Joanna Colwell

06/04/2020
It’s Week Ten of The Quarantine and I am obsessed with bread. I apologize in advance to anyone who doesn’t tolerate gluten, you may not enjoy this column. Back when things were regular, when a trip to buy groceries didn’t feel life threatening, I wasn’t much of a bread baker. I mean, I could knock out a pretty decent challah on a Friday afternoon, but for the most part I was perfectly happy to buy bread that someone else baked. But I always admired people who could keep a sourdough starter alive, people who understood the basics of no-knead, hot-oven bread making. I had made a few attempts,...
06/04/2020
We would like to thank the estimated 375 fellow citizens who joined us on the Cross Street Bridge, on very short notice, for Saturday evening’s vigil for Black Lives. Collectively, we bore witness to the sadness and outrage we felt on hearing of the killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd, an unarmed African American in the custody of four police officers. Thanks also to the Town of Middlebury for its rapid positive response to our request for a permit to organize this demonstration. And we are grateful Middlebury College did not interfere with our use of College Park despite the failure of...
01/16/2020
You have probably heard that the singular “They” pronoun was the Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2019. But in case you’ve been too busy putting away holiday decorations (or in my case, freezing several gallons of turkey stock after simmering the holiday turkey carcass for an astonishing 24 hours) I will bring you up to speed. They/them are widely used personal pronouns for many people who identify as non-binary, people who don’t consider themselves male or female. I have a cousin and several friends who use they/them pronouns, so I’ve had a lot of opportunities to practice,...
10/17/2019
In September of 2018, a 30-year-old, off-duty police officer in Dallas, Texas, named Amber Guyger mistakenly entered her neighbor’s apartment, instead of her own. Guyger’s apartment was on the third floor, but she entered the apartment of her neighbor, Botham Jean, who lived one floor above. Botham Jean was relaxing on his couch, watching TV, and eating vanilla ice cream. Amber Guyger may have been distracted because she was upset, as she had been talking to her lover (another police officer, married to someone else), and trying to arrange a meeting that evening. She didn’t notice the bright...
10/14/2019
Back in August, WomenSafe marked Advocacy Week by celebrating our fabulous advocates who do so much to support people in our community who are experiencing domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking. WomenSafe dreams of a world where violence against vulnerable people is practically unknown. We want to build a society that is equitable and just, where no one has to feel afraid at home, at work or out in public. We work toward creating this future by educating youth in Addison County schools about consent, gender equality and respectful relationships. But until our beautiful dream comes...
09/26/2019
I write regarding the recent editorial by Bill Schubart called “Imagine If Vermont Got Immigration Right.” I appreciate many of the points he made. But I want to draw your attention to the last sentence, “There are those among us who choose to forget that we’re all descended from immigrants.” To my fellow white Vermonters: Please stop saying stuff like this! We are not all descended from immigrants because: 1. Indigenous people are not immigrants. They are the original inhabitants, guardians and protectors of this land that we all live on. 2. Most Black people are not immigrants either. The...
09/12/2019
On July 28, I was arrested in Williston, Vt., for blocking a road outside the ICE Data Center. This unassuming brick building is the home of a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week hotline, where United States citizens can report their undocumented neighbors. About 400 Vermont and New York residents work at this data center, and I barely have the words to express my rage at my tax dollars being used to detain, deport, and terrorize families. Some recent New York Times headlines about the concentration camps where immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers are being forcibly detained include “Hungry, Scared...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100