June 23, 2018

Five from CVU in North-South grid game

Postseason football action was on the schedules of five senior veteran stalwarts from the Champlain Valley Union High football team who were selected for Saturday’s annual North-South all-star contest.

The Redhawks on the North squad included end Ryan Beaudry, two-way lineman Alec Distler, lineman-linebacker Harvey Ottinger, receiver-linebacker Davis Mikell and running back Patrck Shea, who was sidelined by injury.

The South won the game at Castleton State College, 39-36, overcoming a 36-20 deficit in the final quarter.

Mal Boright,
Observer correspondent

Grey receives All-American swimming award

A Champlain Valley Union High School senior was named to the USA Swimming Scholastic All-America list for the 2011-12 season.

Evan Grey of Williston received the award for the first time.

The Scholastic All-America program is open to USA Swimming members in grades 10 through 12 who earn a GPA of 3.5 or higher and achieve a Junior National Bonus Time Standard, swim in a selected disability championship meet or the Open Water National Championships.

Giving local: Toys for Kids brings gifts to Vermonters

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff


As shoppers crowd the stores on Black Friday, scanning the aisles for the perfect gift for everyone on their list, they can spend a few extra dollars to bring holiday cheer to needy Vermont children.

Hundreds of red barrels have popped up across the state recently, marking the beginning of this year’s Toys for Kids collection program. The program, run by the Marine Corps League of Vermont, is the state’s largest 100 percent volunteer-run holiday toy collection program.

“No kid should have to get up Christmas morning and say, ‘How come Santa Claus can’t come to my house on Christmas?” said John Welsh, a member of the Marine Corps League’s Burlington-based Donald Cook Detachment, who organizes the program.

Shoppers can place new unwrapped toys in any of the red barrels in town, or put loose change in the mini coin-collection barrels. Each barrel is assigned a monitor, who picks up the toys and brings them to a Toys for Kids collection center. Toys are distributed to families through local agencies, primarily the Salvation Army.

Welsh said he knows there are many demands on people’s dollars this season, but he encouraged people to give to local agencies.

“You can be assured that if you give to Toys for Kids, its staying local,” he said. “Everyone says ‘buy local, shop local,’ why not give local? We’re dealing with local people, and everything you give is staying right here.”

Beyond keeping toys and donations in Vermont, Welsh said Toys for Kids also works to keep donations in the community in which they were given.

He said he also worked to protect people’s giving, making sure other agencies that want to distribute toys, such as church groups, check to make sure the families they are giving to aren’t already serviced by the Salvation Army.

Toys for Kids also accepts monetary donations, using it mainly to buy gifts for older kids, who are often overlooked. Checks can be mailed to Toys for Kids, P.O. Box 4092, Burlington, VT 05406.

For more information, visit www.toysforkidsvt.com.


Toys for Kids Williston donation barrel locations

Simply Divine Café, 426 Industrial Avenue

New England Air Systems, 45 Krupp Drive

The Edge — Williston, 115 Wellness Drive

Texas Roadhouse, 225 Interstate Corporate drive

Hannaford Supermarket, 78 Marshall Avenue

New England Federal Credit Union, 141 Harvest Lane

Town Cobbler, 27 Taft Corners Shopping Center

UPS Store, Taft Corners Shopping Center

Peoples United Bank, 421 Blair Park

Legacy Financial, Zephyr Road

Shaw’s Supermarket, 71 Boxwood Street

Allen Brook School, 497 Talcott Road

Williston Fire Department, 7900 Williston Road

Williston Central School, 195 Central School Drive

Wal-Mart, 863 Harvest Lane

Volunteer Opportunities

The listings below are a small sample of more than 350 volunteer needs from more than 250 agencies. To find out more to volunteer, visit www.unitedwaycc.org or call 860-1677.


A number of local agencies will be providing holiday gifts to needy families and are looking for volunteers to fill many important roles in this process:

Fletcher Free Library

Share the joy of reading by participating in the 23rd annual “Books for Children Gift Campaign.” Purchase books at a discount from participating bookstores to be given to childcare centers and preschools. Books needed by Dec. 9.

Franklin-Grand Isle United Way

Help take phone applications, pick up donations, sort toys and food, pack boxes, knit scarves and mittens, etc. for Operation Happiness to provide for 1,000 families. Flexible four-hour shifts.

Howard Center

Donate gifts such as books, new toys and games, food and clothing gift certificates, new warm clothing, etc. Financial donations will be used to purchase gifts and/or food. Flexible scheduling.

