November 26, 2014

Life in Williston: Memory lane

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By Karen Wyman

I can’t believe it’s almost August and how quickly this summer is flying by. I’m not really sad though, because as some of you may remember from one of my previous columns, I adore fall. When I thought of this sentiment, I realized it has been almost one year since I began writing “Life in Williston.” I decided to reflect on a few of the past topics to see if and how life has changed and to give updates on some of the anecdotes.

First, I must address the question about a past column that a lot of people are asking me these days: Yes, the patio is finished! The sad news is the beloved garden that the girls and I planted is now wilting away due to the contaminated compost. I didn’t see that coming when I spent the extra money on local compost to ensure a healthy organic garden. On the upside, I no longer regret falling prey to that early spring heat wave and getting an early jump on summer chores. As you all know, we are still having a gorgeous summer, so I didn’t miss out at all by frantically working through that first warm front. I wish I could get a head start like that every year; it definitely made for a relaxing summer. (Sans patio construction of course!)

The other big topic that people ask for updates on is the puppy situation. Luckily, the girls have backed down on wanting a puppy since they found out that dogs don’t neatly use a litter box like our cat does. They have now moved onto begging us for an iPad. Although we will not be getting them one anytime soon, at least it is better than the “I Poo’d” that a puppy would offer us! Speaking of the girls, they successfully survived the Kindergarten screening process and have officially found out who their teacher is for this fall. Excited doesn’t even begin to describe their demeanor! When school starts we will sadly say goodbye to their much-loved daycare center, but we are lucky to have found a dear neighbor who runs an amazing home program which will better fit their after-school needs. I am also happy to say that their birthday party went off without a hitch, and there were absolutely no tears when the party ended without a Justin Bieber appearance!

I am delighted to report that there is now an official committee to save the historic barn, and I will gladly keep you apprised as we move forward with this important venture. I’m also proud to state that I am no longer addicted to Words with Friends. However, I am now addicted to Pinterest.

As I browse through my previous columns, it seems some things just haven’t changed at all. My resolution to ban reality television from the house lasted two weeks—ironically, the same amount of time my commitment to exercise lasted. The library continues to be a mainstay in my girls’ lives (aww, my very first column!), and I still love my own book club/ladies’ nights. I also maintain my weekly Williston outings with my girlfriend—shopping and lunching around Williston will never get old. Speaking of shopping, we are all still waiting for confirmation of whether or not Target is coming to Williston, and that cool red building on Talcott Road that I had so many visions for is still empty.

While I begin my second year of writing, I look forward to all that lies ahead for potential topics.  Becoming involved in the school system and the extra-curricular activities that go along with having school-aged children, (Little League, Girl Scouts’, dance classes, religious education classes, etc.) is sure to offer many stories. I also hope to embrace the upcoming proposed growth of our town, such as an Irish pub, Panera, the CVS, a car wash, and whatever else decides to grace Williston. My personal goal is to volunteer more in the community and in turn, encourage others to do the same. I figure the busier I am, the less guilty I will feel sitting down to watch a “Real Housewives” marathon. Now if only my treadmill was near the television!

Karen Wyman has been a Williston resident for seven years, and lives with her husband and twin 5-year-old daughters.

This Week’s Popcorn: “Katy Perry: Part of Me”

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A Star is Born: The Rock Version

 

By Michael S. Goldberger

Special to the Observer

 

A point of disclosure before reviewing directors Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz’s  rock tour documentary, “Katy Perry: Part of Me.” While I’m old enough to be her father, the subject, born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, is my latest fantasy heartthrob. Oh, it’s OK. As always, I’ve cleared it with my wife. You see, I pick a new Dulcinea every decade or so.

And my real-life fantasy has come to be rather understanding of the syndrome, not unlike the tolerance William Powell’s film wife, Irene Hervey, demonstrated in “Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid” (1948). Back when we first met, she inherited Jill St. John, who had been preceded by Katherine Hepburn and Ava Gardner before her.

Miss Perry at long last unseats Kim Basinger. Call me fickle. To be frank, she was getting to be quite a handful. Just ask Alec. But in any case, on a mission to confirm this momentous changing of the chimera, mindful that I was the oldest teenybopper at the Bijou, I’m happy to report that Miss Perry has cleared the first hurdle of her application.

