NewVistas towns, Beto dropping by, turkey goes viral.... It's Daybreak, 3/19

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WELL, GOOD MORNING TO YOU, UPPER VALLEY!

It'll be a lot like yesterday out there. Calm, sunny, slightly warmer: high 30's by late afternoon. The northeastern third of the country is basking in a surface high, which won't get dislodged until later tomorrow. So okay, it's not sunbathing weather, but still lovely to be outdoors, don't you think?

NewVistas towns decide to be for something, not just against. David Hall, the Utahn who wanted to build a massive development in Tunbridge, Sharon, Royalton and Strafford, gave up almost a year ago. Now the four towns are joining forces to figure out issues like economic vitality and attracting young families. "It can only help to know your neighbors from not only down the street but five miles away."

Beto O'Rourke to visit all 10 NH counties starting today. You could go see what all the fuss is about -- but only if you figure out where to find him. He'll be dropping into somewhere in Grafton and Sullivan counties sometime between now and Thursday, but your guess is as good as mine... the campaign's only announced his first stop, in Keene. 

Woodstock bookshop features in US News "Best States" issue tribute to Vermont's buy-local ethic. The newsmagazine has a long piece on the noticeable fact that big-boxes haven't made much headway in the state. It starts with Woodstock's Yankee Bookshop, notes that tax laws and Act 250 discourage building big, and then somehow brings the cause around to the state's "aging population, self-reliant culture and rural nature."

While we're talking locals on a bigger stage, two Upper Valleyites address the college admissions scandal today on NHPR's The Exchange. Former Dartmouth admissions dean Maria Laskaris and Bradford VT author and teacher Jessica Lahey will be shooting the breeze with Laura Knoy about money and admissions today at 9 am and again at 7 pm.

For some perspective, here's a 360-degree panorama looking out over Plainfield from yesterday. Just click on the image and scroll right or left.

Move to get kids out of the classroom and into the world gathers steam locally. The VN's indefatigable Sarah Earle has a piece this morning looking at "place-based" ecology education and the new Upper Valley Teaching Place Collaborative, which is holding its launch meeting at VINS next week. The idea is to "pull students out of their classrooms and into the woods, or into learning opportunities in their communities." (VN, subscription reqd)

Amid cutbacks, Springfield Hospital raises wages. The struggling hospital has lost staff and is having trouble recruiting. Nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse assistants, medical assistants and mental health workers will all see their hourly pay rise. It's unclear whether the move will stem the flow of staff leaving for better pay or more certainty elsewhere.

Corporate lobbyists call on VT legislature to prohibit planets that serve only a single purpose: supporting life as we know it. “We make products that were designed to last — for thousands of years, in fact — and what thanks do I get? A bunch of children suggesting I’m destroying their futures!” Yeah, it's Seven Days satire.  

NH turkey serves as crossing guard, goes viral. Sorry! Just saw this, even though, like, a million other people already have. A turkey in Litchfield, NH, becomes an internet sensation for blocking traffic while his compatriots cross the road.

NOW... GOT PLANS FOR TONIGHT?

You could go get a first look at Hartford's new town manager.  Brannon Godfrey and his wife, Leslie, will be at the Coolidge in WRJ, hosted by the Selectboard.

The Connecticut River Conservancy talks trash at Windsor Station. In 2017, volunteers cleaning up the river netted 26,000 plastic bottles and 1,400 tires. That's a lot of um, stuff that does not break down making its way toward the ocean. Tonight they'll be hashing out the legislative sessions in NH and VT, and ways to keep that waste from getting to the river in the first place.  

Little satellites! In space! Designed right here! Bet you didn't know this: Vermont Technical College is home to the CubeSat Laboratory, which a few years back launched a four-inch mini-satellite into orbit, where it hung out for two years snapping photos. It's got other things in the works, too. The program's run by Carl Brandon, and he'll be at the Montshire tonight talking about those cute little sats... and careers in science.

Have a lovely day out there! See you tomorrow.

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