Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Take VPR Home For The Holidays!

Photo courtesy Dominicotine via Flickr

We hope you'll make VPR a part of your holiday celebration this season! Our special programming this year features old favorites and new features, including:

Handel's Messiah

Harry Christophers leads Handel & Haydn Society Orchestra and Chorus from Symphony Hall in Boston on Thursday, December 20 from 8-11 p.m. on VPR Classical.

Slavic Wonders: Christmas with the Rose Ensemble
Listen for gems from the libraries and monasteries of Krakow, Prague, and Moscow on Friday, December 21 at 8 p.m. on VPR Classical.

Favor Johnson

Commentator Willem Lange’s story has been a holiday tradition on VPR 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. Enjoy it on Christmas Eve at 7:49 a.m. on VPR News, or you can download the story here to enjoy with your family whenever you like.

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Listen Christmas Eve from 10 a.m. - noon on VPR Classical for this live concert featuring the 30-voice King's College Choir.

Song Travels With Michael Feinstein

Feinstein interviews well known performers about their life and work. You'll hear from Neal Sedaka, David Hyde Pierce, Riki Lee Jones and Cheyenne Jackson on Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. on VPR News.

Paul Winter's Winter Solstice Celebration

Enjoy this concert live from the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City on Christmas Eve from 9-11 p.m. on VPR News.

Traveling for the holidays? Take VPR with you by downloading the VPR app for your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Android.

You'll find our full holiday schedule here. From all of us at VPR, we wish you joy and peace in this season.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Public Post: Community Resource & News Tool

In 2011 VPR launched Public Post, an initiative to find local news stories and trends in the selectboard meeting minutes from Vermont cities and towns. The goal was to develop a new digital source of city and town news from around Vermont. We spent the past year developing a working prototype and trying to prove the model, and we believe we've created a resource that has value as a community service and a journalism tool.

Public Post has evolved into a site with 3 primary features: to facilitate the browsing, commenting, and sharing of public documents from VT cities and towns; to enable searching those documents by town and across the state; and to use the tools of the internet to expose that index to crowd-assisted and computer-assisted reporting. Over the past year, our reporters have used the Post to find relevant local stories in Vermont cities and towns. Sometimes they use it to research stories, sometimes they use it to find new stories. Sometimes, they find stories that take off on social media and end up on NPR.

We believe there is more potential in the Post, and we're positioning it to grow. We're now partnering with startup NearbyFYI to use their automated crawler and other web tools to index the documents and power many features of the Post. As of this blogpost, the public meeting minutes of 79 Vermont cities and towns are flowing automatically into Public Post via NearbyFYI, making them available to browse, search, and analyze.

Going forward we're working to expand the number of Vermont towns and public documents included in the site. Most importantly, VPR News will continue to use the Post to source and research more local Vermont stories and issues. We encourage other Vermont reporters, bloggers, local officials, and interested citizens to check out Public Post and use it as another tool for finding out what's going on in towns around Vermont. If you spot an interesting news item in the documents, let us know.

If you have a suggestion or question, or if you spot an error, send us an email. If you want to see your town on Public Post, or you're wondering why it's not there now, send us an email. If you're working on a similar data project, we'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thank You For A Successful 2012!

2012 has been an incredible year! On behalf of all of us at Vermont Public Radio, I just wanted to say thank you for listening to and supporting VPR this year. In my 2012 President’s Letter, I share some of the accomplishments that listener support made possible over the past year, including:
Click here to read the full letter.

None of these achievements would have been possible without your passionate participation in all its forms - listening, feedback, and financial support. Thank you for being a part of this community.

I hope you’ll make a year-end gift to Vermont Public Radio today to pay for another great year of news, music, and meaningful engagement.

I wish you the best for the season and all of us at VPR look forward to serving you in 2013.

Friday, December 7, 2012

VPR Welcomes New Members To Its Board Of Directors

Vermont Public Radio has elected three new members to its Board of Directors to serve three-year terms:

Scott McArdle of Starksboro Scott McArdle of Starksboro is a Senior Philanthropic Advisor for the Vermont Community Foundation in Middlebury, Vermont and formerly served as the Foundation’s Vice President for Donor Relations. Scott has been with the Foundation since 2001. Scott also serves on the board and is former staff director for the High Meadows Fund, a foundation within the Vermont Community Foundation focused on reducing reliance on fossil fuels, improving the sustainability of  Vermont’s food system, and promoting smart land use. He has also served as staff and board member for several other charitable foundations and funds within the Community Foundation.

April Cornell of Burlington was born in Montreal and moved to Vermont in the early 1990s. She is an artist, designer, and businesswoman whose colorful apparel and home furnishings are distributed throughout North America. She spends much of her time at her factory in New Delhi, where her products are produced. She is involved with an NGO called The Giving World Foundation, which sponsors projects through an umbrella organization, Concern India. These projects primarily support formal and informal schools for first generation learners in India. April is a trustee emeritus of Champlain College where she served on the board for 11 years.

Elizabeth Glenshaw of Lyme, New Hampshire is Clean Yield Group's Managing Director. Elizabeth started her career creating a community-banking program for a Vermont bank that focused on ensuring access to credit for low-wealth communities. Subsequently, she worked for two SRI asset-management companies, managing portfolios for clients who wished to integrate their social values with their financial objectives. Elizabeth's last position was with the Calvert Foundation, which assists non-profits in low-wealth and impoverished communities. Elizabeth is president of the board of the Vermont Community Loan Fund, serves as an advisor to People’s United Bank (formerly Chittenden Bank), and is vice president of the board of the Upper Valley Rowing Foundation. She also has an advisory seat with the Upper Valley Region of New Hampshire Charitable Trust and has served on the board of the Social Investment Forum.

