Op/Eds

07/25/2019
“We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and to the future.” Frederick Douglass said that in a speech he delivered on July 5, 1852, in Rochester, N.Y. As a historian, I think a lot about the past. I am trained to study it, analyze it, interpret it and, if I am doing it right, I can make my work accessible to my students as well as to the broader public and hope that with some knowledge of history, people will make more informed decisions about the future. On the Fourth of July, my very good friend Marisela, also a historian, reminded me of Douglass’s poignant...
07/25/2019
For the past few months, I’ve been experiencing a new feeling: pain. So far, I’m not a fan. To be fair, it’s not excruciating; but I hurt my shoulder this spring, and it’s still giving me trouble. I’d like to say I wrenched it in heroic fashion — sweeping a toddler from the path of a charging bull, for instance. But no. The cause was a less exciting though still dangerous activity called “life after 50.” Being in pain is, like eating olives (the worst!), something I’ve managed to avoid for most of my life. So when my shoulder first started bothering me, I assumed I should ignore it and “power...
07/25/2019
There’s a new parlor game among progressives these days, a question we often ask each other: Do you have a favorite candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination? Let’s call it “Worried Liberals Frantically Search for a Credible Candidate Who Won’t Sell Them Out.” But it’s challenging to find a favorite among the approximately 75 hopefuls. I find especially it difficult to pick a favorite because I myself am a declared candidate for president. Official Campaign Slogan until I think of a better one: “My Ass is Grass Again,” because it allows me to economically reuse any “MAGA” hats...
07/25/2019
Editor’s note: This is the 27th in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. In studying the history of American politics from 1826 to the Civil War in search of persons who shaped it, I find that there are two who deserve special notice and warrant a place in this series: Andrew Jackson (1767–1845) and John C. Calhoun (1782–1850). Jackson led the nation “through force of personality,” rather than through his intellect. Calhoun excelled in intellect and was arguably the most eminent American political philosopher of the first half of the 19th century,...

LAURA WILKINSON IS a Nurse Practitioner and Integrative Health Coach at Middlebury College. Learn more about her and her coaching at middlebury.edu/middleburyintegratedhealthcoach.
07/25/2019
This past weekend marked my family’s annual pilgrimage to Oak Hill, N.Y., for one of the best kept secrets in the Northeast — Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival. This is the weekend when we join a community of 7,000 on the Walsh family farm hilltop and set up an encampment overlooking multiple music stages featuring iconic old-timers such as Del McCoury, as well as up and coming bluegrass talents from around the world such as We Banjo 3, an Irish double brothers quartet. If you haven’t heard of them yet, you will. Like many bluegrass-loving folk, the anticipation that precedes this event rivals...
07/25/2019
I was heartened by the outpouring of love and respect for the basic dignity and humanity of immigrants coming to America at the Bristol Independence Day parade, with dozens of local residents marching against our government's cruel policies of separating refugee families and holding children in horrific conditions, under the watch of brutal guards, with many well-documented cases of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. As a first-generation American who has been fortunate enough to live the "American Dream", and as a grandson of Holocaust survivors, I am deeply pained to see such racist...
07/25/2019
I was reluctant to write this letter because, as one of the coaches, I am obviously an invested party. However, I feel the disparate coverage our Middlebury Area Little League Minors All-Star girls softball team received in relation to the boys team is very perplexing and sends a message to girls in our community that I don’t believe the Addison Independent wants to be associated with. When our minors softball team won the District 1 championship, our head coach submitted a picture to the paper. We thought the picture would be published and the girls would be so excited to have their picture...
07/25/2019
I was dismayed at the tone and some of the content of comments in an article by Christopher Ross in the July 18 Addison Independent. The article on the meeting about Ag agency exemption policies focused, in part, on manure run-off on a Panton farm. An important aspect not mentioned is that this occurred because the person hired to do the work spread the manure on the wrong field — an aspect out of the farmer’s control. The sensationalism of the article surprised me for the Independent. I am sure the farmer was as concerned and chagrined as any of us. We face huge and pressing problems about...
07/25/2019
From its earliest settlement and history Vermont has been defined by a powerful critical life defining sense of community with small self sustaining villages cropping up all across the state. This is the defining element of Vermont. A collective gathering of self-sufficient interactive villages, communities and ultimately some larger towns interspersed through a classic Vermont landscape of family farms. Community is defined as a unified body of individuals sharing a common history of social, economic, political and cultural interests. Society is defined as a community of interdependent...
07/23/2019
The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing also happens to be the 17th anniversary of my marriage. Laying the two events side by side, I’m not sure which is the greater miracle: the amount of planning, coordination, brainpower, technology, and skill required to land a man on the moon, or the amount required to pull off our wedding (to say nothing of the ensuing marriage!). The 17th anniversary is apparently the “furniture anniversary,” so it seems fitting that this week my husband installed a major piece of outdoor “furniture” that allows our family to defy gravity just like those...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100