Op/Eds

Around 10 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2, we had a garage fire, which destroyed the building and all of its contents. When my husband looked out the window and discovered that the garage was on fire, he immediately called 911, handed the phone to me, and hobbled out to turn on our hose. Just a few minutes later fireman Bob Howard, from down the road, arrived on the scene. He quickly made sure that we were OK then helped me move our vehicles out of the way. Shortly after, Monkton Fire Department arrived, followed by Bristol and Starksboro fire departments and the Bristol Rescue Squad. They were able...
The U.S. Forest Service, pushed by the Trump Administration, is proposing to reduce and eliminate public review, as called for in the National Environmental Policy Act, of destructive practices in the National Forests. This would allow logging, road building, mining, etc. to happen without notice anywhere and any time! Say goodbye to some hiking and biking trails, and the integrity of the forest as we know it, if this goes through. I am opposed to all changes to the NEPA Rules that would allow the USFS, in partnering with private industry and other organizations, to reduce environmental...
If you’ve never been to the festival, do yourself a favor — buy at least one ticket for a single movie, or better yet, pick one of the four days and buy a day pass just this one year to see what it’s all about. The films are scheduled in four venues in town and, for the most part, show at 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.  If you go to just one film, and maybe catch a panel discussion or one of the special Q&As with the producers or directors, you’ll pick up on the excitement of the crowd; you’ll marvel at the power of independent filmmakers telling stories that don’t hone to a...

Middlebury Downtown Block Party 2019 Photo by Jason Duquette Hoffman
Wow! What a fantastic block party downtown Aug. 14. Neighbors, Together, along with our partners, and especially Better Middlebury Partnership wish to give special recognition to Karen Duguay who was the chief organizer. Great job, Karen, especially with the weather. Perfect! In addition to the Agency of Transportation, our funding source, we would like to thank the many other volunteers who did face painting, handed out free food, made balloon animals, watched play areas, volunteered for the “dunk tank,” organized the raffle, and helped roll sod and clean up the road, just to name a few of...
I am writing to ask your readers to consider making donations to benefit the Middlebury Dog Park. We enjoy the people and myriad of dogs who come to the park, behind Porter Medical Center, but not as much as our dog, Sophie, enjoys it. I make this appeal for funds, especially to the travelers of Route 125 over the Middlebury Gap, who may owe the much improved roadway to the poem “Which Path Robert Frost?” I wrote in 2008. The Independent did not choose to publish it at that time, but the poem did appear in the Burlington Free Press, April 11, 2008. I do not know exactly when the road was...
In January of 2016, my father, at the great age of 99¾, was in the hospital on a respirator and it fell to me to be the deciding voice about his future. Should we move him to a nursing home and continue to let the machine breathe for him for as long as he was able to live? Or should we turn off the machine now and let nature take its course unimpeded? Several times over the years the family had sat around the kitchen table to discuss what we wanted in various end-of-life scenarios. My father was always very clear: “Do everything you can to save my life. Don’t ever put me in a home.” Over the...
As the new school year gets under way later this month, the Addison Independent’s editorial discussions will spend a week reviewing the thrust of Act 46 — the law passed in 2015 to consolidate school governance as a response to the changing demographics and diminished number of students in many school districts. While many communities and school districts readily accepted the tax incentives to do so — not to mention a more manageable school governance apparatus for school officials — we’re just now on the cusp of what could be very controversial decisions: that of potentially merging some...
Editor’s note: This is the 30th in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. “Transcendentalism” signifies the flowering of culture in New England during the first half of the 19th Century when it threw off the burden of Calvinism, indeed of all institutional religion — even Unitarianism was felt to be too limiting. Among its leading figures were Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller, who will be featured in this series, and there was a host of others. It was a powerful cultural movement; its influence has been broad and deep;...
A gun is a piece of artillery with high muzzle velocity and trajectory bullet. A gun is used to hunt and shoot the living, dead. Guns kill. Where do these mass shootings originate? In the mind. There is a chain reaction to every action. Pulling the trigger on a weapon is the final moment of an event. Weapons at this time in history seem to be an experiment on the loss of American humanity. Or a simple case of wealth, politics and the NRA power. Where does the guilt lay in the slaughter of American citizens? Everywhere. Everyone. Leaders, voters, gun sellers, gun buyers. Guns kill. The chain...
Former Vice President Joe Biden used a speech in Iowa last week to make several important points. “The words of a president matter … They can calm a nation in turmoil. They can console and comfort in times of tragedy ... They can appeal to the better angels of our nature. But they can also unleash the deepest, darkest forces in this nation.” Biden went on to say that “Trump offers no moral leadership; seems to have no interest in unifying this nation, no evidence the presidency has awakened his conscience in the least. Instead we have a president with a toxic tongue who has publicly and...

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Addison County Independent