John Flowers

MIDDLEBURY HAS AT least a dozen storefronts that have become empty for a variety of reasons. Here's one on the end of the Battell Block. Independent photo/Angelo Lynn
MIDDLEBURY — The Better Middlebury Partnership (BMP) is looking to beef up its annual budget locally and through contributions from six neighboring communities as it works to help downtown Middlebury rebound from the impacts of a massive rail tunnel project and an eight-month-old COVID-19 pandemic that is currently surging. Karen Duguay, executive director of the BMP, recently presented the Middlebury selectboard with a fiscal year 2022 request for $30,000 in town funding, up $5,000 from this year. In addition, the BMP will ask for $1,000 each from the towns of Bridport, Cornwall, Ripton,...

INCOMING LIEUTENANT GOV. Molly Gray hopes to advance a 2021 legislative agenda that includes paid family leave, expansion of broadband, and creation of more affordable housing. Photo courtesy of Molly Gray
MIDDLEBURY — Molly Gray has already traveled the world as a Red Cross worker, extending humanitarian aid to nations in need. Now, at age 36, Gray has set firm roots in her native Vermont, which she will serve for at least the next two years as lieutenant governor. Gray — a lawyer, former Vermont assistant attorney general and educator at the Vermont Law School — is getting some schooling herself these days as she prepares to become the state’s second-in-command. “It’s really exciting to be able to come back … and really get into the nuts and bolts of what makes for effective governing,” Gray...
MIDDLEBURY — While downtown Middlebury is looking to fill storefront vacancies in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, disruption from the tunnel project and the challenging business climate, two new stores are launching in the county’s shire town. They take their names from the opposite ends of a compass: one is called Addison West and the other is Otter East. Addison West, offering furniture and a wide variety of household accessories and décor, opened on Nov. 14 at 44 Main St., a space most recently occupied by Community Barn Ventures. Owned and operated by Monique Bonner of Cornwall, Addison...

THE MOVIE PROJECTORS at the Marquis Theater in downtown Middlebury have been silenced by the pandemic but owner Ben Wells has plans to reopen as soon as next spring. Independent photo/Angelo Lynn
MIDDLEBURY — At least one Main Street business in Middlebury has been inactive during the pandemic, but continues to survive with the prospect of reopening next spring: The Marquis Theater. Ben Wells, owner of the Marquis, was forced to close the theater and lay off his staff when the pandemic hit last spring. He did secure a grant through the first round of the federal CARES Act that he said will keep the Marquis dormant-but-solvent through the end of this year. The unplanned hibernation has allowed Wells to make some improvements to the theater space, which offers some live shows in...
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury should resume its economic development efforts through a new entity — with staff either hired or volunteer — that would reach out to business prospects, as well as invest in better broadband infrastructure to boost new and growing enterprises in Addison County’s shire town. Those are but two in a series of recommendations contained in a report released last week by the Middlebury Economic Health Committee, or MEHC. The Middlebury selectboard created the committee in 2018 to recommend economic development tools, policies, strategies and actions the community could...

SHOWN IN THIS 2017 photo are, from left, then-Middlebury Regional EMS Board Chairman David Pistilli, EMTs Teena Betourney and Alex Brown, Executive Director Kate Rothwell and Advanced EMT Kirk Gallipo standing in front of MREMS’s newest ambulance. The $185,000 ambulance serves patients in 11 Addison County towns. Independent file photo/Trent Campbell
MIDDLEBURY — Seeing the large Middlebury Regional EMS building with the four-bay garage standing proudly at 55 Collins Drive gives thousands of Addison County residents a sense of comfort and security. They know that in any medical emergency help is mere minutes away from their front door. This week the ambulance, heavy rescue service and dispatching service officially marks 50 years in operation. But MREMS didn’t build its headquarters, its corps of 50 emergency responders and its fleet of ambulances, overnight. Twenty-one Middlebury-area residents, who simply wanted to assist their...

THE MVAA'S FIRST ambulance, in 1970.
Dick Forman got involved with the nascent Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association in 1971. He recalled that he was looking for a way to give back, “which most of us wanted to do in those days.” He was, and still is, a Middlebury College employee. The institution encouraged community service, and Forman had a particular interest in health care — specifically, pre-hospital care. “I was getting hands-on training and involvement, and at the same time I was helping the community,” Forman said. “That’s where the organization was in the early years; it was neighbors helping neighbors. ” Forman...

Kirk Gallipo is an EMT and captain of MREMS’ heavy rescue service. He began volunteering with the organization in 2002 as an Otter Valley Union High School senior, and ultimately earned his EMT certification through the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center. Upon graduation, Gallipo found himself at a crossroads: Should he work on a dairy farm — chores that he knew inside-out — or transition to a paying gig with MREMS? He chose the latter path. “It’s more mentally challenging,” he said of the health care work. “I tend to like to look at a problem and try to figure out the physiology behind it,...

GEORGE “WEDGE” MURDOCH, left, and Roth “T” Tall — two of the charter members of Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association — stand beside one of the organization’s early ambulances ready for action in 1980. MVAA grew into what is today MREMS. Photo courtesy of T Tall
Roth “T” Tall, who has been with the Middlebury Regional Emergency Medical Service since the start, remembers the challenges and the triumphs of starting an ambulance service.  “We were constantly training,” Tall recalled of the early years of what was then called the Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association, or MVAA. He said Porter Hospital physicians — such as the late Dr. Wayne “Pete” Peters — deserve huge credit for getting volunteers up to speed so they were prepared when faced with difficult medical situations. Like his colleagues, Tall was sometimes thrust into situations where a...

  MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury attorney and newly elected Addison County High Bailiff Dave Silberman on Nov. 17 will ask the selectboard to place a referendum on the 2021 Town Meeting Day ballot asking residents if they’ll allow cannabis retailers to operate in town beginning in 2022. Should the board decline to place the cannabis question on the March ballot, Silberman said he’ll file a citizens petition to force the vote. He’s already begun gathering the requisite 5% of registered voter signatures in Middlebury (he’ll need around 300), and is confident he’d be able to gather “more than enough”...


Login for Subscriber Access

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100