February 26, 2015

Champlain Valley Union High announces honor roll


The following students from Williston and St. George earned a place on the Champlain Valley Union High second quarter honor roll.

High Honors

Chiara J. Antonioli, Jared S. Avery, Kelsie D. Barnes, Samara G. Bissonette, Erica A. Bliss, Erica M. Bouton, Olivia V. Brissette, Max H. Brown, Jade A. Byrne, Natalie F. Casson, Michael E. Chirgwin, Hayley S. Clos, Alec J. Collins, Maddie I. Collins, Lily M. Cote, Julia C. Cronan, Janina B. Cuneo, Amanda V. Daniels, Jacqueline R. Davies, Rebecca M. DeCamp, Brigitte N. Durieux, Laura A. Durkee, Caleb M. Geffken, Sarah E. Gelin, Katherine E. Gingras, Gregory H. Goldman, Jeffrey M. Goldman, Matthew R. Goldsborough, Logan J. Griswold, Claire E. Gugerty, Theodore E. Hadley, Grace L. Hemmelgarn, Julia G. Higa, Stephanie B. Joseph, Alexander D. Kaplan, Kaitlyn L. Kaplan, Alexa M. Kartschoke, Abigail C. Keim, Joshua A. Klein, Lydia A. Koutras, Carly A. Labrie, Thomas B. Lang, Mark J. Lang, Shana R. Leonard, Taya M. LePrevost, Cunhao Lu, Shorya Malhotra, Christopher T. Mallow, Justin D. McQuiston, Alexis E. Meyer, Nicholas J. Mogielnicki, Lydia R. Moreman, Carly J. Neeld, Paige C. Niarchos, Lauren E. Palmer, Jacob N. Parker, William F. Pasley, Danielle E. Peters, Deagan C. Poland, Lindsey M. Raymond, Christopher J. Reiss, Gabriella D. Ribeiro, Kelsie M. Saia, Shea A. Savage, Lillian R. Schmoker, Samantha J. Shanks, Rachel E. Slimovitch, Loran T. Stearns, Anna Steeley-Gomis, Lucien A. Theriault, Hannah Tiballi, Zachary S. Varricchione, Halina C. Vercessi-Clarke, Kolena A. Vercessi-Clarke, Christian R. Vien. Kellie L. Weening, Sean M. Yarolin, Thomas H. Zych


