PROPOSED CHANGES IN how the U.S. Forest Service defines the way it approaches compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act would reduce the ability of the public to give feedback before changes are made in the Green Mountain National Forest and other national forests.
ADDISON COUNTY — If a proposed change in federal land use rules goes through, the 90,000 acres of Green Mountain National Forest that fall within Addison County could see a lot more commercial logging, road building and utility corridors — all without environmental review or public input. “Basically, the rules would take the ‘public’ out of public land management,” said Jamey Fidel, Forest and Wildlife Program Director for the Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC). At issue is a proposal by the United States Forest Service (USFS) to revise the way it interprets the National Environmental...

MUMS Principal Kris Francoeur
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury Union Middle School is poised to absorb sixth-graders from the Addison Central School District-member towns, starting in the 2021-2022 academic year. The ACSD board on Monday took a major step in that direction when it voted unanimously to include a sixth-grade-to-MUMS transition as part of a new facilities master plan. That master plan, to be completed before the end of this fall, will serve as a “long-term blueprint and plan for meeting the changing facility needs of the district to support ACSD’s vision and mission,” according to Superintendent Peter Burrows....

THE TUDHOPE SISTERS, Amelia and Olivia, hold edible potato heads they made last weekend as part of the new Power of Produce (PoP) Club at the Middlebury Farmers’ Market. The PoP Club and the Teen Enterprise Zone are both calculated to introduce a new generation of young people to healthy eating and entrepreneurship at the farmers’ market.
MIDDLEBURY — The next generation of Middlebury Farmers’ Market enthusiasts is being nurtured this summer, one token at a time. The tokens are part of a new, grant-funded Power of Produce (PoP) Club that’s encouraging area children ages 4 to 12 to get more fruits and vegetables into their diet. Young farmers’ market visitors who sign up for PoP learn nutrition information in fun ways and are also handed two $1 tokens to spend on fruits or veggies at the market each Saturday they come and check in. “It’s about health and connecting kids to the source of their food, farmers and encouraging them...

LONGTIME ST. MARY’S CATHOLIC Church organist Kevin Parizo next month will receive a medal and citation — signed by Pope Francis — for his contributions to music and his parish. Photo courtesy of the Parizo family
MIDDLEBURY — Kevin Parizo is a soft-spoken man. But put a keyboard beneath his fingers and a congregation in the pews and he can unleash a swirl of shimmering notes that can touch the soul and inspire good works. Parizo’s musical talents have been on display at Middlebury’s St. Mary’s Catholic Church for more than a half century. His dedication and prowess have now gained attention from the highest rank of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, who recently approved Parizo for a Benemerenti Medal. The very exclusive citation is awarded to clergy and laity for outstanding service to the Catholic...
VERGENNES — On the surface there appears to be plenty for Addison Northwest School District administrators and teachers to like about the multi-grade-level student test results that were released in the Vermont Agency of Education’s most recent “Annual Snapshot.” ANWSD as a whole is rated as “Meeting” standards for English Language Arts and Mathematic instruction, as is Vermont as a whole. And in some respects ANWSD looks better than the state. Vergennes Union High School is ranked as “Excelling” in its improvement in English and Math instruction, thus faring better than schools across the...
MIDDLEBURY — In addition to voting to expand Middlebury Union Middle School to include sixth grade, Addison Central School District board members at Monday’s meeting also: • Voted unanimously to include, as part of the facilities master plan, a study of the current capacity and use of ACSD buildings. This will help flag which facilities are, and aren’t, being used to their full potential. • Agreed to create a “frequently asked questions” column on the district’s website that will explain the current master planning process and proposed middle school expansion. District residents...

PATTY HEATHER-LEA TRIMS the thread on a tote-bag-in-progress last Thursday evening. In anticipation of a state law banning single-use plastic bags, which will go into effect next July, Heather-Lea and other community members have volunteered to produce and give away reusable shopping bags. Independent photo/Christopher Ross
BRISTOL — Last Thursday evening in the basement of St. Ambrose Church in Bristol, the hum of a powerful oscillating floor fan masked other sounds. A small group of volunteers with Sewing for Change–Bristol unpacked sewing machines and bags of fabric, threaded their needles and got to work. “Sewing for Change–Bristol, a group of people concerned about the effects single-use plastic bags are having on our environment and the health of all living things, has been sewing reusable bags to give to residents, with the idea that they will be used instead of single-use plastic bags,” said organizers...
PANTON — Panton homeowners are looking at about a 15.5-cent increase in their annual property tax rate that is almost all due to a higher Addison Northwest School District homestead school tax rate. Declining Addison Northwest School District enrollment, higher fixed costs, and rising health insurance expenses are pressuring the district budget. That increase translates to $155 per $100,000 of assessed value for homeowners who pay full freight on the value of their properties. Residents eligible for income-sensitivity provisions of Vermont tax law and who thus pay based on their incomes are...
VERMONT — With its four seasons, mountains, rivers, lakes and millions of acres of forests and fields, Vermont is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts locally and beyond. The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation and the Center for Rural Studies at the University of Vermont are seeking input from Vermonters to help capitalize on these natural assets and deliver facilities and programs that make it easy for people to enjoy the outdoors. From Aug. 12 through Sept. 9, Vermonters are invited to participate in a survey to help shape the future of outdoor recreation in Vermont. The...

THE BARN OPERA’S new building, located near the Sanderson Covered Bridge off Pearl Street in Brandon, will double the current seating capacity.
BRANDON — The melodious voices that make up the Barn Opera company will soon be getting a new home. After two years inside the barn of Brandon Music on Route 73, the opera will be moving to the west side of Brandon on Pearl Street. “We have looked at, trespassed in, and explored every barn larger than 20 by 40 feet in the area,” said Artistic Director Josh Collier. “At long last, we have found an absolutely perfect venue in a phenomenal post-and-beam dairy barn, adjacent to the Sanderson Covered Bridge.” Collier said that the intimate space of the current home of Barn Opera provided beautiful...


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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100