(Observer video by Kelsey Walters)
The Williston Central School celebrated its eighth-grade graduation on June 16. One hundred and thirty-three students received their diplomas. Megan O’Day and Leah Sargent were student speakers. Dustin Peters wrote and performed a song.
June 16, 2011
Thursday: ADDISON COUNTY, 5:30 p.m.
Friday: SOUTH GLENS FALLS, 6 p.m.
Saturday: SARATOGA, 9 a.m.
QUEBEC, 3 p.m.
Monday: at Colchester Cannons, 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday: at Addison County (site TBA), 5:30 p.m.
HOME GAMES IN GAMES AT CVU HIGH SCHOOL
Schedules are subject to change
June 16, 2011
CVU GIRLS BOW IN TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP
Even though they had lost twice to top-seeded 17-1 South Burlington during the season, Champlain Valley Union girls tennis coach Amy deGroot believed her second-seeded Redhawks (14-2) had a good chance of bumping off the Rebels for a third straight Division I title on June 10 in South Burlington.
The upset did not happen.
South Burlington bumped off the ‘Hawks, 6-1. But the overall contest was much closer than the score indicated.
The Rebels took four of five singles matches, along with both doubles battles. The lone CVU win came from sophomore Claire Stoner, who scored a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over the Rebels’ Heather Dean.
While South Burlington’s Samantha Wulfson won the battle of No. 1 players in straight sets, defeating CVU’s AnnaClare Smith, 6-2, 6-4, there were two other singles matches that turned into grueling struggles.
The Rebels’ senior veteran Rachel Crews finally prevailed over Emily Polhemus, 4-6, 6-4, 10-8. South Burlington’s Anna Young had to dig deep to get past Andrea Joseph, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.
South Burlington’s doubles team of Nicole Sala and Amy Simendinger got a serious challenge from CVU’s Kristen Donaldson and Laura Andrews but prevailed, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.
In its regular season meetings, the Rebels won, 4-3 and 5-2, in what deGroot called close games.
GIRLS’ RELAY TEAM LEADS CVU IN NEW ENGLAND MEET
A ninth-place finish for the Champlain Valley Union girls 4-by-800-relay team led all Vermonters at the New England Track and Field Meet at Burlington High School on June 10.
The CVU team of Adrienne and Julienne Devita, and Summer and Taylor Spillane finished 21 seconds behind the winning time of 9:16.67, posted by Bishop Guertin (Nashua, N.H).
CVU’s 4-by-100 girls’ relay team came in 21st behind the winning South Burlington runners, who posted the lone Vermont victory in the meet that attracted many of the best athletes in the six-state region. Abby and Emma Eddy, along with Emma Riesner and Marion Albers, comprised the 100 team.
High individual finishers for CVU included Abba Eddy’s 23rd in the 100 dash, Taylor Spillane’s 14th in the 1600, James Pieper-Lococo’s 24th in the boys 100 hurdles, and Dale Conger’s Vermont-leading 25th in the shot put.
CSSU BUCCANEERS SIGN-UP DEADLINE APPROACHING
The CSSU Buccaneers youth football program is conducting sign-ups for students entering third through eighth grade. Students from Williston, St. George, Hinesburg, Shelburne, and Charlotte are eligible. The season starts August 15 and goes through November. The registration deadline is July 1 and cost $115. A limited number of scholarships are available. To sign-up, go to www.eteamz.com/CSBuccaneers. For more information, e-mail Jill Lowrey at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 238-0797.
June 16, 2011
Gov. Peter Shumlin announced the appointment of Williston high school student Laura Harris to the state Board of Education on Tuesday. Harris, who just completed her sophomore year at Champlain Valley Union High School, will serve a two-year term on the board, according to a news release.
“As a student, I look forward to experiencing our education system from a different point of view,” Harris said in the release. “I hope to bring a fresh perspective to the Board and look forward to working on policies that benefit both students and teachers.”
She will serve in a non-voting capacity for one year and become a voting member as a high school senior during her second year on the board.
“Laura Harris brings a great academic background and a commitment to activism to the board, and she is ready to bring her unique ideas and perspective to the debate,” Gov. Shumlin said in the release.
