May 23, 2019

Flynn Garden tour coming to town

A vista from the back yard. (Observer photo by Stephanie Choate)

A vista from the back yard. (Observer photo by Stephanie Choate)

By Stephanie Choate
Observer staff

In a canopy of shade between a 19th century farmhouse and a cattail-framed pond, Williston residents Joe Haller and Al Turgeon are hard at work preparing their North Williston Road property for a parade of midsummer guests. Haller deftly plucks weeds from between poppies, zinnias and geraniums, while Turgeon methodically edges the flowerbed. [Read more…]

List of 2014 CVUHS Graduates

Congratulations, Class of 2014!

Brooke S. Aicher

Nurdin A. Ali

Leo R. Antinozzi

Katherine E. Arms

Olivia H. Arms

Lucas P. Aube

William W. Austin

Rachel A. Baginski

Jane E. Baker

Tatianna M. Baker

Jacob R. Bauer

Kristin R. Bauer

Nikolas A. Baya

Amanda J. Beatty

Lucian S. Bedard

Graham R. Belisle

Erik J. Bergkvist

William J. Bernicke

Taquarrah A. Bessette

Jeannine M. Bissonette

Brittany L. Bissonnette

Devyn M. Blood

Elsa M. Bock

Kaitlin E. Bowen

Alessandra M. Brainard

Jenna I. Brassard

Caroline Berg v. Braun

Hayley V. Brown

Lily H. Brown

Alexandra  Bull

Alexander P. Bulla

Anthony S. Burds

Haliana M. Burhans

Seamus  Buxton

Mari L. Caminiti

Ian  Campbell

Quintin P. Cardinal

Gerald A. Carrafiello

Corinne  Casarico

Destyni E. Cassatt

Joseph M. Castano

Carly A. Caswell

Jordan T. Cawley

James B. Cazayoux

Zuhair A. Chaudhry

Lynn L. Chlumecky

Mikala R. Clark

Thomas C. Clayton

Ora  Clemmons-Sparks

Matthew A. Cockayne

Talia M. Cohen

Abigail  Colbeth

William D. Colomb

Ming Fen V. Congdon

Amy  Conn

Alexander L. Cooper

Jason C. Cora

Aaron C. Crapo

Arianna M. Curtis

David J. Daly

Kathryn  Danyow

Arianna M. Davis

Emma S. Davitt

Olivia M. DeCarr

Lymarie  Deida

Danielle C. Demag

Ryan W. Dewar

Nevin R. DiParlo

Claire V. Dillenbeck

Forrest M. Dodds

Liam C. Donnelly

Jacob M. Driscoll

Jasmyn M. Druge

Steele F. DuBrul

Parker G. Dunn

Evangeline S. Dunphy

Molly D. Dunphy

Desiree Dusablon

Autumn M. Eastman

Leah G. Epstein

Zackery D. Evans

Shannon M. Fahy

Pierce F. Farrington

Ashley S. Filardi

Joshua  Finkelstein

Kiernan J. Fitzgerald

Megan E. Folsom

Taylor H. Fontaine

Russell O. Fox

Anna  Franceschetti

Joshua J. Fuller

Kyle D. Gale

Brendan P. Gannon

Amanda J. Gellis

Emily J. Geske

Michael J. Gilbeau

Nina E. Gilbert

Eliza R. Giles

W. Samuel S. Giles

Connor R. Gobeille

Skyler C. Golann

Ryan O. Grabon-Akey

Kestrel R. Grevatt

Emma K. Griesser

Brianna P. Hake

Timothy  Halvorson

Alexandra A. Hameline

Meghan C. Hanley

Brianna  Hanlon

Cameron J. Harris

Evan M. Harry

Andre R. Hathaway

Colton  Heh

Olivia V. Hern

Sophie H. Heyerdahl

Natan Z. Hicken

Fiona M. Higgins

Lucas C. Hilker

Tupper J. Hinsdale

Andy  Ho

Benjamin L. Holliday

Jessica  Holly

Matthew D. Howell

Owen H. Hudson

Jessie V. Hunt

Alexander P. Hurlburt

Madison  Hyams

Nicole  Israel-Meyer

Erica M. Issenberg

Heather M. Jacobs

Sarah K. Jacobs

Laura V. Jennings

Sophie M. Johnson

Caroline J. Jones

Christopher M. Jordan

