June 22, 2018

PHOTOS: Redhawks football

Observer photos by Shane Bufano

Saturday’s Spirit Day game against Essex High School was a nail-biter, with the Hornets narrowly defeating the Redhawks 33-26.


Reading, Writing & Deceit

By Michael S. Goldberger

Special to the Observer


“The Words,” directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, is a story inside a story, and then for good measure, enveloped in yet another story…all of them pretty much wrapped up in the same conundrum: What price glory? But that’s just scratching the surface of this multi-layered contemplation, full of swell ideas but a bit too unwieldy in its presentation.

First meet Rory Jansen, portrayed by Bradley Cooper, only a few years out of college and distressed that he still hasn’t written The Great American Novel. Nope…the literati have made no comparisons of his work to Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” or Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”… not yet. Well, at least he has a supportive wife.

Too bad he can’t say the same for his dad, a successful manufacturer of widgets who wishes his dreamy offspring would do that thing most offensively disparaging to aspiring young authors. In other words, “get a real job.” Pressure mounts. Gosh, it’s not Rory’s fault that, after graduation, he just couldn’t seem to find his way to the Novel Factory.

It gets worse. Self doubt, the ogre that changes the author’s mantra from “I’m great” to “maybe I’m just a mediocre hack” rears its ugly head. The ego agonizes. The idea of just being part of the audience instead of the grand influence is anathema. So, as is usually the case in such parables, Rory must decide what to do when a shortcut presents itself.

If you’re a writer, morally it’s far more egregious than a baseball great taking steroids, or a decorated combat veteran accepting credit for a fallen comrade’s bravery. Think of it as a found package with that most detestable, unthinkable and shameful word stenciled on it: Plagiarism. Devil-sent, there’s no mistake about it if you open it and use it. None!

You are a fraud, a phony, a mountebank….everything that, as a writer, you’ve tacitly taken an oath to revile. You’re no better than the next guy, probably worse. Not only common and unremarkable, you’re a hypocrite. Oh, mother of mercy, the shame of it all. That is, if you get caught. Hey, don’t be so rash. Haven’t others gotten away with it?

Imperiously above it all, posing these multifarious questions of ethics is Dennis Quaid‘s Clay Hammond, the famous author of the allegory in question, reading selections of his tale to a rapt body of fans. And, just to add another stratum of inquiry into the whys and wherefores of literary ambition and success, enters the alluring Daniella (Olivia Wilde)

A Columbia grad student who inveigles her way back stage and soon wins the scribe’s eyes and ears, her intentions aren’t quite clear, maybe not even to herself. But whatever they are, a dusting of the room surely would find traces of power, lust, skepticism and fear. She wants to see where he writes. The, uh, interrogation moves to his apartment.

Ahem. With this bit of sexual tension tossed on, what was slightly convoluted now gets a mite bulky. And maybe too difficult to understand for some audiences if you consider a recent poll showing that nearly two out of three voters in Ohio and North Carolina aren’t sure who was more responsible for killing Bin Laden, the President or Mitt Romney.

In any case, this is more philosophical and thought provoking than it is artistically adept. But truth is, I’d be hard put to suggest how the directors might have made their cogitation on the vagaries of literary pursuit more accessible, and I know it was Mr. Obama who had the aforementioned terrorist leader eliminated. It is in the movie’s nature to ramble.

Additionally, while Bradley Cooper’s troubled protagonist is just barely credible enough for the story’s purposes, his performance is emblematic of some rather average acting performances. The exception is Jeremy Irons’s contribution as The Old Man. After a slow start, his compelling character proves central to all the quandaries being mulled.

Also helping save “The Words’s” most modest fortunes is the burning mystery at the heart of it all. At the promise of deep divulgences, the more patient of us have invested some emotion in the players. Sludge gumming the works or not, we want to know how this all came to be and how it might be resolved. We figure there has to be more to this.

Hence, the bemused audience that let me share their space wasn’t in a terrible hurry to leave once the closing credits rolled…speculating, as did I, that there might be a postscript before reel’s end. But, despite being inherently intriguing and winning my vote for the year’s best middling effort thus far, “The Words” is nothing to write home about.

