December 1, 2015

New group collecting pet gifts

Observer staff report

Locals can help make life a little better for the hundreds of animals awaiting adoption in Vermont animal shelters.

“Just like children, these animals have Christmas lists too, filled with wishes that caring community members can help fulfill by donating pet-related items to Claus for Paws,” according to a Nov. 13 press release from newly formed nonprofit.

Claus for Paws boxes have been placed in various local businesses in the area, including Guys Farm and Yard, Healthy Living, Pet Advantage, Essex Agway, Orchard Veterinary, Vermont Lamp & Shade, Small Dog Electronics, Doggie Styles and Passion For Pets, along with several others.

“The simplest wishes—cleaning supplies, bedding, food, collars, leashes and toys—often go unfulfilled or add up to a substantial expense,” the press release states. “But with the community’s help, local shelters, rescue groups and other animal refuges will be gifted with the wish-list items they so desperately need to provide the best love and quality of life for the animals in their care.”

For a complete list of suggested donation items and drop-off locations, visit

Food shelves need donations

Turkeys and other items saught

Observer staff report

In a Nov. 17 press release, Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf officials said the organization is in urgent need of turkeys, food and monetary donations. The food shelf served hundreds of people Monday for meals, groceries and turkeys, more than it has ever served in a single day.

“The supplies needed to provide over 5,000 food insecure families with a Thanksgiving meal are critically low and there are no turkeys on-site.”

The food shelf is asking the community to make a monetary donation or drop off a food donation as soon as possible. A donation of only $10 can provide a family with a turkey and a donation of $20 can provide a turkey and all the fixings.

Donors can make donations online at or drop off donations at 228 North Winooski Avenue in Burlington. The food shelf is also asking community members to donate food items, including turkey fixings of mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn and green beans.

Hours for turkey donation drop-offs are Mondays through Fridays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Nov. 19 and 20, hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A community Thanksgiving dinner at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf is set for Nov. 25 at 1 p.m.

Williston shelf also seeks donations

The Williston Community Food Shelf is also seeking Thanksgiving donations of turkeys. It will host a Turkey Day Nov. 21 from 8:30 to 11 a.m. to collect and distribute turkeys. Residents or groups can drop off turkeys at the food shelf, located at 300 Cornerstone Drive. Residents can also purchase a gift card to a local supermarket so families can buy their own turkey. Gift cards or monetary donations can be dropped off at the food shelf or sent to P.O. Box 1605, Williston, VT 05495.

Observer partners with Socks for Seniors

The Williston Observer is partnering with the non profit Socks for Seniors to help bring holiday cheer and winter warmth to long-term residents of two nursing homes, Burlington Health and Rehab and Starr Farm Nursing Center, by collecting 175 pairs of donated soft, warm socks.

The Williston Observer is partnering with the non profit Socks for Seniors to help bring holiday cheer and winter warmth to long-term residents of two nursing homes, Burlington Health and Rehab and Starr Farm Nursing Center, by collecting 175 pairs of donated soft, warm socks.

Observer staff report

The Williston Observer is partnering with Socks for Seniors to help bring holiday cheer and winter warmth to local seniors.

Socks for Seniors is a non-profit community service project that organizes, collects and distributes new socks for seniors in communities all over the country.

Marianne Apfelbaum, Williston Observer co-owner, also publishes Vermont Maturity magazine.

“We’ve worked with the senior population for more than 20 years, and we try to support seniors in any way we can,” she said. “We thought this was a fantastic idea and we’re thrilled to help.”

The holidays can be a depressing time of year for lonely and financially challenged seniors who get lost in the shuffle, according to Jamie Coyne, Socks for Seniors founder.

Some seniors are widows or widowers, others are away from family.

Coyne said he started Socks for Seniors 15 years ago in Ohio, after visiting a senior community and talking to a woman who told him and his wife that her feet were freezing.

“Her socks were in bad shape. They were worn out and had holes in them. The solution seemed simple and my wife then left only to return a few minutes later with a brand new pair of socks,” Coyne wrote in a press release. “Not only did it serve its purpose but it made the lady’s day.”

