Megan James

The Addison Independent is teaming up with Middlebury Community Television this summer to produce weekly video dispatches from the rail bridges project in downtown Middlebury. In the first one, we talk to project manager John Whitaker about the 300-ton crane that was erected last Monday.
Something special happened in Middlebury last weekend. Folks in Buttolph Acres and at EastView were drawn out of their homes and into the streets by an old-fashioned traveling show. Created by Town Hall Theater’s Courageous Stage and performed on a mobile platform, "Doc Lyle Sol's Medicine Show" encouraged pan-banging, music-playing, and cheering from audiences — who were appropriately spaced out and masked — along its route. The original work is a modern twist on the 1800s medicine show, as Doc Sol, a classic “snake-oil salesman,” pulls out all the stops to sell the crowd a miracle cure for...

TOM HANLEY, EMERGENCY management director for the town of Middlebury, stands with his sister Meg Meyer, who is a Registered Nurse at Porter Medical Center. The two are actively contending with the COVID-19 pandemic in different roles.
If you’re on the town of Middlebury mailing list, you probably feel like you’ve gotten to know Emergency Management Director Tom Hanley pretty well over the last couple months. Hanley, who is also the Middlebury police chief, is responsible for those very informative, very readable, sometimes pretty entertaining daily bulletins about our local response to the coronavirus crisis. Each one of Vermont’s cities and towns is required by state law to have an emergency management director. Back in the ’90s, Hanley recalls, the Burlington Free Press did a big article outing the towns that didn’t have...

TWO MEDICAL ASSISTANTS at Porter Medical Center’s by-appointment-only drive-through test center smiled for a picture after swabbing a five-year-old’s nose to test her for COVID-19. Independent photo/Megan James
Let me start by saying this: Please don’t just drop into the drive-through test center at Porter Medical Center. If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 — fever, a dry cough, shortness of breath — please call your primary care physician first. The test center is by appointment only. My kids started coughing on Sunday. By Monday, 5-year-old Joni’s cough was deep and hacking and… terrifying. When she developed a fever that night, it was hard for her dad and I to stay calm. We gave her Tylenol, put her to bed and planned to call her pediatrician in the morning.  Around 8 a.m. we tried calling...

Local schools are now closed, until at least April 6, to contain the spread of COVID-19. Libraries are closed. Restaurants are closed. Many parents are scrambling for childcare, or scrambling to suddenly homeschool their children, or just scrambling to stay sane and calm. It’s hard coming up with fun stuff to do with kids when you’re also balancing work changes, uncertainty and anxiety. So we asked three creative Addison County parents to share their recommendations.    KURT BRODERSON, executive director of MCTV and technology coordinator at Ilsley Library: As the Technology Coordinator at...
ADISON COUNTY — Providing childcare at town meeting was always something the folks at Middlebury Area Land Trust wanted to do, but they just didn’t have the capacity — until now. This year, according to programs coordinator Caleb Basa, the organization finally has enough staff (two full-time educators and person in an AmeriCorps position) to pull it off. “Recently we’ve seen a big surge of connection with the Middlebury community,” Basa said. “We feel really supported, and we want to give back.” MALT hopes “to encourage citizens of Middlebury to connect with each other, to become civically...

CHEDDAR, A BIG orange cat that hangs out at the Middlebury Animal Hospital, is one of several felines that “work” at businesses around Addison County. Homeward Bound, Addison County’s Humane Society, has created a program called “Paws on the Job,” which places hard-to-adopt cats in places where they can be useful. Independent photo/Megan James
MIDDLEBURY — Jackie was a feral stray cat when she arrived at Homeward Bound, Addison County’s Humane Society, two years ago. Severe flea dermatitis made her back almost completely furless. “It took about four months before anybody could even touch her,” recalls feline coordinator Michelle Shubert. Shubert, who is soft-spoken and gentle with the shelter cats, started spending her lunch break with Jackie every day, “slowly befriending her with treats,” she says. Gradually, the cat began warming up. Two years later, she is still at Homeward Bound — she’s been there longer than any other...
MIDDLEBURY — For the past few years, the Middlebury resale shop Junebug has been donating children's outerwear to local families who couldn't otherwise afford it. Last year the program, called Cozy Kids, outfitted 120 children. “It’s very tailored, it’s very specific, it’s very local, and it’s been very effective,” said Junebug's Maria Graham. This year they're anticipating even more requests from local families — and they're seeking donations and volunteers. Read more in John Flowers' article.

ILSLEY PUBLIC LIBRARY'S Tricia Allen prepares to ride her bike — in costume — to deliver free books to kids at the free summer lunch at Middlebury's rec park. Independent photo/Megan James
MIDDLEBURY — Children’s librarians wear many hats. They are storytellers, teachers, mentors, performers, listeners, event planners. Ilsley Public Library’s Tricia Allen wears many literal hats, too. Every Thursday through the summer she dresses up in a homemade costume — sparkly house fly, rainbow unicorn — loads great piles of books into a trailer and lugs them across town on her bike. She calls it the Book Bike. When she arrives at Middlebury’s rec park, children and their caregivers are milling around the entrance to Memorial Sports Center, awaiting the free lunch provided to kids under 18...
MIDDLEBURY — Each Thursday through the summer, Ilsley Public Library's Children's Librarian loads up her bike with books to give away and rides — in costume — to the free summer lunch at Middlebury's rec park. Each kid gets to pick one book from the bike to take home. While kids picnic on the grass, Tricia reads stories. Then she rides away.


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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100