Op/Eds

03/26/2020
Senator Chris Bray’s legislative bill to control bear hounds shows he has no understanding of what hunting with hounds entails. The hounds go where the bear goes, the houndsmen have no ability to control where the bear takes the hounds, regardless of property lines or no hunting signs. Furthermore, it is impossible to limit the distance between the hounds and the houndsmen. The houndsmen do their best to keep up with the hounds but it is usually impossible to do so when the hounds are in hot pursuit. It is totally impossible for the houndsmen to keep the hounds in sight because the bear runs...
03/24/2020
I wasn’t sure what this column should be about. Then, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to write it. Last week, I thought, “Everyone’s writing about the new coronavirus, so perhaps I shouldn’t. Maybe my column can be a refreshing break from the news of the world.” But it quickly became clear that to write about anything other than the COVID-19 pandemic that’s sweeping the world would be to ignore an enormous elephant in the room, as the number of confirmed cases rose across the nation and entered Vermont, and as the first Addison County resident tested positive.  As the COVID-19 numbers climbed...
03/23/2020
As I write this editorial this Sunday night at 7:30 p.m., here are some thoughts and current facts about COVID-19, Vermont and the state of our lives:  • First, as of late afternoon, the Vermont Health Department had registered 52 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. That’s up from 49 the day before. A gain of only three is somewhat reassuring. Prior to that, from Thursday to Saturday, the number had doubled from low 20s to 49. Vermonters do have the ability to limit the worst of this pandemic if we practice social distancing with serious intent. So far in Vermont, 1,158 people have been...

DR. JOHN R. BRUMSTEAD
03/23/2020
For nearly two months, teams across the UVM Health Network have been planning for our clinical and operational response to what is now designated as a pandemic by the World Health Organization and declared a State of Emergency in both Vermont and New York. It is essential that all of us now move with an abundance of caution and take important measures to slow and ultimately stop the spread of COVID-19. From across the globe, and now in the United States, we are seeing examples of how important it is to act responsibly and swiftly, and we must, too. As we focus on the health and safety of our...
03/23/2020
In the last year and a half I had two strokes and was debilitated in many ways. I was not afraid of sharing this news with the world; in fact I wrote about it in this newspaper and shared it on social media. The response from this amazing community was kindness, generosity, and support.  So I am confused as to why the public has to be kept in the dark about COVID-19 patients. I don’t need to know someone’s name, but some details would be important to know. Last week it was reported someone at a college sporting event tested positive, but they were not a threat. What event were they at? How is...
03/19/2020
The coronavirus is here and most of us have two overarching questions: what can we do to protect and take care of our immediate families, and what can we do to help others in the community. We’ve belabored the first question with stories on social distancing, hand washing and other protocols to stop the spread of COVID-19. Now, 10 days into this rapidly moving pandemic, those who can must rise to the county’s next challenge — taking care of those most in need.  As reporter John Flowers notes in a front-page story in today’s Addison Independent, while restaurants, bars, many retail stores and...
03/19/2020
For most of us, these are unprecedented times. We’re witnessing a global pandemic that threatens thousands of lives, and is cratering the national and world economy — all in a matter of weeks. That’s an incredible change to absorb in such a short time. We will be reeling from this onslaught for the next several weeks, and judging by the experiences of Italy, France and Spain, it will keep getting worse long before it gets better. But it will get better. As Annie sang in the depths of the Great Depression, the sun will come out tomorrow. Holding that optimistic thought, let’s catch our breath...
03/19/2020
Across the religious spectrum, climate change is becoming a place where people with varied faith traditions can find common ground for interfaith work. There is no governing body for this trend. That makes it a unique window onto what motivates humans to come together to respond to this global challenge.  A notable local example is the new ACORN Energy Solar2 project on Watch Point Road in Shoreham. Credit for the output of 249,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year from the 612 panels in the 150 kW array is going to seven Addison County congregations working together as the Addison...
03/19/2020
Perhaps you’ve been wondering, as I have, about the protocol for writing a humor column during a pandemic.  I couldn’t find an official ruling, so I’m working on the premise that it’s acceptable to joke around in the face of an unprecedented, growing, global viral outbreak as long as you maintain a constant sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. That works for me. But the writing has been tough; pandemics are generally not that funny. I’ve been trying all week to make the term “flatten the curve” into a double entendre, and I’ve got nothing. Usually, I’m not a worrier; I just assume...
03/19/2020
I look forward to hearing the sweet whistle of the White Throated Sparrow every spring, but am increasingly worried about losing their beautiful voices from Vermont. The White Throated Sparrow and many other forest birds like the Scarlet Tanager, Hermit Thrush and American Woodcock are at risk of leaving Vermont as a result of the combined impact of forest habitat loss and the excessive emissions of carbon dioxide associated with burning fossil fuels. We are lucky in Vermont to still have significant blocks of healthy forests. These forested lands are a vital contributor to Vermont’s economy...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100