The program grew over the years, spreading across the country. This is the first Socks for Seniors initiative in Vermont.

New socks can be brought to the Williston Observer offices, located at 330 Cornerstone Drive, Suite 330. Socks will also be collected at Williston Federated Church.

The Observer’s goal is to collect 175 pairs of soft, warm socks, which will be donated to long-term residents of two nursing homes, Burlington Health and Rehab and Starr Farm Nursing Center. If more socks are donated, the Observer will add Green Mountain Nursing Home to the list of recipients.

V-ball victors

Team Otter Creek Brewery Champions Essex Power 2015 BolibaObserver courtesy photo

Williston resident Jeff Boliba was among the members of the winning volleyball team in the Essex Power Sixes Volleyball League’s final tournament, topping the 18 teams in the league. Boliba said the league is the premier volleyball league in the state, and his team was short two members for the tournament. The team included (from left) Charles Dinklage,  Boliba, Aaron Fournier, Dave Rapuano and Erik Felt.

CVU runner leads Vt. in New England meet

Observer courtesy photo by Dan Grossman Sophia Gorman was the top Vermont finisher at the New England Interscholastic Cross Country Championships last weekend.

Observer courtesy photo by Dan Grossman
Sophia Gorman was the top Vermont finisher at the New England Interscholastic Cross Country Championships last weekend.

Observer staff report

A Champlain Valley Union High runner led the Vermont pack in last weekend’s New England Interscholastic Cross Country Championships, which brought the fastest runners in New England to Thetford.

Redhawk Sophia Gorman finished eighth out of 250 harriers, the first Vermont runner to cross the finish line. Gorman was approximately one minute and three seconds behind first place runner Hannah Debalsi of Connecticut.

Redhawk Jennifer Ireland was the third Vermont runner to finish, and 46th overall. Meara Heininger came in 56th, Ella Whitman 120th, Rosalie Lacroix 131st, Haley Harder 147th and Willow Bertrand 162nd.

The girls team was seventh out of 30 teams, and the top Vermont team.

The CVU boys team finished 10th overall, also the top Vermont team.

Rhode Island’s La Salle Academy took the top team spot on the boys and girls side.

CVU runner Tyler Marshall took the second Vermont spot and was 15th overall. Rhode Island runner David Principe Jr. was first, 56 seconds ahead of Marshall. Montpelier’s Matt Hynes finished in the top Vermont spot.

Redhawk Calvin McClelland was 84th and the fifth Vermonter to cross the finish line. Elliot Eastman was 112th, Baxter Bishop 121st, Harken Spillane 147th, Tyler Wong 155th and Jared Leonard 170th.

HUB Happenings

Leah Skinner

Leah Skinner

Leah Skinner

Skinner joins Davis & Hodgdon

Leah Skinner has joined Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs as an associate accountant, according to a Nov. 9 announcement.

Skinner graduated from the University of Vermont with a Master’s degree in accounting and from Wagner College with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. Skinner’s prior experience includes internships in both corporate and individual accounting for a large and diverse group of clients at firms in New York City as well as with National Life Group in Montpelier. She is currently sitting for the CPA exam.

Skinner will be operating from the firm’s Williston location and servicing the firm’s clients throughout Vermont.

Whole Health Nutrition welcomes new registered dietitian

Williston-based Whole Health Nutrition announced on Nov. 13 that registered dietician Jacob Magnan has joined the firm. In addition to his degree in dietetics, Magnan holds a degree in exercise science. In addition, Magnan coaches competitive swimmers and tri-athletes.

Rick’s Towing & Repair’s tow truck second in national contest.

Rick’s Towing & Repair’s tow truck second in national contest.

Rick’s Towing & Repair’s tow truck second in national contest.

Williston company takes second-place prize

Rick’s Towing & Repair of Williston captured the second place award for Car Carrier in the national Shine ‘n Star Tow Truck Photo Beauty Contest, hosted by Tow Times magazine.

