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Brave Little State
Vermont Public Radio
What if you could decide what stories Vermont Public Radio should be covering, before they're even assigned? That's the idea behind Brave Little State.
5 days ago
A Master Class In Finding The Bright Side
Michael and Stacy Lee have had a really tough year. So why do they feel so positive?
Jun 19, 2020
Remembering Vermont's 19th Century Black Communities
How did these communities form, and how are they being remembered? That's what Gale Harris wanted to know.
Jun 5, 2020
Is Vermont Really 'So Expensive'?
Everyone loves to grouse about our cost of living. Bruce Post wonders: How bad is it really?
May 22, 2020
End-Of-Life Wishes In A Pandemic
If people — particularly elderly people — don't want doctors to take extreme measures to potentially save their lives, does that increase Vermont's COVID-19 death rate?
May 8, 2020
In A Food Shortage, Could Vermont Farms Feed The Whole State?
This hypothetical listener question has gotten a little more real. Love our show? Support Vermont Public Radio with a gift, sign up for our newsletter, and share your curiosity at bravelittlestate.org.
May 1, 2020
What Happens If A Presidential Candidate Dies?
Bonus episode: Our current president, and his presumptive opponent, are in an age group vulnerable to the coronavirus. What happens if...?
Apr 17, 2020
How Are Vermont Prisons Handling COVID-19?
Parole officers doling out hand sanitizer. Inmates cooking for those in quarantine. At the Department of Corrections, it's all hands on deck.
Apr 3, 2020
How's Everybody Doing?
Dispatches from our fellow Vermonters, including a nurse on the front lines and an expectant dad. Plus, some essay and poetry for our times.
Mar 20, 2020
Tips From A Home-Schooling, Remote-Working Mom
With Vermont schools now closed, many parents are facing a daunting reality. Today, a conversation between two moms — one is a veteran home-schooler and remote worker. The other is new to all of this.
Mar 13, 2020
Goodbye, Ollie: Remembering Vermont's Favorite Camel
A question about a popular camel won in one of our recent public voting rounds. Sadly, our reporting did not go as planned.
Feb 28, 2020
Is Town Meeting Outdated? (And More)
It's "Ask Bob" on Brave Little State! VPR's senior political reporter Bob Kinzel takes on your questions about Town Meeting, the location of Vermont's capital, the limited functions of our county governments and more.
Feb 21, 2020
Why Has Vermont Never Sent A Woman To Congress?
Vermont is the only state in the country that's never sent a woman to D.C. We dig into the disparity, and poll Vermonters on whether they think it's a problem.
Feb 7, 2020
As Colleges Close, How Will Vermont Schools Survive?
Low enrollment and financial troubles have caused a slew of Vermont’s small, independent colleges to shut their doors. What’s causing the problem — and is there a solution?
Jan 17, 2020
Vermont's 'Brand' Helps These Businesses. Do They Help Vermont?
Tanya Ocker of Burlington wonders about businesses that emphasize Vermont's "brand." Do they help our economy?
Jan 3, 2020
Why Does Vermont Have So Many Dollar Generals?
There are 37 Dollar General stores in Vermont. And what Danielle Drogalis of Swanton wants to know is: How did that happen?
Dec 20, 2019
What Do Vermont Constables Do, Anyway?
What's the history and function of town constables in Vermont? That's what Richard Dumughn wants to know.
Dec 6, 2019
How Can Vermonters Drive Less?
For a state that calls itself green, Vermont sure has a lot of drivers. So what can be done? That's what Eve Jacobs-Carnahan of Montpelier wants to know. Eve's question about public transportation forces us to confront some difficult truths about life — and travel — in Vermont.
Nov 15, 2019
Will Burlington's Champlain Parkway Ever Get Built?
The highway project has been tangled in red tape for so long that there's a monument to bureaucracy in Burlington’s South End. What's the status?
Nov 8, 2019
Why Are Child Care Professionals Paid So Poorly In Vermont?
The typical angle for stories about child care is about how expensive it is for parents. But the professionals who educate and care for Vermont's youngest kids are struggling too.
Oct 18, 2019
Another Taste Of Star Pudding
Podcast extra! After we aired our story about Marshfield's Star Pudding Farm Road, former longtime resident Laura Johnson got in touch to tell us more about the special property.
Oct 4, 2019
What Happens To Vermont's Recycling?