Kyle W. Abrahams, Connor F. Abrahams, Zachary M. Akey, Maxwell A. Akey, Lindsey A. Albertelli, Nawal H. Ali, Davis S. Allen, Megan J. Ammon, Casey J. Ammon, Aliza C. Anderson, Hunter M. Anderson, Nicole H. Anderson, Isabelle M. Angstman, Kyla L. Antonioli, Stephen D. Asch, Nathan M. Bamberger, Katherine J. Barland, Erika I. Barth, Liam E. Beliveau, Renee L. Benoit, Sarah E. Bergkvist, Emilie M. Bernier, Richard M. Berry, Alexandra D. Bisaccia, Nina I. Bitca, Joshua D. Bliss, Jeffrey D. Boliba, Cale D. Bombardier, John B. Bose, Nicole L. Bouffard, Jacob H. Bouffard, Andrew J. Boutin, Joshua F. Bowen, Amari J. Boyd, Julia E. Bryant, Jenna M. Caminiti, Casidy M. Cardinal, Jack T. Carnahan, Ben T. Carnahan, Sadie M. Casale, Cole B. Casale, Jacqueline F. Casson, Logan R. Chalmers, Delan S. Chen. Kaitlin R. Clark, Lyndsey C. Clos, Arlo M. Cohen, Benjamin R. Cotton, Julie M. Decker, Dustin R. Desany, Arika L. DesLauriers, Amelia W. Dodds, Amber L. Downs, Cameron L. Drake, Erika E. Dubin, Molly C. Duncan, Eli J. Dunphy, Devon A. Duquette, Natalie M. Durieux, Emily M. Dykes, Shania L. Elias, Hadley E. Erdman, Sara C. Erickson, Eli M. Favro, Eliza L. Fehrs, Faith E. Fisher, Carmen Fisher-Olvera, Victor W. Ford II, Brigham O. Francis, Lansingh W. Freeman, Travis A. Fuller, Megan R. Gannon, Corey A. Gaudette, Samuel B. Gelin, Laura H. Gerry, Sophia R. Gigliotti, Emily S. Gilman, Asiana Y. Giubardo, Guinevere K. Giubardo, Kaleb M. Godbout, Kyle M. Gorman, Hunter R. Hake, Richard R. Hall, Max J. Hamrell, Thomas E. Hark, Matthew S. Herberg, Peter G. Hibbeler, Daniel W. Higginbottom, Jacob I. Holmberg, Michael B. Howell, Rachel J. Howell, Nathaniel S. Hubbard, William J. Hubbard, David A. Huber, Lauren P. Johnson, Kathleen M. Joseph, Jacob D. Kahn, Kamuran Karakus, Brad L. Kennedy, Joshua G. Klein, Matthew S. Korejko, Emily S. LaCroix, Jonathen E. LaDue, Sarah R. Lancaster, Quinn M. Ledak, Emma A. Lieberman, Olivia E. Letourneau, Nathaniel R. Littlefield, Shannon M. Loiseau, Ben L. Longenbach, Shania M. Lunna, Isabella A. Margi, Juliana E. Marino, Jordan Martellaro, Kevin P. Masse, Katherine L. Mathon, Patrick R. McCue, Liam M. McCue, Aaron M. Meacham, Olivia M. Mead, Brooke K. Merchant, Samuel L. Mikell, Eleanor B. Moody, Esther N. Moran, Austyn H. Morin, Jacob T. Mount, Ryan A. Mount, Hannah J. Munn, Sean R. Newell, Phillip H. Nguyen, Hannah H. Nguyen, Seamus T. Nolan, Christopher T. O’Brien, Cooper M. O’Connell, Meghan E. O’Day, Mia J. O’Farrell, Mitchell A. Ogle, Matthew P. O’Hare, Collin E. Osbahr, Isaac D. Paquette, Nathalie C. Paquette, Molly K. Parker, Madison E. Parker, Jamie L. Pashby-Rockwood, Maria M. Pasley, Dustin R. Peters, Giang N. Pham, Emily J. Pierson, Nicolas A. Pino, Michaela M. Rehak, Rafael D. Ribeiro, S. Maxwell Rieley, Bella M. Rieley, Jonathan R. Ring, Cameron J. Rivard, Kaitlin G. Robert, Hattie J. Roberts, Eva M. Rocheleau, Jaden M. Rogers, Cortney A. Roy, Jacqueline R. Ryan, Sierra N. Saia, Jacquelyn A. Samuelsen, Max J. Schermerhorn, Clara J. Schultz, Emily A. Scott, Colin M. Senesac, Nathaniel R. Shanks, Eric D. Shepard, Josephine M. Sinopoli, Silas C. Skiff, Alison M. Spasyk, Matthew R. Spear, Emma G. Spitzer, Hanna N. Swett, Jack T. Tenda, Victoria L. Thompson, Tawn A. Tomasi, Bennett G. Townley, Khang V. Tran, Mikayla J. Vanhooke, Johana N. Vigoreaux, Olivia V. Voth, Joseph F. Warren, Brock L. Werner, Ella V. Workman, Brittany Wright, Joshua Wright, William J. Yakubik, Brandon O. Young

Stormwater bills mailed


The first bills for Williston’s new stormwater fee should arrive in resident’s mailboxes by Friday.

The bills are due March 30.

The fee—being charged to every landowner in town—will go toward paying for upgrades to the town’s stormwater system required by state and federal management requirements. The upgrades will also help Williston meet its water quality goals and prevent flooding.

The Selectboard approved the fee last year, reasoning that it was a more equitable way to raise the funds needed than a tax.

The monthly rate is $4.25 per Equivalent Residential Unit, which adds up to approximately $51 per year for most Williston households. An Equivalent Residential Unit, or ERU, is the median area of impervious surface of single-family residence properties in town.

Fees for non-single family residences, such as businesses, would be calculated using a tier system based on the amount of impervious surface on the property.

The fee will be included on residents’ water and sewer bills, if they already receive them. For those not on the town water and sewer system, a new quarterly bill will be sent.

For more information, visit the town website at www.town.williston.vt.us

Vote on March 3


By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

Williston voters have some decisions ahead of them.

For the first time in years, there are multiple contested races on the ballot, for Williston Selectboard and Williston School Board. Residents will also weigh in on town and school budgets and bond options.

