Jim Kenyon

Jim Kenyon: Six Hugs And a Diploma

There is a routine — a monotony, really — to prison life that 20-year-old Sam Ramsey must constantly try to escape. During his 16 months at the Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport, Vt., Ramsey has learned that inmates — providing they stay out of trouble — can spend their days doing little to nothing. With 400 inmates in Vermont’s largest prison, there aren’t enough jobs to go around. Inmates watch TV and sleep a lot. It’s why prisons are known as warehouses. Prisoners don’t

Jim Kenyon: N.H. Diners Starved of Restaurant Inspection Data

Want to know how your favorite restaurant fared in its most recent state health inspection? Or how food establishments in your town stacked up against each other In Vermont, the information is just a click away. The state Department of Health posts restaurant scores on its website (http://1.usa.gov/1ejsWOi). New Hampshire? You could work up quite an appetite waiting to get your (hopefully clean) hands on basic — yet essential — public information. In November 2013, New Hampshire stopped putting restaurant inspections on the website of

Jim Kenyon: Duplex Dilemma in Hanover

I admit that Hanover’s zoning ordinance, all 121 pages, wasn’t on my summer reading list. A government document full of off-street loading restrictions, non-conforming uses, setbacks and corner lots didn’t seem like a page-turner. But then I read Warren Coughlin’s letter to the editor last week. Coughlin, a longtime Hanover resident when he wasn’t off serving his country in Iraq and Afghanistan, wanted to add a second-story to his house on Lyme Road. But the Hanover Zoning Board shot him down. The board cited the

Jim Kenyon: Innocent Until Pictured Guilty

There’s nothing novel about police mug shots. They date back to the late 1800s, and many newspapers, including this one, still occasionally use the photographs supplied by police to accompany stories about crimes or alleged crimes. But a monthly 24-page tabloid devoted to mug shots of people recently arrested in Vermont? That’s a new one on me. Green Mountain Mugshots began showing up in newspaper racks at convenience stores across the state in June. The publication is chock-full of individuals photographed from the neck up

Jim Kenyon: The Doctor Will Access You Now

Tired of waiting at a doctor’s office to get the once-over for what you’re fairly sure is bronchitis? Would you like to avoid spending hundreds of dollars on a visit to a hospital emergency room to obtain a prescription for your child’s painful ear infection that cropped up in the middle of the night? Then Teladoc, the largest telemedicine provider in the U.S., might be for you. Here’s how it works: Patients whose employer or insurance company has signed on with the Dallas-based company can

Jim Kenyon: Giving Away The Farm

Dan Smith’s bosses were skeptical, and probably for good reason, when he informed them that the retired CEO of a Fortune 500 company wanted to give his $1.5 million dairy farm to Vermont Technical College. Smith, who only moved into the president’s office at VTC last year, was among the first to acknowledge that it sounded far-fetched. “It’s an incredible gift,” he said. “A small, public technical college just doesn’t see this kind of thing.” That is, until Andy Sigler came along. Sigler started Norwich

Jim Kenyon: Drinking to The Past

It’s often said that you can’t change history. Trying to move history probably isn’t a good idea, either. The piece of history I’m talking about is a large granite water trough that has sat on the village of South Royalton’s main street for more than 100 years. “It’s such a defining feature when you enter the village,” said John Dumville, president of the Royalton Historical Society. “It’s a landmark.” But apparently some people in town consider the trough, once an oasis for horses, something of

Jim Kenyon: Hanover High School’s ‘Super Senior’

The colleges that students from Hanover High School’s Class of 2015 will attend include the usual abundance of academic heavyweights. In looking over the list, I counted 10 students who were bound for Ivy League schools, four more headed to Middlebury College and another to Stanford. Rachel Fried (pronounced freed) doesn’t show up anywhere on the list. But when it comes to the student who worked the hardest and overcame the most, she might well be at the top of the list. Rachel was 13

Jim Kenyon: Co-op Misses the Big Picture

It’s not as if we needed another example of how thoughtless the management at the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society can be, but just in case there were any doubts, here’s something I stumbled upon: On Tuesday, eight days after Caren Giaccone — who worked in the deli department at the Lebanon Co-op for 18 years — was shown the door, I stopped by the supermarket in Centerra Marketplace. I was surprised to find a photo of Giaccone tacked top row and center to the large

Jim Kenyon: College’s Liquor ‘Ban’ — With a Twist

Dartmouth’s campuswide ban on hard alcohol, which went into effect a few months ago, is probably a worthwhile experiment. It just doesn’t go far enough. By that I mean across the street and a few miles down the road. I’m not suggesting the college join the temperance movement. But it should stop profiting from the sale of hard liquor while it tries to persuade students that they don’t have to spend Saturday nights throwing down shots to have a good time. That would mean no