October 20, 2014

Oneida Acres hosting garage sale to benefit accident victim

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By Luke Baynes

Observer correspondent

 

Attention bargain hunters and garage sale buffs: get ready to break open your piggy banks because Saturday is going to be a big one.

Oneida Acres is hosting a community garage sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The community, whose streets form a rough circle, is accessible from Sharon Drive off Vermont 2A or Gail Terrace off Industrial Avenue.

Proceeds from the sale will benefit Stephen St. Peter, the 49-year-old son of Oneida Acres residents Paul and Evelyn St. Peter, who was paralyzed from the shoulders down following a swimming accident last summer.

“They’ve always been the type of neighbors that are there for everybody,” Fran Henning said of the reason why the community decided to band together to help the St. Peters. “They’re just beautiful people.”

So far, 14 families have indicated that they will participate in the sale, which will include furniture, sports memorabilia, toys and tools. It will be left to each family’s discretion how much of the individual proceeds they will donate to the St. Peter family.

“I tend to like to do garage sales as a hobby on Saturday mornings,” said neighborhood resident Anne Robillard, who will be donating all of her sales proceeds to the St. Peters. “I went to several in the Williston area and I mentioned that we were going to do this Williston benefit and asked if they would donate their leftovers to us, so I have a garage full of leftovers now to be able to sell at the garage sale.”

The sale is timely, coming a day before the one-year anniversary of Stephen St. Peter’s tragic accident. Evelyn St. Peter, who has lived in Oneida Acres since 1965, noted that while her son is coping surprisingly well with the adversity of being a quadriplegic, the sale will provide much needed financial relief.

“The first year or two you’re just bombarded with expenses that insurance doesn’t cover,” she said. “We have a really nice neighborhood over here. They are very, very nice people. I am so glad I live in this neighborhood.”

Unbeknownst to Henning when she set the date for the sale, July 23 will mark the 56th wedding anniversary of Paul and Evelyn St. Peter. The couple can’t think of a better way to spend their special day.

“Usually we spend the day and go somewhere,” said Evelyn St. Peter of her wedding anniversary. “But we’re more than happy to stay home.”

 

Those who wish to make a contribution to the trust fund established for Stephen St. Peter can send a check to Paul and Evelyn St. Peter at 72 Gail Terrace, Williston, Vt. 05495. Checks should be made payable to “Stephen St. Peter” and indicate “For deposit only” on the back of the check.

PHOTOS: Williston Little League — 9- and 10-year-old all-stars

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July 21, 2011

Courtesy photos by Joel Dube and Gino Johnson

After emerging from last week’s pool play as the only undefeated team, the Williston 9- and 10-year-old Little League All-Stars came one win shy of the District I title. The Williston squad lost the championship game to South Burlington, 6-5, on July 20.

Around Town

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July 21, 2011

CSSU Consolidation Study Committee Releases Status Report

The Chittenden South Supervisory Union’s seven Boards of School Directors (Charlotte, Champlain Valley Union, Hinesburg, Shelburne, St. George, Williston, and CSSU) individually voted to establish a Study Committee in accordance with state law and recently enacted Act 153 legislation.

According to the CSSU’s July 1 status report, the study committee’s charge is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of a potential merger of the school districts into a Regional Education District, possibly resulting in a single governing board to oversee pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Chittenden South joins 19 other supervisory unions across the state in considering the possibility of establishing a RED.

Comprised of twelve community members with representation from each of the member towns and CSSU administrative staff, the study committee began its work in March and intends to conclude with a report and recommendation this fall, according to the report.

The report further notes that as of July 1, the committee has focused on two primary areas: organizational efficiency and student benefit. With cost savings as a goal, the committee acknowledges sensible consolidating of operational and educational program services has been a deliberate focus among CSSU school boards and administrative leadership for the past decade. Further operational areas for collaboration, coordination, and consolidation are minimal and the cost savings generated by the creation of a RED are currently viewed as insignificant.

The current focus of the committee’s work is how the creation of a RED could have a positive impact on learning opportunities and student achievement for the 4,300 pupils.

In the report, the committee states that it recognizes the issue of local control could be a concern for many community members and it has established a sub-group to further explore this specific topic. Members continue to measure discussions within a framework of local and regional decision-making, and the implications for each community and its student population.

To date, the committee has met six times. It will continue to update the public in its progress and intends to provide opportunities for public input prior to issuing a final report to the State Board of Education in the fall.

