Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vermont Garden Journal Returns

The Vermont Garden Journal returns to VPR this week. For the third year, horticulturist Charlie Nardozzi will share weekly tips for successful organic gardening and the latest gardening news. Listen for the Vermont Garden Journal Friday evenings at 5:55 and Sunday mornings at 9:35.

Charlie covers a diverse array of topics for both veteran and new gardeners. Learn about pruning, pests, veggies, annuals and perennials, shrubs and fruit trees, edible landscaping and...

Let's just say just about anything that grows in the northeast!

You can also expect to hear Charlie on Vermont Edition during the growing season.

Follow the Vermont Garden Journal on our website. Be sure to go back through our 2010 and 2011 programs to find more topics and links to helpful resources.

To learn more about Charlie, check out his website. We'll be seeing you in the garden!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Terry Adams Talks Monk On Monday

Terry Adams is the longtime keyboard player with the rock group NRBQ. He has worked with Thelonious Monk's music for years as a curator and player. Join George Thomas Monday March 26 @ 9pm as we discuss his upcoming show, "Terry Plays Monk and...." Adams performs at the FlynnSpace in Burlington on Thursday, April 5.


Here's a statement Terry wrote about Monk:

"Thelonious Monk is the master mathematician in both harmony
and rhythm, while all the while composing a beautiful melody.
I started playing this music when I was 14, and even after all this
time, I know that looking at his music is like looking into the
cosmos. No matter what you know now, there's always more."

A music friend Don Sheldon adds:

Terry Adams has been an ardent admirer of Thelonious Monk. Monk, he says, “inspired me to be who I am, no matter what.” Not surprisingly, the word “iconoclastic” has often been used to describe both pianists.

Terry Adams is one of a kind. He has been described as "the untamed genius of the keyboards" and "one of the Creator's Cultural Advisers" (the latter quote from the legendary cosmic jazz explorer Sun Ra). He is also the driving force and visionary behind the brilliant band NRBQ since the group's inception more than four decades ago. His consummate musicianship, distinctive rocking jazz piano, and innovative use of the clavinet, as well as his irreverent sense of humor, have delighted and dazzled music fans around the world.

Musical categories have never interested Adams – he is just as comfortable playing with jazz great Roswell Rudd as with rock legend Link Wray. He’s led the wildly talented “rock & roll band” (as good a term as any) NRBQ for decades, yes, but he also appeared in the Robert Altman film Short Cuts in 1993 (as pianist with Annie Ross), toured with jazz composer Carla Bley through Europe in 1977, and released live improvisational duets with Sun Ra Arkestra saxophonist Marshall Allen in 2005. His first solo album, 1995’s Terrible, is an “extraordinarily musical collection” (All Music Guide) of instrumental compositions that would be classified as jazz if Adams used such categories.

It is surprising that Terry Adams has never done a night of music written by, inspired by, and informed by Monk before now. He did compile a Thelonious Monk collection for Columbia records, 1979’s Always Know, and he did appear on the 1984 Thelonious Monk tribute album, That’s The Way I Feel Now, with and without NRBQ. Never before, though, has he prepared a night of music dedicated to Thelonious Monk.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Help VPR Win A Knight News Challenge Grant

Knight Foundation News Challenge
Each year, the Knight Foundation makes grants to support, among other causes, Journalism & Media Innovation. This year, the Knight News Challenge is being issued in three rounds, and your vote can help us get to the semi-finals: here's how!

VPR has applied for this first round of funding to expand our local news service, Public Post. Public Post leverages the network of Vermont city & town meeting minutes to create a tool for journalists as well as a hub for discussion and sharing among citizens. It allows anyone - reporters, bloggers, town officials, and citizens - to search across town meeting minutes for key themes as well as to comment on, share, and embed the minutes. The goal of the Post is to identify local news stories and themes of concern to Vermonters, in an open online space.

We're applying for the Knight Challenge Grant to expand the service to many more cities and towns and to enhance the data journalism tools. Currently, the Post includes the minutes from more than 70 cities and towns across the state; with improved tools for collecting government minutes, we plan to increase the number of towns represented in the Post. With improved tools for computer-assisted reporting, we will leverage the index of records to automatically identify news stories, topics, and trends being discussed at local government meetings.