The winning truck is a 2015 Ford F-550 4×4 with a 20-foot Jerr-Dan chassis and side puller. It sports a custom wrap design of yellow, red, blue, white and silver. On the hood is a Vermont fall scene with the truck nestled within. The car carrier was chosen out of over 500 entries submitted in five categories this year from around the country and Canada.

In existence since 1991, the Shine ‘n Star Tow Truck Photo Beauty Contest offers 16 cash prizes. In addition, a photo of Rick’s Towing’s winning truck is featured in the November issue of Tow Times.

Debra Royce

Debra Royce

AllEarth Renewables hires Royce as CFO

AllEarth Renewables on Nov. 16 announced the hiring of Debra Royce as its chief financial officer.

Royce joins AllEarth’s management team with more than 25 years experience in corporate finance.

Royce, of Williston, comes to the solar manufacturer from Draker, having previously served as CFO for defense contractor Revision Military, as Financial Controller and Tax Manager for Ben & Jerry’s, and Assistant Corporate Controller for Blodgett.

An active community leader, she serves on the board of directors for the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce and is the Treasurer for Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS).

Local American Cancer Society volunteer retires after 26 years

Peg Allen was honored by the American Cancer Society for 26 years of service as a state coordinator and facilitator for the Chittenden County Look Good Feel Better program, which helps women with cancer learn makeup and skin care techniques to overcome the appearance-related effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Allen helped bring the program to Vermont in 1989. “When we feel attractive, we feel powerful,” Allen said. “Taking time and engaging in self-care activates and accentuates your attractiveness and overall wellness. It has been a privilege and honor to be of service to the American Cancer Society.”

For more information on Look Good Feel Better, visit or call 1-800-227-2345.

Stern Center president co-authors award winner

Tech & Learning Magazine, the leading publication in the education technology market, has named Mindplay’s Teacher Companion product as a recipient of the Tech & Learning Award of Excellence in the category of New Products. The Teacher Companion is co-authored by Dr. Nancy Mather, professor at the University of Arizona’s College of Education, Dr. Blanche Podhajski, president of the Stern Center for Language and Learning, Marilyn Varracchio, founder of Portals to Learning and Dr. Janice Sammons, psychologist and adjunct professor at University of Arizona.

Released in January, the MindPlay Teacher Companion is an eight module online professional development course for K-12 educators designed to extend teacher knowledge of research-based best practices in the area of reading instruction.

Business People–Vermont hires Niquette

Rebecca Awodey, vice president and general manager of Business People–Vermont magazine, recently announced that Christine Niquette has joined the staff as advertising administrative assistant. Niquette has 15 years of sales and marketing experience, including work with Accent Travel/American Express and Northern Benefits of Vermont.

Niquette, a Williston resident, is working on her degree in business administration.

Armistead honors caregivers

Armistead Senior Care commemorated its sixteenth anniversary on Nov. 5 at the Catamount Country Club in Williston with a Sweet Sixteen Celebration honoring its caregivers. The Rachel Lee Cummings Award for Excellence was awarded to Sherry Russell of New Hampshire, Sandra Hennessey was named Vermont Caregiver of the Year and Ann Howard was named New Hampshire Caregiver of the Year. Caregivers with three or more years of service were presented with special gifts and the Longevity Award was presented to Shirley Weaver for 16 years of service.

Skirack named one of America’s Best Bike Shops

Skirack of Burlington has been named one of America’s Best Bike Shops for 2015 by the National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA).

There are approximately 4,000 bike shops in the United States, and fewer than 300 were chosen to be named “America’s Best.”

The shops were asked to fill out a detailed application describing what sets them apart from the average retailer. Mystery shoppers then evaluated the business in more detail by visiting the store, reviewing their website and contacting the shop by phone to assess the performance from a consumer’s perspective.

The program is designed to help consumers find great stores in their areas that will provide the expertise and professionalism they need to get the most benefit from cycling.

Mason Associates hires new consultant

Mason Associates, an independent educational consulting organization based in Charlotte, announces the appointment of Allison Dillon Kimmerle to its consulting staff. Kimmerle’s appointment will enable families interested in junior and secondary boarding schools to explore appropriate school options for their children.

