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Spring Smells Like COVID

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 4:46am

The long-lasting effects the pandemic has had on hospice workers. Plus, vaccinations for those 30 and up, wealth disparities in Chittenden County, and potential changes to the state constitution.

More Colleges Say They'll Require Students To Have COVID-19 Vaccines For Fall

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 9:38am

By Elissa Nadworny

Duke University in North Carolina has announced that it will require students to have a COVID-19 vaccine when they return this fall. And the list of campuses with such policies is growing. Rutgers University in New Jersey was the first , and since then more than a dozen residential colleges have followed. The University of Notre Dame; two Ivy League universities, Brown and Cornell; and Northeastern University in Massachusetts are among those requiring the vaccine for the fall. Cleveland State University will do so for all students living on campus . As vaccines become more widely available, it's likely that many more colleges will add their own mandates. Thirty-seven states are now vaccinating all people ages 16 and up, and by April 19, all states in the U.S. will join them . "Vaccinations are an important tool for making the fall semester safe," says Antonio Calcado, who leads Rutgers' COVID-19 task force. "We felt that just simply encouraging would not have the same effect as a

Saving The Stories of Vermont's Sugarhouses

Fri, 09 Apr 2021 5:43pm

By Howard Weiss-Tisman

All over Vermont small, family-owned sugarhouses lie tucked into hillsides. Some haven’t been used in decades and at others, families are still producing maple syrup like they have for generations.

The History Of French Canadian Immigration In Vermont

Fri, 09 Apr 2021 2:39pm

We explore an aspect of the state's history that some say is overlooked — and answer listener questions about Anglicized names and discrimination — in this encore episode of Brave Little State.


VPR News Podcast

Local news, reporting and newscasts from Vermont Public Radio

Vermont Edition Podcast

Vermont Edition brings you news and conversation about issues affecting your life. Hosts Jane Lindholm and Bob Kinzel consider the context of current events through interviews with news makers and people who make our region buzz.

The Economic Toll Of Domestic And Sexual Violence In Vermont

Thu, 08 Apr 2021 9:44am

Audio (audio/mpeg)

A recent report conducted by Vermont Network examined the cost of domestic and sexual violence for the state -- specifically through public expenditures. This hour, we speak with members from Vermont Network about what the report says, what resources Vermonters are in need of and the call-to-action required to change the narrative around violence.

Health Update: A Look At Vermont's Roadmap To Reopening

Wed, 07 Apr 2021 10:28am

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The Scott administration has unveiled its Vermont Forward Plan, a three-month roadmap to lift most COVID-19 restrictions by July 4. In our weekly health update, we take an in-depth look at the Vermont Forward Plan with Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine, and we answer your questions.

Vermont's Silence On Violence And Discrimination Towards Asian American Community

Wed, 24 Mar 2021 3:09pm

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On Tuesday evening, Vermont Asian, Pacific Islander and Desi American for Black Lives group send an open letter calling out Vermont leaders and others for silence in this state since the murders in Atlanta last week that left eight people dead, including six women of Asian backgrounds. This segment, we speak with APIDA for Black Lives about the silence towards the Asian American community in Vermont.

Eye On The Sky Podcast

The Eye On The Sky is Vermont's weather service. It is a production of the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium and Vermont Public Radio.

Brave Little State Podcast

What if you could decide what stories Vermont Public Radio should be covering, before they're even assigned? That's the idea behind Brave Little State.

The History Of French Canadian Immigration In Vermont (Encore)

Thu, 08 Apr 2021 2:42pm

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It's an aspect of Vermont history that some say is overlooked.

The Vermonters Lost To COVID

Thu, 18 Mar 2021 4:36pm

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More than 200 Vermonters have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began. How did they live?

What Do I Need To Know About Moving To Vermont?

Fri, 19 Feb 2021 1:17pm

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This one goes out to our future neighbors. With your help, we answer a question from soon-to-be Vermonter Samantha Spano, of South Florida.

A Vermont Town & City Pronunciation Guide

Thu, 11 Feb 2021 4:34pm

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Not sure how to say Calais, or Topsham, or Beebe Plain? With your help, we've built a guide for all those tricky names on the Vermont map.

