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Editorial: Shap Smith enters exciting race for governor

Posted on August 24, 2015 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith officially announced his candidacy for governor as a Democrat in typical fashion: a straightforward announcement that nonchalantly recapped his life and career in Vermont, while intoning Vermont as a “state of opportunity” and implying that helping Vermonters realize those opportunities would be the foundation of his campaign — minus any lofty rhetoric or grand visions.

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Community Forum: New student tests are vital tools

Posted on August 24, 2015 |
By Scott Giles



Nobody likes to take tests, myself included.

So it was with a fair amount of trepidation that I accepted Secretary Holcombe’s invitation to take the new Smarter Balanced Assessments in April. My anxiety increased when I entered Montpelier High to discover we would be taking the 11th-grade math assessments. Three of us had accepted the challenge and each suppressed visions of impending public humiliation like that reserved for adult contestants on “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”  

So why did we agree to do this?

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Opinion: Solar panels would make sense for roof of town hall

Posted on August 24, 2015 |
By Dave Van Vleck



Driving into Middlebury from Cornwall on Route 30 I am confronted by the very large roof of the new Middlebury town hall, facing south. I just hope that the Middlebury selectmen are future thinking enough to have planned to insert solar panels on that space.

Fossil fuels are non-renewable. Thus, the world and the U.S. are running out of these energy sources. In about 100 years they will be gone, and solar, wind, geothermal, hydro and nuclear will be our main sources. It is not too early to start adjusting whenever possible.

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Opinion: Parking problems threaten business in Middlebury

Posted on August 24, 2015 |
By Gladys Furness



Full disclosure first: I don’t live in Middlebury but you might think so from the amount of time and money I spend there. I live across the lake in New York but the majority of everything from shopping to medical care is done in Vermont, and most of that in Middlebury.

And I’m not alone — it’s unusual for me not to meet another New Yorker on my trips. I mourn the loss of Greg’s Market as much as anyone. And yes, we feel like we do have a horse in this race: the question of any development behind the Ilsley Library.

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Opinion: Incident with dogs offers lesson on path of learning

Posted on August 24, 2015 |
By Patricia Heather-Lea



Last week my family and I vacationed in Maine. We stayed near Popham Beach. I had the chance to walk down to the mouth of the Kennebec River and say my daily prayers.

The union of the river and the ocean was a fitting place to greet the world, offering me a place to chant, “May the healing light of love fill the planet and all beings on it.”

Along came an apologetic woman with her two plodding, drooling dogs. She did not want to interrupt the “zen” of the moment.

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Clippings: News changes, and stays the same

Posted on August 20, 2015 |
By John Flowers



How time flies.

I started as a reporter here at the Addison Independent back in 1990. A quarter-century later, times have changed — as have virtually all the faces with whom I deal in municipal and state government.

Some of the story themes currently on my plate are a lot different than they were 25 years ago. For example, back then, there was no controversy in Addison County about the siting of solar farms, natural gas pipelines or cell towers. There wasn’t a murmur about same-sex marriage, let alone civil unions.

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Eric Davis: GOP could deny Democrats a majority

Posted on August 20, 2015 |
By Eric Davis



The 2016 elections for the Vermont House of Representatives will be one of the most interesting parts of next year’s political cycle.

In 2014, Vermont Democrats lost 12 House seats, going from 98 seats before the election to 86 seats in the current Legislature. They also lost the so-called super-majority in the House, the two-thirds majority they had held along with Progressives. However, Democrats still hold a comfortable overall majority, with 10 seats more than the 76 needed to control the 150-member chamber.

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Opinion: Study needed to consider RR bypass

Posted on August 20, 2015 |
By Victor Nuovo



Secretary Susan Minter has been quoted as saying that Middlebury is a bottleneck. There is no doubt in my mind that she was referring not to the town of Middlebury or its governing body, but to the physical landscape of the railway as it passes through the town center. And she is correct. The space is neither wide enough nor deep enough to accommodate the growing size of railway freight carriers.

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Opinion: Confederate flag is bad for business

Posted on August 20, 2015 |
By Curtiss Reed Jr.



Vermont communities, businesses and workers dependent upon tourism and the hospitality industry could and want to be doing better. And simply stated, doing better means having more people visit the state, delivering to those individuals and families a Vermont experience that exceeds their expectations and as a result they will promote Vermont to their extended family, friends and colleagues. More visitors spending more dollars strengthen the economic fabric of our communities.

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Gregory Dennis: Affluenza and opening the American mind

Posted on August 20, 2015 |
By Gregory Dennis



American retailers have a problem.

It used to be that retail stores could buy their merchandise, then “pile it high and watch it fly” out of the store.

Now, in what some analysts think is a sea change in consumer behavior, Americans have begun buying fewer things. Instead, we’re spending more of our money on experiences.

The New York Times business section recently reported that while sales on dining, homes, travel and vehicles are up, spending in large department stores is flat or declining.

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