Op/Eds

04/23/2020
The surprise news story of the week was the announcement by Vermont State Colleges Chancellor Jeb Spaulding that he would propose closing three of the state college campuses in light of more losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. His proposal, he outlined late last week, would close Northern Vermont University and the Vermont Technical College campus in Randolph. The reason was financial: the losses those colleges were incurring were more than the state could afford. To spring such a proposal on the Legislature and public without warning, however, was ill-considered. The public backlash...
04/23/2020
I was a child in New York City. Have you seen the pictures of the white tents in Central Park across from Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC? The tiny humps of rock, where I used to run and play with my best friend Susan in sight of our mothers, but far enough away to feel independent, and the softball field, where the boy hit me on the head with a baseball bat, so Susan’s mother had to drag me to the ER across the street — they are now engulfed by white tents, a field hospital. From my friend Jeff’s 23rd-floor apartment on the West Side, where he watched crowds gather below as the Navy hospital...
04/23/2020
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is starting to vet potential vice presidential candidates. Biden has said that his running mate will be a woman, and that she will be selected well in advance of the Democratic convention, now scheduled to begin — in-person or remotely — on Aug. 17. There is little evidence that vice presidential selections make a difference in presidential election results. The choice of running mate can, however, provide some clues as to how a presidential candidate will approach difficult decisions. Although the historical evidence of an electoral vote...
04/23/2020
Editor’s note: This is the 55th in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was not only a pioneering feminist activist, she was also a philosopher of great sophistication and deserves to be remembered as such. This is amply demonstrated in her writings, two especially, which I shall review here: “The Woman’s Bible” and “The Solitude of Self.” She published them close to the end of her life. The former is a collection of critical essays about the Bible written by Stanton and other women scholars enlisted by her. The other is an...
04/23/2020
The weight of fear has largely lifted. The lightness of feeling more secure in the face of this pandemic is prompting introspection of the changes forced upon us and of the benefits found. What many are finding is that the hectic pace of life demanded by our social structure and mores is not ideal. That slowing down, not working so hard at multiple jobs, and spending more quiet time with family at home has great merit.  In her Clippings column this week, Faith Gong writes of the happiness she and her family have found during the five weeks of adopted isolation. What started out as a...
04/23/2020
I was very pleased to read the article in the April 16 edition about the continuing work of the Charter House Coalition. These workers deserve our praise for the support they have given and continue to give to the most vulnerable people in Middlebury.  I was surprised that Middlebury College Dining Service wasn’t given a shout-out, however; they are the ones providing those meals every day for the homeless people housed locally. My husband and I recently contacted Dan Detora, Dining Services director, about whether Dining Services could help with a community dinner; and he got back to us...
04/23/2020
Consider investing your stimulus checks. Not in yourself but your community. Studies have shown that a dollar spent locally can become $4-$7 worth of economic activity. So if you spent half of your stimulus — $600 — this could equal $2,400 to $4,200 in economic activity. Which leads to businesses surviving this, people getting paychecks, your church or non- profit helping others in your community, etc. This is how it plays out. If you took 10% of your check and gave it to a church or nonprofit you believe in with the stipulation that it goes to help someone working through this current crisis...
04/23/2020
To the Vermont Agency of Human Services and Child Development Division: First we’d like to thank you for the support you are providing in order to maintain the early care and education system in Vermont. We are proud to be part of the Vermont system holding Early Childhood Care and Education (ECE) as essential to our communities’ economic and social well being. That said, we are writing to let you know how uncomfortable it feels to have to un-enroll a child who has been attending our program and offer their spot to another family, in order to have the family’s tuition covered at 100%.  The...

"THE SIGHT OF all four of my daughters holding hands and running across our back lawn, or pulling out board games on weekend mornings, because they know they have to be each other’s best friends now." Photo by Faith Gong
04/21/2020
In order for me to have time and quiet in which to write this column, my husband took all five of our children to ride bikes around their grandparents’ neighborhood.  Once upon a time, this would have been a normal occurrence on a Sunday afternoon, but not today.  This is the first time I have been alone — really and completely alone, without a single member of my family in the house — in over a month.  This is the first time my children have been in a vehicle, the first time they have pulled out of our driveway onto the main road, in over a month. “I forget what it’s like to ride in a car!”...
04/17/2020
Almost exactly one month ago, the reality of what a global pandemic meant for Addison County was still setting in. People were just getting into the habit of not shaking hands and still needed to clarify whether meetings were happening in person or via Zoom. With much regret, events around the community were being postponed and we all hoped that maybe, just maybe, they’d still happen — and soon! Local businesses were starting to feel the pinch and everyone started worrying about hours being reduced, or worse, jobs being lost. At United Way of Addison County we launched Addison County Responds...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100