Hydrant flushing continues

Annual hydrant flushing by The Town of Williston will continue until the end of August. Water customers may experience some low water pressure during this time. For questions or concerns call 878-1239.

Alzheimer’s Association holding awareness night at Lake Monsters game

Amanda Wilson, chair of the St. Albans Walk to End Alzheimer’s, has organized Alzheimer’s Awareness Night at the Lake Monsters’ game against Brooklyn at Centennial Field (6:05 p.m.) on July 30.

Tickets cost $6. Half of the proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, based in Williston. A 50/50 raffle will be held at the end of the game to raise funds toward the 2011 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. For tickets or more information, contact Wilson at 802-524-6534, 802-238-6883, or [email protected]

The Hub – Following The Leaders

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July 21, 2011

Editor’s Note: A new feature of The Hub, “Following The Leaders” will profile a different Williston business owner each month in a Q&A format.

By Steven Frank
Observer staff

Chef Jozef Harrewyn has cooked up something new.

But this time, the result doesn’t come in the form of a tasty pastry or sandwich. After 15 years of exclusivity in Williston, the 59-year-old native of Belgium has expanded his Chef’s Corner café and bakery to a second location in Burlington’s south end.

Jozef Harrewyn’s team at Chef’s Corner - South End in Burlington includes (left to right): Pam Harrewyn, Zachary Pouch, co-owner Scott Sorrell and Eddie Deak.

Appropriately called “Chef’s Corner — South End,” the café opened last week in the FlynnDog Gallery on Flynn Avenue. The facility houses several businesses and approximately 300 employees. Jozef’s wife, Pam Harrewyn, decorated the 800-square-foot space that she described as “cozy.” She and Scott Sorrell, a former culinary student of Jozef Harrewyn who is now co-owner, run the Burlington operation. Jozef Harrewyn will continue to run the daily operation in Williston.

Next week, he embarks on a seven-day journey to South Africa with his two adult sons. Harrewyn, a member of the 1984 South African Junior Olympic Culinary team, will reunite with family and teammates.

In between the opening of his newest café and cross-global trip, Harrewyn sat down with the Williston Observer to discuss the local tradition Chef’s Corner has established and what patrons can expect in Burlington.

Williston Observer: Tell me a little bit about the new location.

Jozef Harrewyn: To be honest, when we first looked at it, we didn’t know what we were going to do with it. It’s an open space. The landlords — the Farrington family — were really keen on having us in there. We finally decided to do it. With the Farrington’s construction and architectural knowledge, they took us by the hand and helped us. That, along with my wife’s interior designing skills, they were able to transform it into a really nice place. We’ve kept it very local. All the woodwork is Vermont recycled barn wood. The guy who made our tables (Roger Adkins) does it from the wood on his land (in East Fairfield). It’s like a rustic bistro.

WO: The owners are the same and the name is almost the same. In terms of offerings, is the one in Burlington like the one in Williston?

JH: The food is the same, except it’s a reduced version. We can’t use any open flame (in Burlington). That restricts us. The menu has been devised around that and it’s been really nice. The pastries we have are smaller but people can still order cakes and have them delivered. Other bakery items that aren’t (in Burlington) can also be ordered. One of the things we have (in Burlington) that we don’t have (in Williston) is a breakfast buffet. It’s a six-foot refrigerated case that will have granola, yogurt, pineapple and fresh strawberries. It’ll be sold by weight. Then, for lunch, we have a salad bar. Every item we have there is $8 and under.

WO: I know it’s early but are you happy with how things are going so far?

JH: Extremely. I think because of the teamwork of the Farrington family, it’s turned out to be an incredible space. Then, from there, the Chef’s Corner team has taken over with the knowledge of the food. In our industry, the first thing you need is knowledge. The second thing you need is experience. The third thing you need is the right employees. Then, you need hard work. We currently have the best team we’ve had in 15 years.

WO: During those 15 years, Chef’s Corner has become very well known. How did you get to this point?

JH: Hard work, hard work, hard work. Scott, my wife and I work an average of 70 hours a week. It’s part of the formula. We love what we’re doing. Everyone needs to get credit. It’s not just me. Scott came on board four years ago. He is 34-years-old and brings a young energy. He is amazing. I would not have opened the new place without him. My wife has also been terrific.

WO: Tell me a little about your culinary background.

JH: I have been doing it all my life. My father was a chef. I was born in Belgium and immigrated to South Africa when I was 8-years-old. I’m a pastry chef and a baker by trade but I cooked during my younger days when I apprenticed with my dad (at his restaurant in South Africa) … When I was in Chicago working for Four Seasons (Hotels and Resorts), I was offered the chance to teach at the New England Culinary Institute. That’s what brought me to Vermont. This happened 19 years ago. I’ve now lived longer in America than anywhere else (24 years).

