October 24, 2014

Grid playoff round takes CVU to Tigertown


By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Its foes have not lost a football game since the 2012 season, but the Champlain Valley Union High football team hopes to end that string Friday night when it travels to Middlebury to meet the top-seeded, 8-0 Middlebury Union High Tigers in an opening round playoff.

The eighth-seeded Redhawks, edged 41-34 by Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans last Friday night, finished the regular season with a 3-5 mark.

The defending Division 1 Tigers, playing at home, ripped Burlington High 51-0 Friday night.

“We are going to Middlebury to win,” said CVU head coach Jim Provost. “I am thinking that if we can fix some things defensively, we can play with anybody.”

The problem Friday night was the same as when the Redhawks met the Tigers at CVU’s homecoming a few weeks ago: giving up too many big plays.

When Middlebury came to Hinesburg, the Tigers scored a 48-21 victory with four first-half touchdowns coming on runs of 25 and 55 yards, a 61-yard scoring pass and a 95-yard interception return, which blended into a 41-7 halftime lead.

While Middlebury owned the end zones, the game statistics showed CVU with a 17-9 advantage in first downs and a 74-44 edge in plays from scrimmage. But, it is times in the end zone that decide games.

Running and passing quarterback Austin Robinson and diminutive but swift halfback Bobby Ritter led the Tigers on both sides of the ball.

At St. Albans, the Redhawks struck early for 14-0 and 21-6 leads. However, BFA’s ability to rip off long gains on wide sorties around the ends put the Bobwhites in eventual command. The demon dude was Robert Simon, who scampered for 183 yards in six carries. A trio of those came on lengthy, practically untouched jaunts, twice around left end and once down the right sideline.

BFA’s Robert Kelly rumbled for 96 yards overland, including a 53-yard burst with just over six minutes to go in the game to put BFA ahead for good. He had a previous scoring dash of 17 yards.

But the turf-thumping pacesetter of the night was CVU’s hardworking, line-shattering halfback Rich Lowrey, who set a Redhawk single-game record by barging through BFA would-be tacklers for 283 yards of real estate and four touchdowns. The six-pointers came on runs of 11, 38, 9 and 7 yards.

Provost praised the work of Lowrey and the offensive line that pushed some Bobwhites around to give him running room. The coach believes that the big night puts Lowrey in the exclusive club of 1,000 yards for the season, a probable CVU program first.

Sophomore Jake Evans was at the quarterback controls and had an early game nine-yard touchdown pass to end Trevor Kingston.

The winner in Middlebury would then meet either fifth-seeded Colchester High (6-2) or fourth-seeded Rutland High (5-3), who tangle Friday in Rutland.

Provost said that going into the week’s practice sessions the Redhawks appeared to be healthy and set to go for the Friday test.

Unbeaten CVU soccer girls have quarterfinal Friday on Middlebury turf

Sierra Morton outplays a Mount Mansfield opponent during an Oct. 17 game, which the Redhawks won 3-0. (Observer photos by Al Frey(

Sierra Morton outplays a Mount Mansfield opponent during an Oct. 17 game, which the Redhawks won 3-0. (Observer photos by Al Frey(

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

High school soccer playoffs can be very tricky for the higher seeded teams.

But then, at times the higher seeded teams will dominate, as the second-seeded, three-time defending Division 1 champion Champlain Valley Union High girls soccer team did Tuesday, bopping 15th seeded Rutland High 11-0 on a wet and cool afternoon in the hills of Hinesburg.

And if the most challenging test of the day was the condition of the clay-based fields under the sprinkle from the skies, the challenge could be even greater come Friday with showers forecast through the start of the weekend.

The Redhawks next postseason foe will be seventh-seeded 9-5-1 Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans, a 3-1 opening round winner over 10th seeded North Country Union Tuesday. The game is set for 3 p.m. Friday at CVU with the winner moving on to the semifinals Tuesday.

For the Redhawks, the opening round victory moved their two-plus year winning string to 41 contests.

Many coaches believe when a high seeded team takes on an underdog in tournament play, the favored unit needs to score early and often to keep the foe from “getting uppity.”

