John Vaaler


DURING A RECENT training session at Nelson Arena, Middlebury College Emergency Response Team members Scott Barker, left, and Tim Parsons organize some of the specialized tools they use to rescue people trapped in confined spaces, like heating and ventilation ducts. Independent photo/John Vaaler
“We actually — knock on wood — have not had to do one yet,” Middlebury College’s landscape horticulturalist and arborist Tim Parsons said. Parsons is referring to not having yet participated in a confined-space rescue, a term for a rescue in a place that is narrow or somehow tricky to approach. The Middlebury College Emergency Response Team — which is composed entirely of Middlebury College staff — specializes in confined space rescues, which are primarily meant to assist college employees in fields where work in confined spaces sometimes occurs, such as plumbing or heating, ventilation and...
BRANDON — At an Aug. 19 meeting held on Zoom and at the Stephen A. Douglas House, the Brandon Leicester Salisbury Goshen Pittsford Insect Control District board members were conflicted about Salisbury’s future with the district. The BLSG bug district voted in July to resume the insect control services to Salisbury, overturning a June 24 vote to cancel servicing the town. This initial cancellation was in reaction to the Salisbury residents voting not to fund the BLSG on Town Meeting Day. “I think this frustration on both sides,” said Paul Vaczy, who is a member of both the BLSG and the...

CHARITY SWAN RUNS CC’s Eats with her daughter Charissa at Addison County Fair and Field Days. Their business specializes in funnel cakes and deep-fried Oreos. Independent photo/John Vaaler
NEW HAVEN — “A lot of people just serve fried Oreos with powdered sugar or powdered cinnamon,” Charissa Swan said. “We actually offer an arrangement of specialty toppings. So, we can toss pretty much everything you want here.” Charissa co-owns, with her mother Charity Swan, CC’s Eats, which most of the time serves three products: funnel cakes, fried dough and, more recently, deep-fried Oreos. They were relatively busy at the Addison County Fair and Field Days. Charissa stressed that she and her mother don’t run a two-trick pony stand — which operates out of a trailer the family owns —...
MIDDLEBURY/VERGENNES — Many businesses in Addison County have been deliberating in the past few weeks on how to keep their workplace safe from COVID-19 in light of to the Delta variant’s spread and breakthrough cases in the county. Some are encouraging all customers to be vaccinated and requiring staff vaccinations. Others are banning unvaccinated customers with signs or rules, but are not requiring proof of vaccination. And some businesses are requiring customers to present proof of a vaccination card to enter their businesses. “We want to take these steps to keep our staff safe,” said Two...

BLUE-RIBBON WINNER ANDREW Lester, 16, smiles with his spring calf, Tilly. Lester is glad that the Conformation Classes are happening again after last year’s classes were canceled due to COVID-19. Independent photo/John Vaaler
“I’m the only one in my class right now, but first place is always the goal,” said Mount Abraham Union High School student Abigail Reen, 17. Reen, with her Ayrshire spring calf named Oakley, bagged an unchallenged Blue Ribbon at the 4-H Youth Dairy Show Conformation Classes at Addison County Fair and Field Days on the first day of the fair last week; Renee Baker was the judge. Reen said that her calf’s greatest strength was her fluid style and obedience. “Her best strength is how well she leads with me, because she pretty much just follows me around like a dog,” Reen said. Before she went on...

CROCHETING JUDGE KAT Cyr is extremely impressed with the crochet-aquarium made by Shoreham resident Nicolee Terre. “Just because they’re so small, so intricate, stuffing it (is a challenge),” Cyr said. “It took some yard and some pieces. A lot of careful hand-stitching and details.” Independent photo/John Vaaler
NEW HAVEN — How does a judge in Addison County Fair and Field Days Home and Garden Department competitions assess crafts, home-grown vegetables, art work? Quality of workmanship, flavor, distinctiveness … Bethany Barry, who was judging a fish tank filled with little crocheted fish in the Frances Monroe Building at the New Haven fairgrounds on Monday, was especially pleased with the creativity of the project. The submission reminded her of the value of “(seeing) that people have the ingenuity, actually the engineering skills. “I’ve been working at Field Days for quite a while,” Barry added. “I...

BRIDGETTE SHEPPARD’S CAR #817 becomes, as the poet Shelley put it, a “colossal wreck” after a collision with Greg “Phillipe” Whitney’s #22G vehicle Tuesday evening. Independent photo/Steve James
NEW HAVEN — “You always get told not to smash up a car all your life,” said New Haven resident Zachary Lavoie, 21. “(And then you) turn up and smash a car and do what you were meant not to do.” Lavoie competed in the four-cylinder qualifying competition of the Addison County Fair and Field Days Demolition Derby Tuesday night. At the derby, AJ Sumner won the four-cylinder feature, which had three qualifying rounds. Ashlie Gevry reigned supreme in the six-cylinder smash up, while “Wild Child” driver Dustin Tierny won the top prize in the mini-van feature. Cody Steele placed first in the...

JOE PESCI, LEFT, Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro star in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 classic “Goodfellas,” which screened at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival summer series last week.
It’s the anti-“Godfather” from frame one. The credits rush by with the sound of a car zooming. Three men in a car cruise down an empty road in the heat of the night, the passengers fast asleep. The driver looks exhausted, a little sweaty, handsome but not silent-movie-actor-handsome in the vein of Al Pacino as Michael Corleone. Their suits are elegant, but they’re also crumpled, worn-down. Despite the late hour, the lighting is simple. It’s just a tad red, unlike the shadows that flood the screen at the beginning Coppola’s “The Godfather.” Then there’s a “bump” from the car’s trunk. The two...

ROBERT DE NIRO, right, delivers a marvelous performance as a psychotic killer stalking the character played by Nick Nolte.
They never got a break. I mean the Bowden family in the film “Cape Fear,” who are terrorized by the ex-con Max Cady (Robert De Niro). Cady poisons their dog. He stalks their daughter. He murders their housemaid then impersonates her. And when the Bowdens escape on a fast drive to their houseboat retreat, he defies physics and human physiology by latching onto the bottom of their car for the whole ride. When he dusts himself off, it’s as if this is just another Tuesday for Cady. “Cape Fear” (1991) — Martin Scorsese’s remake of the 1962 Robert Mitchum thriller — was screened Aug. 4 at the...

THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH of Middlebury Youth Group assembled in the foundations of the privy which they helped construct. Around them are the wood pieces the group hauled up the Emily Proctor Trail, which leads to the Long Trail. Pictured from farthest left to right: Pete Nelson, Jack Wallace, Aidan Cole, Trevor Schnoor, Steve Abbot, Becca Orton, Nyna Cole, Brynn Kent and Lucas Nelson.
LINCOLN — “They’re heavy,” Steve Abbot said. “They’re really awkward to carry. So you put (one) on your shoulders, and that works for 10 minutes. And then you start carrying it, and your arms get tired.” “They” are eight-foot-long, four-by-four-inch pieces of lumber provided by the Green Mountain Club at the trailhead of the Emily Proctor Trail, which leads to the 217-mile Long Trail. The log carriers: a group of teenage volunteers from the Congregational Church of Middlebury’s youth group who were led by Abbot and Peter Nelson, both Middlebury College professors. From the night of Wednesday...

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Addison County Independent