July 23, 2019

PHOTOS: CVU wrestling

Courtesy photos by Jennifer Olson

The Champlain Valley Union wrestling squad finished 10th in the prestigious 27-team Baker Classic last weekend at Essex High School. Redhawks’ Clark Poston won the 182-pound class. Liam Bowley took the runner-up slot in the 99-pound division.

PHOTOS: CVU boys hockey v. BFA-St. Albans

Courtesy photos by David Yandell

Champlain Valley Union boys hockey lost to BFA-St. Albans 3-0 on Jan. 21.

PHOTOS: CVU girls basketball v. St. Johnsbury

Courtesy photos by Sean Leach

The Champlain Valley Union girls basketball team defeated St. Johnsbury 39-31 on Jan. 20.

PHOTOS: CVU girls basketball v. Burlington

Observer photos by Shane Bufano (www.shanebufano.com)

The Champlain Valley Union girls basketball team topped Burlington 52-35 on Jan. 24.

PHOTOS: ‘Clowns and Crooks’

Observer photos by Luke Baynes

Williston Central School students appear in the Jan. 19 Voyager House production of ‘Clowns and Crooks,’ an original play co-written by eighth-grader Madeleine Barrett and Voyager literacy teacher Sam Messer.

This Week’s Popcorn

‘The Iron Lady’

Jan. 26, 2012


2 & ½ popcorns

By Michael S. Goldberger

Special to the Observer


In Phyllida Lloyd’s “The Iron Lady,” the great Meryl Streep and great makeup doth a prime minister make. It’s gotten to be an old saw, touting Streep’s thespic brilliance in spite of whatever flaws detract from the film containing her performance. Here, she is probably more Margaret Thatcher than Mrs. Thatcher herself. Aye, it’s a magic trick.

So, even if you’re a film critic who finds the former prime minister’s politics abhorrently opposed to almost everything you believe in, you still can’t help but be drawn into the superbly artistic web of personality Miss Streep weaves. Just be aware that this is more character study than biopic. The stuff of governing is decidedly ancillary to the charisma.

Forcefully denoted in what often feels like an apologia, this daughter of a self-reliant grocer, brought up during WWII, is indeed a tough cookie who feels people should fend for themselves. And, thanks to a camera that moves back and forth through the years with seamless poise, the sympathetic portrait doubles as a touching look at the aging process.

Making it a full course lesson in what can be achieved in but one portrayal, Streep also etches a Machiavellian pastiche on the workings of power. She gets good help. Playing sounding board and conscience to the process of prominence, Jim Broadbent is superb as Denis Thatcher, proving that behind every great woman there is a magnanimous man.

This is where the director takes a daring but ultimately successful chance. She keeps Mr. Thatcher ever-present along the perimeters of his wife’s career. Serving as afflatus, he chides comically, sweetly and acerbically. And then Miss Lloyd ups the ante. That is, she chooses to have him flit in and out of Margaret’s consciousness, even after his death.

The resultant mini-monograph on non-traditional marriage sings a paean to the unselfish give and take required of all relationships, and thus provides a primer on what it takes to make the seemingly impossible impossibly sublime. Unfortunately, the historical events depicted are more in the service of the main characterization than they are of history.

Granted, adding an hour to the film to accommodate the turbulence fore and aft the tumbling of the Berlin Wall, plus bunches of parliamentary stuff only the history buff might welcome, would be unworkable. But while a feeling for the times is more or less achieved, a grander effort would be required to make this a film of true historical import.

Almost always ready to the challenge, however, are the costume and set design folk, who here attain with notable aplomb the visual temper, tone and aura of whatever era in Mrs. Thatcher’s political career is being detailed. Actual footage of accompanying cataclysms, usually of terrorist activity, supplies a jarring, startling contrast to the heady ruminations.

All well and good, but the problem nags. There should be more. Here I am at about the 60 percent mark of the review, where it behooves to tell you how the filmmaker plays Devil’s advocate by taking the prime minister to task for this or that. But, there is very little, if any, of that. Thus somewhere where inspiration resides, Clio, the muse of history, scowls.

Too bad — biography can be a great tool for historical study, provided its intention, after detailing the life of its subject, is to place said personage in the circumstances that both shaped him and that he or she in turn shaped. Although Miss Lloyd pays lip service to the process, this is more about fame and achievement than the life and times of Thatcher.

