January 21, 2018

Library Notes

The Dorothy Alling Memorial Library is located at 21 Library Lane in Williston, and can be reached at 878-4918.

NOTE: The library is currently closed for carpet replacement. It is scheduled to reopen at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17.

For Youth [Read more…]

Public input sought on new Richmond Town Forest management

The Town of Richmond invites the public to a workshop next Thursday to help plan the Richmond Town Forest, which the town is in the final stages of acquiring. [Read more…]


Woman allegedly returns donated toys for gift cards

Williston police cited Tanya Drown, 30, of Montpelier with returning toys to the Walmart in Williston under false pretenses last week.

Police allege that Drown on Dec. 23 returned toys to the store that she had received by donation from the Toys for Tots program and used gift cards she received in the exchange to make personal purchases. [Read more…]

Allen Brook trail expansion clears Act 250

Town wins approval to transfer agricultural restrictions off parcel

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

The Allen Brook Nature Trail that loops out from Williston Community Park is set for expansion this summer after the Town of Williston received approval from Vermont Act 250 land use commissioners in December to develop a trail extension to Jensen Road. [Read more…]

Library carpet flooded

Observer photo by Jason Starr
Mike Luce of G.W. Savage pulls up soaked carpet at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library on Monday.

… four days before
scheduled replacement

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

What a way for a carpet to go out, absorbing a flood that left roughly two thirds of the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library’s main floor under about an inch of water. [Read more…]

CVU Boy’s Hockey

Vt’s largest baby boomers and seniors event coming Feb. 3

Beatles tribute band concert, Dragonheart Vermont art display, exhibitors, workshops among offerings

The 23rd annual Vermont 50- Plus & Baby Boomers EXPO will be held Saturday, Feb. 3 at the Sheraton-Burlington Hotel & Conference Center (now called Hotel Burlington & Conference Center) at 870 Williston Road in South Burlington from 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. Baby Boomers, seniors and all ages are invited to enjoy a day of fun and learning including: more than 90 exhibit booths; seminars and workshops covering everything from health and wellness to money and travel; giveaways including a trip for two; Lyric Theatre “Classic Broadway” Musical Revue; dance party with DJ Charlie Rice; Beatles Tribute Band concert; Dragonheart Vermont art display and raffle and much more.

The Beatles Tribute Band concert will be held from 12-1 p.m. in the Emerald Ballroom. Hailed as “New England’s Best Beatles Tribute Band,” Studio Two continues its national tour in celebration of The Beatles music before America (1960-1963) and the early hits from the touring years (1963-1966). The headlining Beatles band pays tribute to the early Beatles years, choosing songs from the pre-Sgt. Pepper era. Unlike other Beatles acts that try to deliver the entire Beatles’ catalog, Studio Two concentrates only on the most exciting time in the Beatles’ career.

Tickets for the EXPO are $5 at the door, $4 in advance and can be purchased online. Ticket price is all inclusive, except for food concessions. The event is handicap accessible and includes free parking. Businesses and organizations interested in exhibiting at the event may call Marianne Apfelbaum at 872-9000 x 118 or email vermontmaturity@aol.com. For tickets and more information, visit vermontmaturity.com/expo or call (802)-872-9000 x118, or email vermontmaturity@aol.com.

Don’t eat this if you’re taking that

Savvy Senior

By Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior, If the prescription label says “take with meals,” does it matter what you eat? I currently take eight different medications for various health problems and would like to know if there are any foods I need to avoid. Over Medicated Dear Over, It depends on the medication.

Many meds should be taken with food — any food — to increase their absorption and reduce the risk of side effects. But some foods and medications can interact, reducing the medications’ effectiveness or increasing the risk of harmful side effects.

To stay safe, you should always talk to your doctor or pharmacist to learn the ins and outs of your prescriptions, along with what foods and beverages to avoid while you’re on it. In the meantime, here are some foods you should stay away from for some commonly prescribed drugs.

Cholesterol Medications: If you take a certain statin drug to control high cholesterol like Lipitor, Zocor, Altoprev, Mevacor, or generics atorvastatin, simvastatin or lovastatin, you should avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice.

Grapefruit can raise the level of the drug in your bloodstream and increase the risk of side effects, especially leg pain. Blood Pressure Medicine: If you take an ACE inhibitor drug like Capoten, Vasotec, Monopril, Zestril and others to lower your blood pressure, you should limit food that contains potassium like bananas, oranges, tomatoes, spinach and other leafy greens, sweet potatoes and salt substitutes that contain potassium.

