Thursday, October 29, 2009

VPR Classical Now Available on Rutland's PEGTV

We are excited to announce that VPR Classical is now available in the evening and overnight to cable customers in the Rutland area!

Cable subscribers can listen to VPR Classical overnight on PEGTV Channel 20 during the overnight and morning hours between 11 p.m and 9 a.m. It can also be heard at other times throughout the day when the station is broadcasting its Bulletin Board. You'll find the full schedule here.

The PEGTV service creates one more way to hear VPR Classical in an area that cannot yet receive the service via analog radio. Securing new radio frequencies can be a long and complex process, so in the meantime we're also working to find creative solutions to make VPR Classical more widely available. VPR Classical is also available in Rutland via streaming at, and using an HD radio at 88.7-HD2.

PEGTV is Rutland’s community access television network, reaching 15,000 cable subscribers on channels 15, 20 and 21 throughout Rutland County.

If you live in the Rutland area we hope you'll check it out and let us know what you think!


Things get downright spooky at Vermont Public Radio for Halloween. Friday evening on VPR, put down your torch and pitchfork and join the Capitol Steps for Politics Takes a Holiday. They'll musically skewer everything left, right and wrong with the country today!

At 10, George 'Spooky Jazz' Thomas will have you under his spell 'til midnight.

VPR Classical presents eerie offerings throughout the day, including “Son of Frankenstein.”

Saturday at 4, Radio Lab revisits War of the Worlds.

At 8, treat yourself as well as your trick or treaters to a Halloween "spooktacular" on Joel Najman's My Place.

You can learn more about our Halloween tricks and treats online here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


VPR finished its membership drive on Monday morning, surpassing our goal of $600,000. And, just as importantly, $25,000 will be donated to the CVPS Shareheat and Warmth programs thanks to our partnership with Chittenden Bank.

Our generous listeners help make Vermont Public Radio one of the strongest and most successful in the country. Thank you for your support and helping to keep families in crisis warm this winter!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Make Chocolate Cake in your VPR Artist Mug

Most of my mornings at VPR begin routinely enough: pour coffee, put lunch in refrigerator, check email, make to-do list. But this morning I had a much more exciting mission: chocolate cake! One morning during our current membership drive, long-time volunteer Thea Platt told us how she uses her VPR artist mugs to make a quick and easy chocolate cake in her microwave.

I don't really need another vice or temptation, particularly not one this quick and easy, but I just had to see this for myself. I was all set to try it out last night as I had all the ingredients at home, but ironically I couldn't find a VPR mug in my cupboard (I keep them on a shelf near my desk)! So, I measured out the ingredients and brought them to the office this morning.

You can find a printable version of the recipe here, or read on for a photographic tutorial!

1. In VPR Artist Mug, combine dry ingredients - 4 Tbsp. cake flour, 4 Tbsp. sugar, and 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder. Mix well.

2. Add one egg, stir to combine.

3. Add 3 Tbsp. milk and 3 Tbsp. oil, and mix well.

4. Add 3 (or more!) Tbsp. chocolate chips and a splash of vanilla extract. Mix again.

The batter will look something like this (depending on mug, of course).

5. Place mug in microwave and zap on high for three minutes.

6. Do not panic if the cake puffs up over the mug. This is normal.

7. Instead, wait in anticipation with your friends or family (left to right: me, VPR's Peter Biello, volunteers Sarah and Kelly King).

8. Let cool slightly and remove from microwave. Tip cake out onto a plate and enjoy. If you're very virtuous, share it with a friend, colleague, or loved one.

Just another great reason to support VPR! Thank you so much for your support! Thanks also to Thea for sharing this recipe with us, and thanks to volunteer Eugenia Saganich for bringing it to our attention!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Congratulations, Nina!

VPR's Nina Keck was in New York City last week to accept her national Edward R. Murrow Award for her story about the final exam for an oxen driving class. Below, Nina is with NPR's Melissa Block and Frank Langfit. Listen to her Murrow Award winning story, Final Exam with a Twist. Congratulations, Nina!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mount Mansfield Update

As we noted in a blog post a few weeks ago, our WVPS transmitter at 107.9 has been operating at greatly reduced power while we moved our equipment to a new building on Mt. Mansfield. We are thrilled to say that the move is complete, and 107.9 is broadcasting at full power once again.

The work took a bit longer due to some unexpected setbacks, and so a special thanks to all of you whose reception has been limited over the last couple of weeks.

Tower work is difficult even under perfect conditions, but the early onset of winter last week made the move all the more treacherous. Thanks to our engineers and our engineering contractor Dave Groth, his crew, and the tower riggers who worked over the weekend on the transmission lines under icy conditions outdoors.

There will be one more brief period of low power operation this afternoon (Monday) for some follow up work, but after that things should return to normal operation.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Warm Hearts, Warm Homes

Our latest VPR Artist Mug is called “Warm Hearts, Warm Homes” by Jayne Shoup of Middlesex. Depicting warm light flooding from a cozy home on a snowy night, it’s in honor of our partnership with Chittenden Bank and the CVPS Shareheat and Warmth programs.

Jayne wrote about the process of coming up with the art for this mug at her blog. You can read about it here.

And of course, to get your own mug - sure to warm your heart and home - visit our website and pledge $80. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Support VPR & Share the Warmth

Imagine yourself having no money in the bank - and the fuel gauge on your furnace is almost on empty. The forecast calls for cold and snow and you don’t know how you’ll keep your family warm.

Thousands of Vermont families find themselves in situations like this every winter. Some have used up their Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) allocation, some don’t qualify for assistance. Add to the mix a trip to the doctor, a car repair, or a reduction in work hours and the family is thrown into financial crisis.

