• Stephen Whitaker: Local leaders must get involved in planning public-safety network

    Stephen Whitaker: Local leaders must get involved in planning public-safety network
    This commentary is by Stephen Whitaker of Montpelier, an author who has worked for 30 years on integrating planning, government transparency and accountability, public records access and more recently utility networks resiliency.We should all take some time to appreciate that in Vermont we don’t have dozens of people drowning in a desperate, overcrowded raft accident, crossing the English Channel to safety. Or adults and children burning to death in a bus crash returning from Hajj, as in B
  • Nicholas Boke: Pandemic isn’t likely to end soon; expect a lot more ‘sacrifices’

    Nicholas Boke: Pandemic isn’t likely to end soon; expect a lot more ‘sacrifices’
    This commentary is by Nicholas Boke, a freelance writer and international education consultant who lives in Chester.In late December, Rutland Board of Aldermen member Matt Whitcomb asked the big question as he and his colleagues puzzled over the possibility of enacting mask mandates.Rutland Herald reporter Gordon Dritschilo explained in a Nov. 24 article that Whitcomb asked the question after making a few general comments about Covid-19.“I’m very empathetic to the fact that the peopl
  • Dan Delurey: McClaughry’s view on climate change is dangerously misleading

    Dan Delurey: McClaughry’s view on climate change is dangerously misleading
    This commentary is by Dan Delurey, a senior fellow for energy and climate at Vermont Law School.I had hoped that John McClaughry would stop talking about climate change and being skeptical about climate science or even begin to adapt to the reality of the situation. Apparently not.In his latest writing, he continues to challenge climate change science and how climate scientists conduct their work. Worse yet, he downplays the threat of climate change impacts.McClaughry’s commentary is forma
  • Walt Amses: The coronavirus is proving that we can’t go it alone

    Walt Amses: The coronavirus is proving that we can’t go it alone
    This commentary is by Walt Amses, a writer who lives in North Calais.As China launches a hypersonic missile reportedly capable of attaining velocity four times the speed of sound; Russia obliterates one of its own satellites, littering the great beyond with dangerous “space junk,” and NASA attempts to alter the trajectory of an asteroid, science fiction writ large is becoming reality, as usual, well above most of our heads both literally and figuratively. And even as our destiny
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  • Vermont Conversation: How to spend money and not wreck the world

    Vermont Conversation: How to spend money and not wreck the world
    Tanja Hester’s new book is “Wallet Activism: How to Use Every Dollar You Spend, Earn, and Save as a Force for Change.”The Vermont Conversation with David Goodman is a VTDigger podcast that features in-depth interviews on local and national issues with politicians, activists, artists, changemakers and citizens who are making a difference. Listen below, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify to hear more.
    ‘Tis the season of
  • Burlington enacts mask mandate, with some proof-of-vaccine exemptions

    Burlington enacts mask mandate, with some proof-of-vaccine exemptions
    Burlington City Attorney Dan Richardson turns and speaks to Mayor Miro Weinberger during a meeting about whether the city should enact an indoor mask mandate. Photo by Jack Lyons/VTDiggerBURLINGTON — After a fiery meeting that showcased how polarizing pandemic restrictions have become, city councilors voted unanimously to enact a citywide mask mandate Wednesday evening, requiring businesses to ensure that employees and patrons either wear masks or prove they are vaccinated. The mandat
  • As Supreme Court deliberates over federal abortion rights, Vermont may enshrine access in constitution

    As Supreme Court deliberates over federal abortion rights, Vermont may enshrine access in constitution
    Abortion-rights advocates rallied at the Statehouse in May 2019 to protest new abortion restrictions in other states. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerAs the U.S. Supreme Court deliberates over a case that could dictate the future of abortion access nationwide, Vermonters in 2022 will determine whether to enshrine the right to contraceptive and abortion services in the state constitution.The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday began hearing arguments for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organiza
  • Citing pandemic pressures, Vermont seeks a 1-year extension for its all-payer model

    Citing pandemic pressures, Vermont seeks a 1-year extension for its all-payer model
    Ena Backus is Vermont’s director of health care reform. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerVermont leaders say they need more time to rework the state’s health care reform plan. The state is entering the final year of a five-year agreement with the federal government, enacting what was supposed to be a sweeping shift to value-based care. But health care disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic stymied Vermont’s progress and officials plan to ask for a one-year extension, sta
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  • Shot was fired during 911 call in Elmore murder-suicide, police say

