Bobcats roam, whistling record, anti-suicide-fence choices -- it's Daybreak, 4/9

f you'd like Daybreak in your inbox each morning, check it out and subscribe here. Don't hit the little blue "subscribe" button above, which will get you an alert that it's been posted, but not the newsletter itself. Daybreak is written and published by Rob Gurwitt.

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WELL HEY, GOODMORNINGUPPERVALLEY!

There's a low moving in from the west this morning. Dry for a spell, then a rising chance of rain through the afternoon and into the evening. High maybe a few degrees better than yesterday. Tonight, as the system meanders off to the east, things may close out with light snow once temps drop. 

Locals prefer steel-rod fence with curve at top over Quechee Gorge Bridge. VTrans held a public forum on plans for a suicide-barrier design last night, and about two dozen people showed up to give their opinions. The majority preferred a green, 9-foot-tall fence with a curve. The agency will conduct an online survey for another month before making a final decision. Allegedly you can get to it by going to vtrans.vermont.gov and clicking on "construction projects" and then "Quechee Gorge Bridge," but I couldn't find it. If you do, let me know and I'll post a link tomorrow. (VN, subscription reqd)

Is Kikkan Randall going to Tuck? The legendary Olympic cross-country ski champion posted to her Instagram feed, "Exciting first day at @tuckschool#NextStep program. So fascinating to connect with other athletes and military vets in transition." "You gonna hit up a frat basement for some pong?" responded former Dartmouth skier and local xc royalty Sophie Caldwell. (Thanks to Jonathan F. for the question)

West Leb guy breaks Guinness record for highest note whistled. That news broke a bit ago. But The Dartmouth has the story behind the story. James Stanford reached 8,372 hertz, a full 1,332 hertz over the previous record, in the basement linguistics lab. His dad, a linguistics prof, and three other linguistics profs crowded into the sound booth ("which is probably a record in itself," says one) to verify the feat. 

Saint-Gaudens medal goes to Dartmouth library for preserving Saint-Gaudens papers. The medal is "awarded from time to time to those who, by their talents and vision, have made a significant contribution to the arts in America in the tradition of Augustus Saint-Gaudens," the renowned sculptor. His papers are part of the Rauner Special Collections Library's holdings related to the Cornish Colony, and are heavily used by scholars. The award was last given three years ago to historian David McCullough, who used the Saint-Gaudens papers for his book, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris.

Appointment viewing? The NH education commissioner is launching a video series called “School Days, Lunch Trays & Gourmets.” He wants to highlight what goes on behind the scenes to make school lunch happen. Hush! This is serious! These people work hard. His first foray yielded butternut squash vegan lasagna and pizza. No word yet on when or if he'll be in the Upper Valley. 

NH bobcats are changing their roaming patterns, according to new UNH study. A couple of generations ago they thrived in southern areas of the state, and young cats establishing their own territory were forced into the less hospitable north. Now, with climate change reducing snow levels, the north is their preferred territory, while road and housing development in the south has made it harder to navigate. But they're spreading there -- maybe because all those backyard bird feeders attract little prey. 

VT farms win $10K in grants to pursue humane animal practices. A set of farms around the state, including Longest Acres Farm in Chelsea, got the money from the ASPCA and a Chicago-based group, Food Animal Concerns Trust, which promotes the humane production of meat, milk and eggs. Meanwhile, there's growing concern among farmers that, as with the "organic" label, animal welfare certification standards have become a form of "greenwashing" as well. "It’s a marketing tool that I often think it leads consumers to a false sense of security with their food choices,” says one of the farmers who got an ASPCA grant.

Hard on the heels of WRJ's Puppy Junction comes this news from Barre: a cat cafe. Yep. A Barre woman has started a Kickstarter campaign to launch the Kitty Korner Cafe. She hopes to feature cats up for adoption--along with baked goods and coffee. "No worries," she says on the campaign site: "The actual food and beverages are served in a space separate from the cat area so there are no hairs involved, but once you have your treat, you get the chance to take them into the cat lounge with you while you get to know our feline friends!"

NOW... GOT PLANS FOR TONIGHT? 

There's a forum on the future of transportation in Vermont at WRJ's Engine Room. Something like 50 percent of Vermonters' energy dollars get spent on fuel for transportation. Longtime radio host and VT Digger editor Mark Johnson will talk with Senate President pro tem Tim Ashe, ANR deputy secy Peter Walke, and Bradford State Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas, about how to transform the state's road-dependent system. Starts at 6:30.

Or maybe you've been thinking about all those fresh eggs you could be eating if you just had some poultry to call your own. West Leb Feed & Supply will tell you how to get started. They're holding a poultry-raising seminar this evening, starting at 6. You might want to call ahead just to make sure there's room: 603-298-8600.

And finally, if distance is no barrier: Wild Kratts 2.0 at the Capitol Center for the Arts. Just ignore this if you don't have kids under the age of 8 or 9. Chris and Martin will bring the live version of their immensely popular TV show about wildlife to Concord. Costumes, gadgets, multimedia screen, animation, infectious enthusiasm... and you could even learn a thing or two. No word on whether there'll be bobcats in attendance.

Have a good day out there! See you tomorrow.

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