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Jim Kenyon

Jim Kenyon: Vt.-NEA Chief’s Grade-A Pay

Joel Cook has been a fixture in the Vermont Statehouse for 30 years. When he’s not monitoring proceedings in legislative committee rooms, where proposed laws are crafted and debated, he often can be found having one-on-one chats with lawmakers in the cafeteria. Cook, 66, is the executive director and chief lobbyist for the Vermont chapter of the National Education Association. It’s his job to promote and protect the interests of Vermont’s 8,000 public school teachers at the Statehouse. However admirable that cause might be, I

Jim Kenyon: Another Dartmouth

On Monday night, I joined a group of Dartmouth twenty-somethings hanging out in a popular downtown Hanover watering hole. No, I wasn’t trying recapture my lost youth. This wasn’t a typical Dartmouth undergraduate crowd. Many of the students gathered in the back room at Murphy’s were veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Guys in their mid to late 20s who had done just OK in high school and started college, but dropped out after losing interest or running out of money. They joined the

Jim Kenyon: Norwich’s Kathy Hoyt a Veteran Lawmaker in Her First Term

Al McGuire, the late college coach and all-around basketball sage, is credited with saying, “The best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores.” What holds for basketball players could also be said of legislators. Most newly minted Vermont lawmakers don’t contribute much to the legislative process. They spend their first session at the Statehouse figuring out which parts of the building get the best cellphone reception (stand near the windows in the House foyer) and how to avoid the lunch lines in the cafeteria

Jim Kenyon: Treading on Big Money

After retiring from college teaching and moving to Lyme, Rick Bourdon was “looking for a cause” to dive into. The quest took him to a lecture that Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig gave a few years ago at Dartmouth College about campaign finance reform. Shortly thereafter, Bourdon joined Lessig’s grassroots crusade to get big money out of politics. Nothing like tilting at windmills. This week, Bourdon, 64, has laced up his walking boots to take part in the “New Hampshire Rebellion” that Lessig is leading.

Jim Kenyon: Dartmouth Must Make Do With What It’s Got

The news that Dartmouth finished the past fiscal year nearly $2 million in the hole is no cause for panic. With the college sitting on an endowment of $3.7 billion, it’s not as though it has to pawn the silver in the president’s mansion. And as Bloomberg News reported in a story about Ivy League school finances that ran on this newpaper’s front page on Dec. 13, Dartmouth was in good company. Harvard, Yale and Cornell also finished the fiscal year that ended June 30

Jim Kenyon: Cape Air Serves Lebanon on a Wing and a Subsidy

For the second year in a row, Cape Air is offering end-of-the-year discounts on flights from Lebanon to Boston and New York. I guess when you’re raking in millions a year in corporate welfare, you can afford a little bit of largesse around the holidays. Cape Air, which is based in Hyannis, Mass., and operates a fleet of more than 75 airplanes, is a major benefactor of the federal Essential Air Service program. The airline has received $26.3 million in federal subsidies during the last

Jim Kenyon: In Praise of Good Deeds

The holiday season is a prime time for people to put their talents and interests to good use to benefit others who need a little boost. Think of it as giving with a personal touch. Here are a couple of examples: Hanna Royce is a third-grader at Disnard Elementary School in Claremont. This summer, while waiting to get a haircut at a Claremont salon, Hanna happened to meet Nick Coombs, a young man with an array of disabilities, including autism and epilepsy. Nick, who was

Jim Kenyon: Daniel’s Blood Drive

A few days before Thanksgiving, signs began appearing outside Tracy Hall in Norwich to remind people that the town’s next American Red Cross blood drive was coming up. Longtime residents might be familiar with the story behind the drive, which goes back nearly 20 years, but I think it’s worth retelling. Daniel Somerville was 14 years old when he got sick in January 1993. “I just thought he had the flu,” recalled his mother, Rose. When Daniel’s condition worsened, she drove him to the emergency

Jim Kenyon: Truth in Labeling

In an address to faculty last Monday, Dartmouth President Phil (I’m Still in My Honeymoon Phase) Hanlon talked about initiatives he hopes can help change the social climate on campus. In other words, how to get students to drink less and be safer. A worthy goal. I’m just not sure that theme-based dormitories (think Disney World North) and free late-night snacks in the dining hall will get the job done. It’s going to take more than Saturday night sing-alongs at the Collis Center to persuade

Jim Kenyon: Giving Him the Business

Dave Ring has operated a car repair shop in his hometown of Hartford for 30 years. A few years ago, Ring was asked if he’d be interested in handling maintenance and repairs for the town’s fleet of 10 or so police cruisers. Sure, he said. Ring offered to do the work for $30 an hour — less than half his regular rate. Ring, 61, figured it was a good deal for him as well. He’d have more work for his seven mechanics. And if people