Category Archives: Vermont

unnamed (35)

Scam Call or Spam Call?

By Ian Dunkley

HINESBURG, VT – Spam calls are an unfortunately common annoyance for many Vermonters. Most of us simply write them off as just that, an annoyance, but the truth surrounding these calls is much more sinister. 

Vermont has an unusually high amount of spam calls, especially when taking into account the population being only 625,000 people. When analyzing the results from a spam call blocking app called Truecaller in 2021, it was revealed that approximately 1.1 million spam calls were directed towards Vermonters. While this number is already staggering, it becomes even more interesting when considering the total number of spam calls recorded by the app being 11 million between March and September. Despite Vermont’s relatively small population size, it received approximately 10% of all total spam calls.

https://www.pxfuel.com/en/search?q=contact
https://www.pxfuel.com/en/search?q=contact

While these numbers are quite high, they don’t show the true danger spam calls pose to Vermont as a whole. Data collected during 2020 by the Vermont Attorney General’s office showed that a total of 249 Vermonters were scammed as a result of these calls. The amount of money that was taken from these people was estimated to be 1.5 million dollars in total. That’s over 6 thousand dollars per person. In comparison with the 30 million dollars stolen nationwide, Vermont holds a large portion relative to its total population.

unnamed (36)

As it turns out these numbers are unusual. A company called Strategic IT Partner was routing thousands of foreign scam calls directly to Vermont. This Florida-based company now faces fines of up to 67 thousand dollars if they do not screen the legitimacy of the calls they reroute. Although this company has been penalized, this doesn’t spell the end for scam calls in Vermont. In light of this, please be aware of the calls you receive as well as the information you disclose over the phone.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/05/how-to-stop-spam-robocalls-with-stir-shaken.ht

skiing-winter-snow-ski

What will covid restrictions look like for top VT ski resorts this winter?

By Mazzy Ricklefs

Ski season is right around the corner and many are curious what it will require to be out on the slopes safely this year. How will it compare to last year? According to CVU students and the Burlington Free Press, these are the top resorts in Vermont and some of the requirements needed to enjoy your time. 

unnamed (11)

Sugarbush Resort 

 Sugarbush is definitely a favorite of many in and out of state skiers. According to the Burlington Free Press, Spokesman John Bleh says Sugarbush plans on not having any restrictions outdoors, but if things drastically change the resort will follow local guidelines. “If the town of Warren decided to reinstate masks, we would as well,” Bleh said. As far as being indoors, masks are recommended and required for unvaccinated staff. Sugarbush’s owner, Alterra Mountain Company, is considering more aggressive measures but hasn’t made any final decisions. 

 

unnamed (10)

Smuggler’s Notch Resort 

Smugg’s will be similar to Sugarbush this year, in the sense that the ski area will be pretty open and flexible. As far as indoors, masks will be required rather than just recommended, even if you are vaccinated. “Now that we’re going into the ski season, it’s an outdoor sport so naturally people are wearing goggles and masks,” Spokeswoman Stephanie Gorin said. “We’re not requiring masks on the lifts, but most people wear them.”

 

unnamed (9)

Jay Peak Resort 

Jay Peak plans to follow any mandate the State of Vermont issues concerning masking and distancing. Jay Peak will not be limiting the number of tickets sold, according to Toland. Spokesman J.J. Toland states that, “One of the advantages we have up here is that we are so far up here,we don’t see the crowds that some of the southern resorts get and those that do make the trip (to Jay Peak) take comfort in that fact. The short of it, we expect to have a great winter.”

As far as places like Killington Resort and Bolton Valley Resort, they are still deciding what their COVID-19 protocols will be for this year. Last year, Bolton followed all guidance from the State of Vermont, CDC and OSHA so it is assumed that will most likely be the case this year as well. 

unnamed (17)

What’s up with winter sports?

By Asa Roberts

As fall sports come to a close, it’s time to start looking at the upcoming winter season. This year has a plethora of opportunities to get active! From hitting the slopes with the alpine ski team to trying out the all new girls wrestling team, there’s something for everyone! 

Cross Country skiing: 

Are you looking for a great way to get outside and stay in shape this winter? Take a look at cross country skiing! No experience necessary, skiers of all levels and competitiveness are welcome to join. Nordic skiing practices every day after school at the local ski center Sleepy Hollow (once there’s snow). Sleepy Hollow is a Great place for skiers of all abilities, and passes work all year round for skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and biking. If you enjoy being outside and staying fit, you are in luck. Coach Sara Strack will be heading the CVU team this year once again, and will surely make this season amazing. Cross country skiing had its first meeting last Thursday the 28th. Missed it? No worries! You can learn more about nordic by visiting CVU nordics website here, or by emailing coach Strack.

Alpine skiing:

More into going down the hills? Check out the Alpine ski team. The ski team starts their season before the snow falls with workouts and practices in the mini gym. Ski team is open for new racers, as well as veterans, so no matter what your level of experience, you are sure to fit in. Alpine racing practices at Cochrans during the week, and heads up to Sugarbush on Saturdays for training on the big hill. If you are interested in picking up racing, or have any questions regarding the season, be sure to reach out to assistant coach Lee Morse laxcoach.vt@myfairpoint.net. Alpine  skiing starts soon so be sure to check it out!

Indoor track:

If you are interested in staying fit, or preparing for track and field this spring, check out indoor track club. Indoor track is a great option if you are looking for a low commitment sport, or if you are wanting to practice every day. Indoor track practices at parisi on mondays and tuesdays, with plenty of opportunities for carpooling, so don’t let rides deter you. Meets are on Saturdays at the indoor track at UVM, and are optional. Looking for a way to practice field events?Indoor tracks got that too! Both track and most field events are available. If you are interested, or want to learn more, email coach Elise Seraus at cvuindoortrack@gmail.com.

Basketball:

Both boys and girls basketball are back in full swing this year! With the girls season being tragically cut short right before the championship game two years ago, and no fans being allowed at games last year, both teams are more excited than ever to lace up and play. Boys Basketball will once again be having a varsity, JVA, and JVB team this year, and the all star coaching staff will be returning. Coach Osborne, who brought last year’s team to the quarterfinals is returning this year to make another run. CVU’s very own Seth Emerson will be coaching JVA, and Pat Keogh will be the JVB coach. If you are interested in trying out for the basketball team, email Coach Osborne or talk to CVU’s Seth Emerson.  

Girls Basketball is excited to be back on the court! The girls will be having three teams as well this year, and will be head coached by Ute Otley once Again. The girls will surely be dominant once again this year, so even if you aren’t a player, be sure to go watch and support. The girls host open gyms during preseason. To learn more, email coach Otley.

Wrestling:

CVU is excited to offer wrestling opportunities for both boys and girls this year! Wrestling is an awesome opportunity to get fit and build self confidence for everyone. Gunnar Olson will be coaching the wrestling team this year, and the team is open to wrestlers of all experiences and abilities, contact coach Olson at olsonsitedesign@myfairpoint.net. Ladies, if you are interested, contact CVU student Cassidy Flemming  at 469-773-1889 for more information or any questions. Be sure to check out CVU wrestling’s website here.

Gymnastics:

With floor, beam and bar events, CVU gymnastics has something for everyone. Following an amazing 2020 season where they took home gold, gymnastics had a modified season during 2021, and are looking forward to getting back to normal for the 2021 season. Coach Madison Bordeau is back again to lead the team. Practices are held at Green Mountain Training Center in Williston, and are every day. If you are looking into gymnastics this year, contact Dan Shepardson.

Hockey:

CVU’s hockey teams are starting up soon, so lace up your skates and get out on the ice. The girls once again are teaming up with MMU to form the Cougarhawks. The girls head coach Scott Bushweller will be returning along with his stellar coaching squad, and are officially taking over the program from MMU, but will keep the name Cougarhawks. Boys hockey is looking forward to a great season this year, with head coach J.P. Benoit returning. Both girls and boys hockey hold open ice sessions throughout the year, and the season is starting up soon. Contact Dan Sheperdson for more information.

