Wednesday, March 31, 2010

VPR Classical Coming to Central Vermont

Vermont Public Radio has entered a purchase agreement to buy WCVR 102.1 FM, based in Randolph.

The new frequency will bring VPR Classical to a large swath of central Vermont centered around Randolph, from Northfield south to Woodstock, from Route 100 in the west almost to I-91 in the east.

Pending approval of the purchase by the FCC, we expect VPR Classical to begin broadcasting on 102.1 FM this summer. WOXM 90.1, a new station based in Middlebury, will also go on the air this summer, bringing VPR Classical to Addison County (coverage map is below).

With these two new stations, more than 150,000 listeners will have now have access to VPR Classical, moving VPR closer to its strategic goal of making this important resource available statewide. VPR continues to assess other areas of the state including Rutland, southern Vermont, and the Northeast Kingdom.

Stay tuned for more details as these new stations get closer to going on the air!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Inside Egypt With Chris Wren

VPR Commentator Chris Wren will be leading our Tour of Egypt in September. Chris spent three years there as the Cairo bureau chief for The New York Times from 1977 to 1980. He calls Egypt "one of the most colorful and complex countries" and says that Egyptians "must be the friendliest people in the world."

We asked Chris to pick the top three places he's looking forward to showing VPR listeners on this trip. Here's what he had to say.

"Certainly, the Great Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza, for all their popularity, overwhelm the senses, especially if you glimpse them in early morning or late afternoon. Giza's pyramids never fail to take my breath away.

The less well known pyramids of Saqqara, to which we'll enjoy a rare access, can be more exciting because they're so unexpected. And the City of the Dead on the other side of Cairo, where Cairenes are living in the old Islamic tombs, is remarkable. I loved to watch the Sufi dancing there on Saturday nights.

I also want to revisit some favorite Islamic and Coptic Christian sites in Cairo, which other tours may overlook, and the Ben Ezra synagogue, once central to Egypt's vanished Jewish community."

Watch for future blogs from Chris Wren in which he'll share some delicious Egyptian dishes, reveal some other favorite sites and let us know who will enjoy the VPR Tour of Egypt.

You can learn more about the trip and download a brochure by clicking here

Conversation with Robin

I’ll be taking calls tomorrow afternoon at 2:00, and I welcome your thoughts and ideas. It’s easy to sit back and enjoy the programming that comes to you every day on VPR and VPR Classical, but it’s important for your voice to be heard. Let me know what programs you can’t do without, as well as those programs that have you reaching for the off button on your radio. Are you curious about how VPR is doing financially, how VPR is run, or how to volunteer your time? You can write to me in advance, or call in Wednesday afternoon from 2:00 – 3:00.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Robin Turnau
VPR President & CEO

Friday, March 26, 2010

Shooting Pike In A....Lake?

The VPR staff is a motley crew of musicophiles and journalists, engineers and development experts, Vermonters and transplants, lifelong radio folks and those for whom learning broadcast writing was like learning a second language (yours truly included!). That diversity is what makes VPR such an interesting place to work, and it often helps a piece of programming come together.

Case in point: Patti Daniels, Vermont Edition's senior producer, emails the staff yesterday: So here's a odd story we'd like to cover: apparently Vermont is the only state that allows pike shooting. As we understand it, this entails shooting your rifle (shotgun?) into the water to stun pike into submission, and then pulling them up in a basket. Or maybe a sack. If you know someone who shoots pike, please let the Vermont Edition team know.

A few hours later, Patti writes: VPR's staff has a (surprising) wealth of information on pike shooting, or "pickerel shooting" in the local vernacular. I've learned there are no baskets or sacks needed, you just grab the stunned fish with your hands. Pike have nasty teeth, and this seems as potentially dangerous as shooting into the water in which you stand. Thanks again for your help.

But it didn't end there. Production Associate Ric Cengeri shared a bit of history: From a 2004 NY Times article: "Permitted from March 25 to May 25, only on Lake Champlain, fish shooting has probably existed for a century. It also used to be legal in New York, which borders the huge apostrophe-shaped lake.

Then, News Editor Ross Sneyd chimes in: We're all very much looking forward to the pickerel pie that Vermont Edition will be preparing after Jane heads out to the lake for a little target practice.

(I'm pretty sure he was kidding, but Jane does like to experience her stories first-hand!)

Next, a question from Audio Engineer Sam Sanders: Pike and pickerel are not the same fish -- are they?

