July 20, 2018

Redhawks represent Vermont in Twin State games

A host of athletes represented Champlain Valley Union High School last week in Twin State matchups against New Hampshire in baseball, field hockey and girls lacrosse. [Read more…]

Williston’s Independence Day schedule of events

Tuesday, July 3

6 p.m. ↔ Firecracker 5k Fun Run

Williston Community Park

All ages are welcome. Race begins at 6 p.m.

Pre-registered runners will receive a complimentary race shirt. (Runners who have pre-registered at willistonrec.org will pay a $20 entry fee on race day and receive their t-shirt).

On-site registration begins at 5 p.m.: $25 per person. (A t-shirt is not guaranteed for on-site registrants).

7 p.m. ↔ Town band concert and ice cream social

Village Green

Come out and join the Williston Historical Society’s annual fundraising ice cream social as you listen to the town band play.

Wednesday, July 4

10 a.m. ↔ Independence Day Parade

Parade Route: Route 2 along Williston Road from Johnson’s Farm to Old Stage Road

NOTE: Route 2 parade route will be closed to through traffic from 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Theme: Friends & Neighbors

Grand Marshal: Ann Park

Judges’ Stand: Town Hall

Parade Judging Categories: Best of Parade; Best Business; Best Individual/Neighborhood; Best Community Organization/Church; Judges’ Choice Awards (three will be given). Floats are judged on originality, theme, enthusiasm and presentation.

10 a.m. – 1 p.m. ↔ Food vendors and activities

Village Green

Activities: face painting, bounce castle, food vendors:

Williston-Richmond Rotary: hamburgers, brownies and soda

Williston Boy Scouts: hot dogs, chips, water and soda

Williston Federated Church: ice cream sundaes

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. ↔ Fire Department open house


Stop by and check out the facility. Tours, car seat inspections and children’s safety activities.

Noon ↔ Parade Awards Presentation

Village Green Gazebo

7 p.m. ↔ entertainment

Allen Brook School

DJ music by Top Hat Entertainment, bounce castle and food vendors will be on hand for pre-firework activities.

Very limited parking is available at Allen Brook. A shuttle bus will be operating from Williston Central School starting at 7 p.m. Take advantage of the shuttle to eliminate the parking crunch at Allen Brook.

Dusk ↔ Fireworks display

Allen Brook School

Fireworks, by Northstar Fireworks, will begin at dusk, weather permitting. Anticipated start time is 9:20 p.m.

Rain date is July 5 at dusk.

Independence Day spirit endures through changes

Observer file photo
The annual Independence Day parade is a treasured, long-standing Williston event.

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

Williston’s celebration of Independence Day begins Tuesday with the annual Firecracker Fun Run and ice cream social and continues Wednesday with a morning parade and evening fireworks. [Read more…]

Students ‘read for Malawi’

Observer courtesy photo

Three students from the Brownell Mountain School on St. George Road in Williston recently completed a ‘Read for Malawi’ challenge.

For the month of May, Dahlia Michoma, Ajhauni Graham and Hailey Michell (pictured from left to right) rallied for sponsors to donate $1 for every book they read. Together, they were able to collect $40 by reading 40 books. Through additional contributions from parents and members of the Williston Seventh Day Adventist Church, the total was increased to $184.

All donations went to the Adventist Development and Relief Agency to benefit the country of Malawi. The students were inspired to give to Malawi based on a book they read called ‘Galimoto’ about a boy who lives in a village in Malawi. Through reading this book and other research, the students learned that Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and in need of help with agricultural development and nutrition.

The Brownell Mountain School is located in the Williston Seventh Day Adventist Church.

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…]