Syrup_grades_large

The Sweet Story of Maple Syrup

by Méline Palkovic

Shelburne, VT – You may know that Vermont is famous for its maple syrup, but do you know how it is made ? With what ? How long does it take ? How many trees are used ? As someone who has only lived in Vermont for a short time and is interested in the subject, I have been looking into the matter and have done some research. I live in Shelburne, so I decided to start my investigation locally. 

unnamed (15)

The Palmer’s Sugarhouse has been maple sugaring for over 50 years. It started with their grandmother who ran out of sugar to cook with during the World War ll. She decided to tap a tree and get some sap and then she became the first woman maple-maker in Vermont to be inducted into the Maple Hall of Fame. 

At first it was a necessity, then it became a hobby, then it gradually grew and now there are snow parties where you can find all the maple and sugar served on snow. 

In the United States, Vermont is the state that produces the most maple syrup, in 2020 more than 2 million gallons of syrup was produced(about 50% of the country’s production). There are about 1,500 sugar shacks in Vermont.

The maple syrup production process begins in February. First, the trees must be tapped, which involves inserting a spout into the tree with a hammer or drill. Then, when the weather becomes warm enough(above freezing [32 Fahrenheit, 0 Celsius] during the day and below freezing in the evening), usually between March and April, the sap begins to flow. Afterwards, the sap is transported by tubing or collected in buckets to the sugar factory and arrives in tanks.   

Type of spout:

 

unnamed (13)

 

Tanks:

unnamed (14)

 

Then the sap is boiled using an evaporator. The sap is mostly water(about 95% of water), it is clear when it comes out of the tree and once it is boiled, that is where the inverted sugars are obtained. One tap yields about 10 gallons of sap and it takes 50 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup. This is why maple syrup is very expensive because most of the sap has to be boiled down to water and the rest is sugar and it takes hours and hours to boil the sap into maple syrup.

At the beginning of the season, the sap is at first the lightest, which is called delicate flavor, then it gradually becomes darker, until it becomes robust, which is the more flavorful. These changes are due to the gradual warming during the spring. As the temperature rises, the sap becomes darker(this evolution is produced by a chemical change in the composition of sugars and other elements).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

unnamed (12)

-Golden, delicate taste                                                                    

-Amber, rich taste

-Dark, robust taste

-Very dark, strong taste   

unnamed (11)

 

Maple syrup candy:

unnamed (10)

What’s really useful about maple syrup is that you change the temperature when you cook it at and you get a lot of different products without adding anything. Like maple cream that goes on donuts, cookies and toast, candy (“caramel”) and maple sugar that is good on granola and coffee. All of these can be achieved just by changing the cooking temperature.                                                                    

Maple syrup is also good because it has a low glycemic level, which is better for people who have problems with sugars like diabetes. It’s versatile, you can cook with it instead of cane sugar, you can put it in a balsamic maple sauce for a salad, you can use it on salmon as a marinade; there are many things you can do with it.

The maples are trees of the family Sapindaceae. They can grow from 10 to 45 meters in height. There are more than a hundred different maple trees in the world. The three main trees used to produce maple syrup are the sugar maple, the black maple and the red maple. To produce maple syrup, it is necessary to wait until the maple tree is generally 30 years old and 12 inches in diameter. A sugar maple can live about 400 years. Maple syrup producers use trees in the wild but some plant their own trees. 

unnamed (9)

This maple is 5 years old. We have to wait another 25 years before we can tap it. 

Finally, if no one in your family is a sugar maker but you want to become one (whether it’s for hobby, for you and your family, or if you want to start a business), just go to any hardware store for the supplies you don’t have and if you don’t know how to do it ask some sugar maker friends or look on the internet. Many hobbyists are tapping their own trees in their backyard. Anyone can really become a sugar maker!

snow

Ski Mountains around VT: Where are YOU skiing this year?

By- Mia Kenney

Looking for a place to ski and snowboard?  Vermont has a lot of mountains to choose from. Here is a list of 5 more popular ski resorts and some facts about each, including cost, how many lifts, kinds of lifts, and some of the things that draw people to these mountains. Hopefully this helps you and your family decide where you might want to go skiing or snowboarding this season! 

Cochran’s

unnamed (12)

https://skimap.org/data/207/66/1453225164.jpg 

Cochran’s is a non-profit organization. That is one of the reasons people are so drawn to it even though it is a small mountain with only 1 t-bar, a rope tow and a “mighty-mite” A season pass there is about $206.70. Cochran’s has about 8 trails with all different levels. Cochran’s is not a resort so there is no staying there but they do have a lodge where you can take breaks and warm up. Cochran’s is all about family so they love doing things like Friday night dinners, not I’m not sure if they are doing it this year because of Covid, but this is something that they have been doing for years. 

Smugglers’ Notch

unnamed (13)

https://www.smuggs.com/pages/winter/skiride/trail-map.php 

A season pass at Smuggs is about $419. Something that draws people to Smuggs is that they technically have 3 mountains. Smuggs also has the fun zone which is an indoor play area with bouncy houses and games. Smuggs is a resort, so they have condos that people can rent. There are 8 chair lifts with about 78 trails. Their hours are different for different lifts, most lifts open at 9am but some open at 8:30. 

Jay Peak

unnamed (14)

https://jaypeakresort.com/skiing-riding/snow-report-maps/trail-map 

A season pass at Jay Peak is about $669. Their hours are 9am till 4pm. Opening day is estimated to be November 24th. Something that draws people there is that the Jay Peak water park along with the hotel is at the bottom of the ski mountain, so people can finish skiing and go to the water park. There are 9 chair lifts and about 78 trails. The trails are all different, some with moguls, some glades, and some groomed. They also have a variety of trail levels, for example they have easier trails for less advanced skiers and they have harder trails for people that are more advanced. 

Bolton Valley

unnamed (15)

https://www.boltonvalley.com/winter/trail-maps-snow-reports/trail-maps/ 

A season pass for one adult at Bolton is about $846.94. Bolton has both Backcountry skiing and Nordic skiing, and they also are very accepting of snowboarders. Bolton currently has six lifts and 64 trails that can be accessed by the lifts. Bolton does have a ski lodge; it is a little on the smaller side and because of covid, you can’t be in the lodge for very long… but at least there is a lodge! Bolton is also a resort, so they have a hotel which draws a lot of people there. Bolton’s lifts are chair lifts so they are easy to get on and off of and they are accessible to everyone. Bolton’s hours are 9am till 10pm. Opening day is November 26th.

Stowe

unnamed (16)

https://www.stowe.com/-/media/stowe/files/maps/stowe_winter2122_map.ashx 

A season pass at Stowe is about $1024.00 but they do have sales, so they can be a little cheaper. It also depends on when you want to buy them; if you buy them super in advance they will be cheaper than if you buy them in November or even October. Stowe is also a resort, so they have hotels you can stay in. Stowe has 12 lifts and 116 trails. Their opening day is November 19th. Their hours are 8am till 4pm. Stowe also has both chair lifts and they have gondolas.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/18279541619

Not as organic as you think

By Ethan Cook

Small farmers in Vermont have taken a hit during the COVID pandemic, and they are about to be hit even more. In August of 2022, Horizon Organic is ending contracts with nearly 90 farms based out of the Northeast. This is because factory farms, which have been manipulating their “organic” label, are taking lots of business from them. However, New York senator Charles Schumer hopes to give them an edge against the bigger farming corporations.

Factory farms have gotten away with swapping animals in and out of organic environments, giving them the “organic” label on their products, and creating more of an appeal among the public. This strongly benefits the owners of these large scale farming companies, but we aren’t always getting exactly what we pay for.

A page on Jane’s Healthy Kitchen notes the prerequisites for a farm’s product to be considered organic. “Organic foods are required to ensure cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Livestock must have regular access to pasture without routine antibiotics or growth hormones. Products must follow strict production, handling and labeling standards, and go through a certification process. The standards look at many other factors such as soil quality, animal raising, pests and weed control. Synthetic fertilizers, human sewage sludge, irradiation, and GMO ingredients are not allowed.”

The problem is that the products we are buying from the grocery store are not always as “organic” as we think they are. Schumer says that these big farms are able to rotate their livestock in and out of organic management while keeping the “organic” label because of technicalities in the laws regarding organic dairy farming. This creates a disconnect between the general public and the people bringing them their food.

A press release stated several New England Senators, including Schumer, created a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, requesting him to approve the Origin of Livestock rule. This law would close the loophole for factory farms, and hopefully make family owned farms a much better looking alternative for local grocery stores to get their dairy, meat, and other farm products from.

