Thursday, July 29, 2010

What Would You Ask The Candidates?

Vermont’s Primary Election is Tuesday August 24th. During August, VPR gives you the opportunity to hear and compare the candidates’ views in a series of debates. We're asking you to help shape the topics for these special broadcasts.

Listener questions have always been a part of VPR’s debate format, and to bring you the most informative debates possible, we’re calling on listeners to submit their questions in advance.

Call 1-800-258-1619 to record your question to record your question for the candidates before the broadcast, and we'll use as many listeners questions as we can during each debate.

The debates will be moderated by Bob Kinzel and Jane Lindholm during Vermont Edition. Here’s the schedule:

Tuesday, Aug 3: Republican Secretary of State Candidates
Wednesday, Aug 4: Democratic U.S. Senate Candidates
Friday, Aug 6: Democratic Secretary of State Candidates
Tuesday, Aug 10: Republican House of Representatives Candidates
Wednesday, Aug 11: Democratic Lieutenant Governor Candidates
Friday, Aug 13: Republican Lieutenant Governor Candidates
Tuesday, Aug 17: Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates. (90 mins, live at 7pm)
Thursday, Aug 19: Progressive Lieutenant Governor Candidates

You can also email your question to, but we would rather put your voice on the air! So please call 1-800-258-1619 to record your question for candidates in any of the above races. (Please be clear which race or candidate you are directing your question to.)

Listen at noon and 7pm for VPR’s debates on Vermont Edition. You can also listen online or podcast the series. For VPR’s comprehensive election coverage, click here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

VPR PrEview: Remembering Daniel Schorr, Summer Gardening Show, Star Gazing Party

Like many public radio listeners, I was saddened to learn of NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr’s death last week. To call him a veteran journalist is an understatement; as Scott Simon put it in a remembrance last Saturday, “no other journalist in memory saw as much history as Daniel Schorr.” I will miss his perspective and experience, but I am grateful for what I have learned from listening all these years.

You can remember Daniel Schorr and his impact on American journalism and history at And we’ll continue working to bring you context and perspective to the news every day. In this edition of prEview, we invite your questions for candidates in our upcoming primary debates, and provide you with details about he upcoming Eye on the Sky Star Gazing Party. Finally, learn more about Performance Today behind-the-scenes visit to Vermont's own Marlboro Music Festival.

Continue reading prEview...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

And The Winner Is....

Congratulations to Bob Moulton of Duxbury, winner of VPR's Summer Car Raffle! Bob is the winner of a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid from Heritage Automotive Group.

Bob came to VPR on Thursday with his wife, Barbara, and their daughter, Lucy, when he admitted that buying the raffle tickets was actually Barbara's idea. "I was feeling lucky," she said.

They told us that their luck could not have come at a better time. The Moulton's are the owners and operators of Moulton Custom Door of Vermont, and like many small businesses they've been struggling with effects of the economic crisis. Their business takes them all over the northeast, driving their 1996 Toyota T-100 truck. Bob said he had been saving up for more fuel-efficient car, and that they were actually on their way to buy a new (used) car when they got the call from VPR.

Barbara also travels to Quechee once a week to run errands for her elderly mother, and they have a few long-distance family gatherings to attend in the fall.

(At left: VPR's Brendan Kinney, Barbara, Bob, and Lucy Moulton, and VPR's Robin Turnau at VPR Studios)

Bob said his family plans to donate their truck to the Good News Garage. "When you get a blessing like this you have to pass it along," he said. "These days we all have to help each other."

We are so happy for the Moulton family, and so pleased with the success of VPR's first Summer Car Raffle! Thank you for supporting VPR in this new and fun way.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hold On To Your Hat!

Weather is a big part of what makes VPR special. We rely on our friends at the Fairbanks Museum to keep and Eye on the Sky for us, but every now and then we can't resist doing some reporting of our own. A bunch of us gathered outside VPR's main studios in Colchester around 3 this afternoon to watch the storm clouds roll in. Cheryl Willoughby took this photo.

What's the weather like where you are this afternoon?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

One Is Perfect, Two Is Better.

Baseball's back in the game now that the all-star break is over, and this Monday morning VPR Classical offered a musical double-header of our own with concerts at 9 and 11am live in the performance studio.

At 9am, flutist and Sunday Baroque host Suzanne Bona joined guitarist Richard Goering and me for a preview of their concert tonight at Summer Music from Greensboro. I learned that Suzanne and Richard met when they were both part of a concert for a cat rescue organization years ago in Cincinnati. And it turns out that Richard is also a wine expert! We talked vino and shared our favorite Malbecs. (He recommends Maipe, by the way, from the Mendoza region in Argentina - as all the best ones are.)

We took a break at 10 to spend time with the live studio audience who had come for the music, including members of the Philips Legacy Society and the Producer's Circle. Refreshments included fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries - fresh whipped cream, and lady fingers - we know how to eat, at VPR!

Then, back into the performance studio for more music at 11 with Walter Parker and pianist Jean-Claude Pennetier, whose Vermont Mozart Festival recital is tonight in Middlebury. This year's festival commemorates the 200th anniversary of Chopin's birth, and Pennetier's program of Polonaises and the Barcarolle were as lovely as could be.

In the coming weeks, you can listen for more live performances on the air with Classicopia, the Steve Wilson Trio, and the Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival. Wondering where to catch live music outdoors this season? Check out VPR's Summer Music Festival guide for some ideas. And thanks for making live music possible on VPR with your support!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thank You For Making The Car Raffle A Success!

VPR wrapped up its first-ever Summer Car Raffle today at noon! In all, we raised more than $145,000 to support VPR programming.

