Essential but abandoned: Undocumented farmworkers in Vermont demand recognition

Immigrants and undocumented workers on Vermont’s dairy farms have been hit with a triple crisis: the coronavirus pandemic, the collapse of dairy farms, and the ongoing threat of deportation by ICE. Farmworkers, led by Migrant Justice, are demanding support to weather the multiple crises. “We may not be USA citizens, but we are Vermonters. We are sustaining the industry. There is an irony of being called essential workers but at the same time not being taken into account,” says Marita Canedo of Migrant Justice. (May 27, 2020 broadcast)

Marita Canedo, Migrant Justice

Thelma Gomez, Migrant Justice

“This is a crisis on top of a crisis:” Undocumented people fight for survival and support during pandemic

The covid-19 pandemic has hit immigrant communities harder than nearly any other group. But as trillions of dollars in relief money has been authorized by Congress, the undocumented, including essential workers, have been left out. We speak with two leaders of the undocumented community in New York City, the epicenter of the pandemic, to discuss what is happening for immigrant communities. “We are human beings. We live here. We bring food to your table,” says Juan Carlos Ruiz. “We feel [the government] has failed us.” (May 27, 2020 broadcast)

Juan Carlos Ruiz, Lutheran pastor, Good Shepherd Church, Brooklyn and co-founder, national New Sanctuary Movement and the New Sanctuary Coalition in New York City

Cinthya Santos Briones, Mexican photographer, anthropologist, community organizer, author of photo essay in The Nation, “Immigrants Are Bearing the Brunt of the Coronavirus Crisis”

 

Who lives and who dies? Harvard epidemiologist Nancy Krieger on health disparities, COVID-19 & “our common humanity”

The COVID-19 pandemic has infected millions of people around the country and the world, but the rates of death among low-income and minority communities is disproportionately high. Why? Dr. Nancy Krieger, Professor of Social Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is an internationally recognized social epidemiologist who has been an activist and scholar on social justice, science, and health. She discusses how social factors, including racism, poverty, and where you live and work, often determine who lives and who dies when health crises hit. (May 20, 2020 broadcast)

Dr. Nancy Krieger, Professor of Social Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

“We are in serious trouble:” Prof. Amitai Etzioni on Trump and the threat of fascism

Amitai Etzioni is from a family of German Jews who fled Germany as Hitler and the Nazis were rising in the 1930s. He worries that fascism could come to America under Donald Trump. “Now we have a demagogue who can rile up the masses and undermine democratic institutions. We are in serious trouble.” Etzioni was a senior advisor to Pres. Jimmy Carter and is now a University Professor at George Washington University. He discusses how Carter “made every mistake in the book” in politics but that he compares favorably to Trump. He also examines the question of whether Trump has embraced Big Government or is simply bailing out his friends in private business. (May 20, 2020 broadcast)

Amitai Etzioni, advisor to Pres. Jimmy Carter, University Professor, George Washington University

“We are in an unprecedented moment:” Sens. Sanders, Leahy & Rep. Welch on COVID-19 response and road ahead

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many businesses and employees are relying on lifelines from emergency federal relief programs. Vermont’s Congressional delegation — Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch — discuss the federal response and the road ahead. “We have to express solidarity with each other,” says Sen. Bernie Sanders. “We have to rethink the basic structural foundation of American society.” This virtual Town Hall was sponsored by Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility on May 7, 2020 and was moderated by Kristen Carlson of Green Mountain Power, a former reporter for WCAX. (May 13, 2020 broadcast)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont)

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont)

Is Trump accountable for COVID-19 deaths? Eugene Jarecki launches #TrumpDeathClock

In just the first two months of the pandemic, 70,000 Americans died of COVID-19–more Americans than died during the decade-long Vietnam War. Epidemiologists have written that if Trump had instituted social distancing on March 9, a week earlier than he did, there would have been a 60 percent reduction in deaths. Will President Trump be held accountable for the deaths? Emmy and Peabody award-winning filmmaker Eugene Jarecki writes in the Washington Post, “A national death clock is needed to measure the number of American lives that have been unnecessarily lost to President Trump and his administration’s failures in managing the coronavirus pandemic.” Jarecki discusses his effort to make the death clock go viral, and the silver linings that he sees in the pandemic. (May 6, 2020 broadcast)

Eugene Jarecki, filmmaker and author

“It’s time for the next generation of leadership:” Molly Gray runs for Vermont Lt. Governor

