New Thayer dean, Puppy Junction coming to WRJ, driver stopped with goat in lap -- it's Daybreak, 4/2

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GOOD MORNING, UPPER VALLEY!

Will the sun and balmy temps never end? Well yes, actually, but not until late in the week and we're not going to talk about that right now. Cold this morning, but climbing up to high 40s or 50 by mid-afternoon, and mostly sunny. Breezy winds from the south, with some interesting gusts possible this afternoon.

Dartmouth names new Engineering dean. Alexis Abramson, who is co-director of the Great Lakes Energy Institute at Case Western, will become the Thayer School's second female dean in June. She's been at Case for 16 years, and is a professor of energy innovation there. She "understands not only how to develop technology, but to connect that technology to sound public policy, and to deploy that technology through commercialization," says Dartmouth Provost Joe Helble, the former Thayer dean.

Springfield guy arraigned for stealing 30 town snowplow blades. They went missing in the fall. DPW workers eventually found them in a salvage yard over in NH, but seven had already been sent off to be melted down. Salvage yard workers identified the seller. But still, let me get this straight: You're working in a salvage yard and a guy waltzes in with 30 snowplow blades and... you don't ask questions? Guess not.

Claremont school district doesn't file paperwork on time, misses out on $450,000 in school-lunch funding. For two years in a row, the Claremont-Unity district missed the federal deadline to file for reimbursement. It's now hired a new staff member to oversee the school lunch program. 

Fired Woodlands director sues APD, D-H for ruining his career. After Timothy Martin was fired in Feb, 2018, APD President Susan Mooney sent out a memo accusing him of "a pattern of unprofessional conduct” in a "wanton manner." Ever since, Martin has struggled to find work. "The after-effects of the defendants’ unnecessarily cruel and petty conduct have resulted in the plaintiff being unemployable in his field during his sixties," Martin's attorney writes, "all due to Google Death that would never have happened if Susan Mooney had not been intentionally cruel and vindictive." (VN, subscription reqd)

Don't say you weren't warned: VTrans plans to replace VA Cutoff Road bridge. Not until 2023, but the agency's "scoping" plan says the superstructure of the current bridge leading over the White to Route 14 is in poor condition. It recommends a new bridge. It'll be up to Hartford to find a detour for the year during which the old bridge disappears and the new one is being built.

Dog rescue group to set up shop at corner of Bridge and N Main in WRJ.The Student Rescue Project -- you might know them as Surfin' Sato, the group that brings up rescue dogs from Puerto Rico -- is setting up Puppy Junction in one of the Main Street Furniture buildings. Puppies in the Pub First Fridays, grooming services, dog/human bakery, pups on display... How could this not become WRJ's go-to destination?

Just in time for spring: A new list of easy, kid-friendly hikes. Alexis Steele pulled it together from a variety of sources, and generously shared it to FB. There's a lot of options there!

NH entrepreneur wants to use Creare tech to generate in-home power.Steve Walker, who founded New England Wood Pellet, has a new company that aims, essentially, to create a little in-home power plant using a heat pump and one of Creare's Brayton engines to generate both heat and power.

It might have been nice here yesterday, but up on Mt. Washington it was full-on winter. I know, this is hardly news. But it had seemed like spring was coming, and then temps dropped 10 degrees in two hours yesterday and, says the observatory, "We went from rain showers to snow showers (snaps finger) like that." Everything up top flash-froze.

You think you've seen distracted driving? This is distracted driving. Police in Marlborough NH stopped a woman yesterday for using a cell phone while driving. Turned out she had a baby goat in her lap. And no license.

I never go national, but this is just too darn good. For years (and years and years) Californians have snorted at the New York Times'  sniffish forays into LA and SF to highlight some hint of cultural life that just can't measure up to the Big Apple's. Yesterday, in an April Fools' master-stroke, the LA Times'  food columnist struck back. He hits every dismissive trope the NYT deploys. For pizza he heads to "up-and-coming Brooklyn, a dangerous, brooding suburb accessible through the city’s antiquated system of underground metal cars (similar to Los Angeles’ Metro system, but more expensive)." Pull up a seat, grab the popcorn, and dig in.

NOW. WHAT IS THERE TO DO ON A TUESDAY NIGHT AROUND HERE?

You could go hear Charles Marohn talk about how to create stronger, more resilient towns and cities. In Claremont, sponsored by a long list of regional civic orgs. He's founder and president of Strong Towns, a Minnesota-based organization, and a full-on member of the urban-design re-thinkers clustered around the New Urbanists. His approach: replacing expensive, inevitably disappointing "redevelopment" moonshots with citizen-led, neighborhood-inspired, incremental projects. 

Or could tonight be the night you finally get over to The Filling Station in WRJ for one of its Tuesday night, bluegrass-inflected jam sessions? Led by fiddler and bassist Jakob Breitbach, it's been drawing a diverse, enthusiastic, and talented crowd. “In metropolitan areas like Seattle, the weeknight jams tend to bring in more local pros and touring professionals,” he told the VN last month. “Here, it’s mostly amateur pickers with day jobs who are all top-quality pickers and singers and writers." In other words, people who are there for the fun of it.

Or maybe you're just in the mood to socialize for a cause? A group of women who call themselves The Women of Crossing Paths have been throwing popup parties to support various local nonprofits. "Socialize for a social cause," is how they put it. They'll be at AVA tonight, mingling to help out the food pantries at The Haven and LISTEN. Bring food and personal-care items -- list of needs and registration in the link.

Whatever you do, have a fine day and go do good work. See you tomorrow.

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