Raising children means having difficult conversations. At various points in their development, we must sit children down to talk about serious and, at times, uncomfortable topics like sex, drugs and death. In these conversations, we are challenged to push through the discomfort, be open, fra…

I voted 'yes' on the garage. It was not an easy or a quick decision. I spent a lot of time last fall reviewing publicly-available information about the project and asking questions of city officials. An important factor for me was the city’s responsiveness to public comment, and the efforts …

As a local school board member, I have watched the twists and turns of Act 46 closely, and the process has run its course. Delaying implementation of the forced mergers by another year would be harmful to our students and our communities.

“You forget your youth, that which, reckless, rises up to betray you. It’s your youth, forgotten these years, that you ultimately regret.” — William Styron, “Lie Down in Darkness.”

There is a truism in the energy-efficiency world that the cheapest watt or Btu is the one you don’t need to generate. The same holds true with transportation. We primarily focus on miles per gallon, mass transit or electric vehicles, but like electricity, the cheapest and cleanest mile is th…

I was one of the 47 million earthlings who watched last week’s State of the Union show. Most of us in the audience understandably were Americans, as the show was staged mostly for us. People in the rest of the world have enough of their own problems, although the antic behavior consuming the…

We seem to have forgotten our filters. We all have biases and opinions. But that adage of “think before you speak” seems to have been lost. Now, in this world of social media and instant gratification and rapid response, we are more likely to shoot first.

The legislature’s Next Generation Commission was asked to “develop a plan to encourage Vermonters to live and work in Vermont.” Six months later, it reported that “Vermont faces critical demographic shifts” and we must “implement bold strategies immediately if it is to retain its economic vi…

Last summer, the Joint Fiscal Office awarded a legislatively mandated contract to Resources for the Future, a Washington consulting firm, “to analyze the costs and benefits for Vermont of adopting and implementing policies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by Vermont’s consumpt…

As the vice chair of the Elmore-Morristown School Board, I have seen the various ways in which Act 46 has impacted our communities. Even before the law was passed, the school boards in our supervisory union — Elmore, Morristown and Stowe — analyzed whether a merger of our districts would be …

There is an escalating crisis in higher education. The perception that a college education is too expensive is discouraging students from pursuing their dreams. Student debt is an issue, but it is important for students to understand that a college degree remains the single best investment i…

Before getting all warm and fuzzy over Donald Trump’s lame stab at bipartisanship in his State of the Union speech last week, a look at his remarks during the luncheon preceding the annual address to Congress might provide a more accurate assessment of just how seriously the nation should ta…

Two weeks ago, something happened in Abu Dhabi, something important that deserves our attention. On Feb. 4, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar (Egypt) and Pope Francis signed a joint statement titled “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” during their meeting in the city of Abu Dhabi…

Growing up in Barre, we knew we were a little melting pot of humanity. In school, we listened to the story of the Statue of Liberty, and it seemed like it was our story. It made us proud to be part of the American experience.

The week of Feb. 4, multiple places in Burlington — Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, the Pride Center of Vermont and Outright Vermont — were hit by flyers and stickers from a national white supremacist group named Patriot Front. The stickers and flyers read “Better Dead Than Red” and “America First.” …

According to published reports this week, former vice president Joe Biden is almost certainly going to enter the 2020 presidential race.

After the battle of Dunkirk and Europe had been overrun, Britain stood alone facing an undefeated army. Winston Churchill addressed his citizens to calm them and stiffen their resolve. We’ve all heard and remember his inspiring words. There were many underlying messages contained in his spee…

It’s not every day the Catholic Church actively seeks public input. Yet, here in Vermont, Bishop Christopher Coyne has been making it an increasingly regular occurrence. In recent weeks, Coyne has been crisscrossing the state, holding a series of town hall meetings in which local Catholics a…

This morning, my dog, Fern, and I had a good discussion about toast and jam. Y’want something deeper? C’mon, she’s a dog. I was luxuriating in my lounge chair, about to partake in a toasted slice of pumpernickel slathered with butter and raspberry jam, when Fern, our elderly Black Lab, amble…

