Thursday, December 29, 2011

First Night in Vermont

Ring in the new year with music, poetry, crafts and all sorts of merriment for the whole family! VPR is collaborating with First Night festivities across the state.
Here are a list of websites for First Night Celebrations in Vermont.

Saint Johnsbury

From all of us at VPR - Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Help Us Start The New Year Strong

Vermont Public Radio strives to bring you programming that connects you with your community. The programming respects your intelligence and sparks new ideas and conversations.

You and other caring members of our community provide the financial support that makes Vermont Public Radio such an important and independent voice in the region.

Your year-end contribution today helps ensure the bright future of YOUR public radio station.

Your support is vital: Last year, contributions from our members made up nearly half of our annual budget! Please make your year-end gift online, send your check by mail to the address below, or phone in your gift at 1-800-639-6391.

As a 501(c)3 non-profit, gifts to Vermont Public Radio received by December 31st will qualify for the 2011 tax benefit on your tax forms.

Thank you so much, and all the best to you in the new year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Download Favor Johnson And A Pair Of (Good) Fruitcake Recipes

Commentator Willem Lange’s story “Favor Johnson” has been a holiday tradition on Vermont Public Radio for more than a decade. It’s the heart-warming story of a Vermont farmer, his dog Hercules, homemade fruitcake, and the real spirit of Christmas.

You can hear “Favor Johnson” on VPR this Saturday, December 24th at 9:20 a.m., or you can download the story here to enjoy with your family whenever you like.

And, because we just know the tale will whet your appetite for fruitcake, we’ve provided a pair of (good, we promise!) fruitcake recipes; this one from our own Ty Robertson and Chef Jean-Yves Vendeville of the New England Culinary Institute.

You’ll find our full holiday programming schedule online here.

Finally, because VPR is your constant companion during the holidays and throughout the year, I hope you’ll make a year-end gift to VPR today. Your contribution will insure another great year of in-depth news, stories, and music on VPR and VPR Classical.

Thank you so much for listening and for your support.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Message From VPR President Robin Turnau

2011 has been quite a year! On behalf of all of us at Vermont Public Radio, I just wanted to say thank you for listening to and supporting VPR. 

In my 2011 President’s Letter, I share some of the accomplishments that listener support made possible over the past year, including:

Unprecedented news coverage after Tropical Storm Irene

The launch of VPR’s Public Post

More than 50 live performances and interviews on VPR Classical

Click here to read the full letter.

At a time when newsrooms are shrinking and classical music is disappearing from the radio, Vermont Public Radio is more essential and relevant than ever. These achievements could not have been possible without the support of our listeners.

Please make your year-end gift to Vermont Public Radio today to pay for another great year of news, music, and community service.

Thanks for all you do for your public radio station. I wish you the best for the season and all of us at Vermont Public Radio look forward to serving you and your community in 2012.

Monday, December 12, 2011

George Thomas Remembers Dave Sanjek

A friend died recently who was directly responsible for my start & style in radio. Dave Sanjek was on WCNI in the fall of 1972 at Connecticut College For Women (the year the school went co-ed) doing a jazz radio show. He was playing absolutely amazing selections but talking for what seemed like a half hour between each cut. I called him up at the station and said something to the effect of, “you're playing great music, man, but you talk too much." He got off the air at the end of his show, asked around and found out who I was and showed up at my dorm room with a stack of LPs under his arm.

We started listening to what was, at the time, very rare jazz, delicious stuff, and then he noticed the photos all over my walls from The Farm & Wilderness Camps in Vermont where I had been a camp counselor that summer . It was an instant trade. He found the summer camps of his dreams, I got a start in radio and a lifetime education in music: jazz, Holy Modal Rounders, Dave Van Ronk, on and on. We also shared a love of poetry. He gave me Living/Dying by Cid Corman and Hayden Carruth's great poetry anthology The Voice That Is Great Within Us.

In my 39th year of radio, I think of him every show I do. Thank you Dave for all of it: the 20 page catch-up letters with writing so dense you could walk on it; your dad’s record collection; your mother’s exquisite Chinese cooking; the joy of an obscure movie. You shared it all. I miss you terribly. And yes, Oliver Nelson’s solos on Blues And The Abstract Truth were the best.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Locally-Made Tables For VPR's Conference Room

VPR is a proud member of the VBSR Marketplace, a program of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and Vermont Sustainable Exchange. The VBSR Marketplace is an online business-to-business e-commerce and online payment system. We've been using the Marketplace for more than a year now to help keep our costs down while working with local, socially-responsible businesses.

When we were recently looking for tables for our conference room, we found the Vermont Woodworking School and Rachel Brydolf-Horwitz, who is a big VPR fan and wanted to craft our tables as her final project. The tables, made of solid maple, arrived today - and they are gorgeous. Thanks so much, Rachel, and to the VBSR Marketplace for helping us find each other!

Love For Love

Who loves Darlene Love more than My Place Host Joel Najman? Probably no one. His devotion to her as a performer goes back all the way to the beginning. And his cover story for this week's Seven Days is testament to that love of Love. You can read the whole article here.

And if you have your tickets for her concert "Love for the Holidays" on December 14th at the Flynn Center be sure to get there early for Joel's pre-concert talk at 6 p.m. in the Hoehl Studio Lab on the 3rd floor.

Vermont Public Radio is a proud media sponsor for this event. Don't have tickets yet? Da Do Ron Ron over to to get them now!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

VPR News Special Calculates “The Irene Effect”

From Senior Reporter Steve Zind:

Just below me on my Braintree road, there’s a strip of land where a neighbor’s house stood before being destroyed in Tropical Storm Irene. For me that spot, empty but for some scattered household belongings, is a daily reminder of the incredible loss some Vermonters experienced in the storm and how, months afterward, many people are still living with the devastating floods of August 28th.