Alison R. Kahn

Brendan J. Karnes

William  Karstens

William J. Kay

Catherine E. Keefe

Alexander T. Keeler

Lauren C. Kelley

Peter J. Kellner

Izette M. Kelly

David J. Kerr

Amber L. King

Mackenzie P. Kingston

Emily J. Kinneston

Emma F. Kinsel

Sarah F. Kinsley

Samantha M. Kittredge

Kaelyn L. Kohlasch

Ashley M. Kolibas

Joseph P. Kolk

Zoey M. LaChance

Jenna N. LaFountain

Jorden B. LaFountain

Cody A. Laberge

Sydney W. Lalancette

Robyn  Leary

Sarah C. Leister

Tara M. Lewis

Ryan  Littlehale

Corinne S. Loiseau

Sarah J. Long

Amanda E. Lougee

Sonia J. Lowen

Lindsay M. Lozell

Emily  Luce

Hope E. Luria

Callum J. Mahoney

Shea B. Mahoney

Kendra E. Maille

Corey  Mansfield

Megan  Mansfield

Catherine R. Mara

Zachary T. Marshall

Ryan A. Martel

Natalie M. Mashia

Gabrielle A. Masson

Tucker W. Mathieson

Olivia N. Matthews

Maeghan E. McAuliffe

Wesley L. McEntee

Maria K. Mignano

Cameron J. Miller

Amanda A. Milne

Audrey P. Morehouse

Conner J. Morse

Brandon  Murakami

Brendan  Murphy

Edward P. Myers

Jasmine M. Nakhleh

Kelly Y. Ng

Megan C. Nick

Rachel E. Nigh

Abbey F. Norris

Becca M. O’Brien

Emily M. O’Brien

P. Joseph  O’Brien

Brandon C. O’Connell

Eileen M. O’Grady

Benjamin P. Ogle

Elizabeth T. Palmer

Hillary V. Palmer

Ellen M. Parent

Patrick R. Pattison

Elizabeth C. Pendlebury

Brittany L. Pernicka

Grant E. Poston

Miranda L. Poulos

Alexander B. Precourt

Christopher  Prouty

Kirkland J. Purvis

Chloe L. Reynolds

Wayne R. Reynolds

Steven T. Robert

William J. Rooney

Isabelle G. Rose

Tanner S. Rousselle

Peter C. Roy

Mary M. Rutenbeck

Sokuen D. Ryan

Craig R. Sampson

Anna  Schenker

Ryan S. Schneiderman

Peter C. Scrimgeour

Carly E. Sears

Robert V. Sedic

Miranda T. Selinger

Clarke  Shedd

Patrick W. Sheedy

Emily  Sheehan

Tucker  Shelley

Casey M. Silk

Emma B. Slater

Desserra M. Small

Griffin  Smith

Hayden C. Smith

Rachel P. Smith

Colin P. Snyder

Julia W. Sokolowski

Alexandra C. Spicer

Louis J. St-Pierre

Griffin O. St. Hilaire

Aleksandra R. Stamper

Kyle M. Stanley

Patrick E. Stearns

Shavar Stephen

Jacob C. Stoll

Alanna M. Stone

David A. Tamas-Parris

Mackenzie K. Tobrocke

Benjamin R. Tremblay

Abigail S. Trombley

Evan M. Trus

Zowie M. Tuttle

Alexander J. Twombly

Taylor H. Underwood

Manuel L. Urrutia

Luca  Virga

Damara M. Warren

Antony K. Wathugi

Anthea S. Weiss

Kyle  Westfall

Amanda C. Whitbeck

Max E. Whitcomb

Jasper  White-Hansen

Aubrey M. Wiederin

Corey  Williams

Dale B. Wilson

Sarah E. Winget

Alex  Wooster

Jack L. Workman

Samuel J. Zimmerman

Addison J. Zinner

PHOTOS: Commencement 2014 at Champlain Valley Union High

Brandon O'Connell gives a thumbs up during the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM's Patrick Gym on June 13. (Observer photos by Karen Pike)

Brandon O’Connell gives a thumbs up during the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM’s Patrick Gym on June 13. Photo by Karen Pike

Liam Donnelly of Williston leads a cheer for the CVU mascot while presenting the class gift during the CVU commencement ceremony.