From an article by Isabella Colello, “New York’s dairy farmers are the lifeblood of the Upstate economy and after years of being wrung dry by a system that disadvantages them, they’re now at the edge of an economic precipice,” Senator Schumer said in a press release. “For an industry that has razor-thin margins as it is and saw historic losses during the COVID crisis, for many family-owned organic dairy farms, losing their contracts with Horizon Organics will be the final pull on the rug under them.”

An article on Valley News says that “the number of dairy farms in Vermont has decreased by 37% in the past 10 years and by 69% in the past 24 years.” Farming, an industry that used to be a major source of income for Vermont and its people, has more than halved in the 21st century, showing the urbanization of both our land and our jobs of choice. Cancelling the contracts with small farmers only influences the decisions of our younger generations, and makes the lives of current farmers that much harder.

Vermont’s small farms have become much more of a novelty and less of a provider for food, animal products, and income in the last few years. Much of these are produced by large farms owned by corporations, and these are pushing the picturesque Vermont farmers out of business.

To pour salt on the wound, factory farms, which are thriving off of the deals they have with food distributors, aren’t being completely honest about the way they take care of their animals. The farmers that are dominating the profession, or rather, majority shareholding corporations, are lying about the state of their livestock, yet they continue to stay on top. Hopefully, Schumer and other senators will be able to take this option away from them and benefit small farmers substantially.

unnamed

Vermont Fall Activities

By Vivienne Babbott

The end to summer in Vermont is always bittersweet. Yet as the leaves shift to their signature red, many Vermonters look forward to Halloween and the classic fall activities that accompany it, especially after a year in lockdown with few celebrations.

If you´re looking for a sweet treat, Shelburne Sugarworks offers delicious pure maple syrup, maple candies, and a variety of handcrafted maple ice creams. This includes a seasonal favorite, maple pumpkin cheesecake flavor.

Whitcomb’s land of pumpkins is known for their usual assortment of pumpkins and gourds, however their pumpkins are sold out for this year. However there is still an impressive 4 acre corn maze, which is open to the public from 10-5 on the weekends. To complete the maze, you will come across checkpoints, and learn about the pumpkin-growing process along the way. How fast do you think you can do it? 

unnamed (1)

Photo courtesy of Whitcomb´s 

Though most orchards are closed for the season, Yates Family Orchard is one of the few apple orchards still selling fresh fruit! Stop by their stand in Monkton to get your apples, cider donuts, pies, Dreamees, and treats while they last! Yates Orchard is open from 9:30-5:30 every day, up until October 31st! Get your apples while they last!

Speaking of October 31st, if you wanted to get spooky this Halloween, Nightmare Vermont was the place to be! This year they offered a scare-maze with actors & animatronics, as well as a narrative walk through performance, with vendors and live entertainment in the lobby. Nightmare Vermont also focuses on charity work, and donated $32,000 this year alone. All the more reason to go next year!

unnamed (2)

Photo Courtesy of Nightmare Vermont

sandwich

CVU’s New Stomach Ache: School Lunchtime

By Harrison Young-Glatz

At Champlain Valley Union High School, lunchtime is becoming a hot topic due to the number of unmasked kids in close proximity to one another. Many kids end up sitting outside to cram fewer into the cafeteria, but with COVID cases still high in Vermont, some students are starting to worry that during the colder months, when kids stop eating outside, that the cafeteria will become a field day for the COVID-19 virus. Alex, an 11th grader at CVU, mentioned, “Man, It was crazy (on the first day of school); half the kids were outside.” He continued, “Like what’s gonna happen when it’s too cold to sit out there? Admin’s gonna have to do something about it.”

unnamed (6)

The head director of the cafeteria, Leo LaForce, stated, “The school runs off of CDC guidelines. If the CDC ever deems masking or distancing no longer necessary, then lunchtime will be a lot more manageable.” 

Dr. Alex Huffman, an aerosol and bioaerosol specialist at the University of Denver, said on twitter, “Indoor lunches are high risk b/c: COVID is largely airborne, Masks are off, Kids are often packed closely, Many kids in one room, Kids are louder at lunch (so more aerosol is released).”

In response to this, LaForce had to say, “Yeah, I’m concerned about the kids who go home every day to immuno-compromised or younger/older family members. I know that most of the kids in our cafeteria are vaccinated, and symptoms aren’t likely as bad for vaccinated people, but then that kid could go home bringing the virus to their family members who aren’t as fortunate.” 

 If indoor lunches are deemed too risky by the CDC, CVU may have to revert back to 2020-21’s school year lunchtime model. A dozen or less kids in different rooms throughout the building, and the cafeteria would deliver bagged lunches to kids in those rooms. When questioned about this, LaForce replied, “I really hope it doesn’t go back to delivered lunch. I just want kids to have a normal lunch again.”

Administration could not be reached for comment by the time of publication.

4 hayrides

Halloween Events Coming up in VT

By Mazzy Ricklefs

The end of October is just around the corner and one of the most exciting holidays in the year will be here on October 30th…Halloween! Vermont goes crazy with many different fun events for all ages and here are a few favorites.

1nightmarevt

            Nightmare Vermont 

Essex Junction during the month of October Hosts ” Nightmare Vermont” Thursday’s, Friday’s, and Saturday’s at the Champlain Valley Exposition, sponsored by the South Burlington Rotary. Nightmare Vermont doesn’t open until 7pm so that people can get the full night time spooky experience. Tickets range from $13-$15 dollars. Go to https://nightmarevermont.org/ to find more info. 

3 HalloweenHowl-logo-e1503064426420

Burlington ‘Halloween Howl’ Haunted Hayrides

   Burlington is having their haunted hayrides this saturday, october 23rd from 2-6pm at north beach campground.  The family-friendly hayride event features “spectacular spooks, creeps, and fun scenes,” according to Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront. Visit https://enjoyburlington.com/event/halloween-howl/

5 scarefest

Scarefest Vergennes

  Last but not least, Vergennes is having their “Scarefest” Friday October, 29th, and Saturday, October 30th from 7-11pm. Prices will range from $10-50 a ticket. Enjoy a weekend of horror films, dancing and costume contests. Looking up “Scarefest Vergennes” will bring you to more information.

6 scarfest

 

Photo by: Rick Cote

Williston Edge Closed

By: Emma Richling

WILLISTON VT. – The Williston Edge, home to swimmers, athletes, and loyal members of the community, officially closed down on September 30th, 2021. How big of an effect did this have on members of the CVU community?  What will change for CVU swimmers and athletes? 

Amelia Worth, a senior at CVU who swam for the Williston Edge Swim Team before the closing, shared her thoughts on the transition to a different center. “The Williston Edge has been my second home since I was five years old and I’ve basically been in that pool everyday since then. My drive to swim practice is gonna be longer and that’s going to affect basically the amount of things I can do in a day. I was really lucky that swim practice used to be really close to my house because that meant I could fill up my schedule after school with a lot more things like after school clubs and still be able to make it to swim practice.”

CVU swimmers now have to commute to the South Burlington Edge location for practice making other activities like clubs harder or impossible to attend. 

Elizabeth Parent, a 10th grader at CVU and a former staff member at the Williston Edge mentioned, “What I do at the Williston Edge I can do at any center, I’m going to the Essex location now. A lot of other kids go to the Williston Edge and could probably transition to another location pretty easily but most of them won’t because it’s a change”. Although the Essex and South Burlington Edges are only 15-20 minutes away from the former Williston location, the change to a whole new space and building might feel like too much for some people. 

All of the programs and services the Williston Edge offered (including Swim Team) were transitioned to one of the other centers in Essex or South Burlington on October 4th, 2021. No information has been released in regards to what the building is going to be used for, all we know is that it was sold to a company that has different plans for its use. As the closing approaches, concerns arise for the change that will come to many members and users of the facility. Worth said, “It’s something I thought was going to be eternal that isn’t anymore”. 

Hinesburg public house

Working under COVID: two views

By Mina Radivojevic

HINESBURG, VT – As an exchange student from Serbia, I haven’t been here for a long time, but one of the first things that I learned about Vermont is that a lot of places can’t keep up with demand since they don’t have enough people to keep businesses going.

The people who are holding many businesses together are actually busy, full- scheduled high school students. So, the best way to look at this situation is through two different lenses: grown up employer vs. high school employee. 