"We are delighted to have these distinguished individuals join our Board," said VPR President and CEO Robin Turnau. "VPR is fortunate to have such a dedicated group of volunteers who provide expertise, counsel, and guidance to our organization.”

Board members are selected for their commitment to the mission and goals of VPR, and for their expertise in various fields. More information about VPR’s Board of Directors can be found at

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Is The VPR iPhone App Crashing?

A number of listeners reported that the VPR iPhone App was working for them but the latest version is crashing without playing.

We reported the issue to our partners,, and they quickly located and resolved an issue that should address the problem. A new version of the App has been submitted to the App Store and is awaiting approval. Once it's approved, you'll receive an notification on your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch that the update is available.

Thanks for your reports. The App has been working for most listeners, so we might not have found this without your emails and tweets. If you ever have a problem with the App, or any of our digital services, please report it via

Jonathan Butler
VPR Digital Services

Updated 12/7/2012
The lastest version of the VPR iPhone App (v1.11) was approved and is available for update from the App Store. Please update the App and let us know if you still have trouble.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Friends of VPR Recognized for Philanthropy & Community Support

November is most thought of as a month of thanksgiving.

It was fitting then, that on November 15, hundreds of people gathered to give thanks to the 2012 recipients of the Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year Awards.

The annual awards recognize those in the community who stand up for important causes and serve as generous benefactors to nonprofit organizations in the region and are sponsored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Northern New England (AFP-NNE) Conference.

When the call for award nominations went out, members of the VPR staff immediately thought of Bill and Jane Stetson of Norwich, and People’s United Bank, both of whom have made a significant impact in Vermont (and beyond) and are longtime supporters of VPR as well.

On the day of the awards ceremony, more than 200 people assembled at a special luncheon held at the Stoweflake Mountain Resort in Stowe. Those in attendance included individuals who had written letters of support for the Stetsons nomination, Dr. William and Susan Boyle, Toni LaMonica, David and Nancy Grant, as well as Jack Byrne. Also on hand to accept the corporate award and represent People’s United Bank were CEO Michael Seaver, Director of Marketing Kathy Schirling, Marilyn Hardacre, and Jill Jaret-Rossi.

The award winners were also cheered on by VPR staff as well as members of the VPR Board of Directors in attendance including, Marsha Fonteyn, Doug Griswold and his spouse Lori Rowe, and Board Chair Perez Ehrich.

Serving as emcees of the event were Deb and Wayne Granquist, winners of the 2011 Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year Award. Deb recently stepped down from the VPR Board of Directors after a successful tenure, serving as chair of several committees and a chair of the full board. She and Wayne have been generous supporters of VPR for many years.

From l. to r., VPR President & CEO Robin Turnau, Deb Granquist, Bill Stetson,
Wayne Granquist, and Jane Stetson.
As the Stetsons were called to the podium to accept their award, a list of accolades was read about the many causes and organizations they have helped. Both are longtime and staunch supporters of VPR. Bill has been involved with VPR almost since the year of its inception in 1977 and today serves as a member of its Board of Directors. In recognition of their dedication and support, VPR named its Norwich studio in honor of the Stetsons in 2011.

In the early days of VPR, Bill even hosted (albeit briefly) his own show. Bill was always up for whatever challenge came up, including answering phones in VPR’s original studio in Windsor, hosting Switchboard, and appearing as a guest on Peter Fox Smith’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera.

From VPR’s first campaign for a new headquarters in Colchester, to offering generous challenges during membership drives, and leading the charge in building an endowment for VPR through its Creating A Sound Future campaign, Bill and Jane’s financial support has been instrumental in making VPR the strong institution that it is today.

From l. to r., Christine Baskett, President of the AFP-NNE, Tere Gade, Chair of the AFP-NNE Awards Committee, Wayne & Deb Grandquist, People's United Bank CEO Mike Seaver.
(Photo courtesy of Steve Mease.)
CEO Mike Seaver came forward to accept the award for People’s United Bank. He spoke highly of the dedicated employees who are involved in the community through volunteer efforts as well as offering financial support to important causes.

A part of the Vermont landscape since1904, People’s United Bank’s philanthropy has had a significant impact on our state. In the past three years alone, they have contributed more than $2,750,000 to Vermont non-profits and approved nearly $50 million in equity investments in Vermont affordable housing projects, representing more than 900 units of housing.

People’s has been a long-time and generous supporter of VPR, providing funding as an underwriter for programming like the global economic news program, Marketplace. Thanks in part to this support VPR is able to deliver on its mission of public service, providing its listeners with a vital connection to their community and the world. In fact, no company provides more support to public media in Vermont than People’s United Bank.

Also recognized at the event for Outstanding Foundation of the Year, was the Stiller Family Foundation. Based in Charlotte, the Foundation was noted for its work to support education and community development through organizations including Champlain College, the King Street Center, Burlington City Arts and Rebuilding Waterbury. The Stillers have also been generous supporters of VPR.

In this season of thanks, VPR wishes to extend its appreciation for the incredible support we receive from the Stetsons and People’s United Bank. We are reminded every day that what we do is only possible because so many in the community believe in our mission, value the service we provide, and support us with their time, talent, and treasure.

Click here for the full details of the event and all of the award winners.

Travel The World With VPR In 2013

2013 is going to be an exciting year for lovers of gardening, food, nature, and folk music! Join VPR for one of our three Citizens of the World Tours next year:

Exploring the Gardens of Italy

with Charlie Nardozzi
May 21- 31, 2013

Join VPR gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi as we explore the north and south of Italy visiting formal, opulent gardens and informal hidden garden gems. Along the way we'll uncover citrus groves, vineyards, and organic vegetable farms. Of course, a journey of exploration involving food wouldn't be complete without cooking classes and wine tastings at area vineyards. We'll visit out-of-the-way places including  a buffalo mozzarella farm, a limoncello liqueur-making operation, and Herculaneum, a lesser- known sister town to Pompeii with more intact ruins. We'll explore beautiful gardens, cook, eat, and laugh our way from Tuscany to Capri.

Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands
with Jane Lindholm
June 5- 13, 2013

For a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity join Vermont Edition host, world traveler and published travel author Jane Lindholm on a tour to the true equator and explore the history, culture, music, and food that makes Ecuador so special. We’ll sail the Gal├ípapos Islands on a small, private ship and encounter the magic of the wildlife close up, an extraordinary experience for any generation.  Ecuador is the most bio-diverse country on the planet, and a journey not to be missed!

The Maritimes and Celtic Colours Festival

with Robert Resnik
October 9 -18, 2013

Join All the Traditions host  Robert Resnik on a tour for lovers of folk music, fabulous scenery, and extraordinary food: a musical journey to the Canadian Maritimes!  We’ll arrive in Cape Breton just in time to see all the highlights of Celtic Colours 2013, one of the world’s most celebrated Celtic music festivals.  In addition to enjoying concerts by folk music legends from all over, we will tour the Cabot Trail, eastern Canada’s scenic jewel, and will take a sea journey to beautiful Prince Edward Island, one of the shellfish capitals of North America!  Guests will have the option of taking an overnight train to and from Halifax, Nova Scotia, a treat for lovers of leisurely travel.  A beautiful and gloriously musical time is guaranteed for all!

Travel is a transformational experience. VPR's Citizens of the World Tours visit some of the most exotic locations on earth with expert hosts who give you insight into the landscape and culture you won't get with any other tour company. Plus, you'll always be traveling with friends because our tours attract people like you - public radio listeners.

Detailed itineraries and pricing will be posted very soon at For more information, contact Ty Robertson at 802-654-4309 or to be placed on the mailing list.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Let's Talk Car Talk

"Will we still hear Car Talk on Saturday morning?"

"Why are you airing Car Talk re-runs?"

These are the questions listeners are asking as Tom and Ray Magliozzi, aka 'Click and Clack', are no longer recording new shows.

VPR will continue to bring you Car Talk Saturday mornings at 10 for the foreseeable future.

Car Talk is one of VPR's most popular programs. Thousands of you count on Tom and Ray for a laugh on Saturday morning. We've also heard from many of you about how much your kids love Car Talk and that it's appointment listening for your family.

It's important to clarify that the programs you're hearing are not 're-runs' of shows you've heard before. The producers of Car Talk are putting together new shows built from the best of the program's 25 years of material. That means you'll hear a new program each week produced from the very best of the 12,500 calls in the archives. The producers say the show will be "better, stronger and funnier" because they have 25 years of experience learning what makes the show work.

We want to hear how you feel about Car Talk. Over the coming months, we'll be listening to the program and your comments.

By the way, the Magliozzi brothers are still writing their twice-weekly Dear Tom and Ray column, and putting their feet in their mouths in surprising new ways on the web and Facebook.

P.S. Speaking of weekends - stay tuned for new programs in 2013, including The TED Radio Hour and The Moth Radio Hour.

Friday, November 16, 2012

BackStory With The American History Guys

VPR is adding a new program to its weekly line-up and we hope you'll give it a listen!

Listen Sunday morning and Tuesday night for public radio's only call-in history show, BackStory, a program from the Virginia Foundation For The Humanities and the University of Virginia.

BackStory brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today. On each show, renowned U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh tear a topic from the headlines and plumb its historical depths.

Past episodes have explored women's history, Abraham Lincoln, the American identity and African American history.

Ayers, Onuf, and Balogh drill down to colonial times and earlier, revealing the connections - and disconnections - between past and present. With its passionate, intelligent, and irreverent approach, BackStory is fun and essential listening.

Hear BackStory beginning this Sunday morning at 6 and Tuesday night at 10 and let us know what you think.

BackStory replaces The State We're In, which has been discontinued.  Radio Netherlands has eliminated all English lanugage programming due to reductions in their government funding.

You'll find VPR's complete broadcast schedule here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Moth Returns!

The signature stories of The Moth Radio Hour return to Saturdays this week on VPR. For the next five weeks, enjoy true stories told live on stage. As usual, all the storytellers will share their powerful stories without notes or props. Instead, they will rely on their words and their voices to make their stories come alive!

In this new series, we'll hear a variety of stories. Author JT Leroy, whose real name is Laura Albert, shares her story of what it's like to be on the losing end of a literary scandal. A nerdy family thwarts petty larceny in suburban Chicago. A boy's Bar Mitvah becomes a family battleground. Saturday Night Live alum Rachel Dratch meets a debonair man at a cocktail party and dares to think he might be Mr. Right. And so much more!

Listen to VPR Saturdays at 4 for The Moth Radio Hour!

Friday, November 9, 2012

VPR Expands Service In Brattleboro & Southern Vermont

88.9 Coverage Map

We are thrilled to announce that Vermont Public Radio has expanded its service in Brattleboro and southern Vermont!

You can now listen to VPR News on a new full-power station at 88.9 FM. 88.9 can be heard from Bellows Falls in the north to Greenfield, Mass., in the south, and from Marlboro in the west to Keene, NH in the east; covering a total population of about 145,000.

Next week, Brattleboro's former translator station in Brattleboro at 94.5 FM will move to 94.3 FM, increase power from 10 to 190 watts, and begin broadcasting VPR Classical throughout Brattleboro and surrounding towns, including Vernon and Guilford.* About 22,000 people will be able to hear that station.

VPR Classical is also available on 88.9-HD 2 with an HD radio.