Harris has received academic recognition in English, Chinese I, and Project Adventure. She attended last year’s Governor’s Institute of Vermont on Current Issues and Youth Activism, and worked on student construction teams with Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity in West Virginia.
Something new for lunch
June 16, 2011By Ginger Isham
My first experience baking was when I was in what we call “junior high” today. My mother made yellow cakes from scratch and that was the first food I made. She cooked a soft pudding-like topping, which is similar to today’s boxed vanilla pudding. She seldom used recipes and boxed mixes were unheard of in those days. With school nearly over, this week’s recipes are easy enough for the kids to make with little to no help.
1 cup cooked diced ham (I use low salt and a low fat cut, thick from deli)
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup light sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped green onion (can use chives)
2 tablespoons honey
1 to 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup toasted broken pecans
First mix dressing ingredients, except for pecans and chill. Then gently stir dressing into cabbage mix. Just before serving sprinkle pecans and few chopped green onion over the top. You might add toasted sesame seeds in place of green onion on top. Try chopped Romaine lettuce in place of cabbage.
Spicy Sandwich Loaf
1 pound frozen bread dough, thawed
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 pound thin sliced ham
1/4 pound thin sliced salami, without casing
1/4 pound thin sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese
1 1/2 ounces thin sliced pepperoni
Place butter and mushrooms in pan and cook until tender. Spread bread dough out onto oiled baking sheet to make a 10-by-13-inch rectangle. Layer ham, salami, cheese and pepperoni down the center. Top with cooked mushrooms and peppers. Fold sides of dough over the filling, lapping the edges. Turn the seam sides down and pinch together and tuck under to seal. Cover and let rise in warm place for about 1 hour.
You can also brush dough with a beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of water to make a glaze. Bake in oven on 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Cool slightly and slice.
Raspberry Almond Dessert
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons almond flavored liqueur or 1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring
1 cup whipping cream (I use the all-purpose whipping cream)
2 cups fresh raspberries
Beat cream cheese, sugar and almond flavoring on high speed with mixer until smooth. While beating slowly add cream. It should look like whipped cream. You can make ahead of time, cover, and put in the refrigerator for up to 4 to 6 hours. Line bottom of 4 dessert dishes (sundae dishes work well) with 1/4 to 1/2 cup raspberries. Divide the cream, dropping on top of raspberries. Top with remaining berries and a green mint leaf.
Ginger Isham lives with her husband on a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road.
The core four
June 16, 2011By Kayla Purvis
As a conservative who is now old enough to vote in the next presidential election, I have to look at candidates in a new light — on both sides of the spectrum. I have to decide whose policy best aligns with what I would like to see happen in this country. Given my beef with voting strictly for or against a specific party, I plan to equally evaluate candidates on both sides. So this week, I decided to make a list of the four most important policy issues for me in the upcoming 2012 election.
No. 1: tackling the debt, or at least not proposing policies that increase the debt unnecessarily. This means a politician who is not afraid to tell Americans that a bit of sacrifice and suffering for a time is necessary if we want to fix this issue. I’m tired of lazy and entitled thinking. Just because you are an American does not mean you are exempt from sacrificing for the good of the nation! Our debt can’t be ignored any longer; it’s a massive amount of money, and it’s setting us back. It makes us vulnerable and, frankly, makes us look quite stupid. We need a stubborn, goal-oriented president to say, “This is the situation, and this is how to begin fixing it. You won’t like it, but, tough.”
No. 2: energy. We have knowledge of two basic things. One, we know how to make and use alternative energy sources. Two, oil is running out. It still baffles me why we are willing to expend so much time, energy, and even land (i.e., Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) in order to get a temporary oil fix. Why can’t that all be directed into renewable energy? Yes, it is expensive but over time – especially if our oil dependency was not in the Middle East – we would spend so much less money on energy. We wouldn’t have to worry as much about making sure we have allies in that area to protect our access to oil. We have been putting off the proper research into this issue for too long, and I think it’s going to kick us in the butt pretty soon.
No. 3: education. I’m sure any parents of upcoming college students, as well as the upcoming college students themselves, are aware of higher education’s expense. Even as we speak, private colleges and universities are fading into the background as students realize that they can cut their college costs by tens of thousands by attending a community or state school, and still receive a quality education.
