Katy Lesser and Healthy Living, were honored by the Vermont Grocers’ Association with the VGA Retailer of the Year award during the association s annual convention at the Sheraton Burlington. The award was presented in recognition of their involvement with the community, food industry, store operations and customer service.Healthy Living is the state s largest natural foods market and has been family owned and operated for over 22 years. Its mission is to provide the community with a market that is dedicated to offering high quality food items at affordable prices, a child-friendly environment, and a place to gather, eat and learn. Lesser is joined in the operation of the store by her son, Eli Lesser-Goldsmith, and daughter, Nina Lesser-Goldsmith. The family has expanded the market several times culminating with the move to a brand new 35,000 square foot store on Dorset Street in South Burlington in 2008.They believe strongly in community service, and have donated to various local non-profits and charities since the store s founding in 1986. The Community Outreach Team at Healthy Living reaches many local organizations every year. As one example, throughout the months of March and April this year, Healthy Living Staff prepared and served five healthy meals a week to at-risk youth who use Spectrum Youth Services Pearl Street drop-in center. The partnership was a wonderful success for all parties and Healthy Living continues to foster similar partnerships with other non-profits in the community. We are very pleased to see Katy, her family and her store recognized with this award. They are dedicated to serving their customers and community, said Jim Harrison, VGA president, who presented the award. They represent that true entrepreneurial spirit as evidenced with the large investment in what is now a showcase of a natural foods marketplace.The Vermont Grocers’ Association is a statewide organization representing approximately 700 stores and 245 suppliers to the industry. The presentation took place at the association s annual convention at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel on September 12, 2009.Note: A photo of Healthy Living with the award can be accessed at: http://www.vtgrocers.org/files/files/Healthy%20Living%20Award.pdf(link is external)Caption: Katy Lesser (center) of the Healthy Living Natural Foods Market along with Ian Roos and Jessica Piccirilli with the VGA Retailer of the Year at the association’s 75th anniversary convention September 12.A video of Healthy Living showed at the award presentation can be found at: http://maltedmedia.com/recordings/ROY2009-97.wmv(link is external).Source: Vermont Grocers’ Association. 9.18.2009
The new dynamic this USC team brought was resilience. Last year’s team would have folded after everything that went wrong in the first quarter, but Slovis led the charge for a group that was unperturbed by adversity. Redshirt sophomore center Brett Neilon said that Slovis gathered the offense on the sideline following Jones’ fumble and showcased the calmness under fire that has impressed teammates and coaches since spring camp. But then Griffin came up with two huge pass breakups covering junior tight end Colby Parkinson, forcing Stanford to kick a field goal. That was a small victory that the team needed, and it boosted USC into that scoring drive that ended with the long touchdown to St. Brown. From there the Trojans were off and running, using a 42-3 run to blow the Cardinal out of the building. Now it was Stanford drawing similarities to last season’s USC team — the Cardinal were uncharacteristically sloppy and appeared unsure how to respond when the Trojans started punching them in the mouth. But Slovis also demonstrated a level of poise you wouldn’t expect from a true freshman who came in as an afterthought three-star recruit in USC’s underwhelming 2019 class. He seemed much calmer than the older Mills, who missed a few crucial throws to open targets throughout the game. This is no more than conjecture, but I think it helped that the face of the comeback wasn’t around for all those blown opportunities in 2018. I don’t want to kick Daniels while he’s down because he was quite good in his one half of play against Fresno State, but I can’t help but feel as though the team wouldn’t have reached the level it did if the sight of its signal-caller recalled last season’s debacles. “Almost every throw, where I thought the ball should go, it went,” Harrell said. “If you do that with the other guys around him, you got a chance to be really good and put up great numbers.” The freshman got plenty of help; the maligned offensive line gave him great time, and his dynamic group of receivers got consistent separation from a Stanford secondary that thoroughly dominated Northwestern last week. And although the defense couldn’t stop Stanford for much of the first half, USC held the Cardinal scoreless in the second half, featuring crucial plays like redshirt sophomore nickel back Greg Johnson’s fourth quarter interception and junior offensive tackle Austin Jackson’s blocked kick in the third quarter. If it weren’t for Slovis, sophomore cornerback Olaijah Griffin, who made multiple acrobatic pass breakups, would have been USC’s most impressive player. “[He said] ‘No matter what happens on the field, when the offense hits it we’re going to score, and we’re going to do our thing,’” Neilon