July 24, 2014

BREAKING: CSSU, teachers association fail to reach contract consensus

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By Tim Simard
Observer staff

Chittenden South Supervisory Union’s negotiating team and the local teachers union failed to agree on a new contract Thursday night. Scott Cameron, the lead negotiator for CSSU and a Montpelier lawyer, said representatives from the Chittenden South Education Association walked out of the negotiations about three hours into the meeting at Williston Central School.

According to a press release issued by CSSU Friday afternoon, both sides remain apart on the issues of step increases and teacher payments towards health care premiums, among other concerns.

The CSSU board has given the Chittenden South Education Association until Jan. 31 to accept the CSSU proposal or make a “reasonable counter offer,” Cameron said. He added the CSSU school boards may decide to impose a one-year contract to complete the process.

Lisa Bisbee, chief negotiator for the Chittenden South Education Association, did not return calls from the Observer on Friday afternoon. In the past, the teachers union has met with a lawyer to discuss the legalities of a strike.

The Chittenden South Education Association is made up of teachers from Charlotte, Hinesburg, Shelburne, Williston and Champlain Valley Union High School.

The Observer will feature more in the Jan. 27 issue.

Guide to Williston

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Sports notes

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Six from CVU receive lacrosse season honors

File photo - Champlain Valley Union High lacrosse player Nick Hart (left) defends a Mount Mansfield Union player during a game in April. The senior midfielder was named to the Division 1 first team by the Vermont Lacrosse Coaches Association. Hart was also one of two Vermonters named to the National Senior All-Star team and one of six to receive a U.S. Lacrosse All-America honor.

Two players from the Division 1 runner-up Champlain Valley Union High boys lacrosse team were named by coaches first team all Division 1, while three earned places on the second team.

But the honors did not stop with players. Dave Trevithick was named the Coach of the Year by the Vermont Lacrosse Coaches Association.

First team slots went to senior midfielder Nick Hart, a key figure for the Redhawks at all sectors of the field, and senior defender Cully Millikin, who led a standout backfield unit.

In addition, Hart was one of two Vermonters named to the National Senior All-Star team and one of six to receive a U.S. Lacrosse All-America honor.

Millikin was one of six Vermont players to receive the VLCA’s Green and Gold Outstanding Player of the Year award.

Second team selections went to CVU’s Taylor Gingras, who potted better than 50 goals for the season, scorer and assist-meister Lawrence Dee and excellent backstop Eric Palmer. All three are juniors.

Joining Hart with the other selection to the National All-Star team is Mount Mansfield Union High’s Tucker White, who was named to the Division 1 second team as a midfielder. White, also a senior, was a Green and Gold honoree.

Former CVU athletes recognized

Veteran Champlain Valley Union High softball catcher Emily Himberg, a senior, was named to the North team for this past weekend’s annual North-South three-game set won by the South, two games to one.

After bowing twice on Saturday, Himberg’s North team fought back Saturday with a 7-3 victory at Castleton State College.

Katherine Goller, a former all-around athlete at CVU and now a Plymouth State sophomore, was named to the college athletic director’s academic honor roll, which requires a cumulative grade point average of 3.3. Goller skies and plays soccer at the New Hampshire school.

S.D. Ireland legion team gears up for playoffs

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By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

As the American Legion baseball summer schedule rolls into the final half, the number of games dwindle down in which the S.D. Ireland team can make a serious playoff run.

“We almost have to win out,” coach Jim Neidlinger said Monday as his players took batting practice following a forfeit victory over Waterbury at the Champlain Valley Union High field. The league (Northern Division) mark for S.D. Ireland, which includes players from Williston, now stands at 4-6.

The Irelands were preparing for a five-game tournament in Saratoga and Glens Falls, N.Y., which opened Tuesday with two games followed by a singleton on Wednesday before another pair of games Thursday at noon and 3 p.m.

After off days Friday and Saturday, the Irelands return to league play at noon Sunday against Franklin County in St. Albans. The two teams meet again in Hinesburg at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

The OEC Kings from the Northeast Kingdom will be at the CVU field for a 5:30 p.m. contest Tuesday.

Hopes were high going into the annual trip to Glens Falls, where, as assistant coach Onnie Matthews pointed out, the team went 2-2-1 last year against tough competition.

“We are getting better,” Neidlinger said. “There are still some little things here and there but overall we are better.”

The forfeit win on Monday lifted the squad to an overall 7-11 mark.

Last weekend the Irelands were in a three-day tournament in Granville, N.Y., where they went 1-2, the victory a 6-2 triumph hurled by starter and winner Nicky Elderton with solid relief from Dan French.

“Nicky pitched well, just gave up a couple of homers,” Matthews said.

On Sunday, in the Granville finale, the Irelands lost to Post 31, 12-11 in 10 innings after pushing across two runs in the ninth to force the extra inning.

Big bopper of the day for the Irelands was outfielder Jared Badger with two doubles and a single that produced a trio of tallies. Drew Nick poled a double and single.

Prior to the Empire State trip last Thursday, the Irelands pasted Waterbury, 12-0 on the road behind Theron Fuller’s five-hit pitching.

