Op/Eds

08/27/2020
At Rokeby Museum, where I am a trustee, we have embarked on the challenge of adding advocacy for social and racial justice to our mission. In light of renewed efforts to disrupt and dispel white supremacy after the murder of George Floyd, I have been thinking about what this means. Much of my reading has been helpful, but nothing so much as the words of Bettina Love in an interview just over a year ago. A professor of education at the University of Georgia, Dr. Love’s writing, research, teaching, and activism meet at the intersection of race, education, abolition. In a 2019 interview, she...
08/25/2020
The baby is beginning to have strong opinions.  At the moment, his preferences manifest themselves most in the matter of food. For the first four months of his life, for a variety of health reasons, he subsisted upon a pre-digested infant formula called Nutramigen. If the words “pre-digested” make you shudder, let me assure you that this concoction smells like something you’d find in the dark recesses of a dairy barn. But the baby didn’t complain. He gulped down the formula happily at every meal. His sisters held their noses and carried him at arm’s length, but he didn’t care that he smelled...

GOBBLES DEMANDS A gentle caress while Jessie works on her column. The female turkey thinks she’s a pet dog.
08/20/2020
Gobbles is lonely. That sentence makes grammatical sense once you learn that “Gobbles” is the name previously given to the very large, very tame hen turkey we just acquired. She is a pet. She was the only turkey at her last home, and she’s the only turkey here, unless you count the four baby turkeys, or poults, currently living in a tub in our dining room. But I’ll get to that. Her first night was a little tricky; she followed the chickens into the coop around sundown, but she had apparently slept on the ground at her last home; it was clear she had never seen a roost before. Still, she was...

LAURIE PATTON, BRIAN CARPENTER, PETER BURROWS
08/20/2020
This community forum is a joint effort of Brian Carpenter, chair of the Middlebury selectboard; Peter Burrows, superintendent of the Addison Central School District, and Laurie Patton, president of Middlebury College.     We write to members of the Middlebury and Addison County communities with an update to our joint letter of March 20, 2020, to share information and let you know about our collaborations and communications between sectors of the community as we move into the fall. We are proud of the work of our state, our county and our town to keep the incidence of COVID-19 one of the...
08/20/2020
Due to COVID-19, the border to Mongolia is closed, so I can’t go there. Film festivals are not in person. I stay home. A friend gets my groceries for two and a half months. In early May when I have my annual exam by telemedicine, I tell my doctor I’m gaining weight because the pool is closed and I normally swim five days a week. The water outside is too cold, I tell her. She says, “Why don’t you get a wet suit?” Being compliant, I looked into it, but find that they cost $250 and you can’t even try them on because of COVID-19. My doctor says gaining two or three pounds is not so bad, but we...
08/20/2020
This week’s writer is Layne Bruce, executive director of the Mississippi Press Association. A move by the U.S. Postal Service to slow down mail service by cutting overtime and reducing sorting sure seems like a gambit by the Trump administration to impact voting by mail this fall. He practically said as much Aug. 13 on Fox Business. Democrats have proposed over $3.6 billion for voting by mail at a time when casting ballots in person is a perilous chore for many. And they’ve asked for $25 billion to finally shore up the postal services’ perpetually precarious finances. But President Trump told...
08/20/2020
I want to encourage the ACSD officials, board members, and anyone else involved in the current stage of master planning to think outside the box. A recent article in this paper mentioned the likelihood of four elementary schools eventually being closed. It then went on to mention a suggested distribution of students. It also mentioned that they are still looking into a few different options. I know this is just the current stage in a much longer discussion that has been happening since the district consolidated. The following are thoughts I have been meaning to share both before and after...
08/20/2020
The catastrophic explosions and aftermath in Beirut, Lebanon, were truly a horrible tragedy. I have never been to Lebanon but my father traveled on business throughout the Middle East 90 years ago. He spent a year in the Middle East, followed by a year in India, buying furs (mostly Persian lambs), and having them shipped back to the States. I grew up hearing amazing stories of his travels, including crossing the Syrian Desert at night in an old Buick and navigating by the stars, avoiding bandits, and learning to speak fluent Arabic. But what always stood out were his tales of Beirut, the “...
08/20/2020
History could provide us with valuable information about improving our overall health — and perhaps in extension helping us to cope better with COVID-19. World-famous Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, author of “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease,” explains the following: “World War II provided a graphic example of how the ravages of chronic diseases (coronary, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, etc.) could be totally halted. Norway was one of several western European nations occupied by Nazi Germany during the 1939-1945 conflict. The Germans removed all animal livestock from these countries and the...
08/20/2020
Good luck to Middlebury College as it welcomes back thousands of students from all over the country. We can only hope that the college’s long list of “safety protocols” do the trick by preventing an outbreak of COVID-19 on campus and in the wider community. Much hinges on whether people ages of 17-21 can behave more responsibly than I probably would have as a student at a similar liberal arts college (Williams) during a faraway time (class of 1956). Three factors appear to be crucial: (1) The need for mature behavior by the students, (2) the power of peer pressure on those who may be inclined...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100