“Allison brings 15 years of boarding school admission experience to her position with us,” said Ben Mason, founding consultant at Mason Associates. “She has been on the other side of the admissions desk in her positions at an all-girls’, an all-boys’, and a co-ed school.”

Moody recognized

Attorney Thomas H. Moody has been recognized by the Vermont Bar Association for his leadership in updating Vermont’s business laws. Moody was presented with the VBA’s President’s Award at the organization’s annual meeting on Sept. 25 at the Stoweflake Resort and Conference Center in Stowe. The award recognizes Moody’s work as chairman of the Business Association Section of the VBA and chairman of the committee that drafted and presented to the legislature a comprehensive revision of Vermont’s Limited Liability Company statute.

Andreson elected to The American Law Institute

Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew recently announce that Nicole Andreson has been elected to The American Law Institute (ALI). Andreson is one of 72 newly elected judges, lawyers and law professors from around the country. ALI is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize and improve the law.

Andreson’s practice is focused on the representation of physicians and hospitals in professional malpractice actions in both federal and state courts.


Each year, Northfield Savings Bank hosts a dinner to celebrate employees’ tenure milestones with the bank and honor them for their contributions. Having reached the ten-year milestone, 74 active employees are now members of the Ten Den Club.

At the most recent Ten Den event, the following employees reached these years-of-service milestones:

35 Years of Service: Donna Gerdes

30 Years of Service: Ian Arnold, Gina Sargent

25 Years of Service: Sherry Doane, Wendy Kellett

20 Years of Service: Peter Goodell, Anne Maxham, Sheila Spencer

15 Years of Service: Julie Concha, Kasey Grout, Maryellen LaPerle, Del’Rae Merrill, Lynn Pilette

10 Years of Service: Doris Bijolle, Norberta Klee, Kendal McMahon, William Tremblay, Ellen Weigel

Seven Days wins fundraising award

The Vermont Foodbank and the Vermont Community Foundation presented Seven Days with the Outstanding Corporation Award, an annual honor awarded by the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Northern New England (AFP-NNE), for its creation of Vermont Restaurant Week.

Vermont Restaurant Week is an annual event where participating restaurants offer special, prix-fixe menus. Ten percent of proceeds from sponsorships and 100 percent of special event admissions benefit the Foodbank.

Kathleen Fleming

Kathleen Fleming

Fleming joins CCV

Kathleen Fleming recently joined the Community College of Vermont as a career consultant in its Winooski Academic Center. She works with students and alumni in areas served by the Winooski, St. Albans, and Middlebury centers to provide personalized career guidance and resources.

Fleming is an educator and consultant with more than 20 years of experience supporting students in reaching their career and educational goals. Most recently, she worked at Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, creating programs and pathways to support first generation and low-income students in career planning and development.

Sargent top Harley salesperson in New England

An enthusiastic salesperson from Wilkins Harley-Davidson in South Barre is ranked number one in New England. Jon Sargent received the award in Laconia, N.H. in late October after competing against the best Harley-Davidson Dealers in New England.

ANEW Place welcomes new residential counselor

ANEW Place recently announced the addition of Micha Loeffler, who joined the team as a residential counselor. As a longtime volunteer and supporter of ANEW Place, Loeffler has been well connected to its guests, mission and holistic four-phase transitional programs for homeless adults.

“I have had a special place for homeless people and the underprivileged for a long time and decided that ANEW Place best aligned with my own Christian beliefs and this is how I ended up here as an evening volunteer,” Loeffler said.

Two join KW Vermont

Michael Jarvis, a real estate sales professional from Colchester, has joined KW Vermont. Prior to selling real estate, Jarvis was in the business of selling insurance.

In addition, Peter Campbell, a real estate agent in the Northeast Kingdom, joined KW Vermont. Campbell brings many years of not only Real Estate sales experience but insurances sales as well.

SymQuest raises $12,000 for HealingWindsVermont

SymQuest Group, Inc. recently donated $12,700 to HealingWindsVermont, a state nonprofit that provides cancer patients and their caregivers opportunities to relieve stress and anxiety through quality time together on the water. The donation was from the proceeds of SymQuest’s 20th annual charitable golf tournament and included a matching donation from Konica Minolta.

$22,790 raised to fight hunger

VT donationOn Saturday, Oct. 24, local shoppers raised more than $22,000 to fight hunger.

During its sixth annual Charity Sale, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel and its customers collectively raised $22,790 for the Vermont Foodbank and JCEO Plattsburgh Foodshelf.

Last week, Lenny’s owners Mark and Todd McCarthy presented a check for $17,450 to Vermont Foodbank CEO John Sayles and a check for $5,340 to the JCEO Plattsburgh Foodshelf.

“What an incredible donation,” said Sayles. “We are deeply grateful to Lenny’s and their loyal customers for their years of partnership. Together we are ensuring that our neighbors have the food they need during times of great need.”

Lenny’s customers were encouraged to make a $10 donation to the Vermont Foodbank and JCEO Plattsburgh Foodshelf in exchange for 2016 Lenny’s Coupon Calendar. All proceeds from each calendar sold went directly to the non-profit organizations. Lenny’s is continuing to collect $5 donations in exchange for the 2016 Coupon Calendar.

“Our customers have astounded us once again with their generosity,” said McCarthy. “To date, we have now donated $73,945 to these organizations.”

Combining art and science in the dentist’s chair

Observer photo by Heleigh Bostwick Ryan D. Goslin recently moved his dentistry practice from Burlington to Talcott Road in Williston.

Observer photo by Heleigh Bostwick
Ryan D. Goslin recently moved his dentistry practice from Burlington to Talcott Road in Williston.

By Heleigh Bostwick

Observer correspondent

Up to 20 percent of adults fear going to the dentist, according to WebMD. Shelburne resident Gennifer Noble used to be one of them until she started seeing Dr. Ryan Goslin three years ago.

“I never thought I’d have anything good to say about a dentist, but I do now,” she said. “He’s a really nice guy and his staff is so welcoming, friendly and professional.”

Goslin recently moved his dental practice from an old Victorian on Clark Street in Burlington to a newer building on Talcott Road in Williston.

“A lot of our patients were moving out towards Williston, and it’s easier to get to,” Goslin explained, adding that the new location is better suited to housing the technology needed for modern dentistry.

Noble, like many of his other patients, followed.

“Patients feel very comfortable with us,” Goslin said. “I try to keep it light, maybe tell a few jokes.”

Goslin grew up in Rhode Island, graduated from the University of Vermont, where he met his wife, Kristina, and became a registered dietician with the intent of studying medicine. While at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, a chance encounter with a friend, a dentist back in Rhode Island, changed his mind.

“He suggested I come and spend a day with him,” said Goslin. “It just so happened that a patient came in that day that had had an accident that knocked out six of his teeth. We had to put him back together.”

Goslin realized how much he enjoyed working with his hands and combining an artistic aspect with science. He decided to become a dentist instead.

Goslin joined the Navy and received his degree from Indiana University School of Dentistry, completing his general practice residency at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. His credentials also include Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.

Goslin treats patients of all ages and provides a full range of dentistry services including cleaning, extractions, crowns, bridges, whitening, Invisalign orthodontics and implants.

“Our patients like that we have a range of services because it means they have fewer specialists to visit, and it decreases the number of dentist visits,” Goslin said.

Patient care coordinator Lee Andors recently joined the practice, but his two dental hygienists, Dory McLaughlin and Megan Obuchowski, have been with him for nine years. Dental assistant Tracey Josselyn has been with him for 15 years. His wife, Kristina, works part-time on the business end.

“Tracey has known some of our patients since she was three years old,” Goslin joked, explaining that he bought the practice from her father in 2005.

“He’s extremely professional, but not only that, everyone is so friendly in the office,” said long-time patient Jack O’Farrell. His wife, Dede O’Farrell, agreed.

“Nobody really looks forward to going to the dentist, but everyone in the office really cares about you as a person,” she said. “He hires the best people, very professional, and we’re fortunate to have someone like that be our dentist.”

