An Epic Trek: The Walk Down from the Junior Lot Involves Minor Suffering, Major Complaining

Ms. Olivia Cottrell

HINESBURG– On any given morning of the school year, you can see the 50 or so juniors, and few random lucky sophomores, making the long trek down from the junior lot. The walk isn’t too torturous. Unless it’s cold, rainy, windy, snowy, icy — or pretty much any other type of weather that isn’t sunny and dry. While the commute itself is not that long, less than ⅛ of a mile, it’s the conditions that make it seemingly tortuous.

For at least three months of the year, and  more often than not, closer to five and a half months, the walk seems to take forever. People stumble along, wrapped in layers upon layers of winter clothing. The whole way down the wind stings any uncovered skin and freezes your joints, as there is nothing in to stop it but the chain link fences, . The walk back up is rarely any better, except for the rare occasion when the weak rays of winter sun poke through and turn the snow into a blinding spectacle of blinding white.

Junior Lot 1

A hapless student scales the direct route to the Junior parking lot. Homework laded pack mules not pictured. Image by Isaac Cleveland

Though the path is plowed when there is snow, it is still slick if you are not wearing real boots, which many students don’t wear for the sake of style. The path from the junior lot winds down from Pond Road to the entrance to the faculity parking lot. It is made of white gravel that is loose in places, and will kindly stab your foot if you happen to find a loose piece and have on a soft soled shoe. The path is the safest, most reliable way down from the junior lot. But it is not the fastest, nor the most commonly traveled way down.

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Mind Over Matter: Positive Thinking May Have Real Physical Effects

Ms. Koko Vercessi-Clarke, Editor-in-Chief 

Image Courtesy of Deviantart.net

Image Courtesy of Deviantart.net

So you’ve heard the saying, “think and it shall become” but what does this actually mean? Does the idea that your mind has the power to create and change your reality actually have any basis in fact and statistical evidence?

There have always been people who have told you that your brain has the amazing ability to create its own reality based on your thoughts and regular thinking habits and patterns, so how exactly does this work and how can we use it to our advantage? The definition of the statement “Mind Over Matter” is one that refers to the ability of thought processes to influence our physical reality.  UCLA scientists and colleagues from the California Institute of Technology have collaborated to complete studies that show humans can regulate the activity of specific neurons in the brain. According to the UCLA Newsroom our brain can “increase the firing rate of some [neurons] and decrease the rate of others”. If our brain has the ability to exert its control over which neurons fire and when, this means that it can choose what we focus on and “override the visual reality”.

Perhaps the best example of the power of the human brain to manipulate and create our own visual reality is what is known as the Placebo Effect. According to Dr. Mercola, “A placebo is an inactive treatment or substance, such as a sugar pill or sham procedure, that looks and feels just like a regular medical treatment. Patients receiving a placebo generally believe it is the same as the typical standard of care, and many experience what’s known as the “placebo effect” – an improvement in symptoms – even though they received no actual “active” treatment.” In patients with certain ailments or injuries, studies have shown that just the belief that a pill has the ability to heal and repair your body can have the same effects as if the patient actually had taken a pill with the ability to bring about this healing medically. This is because the brain is tricked into believing in this pill and its abilities and therefore it tricks your body into healing normally as if the pill’s effects were really at play.

ScienceDaily reported out about a study done at Baylor College involving patients with knee pain and osteoarthritis where 180 patients with knee pain were randomized into three groups. One group had torn or loose cartilage removed, the second group underwent arthroscopic lavage (the bad cartilage is flushed out), and the third group underwent simulated arthroscopic surgery where small incisions were made, however; no instruments were inserted and no cartilage was removed from these patients.

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Opinion: New Vistas Development Falls Short of Utopia

Ms. Carly Alpert, CVC Environmental Correspondent

If we continue emitting the amounts of greenhouse gasses that we do today, it is projected that by 2060, we will die from lethal heat stress, according to the American Geophysical Union. We clearly need to make a change in our lifestyles, preferably a drastic one, if we want to be able to continue calling planet earth home. Former Mormon bishop David Hall believes the problem of global warming can be combatted with his invention of a completely sustainable design called The New Vistas. However this design appears very cult like and does not seem like the appropriate method to address the world’s environmental issues.

