Category Archives: Volume 12: Fall ’21

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CONGRESS PUTS BREAKS ON DUI

By Asa Roberts

Drunk driving is the number one cause of automobile fatalities. On average, 29 Americans die every day due to alcohol-related crashes. Since 2000, an average of 10,000 deaths have been reported each year. As a result, Congress has passed a multitude of laws in an attempt to reduce fatalities; the latest of these laws, passed on November ninth , requires automobile companies to implement technology to reduce drunk driving rates.

New technology could potentially find it’s way into new vehicles by 2026. This law comes as part of a new 1 trillion dollar infrastructure package, in an attempt to improve auto safety and quell the increase in road deaths. According to the U.S. department of transportation in a 2020 survey, road deaths are up 18.4% from 2020. The United States Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an October press release, “Today we are announcing that we will produce the Department’s first ever National Roadway Safety Strategy to identify action steps for everyone working to save lives on the road.” The package was approved by Congress on Friday, and is expected to be signed by president Biden soon. 

How will this affect you?

The truth, at least for now, is that it won’t. Automakers aren’t being pressured to implement these technologies until at earliest 2026. However, this mandate is a big step in the fight against drunk driving. As president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Alex Otte said in  a recent interview about the new mandates, “It’s monumental,” it marks “the beginning of the end of drunk driving.” 

Many students and teachers support these new safety precautions as a form of protection for themselves and their loved ones. According to a CVU student driver’s parent, “technology for preventing drunk driving is a necessity, not only for the drunk drivers themselves, but for the drivers around them as well.” While this new mandate isn’t expected to start making changes in the auto industry for at least another four years, you can expect this to be the first of many steps towards trying to end drunk driving.

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New Nightmare Emerges for Christmas Shoppers: Sony Cuts Back Production of PlayStation 5 even more due to Chip Shortages.

By: Harrison Young-Glatz

Sony’s PlayStation 5 is now the fastest selling console in history, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down yet. According to the NPD Group (a market research company) and Sony, the PS5 is the best selling console in terms of money and units sold. There have been 13.4 million consoles sold since its release on November 12th, 2020, and no hard numbers on money released by either company.

As the console’s first year is coming to an end, it is still selling out immediately every restock at retail, and it doesn’t look like things are going to change for Sony any time soon. The units sold in its first year rivals that of the Nintendo Wii, one of the most sold consoles of all time. What makes the PS5 so special is that it is still in such high, high demand after a full year of release, and things aren’t getting any easier either.

As of November 11th, 2021, Sony has declared that they are going to cut production of the PS5s even more due to shortages of essential parts like power management chips. Toshiba Corp., the biggest producers of these chips stated that things are unlikely to normalize even in 2022. 

These shortages will make Sony’s sales goals of 16 million units by March, and 23 million by 2023 very hard, but will make Christmas the next couple of years even harder.

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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.

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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

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Cross country costume race

By Mina Radivojevic

FAIRFAX, VT- From Tree (Oliver King), to Lumberjack (Owen Deale), to Trash (Charli Geravelli)…

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…to Tinkerbells (Josie Sayre and Eliza Amsbery)…

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…to Mom (Nico Cuneo) and Pregnant Santa (Mario Robinson)…

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…to Princess (Evie Schumann) and Winnie the Phoo (Lindley Pickard)…

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…to The Lorax duo (Thomas Geravelli and Logan Pickard)…

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…to the whole Despicable me crew (Ava Rohrbaugh, Mia Marino and Jameson)…

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…and of course, Bananas (Eliza McLean and Matt Lollis)…

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All of them raced on October 5th in the Fairfax Costume race, which was more than dazzling. CVU, as always, was very successful. Besides original costumes that won awards for their creativity…

…like The Death Combo (Segoleine Johnson and Annalise Wood)

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And The Magic Eight Balls (Phoebe Denniso, Maddie Haydock, Mina Radivojevic, Olivia StPeter, Chloe Stidsen and Anna Van Buren),

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CVU also took the top three awards for speed. Third place went for Business Men (Ben Mcauliffe and Greg Seraus, respectively).

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Second place went to Accountants (Jack Crum and Kody Guiterman).

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And the first place went to the Minions duo (Brandon Milatello and Jameson McEnaney).

