Op/Eds

10/17/2019
Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops in northern Syria — which allowed Turkey to execute a planned invasion across the Turkey-Syria border into an area protected in part by Kurdish rebels who have fought with American forces to contain ISIS — has led to another crisis of confidence in America’s foreign policy. Foreign leaders can no longer trust America’s word or its political or military support, a fact that undermines beneficial alliances America has had since before WWII. Meanwhile, Trump has once again supported a dictator in Turkey, aided Syria’s ruthless leadership, handed...
10/17/2019
Vermonters shouldn’t have to pay for access to their government’s public records. Government transparency is far too important to be revoked by government agencies when they feel inconvenienced. Generous access to public records is rooted in the Vermont Constitution, and comes from Vermont statutes: “It is the policy of this subchapter to provide for free and open examination of records consistent with Chapter I, Article 6 of the Vermont Constitution. Officers of government are trustees and servants of the people and it is in the public interest to enable any person to review and criticize...
10/17/2019
In September of 2018, a 30-year-old, off-duty police officer in Dallas, Texas, named Amber Guyger mistakenly entered her neighbor’s apartment, instead of her own. Guyger’s apartment was on the third floor, but she entered the apartment of her neighbor, Botham Jean, who lived one floor above. Botham Jean was relaxing on his couch, watching TV, and eating vanilla ice cream. Amber Guyger may have been distracted because she was upset, as she had been talking to her lover (another police officer, married to someone else), and trying to arrange a meeting that evening. She didn’t notice the bright...
10/17/2019
Americans watching the fourth Democratic presidential debate held Tuesday night, should have come away with one overwhelming feeling: here were 12 candidates talking of issues that would help the average American live a better life; and they were rational and articulate. Viewers can argue about which candidates were too progressive or conservative, but all the policies have a similar goal: to benefit America’s middle-class and recognize that the country is suffering today because national policies have been coopted by a corporate-friendly Congress and White House that has shifted the nation’s...
10/17/2019
I’m a people person. Really. So when a friend suggested last week that I might, in fact, be an introvert, I sought out an expert opinion. Kind of. Actually, I took an internet personality quiz. I hoped it would explain how I love being around people, yet I mostly choose to avoid them. On the one hand, I’m the kind of chatty over-sharer you never want to sit next to on a plane (“I had to sprint all the way from Concourse C. Of all the days to forget my deodorant!”). On the other hand, I’m a hermit who prefers never to leave the house unless it is actively on fire. The quiz asked a series of...
10/17/2019
A friend who works in academia told me that, having gained the job security of tenure, they have decided to write less about stuffy intellectual topics and more about low-brow subjects. (1) An added advantage to my friend’s new writing approach: They don’t have to cite their sources. (2) Which got me to thinking about — and being grateful for — the fact that columns don’t require footnotes. (3) Either you trust a columnist enough that they don’t have to list their sources, or you’ve decided they’re an idiot and you don’t care. But what would it be like, I wondered, if a column had not just...
10/17/2019
The article titled “In a Warming World, New Thinking Imperils Vermont’s Wood-Fueled Energy Market” in the Oct. 9 edition of Seven Days did an excellent job of portraying two contrasting visions of Vermont’s two primary human relationships with forests. One vision sees forests as resources that need to be managed and used. The other vision sees forests first as ecosystems that require lots more space from human intervention to preserve their inherent, continued, capacity for self-renewal. The article features two publicly held enterprises, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and...
10/17/2019
Although I cannot dispute that the Addison Central School District’s push to consolidate our elementary schools is one plausible solution to what they deem a taxpayer issue, as an elementary school parent of four I cannot help but question if the board’s emphasis is being placed on the wrong syllable. Yes, closing schools and creating larger class sizes at fewer facilities will cut costs, but are the cut costs worth the impacts on our children and are the costs they are proposing even reasonable to begin with? At the Ripton Elementary School classes consist of two grades, together averaging...
10/14/2019
In accusing the intelligence community whistleblower of partisanship and treason, President Trump has redefined whistleblowing to serve his private interests rather than the rule of law. In the American tradition, whistleblowers expose illegal or unconstitutional acts that the powerful want to keep secret. That the current game-changing official intelligence community whistleblower complaint has reached the American people is a miracle for which we should be grateful. Americans must focus on the content of the whistleblower complaint, which the White House has not denied. The president has...
10/14/2019
Editor’s note: This is a letter to Sue Rakowski, chair of the Addison Northwest School Board, in response to a letter she submitted on behalf of the board that ran in the Independent’s letters forum on Oct. 10. I am a Ferrisburgh resident and parent of two children. On Aug. 22, the ANWSD Board held a retreat where you were presented with several options or “scenarios” to address the impending budget crisis. At the end of that afternoon, you all made the decision to move forward with Scenario 3, which closes both Addison and Ferrisburgh Central schools. This was the first time that Ferrisburgh...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100