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.

First Gubernatorial Debate of the Season

The first governor’s debate of the fall election campaign will take place on Wednesday, September 12 at 7 p.m. on Vermont Public Radio.

The major party candidates, incumbent Peter Shumlin (D) and challenger Randy Brock (R) will meet in a 90-minute debate moderated by VPR’s Bob Kinzel and Jane Lindholm.

You can play an important role in the upcoming debate by asking questions to help you decide who to vote for in November. Listeners can call in and record a question for the candidates that we may include on the air during the debate. To record your question, call (802) 552-3425.

There are number of other ways to submit your questions for the debate:
Mark you calendar and tune-in for the VPR gubernatorial debate: Wednesday, September 12 7-8:30 p.m.

For more on VPR's debate policy, click here.