March 17th, 2011
Founding father Benjamin Franklin — what a guy. He came up with a lot of neat ideas, including bifocals, the lightning rod and the stove that bears his name. In his spare time, he was an author, printer, politician, postmaster and scientist.
But every March, I wish ol’ Ben had been flying his kite instead of brainstorming what I believe to be his most dubious contribution to society: Daylight Saving Time (DST) — setting the clock back one hour in the fall and forward one hour in the spring to maximize the availability of daylight.
This is the sixth anniversary of Sunshine Week, a time to take stock of the public’s right to know and to celebrate victories in making ours a more open and transparent government.
Saturday’s Chili Festival in Middlebury drew a throng of about 3,500 people who enjoyed socializing on a closed Main Street while tasting more than 80 varieties of chili on a semi-raw, March day. It was, as coordinators of the event said, “an overwhelming success.”
In two weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case raising important First Amendment issues about public financing of political campaigns.
The case comes from Arizona. In the 1990s, many Arizona legislators faced civil and criminal charges involving campaign contributions from the gambling industry. In 1998, Arizona’s voters passed a referendum establishing a “Clean Elections” program that provides public funding to candidates for state offices who voluntarily limit the amount of money they raise in private donations.
Barbara and Shawn Thompson-Snow used to think they could live out the American Dream.
With good jobs and college educations, in their early 50s they seemed set for a happy ending. Ahead of them stretched a few more years of full-time work — then the chance to cut back to part-time, to travel and enjoy life.
Five college loans later and with a second kid still in college, that now seems like a laughable fantasy. They might as well try flapping their arms and flying from their Lincoln home to the top of Mt. Abe.
The Addison County Relocalization Network and the Addison Independent present our second annual Guide to Local Food and Farms, featuring a producer directory, profiles, features and more.
You can read it here, or pick up a print copy in various locations throughout town.
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As part of an ongoing discussion on education reform between Addison County residents and Middlebury College, we're providing community members with a platform to discuss this intricate issue. This week's discussion revolves around the following questions:
Do Addison County and the rest of the US need to reform their education systems? If so, why? And, how might education reform proceed?