Bill Schubart

A few years back, I remember attending an author event at Bixby Library in Vergennes. It was after hours and the library was closed except to guests. As I entered, I passed a cluster of young kids dressed against the cold huddling on the granite steps in front of the library. I inquired of my host why they were there. “We leave our WiFi on for them,” he responded. “They don’t have it at school and come here to use ours.” Today, the pandemic is exposing Vermont’s endemic problems, accelerating some into full-blown crises, the latest of which is the state and federal failure to meet the...
This week’s writer is author and commentator Bill Schubart. In the Morrisville of the 1950s where I grew up, we had limited but vibrant media access. Clyde Limoge’s News and Citizen came into our home weekly, purveying all the local joys and tragedies, police blotter, library events, home-team wins and losses, civic meetings, crop reports, and our neighbors’ births, graduations, retirements, and obituaries. Enriched by a network of “correspondents” from Elmore, Centerville, Wolcott, Hardwick, Eden Mills, Hyde Park, and Mud City, the News and Citizen brought us news from surrounding...
As a grateful user of Vermont’s health care system (UVM hip replacement last year), an observer of its growth (the house I grew up in in Morrisville was next to a pasture in which the current Copley Hospital was built in 1958), and a participant in its growth (I chaired Fletcher Allen in 2003), I value and care deeply about health care in Vermont. And, full disclosure, I’m an advocate for universal health care coverage and hope to see it in my lifetime. Having said all this, it may come as a surprise that I believe we need fewer hospitals in Vermont. Our human services institutions should be...
The Vermont State Auditor’s recent report entitled “Structural Weaknesses and Questionable Gains by Vermont’s Remote Worker Grant Program” not only raises questions about the design and efficacy of the executive and legislative effort to attract telecommuting employees to Vermont, but suggests the execution was slapdash. The $500,000 legislative commitment was designed to encourage currently employed remote workers in other states to consider moving to Vermont in exchange for reimbursement of their moving costs and any additional investment in technology or connectivity that would enable them...

MIDDLEBURY — Bill Schubart, author, journalist, and VPR commentator, is the keynote speaker for the Annual Dinner and Meeting of the Henry Sheldon Museum on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Schubart will present a talk entitled “The Role of Nonprofit Cultural Organizations in Vermont.” Schubart has lived with his family in Vermont since 1947 and resides today in Hinesburg with his wife Kate. He writes about Vermont in fiction, humor and opinion pieces. Bill invites everyone to discover Vermont through books.  Known by many as a VPR commentator, he has also served on numerous nonprofit boards supporting the...
In a recent conversation with Governor Scott, one of his principle economic concerns was the gap between job openings and applicants. With Vermont’s population either slightly shrinking or growing, depending on the most recent data, it’s fair to say our population growth is essentially stagnant. Of greater concern is that it’s ageing at a rapid rate. The average Vermonter is 43. Only Maine and New Hampshire are older. Nineteen percent of Vermonters are over 65 and when we hit 20 percent Vermont meets the World Bank’s definition of “super-aged.” In spite of the growth of automation, at this...
I recently attended a quiet conference that brought together leaders and innovators in the arts, humanities and public broadcasting. We met for two days to explore how the arts and humanities, writ large, contribute to articulating and solving some of society’s most intractable problems. The program opened with a heads-up ceremony by Vera Sheehan of Abenaki Arts acknowledging and honoring the land and its earliest inhabitants. It was a wonderful reminder that we white Vermonters are not the beginning of civilization. The program looked at major challenges Vermont faces, such as health care,...

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Addison County Independent

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