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Editorials

Editorial: Borrowing Trouble

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Which is more appalling: That town and school officials in Hartford asked voters to approve a package of capital projects so poorly vetted that the cost estimates were wildly off base; or that they relied on a fundamentally flawed process to do so? We’re going with the process, on the theory that bad process so often guarantees a bad result. But it’s a close call. Staff writer Jordan Cuddemi thoroughly …

Editorial: Humanitarian Assistance

Friday, April 18, 2014

A child starving in South Sudan should matter to Americans. That was the message delivered last week by Nancy Lindborg, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the federal bureau that helps to spread democracy and humanitarian assistance across the world. That world has reached a critical danger zone, with three high-level …

Editorial: The Sky Isn’t Falling

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Some of the potential candidates for the Republican presidential nomination gathered for a “Freedom Summit” in Manchester over the weekend, marking what one conservative activist termed “the unofficial kickoff of the 2016” campaign. Given that New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary is still almost two years away, we’re inclined to think that Republicans might be jumping the gun. But apparently they just can’t wait to …

Editorial: Road Map

Thursday, February 27, 2014

What’s the best way to pay for repairing and maintaining New Hampshire’s deteriorating road network? Raising the gas tax, say the chairmen of the Senate and House Transportation committees. A casino, according to Bob Sculley, president of the New Hampshire Motor Transport Association. We’re putting our money on …

Editorial: Spending Questions: How to Figure School Budgets?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The perennial question of whether New Hampshire and Vermont spend too much on public education naturally recurs around Town Meeting, when most school budgets are decided. As staff writer Alex Hanson’s story in the Sunday Valley News indicated, there are a lot of things to think about when …

Editorial: Out of the Ballpark

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Normally, we are skeptical when a celebrity/politician/entertainer/athlete announces that he is resigning/retiring/withdrawing/walking away in order to spend more time with his family. Perhaps that’s because such announcements are so often followed by sordid disclosure of bribery/philandering/drug abuse and so on and so forth. But in the case of …

Editorial: Heads in The Sand

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Associate Attorney General Jane Young and Selectboard Chairwoman Christina M. Helm agree that allegations of sexual misconduct against former New London police chief David Seastrand are “disturbing” — just not disturbing enough to warrant either criminal prosecution or public discussion. One wonders just how egregious an apparent abuse …

Editorial: Dartmouth Applications Fall, but Why?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

We doubt that Dartmouth College officials are pushing the panic button about a sharp drop in applications for admission this year. After all, 19,235 applicants for 1,100 or so spots in the Class of 2018 is still a lot, and the college could probably fill two or three …

Editorial: Chapter And Verse

Thursday, February 13, 2014

It’s not often that the poetry world produces front page news, but last week it yielded two such stories. Sadly, one reported the death of Maxine Kumin, the Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. poet laureate who died at age 88 at her farmhouse in Warner, N.H., on …

Editorial: Land of the Free Staters

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Democracy is by nature a messy process, sacrificing as it does efficiency for the greater virtue of mass participation in self-government. Given that New England Town Meeting is about as pure a form of democracy as there is, it stands to reason that it would be the messiest. …

Editorial: What’s for Dinner? Good Question

Sunday, February 9, 2014

At a recent rally in Montpelier, Cat Buxton, education coordinator at Cedar Circle Farm in East Thetford, told the crowd that requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods was “simple, reasonable and prudent.” Reasonable and prudent, yes. Simple? Not so much. The focus of the rally was a …

Vermont Schools

Saturday, February 8, 2014

How to Contain Costs? School budgets are the talk of Vermont just now, as they generally are in the weeks leading up to Town Meeting. This year, the conversation has a sharper edge than usual. Gov. Peter Shumlin pointedly blames school districts for spending too much and urges …

Editorial: Unthinking Opposition

Thursday, February 6, 2014

While evidence-based medicine has been advancing on all fronts in recent years, evidence-based politics is on its death bed — as demonstrated by last Saturday’s Vermont Republican State Committee meeting, which adopted a resolution urging legislative and statewide GOP candidates “to publicly oppose single-payer/government-run health care due to …