June 20, 2019

Library Notes

The July Fourth book sale is canceled this year due to school construction. We appreciate your understanding. Please consider other area libraries if you would like to donate materials.

Dottie the Bookmobile

June 19-Aug. 30. Dottie the Bookmobile is ready for Summer 2018. We offer materials for children, teens and adults. See the schedule at williston.lib.vt.us

Youth Programs

Summer Reading Programs for Children and Teens [Read more…]

“First Reformed”

An Inconvenient Proof

4 popcorns

By Michael S. Goldberger

film critic


It is unfortunate. But it only makes complete sense that Paul Schrader’s dark and starkly truthful “First Reformed” will be one of 2018’s most important movies. Whether or not you like its profoundly intense take on current events and how that intersects with the crisis of conscience Ethan Hawke’s Reverend Ernst Toller is experiencing, the film is representative of its time. Unlike in the Great Depression, when cheerful movies tried to paste things over until happy times were here again, this intense, artistic muckrake dives headlong into the tribulation. [Read more…]


Mary Babbitt Tuthill

Mary Babbitt Tuthill of Shelburne, formerly of Williston, died on June 19, 2018.

Mary was born on July 28, 1929 in Detroit, Michigan, the oldest child of Kathryn and Donald Babbitt.

She spent her childhood in Michigan, then enrolled at the University of Vermont where she met her future husband, Professor Arthur F. Tuthill, a widower with two young children. Mary and Art were married in Burlington on June 6, 1950. Two years later they purchased a farmhouse in Williston which dated to the 1700’s and was built by a son of Thomas Chittenden, the first governor of Vermont.

With their typical enthusiasm, Mary and Art threw themselves into restoration and renovation of the property, which became the center of activities for five children, eight grandchildren, and often friends, extended family, and community organizations for 58 years. Mary and Art were never happier than when they had a house full of people. Mary’s love of people, gardening, flower arranging, cooking, entertaining, raising various farm animals, singing, cross country skiing, and her community were well known.

Mary received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College in 1977 and worked as a tutor at Pine Ridge School in Williston from 1970 until her retirement in 1994. She served on the boards of Converse Home, Whitney Hill, Bishop Booth Conference Center at Rock Point, and was a member of the Williston Historical Society. As an active parishioner at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Burlington, she served as lay lector and for many years as a member of the Flower Guild.

Mary was predeceased by her husband of 60 years, Professor Arthur F. Tuthill. She is survived by her brother Donald (Berit) Babbitt, her sister Kathy (David) MacFarlane, her children: Libby (Steve) Roberts of Essex Junction, Preston (Lisa) Tuthill of New Hampshire, Andrew (Debra) Tuthill of Maryland, and her step-children: Richard (Dorothy) Tuthill of Connecticut and George (Jennifer) of New Hampshire.

Surviving also are Arthur and Mary’s grandchildren: Cyrus and Wesley Roberts, Mandla, Charles (Iara Mantenuto), Nicholas, Kaitlyn, Jacqueline, and Andrea Tuthill, and three great-grandchildren: Macie, Leigha, and Hendrix Tuthill.

The family would like to express their appreciation for the compassionate care Mary received from the fourth floor staff at the Residence at Shelburne Bay, especially in the week prior to her death.

A memorial service will be held at the Old Brick Church in Williston on Saturday, July 14 at 2 p.m.

Please consider a charitable donation in Mary’s name to an organization of your choice.

Letters to the Editor

The people’s steeple

On behalf of the Williston Federated Church, I would like to thank the community for its support of our efforts to rebuild the steeple. We have raised $75,000 of our $100,000 goal in private donations.