WO: Do you like Williston?

JH: I love it. I just love Vermont. My wife and my sons, who are 27 and 29, and I, we all feel very privileged to be living here.

WO: I understand you will soon be returning to South Africa. What does that trip entail?

JH: In 1984, I was on the South African national chef team to go to the World Olympics in Munich, Germany, which is every four years — like the Olympics for sports. The first team was in 1980 and there was another one in 1988. What they’re doing is a reunion and an award dinner for those three teams. It’s also a part-fundraiser for the Junior Chefs of South Africa. We’re actually going to cook what we cooked for the World Olympics … But I’m not going for the award. I’m going for the experience, to see my teammates, and spend time with my sons. They are so psyched.

 

The Hub – Turn your backyard into a ‘resort’

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Yardscapes offer new dimension to homeownership

July 21, 2011

By Adam White
Observer staff

Charlotte-based landscape designer Ashley Robinson uses a wide range of materials to transform ordinary yard space into attractive, multi-use areas. (Photo courtesy of Ashley Robinson)

The smell of a roasting chicken wafts from the oven. A piano concerto twinkles from the stereo speakers. An open bottle of vintage Bordeaux is left to breathe on the coffee table in front of the plush, overstuffed sofa — both of which sit upon a floor of richly colored stone.

The best part? The 360-degree, panoramic view of the surrounding natural world — with no walls in the way.

Thanks to the expanding possibilities of outdoor yardscapes, more people than ever are replicating the comforts of their favorite room outside the confines of their typical, four-walled world.

Outdoor furniture and decking, and a fire pit proved to be the perfect additions to the back yard of this home in Charlotte. It was a new house, renovated to make better use of the outdoor living space and fabulous view of the lake and mountains from the back side of Mt. Philo. (Photo courtesy of Ashley Robinson)

“Over the last few years, I’ve seen a real focus on exterior space, on this idea of creating another room outside,” said Ashley Robinson, who operates a namesake landscape design business in Charlotte. “I think people are realizing the benefit of what it can do for their living space to add an outdoor dimension to it.”

From creative landscaping with flowering plants and trees to patios to structural additions such as decks, pergolas and outbuildings, the possibilities for yardscapes are almost endless. Robinson thinks that having such a wide array of possibilities benefits those on both sides of a project.

“It’s so individual,” she said. “There’s a lot of variance, and that allows local craftspeople to really do what they do well.”

Ground-floor opportunity

Nowhere is that expansive palette more prevalent than in the patio industry. David Pariser, owner of Vermont Stone LLC in Williston, said that patios run the gamut from traditional red brick to more naturalistic bluestone and far more exotic materials, with design touches only limited by the imagination.

“You can start mixing materials, and incorporating things like patterns, circles and borders,” Pariser said. “People get really fancy. I’ve seen names and family crests used in patios; if you’re a boater, you might want something like an anchor imbedded in the design.”

Pariser said that a project’s price tag typically grows along with its complexity, but customers with deep enough pockets could end up with their very own yellow brick road.

“I’ll lay a patio of gold bullion if someone wants it,” he said with a laugh.

More realistically, a customer will want a functional and aesthetically pleasing space that meshes with the existing characteristics of their home and property. The initial step toward that is assessing the “envelope” that the new patio will fit into.

“The first things we look at are the gradation of the yard — hills, drop-off, pitch — and how we’re going to handle water,” Pariser said. “Another factor is proximity to the home; if people have a favorite tree in their yard, they might want a patio next to it that connects to the home with a path.”

Pariser said that while concrete patio stones are gaining in appeal due to their vast array of shapes, colors and textures, stone remains one of the most popular choices for homeowners. It doesn’t degrade or rot over time, and it can boost the resale appeal of a property down the road.

“A stone patio is a permanent addition that definitely adds value to a home,” Pariser said.

Playing with a full deck

Another way to use yardscapes to bolster a real estate investment is to add a deck or porch onto a home. According to owner David Cone of DC Construction in Burlington, homeowners often start with something modest — he cited a simple, 10-foot-square deck as an example — and graduate to larger and more elaborate projects in the future.

“We’ve been doing this for 23 years, and we’ve had a lot of our former customers come back and tell us that a porch or deck we built helped them sell their house,” Cone said.

