March 1, 2015

POPCORN: “A Most Violent Year” Risky Business

3 popcorns

3 popcorns

“A Most Violent Year”

Risky Business

3 popcorns

By Michael S. Goldberger

Special to the Observer


I take unusual pride in having very little business acumen, doubtless a result of my semi-Hippy past and perhaps the reason this review of director J.C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year” isn’t being written on my yacht docked at some fairy tale atoll in the South Pacific. But such is not the case with Abel Morales, a rising star in the highly competitive but very lucrative oil delivery business in New York City, circa 1981. If he can navigate through the many roadblocks being tossed his way by competitors, the D.A. and mysterious saboteurs, he just might become rich.

[Read more...]

Recipe Corner: Pecans for health


By Ginger Isham

Pecans contain antioxidants and are considered heart healthy. When we put them in our baking, perhaps they lose some of their healthy advantages but they sure enhance the taste of the product. I have a niece who only makes bar cookies as they are less time consuming. I plan to send her a copy of these bar cookies.

Pumpkin Pie Bars
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar (scant or 1/2 cup)
3/4 cups cold butter
1 cup oatmeal (regular or quick)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 package soft cream cheese (8 ounces)
3 eggs [Read more...]



Alan Marsh Byington
Alan Marsh Byington, 77, passed away February 1, 2015 in the presence of his loving family. He was born in Saint Johnsbury, Vermont July 1937 and was the first son and third child to Marsh M. and Julia (King) Byington. Raised on a dairy farm on Route 7 in Charlotte, Vt. He attended Charlotte elementary, Mount Herman Academy and graduated from Burlington High School. He then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and after an honorable discharge he attended and graduated from the University of Vermont with a BS in finance. While there he was a member of the Sigma Phi fraternity. After graduation, he married Jeannette Woods and he began his lifelong career as a stockbroker to retire from Morgan Stanley where he was known by fellow brokers as “Big Daddy.” Alan, “Big Daddy” was a proud Vermonter who [Read more...]

Do you need to file a tax return in 2015?


By Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior,
What are the IRS income tax filing requirements for retirees this tax season? I didn’t have to file last year, but I picked up a little income from a part-time job in 2014, and I’m wondering if I need to file this year.
—Part-Time Retiree

Dear Retiree,
Whether or not you are required to file a federal income tax return this year will depend on how much you earned (gross income) and the source of that income, as well as your filing status and your age. Your gross income includes all the income you receive that is not exempt from tax, not counting your Social Security benefits, unless you are married and filing separately.
Here’s a rundown of the IRS filing requirements for this tax season. If your 2014 gross income was below the threshold for your age and filing status, you probably won’t have to file. But if it’s over, you will.
Single: $10,150 ($11,700 if you’re 65 or older by Jan. 1, 2015). [Read more...]

Police Notes


Multiple charges
Teddy O. Lee, 24, of South Burlington was cited on charges of driving under the influence of drugs-second offense, driving with a suspended license and possession of heroin on Jan. 5, according to police reports. He was cited to appear in court.
Jared Thibault, 33 of Williston was cited on charges of driving under the influence-refusal and leaving the scene of an accident on Feb. 9, according to police reports. Police investigating the two-vehicle collision on Butternut Road had to pursue Thibault in what they described as a “short foot chase,” according to the report.
Milgrado Carranzalazarte, 30, of Williston was cited on charges of false pretenses and identity theft on Jan. 5, according to police reports. He was cited to appear in court. [Read more...]

Navigating a roundabout


Observer staff report

The Vermont State Police, Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, Vermont Agency of Transportation, Vermont Sheriffs Association and the AARP Driver Safety Program recently released a reminder to motorists about the proper way to navigate a roundabout.
Roundabouts are one-way traffic circles designed to keep traffic moving, but they are still new for many Vermonters. They reduce delays, crashes, fuel consumption, air [Read more...]

Vermont Gas will not proceed with second pipeline phase


By Stephanie Choate
Observer staff

Vermont Gas Systems announced on Tuesday that it will not proceed with plans to build Phase 2 of its pipeline expansion project after International Paper pulled out of the deal.
Phase 2 would have brought the pipeline under Lake Champlain to the International Paper plant in Ticonderoga, N.Y. The paper plant would have footed the bill for Phase 2, as well as a portion of Phase 1, known as the Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project.
A recent reassessment of the Phase 2 project, however, resulted in a cost estimate jump $105 million, up from $74.4 million last August. Under the agreement between the two companies, the estimate increase would mean International Paper would have to contribute $135 million, up from $99 million. [Read more...]

Unbeaten CVU girls’ regular season finale Friday


By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

With the Division 1 top playoff seed pretty much in their possession, the 19-0 two-time defending champion Champlain Valley Union High girls’ basketball team will try to put the lid on its third straight undefeated season Friday night when it plays host to 5-14 St. Johnsbury Academy (6:30 p.m.).
And while CVU owns a Jan. 23 victory over the Hilltoppers in St. Jay, the visitors can be tough. On Tuesday night they gave 13-6 Rice some tense minutes before the Green Knights pulled out a 41-37 victory at the Toppers’ home court.
While that was going on in the Northeast Kingdom, CVU eased past Burlington High and its huge front line, 54-32 for its 66th consecutive triumph. The loss dropped the Seahorses to 8-11. [Read more...]

CVU to host wrestling event Saturday


By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

More than 100 wrestlers from 12 visiting high school teams will invade Champlain Valley Union High Saturday for the Northern Vermont Athletic Conference Championships.
Competition will be held in the main gymnasium starting at 10:30 a.m.
Coach Gunnar Olson’s Redhawks are defending champions after defeating Mount Mansfield Union last year in the title matches.
Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. There is no charge for youngsters 5 and under.

CVU Nordic boys rule at Sleepy Hollow


By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

With a couple weeks left before the Vermont Interscholastic championship events, the three-time defending champion Champlain Valley Union High Nordic ski teams are prepping for the late season events.
This week they are looking at competitions Thursday at Hard’ack in St. Albans and Saturday at U-32 in East Montpelier.
Last weekend, the CVU boys team won an event at Sleepy Hollow in Huntington. The girls, with some skiers taking part in a three-day Ski Association event in Craftsbury, were fourth. [Read more...]