April 22, 2019


Do you know who is shown above, waving the American flag during last year’s Independence Day parade?  Hint: he/she was the grand marshal. Submit your guess for a chance to win a $50 gift card to Vermont Meat & Seafood in Williston!

Correct answer must include first and last name. Submit your guess to editor@willistonobserver.com by 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 5. Winner will be selected at random from all correct entries received. Winner will be notified by e-mail and announced in the July 7 edition of the Williston Observer. Only one entry per e-mail address will be allowed. Employees of Williston Publishing & Promotions and their families are not eligible to participate.

College graduates

June 30, 2011

The following Williston and St. George residents recently received academic degrees from their college or university:

John Brooks
Daniel Reiss

James Brassard
Heidi Cross
Benjamin Haug
Stephanie Maslack
Ross Meunier
James Miller
Lyndsie Provencher
Zachary Rhoads
Adam Shepard

Suzanne Ramazani

Tyrone Greenfield

Lindsay Simmons

Nicholas Jean

Editor’s Note: colleges and universities compile and submit the lists of graduates from Williston.

This Week’s Popcorn – “X-Men: First Class”

More like a close second




By Michael S. Goldberger
Special to the Observer

When I was young, a look back at how one of my superheroes began his life of noble and illustrious deeds always tickled my fancy. But, as “X-Men” is not among those comic books I read under bedcovers via flashlight late into the night and, alas, I have now reached the age of majority, “X-Men: First Class” holds no special place in my heart.

Still, judging director Matthew Vaughn’s action-filled back-story solely on its individual merits, sans the devotional baggage of a card-carrying enthusiast, well, it’s not half bad. Nevertheless, while agreeably acted and astutely filmed, it doesn’t veer very far from the typical template of its genre. While I view this from the perspective of the Great Unwashed, as equipped to discern its historical accuracy as I am likely to hear a silent dog whistle, a steady stream of witty references and paeans to the franchise should win fan approval. Whether all the minutiae and canonical postulations are there, I respectfully leave to their Sanhedrin.

Insofar as its role as a sci-fi piece is concerned, it smartly does what’s expected. That is, tell the truth. Let’s face it. The real truth is in fiction, between the lines, uncompromised by interests that make it harder and harder to get the real skinny on things, especially if money is at stake. Science fiction is storytelling’s philosophical, moral-spouting cousin.

The lesson taught in this recollection of how the league of human mutants known as X-Men came to be is nothing less than tolerance. In the first scene of the first act, we are transported to what surely must be an example of the least merciful venue of all time. In Auschwitz, Eric Lehnsherr, a Jewish teenager, captures the interest of Dr. Schmidt.

Violently torn from his parents during initial incarceration in the Nazi German death camp, young Lehnsherr displays his ability to act as a human magnet, invisibly tugging at the gates that divide his family. Embodying the madness of genetic experimentation, Dr. Schmidt figures he can tap into the phenomenon and, of course, rule the world.

Meanwhile, in peaceful contrast to that evil, the camera pans to a pastoral, castle-like estate in Westchester, N.Y. There, fortunate and telepathically privileged, James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier meets Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), the female mutant who will become his Platonic soul mate, also to be referred to as Mystique.

Fast-forward and Kevin Bacon’s Dr. Schmidt, ever young looking thanks to mutant gene inspiration and now known as Sebastian Shaw, is instigating international bad vibes that will ultimately foment the Cuban missile crisis. This megalomania isn’t lost on Erik (Michael Fassbender) who, with Nazi hunter zeal, travels to Argentina to settle a score.

Skip a beat or two and certain parties within the CIA are in on the scene, figuring how they can harness this new power to work on their behalf. Naturally, not everyone is in concert on the potential, albeit convincingly promoted by Oliver Platt’s glibly portrayed insider known simply as Man in Black Suit.

Even so, the mysterious operative invites Erik and Charles to his Virginia installation in a sort of hip variation on the Manhattan Project. There, they meet boy genius/jet plane designer Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult) who, unbeknownst to the CIA, just happens to be a fellow mutant. They have the beginnings of a team, and set out to recruit others.

Now bear in mind, if you’re going to truly imbibe this stuff, every mutant has a specific super attribute and some are given two names. Among those gathered at the secret compound, for example, Armando Muñoz (Edi Gathegi), also known as Darwin, can adapt to any environment.