Liam Donnelly of Williston leads a cheer for the CVU mascot while presenting the class gift during the CVU commencement ceremony.  Photo by Karen Pike

Anna Franceschetti addresses the Class of 2014 at the CVU commencement held Friday at UVM's Patrick Gym.

Anna Franceschetti addresses the Class of 2014 at the CVU commencement held Friday at UVM’s Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

Jeff Evans gets a hug from graduating senior Antony Wathugi when Wathug came up to the podium to receive his diploma . The 2014 CVU commencement ceremony was held Friday at UVM's Patrick Gym.

Jeff Evans gets a hug from graduating senior Antony Wathugi when Wathug came up to the podium to receive his diploma . The 2014 CVU commencement ceremony was held Friday at UVM’s Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

 

CVU teacher and Guest Speaker Christopher Hood addresses the class of 2014 at the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM's Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

CVU teacher and Guest Speaker Christopher Hood addresses the class of 2014 at the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM’s Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

"Oh, The places You'll Go", a quote from Dr. Suess, adorns the cap of a graduating senior at the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM's Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

“Oh, The places You’ll Go”, a quote from Dr. Suess, adorns the cap of a graduating senior at the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM’s Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

Sophie Johnson poses for a picture Friday, after the 2014 CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM's Patrick Gym .  Photo by Karen Pike

Sophie Johnson poses for a picture Friday, after the 2014 CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM’s Patrick Gym . Photo by Karen Pike

CVU teacher and Football coach Rahn Fleming shakes handsgraduating senior Erik Bergkvist after the 2014 CVU commencement ceremony held Friday at UVM's Patrick Gym.  Photo by Karen Pike

CVU teacher and Football coach Rahn Fleming shakes handsgraduating senior Erik Bergkvist after the 2014 CVU commencement ceremony held Friday at UVM’s Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

CVU teacher and Football coach Rahn Fleming shakes handsgraduating senior Erik Bergkvist after the 2014 CVU commencement ceremony held Friday at UVM's Patrick Gym.  Photo by Karen Pike

CVU teacher and Football coach Rahn Fleming shakes handsgraduating senior Erik Bergkvist after the 2014 CVU commencement ceremony held Friday at UVM’s Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

Addison Zinner is the last student (alphabetically) to receive her diploma at the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM's Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

Addison Zinner is the last student (alphabetically) to receive her diploma at the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM’s Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

Graduating senior Irene Gomez de Salazer, an exchange student staying in Williston,  reacts to speaker Chris Hood during the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM's Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

Graduating senior Irene Gomez de Salazer, an exchange student staying in Williston, reacts to speaker Chris Hood during the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM’s Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

the class of 2014 at the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM's Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

the class of 2014 at the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM’s Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

Hope Luria looks towards the bleachers as she and the rest of the CVU class of 2014 enters Patrick  Gymnasium for  the commencement ceremony held Friday. Photo by Karen Pike

Hope Luria looks towards the bleachers as she and the rest of the CVU class of 2014 enters Patrick Gymnasium for the commencement ceremony held Friday. Photo by Karen Pike

Graduating senior Trevor Bessette waves while entering Patrick Gym Friday for the 2014 CVU commencement ceremony.  Photo by Karen Pike

Graduating senior Trevor Bessette waves while entering Patrick Gym Friday for the 2014 CVU commencement ceremony. Photo by Karen Pike

Seamus Buxton and Eliza Giles sing the National Anthem at the 2014 CVU commencement ceremony held Friday at UVM's Patrick Gym.  Photo by Karen Pike

Seamus Buxton and Eliza Giles sing the National Anthem at the 2014 CVU commencement ceremony held Friday at UVM’s Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

Sign language interpreters at the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM's Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

Sign language interpreters at the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM’s Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

CVU student Emma Griesser provides the welcoming address for the class of 2014 at the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM's Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

CVU student Emma Griesser provides the welcoming address for the class of 2014 at the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM’s Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

Sokuen Ryan raps a Farewell message to the CVU graduation class of 2014 at the commencement ceremony held at UVM's Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

Sokuen Ryan raps a Farewell message to the CVU graduation class of 2014 at the commencement ceremony held at UVM’s Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

Will Colomb of Williston is all smiles after addressing the class of 2014 at the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM's Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

