Jane Lindholm

Host, Vermont Edition & But Why

Jane Lindholm hosts the award-winning Vermont Public Radio program Vermont Edition. She is also the host and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids.

Jane joined VPR in 2007 to expand Vermont Edition from a weekly pilot into the flagship daily newsmagazine it is today. She has been recognized with regional and national awards for interviewing and use of sound.

Before returning to her native Vermont, Jane served as director/producer for the national program Marketplace, based in Los Angeles. Jane began her journalism career in 2001, when she joined National Public Radio (NPR) as an Editorial/Production Assistant for Radio Expeditions, a co-production of NPR and the National Geographic Society. During her time at NPR, she also worked with NPR's Talk of the Nation and Weekend Edition Saturday.

Jane graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in Anthropology and has worked as writer and editor for Let’s Go Travel Guides. In her free time, Jane enjoys nature writing and photography. She has had her photojournalism picked up by the BBC World Service and combines photography and nature writing on her blog, CommonWanderer.com. She lives in Monkton.

AP/Matt Rourke

We crack open the toy box of old with Chris Bensch, Chief Curator at the Strong National Museum of Play, to understand how toys and games became such an integral part of our culture and why children find solace in toys and play. We also check in with a company in Vermont that makes paper toys and flip books.

Also on the program, as they place their vote with the Electoral College, we check in with Windsor State Representative Kevin Christie, one of Vermont's three electors.

AP/Toby Talbot / A trash hauler drives to the Moretown landfill on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 in Montpelier, Vt.

Horrendous stench. That's how neighbors of the Moretown landfill describe the odor that has been wafting onto their property.Officials at the Agency of Natural Resources have given the landfill owners an ultimatum: clean up, or shut down.

The Moretown site is one of only two landfills in the state.Justin Johnson, the Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, and Tony Klein, chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, discuss how the state deals with its solid waste, and what will happen to the Moretown landfill.


The numbers align perfectly today, so it's the ideal time to delve into what's happening in the world of mathematics. We'll hear about or bifolds, phylo genetics and Math-O-Vision as we discuss practical applications of math.

Middlebury College Associate Professor Emily Proctor discusses the shape of space, Williams College Associate Professor Satyan Devadoss looks at the close personal relationship between math and biology and Dartmouth College Math Department Chair Dan Rockmore tells us about a new math-based competition for high school students.

PRNewsFoto/Pratt And Whitney / Gus Speth in 2008, when he served as Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Gus Speth is widely known as a leader in national environmental policy circles. He founded the Natural Resources Defense Council, advised presidents Carter and Clinton and was dean of Yale's environmental studies department. But Speth recently moved to Vermont and turned his eye to a different problem: a political and economic system that he says is broken. His new book is America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy, in which he outlines how the United States can address social, economic and environmental crises only through massive systemic change.

AP Photo/Toby Talbot / U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., left, views a sleeping dorm with Executive Director Kim Woolaver at the Good Samaritan Haven,

AP/Toby Talbot

The Department of Mental Health has experienced a series of setbacks recently. Commissioner Patrick Flood has resigned and the department's medical director just announced that he will also step down in a month. These departures are complicating the progress of an interim state hospital.

These departures come as news of emergency room stays for mental health patients are on the rise again. For someone going through a psychotic break, a hospital's emergency room is not the best place for treatment. And it puts a tremendous strain on the emergency departments' personnel.


The Department of Motor Vehicles has spent roughly $18 million on a new computer system thatdoesn't work. The courts have spent at least $1.7 million on their own computer system. It doesn't work either. Why have there been so many failures in the state's efforts to modernize its technology systems? We'll talk to John Dooley, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and DMV Commissioner Robert Ide. We'll also talk to Commissioner of the Department of Information and the state's Chief Information Officer Richard Boes to find out what we can learn from these mistakes.

flickr/Sheep purple / Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern of health officials in the U.S.

Many patients have been prescribed penicillin, amoxicillin or Z-Pak and have been happy with the results. Antibiotics can be incredibly effective against bacterial infections. Until they're not. Those germs that the antibiotics are designed to kill can develop a way to outsmart the drugs.

