Christopher Ross


WILLIAM MATHIS
Editor’s note: This is the seventh in a series about the growing pains of Addison County schools in 1965-66 and the Vermont Commissioner of Education’s ambitious plan to address them. Read the entire series here. ADDISON COUNTY — Upon completion of a recent series about the challenges faced by county schools in the mid-1960s, the Independent reached out to a number of local and state educators and education experts to get their take on what lessons, if any, might be learned by looking at previous upheavals in education history. The conversations were lively and illuminating and touched on...
BRISTOL — During an interview of two Bristol residents who had applied to fill a vacancy on the Mount Abraham Unified School District Board Tuesday night, Starksboro representative Steve Rooney jokingly asked the candidates how they felt about attending four-hour board meetings. The quip inspired laughter all around. And then Tuesday night’s board meeting fell just minutes shy of four hours. In an interview process that lasted the better part of an hour and included a hastily called executive session, the MAUSD board, in consultation with the Bristol selectboard, did appoint a replacement for...
BRISTOL — Bristol officials have begun brainstorming ways to spend the $1,148,473 in federal COVID relief funding the town has been designated to receive through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). ARPA is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package passed by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden this past March. Addison County’s 23 communities will receive a combined $3.78 million in direct municipal ARPA funding and will share, according to their 2019 estimated populations, an additional $7.02 million earmarked for the county, for a total of $10.8 million. Bristol’s direct...

THE MIDWAY WAS bright and the crowds were plentiful at the Addison County Fair and Field Days last month, as seen in this photo from the top of the Ferris wheel. The annual fair recorded a turnout of 40,000 visitors. Photo by Brittany Nevins
NEW HAVEN — After a one-year pandemic-induced hiatus, Addison County Fair and Field Days returned in full force last month. The Aug. 10-14 fair attracted 40,000 visitors despite concerns about the resurgent coronavirus, according to Field Days Business Manager Cara Mullin. That is about on par with recent years. “We were super excited to see all of our friends again,” Mullin said. Not too long ago 40,000 attendees would have been considered record-breaking, and it’s better than 2015 (37,000) and 2016 (27,000), years that had the added advantage of not being held during a pandemic. Field Days...

TWO MAPS, ONE from June 2019 and one from August 2021, show the spread of the emerald ash borer in Vermont. In recent weeks the voracious invasive species, which feeds on and eventually decimates ash trees, has been detected in Berlin, Highgate, Rupert, St. Albans, Swanton, Wilmington — and Middlebury. Courtesy of vtinvasives.org
MIDDLEBURY — A second Addison County town has confirmed the presence of the emerald ash borer. Last month a trap hanging from an ash tree on the Middlebury town green showed evidence of the invasive species, and was subsequently confirmed by state officials, according to Middlebury Tree Committee member Judy Wiger-Grohs. Middlebury, along with eight other county communities, had been designated as a “high risk area” for the destructive beetle in June 2019, after an infestation was discovered in Bristol. The emerald ash borer (EAB), which is native to eastern and southeastern Asia, kills North...
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Unified School District is seeking residents to serve on a committee that will help evaluate various long-range facilities proposals. According to a district announcement last week the Community Input Committee, or CIC, will work with the MAUSD’s consultant, Nate Levenson of New Solutions K12, to refine the criteria used to assess and compare facilities proposals, provide feedback on the consultant’s reports, and be a sounding board for the school board and the community, among other things. The MAUSD board asked the community for proposals six months ago, after it...
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Unified School District board is looking to fill a school board seat vacated by Bristol resident Annie Denny last month. Denny, who was elected to the board in 2020, resigned on Aug. 23, citing work-life balance issues. “I will always value my time on the board,” Denny told the Independent in an email. “I learned so much and I got to know incredible people. Unfortunately, like everyone else, this last year has turned my world upside down and I find myself pulled in so many different directions and I can’t find a balance between family, work and volunteering and it’...
I will never forget how I stepped out of the shower and heard people down in the street screaming, or how it was Carolyn who heard them screaming and called me to the window. How my parents in Virginia called us, frantic, telling us about the Pentagon and wanting to know how close our Brooklyn apartment was to the World Trade Center, or it was actually NPR that told us about the Pentagon. How our landline phone eventually stopped working but the internet persisted, or the landline worked but everyone else’s phones gave busy signals, so we resorted to email. How I emailed our bosses at...
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Unified School District board is looking for a Bristol resident to fill the school board seat vacated by Annie Denny last month. Denny, who was elected to the board in 2020, resigned on Aug. 23, citing work-life balance issues. “I will always value my time on the board,” Denny told the Independent in an email. “I learned so much and I got to know incredible people. Unfortunately, like everyone else, this last year has turned my world upside down and I find myself pulled in so many different directions and I can’t find a balance between family, work and volunteering...

OFFICER JOSH TURNER, left, and Chief Bruce Nason of the Bristol Police Department display the first of what they hope will be a long line of commemorative patches. The BPD plans to sell the patches and donate the proceeds to various charities, based on community input. Department officers will be wearing the pink edition of the patch in October, for breast cancer awareness. Independent photo/Christopher Ross
BRISTOL — Many Bristol residents will tell you their police officers put their hearts into their work, greeting folks and listening to community concerns while out on patrol, offering friendly smiles during school drop-off or pickup, helping people get help. Starting next month, the Bristol Police Department will take it a bit further, in a manner of speaking, and wear their hearts on their sleeves. Throughout October, BPD uniforms will feature specially made commemorative patches with pink lettering and borders, in honor of breast cancer awareness month. Not only that, but the department...

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Addison County Independent