Tag Archives: community

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”. 

hannaford

How Hannaford is Handling Food Waste

By Shayne Waite

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

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

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

fruit

How this works is through inventory management and pulling food that is clearly out of date or isn’t going to sell.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

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

fire

Fire Engulfs St. George Home

Shayne Waite

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

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

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

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

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

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

Birthdays Are Still On

Ms. Lauren Kovacik

The typical birthday usually consists of a gathering of friends and family, the exchange of presents, the iconic song, and the ultimate finale of blowing out a specific number of candles on top of a decorated cake.

The COVID-19 virus that has spread to almost every country in the world has made these birthday celebrations non-existent. However, even considering the global pandemic, people are still finding ways to celebrate one another on their special days.

Senior Sophie Dauerman says, “For my birthday, my friends surprised me with a video of friends, family, coaches, and teachers wishing me happy birthday. It made my day and helped me feel more connected. Now I’m passing it on and working on a surprise birthday video for someone else!” Having her friends do this allowed Dauerman to be positive in the face of COVID-19, and allowed her to enjoy her birthday even while in quarantine.

cake

Another senior, Abigail Harkness, states, “I think it’s important to still stay connected virtually, even though we can’t be together in person. There have been a few of my friends’ birthdays and we have made videos for them of all their friends and family saying happy birthday. This was an awesome way to show them that we’re all still there for them to celebrate on their special day.” These videos are a powerful memory that anyone who has to have their birthday in quarantine can look back on for years to come, and remember what their friends did for them.

Class president, Mia Brumstead, also adds,  “For my quarantine birthday, I had a special celebration with my family. I got to pick out what I wanted for dinner and dessert, and my family put it all together. Even though I was really looking forward to celebrating my 18th birthday with friends, I was happy that I could still find a way to mark this big milestone in my life. Social distancing guidelines have restricted everyone from being connected with friends and family, but there are still innovative ways to celebrate a quarantine birthday, and I hope people take advantage of that.” Celebrating with family is just as important as celebrating with friends, and especially in quarantine they are always there for you to make your birthday special, regardless of a global pandemic.

Ella Thompson was able to come up with a fun way to celebrate, “For one of our friend’s birthday I coordinated with her mom and we got a group of people to come and hold up signs that read “Happy happy Bbirthday” on her lawn. Her mom even put tape in the yard that was eight feet 8ft apart so we knew where to stand. Then we sang happy birthday and left the present and cards on the lawn. Obviously it wasn’t the same as a real birthday party, but it’s so important to show people that you care. A birthday may not seem like a huge deal but everyone is going through something right now and it’s a great way to reach and brighten someone’s day.” Thompson was able to find a way to celebrate that made her friend feel special but also followed the social distancing guidelines that had to be followed.

Lily Michalak says, “I was in a car parade, and I think it’s important because it keeps people’s spirits up and still helps celebrate a birthday.” Ensuring that even in quarantine someone knows that people care about their special day is essential, even under circumstances when normal birthdays and other celebrations aren’t able to happen.

Continue reading

Community Has Your Back

 

Ms.  Lexi Anderson

Over the course of the past month, the world has drastically changed. The normal day to day rituals have transformed in the light of a new global crisis, COVID-19. This pandemic has touched every aspect of everyday life, eating away at normalcy, and proving a threat to millions of people globally. The news is bleak, and often disheartening. Once bustling streets have now gone silent. Classrooms sit unused. Hospitals are struggling as supermarket shelves sit empty, ghostly reminders of life before lockdown.

However, the bolstered sense of community is anything but depressing. Towns are rallying, people are protecting each other by staying inside despite it’s difficulty, and a new initiative has begun; having those who know how to sew in the community create and donate masks for people in need. 

Since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, breathing masks are essential for people on the front lines of fighting the pandemic, as well as those most at risk. As the cases in the United States grow exponentially, the number of available masks is plummeting. According to Business Insider, the United States only has 1% of the necessary number of masks, which is 3.5 billion. 

corona mask

The masks that are most effective for hospital workers treating coronavirus patients are the scarce N95 respirators, a mask that helps filter and facilitate healthy airflow. These masks are imperative for those on the front lines of the virus; unfortunately there aren’t enough to go around. Though they are the most effective, they’re also the most rare, and so citizens have stepped in to help. 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) “CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” Though they do not have the quality of the N95 masks, these homemade cloth face coverings are imperative to slow the spread of COVID-19 among the community. “[recommend] the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others” The CDC says. 