Lucy’s House for the Prevention of Homeless Pets

Make simple dog and cat toys and sew fleece beds to give to local food shelves for the holidays. Work can be done at home, and school groups can work at school.

Salvation Army

Help sort food, toys and clothes and pack baskets for needy families in the Greater Burlington area. Dec. 3-21 (except Sundays), 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Toys for Kids

“Adopt” red “Toys for Kids” donation barrels by collecting donations and delivering them to the Williston collection site. Flexible scheduling.

Voices Against Violence

Donate gift cards to needy families so they can shop and wrap their own gifts. Donations of unwrapped toys will also be accepted for families unable to go out to shop.

Women Helping Battered Women

Sponsor a child and buy up to four gifts—not exceeding $100. Age, gender and a child’s wish list provided. Gifts should be unwrapped, but donations of paper and ribbon are welcome so mothers can wrap their children’s presents.


The Alzheimer’s Association needs volunteers for its holiday stroll at the Arbors in Shelburne on Dec. 1 from 2 to 4 p.m.


Cathedral Square Corporation needs volunteers to clear snow off cars at Holy Cross Senior Housing in Colchester. Or, help the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging by clearing driveways and/or walkways.

Library Notes

OneClick Digital Audio is offering a free patron-focused Webinar that demonstrates the service’s features. The 45-minute program includes a complete tour of the service and shows you how to create an account, install the OneClickdigital Media Manager, search for content, manage checkouts and download and transfer audiobooks to listening devices.

You can register for the Webinar, set for Tuesday, Nov. 27 from 3 – 4 p.m., at https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/696940398


Youth News

Story Hour

Tuesdays at 11 a.m. Nov. 27 – Dec. 18. Stories and simple crafts for children ages 3-5.

Lego Day

Thursday, Nov. 29, 3 – 4 p.m. Make your own Lego creations using the library’s Lego collection. Grades 1-5. Pre-register at 878-4918. Space is limited. Children ages 8 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

Russian Story Time

Saturday, Dec. 1, 10:30 a.m. Children listen to stories, sing songs and find new friends. Russian and English speakers are welcome. Includes a puppet show and a craft activity. For children up to age 6. No pre-registration.

Winter Holidays Party with CVU Madrigal Singers

Monday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. Join us for an a cappella concert, then stay to decorate the library for the winter holidays. Cookie decorating activity for kids. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Gingerbread Houses

Tuesday, Dec. 4 or Tuesday, Dec. 11, 3-3:30 p.m, grades K-4. After party on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 4-4:30 p.m., grades 5-8. Pre-register. Children ages 8 and younger must be accompanied by an adult while at the library.

Santa’s Big Red Hat

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m. Story reading and book signing with local author Larry Dubin.

Food For Thought Library Volunteers

Thursday, Dec. 6, 4-5 p.m. Grades 7-12. Teen Advisory Group. Pizza, discussion and library projects for teens. First Thursday of each month. New members welcome.

Toddler Time

Friday, Dec. 7, 10:30 a.m.  Join us for stories, songs, and rhymes that encourage early literacy skills. Includes a simple craft activity. For children ages 1-3.

Pajama Story Time with Abby Klein

Monday, Dec. 10, 6:30 p.m. Bring kids in PJs with their favorite stuffed animal for stories, a craft and a bedtime snack. Presented by Building Bright Futures of Williston and Dorothy Alling Memorial Library. Call Kim at 355-5417 to pre-register.


Adult Programs 

Shape and Share Life Stories

Monday, Dec. 10 and 17 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Prompts trigger real life experience stories, which are crafted into engaging narratives and shared with the group. Led by Recille Hamrell. Free and open to all adults.

Brown Bag Book Club

Friday, Dec. 21 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Looking to meet others who love to discuss books? This month we will discuss “A Room of One’s Own,” by Virginia Woolf.  Coffee, tea, juice and dessert provided.


New titles at the library

New Fiction

“The Art Forger,” by Barbara Shapiro. In March, 1990, $500 million in works of art was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history and a struggling artist discovers that there’s more to this crime than meets the eye.

“The Testament of Mary,” by Colm Tóibín. Provocative, haunting and indelible, Colm Tóibín’s portrait of Mary presents her as a solitary older woman still seeking to understand the events that become the narrative of the New Testament and the foundation of Christianity.

