Op/Eds

10/10/2019
As many of you know, we the Board of the Addison Northwest School District have asked the voters of Ferrisburgh and Addison to consider closing their schools. We want to make clear why we are doing this and why we haven’t acted in other ways. It is worth stating that our responsibility is to ensure that the district is providing the best education for all students in our care. Our vision statement reads, “We envision a kind, collaborative, and creative community for all that nurtures a diverse and accessible learning environment. Students will flourish as critical thinkers and productive...
10/10/2019
With so much attention in the pages of the Addison Independent paid to the challenges that the school systems of Addison County are facing in light of declining enrollment, building needs and other factors, it seemed an opportune time to provide an update on the status of work in the Addison Central School District. The ACSD Board is in the midst of creating a Facilities Master Plan. This plan is to provide guidance to the ACSD Board of today and in the future to address how best to use our buildings and other facilities in a way that continues to build a strong educational program that is a...
10/10/2019
A message by a commoner inspired by Charles Koch and Donald Trump: We the people hold the water, the air, and the wildlife. They are our natural commons. The responsibility for their care falls on us. When there is a failure to account for an ecological cost resulting from an associated action, the planet suffers. When human populations are low, externalized costs are not as consequential. There are a lot of us now and what each of us does to degrade the planet’s health and capacity for self-renewal matters. A whole lot! Self-serving, greedy people degrade the commons and apparently still...
10/10/2019
Editor’s note: This letter was written by Rob Backlund of Lincoln on behalf of his five-month-old. To The Community Members of Lincoln, I want to thank each and every Lincoln community member (a robust and diverse group!) who showed up last night for the Mount Abraham Unified School District (MAUSD) Community Conversation at Burnham Hall. I want to thank the MAUSD Community Engagement Committee (composed of local community volunteers from the 5 towns, school board members, and a professional facilitator) for hosting this series of community conversations (one in each of the 5 towns along with...
10/10/2019
On Oct. 3, End of Life Services, home of Hospice Volunteers, ARCH, Wellspring Singers, and bereavement care was surprised and saddened to receive a letter from Addison County Home Health & Hospice informing us that our partnership of 25 years was to end on Dec. 31 of this year. The Board of Directors of ACHHH has voted not to renew the contract with End of Life Services to provide Hospice Volunteers to serve their patients. After Jan. 1, 2020, End of Life Services’ highly trained and skilled volunteers will continue to provide compassionate care for our community, but without referrals...
10/10/2019
I have a concern about our town. I know the construction mess in Middlebury is temporary but we have removed so many trees our town is losing its New England beauty. The maples in front of the old municipal building, the maples that lived between the library and the Osborne House, and maples on the green have disappeared. Almost every new tree is not native and does not show the foliage beauty we used to have. I remember tourists taking photos of these beautiful trees. In the fall over the last few years, if you drive into Middlebury from Route 7, Route 30 or Route 125 you can see and feel...

THE ALPINE SLIDE at Bromley Mountain is the only such slide in Vermont. Photo by Faith Gong
10/08/2019
Vermont is a small state, so it’s easy to assume that after living here eight years we would be aware of all the attractions Vermont has to offer young families. But a couple of weeks ago, we were surprised when a friend told us about Bromley Mountain’s alpine slide. I’d never heard of an alpine slide before, and for a good reason: There are only 37 such slides in the world. Alpine slides dot Australia, Europe, and Asia, but the United States’ slides tend to be located out West, and the Bromley slide is the only alpine slide in Vermont. What is an alpine slide? Picture a long, curving chute...
10/06/2019
Recent repeated instances of terrorist mass murder in our country have made it mandatory that we enact legislation to fix the issue and ultimately save our society as we know it.  As a young boy, I was extremely interested in guns and hunting. Out of deference to that passion, my parents enrolled me in an NRA course in Vermont that taught youngsters marksmanship and gun safely. That was one of the primary functions of the NRA in the l930s.  Later in my life, trading on the lessons learned from my NRA education and living mostly abroad, I took part in competitive skeet shooting and hunted from...
10/06/2019
I remember the cold coming on when I lived in the Northeast Kingdom. Seeing the first of the early morning frost and hearing trucks backing up to homes and dumping loads of cut logs. The logs were split into manageable sizes and tossed down bulkheads into the basement. We would stack and fill the basement high with dry wood to prepare the old Vermont parsonage for the winter months.  In our offices at CVOEO now is the time that families with young children and older Vermonters come in asking for money to help with notice of electricity disconnections. It is a sign that the cold is coming. It...
10/06/2019
Dear ANWSD community, As educators in the middle school, we feel that it is important to weigh in on the conversation on reconfiguration. Despite some hesitancy to stick our necks out, we do this out of a deep commitment to our students, schools, and community. The enrollment challenges in our schools are real, and we recognize the need to consider different configurations. However, we also know that our schools, not merely the physical buildings, but the web of relationships that breathe life into those buildings, are precious community institutions that have been built through decades of...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100