February 10, 2016

Popcorn: ‘Man of Steel’ Appropriately Super



By Michael S. Goldberger

Special to the Observer


Dear reader, before I tell you how much I enjoyed director Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel,” let me save you a few bucks. Skip the 3-D version. Virtually ineffectual, I suspect whatever afterthought process they employed proved a Kryptonite to the film’s color quality. That noted, be aware that I have never been so sure that Superman indeed exists.


Embodied in appearance and moral stature by handsome Henry Cavill, the origins and lore of the title character are entertainingly retold, thrillingly reminding us why we’ve become so enamored of the famous American legend in the first place. He showcases it with aplomb: X-ray vision, great feats of strength and, oh my, the flying was never better.


It may be a bit of an oxymoron, but the comic book hero created in 1933 by high school students Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster now gets his most realistic interpretation, and yet happily doesn’t relinquish the great fantasy and hope that shape the core of his essence. Most of all, he is good, a beacon of honesty and compassion that can sure comfort a kid.


As this latest exploit unfolded, I joyfully remembered poring over the avalanche of back issue D.C. Comics in Norman Ginsberg’s basement, surely the greatest such repository in the Western World. Doubtless, today its contents would rival civilization’s great fortunes. We’d read and read, occasionally interjecting with supposition, inquiry and pontification.


Of greater ecstasy, though, which this film permutation reminds of most, was getting the very latest issue of Superman when it arrived at Krupman’s candy store (Krupmans large and small lived in the back). It was a dime. You could get two Hershey bars for that. And it felt thin, not yet transformed to the eternally thumbed-through heft of its predecessors.


Nonetheless, this early acquaintance with extravagance was exhilarating. I rubbed my palm across the sleek cover, held it up to smell its freshness before imbibing, and then hesitated yet another moment, as if saving a special morsel on my dinner plate for last…knowing that the sooner I started, the sooner all this great preciousness would end.


Thus, I posit, director Snyder and Mr. Cavill’s newest Superman manage to tell not only the glory of one who could give all the world’s evildoers a good what for, but also make that personal connection to us. There is an extra touch of class behooving the superhero emeritus, the one who would instate the genre and pave the way for all other superheroes.


Moving to and fro across the time continuum, from Superman’s birth on the dying planet of Krypton, where scientist dad Jor-El (Russell Crowe) launches baby Kal-El to his date with destiny on Earth, to his current exploits, Mr. Snyder weaves his tale well. Metaphors

and references smartly set up the flashbacks and fast forwards, and populate the scenario.


But, just to be sure it also pleases those who couldn’t care less about any of that legacy stuff, “Man of Steel” doesn’t take a backseat to any FX extravaganza on the big screen today. Krypton exile General Zod, as worthy a villain as Superman is a savior, isn’t very happy about Kal-El’s smuggled departure. This makes for galactic battle scenes galore.


Played by Michael Shannon, the Machiavellian general, a colleague of Jor-El’s before Krypton’s sad fate caused a difference of opinion, is into the super stuff, too, as in super race and Krypton über alles. For complex DNA reasons having to do with a MacGuffin known as the Codex, his imperialistic aims require Superman be extricated from Earth.


Hence, though the screenplay nicely iterates all the trials and tribulations of growing up with and learning to handle one’s extraordinary powers—which I’m sure we can all relate to—Zod’s incursion represents Superman’s trial by fire. Exhilarating, it smartly mixes with heady polemical ruminations about the eternal war between democracy and fascism.


And, lest we forget many an American adolescent’s earliest encounter with romance, Amy Adams’s winsome yet gutsy Lois Lane vibrantly enters stage right. Nicely woven into the fabric of what is essentially an allegory about immigration and attitudes thereof, she’ll ensure that the super refugee is familiarized with our real national pastime.


Among other personae vital to Superman’s education, Russell Crowe is strong as his biological dad; Diane Lane and Kevin Costner are touching as Smallville’s Ma and Pa Kent, respectively; and, teaching our man that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, alluring Antje Traue is a force to be contended with as Zod’s henchwoman, Faora-Ul.