    Shot was fired during 911 call in Elmore murder-suicide, police say
    A 911 dispatcher heard a gunshot while on the phone with a woman who was fatally shot in Elmore on Monday morning in what’s believed to be a result of domestic violence, Vermont State Police said.In an updated press release Tuesday, police said Mary Lisa Kelley, 58, was shot in the torso by her husband, Lawrence Jay Kennedy, 61, before Kennedy shot himself in the head at the couple’s home on King Road. Both died of their wounds.Kelley called 911 shortly before 7 a.m. Monday and said
  • Dropped cellphone at double-slaying scene in Woodbury led to clues and murder suspect

    Dropped cellphone at double-slaying scene in Woodbury led to clues and murder suspect
    Manuel Gomez, 32, of Hartford, Connecticut, is arraigned in court Wednesday, accused of committing two murders in Woodbury. ScreenshotA little more than three years after a double slaying in Woodbury, a Connecticut man appeared in court Wednesday, accused of carrying out the killings over an alleged $20,000 drug debt.Investigators allege in newly released documents that while Manuel Gomez denies a role in the killings of Carol Fradette and David Thompson, a cellphone dropped at the scene —
  • Vermont Legal Aid sues on behalf of Vermonters denied jobless benefits

    Vermont Legal Aid sues on behalf of Vermonters denied jobless benefits
    The Vermont Department of Labor web portal for self-employed people who have been affected by the Covid-19 virus. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerVermont Legal Aid sued the Vermont Department of Labor on Wednesday over delays in hearing appeals on unemployment benefits.The lawsuit is a class action on behalf of people who were denied unemployment compensation, wrongfully terminated from the compensation or asked to return some benefits.A spokesperson for the labor department said it is reviewing
  • UVM Medical Center plans to set up 5 ICU beds in operating rooms next week

    UVM Medical Center plans to set up 5 ICU beds in operating rooms next week
    The University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington in November 2020. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerUVM Medical Center plans to set up five additional ICU beds in operating rooms for the rest of the month, which is expected to reduce the number of operating rooms from 22 to about 15. The additional beds are expected to become available Monday, Dr. Stephen Leffler, medical center president and chief operating officer, said at a press conference Wednesday.Expansion of the intensive care u
  • Vermont reports 497 new Covid cases, 3 more deaths

    Vermont reports 497 new Covid cases, 3 more deaths
    The Vermont Department of Health reported 497 new Covid-19 cases Wednesday, the highest one-day total in six days after a week of lowered case counts due to relaxed holiday testing.At a press conference Tuesday, officials warned that limited testing could distort the reported case numbers in the state. It’s unclear how long that testing drop could affect the data, but the number of tests reported Wednesday — about 5,400 — remains lower than the pre-Thanksgiving average.Meanwhil
  • Council authorizes state’s 1st Climate Action Plan

    Council authorizes state’s 1st Climate Action Plan
    The Climate Council met virtually on Wednesday, Dec. 1, and voted to adopt Vermont’s first Climate Action Plan. Photo by Emma Cotton/VTDiggerUpdated at 7:43 p.m.The Vermont Climate Council voted 19-4 to approve the state’s first Climate Action Plan on Wednesday, a sweeping document that outlines pathways to meet the state’s greenhouse gas emissions requirements established through the Global Warming Solutions Act. At almost 300 pages in length, the initial plan recommends
  • Climate Council authorizes state’s first Climate Action Plan

    Climate Council authorizes state’s first Climate Action Plan
    The Climate Council met virtually on Wednesday, Dec. 1, and voted to adopt Vermont’s first Climate Action Plan. Photo by Emma Cotton/VTDiggerThis story will be updated. The Vermont Climate Council has officially voted 19-4 to approve the state’s first Climate Action Plan, a sweeping document that outlines pathways to meet the state’s greenhouse gas emissions requirements established through the Global Warming Solutions Act. At more than 200 pages in length, the initia
  • T. Elijah Hawkes: Seven agreements for common ground in schools

    T. Elijah Hawkes: Seven agreements for common ground in schools
    This commentary is by T. Elijah Hawkes, principal of Randolph Union Middle/High School. He has been a public school principal for 15 years. His writing about adolescents, democracy and schooling has appeared in various books and publications. We need to prevent the political polarization from getting worse — including in our schools. Whether you are a parent, educator, student, or neighbor — and no matter what side of a political issue you’re on — below are seven agr
  • Tom Cheney: We need to double the size of Pell Grants to help Vermont workers

