Op/Eds

We are in agreement with organizers from Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight Action, who observed, “We are seeing the worst voter suppression since Reconstruction,” and who termed the current extreme GOP voter suppression efforts, “Jim Crow 2.0.” We are also aware of the astonishing inequity of representation in the Senate where, as historian Heather Cox Richardson has written, “Although each party effectively holds 50 seats, the Democrats represent 41.5 million more Americans than the Republicans do, in a nation that has 328.2 million people.” She notes we are teetering on the precipice of minority...
My daughter found the caterpillar during a hike in Wright Park on Labor Day 2020. We hadn’t seen this type of caterpillar before, its bands of green interspersed with black and gold dots. Thankfully we were with friends who knew: “It’s a swallowtail caterpillar.” Could we bring it home to hatch? my children wanted to know. We could try. We installed the caterpillar in our butterfly house, where it coexisted with our final monarch butterfly chrysalis of the season. We researched what swallowtail caterpillars eat (plants in the carrot family) and picked it plenty of Queen Anne’s Lace leaves...
The Addison County economy has a problem that the influx of millions of dollars in one-time federal pandemic aid won’t solve: a shortage of workers. Area businesses in almost every sector are begging for skilled and unskilled help, and often-times coming up empty handed. (See story Page 1A.) It’s a problem that will drastically slow, if not derail, the economic rebound we are all so eager to embrace. The hospitality industry, in particular, is scrambling to find workers so they can ramp back up to full operation this summer, but that industry isn’t alone. All of the building trades (...
As spring arrives and with it the hope of post-vaccine life, the narrative has shifted to “getting back to normal.” I can already feel myself being pulled back into familiar rhythms. When will it be safe to host a potluck? Can book club start back up in person? When will the laughter of other people’s children fill my house again? And while I am craving gathering with friends, sharing space with colleagues, and picking back up some of the routines of daily life that were abandoned, there are many things that I don’t want to “go back to normal.” That over-crowded weeknight schedule that had my...
Two exciting things are happening this spring. The big one, which you’ve surely been thinking about nonstop, is that our kitchen renovation is moving right along. Also, COVID vaccinations have begun. Now, if you’re one of the few readers who are sick of my kitchen updates, just be glad you’re not one of my friends. They have to look at my daily texts featuring pictures of the freshly painted ceiling or the newly uncovered subfloor. Unlike them, you aren’t obligated to send me a thumbs-up emoji or write, “Looks great!” as if you love a good subfloor photo; you can just skip to Victor Nuovo’s...
21st in a series The Second Great Awakening denotes a period of religious revival that lasted over 40 years, roughly from 1795 until 1835. It left an indelible mark on the American mind. Its effects are manifold, sometimes contradictory, or at least apparently so. They run very deep. To attempt to explain all this in a single essay would be foolhardy, but I shall attempt it at the risk of being reproved by the dictum “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” The quest for historical understanding inevitably runs such risks. To begin with, the rhythm, so to speak, of the history of...

KIRSTEN WORKMAN, AN Agronomy Outreach Specialist at UVM Extension, demonstrates the benefits of rolling cover crops and no-till planting for soil health at a field demonstration at Foster Brothers Farm in Middlebury a few years ago.
Editor’s note: Commentary by Bob Foster, a member of the Foster Brothers Farm in Middlebury, which supplies milk to the Agri-Mark cooperative and recycles cow manure to make compost products called Moo Doo. Foster is on the board of the Soil Health Institute. When you drove past a farm field this winter, you might have been curious about what’s growing there. Yes, growing. At our dairy farm and farms across the state we’re growing plants on our fields even in the winter. We keep the growing season going 365 days a year with cover crops, like winter rye. You’ll see fields throughout Addison...
I found Burgess Needle’s letter in the April 8 edition of the Independent regarding snow covered solar panels to be of great interest. It is accurately descriptive of a very common problem in northern climates. Perhaps electric gutter heating wires, commonly used to melt and prevent roof edge ice dams, could be adapted to solar panel installations to remedy this predicament. Thomas O’Keefe Warren
In recent weeks the Jewish calendar has reminded us we must fight for the oppressed, and to never forget how powerful hate can be in the hands of evil. The themes of Passover and Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) resonate deeply against the backdrop of current events and continue to offer valuable lessons in how we conduct ourselves as a community. It is our responsibility as Jews to be up-standers and speak out against injustice, violence and hate. We have all seen the tragic news about attacks and murders of Asians and Asian Americans in recent months in Georgia, in California, in New...
In a letter in last week’s Addison Independent, I raised a question for the Addison Central School District superintendent, regarding the facilities planning process, which I had asked many times without receiving an answer. At the end of my letter, an editor’s note stated that I had finally received an answer, but it did not say what the answer was. I thought I should follow up by giving readers the same explanation I received. My question was why the superintendent had not publicly shared that his primary reason for supporting a new mix of schools, which added Cornwall and removed Bridport...

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Addison County Independent