July 19, 2019



James L. Fraser, 82, founder of Fraser Management Associates, Inc., investment counselor, writer and artist, died peacefully at home in Williston, on Feb. 4, 2013.

Born in 1930 in Paris, Mr. Fraser was the son of Leon and Margaret Maury Fraser of New York City and North Granville, N.Y.

He attended the Buckley School in New York City, Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Mass., Brooks School in North Andover, Mass. and Dartmouth College, graduating in 1952. While at Dartmouth, he majored in economic geography and was a Rufus Choate Scholar as well as a Senior Fellow, one of 10 seniors chosen each year for their intellectual caliber, independence of character and imaginative curiosity, and allowed to generate and control their own senior year curriculum.

Following college, Mr. Fraser married Mary Ann Gunther. He served in the Army Counter Intelligence Corps and was stationed in Tokyo toward the end of the Korean War. Receiving an honorable discharge, he moved to New York City and worked for First National City Bank. Subsequently, he worked for the brokerage firm of Hayden, Stone & Company of Glens Falls, N.Y. while living in North Granville, N.Y. with his wife and three children. In addition to his professional efforts, Mr. Fraser served the community in many ways, ranging from president of the Lion’s Club, Boy Scout leader, member and clerk of the Board of Education, and president of the volunteer fire department.

In 1961, Mr. Fraser founded the Fraser Publishing Company in Wells, Vt., which published books focusing on creativity and independent thinking as it relates to investments, speculation, socio-economics and the history of Wall Street. These books were called the Contrary Opinion Library. He also was publisher and editor of various economic and investment letters including The Neill Letter of Contrary Opinion, written by his mentor and founder of the Contrary Opinion investment philosophy, Humphrey Neill, and The Contrary Investor. Mr. Fraser also collected and sold out of print books on these topics eventually creating one of the largest collections in the U.S., much of which has been given to the Museum of American Finance.

From1963 to 2004, he was the chairman of the Contrary Opinion Forum, a gathering of investors from around the world pursuing independent thinking. The Forum, which takes place in Vermont, celebrated its 50th year in 2012.  Additionally, Mr. Fraser was the Vermont coordinator of the World Future Society for 20 years, exploring the future of Vermont with local leaders at monthly luncheons.

In 1969, Mr. Fraser moved Fraser Publishing to Burlington, where in 1971, he also founded Fraser Management Associates, Inc., a financial and investment counsel firm which employed the Contrary Opinion investment philosophy. In the late 70s, he was a columnist for U.S. News and World Report, as well as a columnist in Better Investing. While in Burlington, Mr. Fraser also served on the board of Champlain Drug and Alcohol for many years.

In  1970 he divorced, and then in 1973 married Victoria Keller Becker, an artist and administrator.

A longtime athlete, Mr. Fraser was an excellent downhill skier, he also played squash and could often be seen bicycling through Burlington to business appointments occasionally wearing a top hat. He played ice hockey until he was 66 years old.

In addition to being athletic, Mr. Fraser was a photographer and artist, creating a number of unusual drawings. He was devoted to trees of all kinds, raspberry bushes and nature in general.

Mr. Fraser was most known for the wide range of his intellectual curiosity, his optimistic perspective on the world, his ability to withstand and overcome adversity, his wonderful sense of humor, his trusting nature, kindness and generosity. His jokes at various conferences and meetings, and among friends, were eagerly anticipated.

During the last nine years of his life, Mr. Fraser was extraordinarily well cared for at home by his wife of 39 years, Victoria, and a team of devoted caregivers. Their love and tender kindness made the completion of his life full of beauty and peace.  The family would particularly like to recognize Joan Peters, Zia Emmanuel Gbau, and Louise Brown for nine years of loving attention to Jim, and caregivers Judson Kimble, Trisa Gay and April Thompson for years of high quality caretaking.