Reporter Susan Keese: I seem to recall that pike were incredibly bony, scaly (sharp), hard to eviscerate and turn into a meal. I can't imagine adding buckshot to the disagreeable equation. I think the only excuse for fishing for them is to get away from home.

Production Associate Brian Jones, himself an avid fisherman: They are not the same, but they are very similar members of the same family. Pike (Esox lucius) grow to be much larger than Pickerel (Esox niger). Otherwise, a slight difference in coloration is the main difference... Attached is a pic of the largest Northern Pike I've caught, and of course released. 32 inches. (At left).

Membership and Underwriting Director Dan Palow said, O boy, here come the fish tails!

Knowing that we are persnickety about grammar, he follows up, yes, I meant tails not tales.

You'd think it would have stopped there, but as I write this, I'm listening to a conversation in the kitchen about this very topic. I love this place.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The 89.5 WVPR Story

Here's the short version: Something was broken at VPR's transmitter site on Mount Ascutney. The station was off air or at low power for a long period. It was a complex problem that took a while to diagnose and fix. VPR listeners were patient and understanding while VPR engineers worked long days and weekends. Now the problem is fixed!

If you would like to know more, read on.

We thank our listeners for their patience while we worked to get 89.5 WVPR back to full power. The problem was related to a faulty combiner element (see photo below). WVPR shares a common antenna on the tower atop Mt. Ascutney with another broadcaster, and the combiner is a key piece of equipment that keeps both stations on the air.

Normally this combiner system works quite well, but recently, a series of events led to some major damage to one of the components, so huge amounts of output power from the transmitter were being reflected back into the output. Fortunately, there is a device that protects the transmitter from severe damage by automatically reducing this reflected power. That’s what made 89.5 go to low power, making it difficult for most of you to hear. We knew what was happening, but we didn’t know why.

Thus began a long period of investigation of the many complex elements which form a modern transmission system - a search that would even have made Sherlock Holmes scratch his head.

What we eventually learned was that the filter was damaged inside - and that was what created the problems.

Once it was determined for certain what the problem appeared to be, we called the factory in Maine. The factory engineer came to Vermont and brought the new parts with him. He was able to work with VPR's engineers to get the part replaced, reassemble the combiner, and retune it properly; so the WVPR transmitter could go back on the air again at full power.

With these extremely complex, and high powered systems, it takes a lot of careful diagnosis to really know what is going on, and that involves taking things apart, turning them on and off, and otherwise disrupting operations. Add to that the fact that it is still 'mostly winter' on top of the mountain, so travel on snowmobile or tracked vehicle can be slow and difficult.

We fully appreciate how disruptive this was for our listeners, and we worked extremely hard to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. Thanks again for your patience during this time. We also appreciate the kind words sent via email and posted on Facebook.

-Rich Parker, GSEC
VPR's Director of Engineering

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

VPR prEview: New Radiolab, Spring Bird Show, Applesauce Raisin Bread

Potholes, migrating birds, and muddy dogs have nothing on what I think is a true sign of spring - a conversation that goes something like this:

“Isn’t it amazing outside?”
“Oh, it’s gorgeous. I love spring!”
“This can’t be the end of winter. It just can’t.”
“No, we’re definitely going to get another dumping of snow.”
“Absolutely.”

It’s a bit colder and grayer this week, so listen to VPR to stay energized and inspired. In this edition of prEview, you’ll learn about the new season of Radio Lab. You can also send your pressing avian questions for Vermont Edition’s upcoming Bird Show, and read about this weekend’s Saturday Special – a documentary exploring the funding of hope through philanthropy. Plus, in VPR Cooks, we give an unassuming cereal box recipe its 15 minutes of fame.

Read the rest of this week's prEview...

Monday, March 22, 2010

The ___________ Orkestra

<---Orkestra violinist/vocalist/harmonicist (is that a word?) and leader, Jorge Kachmari

The Underscore Orkestra arrived around 10 o'clock yesterday morning, even as a thick late-season snowshower fleeced the newly springtime landscape surrounding VPR's Colchester studios.

They were a little surprised to see the snow (so was I). There isn't much of that kind of thing in Portland, OR, the place they call home. The ensemble is on tour in our area this week and we were happy to host them in a few live sets before they headed over to Burlington's Radio Bean for another engagement in the evening.