That ongoing struggle is one of the messages of “The Irene Effect” airing on VPR next Wednesday, December 14th at noon and 7 p.m. Producer Lynne McCrea and I have been visiting individuals and communities changed by the storm and we’ve been listening to the dozens of stories VPR reporters have done in the past several months, tallying the effects and the lessons of Irene.

“The Irene Effect” tells many stories: The young couple whose lost farm can’t be replaced, a mother who found the strength to speak out on behalf of mobile home owners after her own home was inundated, and a community that discovered it could take care of its own when Irene cut it off from the outside world.

We also take you out on our roads and rivers, to see how they’ve been rebuilt and reshaped, and find out if we’re better protected from future storms.

“The Irene Effect” takes stock of where Vermont stands nearly four months after the historic flood. I hope you can check it out Wednesday, December 14th at noon and 7 p.m. on VPR, Saturday December 17th at 4 p.m., Wednesday the 28th at 9 a.m., and online at

Photo Credits: AP/Tony Talbot,

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Boston Symphony Orchestra Comes To VPR Classical

VPR Classical will take you to Boston's Symphony Hall on Sunday afternoons. One of the world's great orchestras begins a new broadcast series and VPR Classical is one of only a handful of stations in the country to bring it to you.

Listen Sunday afternoon at one for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, followed at three by Performance Today Weekend.

Ron Della Chiesa is your host for the 60th Anniversary Season of the BSO from WGBH in Boston. Founded in 1881, the BSO is one of America’s “Big Five” orchestras, performing at Boston’s Symphony Hall and, during the summer months, at the Tanglewood Music Center.

Thanks to WGBH and Classical New England for partnering with Vermont Public Radio to bring these live performances to VPR Classical listeners. You’ll hear emerging and established guest conductors, extraordinary soloists and enduring repertoire.

Listen for the Boston Symphony Orchestra Sundays at 1 on VPR Classical. This week, Jonathan Biss is the soloist in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.4.

At 3 0'clock, hear Performance Today Weekend with Fred Child. Performance Today features performances from around the world as well as interviews and classical music news. Listen weekdays 1-3pm and now, Sundays at 3.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Met On VPR Classical

The Metropolitan Opera's 81st radio broadcast season gets underway this Saturday at half past noon with Handel's Rodelinda, featuring soprano Renee Fleming.

The season continues with an exciting production of Gounod's Faust, with tenor Jonas Kaufmann in the title role. He knocked us out last season as Siegmund in Wagner's Die Walkure, which he'll do again in April. Wagner fans have Gotterdammerung and Siegfried to look forward to in February and April, as well.

On December 17, Popular Italian repertory begins with Puccini's Madama Butterfly, conducted by Placido Domingo. New Hampshire native Patricia Racette will be Puccini's Tosca on January 28.

Join us for the Met every Saturday on VPR Classical. The majority of programs start at 1, right after A Passion for Opera with Peter Fox Smith. Click here for details. And for information about where to see The Metropolitan Opera live in HD at a local theatre, click here.

Patricia Racette as Tosca stands over the fallen Scarpia in Puccini's "Tosca."

Cory Weaver/Metropolitan Opera (c) 2010

Monday, November 21, 2011

Special Programming This Week

Best wishes from all of us at VPR for your Thanksgiving Holiday. We're grateful to everyone in the VPR community - our listeners, friends, business partners and volunteers - for helping us bring you great public radio every day.

VPR and VPR Classical have some special programming to listen to while you're shopping, chopping, washing dishes and relaxing:


Wednesday at Noon: Counting Vermont, a VPR Documentary examining the meaning of the 2010 Census. Counting Vermont is made possible by The VPR Journalism Fund. (Vermont Edition returns Friday at noon)

7pm: The Moth Radio Hour. A special broadcast of "true stories told live with no notes."

Thursday 11am -1pm: Turkey Confidential with Lynne Rosetta Casper, a two hour live call-in program. Lynne offers solutions for your Thanksgiving dilemmas, along with recipes and great conversation. Call (800) 537-5252.

7pm: The Hidden World of Girls, hosted by Tina Fey. The first in a two part series about girls around the world and the women they become. Listen Friday at 7 for hour 2.

Friday at 7pm: The Hidden World of Girls, Hour 2.

VPR Classical:
Thursday at noon: Thanksgiving with Cantus. Join one of America's best male vocal ensembles for an hour of singing and story telling about gratitude.

8pm-10pm: Giving Thanks with John Birge, a Celebration of Fall, Food and Gratitude. John Birge is joined this year by authors Nora Ephron and Roy Blount, Jr. Hear the premiere of "Table Grace", Matthew Brown's choral setting of a grace by Garrison Keillor, sung by VocalEssence.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me On TV

You can see Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me on BBC America Friday, December 23rd. In this special NPR/BBC collaboration, Peter Segal, Carl Kasell and a panel of US and UK talent will lead us through a “2011 Year in Review” with perspectives from both sides of the pond.

Doug Berman, creator and benevolent overlord of NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! and Car Talk, says: “It’s going to be pretty much what we do every week, except NPR has to add a budget line for pants.”

Host Peter Sagal says: “This is terrific, because I always assumed that the only way I could get on the BBC would be to have David Attenborough narrate my mating rituals. Glad this happened instead.”

The show will air Friday, December 23rd at 8pm on BBC America. You’ll hear the radio version Saturday the 24th at 11.

Does this mean a weekly Wait Wait.... Don't Tell Me TV program is in the works? In a recent New York Times article, Sagal said, “No comment. (I’ve always wanted to say that to The New York Times.)”

©2004 NPR Photo by Tony Nagelmann

Monday, November 14, 2011

'Counting Vermont:' Documenting The State's Changing Population

VPR News has been poring through the 2010 Census, and a portrait of settlement patterns has emerged.

One ummistakable conclusion is that a lot more people live in Burlington and the necklace of towns around the city. More and more, northwestern Vermont has become the center of the state’s population.

But what does that mean for the rest of the state? We take a look at that and other questions in a documentary, “Counting Vermont,” which airs on Saturday at 4 p.m.

