Commentary Series

I learned a new term recently that dates back to 1982 when the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries coined the term Shinrin-yoku — which translates roughly as forest bathing - and introduced it into the Japanese national health program.

I’ve been thinking about compassion in the digital age. Thanks to social media options like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, it’s easier than ever to express our sympathy and solidarity with people facing overwhelming odds, whether caused by nature or society.

Colleges are taking considerable heat these days. Some say they’re obsolete, since a degree won’t guarantee a high paying job at graduation. Others think they harbor spoiled, violent students who victimize speakers with whom they disagree.

When I was young, Morrisville had three doctors, two dentists and the wood-framed, four-story, Copley Hospital, which had the town’s first elevator. Theoretically, there was competition, but price wasn’t the criteria by which we chose our providers, it was familiarity and trust.

Thirty years ago I was a State Representative when I met with a small group of Burlingtonians intent on the revitalization of Pine Street, a long panhandle of businesses and studios in the city's South End.

John Killacky

I unhitch my Shetland and put her outside in a corral to cool down. As she grazes, I see in her the ancestral Mongolian ponies: compact muscularity, shaggy pelt, round belly, strong jaw, and deep set eyes - plus her scrappy resiliency.

It’s not hard for Vermonters to relate to the photos from Hurricane Harvey; families on rooftops waiting for rescue; roads, passible only by boat; cars and houses, completely washed away. It was just six years ago that Tropical Storm Irene destroyed communities across our state.

As tropical storm Harvey ravaged parts of Texas and Louisiana, it again became obvious - to me, at least - that the forces of nature don’t give a fig about political affiliations.

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl

Just as my family departed for our annual camping vacation on Cape Cod, we learned that wreckage of the World War Two era US Warship Indianapolis had finally been found.

Weis: Waffle And Spin

Aug 31, 2017

Mark Twain once said that “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ‘Tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

I wonder what Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr would have thought about Twitter. Limited to one hundred and forty characters, today's tweets are commonly regarded as disposable political rhetoric.

Ticks move like zombies; one speed, one direction, a stiff, endless, methodical forward plod… best described as creepy.

A friend of mine recently lost her job as a reporter - a job she loved. Every day she woke up and thought about how to capture the news and bring valuable information to her readers.

Vermont, like the rest of the nation, is facing an imminent shortage of primary care doctors.

I know I’m not the only history teacher who’s been wrestling with profound doubts about what we’ve done or, perhaps, what we haven’t. Given the erosion of civility, even of rationality, and the increasing divisiveness that characterize our national discourse, we can’t avoid wondering if our work has been so poor that we’ve contributed to today’s civic chaos.

Since we’re so dependent on cars up here, it seems counter-intuitive that there suddenly wouldn’t be enough workers to service them. But one of my local garages has been chronically short handed for months, while another has just hired and they’re training the new help from the ground up.

When I recently attended an event in my town to discuss current issues facing seniors, I had high expectations. I wanted to learn what people like me - who identify as ‘neither young nor old’ - could contribute to our community’s well-being.

Old houses have stories to tell. And none is a more eloquent storyteller than the homestead of Justin Smith Morrill in Strafford.

Viewing the solar eclipse this week, I recalled how, in 1986, I looked skyward for Halley’s Comet, drawn to the rare, the cyclical, the stellar - as people are every seventy-five years when the comet comes around again. I was a high school English teacher. It was less than a week after Epiphany and the coldest day of the year.

In 1998, I was working in Atlanta – and took a trip to Stone Mountain, a confederate monument about a half-hour east of the city.

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