November 27, 2014

POPCORN: “Interstellar” Relatively Far Out



Relatively Far Out

3 & ½ popcorns

By Michael S. Goldberger
Special to the Observer


I contemplated the critiquing task that lay ahead with trepidation. Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar,” taking us once more into the breach of apocalyptic rumination and adventure, boasted a daunting length of 169 minutes. That’s 2.81 human hours. I feared I’d be an old man when I exited…the world will have changed; no one would know me, nor I them. But then this is what I signed up for when I took the hypocritical oath at Olde Ivy Film Criticism College. Maybe I’d bring hot dogs, Sterno, a sleeping bag and a change of clothes. [Read more...]

PHOTOS: First snow in Williston



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Recipe Corner: New recipes for Thanksgiving


By Ginger Isham

This is a special year for our family. We have much to be thankful for, as everyone has good health. I would love to hug all the doctors who perform miracles on the human body so we can have our loved ones with us. To new life and new recipes I have yet to make for my family.

Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake Pie
1 baked gingersnap pie crust for 9 inch pie (or other kind)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
8 ounces soft cream cheese
2 eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 cup canned pumpkin
Pulse sugar and ginger in food processor until chopped fine, add cream cheese and pulse until smooth. Add eggs, milk, flour, nutmeg and salt and pulse just until combined. Save 2/3 cup.
Whisk together remaining cheese mixture and pumpkin. Pour this mixture into pie crust. Stir the reserved cream cheese mix and drizzle decoratively over top of that in pie dish. Swirl with back of spoon. Place on baking sheet and put in 350-degree oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes.
May cool two hours, chill at least four hours. Cover loosely with foil. Can be chilled up to 3 days. [Read more...]

Savvy Senior: Help quitting smoking


By Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior,
Can Medicare help me quit smoking? I just turned 65 and would like to quit but need some help.
—Coughing Connie

Dear Connie,
Yes, Medicare actually covers up to eight face-to-face counseling sessions a year to help beneficiaries quit smoking. And, if you have a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, certain smoking-cessation medications are covered, too. Here are some other tips that can help you kick the habit. [Read more...]

HUB Happenings


The Coburn Agency celebrates new leadership

Michael Coburn

Michael Coburn

Michael Coburn
Allstate Insurance Company announced that Michael Coburn has assumed ownership of The Coburn Agency of Williston. Coburn, son of original agency owner, John Coburn, has been working in the agency for more than eight years.
“The agency is owned and operated by a familyand customers tell us that we make them feel like family, too,” Coburn said.
Nicole Malon Joins KW Vermont Realty
Nicole Malon, who has more than 30 years of sales and marketing experience, recently joined KW Vermont Realty.
An active member of the Williston community, Malon currently serves as a physician outreach volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association and she volunteers for the Williston Food Shelf. [Read more...]

Nominations sought for Vt. small business awards


The Small Business Administration Vermont District Office is accepting nominations for its annual small business awards. Previous Vermont winners include Ben and Jerry’s, Switchback Brewing Company and Vermont Teddy Bear Company. The categories are as follows:
Small Business Person of the Year
Individual or partners who own a small business which has increased sales, profits and employees and been in business for three years.
Exporting Small Business of the Year
Small business which has increased sales, profits and/or employees due to exporting and been in business for three years.
Family-Owned Small Business of the Year
Small business must be family-owned for at least 15 years and ownership has transitioned to another generation.
Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year
Small business at least 51 percent owned by a veteran of U.S. armed forces, which has been in business for three years.
Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year
Small business at least 51 percent owned by a woman, which has been in business for three years.
Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Individual or partners who own a small business, are under 35 and have been in business for three years.
Microenterprise of the Year
Individual or partners who own a microenterprise with five or less employees, received SBA assistance and have been in business for three years.
The nomination deadline is Dec. 9.
To nominate a Vermont small business, email [email protected] the company’s name, owner’s name and award category. Businesses may self-nominate.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 828-4422.

WageWorks opens Williston office


Observer staff report
Dozens of employees have finished moving into their new office space in Maple Tree Place this week.
WageWorks, Inc., which administers consumer-directed benefits, relocated its Choice Strategies division from Waterbury Center to Williston. The company was set to host a ribbon cutting ceremony and luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the new office, located at 28 Walnut Street, Suite 250. [Read more...]

CVU Nordic team hosting fundraising auction


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
For more information, contact coach Sarah Strack at [email protected]



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


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...]