Separate but kinda somewhat related …
I’ve been having an issue at my house this fall where sparrows are flying headfirst into my windows. One died, one flew away and one survived but was injured, so I brought that little buddy to VINS in Quechee.
While I was there, a VINS staff person told me about these mostly-transparent decals you can stick onto your windows to deter birds from crashing into them.
Apparently they are much more visible to birds than they are to us because of some kind of ultraviolet technology.
And they’re not necessarily needed year-round. The VINS staff person told me that they are particularly needed/effective at this time of year because it’s migration season.
Anyway, if you’re having a similar problem and you wanna try to save some birds, the stickers are available for sale at VINS and I have seen them at local businesses, as well. Brands include WindowAlert and Whispering Windows.
Wondering what it looks like? This is my window that has the stickers on it:
A very good set of pictures by the Howe Library staff on Instagram.
And the original photo on our own Instagram.
(Which is @vnewsuv, btw.)
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Donlon Wade, of #CanaanNH, holds an anti-pipeline banner with Patricia Greene, also of Canaan, as about 50 supporters gather for a rally on the steps of City Hall in #LebanonNH on Wednesday evening. Petitions against Liberty Utilities’ proposed West Lebanon natural gas plant and pipeline were presented after the rally to the City Council. “It’s our futures that are most in jeopardy,” said Celia Barnett, a Lebanon High School junior who collected 115 signatures at school. The other petition circulated by the group Sustainable Lebanon collected 1,059 signatures of Lebanon residents. Following 40 minutes of public input at the start of the City Council meeting, Mayor Sue Prentiss said the council would discuss the issue at its next meeting. (Valley News – Geoff Hansen @geoff_hansen) #uppervalley #upval #vnewsuv #photojournalism #protest #rally #pipeline #lebnh #naturalgas #skeleton #october #603 #💀
Tricks and treats in the Upper Valley through Halloween night, plus popular candies in the Twin States
Mark your calendars.
The Upper Valley’s got plenty going on when it comes to ghosts, goblins and the like in the coming weeks. Click here for an events roundup by the Valley News’ events experts, including Calendar editor Liz Sauchelli, assistant editor Eleanor Kohlsaat and Entertainment Highlights writer David Corriveau.
And start flexing your candy-distribution arm.
If you’re wondering what to buy, the website CandyStore.com has shared some data about where it sells the most Halloween candies in the United States, broken down by state and brand.
So to be clear, this is not the most popular candies in each state; just which candies are sold the most by this particular distributor in each state in the two months leading up to Halloween.
Here’s the 2017 numbers:
And here’s those stats for 2018:
|New Hampshire||New Hampshire|
|1. Snickers (63,876 lbs)||1. Starburst (67,939 lbs)|
|2. Starburst (62,486 lbs)||2. M&Ms (61,343 lbs)|
|3. Salt Water Taffy (25,978 lbs)||3. Snickers (25,049 lbs)|
|1. Milky Way (29,387 lbs)||1. Milky Way (31,822 lbs)|
|2. M&M’s (27,811 lbs)||2. Skittles (26,056 lbs)|
|3. Skittles (17,662 lbs)||3. M&Ms (15,344 lbs)|
Dartmouth College is in the process of developing a new sexual misconduct policy that will extend to all areas of campus life, according to a report published on Thursday in the Valley News. While specific policy details being considered by college President Phil Hanlon have not been released, the college has confirmed the new policy will apply to students, faculty and staff. From the story:
The campus already has a relatively new policy for students that is unified, in the sense that it applies to all forms of sexual misconduct. But (Geisel School of Medicine Dean for Faculty Affairs Leslie Henderson) said the campus also has various other, older policies on the books that address pieces of the puzzle. It’s time to align them, and bring them up to date, she said.
Students interviewed for the story largely seemed to be in support of a revised policy, which comes about a year after three professors in the school’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences were put on paid leave and barred from campus after sexual misconduct allegations surfaced. An internal review recommended that the professors — Todd Heatherton, Paul Whalen and Bill Kelley — be terminated; Heatherton retired, and Whalen and Kelley resigned as a result. The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, which also has opened an investigation into the allegations, said this week that the probe is ongoing.
Read the full story on the policy here.
Catch me at the “Tech Jobs in Journalism” panel at Vermont Tech Jam in Essex Junction, Vt., on Friday afternoon
Seven Days’ Cathy Resmer will be moderating the panel with four people whose jobs didn’t exist 10 years ago: Phayvanh Luekhamhan, director of business development, finance and administration at VTDigger; VPR reporter Liam Elder-Connors; Seven Days digital editor Andrea Suozzo; and yours truly, Valley News web editor and UV INDEX sandwich expert.
