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.

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.

Vermonters recognize that one of our most important public responsibilities is the education of our children. Not only is it a moral and legal imperative, but it is also critical for the economic future of our state. Providing a high-quality education for Vermont children means that we must …

Social Security is committed to protecting your personal information. We urge you to always be cautious and to avoid providing sensitive information such as your Social Security number (SSN) or bank account information to unknown people over the phone or internet.

For decades, Big Pharma has raised drug prices with impunity. Here in Vermont the average annual cost of brand name prescription drug treatment increased 58% between 2012 and 2017, while the annual income for Vermonters increased only 11.5%. Prescription drugs don’t work if patients can’t af…

In 2008, PBS broadcast a four-part program on its long-running American Experience series titled, simply, FDR. It was a biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, from his birth in 1882, through his youth as the only child in a privileged family in Hyde Park, New York, his marriage – which beca…

Reckless inaction — and even backward movement — to tackle climate change at the federal level spurred states in our region to step up and show what success looks like. Such action is needed now more than ever. As a result of our forward progress, many in our region will breathe cleaner air …

We flipped the page on the calendar to August this week. That means school starts again in a month, and practice for fall sports will begin in just a matter or weeks.

Much of Vermont’s energy history is written in our rivers. During industrialization, we built dams to harness the strength of flowing water to supply mechanical power for sawmills and gristmills. In later years, we built dams to generate electricity.

No matter our differences, our abilities, whether we are white, black, brown, gay, straight, female, male, non-binary, Christian, non-Christian, Democrat or Republican, we share many values. We care about one another, respect one-another’s human dignity, and have a moral sense of right and w…

Last week, the Trump administration announced its latest attempt to take food away from over 3 million veterans, families and older Americans in need by forcing Vermont and 42 other states to change the way they have run the SNAP program (3SquaresVT in Vermont) for more than 20 years. “Broad…

You’ve got to hand it to Donald Trump. No matter which medium you choose — print, radio, television or social — the odds are overwhelming that the first thing you’ll hear or read when you turn to it is news or comment on the latest activity of his administration or the latest tweet from what…

Under a directive from the federal EPA, Vermont has spent $66 million over the past three years to cope with serious phosphorus pollution in parts of Lake Champlain. State Auditor of Accounts Doug Hoffer has just released a report on how that money is being spent, and the results obtained.

Donald Trump did his best to distract national focus from the impending damage of congressional testimony by Robert Mueller, who, when asked Wednesday if his report exonerated the president from obstruction of justice, answered an emphatic “No.” And distract he did, in a series of racially b…

As if we didn’t have enough to be worrying about these days, there are people in the medical and scientific communities who say the U.S. military created and spread Lyme disease.

One of the great joys of wandering through a Vermont forest is finding old trees. Ancient gnarled maples and oaks often mark the boundary of long-abandoned pastures and help tell the story of a landscape that has changed through the centuries. Known as “witness trees” for having stood the te…

I read Ms. Bucknam’s op-ed, "The emperor has no clothes," with frustrated dismay. Ms. Bucknam seems to be saying that: 1. Racism doesn’t exist in Vermont but was invented by “Vermont’s cultured class;” 2. Only the Vermont “elites” are guilty of systemic or institutionalized racism, with whic…

Few are known more for their strong work ethic, self-reliance and ingenuity than the American farmer, and, more specifically, the Vermont farmer. Apart from providing jobs within our community, the dairy farm landscape attracts many of our tourists and helps provide over one-third of our sta…

I was shocked to hear from Debra Bucknam on July 20 on your editorial pages, that the “Emperor has no clothes;” but it was even more shocking to learn from her commentary, that she was the one running around naked.

It is clear that there are powerful people in the United States and in Iran who would like to force a real confrontation between our two countries. What is completely unclear is whether or not those hawks on both sides want a modified Cold War-type confrontation built perhaps on cyberwarfare…

Many of us, no doubt, remember when we were little kids, monsters used to lurk under our beds. I was spared the worst of that, mainly because for most of my childhood, I knelt beside the bed with a parent and said my lights-out prayer, with nothing malignant snatching at my knees. But they’r…

A Washington Post investigation published this week points to the staggering extent the opioid epidemic has gripped our nation.

We had a very wet spring in Pittsford, with 7 inches of rain in May and 6 in June. The springs are still running and vegetation has grown fast after a late start. Our sugar snap peas reached a record 9 feet tall so, for harvesting, I need a small stepladder.

On July 10, Fitch, a major credit agency, reduced Vermont’s bond rating. This was expected, after Moody’s, another large credit agency, reduced Vermont’s bond rating in October 2018. Both rating agencies have the same concerns about Vermont and its economy. As a result, future state and muni…

In the Hans Christian Andersen tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” the emperor, and then his courtiers, were fooled by swindlers who claimed they could weave clothes for his majesty that only the best people could see. It was a clear-eyed peasant boy who finally told the truth: the emperor’s …

Poor Elijah was a Boy Scout. Over the course of three formative adolescent years, he tied knots, identified leaves and helped drag his patrol’s Klondike Derby sled over inconveniently un-Klondike patchy New Jersey snow. He also learned the Scout law, a list of 12 virtues that Scouts were sup…

In many churches around the world, last Sunday’s Bible text and its related sermon was the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-37). How appropriate for our time. The priest in my parish gave a wonderful homily that caused me to think about how so many of our social values and morals a…

As CEO of Vermont’s largest psychiatric facility, my day-to-day thoughts tend to center on the mental health and addiction issues that impact people in Vermont and neighboring states. Each year, thousands of adults, adolescents and children from across the region turn to the Brattleboro Retr…

The U.S. Department of Agriculture just recalled 62,000 pounds of beef due to an E. coli outbreak, creating a nightmare for big grocery chains nationwide.

There has been a lot of talk lately about whether we can agree to disagree.

The revelation last week that Vermont was named the third most patriotic state was startling, especially considering it has consistently been one of the least religious, in fact, quite frequently “the” least religious. Patriotism, religion — Christianity to be precise — and politics have bec…

My friend and colleague, Eric Zencey, died on the first day of July this year, 2019. I’ll miss his dry humor and his powerful mind. But most of all, I will miss engaging him on his visionary thinking about our finite planet. Eric and I wrote a book together on the environmental movement in V…

We read “Death of a Salesman” when we were juniors in high school. We took to reciting lines at each other, partly because we were juniors in high school prone to smirking at almost everything, but also because as callow as we were at sixteen, the play struck us somewhere in our souls. It ca…

After the tumult of the past legislative session, a newsworthy event occurred that got little press coverage: Gov. Phil Scott recently signed the FY 2020 state budget.

Last week, the Islamic Society of Vermont announced a campaign to buy and convert the former Mormon church building in South Burlington into a mosque. With considerable serendipity, the site happens to sit adjacent to the Temple Sinai Congregation. Although I’m not Muslim, I hope the campaig…