October 25, 2014

Recipe Corner: Pumpkin recipes for family

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By Ginger Isham

Adding pumpkin to Sloppy Joes is not a new idea, as this recipe comes from a 2001 cookbook, “The Best of Country Cooking.”

Pumpkin Sloppy Joes

2 pounds of ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup tomato juice

1 teaspoon chili powder

pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon EACH cloves, nutmeg, pepper

2 cups canned pumpkin

Cook beef and onion in skillet. Add ketchup, tomato juice, chili powder, salt and spices. Mix well and bring to a boil. Stir in pumpkin. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve over warmed or toasted hamburger buns with slices of dill pickles.

Frosted Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe comes from a muffin cookbook I received from a group of special friends a few years ago.

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon EACH cinnamon, nutmeg

pinch of salt

1/4 cup butter (may use oil)

1 beaten egg

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup raisins (I prefer the light raisins)

Combine dry ingredients and cut in butter till looks like cornmeal. Combine rest of ingredients and add to dry ingredients and mix just until all are moistened. Spoon into greased muffin pan, about 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Makes a dozen muffins. Frost with your favorite cream cheese icing or add whole walnuts or pecans and/or chocolate chips to tops of muffins for a face before baking.

Ginger Isham lives with her husband on a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road.

Obituaries

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RITA C. GOODRICH

Rita Goodrich

Rita Goodrich

Rita C. Goodrich, 87, of Williston passed away late Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Born Feb. 2, 1927 in Canada, she later married Herbert C. Goodrich and they remained together for 60 years. Rita has a life-long commitment to serving her local community and church. Funeral services were held on Oct. 18, 2014, and Rita was laid to rest in East Cemetery. Rita is survived by her husband Herbert, her daughters Karol, Joyce and Linda, as well as her seven grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. The family would like to send a special note of thanks to Father Lance Harlow, the Williston Fire Department and members of the Immaculate Heart of Mary parish for their generosity during this time.

MARY ELIZABETH HOGAN

Mary Hogan of Williston passed away unexpectedly at Fletcher Allen Health care on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. She was predeceased by her husband, Charles E. Hogan; and two sons, Timothy and Patrick Hogan. Mary is survived by her daughter, Karen Hogan of Richmond, Calif.; daughter-in-law, Cindy Hogan; grandchildren, Eli and Anna Hogan of Richmond, Vt.; as well as many friends and family. A Mass of Christian Burial was held in celebration of her life at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Williston on Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donation in memory of Mary may be made to SASH of CSC, 412 Farrell St., South Burlington, VT 05403. “When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”

MICHAEL GUY ‘MIKE’ WALKER

Michael Guy “Mike” Walker, 69, died on Oct. 16, 2014, as a result of an automobile accident in Williston. Prior to living in Williston for the past one and one-half years, he resided in Fairfield for many years with his former wife, Mary.

Mike was born June 6, 1945, in Lorain, Ohio, to Gene and Esther Walker. He grew up in Vermilion, Ohio, where he still has many friends. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1968 with a degree in education, he moved to San Francisco where he became interested in social work. Michael moved to Vermont in 1974 and began his 25-year career in the field of social service for the state. He worked as a State guardian on behalf of people with developmental disabilities—one of the great joys of his life. Mike was a pioneer in Vermont’s efforts to transition many lives from institutional to community-based care. He is remembered as a steadfast advocate and a reliable mentor to all. Mike’s friendship and poetry will be missed.

We are grateful for the efforts of the SASH program (Support and Services at Home) and to his medical practitioners. Mike bravely lived with the effects of Huntington’s disease for many years. Michael was predeceased by both parents; and older brother, Richard. He is survived by his sister, Avis Williams and husband, Hugh, of Sullivan, Maine; former wife of 38 years, Mary Walker of Fairfield, where Mike loved walking the woods and working outdoors; and will be fondly remembered by his friends in the Vermont developmental disabilities community. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Please sign the guest register at www.minorfh.com, if you would like to be notified. Donations may be made in his memory to the Huntington’s Disease Association of America, www.hdsa.org.

Little Details: Secrets revealed

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By Katherine Bielawa Stamper

Greenough Hall is a freshman dormitory located just outside Harvard Yard in Cambridge, Mass. The brick with ivory—not ivy—trim residence is named for Chester Noyes Greenough (1874-1938). Greenough served as a professor of English and dean at what remains one of our nation’s most prestigious institutions of higher education.

Greenough’s lesser-known role was as convener of a “Secret Court” at Harvard, the aim of which was to investigate and root out alleged homosexuals on campus. Directed by then-president A. Lawrence Lowell, Greenough’s tribunal spent two weeks in the spring of 1920 conducting 30 secretive interviews, acting as master inquisitors.  

The accused received curt, written invitations from Dean Greenough. Those summoned were ordered to appear, one by one, on the appointed date and at the appointed time. Finals approached. Greenough directed them to miss examinations, if necessary, to appear for questioning. Names were named, under duress. The interrogations extracted the most private of information regarding intimacies.   

At least eight students, a recent alumnus and an assistant professor were expelled or otherwise disassociated with the university. The witch hunt was surgical and swift, forcing gay activity even further underground at the then male only bastion of privilege and learning.

What precipitated these actions? Cyrus Wilcox, a Harvard undergraduate, committed suicide in May 1920, prompting formation of the court. Wilcox, facing a series of academic difficulties, was at his family’s home in Fall River, Mass., after being asked by Harvard to leave. Unable to return to school, he inhaled poisonous fumes—a common suicide method—from the gaslight in his bedroom. Wilcox elected suicide over shame and an uncertain future. 

