission position, contact the Williston Town Hall at 878-5121.

PHOTOS: Old Navy opens in Williston

March 24, 2011

Observer photos by Steven Frank

Old Navy opened in Williston, next to Dick’s Sporting Goods, with a soft opening on March 17. The clothing store had its grand opening on March 19. Old Navy relocated to Williston from Church Street in Burlington.

This Week’s Popcorn – “Red Riding Hood”

No big woof

1 popcorn

By Michael S. Goldberger
Special to the Observer

Poor Anonymous. The author has had to sit by all these many centuries while the scribes of every era offered up their present-minded interpretation of his (or her) “Red Riding Hood.”

And poor us if director Catherine Hardwicke’s newest take on the classic fairy tale in any way reflects the mood, temper and mindset of our contemporary culture.

It would mean we are a rather confused bunch living on an obviously limited budget and dominated by moneyed interests who control us through the propagation of superstition and self-serving dogma. You’d think the director could at least afford a better wolf to terrify us. This mangy bit of taxidermy looks like he was torn off the wall of a restaurant.

But our greatest sympathy must go to the film’s target audience, the children in their formative years who really just want to see their teen idols: Amanda Seyfried as Valerie (a.k.a. Little Red Riding Hood); Shiloh Fernandez as Peter, her woodcutter love interest; and Max Irons as Henry, the rich boy mom (Virginia Madsen) really wants her to marry.

It’s bad enough those disingenuous politicians who know a good buck when they see it continually use enough this demography’s educational future to make hay. While not quite as treacherous, making the kids sit through the filmmakers’ pretentious idea of folkloric revisionism in order to espy these pretty faces wastes a chance to teach a thing or two.

That said, welcome to Miss Hardwicke’s Medievalism, a bleak land of thatched roofs, primitive inventions, sack clothing and no shortage of sorrowful foreboding. Upon our arrival, it appears that the wolf, after being a good boy for more than 20 years, has broken his contract. Boy, are we lucky. Imagine if modern state governments did that.

The results are bloody. Afraid and forever at each other’s throats because of the dizzying uncertainty such a broken truce can cause, their world is torn asunder. Thus, divided if not yet conquered, the disarray invites Gary Oldman’s Father Solomon, a self-proclaimed savior, to the fright fest. Claiming full wolf killing certification, he at once sets up shop.

Putting on a Middle Ages version of a medicine show, replete with impressively dressed coterie and intriguing appurtenances, he explains this is no ordinary beast. No, no…only a specialist such as he can rid the little village of Daggerhorn of the werewolf. There, he’s said it: werewolf. And it’s going to cost you. Gee, first the Black Plague and now this.

But not unlike our current demagogues, good at spotting a bad situation and profiting from it by arousing passion and prejudice, it soon becomes apparent Father Solomon only sees this little fiefdom as a stepping-stone. Already gaining a rather impressive reputation throughout the land, we can only guess at the scope and breadth of his sizeable ambitions.

Acting as a catalyst, the fear turned to turmoil unearths and brings to the fore the dark, deep secrets every self-respecting burg inevitably harbors. It seems Valerie’s mother once loved another. Oh the shame, the gossip, and, of course, the adultery. In other words, the sort of stuff regularly fed to us on daytime television. Call it “Housewives of the Middle Ages.”

About a quarter way in, you wonder how anyone could stomach this balderdash. Tut, tut, however. Mind you, tolerance. For the great unwashed should be surprised to know that this superstition-charged shebang belongs to its very own genre. There it is in the major bookstore chain, cordoned off and boldly emblazoned: “Teen Paranormal Romance.”

We’ve come a long way since Andy Hardy sought the good counsel of his esteemed dad, Judge Hardy, when he falls in love with his drama teacher in “Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever” (1939). Now we take it for granted when the perplexed teenager is enamored of a werewolf, and probably won’t tell her parents until half the town has been wolfed down.

Plodding along as a barely stitched together series of scandalous divulgences and omens, “Red Riding Hood’s” lack of an imaginative plot causes the uninitiated to seek sanctuary in some other aspect of the film. But alas, Miss Hardwicke, who has come to directing by way of a career in production design, creates an artistically disappointing Middle Ages.

The poor acting doesn’t help, either. That’s too bad. An ambitious retelling of the fable, albeit integrated with the bite needed to please young tastes, could have been rewarding. If “Red Riding Hood’s” audience only knew how they’ve been shortchanged, surely they’d exclaim: “Grandma, what big profits you make underestimating our intelligence.”

“Red Riding Hood,” rated PG-13, is a Warner Bros. Pictures release directed by Catherine Hardwicke and stars Amanda Seyfried, Shiloh Fernandez and Gary Oldman. Running time: 100 minutes

Recipe Corner

Maple syrup recipes without sugar

March 24, 2011

By Ginger Isham

It has been a romantic week with new maple syrup and favorite old recipes. For those of you who have limited access to syrup, I still hope you can enjoy the following recipes:

Michelle’s Maple Applesauce Muffins
1 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
1/3 cup maple syrup (medium to dark flavor)
1/2 cup oil (scant – try 1/3 cup)
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (I use the white whole wheat and include 2 tablespoons wheat germ)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I use less)
1/2 teaspoon cloves (I use less)
Raisins, dried cranberries, nuts optional
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients and add to the dry. Stir until batter is smooth and fold in fruit and nuts. Bake in greased muffin tins on 400 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes. Makes 1 dozen.

