Op/Eds

11/04/2019
I recently received a mailer from the ANWSD with information for voters about the upcoming school closure vote on Nov. 5. From the text on the recent mailer sent to voters in the town of Ferrisburgh: “Savings to projected FY21 expenses by closing two buildings: at least $2 million (tax rates will decrease)”. This is not quite right. While the Education tax rate may slightly decrease with the closure of two schools, the municipal rate will rise, causing taxes overall to rise. If voters choose to close Ferrisburgh Central School, the town may purchase it for $1 plus any existing debt. The...
11/04/2019
I was disappointed by the somewhat inflammatory reporting on the ANWSD in the news section of the Oct. 24 Addison Independent. As a parent of two children in the school district, I’d like to thank our school board for their hard work in navigating these difficult choices. I’d like to respond to some of the charges in that article and propose an alternative. First, on the charge of taking undemocratic action, we voted the school board members in, and they are working within their limits and rules to make the best of a bad situation. The undemocratic behavior has actually been at the...
11/04/2019
What makes a school? That question, in various forms, has been asked by many of us over the past weeks. It calls into question our notions of education and the infrastructure in which education is provided. When I reflect on my children’s experiences at Ferrisburgh Central School, I think of the people. My daughter’s second-grade teacher who finally figured out that she had ADHD and wasn’t just a kid who couldn’t behave. Her third-grade teacher who pushed me outside my comfort zone in order to advocate for her placement in a combined 3/4 classroom. The emails and phone calls I received when...
11/04/2019
I have been disappointed with the recent coverage of the issue of school closure in Addison and Ferrisburgh. It has emphasized the drama surrounding the issue, and has not provided the complete picture for the community to have a productive discussion. I also understand the frustration about a lack of communication from the school board. I think the way this has been covered has only served to exacerbate this issue. While I, as a student of the Addison Northwest School District, believe that the alternatives to school closure would do more harm to the students then the closure of Addison and...
11/04/2019
I am writing this letter in response to Angelo Lynn’s editorial: “Let small schools prove themselves” (Oct. 24, 2019). The thrust of this editorial is clear: the Addison Northwest School District Board has carried out its charge in an undemocratic and reckless fashion. There are two points I’d like to make. The first, the members of the board have made immense sacrifices in time and energy for the sake of our children’s education — a remarkably thankless task. Secondly, the school board is trying to cope with a mess brought about by the politics of austerity. Who is to blame for that? Not the...
10/31/2019
The lesson to be learned from the upcoming votes within the Addison Northwest School District to close the elementary schools in Addison and Ferrisburgh is plain: When a district school board moves too fast toward consolidating town schools, the blowback can be harsh and detrimental to long-term solidarity. A week before the Nov. 5 vote, residents in Addison have mounted an all-out campaign to defeat the proposed closing, and in Ferrisburgh the town selectboard is sending out a letter to all residents urging citizens to vote down the school district’s plan. Both are extraordinary signs of...

VETERINARIANS HAD TO clip away fur on Willow, a poodle-Wheaten terrier mix, to treat the large puncture wounds she received when attacked by a pack of dogs earlier this month in the Green Mountain National Forest near the Goshen-Ripton border.
10/31/2019
The story of two hikers and their small dog being attacked by a pack of hunting hound dogs while hiking in the Green Mountain National Forest near the Goshen-Ripton border two weekends ago is as shocking as it is frightening. Frightening because the dogs surrounded and attacked the couple for much of the half hour they were under siege. Shocking because the story is such an outlier. As Game Warden Dale Whitlock said, “I’ve been a game warden since 1996 and I’ve never seen anything like this.” As repercussions from this incident sugar out, what’s key to keep in mind is that no one is...
10/31/2019
I remember a conversation that I had with my father when I was about ten. I asked, “Why doesn’t anyone remember what it was like to be a baby inside the womb? It’s not like it was that long ago, and we were all in there once…” His reply was something I have thought about ever since because, in the beginning — with my ten-year-old brain — I wasn’t sure it made sense. He said, “Well, in order to have memories, you need words. And babies in the womb do not yet have any language because they have not learned any words yet.” I remember wondering: “Do I really need words to describe what I think...
10/31/2019
As a freshman in college back in 1986, I bought a $75 used sewing machine so I could make throw pillows for my dorm bed. Really, I did. The point here is not that I may have been the least cool student ever to attend college; the point is that I’ve had an interest in sewing for a long time. That sewing machine — a 1960s-era J.C. Penney Stitchmaster Behemoth 940 — was already vintage when I bought it. It was, for its day, portable, but only in the way that an anvil is portable. It wasn’t fancy, it was loud and carrying it across the room gave me back problems that persist to this day. But it...
10/31/2019
I’ve been patient, I really have. I don’t bring it up with friends anymore. I no longer ask strangers for donations. But my campaign is going nowhere. So I figure it’s time to make some noise. Starting with this reminder to the Lamestream Media: I’m running for president. Of the United States. Close observers of my campaign, if there are any, will recall that I announced my candidacy right after Joe Sestak entered the race. Sestak was the 24th Democrat to run for president this time around. He’s a former Navy admiral and was a member of Congress from Pennsylvania. He said he delayed launching...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100