Op/Eds

In reference to the letter to the editor that ran under the headline “Dairy not necessarily healthy” in your Aug. 26 edition, the statements made by Pat Davies against dairy consumption and for an alternative, plant-based diet are compelling. Particularly now, as we discover the inevitable connection between diet and wellness or illness, traditional versus modern methods of food production, the treatment of dairy farm cows and the greenhouse gas emissions from such farms. And running through everything is our critical need to rescue this tired, much depleted planet from extinction. Change of...
A situation stings perception. Observation spurs inspection. Detection demands correction. Intervention assumes commotion. Convention begets conception. Imagination pursues invention. Inception fuels apprehension. Aggravation sparks improvisation. Construction eases reservation. Negotiation avoids revolution. Completion gleans resolution: Restitution for institutions. Remediation urges reflection. Celebration sings redemption! Restoration reaps realization: Innovation requires determination. Peter Szymkowicz Shoreham August 27, 2019
“I hungry, Gamma”, said my two-year-old granddaughter. I would rend heaven and earth to make sure she had something to eat. And it was easily done with good options. Still, my heart stopped when I heard her words. Vermont is in a struggle to feed 4,619 children verbalizing the same words, “I’m hungry,” because the Federal Nutrition Services proposed a rule on July 24, to close the broad-based categorical eligibility that presently allows children up to 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level to receive benefits. That affects 5,204 households in Vermont. This is a proposed rule. We have until...
It seems there are a million things to focus on in any given moment. For instance, you are reading these words on this paper, but you are also holding the paper. How does the paper feel? The paper also has a smell. You are breathing it. Perhaps you have a cup of tea, and you smell that too. Your feet may be in socks or shoes, or bare, and they are on some surface. It may be warm or cold. These are just some of the physical things you are experiencing in the moment — there may be much on your mind too. There certainly is on mine. There are so many things to think about and to do, and how to...
When I was applying to colleges, I spent a good amount of time poking around on different institutions’ websites. Scrolling through Middlebury College’s newsfeed, I stumbled upon a video about a student-run nonprofit — Middlebury Foods. The video opened with a student declaring: “We’re fighting an industrial food economy that doesn’t like local food to be cheap.” I was so inspired by these idealistic, hardworking students, and their commitment to bettering their local food system. They seemed to really care about the larger community, and not just the campus community. I wanted to be a part...
The two recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, have increased the climate of fear and hateful rhetoric in our country, causing social division between people more than ever before. This division has eroded our ability to tolerate differences and embrace the richness of diversity. There has been a lot of misinformation and focus in the press and by politicians about people living with mental illness committing these kinds of heinous acts. Research indicates that individuals who are most distressed in our society, who are often labeled mentally ill, have had extremely...
Over the next few months, Gov. Scott and his agency secretaries and commissioners will prepare the budget that the administration will submit to the Legislature when it returns to Montpelier next January. They will face challenges on both the revenue and spending sides of the budget. The first challenge is whether to modify the revenue projections that consulting economists Tom Kavet and Jeffrey Carr presented to the governor and legislative leadership only a month ago. On July 29, Carr and Kavet estimated that state revenues would increase by $56 million over the next two years. They also...
Editor’s note: This is the 32nd in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. Margaret Fuller (1810-50) was born in Cambridge, Mass.; she was a prominent member of the Transcendentalist Club. In her short life she produced a remarkable body of writing: literary, philosophical and journalistic. She was homeschooled by her father, who early recognized her genius. She read Latin by the age of six, and by her teens was well read in the Latin Classics. She also became fluent in Greek, French, German and Italian. This was not an altogether happy time for her...
This season of late summer’s harvest settles my memory back to my childhood grandparents’ kitchen. My recollection is of the counters and formica table piled high with beets, beans, tomatoes and ball jars — all — sticky and stained with the juices of cuttings. The yearly stovetop canning ritual was in full force and savory aromas filled the hot and steamy air. Quite frankly, it was a beautiful, delicious, and colorful mess. I would be their runner — bringing jar after jar down the wooden cellar stairs and delighting in the small moments of cool repose in the dark root cellar. My favorite part...
As a rule, nothing is as simple as it seems. There are conservatives who do not believe in a god, who separate church from state, who question those who question their loyalty. There are liberals in uniform, defending diversity. There are extremes and a middle, which come with any collection of numbers. America will create wars to affirm chemical warfare is legally and morally abhorrent. We are principled in that regard. When on the other hand, Monsanto and Dow make and use a chemical, it’s perfectly acceptable. My commanding officer is an Agent Orange vegetable. No one seems to mind....

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Addison County Independent