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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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.

I recently attended my 40th High School Reunion. I grew up in Western Massachusetts and I’ve been a regular to these events every five years.

The Vermont House has approved a bill that would make all employees eligible for six weeks of paid leave at 80 percent of their salary.

I took my four-year old son, Henry, to the State House to watch the vote on the gun control bill S. 55. I’d never been inside the State House, and we sat in the balcony since I couldn’t be sure how long we’d last.

Tasha Wallis

When we were small, my brothers and I would drink sap or pull beautiful round, slightly sweet, pieces of ice out of the buckets hanging on trees we passed walking home from the school bus.

Mares: Museum Tour

May 7, 2018
AP

From the raising of another Black Lives Matter flag, this time at Brattleboro High School to the opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, race relations in America are increasingly in discussion and on display.

Many thought the historic Women’s March - which brought millions of women (and some men) out of the house and into the streets would be a one-time event. After a few weeks, it would surely fizzle.

Cynthia Crawford, www.creaturekinships.net

Vermont’s weather has always been unpredictable, but as climate change brings new and even more uncertain conditions, I’ve taken to tracking weather patterns by the appearance or absence of dooryard birds.

Many Vermont companies make significant charitable contributions to the local community and some, like King Arthur Flour, have even met the social, environmental and governance requirements to become B corporations. But in many ways, it’s mutual savings banks, that as a group, stand out when it comes to supporting their local community.

Former first lady Barbara Bush’s announcement that she was opting for “comfort care” in lieu of treatment for the chronic diseases that would end her life certainly got people’s attention.

Philip Hoff and his wife, Joan, pose in front of the Vermont Statehouse at Hoff's gubernatorial inauguration, which took place Jan. 17, 1963.
Associated Press

Historians debate whether historic change is made by forceful men and women, or by larger forces — trends and events that push human beings into actions that they may believe they are in charge of. But with Phil Hoff, it was a combination of both.

Amy Skolnick / Guilford Central School

Historiography, or the study of who gets to write history and why, is usually taught as a college course, as is the use of original sources.

Without notice or comment, The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCIS) recently deleted from its mission statement a century-old introductory phrase… “America’s promise as a nation of immigrants…”

May 1 marks a critical date in the college decision process - as the day by which students and their parents have to plunk down their deposits, essentially making the decision about where they are going to go to school.

As a hunter and gun owner, I understand and appreciate the historical, cultural and practical significance of the right to bear arms under both the Second Amendment and Article 16 of Vermont Constitution.

This year Vermonters of color hold a record number of elected positions. In this last election cycle, eight brave souls threw their hats in the ring of which five won their seats on selectboards in Brattleboro, Hartford and Middlebury as well as the selectboard and school board in Winooski. They joined other Vermonters of color who already serve in the Vermont Senate and House of Representatives, Burlington City Council, Rutland Board of Aldermen, and a number of school boards, town representatives, and justices of the peace.

Richard Svec / Cavendish Historical Society

This spring, the Vermont General Assembly passed a resolution commemorating the 100th anniversary of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s birth.

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