Op/Eds

02/10/2020
My family and I, like many families in Addison County, love living in this area because of its highly regarded local schools that reflect the virtues of rural Vermont’s good character. We trust in the good faith of its citizenry. So it’s been perplexing to see the processes orchestrated by the political leadership directing the procedures of local school consolidation.  At every turn, there’s been an angle of presentation that skews biased and jarringly removed from the local character of the area. Perhaps it is not hard to discern why. Directions emanating from the centralizing forces of...
02/06/2020
The one positive thing you can say about Trump’s State of the Union speech is that it had entertaining moments. Trump’s brilliance, if that’s a fitting word, is that he believes in the power of reality TV and brings a larger-than-life version of the presidency into his supporters’ living rooms with the same sort of hysterics and fakery you see on The Real Housewives, Duck Dynasty and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. That his presidency is, therefore, based on lies, deceit, fakery and a complete lack of integrity is what we now know is to be expected. To that point, Trump told an entertaining...
02/06/2020
Recently I listened to an interview of Micah Mortali by Tami Simon, of Sounds True. Mortali, who is director of Kripalu schools, spoke about the practice of “rewilding,” which he explores in his new book, “Rewilding: Meditations, Practices, and Skills for Awakening in Nature.” The interview reinvigorated my determination to take winter as it is. Everyone has a strategy for dealing with winter: snowshoeing, skiing, sitting by the fire, reading, When I mentioned to a neighbor how I felt about the short days, she suggested that going outside every day might lift my spirits. She also shared that...
02/06/2020
A few years ago, I read about a little girl in the UK who had made friends with the crows in her yard. Noting that they picked up any food that had been dropped, she started throwing out dog kibble, and they started showing up every day. Big deal, right? Pigeons are always landing in our yard to eat the corn I scatter for my chickens. But the crows were different: They brought the girl gifts in return — a bent paper clip one week, an old button the next. They left dozens of items over the years. Pigeons might be good at things like carrying secret messages behind enemy lines, but they’re just...
02/06/2020
We were booting up in the main lodge at Sugarbush on a recent weekday when Carol looked around at our fellow skiers. There was a lot of gray hair. Ever the joker, she wanted to know, “Do only old people ski here?” On weekdays, I said, that’s pretty much the crowd at Sugarbush. The resort’s popular Boomer Pass — colloquially known as “the Geezer Pass” — makes it possible for anyone 65 and older to ski on all non-holiday weekdays through the season. For the bargain price of $169 for the entire season, the Boomer Pass has got to be the best value in all of American skiing. By comparison, a full...
02/06/2020
The botched election results of Iowa’s Democrat Party caucus, while embarrassing, will soon be a distant memory and a minor event in this presidential campaign. The importance, rather, is that Sen. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg captured the lead in no uncertain terms, Sen. Elizabeth Warren was a distant third, while Sen. Joe Biden trailed in fourth with Sen. Amy Klobuchar close behind. That’s a serious blow to the perception that Biden is the Democrat’s best bet to beat Trump. What’s particularly damaging is that it reinforces the doubt many Democrats have long had about Biden’s strength...
02/06/2020
Editor’s note: This is the 45th in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. Frederick Douglass (1818–95) was born into slavery, but this pernicious institution could not contain him. Self-educated, except for a brief moment of kindness by a mistress who taught him the alphabet, he escaped slavery and became an influential public orator, journalist and author, a master of the English language and a leading public intellectual. If it were not for the color of his skin, he would dominate the intellectual history of 19th century America. Few figures in...
02/06/2020
In listening to the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, something just crossed my mind. I hope that every American college and high school student in the United States are having an assembly in the auditorium to watch it on a big screen. I know this will live in part of our lives forever. Some day young people will be future leaders of our country. Sanford Rouse Brandon
02/06/2020
Editor’s note: This letter was written by three Democratic members of the Vermont House of Representatives. We are women business owners who serve in the legislature and we believe more Vermonters should have access to paid family leave in their time of need. Paid family leave should not be limited to people who work for large employers or have high-income jobs. As business owners, we know the value of our workers and we believe that paid family leave is good for employees and good for business. That’s why the House and Senate passed a plan to create a statewide paid family and medical leave...
02/03/2020
Last Friday, Senators voted 51-49 to refuse calling more witnesses in the impeachment trial against President Trump — all of those voting against witnesses were Republicans. Sen. Mitch Romney, R-Utah, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, broke ranks with their party to support all 47 Democrats in their call for testimony from former and current White House officials who had first-hand knowledge of Trump’s culpability and were willing to testify. The refusal to call for witnesses sets the stage for a Republican cover-up of Trump’s misdeeds, and an early acquittal. Not that Trump was innocent....

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100