Bill Schubart

Commentator

Bill Schubart lives and writes in Hinesburg. His latest book is Lila & Theron.

Stevanovicigor / iStock

Over the course of what’s now adding up to nearly a lifetime in Vermont, I’ve enjoyed being active in various cultural, civic and business organizations, including the ACLU. And at times, I’ve been called upon to advise state leaders from college presidents to corrections officials. So it’s from this perspective that I say with considerable confidence that it’s time to close the South Burlington Women’s facility, or CRCF.

Courtesy of UVM

Growing up in the fifties in Morrisville at People’s Academy, our spring event was 'Kake Walk' - a parody of a racist amusement staged by slaves for their owners. The owners, king and queen of Kake Walk, sat in large chairs and watched as slaves high-stepped towards them in pairs with their arms pitched up and back. The grand prize for the highest steppers was a kind of “plantation cake.” Hence the name Kake Walk for an event that persisted in Vermont in my childhood and at UVM until 1969.

A building on the Green Mountain College campus
Nina Keck / VPR

My private college tuition in 1968 was $2,800, 50 years later it’s $50,000. Meanwhile, state support for public colleges has diminished and educational value has changed both for better and for worse.

Lindsay_imagery

All of the plastic manufactured since Bakelite debuted during the Depression still litters the earth. The world is choking on an invention that’s barely a century old.

As one who’s never served in political office, I often remind myself how easy it is to opine with impunity about what’s right and wrong with our state and national governance systems – a reminder that opinion writing demands respect, objectivity, and a healthy dose of humility.

The House chamber of the Vermont Legislature
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

I’m grateful Vermonters are willing to serve their fellow citizens in our citizen legislature. But I hope they’ll serve both the special wants and needs of their constituents … and those of all Vermonters, whose needs sometimes differ. It’s important to foster the balance.

iStock/stevehullphotography

The nation was appalled by televised scenes on America’s southern border of ICE forcibly separating children from their parents after a Justice Department ruling that to do so was legal and would deter further migration. Americans reacted quickly and the separations ended after a few days, although some several hundred families still have yet to be reunited.

Kate Schubart

We just attended a family wedding in Atlanta. And it was the kind of rare family event that stays with one for a lifetime.

Schubart: Open World

Nov 6, 2018
Bill Schubart

Thanks to the VT Council on World Affairs and the Open World Leadership Program, we just hosted two young women who are journalists in Yaroslava, Russia. And I’m struck by how similar the challenges they face are to our own.

Angela Evancie / VPR File

The EB-5 scandal in the Northeast Kingdom has posed an interesting dilemma.

Medication-assisted treatment is one of the most effective ways to combat opioid addiction, but access to MAT in Vermont prisons can be limited.
Instants / iStock

In the criminal justice system, three groups have agency: the victim, the offender, and society at large. Our ability to balance these interests will determine the efficacy of our criminal justice system.

Bill Schubart

I’ve been trying to picture the Catholic Church - the Mother Church if you will – as a matriarchy instead of a patriarchy, in which the first pope had been Christ’s friend and apostle, Mary Magdalene, instead of Peter, the wayward apostle who thrice denied him.

Bill Schubart

I love working in the woods and I’ve come to know all the great trees on our land. They’re like friends – the surviving American elm that looks like a frozen geyser as it towers above the other trees, the dying butternuts in disarray, the wolf pines, the sturdy black cherries, and, of course, the centenarian sugar maples.

Schubart: Aretha

Aug 28, 2018
Bill Schubart

As a student fascinated with recording technology, I had the privilege of interviewing for a job at Columbia Records when I was in my mid-twenties. I was asked a lot of questions about production and then asked to critique a recent Columbia release from a technical and creative standpoint. The album was Aretha’s last album for Columbia.

Photograph by Todd R. Lockwood / Burlington City Arts

Efforts to defund the National Endowment of the Arts are a quadrennial budget issue here at home. And in many countries, artists, like journalists, are censored, jailed, or even assassinated.

Bill Schubart

My favorite way to recover after a hot afternoon’s hard work has always been to chug down a quart of ice cold water from a Mason jar and then jump into a clear mountain brook or a neighbor’s pond.

Neighbors in an upscale condo development were speculating about what the guy in the end-unit must do for a living to afford a sailboat, motorcycle, and camper. Curious, one strolled over and asked.

“Plumber,” came the answer.

I’ve finally reached that equilibrium we all seek between mind and body. And at my age, I’m proud to be both a Roads Scholar and a Gravel-road Slalom competitor, a sport to which most newcomers can only aspire – since the main qualification is to live year-round at the end of four miles of one of Vermont’s numerous dirt roads.

I grew up reading Vermont Life in the fifties and continued reading it until shortly after the turn of the century.

An epiphany is a spontaneous event that inexplicably alters one's life, amanifestation of some force in the universe greater than oneself.

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