The COVID-19 pandemic affecting us here in Vermont and internationally is one more indicator that we are now dealing in a broader perspective with the collapse of the industrial/capitalistic/military economy.

“I want to live alone in the desert, I want to be like Georgia O’Keefe, I want to live on the Upper East Side and never go down to the street” — Warren Zevon

These are difficult and scary times, but Vermonters are resilient, innovative, and community oriented which is why we have stepped up and taken on COVID-19 as an opportunity to improve our system and strengthen our communities.

As our lives are upended by the global coronavirus pandemic, it feels as if we’re watching a slow-moving train barrel toward us. We’re watching reports from Italy, New York and elsewhere, and know our health care system may soon be overwhelmed, and our health care providers will potentially …

Goodness knows, there are many advantages to having English as one’s first language, but there are also some disadvantages. An example of a disadvantage is the word for the religious period of time we are in right now: Lent. English speaking Christians use “Lent” for the period of time betwe…

Agriculture has quietly gone about its business for decades. Stores shelves have always been stocked with an endless supply of milk, meat, produce and so much more.

Only a few short weeks ago, none of us could have predicted the impacts to our personal and professional lives that COVID-19 would wreak. During times of crisis or tragedy we are often compelled to gather with one another and find community, but in this time of social distancing and self-iso…

As the nation endures a bitter learning experience that is nowhere near being over, we are also finally answering the question many of us have been asking since Donald Trump was inaugurated in January 2017: What will happen when the country is facing a “real” crisis? We’re just now, while co…

In a week’s time, a lot has changed. COVID-19 has sickened more than 482,800 people, according to official counts on Thursday morning. At least 21,896 people have died, and the virus has been detected in at least 171 countries. Nationwide, more than 1,000 deaths have been reported. As of Thu…

I’m a baby boomer. My mother and father were members of the Greatest Generation. They earned that laurel by rising to the consecutive challenges of the Great Depression and World War II.

The final chapter in the coronavirus pandemic story won’t be written for a distressingly long time, but it’s worth leaping ahead in time and looking back at what Americans and Vermonters will hopefully have learned.

I’ve often thought, over the years, that what humankind needs in order to realize its potential for cooperation is an extraterrestrial — or at least a single worldwide — threat. Actually, over the years, I’ve thought all sorts of stupid things. We haven’t progressed, essentially, since we mi…

During his three plus years in office, Donald Trump has waged an unrelenting war on the existing nonphysical American infrastructure. This has proven, under today’s realities, not to be to America’s advantage. It is far more favorable to Russia since that country’s primary goal is to see Ame…

It’s no surprise to Vermonters that our agricultural economy has been in free-fall for more than 30 years. There’ve been some times during that fall that our rate of speed has been reduced because of assistance by the market or state and federal government. But there’s no denying that the da…

When the flight attendant took the microphone and cleared his throat at 1 a.m., our departure had already been delayed for almost four hours. Prefacing his remarks with “you can’t make this stuff up” inspired little confidence, his flailing attempt at humor eliciting little beyond groans fro…

I look forward to hearing the sweet whistle of the white-throated sparrow every spring, but am increasingly worried about losing their beautiful voices from Vermont. The white-throated sparrow and many other forest birds, like the scarlet tanager, hermit thrush and American woodcock, are at …

I don’t know if the age of the anti-Christ has arrived, but I know the age of the anti-Christian has arrived — and one of them, the foremost poster boy, is convicted felon televangelist Jim Bakker. Not to be outdone by his past twisted, immoral and illegal activities, Bakker now continues on…

Imagine a forest fire. Here, the trees are thick. Fire rages and jumps from tree to tree faster than a person can run. Deer and rabbits race from the flames, terrified. Firefighters are coming, but the outcome is clear. They are too late, and devastation is evident.

In the face of the coronavirus challenge, we are witnessing a range of reactions.

Nine proposed constitutional amendments, some of them far reaching, have been introduced in the Vermont Senate. One in particular stands out as a mortal threat to fundamental Vermont principles. That is Proposal 9, with 15 co-sponsors: “to provide that the citizens of the State have a right …

Once upon a time, Poor Elijah used to talk to human beings when he called his pharmacy. It’s tough to pinpoint exactly what year that all changed, but suddenly, instead of talking to a human, he found himself dealing with a disembodied Voice that instructed him to enter his birthdate, his pr…

Trust in government is at an all-time low. As you can see playing out before our eyes in the news today, integrity is at a premium in times of crisis. Truth and transparency are necessary to effective leadership.