Dig it when he sticks his head in an aquarium and grows gills. Others drawn to campus are, Sean Cassidy/Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), who screams supersonically (don’t want your kid emulating him); Alex Summers/Havok (Lucas Till) grows plasma rings from his body; and Angel Salvadore (Zoë Kravitz), previously an exotic dancer, sprouts wings and spits acid. Boy, wonder who inspired her character.

Unfortunately, these neophytes quickly show that they aren’t quite ready for prime time heroics. And it couldn’t come at a less opportune time as the components that make for summer blockbuster success kick in here like gangbusters. This means endless battles, lots of loud music, special effects and whatever else it takes to obscure sensible thought.

Happily, the basic ethos survives the perfunctory cataclysms well enough to explain the eventual rift among X-Men and lay the foundation for events to follow in films we’ve already seen. Thus, in addition to pleasing adherents, “X-Men: First Class” also serves as an introductory course for daring viewers curious to learn what all the shouting is about.

“X-Men: First Class,” rated PG-13, is a Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation release directed by Matthew Vaughn and stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence. Running time: 132 minutes

PHOTOS: Longford Row performs at Monty’s

June 30, 2011

Courtesy photos by Sam Donnelly

Local Irish band Longford Row performed ballads and traditional tunes at Monty’s Old Brick Tavern in Williston on June 23.

Independence Day Event Schedule (July 4)

Williston’s Independence Day celebration

Williston Community Park Field House
• Registration begins at 6 p.m.
• Races begin at 6:45 p.m.
• These family-oriented races take place within the park and will include Slowest bike race, Scooter race, Kids races, Family race and Adult race.

4 p.m. – 6 p.m. – LIBRARY BOOK SALE
Williston Central School Gym
Williston Community Park Field House
• Registration begins at 4:45 p.m.
• Race begins at 6 p.m.
• Cost is $8 (includes T-shirt)
• Categories include Male and Female, with age groups of under 12, 12-15, 16-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50+ and family
• Awards will be announced and given out during the band break at the Ice Cream Social
Village Green
Join the Williston Historical Society for its annual ice cream social as the town band plays its first concert of the summer season.

9 a.m. – 2 p.m. – LIBRARY BOOK SALE
Williston Central School Gym
Route 2, Johnson’s Farm to Old Stage Road
Theme: “We The People”
Grand Marshal: Terry Macaig
Parade float organizer: Tony Lamb
Judges stand: Town Hall
Prizes: Best neighborhood entry, Best business entry, Best theme, Best community organization or group, Best church, Best band, Best entry with music, Best individual, Best entry with children, Judges’ favorite car, Judges’ favorite tractor, Judges’ award
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – ARTS AND CRAFTS SHOW
Williston Central School Front Lobby
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – FOOD VENDORS
Village Green
• Hamburgers from Williston-Richmond Rotary
• Hot dogs from Williston Boy Scout Troop 692
• Popcorn from Williston Girls Softball League
Williston Fire Department
Stop by the firehouse and check out the facility.
Williston Central School cafeteria
• Eat in or take out. Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m., can also be purchased the night before at the ice cream social; $6 for children or chicken only; $10 for adults.
• Menu: 1/2 chicken, coleslaw, rolls, cranberry sauce, cupcakes, lemonade, milk or coffee
The Bandstand on the Village Green
12:35 p.m. – 1 p.m. – CHILDREN’S GAMES
The Village Green
The Village Green
Allen Brook School
Entertainment includes SuperSounds DJ, food vendors, glow necklaces, a bounce castle and more.

Very limited parking will be available at Allen Brook. A shuttle bus will be operating from Williston Central School for folks traveling from the village. Please take advantage of the shuttle to eliminate the parking crunch at Allen Brook. The shuttle will begin at 7 p.m. and will continue until shortly before the fireworks begin and will begin returning shortly after the fireworks are complete.
9:30 p.m. – FIREWORKS
Fireworks will begin at dark.
ALL DAY– Free entrance to Lake Iroquois for Williston residents.

For more information on any of the Fourth of July activities, visit the town Web site at www.Town.Williston.vt.us or contact The Williston Parks and Recreation Department at 878-1239 or finnegank@willistontown.com.

