Bill Mares


Writer Bill Mares of Burlington is also a former teacher and state legislator. His most recent book is a collection of his VPR commentaries, titled "3:14 And Out."

Mares: Island Weekend

Sep 26, 2018
Bill Mares

It all started when we won a stay at a 150 year old house on Isle la Motte that coincided with the island’s annual Teddy Roosevelt Day - sponsored by three local preservation and historical organizations.

John Locher / Associated Press

Seems like we’ve barely reacted to one wave of bad news these days when the next one breaks over us – reminding me of the '60's musical and film Stop the world I want to get off!

Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The city of Burlington is polling residents for ideas on how to re-develop Memorial Auditorium, hopefully an easier task than trying to save the hulking Moran Plant on the lakefront.

Jake Wheeler, East Burke

Slowly, I edge down the forty-five degree slope, on rain-slick pine needles and maple leaves. I’m in waders with fishing rod and wading stick in one hand, reaching for saplings with the other, and impatient to get to the river.

First, Stephanie Wilkinson, owner of The Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, upset by many of President Trump's policies, asked White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and her party to leave her restaurant – politely by first-hand accounts.

Mares: Bee Democracy

Jun 6, 2018

Normally, I work in the bee yards to escape thinking about the direction of American politics and the state of the world. But this year is different.

Mares: Museum Tour

May 7, 2018

From the raising of another Black Lives Matter flag, this time at Brattleboro High School to the opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, race relations in America are increasingly in discussion and on display.

Mares: March For Life

Mar 28, 2018

As both a former high school history teacher and a gun owner, I’d been trying to decide how the Parkland school tragedy last month might be transformed into a "teachable moment."

Mares: Common Ground

Feb 27, 2018

I wish Americans today might follow the sensible example of an organization I’ve belonged to for quite a few years now.

Orwell and Churchill were two of my boyhood heroes. Both men regarded politics, not as dirty work, but as an honorable calling, capable of changing the affairs of people for the better and protecting both the individual and free speech. In fact, Churchill once declared that "A state of society where men may not speak their minds cannot long endure."

I was lucky. I grew up in a house full of books and often heard my mother say that "Books are the next best thing to friends."

Mares: Critical Thinking

Dec 15, 2017

For 20 years, my license plate read THINK as an injunction to both my students and the general public.

Mares: Smart Phone

Nov 2, 2017

On a recent trip to France, my cell phone died. I didn't quite experience the five stages of grief, but I was more than merely annoyed, and then annoyed that I was annoyed.

During the excruciating military, political and social tumult of the Vietnam War era, I experienced an intellectual and emotional arc that was probably not unusual.

Mares: Hurricane Lessons

Sep 15, 2017

I watched the house I grew up in become inundated by four feet of water as Houston, the city of my youth, endured 50 inches of rainfall – and was reminded that years ago I myself volunteered on a National Guard amphibious vehicle in one hundred mile per hour winds to rescue people from another September hurricane.

Thirty years ago I was a State Representative when I met with a small group of Burlingtonians intent on the revitalization of Pine Street, a long panhandle of businesses and studios in the city's South End.

Mares: Swimming Safety

Jul 31, 2017

Two refugee youths from Africa drowned recently in separate accidents in Burlington. One was Ali Muhina from Somalia, the other Christian Kibabu of the Republic of Congo.

Mares: Bees And Farming

Jun 30, 2017

The facts of Vermont beekeeping are quickly told: beekeepers number between eight hundred and one thousand; annual honey production from two to three hundred thousand pounds of honey, with a retail value of two million dollars.

Walter Scheidel, a Stanford humanities professor, builds on Joseph Stiglitz's and Thomas Piketty's work on economic inequality with his own book, The Great Leveler, Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-first Century.

Mares: The Palmer Raids

Apr 3, 2017

During World War One, a crisis in civil liberties began brewing as Germanophobia combined with anti-union sentiment and resistance to immigration from southern and Eastern Europe to ignite widespread fear of political radicals and anarchists.