Nationwide, approximately 50% of all students pursuing higher education attend community colleges. But, only about 1.5% of total private donations for higher education directly support the mission of community colleges. This occurs despite many compelling factors at play which philanthropy u…

Garbage. Trash. Waste. Rubbish. For many, these words trigger images of cans and baskets lined with oversized plastic bags filled to the brim with — as Templeton the Rat from Charlotte’s Web would say — a veritable smorgasbord of who-knows-what. The “stuff” that comprises trash is easy to fo…

I never wanted to be one of those people who, as they get older, make a point of telling others how different things were in the past. Now that my parenting days are behind me, I have tried to use this observational restraint when it comes to seeing the child-rearing methods of today’s young…

Experts in car safety should not design car insurance. Knowledge about the mechanics of car crashes does not translate to the real world implications of being in a road accident. Engineers make vehicles that mitigate injury. They have no understanding of the legal system that determines the …

The distant rumbles of climate disruption seem closer each day. Every Vermonter knows, has watched striking videos, of escalating global devastation. In the years since Irene’s 2011 destruction, Vermont, on nine occasions, has relied on FEMA’s federal dollars to help rebuild the highways and…

On Nov. 4, President Trump formally moved to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. This decision leaves the United States alone in the world as literally the only nation not participating in that landmark agreement, signaling to fossil fuel executives that the Trump administration will con…

I have forced myself to watch Trump’s speech to the Republicans of New Hampshire a few days ago. You should try it. We may be living next door to a state peopled in part with raving morons. They cheered and whooped at his most hateful idiocy, his most delusional claims and his most criminal …

Double-digit increases in health care premiums are bringing extra pain and stress to open-enrollment season for health insurance. Higher prices for less care are causing all the harm you’d expect. A business owner told me how frustrated he is, because the high cost means he has to offer his …

On Nov. 6, the Vermont Bar Association stood with the state’s other legal service providers at the Vermont Supreme Court to announce the recently completed “Economic Impact of Civil Legal Assistance Programs in Vermont” study. This report, the first of its kind in Vermont, shows the Vermont …

In reference to John McClaughry’s latest column bemoaning the “latest climate tax” on the same day The Smithsonian headlined “Scientists Around the World Declare ‘Climate Emergency.’”

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It’s a given that working journalists, whether print, electronic or cyber, need to evaluate what they see or hear, distill it into consumable form and share it with their audience. Consequently, the barrage of opinions emerging from, and about, each Democratic candidate illustrate their stre…

A decade ago, I wrote a column titled “Reactionary Liberalism.” That’s the pernicious practice of legislators who believe government ought to fund large programs, but who dare not face the wrath of taxpayers when they’re required to pay for those programs.

It’s been 101 years since the Armistice was signed that ended the First World War. That war was so horrific it was viewed as the war to end all wars. People wanted peace.

The latest round of flagellation of dead horse flesh has been provoked by the release of the National Assessment of Educational Progress scores. After 20 years of overall progress, many of the scores went down. While all groups improved over the long haul, the gaps between white and other ra…

OneCare Vermont, Vermont’s accountable care organization, recently presented our budget to the Green Mountain Care Board, our regulatory organization. The 2020 budget is fiscally responsible. Just 1.4% of it funds OneCare’s operations, most of which is used to support providers. The rest is …

The 30th annual “Karen Kitzmiller Memorial Winter Coat Drive” was held on Saturday, Oct. 26, and it was one for the record book. It was a huge success, both in Montpelier and Barre. More winter coats, warm blankets, comforters and winter accessories were given away than ever before.

When the gavel fell on the 2019 legislative session with the House and Senate deadlocked over the $15 minimum wage and a Paid Family Leave program, most of us thought those two issues would be front and center this January when the Legislature reconvenes. But it doesn’t appear that Vermont’s…

Homeless citizens, in many ways forgotten, disconnected from the economy and social vitality that most of us enjoy, suffer daily, even hourly disappointment, anger and most pernicious, hopelessness. This suffering is the result of neglect, indignity and indifference, both from broader societ…

Regarding Attorney General TJ Donovan’s commentary assertions that charging for public records is rational policy, I dissent.

