A Valley News Publication

All is calm

Christmas boat on Lake Mascoma in Enfiled, N.H., on Wednesday, Dec.19,2018.(Valley News-Rick Russell)Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

I absolutely adore this photo by Valley News photographer Rick Russell, which he took on earlier this week on near the Mascoma Sailing Club on Mascoma Lake. The boat is named “Little Which Hazel,” Rick told me. (P.S.: Any guesses which animal left the tracks?)

Happy holidays, everyone.

The founder of Little Free Libraries has died

Todd Bol, the man who founded the Little Free Libraries movement, died on Thursday of cancer. He was 62.
(Read more on Bol and the libraries here.)

Little Free Libraries are the tiny house-shaped structures scattered through towns like Hanover that contain free books. The idea is if you take a book, you leave a book in return.

RIP, Little Free Library founder Todd H. Bol

Check out more information about the Little Free Libraries, as well as a map of where to find them, here.

Welcome to Toronto, home of aggressive trash pandas

Apparently raccoons — or at least one super smart “uber-raccoon” in particular — for years have been causing serious headaches for Torontonians, who have been forced to take excessive measures to protect their garbage cans from the medium-sized mammals. From National Public Radio:

The raccoon scourge was bad enough that the city spent CA$31 million on “raccoon-resistant” organic green-colored waste bins in 2016. It was the latest assault in what Canadian media have called a “raccoon war.”

The bins were a success, so much so that Toronto residents began expressing concern that the trash pandas might be starving, or even dying, because they’d been cut off from their primary food source (“trash pandas” is a slang term for raccoons, in case you didn’t know).

Experts say that’s not the case, because they’ve been weighing dead raccoons and they’re all just as fat, or fatter, than they were before the bins were distributed to residents.

tl;dr: The raccoon-proof garbage bins have largely been effective, but there are some wily raccoons who have managed to continue to access the trash, either through their own ingenuity or due to faulty garbage bins.

But they’re definitely not starving, no matter how you spin it.

A tiny friend paid me a visit today

Came home after running some errands this afternoon to find this little guy hanging around outside. Looks like he’s enjoying the sunshine, too.

The Weather Channel did not come to play with this Hurricane Florence graphic

The Weather Channel this week sought to remove any doubt that Hurricane Florence, the storm currently battering the Carolinas, would be anything less than extremely serious and potentially deadly. The station brought out the big guns to depict just how dangerous the storm’s surge could be, likely blowing its graphics budget in the process.

I’ve never seen anything like it, and I have to give props to TWC’s graphics team, which somehow managed to pull this epic visualization together in roughly two days.

If any of you have relatives or friends currently in the storm’s path, please check in on them and encourage them to evacuate if they are told to do so. Things can be replaced; loved ones can’t. (For more tips on what to do during and after a hurricane, check out or pass along these from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.)

Well, it’s snowing again

In case you missed it, we’re currently in the midst of another nor’easter. Try to contain your enthusiasm.

It’s also New Hampshire Town Meeting Day. More on that to come!

Slowly but surely, the snow is falling in Lebanon.