July 18, 2019

PHOTOS: ‘Get Moving for Boston’

Close to 700 runners and walkers joined the ‘Get Moving for Boston’ event, organized by Williston resident Ryan Polly, on the Burlington Bikepath or virtually. The run raised almost $14,000 for victims of the bombing at the Boston Marathon. (Observer photos by Stephen Mease)












RECIPE CORNER: Food for kids

By Ginger Isham

When I was dating my husband in the 1950s, he introduced me to the chilidog at Charlie’s Red Hots, a trailer at Battery Park. With vacation coming up soon, maybe the kids would enjoy this recipe. It is best to purchase hot dogs with natural casings that are all beef or part beef and part pork. The standard hot dogs contain more fillers. I place hot dogs in boiling water to which I add 1 or 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar and simmer a few minutes and then prepare them for family.


Beef Chili (4 servings)

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon mustard

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less)

1 and 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth

(I add 1 or 2 tablespoon maple syrup)

Cook beef and drain fat. Add onion and garlic and cook 1 or 2 minutes. Crush meat with potato masher. Stir in rest of ingredients and simmer until liquid evaporates. Serve over grilled or steamed hot dogs on a toasted bun. Top off with shredded cheese or:


Onion Slaw

1/2 cup mayo

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tablespoons dry parsley)

1/4 cup Creole mustard (or less)

2 tablespoons sugar or maple syrup

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 and 1/2 cups shredded cabbage

1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded onion

pinch of salt

Mix first 6 ingredients and add cabbage and onion. Salt to taste. Chill until ready to use.


Creole mustard is: 6 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and a dash of Tabasco sauce.


Speedy Sloppy Joes

1 pound lean ground hamburg

1 can condensed tomato soup, undiluted

1 or 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

2 tablespoons each ketchup and barbecue sauce


Cook ground beef, drain and add rest of ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over hamburger buns, plain or toasted. My kids enjoyed this recipe.

Ginger Isham lives with her husband on a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road.


Raszka leads CVU to victory, road games next

Kate Raszca hurled seven goals past the Rutland High netkeeper on April 20, leading Champlain Valley Union High School girls lacrosse team to a 10-8 victory.

“Our game against Rutland was exciting as we were down until the last 16 minutes, when the Redhawks increased their intensity by putting more pressure on the Rutland stall attack and taking the ball strong to goal,” Coach Erin Malone wrote in an email to the Observer.

Malone said high-scorer Raszka was not alone in her efforts.

“On defense, Kyla Williamson, Anne Spector and Thea Weiss came up big with tough defense and a few interceptions,” Malone wrote. “And Lucia Llona, Emma Greaser, and Brenna Gorman were solid on our offensive transition and setting up our attack. It took a big effort from the entire team, especially our freshman goalie Bailee Pudvar.”

The team will spend the second half of vacation working on its skills, then hit the road for three games next week—Montpelier, Burlington and South Burlington high schools.

Saturday’s game brings the Redhawks’ record up to 2-0, after they beat Spaulding High School 12-8 on April 17.

After a week off, the boys lacrosse team will take on Rutland at home Saturday at 11 a.m. On April 19, they squashed Burlington High school 14-4. Elliot Mitchell and Alex Bulla each had four goals, and Steele Dubrul and Chandler Jacobson each had two goals.

On Tuesday, the Redhawks will face Bellows Free Academy, also at home.

—Stephanie Choate, Observer staff


CVU to host home meet May 2

The Champlain Valley Union High School track and field team will host South Burlington, Northfield and Danville high schools at a home meet on May 2.

CVU athletes shone at an evening track meet at South Burlington High School on April 18 that benefited the American Cancer Society.

Haliana Burhans won the 40-yard dash, followed by fellow Redhawk Abbey Norris in second place. Burhans was also second in the long jump, with Norris close behind in fifth place. Taylor Spillane took first in the mile run, with teammate Sara Myers in fifth place. Myers was also sixth in the 2,000-meter steeplechase. Katie Arms and Eliza Giles took first and second in the 200-meter hurdles, while Elly Colwell was fourth and Rachel Pitcher tied for seventh.

