From grief to action: Jenna’s Promise offers hope against addiction & stigma

In February 2019, 26-year-old Jenna Tatro died of a drug overdose at her family’s home in Johnson, Vermont. Now her parents, Greg and Dawn Tatro, have dedicated themselves to fighting opioid addiction and helping those who suffer with it. The Tatros have established Jenna’s Promise, a nonprofit organization that is building a community-based center in Johnson for people in recovery from addiction. They have renovated a former church and plan to open a coffee shop to both house and employ people in recovery. The Tatros are the owners of G.W. Tatro, a family-owned 60-year-old construction company based in Jeffersonville. They share Jenna’s story, discuss the responsibility of pharmaceutical companies in driving addiction, and describe how they will help those struggling with addiction. (September 25, 2019 broadcast)

Greg and Dawn Tatro, founders, Jenna’s Promise

 

Closed for business, open for action: Why Vermonters are on #ClimateStrike

On September 20, 2019, millions of people walked out of schools, workplaces and homes to heed the call of a global climate movement: “Join young climate strikers in the streets and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. Our house is on fire — let’s act like it. We demand climate justice for everyone.” The strike was inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who launched a climate strike outside the Swedish parliament to demand action on climate change. In Vermont, student activists from around the state and leading businesses joined the call during a week of action. We speak with businesspeople and activists on why they support the strike. (September 18, 2019 broadcast)

Jenn Swain, global senior sustainability manager, Burton Snowboards

Kristin Kelly, director of communications, Green Mountain Power

Divya Gudur, student organizer, Middlebury College

Business for good: Bram Kleppner of Danforth Pewter on being a change agent

Bram Kleppner, CEO at Danforth Pewter since 2011, has been a forceful advocate for progressive change while turning around his company from losses to growth and profitability. Under his leadership, Danforth has become the world’s first 100% solar-powered pewter workshop, implemented company-wide profit-sharing, paid parental leave, paid time off for community service and given employees a seat on the Board of Directors. Danforth is now striving for zero fossil fuel use and raising its lowest wage to $15/hour a year before Vermont does. He is the recipient the 2019 Terry Ehrich Award for Lifetime Achievement from Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. He is also the great nephew of feminist pioneer and aviator Amelia Earhardt, who vanished in 1937 while flying around the world. Kleppner discusses how business can be a change agent, as well as his view on what happened to Earhardt (September 18, 2019 broadcast)

Bram Kleppner, CEO, Danforth Pewter

 

Hooked: Kate O’Neill fights opioid addiction stigma in stories about her sister’s death

Writer Kate O’Neill is on a mission to end the stigma surrounding drug addiction, which she identifies as the biggest barrier to treatment. This mission is personal: her sister, Madelyn Linsenmeir, died in October 2018 after years battling opioid addiction. O’Neill is the author of “Hooked: Stories and Solutions from Vermont’s Opioid Crisis,” a remarkable year-long series of articles in the Vermont news weekly Seven Days. The series explores the state’s opioid epidemic and efforts to address it using traditional journalism, narrative storytelling and O’Neill’s own experiences. O’Neill discusses addiction and pregnancy, links to sex trafficking, and the personal impact of researching and writing about her sister’s death. (September 11, 2019 broadcast)

Kate O’Neill, author, “Hooked: Stories and Solutions from Vermont’s Opioid Crisis,” Seven Days

Can businesses win Medicare for All?

Medicare for All has evolved from a progressive pipe dream, to a central plank in Sen. Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign, to a mainstream policy idea embraced by nearly every leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.  Now a new group has emerged to make the case for single payer health care. Business for Medicare for All was started by former health insurance executive Wendell Potter and MCS Industries Chairman and CEO Richard Master, who say the existing health insurance system costs companies more than a single-payer plan would. The two want to uncouple health insurance from the workplace, making health care more available to independent contractors and others. Dan Barlow, the organization’s executive director, discusses the evolution of the movement for single payer health care and lays out the plan to sign up 10,000 businesses to advance the cause. Barlow was the former policy manager for Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and a longtime journalist. (September 11, 2019 broadcast)

Dan Barlow, executive director, Business for Medicare for All

 

Stealing food from babies: Will 5,000 Vt children lose food assistance?