This raffle was an experiment for VPR, so we didn't know what to expect. But our listeners really came through - we heard a lot of interest and enthusiasm about the raffle, and many listeners shared their favorite road tunes, snacks, and Vermont drives with us.

So, what happens now? We'll spend the rest of the weekend making sure all the purchases get processed and tickets get mailed out. On Monday, we'll hold the drawing and notify the winner of the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. There's some legal stuff we have to do before we can make it official, so we'll announce the winner next Saturday, July 24th during Car Talk and in the 10 o'clock hour on VPR Classical. Of course, you can always check our blog and the website to find out as well.

We also want to say a huge thank you to Heritage Automotive Group, who provided such an awesome prize. Thank you again for all the ways in which you support VPR! Good luck in the raffle, and stay tuned!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Human Touch - Saturdays at 4

Beginning this week, VPR presents a series of documentaries about people who have found extraordinary strength to accomplish extraordinary things. The programs are produced by Human Media, an independent production company whose mission is to provide programming that “helps build a more cohesive sense of community.”

Today at 4, we look at the lives of seniors – and kids. We’ll meet retirees who are bored with retirement and embarking on encore careers to find new satisfactions and continue their contributions to society. In the second half of the program, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, the author of "Taking Back Childhood," examines how media violence, overly structured school days and a culture of consumerism are impacting our kids.

Next week, meet Bill Siemering, who conceived NPR’s mission more than 40 years ago. Now, he’s establishing community radio services in third world countries. You’ll also hear from former NPR journalist Katie Davis about her Urban Rangers – a campaign to save kids in her inner city neighborhood in Washington DC.

On the 24th, Human Media looks at how Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute is pioneering research on the Relaxation Response and helping millions reduce the harmful effects of stress. And a filmmaker shares his encounters with everyday heroes around the world.

Seventy-five years ago two Vermonters helped each other stop drinking and founded Alcoholics Anonymous. On August 7th, hear the voices of people whose lives have been turned around in AA.

A life threatening diagnosis like cancer can lead people to sharpen their personal beliefs and develop a richer understanding of life’s big questions. Tune in Saturday, August 17 to learn how adults and children access inner strength to face serious illness.

In the coming months, the VPR Saturday Special will present programs on education, the next economy, and the history of the war on poverty. Radiolab returns in September and Moth Radio Hour fans can look forward to a new series as well.

Because Human Media is a small production company on a limited budget, VPR cannot make these programs available for download on our website. You can, however, hear and purchase Human Media programs at

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How Many VPR Staffers Can You Fit in a Ford Fusion Hybrid?

A few of us went to Heritage Automotive Group today to check out the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid we'll be giving away in just a few days in VPR's Summer Car Raffle. We took the liberty of tuning all the radio presets to VPR and VPR Classical, and the lucky winner will also find a bunch of VPR euro bumper stickers tucked throughout the car. (You're welcome.)

Here are some photos of our field trip. And if you haven't gotten your tickets yet, the deadline is this Saturday, July 17th at noon. Tickets are $50 each can be purchased online, or by calling 1-800-639-2192. All proceeds benefit the programming you enjoy on VPR!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer Music In Killington And Manchester On VPR Classical

It's a busy day at VPR Classical, as two of Vermont’s summer music festivals are being featured on the airwaves! This morning at 11, Killington Music Festival Director Allison Eldredge and other Festival musicians will be live in our performance studio with Walter Parker. Then at 3 pm, Joe Goetz will speak with the artistic director of the Manchester Music Festival, Ariel Rudiakov in advance of their season-opening concert this evening.

If you're not able to tune in, both events will be archived at for your future listening pleasure when you do have time.

VPR Classical's staff is out in the community, enjoying the music with you and working to keep you informed about all the live music happening in our region this summer. And don’t forget to check out our interactive list and map of summer music festivals at

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


So what does a VPR fan do when the temperatures get unbearably hot? According to this photo by Jim Woodard of Underhill, get in the car, put the top down, and listen to VPR. Loud.

While we can't guarantee VPR will keep you cool, it will definitely take your mind off the heat!

No AC in your car? Purchase a ticket for VPR's Summer Car Raffle for a chance to win a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid - you could keep cool, do something good for the environment, and support VPR all at the same time!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Accepting VPR's PRNDI Awards

VPR News was recognized over the weekend by our public radio news colleagues for some of our best work in 2009.

Public Radio News Directors Inc. met in Louisville, Ky. The conference was capped by an annual awards banquet, where VPR News took home three honors in the large-station category.

VPR’s Lynne McCrea took a first place for “Homeless family puts down roots.” It was the final installment in a moving series that followed a family’s search for a home. Listen to the winning story and the entire series here.

VPR’s Nina Keck won second place in the spot news category for “Olympian Andrea Mead Lawrence Succumbs To Cancer.”

And VPR commentator Jay Parini also got a second place for his thoughts “On Cosmic Ambiguity.”

We also want to congratulate our neighbors and friends across Lake Champlain, North Country Public Radio, for three awards: NCPR took a first place for enterprise/investigative reporting: “Hackett's Underwater;" second place for interview: "Dede Scozzafava on the Heart and Soul of the GOP;" and second place for continuing coverage: "A Year of Hard Choices."

Photo: NCPR News Director Martha Foley and me at the awards banquet.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

We're a Burlington "Social Media Rockstar!"

VPR was voted "Best Social Media-Savvy Nonprofit" as part of Burlington Social Media Day! Congrats to all the participants and big thanks to the organizers. As always, thanks to everyone who supports VPR and joins the public radio community - on-air, online, or on your Facebook Wall!

If you're new to VPR's social media efforts, check out what we're doing here!