editorial

10/22/2020
As Vermonters consider which candidates will move Vermont forward over the next decade, the most crucial issues revolve around the state’s demographic challenges. We need leaders to not only stem the flow of young Vermonters leaving the state, but who know how to use Vermont’s inherent assets to attract a new cohort of young entrepreneurs, families and remote worker In the race for lieutenant governor, Democrat Molly Gray has the positive energy, passion, direct answers, and the work ethic to tackle the issues head-on.  Key to retaining and attracting new residents is extending and...
10/08/2020
Gov. Phil Scott has long run on a campaign pledge to “make Vermont affordable.” Scott Milne, a Republican running for lieutenant governor, is campaigning as Gov. Scott’s sidekick to get “Vermont back to work.” But has Gov. Scott been able to keep his pledge, and is Milne’s campaign mantra anything more than a feel-good campaign slogan? Seven Day’s Paul Heintz penned a worthy story in this week’s issue (posted online Oct. 7) that looks Gov. Scott’s record on making the state more affordable, and while he doesn’t encompass the lieutenant governor’s race, many of the same issues hold true there...
10/01/2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden held his own during Tuesday night’s predictable slugfest with an unruly, disrespectful, ill-informed, fact-challenged performance by Donald Trump. The president’s incessant interruptions led to several instances in which Fox News moderator Chris Wallace had to shout over the 76-year-old’s self-absorbed bombast to get him to abide by the rules of the debate his campaign had agreed to. It was a pathetic display by a sitting president that brought a new low to our country’s stature in the world and makes a mockery of his MAGA slogan. The one bit of good news out...
10/01/2020
In post debate analysis, President Trump’s failure to reject white supremacy in Tuesday’s debate and, as importantly, his effort to discredit the validity of the election results and urge his supporters “to go into polls and watch very carefully” — a thinly veiled call for voter intimidation — have dominated Wednesday’s news cycle and forced Republicans to distance themselves from Trump’s remarks. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is in a close race for his seat in Kentucky, criticized the president for his failure to disavow white supremacists, prompting Trump to lamely...
09/24/2020
With camera phones rolling, hundreds of area residents lined the streets as ribbons were cut at the reopening of Middlebury’s Main Street and Merchants Row last Friday and the first train rumbled through the newly minted tunnel downtown. The scene sparkled with marble curbing shining on expanded sidewalks, the asphalt black without a blemish, and a clear, blue sky on a crisp autumn day adding to the overall euphoria.  The opening symbolizes, as selectboard Chair Brian Carpenter said at the event, a new era for the town. Most Middlebury residents agree and are looking ahead with the utmost...
09/18/2020
After three trying years of construction, including almost 10 weeks without downtown traffic this summer, Middlebury is on the verge of a new beginning — at least as much of a new beginning as a town founded 259 years ago ever gets. When the ribbons were cut this Friday to reopen newly black-topped Main Street and Merchants Row, complete with granite curbs, wider sidewalks and a greatly expanded Triangle Park, a great sigh of relief reverberated deep down in this community’s soul. It’s somewhat akin to how storm survivors must feel after emerging from their shelters, realizing they survived....
09/17/2020
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is right about the shortcomings of Joe Biden’s campaign for president against Donald Trump. He not focusing enough on what he will do differently to help Americans regain their economic footing.  “We … have to give people a reason to vote for Joe Biden,” Sanders (I-Vt.) said late last week. “And Joe has some pretty strong positions on the economy, and I think we should be talking about that more than we have.” Biden is, in short, making the same mistake Hillary Clinton did in 2016. Like her, Biden is being too conservative to excite his base the same way that Trump...
09/10/2020
As national news of school-related outbreaks grab the occasional headlines, it’s normal to worry that our own towns in Addison County might be next; that we’re foolish to try to beat a virus that is spreading in unknown ways; and that the best strategy is to hunker down until vaccines are plentiful and the coast is clear. That’s one legitimate train of thought.  It has, however, two significant shortcomings. First, it doesn’t account for the business community needing substantially more government aid to stay afloat if consumer activity is substantially restricted. More importantly, it fails...
09/03/2020
Not all that long ago you could take a two-week vacation, as a newspaper editor, and not miss that much. It’s not as if the world didn’t keep turning while away from the office, but rather that the world’s stage wasn’t in the constant chaos it is today.  As on most summer hiking trips, this year we were blissfully without Internet service, or even cell service, for much of the time — having to make a trip of 10 minutes by car to reach suitable places to poach connectivity for those necessary connections to the office and family back home. The absence of that daily news, the silence replacing...

Voting in Lincoln in the August 2020 primary. Photo by Paul Forlenza
08/27/2020
This week’s writer is Lee Hamilton, a Senior Advisor for the Indiana University Center on Representative Government; a Distinguished Scholar at the IU Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies; and a Professor of Practice at the IU O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years. I’ve lost track of the times over the years I’ve heard a politician say, “This is the most important election of my lifetime.” In fact, I’ve said it myself. And I’m sure we all believed it at the time. But in my case, at least, I...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100