ACE inhibitors raise the body’s potassium levels. Eating too many potassium-rich foods while taking an ACE inhibitor can cause an irregular heartbeat and heart palpitations. Blood Thinning Medications: If you are taking Coumadin, Jantoven, or the generic warfarin, you should limit kale and other greens, including broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and brussels sprouts that contain vitamin K. These foods can block the effects of these blood-thinning medications putting you at risk for developing blood clots. You also need to watch out for garlic, ginger, vitamin E and fish oil supplements because they can increase these medications blood-thinning abilities putting you at risk for excessive bleeding. Antidepressants: If you take a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressant like Marplan, Nardil, Emsam, Parnate, or generic isocarboxazid, phenelzine, selegiline or tranylcypromine, avoid aged cheeses, chocolate, cured meats and alcoholic drinks. These contain tyramine, which can raise blood pressure.

Normally, the body controls tyramine levels with an enzyme called monoamine oxidase, but the MAOI antidepressant block that enzyme. Thyroid Medications: If you take a medication for hypothyroidism like Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid or generic levothyroxine, you should avoid eating tofu and walnuts, and drinking soymilk. All these can prevent your body from absorbing this medicine.

Anti-Anxiety Medications: If you take medication for anxiety like Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, or generic alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam or lorazepam, you should avoid alcohol. These medications act as sedatives, binding with the brain’s natural tranquilizers to calm you down. But when you mix these drugs with alcohol, the side effects intensify, and can cause you to feel lightheaded, sleepy and forgetful.

Antibiotics: If you’re taking an antibiotic like Sumycin, Dynacin, Monodox, or generic tetracycline, doxycycline or minocycline, you should avoid dairy — milk, yogurt and cheese, calcium supplements and fortified foods — for a couple hours before and after taking the medicine. Calcium in dairy products binds to the antibiotic and prevents your body from absorbing it, making it ineffective. To find more dietary guidance on the drugs you take, see reliable health sites like MedlinePlus.gov or MayoClinic.org, or consider the excellent new AARP book “Don’t Eat This If You’re Taking That: The Hidden Risks of Mixing Food and Medicine” available at Amazon.com and BN.com for $13.

What’s Cooking?

By Cristina Clarimon-Alinder

What’s Cooking?

Homemade broth for wintery days

This is the season for sweets, heavy sauces and elaborate dishes. As much as we enjoy celebrating, the time comes when we are craving something a bit lighter. Broth is very easy to make, and it comes to the rescue when your kitchen is full to the brim with leftovers. With just one large pot, you can transform all your odds and ends into a versatile, nutritious dish. Broth soothes the lining of your gut, moistens it and reduces inflammation. When it’s cold and soggy outside, a big bowl of broth can comfort your mind and make you tingly all over from your toes to your fingertips. A broth made of chicken, turkey or other bones will also provide you with nourishing collagen and healthy nutrients. You can add practically any vegetable in your refrigerator. I often empty the bottom drawers where forgotten veggies languish, and come up with a succulent recipe for broth. Everyone is a winner: I have a clean and organized fridge and my family loves the resulting soup. To round up your broth, use spices liberally. I tend to use a tiny pinch of turmeric, saffron (a favorite of mine), celery seeds, a bit of cumin, black pepper and sea salt. Sometimes a dash of Spanish pimentón (smoked paprika) is all you need for a hearty broth. Remember that if you do not wish to use any animal ingredients, you can make very delicious, alkalizing and satisfying vegetable broth. Sautee all your veggies in a pan with lots of garlic and olive oil, cover with water and simmer. Omit the bones and instead use a generous amount of sautéed mushrooms and a splash of soy sauce for a rich umami flavor.

Basic Bone Broth
3-4 quarts of water (more if needed)
2 or 3 marrow bones (2 inch bones,
previously roasted)
chicken or turkey bones (previously
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion
½ green cabbage
3 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery
2 carrots
1 turnip
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. celery seeds
pinch turmeric
pinch saffron
pinch sea salt
pinch black pepper
Chop all of the vegetables into medium-sized pieces. Sauté in olive
oil inside a large pot. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the bones and cover
with cold water. Add the remaining spices and bring to a boil. Simmer
for two hours, adding liquid as needed. Discard the solids and store in
an air tight container.
Makes approximately 2 quarts of golden, rich broth.

