Jan. 26, 2012
Youth mentoring ‘exceptional’
Last spring, a national expert evaluated Williston Central School’s mentoring program and proclaimed that it was the best school-based program she found “in all of America.” As we celebrate National Mentoring Month, I want to acknowledge and thank our partners who do so much to support our pairs: local businesses, neighbors and the entire WCS community.
Due to the strong mentoring community we have built together, students and adults coming into this program trust that they will have a positive and beneficial experience. Last June, 97 percent of our WCS mentors and mentees rated the program “excellent.” Similarly, 93 percent of WCS teachers rated their students’ mentoring relationships as being high quality (22 percent as “good” and 71 percent as “excellent”).
Between them, our 58 volunteers have given 200 years of service to WCS Mentoring. Sixteen of them were recognized by Mobius, the Mentoring Movement, on Jan. 18 for having volunteered as mentors for at least five years: Eric Adler, Deb Baker-Moody, Nancy Colbourn, Pauline Cozzy, Sally Dattilio, Bill Grover, Anne Marie Humbert, John Joachim, Cheryl Lalancette, Polly Malik, Shona Mossey-Lothrop, Nadine Paffett-Lugassy, Carla Stewart, Mike Thomas, Micaela Wallace, and Charlie Wolf.
Mobius gave special recognition to Micaela, a St. George resident, as Connecting Youth’s Outstanding Mentor of the Year. For the past nine years, Micaela has been a steadfast, inspiring, and terrifically fun mentor. She has also been a dream advisory board member: shaping, staffing, and giving her creative flare to WCS mentoring events.
What we are doing together in terms of school-based mentoring for middle school students is exceptional: in Chittenden County, Vermont and the country.
Thank you to this incredible, caring and “mentor-rich” community.
Nancy Carlson, mentoring
Youth Mentoring, Williston Central School
Five Target points to address
I think a few points need to be addressed before an informed discussion about the pros and cons of a Target department store in Williston can begin in earnest.
1. Will a Target store in fact add to the number of consumers shopping in Williston and hence represent additional income to the township? If all Target does is cannibalize the sales now made by Wal-Mart, Toys R Us and others, why bother? If the Target store attracts significant numbers of new consumers from places like Albany (N.Y.), Burlington, Hanover (N.H.) etc. then the additional 1 percent sales tax generated could be meaningful.
2. If No. 1 can be answered in the affirmative, what will the Selectboard do with the money? Lower taxes? Improve schools? What?
3. The third point is traffic. If Target is allowed to build where they now prefer, it will horrendously complicate an already stressed traffic situation on U.S. 2 and along the Maple Tree Place/Marshall Avenue axis. The Target store in Concord N.H. has 450 parking spots. This means that, at peak times, an estimated 150 cars enter and 150 cars exit every 30 minutes.
4. The proposed location has another negative. It will further eat into the space that separates the Williston commercial hub from the historic village. I think we should draw a very firm line at Maple Tree Place, and not allow any encroachment east from that line.
5. In my view, a logical place allowing acceptable traffic management via easy access from Interstate 89 — through a new exit to be built for that purpose, which would also serve the other mass retailers there (e.g. Wal-Mart) — would be west of Vermont 2A and north of I-89. The space between E-Commerce Park and Wal-Mart seems like a pretty logical spot to me.