In blue, properties bought by NewVista. In red, the Joseph Smith Memorial. All data is approximate. CREDIT NICOLE ANTAL / DAILY UV

In blue, properties bought by NewVista. In red, the Joseph Smith Memorial. All data is approximate. CREDIT NICOLE ANTAL / DAILY UV, by way of VPR.net

David Hall plans to build The New Vistas in southern Vermont; more specifically in the intersection between the towns of Turnbridge, Royalton, Safford, and Sharon. It is a non-profit organization, committed to building an entirely self-sustainable community. According to the New Vistas website, the goal is to “provide housing and employment opportunity within an ecologically and economically sustainable infrastructure, and conserve real property for fully sustainable development.” People who want to join this community must sell off all their assets with the proceeds going to the Foundation. In exchange, that person can live in The New Vistas. Everyone who joins the community will be entirely equal. He plans on 20,000 residents in this first community, but he expects it to grow, and eventually be home to 1 million people in Vermont alone. His goal is to eventually create a continuous empire of 5,000 acres, made up of many communities.

People living here are limited to the opportunities granted within the small walls of their community. They are literally shut out from the real world; living in an alternate fantasy world. It sounds like a mix between Divergent and The Matrix. While this does seem like an enticing program because it supposedly will have little to no impact on the environment, it is very different from anything Vermont has seen before, which makes some people uncomfortable.

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Opinion: Trump Hit the Refresh Button on Democracy

Mr. Shane Beal, Guest Political Commentator

How Trump Rewrote the Political Script as the Founding Fathers Intended

First and foremost, when I say that Mr. Trump is healthy for the political system, I’m not making a defense of his character or any of his particular policies. The reason that he’s good for our electoral process is because he fragmented the strict two party system that has dominated American politics for decades. In this capacity, what he did could have been done by any outsider candidate, and the good he did has to be viewed in the appropriate context.

His victory is good in the sense that it prevented Hillary Clinton from winning. Had she won, both parties would have reinforced the notion that in order to win an election, their candidates would need to conform to traditional party values and platforms. Mr. Trump’s victory showed that a candidate who appeals to the concerns of the citizenry, regardless of where these issues fall on party lines, can win an election, and in doing so, encouraged both parties to diversify their views, reorienting their agendas from reinforcing party platforms regardless of current issues to paying attention to and addressing the individual and fluctuating concerns of the American citizenry. In this context, Mr. Trump’s election is a resounding success for our political system and, more importantly, for the American people. Mr. Trump’s victory now is a victory for every candidate who appeals directly to the citizens rather than to the party, and will allow the citizens of our country to better be represented by their candidates.

John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence" (1819) has hung in the White House Rotunda for nearly 200 years.

John Trumbull’s “Declaration of Independence” (1819) has hung in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington DC for nearly 200 years.

The oppressive two party system that existed prior to Mr. Trump’s election was an evil that the founding fathers predicted and understandably abhorred. As John Adams said, “there is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

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Recent tragedies on Lake Champlain highlight need for safety, awareness

Mr. Maxwell Akey

HINESBURG, Vermont– The drastic and unpredictable weather patterns in Vermont are no surprise for those living in the Green Mountain state. Vermonters embrace the many different seasons that make all sorts of varied activities prominent. Days go from temperatures in the 80’s during the summer to grounds wet and muddy in the fall, and then to freezing temperatures with snowstorms and slick ice in the winter. Fishing, hiking, skiing, and swimming are just some of the activities that Vermont’s weather provides.

Once temperatures start to drop below freezing and the cold rain begins turning into snow, a new surface for activities is created. While the freezing of many ponds and lakes, including the famous Lake Champlain, creates an area for activities, the safety hazards that come along with frozen bodies of water are very serious. Dave Trevethick is a natural resource teacher at Champlain Valley Union (CVU) High School. His thoughts on this topic are short and powerful: “Always understanding that ice is never safe is important, and keeping that in mind will keep you safe on the ice.”

Photo courtesy of Vermontbiz.com

Photo courtesy of Vermontbiz.com

Every year there is an incident of people falling through thin ice mistaken for ice that is solid and strong enough to hold. Last March of 2016, a Shelburne resident fell through the ice at Shelburne pond and was unable to be saved and drowned. A Vermont Fish and Wildlife game warden also experienced a near-death situation when he fell through the ice trying to save the victim. Jeff Bernicke, a well known father in Shelburne, was neighbors with the man who fell through the ice last year. He said that, “After this incident happened, I have definitely been more cautious with frozen water and our pond, especially for my three sons who love to skate in the winter.” People’s judgment when it comes to frozen water can be poor and often times inaccurate.

