August 4, 2015

Twin State basketball at Essex High Saturday

Champlain Valley Union High will be represented in both games Saturday when the annual Twin State basketball games featuring 2015 graduated senior all stars tip off at Essex High.

The Vermont and New Hampshire girls will clash at 6 p.m. The boys contest will follow at 7:30.

CVU point guard Caitlin Grasso is one of 12 stars on the Vermont girls roster. On the boys team, CVU forward-guard Chris Reiss will be in action.

Last summer, the games were at Keene State College in New Hampshire. The Vermont girls, coached by CVU’s Ute Otley and with four CVU graduates, won to reduce New Hampshire’s series lead to 19-13. Granite Staters came back to win the boys contest and hike their series lead to a similar 19-13.

Former Essex High boys basketball coach and now athletic director Jeff Goodrich has played a key role in bringing the games back to life in 2013 after they had been on the shelf for three years.

—Mal Boright, Observer correspondent

CVU veteran backstopping Essex Legion baseball nine

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

American Legion baseball has long been a summer seminar for high school players just reaching full potential when their short (14 to 18 games) interscholastic schedule ends the first days of June.

Add first-year, age-eligible college players returning for the summer, and the legion program rises a notch or two above the high school variety.

One such returnee this year is former Champlain Valley Union High catcher Hayden Smith, who recently completed his freshman year at Skidmore College in Albany, N.Y. And yes, he [Read more…]


Linda A. Foote

Foote, Linda

Linda A. Foote, 68, died on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at her home.

She was born in Bradford on April 21, 1947, the daughter of the late Kenneth and Hazel (Webster) Denton. She graduated from Mary Fletcher School of Nursing. She was married to John Foote on Aug. 31, 1968 in Bradford.

Linda loved to volunteer and always help others. She had at least 25 years that she volunteered with the Charlotte Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad. She was the first female firefighter in [Read more…]

Parks & Recreation News

Summer camps

The following camps still have openings and the Williston Recreation Department is accepting registration up to the Friday before the start date of each camp.

July 20-24: Baseball Camp; Tennis Camp; Horse Camp; Wonder Science; Drawing Camps

July 27-31: Soccer Camp; Tennis Camp; CSI Camp; Peppy Robots

Aug. 3-7: Harry Potter Camp; Garden Camp; All Terrain Tracker

The day camps still have some spaces available and registration is accepted up to the Friday prior. Weeks left for day camps are July 20-Aug. 10. Visit, to check out the camps and to register.

Instructors wanted

The Recreation Department is looking for instructors for the Fall/Winter session of program offerings. We are currently working on the Fall/Winter Guide, which will be distributed in early August and are looking for people that have an interesting, fun, educational or fitness related program to offer. If you would like to be considered as an instructor and offer a program, visit the recreation website, print off the instructor proposal and return it to the Recreation Department.

Great Escape tickets

Discount amusement park tickets and parking passes are available for the Great Escape at the Clerk’s Office in the Williston Town Hall. Park tickets are $37 each, a 30 percent savings. These tickets are less than a child’s ticket at the gate. Parking passes are $16 each, $20 at the gate. Tickets can be purchased Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

July 4 T-shirts for Sale

There are Fourth of July T-shirts for sale at the Town Clerk’s Office. T-shirts are $10 each and the department currently has men’s, women’s and youth sizes. T-shirts can be purchased Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

To learn more about the Williston Recreation and Parks Department, visit or email [email protected]

Little Details: Letter from Alsace

By Katherine Bielawa Stamper

Sitting in my garret apartment, fans hum at my feet and on the tabletop. My husband is out, map in hand, exploring the streets of Strasbourg, our French home for two weeks. Our daughter left a few days ago, catching three swift-moving trains to visit her former host family in Switzerland.

France is broiling. An intense heat wave has descended, roasting the palette of Monet, Manet and Matisse. Alsace bears the brunt of the sun’s belligerence. Temperatures reached 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Readings represent the highest mercury rise on record for this area, inhabited since the Neolithic age—not that Neoliths were tracking such things. Our daughter’s request to extend her stay in Switzerland demonstrates deep affection for her “other family.” It’s also about self-preservation amid the inferno. Her host parents have a built-in pool just outside their kitchen door. [Read more…]

Williston, firefighters and English bulldogs

By Dawna Pederzani

Some days are good. The weather is fine, coffee just right, no road rage or bottleneck traffic, friends and family well and accounted for. Some days are life changing. Today was one of those days for me personally and for Vermont English Bulldog Rescue.

A couple of weeks ago we approached the town about a photo shoot…an annual photo shoot for an annual fundraising calendar. Honestly, I thought the answer would start with an “A” for absolutely not! Well it did begin with an “A” but the answer was a resounding absolutely awesome idea! Anything for the dogs. [Read more…]

Lake Champlain drinking water being monitored for algae toxins

By Sarah Olsen

For Vermont Digger

The 22 drinking water treatment facilities along Lake Champlain have begun monitoring for blue-green algae toxins.

Weekly monitoring will occur over the next 12 weeks and was sparked by an incident in which a half-million residents of Toledo, Ohio, lost their drinking water due to an algae bloom in Lake Erie during the summer of 2014, said Sarah Vose, toxicologist for the Vermont Department of Health.

The program will have all the water system operators collecting samples from their respective sections of Lake Champlain on Mondays, which will be picked up by the Department of Health and submitted for toxin analyses on either Monday or Tuesday, depending on whether the facility is on the north or south side of the lake, Vose said.

For the full story, visit:

Town OKs medical marijuana dispensary plans

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

A proposed medical marijuana dispensary on Williston Road got the green light from the Williston Development Review Board.

The board held a discretionary permit hearing on Tuesday. The hearing is not a typical requirement for businesses moving into existing buildings, but is required under the town’s bylaws regulating medical marijuana dispensaries.

Board members voted unanimously to authorize Rutland County Organics to submit a final plan, the next step in the town’s planning process. Two members, John Bendzunas and Brian Jennings, recused themselves, since they work for federal agencies. DRB Chairman Scott Rieley abstained from voting. [Read more…]

NETS looks for zoning change

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

Residents will have a chance to weigh in next week on the NETS Institute for Church Planting’s plans for the former Pine Ridge School site.

The Planning Commission is set to hold a public meeting on July 21 at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall.

NETS signed a purchase and sales agreement last winter with People’s United Bank to buy the property. The organization plans to use the site for a residential theological seminary and training facility for church ministers. [Read more…]

PHOTOS: Fourth of July

July 4th_486 Celebration 2015

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