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As I am stuck in Florida riding out the pandemic in the Red Zone, I have just learned that Jeff Bartley is stepping down from the Colchester Selectboard. This is an unfortunate loss for the town as Jeff's energy and dedication have only brought balance and excellence to town affairs.

I love voting. Going to the polling place to engage in the democratic process alongside family, friends, and neighbors is something I always look forward to. In fact, that is one of the reasons why I got involved in public service and ran to become your Secretary of State.

Recent periodicals have highlighted the unfairness to Chittenden County voters of having primaries with a dozen or more candidates. It turns the race into a name recognition contest rather one on the merits. That is why Senator Sirotkin introduced a constitutional amendment and successful le…

The coronavirus has upended the way we learn about candidates running for office. We’re limited in being able to talk to them directly. There are no crowds, which subtract from the energy. Most Vermonters are singularly focused on surviving; parsing through a candidate’s positions takes a se…

In the 1960s, the Canadian government inaugurated a monthly quota system for its dairy farmers and today those farmers say that if it weren’t for the supply management system the dairy industry in Canada would not exist.

When campaigning on the issues does not work for a candidate, step two is to discredit the opposition. That is the step Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe has taken with Molly Gray, his most serious rival in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.

In 2008, Audubon Vermont and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation teamed up to create a program called “Foresters for the Birds.” The idea of this program was that, while there is a lot to love about Vermont’s forests – from the way they make our state so beautiful, clean …

I am writing to express my enthusiastic support for Brenda Siegel for Lieutenant Governor in our upcoming primary. As fellow activists Brenda and I have worked side by side on the economic justice issues of livable wages and paid family and medical leave for working Vermonters, on universal …

In mid-July the state of Vermont issued the guidance our school boards were to follow as they cobbled together plans to start the 2020-2021 school year. The guidance was not prescriptive; like the flippers on a pin ball machine, it was meant to keep things centered, with no one going off kil…

I'd like to share why I am supporting Brenda Siegel to become our next Lieutenant Governor of Vermont: a decision I came to after hearing her speak, researching her stand on policies and noting that she embraces similar progressive values as mine. What distinguishes her from other candidates…

Sophie Zdatny was named chancellor of the Vermont State College system on Monday. She has been in the role as in interim chancellor since April. She had been VSC’s general counsel and is regarded as someone who is a talented collaborator, a strong negotiator and someone committed to a sound …

We wish to thank the board and volunteers of the Friends of the Burnham Library for their time and energy spent holding mini-book sales on the Village Green for the past three Saturdays. The library is fortunate to have the support of a generous community that starts with our wonderful Frien…

Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis) is a striking tree: golden, metallic bark shines among the greys and browns of other trees. The cousin of our most-identifiable tree, the white or “paper” birch (Betula papyrifera), yellow birch has many of the same attributes: bark with little horizontal…

The nation’s hospitals [including Vermont’s] suffered grievously during the pandemic as its services were shut down, but the patients that fill their beds and line up for their scheduled visits apparently did not suffer, raising questions about whether the health care system we’ve built is n…

Vermont legislators are pushing a package of police reform measures intended to be passed by this Friday, the date being set for adjournment until August when legislators address the FY2021 budget.

If the average Vermonter were to have been asked a week ago whether a business had the right to fire an employee for being gay or transgender, most would have answered no, thinking the issue had been settled long ago. But until Monday, it was legal in more than half the states to fire worker…

Talk about a gift. Talk about an idea that should be emulated by others who have the means. Talk about a proposal that could make a life long difference to those involved, and to Vermont as a whole.

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The Vermont Legislature has felt like a a huge compression chamber during the past few months. Bills in committees that would have taken weeks to craft, hear testimony on, and debate now follow the same process but in a much more focused and limited timeline. If this were a typical session w…

As the controversy swirls about how to reform the nation’s police forces, including Vermont’s, with a growing chorus favoring a cut in police budgets, it’s worth noting that on a per capita basis the United States employs about 35 percent fewer police officers than other nation’s worldwide.

As the weather gets warmer, Vermonters are comforted by the simple pleasures of summer, among them, fun with friends at Vermont country fairs and festivals. My own family has enjoyed fairs all over the state year after year. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused this summer’s fairs and festival…

It’s being called the “Covid-slide.” It began mid-March when the schools were shut down and teachers and their students were sent home and expected to keep the learning process alive and well remotely.

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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.

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…

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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.”

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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 …

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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?”

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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.”

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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…