The swatting muscles were provided by Curt Echo with a three-run homer and Ryan Machavern with a two-run clout, both blasts launched over the fence in right.

LEGION TEAM BOWS TWICE IN TOURNEY

The S.D. Ireland American Legion baseball team got nipped 5-4 by New York Post 168, and then took an 11-5 loss at the hands of the TriCity Eagles Tuesday in its opening games in the annual Coopers’ Cave Tournament at Saratoga-Glens Falls, N.Y.

Field hockey camp

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July 8, 2010

Courtesy photos

The Champlain Valley Field Hockey Camp took place at Williston Community Park last week.

Independence Day celebrations by Kayla Walters

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July 8, 2010

Courtesy photos by Kayla Walters

Independence Day celebrations by Shelley Palmer

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July 8, 2010

Courtesy photos by Shelley Palmer

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Record-setting parade for Independence Day

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By Greg Duggan
Observer staff

Observer photo by Steve Mease - Ruth Painter, grand marshal of Williston’s Independence Day Parade, waves to spectators.

Liam Drake and his friends knew exactly what they wanted at the Independence Day parade: candy. Parked at a prime spot at the start of the parade, the boys carried plastic bags to fill with treats thrown from passing floats.

The boys waited as four national guardsmen strolled past to lead the parade, then watched the Town Band and grand marshal Ruth Painter roll through. By the time a police car passed, the kids were getting antsy; when the officer said hello to the boys, they asked if he had any candy.

The fire department passed next, showing off its new ambulance and other rescue vehicles. A stream of political candidates followed, and then came the classic cars, neighborhood floats, sports teams and local businesses — and candy. Lots of lots of candy.

Asked if the sugary treats were his favorite part of the parade, Liam quickly responded, “Yeah, probably.”

Hundreds of others turned out in the sunny weather on July 3 — Independence Day festivities in Williston took place a day early to avoid interfering with church services. Spectators had lined the parade route well before 10 a.m., stretching from east of Williston Federated Church to Old Stage Road to watch a record number of parade participants.

Observer photo by Greg Duggan - Sam Thurston (left), 12, dances as the Jazzercise troupe passes during the Independence Day parade.

“It’s the biggest parade we’ve ever had,” said Recreation Director Kevin Finnegan, noting that the parade had more than 70 participants.

“The election certainly helps. You get a lot of politicians,” Finnegan said.

Candidates for state and local offices walked in the parade, some of them with floats.

Parade judges Bob Bishop and Kristen Hankins watched the participants from a stand in front of Town Hall. First time judges, the pair said they were looking for the floats or groups with the most enthusiasm. Halfway through the parade, Hankins, a Recreation Committee member, said the youth sports teams were her early favorites. Bishop, a town employee, specified the All-Star Softball Team as the most enthusiastic to that point.

Observer photo by Steve Mease - Ken Stone peruses the mystery selections at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library book sale on Saturday.

Sure enough, when Finnegan announced the 2010 Parade Winners on the village green later in the day, the softball team took the prize for best community organization (full list of winners on page 15).

Once the parade finished, spectators wandered to the green for food, music and games. Shortly after noon, the village was filled with people meandering through the farmers’ market or lounging on the grass, picnicking and listening to the town chorus.

A crowd began to gather behind Dorothy Alling Memorial Library a little before 1 p.m. as children and parents anticipated the annual frog jumping contest. Several groups of kids had already splashed around in nearby wetlands looking for frogs that could compete. Others, including Shayla and Briana Lawrence, brought frogs they had caught earlier. The sisters came pulling a wagon that held an aquarium, in which sat a massive bullfrog and a smaller frog, going by the names Salt and Pepper, respectively.

Observer photo by Marianne Apfelbaum - Williston Community Food Shelf volunteers, including treasurer Jeanne Jensen (center), march in the Independence Day Parade to raise awareness about the food shelf and to solicit donations for the local nonprofit.

Shayla, 8, said she caught Salt two months earlier in a pond on Tower Lane, and had been feeding it crickets and worms ever since. She planned to release the amphibian after the jumping contest.

Warmth and sun accompanied the day’s events, though ominous weather had threatened to hamper the start of the town’s Independence Day celebrations, with rain pouring from dark skies for much of Thursday. But shortly before the bike races kicked off three days of July Fourth festivities, the skies cleared and sun beamed down from the sky.

The celebrations continued Friday evening with the library book sale, the Firecracker 5K Fun Run, the Town Band Concert and the Ice Cream Social.

Once again a waste free event — meaning ice cream came in compostable bowls — hosted by the Williston Historical Society and Williston Green Initiatives, the Ice Cream Social brought in more than $1,300. Historical Society President Terry Macaig said that after expenses, the event probably garnered $500 to $600 for the Williston Community Food Shelf. Two dollars bought scoops of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate ice cream, as well as generous toppings. Bob Bradish stood at the end of one of two lines, pouring hot fudge and strawberries onto ice cream.

“It’s just fun to do. You see a lot of people you know from around town,” he said.

Williston fireworks

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July 8, 2010

Courtesy photos by Bernhard Wunder

Williston’s fireworks display took place July 3 at Allen Brook School.