February 7, 2016

Boys basketball to take on Cougars

Observer photo by Al Frey Josh Bliss gets around his North Country defender during the Jan. 15 victory. Bliss had 10 points.

Observer photo by Al Frey
Josh Bliss gets around his North Country defender during the Jan. 15 victory. Bliss had 10 points.

Observer staff report

The 9-4 Champlain Valley Union High boys basketball team will face Mount Mansfield Union at home Thursday night, after a close loss to Colchester Monday.

Two last-minute free throws put the Lakers ahead by one point, tipping the Redhawks 40-39 and putting an end to their seven-game winning streak. Walker Storey led CVU with 9 points, followed by Adam Hamilton with 7.

On  Jan. 15, CVU beat North Country 55-42, led by Storey with 20 points.

“Visiting North Country grabbed control early leading 16-13 after one and 22-21 at the half,” said Coach Michael Osborne. “CVU would outscore the Falcons 15-6 in the third and then keep them at bay in the fourth going 10-12 from the free throw line.”

Fantastic gymnastics

CVU Gymnastics _448 vs Midd 12Jan16

Observer photo by Al Frey
Jackie Casson executes her floor routine during last week’s gymnastics meet against Middlebury

[Read more…]

HUB Happenings

Peak Physical Therapy Merges with the RehabGYM

Peak Physical Therapy recently announced that it is merging with RehabGYM,  effective Jan. 25. Peak physical therapists will continue to see patients and take referrals in one of the three RehabGYM locations. The RehabGYM currently has locations in Williston, Colchester and Barre.

“This partnership provides an exciting opportunity to grow and solidify innovative physical therapy practices in Vermont based on preventative holistic care,” a Peak press release states. “We will be able to offer all our clients access to integrative, functional, and personalized care in more locations. This is a merger of talent and expertise aligned around a shared vision of preventative care that is on the cutting edge of wellness.”

Peak Performance Sports (the athletic training division of Peak Physical Therapy Sports and Performance Center) will continue to offer services at its office located inside of Peak Fitness in Williston.

NEFCU donates blankets [Read more…]

The Hub: America’s Mattress store opens in Williston

Observer photo by Marianne Apfelbaum  Jim DePierro is a new sales associate at the recently opened Williston location of America’s Mattress.

Observer photo by Marianne Apfelbaum
Jim DePierro is a new sales associate at the recently opened Williston location of America’s Mattress.

By Karen Sturtevant

Observer correspondent

How many hours of sleep did you get last night? The National Sleep Foundation says adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should be snoozing seven to nine hours per night. With our over-extended schedules and jam-packed date books, getting the recommended hours of shuteye is but a dream for some.

Between being the mother of two young children and a busy wife, commuting from New Hampshire and owning a business, Jennifer Stygles may be an expert on the subject of sleep. In November, she opened her fourth America’s Mattress store on Harvest Lane in Williston.

[Read more…]

Spring/summer program guide

By Todd Goodwin

The Spring/Summer Program Guide will be available in mid-February and will be an insert in The Observer. Look for great new programs and some of the old favorites. Registration for programs is on the Recreation Department website at www.willistonrec.org.

Adult Programs

Fly Tying

Learning to tie your own flies using many different materials. The instructors, with more than 15 years of experience, will teach participants to tie small, simple flies and larger, more complex varieties – with lots of individual attention. Ages 16-plus. Mondays, Feb. 15, 29, March 7, 21, April 4 and 18, 7-9 p.m. at the Rotisserie, 1355 Williston Rd., South Burlington. $30/person. You must provide your own vise, small scissors, bobbin and threader. All other materials provided. Instructors: Vermont Fly Fishing and Tying Club. [Read more…]

Guest Column: Why affordable higher education can’t wait

By Patrick Leahy

As Vermont’s college students return from the winter break and begin their spring semesters, college costs continue to weigh heavily on their minds and on their pocketbooks. The price of a college education has steadily grown to become both a personal financial hardship for them and their families, and an emerging national crisis, and we need to tackle it. No student should ever be denied a higher education simply because of financial ability. That is not how we prepare the next generation to lead our country in the global marketplace.

Higher education opens doors of opportunity to graduates and their families, and it’s a key element of our economic and social infrastructure that contributes to our quality of life and our economy. Pricing higher education beyond young Americans’ means curtails their options, skews their career choices and risks squandering a competitive advantage the United States has long enjoyed. [Read more…]

Senate votes to repeal part of Act 46; House wants more testimony

Dave-Sharpe-Mark-PerraultBy Mark Johnson and
Tiffany Danitz Pache

For Vermont Digger

An effort to reverse a controversial part of last year’s education law sailed through the Senate on Tuesday. Meanwhile, a bill that would have softened a controversial cap on school spending stalled in the House.

The Vermont Senate has voted to repeal the spending threshold provisions in Act 46 that penalized communities for spending more than allowed under a new cap.

The repeal passed the Senate unanimously on a voice vote in less than half an hour Tuesday morning.

The House, which was set to take up H.566, a bill that would have given school districts more leeway for unanticipated education costs, sent the question back to its Education Committee. Some House members favor repeal, others want to soften the penalties, and others want to keep the cost containment measure in place. The total cost of penalties to communities is estimated to be $7 million, lawmakers said.

To read the full story, click here.

Town approves 3.9% increase

By Greg Elias

Observer correspondent

The Selectboard on Tuesday passed a $10.2 million operating budget that uses the town’s enviable financial position to minimize property taxes and fund long-range projects.

The spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 represents a 3.9 percent increase over the current year’s budget. If approved by voters, it will bump up the tax rate by a penny, a $30 annual increase on a $300,000 home.

The budget pares a surplus that had ballooned to more than $2 million, using $559,500 of that money to reduce the tax rate and complete several capital projects. [Read more…]

Schools settle on spending, uncertainty looms

WillistonCentralSchoolLegislature looks at repeal; faulty data could mean trouble

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

The Williston School District Board approved a 2016-17 budget that is predicted to result in a flat tax rate and a state-levied penalty—maybe.

Last week, the Agency of Education told the Vermont Legislature that it provided inaccurate data to schools when giving them their state-mandated spending limits. (See the story on page 2). Kevin Mara, Williston School Board chairman, said he was told on Saturday that the issue could have serious ramifications in Williston. [Read more…]

CVU Celebrate the Arts night

Observer photos by Al Frey

Observer photos by Al Frey
Olivia Machanic, a senior, works on her greater-than-life-size self portrait.

Observer photo by Al Frey Members of the CVU jazz band perform

Observer photo by Al Frey
Members of the CVU jazz band perform

[Read more…]