Molly Gray is a fourth generation Vermonter who grew up on a family farm and now works as an assistant attorney general in Vermont. She is running for Lt. Governor of Vermont. If elected, she would be just the fourth female lieutenant governor in Vermont and the first in over two decades. Gray graduated from the University of Vermont in 2006 and worked for Rep. Peter Welch’s (D-Vt.) first congressional campaign. She then served as an aide to Welch in Washington, D.C., went on to work for the International Committee of the Red Cross, then returned to Vermont attend Vermont Law School, where she graduated in 2014. Gray describes herself as “a product of Vermont” who knows how to unite people to get things done. She discusses why she’s running, how she differs from other candidates, and how issues such as paid family leave are personal for her. (May 6, 2020, broadcast) 

Molly Gray, candidate for Vermont Lt. Governor

“Lean on me:” Coping with COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis are impacting many people’s mental health. A recent poll by Kaiser showed that 45% of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus. In another indication of stress, alcohol sales are up by over 50%. Social distancing makes everything harder. Child abuse advocates point to a concerning drop in reported cases of abuse as children are no longer in school and seen by teachers and counselors. Vermont mental health and child abuse experts discuss what they are seeing and what people can do. Washington Country Mental Health is preparing a group singing of the Bill Withers classic, “Lean On Me.” A global performance of the song can be found here. (April 29, 2020 broadcast)

Mary Moulton, executive director, Washington Country Mental Health Services, VT

Margaret Joyal, director, Center For Counseling & Psychological Services, WCMHS

Linda E. Johnson, executive director, Prevent Child Abuse Vermont

“We’re nowhere near where we need to be:” Stanford epidemiologist Steve Goodman on COVID-19 testing, easing restrictions & a Second Wave

As President Trump pushes states to relax their COVID-19 restrictions amid protests, many sponsored by national conservative activists including the Mercer and Koch families, we talk with Stanford epidemiologist Steve Goodman, MD, MHS, PhD, about where we are in the pandemic and what lies ahead. He warns, “Without testing… you’re just waiting for another wave. We’re not really ready for meaningful re-engagement in most of this country.” (April 22, 2020 broadcast)

Read the article in Medium based on this Vermont Conversation.

Dr. Steven Goodman, Associate Dean, Professor of Epidemiology & Population Health, and Medicine, Stanford School of Medicine

 

Hunger grows in Vermont

The images are becoming a symbol of our time: 800 cars in line at a food shelf in Pittsburgh. New York City residents lined up for blocks to receive free food. In Vermont, food shelves are experiencing a spike in demand. Now a new study from UVM reveals that there has been a 33% increase in food insecurity in Vermont since the COVID-19 outbreak began. We discuss the rise in hunger in Vermont and what is being done to address it. (April 22, 2020 broadcast)

Meredith Niles, assistant professor, Nutrition and Food Sciences Department, University of Vermont

Rob Meehan, director, Feeding Chittenden

Anore Horton, executive director, Hunger Free Vermont

 

“This is a wake-up call:” Donna Carpenter of Burton Snowboards on fighting COVID-19, climate change & paying it forward

When Donna Carpenter, owner and board chair of Burton Snowboards, heard that local hospitals were asking for donations of personal protective equipment to deal with the widening COVID-19 pandemic, she thought of the nurses and physicians who cared for her late husband Jake Burton Carpenter, who founded Burton in 1977. Jake died in November 2019 of cancer. She was determined to help the people who helped her family  and so many others. Burton tapped its suppliers in China and she purchased a half-million N95 face masks that it is donating to the University of Vermont Medical Center, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, and to hospitals in Boston and New York City. The company is also donating goggles and other items for personal protection. Carpenter says the federal response to COVID-19 is “a national disgrace.” She discusses the impact of the pandemic and climate change. “Maybe this a wake-up call. This is Mother Earths’ dress rehearsal.” (April 15, 2020 broadcast)

Donna Carpenter, owner and board chair, Burton Snowboards

Grow your own: VT physicians & local businesses team up to make PPE

The novel coronavirus has inspired novel solutions. As Vermont health care workers confront the prospect of running out of personal protective equipment, they are taking a page from the localvore movement: grow your own. University of Vermont Medical Center physicians are working with a local makerspace to design and produce face shields that help protect health care workers from infection. More than a thousand have already been delivered to hospital workers, and more are in the pipeline. Emergency physician Dr. Eike Blohm also discusses the challenge and stresses of working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. [UPDATE: Two days after this interview, Dr. Blohm was arrested and charged with voyeurism.] (April 15, 2020 broadcast)

