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Jim Kenyon

Jim Kenyon: Taking an Interest in High-Interest Loans

Justin Martinez was driving along Main Street in West Lebanon when he spotted a sign outside a business that had recently opened in the former post office building. “No Credit Checks Needed,” the sign advertised. “Title Loans for $100 to $10,000.” Martinez has hit a rough patch financially. The 27-year-old, who works as a waiter in Lebanon, is having trouble keeping up with household bills and supporting his young daughter at the same time. That was even before he overdrew his checking account, which led

Jim Kenyon: United No More

A volunteer driver who delivers “meals on wheels” for the Bugbee Senior Center in White River Junction became alarmed Monday when he knocked on an elderly man’s door and nobody answered. “It’s not just about dropping off a meal,” said Len Brown, the Bugbee Center’s executive director. “We like to make sure that people are OK.” After the driver returned from his rounds, the Bugbee Center called the elderly man’s house. He picked up. “He had probably been asleep,” said Brown. And since he had

Jim Kenyon: In Search of Anthony Doria’s Name on VLS Campus

At Vermont Law School, it’s the rare building or broom closet that doesn’t have someone’s name attached to it. On a stroll across campus, I found Oakes Hall, Cornell Library, Hoff Lounge and the Nina Thomas Classroom. But one name seemed to be missing: Anthony Doria. No building, lecture hall or washroom bears his name. It’s as though Doria never existed, at least in the eyes of VLS, which is kind of odd considering he started the school. Without Doria, I think it’s fair to

Jim Kenyon: A Mom’s Special Elf

Nick Coombs, who will celebrate his 20th birthday next Tuesday, suffers from an array of disabilities, including autism and epilepsy, that pretty much require a caregiver’s full attention. Public schools are required to educate young people with disabilities. Not long after a disabled person reaches adulthood, however, families must make other arrangements. In the spring of 2012, Nick was finishing up at Stevens High School in Claremont when Janette and her husband, Alex, had to figure out what was next for their only son. They

Jim Kenyon: Hanover Parents, School Officials Playing Word Games

Hanover High Principal Justin Campbell and the school’s football booster club are playing word games. Do they really think there’s a discernible difference between a skit in which a girl is “gang banged” and one that depicts a gang rape? They might try to make that argument in a court of law. Fortunately, they don’t have to. But in the court of public opinion, it’s a loser. The online dictionary I checked defined “gang bang” as “sexual intercourse, often rape, involving one person or victim

Jim Kenyon: At Colby-Sawyer, a Big Return on Investment

When students in Todd Emmons’ class at Colby-Sawyer College talk about buying Green Mountain Coffee, they don’t mean by the cup. They’re talking shares. Emmons’ Investment Management course is the epitome of hands-on learning. Emmons doesn’t lecture his students about how Wall Street operates or have them play computer games to make pretend investments with Monopoly money. This semester, students are managing a 47-stock portfolio worth $180,000 (as of last week, anyway). That’s 180,000 real dollars. Students do their own research, digging into the financial

Jim Kenyon: Hanover High School Acts in Loco Police

Hanover taxpayers could save themselves a lot of money by just eliminating the town’s police force. Who needs cops when you have school administrators willing to do their legwork for them? For the last couple of weeks, Hanover High School Principal Justin Campbell and his lieutenants have kept busy conducting an “administrative investigation” into what they fretted was a hazing incident involving the football team. In a letter sent to parents, school officials said that “egregiously inappropriate” skits of a “sexual nature that objectified women”

Jim Kenyon: No Kidding Around

A nuclear power plant, a strip club, a Wal-Mart, I could understand. But a child care center? Really? Yes, really. A dozen Thetford property owners have gone to court to block the Creative Spirit Child Care Center from moving into their Post Mills neighborhood. I guess even kids aren’t wanted in some backyards. Cleopatra Mathis, a poet and Dartmouth College creative writing professor, assured me that she and her neighbors are not driven by “some hatred of small children and affordable day care.” That’s a

Jim Kenyon: Enfield Goes Zero-Sort

No matter where you live in the Upper Valley or how much money you make, there’s no getting around it. Sooner or later, it has to be disposed of. I’m talking trash. How do you get rid of half-eaten jelly doughnuts, chicken bones, empty toothpaste tubes and other household solid waste that everyday life generates? In just about every Upper Valley community, homeowners are on their own. Residents are responsible for packing their household’s output of solid waste into plastic bags and schlepping them to

Jim Kenyon: A Corny Tax Issue

Adele Patch’s hilltop home in Lebanon is surrounded by a neighboring farmer’s cornfields. On the dirt road leading to her house, you’re more apt to meet a tractor than a car. It’s as though Patch, a widow who turns 82 on Saturday, is living in a giant corn maze. Which raises the question: What impact, if any, should being boxed in by cornfields have on the value of Patch’s house and three-acre lot? Patch has argued for the last few years that the city’s assessment