Here’s the description:
Vermont’s media outlets still employ reporters and editors, but they also need data crunchers, podcast editors, online community managers and web video producers. In this panel discussion, staffers from some of the state’s largest and most innovative media outlets explain what they do, where they learned to do it, and how they keep up with whatever’s next.
It’s all free! We’re in Room A at 3:30 p.m. Check out the rest of the lineup at the Vermont Tech Jam website.
Robin — a former stray and frequent face on the Valley News adoptable pets feature — finally has a home to call his own!
Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society announced on social media this morning that Robin has been adopted after 1,146 days (or nearly 3 years, 2 months).
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On his 1,146th day at Lucy Mackenzie, this adorable, charming, loving dog was finally ADOPTED! We’re so happy for Robin and his new family – it was only a matter of time before their lives intersected. Way to go, Robin – we love you! #startastoryadopt #adopt #adoptdontshop #dogsofinstagram
“Hi! My name’s Robin and I’m a 5-year-old neutered male mixed breed dog that came to Lucy Mackenzie as a stray.
“Life hasn’t always been easy for me, but I’m looking forward to starting over in my new home. I’m a fun-loving active fella that has tons of potential, and lots of love to give!
“Since I’ve been here, we’ve spent lots of time working on basic behaviors, like how to walk on a leash, sit and stay. I’ve come such a far way!
“I’d be the only animal in my ideal home, and my human would be committed toward continuing my training with me. It would also be nice if I wasn’t left alone for long amounts of time, as I’m much happier when I’m around my people.
“All I really need in life is a second chance. If you’ve been looking for a new best friend, stop in and meet me today!”
Looks like he got that second chance. <3 Best wishes, Robin & family!
Do you have a burning question about something in the Upper Valley? Is there something you see daily that makes you wonder why it is the way it is? We want to know, because we’d like to get an answer for you.
We’ll be doing some ~investigative journalism~ to get to the bottom of your submissions, so send us stuff to investigate. Questions can be sent via email to email@example.com, or messaged to us through our Facebook page.
Dartmouth digital humanities librarian accepting crossword puzzles constructed by women for upcoming subscription service
— NYTimes Wordplay (@NYTimesWordplay) October 17, 2018
Puzzle and game designer Todd McClary reports that The Inkubator plans to “feature twice-a-month publications of crossword puzzles constructed by women,” with Laura Braunstein — who, as Dartmouth digital humanities librarian and an apparent fan of ducks, has appeared in the Valley News and UV INDEX a number of times — and Tracy Bennett editing. A crowd-funding campaign is expected to launch later this month. Read more at McClary’s website, where there are also instructions on how to submit drafts and questions.
The ‘Full Frontal with Samantha Bee’ crew was at the Norwich Farmers Market asking about the Vermont governor’s race
A Norwich tipster told us, and a TBS publicist confirmed: A crew from Full Frontal with Samantha Bee was at the Norwich Farmers Market this past Saturday, asking folks about the gubernatorial race between Republican incumbent Phil Scott and Democratic challenger Christine Hallquist.
Samantha Bee herself wasn’t there, the Norwich resident said. Instead, a correspondent was interviewing patrons, along with a crew of seven people, give or take.
The TBS publicist, Angela Char, did not response to additional questions, including when the segment might air.
Bee is a former long-time The Daily Show correspondent who has had her own satirical late-night news show since 2016.
Here’s her most recent Full Frontal clip available on YouTube.
Assuming the clip makes it to air, it will be the second time that Vermont gets some kind of satirical treatment on national TV recently.
In case you missed it, this was a Saturday Night Live skit on the show’s final September episode:
After years of discussion, a suicide-prevention fence is being installed at the bridge over the Quechee Gorge this month, and lots of Facebook commenters are committed to the idea that, in one person’s words, “if someone wants to take (their) life, nothing you do will prevent it.”
It’s a line of thinking that dominates our page every time we report on Quechee Gorge suicide issue.
But what do researchers have to say about the effectiveness of bridge-barriers in deterring suicides?
Two authorities on the issue — the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and a researcher working on behalf of the city of Atlanta, Georgia — say yes, bridge barriers are effective.
In fact, they say, research shows that suicide-prevention fences are “effective in preventing suicides from the bridge,” as the researcher, Andrew Pelletier, wrote in 2007 about a prevention fence that had been installed in Augusta, Maine.
And furthermore, “there was no evidence that suicidal individuals sought alternative sites for jumping.”
Pelletier’s research studied suicides at the bridge from 1960 to 2005. Fourteen suicides occurred before the fence was installed at the mid-point of that time period, in 1983, and zero happened for the remainder.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s report on the issue is embedded, in full, toward the bottom of this page.
Click here to download it.
