John S. McCright

JUST AS WE support those in the armed services who protect us in times of danger, signs like this one in Middlebury have popped up all over the place thanking those battling the coronavirus. Independent photo/John S. McCright
We have a long tradition of remembering our war dead on Memorial Day and celebrating all of those people who have risked life and limb to protect the greater community. This is entirely appropriate, and we continue to offer our thanks and gratitude to those members of the armed services who have given so much to this country — even made the ultimate sacrifice. And this year, as the coronavirus has changed so much in our society, it has also changed our treasured traditions of Memorial Day. Due to the necessary social distancing directives, we will not have big parades for the first time in...

Here’s the scene: I’m at one end of the dining room table on a Zoom call for work and my wife is at the other end of the table laughing wildly. I thought my jokes during the meeting would lift the mood a little, but was quietly pleased that my wife found them so funny. After I got off the call I walked to her end of the table and asked what she found so humorous, figuring I’d repeat the best lines during my next few social interactions.  She pointed to her computer screen, where a curmudgeonly old man was holding up a piece of birthday cake to the camera. Next there was a picture of the man...

A group of supporters on Wednesday evening set up a display on Court Square of placards with every MUHS senior's name on them.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury Union High School officials were excited to announced to seniors last week that they had purchased caps and gowns for them. The plan is to have those wishing to take part in a limited graduation exercise to wear the typical commencement regalia in an outdoor MUHS graduation ceremony on June 13. The school has arranged for MCTV to videotape the event and then combine that with other images to create a keepsake video for graduates and their families. “While you can’t all be together physically for graduation, we know that you will be together in spirit on your MUHS...

GUS HODDE, LEFT, takes a shot while Zach Jette waits to retrieve his ball at the basketball court in the Middlebury Recreation Park this past Friday. The Middlebury teens were among many Vermonters who got out and enjoyed some athletic activity after Gov. Scott eased social distancing restrictions on outdoor recreation. Independent photo/John S. McCright
VERMONT — “Everyone is just glad to be out and playing golf,” said Derrick Cram, business manager of the Ralph Myhre Golf Course in Middlebury on a sunny afternoon this week. For many it was the first time out this season. And, of course, it was not because the winter lasted longer than usual, but because of social distancing restrictions imposed because of coronavirus. Early this spring Gov. Phil Scott closed golf courses, parks and anywhere that Vermonters would gather for outside group activities. It was part of his “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order. But last week Scott said that golf courses,...
MIDDLEBURY — “Here’s the news we’ve been waiting for.”  That was the happy message from Jim Gish this week when he passed on word that the work on the huge downtown Middlebury rail project would resume after a six-week COVID-19 hiatus.  Construction workers should return early next week to the worksite that stretches through the heart of the shire town, said Gish, Middlebury’s community liaison for the project. An initial group of 15 or so will be required to wear masks and gloves, as well as practice social distancing. Plus there will be a COVID-19 health officer onsite. Hiring that health...
MONTPELIER — Public furor over a plan announced last Friday by Jeb Spaulding, chancellor of the Vermont State College System, to close three state colleges by the fall prompted him to withdraw the proposal on Wednesday. “It was pretty drastic proposal given that it would close half the system,” State Sen. Ruth Hardy said before Spaulding’s change of heart was announced.  Like most other members of the Addison County Legislative delegation, Hardy received a torrent of calls and emails criticizing Spaulding’s proposal to close Northern Vermont University, which combined the former state...

SETH LAPIDOW AND his dog show off the solar array he had installed for his home off Smith Street in Shoreham five years ago. A combination of the energy savings and government incentives has made the array a good investment. Photo courtesy of Same Sun of Vermont
ADDISON COUNTY — Over the past two decades Americans have begun to embrace the idea that they can use solar energy to power their homes. The concept of capturing the energy from the sun and directing it not into some big government or commercial program, but into individual homes, has been accepted by thousands and thousands of homeowners, who have place hundreds of thousands of solar panels on their houses. There were virtually no home installations of solar power arrays just 15 year ago, but this year there will be an estimated 19,000 in the United States, according to the Department of...

THE MARQUEE AT Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater says it all — the active venue, which can accommodate hundreds of people at a time, has cancelled its schedule for the time being.
ADDISON COUNTY — The threat of the coronavirus is prompting cancellation of many activities that would require a gathering of people. One need only look at the Addison Independent calendar to see that events, meetings, church services and other activities have either been postponed, or will be held “virtually,” over social media platforms. As the threat from the novel coronavirus sunk in late last week, many people heeded the advice to create more social distance, exercise proper hygiene and, critically, not panic. Even the Vermont Legislature announced it would suspend it session for at...

VERGENNES — Late last month Addison Northwest School District Superintendent Sheila Soule told the school board that she would be leaving the job at the end of the school year. But last week she signed a contract to spend two more years as ANWSD’s top administrator. Soule did not point to one specific thing that changed her mind, but said board members were very supportive of her and they truly want what is best for the students in the district and for the community. “I also really care about what happens in ANWSD and want to do everything I can to ensure our students retain all of the...

TRAVELERS AT BEIJING Capital International Airport wore facemasks to guard against transmission of a novel coronavirus. The spread of the illness prompted Middlebury College, like many other institutions, to cancel its three programs in China. Photo by Benjy Renton
BEIJING, China — Middlebury College junior Benjy Renton may have been a little disappointed after the college cancelled his study abroad program to China this week due to the expanding outbreak of the coronavirus, but he was surely too busy to show it. An experienced traveler in China, Renton swung into action, helping his fellow students put their affairs in order, book travel to their home countries and evacuate the country where most had planned — some for years in advance — to study for at least the coming few months. “Our partner for programs in China just cancelled their spring programs...


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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100