OPINION: U-32 Budget Up Slightly, Staff Reductions Planned

by Kari Bradley, vice-chair of the board The challenge of operating schools these days is encapsulated in the budgeting process. In these times of declining enrollment, rising property taxes and an ever-expanding list of expectations for our schools, achieving the proper balance between our educational responsibility to our students and our fiscal responsibility to our […]

OPINION: Why We Should Fix the Medicaid Cost Shift

by Gov. Peter Shumlin It wouldn’t make much sense if you were charged $1.40 for a cup of coffee only to find the person in line behind you was charged 60 cents for the same order. Yet that’s how medical services are paid for in Vermont and around the country. It’s not only nonsensical; it’s […]

OPINION: Introducing Hempfully Green Sanctuaries

by Emily Peyton, gubernatorial candidate 2014 There is a team of local and national professionals working on a vision that is very exciting for Vermont. Hempfully Green campus sanctuaries are places designed to attract new young adults to the state and to offer a means of land security and increased food independence for host communities. […]

OPINION: Montpelier Senior Activity Center Serves All Seniors

by Janna Clar, director, MSAC Montpelier Senior Activity Center serves over 1,000 central Vermont seniors annually. Many people are aware of our fee-based classes and activities that require membership, but we also offer groups, meals, presentations and activities open to all seniors at no cost, regardless of membership. In fact, on average, we have over […]

OPINION: Housing is Fundamental to Affordability

by Jennifer Hollar, deputy commissioner of housing and community development and chair of the Vermont Housing Council As too many Vermonters struggle to make ends meet, affordability has rightly taken its place at the center of public debate. Often missing from the discussion, however, has been the cost of housing. If we are to succeed […]

OPINION: Working Together to Clean Up Vermont’s Waters

by Deb Markowitz, secretary, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources This past month, Gov. Peter Shumlin opened the legislative session with an unprecedented focus on the environment. Understanding that global climate change threatens our way of life, the governor announced new initiatives aimed at continuing to expand our renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors; creating jobs, […]

Class Sizes at Montpelier High School

by Ben Huffman Many classes at Montpelier High School are smaller than the school’s own class size policy guidelines. The school offers classes in a broad range of subjects. But declining student numbers have made compliance with the school’s class size policy impossible in many of these classes. And since teachers and other staff are […]

OPINION: Vermont Human Rights Council Calls for an Equitable Budget

Organizations affiliated with the Vermont Human Rights Council, a coalition of disability rights, climate justice, and workers’ rights organizations, released the following statement in response to Governor Shumlin’s budget address: “The purpose of our state budget is to address the fundamental needs of all residents, and to advance dignity and equity. These are common-sense goals […]

OPINION: Racial Tension is Not Disappearing Into the Past

by Baron Wormser In late 2013 my novel about race in Baltimore, Maryland, circa 1962-63 was published. I worked on “Teach Us That Peace” for five years. I wrote the book for a fairly simple reason: If you grow up somewhere in this country where race is an active, day-to-day issue and you are a […]

OPINION: Fairpoint Fails: No Phone at Home for Weeks

by Mason Singer I lost FairPoint Communications administered phone service on Dec. 16 and have had no phone at my home since then — more than three weeks and counting. It appears that I am far from alone and that a significant but unknown number of others have the same trouble. Calling FairPoint’s repair line elicits […]