NEXT New England Podcast

<p><strong>NEXT</strong> is a weekly radio show and podcast about New England, one of America's oldest places, at a time of change. It's based at Connecticut Public Radio in Hartford and is hosted by Morgan Springer.</p> <p>With New England as our laboratory, NEXT asks questions about how we power our society, how we move around, and how we adapt. It's about trends that provide us challenges and present us with new opportunities. New England has old rules and customs, with well-worn pathways forged centuries ago, and its population is aging fast.</p> <p>Through original reporting and interviews, on NEXT we ask important questions about the issues we explore: <em>Where are we now? How did we get here? And what's next?</em></p>

A Non-Binary Child And Their Family Explore Identity; The Impact Of Banning Race-Based Hair Discrimination

Thu, 08 Apr 2021 10:16am

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A few years ago, Hallel came out as a  “boy-girl” to their parents. This week on NEXT, 9-year-old Hallel and their family explore gender identity. Plus, we learn about a new Connecticut law banning race-based hair discrimination in the workplace and in schools. And we hear from newcomers to New Hampshire about whether they plan to stay in the state after the pandemic. See for privacy information.

A High School Senior’s Journey Back To School After A Year Online; Author Jennifer De Leon On Returning To Her Roots

Thu, 01 Apr 2021 10:35am

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After a year of online school, high school senior Bridget Donovan is back in the building and feeling like “a freshman again.” This week on NEXT, we tag along with Bridget and visit a New Hampshire school that’s experiencing the social benefits of learning outdoors. Plus, we hear about Massachusetts’ new climate legislation and how it compares to other New England states. And author Jennifer De Leon reflects on language and heritage in her new book of essays. See for privacy information.

Anti-Asian Hate And The Inextricable Link Between Racism And Sexism; How The Pandemic Changed Cooking And Eating Habits

Thu, 25 Mar 2021 9:29am

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This week on NEXT, in the aftermath of the killings of six Asian women in Atlanta, we hear about the inextricable link between racism and sexism. Plus, we talk with Boston chef and restaurateur Irene Li about how the pandemic has altered our relationship with food and cooking. And the entanglement of a North Atlantic right whale named Snow Cone has caused an outcry from fishermen, who say they’re being unfairly blamed. See for privacy information.

Insights On American Culture For ‘The Immigrant And The Curious’; Outfitting Triple-Deckers To Curb Climate Change

Thu, 18 Mar 2021 7:00am

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Through fresh eyes, there’s a lot that’s unusual about American life and culture — from bloated wallets and giant cars to the emphasis on self. This week on NEXT, writer Roya Hakakian shares keen observations from her new book “A Beginner’s Guide To America.” Plus, how retrofitting triple-decker houses can help fight climate change. And singer-songwriter Niu Raza blends musical traditions to find her signature sound and a new sense of home. See for privacy information.

‘Artemis’ Astronaut Reflects On NASA’s Mission To Land First Woman On The Moon; A Coastal Town Reckons With Sea Level Rise

Thu, 11 Mar 2021 9:04am

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NASA plans to land the first woman on the moon by 2024. This week on NEXT, we talk to a Maine astronaut who is part of the Artemis mission about why that milestone matters, and what it’s like to be in zero gravity. Plus, we’ll hear from two sisters who are participating in one of the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials for children. And we visit one coastal community on the Cape that is considering a retreat strategy as sea level rises. See for privacy information.

But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids Podcast

But Why is a show led by kids. They ask the questions and we find the answers. It’s a big interesting world out there. On But Why, we tackle topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world. Know a kid with a question? Record it with a smartphone. Be sure to include your kid's first name, age, and town and send the recording to!

Ethics: Is It OK To Break A Rule?

Fri, 09 Apr 2021 8:30am

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Is it OK to do something that you were told not to do and then never tell anybody? In this episode we tackle that thorny question from 10-year-old Finn from Seattle. We'll also wrestle with the question, "Why do people make really bad choices and want other people's lives to be harder?" Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript We're tackling some ethical dilemmas in this episode and we're letting kids give the answers! We also get a response from ABC Radio's Short & Curly, a podcast devoted to ethics for kids. Here's how some of our young listeners answer the question about whether it's ever okay to break a rule and lying about it: "No, because it usually just means you get in trouble." - Juniper "I think so. If you're protecting somebody or keeping a surprise." - Camille "It depends who told you. Like if your parents told you, then you shouldn't do it. Or if you do it, you should tell them you did it. But if it's like a mean person you met on the street it's ok. And it depends what it is. Because if it's a bad question, you shouldn't do it either way if it's a bad thing. If it's a good deed you should do it. And if you did that, why wouldn't you tell anyone?" -Sylvie "No, not really. If you don't tell anyone about it. It's mostly the doing it and then not telling anybody about it. Mostly what isn't the good thing about it. It's a little bit worse, if you don't tell someone you might get a feeling where you feel kind of embarrassed. And you don't tell anybody and it just sticks with you the rest of your life."  - Piper

Why Do We Compete?