    Tom Cheney: We need to double the size of Pell Grants to help Vermont workers
    This commentary is by Tom Cheney of Jericho, executive director of Advance Vermont. Previously, he was commissioner of the Vermont Department of Human Resources, a legislative assistant to Congressman Peter Welch in Washington,and chief of staff to Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith. He was born and raised in Vermont, graduated from Milton High School and the University of Vermont, serves on his local school board and is on the board of Lund.While the benefits of free college programs are well est
  • Dr. Trey Dobson: New oral treatments for Covid-19 are on the horizon

    Dr. Trey Dobson: New oral treatments for Covid-19 are on the horizon
    This commentary is by Trey Dobson, M.D., chief medical officer of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington.  Patients with Covid-19 deemed to be at high risk for severe disease are currently eligible for intravenous monoclonal antibody treatments provided at certain health care systems, typically in hospitals. These medications are administered over a period of about an hour in an infusion center staffed by nurses and doctors. When given early in the disease, they reduce
  • Brian Ricca: Dealing with school problems that have no solutions

    Brian Ricca: Dealing with school problems that have no solutions
    This commentary is by Brian Ricca, the school superintendent in St. Johnsbury.One of the ways I have tried to remain positive during this school year is to be intentional about my gratitude. I have written more handwritten thank-you notes already this year than I can remember. I’ve tried to find specific ways to share meaningful words of thanks with people and honor the circumstances that our faculty, staff and employees find themselves in this year. I’m focusing on gratitu
  • Vermont plans to increase rapid and at-home Covid testing options, but supply concerns persist

    Vermont plans to increase rapid and at-home Covid testing options, but supply concerns persist
    A rapid, at-home test shows the person is negative for Covid-19. Photo by Riley Robinson/VTDiggerVermont’s Covid-19 testing landscape is changing. At the governor’s weekly press conference on Tuesday, Secretary Mike Smith said the state plans to shift toward more rapid testing and take-home options in its overall testing strategy. However, implementing widespread at-home testing may be challenging due to limited supplies.Throughout the pandemic, Vermont’s state-run testing
  • Vermont plans to increase rapid and at-home Covid-19 testing options, but supply concerns persist

    Vermont plans to increase rapid and at-home Covid-19 testing options, but supply concerns persist
    A rapid, at-home test shows the person is negative for Covid-19. Photo by Riley Robinson/VTDiggerVermont’s Covid-19 testing landscape is changing. At the governor’s weekly press conference on Tuesday, Secretary Mike Smith said the state plans to shift toward more rapid testing and take-home options in its overall testing strategy. However, implementing widespread at-home testing may be challenging due to limited supplies.Throughout the pandemic, Vermont’s state-run testing
  • Construction company to pay $600k to settle accusations it defectively built bridges in Bennington, Guilford

    Construction company to pay $600k to settle accusations it defectively built bridges in Bennington, Guilford
    An Interstate 91 bridge over the Broad Brook in Guilford is one of several cited in a construction false claims settlement. Photo by Kevin O’Connor/VTDiggerA Lyndon Center construction company is paying the federal and state governments more than $600,000 to resolve accusations that the contractor defectively built four bridges in southern Vermont about a decade ago, prosecutors said.J.A. McDonald Inc. agreed to pay $637,500 in a settlement that took place before a complaint could be filed
  • Electrification, weatherization likely to be prioritized in the Climate Action Plan

    Electrification, weatherization likely to be prioritized in the Climate Action Plan
    A chart from the draft Climate Action Plan shows projections of natural hazards in Vermont with their corresponding confidence levels.Vermont’s Climate Council is gearing up to release the state’s first Climate Action Plan on Wednesday. A draft of the council’s initial plan shows an emphasis on vehicle electrification and weatherization, among other policy recommendations. An agenda for a council meeting, to be held Wednesday, includes a discussion of the draft and an oppo
  • Vermont Medical Society urges banning sale of cannabis with more than 15% THC

    Vermont Medical Society urges banning sale of cannabis with more than 15% THC
    The medical society also requests labels on packaging warning of potential medical consequences of marijuana.
    The Vermont Medical Society is urging state officials to ban sale of cannabis with more than 15% tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.Legislatures in Colorado and Washington are considering similar bans.The Vermont Medical Society is also urging health warnings on all cannabis products once they go on the market legally next October. The society r
  • Nearly all of Vermont now eligible for USDA funding to expand internet

    Nearly all of Vermont now eligible for USDA funding to expand internet
    Contractors for Consolidated Communications install fiber-optic broadband internet cables on utility poles in Montpelier on April 5. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerNearly all of Vermont is now eligible for funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help cover the cost of building high-speed broadband infrastructure in rural areas, thanks to a rule change led by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.USDA is accepting applications for its $1.15 billion ReConnect Program, which is designed to help offs
  • 8 hours left double your impact on #GivingNewsDay!

