Op/Eds

11/26/2019
I am writing in regards to Act 46 and the potential closure of small schools in the state of Vermont, particularly the Ripton Elementary School. My name is Rob Risch and I was formerly the Teaching-Principal of the Ripton Hollow School from 1983-1989, as well as the (at the time, new) Ripton Elementary School from 1989-1996. My commitment and bias to/for small schools should therefore be evident.  Prior to working in Ripton I spent seven years as a classroom teacher in Middlebury at the Mary Hogan School as well as the College Street School. I am firmly convinced that the quality of the...
11/26/2019
As I begin my tenure as president, I am excited and optimistic about the future of the University of Vermont.  Thanks to my predecessor, Tom Sullivan, I inherit a thriving university.  UVM is financially sound, its physical campus has grown strategically to meet student needs and, most important, we are on an upward trajectory. Our incoming classes regularly exceed our enrollment targets and have set records for academic quality eight years running; four-year graduation rates are at an all-time high; and 92 percent of our students are employed or continuing their education within six months...

LAURA WILKINSON
11/26/2019
The first dusting of snow signals the beginning of a special tradition in our home: the season of “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas.” For those not familiar, this Jim Henson cult classic premiered in the United States on HBO in 1978 and featured a cast of delightfully engaging muppets. The main characters are Emmet and his Ma, and the story is a sweet twist on the classic “The Gift of the Magi” story. As an unabashed child of the ’70s, this treasure lodged deep in my soul at an early age.  Thankfully, Emmet and his jug-band friends have left a similar warmth in my daughter Ellie’s heart, and...
11/26/2019
I made a colossal mistake on Tuesday night. Now, after the horror of the mess I made, small bits of comedy filter in… “**it happens,” “this too shall pass.”  To my neighbors on Quarry Road, and those who use the road to travel from Route 116 to Middlebury, I sincerely apologize for forgetting to turn off the PTO that made my manure tanker spew poo far, wide and thick all over the road, your mailboxes, driveways and even my sister’s cat.  I am humbled, terribly embarrassed and remorseful for soiling your property and vehicles. Please forgive me.  Joel Pominville  Quarry Road Farms, Inc. ...
11/26/2019
I read with interest “Middlebury readies new traffic plan” in the Nov. 25, 2019, edition. It certainly would have been helpful if there was a map included that depicted the changes described. Actually, with any article that describes a geographic location, a map would be helpful. Doug McKain New Haven
11/26/2019
For anyone who missed Angelo Lynn’s editorial in the Nov. 21 issue of this newspaper I am urging everyone to go back and read it. Read it again. What it says may be the most important idea for citizens in Vermont to think about now. It seems quite common wisdom these days that Vermonters can no longer bear the burden of the high taxes we pay and that the answer to this problem is school consolidation. Some communities (many communities?) will have to close their schools because they are no longer affordable. This will have devastating results for many towns where the schools have been the...
11/26/2019
I just read on history.com, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, silence was heard by soldiers along the Western Front in France. Just north of Paris, that morning, about 5 a.m., an armistice was signed by Germany and the Allied nations. World War I was to end.  Our United States Congress on June 4, 1926, officially recognized the end of World War I with a resolution:   “Whereas the 11th of November, 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of...
11/25/2019
Lately the media has paid some much-needed attention to Vermont’s financial challenges related to unfunded pension liabilities, demographic changes, and labor force at the state level. However, our towns must deal with many of the same and similar challenges. This has not received its due attention. To help shed some light on this important but underreported issue, the Ethan Allen Institute partnered with Reason Foundation to write a report entitled “Towns in Trouble: Assessing Municipal Fiscal Health in Vermont.” We analyzed 30 Vermont towns for their fiscal year 2018, accounting for 46% of...
11/25/2019
I keep two winter coats in my office year round now: a man’s and a woman’s coat. The “why” takes me back to last winter when Jonathan came into the office to ask for help. I’ve known Jonathan for five years. I’ve seen him in the worst of times under the influence of drugs and alcohol with no place to lay his head for the night and little hope for the present. I’ve known him in times when he was working a plan for safety and security. At this visit he had spent a very short time in jail and just needed a bus ticket home. Along the way he lost his coat, gloves, wallet and phone. He didn’t know...
11/25/2019
I have known Laura Asermily for many years. While her choice of words in the article published on Oct. 17, 2019, may have been unfortunate, I am certain that they were about the behavior, not the value of the people she was discussing. It’s fair to say that pooping on the Green is bad behavior. If it were my kid doing that, I would fully expect the community to be more than a little grossed out. Regardless of the reason, he was doing it. Having said that, I disagree with any action that “discourages” the homeless from coming to or congregating in our community. It reminds me of “abstinence-...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100