The Trump administration is proposing to kick over 3 million people off of food stamps, about 8 percent of the total the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. In Vermont, over 13,000 people would lose 3SquaresVT benefits, some 13 percent of the current caseload that equates to an approximate loss over $7.5 million in annual benefits for Vermonters. This includes 4,600 children who are expected to lose 3SquaresVT benefits under this proposal, and many of these school-aged children are at risk of losing access to free meals at school as well.  We discuss this threat with Anore Horton, executive director of Hunger Free Vermont, which is leading a campaign to oppose the cuts. We are also joined by officials from several Vermont schools to talk about the face of hunger in children and the threat of losing financial support. (August 28, 2019 broadcast)

Anore Horton, executive director, Hunger Free Vermont

Bruce Williams, assistant superintendent, Orange East Supervisory Union 

Doug Davis, food services director, Burlington School District

Part 1 (Horton, Williams–edited)

Part 2 (Horton, Davis)

Is the economy rigged? Marjorie Kelly on building prosperity for the many

Over 70 percent of Americans believe that economic system is rigged against them. And the three wealthiest men control more resources than the bottom half of all Americans. What’s the alternative? Marjorie Kelly, co-author (with Ted Howard) of The Making of a Democratic Economy: Building Prosperity for the Many, Not Just the Few, highlights projects that build community wealth and democratize our economy. Kelly is executive VP at the Democracy Collaborative and the co-founder of Business Ethics magazine. (August 21, 2019 broadcast)

Marjorie Kelly, co-author, The Making of a Democratic Economy: Building Prosperity for the Many, Not Just the Few

Building community with bikes: Dan Hock & Old Spokes Home forge connections

Dan Hock began volunteering at Bike Recycle Vermont in 2005 while attending Saint Michael’s College. Bike Recycle was a social enterprise with a mission of giving bikes to those in need. It was located across the street from Old Spokes Home, a much loved Burlington bike shop founded by Glenn Eames in 2000. In 2015, Hock and several others raised $300,000 and bought Old Spokes Home from Eames and integrated Bike Recycle into it. The bike shop and nonprofit moved into a new location in early 2019. Old Spokes Home — its motto is “creating access to bikes and the opportunities they provide for our whole community” — is now a thriving social enterprise and a commercial business. Hock discusses the role that bikes can play in transforming the lives of low-income people and his journey as a former bike racer and global cyclist to being a co-owner of a bike shop with a social mission. Dan Hock was named a 2019 VBSR Young Changemaker of the Year. (August 21, 2019 broadcast)

Dan Hock, programs director, Old Spokes Home, Burlington, Vt. 

Brave new medicine: Dr. Cynthia Li on her recovery from autoimmune disease

Millions of people worldwide are affected by autoimmune disease, which includes conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome. The symptoms are often dismissed by doctors, families and friends. Cynthia Li faced this firsthand, but as a doctor herself, she found herself becoming what she and colleagues dismissively called a “difficult patient.” Li’s life, career and marriage nearly came crashing down when she began experiencing mysterious health symptoms. Tests came back normal, baffling her doctors—and herself. Li has written a new book about her journey, Brave New Medicine: A Doctor’s Unconventional Path to Healing Her Autoimmune Illness. She discusses how she came to terms with her condition and how she is now helping others. Dr. Cynthia Li received her medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and has practiced as an internist in San Francisco. She now has a private practice in integrative and functional medicine and serves on the faculty of the Healer’s Art program at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. She lives in Berkeley, CA, with her husband and their two daughters. (August 7, 2019 broadcast)

Dr. Cynthia Li, author, Brave New Medicine: A Doctor’s Unconventional Path to Healing Her Autoimmune Illness

Brain injured: The strange world of foreign accent syndrome

When Gwynne Berry fell on the ice while skiing in January 2017, she suspected she had a concussion. A Vermont native, she was shocked a short while later when she awoke speaking with a foreign accent. Berry, a former ski racing coach and a mother of two in Waterbury, Vermont, who works part-time as an office administrator, has been grappling for over two years with foreign accent syndrome, a rare disorder that strikes about 100 people worldwide. Her accents have ranged from French Canadian, to Swedish, Czech and now Irish. Berry is the subject of a short documentary, “Miss Me, I’m Irish.” She talks about the challenge of recovering from a serious brain injury and her healing journey. (August 7, 2019 broadcast)

Gwynne Berry, on foreign accent syndrome

 

 

VT Climate Caucus confronts climate change: Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas & Sen. Chris Pearson

With a climate denier in the White House, states are taking the lead in passing climate change initiatives. The vice chairs of Vermont’s Climate Solutions Caucus discuss their priorities, what laws have won and lost in Vermont and future plans. The nonpartisan Vermont Climate Solutions Caucus of the Vermont Legislature was founded in 2012 to support legislation that promotes Vermont’s economy while reducing reliance on fossil fuels. It currently includes 82 members in the Vermont House and Senate. (July 31, 2019 broadcast)

Vermont Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas (D-Bradford), vice chair, Climate Solutions Caucus 

Vermont Sen. Chris Pearson (P/D-Burlington), vice chair, Climate Solutions Caucus 