Will Patten, the owner of the Public House restaurant in Hinesburg, shared with me his view and experience with lack of workers and hiring students. CVU students, in this case. “So, we don’t have any trouble hiring people from CVU; that is pretty much all we can hire. Which is not great because most people don’t have any experience and they play sports. But that’s pretty much all we can hire now. For people in high school, a job is a form of independence, a way out of the house. It’s gas money, it’s a third place. It’s home, school and now a job. So that’s not where the problem is, the problem is with people who are on their own, supporting themselves, paying the rent, have mortgages and car payment. Those are the people that aren’t coming to work. And it’s not just restaurants, it’s everybody. Every business in Hinesburg wants to hire somebody. It’s crazy. “ 

Patten also made a note that his cafe needs to be closed for two days of the week due to lack of workers.

Lila Shober, one of the working CVU students, had a similar experience at her workplace because of the same problem. “I work at the Windjammer Tuesdays and Fridays and Saturdays. I work in an environment that’s really busy because of the lack of workers. Sometimes parts of our restaurant are closed because of the lack of staff,” she said.

At the same time, Shober had found the silver lining of what’s going on: “But some perks about it is that I do get more income. It’s very stressful being there three times a week. After school. After practice. It can be really tiring and I do go to school tired sometimes, but I do like having extra money. And I am really worried about, at least, my restaurant staying above float so I always try and help out as much as I can.”

One more perk that Shober pointed out is the fact that there are more options to choose from, since there’s no one else to work.

To answer my question why they think this is happening and what role COVID plays, Patten and Shober didn’t hesitate much. 

Patten claims that, during COVID, people were taught not to work. He also considered all that we’ve been going through lately, putting climate change right next to the pandemic as one of the factors why people lost their belief in progress.

Shober’s interpretation of the situation is that people’s mental health was what got most damaged by coronavirus, and that it had also put a lot of fear into people, making them even scared to go out.

Not only did COVID affect people’s work ethic in this and the previous year, but we have yet to see what’s to come and how it will affect the future for businesses and lives in Vermont.

Original photo by Ethan Cook

Should Vermonters be required to wear masks?

By Ethan Cook

After the brief low of Covid cases over the summer, many people still haven’t gotten their masks back on. Covid cases in Vermont have actually increased since the so-called ‘peak’ of the pandemic, yet many people still aren’t covering their faces while inside.

This is because the vaccine has been thought of as preventative, when it really serves mostly as a reduction of symptoms. According to an article on NBC5 from October 12th, “just over 3,600 fully vaccinated Vermonters have contracted the virus after being fully vaccinated, also known as a ‘breakthrough’ case of COVID-19 as of Oct. 12. That represents roughly 0.8% of fully vaccinated residents.” This data tells us that vaccinations greatly reduce the severity of the virus, but do less of a good job at preventing it altogether. That is a job for masks and other precautions. 

The same article also helps by explaining when to wear masks. “The CDC’s updated mask guidance says fully vaccinated Americans do not need to wear masks or physically distance indoors or outdoors, with some exceptions. People should wear masks in crowded indoor locations like airplanes, buses, hospitals and prisons.” Vermont laws include schools as well.

However, masking is still being pushed back against by some individuals. Masks have been a crucial part of most Americans’ lives for the past year. Laws have been constantly changing in regard to whether or not masks are a necessity, and Vermont is no exception. The Vermont government has put in place regulations requiring masks in schools, and all members of the executive branch, which includes politicians, police officers, and other government workers, were to get vaccinated.

 At the end of August 2021, Twinfield Union school had already closed classrooms due to cases of Covid, and prisons in Vermont have started requiring masks again after over 20 people were diagnosed. Northern Vermont University decided it was best to switch back to online schooling when eight students got Covid in a week. Sylvia Plumb, director of marketing and communications, stated that, “with cases rising in Vermont and throughout the United States, this is not unexpected. This underscores how critically important it is for our community to be vaccinated, masked up properly while inside, and testing as appropriate.” 

Governor Scott thinks that the problem is that people are not getting vaccinated. “Vaccines are still changing the game. We need people to keep stepping up to get their shot and to get the booster when the time comes.” Covid-19 statistics showed an upcoming decrease in early September, but through those weeks, there had been increases of over 20 percent.  On September 23rd, we had a day in which 289 new cases were diagnosed in Vermont. The situation has gotten much worse since June, but taking as many precautions as possible will help to bring us back to normal.

https://oxfordtreatment.com/veterans-mission-act/suicide/

Vermont Veteran Suicide Rate Highest in Country

By Mia Kenney

HINESBURG VT. – Veterans are the people who protect our country from war, terrorism…the “real world”. But this responsibility comes with a lot of baggage, including PTSD, brain trauma, anxiety and an abundance of lost relationships and emotions. This trauma is one of the biggest reasons Vermont’s suicide rate in veterans is so high. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, the rate is about 56.8 people out of 100,000 people, which puts the state’s rate at about 88.7% higher than the national average.

According to healthvermont.gov, PTSD is something that keeps people’s brains in high alert mode. It makes their brain constantly send out distress signals when something triggers it. Triggers can include smells, sounds, sights, and even thoughts. These triggers can make people lash out, have panic attacks, become violent; they could just start to feel sad or scared. People with PTSD tend to have a hard time creating new relationships and keeping old ones, too; they also tend to have marital problems.

Technical Sergeant (TSgt) Jake Kenney is in the Air National Guard. He has served in the Guard for about 12 years and has been full time at the guard for about a year and a half. He has a wife and 4 kids and lives on a farm with lots of animals.  He said he comes from “…a culture that started from farmers. They don’t like asking for help. They’re stubborn, they think they’re fine and they can handle it on their own.” The problem is that they don’t talk about their problems and sometimes they just can’t express their feelings due to PTSD. And when they have marital problems, they lose that support system and connection. 

wwp-no-gift-jpg

Sometimes, when veterans lose their support systems they turn to places like The Wounded Warrior Project, which is an online program where veterans can get counseling, therapy, and funds. They also can go to Josh’s House in Colchester, an organization where veterans can go and play videogames, exercise and most importantly they can go there and get the support from other veterans who know and understand what they are going through. These are both places that can get help, but they are mostly volunteer places, they don’t get money from the state to help.

So what does the state do to help our veterans? In the words of TSgt Jake Kenney, “V.A. clinics are bogged down slow and inefficient, they’re underfunded and they’re unable to provide the help tha veterans need.” According to Veterans like Kenney, the state isn’t putting enough money towards veterans and suicide prevention and that is one of the reasons Vermont’s numbers have been getting worse since 2005. 

“Check in with your local veteran that you seen the store; just saying hi can sometimes change their aspect”, says TSgt Kenney. There are many ways to help veterans that sometimes help more than a donation. Volunteering at places like Josh’s house, and just going and visiting them can change their lives.

20211017_124208

On Sunday October 17th, I volunteered for Josh’s House at a UVM soccer game. I sat at a table and tent, passing out information cards alongside collecting donations for the Josh Pallotta Fund. While doing this I noticed that many people didn’t know or understand how bad this problem is, or that it is even a problem at all. 

Should the burden be on just the military to support their soldiers and veterans, or is this a community-wide issue?

We would like to hear your thoughts on this topic! Email aterwillegar@cvsdvt.org

ian2

First Semester of School, Last Year of Covid ?

By Ian Dunkley

HINESBURG, VT  – A student walks off a big yellow bus and onto the Champlain Valley Union High School (CVU) campus for the first time.  Like many before them, they have butterflies in their stomach, but can’t wait to start their new life in high school. The first day of school was August 26th, with students and teachers alike getting right back into the swing of things. To see how the community was feeling about the return, I spoke with several people about events that they would like to see return in the 2021-22 school year.

Donovan

Original photo by Ian Dunkley

Donovan, a senior in Nichols core, told me, “Rally or the winter carnival.” Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some students haven’t had the opportunity to attend large group events like these, and experience how fun they can be.

Jasmine is also a senior from Nichols. “I’m more like the person that wanted to see [...] the after school things like prom,” she said.

The next thought that Donovan and Jasmine shared was related to this year’s academic system compared to last year. Donovan described the courses as “a little harder” and attributed the increase in difficulty to the five in-person days per week we now have. Jasmine thought the opposite. ”I think they are easier because like, at least we’re not doing online learning, which was hard at least. [...] It’s easier because we got to see each other.” 