In Shelburne, as you drive down the street, or walk into the grocery store, there are colorful, patterned, homemade masks adorning everyone’s face, a subtle stand against the virus sweeping the state, country, and world.

Virginia Coolidge, a resident at the Wake Robin retirement community, made homemade masks for her and fellow residents. “We’re the ones who need to be the most careful, I’m happy to use my skills to help out the community.”

Continue reading

Neighborhoods Reach Out

Ms. Sabine Foerg

Through the difficulties of the Covid19 quarantine, neighborhoods have been finding new and creative ways to forge deeper community bonds, while following social distancing protocol. 

Front Porch Forum, an online forum allowing local communities to share information or seek and offer assistance to neighbors, has become a light in the darkness for many community members. 

 22346991-sidewalk-chalk-drawing little free libraryWe Hear You

Since Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced the “Stay home, Stay safe” order on March 24th, minimizing unnecessary activity as a response to the covid19 outbreak, neighborhoods have been bonding over shared social distancing activities, planned through the Front Porch Forum. 

“Our business is to help neighbors connect and to build community,” says Front Porch Forum co-founder Michael Wood-Lewis in an interview with the Barre Montpellier Times Argus. This statement has gained even more weight, as community members rely more heavily on online connection and communication during social distancing. 

Countless discussion posts have been made discussing how to incorporate fun activities into social distancing on the Chittenden County town Front Porch Forums. Communities are working to create fun new routines that provide lighthearted moments and support in a time of uncertainty. “The inventiveness of fellow residents continues to amaze and lift up,” says Shelburne select board member Jerry Storey.

Continue reading

One Hour, One Pint, Saves Three Lives

Ms. Sabine Foerg

Looking for a new way to give back to your community? A local Red Cross blood drive could be your next good deed. Many CVU students, faculty and community members did their part at CVU’s annual March blood drive. 

CVU held its annual Red Cross blood drive in the gym all day Thursday, March 12. Any student or faculty member aged seventeen or older, weighing a minimum of 110lbs in good health, was likely eligible to donate. 

According to Red Cross, the blood drive draws in people for many different reasons, ranging from giving for family members and friends in need, to simply the free snacks and drinks provided after the procedure.

Blood drive

“I am giving blood because it isn’t too painful for me, and I think it is the right thing to do. There are a lot of people who can’t donate, and I can, so I feel like it is the right thing to do because I have that ability,” says CVU Senior Maggie Sides, who donated at CVU’s blood drive. 

The process, Red Cross says, is simple for donors. The donor must fill out a questionnaire and sign in with ID before going through a brief “mini-physical” and a health survey. “The actual donation only takes eight to ten minutes,” according to Red Cross. One pint of blood is donated per donor. According to the Red Cross, every pint of blood could save as many as three lives. 

The CVU blood drive is run by the Student Council along with the Red Cross. “We have been publicizing the event with posters and banners, and student council members have been sitting at an information and sign up table during lunch one week before the blood drive and the week of,” says CVU sophomore and Student Council member, Finnegan Mittelstadt. 

Continue reading

Hank the Tank Raises Hope

Ms.  Jade Leavitt

Hot Dog! Have you heard about the Make-A-Wish Fundraiser?  

Did you see the dog at school? 

On Friday February 14th, Tammy Joe Dickinson, a CVU business teacher, used her dog, Hank, to raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation in order to help her Champlain Valley Union Principles of Business class learn marketing skills through experience.

Hank Sales

Make-A-Wish is a foundation dedicated to raising money to fulfill the wishes of children diagnosed with a critical illness. Wish recipients must be older than two and a half and younger than 18 years old. Recipients also have a threatening medical condition.

According to Dickinson “Hank the Tank”, this semester’s ‘business,’ uses Dickinson’s dog to draw the attention of students passing by in the hallway. 

Dickinson thinks Hank is the perfect marketing tool. 

Katherine Riley purchased dog treats and expands her thoughts on the cause. “I think it’s a great fundraiser and I love the idea that the business class is actually doing something practical and seeing the reality of trying to get a product from the idea all the way through.” Riley also has a therapy dog of her own and thinks, “Having dogs at school adds to the climate. Especially in times of higher stress.”