Will Colomb of Williston is all smiles after addressing the class of 2014 at the CVU commencement ceremony held at UVM’s Patrick Gym. Photo by Karen Pike

PHOTO: Rice Memorial High School graduates 8 Willistonians

Eight Williston residents pose for a group photo after graduating from Rice Memorial High on June 8. The students include (from left) Iskandar Khan, Tom Fitzgerald, Caroline DeLuca, Connor Stankevich, Hannah Durkee, Thawatchai Boonchuenchom, and Phuree Bunnag. (Observer courtesy photo)

Eight Williston residents pose for a group photo after graduating from Rice Memorial High on June 8. The students include (from left) Iskandar Khan, Tom Fitzgerald, Caroline DeLuca, Connor Stankevich, Hannah Durkee, Thawatchai Boonchuenchom, and Phuree Bunnag. (Observer courtesy photo)

POPCORN: “Edge of Tomorrow”

3 popcorns

3 popcorns

“Edge of Tomorrow”

Practice Makes Almost Perfect

 

By Michael S. Goldberger
Special to the Observer

 

Set in that quasi-present future where technology has advanced but politics, alas, has not, director Doug Liman’s “Edge of Tomorrow” is a nifty anti-war movie disguised as a summer blockbuster. Indeed, it’s laden with all the compulsory special effects. But Tom Cruise’s engaging performance separates the kaleidoscopic action from the usual genre chaff that bombards the screen this time of year. He wittily leads the charge as Major William Cage, a metaphoric variation on Ferdinand the Bull. He’d rather not fight, but…

 

The common man tossed into extraordinary circumstances, it was the economic downturn and resultant failure of his ad agency that prompted Cage to join the army and wield his P.R. talents up the ranks. All well and good. However, when some crazy glitch in orders courtesy of gung-ho General Brigham (Brian Gleeson) comes through at precisely the time he gets enveloped in a time loop, the war is his to win or lose.

 

Oh, it’s not as hard to follow as it sounds, or as I had feared. You just grok what you can, don’t overly fret the anomalies and heartily buy into the notion that one can relive a portion of their life over and over, a la “Groundhog Day” (1993). Only in this case, the redux is deadly serious….a fight for survival against an invading alien race, arguably of a higher intelligence. They’re called Mimics, and they arrived by asteroid, accursed beasts.

 

Heightening the fear and repulsiveness factor, these are rather ugly suckers…sort of a combination eel/octopus varmint and, of course, commanded by one central brain. So there’s that totalitarian thing going on, too. But perhaps the aliens’ scariest attribute is a psycho-biological ability to control the déjà vu phenomenon at the center of this film’s story line, and thereby monkey with your thought processes.

 

Yep, it’s that old mind control thing the guy in the gym whirlpool was telling you about the other day…how They are monitoring us. Except that he was referring to our government.

 

Of course, that’s part of the tale’s not so hidden allegory. You see, the aliens apparently have no constitutional laws against the practice. It’s just the DNA code written into their survival instinct, not unlike a virus that mutates against every attack. Or, that’s merely what the Mimics have programmed me to think.

 

Naturally, it takes our likeable protagonist a few times around the plot’s mulberry bush before he gets hip to the assailant’s modus operandi. But the big epiphany, which facilitates romantically smart chemistry, comes when, reenacting the same battlefield reverie for the umpteenth time, Major Cage has the honor of running into Sgt. Rita Vrataski, the “Angel of Verdun.” She’s the heroine whose exploits he so successfully publicized before being inexplicably impressed into duty at the front.

 

“Come see me after you wake up,” urges his militaristic antithesis. Thus follows a tutorial, aided by the scientific wizardry of Noah Taylor’s Dr. Carter, an ingeniously geeky student of how to get a step ahead of the abhorrent fiends.

 

Although with much nicer intent, the story’s love interest builds as insidiously as the monsters’ stealthy campaign to decimate the human race. Strip away all the techno-futuristic circumstances and it’s that time-honored fantasy: a strong-willed gal hell-bent on remaking her potential mate into the hero she sees inside him. We gladly buy in and soon have a rooting interest.

 

Ms. Blunt and Mr. Cruise develop the type of credible, good old-fashioned sexual tension necessary for drama to synergize with — and thus counterpoise — spectacle. A fine mix of CGI magic and retro-style, cast-of-thousands imagery, complemented by cutting edge gadgetry of the no expense spared kind, nails the wowee end of the equation.

