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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.