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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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.

One’s twenties are usually spent experimenting - with jobs, relationships and living situations - often in urban settings. But I’ve found four young people who find plenty of room for exploration right here in Vermont.

In his 1939 essay, Education, the late E.B. White commended the teacher in a two-room seacoast Maine schoolhouse where his son spent happy days.

Moats: Twitter Power

Apr 23, 2018

People sometimes ask, “Why can’t the media just ignore the crazy tweets coming out of the White House?”

Old Vermont, the Vermont many of us grew up in, was rural, isolated, and poor in many material aspects - but rich in tradition, humor, and dignity.

Kempton family

George Kempton’s passing marks the end of an era here in Peacham.

It’s an ancient proverb that comes from the 4th century A.D. – “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Photograph courtesy of Willem Lange / via The Valley News

VPR has learned of the passing of Ida Lange, wife of many years to long-time commentator Willem Lange, who’s written a remembrance of her that appears in today’s Valley News.

Listeners may remember that Ida made frequent appearances in Willem’s columns and commentaries, but never by her given name.

Abby Mnookin

It was a wet, spring evening when my six-year-old and I set out to help salamanders and frogs cross the road a few miles from our Brattleboro home.

I’ve been a Guardian Ad Litem for a year now, and I’m beginning to see some patterns in how children manage the disruption and stress of being removed from their parents and placed with foster families.

The Burlington Housing Authority or BHA has embarked on a bold experiment. As part of its commitment to end homelessness, BHA has created a housing retention program that focuses on preventing homelessness.

When the poet T. S. Eliot wrote “April is the cruelest month,” I imagine he could have been thinking about death and taxes - because right after we finish filing our taxes, Americans have now set aside a day for planning our Advance Directives – known as National Healthcare Decision Day.

Kittredge: Noble Endings

Apr 16, 2018

I’ve had several recent encounters with an issue that affects a demographic not generally considered pop culture trend setters: the elderly.

I’ve recently learned I’m a “privileged, cisgendered, white male.”

Kashmeri: Churchill

Apr 13, 2018
Byron Rollins / Associated Press

I have to agree that Gary Oldman fully deserved the Academy Award for his brilliant portrayal of Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister during the Second World War, in the movie, Darkest Hour.

Until recently, Vermont Fish and Wildlife was just another name among a murky sea of state agencies that I’d hear and read about occasionally, but didn’t think about much.