Letter to the editor

09/09/2019
Leadership … “a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” — John C. Maxwell. On Monday, Sept. 9, we will have the opportunity to review the current thinking as to the proposed future of the Addison Northwest School District elementary schools system. An open meeting will be available to have a community discussion on the elementary school consideration. On Front Porch Forum, I have provided some insight as to the (1) challenges/problems in maintaining three separate structurally aging elementary schools with declining enrollment. I have also lent my thinking to (2)...
09/09/2019
Dear Addison County Independent readers and Members of the Addison Northwest School District Board, Recently at the start of the school year, we learned of the plan to suddenly close Ferrisburgh Central School and Addison Central School at the end of this academic year. Many of the underlying assumptions for this recommendation by the ANWSD board are based on projecting the penalties incurred by the state for exceeding per pupil spending. The recent school board budget, which included paid stipends for some board members and facility upgrades, passed by seven votes. Understandably the board...
09/09/2019
A major issue facing patients in Vermont and around the country is surprise medical billing. This occurs when a patient is treated by a health care provider who is out of network and can often happen when a patient seeks emergency medical care. The subsequent bill for that service can come as a complete shock to patients who, most of the time, have no idea they were being treated out of network. Thankfully, Congress is now addressing this matter. I encourage Sen. Leahy’s efforts to look at this issue through the lens of rural healthcare providers and to consider a model that New York...
09/09/2019
At the start of summer, my ancient and rusty Briggs & Stratton lawnmower bit a jagged piece of Vermont granite outcropping and I was told it was no longer repairable. Fine. I certainly could not complain after so many years of service. That’s when I made a startling discovery. There was a new brand in town I’d never heard of. Husqvarna! Excuse me? Yes, Husqvarna. “Where is it made?” I asked the salesman. “They have factories all over the world,” he said. “Where’s their really big factory?” I persisted. “I think they have a large manufacturing plant in Georgia,” he said. This was getting...
09/05/2019
As we look around at today’s landscape it is easy to question “where have all the leaders gone?” Effective leadership seems to be absent on every front and it appears that things are not about to get better any time soon. When I speak of leadership I have a very simple definition: It is the “influence of others.” A very simple definition, which most folks don’t seem to realize. In essence, we are all leaders in some way, shape or form, whether we are: •  husbands or wives •  fathers on mothers •  housewives or househusbands Whether we are: •  farmers or farmworkers •  student, teacher or...
09/02/2019
In reference to the letter to the editor that ran under the headline “Dairy not necessarily healthy” in your Aug. 26 edition, the statements made by Pat Davies against dairy consumption and for an alternative, plant-based diet are compelling. Particularly now, as we discover the inevitable connection between diet and wellness or illness, traditional versus modern methods of food production, the treatment of dairy farm cows and the greenhouse gas emissions from such farms. And running through everything is our critical need to rescue this tired, much depleted planet from extinction. Change of...
09/02/2019
A situation stings perception. Observation spurs inspection. Detection demands correction. Intervention assumes commotion. Convention begets conception. Imagination pursues invention. Inception fuels apprehension. Aggravation sparks improvisation. Construction eases reservation. Negotiation avoids revolution. Completion gleans resolution: Restitution for institutions. Remediation urges reflection. Celebration sings redemption! Restoration reaps realization: Innovation requires determination. Peter Szymkowicz Shoreham August 27, 2019
08/29/2019
As a rule, nothing is as simple as it seems. There are conservatives who do not believe in a god, who separate church from state, who question those who question their loyalty. There are liberals in uniform, defending diversity. There are extremes and a middle, which come with any collection of numbers. America will create wars to affirm chemical warfare is legally and morally abhorrent. We are principled in that regard. When on the other hand, Monsanto and Dow make and use a chemical, it’s perfectly acceptable. My commanding officer is an Agent Orange vegetable. No one seems to mind....
08/29/2019
I read with interest your recent editorial “Dairy: Finding common cause.” While I agree with your overall conclusion that the objective should be to find a common cause with a plan that allows our rural communities and our farmers to build a sustainable future, it will require BOLD leadership at ALL levels around a common cause going forward. That currently is lacking in our state, but is achievable I believe.  As you know, the trends have been there for some time. The export market for fluid milk to the New England market has shaped the Vermont dairy industry and the landscape in the state...
08/26/2019
Americans and People everywhere must change their thinking. We must save ourselves and the planet as we know it from extinction, not by making small changes and not by electing officials who promise to work hard and make changes, because they inevitable become part of the problem. We cannot count on our political system to save us from tyranny. We must intervene and stop the growing concentration of wealth for the increasingly small number of Americans who actually control our elected officials. This is not the only incredibly huge problem; if we are to be respected and included in the world...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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