CVU also took first in the 800-meter spring medley, with a team of Emily Geske, Norris, Burhans and Arms.

Thrower Brianna Hake won the javelin throw and was second in the discus. Kate Leary won the shot put.

On the boys side, David Daly and Joseph Fontaine came in fourth and sixth in the 40-yard dash. Sam Logenbach was second in the 600 meter run.

The boys also won the 800-meter sprint medley, with a team of Will Karstens, Zachary Weimer, Daly and Fontaine. The boys 4×400-meter relay team of took second place and distance medley took fourth.

Brian Boisjoli won the pole vault, while Clarke Shedd was fourth in the long jump and triple jump and Thomas Keller fifth in the discus throw.

—Observer staff report


Baseball, softball to take on Middlebury

The Champlain Valley Union High School baseball team will welcome Middlebury to its home diamond on Thursday, after a busy opening week.

On Tuesday, the Redhawks beat St. Johnsbury 3-0.

Rayne Supple threw six shut-out innings, striking out 10 and walking four, while Davis Mikell struck out batters in the seventh inning.

Alex Henning had a two-run single in the top of the fifth, sending Kyle Stanley and Will Potter home. Dylan Ireland singled in Hayden Smith in the sixth inning.

“Rayne Supple threw the ball well for us today,” Albertson wrote in an email on Tuesday. “We made the routine plays and minimized our mistakes. Luckily between some hits, we were able to capitalized on their mistakes.”

Tuesday’s win brings the CVU record to 2-1.

“Overall I am proud of the hard work and constant drive to improve that this team has,” Albertson wrote.

On Saturday, the Redhawks lost to South Burlington 10-12.

“It was great to see how relentless the boys were,” Coach Tim Albertson wrote in an email to the Observer. “Nobody likes to lose, but they fought hard to keep themselves in the game. Being down by six runs twice and answering back with five runs each time shows a lot about the character of this team.”

—Stephanie Choate, Observer staff


Young Writers Project: general writing

Young Writers Project receives hundreds of submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire in response to writing prompts and it selects the best for publication in this newspaper and 21 others and on vpr.net. Here, we publish general writing responses. Read more at youngwritersproject.org, a safe, civil online community of young writers.


The Waves

By Maddie Huber

Grade 7, Williston Central School

The ocean is where I feel at home, I love the crashing, rising, and eventually falling waves. I know on really windy days I cannot let the current sink me, I will not fall into its game. It’s a trick of the mind, the ocean can’t control me, I’m strong.

I walk across the sand and I look out onto the water. It stretches out for what seems like a million miles. On a surfboard, I feel unstoppable, that is, when I’m actually on it! I watch and I play a trick on the ocean, I steal one of its waves and ride it to the beach. I love the ocean, I know that one day I will be able to conquer the tide, and on that day, I will be at peace with the waves.


Waiting for Spring

By Olivia Pintair

Grade 7, Lake Champlain Waldorf School
Hometown: Williston

The sun is coming, my love.

It’s on its way. Any day now.

So we must prepare now, darling, for when the light dawns on our worn limbs.

We have wilted, but if the world tilts just a little, we will start to make breath for the beings.

It will be bright, my love.

Do you remember how bright it used to be?

How warm it will seem when we thaw.

How beautiful this world will be when we can see again.

So stay with me, love. For we are rooted here until the light comes back.

Don’t leave just yet, for the shadows seem warmer when you are with me.

Imagine how it will disappear, this beastly thing called the dark.

It will leave us to make way for the brilliance that is to come.

You can trust me, my love, for trust is the meaning of our existence.

We feed the lungs of those who walk,

for those who walk need our strength.

And when the sun comes back to us, we will lift our faces for her

as she gives up her power for all the little ones.

And when the sun has given all she has to give,

we will wait once more,

for she will come again.


The Sky Laughs and Cries

By Avery McLean

Grade 7, Lake Champlain Waldorf School
Hometown: St. George

She loved the way you

Always laughed with her

At secrets that only

Believers can see.

Because you taught her that

Pretending is

Different than believing.