CVU did exactly that, controlling play from the opening boot of the sphere and then posting the initial score in the third minute. Audrey Allegretta chalked up the marker with a 10-foot drive from a slick set-up pass from midfielder Paige DuBrul (two helpers total).

Less than a minute later, an Allegretta shot bounced off the cross bar and moments after that another CVU shot caromed off a post.

But with 27 minutes and 18 seconds left in the half, Megan Gannon took a pass from Lia Gagliuso (first of three assists) and put the Hawks up 2-0 to get the rout into gear.

Gannon scored again, Sierra Morton unleashed two tallies and Catherine Cazayoux nailed a goal as the Redhawks piled up a 6-0 lead by intermission.

After a Rutland own goal opened second half scoring, Cazayoux found the net for her second tally, Gagliuso scored and Sydnee Lyman found the range twice to finish it.

For the afternoon, CVU laid down a ringing 35-shot barrage on the Red Raiders’ net.

CVU goalies, at the quiet other end, had two saves. Starter Maddie Turneau had one and Michaela Flore in the closing 20 minutes made a stop.

Rutland left town with a 2-11-2 record.

CVU coach Stan Williams noted the wide victory margin allowed him to spread around a lot of players’ game minutes, even to the two members up from the unbeaten junior varsity.

Vermont International Film Festival opens Friday

A still from the Vermont International Film Festival's opening film, 'We Are the Best!'

A still from the Vermont International Film Festival’s opening film, ‘We Are the Best!’

The 2014 Vermont International Film Festival, held Oct. 24 through Nov. 2 in downtown Burlington, features more than 90 screenings, special events, receptions and filmmaker events. Events take place at Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center in the Film House and Black Box Theater. Lunchtime screenings are at The BCA Center on Church Street and additional screenings and events will happen at Skinny Pancake, ArtsRiot and Signal Kitchen. Full information about all film and events can be found at www.vtiff.org.

For most screenings, tickets are $10, $8 for seniors and $5 for children and students. A Festival Gold Pass is also available for $120, which gains access to most films and events, and VTIFF members gain discounted or free access to films and events. 

2014 Festival Highlights 

Festival Kickoff Film & Event: ‘We Are The Best!’

The festival starts with a bang, Friday, Oct. 24 with a screening of the Swedish film “We Are The Best!” This film has been winning the hearts of critics and audiences all over the world, ending up on numerous 10 best lists this year. Director Lukas Moodysson creates an invigorating portrait of teenage punk—that boisterous, rambunctious energy that’s re-fueled anew by each generation’s sense of righteous passion, impatient desire for independence and uneasy brew of angst, anger and ambition. “We Are the Best!” is a delightfully vivacious experience, brimming with infectious humanism, which perfectly captures the irrepressible spirit of youthful rebellion.

An opening night party at Skinny Pancake at 8:30 p.m. will follow the screening. 

Norman McLaren And Steve Woloshen Retrospective 

On Saturday, Nov. 1 at 3:30 p.m. in the Main Street Landing Film House, there will be a special anniversary screening to honor world-renowned Academy Award winning filmmaker/animator Norman McLaren on the 100th anniversary of his birth featuring Steves Woloshen, considered a McLaren disciple and respected and admired for scratch animation films in his own right. McLaren came to Canada from Scotland in 1941 to work at the National Film Board, where he was asked to form its animation department and where he developed his technique of drawing directly on film stock. Woloshen will present a selection of his favorite McLaren shorts and some of his own. 

‘20,000 Days on Earth’ and Gala Closing Party at Signal Kitchen 

Saturday, Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m. in MSL Film House, join festival-goers for the closing night film, “20,000 Days on Earth” — a bold vision of one of music’s most mysterious and charismatic figures: Nick Cave. In their debut feature, directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard fuse drama and documentary by weaving a cinematically staged day in Cave’s life with never-before-seen cinéma vérité observations of his full creative cycle. This screening will be followed by a closing party at 8:30 p.m. at Signal Kitchen in Burlington, celebrating the season two premiere of the Vermont PBS series “Makin’ Friends with Ryan Miller.” Miller, lead singer of Guster and host of the show, will sing songs about friends with his friends in Swale. A set by Swale will follow. 