For the two or so hours after their arrival Robert Resnik talked with the Orkestra, shared some favorite tunes, and got ready for the afternoon's live broadcast during All The Traditions. We learned about the long tradition of Roma music, why a dumbek's name is onomotopoaeic, and just what it takes to make a guitar sound like a cymbalom (the Hungarian national instrument). We also witnessed the surprising transformation of one of the studio plastic waste buckets into a creditable bass drum. Flip over, add pedal, add stabilizer, and - VoilĂ !

(Need a bass drum? Nah, you just need a good trash can and a pedal)--->

Behind the scenes our audio engineer Chris Albertine was doing real-time training with Kyle, one of his students at Champlain College. They prepared all of the mics and the recording setup and carefully monitored the mix as the Underscore Orkestra played.

For my part? I had it rough. I listened, and enjoyed!

As for the name: they were without one for so long when they first got started together, they became so used to the __________ that usually preceded 'Orkestra' that they decided that was their name.

Keep an eye out here. I'll be posting many more pictures and the audio from the concert soon.

(The Underscore Orkestra plays tonight at 8 at Langdon Streete Cafe in Montpelier, and then they're on to Montreal this Thursday.)

A Living Library

From VPR Classical Host Joe Goetz:

One of the most common questions I receive when meeting listeners is "what do you do when you're not on the air?" It's a good question. I'm only on the air for four hours each afternoon, yet the job is full-time. So what do I do for the other part of the day? I like to tell people that I'm a librarian.

Most of the time, my desk is covered with sticky notes, purchase orders, and several large stacks of CDs. Classical music CDs that arrive at VPR come to my desk, where I sort through them, log them, stick a label on them, and enter their track information into our massive music scheduling database. It's an exhaustive process, but it is also a very fulfilling one. After I have entered a CD into our database, I know that it will always be available to us for airplay, and that it can be enjoyed by our listeners for years to come.

(Volunteers Ann and Bruce, negotiating library space)--->

Recently it became clear that our library space was becoming more and more constrained. About a month ago, our trusty music volunteer, Ann Larson, mentioned to me that she just did not have room to shelve some of our new CDs. Luckily (thanks to a previous volunteer library project!), there are are now several rows of empty shelves that can accommodate the surplus. So I looked over the situation, came up with an (admittedly flawed) action plan, and enlisted another VPR volunteer, Bruce Simmons, to help Ann in making a mass move of CDs to the empty shelves.

As it happens I had already planned for a personal day off on March 5th, the day that all this was scheduled to happen. I left Ann and Bruce detailed notes about my -- "incredible" -- vision for the process, and left them to it.

Most of us have found out at some point in life, just because one has a plan doesn't mean it will work exactly as one had envisioned it. Ann and Bruce, early on in the process, ran into the shortcomings of my plan and decided to do it their way. And it turned out great! Our library now has the breathing room to continue expanding at its current rate, by my estimation, for at least another three years.

Thanks so much to Ann and Bruce for their help, and to our contributing listeners whose support enables us to keep adding essential material to our living, breathing, and always evolving music library.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Update On WVPR 89.5

If you listen in central or southern Vermont, you may have noticed that VPR has been having significant issues with our transmitter on Mount Ascutney over the last several days. Many listeners from your area have experienced poor reception and in some cases, have lost reception altogether.

I want to assure you that VPR's engineers are working hard to resolve the problem. Our engineers have been on Mount Ascutney all week and have successfully pinpointed the cause of these issues. Due to the failure of a critical broadcast component listeners to WVPR 89.5 FM will continue to experience poor or no reception for the next several days. This also affects our 89.5 HD channels and our low-power translators at 94.5 FM in Brattleboro and 92.5 FM in Manchester.

We have ordered new equipment and we hope to have it installed and have the station back on the air by late next week.

I know you count on VPR to be there for you everyday, and I know how frustrating it can be to be without your daily companion. Thank you very much for your patience as we work to resolve this issue. In the meantime, I hope you’ll listen to VPR online if you are able.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It Was Bliss Meeting Harry!

In addition to showing you this week's Morning Edition cartoon by Harry Bliss, I bring you this story, direct from a giddy Mitch Wertlieb:

How many people get to say they met the guy who drew him into a cartoon? Well, this past weekend I had the distinct pleasure of finally meeting Harry Bliss, the wonderful cartoonist who has been drawing a number of Morning Edition panels featuring yours truly doing things that help folks wake up each morning (whether they want to or not!) with VPR.

