April 20, 2019

Town releases Police Dept. internal investigation report

Feb. 29, 2012

By Luke Baynes

Observer staff


An internal investigation of the Williston Police Department conducted in 2011 by former Burlington Police Chief Thomas Tremblay has revealed a department divided by allegations and strained by an atmosphere of “anger, distrust, frustration and fear.”

The release of the Tremblay report to the media on Feb. 27 comes in the wake of Detective Sgt. Bart Chamberlain’ s Feb. 6 appearance before the Williston Selectboard to request that a letter of discipline be removed from his personnel record.

Among the allegations made by Chamberlain at the Feb. 6 hearing were that former Police Chief Roy Nelson failed to appropriately respond to several department matters — including an incident involving a missing bag of cocaine and a 2010 traffic fatality involving a Williston resident.

The following timeline is based on information contained in the Tremblay report, a 2010 report by Attorney Colin McNeil, exhibits presented at the Feb. 6 Selectboard hearing and previous Williston Observer reports:

April 26, 2009: The son of police dispatcher Deborah Davis is arrested by Officer Joshua Moore on a charge of driving under the influence.

March 18, 2010: Acting Police Chief Bart Chamberlain is placed on administrative leave due to complaints that he engaged in an inappropriate relationship with Davis and used department funds to travel to Texas with her for a police conference. Private investigator James Cronan is placed in charge of the inquiry.

April 2010: Chamberlain signs a confidential agreement with the town that removes him as acting chief and returns him to active duty with the rank of detective sergeant.

April 2010: Doug Hoyt is hired as interim police chief.

July 2010: Roy Nelson is hired as police chief.

Sept. 2010: A bag of cocaine disappears from Detective Michael Lavoie’s desk on a Friday and is discovered the following Monday sitting next to the desk.

Oct. 18, 2010: Williston resident Dale Holcomb, 73, strikes a utility pole with his vehicle on Vermont 2A near Hurricane Lane after two prior interactions with members of the Williston Police Department earlier in the evening. He is pronounced dead the following morning at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.

Oct. 21, 2010: Chamberlain sends a letter to Nelson, alleging discrepancies between Moore’s report of the Holcomb incident and police cruiser video from that evening.

Dec. 1, 2010: Attorney Colin McNeil is retained by the town to investigate the Holcomb incident.

Dec. 13, 2010: McNeil issues a memorandum to Nelson and Williston Town Manager Rick McGuire, in which he concludes: “Officer Moore’s report is consistent with facts and information we gathered from the materials you presented to us,” and “it is our opinion that neither Officer (Keith) Gonyeau nor Moore were derelict in their duties in investigating this incident and that both acted appropriately pursuant to the circumstances presented.”

Dec. 22, 2010: Nelson issues a letter addressed to no one concurring with the findings of McNeil’s report.

Jan. 13, 2011: Davis and Chamberlain meet with McGuire. Among Davis’ assertions to McGuire are that Nelson threatened to reopen the investigation that occurred during Chamberlain’s administrative leave unless Davis dropped her formal grievance that she was unfairly demoted within the department’s dispatch hierarchy. Chamberlain, among other complaints, asserts that Nelson said he would “come after” him if he didn’t persuade Davis to rescind the grievance.

Jan. 18, 2011: Officers Moore, Justin Huizenga and William Charbonneau, along with Administrative Assistant Millie Whitcomb, submit written complaints about Chamberlain to Nelson, alleging that he used his supervisory position to harass employees and acted in a manner that was hostile and/or retaliatory since his demotion from acting chief.

Jan. 2011: Chamberlain meets with Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan. He discloses information about the Holcomb incident and the missing cocaine.

Jan. 2011: Thomas Tremblay is retained by the town to work with the law firm of McNeil, Leddy & Sheahan P.C. — a firm that has represented the town on labor issues — to investigate the complaints Moore, Huizenga, Nelson and Whitcomb filed against Chamberlain, and the complaints Chamberlain and Davis filed against Nelson.

Feb. 4, 2011: Nelson informs Tremblay of an additional complaint by Davis against Charbonneau and Sergeant Scott Graham, which alleges that they inappropriately ran her son’s name through the department’s computer aided dispatch system and the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System on Feb. 2, 2011 without just cause.


