The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created in 1949 as a mutual defense treaty against the threat of a possible attack in Europe by the Soviet Union. Sixty five years later, the original 12 members, plus sixteen new members that joined after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, are meeting to consider what to do about the new Russian threat - in Ukraine.

Randolph is about to build a new wastewater treatment facility and has a settlement agreement with the state regarding violations at the old plant. Concerns are raised over litter and vandalism at recreation areas in Wallingford, Norwich and Waitsfield. And school and town officials in Pittsford aim to lower last year's $68,000 heading bill at Lothrop Elementary School.

Vermont schools ranked third in the nation in an online list of the country's best and worst school systems this week. A community collaboration brings public art to a busy Londonderry intersection. The race for Lamoille County State's Attorney will likely be decided in this month's primary election.

Toby Talbot / AP

During the cold war, American intelligence experts would often try to divine what was going on in the Soviet Union by looking at photographs of Kremlin public events. If Ivan Somebody was in the picture two places from the Russian leader in March and again in May, but was gone in a similar photograph in July, that meant something. Most likely that Ivan was toast.

Toby Talbot / AP

People want to believe that where they live is the best place on earth. But do Vermonters have more reasons than most to believe that their state is the most exceptional?

In the recent Kids Count survey, we were ranked second in child well being. We have the second most breweries per capita. A CNBC ranking lists Vermont as the second most livable state, citing factors such as our healthy population, low crime rate, and clean air and water.

Community solar projects around Vermont were awarded $442,000 in Clean Energy Development Grant funds this week. Towns across the state are setting property tax rates and mailing out annual tax bills. The final community participation event for the planning of Montpelier's One Taylor Street project has been moved back to September.

Correction, August 4, 2014 at 11:30 a.m.: The FY 2015 tax rate increase in Hinesburg is $0.0085, not $0.85, as was stated in the town's July 24 draft select board meeting minutes and originally reported in this story.

Public Post looks into Vermont's customizable emergency alert system, which is online and expanding. Several ski areas have taken on major projects, from a new orange  "six pack bubble chairlift" at Okemo to a parking garage in Stowe. And now's the time to nominate your favorite summer or fall event for the Vermont Chamber's top ten list.

When I went into the Sinai desert with Israeli forces in June of 1967, I harbored no doubts about the morality of that war. Against the backdrop of bellicose Arab boasts to drive the Israelis into the sea, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser demanded the removal of 3400 UN forces forming a buffer zone between Egypt and Israel, setting the stage for a new round of fighting. The Israeli’s preemptively attacked and it was a rout. The Egyptian air force was destroyed largely on the ground, in the first hours of the war.

Public Post looks at an Environmental Court settlement between the State and Maple Glen campground in Sheldon, that includes a $28,750 fine and permitting requirements. Towns are employing a few different different tactics in an effort to comply with the online posting mandates of the revised Vermont Open Meeting Law. And the Hartford Police Department is offering citizens a chance to learn more about law enforcement through a 10-week course this fall.

Public Post dives into new online posting requirements for town websites in Vermont's updated Open Meeting Law, which goes into effect July 1. That's also the date some provisions of the state's 2012 Universal Recycling Law go into effect and Public Post discusses those mandates as well as some other trash-related news. And Montpelier has taken the first step toward installing parking meters that can take payments via credit cards and smartphones.