Are people following Vermont's new recycling laws, and where does our recycling end up? That’s what Julie Ste. Marie of Troy wants to know.
Sep 6, 2019
A(nother) Brief History Of Vermont Road Names
We take on more of your questions about mysterious Green Mountain byways in our Second Annual Brief History of Vermont Road Names.
Aug 2, 2019
Happy Third Birthday To Us!
We celebrate three years of people-powered journalism with a listen back to some memorable moments from our archive.
Jul 5, 2019
What's The Plan For The 'Pit' In The Middle Of Newport?
A development project gone wrong. A community living with the fallout. And an uncertain path forward.
Jun 7, 2019
Does Vermont Have Any Patches Of Old Growth Forest?
A question about Vermont's most elderly woods, from Andrew Wild of Burlington.
May 3, 2019
What Draws So Many Writers And Poets To Vermont?
This month on the podcast: Exploring the literary luminaries of Vermont, and why so many writers seem to thrive in the Green Mountain State.
Apr 5, 2019
How Is Climate Change Affecting Vermont Right Now?
We know the predictions are dire; we know there are urgent conversations to be had about policy. But to answer this listener question, we stay focused on the present.
Mar 8, 2019
Why Does Vermont Have Such A Housing Crunch?
What are the causes of Vermont’s tight housing market — and why aren’t things getting better?
Feb 1, 2019
Legislation vs. Investigation: How Is Rep. Peter Welch Balancing His Work?
Now that Democrats control the U.S. House, we head to Capitol Hill to get a sense of how Vermont's Congressman is approaching things.
Jan 11, 2019
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Heating With Wood?
Who doesn't love a cozy fire? There are benefits to heating with wood — but some drawbacks, too.
Dec 7, 2018
What Does It Take To Start And Run A Successful Small Business In Vermont?
To answer this listener question, we collect entrepreneurial wisdom from self-starters all over the state.
Nov 2, 2018
Why Are There So Many African-Americans Incarcerated In Vermont?
Overall, Vermont has one of the lowest incarceration rates in the country — but one of the highest rates of African-American incarceration. So why is that?
Oct 5, 2018
What's It Like To Hike The Long Trail?
The 272-mile trail follows Green Mountain ridgelines from one end of Vermont to another. So what’s it like to hike the whole thing?
Sep 5, 2018
Presenting JOLTED, A New Podcast From VPR
A story about a school shooting that didn’t happen, and the surprising things that did. This month we’re sharing Part 1 of JOLTED. Hear more at joltedpodcast.org.
Aug 3, 2018
A Brief History Of Vermont Road Names
You know the feeling. You’re driving along, and you turn onto a road with an intriguing name. And you wonder where it came from.
Jul 6, 2018
4 Vermont Towns Vs. 1 Utah Developer: What Happened With NewVistas
This month’s question led us straight into an unfolding story — about an outsider with deep pockets and big ideas, and the towns that banded together to reject those ideas. And now that their efforts have paid off, what happens next?
Jun 8, 2018
Those 'Aging Hippies' Who Moved To Vermont ... Where Are They Now?
The past may be obscured in a cloud of … wood … smoke. But what does the present look like?
May 4, 2018
What's The History Of French Canadian Immigration Into Vermont?
There was a time when it was totally normal to hear French spoken in some of Vermont's smallest towns and biggest cities. This month on 'Brave Little State,' we delve into the history of French Canadian immigration in Vermont.
Apr 6, 2018
Is Vermont Really Losing Young People?
Since we started this show, there's a question we've gotten a lot: Why are so many young people leaving the state?
Mar 9, 2018
Is The Northeast Kingdom Really So 'Different'?
Just how culturally different is the Northeast Kingdom from the rest of the state? Can it be quantified in any way, or is it largely legend?
Feb 2, 2018
Who Oversees Vermont's County Sheriffs?
If Vermont's county sheriffs are accountable to their voters, but most of their voters don't pay much attention to them, what happens when they do something wrong?
Jan 5, 2018
The Complicated History Of Hydro-Quebec
From our friends at the podcast Outside/In, the story of how a massive, state-owned utility company came to be a symbol of the French-Canadian people.
Dec 8, 2017
Vermont Hustle: What It's Like To Work 3 Jobs
There's a joke about the employment scene in Vermont: "What do you call a Vermonter with two jobs? Lazy." In other words, it can take three or more jobs to make a living in Vermont.
