Mitch Wertlieb

Local Host, Morning Edition

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as News Director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a News Director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station WBUR...as a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.

An avid Boston sports fan, Mitch has been blessed with being able to witness world championships for two of his favorite teams (and franchises he was at one time convinced would never win in his lifetime): the Boston Red Sox in 2004, 2007, and 2013, and in hockey, the Boston Bruins, who won their first Stanley Cup in 39 years in 2011.

Mitch has also been known to play a music bed or two during Morning Edition featuring his favorite band The Grateful Dead.  He lives in South Burlington with his wife Erin, daughter Gretchen, and their mixed lab Grendel. He (Mitch, not Grendel) has been host of Morning Edition on VPR since 2003.

 

Ways to Connect

A Massachusetts developer has proposed a power line under Lake Champlain to carry renewable electricity from northern New York into the New England grid. The developer plans to bury the line as much as possible where it runs on land. Governor Peter Shumlin has signed into law a novel measure aimed at protecting companies from so-called patent trolling — the practice of making deceptive claims of patent infringement in the hopes of collecting licensing or settlement money.

VPR Newscast at 12:04 p.m. for Wednesday, May 22, 2013.

Wednesday, May 22nd:

5:59am: Butterfat Trio: "Bad News Bears", from "Under Dog."

6:20am: Oz Noy: "Cosmic Background", from "Fuzzy."

6:49am: Arlen Roth: "Layla", from "Drive It Home."

6:58am: Medeski, Martin and Wood: "Riffin' Ed", from "Radiolarians II."

7:20am: Lettuce: "Dizzer", from "Rage!"

7:58am: String Cheese Incident: "Jessica", from "On the Road": Live in Columbia, MD., 7/18/02.

8:20am: Grateful Dead: "Brown-Eyed Women", Live from Colgate University, Hamilton, NY., 11/4/77.

A North Bennington entrepreneur has won state and federal permits to generate electricity at a 200 year old dam site on the Walloomsac River. Vermont is getting $6 million in Homeland Security grants to help prepare for potential terrorist attacks or natural disasters. Botanist says time is running out to prevent the spread of Japanese Knotweed made worse by Tropical Storm Irene.

Monday, May 13th:

5:59am: Jacko Peake: "SFO", from "The Best of Cookin'."

6:20am: Galactic: "Black-Eyed Pea", from "Late for the Future."

6:49am: Charles Mingus: "Summertime", from the album of the same name.

6:58am: Addison Groove Project: "The Delivery", from "Wicked Live."

7:20am: Jamie Masefield's Jazz Mandolin Project: "Pokin' Around", from "After Dinner Jams."

7:58am: The Rhythm Section featuring Jacko Peake: "Suzanne's Jam", from "The Best of Cookin'."

Democratic leaders at the Legislature and Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin are in a showdown over tax policy and the disagreement means lawmakers did not adjourn this weekend as planned. The Whitingham Ambulance Service will soon close its doors, after forty years serving the rural towns near the state’s southern border. Emergency responders say changing economic and social patterns threaten the survival of many small ambulance services.

How does a shorter summer vacation sound? If you’re a student probably not so good, but what if in exchange there were longer break periods built into the school year…breaks that could be used for enrichment, camps or time with your family? That alternative is being considered by some school superintendents in Vermont. They’re calling it School Calendar 2.0.

The Bennington Police and the FBI searched two spas in Bennington this week after allegations emerged of human trafficking and prostitution.

Police seized computers, cell phones, cash and business records. Neal Goswami has been following the story for the Bennington Banner and he spoke with VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb for our Friday Regional Report.

Click listen to hear the interview.

There’s a lot of legislative news today as lawmakers work to wrap up the 2013 session. The House has taken a major step toward changing the way food is labeled in Vermont. Lawmakers approved legislation yesterday to require labeling of food that contains genetically modified organisms. Legislative leaders are working on a new plan to lower all income tax rates and primarily benefit middle income Vermonters. The day after the Vermont Senate passed legislation allowing doctors to provide lethal medication to terminally ill patients who request it, backers of the bill received a scare.

The Vermont House will consider legislation today to require labeling of food sold in Vermont containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Three property owners whose homes were destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene just got word that FEMA will not approve them for a federal program that buys flood-damaged properties.