    8 hours left double your impact on #GivingNewsDay!
    Read the story on VTDigger here:8 hours left double your impact on #GivingNewsDay!.
  • Last year, Vermont Glove made masks and missed out on holiday orders. This year is different.

    Last year, Vermont Glove made masks and missed out on holiday orders. This year is different.
    Sam Hooper of the Vermont Glove Company in Randolph on Tuesday, Nov. 23. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDiggerSam Hooper was paying the price for retooling to make personal protective equipment. At the beginning of the pandemic, Hooper had changed production at Vermont Glove, the company he owns, to meet the needs of a country short on masks as it was caught off guard by Covid-19. “We had pivoted to making face masks during summer, at a time when nobody could get them,” Hooper to
  • YWP: Hope Between the Lines

    YWP: Hope Between the Lines
    Young Writers Project, an independent nonprofit based in Burlington, engages young people to write and use digital media to express themselves with clarity and power, and to gain confidence and skills for school, the workplace and life.Check out the most recent issue of The Voice, Young Writers Project’s monthly digital magazine. Click here.Each week, VTDigger features a writing submission – an essay, poem, fiction or nonfiction – accompanied by a photo or illustration from You
  • Vermont in the dark about Covid-19 case counts as hospitalizations rise

    Vermont in the dark about Covid-19 case counts as hospitalizations rise
    Health Commissioner Mark Levine discusses the effect of vaccines in suppressing case fatality in long-term care facilities at a Covid-19 press conference on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDiggerAt first glance, Vermont’s data would suggest positive news about the spread of Covid-19 in the state. Cases have dropped 13% over the past week, the most significant drop since the Delta surge began this summer.But at the same time, testing declined a whopping 32%, suggesting th
  • Vermont reports record Covid-19 hospitalizations, strained ICU capacity

    Vermont reports record Covid-19 hospitalizations, strained ICU capacity
    Image via Vermont Department of Financial Regulation.Vermont on Tuesday reported 84 Covid-19 hospitalizations, shattering a previous record of almost 70 cases on Nov. 23.At 22, the number of coronavirus patients needing intensive care is also the highest it’s ever been, according to the Vermont Department of Health, up from a high of 20 patients at the height of last year’s surge. The vast majority of coronavirus cases in Vermont’s hospitals are unvaccinated, state officia
  • Dr. Harry Chen: We need an indoor mask mandate in public places right now

    Dr. Harry Chen: We need an indoor mask mandate in public places right now
    This commentary is by Harry Chen, M.D., chair of the Vermont Covid Vaccine Implementation Advisory Board, senior adviser to the CDC Foundation Covid Corps in 2020-21, and Vermont commissioner of health from 2011 to 2017.Have we had enough yet? “Of what?” you may ask. Covid — absolutely to a person, we have had enough. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it isn’t over yet. Vermonters continue to get sick, be hospitalized, and die. And while many are presuming thi
  • Dr. Marvin Malek: Willie Sutton and the brave new world of Medicare privatization

    Dr. Marvin Malek: Willie Sutton and the brave new world of Medicare privatization
    This commentary is by Dr. Marvin Malek, an internal medicine specialist working at Springfield Hospital. He is also on the executive committee of Vermont Physicians for a National Health Program.In 1938, the notorious bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks. His response: “That’s where the money is.” Were Willie Sutton alive today, he wouldn’t rob banks. He’d start a Medicare Advantage plan. If he did so, he wouldn’t have to face the risk
  • Horton & Tusk: House has passed Build Back Better, but don’t let up on child hunger

    Horton & Tusk: House has passed Build Back Better, but don’t let up on child hunger
    This commentary is by Anore Horton of South Burlington, executive director of Hunger Free Vermont, and Bradley Tusk of New York City, a venture capitalist and political strategist who was campaign manager for former New York mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg. He founded Tusk Philanthropies, which funds legislative campaigns in states to expand access to food assistance. The holidays have begun, and while the debate over the Build Back Better pie continues, we need t
  • David Bradbury: Remarkable things are happening in Vermont’s economy

