Op/Eds

I am one of many community members who have written to the Addison Central School District board in support of allowing Middlebury Union High School students to fly the Black Lives Matter flag on the school flagpole. The great United States historian Howard Zinn said, “You can’t be neutral on a moving train.” What he meant by that, is that the train (a metaphor for our politics and our society) is moving in certain deadly directions, and if you are neutral, you are accepting that. I do not accept that! I do not want my community to accept the fact that Black people in Vermont are 10 times...
Have you heard that President Biden has nominated Charles F. “Chuck” Sams III to become the next director of the National Park Service? He has been a tribal leader in Oregon for years. He lives, with his family, on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon. The Senate needs to confirm this nomination. If yes, then Chuck would become the first Native American to head the National Parks Service. What does it mean to be a good steward of the land? A person needs to know the responsibility of taking good care of the land so the land can take care of you for today and...
Last week, thanks to the generosity of my mother- and father-in-law who were visiting us from California, my husband and I had a weekend getaway. It’s not quite as romantic as it sounds: Our 22-month-old son came along, too. Still, it was the first time in over three years that my husband and I had been away from home — and our four daughters — together. We headed to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, one of our favorite idyllic escapes. (For out-of-state friends who visit Addison County to “get away from it all,” yes there are places even more sleepy and remote, and the Northeast Kingdom, nestled...
After two weeks out-of-state on break, our return to Middlebury proves how much can happen in a short period: • Lincoln Community School voted to withdraw from the Mount Abraham Unified School District; • The other six towns in the Addison Central Supervisory Union overwhelmingly approved Ripton’s withdrawal from the district and its financial terms, removing the last obstacle for that school’s independence; • Middlebury residents overwhelmingly voted to approve a bond of $323,000 for a solar project sponsored by the Acorn Energy Co-op; • Middlebury College bought the Inn on the Green to...
Here is the full transcript of President Joe Biden’s speech Tuesday night on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of war. “Last night in Kabul, the United States ended 20 years of war in Afghanistan. The longest war in American history. We completed one of the biggest airlifts in history with more than 120,000 people evacuated to safety. That number is more than double what most experts thought were possible. No nation, no nation has ever done anything like it in all of history. Only the United States had the capacity and the will and ability to do it, and we did it today. “The...
My mother called being a part of a conversation “getting a word in edgewise.” I never had trouble doing that, maybe because I was the oldest of five kids. Never, that is, until after COVID-19. I spent more than a year living alone, not seeing or interacting with others. Everything was internal as I accessed my memories and worked on my memoir. I was looking deeply into my past, taking all the time I needed. After a year of that, the pace of normal conversation seemed like I was walking on my horse and everyone else was galloping. In fact, when I could be with others, the conversation went so...
Around the second week of June, Mark said, “Stop whining. If you don’t have time for a vegetable garden this year, just skip it.” The absolute nerve. It’s not a choice. My garden has become part of my identity. I struggle. I complain. I get stressed. But I have to have a garden, if only for the fresh tomatoes. Plus I love the surge of superiority I feel when I tell people, unprompted, how many months our potato harvest lasted last year. (They just blink, as if they don’t know what to do with that information. But I know they’re secretly envious.) I wouldn’t call gardening fun, but I relish...
36th in a series “The Sense of Beauty” is the title of a book written by George Santayana. It was his first book, published in 1896. It is a path-breaking book, and it has become a classic. This essay offers a brief exposition of it. Santayana wrote it to answer the question, “How is it that we [i.e. the human species] come to perceive beauty at all?” When we gaze at the western sky at sunset or the eastern sky at sunrise, or look upon a star or a multi-colored rose, or contemplate a Grecian urn, or listen to a performance of Beethoven’s choral rendition of Schiller’s Ode to Joy (the...
Let’s elect Erik Prince, Betsy DeVos’ multi-millionaire brother, to team Disgusting Americans for charging escaping Afghans and Americans $6,500 for charter flights out of war-torn Afghanistan. Out of all current millionaires and billionaires, he is most repugnant. Leslie Caron Middlebury
We recently sent the following letter to the Monkton selectboard requesting that we Monktonites become informed and involved as a community with the ongoing discussion about town schools and the education of our youngest citizens. We recently took part in the “Town Schools listening session” organized by the Vermont Folklife Center and it was a lovely experience to be listened to describing why we feel our five-town schools are important. Our request for this meeting springs from the desire that everyone have the opportunity to be listened to: parents, students, our town officials (including...

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Addison County Independent