COVID-19

05/29/2020
MIDDLEBURY — While Vergennes officials this week favored taking action to require mask wearing by customers at city businesses, members of the Middlebury selectboard this week discussed taking similar steps in the shiretown but put off a decision until at least June 9. At a May 26 meeting held via teleconferencing, Middlebury selectboard Chair Brian Carpenter initiated discussion on the issue when he said the town had received multiple requests for town support for a mandatory facemask ordinance. One of those requests came next day from two Middlebury property owners. “We believe the...
05/29/2020
BRISTOL — Emily Beattie’s 7th grade English class at Mount Abraham Union Middle School began reading “The Diary of Anne Frank” before they began remote learning. “As we have been sheltering in place, we have discussed and written about the similarities and differences between Anne’s life during the Holocaust and our lives right now,” Beattie said. Beattie offered student Rory Hendee’s piece as an example of the students’ writing on this subject:   My class recently read “The Diary of Anne Frank,” a story about a Jewish girl and her family being forced into hiding during the Holocaust. While I...
05/29/2020
BRISTOL — It's official — Bristol's wonderful Fourth of July parade and fireworks will not be held. The Bristol Fourth of July Committee was scheduled to meet Wednesday evening and, as reported by the Independent, the group decided to cancel this year's event because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the latest of many summer festivals and events in Addison County that have been called off. On Friday morning the Bristol committee released the following statement:    With heavy (patriotic) hearts and deference to public health, the Bristol Fourth of July Committee has made the hard decision to...
05/28/2020
ADDISON COUNTY & BRANDON — In Vergennes, the city council on Tuesday made it official there will be no Vergennes Day for the first time since the event was founded decades ago. Organizers of July’s multi-day Basin Bluegrass Festival in Brandon have cancelled the event for the first time ever. Late Wednesday evening the Bristol Fourth of July Committee was due to make a final decision whether to hold the town’s legendary Independence Day parade and outhouse races this year. And it didn’t look good. Around the region many signature summer events are being cancelled this week to keep the...

MEMBERS OF THE Middlebury College Senior Committee spoke briefly to their classmates on Sunday. The committee was instrumental in developing the May 24 “Senior Celebration” that brought together the class of 2020 online to mark the occasion of their graduation. Video screenshot
05/28/2020
MIDDLEBURY — In lieu of what would have been its 218th commencement ceremony, Middlebury College streamed a “Senior Celebration” online Sunday afternoon. “Gather us all,” said Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life Mark Orten from a quiet, empty Mead Chapel. “Now are we gathered, more now than here, because of a spring interrupted. A senior year, split between gathering here and gathering now.” After sending most students home in March to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the college on April 7 suspended in-person classes for the rest of the school year and announced that its May 24...
05/28/2020
VERGENNES — Customers of Vergennes businesses and those who wish to enter city buildings will soon be formally requested to wear protective masks, according to an agreement in principle the Vergennes City Council reached at its Tuesday meeting. After discussion, council members agreed to ask City Manager Daniel Hofman to draft a resolution requiring masks in Vergennes shops and buildings, one modeled after resolutions already in place in Burlington and South Burlington. They expected to review the draft document this week and then hold an online vote, with a Friday target date. Hofman said on...
05/28/2020
MIDDLEBURY — When does an assembly of people rise from a gathering to a party? Middlebury College officials and in-town neighbors of the school seem to be at odds over that question after groups of young adults presumed to be graduating Middlebury seniors coalesced this weekend in get-togethers that elicited varying reports of noise. The groups also seem to have tested the limits of Vermont Gov. Phil Scott’s current social distancing rules, which have been hailed as effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19. The Independent has communicated with three people who complained about excessive...

RUTH ROSS, YOUNGER daughter of Dr. Jacob and Hannah Ross of Middlebury, did not survive the Spanish flu pandemic that encircled the globe in 1918. Archive photo/Henry Sheldon Museum
05/28/2020
As Middlebury and the nation struggle with coronavirus, death and the changes to our daily lives, I am reminded that my grandfather Jacob Johnson Ross, M.D., joined the U.S. Army in 1918 and left his family in Middlebury to serve as the Flight Surgeon with the 17th Aero Squadron. War was waging in Europe and the Spanish Influenza was raging in much of the world, including Vermont.  In the Sheldon archives are the letters exchanged between Dr. Ross and his wife Hannah Elizabeth Holmes Ross. They had met at UVM, from which they both graduated. Jacob Ross was from Huntington, Vt., where his...

NOW THAT HIKING season is here, be sure to follow social distancing guidelines, such as hiking in single file and maintaining a distance of at least six feet from your fellow hikers. Photo courtesy of Vermont Dept. of Forests, Parks & Recreation
05/28/2020
The end of May sees the start of the hiking season in Vermont. From its rocky summits to its gentle valleys, Vermont is home to hundreds of miles of hiking opportunities. This year, with COVID-19 as a dominant concern, Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is asking hikers to take a few extra precautions to both protect public health and protect the public value of our beautiful trails. Hiking is the ideal outdoor recreational activity for these times since you can get outside for exercise and fresh air while still adhering to social distancing and hygiene guidelines, but you need to be...
05/28/2020
With this Wednesday’s news that Gov. Scott is looking to soon open indoor seating for restaurants, fitness centers and other moves that signal a further opening of the state’s economy, the caveat all Vermonters should embrace is that such openings must be greeted with heightened awareness of how to keep each other safe in this still precarious environment. The environment remains precarious not because of the current rate of Covid-19 incidence in Vermont, but because of its continued spread in states around us, and the fact that Vermont’s summer tourism attracts people from across the nation...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100