Jim Kenyon

Jim Kenyon: Group Supports Veterans

Caitlin and Ray Jula moved to the Upper Valley from Tennessee last year to get a fresh start. And it started well enough. Ray, who saw extensive combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, landed a good-paying job with Sturm, Ruger & Co., the firearms manufacturer in Newport. That meant Caitlin, who grew up in Sutton, N.H., was no longer the family’s primary breadwinner. She could devote more time at home to the couple’s infant daughter, Rachel. But shortly after starting his new job, Ray experienced

Jim Kenyon: College Board Fails a Test

I have come to accept that the College Board, the nonprofit organization behind the SAT, is a necessary evil. Like the IRS. It’s hard to be a fan of a business that rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue largely through a college-entrance exam that is as flawed at measuring students’ abilities as the SAT. But considering the prevalence of high school grade inflation (explain how students can have 4.8 GPAs on a 4.0 grading scale) and resume padding (“I spent my

Jim Kenyon: Closing Time for Hartford Elks Lodge

Last call for the Hartford Elks came last Thursday. After members met that night, a “closed” sign was taped to the front door and arrangements were made for a business liquidator to cart away the bottles behind the bar. The giant stuffed elk head mounted in the lodge’s lobby was the next to go. Some people would argue the closing was long overdue. A private club that refused to allow women to join when the issue came up 20 years ago gets what it deserves.

Jim Kenyon: No Business Like Snow Business

I get why ski resorts keep close tabs on how much snow each winter storm produces. From a marketing standpoint, 8 inches of fresh powder sounds better than 4 inches. But why does the Lebanon School District have a vested interest in the precise amount of snow that falls on the city during a given day or night? That requires some explanation. For years, the school district has paid a snow plowing contractor at an hourly rate to clear its half dozen parking lots after

Jim Kenyon: School Pictures in Bethel

After three break-ins in 12 months, it made a certain amount of sense to try to tighten security at the K-12 school in Bethel. A burglar alarm, perhaps? School officials weren’t keen on the idea. “By the time the alarm goes off and police respond, the perpetrators are long gone,” said School Board Chairman Dave Eddy. The board and Superintendent Meg Powden preferred Principal Owen Bradley’s plan: surveillance cameras. At a School Board meeting on Sept. 21, Bradley made it seem like no big deal.

Jim Kenyon: Area Farmers Give Back With Pumpkins

Thirty-five years ago, Janet and Tim Taylor started selling the fruits (or I should say, vegetables) of their labor on a card table at the end of their driveway in Post Mills. Over the years, Crossroad Farm has grown from 15 acres to 50, and, I think it’s fair to say, is now among the Upper Valley’s leading produce farms. (I’m particularly partial to Crossroad’s sweet corn and melons.) The Taylors’ wholesale customers include the Hanover Co-op foods, restaurants and summer camps. They’re also regulars

Jim Kenyon: Building Opportunities

Steve Davis will be the first to tell you that he “raised a little hell” in his younger days, and it was something of a miracle that his hard living didn’t lead to doing jail time. I’m guessing that’s a big part of what motivates Davis to help guys who have. That, and a strong belief that the way to help someone needing a break is not with a handout but with a paycheck. Davis, 56, owns Vermod, a Wilder company that builds energy-efficient modular

Jim Kenyon: Town an Afterthought in Windsor Solar Plans

On Aug. 28, 2014, state officials met behind closed doors in Montpelier to talk about the “potential for a large scale solar installation at the Southeast Correctional Facility in Windsor.” For the next 10 months, the proposed public-private partnership with Green Mountain Power, the state’s largest utility, remained one of Montpelier’s better kept secrets. Town officials in Windsor didn’t hear about the proposal until this summer. State Rep. Donna Sweaney, D-Windsor, wasn’t privy to the behind-the-scenes discussions, either, even though she is chairwoman of the

Jim Kenyon: On Thetford Hill, No Signs of the Times

If you wanted to know what was happening in Thetford, the Thetford Hill Common was always a good place to look. Community organizations placed temporary signs on the big triangular green at the top of the hill on Route 113 to get the word out about upcoming church suppers, craft bazaars, school geography bees and similar events. Until this summer. Following a vote of its members in July, the Thetford Hill Village Improvement Society announced that it was banning all temporary signs from the common

Jim Kenyon: Locked Out of Out-of-State Prison

I’ve always assumed the hard part about prison was finding a way out. I had no idea that getting into prison would be so hard. I’ll start at the beginning: In June, the Vermont Department of Corrections moved 300 inmates to a for-profit prison in northern Michigan. The prison is operated by GEO Group Inc., a Florida-based equity real estate investment trust. Whatever that is. Why the state of Vermont would leave the rehabilitation of hundreds of its prisoners to a company listed on the