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Gorman is fired up on sno’chines

Mr. Kyle Gorman

A small community connected far outweighs a large community divided. Small areas in southern Vermont have become a primary example of that point. In these more rural towns there are far fewer restaurants and stores and way more woods. The people in these less modernized communities have used snowmobiling as a unique way to get out and socialize, indirectly creating a small, harmonious society.

In the cold of the stagnant Vermont winters, Springfield, Vermont is arguably the most happening spot in the northeast. The peace and quiet of the woods turns into a racetrack filled with the brap sounds of powerful snowmachine engines. These unique snow vehicles have become a staple of these small communities and have created a more harmonious stomping ground in an area that may be lacking in similar rallying points.    

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I was lucky enough to gain access to the inner circles of the tight-knit snowmobiling pack down in Springfield.  Upon first entry I met over fifty people who were regulars to the group. Each of them seemed ecstatic just to be sitting on the snowmachines. I asked Mr. John Prescott about his experience with the group and how it has affected his life. Mr. Prescott told me that there was well over 200 “riders” that would join in on the weekly excursions. Prescott then went on to talk about how he and his wife rely on the outings as their social circles. Mr. Prescott said, “It is a fantastic way for someone of my age, really of any age, to get out into their community and meet people, while also having the time of their life”.  He mentioned that he was very thankful for the group of people he rides with and that he was astonished by what good, life-time friends he had made just by ripping around the woods with them. Mr. Prescott relayed all of this information to me with an enormous smile on his rosy face, a similar expression that I observed on all of his friends winter-whipped faces.

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Skip skool to ski? Some CVU students do

 Ms. Olivia Cottrell

VERMONT– At the first signs of snow up on the mountains there is always a new touch of excitement in the air. For many Vermonters it’s time to go and pull out their skis or snowboards. Winter has begun and it’s time for the fun to begin. In a state where skiing is, and has been for a long time, a main attraction, the beginning of winter is almost a spiritual experience.

There are many types of winter sports, downhill skiing and snowboarding being only a fraction of them. While they only make up a fraction of the winter sports available, they are some of the most popular. CVU has an Alpine Ski team and an after school ski/snowboard club called the Shredhawks.  

Shredhawks at Sugarbush .Photo courtesy of Troy Paradee

Shredhawks at Sugarbush .Photo courtesy of Troy Paradee

Skiing is popular to the point where it is almost cultish in Vermont. People take ‘powder days’, not sick days. The first sight of snow on the mountains brings out the die-hard fans who are willing to do a lot to get the first run. There are even people who partake in backcountry skiing and snowboarding. If there is enough snow on the mountains people are willing to grab their board or skis and hike up to the top to ski down.

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Opinion: “snowblades are the greatest ski medium known to man”

Mr. Douglas Schmidt

Two words: Snow. Blades. What are they, you ask? Well, quite simply put, they’re the greatest skiing medium know to mankind. Snowblades, also known as Skiboards or Snolarblades, are by definition “a winter sport which combines elements of skating, snowboarding, and skiing.” Now this definition is correct, but there’s much more to blades than just that.

Snow blades are not just skis. They’re twigs, strapped somewhat flimsily to your ski boots, with one simple purpose; to put ordinary skiers to shame. Snow blades average around 75-99cm in length: just about two feet. It’s like skiing on the soles of your boots, just at very high speeds going down a mountain.

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(Not) Doug Schmidt getting rad on ‘blades.

You have an extreme amount of control on these little twigs of fury compared to your average 170 cm ski.  The reactiveness of your blades to your movement is almost instantaneous, whereas, for full-length skis, it takes a lot more power and strength just to make a turn.  Snowblades are also perfect for the woods. Because of their size, blades make it easy to navigate around tight trees and to stop on a dime if you run into trouble.

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CVU’s woodchip boiler keeps the heat on and the fossil fuels off

Mr. Max Akey

HINESBURG, Vermont– It is no surprise that during some of Vermont’s coldest months, buildings require massive amounts of energy to keep heated through the cold winters. There has already been a day that reached as cold as -5 degrees fahrenheit and it hasn’t officially hit the “winter” starting date. Responsible for heating over 1,200 people, Champlain Valley Union High School’s (CVU) maintenance crew is always prepared for the coldest of days.

