Vermonters are capable of choice, they make excellent choices from many thousands of options on a daily basis, and they benefit from the ability to select one from multiple alternatives. VPR, PBS, WCAX, VtDigger and all the rest of the debate hosts have no right to keep candidates from compe…

Hurricane Michael’s path of destruction in Florida’s panhandle last week has brought apocalyptic environmentalists out of the woods in droves, reminding us that climate change is causing more and more hurricanes. However, a quick look at the National Hurricane Center’s records (easily found …

In the modern world, such as it is, things have changed dramatically since we were kids. Our environment is drastically different than it was just a few short years ago, and if we’re unwilling or unable to keep up, we’re doomed to have it all pass us by, which some among us might actually pr…

According to John Nassivera in his commentary, “Of babies, bathwater and bishops,” “Since 2004, there have been 3,400 abuse cases reported to the Holy See (Vatican).” I have been unable to verify this statement. He concludes that “less than 1 percent of the world’s priests” have molested chi…

One afternoon in 1991, Fred Hackett invited me to join him on a hike of Camel’s Hump. I considered it an honor, given that he had sponsored the legislation, years before, to make that mountain a state park. The next day we hit the trail an hour earlier than I usually woke up, but it meant we…

Fall is here, and with it the return of another school year. The return of our students means we will again be lucky enough to spend our days educating the next generation, seeing them learn new tools and skills and watching their grins when they grasp a difficult task.

Millennials often get a bad rap. But for all the grief they take for being “on screens” all of the time or living at home, their activism may be having a measurable effect on the world. That’s a very good thing.

Gov. Phil Scott’s ongoing financial stake in his former business — a business that continues to seek lucrative contracts with the state — violates Vermont’s new code of ethics. That is the clear position of Vermont’s independent Ethics Commission, as stated in an advisory opinion issued earl…

Despite the reported rancor around the budget in the 2018 legislative session, the Vermont Chamber had a very successful year, proving that the Republican administration and the Democratic leaders of the Legislature can work together for the betterment of Vermont’s economy. It’s important th…

The last weeks of the confirmation process for Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court have been like a stomach-churning flight on the red-eye descending through a bad thunder storm. It takes all our will power to keep from getting sick. We keep asking ourselves, “Why on Earth did I ever …

I would like to know exactly what Garrison Keillor did to make it necessary to fire him from National Public Radio (and to kick him out of the Burlington Book Fair). No details, other than an approximate number of complaints and allegations, have been offered. Possibly his sins were egregiou…

The recent Vermont Agency of Natural Resources report that revealed a startling rise in Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions highlights how much work remains for us to meet Vermont’s climate-change goals. Transportation accounts for almost half of these emissions, and proposed federal rollback…

Well, hasn’t this been a week! The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of federal Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court – as rigidly stylized and foregone as any ancient Japanese Noh theater – broadcast live, have elicited millions of passionate responses…

As summer fades into fall, our focus often shifts. We turn from growing our gardens to harvesting them, and from beach time to school bus time. In the world of politics and policies, fall also brings new implementation of laws that were passed during last year’s legislative session. This yea…

For over half a century, the managers of Vermont’s public education system have yearned to consolidate school districts, get rid of “inefficient” small schools and install progressive ideas that the locals were too obtuse to grasp and implement themselves.

Hurricane Florence was on the minds of East Coast residents for several days as they waited for the inevitable, and is still on our minds as the long process of recovery begins in the Southeast.

As reported in The Times Argus, despite troubling news that elevated levels of lead have been found in the water of 16 schools in Vermont, a report recently issued by a number of state agencies declares that the state lacks the capacity to do the extensive testing necessary to determine whic…

Vermont faces a set of economic and demographic challenges that, if left unaddressed, will continue to erode communities, widen the gap between regions, and stretch the distance between poor families and wealthy families in our state.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could only look at our household budgets in terms of our incomes and ignore the real costs? But to know how we are really doing, we have to subtract the total checks written from the total deposits made.

Vermont’s Act 148 states that no more food waste will be allowed in trash by 2020. The most logical solution is to compost that waste, which for some people is a natural process, but for others raises concerns.

How can one write a series of commentary pieces on faith and not mention the abuse scandal within the Catholic Church? Of course, the answer is one cannot. While I don’t relish the task, the task must be addressed. It won’t be easy for me to write and it won’t be easy for you to read.

We have just passed our yearly observance of Labor Day in the United States. It is only fitting that we give some thought to the condition of those who labor — and their families. And perhaps it might be worthwhile to consider what relationship religion might have to the history of labor in …

I ’ve been reading about the “Vicious Act” of 1892. That’s the law Vermont legislators passed a century ago mandating consolidation of all school districts within a town to a single district. The law was not popular.

Last spring, poet and activist Andrea Gibson made a stop in Vermont. Andrea is a spoken-word artist. Andrea also goes by Andrew and uses gender-neutral pronouns. "I don't necessarily identify within a gender binary. I've never in my life really felt like a woman and I've certainly never felt…

Patrick Leahy occupies the U.S. Senate seat once held by George Aiken, and a century before Aiken, by Justin Morrill. Aiken and Morrill are two of the most consequential and distinguished senators to ever serve our nation.

“Schools are not as good as they were in my day. Kids had to mind then. Not like today. Things are out of control.” Said in a variety of ways, over half the population agrees. The truth is that schools are a lot better in many ways — and worse in others. Among the better ways, since 1971, wh…

The cost of health care in Vermont, not to mention the rest of the United States, is staggering. It now accounts for 18 percent of our Gross Domestic Product, and obviously it is a dominating factor in our state’s economy. Vermont has been a healthcare innovator in many regards, whether it b…

The Vermont Land Trust has a long history of conserving Vermont’s most-productive working lands. As VLT’s president, I’m proud of that track record, but I’m also concerned about our farm and forest economy. These lands and the industries that rely on them are facing real challenges today, wi…

According to historical documents, it was inevitable that Vermont would become a dairy state. It had the soil, climate and topography that grew grass well. Livestock have the ability to convert this energy to meat or milk. This had already been demonstrated with the livestock that the first …

The only reason Vermont has a monster landfill by the lake in Coventry is because 100 years ago dumping trash into wetlands was considered a great way to manage solid wastes. We don’t do things that way now, but due to inattention on the part of the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), there a…

We are now less than two weeks away from Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Two weeks away, and the committee has received only six percent of his total White House records, according to the National Archives. And not a single one of the records we …

This year, one of the most important religious events in the world falls during the month of August, the 19th through the 24th. This is the Muslim pilgrimage known as the Hajj, during which some 2 million Muslims from all over the world arrive in Saudi Arabia to participate in this annual co…