Angelo Lynn

The Addison County economy has a problem that the influx of millions of dollars in one-time federal pandemic aid won’t solve: a shortage of workers. Area businesses in almost every sector are begging for skilled and unskilled help, and often-times coming up empty handed. (See story Page 1A.) It’s a problem that will drastically slow, if not derail, the economic rebound we are all so eager to embrace. The hospitality industry, in particular, is scrambling to find workers so they can ramp back up to full operation this summer, but that industry isn’t alone. All of the building trades (...
Hang-in just a bit longer, Vermonters, and we’ll be able to return to pre-COVID lives by May or June, if we remain diligent. That was Gov. Phil Scott’s message at his Tuesday, April 6, press conference — a twice-weekly event that has become the epitome of public transparency and press access. In that press conference, Gov. Scott cited much good news, but also news of a spike of COVID cases among younger Vermonters. The good news was that 90% of Vermonters 65 and older had received at least the first COVID vaccine shot, ranking it first in the nation. The state ranks fourth in the nation for...
Among the many fascinating stories of the week is the rising chorus of big business leaders coming out against Georgia’s moves to restrict voting access, as well as other Republican-led state legislatures embracing similarly restrictive laws. Normally, the business world is content to throw their weight behind political candidates or parties on business policies that help their cause. But the Republican effort to restrict voting access in Georgia, in particular, has been a step too far for many. Major League Baseball pulled its All-Star game out of the state and shifted it to Denver as a sign...
Hunters and reasonable gun owners may be the only Americans capable of talking sense to Republican representatives in the U.S. House and Senate. That’s because political leeches like Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, believe he is crowing to his base with his shoot-from-the-hip snipe that any calls for gun reform in the wake of the tragic murder of 10 people in a Boulder supermarket is just “ridiculous theater” by Democrats, saying all the talk of gun restrictions will not stop senseless shootings. Cruz, of course, is dead wrong. Suggestions that gun restrictions won’t stop mass murders has been a...
Addison County will receive just over $4 million in Covid-19 relief money due to the recent passage of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP). It’s a small part of the $2.7 billion the state receives from the same source. The catch is the money must be used for pandemic-related expenses. According to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, Vergennes, for example, will get $255,470 from the funds, while Middlebury gets $868,383, Bristol gets 379,991, and smaller towns like Goshen ($16,121) and Leicester ($107,410) and Bridport ($116,509). There’s another “pool” of money...
One national story grabbing headlines these days, particularly on conservative stations like Fox News, is the number of Central American youth who are crossing the United State’s southern border illegally. Conservative media is hyping the story because they are desperate to distract their viewers’ attention from the successful passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Act. That legislation, which was passed with unanimous support from Democrats and opposed unanimously by Republicans, is sending $1,400 checks to Americans in need, plus billions to help reopen the nation’s schools, enhance...
Good news comes in many forms at the local level and this week is no exception. Leading the list in Addison County is the distribution of $280,000 in aid to area restaurants, and the donation of an especially scenic 130-acre parcel in Lincoln by Cornwall resident and philanthropist Will Jackson via the Middlebury Area Land Trust — both are stories profiled on the front page of today’s paper. But there are two other good news stories — one local, one national — that deserve your attention. ********** PMC ADOPTS TEAM-BASED LEADERSHIP MODEL It wouldn’t surprise me if readers skipped over the...
RIPTON’S CHOICE: A LESSON IN CIVIC ENGAGEMENT The decision by Addison Central Supervisory Union district voters to allow Ripton to withdraw from the district is a lesson in civic engagement, studious work and diligence on the part of proponents, and trusting the process — even if that process presented high hurdles to surmount. In the end, after a two-year effort by Ripton residents to “save their school,” district voters decided they had the right to determine their own school’s future; that it was not the district’s role to take that decision from them. Seen in another light district voters...
Ripton’s choice to withdrawal its elementary school from the Addison Central Supervisory Union should be just that: the town’s choice. On Jan. 12 this year, town residents voted 163-107 to withdraw from the school district and become an independent school. After a two-year discussion — and a full-on push throughout this past year of advocating to keep its school open — residents there have taken this action with eyes wide open. Is there risk? Absolutely. Could town taxpayers have to pay a little more in taxes to keep their elementary school open? Yes. Taxes for Ripton residents are projected...
In this year’s Town Meeting balloting, the towns of Middlebury, Vergennes, Brandon and Salisbury (among many others around the state) will vote on allowing the retail sale of cannabis. If approved, retail stores would not open until October 2022. The reason to hold the vote now is to provide town officials more than a year to establish appropriate zoning, create oversight boards (if wanted), provide for educational campaigns and other actions towns may choose to do well ahead of opening day. We applaud the early vote. In the end, the issue is where to locate such sales to the best retail...

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Addison County Independent