Op/Eds

As Congress grills the Biden administration on its troubled withdrawal from Afghanistan, as small businesses throughout Vermont and many parts of the nation struggle to hire enough employees to keep their businesses open, as housing prices rise and millions of Americans can’t find affordable solutions, as the climate crisis magnifies, or as any other of a number of issues arise, there’s one pressing issue that dominates all others if you are a parent with children in school: whether your school and state will do what’s necessary to keep students safe from the coronavirus. Specifically,...
One recent summer evening, a group of friends gathered on our front porch. As we caught up with each other’s lives, one of us posed the question, “Given the present global challenges, how do you maintain hope?” I immediately knew my answer: I switch dimensions. These past two pandemic summers I have taken morning walks around Bristol Village, admiring the gardens and stretching my limbs to start the day. The phone in my pocket provides access to a camera, so it is easy to capture a lawn covered with purple violets or a blossoming rose as I stroll by. I soon found myself fascinated with the...
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, when it comes to style I’m no wild mustang. I’m more of a sheep, tagging along at the back of the flock. For our recent kitchen renovation, therefore, it’s no surprise that I went safe and traditional: Shaker cupboards, plain knobs and bin pulls, white subway tile for the backsplash — horizontal, not vertical or chevron; I’m not a madwoman. For the sink, however, I refused to follow the well-trodden path. I wanted a single bowl, which is not unusual. But I wanted a big one, bigger than any I had seen before. Borderline trough, in fact. Of all my...
38th in a series Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971) situated himself in the tradition of social ethics created by Jane Addams, as did John Dewey; his affinity with her was greater than Dewey’s, for, like Addams, he was deeply influenced by the ethical teachings of the Hebrew prophets  and by the Sermon on the Mount. Niebuhr was without doubt the greatest American theologian of the 20th century. An ordained minister in the German Evangelical Church, he served a parish in Detroit from 1915 until 1928. There he gained notoriety for his defense of labor in its struggle against the automobile industry....
Editor’s note: The writer is responding to a caption in last week’s edition referring to Sen. Bernie Sanders as “The people’s senator.” The people? The uninformed, badly educated, immature people who can barely balance a checkbook, having zero understanding of finance and economics. The “white guilt” trust-funders who self-righteously vote for Sanders believing that his crazy, destructive schemes will not touch their inheritance. The people (significant in Vermont) who despise America, its culture and history. The people who think that money comes from the stork and life should be “free” of...
I continually hear women yelling about being able to be in control of their own bodies. Well, please, take control and prevent that body from becoming pregnant. It’s easy, birth control pills, condoms, hysterectomy ... a baby doesn’t have control over his or her body! If a woman wants to have an abortion, that’s her business and her choice and she should not expect other people to pay for it. Karlene Callahan Middlebury
Editor’s note: The following is a letter sent this week by the Starksboro selectboard to members of the Mount Abraham Unified School District Board, and copying MAUSD Superintendent Patrick Reen and state representatives and senators covering Starksboro. Dear MAUSD School Board members, We present this letter to the Mount Abraham Unified School District School Board on behalf of the residents of Starksboro. Our intention is to create the opportunity for a thoughtful and deliberate response on our part to the outcomes of the current undertakings of the board, which include the Merger Study...
Editor’s note: The Letters Forum in the Independent is a place for correspondents to exchange information and opinions on issues of public policy and matters of broad public interest. As such, we don’t generally publish letters from a person extolling the virtues of a family member. We make a rare exception here because the subject of the letter, Ron Hallman, was a public figure who for three decades was for many the face of Porter Hospital as its principal spokesman; because we don’t often get a personal look at public figures from the people who know them best; and because it provides a...

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS speaks on the Middlebury Town Green this past Labor Day. Independent photo/Steve James
When Sen. Bernie Sanders was in Middlebury this past Monday, he was indirectly answering a question recently posed by Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman of Arkansas when he exclaimed in mock horror last Thursday, as the House Natural Resources Committee began drafting its portion of the $3.5 trillion social policy plan, “What are Democrats trying to do to this country?” The answer, Sanders has said consistently for the past 40 years in politics and at Monday’s rally, is to direct the nation’s resources to help families in need, rather than pass policies — as Republicans have long done — that...
Late Wednesday, the state mandated its masking policy continue for all schools through Oct. 4. That extends the previous policy that had called for masking in schools through the first two weeks. The extension is sound: the Delta variant is extremely contagious and students under 12 are not yet vaccinated, so the risk of spreading the variant throughout the state’s schools is high. And we know that masking works to limit the spread of the virus. Furthermore, what should be paramount this year is keeping students in a classroom environment. Socially, we know that is better for students and...

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Addison County Independent