John Flowers


DAVE SILBERMAN
MIDDLEBURY — Dave Silberman bested fellow Middlebury Democrat Ron Holmes, 3,962 to 2,298, in the only contested primary election in Addison County on Tuesday, for high bailiff. Silberman, an attorney, campaigned on a platform of using the high bailiff’s position as a civilian “check and balance” over the sheriff’s office and to gain a platform to discuss criminal justice issues and drug policy reforms. He will now go on to face independent candidate Mike Elmore, a sergeant with the Addison County Sheriff’s Department (ACSD), in the Nov. 3 General Election. Silberman has raised $7,245 for his...

TWO MEMBERS OF the Vermont Miles for Meals relay team are Seth Jensen, left, who grew up in Vergennes and Middlebury, and Dylan McNamara from Vergennes. They are shown together at an earlier race. Photo courtesy of Dylan McNamara
ADDISON COUNTY — Seth Jensen rediscovered his love of distance running around five years ago. The 46-year-old graduate of Middlebury Union High School and Middlebury College is constantly challenging himself to improve his speed, fitness and endurance. This coming weekend, Jensen and six companions will have a lot more riding on their run than just a “personal best.” Each stride they take will bring them closer to their collective goal of running the vertical length of the Green Mountain State. They created the challenge for themselves as a way to celebrate their joy of running and raise much...

Jennifer Bertrand
MIDDLEBURY — Porter Hospital is asking the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) to green-light a fiscal year 2021 budget of $92.3 million to cover its expenses, an increase of $2.1 million compared to this year’s spending plan. Porter, which sustained major revenue hits this year from the COVID-19 pandemic, is also seeking permission for a 2.7% increase in net revenues — around $2.3 million — in order to deliver health care to Addison County residents next year.  If approved, the budget won’t result in an increase in inpatient or outpatient fees next year, according to the Middlebury hospital’s...
ORWELL — The third vote was the charm for passing a fiscal year 2021 K-12 budget for the Slate Valley Unified Union District Schools (SVUUSD), which includes Orwell. District voters on Tuesday endorsed a trimmed, $26,402,586 spending plan by a razor-thin 16-vote margin — 1,324 to 1,308. The budget is $220,455 less than a proposal district residents defeated twice during the past five months. SVUUSD serves children in the communities of Orwell, Castleton, Benson, Hubbardton, West Haven and Fair Haven. Superintendent Brooke Olsen-Farrell was pleased the budget passed, but knows not everyone is...
ADDISON COUNTY — Local candidates vying for state and county offices this fall are off to a slow start in fundraising this year, and it’s pretty obvious why.  The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically curtailed conventional campaigning — including door-to-door stumping and fundraising socials. And it’s also extended the 2020 legislative session, and several incumbents have pledged not to actively ask for cash until the final gavel falls on the state’s business in Montpelier. Candidates for statewide, legislative and local office who spend or raise $500 or more in an election cycle must...

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
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...
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
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
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
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...

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Addison County Independent