Between Montpelier meetings a few weeks ago, I stopped to watch the dedication ceremony for the new statue of Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, at the top of the State House. My new-to-Vermont companion was amazed to see that hundreds of people had gathered around the State House, taking se…

In 1969, in a place far away, a young student in Mrs. Nelson’s sixth-grade class wandered the school library in search of a book. The assignment was to make a book report. Most of his classmates searched the current events section. The Vietnam War, race riots, the assassinations of Robert Ke…

Front-page news last weekend was about some 60 groups signing a statement to counter a 36 percent increase in hate crimes reported in our state between 2016 and 2017. This increase is also evidenced in figures across the U.S. and in Europe, as well — up 40 percent in England and Wales as rep…

A report issued last week by the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. and the Vermont State Colleges System shows a trend toward better completion rates and college retention in our state.

In his article titled “Dems, get some religion,” in the Dec. 1 Times Argus & Rutland Herald, John Nassivera reproaches the Democratic Party for, in his view, embracing secularism and in effect ceding the votes of committed Christians to the GOP. He cites statistics published by the (aptl…

Many of us in the lower tiers of punditry — minor prophets, editors, pedestrian preachers and habitués of the internet — like to quote authority to bolster our claims and arguments. Some of us employ the Pentateuch as a torch to blister the behinds of LGBTQ folks and consign them to perditio…

Who slides down the chimney in the well-to-do ZIP codes? Rich Santa. Who slides down the chimney in the inner-city slums? Poor Santa. Who slides down the chimney in middle-class areas? Middle-income Santa. So, Santa is a member of the American economic class system.

The Vermont Digger headline a day after the elections well captured the enthusiasm of the newly elected legislative majorities: “Democratic supermajority comes with sky-high expectations.” The final House tally was 102 Democrats and Progressives, 43 Republicans and five Independents. The Sen…

November always brings to my mind one of T.S. Eliot’s most famous poems, “The Hollow Men” (1925), which opens with the lines “We are the hollow men / We are the stuffed men / Leaning together / Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!” It is a poem about our failures, about death and about our rel…

There are times when being out of the information blitz defining America’s new normal is a satisfying venture into what feels like a protective bubble: fleeting, but secure for the moment. Reentry is the problem. When the conduits of data suddenly reopen, the bliss of ignorance quickly fades…

In the late-1960s, our country was torn apart. Protesters marching for basic civil rights met brutal resistance from police. Rioters looted and burned inner-city businesses. Young people speaking out for change rebelled against traditions that comforted their elders. The White House called f…

There’s nothing new about November. The hoorah surrounding the midterm elections will go on for a bit, no matter how they turn out. But the rest is the same: the cloudiest month of the year, “before the coming of the snow,” as Frost so memorably says. The leaves are pretty much down, and the…

Unable to credibly defend his corporate tax giveaways or Republicans’ unending zeal to strip health care and coverage of pre-existing conditions from millions of Americans, President Trump, one week ahead of an election that could place a check on his presidency, is returning to a familiar p…

I’ve been thinking hard about how I might vote on the $10.5M bond for the City of Montpelier’s downtown parking garage. I’ve been on both sides of the idea. Until recently, I’ve been hopeful that I could vote “yes” for the bond item on the Nov. 6 ballot.

I see poignant tragedy in John Nassivera’s recent column about apocalyptic environmentalism and the loss of hope. Yes, it is real: as we burn fossil fuels and slow the cooling of the Earth, more than 90 percent of the excess energy is being stored in the oceans, and much of the rest is melti…