For more information, visit or call 662-5966.

Williston Recreation and Parks

By: Todd Goodwin

Family Programs

Snowmobile Safety Course

This six-hour course provides the opportunity to earn the certification necessary to legally operate on the Vermont Statewide Snowmobile Trails System. Participants must be present for all classes to be eligible for certification. Vermont state law requires that all operators born after July 1, 1983, who are 12 years of age or older, must take and pass a state approved snowmobile safety course. Ages 12+, Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 1, 2 and 3, 6-8 p.m. $10 per person.

Adult Programs

Pulse Cycling

Pulse Cycling Studio and the Rec Department are teaming up to offer these introductory indoor cycling programs. Come try one out and see if it is the fitness workout for you. Pulse Cycling Studio offers inspirational indoor cycling classes, for first timers to seasoned cyclists, instructed to energizing music that will make you feel like a kid again. Ages 18+. S: Tuesdays and Fridays, Dec. 8-18, 6/6:15-7 a.m. S2: Tuesdays and Thursdays, Nov. 8-17, 5:30-6:30 p.m. $55

Golden Gear (50+)

Come try out these 45-minute indoor cycling classes on upright indoor stationary bikes, instructed to a mix of tunes from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s that will inspire you to keep pedaling while singing along to your favorites. With 35 minutes of riding and 10 minutes of stretching, you will leave feeling energized and upbeat. Ages 50+. Tuesdays and Fridays, Dec. 8-18, 11-11:45 a.m. $55.

Holiday Wreath Workshop

Designed especially for your holiday decorations. Join Registered Horticultural Therapist and Master Gardener Donna Covais, who will guide you in building a gorgeous wreath and having loads of fun while doing it. In addition, you will learn how to use the powerful effects of plant activities to reduce stress and improve your sense of wellbeing. Blind since age 40, Covais is a former florist who will inspire and motivate you. No experience necessary and all supplies are included. Ages 18+. Friday, Dec. 4, 6:30-8:30 p.m. $55.

Boxwood Tree Workshop

Whether decorated with just plain, tiny pinecones or shiny balls and baubles, the boxwood tree is a delightful centerpiece. Created with your own hands, this masterpiece is accomplished with easy instruction in one fun session, with help of Donna Covais, registered horticultural therapist and master gardener. Ages 18+. Wednesday, Dec. 9, 6:30-9:30 p.m. $55

Boot Camp

Come join this group exercise that mixes traditional aerobic and body weight exercises with interval and strength training. Challenge yourself with this fast-paced, calorie-burning workout. This program is for all levels and modifications are offered. Your first class is free to try, but pre-registration is required. Ages 16+. Instructor: Susie Posner-Jones. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-7 p.m. $60 for eight-visit punch card.

Youth Programs

Babysitters Course

This Red Cross Babysitters Training provides individuals with information and skills necessary to provide safe and responsible care for children. Training in leadership, professionalism, basic care, safety, safe play and basic first aid will be covered. Ages 11-15, Monday, Nov. 23, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. $95.

Horsemanship Camp

The Livery Horse Farm and the Rec Department are teaming up to offer a two-day horse camp. All levels of riders are welcome. Your child will have lots of hands on experience with plenty of riding time, a daily lesson, horse care instruction and stable management. Grades 3-8, Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 23 and 24, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. $110.

Boxwood Tree Workshop

Children will decorate and create their own boxwood tree. Created with their own hands, this masterpiece is accomplished with easy instruction in one fun session, with help of Donna Covais, blind since age 40 and a former florist. No experience necessary and all supplies are included. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Ages 6-16, Saturday, Dec. 5, 9-11 a.m. $45.

Rec Youth Basketball Programs

Registration for Rec Basketball is now open, deadline to register is Nov. 23 to ensure placement on a team. Leagues begin in December. The programs being offered this year are: Kindergarten Basketball Clinic; First/Second Grade Coed Program; and separate leagues for boys and girls in grades 3/4, 5/6 and 7/8. Check the Rec Department website for days, times and fees. There will be a coaches meeting on Nov. 23.