CVU has been and continues to be one of the top 3 largest high schools in Vermont. For many years, the school’s hallways are home to some 1,200 people. Students, teachers, community member, and other staff. Making sure the school is always heated and at a comfortable temperature is something that requires not only a lot of energy, but maintenance and money as well. I sat down with CVU’s ground and maintenance manager Kurt Proulx to learn more about the school’s underground boiler room built the year of 2005.


Using biomass fuels for heating has been a big step for CVU in the past decade and has had an eco-friendly impact on the community. Before the boiling room was built and running, CVU was heated through the burning of fossil fuels more specifically oil. Although the process worked and kept the building heated. Massive amounts of smoke and greenhouse gasses were emitted out of the building daily and the efficiency of the process was poor. CVU has turned to an alternate solution that has proven to work extremely well, is much more efficient, and is cleaner for the environment.

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Hinesburg’s Geprags Park Continues to block pipeline completion

Ms. Carly Alpert, CVC Special Environmental Correspondent

We live in a time when our civilization’s growth seems to be limited only by the availability of energy. We all use it in our daily lives, and probably couldn’t imagine a world without lights, television, and heat. But people are questioning if the possible risks outweigh the benefits of capturing this energy. The pipeline crossing Geprags park in Hinesburg has been a recent source of controversy, though the project has been in the works for the past four years. This last section of pipeline will complete a 41-mile stretch from Colchester to Middlebury, and will allow for the distribution of gas to homes and businesses in Addison County.

Image from protectgeprags.org

Image from protectgeprags.org

Activists speaking out against the pipeline are concerned about the environmental and safety implications. Pipelines have been known to explode, causing colossal damage. According to insideenergy.org, there have been 4,269 pipeline incidents since 2010; 64 of them involved fatal injuries. Leaks are also a major concern. 474 people have been injured, 100 people have been killed, and $3.5 billion of damage has occurred as a result of pipeline accidents, leaks and spills. This has all occurred in the United States alone. Is providing energy to better the economies of these Vermont communities worth the risk of a malfunction? Explosions and leaks can also be very detrimental to the environment. While a malfunctioning pipeline is very dangerous, however, the probability of one exploding is extremely low.

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Vermont youth help trail-trekkers and watersheds

Mr. Declan Trus

RICHMOND, Vermont — Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) is a non-profit organization that teaches young people lessons in personal responsibility with work that connects them to each other, the community, and the land. The VYCC was established in 1985 as a program of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation. VYCC’s program model is based off of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s. The VYCC was founded by Doris “Dot” Evans and Thomas Hark.

Members of the VYCC move a large rock. Image courtesy of vermontbiz.com

Thomas Hark is a former crew leader for the Youth Conservation Corps in Young Harris, Georgia and camp director for the Minnesota Conservation Corps. Hark also has a Master’s degree in Experiential Education from the University of Mankato.

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Dawn of the zombies: sleep-deprived teens need to get off the screens

Mr. Nathaniel Mick

The recommended number of hours a teenager should sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation, is seven to nine; in reality, only fifteen percent of teens are getting that amount. Between blue light from screens, distractions from devices, homework, procrastination, and early school starts — teenagers have a lot to deal with. It’s no surprise that so little get sleep, but that’s no excuse for more than eighty percent of teenagers to lack sleep so often.

There’s a certain beauty to the irony that I am falling asleep at my keyboard as I write this.

The problem with sleep is that it is easy to go without it for a night, but that could mean up to a week of recovery. Many teenagers, and adults, haven’t felt what being truly rested feels like in a long time. With so much going on in life, it’s easy to put off sleeping for later. After all, sleeping takes up valuable working time, and seems so trivial. However, recovering a night of sleeplessness isn’t as simple as it seems. Sure, missing a few hours the night before a big test can be reversed with a few more hours of sleep the days after. Unfortunately, when you miss a few hours for a week or two, things start to get complicated.

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Hunting: a vermont tradition is still handed down from generation to generation

Mr. Jeremy Lang

Hunting is normally a tradition passed down from generation to generation which teaches sustainable living and becoming one with nature. Hunting connects and feeds families. Vermont is one of the first states to develop constitutional language that protects a citizen’s right to hunt.

