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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Reports of an incident in which an eight year old biracial boy was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for evaluation and treatment took my breath away. As a parent, there’s no greater fear than imagining my children victimized.

Guyon: The Brexit Gap

Sep 12, 2017

The term Brexit is not a morning cereal as I'd originally thought, but rather a mash-up of the words “Britain” and “exit”, as in the UK leaving the European Union.

I spent my early years in what was then called Bombay, where after Indian Independence, I saw first-hand the removal of statues that honored English monarchs, generals, and other luminaries of the more than two hundred years of British rule in India.

My husband Tim and I planned to hike a stretch of the Long Trail, but it was raining. We went anyway.

News 7 is a daily television show produced by journalism students at Lyndon State College which, when it officially merges with Johnson State College next July, will become Northern Vermont University.

I learned a new term recently that dates back to 1982 when the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries coined the term Shinrin-yoku — which translates roughly as forest bathing - and introduced it into the Japanese national health program.

I’ve been thinking about compassion in the digital age. Thanks to social media options like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, it’s easier than ever to express our sympathy and solidarity with people facing overwhelming odds, whether caused by nature or society.

Colleges are taking considerable heat these days. Some say they’re obsolete, since a degree won’t guarantee a high paying job at graduation. Others think they harbor spoiled, violent students who victimize speakers with whom they disagree.

When I was young, Morrisville had three doctors, two dentists and the wood-framed, four-story, Copley Hospital, which had the town’s first elevator. Theoretically, there was competition, but price wasn’t the criteria by which we chose our providers, it was familiarity and trust.

Thirty years ago I was a State Representative when I met with a small group of Burlingtonians intent on the revitalization of Pine Street, a long panhandle of businesses and studios in the city's South End.

John Killacky

I unhitch my Shetland and put her outside in a corral to cool down. As she grazes, I see in her the ancestral Mongolian ponies: compact muscularity, shaggy pelt, round belly, strong jaw, and deep set eyes - plus her scrappy resiliency.

It’s not hard for Vermonters to relate to the photos from Hurricane Harvey; families on rooftops waiting for rescue; roads, passible only by boat; cars and houses, completely washed away. It was just six years ago that Tropical Storm Irene destroyed communities across our state.

As tropical storm Harvey ravaged parts of Texas and Louisiana, it again became obvious - to me, at least - that the forces of nature don’t give a fig about political affiliations.

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl

Just as my family departed for our annual camping vacation on Cape Cod, we learned that wreckage of the World War Two era US Warship Indianapolis had finally been found.

Weis: Waffle And Spin

Aug 31, 2017

Mark Twain once said that “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ‘Tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

I wonder what Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr would have thought about Twitter. Limited to one hundred and forty characters, today's tweets are commonly regarded as disposable political rhetoric.

Ticks move like zombies; one speed, one direction, a stiff, endless, methodical forward plod… best described as creepy.

A friend of mine recently lost her job as a reporter - a job she loved. Every day she woke up and thought about how to capture the news and bring valuable information to her readers.

Vermont, like the rest of the nation, is facing an imminent shortage of primary care doctors.

I know I’m not the only history teacher who’s been wrestling with profound doubts about what we’ve done or, perhaps, what we haven’t. Given the erosion of civility, even of rationality, and the increasing divisiveness that characterize our national discourse, we can’t avoid wondering if our work has been so poor that we’ve contributed to today’s civic chaos.

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