Steve Zind

Senior Reporter & Special Projects Producer

Steve has been with VPR since 1994, first serving as host of VPR’s public affairs program and then as a reporter, based in Central Vermont. Many VPR listeners recognize Steve for his special reports from Iran, providing a glimpse of this country that is usually hidden from the rest of the world. Prior to working with VPR, Steve served as program director for WNCS for 17 years, and also worked as news director for WCVR in Randolph. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Steve also worked for stations in Phoenix and Tucson before moving to Vermont in 1972. Steve has been honored multiple times with national and regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for his VPR reporting, including a 2011 win for best documentary for his report, Afghanistan's Other War.

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VPR News
5:35 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Long Term Broadband Goal Would Cost $1 Billion, State Calculates

The legislature this year set new broadband goals for the state, including an ambitious 10-year objective that would essentially require fiber optic broadband to every Vermont address by the end of 2024.

The Public Service Department now says reaching the goal would cost nearly $1 billion.

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VPR News
5:53 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Concerned About Strike Risks, FairPoint Union Pursues Other Options

Union leadership is concerned FairPoint would react differently than its predecessors in the event of a strike
VPR/Steve Zind

Contract talks between union employees and FairPoint Communications have been on hold since the company declared an impasse two weeks ago.

Union officials say a strike is possible, but they’re concerned about the risks and the effectiveness of striking. For the moment, they’re exploring other options.  

It could take weeks for the National Labor Relations Board to consider unfair labor practice claims by the union and decide whether FairPoint was justified in declaring an impasse in negotiations. 

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VPR News
2:52 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Where Have The Prime-Age Workers Gone?

Vermont job growth by age group
Vermont Dept. of Labor

Unlike a mathematical equation, where a calculation leads to a single correct answer, economic numbers don’t always point to clear answers.

The accompanying chart from the Vermont Dept. of Labor shows the state's job growth by age group from September 2011 to March of this year.* 

One striking feature is the only age group that saw an increase in jobs over the period is workers 54 and older. 

Even more striking: Prime-age workers, ages 25 to 54, actually saw a decline.

As is often the case, Vermont trends mirror national trends. 

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VPR News
5:00 am
Thu September 11, 2014

For Some Vermonters, A Lack Of Knowledge Is The Barrier To Getting Online

Patty Haupt is learning computer skills in order to improve her job prospects.
Steve Zind VPR

Much has been made of Vermont’s efforts to extend broadband service to every resident.

But the service isn’t much good unless it’s used, and despite nearly universal broadband coverage, a significant number of Vermonters lack the digital skills to take advantage of it.

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VPR News
5:53 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Fall Classes, Fall Harvest: Program Supplies Local Food To Burlington College Students

Bobby Young of Intervale Food Hub prepares a delivery for UVM students
Steve Zind VPR

For students attending three Burlington area colleges, picking up a basketful of locally grown vegetables is an easy stopover on the way to class, thanks to a four-year-old program created by the Intervale Food Hub.

  Connecting local food producers with local consumers is a big part of what the food hub does.

Vegetables, fruit, dairy products, baked goods and meats from about 45 Vermont producers come into the hub to supply a year-round program for local residents who sign up for weekly deliveries.  

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VPR News
10:21 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Lola Aiken, Wife Of Sen. George Aiken, Dead At 102

Lola Aiken, pictured here at a celebration for her 100th birthday, died Monday at age 102.
Toby Talbot AP File Photo

The wife of the late Vermont senator George Aiken has died. Lola Aiken was 102.

Lola Aiken filled an unusual role as a senate spouse. For many years, she ran her husband’s Washington office, and she was deeply involved in his career in the U.S. Senate and the preservation of his legacy.

If Lola – and that’s what everyone called her; simply "Lola" – had a motto, it might be this declaration from a 2002 VPR interview:

“I like to keep that brain of mine moving!”

She was 90 at the time.

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VPR News
7:29 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Dairy Farmers Encouraged To Enroll In New Milk Insurance Program

Buying margin protection insurance will require some careful calculations by dairy farmers.
Steve Zind VPR

Beginning this week, Vermont dairy farmers can sign up for a new insurance program put in place under the 2014 Farm Bill.

The Dairy Farm Risk Management Program is the latest effort to protect farmers from fluctuations in milk and feed prices. 

On Thursday, Vermont dairy representatives joined Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch at an East Montpelier Farm to announce a series of five informational meetings next month to explain the program to farmers.

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VPR News
6:42 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Food Service Giant Sodexo Pledges More Local Products

Sodexo chefs Rob MacFarlane and Brian Roper display some of the Vermont products purchased by the company.
Steve Zind VPR

The multinational food service giant Sodexo has created a program to increase locally sourced products the company provides to Vermont colleges and other institutions. 

The company says it hopes to build on an effort that resulted in the purchase of roughly $16 million in local food products last year. 

State officials, including Governor Peter Shumlin, lauded what Sodexo calls its “Vermont First” program at an event at Vermont Technical College featuring an assortment of the Vermont products the company already purchases.   

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The Frequency
9:55 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Group Says Vermont Catholics Not Consulted For Vatican Survey

Concerned Catholics of Vermont (CCOVT) says it has filed an official objection with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington over the handling of a survey conducted by church bishops on behalf of the Vatican.

The group says Catholic laity in Vermont was not consulted by then-Bishop Salvatore Matano when the Vatican asked bishops to poll parishioners on a range of church teachings.

Matano was appointed to lead the diocese of Rochester, N.Y. last November.

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VPR News
5:30 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Program Teaches Business Skills To Young Farmers

Members of the Youth Ag IDA program with their instructors.
UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Dan Brassard, 19, is already well versed in many skills. He raises beef, sells firewood and produces maple syrup in the new East Randolph sugarhouse he’s standing in.

“All the lumber here I cut and logged off my parents’ land. It was my senior project at the tech center. I sawed it all out,” he says.

In the past year, Brassard has gained some business know-how to go along with his hands-on experience. He’s a graduate of a new program run by University of Vermont Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

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