Vermont Edition

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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Friday, July 19, 2019

  • Meeting Vermont's transportation needs in 2030 means starting to pla now. We'll hear what's being considered for our transportation future.

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The Secretary of State's office is taking steps to protect Vermont's voting system against cyberattacks for the 2020 election.
Element15 Digital / Unsplash

Getting people into the voting booth can be a struggle. So it's vitally important to make sure their vote is safely protected once they do exercise that right. Secretary of State Jim Condos joins Vermont Edition to explain how prepared the state is and what steps are being taken for the 2020 election.

A hay bale sits in an open field near a tree, before a wall of green trees and low mist in the background.
Ambar Culhane / Unsplash

A wet, cold spring has made it difficult for farmers to get out in their fields and repair damage from this past winter. It's also meant that getting a good first cutting for hay has been delayed — or simply impossible — for many who rely on the forage to feed their herd through the winter. 

The Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, is pictured on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019.
Michael Sohn / AP

Witold Pilecki was a Polish resistance fighter who intentionally allowed himself to be captured and sent to Auschwitz. His mission was to sabotage and gather information about the camp — well before the full truth of its horrifying purpose was revealed to the world. We're talking to the author of a new book on Pilecki about what he accomplished and why he isn't better known today.

According to the Vermont Department of Health, 480 children under six years old were poisoned by lead in Vermont in 2017. The state is about to roll out a program to test drinking water for lead in all Vermont schools and child care facilities.
Quin Stevenson / Unsplash

A bill passed by the Legislature would require the state to test all schools and child care centers in Vermont for lead levels in the water. The legislation focuses on the cohort most susceptible to neurological damage caused by lead: children up to age six. We'll hear about the effects of lead on children and the logistics of the program being set up to test these facilities.

A new book on identifying ferns also makes the case for why these plants could outlast humanity.
Lara xxxxx / flickr

Ferns have been around for hundreds of millions of years, have survived several mass extinctions and may well be thriving after humanity has gone the way of the dodo. A new book describes ferns' remarkable survival skills and teaches fern enthusiasts how to identify species that live in our region.

Transparent skull model of brain and blood vessels.
Jesse Orrico / Unsplash

Most scientists are not seeking glory or honors for the research they do. But when a prestigious award or nomination comes along, it is gratifying to know that your peers are paying attention. On April 30, Mark Nelson, the chair of the pharmacology department at UVM, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He spoke with Vermont Edition about his election and the research that got him there. 

Cyclists disembark from a bike ferry in South Hero, Vermont on a blue-sky day.
Wilson Ring / Associated Press

The sun's shining. The weather's warm. It's the perfect time for a bike ride or summer stroll. But as more drivers, cyclists and pedestrians take to our roads, sharing them becomes more of a challenge. We're talking about Vermont's "rules of the road," whether you're on four wheels, two wheels or on foot.

Hundreds of Vermonters turned out for a public hearing in February on an abortion-rights bill introduced in Montpelier. The Vermont House preliminarily approved the legislation by a vote of 104-40.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / The Times Argus

Governor Phil Scott has said that he will allow H.57 – a bill protecting abortion rights – to become law. And lawmakers are also moving forward in the multi-step process of amending the state constitution to enshrine the right to an abortion. We're talking about Vermont's legislation on reproductive rights and how it fits into the national debate and legal landscape.

State Treasurer Beth Pearce
Angela Evancie / VPR file

In her eight years in office, State Treasurer Beth Pearce has pushed Vermont to tackle its critical financial issues head-on, like confronting the real costs of clean water programs and the state's multi-billion dollar retirement and pension obligations. We're talking with Treasurer Pearce about the state's fiscal outlook and why her office has gotten involved in some major environmental issues.

Illustration of woman in front of instruments
Spencer Imbrock / Unsplash

How do you focus your mind on the task at hand? For many, music is at least part of the answer. The right music can help you prepare for the day, concentrate on something you want to learn, or simply provide a pleasant background while at work. It can even be used as a form of therapy for kids and adults struggling to focus.