From Classroom to City Hall: Montpelier Mayor Anne Watson

Anne Watson was elected mayor of Montpelier, Vermont’s capital city, in 2018. By day, she is an award-winning teacher of science, math and financial literacy at Montpelier High School. She is also coach of MHS’s boy’s varsity ultimate Frisbee team, which just won the state championship, making it the first state-sanctioned high school varsity ultimate Frisbee title in the country. Watson talks about her work to advance energy efficiency and fight climate change in her work with the city, and the challenges and opportunities facing women in political leadership. (July 31, 2019 broadcast)

The People Make the Peace: Lessons from the Vietnam Antiwar Movement

2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. It also marks another milestone: the 50th anniversary of the height of the Vietnam War and the popular movement that arose to confront it. By 1969, more than 14,500 young American soldiers had been killed and a half million had served in combat. Antiwar protest raged in the streets, on campuses and in capitols across the country. One of the unusual features of the Vietnam era was the emergence of citizen diplomacy — Americans who traveled to Vietnam and return to tell what they saw. In 2013, one group returned to Vietnam to participate in observances of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords that ended the war. Out of that trip came a book, The People Make the Peace: Lessons From the Vietnam Antiwar Movement, edited by Karín Aguilar-San Juan and Frank Joyce. A number of the contributors recently returned from Vietnam where they launched a Vietnamese language edition of the book. Three of those contributors discuss their history with the Vietnam War, their trips to Vietnam during the war and lessons that the antiwar movement holds for today’s activists. Judy Gumbo is an original member of the Yippies who visited the former North Vietnam and helped organize a Women’s March on the Pentagon; she spent most of her professional career as a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. Jay Craven is a Vermonter, award-winning producer, independent film writer/director, impresario, and community arts activist. He traveled to Vietnam in 1970 as part of a delegation of college newspaper editors and student body presidents and returned to help lead the 1971 May Day demonstrations in Washington that resulted in the largest mass arrest for non-violent civil disobedience in U.S. history. Frank Joyce has been in involved in many labor, antiracist, human rights and antiwar campaigns. He was a member of the UAW International Union staff for eighteen years. (July 17, 2019 broadcast)

Judy Gumbo, member of the Yippies

Jay Craven, filmmaker  

Frank Joyce, labor activist

Has cheap renewable power rendered conventional energy obsolete? Nuke whistleblowers Arnie & Maggie Gundersen say the future is now

Could a space-based nuclear weapon trigger the simultaneous meltdown of every nuclear power plant on the East Coast? And has the plunging price of renewable power rendered every other form of energy obsolete? Nuclear whistleblowers Maggie & Arnie Gundersen think so. They also assess whether Iran’s nuclear program poses a threat to the US. The Gundersens know the nuclear business from the inside: Arnie Gundersen is a nuclear engineer who defended the nuclear industry for 20 years, managing and coordinating projects at 70 nuclear power plants in the US. In 1991, after complaining about lax nuclear safety to his superiors, he was fired, and the industry turned on him. That’s when he and his wife Maggie Gundersen, who worked as a spokesperson for the nuclear industry, became leading critics of nuclear power, forming Fairewinds Energy Education. Arnie Gundersen now consults on nuclear power. (July 10, 2019 broadcast)

Arnie & Maggie Gundersen, nuclear whistleblowers, founders, Fairewinds Energy Education

An advocate returns to the mountains: Lindsay DesLauriers of Bolton Valley on paid family leave, skiing & climate change

For the last decade, Lindsay DesLauriers has been in the news as an advocate for paid family leave and other progressive causes in her role as the state director for Main Street Alliance. In 2018, DesLauriers turned her skills from advocacy to her family business. She is now president and COO of Bolton Valley Resort, which her father Ralph purchased in the 1960s, and which she now runs with two of her brothers. DesLauriers discusses her journey from being a child growing up on a ski mountain, to ski bumming in Colorado, to returning to Vermont to champion socially responsible businesses, and now to shepherding her family’s ski area into a new era as one of the ski industry’s few female chief executives. She is implementing paid family leave in her own business and tackling the challenges that climate change poses to a Vermont ski area. (July 10, 2019 broadcast)

Lindsay DesLauriers, President & COO, Bolton Valley Resort

Democracy’s defenders: Jay Diaz & Lia Ernst of ACLU VT on fighting for civil liberties

On this Independence Day show, we discuss the battle for civil liberties in Vermont and around the country. Jay Diaz and Lia Ernst have been staff attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont since 2015. They have been arguing — and winning — precedent-setting cases that address racial profiling, government transparency, immigrant rights, prisoner rights and other issues. They discuss what’s at stake and why they fight. (July 3, 2019 broadcast)

Jay Diaz & Lia Ernst, staff attorneys, ACLU of Vermont

 

Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki on Elvis Presley as metaphor for US and “taking the fight to Trump”

