October 20, 2014

Unbeaten CVU soccer girls at Mt. Mansfield Friday

Audrey Allegretta scored with less than two minutes remaining in a nail-biter against Essex on Saturday.

Audrey Allegretta scored with less than two minutes remaining in a nail-biter against Essex on Saturday.

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

Just one game remains between the undefeated Champlain Valley Union High girls’ soccer team and a second straight perfecto regular season. Still, coach Stan Williams believes, in the wake of Tuesday’s 1-0 home blanking of Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans, there is some practice work to be done.
The Redhawks will visit the 8-4-1 Cougars for a 4 p.m. session Friday. The practices to add offensive efficiency no doubt began Wednesday.
There seems little doubt that the defending Division 1 champion Redhawks will have top seed and potential home grass through to a championship contest, but playoff soccer can result in strange outcomes, thus the coach’s determination to gear up the offense.
Tuesday, the Redhawks held a solid advantage in territorial play. Sierra Morton scored the lone goal in the first half. Hannah Pease assisted. It was Morton’s second huge net filler in two games.
There could have been more, but some good opportunities went for naught as shots rolled wide, went high or got blocked.
Williams did have praise for his midfielders and defense players, who kept BFA from mounting any kind of organized missions beyond the midfield stripe.
CVU netminder Maddie Turnau had three stops. The Redhawks unleashed 11 shots on Comets’ keeper Taylor Jackson.
Morton and Audrey Allegretta were the goal poppers Saturday as the Redhawks came from behind for the first time this season to down a determined 10-3 Essex High unit 2-1 in overtime at the Hornets’ nest.
Allegretta scored with one minute and 40 seconds remaining in the first additional period on a crackerjack corner kick from Lia Gagliuso, so well placed that Allegretta was able to collect the goodie.
“Lia is a real weapon on corner kicks,” said an admiring Williams.
But for many minutes, this game had been one tense struggle. Essex had set the favored Redhawks (earlier 3-0 win over Essex) back on their tail feathers when Destin Barber fired a shot past Turnau just 53 seconds into the game.
“That set us back a bit, but we recovered,” said veteran midfielder and co-captain Paige DuBrul. “Essex always plays hard.”
CVU threatened on a few occasions but the score remained in Essex’s favor until just over four minutes had elapsed in the second half, when Morton banged home a loose ball past Essex goalie Annie Bouvee. Bouvee was immense with 14 saves.
CVU pretty much controlled play the reminder of regulation, although the Hornets came close in the final minute during a flurry in front of Turnau.
“They (Hornets) gave us a kick in the rear and we reacted,” said Williams after the game.
Junior defender Anne Keene suffered an injury late in the game but Williams said Tuesday she could be playing again within the week.
Last Wednesday ( Oct. 1) the Redhawks rolled up a 4-0 home triumph over Colchester High with Gagliuso, Morton, Allegretta and Megan Gannon the scorers as CVU rained 22 shots on the Lakers’ cage.

HUB Happenings


GMCS & Green Mountain Flagging move headquarters to Williston
Green Mtn. Concert Services, Inc. and Green Mountain Flagging, LLC recently announced they’re moving their united headquarters from Essex to Williston. The growth that the companies have experienced over the past several years has created a need for additional training and office space and the new location—1 Wentworth Drive off James Brown Drive—provides plenty of both. They will move to the new location by Nov. 1.
“The training and ongoing coaching of our employees is what allows us to provide quality protective services that separates us from our competitors and our new facility provides the space for us to keep our growing training and professional development department in-house, which also allows us to meet our goals more efficiently,” said GMCS/GMF President, CEO, Kevin W. Cheney.
VtSBDC hosts ‘How to Start Your Own Business’ workshops
The Vermont Small Business Development Center, as part of its many business services, is offering several workshops for those thinking about starting their own business. The workshops are held at various locations around the state, including Williston.
Learn what it takes to plan, start and run a successful small business where you can realize the challenges and satisfaction of working for yourself. Experienced business advisors will walk you through the basics and much more in this four-hour workshop designed as a step-by-step guide for the first-time business owner.
The four-hour workshops are $99. To register for a workshop, sign up online at www.vtsbdc.org