With that said, according to Vermont Fish and Wildlife, Vermont is rated as one of the top ten worst states to hunt in. This is because in the past five years, public land has dropped by 10%. Private landowners are also posting their property because they don’t want their land to be hunted.

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Mackenzie Fournier with a 10-pointer she bagged in West Harrison, Indiana. The buck weighed 180 pounds, field-dressed.

According to VT Fish and Wildlife, in 2016 almost all of the state’s 65,000 resident hunters hunted deer at some point during the fall season and more bucks were taken per square mile in Vermont than in any other New England state. In addition, 18,950 muzzleloader doe permits were issued. This is so that the state can manage deer herds in Vermont and stop them from destroying small animal habitats.

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First-class first responders: CVU students step up

Mr. Doug Schmidt

HINESBURG, Vermont — They roam the halls, attend classes, eat lunch, and do work just as any other student. They’re the same as anyone else, but it’s what they see and do that sets them apart dramatically. When the little black box on their waist goes “Beep, Beep, Beep”, it’s time for them to go. It means someone’s in trouble, having potentially the worst day of their life, and they need help. That’s when CVU students respond to the call.  It takes more than a desire to become a first responder; it takes motivation, hundreds of hours of training, class, paperwork and practicals just to be given a probationary shield. It’s a lot of work, for little reward. So why do students become first responders? It’s the satisfaction of saving someone’s home, property, or life that keeps first responders at CVU motivated to do what they do.

The Hinesburg Fire Department. Image courtesy of Owler.com.

“It’s about helping others and making a difference even if all that a person needed was someone to talk to,” said Ethan Cote, CVU class of 2017. Ethan is a Nationally Accredited Emergency Medical Technician (NREMT). He is a member at Shelburne Rescue and a firefighter at the Hinesburg Fire Department. “I’m still new to first responding but so far it’s been nothing but rewarding” Cote continued, “you see some of the worst things and that’s hard, but I still do it because I feel I can make a difference.”

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Opinion: skeptical politicos, it’s time to get real on climate change

Mr. Alex Merrill

Every year it seems that winter is getting a little shorter.  Climate change is a reality that we must understand. Snowfall is becoming noticeably unpredictable. What used to be a thick white blanket that coated the landscape has turned into a variable carpet frequently interspersed with rain and long thaws. While many of us hate prolonged periods of -10°, few of us complain about lots of snow. Shorter winters are the most notable effect of climate change, and others persist.  The drought that we experienced over the summer can also been attributed to climate change.

On a larger scale 100 year storms are occurring more frequently. Is the old 100 year storm now a twenty year storm?  What will the new 100 year storms look like?  Will we see more flooding? More droughts, and more heat waves?  From a statistical lens it appears so. Fifteen of the sixteen hottest years on record (through 2015) have occurred since 2000 according to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).  This does not include 2016 which may well be the hottest year on record according to weather.com. Saying that this is a coincidence is statistically impossible.

Image courtesy of Skeptical Science

Image courtesy of Skeptical Science

In the last several years, landmark deals on climate change have been reached, culminating in the Paris accords which stipulated that all countries seek to limit global warming.  This summer, a deal was reached to limit the emissions of fluorinated hydrocarbons, HFCs that are 100 more times powerful than other more common greenhouse gasses such as CO2. These international deals represent significant hope for the planet.

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Swipe Right: The Rise of Online Dating

Mr. Kyle Gorman

“Hi!! I’m a 21 year old looking for a good time ;) I love long walks on the beach and my pets. I am a career gal, so don’t go messin with my business. I love corny pickup lines, so HMU! Swipe right for a passionate night!”

Image courtesy of Innovative Technologies

This could be just one of the many profiles that is swiped through millions of times a day on any number of dating applications. Dating sites and apps like Tinder, eHarmony and Match.com have torn through dating pools all over the world, especially in the U.S., and have revolutionized social norms in doing so. These sites have made social connection much easier and have turned courtship into a flurry of hookups. Even in the last ten years, dating has changed infinitely, and it all can be attributed to these successful dating sites.

