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When we talk about a return to normal, it’s more than not having to wear masks, and washing our hands, it’s a general reference to the economy and how each of us can return to our old jobs, how we put back into place all the pieces of our lives the pandemic disrupted. That move to normalcy m…

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In Vermont’s political history, strong women have been behind powerful reforms related to health care, the environment, education, and reproductive rights. In the 2020 U.S. presidential primary, just by talking about child care, paid leave, and wage gaps, women candidates forced their male c…

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What the pandemic has done for Vermont is to strip bare the pretense that we can remain complacent, that we can defer responsibility, and that we can do things by our lonesome. We cannot. The challenges ahead will require bold leadership, a commitment to progress, regardless of the difficult…

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Mental health care data collected by the state shows the number of people in crisis has roughly doubled compared to last year’s reported numbers, according to a Vermont Public Radio story this week.

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No matter the ball of mud Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman chooses to hurl Gov. Phil Scott’s way, nothing sticks. Obviously exasperated, he’s trying to hit the governor where he is strongest, which is in his handling of the pandemic. Using President Trump’s experience with the virus as an example, M…

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It’s been well-documented that Covid-19 has rewired the consumer’s demand for more organic and locally produced food, something that has played to the favor of Vermont and its thousand or so farmers who sell vegetables, berries, seeds, etc. Demand is through the roof, which is strengthening …

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Schools in Vermont have been open for a month, with most schools offering a combination of remote and in-person learning. Thus far, it’s been a remarkable success. In most communities there have been no Covid-19 cases to report and schools are gradually adding more days to in-person instruction.

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The next presidential debate is to be in Miami, a week from today, which raises the obvious two questions; will the debate rules be changed, and will the debate happen at all if the president remains infected with the coronavirus.

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Jerome H. Powell Tuesday told the nation’s policymakers they would need to spend some more money if they had any hope of avoiding a weak recovery and inflicting untold pain on millions of American households. What stuns is that the policymakers had to be told.

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The idea of a wealth tax pops in and out of Vermont’s political conversation with the same dependability that we see with the change of seasons. It springs forth and then goes moribund when the leaves fall and the idea is stripped bare.

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As Americans, regardless of our differences, our wishes for the good health of the president and his wife are without question. It’s a moral imperative that serves as our undergirding as human beings. To argue otherwise is lose the battle before it is fought.

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Whatever the policy differences between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden they pale in comparison to the fear that comes with Mr. Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. It puts the nation’s need for social stability in jeopardy. It threatens our d…

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Northwestern Medical Center this year asked the Green Mountain Care Board for just shy of a 20 percent increase for its next year’s budget. Last week the board granted the hospital a 13 percent increase, 10 percent for a commercial rate increase and three percent to account for the impact of…

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On November 1, 2020, just as the clock is about to strike two in the morning, a thief in the night has been ordered to strike, pushing the small hand of the clock back an hour, robbing us of an hour of sunlight each afternoon until March, the four long months our Covid-19 world needs it most.

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We had hoped for better. We had hoped the lieutenant governor campaign between Republican Scott Milne and Democrat Molly Gray would be civil, thoughtful and focused on the issues important to Vermonters. We had hoped we would not see the hypocrisy here that we are being exposed to nationally.

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We keep trying to square the circle with Donald Trump. We keep trying to make him something he is not. We keep pretending he could not be as bad as he sounds. [How could he be?] But when he said Wednesday he would not commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the November election, that i…

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It’s an ancient understanding that someone who preaches doom will, eventually, be proven correct if the sermon is consistently repeated. Thus, it was thought to be safe prediction that when Vermont’s schools opened to in-class instruction that the coronavirus would explode with a vengeance. …

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The reason Vermont has done so well in managing Covid-19 is that we have paid attention to the science and the data behind the pandemic and we have not wavered from the restrictions necessary to keep its deathly reach at bay. Vermonters’ health was put first, a credit to Gov. Phil Scott’s ch…

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The Vermont House last Thursday overrode Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of H.688, the Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act. The Senate will follow suit this week. Anyone who expected a different outcome has not been paying attention to the issue, or acknowledging the public’s growing support for act…

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Americans habitually believe all problems can be solved by money and technology, which largely explains why the nation’s migration patterns for the last 50 years have been west and south, toward sunshine and coastlines, despite the warnings, past and present.

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New York City witnessed a 166 percent increase in the number of shootings in August. The number of murders jumped 47 percent in the same month. Not surprisingly, NYC Mayor Bill Blasio last week received a letter from 160 of the city’s business leaders telling him to make the city safe again …

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In a speech before the St. Albans City Council Monday night St. Albans Town Selectboard chairman Brendan Deso called for unity between the two communities asking “…will we ever realize our potential as a county if we never abandon the psychological mindset of ‘us vs them’ when it comes to ho…

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As the nation continues to see the fires rage on the west coast and hurricanes storm through the Gulf, the political campaign trail is warming up to more aggressive climate change proposals. On Monday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called President Trump a “climate arsonist” conn…

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Is it just us, or does Vermont seem particularly safe at the moment? And, dare we say, almost attractive, like a place normal people would like to consider as a place to work and play?

