COVID-19


President Jimmy Carter plays harmonica with the great Willie Nelson in the documentary “Jimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President,” which will screen at MNFF6:Online at the end of August.
07/31/2020
Middlebury New Film Festival leaders have released a list of films that will highlight the lineup at the sixth annual gala. Among the best are: • “Jimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President,” a documentary that charts the mostly forgotten story of how former President Jimmy Carter, a lover of all types of music, forged a tight bond with musicians Willie Nelson, the Allman Brothers, Bob Dylan and others that helped him to the White House. It illuminates the significant role that music has played in President Carter’s life and work. Directed by Mary Wharton. • “The Accused: Damned or Devoted?”...
07/30/2020
This is the first in a series of stories about women's health in the pandemic. The ongoing coronavirus health crisis is changing the face of the nation’s health care system, from what types of care we prioritize to how we get that care and how quickly. Many are seeing that during the pandemic, some forms of care cannot wait.  One such necessity is reproductive health care, which ranges from contraception counseling to abortion services to family planning.  Nationally, an uptick in demand for birth control prescriptions, a rise in sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates and an increase in...
07/30/2020
As deaths from COVID-19 continue to climb and many states backtrack on efforts to reopen their economies, the Trump administration has motioned toward developing a vaccine at “warp speed.” To date, the federal government has funneled over $10 billion into Operation Warp Speed with the goal of 300 million doses of a vaccine by January. However, diseases do not respect borders. Generating and administering a vaccine with speed rather than effectiveness in mind could, best-case-scenario, leave one in ten American residents unvaccinated and vulnerable to a deadly virus that is not going away...
07/27/2020
District leaders began releasing plans last week for bringing students back this fall. But their proposals for reopening the state’s preK-12 schools diverge in significant ways, and some fear Vermont’s uncoordinated approach will require officials to go back to the drawing board. “Under the guise of local control and the need to respond flexibly to the differences in each district, leaders were told by state officials to basically go figure it out,” Harwood Unified School District Superintendent Brigid Nease wrote in an open letter that has caught fire on social media. “Many superintendents...

Local school superintendents, clockwise from top left, ANWSD's Sheila Soule, Mount Abe's Patrick Reen, RNESU's Jeanne Collins and ACSD's Peter Burrows
07/27/2020
UPDATED to include the new opening date for Vermont schools. ADDISON COUNTY & BRANDON — It will be “back to school” in the truest sense of the phrase in Addison County this fall, albeit with a few twists. The Addison Central, Addison Northwest and Mount Abraham unified school districts confirmed on July 22 that they’ll use a “hybrid instruction model” this fall that will see students return to their respective campuses for two days of in-classroom instruction each week, while learning remotely the other three days of the week. All three will also offer all-online learning options for...

Gov. Phil Scott announced a mask mandate during his COVID-19 press briefing on July 24, 2020. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
07/24/2020
Gov. Phil Scott on Friday ordered people in Vermont to cover their faces when out in public. The Republican governor said that while Vermont’s COVID-19 infection rate is still among the lowest in the country, a rise in cases elsewhere in the U.S. has put Vermont on the defense. Scott has long resisted a mandate, saying that education is the best way to get people to wear masks when in public. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia now require most people to cover their faces when out in public, according to the AARP. But on Friday, Scott noted that cases are still surging elsewhere in...
07/23/2020
ADDISON COUNTY — With federal laws designed to keep people in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic due to expire next week, a new Vermont State Housing Authority (VSHA) program looks to support people who are falling behind on rent and landlords working with struggling tenants, by covering owed rent expenses.  The Rental Housing Stabilization Program, which began accepting applications last week, has $25 million in rental assistance available.   Funds are open to anyone struggling to stay housed, or support housing during the pandemic. To see if you are eligible visit vsha.org/rental-...
07/23/2020
ORWELL — The Slate Valley Unified Union School District (SVUUSD) on Tuesday announced students would return to Orwell Village School this fall.  It is part of a school re-entry plan in which students in kindergarten through 8th grade will attend classes on their respective campuses, and students in grades 9-12 will see a combination of virtual classes and in-person classes at Fair Haven Union High School. The SVUUSD board voted 11-4 in favor of the re-entry plan, with the caveat that it could change during the coming weeks depending on state and federal guidelines pertaining to the COVID-19...
07/23/2020
As mid-summer passes toward the first of August, it’s shocking how quickly the local conversation has moved from how retail stores, restaurants and many professionals were going to be able to serve customers and clients to today’s hot issue: With school and college openings on the horizon, how are we going to survive amidst a pandemic that has grown fiercer in many areas of the nation rather than subside as Americans had once so confidently predicted. Alas, it is our lot that while other of our peer nations have managed to stem the pandemic’s tide, it has gotten worse here because of the...
07/23/2020
I don’t know who needs to hear this. Apparently, our leaders will not. How do you justify opening the college or schools when you are holding all of the planning meetings virtually? Does it make sense to anyone that our local government is not open for business as usual, that our democratic processes are conducted at a distance, that many of our local businesses cannot fully reopen, but we are allowing hundreds of students to be together in one place? Clearly, Capitalism is at play here because none of this makes sense. If it doesn’t make sense, it’s usually about money.  Andrea Galiano...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100