March 11th, 2010
An Essay by Victor Nuovo, Middlebury College professor emeritus of philosophy
1. The Laws of Plato and the rule of Law
Author’s note: This is the first of a series of essays or reflections about a book written two and a half millennia ago by Plato, the great philosopher. It is titled “Laws” and is his last and longest work. According to a reliable tradition, when Plato died, in 347 BCE, he had finished a draft of the whole work; it was edited and published posthumously by Philip of Opus, Plato’s secretary, a member of Plato’s Academy and a philosopher.
MIDDLEBURY — The Town Hall Theater has served as a hotbed for collaboration between townspeople and Middlebury College students since its opening 18 months ago.
Those on both sides of the equation say performances by college groups are drawing a whole new audience when they are staged off-campus. In addition, shows where students act alongside community members are breaking down boundaries between formerly separate arts communities.
MIDDLEBURY — For the past several months, Victor Nuovo, a Middlebury selectman and the Charles A. Dana Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Middlebury College, has been drafting essays on Plato’s last and longest dialogue called “Laws.” He began the exercise, he said, at the urging of his wife, Rep. Betty Nuovo, D-Middlebury, who challenged him to take Plato’s work on the rule of law in a civil society and make it accessible to the layperson — not as an academic paper to other scholars.
VERGENNES — Former Ferrisburgh Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bob Jenkins remembers as a teen in his native Vergennes hearing the siren on top of City Hall, racing to the fire station to find out where the action was, and then heading to watch firefighters do their job.
“That got the adrenaline flowing,” said Jenkins, now 66.
At the age of 16 he followed in his father’s footsteps and approached Vergennes Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ralph Jackman and signed up, beginning a 50-years-and-counting career in the fire service, including 17 years as Ferrisburgh’s chief.
VERGENNES — A new owner recently took over Main Street fixture Vergennes Wine & Beverage, but he hopes that other than new paint, flooring and faces, its customers will notice little change from the way the store has been operated for the past dozen years.
Monkton’s Paul Kerin, a 24-year veteran of the beverage distribution business, bought the Stone Block store from longtime owner Andy McCabe on March 1.
I admit the last time I read Plato’s works had to be in the early 1970s as a college student. And, like most of you, I hadn’t thought much about it since; at least not in a direct way.
So it was with interest that I met Victor Nuovo, professor emeritus of philosophy at Middlebury College, a few months ago to talk about a series of essays he was writing on Plato’s last work called “Laws.” As the front-page story in today’s issue reports, after a few conversations, we decided to run them in the Addison Independent.
MIDDLEBURY — A software glitch within the FairPoint Communications system interrupted both e-mail and Internet service for 280 customers in the Middlebury exchange this past weekend, a glitch that cost one local store at least $6,000 in lost business.
The service outage began early Saturday morning and lasted until late Monday morning, according to FairPoint spokeswoman Sabina Haskell.
“It was a software issue,” said Haskell. “It was a difficult issue to track down.”
Editor’s Note: This editorial by the Hardwick (Vt) Gazette spotlights a House bill that limits access to public records. The examples used are local to Hardwick, but could easily pertain to Addison County.
Vermont state law gives people the right to see public records concerning matters conducted by public bodies. The law states “it is in the public interest to enable any person to review and criticize their decisions even though such examination may cause inconvenience or embarrassment.”