94.3 Coverage Map
The addition of 88.9 drastically improves reception in Brattleboro and Windham County. It’s an area of Vermont that has never been able to receive VPR well, and this new station fulfills VPR’s long-time goal of serving the Brattleboro area with a stronger broadcast signal. The station also provides “first service” to more than 18,000 people who do not have reliable access to public radio at all. The addition of VPR Classical at 94.3 brings VPR’s 24-hour classical music network to the Brattleboro area for the first time.

We hope you will try out the new stations and let us know how they are sounding in your area!

*Update 11/12/12: VPR Classical is on on the air at 94.3 in Brattleboro as of this morning!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Live Election Coverage On November 6

Election Day is almost here and you can count on VPR for the essential information you need on Tuesday evening, beginning at 7 p.m.

Hosted by VPR’s Jane Lindholm with Robert Siegel and Melissa Block from NPR, you’ll hear results, updates, interviews, analysis and reaction from reporters stationed around the state and country.

Bob Kinzel and John Dillon will cover Vermont’s statewide campaigns, with analysis from Ross Sneyd. Kirk Carapezza will coordinate VPR’s digital coverage. At and on mobile platforms, you’ll find up-to-the-minute vote totals and news updates from around the state and country. Conversations will also be taking place on VPR’s Facebook page and on Twitter (@vprnet) and via the hashtag #VTPoli.

At the national level, NPR Washington Desk editor Ron Elving, political correspondent Mara Liasson and political editor Ken Rudin in Washington, D.C. will offer analysis throughout the evening. They’ll be joined by partisan analysts E.J. Dionne, Washington Post columnist and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Matt Continetti of The Washington Free Beacon.

Andrew Kohut and Michael Dimock of the Pew Research Center will provide analysis as exit polls become available. NPR correspondents, including Nina Totenberg, Julie Rovner and Pam Fessler, will report on key state races around the station.

The day after the election, listen to Morning Edition beginning at 6 a.m. for post-election news and analysis from VPR and NPR. And tune in to Vermont Edition at noon for a full election roundup.

From the primaries to the conventions and now to Election Day, thank you for making VPR your source for comprehensive election coverage.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Responding to Sandy: What You Can Do To Help

                                                                                  AP/Jim Cole
The pictures seem familiar, the stories reminiscent, but this time, the damage and devastation are hundreds of miles away.

Just 14 months after Tropical Storm Irene pummeled the Green Mountain State, Hurricane Sandy barreled up the east coast and we braced for the worst.

But this time, the mid-Atlantic states bore the brunt of the storm. Vermont wasn't immune to Sandy's impact; while many lost power, the state emerged from the storm mostly unscathed.

But many in our region have friends and family in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and other affected areas, who are without power, have relocated to emergency shelters, or in some cases are bravely trying to hold on with dwindling food supplies.

Many resources have popped up in the last few days to provide information about volunteering, donating supplies, or making financial contributions to aid recovery. The Vermont Community Foundation has setup a page on their website with key information, and #VTResponse, a website that served as a hub of information during and after Tropical Storm Irene, also provides state-by-state information about how you can help.

As we know all too well from Tropical Storm Irene, the response to Sandy is just the beginning of a significant recovery effort that will take months - if not years - to address. Even though some in our region are still feeling the impact of Irene, Vermonters are responding to help those who are suffering in the wake of this latest storm.

The American Red Cross has been actively involved in preparing for and responding to Sandy. One of the ways you can help right now is to make a financial contribution to the American Red Cross to help with immediate, short-term response and recovery efforts.

Key Resources:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Special Sandy Coverage Tonight And Tomorrow

Stay tuned to VPR tonight and tomorrow morning for special coverage on Hurricane Sandy from VPR.

VPR reporters are stationed throughout Vermont and will be reporting the news about the storm on the air and online. And we'll continue to update weather information as we receive it.

Here is a rundown of our special coverage:

4:00 p.m.: All Things Considered will have coverage of the storm and frequent weather updates.

7 p.m.: Vermont Edition will broadcast live. You're encouraged to call in with questions and updates from your area.

8 p.m.: Special coverage continues with All Things Considered, hosted by Jane Lindholm and Neal Charnoff. VPR reporters will provide details from locations around Vermont, and we'll speak with Mark Breen about the storm's activity and a get a statewide update from Steve Zind.

10 p.m.: Listen for the BBC with VPR News updates from Neal Charnoff.

11 p.m.: VPR will carry the BBC overnight, which will provide a big picture of the storm.

5 a.m.: Morning Edition begins an hour earlier and you'll hear additional newscasts and coverage throughout the morning.

VPR's news and digital team will report new information as we receive it on the VPR News Blog. Let us know the storm’s effects in your region. Email or post photos to VPR’s Facebook page. You can also tweet updates using the hashtags #VPR and #VTSandy.

You can also follow Sandy’s progress at, where you will find a map tracking the storm, Eye On The Sky updates, links to Vermont Emergency Management and the National Hurricane Center, and preparedness recommendations.

All of our VPR News transmitters have generators so we don't anticipate power outages being a problem, but if you do have trouble receiving VPR please let us know by reporting it here.

We hope you and your family are safe as Hurricane Sandy arrives in Vermont.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

VPR Presents Colman McCarthy

There's a new kind of course available to high school students at some high schools all over the country: "Conflict Resolution" or "Peace Studies."

Yes, in addition to reading, writing, and 'rithmetic, young people can now learn the literature of peace. Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Gandhi are among the many writers who have penned the great masterpieces of "peace literature."

These kind of courses are just what America needs, according to peace activist and former Washington Post columnist Colman McCarthy. His lecture on teaching peace earlier this month at St. Michael's College illustrates how, for many Americans, education has focused mostly on wars and battles. We know, for example, who Robert E. Lee was, but how many people can name the one member of Congress who voted against going to the war in Afghanistan?