Marshall named national organization president
Williston resident Tanya Marshall, Vermont state archivist and director of the Vermont State Archives & Records Administration at the Secretary of State’s Office, was recently elected as president of the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators. NAGARA represents federal, state and local archivists, records managers and other government record administrators throughout the United States.
“To be recognized by her colleagues across the country—and elected to represent them—is a very special tribute to her leadership, hard work and dedication to the archives, records and information management profession,” stated Secretary of State Jim Condos.

Dubé in ‘Best Lawyers of America’
The law firm of Bergeron, Paradis & Fitzpatrick, LLP recently announced that Williston resident Priscilla B. Dubé has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers of America® 2015 in the practice area of Family Law. Dubé has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2010 and has been practicing family law at Bergeron, Paradis & Fitzpatrick for more than 23 years.

Businesses partner to support homeless
For the fourth year in a row, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel, Darn Tough Vermont and Smartwool have teamed up to donate more than $13,500 worth of socks and support to representatives from local homeless shelters.
The donations are the result of a joint effort between the three businesses to help provide warm, Merino wool socks and much-needed support to the areas homeless population in preparation for the state’s colder months. To date, Lenny’s has donated more than $56,000 worth of socks and support to these shelters.
Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel also donated $4,375 worth of fall boots to Lund last month.

Carolyn Weaver joins Keller Williams Realty
Carolyn Weaver, a real estate sales professional from Williston, has joined KW Vermont.
Weaver has more than 18 years experience as a Vermont real estate agent and has marketed and sold hundreds of homes in Chittenden County. Weaver is also a member of the NVBR Board of Directors and oversees the financial committee.

Academy selects Vermont accountants for ‘Top 10’ award
The National Academy of Public Accounting Professionals (NAPAP) has named its 2014 “Top 10 Public Accounting Professionals” for Vermont. The award winners include: John Davis of Davis & Hodgdon Associates in Williston; Jerry Bowin of McSoley McCoy in South Burlington; Renee Bourget-Place of KPMG in Colchester; James Donohue of Gallagher Flynn & Co. in South Burlington; Christopher Goulette of A.M. Peisch & Co. in Saint Albans; Marcia Merrill of Montgomery Merrill in Burlington; John Meyer of Pieciak & Co. in Brattleboro; Jeffrey Morin of JMM & Associates in Colchester; George Philibert of GHP Advisors in Burlington and Todd Wimette of Wisehart Wimette & Associates in Essex Junction.

DuBois gets high marks in client relationship study
Jason K. DuBois—a financial advisor with Russell, Blanchard & DuBois, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.—has received high marks from his clients in the recent Ameriprise Financial Client Relationship Study. DuBois ranked in the top 25 percent of all Ameriprise advisors, receiving a score of 96 percent or higher based on overall client satisfaction.
Conducted by a third party research organization, the survey provides clients with the opportunity to rate their advisors in several areas including whether their advisors provide them access to other specialists when appropriate, explain fees clearly and contact them when market conditions change significantly.

DeRosia honored
Marcia DeRosia of South Burlington was awarded the Vermont Health Care Association’s “Residential Care Administrator of the Year” award at the annual convention in Killington in October. DeRosia works at Our Lady of Providence Residential Care Facility in Winooski and owns American Health Care Software in South Burlington.

Shuman awarded
Dr. Brian Shuman, owner of Associates in Periodontics, received Vermont State Dental Society’s (VSDS) most prestigious Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his commitment to the dental profession and the oral health of Vermonters.
The award was presented Sept. 18 at the VSDS annual meeting in honor of his “many years of dedicated service to the field of dentistry.”

Skirack named one of America’s Best Bike Shops
Skirack of Burlington has been named one of America’s Best Bike Shops for 2014 by the National Bicycle Dealers Association. This designation has been awarded for the past two years and Skirack has been recognized each time.
There are approximately 4,000 bike shops in the United States and less than 300 were chosen to be named “America’s Best.”

