Commentary Series

Performing arts events bring people together for experiences of shared community. In this age of virtual community where we congregate on the Internet with millions of others we will never see or meet, it’s especially vital – and comforting – to interact with people that live in or visit our own place.

Not long ago, I took my five-year-old granddaughter to see a rollicking musical based on the popular children’s book Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard and James Marshall.

Any male not now asking himself about his own behavior towards woman and children is extending the risk to both into future generations. Sexual abuse rolls forward from generation to generation until someone – both victim and perpetrator – decides to get honest with themselves and others. Victims are now coming forth in droves.

In Ken Burns’s new PBS blockbuster, Vietnam, veterans interviewed for the series express a range of emotions.

Kerstin Lange

For those old enough to remember, the fall of 1989 was an exhilarating time. One had to have a heart of stone to not be moved by the chants of “We are the people”. So many East Germans had mustered the courage to challenge their repressive regime that it finally collapsed, and they did it peacefully.

Summers when I was a boy, we’d sometimes go to visit my uncle, who had a small farm on the shores of Lake Champlain. Occasionally we’d take his old rowboat and row ourselves out to a drop-off, where the water suddenly went to more than 10 feet deep. There, you could peer down and see weeds and sand on the lake bottom. It was that clear.

Lange: Vets

Nov 7, 2017

On the day World War II ended, our family was in Niagara Falls; and that evening the colored floodlights played on the falls for the first time in four years.

Mikhail Mordasov

Today, we in the US are grappling with the unsettling fact that Russia sought to influence our 2016 Presidential election. But one hundred years ago today, on November 7, 1917, Americans began to be unsettled by a rather different Russian threat: the Bolshevik Revolution.

I’ve joined the growing ranks of Americans who’ve undergone a total knee replacement.

The complexities of climate change sometimes make me feel like Don Quixote tilting at windmills - charging toward invisible and elusive enemies like political apathy, the polluting byproducts of capitalism, and lowering the energy consumption that powers our daily activities.

Tasha Wallis

The Boardwalk at Barnes Camp is now open for Vermonters and visitors alike. The five-foot-wide walkway is just below the gate that closes Smugglers Notch for winter, on the Stowe side. It’s about 600 feet long, is a universally accessible portion of the Long Trail and offers stunning, and previously unavailable views of the Notch.

Mares: Smart Phone

Nov 2, 2017

On a recent trip to France, my cell phone died. I didn't quite experience the five stages of grief, but I was more than merely annoyed, and then annoyed that I was annoyed.

At seventy-two, I often hear myself say, “Well, when I was young…” followed by some judgment about the behavior of today’s kids. I seem to remember my parent’s expectations of me as a kid were quite different from what parents seem to expect today. Looking back, my parents’ expectations and boundaries hardly felt ambiguous.

Vogel: The Pot Debate

Nov 1, 2017

In 2004, the Vermont Legislature essentially removed all state-level criminal penalties for the use and possession of marijuana for patients who got a letter from a physician.

James Murdoch and his brother Lachlan, top executives at parent company News Corporation, say they’ve been trying to clean things up at Fox News.

Molnar: Land And Lens

Oct 31, 2017
Photographer: Richard Misrach (b. 1949 ) / Middlebury College Museum of Art

To paraphrase an old saying about the power of art, a photo exhibit at Middlebury College Museum of Art demonstrates that the camera can sometimes be mightier than the keyboard.

Levin: Ghost Butterflies

Oct 30, 2017

Recently, while visiting the rocky shores of Rhode Island and relaxing at George’s Beach in the unseasonable warmth of a protracted Indian summer, I watched a steady stream of monarch butterflies rise above pine and flaxen tangles and pass by our beach chairs.

I recently attended a program called “Deer in the Woods” about the synergy between the deer population and the forest in Windham County, sponsored by the Dummerston Conservation Committee.

Growing up in small-town, mid-century America, some of my friends were Girl Scouts. So I wanted to be one too - mostly to get the green uniform and Thin Mint cookies.

Back in high school English class our teacher introduced us to the timeless poem Elegy in a Country Churchyard; then he made us memorize all 128 lines of it.