Op/Eds

Where was the representation? It’s too bad that the Friends of the Vermont State House didn’t choose a Black artist to create the portrait of Alexander Twilight. Ann Watson New Haven
I will be voting YES to release Ripton from the Addison Central School District.  This is not because I want to weigh in on whether Ripton School should remain open or not, nor because I want Ripton to leave, but because, as a resident of Shoreham, it is really not my business to make a decision for Ripton. The voters of Ripton have already had their say. I believe in good democratic practice and local autonomy. My YES vote will be to support Ripton’s decision and their autonomy, and, by extension, the autonomy of all towns and cities in Vermont. Peter Lynch Shoreham
I read in the Ripton Elementary School newsletter that students have been spending part of each day this winter learning and playing, sled dogging and skiing in the great outdoors.  No doubt they have delighted in our almost nightly snowfall and learning about the nocturnal visitors to their playground. The Ripton School is located next to a forest where the deer bed down for the night. Tiny tracks reveal animals much smaller who too must stay on the move to stay warm.  Food must be found and students learn the part that good food plays in keeping their own bodies warm. Now, hooray, the days...
I support Chris Kramer for the Cornwall seat on the ACSD school board. Having known Chris over the last six years as a fellow parent at Otter Creek Child Center, I have learned how deeply Chris is committed to the education of his children and a strong community for all children. I believe Chris will be a huge asset to the ACSD board as they navigate many difficult decisions in the coming years. Chris will bring with him active listening, curiosity to hear all stories, a desire for a true equitable system, and empathy. Please join me in voting for Chris Kramer for the ACSD school board. Linda...
On my Town Meeting Day ballot, I will be voting for Peter Conlon for the Addison Central School District Board. I have known Peter for many years, and value his experience and insight as a colleague in the Vermont House for the past five years. Peter’s years of service on the ACSD Board have come during difficult times as the district faces the headwinds of declining enrollment while trying to keep an excellent school system affordable to taxpayers. He has helped the board approach these challenges with foresight and sensitivity. The board is several years into creating its master plan, and...
I believe Esther Thomas is the right choice for Middlebury selectboard. The town of Middlebury is currently undergoing multiple challenges, some of which predate, but have been exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic. These include challenges with affordability, a declining commercial downtown, and demographic shift. Esther Thomas will bring a much-needed perspective to the selectboard as the town grapples with best approaches to these challenges. Her close work with college students gives her insight into what is attractive to a younger crowd. Her history with communities of color will help us...
“Daddy, don’t forget to pick up some cupcakes at the store, okay?” My husband, who was heading out the door to run his usual Saturday morning errands, turned to look questioningly at our 9-year-old daughter. “What are the cupcakes for?” “For Pip’s birthday party!” “Wait…sorry…um…. Who is Pip?” “You know,” she said, undaunted. “Pip is my little china dog figure.” My poor husband: You could almost see him thinking, this is not what I signed up for, as he spluttered, “Your china dog…? NO. I’m not going to get cupcakes for a china…. Oh, okay, fine.” My husband wasn’t aware of It, but Pip’s...
So much happens in a week’s time, it can make a weekly commentary seem out of touch, but in the interest of reflecting on the vital issues of the times, here’s a wrap on issues from local to national. SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION SPARKS BOARD RACES Today’s Addison Independent features stories on more local school board and selectboard races throughout the county. Interestingly, the school board races have multiple candidates competing for single seats and have attracted highly engaged candidates with thoughtful ideas. The issue sparking the heightened interest is consolidation. Each district has...
Lately, I have been binge watching travel videos on YouTube. They are a little escape. I just click from place to place, ogling the architecture and the natural scenery, drooling over street food, feasting my eyes on outdoor markets, and marveling in a sense of otherness. I have always wanted to travel — a feeling that I need to go and explore somewhere new. Feeding this need is always a question of having time and money, but never before have I been as stuck as I have been during the Pandemic. Never before have there been actual travel restrictions keeping me from picking up and flying to...
In the past few weeks, I’ve called all my friends and relatives to tell them the great news: “Mark is gonna redo our kitchen!” They all react the same way: with a long pause and a stifled giggle, followed by “OK, sure. Congratulations.” I’m pretty sure I can hear their eyes rolling. That’s fair. They know that four years ago, Mark began building me my dream walk-in pantry from scratch. In that time, he’s worked on it intermittently but never with any enthusiasm. I’ve used the situation to my advantage. If Mark gets annoyed because I left the Christmas ornaments in the upstairs hall for six...

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Addison County Independent