Mr. Fraser is survived by his wife, Victoria K. Fraser; son, Mark Fraser of Burlington; daughter, Maury Tooley of Arlington, Vt.; the grandson he and Victoria raised, Christopher Fraser of Boston, Mass.; additional grandchildren Travis Norton, Emily Gillis, Rebecca Tooley, Elizabeth Tooley, Meagan Tooley, and Douglas Fraser; and six great-grandchildren.

Mr. Fraser was pre-deceased by his parents and his son, Kevin Fraser.

Donations in lieu of flowers are suggested to Branch Out Burlington!, a volunteer organization that helps plant and care for Burlington’s trees. Their goal is a city graced by beautiful, healthy trees and citizens involved with the sustained conservation and growth of the urban forest that Jim loved so much. Contributions are tax-deductible. Checks should be made out to Branch Out Burlington!, C/O Margaret Skinner, 93 Howard Street, Burlington, VT 05401.

Visiting hours were held on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. A memorial service was held on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 3 p.m. in Christ Church, Presbyterian on the Redstone Campus at the University of Vermont followed by a reception. A memorial celebration event is anticipated in the summer. To send online condolences, please visit www.readyfuneral.com.

EVERYDAY GOURMET: Caribbean celebrity chefs

By Kim Dannies

Around this time of year I default to happiness. Goodbye resolutions, hello! fine food. This year, I was lucky to do it in style traveling to the Cayman Cookout with Vermont Creamery rock star Bob Reese and family. It’s the closest I’ll ever get to being “with the band,” but I’ll take it.

From the get-go, flutes of Tattinger flowed and our job was to chat up celebrity chefs Eric Ripert (Le Bernadin), Jose Andres (MiniBar) and Anthony Bourdain (well, you know). Top Chef Spike Mendelshon whipped up Asian duck and lamb loin-shank while Eleven Madison Park marvel, Daniel Humm, did a demo with strawberry gazpacho. There was a brigade of James Beard winners, each trying to out-cook the other at events held morning, noon and night. This was the Superbowl of Foodies—did I have the chops to survive six days of debauchery?

I have so much respect for food professionals. I doubt you will find a more devoted, passionate, skilled group of fun people in any industry. These folks work hard, and their work is their play. The proof really is in their pudding.

What did I learn at this glorified frat party? Pureed cauliflower and grits are the new mashed potato. Tuna and foie gras taste really great together. Burgers can be crab, shrimp and scallop, or black bean—the key is to douse them in a savory-sweet sauce on fresh brioche buns. Combine quinoa and tabouli for an unforgettable crunchy grain salad. When it comes to fish, fresh is best—lemon, butter and salt, that’s it. And don’t be stingy with oil, salt or butter—chefs are generous with the stuff (that’s why their food tastes so good!). What I learned is when something tastes delicious, a few bites are all you need. The palate and the body are instantly alerted to goodness and become satisfied quickly. That’s the real secret of great cooking.


Pureed Cauliflower

De-stem the base and chop up two heads of white cauliflower. Place cauliflower in a soup pot, along with eight garlic cloves and 32 ounces of chicken stock. Cover and simmer until the cauliflower is soft enough to blend with immersion blender. Add 4 tablespoons butter and puree until silky. Season for taste.


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. Archived Everyday Gourmet columns are at kimdannies.com. Kim@kimdannies.com


CVU girls assured of top seed as Tide rolls in Friday

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

With the number one Division 1 playoff seeding in place following Tuesday’s 51-43 victory at 17-2 Rice Memorial High, coach Ute Otley’s rampaging Champlain Valley Union High girls basketball team hopes to close out a first-ever perfecto regular season Friday night, with 7-12 Spaulding High the opposition at Bremner Gym.

No doubt about it: the Crimson Tide knows well it could add luster to its campaign by handing the 19-0 Redhawks a whipping. Tuesday, Spaulding bowed to Essex High, 52-27.

Defending division champ Rice had similar hopes Tuesday at a packed Bill Hammond gymnasium in South Burlington, but the Redhawks survived some chilly early shooting to take charge following intermission for their second win of the season over the Green Knights.

