Thumbnail for 281264

On the Trail: Church that played ‘vital role’ in Ferguson unrest is literally feeling the heat

On a balmy Tuesday afternoon, dozens of young children could feel the competitive spirit floating through the hallways of Greater St. Mark Family Church's school.Youngsters enrolled in the JSO Summer Learning Enrichment Program filed into a gymnasium to play a spirited game of kickball. It's one of numerous activities offered at the camp, which caters mainly to low-income children from north St. Louis County.But competitiveness wasn't the only thing wafting through the building. Walk into certain classrooms, and the sticky, sweaty aura of heat is unmistakable. Continue Reading

Thumbnail for 281286

OpenGov Voices: 10 years of shining a light on money in politics with MapLight

MapLight Co-founder Daniel G. Newman.MapLight, a nonpartisan nonprofit I co-founded to track money's influence on politics, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. It's been an incredible decade of growth for us and the broader transparency and accountability field. When we started, our flawed system of money in politics received little news coverage and didn't register with many as a problem we could work together to fix. But in the 10 years since MapLight set up its database to connect political money with legislative outcomes, we've informed 300 million people about how money dominates our political system via 11,000 news stories, fostering greater public awareness so that citizens can hold government accountable. Now, in 2015, awareness of money's influence is at an all-time high. Continue Reading

Thumbnail for 281256

St. Louis County strategy office tasked with implementing county ‘road map to the future’

St. Louis County government now has an Office of Strategy and Innovation. The office was pulled out of the Department of Planning to put a vision for the county into motion.County Executive Steve Stenger has been touting the need for a comprehensive strategy in St. Louis County since his campaign. Now six months into his administration, the county council has officially approved the creation of an office tasked with that plan. Continue Reading

Thumbnail for 281250

After Rejecting Bailout Plan, Greece’s Economic Future Is ‘Invisible’

The Greek word for no is oxi, and across Athens and the Greek Islands on Sunday, it was on posters, spray-painted on walls and old cars.And it was also on ballots: Greek voters voted oxi Sunday in a historic referendum over the country's economic future.The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called the surprise vote to ask his country whether they would accept a bailout offer from European leaders that he thinks would be too oppressive. Continue Reading

Thumbnail for 281247

Wholeshare, an online grocery shopping website, makes debut in Vermont

Wholeshare, an Internet-based food wholesaler, is gaining popularity among Vermonters who buy natural and organic foods. The company is a free online system that automates purchasing for food buying clubs. Whether the enterprise poses a threat or simply an alternative to the state's food co-operatives remains an open question. The company, founded in 2009, serves about 200 buying groups, mostly in New York. It has operated in Vermont since March and presently sells to buying clubs – also known as preorder co-ops — in Burlington, Waterbury, Berlin, Bethel, Brandon, Middletown Springs, Rutland, Athens, Fair Haven, and Bennington. Continue Reading

Fireworks Go Off Without A Hitch

Adam Williamson was having a good night. It was not quite dark, and already he had walked the U.S. Coast Guard Band through several patriotic anthems, a cloudless, orange-streaked sky settling over East Rock as they played. Then he moved onto Charles Ives and American jazz standards, the sky morphing to a velvety indigo. Now, strains of La Marseillaise marched triumphantly from the horns and woodwinds, climaxing before they were overtaken by a stronger Russian theme. Continue Reading

Andrew Pond: Working with Act 46

Editor's note: This commentary is by Andrew Pond, who is the chair of the Bolton School District Board, vice chair of the Mount Mansfield Modified Union School District Board, vice chair of the Chittenden East Supervisory Union Board. The views expressed are his own. Act 46, the “game-changing” education bill the governor signed into law this June, aims to enhance pre-kindergarten through 12th grade instruction in Vermont. Many school boards will be obliged to meet with neighboring boards. This is a great opportunity to take a step back and see if there are ways we can provide a better education for our children by joining together with our neighbors. Continue Reading