Op/Eds

09/12/2019
I read with some relief when the state police claimed that the recent harassment at and vandalism to Mexican farmworkers’ homes in Bridport was the result of a feud over access to a fishing spot, and not directed at these folks for who they are. That relief vanished after talking with the main victim of this harassment, whose home was visited two nights by a group of men yelling, firing shots or setting off fireworks and hitting the house, including his air conditioner that was in an unlocked window. He is a Mexican immigrant and so is his wife. They have young kids. He is a dedicated husband...
09/12/2019
I’ve read a couple of letters lately that suggest we don’t need milk. I almost cried! I was born and raised on farms in Rutland County. During WWII, while my three older brothers served in the Marines in the South Pacific, my sister and I were the farm hands. We were in our early teens. I loved it. I especially liked getting the cows before milking. I can still belt out “Come Boss.” And I still love cows. I drink a lot of milk — whole milk. I’ve read that doctors state our bodies need what is removed from whole milk for skim milk. I’m healthy and have good bones. I’ve fallen several times in...
09/12/2019
Thank you to Jeremy and Jordan from Northlands Job Corps. Jeremy and Jordan brought their students from the Job Corps to Orwell and worked for two days cutting trees and brush at the Orwell Village Cemetery. Trees were cut, brush was cut and chipped and everything was hauled away. Great job done. Looks Great. Town Clerk Betty Walker on behalf of the Orwell selectboard
09/10/2019
Our family went back to school the day after Labor Day. The Addison County schools began the week before Labor Day, but since we homeschool I figured: Why be crazy? (My daughters take a great deal of joy in their delayed start; every year they fantasize about appearing on the Mary Hogan School sidewalk on the first day of school in their pajamas, munching doughnuts and waving to their friends as they get off the bus. What prevents them from putting this plan into action is that they’re not even close to awake at that time.) One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that I feel like I’m...
09/09/2019
Leadership … “a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” — John C. Maxwell. On Monday, Sept. 9, we will have the opportunity to review the current thinking as to the proposed future of the Addison Northwest School District elementary schools system. An open meeting will be available to have a community discussion on the elementary school consideration. On Front Porch Forum, I have provided some insight as to the (1) challenges/problems in maintaining three separate structurally aging elementary schools with declining enrollment. I have also lent my thinking to (2)...
09/09/2019
Dear Addison County Independent readers and Members of the Addison Northwest School District Board, Recently at the start of the school year, we learned of the plan to suddenly close Ferrisburgh Central School and Addison Central School at the end of this academic year. Many of the underlying assumptions for this recommendation by the ANWSD board are based on projecting the penalties incurred by the state for exceeding per pupil spending. The recent school board budget, which included paid stipends for some board members and facility upgrades, passed by seven votes. Understandably the board...
09/09/2019
A major issue facing patients in Vermont and around the country is surprise medical billing. This occurs when a patient is treated by a health care provider who is out of network and can often happen when a patient seeks emergency medical care. The subsequent bill for that service can come as a complete shock to patients who, most of the time, have no idea they were being treated out of network. Thankfully, Congress is now addressing this matter. I encourage Sen. Leahy’s efforts to look at this issue through the lens of rural healthcare providers and to consider a model that New York...
09/09/2019
At the start of summer, my ancient and rusty Briggs & Stratton lawnmower bit a jagged piece of Vermont granite outcropping and I was told it was no longer repairable. Fine. I certainly could not complain after so many years of service. That’s when I made a startling discovery. There was a new brand in town I’d never heard of. Husqvarna! Excuse me? Yes, Husqvarna. “Where is it made?” I asked the salesman. “They have factories all over the world,” he said. “Where’s their really big factory?” I persisted. “I think they have a large manufacturing plant in Georgia,” he said. This was getting...
09/09/2019
There is absolutely no way to explain much of what President Trump does nationally or internationally, largely because he changes his mind so often on so many things. What can be said is that his actions are almost invariably consistent with the goals of Russia. Equally, up until this moment, there is absolutely no way to know what the motivation for his policies truly is. Some have speculated that he is motivated by his own personal economic goals. He would like to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Others have speculated that his past dalliances in Moscow have compromised him and that he has...
09/05/2019
Thirty years ago, the Addison Independent reported and published a multi-part series on Lake Champlain water quality and how it was being negatively impacted by phosphorous run-off from agricultural and non-farm pollution. The story, which was written by Steven Rosenfeld, reported that if the state took immediate action to remedy the problem the lake might avoid serious consequences, but if no action were taken, such neglect would contribute towards its demise. Thirty years later, the state is finally pursuing a quantifiable plan to reduce what has been a growing amount of phosphorus...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100