On May 10, 2011, Tremblay provided a complete report of his investigation. Among his conclusions:

—  “Retaliation against Officer Moore is suggested based on Sergeant Chamberlain’s unwillingness to consider the Holcomb matter closed and the timing of his allegations, especially in light of the fact that others that have reviewed the matter can’t see a basis for Sergeant Chamberlain’s continued allegations.”

— “There is insufficient evidence to suggest that Chief Nelson is specifically targeting or threatening Sergeant Chamberlain and Ms. Davis.”

— “The evidence supports a legitimate law enforcement reason for running (Davis’ son’s) record, as well as other records that Sergeant Graham and Officer Charbonneau ran. There is no evidence to suggest that (Davis’ son’s) record was run to harass Ms. Davis, or her son, but it does provide an example of the level of suspicion and lack of trust within the organization.”


June 14, 2011: Nelson takes an indefinite leave of absence to undergo cancer treatment.

Sept. 26, 2011: Hoyt is brought back as interim police chief.

Oct. 26, 2011: McGuire sends a disciplinary letter to Chamberlain, in which he states: “I have determined that you engaged in behaviors that were intended to undermine and discredit your superior officer, the Chief of Police, and Officer Moore, in violation of various Town of Williston policies and General Orders.”

Jan. 23, 2012: Citing uncertainty about his future health and his desire to be closer to family in Connecticut, Nelson submits his letter of resignation, effective Jan. 31, 2012. McGuire announces that the recruitment process for a new police chief will begin immediately, with the goal of having the position filled by June 1.

Feb. 6, 2012: Chamberlain, represented by Attorney John Franco, appears before the Williston Selectboard to request that the disciplinary letter be removed from his personnel record. The matter is still pending.


McGuire told the Observer on Monday that the Tremblay report should be viewed in the context of the time period it deals with (April 2009 to May 2011), and that the department has since made improvements to operations and morale.

“The department has many good officers and non-uniformed personnel. They’re hard-working professionals and they’re dedicated to serving the community,” McGuire said. “Some of the actions addressed in the report did reflect inappropriate behavior by more than one employee, and we addressed that behavior through various types of disciplinary action.”

However, McGuire acknowledged that improvements must continue.

“There is a need for change within the department,” he said. “This is where the new chief will come in. He or she is going to be charged with the responsibility of continuing to expect more and implement various changes necessary if we want to continue moving toward a larger and more professional department.”

Interim Police Chief Doug Hoyt, who spoke to the Observer on Tuesday, echoed McGuire’s sentiments.

“I’d be personally dishonest if I didn’t indicate that there are still some hard feelings (within the department), and I think it’s incumbent upon management to do what it can to try to get the workforce focused on their primary mission,” Hoyt said. “But the calls are still being answered, they’re being answered in an appropriate way and by people who really care.”

PHOTOS: State of the Union essay challenge

Observer photos by Marianne Apfelbaum

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) held a roundtable discussion on Feb. 18 with finalists in the second annual State of the Union essay contest at the Vermont Public Television studios in Colchester. More than 300 students from 30 Vermont high schools entered the contest and shared their thoughts on the major issues facing the nation. Each child’s essay was made part of the permanent Congressional Record, and each was given a plaque by Sen. Sanders with their essay on it. Among the essay contest finalists from Champlain Valley Union High School, which had the largest number of essay finalists, were Kate Raszka, Alden Fletcher, Zach Holman, Julienne DeVita, Hannah Apfelbaum, Emma Hamilton and Erin Clauss.


PHOTOS: CVU boys hockey

Courtesy photos by Dave Yandell

The Champlain Valley Union boys hockey team lost to Essex 2-0 on Feb. 18.

This Week’s Popcorn

‘The Oscars’

Feb. 23, 2012

By Michael S. Goldberger

Special to the Observer



Editor’s Note: The following essay, believed to be written by the Observer’s film critic, was found in a Snapple Diet Raspberry bottle retrieved from a nearby river. No direct explanation regarding its origin or intent was given. It is reprinted here in its entirety.


Recently I pondered, ‘twas the week before the Oscars, and perusing the nominations I grew weary. Came again that time when the film critic is relegated to mere handicapper, tossed to the madding crowd as a sacrificial lamb, a blood payment for the privilege of pontificating 52 weeks ad nauseam. Get ‘em right or else, Boy-o.

