Op/Eds

11/18/2019
While the impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump proceed with damning evidence that neither Trump nor fellow Republicans have tried to refute (change the topic, yes, but not deny the evidence), we note only that impeachment is a political process, not a judicial one, and if the Republican Senate decides to put Trump above the law, they will be setting a dangerous precedent that has the potential to create authoritarian rule. Hopefully, enough Americans will come to understand that threat and reject the GOP in 2020. But on to more local, and happier topics. In this issue we highlight...
11/18/2019
She is a single mom with a toddler who was living at the Lund Family Center. Brittany was surrounded by people who were pulling for her to succeed. Making a $50 a week stipend, though an extremely small amount, didn’t stop Brittany from looking for a way that she and her daughter could make a secure future for themselves. She knew that education was a way out and her first step was to take CVOEO’s Spend Smart and Keys to Credit classes.  “I learned a lot from the classes. I learned ways I could build my credit. I learned about tracking money. I think one of the biggest things was saving money...
11/18/2019
The long awaited democratic decision of the school closure vote is officially behind us, and the communities have spoken! Both Addison and Ferrisburgh voted in the majority for keeping their schools intact. With a 50 percent voter turnout in both towns, and a 75 percent opposed vote in Addison and an 85 percent opposed vote in Ferrisburgh, it’s safe to say that each town has the same vision for their schools. Yet, the fate of Addison Central School (ACS) still sits in the hands of the school board. One of the reasons provided by the ANWSD School Board (the Board) for proposed school closures...
11/18/2019
The use of plastic mulch by hemp growers this past summer brought a new dimension to the Vermont landscape. We have all been aware of ‘ag plastics’ like hay bale coverings and maple sap pipeline for some time, but we assumed the waste plastic would be managed appropriately. Acres of land covered with plastic mulch is something new. It goes against everything I believe about how to treat the land. If I am out hiking or camping and I see plastic on the ground, I pick it up. Loose in any environment it symbolizes carelessness and abuse and I could not suppress those feelings when I saw how much...
11/14/2019
Right from the start of reporter Christopher Ross’s series of stories on the bear hounds that attacked a couple and their black, furry puppy in the U.S. Forest off the Ripton-Goshen road in mid-October, it was apparent any solution would revolve around maintaining control of the dogs. It was also apparent that having “control” of a hound on the scent of a bear or any other prey is in the eye of the beholder to some, and an oxymoron to others. By its very nature, bear hunting with hounds allows the dogs to run free of their owners’ direct control (it would be impossible to keep up with them in...
11/14/2019
There is a lot going on in the world right now, but I confess that I have been frequently and somewhat blissfully unaware of most of it. At the moment, I am suffering from some health issues that prevent me from spending too much time on the computer and even from reading — it hurts my head if I do it for too long. That means I can’t really read the news. Although I would not wish this pain on anyone, I have to say that hearing and reading about the constant national and global catastrophes that have been hammering down since November of 2016 are something that I have not missed. I have been...
11/14/2019
You might not know it to look at me, but I’m a crier. Show me a touching video or play me a sad song, and I’m a blubbering mess in seconds. I stopped going to the movies after “Up” — an emotional gut punch disguised as a children’s movie — because some rotten kid in the next row called me a “loser crybaby” less than 10 minutes into the film. I’m sensitive. But I have to admit, sometimes I like a good cry. So when the world starts to feel too cruel, I turn to YouTube, where I seek out heartwarming videos prefaced with the caveat “Get the tissues ready.” (I always do.) The videos I’m drawn to...
11/14/2019
My neighbor and I are at the northwest corner of my three acres, clearing out buckthorn. We stack that prickly invasive into piles of brambly cover for birds and other critters. We’re clearing out the buckthorn to provide a more gracious procession of big oak trees into our neighboring properties. But we also have other quarry, in the shape of dead elm trees that will fuel our woodstoves for a couple of winters to come. It’s a time-honored Vermont tradition: neighbors working together to keep themselves warm. But the emerging science suggests that burning wood may not be such a good idea. We’...
11/14/2019
Students protesting about climate change: They are right to be concerned about waste, pollution and the idea of unlimited growth in a finite world. There was a remark that his situation was “forced on them.” Of course, they might have been kids that had to be driven to school rather than ride the school bus, and later on they had their own car to get to high school. Modern people, young and old, think they need to have the latest toys, clothing, entertainment and especially the newest technology: phones, computers, etc. Students could set a great example if they began riding the school buses...
11/14/2019
Throughout the spring, summer and fall of this year, neighbors of Lonie Parker’s Porky’s Backyard BBQ on Route 7 in New Haven have endured excessive noise from the backyard, open-air roadhouse constructed behind the restaurant in the spring of this year by Porky’s. The community relies on the town’s DRB (Development Review Board) to lay out the ground rules for businesses so as to promote harmonious development in the community. That didn’t happen in this case. It’s as though the development guardrails that the DRB was to put in place never got assembled. A hearing was held in March of this...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100