My apologies to The Times Argus, a newspaper I usually find informative and knowledgeable but they have been duped by someone into taking a public stance in an editorial that is misleading and unfortunately trashes program protections for our rivers and lakes from stormwater pollution. Other…

President Trump recently announced that he donates his presidential salary to various agencies. In the past, several other presidents have done the same. Both John F. Kennedy and Herbert Hoover gave their government income to charity. What isn’t mentioned in this conversation is every presid…

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a collective effort between the government and industry to educate Americans on cybersecurity and ensure they have resources to be safe online. NBT Bank is taking the opportunity to educate the community on protecting themselves from an incr…

It may seem that America’s housing finance system simply involves transactions between buyers and sellers, but there is an often forgotten third party who is involved: the nation’s taxpayers. They shoulder a heavy burden of risk so lenders have liquidity to provide mortgages to credit-worthy…

My dad was a card-carrying Republican. That’s what his father was. That’s what our Protestant upstate-New York farming community was. They were “conservative” in that very “set-in-their-ways” kind of habitual manner.

Of all the 50 states, California has been blessed with every advantage. A mild climate. Fertile land. Tall timber. Mining riches. Strategic location for shipping, trade and finance. Great universities. Glorious scenery. And, of course, Silicon Valley, the world-leading center for high technology.

Should Vermont taxpayer-funded government lawyers do free legal work for private law firms and companies? Or should the State be reimbursed for that work? Those are some of the questions that need to be asked after the recent Vermont Supreme Court decision, Doyle v. City of Burlington Police…

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to meet and listen to Bill Weld, Republican candidate for U.S. president, at the Steak House. Surprisingly, the only coverage of this event by The Times Argus was a picture of Mr. Weld. But then their reporters were covering school boards and such which m…

Vermonters shouldn’t have to pay for access to their government’s public records. Government transparency is far too important to be revoked by government agencies when they feel inconvenienced.

As part of my real job I do a lot of writing. Yesterday, at work, I was emailed a tip sheet for effective professional communication.

Next month, like many Vermonters, I will be sending my final property tax payment to the town clerk. I live in Waterbury, and over three-quarters of my tax bill goes to fund schools. School spending in our school district, and in most districts across Vermont, continues to increase even thou…

Fall has arrived. As the leaves collect on the ground, and we begrudgingly begin the process of raking up the colorful remnants of summer into endless piles, it is a good time of year to remember what urban trees provide for us.

Sept. 20, millions of youth across the globe took to the streets to join the #ClimateStrike movement started by the extraordinary Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg, and led in the U.S. by the young people of color who founded and direct the Youth Climate Strike. As both a father and the execu…

It’s crisp, likely in the low 50s with enough dampness in the air to make a couple of layers under an impermeable shell advisable to ward off both the chill and the moisture. We’re on a trail in Groton State Forest, looping Kettle Pond, surrounded by the brilliant maples that draw visitors h…

I am responding to the significance of the imminent decisions which concern the futures of the Harwood Union District schools. First, I wish to thank the School Board and many community members for their heartfelt work toward a positive solution. And, second, I must express my sincere concer…

Vermonters have recently witnessed, once again, the annual battle over health insurance rate increases for individual and small business plans. It’s worth taking a long look at just what the state thinks it’s doing, and how it does it. Families and small businesses purchase health insurance …

Mr. John Casella, whose multi-million-dollar company stands to gain a half-billion more in revenue by expanding the 78-acre Coventry landfill by another 50 some acres in the next 10 years, has made the fabricated case for this expansion in a recent letter to the editor. By offering an unsubs…

My name is Russ Ashe and I am a resident of the town of Williamstown. I have a combined 23 years in the fire services with 12 of those years employed by the city of Barre, as a career captain.

There is no single word in the English language more powerful than the word “free.” The concept of getting something for nothing can make the most rational individual do irrational things.

On Sept. 4, the Washington Central Cchool Board failed to support a measure to pay dues to the Vermont School Board Association and remain a member of the organization in the coming year. On Sept. 18, School Director Lindy Johnson renewed a motion to consider the VSBA dues at the next meetin…

Rob Roper said in his Sept. 21 commentary: “Is this really what we are paying some of the highest property taxes in the nation and, by some estimates, $22,000 a year per child for? Brainwashed children pouring out of their classrooms to disrupt our daily lives on behalf of political lobbyists?”

Imagine a landowner and a county forester walking in the woods. They’re standing in the middle of a grove of mixed hardwoods. Interspersed within the numerous brown and gray trunks are softer hues of birch trees. The county forester offers the landowner tips to manage her 300-acre woodlot.

Editor’s note: This series is a collaboration produced by members of the Vermont Care Partners statewide network of 16 nonprofit, community-based agencies providing mental health, substance use and intellectual and developmental disability support. To find an agency near you visit: https://v…