Pity, too. Because we sure could use an astute rummaging around in the enmity between the left and right, a force currently deterring much of the world from progressing toward a fruitful destiny. Perchance a look at the version of the enigma as it existed in Thatcher’s day might have shed light on the current permutation. After all, that is how history works.

Case in point, “M*A*S*H (1970),” though set during the Korean War, was really about the Vietnam War. Art and history combined in a grand, comparative muckraking worthy of Mark Twain himself. The film did its part to help end the war. In this case, too much homage and not enough counterpoint prove a disservice, especially to Mrs. Thatcher.

Still, lest we think her a party to lying by omission, Meryl Streep’s smart, multi-layered representation tacitly coaxes one to read between the lines. Therefore, for those so inclined and possessing of the time, the suggestion is to see this for Streep and then, just for good form, get hold of a biography with more mettle to it than “The Iron Lady.”


“The Iron Lady,” rated PG-13, is a Weinstein Company release directed by Phyllida Lloyd and stars Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent and Alexandra Roach. Running time: 105 minutes 

Coming Attractions

Jan. 26, 2012




Art fans are invited to meet the artists at The Gallery at Phoenix Books’ art opening, 21 Essex Way, Essex. Sunday, Jan. 29, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Light fare will be provided, reception is free and open to the public. Featured artists will include Paige Dunbar, Rick Evans, Eric Fitzgerald, Brittany Foster, Donna McDermid, and artists of the Essex Art League. The exhibit will stay up through the beginning of March. http://phoenixbooks.biz. 872-7111.



Champlain Theatre presents Charlotte Jones’ “Humble Boy” — a comedy about love, death, redemption, and the joys of beekeeping. Feb. 1-4, Feb. 9-11, 8 p.m., Champlain College Alumni Auditorium, 163 So. Willard St., Burlington. Tickets $20, Champlain College students free with ID. Tickets may be purchased at the door. 865-5468.



The UVM Lane Series will present a performance by jazz and world music artist Meklit Hadero. Her music, influenced by her Ethiopian roots, has two distinct elements: jazz with vocals and traditional Ethiopian songs. Friday, Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m., UVM music building recital hall. Adults $25, UVM students $20. 86-FLYNN. www.uvm.edu/laneseries.



An evening of desserts, and entertainment from the Essex High School jazz band and soprano Lindsey Soboleski & Friends, will take Saturday, Feb. 11, 7 p.m. Tickets $10. First Baptist Church, 81 St. Paul Street, Burlington. Reservations, 864-6515.



The Main Street Landing Company is running a weekly film series on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. The Hollywood-classic films will be shown on a 25-foot screen, at Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center, Burlington. Admission is free, but the series is intended to help raise money for non-profit organizations. www.mainstreetlanding.com.



The Essex Art League meets the first Thursday of the month, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Essex Junction Congregational Church. The meetings include business, social time and a guest artist. www.essexartleague.com.


CVU Sports Schedule

Jan. 26, 2012



Thursday: at Burlington, 7:45 p.m.

Monday: SOUTH BURLINGTON, 7:15 p.m.



Friday: NORTH COUNTRY, 6:45 p.m.

Tuesday: ESSEX, 7:15 p.m.



Thursday: at South Burlington, 7 p.m.

Wednesday: MIDDLEBURY, 7 P.M.



Saturday: at South Burlington (CSB Cup), 8 p.m.

Wednesday: BURLINGTON, 5:15 p.m.



Saturday: at Hartford, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: ESSEX, 5:20 p.m.



Friday and Saturday: Essex Invitational, Smuggers Notch



Saturday: at Craftsbury Marathon



Thursday: at Colchester, 6 p.m.

Saturday: at Colchester Invitational, 9 a.m.

Tuesday: at Colchester Invitational, 6 p.m.




Schedules subject to change

Sports Shorts

Jan. 26, 2012



Redhawks’ senior goalie Jason O’Brien stops a BFA shot during CVU’s 3-0 loss on Jan. 21. (Courtesy photo by David Yandell)

Coach Mike Murray and his Champlain Valley Union boys hockey team are hoping recent series unpredictability continuers Saturday night (8 p.m.) in the annual Cairns Arena clash with South Burlington for the CSB Cup.

The Rebels rapped the Redhawks 5-1 earlier this month, but in recent years past scores have meant little in the Cup contest. Last winter, South Burlington won the cup game while CVU went on to earn the Division I state title.