Listen to VPR Presents Colman McCarthy for a fascinating lecture on America's fascination with conflict and the need for peace education.

Friday, October 26, 2012

"Burn" Takes A Look At Presidential Candidates' Energy Policies

Alex Chadwick, host of Burn.
Where do President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney stand on energy issues?

Listen to VPR Monday, October 29th and Tuesday, October 30th at 10PM for Burn: An Energy Journal. In this two-part special, host Alex Chadwick (pictured left) digs deep into where the major party candidates running for President stand on energy issues.

We'll also get a better sense of what the issues are. From fracking to rechargeable batteries, Burn offers you this comprehensive look at energy issues before the November 6th election.

Learn more about Burn: An Energy Journal.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The VPR Travel Mug Is Back - Today Only!

VPR’s stainless steel travel mug is back, just for a limited time!

Become a sustaining member today with an automatic pledge of $10 a month or more and we’ll send you one of these classic mugs.

Click here to become a sustaining member now!

These mugs are in limited supply. They’re shaped to fit in your hand and your cup holder as naturally as VPR fits into your life!

When you become a sustaining member, you’ll join more than 8,500 members who give monthly to VPR, providing a reliable source of income we can count on year-round, saving mailing and postage costs, and everyone’s favorite - reducing on-air fundraising.

And of course, your ongoing support helps pay for Vermont Edition, Performance Today, Radiolab, and all of the programming you rely on every day.

Please become a sustaining member today and get your VPR travel mug while they last. Many thanks for your support!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Get Your Reusable VPR Shopping Bag And A Recipe For Cheddar Soup

VPR is about halfway to meeting its membership drive goal of $500,000, but we need your help to get it “in the bag!”

When you pledge $60 or more to Vermont Public Radio today, we’ll thank you with a VPR reusable shopping bag and coupons for $5 worth of Cabot dairy products!

The green nylon bag folds up into a fist-sized pouch that fits in your purse or back pocket. It has VPR’s “euro” design on the front so you can show everyone that you support your public radio station.

This special gift is our way of saying thank you for supporting VPR.  Your financial contribution helps pay for election coverage, Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me, This American Life, VPR Classical, and all of the programming you rely on every day.

Please make your contribution right now, and many thanks for your support!

And, if you're looking for a way to use that free Cabot cheese, I highly recommend trying out this recipe for Vermont cheddar soup from VPR Underwriter Simon Pearce. It's amazing!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Meet Our Fall Mug Artist

This peaceful, folk art mug design was painted by Weathersfield artist Lisa Curry Mair.

Lisa says, "At Canvasworks, VPR is almost always on!"

She invites listeners to visit her newly expanded post and beam studio for a grand reopening event on November 17th and 18th. You can meet Lisa, see her murals, folk art, and extensive offerings of painted canvas floorcloths.

Just what exactly is a canvas floorcloth? Find out and learn how they're made at CanvasWorks FloorCloths's website.

You can get your new VPR artist mug with this design for a $90 pledge, or two for a pledge of $12/month ($144).

See all 61 artist mugs in our series online here!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Get Your NPR Election-Themed Buttons Today Only!

When you support Vermont Public Radio with a pledge today, we’ll thank you with a trio of these NPR election-themed buttons. Click here to make a pledge, or call us at 1-800-639-6391.

These buttons, with designs chosen by listeners, let people know you’re an informed voter because you listen to public radio. Wear them on your jacket or hat, pin them to your backpack or the bulletin board in your kitchen or office cubicle.

Don’t delay – these buttons are only available today, the first day of VPR's fall membership drive. Your one-time contribution or sustaining membership will help us pay for the news coverage you need to make important decisions this November!

Thank you so much for your support!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

VPR's Saturday Special Features Alec Baldwin

Fans of Jack Donaghy (of "30 Rock" fame) rejoice!

Actually, that slick and scrupulous character, portrayed by award-winning actor Alec Baldwin, never really shows up on this new public radio special, Here's The Thing.

Instead, listeners are treated to a genuinely interested and humorous host in Baldwin, as he talks with entertainers and musicians, visiting them at their apartments and homes and asking the questions we'd all ask if we could. The program is produced by our friends at WNYC and will make its debut on VPR this weekend.

This new VPR Saturday Special begins Saturday, October 13 at 4 p.m. and Baldwin's first guest is the Piano Man himself: Billy Joel. Listen for upcoming episodes of this five-part series when Baldwin chats with former "Saturday Night Live" cast member, Kristen Wiig; legendary talk show host, Dick Cavet; stand-up comedian, Chris Rock and others.

Let us know what you think of VPR's new Saturday Special, Here's The Thing.

VPR Is Counting On Your Vote!

Vermont Public Radio’s membership drive is fast approaching, and we are counting on your vote! Every pledge we receive before the drive begins helps us keep on-air fundraising as short as possible.

Click here to support VPR with your pledge today!

In this election season, we are bombarded by an endless news cycle largely made up of sound bites, quips, spin, and misstatements.  But Vermont Public Radio is different. VPR helps you see through the clutter to reveal a clearer picture of the candidates and the issues.

Covering an election the public radio way is a financial challenge. It takes extensive resources to provide the kind of high-quality, dependable news and information needed to participate in a robust democratic society.  And that’s where you come in.

Your contribution or sustaining membership contribution today is a vote of confidence in VPR. It will help
us pay for the coverage you need to make important decisions this November, and it will keep the independent news you count on coming to you throughout the year to come.

Thank you so much in advance for your support!

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Party's (Finally!) Over: Saying Goodbye To The 2012 Red Sox

Red Sox logo (via Wikipedia)
While Major League Baseball’s best ready for the one-game playoffs that start today, Red Sox Nation says farewell to the 2012 season, and you know that expression about not letting the door hit you on the way out.