    David Bradbury: Remarkable things are happening in Vermont’s economy
    This commentary is by David Bradbury, who lives and rides with his family in Stowe and works at the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies.During Thanksgiving week, I was tempted to fixate on things broken (our oven, national politics, the housing crisis, etc.) or the never-ceasing things that frustrate our daily lives (nine months for a dental appointment, replacement part shortages, frozen Zoom meetings, gas prices, delayed mountain opening, etc). But, what fun is that? So, when looking
  • Fatal Alburgh shooting stemmed from dispute over hunting access on North Hero plot

    Fatal Alburgh shooting stemmed from dispute over hunting access on North Hero plot
    The house on Cameron Drive in Alburgh where police say two men were killed and another injured in a Nov. 27 shooting, pictured Nov. 29, 2021. Police had cordoned off the property. Photo by Shaun Robinson/VTDiggerALBURGH — The shooting that left two men dead and another man critically injured in Alburgh on Saturday stemmed from a dispute over access to a shared hunting plot in North Hero, police and two people connected to the victims said.Vermont State Police said David Mohamed, 51, and La
  • Fatal Alburgh shooting stemmed from dispute over hunting access on NH plot

    Fatal Alburgh shooting stemmed from dispute over hunting access on NH plot
    The house on Cameron Drive in Alburgh where police say two men were killed and another injured in a Nov. 27 shooting, pictured Nov. 29, 2021. Police had cordoned off the property. Photo by Shaun Robinson/VTDiggerALBURGH — The shooting that left two men dead and another man critically injured in Alburgh on Saturday stemmed from a dispute over access to a shared hunting plot in New Hampshire, a relative of two of the victims said Monday. Vermont State Police said David Mohamed, 51, and
  • All gifts matched dollar for dollar on #GivingNewsDay!

    All gifts matched dollar for dollar on #GivingNewsDay!
    On November 30, news readers across the country will celebrate essential reporting by making generous gifts to support news organizations for #GivingNewsDay. Nonprofit newsrooms like VTDigger support our communities all year long, by providing readers with reliable information to connect and engage with the world around them.We’ve set an ambitious goal to inspire 150 member donations today, and as a special incentive all gifts received today will be matched dollar for dollar! Whether you c
  • New preserve in Woodbury, Elmore adds 5,400 acres to Vermont’s ‘wild’ forests

    New preserve in Woodbury, Elmore adds 5,400 acres to Vermont’s ‘wild’ forests
    The proposed Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve. Photo courtesy of the Northeast Wilderness TrustSeveral thousand acres of forest in Woodbury and Elmore, owned by a family with a long history in the timber industry, will soon be preserved as “forever wild.” Under the plan, the land would never be forested again. The 5,400 acres, part of a critical wildlife bridge from Vermont to the White Mountains in New Hampshire to forests in Maine, contains wetlands, a mountain summit and
  • New appointments announced for state health and liquor departments and Natural Resources Board

    New appointments announced for state health and liquor departments and Natural Resources Board
    From left: Elizabeth Bundock, Wendy Knight, Andrew Collier and Sabina Haskell. Photos courtesy of the Vermont Department of Health and Office of the GovernorA slew of appointments to key positions in state government were announced Monday, including the Department of Health, Department of Liquor and Lottery, and the Natural Resources Board.In the health department, Elizabeth Bundock will be Vermont’s new chief medical examiner, leading the state’s forensic investigations of roughly 1
  • Food pantries fear pinch from inflation, supply shortages

    Food pantries fear pinch from inflation, supply shortages
    Church of Christ at Dartmouth Associate Pastor Rob Grabill, right, hands a bag to Karen White for some items as she shops from the Hanover Community Food Pantry at the church in Hanover, New Hampshire, on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. Photo by James M. Patterson/Valley NewsEditor’s Note: This article by Liz Sauchelli was first published in the Valley News on Nov. 28.The price of milk and yogurt has gone up. Cereal, too. Meat has been harder to come by.As inflation is hitting everyday staples fo
  • In Williston, an emergency worker shortage is undermining the town’s response system

    In Williston, an emergency worker shortage is undermining the town’s response system
    Capt. Prescott Nadeau looks at the truck assignments for a skeleton crew. They often have to respond to calls with just one firefighter on board the firetruck. About a third of the time, when a call comes in, firefighters are already out responding to another call. Photo by Riley Robinson/VTDiggerWILLISTON — When the emergency alarm went off on a Friday night earlier this month, all three on-duty Williston firefighters jumped into action. A critically ill patient needing immediate att
  • In Williston, an emergency worker shortage is undermining the 911 system