Harvard administrators learned of the suicide and feared scandal, a blemish on the University’s pristine reputation. Their fears heightened when news surfaced of Wilcox’s allege engagement in homosexual parties on campus. The parties, it was said, were hosted by fellow classmate, Ernest Roberts. Roberts was the son of a member of the United States Congress, setting off broader, more grave alarms for the administration. 

And so the inquisition began. Those who were expelled were warned that Harvard would disclose the reasons for their departures if they sought admission elsewhere. Doors slammed shut at other Ivies. Educations were cut short. Prospects for bright and promising careers were derailed. Puritanical punishment was dispensed with finality and little hope of reconciliation.

Eugene Cummings, a dental student weeks from graduation, was summoned to appear before the court. He committed suicide in June 1920, at the Harvard infirmary.

It wasn’t until 2002 that Amit Paley, a journalist for the Harvard student newspaper, The Crimson, broke the century-old story about the “Secret Court.” Paley’s articles garnered national and international attention, prompting then-Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers to issue a statement expressing regret for past events. Some students called for posthumous granting of degrees, a request Harvard administrators declined.

This unearthing of history prompted numerous articles, a book, a film and a theatrical play. I am saddened to think of how these students’ public lives were ravaged by powerful external forces for what were, in fact, private acts. These students inhabited a world—an America—not yet ready to embrace difference. Given social norms of the day, I wonder where I’d have stood had I known one of these young men.

We’ve come a long way, and yet, there remain places in America where it is still unsafe to be a member of a minority, sexual or otherwise.

For further information:

Book: Wright, W. (2005).  Harvard’s Secret Court

Film:  Van Devere, M. (2008). Perkins 28: Testimony from the Secret Court Files of 1920

Play:  Richardson, S. (2011).  Unnatural Acts: Harvard’s Secret Court of 1920

Katherine Bielawa Stamper, a Williston resident, was a 2013 finalist for the Coolidge Prize for Journalism.  Reader comments are welcome at [email protected] or [email protected]

Letters to the Editor

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Thank you, Richmond

On Sunday afternoon (Oct. 12), I experienced a severe allergic reaction while driving just south of Richmond. A Richmond police officer was in his car, so I approached and asked for medical assistance. He called for an ambulance, directed traffic and took care of my car. It was much needed consideration, and I so appreciated his kindness. It is reassuring to know there are compassionate police officers still around.

In addition, the ambulance crew was outstandingly competent and professional. They were prepared and ready to handle any crisis that may occur while monitoring vitals and keeping my son and me calm and informed. If I had been in better shape, I would have hugged all three of them.

Thank you, Richmond Rescue and Police, for seeing to it that I was safe and in good hands.

Kimberly Townsend
Williston

Judicial overreach in family court 

Vermonters have lost homes to floods, fire and to foreclosure. Vermonters also lose homes to misguided decisions in Family Court.

Family court judges assume wide discretion in their decisions, often willfully overlooking established legal principles.

In family court, a single unelected government official can disregard governing legal statute to set aside valid binding agreements, without relevant precedent in case law and without oversight. It is the definition of unchecked judicial overreach. Those wrongly harmed by their decisions cannot realistically appeal; a review by the Vermont Supreme Court takes years and tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

I urge legislators to clarify statues that govern family court decisions, and—as importantly —to pay attention to how those decisions are being made, and to hold the judges they appoint accountable for those decisions.

Brian D. Cohen
Westminster Station

Ebola preparedness in Vermont

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By Harry Chen and Tracy Dolan

Ebola is a deadly and dreaded disease that is ravaging West Africa, a part of the world that has far too little in the way of modern health care and public health infrastructure. The 2014 epidemic is the largest in history, and daily news of the continuing death toll and the extreme hardships facing the people and frontline health care workers there is heartbreaking. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the international community are working heroically to stop the spread of Ebola at its source, and we must continue to dedicate resources and expertise to this effort. Brant Goode, one of our team at the Health Department, is in Liberia now, training health care workers how to protect themselves from the virus while caring for the sick.

While the epidemic is worsening each week, we are not seeing large numbers of cases in other parts of the world or here in the U.S. One of the reasons Ebola has spread so quickly in West Africa is the very fact that many communities have no clinics, hospitals or doctors—and have insufficient equipment, supplies and medicines to control infection, protect workers, and treat patients. The plain truth is that until the epidemic is controlled in Africa there will be some risk here, as we have witnessed in Dallas.

We are doing all we can to prepare for the possibility of a person with Ebola presenting to our health care system. As we prepare, it’s important to understand how very small the risk is in this country. Ebola is not easy to catch. Ebola does not spread easily like the flu or measles. You cannot get it through the air, water or food. Ebola can only be spread through direct contact with blood or body fluids from a person who is sick and showing symptoms of Ebola. A person who has no symptoms cannot spread the virus.

Ebola is a disease that is unfamiliar in the U.S., but our expertise and experience in controlling the spread of infectious disease and protecting public health is among the best in the world. In Vermont, we are communicating with hospitals and emergency departments, EMS responders, health care providers and other partners so that everyone will respond appropriately in the unlikely event Ebola comes here. We are keeping up with the latest federal guidance and widely sharing that information. We are learning from the experience of other states that have received patients, and adjusting and strengthening our protocols based on what we are learning. We want to make sure that health care providers “think Ebola” and ask patients about their travel history. We want to make sure health care providers understand and practice in advance the proper infection control measures, so they are ready to safely identify, isolate, transport and treat Ebola patients—just in case.

We expect the situation with Ebola will continue to change day by day, and we encourage Vermonters to turn to credible sources to stay informed. We offer the most current information, guidance and resources for the public and for health care providers on the Health Department’s website at www.healthvermont.gov.

Harry Chen, MD, is the Vermont Health Department’s acting secretary of human services and Tracy Dolan is the acting health commissioner.