Vermont Edition

The Vermont Constitution may be amended to clarify its ban on slavery.
Wikimedia Commons

It's often repeated that Vermont's was the first state constitution to outlaw slavery, but the language of the document may actually have some caveats. Sponsors of a constitutional amendment want to change the language to make the ban absolute. We're talking about the history and the proposal.

Anne Bemis of Burlington fondly remembers her 51 years of marriage to her late husband, Ed.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

Nothing says Valentine's Day like a wonderful love story. And Vermont Edition got to hear one from Burlington's Anne Bemis about how she met her late husband, Ed. It was a chance meeting that resulted in 51 mostly happy years of marriage.

Former Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets Roger Albee chronicles the national and local history around the founding of two dairy co-ops back in 1919. The co-ops are now celebrating their 100th anniversary.
Ric Cengeri / VPR file

Statistics surrounding Vermont's dairy industry over the last decade have been bleak: falling milk prices have shuttered many small dairy farms, which have dwindled from 27,000 farms a century ago to about 700 dairies today.

But there is some celebrating going on in 2019, as both the Cabot Creamery Cooperative and the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery mark their 100th anniversaries. Which made us wonder, what was going on in Vermont dairy back in 1919?

Author and psychologist Polly Young-Eisendrath sees love as a spiritual path bewteen equals.
Grandfailure / iStock

Love can be a mystery. It can be confounding. But still we pursue it. With gusto. So on the holiday devoted to love, we'll talk with psychologist and author Polly Young-Eisendrath about modern love, understanding how to communicate with your partner and creating a relationship of equals.

James Sturm's new graphic novel is "Off Season."
courtesy Drawn & Quarterly

In his new graphic novel Off Season, cartoonist James Sturm charts the narrative of one couple trying to cope with the bewildering unraveling of their marriage and the political landscape of the 2016 presidential election.

Lawmakers are drafting rules to regulate the cultivation, manufacture and sale of cannabis. But what Vermont's rules will be and if there's support to make them law remains an open question.
Seastock / iStock

Last year Vermont legalized the possession and personal use of small amounts of marijuana. Now Vermont lawmakers are drafting rules for a legal and regulated system to buy, sell and grow cannabis. We're looking at what's being proposed for commercial cannabis in Vermont.

After the last Ice Age, the now-extinct heath hen were among the birds that populated Vermont.
American Museum of Natural History Library / Flickr

When we talk about birds on Vermont Edition, it's most often about what you're able to see outside right now. At your bird feeder, in your yard and in the forests. But birder and conservationist Maeve Kim took us on a trip back in time to "see" the ornithology of Vermont from the end of the last Ice Age forward.

We're talking about the closing of Green Mountain College in Poultney.
Nina Keck / VPR

After weeks of rumors flying among students and faculty, administrators announced that Green Mountain College in Poultney would close in May. Now, layoffs are already starting and the impact of the closure is being felt well beyond campus. We’re talking about the College's closing, the effects on the surrounding community and the next steps for all involved.

Sue-Ellen Booher of Warren helps patients at UVM Medical Center, then swims marathons in her free time.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

Vermont Edition's ad-hoc series interviewing Interesting Vermonters has led us to a 106-year-old man from Townshend, the rose-sharing traditons of a Charlotte farmer and the maple syrup-swilling (unofficial) mayor of East Dover.

Now Warren's Sue-Ellen Booher is the latest Interesting Vermonter, a hematology nurse navigator at the Cancer Center at UVM Medical Center who's also a marathon swimmer.

Four bills being considered at the Statehouse have the reduction of plastic waste in their sights.
brunorbs / iStock

Four bills have been introduced in the Vermont Legislature that are trying to reduce the use and waste of plastics. These range from bills targeting plastic bottles, bags and straws, microplastics and buoys and docks. We'll discuss how to reduce plastic use and waste and the bills aimed at this goal.

