Middlebury

On March 2, Middlebury residents will vote on whether or not to allow regulated cannabis stores to open in town. As downtown merchants and property owners, we write to urge all Middlebury residents to vote “Yes” on Question 3. Middlebury’s downtown has lost numerous businesses over the last few years. For remaining businesses like ours, the vacant storefronts pose a serious threat, diminishing the sense of vibrancy that makes people want to visit, shop, and eat here. A well-run and socially responsible regulated retail cannabis business will not only fill a vacancy, but also generate...
Andy Hooper for Middlebury selectboard! Andy is an all-around great guy. He is intelligent, erudite, compassionate, and even-tempered. I have known him as my neighbor and friend ever since he moved in next door to our farm on South Munger Street. My first impression of him was that he was willing to talk to anyone at any time, which is a great quality for an elected official. As I grew to know him I found him to be a quintessential Vermonter — a love of Cabot cheese and maple syrup, from multiple generations living in this state, wily, the whole nine yards. Andy taught me a lot about...
Middlebury College President Laurie Patton and Chief Health Officer and College Physician Mark Peluso released this letter to the public to explain the college’s preparations for the widespread return of students to campus this coming Sunday and Monday. • • • • • • • • • • •  • • • • • • • • • • •  • • • • • • • • • • •   To Members of the Middlebury Community, As we prepare once again to bring students back to the Middlebury College campus for the spring semester, we write to share our plans and collective commitment to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy community for all. We are...
ADDISON COUNTY -- An individual associated with Middlebury Union High School has tested positive for COVID-19, according to an announcement Wednesday afternoon from MUHS Principal Justin Campbell. "Luckily, this individual was not in school when contagious and is following all of the guidance from the VT Dept. of Health," Campbell wrote in an email to the MUHS community. "We have been in contact with local and state health officials and all are in agreement that there are no additional restrictions or precautions needed at MUHS." According to the Addison Central School District COVID-19...
MIDDLEBURY — Advocates and opponents of a proposal for Middlebury to entertain cannabis stores presented their respective cases during a Zoom informational meeting on Tuesday. The town selectboard hosted the informational meeting to help the public understand the subject prior to the upcoming March 2 vote on the subject. Vermont’s Act 164, which legalized recreational marijuana, requires a municipality to “opt in” before a cannabis retailer can open in that community. That can only be done via a Yes/No vote of town residents. Middlebury is one of more than a dozen Vermont municipalities that...
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday unanimously agreed to allocate up to $50,000 in unspent economic development funds to help the Better Middlebury Partnership (BMP) fill vacant downtown storefronts with new businesses. “Kick Start Middlebury” is a collaboration of the BMP, Addison County Economic Development Corp., Addison County Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Small Business Development Center and Middlebury College. Patterned after a similar program in the southern  Vermont town of Wilmington, Kick Start will award incentive packages to three or four stores committed to making...

A CREW FROM Silver Maple Construction — (from left) Sutton Doira, Duke Whitney and Silas Clark — constructed a new ice rink on the Middlebury rec fields on Wednesday. Many local businesses and organizations came together to make this project happen in a very short time frame, including the ACSD Community Partnership Council, Junebug, Middlebury’s water and fire departments, Paris Farm Supply and Rice Lumber Supply. Independent photo/Megan James
MIDDLEBURY — When Maria Graham hatched the idea to build an outdoor ice rink in Middlebury just in time for the February school break, it didn’t take long to rustle up community support. Within a week, Graham’s coworker Janet Lapiner, who is on the ACSD Community Partnership Council's “Joy Committee” — yes, that’s a real thing — had nailed down a location (the rec fields near Mary Hogan), found a local business to donate its labor (Silver Maple Construction) and got the local fire and water departments on board to fill the new rink with 8000 gallons of water. Paris Farm Supply donated a...

ASHLEY BETTON IS leading the collaborative art installation project Find Your Wings, which will bring winged works of art to downtown Middlebury this summer. Find Your Wings Community Ambassadors are in the process of selecting the final artists from the 18 submissions. Check out findyourwingsvt.com to see how you can support the project or get involved. PHOTO / ELISABETH WALLER PHOTOGRAPHY
Ashley Betton spent 13 years building a successful music career as a singer in New York City before moving to Bridport in 2017. Once she was here, she discovered pretty quickly that she needed to create a job for herself. She and her partner started an Airbnb out of their house to generate some income while Betton got to work figuring out how to start something that suited her skills. “My interests are vast,” said Betton, who also worked as the director of operations and later head of enrichment programming for The Brooklyn Strategist, a board and card game cafe in Brooklyn. “I thought: OK,...
Middlebury’s $50,000 appropriation to boost the downtown is a needed step in the right direction. The money will seed “Kick Start Middlebury,” an effort to fill downtown storefronts with viable businesses by way of offering $10,000 incentive packages for interested entrepreneurs. It’s a bit of a gimmick, and the timing’s not perfect being as we’re still in the midst of a pandemic, but the hope is that the $10,000 will jumpstart conversations about what types of potential businesses would not only succeed in the downtown, but contribute to its vitality. The hurdles are high. Retailers, as well...
I was fortunate enough to meet Esther Thomas shortly after she moved to Middlebury, and I am thrilled that she is running for a seat on the Middlebury selectboard. Esther has shown herself to be one of those people who looks for ways to be of service by building community wherever she goes. She is a bright light, an excellent communicator, and a warm-hearted leader. I met Esther when she started attending our church, where she immediately joined our worship team and showed herself to be a powerful public speaker. Esther is dedicated to listening to Middlebury residents, and if elected to the...

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Addison County Independent