September 20, 2018


David L. Leary

David L. Leary, 61, of Williston, died on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at his home. He was born in Burlington, Vermont on July 26, 1957 to James and Ann (McCullough) Leary. He was known locally in Burlington as The Scone Man. He was a caring father and soul to many.

David leaves his mother, Ann Leary of Williston; his children, Amber Comstock of Fairfax, Tempe Robins of Cave Creek, AZ, Lisa Leary of Phoenix, AZ, and Dan Leary of Burlington; his grandchildren, Lila Robins, Finn Robins, Noah Weeks; his brothers, Brian Leary of Williston, Steven Leary of Winooski, John and Colleen Leary of Winooski, Kevin and Becky Leary of LaGrange, KY; his sister Sarah Leary of Williston; and brother, Peter and Tammy Leary of Swanton; 21 nieces and nephews; extended family and friends. He was predeceased by his father James Leary and brother, Timothy Leary.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Josephs Home at 243 N. Prospect St.on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Burlington, VT. Luncheon at St. Marks Parish 1251 N. Ave, Burlington, VT.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in memory of David to the Committee on Temporary Shelter serving Vermont at or the Howard Center at, both organizations David supported. Arrangements are in the care of the A.W. Rich Funeral Home. For directions or to send online condolences please visit

White hired to lead communications for Ski Vermont

Observer courtesy photo
Adam White is the new director of communications at Ski Vermont.

Adam White was recently hired as the director of communications for Ski Vermont, the non-profit advocacy group that represents the state’s alpine and Nordic ski areas. [Read more…]

Open house planned for new yoga space

Observer courtesy photo
Yoga Roots co-owners Heidi Kwarsnek, right and Lynn Alpeter outside their new studio in WIlliston.

Yoga Roots, a yoga studio based in Shelburne, is holding a grand opening party for its new location in Williston.

The event is scheduled for Friday, Sepat. 7 at the new studio space inside the Kismet Place building at 373 Blair Park Road. It will include free classes, demos and talks, goodie bags and raffle prizes from other Kismet Place businesses.

Yoga Roots was founded in 2013 by co-owners Heidi Kvasnak and Lynn Alpeter.

Library Notes

Library feels feedback on new strategic plan

Every five years, the library staff and trustees review how we have done and what we can do better. We gather statistics on library usage, community demographics and resident feedback. As part of this effort, a four-question survey is now posted at Please take a few minutes to fill it out. Your answers make a big difference.

For Youth [Read more…]

Guest Column: What Americans think about their schools

By William J. Mathis

“Schools are not as good as they were in my day … Things are out of control.”

Said in a variety of ways, over half the population agrees with this sentiment. The truth is that schools are a lot better in many ways, and worse in others.

Among the better ways, since 1971, when reliable records became available, 9- and 13-year-olds have registered steady improvement in reading and math, while minority students are closing achievement gaps. The national graduation rate is at an all-time high of 84 percent, and it has steadily increased since we passed 50 percent in 1948. Serving needy children is now the law of the land. [Read more…]

ACLU seeks repeal of panhandling bans

A homeless encampment in Burlington’s South End. Photo by Mike Polhamus/VTDigger.

By Alexandre Silberman

For VTDigger

The Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is calling on six Vermont towns to repeal ordinances that ban panhandling — even though most are unenforced.

Communities around the state have struggled with how to address concerns from business owners and residents who feel harassed on the street, while balancing the First Amendment rights of panhandlers. [Read more…]

Organizers prep for Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Observer courtesy photo by Stephen Mease
Participants set out on last year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Shelburne Museum.

Observer courtesy photo by Stephen Mease
Louise Plouffe of Williston participates in last year’s walk.

Nonprofit hopes to raise $300K for care, support and research

The Champlain Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s returns to Shelburne Museum on Sunday, Sept. 16, rain or shine. This is the Alzheimer’s Association’s largest annual event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. [Read more…]

Yearlong Route 2A reconstruction begins

A 12-month construction project on Route 2A through Williston from the intersection of Bittersweet Circle to the town line with Essex at the Winooski River bridge began this week with the installation of construction signage. [Read more…]

Erosion control project improves Lake Iroquois feeder stream

Observer courtesy photo
Volunteers build infrastructure to control runoff from a stream in Hinesburg that feeds Lake Iroquois.

The Lake Iroquois Association partnered with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps this summer to restore the floodplain and control sediment from of one of the muddier streams that feeds the lake. [Read more…]

Rumbles ruffle resident

Observer photo by Jason Starr
Michael Finnefrock makes the case for removing rumble strips newly installed on North Williston Road on Tuesday in front of the Williston Selectboard.

Board backtracks on North Williston Road traffic control measure

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

A safety enhancement project on North Williston Road got off to an inauspicious start this summer when the first element was installed incorrectly.

Public Works Director Bruce Hoar admitted fault Tuesday in a presentation to the selectboard, acknowledging that the 2,000 feet of rumble strips installed in August is a longer stretch than the board originally approved. [Read more…]