I am doing two years at Community College of Vermont before transferring to the University of Vermont or St. Michael’s College to complete my bachelor’s. With the budget needing to be reigned in, we would have to decide how important higher education is to us and judge what we can do from there.
No. 4: immigration. A discussion in my current issues class led me to believe that there are more effective ways of helping/solving the illegal immigration issue than trying to pass laws like Arizona’s attempted one. For starters, laws like Arizona’s will give police way too much authority, something I had not thought of before. A peer of mine pointed out that these people who are suspected of being aliens could be questioned or arrested more than once a day – every day. Is this fair to them? What if they are a legal citizen? You can’t violate rights like that. Plus, Mexicans are not the only type of immigrants. And, even though I still believe that illegal immigration is a problem and does more harm than good, it is true that it fills the jobs that most Americans would never dream of taking. I suggest reevaluating our citizenship process to be simpler, even for Americans with dual citizenship.
Out of these four issues, the two biggest deciding factors for me will be what each candidate proposes for the debt crisis and for the energy dilemma. The next step is to take a look at what the candidates from both sides propose on these issues.
Rest assured, there will not be a Michelle Bachmann vote in my future.
Williston resident Kayla Purvis is a senior at CVU High School.
In defense of the closed session
June 16, 2011By Steve Mount
Recent reporting in the Observer brought to light the policy of our Development Review Board to go into closed session when deliberating about its decisions (Observer: “Closed-door policy open to debate,” June 9, 2011).
The policy, done in accordance with Vermont open government laws, pre-dates all current DRB members. Quoting Adam White’s reporting in the article, the closed sessions were “justified by (board) members as necessary to an effective discussion and decision-making process.”
Government, in the final analysis, is us. We, the people, select our representatives to various governmental bodies, either directly or indirectly. The members are responsible for the public trust and responsible to the public at large. In a perfect world, all hearings, deliberations and votes would be public.
Because our institutions are human ones, they are subject to the ill effects of bias, prejudice and favoritism. The more open government is, the lower effect these human frailties will have on the decisions come to by the bodies. If a board member is actively prejudiced against an applicant, a pattern will emerge that any- one can see, because anyone can watch. Mitigating the effects of such human failings is one of the best aspects of open government.
However, openness can also affect frankness. As Burlington DRB Chair Austin Hart was quoted in the article, “It’s a lot harder to say ‘no’ when they are sitting right in front of you.”
And there’s the rub. If the DRB should say no to a project or request, but board members just cannot quite summon the courage to do what they think is right … well, that is where the benefit of the closed session comes in. The members of the DRB have to make judgement calls based on the evidence and testimony given to them. The members must then talk amongst themselves to decide if the project before them meets the town’s plan.
When I think of how this process works, I think immediately of a judge or jury in court. It would be unthinkable for a new deliberation process to emerge, where the judge goes to chambers to make a decision and each step of the way, the lawyers, defendant, plaintiff and even the public could weigh in.
Similarly, if a jury room was populated not only by the members of the jury, but also the parties in the case, the public and media, no one would think that this was a good idea. The things a jury hashes out in its deliberations, the statements made by jurors, the arguments… these are not for public consumption.
I’m a big advocate of open government. I want to be able to access journals and minutes of deliberations quickly, easily and freely. I want to be able to watch congressional hearings live on television or the Internet. I want to be able to sit in the back of the room during a School Board meeting. I want to see the testimony before the DRB live or on public access cable.
But I don’t think that every single step in the process has to be open to the public as it happens. There is a practicality to a closed meeting that just makes sense to me.
That having been said, I think that closed meetings should have inviolable rules — and I should note that some of these rules are currently in effect, according to town bylaws. Minutes should be taken — not a word-for-word journal, but minutes that can be referred to by the board and the public in the future. Decisions of the board should be explained in writing — in the bylaws, this is referred to as a “record of decision that conveys the DRB’s findings of fact and conclusions of law.” Members of the board should be required to back up their closed-session vote in public, just as a jury may be polled following the announcement of its verdict in a case.
Open government is a crucial and important part of our democracy. However, government must, at the same time, be effective. If to be effective it must be closed for certain steps in the process, so be it.
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@example.com or read his blog at http://saltyrain.com/ls.