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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Martha Molnar

When we moved to the so-called Lake District in south central Vermont, we didn’t realize what that meant. A full decade later, we’re still discovering the beautiful lakes and their generous four-season offerings.

Markowitz: Heat Wave

Aug 9, 2018
Deb Markowitz

This summer, I’ve been spending a lot of my free time swimming in the lakes and rivers of Vermont, and if the filled parking lots and packed beaches are any indication – so are most Vermonters.

David Moats

It was 1965 when the delegates of the United Nations gathered in San Francisco to celebrate the founding of the U.N. in that city 20 years before. I was a curious teenager, so together with my pal Pete, we snuck into the Opera House as anniversary preparations were under way — to get a glimpse of history.

Stephanie Greene

In light of suspected tampering with 2016 election, it’s easy to be jittery around voting innovations involving the internet. But new machines for voters with disabilities, called The Accessible Voting System, enable the homebound to vote by touch screen, joystick, keypad, or breath controlled sensor.


We like to think of Vermont as an honest, open-hearted place. Would national politics ever cloud or distort that? Perish the thought!

Richard M. Higgerson / Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty

In recent dealings with the Federal Housing Administration or FHA, I am reminded that ten of the most feared words in the English language are: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”

Amy Kolb Noyes

Women are setting new records in running for office. The high bar for governor was set in 1994 when 35 women ran. This past May, seventy seven woman set a new record - more than double that of the past.

Lange: Quiniktikut

Aug 6, 2018
Rick Shreve of Orford, NH

Thanks to Daniel Webster, the border of the United States in New Hampshire is a few rods north of a tiny abandoned beaver dam that's the source of the Connecticut River.

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl

I have friends in liberal bubbles - like Brooklyn, Boston, and Berkeley - who claim they’ve never personally met a Donald Trump supporter. I tell them that in my neighborhood, Trump supporters are as close as the school bus stop.

Mary McCallum

One recent pristine summer afternoon, two people drowned on a popular southern Vermont lake. From a festive plastic float, they’d waved hello to others passing by on kayaks, paddle boards and canoes, including me.

Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The city of Burlington is polling residents for ideas on how to re-develop Memorial Auditorium, hopefully an easier task than trying to save the hulking Moran Plant on the lakefront.

Krupp: Crazy Snake Worms

Aug 1, 2018

When I dig in my garden soil in spring, I look forward to seeing earthworms, since I know they add to the humus in the soil with their castings.

Hogan: The Fisher Ruling

Aug 1, 2018

I was a member of the original Green Mountain Care Board, put in place in 2011, where I served the maximum term of six years.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down “agency fees” taken by public sector unions from non-members’ paychecks.

Many news sources report that the Vermont Department for Children and Families, or DCF, is having to take responsibility for rapidly increasing numbers of children.

Evangelina Holvino

My friend Carla is stressed out because she’s moving. In addition to asking for boxes my husband and I saved from our own downsizing move three years ago, she’s asked for advice.

Coyote Hollow from the Levins' rooftop. photograph courtesy of Casey Levin

From the porch, on a clear August day, I can see Mount Ascutney, forty miles distant, more an afterthought than a keynote, far beyond the more imposing Gove Hill.

I was driving through the empty, sage-covered rangeland of eastern Washington one time when I saw a giant sign that said “Ron Paul for President.”

Hanson: Seymour Lake

Jul 25, 2018
Gayle Hanson

From the angler hip deep in the ripples of the Battenkill to a flotilla of Curtis Pond paddle-boarders, every Vermonter has their favorite summer water activity and their favorite place to do it.

Jens O. Z. Ehrs for Southerly Clubs / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

This November's midterm elections have energized a lot of people. But it’s a fact that midterm elections are generally not very popular.