Vermont State Epidemiologist for Infectious Disease Patsy Kelso and Dr. Kemper Alston, Professor of Medicine at UVM discuss the growing concern over antibiotic resistance, its consequences and what can be done to avoid it.

Courtesy of UVM Special Collections / Boys from Burlington’s Jewish neighborhood, 1920s.

In the 1880s, a group of families from Kovno, Lithuania, escaped persecution by emigrating to the United States. They settled in Burlington, surrounded by a landscape that reminded them of home.

They were the original families of Burlington's Jewish community, and for decades they preserved the Yiddish language and orthodox religious traditions in one compact Burlington neighborhood. That history will be presented in a documentary, Little Jerusalem, on Vermont Public Television.


Children are often teased or bullied for behavior that doesn't fit within gender stereotypes-boys who like to dress up; girls who prefer GI Joes and trucks to Barbies. Some children realize early on that they don't fit within traditional gender norms. Transgender and gender variant youth have a hard time knowing where they belong. We'll talk with Melissa Murray, Executive Director of Outright Vermont, and Kim Jordan, a theater educator, about how children are taught about gender.

AP/Toby Talbot / UVM skier Kevin Drury competes in the giant slalom during the 2011 NCAA Championships in Stowe.

UVM's ski team is the defending national champion. Middlebury College will be hosting this season's championships. The Norwich University and Plattsburgh State women are dominating the Division 3 hockey ranks. While Dartmouth College has the country's highest athletic graduation rate.

We check in with local sports reporters and coaches to see what we can expect from area colleges and high schools during this winter's sports season.

Photo: vlauria/Flickr

More people are overweight and unhealthy in this country every year- and Vermont is no exception. Being overweight can contribute to health problems including diabetes. Yet people who are overweight often experience prejudice and stigma in this society.Our guests include Deputy Commissioner of Public Health Tracy Dolan; Naomi Fukagowa, professor at the UVM College of Medicine.

Toby Talbot / AP file

Kitchen Disasters

Nov 21, 2012

The turkey is in the oven, you've just finished mashing the sweet potatoes, and the cranberries are simmering away on the stove. Any minute now your guests will start arriving, including your mother-in-law, and your daughter's new boyfriend. You've remembered to do everything, except turn on the oven.

Cooking can be a stressful experience for all of us, especially this time of year. Remember that time you put salt in the pie, instead of sugar? Share your stories of Thanksgiving kitchen disasters.

AP/Larry Crowe

The frenzied preparations that mark Thanksgiving can serve to distance us from the very food we're celebrating. So Tuesday on Vermont Edition, we talk with two people who have thought extensively about the meaning of food and what it reveals about our cultural priorities and values. Our guests are Tovar Cerulli, a vegan-turned-hunter and author of The Mindful Carnivore; and Ben Hewitt, author of The Town That Food Saved, which explores agricultural enterprise in Hardwick.

Photo: NcReedplayer, Flickr

One out of every seven people across America receives food stamps. And that number is rising every month. In Vermont, over 37,000 households receive food assistance money, although nearly a third of the people who qualify for the program do not sign up.

Have food stamps or food shelves helped your family get by in tough times? Today we'll hear YOUR stories about the challenges of going hungry in Vermont. Do you make choices between paying for heating or for food? Tell your story, below.

Long dark evenings are turning chilly, and we are tucking into piles of great new books coming out during this, the fall publishing season. Tell us what books you're reading,recommending and buying as gifts.

Books recommended on today's show.


Lie Down in Darkness- William Styron
Ashes to Dust- Yrsa Siguroardottir
The Beautiful Myster- Louise Penny
This is How You Lose Her- Junot Diaz


Focus On Brattleboro

Nov 15, 2012
VPR/Ric Cengeri / The new Brattleboro Food Co-Op opened downtown in June.

Over the past several years, Brattleboro has had its share of setbacks. It seemed as if the only news coming out of the southeastern Vermont town was bad news.

The historic Brooks House was severely damaged by fire.Tropical Storm Irene caused extensive damage. A Brattleboro Co-Op employee was murdered by a co-worker. The iconic Latchis Theater marquee was destroyed by a passing truck. But lately, the news from Brattleboro has been much more positive.

Ed Andrieski / AP

Toby Talbot / AP