said. “That was pretty impressive for a younger guy to do that.” Slovis is part of a group of young players like Griffin, St. Brown and sophomore safety Talanoa Hufanga that has a chance to help USC move past the self-destructive tendencies of last season. The most frustrating part about 2018 wasn’t the win-loss record, it was the fact that the team beat itself repeatedly and in the most predictable fashion possible. USC couldn’t handle success or failure, and it had no answer when things went wrong. It’s unreasonable to ask Slovis to repeat Saturday night’s performance every week, but it isn’t too much to expect USC not to shoot itself in the foot with turnovers, dumb penalties and a lack of execution. One of the biggest storylines heading into Saturday night’s annual USC-Stanford matchup was that both teams would be playing without their starting quarterbacks. The Trojans’ sophomore JT Daniels suffered a season-ending knee injury against Fresno State the previous week, while Stanford senior K.J. Costello missed the game due to a head injury. Replacing them were freshman Kedon Slovis and junior Davis Mills, respectively, and although Mills was thought to have the edge due to his (relative) experience, it was Slovis who emerged as the breakout star in USC’s dominant 45-20 victory. The freshman was good enough to impress new offensive coordinator Graham Harrell, which isn’t an easy task. Harrell, a historically good quarterback during his time at Texas Tech, recognizes all the minute details that go into being great at the position and was known during his time at North Texas for getting on signal-callers for the smallest mistakes. Even he couldn’t find much that Slovis did wrong. Aidan Berg is a junior writing about sports. He is also an associate managing editor for Daily Trojan. His column, “Berg is the Word,” runs every Monday. Slovis completed 28 of 33 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns on the night, but the statistics might not have been the most impressive part of his performance. His arm talent was on full display, whether he was dropping a 39-yard touchdown right in sophomore receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown’s bread basket or lasering a 31-yard pass on a dime to redshirt junior receiver Tyler Vaughns past defenders on the sideline. We’ll see where this team goes. One game is a small sample size, and everything can come crashing down if USC loses at BYU or gets smashed by Utah at home. Any team relying on so many young players is sure to experience some growing pains, but that youth movement also presents a chance at a fresh start. If USC can continue to respond to adversity like it did Saturday night, Trojan fans should feel better no matter the team’s final record this season. There was a different energy to this USC team, starting with that second quarter when it overcame a 17-3 deficit to lead 24-20 at halftime. Between a defense that couldn’t get a stop and a lost fumble by redshirt junior receiver Velus Jones Jr. on a kickoff with USC down 14-3, the first quarter brought back memories of the frustrating, tear-your-hair-out losses that personified the 2018 season.
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Chicken Little seems to have moved to Wellington.Now the sky is falling. People are moving away. Utility rates will be raised to such high proportions that we may never have electricity again. The city is going bankrupt. The hospital is about to close. The water tower is about to fall smack dab on the roundabout at any second.But while we are in this utter state of panic, let’s just contemplate these few facts:The world is 4.5 billion years. The United States is 239 years. Wellington is 144 years olds…Wellington has survived a tornado, a few industrial shutdowns, the Great Depression, two World Wars, a few floods, fires, a poor decision not to get a community college, and a horse mishap in a Wheat Festival Parade.We can survive this whatever “this”is.People, I am exhausted.I had three separate Chicken Little incidents this week in Wellington where people essentially spectacularly overreacted. By Friday I couldn’t get out of bed in fear someone might have a nervous breakdown because I was using the wrong toothpaste.First let’s address the utility rate issue. The city council has increased sewer and water rates but has yet to touch electrical rates. Your electrical bill this month is reflective of rates charged over the past few years. So if your electric bill was higher than the month before it’s because it was so blasted hot in June and not so much in May. Your utility bill from June 2014 is a better comparison.The sewer rates have been raised but it doesn’t reflect the June billing because those rates are established in December to February. The water rates are probably the only thing rising on this bill, but water isn’t what drives your bills to high levels. The bulk of your utility bill will be based on that air conditioner you are running.Yes, the city will raise electric rates soon. Yes, utility rates are already high, and, yes, they are a hardship for many, many people.But nothing has changed at this moment that warrants this current hysteria on social media. It’s as if people have been waiting for an excuse to gripe and that time has arrived.The three mill increase seems like a lot. But let’s remember the Sumner County Commissioners dropped the