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: Leigh Seddon’s 35 years in the solar power biz

    Leigh Seddon, outside his home in Montpelier on a cloudy day with flurries, says Vermont’s solar future remains nothing if not bright. Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

    One of the state’s chief proponents of harnessing sunshine to create electricity looks at the past — and the future — of solar energy in Vermont.

    In This State: Peter Diamondstone, unapologetic socialist, may have run his last campaign

    Peter Diamondstone: “My belief in socialism is unshakable,” he says from his room at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.  Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

    Every two years for the past 46, he has run for office in Vermont under the banner of the Liberty Union Party: governor this year; attorney general, lieutenant governor, congressman or U.S. senator in past years.

    In This State: Robin Ingenthron has a passion for recycling

    Robin Ingenthron, head of Good Point Recycling in Middlebury, says his company deals with 8 million pounds of pounds of e-scrap a year. Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

    Ingenthron is owner of Good Point Recycling in Middlebury, a company that collects virtually all of Vermont’s electronic scrap — the old TVs, cell phones, iPods, computers, CD players, printers that we throw away, a total of 5 million pounds of the stuff a year from deposit sites across the state.

    In This State: Scott Wheeler, the story collector of the Northeast Kingdom

    Scott Wheeler on the railroad bridge in Newport, where years ago scores of anglers would stand fishing for salmon as they began heading up the Clyde River. Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

    Like his father, Scott Wheeler, is a collector – though it’s not artifacts that Scott collects. Rather, he gathers stories and recollections and publishes them in his Northland Journal.

    In This State: Zebedee Wetland — a place of serenity and study

    Jason Berard, left, and Joanna Waldman and Connie Snyder tour the Zabedee Wetland in Thetford, an area preserved by the Upper Valley Land Trust and used by students at Thetford Elementary School. Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

    Five years ago, the town of Thetford almost lost this resource that its schoolchildren have studied for some 20 years.

    In This State: Warren Kimble looks at the bright side

    Warren Kimble, with “Rooster,” a plaster of paris creation that stands resolutely in the artist’s home in Brandon. Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

    The Vermont contemparary artist, just months short of 80, plainly prefers painting rockers to sitting in them, and creating a fish to angling for them.

    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.

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