“THE BIRD DIVA,” Bridget Butler, will speak on fall bird migration at Otter Creek Audubon Society’s annual dinner on Thursday, Nov. 14. Photo courtesy OCAS
MIDDLEBURY — Bridget Butler, a naturalist and conservation outreach specialist from St. Albans, will be sharing her “Time to Fly” presentation about the fall migration of birds as they move across Vermont at the Otter Creek Audubon Annual Dinner and Meeting on Nov. 14 at the American Legion in Middlebury.   Butler is the founder and owner of Bird Diva Consulting a conservation outreach and consulting business focused on connecting people with birds and their habitats. She has 25 years of experience as a naturalist, speaker, birder, & conservation outreach specialist, and has worked for...

A SERIES OF online videos called “Stay Savvy Vermont” portrays scenarios in which scammers try to trick seniors out of their money and give practical advice for how to avoid such schemes.
WATERBURY — The Vermont Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) have been rolling out a series of videos designed to increase awareness among older Vermonters of potential scams. The series, called “Stay Savvy Vermont,” is a web series created with the talents of the Community of Vermont Elders (COVE) and Senior Medicare Patrol Savvy Seniors acting troupe; it is produced with the generous support of ORCA Media.  Just this month they rolled out the sixth episode in the series, one called “Perfect Fit.” It addresses online dating...

LEADERS OF ST. STEPHEN’S Episcopal Church on the green will likely soon install a fence and perimeter lighting to deter people from relieving themselves in the building alcove that fronts the town park. Independent photo/John S. McCright
MIDDLEBURY — Increasing numbers of homeless folks seeking services in Middlebury are putting a strain on local police, who said they’re spending many hours responding to trespassing, assaults, disturbances and a variety of behavioral problems associated with some of those availing themselves of shelter and food in Addison County’s shire town. Time spent sorting out complaints with transients — many of whom are from out-of-state and who are dealing with myriad mental health and substance addiction problems — is precluding police from devoting adequate time to regular patrol activities,...

WORKERS IN DOWNTOWN Middlebury on Wednesday continue to prepare the rail bed and surrounding property for a tunnel that will make the track suitable for passenger rail service, which is slated to start in 2021 if all goes well with the tunnel project. Independent photo/ John S. McCright
MIDDLEBURY — The chief of Vermont’s rail and aviation division said passenger train service to Burlington — with stops in Vergennes and Middlebury — is likely to commence in 2021, barring any unforeseen delays in construction of the downtown Middlebury rail tunnel. That’s the word from Dan Delabruere of the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans). During a recent phone interview with the Independent, Delabruere discussed current planning for the expansion of the Ethan Allen Express from its current terminus in Rutland, all the way to the Queen City. The Ethan Allen currently runs from New...

LIZ HURLBURT OF Second Chance Farm gets a hug from Stan and Dorothy Zbornak, two mini donkeys named after characters from the TV show “Golden Girls.” Since launching Second Chance Farm in Addison this summer, Liz and her husband, Noah, have acquired more than 100 animals, many of which are considered endangered. Every animal on the farm has a name and a story. Photo courtesy of Second Chance Farm
ADDISON — A lot has happened in the six months since Liz and Noah Hurlburt first entertained the idea of having a farm. They got married, purchased 34 acres near Lake Champlain in Addison, moved their family down from Williston, built fences and stalls, opened a catering business and acquired more than 100 animals. “We were merging our families — six kids and five dogs — and so we thought ... space,” said Noah, a science teacher who grew up in rural Vermont. “And a sense of place. There’s a quality of life that comes with that, which is really important.” The Hurlburts call their new home...

MIDDLEBURY RESIDENT ANDY Dosmann has founded, a nonprofit travel website. Dosmann said it functions like other well-known travel-booking websites and trips can be arranged at a low cost, with the added bonus that local charities will be kicked back funds every time a customer uses the site. Photo courtesy of Elisabeth Waller Photography
MIDDLEBURY — One Middlebury resident has figured out a way to make flying the skies friendly to charities. Andy Dosmann, an evolutionary biology professor who teaches online college courses through San Francisco’s The Minerva Schools, has created a travel website that when used to book flights or hotels kicks back money to local nonprofits. Dosmann has been working for a couple years to create and work out the bugs for his site,, which he is now taking public in partnership with the international booking site According to Dosmann, the process is not complicated....
BRISTOL — Bristol’s Town Wide Police District Committee wants to know what town residents think about the idea of expanding the current police district to encompass the entire town. To that end the committee has created a brief survey, which it hopes town residents will fill out and return by Oct. 21. A link to the survey can be found on the Bristol town website,, along with a map of the current police district. The Bristol selectboard decided in August that it was time to revisit the idea of expanding the Bristol Police Department’s coverage area to include the entire town....
If you’re thinking of taking a shortcut through Halpin Road next Monday, think again. The road at the 200 address will be closed to through traffic on Oct. 21 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in order to replace utilities in the road. Motorists are asked to please seek an alternate route. Call the Middlebury Department of Public Works at 388-4045 with questions or for more information. Hay bales, festive games and creative costumes galore will be on display at the 12th Annual Middlebury Spooktacular on Sunday, Oct. 27, on the town green in Middlebury. Come at 1 p.m. for games, music, dancing and...
VERGENNES — The Addison Northwest School District will host two voter information meetings on Monday, Nov. 4 — the night before elementary school-closure votes in Addison and Ferrisburgh. The first meeting will be held at 5 p.m. at the Addison Central School and the second at 7 p.m. at the Ferrisburgh Central School. The next day, Tuesday, Nov. 5, ANWSD will ask Addison and Ferrisburgh voters to approve its plan to close those two schools on June 30, 2020. The district has suggested that because of declining enrollment and increased costs, keeping the two schools open would require program...
MIDDLEBURY — A 14-member committee has begun the search for a new Middlebury Union High School principal whom they hope to appoint this coming January. The new administrative leader will succeed longtime MUHS Principal Bill Lawson. Lawson, who took the helm of MUHS in 1995, announced his retirement plans this past August in order to give Addison Central School District officials ample time to recruit his replacement. MUHS, and indeed all schools in the Addison Central School District, are transitioning to the International Baccalaureate program. That switchover is slated to be done by next...


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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100