November 27, 2014

Letters to the Editor


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


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


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

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


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

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

3 popcorns

3 popcorns


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...]

PHOTOS: Girls Volleyball Championship


282 [Read more...]

Recipe Corner: Fine Fish for Dinner


By Ginger Isham

A saying goes “show me a fish hater and I’ll show you a person who has never tasted properly cooked fish.” I, for one, do not like all fish but these are favorite dishes of mine. These recipes come from a 1974 American Heart Association cookbook.

Alice’s Quick & Easy Baked Scallops
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup dry white wine
juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 pound scallops
Heat butter, wine, lemon juice and thyme. Pour over rinsed scallops. Marinate for 15-20 minutes at room temperature. Bake in a 450-degree oven for 5-6 minutes. Do not overcook.

Baked Cod
1 pound cod fillet, cut into 2-inch squares
4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 medium carrots, scraped and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (made from skim milk)
black pepper
1- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Place fish pieces into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Place potato and carrot pieces between fish pieces. Place dabs of butter over all. Season with pepper. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve garnished with parsley.

Poached fish with sauce
2 pounds fish fillets, no skin
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 bay leaf
1 cup hot water or white wine
sprig of parsley
Saute onion and celery in oil. Place fish fillets on top, add water or wine and seasonings. Cover and simmer about 8 minutes. Serve with one of following sauces.

Lemon Parsley Sauce
Heat 1/2 cup butter and juice of one large lemon in sauce pan. Add some lemon rind and chopped parsley and pour over fish.
Horseradish Sauce
Melt a tablespoon of butter in pan and stir in 4 teaspoons flour and cook briefly. Add about 2 tablespoons horseradish and 1 cup fish stock or clam juice. Cook until thickened.
Ginger Isham lives with her husband on a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road.

How to improve your balance as you age


By Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior,
I’ve always been a walker, but when I fell last month my doctor suggested I start doing some balance exercises. Is this really something I need to practice? What can you tell me?
—Avid Walker

Dear Walker,
Most people don’t think much about practicing their balance, but you should, the same way that you walk to strengthen your heart, lungs and overall health, or you stretch to keep your body limber.
As we age, our balance declines—if it isn’t practiced—and can cause falls. Every year, more than one in three people age 65 years or older fall and the risk increases with age. A simple fall can cause a serious fracture of the hip, pelvis, spine, arm, hand or ankle, which can lead to hospital stays, disability, loss of independence and even death. [Read more...]