Op/Eds

There’s a lovely row of young evergreens along the gravel road leading to Wright Park. They were clearly planted with purpose and care and have done a beautiful job masking the construction staging area behind it and doing all the other amazing things trees can do. But this week when I walked down that road I noticed that they have all been violently and carelessly cut. Some heavy machinery clearly went through there to clear the brush alongside the road and to cut back any intruding tree limbs. I understand the reasons for keeping the road clear and passable, but the way these trees were cut...
Joe Biden is a profound embarrassment as Commander in Chief overseeing the disastrous American withdrawal from Afghanistan. The loss of many lives resulting from his failure is horrible! How pathetic it is that no one currently in line to succeed Biden (K. Harris, N. Pelosi, P. Leahy) has the competence to have done any better. Sadly, the top Democrats in power are incapable of handling a crisis. Tom Hughes Middlebury
Thank you to all who attended the Neighbors, Together community celebration, Lazarus Park dedication and turning on the refurbished fountain in Triangle Park. This was the culmination of five years of actual construction in downtown Middlebury and a nod to the community that endured the difficult times with positive attitudes, can-do spirit, flexibility and support for each other. Everyone should take a bow. The celebration was an opportunity to have fun and to enjoy our new beautiful spaces. Town Hall Theater set the stage with the wonderful Foolaroo family-friendly and first-class...
Learn about Bob Moses, who died on July 25, 2021. I am drawn to Bob Moses, since he was a Civil Rights leader and the founder of The Algebra Project. (I went to college from ’67 to ’71 and majored in mathematics. It was time for me to wake up to racism). Bob Moses was born in Harlem on Jan. 23, 1935. He attended the Stuyvesant High School for gifted children in Manhattan. He won a scholarship to Hamilton College. There, he majored in philosophy and French. He was also drawn to learn from Quaker Friends. He later earned a masters in Philosophy at Harvard. He came back to New York City when his...
This was the first year we have worked with the Friends of the Ilsley Public library book sale. Barbara is a new board member and together we offered to set up, take down and generally help with the book sale on the Town Hall plaza. It was a joy to watch visitors, community members and strong bookies visit the tables and peruse the books. The vitality of folks searching for a  “good read” in our downtown was exciting and invigorating. When the rain came the town spirit presented itself. It was particularly moving when a number of community members pitched in to move the books out of the rain...
What a splendid improvement the selectboard has made to the seating opportunities in Triangle Park. They look great and will attract residents and visitors alike to linger in our downtown. Bravo! John S. Freidin Middlebury  
On Tuesday, Aug. 31, Middlebury residents will have the opportunity to approve a bond to purchase some solar panels within the Bristol Community Solar project. Not only will this proposal help reduce Middlebury’s GHG emissions and earn money for the town for decades, but approval is a blow against institutionalized racism. About 50% of Vermont’s electricity is tied to Hydro-Quebec. Unfortunately, the environmental devastation caused by the flooding of 308 million acres of forestland in Northern Canada by Hydro-Quebec has resulted in the Five Nations tribal people being removed from their...
If you were reading this column back in 2020, you may remember that my “word for the year” — which I chose instead of making a New Year’s resolution — was “THRIVE.” When 2020 began, our baby boy had just been given the diagnosis of “failure to thrive.” This, combined with a mysterious respiratory virus, resulted in two hospital stays between December 2019 and January 2020, one of which involved the horrific experience of having our two-month-old intubated in the ICU. We needed to help him thrive; not only that, but our entire shaken family needed to figure out how to thrive together. In...
Editor’s note: This commentary is written in collaboration with The Boston Globe, which through its The Last Best Shot project has provided news reports and graphics on the COVID-19 virus to participating papers throughout New England. Their initiative seeks to more fully educate the public about the virus and the benefits of getting vaccinated. Each participating paper was asked to write a local commentary to add to the Globe’s collective reporting. As the COVID Delta variant sweeps through the nation and into the lives of every American, one single fact should shock Vermonters and all...
I sometimes have a lot of time to think while I’m at work. When you spend seven or eight hours scraping paint, your mind is free to wander, and lately my mind has journeyed from the lead in the paint I was scraping to other inventions that, like lead in paint, turned out to be bad ideas. Lead paint was used for centuries. At some point someone experimented and put lead in paint and found it helped paint dry faster, stay on longer, and kept it from fading. What a great innovation — the lead made the paint work better! It wasn’t until the early 20th century that people discovered the lead in...

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Addison County Independent