February 6, 2016

CVU student seeks position on Community Justice Board

Willistonians offer help to Town

May 19, 2011

By Adam White
Observer staff

Before Sam Fontaine tosses his cap in the air at his graduation from Champlain Valley Union High School, he is throwing his hat into the ring for a position within Williston’s town government.

The CVU junior appeared before the Selectboard at its regular meeting on Monday to be interviewed for a position on the Community Justice Board. Fontaine, an honor roll student, said he would use his experience on the CJB to fulfill his Graduation Challenge at CVU.

“I’ve always had an interest in criminal justice,” said Fontaine, 17.

He hopes to combine his term on the Criminal Justice Board with an internship with the Vermont State’s Attorney’s Office, in preparation for a possible career in law enforcement.

Fontaine added that he also has a passion for politics; he worked on Brian Dubie’s campaign for governor last year, and was one of CVU’s delegates at the Princeton Model Congress in Washington D.C.

The Community Justice Board works in conjunction with the Williston Police Department and Vermont Department of Corrections to help “assess the impacts of specific crimes on victims” and recommend courses of action for offenders to “increase the sense … of belonging to a community so that the chance of repeat criminal acts is less,” according to the town’s website.

The Community Justice Board is comprised of 15 members, appointed by the Selectboard to staggered three-year terms. Town manager Rick McGuire said during Monday’s meeting that although there are technically 20 membership slots on the CJB, “the board does not feel that they need 20; they think the (optimal) number is around 16.”

McGuire also indicated that the current CJB members “want a rep on the younger side.” McGuire pointed out on Tuesday that another CVU student, Olivia Loisel, has been a member of the town’s Recreation Committee “since she was in middle school.”

“We have a desire to get people of all ages on the town boards, from the young to the older,” McGuire said. “That’s what our community is made up of – people of all different ages.”

Fontaine agrees that his perspective could be beneficial to a board that is otherwise made up of adults.

“I know what teenagers want, and what teenagers do,” he said. “I’d bring a new approach and ideas not only to the board, but to the town. I feel that there is justice that needs to be served in Williston.”

Several other applicants for town committees and boards were also interviewed at Monday’s meeting. Craig Abrahams, a candidate to be the town’s representative on the Chittenden Solid Waste District Board, presented some ideas “to take recyclables and organics out of the waste stream.” Meghan Cope, who has her sights set on a Planning Commission seat, talked about targeting specific social groups in hope of “engaging the public in planning decisions.”

Some applicants expressed interest in more than one position. Marie-Claude Beaudette requested consideration for positions on the Planning Commission, Historic and Architectural Review Committee and Conservation Commission, while Robert Metz put himself in the running for the Community Justice Board and Planning Commission.

Selectboard member Chris Roy then suggested that Metz, a teacher and football coach in South Burlington, might also be a good candidate for the Recreation Committee.

“My goal is to get involved,” Metz said. “For me, right now, I don’t have one particular interest … I’m looking to become part of the process.”

The Selectboard chose not to make any appointments on Monday, in light of two absences. Roy first requested that the Board wait for Joe Duncan – the incumbent for the CSWD position – to speak on his own behalf at a subsequent meeting. Roy then pointed out that absent Selectboard member Jeff Fehrs is “very mindful … of having as many people (present) as possible” during such actions, and that waiting for Fehrs before making any appointments “might be a reciprocal courtesy.”

The Selectboard’s next regular meeting is scheduled for June 6.

This Week’s Popcorn – ‘Thor’

Earns no Thunderous Roar

2 & ½ popcorns

By Michael S. Goldberger
Special to the Observer

Despite “Thor’s” predominantly summer flick intent, director Kenneth Branagh, who crafted his dramatic chops in the Shakespearean sphere, couldn’t help but add a bit of the Bard to this Marvel Comics take on Norse mythology, available in 3D. Complement that with a fine cast, and what might have been total tedium isn’t half bad.

Although largely operatic, and set in a multiple of domains courtesy of the bounteous basket of special effects employed, Branagh keeps his tale accessible by hinging it to basic soap opera sensibilities. ‘Tis a saga of power, love, hubris, sibling rivalry and oedipal angst. In other words, the stuff we all deal with on a regular basis.

