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Jim Kenyon

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

Jim Kenyon: In Pomfret, the Emphasis Is on ‘Fret’

Town auditors have accused other town officials of locking them out of their office. They also have claimed that the password to the town computer they use was changed without their knowledge. And in a non-auditor disgruntlement, a resident showed up at a Selectboard meeting in September and threatened to whack a selectman with a flower basket. Talk about palace intrigue. And for once, it’s not taking place in Norwich. Pomfret, population 900, may appear to be just another sleepy, gentrified Upper Valley community where

Jim Kenyon: Thru With Driving

Panera Bread is adding a drive-thru window to its eatery on Route 12A in West Lebanon. Heaven forbid that we have to climb out of our cars and walk 30 yards for a bear claw and caramel latte. Panera may be breaking ground, but it is certainly not breaking new ground. America’s infatuation with drive-thrus is almost as old as the Model T. (Believe it or not, McDonald’s didn’t invent the drive-thru. Instead a bank in Syracuse, N.Y., gets the credit — or blame —

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