The Puerto Rican government recently defaulted on a 400 dollar million debt payment. Another 2 billion dollars default is expected on July 1st if Congress does not take action. In all, Puerto Rico owes its lenders more than 70 billion dollars that it cannot pay.

I wonder why we don’t treat housing vouchers like food stamps. Families who fall on hard times can get food stamps right away. But it can take years and even decades to get a housing voucher.

Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, and other famous American women will soon grace our paper currency. And it’s about time!

At a time when we’re increasingly concerned with economic inequality, Vermonters might want to consider the difficulties faced by 51% of our state’s population – women and girls. 

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Plans have recently been presented for large-scale redevelopment of two big malls in Burlington and South Burlington. At the same time, in malls across Vermont, stores are struggling and closing, leaving the malls as shells of their former selves. We're checking in on the retail landscape in the state - both indoor malls and other kinds of shopping centers - what's changing and where it's headed.

One recent, cold winter morning, I was gingerly maneuvering the car out of the driveway when – wham - I backed into and knocked over the too-full recycling container, which I had placed there myself, sending the second half of Christmas all over the street.

Tony Talbot / AP

With the world's two largest beer companies set to merge, craft brewers across the country are eying how the deal might affect their distribution. At the same time, Vermont's brewing scene continues to be the envy of many states, with a variety of options that draw in beer lovers from beyond the state's borders. Are we anywhere near the boom turning to bust?  We're talking about the state of the state's brewing industry - beer and beyond.

Arek Malang / iStock

Many people in our state are financially struggling. We're talking to a financial coach who helps low and moderate income Vermonters. From tackling identity theft, to planning for big purchases, to building up good credit - we'll talk about strategies, advice, and support that can help Vermonters find greater economic security.

Geopaul / iStock

In a recent poll conducted by the Castleton Polling Institute, one-third of respondents said the economy/jobs/cost of living is the state's most important issue.

We zero in on the cost of living to understand how Vermont's compares with other states in the region and the country. And we look at what factors have the greatest effect.


In states like Utah, Michigan and California, more than 90 percent of students who go to college do so in their home state. But in Vermont, nearly half of students go elsewhere for college — and many never come back.

That youth drain is taking a toll on Vermont, which has the second oldest population in the country after Maine.

Ken Teegardin /

How do you think Vermont's economy is doing?

Different economic indicators can tell different stories: from unemployment, to wages, to inequality, to the Main Street in your city or town. What are your the indicators you see that make a difference in your own economic life? What do you think of the state's economic outlook in the short and long terms?

mgkaya /

Some good news Friday for customers of Green Mountain Power, the state's largest electric utility. The company has agreed to lower rates starting in October by .76 percent.

Meriel Jane Waissman / iStock

Think about cybersecurity, and you'll likely think about some of those headline-making data breaches at big corporations. Superstores and credit card companies losing control over long lists of customers and data.

But the majority of companies that suffer data breaches are small businesses, with fewer than 100 employees. And it's just those businesses that often have the least access to resources needed to guarantee the security of their data online. What can they do to keep their data - and their customers - safe?

In 1972, when asked his opinion of the French Revolution’s effect on world history, Chinese Foreign Minister Chou En Lai responded, “Too soon to tell.”

A long view, to be sure, but many historians prefer it. Only time provides the perspective necessary for genuine understanding.

For five hundred years, beginning in the 10th century, China was the world’s greatest economic power: trading across the southwest Pacific and the Indian Ocean, into the Persian Gulf and Red Sea.

Vogel: Nineteen Days

Feb 19, 2015

Next Wednesday, February 25, The Norwich community will gather at the Marion Cross School to celebrate the nineteen days of Norwich.

LDProd / iStock

Personal finance experts have cautioned us for years that credit card debt is a financial trap. But Vermonters have an average of $9,667 in credit card debt, according to the Vermont Financial Literacy Task Force, and that's better than the national statistics. We look at managing credit and debt, complicated financial tools and language and we learn how younger people deal with debt differently than their parents.

Toby Talbot / AP

Vermont is about to implement a major change in the way people who have been arrested move through the justice system. Pretrial risk assessment services will help judges and prosecutors decide whether to set bail, or to send people to treatment, instead of jail.

On the next Vermont Edition, we’ll learn about the new pretrial services and how they will work with Annie Ramniceanu, director of pretrial services at the Department of Corrections, and Judge Brian Grearson, the incoming Chief Administrative Judge for Trial Courts in Vermont.


Native to North America, milkweed grows wild and has been used in the past to remove warts, cure dysentery and suppress coughs. Native Americans also taught early settlers how to cook the native wildflower so it could be safely eaten. Milkweed is the breeding ground for Monarch butterflies, whose population has decreased in the past years due in some part to the reduction of milkweed plants growing wild.

Chief fiscal officer Steve Klein has concluded that the 2015 legislature will face an expected general fund shortfall of from $90 to 120 million dollars for Fiscal Year 2016.

Making the fiscal situation worse is a reduction in Federal Medicaid cost sharing, higher pay and fringe benefits under the Pay Act passed in May, and the pressing need for increasing contributions to pay for retired teacher health costs. Jim Reardon, commissioner of the Department of Finance and Management, said in August that he’s running out of one-time pots to raid.