Buoyant, informative and entertaining in the usual backstage, entre nous style indigenous to concert tour movies, all that remains to be ascertained is whether or not the award winning singer is as genuine, forthcoming and ingenuous as her fluffy image would have you believe. It’s in essence what has so endeared her to a generation of youth, worldwide.

Interview snippets from fans around the globe, usually dressed in the signature, candy-colored/kaleidoscopic costumes popularized by their idol, explain it is her individualism, her mantra advising that it’s OK to be yourself, that’s so enamored them of her. Me? I first heard it from Steinbeck, and later, John, Paul, George and Ringo filled in the rest.

While blessed with strong, well trained pipes, she is not a really great voice…but rather, a unique emoter of her times, a Pied Piper who, in one skull session with her stage and costume people perplexedly asks, “How could something possibly be ‘too cartoony’?”  She is a whirlwind, the latest trendsetter, now challenged by the biggest gig of her life.

It’s the 52-week, 2011 international tour, a test of stamina, talent and conviction, with a glop of soap opera tossed in courtesy of her recent marriage to actor-comedian Russell Brand. In case your subscription to the “National Enquirer” has run out, that’s now kaput. At any rate, it serves to remind that each age group has its version of “A Star is Born.”

Zooming from city to city, Miss Perry invites our eavesdrop, interspersing the frenetic pace with videos recorded since her childhood. Raised in Santa Barbara, the daughter of Pentecostal ministers, she talks of an initial foray in religious music. Explaining it took her several years to become an overnight sensation, we sense her showbiz savvy.

Flirting between her iconic image of candidness and a slightly tongue-in-cheek assertion of what it takes to make the big time, she innocently giggles about the inherent appeal of a good girl gone bad. Supported by members of her staff who tell how they were pulled into the fold from obscurity, the professed idea is that she is fiercely loyal and beneficent.

Naturally, she’d also like us to believe success has not jaded her and gives the distinct impression that, alas, like the princess Audrey Hepburn portrayed in “Roman Holiday” (1953), she may be long deterred from true love allowed to prosper. And you know what? We kind of believe it, maybe because it’s partly true, but mostly because we like the idea.

But most convincing is the difficulty of upholding the mantle of celebrity…the impossible pace of pleasing one’s adoring public night after night, and the personal havoc it causes. In one instance, her marriage in question, she goes fetal on a couch whilst her handlers begin to whisper of the devastation. Childlike, she yells,” I can hear you!”

Then, like a scene we imagine Bette Davis playing, Katy pulls herself together, beckons makeup, and is in no time fully energized by the wild cheers of a thronging audience, the metronomic beat common to many of her songs drowning out all doubts. Whew…that was close. Doth greatness hang over failure by so thin a thread? We contemplate stardom.

Nothing groundbreaking, it’s nonetheless fun as Katy shows us how she has refashioned the path to an American dream that goes as far back as the Calvinists, who would applaud the goal, if not the method. Abashing and enchanting, she confides, “I kissed a girl and I liked it.” Which leaves me to admit, I’ve seen “Katy Perry: Part of Me” and I liked it.

“Katy Perry: Part of Me,” rated PG, is a Paramount Pictures release directed by Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, starring Katy Perry, her friends and associates.  Running time: 93 minutes 

Letters to the Editor

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Legislative pages sought

Attention eighth grade students. Are you interested in history, law, politics and meeting new people? Consider applying to be a legislative page. This is a six-week opportunity to get to know legislators and other pages, follow legislation and perform a service for the State of Vermont. You also get paid while doing it! For more information and letters of reference, contact Rep. Terry Macaig at [email protected] or Rep. Jim McCullough at [email protected]

— Representatives Jim McCullough and Terry Macaig Williston

Guest Column: Aurora, ‘Targets’ and the persistence of guns

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By Luke Baynes

It is no exaggeration to say that the July 20 reports of the Aurora movie theater massacre are among the most disturbing news items I’ve ever read.

The facts, as we now know them, are that during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” a masked gunman—later identified as 24-year-old James Holmes—allegedly entered the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., set off two smoke bombs, and then opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, killing at least 12 people and wounding at least 58 others.

