"The students are in a class called Portrait of a Vermont Town, which Professor Elder, who teaches it, described as a rare synthesis of academics and civics.
They have spent the semester attending town dinners, exploring farms and forest, and visiting dozens of homes. Some students grew up in places where sprawl is the norm, so they were eager to explore a small town and its singular sense of place."
"But saving its distinctiveness is not enough. Vermont loses most of its young people to states with more housing, jobs and conveniences; even getting an Internet connection can be difficult here. Planning - a bad word in much of the state, not least out of fear that it will threaten property rights and personal freedom - is crucial, too."