March 26th, 2014
You may have noticed that I rarely cover the meatier topics in this column. Heaviosity just ain’t my bag, man. But sometimes we have to face the deep questions. Deeper than politics or religion or work or love. Sometimes we have to dig as deep as we can and get our hands dirty and really examine the self. The me. The I. The us. Who am I? This is a question that has been pondered through the ages. Aristotle, Plato, Lao Tzu, Nietzsche, Descartes, Spinoza, Rousseau and that guy I can’t ever remember … oh yeah, Kant, have all tackled it. But have they cracked it?
April 15 is just around the corner, and you know what that means: Time to hone your finest procrastination techniques.
Hey, it’s no coincidence that spring cleaning coincides with tax season. You start thinking about capital gains, non-qualified deductions, thresholds and exclusions, and what do you say to yourself? “Wow, when is the last time I washed and ironed all the curtains? I can’t possibly deal with my offshore exempt dividends until I’ve taken care of those.”
In October 2012 I was involved in an incident in Middlebury that led to the fatal shooting of a man by law enforcement officers. The man committed what has become known as “suicide by cop.” This involves provoking the police into a lethal response, either directly, as in the Middlebury case, by shooting at the responding officers, or indirectly by threatening or attacking the public. This phenomenon has become so prevalent that appropriate tactical responses are taught in the Vermont Police Academy.
One of the most promising aspects of Vermont’s political and educational landscape is the belief in community and civic engagement. For those coming to this state from elsewhere, it is a powerful realization to see such ardent participation in the health of our communities. It’s refreshing to see the public go beyond recrimination to take action and be part of finding solutions.
ST. JOHNSBURY — Seven out of the 13 members of the Otter Youth Wrestling Club who traveled on Saturday to a St. Johnsbury tournament for kindergarteners through sixth-graders came away with first- or second-place finishes.
Taking first place for the Otter contingent were Caleb Whitney, David Williams and Chase Cram.
Isaac Whitney, Johan Harding, Quincey Boone and Levi Cram earned second-place finishes.
Also, Amelia Whitney and Tucker Babcock finished third at their level, while Mariska Harding and Ian Miner took fourths.
Gov. Peter Shumlin’s strength, as witnessed by his Monday visit to Middlebury to speak at a legislative luncheon, is the mile-high clarity through which he sees political challenges.
A corresponding weakness is that he too quickly dismisses the swamps that lie in the weeds of detail between his lofty goals. It’s a trait that transcends issues, from the natural gas pipeline, to health care reform and school governance.
VERGENNES — Vergennes police are investigating a string of BB-gun vandalism cases in the New Haven Road and Green Street neighborhood.
Three incidents of BBs being shot through home windows on those city streets were reported last week, and a fourth was reported late the week before.
On March 17, a Green Street resident reported hearing a bang outside his home, but police found nothing. The next day, the man called back to say he had discovered the damage to a window.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury police arrested two men following a three-vehicle accident on Route 7 North at around 6:40 a.m. on Wednesday, March 19. Police said the accident occurred in the northbound lane of the road when Brian Baldwin, 42, of Middlebury allegedly rear-ended a vehicle in front of him that had stopped.