Pick a few wrong and they grumble like the burghers fixing to do-in Frankenstein. Tar and feather futures rise. I ask, is it worth it? From blank Word program I gazed out at the reward for my toils, styled after Versailles…maybe a little bigger. But is it worth it?

Mr. O’Casey, my resident Bugatti expert, paused from his polishing and peered through the leaded glass with a kindly look. He knew what ‘twas afoot, having campaigned through it, year after year. I cracked open the window. In his distinctive brogue he assured, “Don’t worry sir. Stiff upper lip now. Something will come up… always does.”

But if the deus ex machina were to be a part of this story, it was painfully tardy. Another minute passed. And then, because this essay can only be just so many paragraphs, came a tapping at my door. I begged the tapper to enter. In he came, creepy as the Phantom of the Opera, announcing, “Raven’s the name. Status quo is the game.”

“Raven?” I mused, “as in Edgar Allan Poe?”

“Who’s he?” Raven retorted, adding, “I go by many names.”

“Yeah, why is that…why do you guys always go by many names?”

“Never mind,” quoth the Raven, “I’m here to help you pick the Oscars right, er, I mean correctly. That is, assuming you are a man of good judgment, if you get my meaning. Nice place you have here. Looks like Versailles, only a little bigger. I see my little mortgage, oops, I mean the mortgage disaster, didn’t hurt you any. Interested?”

“Well, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. But what’s in it for you if you aid me in my choices?”

“Oooh, don’t use the word aid. Gives us the willies. What’s in it for us, you ask? Nothing my friend, nothing but the satisfaction of exposing a world conspiracy, emanating right here in River City, the good old U.S. of A. Here’s the deal, Goldberg. The awards, given out by those, uh, Hollywood types, are mere code, a signal in the plot to take over the world…each award standing for a specific part of their mantra, intended to wrest the globe from its rightful heirs.

“Wow, I always thought it was just a scheme to sell movie tickets and put on a boring, self-congratulatory show. By the way, it’s Goldberger, not Goldberg. You forgot my er.”

“You mean they haven’t even let you in on it, your so-called caring friends? Humph. The next thing you know they’ll turn your slightly bigger version of Versailles into affordable housing. Join us, do this thing, and you can have even another er at the end of your name…’Goldbergerer, the Defender of the Faith.’”

“Gee, I don’t know. Can you give me an example of this secret cipher?”

Angrily, he replied, “What don’t you know, man? Where Mr. O’ Casey will find another Bugatti enthusiast, or perhaps where you’ll be able to buy a Hyundai Accent? It’s right in front of you. You don’t have to be a cryptologist to read into the winners of Best Motion Picture of The Year and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role. It’ll be ‘The Artist’ and the guy who played its title character, Jean Dujardin. Foreigners. No U.S. birth certificate. Get it?”

“Gosh, seems a little farfetched…what about Best Actress in a Leading Role?”

“Old sport, it’s as obvious as the nose on your face…no slur intended. It’ll be Viola Davis for ‘The Help.’ That’s to make folks feel bad for what they contend happened in The South years ago. Heck, you weren’t even there. But it’s a symbol for more equal opportunity stuff and ridiculous jobs program designed to pick our pockets.”

Chuckling at the absurdity, I offered, “I guess Max von Sydow will win Best Supporting Actor because, anagrammatically, the letters T, A and X, and M, O, N, E, Y, E, and D, as in ‘tax the moneyed,’ can be formed from Max Von Sydow in ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Clear.’”

“Exactly. By Jove, I think you’ve got it. See how they work? Sly. But they get even sneakier in the Best Supporting Actress category, using letters from both Bérénice Bejo in ‘The Artist’ and Melissa McCarthy in ‘Bridesmaids’ to spell out Obamacare.”

Incredulous at the speciousness of his deductions, I intoned, “So, I imagine Mademoiselle Bejo wins because her name is listed previous to her competition, the pre in previous signifying no more denying health benefits for pre-existing conditions.”

“See…see how easy it is once you understand their agenda? Plainly, you think like them. You could be valuable to us beyond this little job. Now, figure out why Michel Hazanavicius will win for Best Director and maybe we’ll run you for Congress in some really backward whistle stop.”

“I don’t know…because Hazanavicius really means Global Warming in ancient Sumerian?”

“No…that’s a little too nutty, even for us. This one’s simply because the Academy rarely splits the Best Motion Picture and Best Director winners. That’s all.

