Commentary Series

Mon-Thurs 8:50 a.m., Mon-Weds at 5:50 p.m. and 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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Coffin: Randolph

7 hours ago

I wonder if the new visitors have looked right and down as they passed above South Royalton to see a classic Vermont village in miniature. Surely they saw little Royalton Village across the curving White River a couple miles to the north, as the hillsides grow steeper.

I’m not one to spoil a party but I remain puzzled by Castleton’s decision to become a university. It’s a fine school and President Wolk deserves kudos for making it so, but times are changing and so must higher ed. Aspirational renaming won’t make this happen.

I recently learned of two real events that reportedly inspired the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s masterpiece “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner,” a poem most of us read in high school about an old sailor who stops one of three people walking to a wedding to tell him a captivating but grim story.

Whenever I go on vacation, my perspective on everyday life shifts... to an angle that lets me believe many implausible, yet optimistic, things. On vacation, I believe that, because I feel how nice it is to be caught up on sleep, I’ll never skip it again. Or now that I don’t have any looming deadlines, I’ll never fall behind on work again. Or because I cleaned the house before I left, now I’m a person who keeps a clean house.

Averyt: New Citizens

Jul 31, 2015

This July 4th, an early morning naturalization ceremony took place at Calvin Coolidge's birthplace in Plymouth. The setting was significant, since Coolidge was one of two presidents from Vermont and the only U.S. president born on the 4th of July. The swearing-in was both solemn and celebratory, with President Coolidge's great-granddaughter singing the National Anthem.

Homeyer: Heat

Jul 31, 2015

So here I am, on one of the warmest days of the year, stacking wood. But I started early, before the real heat of the day kicked in.

I came upon the term “hand-selling” on Elinor Lipman’s Facebook page, where she was extolling the virtues of booksellers who recommend books to customers.

Cyndy Bittinger

I was visiting my brother in Charlotte one hot summer day in the '80s, when he suggested heading over to Lake Champlain for a swim. But my brother had MS and navigated his life in a wheelchair, so I don’t know what he was thinking since this part of the lake was inaccessible to someone without the use of his legs.

Vermont has two economies. By most measures, one is doing great while the other struggles. One boasts an unemployment rate of just 2.9% while the other holds at 3.9%. Since the year 2000, one economy’s population grew by 9%, while the other by just 1%.

Luskin: Slow Justice

Jul 28, 2015

Last year, I was picking berries, when I heard a car skid and crash on the road by my house.

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