That’s where Warmth and CVPS Shareheat come in. These programs provide the safety net for families who have no where else to turn. Last year, these programs helped more than 5500 families avoid a heating crisis by providing money for fuel and furnace repairs.

VPR has partnered with Chittenden Bank during our fall membership drive to help keep the heat on this winter. With every pledge to VPR, Chittenden Bank will make a donation to Warmth and CVPS Shareheat.

Your contribution to VPR today benefits you, VPR and our community. Your pledge helps pay for the programming you enjoy every day, supports VPR as an independent source of news and culture for our region, and helps a Vermont family stay warm this winter.

You can learn more and make your pledge here.
Thanks for supporting VPR and sharing the warmth!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Support VPR and Win $1,000 at Small Dog Electronics

Today is Web Tuesday, where we'll try to raise as much money as we can before the on-air part of our membership drive begins tomorrow.

If your membership is up, or if you've never given to VPR before, or you’re just wanting to show VPR some love, I hope you'll make Web Tuesday a success by pledging online right now.

Web days have become a great way for VPR to get a jump start on its membership drive without interrupting programming like an on-air membership drive. Plus, giving online is easy, fast, and secure, and it saves VPR resources to boot.

Now if that's not reason enough to pledge today, perhaps we can entice you to participate in Web Tuesday with a special drawing. When you pledge today you'll be entered to win a $1,000 gift certificate to Small Dog Electronics to use in their store or online. You'll also be entered into ALL of the prize drawings for the rest of this membership drive - you can check them out online here.

As always, it's not the amount of your pledge - it's the fact you pledge. Thank you so very much for your support.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

VPR's prEview E-Newsletter for October 7, 2009

What I like most about living in Vermont is that we always seem to be on the verge of…something. No sooner do we lament the cold and lonely grill than we rediscover the joy of soup. I don’t wake up as easily in the dark, but the cool air allows me to sleep more soundly. And not long after that final swim…say, is that snow up there on the mountain? My friend teases that I’m not happy unless I am working on a project. Living here helps satisfy that constant need for change and evolution.

It’s also the reason I love VPR, where there is always more news and music to explore. In this edition of prEview, meet Captain Richard Phillips, the merchant marine held hostage by Somali pirates and dramatically rescued earlier this year. He’ll join us on Vermont Edition next week. Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s Ben Jaffe joins George Thomas on VPR, and you can hear the debut performance of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s new conductor on VPR Classical. Plus, in VPR Cooks, Ross Sneyd shares his recipe for apple-cranberry quick bread.

Michelle Jeffery


Vermont Edition: Photographing Vermont
Today, noon and 7 p.m.
Fall is the perfect time in Vermont to get outside with your camera to capture mountains against a stormy sky, that one perfect orange leaf or the sight of your children running for the bus. Listen today for a discussion about photogaphing Vermont. If you have questions, or great Vermont photos, send them to And check out our Vermont photo gallery here!

Vermont Edition: UVM President Dan Fogel
Friday, October 9, noon and 7 p.m.
Listen Friday for a discussion about UVM with school president Dan Fogel. After a tough year of budget cuts at the University of Vermont, we'll talk about how this school year is going, and what lies ahead for fiscal year 2010.

Vermont Edition: Captain Richard Phillips
Thursday, October 15, noon and 7 p.m.
When Underhill resident Captain Richard Phillips was held hostage by Somali pirates, his story captured the world’s attention. Since his release in April, he’s spent much of his time back home, and now he’s written a book about his experience. Capt. Phillips and his neighbor and fellow Merchant Marine, Michael Willard, join us to talk about the life and risks of a career in the Merchant Marines.


Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s Ben Jaffe
Thursday, October 8, 9 p.m.
George Thomas welcomes Ben Jaffe of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to VPR Studios Thursday. Ben Jaffe's father started Preservation Hall in 1961 as a place for the older, original generations of jazz musicians to play. He’ll discuss the state of jazz, New Orleans, and the band’s upcoming benefit for the Vermont Foodbank.

In Concert @8: LA Philharmonic’s Gustavo Dudamel

Monday, October 12, 8 p.m.
Listen for the energetic young conductor Gustavo Dudamel making his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic's new maestro, next Monday during In Concert @8 on VPR Classical. Dudamel is known for teaching music to Venezuala’s poorest children – starting as young as 2! Don't miss one of the most anticipated classical events of the season!


VPR Cooks: Apple-Cranberry Quick Bread

For the last two weeks, delicious, dense, seeded bread has been showing up in the VPR kitchen for all to share. When one colleague started asking around about it, everyone else chimed in, some even offering to trade for the recipe. The bread was actually purchased from a baker at the Burlington farmer’s market, but VPR’s Ross Sneyd still handed over this recipe for “embarrassingly easy” apple-cranberry quick bread.

Vermont 3.0 Innovation Jam
Monday, October 26
The Vermont 3.0 Innovation Jam takes place Monday, October 26th at the Sheraton in South Burlington. It’s a showcase of Vermont's creative technology companies and features demonstrations, start-up help, and career advice from local entrepreneurs and CEOs. Learn more online here, and don’t forget to come by the VPR table to say hello!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Transmitter Move: It's Kind of Like This....

VPR's Rich Parker on our 107.9 transmitter move: "It's kinda like this....a farmer was going to town with a fox, a goose and a sack of corn. When he came to a stream, he had to cross in a tiny boat, and could only take across one thing at a time. How does he get them all safely over the stream?"

Thanks for your patience. We'll be at low power off and on for the next 8-10 days, but the result will be a more reliable signal!

Click here to learn more about this move. If your reception is affected, try listening online using VPR's Audio Player.