Dirk Van Susteren

Dirk Van Susteren

Dirk Van Susteren is a freelance writer and editor, who has 30 years experience in Vermont journalism. For years he was the editor of Vermont’s Sunday Rutland Herald and Times Argus, assigning stories dealing with the environment, agriculture, politics, energy, health care and a host of other topics important to Vermonters. He assembled teams of writers and photographers to produce books for the Herald and Times Argus, including A Vermont Century: Photographs and Essays from the Green Mountain State and Howard Dean: A Citizen’s Guide to the Man Who Would Be President. During his career Van Susteren has been the publisher of a weekly newspaper, The Suburban List in Essex Junction; an editor at the Providence Journal (R.I.); and a writer for United Press International. His freelance stories have appeared in various publications, including The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Northern Woodlands magazine, Saltscapes of Nova Scotia and AMC Outdoors. Van Susteren has taught writing at Community College of Vermont and in the University of Vermont Summer Writing Program. He is a native of Appleton, WI. and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He and his wife Marialisa Calta live in Calais.

Email: [email protected]

    In This State: Tapping into Vermont’s craft beer culture

    A sampling of the empty beer bottles, some considered artifacts, on display at Harpoon Brewery’s Tap and Beer Garden in Windsor. At center, is a bottle of Catamount from Vermont’s first craft-beer brewery that opened in 1987 in White River Junction. Photo by Dirk Van Susteren.

    Vermont now has some 40 commercial breweries, which is touted as the most per capita of any state. The brewing industry in Vermont employs some 2,200 people.

    Vermont’s land trusts see post-recession rebound

    Johnson Farm map

    With 613,971 conserved acres, Vermont is No. 8 in the nation for land protected through nonprofit land trusts.

    In This State: From Fred Tuttle to Miss Vermont, Jack Rowell documents Vermonters in portrait

    Jack Rowell at his studio in Randolph says his first camera, one used to shoot scenes at the Tunbridge World’s Fair, was a borrowed 35-millimeter Petri that a friend brought home from Vietnam during the war. Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

    Jack Rowell would make a great portrait himself, but you would want him holding the camera, because few have a better eye. Photographically speaking, he gets the best from people.

    In This State: Dancing gives new life to Grange hall

    The Capital City Grange Hall is filled with contra dancers on a recent Saturday night. Seventy-one contra dancers joined the Montpelier Grange a few years back to help save it. Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

    At the Capital City Grange, a little south of Montpelier, there’s Mali dance and Afro-Caribbean dance. But it’s the contra dance that’s the biggie that really keeps the place going.

    In This State: The man who tends the Northern Forest Canoe Trail

    NFCT trail director Walter Opuszynski of Calais says he would love some day to canoe the full length of the 740-mile long trail, a feat accomplished over the years by some 80 paddlers. Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

    As trail director for the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Walter Opuszynski oversees a route that joins a total of 79 rivers, ponds and lakes and runs across five watersheds.

    In This State: Jason Lutes draws on history for his Weimar trilogy

    Jason Lutes, author of graphic novels on Weimar Germany, poses outside the Center for Cartoon Studies library, which was funded by the family of “Peanuts” creator Charles Shultz.   Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

    Hartland artist chronicles social and political changes in pre-Hitler Berlin, Germany.

    In This State: The ever-present and everlasting Sen. Bill Doyle

    Sen. William Doyle holding up a copy of this year’s “Doyle Poll,” a survey he has been presenting to voters since 1969. Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

    He first sat in his Senate seat the year Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon. Vermont’s longest-serving lawmaker, Bill Doyle, has no plans to retire.

    In This State: Bringing medical care to the homeless

    Dr. David Adams, a doctor for Safe Harbor community health center in Burlington, checks the blood pressure of a patient, Jim Fysh. Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

    At a time when almost no doctors make house calls, a doctor and nurse team goes to shelters and to the streets in Burlington and treats homeless people.

    In This State: Documentary and doctor ‘star’ delve into tragedy of drug use

    ITS Holmes thumb

    For years, Dr. Fred Holmes made house calls, caring for youngsters with childhood ailments. For the past five months he’s been addressing another affliction of the young: drug addiction.

    In This State: Outdoor adventurer Mike Rosenberg builds a business with his Garuka energy bars

    A photo by Mike’s brother, Mark Rosenberg, in Bell’s Canyon, Utah, shows how Garuka Bars get around. Courtesy photo

    A wakeboarding accident grounded Mike Rosenberg, and while he was recovering, he took to the kitchen. And there, the Garuka energy bar was created.

    In This State: A new chapter for the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum

    A woman makes her way down the front steps of the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, a Second-Empire edifice built in 1871 by Horace Fairbanks. Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

    Bob Joly, the new executive director of the library and gallery, expresses excitement about the future of the Athenaeum, which has struggled over recent years.

    In This State: A thing or two you might not know about John McClaughry

    John McClaughry with his dog Lassie on the porch of his log home in Kirby. Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

    How did McClaughry arrive where he is? What’s his view of his contribution to the political discourse?

    Vermont’s wetlands rules put onus on landowners

    A wetland in Putney. Creative Commons photo by putneypics via Flickr

    Vermont’s wetlands rules, established in 1990, require that landowners obtain permits if they wish to build on what’s designated Class 1 or 2 wetlands, tracts that the state deems “significant” for wildlife habitat, aesthetic or other environmental reasons.

    In This State: An obscure Vermont folk artist gets her due every year in Woodbury

    A close-up view of one of Bessie Drennan’s paintings, this one titled “Kitchen Junket.” Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

    Like Grandma Moses, Bessie Drennan didn’t pay much attention to perspective or scale. The two painters shared other attributes: both focused on the rural way of life; both had a nostalgic streak; neither began painting until late in life, and neither had any formal artistic training.

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