November 27, 2014

CVU Nordic team hosting fundraising auction

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Observer staff report
The Champlain Valley Union High Nordic ski team’s annual fundraising auction will be open from Nov. 22 – Dec. 7. This year’s auction features products including gourmet food, flowers and garden supplies; experiences including dining, lodging, skiing, golf, and yoga; and salon, spa, handyman, automotive and veterinary services.
The CVU Nordic Ski Team has grown to be the largest public high school Nordic team in the state of Vermont. Last season included 90 new and returning skiers from Charlotte, Hinesburg, Shelburne, St. George and Williston. With a growing team also comes growing financial needs, according to team organizers.
All proceeds from the auction go toward ski wax, equipment and uniforms for the team. Visit the auction site at www.32auctions.com/cvunordic
For more information, contact coach Sarah Strack at [email protected]

Obituaries

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TAMARA IRVING
Tamara Irving, 56, of Williston, passed away Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014, after a long illness, at her home with her loving family by her side.
She was born March 27, 1958, in Montpelier, the daughter of Ernest and Janice (Carlson) Robbins, both deceased. She later moved to Shelburne, and then to Burlington, where she lived most her life, graduating from Burlington High School in 1976, and later raising four children who attended the Burlington school system. Tamara received an associate’s degree from Thomas College in Waterville, Maine, as a Medical Assistant in 1979, where she met her husband of 35 years, Peter Irving. They married in Shelburne in 1979. Tamara later earned an undergraduate and graduate degree in nursing from the University of Vermont, all while working full time and raising her four children. She worked at Fletcher Allen Health Care for 20 years, and later at Good Health PC as a Nurse Practitioner. [Read more...]

Little Details: Small steps, Herculean strides

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By Katherine Bielawa Stamper

“I feel like I’m part of the family,” Anna* said as she reflected on her foster family. This is a powerful statement for a young woman who spent years in institutional settings—residential schools and therapeutic facilities in Vermont and Massachusetts.
Anna’s Vermont roots run deep. Her ancestors helped settle a Green Mountain town which bears her family’s name. Her biological parents, hampered by substance abuse and mental health challenges, were ill-prepared to care for their daughter. They lacked the skills to encourage, nurture and guide Anna, a gentle person who loves animals and is a voracious reader. [Read more...]

Letters to the Editor

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Thank you, voters
I want to sincerely thank the people of Williston for your support in the recent election. Since my first election to the Senate six years ago, I’ve done my best to represent each Chittenden County community with the same enthusiasm and close attention as my own hometown. I will continue to keep you posted on my Senate efforts with updates in the Observer and in direct calls and e-mails with you. Please stay in touch and thanks again.
— Tim Ashe
State Senator
Chittenden County [Read more...]

Watershed groups need help

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By Ann Ingerson
Vermont’s community-based watershed groups have worked hard to improve watershed health over several decades. Now they need your help to face two pressing water issues that demand sweeping action.
Issue number one: Worsening algae blooms in Lake Champlain have inspired a new-and-improved plan to clean up Lake Champlain. (Similar but lesser-known plans target Lake Memphremagog and Long Island Sound and encompass the rest of Vermont’s waterways draining north, south, east or west into these impaired water bodies.) [Read more...]

Families keep Trinity Baptist school going

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By Stephanie Choate
Observer staff
Two years ago, the school board at Trinity Baptist School made the tough decision to shutter the school’s high school segment, due to declining enrollment and tight budgets.
But parents weren’t willing to let that happen, said school board member and parent Jennifer Anair.
“Once parents were notified, it was clear that they were willing to do whatever it would take to keep the school open,” she said. “Thankfully, we never did close our doors.”
That meant cutting costs and pitching in. Now, volunteers clean the school, help out in the administrative office and cafeteria and even teach art and music. [Read more...]

A food budget, stretched thin

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Fran Stoddard prepares dinner in her home Monday night. She and her husband are participating in Hunger Free Vermont’s 3SquaresVT Challenge this week.

Fran Stoddard prepares dinner in her home Monday night. She and her husband are participating in Hunger Free Vermont’s 3SquaresVT Challenge this week.

By Stephanie Choate
Observer staff
Halfway through a week of sticking to the average benefit amount of a 3SquaresVT recipient, Williston resident Fran Stoddard is more tuned into the constant stress facing those who don’t always have enough good food to eat.
“I’ve been made more aware that I’m so blessed to not be burdened on a daily basis with having to make all of these tricky decisions about basically the essentials of life,” she said. “Food is our fuel. Good nutrition is so essential for health and wellbeing. Children who don’t have proper nutrition can’t learn, the elderly who don’t have proper nutrition get sick or sicker.” [Read more...]

Selectboard supports school tax resolution

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Measure seeks two-year freeze on education taxes
By Greg Elias
Observer correspondent
The Selectboard on Monday dove into the school funding debate, agreeing to send a resolution urging state lawmakers to halt rising property taxes that fund education.
The board had previously considered resolutions approved by neighboring towns and a model produced by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. With three of its five members present on Monday, the Selectboard by consensus decided to use a customized version of the VLCT resolution that requests a two-year freeze on property taxes. Town Manager Rick McGuire will bring the modified resolution back to the board for a vote at its next meeting.
Monday’s session featured a lengthy debate about education funding that included comments from Williston School Board members Kevin Mara and Josh Diamond. That board was unable to reach a consensus and decided not to sign a resolution. [Read more...]

Local dancers bring ‘The Nutcracker’ to life

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Williston dancers (from left) Isabella Nash, Cassidy Frost and Emma Richling will peform in ‘The Nutcracker’ Thanksgiving weekend at the Flynn Theatre.

Williston dancers (from left) Isabella Nash, Cassidy Frost and Emma Richling will peform in ‘The Nutcracker’ Thanksgiving weekend at the Flynn Theatre.

By Stephanie Choate
Observer staff
The classic holiday tale of dancing mice and the sugar plum fairy will have a local spin on Thanksgiving weekend.
Thirteen-year-old Williston ballerina Cassidy Frost will perform as Clara in the Albany Berkshire Ballet’s presentation of the “The Nutcracker,” backed up by several Williston dancers.
The production comes to the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 29-30, featuring more than 120 local dancers from 33 Vermont towns. [Read more...]

POPCORN: “Nightcrawler” Uneasy Does It

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3 popcorns

3 popcorns

“Nightcrawler”

Uneasy Does It

3 popcorns

By Michael S. Goldberger

Special to the Observer

 

Whether you deem director Dan Gilroy’s “Nightcrawler” a tale of unbridled American ambition or a study of the gray area between sociopathy and psychopathy, the sheer chutzpah of its title character will have you mesmerized. He is Jake Gyllenhaal’s superbly etched Louis Bloom, a petty thief when first we meet him, but about to make an epiphanic vocational discovery. It happens one night while out stealing. He observes a freelance reporter filming an auto accident for potential sale to the local TV station. Hmm, I think I’d be good at that, surmises the loner.

[Read more...]