Op/Eds

10/15/2020
A few years back, I remember attending an author event at Bixby Library in Vergennes. It was after hours and the library was closed except to guests. As I entered, I passed a cluster of young kids dressed against the cold huddling on the granite steps in front of the library. I inquired of my host why they were there. “We leave our WiFi on for them,” he responded. “They don’t have it at school and come here to use ours.” Today, the pandemic is exposing Vermont’s endemic problems, accelerating some into full-blown crises, the latest of which is the state and federal failure to meet the...
10/15/2020
I met Ruby Bridges fourteen years ago when she visited the school where I taught. Readers may recall my previous article about her visit and its lasting impact. It was an honor to host Ms. Bridges, the first Black student to integrate the William Franz Public Elementary School in New Orleans in 1960, when she was only six years old. She has been called the youngest hero of the Civil Rights Movement. The final story she shared with my preadolescent students remains vivid. Less than a year prior to her visit to Vermont, right around the time hurricane Katrina ravaged her city, Ruby Bridges’ son...
10/15/2020
Finally, after seven months of stay-at-home monotony, something exciting happened. I caught a cold. It’s not much, but I welcomed the change of pace. To be fair, my life was not all that action-packed even before COVID. I wasn’t jetting off to exotic locales — although I did go to Texas in 2019, and compared to Vermont, that felt in many ways like traveling to a distant planet. But my physical world has gotten smaller. Plus I work from home now, so I only have reason to leave the property once or twice a week in search of food. The biggest pleasure that has been denied to me, really, is the...
10/15/2020
Thomas Hobbes perceived that politics was all about power; the power to govern, to command, to make laws, and to enforce them, along with the power to levy taxes, regulate public opinion, and to make war and peace. The right to exercise this power is the sole right of the sovereign, whoever or whatever it may be.  He recognized that there were different opinions about who is sovereign, and therefore different forms of government. The sovereign may be a single individual, or a select group of them, or a whole people, and the government a monarchy, an aristocracy, or a democracy. Hobbes’...
10/15/2020
We are young people who grew up in Vergennes and we know what is at stake.  We have witnessed our local and national leaders fail to collaborate on the most important issues of our time, fail to put the people’s interests first, and fail to act with integrity and honesty. We are tired of it. As the future generation of Vergennes and the United States at large, we are advocating for leaders that will work together to build trusting and loving communities that work for everyone. In our little city this person is Dave Small.  We have gotten to know Dave quite well since our previous city...
10/15/2020
In 2008 I relocated to Brandon from the Boston area for a new job opportunity and change of scenery. I’ve developed roots here by purchasing a home and making friends. One of the first people I met was Stephanie Jerome. We’ve logged many miles together walking and running, talking about work, children, and aging parents. I’m happy that she’s my state representative, but more than that, I’m proud to call Stephanie my friend. Brandon, Pittsford, and Sudbury are fortunate to have Stephanie as our representative in Montpelier and I urge Rutland-6 voters to re-elect her. I’m one of the many...
10/15/2020
This election cycle, I plan to vote for Jubilee McGill for the Vermont House seat to represent the towns of Bridport, New Haven, and Weybridge. Here’s why: Jubilee’s opponent is Harvey Smith, my current state representative. He has shown this session that he is no friend of our climate. He voted against the Global Warming Solutions Act in the Vermont house, a bill that was passed in spite of him, Governor Scott, and his Republican colleagues in the Legislature. Vermont farmers are hurting because of unpredictable changing weather patterns — record rainfall last year and record dry spells this...
10/15/2020
We are all familiar with the tradition of the term Science Fiction dealing with imagined science and its impact on society and individuals. Now we are faced with and dealing with the physical phenomena of Science Faction: a sociopolitical ideology or absence thereof approaching a cult, where a great mental wall is created for selfish convenience selectively and absolutely blocking factual critical scientific data and reason, not a matter of what people believe but rather what they don’t believe. This political faction, approaching a cult, is yielding horrific consequences on a vast global...
10/15/2020
A fellow parishioner was challenged in the parking lot at our church because she had a Planned Parenthood sticker on her car. “You can’t be a Catholic with that bumper sticker!” She replied “It’s not that simple” — for the Church or Planned Parenthood. With the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg the abortion issue has moved into the center of the presidential campaign. Catholic pro-life and Planned Parenthood pro-choice appear irreconcilable. But is that really the case? A member of our local Planned Parenthood board told me a plain truth. “Abortion is a failure of planned parenthood.” Yes,...
10/15/2020
Ruth Shattuck Berstein is running to represent you — and everyone in Benson, Orwell, Shoreham, and Whiting — in the Vermont House of Representatives. Ruth has a long history of being active in the community and speaking up even when her voice is in the minority. Ruth was born and raised in Vermont and is raising her three children in Shoreham. Her life experiences, as well as her work in local schools, libraries, and social service agencies give Ruth a deep understanding of the strengths of our communities as well as the challenges we face.  With a focus on outreach and involvement, Ruth...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100