Mr. Raven then proceeded to enumerate the remaining winners, showing how in each case it surreptitiously signified an element of the Liberal Agenda, a rallying cry he likened to “a silent dog whistle to the proletariat.” They are:

  • Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen — “Midnight in Paris”
  • Screenplay Based on Material Previously Published or Produced — “Moneyball”
  • Animated Feature Film — “Rango”
  • Foreign Language Film — “A Separation”
  • Cinematography — ”The Artist”
  • Editing — “Hugo”
  • Art Direction — “Hugo”
  • Costume Design — “The Artist”
  • Makeup — “The Iron Lady”
  • Original Score — “The Artist”
  • Original Song — “Man or Muppet,” “The Muppets”
  • Sound Mixing — “Hugo”
  • Sound Editing — “Drive”
  • Visual Effects — “Hugo”
  • Feature Documentary — “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”
  • Documentary, Short Subject — “Saving Face”
  • Animated Short Film — “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”
  • Live Action Short Film — “Tuba Atlantic.”

Following his listing, a frightening rant sometimes punctuated by a violent banging of his fist against my lectern, his hair flopping against his forehead, his odd little moustache bristling, he turned his steely, vacant eyes to me and asked, “So, can we count on you to out the foe, to show them for what they are by disseminating these picks?”

Saying nothing, I walked out the door and strolled along the cobblestone path to view, perhaps for one of the very last times, my Little Versailles, albeit a few acres larger. Spotting me, Mr. O’Casey, exhibiting an uncanny prescience, called out, “Don’t worry Mr. G. There’s plenty of work for an 80-year-old Bugatti expert. I’m sure there is.”

He continued his supportive exhortations. And, as I became but a spot in the distance, practically out of earshot, it sounded as if he were summing it all up when he weepily recited, “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”


CVU Sports Schedule

Feb. 23, 2012



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

End regular season



Friday: at Essex, 7:45 p.m.

Tuesday: RICE MEMORIAL, 5:45 p.m.



Saturday: State Meet at Essex High School, 2 p.m.



Saturday: COLCHESTER, 7:45 p.m.

End regular season



Saturday: at Essex, 1 p.m.

End regular season



Thursday: NVAC slalom at Smuggler’s Notch



Thursday: State Meet at Jericho Firing Range, Time TBA

Tuesday: State Meet at Grafton Pond, Time TBA



Friday and Saturday: State Meet at St. Johnsbury Academy


Home contests in CAPS

Schedule subject to change

Sports Shorts

Feb. 23, 2012



With the annual state meet coming up Saturday (2 p.m.) at Essex High School, Champlain Valley Union gymnasts went through their final tune-ups this week at Green Mountain Gymnastics in Williston.

Top seed in the annual meet will likely go to defending champion Essex, which nipped the Redhawks by a hair (141.45-140.5) in their only meeting of the regular season last Thursday at Green Mountain.

“We had a good meet. People scored well,” said CVU head coach Carly O’Brien Rivard of the session with the Hornets.

The balance beam proved to be critical, where all CVU competitors had falls.

Also, sophomore Megan Nick was competing after a cast was supplied to an arm fracture earlier in the day. Nick, an all-around competitor last year, will be limited to the beam and floor exercise. She has had a little more than a week to get used to performing with the cast on her arm.

Rivard and the team are looking forward to Saturday, well aware that last year CVU defeated Essex in the lone regular season meeting only to see the Hornets roll to a fifth consecutive title at the state meet.

“I feel confident,” said senior Ashley Bachand, the veteran team leader who has come back from June Achilles tendon surgery and will be one of two Redhawks going for the all-around crown.

Bachand slowly worked her way back into all four disciplines, the vault — which involves running — being the last hurdle.

Sarah Kinsley will also go all-around.



Champlain Valley Union boys hockey senior captain Wilson Yandell tries to fend off a couple of Essex players during the Redhawks’ 2-0 loss on Feb. 18. (Courtesy photo by Dave Yandell)

After Wednesday night’s rubber match with Rice Memorial (after Observer press deadline), the surging Champlain Valley Union boys hockey team will put the finishing touches on the regular season Saturday (7:45 p.m.) when 11-6-1 Colchester brings its skates and pads to Cairns Arena.

The Rice game was a season series rubber match. The 7-10-1 Redhawks nipped the Green Knights 2-1 in the December Burchard Tournament title game. Rice bopped the Hawks 3-1 a couple of weeks later.

