editorial

05/28/2020
So much of the essence of Trump’s three years in office can be summed up with his recent politicization of wearing a mask during this Covid-19 pandemic.  He started down this rabbit hole by initially refusing to wear a mask because, as he said to folks close to him, it made him look weak and it reinforced the extent and severity of the pandemic. Trump, of course, had initially denied the pandemic would be a threat to this country and delayed taking action for eight critical weeks. Squandering those critical weeks and failing to adequately stockpile needed medical supplies have condemned the...
05/28/2020
With this Wednesday’s news that Gov. Scott is looking to soon open indoor seating for restaurants, fitness centers and other moves that signal a further opening of the state’s economy, the caveat all Vermonters should embrace is that such openings must be greeted with heightened awareness of how to keep each other safe in this still precarious environment. The environment remains precarious not because of the current rate of Covid-19 incidence in Vermont, but because of its continued spread in states around us, and the fact that Vermont’s summer tourism attracts people from across the nation...
05/21/2020
In light of COVID-19, social distancing and the upcoming primaries in August, and the General Election in November, Vermont’s Sec. of State James Condos has been mulling the possibility of expanding voting by mail for the past several weeks. To that end, the Legislature gave Sec. Condos the power to craft changes in election law to allow more voting by mail with the stipulation that any plan be approved by the governor. The Legislature most likely thought that was the simplest way to implement the changes. But in an unusual turn of events, Condos has run into bewildering opposition by Gov....

SOURCES: DEPARTMENT OF Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Johns Hopkins University
05/21/2020
It’s a tragedy that on Memorial Day, the nation will likely hit or have surpassed 100,000 official deaths due to Covid-19. As of Wednesday, May 20, 93,537 Americans have died of the virus; that’s 1,552 more than Tuesday’s toll — and America has been averaging about 1,300 deaths per day to the virus for the past week. While that trend is steadily declining from its high of more than 2,000 deaths per day, it’s a stark toll and ranks as one of the deadliest events in America’s history. As a comparison, and since Trump likes to think of himself as a wartime commander battling this virus, the...
05/14/2020
It’s time Vermont’s Democrats urge Gov. Phil Scott to open Vermont’s economic spigot a bit faster, even significantly faster. The onus falls on the Democratic leadership because Scott appears afraid of the political risks if he makes the call on his own.  Here’s the political calculus: If Scott were to lead the state into an aggressive re-opening of the business community and the state experienced any level of virus resurgence (which is bound to happen to some degree), he would be skewered by any Democratic opponent for committing such a travesty. If he plays it too safe (as he is now), he...
05/07/2020
Among the long list of congressional fixes in the wake of the Trump presidency, rewriting the rules for inspector generals must be at the top of the list once Trump and his legions are defrocked.  The role of inspector generals (IGs) is to combat waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government. They do that by conducting audits and investigations in more than 70 federal agencies. The Inspector General Act of 1978 and its amendments of 1988 established the IGs as permanent, nonpartisan and independent offices serving to assist Congress in overseeing executive branch — and a few legislative...

THE TRUCKS CRESTING a hill in Ferrisburgh's Clang and Bang parade last week.
05/07/2020
The Clang and Bang Ferrisburgh parade is testament to how starved Vermonters are for social interaction. That it makes front-page news in today’s paper is also testament to how big a deal the restrictions imposed by our Covid-19 world are and how vulnerable those restrictions are.  The bright side of that story is what’s captured in the joy of simply banging pots and pans when a string of cars, trucks and fire engines drive past sparsely scattered homes on 10 rural roads in Ferrisburgh. Such simple joys in our daily lives are missed and any excuse to celebrate is embraced with gusto. The...
04/30/2020
At this stage of the pandemic-induced financial crisis we are about to face, it’s difficult to imagine how severe the upcoming recession will be. Preliminary numbers in Vermont suggest we may have reached a record 30 percent unemployment — a truly staggering number. And because non-essential businesses were forced to close, no one can be sure how many will be able to reopen without a hitch, or how many might close or file for bankruptcy.  What we do know, however, is the short-term cost to state coffers, and the impact that will likely have on the state’s school systems.  In a story on today’...
04/30/2020
Readers of the Addison Independent, of our digital newsletters and our Thursday print edition, will have noticed that among the many news stories about the novel coronavirus’ impact on the county, there are also an unusual number of profiles in courage. Amidst the hardship, it is inspiring and uplifting to see so many individuals and businesses contribute to the public good in so many ways.  On today’s front page, pay particular attention to the role of the dedicated crew at Addison County Home Health and Hospice, whose work takes them into the homes of their patients, working in close...
04/23/2020
The surprise news story of the week was the announcement by Vermont State Colleges Chancellor Jeb Spaulding that he would propose closing three of the state college campuses in light of more losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. His proposal, he outlined late last week, would close Northern Vermont University and the Vermont Technical College campus in Randolph. The reason was financial: the losses those colleges were incurring were more than the state could afford. To spring such a proposal on the Legislature and public without warning, however, was ill-considered. The public backlash...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100