    In Williston, an emergency worker shortage is undermining the 911 system
    Capt. Prescott Nadeau looks at the truck assignments for a skeleton crew. They often have to respond to calls with just one firefighter on board the firetruck. About a third of the time, when a call comes in, firefighters are already out responding to another call. Photo by Riley Robinson/VTDiggerWILLISTON — When the emergency alarm went off on a Friday night earlier this month, all three on-duty Williston firefighters jumped into action. A critically ill patient needing immediate att
  • Vermont reports 1,667 Covid cases over 5-day holiday break

    Vermont reports 1,667 Covid cases over 5-day holiday break
    The Vermont Department of Health reported 1,667 new Covid-19 cases over the past five days.The state’s Covid-19 dashboard was not updated over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. On Monday, the health department released data for Wednesday, Nov. 24, through Sunday, Nov. 28.The new case counts include Vermont’s second-highest one-day total of the pandemic: 561 new cases on Wednesday, Nov. 24. But the new numbers have also brought the state’s seven-day rolling average down to rough
  • 2 people killed in Elmore shooting believed to be result of domestic violence, police say

    2 people killed in Elmore shooting believed to be result of domestic violence, police say
    Two people were killed in Elmore Monday morning in a shooting that officials believe is a result of domestic violence, Vermont State Police said. Troopers responded to a reported domestic altercation at a home on King Road around 7 a.m. Monday morning, according to a state police press release. When police entered the home, they said, officers found an adult woman and an adult man dead inside.There is no search for a suspect and no ongoing danger to the public, police said. The Lamoill
  • David Delaney: Vermont Republican Party opts to stay out of touch

    David Delaney: Vermont Republican Party opts to stay out of touch
    This commentary is by David Delaney, an 18-year-old UVM student and a concerned citizen who lives in Burlington.In any thriving democracy, every participating political party should have legitimate and sensible policy proposals, each party embraces certain values of civility, pluralism and free expression, and every party should be in touch with the people they seek to represent. This is no less true than in our individual American states. Here in Vermont, I believe it’s important for
  • David Delaney: Vermont Republican Party opt to stay out of touch

    David Delaney: Vermont Republican Party opt to stay out of touch
    This commentary is by David Delaney, an 18-year-old UVM student and a concerned citizen who lives in Burlington.In any thriving democracy, every participating political party should have legitimate and sensible policy proposals, each party embraces certain values of civility, pluralism and free expression, and every party should be in touch with the people they seek to represent. This is no less true than in our individual American states. Here in Vermont, I believe it’s important for
  • Four green and business groups agree: Vermont climate plan must hit targets

    Four green and business groups agree: Vermont climate plan must hit targets
    This commentary is by Ben Edgerly Walsh, climate and energy program director, Vermont Public Interest Research Group; Lauren Hierl, executive director, Vermont Conservation Voters; Peter Sterling, interim executive director, Renewable Energy Vermont; and Jordan Giaconia, public policy manager, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility.The global climate negotiations in Glasgow just wrapped up, and the U.S. Congress is negotiating the Build Back Better Act, which currently includes the largest
  • Chloe Learey: Three ideas for shoring up child care

    Chloe Learey: Three ideas for shoring up child care
    This commentary is by Chloe Learey, executive director of Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development in Brattleboro and a member of the Building Bright Futures state advisory council.Across the United States, headlines of urban, suburban and rural news markets herald the “crisis in child care.” Programs are unable to run at full capacity because they cannot hire enough staff, and others are closing altogether. Families are left in the lurch. And, women have dropped o
  • Elayne Clift: America’s gun problem has reached epidemic proportions

    Elayne Clift: America’s gun problem has reached epidemic proportions
    This commentary is by Elayne Clift, who writes about social issues from Saxtons River, Vt.The verdict is in. The vigilantes are celebrating. Kyle Rittenhouse is free.  The postmortem predictions of what it will mean for us as a society begin, as does the fear for our future as we face a freefall into more violence while our country descends into the depths of depravity acted out on the streets. It is now possible to kill someone in the name of self-defense and literally get away with m
  • What brings you joy? Waterbury River of Light returns with unique theme

    What brings you joy? Waterbury River of Light returns with unique theme
    Rather than gather for a parade in 2020, last year’s River of Light spread out to four locations in the Waterbury-Mad River Valley including Waterbury’s Dac Rowe Park where vehicles slowly drove through as people took in the display. Photo by Gordon Miller/Waterbury RoundaboutMegan Schneider is a reporter with Community News Service, a collaboration with the University of Vermont’s Reporting & Documentary Storytelling program.WATERBURY — After last year’s drive-

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