One new change implemented this year is a  program called Community, Clubs, Connect, better known as C3. To better understand the purpose of C3, I asked co-creator Zach Smith why he developed the program, “In part with Emily [Rinkema] here, a bunch of other faculty and staff, it was actually something that over the last few years was developed by a bunch of committees made up of a lot of different teachers and leaders at CVU. So it was about a two-year process to design it. And this is just our first year implementing it. [...] Our purpose, one, has been students have been remote or in some form of remote learning for the past two years, and a lot of students are missing out on those social connections and C3 is a great way to bring our focus in now not just like our staff, but our community. We really want to encourage those connections as much as possible this year, [...] our number one thing here is to engage students. And with clubs, in the past clubs have only met after or before school, so it was inequitable. So a big part of having C3 in the middle of the day, is all students can attend it, it’s time to either connect with the teacher find a new community or club that interests them, whereas in the past, it was only equitable to students who had a form of transportation or who didn’t have a job after school or siblings to take care of.” 

jaime
Original photo by Ian Dunkley

 The final person I spoke with was Jamie Hayes, CVU’s very own campus supervisor. I asked Jamie how she usually connects with the new, and returning students, especially after last year. She told me, “Honestly, it’s really hard, it’s a very difficult thing to do. We try to talk or I personally try to talk to people in the hallways, whether it’s like, hey how you doing today, or sometimes I’m like yo your shirt is awesome [...]  It’s really hard getting to know ninth-graders and transfer students just because we don’t see them as often. I just try to talk to people every day and get people comfortable with seeing me and talking with me, and hopefully, eventually form a connection where they might come up and say hi.”

Finally, I asked Jamie how this year compares to last year. “I think it just feels more chaotic. [...] Yeah, it was too quiet last year. It’s just really really nice to see everyone together again and you see everyone you know, happy to see each other too.” 

AP Photo/Capt. Chris Herbert/U.S. Air Force

Did you know that Afghan refugees may come to CVU?

By Dau Dau

 Governor Phil Scott announced on September 16, 2021, that the US Department of State has approved the relocation of up to 100 Afghans to Vermont. Following the US decision to end its operations in Afghanistan, many Afghan refugees are expected to arrive in the US. They will be resettled from areas that were not previously considered safe for them.

“We have a moral obligation to help the people of Afghanistan, who did so much to help us in the War on Terror,” Said Governor Phil Scott. “In addition to this being the right thing to do, we know that welcoming more refugees also strengthens communities, schools, our workforce, culture and economy. I appreciate the federal government’s partnership in helping us welcome more families to Vermont.” 

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants(USCRI) is a national resettlement agency that helps people who have migrated to the United States. The goal of this project is to accommodate those Afghans who are being targeted by the US due to their support for the American military and its allies in Afghanistan.  The State Department has approved the resettlement of Afghans who have assisted our service members in the Middle East. This move will benefit both the individuals and the communities in which they live.

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont said, “Vermont has a long history of warmly welcoming refugees who have become an integral part of communities across our state. They have made Vermont stronger,”  The announcement that over a hundred Afghan refugees will be coming to the state is great news for the people of Vermont. The Chamber has been working with the State of Vt. to support refugee resettlement in the state.

warren

CVU’s Top Three Swimming Spots!

Brennan Murdock, Fri, June 4, 2021.

Wondering where to cool off this summer while still staying local? CVU has you covered! I sent out a school wide survey to find out where CVU students enjoy swimming the most. I’m here to bring you the results in the form of a top three.

Bristol Falls

bristol

Coming in the number one spot by a large lead was Bristol Falls. This lovely location features waterfalls, swimming holes, and cliff jumping spots. Just be careful if you try the latter!

 

North Beach

north beach

The number two spot was left in a tie between Lake Iroquois and North Beach in Burlington on Lake Champlain. These locations are quite different, so choose one according to the types of beaches you prefer. North Beach is a typical sandy public beach that features a playground, benches, grills, showers, and restrooms. If that’s your thing, then this is the place for you.

Lake Iroquois, on the other hand, is a small, pristine, tributary and spring-fed lake set in the hills of mid-Chittenden County. It is a quiet and calm getaway in the countryside if that’s more of your thing.

Lake Iroquois iroqouis

 

Warren Falls warren

Lastly, in third place was Warren Falls. Located on the Mad River in Warren Vermont, it features several cliff jumping spots and swimming holes. Warren Falls is a nice alternative to Bristol Falls. Once again, be careful when cliff jumping, but most importantly, have fun!

 

fair

Hula Hoops and Horses: Summer Events are Back in Chittenden county.

By Ryan Canty

VERMONT– This summer the Champlain Valley fair will once again be hosted at the Champlain Valley exposition in Essex Junction, Vermont and is set to start on August 27 and run through September 5th. The Fair will include all rides and events from previous years, while still following CDC Covid-19 guidelines. The Champlain Valley exposition will also hold other events during the summer.

horse

The First event to take place this summer was Green Mountain Barrel Racing which concluded May 21st and 22nd. GMBR is a professional barrel racing organization created to focus on fun, safety and horsemanship. Barrel racing is an event that takes place in the expositions rodeo portion. This is where horses are raced in a clover pattern around 4 barrels to see who has the fasted time

Other events taking place this will be the Tedeschi Trucks band happening on July 4th and the PRIMUS – A Tribute to the Kings happening October 2nd. PRIMUS is a heavy metal band that will be on tour all summer.

Other events that are not taking place at the Champlain Valley Expo. have also been scheduled for this summer. The Festival of Fools in downtown Burlington wil take place on Church street from July 30th to August 1st. This event is a curated festival of street theater created to engage the community through the celebration of circus arts, music and comedy for family audiences. The acts headlining this year will be Snap Boogie, Secret Circus, Pogo Fred, The Wet Ones, and more!

 

image courtesy of Church Street Marketplace
image courtesy of Church Street Marketplace
Image courtesy of Wall Street Journal

Stand Up for the Lake

Racers at the 2020 SUFTL
Racers at the 2020 SUFTL

By: Phoebe Henderson, June 1st 2021

BURLINGTON, VT– In early August 2021 (the specific date has not been decided yet), the 13th annual Stand up for the Lake event will take place at the Burlington Surf Club, hosted by the team of Wnd & Wvs, Hula, The Spot and The Spot on the Dock. This event will be filled with activities and celebrations on the waterfront. 

I spoke to Jeff Henderson, creative director and team member of Wnd&Wvs and Hula, about the event and what’s expected for this year:

“Stand up for the Lake is a paddle board race with probably around a few hundred competitors. There are two races: a six-mile race for the elite athletes and a three-mile recreational race. Basically, there’s a course on Lake Champlain and you start on the beach and then you ride the course and race on a 14-foot paddle board against men and women who also like to paddle race. It’s a day filled not only with the race but a fun party. There’s usually food trucks and it’s really a great place for the stand-up paddle community to get together and have a fun time.”

 

paddle 2

How will the event look compared to last year’s?

“This will be the first year after a lot of the Covid restrictions, so we’re hoping to get even more people because we’re not limited to I think it was 150 last year, there will be no limit and there will definitely be loosened mask requirements. I think a lot of people with their mentality will be a lot more joyous that they’re out on the lake and you know feel like they’ve gotten their lives a little bit back to normal, so I think it’s going to be a really fun event this year after what we went through last year.”

What can people do to be involved?

“Really the event is mostly about community and not so much the competition, although it does get very competitive. We normally have a cash prize of $3,000 that goes out to the top five winners of the race. We have a great community in Burlington, a lot of people that either work with the event or just friends who are just big fans of what we’re doing, they often want to help out with the event. Originally the event was a fundraiser for the Burlington Sailing Center, but for the last five years it hasn’t been. There are also opportunities to sort of come and be at the event on a sponsor level if you want to kind of showcase your (usually water sport-related) business or product, people can come and set up tents and usually those folks also offer prizes or goodie bags that type of thing for the racers. There’s lots of opportunities to be a part of the event even if you’re not into stand up paddling.”

Who organizes it?

“Primarily, Stand Up for the Lake was started I think even before Wnd and Wvs started, and it was just a group of people that like to paddle. But stand up paddle is a sport and our team wanted to basically have a party and get some friends together and have some light competition. Then Wnd and Wvs really took it over. Now it’s become part of a bigger sort of community with the Hula project down on the waterfront and the Burlington Surf Club as well as Wnd and Wvs and you know we’re just trying to make it bigger and better every year.”