The short answer is that Burlington’s gain is not necessarily a loss for other parts of the state.

Population in some of the state’s other traditional centers has declined in some cases. And in other places population has not kept up with statewide growth. But those communities are still vital, inviting places.

Increasingly, access to broadband computer hookups is allowing towns large and small to hold their own. In “Counting Vermont,” we’ll meet Carmen Tedesco. She lives in Huntington and works for a firm in Washington, D.C. She commutes via her computer.

Experts tell us that such technological advances allow Vermont, and its many small towns, to compete in the 21st century even at a time when our population is growing much more slowly than other parts of the country.

Steve Delaney hosts “Counting Vermont” on Saturday at 4.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Race For Burlington Mayor

Burlington voters will elect a mayor on Town Meeting Day in March. Before they do, VPR is looking at the candidates who are currently in the running.

The Progressive Party has held the mayor’s office for 28 of the past 30 years. In the wake of the Burlington Telecom, scandal both the Democratic and Republican parties say it’s time for a change.

The field of candidates is crowded with politicians promising to restore trust and increase transparency. With four candidates, it's a wide-open race for the Democratic mayoral nomination. The Democrats caucus on Sunday, November 13th. In partnership with, you can stream that video here beginning at 1 p.m.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Our Newest VPR Classical Fan

Caroline Anderson is only two and half weeks old, but she's been listening to VPR Classical for months. Congratulations to Karen and Seth Anderson! Karen is Traffic Specialist in VPR's Operations Department.

Caroline is a proud Walter Parker and Joe Goetz groupie.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Going To Bat For Vermont Farmers

VPR Classical host, and fan of the World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals, Walter Parker is preparing to attend Saturday's Going to Bat for Vermont Farmers benefit at Vermont Technical College in Randolph.

Some of the best minds in baseball will be at the November 12th Roundtable event. Former Red Sox GM and new Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein will join Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman and Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington for a discussion that includes a question-and-answer session with the audience about their teams, their sport, and off-season plans.

All proceeds will go to the Vermont Community Foundation Farm Disaster Relief Fund.

Listen to Mitch Wertlieb's interview with baseball writer Buster Olney, who grew up on a farm in Randolph.

You can purchase tickets through the Flynn Box Office. When you go, say hi to Walter!

Friday, November 4, 2011

National EAS Test Wednesday

The first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) will be held Wednesday, November 9th at 2pm.

The test is being conducted by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and will be broadcast on all radio and TV stations. It will be less than a minute long and sound very much like the EAS tests you hear regularly on VPR and VPR Classical.

This Nationwide EAS Test will help the federal government and EAS participants determine the reliability of the system and its effectiveness in notifying the public of emergencies and potential dangers nationally and regionally.

FEMA encourages everyone to have an emergency preparedness kit and have emergency plans for themselves, their families, communities and businesses.

Visit for more information about how to prepare for and stay informed in the event of an actual emergency: Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

BirdNote - A New Feature On VPR

VPR's Vermont Garden Journal with Charlie Nardozzi has concluded for the season, and it's time to put out the bird feeders.

Beginning Saturday, you can listen to and learn about the intriguing ways of birds on VPR. Listen for BirdNote, a new feature Saturday mornings at 8:57.

From New England to the tropics, migration patterns to mating rituals, BirdNote brings you into the world of nature. You'll also hear the featured bird each week, so don't be surprised if your cat runs for the radio on Saturday mornings!

This is a 'test run' of BirdNote, so please let us know what you think.

Friday, October 28, 2011

No Spooky Cliches

We've been eating candy corn all week at our Colchester Studios. There are orange bits stuck in our teeth, but the sugar buzz has certainly boosted productivity!

We'll spare you great classic lines such as "VPR is Scaring Up Some Spooky Tricks And Treats For Your Halloween Weekend". Just the facts, ma'am:

Saturday at 8pm: Joel Najman invites you to a Halloween Party of new and known classics on My Place. Do you remember the words to Monster Mash?

1-4: 50 Hillbillies in a Haunted House! Robert Resnik previews live music throughout the region on All the Traditions.

Monday 9am - 7pm: Walter Parker and Joe Goetz reveal their dark side on VPR Classical. By the way, if you missed Naomi Lewin's annual Dracula performance on Classics for Kids, you can listen here.

Monday 6pm: Capitol Steps Halloween Edition. Did you know The Capitol Steps bond rating is higher than the US Government? Enjoy music and comedic relief from the headlines.

Monday 8pm: Radiolab takes us to the front lines of War of the Worlds. A fascinating analysis of what really happened during the iconic broadcast. This special edition of Radiolab was recorded live at the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul. (The World returns Tuesday evening)

Monday 9pm: Turn off the porch light and and enjoy the rest of the evening listening to Jazz with George Thomas. George always surprises us with his holiday selections. requests!

Best wishes for a fun and safe Halloween from all of us at VPR.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Where's The VPR Android App?

We knew when we launched the VPR iPhone App the first question we'd receive from listeners would be "what about the Android?" Well, you haven't disappointed. On Facebook, Twitter, email, and in person, listeners have asked why we launched an iPhone App but no equivalent Android App.

Since this is our first mobile App, we wanted to choose just one platform (iOS or Android), go through the process, learn a lot of lessons (about the audience, supporting the App, the expense, etc.), and then expand from there. To us, it made more sense to achieve success with one App before trying to support multiple Apps. After all, it's not just about developing and launching the App: once it's launched, it must be fixed when there are issues, updated when there are changes to the OS, and enhanced with new features as listeners' habits and expectations evolve. It's an ongoing commitment and service, not just a one-and-done build.

So why the iPhone, especially when there are more Android smartphones on the market than iPhones? The first reason is that we've received more requests from iPhone users than Droid users, and our web-analytics back this up: we have more visitors using iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) than we do using Android (or Blackberry). It's true that Android is growing fast and has more users, but our web metrics and requests from listeners still pointed us to the iOS.