CVU took a four-game losing string and a 4-7 overall mark to Jay Peak and North Country Union Wednesday night (after Observer press deadline).

Scoring woes continued to hound the Redhawks Saturday (Jan. 21) in a 3-0 loss to 10-1 BFA-St. Albans. CVU had 23 shots without finding the net behind BFA goalie Andre Morin. The previous Saturday, CVU netted just 1 of 27 shots in a 2-1 defeat by Rutland.

The BFA game went scoreless until late in the second period, when the Bobwhites’ Zach Devoid potted a score. BFA added the second tally early in the final reel. An empty-netter came just before the end of proceedings.

Senior Jason O’Brien and sophomore Zach Weimer combined for 24 saves in the Redhawks cage.



After a solid performance Friday (Jan. 20) in races at the Jericho range, hosted by Mount Mansfield Union, the Champlain Valley Union Nordic team is looking ahead to Saturday’s marathon event in Craftsbury.

“We had a great night,” CVU Nordic coach Sarah Strack said of Friday’s event via e-mail.

The girls team, led by winner Sienna Searles, crowded six racers into the top 11 to outdistance Mount Mansfield by 18 points. Ten teams took part.

Searles posted a winning time of 22:50 to easily outpace runner-up Larissa Kehue from U-32.

“Sienna dominated the race from the start,” said Strack, noting that the senior had previous difficulty on the course.

Taylor Spillane (fourth), Cally Braun (sixth), Kathryn Maitland (seventh) and Autumn Eastman (eighth) rounded out CVU’s top 10 finishers.

CVU’s boys came in second to the host Cougars in their 12-team race. Sam Logenbach (11th), Sean Delaney (15th), Emmett Peterson (16th) and Ian Meier (19th) led the Redhawks.

MMU’s Jack Hegman won in 17 minutes and 35 seconds.



By this time next week, Colchester town officials may be looking at members of the Champlain Valley Union wrestling team as a source of resident tax revenue.

The Redhawks will be in the town by the bay three times starting with Thursday night’s session with the Colchester Lakers and Harwood Union (6 p.m.).

Coach Rahn Fleming and his ‘Hawks return Saturday morning at 9 a.m. for the opening of the two-day Colchester Invitational. The tournament concludes Tuesday at 6 p.m.

CVU is coming off a 10th place finish in the prestigious 27-team Baker Classic this past weekend at Essex High School.

The humdinger of the event for CVU was Clark Poston, who won the 182-pound class. Liam Bowley took the runner-up slot in the 99-pound division.



Williston native and University of Virginia swimmer Taylor Grey shared the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s performer of the week honor, the league announced Jan. 17.

Grey, a sophomore, won three individual events and set two Christiansburg Aquatic Center records as the Cavaliers rallied to come back and beat Virginia Tech, 161-139. His win in the 400 individual medley — the last individual event before the final relay — sparked a 1-2-3 Cavalier finish that helped propel Virginia to a victory. According to a release from the school, Grey set two pool records — including the 200 breaststroke (2:01.59) and 400 individual medley (3:56.57) — and also won the 100 breaststroke in 56.69. Grey shared the honor with North Carolina senior David MacDonald, the release said.

CVU girls hockey searching for win

‘Hawks 0-9

Jan. 26, 2012

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent


The Champlain Valley Union High girls hockey team took its quest for the season’s first victory back to Cairns Arena and the 4-3-2 South Burlington High Rebels Wednesday afternoon (after Observer press deadline).

Coach Ben Psaros and the Redhawks then travel to Hartford Saturday for a 2 p.m. clash with the Hurricanes of Hartford.

The ‘Hawks fell to 0-9 Friday (Jan. 20) with a 9-0 loss to the 5-2-2 BFA-St. Albans Comets at Cairns.

Led by senior Lauren Wooster (three goals) and freshman Taylor Jackson (two goals), the Comets struck for five first period tallies and coasted the rest of the way. BFA outshot CVU 41-12.

CVU’s best scoring opportunities came from sophomore Kristina Ushakova, whose second-period blast on a breakaway just missed the upper left corner of the BFA net.

Sophomore Molly Dunphy was denied on at least two point-blank shots by Comets’ netminder Marina Nadeau. Senior Rowan Hayes did some solid puck recovery work around the boards for the ‘Hawks.

Goalie Nicole Sisk had 32 stops.