Op/Eds


LARRY AND LYNN Schuyler visited St. Paul’s Episcopal church in Vergennes in the fall of 2019. Larry looked through church records and got to visit the town where his great-grandfather Stephen Bates had once been the chief police for 26 consecutive years.
09/03/2020
History has become a controversial topic, and rightly so. Much of what children and teenagers are given in the United States details history primarily centered around white supremacy and the patriarchy. This is true at national and local levels. Recently, a story was uncovered in Vergennes that exemplified that very fact.  The key to understanding this issue is that it is local as much as it is national — something that I did not fully grasp until now. For the nation to be able to remember the history that has been omitted, the importance of researching our respective small-town communities...
09/03/2020
On behalf of the Middlebury Bridge & Rail Project team, I want to thank the National Bank of Middlebury and the Middlebury community in general for its cooperation and for its support of the men and women of our construction crew who are working to rebuild Middlebury’s downtown. Recently, as covered in the Addison Independent, the National Bank held a cookout for both the day and night shift crews, a total of some 60 workers. This is just one of the many ways in which the downtown community and the citizens of Middlebury have made us feel part of your town in the four years we have been...
09/03/2020
Dear fellow residents of Vergennes, The field for our city’s Sept. 22 special City Council election is crowded, with 14 citizens running for four City Council seats. I am grateful to all 14 candidates for their willingness to serve and their desire to move our city forward in a positive direction. Four candidates for City Council have identified a goal of making Vergennes welcoming to young people and families from diverse backgrounds: Huizenga, Small, Austin, and Murray-Killon. This goal is my goal and for that reason I will be voting for these four candidates. I moved to Vergennes two...
09/03/2020
As a Middlebury alum and current public health practitioner, I understand how difficult it is to make decisions that ensure the well-being of students, staff, and community. From a public health standpoint, the college is following the recommendations set forth by the State, but from a behavioral standpoint, there is no way that you will be able to control what will inevitably be an unsafe situation for the entire community. Controlling the actions of students has always been difficult, even prior to the global pandemic. When has Middlebury successfully stopped students from breaking rules?...
09/03/2020
With the Vergennes City Council Special Election on Tuesday, Sept. 22, we don’t have time to waste. We’re Ian Huizenga, David Small, Dickie Austin and Jill Murray-Killon, and we hope you’ll vote for us in the Special Election. The last few months have been challenging for the entire Vergennes community. Lately, some residents have lost confidence in our city’s governance and management. We believe we can repair fractures, welcome change, and restore trust to create a vibrant future for everyone in Vergennes. While we each bring different views and roles to the table, we share attributes that...
09/03/2020
On July 26 I sent a note to each ACSD board member asking each to find a way to receive input from constituents more successfully than the present and to respond to me. It’s a lengthy note, but the gist is important and in essence it is similar to the publisher of this paper’s editorial of a year ago, Aug. 30, 2019, which says, “the district benefits greatly from having seven vibrant, small towns with thriving schools. The ACSD needs to make sure it weaves that consideration into its discussion — and provide ample room and attention for individual towns to express their desires.” None of...
09/03/2020
These past few weeks have been what some may call a “s*** show” for Vergennes. We’ve even made the national news on a couple of occasions as the citizens attempts to form a citizen review board (CRB) were met with resistance from the people in power, or more accurately, the people left in power. A quorum of resignations later, we are left standing on the hope of momentum created by our citizen engagement as of late, the engagement starting with our BLM protests together on the park, followed up with the creation of the exploratory committee to see if we needed a CRB (don’t even get me started...
09/03/2020
By any measure U.S. citizens do not show up to vote in respectable or democratic numbers. Internationally we are listed in the bottom third of developed countries when it comes to voter turnout in national elections. Countries like Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and Australia (in that order) all have average voter turnout rates above 78%, while in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, only 56% of U.S. citizens who were old enough to vote actually turned out and voted. Let us quickly examine at that reality. There are about 328 million people who live in the United States and about 250 million of...
09/03/2020
I am writing about COVID-19 contact tracing in the context of college opening plans. I think many people are not familiar with what a powerful tool contact tracing is, when combined with isolation of infected people and quarantine of exposed people. I spent 35 years working in disease control in public health departments, and am quite familiar with how contact tracing, isolation and quarantine work for control of transmission of tuberculosis, syphilis, and various vaccine-preventable diseases — most often in combination with curative and preventive treatment. The challenge is a bit greater...
09/01/2020
Editor's note: Get the link to the Zoom meeting, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.at the Town of Addison website. ————— To control costs, gain local control and own our town’s viability and destiny, the Addison selectboard is considering the voter option of dissolution of the ANWSD (Addison Northwest School District) union, which is under the purview of town municipalities. Dissolution of the ANWSD would once again create K-12 districts in one operating fashion or another; public or school choice school governances. Dissolution of the ANWSD would close the current central office. The Addison selectboard has...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100