The other factor is that because Android is open, it's used by many manufacturers, each with their own modified versions. We've learned from other stations and App developers that it's a real challenge to keep up with the differences among all these permutations. It's not impossible, of course, it's just more of a challenge. iOS is not open and is controlled closely by Apple, which isn't great for a lot of reasons, but it does make iOS a lot more stable and straightforward to develop for and support.

The VPR iPhone App was developed with our partners at PRX, the outfit behind many other public radio Apps. In May they blogged about "Why There's No Public Radio Player For Android Yet", any many of our arguments echo theirs. That post is definitely worth a read.

We will continue to expand our mobile offerings and we are talking to PRX about developing a Droid App as well. In the meantime, the NPR Android App provides a great way to stream VPR and VPR Classical on your Android smartphone.

Thanks for listening. If you've tried the VPR iPhone App, or if want a VPR Droid App, we'd love to hear from you.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lisa Simeone And Activism (Updated)

Several listeners have asked VPR for more information on the stories in the news this week about the NPR-distributed World of Opera program and its host Lisa Simeone. VPR does not broadcast World of Opera because we have our own locally-produced program with Peter Fox Smith. VPR also carries opera broadcasts from the WFMT network.

Earlier this week, Lisa Simeone came under scrutiny as an organizer of the Occupy D.C. movement. Her program, produced by WDAV in North Carolina, is distributed by NPR to more than 30 radio stations across the country. Simeone was also host of the documentary program, Soundprint, which is also not part of the VPR lineup. VPR Classical does broadcast the Chicago Symphony on Thursday evenings, which is hosted by Simeone.

There have been inaccuracies in the reporting of this story. First, Simeone continues in her position as host of World of Opera, a decision made solely by WDAV. Also, NPR had no role in the decision made by the managers of Soundprint to end its relationship with Simeone as the program's host, nor did NPR have contact with the management of the program prior to their decision.

NPR maintains a strict code of ethics to maintain its integrity as a news organization. Many stations and independent producers, including VPR and the producers of Soundprint, have adopted NPR's code of ethics or adopted their own to preserve neutrality and trust in the news. To provide transparency, the codes are public and widely distributed.

The NPR code has a restriction on participating in political activities because it’s a news network and needs to remain neutral. The debate is whether the same ethics should apply to Simeone, who is a freelance host. Do all distributed programs, regardless of their content, reflect on a network’s identity? If a group of hosts were involved in political activities of one kind or another, would listeners begin to associate those politics with the network?

Update: On Friday, we learned that NPR has decided to cease distribution of World of Opera. However, the program's distribution will be handled by WDAV, the station that produces the show. On their blog, WDAV assures that listeners to the over 60 stations that broadcast World of Opera, will not experience any interruption of the program. Here are the details from the story on NPR's news blog, The Two-Way:

Dana Davis Rehm, senior vice president for communications for NPR, said the decision to change the arrangement came "from different views about the role of a program host." She said NPR believes hosts "represent NPR regardless of the type of program they host." As such, they are barred from any political activity.

Although Lisa Simeone is not an NPR employee, NPR has taken the position that hosts of any programs they produce or distribute are highly visible public figures that by default, serve as representatives of NPR. As such, these hosts cannot serve as both the voice of that program and the voice of an activist movement without jeopardizing the trust listeners put in NPR to serve as an impartial provider of news and information.

It’s an important and complicated discussion, and we welcome your thoughts and comments. To make comments directly to NPR, please call 202-513-3232, or send an email by going to

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bob Kinzel and The Barn Band Release "The Spirit Of Vermont"

You know VPR Reporter Bob Kinzel for his outstanding coverage of the Statehouse and Vermont's political scene. But did you know that he's also an accomplished musician? His band, The Barn Band, recently released an original song to raise money for Irene recovery. Jane Lindholm spoke with Bob about the song on today's Vermont Edition. Check out the full video of "The Spirit of Vermont" and its lyrics below.

The Spirit of Vermont

Mother Nature
Do what you want
You can’t break
The spirit of Vermont.

Try anything,
Take your best shot,
You can’t break
The spirit of Vermont.

Big rains came
Flooded our land,
We joined together,
We took a stand.

Folks in Waterbury,
All gathered round,
Went door to door,
Rebuilding the town.


Roads got washed out,
Soon it was clear,
Rochester to Rutland,
You can’t get there from here.

Some folks lost all,
But all lent a hand,
From mucking the floors
To clearing the land.


Now the sun is shining
There’s lots to be done,
Down in Wilmington,
It’s already begun.

We’ll end up stronger
Than we did at the start,
We helped each other,
With our hands and our hearts.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Do You Listen To VPR In The Shower?

Sing along to the Morning Edition theme music? Do a victory dance when the Eye on the Sky forecast is for sunshine? It's okay - so do we. Then we wondered what would happen if VPR literally was with you in the morning - check out this video below!

This morning we're giving away 20 Sangean waterproof radios so you can listen in the shower and never miss a minute of VPR or VPR Classical - all you have to do is make a pledge to be entered to win. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Book Suggestions From This Morning's Membership Drive

I was up early this morning with Mitch Wertlieb, Jonathan Butler, and Peter Biello asking our loyal listeners to support VPR with a financial contribution. To sweeten the deal, we were giving away a $1,000 gift certificate to Northshire Bookstore at 9 a.m.

It didn't take long for us to begin making recommendations for books the lucky winner could buy when he or she won the drawing - and congratulations to Margaret A. Johnson of Hanover, NH, who is the winner!

If you didn't win, no worries - there are more drawings ahead this week. Below is a list of the books we recommended this morning. Enjoy!