The conclusion reads, in part:
In order to promote awareness of resources for help, it is further suggested that Lifeline and its network centers recommend that bridge or transportation authorities support the dissemination of public education materials, signage or other information about hotlines or other local suicide prevention assistance, as appropriate. However, the latter recommendation is best seen as a supplement to a barrier, as it alone is unlikely to significantly reduce bridge suicides. Above all, it should be made clear to inquiring authorities: barriers are the most effective means of preventing suicides on bridges. (Emphasis is theirs.)
Another point that stands out, regarding suicide hotline call boxes at suicide-prone bridges:
However, for other persons who come to the bridge that are consumed with psychological pain and intent on dying, relying on them to pick up the phone and call or text in that climactic moment places too much confidence in their capacity to still make a rational choice.
And the report directly addresses the “method substitution” argument — the idea that a suicidal person who is saved by a bridge barrier will find another way to die.
An investigation of this hypothesis was deliberately undertaken through a national survey in Switzerland, whereby suicide rates from regions with and without “suicide bridges” were examined to estimate the degree to which “method substitution” might occur (Reisch, Shuster & Michel, 2007). The researchers found that regions with bridges attracted more “suicide jumpers” than regions without bridges, including regions with other buildings or high places where jumps are occurring. After applying a formula to analyze the comparison, the authors estimated that 62% of individuals would not choose another place to jump from, and concluded overall that “method substitution” would not be significant (Reisch et al. 2007).
This finding supported the authors’ earlier investigations concluding that bridge barriers effectively reduce suicides in the regions where they are installed (Reisch & Michel, 2005). Similarly, a study of 515 persons who were restrained from leaping off the Golden Gate Bridge over a period of 40 years found that nearly 94% were still alive at the time of the investigation or had died from natural causes (Seiden, 1978). In general, research has shown that persons thwarted in utilizing a preferred method of suicide do not typically seek other approaches to kill him/her self (Daigle, 2005).
Should method substitution even be a consideration for transportation authorities? Even if method substitution concerns were considered to be valid, the degree to which such concerns are relevant from the perspective of a bridge or transportation authority is highly questionable. In general, opponents of barriers that cite the “method substitution” criticism are implying that a bridge or transportation authority should factor overall community suicide prevention effectiveness into their decision-making process. However, the primary responsibility of such authorities is to better ensure that commuters using their highways, bridges, tunnels or overpasses are protected from safety hazards. To the degree that individuals are killing themselves on their property and research shows that specific structures such as barriers can effectively prevent them from doing so, their serious consideration of barrier installation should therefore be paramount.
(BTW, h/t to Valley News Facebook commenter David Morin for the links!)
Last but not least, here’s a list of suicide prevention resources.
Via the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
- Your Primary Care Provider
- Mental Health Professional
- Walk-in Clinic
- Emergency Depeartment
- Urgent Care Center
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
- 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Veterans: Press 1
Call 911 for Emergencies
Find a mental health provider:
Text TALK to 741741:
- Text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free, 24/7
The Associated Press posted this video last week, when we were on hiatus, so we are sharing it now. Kiah Morris, Vermont’s first black female legislator, stepped down earlier this year:
After she won the Democratic primary for re-election to the state Legislature in 2016, someone tweeted a cartoon caricature of a black person at her, along with a vulgar phrase rendered in ebonics. The tweeter threatened to come to rallies and stalk her, Morris said. She won a protective order against him but once that expired, the harassment continued, she said.
The harassment escalated into a break-in while the family was home, vandalism and death threats seen by her young son. Even after she announced she wouldn’t seek re-election, despite running unopposed, a group of youths pounded on her windows and doors at night, forcing her and her husband, convalescing after heart surgery, to leave town.
Finally, in late September, she resigned.
Read the full story here.
In August, Vermont Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist, who is transgender, said she was getting a steady stream of death threats. And in recent days, reports have emerged that Vermont State Police are investigating a letter that threatened physical and sexual violence against a female Republican candidate from Colchester for the Vermont House of Representatives.
New England, including the Twin States and a sunrise over New York, starts at 2:54. Can you recognize the Upper Valley locations in New London and Enfield, and just outside our coverage area in Reading, Vt.?
Shot by Ian Avery-Leaf (but I mean, really, “Leaf” ? ? ? ?) and posted around this time last year. “Although I didn’t catch peak foliage no matter how hard I chased it,” he wrote, “I found the pre-peak early changers, and the post-peak trees barely hanging onto summer, to be just as beautiful.”
Mark Chute and Anita Onofrio, of Strafford, recently posted this on the listserve, which I am sharing here with their permission:
We have a just emerged monarch butterfly that needs a lift to N.Y., New Jersey or farther south. It is too cold for her now to leave from here so
she needs help getting to Mexico. If you are heading south in the next couple of days and you can help please e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 765-4507.
