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.

Send Feedback | Guidelines To Submit A Commentary

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.

One of the best parts of serving in public office is getting to hear from Vermonters from every part of the state, and all walks of life.  Not only was it interesting to hear about their aspirations and struggles, but it was important for me, as a leader, to see how their lives could be impacted by decisions we were making in Montpelier.   Sometimes, after one of these conversations, I would see an issue in an entirely new way, and it would lead me to change my mind about a policy I was considering.

Moats: Changing Times

Apr 11, 2018

Times change - but how they change is a mysterious process.

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl / VPR

At a time when the U.S. is tending to look inward with proposed walls and tariffs, kids across the country have instead been looking beyond our borders.

Associated Press File

For years, artist Georgia O’Keeffe has been a hero of mine. Fiercely independent and courageous, a setter of trends in art and lifestyle, O’Keeffe was a genuine maker.

Baxternator / iStock

A young Vermont woman recently was pulled over for driving too close to the yellow line. Another driver was stopped for following a car too closely; a third was for driving 26 in a 25 mile per hour speed zone. Their real crime - driving while black.

Baona / iStock

I remember a conversation I had, one August afternoon forty years ago, with my part-time neighbor, the late Richard Barnet, who worked in JFK’s State Department and co-founded Washington’s Institute for Policy Studies.

Associated Press

President Calvin Coolidge, a Plymouth, Vermont native who adored his white collie Rob Roy, once stated in his plain spoken way that “Any man who does not like dogs and want them about does not deserve to be in the White House” – a sentiment with which I firmly agree.

Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

In 1999, almost 20 years ago, at Columbine high school in Colorado, two students from the school walked through the doors and began the murder of 12 of their classmates, injuring 21 others.

Sheldon Elementary School

Last year, Ed Kolnaski asked his seventh-grade humanities students to come up with projects that would help their community.

vpr

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

Slayton: The New Ceres

Apr 3, 2018
Bob Kinzel

She may be the best-known, most widely recognized sculpture in the State of Vermont, and she stood at her post, high atop Vermont’s most important building, for some 80 years. But this week she was taken down, and she’s going to be replaced.

Henningsen: Embargo

Apr 2, 2018

President Trump’s recent effort to protect American industry by imposing prohibitive tariffs on Chinese imports isn’t the first time an American president has attempted to translate economic ideology into public policy. And I hope current efforts don’t turn out as poorly as they did then.

While most of the civilized world has abandoned execution for moral as well as practical reasons, President Trump is now proposing an expanded application of the death penalty - traditionally applied only in first degree murder cases - for all “major” drug dealers.

Pages