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BETH DOW HAS been a familiar face in Middlebury town government for most of the last five decades. She will soon retire from her current job as secretary to the town manager. Independent photo/John Flowers
MIDDLEBURY — Beth Caul Dow has more hats than can fit in the average closet. She’s worn a half-dozen of them during a career with the town of Middlebury that began during the Nixon Administration. Dow has served stints in the town clerk, recreation, planning/zoning, assessing, town manager and listers’ offices. But she’s going to pack up most of those hats later this fall as she phases out a lengthy term of service to a community she’s called home for her entire life — 70 years. “I think I’ve put this decision off so long because this job is who I am,” Dow said of her career during a recent...
BRISTOL — Given all of the unknown factors, it’s challenging to predict how Lincoln’s withdrawal will impact the Mount Abraham Unified School District. Lincoln residents voted in August to leave the MAUSD, and the town clerks of Bristol, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro have been notified by the Vermont State Board of Education (VSBE) that they must organize votes in their towns to ratify Lincoln’s exit plan, but no date for those votes has been announced. Lincoln’s plan cannot proceed without ratification of all four towns. In the meantime, the MAUSD is trying to get a handle on what this...

BECAUSE REVEALING THE identity of “Jamila” could endanger her family in Afghanistan the Independent has withheld her photo as well as her real name, her hometown and the American schools she has attended. Bridport resident Jill Vickers has been working with U.S. officials to secure visas for Jamila’s family, but it’s unclear at this time if they will be able to safely exit the country. Image by Christopher Ross
BRIDPORT — Jill Vickers spent part of her summer this year teaching a young Afghan woman how to drive. During the seven years Vickers has been her mentor, Jamila has spent a number of high school and college breaks in Bridport. Often she develops a to-do list for these visits, Vickers said, with items like “get driver’s license.” “We spent a lot of time in the car together this summer,” Vickers said. It was challenging at times, not least because Jamila was somewhat resistant to the concept of yielding. “I would say, ‘Jamila, let me tell you again what you do at a yield sign. You have to know...

ADDISON SELECTBOARD MEMBER PETER BRIGGS
ADDISON — On Tuesday Addison voters will decide the same question for a second time in three months: “Shall the Town of Addison withdraw from the Addison Northwest School District?” On July 13 Addison residents voted no, 122-106. But a petition triggered a revote. The town’s selectboard picked Oct. 5 as the vote date and Sept. 21 as the date for its informational meeting. After realizing that date for the informational meeting did not meet statutory requirements, the board added a second meeting, on Sept. 28, within the legal 10 days of the vote. Questions remain about how that meeting was...
VERGENNES — It now looks like groundbreaking on a major downtown Vergennes eldercare project, once expected for early this summer, will not occur until sometime in 2022, according to its owner-developers, Shelburne residents Daniel and Rebecca Hassan. Spiraling construction costs and difficulty finding contractors, in part due the ongoing construction boom and a simultaneous labor shortage, have pushed the original project cost estimate from around $18.5 million to roughly $20 million, according to Daniel Hassan. Hassan told the Independent that of that total about $13 million are now “hard...
It’s been a long time since Middlebury College’s Sister-to-Sister mentoring program has been able to hold an in-person get-together but the group is inviting all vaccinated Addison County middle school students (ages 12 and up) to its first outside event on Oct. 9. We’re told that the youngsters will meet at 26 Blinn Lane, on the west edge of campus off Route 125 a little before the turn into the McCardell Bicentennial Hall parking lot, between 2 and 4 p.m. for decorating pumpkins, making slime, eating doughnuts and playing bingo. Please give organizers an RSVP online at go.middlebury.edu/...
VERGENNES — A new report from the Addison County Community Trust (ACCT) demonstrates strong demand for affordable workforce housing in the county. According to the “Addison County Workforce Housing Need Assessment Report” spearheaded by three Middlebury College students, hundreds of affordable homes are needed to meet demand for workforce housing. This chronicle comes on the heels of the Addison County Regional Planning Commission’s Housing/Population Report that says the region suffers from a lack of housing stock for low- to moderate-income families (See Addison Independent, Sept. 9, Page...
VERGENNES — Officials from the Vergennes-Panton Water District are researching the extent and cost of needed upgrades to the water lines that serve more than 5,500 customers in five communities — and they are looking to those communities for help in paying for the work. District Superintendent Jonathan Deming said cast iron district water pipes that date back to the 1930s will be the primary focus of an ongoing engineering study. “We’re talking with an engineering firm about out project needs, and we’ve had a hydraulic analysis and identified a couple projects. But that’s only a couple where...
STARKSBORO — This year’s municipal tax rate in Starksboro is the lowest it’s been in at least four years. The town selectboard has set the fiscal year 2021-22 municipal tax rate at $0.5987 per $100 of assessed property value — a decrease of  $0.023, or 3.7%. The new rate, which also includes $0.0012 to raise the amount granted as an exemption for disabled veterans, is a hair lower than it was for FY 2018-19. The town’s residential education tax rate also went down. The FY22 rate of $1.7486 is a half-penny, or 0.3%, lower than last year. Starksboro’s nonresidential education tax rate, on the...

RAIN OR SHINE, the Ripton Ridge Run promises a challenging run made sweet by the colors of fall and a rejuvenating lunch afterwards. Photo Courtesy of Ripton Ridge Run
RIPTON — The Ripton Ridge Run will have both an in-person and virtual event on Sunday, Oct. 10, starting at 12:30 p.m. Runners and walkers from throughout the region are invited to beautiful Ripton, Vt., for a 5K/10K run or 5K fun walk. The courses take runners and walkers on paved and dirt roads showcasing some of Ripton’s natural beauty. The 10.4K run is a loop, where the 5K run/walk is out and back — both offering participants some of Ripton’s signature hilly terrain. After the race/walk, there will be a bagged lunch for all entrants, as well as awards and a raffle. Due to COVID...

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Addison County Independent