Op/Eds

I want to thank the Brandon Forest Dale Lions Club for their generosity and kindness shown to my niece, Davina Landesman, as she struggles to fight invasive ductal cancer. Fred Pockette, Lions Club President, masterminded a benefit for her at Brandon Town Hall on Oct. 9 with the well known Boston-based group Studio Two, a Beatles tribute band. It was a great event attended by family, friends, Brandon citizens, Lions Club, and extended members. Several members of the OV football team were in attendance and entertained us with their dancing! Special thanks to Fred and Bruce Blanch for going...
In sizzling testimony before a Senate subcommittee on consumer protection this Tuesday, Facebook whistle-blower Frances Haugen, who worked on Facebook’s civic misinformation team for nearly two years until this past May, provided senators and the public with an inside look at how Facebook keeps its customers hooked to its feeds — even though it knowingly is causing personal and societal harm. In the thousands of pages of documents that Haugen provided to the subcommittee about Facebook’s inside workings, what’s clear is how Facebook’s top executives have continually misled the public and...
Looking at my email history, our bridge and rail project became very real for me when I became selectboard chair in March 2016 amid a controversial plan to continue running trains throughout the project duration. For other town leaders, this dates back many years before that as they worked through the challenge of trying to improve our bridge and rail safety with no clear options or funding path. And for most our regional townspeople who traverse Main Street and Merchants Row, the project began summer of 2017, when our existing 1920-era bridges, exhibiting new failures, were replaced with...
Recently, news and media coverage highlighted video footage and images of border agents near Del Rio, Texas, grossly abusing Haitian migrants crossing the Rio Grande into the United States. These Haitians, fleeing a nation recently devastated by the assassination of its president and then slammed by natural disasters, traveled across land and sea to seek asylum in the United States. They were met with violent attacks by agents of the state on horseback as if they were animals. In response to this grossly inhumane treatment, Vice President Kamala Harris, who has been put “in charge” of border...
“Is it Monday?” Frankie asked me the moment she woke up on the first day of this week. “Yup,” I told her, thinking she might have something to say about the school lunch schedule. She threw her hands up. “Don’t walk on the road!” she warned. A crew has been repaving our road since last week. On Friday, 4-year-old Frankie and I went to check it out. We had a nice chat with Bob, one of the workers, about stop signs and speeding and the project timeline. And then he said this: “On Monday we’ll have a big tanker out here spraying the road with magnesium carbonate. Make sure the kids don’t walk on...
One of the topics being investigated by the U.S. House Committee on the events of Jan. 6 is the attempt that former President Trump and others close to him made to induce Vice President Pence to have Congress overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election when the electoral votes were counted. Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, in their new book “Peril,” report that John Eastman, a conservative lawyer from California who was working with some of Trump’s attorneys, wrote a memo explaining how Pence could force the election into the House of Representatives by refusing to count the...
41st in a series This essay concludes my current series of essays, and, as is fitting, I finish with a conclusion. To begin with, a reminder that the title of the series is “The Life of the Mind in America,” which is the title of an unfinished book by the historian Perry Miller (1905–63). His book was my inspiration in two respects: its theme, and the fact that it is unfinished. First, the theme: the life of the mind. Perry believed that to understand a society one must learn what its people think: their hopes and fears, their values and expectations. And because all societies exist over time...
The warming of our planet, regardless of the reason, has evolved into the largest challenge facing humanity and the necessity of a new Industrial Revolution. Regardless if the issue is deforestation, replacement of greenery with heat absorbing human-made structures or CO2 emissions it is clear a responsible and renewable industrial complex is crucial to the survival of our species. The first Industrial Revolution was unaware of the unforeseen consequences of the dramatic and rapid changes made to the delicate and longstanding balance of our planet. Centuries later we are older and hopefully...
The rejection of the proposed Manchester solar array that Bill McKibben highlights (“‘Offensive and shocking:’ We better come to terms with solar panels soon”) is frustrating but relatively unimportant. The now-closed Vermont Yankee nuclear plant provided the equivalent of roughly 5,000 such solar installations, all equipped with a correspondingly immense battery backup system to provide baseload power around the clock and throughout the year. And that’s not counting the energy — largely provided by coal plants in China — required to manufacture all of those panels and batteries, along with...
Leaf blowing season is here. Please advise your lawn care employees to forego the leaf blower this year. Thank you. I came across this item from a healthy yard website, healthyyards.org, that explains why you should skip the leaf blower: “It will save pollution, noise and gasoline and it will help protect biodiversity. If you are really concerned for your lawn grass, simply go over the leaves with your mower. This is called mulch-mowing and it is the advised method by turf grass programs and lawn care organizations. Use a broom or a rake for the hardscapes, or an electric blower if you must...

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Addison County Independent