Op/Eds

11/25/2019
As a geology professor at Middlebury College I am proud to be involved with the “Energy2028” initiative that seeks to switch entirely to renewable energy and reduce overall energy consumption at the college by 25 percent. A major part of reaching 100 percent renewable energy is the 5 MW solar array being developed by Encore Renewable Energy on 28 acres of college land located between South Street Extension and Route 30. The originally proposed site was nearly perfect; situated in a broad valley with mature trees to the east and west; the vast tract of steel and silicon would have been well...
11/21/2019
As advocates of small schools and those supporting school consolidation come to terms with declining enrollments and rising costs, here’s the conundrum both face: consolidation is the right short-term answer to cost-cutting to contain higher and higher taxes, but it’s the wrong answer to building a stronger, more diverse statewide economy. It’s a trickier question when asking which most benefits the student, because no two people are the same and what benefit one may not work as well for another. But no matter how you dice it, as Gov. Phil Scott said in a meeting in the Addison Independent’s...
11/21/2019
Halloween this year was wet but warm, so despite the ever-changing drizzle, downpour, and showers, trick-or-treaters were out in force. I live in Bristol village right on the circuit that everyone coming into town trick-or-treats at, so we always get at least six hundred people. We always run out of candy before we run out of trick-or-treaters, which leaves us retreating into the house extinguishing lights as we go. Halloween candy is quite an investment, so we have to hand it out frugally. None of this frivolous “grab a handful!” or ‘unattended-candy-bowl-on-the-porch’ at our house....
11/21/2019
Between Feb. 3 and March 3, voters in 18 states will vote in Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses. By the time all the votes are counted on Super Tuesday, March 3, the allocation of 1,506 Democratic convention delegates to candidates will have been determined. The rules of the 2020 Democratic convention provide that on the first ballot for a presidential nominee, only pledged delegates elected through primaries and caucuses are allowed to vote. No votes from “superdelegates” — unpledged party and elected official delegates who also attend the convention — will be cast on the first...
11/21/2019
From 1987–1991 I was a National Cancer Institute Epidemiology Fellow at Columbia University School of Public Health in a research group that is now the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, studying how air pollutants cause cancer. Our research group looked at various biological markers of the earliest causes of cancer, including mutations, oncogenes, and DNA adducts (organic pollutants bonded to DNA leading to mutations that may cause cancer).  Our principal investigator, Frederica Perera, has been doing ground-breaking research for 40 years to understand the interaction...
11/21/2019
While at a conference in D.C. this week I walked by a protest where a display of buttons was being sold, my eye immediately catching the button in big red lettering, “Make America Humane Again.” Shortly after leaving that protest I got word of the school shooting in Santa Clarita, Calif., where a high school student killed two of his classmates and then himself. The conference I was attending was a joining of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) who I work with to pass gun violence prevention legislation. This administration is not humane, and gun violence is not humane, and...
11/21/2019
A couple of times recently, I've driven through Brandon, which is now emerging from its own four-year ordeal of downtown disruption — leading to a whole new pattern of streets and sidewalks. While I’m sure that this period has been a trial for businesses, residents and those of us who occasionally pass through, the final result is a stunning success. As I admired Brandon’s new downtown, it occurred to me that something was missing: all the overhead utility poles and lines! As a by-product of reconfiguring and repaving all the downtown streets, Brandon took advantage of this opportunity to...
11/21/2019
Dear Addison Central School District Community, If you’re a registered voter in one of our towns, you might have been approached, sometime in the last few weeks, to sign two petitions. For those of you haven’t been approached yet, I wanted to express some things to help with the understanding of those amendment petitions. First, here they are as written: The undersigned registered voters of the school district hereby petition the Addison Central School District Board to warn the following article for a District election to be held in the seven District towns (Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury,...
11/21/2019
I am writing concerning the ongoing coverage of the outrageous incident of bear hounds attacking an out-of-state couple and their dog in Ripton. This story, from the standpoint of a civilized society, is alarming on so many levels. As stated in the Independent, the law reads, “A person shall not take black bear with the aid of dogs unless the person is in control of the dog or dogs.” The operative word here being control. It goes on to define Control of Dogs to include handling and restraining. How is it possible to handle and restrain one’s dog pack when they are miles away? Every bear hound...
11/19/2019
I’m not sure if I can still call this “stick season,” since snow has lain on the ground for a week now. The most accurate definition of stick season is the period of time between the fall of the last golden leaves and the fall of the first sparkling snow. It’s not really a season at all – just a week or two between late October and early November, a time when the view out our windows displays only grey sticks against the grey sky. But early this morning as the sun was rising and I was feeding the baby, I couldn’t see the icy snow on the ground; all I could see were the bare branches of the...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100