Saturday’s tilt will be the ‘Hawks only meeting with the Lakers.

Last Wednesday (Feb. 15), the Hawks extended their string of unbeaten games to four in a 2-2 deadlock on the road at 9-7-1 Middlebury. The Tigers tied the game with less than five minutes remaining in regulation after CVU took the lead on goals from Max Hopper and Adam Hauke. Goalie Jason O’Brien Had 19 stops for the Redhawks.

At Cairns Saturday (Feb. 18), the Redhawks gave unbeaten (17-0-1) Essex a mighty scramble before bowing 2-0 to Hornet scores in the first and third periods. O’Brien made 28 saves in the CVU cage. The Redhawks unleashed 18 shots at Essex goalie Pat Campbell.



The Champlain Valley Union girls hockey team had high hopes of their first victory Wednesday (after Observer press deadline) when they hosted Hartford at Cairns Arena. The 0-18 Redhawks narrowly bowed 3-2 to the Hurricanes in late January at Hartford on a goal in the final minutes of play.

CVU will close out the regular season Saturday at 1 p.m. at 9-8-1 Essex.

Last Wednesday, the Hawks fell 5-0 to BFA-St. Albans. CVU goalie Nicole Sisk made 39 saves. On Saturday (Feb. 18), South Burlington bumped off CVU, 9-0, at Cairns Arena.



Champlain Valley Union Alpine ski teams head back to Smuggler’s Notch for slalom runs Thursday sitting in second and third places after Monday’s giant slalom event at the resort.

CVU’s girls came in second among 10 teams Monday as Mount Mansfield Union took the lead with 23 points to the Redhawks’ 63. Ali Chivers led the Cougars with a top combined two-run time of one minute and 8.7 seconds. Teammate Lucy Herrington was runner-up. CVU was led by Emma Putre (fourth) and Abby Owens in (10th).

Mount Mansfield, led by defending state GS champion and Monday’s victor David Polson, took the boys’ side with 30 points. CVU, with no competitors breaking into the top 10 finishers, was third with 78 points.

—Mal Boright


‘Hawks girls basketball hunting top seed

Feb. 23, 2012

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent


Back on the winning track with a 54-40 victory at North Country Union Tuesday night, the 15-2 Champlain Valley Union girls hoop quintet’s hopes for the Division I playoff top seed could well rest with their next two games: Friday at Essex and Tuesday’s final regular season home game against Rice Memorial.

The Redhawks own victories over both challengers, a home win over the Hornets and a tense, final seconds triumph at Rice.

Essex, 13-4, is coming off two straight defeats — the latest a 61-35 setback Tuesday at St. Johnsbury Academy despite 21 points from Williston’s Kari Lavalette.

At 4-13 North Country, the Redhawks shook off a 23-19 Falcon halftime lead, and zoomed to the win. Emily Kinneston’s 16 points and eight thefts and 10 points from Elana Bayer-Pacht fueled the victory.

Sofia Lozon, one of coach Ute Otley’s confounding (to foes) Mighty Minis, led all scorers with 17 points, including a cool 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the closing quarter.

Last Friday (Feb. 17), the Redhawks paid the price for inconsistency in a 33-31 loss at 5-11 Burlington.

Twice during the game, CVU used small runs to open up three-point leads. On each occasion, however, the ‘Hawks could not apply further damage even despite good opportunities.

Midway through the final quarter, Kaelyn Kohlasch and Lazrin Schenck hoops put the ‘Hawks up 31-28 with 3:38 to play. After two missed shots from CVU, Burlington — believing victory was possible — got an open trey from freshman Ajla Medic at 2:09 for the tie. Medic then nailed the game winner with about 35 seconds remaining.

On a night when both teams shot approximately 25 percent, Kohlasch sank 5 of 6 shots from the floor to lead all scorers with 13 points. She also had three assists.

Burlington won the battle of the boards 32-25.

Burlington 33, CVU 31 (Feb. 17)


CVU (14-2)

Lozon, 0 0-0 0; Bayer-Pacht, 2 0-0 4; Donnelly, 1 0-0 2; Kohlasch, 5 2-2 13; Kinneston, 3 0-0 6; Limaneck, 2 0-0 4; Schenck, 1 0-0 2; Krupp, 0 0-0 0; Beatty, 0 0-0 0; Whiteside, 0 0-0 0.

