Op/Eds

On June 10 and June 17 you published a flurry of rejoinders about Critical Race Theory. Both Steve Jackson and Julian Roy took very wide swings at it — one against, one in favor. I agree with my colleague at Middlebury College, Prof. Kemi Fuentes-George, that any course about race debates in the U.S. must include Critical Race Theory. I disagree with your columnist Joanna Colwell that those of us who see big problems with CRT are refusing to face “real history,” perhaps because we have been deceived by Koch Brothers-financed propaganda. What matters to most Addison Independent readers will be...
As the authors of an MAUSD facilities planning alternative proposal, we wanted to share some thoughts on recent letters expressing concern about the possibility of closing the Mt. Abe high school. First, we understand the shock and emotional pain. It is the same visceral reaction we had on learning last December that the Superintendent’s Office was recommending closing Robinson Elementary School in Starksboro. I am sure residents of Lincoln and New Haven had a similar reaction. The proposal to close elementary schools still looms as a very real and awful possibility for residents and parents...
In response to the letter to the editor from Mt. Abe staff members (June 17 edition), the MAUSD Reimagined group agrees with the teachers at the high school. We want to keep both the elementary schools and the high school open, and in an ideal world that’s exactly what would happen. However, based on the financials that the central office provided this year, that was simply not an option while we were drafting our proposals. We are more than open to other solutions that keep our town elementary schools and Mount Abraham Union High School open, but we have yet to hear any and meanwhile, our...
Thank you to Middlebury businesses for your generosity to the online auction for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Northern New England chapter. Addison West, Middlebury Bagel & Deli, The Middlebury Inn, Middlebury Mountaineer, Middlebury Natural Foods Coop, The Stone Mill, The Vermont Book Shop, and Vermont Coffee Company all donated items for auction and helped raise thousands of dollars. Our county has several children and adults living with cystic fibrosis, and the money raised helps the foundation develop new medications and therapies that make a huge difference to their health. We...
I have Early Onset Alzheimer’s and I’m tired of hiding it. I was diagnosed at 53 after two years of telling my primary care provider and my loved ones that something was wrong with my memory. Eventually I had a meltdown in my office after taking four hours to write what should have been a 15-minute document and I placed an emergency call to my Primary Care Physician’s office. I met with a doctor who really listened the next morning. Ironically, much of my 32-year career in human services involved advocating for others, but I hadn’t been assertive for myself until that pivotal day. Everyone...
This week’s writer is Tom Little, chair of the Legislative Apportionment Board. The 2020 Census numbers for Vermont indicate that our little state grew by about 20,000 people over the past decade, or +2.8%. We also know that within Vermont our overall population has been migrating toward the northwest region of the state (Chittenden, Franklin and Lamoille counties), and away from the south and east. Moreover, there is a legislative mandate to break up the six-member Chittenden senate district (currently Chittenden County minus Colchester and Huntington/Buel’s Gore). All of these factors point...
On June 10 this paper featured a strident letter critical of the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools. I’m writing to share a different perspective. As I understand it, CRT is not a curriculum. It is simply a lens through which teachers can help students examine the role of racism and race in American society, both now and historically. The basic principle (it is not specifically referred to as “Critical Race Theory” except by ill-informed critics, but rather as an equity program) asserts, correctly, that racism is purely a social construct — one that presents one race as...
It’s worth pondering what’s in Vermont’s DNA that makes us so agreeable? Why would Vermonters be the first to surmount an 80% vaccination rate? Why would the state legislature and a Republican governor lead the nation in adopting some of the most generous elections laws to promote easy access to as many voters as possible, while other states are making it harder to vote? Nor is this a new trend unique to this time and specific lawmakers. Recall that Vermont was the first state to embrace Civil Unions in 2000 after vigorous debate in the late 1990s. Decades before, Vermonters crafted Act 250...
Unless you have been living under a complete media blackout for the last six weeks, you’ve probably heard of Critical Race Theory and the latest efforts to keep it out of U.S. K-12. But do you know what Critical Race Theory is? I wanted to make sure I had the correct definition, so I turned to good old Wikipedia. There, CRT is defined as “an academic movement of civil rights scholars and activists in the United States who seek to critically examine the law as it intersects with issues of race and to challenge mainstream liberal approaches to racial justice.” In other words, CRT examines the...
Last week, the Maine Legislature passed a bill that will prohibit the state’s pension and annuity funds from making new investments in companies in the oil, gas and coal industries, and will require the funds to divest their existing holdings in fossil fuel companies over a five-year period. Gov. Janet Mills has not yet stated her position on the bill, but she has made addressing climate change a top priority of her administration. If Mills signs the bill, Maine would be the first state to establish a policy of fossil fuel divestment through legislative action, although a few other states...

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