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August 28th, 2014
ADDISON COUNTY — The Middlebury Garden Club has announced the winners of its annual “Roadside Attractions Awards.” These accolades recognize gardens cultivated by people around the county who are not members of the club.
The theme for all these gardens is that they can be enjoyed from the road while passing by in a car or on foot.
The saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees,” can be an apt metaphor for how easily we succumb to the routine and miss what is right in front of our eyes. An anecdote is to leave for a couple of weeks, return, and view our surroundings with a fresh perspective.
I did just that for the middle part of August.
For those who think we live in a sleepy part of the country, here were just a few of the stories reported in the Addison Independent during that time:
ADDISON COUNTY — Democrats Amy Sheldon and Betty Nuovo will continue their respective bids for Middlebury’s two seats in the Vermont House on Nov. 4, thanks to their performances in Addison County’s lone contested legislative primary on Tuesday.
BRANDON — For better or worse, Brandon has a budget.
In this, the last town in Vermont to pass a municipal spending plan, voters approved a budget on the fifth try Tuesday by a vote of 534-472.
But considering the austerity needed for voter approval, it is not exactly a time for celebration. Voters and officials alike are feeling bruised and beaten after five months of financial wrangling, finger pointing and frustration.
MIDDLEBURY — Vermont Hard Cider officials estimate that 7,500 to 8,000 people turned out for the company’s “Ciderbration” event in Middlebury on Saturday, Aug. 23.
BRISTOL — The Vermont Lake Monsters minor league baseball team in Burlington looked in their own backyard to fill an open roster spot by signing a Bristol native to a one-day contract.
The Class-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics signed catcher Ethan Fritz, who became a free agent after a strong season this spring with the Bristol Eagles.
Not bad for a kid who’s just 11.
ADDISON COUNTY — Lobbying for write-in support on Tuesday were the three candidates for Addison County side judge: Alice George of Middlebury, Mark Smith of Middlebury and Irene Poole of Ripton. No one had filed nomination papers for the county’s two side judge vacancies at the filing deadline in June. So George, Smith and Poole have all decided to lobby for the minimum 50 write-in votes they will need to get on the Nov. 4 ballot.
I am, by any contemporary definition, a political liberal. No other approach seems to me both practical and morally justifiable.
But I’ve got enough journalistic skepticism to know that not all the liberal truths are really true. And not seeing the truth, in all its nuances, can be dangerous for any political philosophy. (See pre-World War II isolationism; or “We can bring democracy to the Mideast by invading Iraq.”)