This all makes for a fine time at the Bijou, but not just because of the adventure or clever scripting. It’s the iconically American subtext. While we have no equivalent of the Iliad to extol our ethos save for patriot Joel Barlow’s (1754-1812) never popularly embraced “Vision of Columbus,” “Man of Steel” gloriously and intelligently celebrates our mettle.

“Man of Steel,” rated PG-13, is a Warner Bros. release directed by Zack Snyder and stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams and Michael Shannon. Runnin

Photos: The greenest way to school

The girl scouts promoting ‘the greenest way to school,’ a day that encouraged children to walk, bike, bus, carpool or roll to school. (Observer courtesy photos)

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Photos: Pet parade






Williston residents show off their furry friends at the Pet Parade on June 22. (Observer courtesy photos)

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Photos: Summertime Blues

ABOVE: Blues Brother tribute band Hats and Shades invited kids on stage to dance to classic hits during its June 20 concert on the Maple Tree Place green. The concert was the first of the summer series, which runs through Aug. 22. Magic of Motown is set to play June 27. (Observer photo by Stephanie Choate)

Blues Brother tribute band Hats and Shades invited kids on stage to dance to classic hits during its June 20 concert on the Maple Tree Place green. The concert was the first of the summer series, which runs through Aug. 22. Magic of Motown is set to play June 27. (Observer photo by Stephanie Choate) 

Lily Bourbonnais, who turned 3 this week, gets into the music. (Observer photo by Stephanie Choate)
Lily Bourbonnais, who turned 3 this week, gets into the music. (Observer photo by Stephanie Choate)

Williston residents enjoy the music of the Blues Brothers at Maple Tree Place. (Observer photo by Stephanie Choate)
Williston residents enjoy the music of the Blues Brothers at Maple Tree Place. (Observer photo by Stephanie Choate)



Everyday Gourmet: Playing the markets

By Kim Dannies

The sun is out, time to play! It’s that wonderful time of year when a profusion of fresh produce, baked goods and local products are readily available for busy folks. All you have to do is make a game plan to hit local farms like Adams Farm Market on Old Stage Road or Williston’s weekly farmers’ market, held Wednesdays from 4-7 p.m.

Adam’s Farm Market, a cross between a farmer’s market and a CSA, sells what they grow and features produce and items from a dozen more Vermont farms. Adam’s crew will harvest four times a day to ensure freshness. A cut-your-own herb garden and flowerbeds overflow with unusual varieties. New this year is a scoop shop featuring Kingdom Creamery ice cream from Hardwick. And, it’s the only place in town to enjoy a cider slushie on the newly completed bike path!

The Williston Farmers’ Market is underway on the green next to New England Federal Credit Union.

“We’re engaging the Williston Community to make this market sustainable by recruiting volunteers for set up and break-down, running children’s activities, supervise sampling of local foods and much more,” said Becca Rimmel, Williston Farmer’s Market manager.

Vendors include Williston’s own Boutin Family Farm, The Squeezed Lemon, Marsha Drake Jewelry, Comeau Family Farm of Williston, Parker Family Farm & Kammel Fudge, Scratch ’n’ Earth Farm and Edward Smith Fine Woodworking.


Kale Chips 

(courtesy of Becca Rimmel)


Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite-size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. Bake until the edges brown, but not burned, 10-15 minutes.

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




Cecile Rhoda Miner, 94, widow of Francis Harding Miner, passed away Saturday morning, June 22, 2013, in the Vermont Respite House in Williston. Cecile was born in Richford on Sept. 4, 1918, the daughter of the late Carl and Hazel (Holden) Lamory. Cecile was a resident of Richford most of her life, and for the past 27 years made her home in Williston. She was a 1936 graduate of Richford High School. She married Francis Miner on June 10, 1945; he predeceased her on Sept. 14, 2012. Her working career started at Northern Telephone Company from 1938-1941, Newport Electric from 1941-1944, Richford Savings Bank from 1945-1953, and then H.K. Webster (Blue Seal Feeds) working in the main office from 1953-1961. She enjoyed sewing and cooking. She is survived by her good friends, Albert “Chuck” and Marilyn “Sue” Pearce of Richford; as well as several nieces and nephews. Cecile received wonderful and loving care at the Vermont Respite House; many thanks to the administration and staff. In keeping with Cecile’s wishes, she will be cremated with interment taking place in the Hillside Cemetery in Richford. There will be no formal funeral services or visiting hours. Private condolences may be sent online through www. spearsfuneralhome.com. For those who wish, contributions in Cecile’s memory may be made to Vermont Respite House, 99 Allen Brook Lane, Williston,  Vt. 05495.



