A Note about Links:
In cases where it might be cumbersome to access a story from another publication's archives, or if there is no existing electronic archive, I have provided a reprint.
SELECTED PUBLISHED ARTICLES
Long Before Stealth Helicopters
If your to-do list in the year 1532 included blasting your way into a suspected warlord hideout, or storming an enemy fortress or two, you would do well to get hold of a book published in that year whose title translates very loosely from the Latin to: On Military Matters. I'm so grateful to the staff at Norwich University's (Northfield, VT) Special Collections Library for letting me page through this wondrous, beautifully preserved tome. The book contains some astonishing images of tactical weaponry you might be hard pressed to document anywhere else. Did they ever get off the drafting board? Some look as if Alexander the Great and Dr. Seuss, neither of whom were of the period, had effected a time-travel collaboration.
Before GMP, 91-year old Houghton Cate Had His Own "Smart Metering"
In rural North Calais, Vermont, electricity didn't arrive until the 1930's. So Houghton, a life-long tinkerer, built his own electric plant. (Related Article: Electrical Power Plays of the 1930's, and a Miracle. Notes on an anonymous diarist of the 1930's who described the citizen activism that brought the Washington Electric Co-op into existence, and the corporate skullduggery that tried to prevent it.)
Despite One Dam Thing or Another, Small Hydro-power Slowly Resurges
What's working for and against the redevelopment of Vermont's old dam sites.
"Dwight & Nicole" -- On Top and Still Free to be Fabulous
"The Voice" Star and Her Powerhouse Partner to Play Barre's Flying Stage
A profile piece from an interview preceding the concert. For a little follow-up on D & Nt, please see my Blurbosphere page.
A Debt to Dinosaurs
The artistic evolution, so far, of Owen Bissex, and his feel for biological forms and their ancient origins.
Capture and Release
A profile of Kurt Budliger, of Middlesex, VT, an internationally award-winning nature photographer and environmentalist.
Cornelius "Con" Hogan has been a candidate for Vermont governor, a top state agency manager, an international child welfare consultant, a heavy hitter in the realm of health care reform, a farmer and a banjo player, to name a few of his endeavors. He's written a trio of "Met along the Way" books featuring vignettes about well-known public figures and colorful characters of his acquaintance. Good dinner table stories artfully moved to the printed page.
The $59 Million Dollar Question
Is the Vermont Treasurer's Office doing enough to return other people's money? And, on the annual published list of purportedly missing people and businesses who are owed money fro the Unclaimed Property fund, why are there always so many easily found "owe-ees" ? Prominent existing businesses? Government agencies? For one thing, the owe-ees have to want their money back.
Got Earthquake Insurance?
What's about as interesting as gazing at a pile of dryer lint? Perhaps it's reading through the fine print of your homeowner's insurance policy. But there's a lot at stake. Parts of Vermont were recently shaken by a minor earthquake. Some damage was reported here and there [at the time of this article's publication]. Few people realize that most HO policies don't cover damage from an earthquake without the purchase of an additional rider.
PEOPLE, SPECIAL JOBS
Senator Edgar May, Author of Change
Long before he became better known to some people as the brother of Vermont's first woman governor, Madeleine Kunin, then-journalist Edgar May put on a disguise, wrote a series of pieces on an ailing welfare system, won a Pulitzer Prize and got a surprising offer from Washington.
Hope Begins in the Dark
A Montpelier woman speaks out about her struggles with her young daughter's rare disease and her own determined new role in a literal race for the cure.
Heavy Rescue: Eye on the Sky
A specially trained military-based corps of firefighters provides rescue services to the entire Burlington International Airport. Who knew.
A Surge in Drownings Brings Up the Important Work Vermont State Police Divers Do
A record year of accidental drownings shed light on the risks Vermont State Police divers take,
both for the living and the dead. Plus: Gary Gaboury, A Sacrifice Remembered
Related pieces combined:
The Re-Fueling of Plainfield; Who is Skip Vallee? An 11th Hour Showstopper
As Plainfield, Vermont, pushes forward with a small town business and arts Renaissance, anti-competition maneuvers by Skip Vallee, gasoline wholesaler/retailer and owner of a chain of convenience stores, have provoked local ire. Vallee's actions can't help but call to mind an earlier move by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders [now a presidential candidate] to investigate regionally high gasoline prices in Chittenden County, a good chunk of Vallee's turf.
One might also recall Vallee's legal battle to block a Bernie-backed proposal by mega-retailer COSTCO to sell inexpensive gas at its Colchester (VT) location. In a weird repainting of political stripes, Vallee, a former Bush-appointee and national level Republican fundraiser, took out attack ads in which he cast the liberal Sanders as a big business corporate crony and enemy of the environment. But few people in Plainfield have ever met Skip Vallee. He granted an email interview for this piece.
Less Fear and Loathing
A community paper asked a group of local writers to pen a "birthday wish for the country, focusing on an American experience -- whatever the year's July 4th birthday called to mind. This is what I wrote. Note the date for relevance.
AGRICULTURE, LAND USE
Farmers of the Forest
An overview of the current business of logging in Vermont; a profile of one local farmer of the forest.
Montpelier's Jeff Roberts
A big cheese, promotionally speaking, in the international scene of artisan cheesemaking, Jeff speaks about why Vermont's artisan cheesemakers are some of the world's best.
From Industrial Boneyard to Recreational Boon
A look at how historic granite quarry infrastructure became the Millstone Hill trail system in Barre Town (VT)
OTHER CREATIVE WORK IN THE REALM OF COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
Producer, Co-founder of TOWN BRAINTAP
A community "edu-tainment" series featuring out-of-the ordinary talks and presentations.
Our consumer satisfaction guarantee: More fun than paying bills or shoveling snow; healthier than sitting at home contemplating the zombie apocalypse.
See also a Seven Days review here:
Guest Co-host Slots, WGDR RADIO:
Close to the date on which poetry lovers around the world celebrate the birthday of poet Robert Burns, Jim Cross and guest co-host Ricka McNaughton bring you a conversation with two Scotland-born writers Len Irving and Roberta Harold. https://soundcloud.com/wgdr/whats-next-01-28-13-interview
A Yale film school grad, newspaper editor and and mountain guide in Central Asia before settling on a commercial career in international photography, Theo Kaye talks with Jim Cross and guest co-host Ricka McNaughton about his acclaimed work.