October 25, 2014

Observer anniversary – July news

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July a month of baseball, divers and name changes

July 29, 2010

The Williston Observer is celebrating its 25th year providing news to the community. Here are some stories from past months of July:

> The July 1987 edition of the Williston Whistle included an article about resident Mike Bonfigli’s visit home from volunteer work with the Peace Corps in Honduras. In the Central American country, Bonfigli helped organize classes for lobster divers, teaching them safe scuba diving methods.

> The July 1989 issue of the Williston Whistle was dedicated to the new town plan, which was ready to be reviewed at a series of public meetings. The former town plan was adopted in 1982. Major issues included managing growth, preserving open land, providing affordable housing and protecting the historic town center.

> The Planning Commission approved the site plan for the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club at Taft Corners in 1991, as reported in the July 1991 edition of the Whistle. Wal-Mart opened in 1997.

> Residents of the Lake Iroquois area organized to combat the spread of the invasive aquatic plant Eurasian milfoil, according to an article in the July 15, 1992 issue of the Whistle. Volunteer divers pulled plants out by the roots, which are about the size of a basketball, near the boat access and a cove at the southern end of the lake.

> The Williston Selectboard used an ice cream truck to reach out to residents, according to the July 27, 1995 issue of the Whistle. The Selectboard visited several neighborhoods, giving out free ice cream, in an effort to be more visible and boost attendance at its often-empty meetings.

> The Williston Planning Commission approved the final subdivision and site plan for the Maple Tree Place development in a 6-1 decision just before midnight on July 8, as reported in the July 10, 1997 issue of the Whistle. According to the article, “a vocal majority of Williston residents” and town officials were supportive of the project.

> The July 15, 1999 edition of the Williston Whistle included a story about Rachel Salvatori, the first girl to make Williston’s District I Little League Tournament Team. Rachel, then 10 years old, had been playing baseball for six years and said she wasn’t surprised to have made the team, according to the article.

> The July 7, 2000 issue of the Whistle contained an article about Williston residents Eileen Blackwood and Lynn Goyette. The two “became one of the first gay and lesbian couples in U.S. history to be joined in civil union,” the Whistle reported. The Saturday morning ceremony took place in Monkton, hours after the couple obtained a license at Williston Town Hall.

> The Haunted Forest reached an agreement to move to Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston, the Whistle reported on July 25, 2002. The annual Halloween-time event, which features spooky skits, had been located at the Audubon Nature Center in Huntington. The Haunted Forest still takes place at Catamount each year.

> On July 31, 2003, the Williston Whistle changed its name to the Williston Observer. The change had been announced the previous week “to better reflect the paper’s role in the community.” Over the previous 18 years, the community newspaper had evolved from a volunteer monthly publication to a weekly staffed by journalists, graphic artists, account executives and publishers. Some readers still refer to the paper as the Whistle.

> Champlain Valley Union High School gained a new mascot in 2005. The Redhawks replaced the Crusaders, the Observer reported on July 14 that year. The new name beat out the Red Wolves and the Bobcats in a district-wide survey.

> Williston’s 11- and 12-year-old Little League All-Star team won the state championship in 2008, with a story appearing in the Observer on July 31. The team had won the District I title a week earlier with a 6-4 win over South Burlington. Williston’s All-Stars were eventually knocked out of the New England Regional Little League Tournament, played in Connecticut.

> The July Fourth preview in the July 2, 2009 edition of the Observer noted that the town’s annual Ice Cream Social would for the first time be a waste-free event. The Williston Historical Society and Williston Green Initiatives partnered to offer compostable utensils and biodegradable bowls instead of Styrofoam plates and plastic spoons.

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