“The Words,” rated PG-13, is a CBS Films release directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal and stars Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Jeremy Irons. Running time: 97 minutes 

EVERYDAY GOURMET: Toast the school year

 By Kim Dannies

Now that our summer groove has ground to a halt, it’s time to pull out a few tricks to keep the gang moving forward with the school routine. It’s called “breakfast for dinner,” a loving and revered tradition among desperate moms. Baked Blueberry French Toast is just the right amount of wrong on a busy school night. It’s a fun treat for kids to make and eat, and it will morph a feeble C- dinner effort to the honor roll. Just make sure to serve a big mint-studded fresh fruit salad alongside to keep you out of the principal’s office.


Baked Blueberry French Toast

Spray a 9×12-inch baking dish with vegetable spray. Line the pan with six supermarket sesame steak rolls. Mix together 6 eggs with 1/2 cup of milk. Add small pinches of cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Pour over the rolls and set 15 minutes or even overnight. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 425-degree oven for 15 minutes, then add Crumble Topping and bake for 15 minutes more. Serve with Blueberry Maple Syrup; serves 4.

Crumble Topping: combine 1/2 cup cold butter bits, 3/4 cup of flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of crushed walnuts.

Blueberry Maple Syrup: in a glass container combine 1 cup of Vermont maple syrup with 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries. Cover with plastic wrap. Zap in microwave for 2 minutes.

Pump the nutrition: A nice alternative is to add pizza fillings such as cheese, sausage, and spinach to the inside of the rolls and proceed with egg mixture, leaving out the spices and crumble topping, for a calzone-style baked toast. To serve, top with warm marinara sauce.


Fresh Fruit Salad

Your family will eat more fruit if it is cut up. Kids love toothpicks, so stud your salad with picks and let them have at it. Start with a ripe cantaloupe melon. Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Slice into wedges, then slide a knife along the base of each wedge to release it from the rind. Chop into chunks. Add to a serving bowl along with store-prepped pineapple, green grapes, and raspberries. Top with freshly chopped mint.


Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France.  She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three twenty-something daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.

CVU Sports Schedule

Cross Country

Saturday: Divided Squads at U-32 Invitational (East Montpelier), 10 a.m.

Also at Manchester, N.H. Invitational, time tba

Tuesday: at Burlington High, 4 p.m.

Field Hockey

Saturday: at Middlebury Union High, 10 a.m.

Tuesday: BURLINGTON HIGH, 4 p.m.


Saturday: at St. Johnsbury Academy, 1 p.m.

Boys Soccer

Friday: at Mount Mansfield Union, 4:30 p.m.

Monday: at Harwood Union (Duxbury), 4:30 p.m.

Girls Soccer

Saturday: at Mount Mansfield Union High, 10 a.m.

Tuesday: COLCHESTER HIGH, 4:30 p.m.

CVU soccer girls in strength of schedule

The defending Division 1 champion Champlain Valley Union High girls soccer team, undefeated and unscored upon in its first four contests, got into a possibly tougher patch in the schedule Wednesday (after the Observer’s press time) when the Essex High Hornets came calling to Redhawk Hill in Hinesburg.

CVU travels to Mount Mansfield Union on Saturday at 10 a.m., then returns home Tuesday to play host to Colchester High with rival South Burlington High rolling into town next Friday.

Coach Brad Parker’s Redhawks racked up a Spirit Day 5-0 victory over Milton on Saturday morning and in their first four games have fired in 18 goals while allowing nada at the other end.

—Mal Boright, Observer correspondent

CVU boys soccer team getting in some road time

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

With Tuesday’s rain-induced switch of a key contest with Essex High from Tuesday at home to Wednesday at the Hornets’ nest in Essex Junction, the Champlain Union High boys soccer team opened a run of three straight road games.

After visits to Mount Mansfield Union on Friday and Harwood Union on Monday, coach T. J. Mead and his Redhawks will return home on Sept. 27 to meet Rutland High in a match previously postponed by weather.

