John Flowers


THIS SUMMER’S AROUND-THE-CLOCK construction in downtown Middlebury is taking a toll on those who reside and do business there. But most merchants contacted by the Independent this week said they’re getting by thanks to loyal customers, and they’re looking forward to the conclusion of the heaviest work by mid-September. Independent photo/Alexa Lapiner
08/06/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Downtown Middlebury is taking some uppercuts during its summer-long battle with a once-in-a-lifetime construction project. But those on the front lines — the downtown merchants, residents and shoppers — continue to pick themselves off the canvass and remain committed to going the full 15 rounds. And prevailing. That’s the general takeaway from a series of interviews with property owners, residents and local officials who are literally living with the cacophony of noise, dust, nighttime lighting, detours and other inconveniences of a $72 million rail tunnel installation project...
08/06/2020
ADDISON COUNTY — The following is a series of thumbnail sketches of the gubernatorial candidates who will square off in Primary elections on Tuesday, Aug. 11.  Information was culled from the candidates’ websites, and/or other online media sources. Candidates are profiled here in alphabetical order. Since Vermonters can vote in only one party’s Primary, we separated the candidates by party. DEMOCRATS Ralph Corbo, Wallingford Democrat. Corbo is a former U.S. Postal worker and an activist. In addition to running for governor, he is also challenging U.S. Rep. Peter Welch in the Aug. 1 Democrat...

RON HOLMES
08/06/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Ron Holmes has met a ton of people during a more-than-40-year career in law enforcement, security, paving and automotive repair. He’s a personable guy. Now Holmes, 65, hopes those decades of chance interactions will pay dividends in Tuesday’s primary elections, when he and fellow Middlebury Democrat Dave Silberman will vie for the chance to advance to the Nov. 3 General Election that will decide the county’s next high bailiff. The primary winner will face independent candidate Mike Elmore, a sergeant with the Addison County Sheriff’s Department (ACSD). Few would have thought, at...

BRIAN FORD DISPLAYS the Mountain Red and Bill Ford shows the Goshen White table wines, which they fermented in stainless steel tanks at their Ripton winemaking facility. Independent photo/John Flowers
08/06/2020
RIPTON — When you think of Ripton, the mind meanders to rustic country roads, kind neighbors, wonderful views, Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf campus, and the moody Middlebury River. But vineyards? Yes. In about two months, Brian Ford and his dad Bill will organize grape harvests on two vineyards that encompass around 1.5 acres. One is off Lincoln Road in Ripton, the other is off Hathaway Road in Goshen. Together they make up “High Rows Vineyards,” which recent began commercial production of white and red table wines. The company is aptly named. The rows of grape vines growing in Ripton —...

RUTH BERNSTEIN AND her daughter
08/06/2020
SHOREHAM — Shoreham residents are joining a chorus of Ripton and Weybridge voices expressing concern their local elementary school could become a casualty of consolidations plans being explored by the Addison Central School District (ACSD) Board. The board is working on a facilities master plan to guide it in future decisions about which school buildings to improve, and which to vacate, as the district confronts declining enrollment and rising education expenses. The financial picture figures to get worse due to a COVID-19 pandemic that has stemmed revenues to Vermont’s Education Fund. ACSD...

MAYOR CHRIS LOURAS (right) is among the characters in a documentary that explores the tumultuous arrival of Syrian refugees in Rutland, Vt. “For the Love of Rutland,” created by Jennifer Maytorena Taylor, is among the motion pictures featured in the sixth annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival when it goes online at the end of August.
08/06/2020
MIDDLEBURY — The first-ever online version of Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (MNFF) is taking shape. Organizers of the sixth annual event — usually a spotlight happening that sends hundreds of people buzzing around downtown Middlebury just before Labor Day — have selected more than 20 features to headline this year’s festival. And while the coronavirus pandemic is responsible for substantially shortening the film menu compared to years past, MNFF officials are working to infuse the virtual festival with some of the personal touches that have made it a consistent success. MNFF6:ONLINE will...

“We’re aware people are being inundated with on-screen opportunities, because that’s how we exist right now. We want to come into that environment and do something honest and successful and we think enjoyable.” — MNFF Artistic Director Jay Craven
07/31/2020
The first-ever online version of Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (MNFF) is taking shape. Organizers of the sixth annual event — usually a spotlight happening that sends hundreds of people buzzing around downtown Middlebury just before Labor Day — have selected more than 20 features to headline this year’s festival. And while the coronavirus pandemic is responsible for substantially shortening the film menu compared to years past, MNFF officials are working to infuse the virtual festival with some of the personal touches that have made it a consistent success. MNFF6:ONLINE will take place...

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
MIDDLEBURY — Ten candidates are running for lieutenant governor this year. The following is a brief introduction to the names you will see on ballots in the Aug. 11 Primary Election.  Information was culled from the candidates’ websites, and/or other online media sources. Candidates are profiled here in alphabetical order. Since Vermonters can vote in only one party’s Primary, we separated the candidates by party. DEMOCRATIC PARTY Tim Ashe, Burlington Democrat. Ashe reached out to the Independent for a sit-down interview, and a story about his candidacy can be found at addisonindependent....

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...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100