Cone said while family size helps determine the right size deck for a customer, budget is the single biggest factor. Once the potential cost is ironed out, Cone’s next challenge is to help develop a design that works with the existing structure.

“The most important thing is to make it look like it belongs,” Cone said. “People will fall in love with a design that looks great in a magazine, but just wouldn’t work on their house.”

Once the deck is built, Vermont’s severe winters can pose some issues. Cone said the Green Mountain State’s 100-degree annual temperature change can “wreak havoc on wood,” making synthetic decking materials a wise choice. His company also uses tapered footings beneath the deck’s supports, to combat problems with ground frost.

A new set of walls

Homeowners sometimes want to add an entire additional structure to their yardscape. Andre Plouffe’s family business in Colchester, Little House By Andre, has spent the past three decades building and selling gazebos, pergolas and other outdoor structures to enhance people’s property.

Plouffe thinks that the economy has played a role in the proliferation of the yardscape industry.

“Everybody’s staying home these days, so they want to turn their back yard into a resort,” he said.

Little House By Andre sells all manner of outbuildings, and not just for human enjoyment; the company’s website touts a “K9 Castle” that provides the best in combined indoor/outdoor living for the family pet. But Plouffe said that his top-selling structure remains the “classic, screened-in gazebo,” especially with advancements such as composite floors and other synthetic materials.

“When it gets dirty, you basically just hose it off,” Plouffe said. “Other than that, it’s more or less maintenance-free; people joke that their gazebo is going to last longer than they are.”

Little House By Andre also builds playhouses for children. Plouffe pointed out that these structures serve multiple purposes for grandparents, as they can be used as extra storage space once the children head back home from a visit.

The joy of ‘eating out’

While an additional closet or attic might be useful, the room that many homeowners want duplicated outside is the kitchen. Great-outdoors gourmets have long existed in places like the American southwest, but advancements in outdoor appliance technology and more creativity from forward-thinking designers and contractors have helped bring that trend to New England, too.

“When you get an experienced builder who knows what they are doing, and it’s done right, you can create a pretty nice outdoor kitchen in Vermont,” said Sloane Carbonel of Cocoplum Appliance in Essex Junction. “But the weather here is definitely a factor in how you’re going to design it.”

Carbonel said that the outdoor versions of high-end kitchen appliances typically eschew plastic and painted metal surfaces in favor of stainless steel, which stands up better to the rigors of the changing seasons. He said that outdoor kitchen configurations tend to involve as much under-counter placement of appliances as possible, to afford them additional protection from the elements.

“You see a lot of stone being used, because it stands up to rain and snow well,” Carbonel said.

Geography also plays a role in how the outdoor kitchen as a whole is shielded from Mother Nature. While the very concept is to keep the cooking process outside the confinements of an indoor setting, there is a fine line between aesthetics and practicality.

“If you live in a place like Arizona where it never rains, why would you want to put a roof over your outdoor kitchen?” Carbonel said. “But if you like to barbecue in the wintertime here in Vermont, you might leave (the kitchen) open — but you’ll need to have a roof over it.”

Even with a roof overhead, homeowners in the Green Mountain State are discovering a whole new dimension of living through yardscapes. The only pity is how quickly Mother Nature has a tendency to drive them back inside.

“I think outdoor living is popular because people want to enjoy the nice weather — especially with the short summers we have in Vermont,” Cone said.

The Hub – ‘No silver bullet’ to bring down this bear

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Economy drawing investors back to the fundamentals

July 21, 2011

By Adam White
Observer staff

The horror stories associated with investing during a recession aren’t just make-believe. The threat of a monstrous economic market devouring hard-earned savings is very real.

“Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet,” said John Davis, owner of JDA Financial Services in Williston. “This is the first time I can remember, in my 30 years in this business, when there isn’t a darling alternative for investors to go to.”

But that doesn’t mean that potential investors should curl up under the covers atop mattresses stuffed with cash, either.

“I think ‘challenge’ is the right word for it,” said Don Dempsey, an independent fee-only advisor with Dempsey Investments in Williston. “There is risk, any way you look at it — but depending on your goals, there are still options that make sense.”

Treading lightly

Caution hasn’t exactly been thrown to the wind in the current economic climate. In fact, those with a tendency toward minimizing risk within their portfolios are being extra careful.

“American consumers are much more protective of their personal balance sheet than they have been in the past,” said Bill Smith, senior retail delivery executive with New England Federal Credit Union. “People are generally being more conservative. They are saving more and borrowing less, and there has been an influx of funds to insured investments.”

