Op/Eds

Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead
08/12/2019
If you look in the phone book at last names in Addison County, you probably aren’t surprised to see many familiar French and English-sounding surnames. In fact, Addison County is one of the most Caucasian areas of the country — 92.4 percent! So it may surprise you that in my work as a chaplain, I routinely encounter people of all different races, cultures and religions. While certainly not as prevalent as in other parts of the country, we are more diverse than it appears at face value. That particularly shows up in how families follow individual customs and rituals when it comes to the issue...
08/12/2019
Some notes regarding the July 15 article “Riptonites lobby for preservation of their school”: First, one of the key strengths of our communities are our small schools and it is not smart to give away strength. Of course we should strive for the best education possible — and do so at a reasonable cost — but we should also recognize the social consequence of the proposals. It’s not just the education system, it’s the social fabric of these towns. It is bad for towns to have their schools altered from the current and long-time standard. Second, the current case of one town — the fine town of...
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,...
08/12/2019
The Caterpillar   At the Addison County Field Days, our local county fair, there’s a new act called   The President. A professor, off for the summer, does a card trick   he doesn’t have a good explanation for. How it works.   Producing a card that seems to have been shot out of a cannon. Swirled   in a tube of cotton candy. Without a number, a face or one of the four suits.   To let you know that’s the one you picked, without touching it. It’s blank. An end-of-summer   memory. A whirl-a-gig of sorts. The Caterpillar. You can sit in with a friend, who becomes   your girlfriend, when the ride...
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...
08/08/2019
On any given Sunday evening volunteers at a local church in Burlington feed between 80 and 130 hungry people. The food is homemade, nutritious and delicious. The crowd is intergenerational. Some are homeless, some are food insecure and some appreciate the company and the safe space offered. With two tables laden with food and volunteers at the ready to serve, the first items on the line to be depleted are the vegetables and the second is the salad. Homemade apple sauce with no added sugar and whole fresh fruit is gone before the meal is over. “Time” magazine reported on Oct. 3, 2018, that “...
08/08/2019
So many of my childhood memories are weather related. I grew up in Seattle, so you’re probably thinking “rain”, but that actually rarely figures in. I remember hot summer days when we would get to turn on the sprinkler, running through it, jumping over the spray, watching the water glisten on the grass and trickle down our skin. I remember the rare winter days when there would be enough snow to pull out our sleds and half scrape/half glide down the nearest hilly street. (These were sleds with runners; the plastic ones not yet on the market.) I loved the days when it was cold enough that ice...
08/08/2019
People who don’t know how to make normal conversation like to pose annoying “thought experiments.” Their favorite: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? We’ll never know, or care about, the answer. But it’s been on my mind lately, because I’ve been spending a lot of time around trees and forests. While I’m recovering from a shoulder injury, about all I can do without limits is walk. So I’ve been walking with a vengeance. A week ago Monday, while taking the dog on our customary morning loop through the woods on the Trail Around Middlebury, I came...
08/08/2019
Editor’s note: This is the 29th in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. The Constitution of the United States provides for three branches of government, each exercising a separate power: legislative, executive, and judicial. Legislative power is the power to create laws; executive, the power to carry them out. Judicial power is the power of judgment. The term is derived from the Latin word “judex,” a judge, a public official who decides what is right, equitable, or good, in accordance with fundamental law. Article III of the Constitution provides...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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