What do the war on drugs, the military-industrial complex and Elvis Presley have in common? They are all the subject of films by filmmaker and Vermont resident Eugene Jarecki. Jarecki is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary director who has twice won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Jarecki has spent his career exposing and exploring American capitalism and culture in works such as his 2006 film about US militarism called “Why We Fight,” and his 2012 film, “The House I Live In,” about systemic racism in the “war on drugs.” His other film subjects include Henry Kissinger and President Ronald Reagan. Jarecki discusses how he bought Elvis’s 1963 Rolls Royce and drove it across American for his latest film, The King, his life in films and why he declined an opportunity to interview Donald Trump for his film. (June 19, 2019 broadcast)

Eugene Jarecki, award-winning filmmaker

Part 1

Part 2

 

Bill McKibben: Are humans losing the game to climate change?

Thirty years ago, journalist, author and activist Bill McKibben wrote The End of Nature, the first book for a general audience about climate change. He went on to found 350.org, the first global climate change movement, and he has helped launch the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement.  McKibben, who is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, has a new book that details where we’ve come in the 30 years since he first warned about the dangers of climate change. Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? argues that climate change is proceeding at a far more rapid pace than scientists once predicted and humans are losing the race for survival and their own humanity. McKibben on his 30 year journey, where we are now, and where we are going. This Vermont Conversation was recorded live at Bridgeside Books in Waterbury, VT. (June 12, 2019 broadcast)

Bill McKibben, founder, 350.org and author, Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?

Part 1

Part 2

Video and audio of complete discussion (courtesy of Bob Farnham, bobthegreenguy.com)

Banning plastic bags, losing minimum wage & waiting on campaign finance reform: #Vt Advocates on wins & losses in 2019 legislature

In January 2019, public interest advocates weighed in on the Vermont Conversation with their priorities for the 2019 legislative session in Vermont. Five months later, they return to discuss what happened: who won, who lost, what’s still in play on key legislation including banning plastic bags, $15 minimum wage, paid family leave, medical monitoring for toxics and campaign finance reform. (June 5, 2019 broadcast)

Paul Burns, executive director, Vermont Public Interest Research Group

Lauren Hierl, executive director, Vermont Conservation Voters

Dan Barlow, Public Policy manager, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

“It’s been hard, emotional & frightening:” Judiciary Chair Rep. Maxine Grad on tackling guns, abortion & sexual abuse

This year, the Vermont House Judiciary Committee passed legislation on a number of national hotbutton issues. This included passing the strongest abortion rights law in the country, enacting a 24-hour waiting period for handgun purchases and removing the time limit for victims of child sexual abuse to bring claims against their abusers. Democratic Rep. Maxine Grad is the chair of the Vermont House Judiciary Committee. This is Grad’s 19th year representing the Mad River Valley towns of Waitsfield, Duxbury, Fayston, Warren and Moretown. This year saw her featured in a NY Times article about Vermont’s landmark abortion rights law. Grad discusses the challenge of confronting tough issues  and her priorities going forward. (June 5, 2019 broadcast)

Rep. Maxine Grad, chair, Vermont House Judiciary Committee

Women “have the right to have an abortion:” Vt Rep. Ann Pugh & Sen. Ginny Lyons on new protections for women and families

Rep. Ann Pugh, chair of the Vermont House Committee on Human Services, was recently featured in the New York Times discussing Vermont’s historic abortion rights legislation, which she co-sonsored. Sen. Ginny Lyons, chair of the Vt. Senate Committee on Health and Welfare, is a sponsor of a proposed amendment to the Vermont constitution protecting abortion rights. These two measures offer the strongest protection of abortion rights in the US. The two legislative leaders discuss abortion rights, child care and other new protections for women and families, as well as the political stalemate that ended the 2019 legislative session. (May 29, 2019 broadcast)

Rep. Ann Pugh, chair, Vermont House Committee on Human Services

Sen. Ginny Lyons, chair, Vermont Senate Committee on Health and Welfare

 

“Identity theft:” Deb Meyerson on emotional recovery after a stroke

What would you do if you lost your ability to speak? That was one of many challenges confronting Stanford professor Debra Meyerson when she suffered a stroke at age 53. Her book, Identity Theft: Rediscovering Ourselves After Stroke, explores the impact of her stroke on her life and the often-overlooked emotional recovery from a stroke. Her husband Steve Zuckerman (cousin of Vermont Lt. Gov David Zuckerman) joins her in the conversation. (May 29. 2019 broadcast)

