It is with increasing — and unfortunate — frequency that the news becomes part of the news.

For more than 20 years, Vermont’s smaller towns have been overtaxed and their schools underfunded, according to the Pupil Weighting Factors Report, a $300,000 study of current school funding legislation recently issued by the secretary of education. Hurry, and you may be able to save your school.

It is my observation that some environmental, social-justice, religious and political organizations, as well as news media, are addressing many of the current problems society and the earth are struggling to deal with, including racism, immigration, income inequality and climate catastrophe.…

Vermont’s beauty, character and relatively unspoiled condition are cherished by those who are glad our beloved state has not yet been turned into New Jersey. That it hasn’t is at least partly thanks to Vermont’s Act 250. This unique and widely respected environmental protection law was enact…

Town Meeting Day has always been a very special time for me. As a child in the 1940s, I used to attend our meeting in Waitsfield at the old I.O.O.F. hall, with a crackling wood stove keeping us warm.

An alternately preening and raging Donald Trump spent the weeks since his Senate acquittal laying waste to the stated belief of several GOP senators that the president had “learned his lesson,” emerging from his impeachment ordeal chastened and humbled. Of course, POTUS acquiring humility is…

I always tell my students the Constitution is a work of special genius. Madison explained the rationale undergirding the design for our new government by comparing us to angels. If men were angels, he reasoned, we wouldn’t need any government at all. If we were governed directly by angels, w…

In the wake of the Iowa Caucus, two things seem obvious: There are concerns about the election process; and the large turnout could have a very interesting impact on Vermont.

When it comes to green energy innovation, there are few American states that innovate like Vermont. Recently, Vermont’s biggest power utility — Green Mountain Power (GMP) — launched a peer-to-peer energy sales platform that will allow businesses to buy locally generated renewable power from …

“Everything I do during this (trial) I’m coordinating with the White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this.” Sen. Mitch McConnell, Dec. 12, 2019

Last week, President Trump, with the aid of his senior adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner, put forth a peace plan to settle the long-standing differences between the state of Israel and the Palestinians. There was only one surprise: it does actually call for a two-state solution, of sorts. Jus…

If you look carefully and objectively at the world today, you may be able to perceive we are approaching a crossroad. Some will even say we are already in it. And just what is that? The people of this nation and the world are faced at this moment with a decision on what they want for the fut…

As the 18-year majority owner of Sugarbush Ski Resort and now its current president, as well as the incoming board chair for The Nature Conservancy in Vermont, I had the opportunity to testify before the House Energy and Technology Committee regarding the impact of climate change in our stat…

Politicians historically do not like answering questions from the press, which, of course, is a necessity — or was until recently — if for no other reason than to provide a mechanism preventing those politicians from suggesting unchallenged, whatever they want. Concerns are more than valid, …

In the 1980s, after a decade of working in Vermont on planning and development issues, I became concerned that not enough was being done to revitalize our villages and town centers or to prevent the proliferation of unplanned development out into the countryside. I had witnessed a new era of…

A front-page article this week had the American Lung Association giving Vermont a failing grade on tobacco control and prevention funding.

Over the past 50 years, I have seen a lot of bills introduced into the Vermont Legislature. Of all the bills over all those years, the absolute worst was just introduced in the House, with 87 co-sponsors (all Democratic and progressive). It’s titled the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA, H.688).

I didn’t know I was lost until I wasn’t. Exiting the woods only about 100 feet from where I entered undeniably meant I was trudging in the precise opposite direction than I thought and the mysterious snowshoe trail I’d crossed 10 minutes earlier was my own. This particular stand of woods is …

We’re at a pivotal point in Vermont on paid family leave. We have a bill that has passed both chambers of the Legislature and today it is sitting on Governor Scott’s desk. As we wait to see what the governor will do, it’s time to really reflect what this bill will accomplish, and what our fu…

Nearly four years after then-presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would eliminate the federal debt in eight years, the deficit has risen by more than 16% under his presidency.

