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WELL-REGARDED NEW HAMPSHIRE author Ernest Hebert has a writing process that anyone aspiring to communicate more clearly could imitate. Photo by Peter Biello/New Hampshire Public Radio
03/05/2020
One of my favorite writers is Ernest Hebert, author of seven novels in his Darby Chronicles series, and a number of other works of fiction. Hebert grew up in working class Keene, N.H., and writes authoritatively about this section of New England. He taught for many years at Dartmouth College and declares on his Dartmouth webpage: “It’s been my mission as a novelist to write about working people without idealizing or demeaning them.” He knows whereof he writes. Just about my favorite novel ever is his “The Dogs of March,” with its unforgettable protagonist, Howard Elman. By the end of the...
03/05/2020
When Vermonters switch over to drive electric vehicles and even electric tractors, what happens to our local garages and auto parts stores? EVs have fewer moving parts to go bad and need far fewer repairs. How will these businesses adapt and survive? Transitions like that are just one of the many questions the county’s businesses will face in the future. As we experience far greater changes in the climate, our businesses will need to change, and we’ll be forced to adapt. Will people who rely on maple sugaring for some of their livelihood still be able to do so, as warming pushes maple trees...
03/05/2020
Listening to Gov. Phil Scott on Vermont Public Radio recently as he mounted objection after objection to proposals to combat climate change, I kept thinking, “He’s missing something!” For every proposed climate solution suggested to him by callers and the moderator, his answer was, “This will hurt rural and working Vermonters.” Of course, this would be a legitimate concern if it were true, but it isn’t.  What the governor is missing is that the current system is inequitable. Low-income and rural Vermonters already have much higher energy burdens than do their wealthier and more urban friends...
03/05/2020
Editor’s note: This is the 49th in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. The term “Reconstruction” when applied to the aftermath of the Civil War has several uses. The South suffered the loss of its infrastructure: its major cities were laid waste, its railroads torn up; its communication systems destroyed; all these had to be rebuilt. Moreover, its economy was destroyed, not only because of the physical damage caused by invading armies, but also because its primary labor force, which produced its major products for export, was no longer enslaved,...
03/05/2020
Despite the useful information census data provides, and the federal dollars that flow to the state as a result of the census, there is reason to not be supportive of the U. S. census. The Addison Independent did an admirable job recently reporting on the general suspicion a lot of Vermonters have concerning the U.S. Government’s promise to not use census data for any other purpose. This is because similar promises were expressed by the U.S. federal government in the 1930s and 1940s, and yet U.S. census data was used to round up Japanese Americans and place them in internment camps during...
03/05/2020
On Tuesday, Feb. 25, the Vermont legislature successfully overrode Governor Scott’s veto of S.23, giving hardworking Vermonters the raise they desperately need and deserve. This bill is significant for a few reasons. It will have its greatest impact on the most marginalized Vermonters. According to the National Employment Law Project, women and people of color are overrepresented among those making minimum wage. Not only that, six out of the ten largest occupations with median wages at or around minimum also rank among the occupations projected to add the most jobs in coming years. Vermonters...
03/05/2020
With the election on Tuesday now is a good time to point out the shortfalls of the present system. Voters were asked to select either a Republican or Democratic ballot for the presidential primary. Results are predictable this year but there is always the potential for mischief voting as Republicans in some states were planning. What is more alarming though, is what will happen on Aug. 11 for the state primary. Again voters will have to choose a ballot to use. With multiple offices there are often people from multiple parties that you might prefer. That is not permitted under Vermont’s...
03/05/2020
The negative language that has been added to S.321 threatens both the hunting community and the integrity of the Fish and Wildlife Department. Senator Chris Bray stated on the record that he doesn’t believe these are attacks on hunting. If this concerns you, seek him out and speak to him about it. The Fish and Wildlife Department spends the majority of its sportsman-generated dollars on non-game programs, yet this bill creates a study committee that is made up of legislators. We could end up with some Fish and Wildlife Board members whom neither have a hunting, fishing or trapping license,...
03/03/2020
I’m running for the first time for First Constable in my town of Cornwall   Vermont. Sue Johnson, our Town Clerk, tells me the duties are non-existent,   if not minimal. In fact, she says, the Select Board doesn’t allow the constable   to do anything. No badge-wearing. No pulling over a speeding driver. Arresting a dog   for not wearing his tag. Not investigating the rumor the Town Poet might have   stolen a line from his neighbor. As Frost said, when a reporter asked him where he found his free   spoken lines. To which he retorted, from a Dragon in Ripton Vermont, where he lived in the...
03/02/2020
No surprise that former Vice-President Joe Biden got his expected bounce out of the South Carolina primary, but Sen. Bernie Sanders placed a strong second and is well-poised to win major contests on Super Tuesday. Criticize the primary process all you want, but the political reality is that Sanders is likely to have such a substantial lead after this coming Tuesday that he’ll be hard to catch. That’s particulary true because the moderate vote continues to be split between Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Peter Buttigieg. Sanders’s early advantage is sparking near panic among...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100