Op/Eds

01/16/2020
Editor’s note: This is the 42nd in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. Was the Civil War inevitable? On the face of it, the answer is obviously no. We label events “inevitable” when we believe they cannot be avoided, like death and taxes. But we also believe that human events are the result of choices made by persons who are by nature free, rational and responsible, who could have done otherwise than they did if they had only chosen to do so, and who might have chosen otherwise if they had given more careful thought to their options. To suppose...
01/16/2020
We hear you. We don’t care. We’re doing what we want anyway. That’s the message I heard loud and clear at the ANWSD (Addison Northwest School District) board meeting Monday night. The board seemingly refused to warn a vote on petitions to change the articles of agreement to let the towns vote on whether or not they want their schools to close. To be clear, the board under legal advice, decided to ignore a petition representing 7% of all registered voters in the district and in their words, “save the electorate from themselves.” In five short minutes, the board decided they didn’t want to let...
01/16/2020
I was heartened to see so many families at last Wednesday night’s Bill McKibben talk, “Empowering Youth to Engage in our Climate Crisis,” which I attended with my own family. First, I want to extend deep gratitude to Bridge School, Woodchuck Cidery, and Bill himself for making this evening possible. We need to be having these conversations regularly. I would like to add a few more concrete ways we can nurture climate activism in our children, rather than climate anxiety: first, we need to kindle a relationship between our children and the natural world — get them outside! Help them fall in...
01/16/2020
I believe some clarification is in order to anyone that signed, or is considering voting in favor of, the petition made by Save Our Schools to the Addison Central School District regarding school board composition and school consolidation procedures. It bears noting at the outset that every town in the district already agreed to its existing terms when unification was voted in the first place, so this petition constitutes an ex post facto renegotiation. Both parts of the petition are problematic, but the part that I’d like to discuss is the proposal that it should only be possible to close a...
01/14/2020
One thing I’ve learned over the past few weeks is that we are able to endure a great deal more than we believe is possible. Life is not a benevolent tutor, handing down lessons one at a time in order of increasing difficulty; instead, life often feels like an opponent in a boxing match landing a punch in your ribs and then throwing a jab to your eye while you’re still catching your breath. The remarkable thing is how many of us remain in the ring. We may be hanging on the ropes, bruised and battered, but we don’t go down. This is why, when I found the mangled carcasses of two of our chickens...
01/13/2020
Gov. Scott proposed a kernel of a good idea midway through his State-of-the-State speech this past Thursday — the creation of a universal afterschool programs that aligns the students’ day with the length of the workday. The idea, he told those gathered at the Statehouse, is based “on a successful model from Iceland focused on preventing drug use as well as improving academic and social outcomes. And the evidence is clear: Kids who participate in afterschool activities and programs do better in school and in life than kids who don’t.” It would be voluntary, he said, so that kids who currently...
01/13/2020
I am writing in response to the Jan. 2 letter from Dan Monger. He is correct that few pieces of legislation have made it into law in 2019. The U.S. House of Representatives passed 400 bills and sent them to the Senate, many of them with bipartisan support. Eighty percent of them are not even being considered there. Mitch McConnell, who prides himself on being called “The Grim Reaper,” kills bills having anything to do with the Democrats. It is really the Republicans who are the do-nothing people in the legislative branch. Americans are incensed at the legislative gridlock, and many don’t...
01/13/2020
As the Hunger Council of Addison County heads into the new year, there is much to reflect on from 2019. We have seen over the past year concerted efforts to jeopardize 3SquaresVT (also known as SNAP nationally and formerly as food stamps).This has come through three separate proposed rule changes by the federal administration. Most recently, one of these proposals was finalized by the USDA, and is slated to go into effect on April 1, 2020; this rule aims to cut benefits for people without dependents who face barriers to employment. The Hunger Council of Addison County would like to voice our...
01/13/2020
In regards to the Orwell Town Hall: The town would be best served if the people in Orwell chose to own the Town Hall, not the school or the Slate Valley School District. Let the townspeople make the very important decisions as to fix the hall up to standards or build new. Basically, the building is very salvageable. The framework is very sound. It needs a new kitchen, bathroom and a more convenient entrance for senior citizens. Walker E. James Orwell  
01/13/2020
Editor’s note: The correspondent wrote this in response to Angelo Lynn’s Dec. 26 editorial asking readers to share their hopes for the new year. My hope is that leadership and legislators in both D.C. and Montpelier recognize that we actually do have the ability to care for the planet and to face and heal our oppression and racism to create a culture of health and justice for all. It will take all of us participating and strong leadership. The accumulation of wealth in our country is mainly due to using the Earth and people as resources with low or no payment. Therefore, I’d like to see the...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100