Voting will take place on Tuesday, March 3 at the Williston Armory. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Williston Community Food Shelf will collect donations while the polls are open.

The annual Town Meeting will be held March 2 at 7 p.m. in the Williston Central School auditorium. Residents can gather information on the town and school budgets. CVU’s budget meeting is set for March 2 at 5 p.m. in room 140 of the high school.


Six candidates are running for three seats on the Williston Selectboard.

Terry Macaig is running unopposed for a three-year term. Jeff Fehrs and Tony O’Rourke are running for a two-year term. Three candidates— Melissa Ham-Ellis, Ted Kenney and Joy Limoge—are running for a one-year term, completing the remainder of Jay Michaud’s term.

Two seats are available on the Williston School District Board. Kevin Mara is running unopposed for a two-year term. Karen Maklad and Michael Wayman are running for a three-year term.

Gene McCue is running unopposed for a two-year term on the Champlain Valley Union High Board. A second three-year term is vacant. Residents can run as write-in candidates, and need 30 votes to be elected.


Voters will also be asked to approve town and school budgets. Though all budgets were pared back from original proposals, they will all result in increases to the tax rate.

The Williston Selectboard approved a budget proposal of $9.84 million, a 0.35 percent increase from last year’s budget. The budget would result in an estimated tax rate of 28.5 cents per $100 of home value, up 1.5 cents from last year.

The Williston School Board is asking voters to approve a $17.3 million budget, a 0.38 percent increase over last year’s budget and a 1.86 increase in net education spending.

Special education funding will be consolidated to the supervisory union level in the next fiscal year, meaning schools saw decreased costs but also a significant drop in revenue.

While the board saw some savings through retirements and trimmed-back proposals, it added several provisions. Those include a program for students experiencing trauma, math intervention and funds for operations and maintenance.

The CVU Board approved a $28.98 budget proposal, a decrease of 1.87 percent from last year’s budget and an increase of 1.9 percent in net education spending.

The board added funds for dual enrollment—mandated by the state—as well as money for Chromebooks. Altogether, the board trimmed approximately $126,500 from the original budget proposal.

Together, the school budgets would results in an estimated tax rate of $1.5716 per $100 of home value, up 4 cents from last year’s rate.


The CVU Board is also asking voters to approve a $700,000 bond to solve flooding issues on the athletic fields at the high school.

The board has long struggled to find a way to address drainage problems that force games and practices to be moved or canceled. The community in 2013 narrowly voted down a $1.5 million proposal to build two synthetic turf fields, which would cost $2.6 million. A community fundraising group planned to raise the remaining funds.

Since then, the board heard two main concerns from the community—that the cost of artificial turf was well above the cost of rehabilitating grass fields and the crumb rubber infill used may be detrimental to health and the environment. It worked to address those concerns in its second proposal.

A synthetic turf field would cost an estimated $1.1 million. The board did not, however, want to ask the community for more than the cost of rehabilitating two natural grass fields, a total of $700,000. The remaining funds required would have to be raised elsewhere. If the board can’t raise the remaining $400,000, it can use the bond amount to refurbish two natural grass fields.

If the board is able to raise the remaining funds, it is committed to using organic infill material, rather than crumb rubber, according to Chairwoman Susan Grasso.

The bond would mean approximately $7.60 a year for a $400,000 home.

Modeling for the painter next door

During a February presentation at New England Federal Credit Union, Buddy Edgerton and his son, Jim Edgerton Jr., showed the above slide of themselves posing for Norman Rockwell’s ‘Growth of a Leader,’ at right. The modeling gig was among their ‘fraudulent days,’ Buddy Edgerton said, as neither of them were ever Boy Scouts. Images courtesy of Buddy and Jim Edgerton

During a February presentation at New England Federal Credit Union, Buddy Edgerton and his son, Jim Edgerton Jr., showed the above slide of themselves posing for Norman Rockwell’s ‘Growth of a Leader,’ at right. The modeling gig was among their ‘fraudulent days,’ Buddy Edgerton said, as neither of them were ever Boy Scouts. Images courtesy of Buddy and Jim Edgerton

Norman Rockwell’s neighbor shares memories

By Stephanie Choate
Observer staff

It could be said that Buddy Edgerton helped beloved American artist Norman Rockwell begin and end his days painting in Vermont.

