editorial

09/26/2019
Early this week, VTDigger, the online news nonprofit based in Montpelier, stretched its tentacles to report a salacious and juicy tidbit of news about Porter Hospital President Dr. Seleem Choudhury being under investigation for plagiarizing parts of his weekly blog. The blog is meant to be an uplifting message from the new president. It is sent out to hospital staff and a few folks from outside the hospital community, including a reporter here at the Addison Independent. The thrust of the blog is inspirational and its intent, Porter spokesman Ron Hallman says, is to keep staff and a few...

EMMA POPE MCCRIGHT holds a sign at the climate strike demonstration in Boston.
09/23/2019
When I woke up on Friday, Sept. 20, I thought about the day, my husband and my two daughters, as I always do. I let the dog out, had some coffee, got ready for work. In the back of my mind I knew that this was the day of the Youth Climate Strike. Both my daughters were going to participate. Maybe I would wander over to College Park in Middlebury and check out the protest there, if work wasn’t too crazy.  It wasn’t that immediate to me.  My older daughter texted me from college when she boarded a bus to head to Boston for the march there. My younger daughter, a junior at MUHS, got ready to...
09/19/2019
In the third of a three-part series examining the historic and current role of the Otter Creek in Addison County, and its current status as the heaviest conveyor of phosphorus pollution into Lake Champlain, we turn a sympathetic ear to the burden placed on farmers by Act 64.  In previous installments, we’ve been reminded that the deteriorating quality of the water in Lake Champlain has been a long time coming. From the early days of commercial, industrial and agricultural development, the Otter Creek has been a conduit for groundwater pollution as have almost all rivers and streams in...
09/12/2019
In this era of misinformation of national news, it’s no small comfort to have representation in the nation’s capital whom Vermonters can trust and believe. Along with Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, Vermont has been well served by Rep. Peter Welch in the House. The Addison Independent will host Rep. Welch next Monday, Sept. 16, from 5 to 6:15 p.m. in a community forum that will feature opening comments by the Congressman, followed by 30-45 minutes of questions from the audience. The community forum will be held at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and is graciously co...
09/12/2019
As we continue our series on the Otter Creek and its role in commerce, farming and communities in Addison County — and the consequent impact to water quality in Lake Champlain — we focus this week on Act 64, the state’s clean water act, and the painstaking planning and meticulous details involved. Supporters and detractors alike have to agree that the effort to achieve a plan that can accurately measure progress in terms of the amount of phosphorus reduced in any given basin is a worthy outcome. This story explains that effort and the process basin planners will be pursuing in their effort to...
09/05/2019
Thirty years ago, the Addison Independent reported and published a multi-part series on Lake Champlain water quality and how it was being negatively impacted by phosphorous run-off from agricultural and non-farm pollution. The story, which was written by Steven Rosenfeld, reported that if the state took immediate action to remedy the problem the lake might avoid serious consequences, but if no action were taken, such neglect would contribute towards its demise. Thirty years later, the state is finally pursuing a quantifiable plan to reduce what has been a growing amount of phosphorus...
09/02/2019
I recently attended a quiet conference that brought together leaders and innovators in the arts, humanities and public broadcasting. We met for two days to explore how the arts and humanities, writ large, contribute to articulating and solving some of society’s most intractable problems. The program opened with a heads-up ceremony by Vera Sheehan of Abenaki Arts acknowledging and honoring the land and its earliest inhabitants. It was a wonderful reminder that we white Vermonters are not the beginning of civilization. The program looked at major challenges Vermont faces, such as health care,...
08/29/2019
The two recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, have increased the climate of fear and hateful rhetoric in our country, causing social division between people more than ever before. This division has eroded our ability to tolerate differences and embrace the richness of diversity. There has been a lot of misinformation and focus in the press and by politicians about people living with mental illness committing these kinds of heinous acts. Research indicates that individuals who are most distressed in our society, who are often labeled mentally ill, have had extremely...
08/26/2019
The wonder of the Trump presidency is how he has been able to screw up so many things so quickly and still maintain the core of his party’s support. The aftermath of his presidency, we wager, will be the party faithful reflecting on why they didn’t speak up more forcefully against his ruinous policies and that they gave credence to the idiocy of his whacked-out ideas. Buying Greenland is just the latest example. It’s not that buying Greenland would be a bad investment, it’s that the very idea is repugnant in today’s world. In the 21st Century, one nation doesn’t just buy another’s land and...
08/22/2019
On the issue of school consolidation, here’s how the Addison Central School District may have unintentionally created a problem that has become detrimental to the district’s smaller towns and to the greater district: Simply put, in crafting the district’s charter, they created a structure that favored a district bias over the bias of individual towns. The board’s intent, understandably, was to create a stronger district across all schools — to create better pay equity from school to school among teachers and administrators, and better student outcomes by providing equitable opportunities to...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100