The news is disturbing for multiple reasons.

The first and most palpable reason is the hard facts—12 dead, 58 wounded—the type of figures one is accustomed to reading in a war report.

Secondly, the news is disturbing because of how neatly it fits into an established news pattern. The Century 16 theater is now inexorably linked in the annals of history with Columbine High School, Virginia Tech and a Safeway supermarket near Tucson, Ariz.—all sites of gun-inflicted mass murders.

Yet the Aurora massacre is unique from the Columbine, Virginia Tech and Tucson shootings in that the former three incidents took place while victims and witnesses were fully engaged in “real life,” while the Aurora shootings occurred while moviegoers were sutured into the escape from reality that is the cinema, with several witnesses reporting that they initially thought the gunman was “part of the show.”

In the aftermath of the tragedy, there will undoubtedly be debate over what role, if any, fictional movie violence played in the shootings.

While it is unlikely that Holmes saw “The Dark Knight Rises” prior to its official midnight premiere in Aurora and other theaters across the country, it is highly probable that he had watched the 2008 Batman movie “The Dark Knight,” in which Heath Ledger’s Joker served as the comic book embodiment of a post-9/11 terrorist.

A similar debate occurred in 1981, after John Hinckley Jr., in an attempt to impress teen actress Jodie Foster, tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan after repeatedly watching “Taxi Driver,” Martin Scorsese’s psychotic cabbie picture, which featured Foster as an underage prostitute.

Another debate ensued in 1999, when the parents of three victims in the 1997 Heath High School shooting in West Paducah, Ky. filed a lawsuit that named among the defendants the makers and distributors of the 1995 film “The Basketball Diaries.” The lawsuit, which was dismissed in 2001, contended that 14-year-old shooter Michael Carneal was influenced by a dream sequence in “The Basketball Diaries,” in which Leonardo DiCaprio’s character shoots his teacher and several students.

The movie that immediately sprang to mind when I learned of the Aurora tragedy was not “The Dark Knight,” but rather an obscure 1968 picture called “Targets,” the debut of director Peter Bogdanovich.

I highly doubt that Holmes has seen “Targets.” Indeed, an NYU or UCLA film major could well slip through four years of schooling without ever hearing of it.

Instead, “Targets” can be viewed as a cautionary tale and a disturbingly prophetic anticipator of the wave of mass shootings of the past several decades.

Made on the cheap in 1967 for independent producer Roger Corman, but not released by Paramount Pictures until after the 1968 assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, Bogdanovich’s film was inspired by an Aug. 1, 1966 incident in which Charles Whitman, an engineering student at the University of Texas at Austin, killed his wife and mother before barricading himself atop a university building and embarking on a shooting spree, eventually killing 14 people and wounding 32 others.

“Targets” concerns a gun-obsessed insurance agent who, after emotionlessly slaughtering his family, drives to a public works facility near a Los Angeles area freeway and proceeds to pick off drivers with a high-powered rifle. The film’s conclusion takes place at a drive-in movie theater, where the audience at a horror movie premiere is confronted with real life horror when the sniper begins systematically shooting them through a hole in the movie screen.

Besides the chilling parallels to the Aurora massacre, what is most remarkable about “Targets” is how relevant its depiction of gun culture remains, more than 40 years after its release.

One of the most ironic aspects of watching movies released prior to Sept. 11, 2001 is the ease with which characters board airplanes. For example, take a scene in 1974’s “The Parallax View,” in which Warren Beatty’s character walks onto an airplane without a ticket and pays for the flight at his seat prior to thwarting an alarmingly prescient terrorist bombing.

Following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the federal government passed highly restrictive air travel regulations that continue to be enforced by the Transportation Security Administration.

Yet in the wake of the 1999 Columbine massacre, one can argue that gun control laws have become less restrictive, beginning with the 2004 expiration of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and continuing with 2008 and 2010 U.S. Supreme Court rulings that extended individuals’ firearm rights under the Second Amendment.

In “Targets,” the sniper stops by his local gun shop, writes a check for $249.60 and walks out with a high-powered rifle with a telescopic sight and two clips of ammunition. Aside from the low price tag and not having to show identification, is there anything in the scene that would be unrealistic today?

