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The Changing Face Of Vermont's Villages

08/01/11 12:00PM By Jane Lindholm
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AP photo
Residents at the general store in Plymouth, circa 1933
Vermont's small towns have long stood in  contrast to stark "The Last Picture Show" image of dying rural communities.  The bustling little post office and the tidy general store are symbols of the vitality of village life. 

But an increasing number of those general stores are being shuttered, and there's talk of closing some post offices.  Economic trends have also taken a toll on many local businesses; from the independent bookstore to the small-town auto dealership.  These were businesses that helped support many civic activities.

What do these changes mean for small town life?

We talk with Paul Bruhn, executive director of the Preservation Trust of Vermont, University of Vermont political science professor Frank Bryan and Tom Slayton, VPR commentator and editor emeritus of Vermont Life.

If you live in a small community, tell us how you think it's changing and what you think is key to your town's vitality.  Post your comments below or email vermontedition@vpr.net. 

Also, we talk with University of Vermont interim president John Bramley. Bramley will serve until July of next year and trustees say he won't simply be a caretaker president, but will be responsible for working on top initiatives at the university. 

Finally, excerpts from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's talk at the Calvin Coolidge Foundation in Plymouth.  Breyer's new book is "Making Our Democracy Work:  A Judge's View".




preservation_trust_of_vermont frank_bryan paul_bruhn tom_slayton stephen_bryer coolidge_foundation front_porch_forum arts politics

Related Links

Preservation Trust Of Vermont Tom Slayton VPR commentaries Frank Bryan Front Porch Forum Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation Stephen Bryer "Making Our Democracy Work"
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