Dr. Eike Blohm, MD, emergency medicine physician, University of Vermont Medical Center

Meg Hammond, executive director, Generator Makerspace, Burlington, VT

Mutual aid in a pandemic: Vermont volunteers confront COVID-19

As Vermont grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers are stepping forward to play key roles in their communities. We talk with Vermonters involved in mutual aid and community-level response to the pandemic. (April 9, 2020 broadcast)

Allison Levin, executive director, Community Harvest of Central Vermont, currently leading volunteer coordination, Washington and Northern Orange Counties Regional Response Command Center (WNOC-RRCC)

Carrie Stahler,  director of community engagement, Green Mountain United Way 

Monique Priestly, executive director, Space On Main, organizer, Bradford Resilience

Joey Buttendorf, senior chef instructor, Community Kitchen Academy, Capstone Community Action

Jessica Tompkins,  Mad River Valley Emergency Response Team

Drew McNaughton, Marshfield & Plainfield mutual aid

Schools on the frontline: Delivering lessons, meals & hope in one Vermont school district

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools and students to transform overnight. Classes have gone from in person to online, meals are being served not in school buses instead of cafeterias, and teachers are conjuring new ways to maintain bonds between their distant students. We look at the challenges confronting the Harwood Union Unified School District in Vermont. We talk to teachers, students, food service workers, and administrators to hear how they are adapting to the new normal. And we hear how one 3rd grade teacher inspires hope and humor among her students everyday. (April 1, 2020 broadcast)

Tom Drake, principal, Warren Elementary School
Jonah Ibson, teacher, Harwood Union High School
Aliza Jernigan, 11th grade student, Harwood Union High School

Brigid Nease, superintendent, Harwood Union Unified School District
Katie Sullivan, grade 3/4 teacher, Warren Elementary School
Paul Morris, food services co-director, Harwood Union Unified School District

From masks to sanitizer: VT businesses adapt, worry & work for change in face of pandemic

How are Vermont businesses coping with the COVID-19 pandemic? For some, it means reinventing themselves. Caledonia Spirits and Silo Distillery have transformed from distilling spirits to making hand sanitizer for area hospitals and residents. Vermont Glove has transformed from sewing handmade leather gloves to making hand-sewn face masks for health care providers and public servants. Twincraft Skincare, a leading manufacturer of soap, is hiring to meet unprecedented demand. But other businesses are struggling with layoffs and uncertainty about what the future holds. We speak with Vermont businesspeople about how they are innovating, adapting and worrying about the uncertain future, and the chance to enact long-term change as a result of the crisis.(March 25, 2020 broadcast)

John & Jen Kimmich, The Alchemist, Stowe, VT

Ryan Christiansen, Caledonia Spirits, Montpelier, VT

Peter Jillson, Silo Distillery, Windsor, VT

Michele Asch, Twincraft Skincare, Winooski, VT

Bill Butcher, Mocha Joe’s Roasting Co., Brattleboro, VT

Sam Hooper, Vermont Glove, Randolph, VT

“Our house is burning down:” Stanford epidemiologist Dr. Steven Goodman on COVID-19

In our second COVID-19 conversation (first episode here, article on Medium), Stanford epidemiologist Dr. Steve Goodman discusses the latest scientific information emerging from Europe and China about how COVID-19 is spread and stopped, the evolving response, how lockdowns work in containing the pandemic, the ongoing US testing debacle, how the outbreak could have been handled in the US, and what lessons must be learned.  (March 18, 2020 broadcast)

Read the article in Medium based on this Vt Conversation.

Dr. Steven Goodman, Associate Dean, Professor of Epidemiology & Population Health, and Medicine, Stanford School of Medicine

“It’s really really serious – we have to be all in:” Rep. Peter Welch on federal response to COVID-19

Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) discusses how the federal government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it has evolved from “a slow response, to a little bit of denial, to a cavalier response…to a sense of urgency and action.” He explains emergency funding that Congress is approving to assist businesses and individuals, and guarding against bad legislation slipped through during the emergency. “There is going to be massive unemployment. This is a time when there absolutely has to be a governmental response. We are in such a state of urgency that all of our energy has to go into how best to respond. It’s really really serious.” We also discuss Bernie Sanders’ presidential run and how the pandemic will affect the 2020 election. (March 18, 2020 broadcast)

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont)

“This is an impending catastrophe:” Stanford epidemiologist Steve Goodman on the coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic is sweeping across the globe and has arrived in Vermont. Stanford epidemiologist Steve Goodman discusses the uniquely dangerous dimensions of this new pandemic, the botched federal response, the impact of the Trump Administration’s misinformation, and why he calls COVID-19 “a tsunami.” (March 11, 2020 broadcast)

Read the article version of this show in Medium.