Older investors are typically the most conservative because they have less time to ride out trends, such as fluctuation in the stock market in order to reap the benefits of longer terms. But choices for stable, short-term investments with significant yield potential are limited.

“The people who are having trouble now are the ones who are near retirement and need to generate income from their investments,” Dempsey said. “It is definitely more difficult to find income opportunities today, while keeping the same level of security you had before.”

Even as old-reliable investments like real estate are taking owners on a stomach-churning roller coaster ride, Dempsey maintains faith in the virtual Ferris wheel that is the stock market. Through all of their rises and falls, the right stocks can still help owners come out on top — provided they have the time, and nerves, to ride them out.

“One thing I have always liked, and like even more in this economy, are high-quality companies,” Dempsey said. “People can feel confident in a good mix of household-name type companies, because they pay dividends every year, through thick and thin.”

Davis agrees, citing what is arguably the golden rule of investing: buy low, sell high.

“If you’re looking more at the long term, (stock) prices are low — so it’s a good time to get in,” Davis said.

But the second half of that golden rule is equally important, and might be harder for investors to fathom given the uncertainty of the economy.

“I advise clients to reallocate at least once a year, and part of that is determining which stocks have gone up the most — and dumping them,” Davis said. “That is difficult for people, because they can get emotionally attached to their best performers. That is a big reason why investment managers are important: they help take emotion out of the equation.”

Spreading the wealth

At night, when investors count dollar signs until they drift off to sleep, their dreams looks something like this: they get in on the ground floor of a single stock or fund that vaults straight up, overnight, and turns a modest initial investment into a financial windfall.

But in reality, the get-rich-quick opportunities for the common investor simply don’t exist. Instead, experts urge their clients to spread their investments out as much as possible, especially in the current climate where the rebound of any single market could open the door for significant gains.

“Diversify, diversify, diversify,” Davis said. “That strategy is more critical now than ever before, because no one knows what is going to take off.”

That anticipation of a rebound is also a factor in the waiting game with interest rates. Experts have continually predicted a bounce-back in the real estate market as rates hit rock bottom, but that hasn’t happened yet — and Davis isn’t so sure that better numbers for investors aren’t waiting around the economic corner.

“Timing is always the issue with interest rates, and I don’t know if the timing is there yet,” Davis said. “The reality is that real estate has been no charmer; in commercial real estate in particular, the interest rates are no treat. It is hard to know where the rates are going to go from here.”

The future remains clouded, and the doomsayers of the U.S. economy insist that darker days loom ahead. They have predicted everything from further economic downturn to a full-blown depression to a total collapse of the dollar, leading more than a few reactionary investors to convert chunks of their savings into silver and gold to keep stashed away for the financial apocalypse.

Dempsey said he typically recommends gold as a hedge, a way for clients to further diversify.

“I tell people to buy it like insurance,” he said. “But in a way, I hope the gold market stays the same — because if not, it means that everything else is going haywire.”

The Hub – On cloud nine

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DominionTech excited to join Williston business community

July 21, 2011

By Luke Baynes
Observer correspondent

Dominion Tech president Brian Curtis. (Photo courtesy of Brian Curtis)

The employees at DominionTech have their heads in a cloud — cloud computing, that is.

The newest addition to Williston’s growing business community on Vermont 2A is a premier information technology service provider that offers support for both the Macintosh and PC marketplaces. Formerly headquartered in Colchester, DominionTech is still in the process of moving its operations to Williston.

“It’s a natural place to be,” said Mark Renkert, who holds the Capital Markets Chair on DominionTech’s board of directors, of the reason for selecting Williston. “We wanted our clients to feel comfortable in a place they visit, a place where there was parking, a place where they didn’t have to worry whether their doors were locked, a place where they knew there was adequate police support and adequate fire support, a place that people felt was generally conducive to commerce and conducive for growth. Largely, people look at businesses in Williston as up-and-comers, fast movers and risers.”

Brian Curtis, founder and president of DominionTech, concurred that Williston is an ideal location for a growing company that plans to add 40 employees in the next two years.

“We needed an area that was close to the highway, because we have clients all across the state,” Curtis said. “Price played a factor. We found that price in Williston was cheaper than Colchester — which I was surprised to find out — quite honestly.”

DominionTech is unique among local IT companies in that it is the only Vermont provider with service certifications for both the Mac and PC platforms. It’s also progressive for its “DominionCare” managed price structure that charges a fixed rate for its 24/7 “100% Up Time Philosophy,” rather than the traditional “break/fix” IT model in which firms invoice per office visit.

