editorial

02/27/2020
By all measures, Vermonters should turn out in record numbers this Town Meeting Day, March 3. That’s because declining student enrollment throughout much of the state has forced schools to curb spending while taxes are up; it’s because routine costs on grand lists that aren’t growing fast enough mean higher taxes for many; and it’s also because towns are facing school consolidation choices that pose significant changes in the meaning of community. These aren’t issues that are necessarily dire and foreboding, but rather ones that are of utmost importance to each town’s future. There are also...
02/27/2020
Score a small victory for Vermont’s Democratic legislature as they managed to override Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of the recently passed minimum wage bill. The proposal increases the minimum wage from $10.78 an hour to $12.55 by 2022, with future increases tied to inflation or at 5 percent. At the current 3 percent inflation, the minimum wage would have increased about 33 cents in 2021 had the law not passed, and slightly more the year after. Bottom line: the increase is not going to break the budgets of many businesses — small, rural or otherwise. The increase does, however, help Vermonter...
02/24/2020
Here’s how to determine how far down the authoritarian rabbit hole we are as a country, and, on a local level, how far we each might be as individuals. On the national level, one simple test is to watch how the Republican Party responds to President Trump’s desire to silence and limit further national intelligence briefings on Russia’s ongoing efforts to once again help Trump win the upcoming election. As an individual, the test is what you believe: Do you think the nation’s intelligence agencies should brief both Houses of Congress in bipartisan fashion (that is, with Democrats and...
02/20/2020
The $59.5 million proposed school bond for the Slate Valley Unified Union School District is an ambitious project with a few fine points to work out regarding its proposed changes for Orwell’s K-8 Village School. As stated in current plans, the district project would commit significant dollars to renovating Fair Haven Union High School, build a new district middle school, and commit significant resources to upgrading the district’s other primary schools. Among those projects is a $6 million renovation and 8,200-square-foot addition with a new cafeteria and gym to the Orwell school. The...

THE NEW MINIBURY spread in today's Arts+Leisure section of the Addison Independent
02/20/2020
We’ve long admired the creation of MiniBury, an online source for all-things to do with raising kids in the greater-Middlebury and Addison County area. For the past eight years it has been a valued resource among that ever-changing cohort of county residents, but it’s required much of the volunteers dedicated to compiling and organizing its information. Starting with today’s issue, we’re pleased to let our readers — and the general community — know that information will continue to be compiled and organized in much the same way, but now with the support of the Addison Independent. Our digital...
02/20/2020
Middlebury residents will face a sweetheart deal when asked to support a $5.35 million bond to finance three distinct projects. That’s because the majority of that $5.35 million will be raised without increasing local taxes. The bonds deal with infrastructure projects that will hopefully tap into federal and state grants, along with excess funds in the town’s local options tax, to keep the tax impact close to nil — well, not nothing, but not very much. The three projects (see story) include: water main improvements to Court Square amounting to $2.5 million; up to $2 million in flood relief...
02/17/2020
The next stop in the Democratic primary is this Saturday, Feb. 22 in Nevada, and it will likely add confusion not clarity in terms of defining the party’s leading nominee. That’s begs a new question: If the Democratic primary remains competitive with the top four or five candidates through the spring, is the party weaker or stronger for it? After two lower-tier candidates have surprised voters in the first two contests, this week’s caucus in Nevada’s may give Vice President Joe Biden a needed boost. But it’s no slam dunk. It’s anybody’s guess which candidate will emerge victorious and get the...
02/13/2020
We have an authoritarian in the White House who, this week, is undermining the very foundation of our judicial system, interfering with justice in the courts on a case-by-case basis and telegraphing his desires to a corrupt Attorney General — and yet, liberal pundits around the country are panicked about what to do if Bernie Sanders is the Democrat’s nominee. Seriously? Get a grip, pundits — and many Democrats. First, Sanders has long held an advantage in New Hampshire, as well as in Iowa due to his name recognition, large numbers of loyal supporters and a grassroots campaign ideally suited...
02/06/2020
The one positive thing you can say about Trump’s State of the Union speech is that it had entertaining moments. Trump’s brilliance, if that’s a fitting word, is that he believes in the power of reality TV and brings a larger-than-life version of the presidency into his supporters’ living rooms with the same sort of hysterics and fakery you see on The Real Housewives, Duck Dynasty and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. That his presidency is, therefore, based on lies, deceit, fakery and a complete lack of integrity is what we now know is to be expected. To that point, Trump told an entertaining...
02/06/2020
The botched election results of Iowa’s Democrat Party caucus, while embarrassing, will soon be a distant memory and a minor event in this presidential campaign. The importance, rather, is that Sen. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg captured the lead in no uncertain terms, Sen. Elizabeth Warren was a distant third, while Sen. Joe Biden trailed in fourth with Sen. Amy Klobuchar close behind. That’s a serious blow to the perception that Biden is the Democrat’s best bet to beat Trump. What’s particularly damaging is that it reinforces the doubt many Democrats have long had about Biden’s strength...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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