[Read more…]

SDI Legion Baseball; Hummingbird

Guest Column: $10k gimmick undercuts Vermont brand

By Rob Roper

If I held up a cookie and said, I’ll give you five bucks to eat this, what would your initial reaction be? More than likely, either “what’s wrong with it,” or “what’s the catch?” If it were a perfectly good cookie, why would I have to pay you to eat it? If it were really good, you should be eager to pay me. This is a fundamental flaw in the Remote Worker Grant Program that offers to pay people $10,000 to move to Vermont and telecommute to jobs out of state. It actually devalues Vermont’s brand. [Read more…]

State budget impasse ends

Gov. Phil Scott speaks to reporters March 13. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger

Scott will let budget become law

By Xander Landen

For VTDigger

Gov. Phil Scott will let the Legislature’s third attempt at a budget bill become law, he announced Monday night, ending a weeks-long impasse over state spending and the threat of a government shutdown.

Scott’s decision to break the budget stalemate assures that Vermont will have a spending package in place by July 1 — the budget deadline for the next fiscal year — and ends the legislative game of chicken that has played out during a special session that began last month. [Read more…]

U.S. Senate funds solar research in Williston

Observer file photo
The U.S. Senate approved $4 million for federal research on solar energy technology Monday at a Department of Energy test center in Williston.

A U.S. Senate majority passed an appropriations bill Monday that includes $4 million to continue solar technology testing at the Vermont Regional Test Center in Williston, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ office announced this week.

The test center is located off Mountain View Road on land owned by GlobalFoundries. It is one of five U.S. Department of Energy facilities in the United States that give solar technology manufacturers the opportunity to test and validate the performance and reliability of products.

The administration of President Donald Trump had proposed eliminating funding for regional solar test centers, Sanders said in a press release. The Senator authored an amendment to the appropriations bill to include the funding. The amendment was co-sponsored by Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada.

Sanders pushed for the creation of a Vermont solar research facility in 2008 after visiting a similar facility in New Mexico. At the time, the U.S. Department of Energy operated four solar testing centers, none located in a northern, wet, cold climate.

“In addition to Vermont’s harsh winters, the state’s ambitious goal of sourcing 90 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2050 helped convince (the Department of Energy) to establish a fifth regional test center in Vermont,” said Sanders, who serves on the Senate Energy Committee. “It also helped that Vermont is home to some of the most forward-thinking utilities in the country, many renewable energy companies and a statewide ‘smart grid.’”

The Vermont facility has about 15 solar installations from 11 industry partners, including three Vermont companies: Renewable NRG, based in Hinesburg; All Earth Renewables, based in Williston; and Norwich Technologies, based in White River Junction.

“The regional test center is just one piece of a huge effort to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and toward clean, renewable energy,” Sanders said. “While President Trump stubbornly clings to the absurd notion that global warming is a hoax created by China, communities all over this country are moving toward energy efficiency and renewable energy to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

“The Vermont test center is helping that effort not only by testing and validating which technologies work best in northern, cold climates, but by giving consumers the information they need to make informed decisions,” Sanders continued. “Furthermore, this research facility is helping drive solar employment and innovation in Vermont.”

Williston educator joins Snelling Institute leadership class

Holly Haggerty

Holly Haggerty of Williston has been accepted into the Early Childhood Leadership Institute Class of 2018 at the Snelling Center for Government. Haggerty is currently an early childhood special educator at Barre City Elementary and Middle School. She joins 24 other early childhood and family service professionals from across Vermont in an intensive program designed to strengthen their abilities to improve early childhood experiences.

The program is an initiative of a 2014 “Race to the Top” early learning challenge grant. The Snelling Center is a nonprofit established in 1992 in memory of Vermont Gov. Richard Snelling,

More information is available at snellingcenter.org.

Williston turns out to pay tribute to music royalty

Dean Ford and the Beautiful One’s Prince Tribute band entertains a good crowd on a pleasant Thursday evening at the Maple Tree Place Thursday Summer Concert series.

Dean Ford and the Beautiful One’s Prince Tribute band entertains a good crowd on the first evening of summer at the Maple Tree Place Thursday Summer Concert series.

Observer photos by Al Frey

Dean Ford and the Beautiful One’s Prince tribute band entertains the crowd on the first evening of summer at the Maple Tree Place Thursday Summer Concert series.

This Thursday’s concert will be Kiss the Sky Jimi Hendrix tribute.