Mary “Norma” O’Connor, 88, of Williston, died peacefully with loving family at her side on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in the Vermont Respite House in Williston after a short illness. Norma was born in Colchester on May 16, 1925, the daughter of Joseph N. and Mary A. (Salters) Carlin Sr. Following graduation from Cathedral High School, she attended Rings School of Psychiatric Nursing in Arlington, Mass. On Aug. 18, 1945, Norma married David Leonard O’Connor Sr., who predeceased her on Feb. 21, 1998. She was employed for many years as a telephone operator. Norma was a member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, an avid bowler, and enjoyed being a housewife and mom and spending time with her family. Norma was also a Cub Scout Den Mother for many years, and was the neighborhood taxi, bringing her children and others to social and sporting events. Norma is survived by her children, David L. O’Connor Jr. and wife, Gale, Donna Lee O’Connor and longtime partner, Gary Burns, Michael E. O’Connor and wife, Linda, and Patrick J. O’Connor and longtime partner, David Scarpella; grandchildren, Kevin and Jill, Robert, Christopher and Jen, David, James and Michele, Leah and Steven, Amanda, Dawn Marie, Michael and Renee, Jonathan, Alyssa, and Joshua; sister, Joyce Ann (Carlin) Ahern and husband, John; sisters-in-law, Theresa (O’Connor) Bryan and husband, William, and Joyce Ann (Wagner-Carlin) LaVigne and husband, Robert; brothers-in-law, George L. Courville Sr., and Paul E. O’Connor and wife, Jeanette; many great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews; cousins; and many close and very dear friends. She was predeceased by her husband, David L. O’Connor Sr.; father, Joseph Norton Carlin Sr.; mother, Mary Alfreda (Salters) Carlin; brothers, Joseph Norton Carlin Jr., and William R. Carlin; sister, Paulita M. (Carlin) Courville; sister-in-law and great friend, Doris (O’Connor) Hebert and husband, William. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Essex, followed by internment in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Winooski. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Vermont Respite House, 99 Allen Brook Lane, Williston, Vt. 05495; or to the Visiting Nurse Association, 1110 Prim Road, Colchester,  Vt. 05446.



Charlene “Tootie” Mae (Champney) Hayford died unexpectedly on Saturday, May 25, 2013, after a brief illness. She was born May 9, 1945, the eldest daughter of the late Cleveland and Lorraine Champney. Charlene was a loving wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and friend. She was the glue that held everything together. She will be sadly missed by every heart she ever touched, and that was many! Charlene loved doing things with her family and extended family. One of the things she loved and enjoyed tremendously was watching and taking care of her family’s children. She also enjoyed going on various vacations with her family and friends, which included many trips to Maine, Nantucket, South Africa, Canada, Europe, fishing on Lake Ontario, camping at many local campgrounds, as well as motorcycle trips with her husband, Ellis. She was also a very meticulous housekeeper along with being a wonderful cook and baker, always feeding anyone that stopped by; the one thing she always had plenty of was food. She also enjoyed shopping. She worked for 34 years at Fletcher Allen Health Care, before retiring in 2001. She is survived by her loving and devoted husband, Ellis of Williston; children, Pam Mashia of Williston, Tracy Fisher and husband, Ricky, of Shelburne, Ralph Vezina III of Boston, Mass., Craig Hayford and wife, Lisa, of Winooski, and Stephen Wentzel of Boston, Mass., who was like a third son to her; grandchildren, Lauren and Tanner Mashia, Tiffaney, Steffaney, Brittaney, Whittaney, and Ricky Fisher, Calvin and Abby Hayford; and greatgranddaughter, Kelcie of Shelburne. She is also survived by siblings, Bernard and Ginny Champney of Waterbury, Mildred and Tim Barup of Bolton, Gary Champney of Holland, Geraldine and Arnie Germaine of Richmond, Doreen Dion of Anna Marie Island, Fla., Maureen and Mike McIntyre of Bolton; inlaws, Roland Hayford Sr. of Planfield, Donna and Roy Westover of Wolcott, and Alan and Beverly Hayford of Swanton; several nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews; and her dearest friends, Marion and Butch Holcomb of Hinesburg. She was predeceased by her parents, Cleveland and Lorraine Champney; brothers, Roger and Sidney Champney; inlaws, Leon and Abbie Hayford, and Leon Hayford Jr.; and a very special sister-in-law, Joann Hayford. A funeral was held at the Federated Church in Williston.



