Town Meeting

Two events occurred recently that high-light the importance of presenting statistics when advocating for policy change . One was a presentation by Dr. Gus Speth and the other was the press conference held by Anthony Pollina, Gwen Hallsmith, and Gary Flomenhoft (of  the Gund Institute). We cannot move forward in any of our efforts unless the numbers make sense, and unless we keep reminding people of the overwhelming and obvious...


Dear High Country News,

As a Vermonter who lived out West for 10 years in my twenties, I have been a loyal HCN subscriber since 1992 - excellent newspaper - and was pleased to read Krista Langlois' fine article about secession in your new issue. Since I was quoted a bit out of context, here are a few additional observations. I hope you will publish them.

1. Secession is every American's birthright - the concept drives Jefferson's 1776 Declaration of Independence and is woven into the fabric of U.S....



Burlington- Meeting on Thursday, the Burlington City Council Ordinance Committee conducted a detailed discussion on the City’s Livable Wage ordinance, recently brought back into the spotlight by the exemption granted to the Skinny Pancake outlet at the Burlington International Airport. Focusing primarily on policy, Councilors Karen Paul, Sharon Bushor, and Committee Chair Chip Mason took a seemingly clinical look at the perceived limitations of the Queen City’s Livable Wage Ordinance established by the Clavelle administration in 2001.



By Vidda Crochetta

What is it about the future we seem to fear so much? Will we all end by “dining on ashes” paralyzed like lumps of coal on a fire? Will there be any free space left to sit on the ground “and tell sad stories of the death of kings?”

We have to start somewhere.
Yet, the time is at hand and we do not have what it takes to coalesce our minds and spirit into a reckoning force that cannot be ignored.
But the night is young. In the darkest hours only those who are the bravest will rush in “where angels fear to tread.” Let’s hope...

“At the heart of the current situation in the United States today is the need to downscale and re-localize everyday life, and that naturally calls into question how we manage our affairs. This excellent anthology – Most Likely To Secede – voices the arguments around the possible political breakup of the U.S. nation-state.”

So writes Clusterfuck Nation blogger and futurist James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency, of...


by Ken White

It’s a fascinating thought experiment, and for many of the Vermonters whose essays  are collected in Most Likely to Secede, it’s a viable and urgent project: Why, how, and with what beneficial impact could Vermont secede from the United States, and become a radically local, largely self-sustaining democracy?

This book consists mainly of essays from the Vermont Commons, the newsletter where secession is debated and post-separation arrangements proposed. And although the editors admirably did not produce Most Likely to Secede with the intent to “...


The aggressive campaign against vaccine choice that continues this year despite the 133-6 house vote to keep our medical freedom of choice in 2012 reminds me why last year's anti-corporate personhood bill was so critical. It also reminds me of the story of Semmelweiss, a doctor who (in his day) was villified and committed to bedlam by experts who rejected his work on advocating for handwashing to prevent infection...


From Peter Garritano

Thomas Naylor woke up every morning thinking about how to make our little slice of the world a better place. He would often call or meet me for lunch so that he could tell me his latest idea, a word he said with a pronounced accent on the “i”. I often wondered if this was a Mississippi thing, he was the only person I ever knew from that part of the country.  I enjoyed our talks and felt connected with him.  Thomas never flaunted his impressive accomplishments. He always made me feel that even I could make a difference.

Thomas had ideas...



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