mill levy 21.424 mills in 2013 because of new revenue coming from the Kansas Star Casino. So even if the city raises mill levies by 10 mills, it doesn’t come close to the mill levy rate of the 2000s.Also, remember your overall tax bill for next December has yet to be determined because no governmental entity has yet to establish a budget to determine its mill levy. That will come due in late August. If you are concerned about a tax hike, attend the city council public budget hearing meeting on August 18 to voice your objection. It will be much more effective than yelling about it on Facebook.The hospital? Let’s just relax a little bit there as well. There has been no proclamation that the hospital is going to close. I have sent Sumner Regional Medical Center CEO Leonard Hernandez a list of questions that hopefully will be responded to with the honesty and thoroughness I’ve grown to expect from the current administrator.I like the leadership at the hospital right at this moment. Dr. Faustino Naldoza made an outstanding quote to a Wichita news station saying that the hospital is in critical care and they (the board and council) are the doctors trying to nurse it back to health.I’m not willing to speculate on the closing of the hospital. I’m willing to speculate on saving it.The trouble is, I also believe in a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think something bad is going to happen, it probably will.—————Why is Chicken Little here? I’m not sure why Chicken Little has come to roost in Wellington this summer. But he has most certainly been at the Wellington City Council meetings for the past few months.Panic as the Chicken Little video above illustrates results from suspect leadership and people’s propensity to believe suspect leadership. I’m afraid the current Wellington City Council has not provided much reassurance lately. There seems to be little vision. This sudden public war with the hospital seems odd to me. But maybe that illegal executive session on Monday will help clear the air.I keep waiting for Wellington City Manager Roy Eckert to step to the plate and imprint his form of leadership. One thing you could say about former city manager Gus Collins is you knew he was in charge regardless how you felt about him. I haven’t gotten that feeling with Mr. Eckert so far. He seems more reactive than proactive. I hope that will change soon.Mayor Shelley Hansel is off to a rough start. She seems to be more embroiled in meaningless drama and getting her feelings hurt. You’re the leader of the town, Ms. Hansel, thicken that skin. I have known you for a long time. I believe you can do it.Mr. Jim Valentine, please stop overreacting. Your concerns will be taken in better context if you stop saying insinuating that the city is going to have to declare bankruptcy or that it has misplaced $1.5 million. The Wellington bond rating is currently at A+ with Moodyâ€™s which is good. Rumor has it the City of Arkansas City’s rating is much, much worse.I’m still willing to give this Wellington City Council a chance. Its membership is relatively new and inherited a very tough situation. And they also have help. Wellington City Clerk Shane Shields seems to have a very good handle on numbers. I’d listen to him. Also, financial advisors like John Haas and Lonnie Cooper will provide clarity.The outcome.I was at the Wellington swimming pool the other day and saw this plaque on the wall of those who dedicated the opening of the Wellington Aquatic Center 20 years ago. Those serving on the city council at the time included names like Jeff McGovern, John Huck, Leslie Thompson, Mike Kelly, Terry Craig and others.I started thinking about that group. I knew them well. I was covering the council as a Wellington Daily News reporter. Maybe my mind is slipping, but I tried to think of one memorable meeting – one memorable moment – at one of those meetings. All I could remember was those meetings were dreadfully dull. I also remember those meetings were short. I also don’t remember them having work sessions unless I wasn’t paying attention. I thought executive sessions were just for the Wellington school board.The thing is, those council members just got the job done. They were too busy running their own business to let the city council occupy too much of their time. Smart people don’t usually overthink things.And what was their legacy for those dreadfully dull meetings? They brought us a new pool, a renovated downtown, a new public safety facility, the development of Worden Park, a new water line from the lake, many road construction projects, and several other amenities. The 1990s will probably go down in history as Wellington’s most progressive decade.I don’t see that kind of vision right now. All I see is Chicken Little panic.Do you know the original Chicken Little story, not the happy-happy Disney version we saw in movie theaters a few years back?Chicken Little – i.e. Henny Penny – had an acorn hit his head. He goes into a panic and convinces all his friends and family into believing the sky is falling.Trouble is Henny Penny also gathered a fox, who ends up eating him and all his friends during a “sky is falling” meeting.Please, Wellington, we have a few issues to resolve.But in order to do so, let’s gain some perspective, roll up our sleeves, and get to work.The first thing on the list is to send Chicken Little packing.Follow us on Twitter.