Letter to the editor

10/10/2019
With so much attention in the pages of the Addison Independent paid to the challenges that the school systems of Addison County are facing in light of declining enrollment, building needs and other factors, it seemed an opportune time to provide an update on the status of work in the Addison Central School District. The ACSD Board is in the midst of creating a Facilities Master Plan. This plan is to provide guidance to the ACSD Board of today and in the future to address how best to use our buildings and other facilities in a way that continues to build a strong educational program that is a...
10/10/2019
A message by a commoner inspired by Charles Koch and Donald Trump: We the people hold the water, the air, and the wildlife. They are our natural commons. The responsibility for their care falls on us. When there is a failure to account for an ecological cost resulting from an associated action, the planet suffers. When human populations are low, externalized costs are not as consequential. There are a lot of us now and what each of us does to degrade the planet’s health and capacity for self-renewal matters. A whole lot! Self-serving, greedy people degrade the commons and apparently still...
10/10/2019
Editor’s note: This letter was written by Rob Backlund of Lincoln on behalf of his five-month-old. To The Community Members of Lincoln, I want to thank each and every Lincoln community member (a robust and diverse group!) who showed up last night for the Mount Abraham Unified School District (MAUSD) Community Conversation at Burnham Hall. I want to thank the MAUSD Community Engagement Committee (composed of local community volunteers from the 5 towns, school board members, and a professional facilitator) for hosting this series of community conversations (one in each of the 5 towns along with...
10/10/2019
On Oct. 3, End of Life Services, home of Hospice Volunteers, ARCH, Wellspring Singers, and bereavement care was surprised and saddened to receive a letter from Addison County Home Health & Hospice informing us that our partnership of 25 years was to end on Dec. 31 of this year. The Board of Directors of ACHHH has voted not to renew the contract with End of Life Services to provide Hospice Volunteers to serve their patients. After Jan. 1, 2020, End of Life Services’ highly trained and skilled volunteers will continue to provide compassionate care for our community, but without referrals...
10/10/2019
I have a concern about our town. I know the construction mess in Middlebury is temporary but we have removed so many trees our town is losing its New England beauty. The maples in front of the old municipal building, the maples that lived between the library and the Osborne House, and maples on the green have disappeared. Almost every new tree is not native and does not show the foliage beauty we used to have. I remember tourists taking photos of these beautiful trees. In the fall over the last few years, if you drive into Middlebury from Route 7, Route 30 or Route 125 you can see and feel...
10/06/2019
Dear ANWSD community, As educators in the middle school, we feel that it is important to weigh in on the conversation on reconfiguration. Despite some hesitancy to stick our necks out, we do this out of a deep commitment to our students, schools, and community. The enrollment challenges in our schools are real, and we recognize the need to consider different configurations. However, we also know that our schools, not merely the physical buildings, but the web of relationships that breathe life into those buildings, are precious community institutions that have been built through decades of...
10/03/2019
It was a shock to parishioners and council members of St. Genevieve/St. Bernadette’s Catholic community to hear last month that Bishop Coyne may close down and possibly demolish St. Genevieve’s Catholic Church that heads Main Street in Shoreham Village. Built in 1873, St. Genevieve’s has a long-standing, proven Catholic presence in our community. This decision may be made as soon as Nov. 1. As a group, we are urgently campaigning to save our church. Please help us by sending a letter/message to Bishop Coyne proving we value the presence of our local, iconic, historic church in Shoreham, and...
10/03/2019
Burying one’s head in the sand is rarely an effective strategy for dealing with a problem. But that’s exactly what Vermont’s top officials are doing when it comes to the emerging epidemic of vaping-related lung disease that has hospitalized hundreds nationwide. Vermont’s Department of Health has confirmed one case so far, and is investigating several more suspected cases. At least 13 people have died in the U.S. as a result of vaping. While public health officials both in Vermont and nationwide continue to investigate, a common thread has emerged in nearly all suspected cases: unsafe...
10/03/2019
I am a volunteer at Middlebury’s Homeward Bound Humane Society. I am writing to raise awareness about the dogs at the shelter. We often take them on “outings” to allow them to experience life outside the shelter. During these outings they wear “adopt me” vests in order to mark them as adoptable animals. If you see a dog around town wearing one of these vests feel free to come say and say hello. They love attention and pets and these outings make the dogs’ day so much better. When you see these vests it’s important to not make assumptions such as “oh why did they get that dog in the first...
10/03/2019
The Addison Central School District (ACSD) school board is intending to “consolidate” three small town schools within the district by beginning a “facilities study” to determine which schools are or are not worthy of remaining open. The Ripton Elementary School would be a likely target of these planned school closings. Although the board appears to be focused on which school facilities would save the most money through closure, I argue that there is more to a small Vermont school than just financial considerations. Each small school in Vermont reflects the needs and diversity of the community...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100