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Around the bend: A little 'insanity' preserves harmony

Posted on March 25, 2010 |
By Jessie Raymond



My husband Mark and I have discovered the key to a happy marriage: Insanity.

I don’t mean our mental state after 15 years of being shackled together in wedded bliss. I mean “Insanity,” the hardcore fitness program you may have seen advertised on TV. As far as I know, it’s the first home workout that comes with its own defibrillator.

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Guest editorial: Taxes: less fair, more complex?

Posted on March 22, 2010 |
By Paul Cillo



Montpelier should be trying to make the education tax system simpler and fairer.  Instead, in the haste to cut General Fund spending, Gov. Jim Douglas would make it more complicated and less fair—increasing taxes on middle-income Vermonters and lowering them on those with higher incomes. Sound crazy? It is.

Most Vermonters agree that the fairest tax is one based on the taxpayer’s ability to pay: a family’s school tax obligation should go up or down along with its income.

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Editorial: Looking anew at school reform

Posted on March 18, 2010 |
By Angelo Lynn



In the wake of the economic downturn, educational systems in the 50 states have been facing dramatic cuts or reform, or both. In Kansas City last week, the school board there narrowly approved a measure (5-4) to close nearly half of that district’s schools in an effort to consolidate and reduce a projected $50 million shortfall. The approved plan calls for closing 29 of the district’s 61 schools. About 700 of the district’s 3,000 jobs, including 285 teachers, are expected to be cut.

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Clippings: Daddy learns to roll with the changes

Posted on March 18, 2010 |
By John S. McCright



I don’t know if it is because I have reached a certain age and look back over a longer sweep of time, or because my children have reached a certain age and I see things differently through their eyes, but I’ve really begun to notice how much things change. I’m only 45 years old, but more and more when I tell my 6- and 8-year-olds about scenes from my childhood I find myself having to explain how things were back then.

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Politically Thinking: Income sensitivity rule must evolve

Posted on March 18, 2010 |
By Eric L. Davis



By April 15, more than two-thirds of Vermont households will have filed an application for an income sensitivity adjustment to their property taxes. The income sensitivity program is one of the fastest growing parts of the state budget, and probably cannot be sustained in its current form much longer.

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Between the Lines: In spring, a skier turns to grumbling

Posted on March 18, 2010 |
By Gregory Dennis



There are four Canada geese on the opposite side of Otter Creek as I write this, standing on the tiny frozen edge of what was once an enormous sheet of ice. They look fat and proud of themselves, having weathered another winter and made it home to Vermont.

I’d like to report that these happy harbingers of spring have brightened my day, as they so optimistically survey their warming domain and search for nesting sites.

But I can also peer out the window and, in addition to the geese, see my snowboard lying forlornly on the deck in the 50-degree sunshine.

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Let the sun shine in

Posted on March 15, 2010 |
By Tom Kearney



This is Sunshine Week in America, a press-organized annual observance to stress the importance of openness in government. Lord knows Sunshine Week (March 14-20) deserves attention here in Vermont.

How Vermont’s laws on public meetings and public records got so messed up is a mystery, but there’s no question they’re messed up. The man who wrote the law, a former attorney general and state senator, put 27 exemptions in the law for the usual stuff — personnel matters, land acquisition, legal strategy in a lawsuit, that kind of thing.

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Editorial: Getting to know Plato

Posted on March 11, 2010 |
By Angelo Lynn



I admit the last time I read Plato’s works had to be in the early 1970s as a college student. And, like most of you, I hadn’t thought much about it since; at least not in a direct way.

My loss.

So it was with interest that I met Victor Nuovo, professor emeritus of philosophy at Middlebury College, a few months ago to talk about a series of essays he was writing on Plato’s last work called “Laws.” As the front-page story in today’s issue reports, after a few conversations, we decided to run them in the Addison Independent.

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Guest editorial: Exemptions - 230 + 1?

Posted on March 11, 2010 |
By Ross Connelly



Editor’s Note: This editorial by the Hardwick (Vt) Gazette spotlights a House bill that limits access to public records. The examples used are local to Hardwick, but could easily pertain to Addison County.

Vermont state law gives people the right to see public records concerning matters conducted by public bodies. The law states “it is in the public interest to enable any person to review and criticize their decisions even though such examination may cause inconvenience or embarrassment.”

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Clippings: Tragedy strikes in tropical paradise

Posted on March 11, 2010 |
By John Flowers



“He’s dying!”

The shrill cry cut like a knife through the searing Costa Rican air that had been doing a lethargic tango with the sounds of crashing surf, clinking glasses and Jimmy Buffet’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise” crackling through a primitive boom-box.

It was a jarring wake-up call from a pool-side seat last month during a family vacation to the warmer climes of Central America. Our family tries to join the snowbirds for a week each February to recharge the batteries. A little fun in the sun, some family togetherness and some memories to last a lifetime.

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