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Jim Kenyon

Jim Kenyon: ‘Grillgate’ at Lebanon VA Office

When the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs moved its benefits department into the office building at 112 Etna Road in Lebanon a couple of years ago, it brought along plenty of signs to warn visitors that “no guns, knives or other weapons (are) allowed” on the property. Apparently, the VA fears barbecue grills, too. Let me explain. Or try to. For more than a half-dozen years, the Marker-Volkl USA ski company’s headquarters have been in the same building where the VA began leasing space in

Jim Kenyon: ‘F---tard’ and Feathered in Cornish

I suspect that Holly Taft might have some explaining to do at the Cornish School Board’s meeting Tuesday night. Taft, who was elected to the board in March, has infuriated a bunch of folks in town with a comment she posted last week on a friend’s Facebook page. This being a family newspaper, I will refrain from repeating the word that Taft used, so you’ll need to fill in the blanks. Last Tuesday afternoon, Taft wrote, “I met more f---tards in one place last night

Jim Kenyon: Infantile Restrictions

Oh, baby. I wouldn’t want to be in Cornish Elementary School Principal Sylvia Sivret’s shoes. Judging by the School Board’s discussion at its Monday night meeting, her job is about to get a lot more knotty. The board appears close to adopting a new policy regarding school volunteers who want to bring infants and toddlers with them while donating their time. I figure Sivret’s going to need a stopwatch, a DNA test kit and eyes in the back of her head to enforce the proposed

Jim Kenyon: No Babies Allowed

For seven years, Kate Barber has volunteered her time to help students at Cornish Elementary School put together a yearbook. Barber, who has three children enrolled at the school, shoots photographs, designs pages and conducts fundraisers to keep down the cost of the book to Cornish families. On Wednesday afternoons throughout the school year, Barber made it a habit to work on the yearbook with eighth-graders during their technology class. “She’s amazing,” Principal Sylvia Sivret told me last week. “She’s done an outstanding job.” But

Jim Kenyon: Going To Bat For the Lebanon Legion

When a state agency plays hardball it helps to have a heavy hitter going to bat for you in Concord. That’s why Lebanon American Legion Post 22 can feel good about having Executive Councilor Joe Kenney in its lineup. Kenney, whose district includes Grafton County, took up Post 22’s cause after reading about the Legionnaires’ legal troubles with the state Liquor Commission in this space a couple of weeks ago. On Monday, he met with Post 22’s lawyer, George Ostler, and visited with veterans at

Jim Kenyon: A $361,500 Front Porch

Not long after the flood waters from Tropical Storm Irene had receded in 2011, the federal relief dollars started pouring into Vermont. They did a lot of good, but I’m not sure all the money has been well spent. Exhibit A: Last year, a Burlington company called Front Porch Forum received $361,500 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to create a statewide network of online community discussion groups, better known as “listservs.” In theory, the next time a natural disaster strikes, Vermonters would go online

Jim Kenyon: Mechanic Street Shakedown

Bone-headed schemes to pump up state coffers are nothing new in New Hampshire. How else do you explain state liquor stores at highway rest areas, Mediscam, and the never-ending push for casino gambling? But the New Hampshire Liquor Commission has sunk to a new low. The commission, which fields a small army of 26 gun-toting agents to enforce the state’s liquor and gambling laws, has apparently decided that American Legion Post 22 in Lebanon is Public Enemy No. 1. If the Liquor Commission is successful

Jim Kenyon: Welcome to (W.) Lebanon

They call themselves the West Lebanon Kids. Although, truth be told, a fair number of them moved away years ago, and they’re not really kids any longer. Many are pushing 60 and beyond. Still, their Facebook page moniker is fitting. Their sensibilities and loyalties remain firmly embedded in their hometown of West Lebanon. Notice that I say West Lebanon, and not Lebanon. From a municipal government standpoint, West Lebanon and Lebanon are one in the same. Just don’t tell that to the West Lebanon Kids.

Jim Kenyon: Selling Off An Estate

Although there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary, I believe the demise of the newspaper industry is greatly exaggerated. I’m pretty sure this Internet stuff is just a fad. The obsession with tweeting and blogging can’t last. People will eventually go back to reading daily newspapers that they can wrap fish in and clean windows with. To celebrate the coming rebirth of daily newspapers, I will load up my Chevy Vega and embark on a sightseeing trip to the Old Man of the Mountain. Until

Jim Kenyon: Hanover’s Basement Bargain

Selectboards and town managers across the Upper Valley seem infatuated with user fees. Want your preschooler to play rec T-ball? Want access to your town’s transfer station? Chances are you’ll pay a user fee. Which for my money is just a hidden tax — a game that town officials play to put an artificial lid on property tax bills, so the public doesn’t get any more riled up than it already is about what it really costs to run local municipalities and schools. Instead of