According to The Associated Press, Holmes purchased a Glock pistol on May 22 at a Gander Mountain store in Aurora, Colo. On May 28, he purchased a shotgun from Bass Pro Shops in Denver. On June 6, he returned to Bass Pro Shops in Denver and bought a Glock pistol. On June 7, he bought an AR-15 assault rifle from a Gander Mountain store in Thornton, Colo. He also purchased more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the Internet.

“All the weapons that he possessed, he possessed legally,” Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said, according to the AP report. “And all the clips that he possessed, he possessed legally. And all the ammunition that he possessed, he possessed legally.”

In 2003, director Gus Van Sant released “Elephant,” the story of a fictional high school shooting that was directly inspired by the Columbine massacre.

As the years pass and the shock from the Aurora tragedy wanes, an ambitious filmmaker might feel compelled to make a movie based on the events of July 20, 2012.

He or she needn’t bother.

“Targets” beat them to it, almost half a century ago.

Luke Baynes is a reporter for the Williston Observer and a former film critic.

Riders in the sun: Willistonian shares third place in Netherlands solar boat race

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Ben Yeh, a 160-pound Cedarville University graduate, navigates a 287-pound solar powered boat through the canals of the Netherlands as part of a six-day solar challenge that included Cedarville teammate Tim Ronco of Williston. (Photos courtesy of Tim Ronco)

By Luke Baynes

Observer staff

Tim Ronco had exactly three days to celebrate with Williston friends and family after graduating from Cedarville University with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Then, it was back to work.

With the ink on their diplomas barely dry, Ronco and 10 fellow Cedarville Yellow Jackets placed third in the Uitslagen DONG Energy Solar Challenge 2012, a six-day solar powered boat race that follows a historic ice skating route on the canals of the Frisia region of the Netherlands.

Thirty-seven teams from around the world participated in the solar boat challenge. Just one was from America.

“We are the only team from the United States that has ever participated in this event in the Netherlands,” Ronco said. “We just have a phenomenal engineering program for the size of the school.”

Cedarville University, a private Baptist school of about 3,300 students located about a half hour east of Dayton, Ohio, was a natural fit for Ronco, a graduate of Williston’s Trinity Baptist School, who said he “was always good at math and science.”

Ronco and company needed every bit of their math and science skills in the 220-kilometer solar boat race—an endurance contest that took them 14 hours, 39 minutes, 7 seconds to complete over a six-day period, with a boat that ran on two power sources: solar and battery.

“The trick is, you want to use all of your battery power,” Ronco said. “Solar power you want to use all the time—what you’re getting in you want to pump out—and then you want to also use battery power, and you want to try and be strategic, so when you cross the finish line you have nothing left in your batteries, because anything you have left in your batteries is going to be lost power.”

Cedarville’s boat, which basically resembled a floating solar panel ripped off of a roof with a hole drilled in the center for the captain, measured 26 feet long by 8 feet wide and weighed 130 kilograms (approximately 287 pounds). It cost somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000 to build and $12,000 to ship overseas.

Williston resident and recent Cedarville University graduate Tim Ronco (fourth from left in group shot) was a member of the only U.S. team to compete in a solar boat race in the Netherlands. (Courtesy photos)

The key to placing third, Ronco explained, was ramping up speed when the sun was shining and appropriately scaling back during times of cloud cover.

“You can monitor how much power your motor is consuming, and you can see how much is coming from the sun, and how much is coming from the batteries,” Ronco said.

The Cedarville team completed the solar boat race on July 14, but Ronco’s endurance contest didn’t cease when he returned stateside.

Less than 24 hours after telling the Observer his tale on July 18, Ronco was on a plane to San Diego to begin the first of three eight-month rotations with Goodrich Corp. to perform thermodynamic analysis on engine housing for the Airbus A320 family of aircrafts.

Although his lifestyle will be peripatetic for the next two years, Ronco said he will store the lessons of the solar challenge for when he eventually becomes a homeowner.

“It was a great experience,” Ronco said. “It makes me want to install solar panels on my roof.”