Debra Meyerson, author, Identity Theft: Rediscovering Ourselves After Stroke

Steve Zuckerman, nonprofit consultant

Soak the rich: Patriotic Millionaire Alan Davis demands higher taxes

Do the rich pay enough taxes? Self described “Patriotic Millionaire” Alan Davis says no. The Patriotic Millionaires are a group of more than 200 individuals with annual incomes over $1 million and/or assets over $5 million who are committed to raising the minimum wage, combating the influence of big money in politics, and advancing a progressive tax structure. Davis says that Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez don’t go far enough in their various proposals to address growing inequality. He proposes a 10 percent surtax on all income over $2 million. He discusses how he became a millionaire, and why he is begging to pay more taxes. (May 21, 2019 broadcast)

Alan Davis, Patriotic Millionaire

“We trust women:” Sen. Becca Balint on Vermont’s historic abortion rights law

In the final days of the 2019 legislative session, the Vermont Legislature passed the most sweeping reproductive rights protections of any state in the country. Gov. Phil Scott has indicated that he will allow the law to stand. This has occurred against a backdrop of other states including Alabama, Georgia and Missouri effectively banning abortion. Vermont Senate Majority Leader Sen. Becca Balint (D-Windham) talks about what she considers to be one of the proudest moments of her legislative career. “We trust women to make decisions about their health care,” she said. “It’s radical notion right now to think that women should have full control over their bodies.” Balint also weighs in on why the legislature has struggled to pass a $15 minimum wage, and her response to climate activists who were arrested in the State House over what they charged was inaction on climate change. Includes longer version of interview than aired on WDEV. (May 22, 2019 broadcast)

Senator Becca Balint, Vermont Senate Majority Leader

Hard questions for good business: Sustainable business leaders on economic justice & impact

How can business be a force for positive change? Three of Vermont’s sustainable business leaders offer their thoughts. (May 15, 2019 broadcast)

Duane Peterson, co-president, Suncommon

Sarah Kaeck, CEO & founder, Bee’s Wrap

Jed Davis, director of sustainability, Cabot Creamery

“Nursing should be a right, not a privilege:” Sascha Mayer & Mamava

They went from nonexistent to now being everywhere: lactation suites, the standalone pods that enable new moms to nurse their babies in private, grew out of enlightened public policy that required accommodation for breastfeeding mothers. In 2013, Vermont entrepreneur Sascha Mayer launched Mamava, which offers “design solutions for nursing mothers on the go.” Mayer discusses the link between progressive policy and business, how lactation suites have become part of the public landscape, and how Mamava hopes to transform the culture of breastfeeding. “Nursing should be a right, not a privilege,” is a company motto. (May 15, 2019 broadcast)

Sascha Mayer, CEO & co-founder, Mamava

Voter fraud or voter suppression? The growing voter rights movement

Is vote fraud a national epidemic? Or is vote suppression the real problem? Joshua Douglas, professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law and the author of Vote for Us: How to Take Back Our Elections and Change the Future of Voting, discusses who votes, who is denied the vote, and successful efforts to roll back felon disenfranchisement, stop voter ID and expand voter access. (May 8, 2019 broadcast)

Joshua A. Douglas, professor, University of Kentucky College of Law, and author, Vote for Us: How to Take Back Our Elections and Change the Future of Voting

Part 1

Part 2

Will there be skiing in the age of climate change? Ski industry leader Nick Sargent calls for climate action

As climate change threatens the very existence of many ski areas, “The snow sports industry is in a state of disruption,” warns Snowsports Industries America (SIA), the nonprofit, 70-year-old trade association representing snow sports manufacturers, retailers and resort communities. Nick Sargent, president of SIA and a resident of Stowe, Vt., offers his take on the bumpy trail ahead for the world of skiing and snowboarding. He says that skiing is “the canary in the coal mine,” and taking aggressive action on climate change, including levying a carbon tax, is more urgent now than ever. (April 24, 2019 broadcast)

Nick Sargent, president, Snowsports Industries America (SIA)

Part 1

Part 2

Is 100% renewable energy possible? Mary Powell says the time is now

Green Mountain Power announced this month that it had established a goal of getting of getting 100% of its power from carbon-free sources by 2025 and 100% from renewable sources by 2030. The announcement by Vermont’s largest electric utility made national news. GMP president Mary Powell discusses how the utility plans to meet this ambitious goal, and how alarming news about climate change motivated her to act. (April 17, 2019 broadcast)

Mary Powell, president, Green Mountain Power

Is Vermont losing ground on climate change efforts?

Jared Duval of Energy Action Network discusses what will be required for Vermont to green its energy supply and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are currently on the rise. He begins by offering perspective on the announcement by Green Mountain Power that it will get 100% of its power from renewable sources by 2030. (April 17, 2019 broadcast)

Jared Duval, executive director, Energy Action Network

 

Can universal health care work in Vermont?