But be warned, ye adolescents who thrive on the deluge of lore that generally accompanies such fantastical fare. While replete with a modicum of subject-specific vocabulary and a healthy smattering of folkways and mores that identify Thor and his culture, you don’t have to know the secret handshake or password to grok the story.

Gosh knows what year it is in whatever parallel or dimension Asgard exists. Maybe they don’t even have years. Still, it’s been home to Anthony Hopkins’s King Odin for as long as any of his loyal subjects can remember. It’s quite a place, where solids and space begin and drop off in artistic whimsy. Doubtless its architects obtained CGI long before we did.

But of course said technical advancement doesn’t render its superhero-quasi-gods immune to the jealousies and foibles that have long made their actions metaphorically instructive to us mortals. As we tune in, the brothers Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) are testily wrangling for who will take over the family business.

Odin, whose gold eye patch seems to change color with the same regularity that Loretta Young changed gowns, has a lot on his shoulders. Peace with the Frost Giants of Jotunheim is tenuous at best; he’s not as spry as he used to be; and now these kids, neither of whom is really ready to assume leadership, impatiently await his irrelevance.

In addition, there are lots of secret things going on in the background … matters that can only be peacefully resolved through astute statesmanship. Naturally, the young bucks don’t see it that way. Impulsive and longing for military glory, Thor figures the quickest way to advance up the career ladder while also saving the kingdom is through combat.

Loki’s scheme is a bit more subtle. In any case, impetuosity causes matters to go askew, and without giving too much of the plot away here, suffice it to note that Thor winds up in New Mexico, the United States, circa the present day. Contributing his two cents to the plot, Cupid sees to it that Thor’s welcoming committee includes scientist Jane Foster.

Hence, in a pairing even Yentl would be proud of, Chris Hemsworth’s handsome god of Thunder meets Natalie Portman’s woman of science. As worlds collide, the usual getting-to-know-you dance ensues. Hmm, seems this guy is quite a catch. Not only a potential king, albeit currently banished, the golden boy also appears hip to the women’s lib thing.

Yep, it’s a fantasy. Before long, Thor is even showing sincere interest in Jane’s work. But, no quicker than you can say trouble in paradise, enemies from the known world’s other eight realms are rearing their ugly heads, literally. And, in a respectful nod to every film about alien visitors, the government suits are soon trying to nab and study our boy.

Expect the usual buffet of battle sequences courtesy of the blue screen phantasmagoria procurable by any director with a few million bucks. But don’t anticipate any great shakes from the 3D application. Save for “Avatar” (2009), I haven’t been impressed by the process since the 7-year-old me was first wowed by “The House of Wax” (1953).

Could someone explain why some folks need to have various and sundry items jump out in their movie fare? Maybe it’s a vestigial effect of being read story books with pop-up pages. Gee, you’d think if it were that important to us, there’d be a lot more jack-in-the-box-type things in our daily lives. I mean, no plastic hand juts forth with our ATM cash.

Rarely does 3D contribute to a better enjoyment of the film. Plus, it puts poor Dad in a tough spot: Shell out the extra coin or appear an unloving piker. Ironically enough, what makes this better than most of its genre mates is director Branagh’s decision to accent the fable and leave out a lot of the obfuscating garbage. In the case of “Thor,” less is more.

“Thor,” rated PG-13, is a Paramount Pictures release directed by Kenneth Branagh and stars Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth and Anthony Hopkins. Running time: 114 minutes

PHOTOS: CVU boys lacrosse takes on South Burlington and BFA-St. Albans

May 19, 2011

Courtesy photos by Joe Kropf

The Champlain Valley Union boys lacrosse team topped South Burlington, 12-5, on May 9. The Redhawks then defeated BFA-St. Albans, 20-18, on May 14 and are 12-0.

PHOTOS: Shred Fest

May 19, 2011

Observer photos by Karen Pike (www.kpikephoto.com)

New England Federal Credit Union collected documents from members of the community that were shredded in the Secure Shred trucks placed at its Williston branch on May 14. It was the 20th “Shred Fest” that NEFCU has held over the past five years, with each event collecting about 30,000 pounds of paper that were shredded and recycled.

PHOTOS: Balloons over Williston

May 19, 2011

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

Balloons piloted by Jeff Snyder and Mitch Loiselle landed in two Williston neighborhoods on May 12.

