Op/Eds

02/27/2020
I don’t plan on writing much about electoral politics over the next months, but recent developments are prodding me to say one or two things to my fellow white Democrats. First, I would like to quote the brilliant Bishop Talbert Swan: “I’m sick of white people telling me, ‘The goal is to get rid of Trump.’ No, that’s your goal. Our goal is to get rid of white supremacy. Black people were being murdered by police, brutalized, dehumanized, and treated unjustly and inhumanely long before Trump. Your apathy is what created Trump.” White readers, can you sit with that statement for a moment? Does...
02/27/2020
Next week’s Super Tuesday primaries will help answer several questions about the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. First, can Bernie Sanders win enough delegates to have a realistic chance of being nominated on the first ballot at the convention? Sanders appears to be leading in most Super Tuesday states — including California and Texas, the two largest states to vote that day — and may be the only candidate who will win delegates in all 14 states on March 3. The Democratic Party’s proportional representation and 15 percent minimum rules mean that Sanders could win more...
02/27/2020
Score a small victory for Vermont’s Democratic legislature as they managed to override Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of the recently passed minimum wage bill. The proposal increases the minimum wage from $10.78 an hour to $12.55 by 2022, with future increases tied to inflation or at 5 percent. At the current 3 percent inflation, the minimum wage would have increased about 33 cents in 2021 had the law not passed, and slightly more the year after. Bottom line: the increase is not going to break the budgets of many businesses — small, rural or otherwise. The increase does, however, help Vermonter...
02/27/2020
Editor’s note: This is the 48th in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. The Gettysburg Address opens with a reference to the founding of a nation: “Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” I concluded the previous essay with this question, what sort of nation did Lincoln envisage when he spoke these words? Did he have in mind one that was racially inclusive, or one that was for whites only? Here is my answer. To...
02/27/2020
Having grown up as a child of the 1970s, one of my favorite movies was Gene Wilder’s “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” I was captivated by the wonder, fantasy and downright creepiness of the film. My mother would indulge my sister and me with a periodic couch showing, with a choice of candy in hand. I would usually settle in with a full-sized Tootsie Roll or box of Milk Duds, and the necessary chewing would prolong the sweetened delight. Of all the characters, I was most intrigued by Veruca Salt and her unabashed bratiness. Even 40 years later, my memory is etched with the image of...
02/27/2020
On the cusp of the vote for the Addison Central School District Board, two challengers have announced that they are running against incumbents Victoria Jette, Mary Gill and Jennifer Nuceder. The challengers’ ads claim a platform of “transparency,” but their ads were run with no information on who funded them. These ads make thinly veiled — and unfounded — accusations that the current ACSD school board is unjust, unethical and non-transparent. The fact is that the current board has spent — literally — years on the ACSD School Board carefully studying the issues that the district faces (unlike...
02/27/2020
Are you concerned about the future of our school system? Are you counting on the school board to tackle the difficult decisions and challenges presented to us with the best interests of students and the community in mind? As a native Vermonter, and longtime resident of Addison County, I have had personal experience with the school system, first as a student and now as a parent. I attended Middlebury Union High School and graduated with the class of 2005 after being homeschooled through primary school. My four sons, ages 6, 9, 12 and 15, are currently enrolled in an array of schools in the...
02/27/2020
Hi, my name is Christin Gardner and I am running for a Middlebury seat on the Addison Central School District Board. My husband and I have two sons — one attends Mary Hogan and the youngest goes to Aurora Preschool. I believe my unique experience living and raising my family in two different towns, Shoreham and Middlebury, will help me bridge communities and connect the values between our different towns. I used to run the Shoreham After School Program, and I currently work as an early education teacher, so I understand how important our kids’ experience in the school system is. Our kids are...
02/27/2020
I would like you to consider voting for the incumbents for the ACSD Board: Jen Nuceder (Salisbury), Victoria Jette (Middlebury) and Mary Gill (Middlebury). All three have worked tirelessly with the goal of providing the best education for all of our ACSD students from all of our seven towns. Their knowledge and dedication is critical at this juncture. As a former educator in the ACSD for more than 40 years, I know just how important this vote is. I am writing to encourage everyone to vote with an understanding that finding solutions to the challenges we face will happen when we support...
02/27/2020
I read out the following letter during the public comment period at the ACSD School Board meeting on Feb. 10 in Cornwall. My wife and I, and our three year old son moved to Ripton about a year and a half ago. We were fortunate enough to be able to build a small house and in the process transform our construction costs into revenue for carpenters, well drillers, and a few other trades people. This is the type of story that Vermont and this district needs more of, not because of who I am or who my family is, but because of the small economic engine we represent. Standing on our property the...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100