Op/Eds

02/20/2020
Middlebury residents will face a sweetheart deal when asked to support a $5.35 million bond to finance three distinct projects. That’s because the majority of that $5.35 million will be raised without increasing local taxes. The bonds deal with infrastructure projects that will hopefully tap into federal and state grants, along with excess funds in the town’s local options tax, to keep the tax impact close to nil — well, not nothing, but not very much. The three projects (see story) include: water main improvements to Court Square amounting to $2.5 million; up to $2 million in flood relief...
02/20/2020
Fear not, my fellow liberals: Donald Trump is a one-term president. If you believe, as I do, that anyone who says they know what will happen in the 2020 presidential election actually has no idea what will happen, then you can happily ignore the first sentence of this column. But if you endlessly speculate about November, then this one is for you. And for all of us who lose sleep over the fact that Donald Trump is still president. Sometimes we lose sleep over Trump’s personal failings — the incoherent rambling; the personal attacks on women, journalists, decorated military veterans, and even...
02/20/2020
Editor’s note: This is the 47th in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. If it had been up to him, Abraham Lincoln would not have chosen the title of “The Great Emancipator” for himself. He would have preferred “Preserver of the Union.” In 1862, in a letter to Horace Greeley, he made clear that his chief purpose in the war was to “save the Union in the shortest way under the Constitution.” “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I...
02/20/2020
Having been a life-long Republican, I was very disappointed by our Republican Senators in the impeachment process. I am not a Trump supporter and never was. The way he treats people and insults Americans and our allies. The wall between Mexico and the United States, which he said Mexico was going to pay for. What a joke! The wall is being built with funds being raped from our military budget. The wall is NOT a military issue and its construction is destroying the environmental (human as well as animal) balance along its corridor. What a horrendous nightmare for all, this wall has become. It...
02/20/2020
Editor’s note: This letter was directed to the members of the Slate Valley Unified Union School District, which includes Orwell, and cc’d to the Independent. I am writing to thank you for your service. I want to thank you for your countless hours of work, your missed family dinners, children’s performances, and sporting events. I want to thank you for your honest conversations, the debates where we agreed to disagree, and the time spent analyzing documents to be ready for a meeting. I want to thank you for touring every school building in our district to understand the unique needs of its...
02/20/2020
One month prior to the opening of the 2020 Vermont Legislative Session, the party in power presented to both representatives and the general public alike a few of the flagship issues soon to be taken up. This legislative briefing focused on a clean water update and what it will take to correct it, plus the Transportation and Climate Initiatives (Act 59, 2019). Many of the bills that died last year were scheduled to be reintroduced perhaps because we, the electorate, don’t really know what is best for us. One of these, the Carbon Tax, will rise once again as the phoenix, from the ashes of...
02/20/2020
In January, the Salisbury selectboard voted unanimously to separate Salisbury’s payment to the Brandon-Leicester-Salisbury-Goshen-Pittsford Insect Control District (BLSG) into Article 11 on the town meeting ballot. On Election Day, Tuesday, March 3 (Super Tuesday), voters in Salisbury will decide whether to pay $26,371 to BLSG or to receive no mosquito control services. Although there are no new services being offered, BLSG is charging Salisbury 51% more than it did in 2018 ($17,434). While BLSG’s services are sharply increasing in cost, they are decreasing in value. For example, aerial...
02/20/2020
First the good news: Congratulations to the reporters, editors and staff of the Addison Independent for bringing home 30 awards from the recent New England Newspaper and Press Association annual meeting. With over 450 members in the association, the competition is very stiff. There is little doubt that the awards are well deserved and that the Independent is a high quality newspaper. Now the bad news: I feel a recent headline on an Independent story (“Legislators: Vetoes hurt Vt. affordability”) although accurate is a bit misleading. Since most of our county legislators are Democrats it is...
02/20/2020
Consensus regarding what to do about climate change is hobbled by widespread disbelief that individual actions matter. We are stymied, believing that nothing is worth doing because the problem is too big. Action seems futile absent an improbable act of international and social cooperation. Here in Vermont, with a declining population, we are challenged to appreciate the enormity of the problem. To the point, we live in a nation with 28 cities having populations greater than Vermont’s in 2019. More to the point, the population of our planet doubled between 1960 and 2000. We went from...
02/20/2020
We appreciated Angelo Lynn’s sensible response to the Democratic establishment panic over Bernie Sanders’ front-runner status in the nomination race. For anyone who cares about the future of our country, the prime objective must be defeating Donald Trump in November. But choosing a Democratic candidate solely on speculation as to who can beat him is folly. No one has that kind of crystal ball. Who thought Hillary Clinton could lose or Trump could win in 2016? And, alas, who knows how such factors as voter suppression, ballot box fraud and foreign intervention (solicited or not) will influence...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100