Commentary policy publishes 12 to 18 commentaries a week from a broad range of community sources. All commentaries must include the author’s first and last name, town of residence and a brief biography, including affiliations with political parties, lobbying or special interest groups. We have a minimum length of 400 words. We have found the ideal length is approximately 800 to 1,000 words. We provide some copyediting support, but we do not have the staff to fact-check commentaries. We reserve the right to reject opinions for matters of taste and accuracy. Commentaries are voices from the community and do not represent VTDigger in any way. Please send your commentary to Cate Chant, [email protected] and Anne Galloway, [email protected]

Jesse de la Rosa: The dirty truth about the opiate problem

The most pervasive reasons for opiate misuse are the multitude of social ills. If Vermont doubles down on a public health response, there could be a most satisfying victory.

Barbara Crippen: Steamrolling school choice

As the June deadline for Act 46 school district merger votes approaches, voters in choice towns should be extremely wary of the tactics being used to promote mergers.

Nancy Tips: Eeeeeek – Attack of the wind monsters

You can imagine my glee when, an hour into a three-hour video of a tiny Vermont town’s selectboard meeting, I realized I was being treated to a “Scientists and Monsters” experience.

Steve Terry: A tally of successes

Adding the accomplishments from this past session and to ones by the Legislature over the past few years is quite an impressive list of progressive policies.

Michael Badamo: A visit to Montpelier’s pot shop

To my despair, I found a place as cold and sterile as an icebox, an establishment that was cranking a money machine as fast as they could turn the wheels.

Holly Tippett: When hunters go rogue

There is no biology or other science behind the state’s egregious open season on coyote.

Jeb Spaulding: College affordability should be a front burner issue

Of the 6,000 or so Vermonters about to graduate from high school, more than 2,000 are unlikely to further their education after June.

David Deen: The Connecticut River from source to sound

Our river differs north to south but it is all the same watershed from the headwaters of its smallest tributary to the Long Island Sound.

Willem Post: Would buying TransCanada’s dams be a financial fiasco?

As part of relicensing, the Connecticut River Management Plan recommendations for Wilder Dam likely would alter operations that likely would reduce annual revenues and profits.

Doug Hoffer: The auditor’s challenge in measuring economic development programs

How can Vermonters know whether we are getting a fair return on our investment?

John McClaughry: A post-mortem on the 2016 Legislature

My criteria include preserving fiscal responsibility, advancing liberty, limiting government, and thwarting various hungry special interests.

Ross Saxton: Vermont Gas pipeline is a worsening investment

It’s mind-blowing that the state of Vermont is willing to increase our use of fracked natural gas even though we banned fracking in the state.

Keith Ballek: Where is the public interest in VPIRG’s lobbying?

Who’s lobbying for whom is a question that comes to mind when observing Vermont Public Interest Research Group lobbyists in action in Montpelier.

Cormac Stevens: A better voting system

“First past the post” forces people to pick between the lesser of two evils and compromise their beliefs, rather than voting for the person with whom they agree wholeheartedly.