Christopher Ross


BEGINNING NEXT MONTH, someone other than Cheryl Estey will be picking up the phone when it rings at the Starksboro town office. Estey, who served as Town Clerk for more than 30 years, will retire on Town Meeting Day, March 2. Independent photo/Steve James
STARKSBORO — Starksboro Town Clerk Cheryl Estey loves her job because of the people. “Every day is different,” Estey said. “You never know who is going to call or stop by. I enjoy interacting with people.” Estey, who will retire on Town Meeting Day, March 2, has interacted with a lot of people over the past 38 years — sometimes in rather awkward circumstances. On one occasion in the mid-1980s, when Estey was assistant town clerk, an irate fellow marched up the walkway to the office. When Estey’s boss, Town Clerk Thelma Bedard, saw him coming, she hid under her desk and told Estey to deal with...

CARIN MCCARTHY
STARKSBORO — When Starksboro voters to go the polls on Town Meeting Day, March 2, they will be asked to elect two selectboard members. The seats’ current occupants are both running again: Koran Cousino for another three-year term and Carin McCarthy, a recent appointee, for her first full two-year term. Cousino is running unopposed, but McCarthy faces a challenge from Carrie Austgen. CARIN MCCARTHY McCarthy grew up in Starksboro, attending Robinson Elementary School and Mount Abraham Union High School. After attending college out of state and graduate school in Scotland, she returned to...

CELINE COON
STARKSBORO — Starksboro’s long-serving treasurer, Celine Coon, remembers moving to the town 43 years ago and seeing an article in the Addison Independent that referred to Starksboro as the fastest growing town in Addison County. “I was expecting Starksboro to change dramatically,” Coon said. But she’s grateful it hasn’t changed quite as much as was expected. “I’m one of those people who likes the small-town feel. I think it’s one of the best things about living here.” Nine years after moving to Starksboro, Coon was hired to work for the town, as its health officer. A few years later she...
NEW HAVEN — When New Haven voters go to the polls on Town Meeting Day, March 2, they will be asked to elect two selectboard members. The incumbents are both running again: Steve Dupoise for a two-year term and Jim Walsh for a three-year term. Dupoise is running unopposed, but Walsh faces a challenge from New Haven resident Bruce Many. JIM WALSH Walsh is completing his second term on the New Haven selectboard. Before joining the board he served for more than 10 years on the town’s planning commission. “I chose to seek one more term to continue with my efforts over the past three years to...
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union High School junior varsity boys’ basketball team has canceled practices and games this week after one of its players allegedly tested positive for COVID-19. The school’s varsity and JV boys’ teams opened their season last Friday, Feb. 12, by hosting Enosburg Falls High School, which is located in Franklin County. A couple of days later, Mount Abe Athletic Director Devin Wendel notified Enosburg Athletic Director Anthony Sorrentino that a Mount Abe JV player had tested positive for the disease, and likely had been positive during the Feb. 12 game, Sorrentino...

LIKE MANY RESTAURANTS operating in the COVID-19 pandemic, Cubbers in Bristol has had to limit its services to takeout, which requires fewer staff and staff hours. Still, with the help of federal and state relief grants, the cherished downtown eatery — like many in Addison County — has been able to cut fewer employees than it otherwise would have. Photo courtesy of Cubbers
ADDISON COUNTY — In this season of COVID-19, many businesses have been hamstrung by social distancing, fear of people they don’t know and, for many, less disposable income. Restaurants depend on drawing together diverse groups of people, sometimes in big groups, for shared food prepared by strangers, often at indoor venues. And they charge money that some people just don’t have right now. As a result restaurants have been among the types of businesses hardest hit. Most Addison County restaurants are open fewer hours each week than they were a year ago, some have gone into hibernation and...

THE FIVE MAUSD board candidates.
BRISTOL — In recent years the town of Bristol has not always been able to find enough candidates to run for the Mount Abraham Unified School District board. Not so this year. Five Bristol residents have thrown their hats in the ring for the two school board seats that are up for election on Town Meeting Day, March 2. Erin Jipner is challenging incumbent Kevin Hanson for a three-year seat, while Pamela Jennings and Bill Mount are challenging Krista Siringo for a two-year seat. That there is increased interest in the school board should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following public...

TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS INSIST this historic depot on Route 7 near Route 17 in New Haven be moved or demolished because it could produce a potential deadly line-of-sight obstruction when Amtrak trains come whizzing through the junction beginning late this year. Independent photo/Steve James
NEW HAVEN — If all goes well this year, and COVID-19 doesn’t slow things down even more, Amtrak passenger train service could be extended from Rutland through Addison County to Burlington by the end of this year, according to state transportation official Trini Brassard. Once the service is up and running, trains between Rutland and Burlington will make stops in Middlebury and Ferrisburgh. They will not, however, be stopping in New Haven, where the fate of a 19th-century train depot hangs in the balance. The building, which is located on the east side of Route 7, at the junction of Route 17,...

MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE HAS erected a winterized tent on the lawn next to the McCullough Student Center on campus where students arriving this weekend will be able to do such things as eat meals, reserve space for student-organized uses and pick up skates and helmets for use on a new outdoor ice skating rink being set up nearby. The college has also set up fire pits around campus where student can hang out in the COVID-safer outdoors. Photo by Tim Parsons
MIDDLEBURY — After a three-month hiatus, Middlebury College students will return to campus this Sunday and Monday, Feb. 21 and 22, to begin the spring 2021 semester. Because the pandemic is still very much with us, all incoming students were required to undergo a two-week pre-arrival quarantine, and their first couple of weeks on campus will be carefully managed. When they get to Middlebury students will go straight to the Virtue Field House to be tested for COVID-19, then head to their dorms for a mandatory room quarantine while they await the results. A week later they will undergo a second...
VERMONT — When the pandemic forced the Vermont General Assembly to leave Montpelier last March, Rep. Carolyn Partridge, D-Windham, who chairs the House Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, didn’t bother to take her good shoes with her, or the committee’s jade plant. But she did make sure she had her copy of the farm and food system plan that had been submitted to the Legislature that January. “Who knew that it would be nearly a year later, and we’re still not back in Room 32 (of the Statehouse),” Partridge said this week during a press conference held by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund to...

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Addison County Independent