Dr. Steven Goodman, associate dean, Professor of Epidemiology & Population Health, and Medicine, Stanford Medical School

Should there be billionaires? Chuck Collins, Oscar Mayer heir, says no

“The problem isn’t really individuals making money. The problem is having an entire system that grows the wealth of billionaires at the expense of everything else we care about — including our democracy,” writes Chuck Collins in an op-ed for CNN Business, “The US would be better off with fewer billionaires.”  Collins, who is the heir to the Oscar Mayer fortune, has long championed raising taxes on the rich and campaign finance reform, and writes extensively about inequality. Collins discusses Mike Bloomberg, the problem with philanthropy, and the many ways that billionaires undermine the middle class and democracy. (March 11, 2020 broadcast)

Chuck Collins, co-editor, Inequality.org at the Institute for Policy Studies, author, Born on Third Base

“I am incredibly proud of the title Madam Speaker:” Vt. House Speaker Mitzi Johnson

Vermont House Speaker Mitzi Johnson is 1 of just 8 female Speakers of the House in US legislatures. Johnson was elected to the VT House of Reps in 2002. She rose to be chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee, and was elected Speaker in 2017. She discusses the recent historic veto override of Vermont Gov. Phil Scott on raising the minimum wage — the first such override in the state since 2009. She also discusses the presidential run of Bernie Sanders, a tax and regulate system for marijuana, climate change, sexism, and how women lead. (March 4, 2020 broadcast)

Mitzi Johnson, Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives

Act 250 at 50: Debating the future of Vermont’s landmark environmental law

2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Act 250, Vermont’s signature land use and development law. It was passed at a time when Vermont was undergoing significant development pressure. Two new interstate highways, I-89 and 91, had recently opened, increasing development pressure. But in the late 1960s, Vermont had no environmental regulations or land use controls. So Gov. Deane Davis appointed a commission to explore how to deal with these new challenges. The result was Act 250, which the Vermont legislature passed in 1970. The law provides a public, quasi-judicial process for reviewing and managing the environmental, social and fiscal consequences of major subdivisions and developments in Vermont.

Fast forward a half century. In January 2020, the Scott administration and the Vermont Natural Resources Council, which are often adversaries on environmental issues, proposed a package of Act 250 reforms. This reform plan has generated controversy among environmentalists and legislators. Last week, the legislature stripped out a key reform proposal to professionalize the development review process. What is the future of Act 250 and reform efforts? What has Act 250 contributed during its half-century? (February 26, 2020 broadcast)

Peter Walke, commissioner, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

Brian Shupe, executive director, Vermont Natural Resources Council

Sen. Pres. Tim Ashe challenges “governing by veto” and talks political future

Vermont Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe on the key legislative issues in 2020, including the failure of paid family leave and the veto of a higher minimum wage. He accuses Gov. Phil Scott of “governing by veto or veto threat.” And he discusses his political future and his run for Lieutenant Governor. (February 19, 2020 broadcast)

Sen. Tim Ashe, Vermont Senate President Pro Tem

Transforming disability to ability: Vermont Adaptive changes lives

Visitors to Vermont’s mountains will encounter people with disabilities skiing and participating in sports that once might have seemed beyond reach. They are participants with Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports, a nationally recognized organization that empowers people of all abilities through inclusive sports and recreational programming regardless of ability to pay. We discuss the impacts and origins of this pioneering program. (February 19, 2020 broadcast)

Kim Jackson, director of communications & marketing, Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports

Emily Cioffi, mono skier

Kyle Robideaux, a skier with visual impairment who is also an ultra trail runner

 