Fri, 26 Mar 2021 1:07pm

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Have you ever felt competitive with a friend or a sibling? Competition comes up in a lot of different ways in life. Maybe you're running a race with a friend and you want to beat them! Maybe you're trying to play a song without making a mistake and you're competing against yourself. Sometimes competition feels good and fun. It can make you want to do better, and make a game more enjoyable. But not always. Sometimes competition feels bad. Like it's too much pressure, or takes away from the fun of being with your friends. Some people really don't like competition at all. 3-year-old Kai from Tokyo, Japan asks: "Why do we need to compete with other people, especially friends, for example on a sports day or at gym class?" In this episode we discuss competition with anthropologist Niko Besnier. And we'll hear from 12-year-old Harini Logan, a competitive speller from San Antonio, Texas, and 10-year-old Del Guilmette, an athlete from Monkton, Vermont. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript We put Kai's question to Niko Besnier, anthropologist at the University of Amsterdam.  One of his books is called The Anthropology of Sport, written with Susan Brownell and Thomas F. Carter. He says there are two reasons that people take part in competitions: "One is that sports are fun. It's fun to play with your friends and classmates, to run, jump, play ball. We've all experienced this rush of pleasure and fun doing these things. But the other aspect that's contradictory to the fun part is that it enables us to measure our strength, our speed, our physical ability against those of other people. It's the competition part of sport, and competition can become extremely serious. Frequently, the fun part of sport gets lost." Besnier says when competition gets out of hand it can lead to hurt feelings, and on a larger scale, competition can lead to things like war and inequality. But with the right attitude, competition, especially when we compete against ourselves, can help us get better at sports and academics. That's how it is for Harini Logan. She's a competitive speller who has made it to the Scripps National Spelling Bee twice! "Competition teaches you a lot, whether it's the preparation leading up to that competition or the outcome," Logan says. "It can teach you a lot about not only your abilities, but also new things that can change the way you look at life. When you're preparing for a competition you can learn how to work hard, and how not to give up on something. And during the competition you learn teamwork. That's one thing you learn in spelling bees, because you want to be with your community, your friends. One thing to learn if you win: sportsmanship! You don't gloat about it, you still appreciate yourself but you don't overdo it so others don't feel bad. And if you don't win it doesn't matter. [You just say:] I'm going to try harder next time." Competing also helps us get better. That's how 10-year-old Del Guilmette views it. He likes to play against tough teams when he plays sports, because that's how you get better. "The best players at the game, whatever sport it is, they didn't get better because they played teams that they knew they were going to beat. They played those teams that were better than them. They got better and they practiced!" Listen to the full episode to hear more about how these mature young competitors think about the value of competition.

Why Are Mammoths Extinct?

