At the risk of paraphrasing both Oprah Winfrey and Donald Rumsfeld, I begin with an admission my detractors will love, largely because — like me — they not only might not know much about much and, more importantly, might not know what they don’t know. I, for instance, think I know what I kno…

There is nothing better than jumping in a cool lake on a hot summer day. For most of us living in Vermont, even with temperatures reaching into the 90’s, we can find ways to keep cool. But for most of the United States and countries around the world, the fact that July 2019 was the hottest m…

This past spring, the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce surveyed 500 young professionals, primarily Burlington area residents between the ages of 22 and 34, and learned that over 40 percent intend to leave Vermont. Now, we can put some faces on those statistics. Taylor Dobbs, 29, a prominen…

The report released this week by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington names 40 priests accused of sexually abusing children in Vermont since 1950. Many of them were long-serving and notable within their communities.

Last week when the president made his trip to Dayton, Ohio, in the wake of the mass shooting there, he was met by chanting protesters. Their demands he “Do Something” are a cry for real change, for concrete steps to stop the killing, beyond sending thoughts and prayers.

The NRA is half right about one thing. Guns don’t kill people. But the NRA leaves out the second half of the truism, which is: Young men with guns kill people. The brute fact is that 99% of the mass shootings in the United States are perpetrated by young men. Yes, we have a gun problem, and …

Change, it has been said, is the only constant. Certainly, it’s been around since before one-celled organisms began the long process whose current results we see all around us. I use “current” because we humanoids — let alone giraffes, salmon and poison ivy — are hardly the culmination of th…

For decades, Big Pharma has raised drug prices with impunity. Here in Vermont the average annual cost of brand name prescription drug treatment increased 58% between 2012 and 2017, while the annual income for Vermonters increased only 11.5%. Prescription drugs don’t work if patients can’t af…

In 2008, PBS broadcast a four-part program on its long-running American Experience series titled, simply, FDR. It was a biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, from his birth in 1882, through his youth as the only child in a privileged family in Hyde Park, New York, his marriage – which beca…

We flipped the page on the calendar to August this week. That means school starts again in a month, and practice for fall sports will begin in just a matter or weeks.

Much of Vermont’s energy history is written in our rivers. During industrialization, we built dams to harness the strength of flowing water to supply mechanical power for sawmills and gristmills. In later years, we built dams to generate electricity.

No matter our differences, our abilities, whether we are white, black, brown, gay, straight, female, male, non-binary, Christian, non-Christian, Democrat or Republican, we share many values. We care about one another, respect one-another’s human dignity, and have a moral sense of right and w…

Last week, the Trump administration announced its latest attempt to take food away from over 3 million veterans, families and older Americans in need by forcing Vermont and 42 other states to change the way they have run the SNAP program (3SquaresVT in Vermont) for more than 20 years. “Broad…

You’ve got to hand it to Donald Trump. No matter which medium you choose — print, radio, television or social — the odds are overwhelming that the first thing you’ll hear or read when you turn to it is news or comment on the latest activity of his administration or the latest tweet from what…

Donald Trump did his best to distract national focus from the impending damage of congressional testimony by Robert Mueller, who, when asked Wednesday if his report exonerated the president from obstruction of justice, answered an emphatic “No.” And distract he did, in a series of racially b…

As if we didn’t have enough to be worrying about these days, there are people in the medical and scientific communities who say the U.S. military created and spread Lyme disease.

I read Ms. Bucknam’s op-ed, "The emperor has no clothes," with frustrated dismay. Ms. Bucknam seems to be saying that: 1. Racism doesn’t exist in Vermont but was invented by “Vermont’s cultured class;” 2. Only the Vermont “elites” are guilty of systemic or institutionalized racism, with whic…

Few are known more for their strong work ethic, self-reliance and ingenuity than the American farmer, and, more specifically, the Vermont farmer. Apart from providing jobs within our community, the dairy farm landscape attracts many of our tourists and helps provide over one-third of our sta…

It is clear that there are powerful people in the United States and in Iran who would like to force a real confrontation between our two countries. What is completely unclear is whether or not those hawks on both sides want a modified Cold War-type confrontation built perhaps on cyberwarfare…

Many of us, no doubt, remember when we were little kids, monsters used to lurk under our beds. I was spared the worst of that, mainly because for most of my childhood, I knelt beside the bed with a parent and said my lights-out prayer, with nothing malignant snatching at my knees. But they’r…

On July 10, Fitch, a major credit agency, reduced Vermont’s bond rating. This was expected, after Moody’s, another large credit agency, reduced Vermont’s bond rating in October 2018. Both rating agencies have the same concerns about Vermont and its economy. As a result, future state and muni…

In the Hans Christian Andersen tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” the emperor, and then his courtiers, were fooled by swindlers who claimed they could weave clothes for his majesty that only the best people could see. It was a clear-eyed peasant boy who finally told the truth: the emperor’s …

Poor Elijah was a Boy Scout. Over the course of three formative adolescent years, he tied knots, identified leaves and helped drag his patrol’s Klondike Derby sled over inconveniently un-Klondike patchy New Jersey snow. He also learned the Scout law, a list of 12 virtues that Scouts were sup…

In many churches around the world, last Sunday’s Bible text and its related sermon was the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-37). How appropriate for our time. The priest in my parish gave a wonderful homily that caused me to think about how so many of our social values and morals a…