September 20, 2019

CVU boys JVs had smart 16-4 season 

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

“It was a nice year,” summed up Champlain Valley Union High coach Seth Emerson this week of his junior varsity basketball lads, who finished their season 16-4.

Coming off last year’s 19-1 campaign, Emerson sees only good times ahead for the boys hoop program.

“The future looks bright,” he said. “I am really excited.”

Team leaders, according to Emerson, were sophomores Colin Monsey and Marc Hoeppner from their backcourt slots. Monsey was among the team scoring leaders, averaging about 10 tallies per outing. [Read more…]

CVU’s Jaunich earns Vt. Gatorade honor 

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

For the third straight year, a Champlain Valley Union High girls’ basketball player has won the Vermont Player of the Year  award from Gatorade.

The award went to junior forward Laurel Jaunich, who helped lead the Redhawks to their third straight Division 1 title and perfect 24-0 record. The CVU win streak is now at 71 games. The victory string began with Jaunich’s initial varsity game as a freshman.

Now a solid 6-foot-1 presence on the court, Jaunich averaged over 15 points a game while hauling down nearly seven rebounds per outing. She also had two steals per contest. [Read more…]

Little Details: A candlelit goodbye

By Katherine Bielawa Stamper

We arrived in darkness, key and candlestick in hand. We removed our shoes, pausing in the kitchen to light the flame that would guide us through our now-empty house. Papers would be passed the next day, turning the page on 14 years of living in a sweet, little colonial nestled on a Williston hillside.

This was our time to say goodbye, giving our then 10-year-old daughter a ritual through which to part with the only home she ever knew. We wandered from room to room, guided by the light of the flickering candle. Cozy spaces made cavernous in their emptiness felt “less empty” in relative darkness.We took turns sharing memories born in those rooms. We expressed gratitude. 

“Thank you kitchen for baking Christmas cookies and coloring eggs at Easter.” [Read more…]



James A. Cormier, 88, passed away from congestive heart failure on Feb. 11, 2015, in the UVM Medical Center. Born in Manchester, N.H., in 1926, he was the son of the late Alfred and Blanche Cormier. Jim enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1944 and served in WWII for two years. He married Pauline Brochu in 1951 and moved to Seymour, Conn., where he worked as a machinist. Jim moved his family to Vermont in 1965 for a job at IBM in Essex Junction where he worked for 24 years as a tool and dye maker, retiring in 1990. Jim was active in the Marine Corps League, American Legion, and the VFW. Jim took great pride in his ability to burn wood to warm his home, hands and heart, while his wife cooked on a traditional wood cook stove. Besides his wife, Pauline, of 63 years, he leaves a son, Edmond and wife, Holly, of Fairfax; daughter, Rita Lemire and husband, Marc, of Rotonda W., Fla.; daughter, Irene Cormier of Manchester, N.H.; four grandchildren, Jenny Stafford, Brad Cormier, Bethany Rule, and Sarah Wood; seven great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Beatrice Ouimette of South Hadley, Mass., and Geraldine Casey of Manchester, N.H. He was predeceased by four siblings. A special thanks go to his grandchildren, Jenny and Brad, for all they did for their grandparents in Jim’s final days. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Williston. Interment will follow in the spring. Arrangements are in care of the Corbin & Palmer Funeral Home, 9 Pleasant Street, Essex Junction. Contributions in Jim’s memory may be sent to the Visiting Nurse Association, 1110 Prim Rd., Colchester VT 05446.  [Read more…]

Letters to the Editor

Kudos to Williston’s new rec director

The Williston Recreation and Parks Advisory Board would like to commend our new director, Todd Goodwin, on a job well done! In a few short months, Todd has impressed us with how much he has accomplished. He launched a new Recreation & Parks website with online registration, developed and published the spring and summer program guides and created some much needed standard operating procedures. The new website ( is robust and includes information on the 70-plus programs currently being offered—check it out! Todd has also had a physical presence at many of our winter programs; an effort that does not go unnoticed.

[Read more…]

Building a stronger democracy through transparency

By Sen. Patrick Leahy

Sunshine Week is a time to celebrate one of our nation’s most basic values, the public’s “right to know.” Our very democracy is built on the idea that our government should not operate in secret. James Madison, a staunch defender of open government, whose birthday we celebrate each year during Sunshine Week, wisely noted that for our democracy to succeed, people “must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.” Transparency enables the American people to hold their government accountable. [Read more…]

Around Town

Homestead declaration 

Williston residents must file their homestead declaration (form HS-122) by April 15. It can be filed with the Vermont income tax return or electronically at any time. A property owner must file a homestead declaration if the owner owns and occupies the property as his or her primary residence and is domiciled in Vermont. Owners of homestead property acquired as of April 1 must file by the April 15 deadline. Late filing will be accepted through Oct. 15, but a late filing penalty will apply. [Read more…]

Former CVU star in women’s Div. 1 NCAA show 

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

She helped lead the Champlain Valley Union High basketball Redhawks to two Vermont Division 1 crowns. Now, in her freshman season at American University in Washington, D.C., Emily Kinneston is about to test the women’s version of March Madness. [Read more…]

St. Patrick’s Day sales brisk at local businesses

By Marianne Apfelbaum

Observer staff

It was close to a record day for McGillicuddy’s Irish Pub on Tuesday. According to owner David Nelson, the pub sold 3.5 kegs of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day, and served 500 meals, including 12 briskets of corned beef.

Nelson also owns similar pubs in Colchester, Barre and Montpelier and estimated that a total of 16 kegs of Guinness were sold by the four locations during the St. Patrick’s celebrations in the past five days. Baker Distributing, which sells Guinness to local bars and restaurants, offered free Guinness swag at the Williston pub on Tuesday night, including T-shirts and funny, oversized hats. [Read more…]

NETS buys former Pine Ridge School campus

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

The NETS Institute for Church Planting has signed a purchase and sales agreement with People’s United Bank to buy the former Pine Ridge School campus.

“We’re viewing this campus as a home for NETS to continue to do what we’ve done for 15 years,” NETS Executive Director Dave Appenzeller said. “I think we’ve been pretty good Williston citizens.”

NETS, which has been located at Christ Memorial Church in Williston for 15 years, would use the property as a religious school, training and mentoring men to become pastors in New England, along with their families. [Read more…]