 

It all serves to entertainingly remind of the original charm, imagination and social purpose of science fiction. One needn’t peer too strenuously between the assorted cataclysms, devastations and rampant comings asunder dappling the saga to spot the clever commentary on our own times. That’s easy in comparison to figuring out what the deuce is really happening here with these mind-messing Machiavellians.

 

Lazy decipherer that I am, I’ve got my fool’s paradise explanation and I’m sticking to it. I’m happy. Leave me alone. The movie doesn’t mind. Psst…Mr. Darwin….it’s our adaptability versus there’s, right, right?

 

But for folks who enjoy the bombast, one-upmanship and grandstand of unriddling such esotericism at après cinema discussions over bacon cheeseburgers at the diner, there’s good news. Manifesting its own ability to adapt to box office needs, like a reversible jacket the film assures enjoyment from both perspectives. So now, all you have to decide is whether to see “Edge of Tomorrow” today, tomorrow, or perhaps even yesterday.

….

“The Edge of Tomorrow,” rated PG-13, is a Warner Bros. release directed by Doug Liman and stars Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt and Brendan Gleeson. Running time: 113 minutes

 

 

PHOTOS: Williston Central School’s 8th grade graduates

Chris Ford prepares to lead students (from left) connor Abrahams, Davis Allen and Lindsay Albertelli into the gymnasium. (Observer photo by Al Frey)

Chris Ford prepares to lead students (from left) connor Abrahams, Davis Allen and Lindsay Albertelli into the gymnasium. (Observer photo by Al Frey)

 

Family and friends gather to watch the eighth grade graduation ceremony on June 12. (Observer photo by Al Frey)

Family and friends gather to watch the eighth grade graduation ceremony on June 12. (Observer photo by Al Frey)

Eli Dunphy walks into the gymnasium, followed by Natalie Durieux, during Thursday's eighth grade graduation ceremony. (Observer photo by Al Frey)

Eli Dunphy walks into the gymnasium, followed by Natalie Durieux, during Thursday’s eighth grade graduation ceremony. (Observer photo by Al Frey)

Isaac Paquette smiles and waves as he enters the gym.

Isaac Paquette smiles and waves as he enters the gym.

(From left) Carol Bick and Cid Gause look on as students Lauren Audette, Brigham Francis, Madie Huber and Lindsay Albertelli present the yearbook dedication.

(From left) Carol Bick and Cid Gause look on as students Lauren Audette, Brigham Francis, Madie Huber and Lindsay Albertelli present the yearbook dedication.

Lauren Audette and Hayley Clos celebrate graduation.

Lauren Audette and Hayley Clos celebrate graduation.

Mia O'Farrell receives her diploma.

Mia O’Farrell receives her diploma.

WCS Graduation_144 6-12

WCS Graduation_140 6-12

WCS Graduation_137 6-12

WCS Graduation_133 6-12

WCS Graduation_114 6-12

WCS Graduation_059 6-12

WCS Graduation_051 6-12

 

Recipe Corner: Red potato salads

By Ginger Isham

The red potato contains many vitamins, such as Vitamin C and folate, a B vitamin that helps build cells in the body. The following recipe is one of my favorites and has no eggs.

Summer Salad
3 pounds cooked red potatoes
½ a sweet onion, chopped
½ cup cut up cherry tomatoes
½ stalk of celery chopped
¼ cup bacon bits
¼ cup chopped fresh basil, or 1 tsp. dried
¼ cup Italian dressing
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Cut potatoes into cube sized pieces. Mix dressing, mayo and mustard. Add remaining ingredients, toss with dressing.

Red Potato Salad
3 pounds of cooked red potatoes
4 chopped hard boiled eggs
½ cup sliced green onions
1 cup sliced celery
1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
salt and pepper
Cut potatoes into cube sized pieces. Add chopped eggs, onion and celery. Make dressing with milk, mayonnaise and vinegar. Mix well and add to potatoes.