Learn what it takes to become a stand up paddle board racer, or stop by to watch and experience the amazing facilities that Burlington Surf Club has to offer! 

Link to Burlington Surf Club: http://www.burlingtonsurfclub.com/

Sample schedule of SUFTL events from 2020: https://www.standupforthelake.com/

hannaford

How Hannaford is Handling Food Waste

By Shayne Waite

Hannaford, one of the Eastern Regional Food Chains, is doing its part in reducing food waste.

Thousands of people shop at Hannaford daily, but almost 40% of the food on the shelf never gets sold, leading to it going into the landfill. Here in Vermont, it is more regulated than other states due to our very progressive composting law. 

During a WCAX interview with George Parmenter, sustainability manager at a Hannaford based in Maine, said, “When food gets wasted, it typically goes to a landfill. Not so much in Vermont because you guys have very progressive laws about food waste bans, but most everywhere else… it ends up in a landfill.” Parmenter continued, “last year Hannaford achieved its goal of sending no food waste to landfills, and that includes all of its 183 stores in New England and New York. Hannaford says the zero food waste program kept 65 million pounds of food waste from reaching landfills last year.”

fruit

How this works is through inventory management and pulling food that is clearly out of date or isn’t going to sell.  Over 10,000 pounds of food cannot be sold, but it still can be eaten, which gets donated to food banks across the state to feed people in need. According to State officials, most, if not all, grocery stores are sorting food waste because it’s the law.  Brian Phelps, the Produce Manager at Hannaford in Williston, says all produce that goes bad or is damaged goes into the compost bin and none of it goes into the landfill.

People should be encouraged by local stores to do their part in making sure no food gets to a landfill and also do it in their own home by composting as well.

camping-stuff-free-vector-and-png-camping-icons

Jobs and Summer Activities for Students!

By Erin Fina

HINESBURG, VT–This school year is quickly coming to an end and summer activities are quickly approaching! This summer there are plenty of events for students to get involved in for credit and for non-credit interest based activities through CVU, UVM, and a list of Summer Jobs!

CVU OFFERINGS

For all in-coming 9th grade students:

You have the opportunity to attend the classic CVU Summer Camp! This is open to all 9th graders and is known to help with a positive transition from middle school to high school. There are 2 sessions (with the option of attending both), with Session A the weeks of July 5 and July 12, 2021 and Session B, weeks of July 19 and July 26, 2021. Students have the opportunity to pick one of the following interesting areas to explore in the camp, such as Outdoor Recreation,  Exploring the Arts, and Into the Wild. This is an outstanding opportunity for upcoming highschoolers to get to know their peers from other schools, explore the CVU building, participate in interest based activities and have a ton of fun! Rising 9th graders can sign up HERE and contact Rick Kinsman,  cvusummercamp@cvsdvt.org, with any questions. 

For ALL CVU Students:

There are FREE summer course offerings that will be hosted by CVU over the summer! YOU can receive CVU credit for the completion of the following courses! Some of the many courses range from Writing Prose and Creative Writing to Public Speaking and Anatomy & Physiology to The Oceans and You, among others. Students are able to earn CVU credit for completion of the course, with many earning up to .5 for the subject area. Dates and times vary from course to course, but you can find all of the courses and more information HERE and fill out THIS ONLINE FORM if you are interested. Email Monica Carter for additional information, mcarter@cvsdvt.org.

For ALL CVU Students:

Interested in an interest based workshop this summer? CVU is hosting many workshops for students looking to keep busy over the summer! Workshops range from Computer Programming to Abenaki Culture and Heritage to Paint and Poetry to a Vermont Adventure Week and many more, all free of charge! You cannot earn CVU credit for these courses, but it is a great way to connect with peers, teachers and staff, explore interest- based fields and have fun after such a long, isolated past year. You can find all of the workshops listed here (scroll down to the CVU Workshops) HERE and fill out THIS ONLINE FORM if you are interested in any of the workshops. Contact Monica Carter for any additional information, mcarter@cvsdvt.org.


UVM COURSE OFFERINGS:

Attention CVU Students! You are able to register for UVM Pre-College Courses for the Summer 2021 and the Fall 2021. Most courses are fully-online, but courses like Chemistry will be taught from a Hybrid Learning approach. You are able to receive college credit for the completion of these courses. Additional information can be found HERE and please don’t hesitate to contact your House Counselor about any additional information. 

 

 SUMMER JOBS

*These are some local businesses that are looking to hire potential employees. Age limitations, work experience, job positions needs, etc at specific locations might vary from business to business. Contact businesses directly for any questions and concerns. 

“Part-2″ WORK WITH KIDS

In need of a Summer job? Like working with children?  Part-2 is the perfect place for you! Part-2 is hiring teens like you for preschool and school-aged summer camp positions, at their 8 locations around Chittenden County, such as Shelburne, Williston (Allen Brook School), Montpelier, Richmond, among others. You can apply HERE and Inquire within their website, http://www.parttwokids.com/home.html for additional information. 

 

SWEET ROOTS FARMS (formerly Charlotte Berry)-CHARLOTTE

Need a summer job? Former Charlotte Berry Farm, located just off of Route 7 in Charlotte, newly named Sweet Roots Farms is hiring for summer positions for 2021! Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, creemees, baked goods and more, Sweet Roots is a great place for a hard-working, berry- lover! Please email sweetrootsfarmers@gmail.com for more information.

 

CUCINA ANTICA- SHELBURNE 

Delicious pizza, salads, calzones, pasta and more, right in the heart of the Shelburne Village! Located just across from the Shelburne Supermarket and right next to Aubuchon Hardware, Cucina Antica offers delicious Italian Cuisine. They are hiring now for positions including Servers, Counter/Phones, Dish, Kitchen. Some experience is preferred, but not necessary. APPLY NOW AT https://www.bistrocucinaantica.com/form-job-application.

 

AGAVE- WILLISTON

Located in the Maple Tree Place in Williston, Agave is a delicious Mexican restaurant specializing in Mexican-inspired food and drinks! They are short on staff and looking for students like you to join their team. Inquire on their website via the Contact Form, https://www.agavevt.com/form-contact-us for job opportunities. 

 

HEALTHY LIVING- WILLISTON

As of September 24th, 2021, the Williston Healthy Living was officially opened and ready for business! They are looking to hire passionate and hard-working people to join their team, through paid positions such as Dishwashing, Cashier, among others. Visit https://recruiting.paylocity.com/Recruiting/Jobs/All/f6749321-6721-467b-9755-be942a498f22/ROAD-TO-HANA-INC for more information or inquire within at 129 Market St. Williston, VT 05495.

 

TRADER JOE’S- SOUTH BURLINGTON

Trader Joe’s is looking for passionate, hard-working and welcoming employees to join their business in helping to create a warm and friendly shopping experience, as members of their “Crew” team. Duties include Working on teams to accomplish goals, Operating the cash register in a fun and efficient manner, Bagging groceries with care, Stocking shelves, Creating signage to inform and delight customers, Helping customers find their favorite products, among other things. If you are interested in becoming part of the Trader Joe’s Crew, inquire within the South Burlington location (200 Dorset St, South Burlington, VT 05403) or apply at https://traderjoes.avature.net/careers/ApplicationMethods?jobId=8820. Must be at least 16-years old.

 

LANTMANS- HINESBURG

Lantman’s Market; a locally owned quality market since 1925, located in the heart of Hinesburg is hiring NOW for cashiers, stock floor workers, deli personnel who are “available weekends, evenings and/or daytimes.” Potential employees should be “reliable and enthusiastic to provide friendly customer service to our community” and if this sounds like you, apply today via https://lantmansmarket.com/employment-application.html. Age limitations for some departments range for 18+, but also in need for teen positions. Apply Today!

 

 WAKE ROBIN- SHELBURNE

Wake Robin is a retirement community, located just beyond the Shelburne Museum. They are looking for people who demonstrate strong customer service skills and a desire to work with an active population of seniors, and if this sounds like you, apply today! They are looking for Cooking, Cleaning and Wait Staff among others. Apply at https://www.wakerobin.com/contact-us/employment/ or Inquire within

 

welcome-to-vermont

How does CVU Feel About Governor Scott’s Three-step Plan?

By Georgia Bruneau, Mon, May 10th, 2021

HINESBURG- With now three effective vaccines and nearly 50% of Vermont’s population vaccinated, we can construct goals and a plan to bring back “normal” life.  Governor Phill Scott has come together with a three-step plan.  The first part of the plan started April 9th; this includes ending travel quarantine requirements, and instead replacing them with testing unvaccinated individuals in less than three days of returning to Vermont. Step two of this plan starts in May and involves increasing the number of people in gatherings inside and outside. The third and final part of the plan is lifting the mask mandate on July 4th. “We’re in the last laps of this race and this plan shows how we can finish strong if we all do our part,” said Governor Scott. 

However, some Vermont residents have worries and concerns about this “good news.” “I would like to have current data on how often the disease is spread while people are still vaccinated,” said CVU math teacher Hannah Carey. Carey also says “If we can have gatherings of 150 inside, non-spaced, and no masks by July 4th, why do I have to wear a mask in a classroom with 27 other kids next year? Where’s the logic here? If you’re suggesting I wear a mask in the fall in my classroom to prevent getting Covid, then why is okay for other people to attend a 150 person wedding inside without being spaced, and you’re eating? How is that all going to work?” 

But teachers aren’t the only ones who have an opinion on the matter. A student from CVU speaks on behalf of the student body about the news: “I feel really excited about the fact that masks could possibly be gone in the near future. If the plan is truly effective it would be an amazing weight lifted off of many people’s shoulders. I think that we are partially on the right track. I think many people have good intentions and the vaccine is a great step in the right direction but many people are getting more relaxed about covid. I don’t have many worries about people not wearing masks by July 4th if everyone sticks to the guidelines; my only worry would be that we push it too fast and we begin to see a spike in cases and then we have to take more steps backward,” says sophomore Anna Morton.

Overall the CVU community is ecstatic about the Governor’s plan for normalcy, but we still seem to be slightly skeptical of the idea. Is it illogical like Carey said? Or a step in the right direction as Morton believes?

phil-scott-mask-1-2-610x407

Vermont Mask Restrictions Blown Away?

Sawyer Thorpe

5/14/2021

MONTPELIER, VT– CDC director Rochelle P. Walensky released a statement Thursday evening that abolished mask restrictions for adults who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Today, Governor Phil Scott released a statement saying, “The fact is, if you’re fully vaccinated, the health experts at the CDC have determined there is very little risk. It’s time to reward all the hard work you’ve done over the past 14 months to make Vermont’s pandemic response the best in the country.” 

Additionally, Governor Scott announced that people arriving from out of state no longer need to be tested for COVID-19, skipping 2 weeks forward in the restart plan. Not only do travelers from out of state no longer need to get tested, they also no longer need to quarantine for 2 weeks before beginning their adventures.

As of this press release, nothing has yet come from the CVU administration about how these developments will impact our community.

Vaccination-ChristianEmmer-CC-by-nc-4.0

CVU Students on Board the Vaccination Bandwagon

By Erin Fina

HINESBURG- A recent poll conducted at Champlain Valley Union High School shows that out of 274 CVU students, 52% of CVU students have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine, and 19% are fully vaccinated. 

This is great news, as Vermont’s Governor, Phil Scott, just gave the thumbs-up to give full access for the vaccine among Vermont teens 16-18 starting on April 17, 2021. Scott mentioned the importance of getting the group vaccinated as obviously it’s more steps in the fight to end the pandemic but also because, “after all they’ve had to give up over the last year, to allow [the age group] to have some sort of a normal graduation,” Scott said in article recently published by VT Digger. 

As of now, Vermont is ranked #1 nationally in vaccination rates, with 44% of Vermonter’s fully vaccinated and 62% with at least one dose. 

Vermonters throughout the state have been eager to return to normal life and here at CVU High School, we are no different. With 81% +/- of the CVU student body saying that they plan to get vaccinated if they haven’t already done so already, an anonymous surveyor stated that the reason that they choose to get vaccinated was to “protect those around me and reach the herd immunity the world needs to return to the original normal”. Herd immunity, as Anthony Fauci explained, is reachable when 80% of the population is immune to the virus. 

At CVU, if all goes as planned, the CVU community could have the potential to reach full herd immunization rates by the start of the fall semester of 2021. 

hiking

Can Hiking Help Your Mental Health?

By:Katrina Kajenski 5/4/2021

Hinesburg-This pandemic has taken a toll on student’s mental health. Without sports, and an overall lack of access to exercise, student’s mental health has certainly suffered. Studies from the Primary Care Companion Journal, show that lack of exercise can decrease mental help substantially. A senior from CVU in Hinesburg Vermont, Charlotte Couperthwait is a mental health advocate from Bring Change to Mind Club, and a two-varsity-sport-athlete. I spoke to her on May 4th about how mental health and exercise/sports correlate. 

When asked about how the pandemic has affected her mental health, Charlotte said that, “Covid definitely took a toll on my mental health. My anxiety was heightened dramatically and it was really hard to handle sometimes.” One strategy she recommended to the CVU community that helped her was to go outside on a hike with her family. In correlation with exercise and mental health, she said that “exercise can help. For me, it makes me feel productive and puts me in a growth mindset which I think is eneficial for mental health.” One thing she also wanted to share with CVU is to recognize that, “everyone is struggling right now, especially with the pandemic going on, but really try and focus on yourself and make sure you are doing stuff you enjoy. Look at the little things that make you feel better and try and do it more frequently.”

A study done by the Primary Care Companion Journal of Clinical Psychiatry claims that just a short walk can affect brain function. The study states that, “thirty minutes of walking can reduce anxiety, depression, and negative moods… This is done by improving self-esteem and cognitive functions.” Covid-19 has put many students into a “slump” and a great way to get over that hump is to start going outside. Listed below are some places in each town where you can go on a hike or a bike path. See you outside, CVU!

Willison: Williston Community Park/Cross VT Trail Location

Hinesburg: Geprags Community Park Location

Shelburne: Shelburne Bay Park  Location

Charlotte: Mt. Philo State Park Location

HINDES JEFF_crop

Teaching During Covid: An Interview With CVU’s Jeff Hindes

By Brennan Murdock, Fri, May 7, 2021

HINESBURG – This year has been tough on all of us, and we’ve all had changes in our everyday lives. One of the largest topics that I’ve seen covered during this global pandemic has been how students like me feel about returning for the 2020/ 2021 school year. How our classes have been split up, how we have to wear masks, and how we have to take many other precautions that interfere with our education. As a student, I’ve heard all about that. What I haven’t heard about at all is what it was like for teachers to adjust to these huge changes in the classroom, to deal with split classes, shortened courses, and online work.

Has it been easier or harder? More or less stressful? I am curious about the pros and cons of teaching at CVU during the COVID-19 pandemic, and am looking to shine some light on how this school year has been for our educators. What was it like shortening courses, communicating with students while wearing a mask, dealing with online classes, and only seeing half of their regular students in person each day?

Jeff Hindes, a CVU Humanities teacher, described this year as “logistically challenging.” He compared shortening his course material to “creating an abridged version of a book”, where it was crucial to select the most important themes in order to still convey the same story, but in a smaller amount of time. Hindes also said that he personally doesn’t find wearing a mask to be much of a hindrance when teaching, but expressed some difficulty in communicating with students. “The biggest problem that I have is understanding students, particularly those who are already a little soft spoken to begin with.” 

Here at CVU, students are split into two groups by last name. The first group has in person classes on Monday and Tuesday and asynchronous work on Thursday and Friday, the second group has the opposite schedule. On Wednesdays, however, classes are fully virtual and include students from both groups. This form of online schooling has been a big challenge for some teachers, but it certainly has its pro’s, too. “On Wednesday I have my Thursday/Friday and my Monday/Tuesday kids all in the same place, and so I can introduce a concept or introduce a project and then students can begin to work on it, and because they’re all in the same place at the same time, I only have to explain it once,” Hindes said. This is one of the best things about remote Wednesdays for teachers. It’s a perfect opportunity to provide instruction on upcoming or current assignments while all of their students are present at once. The downside is that most students and teachers are forced to sit in front of a screen all day long, which can get very tedious.

