Believe it or not, we are only a handful of weeks away from needing to be thinking about bird feeders. Vermonters seem to love watching birds; many homes are stocked with various incarnations of “Peterson’s Field Guide to Birds of North America.”

Putting aside our differences in politics, we’ve all come to count on our first responders and the services they provide as a “given.” We know that if, in that dreaded circumstance, we have to call 911 for an emergency, we’ll have a reassuring voice on the other line, ready to send help. But…

In order for a legislator to be effective, they are obligated to first, be loyal to House leadership and their party; second, to their committees; and third, to their constituents. Here, I intend to explain why loyalty to committees is so important in the hierarchy of loyalty.

Can we learn permanent lessons about resilience, grace, courage, love and community from our experiences of those responses at the outset of a tragedy? Can we incorporate them into our lives, so that they change us and our communities for the better, not for the moment but, possibly, forever…

Sept. 20-27 has been dubbed by several activist, special interest and lobbyist organizations as a “Global Climate Strike and Week of Action.” The idea is to convince a bunch of people to walk off their jobs, block traffic, picket offices and businesses, and generally disrupt the rest of the …

Even if you’ve never had an “Oh, My God!” Donald Trump moment before; even if you’ve risen to his defense multiple times when the “fake news” has depicted him as unbalanced, untruthful or unaffected by reality; and even if — no matter the circumstances — you’re planning on voting for him aga…

Wildlife and habitat in jeopardy? If you don’t approve of hunting or trapping, for some reason, please take a second to read this letter. I would like to offer a couple of facts about hunting and trapping that you may not know. I don’t expect to change your mind, but would like you to keep a…

Recent citations issued by local law enforcement agencies, as well as the Vermont State Police, would suggest that drivers around Vermont are ignoring the law that states they should not be operating a vehicle and texting or using a phone.

As the Vermont summer tips toward fall and hints of color and chill seep into our days, I am reminded of what drove me deep into the outdoors six years ago in pursuit of the whitetail deer — curiosity.

There is absolutely no way to explain much of what President Trump does nationally or internationally, largely because he changes his mind so often on so many things. What can be said is that his actions are almost invariably consistent with the goals of Russia. Equally, up until this moment…

One of the most popular myths surrounding Vermont politics is that our tax policies push wealthy taxpayers out of state. Contrary to the rhetoric, we now know the opposite is true.

Poor Elijah took the standard how-to-teach classes in college, but he spent the better part of the next two decades building houses and unloading trucks. When he finally landed in a classroom, it didn’t take him long to notice the cutting-edge bold reforms debuting in his 1990s teacher in-se…

The water feels cold enough to endanger me, like it could abruptly gum up my vital organs, cryogenically preserving me for future generations to enjoy. That it’s only up to my ankles at this point feels like something I should mention. Just back after a couple of weeks out west (temps in the…

On Sept. 3, the well-known televangelist Rick Joyner appeared on the Jim Bakker Show and made a frightening and treasonous statement. Even though televangelist Jim Bakker is a convicted fraudster who has spent time in prison, his show today is broadcast on over a dozen Christian TV networks …

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Get ready for the Global Climate Strike. This will occur in Vermont, and around the world, on Sept. 20 and continue with “actions” throughout the ensuing week to publicize a frightening “climate emergency.”

Iconic MAD Magazine kid mascot, Alfred E. Neuman, posited: “What, me worry?’

Another series of mass shootings — this time in Dayton, El Paso, Mobile and Odessa — ushered in the expected “thoughts and prayers” from elected officials across the nation. Forty people were killed and 73 more were injured over the span of just a few weeks in those four shootings alone. The…

Many were quite surprised to read in the op-ed by the first-term Progressive representative in Windsor County last week that even the Progressive/Democrat alliance in Montpelier is beginning to show signs of strain and fracture. Democratic leadership, in the House specifically and in the Sen…

Water is everything to our planet. Last week, Greta Thunberg arrived in New York after crossing the Atlantic in 15 days on a racing yacht. She will be in the United States for the global strike for the climate system, Sept. 20-27, and she will speak to the United Nations on Sept. 23.