Six reasons to visit James Madison’s Montpelier

Observer contributed photo
The ‘other’ Montpelier – James Madison’s plantation in Orange County, Virginia.

Whether it’s time for a school field trip, a family vacation or you’re looking to bolster your knowledge of U.S. history, there are countless historic sites around the country where you can get away and learn about the nation’s foundation. For a truly engaging experience, James Madison’s Montpelier in Orange County, Virginia, gives families, students and the history-inclined a way to peer into the past for a look at Founding Era life. The home of the former President known as the “father of the Constitution” provides a thought-provoking educational opportunity. Visitors can learn about Madison, the process and ideals behind the Constitution and tour his recently-restored home. They can also experience The Mere Distinction of Colour, an exhibition about slavery at the time our country was beginning and its legacy today. The property has a rich history that began in 1801 when Madison inherited Montpelier. He and his wife Dolley eventually retired there when his political career came to an end after living in the White House. Madison oversaw more than 100 enslaved African-Americans at the property who worked to maintain it as a tobacco and wheat farm. Visitors are able to absorb this history through his former home, the exhibition and the 2,650-acre property by walking the grounds, participating in trail walks, witnessing public archaeology digs and touring on-site exhibitions, among many other reasons to visit this historical landmark.


Each year, more than 125,000 visitors travel to Montpelier to experience its powerful history and picturesque landscape. The home and grounds are open to visitors and student groups throughout the year, and attendees can take guided tours or trek out on their own throughout the property. Tours include Madisons’ home, which was recently restored to its Founding Era decor; lessons about the first lady; or walking tours throughout The Mere Distinction of Colour exhibition, which also includes the South Yard and former homes of the enslaved community.


The public archaeology program at Montpelier, which started in the 1990s, is one of the only in the country that allows the public to participate and pulls back the curtain on the archaeological process. The public, and even those descended from Montpelier’s enslaved community, have discovered many artifacts, now on display. These treasures show how those enslaved people lived and give a glimpse into their lives.


The Mere Distinction of Colour illuminates the struggles of those enslaved during the 19th century and provides visitors the chance to contemplate slavery during the Founding Era. One of the ways the exhibition does this is by featuring stories of those enslaved at Montpelier through the recordings of living descendants. Documentary research, 17 years of archaeological excavation, oral history and cultural exploration all went into the exhibition, which is located in the cellars of the main Madison house as well as four reconstructed slave dwellings and work buildings in the South Yard.


While many history fans are familiar with George Washington’s Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Montpelier allows for another in-depth opportunity to discover the lives of the country’s founding presidents. The signature tour – the classic, keystone experience of Montpelier – touches on many aspects of Madison’s personal and professional life as the fourth President of the United States.


Discover Montpelier as a family with hands-on tours designed for children. They’ll be able to discover artifacts, documents and paintings while learning about the house, the Madison family and the enslaved community.


With more than eight miles of well-marked walking trails, it’s easy to get your steps in during a day at Montpelier. The multiple separate trails offer views of the Blue Ridge Mountains as they wind through pastures, wildflower meadows and forests. Open to the public during business hours seven days a week, there’s always a chance of encountering native plants and wildlife on the trails. For more information, including a list of daily tours, visit Montpelier.org.

Madison Family Fast Facts

Find out more about the fourth President of the United States with these quick facts about James Madison and his family:


James Madison was born March 16, 1751, in Port Conway, Virginia. His political career started local, as a member of the Orange County Committee of Safety in 1774, before being elected to the Virginia legislature in 1776. At his father’s death in 1801, Madison inherited Montpelier and the 100-plus enslaved African-Americans who came with it.


In the three-year period between 1786-1789, James Madison, still in his 30s, secured passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, organized the Constitutional Convention, introduced the framework for the U.S. Constitution known as the Virginia Plan and drafted the Bill of Rights.


The Madison family retired to Montpelier in 1817 when James was 65 years old and his wife, Dolley, was 49. An enthusiastic farmer, Madison applied the practices he’d researched to raise wheat and tobacco. While Madison considered freeing his own slaves, he decided to leave them to Dolley in his will with the expressed desire that she not sell them without their consent (a wish she ultimately failed to honor). Madison died June 28, 1836. He is buried in the family cemetery at Montpelier, where Dolley, his wife of 42 years, eventually joined him.