Stop the cuts: Advocates defend antipoverty programs

The programs that low-income rely on are under attack. Nationally, Pres. Trump is slashing money for food stamps and affordable housing, to name a few. In Vermont, Gov. Scott is proposing to eliminate funds for two longstanding anti-poverty programs: the Micro Business Development Program, established in 1988, which provides free assistance and access to capital to help low-income Vermonters start their own businesses, and the Vermont Matched Savings Program, established in 2000, which matches saving and offers financial education program for low-income Vermonters. Representatives of Vermont’s community action agencies and program participants discuss the role and impacts of these antipoverty programs and what will happen if they are eliminated. (February 12, 2020 broadcast)

Jan DeMers, executive director, Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO)

Liz Scharf, Director of Community Economic Development, Capstone Community Action

Jennifer Fowler and Tim West, program participants

“I will have your back:” Rebecca Holcombe on her race to be Vermont’s governor

In fall 2019, Rebecca Holcombe became the first declared candidate for Vermont governor in the 2020 gubernatorial race. Holcombe is a former teacher, principal, and she served as Vermont’s secretary of education under Governors Peter Shumlin and Phil Scott. Now she is running to unseat Scott as governor. Holcombe discusses why she’s running and the issues that are a priority for her, including climate change, workforce development, health care and education. (February 5, 2020 broadcast)

Rebecca Holcombe, candidate for Vermont governor

Building community through music: Anne Decker & TURNmusic

TURNmusic is a chamber music ensemble with attitude. It is taking classical music out of its comfort zone, venturing into the community to play in bars, meeting halls and other offbeat venues. Conductor Anne Decker of Waterbury, Vermont, says the professional ensemble is part of her mission to use music to build community and support good causes, such as an upcoming concert to benefit the ACLU of Vermont. Decker talks about the power of music to bring people together. (February 5, 2020 broadcast)

Anne Decker, conductor, TURNmusic

 

“Now is not the time to be complacent:” James Lyall of ACLU Vermont on defending civil liberties in the Trump era

More than 8,000 Vemonters are under some form of correctional control. One in four people incarcerated in Vermont have not been convicted of a crime. A new bipartisan consensus is emerging for criminal justice reform. A poll released this week by the ACLU of Vermont shows that two in three Vermonters want to reduce the prison population by investing in community-based alternatives, and four in five Vermonters support alternatives for offenses resulting from substance misuse, mental health conditions and poverty. James Lyall discusses efforts to cut Vermont’s prison population in half, other criminal justice reform legislation, as well as recent court decisions around immigrant rights. He also talks about his greatest concerns about civil liberties in the Trump era. (January 29, 2020 broadcast)

James Lyall, executive director, American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont

Will local journalism survive? Anne Galloway of VTDigger

This week, Vermont’s nonprofit news publication VTDigger was awarded a $900,000 grant by the American Journalism Project to support its work as a daily statewide news source. This is the largest grant ever received by VTDdigger, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. VTDigger has been cited by Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics & Public Policy and the New York Times as a national model for providing local news. Anne Galloway, the founder and editor of VTDigger, talks about the future of local journalism in the age of Facebook & Google, how she started what began as a one-woman operation to cover state politics, the Trump effect on local news coverage and what is next for VTDigger. (January 29, 2020 broadcast)

Anne Galloway, founder and editor, VTDigger.org

Is VT wasting money on programs that don’t work? VT State Auditor Doug Hoffer

Does it make sense to pay people to move to Vermont to solve a workforce shortage? Does spending more on tourism marketing actually bring more tourists? Is Vermont losing or gaining workers? Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer follows the money and offers his often contrarian view of what works and what doesn’t. Hoffer, who took office in 2013, also dispels rumors of his retirement to confirm that he will run for re-election in 2020. (January 22, 2020 broadcast)

Doug Hoffer, Vermont State Auditor

Will VT get paid family leave, higher minimum wage & legal pot sales? Vermont House Majority Leader Jill Krowinski weighs in

Will Vermont finally get paid family & medical leave, a higher minimum wage and legalized marijuana sales that are taxed and regulated by the state. Vermont House Majority Leader Jill Krowinski (B-Burlington) discusses the politics and possibilities of the 2020 legislative session in Vermont. (January 22, 2020 broadcast)

Rep. Jill Krowinski, Vermont House Majority Leader

Progressive on the move: Vermont Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman on why he is running for governor

This week, Vermont Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman announced that he would run to replace Gov. Phil Scott, who is widely assumed will run for a third term in 2020. If Zuckerman were to defeat Scott, he would be the first candidate to defeat an incumbent Vermont governor in 60 years. Zuckerman is a Progressive/Democrat who will run on the Democratic ticket, and he will first have to win a Democratic primary against former Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe. Zuckerman talks about the issues that matter to him, his strategy for winning and how he got into politics. (January 15, 2020 broadcast)

