Op/Eds

The March 25 issue of the Addison Independent contained an article headlined “Acorn Energy Co-op third community solar project in Bristol moving forward.” In the article, it said “…Acorn Energy Co-op received final approval of its documentation for the public offering of shares in the project by the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR).” The sentence should have said “received final review of its documentation for the public offering of shares in the project.” The DFR neither approves nor disapproves of investment opportunities in Vermont. Any other references to “DFR approval” in...
Does anyone know the history of the Sunday School Trail that goes up the face of South Mountain about one mile south of the South Street bridge just south of Bristol village? Most of it is in a national Wilderness Area. I imagine somewhere in the 1930s, someone organized kids to clear a trail up to the cliffs and Preacher’s Hole. Please let me know what you might know about this Bristol asset. I will share findings through the Addy Indy. Peter Grant Bristol
Angelo, the proposal to change state employee and Vermont teacher pensions that is being considered by the Legislature is a major issue in Vermont today. Teachers have used a strategy of letter writing (published in this newspaper), holding a Zoom meeting where teachers presented to local legislators and testifying before legislative committees. The result of these efforts has been the same reduced pension proposal but now available to educators when they reach full Social Security retirement age, 67 or 68, rather than the rule of 90 (age plus years of service). For many teachers in their mid...
Words I never expected to say: “After the tornado went through our front yard….” Yet I heard myself say exactly that to my children on the evening of March 26, 2021. It sounded so ludicrous, so absolutely unbelievable, that I broke down in giggles. “Uh, Mommy,” my daughter asked, “do you have post-traumatic stress?” Maybe. Probably. I suppose some degree of trauma is inevitable in a year when I’m learning that no matter how ludicrous, how absolutely unbelievable something seems, it can still happen. “Is this actually happening?” I’ve wondered numerous times over the past year: when the COVID-...
The Legislature has before it — at long last — a proposal to address the solvency of the state’s pension system. There is nothing in the proposal for anyone to like. It’s full of pain and regret and expense. It’s the embodiment of what happens when a problem is recognized but its solution is deferred. For decades. The proposal unveiled by the House Government Operations committee essentially follows the recommendation by state Treasurer Beth Pearce, who said in January there was little choice but to ask retirees to work longer, pay more, and to receive less in retirement. With $5.6 billion in...
With a bit of optimism on a late winter day, you put on your boots and outdoor gear, thrust a couple of tools in your pockets, grab a stack of buckets and lids, and head into the woods. It’s about to be sugaring season. We began sugaring shortly after moving to Ripton. I don’t remember how we acquired our first set of slightly dented, sometimes leaky buckets or the less-than-perfect taps, but I know why we got them. We were aiming for as much self-sufficiency as we could manage, and here was the wonder: You could drill a small hole in a maple tree (make sure and know which ones are maples!),...
Two weeks ago, I was complaining that the early stages of our kitchen renovation had left me disoriented. I was certain I’d never face a bigger upheaval than the silverware being moved to a different drawer. A lot has happened since then. Happily, the renovation has progressed, but it has required that much of our old kitchen be farmed out to the far reaches of the house. Goodbye, trusty work triangle; my cooking path is now an irregular polygon that I measure in yards rather than feet. A bit of normalcy remains: The old kitchen range and surrounding island haven’t gone anywhere yet, and Mark...
19th in a series To begin with, Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) was a hypocrite. Although he could speak and write eloquently in favor of human liberty and equality from what were evidently well considered principles, nevertheless he enslaved 600 African-Americans during his lifetime, some of them his own children. They contributed to his fortune, and yet he gave them no share in it. Although he was deeply devoted to his wife, Martha Wayles (1748–1782), so much so that he considered suicide after her early death, he cohabited regularly with her half-sister, Sally Hemings (1773–1835), who was...
Porter Hospital has created a (DEI) Council to “help create a more just, welcoming and responsive place for people of all colors, nationalities and religions to work and receive health care services” (Addison Independent March 4).  They have even hung a flag stating Black Lives Matter and will be incorporating signage in Spanish for non-native speakers. I admire these efforts, but think they should go a bit further. They also address the disparities that the LGBTQ have experienced in health care. Perhaps some lessons in treating these individuals in the many facilities governed by UVM should...
This letter is from three women in Addison County who are all good friends, and who work together on a number of campaigns to promote equity and anti-racism in Vermont. Two of us are Jewish and one of us has many Jewish family members. Last week we baked up an assortment of treats, sweet and savory, and delivered them to the Middlebury College students who organize the group Justice for Palestine on campus. We wanted to make a gesture of support to these students, who have recently faced harassment on campus for their advocacy for Palestinian Human Rights. As activists in the community who...

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Addison County Independent