On a Thursday in late November 1970, the Spaulding High School marching band disembarked its bus. The afternoon sun threw long shadows on the road as the Barre-based band walked the freshly painted highway just outside of Montpelier. Over marching band uniforms, students wore plastic bags to…

Vermont is facing a climate crisis that will severely disrupt the crucial operations of our cities and countryside long before the state’s goal of limiting greenhouse gases by 2050.

We are hopeful that a judge’s decision this week in Oklahoma is the first legal clamp to have a notable impact on the opioid crisis, which has become a national plague.

The time has come to rethink how the police operate in Vermont. We have now experienced several deaths at the hands of well-meaning police officers. One took place in the front yard of Montpelier High School in full view of the public.

This year, legislators and Gov. Phil Scott crafted a budget that is quite reasonable in the aggregate. New taxes and fees are fairly limited; important investments are made in a number of areas (from clean water to broadband deployment); and the budget growth rate is just 2.6%.

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England was recently forced out of Title X, the nation’s decades-old program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. PPNNE has been a part of the program since it was created nearly 50 years ago, and was the sole health-care provider to t…

As you shop for back-to-school supplies for your kids or food for the Labor Day cookout, consider this: The clerks, shelf stockers, truck drivers and factory workers who make that possible can all be legally forced to pay money to a union or else be fired.

Humans cherish our seasonal grievances. In the winter, we enthusiastically complain about the cold. It’s what we do. In the spring, it’s the wet. In the fall, it’s the pumpkin spice. But in the summer, it’s the heat. Your Aunt Catherine may have said, “Its not the heat, it’s the humidity.” B…

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) foresaw the future and it wasn’t pretty. We are literally, today in the United States, living in a country whose president is, in many ways, a perfect example of Nietzsche’s infamous Ubermensch, which is usually translated into English as the Superman — an unf…

At the risk of paraphrasing both Oprah Winfrey and Donald Rumsfeld, I begin with an admission my detractors will love, largely because — like me — they not only might not know much about much and, more importantly, might not know what they don’t know. I, for instance, think I know what I kno…

There is nothing better than jumping in a cool lake on a hot summer day. For most of us living in Vermont, even with temperatures reaching into the 90’s, we can find ways to keep cool. But for most of the United States and countries around the world, the fact that July 2019 was the hottest m…

I attended the Aug. 5 Rutland City Board of Aldermen meeting. I appreciated the newspaper coverage of the “Across the Fence” portion of that meeting which focused on the issue of racism in this area. I thank Kate Barcellos for a good article; however, I would like to note one line in the pie…

Congress is finally taking steps to end surprise medical billing, a longstanding issue that, for years, has caused needless stress and financial woes for Vermont patients, as well as patients across the country.

This is the time of the gun, a sickness in our country that is taking the lives of the innocent. It is also a time of reckoning for gun owners.

This past spring, the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce surveyed 500 young professionals, primarily Burlington area residents between the ages of 22 and 34, and learned that over 40 percent intend to leave Vermont. Now, we can put some faces on those statistics. Taylor Dobbs, 29, a prominen…

The report released this week by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington names 40 priests accused of sexually abusing children in Vermont since 1950. Many of them were long-serving and notable within their communities.

What we are seeing is revisionist history. It is deeply disturbing when people in power do and say what they please, and then either deny it was stated, or the facts — many of them historical — are marginalized or twisted to benefit the speaker.

Last week when the president made his trip to Dayton, Ohio, in the wake of the mass shooting there, he was met by chanting protesters. Their demands he “Do Something” are a cry for real change, for concrete steps to stop the killing, beyond sending thoughts and prayers.

Most of us grew up associating special events with patron characters — Christmas and Santa Claus — loose change under our pillows and the Tooth Fairy, or a dysfunctional Senate and Mitch McConnell. The new school term belongs to public education’s patron, the Emperor.

The NRA is half right about one thing. Guns don’t kill people. But the NRA leaves out the second half of the truism, which is: Young men with guns kill people. The brute fact is that 99% of the mass shootings in the United States are perpetrated by young men. Yes, we have a gun problem, and …

Change, it has been said, is the only constant. Certainly, it’s been around since before one-celled organisms began the long process whose current results we see all around us. I use “current” because we humanoids — let alone giraffes, salmon and poison ivy — are hardly the culmination of th…

In the wake of horrendous mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, leading political figures are once again demanding sweeping measures of gun control.