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!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Introducing The Public Post

Welcome to VPR's Public Post, a new digital local news source where you'll find town and city minutes, a public conversation about the news in your town, and insight into local government through stories reported about common issues.

Public Post is an ambitious public service concept. It's a new source for minutes from select boards and city councils, not only for your town, but for other towns - 31 so far - that represent our state’s geographic and political diversity in the 14 counties. We’ll add more soon.

The new service presents an opportunity to learn about important issues coming before your community and an opportunity to discuss them online with your neighbors and with people in other communities. We hope you will be inspired to post a headline from your town and start a discussion.

You can browse municipal minutes and make the connections between issues that are sprouting up in our communities. VPR will report on trends that surface around these issues and you will find these stories at the Public Post. One of the first themes we discovered, for example, is that many towns are struggling to overhaul their aging water systems.

Public Post is part of VPR's continuing commitment to provide essential, trusted and relevant news and information to you in many different categories, whether it’s national news from NPR, in-depth state news reports over the air or online at, the legislative streams from the Statehouse, a conversation on Vermont Edition, or social media connections with VPR and VPR hosts and reporters.

We hope this new local news service will provide even more meaning and context to the news that matters to you.

Kirk Carapezza is the editor and reporter at Public Post. Also on the team that has been working behind the scenes to create the Public Post are Ross Sneyd, our news editor, and Jonathan Butler, who leads VPR's digital services.

We are enthusiastic about this new concept and hope you will be too. Let us hear from you through your participation on the site and also through your feedback at

John Van Hoesen
VP for News & Programming

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Few Signal Changes In Middlebury

Vermont Public Radio is switching around a few of our signals in the Middlebury area this week. For several years, listeners in parts of Middlebury have been able to receive VPR's news and information service on a small, low-power translator at 95.3 FM. As of this week, that signal changes to 99.5 FM, which provides better coverage in the pockets of Middlebury that aren't able to receive our WVPS 107.9 Burlington nor our WRVT 88.7 Rutland signals.

99.5 once aired VPR Classical, but with the addition of VPR Classical in Addison County at WOXM 90.1 FM, it is no longer needed.

We've updated the station list at and will have updated printable cards and maps very soon. Thanks for listening!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

VPR Wins Its 4th Daysie Award

VPR has been honored with a Seven Daysie award for Best Radio Station for the fourth consecutive year! The Daysies are voted on each year by readers of the Burlington-based weekly paper Seven Days and cover restaurants, artists, stores, festivals, journalists, media and more around Vermont.

We're honored to be the top pick again this year. It is an honor be your essential and trusted independent voice for news, information, music and cultural exploration. Your support and desire for quality programming makes it all possible.

Congratulations to all the winners! You can see a full list of Daysies winners here.