The back story here is twofold:

1) I am a cartoon fanatic. I grew up reading Marvel comic books (Daredevil was my favorite), and still believe political cartoons are among the greatest of America's satirical art forms. I also can't get enough of comic strips like "Doonesbury," "Zippy the Pinhead," and of course, I still read "Peanuts." If I wasn't in radio my dream job would be cartooning (which may make many cartoonists do a spit-take and yell "WHY???"), but it's true. The biggest obstacle is that I can't draw worth a lick, which sort of gets in the way of being good at cartooning.

2) Harry Bliss is actually my neighbor, but until this past weekend, we'd never met (I knew where he lived but was too shy to do the "drop-in" to introduce myself.). So even though it was great to hear Harry would be drawing cartoon images of me, I felt it was also somewhat absurd that we'd never met face to face.

But as fate would have it I was hanging out with my daughter Gretchen and my wife Erin last Sunday, enjoying the glorious early spring weather, when Harry came walking by with his girlfriend and his dog. I'd seen pictures of him and was pretty sure it was him. I whispered this information to Erin, who promptly punched me in the shoulder and said "Go say 'hi!'", which, with some nervousness, I did.

Harry could not have been more gracious and friendly. I told him I was a big fan, he said he thought the same of me (I blushed), we made introductions all around, and a pleasant time was had by all. Now I know I can drop by his house and shoot the breeze, and I can say I'm friends with a famous cartoonist!

And fortunately when I said goodbye, I resisted the urge to blurt out "See you in the funny papers!"

Learn more and connect with Morning Edition at our website!

Problems With WVPR 89.5

If you've had trouble listening to VPR at 89.5 over the last several days, I just wanted to let you know that we have been experiencing problems with our transmitter, which affects the signal at 89.5, our translator at 94.5, as well as our HD channels.

We are not sure yet what the exact cause is, but our engineers report there is a problem with the the filter/combiner network that leads up to the antenna. It's causing the transmitter to automatically reduce power in order to protect itself from being damaged.

Engineers working on it, and hope to have the problem corrected and WVPR restored to full power very soon! Thank you for your patience!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Today Is Arts Advocacy Day

This week I had a fascinating conversation with Alex Aldrich, Director of the Vermont Arts Council. I wanted to know more about the Council's involvement with today's events for Arts Advocacy Day at the State House.

One question I had related to the anecdotal experience we all have probably had at some point: doesn't it seem like you can't turn around here without running into a writer, a poet, an artist, or a musician of one kind or another?

I discovered it's more than a passing impression, that perception has quite a bit of truth to it. Alex confirmed that Vermont is among the top states per capita for the number of artists and artisans employed here: "I'm glad you raised this during a year when we're doing the census. I actually think that are really really under-counted as far as Vermont is concerned...we do know from what hard data we have that Vermont is number one where writers are concerned. We're number six where visual artists and designers are concerned, and overall I think we wind up around number two or three nation-wide."

So, what does it mean to be an "arts advocate"? "I think it's a crucial part of our program that a lot of what we do it simply educate people," Alex explained, "...it builds community, it builds responsible citizens, it builds creative citizens, and makes Vermont this wonderful jewel of a place where we like to live and work."

Public radio is also an integral part of a thriving cultural community. While VPR advocates for the arts in Vermont by telling you about upcoming events, playing the music of local performers and composers, and talking with the wide range of artists who make their home here - you, as a listener, are also an advocate through your support of our efforts. Thanks! And, congratulations to you on this Arts Advocacy Day for helping to make this such a vibrant place to live!

Arts Advocacy Day concludes this evening with the "Luck of the VSO" concert, starting at 7:30pm in the State House Chambers. Guest conductor Sarah Hicks leads the Vermont Symphony Orchestra in a program of music from the British Isles in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

VPR Cooks: Jean Murphy's Irish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick's Day! The holiday is a little more special at the office ever since Membership Associate Jean Murphy started work at VPR. That’s because she brings in a batch of her grandmother-in-law’s famous Irish soda bread for all of us to enjoy: "The recipe came from my husband's grandmother, Nellie Murphy of Dingle, Co. Kerry. She used to make about 20 loaves every St. Patrick's Day for all her dear ones. Mine is never as good as hers*, but I still make it every year."

*Editor's Note: We beg to differ. I'm going back for seconds.