Lighting the fuse

Firecracker 5k Fun Run sparks Independence Day celebration

June 30, 2011

By Luke Baynes

The fuse has been lit and it’s set to go off Sunday at 6 p.m., when men and women of all ages lace up their running shoes and pound the Williston pavement in the annual Firecracker 5k Fun Run.

The race will begin and end on the bike path behind Williston Central School. The course forms a loop that will take runners on North Williston, Mountain View and Old Stage roads. Although the area will not be closed to traffic prior to the event, police cruisers will escort runners on the road section of the course.

Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Finnegan, who is in his 11th year of organizing the race, said the event normally averages 200 participants, with more people usually showing up in fair weather conditions. He added that although it does attract some serious runners, for the most part it’s just about having a good time.

“We call it a ‘fun run’ and I’d say 90 percent of the people there are doing it for fun, but we definitely get some that run it to win it or that are looking to beat their time,” said Finnegan. “We get some folks that it’s the only 5k they run all year long, so they like to see how they do from year to year.”

Trophies will be awarded to the top male and female finishers in each of the seven age groups, ranging from 12-and-under to 50-and-over. There will also be a special category for families that want to run as a group.

Ben Rose, a Williston resident who took top honors in the men’s 50-and-over category last year, is certainly a runner who’s in it to win it, but the race means a lot more to him than prizes.

“I run every year because my wife and I first met each other on July 3, 1980, about an hour before the first annual Williston Firecracker Fun Run,” Rose said. “So our family is deeply connected to the Fun Run and I try not to miss it.”

Finnegan agreed that it’s the family aspect of the event that makes it special.

“A lot of times, you get to see kids who are now grown and the Fourth of July is when they come back, and this is something they traditionally do as a family so it’s kind of neat that way,” said Finnegan.

Race registration begins July 3 at 4:45 p.m. at the Williston Community Park Field House. The cost of registration is $8 and includes a T-shirt. Awards will be handed out during the Williston Town Band concert and Ice Cream Social, which begins at 7 p.m. on the village green in front of Williston Central School.

Parade organizers search for local pride

Neighborhood spirit sought for Independence Day festivities

June 30, 2011

By Adam White
Observer staff

The Fourth of July has always been a celebration of national independence. Organizers of the corresponding festivities in Williston want it to be about local pride, too.

Kevin Finnegan, director of the town’s Parks and Recreation Department, is encouraging residents to join together and represent their respective neighborhoods in the annual Independence Day parade, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 4, at Johnson’s Farm on Williston Rd.

Finnegan said that the “best neighborhood entry” category has been a longtime tradition in the town’s parade, but has been hurt by a lack of participation during recent Independence Day celebrations.

“The last few years, we’ve only had one neighborhood – Southridge Drive – enter, so they’ve been automatic winners,” Finnegan said. “It would be nice to see some of the town’s other neighborhoods get involved again.”

Finnegan said that as of earlier this week, the only neighborhood registered to participate in this year’s parade was Lefebvre Lane. The winning neighborhood traditionally receives a celebratory party, supplied by the town and other local organizations.

The call for more local camaraderie fits the theme of this year’s parade: “We The People.” Float organizer Tony Lamb said that he and fellow organizers work hard to “paint” the parade into a well-composed mixture of marchers, floats, music and other elements.

“Everybody wants to be in the front,” Lamb said. “It can be an organizational nightmare, but it’s a blast.”

The celebration officially kicks off with a series of family bike races at the Williston Community Park Field House on Saturday at 6 p.m. Planned categories include adult, kid and family races, as well as scooter and “slowest bike” races.

The weekend continues with the annual “Firecracker 5K Fun Run” on Sunday, also at the Community Park. Registration begins at 4:45 p.m., with the starting gun slated to go off at 6 p.m. Placements will be awarded in seven individual age groups for males and females, as well as a family category. The cost is $8, and includes a race T-shirt.

Awards from the race will be given out at a special town band concert and ice cream social beginning at 7 p.m. The Williston Historical Society will host the social, which will feature the town band’s first concert of the summer season.

A library book sale on Monday in the Williston Central School Gym will commence at 9 a.m., one hour before the annual Independence Day parade. The grand marshal for this year’s parade will be Terry Macaig, a U.S. Representative from Williston and the chairman of its Selectboard.