With CVU trailing 20-19 early in the second half, freshman inside operator Laurel Jaunich warmed to the situation. After nailing two free flips to put the Hawks up 21-20, she hit five straight shots as the Red and White swished nine of 13 in the quarter to take charge, Jaunich ending the frame with a cool three-pointer for a 40-32 advantage.

Jaunich’s 13 points in the quarter were her total for the game, to go with four rebounds plus a steal. Rice never completely recovered from the freshman’s key outburst, but the Knights did threaten, big center Cassidy Durda the primary weapon.

After hitting just seven of 29 shots in the first half (“It seemed worse than that,” said Otley), CVU bucketed nine of 13 shots in the key third quarter. After hiking the lead to 44-32 early in the final reel, CVU held on by notching nine of 12 from the foul line, with Sadie Otley going four-for-four and Emily Kinneston (11 points, six rebounds, two assists) hitting three of four.

While it was Jaunich stepping up big time in the third quarter, things looked dire for a cold CVU in the second period before Elspeth Grasso, along with Alex Krupp the two senior guard Mighty-Minis, got a hot hand to pull the Hawks out of the shooting doldrums.

With her team trailing 12-6 and just two-for-12 from the floor—winter had indeed set in—Grasso launched a big three, followed with a rebound layup. After a shocked Rice team took a time out to talk over this sudden turn of events, Grasso knocked down another trey and CVU was up 14-12.

Grasso later sank another rebound shot (she grabbed five bounds in the game) and CVU had its offensive mojo back and was in the game. Grasso had 10 points in the reel, her game total.

“That was big for us,” said Otley of the speedy little guard’s vital burst.

Grasso, with a big smile, nodded “yes” when asked if she got into “the zone” in the second quarter.

Rice got 19 points and eight rebounds from Durda, who kept the Knights in contention with 12 second-half points. Forward Allie Doe got eight points.

CVU edged Rice on the boards 27-26 after the Knights controlled in the first period, 10-5. Amanda Beatty had five rebounds to follow Kinneston and Grasso.

Last Friday, CVU outlasted visiting Essex High, 44-34 behind Kinneston’s 14 points and center Taylor Goldsborough’s nine (count ‘em, nine) steals to go with seven rebounds.

A sportswriter wag suggested to the senior Goldsborough that there was a five-state alarm out looking for the thief of nine basketballs.

Coach Cathy Kohlasch’s rollicking JVs lifted their unbeaten mark to 19-0 with 48-21 and 49-32 triumphs over Essex and Rice.


Girls Basketball Box Score (Feb. 26)

CVU (51) — Lougee, 0 0-0 0; Kinneston, 4 3-4 11; Beatty, 1 1-2 3; Krupp, 0 0-0 0; Grasso, 4 0-0 10; Otley, 1 4-4 7; Jaunich, 5 2-3 13; Kohlasch, 2 2-2 6; Goldsborough, 0 1-3 1. Totals: 17 13-18 51

Rice Memorial (43) — Akinpetide, 1 0-2 2; Doe, 4 0-0 8; Durda, 9 0-0 19; Bunch, 0 0-2 0; Hetling, 0 0-0 0; Snell, 0 2-3 2; Avonda, 0 0-2 0; Barron, 3 1-2 7; Cirignano, 1 0-0 2; Zuk, 0 0-0 0; Bolger, 1 0-0 3 Totals: 19 3-11 43

CVU 5 14 21 11 – 51

Rice 10 8 14 11 – 43

Nordic conquers all

A crowing repeat for the girls and a restoration after a year’s absence for the boys. That was the Nordic skiing situation Tuesday night after the Champlain Valley Union High boys and girls Nordic teams stormed to championships in the second day of competition, this time at southern Vermont’s Prospect Mountain in Woodford.

The girls were led by Taylor Spillane, who won the classic tour in 18 minutes, and 4.7 seconds, with teammates Autumn Eastman, Cally Braun and Emma Hamilton capturing third, seventh and ninth slots.

The quartet also dominated the relay.