Red Potato Salad with Yogurt
(from Stoneyfield Farm Yogurt Cookbook)
20 small red potatoes, cooked and cubed
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1 large red or green pepper, chopped
5 slices of crisp, cooked bacon (optional)
2 tablespoons of fresh dill
2 cups plain yogurt
salt and pepper
½ cup white wine vinegar
Place potatoes and eggs in a large bowl. Combine all other ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for several hours. (from a former B & B Guest)
Ginger Isham lives with her husband on a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road.

Williston’s frog jumping contest has new mascot

 

Bill Skiff officiates the annual Fourth of July frog jumping contest, a Williston tradition he started 25 years ago to help local children appreciate simple fun. (Observer file photo by Dave Schmidt)

Bill Skiff officiates the annual Fourth of July frog jumping contest, a Williston tradition he started 25 years ago to help local children appreciate simple fun. (Observer file photo by Dave Schmidt)

 

Resident writes children’s book ‘Willie the Jumping Frog’
By Stephanie Choate
Observer staff
With Williston’s Fourth of July festivities just a couple of weeks away, local children may have begun strategizing for one of the celebration’s most popular and unique events—the annual frog jumping contest.
Now, they have a new source for tips and frog facts, plus a loveable mascot, in a new children’s book written by the tradition’s creator.
After decades officiating the annual Fourth of July frog jumping contest, resident Bill Skiff is set to release the children’s book “Willie the Jumping Frog.”
“I wrote it for the kids,” Skiff said. “The book was really inspired by my many years as a frogmaster.”
The book follows Willie, a frog living in a pond behind the school who wants to participate in the jumping contest.
He must get the children to notice him, overcome the challenges of training for the contest and work up his courage to jump alongside larger frogs. Does he have what it takes to win the contest? Skiff isn’t about to give away the ending.
“To find out how the story ends, come to the Fourth of July activities and visit the book release,” he said.
Bob Shepard, a former Richmond resident now living in Oregon, brought Willie to life in illustrations.
“I wanted to create Willie as a whimsical, loveable frog and not a caricature or anatomically correct frog,” Skiff said. “Bob, in my opinion, captured Willie’s personality and I owe him a great deal of gratitude for his ability to see what I wanted to do and produce it on paper.”
Shepard, whose career in geology took him and his family around the world, comes from a family of artists, he said, and has always drawn cartoons as a hobby.
When Skiff, a longtime friend, reached out to him, he “just sat down and drew,” he said.
“I was thinking about the kiddies,” Shepard said. “I wanted a frog face that would be happy for the children, that was the main thing. To make him even more attractive, I put a little bow tie on him.”
Several pages at the end of the book are taken up with what Skiff terms “Frogology”—facts about the growth, life cycle, habitat and care of frogs. Put together with the help of Williston resident Steve Shepard, it also includes science projects and exploration ideas that teachers or parents can do with their kids.
Skiff started the frog jumping contest 25 years ago.
“I wanted to have children in the area have the opportunity to see how you can have fun with very little,” he said. “Every year, I see more and more happy children’s faces, and their pride in their frog and how it jumped.”
The contest is now a Skiff family endeavor. Skiff’s son, Bill, stands in as frogmaster, with the assistance of other family members, and, as Skiff puts it, “a number of grandfrogs.”
“I think it caught on because it’s very simple and it’s something that the children can do from start to finish,” he said. “They have to find the frog, they have to care for the frog and then they have to go through the anxiety and the nervousness of jumping their frog. Everybody gets a ribbon, so everyone feels they did well.”
Shepard said the book captures the heart of a community tradition unique to Williston.
“It’s like a precious bit of Americana,” he said. “Where in the world would you go they have this sort of thing every year? It’s like a part of history. It’s just marvelous.”
The book, published by Red Barn Books in Shelburne, is set to be released June 23 for $9.95. Skiff will be on hand to sign copies at the Fourth of July festivities on the Williston Town Green. For more information or to purchase the book, email vtcowcal@yahoo.com.