The Hub: New PrimeLending team moves into Williston


By Heleigh Bostwick
Observer correspondent
PrimeLending, a national mortgage financing company, hired senior loan officer Heather Torre to head up a second team of loan officers at its Williston office on Blair Park Road.
“PrimeLending was looking for a person to grow the team,” Torre said. “It was a great opportunity for me to take my business to the next level.”
Torre, who shares the space with another established loan officer and her team, has already hired a client coordinator, who handles everything from client contracts to closings, a processor who deals with clients’ documentation needs and a closing coordinator.
“It’s a big enough sandbox for another person to come on,” said Torre.
Even though the two loan officers’ teams share office space, they are completely separate businesses.
“It’s been a challenge to get people to understand that because she’s been the only one running this for six years,” said Torre. “I want to make people more aware that I am here.”
Torre and her team serve northern Vermont and all of New York State.
“The bulk of my business is greater Chittenden County and Clinton County in New York State, but I do get referrals for apartments in Manhattan from Realtors I’ve made connections with.”
The Colchester resident chose Williston for its centralized location and interstate access.
Although there are regular office hours, Torre said she’s available 24/7 and every Tuesday the team calls all of their clients to ask if there’s anything they can do to make life easier during the loan process.
“That’s a day you can bank on us reaching you,” she said. “We believe 100 percent in communication and honesty. That’s something people love about working with us.”
Torre handles loans for residential properties and light agriculture such as hobby farms, as well as new construction.
“We’ll do a package deal of up to 90 percent financing to purchase the land and pre-fund the builder right after closing to start building—all up front,” she said. “I think our construction loan program is going to revolutionize the industry.”
Torre also specializes in renovation loans for full gut rehabs and updates to existing homes, as well as jumbo loans for lakefront and luxury properties for loan amounts of more than $417,000.
“We try to create an experience here,” she said. “Anyone can put numbers together, but buying a first home, a luxury home, retiring, these are all life changes and we’ve been there ourselves.”
PrimeLending is located at 33 Blair Park Road, Suite 202. For more information, visit https://lo.primelending.com/htorre/index.html or call 764-2082.

The Hub: The Richards Group opens Williston branch office


By Heleigh Bostwick
Observer correspondent
The Richards Group, an insurance and financial services company with offices in southern Vermont and New Hampshire, has opened a branch office in Williston.
Williston resident Rob Stokes heads up the new office, which is located in the old red brick house across from the State Police barracks on Route 2A.
“This is the furthest north we’ve had an employee benefits office,” said Stokes, director of operations-employee benefits for The Richards Group. “Most of our clients are in the southern part of the state. We chose this location because of its easy access to the highway.”
Stokes, who refers to himself as an employee benefits broker, specializes in self-funded ERISA plans for larger employers dealing with the health side of employee benefits. His role is to help companies create employee benefit packages that offer creative solutions to providing dental and medical benefits to workers in today’s complex healthcare environment.
Rachel Leblanc, service account manager offers client support services, focuses on local clients.
The Affordable Care Act has been a source of confusion for many employers who aren’t sure what they need to do to comply with the new regulations. With a single payer system on the horizon, there are even more unknowns.
“It’s really a tough situation,” Stokes said. “Employers need to stay in compliance with both state and federal healthcare regulations, but still want to offer employees benefits.
He tries to get the best plan designs for employers—such as going with high deductible plans or generics as opposed to higher cost prescription drugs.
The Richards Group offers a range of employee benefit solutions, tools and resources such as compliance dashboards, enrollment software and tools for human resource professionals to use. As a member of United Benefit Advisors, it is able to offer employers customized benefits solutions.
“We’re teamed with benefit advisors across the U.S. so we are able to go into partnership agreements to come up with better solutions,” said Stokes. “Being a UBA partner gives us a definite advantage.”
While the Richards Group also offers property and casualty insurance, the current focus of the Williston office is employee benefits.
Prior to joining the Richards Group, Stokes spent 14 years at CBA Blue, where he became an expert in self-funded plans.
“I understand the business and come up with employee benefits strategies that are outside the box,” he said, adding, “We’re all about working hard for our clients.”
The Richards Group office is located at 2283 St. George Road. For more information, visit www.therichardsgrp.com or call 343-3975.

