April 22, 2019

CVU Volleyball

CVU Girls VB vs_011Rndlph 23Oct15 Jessie Johnson CVU Girls VB vs_070Rndlph 23Oct15 Alexis Meyer CVU Girls VB vs_078Rndlph 23Oct15 Anna Johnson CVU Girls VB vs_171Rndlph 23Oct15 Lauren Johnson CVU Girls VB vs_198Rndlph 23Oct15 Emma Frost Alexis Meyer CVU Girls VB vs_238Rndlph 23Oct15 Brigette Durieux [Read more…]

CVU Girls Soccer

CVU Girls Soccer_044vs SB Q4 24Oct15 Catherine Cazayoux CVU Girls Soccer_083vs SB Q4 24Oct15 Michaela Flore CVU Girls Soccer_104vs SB Q4 24Oct15 Megan Gannon CVU Girls Soccer_105vs SB Q4 24Oct15 Megan Gannon CVU Girls Soccer_200vs SB Q4 24Oct15 Sierra Morton CVU Girls Soccer_264vs SB Q4 24Oct15 Abba Weimer CVU Girls Soccer_347vs SB Q4 24Oct15 Lia Gagliuso CVU Girls Soccer_370vs SB Q4 24Oct15 Catherine Cazayoux CVU Girls Soccer_486vs SB Q4 24Oct15 Anne Keen CVU Girls Soccer_498vs SB Q4 24Oct15 Abba Weimer CVU Girls Soccer_578vs SB Q4 24Oct15 Malina Carroll Michaela Flore [Read more…]

CVU Boys Soccer

CVU Boys Soccer _013 vs St J 23Oct15 CVU Boys Soccer _025 vs St J 23Oct15 CVU Boys Soccer _038 vs St J 23Oct15 CVU Boys Soccer _046 vs St J 23Oct15 CVU Boys Soccer _054 vs St J 23Oct15 CVU Boys Soccer _065 vs St J 23Oct15 CVU Boys Soccer _085 vs St J 23Oct15 CVU Boys Soccer _110 vs St J 23Oct15

Field Hockey

CVU FH Qrtrs vs_211 Hartfrd 23Oct15 CVU FH Qrtrs vs_178 Hartfrd 23Oct15 CVU FH Qrtrs vs_156 Hartfrd 23Oct15 CVU FH Qrtrs vs_083 Hartfrd 23Oct15 CVU FH Qrtrs vs_077 Hartfrd 23Oct15 CVU FH Qrtrs vs_069 Hartfrd 23Oct15 CVU FH Qrtrs vs_046 Hartfrd 23Oct15 CVU FH Qrtrs vs_035 Hartfrd 23Oct15 CVU FH Qrtrs vs_029 Hartfrd 23Oct15

“Bridge of Spies” Spans Troubled Waters

4 popcorns

By Michael S. Goldberger

Special to the Observer


I suspect Steven Spielberg, realizing that few folks were as lucky as I to have Mr. Green as their high school social studies teacher, felt the necessity to impart the grand civics lesson contained in his highly exciting “Bridge of Spies.” Chastising the baloney and opportunism that too often attend the application of patriotism, he cannily mines its most honest essence in this important chronicle of the May, 1960 U-2 incident and the Cold War drama that followed. Our spy, Captain Francis Gary Powers, is caught, and the Russians plan to make the most of it.


This calls for good old American ingenuity…the more homespun the better. Granted, it’s a cliché, but a great one all the same, and as symbolic of our character as the America Bald Eagle. Because no one since Henry Fonda has better exemplified the persona, it only follows that Tom Hanks is called upon to dust off his common man extraordinaire and attempt to save the day. He is the instantly likeable James B. Donovan, a Brooklyn insurance attorney who imbues the turn of events with idealistic realism and a touch of whimsical fate.


But let’s first step back a few years. Prior to a series of scenes detailing Captain Powers’s recruitment and subsequent capture by the Soviets, we’re introduced to the workaday scenario where Mr. Hanks’s lawyer plies his trade with noted aplomb. On this particular afternoon, he’s called into his boss’ office where he’s greeted by hush, hush guv’ment folk. You see, it’s just a few years before Powers’s capture, when we caught a spy, too, and it behooved us to make it look as if said operative were given an, ahem, fair trial.


They figured Donovan’s reputation would give that impression, and that he wouldn’t make waves. Well, they were kind of wrong about that last part. It isn’t long before the attorney recognizes the pawn he’s expected to play, and that the powers that be have no intention of acting honorably. The reactionary judge assigned to the case obviously has his marching orders. However, interviewing Rudolph Abel, the foreign agent in question, Jim grows sympathetic. He seems like a nice chap, just doing his job, like our guys doing the same thing for their country.


While the court of public opinion is calling for lynching of this mole from Mother Russia, our good counselor feels Abel is, at a minimum, entitled to an even break. He sure tries, but forget that. We’re abashed at the callousness of it all…the horrible injustice that is the evil product of mass fear. But, drawing on his field of specialty, prior to sentencing Mr. Donovan puts a bee in the judge’s bonnet, shrewdly arguing not the goodness of mercy, but rather, the pragmatism.


Thus the stage is set for what will prove one of the most intriguing and fascinating tutorials in diplomatic relations to grace the silver screen. It’s plenty complicated, with all sorts of labyrinthine details, uncertain identities and ambiguous conversations in chillingly hostile anterooms. Yet, despite the doubletalk and scene switching that might otherwise boggle the mind, Spielberg makes it all so accessible, entertainingly reminding us that it’s not for nothing that he’s considered one of cinema’s best directors.


