Letter to the editor

01/20/2020
Editor’s note: When seeing a huge flock of crows off Seminary Street Extension in Middlebury recently, this correspondent was reminded of something he wrote a decade ago. I wish I knew more languages, and one of the languages I’d like most to learn is crow. Not Crow Indian, but the language used by the troupe of hundreds of crows who arrive in Middlebury en masse every spring — quite the sight if you happen to be outdoors when they arrive. After lengthy discussion, they appear to divide the town between different groups, and the spring crowtown meeting breaks up. In the fall, they regroup and...
01/20/2020
Another year, another inflammatory editorial from the Addison Independent. In the Jan. 16 edition, Angelo Lynn accuses the Addison Northwest School District (ANSWD) board of violating “every tenet of the democratic process.” How, you might ask did these board members (who Lynn has previously accused of “acting like kings”) act in such an anti-democratic fashion? By responding to a group of citizens who, in objection to the board’s preferred policy, decided to challenge the authority of the board itself. As the spouse of an ANWSD board member, an educator and a parent of two children at...
01/20/2020
In response to the letter of Jan. 6 (Invest in educators, not buildings) I am unable to contain my frustration at the blinkered and money-minded attitudes that led to the drive toward school consolidation. The writer's statement that she has “sincere respect” for communities outside of Middlebury is followed by her elitist assumption that our small school communities care more about our buildings than for the quality of our children’s education. She is right that we are all biased by our experiences, and I am glad that she found her children’s experience at Mary Hogan to be positive. But Mary...
01/20/2020
Writing helps me process life, and, because I am a slow processor, I tend to find myself putting words down in order to gain clarity and empathy for other people’s viewpoints. Last Wednesday, in the conference room at the Middlebury Town Offices, I sat among a diverse group of 25 — friends; strangers; parents with kids in Middlebury, Bridport, Cornwall, Weybridge and Ripton elementary schools; and community members without school-aged kids — all presented a variety of viewpoints and clarifications regarding school consolidation in our Addison Central School District (ACSD). This meeting, put...
01/20/2020
I believe some clarification is in order to anyone that signed, or is considering voting in favor of, the petition made by Save Our Schools to the Addison Central School District regarding school board composition and school consolidation procedures. It bears noting at the outset that every town in the district already agreed to its existing terms when unification was voted in the first place, so this petition constitutes an ex post facto renegotiation. Both parts of the petition are problematic, but the part that I’d like to discuss is the proposal that it should only be possible to close a...
01/16/2020
We hear you. We don’t care. We’re doing what we want anyway. That’s the message I heard loud and clear at the ANWSD (Addison Northwest School District) board meeting Monday night. The board seemingly refused to warn a vote on petitions to change the articles of agreement to let the towns vote on whether or not they want their schools to close. To be clear, the board under legal advice, decided to ignore a petition representing 7% of all registered voters in the district and in their words, “save the electorate from themselves.” In five short minutes, the board decided they didn’t want to let...
01/16/2020
I was heartened to see so many families at last Wednesday night’s Bill McKibben talk, “Empowering Youth to Engage in our Climate Crisis,” which I attended with my own family. First, I want to extend deep gratitude to Bridge School, Woodchuck Cidery, and Bill himself for making this evening possible. We need to be having these conversations regularly. I would like to add a few more concrete ways we can nurture climate activism in our children, rather than climate anxiety: first, we need to kindle a relationship between our children and the natural world — get them outside! Help them fall in...
01/16/2020
I believe some clarification is in order to anyone that signed, or is considering voting in favor of, the petition made by Save Our Schools to the Addison Central School District regarding school board composition and school consolidation procedures. It bears noting at the outset that every town in the district already agreed to its existing terms when unification was voted in the first place, so this petition constitutes an ex post facto renegotiation. Both parts of the petition are problematic, but the part that I’d like to discuss is the proposal that it should only be possible to close a...
01/13/2020
I am writing in response to the Jan. 2 letter from Dan Monger. He is correct that few pieces of legislation have made it into law in 2019. The U.S. House of Representatives passed 400 bills and sent them to the Senate, many of them with bipartisan support. Eighty percent of them are not even being considered there. Mitch McConnell, who prides himself on being called “The Grim Reaper,” kills bills having anything to do with the Democrats. It is really the Republicans who are the do-nothing people in the legislative branch. Americans are incensed at the legislative gridlock, and many don’t...
01/13/2020
As the Hunger Council of Addison County heads into the new year, there is much to reflect on from 2019. We have seen over the past year concerted efforts to jeopardize 3SquaresVT (also known as SNAP nationally and formerly as food stamps).This has come through three separate proposed rule changes by the federal administration. Most recently, one of these proposals was finalized by the USDA, and is slated to go into effect on April 1, 2020; this rule aims to cut benefits for people without dependents who face barriers to employment. The Hunger Council of Addison County would like to voice our...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100