Fri, 12 Mar 2021 3:39pm

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In the ice age, megafauna roamed North America: mammoths, saber-toothed cats, even giant land sloths! What happened to them? In this episode we answer questions about the ice age: What was it? Did birds live during that time period? How about giraffes? Did people live with woolly mammoths? Why did mammoths go extinct? We'll answer your questions with Ross MacPhee, senior curator at the American Museum of Natural History and author of End of Megafauna: The Fate of the World's Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals. And we'll hear from Nathaniel Kitchel, a Dartmouth researcher who used carbon dating to discover the age of a mammoth rib. Plus, John Moody, of the Winter Center for Indigenous Traditions in Norwich, Vermont, on how mammoths appear in the oral history of the Abenaki people. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript "What was the ice age?" -Karen, 5, Wilmington, Delaware In the Pleistocene era, which lasted from 120,000 years ago to 15,000 years ago, ice covered the landscape in much of the northern hemisphere. Ice covered all of Canada down into the Northern United States and all of northern Europe. And there were smaller ice sheets in Russia. How did this happen? Scientists think it was a buildup of ice over time. "The theory is that the winter never ended," explained Ross MacPhee. "You would have snowfalls in the winter and it never really got warm enough to get rid of it completely. The next year that would be built on, built on and built on. And the thing about snow is that it kind of makes its own weather. If you have snow it gets very cold! And that preserves the snow pack for a very long time." The weight of that snow would compact into ice, eventually covering parts of the world in great sheets of ice. It might help to think of the process as a little bit like what happens when you have a favorite sledding hill: the snow is light and fluffy when you start, but if you sled down it enough times (and walk up the hill, too), eventually the paths get icy from the footsteps and sleds continually packing the snow down. It wasn't just ice sheets that were a feature of the ice age. All of that water caught up in the ice made sea level drop 300 feet lower than it is now. That exposed lots of land that is now covered in water, including a land bridge connecting Alaska and Russia! This land bridge allowed a number of species to move into North America from Asia, like bison. And some North American animals went into Asia, like camels and horses! Bear species traveled in both directions. Humans also used the land bridge to migrate into North America, though scientists think some early humans probably used boats too. Mammoths also migrated over that land bridge! They originated in Asia and came into North America. But there were other species of megafauna that roam the landscape as well, like giant condors, saber toothed cats and even giant sloths. These species went extinct at the same time as mammoths, as the ice age was ending. Listen to the episode to learn more about the theories of why so many large animals went extinct around the same time.

What’s Your Idea To Clean Up The Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

Fri, 26 Feb 2021 4:35pm

Audio (audio/mpeg)

In 2019, we answered a question about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a huge mass of plastic and other trash swirling around in the Pacific Ocean. Mary James heard that episode and was so inspired, she created a device to help clean up the plastic in the ocean. In this episode of But Why, we learn about her invention, the mermicorn! Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Listen back to Why Is There A Big Patch Of Garbage In the Pacific Ocean? Kids: we'd like to know what you think could be done about all the garbage in the ocean. Download our learning guide above to draw a picture or describe an invention you would make to help clean it all up. Mary James sent her picture of the mermicorn to the Little Inventors competition, for Canadian children. See Mary's entry here. Her invention has been chosen from among hundreds of other submissions to be turned into a prototype, a model of what the real thing might look like. There are Little Inventors competitions in the UK as well, and lots of countries and organizations sponsor design challenges for kids. See if you can find one where you live!

What Are Robots Doing On Mars?

Tue, 16 Feb 2021 7:54pm

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On Thursday, February 18th, a robot called a rover is expected to land on the surface of Mars, and begin collecting information scientists hope will help us learn if life ever existed on that planet! We answer your Mars questions with Mitch Schulte, NASA program scientist for the Mars 2020 mission. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript NASA has a number of ways that you can watch the landing live on February 18th at 11:15 a.m. PST / 2:15 p.m. EST / 19:15 UTC. The rover is called Perseverance, which means not giving up, continuing to work toward a difficult goal even when challenges are placed in your way. And it is quite a challenge just to get to Mars! The rover was launched on a rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida more than 6 months ago, by NASA, the U.S. Space Agency. And it has been traveling through space ever since, on a path to Mars. And now, people all over the world are eager to watch it land on Mars and get to work. And it’s not just Perseverance that is going to land on Mars. There’s also a helicopter, called Ingenuity, which means cleverness, creativeness and resourcefulness all rolled into one. Ingenuity, the helicopter, is basically a drone—there’s no one inside driving it around, just as there are no people onboard the rover. But ingenuity is the first helicopter to ever test-fly on another planet!

Outdoor Radio Podcast

The Vermont Center for Ecostudies and VPR unite the sounds and science of nature in this monthly feature. The program is hosted by biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra, who share their knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm for wildlife education and conservation.

Outdoor Radio: Invasive Zebra Mussels

Wed, 16 Dec 2020 10:39am

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Zebra Mussels are an invasive species in Lake Champlain. Not only do they consume a great deal of the food supply in the lake, but they also attack native mussel species by sticking to them and robbing them of fresh water and food. The Zebra Mussel can reach a density of 100,000 per square meter, covering exhaust and intake pipes for water treatment and power plants.

Outdoor Radio: On The Hunt For Invasive Worms

Wed, 21 Oct 2020 9:17am

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There are 19 species of worms in Vermont. Three of them are considered invasive; they are known as snake worms or jumping worms. These busy, invasive worms change the forest floor and the content of the soil, making it difficult for new growth to take root. This affects the habitat and food source of wildlife and the future of the forest itself.

