Op/Eds

09/19/2019
Editor’s note: This is the 35th in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. American civilization would be much diminished if Henry David Thoreau (1817-62) had not gone to live “alone, in the woods,” by the shore of Walden Pond, for two years, two months and two days, in a house built by himself, subsisting on simple fare: fish, wild fruits and beans and other vegetables grown in a garden that he planted and tended.  He did not go simply to be alone. Thoreau was a writer and he wanted to be in a quiet place to finish writing a book. The book he...
09/19/2019
Vermont is known for its beautiful landscape and Green Mountains, and we work hard to preserve the open space, the trees, the environment, the air quality, the water, the wildlife, and the wetlands, but we often forget to protect and preserve the peace and quiet. Peace and quiet is the essence of Vermont, and we must maintain diligence to preserve and protect it.  Our zoning districts were created to allow for peace and quiet in our residential and agricultural neighborhoods and our commercial districts/downtown spaces were built to allow for large groups of people, noise, artificial lighting...
09/19/2019
As a county we have a rich history and culture; one that has thrived off of agriculture, as well as the growth of small local businesses. In the beginning, Lake Champlain allowed merchants and farmers to trade their goods throughout New England. Our rich green forest, filled with birdsong, created a booming fur industry. As we have moved into the 20th and 21st century our golden whispering leaves, crisp autumns and world class maple syrup have brought tourists from far and wide into our local businesses. Our natural landscape has continued to serve us well; perfect for raising livestock, our...
09/19/2019
As I sat in the auditorium of Middlebury Union High School last week for the A.L.I.C.E. training, I watched peers tremble as they watched a video about what to do when an armed aggressor tries to shoot people in school. I tried to steady my pounding heart as MUHS students asked the faculty and resource officer what they were supposed to do if an active shooter came into the lunch room or if it happened while they were in the bathroom. Although the method of Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate is much better than sitting in the corner of a dark, locked room, it is incredibly sad and...
09/19/2019
Russ Reilly, who among other things was a long-time announcer at Middlebury College football games, died July 24. A memorial service will be held at Mead Chapel on the Middlebury campus this Saturday, Sept. 21, at 3 p.m. For many years, Gary Margolis sat next to Reilly in the football announcer’s booth, spotting and running the 25-second clock.   Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, you would say, please remove your caps and honor this great country of ours.   As Legion Post 27 presents our colors. The word great bouncing off the peaks of the Green Mountains, beginning   to turn orange again...
09/16/2019
In a recent conversation with Governor Scott, one of his principle economic concerns was the gap between job openings and applicants. With Vermont’s population either slightly shrinking or growing, depending on the most recent data, it’s fair to say our population growth is essentially stagnant. Of greater concern is that it’s ageing at a rapid rate. The average Vermonter is 43. Only Maine and New Hampshire are older. Nineteen percent of Vermonters are over 65 and when we hit 20 percent Vermont meets the World Bank’s definition of “super-aged.” In spite of the growth of automation, at this...

JOHN HANSELMAN, CEO of Vanguard Renewables, refers to a map showing the layout of a future anaerobic digester at Salisbury’s Goodrich Farm. It will convert manure and food scraps into renewable natural gas for Middlebury College and other clients. Those involved in the project held a groundbreaking ceremony at the farm in August. Independent file photo/Steve James
09/16/2019
I’ve read the article regarding the installation of the digesters that will soon begin construction on the Goodrich Farm in Salisbury. I also understand how this may be a solution to some problems, such as green algae in our lakes, etc. Recently a friend told me that when he and his buddy caught two fish in Otter Creek (Salisbury/Cornwall), both fish had blue mouths or lips, as he stated. Although I am not an expert on the subject, I thought they were lacking oxygen and wondered whether the spreading of liquid manure was responsible for this too. I speculated whether they were abiding by the...
09/16/2019
Recycling is in a crisis. China has stopped taking our mixed recyclables, which are often contaminated or contain trash that was put in the wrong bin. With the market shrinking, it’s hard to find a use for recycled items and many are ending up in landfills. We are pretty good recyclers here in Addison County — sometimes too good, putting things in the recycling bin that are not really recyclable. We are learning to be more careful. But there’s another whole side to the story: purchasing recycled products. That way we help create a market. On Monday, Aug. 5, I took a bike tour of the several...
09/12/2019
In this era of misinformation of national news, it’s no small comfort to have representation in the nation’s capital whom Vermonters can trust and believe. Along with Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, Vermont has been well served by Rep. Peter Welch in the House. The Addison Independent will host Rep. Welch next Monday, Sept. 16, from 5 to 6:15 p.m. in a community forum that will feature opening comments by the Congressman, followed by 30-45 minutes of questions from the audience. The community forum will be held at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and is graciously co...
09/12/2019
As we continue our series on the Otter Creek and its role in commerce, farming and communities in Addison County — and the consequent impact to water quality in Lake Champlain — we focus this week on Act 64, the state’s clean water act, and the painstaking planning and meticulous details involved. Supporters and detractors alike have to agree that the effort to achieve a plan that can accurately measure progress in terms of the amount of phosphorus reduced in any given basin is a worthy outcome. This story explains that effort and the process basin planners will be pursuing in their effort to...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100