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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Twenty-three percent of deaths world-wide are directly or indirectly caused by outdoor and indoor air pollution, according to the World Health Organization. This sobering statistic is mobilizing much of the world to take action against the dire effects of climate change.

According to the New York Times, New Hampshire, where I live, is second only to West Virginia for the highest per capita rate of deaths from opioid addiction.

Vogel: Regulation Wisdom

Aug 15, 2017

In an ideal world, corporations would not need to be regulated. In fact, some companies, like Hypertherm, go far beyond what’s required. Hypertherm is well on its way to achieving its goal of sending zero materials to landfills from its 11 buildings in New Hampshire. But we don’t live in an ideal world, as the latest scandal from Wells Fargo Bank illustrates.

Midsummer 1785, and the new nation was drowning in a sea of debt, disorganization, and political and social division.

Catamount Arts

Here’s something you don’t see at every farmer’s market: a guy driving a steamroller over a piece of paper big enough to fill a parking space. The paper is laid over a piece of intricately carved wood or linoleum, which has been inked, and the result is a big, bold, beautiful print.

Like many, I wake up each morning and check online news sources for the latest read on the health of our nation. Like the addictive eater I am, I gobble up the latest ethical transgression, human rights abuse, crony favor, or governmental misbehavior. This menu of public service abuses sets the baseline for my thoughts, mood, and conversations for the day and I take satisfaction in thinking how right I am and how wrong so many of my fellow citizens are. It’s like scanning the country’s electronic medical record so I can keep up-to-date on its wellbeing.

There could hardly be any prettier place to die than the hilltop field on which the Battle of Hubbardton took place. The flowers of midsummer — red clover, and Queen Anne’s lace — were blooming there the day I visited, as they might have been the day of the battle. The rocky cliffs of Mount Zion rose a mile or so to the southwest, and farther off to the southeast, the blue Taconic Range shouldered into the summer sky.

This week as part of our Gunshots series, we asked Vermonters about the role of guns in their lives. Commentator Maggie Brown Cassidy had this to say.

This week as part of our Gunshots series, we asked Vermonters about the role of guns in their lives. Hannah Rommer grew up in Southern Vermont. Now, she's a music teacher and Orchestra conductor in Hanover, New Hampshire and reached out to us to share her story.

This week as part of our Gunshots series, we asked Vermonters about the role of guns in their lives. Last year, Commentator Deborah Lee Luskin became a licensed hunter and bought her first gun after decades of never wanting one.

This week as part of our Gunshots series, we asked Vermonters about the role of guns in their lives. Robin Earle, a 28-year-old graphic designer living in Milton, shared these thoughts.

This week as part of our Gunshots series, we asked Vermonters about the role of guns in their lives. Greg Schoppe a web developer living in Burlington shared these thoughts.

We recently spent four days in a Brooklyn Hospital with our daughter as she recovered from a severe infection that threatened to spread from a badly swollen cheek to her neck.

Llewelyn Sherman Adams was a flinty Yankee born in Dover, Vermont, who lived most of his life in Lincoln, New Hampshire. And no one ever called him Llewelyn.

The theater world has paused to mourn the passing of Pulitzer Prize-winner Sam Shepard, the boldly original and unconventional playwright who worked to find meaning in the raw characters and culture of the modern American west.

Last week, Hydro Quebec bid on the state of Massachusetts' proposal to increase its renewable energy portfolio.

Like July, our resident bobolink population has come and gone. The meadow has grown almost silent without the birds Emily Dickinson called “the rowdy of the meadow.”

Lately we’ve been seeing what I suppose are well intentioned efforts to erase problematic bits of the historic record – but I think they’re seriously misguided.

Mares: Swimming Safety

Jul 31, 2017

Two refugee youths from Africa drowned recently in separate accidents in Burlington. One was Ali Muhina from Somalia, the other Christian Kibabu of the Republic of Congo.

One of my day dreams is to open a restaurant. It would be called “The Quiet Restaurant,” a place with good food where customers could talk without getting sore throats and actually hear one another.

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