Following the collapse of Gov. Shumlin’s single payer health effort in 2014, what is the future of universal health care in Vermont? Dr. Deb Richter, past president of Physicians for a National Health Program and president of Vermont Health Care for All, discusses how universal primary care can be a first step towards universal coverage. And she weighs in on national plans for Medicare for All. (April 17, 2019 broadcast)

Dr. Deb Richter, president, Vermont Health Care for All, past president, Physicians for a National Health Program

A long walk for the climate

On April 5, 2019, a group of marchers set off to walk from from Middlebury to Montpelier, Vermont to press the case for climate action from affected communities to the Vermont State House. The walk was organized by 350 Vermont and dubbed Next Steps: A Climate Solutions Walk. The walk culminated with 300 people in the Vermont State House. On Day 4 of the march, a cold, windswept day featuring sleet and howling gusts, I walked and interviewed marchers ranging from organizer Maeve McBride, to a pair of middle school students, to 85-year old Byron Stookey of Brattleboro, to learn why they were marching for climate justice. (April 10, 2019 broadcast)

Marchers on 350 Vermont Climate Solutions Walk

Is climate change killing skiing?

Is climate change killing skiing? One study argues that only about half of the 103 ski resorts in the Northeast will be economically viable by mid-century. The advocacy group Protect Our Winters says that in low snow years, reduced participation in skiing cost 17,400 jobs compared to an average ski season. In January 2019, the National Ski Areas Association joined forces with the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and Snowsports Industries America (SIA) to form the Outdoor Business Climate Partnership, which “aims to provide leadership on climate change and inspire meaningful action” and improve the resiliency of their $887 billion industry. We speak with Kelly Pawlak, president of the National Ski Areas Association about the ski industry’s response to climate change. And we talk with journalist Porter Fox, who argues in his book DEEP and in a New York Times op-ed that the ski industry has not done nearly enough to fight climate change. (April 10, 2019 broadcast)

Kelly Pawlak, president, National Ski Areas Association

Porter Fox, author, DEEP: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow

 

Fighting poverty with literacy and energy efficiency: Duncan McDougall

Duncan McDougall is the founder of Waterbury Local Energy Action Partnership (LEAP) and founder and executive director of Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF). LEAP’s energy fair, held each April, has grown to be the largest in Vermont, drawing over 700 people, and thanks to a LEAP campaign, Waterbury, VT has quadrupled its number of solar installations. McDougall discusses his passion for clean energy and literacy. (April 3, broadcast)

Duncan McDougall, founder, Waterbury LEAP and Children’s Literacy Foundation

Dying to Work: Jonathan Karmel on dangerous workplaces

In January 2019, the Trump admin dealt a blow to workers by blocking a rule requiring most employers to report details of workplace injuries. This is one of many rollbacks of workplace safety protections. The fallout could worsen an already treacherous situation for American workers. This story is told in the new book, Dying to Work: Death & Injury in the American Workplace, by Jonathan Karmel, a labor lawyer. He is co-chair of the American Bar Association Occupational Safety & Health Committee. Karmel discusses stories of workers who have been injured on the job with little legal recourse, and what can be done about it. (April 3, 2019 broadcast)

Jonathan Karmel, attorney, author, Dying to Work: Death & Injury in the American Workplace

Addiction, death & a sister’s crusade: Kate O’Neill on Vt’s opiate crisis

In the fall of 2018, a young mother, Madelyn Linsenmeir, died of complications related to her heroin addiction. Afterward, Madelyn’s sister, Kate O’Neill, wrote a heartfelt obituary that went viral. O’Neill was subsequently hired by Seven Days to report on Vermont’s opiate crisis in a series called HOOKED. Kate O’Neill discusses her sister’s life and death, who gets addicted and why, and her personal experience with Vermont’s opiate crisis. (March 27, 2019 broadcast)

Kate O’Neill, author of HOOKED, Seven Days

Part 1

Part 2

 

From toilet paper to craft beer: Unconventional business mogul Alan Newman

A number of Vermont’s iconic socially responsible businesses have something in common: Alan Newman. Newman was involved in starting Gardener’s Supply Company, he founded Seventh Generation Inc., and co-founded Magic Hat Brewing Company. Newman discusses his roots on an Oregon commune, his unconventional approach to launching a business, and we debate the merits of growth in Vermont’s craft beer business. (March 20, 2019 broadcast)

Alan Newman, social entrepreneur

Part 1

Part 2

 

From #StudentStrike to #ClimateSolution, Vermonters confront climate change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has called for radical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, but emissions locally, nationally and globally continue to rise.  In response, some 54 towns–about one-fourth of Vermont communities–have passed Town Meeting Day resolutions calling for a halt to new fossil fuel infrastructure, 100% renewable energy, and a transition to renewable power. And Vermont students have called for a student strike on March 15, 2019. We talk with Vermont climate action leaders about new strategies for confronting climate change. (March 6, 2019 broadcast)

Maeve McBride, director, 350 Vermont

Leif Taranta, student at Middlebury College, active with Sunrise Movement and the Sunday Night Environmental Group

Jaiel Pulskamp, farmer and field organizer,  Re)Generate New Solutions,

Libby Brusa, student, Harwood Union High School, activist with Youth Lobby

Can a woman be jailed for a miscarriage?

