Op/Eds

09/24/2020
With camera phones rolling, hundreds of area residents lined the streets as ribbons were cut at the reopening of Middlebury’s Main Street and Merchants Row last Friday and the first train rumbled through the newly minted tunnel downtown. The scene sparkled with marble curbing shining on expanded sidewalks, the asphalt black without a blemish, and a clear, blue sky on a crisp autumn day adding to the overall euphoria.  The opening symbolizes, as selectboard Chair Brian Carpenter said at the event, a new era for the town. Most Middlebury residents agree and are looking ahead with the utmost...
09/24/2020
Some time ago, an acquaintance invited me to become a regular contributor to a regional publication, then added, “You could write about race.” My immediate response was, “I will not be doing that.” To her credit, she understood my reluctance to be limited to writing about race simply because I am Black. In the past few months, this interchange keeps coming to mind because of the increased focus on Black and Brown people’s perspectives — by news, entertainment, businesses, organizations and other areas of society that historically have ignored our voices. Our viewpoints are sought because the...
09/24/2020
The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg marks the sixteenth time there has been a vacancy on the Supreme Court in a presidential election year. The vacancy in Ginsburg’s seat comes the second closest to the election of any of these vacancies, which date back to 1804. The closest to Election Day a Supreme Court vacancy has occurred was in 1864. Chief Justice Roger Taney, the author of the infamous Dred Scott decision, died on Oct. 12 of that year, 27 days before election day. On Dec. 6, about a month after he had been re-elected, President Lincoln nominated former Secretary of the Treasury...
09/24/2020
In the introduction to his magisterial work, “Leviathan,” Thomas Hobbes invites his readers to imagine the civil state as an animal, an artificial life created by human art in imitation of the divine. To justify this analogy, he likens the powers and functions of civil society to those of a human being: sovereignty is its soul; public officials, its joints; reward and punishment, its motive force; public welfare, its business; law and justice, its reason and will. The rest of Leviathan is an elaboration of this metaphor. The civil state, i.e., Leviathan, is just a colossal artificial...
09/24/2020
This week’s writer is Elaine C. Collins, President of Northern Vermont University The end of August marked the return of many of our students to campus. Beyond the masks, the intense new cleaning regimens and mandatory COVID-19 testing, the return of students has brought back a semblance of normalcy during these strange and unsettling times. Their return has also provided a stark reminder of the value that NVU students and alumni bring to our community, our region and our employers.  The vast majority of our students — 70% — are Vermonters and nearly half are the first in their family to...
09/24/2020
Voters from Addison-5 (Bridport, New Haven, Weybridge) would do well to support Jubilee McGill as our new Representative to the Vermont House. I got to know Jubilee when I began working closely with her to build the grassroots organization she brought to life as a rapid-response answer to the early days of the COVID-19 crisis: Addison County Mutual Aid. She quickly gathered volunteers, created systems and brought voice to the needs of Addison County residents. I observed her to be principled, efficient, compassionate and able to relate and collaborate with people across the socioeconomic...
09/24/2020
Now that we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of the Middlebury railway project, I am reflecting back on the excellent customer service, hard work and assertive creativity that so many people put into keeping the town vibrant. Some of my personal experiences: Becky Dayton and staff at Vermont Book Shop, Ilsley Library, Greg at Main Street Stationary, Tae (sp?), and other staff at Greg’s, Stone Mill, and Agway.  One day that stands out for me is the day I was in town with my husband, son and grandsons. We went there to watch the construction and ended up getting involved in the...
09/24/2020
It is an exciting election cycle this year in Vermont. Not only is it easier to cast your vote, but also, while in previous most years candidates have run for legislature uncontested, this election cycle we have Republicans running against Democrat/Progressive incumbents statewide. We now have options for people seeking representation that limits government, protects our freedoms, supports the autonomy of businesses and families, upholds virtuous values, and opposes increasing taxes. There are 150 seats in the Vermont House of Representatives and 30 seats in the Senate. Statewide, there are...
09/22/2020
Fall has arrived suddenly and dramatically in Vermont, with plunging temperatures and nighttime frosts. This shouldn’t have surprised, me, as this has hardly been a year of subtlety; nothing seems to have happened “just a little” in 2020.  But whether we tumble into it headlong or ease into it gradually, fall is always a season of change. This change is evident in the weather and the leaves, but also in our lifestyles. Children are heading back to school, which this year is a bigger change than usual for most families as they adjust to remote learning or virtual/in-person hybrid arrangements...
09/18/2020
After three trying years of construction, including almost 10 weeks without downtown traffic this summer, Middlebury is on the verge of a new beginning — at least as much of a new beginning as a town founded 259 years ago ever gets. When the ribbons were cut this Friday to reopen newly black-topped Main Street and Merchants Row, complete with granite curbs, wider sidewalks and a greatly expanded Triangle Park, a great sigh of relief reverberated deep down in this community’s soul. It’s somewhat akin to how storm survivors must feel after emerging from their shelters, realizing they survived....

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100