Earl Leonard Mudgett, 64, of Williston, passed away in Burlington on May 23, 2013, with his loving wife, Anna, by his side. He was born in Westport, N.H., on June 4, 1948, son of William Ellis and Emma Claire (Sumner) Mudgett. Earl worked for Norton Bros., Inc., for 11 years as a tractor trailer driver. He married Anna May Badger, in Milton, on March 31, 1990. He loved hunting and fishing and driving his tractor trailer. Earl is survived by his wife, Anna; his children, John Geraw of Florida, Mary Goulet of South Burlington, Lee Geraw of St. Albans, and Brian Geraw of Essex Junction; one brother, Jesse Mudgett of South Burlington; four sisters, Lydia Badger of Richmond, Sharon Mudgett of Burlington, Pico Roberts of New Hampshire, and Sally Mudgett of Williston; two granddaughters; one grandson; one great-grandson; in-laws from the Badger family; several nieces and nephews; many cousins; and lots of good friends. He was predeceased by his parents; and brother, William Mudgett. Funeral services were private. Earl will be buried in Holy Family Cemetery, Essex Junction, at a later date. Arrangements are by Boucher and Pritchard Funeral Directors.



Cecile “Peanut” Rancour, 77, of Williston, passed away in the Vermont Respite House on Saturday, June 22, 2013, after a long and courageous battle with colon cancer. She leaves behind her loving husband, Bernie; two daughters, Cindy Hogan and family of Richmond, and Sandra Hayes and family of Liberty, S.C.; two sons, David Rancour and family of Fall River, Mass., and Steve Rancour and family of Glencoe, Mo. A memorial mass will be held at IHM Catholic Church in Williston on Friday, June 28 at 10 a.m. A reception will follow at Williston Woods Activity Center. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to Vermont Respite House, 99 Allen Brook Lane, Williston, Vt. 05495.

Police Notes

Careless and negligent operation

On June 3, Vermont State Police were dispatched to a one-vehicle crash in St. George, according to police reports. The investigation revealed that a second vehicle, operated by Vanak Podlaski, 29, was traveling with Jared Martin, 20, of St. George “at a high rate of speed,” according to the report. Numerous witnesses described the vehicles as “racing” while heading North on 116, the report notes. The case was sent to the Chittenden County State’s Attorney for review with regard to a potential charge of careless and negligent operation. Martin’s Ford Mustang was totaled, but there was no damage to Podlaski’s vehicle, according to police. Martin was taken to Fletcher Allen Health Care with “neck pain,” the report notes.

Driving under the influence

William A. Ringwig, 42, of Hinesburg, was cited on a charge of driving under the influence on May 25, according to police reports. His blood alcohol concentration was .107, according to the report. The legal limit for driving in Vermont is .08. He was cited to appear in court.

Eric J. Cardinal, 39, of Richmond, was cited on a charge of driving under the influence-second offense on May 25, according to police reports. His blood alcohol concentration was .118, according to the report. He was cited to appear in court.

