Vermont Quadricentennial Commission Endorses Events for 2009MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Commission Events Committee has given the green light to more than 40 event proposals for the 2009 celebration that will honor the anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s arrival to the lake in 1609. Application review and approval is ongoing with even more events anticipated to be added over the next several weeks and months.While the year-long celebration will feature several unique, special events in and around the Champlain Valley, the Lake Champlain Quadricentennial will also feature existing events that explore Quadricentennial themes. Events recently approved for the Quadricentennial celebration include the Regatta for Lake Champlain, the Winooski River Sojourn, Teddy Roosevelt Day in Isle La Motte and the D’Olobaratz Voyage, which is a weekend race between re-created French and British longboats on Lake Champlain.”Many fellow Vermonters who are deeply passionate about this historic occasion have volunteered their time to organize festivals, educational initiatives and infrastructure improvements,” said Bruce Hyde, chair of the Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Commission. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and we want Vermonters and visitors to experience all that our wonderful state has to offer in 2009 and in years to come.”The event proposals approved in this first wave of applications by the Events Committee by will be included in the first promotional flyer to accompany a Vermont delegation to France in May to commemorate when Samuel de Champlain left France for North America. The flyer will also be distributed by the Schooner Lois McClure’s crew as she heads north for Quebec City’s 400th anniversary celebration in July. This information will be printed in both French and English.”The goal of the commission is to promote a variety of annual Vermont events that will have a Quadricentennial twist for 2009,” said Commission member Marilyn Cormier, who chairs the Commemoration and Events Committee. “There are dozens of outstanding events held in Vermont year after year, and we look forward to working together to make 2009 a great success.”The 26-member commission and dozens of volunteers are working together to organize events, educational components, infrastructure improvements and cultural exhibits that will take place in the Lake Champlain Basin and around Vermont. The one-time signature events will be supported by successful fundraising by Johnston Consulting, on behalf of The Champlain 400 Legacy Fund Inc., a nonprofit corporation created to support the Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Commission.Vermonters celebrated the Tercentennary in 1909 and the 350th anniversary in 1959. The Quadricentennial is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to Vermont throughout 2009.”We see the 400th anniversary as a remarkable opportunity for some of Vermonts finest companies, as well as national brands, to forever link their message to an historic event organized by a state that deeply values its history, culture, natural resources and its impact on future generations,” Cormier said.For more information, visit www.celebratechamplain.org/events(link is external).###
Fabio Borini was denied a priceless winner by the crossbar as Sunderland were held to a costly 0-0 draw by fellow strugglers Crystal Palace. They were the kind of chances he dispatched with aplomb during his early months on Wearside, but it is simply not happening for him in front of goal when his team needs it most. Full-back Marcos Alonso had earlier thumped a long-range effort into Speroni’s midriff and Borini volleyed acrobatically wide from Tom Ince’s miscued clearance two minutes before the break. For their part, Palace, who had full-backs Adrian Mariappa and Joel Ward both booked inside the opening 13 minutes, offered little going forward, and their only real opening came courtesy of a slip by Mannone. The Italian stumbled as he attempted to clear and bundled the ball to Ince, but he recovered in time to claim the midfielder’s tame 31st-minute shot. Fletcher was put out of his misery at the break when he was replaced by Altidore, who might have made his mark within six minutes. The United States international miscontrolled Brown’s ball over the top, which looked to have put him in on goal, but recovered his composure to spin and fire in a left-foot shot which Speroni managed to tip over. Borini volleyed high over from Bridcutt’s cross four minutes later with Sunderland continuing to dominate, although they were served warning of the visitors’ threat on the break within seconds when Yannick Bolasie forced a save from Mannone. However, there was little or no quality from either side in the final third as Speroni and Mannone were virtual spectators. Cameron Jerome might have caught out Mannone with a clever near-post flick from Ward’s 75th-minute corner, but the Italian was well placed to pluck the ball from underneath his crossbar. Borini might have snatched victory with seven minutes remaining when he ran on to Ki Sung-yueng’s through-ball only to crash a rising drive against the bar with his follow-up flying inches wide, but Dikgacoi blazed inches wide with a minute remaining when he might have done better. The Italian rattled the woodwork with seven minutes remaining in a game which ultimately ended in a stalemate after Palace keeper Julian Speroni made a vital 51st-minute save from substitute Jozy Altidore. Victory would have taken Sunderland above the Eagles on goal difference, but the home side passed up a series of chances to make their dominance tell with Steven Fletcher particularly guilty before he was replaced at the break. Press Association The Black Cats have won just one of their last eight home league games, and might have left empty-handed had Kagisho Dikgacoi not wasted a glorious late chance to win it for the visitors. Sunderland boss Gus Poyet was stung by criticism of his team selection for last Sunday’s FA Cup sixth-round defeat at Hull, but insisted in advance that would have little bearing on the decision-making for a fixture he had dubbed the most important of the campaign. In the event, he made seven changes as the likes of Vito Mannone, Wes Brown and Liam Bridcutt returned, although Capital One Cup final starters Lee Cattermole and Jack Colback found themselves sitting on the bench. It was a game Sunderland really had to win if they are to launch a successful fight against the drop, and they made a fist of it in the opening 45 minutes as they took the game to Palace without ever looking like conceding. However, they rarely looked like scoring either as the problem which has hampered them for much of the campaign to date showed little sign of abating. Poyet has been searching since his arrival in October for a man to spearhead his attack with either Fletcher or Altidore usually employed in the loan striking role which was handed, with some success, to Borini in the Capital One Cup final. It was Scotland international Fletcher who got the nod once again on Saturday, but opportunities – admittedly half-chances – came and went. The former Wolves frontman failed to connect properly with Adam Johnson’s first-minute cross and then under-achieved with two audacious back-heeled attempts from deliveries from Borini and Johnson.