After that, the team faces road games at Brattleboro Union and Colchester High.

The ‘Hawks took a 2-0-1 record to Essex on Wednesday (after the Observer’s press time), following a 1-1 tie at highly regarded Burlington High on Saturday afternoon.

The contest was scoreless until BHS took a 1-0 lead with about 10 minutes remaining in regulation time. The equalizer, about a minute later, came from CVU’s Noah Lieberman, Joe Castano getting the assist.

CVU had an 11-8 advantage in shots on goal.

Last Wednesday, the Redhawks, playing at home, blasted past Harwood Union 8-1 as Shane Haley uncorked three goals plus an assist, while Lieberman pitched in with three assists.

CVU harriers divide for two meets Saturday

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent 

The Champlain Valley Union High cross-country team will have runners in two meets on Saturday—one in Manchester, N.H. to test the New England field and also at U-32 in East Montpelier.

Last Saturday, coach Scott Bliss’ defending New England champion girls scored a solid victory in the Burlington High Invitational, while the boys took fourth place.

In the 15-team girls event, Taylor Spillane came in second behind defending Vermont champion Ellie Purrier of Richford High. Purrier posted a winning time of 18 minutes and five seconds, with Spillane at18:35.

Right behind Spillane were teammates Autumn Eastman (18:48) in third and Julienne Devita (20:02) in fifth. Redhawks Emma Putre and Abby Keim took 12th and 13th.

CVU had 35 points, while runner-up Essex High had 104.

The fourth-place boys were led by sixth place finisher Nick Bouton with a time of 17:26. Jared Keyes was 13th and Chase Weaver 17th as the boys totaled 100 points to 63 for first place Essex.

Road tests on CVU field hockey schedule

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

After ending a scoring draught Saturday with a 2-1 Spirit Day victory over visiting Essex High, the Champlain Valley Union High field hockey team headed down Route 116 for Bristol and Mount Abraham Union on Wednesday to test a solid Eagles combine.

The Redhawks will then be back on the asphalt Saturday for a 10 a.m. confrontation in Middlebury against traditional power Middlebury Union High.

The next home game is on Tuesday, when Burlington High comes to the Redhawks’ cozy hillside nest (4 p.m.).

Shutout for five consecutive halves and trailing Essex 1-0, CVU’s junior midfielder Robin Powell was the great zero breaker on Saturday when she popped home a goal following a penalty corner just under three minutes into the second half. Emma Griesser drew an assist.

“I was there at the right time,” said a happy Powell after the game.

The winning tally came with 19:30 to go and was scored by junior Katie Arms, her third goal of the campaign.

“Katie made it happen,” said CVU coach Kate McDonald.

Essex’s best chance to tie the game came with just over a minute remaining, when an Essex crossing pass rolled in front of the cage, but the Redhawks’ Jenna Cloutier was on the case and protecting the net while goalie Evangeline Dunphy worked the other side.

Dunphy, with her specialty kick saves, had three first-half stops before Essex got its lone goal a little over six minutes before intermission, when Sierra Villemaire launched a shot out of a crowd into the left corner.

CVU had an edge in territorial play in the first half, as Emily O’Brien and Kathryn Loucks led the midfield and backfield crew in keeping control of  the action. But CVU was held off the scoreboard until Powell struck.

It was the 2-1-1 Redhawks’ first score since Arms deposited a pair in the 2-0 opening day win at Colchester High.

Redhawks seek win on the road Saturday in St. Jay

Redhawk Brandon Murakami hangs onto the ball during Saturday’s Spirit Day game against Essex High School. The Hornets narrowly defeated the Redhawks 33-26. (Observer photo by Shane Bufano)

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

After narrowly succumbing to Essex High’s relentless air assault last Saturday, coach Jim Provost and his 2-1 Champlain Valley Union High football team will head for the Northeast Kingdom Saturday to meet the 1-2 St. Johnsbury Academy Hilltoppers.

“They are kind of a mystery,” Provost said Monday of his gridders’ next foe.

