This time of year can be very stressful. Last weekend, I decided to be proactive with my holiday anxiety and research the calming effects of meditation. On Saturday morning, I sat down with a newly purchased “Meditation for Dummies” book to learn how to meditate.

Have you ever noticed that the loudest voice in the room is — frequently enough — emerging from someone so convinced of their own intellect that it leaves you speculating that maybe they’re incapable of feeling embarrassment? Well, it turns out that they very well may not be, because they’re…

Peter Berger’s recent commentary on the subject of violence in this country touched briefly on the changes in our society that have coincided with the rise in these occurrences. I believe this country needs to have a serious discussion on the subject of culture.

One thing you can usually plan on here in our state of Vermont is that Murphy guy; you know, of “If anything can go wrong, it will” fame.

The holiday season has arrived and brings not only celebrations, presents and decorations but also concerns for pet safety. There are many dangers to be aware of as you begin to celebrate this year. These includes specific types of plants, certain foods and even decorations.

I was talking to a friend about the holidays, and he commented that this time of year makes him think of two things: lots of food and an uncle who can’t resist telling painful puns at family gatherings. “I’ll bet you could write a column about food and bad puns,” he suggested. “In fact, I ch…

On Oct. 23, Moody’s Investors Service announced that it was downgrading Vermont’s general obligation bond rating from Aaa to Aa1, citing demographic concerns along with the state’s unfunded pension obligations.

Most Vermonters would agree that the varied seasons are an essential backdrop to the quality of life in Vermont: the breathtaking colors of our forests in the fall, the winter snows that let us ski, sled and warm up in front of the fire, maple syrup and muddy roads in the spring and cooling …

Vermont is known as a progressive safe haven. However, some of our citizens struggle to connect personal experience to this sentiment.

Vermont is known as a progressive safe haven. However, some of our citizens struggle to connect personal experience to this sentiment.

Our cherished small town way of life is going to pot and ironically, pot might be able to save it. There are a number of meetings across the state asking for input on what to do with revenues from the legal taxation of cannabis.

Rick Santorum has apparently emerged for the holidays, just in time to shame the greedy scientists he claims are making money on their estimated 97-percent agreement that climate change is not just real but an exponentially growing danger to the environment, our health and the long range pro…

George Conway, Kellyanne Conway, Trump criticism, political cartoon

The autumn harvest is complete and the season for giving thanks is here. Thanksgiving offers time for family and friends to reconnect, pause and enjoy a few hours together over a meal. As we picture our nation’s fields, forests and barns and the people who work within them, we thank our Verm…

My dad died last month at the age of 88. I couldn’t possibly convey what an amazing person he was in an 800-word column, so today I thought I would write about just one of the many things I learned from him. My dad taught me the importance of being able to laugh at yourself.

Boy, do dogs ever have it made — no bills to pay, cards to write, beds to make — wait a dog-gone minute. They do make beds. In fact, they’re quite precise about that process. It’s not that they’re particular about location — the living room rug or hard maple floor, cold porch or even a dog-l…

In his letter titled “Blame goes to Feinstein,” Gesualdo Schneider claims that “equal dignity of all humans is to be found in the Judeo-Christian understanding” … “because we are all made in the image of God.” He also believes that “it is only in societies that have a basis in Judeo-Christia…

As in all elections, there were many winners and losers last Tuesday – but one of the biggest winners in Vermont was the environment.

In November 2016, we listened via an intermittent cellphone connection in stupefied horror as the election returns half a world away confirmed fears we didn’t know enough to have until it was too late. We were at an elephant sanctuary in northern Thailand where one of the coolest things we’v…

A few weeks ago, President Trump unveiled his long-promised plan for lowering prescription drug prices. It has two main features, relating to Medicare Part B. The first part responds to a real problem and is a useful solution. The second part offers a Trump solution that promises to cripple …

Recently Betsy and I paid a visit to friends who live in Ely, over on the easternmost edge of Vermont. In spite of several prior days of “nor’easter” weather reports, I deemed it safe to travel there even with summer tires ... “after all, we’re hardly through foliage season,” I thought.