PHOTOS: Williston Soccer Club U14G

May 12, 2011

Courtesy photos by Thomas Spencer

The Williston Soccer Club U14G battled to a scoreless tie against Fusion Soccer Club, based out of Manchester.

CVU Sports Schedule

May 12, 2011


Thursday: ST JOHNSBURY, 4:30 p.m.

Saturday: VERGENNES, 11 a.m.

Tuesday: at Spaulding, 4:30 p.m.


Thursday: ST JOHNSBURY, 4:30 p.m.

Saturday: VERGENNES, 11 a.m.

Tuesday: at Spaulding, 4:30 p.m.


Monday: at West Bolton Golf Club (Colchester is host), 3:30 p.m.


Saturday: at BFA-St. Albans, 11 a.m.

Monday: MIDDLEBURY, 4 p.m.


Saturday: at Essex, 11 a.m.

Tuesday: MIDDLEBURY, 4:30 p.m.


Thursday: at Burlington (Leddy Park), 3:30 p.m.

Saturday: at South Burlington, 10 a.m.

Monday: COLCHESTER, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: STOWE, 3:30 p.m.


Thursday: BURLINGTON, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday: SOUTH BURLINGTON, 10 a.m.

Monday: at Colchester, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: at Stowe (Stowe Haus), 3:30 p.m.


Friday: at Bobwhite Relays (St. Albans), 3:25 p.m.

Saturday: at Iverson Relays (South Burlington), 10 a.m.

Tueday: At Essex, 3:25 p.m.


Schedules are subject to change

Sports Notes

May 12, 2011


After getting some standout performances Saturday in the 36th annual Burlington Invitational, the Champlain Valley Union track and field team will engage in relays this weekend before traveling to Essex on Tuesday to take on the Hornets.

CVU will be at the Bobwhite Relays in St. Albans on Friday (3:25 p.m.) and Iverson Relays at South Burlington on Saturday at 10 a.m.

The Redhawks, in their first serious measurement against the overall competition this spring, came away from the BHS test with two meet records in their trio of event wins and finished third overall with 141.2 points to first place Essex’s 243.33.

The girls 4-by-800-meter relay team of Adrienne and Julienne Devita, Autumn Eastman and Summer Spillane rushed to a meet record of 9:44.07 in capturing the event over second place Essex.

A second meet mark was set in the non-counting freshman 100 when CVU’s Haliana Burhans rocketed past the finish line in 13.05 seconds.

The Redhawks’ third first place triumph came from senior Dale Conger, Vermont’s indoor shot put champion this past winter. He earned the victory with a throw of 47-3.5 feet to win by two feet.

Other CVU athletes had solid days including sophomore Abby Eddy with thirds in the 100 and long jump plus a fifth in the 200.

James Pieper-Lococo took second in the 110 hurdles with teammates Alex Bonfigli and Rashi Brooklyn fourth and fifth. Brooklyn was also fifth in the 300 hurdles.

Thomas Keller came in third in the long jump and fourth in the 400. Dan Hebert was fourth in the 1,500 and the boys relay teams were second in the 4-by-100.

Claire Trotter came in third in the girls 800. Cousins Taylor and Summer Spillane were third and fourth in the 1500.

Emily Kinneston, a freshman, was fourth in the triple jump.

Eastman, also a freshman, captured third place in the non-counting 1500 run for first year performers.


Champlain Valley Union's Rachel Distler unfurls a pitch during the Redhawks' 8-5 loss to South Burlington on May 2. (Observer photo by Shane Bufano)

After bowing three times in five days, the 1-7 Champlain Valley Union High softball team returns to action on Thursday in St. Johnsbury against a tough 7-1 Hilltopper nine. On Saturday, the Redhawks will play host to 3-4 Vergennes in a rescheduled contest.

It was a challenging start to the week for the Hawks, who fell Monday 16-1 to undefeated powerhouse Essex at the Hornets’ nest. On Tuesday, in Jericho, CVU’s Rachel Distler cracked out a pair of hits but 7-3 Mount Mansfield cruised to an 18-6 triumph, its second of the season over the Hawks.

On May 6, CVU got off to a good start with two runs in the bottom of the first when Susan Parmalee led off with a double and Kenzie Roberts and Alannah Roy followed with RBI singles for a 2-1 lead over visiting Middlebury. The Tigers, however, prevailed 8-6 despite Roberts’ three hits and two-baggers by Leah Leister and Distler.