Library Notes


Did you know that the library …
…has classes to teach people how to use their online library account, library databases, access e-books and e-audio and more? Or, we can offer you our undivided one-on-one attention? You can call the library and set up a private appointment with library staff anytime or with our teen tech tutor twice a month.

Youth News
After-School Games
Monday, Oct. 20, 3-4 p.m. Bring your own trading cards (Magic, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh) or play one of the library’s games. Grades 3 and up. Snacks provided.
Friday, Oct. 24, 3 p.m. A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse. Rated PG, 87 minutes, grade 1 and up. Free popcorn. Children 8 and younger must be accompanied by adult.
Spanish Musical Playgroup
Saturday, Oct. 25, 10:30 a.m. Spanish rhymes, books and songs for children birth to age 5. Includes a craft activity and snack. Music with Constancia and crafts with Natasha. Sponsored by Building Bright Futures.
Read to Van Gogh the Cat
Monday, Oct. 27, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Call 878-4918 to pre-register for individual reading sessions. All ages.
Pumpkin Story Time
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 11 a.m. Stories and a simple craft activity for children ages 3-5.
Read to a Dog
Tuesdays, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Bring a book and read to one of our registered therapy dogs. All dogs registered with Therapy Dogs of Vermont. Call 878-4918 to pre-register for individual sessions. All ages.
Maker Program: Squishy Circuits ‘Creepy Creatures’
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 3 p.m. Use basic circuitry to make a 3-D creature using Playdoh and LED lights. Kindergarten and up. Pre-register at 878-4918. Children ages 8 and younger must be accompanied by an adult while at the library. Pre-register at 878-4918.
Halloween Stories
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 6:30 p.m. Bring kids in PJs or costumes with their favorite stuffed animals for stories, a craft and a bedtime snack. Presented by Building Bright Futures.

Adult News
Dorian Michael Guitarist & Storyteller
Wednesday, Oct. 15, 6:30-7:45 p.m. Guitarist Dorian Michael will play a mix of finger-style instrumentals and a big bunch of blues, from original tunes to traditional American roots music. Michael has been playing music for more than 40 years.
Armchair Tour of Historic Williston Village
Saturday, Oct. 18 at 11 a.m. Local historian and author Richard Allen will offer a slide-talk presentation on “Along the Winooski Turnpike: Historic Tour of Williston Village.” Explore the past and present buildings and streetscapes, with the stories that have defined the main street of Williston over the last 150 years. Sponsored by the Friends of Dorothy Alling Memorial Library.
Chair Yoga with Jill Lang
Tuesday, Oct. 21 and 28, 1-2 p.m. Presented by Williston resident, Jill Lang. Enjoy free classes. Bring your own mat.
Gentle Yoga with Jill Lang
Tuesday, Oct. 21 and 28, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Presented by Williston resident, Jill Lang. Enjoy free classes. Bring your own mat.
The Tech Tutor
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 5:30-8 p.m. Stop by anytime during tech hours for one-on-one technology help from a teen. Guarantee a time by making a 15-minute appointment. 878-4918.
Putting Your Garden to Bed
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 6:30 p.m. Local Author Ron Krupp will read from his new book “Woodchuck Returns to Gardening” and talk about putting your garden to bed. Bring your questions. Book signing available.
Shape and Share Life Stories
Monday, Oct. 27, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. Learn to craft engaging stories from life experiences. Led by Recille Hamrell.
The Dorothy Alling Memorial Library is located at 21 Library Lane in Williston and can be reached at 878-4918. All events are free. www.williston.lib.vt.us

