Jim Kenyon

Jim Kenyon: Everyone Into the (Jury) Pool

Last Tuesday morning, I reported for jury duty at the U.S. District Court in Brattleboro. Having never served on a jury, I looked forward to seeing how the sausage is made. The jury pool consisted of 50 or so Vermonters, of which 12 jurors (plus two alternates) would be chosen to decide the fate of a man charged with dealing crack cocaine and prescription painkillers in the state. During the selection process, a prospective juror (not me, I didn’t have the courage) posed a question

Jim Kenyon: Family Therapy

The second-floor bedroom has been unoccupied since last June, but the radio, tuned to a local country station, plays on from early morning to bedtime. The stuffed animals that belonged to the teenage girl who slept here are scattered across the bed. The girl’s favorite black skirt, which her mother always thought was a tad on the short side, is neatly folded in a chest of drawers. “I’m not at the point yet where I can let go,” said Tanya DeMond. “I need Ashley’s things

Jim Kenyon: Redefining Schoolwork

Going to school and doing well in class wasn’t a top priority for Alex Gelinas during her early days at Mascoma Valley Regional High School. Her family had moved from northern Georgia to the Upper Valley midway through her freshman year. “It was a culture shock coming here,” said Gelinas, now a senior. “I had a hard time adjusting. I didn’t feel that I had many friends. I was definitely struggling.” In the spring of her junior year, Gelinas’ guidance counselor suggested she talk with

Jim Kenyon: Financial Aid for Dartmouth

With Dartmouth’s price tag approaching $62,000 a year, students and parents have good reason to question whether they’re getting their money’s worth. The same goes for the rest of the public. Why should Dartmouth — or any other deep-pocketed private college, for that matter — continue reaping colossal tax benefits afforded to nonprofit organizations when it pays top executives like Wall Street bankers? And how can a college with a $4 billion endowment and which shows no signs of calling off the fund-raising dogs still

Jim Kenyon: Co-op & Competitor

If you want the management team and the governing board of the Co-op Food Stores to break into a cold sweat, mention the “H” word. Since the Hannaford supermarket chain arrived on the Route 12A strip in West Lebanon a few years ago, the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society’s leadership has been quaking in its oatmeal. At the Co-op’s annual meeting in April, General Manager Terry Appleby told members the Hannaford store was registering $600,000 a week in sales. The implication being that a good chunk

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