opinion


DR. JOHN R. BRUMSTEAD
03/23/2020
For nearly two months, teams across the UVM Health Network have been planning for our clinical and operational response to what is now designated as a pandemic by the World Health Organization and declared a State of Emergency in both Vermont and New York. It is essential that all of us now move with an abundance of caution and take important measures to slow and ultimately stop the spread of COVID-19. From across the globe, and now in the United States, we are seeing examples of how important it is to act responsibly and swiftly, and we must, too. As we focus on the health and safety of our...
03/19/2020
I look forward to hearing the sweet whistle of the White Throated Sparrow every spring, but am increasingly worried about losing their beautiful voices from Vermont. The White Throated Sparrow and many other forest birds like the Scarlet Tanager, Hermit Thrush and American Woodcock are at risk of leaving Vermont as a result of the combined impact of forest habitat loss and the excessive emissions of carbon dioxide associated with burning fossil fuels. We are lucky in Vermont to still have significant blocks of healthy forests. These forested lands are a vital contributor to Vermont’s economy...
03/16/2020
This week’s writer is Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos.  Trust in government is at an all-time low. As you can see playing out before our eyes in the news today, integrity is at a premium in times of crisis. Truth and transparency are necessary to effective leadership. In Vermont, we take great pride in having a government that is more accessible and more trusted than those in other states, but over the years I have seen Americans, including Vermonters, grow increasingly frustrated with those times when they feel like their government is not operating openly and transparently. Whether we...

JAN DEMERS
03/09/2020
Bill Cherry made an appointment to speak with Gillian Franks from CVOEO’s Financial Futures Program over a decade ago. He was out of work and brewing beer in his home. His meetings with Gillian were intensive at first and then intermittent over the years. S w i t c h b a c k Brewing was born and is now a multimillion-dollar enterprise that has recently become employee owned. In Bill’s words, “The Micro Business Development Program was the only third-party consultant needed to get the company started. And I would have never known Chittenden Bank had just released funds for a business loan...
03/05/2020
Listening to Gov. Phil Scott on Vermont Public Radio recently as he mounted objection after objection to proposals to combat climate change, I kept thinking, “He’s missing something!” For every proposed climate solution suggested to him by callers and the moderator, his answer was, “This will hurt rural and working Vermonters.” Of course, this would be a legitimate concern if it were true, but it isn’t.  What the governor is missing is that the current system is inequitable. Low-income and rural Vermonters already have much higher energy burdens than do their wealthier and more urban friends...
03/02/2020
If you look carefully and objectively at the world today, you may be able to perceive that we are approaching a crossroad: Do we want to continue our own fragile democracy as well as supporting other democratic movements abroad, or are we in the process of giving up on that and seeing the world sink into nationalism and populism?  Much is made of the post-World War II period and the Cold War, when the two main competing ideologies were democracy and communism. Some saw it as horribly dangerous, particularly as they watched the hostile, nuclear-armed competitors trying to manipulate...
02/10/2020
Recently VTDigger published a hit piece on the Autosaver Group, Abel Toll and his family.  We don’t suggest you read it because it’s the shoddiest excuse for “journalism” we’ve seen from Digger (an otherwise welcome, necessary, innovative and professional addition to the Vermont news-scape).  Managing Editor Colin Meyn’s name is on the piece. That makes sense since we’ve come to know him as “most likely to get VTDigger sued” for yellow journalism.  The piece is predicated on a “high” number of consumer complaints against the Autosaver Group. One glaring, immediate and unforgivable problem is...
01/30/2020
With the Legislature back in session and the governor putting the finishing touches on his budget proposal for the next fiscal year, it is a good time to remind ourselves why Vermonters deserve meaningful increases in funding for the Vermont State College System (VSCS).  The VSCS, which includes Castleton University, the Community College of Vermont, Northern Vermont University and Vermont Technical College, continues to be the in-state destination for two thirds of Vermonters attending college in Vermont, or over 9,500 students, with another 5,000 in continuing education programs.  However,...
01/27/2020
This month, Vermonters from all corners of the state returned to the Statehouse for the 2020 legislative session. The Speaker kicked off the first day with her vision to create an economy that works for everyone, not just a select few. Vermont faces its share of challenges and opportunities. We have a plan of action to give all Vermonters a fair shot and ensure a strong Vermont future.  During the 2019 Session, House Democrats led initiatives to move all 14 counties forward. We invested in childcare to strengthen our system and make it more affordable for working families. We worked to extend...
01/02/2020
Funding from OneCare Vermont — the organization leading the state’s “all payer” experiment in health-care reform — is keeping an innovative and proven system of support for vulnerable Vermonters called SASH (Support and Services at Home) operating in all corners of Vermont. Specifically, OneCare provides the funding for SASH care coordinators and wellness nurses, embedded in over 140 affordable-housing properties across the state, to serve low-income residents in subsidized housing as well as surrounding community members. In addition, OneCare is a strong collaborator with SASH in our work to...

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