While online dating has not always been the go-to place to meet someone, in just the past 10 years the trend has taken leaps and bounds. According to eHarmony, the second-most popular dating site on the web, from 2013 to 2015 the percentage of 18-24 year olds that reportedly use online dating sites has jumped 17 percent, from a slim 10% nearly tripling to 27%. That is an incredible increase in just two years. 27 percent may not be a majority, but that encapsulates hundreds of thousands of people in the 18-24 age group. With all these people on dating sites, it is no wonder that meeting people one may be interested in online is much quicker than patrolling the bars in their hometown.

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Opinion: All men (and women) are (not) created equal(ly)

Mr. Bryan Claussen

The belief that all men are created equal is a concept that our country was founded under, for the text is engraved in the Declaration of Independence. As the document says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights…” Jefferson claims that is is “self-evident” that all men are created equal, but is that really true?

All men might be more or less equal in the eyes of the law, but in the real world, from the moment people are born, nobody is equal. From the genetics side of it, people are naturally born different. Some people are born sick or disabled. Some people are fast, others are slow. Some people are tall, others are short. The diversity in humankind cannot be overlooked, is what makes our species so strong and interesting. Every human is born physically and intellectually different than everybody else, which means that nobody is equal.

Image courtesy of ViewsoftheWorld.net

Image courtesy of ViewsoftheWorld.net

On the other hand, we are not equal because of the situation we are born into. The social class, physical location, and race that someone is born with can greatly affect opportunities that that person receives. The Economic Policy Institute analyzed statistics on young children’s reading and math abilities coming into Kindergarten, and found that “Children in the highest socioeconomic group have reading and math scores that are significantly higher—by a full standard deviation—than scores of their peers in the lowest socioeconomic group.” This means that children in lower social classes have a disadvantage in school from the very first day.

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Trout in trouble, pending precipitation

Mr. Maxwell Akey

Courtesy of Lake Champlain International

HINESBURG, Vermont — Ski resorts around Vermont are beginning to prepare for a snowy winter while students at Champlain Valley Union High School (CVU) tune and wax their skis. Last year marked one of the lowest annual snowfall seasons Vermont has had, taking a toll on some of the major ski areas around Vermont, especially Mad River Glen. Unfortunately for Vermont’s population of trout, the lack of precipitation affected much more than just ski resorts.

Vermont’s many rivers and streams have been known to support thousands of healthy trout with the necessary habitat and food. This is slowly changing as Vermont’s weather patterns are beginning to devastate trout populations throughout the state. According to statistics released by weather.gov, last winter saw one of the lowest recorded annual snowfalls of only 29 inches. In 2010-2011, the annual snowfall was 128.4 inches.

Vermont’s rivers are home to three species of trout: brook, rainbow, and brown trout. Trout are some of the most fragile and sensitive species of fish and require cold, well oxygenated water- and a lot of it. Trout are most healthy in water temperatures between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. During the winter, trout move to slow and deep waters where they hold (stay in one spot and are not active) until water temperatures increase in the spring.

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The footbag feud: fun or fitness?

Mr. George Lomas

Racing back from the Stone Age, Footbagging has made a drastic come-back among youth, and even adults. Footbagging is a sport and fun backyard activity that anybody can play. It requires no more than a simple round bag filled with sand or dirt and your feet. Many people who are completely uneducated and inexperienced in this activity are very easy to spot because of their use of the words, “Hacky Sack”. In this case, “Hacky Sack” is a direct meaning for, “I don’t know anything and am very stupid.” By using the word Footbag instead, you immediately give off the vibe of superior intelligence and skills. The rules to Footbagging are simple; you can use any part of your body other than your hands and arms to keep the bag in the air. Usually, people use their feet by kicking the bag straight up into the air at roughly eye level, over and over again and passing it to other players. It may not sound like much, but the second you make a successful kick, you’ll be hooked for life.

Courtesy of Pintrest

Many people believe footbagging to be a high-intensity requiring a lot of flexibility and strength, but not according to footbagging amateur Kaelan Murdock: “I find footbagging to be quite peaceful and calming. In fact, I can never footbag without doing some sort of meditation or mindful breathing techniques at the same time. It helps me focus on my foot-eye coordination and balance. I’m surprised that no one has come out declaring footbagging as a form of meditation.” According to Soren Kurth, a footbag specialist who shares a similar opinion to Murdock, “Whenever I footbag, I play music in the background, usually sounds of nature and chimes. It keeps you in the correct mindset which is having a calm and sturdy soul and empty mind. This makes it a lot easier to make your kicks and stalls much more natural and effortless. It’s almost a form of yoga in that you’re keeping an empty mind, but being be aware of your body and surroundings along with keeping a steady breathing pattern.” Very interesting perspective from Kurth and Murdock.

