Observer celebrates 25 years (1/21/10)

Twenty-five years ago, a group of five women launched a community newspaper called the Williston Whistle. Today, that paper’s name has changed to the Williston Observer, but the paper still brings news to the people of Williston.


    File photos
The above headline and photos appeared in the Jan. 30, 1997 edition of the Williston Whistle. Wal-Mart had opened the previous day.

This year, in addition to the Observer’s news coverage, the paper will feature a monthly anniversary section. The section will appear throughout 2010, and will feature old photographs and news tidbits from years past.

The Observer would also like to publish a monthly column about various aspects of Williston’s history over the past 25 years, and is seeking volunteers from the community to write columns. The columns will be approximately 500 words. Topics may include, but are not limited to, schools, traffic, business and retail growth or other development issues.

If you would like to write a column, please contact Editor Greg Duggan at to share your idea. Proposals should be cogent and well thought-out.

We look forward to hearing from you!



> In January 1988, the Williston Whistle reported that the Williston Central School Board and the Teachers Association had reached a contract agreement on Dec. 30, 1987. The agreement cancelled a strike that teachers had planned for Jan. 27. The three-year contract was retroactive to September 1987, and gave teachers an average salary increase of 8.75 percent annually.

> Planning Commission Chairman George Gerecke presented Williston’s new Comprehensive Town Plan to the Regional Planning Commission on Jan. 22, 1990. When the plan was approved, Williston became the first community in the state to enact a town plan in accordance with new regional planning regulations.

> In the Jan. 24, 1992 edition of the Whistle, the paper reported that Champlain Valley Union High School was launching a pilot program called Graduation Challenge. The program, available as an elective to seniors, allowed the students to “complete independent research on a topic of their choice,” according to the article. Graduation Challenge still exists at the school, and is now a requirement for graduation.

> The Whistle reported on Jan. 12, 1995 that Williston police officer Bart Chamberlain had been promoted to the rank of sergeant after two years with the department. Chamberlain remains with the force, and currently serves as acting chief.

> In January 1997, 420 students and 50 teachers moved from Williston Central School into the new Allen Brook School.

> On Jan. 31, 2002, the Whistle reported that a petition called for a vote on a 1 percent local sales tax, which would help fund municipal services. Voters overwhelmingly approved the sales tax in March.