Op/Eds

In January of 2016, my father, at the great age of 99¾, was in the hospital on a respirator and it fell to me to be the deciding voice about his future. Should we move him to a nursing home and continue to let the machine breathe for him for as long as he was able to live? Or should we turn off the machine now and let nature take its course unimpeded? Several times over the years the family had sat around the kitchen table to discuss what we wanted in various end-of-life scenarios. My father was always very clear: “Do everything you can to save my life. Don’t ever put me in a home.” Over the...
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...
Editor’s note: This is the 30th in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. “Transcendentalism” signifies the flowering of culture in New England during the first half of the 19th Century when it threw off the burden of Calvinism, indeed of all institutional religion — even Unitarianism was felt to be too limiting. Among its leading figures were Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller, who will be featured in this series, and there was a host of others. It was a powerful cultural movement; its influence has been broad and deep;...
A gun is a piece of artillery with high muzzle velocity and trajectory bullet. A gun is used to hunt and shoot the living, dead. Guns kill. Where do these mass shootings originate? In the mind. There is a chain reaction to every action. Pulling the trigger on a weapon is the final moment of an event. Weapons at this time in history seem to be an experiment on the loss of American humanity. Or a simple case of wealth, politics and the NRA power. Where does the guilt lay in the slaughter of American citizens? Everywhere. Everyone. Leaders, voters, gun sellers, gun buyers. Guns kill. The chain...
Former Vice President Joe Biden used a speech in Iowa last week to make several important points. “The words of a president matter … They can calm a nation in turmoil. They can console and comfort in times of tragedy ... They can appeal to the better angels of our nature. But they can also unleash the deepest, darkest forces in this nation.” Biden went on to say that “Trump offers no moral leadership; seems to have no interest in unifying this nation, no evidence the presidency has awakened his conscience in the least. Instead we have a president with a toxic tongue who has publicly and...
Area residents who use our public forest lands for recreation as well as business should pay attention to two stories in today’s paper. The first is on the Trump Administration’s plan to limit the public’s voice in ways in which Americans use the lands set aside as “public national forest.” Critics suggest he is taking the “public” out of that discussion and ceding control of those federal lands to big businesses to extract resources (primarily, oil, gas and timber). (See story on the front page.) The second story (see Page 2A) seeks public input from those who recreate on the state forest...
This dish needs to be washed again.   What do you mean? I just washed it.   Yeah, but look at that little black smudge on the back.   Sorry, I don’t see it.   Trust me, dear. It needs to be washed again.   Sure, OK. But does God equip women with special eyesight for dishes?   Maybe. But I think it’s more likely that God equips men with holes in their vision while they’re washing dishes.   I think we need to have a trial separation.   I know you’re kidding, honey. It’s just a dirty dish. And isn’t a trial separation what we have every Monday and Tuesday night when you’re at your house?   Yes...
I am writing to you regarding the Green Mountain Care Board decision to again approve a double digit increase for Blue Cross (12.4 percent) and MVP (10.1 percent) on Thursday. These increases in insurance rates make it impossible for families living on a fixed income to afford insurance. So it’s a choice between being insured and basic essential needs like food and housing, so we go without insurance. What is the solution you ask? In 2011 Vermont passed a groundbreaking universal healthcare law that would guarantee healthcare as a public good for everyone in our state. But as long as we rely...
Angelo Lynn
In the third of our summer series of discussion points, we’ll launch a one-time discussion into Act 46, the bill passed three years ago that mandated a consolidation of school governance with the expectations that school districts facing declining student counts might find ways to contain expenses. The upshot of that law and process has forced the topic of school consolidation to the forefront. Locally, the Rutland Northeast Supervisory District, representing the greater Leicester-Brandon-Pittsford area that comprises Otter Valley Union High School, has pursued school mergers ahead of the...
Innocent victims of gun violence in the United States are often left with a lifetime of physical pain, disability and post-traumatic stress. Family members and friends are often left with the responsibility of care giving, not to mention grief and shock. Families of the deceased not only may lose the earning power of the individual -— many poor families cannot afford a funeral they never expected. Since we don’t have affordable universal health coverage in this country, the financial burden on families of gun violence can be catastrophic, adding to the horror of it all. In addition to much...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100