St. Johnsbury blasted Spaulding High of Barre 32-14 on Saturday for its initial victory of the campaign. But on the previous Saturday at their field, the Hilltoppers got squashed 42-0 by Burlington High, a team CVU popped 33-13 at home in the season opener.

“They (St. Jay) thumped Spaulding pretty good, so we have a lot to get right this week,” Provost said, recalling that the Hilltoppers came to CVU last year and put up a scrap before finally bowing.

Provost said he looks for St. Johnsbury to “mix it up a lot on offense.”

However, the Redhawks and their road followers are unlikely to see the massive air mail special delivery offense with which 3-0 Essex filled the air Saturday, laying a nerve-wracking 33-26 loss on the ‘Hawks that left players and spectators alike with strained necks from looking up for almost three hours.

And up there was where Hornets’ senior quarterback Joseph Picard operated, throwing 48 passes and completing 26 for 403 yards and five touchdowns. It was a blitz in every sense of the word.

“Actually, our defense played pretty well once we got past some missed assignments that resulted in three touchdowns,” said Provost.

By most accounts, the game provided an enthralling afternoon for spectators and players alike, along with more hair loss for the coaches.

On its first play after stopping an early first-period CVU 64-yard ground-pounding march at its 16, Picard unloaded a first down 84-yard pass and run bomb to sophomore wide receiver Cody Greene for the first score of the game. Tyler Warren kicked the point after.

Moments later, after the Hornets got the ball back on the first of three interceptions by linebacker Ryan Forbes, Picard went two-for-two, covering 38 yards to score, the pay dirt pitch a 13-yarder to Warren, who added the point. The score stood 14-0 with almost four minutes remaining in the first reel.

It looked like an impending blowout, but having now experienced the Essex quick-strike aerial circus, the Redhawks reached deep for their defensive stubborness and went to work, outscoring Essex the remainder of the game.

CVU quarterback Steele DuBrul passed 26 yards to Ryan Beaudry just before the end of the period and Max Whitcomb knocked the extra point through the wickets. Just moments later, a Brad Bissonette interception (one of five for the CVU defense) gave the Redhawks the ball at the Essex 31, and it took just four plays for halfback Alex Bulla (20 carries, 67 yards and two catches for 20 yards) to smash into the end zone from the 10. Whitcomb again booted the point.

From then on the game was two for the seesaw, Essex going in front 20-14 by halftime on a 26-yard Picard scoring pitch to the pesky and elusive Greene (six catches for 166 yards, three touchdowns).

Early in the third period, on the third play following the second half kickoff, CVU linebacker Jason Cora picked off a Picard pass and got the ball to the Essex 24. Just three plays later, DuBrul bolted into the end zone from the 7 to deadlock the score at 20.

Essex responded with a 75-yard sortie, Picard hitting running back James Olsen with a 15-yard six-point pop for the touchdown, Warren got the point and Essex led, 27-20.

It was the score that gave Essex the lead for good, but at the time who was to know, especially after DuBrul, his team backed up to its own 2-yard line and facing a second down. He sneaked into the line, burst into the open, turned on the flat-out gear and romped 98 yards for his second touchdown of the day and sixth in three games.

DuBrul during the contest carried the pigskin 27 times for 259 yards. For the season, he has stepped his way to 636 yards, while passing for another 305 yards and three scores

A try for a two-point conversion after a 15-yard penalty failed by a foot or two when Beaudry caught DuBrul’s pass but was nailed just shy of the end zone.

In the fourth quarter, after an exchange of punts, Essex put up its final score on a 39-yard Picard to Greene hookup.

Down by seven after Essex failed to pass for a two-point conversion, CVU got one last good opportunity when Beaudry pulled down a Picard first down pass to give CVU the ball at the Essex 13 with four minutes and 39 seconds left. DuBrul charged to the 8 on first down, but a third down roll out pass to the right side was intercepted by the ever-present Forbes, who made a leaping grab of the ball. Essex then ran out the remaining 3:09.