Family-Friendly Films

A special selection curated for the whole family, weekends at 11 a.m. at Main Street Landing Film House. 

“The Boy And The World” (“O Menino E O Mundo”), Saturday, Oct. 25: Brazillian director Alê Abreu’s beautifully rendered, dialogue-free film is an emotionally resonant, visually enthralling, utterly charming tale perfectly suited for audiences of all ages.

“Ragnarok,” Sunday Oct. 26: Ragnarok sits on the same summit as many of the best adventure films of the 1980s. It steers clear of the trappings of modern family fare—just great storytelling, acting and adventure.

“Zip & Zap And The Marble Gang,” Saturday Nov. 1: “Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang” explores themes of friendship, courage and acceptance, and is a wonderful addition to the children’s adventure film genre.

VTIFF After Dark

A series of three genre films presented at ArtsRiot on Pine Street at 10 p.m. 

“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” Sunday Oct. 26: Writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour’s first feature has been described as a “Middle Eastern feminist vampire romance,” but it’s much more than that. 

“Honeymoon,” Tuesday Oct. 28: This taut and smoldering horror story’s strength comes from two incredible performances that will leave you gutted. 

“Life After Beth,” Thursday Oct. 30: Writer-director Jeff Baena unearths a fresh and hilarious take on zombies, bringing together an all-star comedy cast including Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon and Anna Kendrick. 

Special Event: The Cold War On Film 

England film historian and television producer Taylor Downing will introduce a special screening of “Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (screening as part of the festival Sunday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m.) to mark the 50th anniversary of the film and will talk about the making of the film. As a separate event, he will present “The Cold War: The Wall Comes Down” (Monday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. at Champlain College), part of Turner Broadcasting System’s landmark 24-part TV series.  

Film Panels 

Bodies In Action: Sunday, Oct. 26, Main Street Landing Black Box Theater A panel of dancers will speak following the 1:30 p.m. screening of “Born To Fly,” documentary film about action-obsessed choreographer Elizabeth Streb.  

Civil Liberties, or how to obtain information: Saturday, Oct. 26, Main Street Landing Film House  Panel follows the 2 p.m. screening of “Informants,” a unique look at FBI informants themselves, highlighting the crucial role they played in actively enlisting young men who never demonstrated any inclinations toward violence.  

Vermont Filmmaker’s Showcase 

The Vermont Filmmakers Showcase brings 13 films this year to The Main Street Landing Black Box Theater, presented by the filmmakers. These films showcase a diverse and talented group of local filmmakers, and demonstrate the passion and dedication that is present in Vermont for filmmaking. Films will be selected for The James Goldstone Award, the Ben & Jerry’s Award, the Footage Farm USA Award, VCAM Audience Favorite Award and VTIFF Awards for Best Film, Best Screenwriting and Best Acting. Each film screens for free, donations are accepted for VTIFF. See www.vtiff.org for film schedule. 

Little Details: Secrets revealed


By Katherine Bielawa Stamper

Greenough Hall is a freshman dormitory located just outside Harvard Yard in Cambridge, Mass. The brick with ivory—not ivy—trim residence is named for Chester Noyes Greenough (1874-1938). Greenough served as a professor of English and dean at what remains one of our nation’s most prestigious institutions of higher education.

Greenough’s lesser-known role was as convener of a “Secret Court” at Harvard, the aim of which was to investigate and root out alleged homosexuals on campus. Directed by then-president A. Lawrence Lowell, Greenough’s tribunal spent two weeks in the spring of 1920 conducting 30 secretive interviews, acting as master inquisitors.  

The accused received curt, written invitations from Dean Greenough. Those summoned were ordered to appear, one by one, on the appointed date and at the appointed time. Finals approached. Greenough directed them to miss examinations, if necessary, to appear for questioning. Names were named, under duress. The interrogations extracted the most private of information regarding intimacies.   

At least eight students, a recent alumnus and an assistant professor were expelled or otherwise disassociated with the university. The witch hunt was surgical and swift, forcing gay activity even further underground at the then male only bastion of privilege and learning.

