Letter to the editor

12/19/2019
Our great country. Or so we believe. People come from all over the world to our country, America, to begin their better life. They come here because we project the idea of the American dream. But can the American dream still be a reality when we don’t even give the families with new babies paid leave from work? Only America and Papua New Guinea don’t have paid family leave or some variation of it. Only America and Papua New Guinea, a country that many would struggle to find on a map. How can that still be our reality? We were once the greatest country in the world but how can we still say...
12/19/2019
Many of us have a tendency to pretend that what we don’t see can’t hurt us. This is unfortunately not the case with methane leaks coming from natural gas and oil refineries. This harmful, invisible gas is flowing freely into our atmosphere. The New York Times published a study last week by two investigators who used new infrared technology to detect methane leaks from six refineries. The results are visually stunning. This investigation revealed “a major release of methane, the main component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas that is helping to warm the planet at an alarming rate.”...
12/16/2019
Re: The town’s cash cow. It is criminal that the college has such a stranglehold on the town. I returned after years living away and I am appalled at what has happened here. There is no village environment. The college has bought up properties all over the town. Every house with a blue marker is owned by the college. Homes that 50 years ago would have been $50,000 are now $220,000. Rent is $1,200 for a dump in town. The cost of living here is 100% higher than the national average. Thus, workers cannot afford to live here. Middlebury College has the gall to pay their workers a “McDonald’s”...

THE ORWELL TOWN Hall could be demolished to make way for a cafeteria/gym addition to the adjacent Orwell Village School. That project is part of a $60 million capital improvement bond for the SVUUSD that includes major upgrades to Fair Haven Union High School and a new middle school in Fair Haven. Independent file photo/John S. McCright
12/16/2019
I was surprised to read in a recent issue of the Independent that the Slate Valley Unified Union School District has plans to demolish the Orwell Town Hall. This seems like a poor way to welcome Orwell into the merged district. The SVUUSD says the Town Hall is of no use to the school district because, according to their new plans, it will no longer be used for school functions. It is, however, an important asset to the town of Orwell, serving as it has for over 150 years as the center of town activities, the location of Orwell Town Meeting, and numerous other community functions that rely on...
12/12/2019
In his Dec. 5 editorial Mr. Lynn appropriately calls out the Department of Public Service (DPS) for threatening to strengthen the coal and nuclear industries by effectively halting the progress of solar power by creating an uneven playing field. As coal and nuclear power are both heavily subsidized by fuzzy taxpayer dollars they have a distinct financial advantage over renewables at baseline. Renewables are open and transparent in their costs to ratepayers, which is apparently a problem for DPS, who would apparently, with their actions, prefer consumers to depend on sources that are not only...
12/12/2019
On Dec. 8, 2019, better known as Lessons and Carols Sunday, we headed for Mead Chapel, on the campus of Middlebury College. It was about 3 p.m. The traditional Christmas celebration was to start at 4 p.m. It is best to get there early for the best seats. Our arrival was planned for about 3:30, at which time we would head for the Choir Loft for best viewing. This would be the 48th Annual Celebration. To quote from the extremely well designed handout: “The overall format of this service provides such a rich opportunity to experience both the emotional resonance and familiarity of ‘Tradition,’...
12/12/2019
It has been nearly 50 years since I last lived in Vermont, yet Vermont has never left me. I lived in Brandon in 1965 and 1966, across from the Neshobe Golf Course, before my father moved the family to Southern California so he could go to work in the aircraft industry. I always planned to move back to Vermont, but as things and time worked out, didn’t, but I still feel Vermont in my bones just about every day. Here is a poem that expresses some of that feeling.   Vermont Locking Each afternoon now, earlier now too, the edges of Otter Creek begin to freeze. Newly forming ice crystals reach...
12/09/2019
Middlebury’s public reflections and soul searching surrounding the issue of “homelessness” need to be channeled into some real world problem solving. This needs to happen very soon or we risk dividing the community into camps of those who express compassion and those who are struggling to openly and directly address some of the messier issues involved with our society’s neglect. If we do not quickly act to address and diffuse real concerns about lack of toilets and public defecation or small but highly visible numbers of disorderly individuals left to roam streets during the daytime because...
12/09/2019
An article entitled “The Coming Collapse,” which appeared in the left-leaning CommonDreams.org explains why Bernie is getting zero press coverage. More importantly, it helps to explain the craziness we are witnessing across the planet. The article is a frightening and deeply disturbing look into what, deep in our hearts, many of us know is true. Democracy is being consumed by unbridled capitalism which the Pope has called “the dung of the devil.” This is not a fight between the GOP and the Democratic Party. This is a fight between Corporations, Consumerism, and Colonialism and The Real People...
12/09/2019
Has any consideration been given to siting the prospective solar array on the Middlebury College golf course? Think about the benefits for the environment — no more constant mowing, which pollutes our air half of the year, and no more pesticide and fertilizer damage to Mother Earth. South Street Extension residents will be happier because only the college, which benefits from this solar farm, would be able to see it. Then Middlebury College can purchase Neshobe Golf Club in Brandon. Combining the two clubs there could make a money-making venture while cutting the environmental impact almost...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100