Busy Monsters, William Giraldi
American Gods, Neil Gaiman
The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach
River Town, Peter Hessler
The Book Thief, Marcus Zusak
Splendid Table How to Eat Weekends, Lynne Rosetto Kasper
Freedom, Jonathan Franzen
Born to Run, Christopher McDougall

Friday, October 14, 2011

Public Post: Issues That Matter In Your Community

More than a month after many Vermont communities were torn apart by Tropical Storm Irene, a natural disaster that demonstrated the need for quality, local journalism, VPR is upgrading its new online service Public Post.

This service provides a new way to glean the inner workings of a city or town with online access to government minutes. Since Public Post launched in August, VPR’s reporting from those primary sources has unearthed a number of stories – from the dredging of a river in Middlebury to efforts in Richmond and other communities to expedite building permitting.

VPR’s Public Post presents digital versions of the latest minutes from more than 50 cities and towns, displaying them across the top of the page. While the new website surfaces those stories from the minutes, it also gives nearly equal weight to what we’re calling “Your Reports,” listener comments and announcements.

Browse the minutes, read and listen to our stories on Public Post, and join the discussion: Engage with the broader Vermont community at, or message us on Facebook or Twitter. Want to post the records from your council and select board? Send us an email at

Vermont Public Radio is committed to the local government beat, and we hope this new version of Public Post reflects that pledge. We hope you will participate in Public Post online or simply by reading and listening. Thank you for your civic engagement, unbridled enthusiasm and continued support.

Kirk Carapezza
Online Editor/Reporter

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Announcing The Moth in Vermont Lineup

Just a little over a week until The Moth Mainstage makes its debut in Vermont! We can't wait to see The Moth’s signature true stories told live without notes to Burlington’s Flynn Center on October 22. You can get your tickets online here!

The theme of the night will be "Building A Bridge: Stories from Both Sides.” Our lineup features Vermonter and Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me regular Tom Bodett, Vermont author Jamaica Kincaid, Moth regulars Brian Finkelstein and Boris Timanovsky, and filmmaker Ellie Lee. Check out a story by Boris below!

Our host will be comedian Rudy Rush, who has appeared with Dave Chapelle and Martin Lawrence, and on The Late Show with David Letterman and Def Comedy Jam.

Plus, The Moth Radio Hour returns to VPR with five new episodes this Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.

VPR and PH International want to thank our generous sponsors for this event (at left). See you at the Flynn on the 22nd!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

VPR Receives Three National Edward R. Murrow Awards

Vermont Public Radio was honored with three national Edward R. Murrow Awards for its news coverage Monday evening at the Radio Television Digital News Association dinner in New York. John Van Hoesen, VPR's vice president of news and programming, and Senior Reporter Steve Zind attended the event. Steve sent along his thoughts about the evening:

Monday’s drive south took us through some beautiful peak foliage in Windham County and Western Massachusetts – quite a contrast to the view of warehouses that dominated the last leg of the trip on the train ride into the city. This was the 41st year of the Murrow Awards and 62 different news organizations were honored, from local radio and television stations to national networks and worldwide news services. As each award was presented, an audio sampling of the winning entry was played. It was fascinating to hear the range of stories and get a sense of the issues in play in other parts of the country. VPR’s three awards were for best documentary, best use of sound and writing.

A highlight of the evening for me was seeing former CBS reporter Richard C. Hottelet receive a distinguished service award. He’s someone I remember from childhood. Hottelet, who’s 93, worked with Murrow and covered WWII, providing the first eyewitness reports of the Normandy landing. He received a standing ovation when he went to the podium. When there was a problem playing audio from one of his old reports, he quipped, “Oh, it wasn’t that good, anyway.”

I sat next to NPR’s Boston-based reporter Chris Arnold, whose coverage of the home foreclosure mess was an award winner. It was interesting to talk with him about stories he’s working on.
It was really an honor to be in the company of so many dedicated news people from old veterans like Richard Hottelet to young reporters like Chris who are so enthusiastic about the work they’re doing, and excited about all the changes happening in our profession.

Top Photo Caption: Steve Zind, NPR Interim CEO Joyce Slocum, and John Van Hoesen
Bottom Photo Caption: Steve Zind accepts VPR's National Edward R. Murrow Award

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Piano Jazz's Marion McPartland Retires

Marion McPartland, whose Piano Jazz program VPR has carried on Friday nights for many years, has retired. McPartland hosted her show for 31 years and was known for her improvisational skills in both music and conversation.

While no more shows are being produced, Marion is staying on to guide the Piano Jazz digital archive project and educational website. You can celebrate Piano Jazz's legacy with 30 favorite moments from NPR Music here.

She has big shoes to fill, but I am pleased to let you know that I'll be hosting jazz for an extra hour on Friday evenings beginning this Friday. I hope you'll join me beginning at 9 p.m. To suggest music or send your thoughts, visit

Marion McPartland Photo by RJ Capak

Enter To Win An iPad2 From VPR

Vermont Public Radio’s October membership drive begins soon, but right now
is an especially good time to show your support by pledging to VPR.


Because when you pledge before the drive begins, you'll be entered to win a 16GB Apple iPad 2, thanks to our friends at Small Dog Electronics.

The iPad 2 is thinner, lighter, and faster than the original. With wi-fi and 16GB of storage you can browse the web, check e-mail, read the news, e-books, and magazines, and of course, listen to your favorite public radio station using the new VPR App for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch!

(Go ahead, play Angry Birds, too...we won't tell).

And when you pledge, you’ll feel good knowing you did your part to pay for the stories that move you.

The deadline to enter the drawing is Wednesday, October 12th. Listen to VPR on Thursday morning when we’ll announce the winner.

Support VPR and enter the drawing online here.

If you’re a sustaining member or have already made a gift or pledge in
advance of our fall membership drive, no worries - you’re already entered in
this drawing.

Thanks in advance for your support and good luck!

Contest Rules

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Moth Is Coming To Vermont!

I was hooked the first time I ever heard The Moth. I was running early in the morning on Burlington's Bike Path, listening to Adam Gopnik’s story about communicating with his son and the meaning of “LOL.” I "LOLed" so hard I was glad there was no one else around to see it.