Letter to the Editor


Fruit fly remedy
I wonder if other people are bothered with fruit flies this fall? We seem to have more than usual. I buy apples, bananas, lemons, cantaloupe, pears and leave in a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter.
I have begun to wash all the fruit when I first bring it home rather than just before using it to see if this makes a difference.
I found a remedy in my vinegar book I would like to share with readers (also a visiting cousin from Washington state said he has had a big problem at home on the west coast and uses this solution.)
Pour about 1/4 cup cider vinegar into a small glass, and add a drop of dish liquid. Take a sandwich bag and cut a hole the size of a quarter in the center of the bag and place over the top of the glass. I use a rubber band to hold it in place. Once the fruit fly discovers the vinegar solution, it will fly into the vinegar and it doesn’t seem to know how to get out.
In the last six or seven days, I have counted 32 fruit flies in the glass.
If someone knows why we have fruit flies, what attracts them and any other info, I would like to hear his or her story.
Ginger Isham

GUEST COLUMN: Charting the future of Efficiency Vermont


By Jim Merriam
Efficiency Vermont was created in the year 2000 to help Vermont homes and businesses reduce their use of electricity. At a larger level, we work in partnership with all of Vermont’s traditional utilities to help reduce strain on the electric system and defer the need for expensive investments in new power plants and transmission lines.
Since its start, Efficiency Vermont has evolved significantly to help meet the changing energy needs and priorities of our customers and Vermont’s energy system. Today, Efficiency Vermont helps to reduce not only the use of electricity, but heating fuels as well. We are even providing incentives for renewable energy systems such as biomass heat and solar hot water.
The benefits of this work to reduce Vermont’s energy usage have been measurable and substantial. In 2013, electricity use in Vermont was 13 percent lower than it would have been. That same year, nearly 1,200 homes were buttoned up to lower their heating costs. According to VELCO, the state’s transmission company, Vermont’s investments in energy efficiency will help to defer $279 million in transmission and electric system upgrades over the next decade.
Those are results to be proud of and they are certainly not Efficiency Vermont’s alone. They are due to the decisions of thousands of Vermont homes and businesses to take steps to reduce their energy use and costs. Our top priority has always been to make those decisions easy and cost-effective—and to ensure that we offer guidance and solutions that will help you meet your long term energy goals.
As we look to the future, this is a good moment to pause and take stock of how Efficiency Vermont works today and how that work needs to evolve as the world around us continues to change. Are we keeping up with the newest technologies? Are we supporting broader state energy goals? Most importantly, are we meeting the needs of all Vermonters, especially those for whom energy costs are a challenging burden?
To help answer those questions and others, Efficiency Vermont is convening a series of community forums across the state. From Lyndonville to Bennington, we will be seeking input from Vermonters about what our priorities for the next three years should be.

If you would like to help shape the future direction of Efficiency Vermont, I invite you to attend a forum, give us a call at 1-888-921-5990 or visit our website www.efficiencyvermont.com/communityforums to learn more and share your perspective.
Efficiency Vermont Community Forum schedule (all forums run 6 – 7:30 p.m. and include a light supper):
Oct. 27: Bellows Free Academy, St. Albans
Oct. 28: Spaulding High School, Barre
Oct.r 29: Lyndon State College, Lyndonville
Nov. 5: Southwest Vermont Career Development Center, Bennington
Nov. 6: Brattleboro Area Middle School, Brattleboro

Jim Merriam is the director of Efficiency Vermont.

A look at Chittenden County State Senate candidates


Observer staff report
On Election Day—which falls on Tuesday, Nov. 4—residents will be asked to select six state senators to represent Chittenden County from a pool of 13 candidates.
The Williston Observer asked the 13 candidates to respond to a brief questionnaire, keeping their answers to the final set of questions to 125 words or less. Their responses have been edited only for grammar, punctuation and length.

