Dartmouth's Gleiser wins Templeton Award, Little Istanbul sneakers shine, CBD-infused maple water hits the shelves -- it's Daybreak, 3/20

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GOOD MORNING, UPPER VALLEY!

Oh, when will this sunshine ever end? Just kidding. It's going to be beautifulout: sunny, highs in the high 40s. Light winds coming from the south, bringing these balmy temps with them. But to answer that question: Clouds coming in overnight, and rising chance of rain tomorrow. Rats. Shouldn't have said anything.

Dartmouth's Marcelo Gleiser wins Templeton Prize. This is a big thing. The prize, which in the past has gone to Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and, last year, King Abdullah of Jordan, honors people who have "made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works." Gleiser, a cosmologist and theoretical physicist (and ultra-marathoner, and former NPR blogger) told VPR "I look at science as this kind of flirt with the unknown, and what motivates this spirit of discovery is awe and the joy of being part of this process." Here's guessing you'll want to get to his First Wednesday lecture in Norwich early on April 3.

Beto to visit Claremont, Plymouth State today. He's doing a three-day stump through all 10 NH counties. He'll be at the Common Man in Claremont this morning at 8:30, then moves on to Plymouth State College at 11. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper will at Gusanoz in Leb on Saturday at 2:45 pm. (VN, subscription reqd) 

Little Istanbul gets some national love. The WRJ all-things-Turkish emporium and Tuckerbox offshoot features in a somewhat breathless post on The Good Men Project's website. Front and center? The store's incredibly colorful sneakers, made from Suzani fabric. They "changed my sneaker outlook forever!" gushes the writer.

And speaking of national attention, EC Fiber just scored in US News. In a long piece on progress expanding high-speed internet in Vermont, the 24-town consortium comes in for high praise for challenging policy-makers' assumptions. "They've really proven themselves to be a force in the broadband market in Vermont," the mag quotes the director of VT's telecommunications division. 

Grafton County is 2nd-healthiest county in NH; Sullivan, along with Orange, Windsor in VT, lag in national study. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is just out with its latest national survey of health indicators. In its "health outcomes" rankings, based on "how long people live and how healthy people feel," Grafton county tails only Rockingham, while Sullivan ranks 7th of the 10 NH counties. Across the river, Orange comes in 7th, Windsor 9th of the 14 Vermont counties. Both fare better on "health factors" scores, a forward-looking index that measures behavior, clinical care, and social and environmental factors. Grafton places first in NH in that ranking.

Fight brewing over next NH Poet Laureate. The official selection committee recently nominated Jennifer Monitello. Gov. Chris Sununu has said "no thanks" to the suggestion, and instead nominated Daniel Thomas Moran. The Executive Council will vote next week, but meanwhile, the state's poets are up in arms.

NH House votes to ban plastic bags, and place limit on plastic straws. Single-use plastic bags are out, and straws need to be requested, under measures that sailed through yesterday. Smaller retailers would be exempt from the bag ban. 

And while it was at it, the Dem-controlled House also voted to expand gun background checks and impose a 7-day waiting period. The background checks would apply to private gun sales; the waiting period to all gun sales. 

Lindt is expanding. The Swiss chocolatier, which has its US headquarters in Stratham, NH, wants to add 81,000 square feet to its production building, another 20,000 square feet for storage and shipping, build a parking garage, and add 230 jobs. It's the 3rd-largest chocolate maker in the US, after Hershey and Mars.  

Vermont lawmakers consider Happy Hour. The state is one of only 8 in the country that ban bars and restaurants from discounting drinks for a couple of hours a day. It's unclear whether it'll even get taken up in committee, let alone make it out. If the House committee where the bill was first heard does dive in, says its chair, "It'll be a lively conversation, especially if we start at 5 p.m.”

Could you get any more Vermonty than this? CBD-infused maple water.Tretap, based in Fairfax, was acquired last month by Ceres Natural Remedies, a VT-based CBD maker. Now it's launching a tangerine-turmeric "organic tree water beverage." Six bucks for 11.5 ounces. That's an expensive little... oh, never mind.

SO HEY, WHAT'CHA DOIN' TONIGHT?

Well, you could go hear Celtic and French-Canadian music in Post Mills. Mazurkas, bourrées and waltzes, Irish airs and songs... Jakeza returns to the Peabody Library with their accordions, hammered dulcimer, and voices. Maybe the library will even let you sit upstairs and look down on everything?

And speaking of libraries, it's Bad Art Night at the Howe. They provide the supplies (and snacks), you provide the artistic genius. Oh sure, they say "There are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers when it comes to making art," but then why do they call it Bad Art Night?

And speaking of places where books gather: The Last Woman in the Forest, at the Norwich Bookstore. Diane Les Becquet's latest is set in northern Alberta, but is based on the 1980s murders of at least six women up and down the Connecticut River Valley. She manages to weave that together with a set of complicated wildlife conservationists. "A strong look at characters whose life’s blood is being a part of nature," says the AP's reviewer. Best to reserve, info in the link.

Revel in today's sunshine, will you? See you tomorrow.

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