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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Cross Class Dialogue Circles are designed to bring together community members with a diversity of class experiences to look at how class and economic inequality work on a system level, as well as how wealth happens - or doesn’t happen - in our individual lives.

Anyone worried that the United States-North Korea impasse is heading to a nuclear showdown should relax.

One of my strongest memories as a kid growing up in Putney in the ‘70s was the night I witnessed a fist fight at the gas station in the Village Center. It was at the height of the Vietnam War, and there was extreme tension between those opposed to the war, and those who supported it.

Since Gallop began polling on the subject in 2002, a majority of Americans consistently report they believe America is in moral decline.

The name doesn’t fit. Dead Creek’s miles of shallow waterway, wetlands and woods are teeming with life: swimming, flying, crawling life. And with the recent opening of its new visitor center, it’s likely to host many more mammals of the human species.

Craven: Next Best Thing

Oct 9, 2017

Every fall season provides a showcase for stimulating arts events in every corner of Vermont.

I’m glad Governor Scott has proclaimed today Indigenous Peoples' Day. And I hope we take more steps to celebrate and honor the history, culture and contributions of the Native Americans who inhabited this land before European settlement - and continue to live among us today - like the Abenaki and their descendants.

Courtesy Bill Soucy

Decluttering has become dogma. It isn’t if you should declutter, but when and how. And I’m a fan of getting rid of stuff I don’t use. I no longer need a fondue pot or my Brownie uniform. And neither do my sons.

Slayton: Chimney Point

Oct 6, 2017

History lies in thousand-year-old layers at Chimney Point in West Addison, a place where the eastern and western shores of Lake Champlain come close together. It’s one of the two most strategically important points on the lake.

Last month, the ACLU held its Biennial Leadership Conference in Denver. Leadership from all the affiliates converged with leadership from National for a weekend packed with talks, meetings, and meals to connect with and learn from one another.

A few weeks ago I heard a former Stanford University dean discuss the perils of overparenting. Julie Lythcott focused on college students, but her message also applies to younger children.

When I was eight, I took the NRA safety and target training at a camp in Maine. Two years later, my parents gave me a Winchester .22 long rifle. We kids would peddle our bikes up to the dump after it closed on Saturday to “pop” rats. During deer season the high school boys brought their 30.06s to school and left them in the principal’s office so they could hunt right after school before sundown.

My Mom, if she’d been born in a different era, might have been a candidate for the DACA program. A Dreamer. She was born of German parents in Saskatchewan in 1916. Sometime around 1920 the family crossed the border and headed east. I don’t believe they had work permits or visas. They just came to America to have a better life.

Lange: Trail Magic

Sep 29, 2017

The Appalachian Trail enters Vermont coincident with the Long Trail and follows it for one hundred miles. It peels off near Killington and heads east to Norwich.

During the excruciating military, political and social tumult of the Vietnam War era, I experienced an intellectual and emotional arc that was probably not unusual.

Nearly three and a half million Puerto Ricans are suffering from the worst hurricane to hit the Island in eighty nine years. And I know this because when I was a child my father would tell me about the hurricanes he had survived as we prepared for another one.

I was there when it happened. Nobody expected it to happen. Nobody was prepared for it to happen. And when it happened, it changed the course of history.

The automated teller machine or ATM turns fifty this year. And while I use it less these days, since I now pay for most things with credit, its anniversary reminds me of how a series of miscalculations and poor planning once stranded me in midtown Manhattan with less than a dollar in my bag.

As human beings we’re living in a time when our evolutionary capacity to understand, regulate, and use technological innovation in a way beneficial to mankind and our planetary home is simply overwhelmed by the relentless speed of discovery and invention.

Vogel: Block Grants

Sep 26, 2017

Proponents of block grants believe that funds can be administered more effectively at the state and local level, and that block grants allow for greater flexibility and innovation.