Basketball Coordinator

The Rec Department is looking for a person to help out with Saturday morning basketball programs. Coordinator will oversee a gym each Saturday, December through February, including setup, take down and working with coaches and teams. Hours are 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. If interested, please apply with the Rec Department. Applications are available on the website, under Forms.

Todd Goodwin is Williston’s recreation director. To learn more about the Williston Recreation and Parks Department, visit or email

Letters to the Editor

Cottonwood Crossing

We are writing about the Cottonwood Crossing development, a large mixed-use project (173 housing units and 68,500 square feet of commercial space) proposed for the former driving range property on Route 2. Thank you to the informed residents who spoke at the Development Review Board (DRB) meeting last week. We were impressed by the thoughtfulness of our neighbors who took the time to contribute to this important discussion.

We encourage Williston residents and the DRB to carefully consider some key issues about this project. Most importantly, the residents who live in Maple Tree Place should be a priority. The proposed development could have a negative impact on this low-income housing complex, including two roads that would run right through the property, cutting residents off from their playground and laundry facilities. With many children, elderly and people with disabilities living there, it seems unsafe and unfair to divide up their neighborhood in that way.

In addition, there is a need for affordable housing units in the new proposed plan. Considering the shortage of perpetual affordable housing in our town, and the strong support in Williston for it, we were surprised that it was not included. In the original 2010 plan for this project, a quarter of the units were designated as affordable, while the current plan has none. This seems like a missed opportunity for our town.

At the meeting, residents raised additional issues—such as potential traffic problems, safe crossings for pedestrians (especially children), possible harm to an environmentally protected area (Burr Oak Knoll), problems with the idea of “transfer rights” and the benefits of a town community center in the new development. We encourage residents to find out more about this project and let the town know your views.

— Alice Fothergill
and Cynthia Reyes

The tragedy in Paris and social media

In the wake of the horrible tragedy that struck Paris and the ensuing Facebook posts, I was compelled to post my own remarks over the weekend. The response, commentary and sharing of my post was such that I felt the need to write this letter and send it out again in another forum.

Posted Nov. 15, 2015 at 9:06 a.m.: “I have watched posts for the last two days of people saying those of us who temporarily changed our profile pictures are wrong. I am truly appalled. How dare you make such a blanket statement and assume my support and recognition of one country is my ignoring of the rest. Political correctness has gone way too far in my opinion. I will not be told who I can and cannot support nor will I stand by and allow you to denigrate me for it. How about stepping back and taking it for what it is … A simple show of support and unity for a horrible tragedy instead of trying to manipulate it into something it isn’t. Shame on you!!!”

Small ripples a wave makes. Any show of unity and support should be applauded not denigrated. To imply it is anything else is so wrong. Such narrow-minded assumptive grandstanding needs to stop!

— Joy Limoge

South Burlington requests help making crosswalks safe

South Burlington is very happy to share our roads with our neighbors to the east as they commute or otherwise drive to or through South Burlington. However, on our major feeder roads such as Williston Road, Kimball Avenue or Kennedy Drive, all too often drivers fail to stop for pedestrians and bicyclists trying to cross our streets at crosswalks. Vermont state law mandates that “vehicles must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the roadway within a crosswalk.” This is true whether crosswalks are freshly painted or have worn down through traffic use. This is also true whether or not there is a yellow flashing RRFB crossing light (a “Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon”) activated by the pedestrian/cyclist. Even if the RRFB crossing light does not work or shuts off prior to the pedestrian reaching the other side of the road, all vehicles must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the roadway within a crosswalk. In addition, drivers must yield right of way to pedestrians when they are making a “right-on-red” turn at an intersection. Too often, drivers glide through these turns without coming to a full stop and with no regard to pedestrians that may be crossing. Even when you have a “right-on-red” arrow, please check for pedestrians as you make those turns.

Please watch for pedestrians and cyclists trying to cross our streets and please drive at or within the posted speed limits. Thank you for helping make South Burlington a safer walkable and cyclable community.

— Dana Farr, chairwoman
South Burlington Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee