Commentary Series

Richard Watts

Picture this: a group of news reporters assigned to cover a large rally. Roped off from the event at the back of the room, they type away, writing their news stories until the speaker draws the crowd’s attention to them. Then the crowd turns hostile, chanting, pointing and yelling.

Weis: The Last Straw

15 hours ago
Russ Weis

Einstein famously said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” And lately, I’ve been trying to apply that deceptively simple-sounding bit of wisdom to the significant environmental problem of accumulating plastic.

It’s well accepted that a picture is worth a thousand words, as any visual learner or marketer will attest. But, how does one visualize something as enormous as the U.S. economy - the largest in the world at $19 trillion – and how do we view Vermont’s economy in comparison?

Keith Oppenheim

I’m preparing to teach a course this fall about social media. And I’m beginning to think it’s going to resemble something akin to a science fiction movie in which the creators of a vast new technology lose control over what they’ve made.

Photograph by Todd R. Lockwood / Burlington City Arts

Efforts to defund the National Endowment of the Arts are a quadrennial budget issue here at home. And in many countries, artists, like journalists, are censored, jailed, or even assassinated.

Deborah Luskin

On his ninety-second birthday just over a year ago, Dad announced, “This is my last birthday. No more.”

Hogan: Paying It Forward

Aug 13, 2018

Vermont has some very major long term problems to solve - like serious unfunded pension liabilities and increasing pollution of Lake Champlain.

Martha Molnar

When we moved to the so-called Lake District in south central Vermont, we didn’t realize what that meant. A full decade later, we’re still discovering the beautiful lakes and their generous four-season offerings.

Markowitz: Heat Wave

Aug 9, 2018
Deb Markowitz

This summer, I’ve been spending a lot of my free time swimming in the lakes and rivers of Vermont, and if the filled parking lots and packed beaches are any indication – so are most Vermonters.

David Moats

It was 1965 when the delegates of the United Nations gathered in San Francisco to celebrate the founding of the U.N. in that city 20 years before. I was a curious teenager, so together with my pal Pete, we snuck into the Opera House as anniversary preparations were under way — to get a glimpse of history.

Stephanie Greene

In light of suspected tampering with 2016 election, it’s easy to be jittery around voting innovations involving the internet. But new machines for voters with disabilities, called The Accessible Voting System, enable the homebound to vote by touch screen, joystick, keypad, or breath controlled sensor.


We like to think of Vermont as an honest, open-hearted place. Would national politics ever cloud or distort that? Perish the thought!

Richard M. Higgerson / Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty

In recent dealings with the Federal Housing Administration or FHA, I am reminded that ten of the most feared words in the English language are: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”

Amy Kolb Noyes

Women are setting new records in running for office. The high bar for governor was set in 1994 when 35 women ran. This past May, seventy seven woman set a new record - more than double that of the past.

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl

I have friends in liberal bubbles - like Brooklyn, Boston, and Berkeley - who claim they’ve never personally met a Donald Trump supporter. I tell them that in my neighborhood, Trump supporters are as close as the school bus stop.

Lange: Quiniktikut

Aug 6, 2018
Rick Shreve of Orford, NH

Thanks to Daniel Webster, the border of the United States in New Hampshire is a few rods north of a tiny abandoned beaver dam that's the source of the Connecticut River.

Mary McCallum

One recent pristine summer afternoon, two people drowned on a popular southern Vermont lake. From a festive plastic float, they’d waved hello to others passing by on kayaks, paddle boards and canoes, including me.

Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The city of Burlington is polling residents for ideas on how to re-develop Memorial Auditorium, hopefully an easier task than trying to save the hulking Moran Plant on the lakefront.

Krupp: Crazy Snake Worms

Aug 1, 2018

When I dig in my garden soil in spring, I look forward to seeing earthworms, since I know they add to the humus in the soil with their castings.

Hogan: The Fisher Ruling

Aug 1, 2018

I was a member of the original Green Mountain Care Board, put in place in 2011, where I served the maximum term of six years.