Outdoor Radio: Little Bee On A White Flower

Fri, 28 Aug 2020 8:00am

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Fen grass-of-Parnassus has a beautiful white flower that blooms from mid-August to mid-September in Vermont. It is the sole food source for a rare species of bee, which are only referred to by their Latin name, andrena parnassiae.

Outdoor Radio: "Backyard Biodiversity"

Tue, 23 Jun 2020 10:17am

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In these times of social distancing, when people can feel disconnected from one another, it's important to realize that nature is just outside your door. From bird songs to green frogs' croaking chatter, stay connected to the outdoors by exploring your own "backyard biodiversity."

Outdoor Radio: Red-winged Blackbirds "A True Sign Of Spring"

Wed, 29 Apr 2020 12:13pm

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Birdwatchers know that when they see the Red-winged Blackbird return, spring is on its way. These birds are numerous and everywhere. The males are stark-black with a red epaulette, a striking flash of color on their wings, that they use to attract mates and ward off other competing males.

VPR Classical Timeline Podcast

Join VPR Classical host James Stewart on a journey into the events, characters and concepts that shaped our Western musical tradition. We'll start at the very beginning and trace the steps of music through history. This music, and its history, is ours.

190 - Manuel Ponce (1882-1948)

Fri, 09 Apr 2021 9:57am

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Manuel Ponce was the first internationally recognized Mexican classical composer. Ponce’s music bridged the gaps between categories like popular, classical, folk and orchestral. He was called the “creator of the modern Mexican song.”

189 - Teresa Carreño (1853-1917)

Mon, 05 Apr 2021 10:25am

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Teresa Carreño spent the majority of her life on tour, traveling around the world as an operatic soprano and virtuoso pianist. She was called the “Valkyrie of the piano” and “a queen among pianists.”

188 - Don't Tokenize Us: An Interview With Elisabeth Blair

Mon, 29 Mar 2021 10:08am

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Over the past couple of months we’ve been featuring composers of color and the last few episodes have focused on the life, music and legacy of African-American women composers. So many of these names and these pieces are just not as familiar to us as others. Why is that? Why does there seem to be less diversity and inclusion in the world of classical music, especially in composers of classical music? I reached out to the creator of another podcast for her insights about inclusion and representation.

187 - Undine Smith Moore (1904-1989)

Mon, 22 Mar 2021 10:14am

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Undine Smith Moore was a composer, a performer, an educator and an outspoken advocate for civil rights. She’s been called the “Dean of Black Women Composers.”

186 - Julia Perry (1924-1979)

Mon, 15 Mar 2021 10:05am

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Julia Perry was a uniquely talented and educated composer, pianist and conductor. Her music is a combination of many different influences from her training in the United States and Europe as well as her African-American heritage. Even though she passed away at the age of 55, Julia Perry left behind an impressive catalogue of works including three operas and 12 symphonies.

JOLTED Podcast

A five-part podcast about a school shooting that didn’t happen, the line between thought and crime, and a Republican governor in a rural state who changed his mind about gun laws.

Update: One Year Later

Wed, 13 Mar 2019 8:00pm

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How the events of last year changed Vermont schools and law enforcement. Also - where's Jack?

Part 5: Threat Assessment

Wed, 26 Sep 2018 10:11pm

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How do you know if a young person is plotting a school massacre? And what do you do then?

Part 4: The Reversal

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:11pm

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How a Republican governor who had been rated "A" by the NRA decided that Vermont, one of the most gun-friendly states in the nation, needed gun control laws.

Part 3: Thought, Or Crime?

Wed, 12 Sep 2018 10:40pm

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When does planning a school shooting become attempted murder? The question went all the way to the Vermont Supreme Court.

Part 2: How We Got Here

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 10:02pm

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Who is Jack Sawyer, and why did he want to kill his former classmates?

My Heart Still Beats Podcast

A six-part series from Writers for Recovery and VPR, featuring conversation about addiction and original writing from the recovery community around Vermont.

Bonus Episode: Voices From The Series

Thu, 16 May 2019 5:55pm

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What role does storytelling have in addressing the opioid crisis? In March, Vermont Public Radio hosted a gathering at the Turning Point Center of Burlington to talk through that question with the team behind My Heart Still Beats .