Op/Eds

Thank you for continuing your in-depth coverage of the issues surrounding the dwindling population and the need for school closures. I especially appreciated David Sharpe’s concern for equity in the recent article “What does ‘local control’ Mean?” He said, “What we are saying that is very distressful for me is that relatively wealthy communities that have placed a high value on education are opting out.” I attended several Zoom meetings before the Weybridge School vote. I learned that Weybridge is one of the wealthiest towns as determined by the percentage of students eligible for free lunch...
I am writing in response to Joanna Colwell’s letter to the editor on Sept. 9, 2021 (“MUHS should fly the BLM flag”), in which she passively/aggressively refers to her “dear neighbors” and then shames them by accusing them of “denial and gaslighting of our Black and Brown neighbors.” How many people will now look for these “Racism Has No Home Here” signs and assume that they are gaslighting people Ms. Colwell is referring to when she states, “What is it about this simple statement, ‘Black Lives Matter’ that makes so many white people anxious and upset? What makes us want to stay neutral in the...
Since the pandemic began I have felt lucky to live in the state with the highest vaccination rates in the country. However, the present surge in cases in Vermont, partly due to the Delta variant, is troubling, and I believe preventable. I recognize that Vermont is offering multiple sites for testing and vaccinations, which is laudable; however, this is not currently enough to slow the COVID rates down. The current rates of illness — and deaths in Vermont — are at or near an all-time high. Hospitalizations and deaths are increasing. Phil Scott’s philosophy seems to be, people are sensible and...
I have been in the food service for many a year, having graduated from the CIA in 1977, and I’ve worked as a line cook, chef and manager, over and over. It is with interest that I notice that restaurants seem to have trouble keeping help. This is not surprising, as it’s a hot and fast job in the kitchen and a fast and customer relations one on the floor. I do wonder, though, why restaurants feel that they need more help in staying open than other small businesses. All personally-owned businesses have been struggling over the last year and a half. Some have had to close; some have remained...
The good news about the Vermont State Board of Education’s decision to ask the Ripton school board and the ACSD to revisit their relationship and see if they can work something out is that it buys everyone more time to work out a practical and reasonable solution. That’s needed because the past two years have been fraught with too many unknowns: Would Ripton be successful in his decision to withdraw from the district? What would that look like? Could they partner with another district, even as many residents might prefer to stay within the ACSD for middle and high school? Would other district...
There is a small pond on our farm, created many years ago when we had a shallow dug well and worried about running out of water for the sheep. Over the years, the pond has afforded much pleasure after hot days of haying or just lazing during the beautiful Vermont summer. For the past decade or so, the pond has also served as a short-term migration stop for Canada Geese. A few arrive in the spring, raise their goslings, and fly away by early summer. This year one lone goose was left behind. It just walked around, did not seem afraid of us, sometimes hung out by the garden, and sometimes...
I’ve become an archive nerd. I know there are some people who will read this and cheer, but for the other 99.9%, I’ll explain. A couple of years ago, in attempt to understand the finer points of various discussions in the Mount Abraham Unified School District, I created an “Act 46 file.” It contained all of the Act 46 stories, editorials and letters published in the Independent in 2015-16, plus Addison Northeast Supervisory Union Act 46 Study Committee documents, plus some other interesting articles and reports. The file ran to 313 pages. I read them all and took notes. That’s when I...
Last week, Gov. Phil Scott announced that up to 100 Afghan refugees would be resettled in Vermont over the next few months, as part of a cooperative program among the federal government, state governments, and nongovernmental refugee resettlement organizations. Almost 65,000 Afghan refugees have been relocated to the United States since the Taliban took control of their nation last month. Another 30,000, many now being housed in temporary quarters in Germany and Qatar, are expected to arrive in the United States over the next year.  Most of these refugees are people who worked for the United...
39th in a series Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968), MLK, did not only theorize about social ethics, he embodied it, and gave his life for it. The fundamental truth for which he gave his life is the principle of freedom and equality for all persons. It is the very principle upon which this nation was founded, although the founders applied it narrowly, taking it to be applicable only to white men, and even more narrowly to white men with property. But the force of truth cannot be denied, and over the course of time, it has taken root in the minds of many people and has flowered in many and...
I am responding to the recent story in the Addison Independent: “Ripton streambed is getting major work.” I am a Ripton resident of Old Town Road and was gratified to learn from Laurie Cox that the reason a large excavator was sitting unused for several months at Potash Bridge was due to the need to acquire environmentally compliant boulders to fortify the river’s bank. It was also good to hear from Laurie that Ripton’s goal continues to be the improvement of Old Town Road to make it passable for emergency vehicles all the way from the bridge to Upper Plains Road in case other routes are...

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Addison County Independent