July 29, 2015

Around Town

Hydrant flushing

Williston will be flushing hydrants in the month of July and August. Some residents may experience low pressure at times.

Summer meals for kids

To prevent the loss in programming and support expansion of summer meal programs, Hunger Free Vermont is working with the USDA and local communities to provide free meals for children in libraries, day care centers and housing developments across the state. Altogether, meals and snacks will be served in 270 locations across the state. While there are no meal locations in Williston, there are meal sites in Essex Junction, Burlington, Colchester, Milton and Winooski open to all children 18 and under. For a list, visit www.hungerfreevt.org/summer-meals-sites [Read more…]

New property tax rate set

Observer staff report

Property tax rates are set to climb by approximately 3.5 cents this year.

The state recently released its education tax rates—by far the largest portion of property taxes. [Read more…]

Four arrested after Williston pipeline protest

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

Four people were arrested after chaining themselves together or to equipment at a Vermont Gas worksite in Williston Tuesday morning.

Approximately two dozen protesters gathered before 7 a.m. at the site on Hurricane Lane, according to Williston Police Chief Todd Shepard. When police were called and requested that protesters leave, most eventually did. Four protesters, however, remained. Two were chained to heavy equipment, while two others were chained together, Shepard said. [Read more…]

Report shows no progress on Lake Champlain cleanup

By Erin Mansfield

For Vermont Digger

The recently released 2015 State of the Lake Report shows Lake Champlain’s water quality continues to be a “cause for concern.”

The report, which came out on June 30, found that phosphorus levels in the lake since 1990 have continued to increase and, while small improvements have been made, they have yet to make a significant impact on the overall status of the lake.

The State of the Lake and Ecosystem Indicators Report is released every three years by the Lake Champlain Basin Program, as required under the Lake Champlain Special Designation Act of 1990. The program works with the government agencies of New York, Vermont and Québec, private organizations, local communities, and volunteers to protect and improve the Lake Champlain Basin’s water quality, fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, recreation and resources.

But in the 25 years since the program was established, pollution levels in Lake Champlain have only gotten worse.

For the full story, visit:  vtdigger.org

Decoding the new beverage tax

Williston stores scramble to meet requirements

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

Small business owners faced a daunting task when the calendar flipped to July—interpreting and implementing the state’s new tax on sweetened beverages.

On July 1, Vermonters may have noticed a price jump in their sweetened beverages. Retailers were required to begin adding a 6 percent sales tax—7 percent in towns that charge a local option tax, like Williston—on non-alcoholic beverages that contain a sweetener. The provision was included in the tax changes passed by the Vermont Legislature in May. [Read more…]

“Inside Out” Out and Out Insightful


4 popcorns

4 popcorns

By Michael S. Goldberger

Special to the Observer


Directors Peter Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen’s “Inside Out,” an animated delight about the human psyche, sublimely bridges the parent-child gap and manages to be fully entertaining on several wonderfully perceptive levels. It is that rare breed of cinema that, without kowtowing compromise, plays to all groups along the age spectrum. Tapping into heartwarming wisdom and proffering universal truths, it’s charmingly indiscernible as to whether it’s a kiddy flick for grownups or vice versa. It is sure to be Meghan and Max’s entrée to seriously good filmmaking.

[Read more…]

PHOTOS: Robin Hood

Robin Hood _018 30Jun15

Observer courtesy photos The Very Merry Theatre performed ‘Robin Hood’ at the library on Tuesday. ABOVE: The audience meets the Sheriff of Nottingham

Robin Hood _081 30Jun15 [Read more…]

PHOTOS: Ham radio field days

‘Ham’ radio operators Brian Machesney (left) and Paul Gayet with the Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont club speak with another station using Morse code during the annual ARRL Field Day, a three-day event held last weekend in Williston. The group made 3,675 contacts with other hams around the country over the weekend, despite ‘remarkably poor radio conditions,’ according to club leader Mitch Stern. This year, the group asked for donations to COTS based upon the number of contacts it made. Field Day is a national event where clubs from all over the U.S. and Canada set up radio communication centers, literally in the field. The center is totally self-contained and the club brings in all the radio equipment, antennae, shelter in the form of tents and food while producing its own power from generators and batteries. The idea is that if there was a severe disaster in which all power and communications were knocked out, such as Hurricane Katrina, such stations would still allow communications in and out of stricken areas. Field Day is also a friendly competition in which stations vie for the highest number of contacts and points from these temporary stations. [Read more…]



David “Dave” Charles Morency, educator and beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, died at his home in Williston on Saturday, June 27, 2015, after a brief illness. He was surrounded by his family and buoyed by the support of his much-loved sister and brother, as well as many other relatives, friends and colleagues. Dave was born in Salem, Mass., on Sept. 11, 1938, to the late Joseph and Irene Morency. He grew up in a loving extended family that included his two siblings and two cousins. He attended St. Mary’s Elementary School and St. John’s Prep High School, where he graduated in 1956. Dave was appointed to the US Naval Academy in 1957, and went on to become an officer in the United States Navy. He served with distinction on the surface ship USS Keppler (DD-765) until 1962, at which time he was interviewed and selected by Admiral Rickover to be an officer in the Nuclear Submarine program. Dave served on the USS Lafayette (SSBN-616), and then on the USS Lapon (SSN-661), a nuclear submarine on which he was a member of the commissioning crew. In later years, he enjoyed sharing stories about his naval career, including his ship’s [Read more…]

What’s Cooking? Fourth of July potato salad

By Lucy McCullough

Years ago, my mother-in-law’s favorite summer event was the Fourth of July celebration.

The festivities started shortly after the parade ended. Friends and neighbors knew they were always welcome to come join the party. They usually brought something for the grill and a little something to add to the table. The kids ran free and the adults would play horseshoes while others watched and socialized. The day ended after a trip to the hilltop to watch the fireworks.

[Read more…]