Vermont Lt. Governor David Zuckerman, candidate for governor

Legendary broadcaster Ken Squier on local media, America & his legacy

Ken Squier is an American broadcasting legend and Vermont icon. He is best known to Vermonters as the owner of WDEV Radio Vermont, the 90-year-old independent radio network, and to its listeners as the host of Music to Go to the Dump By. The last three years have been especially momentous for Squier. He sold Thunder Road, the Vermont car racing track that he co-founded more than a half century ago. In January 2018, he was the first journalist inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a recognition of his lifetime achievement as a broadcaster with CBS and TBS and as the founder of Motor Racing Network. Squier reflects on community media, the state of the country and his legacy. (January 8, 2020 broadcast)

Ken Squier, NASCAR Hall of Fame broadcaster and owner, WDEV Radio Vermont

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Why are so many women poor? Breaking out of the gender poverty trap

Why are women a disproportionate share of Vermonters in poverty? Why are 4 out of 10 women who work full time unable to meet their basic needs? Why do women earn 84 cents for every dollar earned by a man? What does it cost a young mom to take a few years off to raise kids? These questions and more are the focus of a report on Women, Work & Wages from Change the Story Vermont, an initiative to align policy, program, and philanthropy to fast-track women’s economic status in Vermont. The organization recently received national attention when it created sports jerseys emblazoned with #equalpay, which were worn by members of the Burlington High School girls soccer team during a game this fall. The players were penalized for wearing unauthorized uniforms but their advocacy of equal pay for women went viral. We spend the hour discussing the issues affecting women, work and poverty in Vermont. (December 18, 2019 broadcast)

Tiffany Bluemle, director, Change the Story Vermont

Cary Brown, executive director, Vermont Commission on Women

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“A stain on the soul of our state:” Ex-Rep. Kiah Morris on racism, misogyny & her fight for justice

Kiah Morris was elected to the Vermont State Legislature from Bennington in 2014 and re-elected in 2016. She was the only female African-American Vermont state representative at that time. In September 2018, she resigned from the legislature in the wake of racist attacks from white nationalists. The shocking story of what happened to her was reported in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, BBC and other news outlets. In January 2019, Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan announced that he would not bring criminal charges against the man who was harassing Morris and her family, insisting that racially offensive speech was protected. Civil rights groups including the NAACP and Justice for All denounced the decision and the Vermont ACLU called for an investigation of the Bennington Police for its “systemic racism problem.” Morris has continued to speak out against racism and misogyny both locally and globally. She was recently part of an Oxfam America delegation to Central America where she met with survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Morris discusses her ongoing fight for justice. (December 11, 2019 broadcast)

Kiah Morris, former Vermont State Representative

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Deep legacy: Snowboard trailblazer Jake Burton Carpenter, 1954-2019

Jake Burton Carpenter, who died on November 20, 2019 at the age of 65, was a trailblazer in many ways. He took his passion of riding a single plank — a snowboard — and transformed it into a global phenomenon and thriving business. He was also a much beloved member of the his community in Stowe, Vermont, where he built a pool and fitness center and could often be found riding the trails at Stowe Mountain Resort. We discuss Carpenter’s life and legacy. (December 4, 2019 broadcast)

Lisa Lynn, editor, Vermont Ski & Ride

Chris Doyle, Rapid Prototype Engineer, Burton Snowboards

Huts for all: A backcountry hut network rises in Vermont

Imagine Vermont with a network of trails and huts that would allow a mountain biker, hiker or skier to travel throughout the mountains staying entirely off the grid and in the backcountry. Other states, including Colorado, New Hampshire and Maine, have well-developed hut systems, but Vermont is new to this wave. RJ Thompson discusses how the decades-old vision of a network of mountain huts for Vermont is being turned into reality. (December 4, 2019 broadcast)

RJ Thompson, executive director, Vermont Huts Association

Filmmaker Bess O’Brien on incarceration, addiction and teen angst

Bess O’Brien is an award-winning filmmaker whose work has changed the public discourse on issues ranging from addiction to incarceration. Her film The Hungry Heart, about the prescription drug crisis in Vermont, impacted the state’s drug policy. All of Me shone a light on eating disorders and her latest, Coming Home, focuses on ex-prisoners returning to their Vermont communities. O’Brien is currently producing The Listen Up Project, a musical based on the lives of Vermont teens. She is the founder of Kingdom County Productions with her husband, filmmaker Jay Craven. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said, “Every state in the Union should be so lucky to have Bess O’Brien working for them in support of children and families.” (November 20, 2019 broadcast)

