Woodstock Farmers Market expands, new Mascoma High principal, bumper crop of barred owls -- it's Daybreak, 3/28

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GOOD MORNING, UPPER VALLEY!

Clouds increasing through the day, high in the low 50s. Yesterday's exquisite weather is giving way to a cold front that'll move through tonight, kicking up gusts ahead of it and bringing a rising chance of rain. Looking ahead, the weather service says "expect an active weekend." I think their "active" is different from yours and mine.

Woodstock Farmers Market expands its reach to Waterbury. It's taking over the former Pete's Greens market you pass along the Waterbury-Stowe road. "We are humbled and pleased to take over this outstanding farm market,” owner Patrick Crowl told customers in a letter on Tuesday. Pete's is pulling back, says founder Pete Johnson, so it can focus more on farming.

Leb City Council elects Tim McNamara as mayor. The longtime council member, who is also Dartmouth's associate director of facilities, operations and management, replaces Sue Prentiss, who is stepping down. Clifton Below becomes assistant mayor. (VN, subscription reqd)

Norwich Farm Creamery and Billings Farm cows team up. NFC's been sourcing its milk and cream from Billings's Jerseys for a few months, and starting to draw attention for it--here from the Rutland/Killington area's Mountain Times. "The dairy tradition at Billings Farm is a national treasure," says Creamery owner Chris Gray. The agreement, of course, follows NFC's long travails after it lost access to Vermont Technical College's herd. 

New Mascoma High principal relocating from Brattleboro area. Thomas Fitzgerald is leaving Twin Valley Middle High School in Whitingham after five years as principal there. He'll miss the staff, he says. School mergers, not so much.

DHMC CEO Joanne Conroy: "It's a privilege to receive a medical degree, and it doesn't make you better than other people." In an interview in Becker's Hospital Review about her style as a woman leading a major hospital. Oh, and she golfs from the men's tee. "Almost every time I've gone golfing with male colleagues, I go up to the first tee and somebody says, 'Well the ladies' tee is up there.' And I just say, 'You know what, I play from the whites' and I drive off the tee and then that's it. End of conversation."

Croydon residents want do-over on town meeting vote to axe police department. The town voted 48-36 on March 16 to contract with the Newport PD. Last night, more than 60 residents packed the SB meeting to demand a re-vote. Things got tense.

Hanover ought to be seeing more presidential candidates this spring. It's been bypassed of late, probably because Dartmouth students were taking exams and then on vacation, says the VN's John Gregg. But that'll be changing. Rumors of Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, and Julian Castro headed this way. (VN, subscription yadda yadda)

NH Senate votes to protect consumers in case Obamacare gets dismantled. Under earlier state laws superseded by the Affordable Care Act, people couldn't be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits were mandated. The Senate voted 22-1 to restore them, in the face of the Trump Administration's move on Monday to have the federal law struck down.

Remember yesterday's item about EC Fiber? The VT House has voted overwhelmingly to promote rural broadband along similar lines. The bill, which came out of Tim Briglin's Energy and Technology Committee, drew only two "nay's" yesterday. It provides low-interest loans with no interest or principal payments the first two years, to help small local companies get off the ground. “In looking at models that worked around the state, what our committee did was essentially put together a bill that would empower communities,” says Briglin.

There have been a lot more barred owl sightings than normal this year."We are definitely seeing more [owls] come in, and we're definitely getting reports of sightings of various kinds," says Lauren Adams, lead wildlife keeper at VINS. Per Seven Days, it's probably because there was a bumper crop of small rodents last year, which led to more young owls this year. Me, I'm actually looking forward to "Who cooks for you?" at all hours of the night.

AND NOW, WHAT'CHA GOING TO DO TONIGHT?

You could go hear Mark Synnott talk climbing, the climbing life, and Free Solo star Alex Honnold's remarkable climb of El Capitan. Synnott, who writes regularly for National Geographic, is on a tour sponsored by the mag to promote his book The Impossible Climb, which takes you deep inside his own obsession with climbing and the ragged, dedicated bunch of climbers that includes Honnold. Bandits in Chad, officious officials in Borneo, the allure of impossible rock faces.... 

Or see The Taming, which opens at Shaker Bridge Theater. Lauren Gunderson's takedown of partisan extremism in America, loosely based on another play whose title starts with "The Taming." About a Miss America contestant and her make-America-better ambitions. "Gunderson's 'Taming' is a laugh riot," wrote SF theater critic Rob Hurwitt. No, that's not a misspelling. 

Seth Parker Woods deconstructs "the cello's sonic identity." At the HOP. Woods is a lecturer at the college, and a cellist who likes to play with boundaries. He's appeared with Sting, Lady Gaga, Adele. Tonight he'll be playing Bach, but also pieces for solo cello and tape, and solo cello and interactive electronics. He was inspired to take up the instrument after seeing the film version of The Witches of Eastwick. “There’s this scene with Susan Sarandon’s character playing her cello until the instrument bursts into flames,” he once explained. “I was five at the time I saw the film and that seemed like exactly what I wanted to do.”

And the ever-popular Science Pub returns to Salt Hill Lebanon to talk the science of addiction. A neuroscientist, a nurse, an addiction-medicine psychiatrist and a clinical-developmental psychologist walk into a bar... Tonight at 6. Get there early, these things get crowded.

Whatever you do, have a lovely day. See you tomorrow.

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