Obituary

ELIZABETH JEAN (STILLWELL) BORAH
Elizabeth Jean (Stillwell) Borah, “Betty,” passed away peacefully on June 10, 2014, after suffering a stroke five weeks earlier. Betty graduated from the University of Vermont with a teaching degree. She owned and operated a private nursery school for many years. When her kids left home, she took up painting and became well known in the area with her watercolor landscape prints populating many walls of businesses locally and worldwide. The wife of the governor of Florida personally visited her studio after viewing a local display and purchased a number of prints. She loved her gardens and Del assisted every spring with the renewal of plant life. They traveled the U.S. and abroad and owned a variety of motor homes. For over 20 years, they helped organize and take part in an annual family reunion camping trip on Lake Champlain and other destinations. She walked and read to keep herself physically and mentally adept. She stayed in close contact with all grandchildren, locally and in other states, sending recorded stories and numerous other presents. She lived a life full of people and activity. Her caring nature and great sense of humor will be sorely missed. In her gentle intuitive way she counseled her husband, her children and her grandchildren at many times of their life. She was the corner post to her family. Betty is survived by Del, her loving husband and companion of 64 years. She will be greatly missed by four children; eight grandchildren; seven great–grandchildren; and many close friends and acquaintances. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Williston, Vt. Corbin and Palmer Funeral and Cremation Service, Essex Junction, is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Vermont Respite House, which Betty loved, having done volunteer work there and one of her grandchildren spent time there as well. Vermont Respite House is located at 99 Allen Brook Lane, Williston, Vt. 05495.

Hub Happenings

Two earn licenses/ certifications at Davis & Hodgdon
Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs recently announced that Alyssa McBride, accountant and certified QuickBooks® ProAdvisor, has earned the professional license of Certified Public Accountant. She provides tax, bookkeeping and financial services to several of the firm’s business clients and was most recently appointed as treasurer of Rebuilding Together Greater Burlington.
The company also announced that Elizia Meskill, associate accountant and certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, has been licensed as an Enrolled Agent. As a certified EA, she specializes in taxation, with unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. Most recently, Elizia was also appointed as treasurer of the League of Vermont Writers.

 

Laura Bristol

Laura Bristol

 

Bristol joins Essex Aquatic & Rehab center

Laura Bristol recently joined the staff of Essex Aquatic & Rehab Center, owned and operated by Williston resident Veronica Paquette.
A native Vermonter, Bristol is a 2013 graduate of the University of Vermont Doctorate of Physical Therapy program, with an undergraduate degree in nutrition and food science. She treats patients with both traditional and aquatic physical therapy techniques.

 

Switchback owners win Small Business Person of the Year
Gov. Peter Shumlin presented the award for Vermont Small Business Person of the Year to Bill Cherry and Jeff Neiblum, owners of Switchback Brewing Co., on June 17.
During the ceremony, five other Vermont businesses were recognized. Awards were presented to Sidehill Farm as the Family-Owned Business of the Year, The Bee’s Knees as the Woman-Owned Business of the Year, Vermont Bean Crafters as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Grow Compost of Vermont as the Microenterprise of the Year and Super Thin Saws as the Exporter of the Year.

Local realtors honored
The Northwestern Vermont Board of Realtors awarded its 2014 Realtors of Distinction Awards recently at its South Burlington gala. Winners included:
Chad Jacobson, RE/MAX North Professionals, 2014 NVBR REALTOR® of the Year
Leslee MacKenzie, Coldwell Banker Hickok and Boardman Realty, 2014 Distinguished Service Award
Shawn Cheney, KW Vermont, 2014 Rookie of the Year
John Abry, RE/MAX North Professionals, 2014 Good Neighbor Award
New England Federal Credit Union, 2014 NVBR Affiliate Member of the Year

 

Merchants Bank in top 200
Merchants Bank was listed in the “Top 200” for the third year in a row on American Banker Magazine’s annual list of best performers. Merchants Bank’s performance put them in the top 4 percent of the Top 200 among a peer group of 851 community banks across the country with less than $2 billion of assets.
The Top 200 list is based on data from SNL Financial of exchange-traded banks with less than $2 billion in total assets as of Dec. 31, 2013. Performance is ranked according to average return on equity over the most recent three-year period.

 

Becky Watson

Becky Watson

Watson to lead marketing/communications at Saint Michael’s college
Becky Watson is the new director of marketing and communications for Saint Michael’s College. A Washington state native with more than 20 years of experience in higher education marketing, Watson began June 2.Watson was selected from a pool of more than 80 candidates from across the country.
“Becky distinguished herself early in the process,” said Sarah Kelly, vice president for enrollment and marketing at Saint Michael’s. “Her energy and enthusiasm were palpable when she visited campus. Her strengths in integrated marketing and communications are exciting assets and we are delighted that she has joined the Saint Michael’s and Burlington communities.”