How YOU Can Help

The Knight folks have stated that the five Applications receiving the most Likes, Re-blogs, Tweets, and Comments will automatically become semi-finalists. We want YOU to show your support. Here's how:
  • Do you use Tumblr? If so, visit the VPR Application (it's posted on Tumblr) here and Re-blog, Like, or Comment on our application to show your support.
  • Do you use Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Google, Disqus, or OpenID? If so, visit the VPR Application and scroll down to the Disqus Comment box and "Like" it there and/or leave a comment. You can login with your Facebook, Twitter, Disqus, Yahoo, Google, or OpenID logins.
  • If you do use Twitter, Tweet your support of the Public Post grant. Please include the Knight Foundation's Twitter handle @knightfdn and the #VPR hashtag.
  • Spread the word! Share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, and with your email contacts and ask your friends to support this local journalism effort.
Thank you in advance. Taking these quick and simple steps will really help spread the word and show the Knight Foundation that you and your fellow Vermonters support local journalism with impact.

Friday, March 16, 2012

VPR Cooks: Irish Soda Bread

One of the best days of the year at VPR is Saint Patrick’s Day (or the day before, in this case!). That's because Jean Murphy, who manages our sustaining membership program always makes her grandmother-in-law's famous Irish soda bread for everyone at the office.

Jean says, "this soda bread recipe came from my husband's grandmother, Nellie Murphy of Dingle, Co. Kerry. She used to make about
20 loaves every St. Patrick's Day for all her dear ones. Mine is never as good as hers, but I still make it every year."

We find that hard to believe - Jean's bread is truly wonderful, especially toasted with butter.

Also, don't miss this morning's commentary by Deborah Doyle-Schechtman on Saint Patrick's Day myths. My new favorite Irish expression is "never bolt the door with a boiled carrot." Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh (Happy Saint Patrick's Day)!

Jean Murphy's Irish Soda Bread

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

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

Monday, March 12, 2012

VPR Cooks: Maple Cream Pie

Mondays are so much better when pie is involved.

John Van Hoesen
is not only our VP for News and Programming, he's also an accomplished baker. He went on a maple cream pie-making spree recently and the staff at VPR's Colchester headquarters were the lucky beneficiaries. They were fantastic! His secret? John uses maple sugar, not maple syrup. You'll find the recipe below - enjoy!

John Van Hoesen's Maple Cream Pie

Prepare and bake a single pie crust; try half butter and half shortening for a flaky crust; success comes when the dough is handled as little as possible.

For the filling:

In a double boiler, add:

1 cup granulated or powdered maple sugar
1/2 cup+ flour
A dash or two salt

Add 2 cups whole milk and cook until thick, stirring all the while. Use a whisk to smooth any lumps.

Beat three egg yolks; divide in half and add some of the hot mixture to the eggs to temper them, stirring the whole time. Combine all and cook again until thick.

When the filling is thick, remove and add two tablespoons butter. At this point, taste. If you prefer a more intense flavor, add about a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.


When ready to serve, whip 1/2 pint heavy cream (more if you like it heaped very high), adding sugar and vanilla to taste. Less is better. Whip until stiff and spoon on topping. Use a pastry bag and large star tip for decorative look, but whip the topping slightly more so that it will hold its shape.

What's your favorite maple recipe? Share it with us in the comments below!

Friday, March 9, 2012

VPR Wins Two Gracie Awards For Tropical Storm Irene Coverage

Vermont Public Radio has been honored with two 2012 Gracie Awards® for its coverage of Tropical Storm Irene. The Vermont Edition staff was recognized in the public media category for Outstanding Breaking News Coverage following Tropical Storm Irene. Reporter and Vermont Edition Producer Samantha Fields was recognized in the Outstanding Hard News Feature category for her story, “Town Rallies Around Residents Who Lost Homes,” in Plymouth.

In the days following Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont Edition provided critical information to people in need, including breaking news about washed out roads and bridges, utility outages, and emergency food and shelter resources. The program broadcast updates from emergency management officials, and state and local officials, assisted with inquires about missing persons, and provided extensive resources online for those affected, and for those looking to volunteer. Vermont Edition expanded its broadcast format to provide two-hour live programs twice a day, focused on storm response and relief efforts.

Managing Producer Patti Daniels said, "those were long days, but the awful circumstances that were enveloping so many towns drove us to keep providing as many resources and services as possible. We're honored to be recognized, but our real motivation is the faith and reliance that listeners placed in us during and after the storm."

The Gracie Awards are presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, for excellence in programming created for women, by women and about women. The Gracies strive to encourage the realistic and faceted portrayal of women in entertainment, commercials, news, features and other programs. A full list of 2012 Gracie Award winners can be found here.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fukushima One Year Later

The Fukushima Diichi Nuclear Plant disaster began to unfold on March 11, 2011 when an epic earthquake and tsunami hit the coast of Japan.