Does a fetus have the same rights as a person? That’s at the heart of new laws that are resulting in the prosecution of pregnant women and women who have miscarriages. According to a remarkable 8-part editorial series in the New York Times, “Women who fell down the stairswho ate a poppy seed bagel and failed a drug test or who took legal drugs during pregnancy — drugs prescribed by their doctors — all have been accused of endangering their children… Such cases illuminate a deep shift in American society…toward the embrace of a relatively new concept: that a fetus in the womb has the same rights as a fully formed person.” Lynn Paltrow, founder and executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, discusses the national landscape of laws that she argues are aimed at restricting and eliminating women’s rights. (February 27, 2017 broadcast)

Lynn Paltrow, executive director, National Advocates for Pregnant Women

The fight to keep abortion legal in Vt: House Majority Leader Jill Krowinski

The Vermont House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved H.57, a bill guaranteeing a woman’s right to a safe & legal abortion regardless of laws restricting abortion that the Supreme Court or Trump administration may pass.  A lead sponsor of this bill is Rep. Jill Krowinski, the House Majority Leader. Krowinski has served in the House representing Burlington since 2012. For nearly eight years she worked at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, most recently as the Vice President of Education and VT Community Affairs. Krowinski, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. She was recently named executive director of Emerge Vermont. Rep. Krowinski discusses why protecting women’s right to choose has been a passion for her, how she came into politics, encouraging women to run for office, and her political future. (February 27, 2017 broadcast)

Rep. Jill Krowinski, House Majority Leader

Can Vermont end gun violence?

2018 was the year that shook the nation–and Vermont–when it comes to gun violence and gun safety. Following the shooting deaths of 17 high school students in Parkland, Florida in February 2018, high school students around the country mobilized, walked out, and demanded change. When a planned Vermont school shooting was thwarted, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) reversed his past opposition and signed three new gun safety laws, the most comprehensive in state history. UVM sophomore Grace Walter describes how the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting that killed 28 people affected her and her hometown of Newtown, CT; Dr. Rebecca Bell discusses the role of guns in suicide and what young suicide survivors have told her; Sen. Philip Baruth outlines new gun laws being proposed in the Vermont legislature, and Clai Lasher-Sommers, executive director of GunSense Vermont, discusses her own experience as a survivor of gun violence and the new focus of the gun safety movement. (February 20, 2019 broadcast)

Grace Walter, U. of Vermont sophomore from Newtown, CT, gun safety activist

Dr. Rebecca Bell, pediatric critical care physician, UVM Medical Center, vice president of Vt chapter American Academy of Pediatrics, asst. prof. of pediatrics, UVM Larner College of Medicine

Sen. Philp Baruth (D-Chittenden County), author of gun safety legislation

Clai Lasher-Sommers, executive director, GunSense Vermont

What Patagonia can teach the world: Director of Philosophy Vincent Stanley on suing Trump & running a business with values

Vincent Stanley has been with Patagonia, the iconic outdoor clothing company, since its beginning in 1973, for many of those years in key executive roles as head of sales or marketing. He is co-author with Yvon Chouinard of The Responsible Company: What We’ve Learned From Patagonia’s First 40 Years. He currently serves as the company’s Director, Patagonia Philosophy, and is a visiting fellow at the Yale School of Management. He is also a poet whose work has appeared in Best American Poetry. He discusses the challenge of running a value-based business, why Patagonia is suing Pres. Donald Trump, and what the future holds for America’s best known socially responsible business. (February 13, 2019 broadcast)

Vincent Stanley, Director, Patagonia Philosophy

“The other Vermont” vs. special interests: Vt. Senate President Tim Ashe

Vermont Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe launched the 2019-2020 legislative biennium with a challenge to his colleagues: “I challenge each of you, and I challenge myself, to never let go of this one question: what can we do to improve life in the other Vermont?” Ashe describes “the near complete takeover of the legislative process by special interests” that inspired his challenge. He also discusses his proposal to reduce Vermont’s incarceration rate and end the use of out-of-state prisons, legalize and tax marijuana sales, and speculates on whether this session will end in a raft of vetoes by Gov. Phil Scott as it did in 2018. (February 13, 2019 broadcast)

Vermont Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe

 

#MeToo aftermath: A Vermont story of challenging the culture of sexual harassment & assault