“We prefer to profit in success instead of failure,” Curtis said. “We need to be in contact with our customers so they know that we still exist and that it’s not just a fluke that their systems are running.”

“Most of the work we do is interpretive work,” agreed Renkert. “We’re anticipating when things are going to break.”

DominionTech specializes in the small business workplace, providing enterprise solutions via the “cloud.” Curtis explained the popular buzzword in layman’s terms: “Instead of having your server in your office, your server is in a secure temperature controlled facility on the Web which gives you access to the data from anywhere in the world as long as you have Internet access.”

Curtis’ ability to talk about complex computing concepts without sounding haughty or condescending is central to his company’s computer support model that “doesn’t demean people for not knowing how to manage their systems or talk down to them.”

“Not everyone is tech savvy, and they don’t have to be, as long as there’s guys like us around,” Curtis said.

DominionTech’s growth strategy has it first expanding the employee base of its Williston location, then branching out with additional sites in the Barre/Montpelier area and New Hampshire.

“Our vision would have us being a premier service provider for the Northeast,” said Curtis, who stated that the 10-year plan would include a presence in all the New England states and an increased footprint in upstate New York.

Renkert provided a sevenfold growth model, involving increased sales, market penetration, employment, mergers, and aggressive acquisition of other companies, product development and value to shareholders.

“Without any one of those, the plan can’t work,” he said.

Renkert and Curtis stressed that relationships are the core of their business, both with their employees and with their clients, whom Curtis noted are almost entirely subscription based, long-term relationships.

“I subscribe to the Japanese business model of 100 years. Even if our business is unsuccessful, our relationship will be successful, because that’s the most important thing,” Renkert said. “And that’s what we do at Dominion.”

Sports Notes

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July 21, 2011

Tournament run ends for 11- and 12-year-old team

Williston pitcher Zach Roy, 11, throws out a Burlington American runner during his team’s 8-7 loss on July 17. The defeat eliminated the 11- and 12-year-old all-star squad from the District I tournament. (Courtesy photo by Tim O’Brien)

The Williston 11- and 12-year-old Little League All-Stars were eliminated from the District I tournament in Burlington on July 17. Facing a must-win contest against Burlington American, the Willistonians lost, 8-7.

Burlington American jumped to an early-inning, 7-0 lead. Chris O’Brien (2-for-2, two RBIs) started the comeback on a home run over the centerfield fence in the fourth inning. The next inning, with two outs, Josh Bliss (2-for-4, two doubles) and Sam Mikell (two RBIs) belted consecutive doubles. Jack Fitzgerald (2-for-3, two RBIs) then singled and the team rallied to plate six runs.

With the score 8-7 going into the sixth inning, Bliss lined a double down the third-base line but Williston was unable to push the tying run across.

South Burlington, which went on to win the District I title, defeated Williston on July 15, 9-3. That loss put Williston in its must-win situation against Burlington American, which played the game with a heavy heart. Bentley Davis Seifer, a member of the Burlington team, drowned while swimming at the Bolton potholes on July 12. Williston finished tournament play with a 6-2 record.

Williston 9- and 10-year-olds seek District I title

Williston 9- and 10-year-old Little League all-star Storm Rushford delivers a pitch during a recent game. (Courtesy photo by Gino Johnson)

After it emerged from pool play as the only undefeated team, the Williston 9- and 10-year-old Little League All-Stars opened the District I double-elimination tournament with an 11-3 victory over Shelburne on July 12.

Pitchers Ian Parent, Baker Angstman and Storm Rushford were supported by strong hitting performances from Jake Murphy and Tyler Skaffelstad.

In the winner’s bracket game on July 15, South Burlington defeated Williston, 6-5. South Burlington jumped out to an early 3-0 lead with a series of infield hits and aggressive baserunning.

Williston fought back in the later innings with strong hitting and baserunning performances by Angstman, Andrew Wilkinson and Rushford.

The comeback culminated in the bottom of the sixth when, with Angstman on base, Murphy hit a long fly ball with two outs that was caught for the final out of the game.

The loss sent Williston into the loser’s bracket to face Middlebury. The team defeated Middlebury, 16-6, in a game that ended prematurely via the mercy rule. Down 4-0, Williston scored 16 runs in five innings. Power-hitting by Keenan Laclair, Sam Gelin and Murphy complimented Skafflestad’s pitching.