Next, I listened to Anthony Griffith’s story about working as a comedian while his daughter was undergoing treatment for cancer. I had to stop dead in my tracks because I was sobbing too hard to breathe.

The Moth Radio Hour has also been a hit with VPR listeners, which is why we are so excited to be bringing The Moth’s signature true stories told live without notes to Burlington’s Flynn Center on October 22!

The show will feature Moth regulars as well as local voices on the theme "Building A Bridge: Stories from Both Sides.” Proceeds will benefit VPR and PH International.

Tickets are going fast, so don’t miss your chance to see the first-ever Moth show in Vermont! You can get your tickets online here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Introducing The VPR iPhone App

We're pleased to announce that you can now download the VPR iPhone App from the iTunes Store. This is the easiest way to enjoy all your favorite VPR content on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

With just a couple taps of the screen, you can stream the live broadcasts of VPR and VPR Classical and hear the latest VPR Newscast and Eye On The Sky Forecast. You'll have on-demand access to the latest VPR News, Vermont Edition, VPR Commentaries and other Program archives along with the list of Station Frequencies and Program Schedules. There are even feeds of the latest VPR Blog posts, Twitter tweets, and even School Closings!

The VPR iPhone App is the most convenient way to enjoy your favorite VPR content and it's also the easiest way to engage with VPR and share stories from your neck of the woods. With the "Tell Us" feature, you can share text, capture images, and even record audio, then easily submit them to VPR for use in reporting, broadcasts, and online projects. Whether you're breaking news, sending feedback, or sharing a beautiful photo, we hope you'll use "Tell Us" and be part of the story.

Many listeners are wondering what about Android and Blackberry? We decided to start with an iPhone App because it's the most established, it's been the most requested by listeners, and because development is less complicated than apps for Android. However, we are looking into the possibility of developing an Android App and serving listeners on as many mobile platforms as possible. For now, the best solution for Android and Blackberry users is to use the NPR mobile apps here.

The VPR iPhone App was developed with our partners at PRX Public Radio Exchange. PRX is the group behind many of your favorite apps, such as the Public Radio Player, the This American Life Apps, and the new KCRW Music Mine App for the iPad. They're also the presenters of The Moth, one of the most popular new shows on VPR. The app was developed with support from VPR listeners and the VPR Journalism Fund.

There's more information about the VPR iPhone App here at We hope you'll download the app, give it a try, and let us know what you think.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pictures From VPR's Listener Picnic

What a gorgeous day for VPR's Listener Picnic! We had a great crowd of human and canine VPR fans come out to Dog Mountain in Saint Johnsbury on Saturday! We enjoyed hearing from NPR’s Linda Wertheimer, great music and food, while the dogs enjoyed Frisbee, swimming, and any cheese that dropped off the snack table.

Here are just a few photos of all the fun!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

VPR Listeners Rally To Raise $628,000 For The Vermont Disaster Relief Fund

All we can say is, “wow.”

Thanks to the tremendous generosity of our listeners, Vermont Public Radio raised more than $628,000 for the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund during our special one-day fundraiser.

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised, after all, we know that our listeners are community-oriented folks – but still…wow. Your outpouring of support went beyond anything we imagined.

Thanks also to the more than 150 volunteers who helped take donations over the phones from very early in the morning to very late at night. (And, for bringing food for the biggest potluck VPR has ever seen!)

If you didn’t get a chance to donate yesterday and would still like to, you can do so here.

And, you can keep up with our coverage of Irene recovery online here.

It has been inspiring to see Vermonters from all walks of life reaching out to one another for support, and we were so pleased to carry that spirit of community at VPR through this special fundraising effort.

Thanks again to everyone who made a donation to this effort, and to everyone who is supporting other recovery organizations through their donations and volunteer work. We are so proud to be a part of this tremendous state of Vermont.

Friday, September 9, 2011

À Bientôt - See You Later, Not 'Goodbye'

It seems like there should be a lot to say, now that I've come to the last bit of time on my final day at VPR.

But what I really want to say boils down to the simple words, "thank you".

In my seven years here I've seen the power of listener support transform VPR Classical from being one station to seven (along with many smaller-coverage translators). I've welcomed new staff members on board, helped to create a strong music library and database for the service, and enjoyed so many thoughtful conversations with listeners from around the world.

It has been my great pleasure to share the music with you, along with those special common experiences that can only happen in a place like Vermont. As I move on today and get ready to step into my new role as the Music Director at WGBH in Boston, I do so knowing I will take the many memories, friendships, and learning I've been fortunate enough to experience here along with me.

This is not a goodbye, but rather a "see you later". Because I know as public radio fans, no matter the geographical location we will forever continue to share the common radio experiences that bring us together as a human community.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

VPR Fundraiser For Irene Recovery September 13th

In response to the statewide devastation caused by Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont Public Radio will hold a special one-day fundraiser next Tuesday, September 13th, to help our communities and neighbors rebuild and recover from this natural disaster. Donations received from listeners will benefit the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund.

The outpouring of concern from listeners over the last week has been tremendous. – on the air, online, and through email and phone, we’ve heard from dozens of listeners wanting to do something to help with recovery efforts by volunteering or making donations, but weren’t sure of the best way to do it.

As a public radio station, VPR has vast experience with on-air fundraising efforts and the complicated logistics that go along with such an operation: processing donations, established phone lines, and hundreds of dedicated volunteers. In addition to our comprehensive news coverage of the aftermath and recovery from Irene, we felt giving listeners a trusted, secure place to make a donation would be another way to help our neighbors. We were granted a one-day waiver from the FCC to make this effort possible.

The Vermont Disaster Relief Fund was created by the United Ways of Vermont in cooperation with the executive board of the Vermont Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (Vermont VOAD) and Vermont Emergency Management (VEM) to be used specifically for long-term recovery. The fund will be used entirely for the unmet long- term needs of survivors from the Irene disaster, and decisions will be made by Long Term Recovery Committees recognized by VOAD and Vermont Emergency Management.

