The recent article regarding the Barre City/school budget is simply a repeat of past years: the never ending increase in taxes. While I think the city budget projection of 6 cents per hundred assessed property value is reasonable given the times, the more than double this rate for the school…

I can begin to hope the nightmares are over. But not quite yet, are they? I know. For too long, I feared waking up, knowing what I would surely find somewhere in the dark, early morning. Or find in the dreams, terrified, the twitters in the night.

Larry King, hank Aaron, heaven, obituary, political cartoon

Jan. 20, as the American voters directed, Democrat Joe Biden took the oath of office for president of the United States of America. Biden was endorsed in the November election by the National AFL-CIO, received 7 million more votes than Trump, won in key battleground states, and claimed an ov…

Murdoch, Trump pardons, News Corp, FOX NEWS, Political cartoon

Svante August Arrhenius was a Swedish scientist. Originally a physicist but often referred to as a chemist, Arrhenius was one of the founders of the science of physical chemistry. He received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1903, becoming the first Swedish Nobel laureate. In 1905, he became…

Vermont understands sustainability in a way few other places do. Whether it be our agrarian roots, living closer to natural resources or something else, it is hard to find a Vermonter who does not intrinsically understand the environment or natural systems have a carrying capacity, resources…

President Biden is absolutely correct in starting the process to reform the American higher education system. Simply forgiving loans and making higher education “free” is fraught with fundamental issues and will only lead to financial disaster unless tuition reform becomes part of a bigger p…

Capitol riots, soldiers at capitol, letters home, political cartoon

The holidays sure were different this year. I’m not much of a social butterfly, but I have always looked forward to getting together with others on Dec. 31 to ring in the new year. A few weeks ago on the big day, I found myself at home wallowing in self-pity — alone and party-less. It was ea…

A letter to Senate President Becca Balint and House Speaker Jill Krowinski: I want to congratulate each of you on your new leadership roles. I’m writing to share some thoughts about an area of our election process I believe needs some improvement.

One hundred members of the Vermont National Guard have been sent to Washington to prevent our Capitol and our leaders from assault by our own citizens, who have already murdered a police officer. In Montpelier, school will be canceled on Inauguration Day out of fear violent insurrectionists …

Responding to an email inquiry from a concerned citizen about the real impact – and cost – of the Global Warming Solutions Act passed last spring over the veto of Republican Gov. Phil Scott, Democratic Rep. Scott Campbell, of St. Johnsbury, admitted, “Let me start by repeating that no one, l…

Thank you for Kathleen Kesson’s recent piece, “Contested realities,” on the need for more media literacy, in schools and elsewhere. For sure, we would all do well to take in our news and information with a more critical eye so that we aren’t so easily duped by fictions made up by people to a…

I am sitting in front of a photograph of a man and a women standing together and thinking about the incredible power of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Well, the American fascists have finally done it. They have launched a climate of fear on our streets that I have never experienced in my 66-plus years. Seeing local Proud Boy types enjoying the Vermont “open carry” law by parading assault rifles on Main Street in Montpelier has driven busin…

I am going to try to answer some questions about the residency requirement for governor and lieutenant governor. Not that I have all the answers but as Senate Government Operations chairwoman, elections are within our purview.

The cries are coming fast and strong. “Unity,” the trump/gop/vtgop loudly wail, “We must bring the nation together!”

Trump, Ivanka, Don jr, Eric Trump, pity party, second impeachment, political cartoon

In future decades, our columnists, pundits and historians will unfurl endless examinations of the rationale, the mindset, that convinced thousands of Americans to venture to Washington with the aim of disrupting congressional votes to affirm the final tallies of the Electoral College. Such a…

As we all try to make sense of the horrendous desecration of our U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, I am somehow not terribly surprised. There have been warnings all along, not just from Trump, but from so many groups on the right and the left who are just fed up with our government and politics, …

Have you looked up your enneagram or taken a Myers-Briggs test? Did you know that some personality differences — like introversion and extroversion — reflect differences in the way we process information, experiences and emotions? Each of us is incredibly unique. But sometimes we overlook th…

On Jan. 5, lawmakers began their work like many Vermonters: remotely. Moving to a virtual legislative session that relies on Zoom to host meetings and hearings, and YouTube to broadcast them, was the best decision legislative leaders could make to protect the health and safety of Vermonters.

The awakened and contrite follower — whether Nazi, Communist, Khmer Rouge or Republican — sometimes attempts expiation and proposes future courses of action that he thinks will redeem his party. But, of course, he fails because he does not understand the actions that grieve him spring from d…

As I write this, there’s a national post mortem underway to examine every detail and aspect of the insurrection that occurred in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. Thousands of rioters — encouraged by President Trump — violently stormed the U.S. Capitol. Five Americans are dead and many thousands …

There seems to be a sad irony in the fact that on his way out of office, a former minority leader of the Vermont Senate would cast such a disparaging net of belittlement over fellow Vermonters and Republicans expressing concern and love for their country.

“ARBEIT MACHT FREI” are words cast into the wrought iron gate over the road/railroad tracks entrance into the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland.

This isn’t about politics. It’s not about tax policy or education spending or deficits. These people don’t care about policy or government. This was an attempted coup of the U.S. government, an attempt to burn or steal the legal ballots of the Electoral College because some people didn’t lik…

On Jan. 6, thousands of neo-fascist Trump loyalists converged on Washington with the aim of forcing the annulment of the November election (which Democrat Joe Biden won by 7 million votes). There, they were met by Donald Trump himself who addressed the mob, falsely claiming he won, that he w…

Steve Pappas proudly proclaims in his editorial on Jan. 8, ”A thumbs up on Thursday to Mark Zuckerberg – who like the rest of us – is sick of the lies, assaults on the rules of law, misinformation, obfuscation, bullying, whining, sneering … Zuckerberg took away Trump’s Facebook account. Inde…

Jan. 6, 2021, will forever mark a day of infamy for our nation. It will be remembered because our beloved Capitol building – the very heart of our democracy – was stormed and laid under siege. Rioters broke through windows, doors and security barriers in both the Senate and House wings of th…

It is a fact the best, noblest political movements often attract the worst kind of violent participants. These people barge in and commit the kinds of violent acts that ultimately change the focus of a previously benign movement to violent terrorist activities. These are viewed quite differe…

I feel it is important for me to share some of my thoughts over the events during the last 24 hours in Washington, D.C. I have to say I am sick over what has transpired in our nation’s capital and maybe this will ease some of my pain and concerns.

This letter is in response to Joe Benning’s commentary published on Jan. 8 regarding the current state of Republican politics. I went back in public records to see if I could build a picture of Joe’s politics over the last few years. He appears to tow the Republican Party line on most issues…

Not the least of the fiscal problems facing the 2021 governor and Legislature is the perilous condition of the two state retirement funds, for state employees (VSERS) and public school teachers and staff (VSTRS). Both of these funds are “defined benefit” funds: the state government has the o…

US Military, nuclear button, Trump, political cartoon

Today I saw a picture of a busload of Vermonters on their way to Washington, D.C. They were Donald Trump supporters who remain convinced his election was stolen. I want to believe that all of them on that bus were heading down for a peaceful protest. But after witnessing several different ne…

Those who invaded the Capitol on Wednesday don’t see that they live in a great democratic country. They want a populist “strong” leader and even a dictatorship to feel safer. They are threatened by change. This is reflecting a mental health and transformational crises collision.

If you think the kind of senseless violence we saw at the Capitol on Wednesday does not happen here in Vermont, you are wrong. It does happen here. It’s just that the victims of this violence have hardly any advocates on their behalf.

Putin, Xi Jinping, democracy, political cartoon

Weeks before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Donald Trump is at the zenith of his popularity and power. He is also at the beginning of a long, slow decline.

For the past two years, it has been a pleasure and privilege to serve as president of the Washington County Mental Health Services board of directors along with highly dedicated and incredibly insightful fellow board members from around the county. Our commitment became clear to us this past…

Captcha screen, McConnell, political cartoon

Many folks were excited about the recent conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. I was less excited. However, the conjunction of many factors during this past holiday season helped me understand the surprising return of pretty intense personal feelings regarding the increasing inequality in Ameri…

Five Questions With

Just over three months ago we started “Five Questions With ...” to put a human face to this pandemic. Today marks the final installment in this stage of the project, but it will continue with a new set of questions more focused on Vermont’s recovery. Here, Paul Costello, of Montpelier, offer…

Marlee Brunton, of Middlesex, talks about the pandemic and its effects on her family.

Marlee Brunton, of Middlesex, talks about the pandemic and its effects on her family.

Alayna Martel, of Barre Town, is a registered nurse at UVM Medical Center. She talks about how, as a frontline workers, her life has been affected by the pandemic.

Alayna Martel, of Barre Town, is a registered nurse at UVM Medical Center. She talks about how, as a frontline workers, her life has been affected by the pandemic.

Gayle Townsend-Lang, of Rutland, works full time wearing many hats for the Rutland City Public Schools as “Miss Gayle.” Here she talks about how she has been affected by the pandemic.

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Yankee Notebook columnist Willem Lange, of East Montpelier, talks about how he has been affected by self-isolation and the pandemic.

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Yankee Notebook columnist Willem Lange, of East Montpelier, talks about how he has been affected by self-isolation and the pandemic.

CPA Thomas Lauzon, of Barre, discusses how his life has been affected by the pandemic and self-isolation. Earlier this spring Lauzon was named to the governor’s Economic Mitigation & Recovery Task Force.

Chrispin White, of Rutland, discusses how he has been adapting to self-isolation and how the pandemic has been affecting him.

Chrispin White, of Rutland, discusses how he has been adapting to self-isolation and how the pandemic has been affecting him.

Christina Sweet, of Rutland, discusses how she and her family have been affected by the pandemic and self-isolation over these months.

Christina Sweet, of Rutland, discusses how she and her family have been affected by the pandemic and self-isolation over these months.

Educator and Vermont Mountaineers General Manager Brian Gallagher, of East Montpelier, discusses how the pandemic has affected his life. Earlier this spring, the Mountaineers’ organizers announced they would cancel the 2020 season.

Cat Heatley, of Rutland, talks about how her life has been affected by the pandemic in recent weeks.

Cat Heatley, of Rutland, talks about how her life has been affected by the pandemic in recent weeks.

Barre Partnership Executive Director Tracie Lewis talks about self-isolation and how the pandemic has been affecting her life.

Montpelier writer Thomas Greene discusses how he has been affected by self-isolation and the pandemic.

Drew Smith, of Rutland, talks about self-isolation and how the pandemic has affected his life.

Jessica Van Orman talks about her experience in self-isolation and how the pandemic has affected her life.

Artist Jen Rondinone, of Rutland, reflects on self-isolation and how the pandemic has affected her and her family.

Mark Breen, the “Eye on the Sky” guy from the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury, shares his thoughts in self-isolation and how the pandemic has been affecting his life.

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe discusses how self-isolation and the pandemic have affected his life.

Executive Director of the Paramount Bruce Bouchard, of Rutland, talks about how his life has been affected by the pandemic and its consequences.

Executive Director of the Paramount Bruce Bouchard, of Rutland, talks about how his life has been affected by the pandemic and its consequences.

WDEV radio talk show host Dave Gram, of Montpelier, talks about the pandemic and how it has been affecting him and his life.

WDEV radio talk show host Dave Gram, of Montpelier, talks about the pandemic and how it has been affecting him and his life.