Heroin's toll, dangling car, UV cold-shouldered by VT biz mag -- it's Daybreak, 4/5

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Oh well, here we are. Pretty nice out right now, but the clouds are piling in quickly.  Chance of rain in the afternoon, and by evening as likely as you can ever trust weather forecasts to be. There might be some wet snow thrown in for good measure. Temps reaching the 40s mid-afternoon, but then dropping once the rain gets going.

A local principal confronts heroin's toll on his former students. You may not know Doug Heavisides or his blog, "Circles With My Feet." He runs the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center, and writes about his experiences from time to time. And now he's up with a devastating post about what it's like to see former students laid waste by heroin. "So I ask them if they are okay. And they say, ‘No.’ And tears drip down their cheeks and hit their shoes, staining them briefly." Go read it.

Woodstock police want to know who left his or her car dangling over a guardrail. NC plates. Literally half over, water flowing by down the embankment below. It happened sometime in the wee hours yesterday. Aliens, suggests one FB commenter.

River Valley Community College is struggling to fill its Lebanon building during the day. Declining enrollment -- maybe because the economy's humming -- and night classes mean the Leb campus of the Claremont-based college sits mostly empty daytimes. The college is looking for money to study possible other uses, including a business incubator and a co-working space. (VN, subscription required)

What does it actually mean to get a good education? Sharon resident Nicole Antal went on a rant the other day about the notion that schools have to teach kids to be competitive. "Life, work, it’s not a competition, it’s a collaboration. There isn’t just one spot at the top, and even if there was, you can’t get there by competing with your peers," she wrote. Sarah Buxton's rejoinder: Competitive means "that students as a whole/cohort/group are able to meet the world’s opportunities and challenges with the same educational benefits as others." It's one of those rare discussions where Facebook is actually contributing to civic life.

VT Business Magazine hands out "Best of Business" awards, shafts Upper Valley. Okay, sure, it's just a popularity contest and most of the alleged 13,000 votes came from other parts of the state. And I suppose we can live without the best business-travel hotel crown. But still: No UV businesses rate? Not for beer? Not for maple syrup for pete's sake? And whoever voted on best pet-friendly office has obviously never watched the dogs going in and out of RSG in downtown White River.

"The Granite State’s political culture is wonderfully strange." That's the sub-hed on an article in The Economist, which declares NH's political culture to be "equal parts charming and lunatic." What's actually strange? How national political reporters compete to find the most obscure little NH town to dateline their articles from. This one's Atkinson, right on the Mass. border. They didn't even try very hard. (Paywall, so you can only see the first few paragraphs.)

NH House passes marijuana legalization, falls short of veto-proof majority. The final vote to send the bill onto the Senate was 200-163. This isn't enough support to override Gov. Chris Sununu's likely veto, should the measure pass the Senate. 

Paid family leave moves forward in VT House. The measure would establish a mandatory, statewide program allowing up to 12 weeks off for new parents and 8 weeks for workers who are sick or injured or helping a relative who needs care. The bill faces a final House vote before moving over to the Senate. And even then, Gov. Phil Scott may veto, since he prefers a voluntary program.

Hill Farmstead beer goes toe-to-toe with the Golden State. USA Today's got a "final four" craft-beer bracket going, and the Greensboro, VT-based brewery is up against some pretender from California called Monkish. You have until 10 this morning to vote and show that an obscure corner of an obscure part of the country will not be ignored!

Because for one thing, there's a Cornhole tournament at the Engine Room in WRJ. There'll be food and drinks, no cover for people who're just coming to watch.

Which of course is all part of First Friday in WRJA Stave puzzles table at Fat HatNot-safe-for-children-who-can-read cross-stitch at Piecemeal. Mandalas and photos artists' reception at the Barrette Center. And, of course, great music everywhere you turn.

Or you could just go laugh... Valley Improv is teaming up with Dartmouth's two improv troupes, Casual Thursday and Dog Day Players. All these people who are really quick on their feet when the audience tosses them impossible situations will be at Collis at Dartmouth starting at 7. It's free.

Camille A. Brown & Dancers at the HOP. They're doing Brown's ink, a "rousing and incisive" (per the NYT) exploration of African and African-American culture. "ink sweeps in time from the slave trade to the present, from griots to DJs, depicting the comedy, sensuality and political edge in black fellowship," the HOP writes. Brown's been doing Broadway and television of late. This is a chance to see her work up close.

Ahh, weekend! Have a lovely, relaxing one. See you Monday.


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