What precipitated these actions? Cyrus Wilcox, a Harvard undergraduate, committed suicide in May 1920, prompting formation of the court. Wilcox, facing a series of academic difficulties, was at his family’s home in Fall River, Mass., after being asked by Harvard to leave. Unable to return to school, he inhaled poisonous fumes—a common suicide method—from the gaslight in his bedroom. Wilcox elected suicide over shame and an uncertain future. 

Harvard administrators learned of the suicide and feared scandal, a blemish on the University’s pristine reputation. Their fears heightened when news surfaced of Wilcox’s allege engagement in homosexual parties on campus. The parties, it was said, were hosted by fellow classmate, Ernest Roberts. Roberts was the son of a member of the United States Congress, setting off broader, more grave alarms for the administration. 

And so the inquisition began. Those who were expelled were warned that Harvard would disclose the reasons for their departures if they sought admission elsewhere. Doors slammed shut at other Ivies. Educations were cut short. Prospects for bright and promising careers were derailed. Puritanical punishment was dispensed with finality and little hope of reconciliation.

Eugene Cummings, a dental student weeks from graduation, was summoned to appear before the court. He committed suicide in June 1920, at the Harvard infirmary.

It wasn’t until 2002 that Amit Paley, a journalist for the Harvard student newspaper, The Crimson, broke the century-old story about the “Secret Court.” Paley’s articles garnered national and international attention, prompting then-Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers to issue a statement expressing regret for past events. Some students called for posthumous granting of degrees, a request Harvard administrators declined.

This unearthing of history prompted numerous articles, a book, a film and a theatrical play. I am saddened to think of how these students’ public lives were ravaged by powerful external forces for what were, in fact, private acts. These students inhabited a world—an America—not yet ready to embrace difference. Given social norms of the day, I wonder where I’d have stood had I known one of these young men.

We’ve come a long way, and yet, there remain places in America where it is still unsafe to be a member of a minority, sexual or otherwise.

For further information:

Book: Wright, W. (2005).  Harvard’s Secret Court

Film:  Van Devere, M. (2008). Perkins 28: Testimony from the Secret Court Files of 1920

Play:  Richardson, S. (2011).  Unnatural Acts: Harvard’s Secret Court of 1920

Katherine Bielawa Stamper, a Williston resident, was a 2013 finalist for the Coolidge Prize for Journalism.  Reader comments are welcome at [email protected] or [email protected]

Letters to the Editor


Thank you, Richmond

On Sunday afternoon (Oct. 12), I experienced a severe allergic reaction while driving just south of Richmond. A Richmond police officer was in his car, so I approached and asked for medical assistance. He called for an ambulance, directed traffic and took care of my car. It was much needed consideration, and I so appreciated his kindness. It is reassuring to know there are compassionate police officers still around.

In addition, the ambulance crew was outstandingly competent and professional. They were prepared and ready to handle any crisis that may occur while monitoring vitals and keeping my son and me calm and informed. If I had been in better shape, I would have hugged all three of them.

Thank you, Richmond Rescue and Police, for seeing to it that I was safe and in good hands.

Kimberly Townsend

Judicial overreach in family court 

Vermonters have lost homes to floods, fire and to foreclosure. Vermonters also lose homes to misguided decisions in Family Court.

Family court judges assume wide discretion in their decisions, often willfully overlooking established legal principles.

In family court, a single unelected government official can disregard governing legal statute to set aside valid binding agreements, without relevant precedent in case law and without oversight. It is the definition of unchecked judicial overreach. Those wrongly harmed by their decisions cannot realistically appeal; a review by the Vermont Supreme Court takes years and tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

I urge legislators to clarify statues that govern family court decisions, and—as importantly —to pay attention to how those decisions are being made, and to hold the judges they appoint accountable for those decisions.

