Op/Eds

01/30/2020
First, Middlebury voters should reject the proposed Addison Central School District (ACSD) budget with a “no” vote on Town Meeting Day. Ramifications of this budget include cutting one full-time classroom teacher at Mary Hogan. Justification for this staffing reduction at our small and socio-economically diverse elementary school is flawed and it cannot be allowed so long as ACSD maintains six other outlying, less efficiently operated, micro schools. ACSD must cut buildings before the critical staffing that will impact the educational experience for our students. There is an anonymous online...
01/28/2020
Our children had some friends over this past weekend, and they decided to embark on an outdoor adventure. The negotiations, as I overheard them, went something like this: “Let’s pretend we’re on the Oregon Trail!” “YES!” “And also, some of us could be runaway slaves.” "Okay, that works; that was around the same time.” “I’ll be the Quaker person helping the slaves escape.” “And also, we’re orphans….” If they hadn’t been so insistent on historical accuracy, I’m pretty sure they would’ve added a couple of Jews fleeing the Nazis for good measure — they’ve played that before. (Jewish orphans, of...
01/27/2020
When the Addison Central School District board (greater Middlebury) voted not to warn two petitions calling for changes in the district’s charter, they did so with significant differences to what faced voters in the Addison Northwest School District a week ago: First, the ACSD has not yet made a decision to close any elementary school in the district; second, no district town has held a vote in which a large majority of residents expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the district board’s decision. That might happen within the ACSD, but it hasn’t happened yet. Ripton representative to the...
01/27/2020
This month, Vermonters from all corners of the state returned to the Statehouse for the 2020 legislative session. The Speaker kicked off the first day with her vision to create an economy that works for everyone, not just a select few. Vermont faces its share of challenges and opportunities. We have a plan of action to give all Vermonters a fair shot and ensure a strong Vermont future.  During the 2019 Session, House Democrats led initiatives to move all 14 counties forward. We invested in childcare to strengthen our system and make it more affordable for working families. We worked to extend...
01/27/2020
I was pleased to read about the students who are advocating for building tiny houses to help address the affordable housing problem in Vermont. One possible site could be the land adjacent to the police station along Otter Creek. About 15 years ago a group had proposed building more housing there, but withdrew plans after running into opposition when those plans were shared with the surrounding community. Residents of the nearby homes and condos had not been involved early enough in the process and their concerns were not addressed before the proposal was withdrawn. With better planning and...
01/27/2020
Any economic system consists of many interacting parts. They can be boiled down to three key elements: capital, land, and labor. We all know examples of each. Different political constructs put varying weights on the three elements. Capitalists think it is primarily, if not all, about the capital. Socialists think that the key element is the people. Environmentalists believe that the ecology is the most fundamental and, that without it, there can be no economy or community. Vermont’s original human inhabitants saw the land as being alive and enchanted and humanity and its associated labor...
01/27/2020
As the son of a former MUHS principal (1961-1979) who was then district business manager for a few years, I’m not sure how my father, Dr. Kenneth Severson, feels about Act 68. I may ask him. I myself am opposed to closing down the smaller schools. I think the Middlebury elementary school should be closed down and the children bused to the country schools for a rural education and the money allocated to Mary Hogan School should be distributed to these outlying schools. As well, each town should elect its own school board members and the school board members of already unified MUHS as well....
01/23/2020
At the heart of Gov. Phil Scott’s budget address to the Legislature this week is defense. It’s a budget that promises a smidgeon to almost every political issue his political opponents might ponder, while offering few initiatives one might criticize. That’s smart politics, but it also locks the state into a holding pattern of slow decline — particularly throughout the state’s rural areas. As with his prior budget addresses, Scott has emphasized efforts to rein in spending, holding this year’s $6.2 billion budget to a spending increase of about 2% over the current year, and maintaining a no-...
01/23/2020
Democrats have long been the champions of working families, women and children. We believe in a Vermont where our families and communities can thrive and where the Vermont dream is accessible to everyone — not just a select few. When we rewrite the rules so that families can care for and support themselves, we boost the economy and build stronger, healthier communities. Today, too many Vermonters struggle to care for and support themselves and their families. That’s why I have been a strong supporter of a universal paid family leave program for Vermonters. Working Vermonters should have the...
01/23/2020
Friends, I moved to Vermont in 2008, after living in many cities and towns in four states and three countries. I planned to stay for a year or two. Life laughed at me, and here I am still. Recently, I came across some observations on Vermont’s uniqueness from the first years, and thought you would enjoy them. I have moved to a new town. My mailing address is Vergennes, and the nearest road sign says Welcome to Monkton. I lived here for two months before I found out I live in Ferrisburgh. I’m on Route 7 near Vergennes, looking for Middlebury. The first sign says Middlebury — 13 miles.  The...

Pages

Login for Subscriber Access

Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100