Totals: 14 2-2 31


BHS (5-11)

Garrison, 3 0-0 7; Jones, 1 1-2 4; O. Maher, 3 0-0 6; I. Maher, 1 2-5 4; Pidgeon, 0 4-4 4; Black, 0 0-0 0; Medic, 3 0-0 8; Morris, 0 0-0 0; Farnham, 0 0-0 0; Bradshaw, 0 0-0 0.

Totals: 11 7-11 33


CVU       8   6  11   6  – 31

BHS       8   7  10   8  – 33

CVU boys hoops look to improve playoff seeding

‘Hawks seeking a first-round playoff game

Feb. 23, 2012

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent


The North Country Union boys basketball quintet brings a 6-13 record to Bremner Gymnasium Thursday night, where the 10-9 Champlain Valley Union Redhawks hope to extend their current win streak to three and enhance their postseason position.

Coaches said following CVU’s late blooming 49-42 victory at Essex Monday that there could be a home playoff game and a seeding as high as fifth depending on outcomes Thursday and Friday. Pairings come out early this coming week.

Monday’s triumph was the Redhawks’ second in four days in which they put the hammer down in the fourth period to break away from a tenacious foe also in the hunt for playoff enhancement.

“It wasn’t pretty, “ exclaimed coach Scott Bliss after his team’s second win of the season over the 8-11 Hornets.

But while perhaps not pretty, the Redhawks’ tough defense, rebounding and inside passing game proved effective in the tense, late going.

A see-saw affair bent in Essex’s favor in the fourth quarter when tough inside dude Tom Carton (23 points) put back an offensive rebound and moments later canned two free throws to give the Hornets a 37-36 edge with 6:14 left.

Essex would score only five charity shots down the stretch (0-for-11 from the floor) as the Redhawk defenders mobbed up under the Essex basket and kept enough arms in the air out deep to discourage would-be three-point tries.

Leading the CVU hard-nosed challenge was senior John Keen, crashing his way around Muscle City for six rebounds while notching six points in the final reel. He finished with 12 rebounds and 10 points.

CVU got the lead for good at 42-39 when Brad Bissonette (15 points) swooped in for a layup on the payoff end of Ryan Brogna’s steal. Bissonette, fouled on the shot, hit the free flip with 3:16 on the clock.

After Carton sank two free throws to get the Hornets within one, Keen clicked on an inside layup after a Bissonette pass, and hit a fast break layup with 1:59 left to get the Hawks in front (46-42).

A sizeable presence for CVU was solid sophomore center Lucas Aube with 13 hard earned inside points and six rebounds (three on the offensive). Other contributors included Jumping Joe Chavalier with two blocks and an assist in the second quarter and Austin Busch, who came off the bench at point guard and passed for three assists. Bissonette came up huge in the second period with two treys and a total of eight points.

CVU shot a good 43 percent for the game. Essex fired ‘em up at 27 percent — 1-for-14 in the closing segment.

Late heroics were also the rule last Thursday (Feb. 16) in a 59-52 win at Colchester against a Laker five that had nipped the Redhawks in Hinesburg. CVU outpopped Colchester 27-9 over the game’s final five-and-a-half minutes.

Bissonette led scorers with 15 points while Aube was again a star in the trenches with 13 points and eight rebounds. Keen potted 12 points.

Brogna, the Hawks’ defensive clamper, helped hold Laker ace Anthony Granai to two points over the final three quarters after the Colchester slash and drive ace had unloaded 10 in the opening reel.

Coach Seth Emerson’s junior ‘Hawks are 13-6 after bowing 61-52 to the youthful Hornets.



CVU 49, Essex 42 (Monday)


CVU (10-9)

B. Bissonette, 5 3-4 15; Keen, 4 2-4 10; Aube, 6 1-4 13; Whitbeck, 0 1-2 1; Kohlasch, 0 2-2 2; Beaudry, 1 0-0 2; S. Bissonette, 1 1-1 3; Brogna, 1 1-2 3; Chevalier, 0 0-0 0; Busch, 0 0-1 0.

Totals: 18 11-20 49


Essex (8-11)

Mulcahy, 0 5-6 5; Valley, 0 2-4 2; Carton, 7 7-8 23; Barnes, 0 0-0 0; McGrath, 2 0-0 4; Olsen, 0 0-0 0; Warren, 0 0-0 0; Salerno, 2 2-4 6; Forbes, 1 0-2 2; Trick, 0 0-0 0; Goodrich, 0 0-0 0.