The boys returned to title land by winning five of the top six positions, led by race runner-up Forrest Hamilton. He was followed in order by third-place winner Emmett Peterson, Sean Delaney, Parker Francis and Marvin Muller.

Hamilton, Francis, Delaney and Peterson teamed up to win the relay.

The boys team total of 52 easily outpaced second-place Mount Anthony Union, with a score of 123. The girls held a 60-122 advantage over runner-up Mount Mansfield Union.

—Mal Boright,
Observer correspondent


King of the cleats


Champlain Valley Union High senior soccer star Shane Haley (right), seen here celebrating with a teammate after winning a playoff game in the fall, was recently named Vermont's boys Gatorade Soccer Player of the Year after a season in which he amassed 25 goals, passed off for six assists and fired winning scores in the Division 1 semifinal and title game for the champion Redhawks. The award takes into account athletic ability, academics and character. Haley will attend the University of Vermont. (Observer file photo)

Champlain Valley Union High senior soccer star Shane Haley (right), seen here celebrating with a teammate after winning a playoff game in the fall, was recently named Vermont’s boys Gatorade Soccer Player of the Year after a season in which he amassed 25 goals, passed off for six assists and fired winning scores in the Division 1 semifinal and title game for the champion Redhawks. The award takes into account athletic ability, academics and character. Haley will attend the University of Vermont. (Observer file photo)

All-stars honored at Statehouse


Members of the Williston 9- and 10-year-old Little League All-star team, coaches and parents pose with Gov. Peter Shumlin at the Vermont Statehouse. (Observer courtesy photo)

By Matt Rushford

Special to the Observer

The Williston Little League 9- and 10-year-old All-star team was honored at the Vermont Statehouse recently for its 2012 Vermont State Championship and Williston’s first-ever representation of Vermont in the Eastern Regional 9- and 10-year-old Little League Championships.

The Vermont legislature passed an official resolution recognizing the achievements of the group of youngsters. The resolution was passed unanimously and will be recorded permanently in the archives of the Vermont State Senate.

The players and the coaches were invited to attend the voting of the resolution, had a guided tour of the state house and attended a personal meeting with Gov. Peter Shumlin.

Last summer, the Williston team blasted through the district tournament, allowing a total of only three runs in the entire tournament and outscoring its opponents 86-3. The team shut out defending champion South Burlington in consecutive finals matches to claim the division title.

In the state championship, Williston sealed its undefeated season by steamrolling Bennington and St. Albans in three straight games. At the Eastern tournament, Williston represented Vermont strongly, going 1-3, never losing by more than two runs, and taking ultimate regional champs Massachussetts into extra innings.

CVU boys wind up at 9-12 after OT playoff loss

The Champlain Valley Union High boys basketball team gave it some umph Tuesday night in Barre, but fell in overtime to the sixth-seeded 14-7 Crimson Tide 50-48 in the opening round of the Division 1 playoffs.

Trailing by six points at the half, the 11th-seeded Redhawks got into overtime but bowed when Spaulding guard Evan Grubb canned a pair of  free throws with 24 seconds to go in the extra session.

Big 6-7 Marcus Thornton had 12 points for the Crimson Tide. Brad Bissonette led the 9-12 Redhawks with 19 points.

CVU won its final regular season game last Thursday in Newport, as Bissonette hit for 25 points in a 61-46 triumph at North Country Union.

CVU alpine skiers place in districts

Champlain Valley Union High alpine skiers looked ahead to the state boys and girls meets after placing second (boys) and fourth (girls) Tuesday in the Northern Vermont Athletic Council District slalom competition at Sugarbush Resort.

The boys were led by Ted Hadley in third place and Mark Deslauriers in fourth.

Emma Putre was the leading CVU girl finisher in third place.

—Mal Boright,Observer correspondent

Playoffs next for CVU boys hockey

The pairing for the Division 1 high school hockey playoffs will be finalized this week, but the Champlain Valley Union High boys hockey team took a solid step up Tuesday night with a 5-3 victory over visiting North Country Union at Cairns Arena to put a maker on the third seed.