Tim Ashe
Tim Ashe
City/Town of Residence: Burlington
Profession: Affordable senior housing developer
Number of years living in Chittenden County: 20
Running as: Democrat
What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County today? If elected, how will you address that issue?
The most important issue facing Chittenden County continues to be the affordability of health care and education property taxes.
Whether or not you’re enthusiastic about health care reform, the ever-escalating costs of health care need to be addressed. Vermonters are paying $5 billion a year for medical services, up from $2 billion a decade earlier. In rough terms, that’s an additional $5,000 per Vermonter per year, while income has been flat.
With a small population, education in Vermont will always be a bit more expensive than in most other states. That said, there are costs in our statewide education system that must be reduced. There’s no good reason, for example, why neighboring supervisory unions shouldn’t jointly purchase many goods and services, like heating oil or transportation services.

Philip Baruth
Philip Baruth
City/Town of Residence: Burlington
Profession: Teacher
Number of Years living in Chittenden County: 21
Running as: Democrat
What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County today? If elected, how will you address that issue?
Bringing down the cost of our education system, while maintaining (and in some very small districts, improving) quality. The House opted for mandatory consolidation of all districts statewide last session; its bill would have eliminated most of the state’s school boards and having served for some years on my own board, I thought that was a bad move—school boards are one of the most important tools a community has to control costs and reflect community standards. I’m committed to working on a compromise that will reduce redundant administration where it’s actually a problem—we live in an age of declining enrollments and we should be right-sizing some districts—but without giving up important elements of local control.

John Cisar
City/Town of Residence: Essex
Profession: Web management
Number of years living in Chittenden County: 13
Running as: Libertarian
What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County today? If elected, how will you address that issue?
Affordability. An affordable county means fewer Vermont families will experience financial hardship.
If elected, I plan to tackle our affordability problem by working to eliminate unnecessary regulation and spending without affecting services. This can be done by targeting redundancies across agencies and by re-balancing drivers of affordability to reduce living and business costs. We can reduce costs and grow incomes while preserving Vermont’s quality of life. Secondly, we must mitigate risk through economic diversification to protect our workforce. A large employer presence across many industries is the signature of a balanced economy, but Vermont has a few major employers spanning too few industries. I will work to promote economic diversity so we may protect our workforce from a catastrophic departure by a “too big to leave” employer.
Christopher Coolidge
City/Town of Residence: South Burlington
Profession: Delivery driver
Number of years living in Chittenden County: 15
Running as: Libertarian
What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County today? If elected, how will you address that issue?
Mental illness and substance abuse in our penal system. More transparency in allowing for mental illness and substance abuse in the commission of a crime. Addicts, alcoholics and the mentally ill need treatment rather than incarceration. If they voluntarily seek treatment, that can be an opportunity to both eliminate prison crowding and offer the opportunity for reparation. If elected I’d encourage a proactive approach in that direction.

Dawn Ellis
Dawn Ellis
City/Town of Residence: Burlington
Profession: President, Dawn M. Ellis and Associates, LLC – using planning, facilitation and research to improve public sector work
Number of years living in Chittenden County: 24
Running as: Democrat
What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County today? If elected, how will you address that issue?
The health of Chittenden County’s communities: its people; families; and places.
If elected, I will work to…
1) keep people healthier by integrating a systemic approach to prevention within the universal healthcare access policies.
2) support healthy families, especially in these times where working families have difficulty with scheduling, ensuring children are safe and learning out of school and families in difficulty may slip through the cracks until it’s a crisis.
3) improve the health of our environments, including the stewardship of our fresh water and natural resources; creating avenues for all of us to participate in reducing our energy and heating consumption—including lowest income families; as well as support of infrastructure that connects people to each other and learning opportunities so we and our businesses can be economically nimble and encourage vibrant centers.

Joy Limoge
City/Town of Residence: Williston
Profession: Attorney
Number of Years living in Chittenden County: 47
Running as: Republican
What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County today? If elected, how will you address that issue?
Our biggest issue is spending! We are spending beyond what we have and our taxes continue to rise. We are facing another significant budget gap in the upcoming year. We have a lack of balance in government and cannot find commonsense workable solutions to the many issues we face. I will reach across the aisle. We need to look at the size of our government. We need to look at how we are spending our tax dollars and who/what we are spending them on. We need to consolidate multiple programs, have agencies work together and use resources more wisely. We need to keep our spending within our means. Finally, we need to incentivize and grow new jobs so our young people can remain here.

