(Trail Around Middlebury (TAM) - Chipman Hill – 4/7/20)
I sing these trails of my homeland,
with elegiac footfalls
on layers of fallen foliage.
A green-yellow striped garden snake
slithers and crinkles over dried leaves
then freezes in camouflage.
We consider each other.
Snake neither knows nor cares
about the 2020 plague,
Corona virus – our crown of thorns –
something between living and not.
But it brings us to our knees.
Climbing above the cloud of contagion
that hangs over my village below
like valley smog,
I breathe deep the respite,
and feel curious camaraderie
On March 29, pilot Kirk Walters got a call from Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mike Schirling with bad news: A flight from Logan airport to Minnesota had been canceled.
It wasn’t any flight; it was supposed to carry COVID-19 test samples from the University of Vermont Medical Center to the Mayo Clinic Laboratories in Minnesota for processing.
“This is about saving lives,” Schirling told Walters.
At Schirling’s request, Walters and Martti Matheson, co-owners of JV Air, agreed to fly their private plane from Burlington to Minnesota that Saturday, then again each day for the next 10...
Vermont is on a better-than-expected trajectory in the COVID-19 outbreak as case numbers continue to decline, according to the state’s latest predictions for new infections, hospitalizations and medical need.
“Overall the news continues to be good,” Michael Pieciak, commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation, said as he outlined the projections Friday. “Vermont’s actual experience continues to trend better than even our best case forecasts.”
The state appears to have reached the peak for demand on hospital resources, he said. But, Pieciak said, there is still reason for caution...
Middlebury Memorial Day parade 2019
MIDDLEBURY — On Memorial Day this year, how Americans honor the more than 1 million men and women who have lost their lives defending America since the Revolutionary War will look different in many places due to safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
With social distancing efforts in place to slow down the pandemic, the town of Middlebury and Middlebury American Legion Post 27 have announced the cancellation of the annual Memorial Day Parade. The post-parade ceremony at the Soldiers Monument also will not be held.
Tom Scanlon, Vermont American Legion - Northern Area Commander and...
MONTPELIER — The Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Agency (VOSHA) has developed training and other materials to inform Vermonters on appropriate safety measures necessary to return to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Training and other materials were developed in conjunction with the Vermont Department of Health and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
All businesses and non-profit and government entities in operation must complete and document mandatory health and safety training by May 4, as is detailed in an order signed by Gov. Phil Scott this past Friday.
“As we begin...
Photo by Steve James
VERMONT — If you have a farm, forest or maple business and are experiencing disruptions or challenges due to the COVID-19 situation, University of Vermont Extension can help.
Agricultural business experts are available to answer questions, assist with locating resources and offer business coaching, all remotely. They also can consult on critical business decision-making, assessing changes to markets, financial planning, farm labor issues and related concerns.
Appointments may be made by voicemail or email to confer with any of the following individuals:
• Mark Cannella (farm and maple...
Christal Brown, program chair of the Dance Department at Middlebury College and dance director for Middlebury’s Parks and Rec Center, is a prominent member of the state’s arts community and took part in a Vermont Arts Council celebration of Vermont artists last fall.
Photo / Jonathan Hsu
MONTPELIER — Arts and humanities organizations in Vermont facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for emergency relief funding through a new partnership between the Vermont Arts Council and Vermont Humanities.
Vermont’s arts and culture sector provides more than 40,000 jobs annually and comprises 9.3% of all employment in Vermont, higher than the national average.
“Our theaters, libraries, museums and galleries are vital to Vermont’s identity and essential to the future of so many of our towns,” noted Vermont Arts Council Executive Director Karen Mittelman. “We know there...
AARON CRYSTAL, ABOVE, and Greg Borah of Shoreham Carpentry got back to work rebuilding a deck at a Buttolph Acres home in Middlebury after Gov. Scott loosened restrictions on his stay-at-home order. The change allowed crews of two to work together outdoors if they followed social distancing guidelines. On Friday, Scott expanded the number of businesses that could return to operation.
Independent photo/Andy Kirkaldy
Gov. Phil Scott on Friday made another turn of the proverbial spigot re-opening Vermont’s economy, loosening restrictions on construction, manufacturing and some other outdoor employers who can now deploy crews of up to five people.
With coronavirus cases having plateaued for more than a week now, Scott said that he was comfortable easing up on restrictions he placed on nonessential businesses in March.
“Because we’ve been so dedicated, our data shows we can allow a few more people back to work,” Scott said at the start of his press conference, emphasizing that all businesses must continue to...
Vermont business leaders are hoping to see an array of changes to the federal business relief bills that have arisen out of the COVID-19 pandemic that closed non-essential businesses in March.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $484 billion package Thursday that replenishes the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, and Economic Injury Disaster Loan, or EIDL. The measure also clarifies that small farms and agricultural operations are eligible to apply for the economic injury disaster loans, allocates $25 billion in federal funding for COVID-19 testing and...
MONTPELIER — Tens of thousands of Vermonters have been laid off because of the business disruption caused by the coronavirus, and many of those making claims for unemployment insurance from the Vermont Department of Labor have run into a snag.
The claim form, which they fill out electronically online, requires that applicants answer “Yes” when asked if they are looking for work. But most if not all of those laid off recently expect to return to their employer when the state’s stay-at-home order is rescinded, making the “Yes” answer inaccurate.
On Friday the DOL assured Vermonters who have...