New Biography

“The Richest Woman in America: Hetty Green in the Gilded Age” is Janet Wallach’s captivating biography of America’s first female tycoon, Hetty Green, the iconoclast who forged one of the greatest fortunes of her time.

The Dorothy Alling Memorial Library is located at 21 Library Lane in Williston, and can be reached at 878-4918. www.williston.lib.vt.us



Rebekah (Rhinehart) and Andrew Bose of Williston welcomed son David Zion Bose on Oct. 6, 2012.

Molly (Gillett) and Mark Trevithick of Williston welcomed twins John Sawyer and Nora Elizabeth Trevithick on Oct. 5, 2012.

Amy and Karl Haas of Medford, Mass. welcomed daughter Greta Dorothy Haas on Oct. 19, 2012. Greta’s grandparents are Jerry and Judy Huetz of Williston, and she joins a sister, Lucy, 3.

LITTLE DETAILS: A feast to remember

By Katherine Bielawa Stamper

It was a feast to remember. Chroniclers detailed a sumptuous banquet celebrating the marriage of Charles IV, the Holy Roman Emperor, to Elizabeth of Pomerania, granddaughter of Polish King Casimir the Great.

The recently widowed Charles was forty-seven; Elizabeth was sixteen. Theirs was a union of convenience, forging a strategic political alliance. Elizabeth would be crowned Queen of Bohemia and Empress of the Holy Roman Empire.

An impressive list of attendees travelled to Cracow in the Kingdom of Poland in 1363 to celebrate the wedding in style. King Louis I of Hungary, King Waldemar IV of Denmark and King Peter I of Cyprus were among monarchs and nobles present.

Mikolaj Wierzynek, a merchant and banker, hosted the gathering at the behest of King Casimir. Wierzynek’s home, overlooking Cracow’s magnificent medieval square, provided appropriately lush and lavish accommodation.

Tables overflowed with game, fish and fowl accompanied by nuts, berries and expertly foraged mushrooms. The menu was a carefully choreographed culinary affair, showcasing the best of Polish cuisine. Libations heightened the already festive mood.  Guests feasted for twenty days. Discussion at table reportedly focused on political issues in a Europe still recovering from the ravages of the Black Death.

Fast forward 621 years. In the fall of 1984, I was a student studying on exchange at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. A foundation scholarship allowed me to spend two years living in an amazing medieval city during the waning days of communism.

My first year classes found me in a language institute populated by students from nations with substantial Polish émigré communities. There was also a smattering of students from the Communist Bloc. We were a motley mix of “East meets West,” forging friendships across political lines.

Giancarlo and Belcriz, from Brazil, spoke Polish with Portuguese accents. Krysia from England and Michel and David from France shared my adjustment frustrations as we traded Western consumer pleasures for ration cards and long lines for basic commodities. I remember Russians, Romanians, Hungarians, Germans, Cubans, Venezuelans, Canadians, Austrians and even a lone Iraqi in our circle of learners.

As Thanksgiving approached, my first one away from home, my American classmates and I started scheming a holiday celebration. The U.S. dollar was king, enjoying an enormous mark-up in black market trading. What goods were available for purchase—there weren’t many—were very inexpensive by Western standards.

Our American contingent decided to organize a Thanksgiving dinner at Wierzynek, which, centuries after the famed feast, was transformed into a high-end restaurant. Western tourists and party functionaries were the most likely to be able to afford the steep—by communist standards—prices.

We reserved a long table in the famed banquet room. An enormous portrait of the 1363 feast was suspended on the wall over our bustling brood of internationals whose shared language was Polish.

As self-appointed historian, I clanged my glass to catch the attention of fellow celebrants. I then offered a short retelling of the Thanksgiving Story. We then feasted on turkey accompanied by salads and root vegetables. We ate “Szarlotka” (Apple Charlotte) for dessert. There wasn’t a pumpkin pie in sight.

I remember the laughter, the conversation and the power of sharing my American culture at a table filled with new friends. Our Brazilian buddies would repay the gesture, hosting a raucous Carnival party in the spring while teaching all of us to samba.

Wherever and with whomever you spend your Thanksgiving, may it be brimming with good food, good friends and good cheer.


Katherine Bielawa Stamper lives in Williston.  Reader comments are welcome at Editor@willistonobserver.com or LittleDetailsCol@yahoo.com.

