Op/Eds

12/05/2019
I am a resident of Addison County, born into a family that has been hunting on the Vermont landscape for generations. The article about the bear hound attack on Oct. 19 and follow up articles regarding the so-called “Vermont tradition” of hound hunting not only caught my attention but has resonated for several reasons, and I feel compelled to voice them to the community. I sympathize with the couple, and with all the folks who have expressed their frustration with hounds on private land. We have had to make our own compromises on our private property too during the bear season. While the...
12/03/2019
We were just between the main course and dessert of our Thanksgiving meal, when my daughters asked when we could start decorating for Christmas. Once I’d convinced them that it was not appropriate to begin ripping down the Thanksgiving gourds, turkeys, and autumn leaves and to retrieve the Christmas boxes from the basement immediately, they began happily making plans for the Advent season in between bites of apple pie. “Oh, I can’t wait to make the Christmas cookies!” my ten-year-old exclaimed. This, while we were still shooing the dog and cat away from the turkey carcass on the counter,...
12/02/2019
The Vermont State Auditor’s recent report entitled “Structural Weaknesses and Questionable Gains by Vermont’s Remote Worker Grant Program” not only raises questions about the design and efficacy of the executive and legislative effort to attract telecommuting employees to Vermont, but suggests the execution was slapdash. The $500,000 legislative commitment was designed to encourage currently employed remote workers in other states to consider moving to Vermont in exchange for reimbursement of their moving costs and any additional investment in technology or connectivity that would enable them...
12/02/2019
On Saturday, Dec. 7, we as Walden students at Vergennes Union High School will once again participate in the John Graham Shelter’s sleepout to end homelessness. We are participating to raise awareness and collect donations. A lot of people — even in our own towns — see homeless people on the side of the road or on the town green and just think to themselves, “They must be really lazy,” or “They just want handouts and they’re not willing to work.” However, in reality, there are so many hardworking homeless people who just got unlucky in this unfair world. They may be working but their pay isn’...
12/02/2019
I recently attended a Wild Forest gathering at the SHO Farm in Huntington. On the way to the meeting I heard on NPR the latest news on the climate crisis we are in. The outlook is bleak but there is still hope that we can reduce the suffering that is unfolding. What is Vermont to do? It is time to tax pollution and invest 100 percent of the raised funds into: 1. Permanent conservation of wild forests; 2. Solarizing our infrastructure; 3. Converting sawmill residues into state-of-the-art wood-clay insulation instead of burning them; and 4. Insulating our buildings. There were many of the...
12/02/2019
Not enough mud to say it’s mud season yet. That’s in March, April   and May. Just enough for the deer to leave a good impression.   On the dirt road. Among the spent shells. And someone   else’s glistening boot tracks. The turkeys slip here,   too, losing their trail of feathers.   The wind’s likely to make a headdress of. To catch   on a crown of antlers. There’s still   a skin of ice, we have to think twice   about. And not enough gravel to make us feel sure   of ourselves. Until July. Our spring.   Our summer. Fall slipping toward winter.   — Gary Margolis, Cornwall
11/26/2019
As the saga over the consolidation of small schools within newly formed school districts evolves, the latest advancement is a petition drive within the Addison Central School District (the greater Middlebury area) to change the charter that formed the consolidated district. The argument among the petitioners is that the charter was passed early in the Act 46 process and district residents were not fully aware of the consequences. They believe the public would vote differently if given the opportunity.  Specifically, the petition asks voters to approve changes to the charter, which say:   • “...
11/26/2019
It started like a meet-cute setup from a romantic comedy: Twenty-seven years ago, after work one day, a lonely young man named Mark and his big brother Fred had a beer at the bar their construction crew had been renovating. Fred dared Mark to ask out their waitress, betting five dollars that she, a young Middlebury College graduate, was too snooty to go out with him, a recently divorced local with two little boys. Reader, that snooty waitress was me. I bring up the incident because in a couple of weeks Mark and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. It seems like only yesterday we...

SUSAN JEFTS
11/26/2019
A Resurrection Man   After too much time working in the graveyard of unfinished poems where midnight ground is littered with broken metaphors and cracked headstones, where disappointment’s weather has blurred the lettering of reluctant epitaphs,   I with sorrowful laptop take one last long look. Over here lies the hunter with the wooden leg. Here, a beautiful woman forever imprisoned in a beginner’s charcoal sketch. Here, ten lines about angels doing time in an umbrella factory.   Such promise at the beginning. So much hope. Such wild attempts to resuscitate early drafts with prayer, cheap...
11/26/2019
As we gather around family and friends this Thanksgiving, let me direct your attention to two upcoming events that welcome your participation.  The first is a public meeting in Bristol on Dec. 2, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Fire Department at 76 West Street to discuss work done by the legislative Climate Solutions Caucus. That discussion will focus on legislative solutions at the state level and will be led by area state representatives. With the scientific data on climate change ever more dire, it’s encouraging to see Vermont legislators have worked hard over the summer and fall to make progress...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100