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 the start of another year’s hurricane season, and the effects of Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico still loom large – as hundreds of empty pairs of shoes in front of the capitol in San Juan stand as a mute display of mourning and protest.
A couple of my students just completed a documentary about a police corruption case in western Massachusetts. But in the movie, people who spoke on camera were either unwilling – or maybe too afraid – to condemn a police chief jailed for embezzlement.
As Father's Day approaches, my inbox once again overflows with advertisements urging me to GET DAD THIS WIDGET! GET DAD THAT TOOL! I guess the alternative is to disappoint Dad on his special day or something equally horrifying.
I shuddered when I learned that more than 700 children, including toddlers, have been taken from their parents at the United States Mexican border. This inhumane policy would act as a deterrent against illegal immigration, we are told.
Our brave little state has a penchant for conspicuously courageous leadership: prohibiting certain forms of slavery in our constitution, maintaining the voting rights of incarcerated individuals and convicted felons, civil unions, same-sex marriage, and fair and impartial policing by Vermont State Police.
2018 has been declared The Year Of The Bird - the one-hundredth anniversary of the landmark agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the United States to protect the birds that migrate across the continent.
I’ve finally reached that equilibrium we all seek between mind and body. And at my age, I’m proud to be both a Roads Scholar and a Gravel-road Slalom competitor, a sport to which most newcomers can only aspire – since the main qualification is to live year-round at the end of four miles of one of Vermont’s numerous dirt roads.