“It certainly is a great honor,” Macaig said. “The parade is a great community builder; people from everywhere come to Williston for it.”

The master of ceremonies for this year’s parade will be Mike Detch, who took over last year for the late Mike Coates. Finnegan said that Detch’s performance at the 2010 parade warranted his return this year.

“Mike did a great job last year, so we’re going to stick with him,” Finnegan said.

Finnegan listed a number of local businesses that will be first-time participants in the parade this year. Adam’s Farm Market, Gentleman’s Top Option, Texas Roadhouse and Purple Sage Salon will be among those taking a maiden-voyage float ride on July 4th.
“The parade has grown steadily every year,” Lamb said. “As people move into the community and get more comfortable with what happens on the Fourth of July, they want to join and be a part of it.”

In addition to the best neighborhood entry category at the parade, several other categories will also be judged: best business entry, best theme, best community organization or group, best church, best band, best entry with music, best individual, best entry with children, judges’ favorite car, judges’ favorite tractor and judges’ award.

The winners in each category will be announced at a presentation at the bandstand on the town green following the parade at 12:30 p.m. An arts and crafts show, frog jumping contest, cookouts and other activities are also planned for Monday.

Fireworks facts

This year’s fireworks – purchased by the town from Atlas Fireworks at a cost of $8,500, according to Town Recreation Director Kevin Finnegan – will be presented at 9:30 p.m. SuperSounds DJ service will provide music prior to the show.

The Fourth of July celebration wouldn’t be complete without the annual tradition of buying a town-produced T-shirt. Williston Recreation Director Kevin Finnegan designed this year’s shirts (shown above) with help from Mills & Greer Sporting Goods. T-shirt vendors will be located at several events. Shirts are $8 each, which covers the cost of producing them, Finnegan said. Sizes youth small to adult XXL will be available. After the holiday, any leftover shirts will be for sale at the Town Clerk’s office.

Recipe Corner

Red, white and blue desserts

June 30, 2011

By Ginger Isham

For a crowd, the Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle is very easy to make and can be decorated with fresh blueberries. I like it because it can be made ahead of time and serves a lot of people.

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

2 packages of cream cheese (8 ounces each)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 angel food cake, torn into bite-size pieces (I think slicing it looks neater and is more uniform)
2 quarts fresh strawberries, sliced thin
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons almond-flavored liqueur, or almond flavoring to taste

Whip together cream cheese and sugar and add sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and almond flavoring. In another bowl whip the cream and rest of vanilla and sugar. Fold this into the cream cheese mixture. Gently stir in cake pieces. Combine strawberries, sugar and almond liqueur. Starting with strawberries layer in large glass trifle bowl (or other clear glass bowl) with cake/cream mixture, ending with strawberries on top.
Cover with saran wrap and chill for several hours.

Raspberry Sherbet in Blender

2 cups fresh raspberries, pureed and frozen (or use unsweetened frozen raspberries)
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste
1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt

Place frozen raspberries in blender or food processor and add remaining ingredients. Blend until creamy and serve at once, or store in freezer at this time and serve later. Can decorate each serving with a dollop of whipped cream and a blueberry.

Vanilla Ice Cream Flag

Slice a rectangular shaped box of vanilla ice cream in half, length ways, and cut across each half to make 8 or 10 slices. Decorate with blueberries and fresh sliced strawberries. Can serve with mixture of blueberries, strawberries, and/or raspberries, and a paper flag.
Have a safe and wonderful July 4th!

Ginger Isham lives with her husband on a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road.

Police Dept. honors officers

June 30, 2011

Williston Detective Michael Lavoie was named the department’s officer of the year on June 3. (Courtesy photo)

The Williston Police Department had its annual recognition meeting on June 3. Chief Roy Nelson handed out awards to officers who had performed above par in the categories of speed enforcement, DUI enforcement and criminal apprehension. Officer Eric Shepard was given the award for speed enforcement for the second year in a row. Officer Travis Trybulski, who joined the department in 2007, earned the criminal apprehension award for having the highest number of criminal arrests within the department. Officer Joshua Moore received the award for the highest number of arrests in the category of driving under the influence.

The Department also issued its annual officer of the year award to Detective Michael Lavoie. Detective Lavoie joined the Williston Police Department in 1997 and was a University of Vermont police officer for seven years. He also served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard.