Vermont


DURING GOV. PHIL Scott’s Tuesday news conference Dr. Anthony Fauci addressed Vermonters on the coronavirus pandemic.
MONTPELIER — National Health Advisor Dr. Anthony S. Fauci addressed Vermont by video Tuesday, Sept. 15, at Gov. Phil Scott’s weekly news conference.  “I’m a big fan,” said Scott of Fauci’s role guiding the nation through the coronavirus pandemic. “He tells it like it is. And in a way that most of us can understand. Much like Dr. Levine. For most, he probably needs no introduction, but I’ll give one anyway. Dr. Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases where he’s led our understanding of HIV, AIDS, Ebola, and ZICA. He’s advised six presidents on these...
For too long, white Vermonters have thought of ourselves as untouched by racism: It’s taken several high-profile and despicable actions for us to really understand how vicious racism is right here in Vermont. The age of denying that we have an issue is over. We must listen humbly to those who have been telling us for many decades that there is one Vermont for white people, and another for everyone else. It’s time to take steps to ensure that all Vermonters can access the benefits our state has to offer regardless of race. First, we must each have the courage to understand how deeply...
A new state website to distribute $30 “buy local” gift cards to Vermonters as an economic recovery measure experienced difficulties Tuesday morning when more than 10,000 Vermonters tried to sign up. The pilot program, which is funded by $425,000 from the federal CARES Act, offers electronic coupons for Vermonters to redeem at local businesses. The coupons were offered on a first-come, first-serve basis starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday to residents who applied. Because of the limited funding allotted, there were just 14,166 coupons available. And within the first hour of the site being live, more...
The Vermont House on Thursday gave preliminary approval to a $7.15 billion budget bill that will fund state government for the last nine months of the fiscal year, and spends the remaining $223 million in federal funding the state received this spring to respond to COVID-19. The spending bill includes funding for the state colleges to weather a budget deficit this year, a program to provide COVID-19 stimulus checks to immigrants in the state, and more than $30 million to help schools cover the costs of reopening during the pandemic. House lawmakers advanced the budget bill, H.969, in a...
Addison County Economic Development Corp. offers news bites of interest to our local businesses. Vermont Emergency Economic Recovery Grant Program Update Applications are still being accepted for the Vermont Emergency Economic Recovery Grants through the Agency of Commerce. Click here to apply. However, the amount set aside for Woman-owned business has run out of funds. Also, the portal for businesses that collect Sales & Use and Rooms & Meals taxes to apply for Vermont Emergency Economic Recovery Grants is temporarily closed. For more detail, click here.   CVOEO Launches EMBRACE...

MICHELE HERNANDEZ BAYLISS and her daughter, Alexia, completed visits to all 251 Vermont municipalities this summer. Here they display a state map, created by Weybridge neighbor Aiden Cole, that includes photos of all the individual town welcome signs they photographed during their odyssey. PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHELE HERNANDEZ BAYLISS
Everyone likes a good road trip. You pile into the old station wagon and let the good times roll. The odometer clocks your miles, but there’s no measuring stick for great memories Well, there’s “road trips,” and then there are road trips. Michele Hernandez Bayliss and her daughter, Alexia, certainly experienced the latter, during a summer-long odyssey that was equal parts scavenger hunt, wanderlust and togetherness — all safely logged within the confines of the beautiful Green Mountain State. The extra payoff for what they’re calling their “Pandemic Peregrinations” — that is, visits to all...
A number of years ago, several literary-minded beekeepers got together to discuss how they might write the history of beekeeping in Vermont. Fast forward to 2020, and “The Land of Milk & Honey: A History of Beekeeping in Vermont” is now available. “Land of Milk and Honey” co-author and experienced beekeeper Ross Conrad will speak about this fascinating history at Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 3 p.m., outdoors (or indoors with social distancing and masks required.) Conrad will present an overview of the history of Vermont beekeeping with a special emphasis on Addison...

State Auditor Doug Hoffer, shown in his Montpelier office, reports that a job-creating program can’t show that it is creating any jobs. Photo by Anne Wallace Allen/VTDigger
Doug Hoffer, the state auditor, has been criticizing the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive Program, or VEGI, for more than 20 years. Hoffer wrote about the program in 1999, back when it was called Economic Advancement Tax Incentive, or EATI. Back then, he was working for his predecessor in the auditor’s job, the late Ed Flanagan. Hoffer campaigned on the issue in 2010. Now that he’s the state auditor, Hoffer’s still working to modify VEGI, saying it’s impossible for the state to prove the job-creation program actually has any value. In his latest report, issued Aug. 24, Hoffer uses an award...
For most people in Vermont (by most here, I mean white) racism is something you know exists, but it’s easy to think it doesn’t happen here and isn’t something you have to be concerned about. The fact that Vermont has such a small population of People of Color and Black people limits the extent to which we as white people observe racism and limits our second-hand experiences of it as well, like hearing about it from our non-white friends. This limited scope can cause us to be blinkered to what is going on and believe that we are doing a good job, or that it isn’t really an issue in Vermont. ...
Vermont has received $38.5 million in federal money to provide temporary payments of $300 per week to people collecting unemployment benefits. The new “lost wages” program from the federal government comes after $600-a-week unemployment payments expired almost a month ago. The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved Vermont’s application for a $35.8 million grant through the Lost Wage Assistance Program. The program covers the initial three weeks of benefits, after which states can apply for additional funding, if the program remains open. President Donald Trump signed an executive order...

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Addison County Independent