Commentary Series

Weekdays 7:55 a.m. and 5:55 p.m. Sundays at 10.55 a.m.

More than 50 commentators provide perspective and opinion about current events, topics of interest, and often showcase the work of writers and storytellers.  The VPR Commentary Series is produced by Betty Smith-Mastaler.

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Commentary
3:50 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Kunin: Supporting Single Parents

It’s time to accept the fact that there is little stigma to single parenthood. “Born out of wedlock” is a phrase seldom heard today. More than 40 percent of new mothers are unmarried. Seventy-two percent of African Amercan children live in single parent families.
 

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Commentary
3:49 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Mares: Revisiting The Alamo

The first time I saw the Alamo was on a school field trip. I was ten-years-old, and the Alamo mission seemed as big as a fortress.

At the end of a recent 1800-mile road trip fifty years later, seeing this Texas temple got me thinking again about what history IS exactly.
 
Thomas Carlyle called it a "distillation of rumor." Henry Ford said it was "more or less bunk.”

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Commentary
12:08 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Lange: Proper English

My first month in secondary school was an English language boot camp. The drill instructor was Thomas Donovan; we still call him TD. He assigned essays due each Monday morning at eight when he entered the classroom.

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Commentary
6:21 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Kalish: Constitution Day

I’m about to walk across the Green to my classroom to discuss the Constitution with a brand new group of students. We met for the first time the other day, but it was mostly just for instructions and logistics. Today, we get down to business.

Business is pretty much the same every fall, when I teach a college writing class on the Supreme Court. But as luck would have it, this year our discussion of the Constitution is actually falling on Constitution Day - a coincidence that makes me feel almost ridiculously giddy.

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Commentary
5:03 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Dowling: Learning to Communicate

Vermont has a jobless rate that’s well below the national average and many businesses have trouble finding qualified employees. Some of the trouble comes from how the word ‘qualified’ is defined.
 

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Commentary
5:00 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Dunsmore: The Scottish Referendum

Full disclosure. My mother was born in Glasgow. She emigrated to Canada with her mother shortly after World War I. Her father was one of many Scottish soldiers killed in the war, and whose name is on an honor roll in Edinburgh Castle. I was raised among numerous Scots relatives, including my great grandparents, who spoke with thick brogues and told stories, not all of them fondly, of life in what they called, the old country. Without doubt, my curiosity about that old country was a factor in my choosing to become a foreign correspondent.
 

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Commentary
10:46 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Vogel: Solar Sense

Solar panels seem to be sprouting up everywhere these days: on roof tops, on walls and even in fields. Between 2008 and 2012 the cost of photovoltaic panels plunged by 77 percent. With these lower costs, many Vermonters wonder if it now makes financial sense for them to install solar panels on their homes.

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Commentary
3:34 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Woolf: Cost of Efficiency

Recently the media reported that fifteen Vermont ski areas would receive $5 million from Efficiency Vermont to help them purchase more than 2,000 energy efficient snow-making guns, replacing older, less efficient ones, and saving the ski resorts millions of dollars.
 

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Commentary
10:45 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Spencer Rendahl: Ice Bucket Challenge

I've had decidedly mixed feelings about the countless on line video clips I’ve seen of people dumping buckets of ice water on each other to help raise money to cure Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS.

About 30,000 Americans have this degenerative neurological disease at any time, making it an “orphan disease” which means research funding to find a cure is scarce, compared to more common diseases like cancer. So at first I was pleased to see anyone even talking about ALS – especially since it usually gets little public attention.

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Commentary
4:57 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Greene: Catherine Stratton

Catherine Stratton in new hat at the Post Tropical Storm Irene parade

Neither the town of Stratton nor the mountain were named for the Newfane Strattons, as fond rural legend would have it. But such is our affection for Catherine Stratton, that so many of us wanted it to be so. She was the gold standard of summer people. She loved, celebrated and contributed to Vermont in ways both large and small.
 

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