Virginia ‘Ginny’ Lyons
Ginny Lyons Photo
City/Town of Residence: Williston
Profession: College professor/Consultant
Number of years living in Chittenden County: 43
Running as: Democrat
What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County today? If elected, how will you address that issue?
Cost of living related to health care, education, good jobs and energy concern Chittenden County residents.
Ensure that any health care changes are affordable—improving access to quality care for all citizens, chronically ill, children and seniors. Substance abuse prevention and treatment, wellness programs can reduce costs. Fewer school boards/districts will not automatically reduce education costs. Collaborative work with schools, school boards and concerned citizens can slow cost increases and improve quality outcomes in our schools. Education programs can link with workforce development for 21st century jobs. Transportation options, downtown tax credits and housing are needed for improved economic outcomes. Development of energy efficient affordable housing builds our energy future and economy. Established goals for alternative heating, transportation fuels and improved water quality will build jobs. Chittenden County benefits from my leadership in public health, energy and environment.

Benjamin Mayer
Town of Residence: Burlington
Profession: Patent drawer, host/busser, embroidery/print operator
Number of Years living in Chittenden County: 7
Running as: Civil Libertarian
What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County today? If elected, how will you address that issue?
The two party system is the most important issue facing America, for it is the gatekeeper for dealing with Fractional Reserve Banking, a fraudulent system that makes workers 90 percent poorer and bankers 90 percent richer. It is also the gatekeeper for dealing with the War on Drugs, which has had terrible effects on civil liberties, especially with a few obvious specific minority groups. Also for obtaining a foreign policy that is becoming of post-modern people that believe in civility, peace and reason.
If elected, I will only bring up issues of substance and not pragmatics. Republicans and Democrats will argue over trite pragmatics in accordance to their tired opposition game theory. I will worry about the heuristics that cause poverty and scarcity and have a profound effect on our civil liberties.

Michael Sirotkin
City/Town of Residence: South Burlington
Profession: Attorney
Number of years living in Chittenden County: 40
Running as: Democrat
What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County today? If elected, how will you address that issue?
As I travel around Chittenden County going door to door, clearly the number one issue for voters is education governance and financing and their impact on property taxes. We must find new ways to contain spending growth, especially given our reduction in students statewide. We must also try new governance structures that will continue to involve local communities cost effectively, thereby lessening the tensions between local control and consolidation. Moreover, it is equally important that, in the process, we do not sacrifice the high quality of education we currently have in our county. Decreasing enrollment gives us a unique opportunity to make progress, but we need to seize the moment. Once student populations rise again, changes and savings will be that much harder to achieve.

Diane B. Snelling
Diane snelling
Town of Residence: Hinesburg
Profession: Artist, senator
Number of Years living in Chittenden County: 61
Running as: Republican
What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County today? If elected, how will you address that issue?
The critical issue facing Chittenden County and Vermont, is choosing our priorities.
Unless we agree and can create a sustainable budget to achieve those priorities, we will continue to increase spending beyond the capacity of taxpayers. As the economic engine for the state, Chittenden County must support planning that helps businesses and citizens succeed. All of the things we want — affordable health care, quality public education, a clean environment, public safety, affordable housing and appropriate social services — require sufficient funding to succeed. The first step is to understand what we get for the taxes paid.
The Outcomes legislation (S.293/Act 186) that I sponsored takes the critical step of finding agreement on priorities among legislators, the administration and non-profit community partners. I am committed to creating effective and accountable government and will continue to seek collaboration among all partners to achieve that goal