So, how to sum up the 2012 Red Sox season? First, I defer briefly to Woody Allen:

“Summing up…I wish I had some sort of positive message to leave you with. I don’t. Would you take 2 negative messages?”

OK, I will try to be a tad brighter in my outlook than that, but it is safe to say that a fan base hasn’t been this let down by the thing they love since George Lucas released the Star Wars prequels.  And as a new character, the just-fired, one-year-and-out manager Bobby Valentine proved to be about as popular as Jar Jar Binks. But it wasn’t all Bobby V’s fault that the Red Sox had their worst season since 1965. There were an absurd amount of injuries…a record 56 roster players used as a result…and a squad of B-level players and rookies playing out the string after the big salary shed that sent Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to the LA Dodgers.

But those factors don’t excuse the 9 run lead they coughed up to the Yankees in a loss in April, or the roll-over-and-play-dead 0-8 home stretch when they could have played spoiler for any number of teams playoff aspirations...the Yankees chief among them. If the Red Sox historic collapse last September was a scary horror film, this year’s long, slow slog to the AL East basement was a joyless installment of a once-frightening horror series cynically grasping to put a few extra butts in the seats…think Friday the 13th Part 9 in 3-D.

This brings us to the future, and its link to the past. The media in Boston were merciless in calling the celebration of past stars at Fenway’s final home game a distraction for the failures of 2012, but I disagree. I will never tire, for example, of recalling the glory of the 2004 season. You could put it on a loop and make me watch it Clockwork Orange style and I’d still love it. So when the Red Sox contemplate next year’s roster, the last link to that 2004 team…and the one who had the biggest hand in breaking the 86-year world title doubt - David Ortiz - must be back in the fold. If those celebrations of past Red Sox greats are really not a distraction, but a reminder that we do have an emotional connection to the players who provide us with life-long memories, then Big Papi needs to finish his career in a Red Sox uniform. It would show the fans that the loyalty they have shown in recent years isn’t taken for granted, and that the best of the past can sometimes be our greatest springboard to a brighter future.

Mitch Wertlieb

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Get The New VPR Android App

The VPR Android App is now available for free in Google Play.

The App is designed to give you immediate access to the news and easy, high-quality listening to all VPR streams.

Upon launching the App you're immediately browsing the latest VPR News headlines, with text and audio just a tap away. Swipe the screen to find the latest Vermont Edition and Commentaries, the Programs, Schedules, and Blog, and even School Closings (yes, they're on the way).

At the bottom of every screen you have quick access to the live streams of VPR, VPR Classical, and VPR Jazz24. The latest VPR Newscast and Eye On The Sky forecast are also just a tap away. You can even listen to the Vermont Legislature when they're in session.

There are many, many makes and models of Android smartphones, and unfortunately we can't guarantee that the App works on all of them. It does support Android 2.2 and above. If you have 2.2+, and you experience problems, please let us know.

The VPR Android App was developed by PRX (maker of Apps for Radioloab, This American Life, and many public media organizations) and is supported by the VPR Journalism Fund.

Download the App, give it a listen, and let us know what you think.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The First Presidential Debate Is Wednesday

AP/Carolyn Kaster/Carlos Osorio
This Wednesday’s debate between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney kicks off a series of presidential debate broadcasts this campaign season. VPR will be broadcasting NPR’s full coverage on Wednesday, October 3 beginning at 9 p.m.

Guy Raz will host for the broadcast.  Immediately following the debate, you’ll hear analysis from NPR Senior Washington editor Ron Elving, political analysts E.J. Dionne and Matt Continetti, with input from NPR campaign reporters.

In addition to Wednesday’s debate, VPR is expecting to air three more presidential debates on October 11, 16, and 22. 

And be sure to check the schedule for Vermont Edition’s debate series for statewide races. Those debates begin on October 10 and  you can record questions for any debates in advance by calling (802) 552-3425, or email questions to

Monday, September 24, 2012

VPR In Brattleboro, VPRCL In Rutland

88.9 WVBA went on the air in Brattleboro today.  This new station brings VPR news, information and entertainment to 32,000 listeners in Windham County.

We are also thrilled to announce the launch of VPR Classical in the Rutland area!

VPR Classical is now broadcasting at 92.5 FM , reaching a population of 60,000, including the communities of Rutland, Proctor, Pittsford, Castleton, and Fair Haven.

Listeners can now enjoy comprehensive programming from VPR, with news and information on VPR News at 88.7, and classical music 24 hours a day on VPR Classical at 92.5.

It has been a long-time dream of ours to bring VPR Classical to the Rutland region. Whether you appreciate full symphony orchestras or chamber ensembles, live concerts or world-class recordings, string ensembles or opera, VPR Classical brings you the best classical music from around the world, 24 hours a day – placed in a strong local context by our local hosts, Walter Parker and Joe Goetz. Plus, you’ll hear local and international musicians performing live from our studio.

You can find more VPR Classical stations at I hope you’ll tune in and let us know what you think!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Left Behind, Dropping Out

Every year, more than a million kids drop out of school. Without a diploma, they will have a tough time succeeding. But the problem starts much earlier than high school. This documentary, hosted by Andrea Seabrook, asks the big questions: Why are students dropping out? What's the cost? And, what works to keep them in school and graduate? 

Seabrook talks with Arne Duncan, the education secretary in charge of turning around the problem. You'll also learn about the dropout crisis through the eyes of the kids themselves.You'll hear stories from:
  • Chicago, Duncan's hometown, where we try to find out why students leave school in the first place.
  • San Diego, where a mentoring program has helped cut dropout rates substantially.
  • Washington, DC, where we examine the cost of dropouts to families.
  • Boston, where we look at whether the President's call for a "dropout age" of 18 could really work.
  • And New Haven, Connecticut, where students are given the "promise" of college if they work hard and stay in school.

