Vermont


TOWN HALL THEATER’S Jackson Gallery is hosting a new exhibit called “Dreaming of Timbuctoo,” providing a fascinating look at a mid-10th-century land-grant effort in the Adirondacks that sought to give Black New Yorkers the right to vote, in addition to farming opportunities. Photo courtesy John Brown Lives
MIDDLEBURY — Town Hall Theater’s Jackson Galley has for many years showcased works of art that have stirred diverse emotions in those who have seen them. On Sunday, Aug. 22, the gallery will be temporary home to a different kind of exhibit — one that will primarily use words to touch the heart and fill the mind with information about one of the region’s least-known attempts to deliver voting rights to people of color during the 19th century. It’s called “Dreaming of Timbuctoo,” and it unearths the fascinating story of Black land ownership in New York and Vermont. It will be on display at the...

LINCOLN RESIDENT JEANNE Albert, a longtime educator and mathematician, is a member of the Vermont Legislative Apportionment Board, which will play a key role in reimagining legislative districts based on the 2020 Census results. Independent photo/John Flowers
LINCOLN —  With the goal of adhering to a “one-person, one vote” standard, the decennial reapportionment of legislative districts is “largely a mathematical exercise,” according to the Vermont Secretary of State’s website. If that’s the case, Lincoln’s Jeanne Albert — a lifelong mathematician — is indeed at home on the Vermont Legislative Apportionment Board (LAB), the seven-member panel charged with taking the most recent U.S. Census numbers to potentially reshape the Green Mountain State’s Vermont House and Senate districts based on population changes during the past 10 years. “I have an...

THIS MAP CREATED by the Vermont Center for Geographic Information shows that many Vermont towns had very little population change between 2010 and 2020, but in Addison County, Middlebury saw an increase of 656, or 7.7%, to 9,152. cgi.vermont.gov/data source: U.S. Census
VERMONT — Chittenden County’s population grew 7.5% between 2010 and 2020, the most of any county in the state, according to newly released 2020 census data. The new numbers, the first local-level results of the 2020 decennial census collection, form the basis of Vermont House and Senate seats — signaling that Chittenden County could be in for more representation in the Vermont legislature. “There’s been virtually no growth in any part of the state outside of the Chittenden County area,” said Peter Nelson, professor of geography at Middlebury College. Chittenden’s population growth was...
MONTPELIER — The Vermont Department of Labor is reminding claimants the federal expansion of unemployment insurance benefits created under the CARES Act will end Sept. 5. This includes Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). The Department will be increasing outreach and assistance to help claimants transition into the workforce or find training or educational opportunities. “The federal CARES Act programs played an important role in providing temporary assistance to make sure Vermont...
The Vermont Legislature was called back into special session on Wednesday to try to overturn three vetoes issued by Gov. Phil Scott and also to possibly consider legislation that failed to get needed support before adjournment in May. There is no need for this special session. Legislators, media members, lobbyists and others who follow the Statehouse have noted each of the three vetoes can be addressed in greater detail when the Legislature returns in January. The cost to taxpayers will be approximately $50,000 for each day of the veto session. Legislative leaders have indicated that in...

Gov. Phil Scott this morning signs the order directing state agencies to end special COVID-19 restrictions now that more than 80% of Vermonters have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott this morning lifted all state COVID-19 restrictions. The State of Emergency, in place since March 13, 2020, will expire at midnight tomorrow. The order came after the announcement that Vermont yesterday became the first state to vaccinate over 80% of eligible residents, making it the global leader in COVID-19 vaccinations. “Vermont has shown the world what’s possible,” Gov. Scott said in this morning’s press conference. “We are here only because of the unity of the people of Vermont, whose commitment to their neighbors and care for each other never wavered.” The...
ADDISON COUNTY — The Vermont Department of Health (DOH) today, Monday, June 14, is reporting Addison County has again registered zero new cases of COVID-19 during the past 24 hours, and only one during the past two weeks. The county has recorded a total of 1,062 confirmed cases since the pandemic began more than 15 months ago. In other COVID news, the Vermont Department of Health announced today that the state has now vaccinated 80% of its residents who are aged 12 and older, this triggering a “fully open” state as described in Gov. Phil Scott’s “Vermont Forward Plan.” Given the paucity of...
MONTPELIER — Universal mail-in voting is now a permanent feature of Vermont’s general elections, under legislation that Gov. Phil Scott signed Monday.  Now, local officials will be required to mail ballots to all registered voters in the weeks leading up to the November general elections, as they did in the fall of 2020.  The state decided to automatically send ballots to voters before last year’s election to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the polls. But after the change helped drive record voter turnout in November, lawmakers moved to make it permanent.  While announcing he had signed the...
VERMONT — Although dairy plays a big part in Vermont agriculture, and indeed in the economy and character of the Green Mountain State, dairy in Vermont plays a small role in the nationwide picture for milk, butter and cheese production. That’s the word from King Whetstone, Regional Director of the Northeast Regional Field Office of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, in a recent Northeast dairy products summary. Whetstone’s statistics do show that Vermont is ahead of another state in the Northeast region — New Jersey — in production of cheese. Total U.S. cheese production for...

LINDSAY KURRLE
This week’s writer is Lindsay Kurrle, secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. It’s easy to look back over the last 18 months and see all of the ways that COVID has set us back: from shuttered businesses, to the thousands of Vermonters losing their jobs, a disproportionate amount of whom were women who had to exit the workforce to care for their children. As businesses and families struggled, government provided a safety net through Paycheck Protection Program loans, business grants, stimulus checks, and extended unemployment benefits. The intent of all those...

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Addison County Independent