December 13, 2017

Public comment sought on clean water enactment

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking public review and comment on two plans that lay out steps the state must take to improve water quality in Lake Champlain. [Read more…]

Windstorm leaves behind beneficial disturbance

Ethan Tapper

By Ethan Tapper

Many of us awoke Monday, Oct. 30 with trees on houses, cars and powerlines, our homes and businesses without power and our roads and driveways impassable. The overnight storm reminded some of a December 2010 windstorm in Chittenden County, when huge areas of forest were leveled. This year’s storm seems to have been less impactful overall than the 2010 storm, but in some parts of Chittenden County it was worse.

I would be interested in hearing from you about how it was in your part of the world. [Read more…]

UVM initiates study of algae blooms and human health

Observer file photo
The plan to reduce phosphorous in Lake Champlain was recently released by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded the University of Vermont a $600,000 grant to investigate links between Lake Champlain toxic algae blooms and human health. [Read more…]

Volunteer Opportunities

By Sue Alenick

United Way volunteer coordinator


The City of Winooski’s Ski Cubs program offers a free six-week learn-to-ski program for kids ages 7-14, hosted by the Catamount Trail Association. An adult volunteer is needed to ride the bus with the youngsters and serve as chaperone during the ski trip. A background check is required. Contact Aphaia Lambert-Harper at 655-6410, Ext. 12, or email [Read more…]

Student design chosen for Burlington flag

Observer courtesy photo
Twin brothers Owen and Lucas Marchessault, middle-schoolers from Burlington, are the designers of city’s new flag.

A flag designed by Burlington middle-schoolers Owen and Lucas Marchessault has been selected as the new flag for the City of Burlington. [Read more…]

Trump appoints Rutland’s Wilton as Farm Agency chief

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Wendy WIlston is the new executive director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Vermont Farm Service Agency.

The administration of President Donald Trump has appointed Wendy Wilton of Rutland to serve as the new state executive director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Vermont Farm Service Agency. [Read more…]

Governor seats cybersecurity team

Gov. Phil Scott last week filled out the Cybersecurity Advisory Team he created with an executive order in October. [Read more…]

Vermont Tech boasts 98 percent placement rate

Vermont Technical College, with campuses in Williston and Randolph, announced this week that the graduating class of 2017 achieved a 98 percent placement rate.

[Read more…]

Recreation and Parks

Snowmobile Safety Course

This six-hour course provides the opportunity to earn the certification necessary to legally operate on Vermont’s statewide snowmobile trails system. Participants must be present for all classes. Vermont state law requires that all snowmobile operators born after July 1, 1983, who are 12 years of age or older, must take and pass a state-approved snowmobile safety course. Instructors are from the Vermont State Police. Two courses are being offered: Dec. 4-6 in Shelburne and Dec. 11-13 in Milton. The course is from 6-8 p.m. each night. The cost is $15. [Read more…]

NEFCU supports COTS, community food shelf


Observer courtesy photo
Representatives from New England Federal Credit Union of Williston surprised leaders of Burlington’s Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) with a $20,000 check presentation earlier this month. Accepting the donation, COTS Executive Director Rita Markley, said: ‘New England Federal Credit Union’s support makes it possible for COTS to provide families and individuals facing the crisis of homelessness this winter with shelter, services, housing and homelessness prevention. We are extremely grateful for NEFCU’s longtime, ongoing commitment.’
(Shown, left to right) NEFCU Mortgage Manager Greg Hahr, NEFCU Sales Manager Pat Weaver, NEFCU Senior Vice President and CFO Susan Leonard, COTS Executive Director Rita Markley, NEFCU Senior Marketing Executive Cindy Morgan and NEFCU Secondary Market Analyst Abbie Jefferis.
Also this month, NEFCU donated 69 turkeys and several Williston Hannaford’s grocery store gift cards to the Williston Community Food Shelf.