Testimony is heard on the House floor.
Toby Talbot / AP

This week House lawmakers gave an extension to some—but not all—school districts that have yet to merge under Act 46, giving some districts as much as an additional year to comply with the state's school district merger mandate.

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos discusses cybersecurity and priorities in the new legislative session on "Vermont Edition."
Matthew Smith / VPR

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos just returned from the National Association of Secretaries of State meeting in Washington, D.C. We're talking with Sec. Condos about what he learned at the NASS meeting about voting security and cyber threats facing states today, and discussing constitutional amendments in the legislature.

Proposed legislation that would protect abortion rights in Vermont is leading to intense debate.
Matthew Smith / VPR

In response to potential threats to abortion rights at the national level, the Vermont House and Senate have both introduced legislation to explicitly protect women's access to abortion as a fundamental right. While the bills have strong support, they are also facing energetic opposition. We're talking through the debate.

Being a foster parent can present incredible challenges, but also unimagined rewards. We hear from Vermont foster parents and an adult who went through the foster care system.
fizkes / iStock

In 2018 more than 700 children needed to be placed in foster homes in Vermont by the Department for Children and Families. The department says it needs foster parents in all communities for children of all ages. We'll hear from foster parents who share why they made the decision to help children in need.

A lunch from Crossett Brook Middle School in Duxbury features whole-grain spaghetti with meat sauce, local apple, salad, broccoli, and a roll.
Vermont Agency of Education

Vermont schools offer free or reduced-cost meals to thousands of students every day. But how did schools become the venue to enact food policy? We're looking at school meal programs and the role they play in nutrition and education in school today.

The Beta Technologies prototype Ava XC lands during a test flight at the Plattsburgh International Airport.
Eric Adams / Beta Technologies

Electric transportation offers the promise of rapid travel and zero emissions, often seen in the increasingly sophisticated electric cars that can travel 200 to 300 miles on a single charge. But electric air travel poses unique challenges, not the least of which includes swapping a jet fuel-powered engine for a battery-powered aircraft.

Now the South Burlington- and Plattsburgh-based Beta Technologies is demoing an electric "air taxi" that the company says will be the electric aircraft at the center of planned cross-country flight this summer.

The production floor at Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro, which was just ranked as the best brewery in the world by the RateBeer website.
Amy Noyes / VPR

Vermont prides itself on producing award-winning beer and spirits; the industry is part of the state's brand and boosts tourism and the economy. But we also have one of the highest rates of excessive drinking in the country. We're talking about the culture of drinking in Vermont, and how we think about alcohol in our state.

Col. Bill Wagner (center) and Col. Lawrence Seaberg (left) watch cyber defense tactics demonstrated by Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Cover (right) during a May 2014 exercise with the Vermont Army National Guard Computer Network Defense Team.
Capt. Kyle Key / DVIDS

Nine soldiers from the Vermont Army National Guard are now stationed at Maryland's Fort Meade as part of a year-long deployment supporting U.S. Army Cyber Command. 

One guardsman on the deployment, Col. Bill Wagner, tells Vermont Edition that even after a month of training, it's unclear what the small Vermont contingent will do day-to-day during the year-long missions.

A screenshot of the database of lawmaker disclosures put together by "Seven Days"
Screenshot by Sam Gale Rosen / VPR

Vermont legislative rules mandate that senators and representatives fill out forms to disclose information about their employment and finances. The idea is that the public should be aware of any potential conflicts of interest and be able to figure out what financial entanglements the lawmakers we vote for might have. 

Talk of changing the gubernatorial term of office from two to four years has surfaced again in Montpelier. We'll hear the pros and cons of making a change from former Vermont Governors Madeleine Kunin and Howard Dean.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

Back in 1870, Vermont made a bold move. It doubled the length of the gubernatorial term of office from one year to two. Is it time to double it again? And what would be the repercussions for the length of terms in the State House and Senate?

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