Edgerton was both the first and last person to model for Rockwell during his years in Vermont. Rockwell and his family lived next to the Edgertons, painting his familiar scenes of everyday life in small-town America in his Arlington studio for 14 years.

In an hourlong talk at New England Federal Credit Union’s Williston branch earlier this month, Edgerton and his son Jim Edgerton Jr. led attendees through a series of anecdotes and photos of behind-the-scenes looks at Rockwell’s process, painting an intimate portrait of their neighbor. More than 30 people filled the NEFCU seminar room to hear the Edgertons speak, part of the credit union’s Distinguished Writers Series.

The Rockwell the Edgertons knew was a passionate artist devoted to perfecting the scenes he imagined, but also a modest and caring man. He was an active member of a simple Vermont community, a kind man who carefully considered his less wealthy neighbors and a great friend of the family.

“They melded right into the community,” Buddy Edgerton said of Norman and Mary Rockwell.

Edgerton outlines his experiences living next to the Rockwells in his book, “The Unknown Rockwell,” co-written with Nan O’Brien. The book is under option for a movie, tentatively titled “Our Neighbor, Norman.”

Though the part of Rockwell has yet to be cast, the Edgertons recounted instances in the book they can imagine being reenacted with great aplomb by Hollywood—including one memorable afternoon just after the United States joined World War II.

A local friend, Art Becktoft Jr., had just joined the war effort as a pilot. Buddy Edgerton was up on what he called the “hill meadow,” preparing to plant corn.

“Suddenly, all I could hear was this big thunder,” he said. “I looked up and here’s this B17 coming up the valley.”

It was Becktoft, shipping out. But first, he passed over his mother’s house, and tipped his wings.

“I can still see that B17 rock its wings,” Edgerton said. “Then he went back over his mother’s house, and rocked his wings again. I just stood there. I couldn’t believe it. If I live to be 100, and I hope to, I’ll always remember that. He flew up to where his father worked, then to Newfoundland to refuel, then on to England.”

Once in Europe, Becktoft was shot down. He spent a year and a half in a prison camp before being liberated.

With the war over, Rockwell was working on a painting called “Back to Civvies.” In the painting, a young soldier looks at himself in the mirror in a suit, his uniform draped over a nearby chair.

But Rockwell wasn’t having any luck finding the right model. The local high school students—mainly well-muscled farmers—didn’t look like they’d just spent years overseas.

“My father said, ‘I’ve got the right model for you,’” Edgerton said. Becktoft fit the bill, and the pilot is immortalized now in paint.

According to the Edgertons, Rockwell was meticulous in his process.

“All his work started with an idea, then he made a sketch, then he got a model to fit it,” Buddy Edgerton said. “Then he’d refine that or scrub it and get another (model).”

“Sometimes he’d have two or three or four models before he settled on the one he wanted,” Buddy Edgerton said. “I’ve been scrubbed myself.”

Sometimes, he’d abandon a mostly-finished painting he didn’t think was up to par, burning some of them in what Edgerton’s family called the million-dollar incinerator.

Rockwell also inspired his models to perform with no pretense of dignity. He’d get down on his knees and bang on the floor to coax out a shy smile, or enthusiastically demonstrate a ridiculous pose, the Edgertons said.

Four generations of Edgertons, as well as pets and livestock, modeled for Rockwell, along with friends and neighbors.

Usually, the denizens of Arlington got a kick out of seeing portraits of their fellow townspeople featured on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. Occasionally, though, it caused a bit of a stir in the small town. Such was the case when Rockwell’s painting of Rosie the Riveter—featuring local beauty Mary Doyle—was printed.

“She was a beautiful woman, she would remind you of a movie star,” Edgerton said.

Rockwell used her as a model, but added the muscles a riveter would obviously have to her willowy frame.

“When this came out as the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, the town was made wild,” Edgerton recalled. “Here was Mary Doyle, and he made her half man, half woman. They were really quite indignant.”

Even after Rockwell moved to Stockbridge, Mass., Edgerton continued to pose on occasion, including as a young veterinarian. He noted that in Stockbridge, everyone called him Mr. Rockwell. In Arlington, he was Norman.

“I guess that’s the difference between Stockbridge and tiny Arlington,” he said.

The Edgertons were close to the Rockwells outside of the studio as well. The family always went over to the Rockwells on Christmas Day, Edgerton said, where there were plenty of treats to go around.