Totals: 12 16-24 42


CVU           14   9  13  13  – 49

Essex        13  13   7    9  – 42

Around Town

Feb. 23, 2012



Pre-registration for fall kindergarten has begun. If your child will be 5 years old by Sept. 1, 2012, visit the Williston School District’s website (wsdvt.org) or call 879-5806 to start the process. Kindergarten registration will be held April 4-6. Appointments can be scheduled via phone or online beginning March 12.



The deadline to register to vote for the Town Meeting and Presidential Preference Primary on March 6 is 5 p.m. on Feb. 29. Requests for additions to the checklist can be picked up at the Williston Town Clerk’s Office (7900 Williston Road) during regular office hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.). You may also call 878-5121 for a mailed application.

A constitutional amendment was passed by a statewide vote in 2010 allowing 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the General Election in November to vote in the Presidential Preference Primary. In order to vote, you still must register by 5 p.m. on Feb 29 at the Town Clerk’s Office.

Absentee/early ballots are now available at the Town Clerk’s Office. For anyone wishing to cast his or her ballot prior to March 6, stop by the Town Clerk’s Office and vote in person or call 878-5121 to have a ballot mailed to you. All ballots must be received by the close of the polls on March 6 in order to be counted.



In Williston, The Vermont Technical College will offer a four-year bachelor of science program in aviation.

The Times Argus of Barre-Montpelier said the college has received approval for the program, professional pilot technology, from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Applications for the fall semester are being accepted.

The college said retirements in the aviation industry are expected to surge during the next decade and the demand for pilots, engineers, technicians and information specialists is expected to be high.

Graduates of the Vermont program will be eligible for direct access to jobs and internships at airports and Federal Aviation Administration facilities.

—Associated Press



The Williston Recreation Department is now taking registrations for spring lacrosse. Players may register at the Williston Town Clerk’s office (7900 Williston Road). The league features limited enrollment and registrations will be taken on a first come first served basis until closed.

Registration is being accepted for the following age groups: third and fourth grade boys, fifth and sixth grade boys, fifth and sixth grade girls, seventh and eighth grade boys, and seventh and eighth grade girls.

The league would also like to field a third and fourth grade girls team but is searching for a coach.

To express interest in coaching or playing, contact Parks and Recreation at 878-1239 or finnegank@willistontown.com.



One member of the 2012 graduating class at Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg will receive a full four-year scholarship to pay for tuition and fees at the college of his or her choice, thanks to a donation from the Stiller Family Foundation. The creation of the Stiller Family Foundation Scholarship Fund was announced Monday by Christine Stiller, president of the Stiller Family Foundation; Sean McMannon, CVU principal; and Stuart Comstock-Gay, president & CEO of the Vermont Community Foundation.

The Stiller Family Foundation created the fund through a donation to the Vermont Community Foundation. According to a news release, the scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior at CVU whose high school cumulative grade point average is between 2.3 and 2.9. The ideal recipient “will be a student who puts in a good effort, has been a late bloomer in high school, and has the potential to blossom further in college.” The fund guidelines state that an eligible student should be able to show a relatively upward trend in his or her grades and academic engagement during his or her high school career, the release said.

Eligible students are required to apply in order to be considered for the scholarship. Applications are available at the CVU Guidance Department or online at www.cvuhs.org.



In Berlin, Vt., a Vermont woman who police say attempted to pass a fraudulent prescription in Williston on Jan. 27 has been charged with felony prescription fraud for the third time in less than a month.

State police say 29-year-old Deborah Sanderson of Montpelier was arrested Feb. 4 at a Wal-Mart pharmacy in Berlin. Police say she was in possession of several blank and filled-in prescriptions that came from a Plainfield health center.

Officials say Sanderson was also charged with prescription fraud on Jan. 13 at pharmacy in Waitsfield, and that she is expected to be charged for the fraudulent prescription attempt in Williston.

—Associated Press



When winter finally arrives, the snow will pile up along roadsides. As a result, the Williston Fire Department is asking neighborhood residents and businesses to remove the snow surrounding fire hydrants on their property.

The preferred clearance is a minimum of 18 inches. This service will enable firefighters to quickly locate and use the hydrant in the event of a fire — saving time that could lead to less property loss and possibly help save a life.