Separated students means much smaller in person class sizes, yet another strange adaptation brought to the classroom during this school year. Hindes stated that he doesn’t necessarily see this as good or bad, but “just kind of weird.” Some classes can be as small as four students, which definitely aligns with the phrase “just kind of weird.” While tiny classes are a lot to get used to at first, they can provide a much more focused class that can more easily adjust its pace to the needs of each student, since there are so few. 

This year has had no shortage of stress for any of us. Most would say it has been much more stressful than previous years. However, Hindes’ response to this question came as a bit of a surprise. “I think all things being equal, the stress level is about the same as a normal school year, but the stressors are different, if that makes sense.” He went on to say that during a normal school year he has many more moving parts, and sees more students each day. So for Hindes, his work for school is less stressful than normal, but the added stress of a global pandemic brings it back up to a fairly regular level. He is hopeful that next year, things will be returning to a relatively normal state.

For me, this school year at CVU has just been different, rather than bad. It’s had its issues, but has ended up being a learning experience for everyone, even teachers. Through these huge changes, we’ve been able to more easily see what worked well and what didn’t, and hopefully move forward with the best of both worlds. With vaccines now being distributed and fully in-person school nearly in sight, we can finally have hope that the next few years won’t be quite so chaotic for our students and educators, or for the rest of the world.

gun

Concealed Handguns

Kobey Pecor

4/29/2021

NEW YORK– The Supreme Court conservative majority decided Monday, April 26th to hear an appeal of a New York law that restricts people from carrying concealed handguns in public. This would lead to the first major Supreme Court decision on gun laws in a decade. 

New York has banned carrying a handgun openly. The state law says anyone seeking a license to carry a concealed weapon must demonstrate “a special need for self protection distinguishable from that of the general community or of persons engaged in the same profession.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo defended the law as necessary to ensure safety, also calling on the federal government to pass stricter national laws. There will be a hearing later this fall

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a Hawaii law similar to New York’s. The appeals court had ruled earlier that individuals do not have a Second Amendment right to carry concealed weapons in public.

Vermont gun laws are the most permissive in the United States. The state does not issue permits for carrying firearms and operates on an “Unrestricted” policy. Any person 16 or older (Federal law requires the age to be 18) and who can legally possess a firearm is allowed to carry openly or concealed.

lewis creek

Grandparents Found in Lewis Creek

Brennan Murdock

On Monday April 19 at 12:30pm, two bodies were found by fishermen in Lewis Creek in Charlotte Vermont. They were identified as 70 year old Martha Illick and 71 year old Terrence Dinnan. Their grandson, who was in the boat with them, was found later, wet but uninjured.

The grandparents had planned a small boating trip on their local creek with their three and a half year old grandson earlier that day, but somehow the boat flipped and both grandparents ended up dead. Police are still unsure of what exactly happened, but the boat was found capsized with the deceased couple not far away. The strange thing was that their grandson came out of the accident seemingly unharmed. He was found by police over an hour later in his grandparents’ car. “We started to walk back up the residence, the child popped out of the vehicle and ran up to his parents,” said Captain Matt Daley, Vermont State Police.

The boy was the only one wearing a life jacket, which may explain how he survived the incident at only three.

Photo via Lewis Creek Association/Caleb Kenna

vt

Redhawks Go Green!

Abby Niquette, Hazel Civalier, Maddie Connery

An adaptation of EnACT’s Stall News Publication

 

Join in on a Green-Up, Win a Prize!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 1st to join Vermont’s annual clean-up! Green Up Day is a great chance to clean up trash in your community with family and friends. If you are interested in helping, you can get green-up bags at specified locations throughout the CVU school district. The Environmental Action Club has some amazing prizes for participants who upload photos to Instagram stories and tag @enactcvu or share with kantosketcham@cvsdvt.org. Learn more at greenupvermont.org or contact Ruby Opton, Ava Rohrbaugh, or Olivia Brand!

 

Earth-Friendly Tips for the CVU Community

  1. Vegetarian/Meatless Mondays: Try to eat only plant-based foods one day a week!
  2. Transportation Challenge: Pick a distance (eg. 2 miles) and challenge yourself to use alternative modes of transportation, such as walking or biking, for any travel of that distance or less. 
  3. Sustainable Fashion - Check out these local second-hand stores: Hinesburg: Twice is Nice. Shelburne: Schip’s Treasure Resale Shop. Williston: Once upon a Child, Plato’s Closet, and Style Encore. Burlington: Dirt Chic, Old Gold, Downtown Threads, Replays, Outdoor Gear Exchange, Possibility Shop. 
  4. Grow Your Own: Try growing some of your own food in a backyard or community garden. Find local community gardens at https://vcgn.org/garden-directory/
  5. Legislative Activism: Advocate for environmental legislation like the Expansion of the VT Bottle Bill (see the top left article). 

Statewide Action in the Works

According to the VT Department of Environmental Conservation, “out of all the waste Vermont generates annually, only about 35% gets sent somewhere other than a landfill to be recycled, composted, or reused.” This April, in honor of Earth Day, consider taking action to reduce statewide waste. Check out the Green Up Vermont webpage and commit to picking up trash on May 1st. Last year, over 421 tons of trash were taken from our roadsides, giving incredible relief to the surrounding environment. Or take it a step further and spend few minutes writing a letter or email to one of our Senators asking them to move forward with the proposed bill H.175. This bill intends to expand on our current state Bottle Bill and “would increase recycling, create green jobs, and is another step forward in our work to reduce plastic pollution,” according to Vermont Conservation Voters. Additionally, consider encouraging your family and friends to do the same and take action for the environment this April. Help to keep the “Green” in Green Mountain State!

A Brief History of Earth Day

Earth Day was first celebrated in the United States on April 22nd, 1970, through teach-ins and protests organized by thousands of colleges and universities. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, these actions sought to harness student activism to bring visibility to growing concerns about environmental degradation, including air and water quality in the US. Last year, at least one billion people in 192 countries celebrated the 50th Earth Day. Observances include Global Unity And Regeneration Gathering in Lanjaron, Spain, with environmental presentations and workshops; Earth Day Tokyo in Tokyo, Japan, which highlights sustainable businesses and environmental organizations; and Earth Expo in Johannesburg, South Africa, which includes educational forums on nutrition, fashion, technology, and sustainable entrepreneurship.  

Activism on Social Media to Get Involved With!

Want to help out from the couch? Consider taking a look at an account below! Environmental activism is often falsely stereotyped as judgy and inconsiderate, but there are many underrated influencers who offer a variety of tips on how to be more eco-friendly. Addressing the threat of climate change requires widespread awareness. Social media is a powerful tool for environmental activism, as it enables a vast array of environmental opportunities that are accessible to all! This earth day, it may be hard to see a bright future with the numerous challenges our world is facing, but the accounts below examine the many ways in which our biggest problems intertwine, while also offering simple yet powerful actions to be taken. Small steps are key. Take a second to look at one of the accounts below and discover just how empowering and interesting climate activism is!

Instagram:

  • @zerowastecutie
  • @climatediva
  • @greengirlleah
  • @queerbrownvegan
  • @intersectionalenvironmentalist

Twitter:

  • @greenpeace
  • @treehugger
  • @gretathunberg

Tiktok:

  • @solanathagreenfairy
  • @sustainablecherub 

 

fire

Fire Engulfs St. George Home

Shayne Waite

Fire officials arrived on the scene of a house fire on Martel Lane in St. George on April 14th around 1:20 pm.

The fire was believed to have started in the basement. When officials arrived on the scene, flames were raging out of the basement. It had continued up the west side of the home and the wind made it more difficult to extinguish.

Crews were on the scene until 8 pm that night. Crews from Hinesburg, Charlotte, Shelburne, Williston, Richmond, Underhill-Jericho, Monkton, Essex Junction, South Burlington, and Saint Michael’s Rescue were also on the scene. No injuries were reported.

From a story by NBC 5, During an interview, Captain Ed Waite of the Hinesburg Fire Department said, “The task of extinguishing this fire was made especially difficult by the roads lack of water access. It’s tough getting manpower and water supply set up. For a house out in this area, it’s all done by tankers so you have to get manpower and trucks out here and we just didn’t have that today.” They were able to save the detached garage that has been converted to living space.

The fire was not deemed suspicious at this time by the State of Vermont Department of Public Safety’s Fire Marshall’s office. The house is considered a total loss.

Photo via https://www.mynbc5.com/article/fire-engulfs-chittenden-county-home-no-injuries-reported/36122903