Op/Eds

During the segment of the Feb. 9 selectboard meeting on allowing cannabis retail sales in Middlebury, the possibility of harmful impacts on children was discussed; but one aspect of that issue did not come up. That is the impact on the health of very young children from unintentionally consuming edible cannabis products. Following the legalization of cannabis sales in Colorado, the number of young children seen in the ER of Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora, for cannabis exposure rose significantly. About half of those cases involved edible products. The median age of patients seen in the...
I’m fed up with all the flags. You can read the downfall of our republic in the proliferation of competing banners dotting the landscape, flown by Americans to demonstrate their growing distance from and, often contempt for, one another. Gone is any talk of the common good. Now, we just want to express our self-righteous indignation at those too stupid, stubborn, or unenlightened to share our view of the world or the grievances of our tribe. First, newly arrived in this region, I noticed the proud displays of the Confederate battle flag as I drove around it’s farms and fields. I wasn’t...
This letter is in response to Emily Hoyler’s “Ways of Seeing” piece titled “Darwinism losing its significance” of the Feb. 4 edition of the Addison Independent. Although the article brings up some important and thought-provoking points, there were some misleading and inaccurate statements that I feel obliged to correct as a professional biologist. The main point that I want to make is that Charles Darwin’s theories of natural selection and biological evolution remain the foundation of the entire field of biology. Darwinian theory explains topics as diverse as: the patterning of species...
While I was never fully content with how the ACSD school board was conducting their Facilities Master Planning process, among other prior objectives (under Peter Conlon’s leadership), I have been extremely concerned with the sudden and narrow minded way and accelerated pace in which the restarted process has been conducted over the last nine months during the pandemic (under new leadership). The board’s efforts and information that has come out about behind-the-scenes maneuvering and actions have increased my feeling that it is time to get some new voices and energy on the board. It is in...
I agree with John Pratt’s letter to the editor about the well-organized COVID vaccines given at the American Legion in Middlebury on Feb. 4. I was almost dreading what should have been a hopeful relief. What a wonderful surprise it turned out to be. Thank you to all involved. Pat Ullom Orwell
The Addison Central School District Central Office recently created a document on the financial impact of Ripton’s withdrawal for the rest of the towns in ACSD. It was shared by school board members on Front Porch Forum and it confirmed that “a potential Ripton withdrawal could result in a small savings in education spending per equalized pupil for the remaining towns in ACSD. Additionally, this scenario would recognize virtually zero discernable tax impact.” What struck me about the Central Office’s document was not that Ripton’s withdrawal would have virtually no impact on taxes in other...
A couple of years ago, I posted a question on social media to the effect of, “How do you build community?” It was something I was pondering as I watched what seemed like the destruction of our democracy. I was slowly coming to the realization that democracy is fragile, that it must be nurtured, and that we all need to be serious in our role as its stewards. I received a number of responses to my query, from a variety of people, and they were all a little different. After thinking things over, I realized what they all had in common was that they all required action. Community isn’t something...
On March 2, Middlebury residents will vote on whether or not to allow regulated cannabis stores to open in town. As downtown merchants and property owners, we write to urge all Middlebury residents to vote “Yes” on Question 3. Middlebury’s downtown has lost numerous businesses over the last few years. For remaining businesses like ours, the vacant storefronts pose a serious threat, diminishing the sense of vibrancy that makes people want to visit, shop, and eat here. A well-run and socially responsible regulated retail cannabis business will not only fill a vacancy, but also generate...
Please vote for Andy Hooper for Middlebury selectboard. Andy is a caring, competent, and committed member of our community. He cares about us, as evidenced by his service on the Ilsley Library Board of Trustees, Addison County Regional Planning Commission, Solid Waste District, and Communications Union District. Andy and his wife Caitlin Myers, who teaches economics at Middlebury College, are committed to living and raising their four school-age children here. They have put enormous energy and love into renovating their in-town Victorian home. Andy is professionally competent in business...
As we approach this year’s Town and School Meetings, things will be very different, especially for those used to attending in-person meetings for voting, or informational discussion. This year, all meetings will be virtual. Conversations that happen quite literally at a distance also tend to feel more remote. Of course, the budgetary amounts represent real dollars, and the names on the ballots represent real people. The issues are also real. One of the names on the ballot is Chris Kramer, who is seeking to be the Cornwall member on the ACSD board. (All district towns vote for this position.)...

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Addison County Independent