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The legislative routine is discombobulated. There are supposed to be solid waypoints in our calendar; firm dates for when financial legislation must pass.

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I’ve always loved Vermont’s state motto: Freedom and Unity. We Vermonters take our freedom and independence seriously. It gives us the kind of true grit required to withstand snowstorms in October and May. But our independence has never been challenged like it is being challenged now. In the…

The political picture is a lot less clear than most people believe, and that applies to Vermont as well as it does nationally, the reason being that the havoc wreaked by Covid-19 is not fully understood and voters are, by nature, fickle. States are just now budgeting for the next year and wh…

College presidents are sitting on the edges of their financial seats fervently hoping the students already enrolled will return and that today’s high school seniors will commit to their schools in numbers sufficient to keep them solvent. In a state like Vermont, it’s a billion dollar-plus worry.

There is no hiding from Covid-19. This virus has no borders and travels at will, menacing people and businesses in every sector of society. The pandemic threatens agriculture and with it our food security, as farmers work to produce the food on our tables. Our farmers, producers and those ma…

This Mother’s Day, Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains would like to thank all the moms (and mom substitutes!) who step up to volunteer for our organization across New Hampshire and Vermont.

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I must admit that I was relieved when April ended and we flipped our calendars to May. Every single day during April was one of readjustment, reorientation, and transformation. The House of Representatives voted remotely for the first time in Vermont’s history; House Committees met in virtua…

Vermont State College Chancellor Jeb Spauding resigned his position Wednesday. Karen Scolforo, president of Castleton University, resigned Thursday. Northern Vermont University President Elaine Collins is a finalist for a job in her home state of Michigan. To call the exodus a challenge to t…

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This column is usually titled “Message From Montpelier,” but I haven’t been to Montpelier since March 25. Better to title it “Broadcasts from the Bunkers.”

I call it engineered chaos with an essential outcome and a timeline that had to be completed before it begins. The outcome is to “flatten the curve” and provide a space for healing and recovery for the homeless, those who have no home to go to safely and are covid positive. They do not need …

This piece was written in response to the prompt: Shelter—where is home for you? What physical or emotional space makes you feel sheltered, safe, “at home?”

Jeb Spaulding, chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges, needs to tender his resignation. Mr. Spaulding is not the leader the state college system needs to weather the crisis before it. At this point he is more of a liability than an asset.

The protesters came, as expected. The affected communities rose up in anger, as expected. The people whose jobs would be affected, expressed their indignation, as expected. And the students, whose futures were made uncertain, let it be known they were none too happy, also expected.

It seems as if Vermont has struggled with tight budgets since the dawn of time. Every legislative session begins with the affordability sermon and every year we pat ourselves on the back for how flinty we are with a buck, knowing deep down we’ve not been tested, that we’ve not had to choose …

For most of the last month — it seems like years — there has been a single national narrative, which has been the COVID-19 pandemic and its almost biblical wave of destruction, both in loss of life and loss of economic health, of which we’re reminded each passing minute. As humans, we’re not…

Perhaps no system has experienced more fundamental disruption during the pandemic than health care. Hospitals have focused almost every shred of their capacity preparing for, or dealing with the coronavirus, and the cost to the system has been horrific. Revenue has dried up and costs have so…

During these challenging times, postal employees are working hard to ensure residents stay connected with their world through the mail. Whether it’s medications, a package, a paycheck, benefits or pension check, a bill or letter from a family member, postal workers understand that every piec…

Nothing is more dispiriting to a dairy farmer than dumping the day’s work into the manure pit, which is happening in Vermont and throughout the nation. The pandemic has had a cascading effect on dairy farmers, disrupting their supply channels and destroying the markets. They dump their milk …

In every crisis there is a point when the leader says to those being managed, “Don’t tell me why it can’t be done, tell me how it will be done, and it would be best if it happened yesterday.”

