Ideas for the Future of Vermont is a collaboration between the nonpartisan Vermont Council on Rural Development, The Times Argus/Rutland Herald and GNAT -TV and the Vermont Access Network. It is an opportunity for Vermonters to learn, discuss and provide feedback on 10 proposition statements that look toward the state's future and long-term viability. Your feedback – in letters to the editor and by taking the survey – is critical to the success of this ongoing process. We hope you see its value and learn from your neighbors as these discussions unfold over the next 11 weeks.

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I completely agree with what Maura Collins stated in Proposition 4: Vermont must reduce economic disparity, advance economic opportunity and rebuild the middle class. I would only add that from my experience great economic disparities heighten divisions in communities and make difficult for …

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For a lot of us, the connections between a warming world and our local economy are becoming more and more disturbingly apparent. I hear the sap runs were so low that many maple syrup makers needed 90 gallons of sap to sugar out one gallon of syrup this year. Those climate changed summer days…

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The last year has shone a spotlight on the innumerable difficulties the globalized economy has created in all aspects of our community, and we have seen amazing local solutions in response to those challenges. When our supermarkets’ supply chain was disrupted and shelves were empty, it was l…

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In this most unusual year, we could finally see how “short” we are on broadband. Perhaps you were one of the 22 million Americans over 70 who didn’t have an internet account to get a vaccine appointment. You may have seen the cars pulled up around the town clerk’s office or the library. Look…

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Most of us are thinking ahead to gardens, lawns, and spring and summer projects. It’s like that every winter, but this winter felt more acute with the pandemic outside the door, adding to the chill in the air.