Op/Eds

In a provocative column titled “Is This the End of Summer as We’ve Known It?” by New York Times columnist Shawn Hubler, she paints an apocalyptic picture of the climate future: “In the state that perfected if not invented the American summer, the smell of 17 million gallons of spilled sewage lingered last week on a Southern California beach. There were bare rocks where snow once capped the Sierra Nevada and bathtub rings where water once glistened in Shasta Lake. “Wildfires roared across the West, threatening the electrical grid, the smoke so thick it could be seen from space, pluming into...
Several friends and I quietly admitted to each other that the pandemic has been an affirming personal experience. The spaciousness of this past year was a gift. There was time to act, time to ponder, time to gaze. Technology became a tool for connection. I visited with folks in their personal spaces without leaving my own. I attended concerts and workshops and performances around the world and interacted with people I otherwise would never have met. I read and discussed books. I meditated with a circle of close friends. Among the joyful surprises of this year was finding new ways to engage...
The next two months could be the most consequential in Sen. Bernie Sanders’s more than 30-year career in Congress. For much of his time in the House, and then in the Senate, Sanders was a gadfly on the left, making speeches that received more attention off Capitol Hill than on it, and introducing bills and amendments that often fell short of the votes needed to pass. Now, as chair of the Senate Budget Committee, Sanders is responsible for putting together a budget blueprint that, if approved by both houses and signed by President Biden, would represent the largest spending bill ever passed in...
31st in a series What is truth? How would you answer this question? You may find it a greater challenge than at first imagined, for truth is one of those words whose meaning we are sure we know until challenged to define it. In our everyday experience we have little difficulty distinguishing what is true from what is false, fact from fiction. The ease with which we do this may be key to our survival as a species. We are not easily fooled, but such is our nature and situation in life, that we sometimes allow or even will ourselves to be fooled. There is more in the previous sentence than can...
All my children grew up in Lincoln and went to the Lincoln schools, including preschool. When it was time for them (and other young people from our community) to apply to educational programs like Breadloaf Young Writers or as a legislative page, for a special job, or college, or law school they would sometimes ask if I would read their essays. A single recurring theme in what they wrote was how much it meant to grow up in Lincoln: on the playground between the river and the mountain, hiding in the woods, taking refuge by the streams, being part of the community. How this school and town...
I’ve been reading and ruminating on the discussions on the proposed withdrawal of Lincoln Community School from Mount Abraham Unified School District. I find the whole situation interestingly ironic. We homeschooled our kids right through high school, and the Lincoln school was seemingly supportive of this, as we never experienced any flack or intrusion from them. The state Agency of Education (AOE) on the other hand decided they were within their rights to reinterpret statute, which is not their domain. We were pestered, and threatened with action from the Department for Children and...
While I didn’t have the good fortune to attend elementary school in Lincoln, the current discussion about this wonderful heart of the community has reminded me of my own experiences attending a neighborhood school: being walked to kindergarten by my older brothers, and the independence I felt when I could walk the road all by myself to school, or even take the “secret” woods path; how, in the lead-up to the 1972 presidential election, my fourth-grade teacher Mrs. Sullivan introduced us all to the importance of voting and elections by creating a full-on in-class mock campaign; the infectious...
This summer I cut off all my hair. It’s a long story, which began in the summer of 2019 when my aunt, who was battling cancer, told my daughters and me about wigs. We were together on our family’s annual vacation in Maine, all of us gathered on the sunny front porch. My aunt had begun losing her hair from the treatments, and she described the shop where she’d been able to choose from a wide variety of wigs made from donated human hair. I had no idea how much this conversation had impacted my children until several months later, when one of my daughters suggested that we all grow out our hair...
Like science, history is an ever-emerging narrative based on curiosity, exploration, discovery, debate and interpretation. But like science (and journalism), it must be informed by fact. The recent screed by former gubernatorial candidate John Klar of Brookfield in Vermont’s conservative online news blog True North Reports against Gov. Scott’s tacit support for “critical race theory” is heavy on political whining, but light on understanding and facts. Critical race theory derived from the work in the 1970s and ‘80s of Derrick Bell and Kimberlé Crenshaw, who were interested in highlighting...

SAS CAREY PLACES a Black Lives Matter sign by her home after getting her daughter’s perspective on their importance.
In 1969 I adopted a biracial daughter. Though she has not searched for her heritage, she has always believed herself to be half African American. Jasmine was born in Vermont and grew up in Addison County, graduated from Middlebury Union High School and the University of Vermont, and then left for our country’s largest cities to live amongst far more diversity. When Jasmine and I drove around Addison County this month, she felt encouraged by Black Lives Matter signs. She did not always feel at ease and acknowledged here and feels that her treatment was the tip of the iceberg for how other...

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Addison County Independent