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Editorial: Focus on jobs when defining 'independent contractor' status

Posted on April 28, 2016 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



As the Vermont Legislature moves toward adjournment, several bills won’t make the deadline and will die half-baked in their development. One such bill, H.867. dealt with how to define an independent contractor. It was controversial because it was characterized as pitting pro-labor forces against pro-business forces, and that pits liberals against conservatives right from the get-go.

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Opinion: Hawking sparks deep thoughts

Posted on April 28, 2016 |
By Peter Szymkowicz



Editor’s note: The writer addressed this to Dr. Stephen Hawking and cc’d the Independent.

Dear Dr. Hawking,

Thank you for your inspirational, indomitable willpower. I believe it demonstrates the true purpose of humanity is to honor the universe with a sense of wonder. Realization is the Breath of Existence. It helps us accumulate Time, understanding that WE are part of the dark matter that inflates the universe, and can enjoy the potential you have mastered.

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Opinion: Funds to prevent suicide sought

Posted on April 28, 2016 |
By Richard Paul



Over the past 10 years, Vermont’s suicide death rates have averaged 30 percent higher than the U.S. rates. It is the second leading cause of death of all Vermonters age 14-35 and the third leading cause for ages 35-44 and in the top 10 for all Vermonters.

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Opinion: Memories ride on scent

Posted on April 28, 2016 |
By Johanna Nichols



Though many might consider violets a noxious weed that is as hard to eradicate from their lawns as dandelions, I am among those who love their various shades of purple as well as white flowers and heart-shaped leaves that pop up bravely and hopefully in early spring.

Their roots are not delicate, one friend reminds me, as they curl around the roots and overtake other plants in the garden. They’re bullies. I even love that about them — they remind us that they were there before woods became lawns.

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Editorial: Open primaries: GOP sees threat; Dems eye ‘bigger tent’

Posted on April 25, 2016 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



In the aftermath of the New York Republican primary, Democrats and Republicans are looking for future reforms in very different ways. For establishment Republicans, the party is trying to reduce the opportunity for non-party voters to participate, while among Democrats a growing number are considering the prospect of opening their primaries to independents.

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Opinion: Vermont hospitals can learn much from other states

Posted on April 25, 2016 |
By Anders Holm



Recent changes at Porter Medical Center have resulted in a circling of the wagons and a regrouping. Rather than looking inside the ring, Porter and Middlebury may be better served by looking a bit outside.

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Opinion: More info needed on marijuana's impact on drivers

Posted on April 25, 2016 |
By John Mitchell



There is so much talk about the legalization of marijuana and the medical benefits, say nothing of the money to be made with the growing and selling of the herb, that there is one issue that I never hear discussed. One issue that would make me fearful of people who are taking the herb and driving. And that is: how much of the herb when ingested or smoked is acceptable for the person to be in full command of their senses on our highways.

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Community Forum: More transparency in government needed

Posted on April 25, 2016 |
By Sen. Patrick Leahy



This week’s writer is Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vermont’s senior U.S. senator and author of the FOIA Improvement Act and of several other laws to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act. He was installed in the FOIA Hall of Fame in 1996 for his leadership in expanding the public’s right to know. The New England First Amendment Coalition presented Leahy its top award in February for his lifetime commitment to freedom of the press and open government. Sunshine Week is March 13-19.

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Opinion: Crisis, emergency repair and a long term fix

Posted on April 25, 2016 |
By Jan Demers



It was Friday night and he had no heat. His furnace was broken beyond repair. He was elderly, living alone and without any means to pay for a new furnace. CVOEO’s Crisis Fuel Program and then the Weatherization Emergency Heating program were called. Jeremy Francis, a CVOEO auditor, met him at his home. The furnace was replaced on Saturday morning. It was an emergency. The furnace needed to have an immediate fix or he could not stay in his home.

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