Op/Eds

04/16/2020
In the midst of this historic pandemic, let’s pause for a moment and reflect on where we are and we’ve been.  It’s week five of the shutdown that Gov. Phil Scott imposed on Vermonters to stem the tide of the novel coronavirus. The day he announced the “Stay Safe, Stay Home” order was (wouldn’t you know it) Friday, March 13. So much has happened in that time it seems like months have gone by.  Middlebury College announced that Tuesday, March 10, that students would be sent home and classes would continue remotely afterward. That exodus saw 2,300 or so students leave the town of Middlebury, and...
04/16/2020
This year, the state of the world demands that I grow an impressive vegetable garden. It would be a first. But producing vast quantities of home-grown food has taken on new importance for me. It’s one small way I can exercise control over my environment. Right now, I may not be able to visit restaurants or gather with large groups of people (for cockfights, I assume, or for whatever reason people gather in large groups), but I can at least strive for self-sufficiency. I have to admit, as a response to the threat of potential food shortages created by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s pretty weak. A...
04/16/2020
Once upon a time, I was young. That’s a statement everybody, other than the very young, can make, but I state it for a reason. There was a time when we were going to change the world. It’s been 50 years since the environmental movement got started with the first Earth Day in 1970. Fifty years since John Lennon wrote the lyrics “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” A bit more than fifty years since the Civil Rights movement was considered over, after wide-ranging anti-discrimination laws were passed. Not quite forty years since a nuclear freeze resolution passed in 88% of Vermont’s Town...
04/16/2020
The world has changed so much so fast this year that I haven’t had the chance to feel shocked that my family’s spring break trip to London — which we spent six months planning and saving for and worrying about — has been canceled. We are a family for whom “vacation” is often synonymous with “home improvement week,” so this was a pretty ambitious trip for us. Which is why I think we’re having a hard time letting it go. When the airline officially canceled our flight last month I considered rescheduling my time off from the Addy Indy. But I haven’t taken a week off for 14 months, and I am worn...
04/16/2020
Editor’s note: This is the 54th in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. Early in the spring of 1776, as the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to consider what steps to take towards independence, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband John to express her zeal for independence: “I long to hear that you have declared an independency;” and to make a suggestion: “And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies;” and she added a warning: “Remember all men would be...
04/16/2020
While governors, health care workers, first-responders, essential businesses and many others have rolled up their sleeves to help Americans meet the Covid-19 pandemic as adeptly as they can, President Trump continues to undermine the nation’s efforts to reduce the number of American fatalities or to put the appropriate measures in place to get the economy re-opened.  To see Trump’s failings so blatantly is to truly understand how incapable he is for the office he holds. Consider that just this week:  • He lashes out in a coronavirus meeting on Monday that he’s going to reopen the nation’s...
04/16/2020
Unlocking But it is not always quiet here. Things go on while we sleep the sleep of soldiers. Ancient branches crack and splinter into dust. Large wings snap open in spring like carpets splayed out over the railing. Granite splits apart at the seams and great animals cleave roads through woods. Daily, in the density, there is life on the edge of the knife that cuts the world into hemispheres of sense and death. Trees are born and die, bones turn to humus, glaciers to meadowland. It is time to turn yourself loose, like new leaves, like big lakes on which swim...
04/16/2020
I’m a college counselor. I work with high school juniors and seniors to help them find the best affordable colleges that match their hopes and dreams. Normally spring is one of my favorite times of year in my work life. Spring is when juniors are on college campuses, discovering things they never knew about themselves at schools they just met. Spring is when seniors are comparing their acceptances and making their weighty final decision. It’s an exciting season of hope, full of possibilities. It has now become one of the many things we hold at a safe distance. Every day I check my list of...
04/16/2020
During these challenging times, postal employees are working hard to ensure residents stay connected with their world through the mail. Whether it’s medications, a package, a paycheck, benefits or pension check, a bill or letter from a family member, postal workers understand that every piece of mail is important. While service like this is nothing new to us, we need our communities’ help with social distancing. For everyone’s safety, our employees are following the social distancing precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health officials. We...

Paramedic Paul Miller dressed for the times.
04/13/2020
It is Easter Sunday. I watched Bishop Coyne celebrate Easter Mass on television. The tones go off for an EMS call in Addison. Luckily, the patient is not exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms. I buy the New York papers and on the cover is an EMT helping an ill Statue of Liberty. It makes me proud. I am scared. We are all scared. I feel like I am in a landing craft circling Omaha Beach just before the D-Day landing. I wonder if the virus will kill me and, worse, will it kill my wife simply because I like to volunteer. I worked a 24-hour shift Friday night to Saturday night on Middlebury Regional...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100