Provost praised the work of his lines against the beefy Essex front set (roster has four players 260 pounds or more). Co-captains Harvey Ottinger and Alec Distler spent the afternoon swapping muscles in a lengthy contest that had 147 offensive plays, 77 by Essex.


AllEarth Renewables named to Inc. 500 list

Inc. magazine has included the Williston-based AllEarth Renewables in its annual Inc. 500|5000, a ranking of the nation’s fastest growing private companies.

AllEarth Renewables ranked at number 148, and was the ninth-fastest growing energy company nationwide.

“We are honored to be an Inc. 500 business, which recognizes our company’s ability to grow in a highly competitive solar industry, while remaining committed to the core-values that has us working day-in-and-day-out toward a more renewable energy future,” said David Blittersdorf, CEO of AllEarth Renewables, in a statement.

Vermont Tech hires director of admissions

Jessica Van Deren, a recruitment and enrollment specialist with marketing experience, joined Vermont Tech in late August as director of admissions. A native of Vermont, Van Deren most recently served as Director of Admissions for Union Institute and University.

Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel raises money for Special Olympics Vermont

Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel recently held a month-long Olympic donation event, and the store and its customers collectively raised $12,000 for Special Olympics Vermont. With the theme “Support, Shop and Save” customers were challenged to make a gold, silver, or bronze level donation, and in return received a discount on their purchase. Lenny’s also made a contribution every time Team USA won a medal during the 2012 Olympic Games.

“We are blown away by the generosity of our customers and this $12,000 donation far exceeded our expectations,” said Lenny’s co-owner Mark McCarthy in a statement.

VSAC receives continued funding to assist public service lawyers

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation received a grant of $51,515 from the U.S. Department of Justice to go toward student loan forgiveness for attorneys who work as state prosecutors or state or federal public defenders in Vermont.

Attorneys in public service carry comparable education debt to those in private practice, but often earn much less. The Justice Department funding is designed to make it more affordable for attorneys to work as prosecutors and public defenders, and requires recipients to continue in those positions for at least three years following receipt of the aid.

VSAC administers the program at no charge so that all of the funding can go to eligible recipients. By law, half the dollars must go to prosecutors and half to public defenders.

NEFCU names new retail services manager

New England Federal Credit Union announced recently that Susan Wainer has accepted the position of retail services manager. Wainer has a history in retail banking with People’s United Bank/Chittenden Bank, most recently serving as market manager responsible for branches in South Burlington, Williston, and Essex.

Two Vermont colleges rank high

Champlain College and Vermont Technical College were recently named among the best regional colleges in the north by U.S. News & World Report as part of their annual Best Colleges rankings. Champlain College was ranked at number 15 and Vermont Tech came in at number 33 of the 370 colleges on the list.

The category includes New England, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The Regional Colleges ranking methodology is based on a number of key measures including peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

Husky wins legal department award

Husky Injection Molding Systems’s legal/intellectual property team — led by Williston resident Rick Musgrave — received one of InsideCounsel’s top ten awards. The “InsideCounsel 10” award recognizes the country’s most innovative legal departments. Husky’s global legal/intellectual property team also includes Essex resident Carolyn Jenko.

Shelburne Vineyard wines take awards in two competitions

A Shelburne Vineyard wine received top honors — Best Red Wine in Show —from the 2012 International Cold Climate Wine Competition for the second year in a row. This year, the top honor went to the Marquette Reserve. Earlier in the summer, the winery won a Best in Class award for its Duet Ice Wine at the 2012 Indiana International Wine Competition, known as Indy.

Shelburne Vineyard won a total of four medals in the Cold Climate Wine Competition. The same Indy competition also recognized Shelburne’s 2011 Cayuga White and Vermont Riesling with Gold Medals

Make-A-Wish Vermont announces new CEO

Make-A-Wish Vermont recently announced the appointment of Leslie D. Williams as the President and CEO of the Vermont Chapter. Williams, a South Burlington resident, has 25 years of experience as an administrator and a background in healthcare, non-profit management and community involvement.

