Op/Eds

“Ignorance, inconsiderate, sickening, tragedy . . . they got what they deserved.” These are the responses to a COVID outbreak at a church in Vergennes. As a member and regular attendee, I would agree that it is a tragedy, an unfortunate series of events. Some may feel that it could have been prevented while others see it as the ebb and flow of life. We followed the CDC guidelines (masked, six-feet distance, limited capacity), and yet it still spread through the church. How did it first come through the door? Did it come through the food shelf, the blood drive, or the church services? This is...
One hundred years ago, March 1920, several thousand right-wing, self-appointed, thugs marched on Berlin under the direction of Wolfgang Kapp and Walther von Lüttwitz. They seized Berlin and overthrew Germany’s Weimar democracy for four days — the Kapp Putsch. A general strike brought the short-lived insurgency to an end. Leaders of the coup were shown extreme leniency. Among the coup plotters were adherents of the new Nazi party. Hitler visited and encouraged. The Nazis and coup participants were considered a splinter ideology, overwhelmingly rejected by decent Germans. History is cyclical,...
I would like to start off by wishing all a Joyous Holiday Season and a Happy New Year with the hope that 2021 is a better and safer time for all. To those that had friends or relatives suffer or succumb to COVID-19, I offer my heartfelt prayers. I have lost numerous friends and fellow law enforcement officers to this insidious plague. None of us has gone through this terrible time unscathed. In one way or another we have all been impacted. 2020 was the first time I did not see or spend time with my children and grandchildren during the holidays. I miss the smiles on their faces while opening...
I am incredibly disappointed by the discussion around the BLM flag at Mt Abe, and feel compelled to speak up. This is about holding our institutions accountable. This is about taking responsibility for our words and actions. And while it may seem extreme to some to draw a line between little old Mt Abe and insurrection in our Capitol, it’s not. Every person who acted as terrorist in D.C. on Wednesday was once a child who was given messages about how to treat others. And when we tell our children and youth that if they are uncomfortable acknowledging that black lives matter they can stay home...
I attended the Dec. 22 MAUSD board meeting, save 30 minutes of the five-hour meeting when I hopped off to put my children to bed, and I left the meeting feeling frustrated. While I appreciate the financial gravity of the situation our district faces and understand that we have some hard decisions in front of us, this is not a process to push through hastily. Clearly, this is one of the largest decisions facing our five towns in generations. Ensuring that there is a measured process for community engagement around the proposal that the Superintendent put forth on Dec. 8, and for the iterations...
The Jan. 6 Capitol attack has been dubbed terrorism by Republicans and Democrats alike. Now the extent of the damage Trump has done to America is becoming clearer. Trump has radicalized his base in a dangerous way that will not be easily changed. After 9/11 we united as a country to fight a foreign enemy. Now after 1/6 we have become divided by a radicalized internal enemy. As a former conservative Republican, I was appalled to see the President incite his brainwashed mob to storm the U.S. Capitol, but I am not surprised. This is a predictable culmination of the GOP’s march over many years...
The terrible events at the Capitol this past week should not come as a surprise, even as shocking as they were. This country has never owned up to the horrors of genocide of Native peoples or the sins of slavery and Jim Crow. It has been a terrific struggle from the very beginning to live up to the words in our founding documents. We have not always treated each other well, to put it mildly. Even before the American Revolution began, our own Green Mountain Boys were celebrated for doing awful things to Yorkers. One of the lessons of our 245-year-old experiment in democracy is that it requires...
In the United States, the President is limited to serving two terms in office. This is because of the Twenty-Second Amendment, which was ratified in February 1951. Only Franklin D. Roosevelt served more than two terms and unless another Amendment is passed by Congress and ratified, he will be the only president to do so. Politicians elected to Congress, Senators and Representatives, are not covered by the Twenty-Second Amendment. They can serve for as long as they wish, assuming they continue to be elected every six years or two years, respectively. Robert Byrd, for example, served in the...
I sincerely hope the Victory Baptist parishioners — and those subsequently infected with COVID — will recover. And that the church (and any others tempted to do in-person services) will conduct only-online services until we achieve herd immunity through vaccinations. As we can see from this church’s reckless practices, in-person services endanger innocent Vermonters. The church pastor is quoted as saying. “Corporate worship is part of the Christian faith. There is something lost in a Zoom service. We did it for three months.” Religious freedom is a foundation of our nation. But it is not “...
I am writing as a citizen and former Robinson School Board member to express my concern about the school reconfiguration proposal recently floated by Superintendent Reen. I know that much study and deliberation has gone into the reconfiguration concept that Patrick put forth. Without a doubt the financial challenges we face are severe given the decline in school population across the district and the state, and the punitive cost-control measures that the legislature has created make things even worse. I also realize that this is meant to be a starting point and trigger for discussion. In that...

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Addison County Independent