Op/Eds

This week’s writers are Richard Hopkins and Steve Maier, board members of the nonprofit Climate Economy Action Center of Addison County. What can we do to address the coming climate crisis while at the same time grow our local community and its economic and social institutions? The Climate Economy Action Center of Addison County (CEAC) has begun a concentrated 10-month process to produce a Climate Action Plan, to provide a roadmap. That’s where you come in. We say that because to be successful, this process will need substantial community input. Our goal is to provide a much-needed blueprint...
This is part three of four win-win solutions to the current challenges facing our school districts and small rural towns. The focus is on Nurturing Care. Great progress this spring! Community School Legislation and Child Care Legislation have passed, school districts are considering innovative ideas from local citizens, we are emerging from COVID, and substantial federal funding is becoming available. These four significant changes could potentially all be implemented this year: •  Remove the burden of health care from employers. •  Permit and encourage pre-school parity. •  Assure Nurturing...
Vermont’s Democratic Party has a bone to pick with the national news media: the national media, party officials allege, are giving Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, major kudos for leading an expansion of voting rights in Vermont. It’s a ripe story in the national press because most Republican governors are doing the opposite and passing restrictive laws that depress voter participation among people of color and favor the status quo. Scott stands apart as a Republican governor championing progressive ideas. Not so fast, Vermont Dems are saying. Scott has jumped on the coattails of an effort led...
In our marriage there’s a division of labor. Mark is good at things that require brute force and power tools. I’m good at cooking and telling him when he’s using words wrong. We complement each other. Now, I had last week off. Mark, being a contractor at a busy time of year during a post-pandemic construction boom, did not. I had a long list of things I wanted to get done. But, while I had the time to do them, I did not necessarily have the ability. I lack the upper body strength needed for many jobs around here. So when Mark pulls in at the end of a long day, I often meet him in the driveway...
I think often of what a privilege it is to live in the most vaccinated county in the most vaccinated state in the union. We have many good institutions and leaders to thank for that status — our schools and churches, Middlebury College, our governor and legislators, our fine health care system. But as I look around America at the endless nonsense and propaganda that clouds many minds, I am particularly grateful for the fact that each week the Independent provides all of us with news that we have come to trust. That trust means that most of us masked up when we were asked, and got our shots...
I want to echo the message that Angelo Lynn wrote in an editorial entitled “Thanks for the Sacrifices” in the June 5 issue of the Independent. I was one of those people he wrote about “who argued loudly last summer that bringing students back to the campus was sure to spread the virus and bring tragic consequences to the community.” I am glad to admit that I was wrong and to say a very big word of thanks to the college administration and especially the students who did so well with a difficult situation. Once again we have seen what a great asset Middlebury College is to this community!...
Critical Race Theory (CRT) (also known as Courageous Conversation or by some other euphemism) as instructed by teachers, is the result of the intersection of three perspectives: self-loathing, virtue signaling and political expediency. According to CRT, all whites must atone for their racist beliefs because they are inherently racist; whites can gain a few points by signaling how virtuous they are in admitting their racism; politicians and activists can ride the wave of CRT Awareness to get more votes in the next election due to their new-found awareness. In reality, people who believe that...
The season of green and growing grass and lawn care is here and I am joining the chorus in praise of battery-powered electric lawn care equipment! I recently purchased a new mower, which has improved my lawn care, and will also help to improve the life of future generations on this planet. My new mower is self-propelled and runs on a battery. It replaces a smaller battery-powered mower I used for 20 years. How the technology has changed! I tire out before the battery does, and it recharges in 3-4 hours. I don’t need to worry about gasoline, pull starts, or maintenance. And the lawn looks...
As first kindergarten and then first grade Daisy Girl Scouts, Troop 58465 proudly marched in the Vergennes Memorial Day parade. We learned about the meaning of the parade and walked the long parade route even though it was very hot out and our legs got tired. We wanted to show our gratitude for the men and women who lost their lives serving our country. We handed out flowers to veterans and active duty service members we spotted in the crowd because we believe that honoring their living brothers and sisters in arms is a way to show respect for those who did not make it home. Since we could...
I have lived in Addison County for 40 years — as a resident of Ripton, Middlebury and Weybridge, even seasonally in Salisbury. I have worked here in Environmental Education, three restaurants, Financial Services, Porter Medical Center and finally at End of Life Services. This is an extraordinary place, ideal for raising a family. It is all about the kids. This community shows up for the kids — on the fields, in the pool, on the ice or in the car — we grew up with our kids, their friends and their parents. This letter started as a thanks to the “Addy Indy,” where our diverse and engaged voices...

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