Op/Eds

03/09/2020
This letter has a lot to say about the Monger letter of Feb. 20. First about the pollution of our lake: What about the tons and tons of salt that is spread on the roads, then the streams, then the lake. Take some salt and put it in a glass of water. What do you get? Slimy, nasty water. What about the laundry detergent with phosphorus. Also, what about the cars that are rusted out because of the salt? When you wash it or it rains the salt, rust and oil that the rust caused — guess where that goes? In the streams to the lake. Now, why are people (mostly young) leaving Vermont? Nobody has ever...
03/05/2020
Super Tuesday was exciting, shocking politics. Vice President Joe Biden’s surge from his seemingly moribund campaign prior to Saturday’s South Carolina’s blow-out to Tuesday’s victory in 9 of 14 states, many of which he had no ground game or advertising presence, was a stunning reversal of fortune for Biden and his chief opponent, Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders. Why Biden was able to make up so much ground on Sanders’s apparent lead going into Tuesday’s primaries has been the subject of endless political punditry since results came into focus around midnight Tuesday. That Sen. Amy Klobuchar...
03/05/2020
I’ve always loved pasta. But now that I’ve started making my own from scratch, I’m convinced it’s the best food on earth. I can’t get enough of it. When I was little, my Italian grandmother served pasta of one sort or another with almost every meal — it came after the antipasto and before the meat and salad. It was the only part of dinner I really cared about. I loved pasta so much, in fact, that my grandparents affectionately referred to me as a “spaghetti bender.” Isn’t that cute? I thought so — until yesterday, when I checked Urban Dictionary. Turns out “spaghetti bender” is a derogatory...

WELL-REGARDED NEW HAMPSHIRE author Ernest Hebert has a writing process that anyone aspiring to communicate more clearly could imitate. Photo by Peter Biello/New Hampshire Public Radio
03/05/2020
One of my favorite writers is Ernest Hebert, author of seven novels in his Darby Chronicles series, and a number of other works of fiction. Hebert grew up in working class Keene, N.H., and writes authoritatively about this section of New England. He taught for many years at Dartmouth College and declares on his Dartmouth webpage: “It’s been my mission as a novelist to write about working people without idealizing or demeaning them.” He knows whereof he writes. Just about my favorite novel ever is his “The Dogs of March,” with its unforgettable protagonist, Howard Elman. By the end of the...
03/05/2020
When Vermonters switch over to drive electric vehicles and even electric tractors, what happens to our local garages and auto parts stores? EVs have fewer moving parts to go bad and need far fewer repairs. How will these businesses adapt and survive? Transitions like that are just one of the many questions the county’s businesses will face in the future. As we experience far greater changes in the climate, our businesses will need to change, and we’ll be forced to adapt. Will people who rely on maple sugaring for some of their livelihood still be able to do so, as warming pushes maple trees...
03/05/2020
Listening to Gov. Phil Scott on Vermont Public Radio recently as he mounted objection after objection to proposals to combat climate change, I kept thinking, “He’s missing something!” For every proposed climate solution suggested to him by callers and the moderator, his answer was, “This will hurt rural and working Vermonters.” Of course, this would be a legitimate concern if it were true, but it isn’t.  What the governor is missing is that the current system is inequitable. Low-income and rural Vermonters already have much higher energy burdens than do their wealthier and more urban friends...
03/05/2020
Editor’s note: This is the 49th in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. The term “Reconstruction” when applied to the aftermath of the Civil War has several uses. The South suffered the loss of its infrastructure: its major cities were laid waste, its railroads torn up; its communication systems destroyed; all these had to be rebuilt. Moreover, its economy was destroyed, not only because of the physical damage caused by invading armies, but also because its primary labor force, which produced its major products for export, was no longer enslaved,...
03/05/2020
Despite the useful information census data provides, and the federal dollars that flow to the state as a result of the census, there is reason to not be supportive of the U. S. census. The Addison Independent did an admirable job recently reporting on the general suspicion a lot of Vermonters have concerning the U.S. Government’s promise to not use census data for any other purpose. This is because similar promises were expressed by the U.S. federal government in the 1930s and 1940s, and yet U.S. census data was used to round up Japanese Americans and place them in internment camps during...
03/05/2020
On Tuesday, Feb. 25, the Vermont legislature successfully overrode Governor Scott’s veto of S.23, giving hardworking Vermonters the raise they desperately need and deserve. This bill is significant for a few reasons. It will have its greatest impact on the most marginalized Vermonters. According to the National Employment Law Project, women and people of color are overrepresented among those making minimum wage. Not only that, six out of the ten largest occupations with median wages at or around minimum also rank among the occupations projected to add the most jobs in coming years. Vermonters...
03/05/2020
With the election on Tuesday now is a good time to point out the shortfalls of the present system. Voters were asked to select either a Republican or Democratic ballot for the presidential primary. Results are predictable this year but there is always the potential for mischief voting as Republicans in some states were planning. What is more alarming though, is what will happen on Aug. 11 for the state primary. Again voters will have to choose a ballot to use. With multiple offices there are often people from multiple parties that you might prefer. That is not permitted under Vermont’s...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100