Christopher Ross

10/14/2019
VERGENNES — It’s official. The Addison Northwest School District has scheduled school-closure votes for Tuesday, Nov. 5, in the towns of Addison and Ferrisburgh. The ANWSD is asking voters in those two towns to approve its plan to close the elementary school in their towns — Addison Central School and Ferrisburgh Central School, respectively — on June 30, 2020. According to the ANWSD board, closing the schools would be the best way to preserve student programming without imposing what it assumes will be unacceptable tax increases. At a series of informational meetings over the past month in...

'LIGHT RING' BY Bruce White (foreground) acts both as a work of art and a window onto its surroundings. In the middle distance John Clement’s “Hot Tamale” coils into itself, while Peter Lundberg’s 30-foot, 60,000-pound “Leap of Faith” seems to hold up the sky. Independent photo/Christopher Ross
10/14/2019
SHOREHAM — Every July, when the Lemon Fair Sculpture Park in Shoreham opens for public use, the fine summer light seems to clarify every detail of the large-scale artwork gathered there. Colors pop. Reflective surfaces sparkle. Dark shadows emphasize density and weight. The art seems to stand out from the landscape. Three months later, however, the park tells a very different story. “Autumn everything changes,” said Frank Ittleman, who owns, curates and maintains the park with his wife, Elaine. “The woods offer a more variegated background and the autumn light has more subtle tones to it. The...
10/14/2019
NEW HAVEN — The town of New Haven has cited Porky’s Backyard BBQ & Smokehouse for three alleged violations of its business permit. According to the Aug. 23 Notice of Zoning Violation (NoV) letter written by New Haven zoning administrator Aaron Brown to Porky’s co-owner Lonie Parker, the business has been using an outdoor pavilion without a certificate of occupancy, serving liquor (hard spirits) without a license to do so and hosting more events per month than are allowed in its permit. The business has been the subject of a number of complaints since last winter. At the March 18 meeting...

PROCESSORS AT LEANING Barn Farm in Bristol feed hemp stems into an industrial “bucker,” which removes the leaves and flowers. Not only can such machines be prohibitively expensive but they can also be hard to find for purchase these days because of the rapid expansion of the hemp industry nationwide. Leaning Barn has remedied this situation in part by building a custom bucking board (not shown). Independent photo/Christopher Ross
10/10/2019
BRISTOL — The industrial hemp harvest has begun. On a gray chilly day last week in northern Bristol, Eric Durand and John Murphy crisscrossed Route 116 in a red Polaris Ranger, hauling cut hemp plants from fields on the east side of the road to the impromptu processing facility set up by Leaning Barn Farm on the west side. Durand and Murphy unloaded the harvested plants wherever there was room — on the ground, inside one of the high tunnels or on top of pizza boxes that had been laid out on a makeshift table, the remnants of that day’s lunch. Leaning Barn Farm planted 45,000 industrial hemp...
10/10/2019
BRISTOL — The Bristol selectboard has scheduled a special election for Tuesday, Dec. 3, so that voters can decide who will replace Selectman Ted Lylis, who resigned suddenly last month. The selectboard had originally planned to appoint someone to the seat at a meeting this past Monday night, but after considerable deliberation, they decided to let the voters choose instead. Eight citizens had originally expressed an interest in being appointed to the seat. Two of them subsequently withdrew. At Monday’s meeting the remaining six interviewed for the position. They were Ian Albinson, Eric Carter...

OPERA COMPANY OF Middlebury veterans Suzanne Kantorski (as Floria Tosca) and James Flora (as Mario Cavaradossi) sing the final aria of Puccini’s Tosca at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury Monday night. OCM will stage three performances with a full orchestra at Town Hall Theater, then take the production on tour with piano and string quartet to Stowe, Woodstock and Cambridge, N.Y. Photo by Max Kraus
10/10/2019
MIDDLEBURY — Late in the game I got tapped to write a preview of Opera Company of Middlebury’s new production of Puccini’s “Tosca,” which plays at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater this week. As a substitute critic who knows something about theater but really doesn’t know all that much about opera, I decided instead to write about what it means to “dare.” That word came up on Monday night when “Tosca” director Douglas Anderson was weighing the pros and cons of tweaking his production a little bit. In the performing arts such tweaks often unleash unexpected brilliance and magic. But they can also...
10/06/2019
BRISTOL — Building scientists who were hired to study indoor air quality in Mount Abraham Unified School District have given a passing grade to all six schools. But there’s room for improvement. “Overall, efforts to keep the buildings running have been pretty good,” said Fred McKnight, senior vice president of the H. L. Turner Group, during the Sept. 24 meeting of the MAUSD board. “You’re ahead in some places, in terms of systems and operations than maybe most schools or districts this size.” The Turner Group’s report, which was recently submitted to the district, contains three takeaways,...

MOUNT ABE INTERIM Principal Shannon Warden says she feels “rooted” at her new school — in part because it’s leading the way in proficiency-based learning, a curriculum she helped implement at her last school, and partly because she has worked previously with Superintendent Patrick Reen and Assistant Superintendent Catrina DiNapoli. Independent photo/Christopher Ross
10/03/2019
BRISTOL — As Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School Interim Principal Shannon Warden walked through the crowd after last month’s homecoming football game, she encountered a young Eagle football player who earlier in the evening had competed in the middle school exhibition scrimmage. “You’re my principal, right?” he asked her. “Yes I am,” she said. “DID YOU SEE MY INTERCEPTION?!” Warden recalled his excitement in an interview with the Independent. “And then he fist-bumped me and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is why I do what I do.’” Such moments can change relationships forever, she said. “The...

THE CHIPMAN HILL House designed by McLeod Kredell Architects shares the same footprint as the 1940s ranch house it replaced. Features like the large, central skylight, below, earned it a Merit Award for Excellence in Architecture. Photos by Susan Teare
10/03/2019
MIDDLEBURY — After more than five years, the “Chipman Hill House” in Middlebury still attracts admirers. “A lot of folks come up the hill to look at the house and enjoy it,” said Sven Lapiner, who lives there with his wife, Janet, and their three children. His family enjoys it, too. “It’s unique in the landscape,” Lapiner said. “It’s nice to have a modern house in a non-modern-house neighborhood.” Designing and building their house came with a number of challenges, however, starting with the fact that when they purchased the property there was already a house on it. “It was a little ranch...
10/03/2019
BRISTOL — At least eight Bristol residents have officially expressed an interest in filling the selectboard seat left vacant by Ted Lylis when he resigned on Sept. 2. According to Bristol Town Administrator Valerie Capels, letters of intent have been received from Ian Albinson, Eric Carter, David Cobb, Andrea Denny, Brian Fox, Kevin Hanson, William Mount and Jim Quaglino. Other citizens wishing to be considered for the appointment must notify the town, in writing, before the next selectboard meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. in the town office. That evening the...

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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