Op/Eds

10/24/2019
I am heartened by my Addison County neighbors and faith communities that have extended hospitality to agricultural workers from other countries. It can't be easy being a stranger in a strange land, working 12 hours a day, far from family. That’s got to take pretty impressive strength, courage, and commitment! I imagine that, as a community, we have widely divergent ideas about the systems and geopolitics shaping our farms and the demographics of farm workers. I also know that here in Addison County, no political viewpoint has a monopoly on hospitality and generosity. How impressive we will be...
10/24/2019
In September, the Board of Addison County Home Health and Hospice voted not to renew the contract for provision of volunteer coordination with End of Life Services, formerly Hospice Volunteer Services. This decision was the subject of many months of discussion and thoughtful consideration and was not an easy one in view of the long relationship and shared goals of service to the dying that our two organizations have had. Although we feel that this is a private matter between two organizations, we realize that there have been some questions from community members regarding the decision, and we...
10/24/2019
Kudos to New Haven’s Geoff Davis and his timely, well-written, necessary letter to the editor — “Large scale dairy farming inherently Unsustainable” (Sept. 16).  — with many numbers supporting his statements. I would encourage anyone who did not read this to do so. Farmers will need guidance and money to make the following 90-degree turn that Mr. Davis is suggesting, but it should be started now! AS he states, “the only viable solution to factory farming’s unsustainable system lies in rethinking our personal food choices and literally retooling agriculture from the ground up to meet the new...
10/22/2019
Our families know us best. The people who live with us, who see us first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening, who have front row seats to what bubbles up when we’re squeezed – they’re the ones with the true insights into our character. This is why, whenever a non-family-member says to me, “Oh, you always seem so patient, so calm, like you have it all together!” I picture my daughters rolling on the floor, laughing. They know the wild-eyed woman who stands in our mudroom, waving her arms frantically and yelling, “Time to go! We’re running late! You should’ve used the bathroom...
10/21/2019
What happens when you speak truth to power? Often no immediate impact. But the words themselves can be like planting an acorn that grows into an impressive oak tree. It usually takes about 50 years for a small acorn to grow into a big oak tree, a well-known fact for the farmer-horticulturalist from Putney, George D. Aiken. This analogy helps to describe the lasting impact of a speech delivered on the Senate Floor on Oct. 19, 1966, some 53 years ago, by Vermont’s senior Republican Senator Aiken.  On that fall day Sen. Aiken delivered a 10-minute speech that has since been called one of the...
10/21/2019
Editor’s note: This letter is in response to a letter by Addison Central School District Board Chairman Peter Conlon that ran in the Oct. 10 edition. Dear Peter Conlon, With reference to your letter to the editor, and with all due respect, I believe that the ACSD board has put the cart (The Facilities Master Plan) before the horse (our children.) We have been informed that as part of The Facilities Master Plan, an expert engineer and architect have been hired to conduct an “in-depth study of our school buildings ... designed to help guide the board at how reducing the number of elementary...
10/21/2019
I was taken quite by surprise while watching the NBC news at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 3. There was a human interest story about a boy and his doll that perked me right up and my very first thought was, “My gosh, they have finally caught up with me — 59 years later. Sure took long enough.” And my next thought as they moved into an ad before the story was, “I wonder what they will say?” I had my four children, three boys and a girl during the 1960s raising them through the 1970s into adulthood in the 1980s. I was called, not by choice, one of those back to nature flower people. I was just being me,...
10/17/2019
Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops in northern Syria — which allowed Turkey to execute a planned invasion across the Turkey-Syria border into an area protected in part by Kurdish rebels who have fought with American forces to contain ISIS — has led to another crisis of confidence in America’s foreign policy. Foreign leaders can no longer trust America’s word or its political or military support, a fact that undermines beneficial alliances America has had since before WWII. Meanwhile, Trump has once again supported a dictator in Turkey, aided Syria’s ruthless leadership, handed...
10/17/2019
Vermonters shouldn’t have to pay for access to their government’s public records. Government transparency is far too important to be revoked by government agencies when they feel inconvenienced. Generous access to public records is rooted in the Vermont Constitution, and comes from Vermont statutes: “It is the policy of this subchapter to provide for free and open examination of records consistent with Chapter I, Article 6 of the Vermont Constitution. Officers of government are trustees and servants of the people and it is in the public interest to enable any person to review and criticize...
10/17/2019
In September of 2018, a 30-year-old, off-duty police officer in Dallas, Texas, named Amber Guyger mistakenly entered her neighbor’s apartment, instead of her own. Guyger’s apartment was on the third floor, but she entered the apartment of her neighbor, Botham Jean, who lived one floor above. Botham Jean was relaxing on his couch, watching TV, and eating vanilla ice cream. Amber Guyger may have been distracted because she was upset, as she had been talking to her lover (another police officer, married to someone else), and trying to arrange a meeting that evening. She didn’t notice the bright...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100