If you have any questions, call the Williston Fire Department at 878-5622.



Williston Little League T-ball, baseball, softball and Babe Ruth registration is available online at www.eteamz.active.com/wllbaseball. Registration deadline for a lower rate is March 1. Call Mark Gagne with any questions at 879-3281.



The Chittenden South Supervisory Union has publicly funded prekindergarten for children between the ages of 3 and 5 who reside in the towns of Williston, St. George, Charlotte, Hinesburg and Shelburne.

Publicly funded prekindergarten is defined as six to 10 hours per week of developmentally appropriate early learning experiences that are based on Vermont’s Early Learning Standards.

Prekindergarten education is limited to the academic year. (September 2012-June 2013). Applications for the 2012-13 school year are due March 12, 2012. For more information, contact Wendy Clark at 383-1235, wclark@cssu.org, or visit the Chittenden South Supervisory Union Website (www.cssu.org).



The parking ban in Williston began Dec. 1 and remains in effect until April 1, between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. During those hours, vehicles cannot be parked on any town street or highway. The penalty for a violation is a $25 fine. The penalty for committing another parking violation within 30 days is $50.


Grid street gridiron

Planning commission tackles Williston gridlock

Feb. 23, 2012

By Luke Baynes

Observer staff


The ability of the town to assess transportation impact fees in lieu of a portion of construction costs for several potentially significant development projects was at the crux of Tuesday’s Williston Planning Commission meeting.

Among the projects discussed was a series of grid streets on the west side of Vermont 2A in the Taft Corners Zoning District that would have the desired effect of alleviating traffic congestion in the most gridlocked area of Williston.

The series of proposed grid streets — known in local zoning parlance as the “six-party agreement,” because of the number of interested parties involved — would potentially mitigate the option many locals exercise when exiting the Hannaford supermarket on Marshall Avenue by bypassing the rapidly changing traffic signal at the intersection of Vermont 2A and Marshall Avenue/Maple Tree Place and taking the circuitous route on Harvest Lane to Williston Road and points beyond.

The grid street vision had its genesis in a project spearheaded by J.L. Davis Realty for the development of the “Lot 30” property adjacent to the Ponderosa Steakhouse on Vermont 2A. Among the tenants lined up by J.L. Davis for the non-finalized mixed-use complex are Verizon Wireless and Panera Bread.

Also involved in the grid street discussions is CVS/Pharmacy, headquartered in Woonsocket, R.I., which has entered into a purchase and sale agreement with local business owner Arlo Cota to buy the property on Vermont 2A that has been occupied by Cota’s Imported Car Center Auto Sport for the past 35 years.

The conceptualized street plan would extend the eastern entrance of Hannaford — which currently dead-ends just behind the store — to Wright Avenue. Bishop Avenue would be eliminated and would be replaced with a road more equidistant from Marshall and Wright avenues that would contain traffic-friendly curb cuts.

Longer-term, Trader Lane — currently forming a short connection from the Hannaford parking lot to Marshall Avenue — would be extended north and intersect Williston Road east of the Texas Roadhouse restaurant.

“We’re going to get a dedicated public street,” said Williston Director of Planning and Zoning Ken Belliveau of the Lot 30 proposal, “and here’s the linchpin: we understand the value of that street as being more than just to the benefit of the developer. The developer needs the street because they need to get access.

“However, there’s a benefit that the town gets as well,” Belliveau continued. “It’s going to improve the flow of traffic in the area, and that’s the rationale of why they would get a credit against the impact fees.”

When asked by Planning Commission member Kevin Batson about whether it would be wiser to delay the decision on transportation impact fee eligible projects until the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission has had a chance to present its anticipated regional traffic study, Belliveau responded: “My viewpoint on the grid streets is that the grid streets have been on the town’s radar screen for years. Now’s the time to move forward as best we can, and I think it would be in our interest to do so.”

Also included among the considerations by the Planning Commission for inclusion in the proposed amendments to the town’s improvement projects eligible for transportation impact fee funding are a connector road forming a link between Talcott Road and the Zephyr Road extension to be built as part of the planned Finney Crossing project, and a proposed intersection improvement where James Brown Drive meets Vermont 2A.

The Commission unanimously voted to bring the transportation impact fee eligible projects to a public hearing, which is tentatively scheduled for March 20.