Christopher Ross

NEW HAVEN — Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO) has proposed building a backup operations facility in New Haven. The 18,000-square-foot, two-story building, which VELCO hopes to begin constructing this summer, would be located on property it already owns — 760 Main St., just east of its current substation — and would be set back roughly 500 feet from the road, according to the 45-Day Notice of Project Filing the company sent to the Vermont Public Utility Commission (PUC) on Sept. 24, 2019. VELCO presented the project to the town of New Haven on Oct. 7 and has met with the selectboard and...

AMY RICE IS a registered dietician based in Middlebury.
ADDISON COUNTY — Earlier this month, with “input from a panel of health experts,” U.S. News & World Report released a ranking of “the best and worst diets.” The national media immediately picked up the story, and advocates for popular diets that ranked poorly took to the internet to criticize the “science” behind the rankings. For people struggling to lose weight, regain their health or repair their relationships with food or their own bodies, such rankings may seem to hold out renewed promise for an easy, straightforward solution to their problems. But that promise may just be a false...
VERGENNES — Opponents of school closure in the Addison Northwest School District suffered two defeats at Monday night’s board meeting. First, the board rejected, on legal grounds, a pair of petitions seeking a vote to amend the ANWSD’s articles of unification, which would have prevented school closure or reconfiguration without permission of the voters residing in the school’s town. Then the board adopted a fiscal year 2021 budget proposal that would close Addison Central School for use as an elementary school and repurpose it for alternative education. LACKING AUTHORITY The petitions were...
VERGENNES — On Town Meeting Day, when Addison Northwest School District voters go to the polls, they’ll have four school board seats to fill — one in Addison, two in Ferrisburgh and one in Vergennes. A fifth seat, in Panton, will be appointed by that town’s selectboard. Two ANWSD board incumbents have decided not to run. Addison representative George Lawrence and Ferrisburgh representative Laurie Gutowski told the Independent that they won’t seek another term on the board. At least three district residents will be running to fill their respective seats. Ferrisburgh resident Chris Kayhart has...

HATCH 31 BARTENDER Matt Igler and Irene Lawrence developed a special bond. Lawrence was a devoted fan of the Bristol bar’s Friday night bluegrass band and the Tuesday night blues jam, and Igler would walk her home at the end of the night. On the night before she died, he arranged for her to hear the Friday night band one last time. Photo courtesy of Michelle Kilbreth
BRISTOL — Irene Lawrence acquired a few nicknames during her 33 years in Bristol. To the town residents she greeted from her porch — or from out front of the Corner Store or Main Street Diner — she was known as the “Bench Hugger.” So strong were the 87-year-old’s spirit and will to live that her doctor called her the “bounce-back kid.” Her grandchildren called her “Nana.” But for a few sweet minutes toward the end of every Friday night at Hatch 31 on Main Street she was just “Irene.” “Good night, Irene,” Hatch’s Friday bluegrass band sang to her just before she went home for the evening. “...
BRISTOL — A Bristol man who was shot by state troopers last month during a confrontation outside his home has been cited for multiple offenses.  Greg West, 28, was cited for two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of reckless endangerment and one count of interference with access to emergency services, according to a Jan. 10 press release issued by Vermont State Police.  West, who is still receiving treatment for his injuries at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, is scheduled to answer the charge in Addison County Superior Court, Criminal Division, on Feb. 24 at 12:...

GOATS AND SHEEP at Lost Woods Farm in Starksboro nibble on a discarded Christmas tree Monday morning. Holiday greenery makes a great snack for such animals because it contains vitamin C, among other nutrients. Last year Lost Woods Farm went through 10 Christmas trees. This year they’re just getting started. Independent photo/Christopher Ross
STARKSBORO — Now that the holidays are over, Addison County residents are recycling, composting or otherwise disposing of thousands of Christmas trees. Andrea Craft of Lost Woods Farm in Starksboro would love to snag a few of those, if possible. “Our goats would love to help you take care of your Christmas tree!” Craft wrote in a Jan. 3 online post. Seasonal evergreens, it turns out, make a great meal for goats, sheep and other animals — as long as tinsel, ornaments and hooks have been removed. On Monday morning, as poofy wet snow fell across the county, Craft and her 9-year-old daughter,...

MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE JUNIOR Celia Gottlieb leads several hundred students past Old Chapel in a Dec. 5 protest calling for higher wages for the college’s lowest-paid workers. This week the college said it raised hiring minimum pay by as much as 27%. File photo by Benjy Renton
MIDDLEBURY — Nearly 80 Middlebury College employees got an automatic wage increase on Dec. 30, after the college determined that compensation for their positions had “fallen behind the market.” Most of the affected employees work in Facilities Services and Dining Services. “President (Laurie) Patton remains very committed to paying our staff a competitive wage for the incredible work they do day in and day out, serving our students,” said Executive VP for Finance and Administration David Provost in an email to the Independent. “We are very glad that were able to address this now since it was...

DAVID MERRILL, DIRECTOR of dining services at EastView, says the 120-resident retirement community in Middlebury generates a significant amount of food waste every year. Kitchen buckets such as this one are the first stop for kitchen scraps. Independent photo/Christopher Ross
ADDISON COUNTY — On July 1, 2020, everyone in Vermont will be required to keep their food scraps out of the trash. The ban is the latest phase of the state’s Universal Recycling Law (Act 148) to be implemented — the same law that in years past banned recyclables and yard scraps from landfills. The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) defines “food scraps” as “parts of food items that are typically discarded rather than eaten: peels, rinds, cores, eggshells, seeds, pits, bones, coffee grounds (and filters), loose-leaf tea, and fats/oils/grease,” as well as, “food that was...

FOLKS SKATE ON the ice at the newly renovated Bristol skate rink late last month. Independent photo/Christopher Ross
BRISTOL — Thanks to a collaboration between the Mount Abraham Unified School District, the Bristol Recreation Department and the Bristol Recreation Club, the Bristol skating rink on Airport Drive has been renovated and reopened for public ice skating. “I grew up here and I haven’t seen the rink like this since I was little,” said Mandy Chesley-Park, director of the Mount Abraham Unified School District’s Expanded Learning Program (ELP), during an evening test run of the rink in late December. As she spoke, dozens of helmeted 5-Town ELP students, along with parents, educators and community...


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Addison County Independent

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