Bess O’Brien, filmmaker

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Friend or foe? China, trade wars and human rights

China has been in the headlines from protests in Hong Kong, to human rights abuses in western China to Pres. Donald Trump’s trade war. China expert James Millward explains what is behind Trump’s obsession with China, the crackdown on ethnic minorities and what lies ahead for the world’s most populous country. (November 13, 2019 broadcast)

James Millward, professor, Department of History and School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

On public assistance and against government: Arlie Russell Hochschild on the paradox of poor states

Arlie Russell Hochschild is one of the most influential sociologists of our time. She is the author of nine books, including her latest, the bestseller, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right. In that book, she travels to Louisiana, the second-poorest state, to explore why its neediest populations both rely on federal aid and reject the concept of “big government.” She went there to gain insight insight in Donald Trump’s base. (November 13, 2019 broadcast)

Arlie Russell Hochschild, professor of sociology, UC Berkeley, author, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right

Why I quit the US Foreign Service: Lizzy Shackelford on the revolt of the diplomats

Elizabeth Shackelford was a career diplomat in the U.S. State Department until December 2017, when she resigned in protest against the Trump administration. Shackelford served in U.S. embassies in Poland, South Sudan, Somalia, and Washington, D.C. She was considered a rising star in the diplomatic corps and received the State Department’s highest honor for consular work for her service in South Sudan. She now lives in Rochester, Vermont. She discusses why she quit, why more than half of career foreign service officers have also resigned, what happened in Ukraine, and the importance of democratic protest. (November 6, 2019 broadcast)

Elizabeth Shackelford, US diplomat who resigned in protest

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Innovate or die: Matt Dunne on helping rural areas thrive

Around the US, rural areas are in decline. Can rural areas thrive? Matt Dunne argues that rural areas can be centers of innovation and is piloting a model project in the struggling city of Springfield, VT with a new organization whose mission is to build “a network of rural innovation hubs to spark the revival of small towns across America.” (October 30, 2019 broadcast)

Matt Dunne, Founder and Executive Director, Center on Rural Innovation

From birth to menopause: The many roles of midwives

One in four births in Vermont are now attended by midwives and the number of midwife-attended births in the United States has more than doubled since 1991. A new study shows that greater access to midwife care is linked to better outcomes for families. We discuss birthing and midwifery today with Vermont midwives who attend home births, work in Planned Parenthood, hospital-based midwives and a midwife who works in Africa. (October 23, 2019 broadcast)

Bonny Steuer, Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), president, Vermont chapter, American College of Nurse Midwives, practices at UVM Medical Center 

Rebecca Montgomery, CNM & Certified Menopause Practitioner, adjunct professor of nursing, UVM, practices at Vermont Gynecology in S. Burlington 

Elisa Vandervort, CNM, family nurse practitioner, practices at Central Vt Medical Center, Gifford Hospital and University of Dodoma in Tanzania, Africa

April VanDerveer, CNM, practices at Full Spectrum midwifery, specializes in home births

Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds: Amb. Peter Galbraith on why the Kurds matter and the new Mideast order

President Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds has resulted in the slaughter of a former American ally and has realigned the Middle East. Trump claimed that the conflict between Turkey and the Kurds, which he greenlighted in a phone call with Turkish President Erdogan, “has nothing to do with us.” Peter Galbraith is a former diplomat and was a State Senator from Windham County, Vermont. He helped expose Saddam Hussein’s gassing of the Kurds in the 1980s and 1990s, and from 1993 to 1998, he served as the first U.S. Ambassador to Croatia. He recently returned from northern Syria where he was mediating with the Kurds. He condemns the betrayal of the Kurds, saying it will result in a resurgence of America’s adversaries, and accuses Trump of behaving like a Russian asset. (October 16, 2019 broadcast)

Peter Galbraith, former ambassador

Tell your story: Resumes, LinkedIn and rebooting your career

Re-entering the workforce? Changing careers? Two career coaches discuss how to effectively tell your story, from writing resumes to using LinkedIn. (October 16, 2019 broadcast)

Etienne Morris, founder and president, Morris Recruiting & Consulting

Kate Paine, founder and president, Standing Out Online

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)