Op/Eds

02/20/2020
The $59.5 million proposed school bond for the Slate Valley Unified Union School District is an ambitious project with a few fine points to work out regarding its proposed changes for Orwell’s K-8 Village School. As stated in current plans, the district project would commit significant dollars to renovating Fair Haven Union High School, build a new district middle school, and commit significant resources to upgrading the district’s other primary schools. Among those projects is a $6 million renovation and 8,200-square-foot addition with a new cafeteria and gym to the Orwell school. The...

THE NEW MINIBURY spread in today's Arts+Leisure section of the Addison Independent
02/20/2020
We’ve long admired the creation of MiniBury, an online source for all-things to do with raising kids in the greater-Middlebury and Addison County area. For the past eight years it has been a valued resource among that ever-changing cohort of county residents, but it’s required much of the volunteers dedicated to compiling and organizing its information. Starting with today’s issue, we’re pleased to let our readers — and the general community — know that information will continue to be compiled and organized in much the same way, but now with the support of the Addison Independent. Our digital...
02/20/2020
When it comes to Christmas, my husband Mark always wins. He’s just a more thoughtful gift giver than I am. I hate that. I wanted Christmas 2019 to be different. I decided I would paint Mark a scene taken from a photo of our backyard: the old horse barn, at dusk, partly obscured by a stand of black locust trees. The beauty of my art would outdo anything he might give me. Too bad I don’t know how to paint. Well, that’s not true. Last year, though unskilled, I painted a landscape scene of a field not far from our house. And it came out well. I assumed this meant I possessed innate artistic...
02/20/2020
Middlebury residents will face a sweetheart deal when asked to support a $5.35 million bond to finance three distinct projects. That’s because the majority of that $5.35 million will be raised without increasing local taxes. The bonds deal with infrastructure projects that will hopefully tap into federal and state grants, along with excess funds in the town’s local options tax, to keep the tax impact close to nil — well, not nothing, but not very much. The three projects (see story) include: water main improvements to Court Square amounting to $2.5 million; up to $2 million in flood relief...
02/20/2020
Fear not, my fellow liberals: Donald Trump is a one-term president. If you believe, as I do, that anyone who says they know what will happen in the 2020 presidential election actually has no idea what will happen, then you can happily ignore the first sentence of this column. But if you endlessly speculate about November, then this one is for you. And for all of us who lose sleep over the fact that Donald Trump is still president. Sometimes we lose sleep over Trump’s personal failings — the incoherent rambling; the personal attacks on women, journalists, decorated military veterans, and even...
02/20/2020
Editor’s note: This is the 47th in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. If it had been up to him, Abraham Lincoln would not have chosen the title of “The Great Emancipator” for himself. He would have preferred “Preserver of the Union.” In 1862, in a letter to Horace Greeley, he made clear that his chief purpose in the war was to “save the Union in the shortest way under the Constitution.” “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I...
02/20/2020
Having been a life-long Republican, I was very disappointed by our Republican Senators in the impeachment process. I am not a Trump supporter and never was. The way he treats people and insults Americans and our allies. The wall between Mexico and the United States, which he said Mexico was going to pay for. What a joke! The wall is being built with funds being raped from our military budget. The wall is NOT a military issue and its construction is destroying the environmental (human as well as animal) balance along its corridor. What a horrendous nightmare for all, this wall has become. It...
02/20/2020
Editor’s note: This letter was directed to the members of the Slate Valley Unified Union School District, which includes Orwell, and cc’d to the Independent. I am writing to thank you for your service. I want to thank you for your countless hours of work, your missed family dinners, children’s performances, and sporting events. I want to thank you for your honest conversations, the debates where we agreed to disagree, and the time spent analyzing documents to be ready for a meeting. I want to thank you for touring every school building in our district to understand the unique needs of its...
02/20/2020
One month prior to the opening of the 2020 Vermont Legislative Session, the party in power presented to both representatives and the general public alike a few of the flagship issues soon to be taken up. This legislative briefing focused on a clean water update and what it will take to correct it, plus the Transportation and Climate Initiatives (Act 59, 2019). Many of the bills that died last year were scheduled to be reintroduced perhaps because we, the electorate, don’t really know what is best for us. One of these, the Carbon Tax, will rise once again as the phoenix, from the ashes of...
02/20/2020
In January, the Salisbury selectboard voted unanimously to separate Salisbury’s payment to the Brandon-Leicester-Salisbury-Goshen-Pittsford Insect Control District (BLSG) into Article 11 on the town meeting ballot. On Election Day, Tuesday, March 3 (Super Tuesday), voters in Salisbury will decide whether to pay $26,371 to BLSG or to receive no mosquito control services. Although there are no new services being offered, BLSG is charging Salisbury 51% more than it did in 2018 ($17,434). While BLSG’s services are sharply increasing in cost, they are decreasing in value. For example, aerial...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100