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When the general election votes are tallied on November 3, the year 2020 will be recognized as the baby boomers’ last hurrah. For the first time in roughly 30 years, voting will be dominated by those under the age of 40. It will be the millennials and the Gen-Z-ers who tip the voting scales,…

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It was announced Tuesday that Vermont Public Radio and Vermont PBS would combine operations effective mid-2021, an encouraging message for any Vermonter interested in a stronger statewide news and public affairs service.

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Today, Vermont’s schools are open to its students for the first time since March. The schedules vary from school to school, with most offering two days in class and three remote. The objective is to provide for the best education in the safest environment possible; the common denominator hop…

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A 94-page report was released this week that examined the various costs required for the Vermont Legislature to resume its work in January, adjusted for COVID-19. A decision is in the offing since it will take some time to make the arrangements, or to do the necessary construction before the…

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Vermont’s Attorney General T.J. Donovan is taking a little heat for his failure to to sign a letter pledging to no longer accept campaign contributions or political endorsements from the state’s police unions.

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When the fall hits, it’s expected the nation will experience a “robust” flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. The anticipated flu viruses are separate from COVID-19, but they share many of the same symptoms. The worry is that a heavy flu season, combi…

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Vermont ranks first in the Northeast in terms of the number of skier days and third nationally. A good snow year will draw in excess of four million skier visits to Vermont, and generate north of $600 million in revenue. It’s also an industry whose clientele is split into two categories; fir…

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Vermont’s legislators are back in Montpelier to finish what COVID-19 interrupted this spring, which is an end to the session, and putting together a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year. It’s being done under the glare of the Nov. 3 general election, making many of the decisions more …

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University of Vermont students on Tuesday began their measured return to campus with more on their shoulders than the rigors of the classroom. They are being asked to do the right thing, to be responsible, to be safe so that their in-class learning can proceed and the university can resume a…

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Sometimes you have to back your way into a discussion before the answer becomes obvious and no longer debatable.

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Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates regrets he did not press harder to convince the powers that be of the inevitable consequences of a pandemic. It was 2015, and his message went unheard. If only we knew then what we know now.

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It seems an age ago that the Vermont Legislature was in the throes of the debate to establish a tax and regulate system for the sale of marijuana. Two years ago, Vermont legalized the possession and personal use of small amounts of pot, but setting up a commercial marketplace has been more d…

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It’s a story that never should have been, but one that may prove telling. President Trump made it clear recently that mail-in ballots are tantamount to fraud and that he would starve the U.S. Postal Service of the money it needed to operate. No money, no service; no service, no mail-in ballo…

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As Vermont’s students prepare to go back to school a limited number of days each week, the question looms; how do parents balance the need to return to work with the need to keep track of their children and their school work? How do parents make it work when child care options don’t exist, o…

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Your health insurance premiums just got a little pricier. The Green Mountain Care Board [GMCB] Friday announced the rates for Blue Cross Blue Shield will go up 4.2 percent and MVP will be allowed to charge 2.7 percent more. The cost increase was granted by the GMCB despite the fact the insur…

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This month Vermont legislators are scheduled to convene to finish their work on next year’s Covid-damaged budget. It’s a task without a playbook. More like the wartime pilot bringing in the damaged plane on a ‘wing and a prayer.’

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Political newcomer Molly Gray did the unthinkable Tuesday when she dominated the Democratic field to win the party’s nomination for lieutenant governor. She had zero name recognition. In her mid-30s. No political experience. The favorite was Tim Ashe, Senate pro temp, whose 12 years in the S…

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Mathematicians have figured out that the odds of your airplane flight ending up in a deadly crash are one in 34 million, which is why each year tens of millions of people elect to huddle together on these flying tin cans and traverse the world. The risk-benefit ratio is understood and people…

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Burlington’s Mayor Miro Weinberger can be excused for questioning the thoroughness of the University of Vermont’s plans to guard against a Covid-19 outbreak when the school’s 12,000 students return to school this month.

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For a nation into whose economic engine a wheelbarrow of sand was dumped and even now continues to sputter, it’s hard to think of things that are working well, particularly things central to the way we function as a democracy.

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When Northwestern Medical Center makes the case for its budget before the Green Mountain Care Board [GMCB] on August 28th, included will be a primer on NMC’s cost of participating in OneCare Vermont and GMCB’s key role in addressing the future of the state’s all-payer model.

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On the morning of Friday, Aug. 28, the Green Mountain Care Board [GMCB] will listen to the leadership of Northwestern Medical Center defend its request for a 19.9 percent rate increase. How the board responds could be an inflection point for NMC and its future as Franklin County’s community …

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When 83 percent of Vermonters give a thumbs up to anything it’s almost a certainty the subject involved is something akin to motherhood and apple pie, or, in Vermont’s case, maple syrup, cheddar cheese or Ben & Jerry’s.

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Educators must feel a bit like Atlas, the Greek god condemned to stand on the western horizon and hold up the sky on his shoulders. He was barren of company and the weight upon his shoulders caused his knees to buckle and arms to tremble. It was a heavy, lonely lift.

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The coronavirus has upended the way we learn about candidates running for office. We’re limited in being able to talk to them directly. There are no crowds, which subtract from the energy. Most Vermonters are singularly focused on surviving; parsing through a candidate’s positions takes a se…