editorial

As Congress grills the Biden administration on its troubled withdrawal from Afghanistan, as small businesses throughout Vermont and many parts of the nation struggle to hire enough employees to keep their businesses open, as housing prices rise and millions of Americans can’t find affordable solutions, as the climate crisis magnifies, or as any other of a number of issues arise, there’s one pressing issue that dominates all others if you are a parent with children in school: whether your school and state will do what’s necessary to keep students safe from the coronavirus. Specifically,...

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS speaks on the Middlebury Town Green this past Labor Day. Independent photo/Steve James
When Sen. Bernie Sanders was in Middlebury this past Monday, he was indirectly answering a question recently posed by Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman of Arkansas when he exclaimed in mock horror last Thursday, as the House Natural Resources Committee began drafting its portion of the $3.5 trillion social policy plan, “What are Democrats trying to do to this country?” The answer, Sanders has said consistently for the past 40 years in politics and at Monday’s rally, is to direct the nation’s resources to help families in need, rather than pass policies — as Republicans have long done — that...
Late Wednesday, the state mandated its masking policy continue for all schools through Oct. 4. That extends the previous policy that had called for masking in schools through the first two weeks. The extension is sound: the Delta variant is extremely contagious and students under 12 are not yet vaccinated, so the risk of spreading the variant throughout the state’s schools is high. And we know that masking works to limit the spread of the virus. Furthermore, what should be paramount this year is keeping students in a classroom environment. Socially, we know that is better for students and...
After two weeks out-of-state on break, our return to Middlebury proves how much can happen in a short period: • Lincoln Community School voted to withdraw from the Mount Abraham Unified School District; • The other six towns in the Addison Central Supervisory Union overwhelmingly approved Ripton’s withdrawal from the district and its financial terms, removing the last obstacle for that school’s independence; • Middlebury residents overwhelmingly voted to approve a bond of $323,000 for a solar project sponsored by the Acorn Energy Co-op; • Middlebury College bought the Inn on the Green to...
Here is the full transcript of President Joe Biden’s speech Tuesday night on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of war. “Last night in Kabul, the United States ended 20 years of war in Afghanistan. The longest war in American history. We completed one of the biggest airlifts in history with more than 120,000 people evacuated to safety. That number is more than double what most experts thought were possible. No nation, no nation has ever done anything like it in all of history. Only the United States had the capacity and the will and ability to do it, and we did it today. “The...
Editor’s note: This commentary is written in collaboration with The Boston Globe, which through its The Last Best Shot project has provided news reports and graphics on the COVID-19 virus to participating papers throughout New England. Their initiative seeks to more fully educate the public about the virus and the benefits of getting vaccinated. Each participating paper was asked to write a local commentary to add to the Globe’s collective reporting. As the COVID Delta variant sweeps through the nation and into the lives of every American, one single fact should shock Vermonters and all...
That the U.S. Senate passed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill on Monday with overwhelming bipartisan support — 19 Republicans joined all Democrats to support the measure — was a shocking moment of legislative success that has been absent from the nation’s capital for many years. But initially it wasn’t a sure-fire success. Progressives in the U.S. House, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, had warned they wouldn’t pass the measure until the Senate also passed a much larger $3.5 trillion budget resolution that addressed the world’s climate crisis and anti-poverty measures that would...
This August represents a revival for downtown Middlebury. The first few days of the month highlighted a revitalized, if truncated, five-day Festival on-the-Green and Peasant Market. That’s followed this week by signs urging all of us to attend a much-welcomed Addison County Field Days in adjacent New Haven (with its farm traditions and carnival-flare). That iconic event precedes “Foolaroo,” a day-long celebration hailing the end of four-years of construction in the downtown, and a few days later Middlebury’s New Filmmaker’s Festival. Foolaroo — to be held Saturday, Aug. 21 — will be a fun-...
In a provocative column titled “Is This the End of Summer as We’ve Known It?” by New York Times columnist Shawn Hubler, she paints an apocalyptic picture of the climate future: “In the state that perfected if not invented the American summer, the smell of 17 million gallons of spilled sewage lingered last week on a Southern California beach. There were bare rocks where snow once capped the Sierra Nevada and bathtub rings where water once glistened in Shasta Lake. “Wildfires roared across the West, threatening the electrical grid, the smoke so thick it could be seen from space, pluming into...
The Washington Post published an interesting column this Tuesday by Ashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health in which the columnist noted the rate of COVID-19 infection in South Dakota and Vermont were “remarkably similar” and rated among the lowest three (along with Massachusetts) in the country. It’s a surprising finding. South Dakota, after all, did not encourage its residents to get vaccinated, the state’s Republican Gov. Kristi Noem pooh-poohed the science on mask wearing, the dangers of COVID, and how to protect South Dakotans. While acknowledging it was no...

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Addison County Independent