The Vermont attorney general's office says it has settled complaints that a Los Angeles company sent mailings to Vermont companies that appeared to be bills.

In the age of Super PACs, the Vermont House wants to prohibit big contributions to political action groups. The House passed legislation Wednesday that would cap donations to “Super PACs.” Supporters hope a last-minute compromise means a bill that would allow terminally ill patients to get doctors’ help to end their lives will become law. The Senate voted Wednesday to send the bill back to the House, the compromise was structured to win over just one vote.

VPR/Kirk Carapezza

In our hyper-connected world, some may find that it’s increasingly difficult to slow down long enough to read and truly enjoy a poem. A professor at the University of Vermont is encouraging his students to appreciate the sound and feel of poems.

Major Jackson says at an early age he fell in love with condensed language as a reader of poetry. His working-class African-American grandparents kept books filled with poems in their northern Philadelphia home. From time to time, Jackson would come across a poem that resonated with him sonically.

After a lengthy debate that got personal at times, the Vermont Senate has postponed final action on a bill that allows terminally ill patients to get a doctor’s prescription to end their lives. The Vermont Legislature is one step closer to decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. On Tuesday, the Vermont Senate gave preliminary approval to legislation that would make it a civil offense rather than a crime to possess one ounce or less of pot. The vote was 24-to-6.

VPR/Nina Keck

U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins’ search for poetry to include in Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry,  led him to believe that “clear, reader-conscious poems are the ones that will broaden the audience for poetry.”

Vermont’s poet laureate, Sydney Lea, agrees with that approach.

The Vermont House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill requiring GMO food labeling, but the measure isn't expected to pass into law this year, because there isn't enough time to get the bill through the Senate.

A cost-cutting move by the Shumlin administration could save millions next year by changing the way Vermont deals with certain mentally impaired inmates, but critics say offenders will pose a more severe threat to public safety as a result.

Tropical Storm Irene is still packing a punch for some Vermont businesses. That’s because more than 200 employers were forced to lay off workers after the storm—and other flooding that year. And some have seen their unemployment tax rates go up, sometimes dramatically. Vermont lawmakers have a heavy agenda set for today. Some are saying they’ll still be able to wrap up business for the year by Saturday.

VPR/Susan Keese

Educators say that most children love rhymes. And they say that poetry can be helpful in many ways as children learn to read, write, listen and express themselves.

In her kindergarten class at Oak Grove School in Brattleboro, teacher Chelsea Dowd is reading a favorite story.

It’s Dr. Seuss’s ‘One Fish, Two Fish,” and the students are joining in.

Many of the children have the same book at home. But that’s not the only reason they’re able to shout out the final word in every line. It’s also because the rhyming pattern is predictable and easy to remember.

The Vermont House is preparing to debate a bill that would allow immigrant farmworkers in the country illegally to drive in Vermont, with a new type of driver's privilege card.  A bill that would require labels on genetically modified food sold in Vermont will not likely see action this legislative session.  The Vermont Public Service Board says a 16-turbine wind project in Sheffield is meeting its noise standards and is in compliance with its Certificate of Public Good.  A Burlington High School Spanish teacher has been placed on administrative leaving pending a criminal investigation.

Monday, May 6th:

5:59am: Bad Plus: "Flim", from "These Are the Vistas."

6:20am: Beastie Boys: "Groove Holmes", from "Check Your Head."

6:49am: Jon Brion: "Monday", from the soundtrack to the film "I (heart) Huckabees."

6:58am: Grateful Dead: "The Women Are Smarter", Live from Alpine Valley Music Theater, WI., 7/18/89

7:20am: Jeff Coffin: "A Half Sleep", from "Into the Air."

7:58am: Crimson Jazz Trio: "Three of a Perfect Pair", from "King Crimson Songbook, Vol. 1"

It looks like efforts to protect the edges of Vermont's lakes and rivers from the negative effects of development will have to wait another year. The clock is running out on the 2013 legislative session, and it appears time has run out for a bill requiring labels on genetically modified food sold in Vermont. Lawmakers remain concerned that a state law on genetic labeling could provoke a lawsuit from the biotech industry. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is reminding drivers to be on the lookout for moose.

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