Op/Eds

Dear Legislators, Three years ago, you and the Governor asked us to spend two years studying Vermont’s tax system as a whole, and to make recommendations that would make the system more sustainable, fairer, and simpler. You asked us to incorporate the demographic, climatic, and technological changes that Vermont is likely to experience over the next 20 years, and you asked us to pay particular attention to the Education Property Tax. Last February, we delivered our final report and recommendations to you — 119 pages, plus 70 pages of appendices. As the 2022 session approaches, we believe it...
We believe that the Lincoln Community School is the heart of our small rural town and the best beginning for our local children and families. On Aug. 24, by a three to one margin, Lincoln overwhelmingly voted in favor of withdrawing LCS from the Mount Abraham Unified School District to ensure our school remains a vital community and educational hub. We respectfully ask for your support to allow Lincoln to continue our democratic efforts to withdraw from the district by participating in the upcoming vote (date to be announced). A thriving Lincoln Community School is good for Lincoln and a...
The Addison Central School District (ACSD) and the Agency of Education (AOE) need a better plan to support our students during these times. This was made evidently clear to me when my child was quarantined two different times since the start of school. The support we were offered was, as one school official stated, “less than robust.” When asked why ACSD did not have a better plan, the answer was “because AOE doesn’t support remote learning.” Confused, I attempted to call AOE on Sept. 10. Ironically no one is physically at AOE because they are working remotely. Thus, I emailed the Secretary...
If you haven’t taken a walk through Middlebury’s downtown recently, go now, while the warm days of early autumn make casual strolls enjoyable. Go to take in the beauty of the revamped town Green, the Triangle and Lazarus Parks, and imagine the potential for an extension of Riverside Park from the Marble Works footbridge to the Cross Street Bridge. Go now, too, to see a downtown being born again in new ways. After the past couple of years of increasingly vacant storefronts in Middlebury’s downtown (over a dozen at the peak), new energy is flowing into those voids. A new realty company has...
In my most recent column, I began writing about the weekend getaway my husband and I – and our 22-month-old son – took to Lake Willoughby in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. This is a continuation of that story. The weather was unseasonably warm and humid when we arrived at Lake Willoughby, just as it had been for the past week (although I’m not sure what “seasonable” is anymore in this era of climate change). But when we awoke the next morning, we were greeted with a chilly rain that lasted, off and on, for the duration of our stay. We weren’t deterred. Whenever the rain paused, we set out on...
As Congress grills the Biden administration on its troubled withdrawal from Afghanistan, as small businesses throughout Vermont and many parts of the nation struggle to hire enough employees to keep their businesses open, as housing prices rise and millions of Americans can’t find affordable solutions, as the climate crisis magnifies, or as any other of a number of issues arise, there’s one pressing issue that dominates all others if you are a parent with children in school: whether your school and state will do what’s necessary to keep students safe from the coronavirus. Specifically,...
One recent summer evening, a group of friends gathered on our front porch. As we caught up with each other’s lives, one of us posed the question, “Given the present global challenges, how do you maintain hope?” I immediately knew my answer: I switch dimensions. These past two pandemic summers I have taken morning walks around Bristol Village, admiring the gardens and stretching my limbs to start the day. The phone in my pocket provides access to a camera, so it is easy to capture a lawn covered with purple violets or a blossoming rose as I stroll by. I soon found myself fascinated with the...
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, when it comes to style I’m no wild mustang. I’m more of a sheep, tagging along at the back of the flock. For our recent kitchen renovation, therefore, it’s no surprise that I went safe and traditional: Shaker cupboards, plain knobs and bin pulls, white subway tile for the backsplash — horizontal, not vertical or chevron; I’m not a madwoman. For the sink, however, I refused to follow the well-trodden path. I wanted a single bowl, which is not unusual. But I wanted a big one, bigger than any I had seen before. Borderline trough, in fact. Of all my...
38th in a series Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971) situated himself in the tradition of social ethics created by Jane Addams, as did John Dewey; his affinity with her was greater than Dewey’s, for, like Addams, he was deeply influenced by the ethical teachings of the Hebrew prophets  and by the Sermon on the Mount. Niebuhr was without doubt the greatest American theologian of the 20th century. An ordained minister in the German Evangelical Church, he served a parish in Detroit from 1915 until 1928. There he gained notoriety for his defense of labor in its struggle against the automobile industry....
Editor’s note: The writer is responding to a caption in last week’s edition referring to Sen. Bernie Sanders as “The people’s senator.” The people? The uninformed, badly educated, immature people who can barely balance a checkbook, having zero understanding of finance and economics. The “white guilt” trust-funders who self-righteously vote for Sanders believing that his crazy, destructive schemes will not touch their inheritance. The people (significant in Vermont) who despise America, its culture and history. The people who think that money comes from the stork and life should be “free” of...

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Addison County Independent