Commentary Series

One of the great privileges I had this year was meeting outgoing Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans. He recently received the Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for being the first Southern mayor to reckon with the Confederate legacy of his city and take down monuments of those who were allegiant to the Confederacy. In reflecting on actions he’s now had to defend many times over, he says, “There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it.”

Neighbors in an upscale condo development were speculating about what the guy in the end-unit must do for a living to afford a sailboat, motorcycle, and camper. Curious, one strolled over and asked.

“Plumber,” came the answer.

It was a good turnout for something that had so little apparent relevance in a town with such a small Jewish community and so few people of color.

It’s the start of another year’s hurricane season, and the effects of Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico still loom large – as hundreds of empty pairs of shoes in front of the capitol in San Juan stand as a mute display of mourning and protest.

A couple of my students just completed a documentary about a police corruption case in western Massachusetts. But in the movie, people who spoke on camera were either unwilling – or maybe too afraid – to condemn a police chief jailed for embezzlement.

A black-and-white illustration of people of all ages standing in a line.
A-Digit / iStock

With Father’s Day just a couple days away and Mother’s Day only a few weeks gone, it’s a time when most people take a moment to reflect on parental love and care.

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP / Invision/ AP

Anthony Bourdain died last week - by suicide. And at least through my eyes, nothing could have been more unexpected.

White: Father's Day

Jun 12, 2018

As Father's Day approaches, my inbox once again overflows with advertisements urging me to GET DAD THIS WIDGET! GET DAD THAT TOOL! I guess the alternative is to disappoint Dad on his special day or something equally horrifying.

Lately, the critters in and around my house remind me of an old movie title about the good, the bad and the ugly.

Mariah Riggs

Rowan Riggs, my grandson, was born 13 years ago. As a baby, Ro was well behaved, mellow, and affectionate, but he could not speak.

I shuddered when I learned that more than 700 children, including toddlers, have been taken from their parents at the United States Mexican border. This inhumane policy would act as a deterrent against illegal immigration, we are told.

Our brave little state has a penchant for conspicuously courageous leadership: prohibiting certain forms of slavery in our constitution, maintaining the voting rights of incarcerated individuals and convicted felons, civil unions, same-sex marriage, and fair and impartial policing by Vermont State Police.

Mares: Bee Democracy

Jun 6, 2018

Normally, I work in the bee yards to escape thinking about the direction of American politics and the state of the world. But this year is different.

On Monday the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Moats: School Funding

Jun 5, 2018

Ever since I began writing about Vermont schools — more than 40 years ago — I’ve been struck by a couple of things.

We all have a duty as citizens to engage in the political process - as I did this winter, when I testified before the state Legislature on behalf of preserving net neutrality.

Theodore Roosevelt called the Presidency “a bully pulpit” – a wonderful platform from which to proclaim policy and influence major events and issues.

I never thought I’d live in an America where small children would be taken from mothers seeking safety in the United States. And I’ve been feeling helpless to stop this cruelty.

Derek Campbell / Catamount Arts

[Short orchestral music selection...]

That’s a passage from Intrada, by Ralph Vaughn Williams, performed a few weeks ago by the Northeast Kingdom Community Orchestra.

www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com

2018 has been declared The Year Of The Bird - the one-hundredth anniversary of the landmark agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the United States to protect the birds that migrate across the continent.

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