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Editorial: In Children’s Best Interest, Vermont Needs Transparency

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Anyone who doubts that Vermont’s child protection system is a mess need only to consult Attorney General Bill Sorrell’s remarks this week to a legislative committee in order to be set straight. “Our existing laws are clear in that the controlling determinant is to be ‘the best interests of the child,’ ” Sorrell told the Committee on Child Protection. “When in doubt, it is the child’s welfare that is to …

Editorial: Deep-Pockets Parks in Hartford?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Hartford Selectboard is moving ahead with a plan to efface the ugly scar left across the north face of the Quechee Covered Bridge by Tropical Storm Irene nearly three years ago, agreeing last week to seek engineering and design studies for building pocket parks on either side of the bridge at that end. We applaud this initiative and the due diligence with …

Editorial: Darth Vader, Dark Horse Candidate

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

If you’re not excited yet about the possibilities in the 2016 presidential race, know that you aren’t alone in the galaxy. According to analysts who are taking a summer break from more serious work, Darth Vader from the Star Wars films is “polling higher than all potential 2016 candidates.” This all began with the work of the FiveThirtyEight blog, which calculated favorability ratings …

Editorial: Boom Time for N.H. Fireworks

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

There is something about the phrase “reloadable mortar’’ that might make a prudent person say, umm, maybe not. But add the word “fireworks,’’ and lots of people say “oooh” and “aaah.” And a few say, “dial 911.” That’s how it is in New Hampshire, where State Fire Marshal …

Editorial: Back on Track in Hartford?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Supporters of capital improvements for athletic facilities at Hartford High School are at it again, circulating a petition to get a $3.5 million bond issue on the November ballot. Their persistence is admirable, but it’s not clear that the defects that sank a similar proposal back in March …

Editorial: The Public’s Business; Cornish Should Welcome Discussion

Saturday, July 12, 2014

It’s not all that often that communities debate such fundamental questions of governing as the purpose of meetings held by public bodies. Cornish finds itself in just such a position at present. As staff writer Maggie Cassidy reported earlier this week, the Cornish School Board has been weighing …

Editorial: Losers Laments From Dick Cheney and Mitt Romney

Thursday, July 10, 2014

It is said that generals are always preparing to fight the last war, especially if they have won it. Dick Cheney and Mitt Romney are taking a slightly different tack: They are getting ready to refight wars — one actual, one political — they lost disastrously. Cheney, 73, …

Editorial: Alone With Our Thoughts, a Shocking Finding

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Henry David Thoreau and Victor Hugo wouldn’t have known what to make of people in this age of brain overload. The pre-smartphone author of Walden famously proclaimed, “I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.” Hugo, in Les Miserables, rhapsodized about the wonders of …

Editorial: Vanity of Vanities; Humble Thoughts on License Plates

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles has temporarily stopped issuing vanity license plates, as staff writer Lauren Bender reported last week. This does not strike us as terrible news. All the world could do with a little less vanity and a lot more humility. That, however, is …

Editorial: Facebook Fails to Ask Consent

Monday, July 7, 2014

Facebook’s study on emotional contagion may not have broken laws, but it has exposed the unfettered power of big data companies grounded in opaque user policies. For one week in 2012, researchers from Facebook, Cornell and the University of California skewed the emotional content of almost 700,000 news …

Editorial: Laptops and Learning, or Not

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Given the ubiquity of laptop computers and digital tablets on college campuses, you could assume they’re essential tools for learning. Like most tools, though, they have their time and place, which may not be during class or in the lecture hall. Dan Rockmore makes this point persuasively in …

Editorial: Vibrant Non-Profits Help Make the Upper Valley Special

Saturday, July 5, 2014

It’s sometimes claimed that there’s a specialness about life in the Upper Valley, and if there’s truth to that beyond marketing and a collective desire to feel, well, special, one thing in its favor is the vibrancy of the non profit sector. From tiny agencies trying to change …

Declaring Independence

Friday, July 4, 2014

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America: When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among …