My Favorite Indian Pudding
(from the Vermont Maple Syrup cookbook 1974)

4 cups scalded milk
1/3 cup corn meal
1 cup maple syrup (can use 3/4 and get away with it)
1/4 cup butter
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup light or dark raisins, optional
Heat milk until hot and whisk in the corn meal slowly until smooth and cook until thickens. Stir in maple syrup and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and add rest of ingredients. Stir well. Pour into a greased 8-by-8-inch baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Maple Broiled Scallops
(from Sweet Maple cookbook by M. Lawrence and R. Martin)

1 pound of lean bacon  (cut into about 4-inch lengths)
2 pounds of sea scallops
1/4 cup maple syrup
Wrap bacon around each scallop and secure with a toothpick. Place on a rack in a baking sheet or broiler pan. Brush with maple syrup. Pre-heat broiler. Broil 3 to 5 minutes about 4 inches from heat. Brush with more maple syrup and broil 2 to 3 minutes more, or until bacon becomes crisp. Delicious!

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

Sports Notes

March 24, 2011


Jake Donnelly (File photo)

When senior Jake Donnelly recorded his 1,000th point for the Champlain Valley Union basketball team last week, he joined a very small fraternity.

Donnelly fired in his 1,000th in the Redhawks’ playoff loss at Mount Mansfield Union, their final game of the season.

Brothers Bob and Marvin Thomas were the first from CVU to reach the milestone in the late 1960s and early 70s. More recently, Ben Brooks knocked down more than 1,000 but played his sophomore campaign at Rice Memorial. His other three seasons were with CVU.

Donnelly, along with senior teammate Robert Russ, will appear with the North team in the annual Basketball Coaches Association North-South basketball classic.


While her Austin Conference team got nipped, 3-0, by the Harris Conference, Champlain Valley Union’s Amanda Lacaillade’s work on defense earned her the team’s Most Valuable Player honor on March 12 in the Rotary Key Bank Girls All-Star Classic hockey game at the Essex Skating Facility.

Lacaillade was one of four Redhawks on the Austin team. The others were defender Alyx Rivard and forwards Molly Howard and Amanda Armell.

CVU girls hockey coach Tom Ryan, who called her a solid, stay-at-home defender, greeted the award to Lacaillade warmly.

It put a positive finish to Lacaillade’s campaign in which she missed about half of CVU’s regular season games due to concussions.

The Harris team, which included several members of Division I champion BFA-St. Albans, outshot the Austins, 31-20, with BFA players accounting for all three goals.


There will be a mini-meeting Saturday between Division I boys hockey champ Champlain Valley Union and runner-up Essex in the annual Rotary Key Bank Hockey Classic at the Essex Skating Facility.

Five members of the CVU team will skate for the Austin Conference against the Harris Conference, which will have five players from Essex. Representing the Redhawks are forwards J. P. Benoit, Robbie Dobrowski, Derek Goodwin and Kyle Logan along with defenseman Erick MacLean.

From Essex, as part of the Harris team, are Ben Adams, Derek Neal, Kyle Peckham, Kurt Simendinger, and Josh Ward.

The annual contest for senior stars from around the state will get underway at 4:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults with no charge for youngsters 12 and under.


A decent season.

That’s a summation of the Champlain Valley Union boys junior varsity basketball campaign, which got off to a glorious 6-0 start, went through some hiccups in the middle, and finished with another 6-0 run.

It all added up to a nifty 15-5 record, including victories over teams that had beaten the Redhawks the first time around.

The guys stepped up. And, as coach Seth Emerson pointed out, many will have to step even higher next winter when nine varsity players are lost from graduation.

Emerson said his team had size and unselfish guards who were good at getting the ball inside.

Sophomores Ryan Beaudry and Joe Chevalier were hefty around the basket. Sophomore Davis Mikell showed significant progress in his first basketball season since eighth grade.
Among the backcourt operators Emerson mentioned were Freshmen Zach Evans and Ed Myers, along with sophomore Austin Myers.

Sophomores Dan Faris and Hans Lynn gave the Hawks some expert sniping from the perimeters.

“This was a nice crew,” said Emerson. “The guys really learned man defense and how to talk to each other.”


Alex Legg, an eighth grade student at Williston Central School, completed an eventful season as a member of the CSSU Hurricanes wrestling team with an 8-6 record.

Legg earned a third-place medal at the state finals, which was held at Spaulding High School in Barre.


Two weekends ago, the CSSU Hurricanes youth wrestling team traveled to Mount Mansfield Union High School and took home a team sportsmanship, the first one in the program’s history. The team outscored its opponents, 84-42.

Last weekend, the squad traveled to Vergennes High School and outscored their opponents, 99-84.

Riley Brown, a third grade student at Williston Central School, earned a second place medal at MMU and a third place medal at Vergennes. Lucas Brown a fourth grade student, took home a third place medal from MMU and Vergennes. Cale Bombardier, who is in fifth grade, earned third place medal at MMU and fourth place medal at Vergennes. Jarett Legg, a sixth grade student, won a second place medal at MMU and a fourth place one at Vergennes. The team is made up of students from the CSSU school district with wrestlers from Charlotte, Williston, Shelburne, and Hinesburg.