That victory earned Williston a second shot at South Burlington in a do-or-die match on Monday. This time, Williston came out on fire with seven runs over the first four innings, and held on for a 7-5 win. Parent, Griffin McDermott, Aidan Johnson, Murphy and Rushford ignited the offense.

Rushford, the starting pitcher, held South Burlington to its lowest scoring game in the tournament, thanks to a toxic combination of blistering four- and two- seam fastballs.

Williston backed up Rushford in the field with catches in the outfield by McDermott, Wilkinson and Johnson.

The game, which was delayed because of thunder, was called after four innings due to darkness. When the game continued on Tuesday, South Burlington mounted a comeback. With the tying run at the plate in the last inning, Williston right fielder Isaiah Lawlor caught a ball near the wall. Angstman and Murphy combined to strike out the final batter and seal the victory.

Williston faces South Burlington again on Wednesday (after Observer press time) for the D-I championship.

Recent CVU grads play role in Twin State soccer clashes

With graduated Champlain Valley Union players in prominent roles, the Vermont teams in the annual Lions Twin State Cup soccer matches at Castleton State College got a split with their New Hampshire counterparts on July 16. The girls won, 2-0. The boys bowed, 2-1.

CVU’s Lindsay Hawley assisted on one of Polly Biron’s (BFA-St. Albans) two goals. Former Redhawks Amanda Kinneston and Emma Eddy also contributed to the Vermont victory.

Vermont’s lone score in the boys match came on a free kick by Kyle Logan, one of three CVU stars on the squad. Others were Ryan Boland and Tino Tomasi, who earned the team’s sportsmanship award.

New Hampshire sweeps Vermont in Twin State Hockey Classic

The Vermont boys and girls teams lost to New Hampshire in the Twin State Hockey Classic, which benefitted the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The girls, coached by CVU’s Tom Ryan and Will MacKinnon,

fell to New Hampshire, 5-1. Redhawks’ Molly Howard, Alyx Rivard and Amanda Lacaillade were on the squad.

CVU’s Mr. Hockey, Robbie Dobrowski, was on the Vermont team with teammates Derek Goodwin, J.P. Benoit and Erik Maclean. The boys lost, 3-0.

Tomashot competes in amateur golf tournament

CVU’s Vermont high school Division I golf champ Jack Tomashot finished 23rd in the Vermont State Amateur Golf Tournament last week at the Neshobe Golf Club in Brandon.

After shooting an 81 on opening day, Tomashot regrouped with a 73 to make the cut. He fired a 73 and 76 on the 36-hole final day for a tournament total of 303.

S.D. Ireland reaches state tournament

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July 21, 2011

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

S. D. Ireland’s Dan French leads off first base on July 14 during the Clover Boys’ 4-0 win against Burlington. (Observer photo by Ann Niedlinger)

Having climbed into the North Division’s third seeded position with a five-game winning streak late last week, the S.D. Ireland American Legion baseball team heads to Rutland and Castleton this weekend for the annual eight-team double-elimination state tournament.

Coach Jim Neidlinger’s aggregation will open its title bid Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. against the south’s second seed, 13-3 Brattleboro, at St. Peter’s Field in Rutland. The outcome will determine when and where they play on Saturday.

“It is really important to win that first game,” said Neidlinger after the team’s practice at Champlain Valley Union High School on Monday.

He added that a loss in the opener would require a tough slog of five or six wins in a row for the title.

Neidlinger was hopeful that his charges would rise to the tournament challenge in a similar way to their recent solid performance in the Coopers Cave tournament in Glens Falls, N.Y. There, the Irelands won three of five games and were competitive in all outings against strong regional clubs.

In the state tournament, the Clover Boys will be without key veteran outfielder-pitcher Shane DeLaBreure. He broke a finger sliding into a base last week and is sidelined for the remainder of the season.

Regardless, Neidlinger and pitching coach Onnie Matthews are hoping the Irelands can, in the words of famed chef Emeril Lagasse, “kick it up a notch” in the tournament.

Both coaches were unimpressed with the team’s recent clutch hitting, despite ending the season with five straight victories.

Neidlinger cited several gift runs but a lack of good situational hitting that could have blown games wide open.

The pitching, however, drew praise.

“We pitched well,” said Matthews.

In the final Northern Division standings, Essex and Colchester shared the top rung with 12-2 marks. The Irelands took third (10-4) and Addison (9-5) was fourth. Bennington (16-0) ruled the south.