(Thanks to Calendar editor Liz Sauchelli, author of the Out & About columns, for the heads up!)
Mark told me that their post turned up a ride for the butterfly that would depart on Saturday, but ideally they are looking to send her on her way sooner than that. If you could be a monarch chauffeur, let them know!
Here’s a picture of a monarch, but not the monarch.
Thanks to my colleague Matt Hongoltz-Hetling for the heads up on this: It seems we’re both way behind the curve, but did YOU know that since 2016, there’s been a country-ish pop-rock song by a touring artist about the Upper Valley’s favorite comeback kid? Because we did not.
Here is a snippet from Ron Pope’s description of the song “White River Junction,” via his YouTube:
“White River Junction” is the first song I wrote for this album and in my mind, it is the quickest route on the road to explaining “What does the new album sound like?” It’s a pretty vivid narrative; I saw a sign that said White River Junction when we were on tour in Vermont. I was sick and exhausted from months of non-stop traveling and anxious to get off the freezing bus at the next stop to get back on stage (which is the only place I ever want to be when we’re on tour). Every once in a while, on the road, I’ll look up how far we are from Atlanta even though I haven’t lived there in years; all I could think was, “Damn, we’re far from home.”
It also deals with drug use quite a bit (see the refrain, “Cocaine / cocaine / cocaine”), so there’s that. The song was posted in March 2016 and has more than 11,600 views on YouTube as of today.
Ron Pope was raised in Marietta, Georgia, and founded the record label Brooklyn Basement Records with his wife, Blair, in Nashville, according to his website and Wikipedia page. (And if it makes me sound old to cite a rock-and-roll artist’s Wikipedia page in describing him because of a song that came out more than two years ago, then that’s just how it’s gonna have to be.)
Calendar Editor Liz Sauchelli devotes today’s Out & About column to the baby snapping turtles who recently hatched at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich. And they are really cute little dino-looking mini-beasts!
As of publication, eight had been hatched, and the Montshire reports that one more has cracked out of its shell.
Read all about our baby snappers in today’s @VNewsUV
We are now up to nine little ones. Very cute and fun to watch. Stop by and see them! 🐢🐢🐢
— Montshire (@MontshireMuseum) October 16, 2018
Liz has all the deets.
In the meantime, here are my two Upper Valley snapping turtle stories:
ONE. In my first few months here, in 2012, I banded together with a random group of passersby to help a snapping turtle cross Route 5 in Norwich near King Arthur Flour. At first (in what was, in retrospect, an Obvious Mistake) I just tried to pick up the turtle from the middle of the street, and the thing basically back-flipped off the ground and nearly shredded my face off, so I learned that lesson pretty quickly. Ultimately we used a random shopping basket and umbrella from the back of my car along with somebody’s ski pole to ferry the turtle across the way. It was one of my first very Upper Valley experiences™.
TWO. Here is a dramatic reenactment of a scene from this summer involving me and a snapping turtle in Enfield’s Cole Pond, when neither of us knew the other one was trying to lay out on a sunny rock and she walked headfirst into my toe.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Ahead of the 50th anniversary of the deadliest plane crash in NH history, people are sharing their memories
Valley News reporter Jared Pendak and photographer James M. Patterson accompanied a group that recently hiked to the crash site. They included the late pilot’s son, Jeff Rapsis, pictured above, who was 4 at the time of the crash in Etna on Oct. 25, 1968.
Jared’s and James’ story is here.
Our Facebook post promoting their story has evoked a lot of additional memories from people who remember the crash.
A few of the memories shared in the comments:
- Janet Lane Dunn: I remember being at a Friday night football game and the search helicopters flying over head.
- Chris Clement: I was 8. Seemed like every fire truck in the world went by my house in Etna that night.
- Dolores C. Struckhoff: My Dad, Don Crate, as the Fire Chief in ENFIELD, was one of the first responders as he led his crew up the mountain. He never shared much about what he saw but I do remember him saying that although he never served on a battle field he could only imagine this was as bad a scene. I know it shook him up enormously and he never forgot it. I’m not positive, but I suspect this accident led the Fire Department to raise funds for Enfield’s first ambulance. On the night of the crash I was attending a Halloween Party overnight at Lauren Merrill’s on George Hill. I was 14.
- Gabby Heckmann Currier: Our 4-H organization was having our awards night at the Enfield Elementary School that evening. Kathy Ford our leader lived and still lives on May St.
- Virginia Putnam: I was 10, living in Enfield. I remember responders coming to get gas at my parents gas station and the news flying back and forth. Back in those pre internet pre cell phone days that was how it got around. People would drive in tell us something and it would get passed on.