That sometimes imagining is

Knowing, not just


You taught her that reading the

Lyrics off the Sun is humbling.

But most of all, she learned from you

That the

Sky does cry, but it also


And that’s alright,

You said.

That’s the way it is in this

Less than perfect world.

Because rain mixed with the Sun,

Tears mixed with laughter,

After that always comes a



Nothing to Lose

By Olivia Kinsel

Grade 6, Williston Central School

I float down, buried with the past, nothing to lose. I see the world disappear without me there to see. There’s nothing to know now, realizing now, there’s no limit, the sky may stop someone, but the moon is past the sky. Surely not knowing where I was, I let loose, I slowly fell, bouncing back off the ground, my arms flailing out, no longer seeing the real reason for why I did that.

I got up once more, letting the ship carry me back. Back to the place where I belong, back to the place I know, the only place I know. Everything I knew started to swirl in my brain, and soon enough the daze I was used to completed itself, the puzzle pieces all fit into place, and everything came back to me. I was walking down a dirt path, holding her hand close to me, feeling her red nails cut into my deep calloused skin. Filled with hatred, I pulled my hand out from under her clutch, and ran, I ran until I could no longer feel my feet. My heart pounding, like a herd of elephants, I pulled the collar of my shirt up, and buttoned the top button, closing my noisy heart in, as if someone could hear my heart pounding from miles away. And that was it, here I am to this day. And that’s when my eyes slowly closed, feeling the disease overcome me. One tear slowly slithered down my cheek, tasting the saltiness of it, come in, and out, slowly disappearing with the world, buried with the past, my soul floating down, with nothing to lose. I am the one that held on for you, for I am the faith inside you.


About the project

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences through the Newspaper Series (and youngwritersproject.org) and the Schools Project (ywpschools.net). If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, Vt. 05401.

Volunteer Opportunities

The listings below are a small sample of the 300–plus volunteer needs from more than 250 agencies available find online at www.unitedwaycc.org.


Mercy Connections and Vermont Works for Women have created a mentoring program to support women making the transition from correctional facilities to living in Chittenden County. Mentors can have a profound influence on supporting individual women rebuilding their lives. If you are a good listener and want to help give a woman a fresh start, you can receive 12 hours of specialized training. Learn more at a volunteer orientation May 8 from 5:30–7:30 p.m. References and background check required.


ReSOURCE provides volunteers with the opportunity to provide assistance in adult and youth–oriented training programs. Volunteers can help in administrative support, curriculum development, classroom tutoring, financial literacy, job hunting skills, etc. Volunteers should have a background in education and experience working with adults and/or youth. Four hours a week with an eight–week minimum commitment. Background check required.


Girls Rock Vermont is looking for an outreach coordinator to help promote Girls Rock Camp, recruit volunteers and campers, and contact other community organizations. Tasks may include sending out newsletters, attending community events, building relationships with sponsors, etc. Flexible weekly scheduling. Girls Rock is also looking for a fundraising events coordinator to brainstorm fundraising ideas, promote and attend events, etc. About five hours a week plus events.


Shelburne Museum is seeking volunteers to help preserve the last remaining steam locomotive from the Central Vermont Railway. Volunteers will learn about preservation techniques as they arrest corrosion, protect the metal and improve the appearance of the locomotive. Tools and materials provided. Four hours a week Monday–Thursday from June to September. Must be 16 or older.


COTS is gearing up for its annual COTS Walk at Burlington’s Battery Park and is looking for volunteers to serve as crossing guards, refreshment distributors, etc. Sunday, May 5, 1–4 p.m.


Go to www.greenupvermont.org and click “How to Participate” to find Green Up Day projects in your community.

HOME AND GARDEN: Enjoying the outdoors with a little warmth

Building your own fire pit can require a large space, heavy lifting and a lot of painkillers. (Observer courtesy photo by Erin Lang Norris)

Building your own fire pit can require a large space, heavy lifting and a lot of painkillers. (Observer courtesy photo by Erin Lang Norris)

By Anica Wong


There were many things that Erin Lang Norris and her husband were looking forward to when they moved out of an apartment and into their own house. On the top of that list was having a yard for building big fires to enjoy during the summer and winter months. But the property they purchased didn’t have a fire pit, so Lang Norris had to take things into her own hands, literally.