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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. 

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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. 

 

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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.”

 

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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. 

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COP 26 Leads the Climate Concern Conversation

by Vivie Babbott

Are you concerned about our climate? Starting on October 31st and continuing through November 12th, over 100 world leaders are attending the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP 26. This year the conference is being held at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, Scotland. The purpose of this assembly is to assess the world’s progress towards the 2015 Paris Agreement, and for world leaders to agree upon coordinated action to combat climate change.

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(Photo courtesy of Reuters.com)

Though most countries will be represented in one way or another, Chinese president Xi Jinping, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, and Russian president Vladmir Putin will not be attending the conference. Along with these three key absences, presidents of  Mexico, South Africa, and Iran will also be missing COP 26. Queen Elizabeth of Britain, who was originally attending, has pulled out of the meeting due to doctor’s orders to rest. She will continue to participate virtually.

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(Photo courtesy of The Washington Post)

COP 26 has already seen the start of climate successes so far. The European Commission President announced around 100 nations have signed a global pledge to cut methane emissions by 30% (as of 2020 levels) by 2030, which is expected to immediately slow climate change. In addition to this, the US, France, UK, Germany, and European Union have agreed to fund South Africa´s shift away from coal. This could pave the way for other developing countries, who contribute largely to pollution. The pledge to end deforestation by 2030 turned into solid budget commitments including the European Union, US, and UK. Their budgets are, respectively, $1.1 billion, $9 billion, and $2 billion (all in USD).

The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) is a group which brings together the top 48 countries most at risk from climate change. CVF held a meeting at COP 26 on Tuesday, calling upon rich countries to assist in their transition to green economies. Ghana is one of the countries in CVF, and Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo stated ¨The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows Africa is warming faster than any continent in the world even though we are the least emitters.¨ One of the CVF´s request was 500 billion in climate finance between 2020 and 2024. Half of this for mitigation through reducing carbon emissions, and half for adapting to climate impacts.

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(Photo courtesy of https://panafricanvisions.com/)

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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.

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MLB free agency is here. Who will sign where?

by River Mitchell

The 2021 MLB season has come to an end, so that means that it’s time for pending free agents to sign new contracts and find new teams. There are a lot of really big free agent names on the market this offseason, a lot of them very likely to change teams and find a new home. So today I’m going to go over who I think is going to go where, and what kind of contract they will probably get.

The first one is probably the biggest free agent we will talk about, and that’s Carlos Correa. Correa has been a premier shortstop in the MLB for the last several years, and one of most well rounded players in the MLB. Really good defensively, good arm, can run a little bit, and is a beast at the plate. He is always going to have the 2017 Astros cheating scandal over his head, but there is no doubt that this guy is one of the top players in the MLB. He finished the year with 25 homers, 96 RBI’s, and a 134 wRC+ and a .851 OPS. With all this being said, I think the Astros will let go of Correa. He was given a qualifying offer which I can’t imagine he accepts, and he was also recently given a contract offer from the Astros. 5 years, 160 million dollars. I don’t believe he is going to accept that either, because he wants a long term deal, somewhere between 8-10 years. He is only 27, and is in the prime of his career right now. I think when it’s all said and done, he will go to the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers have AJ Hinch at the helm, who is his former manager and was the manager for the 2017 world series when they won it all. They have a young and up and coming team, surprising a lot of people last season playing better than expected. They are going to have a really good rotation in Casey Mize, Tarik Scubal, Matt Manning, and Spencer Turnbull. They also have Spencer Torkelson who should come up, and potentially Riley Greene as well. I think that if Detroit offers him a 8 year 250 million dollar contract, he will more than likely accept. 

Next, let’s talk about Corey Seager.  Seager has been a really good shortstop for the last several years, especially with the bat. People have always called Seager to be a top 10 shortstop in the MLB, and has been a stalwart for the Dodgers. Last season he did deal with some injuries, but when he was on the field he was really good, with a .915 OPS and a 147 wRC+.  However, they did acquire Trea Turner at the trade deadline while Seager was injured. That put the writing of the wall for him to be gone this offseason. I think that he will end up going to the New York Yankees. They have a need at the shortstop position that they need to fill, and Seager would be the perfect guy to fill that position. His swing would work perfectly for Yankee stadium, and is a good quality left handed bat that provides a lot of value. His defense isn’t great, but it doesn’t matter as much when you hit as good as Corey Seager. I think that they will probably give him a 3 year deal, worth about 75 million dollars over the 3 years. The Yankees do have Anthony Volpe in the minors, who should be up in a few years. They just need a guy that can be a bridge shortstop for a few years before Volpe comes up. 

