Op/Eds


THIS COMFY CHAIR may be a chair-and-a-half, but it’s still not big enough for all the Gong Girls.
03/10/2020
I’ll be honest with you: It’s not easy for me to focus on writing this column. Last night, we turned the clocks ahead one hour, but the baby seems not to have noticed. And it’s 46 degrees and sunny outside, with only a few patches of snow on the ground. (If you’re not a Vermonter, that’s amazing spring fever weather this time of year!) I’ve sent my family off to open barn at the sheep farm, and about the last place I want to be is inside forcing my exhausted brain to transcribe coherent thoughts while the ducks are having a party on the lawn outside. But these signs of spring give me hope...
03/09/2020
On Town Meeting Day, three towns within the seven-town Addison Central School District voted overwhelmingly on two advisory questions to overturn provisions of the district’s charter that limits their town’s ability to have an adequate voice to pick a school board representative from their town and to determine whether their elementary school should be closed. The citizen-led referenda in Ripton, Salisbury and Shoreham specifically asked if school board members should only be elected by their fellow townspeople and that a school should only be closed if a majority in that community elect to...

JAN DEMERS
03/09/2020
Bill Cherry made an appointment to speak with Gillian Franks from CVOEO’s Financial Futures Program over a decade ago. He was out of work and brewing beer in his home. His meetings with Gillian were intensive at first and then intermittent over the years. S w i t c h b a c k Brewing was born and is now a multimillion-dollar enterprise that has recently become employee owned. In Bill’s words, “The Micro Business Development Program was the only third-party consultant needed to get the company started. And I would have never known Chittenden Bank had just released funds for a business loan...

DR. DIANNE BARNARD, left, is the Palliative Care Physician at UVM/Porter Medical Center and has been recently joined by Taylor Zak, Palliative Social Worker.
03/09/2020
“I love working in palliative care because of its focus on the human connection; blending the best of medical care with the unique values and priorities of each patient” – Diana Barnard, MD Patient driven care, this is the heart of palliative care, at a time when specialized medical care provides relief from symptoms and the stress of a serious illness. A team approach to care with a goal of improved quality of life for both patient and family, Palliative care can be provided at any phase of illness. Here are some practical ways palliative care can help: Goals of Care. Every person approaches...
03/09/2020
Just a few hours after a lobby visit at Senator Leahy’s Burlington office, his staffer sent me the headlining news, “Leahy, Pascrell, King Introduce Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act.” This bipartisan act, introduced by U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Peter King (R-NY), will give the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms the ability to electronically search for the records of guns used in crimes across the country. I am an Advocacy Corps member with the Friends Committee on National Legislation, lobbying for common sense gun violence protection...
03/09/2020
A recent conversation with my aunt brought to light a possible flaw with some of the Democratic candidates’ “Medicare for All” pitch. Medicare is beloved, true, and folks look forward to reaching eligibility age for it, also true. They can get excellent care from American physicians at a low cost thanks to workers’ Medicare taxes. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all just be on that plan right now? Yes, yes it would. However, how good would it be if you had universal coverage but no providers? Let me explain my concern. Medical school sucks; my brother-in-law is a surgeon down in the...
03/09/2020
Wake Up America! It is the McConnell Republican engine that grants the fuel for Trump’s engine. Think beyond disliking Trump to what gives him power and protections. Apart from his love of Putin and felons, he is laughable; but laughing won’ts do the job except for making him angrier. Shake-up needs to happen in the Senate. Vote! Hats off to Jeff Flake, (see his departure speech), Mitt Romney and Patrick Leahy. Who else dares ring the Liberty Bell? Chris Alger Orwell
03/09/2020
As I write this day, my concern and focus is on Bernie Sanders. I feel that Bernie’s avid intelligence and open-heartedness are much to be admired. His ability to withstand continuous criticism, and in my opinion, the unwarranted unkindness of the mainstream Republican and Democratic establishments, is amazingly brave. We, without pause, proclaim our gratitude, respect and admiration for Martin Luther King. He was, without doubt, a Democratic Socialist. In the last few years, we recite praises for the character and political philosophy of Jimmy Carter. Jimmy Carter endured the ridicule of the...
03/09/2020
On Tuesday night, 10 minutes before the polls closed, I ran into the polling station in Middlebury with two forms of address, my license and my passport. I had moved since the last election and it took me eight minutes to register to vote and then vote. Vermont same-day registration is a beautiful thing. My vote was for Elizabeth Warren. In a state that was always going to go for Bernie, I voted because she deserved my vote. She deserved a lot more votes than she received. Everyone has an issue with candidates that aren’t their preferred choice, but objectively you can step back and see that...
03/09/2020
Thank you for your excellent coverage of the Ilsley trustees’ recent decision to pursue a less expensive path for our upcoming renovation. We are excited to be moving ahead again after hiring a superb new director, Dana Hart, and allowing her time to join the moving train. The headline that appeared in the printed version of the story, “New Path to be Set for Ilsley Upgrades,” was accurate. Unfortunately the headline in the online edition was inaccurate: “Ilsley board votes to abandon expansion plan.” That headline has led some people — who did not read the article — to think that we are...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100