Op/Eds

08/13/2020
Two takeaways from Vermont’s primary election results seem apparent: 1) name recognition gained through several statewide elections makes it tough for first-time challengers to break-through; 2) those who do break through trumpet the need for change with a clear and prescient message. In the governor’s race, Republican Gov. Phil Scott was never threatened in this primary as he captured 72% to his next nearest challenger, John Klar, at 21%. No surprise there.  Among Democrats, Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, coasted to victory over challenger Rebecca Holcombe, even though Holcombe outraised and...
08/13/2020
The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade at the hands of police officers have prompted a summer of protests, vigils and demonstrations in cities and small towns across the country. Here in Addison County, many residents put together group orders of Black Lives Matter signs to express their support of this movement, which simply calls for Black Americans to be treated as full citizens, equally entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So why, every time I put up a Black Lives Matter sign in my front yard, does someone keep stealing it? Black Vermonters...
08/13/2020
With less than three months remaining before Election Day, what do polls tell us about the current state of the presidential campaign? Most high-quality national polls taken within the past few weeks show Joe Biden with a 7-to-9 point lead over Donald Trump. The 538.com average of national polls, which makes adjustments for each poll’s sample size, quality and recency, showed Biden with a 7.8-point lead at the end of last week. This is down slightly from Biden’s largest polling lead of the election cycle, 9.1 points on July 15. Polls also indicate that the most common frame through which...
08/13/2020
In three months, we will celebrate our most uniquely American holiday, Thanksgiving. I hope that we will find ourselves thankful for having weathered the worst of the coronavirus storm together, anticipating a number of vaccines, and seeing our economy slowly come back to life. Yet if we choose to ignore the experts and listen to those who would put their own self-interest ahead of the public good, Thanksgiving could be a grim symbol of our folly. Dr. Osterholm (director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota) and Mr. Kashkari (president of the...
08/13/2020
The torture and murder of George Floyd by malignant police officers once again shocked and continues to shock the consciousness of the nation and the world. When oppressed, it is only natural and justifiable to rise up against the oppressor. But what about when the oppressors are among us? In recent weeks, there has been an undercurrent of pushback against the truism that Black Lives do in fact Matter and that equality and justice should indeed be for all. We have seen Aryan white supremacy symbols scrawled on our infrastructure; a racist Zoom bombing during a selectboard meeting; the...
08/13/2020
While I appreciate the Independent’s effort to highlight the grit on display by downtown Middlebury businesses in John Flowers’s Aug. 6 article, “Middlebury shops tough it out,” I take exception to the statement that, “not all downtown stakeholders have taken a grin-and-bear-it attitude toward the construction,” and, “a few businesses have remained closed rather than try to gut it out amid the project turmoil.” First, let’s name those businesses, as anonymity itself suggests stigma. They are: Sabai Sabai, Kiss the Cook, Main Street Stationery, Danforth Pewter, and — my own — the Vermont Book...
08/13/2020
As current and former local residents and employees of Middlebury College with deep concern about the health of our community, we listened carefully to the presentation by college officials to the selectboard about plans to reopen the campus. We’ve concluded that although these plans were the result of serious work by many individuals, they do not offer sufficient assurance that the college can safely reopen next month without risking a COVID-19 outbreak in Addison County. The announced plans have several troubling components, three of which are 1. failure to provide for ongoing weekly...
08/13/2020
The history of the police may seem like it was a long time ago, and it is tempting to think that we should focus only on the present. However, the history of police is not only a relic. Even the star shape of the police badge, which originated from the first slave patrol badge, upholds that system that was created not so long ago. Another example is the use of dogs to enforce terror during slave catching, during civil rights protests, and today — it has even occurred in town against a Black Middlebury resident this summer. It is exactly this past that has led us to where we are today, making...
08/11/2020
There are seven people who live in our house, and then there are the ones you can’t see. I learned long ago never to use the words “imaginary friends” to describe these beings of light and air. No; they are very REAL, so the proper term is “invisible friends.” Invisible friends first showed up sometime during the first three years of my eldest daughter’s life, although I’m not sure whether they appeared during the 20 months when she was an only child, or the following year when she was a de facto only child, with only one infant sister for company. What I do remember quite clearly is one...
08/06/2020
It’s normal to have several candidates vying for the two top offices in the state during every primary. But typically the two major party candidates are well known and the primary serves as a warm-up to the General Election.  For Democrats, this year is an exception. In the race for governor, Democratic candidate Rebecca Holcombe, a former Secretary of Education under Gov. Shumlin who also served during the first term under Republican Gov. Phil Scott, is running a competitive campaign against two-term Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman. She brings an expertise in education to the job, while also having...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100