 

Strong finish

The surge to end the regular season began Thursday (July 14) with a 4-0 triumph at Burlington, a team that bumped off the Irelands two days earlier at the CVU field. Dan French fired a snappy four-hitter and fanned five. Curt Echo’s fifth-inning triple helped end a scoreless tie. Sean Rugg socked a pair of hits and drove in a run.

On Friday (July 15), the Clover Crowd motored to Lyndon State College and thrashed the Orleans-Essex-Caledonia Kings, 14-2. Rugg threw a complete game six-hitter and joined in the batting fireworks with three hits. Echo and Sam Fuller blasted three hits each.

Saturday (July 16) brought a doubleheader victory over Knights of Columbus, South Burlington. Nicky Elderton won the 5-2 opener with a relief stint and also contributed an RBI single. Drew Nick’s pitches in the nightcap evaded South Burlington bats to the tune of 12 strikeouts in a 5-3 victory.

OEC came to the Irelands’ home field on Sunday and the Clovers prevailed, 14-2. Echo worked six innings for the win and allowed just two hits. Rugg smashed three hits, including a two-bagger and drove in two runs. Jeff Badger went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

Police Notes

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July 21, 2011

Assault

A juvenile was cited on a charge of first degree aggravated domestic assault after his alleged victim came into the police department with an eye injury, according to police reports. The injury was from being shot in the eye with an air soft gun, the report notes. No other information was released.

Unlawful mischief

One male was referred to the Williston Reparative Board on July 16 after “3 kids” picked up “part of a dresser that was sitting outside and smashed it into route 2A,” according to police reports. No other information was released.

Police are investigating a report that a gravestone was “defaced” on July 16, according to police reports. The investigation is ongoing.

Outstanding warrant

On July 12, Aaron Epworth, 42, of Essex was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant for escape from the State Department of Corrections, according to police reports. He was taken to Chittenden County Correctional Center “to serve 5 days,” the report notes.

Driving under the influence

Robert E. Hodge, 21, of Huntington was cited on a charge of driving under the influence on July 17 after he was found unresponsive in a vehicle “in the middle of the road,” according to police reports. His blood alcohol concentration was .207, and an open container was found in the vehicle, according to the report. The legal limit for driving in Vermont is .08. He was taken to Act 1 detoxification center and cited to appear in court.

Intoxicated person

Police received a report of a man “walking around with pants around his ankles” on July 17, according to police reports. The man was found to be “extremely intoxicated” and was taken to Chittenden County Correctional Center after being refused entry at Act 1 detoxification center, according to the report. No other information was released.

Possession of stolen property

Bryan Welicka, 19, of Essex and Joseph M. Lachappelle, 18, of Essex Junction were cited on charges of possession of stolen property on June 30 after they attempted to sell a stolen gun at BJ’s Guns and Sporting Goods, according to police reports. No other information was released.

Theft

William A. Suchoski, 40, of South Burlington was cited on a charge of attempted retail theft from Home Depot on July 4, according to police reports. No other information was released.

Underage drinking party

On July 14, Richmond Police were notified of a noise complaint on Wheeler Lane in Richmond, according to police reports. The caller said there was a possible party going on and there was “yelling and loud music,” according to the report.

The first officer on scene spoke with three unidentified teenagers outside the residence, detected the smell of alcohol and determined they were under the age of 21, according to the report. The officer entered the house looking for the homeowner and discovered “at least 15 individuals and over 100 empty containers of beer and multiple bottles of hard liquor,” according to the report. Those at the party ran out the back door and scattered across the field behind the residence when they saw the officer, the report notes.

A Williston police officer en route to the party found one juvenile attempting to cross the Huntington River and she was “pulled from the river soaking wet,” according to the report. Other responding officers saw multiple people running in fields and on the road, the report notes.

Nine juveniles were given diversion paperwork and “tickets will be issued to them for consumption of a malt beverage by a person under 21,” according to the report.

Richmond Police were unable to contact the homeowner, who was out of town on the night of the party.

Driving with suspended license

• Nicole Noyes, 26, of Richford was cited on a charge of driving with a suspended license-criminal on July 16, according to police reports.

• John P. Bacon, 40, of Middlebury was cited on a charge of driving with a suspended license on July 16, according to police reports.

• Eric M. Jophlin, 32, of Essex was cited on a charge of driving with a suspended license on July 17, according to police reports.

• Daniel J. Verway, 33, of Milton was cited on a charge of driving with a suspended license on June 29, according to police reports.

• Tawnja L. Suchoski, 35, of Burlington was cited on a charge of driving with a suspended license on July 4, according to police reports. Suchoski was cited to appear in court.

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