Big move set for Little Red Schoolhouse

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Landmark overdue for renovation

Bleak house: The St. George Schoolhouse, which has sat dormant since 1965, is set to be moved from its present location on the side of Vermont 2A to a plot adjacent to the St. George Town Offices. An extensive renovation process will accompany the move. (Observer photo by Luke Baynes)

By Luke Baynes

Observer staff

Somewhere, Jean Ankeney is smiling right now.

Ankeney, a longtime Vermont state senator from St. George, expressed a wish at the 2005 St. George Town Meeting, shortly before passing away at age 83: save the Little Red Schoolhouse.

Her wish is about to come to posthumous fruition.

On Aug. 1, the permits will go into effect to allow the relocation of the St. George Schoolhouse from a small, weeded-over plot on the side of Vermont 2A to a place of prominence adjacent to the St. George Town Offices.

“We’re trying to create a village center, so moving the schoolhouse will be an anchor for that,” said Lisa Beliveau, a member of both the St. George Selectboard and Planning Commission.

The one-room schoolhouse was constructed in 1852 and served the children of St. George until 1965.

A cursory glance from a car window to the side of Vermont 2A today will show that the schoolhouse has seen far better days.

Its red paint is chipped and fading, its roof looks ready to collapse with the next sizeable snowfall.

Part of its current state of disrepair is intentional. In anticipation of the upcoming move, an addition to the original one-room structure has been removed, as have the front steps and the brick chimney. The expansive windows, which provided light for students to read and write by in the days before the electric light bulb, have been boarded with plywood.

But Ginger Isham, whose familial connection to the schoolhouse spans generations, said the building will be painstakingly reconstructed to its former state following the move.

According to Isham, the relocation of the schoolhouse will cost approximately $30,000. She said the St. George Historic and Conservation Trust—a nonprofit organization formed in 2008 to oversee the schoolhouse relocation and renovation—has about $61,000 in its bank account, with another $32,500 or so pledged as contributions.

Lori Ring, president of the St. George Historic and Conservation Trust, said that in addition to serving as a historical museum, the schoolhouse will be made available for both public and private functions, including weddings, graduation parties, movie nights and town meetings.

“We don’t have a building that’s capable of hosting a town meeting. This will give us a building for that sort of thing,” Ring said.

The date for the Little Red Schoolhouse’s big move hasn’t been finalized, although Ring said she expects it will be sometime in August.

“We’re trying to complete the goal that (Ankeney) set for the town,” Ring said.

It appears that they’re well on their way.

Blackwood confirmed as Burlington’s attorney

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Williston resident receives unanimous approval from Burlington City Council

 

By Luke Baynes

Observer staff

It’s official: Eileen Blackwood is the new Burlington city attorney.

On July 16, a week after Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger named Blackwood, a Williston resident, as his choice for city attorney, the City Council made it official.

In a July 8 memorandum to council members, Weinberger cited Blackwood’s “extensive experience,” adding that she has “excellent skills as a listener and communicator” and a “long-standing, extensive record of service to her community.”

Blackwood, who received her Juris Doctor from Cornell Law School, has been a partner in the Hinesburg law firm Kohn Rath Blackwood & Danon LLP since 2009, when she and Beth Danon merged their Burlington practice with Roger Kohn and David Rath’s Hinesburg-based business.

A member of the Vermont Bar Association since 1987, Blackwood served as its president from Sept. 2009 to Sept. 2010.

Blackwood’s Williston ties run deep.

As a member of the Williston Planning Commission from 1990-2002, she had a front row seat for the largest population surge in the town’s history.

In July 2000, Blackwood made the front page of the Williston Whistle when she and her partner of 13 years, Lynn Goyette, became one of the first gay or lesbian couples in the nation to join in civil union, in a ceremony officiated by Justice of the Peace and Whistle co-founder Louise Ransom.

Blackwood’s appointment comes after Weinberger withdrew his nomination of Burlington-based attorney Ian Carleton, following controversy over Carleton’s close friendship with the mayor and his demand for a higher salary than prescribed by the city’s stepped pay system.

Prior to receiving unanimous confirmation by the City Council at its July 16 meeting, Blackwood offered her take on the position held by Ken Schatz since 2007.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity. Ken Schatz will leave some tough shoes to fill, but I’m very excited about the opportunity to serve the city,” Blackwood told the council.