One of my favorite parts about living in Vermont is our ability to defy description, particularly in a time where it has become acceptable in our country to separate and label entire groups of people, placing them in boxes based on beliefs, actions or appearance.

Vote, Elections Day, male vote, women vote, Trump vote, political cartoon

Over the last nine months, I have served as a Barre Town representative on the Act 46 School Consolidation Committee. The committee was made up of seven Barre Town residents and seven Barre City residents. Some folks on the committee were current school board members bringing their education…

I’ve read many comments recently on FPF, Facebook and most recently, Kevin Ellis’ column in The Times Argus — that present false choices on the subject of the proposed parking garage.

The meeting of T.J. Donovan and Janssen Willhoit on Oct. 27 for what was advertised as a candidate debate for the office of Vermont attorney general, was an extraordinary event.

Montpelier will vote Tuesday on a $10.5 million bond for a 348-space public parking garage. The city-owned-operated-and-managed garage will be behind Christ Church in the current Capitol Plaza parking lot.

Elections are here and if we don’t vote for real change, many environmental disasters lie ahead. The U.S. is sinking deeper into a sticky web of lies from which truth, honesty and democracy may not escape. At the national level, this is clear but even in Vermont, we are moving politely backw…

In the tumult surrounding Donald Trump, we’ve seen ever more serious implications of the president’s toxic, irresponsible rhetoric. Coupled with his complete self-immersion; his inability to accept criticism even if it’s constructive; and his abject failure to recognize the connection betwee…

The candidate forum for the two seats in the Vermont House of Representatives from Northfield and Berlin provided an opportunity to hear where each candidate stands on several key issues. The forum, moderated by Norwich University Professor Dan Morris and two of his debate club members, cove…

A recent commentary published in The Times Argus laid out a case for increasing the minimum wage (“Why we should raise the minimum wage,” Oct. 13). The Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce agrees; the minimum wage should increase. However, where we differ is on the nature of and the timing of…

Trump, Ballot Box, gerrymandering,, vote control, scare tactics, political cartoon

Trump, War, World War 3 , bone spurs, political cartoon

In response to Charles Burbank’s letter regarding a conservation of Hinesburg farmland and its sale to David Zuckerman, I would like to offer some facts relating to this transaction.

After serving on both study committees to discern whether to move forward with combining governance (school boards) of Spaulding High School, Barre City Elementary and Middle School and Barre Town Middle and Elementary School, some folks have assumed that I am “for” the proposed merger. My r…

As Montpelier voters consider whether to approve a downtown parking garage to support a new Hampton Inn Hotel, it is important that we consider all aspects of the project.

The leaves are mostly gone, headed toward New Jersey on a brisk wind, along with a pack of Canada geese destined for their annual migration to befoul suburban parks and attack joggers. The foliage has been replaced by snow pellets that periodically whiten the ground as I trudge down the far …

With nothing else to run on except Donald Trump’s two years of democracy destruction and international alliance shredding, the Republican Party has finally found its real Election Day slogan: “Kill the Poor.”

The country is in trouble. Over the past few months, I’ve found that to be the majority opinion in my slim neck of the woods. Liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, Trumper or Never-Trumper, it doesn’t seem to matter. Very few people on any side express confidence in our government…

In a 2017 survey conducted by UVM’s Center for Rural Studies, 75 percent of Vermonters polled support a ban on trapping, yet the use of leghold and body gripping traps remains legal, even on our public lands. The official trapping season in Vermont starts on the fourth Saturday of October ea…

I’ve recently been reading “The Cow That Tried to Swallow a Potato: A Quirky History of Worcester, Vermont,” by J. David Book with Douglas E. Hull and Dell Waterhouse. It’s indeed a “must” read for anyone who values Vermont life the way it used to be. The word “quirky,” however, drew me dire…