This special is hosted by former NPR correspondent Andrea Seabrook.  It's part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a public media initiative, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to help students stay on the path to graduation and future success.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Schedule Of Debates On VPR

VPR will host six live candidate debates this campaign season. Hosted by Bob Kinzel and Jane Lindholm , the debates will be live at noon and rebroadcast at 7pm.

Listeners are asked to record questions for any debate in advance by calling (802) 552-3425, or email questions to

US HOUSE: Wed, Oct 10
(R) Mark Donka
(D) Peter Welch*

US SENATE: Fri, Oct 12
(R) John MacGovern
(I) Bernie Sanders*

AUDITOR: Wed, Oct 17
(D/P) Doug Hoffer
(R) Vince Illuzzi

(R) Jack McMullen
(D) Bill Sorrell*
(P) Ed Stanak

LT. GOV: Wed, Oct 24
(D/P) Cassandra Gekas
(R) Phil Scott*

TREASURER:  Fri, Oct 26
(D) Beth Pearce*
(P) Don Schramm
(R) Wendy Wilton

* indicates incumbent

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Join Us For The VPR Listener Picnic!

Join us for VPR’s Listener Picnic on Saturday, September 29 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Vermont Agricultural Business Education Center (VABEC) in Brattleboro!

The picnic is the annual get-together of Vermont Public Radio fans and staff. We love getting to meet you in person and thanking you for your support!

This year’s picnic will be a Vermont foodie’s delight.  Our special guest will be Lynne Rossetto Kasper of The Splendid Table and we’ll be tasting some of the best Vermont has to offer throughout the day. Highlights include:
  • Vermont Edition host Jane Lindholm will interview Ms. Kasper and lead the group in a few rounds of The Splendid Table’s game “Stump The Cook,” in which listeners are invited to share five ingredients they have currently in the refrigerator and Kasper, on the spot, invents a dish that can be prepared with those ingredients.
  • More than 20 Vermont food producers will be on hand, giving out samples and selling their products.
  • Bring a copy of your favorite healthy recipe for Hunger Free Vermont and get a VPR reusable shopping bag to tote home your loot!
  • There will be live music under the tent provided by All the Traditions host Robert Resnik with his band The Tin Pan Valentinos, as well as Jamie Kent and The Options.
  • Meet your favorite VPR hosts!
Our other guests include UVM Extension, Hunger Free Vermont, and if you don’t already have an “I Am Vermont Strong” plate for your car, you’ll be able to get one there.

Admission is free and the picnic goes on, rain or shine (we have a big tent!). Food will be available for purchase on site. Parking will be available at the Brattleboro Union High School, and a free shuttle will transport guests to the site. Only handicap parking will be available on the picnic grounds.

VABEC is a 100-acre farm which is now home to UVM Extension, Vermont Technical College Nursing Program, and Union Institute and University, among others. The farm is the property of the Famolare family and VPR is grateful to them for their hospitality.

The VPR Listener Picnic is generously sponsored by

We hope to see you there!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Brock-Shumlin Debate

You’ve probably heard the on-air messages referring to VPR’s  Brock and Shumlin debate, and if you’ve been listening closely, you know there’s quite a bit going on behind the scenes.

The planning for VPR governor’s debate began many weeks ago when we set the date of September 12 for the debate. But the Progressive Party primary ended in a cliffhanger on August 28, with candidate Martha Abbott receiving one vote more (371 votes) than Annette Smith (370 write-in votes). A recount is scheduled to determine the winner. However, the results of the recount are not expected until after the VPR debate.

So we will proceed with the debate with the two candidates and get the Progressive candidate on the air soon after the results are in.

Sometimes, we receive questions about the debate process on VPR. VPR invites major party candidates to debates leading up to the General Election. Major parties are those political parties in which at least one candidate has received five percent of the vote in any statewide office in the previous General Election. We use this definition for debate participation to provide listeners an opportunity to hear a meaningful back-and-forth among the leading candidates. In this format, listeners can draw clear distinctions between the candidates and hear them challenge each others' views.

However, debates are only one part of VPR’s election coverage. There are independent and minor party candidates who may not be as well known, and VPR includes candidates who do not have major party status in news coverage through interviews or news stories in order to get their issues before the public as well.

Millennial Writers On Stage at Burlington Book Festival

Bridget Iverson of the Young Writers Project

Do you wonder who Vermont's next great writers will be? Want to hear them in their early, formative years? Don’t miss Millennial Writers on Stage at the Burlington Book Festival Saturday, Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. A dozen or more young writers – among the best in the state – will read their work live on stage.

VPR's Reuben Jackson (host of Friday Night Jazz with Reuben Jackson) and Young Writers Project coach, director and teacher, Robin Fawcett will be the emcees for the show. VPR will be recording the program for possible future broadcast.

The show will be in the Film Theater at Main Street Landing, Burlington, and is a collaboration of Young Writers Project, Burlington Book Festival and VPR. Seats are free but available on a first come, first served basis so get there early!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

New Programs Added to VPR News Weeknight Schedule

We are pleased to announce new programs coming to the VPR News service on weeknights beginning Monday, September 10.

Monday through Thursday evenings, we’ve added Q from the CBC at 8 p.m. Q, which got positive feedback from listeners during a test run last month, is an energetic arts, culture, and entertainment magazine that takes you on a smart and surprising ride, interviewing personalities and tackling today’s cultural issues around the world. Hosted by Jian Ghomeshi, with his trademark wit and spontaneity, Q covers pop culture and high arts alike with forays into the most provocative and compelling cultural trends. 

