News from Aprils past in the Williston Observer (4/29/10)

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

• In April 2000, Williston began recruiting members for its own rescue squad after Iroquois First Response, which served Williston, Hinesburg and St. George, announced it was disbanding. More recently, the town decided to take public safety a step further by including a town-owned ambulance service in the municipal budget.


    File photo
Al Myers, a Williston Central School teacher who passed away last April, is shown here in his role as captain of the Champlain Valley Reenactors.

• An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale caused minor damage in the area, including broken windows and cracked foundations, in April 2002.

“We are fortunate to live in a country where building techniques prevent much damage from happening,” Vermont Emergency Management Director Ed von Turkovich said at the time.

• Sean McMannon was named the new principal of Champlain Valley Union High School in April 2005, beating out 14 other candidates for the position. The former CVU teacher and Fairbanks House director replaced 18-year veteran principal Val Gardner.

• Herb Goodrich was honored in April 2007 by the Selectboard for 50 years of service to the Williston Fire Department. Goodrich has served as a town lister, justice of the peace, fire warden, cemetery commissioner and Selectboard chairman.

• The CVU Scholars Bowl Team won its first state championship in April 2007 after defeating Hanover (N.H.) High School.

• More than 100 residents gathered at Williston Central School in April 2008 for the first event of Williston Into the Next Generation, commonly known as WING. The meeting kicked off with a community potluck supper and continued with a “free flow of thought” throughout the weekend, according to Judy Sassorossi, WING co-chairwoman. The group has since divided into subgroups to work on five areas identified as most important to the community.

• In April 2009, legislators overrode Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto and passed the landmark bill legalizing same-sex marriage. Williston Reps. Jim McCullough and Terry Macaig, along with Sen. Ginny Lyons of Williston, all voted for the legislation and to override the veto. Seeing same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue, Lyons said, “You can believe this is a sin, but really it isn’t.”

• Opponents of a proposed roundabout meant to ease traffic at a busy Williston Village intersection launched a petition drive in April 2009 stating there was no need for the roundabout.

“It would just make our little town look tacky,” resident Jill Mellion said.

Residents voted against the roundabout in an advisory measure included on the ballot in March 2010, so it is currently on hold.

• The death of longtime Williston Central School teacher and drama coach Al Myers on April 25, 2009 stunned the community. Myers died after falling from a ladder in the auditorium while working on the school’s spring play, “The Wizard of Oz.” Four Facebook tribute pages were quickly created, with hundreds of messages posted, and a May 16 celebration of his life was held at the school. In April of 2010, the school held a weeklong remembrance of Myers, which included Mustache Day.