Ingredients:

4 cups flour
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons caraway seed
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine flour, raisins, caraway seed, sugar, baking powder and salt. In separate bowl, beat eggs with buttermilk and melted butter, then stir in cream of tartar and baking soda dissolved in water. Add more buttermilk if mixture is too dry-dough should be wet and sticky. Put in buttered, floured 9 inch baking dish and pat into round. Make a cross on top of the bread, spreading open. Bake 40-60 minutes at 350 until golden brown.

Find more St. Patrick's Day recipes in our VPR Cooks column!

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Very Good Season


My husband Mike and I visited the High Meadow Farm sugar house in East Burke on Sunday. We first visited there a year ago on Maple Open House Weekend. Using a GPS, we found our way down muddy Burke Hollow Road to this beautiful farm on a hill with a breath-taking view. It was on that day I discovered and became addicted to maple cream.

We talked with Vernon Gray as he sat in the steamy sugar house monitoring his syrup for the perfect temperature and consistency. He explained how just that day they had spent hours cleaning every nook and cranny of the boiler, and would do so again many times during the boiling season. Vernon, who runs the farm with his wife Ellen, told us that this year is the best he's seen in a long time. He apologized that he hadn't had time to shave. The sap is running so fast that he and his manager of operations, Gerry O'Meara, have been working from 6am till midnight or later for many days on end.

I was hoping to buy some more maple cream, but alas, I will have to wait till next weekend. Gerry has been so busy he hasn't had time to make any. Mike and I drove away with the sweet smell of the maple steam lingering in our noses. By the way, Maple Open House weekend begins next Friday - March 26th through the 28th.

Click here to see more photos of maple sugaring in Vermont and add your own. You can also listen to the Vermont Edition program about maple history and traditions.

Franny Bastian

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Morning Edition Is Bliss: Part Three


Here's our latest Morning Edition cartoon by New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss. You'll also find it in this week's Seven Days!

Visit our website to see this week's cartoon and to connect with Morning Edition on VPR.

This one holds special meaning for me. Before I tore my PCL last fall, I would get up at 6 a.m. several times a week to run. Since my iPod had no FM tuner, I relied on music and podcasts (Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me is my favorite, as long as you don't mind snorting to yourself and people looking at you funny) to keep me company.

The problem is that doing so meant that I missed Mitch's 6:30 sports update. This was a particular problem during baseball season; I often go to bed before the game is over and rely on Mitch to let me know if our beloved Red Sox won the night before.

Anyhow, my trusty old 2005 4GB iPod Mini finally bit the dust a few weeks ago, and my replacement iPod has an FM tuner! My PCL is nearly healed and I'll be back to running soon. And this time, I'm taking Mitch with me.

VPR's PrEview E-Newsletter: March 10, 2010

Last weekend I explored Rupert, Vermont’s Merck Forest. The sunny, 40-degree weather made it not only perfect for hiking and camping, but to check out its huge maple sugaring operation in action. You could actually hear the sap rushing through the extensive web of tubing that connects the acres and acres of trees. Imagine my excitement to then learn about more traditional methods of making maple syrup on yesterday’s Vermont Edition. I can always count on VPR to make sure my education is well-rounded!

In this edition of prEview, check out the Morning Edition cartoons designed for VPR by New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss. You’ll also learn about pianist Paul Orgel performing live on VPR Classical this Friday. You can share your signs of spring with us, and in VPR Cooks, Jean Murphy shares her family recipe for the Irish soda bread she’ll be making on St. Patrick’s Day.

Read more...

Another Day at the Office.... er, Mountain



VPR engineer Brian Marshal was working on our facilities on Mount Equinox yesterday and sent these photos back to the office.

Above is the view of Little Equinox across 'the saddle' from Big Equinox. You can just see the buried guardrail to the right. Brian estimated the snow depth at 4+ feet.

The photo below is taken from 'the saddle' looking back at Big Equinox. If you click on the photo to enlarge and look carefully at the mountain, the tower on the far right is WEQX. Just to the left of that, you can see the top of the old Equinox Hotel. The 4 towers to the left of the hotel are the "FAA" radar site where WVTQ is located.

What's the view from your window?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The View From 3400 Feet



Over the last few weeks, VPR engineers have been working on Mount Ascutney, attempting to diagnose a problem with our WVPR 89.5 signal. Yesterday, climbers from Prescott Tower of Rutland were on the tower inspecting VPR's antenna. They found no visible problems with the antenna, so the diagnostic work will continue until the problem is found and fixed.