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Ravell on cereal: Lucky charms, neither charming nor lucky

Mr. Ravell, Food Criti  at Large

Lucky Charms are a classic cereal that are among the most popular. But should they be? To me, Lucky Charms are only half good, at best. Half of the cereal is tasteless and leaves a weird residue in your mouth, the other half is marshmallow that is more styrofoam than anything else. Every bowl of this cereal has left me feeling unsatisfied and sad. Lucky Charms are bad tasting, not very healthy, and, not even very lucky.

In my research, I have found that I am not alone in this feeling. CVU senior, and breakfast cereal enthusiast, Walker Storey, says that the marshmallows are “way too sweet” and that the other pieces are “too hard to wrangle.” Storey also describes them as “the grossest things of all time”. CVU senior Colin Monsey also agrees that the marshmallows are too sweet. On the other hand, CVU senior Natalie Gagnon says she would like the cereal if it was only the marshmallows, and it would be called “Lucky Marshmallows”. While people have different reasons, they agree that Lucky Charms are an overrated cereal.

Image via Deviantart, by RegularBrony54

Image via Deviantart, by RegularBrony54

 

People who disagree with me may say that the cereal has to balance healthy and unhealthy to be both good, and good for you. While the gross brown things may taste healthy, they aren’t as good for you as you’d think. Every cup of this cereal has 2.6 grams of fiber, which is only 0.1 grams more than Cinnamon Toast Crunch, a much better cereal.

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Killington makes good on world class promise (Or Michaela Shiffrin is Goddess)

Mr. Alex Merrill, Special Snow Correspondant

They came, they skied, they shredded. The best female skiers in the world took to the slopes of Killington on November 26 and 27, for the Audi FIS World Cup. This was the first ever World Cup stop at Killington, the first for New England in 25 years, and the first for Vermont in 50 years. None of the athletes competing were alive for the last VT world cup. By all accounts, the event went flawlessly.

The world cup is the highest level ski racing circuit in the world. Each winter it consists of about 45 races held all over the world, though most races are in Europe and North America. Athletes compete for points and the athlete with the most points at the end of the season wins the 9kg crystal globe. This winter 16 of those races are being held in North America, the second highest ever.

Image courtesy of Snowbrains.com

Michaela Shiffrin kicking serious booty at Killington.  Image courtesy of Snowbrains.com

Aspen, Colorado traditionally hosts a few women’s WC races Thanksgiving weekend. This year Aspen was selected to host the WC finals, a big deal for a ski resort, so it was not eligible to hold the early season races. FIS (WC governing body, Federation Internationale du Ski) wanted these races to stay in North America and Killington leapt at the opportunity. Killington officials started trying to host WC races in 2010! WC races have not been held in the East because of concerns of inadequate snow. Race officials felt that advances in snowmaking technology ensured that the races would not be canceled.

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He’s a little bit country: Gorman defends the genre

Mr. Kyle Gorman

Music can define a generation, set a mood, and make anyone feel a wide variety of emotions. There are infinite genres under the musical umbrella. With that said, there is no style more versatile than the storied genre of country music.  

The 40s had swing jazz, the 80s had rock and roll, and the 90s had grunge. All of those types of music were fun, but fleeting. There is no longer popular jazz, or rock and roll on the radio, they have become lost arts of music. Americans have ever-changing musical taste, with that said, Country music has always managed to maintain real estate in the hearts of the people.

Image courtesy of "This Day in Country Music"

Image courtesy of “This Day in Country Music”

 

Country music has been around for decades, the twang of the guitar and the intricate lyrics have been a staple in the music industry for quite some time. Although the first official country song was released in 1922, Sallie Gooden performed by fiddler A.C. (Eck) Robertson in 1922 for Victor Records. Since that release date country has remained a favorite of the people. The earliest form of a top charts was released in 1950. From 1950 to the present, there has been at least 6 country tunes within the top 100 songs for that year. No other genre can say that. Country music will never get old, the priceless harmonies and clever lyrics have kept the country engaged for almost a century now, with no signs of slowing down. Even through the decades bombarded with rock and roll, rap, pop, or disco, country music has sustained a powerful position as the most consistent genre.