Source:  www.wierzynek.com.pl

Letters to the Editor

Lyons thanks Williston voters

Thank you for reelecting me to represent Williston in the Vermont Senate. Your support for my work is greatly appreciated. I will continue to work on your behalf during the upcoming session. I look forward to representing Chittenden County residents over the next two years. Please contact me with your ideas or concerns. I will endeavor to keep you informed about my work in the Senate.

Senator Ginny Lyons

Thanks for supporting soldiers

On behalf of our group of families of Vermont National Guard soldiers, I’d like to thank the Williston voters for their support of the “by donation” bake goods table held at the Armory on Election Day. Thanks to your overwhelming generosity, we received $856 to donate to the HHC BDE 86th IBCT (MTN), HHD 86th Troop Command and 131st Engineers Family Readiness groups toward their holiday celebrations for the families and soldiers.

 Kellie Moreman



Put people first

In April 2012, I got a call from my father. With over a hundred thousand dollars of student debt already, he told me he could no longer afford my education. I would not be able to start my senior year at UVM in September. I reassured him that we would make things work; I knew this hurt him as a parent almost as much as it hurt me.

Not being able to continue my own education, in September I began as a full time early educator. Education is one of the most fundamental services that Vermont provides, and now I was involved in the shortcomings of the system both in higher and early education. With my job not providing me the hours I needed, and making only $9.50 an hour in such a vital occupation, I then had to make a hard decision. I needed to go on benefits.

Even with my benefits, I still had to take on a second job to afford the high costs of living in Burlington, and with the colder months coming I fear increasing costs. My story is not unique. I know countless people who have had to leave school and work multiple jobs just to survive in Burlington. Our community struggles are united in the need for our government to fulfill our human rights. Too many Vermonters struggle daily in the fight for a quality education, proper food security and decent jobs. I know we can do better. We need to Put People First.

Jamie Jackson


GUEST COLUMN: Toxic neighbors

By Kari Waite

For years, I have read articles and letters in this paper stating proven fact that the North Country Sportsman’s Club has been polluting property in our town; both their own, and their neighbors’ property. I’ve read articles and spoken with concerned citizens. My confusion lies in the fact that if I was to walk onto any piece of property in town and pour just one gallon of motor oil onto their soil, the police could be called, hazardous material clean-up crews could be called, a lawsuit could be filed against me and the cleanup costs would go to me because I made the mess.

But, the North Country Sportsman’s Club can dump tons of toxic lead into the soil and because they are a club that is sponsored by the National Rifle Association, shooting for sport, there are no charges filed? Nothing is in place to force them to clean up their toxic waste? If you go outside anywhere near Old Creamery Road on a Wednesday night or Sunday, you can clearly hear that they are continuing to contribute to the problem. The National Rifle Association is even pushing for the government to pass a law to allow them to pollute the land with lead without having to clean it up altogether. Please visit: http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/o/2167/t/5243/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=10065 for more information.

I have heard from many people in this town that it isn’t their problem because it isn’t affecting them. I ask you to compare it to my reference above of dumping motor oil on your property. Then consider the difference between the two situations: the law is on your side when it comes to motor oil and other toxic substances being dumped. Sadly, for the residents being affected by the North Country Sportsman’s Club’s toxic dump, the law is also on their side, but without any enforcement. Furthermore, laws to allow the creation of these toxic dumps are supposedly being bought and paid for by the National Rifle Association. Please help the members of Lead Free Williston put a stop to their toxic neighbors. And if you know someone who continues to shoot in the club, please ask them to use their conscience. Is it right to dump toxic material on someone else’s property? To me the answer is quite a simple one: NO!

Kari Waite is a Williston resident.

Town committees filling up

By Luke Baynes

Observer staff

In a flurry of civic volunteerism, three Willistonians have stepped up and received appointments to three town committees/commissions.

Karen Fragnoli-Munn has joined the Historic and Architectural Advisory Committee for a term ending June 30, 2014. She replaces Kip Roberson, who recently resigned.

Susan Hayes has joined the Social Organizations Committee, a town body that meets two or three times a year to review funding requests from various social service organizations. Her term is indefinite.

Brian Meisenzahl is the newest member of the Cemetery Commission, for a term ending June 30, 2014. One position on the five-member commission remains open.

Other openings include two positions on the Planning Commission and an undetermined number of slots on the recently chartered Affordable Housing Task Force. According to Williston Town Manager Rick McGuire, several qualified candidates have expressed interest in joining the task force, although the town is “still looking for one or two more members.”