Another shortstop that will be finding a new home in 2022 is Trevor Story. Story got called up to the majors in 2016 with the Colorado Rockies, and immediately had a huge impact. Since Story has been in the league throughout his career, he has been one of best offensive shortstops in baseball, while having a very good glove. He wasn’t great in 2017 and had a down year in 2021, but it was still an above average season with a bang on 100 wRC+ and 24 homers. He also had an .800 OPS and 103 OPS+. He will not be returning to the Rockies next season, due to the simple fact that the Rockies are quite bad. He wants to play with a competitive team, which the Rockies aren’t. I could definitely see him going to the St Louis Cardinals. Paul Dejong is nothing more than a bench player, and Edmundo Sosa isn’t the long term answer. Story would be able to reunite with old teammate Nolan Arenado, and would have more protection around him in the lineup. I could see the Cardinals giving him a 3 or 4 year deal, worth about 20-25 million per year. I think it would be a perfect fit for him in St Louis, and he still is a very good player, just had a down year last year.

Next up is another shortstop, this one being Javier Baez. Javier Baez is a very interesting player. He strikes out a lot, recording a whopping 184 strikeouts in 2021. But, he did hit 31 homers and finished the year with a .813 OPS and a 116 wRC+. He is a wizard defensively however, being one of the best overall defensive players in baseball. Baez was traded to the Mets at the trade deadline, and actually ended up playing a lot better with the Mets than he did with the Cubs. He cut way down on the strikeouts, started walking more, had an insanely high on base which he did not give while on the cubs. Overall he is a borderline top 10 shortstop, and does provide value. He isn’t a bad player by any means, but I wouldn’t give him the same money as Correa, Seager, and maybe even Story. I think he will probably go back to the Mets, on a 2 year deal for maybe 30-40 million dollars over those 2 years. They do already have Lindor at short, but Baez could fit in very nicely at 2nd base, which he did once getting traded to the Mets. 

Nex player we will talk about is not a shortstop, but a first baseman. Freddie Freeman, who has been one of the best offensive and defensive first baseman for this past decade, is now a free agent. Freeman since 2011 has always been a guy that can hit homers, drive in runs, and doesn’t strikeout much while walking at a decent clip. This past season he had a really good year, hitting 32 homers and driving in 120 RBI’s. He also had a wRC+ at 135 and a .896 OPS. I think that the chances of him returning to the Braves are very high, as he has been a stalwart at first base for the past decade for the Braves with no signs of slowing down. If for some crazy reason he doesn’t return to the Braves, I could see the Yankees being a landing spot for him. His swing would work really well in Yankee Stadium, and he would definitely be an upgrade over Voit or Rizzo. Neither of those players are bad by any means, but they aren’t anywhere close to as good as Freeman. 

MLB free agency is a crazy time of year. A really busy part of the year where people are looking to find new teams, and MLB executives are making moves to improve their teams. Of course, anything can happen when it comes to players’ new landing spots. But these are my best predictions on what I think will happen. I will be making part 2, so keep your eyes out for that!

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Why Are Horses Dying In The West?

 By Olivia O’Rourke -

Where there once was a natural pond, there is now barely a trickle of water surrounded by the carcasses of horses decomposing on the cracked dry earth. The drought in the western United States is the worst it’s been in 100’s of years. As a result, wild horses are suffering major casualties. To stop these deaths, saving these horses is not only the right thing to do, it is also a law and the Bureau of Land Management is doing what they can to save these horses. 

 According to Climate.gov, the drought in Arizona is the worst since the 1200’s. Other western states such as Nevada and Utah are also seeing record drought.In an interview with NPR radio, Lisa Reid from the Bureau of Land Management said she is working on finding homes for more than 6000 wild horses that are living in the desert and will soon die if they are not rehomed. To make sure these horses are sent to good homes and not just to be slaughtered, there is a $1000 incentive given one year after the adoption.

 People like Lisa Reid and Suzanne Roy are doing what they can to save these horses, but for every one saved there are more that are dying. They continue to work to save more horses. Their hope is that the majority end up at small stables in other parts of the country and avoid being slaughtered.

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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. 

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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:

 

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Tanks:

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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).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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-Golden, delicate taste                                                                    

-Amber, rich taste

-Dark, robust taste

-Very dark, strong taste   

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Maple syrup candy:

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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. 

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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!

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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Most Popular Social Media Platform, Facebook, to Rebrand

By: Harrison Young-Glatz

UPDATE: As of October 28th, 2021, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook stated that Facebook’s corporate name will be changed to “meta”. This is similar to how Google’s corporate name is “Alphabet Inc.”

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook revealed, in an interview to The Verge that took place July, 2021, that he was planning to rebrand Facebook to “play into the metaverse more.”

In the interview, Zuckerberg stated that, over the next few years, “we will effectively transition from people seeing us [facebook] as primarily a social media company to being a metaverse company.” 

Now what is metaverse? Mark Zuckerberg plans to morph facebook into a metaverse company, but what does this mean? 

The metaverse is a concept that digitally combines ingredients of social media, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality. It’s essentially a new world that you can see, hear, taste, smell, and feel.

If the new Facebook rebrand goes best-case, this could be the future of technology as we see it today. The implications and possibilities are endless. It could use something like google’s experimental new holographic glasses, or even facebook’s own Oculus brand that makes Virtual Reality headsets.

See related story on Vox:

https://www.vox.com/recode/2021/11/17/22787191/facebook-meta-haptic-glove-metaverse

 

 

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.

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Cryptocurrency Rug Pull Scam Makes Owner Big Bucks

By: Harrison Young-Glatz

Recently, a cryptocurrency coin called “Squid Coin ” took a one-of-a-kind journey from 40$ a coin to 2,850$ a coin in 4 hours, then 5 minutes after its peak, plummeted to 0.0008$. But how did this happen?

On October 20th, 2021, a crypto coin SQUID, which was pitched as a pay-to-earn crypto coin for an upcoming Squid Game online game (inspired by Squid Game, a Netflix show released September 17th, 2021), Climbed 310,000% in its first 10 days from investors and crypto traders going all in. 

5 minutes after SQUID’s peak of $2,856.64 USD, it sank all the way down to $0.0007926 USD. As Charlie Bilello, CEO of Capital Advisors, and an avid investor, pointed out in a tweet published on November 1st, 2021:

Squid Game Crypto Coin Today…

1:35am: $38.19

2:35am: $89.91

3:35am: $93.64

4:35am: $434.70

5:35am: $2,856.64

5:40am: $0.0007926”

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Why did nobody sell earlier? There were supposedly many red flags to deter people from buying into the coin in the first place, like the website for SQUID being filled with typos and spelling errors. CoinMarketCap, the world’s most referenced price tracking site for cryptocurrencies warned before the scandal that SQUID was a scam, and not to invest in it; yet the biggest red flag was the fact that you could never sell the token. You could only ever buy in, but never sell.

People invested regardless of all of these warning signs in hopes of earning profit from the game they were investing in, but because the founder and creator of SQUID coin set it up so that only they could sell, they banked out an estimated $2,100,000 USD on the backs of crypto investors.

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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? 

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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!

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Photo Courtesy of Nightmare Vermont

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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.”

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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.

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NFL Week 7 Recap

By River Mitchell

The Broncos played the Browns in Cleveland on Thursday, October 21st, 2021. The Browns came up with a big win, winning by a final score of 17-14. Case Keenum got the start in this game with Baker Mayfield being sidelined due to a MCL sprain in his left shoulder. Keenum had himself a very nice game going 21/33 with 199 yards and a touchdown. Considering that Keenum has been a backup for a lot of his career and he was going up against a great Broncos defense, I’m sure Cleveland fans are very happy with the performance.

The Tennessee Titans absolutely walloped the chiefs On Sunday, October 24th, winning by a final score of 27-3. Ryan Tannehill had a very good game going 21/27 with 270 yards, a TD, and a pick. After going out in the first round of the playoffs last season, the Titans look really good and look to make it further than they did last year. Patrick Mahomes did not have the best of days, going 20/35 for 206 yards, no TD’s, and a pick. Considering the Chiefs won SB 54 and made it to the SB last season, it might be time to hit the panic button as they are sitting at 3-4, and tied for 3rd in the AFC West. 

The Packers, who have been red hot this season winning their last 6 in a row, beat the Washington Football Team 24-10 on Sunday, October 24th. Aaron Rodgers, who has been money for the Packers, went 27/35 for 274 yards, 3 TD’s, and 0 picks.  With the Packers trying to make it to the SB after losing in the NFC championship game for the last 2 seasons, they are proving to the entire country why they are still one of the elite teams in the NFC. 

The Bengals, who have been a huge surprise team this season, get a surprise win against the Baltimore Ravens, winning 41-17 on Sunday, October 24th. Joe Burrow had a monster game, going 23/38 with a whopping 416 yards, 3 TDs, and a pick. While a lot of credit for that win goes to Joe Burrow, you got to give some credit to Rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, who is also the frontrunner for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Chase went for 201 receiving yards on 8 receptions, also breaking out a 82 yards touchdown pass from Joe Burrow. While I still have faith in the Ravens and they are still a very good team, this was a brutal loss for them. 

The struggling Giants hosted the Carolina Panthers on Sunday and beat them convincingly, winning by a score of 25-3 on Sunday, October 24th. The Giants defense really carried most of the load, by allowing an opening drive field goal and then nothing after that. Daniel Jones wasn’t spectacular but was good enough, going 23/33 or 203 yards and a TD, with an unbelievable 1 handed helmet catch thrown by Dante Pettis.

The Falcons beat the dolphins in a thriller in Miami on Sunday, October 24th, beating them by a final score of 30-28. Matt Ryan had a really good game for Atlanta, going 25/40 for 336 yards, 2 TDs, and a pick. This game wasn’t put on ice until the final seconds, when the Atlanta kicker Younghoe Koo hit a game winning field goal, with 3 seconds left in regulation. With the Dolphins coming into the season with their sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and high expectations, they sit at a measly 1-6.

The Patriots absolutely romped the New York Jets on Sunday, October 24, winning by a final score of 54-13. Mac Jones had by far the best start of his career, going 24/36 for 307 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 picks. That was a big win for the Patriots with all the struggles they have had this season, and the Jets continue to fall to the basement of the NFL once again. But that’s not the biggest headline to come out of this game. Rookie QB Zach Wilson was injured on a play by the Patriots star outside linebacker Matt Judon. The official diagnosis was a PCL injury, which gave Mike White the opportunity to appear in his first ever NFL game, including his first career touchdown pass to wide receiver Corey Davis. The Jets ended up later trading with the Eagles for veteran QB and SB 47 MVP, Joe Flacco. Flacco played for the Jets last in 2020, getting occasional starts here and there. 

The raiders get a big win against the Eagles in Las Vegas, by a score of 33-22 on Sunday, October 24th. Derek Carr had another really good performance, going 31/34 for 323 yards, 2 TDs, and a pick. With the Raiders now at 5-2 and 1st in the AFC West, this has got to feel good after coming up short last season finishing at 8-8. 

The Rams got yet another win against the Bears on Sunday, October 24th, beating the 0-7 Lions by a score of 28-19. Matt Stafford went off against his former team, going 28/41 with 334 yards, and 3 TDs with 0 picks. After acquiring Matt Stafford, the Rams have taken their game to a whole new level, while the Lions are struggling out on the field after losing their former franchise quarterback. 

The Bucs walloped the Bears in Tampa on Sunday, October 24th, winning 38-3. Tom Brady is still defying the odds at 44 years old, putting up phenomenal stats year after year. This game, he went 20/36 with 211 yards, 4 TDs, and 0 picks. While the defense was nails for the bucs today and has been the last 2 years, Justin Fields has not been good. With another disappointing outing going 22/32 for 184 yards, 0 TD’s and a whopping 3 interceptions. With the Bears sending a lot of draft capital to the Giants for trading up in the 2021 NFL draft to snag Justin Fields, they have to be somewhat concerned about the future of their planned franchise quarterback.

The Cardinals romp the Houston Texans by a final score of 31-5 on Sunday, October 24th. Kyler Murray had another great outing, going 20/28 for 261 yards, 3 TDs, and a pick. With the Texans most weeks struggling to generate any offense and with their defense being absolutely awful, it’s going to be a long season for Houston. 

The Colts get a big win against the 49ers on Sunday night football on Sunday, October 24th, winning by a final score of 30-18. With the Colts before this game sitting at 2-4, this was a big win for  a team who has been really struggling this year. Carson Wentz was ok, going 17/26 for 150 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 picks. But, Jonathan Taylor was a key factor in this win for the Colts, rushing for 107 yards on 18 carries and a TD. With the 49ers now at 2-4, this looks to be the 2nd straight year not in the playoffs after making it to SB 54. 

The Saints got the win on Monday, October 25th, winning in a close matchup, with a score of 13-10. While only making 19 completions on 35 attempts for James Winston, he did manage to throw for 222 yards and a touchdown with 0 picks. Running back Alvin Kamara had a big game through the air, with 10 receptions for 128 yards yards and a TD, while also rushing for 51 yards on 20 carries. With the Seahawks now at 2-5 with Russell Wilson still being sidelined, this could be a challenging year for Seattle. 

 

 

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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.

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            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. 

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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/

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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.

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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”. 

https://www.ft.com/content/4be47818-e889-4442-a009-1d1adda25b0d

Facebook under Fire

By Ian Dunkley

HINESBURG, VT (CVU Journalism class) – Facebook, the social media giant, has come under fire recently with an antitrust lawsuit against the potential monopoly the company poses on the social media world. This claim was brought forward by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a federal agency whose mission is to simultaneously promote competition and protect consumers. The prevention of monopolies falls under this objective. The FTC first sued Facebook in December 2020 on the grounds that purchasing competition such as Instagram and Whatsapp in 2012 and 2014 respectively, constitutes an attempted formation of a monopoly. Had this been proven, Facebook would be broken up as a penalty. 

When the lawsuit was brought to court, Facebook spokesperson Commissioner Christine S. Wilson commented, “The case is entirely without legal or factual support.” Judge James Boasberg was of the same opinion, ruling in favor of Facebook, and dismissing the complaint. Boasberg commented on the ruling of the case, and speculated as to why the FTC’s complaints were initially rejected. “The Court is aware of no case, and Plaintiffs provide none, where such a long delay in seeking such a consequential remedy has been countenanced in a case brought by a plaintiff other than the federal government.”

However, this wasn’t the end of the lawsuit. While the initial claims were dismissed, the judge granted the FTC 30 additional days to refile their complaint. In order for the complaint to be considered, the FTC had to provide sufficient evidence proving that Facebook had monopolized the industry. This would be done by presenting evidence showing Facebook’s market share to be 60% or or higher. The plaintiff’s second attempt at breaking up the company ended in failure yet again, with the court upholding its initial decision.

One implication of this ruling is the effect on social media users. With Facebook being able to stay a single company, its power and influence is kept intact. This means that the tech giant has the ability to continue purchasing other competitors just as it did in 2012 with instagram and 2014 with Whatsapp. Other social media platforms that aren’t able to compete with Facebook will end up being bought and could change from its original form. Consumers who initially used the service may see unwelcome changes after the merge. 

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.

CVU Goats

C3 Enact Club profile

Meline Palkovic

At CVU, the clubs that take place during C3 offer many opportunities for students to have fun, learn, rest or just go outside and breathe fresh air.                                                                                                         

In the EnACT Club led by Katie Antos-Ketchum, students learn about environmental issues but also go outside to see the animals in order to become aware of and connect with nature.

“WE ARE FACING THE HARD TRUTHS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE AND TAKING ACTIONS AGAINST IT. WE CARE DEEPLY ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT AND WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE THROUGH ADVOCACY, ACTION AND EDUCATION. IF THIS SOUNDS LIKE YOU AND YOU WANT TO BE AROUND PEOPLE WHO FEEL THE SAME, JOIN OUR CLUB TODAY!” follow us @ENACTCVU

All original photos by Meline Palkovic
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. 

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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.

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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

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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.