Op/Eds

02/24/2020
Here’s how to determine how far down the authoritarian rabbit hole we are as a country, and, on a local level, how far we each might be as individuals. On the national level, one simple test is to watch how the Republican Party responds to President Trump’s desire to silence and limit further national intelligence briefings on Russia’s ongoing efforts to once again help Trump win the upcoming election. As an individual, the test is what you believe: Do you think the nation’s intelligence agencies should brief both Houses of Congress in bipartisan fashion (that is, with Democrats and...
02/24/2020
In Lars von Trier’s slow moving film “Melancholia,” wedding partygoers display opulent illusions of celebration amongst angst, betrayal and denial as the planet Melancholia hurtles toward an Earth destined to be imminently destroyed. We are facing our own Melancholia. Every morning I get up, drink three shots of coffee with a little milk. Today the sun is shining, and it is 10 degrees Fahrenheit. We come together every day as if nothing is wrong, yet we are in dire need of a powerful, unified response. Despite decades of scientific consensus, despite polls including the most recent Pew Survey...
02/24/2020
There is a dangerous false equivalency in our political narrative right now. A number of our current Democratic hopefuls have been sowing seeds of falsity with their supporters that accepting large donations guarantees corruption in the White House and that small donations are the only way to guarantee clean politics. This is bad math, literally. This argument assumes that monetary amount drives character, when, in reality, the two are not, necessarily, connected at all. Yes, candidate Buttigieg appears to have accepted large corporate donations and donations from the 3-%, wealthy class....
02/24/2020
Climate change is destroying our future. Your inaction on meaningful environmental policy is extremely disappointing. This is a betrayal of Vermonters, your promises, and the planet. State greenhouse gas emissions are increasing. Summers are getting wetter and hotter, sugar maples’ range is trending north, and tick-borne disease rates are increasing in scale and frequency. This is not a matter of “carrots or sticks,” this is an issue of responsibility and crisis. Vermont is not going to meet its 2028 goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% below 1990 levels and seriously risks falling...
02/24/2020
If you missed last night’s piano duet concert at Middlebury College, you missed a real treat. Noted pianists Paul Lewis and Steven Osborne were wonderful in an uplifting program of impressionistic 20th-century pieces by Debussy and Fauré, rounded out by lighter works Ravel, Stravinsky and Poulenc. Their stirring rendition of Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance as an encore literally brought down the house! We are so lucky to have the college and its Performing Arts Series close by and accessible to the community. Thank you! Alice Catherine Grau Bridport
02/24/2020
Governor Scott always talks about “affordability,” which really sounds good, but who does his actions really help with “affordability”? We hear him say that rural Vermonters would be hurt most by increasing the minimum wage because employers would have to lay off workers or worse yet close their business to pay the extra wages for their lowest wage workers. Does that really make sense? When the price of gas goes up, as it often does, rural gas stations just raise their prices. They do not lay off workers or close. Often it seems they raise their prices more than they need to increase their...
02/20/2020
The $59.5 million proposed school bond for the Slate Valley Unified Union School District is an ambitious project with a few fine points to work out regarding its proposed changes for Orwell’s K-8 Village School. As stated in current plans, the district project would commit significant dollars to renovating Fair Haven Union High School, build a new district middle school, and commit significant resources to upgrading the district’s other primary schools. Among those projects is a $6 million renovation and 8,200-square-foot addition with a new cafeteria and gym to the Orwell school. The...

THE NEW MINIBURY spread in today's Arts+Leisure section of the Addison Independent
02/20/2020
We’ve long admired the creation of MiniBury, an online source for all-things to do with raising kids in the greater-Middlebury and Addison County area. For the past eight years it has been a valued resource among that ever-changing cohort of county residents, but it’s required much of the volunteers dedicated to compiling and organizing its information. Starting with today’s issue, we’re pleased to let our readers — and the general community — know that information will continue to be compiled and organized in much the same way, but now with the support of the Addison Independent. Our digital...
02/20/2020
When it comes to Christmas, my husband Mark always wins. He’s just a more thoughtful gift giver than I am. I hate that. I wanted Christmas 2019 to be different. I decided I would paint Mark a scene taken from a photo of our backyard: the old horse barn, at dusk, partly obscured by a stand of black locust trees. The beauty of my art would outdo anything he might give me. Too bad I don’t know how to paint. Well, that’s not true. Last year, though unskilled, I painted a landscape scene of a field not far from our house. And it came out well. I assumed this meant I possessed innate artistic...
02/20/2020
Middlebury residents will face a sweetheart deal when asked to support a $5.35 million bond to finance three distinct projects. That’s because the majority of that $5.35 million will be raised without increasing local taxes. The bonds deal with infrastructure projects that will hopefully tap into federal and state grants, along with excess funds in the town’s local options tax, to keep the tax impact close to nil — well, not nothing, but not very much. The three projects (see story) include: water main improvements to Court Square amounting to $2.5 million; up to $2 million in flood relief...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100