Harry Hole, Norway’s rogue and brilliant police inspector has been thrown out of his home by his wife Rakel. His alcoholism has put Harry in a bad place but he is given a chance to work again with the Oslo police department. The downside is that it is in the cold case department where no one…

Melinda Gates’s Moment of Lift invites us to expand our perspectives and view problems around the world as connected systems to be alleviated. Moment of Lift combines personal stories with research and statistics providing the reader with information that enhances appreciation for the people…

There’s no way to sugarcoat it: If you’re an investor, you haven’t liked what you’ve seen in the financial markets recently. The effects of the coronavirus triggered a market “correction” – a decline of 10 percent or more – and more volatility is almost certainly on the way. But instead of f…

In this time of pandemic events fighting a virus that is so dangerous, I’m flabbergasted at some of the amazing wonders in our area. I made a stop at Hannafords at Essex Way this past Saturday and was amazed at the crowds of people waiting to be checked out. I picked up two items, and three …

Helen, a professor of theoretical physics at MIT, has her scientific, rational approach to life tested when she begins receiving texts from her friend and former roommate, Charlie (Charlotte). Since Charlie is dead, Helen thinks someone is just using Charlie’s phone until the texts begin con…

The setting is Britain just after the 2016 Brexit referendum—a divided world. The season is autumn, the time when nature begins to shut down in preparation for its long winter rest. Daniel, 101 years old, drifts in and out of consciousness, lying in his hospice bed, gradually fading from lif…

Jess Deyo is our featured artist for the month of March. Jess is known for the intricate pet portraits she draws, but our main display case in the lobby shows a variety of animals and birds. Come and see how she carefully combines different colored pencils to give each subject life and more …

Nina loves books, cats, trivia, and making lists. She has a few good friends with whom she engages in limited social activities (several book clubs, trivia nights and an occasional movie).

A normal day for Joe Pike, co-owner with Elvis Cole, of a private investigation business: He goes to the bank for his usual transaction and chats with the teller, a young woman named Izzy. Joe leaves the bank and while starting his car he sees Izzy come out and immediately two men run and ab…

March 8 is recognized as International Women’s Day. As the nation celebrates the historical, cultural, and political achievements of women, we are fortunate to witness these achievements in many areas of our life. However, it is important to not lose sight of the discrimination which prevail…

I just received the “Report to the Community” from the Colchester School District in the mail. The report was professionally written and produced, and it contained a letter from the superintendent, as well as information about school safety, class size, and spending per pupil. I was impresse…

Congratulations and thank you to Representatives Sarita Austin, Seth Chase, and Curtis Taylor for joining to overturn Governor Scott’s veto of the minimum wage bill. The House vote of 100-49 combined with the Senate vote of 24-6 clearly shows how out of step the opposition of minimum wage is…

On Friday, Feb. 28 the Education Committee voted out three bills that we have been working on since the beginning of the 2020 session. The process for moving a proposed bill through a Committee is a long, complex, and time intensive endeavor. The process begins with the first draft of the bi…

Town Meeting week finds the halls of the Capitol strangely empty. We’re back in our districts talking to constituents. And there’s a lot to talk about.

The best way to chase away the winter blues is… with music! Those final weeks of winter always seem to drag on, but now you’ve got something to look forward to: the Parks & Recreation Department will again host a Winter Concert with free entertainment courtesy of 6-piece little big band,…

The select board has been working to grow Colchester as a recreation destination ,I can’t think of a better way to promote our community and encourage smart growth than by adding a strong , no-nonsense business leader like Stacey Mercure.I will be voting for Stacey Mercure next week , on Tow…

Sometimes you meet someone and you know that they will make a difference, and that is exactly what happens when you meet Stacey Mercure. I’ve known Stacey for a couple years and have seen her positive impacts on our community as a volunteer in our schools, by empowering young women to lead a…

I write in support of Julie Hulburd for Colchester Selectboard. Julie is smart, hard-working and knowledgeable. Since her graduation from Colchester High School she has demonstrated an abiding interest in good government and a commitment to community. The twelve years she has spent working w…