The win gave the Redhawks a final regular season 13-4-3 record and left the Falcons at 14-5-1.

It was share the puck night for CVU as Brendan Gannon, Patrick Pattison, Jeremy Lerner, Kirk Fontana and Jack Hall all lit the lamp for the winners. Defenseman Alex Bulla paced the helpers with a pair of assists.

Greg Talbert made 17 stops in the CVU cage. The Hawks unlimbered 26 shots on the North Country goal.

The victory got CVU back on a positive track following Saturday’s 3-0 loss to South Burlington in the annual CSB Cup contest.

—Mal Boright, Observer staff

LIFE IN WILLISTON: Music to my ears

By Karen Wyman

For the first time in years, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Grammys this year. Perhaps it was the black tie dress code, or the fact that actual bands comprised of artists playing their own instruments are finally making a comeback (nothing beats listening to a live rhythm section), or maybe it was the sound of authentic human vocals without any hint of auto tune that piqued my interest. Whatever it was, it reaffirmed how strong my love of music is and how powerful its effect can be. How many of you can hear a song and actually have it “take you back” to a time and place? How many of you crank up your favorite beats when you need to be motivated, cheered up or inspired?

I realize that my personal love of music started in the womb. Music was a huge part of my childhood, and if a movie was ever made of my life the soundtrack would be awesome. Thanks to my Mom and Dad, I learned to appreciate music very early, especially rock and roll. To this day, hearing the guitar riff to the Rolling Stones’ “Honky-Tonk Woman” or to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” or to any Creedence Clearwater Revival song puts an instant smile on my face.

I was also lucky to be introduced to the wonderful sounds of Motown and to the girl supergroups of the fifties and sixties. I can’t remember a family car ride, vacation or gathering where music wasn’t involved. Like many other children of the seventies and eighties, I remember watching with my family in complete amazement as Michael Jackson did the moonwalk for the first time on television. A few years later, I also remember getting to stay up late to watch the world premiere of Michael’s “Thriller” video. Music was always the one thing we could all agree on, and it always brought us together.

In turn, I am trying to expose my girls to an eclectic variety of music as well, and it fills me with excitement when I see them dancing and singing along to a classic hit. They may not be able to recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” yet, but they can sing every word to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” and to Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.”

As I think back to music and my daughters’ childhoods thus far, I can see that Williston has been a great venue for helping to instill the love of music in them. My husband and I used to wheel them in their wagon every Thursday night during the summer to the Groovin’ on the Green concerts at Maple Tree Place. They would bounce and clap to rock, country and even Irish music. As long as there was a beat, they were happy.

The library was also a huge contributor to this love with Miss Ellie’s Preschool parties and Music with Raphael. Some of their first steps were made toward Miss Ellie’s acoustic guitar! Seeing how strong their love of music was and their fascination with instruments, I also registered them in the CVU Access Program’s early music classes.

My husband and I will never forget the first time we brought them to the Fourth of July celebration at Allen Brook School. As soon as the DJ started spinning tunes, they took off to the dance floor and never wanted to leave. I love to see these events and more are still going strong today, including Music with Mr. Chris at Buttered Noodles and of course, the Brick Church Music series.

As I stood recently with my girls and husband at the sold out Boston Garden for a Justin Bieber concert, I couldn’t help but smile as I recalled my own parents taking me to see Poison at a young age. Everyone thought my parents were so cool! Hopefully my girls will think the same of me one day. For now, I am just thrilled to be able to enjoy and share all types of music with them.

One of my girlfriends sent me an e-card that definitely rings true: “Successful parenting is finding 80s hair band music on your kid’s iPod.” Finally the confirmation I needed—it is OK that when asked what their favorite band is, my girls say Poison and Def Leppard!

Thank you Williston for offering up so many ways to expose us all to different types of music. And to the powers that be who book the Groovin’ on the Green acts: just an FYI that many 80s hairbands are looking for gigs these days…

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