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Guest editorial: Over our heads in Syria?

Posted on April 2, 2015 |
By Haviland Smith



Before we adopt a new Syria policy, a quick review might be helpful in better understanding the endless confusion that rules over the situation in that region today.

Sunni Arabs, Kurds and Turks make up about 72 percent of the Syrian population; Shia, 13 percent; and Christians about 10 percent. The Syrian government, its military and economy under Bashar Al Assad are dominated by the Alawites (Shia). Minority Alawites and their allies run everything important in Syria.

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Opinion: Architects try to give best value

Posted on April 2, 2015 |
By Andrea Murray and Ashar Nelson



On the evening of March 25 a group of architects and building professionals from our community gathered to discuss the rising cost of building energy-efficient homes. Thank you to everyone who participated; we appreciated having a variety of voices represented. Thanks as well to the Town Hall Theater for the use of their studio space.

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Opinion: Mt. Abe Pathways offers valuable real-world learning

Posted on March 30, 2015 |
By Lisa Sanchez



Editor’s note: The writer presented this letter to the Mount Abraham Union High School Board and copied the Independent.

As a mother of a former Pathways student (and a forever) personalized learner I write this letter to clear up some apparent misconceptions of what our personalized learning experience was and what it was not.

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Opinion: Could New York case set precedent?

Posted on March 30, 2015 |
By Howard Fairman



Act 250 (1970) and the Quechee analysis (1986) did not envision nor consider aesthetic impacts of ridgeline and hillside developments of industrial wind turbines and solar panels certified as public goods (“PSB ignores established precedent,” Independent, March 23).

They also did not envision nor consider aesthetic impacts of telecommunications towers, though similar towers have been parts of Vermont’s landscapes since the advents of radio and television.

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Guest editorial: Affordability is key to state's future

Posted on March 30, 2015 |
By Emerson Lynn



Franklin and Addison counties were the only counties in Vermont to have more people moving in than moving out from 2013 to 2014, according to U.S. Census information. The rest of Vermont saw a population decline in our domestic population, even the state’s economic engine, Chittenden County.

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Opinion: Supreme Court right to reject pit

Posted on March 26, 2015 |
By Bruce Acciavatti et al.



The Supreme Court of Vermont just dealt a major blow to the Lathrop Limited Partnership’s proposed gravel pit in Bristol. In a unanimous decision issued March 20, the Court reversed rulings by the lower Environmental Court that allowed the project to move forward. The high court’s decision marks the end — we hope — of a long and costly struggle.

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Jessie Raymond: New dog not garden's best friend

Posted on March 26, 2015 |
By Jessie Raymond



In my steadfast, if naïve, belief that winter is someday going to end, I’ve started thinking about gardening.

I just need to keep in mind that last year’s garden was a spectacular failure.

I blame the dog.

Indirectly, I mean. We got him last spring and it changed my routine. Knowing he needed exercise, I started walking him every morning before work, during the time I had previously devoted to the garden.

The dog liked it. I liked it. The garden hated it.

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Community Forum: Take 'shame' away from drug addiction

Posted on March 26, 2015 |
By Melissa Deas



This week’s writer is Melissa Deas, a Bristol resident who works in Addison County for Spectrum Youth and Family Services teaching classes to people on furlough who have criminal and substance abuse backgrounds.

Visiting another state can be an awareness event that one can bring home to her/his own state. While reading the Bangor News in Maine, I found myself very impressed with an obituary a family wrote for a 27-year-old man, Ryan Bossie, who died from a drug overdose.

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Opinion: Middlebury should take long-term approach to land

Posted on March 26, 2015 |
By Ross Conrad



As the Middlebury selectboard considers plans for the land behind the Ilsley Library (termed the Economic Development Initiative — EDI) they should keep in mind the fact that highly valuable community-owned pieces of property in the downtown area are becoming less and less, and sale of the parcel under consideration should only be undertaken as an absolute last resort.

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Greg Dennis: This Copper Ale's now not for you

Posted on March 26, 2015 |
By Greg Dennnis



Here’s a recipe for a fun evening. Grab a six-pack of New Coke, hop in your Ford Edsel, and come on over so we can discuss Starbucks’ wildly successful campaign to get its customers to talk to each other about race.

When we’re done dissecting how well it worked for Starbucks to have their baristas write “Race Together” on their incredibly wasteful paper cups, we can turn to the subject of beer.

Local beer, I mean. In particular, Otter Creek Brewing Co.’s shocking decision to retire its flagship Copper Ale.

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