Public radio journalist Alex Chadwick has spent the last several months researching what the future might hold for nuclear power. You have several opportunities over the next few days to learn from his work.

Listen to his interview with Dick Gordon on The Story Friday at 1. Chadwick will also appear on PBS Newhour Friday at 6pm. On Thursday and Friday, Marketplace will feature special segments during the 6:30pm broadcasts on VPR.

On Monday at 9, VPR presents BURN: An Energy Journal with Alex Chadwick. This special program includes an exclusive interview with an American technician who was on site at the time of the disaster. We'll also hear from Greg Hardy, a Los Angelos-based engineer who has spent much of his career studying the vulnerability of nuclear plants to earthquakes. BURN also travels to Germany, where the government plans to shut down its nuclear reactors by 2022.

Throughout the program, Chadwick will provide a clear explanation of how nuclear energy works, why this is such a difficult technology to develop and manage, and what new nuclear tech is on the horizon.

Visit BURN: An Energy Journal, to hear Chadwick's interviews, and learn more about his research into the future of nuclear power.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Search Vermont City & Town Meeting Minutes At Public Post

We just introduced a new feature that allows anyone to search Vermont city and town government meeting minutes. Check it out here at VPR's Public Post.

Public Post is a service from VPR that brings together local reporting from VPR News with government meeting minutes from Vermont cities and towns. Since the project launched last fall, we've added almost 70 Vermont towns. For each of these towns, anyone can find the latest town meeting minutes, review them, post their own comments, find information and story ideas in the minutes, and share it with VPR and the entire community.

Now, anyone - VPR staff, reporters, bloggers, citizens - can search across all the minutes. Are you wondering which towns are talking about snow removal? Are you a reporter writing a story about wastewater? Are you a resident wondering what other towns are doing about sidewalkstraffic, or playgrounds? Are you wondering how Vermont city and town governments are grappling with issues from Tropical Storm IreneSearch Public Post.

If you find something interesting in the minutiae, post it right on the site and share it with everyone who visits the site, or email it to VPR as a news tip or story idea to be produced for a broader audience.

In the coming weeks and months we will continue to add new towns and new features to Public Post, all to serve the mission of discovering what's going on and what's important in cities and towns across Vermont. We'd love your feedback and participation.

Check out Public Post today: search, browse, and share what you find.

(Reposted from the VPR News Blog, originally posted 2/13/12)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Can a restaurant bounce back after serving Mouse Salad?

Beneath any situation lies an equation: "This fact + that circumstance = this outcome." Or so say Steve Levitt and Stephen Dubner, authors of the wildly popular book, "Freakonomics."

Now a new American Public Media radio series, "Freakonomics" shows us the hidden side of everything, blending pop culture with economics.

Host Dubner and regular guest Levitt, follow the thread and explore how seemingly disparate things are actually connected.

Tune in to the first episode of this VPR Saturday Special, "Freakonomics: The Days of Wine and Mouses," when we find out how and whether a restaurant can bounce back after a customer finds a mouse in her salad. Saturdays at 4 on VPR.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Town Meeting Day Coverage From VPR... and YOU!

VPR is your source for coverage of Town Meeting Day and Super Tuesday primaries, and we're asking for YOUR help to send updates and anecdotes from your town.

Of course, VPR News will provide in-depth coverage with VPR Newscasts throughout the day, during Vermont Edition at noon, with a special VPR News live broadcast at 7pm, and anytime at We'll provide updates from Town Meetings from around the state as well as full Super Tuesday results and analysis from our partners at NPR. You can get a preview of what we've already covered leading up to Town Meeting Day at

We're also looking for YOUR help to tell the story of Town Meeting Day in your town. Use Social Media, such as Facebook and Twitter, along with VPR's Public Post, to share updates, results, photos, anecdotes, or even your favorite town meeting recipe. By using Social Media, you're sharing your stories with the entire community. VPR staff will aggregate these messages and tweets, as well as links to Town Meeting Day stories, using the social media tool Storify. Visit VPR's Public Post for details on how you can participate in the Town Meeting Day coverage.

"Town Meeting Day continues to provide Vermonters with the opportunity to connect with their local government and guide decisions in their towns," says VPR’s News Director Ross Sneyd. "VPR's Public Post was built on that tradition and is designed to help Vermoneters stay in touch with their governments throughout the year not just at town meeting."

While you're at Public Post, browse local government minutes, including many Town Meeting Day warnings, from more than 70 Vermont cities and towns. You can search the minutes, comment on the minutes, and share what you find.

Turn to VPR on Tuesday, March 6, for full coverage of Town Meeting Day 2012.