“I don’t know how many bottles of ibuprofen I went through,” she said, noting that building the fire pit was a feat of will and physical strength.

Lang Norris couldn’t afford a landscape designer, so she went to the first place most people do to get more information on any do-it-yourself project: the Internet. She was sorely disappointed at the lack of concise and helpful material and instead decided to give it a go herself.

The first step was mapping out the space for her fire pit. It ended up having a 5-foot diameter, a typical size, said Tim Lindgren, president of Lindgren Landscape & Irrigation. But you need a lot more space than that to accommodate the structure.

“You’ll have the fire pit itself—5-foot outside diameter—and then you have three feet of seating all around it. All of a sudden you have an 11-foot space to fit a round fire pit,” calculates Lindgren. This size was perfect for Lang Norris’ 2-acre plot; the fire pit didn’t get lost in the area, but also wasn’t overwhelming.

Lang Norris’ biggest challenge, she says, was deciding what kind of stone she should use. She wanted something durable enough for high temperatures, which can foster brush fires, and cold winters. After pricing options at the local stone yard, she picked sandstone and then layered the inside of the pit with firebrick she picked up at the hardware store.

Lindgren suggests that any fire pit be made with masonry blocks veneered with bricks, fake stones or real stones on the outside. This gives the pit the strong structure it needs to withstand the heat of a fire and leaves an aesthetically pleasing view for the homeowner.

Once the size is sketched out and the stone bought, the heavy lifting and digging begins; this is where the painkillers come in handy. How deep you dig your foundation will depend on the type of soil in which you are digging. The foundation is the area of the ground that the stone cylinder will sit on. After this area is dug out, cement is poured in and rebar stuck into the cement to add stability and strength.

Lang Norris spent many hours chiseling pieces of stone to fit into the puzzle of the expansive fire pit walls. She carefully placed each piece exactly where she wanted it, which oftentimes required her to shift the stones from one space to another, trying to get all of the pieces just right. She then built a top cap of thicker stones that went all the way around the cylinder, giving the structure a nice finished look.

While Lang Norris’ fire pit is wood burning, Lindgren gets many requests for gas fire pits. In these cases, his company would install a valve that runs through the exterior of the wall, into the bottom of the pit and capped by a burner system. Lava rocks or glass would cover the burner system but allow the flames to come up.

“The pros to doing a wood-burning fire pit is a real flame, the smell and crackling of a campfire,” Lindgren says. A gas pit is easy to manage and maintain. Lindgren even installed a fire pit that can be lit using an iPad app.

Lindgren suggests that homeowners check the local fire codes before they start making decisions on the type of fire pit they want. Some areas don’t allow burning firewood in city limits, and if there is a gas line involved, permits must also be in hand. Messing around with a gas line is no simple undertaking, Lindgren says.

All in all, Lang Norris spent about $450 on her fire pit while Lindgren’s company charges between $3,500 and $4,500 for a fire pit.

In the end, friends and family will happily gather round to cozy up to the fire..

OBITUARY: Stokes Gentry M.D.

OBIT-Stokes-042513Stokes Gentry M.D.

Stokes Gentry M.D., husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, healer, committed citizen and fly fisherman, died at Wake Robin on April 16, 2013, with his family, a caring staff and a community of fellow residents supporting him.

Born in 1929 in Houston, Texas to Cyrus and Zella Keaster Gentry, he grew up in Pleasantville, N.Y., and graduated from Swarthmore College and Temple Medical School. After internship at Philadelphia General Hospital, he was stationed for two years at Dow Air Force Base in Bangor, Me. He came to Vermont for his pediatric residency, and then went to Duke University for a pediatric allergy fellowship. In 1962, he returned to Vermont to open his practice in general pediatrics and pediatric allergy, one to which he was deeply devoted until his retirement in 199–6.

