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Opinion: DCF thankful for foster families

Posted on May 19, 2016 |
By Andrea Grimm



May is Foster Care Month, a time to celebrate the hundreds of foster and kinship foster families in Vermont who provide safe, nurturing homes for children while they can’t be at home. It is with deep appreciation that the Family Services Division of the Department for Children and Families thanks them for their generosity, caring and willingness to “answer the call,” no matter when it comes.

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Opinion: College firings in 1991 likened to recent Porter actions

Posted on May 19, 2016 |
By Michael and Judy Olinick



It seems wrong to let this May go by without noting the 25th anniversary of the Middlebury College firings of 1991.

A quarter-century has passed since the lovely spring morning when 17unsuspecting staff members were physically removed from their offices in corporate-execution style — without warning and without even being allowed to retrieve their personal belongings — and told that their jobs were gone. Most were women and over age 50. Some had been working at the college more than 30 years.

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Editorial: Voters' job is to demand specificity from candidates

Posted on May 16, 2016 |
By Angelo Lynn



As Vermonters begin to parse the statements of the various candidates for statewide office, voters should sharpen their own pencils — and talking points — so they are ready to challenge statements that are overly vague or the equivalent of the political sidestep. That’s particularly true of gubernatorial candidates and their proposals to grow Vermont’s economy.

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Opinion: Corporatization of town property raises questions

Posted on May 16, 2016 |
By Paul Ralston



On my morning walk through Middlebury today, I saw a disturbing sight. The large granite blocks outside the new town office building now sport corporate advertising. I knew the selectboard was considering this approach to fundraising, because my company had been solicited for funds.

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Community forum: Lawmakers on Judiciary Committee have not been idle

Posted on May 16, 2016 |
By Willem Jewett



This week’s writers are Rep. Maxine Grad, D-Moretown, and Rep. Willem Jewett, D-Ripton, chair and vice chair, respectively, of the House Judiciary Committee.

It may be accurate to observe that Gov. Shumlin’s accomplishments during his final legislative session have been modest but it goes a bit too far to cast off the work of the General Assembly as “an uninspired, housekeeping session that was remarkable for how few initiatives lawmakers tackled” (VTDigger, May 7, 2016).

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Opinion: Afterschool programs seen as vital

Posted on May 16, 2016 |
By Tierney O'Meara



Every day in Vermont, over 21,000 children are left alone to care for themselves between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. The statewide shortage of high-quality afterschool and summer programs is a significant challenge for many working families.

A 2014 nationwide report ranked Vermont as fourth in the nation for after-school programming. Yet, this report also revealed that there are more than 22,000 Vermont K-12 students who would participate in an afterschool program today, if they had access to one.

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Nuovo on Lucretius: The plague of the heart

Posted on May 12, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



Editor’s note: This is the 12th in a series of essays on Lucretius, an early philosopher who provides a link to “lost classics” through his epic poem “On the Nature of Things.”

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Clippings: Dandelions welcome at my dinner table

Posted on May 12, 2016 |
By John McCright



McClippings dandelion_4691.JPG

As the last snowfall of the winter of 2015-2016 recedes into memory, it feels like spring has truly arrived. Even before that last snow — gosh, only a little more than two weeks ago — me and my family were getting the lawn cleared of its winter debris and I even puttered around in the garden the weekend before that snow. I got my peas in the ground then.

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Eric Davis: Trump poses problem for Vt. GOP

Posted on May 12, 2016 |
By Eric Davis



Donald Trump’s clinching the Republican presidential nomination will pose challenges for Vermont Republicans. In order to win statewide races, GOP candidates need the votes of independents, who disapprove of Trump by large margins.

Trump did win the Vermont Republican primary in March, with 33 percent of the vote. However, he received only 10 percent of all votes cast on Town Meeting Day. In November, Trump could well receive less than 40 percent of the Vermont presidential vote.

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Ways of Seeing: Where do memories live?

Posted on May 12, 2016 |
By Kate Gridley



Ways of Seeing Kater Gridley.jpg

When we moved a few months ago, downsizing from a large Victorian house that we will hold in our memories as the home where we raised our sons, the act of taking the house apart brought — to my surprise — an image of my father’s brain to mind.

My father died at the age of 86 from causes related to a disintegrating brain. We thought of it simply as dementia, but there was much more going on.

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