Paul Washburn
City/Town of Residence: South Burlington
Profession: Compliance consultant
Number of years living in Chittenden County: 38
Running as: Libertarian
What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County today? If elected, how will you address that issue?
Repealing Act 48 or “Single Payer Healthcare” is the most important issue facing Chittenden County and the State of Vermont. Over the past 20-plus years, Montpelier has passed increasingly irresponsible legislation. Meanwhile, the State continues a cycle where more Vermonters and businesses leave than arrive. Some believe “Single Payer” is a noble endeavor. However, in practice it’s rarely a successful strategy. For example, Act 60, our education funding system, is a special type of single payer program where cities and towns send property tax revenue to Montpelier for redistribution. The negative consequences of Act 60 are palpable. School budgets have increased, yet outcomes have not improved. I would work to repeal Act 48 and be an outspoken voice against irresponsible legislation that erodes our foundation.

David Zuckerman
City/Town of Residence: Hinesburg
Profession: Organic vegetable, pork and chicken farmer
Number of years living in Chittenden County: 25
Running as: Progressive/Democrat
What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County today? If elected, how will you address that issue?
Healthcare—costs are rising for individuals, municipalities and businesses at an unsustainable rate. The number one cause of bankruptcy is bills associated with inadequate health insurance coverage. I support publicly financed universal healthcare for every Vermont resident. I will introduce legislation requiring the costs of procedures be presented to patients before they accept them. I will advocate for an easy-to-follow website that shows the prices for care at different facilities in Vermont. Patients will make the most cost-effective and healthy choices if information is easy to find and use. With comprehensive universal healthcare, individuals will be free to start new businesses or change careers without fear of losing their healthcare coverage. This will strengthen our economy and create jobs in Chittenden County.
The following are also on the ballot, but did not respond to the Observer’s attempts to reach them:
Travis Spencer, Milton, Libertarian
Glyn Wilkinson, Burlington, Libertarian
For more information and a complete list of all candidates, visit www. sec.state.vt.us/elections.aspx

Fry-a-lator fire forces evacuation


Observer staff report
A fire in the Shaw’s Supermarket kitchen forced the store to evacuate staff and customers on Oct. 9.
The Williston Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at 10:07 a.m. Firefighters happened to be in the store’s parking lot when the fire alarm went off, allowing for an immediate response. Smoke was coming from the kitchen, where firefighters “discovered a small fire in the area of one of the commercial fry-a-lators which was being extinguished by an employee,” according to a department press release.
Firefighters instructed the employee to leave and extinguished the fire before focusing on removing the smoke from the building.
Mutual aid was requested from the Essex Junction and Essex Town fire departments to assist with venting the smoke. No injuries were initially reported, although EMS personnel later evaluated an employee who chose to go to the hospital for evaluation of non-life threatening injuries.
Representatives from the Vermont Department of Health ensured the food in the store was safe to eat. The supermarket reopened at approximately 5 p.m. after ventilation and cleaning.

Public Service Board will not reconsider pipeline


Observer staff report
The Vermont Public Service Board decided on Friday not to reconsider its decision to approve Vermont Gas’ natural gas pipeline extension.
The board granted a certificate of public good for the Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project—a 43-mile natural gas pipeline extension from Colchester to Middlebury and Vergennes—in December. However, the Vermont Supreme Court granted the board the authority to reopen its review of the project in light of Vermont Gas’ July disclosure that the estimated cost of the project leapt more than 40 percent. The overall cost of the pipeline rose to $121.6 million from $86.6 million.
“This is a significant cost increase,” the board’s Oct. 10 decision states. “Having carefully considered the record developed at the hearing we convened on September 26, 2014, as well as the briefs subsequently filed by the parties, we have concluded that the new cost information is not of such a material and controlling nature so as to change our previous determination that approval of the Project pursuant to the criteria of 30 V.S.A. § 248 will promote the general good of Vermont.”
Local construction has continued on the pipeline since the summer. Vermont Gas set up a staging area in Williston in the spring.
On Sept. 26, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved Vermont Gas’s request for a waiver granting regulatory authority to the states for Phase II of its pipeline project. Phase II would extend the pipeline to Ticonderoga, N.Y.