March 27, 2015

Legislature skating on thin ice

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By Shawn Shouldice
The Vermont General Assembly is dealing with a $120 million budget deficit, while the governor is simultaneously recommending increased spending at many levels including a request for increased Medicaid spending to address a portion of the $135 million cost shift caused by the chronic underfunding of Medicaid. (The cost shift is considered by some to be the cause of higher-than-necessary private health insurance premiums). Some cuts have been proposed, but for many legislators they appear to be too hard for legislators to swallow, as well as new and increased taxes, most, if not all of which, will take additional millions out of the pockets of small business owners. [Read more...]

Vermont Health Connect costs could hit $200 million

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By Morgan True
For Vermont Digger
The backlog of requested coverage changes at Vermont Health Connect has ballooned to more than 11,000 and the cost of completing the exchange is now projected to hit $200 million, according to state officials.
Change requests range from updating an address to reporting new income, new dependents or even just terminating a plan after gaining health insurance through an employer. The exchange has carried a backlog since it launched, and reached a high of 15,000 in August. That number was reduced to a manageable figure prior to this year’s open enrollment, but is now close to 11,200, officials said. [Read more...]

35 units proposed on North Williston Road

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Growth management meeting March 24
By Stephanie Choate
Observer staff

A field on North Williston Road, frequently occupied by hay bales, could become the site of a new housing development.
Landowners Alden and Phoebe Bryan, along with developer Chris Snyder of Snyder Custom Homes LLC, are looking to build a 35-unit development on the land across from the Williston Golf Club.
The project is set to go before the Development Review Board during the town’s annual growth management meeting on March 24. It is by far the largest of several projects for which residents are seeking allocation.
The DRB’s annual growth management review—held just once a year—is the second step in the process to gain approval to build new homes in Williston. [Read more...]

Williston Kids Day returns

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By Stephanie Choate
Observer staff

Children from Williston and beyond can play games, dance, create art and score lots of all-important free loot at Williston Kids Day, a free event set for Saturday.
“Stickers and pencils are huge on (my daughter’s) meter of what’s important,” said resident Jen Daudelin, who attended last year’s event with her daughter, now 6.
“It was a lot of fun,” Daudelin said. “I think it was well organized, especially having lots of different things for different age levels.”
Williston Kids Day, an event created by the Williston Observer, is returning for a second year to Williston Central School on March 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. [Read more...]

PHOTOS: Town Meeting Day and Voting

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Williston Town_026Meeting 03-02-15

Williston School Board Chairman Kevin Mara explains the Williston School District budget during the informational Town Meeting on Monday night to a crowd of fewer than 100 residents. (Observer photos by Al Frey)

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PHOTOS: CVU nordic skiing state meet

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 Rachel Slimovitch won the girls 5k classic race in the Division 1 state meet. (Observer courtesy photo by Andy Bishop)


Rachel Slimovitch won the girls 5k classic race in the Division 1 state meet. (Observer courtesy photo by Andy Bishop)

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PHOTOS: CVU Ice Hockey vs. BFA

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Greg Talbert makes a save during the quarterfinal. (Observer photo by Al Frey)

Greg Talbert makes a save during the quarterfinal. (Observer photo by Al Frey)

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POPCORN: “Still Alice” A Sadness to Remember

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3.5_popcorns

3.5 popcorns

“Still Alice”

A Sadness to Remember

3 & ½ popcorns

By Michael S. Goldberger

Special to the Observer

 

Exiting from a screening of “Still Alice,” the heartwrenching tale of a renowned linguistics professor’s valiant struggle with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, a fellow viewer bemoaning the fragility of life adamantly apprised her pal, “…which is exactly why I’m going to Costa Rica!” I analogously thought ‘Ferrari’… as if some consolation prize could possibly assuage any fears of the life-stealing horrors just witnessed. Oh, the angst. There are movies that you see over and over, and then there is this type. Powerful, educative and trenchant, once is more than enough. [Read more...]

Hockey team finishes 12-8-1

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Greg Talbert makes a save during the quarterfinal. (Observer photo by Al Frey)

Greg Talbert makes a save during the quarterfinal. (Observer photo by Al Frey)

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

Graduation and transfers to prep schools took a large number from the 2014 defending Division 1 championship hockey team, but a youthful 2015 edition made serious noise during the season before bowing 2-1 in double overtime in a quarterfinal playoff contest last Wednesday (Feb. 25).

Coach Mike Murray’s Redhawks closed the season at 12-8-1, a good mark considering they were 5-5-1 at mid season. [Read more...]

CVU boys end hoop season in Rutland 

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By Mal Boright 
Observer correspondent

The Champlain Valley Union High boys basketball team finally got to an even win-loss mark: 1-1 in the post season.

After crunching Middlebury Union High (a fifth seed) on the road for a first playoff victory in a few years, coach Michael Osborne’s 12th-seeded Redhawks trip to Rutland and a quarterfinal test against the 19-3 Red Raiders was a case of too much going south (at least in the second half.) [Read more...]