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Opinion: Everyone needs to calm down and accept Trump as POTUS

Mr. Willem Hillier

It’s official. No matter how you feel about it, Donald Trump is going to be president of the United States, and there’s nothing we can do about it. This could prove to be the most significant election in U.S. history in a very long time. He has promised to do things that no other candidate has ever even mentioned, many of which are questionable in their legality, morality, and are more often than not, straight-up ignorant. He has insulted every minority out there, repeatedly called global warming a hoax, convinced a large percentage of the general public that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the US, and has been accused of sexually assaulting multiple women.

President Trump, Courtesy of Wikimedia

And yet, with all of these potential negatives and the general scandal surrounding him, he is going to become the 45th president. This election has driven a deep divide in the country between the liberal-leaning and the conservative-leaning. Right now, our number one priority should be healing that divide, and Donald Trump needs to work on this himself — choosing Steve Bannon, the CEO of Breitbart News, as the chief advisor was a terrible move for unity due to his affiliations with the alt-right movement. Breitbart news has published pieces with headlines such as “Would You Rather Your Child had Feminism or Cancer” and “There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women, They Just Suck At Interviews”. Either of these headlines should disqualify him from being chief advisor immediately.

While Donald Trump may not be making the best choices himself, this doesn’t mean we should do the same. The country needs to come together despite our differences, and yelling “F**k Trump!” repeatedly isn’t going to accomplish this task. Instead, let’s all move forward together.

Jay Peak’s financial slide won’t affect snowsliders

Mr.  Bryan Claussen

The snow is falling, and as far as most people are concerned, winter has finally started.  The more ambitious skiers and snowboarders have already hit the slopes, and many of us are looking to get out there soon.  Jay Peak, located in Vermont’s Green Mountains, is a resort about an hour and a half away from our district.  Jay Peak is an East Coast powder trove, getting an average 360” of snow per year, and it arguably holds some of New England’s best skiing and riding; however, . However, in the spring of 2016, Jay Peak had a massive financial scandal. Two developers at Jay Peak had raised $350 million from 700 foreign investors for new projects at Jay Peak. The investors paid at least $500,000, and in exchange, they were supposed to get Green Cards and eventually obtain permanent residency in the United States. This EB-5 visa program was designed to put money into rural areas and areas with high unemployment rates.  However, the developers misused more than $200 million of the funds. The money was transferred among investors, and used in cities such as New York, Dallas, and Chicago to build large hotels, which did not meet the objectives of the visa program.

Courtesy of UnofficialNetworks.com

According to the Boston Globe, in June, Vermont financial regulators reached a $5.95 million settlement with the developers’ financial firm. The resort will also likely be sold in 2017 to recoup money for investors and contractors. This was all big news back earlier in the year, but with winter upon us what does it mean for the skiing?

The short answer is not much. Jay Peak has seen slightly reduced season pass sales, but luckily much else remains the same. When you’re on the slopes, this financial scandal should have very little impact on you, so just rejoice in the fact that we have snow this year!

 

CVU’s Family Formal gets down to Business

Photos and text by Kaelen Murdock


Redhawkey on the road: Cvu vs Loyola

Mr. Max Schmid

The CVU Redhawks Hockey team went to Montreal to play Loyola High School. They lost 3 : 5 in a hard fought game. It’s their first loss on the season which pushes them into the number 2 seed in the state.


Cafe for a Cause: a tangy and twangy success

Mr. Kaelan Murdock


CVU’s Cafe for a Cause is an annual event that takes place for the duration of one school day. All proceeds from food sold goes to charity. This year’s Cafe for a Cause raised $8,400, breaking the previous record of $7,900.

From Leo’s Food Services web page: “Thank you to the following companies & the CVU School Store that helped Make Cafe for a Cause a huge success:  The cafe raised more than $8,400 this year to be donated to the two great charities chosen this year.  After the Track, a race horse rescue in Hinesburg & Vermont Haiti Relief Project.”

CVU Hoops: Redhawks vs Lakers

 Herr Max Schmid

The CVU Boys Varsity Basketball team won thier fifth straight game playing against Colchester on Thursday, January 12. They now have a record of 8 – 1 and have the number 2 seed in the state. The final score was 60 : 41.