Stokes was a community leader respected for his integrity and judgment. Among his roles were: co–founder, president and board chair of Wake Robin; over 36 years of service to the town of St. George as long–time moderator, Planning Commissioner and chair, Cemetery Commissioner and Health Officer; president of the Medical Center Hospital Staff; board member of The Vermont Chapter of the Nature Conservancy; president of the Burlington Tennis Club; chair of the Vermont Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; secretary of the Pediatric Travel Club.  In 1995 he received, along with his wife, Mary Jane, the Boy Scout Council of Vermont’s Citizen of the Year Award.

He led a life of abiding passions: his family, his farm in St. George, his camp in the Adirondacks, sports as participant and fan and reading. He and Mary Jane enjoyed retirement: London theater, New Zealand fly fishing, hiking in the Rockies, beekeeping. The illness of his later years never caused him to lose his equanimity nor his wit.

Stokes is survived by his wife, Mary Jane; his three children and their families—Brad, wife Eugenie, children Paige and Cyrus; Mary Lynn, husband Chris Riley, children Samantha and Meredith; Sarah, husband Marc Tischler, children Jacob and Ethan; his sister, Mary, husband Dave Call; nieces and nephews.

A Circle of Remembrance will be held at Wake Robin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 26, 2013. Memorial gifts may be sent to “The Vermont Chapter of the Nature Conservancy” c/o The Vermont Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, 27 State Street, Suite 4, Montpelier, Vt. 05602.

Library Notes

All events are free. Call 878–4918 for more information or to register.


Youth News

Preschool Music in May

For children up to age 5 with a caregiver.

Peter Alsen: Mondays at 10:45 a.m. (May 6–20) and Thursday, May 2 at 10:30 a.m.

Derek Burkins: Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. (May 9–30)

Story Time and Crafts

Tuesdays, 11 a.m. April 30 and May 7. Stories and a simple craft activity for children ages 3–5.

Game Day

Tuesday, May 7, 3 p.m. Snacks and after school fun for kids ages 9 and up.

Sing and Dance with Constancia

Friday, May 10, 10:30 a.m. Music in both Spanish and English, with stories and movement for children up to age 6.

Welcome Baby Social

Monday, May 13, 6 pm. Do you have a new member of the family? Join us for this free event open to all Williston/St. George residents with babies born in 2012. Sponsored by Building Bright Futures & Dorothy Alling Memorial Library.

Babytime Playgroup

Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. (except for the first Wednesday of each month). May 8–22. For infants and toddlers. Sponsored by Building Bright Futures. Call Marjorie Von Ohlsen for more information at 658–3659.


Adult Programs

Shape and Share Life Stories 

Monday, April 29 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Prompts trigger real life experience stories which are crafted into engaging narratives and shared with the group. Led by Recille Hamrell.

Community Supported Agriculture 101

Wednesday, May 1 from 6 p.m. Interested in eating more local food and supporting local farmers? Then purchasing a CSA share might be a great option for you. This will cover the basics of what a CSA is, help you figure out how to select the right one for you and understand how it works once you’re signed up. Preregistration helpful.

Story Crafters: Creating the Self Through Story

Monday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m. Stories and storytelling are deeply rooted in the structure of human consciousness, and one could argue that we “narrate” ourselves into existence. Dr Gregory Sharrow, co–director of the Vermont Folklife Center will share compelling examples from its archives that explore stories as expressions of personal values and family identity, and as the building blocks of a sense of place.

Stories from Williston’s Past: A Slide Show Presentation 

Saturday, May 11 at 11 a.m. Richard Allen presents historical stories about people, places and things that will enlighten, amuse, and entertain you. Sponsored by the Williston Historical Society and the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library. Part of the 250th Anniversary Celebration of Williston’s 1763 charter.

Shape and Share Life Stories

Monday, May 13 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Prompts trigger real life experience stories which are crafted into engaging narratives and shared with the group. Led by Recille Hamrell. Free and open to all adults.

Brown Bag Book Club

Friday, May 17, 12:30–1:30 p.m. Looking to meet others who love to discuss books? This month we will discuss “The Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton. Coffee, tea, juice and dessert provided. Free and open to all adults.

The Dorothy Alling Memorial Library is located at 21 Library Lane in Williston, and can be reached at 878–4918. www.williston.lib.vt.us