One of Vermont’s great success stories over the past decade has been the growth of local foods. Recently, I had the opportunity to testify for the House Agriculture Committee regarding food co-ops and how we support our state’s local food system. They wanted to hear from a co-op, I believe, …

It is easy to want to keep things the way they have been. The developments being built and planned in downtown Montpelier — transportation terminal, new housing, hotel, parking structure — are not exactly what I wanted. In the past dozen years, I’ve attended hundreds of hours of meeting rega…

This latest storm has provided Vermont with another ample snowfall. Winter enthusiasts are grateful to have a fresh blanket on which to play and compete.

I have read many articles and listened to many reports lately in regard to abortion. I now feel compelled to respond. Those who are pro-life believe that abortion should be outlawed. Their reason or belief is that abortion is the murder of an unborn child.

Gov. Phil Scott delivered his 2019 Inaugural Address on Jan. 10 and his budget address on Jan. 23, pleading for population growth. On the intervening Thursday, Jan. 17, George Plumb, perhaps foremost among our citizen guardians of what’s left of Vermont’s incomparable natural landscape and u…

As debate was ending in the Vermont State House last March and the Legislature was nearing final approval of laws that would impose the first serious restrictions on gun ownership in the state, Democratic State Sen. John Rodgers, of Glover, famously lamented, “I think maybe if we pass this b…

Do you act one way around people and have an alter ego online?

One of the enviable aspects of my role at The Nature Conservancy is that I get to spend a lot of time outside managing and maintaining our 55 natural areas throughout Vermont, and meeting visitors enjoying our nearly 25,000 acres of forests, bogs, rivers and mountains.

On my first day in the Vermont State Senate, two veteran Chittenden County senators in front of me turned around to ask me a question. Senators Sally Fox and Hinda Miller, in many ways political opposites from this new senator from the Kingdom, asked if I’d consider co-sponsoring a resolutio…

Feb. 5 marked the 26th anniversary of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which guarantees workers access to job-protected unpaid time off to welcome a new child, care for a family member or tend to one’s own illness or injury. It was also my older daughter’s 4th birthday. (How …

I am saddened to hear of the coming closure of Green Mountain College. As a former faculty member and administrator at Goddard College in Plainfield, I also mourn the stresses on other small liberal arts institutions that point toward more potential closings. The losses are not just to the b…

We continue to be concerned by the marijuana misinformation in circulation and, in particular, by the number of “expert” sources making bogus claims and even ignoring relevant scientific data in ways that — ironically — put the public at greater risk. (Herein, we use the botanical name of th…

Well, well. The Donald (Duck) is now calling for unity and forgiveness now that he no longer has a lick-spittle Congress. It would be rather amusing if it weren't so sad. Yes, so terribly sad.

Ahead of this year’s State of the Union address, the White House set the stage for a more benevolent Donald Trump. Indeed, surrogates like Kellyanne Conway said the president would make a call for bipartisan unity.

With hundreds of other Vermonters, I recently attended the Rally for Life in Montpelier on a cold Saturday morning. Everyone I spoke to said they were reacting to recent [the] legislative proposal to protect abortion. Your coverage of the march was disappointing: a captioned photo.

I read Deb Bucknam's commentary published by The Times Argus this past weekend. The title drew my attention and therefore, I read it through the very last line, which repeats the title, as a sort of conclusion or seal to your very professional comments. They are comments that are essentially…

As a longtime downtown Barre business owner, I am pleased that Sue Higby is running for re-election to the Barre City Council in Ward I. Her dedicated service to Barre has been impressive. She is a hard worker and continuously strives to achieve more for our community.

I'm not a big NFL fan ... lately been getting into the "violence" of the NBA and MLB more.

Sue Higby had a solid record of volunteering and working for our community before she won her Ward I seat on the City Council. The award-winning Zipper Pocket Park is one tangible piece of evidence of her earlier efforts. She has also worked with various organizations to enhance the cultural…

Last week, the Arkansas Senate approved an effort to join other states in asking for a national convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution.