On these pages in recent days, there has been a lot of discussion about getting flu shots.

We’re all grappling with a lot right now. From the heartbreaking impacts of the pandemic and our broken health care system, to the impacts of systemic racism, and the death of the incomparable Ruth Bader Ginsburg and its ramifications for the Supreme Court ... I could go on. But another inte…

Many of us love going to the polls on Election Day. Joining in-person with our friends, family, and neighbors to participate in the civic process has always been something I look forward to every election year.

One cannot argue against the basic human thesis that “All Lives Matter.” Most — if not all — believe that, for as long as humans have existed, virtually all advanced civilizations have supported and defended that proposition, many with their lives. In fact, that precept has never been in dou…

As if we needed another shadow obscuring the dwindling light of early autumn, we learned last weekend that within two hours of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — circling like a vulture — pledged that he, Donald Trump and their GOP Senate colleagues, woul…

Sitting here at my desk with a second cup of coffee, on the cusp of the autumnal equinox and gathering darkness, after our third straight night of frost, with morning sunlight flooding the yard and garage doors (just as I planned years ago), with Kiki snoozing in the recliner behind me, it w…

The 2020 elections might turn out to be the most consequential of the 21st century so far — for Vermonters and for all Americans. At the national stage, in the midst of a global pandemic and economic downturn, a heated and unusual presidential election is drawing closer to its end. Whatever …

In the last years of his short life, Randolph Churchill, Winston’s father, suffered a marked mental deterioration, most likely attributable to a brain tumor. Lord Randolph continued nonetheless to attend sessions of Parliament, where he’d rise and attempt to speak as he once had. The result …

I stand here today with an incredibly heavy heart. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — a tireless, legendary, champion of equality who reshaped our society for the better — passed away on Friday, the first eve of Rosh Hashanah. Adherents of the Jewish faith believe that a person who passes away du…

In March, the Vermont Legislature was concerned with the dangers of the evolving coronavirus that experts said could sweep the state infecting tens of thousands of Vermonters and killing hundreds. As a result of their concerns, the Legislature took several emergency actions to mitigate the s…

As a university professor who has worked for educators in the U.S. Congress and was raised by high school teachers, I’m constantly thinking about the education system and how best to equip the next generation of leaders. I’ve also been interviewing educators throughout Vermont, as schools ca…

It is encouraging that more Vermonters are getting back to work. For now.

As the mom of a 6- and a 9-year-old, I’m starting to get tough questions about climate change. (Yes, elementary kids know all about climate change.) They are problem-solvers and have been taught that we can do hard things when we work together. None of the answers I’ve given them about why w…

The end of August marked the return of many of our students to campus. Beyond the masks, the intense new cleaning regimens and mandatory COVID-19 testing, the return of students has brought back a semblance of normalcy during these strange and unsettling times. Their return has also provided…

Perhaps Donald Trump’s greatest — most significant, anyway — accomplishment since he took office has been transforming his felonious incompetence into a political issue, even though as systems collapse around him, the void(s) left behind impact the entire country, party affiliation notwithst…

Alexei Navalny is the Russian opposition leader who was recently poisoned with Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent that’s Vladimir Putin’s preferred means of disposing of old spies and new political leaders who displease him. I was listening to a spokesman for the Russian president, who was s…

There are many eye-opening revelations in the book just out by Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, titled “Disloyal,” and his on-the-record discussions about the book. One of Cohen’s revelations is Trump has absolutely no respect for evangelical Christianity and the prea…

It is hard to know where to place our anger: On President Trump or on Bob Woodward.

Several years ago, I unwittingly – maybe a little wittingly – created an extended family crisis by suggesting one of the three Wise Guys (this was Jersey) lurking outside a holiday manger on a suburban front lawn kind of looked like Osama Bin Laden. To say this observation was less than well…

During the Putin era, it has become clear the Russians are in the process of trying to reestablish themselves among the most powerful and influential countries in the world. To do that, they see the diminution of American power and prestige as critical for their goals. They must be encourage…

Of all the things American students don’t know, they don’t know American history worst. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, while only a disappointing one-third of eighth graders scored proficient or above in math and reading, an even more disappointing 14% were pro…

It was just a few days over four years ago that Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the playing of our National Anthem at professional football games. I was still a member of the “All lives matter” crowd – and all lives do matter, of course – but I didn’t get that Black lives did not matt…

I never knew the meaning of the phrase “Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth.” especially the horse’s mouth part, until I did some research. In fact, I’ve wondered why anyone but a veterinarian would want to look in any horse’s mouth and really, how many people other than cowboys’ kids get a…

For years, public demonstrations on issues ranging from abortion to climate change have signs of a healthy civil discourse. But some demonstrations have taken a more sinister tone of late, undermining the foundations of our democracy.

