2020 in review


MARCH 12, 2020
#1 COVID: THE STORY THAT AFFECTED EVERYONE ALL YEAR Early in 2020 word began to reach the U.S. and Addison County of a deadly respiratory disease striking a Chinese city with a name unfamiliar to most — Wuhan. We saw images of masked residents and health care workers and troops in hazmat gear. Middlebury College students in China had to abandon their studies and hurry back stateside. Porter Hospital began to make preparations — just in case. Before long it all hit home. Lockdowns. Masks. Social distancing. Closed schools, town offices and businesses. Layoffs. A recession. Rising infection...

MOUNT ABE FORWARD Txuxa Konczal slipped this shot between the right post and Burr & Burton’s goalie, and it proved to be the winning score in the shootout that determined the D-II field hockey champion in a game played at South Burlington. Independent photo/Steve James
ADDISON COUNTY — The past year was not ideal for sports, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. But once we all figured out how we could compete in many sports safely, the athletes and lovers of athletics among us found some pretty good ways to play and watch. Last week we recapped the active winter sports season, virtually non-existent spring season, and the emergence of at least some athletes over the summer. This week we look back at fall and early winter sports in Addison County. SEPTEMBER Sept. 8 was a big day — high school athletes could practice again while observing COVID-19 protocols,...

IT’S NOT UNHEARD of to see a group of cows walking along a road in Vermont, but this mob was spotted on Route 7/North Pleasant Street, a main thoroughfare through Middlebury, at a little after noon on New Year’s Eve. A customer at Randy’s Garage had the presence of mind to capture this scene with a camera; he also helped corral the bovines behind a restaurant a few blocks away. The photos we posted of this event were — by far — the most popular thing we posted on Facebook all year. Photo by Andrew L'Roe
Editor's note: 2020 was unlike most years. Wow. A global pandemic reached even this small part of the world to turn our lives upside down, and you read about it in the Addison Independent. But if the unprecedented health crisis was the year's big story, there were many other stories that touched Addison County. We present this look back to help you bring to mind the big stories and some of the smaller ones.  Have a happy new year in 2021 — you deserve it! JANUARY January 2020 began with confirmation that incumbent Middlebury Selectwoman Laura Asermily wouldn’t seek another three years on...

ELSIE LYNN PARINI
Arts+Leisure celebrated it’s fourth full year in 2020. Twelve months, 52 issues, over 700 pages, all dedicated to arts and events going on in Addison County — in spite of COVID-19. They say hindsight is 20-20, so what do we have to say now looking back at a year like no other? We’ll stick to the positives: In 2020, we had the opportunity to highlight the work of more than 46 local artists, actors, musicians and craftspeople; see over 36 exhibits; 12 film events; suggest 93 don’t-miss events happening right here in Addison County; learn nine valuable gardening lessons from our own Master...
From this desk, it’s difficult to separate the year 2020 from the Trump-inflicted chaos that consumed the country. But as our 9-page retrospective in this issue depicts, life was racing along full-tilt on many other fronts. During a competitive Democratic presidential primary at the start of 2020, Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders poised a serious challenge to former Vice-President Joe Biden. By the end of March, however, Biden was showing national strength in the South and the coronavirus began dominating the news and life in America — as it would for the rest of the year. In Addison County, and...
Will 2020 be remembered as the start of the nation’s rejuvenation, its crawl back from the edge of insanity to a nation once again embraced in the world community, and respected for its leadership in human rights, political realism and its adherence to science-based facts to guide national and international policy? Or will 2020 be remembered as the year Trump undermined America’s democratic principles, led the Republican party hopelessly astray embracing one conspiracy theory after another, endlessly denigrating opponents yet never offering a platform from which to bridge divides, reduce...

PANTHER MADIE LEIDT fires on the Hamilton net in a NESCAC semifinal. The Middlebury College women’s hockey team won the NESCAC regular season, earned a bid to the NCAA Division III tournament, and were ranked No. 2. The tournament was canceled. Independent file photo/Steve James
Part one of two. ADDISON COUNTY — The year 2020 in sports will be remembered in many ways for what didn’t happen, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Winter high school and college postseasons abruptly halted. Spring seasons never started. Summer? No American Legion Baseball. No Champlain Valley Swim League. No armwrestling, tractor pulling or demolition derby at Field Days. Fall? No Middlebury College sports, and some athletes decided to take a gap year. And Vermont high school athletes began practicing late and began playing later than expected. Masked athletes took to fields, trails and...

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Addison County Independent