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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Averyt: Mail Call

Jul 24, 2018

In recent years, the postal service has been a popular fiscal flogging post for politicians. But according to this year’s Gallop poll, 74 percent of the American public rate the post office the most trusted federal agency. And I agree.

Bess O’Brien

“I don’t know if I’m supposed to be here,” I said. I was in a meeting room at the Turning Point, a peer-run addiction recovery center in White River Junction, and I was there to learn about the center’s Writers for Recovery program.

Megan Monday

I’m a white person living in a predominantly rural, white state, and a queer mother, doula, writer, organizer, educator, and facilitator living in perilous times.

Jake Wheeler, East Burke

Slowly, I edge down the forty-five degree slope, on rain-slick pine needles and maple leaves. I’m in waders with fishing rod and wading stick in one hand, reaching for saplings with the other, and impatient to get to the river.

ArtCare Conservation / St. Johnsbury Athenaeum

Like many Vermonters, one of the state’s most important artworks spent last winter in Florida.

Adrian: Bullet Voting

Jul 18, 2018

Sometimes less is more. This primary season, for those of us living in multi-seat districts, checking the box for just one candidate might make the most sense.

I was chatting with a young technician at my local hospital recently, and I asked her if she gardens. “Yes,” she said. She was just getting started, loved lilies and had planted several. "Oriental, Asiatic, or Daylilies,” I asked.

Ninety school districts - about a quarter of Vermont’s communities - have proposed meeting Act 46’s goals through collaboration rather than formal merger.

The United States Supreme Court leads the third branch of our government, and in its best moments, it’s been a place where people with less access to opportunity have gained a better footing in our society.

McCallum: Luggage Lost And Found

Jul 16, 2018

“This is the classic traveler’s nightmare,” I thought, as I stood beside the airline baggage claim carousel in a rapidly thinning crowd.

In 1793, the ruler of the Earth’s richest and most powerful nation met with a delegation from what was then part of the developing world seeking to establish trade relations.

China has stopped importing foreign garbage – and that’s caused problems in places like Oregon, Washington and Alaska.

Bill Schubart

My favorite way to recover after a hot afternoon’s hard work has always been to chug down a quart of ice cold water from a Mason jar and then jump into a clear mountain brook or a neighbor’s pond.

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl

When I was a high school student in suburban Connecticut in the late eighties, I came across a letter on our family kitchen table one evening about an upcoming school board election.

The recently reported drop in Vermont’s national rating regarding child well-being should be viewed with concern. We’ve slipped from 3rd to 8th best in the nation.

In Article 3 of the U.S. Constitution, it’s stated that Supreme Court justices “shall hold their appointment during good behavior” - which is generally interpreted as a lifetime appointment.

First, Stephanie Wilkinson, owner of The Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, upset by many of President Trump's policies, asked White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and her party to leave her restaurant – politely by first-hand accounts.

It’s been widely reported that three small Vermont towns issue about one-quarter of all speeding tickets in the state. And the resulting revenue is said to be used to boost town coffers.

Journalists are a little like doctors. Sometimes they have to give people bad news. The difference is there’s no arguing with a heart attack.

Regardless of where we all stand on the politics of immigration, I hope we can all still agree that our constitution can act as a salve beyond party and dogma to bind up our wounds of division.