Seth I. Gorman, 25, of Winooski was cited on a charge of driving under the influence on May 26, according to police reports. No other information was released.

William B. Sinkula, 22, of Hinesburg was cited on a charge of driving under the influence on June 15, according to police reports. His blood alcohol concentration was .165, the report notes. He was cited to appear in court.

False pretenses

Nathan L. Lavallee, 33, homeless, was cited on a charge of “false pretenses” at Wal-Mart on May 23, according to police reports. He was cited to appear in court.

Kristin Williams, 29, of Shelburne was cited on a charge of false pretenses on May 12 after returning allegedly stolen items, valued at more than $109, to Wal-Mart, according to police reports. Avery Walters, 23, of South Burlington was cited on three “instances” of false pretenses during the same investigation, after allegedly returning stolen goods valued at $425 from the store, the report notes.

Kristi L. Madsen, 44, of Colchester was cited for retail theft from Wal-Mart on April 19 after allegedly making a “fraudulent return” of merchandise valued at more than $106, according to police reports.

Multiple charges

Patrick O. Blodgett, 25, of Orange was cited on charges of three counts of felony false pretenses, three counts of “uttering a forged instrument,” two counts of forgery, possession of stolen property and petit larceny on May 14, according to police reports. He was “lodged on the above offenses,” according to the report. On May 16, Blodgett was cited on a charge of petit larceny after taking his vehicle, which was being stored at a towing company “until payment,” and violating conditions of release, according to police reports. No other information was released.

John E. Merrick, 47, of Williamstown was cited on a charge of domestic assault, unlawful mischief and violation of a prevention of abuse order on April 17, according to police reports. Damage to the Fairfield Inn, where Merrick and the alleged victim were staying, was estimated at more than $1,190, according to the report. Merrick was taken to Fletcher Allen Health Care after suffering a seizure in the aftermath of the alleged incident, according to the report. He was cited to appear in court.


Antonio Hammond, 29, of Burlington was cited on a charge of retail theft after allegedly stealing more than $369 worth of electronics from Wal-Mart on May 21, according to police reports. He was cited to appear in court.

Driving with suspended license

Jessica Roberts, 28, of Burlington, was cited on a charge of driving with a suspended license-criminal on Industrial Avenue on June 5, according to police reports. She was cited to appear in court on July 22.

Police notes are written based on information provided by the Williston Police Department and the Vermont State Police. Please note that all parties are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


Sports Roundup

CVU has presence on Vermont starry hockey team

When the annual boys Make-a-Wish Twin State All-Star Hockey Classic teams face off July 13 at the University of Vermont’s Gutterson Field House, there will be a Champlain Valley Union High influence on the Vermont squad.

CVU head coach Mike Murray will be running things from behind the bench, with CVU assistants Matt Hopper and Greg Murray helping out.

Former Redhawk players (2013 graduates) Kirk Fontana and Patrick Keelan will be in the Vermont lineup.

The boys game will get underway at 6 p.m. following the girls contest, which starts at 4.

Tickets will be sold at the door. Prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students ages 7 to 17. Youngsters under 7 get in for free.

CVU represented on state lacrosse teams

New Hampshire lacrosse stars scored wins over Vermont Saturday in the annual boys and girls Hanover Lions Twin State Lacrosse games played at Hanover, N.H.

Vermont boys fell 12-9 to the Granite Staters. CVU’s Chandler Jacobson was a member of the Green Mountain congregation.

Vermont also lost the girls game 19-16, with CVU’s Brenna Gorman a Vermont team participant.

Summer hours at CVU fitness center

Residents of Williston, St. George, Shelburne, Hinesburg and Charlotte can work out for free this summer at the Champlain Valley Union High School fitness center. The center is open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. It is closed July 4. From June 19 – 28 and July 15 – July 26, the morning hours will be 7:00-8:30 a.m. For more information, call the high school at 482-7100.

Vermont Tri-State wins tournament

The Vermont Tri-State Team came from behind to edge New Hampshire by just one point at the Tri-State Tournament at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro, Me. June 19-20. Vermont finished with 145 points, New Hampshire with 144 points and Maine with 116 points. This is Vermont’s fourth consecutive victory.

