Commentary Series

It’s barely four months since the Las Vegas massacre, and already it’s all but forgotten. Now comes the Florida high school mass shooting and we must take steps to ensure it doesn’t become equally transitory.

Historian Kenneth Clark argued that, to survive, a civilization requires one thing above all: confidence. Confidence in itself; confidence in its culture and laws; confidence in the individual and collective capacities of its citizens to shape the future.

It’s such a joy to see the long list of Vermonters representing at the Olympic Games and fun to see the stories on so many athletes from Norwich. I grew up there with a generation of Olympic skiers and must be some sort of slacker.

Karin Friberg is pictured here mid-air at the Harris Hill Ski Jumping Competition in Brattleboro on Feb. 15, 2009.
Nancy Palmieri / Associated Press

All eyes are on Pyeongchang right now, but preparing athletes for elite contests begins locally.

Watts: Immigration

Feb 14, 2018

Early one morning last month - at five o’clock - 14 construction workers were arrested by immigration officials at a Colchester motel.

Facial recognition technology for chickens is not a completely ridiculous idea.

Okay, it is a completely ridiculous idea - but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad one.

It’s hard to imagine that Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Vermont author and ultra-respectable taste-setter in the Nineteen-Thirties and Forties, could become a figure of controversy, but that’s what’s happened.

Every year I’ve been Town Moderator, I’ve driven one hundred and twenty miles to Montpelier to attend a refresher course on Roberts Rules of Order.

Schubart: Depression

Feb 12, 2018

Seventy per cent of all Americans are taking some form of prescription medication, and ten per cent of them are on anti-depressants. Among women between 40 and 50, the number is twenty-five percent. In fact, antidepressant use has quadrupled in just the last thirty years.

In the winter of 1958 I was tending bar in Keene Valley, New York, in exchange for my supper and stocking the beer coolers for breakfast, when I heard the Olympic bobsled run near Lake Placid was looking for help.

In spite of the spending and doping scandals and political maneuvers, I love the Olympics. Mostly because as a kid, the Olympics helped me see what it takes to be a champion.

It seemed like an uncontroversial move when the Lebanon, New Hampshire, school board voted last fall to ban faculty, students, and members of the public from bringing firearms onto school property, into school vehicles, and to school events on any property in the city.

On snowy evening just before Thanksgiving, a meeting was held in Franklin, Vermont to discuss toxic pollution in Lake Carmi.

Recently, I was alarmed to hear that a middle school girl was being harassed by a teenage boy who leaned out of the window of a car to yell - "brown people don't belong in this country. Get out!" After it happened the second time, her father reached out to the community to help identify the offending teen. And I can easily see how he would be concerned for his daughter’s safety.

I have the penciled draft of a never-published short story written by my mother about the day in 1918 that her older sister, Evelyn, died from the Spanish flu.

The Olympics are upon us and there’s so much to celebrate from our corner of the country. Vermont produces more winter Olympians, per capita, than any other state and we’ve been leading the pack for many years. Locally, there’s no doubt that the Olympics are a source of immense goodwill.

I was talking with a young teenager, Rachael, who’s 14 and an eighth grader. As stuffy senior citizens like me sometimes do, I asked her how school was going and what she was studying. It was just a routine question, but the answer was stunning.

John Locher / AP

It was in April almost three years ago that Bernie Sanders last gave an interview to Seven Days. Since then, he’s pretty much refused.

All the recent talk from our political leaders about making Vermont affordable reminds me of the expression "Moonlight in Vermont, or starve."

Soon after the Pilgrims landed, Plymouth’s William Bradford described a colony beset by dangers: What could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wild beasts and wild men. . . [A]ll things stand upon them with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hue.