Stephanie Greene

Commentator

Stephanie Greene is a free-lance writer now living with her husband and sons on the family farm in Windham County.

Peter van Agtmael / Brattleboro Literary Festival

When Baltimore born and raised Alia Malek entered law school in 1997, she wanted to be an Arab face helping people of all groups defend their civil rights.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the ACLU considers panhandling free speech – because in a healthy society, free speech should promote dialogue. Whether upsetting or repellant, it should provoke people to think … and eventually answer.

Front Porch Forum

I recently requested a recommendation on Front Porch Forum for a good plumber who was creative and had dealt with old houses.

Stephanie Greene

In light of suspected tampering with 2016 election, it’s easy to be jittery around voting innovations involving the internet. But new machines for voters with disabilities, called The Accessible Voting System, enable the homebound to vote by touch screen, joystick, keypad, or breath controlled sensor.

Sonja Bullaty and Angelo Lomeo / Reproduced with permission from Vermont Life

Vermont Life Magazine was founded in 1946 to attract visitors by celebrating the state’s culture and natural beauty.

Amy Skolnick / Guilford Central School

Historiography, or the study of who gets to write history and why, is usually taught as a college course, as is the use of original sources.

One’s twenties are usually spent experimenting - with jobs, relationships and living situations - often in urban settings. But I’ve found four young people who find plenty of room for exploration right here in Vermont.

Recently, I attended a local forum on School Safety put on by representatives Laura Sibilia and John Gannon. Its purpose was for the legislators to get a sense of how their constituents felt about pending gun legislation.

Karin Friberg is pictured here mid-air at the Harris Hill Ski Jumping Competition in Brattleboro on Feb. 15, 2009.
Nancy Palmieri / Associated Press

All eyes are on Pyeongchang right now, but preparing athletes for elite contests begins locally.

XKCD, creative commons

Wikipedia, operated by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, is arguably one of the first stops anyone makes in online research.

It’s been estimated that about a third of Vermont’s population was affected by the Equifax breach. But galling as it was, it may have galvanized both public and private sectors to consider better safeguards for personal data.

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. So I had my doubts about refreshing my rusty and uneven Spanish - which I needed for a recent solo trip to Mexico. But there are a host of new language acquisition strategies that replace rote memorization with comprehension.

Courtesy Bill Soucy

Decluttering has become dogma. It isn’t if you should declutter, but when and how. And I’m a fan of getting rid of stuff I don’t use. I no longer need a fondue pot or my Brownie uniform. And neither do my sons.

Colleges are taking considerable heat these days. Some say they’re obsolete, since a degree won’t guarantee a high paying job at graduation. Others think they harbor spoiled, violent students who victimize speakers with whom they disagree.

Since we’re so dependent on cars up here, it seems counter-intuitive that there suddenly wouldn’t be enough workers to service them. But one of my local garages has been chronically short handed for months, while another has just hired and they’re training the new help from the ground up.

When people tell me they’d love to live in Vermont, I jokingly ask if they enjoy roof raking, then add that they might need to bring their own jobs with them.

We Americans have always headed into our workshops, spare rooms and garages, and made stuff. From smart eighteenth century New England farm boys who brought their inventions south to Worcester, MA, where there was power to rent, to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak tinkering on the first personal computer prototypes, this is what we do. But as school districts tighten their belts by cutting all but academic basics, we sacrifice practice in fabrication, the training ground for innovation.

Vermonters sometimes take for granted our state’s cachet as a hub of enlightened rural living.

Greene: Call Me

Mar 6, 2017

I’ve been calling my representatives in DC - and other people’s too. I’ve urged, begged, scolded and thanked. I actually prefer writing, but I’ve been assured by ex-senate-staffers that calls work because they must be tallied. They say emails and petitions can be ignored, while snail mail is slow because it must be tested for toxins and explosives.

Most of us know that plastic debris is an environmental problem we need to solve. According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags a year, which require 12 million barrels of oil to make. The American Progressive Bag Alliance, which represents the plastics industry, estimates that only 15% of those bags get recycled properly. And the California Coastal Commission calculates that roughly 80 percent of all marine debris is plastic, which never biodegrades.

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