Major depressive disorder is a complex illness and different people respond to treatments in varying ways. We're talking about approaches to addressing treatment-resistant depression.
teddybearpicnic / iStock

Major depression can have devastating effects on a sufferer's life – and can be deadly. There are many treatments – different kinds of drugs, therapies, and other interventions – but what happens when someone can't find one that works? We're talking about treatment-resistant depression and how it's dealt with by patients and care providers. 

The Trow & Holden Company pictured in the 1920s (left), in the 1980s with fifth-generation president Norm Akley at the anvil (center), and a more recent photo showing Norm (left of the anvil) and current president Gina Akley (below and right of the anvil)
Trow & Holden Company, courtesy

What does it take to run a business not only successfully, but across generations? Is it any easier when your work family is also your actual family? We're talking about Vermont's family-run businesses and the trade-offs and challenges that come from keeping a company within the family.

Will Lambek, José Luis Cordova Herrera, and woman who identified herself as Olga, from left, testified in the Legislature in January. They say migrant farmworkers fear that local police will out them to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / The Times Argus

Research by a UVM anthropologist suggests that a majority of migrant farmworkers in Vermont face serious barriers to accessing nutritious food – in addition to other enormous challenges. We're talking to Teresa Mares about her new book Life On the Other Border: Farmworkers and Food Justice in Vermont.

Researchers in Vermont are working on a new way to diagnose anxiety and depression in young children.
DrAfter123 / iStock

As children grow up, they reach a point where they can start to articulate their feelings in some detail. But before the age of eight, that's extremely difficult for them to do. So how can doctors and medical professionals detect anxiety and depression in young children? Two local researchers have been working on ways to screen and understand these mental health conditions in children.

Is summer a time to tear into a new novel, dive into a classic memoir or listen along to a new audiobook? "Vermont Edition" wants your summer books recommendations.
Jessica Ruscello / Unsplash

It's June, and so it's time to ask the age-old question: what are you reading this summer? In Vermont Edition's annual summer book show, we're talking with librarians and book buyers around the state about new novels, memorable memoirs, first-rate nonfiction and books for kids and young adults to dive into this summer. 

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Tim Ashe join "Vermont Edition" to discuss what was and wasn't accomplished in the recent legislative session.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR FILE

With large Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, it seemed in January that the Vermont Legislature would easily pass longstanding progressive priorities like raising the minimum wage and establishing a paid family leave plan. But the House and Senate just quietly adjourned the 2019 session without legislation on either issue. What kept lawmakers from finding agreement on these key issues?

Plastic bags hang on a wall at Sam's Outdoor Outfitters in Brattleboro in 2017. Since then, the town has banned single-use plastic bags.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR File

State lawmakers have passed a ban on single-use plastic bags and polystyrene food and drink containers. Now the final version of that bill is on its way to Gov. Phil Scott's desk. We're taking a look at what's in the current bill and how the legislature is looking ahead to possible next steps in fighting the growing problem of plastic pollution.

A display of books nominated for the 2019 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award, with shelves of previous years' nominees on either side, at Mt. Abraham Union High School in Bristol on May 14.
Meg Malone / VPR

For more than half a century, Vermont’s middle-grade students have been reading books on Dorothy’s List, a reading program and book award named for Arlington author Dorothy Canfield Fisher. But the author's connection to the eugenics movement, and criticism of her stereotyped portrayal of Native Americans and French Canadians in her work, are behind the Vermont Department of Libraries' decision to change the award's name.

Early voters casts a ballot in Plainfield in 2008. "Vermont Edition" looks at the challenges around local control in Vermont.
Toby Talbot / AP

When Vermont towns want to add sidewalks, change traffic patterns or add a "rooms and meals" tax, they usually have to go to Montpelier for permission. It's one way "local control" may be less local, and offer less control, than many might think. We're talking about Vermont's tradition of local control, it's limits in 2019 and efforts to bring more decisions back to the local level. 

Vermont has 45 species of mosquitoes and all of them are pretty pesky.
CHBD / iStock

They're annoying and they're headed our way. At any moment, you'll be outside and will hear the fateful buzzing of mosquitoes. Vermont Edition will get you prepared for the onslaught of this annoying insect. And maybe even find a reason to appreciate them.

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