Brian D. Cohen
Westminster Station

Ebola preparedness in Vermont


By Harry Chen and Tracy Dolan

Ebola is a deadly and dreaded disease that is ravaging West Africa, a part of the world that has far too little in the way of modern health care and public health infrastructure. The 2014 epidemic is the largest in history, and daily news of the continuing death toll and the extreme hardships facing the people and frontline health care workers there is heartbreaking. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the international community are working heroically to stop the spread of Ebola at its source, and we must continue to dedicate resources and expertise to this effort. Brant Goode, one of our team at the Health Department, is in Liberia now, training health care workers how to protect themselves from the virus while caring for the sick.

While the epidemic is worsening each week, we are not seeing large numbers of cases in other parts of the world or here in the U.S. One of the reasons Ebola has spread so quickly in West Africa is the very fact that many communities have no clinics, hospitals or doctors—and have insufficient equipment, supplies and medicines to control infection, protect workers, and treat patients. The plain truth is that until the epidemic is controlled in Africa there will be some risk here, as we have witnessed in Dallas.

We are doing all we can to prepare for the possibility of a person with Ebola presenting to our health care system. As we prepare, it’s important to understand how very small the risk is in this country. Ebola is not easy to catch. Ebola does not spread easily like the flu or measles. You cannot get it through the air, water or food. Ebola can only be spread through direct contact with blood or body fluids from a person who is sick and showing symptoms of Ebola. A person who has no symptoms cannot spread the virus.

Ebola is a disease that is unfamiliar in the U.S., but our expertise and experience in controlling the spread of infectious disease and protecting public health is among the best in the world. In Vermont, we are communicating with hospitals and emergency departments, EMS responders, health care providers and other partners so that everyone will respond appropriately in the unlikely event Ebola comes here. We are keeping up with the latest federal guidance and widely sharing that information. We are learning from the experience of other states that have received patients, and adjusting and strengthening our protocols based on what we are learning. We want to make sure that health care providers “think Ebola” and ask patients about their travel history. We want to make sure health care providers understand and practice in advance the proper infection control measures, so they are ready to safely identify, isolate, transport and treat Ebola patients—just in case.

We expect the situation with Ebola will continue to change day by day, and we encourage Vermonters to turn to credible sources to stay informed. We offer the most current information, guidance and resources for the public and for health care providers on the Health Department’s website at www.healthvermont.gov.

Harry Chen, MD, is the Vermont Health Department’s acting secretary of human services and Tracy Dolan is the acting health commissioner.

Around Town


Rec Department hosts community pumpkin carving

The Williston Parks & Recreation Department is hosting a free community pumpkin carving night on Friday, Oct. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Williston Central School Cafeteria. Carvers can come dressed up or not and should bring their own pumpkin. Volunteers and staff will help you carve a masterpiece. Free pizza will be provided by Williston House of Pizza while supplies last. Refreshments and goodie bags for kids will also be available. For more information, email [email protected] or call 878-1239.

Sock drive at Lenny’s

In an effort to support Vermont’s homeless population this winter, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel is holding a sock drive now through Christmas. Socks are being collected at Lenny’s four stores, including the Williston location, and will be donated to adults, children and babies served by COTS at Christmastime. The sock drive is the result of a joint effort between Lenny’s and Zoe Lawrence, a CCV student from Central Vermont.

Alzheimer’s Association wins grant

The Williston-based Alzheimer’s Association, Vermont Chapter was among nine local nonprofit organizations to be awarded a total of $17,678 in Small and Inspiring grants from the Vermont Community Foundation for local projects this spring and summer. One of a number of staff-directed competitive grant rounds at the Foundation, the Small and Inspiring program funds work that helps connect people to their neighbors, their land and their history in ways that strengthen the fabric of the community. Community Foundation fundholders partnered with the Foundation in making the grants, which typically range from $250 to $2,500. Visit vermontcf.org to learn more. Nonprofits interested in applying for a Small and Inspiring grant are encouraged to visit vermontcf.org/availablegrants for more information. There is one remaining round of Small and Inspiring for 2014, with a deadline Dec. 1. The association received $2,000 to support “The New Normal,” a community-building initiative centered on social events and activities that unite and empower people living with early Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Williston schools recognized for culture and climate


Observer staff report

Allen Brook School and Williston Central School were among 11 schools statewide recognized as “exemplar schools” for the 2013-14 school year by Vermont’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports team.