One might think the Crusades were a thing of the distant past, over and done with and good riddance. But one would be wrong to think that. As President Trump’s recent assassination of Iran’s General Soleimani demonstrates, Western Christian intervention and bloodshed in the Middle East conti…

Here we are, in 2020, locked into the certain and dreadful consequences of too much heat capturing carbon in our atmosphere. This excess carbon is bringing us huge economic and social upheaval, human and wildlife suffering and death, from mammoth fires in Australia and California to biblical…

Let’s get one simple premise out there to put the Republican defense of Donald J. Trump’s impeachment in perspective: In order to continue their full-throated fortification of the White House, the GOP must believe — or at least pretend to believe — the president was interested in fighting co…

The word equity gets thrown around a lot these days, but what does it really mean, when it comes to policy-making? At Voices for Vermont’s Children, we’ve learned through experience that equity means taking action. It means understanding the larger structural forces that shape people’s well-…

Justice, or some purported version thereof, is said to be underway in Washington, D.C., in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. In an absolute form, justice does not actually exist. The mechanisms designed to achieve it are in the hands of advocates, in conflict with each other and referee…

Humanity, at its present state of evolution, comprises a mass of atavistic impulses covered by a thin veneer of what is called civilization, and more or less protected from itself, during its worst moments, by laws and regulations promulgated by itself during its best moments. The republic w…

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.

In a recent oped in this publication, Vermont AFL-CIO President David Van Deusen argued against climate policies that hurt workers. Case in point is the proposed Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) supported by Vermont Climate Solutions Caucus. TCI is a carbon cap-and-trade system that d…

Do you remember the recent hurricane which decimated 1,000 square miles of New England forest and destroyed most of Vermont’s sugar maples? Or the recent wild fires that destroyed nine towns in the state of Maine and scorched more than 200,000 acres? Or the Great New England drought — the wo…

Two facts about Vermont’s criminal justice system were made clear in the final weeks of 2019. First, our state’s justice system is far more dysfunctional, violent and abusive than many Vermonters realized. And second, we have an opportunity, as well as a moral obligation, to subject far fewe…

As a small boy, I was surrounded by absolutism. In those days before television, I went twice a week to Bible school, where we scissored robed figures printed on paper backed with fuzz — worthies like Joseph in his coat of many colors, Noah and his pairs of animals (the Ark, too, come to thi…

Critics of liberals and progressives know they are fake branding both parties, yet they persist. It leaves you wondering whether they’re doing it for nefarious purposes.

Poor Elijah dragged me to the mall Saturday. His sister had mailed him a gift card for Christmas, and while his inclination was to bury it in his dresser drawer, he knew it was only a matter of time before she’d ask what he’d gotten himself. He knew instinctively “I don’t go to malls” wouldn…

A post-holiday stampede of GOATS has drawn our attention toward politics, arcane factoids and the National Football League, not necessarily in that order. The acronym for “Greatest of All Time” usually associated with athletes, GOAT has been applied to Serena Williams, LeBron James, Michael …

OK, it is time to resolve to step away from our consumer stupor and save the Earth. These Planet columns have been running for 12 years, and the year of reckoning has arrived. Think of this as the last decade to wake up and stop destroying our planet and our children’s future. Start by liste…

When it comes to green technology, Vermont has been and continues to be a national leader. Whether it’s the cutting-edge partnership between Tesla and Green Mountain Power to roll out Powerwall batteries across the state — ensuring resilient homes for Vermonters while helping offset the powe…

By the time this essay is published, the current confrontation with Iran may well have escalated even further. But as of this writing there is one troubling development among many that stands out: the report that hundreds of Iranian-Americans were detained, some for ten hours, at the United …

The Senate soon must perform one of its most solemn responsibilities: conducting the trial of an impeached president. When President Trump’s trial begins in the Senate, all 100 senators will consider the two articles of impeachment approved by the House of Representatives. One alleges that t…

Mitzi Johnson, meet Theodore Roosevelt. You two have something in common.

Mark Galli, the editor-in-chief of “Christianity Today,” penned a courageous piece titled “Trump Should be Removed from Office” in the Dec. 19 issue of his magazine. This must have caused an earthquake in the White House, since “Christianity Today” is America’s foremost evangelical Protestan…

When New York Yankees RHP Don Larsen — who passed away recently at age 90 — pitched the only perfect game in World Series history against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956, I was in elementary school and a huge fan. But our teachers, sadistic old nuns for whom baseball meant nothing, had pitched …

The turn of the new year always shines bright with new opportunities. It’s a chance to reflect on where we’ve been and look ahead to where we need to go. When it comes to climate action from this past year, I’m inspired by a young woman from Sweden, Greta Thunberg, and by the tremendous oppo…

After a decade of federal and state health-care reform efforts, each with its own catch phrase, acronyms and political perspective, there is one area of remarkable agreement. Any approach to increasing quality and decreasing cost is built on a strong foundation of primary care.