Free Dental Care Days help 75
For the second year, dental professionals in Chittenden County provided free dental care to an estimated 75 adults on May 2 and May 3, joining the annual statewide Free Dental Care Days. Timberlane Dental Group hosted the event and was joined by Colchester Dental Group, Champlain Smile Solutions, Vermont Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates and Patterson Dental Supply, Inc. A total of 350 volunteer hours and $66,000 worth of free care were provided during Free Dental Care Days.

Vermont Unemployment Rate Declined to 3.3 percent in April
The Vermont Department of Labor announced recently that the seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate for April 2014 was 3.3 percent. This represents a decrease of one-tenth of a percent from the March rate of 3.4 percent. The comparative national average was 6.3 percent, which was down four-tenths of a percent from March. April 2014 data represents the seventh consecutive reported monthly decrease to the statewide unemployment rate in Vermont. As of the prior month’s initial data, Vermont’s unemployment rate was the second lowest in the country.

Anderson named VPR Classical’s managing producer
Vermont Public Radio has announced that VPR Classical host and producer Kari Anderson has been named the 24-hour music network’s first managing producer.
Anderson has been VPR Classical’s morning host since 2012. In her new role, she’ll lead the station’s staff and work with them to unify vision, content and community engagement.
“It’s an honor to be named VPR Classical’s Managing Producer,” Anderson said. “We are lucky to have such a rich and eclectic music scene. I look forward to making VPR Classical an even more integral part of the community.”

 

Mark Chadurjian

Mark Chadurjian

Chadurjian joins Downs Rachlin Martin
Intellectual Property Attorney Mark F. Chadurjian recently joined law firm Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC after more than 30 years working in business and intellectual property law at the IBM Corporation in Vermont and New York. He joins the firm of counsel and will practice in the Burlington office. “Attracting Mark Chadurjian to our practice is a great accomplishment for the IP Group,” said Lawrence H. Meier, chair of the group at DRM. “He has extensive experience in all aspects of IP and business law, is an experienced manager of people and understands the hardware and software industries in great depth.”

Renewable NRG Systems hires territory manager
Renewable NRG Systems earlier this month appointed Christopher Dunne as the territory manager for European, Middle Eastern and African markets. Dunne will be responsible for advising customers on products and best practices for wind resource assessment, solar resource assessment and wind plant optimization. A resident of Germany, Dunne’s background includes considerable experience with the European, U.S. and Asian photovoltaic markets.

Jonathan Amon

Jonathan Amon

Doubletree names assistant general manager
Rick Milliken, general manager of the DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Burlington, recently announced that Jonathan Amon has been named assistant general manager. Amon rejoined the DoubleTree in January. Amon had been previously employed at the hotel in several management positions and prior to rejoining the hotel was the general manager of the Courtyard by Marriott in Williston.

Dealer.com Receives Deane C. Davis Outstanding Business of the Year Award
Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce recently announced Dealer.com as the winner of the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Business of the Year Award.
The annual award honors a Vermont business that shows an outstanding history of sustained growth while displaying an acute awareness of what makes Vermont unique. The award, named for the former governor of Vermont, was created 24 years ago by Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce to recognize and honor the state’s best companies.

Allison B. Wannop

Allison B. Wannop

New attorney joins Dinse
Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew recently announced that Allison B. Wannop joined the firm in May.
Wannop is a member of the firm’s litigation group with a focus on civil litigation and higher education matters. Prior to joining the firm, Wannop was an associate at Goodwin Procter, LLP in its Boston office. Wannop was involved in multiple SEC investigations, an internal investigation for an international corporation and the defense of numerous mortgage-backed securities cases. Wannop is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law and Harvard College.

Three join keller williams
Becca Shanahan-Galligani recently joined Universal Properties International as chief operations officer. Prior to joining Keller Williams Realty, she worked in operations for a sound and video installation company and two non-profit organizations, providing her with an understanding of the operational structure of a variety of companies.
Tom Martin and Joe Regan have joined The Adam Hergenrother Team at KW Vermont as buyer specialists. Prior to joining The Adam Hergenrother Team, Martin was a business owner and operator. Regan worked as the operations manager for M2Inc.