Perspective

Witness to policy disaster

Last weekend, I traveled to the Texas-Mexico border to investigate President Trump’s unconscionable new policy of separating migrant children from their asylum-seeking parents. This is what I witnessed: — I saw dozens of children penned in chain link cages silently staring straight ahead. No smiles, no laughter. None of the joy characteristic of children. — I toured a government-run migrant […]

Mandate regressive to Vermont health care

“If a mandate was the solution, we could solve homelessness by mandating everybody buy a house,” then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama quipped in a 2008 critique of his opponent Hillary Clinton’s health care plan to force everyone to purchase insurance or pay a noncompliance penalty. Six months into his presidency, however, the individual mandate became integral to the Patient Protection […]

Yankee Notebook: Memories of looking through a child’s eyes

Last week, I wrote about the swarms of black flies and mosquitoes inhabiting the latitudes north of 45 degrees. A couple of days later, I got an email from Larry Whittaker, a dear friend who lives on Coronation Gulf at the broad mouth of the Coppermine River in a house he built himself, with a view out across the fabled […]

Ridiculous optimism for Rutland


I just got back from the city of Lusaka in Zambia, Africa. It’s a zany, backwards, run-down-yet-lovable and interesting place. But it’s just so run down. It seems almost everything there is broken and patched up. The cars. The roads. The roadside shops. The houses. The food supply. The water. The very, very large spiders. And it feels like no […]

Weekly Planet: Location, location, location

This summer and fall, the Commission on the Future of Act 250 will come to a town near you. The commission’s six legislators, chaired by Middlebury Rep. Amy Sheldon, will be on a listening tour of the state, tasked to determine whether Act 250 — Vermont’s almost 50-year-old land use development regulation — could use a tuneup to better serve […]

On Faith: A new blitz

Over the last few years (since 2015) there’s a new kid on the block in Washington and in more and more state capitals around the United States. His nickname, given to him proudly by his Evangelical Right sponsors, is “Project Blitz,” recently written about in The New York Times and the Huffington Post. It is being run by the Congressional […]

Taking stock

Editor’s note: This editorial wraps up a weeklong look at the results of the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which was released late last month. Yesterday we looked at self-harm and suicide among Vermont teenagers. Today we look at what we can do to best help and support our children.   Doing a deeper dive into the factors shaping the […]

Dunsmore: Who needs enemies?



As we have come to expect from Donald Trump’s forays into diplomacy, his latest meeting with the brutal dictator of North Korea was long on spectacle and short on substance. In its editorial carrying the headline, “Why the North Korea meeting was the Trumpiest moment so far,” the New York Times wrote, “The meeting was classic Trump: enormous hype, ulcer-inducing […]

Don’t raid the Education Fund

Public education — pre-K through grade 12 — has become a coveted source of revenue in recent years. People look at the $1.7 billion Education Fund and imagine how some efficiencies here, a little school consolidation there, could free up hundreds of millions of dollars. Now, Gov. Phil Scott has proposed his “Five-Year Education Revitalization, Tax Stabilization, and Investment Act.” […]

Mandate regressive to Vermont health care

Commentary

“If a mandate was the solution, we could solve homelessness by mandating everybody buy a house,” then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama quipped in a 2008 critique of his opponent Hillary Clinton’s health-care plan to force everyone to purchase insurance or pay a noncompliance penalty. Six months into his presidency, however, the individual mandate became integral to the Patient Protection and […]


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