Weinberger’s memo states that Blackwood intends to begin her work as Burlington city attorney in either the last week of August or the first week of September. It also notes that she intends to abide by the residency requirements of the job and move to Burlington.

Blackwood is the first woman to serve as Burlington city attorney.

NETS scores slam dunk at DRB meeting

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By Luke Baynes

Observer staff

A skeleton crew that barely met the quorum requirement of the Williston Development Review Board approved a request by the NETS Institute for Church Planting to add two stories of office and conference space over an existing garage.

NETS, a controlled corporation of Christ Memorial Church, is located at 999 Essex Road (Vermont 2A) in the Residential Zoning District.

Office spaces are normally not allowed in the RZD. But as Williston Senior Planner Matt Boulanger explained to the DRB at its Tuesday meeting, state law dictates that church-controlled entities enjoy a partial exemption from town zoning regulations.

“This is a zoning district where there are no commercial uses typically allowed,” Boulanger said. “One of the exemptions to that comes to us from state law, and it’s for things like churches. So under state law, you cannot limit where a church can go in your town through zoning. However, churches do need to adhere to all of the other customary, normal requirements of the zoning bylaw.”

Among the conditions of approval suggested by Boulanger in his staff notes were to dissolve a property line that currently separates the church from the garage and to slightly reconfigure the driveway.

The public hearing on the NETS proposal lasted a mere 13 minutes.

Boulanger told the Observer on Wednesday that the DRB’s deliberative executive session was also brief.

“The project was approved with no changes to staff’s proposed conditions,” Boulanger said.

Recalled beef causes salmonella outbreak in VT

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The Vermont Department of Health is warning Vermonters to heed the recall of Cargill Meat Solutions fresh ground beef products sold in Hannaford grocery stores statewide. These products have been linked to a multi-state outbreak of salmonella, including 10 cases in Vermont.

Cargill recalled nearly 30,000 pounds of ground beef dating back to May 25, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). A total of 33 cases of Salmonella were reported in the six New England states and Virginia.

Anyone who has ground beef subject to the recall in their refrigerator or freezer should throw it out.

Symptoms of foodborne illness caused by salmonella include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Salmonella can invade the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections for people with weakened immune systems or other underlying health conditions.

Anyone with questions about the recall can call the Cargill Ground Beef Recall Information Center at (888) 812-1646 or visit www.fsis.usda.gov/

Visit www.healthvermont.gov for health and food safety information

Around Town

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Local blood donors recognized

Two Williston residents recently received gallon pins from the American Red Cross. Melinda Petter has donated seven gallons and Bill Wiegner has donated 59 gallons.

Dress down and save lives on July 31

Companies all across Vermont will dress down on Tuesday, July 31 to fight back against cancer, a disease that will affect one in every three women and one in every two men in their lifetime. The American Cancer Society is inviting all Vermont businesses and their employees to take action to save lives by joining Vermont’s third annual Relay For Life Dress Down Day.

By donating $5 to the American Cancer Society, employees earn the chance to dress down at work for one day or wear purple—the color of Relay, an annual overnight signature event of the American Cancer Society—to remember or honor a loved one who has been touched by cancer.

For information about registering your worksite for Relay For Life Dress Down Day on July 31, contact Tanya Walker at your local American Cancer Society at [email protected] or 802-872-6314.

Call to artists

Artists’ Mediums in Williston is seeking additions to its Hot & Cold Exhibit, running Aug. 1 to Oct. 31. Is your artwork about the Sahara or the Sub-Arctic? Is it fiery or frigid? Bright warm colors or cool? The exhibit is looking for these opposites, so bring in your best interpretations.
All 2-D and 3-D media accepted with paperwork now through the beginning of August. Stop in or visit, www.artistsmediums.blogspot.com/p/1.html.

Sports nominees sought

The Vermont Sports Hall of Fame is seeking nominations for its inaugural class of outstanding Green Mountain athletes and sports contributors. The deadline for public nominations is Aug. 1.

The first class of athletes and contributors will be announced in early September.

To make a nomination, download the nomination form at http://vermontsportshall.com/.