We know VPR listeners are passionate about Vermont and their communities, and hope you’ll make a donation today to help your neighbors. If you’re looking for other ways to get involved, please consider joining us on September 13 to take donations over the phone from listeners next Tuesday - you can sign up for a shift online here.

If you’re looking to volunteer directly with recovery efforts, please visit our resources page here.

And of course, you’ll find the latest news about recovery efforts at

Despite the enormity of this disaster, it is inspiring to see Vermonters from all walks of life rising up and reaching out to one another for support. Thank you so much for all you do for Vermont and your community!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

VPR Classical Bids Adieu to Cheryl Willoughby

Cheryl Willoughby, long-time VPR Classical host and director of music programming, will be leaving VPR to accept a new position of Music Director at WGBH in Boston. Cheryl will oversee all classical music programming for the station.

During her time at VPR, Cheryl contributed greatly to the formation and growth of VPR Classical. She began hosting her daily morning program just after WNCH 88.1 went on the air in the Upper Valley in 2004.

It was under her leadership as music director that VPR Classical has grown and has steadily increased its local programming and community partnerships, as seen most recently with the month-long 60th anniversary celebration of the Marlboro Music Festival this summer.

Cheryl’s last day at Vermont Public Radio will be this Friday, September 9th. We will miss her but wish her well in her new adventure.

During a transition period, you will hear a new line-up of programming on VPR Classical beginning Monday, September 12. Walter Parker will host from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. time slot, followed by two hours of Performance Today with Fred Child. Joe Goetz will continue to host from 3-7 p.m.

Stay tuned for more details as we work to continue our mission to increase our local presence and content on VPR Classical.

Remembering 9/11

Like so many others, I’m reflecting this week about the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

I didn’t work at VPR back then, in fact, I had only recently moved to Vermont. Without cable or internet in the old Shoreham schoolhouse that was my new home, VPR was my only link to what happened that day. I didn’t even see video footage of the attacks until a week later. Ten years on, I am still grateful to VPR for being both my source of information and of comfort in the days that followed.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks and Tropical Storm Irene are very different events, of course, but as we have received comments and calls from listeners about our coverage of the storm and its aftermath, I can’t help but draw comparisons. It is a big responsibility to be your lifeline and a source of comfort in times of crisis, but it is one we take very seriously.

This week, VPR is remembering 9/11. Listen for interviews, stories, commentaries, and an audio “memory quilt” of your reflections, which was produced in partnership with the Vermont Folklife Center. On Friday, join a conversation about 9/11 on Vermont Edition at noon and 7 p.m. And on Sunday, listen beginning at 8 a.m. for special coverage from NPR.

You can explore our coverage and share your reflections online here.

VT Flood Relief Concerts

[North Williston Road - I took this shot on Monday, 8/29. Hard to believe what a clear, beautiful day it was considering the storm just a day before.]

While it has been a very difficult and trying week and a half since Irene flooded much of Vermont, there have been a few bright spots in the aftermath: neighbors helping neighbors, or better yet - helping strangers, selflessly. Stories of hope and strength have bolstered spirits statewide and confirmed what we already knew: Vermont's heart and core is its resilient, caring people.

A number of benefit events are being organized around the region to generate funds for various relief organizations. These are the ones we know about, as of this afternoon on Weds. 9/7.

If you know of others or have details to share on the ones listed below please leave a comment here and we'll get the word out.

It's what friends do.

9/9: Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund benefit concert
Location: Rusty Parker Memorial Park, Waterbury
Time: 6-7:30pm
Donations: Free will
Benefits: Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund (for relief in Waterbury, Duxbury & Moretown)
Online: (on facebook)
9/10: Voices for Vermont (various artists, organized by the Good Earth Singers)
Location: State House Lawn
Time: 1-3pm
Donations: Free will
Benefits: United Way of VT & American Red Cross of VT & NH
9/10: Burlington Ensemble
Location: Alumni Auditorium, Champlain College
Time(s): 6-7:30pm & 8:30-10pm
Donations: suggested $10.00 per set
Benefits: The Intervale Farmer's Recovery Fund
9/11: Benefit Concert & Silent Auction (various performers)
Location: Nectar's
Time: 2pm-2am
Donations: $15.00 at the door
Benefits: VT Disaster Relief Fund
Online: ,
9/14: Phish - A Benefit for Vermont Flood Recovery
Location: Champlain Valley Fairgrounds
Time: Doors 5:30pm, concert @ 7:00pm
Donations: $75.00
Benefits: The Water Wheel Foundation & The VT Community Foundation
9/16: Irene Flood Relief Concert with Rubblebucket + Ritmo Masacote
Higher Ground Ballroom & Showcase Lounge
Time: Doors 7pm, Show 8pm
Donations: $10
Benefits: Vermont Foodbank

9/18: Join Hands, Vermont (various performers being organized by Annemieke Spoelstra)
Location: McCarthy Arts Center, St. Michael's College
Time: 2-5:00pm
Donations: Free will
Benefits: TBD
Online: (on facebook)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

VPR News' Irene Blog

VPR has been receiving a lot of information from VPR listeners, state agencies, and others in the aftermath of Irene. Much of it makes it on the air and, but much of it doesn’t. So we've created a new news blog as an outlet for that information as a means to share it with anyone interested.

Freelancer Neel Tandan (at left) is helping us post content to the blog. If you have news to contribute please send it to

Thank you for being part of this important community effort.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tropical Storm Irene Coverage

"Vermonters need each other. You are our conduit."

That was what one listener wrote to us about our coverage of Tropical Storm Irene and its aftermath. As the damage is assessed and the recovery continues, VPR will continue to provide the information and resources people need during this difficult time as well as the opportunity to share their stories and connect with one another.

