Op/Eds

08/06/2020
This week’s writer is Ruth Hardy, a state senator representing Addison County, Huntington and Buels Gore. She lives in East Middlebury with her husband and three children. As a citizen, I take voting very seriously. The act of voting for me is celebratory, ritualistic, an honor. I have distinct memories of voting and waiting for results from elections, both significant and mundane, throughout my life. I remember going to vote with my parents as a child, and as a mother, I have regularly taken my kids to the polls, especially excited to show them my own name on the ballot for school board and...
08/06/2020
It’s the first week of August — time to get ready for Field Days! Oh right, there is no Field Days this year, but the first week of August will always trigger that “get ready” attitude for me. In normal times it feels like most of Addison County is getting ready in the first week of August. Kids who will be showing their calves are doubling down on their showmanship skills. Farmers are searching their fields for the best hay, the tallest corn. 4-H Clubs are painting signs and equipment boxes, preparing their displays. Young equestrians practice their moves. You will find vegetable gardeners...

JESSIE THOUGHT SHE had tomato hornworm caterpillars, but it turns out these are actually the very-similar-but-not-quite-the-same tobacco hornworm caterpillars. Who knew? Whatever they are, Jessie would find them quite fascinating if they weren't eating her garden. It is war. Photo by Jessie Raymond
08/06/2020
You’re probably wondering whether Jessie’s 2020 Misadventures in Vegetable Gardening are going as disastrously as in past years. “Did she give up yet?” “Did the weeds win again?” “Did she accidentally touch a centipede and have to undergo cognitive behavioral therapy before going back outside?” If you’re here for the schadenfreude, you’ll be disappointed to learn that this year’s garden is looking pretty damn good. I can hardly believe it myself. Earlier in the summer, I posited that I might have better results growing vegetables if I actually spent time in the garden. It was a long shot, but...
08/06/2020
David Zuckerman envisions a Vermont for All where everyone is an honored guest at the table. Women are secure in their right to choose and in their right to earn fair pay. People of Color lead us in facing and dealing with implicit bias. Native People show us how to understand that colonization hurts everyone. LGBTQIA means that love is love. People with Disabilities teach us what they need to become independent. New Americans are proud of and respected for their valued work and creative enterprises. If you share this vision, vote David Zuckerman for Governor. Marielle Blais Brandon
08/06/2020
As the national debate focuses—at least in part in this era of a Trump-induced crisis-per-minute—on its public police forces, it’s heartening to see the Bristol community rally around its police chief and be willing to think anew about how community policing might be reinvented. Without alleging any deficiencies, the Bristol community is well-aware that biases are inherent in each of us and that a different approach might yield improved results. Having such an open-minded attitude is what helps communities discover innovative solutions. The report of the meeting (page 1A in today’s paper)...
08/06/2020
I just read Christopher Ross’s piece on mask wearing in Bristol. I agree with the wearing of masks in public. It is such a simple and proactive measure to take and agree it should have been mandated long ago, but understand our governor’s position, too.  What I don’t understand is what in the 2nd Amendment gives the right for someone to wear a gun into a Laundromat, of all places. Shocked, dismayed and horrified don’t begin to express how I really feel about it. I lived in Philadelphia (in a very dicey neighborhood) for 25 years and never felt the fear I feel today. CG Duff Middlebury
08/06/2020
I am not a resident of Vergennes, nor even Vermont. I live in the small Western Massachusetts town of Worthington, population approximately 1,100 — slightly less than half the size of Vergennes, which I now understand is classified as a “city” no less, a designation that is a bit presumptuous in my estimation. I have use of a family cottage on Lake Dunmore that has been in the family for almost a century, and my wife and I enjoy patronizing a number of the excellent restaurants in your fair “city.”  I choose to live in a small town to avoid the pettiness of local officials who presume to be...
08/06/2020
When Chief Hanley stated, “I reject completely the notion that Middlebury PD engages in systemic racism and I’m not going to engage in a debate over it,” in a previous article (“‘Defund the police’ arrives in Middlebury,” 6/25/20), it further confirms that evidence of systemic harm done by the police is erased and not given the  proper attention it deserves. The Middlebury Police is part of the whole policing system. It needs to be understood by Middlebury residents, the Middlebury Police Department (MPD), and Chief Hanley that MPD is part of the system and that the system is inherently...
08/06/2020
On your upcoming Democratic Primary Ballot, you will see a line for High Bailiff. I urge you to vote for David Silberman for this office. Here’s why. Unlike police officers, under Vermont law, the Sheriff answers to no one but the voters. But there can be a lot of time between elections. So, what happens if the Sheriff is confined, incapacitated, or violates the law? Answer: The High Bailiff steps in. The High Bailiff is the civilian oversight for the Sheriff. For that role, we need someone who is not already part of the Sheriff’s Office, looking to succeed the Sheriff. We need an external...
08/06/2020
While all the candidates in the Lt. Governor’s race have made positive contributions to our public life, I will be supporting Brenda Siegel in the upcoming Democratic primary. In my mind, Brenda has shown her commitment through her life’s work and consistent advocacy for key policies that would achieve greater economic security, social justice and environmental sustainability for Vermonters. Brenda understands that even before our pandemic, it was not acceptable for almost 40% of Vermonters to be either uninsured or underinsured, struggling with out-of-pocket costs that deter them from...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100