News and conversation about issues affecting your life hosted by Jane Lindholm and Bob Kinzel. Together we consider the context of current events with the people who make our region buzz.

Patti Daniels / VPR

Sunday began the annual observance of Yom HaShoah, a day of remembrance for victims and survivors of the Holocaust.  In communities around Vermont, people gathered to share their own families' history of escape and survival from the genocide of Jews during World War II.

jtyler / iStock

Obvious signs of spring can take a while to present themselves here in the north country. Trees are slow to form buds and leaves. Flowers won't be pushing up through the cold ground for a while yet.

But one great sign of spring has revealed itself. The birds have returned.

Neal Goswami, the Vermont Press Bureau chief, spoke to Vermont Edition recently about what's happened during Gov. Phil Scott's first 100 days as governor. Plus, a look at where some legislative issues stand as the end of the session is in sight.

The end of the 2017 legislative session is on the horizon, but there are still some bills that remain up in the air. Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe joined Vermont Edition on Friday to talk about a range of topics, including the state budget, marijuana legalization, paid family leave, the minimum wage and more.

Chris and Martin Kratt performing their live 'Wild Kratts' show on stage.
Courtesy of Wild Kratts Live

The Kratt brothers have introduced kids across the country to a love of animals and nature through a series of wildly popular TV shows, including Kratts' Creatures, Zoboomafoo and now Wild Kratts.

In billiards tournaments held recently by the Green Mountain American Poolplayers Association, the winners were all women. Liz Ford, owner of the Green Mountain APA and a former professional pool player, spoke to Vermont Edition Wednesday about this feat and the success of women in her sport.

On April 12, a threat of violence aimed at Essex High School set police into action and the school into lockdown mode. Surrounding schools in Essex Junction took precautions as well and went into lockout mode.

On Wednesday, Vermont Edition reviewed what happened last week with individuals from Essex High School and the Essex Police Department, and talked about school safety with Gary Margolis – a former UVM police chief and the CEO of Social Sentinel, a software company that helps schools identify threats made on social media.

A bootprint in the mud.
photosoup / iStockphoto.com

Vermonters may be looking for a chance to explore the great outdoors now that it's springtime, but venturing out on a hike during the mud season could actually cause damage to trails.

The History And Processes Behind Preserved Meats

Apr 18, 2017

Jeff Roberts has written a new book called Salted & Cured: Savoring the Culture, Heritage, and Flavor of America's Preserved Meats. The Montpelier author joined Vermont Edition Tuesday to talk about the history of preserved meats, as well as look at the modern landscape of these foods.

The Vermont Center for Ecostudies tracked local forest birds for a 25-year period and has now released an extensive study of the data. One overall finding of this new report was a more than 14 percent decline in the forest bird population in the study areas.

Steve Faccio joined Vermont Edition Monday to elaborate on the findings, including a breakdown of which bird species experienced declines and which ones had increasing or stable populations. Faccio is lead author of the report, a conservation biologist and director of the forest bird monitoring program at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies.

The Debate Over Hydroponic Crops And The Organic Label

Apr 17, 2017

A few hydroponic farmers have  successfully gotten the organic label for their crops. But that's not sitting well with some organic farmers, who feel like the label is being co-opted and who argue that organic is actually all about the soil.

Monday's Vermont Edition explored this ongoing debate. Guests on the program were Davey Miskell, an organic farmer and one of the leaders in the movement to limit organic certification to produce grown in soil, and also Lauren Mordasky, the operations director of Vermont Hydroponics.

Lauren Victoria Burke / AP

Congress is on a two-week recess when many members are in their districts to hear from  constituents about major issues facing the country.  Vermont's sole congressional representative, Democrat Peter Welch, talks with VPR's Bob Kinzel and takes questions from Vermonters.

Nancy Stearns Bercaw got sober just about two years ago, and she's just published a memoir called Dryland: One Woman's Swim to Sobriety. The Vermont author spoke to Vermont Edition Thursday about the book, which explores her life, her drinking and her journey to sobriety. A competitive swimmer during her college years, her relationship to her body and to her swimming is also a through-line in the memoir.

Exterior of the Vermont Gas building.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

Vermont Gas Systems announced on Wednesday that it finally completed its natural gas pipeline through Addison County.

What Should Vermont Do About Plastic Bags?

Apr 12, 2017

Reducing the use of plastic bags is the aim of a few efforts going on in Vermont right now. There are bills in the Legislature that call for a ban or a fee on plastic bags, and Brattleboro voted on Town Meeting Day to advise the town's select board to prohibit plastic bags.

While the Vermont Retailers and Grocers Association hasn't taken a stand on the plastic bag issue yet, they do have concerns about banning or taxing disposable bags. Vermont Edition checked in on each of these fronts during Wednesday's discussion about the future of the plastic bag in our state.

In the wake of the EB-5 scandal that broke a year ago this week, Newport was left with a big hole in the ground where Ariel Quiros and Bill Stenger had planned to build a block of office space, restaurants and other mixed uses.

White and Burke is a firm that's been hired to evaluate the "Renaissance Block" that was supposed to be developed with EB-5 money, and David White spoke to Vermont Edition about it on Tuesday.

A Recap Of Vermont's EB-5 Scandal, And A Look Ahead

Apr 11, 2017

On Tuesday, Vermont Edition provided a re-examination of the EB-5 scandal that broke a year ago in the Northeast Kingdom, and explained the new developments in the $200 million fraud investigation. Guests on this program included independent investigative reporter Hilary Niles and Department of Financial Regulation Commissioner Michael Pieciak.

5 Vermont Political Issues To Keep An Eye On

Apr 10, 2017

After a discussion about the Vermont state budget with VPR's Peter Hirschfeld and the Burlington Free Press' April McCullum, the two reporters also provided insight on five topics in Vermont politics to keep an eye on: a development related to the EB-5 scandal, marijuana legalization, workers' compensation for mental health conditions, ethics legislation and bills regarding racial justice.

What's The Deal With Next Year's State Budget?

Apr 10, 2017

A budget for fiscal year 2018 that seems likely to win Gov. Phil Scott's approval has passed the Vermont House with an almost unanimous vote. So how did we get to this point?

VPR reporter Peter Hirschfeld and the Burlington Free Press reporter April McCullum both joined Vermont Edition Monday to provide an update on Vermont's state budget, including a look at what's in the budget as it stands now and what may happen next.

A group of fans, some wearing Boston Red Sox apparel, hold out baseballs to be autographed.
Michael Dwyer / AP

The opening week of baseball season means that winter is over (in some places) and that it's time for Vermont Edition's annual baseball show.