The Vermont Chapter also announced the appointment of a new vice chair to the board, Williston resident Julie Dale, who has served on the board of Make-A-Wish Vermont since 2011. The organization also announced new secretary Peter Young and three new board members: Corey Hevrin; Barbara Harris; and Cari Kelley.

DiGiulian selected as Saint Michael’s ice hockey coach

Damian DiGiulian, a veteran local college and prep coach, was hired as the Saint Michael’s College men’s ice hockey head coach. DiGiulian, who has also coached in the USA Hockey development system, began his duties in late August.

During the past three seasons, DiGiulian was the head coach and director of hockey for the Rice Memorial High School prep program, which he created in 2009.

Northeast Delta Dental Supports Vermont Oral Health Programs

Northeast Delta Dental Foundation awarded grants totaling more than $100,000 to Vermont oral health programs in the first half of 2012 to provide oral health education and increase access to dental care. Grant recipients included: Center for Technology, Essex; Community Health Center of Burlington; Head Start Early Head Start Tooth Tutor Program (statewide); Ronald McDonald House Charities; Springfield Medical Care Systems; Vermont Community Foundation; Vermont Dental Hygienists’ Association; Vermont Free Adult Dental Care Day; Vermont State Dental Society; and Vermont Technical College.

Bodette joins Otter Creek

Cheryl Bodette has joined Otter Creek Awnings, Sunrooms & Custom Closets, Inc. as the new marketing manager. Bodette is a native Vermonter and Milton resident. She has an extensive background in marketing, sales and management and is an active volunteer with Lyric Theatre Company.

Hannaford launches program that supports schools

Schools in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York and Massachusetts will benefit from a program that provides them with money for items such as new computers, musical instruments, sports gear, field trips and playground equipment.

Hannaford Helps Schools will make cash donations to local K-12 schools when customers purchase eligible products between Sept. 9 and Dec. 1. As part of the program, customers receive three “school dollars”—equivalent to cash—for every four participating products purchased. School dollars can be turned in to the school or placed in special collection bins at any Hannaford location.

Vermont Green Building Network Recognizes Vermont’s Greenest Buildings

The Vermont Green Building Network recently announced the recipients for Vermont’s Greenest Buildings Awards, which have the lowest documented energy use of all award submissions. Some of the awards include:

The Putney School Field House, Vermont’s greenest commercial building

David Pill’s Charlotte house, Vermont’s greenest residential building

Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity house in Charlotte, The People’s Choice Award for best representing the principles of sustainability.

WCAX-TV News hires Steve Bottari

Steve Bottari has joined WCAX as a morning TV anchor and reporter. Bottari will join Molly Smith and Gary Sadowsky weekdays from 5 to 7 a.m.

“It’s an honor to be part of the community,” said Bottari. “We will keep the region informed with news, sports and weather and have a little fun as viewers start their day.”

Bottari holds his master’s degree from Syracuse University and received his undergraduate degree from Fairfield University. A native New Englander, Steve grew up in Chelmsford, Mass.

Red Cross announces new disaster services staff (w/ pics)

The Vermont & New Hampshire Upper Valley Region of the American Red Cross has announced that Larry Kupferman and Brent Garrow have joined the staff. Each will assume responsibilities related to the delivery of disaster preparedness and response services provided by the American Red Cross.

Larry Kupferman will serve as the coordinator for the soon to be launched Local Disaster Shelter Initiative. Brent Garrow has been hired as a deputy chief response officer with responsibilities that include the oversight of assets and disaster volunteers servicing the northern half of our region, as well as planning and administrative duties for the entire Vermont & the New Hampshire Upper Valley Region.

Vermont businesses report jobs created in July

The Vermont Department of Labor announced recently that on a seasonally adjusted basis, the state economy added 2,500 more jobs in the month of July. The seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for July 2012 increased by three-tenths of a percent from the prior month, to 5 percent, placing Vermont as the fifth lowest unemployment rate in the nation. The national unemployment rate increased by one-tenth of one percent to 8.3 percent over the same time period.  The rise in Vermont’s unemployment rate was consistent with the regional trend as other northeastern states also saw increases to their unemployment rates.