By Stephen Voss
Credit: Michel Martin by Stephen Voss
At 9 p.m., NPR’s Tell Me More brings fresh voices and perspectives to public radio. Capturing the headlines, issues and pleasures relevant to multicultural life in America, the daily one-hour series is hosted by award-winning journalist Michel Martin. Tell Me More focuses on the way we live, intersect, and sometimes collide in a culturally diverse world. Each day's show features a variety of segments examining U.S. and international news, ideas, and people.

And at 10 p.m., VPR has created Tonight On VPR, which features a different program every night: On Being on Mondays, The State We’re In on Tuesdays, Moyers And Company on Wednesdays, and To The Best Of Our Knowledge on Thursdays.

Credit: Reuben Jackson by Stephanie Seguino

On Friday nights, kick off your weekend with Friday Night Jazz With Reuben Jackson, our new local jazz program from 8-11 p.m. Reuben is former curator of the Duke Ellington collection at the Smithsonian, a jazz expert, and now, a Burlington High School teacher. Reuben's program kicks off a weekend of locally-hosted music in the evenings, joining My Place with Joel Najman on Saturday and All the Traditions with Robert Resnik on Sundays.

We’ve also added a new 24-hour jazz stream, available at, our mobile website, and iPhone app. VPR Jazz24 features the great jazz artists of all time as well as today's top talents and is produced by Pacific Public Media, which operates KPLU in Tacoma, WA.

These programs provide listeners with a new and deep experience in arts and culture, and fresh voices and perspectives on how we live and intersect in a culturally diverse world.

We hope you’ll check out our new weeknight lineup and let us know what you think!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Membership Drive Timing & The DNC

Some listeners have contacted us today with concerns about the timing of our mini-membership drive. Their main concern is that we may be pre-empting news and updates coming out of the Democratic National Convention in favor of on-air fundraising.

These are good questions and we are happy to address them:
  • The Democratic National Convention had no bearing on the timing of this short membership drive.
  • Although we did pre-empt one convention story this morning, in general, we are not "covering up" convention coverage with fundraising messaging during this drive.
  • In addition to coverage during Morning Edition and All Things Considered, we’re airing an uninterrupted hour of On Point at 10 a.m., which is airing live from the DNC, and of course stories throughout the day on the BBC NewsHour, Here And Now, and other programs.
  • Tonight (Thursday) beginning at 8 p.m., you'll hear live coverage of the DNC without interruption, including President Obama’s speech accepting the Democratic nomination for President.
  • As a statewide organization dedicated to public service, VPR is deeply rooted in the communities we serve. Over the last several years, we’ve been taking our mission a step further by bringing listeners together during membership drives to support organizations that help improve the quality of life in Vermont - while raising the money to support the programming you count on, including election coverage.
  • While there’s not necessarily an ideal time for a membership drive, we determined that early September was an appropriate time to hold a short membership drive to help Hunger Free Vermont because it is Hunger Action Month. With 90,000 food insecure people living in Vermont, it's an issue to which we wanted to call attention and give listeners the opportunity to something to help.
  • The drive will end this Saturday at noon.
Despite these facts and assurances, we recognize that listeners may perceive the drive as interrupting convention coverage. Keeping our listeners' trust is of utmost importance to us, and we don’t discount the impact of those perceptions.

As a result, on Friday during Morning Edition we will not air long pledge drive breaks. Instead, on VPR you will hear Mitch Wertlieb reminding listeners about our special mini-drive, but the focus of the morning will be bringing you the latest news from the convention floor, the President’s address, and recap of the week’s events in Charlotte in addition to our regular newscasts.

After Morning Edition, we plan on resuming our appeals for support, not only for VPR but for our partner, Hunger Free Vermont. We know that membership drives are not a listener favorite, however, they are the most effective tool we have to ensure that VPR remains financially on track and able to bring you the quality of programming that you have come to expect and rely upon.

Thanks again for listening, and as always, thanks for your feedback. We value all of the ways that you support VPR, whether it’s through your financial support, volunteer time, and you’re your feedback!


Brendan Kinney
Vice President of Development & Marketing

Broccoli Salad Recipe From The Learning Kitchen

VPR’s mini membership drive is underway! With every pledge to VPR received by noon on Saturday, September 8, the Vermont Community Foundation will donate a bag of groceries to Hunger Free Vermont’s Learning Kitchen Program.

In The Learning Kitchen, low-income Vermonters learn to make healthy food choices through cooking classes taught throughout the state. After learning to prepare a meal in class, participants take home a grocery bag that includes all of the ingredients to recreate the meal at home with their families. For a taste (literally!) of what they do, here’s a recipe from the program for broccoli salad!

Your one-time gift or sustaining membership pledge during this short, three-day fundraiser pays for VPR programming and you’ll provide a valuable nutrition lesson to a neighbor in need. Thank you!

What’s your favorite cost-effective, healthy recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

State Of The Re:Union Returns To VPR!

State of the Re:Union is coming back to the VPR Saturday Special. For the next ten weeks, enjoy new episodes with host Al Letson.

Courtesy of State of the Re:Union

For those of us who can't travel to all corners of the country, State of the Re:Union is a welcome addition to the Saturday Special line-up. It's a show dedicated to digging deep into communities to find out what makes them tick. State of the Re:Union looks for the common history that ties people together and gives voice to those who are experiencing a common problem that's both unique to the place and universal to the human experience.

These new episodes will take us to Baltimore, the Ozarks, and Tucson--just to name a few! We'll revisit the State of the Re:Union episode on Vermont, and we'll also hear something new: an episode dedicated not to a physical place, but a group of people whose members exist everywhere: comic book fans! We'll also hear an entire episode dedicated to the strange, fascinating ways the Internet creates communities.

Listen Saturdays at 4 on VPR and let us know what you think!

Learn more about State of the Re:Union.