September 2017

Bill Mares (HGC'62) is publishing his 16th book about Trump and Vermont. 

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by Bill Mares & Jeff Danziger

What were you thinking? Donald Trump as our president? You’re kidding, right? Vermont has withstood the Revolution, a New York invasion and the New Hampshire Land Grants and will assuredly survive the next few years under the Washington axis of evil, a.k.a. the Trump Administration, Congress and Supreme Court.

We are a small state with a history of making a large impact. We banned billboards and went to great lengths to protect our natural resources, as well as our natural beauty. We’ll be damned if we’re going to let a man who dyes his hair, cheats workers and has his products made in China dictate to us how life should be. Life in Vermont is already great. A man who lies as easily as the average Vermonter catches fish is not someone we’re going to spend much time listening to.

That said, we recognize that we can’t ignore him and his actions. Then again, he won’t be able to ignore us, either. We're little but we're loud and we’re not afraid to elect a New Yorker, Bernie Sanders, to carry our message nationwide. Mr. Trump may see himself as a western version of Vladimir Putin, but we don’t see him as such. He’s just a bully used to stiffing banks (Vermonters make their payments), stiffing his subcontractors (we pay them, because we’re related to most of them) and treating women poorly (we just know better).

Short of seceding from Union (we’ve already tried that to no avail) you can be sure that we’re not just going to sit back and be bullied, stiffed, railroaded and abused. That’s not our style. Vermonters fight back; always have and always will. We love a good fight and those who challenge soon learn that Vermont generally wins. We’re tougher than the bully in the White House and he’s about to learn that first hand.

With the help of almost a score of "guest appearances," our literary duet has now become a chorus. We have assembled a first-rate “posse” of Vermont writers, cartoonists and politicians to add their intelligence and wit to this momentous task. In addition, the book has quizzes, quotations, escape literature, a Vermont tool box, and more; all things necessary to flesh out this thump to The Trump.

About Bill Mares…

Raised in Texas, educated at Harvard, Bill Mares has been a journalist, a high school teacher and a member of the Vermont House of Representatives. He has authored or co-authored 15 books on subjects ranging from the Marine Corps to workplace democracy to Presidential fishing, plus four books of humor with Prof. Frank Bryan, including the best-seller, Real Vermonters Don't Milk Goats. His hobbies include running, beekeeping, singing and fly-fishing. He lives in Burlington, Vermont with his wife of 45 years, Chris Hadsel. They have two sons.

August 2017


The Portland State Chamber Choir won the Grand Prix at the largest choral festival in Asia. Portland State was the first American choir ever to compete in the Bali International Choral Festival July 14-20, which featured over 100 choirs.

“This trip was a profound experience for Chamber Choir students,” says Ethan Sperry (HGC ’93), the Barre Stoll Director of Choral Activities in the PSU School of Music. “Asian choirs have a distinctive approach to music, and our ears were opened to a new palette of sounds.

“I hope that we offered a similar experience for the people hearing an American choir for the first time.”

The Chamber Choir won two categories: Music of Religions and Gospels & Spirituals. They earned the highest score in the entire festival in Gospels & Spirituals, and were proud that their presentation of this distinctly American art form had such an impact on judges from other countries.

During the 10-day trip, the Chamber Choir toured cultural sites, visited a program to alleviate poverty and sang at a charity concert to raise money for homeless youth. The choir also joined two Indonesian choirs to sing opera chorus at a gala for Catharina Leimena, Indonesia’s first opera star.

“Our goal was to sing our best—and we did,” Sperry says. “We’re grateful to have had the chance to share music with singers from all over the world, and extremely proud to bring the grand prix trophy back to Portland State.”

This is the second international competition that the Chamber Choir has won in recent years. In 2013 they were the first American choir to win the Grand Prix at the Seghizzi International Competition for Choral Singing, held in Italy.

“The Doors of Heaven,” the Chamber Choir’s recording of works by Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds, will be released on Friday, August 11, by Naxos, the world’s largest classical music label. The CD is available for pre-order on Amazon.

— Suzanne Gray