During Sunday's storm, VPR broadcast hourly news updates with reports from across Vermont from our news team as well as the Eye on the Sky at the Fairbanks Museum. Additionally, we had a dynamic map on that allowed Vermonters to follow the track of the storm and links to key services, road closure information and shelter locations.

Our coverage this week has been comprehensive with significant updates, interviews, and news stories throughout the day. Vermont Edition has been airing live at noon and 7 p.m., focusing on recovery efforts around the region and first-hand reports from listeners and regional officials.

We've also created a special section of with aggregated news, photos, and links to important resources like road closures and volunteer opportunities. Listeners are also connecting on our Facebook page and sharing their photos and videos of the storm.

Here is a look at our news coverage plan for the next several days:

Vermont Edition will continue to be live at noon and 7 p.m. through Friday, and will focus on the state's recovery from Irene. We'll also be on the air live at noon on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Let us know what's happening in your town, what efforts are underway and what questions you have about cleanup efforts. Email your questions or comments to

We'll continue broadcasting hourly local newscasts at :04 after the hour between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. through Friday, in addition to longer reports during Morning Edition and All Things Considered. We have reporters, producers, and audio engineers spread out throughout the affected areas, including Bob Kinzel in central Vermont, Melody Bodette and Nina Keck in Rutland County, John Dillon in the Deerfield Valley, Nancy Cohen of WNPR along Route 9, Susan Keese in Newfane and Brattleboro, Patti Daniels in Manchester, Betty Smith in the Upper Valley, and Matt Laslo in Washington D.C.

You'll find all of our coverage plus resources and photos online at

The aftermath of Irene is a fast-moving developing story and the recovery will be a long process, and you can count on VPR will continue reporting on the clean-up and rebuilding efforts ahead.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rollin' on the (Connecticut) River

From serving as a source for food, a transportation pathway and the conduit for log drives to today's many recreational pursuits, residents of our area have long held the Connecticut River in high regard.

As do we at VPR.

So on Wednesday, August 24, the Connecticut River will take center stage on Vermont Edition. We'll broadcast live just a few hundred yards from the river at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich.

Our panel of experts will discuss the river's history, health, challenges and future.

We would love to have to join us on our journey by emailing details of the biggest fish you caught there, fond memories you have or observations you've made of the Connecticut River. Email them to

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Memory Quilt of 9/11 Reflections

Vermont Public Radio will be at four locations around the state this Saturday, August 20, collecting Vermonters’ thoughts and memories of September 11th.

VPR reporters will be stationed in the following locations to record reflections for an audio "memory quilt" that will be broadcast the week of September 5th in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11:
  • Barton: Orleans County Fair, in the far corner of the parking lot, 1-4 p.m.
  • Brattleboro: Farmers Market, Rte. 9 near the Creamery Covered Bridge, 10 a.m. – noon
  • Burlington: City Hall Park near Church Street, 10 a.m. – noon.
  • Rutland: Farmers Market at the northwest corner of Depot Park, 10 a.m. – noon.
Reporters will ask participants about their experience of September 11, 2001, and how the events of that day changed their daily lives and the way they view the world.

VPR is also working with the Vermont Folklife Center, which is making arrangements to record people at its office in Middlebury.

Watch for details next week about more ways to participate in this project. All of the audio will be posted at And all the comments will be collected and preserved in the archive at the Vermont Folklife Center.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Taste Of The Manchester Music Festival

Last week, VPR audio engineer Sam Sanders and I were at the Arkell Pavillion at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester to record a concert with the Manchester Music Festival. But this was not just any concert...this was a celebration of music and history. It featured a large orchestra, largely comprised of young musicians from all around the country. It featured one of America's foremost concert pianists and host of NPR's From the Top, Christopher O'Riley. And the program featured 3 American works: Copland's "Hoe-Down" from the ballet "Rodeo," Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," And Antonin Dvorak's "New World" Symphony No. 9, a work he wrote while living and teaching in New York City. All of this was part of the 250th anniversary celebration for the Town of Manchester, and it all happened on a cool, crisp, and moonlit night at the foot of Mount Equinox.

Sam and I were actually in Manchester for a day leading up to the performance, allowing ourselves plenty of time to get our sound equipment in place for the recording. It went very well, and by the time Thursday morning's dress rehearsal came around, I sat back and enjoyed the music from a seat in the empty hall. With about five minutes remaining in the Gershwin, I remembered my iPhone was in my pocket, so I decided to get a bit of video. The sound was actually quite good, so I thought I'd share it with you here as a sneak preview of the broadcast, which will be heard on VPR Classical in a month or so. And if it sounded THIS good coming from a cell phone video recording, just wait until you hear what our REAL microphones picked during the performance!

-Joe Goetz, VPR Classical

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Save The Date For VPR's Listener Picnic!

This year’s VPR Listener Picnic is going to be all about best friends! VPR is your best friend in the car, your dog is your best friend on a hike. Bring two of your best friends together on Saturday, September 17th starting at 11 a.m. at Stephen Huneck’s Dog Mountain in Saint Johnsbury.

We’ll enjoy music by Patti Casey and Bob Amos, The Bohemian Blues Quartet (featuring VPR's IT guru Asa Sourdiffe!), Brett Hughes and the Honky Tonk Tuesdays Band, AND one of NPR’s founding mothers, Linda Wertheimer, will be on hand to help us celebrate the 40th anniversary of NPR.

The picnic goes on rain or shine - we’ll have food for sale or you can bring your own, and the Stephen Huneck Gallery will be open with special offers for VPR listeners.

All well-behaved dogs are cordially invited (don’t forget your pooper scooper!). In honor of the event, we’ve shared some pictures of our own canine best friends. Check out the slideshow below for the dogs of VPR!

Finally, a note about Dog Mountain: Stephen Huneck was a great friend to VPR and in the wake of his passing in 2010, the future of Dog Mountain is uncertain. Help preserve this very special part of Vermont’s artistic culture by spreading the word about the picnic so we can have the best turnout ever! We hope to see you there!