Boys Tennis

May 6: CVU (5-3) 6, Rice 1

Girls Tennis

May 6: CVU (7-1) 6, Rice 1

Girls Lacrosse

May 7: Mt. Mansfield 13, CVU (2-4) 9

CVU boys lacrosse remains undefeated

May 12, 2011

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

Following a visit to Barre to face Spaulding on Wednesday, the high flying Champlain Valley Union boys lacrosse team is scheduled for a session at BFA-St. Albans on Saturday (11 a.m.) before returning home Monday to meet Middlebury in a previously postponed contest.

It took a little additional lifting Monday before the Redhawks put away visiting South Burlington, 12-5, to hike their season record to 9-0. It was the second of back-to-back meetings with the 4-4 Rebels, who were 16-6 victims of the high scoring Hawks in South Burlington on May 5.

On a sunny Monday afternoon at a dry Hinesburg field, the Rebels held the Redhawks to a 2-2 tie through the first period.

Chris Bulla scored two of his three goals early in the second reel and the Redhawks bolted to a 6-2 halftime edge.

However, the third period went to the underdog Rebels with Dan Cone and Will Thompson notching goals to close to within 6-4 by the end of the 12 minutes. Things might have been worse from the CVU perspective except for the work in the net by veteran Eric Palmer, who made seven stops in a very busy quarter.

“Eric was great in goal,” said Bulla. “Offensively we became a little sloppy with our passing.”

But all of that changed in the final reel as a motivated CVU team put up six scores before South Burlington got the final tally of the contest with just over two minutes left.

Bulla snapped the 2-2 tie in the second stanza by outracing three Rebels in pursuit of a loose ball that rolled, with Bulla’s help, from midfield to the doorstep of the Rebel net before the Redhawk attacker popped it into the cage.

He scored again in the fourth quarter onslaught to join Lawrence Dee, who had two of his three scores. Nick Spencer and Justin Beaudry also found the net.

Nathaniel Wells had two earlier goals while Christian Goulette had the day’s opening score.

Palmer totaled 10 saves for CVU while Rebs’ netminder Kyle Kaesta stopped 11 shots.

All were in high spirits given it was the Redhawks first game under Ole Sol’s rays in weeks.

“It is the first time all spring I have been able to wear shorts,” CVU coach Dave Trevithick said.

Beaudry had a big night under the South Burlington lights on May 5, knocking in six scores in one of the biggest individual explosions of the season.

Dee had three goals and four assists and Jake Marston added a pair of scores.

CVU baseball upsets Essex, returns home

May 12, 2011

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

After having fun in the sun on the road earlier this week, including a rare victory at Essex on Monday, coach Tim Albertson and his Champlain Valley Union baseball squad are back home to entertain St. Johnsbury on Thursday and Vergennes on Saturday. The Vergennes contest is a makeup from an earlier postponement.

The sun was in full force on Tuesday, but the Hawks lost, 5-2, to 7-2 Mount Mansfield Union in Jericho. The Cougars’ Shayne DeLaBruere, an S.D. Ireland American Legion teammate of many of the CVU players last summer, tossed a five-hitter. CVU is now 4-4.

At Essex, the Redhawks handed the 7-2 defending Division I champion Hornets only their second loss of the season. CVU’s new bam master, junior Brendan Davitt, slugged a bases-loaded double in the top of the ninth with two outs to chase home three runs. The clutch blast snapped an extra-inning deadlock.

Sophomore Davis Mikell and his mitt-popping heat closed it out on the mound for the 9-6 win.

Drew Nick, who socked a double and a single, earned the pitching victory. Tucker Kohlash rapped a pair of hits and drove in a run. He’s had five hits in his last two games.

Davitt made his first lineup start (outfield) on May 6 in the Hawks’ 12-2 triumph at home over Middlebury, and responded with a pair of two-baggers and two RBIs.

Down 2-0 after the top of the first, CVU responded with a five-spot in the bottom of the inning and then seven more in the final two, thanks to an overall 11-hit barrage.

Ian Solomon had four RBIs including a double and single. Jared Badger had a single, sacrifice fly, and three RBIs.

Nick, Calvin Benvento (winner), Mikell, and Dylan Ireland pitched in on the mound.