When the evidence you see with your eyes conflicts with what someone tells you you’re seeing, you need to disbelieve his words and believe your eyes.

Years ago, on his monthly pastoral circuit through northern New York State, my father visited us at our house in the Adirondacks. He was having trouble getting a fire going in our fireplace, and asked if I had any kerosene. Yes, I told him, in the blue can above the cellar stairs.

Storytelling: it’s the one thing that has the potential to cut through the political noise and allow us to see each other in a new way. It’s why we love films, books and television series so much. We’re drawn to stories. And as our country becomes even more hyper-partisan, storytelling may b…

In light of the recent sex scandals at Liberty University, it might seem a cheap shot to place the name Falwell anywhere near the word celibacy, but there are serious issues involved that are not just cheap shots. For anyone who might have been living in a foxhole, Jerry Falwell Jr. is the n…

President Trump may believe that breaking rules is a way to show how broken our political system has become. However, the blatant disregard for laws and rules by which other presidents have had to follow raises fresh concerns about the longer view.

A year ago, the California Public Utilities Commission warned that the state could face an energy shortage on hot summer evenings as early as 2021. Its projection was off by a year. On Aug. 14, from 200,000 to 250,000 California residents experienced rolling blackouts.

Back in 2017, the Vermont Legislature created a study commission to obtain public input regarding how Act 250 could be upgraded in order to address 21st-century challenges. The commission issued a report with sound recommendations in December 2018. The race was on to produce a bill as a “bir…

“I feel very badly. I haven’t been dealing with him for a very long period of time. I don’t like that project. I thought it was being done for showboating reasons.” Donald J. Trump upon learning of the arrest of his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon.

Swimming over the windswept surface of the pond on a bleak, showery afternoon, the first couple of bright, red leaves appear — the trailer of a film inevitably opening next month at a stand of sugar maples near you. Although it’s relatively chilly, especially compared to the summer thus far,…

It’s almost Labor Day again. Ordinarily, teachers have received their welcome-back-to-school letters, in which principals dutifully gush about how innovative the coming year is going to be thanks to the cutting-edge canned program the district leadership team purchased over the summer withou…

I recently ran for, and lost, one of the Democratic nominations for state Senate from Rutland County. But as part of my campaign, I devised a somewhat unique plan for active police accountability that I hope someone — Democrat or Republican — will bring to Montpelier to get enacted.

Throughout its history, America has been seen as a place where men could make their lives and influence their destiny. Looking toward the possibilities of the New World, many people left the tired Old World with its entrenched caste system and religious intolerance and came to North America …

What if, in the lieutenant governor’s race for the Democratic nomination, voters had had the choice of a veteran state senator who had introduced or co-sponsored at least 10 pieces of legislation that had been enacted into law; who had served on an advisory committee that met off-session to …

What if, in the lieutenant governor’s race for the Democratic nomination, voters had had the choice of a veteran state senator who had introduced or co-sponsored at least 10 pieces of legislation that had been enacted into law; who had served on an advisory committee that met off-session to …

Every August for the past 26, Poor Elijah has convened the Emperors Academy. We meet on my porch to sort through education clippings. The year’s most representatively absurd receive Emperor Awards.

The murder of George Floyd has served as a catalyst not only to reflect on racial disparities within the justice system, but also to fundamentally question the role and relationship between police and the citizens they serve. Police brutality, especially when directed toward vulnerable popul…

Recently, The New York Times published a long exchange between two of the paper’s well-known and excellent opinion writers, Ross Douthat and Frank Bruni, “Is Individualism America’s Religion?” I’m not sure their exchange answered the question, but I’m willing to answer it here: Yes, individu…

Michelle Obama ran the anchor leg of the Democratic National Convention’s opening earlier this week, thoroughly eviscerating Donald Trump’s fitness for office and reviewing the myriad consequences of his first term. But for the president and his sycophantic army, it was business as usual: ca…

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.