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Editorial: Increase the Federal Gas Tax

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Whenever the price of oil spikes, it’s a sure bet that some U.S. politicians will propose another gas tax holiday. So now that oil has fallen below $85 a barrel, and with America’s highways and mass-transit systems starved for funding, is anyone in Washington sensibly calling for a gas tax increase? Of course not. Raising the gas tax is bad politics — and will remain so even after the November …

Editorial: Ugly Talk in Politics

Sunday, October 19, 2014

New Hampshire Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, a Republican who represents Hillsborough County District 15, is not a handsome man. In photos he looks stocky, balding, a tad overweight, with a pug face and a tendency toward a bullfrog neck. His looks are fair game because Vaillancourt, one of the political bad boys of New Hampshire, where the 400-member House is such a big tent …

Editorial: Bark About the Park

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We count ourselves among the most loyal and devoted friends of canis lupus familiaris, and we stand prepared to defend their rights. Even so, we readily concede that dogs, much like toddlers and teenagers, have their place. And that place may not be near crowds, antsy children, bouncing balls and squirrels. A proposal before the Norwich Selectboard to prohibit dogs at Huntley Meadow …

Editorial: Nights of Labor

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cancel that festive Labor Day cookout for the great American worker. Life for the working stiff is certainly no picnic these days. It’s no secret that middle class wages have stagnated over recent decades, while the benefits of economic growth have accrued almost exclusively to the top 5 …

Editorial: Your Cellphone Could Betray You

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Well before the dawn of cellphones, Joseph Heller wrote this in Catch-22: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” His novel was about absurdities in a time of declared war, but our era of uneasy peace doesn’t lack matters to fret about. One of the …

Editorial: High School Fatigue; Teens Need More Sleep

Friday, August 29, 2014

Teenagers need more sleep. They also need more time in school. A national push is now under way to address the first problem, which is encouraging — but the second one is no less important. The American Academy of Pediatrics announced this week what a growing body of …

Editorial: Do No Harm With Prescription Drugs

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ever since Gov. Peter Shumlin declared back in January that Vermont had been suffering from a quiet crisis of opiate drug addiction “bubbling just beneath the surface,” all sorts of manifestations of the problem have, well, bubbled to the surface. Last week, the state reported a 21 percent …

Editorial: A Day in the Life of the Upper Valley

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

These are days that would test Pollyanna, with alarming news coming from the Mideast, Ukraine and elsewhere, not to mention rumbling volcanoes and rattling earthquakes. We understand why some consider the news media the daily bearer of bad news. And yet, for those who look more closely, there …

Editorial: Rewriting Rieseberg’s Contract

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Hartford Selectboard appears poised to replace long-time Town Manager Hunter Rieseberg’s three-year contract with — something else. What exactly the new agreement will contain is shrouded in mystery at this point, as the Selectboard has conducted the process entirely behind closed doors. But some reasonable inferences can …

Editorial: James Jeffords, Independent Man

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sometime in the late summer or early fall of 1972, in circumstances now lost to the passing years, a young reporter met Jim Jeffords for the first time, on a street corner in Bradford, Vt., and came away singularly unimpressed. His physical appearance was unprepossessing; he was not …

Editorial: A College Drops Out

Saturday, August 23, 2014

In March 2013, Ron Biron, the president of Lebanon College, said on a public access TV show that he’d heard this question from several local residents: “What is your brand, or your market?” That seemed surprising, Biron said, since the college had been here since 1956, founded, he …

Editorial: Demilitarize The Police

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Images of heavily armed police officers equipped with armored vehicles and other military gear confronting demonstrators who were protesting the shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., have focused public attention at last on one of the …

Editorial: Fight Money With Money — Rubens Bucks a Political Trend

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Embrace the irony,’’says the Mayday super PAC, which is battling the influence of big money in elections with — here comes the irony — big money. That is something to get your head around, a little reminiscent of the Vietnam-era declaration that a village had to be destroyed …