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.

Ways to Connect

Vermont officials say some hard-to-reach parts of the state will soon have cell phone coverage thanks to the successful test of a new system.

For Vermont cell phone users reception difficulties stem from two problems:

First, the terrain which often blocks the signals from cell phone towers. 

The second reason is economic. 

In its 20 year history, the Vermont Folklife Center's Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program has sponsored hundreds of apprenticeships.

In recent years it's been focused on helping Vermont's immigrant communities preserve the traditions of their home countries.

For one Congolese man, that's meant teaching young people the dance and music of their native culture. Lusenge Siriwayo leads Ngoma ya kwetu, an African dance troupe.

VPR

As part of our series marking the 20th anniversary of the Vermont Folklife Center's Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, we hear from  master stone cutter George Kurjanowicz who has helped keep the art alive in the granite sheds of Barre.

The Vermont Folklife Center's Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program started 20 years ago and since then its underwritten apprenticeships in a wide range of arts.  But its initial focus was on preserving Vermont's Native American culture.

Among the first apprentices was a woman who set out to learn the traditional basket making of her ancestors.  She is now a master herself, and teaches the skills she learned 20 years ago.

Steve Zind / VPR

This week on Vermont Edition, we're hearing from people who have worked as masters and apprentices in the Vermont Folklife Center's "Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program," which is celebrating its twentieth year. 

The program has been instrumental in helping to train some of the stonecutters who still ply their trade in the granite sheds in Barre.

It's been particularly successful in opening what was once an all-male trade to a new generation of women.

Toby Talbot / AP

The state has issued its latest report on the progress of the recovery effort following Tropical Storm Irene.

The report says while some work remains, it's time to look ahead to guard against future disasters.

Steve Zind / VPR

For the past 20 years, The Vermont Folklife Center's Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program has helped keep alive a variety of traditional arts and skills.

Some have a long history in our area.  Others were brought here in recent years by new immigrant communities.

The program fosters relationships between people who are masters in their art and those who want to learn.

Steve Zind / VPR

Dollar General and Family Dollar both have plans to expand the number of stores in Vermont. Opponents say the stores are a bigger threat to small towns than big box stores.

Residents in South Hero are organizing to fight a proposed dollar store in their community.  They join a number of towns where there is opposition to proposals to build the small box stores.

Two national chains, Dollar General and Family Dollar, have established a number of new stores in Vermont in recent years.

The Vermont Telecommunications Authority has been awarded a $1.6 million federal grant to expand cellular phone service and provide wireless internet in areas hit by flooding in 2011. 

The disaster relief grant from the U.S. Department of Economic Development will help pay for expansion of cell service along 120 miles of roadway in five Vermont counties including Addison, Essex, Washington, Windham and Windsor counties.

By Steve ZindThere was a lot of response to Tuesday’s Vermont Edition program on changing the gas tax.  The idea is in play in the legislature because of a shortfall in the transportation fund which pays for highway and bridge repairs.This Council On Foreign Relations “Renewing America” blog post gives a brief, broad overview of the nation’s deteriorating road conditions and the inability of gas taxes to pay for needed repairs.It appears that Vermont may abandon the tradition of

Bob Northrop devoted his life to support a variety of Vermont institutions.He was best known for his efforts to protect the Long Trail. Northrop hiked the trail end to end many times over the years, most notably in 2001 at the age of 80.

Northrop died this weekend at his home in Underhill.He was 92.

Northrop was born in Massachusetts. He went to Middlebury College in the early 1940s and after enlisting in the Army during the Second World War, attended college in New York and at the University of Vermont.

Dozens of Vermont musicians and artists have used crowdfunding to raise money for their projects by appealing for donations through the New York City based Website Kickstarter.

The site enables people to post information about a project, such as recording a CD or publishing a book. And then they can raise money to pay for the production through small donations.

http://www.vpr.net/audio/news/regional_news/2013/04/SPot-0401apz-Crowd Funding_040113_Steve Zind.mp3

In rural Vermont, the U.S. Postal Service decision to discontinue Saturday letter delivery is yet another blow to an institution that's long been a fixture of village life.

Last year, the U.S. Postal Service abandoned plans to close thousands of small post offices, opting instead to cut hours. But there are fears the cuts will continue until the rural post office is no more.

There is a war going on. The enemy is an innocuous little piece of ornamental fabric.

When the Professional Association of Innkeepers launched the Death to Doilies Campaign this year, the approach was tongue-in-cheek, but the message of change was serious: The doily has had the run of bed and breakfasts for too long.

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