Act 250 has a critical, if not a fatal, flaw in allowing a low bar for granting any project a permit. In the preamble to each criterion in the statute, there is language that allows a permit to be issued even if the project has “adverse impacts” to the environment. Although this allowance ac…

  • +2

If you’re reading this on Saturday, I’m most likely on a southbound plane, theoretically escaping Vermont’s winter but also trading temporarily icy fingers for a few weeks of what promises to be 24/7 uncertainty, anxiety and no small worry about the rapidly spreading coronavirus.

There is an entire generation that is receiving information in a way that is foreign to the generations that preceded it. It has created an ongoing struggle between young users and generations that long for “the way it used to be.”

This year, we are searching for solutions to the climate and extinction crises, because time has run out. Groups like Extinction Rebellion (Rebellion.earth) are campaigning every week across the globe to save our children and the biosphere; while business and financial interests are mostly t…

There’s a lot of noise in the world. Not just the obvious noise, that of cars and trucks and TVs. There’s the constant din that exudes from the White House. The noise from those who want to move into the White House, the noise of social media, virus noise.

Repeatedly in Vermont, those who advocate for sweeping government power to reverse global warming assert it will lead to a “more prosperous” Vermont future. In fact, what we see is calls for a “preposterous Vermont.” These measures will hurt rather than help the environment. Vermont will be …

Editor’s note: Vermont By Degrees is a series of weekly columns written by representatives of colleges and universities from around the state about the challenges facing higher education at this time.

According to a recent poll, the most important single issue for voters in America going into the 2020 elections is health care reform, as reported in The Hill of Dec. 12, 2019, online. This should not come as a surprise. As anyone living here who has their eyes open knows, and as anyone who …

“’What if there was a prolonged illness in the family? Should I be pacified by the fact that I only have to come up with $15,000 out of my own pocket to pay for it, before insurance contributes (on top of the $9,000 I'm paying in premiums)?’”

With a background in Vermont stretching back to the early 1960s, it has been fascinating to watch the mainstream National Democratic Party try to deal with Bernie Sanders as a presidential candidate. It seems clear that those Democrats are confused about who Bernie is, how he functions, or w…

In January 2019, the commission to review and update Act 250 presented a well-written report. Its recommendations are now the subject of 94-page bill (H.926) to dramatically reshape the state’s land-use and development act.

For decades, Vermont’s Community Media Centers have provided our residents direct access to each other, our government and our community events. Now, more than ever, we need a strong network of public, educational and government, or PEG, stations and their Community Media Centers to provide …

Poor Elijah spent Presidents’ Day weekend reading about American heroes. Our current president, Donald Trump, divided his time between taking a few Daytona laps in his armored limousine, interfering in the sentencing of a political crony, targeting a federal judge, intimidating a juror and l…

To those in offices of public trust: Like everyone I know and work with at nine Vermont public schools and three town boards-of-authority, I am filled with sadness and shame and outrage.

On March 3, be sure to vote.

In a matter of weeks, most towns in Vermont will ask townspeople to consider how public departments should be best funded — and governed.

Any number of studies have come out over the last several years about the growing problem of depression, drug use, and suicide among the population of the United States, and especially among American youth. In fact, suicide rates are the highest they’ve been since World War II (Time Magazine…

Climate activists and legislators are pushing hard to put Vermont on track to tackle climate change. Key bills — already in front of lawmakers — would advance clean and equitable solutions for transportation, provide more local renewable energy, modernize energy efficiency programs, and make…

Forgetting technology is as hard as learning about it: For example, gasoline car technology. When the Magliozzi brothers, Ray and Tom, ruled the automotive airwaves, they adopted the nickname “the Tappet brothers.” Even back then, very few people knew what a tappet was. But I knew.

With the announcement that the proposed construction of a new inpatient psychiatric unit at Central Vermont Medical Center is significantly delayed, it signals a setback and a new level of crisis in our state’s inadequate and troubled mental health system.

Building more resilient communities and transitioning to locally sourced clean energy isn’t just good climate policy, it’s good economic policy. Vermont has made strides toward a green energy economy, but there’s much more to do.

A half-hour into our morning routine earlier this week, my wife and I inadvertently stumbled upon the immediate impact of weaponized misinformation masquerading as fact, at once both absurd and yet not completely out of the question. Over toast, coffee and our respective media providers, we …

If I were to ask you what your life is worth, most people would say it’s not for sale or that you cannot place a value on life. Unfortunately, some of our representatives in the Legislature believe you can place a value on one’s life.

We’ve come a long way in the past 244 years, haven’t we? We fought side by side against the tyranny of British rule. We fought against each other in our Civil War. We fought side by side during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Of the 244 years of…