Dickinson adds to the calming presence of her dog when she says, “I feel like my stress levels are so much lower when Hank is here.” 

In a recent Washington Post Article, Why do we love pets? An expert explains, Author Karin Brulliard states, “Ours is a pet loving culture… The pet industry spends a lot of money promoting what it prefers to call the “human-animal bond.””

Continue reading

Vermont Puts ‘Tobacco 21’ into Action

Ms Luna Cofiño

In May of 2019, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed Bill S.86 into action, a bill that increased the legal age for buying and using cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and all tobacco products from 18 to 21 years of age. Businesses are now implementing the changes outlined in the bill and establishments around Vermont are examining their guidelines, including CVU. 

Although similar legislation failed in 2016 and 2017, the issue has never been completely dropped in Vermont. In 2016, a measure to raise the tobacco purchasing age passed in the Vermont House by a vote of 81-61. According to his deputy chief of staff at the time, then Governor Peter Shumlin (D-Vermont) did not support raising the smoking age. Without his support, the bill did not pass in 2016 or the year after. 

Tabacco

This year, Vermont legislators Sen. Deborah Ingram (D – Chittenden) and Sen.Virginia Lyons (D-Chittenden ) worked hard for preliminary approval of the legislation that would gradually raise the tobacco smoking age to 21. Jessica Brumsted (D-Shelburne) presented the bill on the floor of the House on April 23, 2019. In her opening statement, she said, “Our aim is to reduce tobacco use by youth and protect developing brains, which are uniquely vulnerable to the effects of nicotine and nicotine addiction.” After making it through several rounds of legislation, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed ‘Tobacco 21’, making it final on May 21st, 2019. 

It is no doubt that recent evidence has pushed lawmakers to address the obvious issues this year. Recent studies have linked lung and respiratory issues directly with e-cigarette use, and the number of high school students now using these devices has skyrocketed.  The National Youth Tobacco Survey in 2018 revealed that in the U.S. from 2017-2018, e-cigarette use among high school and middle-school students increased alarmingly – 78% and 48% respectively. Now, as more and more specific cases present themselves throughout the country, evidence emerges about the harming effects of e-cigarette devices. 

Continue reading

Fantasy Sports and Its Effects on the CVU Community

Mr. Cole Otley

The fantasy football playoffs are in full swing as managers attempt to end the 2018 season on a high note. Fantasy sports stretch from the NFL to NASCAR and are able to reach just about every sports fan in Vermont, and even in the world. Whether it be competing just for fun against friends, or playing for cash rewards, fantasy sports has something to offer everybody. It creates a social phenomenon that can’t be ignored with its domination of lunch-time conversations, small talk in the hallways of CVU, and beyond.

For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of fantasy sports, the rules are simple. The basic idea of a standard fantasy league at CVU is as follows: Each manager drafts a lineup that they work with throughout the season. It is up to the managers to set lineups of players that they think will perform the best each week. The players are real people, whose fantasy performance correlates to their performance in real life. Managers can add, drop, or trade players throughout the season to improve their team. The teamsin the fantasy league go head to head each week until a champion is crowned in a playoff. The result of this is an exciting, comprehensive experience that brings people together through their love of sports.SportsColeOtley
CVU is no exception to the fantasy sports phenomenon. Prince Yodishembo, a senior at CVU, has been playing fantasy sports for several years and has developed some opinions of his own. “Fantasy sports promote a comradery between people,” he says. “It gives people something common to talk about.” Prince is a seasoned veteran when it comes to playing fantasy basketball and competing in the annual March Madness bracket challenges. According to Prince, he is a two-time fantasy basketball champion of his league and, in 2015, had a 73% accurate March Madness bracket. “Fantasy sports prepare people numerically, and it also gets people a lot of analytical practice,” he said.

Continue reading

The Next Steps for Charlotte Beach

Mr. Aidan Bundock

The Recreation Department of Charlotte surveyed the community in November of last year, asking them to respond about their use of the Charlotte beach as well as what community members wanted to see in the next steps for the renovation.