The top players for Vermont were Terry Boyce, Amy Gregory and Kathy Gaudreau with 6 points, Rhonda Colvard and Janet Hayden with 5, Patty McGrath and Sarah Lee with 4.5, and Elizabeth Walker, Stacie Eaton, Nancy Murphy, Edith Hiller and Linda Maney with 4 points.

Next year’s tournament will be hosted by Vermont at St. Johnsbury Country Club.

CVU turf committee in weekend fundraiser

The Nordic Cup soccer tournament this past weekend brought teams from New England and Canada to Chittenden County and also helped the Champlain Valley Union High turf committee in its efforts to generate dollars for the field turf project.

With close to 30 volunteers selling concessions, soliciting parking donations and sponsorships, some $5,300 was raised in the two-day event at the three fields at CVU, according to committee spokesperson Kelly Stoll.

“It was a large event for us,” Stoll said.

Stoll said funds raised to date stand at $185,000.

The proposed project would fund two turf fields, bleachers and lights at CVU’s athletic facility. Total cost is estimated at $2 million.

—Mal Boright,
Observer correspondent


Two home games loom for Legion baseball nine


By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Tuesday’s washout of its home game with Addison left the
S. D. Ireland American Legion baseball team with a 2-4 record and undefeated Essex coming to call Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at S. D. Ireland’s ball yard at Champlain Valley Union High.

At the Observer’s press deadline Wednesday, the makeup with Addison was being rescheduled.

“It will be either Friday at 5:30 p.m. or Saturday morning at 11 a.m.,” said Ireland coach Jim Neidlinger.

The Gold and Green did get in its Monday contest with 5-0 Essex and gave the visitors some serious quivers and quakes with a four-run rally in the top of the seventh before being nipped 6-5.

It was a home game for Essex, which is having its field repaired.

After the Junction Men pushed over three runs for a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth without the benefit of a hard hit, the Irelands struck back in the top of the seventh and final frame, a two-run single by Larry Halvorson a key stroke.

Neidlinger praised the work of starting pitcher Dylan Ireland. “He pitched very well,” said the skipper.

The locals grabbed their second victory of the season Sunday, a 7-5 triumph over visiting Montpelier.

Catcher Hayden Smith cranked the big clutch hit—a two-out, bases-loaded hard single to right that drove in two runs to break a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the seventh.

Earlier, Will Conroy’s two-run single and Deagan Poland’s RBI single in the sixth had given the Ireland’s a short-lived 5-3 advantage.

Relief pitcher Luke Russell got the final two outs in the top of the ninth for the save after taking over for Erik Bergkvist, who got the win after relieving starter Davis Mikell in the top of the seventh. Mikell worked six frames and allowed but four hits while whiffing 10 batters and walking three.

Mikell slugged a pair of hits, as did Smith. Russell smacked the Ireland’s lone extra base blow, a two-bagger.

The Irelands got their first win early last week, when Conroy hurled a 4-2 victory at Addison.

Autumn Eastman named ‘Gatorade Player of the Year’

Autumn Eastman was named one of Gatorade’s players of the year. (Observer file photo)

Autumn Eastman was named one of Gatorade’s players of the year. (Observer file photo)

She was only a junior, but Champlain Valley Union High’s Autumn Eastman’s record-snapping track and field performance this spring got the attention of the Gatorade people who have named her their girl’s track and field Vermont Athlete of the Year.

But not by athletic performance alone did Eastman earn the honor. Her grade A average in the classroom and volunteer work also were factors.

Along with anchoring CVU’s crack distance relay team, Eastman broke the 800-meter run record in the Division 1 state meet and her victory in the 1,500-meter run placed her in the top 65 nationally.

Eastman was also a key member of CVU’s state championship cross country team last fall.

Mount Mansfield Union High hurdler and high jumper Alec Eschholz, a sophomore, is the Gatorade boys track and field athlete of the year.

—Mal Boright,
Observer correspondent