Op/Eds

05/19/2020
For the past 65 days, one of my lifelines has been a quarter-mile strip of sandy gravel. Its surface is mostly white, except for the places where we attempted to patch the potholes with cheap grey gravel. From the look of things, the potholes are winning. My lifeline has been my driveway. Our family has developed a daily routine around the driveway. First thing in the morning, while I’m fixing breakfast, my husband takes the dog for a run several times up and down the driveway. After breakfast, I strap the baby into a chest carrier and set out with my daughters for a single pre-school lap up...
05/15/2020
SPONSORED CONTENT I am Grateful   Growing up in Vermont, graduating from Vergennes Union High School and ultimately raising my family in Addison County has brought to life the importance of community, support, and ingenuity.  When I joined University of Vermont Health Network Porter Medical Center in 2016, I immediately recognized that I was called to serve as the Chief Nursing Officer/VP of Patient Care Services during a challenging time in the life of our community.  We have overcome several hurdles over the past several years and this moment in history is another opportunity to rise to...
05/14/2020
It’s time Vermont’s Democrats urge Gov. Phil Scott to open Vermont’s economic spigot a bit faster, even significantly faster. The onus falls on the Democratic leadership because Scott appears afraid of the political risks if he makes the call on his own.  Here’s the political calculus: If Scott were to lead the state into an aggressive re-opening of the business community and the state experienced any level of virus resurgence (which is bound to happen to some degree), he would be skewered by any Democratic opponent for committing such a travesty. If he plays it too safe (as he is now), he...
05/14/2020
It’s raining and I imagine the water washing away the fear. The squirrels running in my yard don’t care about rain or coronavirus. They flit up and down trees, twitching their tails, digging furiously into the ground, scratching themselves, then staring into space and scratching again.  The wind, our sometimes friend, blows as sonorously as before. Going out of doors, leaving the sanctity of my own familiar germs, this is an allowable reason to leave home. As is the desire for company even though physical distancing is essential. In the back of my mind, a worry mantra: stay healthy stay...
05/14/2020
Call me a whiner, but I don’t like having to wear a mask in public. Since I rarely leave the house now — once a week or when the fridge is down to a bag of wilted celery and a five-year-old squeeze bottle of mustard, whichever comes first — I’m still getting used to the conventions of social distancing. The mask just adds to my stress level. It was only a few months ago that we were thoughtlessly spraying saliva in one another’s bare faces like exotic spitting lizards. Now we’re nervously peering over the tops of our colorful calico face coverings, afraid of so much as clearing our throats in...
05/14/2020
One important feature of the recent CARES COVID-19 recovery act has gone underreported.  Donations to charities up to $300 are now 100% deductible even for those using the standard deduction. If you take the standard deduction, your charitable donations are additional to that.  For those of you who might be in a position to make donations to your favorite charities, we hope this helps you to do that. In the COVID-19 environment your local frontline service agencies are facing trying times (as we all are).  At the Charter House Coalition in Middlebury, where our mission is to provide shelter...
05/14/2020
We were FaceTiming with Grammy Sal recently and my three-year-olds started asking her about masks and the “co-wohna-vywus.” It brought home yet again how much life will shift as this course of events plays out and how much the lives of succeeding generations will be informed by it and molded by the efficacy of our collective response.  There is a lot to think about right now.  I think about those pressed into service in health care and other essential roles, those families who’ve lost loved ones, those who are out of work, and those balancing working from home with kids in the background or...
05/14/2020
Editor’s note: This is the 58th in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. Racism is a prejudice, and prejudices are antithetical to truth. Therefore, the expression “scientific racism” is a contradiction of terms. This should be self-evident. Hence, it is disheartening to learn that scientific racism flourished in the United States, at Harvard University. In 1847 the university created the Lawrence School of Science with a gift of $50,000 — at the time a very substantial amount, and named it after its donor, Abbott Lawrence, a wealthy industrialist...
05/14/2020
At the negotiations meeting on Monday, May 4, Addison Northwest Teacher’s Association offered to continue negotiating with the Addison Northwest school board instead of the board calling impasse. Because the board cited the uncertainty of the times as a reason to move to impasse, ANTA offered to postpone negotiations until September in hopes that more information from our government might be available. ANTA even explained that postponing negotiations rather than moving to impasse and involving the school district’s lawyer and a mediator would save taxpayer dollars. The board was unmoved by...
05/14/2020
A few days ago I received an email invitation to join the greater Middlebury College community in singing our beloved Alma Mater as part of a crowd-sourced video for this year’s virtual graduation celebration. I followed the link to the recording instructions, which promptly reminded me of a small but significant change in the song’s lyrics that I first encountered at my sister’s Commencement last year. That day, when I raised my voice to sing the Alma Mater’s refrain:   Middlebury, Alma Mater, Symbol of His strength and truth, Symbol of His strength and truth!   the song leader instead sang...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100