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MIDDLEBURY ROTARY MEMBER Ben Fuller helps out on David Clark’s cleanup project at the Old Town Cemetery on Washington Street Extension. “The Rotary Club’s cemetery restoration project started as most of our projects did: A member saw something needed to be addressed and rallied fellow club members to join in,” Clark said. Photo courtesy of Middlebury Rotary
MIDDLEBURY — “We have a group of men in our club who are mostly retired who are carpenters,” Weybridge resident and Middlebury Rotary Club member Nancy Foster said. “I have no idea how many handicap ramps they (have) put in for people. (Folks will) often call and say, ‘Do you have a few people that will do this?”’ The Rotary Club’s answer to the call for help is always: Yes, we do. The Middlebury Rotary Club, a local chapter of the international humanitarian organization, has been going strong since the chapter’s founding in 1927. This summer alone, members have participated in several...

AUTUMN GOLD OWNER John Wallace, at ease behind the counter in the Middlebury store he founded in 1998, shares some of his knowledge about gemstones, jewelry and operating a business. The store’s name comes from the fall colors Wallace saw when he first moved to Vermont. Independent photo/William Haig
MIDDLEBURY — Consider Autumn Gold Jewelry, the shop on Main Street founded and owned by Cornwall resident John Wallace. Autumn. Gold. Isn’t the name of the store just nice? Wallace, 57, recalls the moment he came up with it. “The story behind the name is that we opened up in the fall of 1998 when the beautiful Vermont landscape was ablaze with the colors of autumn,” Wallace said. “My wife and I were brainstorming, and since we intended upon working with gold, the name sounded right.” If the anecdote sounds artistic, it makes sense: When he’s not running Autumn Gold, Wallace plays the drums in...

A HOST OF dignitaries, including Gov. Phil Scott and Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, helped mark the launch of a massive anaerobic digester operation at Salisbury’s Goodrich Farm that will convert cow and manure waste into renewable natural gas. Middlebury College will be the main consumer of the natural gas produced at the farm. Independent photo/Steve James
SALISBURY — The state’s top two elected officials on Wednesday helped Salisbury’s Goodrich Farm launch the Northeast’s largest farm-powered anaerobic digester, a facility that will convert cow manure, food and beverage waste into renewable natural gas. Along with Gov. Phil Scott and Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, others participating in Wednesday’s launch included Vermont Agency of Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts, Vermont Gas Systems (VGS) officials and David Provost, executive vice president of finance and administration for Middlebury College. The college will buy most of the natural gas...

MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE PLANS to house 90 juniors and seniors at its Bread Loaf campus in Ripton this year, due to a larger than usual student body. Dining services will be available to students on the mountain, and regular shuttle service will transport them to and from Middlebury’s downtown campus.
RIPTON — For the first time in its history Middlebury College will house undergraduate students at its Bread Loaf campus during the regular school year. “We will have a larger than usual student body this fall — about 2,800 students — and opening the Bread Loaf campus for residential housing and some classes is part of our planning process,” said Director of Media Relations Sarah Ray in an email to the Independent. Middlebury typically enrolls about 2,500 students each year, but the college received a record number of applications last winter, nearly 12,000. In addition to hosting additional...
VERGENNES — The ANWSD-MAUSD Merger Study Committee has begun its work. The group, which was created to study the advisability of a merger between the Addison Northwest School District (Addison, Ferrisburgh, Panton, Vergennes, Waltham) and the Mount Abraham Unified School District (Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, New Haven, Starksboro) gathered at Vergennes Union High School Monday night for the first of what promises to be many meetings over the next several months. Like many school districts in Vermont ANWSD and MAUSD have been struggling to balance declining enrollment and reduced revenue with...

LOCAL ADVOCATES ARE developing plans for a new child care facility on the Otter Creek Child Center property off Weybridge Street that would accommodate as many as 139 kids — more than double the number currently accommodated by the OCCC and the College Street Children’s Center.
MIDDLEBURY — The Otter Creek Child Center (OCCC) is seeking support for a new, 15,000-square-foot facility on its 150 Weybridge St. property that would allow the nonprofit to more than double the combined 61 children currently served at the OCCC and the nearby College Street Children’s Center. The project, preliminarily placed at around $8 million, will require buy-in from Middlebury College, loans, donations and grants, organizers said. The OCCC recently submitted a request through the office of Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., for a federal appropriation of $3 million. “I am confident that we...
VERGENNES — After a few citizens and one councilor raised questions at last week’s Vergennes City Council public hearing on proposed new zoning and subdivision regulations, the city’s planning commission will take another look at them before moving forward. The potential buyers and sellers of one Meigs Road property said planners should reconsider a limit on retail on the short road, given the many existing nearby retail and commercial outlets. And Councilor Mel Hawley, the city’s longtime former zoning administrator, said planners should reconsider a number of items. Those included...

EDUCATION COMMISSIONER RICHARD Gibboney (left) and Addison Northeast Superintendent Ernest Codding discuss the county school situation with other Addison County superintendents in the spring of 1966. This photo originally appeared in the May 6, 1966, edition of the Independent.
Editor’s note: This is the fourth story in a series about the growing pains of Addison County schools in 1965-66 and the Vermont Commissioner of Education’s ambitious plan to address them. Unless otherwise noted, quoted material is reproduced from the original Addison Independent articles and editorials of the time. Read the full series here. ADDISON COUNTY — When the Vermont State Board of Education met on March 24, 1966, to decide the fate of Addison County schools, it was widely believed that a plan recommended by education consultant Martin Harris to establish unions around three county...
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard recently approved a fiscal year 2022 municipal tax rate of 79.69 cents per $100 of property value, representing a 0.0065-cent decrease compared to FY’21. The new tax rate is intended to cover municipal expenses from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022. It is based on the general fund operating budget of $11,510,928 that Middlebury voters approved this past March, of which $7,571,924 will be raised through local taxes. Middlebury selectboard members softened the tax impact of this year’s tax rate when they agreed to allocate $622,706 from the Cross Street...

AS LOGGING CONTINUES across parts of the Green Mountain National Forest (as seen here in Rochester), climate and other activists are gearing up to fight on a new front, the Telephone Gap Integrated Resource Project. Centered around the town of Chittenden, the project spans more than 32,000 acres of publicly owned land, much of which has been designated as “available” for timber harvesting. Photo by Mark Nelson
RUTLAND COUNTY — Last Wednesday night, when Green Mountain National Forest officials unveiled the 72,000-acre “Telephone Gap Integrated Resource Project,” they talked of many scientific things and promised future public meetings and field trips to explore those scientific things, but they did not talk about the possibility of just leaving things alone for a while. Thanks to the persistence of their virtual audience, however, they’ve promised they’ll do just that. “There are a lot of comments about ‘proforestation,’ which is basically no harvesting of trees on public lands,” noted GMNF Forest...

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Addison County Independent