editorial

12/05/2019
In a little noticed Department of Public Service review of the state’s current net-metering structure, the DPS recommends to the Public Utility Commission that the net-metering rate be reduced from the current 17-cents per kWh to 9.2 cents per kWh — cutting the rate almost in half, and effectively knocking the legs out from under Vermont’s vibrant solar power industry. It’s shocking, and dumbfounding. At this particular time in the world’s struggle to combat climate change and reduce the global carbon footprint, why would Vermont’s DPS make such a suggestion? Here are two suppositions: •...
11/26/2019
As the saga over the consolidation of small schools within newly formed school districts evolves, the latest advancement is a petition drive within the Addison Central School District (the greater Middlebury area) to change the charter that formed the consolidated district. The argument among the petitioners is that the charter was passed early in the Act 46 process and district residents were not fully aware of the consequences. They believe the public would vote differently if given the opportunity.  Specifically, the petition asks voters to approve changes to the charter, which say:   • “...
11/26/2019
As we gather around family and friends this Thanksgiving, let me direct your attention to two upcoming events that welcome your participation.  The first is a public meeting in Bristol on Dec. 2, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Fire Department at 76 West Street to discuss work done by the legislative Climate Solutions Caucus. That discussion will focus on legislative solutions at the state level and will be led by area state representatives. With the scientific data on climate change ever more dire, it’s encouraging to see Vermont legislators have worked hard over the summer and fall to make progress...
11/21/2019
As advocates of small schools and those supporting school consolidation come to terms with declining enrollments and rising costs, here’s the conundrum both face: consolidation is the right short-term answer to cost-cutting to contain higher and higher taxes, but it’s the wrong answer to building a stronger, more diverse statewide economy. It’s a trickier question when asking which most benefits the student, because no two people are the same and what benefit one may not work as well for another. But no matter how you dice it, as Gov. Phil Scott said in a meeting in the Addison Independent’s...
11/18/2019
While the impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump proceed with damning evidence that neither Trump nor fellow Republicans have tried to refute (change the topic, yes, but not deny the evidence), we note only that impeachment is a political process, not a judicial one, and if the Republican Senate decides to put Trump above the law, they will be setting a dangerous precedent that has the potential to create authoritarian rule. Hopefully, enough Americans will come to understand that threat and reject the GOP in 2020. But on to more local, and happier topics. In this issue we highlight...
11/14/2019
Right from the start of reporter Christopher Ross’s series of stories on the bear hounds that attacked a couple and their black, furry puppy in the U.S. Forest off the Ripton-Goshen road in mid-October, it was apparent any solution would revolve around maintaining control of the dogs. It was also apparent that having “control” of a hound on the scent of a bear or any other prey is in the eye of the beholder to some, and an oxymoron to others. By its very nature, bear hunting with hounds allows the dogs to run free of their owners’ direct control (it would be impossible to keep up with them in...
11/07/2019
Closing a town’s elementary school was as tough as predicted: In the town of Addison, voters on Tuesday rejected the Addison Northwest School District’s suggestion to voluntarily close its school by a three-to-one margin: 373 opposed to 123 in favor. Ferrisburgh voters rejected a similar recommendation by a five-to-one margin, 884 opposed and 160 in favor. No surprise in either instance. Town residents sent a clear message on several fronts: 1) they wanted to keep their schools open; 2) as a community, they wanted be in driver’s seat when it came to making the decision to keep their schools...
10/31/2019
The lesson to be learned from the upcoming votes within the Addison Northwest School District to close the elementary schools in Addison and Ferrisburgh is plain: When a district school board moves too fast toward consolidating town schools, the blowback can be harsh and detrimental to long-term solidarity. A week before the Nov. 5 vote, residents in Addison have mounted an all-out campaign to defeat the proposed closing, and in Ferrisburgh the town selectboard is sending out a letter to all residents urging citizens to vote down the school district’s plan. Both are extraordinary signs of...

VETERINARIANS HAD TO clip away fur on Willow, a poodle-Wheaten terrier mix, to treat the large puncture wounds she received when attacked by a pack of dogs earlier this month in the Green Mountain National Forest near the Goshen-Ripton border.
10/31/2019
The story of two hikers and their small dog being attacked by a pack of hunting hound dogs while hiking in the Green Mountain National Forest near the Goshen-Ripton border two weekends ago is as shocking as it is frightening. Frightening because the dogs surrounded and attacked the couple for much of the half hour they were under siege. Shocking because the story is such an outlier. As Game Warden Dale Whitlock said, “I’ve been a game warden since 1996 and I’ve never seen anything like this.” As repercussions from this incident sugar out, what’s key to keep in mind is that no one is...
10/28/2019
The United Way of Addison County has a conundrum it must hurdle each year due, in large part, to its own success. Because it has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on the community for the past 60 or so years, and raised millions of dollars over that time, the challenge for its annual fundraising is to: 1) reach that very high bar on which many smaller agencies now depend on; and, 2) make the annual giving campaign appear fresh, full of vitality, and new. United Way leaders, nonetheless, can’t change things too much, because they don’t want to mess around with what has worked so well in...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100