Op/Eds

10/03/2019
Mark Twain is arguably the brains behind the quote “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” What was once a brilliantly sarcastic quip about the futility of humans on planet Earth has taken on a new life and a new possibly unintended meaning centuries later. In recent days we have seen millions take figurative action on the warming trend Earth is seeing. Sobbing Swedish kids, ranting politicians and jet setting movie stars gave lots of sizzle but no substance. I write below a list of 10 things we all can do to curb the heating of our home. Some are easy, some...
09/30/2019
From mid-September to mid-October, Vermont’s Green Mountains transform into a vibrant landscape of gold, red, yellow and orange. It’s the ultimate fall foliage destination, with over one million visitors traveling to Vermont in the month of October alone. Here they capture memories while enjoying Vermont specialty products and attractions with mountain vistas, picturesque lakes, classic New England villages and countryside ablaze with color. While Vermont tourism is thriving and our brand is strong, visitor impacts go beyond lifetime memories and Instagrammable moments; last year, visitors...

DR. MICHAEL SHANK
09/30/2019
The way our society responds to problems — be they social, economic, or environmental — rarely prevents that problem from occurring again. We’ll quickly treat a cough, by temporarily suppressing it with cough medicine, for example, but not change the conditions that created the cough (e.g. maintaining healthy living environments, diet, exercise and rest). We tend to focus on the symptom, perhaps because it’s obvious or appears easier to address than the root cause or environment that created the problem in the first place. But unless the root cause or driver of that problem is addressed, it’...
09/30/2019
There has been a great deal written about the pros and cons of keeping Ripton Elementary School open; and, with the best of intentions, most of the positions have been built upon facts and figures dealing with populations, resources and money. While our community does its best to logically allocate available funds, there are times we need to step out from the shade of pure reason’s umbrella and allow the heat of emotion to touch us. In the Thai language, when you want someone to calm down you tell them to “chill their heart.” Well, I don’t think we should be calm at the prospect of having our...
09/26/2019
Early this week, VTDigger, the online news nonprofit based in Montpelier, stretched its tentacles to report a salacious and juicy tidbit of news about Porter Hospital President Dr. Seleem Choudhury being under investigation for plagiarizing parts of his weekly blog. The blog is meant to be an uplifting message from the new president. It is sent out to hospital staff and a few folks from outside the hospital community, including a reporter here at the Addison Independent. The thrust of the blog is inspirational and its intent, Porter spokesman Ron Hallman says, is to keep staff and a few...
09/26/2019
My husband and I leave Arches National Park in Utah on a bright morning, driving along the Colorado River then over the Rockies toward Denver, where we’ll visit his son and our eight-year-old grandson. The scorched river valley and vast mountains we traverse captivate our imagination. This place is the setting of countless Westerns. It’s well past lunchtime when we pull off I-70 into a parched rest area. Three small picnic shelters are scattered across a scrubby field — each one shades a couple of tables and a handful of travelers. The only open table parallels another one where a leggy man...
09/26/2019
I appreciate journalism as an occupation because it provides an opportunity to dive into perspectives I wouldn’t otherwise have a reason to understand. Sources open the door and allow reporters to question personal details about their lives. As farmers are responsible for feeding us and scientists are responsible for monitoring water, I am charged with seeing what my sources see and understanding the gravity of the decisions they face. During my months-long reporting for the Addison Independent’s three-week series titled “The Giving Stream,” I encountered dynamics between groups of people...
09/26/2019
Most projections of possible Electoral College outcomes in the 2020 presidential election use 270 as the minimum number of electoral votes needed to win the presidency. Two-hundred-seventy is the smallest possible majority out of the total of 538 electoral votes.  However, for President Trump, the minimum number of electoral votes needed could well be 269 rather than 270. If Trump were to receive 269 electoral votes, with no electoral votes being cast for a third-party candidate, the Democratic presidential candidate would also have 269 electoral votes.  One possible outcome that would...
09/26/2019
Editor’s note: This is the 36th in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” rightly belongs among the founding documents of this nation. It complements the “Declaration of Independence.” It adds something altogether new to political thought, and therefore should be counted as a world classic. In the first instance, like the “Declaration,” it was a declaration of independence, as fundamental in its resolution and its consequences as its predecessor. In 1776, the American colonies declared their independence...
09/26/2019
Down to Earth   The heart of a farmer is made of muscle and clay that aches for return to earth. And when the sky releases a steady rain, massaging each row of sprouted beans, my husband leans out of the car window and opens his hand to hold that water for a single instant, his heart now beating in sync with rain seeping through layers to kiss the roots of every plant alive on this living, breathing planet on whose back we were granted permission to live for a limited time. — By James Crews     This poem first appeared in Birchsong, Volume II, 2018. James Crews is the author of two full-...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100