It is Allen Brook’s second time on the list.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, known as PBIS, is a school-wide, systems approach to improving social and academic competence for all students. School staff, administrators and family members work together to create positive and safe learning environments by teaching and supporting behavior expectations in all school settings.

PBIS is not a curriculum, intervention or practice. It is the behavior component of a multi-tiered system of supports framework that uses data to guide selection, integration and implementation of the best evidence-based practices for improving social and academic outcomes for all learners. At the foundation of this system is high-quality instruction and clear, positive feedback for all learners.

Vermont’s PBIS is now in the seventh year of implementation. Thirty-nine percent of Vermont schools are implementing the system in 81 percent of the state’s supervisory unions/supervisory districts.

The exemplar schools were recognized Oct. 7 at the annual Vermont PBIS Leadership Forum.

“To receive this acknowledgement, these schools show evidence of implementation fidelity and demonstrate that sustained implementation has had positive effects on learners’ academic and behavioral performance,” according to a press release. “VTPBiS Exemplar Schools demonstrate a significant commitment on the part of staff and the recognition that school culture and climate contributes to the overall success for all learners.”

Fatal accident in Williston


Observer staff report

Police are investigating the cause of an accident that killed a Williston man last week.

The Williston Police Department responded to the Oct. 16 accident at approximately 2:30 p.m. A car left Williston Road at the top of French Hill and hit a tree. The driver, Michael G. Walker, 69, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said it appears he was not wearing a seatbelt.

Any witnesses to the accident are asked to contact Sgt. Brian Claffy at 878-6611.

Haunted Forest brings spooky thrills to Williston

Witches cast a spell during last season's Haunted Forest, a popular outdoor theater production. This year's event is Oct. 24-26 at the Catamount Family Center.

Witches cast a spell during last season’s Haunted Forest, a popular outdoor theater production. This year’s event is Oct. 24-26 at the Catamount Family Center.

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

With Halloween growing closer, families and friends can take in spooky fun and frights at the annual Haunted Forest.

Each October, more than 400 volunteers—actors, costume designers, pumpkin carvers, technical crew and more—transform the trails at the Catamount Outdoor Family Center into a forbidding outdoor haunted house, complete with nearly a thousand jack-o-lanterns lining the paths.

The event will be held Oct. 24 – 26 at the Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston. Due to inclement weather, Haunted Forest staff canceled Thursday evening performances and moved them to Sunday evening.

This year’s theme is “Entering the Catamount Asylum.” Attendees get a creepy tour, complete with peeks at the work of doctors trying to cure patients of their fears—clowns, spiders, claustrophobia, dolls and more.

“There are some common fears as well as a couple not-so-common fears,” said organizer Katie Ballard.

The Haunted Forest has been running for 34 years, first at the Audubon Society in Huntington, then at Catamount since 2002. Favorite attractions return this year, including the 20-foot-tall animatronic Pumpkin King, Vortex Tunnel and Sindy Skinless and the Decomposers.

Organizers say the show focuses on a haunted Halloween, not horror. The shows are family-friendly, and a matinee on Saturday is geared toward children 8 and younger focused on helping Wizard Wartlekrunch find his lost staff.

“Our children’s matinee is really engaging and interactive,” Ballard said.

Multiple shows are held each night, as well as a kids’ matinee on Oct. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Attendees are admitted into the Forest in groups of 20 to 25, then escorted through a series of spooky skits along the dark forest paths.

The evening shows cost $13 and the matinee is $9.

“People should come check out the Haunted Forest because it is a great way to support the volunteers that make it happen and to give back to the community,” Ballard said, noting that the Haunted Forest gives tickets to local organizations and seeks out other ways to support the community.

This year, it is giving out two $500 scholarships to Haunted Forest volunteers.

Ballard said the Haunted Forest also provides safe and alcohol-, drug- and violence-free fun for hundreds of volunteers and attendees.

“It’s all about being out in the woods and having fun, putting a product together that audiences are going to love,” she said.

For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit www.thehauntedforest.org. Tickets are also available at The Alpine Shop in South Burlington or Buttered Noodles on Harvest Lane in Williston.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 238-0923.