editorial

08/22/2019
On the issue of school consolidation, here’s how the Addison Central School District may have unintentionally created a problem that has become detrimental to the district’s smaller towns and to the greater district: Simply put, in crafting the district’s charter, they created a structure that favored a district bias over the bias of individual towns. The board’s intent, understandably, was to create a stronger district across all schools — to create better pay equity from school to school among teachers and administrators, and better student outcomes by providing equitable opportunities to...
08/19/2019
If you’ve never been to the festival, do yourself a favor — buy at least one ticket for a single movie, or better yet, pick one of the four days and buy a day pass just this one year to see what it’s all about. The films are scheduled in four venues in town and, for the most part, show at 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.  If you go to just one film, and maybe catch a panel discussion or one of the special Q&As with the producers or directors, you’ll pick up on the excitement of the crowd; you’ll marvel at the power of independent filmmakers telling stories that don’t hone to a...
08/15/2019
As the new school year gets under way later this month, the Addison Independent’s editorial discussions will spend a week reviewing the thrust of Act 46 — the law passed in 2015 to consolidate school governance as a response to the changing demographics and diminished number of students in many school districts. While many communities and school districts readily accepted the tax incentives to do so — not to mention a more manageable school governance apparatus for school officials — we’re just now on the cusp of what could be very controversial decisions: that of potentially merging some...
08/12/2019
If you’re a bicyclist interested in developing a more-defined route between Middlebury, Bristol and Vergennes, don’t miss a meeting this coming Thursday, 7-9 p.m. at the New Haven Town Hall. Spawned by public interest in developing safer commuter routes, as well as recreational bicycling, a group of Middlebury College students developed what is being called the Triangle Bike Loop, a group of lesser-trafficked roads that link the three communities. Consultants will be on hand to lead the discussion and collect comments from interested residents, including those who use the roads for driving,...
08/08/2019
As a rural state with a hunting culture and a fair number of gun-owning residents, Vermont could help lead the country toward sensible gun control legislation. Gov. Phil Scott led the way a year ago, in light of a planned mass school shooting at Fair Haven High School, when he flipped his previous beliefs and supported several modest gun control initiatives. Hopefully, gun owners in Vermont can agree those measures did not unduly deprive citizens of their Second Amendment rights and concede that increased community safety is a worthy reason to seek compromise. For stirring visual optics, what...
08/08/2019
At the risk of making fun of the world’s most serious crisis, pardon me for getting a chuckle out of a recent story in the Washington Post, which ran with the headline that July 2019 was the hottest month “humans have ever recorded.” Just how hot was it? Well, according to the story, “a local television station in the Netherlands aired nonstop images of wintry landscapes to help viewers momentarily forget the heat wave outside. Officials in Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe painted stretches of rail tracks white, hoping to keep them from buckling in the extreme heat. Wildfires raged across...
08/05/2019
It’s no secret that dairy farms in Vermont have been on the decline for the past 50-plus years, but while the dairy industry talks about it, the larger community has been slow to have a frank discussion about how it impacts our schools and towns. In 1965, Vermont had more than 6,000 dairy farms compared to fewer than 750 today. In 2018, alone, Vermont saw the number of dairy farms decrease 10 percent. That’s also reflected in Addison County where the number of dairy farms declined from 140 to 96 between 2012 and 2017. Of particular interest is the number of dairy farms with 200 to 499 cattle...
08/01/2019
One doesn’t have to be a radical revolutionary to know that the status quo is not sustainable. That we can’t continue a national wage disparity that continues to expand and in which the three wealthiest Americans now possess as much as 50 percent of the bottom half of all Americans. That higher education costs are no longer affordable for most. That exorbitant health care costs pose the biggest threat to impoverishing Americans of every age if a serious medical event occurs. That the nation needs an immigration policy that strengthens our economy, brings order to our borders and embraces our...
08/01/2019
Trump keeps telling reporters that he is not racist in his typical style — by doubling down on the fact; that is, by saying, “Not only am I not a racist, but I’m the least racist person in the world.” Surely, not even the most Trumpish of Trump supporters would believe that statement as fact, though many of his supporters blow off the criticism by rationalizing that all of us are a bit racist, and Trump’s no worse than most. (He is, but like Hitler’s supporters of the day, they choose to ignore reality.) Interestingly, a recent poll shows that most Americans disagree with Trump’s assessment. ...
07/29/2019
This past Thursday morning, 31 area residents gathered at the Ilsley Library meeting room to discuss what positive steps could be done in Vermont to confront the climate change crisis. “This is the nation’s top priority,” said one. “Health care, minimum wage, trade issues, immigration… we can deal with those issues any year and every year, but climate change… we can’t afford to delay, we have to act now.” Heads throughout the room nodded in agreement. It was a like-minded group that had assembled in response to an editorial invite in this paper the previous Monday. That such a crowd gathered...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100