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, and Anne Galloway,

Haviland Smith: Inducing terrorist paranoia

The “terrorist threat” is the basis for incredible amounts of “alternative facts” being circulated out of the White House.

Daniel Richardson: Legal Aid services benefit all Vermonters

When totaled with the anticipated federal reductions, Vermont faces a loss of over a million dollars in Legal Services Corp. and legal aid funds.

Karen Tronsgard-Scott: Saving lives by removing guns

The lives of victims of domestic violence literally depend on our state’s ability to keep firearms out of the hands of abusers.

Barrie Dunsmore: Can there be an American Spring?

Could it be that the spring of 2017 is the American Spring – a season of renewal and rebirth — a time when it will unmask and protect itself from future crippling Russian influence in its political process?

Frank Seawright: A lingering bitterness in Windham

The damage to communities like ours that is created in the run-up to a misguided wind project is bad; it is also long lasting.

Leo Cohen: From where the Republican arrogance?

The real snake in the Oval Office grass is Bannon.

Bob Stannard: What are our nation’s priorities?

Are we a nation that cherishes bombs, planes, tanks and guns (items that offer little in the way inspiration) over art and creativity?

Paul D. Manganiello: Obamacare — repeal, revise, replace?

What the Republicans are proposing will not bring about a healthy health care system but a continuation of our present dysfunctional health care system.

Ellen Schwartz: First they came for the immigrants …

While it is no surprise that ICE refutes claims that these arrests were politically motivated, Attorney General TJ Donovan’s choice to defer to ICE’s “purview” is shocking and disheartening.

Rich Nadworny: Marketing Vermont to business owners

My worry with Gov. Scott’s proposed marketing budget is that it hasn’t learned from past experience.

Rosalie Gross Fox: Promoting bipartisan problem-solving over congressional gridlock

Some bipartisan efforts are quietly gaining steam on Capitol Hill.

Suzi Wizowaty: Why we need more restorative justice

In our current system of criminal justice, punishment often precludes true accountability.

Jennifer Wallace: Federally qualified health centers imperilled by ACA repeal

Without federal grant funding it is unlikely that health centers will be able to continue efforts in reducing barriers to access for health services.

Stuart Graves: To the ICE agents of Vermont

Arresting a few people in Vermont to suppress their free speech is to set your foot on a slippery slope.