The survey had over 215 returns on Front Porch Forum and the results were presented to the select board on November 26th, according to Charlotte News. The results of the survey expressed that the beach and swimming docks are the most utilized aspects of the beach park. CVU senior Lily Pecor from Charlotte said, “I like the swim platforms the most because I can be there with all my friends.” Charlotte Beach is a popular place to access Lake Champlain, but there is also has a park with many facilities. Another Charlotte senior at CVU, Daniel Bernier, said that aside from the beach, he also likes to use the tennis courts and cookout stations with his family.

Six Great Lakes
Image from All That’s Interesting

Over 35% of applicants said it would be ‘Likely’ or ‘Very Likely’ that they would use the playground while attending the beach. The respondents also indicated overall satisfaction with the present facilities at the park and would be open to upgrades to the facilities.

According to Nicole Conley, the Recreational Director for Charlotte, a recent donation of forty thousand dollars by a private donor was given to Recreation to upgrade the playground. Conley said there are many things that the Recreation Department wants to do with the beach, but that “we want to start small, work on the playground, and expand from there.” According to Conley, the beach practically pays for itself from beach fees, so Recreation has to be conscious of money and take what they can get.

Continue reading

The Community of Flynn Show Choir

Ms. Elyse Martin-Smith

Flynn Show Choir creates the perfect trifecta of singing, dancing, and acting for grades 4-12. On May 17-18th, the Flynn Show Choir had their performances in the FlynnSpace for the spring semester. These shows always sell out in the first few days that the tickets are available. One thing that is even more stunning than the talented performers is the sense of community that Show Choir creates, which is continuing to grow.

Flynn Show Choir consists of four groups; Juniors, Treble Teens, Mixed Teens, and Selects. Each group gets more difficult and advanced as you go on so that each skill level gets the most out of their time, just challenged enough so they can improve. This makes it so each group is unique in its own ways. To participate, you audition in the fall or the spring and are placed in one of these groups.

Continue reading

Feelgood Administrators Greet Students, Build Community Every Morning

Mr. Hank Caswell

Kathryn Riley and Adam Bunting stand outside almost every morning greeting students as a way to connect with them and make them feel welcome at school. Their efforts have changed the atmosphere throughout the halls and in the classrooms.

Screenshot 2018-01-23 at 8.35.27 AM
Principal Bunting Welcomes the CVC into his Office

CVU Principal Adam Bunting is one of the administrators who greets students each morning at the doors of CVU. So, my intention first of all is that I enjoy it. What I find is that when I see students coming in in the morning, it reminds me to do my job the best that I can do it because we’ve got these amazing young people coming to school who sometimes are psyched to be here or sometimes not feeling it, but you get this feeling that there’s a lot of potential that’s walking into the building. The other piece to it is that if someone is having a tough day, a lot of times you can pick that out just by making eye contact with somebody. You can pause and connect with them, and if you’re not doing that face to face interaction then you will never get that chance,” he says.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zU2IePf791E

Bunting feels he can get closer to students and develop relationships that wouldn’t have been established without his actions. “I also want it to be some modeling. Let’s step away from some of the electronic devices and actually connect and create a community that’s as welcoming as possible. If we want that, we better act it and live it, both from students and faculty.”

Continue reading

The Lion King III: Bunting Comes Home Again

Ms. Allison Henson

The name Adam Bunting is one that has been floating around Champlain Valley Union (CVU) High School for quite some time — but many of the current students don’t know who he really is. Bunting started as a student at CVU in 1990 and soon after graduating became a teacher from 1999-2002.

Untitled-3

He initially started as a long-term Spanish substitute for the Williston Central School, although he will be the first to admit he was not the best for the position. After involving himself as a substitute and athletic coach at CVU, he became an English teacher in Fairbanks core.He then attended Harvard Graduate School, and finally became one of the House Directors in 2003. In 2012 felt that it was his time to leave, but CVU is not a community easily left, and he was quickly drawn back, scheduled to assume the position of principal in fall 2015. In his absence, Bunting was principal at Montpelier High School (MHS), a much smaller school than CVU, which worries some people considering how large CVU is. CVU is a tight knitly community that has learned to care deeply about its people. Bunting emailed in a few answers to questions that were asked by various CVU members to address any concerns that they may have; and it looks like CVU will have nothing to fear with his return.

Continue reading