Op/Eds

I endorse Chris Kramer for the Cornwall seat on the ACSD school board. Having worked in four of the schools in the district as a teacher, principal, and school board member, I know the importance of having people on the school board who listen. Chris is a person who will listen to and hear the concerns of the community. Further, he will address these concerns with a timely and empathetic approach. At present he is focused on the difficulties brought about by the pandemic and its effect on student learning. I believe Chris will speak up when board actions are moving too fast or in a direction...
We were snuggled up on the couch (or crammed in, depending on your perspective) for our family’s weekly Friday movie night. In the flickering light from the screen, I could see three pairs of worried eyes staring at me. “Uh, Mommy,” whispered one of my daughters, “Are you okay?” “I’m okay,” I sobbed. “This scene just gets me every time.” We were watching the 2015 Pixar animated feature, Inside Out. The last time I’d seen this film was in a theater five years earlier, and I’d broken down in sobs during the exact same scene. Inside Out takes place largely inside the brain of an 11-year-old girl...
When the U.S. Senate takes up the impeachment trial of ex-president Donald Trump next week, the focus will be on the Jan. 6 insurrection of the nation’s Capitol and Trump’s role in inciting his supporters to “stop the steal” — the big lie that Trump had incessantly repeated since he lost the election more than 60 days prior. No objective American can argue that Trump’s words and actions, since his overwhelming Nov. 3 defeat to Democrat Joe Biden, were not designed to stall and disrupt normal election protocol, to overturn valid election results in every possible way (including political...
There is a small bill making its way through the Legislature this week that brings good financial news for all Vermonters. Called the Yield Bill, it sets a number that will be used to calculate statewide education property tax rates, and that number is far better than legislators, economists and school officials had imagined when the pandemic began or even a couple of months ago. The result will be education property tax rates that should ultimately be lower than predicted, even as recently as mid-January when schools were approving budgets and tax rates for residents to vote on Town Meeting...
What if one day you realized that some of the things you took as fundamental Truths of the World may not be exactly so? Or at least that these things you thought you knew may not be the only way of understanding things? As a perpetual student, my formal studies continue well into my fifth decade of life. Recently, in class, we were asked to explore our cosmologies, worldviews, and ways of knowing. How do we understand the universe and world to be? How do we know this is true? Quickly, I listed the Big Bang and Darwin’s theories of evolution. How do I know? Science, of course. These are Truths...
If you, like me, have been working from home since last March, you may be all too familiar with the online meeting platform Zoom. If you haven’t used Zoom, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s just like being in a meeting in real life, except instead of sitting at a table, the participants are looking at one another on screen in little boxes, like the opening of “The Brady Bunch” but without the catchy music. It’s not perfect. Glitchy internet can make you “freeze.” Eye contact is elusive. And a millisecond delay throws off the cadence of normal conversation. If you blurt out an...
12th in a series American Constitutionalism is a system of government founded on a fundamental law, which is not biased to the wishes and whims of a monarch, or the fancies of a demagogue, or the privilege of a particular social class; rather, one that has been ratified by the people, which pertains to the whole nation, enfranchises all, and obligates all equally and in the same way and for the same just purpose. A constitution is a founding law, a set of basic rules by which a nation is organized and governed. It may be written or unwritten. The British Constitution, if it may be called such...
Article in Addison Independent, Jan. 14: “MIDDLEBURY — Addison County Sheriff Peter Newton is seeking community support in raising $1.5 million to transform his organization into a one-stop shop for law enforcement and community services ranging from jump-starting stranded cars to connecting people with mental health and addiction counseling…” Article in Addison Independent, Jan. 21: “VERGENNES — Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel, along with a dozen area nonprofits and state agencies, is working on bringing to northern Addison County a collaborative effort among social services and police...
I just got my first COVID shot at the American Legion. I have rarely seen an enterprise so well organized! My congratulations and hats off to whoever was responsible. Fast, no hitches, more than enough people to help. A+. John Pratt New Haven
I have a Phillips Lifeline hanging round my neck on a cord. Recently I took it off as usual to take a shower, set it down in the bathroom and when I got back out my cat was playing with it on the floor. Within minutes the Middlebury Regional EMS was at the door and I had to explain that undoubtedly the button had been triggered by my cat. (I then also found the phone message in response to the button being pushed.) So, I want to apologize to the people who responded so promptly — and unnecessarily as it turned out. They provide a wonderful service and knowing this is very comforting to me. My...

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Addison County Independent