editorial

These past seven days have changed the face, and fate, of our country in ways that are dangerous and troubling, and yet could set the stage for corrective steps to build a stronger union. A week ago, on Jan. 6, the nation’s Capitol was attached by a pro-Trump mob. Five people died, including a Capitol police officer, and Senators and House members’ lives were put in danger as thugs leading the insurrection ransacked and looted the building. They were insurrectionists attempting, in a dangerous yet often buffoonish way, to overthrow the government. That President Trump’s instigated and...
The scene Americans will likely remember of Trump’s disastrous four-year presidency will be when a mob of his supporters — egged on by Trump in an earlier rally — broke through the thin line of the capitol’s police force and stormed the nation’s capitol, breaking windows, occupying the Senate chamber and sending Senators and House members scrambling for cover in gas masks, as police inside the building drew their weapons in an harrowing incident that caused one person to be shot and killed. It was an attack on the nation’s Capitol orchestrated by a president who has refused to accept his...
From this desk, it’s difficult to separate the year 2020 from the Trump-inflicted chaos that consumed the country. But as our 9-page retrospective in this issue depicts, life was racing along full-tilt on many other fronts. During a competitive Democratic presidential primary at the start of 2020, Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders poised a serious challenge to former Vice-President Joe Biden. By the end of March, however, Biden was showing national strength in the South and the coronavirus began dominating the news and life in America — as it would for the rest of the year. In Addison County, and...
Will 2020 be remembered as the start of the nation’s rejuvenation, its crawl back from the edge of insanity to a nation once again embraced in the world community, and respected for its leadership in human rights, political realism and its adherence to science-based facts to guide national and international policy? Or will 2020 be remembered as the year Trump undermined America’s democratic principles, led the Republican party hopelessly astray embracing one conspiracy theory after another, endlessly denigrating opponents yet never offering a platform from which to bridge divides, reduce...
This Christmas, look for silver linings. Nine months into this pandemic, for instance, we have fine-tuned the art of looking at bleakness and coming up with ways to smile. We’ve turned panic of the unknown into a calm resignation of semi-isolation. We are learning how to infuse those longer stretches of isolation — particularly from family and close friends — with outdoor activities, masked up and social distanced, accepting close proximity in abeyance of hugs. We gladly accept bike rides, runs, hiking in the woods with friends instead of a beer-laden barbecue in a neighbor’s backyard....
Glance at today’s front page of the Addison Independent and you immediately sense that outside forces are disrupting school systems throughout Addison County and will soon force profound changes in our communities. The headlines tell the story: • Ripton and Weybridge residents will vote on whether to withdraw their elementary schools from the Addison Central School District in a last-ditch effort to save their local schools, which will otherwise be shuttered by the district school board. • MAUSD Superintendent Patrick Reen has a plan to repurpose three of that district’s five elementary...
Ever since Donald Trump rose to prominence in the GOP presidential primary of 2016, Republicans have been concerned about his influence on the party. The takeover by Trump of the party from establishment Republicans sparked genuine fear that they would lose their principled stands of conservatism to an unprincipled, morally bankrupt reality-TV show con-man. It was, they warned during that primary campaign, the equivalent of political suicide. But their stooge passed a huge tax cut that favored the wealthiest few, he cut regulations that harmed the environment but in the short-term increased...
COVID-19 is the story of the week, again, across the nation. As we surpass 15 million Americans who have contracted the disease and are nearing 300,000 fatalities — at more than 2,500 deaths daily — we still are a nation divided; a nation in which far too many are still defying the reality of this disease and the straightforward steps to slow its spread. In Mitchell, S.D., a rural town of 15,600 residents along I-90 that is home of the famous Corn Palace, a crowd of 100-plus anti-mask protesters marched outside a city council meeting in mid-November chanting threats as the council passed its...
As all Americans wish fervently for a return to normal times, we are faced with twin crises that have shaken the country to its core: a meteoric rise in COVID cases and an erosion of trust in the truth — a casualty of four years of lies and misinformation spewed by a president and his party for political gain at great cost to the nation. The most pressing crisis is the rapid spread of the virus. On Wednesday, the nation’s hospitals surpassed 100,000 COVID-19 patients for the first time. That’s nearly double the highest number reached last spring. The jump in hospitalizations follows a surge...
Should the town of Middlebury allow the operation of cannabis retailers pursuant to state law and subject to local zoning ordinances and appropriate town regulations? Absolutely. And passing such a measure at this year’s town meeting is the right time to do it. The Middlebury selectboard recently gave its approval to place the question on the town warning without the need to circulate a petition. It will be up to town voters, then, to either approve or reject the measure. In a nutshell, here’s the issue: Vermont’s legislature passed a state law legalizing the sale of cannabis and its related...

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Addison County Independent