In June 2018, Stowe entrepreneur Lisa Senecal broke her nondisclosure agreement by publishing an explosive account of her sexual assault and harassment by Craig DeLuca, president of Inntopia. Her story, “The NDA Protected Our Predator. I’m Breaking My Silence, Because Women Deserve Better,” appeared in the Daily Beast. Senecal discusses the fallout of her revelations, a subsequent lawsuit by another woman against DeLuca and Inntopia, and the role of men in ending the culture of sexual harassment and assault. Senecal is a co-founder of The Maren Group and a member of the Vermont Commission on Women. She also serves on the board for the Stowe Education Fund and the Clarina Howard Nichols Center which serves survivors of domestic violence and their families. (February 6, 2019 broadcast)

Lisa Senecal, co-founder, The Maren Group, member, Vt Commission on Women

How enriching the 1% impoverishes communities of color

A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies highlights how a racial wealth divide has grown between white households and households of color over the past three decades. Since the early 1980s, median wealth among black and Latino families has been stuck at less than $10,000. Meanwhile, white household median wealth grew from $105,300 to $140,500, adjusting for inflation. This is documented in Dreams Deferred: How Enriching The 1% Widens The Racial Wealth Divide. If this trajectory continues, by 2050 the median white family will have $174,000 of wealth, while Latino median wealth will be $8,600 and black median wealth will be $600–falling to zero wealth by 2082. We speak with the co-author of the report about how we got here, and how to address this disparity. (February 6, 2019 broadcast)

Josh Hoxie, director, Project on Opportunity and Taxation, Institute for Policy Studies

Gov. Scott’s 2019 VT budget proposal: Do the numbers add up?

In his January budget address, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott declared that Vermont has a demographic crisis. He has proposed a range of solutions, including paying young workers $5,000 to move to the state. He also announced that he is abandoning his longstanding pledge against raising taxes and fees in order to raise funds to fight e-cigarette abuse. We talk with Stephanie Yu of the Public Assets Institute about whether the governor’s numbers add up, and explore who is thriving and struggling in Vermont today, inequality, school funding, and other issues. (January 30, 2019 broadcast)

Stephanie Yu, deputy director, Public Assets Institute

Rep. Tom Stevens on the Fight for $15, paid family leave, VT National Guard controversies & Gov. Scott

Rep. Tom Stevens is chair of the Vermont House Committee on General, Housing, and Military Affairs, He was elected in 2008 as state rep for Waterbury, Huntington, Buel’s Gore & Bolton. He  has served as Chair of the Waterbury Select Board and President of the Waterbury Village Trustees. Tom is President of the board of Downstreet Housing and Community Development. This year, Stevens was named Legislator of the Year by VBSR. He discusses prospects for a $15 minimum wage, paid family, allegations of sexual abuse at the Vt National Guard, and new political dynamics with Gov. Phil Scott. (January 30, 2019 broadcast)

Rep. Tom Stevens (D-Waterbury), chair, House Comm. on General, Housing and Military Affairs

Could carbon pricing save money & the planet?

A long awaited report on carbon pricing from the Vermont Legislature’s nonpartisan Joint Fiscal Office Leg’s was released this week. It’s key conclusion is that carbon pricing could enable Vermont to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without adversely impacting low-income residents or the state’s overall economy. The report was followed by a press conference of 25 organizations representing youth, low-income, business, public health, environment presenting a Climate Action Plan for Vermont legislators to advance. We discuss the new impetus for carbon pricing and other climate change strategies in the Vermont legislature. (January 23, 2019 broadcast)

Johanna Miller, Energy & Climate Action Program Director, Vermont Natural Resources Council

Tom Hughes, Campaign Director, Energy Independent Vermont

Rep. Sarah Copeland Hanzas, D-Bradford, chair, VT House Government Operations Committee

Has the time come for paid family leave?

Paid family leave — passed by the Vermont Legislature in 2018 ,only to be vetoed by Gov. Phil Scott — is back on the front burner. Gov. Scott has proposed a voluntary two-state program with New Hampshire, and the legislature has countered with mandatory paid leave. Why does paid family leave matter? Can the two sides bridge the gap to pass paid family leave in 2019? (January 23, 2019 broadcast)

How Vermont craft beer took over America

Vermont craft beer is taking over America. Vermont now leads the nation with 11.5 breweries per 100,000 adults, according to the Brewers Association. Vermont brewers produce over 150 pints of beer for every person in the state of legal drinking age (21+). Montana and Maine are tied for a distant second place. Vermont craft breweries add $681 per adult to the state economy. How did this small Vermont industry come to lead the nation? We discuss the rise and of craft beer and changing tastes with two beer connoisseurs and entrepreneurs who have front row bar stools to Vermont’s libation revolution. (January 16, 2019 broadcast)

Dave Juenker, co-owner, Blackback Pub, Waterbury, VT

Ari Fishman, co-owner, Zenbarn, Waterbury Center, VT