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]

Protect Geprags Park: Hinesburg pipeline opponents respond

We will not stop opposing this pipeline in every manner possible out of respect for the safety of our communities, and the welfare of future generations.

Jim Tomczak: State-sanctioned capital punishment lite

Fatal shootings of the mentally ill, the poor and the disenfranchised by law enforcement officers sometimes has the feel of a scene from a movie and leaves a bad feeling in the gut.

Ann Jackson: Do doctors’ personal values trump their patients’ needs?

Fears raised by opponents of the Vermont Patient Choice and Control at End of Life law are groundless.

John McClaughry: Tax prospects for 2017

Battles over taxes never end. Here’s a quick survey of some likely tax battles of 2017.

Paul Costello: Vernon is building its future

With all this town has gone through, there is a power in Vernon, a capacity to lead, a dedication to building the strongest possible community and economic development future.

Mike Loner: Chronic absenteeism hurting students

We must work together to raise awareness and promote ways to reduce absenteeism in schools.

Don Keelan: If Hillary were to fundraise in the Northeast Kingdom

Giving the event a Vermont twist, a photo with the candidate on a snowmobile could cost $500 and $750 if Mrs. Clinton would sit on the tailgate of a pickup truck.

John Klar: Watch the birdie politics

When politicians don’t want us to peer behind that curtain and ask the tough questions, they try to shift topic or raise some fear-mongering alternative to distract us.

Elayne Clift: The political power of narrative

“Hearing the stories of others breaks down the fears that underlie prejudice, and opens us up to the perspectives of others.”

Tyler Resch: A classic study of Burlington in the 1930s

Depression-era Burlington was the subject of “We Americans: A Study of Cleavage in an American City” by Elin L. Anderson.

Rob Roper: Is expanding sales tax to services really Minter’s goal?

The disadvantages Montpelier has placed on Vermont retail businesses, especially through sales tax policy, has been devastating. Do we really want to do the same thing to our service sector?

John R. Killacky: The Flynn at 35

The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts continues to foster enjoyment, understanding and development of the performing arts in Vermont through diverse and engaging artistic experiences.

Sheldon Novick: Strong statements on immigration in Democratic platform

Vermont’s Democratic Party platform welcomes refugees, asylum seekers and other immigrants.

Louis Porter: The conservation legacy of Vermont’s Duck Stamp

Since 1986, the Vermont Duck Stamp program has raised $4.5 million and helped conserve roughly 12,000 acres of wetlands and surrounding habitat in the state on 93 separate projects.