“My sisters made sure they had big pockets,” he said.

Growing up, Buddy Edgerton was close with Rockwell’s sons, and they still keep in touch.

Their parents, too, were good friends. In his autobiography, co-written with his son, Rockwell recalls that the hardest part about leaving Arlington was leaving Buddy Edgerton’s parents, Jim and Clara Edgerton.

After showing a photo of his childhood home, with missing clapboards and peeling paint, Buddy Edgerton recounted an anecdote, telling of Rockwell’s nature.

Rockwell decided to paint his house in the 1940s, Edgerton said, but said he would wait until the Edgertons, too, were able to afford to paint their own house.

“He didn’t want to show us up,” Edgerton said. “He waited a couple years till we got money together and we did it together. That’s the way Norman was.”

He also said he never once heard Rockwell upset, even when Edgerton and Rockwell’s son, Tommy, smashed his studio window with a baseball—twice.

“I hate to admit it,” he said. “One day, like things happen, I don’t know which one it was, but a ball went right through the window and rolled up right next to Norman. He picked the ball up and came out and said, ‘Well, boys, here’s your ball.’ My father offered to pay for the window, but Norman wouldn’t hear of it.”

Two weeks later, the same thing happened again. Rockwell wasn’t phased.

“I’ve never seen him agitated,” Edgerton said. “Oh, he had his ups and downs. Sometimes his ideas weren’t clicking and he’d get sort of depressed about it, but I’ve never seen him upset or agitated. That’s the way he was.”

Sports Roundup



Once again Saturday, the Champlain Valley Union High gymnastics team will go for the state championship at Essex High (2 p.m.) and once again the multi-year defending champion Hornets will be a major obstacle in the way of a Redhawk rise from their usual runner-up slot.

And this year, CVU will be without its number one performer, freshman Emma Lieberman, who fractured a bone in one of her hands last week.

“Emma was the top scorer for our team,” said CVU coach Bob Abbott Tuesday.

“She could have been in the top three for the all-around title.” [Read more...]

POPCORN: “Oscars in a Bottle” Gone to the Dogs


“Oscars in a Bottle”
Gone to the Dogs
By Michael S. Goldberger
Special to the Observer

Dear readers, this attempt to apprise you of my picks for the 87th Academy Awards, to be broadcast Sunday night, Feb. 22, is a longshot, literally and figuratively. I can only hope my missive, sent telepathically from my current place or dimension—I’m really not sure which—reaches the news outlet you are now reading. I guess the great fault lies with my excessive viewing of science fiction films. [Read more...]

PHOTOS: CVU wrestling tournament

Jacob Griggs pins his opponent Saturday during the tournament. CVU finished third, behind St. Johnsbury Academy and Mount Mansfield Union. CVU was the fourth seed going into the tournament and a pin by CVU junior Mark Cates sealed the third place finish over third-seed Essex. (Observer photos by Al Frey)

Jacob Griggs pins his opponent Saturday during the tournament. CVU finished third, behind St. Johnsbury Academy and Mount Mansfield Union. CVU was the fourth seed going into the tournament and a pin by CVU junior Mark Cates sealed the third place finish over third-seed Essex. (Observer photos by Al Frey)

[Read more...]

PHOTOS: CVU Girls Basketball vs. St. Johnsbury Academy

Abby Thut launches for a shot on Feb. 13. The Redhawks cruised to a 48-22 victory against St. Johnsbury Academy. Observer photo by Al Frey.

Abby Thut launches for a shot on Feb. 13. The Redhawks cruised to a 48-22 victory against St. Johnsbury Academy. Observer photos by Al Frey.

[Read more...]

PHOTOS: CVU Ice Hockey vs. Colchester

CVU’s Daniel Mathon fends off a Colchester opponent on Saturday. (Observer photo by Al Frey)

CVU’s Daniel Mathon fends off a Colchester opponent on Saturday. (Observer photos by Al Frey)

[Read more...]

Williston Recreation and Parks: Spring/Summer Program Guide


Registration is now being accepted for all programs in this Spring/Summer Program Guide. Registrations are accepted by mail or in person at the Recreation Office. Registration forms are available at the Recreation Office or on our website at

www.town.williston.vt.us. See Registration Policy and Procedures for registration, cancellations, refunds and other important information. Locations are not listed as they have not yet been confirmed. They will be on your receipt. [Read more...]