Commentary Series

Mon-Thurs 8:50 a.m. and 5:50 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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While scrolling down my Facebook timeline over the long weekend, I noticed statuses, such as “Memorial Day was not made for us” and “this holiday is not really about us” by my friends of color.

Craven: Love Of Country

3 hours ago

Memorial Day began more than one hundred and fifty years ago, first in the southern United States when families took time in the spring to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers with flowers.

In all my years as a reporter, I was never thrown out of a public meeting.

Close your eyes and imagine Vermont. Now consider this vision the Vermont Brand.

I love watching springtime unfold in the forests and fields of Vermont. Hunting for fiddlehead ferns along the river banks, spotting red and white trillium dotting the forest floor and smelling the air, sweetened by tree blossoms. It reminds me of our connection to nature. And it also reminds me of the work we have to do if we’re to protect our natural environment for future generations.

In today’s brave new world of genome analysis, law enforcement has just used genetic testing to track down a long sought serial killer.

It was no great mystery why the turtle was crossing the road, but who knows why it decided to cross right in front of my bicycle.

A few times a year I take the plunge and buy a handful of lottery tickets, especially when the prize money catches my attention.

I happened to be in Montgomery, Alabama, the day after the opening of the new memorial for the nation’s victims of lynching. It’s called the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.

Very soon now, the school year will come to a close, and usher in a season of summer camps, family vacations, and sun-soaked days.

A friend told me where to find ramps along the West River. But even without directions, the smell of these pungent wild onions would have led me to where they grow between the river and the road.

To my mind, the passing of Vermont Life Magazine is a sad and sobering cultural milestone.

I grew up reading Vermont Life in the fifties and continued reading it until shortly after the turn of the century.

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.

Cherry blossoms speak of the beauty and fragility of all living beings. But to me they also speak of war, and the mothers and fathers who cannot protect their children while living in its midst.

Initially, I thought of “America First” as a return to 1930’s isolationism.But in practice, it now seems more consistent with unilateralism: defining and pursuing American interests regardless of their impact overseas.

Watts: Vision Zero

May 11, 2018

Cyclists and walkers are some of the most reliable signs of spring and early summer.

When I had my first child three years ago, I thought becoming a parent was the most optimistic thing I’d ever done. But now that I’m only a few weeks away from delivering my second, I have a whole new take on optimism.

Aika Sarkasova came here from the Ukraine, as my own family had generations before. And she gave me some seeds from her heirloom tomatoes, brought from her native country, with which I’ve grown Aika's heirlooms for many years since.

An epiphany is a spontaneous event that inexplicably alters one's life, amanifestation of some force in the universe greater than oneself.

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