Whether you’re of an age or not, one is sure to appreciate the re-creation of an era…the late 1950s and early ‘60’s, at once recognizable, but sociologically distant, as if it all occurred in some other, parallel world. Spielberg editorializes with punctuating inserts, good old Red Scare stuff like schoolchildren dashing under their desks during air raid drills. We get the gist. A la what George Orwell warned us about, the Soviets were the new hate/fear of the month.


It’s within this atmosphere that Donovan, an Atticus Finch applying his altruistic interpretation of the Constitution on an international stage, must combat the selfish forces looking to make hay from humankind’s errors and misfortunes. Of course, whole bunches of folks hate him for it. Still, after our man Powers is shot down and it appears that the seed Donovan planted when he defended Abel might be ready for harvest, the government calls on him to negotiate a trade. So it’s off to East Berlin …Verboten Land, behind the wall, where nothing is what it seems.


A stellar cast supports Mr. Hanks, led by the Olivier Award-winning Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel. They’re a thespic one-two punch, astutely personalizing the winds of global events. It turns out, contrary to what Rick told Ilsa in “Casablanca” (1942), that the problems of three people do amount to more than a hill of beans in this crazy world. Hence, after you’ve suffered a day of rude clerks and highway daredevils risking your life to get one space ahead, it’s a tad consoling to know that across “The Bridge of Spies” there are anonymous heroes who really care about us.

“Bridge of Spies,” rated PG-13, is a Touchstone Pictures release directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance and Alan Alda. Running time: 141 minutes



Understanding reverse mortgages: beware of misleading ads

By: Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior,

Can you give us a rundown of how reverse mortgages work? I’ve see actors Fred Thompson and Henry Winkler pitching them on TV, and they sound like a good deal. What can you tell me?

—Need the Money

Dear Need, [Read more…]

Healthy Food for Two: Comfort side dish

By: Ania Robertson

We had the first snowflakes on the ground already, an indication that winter is inevitably coming. All airy salads and light foods will be replaced by warm comfort foods.

Here is my choice of comfort food that is sweet with a sour twist. This dish is good for any potluck, Thanksgiving, Christmas or simple dinner during a cozy evening.

In my recipe I use an Ayurvedic recommendation—ghee, which is clarified butter. Because of the way ghee is prepared, the lactose and milk protein content is reduced to a minimum, making ghee better tolerated by those with dairy sensitivities. Ghee is an ideal fat for deep frying because its smoking point (where its molecules begin to break down) is 482 degrees, where butter’s is 350 degrees.

Yam-pear-apple-cranberry-nuts Casserole [Read more…]

Fish & Wildlife urges PFD use, safe practices on the water this fall

Observer file photo Vermont Fish & Wildlife urges everyone hunting, fishing and recreating on the water to do so safely.

Observer file photo
Vermont Fish & Wildlife urges everyone hunting, fishing and recreating on the water to do so safely.

Officials from Vermont Fish & Wildlife are reminding anglers, hunters and boaters to use personal flotation devices and exercise safe practices while on the water this fall.

“With migrating waterfowl and fish feeding up for the winter, the fall season can bring some of the best fishing and hunting action of the year to Vermont’s waterways,” said Col. Jason Batchelder, chief warden with Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “That being said, the fall also means cooling water temperatures and often strong winds that can create risks on the water. We strongly urge folks to wear a PFD and err on the side of caution at all times to help prevent any life-threatening situations.”

The lower water temperatures found in the fall can greatly increase the risk of hypothermia in the event of an on-the-water accident

“Using a life jacket can significantly increase a person’s chances of survival in a cold water accident scenario,” said Batchelder. “Cold water causes a rapid drop in body temperature which can lead to the loss of swimming ability and strength, gasping and the inhalation of water, and unconsciousness. While a PFD won’t prevent heat loss, it will keep you afloat if you go overboard and could ultimately save your life.”

Vermont boating laws require that all vessels carry one U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, III or V PFD for each person on board. Vessels 16 feet in length or longer must also have one U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type IV PFD on board. Also, children under 12 years of age must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II or III PFD at all times while any vessel is underway.

Additionally, New York State boating laws, which apply to waters on the New York side of Lake Champlain, require everyone aboard motorboats, canoes, kayaks, rowboats and sailboats less than 21 feet in length to wear a PFD while on New York waters from Nov. 1 to May 1.

Vermont Fish & Wildlife also encourages sports enthusiasts to properly plan for a fall outing on the water by ensuring that they have all required safety equipment such as visual and audible distress signaling devices, plenty of warm clothing and an updated weather forecast. Strong winds are common in the fall and can sometimes make for dangerous conditions on larger bodies of water such as Lake Champlain.

To learn more about boating safety and Vermont’s boating laws, visit http://www.boat-ed.com/vermont/handbook/.

Boys and girls volleyball teams heading to finals

Brigette Durieux leaps for a spike during Friday’s quarterfinal game against Randolph

Brigette Durieux leaps for a spike during Friday’s quarterfinal game against Randolph

The Champlain Valley Union High boys and girls volleyball teams will vie for the state title this weekend after winning semifinal matches earlier this week.

The boys volleyball team is heading to the state championship—set for Saturday at St. Michael’s College in Colchester at 3:30 p.m.—after beating Burlington High in a semifinal match Monday. [Read more…]

CVU to face Rice in championship

Observer Photo by Al Frey  Cooper O’Connell and his St. Johnsbury defender both go for the ball during Friday’s quarterfinal test

Observer Photo by Al Frey
Cooper O’Connell and his St. Johnsbury defender both go for the ball during Friday’s quarterfinal test

Observer staff report [Read more…]