Op/Eds

02/03/2020
I can hear Laura Mistretta singing as she walks down the hall. Her office is diagonally across from mine. Occasionally, I can hear her on the phone. Her voice is calm. The person on the other end of the line has all her attention. When her door is closed, because of a private conversation, I see her gesticulating to the unseen bringing life to the space around her. Laura is a Resident Organizer and advocate for the Mobile Home Program at CVOEO.  Vermont has 238 mobile home parks with 7,096 lots. In addition, there are over 15,000 mobile homes sited outside of parks. Mobile homes make up 7.2%...
02/03/2020
On its website, the Vermont League of Cities and Towns describes town meeting as “direct democracy practiced in its purest form. It is the key to town government, as voters assemble to discuss issues, debate budgets, air grievances, elect officers, and determine the town and school district business for the coming year.” That direct democracy is one of the things I have valued about our state for many years. Even our highest elected officials are frequently available for direct conversation, as Rep. Peter Welch demonstrated in his recent visit the Bee’s Wrap factory in Middlebury. At the Jan...
02/03/2020
The Living with Dying Partnership is exploring cultural rituals and practices around death and dying. Neighbor to neighbor, companioning those at the end of life is an art of living that can be embraced instead of feared. Day of the Dead, or Dia de Muertos, is a Mexican holiday that we would like to celebrate here in Addison County annually. So we went to the Open Door Clinic to learn more from Alicia Rodriguez. Alicia moved here from northern Mexico 16 years ago after she and her husband came to visit his father, who worked on a farm in Salisbury. The owner of the farm offered a job to his...
02/03/2020
I attended the Jan. 27 ACSD Facilities Master Plan meeting at the MUHS auditorium. I was truly disappointed with the turnout. I expected the room to be standing room only with concerned taxpayers from the seven affected communities. If there was 30-40% occupancy, I would be surprised. As I expected, the presentation was mostly a scare tactic. Our student population is declining. This is the taxpayers’ fault? Do not blame the Vermont Legislature and local officials who blatantly discourage any commercial or business growth in the state, which would encourage our young people to seek jobs in...
02/03/2020
We are so very grateful to everyone who came to our family fundraising concert on Sunday, Jan. 26, and for those people who were not able to come but let us know. The concert was a success on many levels, the greatest of which was the support we felt as a family from people throughout the community. We feel so fortunate to be part of this wonderful community. Thank you all. The Bolton/Munkres family Cornwall
02/03/2020
To the Addison Central School District School Board, Superintendent Burrows, editor of the Addison Independent and fellow residents of ACSD, Since I last wrote to the Addison Independent in May 2019, it seems that the emotions surrounding changes and decisions facing our school community have intensified, yet we still seem to be far from reaching any conclusions or definitive course of action. Our district faces many challenges: We must put taxation issues aside and engage with the future of ACSD. The first problem is that, financially speaking, we cannot continue as we are. We have a limited...
02/03/2020
Dear Governor Scott: I am proud of Vermont for being part of the Transportation and Climate Initiative of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States — an important program, still under development, for reducing climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. However, I was dismayed to read in this morning’s Burlington Free Press that you won’t support the initiative “if it amounts to a tax on carbon.” Climate change has reached crisis proportions. Your potential opposition to the Transportation and Climate Initiative, which is expected to add a mere 5–17 cents to the price of a...
02/03/2020
Thank you for your Dec. 5 article about the Orwell Village School and the Orwell Town Hall. I encourage you to do further research on the “Slate Valley Innovation Project” (SVIP). Much of the SVIP proposed $60-million capital improvement construction is to add a middle school to the current Fair Haven Union High School complex. Does that mean that middle school students who would be enrolled in the Orwell Village School will go to Fair Haven? The $6.5 million for new construction at the Orwell school includes a middle school regulation basketball court and other dimensions that seems to...
01/30/2020
As a clarification to an editorial written this past Monday, the expectation for small schools to be able to have control over whether they will be able to remain open is that current fundamentals would have to change. At the district level, some of the rules of district unification (as in, how schools could be closed) would need to be revised. At the state level, perhaps the very essence of the Supreme Court’s Brigham decision would need to be explored, and school finance laws amended within that framework. At the district level, the petitions submitted to the Addison Northwest School...
01/30/2020
With the Legislature back in session and the governor putting the finishing touches on his budget proposal for the next fiscal year, it is a good time to remind ourselves why Vermonters deserve meaningful increases in funding for the Vermont State College System (VSCS).  The VSCS, which includes Castleton University, the Community College of Vermont, Northern Vermont University and Vermont Technical College, continues to be the in-state destination for two thirds of Vermonters attending college in Vermont, or over 9,500 students, with another 5,000 in continuing education programs.  However,...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100