Nov 3, 2017
What Would It Look Like If Vermont Seceded?
We aren't endorsing it, but ... if Vermont did manage to secede from the United States, how would we fare?
Oct 6, 2017
What's The History Of The Underground Railroad In Vermont?
When it comes to Vermont's history with the Underground Railroad, where's the line between myth and truth? And whose voices are missing from the story? Those are the questions 'Brave Little State' set out to answer.
Sep 8, 2017
How Has The Geology Of Vermont Affected Its Character?
If you've lived in a state for a long time, or grew up there, you probably have this feeling - when you drive into or out of it, you feel like you can tell the difference. For many people, this is very true for crossings in and out of Vermont.
Aug 4, 2017
Low Pay, Weird Schedule: Who Exactly Can Pull Off The Legislator Lifestyle?
Vermont's citizen legislators get paid about $12,700 for five months of work. So, if you have a career and/or a family, how do you pull it off? This is the question recently brought to "Brave Little State."
Jul 7, 2017
Your Vermont History Fix, From Gold Mines To Witch Windows
This month, we're doing things a little differently. Instead of taking on one of your questions about Vermont, we're taking on three. We've got a question about those crooked windows you see on Vermont farmhouses, a question about Vermont's defunct gold mines and one about the history of Burlington's Church Street.
Jun 9, 2017
What's It Like To Be A Migrant Worker In Vermont?
If you drink Vermont milk, or eat Vermont apples or vegetables, it's likely that you have foreign workers to thank. But do you know any? This month, we spend time with some of the members of the work force that keeps many of Vermont's farms running.
May 5, 2017
What Can Be Done About Vermont's Aging Sewer Systems?
This month on "Brave Little State," a subterranean question about wastewater treatment in Vermont.
Apr 7, 2017
A Tribute To Vermont's Old, Falling-Down Barns
This month on "Brave Little State," a question about the many barns in Vermont that are left in a suspended state of disrepair.
Mar 3, 2017
Why Is Vermont So Overwhelmingly White?
This month on "Brave Little State," the history of Vermont's whiteness - both racial and cultural - and stories from people of color about what it's like to live here.
Jan 6, 2017
What's The Deal With Coydogs?
There's a creature that lives in Vermont that you don't see very often. It comes across the night in a cacophony of howls, yips and barks. Some attribute the sounds to coydogs, others to coywolves, still others to plain old coyotes. And everyone is right. This month: the fascinating canine that goes by all of those names.
Dec 3, 2016
Almost 100,000 Vermonters Voted For Donald Trump. Why?
On Election Day, nearly one in three Vermont voters cast ballots for Donald J. Trump - and VPR reporters teamed up with "Brave Little State" to hear from a few of them.
Nov 4, 2016
What Is The Status Of The Abenaki Native Americans In Vermont Today?
This month on "Brave Little State," a question about the descendants of this region's first residents. Our story begins at an old cemetery in Brattleboro, up above a roundabout on Putney Road. The graves have old Vermont names like Fairbanks and Porter.
Oct 21, 2016
Your Vermont Ghost Stories: A Halloween Special From 'Brave Little State'
In this Halloween special from "Brave Little State," a terrifying compendium of spine-tingling Vermont ghost stories, as told to us by ... you.
Oct 7, 2016
Are Utility Bills 'So High' In Vermont? It's (Really) Complicated
This month on "Brave Little State," a question about utility bills in Vermont - and a small sampling of Vermont ghost stories.
Sep 2, 2016
Does Vermont Really Have An Embezzlement Problem?
This month on "Brave Little State," VPR's people-powered journalism podcast, a question about embezzlement in Vermont - and a myth about stone walls and woodland fairies.
Aug 5, 2016
'Cow' Or 'Ke-ow'? The Past, Present And Future Of The Vermont Accent
In the inaugural episode of 'Brave Little State,' VPR's new, people-powered journalism podcast, we tackle a question about the history of the Vermont accent, and a question about a strange "thing" at the Waterbury rest area.
Jul 7, 2016
Introducing 'Brave Little State,' A New Podcast From VPR
Most decisions about the news you hear and read and watch every day are made by somebody else. But what if you could make some of those decisions? That's the idea behind 'Brave Little State,' a new podcast from Vermont Public Radio.