In the meantime - enjoy the view! Mount Ascutney is 3143 feet high. The tower is more than 400 feet - the climber was at 330 feet up.

Here is another shot looking straight down the tower. And to think tower climbers love their work!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Morning Edition Is Bliss: Week Two


The second in our series of Morning Edition on VPR cartoons by New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss is in this week's Seven Days! For those of you with shower radios (I'll admit it, I have one!), you can probably relate!

Visit our website to see this week's cartoon and to connect with Morning Edition on VPR. How do YOU wake up with Morning Edition? Let us know and it might show up in a future cartoon!

Tweeting, Broadcasting, and Posting Town Meeting Day

For years, VPR News has produced a special evening show to report up-to-the-minute results on Town Meeting Day. This year, it was enriched more than ever by Tweets and blogs and all kinds of social media.

While VPR's Bob Kinzel was on the air with guest Chris Graff, several VPR News staffers were scrolling through blogs, Tweeting, and scouring the Internet for results and information. Of course, we also used the now-old-fashioned but tried-and-true telephone (the kind that's plugged into the wall; remember those?), email, and actually going to the town meetings and polling places where the news was being made.

We had results faster than ever by marrying all of those technologies. As we gathered information from all of our various sources, senior producer Patti Daniels passed it along to Bob in the studio, who kept our listening audience on top of developments. We heard on the air from VPR staff around the state. And VPR VP for News and Programming John Van Hoesen was our Tweeter-in-chief -- and the man behind the @vprnet logo on Twitter all night!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Howard Frank Mosher Talks About His New Book Tuesday on Morning Edition

Fans of Northeast Kingdom author Howard Frank Mosher have been waiting over three years for his new novel.

The wait is over. “Walking to Gatlinburg” is out tomorrow (March 2). It’s the tale of 17-year-old Morgan Kinneson, who leaves his home on Kingdom Mountain and walks to Tennessee to find his brother, Pilgrim, who’s gone missing at Gettysburg. It’s an adventure through a country torn apart by Civil War. And it’s told by one of Vermont’s greatest authors.

Mr. Mosher came into our VPR studios last week to talk about the book with Mitch Wertlieb. As always, there was lots of laughter and great anecdotes, including one about his great-great-grandfather who inspired one of the book’s villains. We’re always impressed by Mr. Mosher’s humility, humanity and mesmerizing story-telling.

Listen for Mitch’s interview with Howard Frank Mosher tomorrow during Morning Edition at 7:50.

You can read an excerpt of the book here.

Be Part Of The Town Meeting Day Coverage

It's time for Town Meeting Day in Vermont and, as always, you can count on VPR to provide you with all the major news, developments, and results across the state. Now, with the advent of social media, you can use blogs and sites such as Twitter to join the larger conversation and be part of that coverage as well.

If you're a Blogger, Twitter user, or avid photographer, use that media to share your experiences at Town Meeting. If you're a blogger, write a post on your town's meeting and the issues of importance to you. If you use Twitter, consider "live tweeting" your meeting, sharing helpful observations, or re-Tweeting what others write. If you're a photographer, bring your digital camera to your meeting and post your photos and videos with online services such as Flickr and YouTube. VPR will link to Town Meeting content on many of the major social media sites, with Town Meeting Tweets flowing through VPR.net in real-time on the Town Meeting Page.

In all cases, make sure you use the appropriate Social Media tags so your content is aggregated together with everyone else. Tags and hashtags are essentially just labels which allow anyone to find just the content associated with any particular topic. For example, if you want to see all the Tweets on Twitter that are associated with Town Meeting Day in Vermont, just search on the hashtag #TMDVT (of course, if you use Twitter, be sure to tag your Tweets with the #tmdvt hashtag). If you're a blogger, photographer, or videographer, use the tag TMDVT10. For a full list of tags and links, visit VPR's Town Meeting Day page at VPR.net and look for the section labeled "Join The Conversation".

If you don't use Social Media and have never blogged or posted photos online, that's OK - you can post your comments and photos directly on VPR.net. Just visit our Town Meeting Page and click "View The Discussion" in the right column, or just click here.

We hope you'll share your perspective on Town Meeting with VPR and the entire state - whether it's in the form of paragraphs, photos, or Tweets!