Canaan fire, Norwich dog humor, Dartmouth record-buster -- it's Daybreak, 4/8

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HELLO MONDAY, YOU RASCAL*

I know, I know: May flowers and all. But still.... Yuck. Rain today, tapering off to showers this afternoon. Highs in the low 40s. There'll be a break tonight as this front moves out, but don't get used to it -- the Great Lakes are sending us another one. But hey, later in the week looks... well, seasonal.

There was a warehouse fire in Canaan yesterday. No one was injured, but it was big enough to draw crews from Lebanon, Hanover, Enfield and elsewhere.

Hmm, there's something about those new license tags for Norwich dogs... Look carefully. Could that... Is that... OMG! It is! It's a cat!  (Thanks to Peter S. for the tip, and to Demo S. for following up.)

Music teachers, Thetford EMTs, "Mrs. Loomis my first grade teacher"... Working audiences thank people who make life better here. The folks at We The People had the clever idea of asking audience members to leave notes of appreciation at performances of  Working. They've just posted photos. Hey, Norm the stone mason! You got props!

Student group at Dartmouth creates fund to help UV immigrants and refugees. it's aimed at helping immigrant and undocumented students as well as people in the broader community. “I know so many students at Dartmouth whose family members are going through deportation proceedings, and there’s no institutional support for that," says one of the organizers, then adds, "My dream in the future is to create community spaces outside of Dartmouth anyone can go to.” (VN, subscription required)

And while we're talking Dartmouth, it played the longest game in Ivy League history over the weekend. Six hours and 22 minutes of baseball, losing to Penn in the 21st inning, 21-15. Among several NCAA records biting the dust: the teams combined for 208 plate appearances. They had to put off the second game of a planned double-header.

Here's a good way to keep score of NH's pending budget clash. The Monitor ran a long piece over the weekend on "flashpoints" in the budget standoff taking shape between legislative Democrats and Gov. Chris Sununu. Business profits taxes, paid family leave, a proposed new psychiatric hospital (interestingly, Sununu wants it, Dems say the plan's half-baked), and a bunch of smaller disputes are pointing the state toward a budget veto. (The Monitor's owned by the same parent company as the VN, so there's a 5-article monthly limit there, too.)

Speaking of flashpoints: The NH poet laureate mess remains unresolved.Sununu and the Poetry Society of New Hampshire haven't yet sat down to work out their differences. Usually, the society puts forward a choice, and the governor goes along. This year, Sununu's got his own favorite. Noses are getting bent out of shape. But the issue seems to be muscle-flexing rather than politics. On the Twitter feed of Republican Sununu's choice: "Trump is loved by his supporters for being a tough guy. He is no tough guy. He is a thin-skinned wimp who whines like a 14-year-old girl.”

Vermont faces $1.5 billion gap in its pension fund for teachers. The jaw-dropping "unfunded pension liability" has roots in decisions back in the Howard Dean administration. The state's going to spend $150 million a year over the next 20 years just to catch up on old payments and debt service. Which is taking a bite out of surpluses and leaving no room for new programs. VT Diggerexplores how the state got there.

And there's an interesting Q&A with the guy who founded Gardener's Supply, Magic Hat, and Seventh Generation. Alan Newman had a hand in all three iconic Vermont companies. He kinda likes chaos, so his career at each was limited. And not everything he's tried has been a success, like a cricket-protein company that closed recently because it was "ahead of its time." What comes next? "The baby boomers have never done anything in the way the previous generation did, and my belief is we’re going to create our own way to do retirement and die."

Apparently, being the second-smallest state by population is a handicap when it comes to ballot-stuffing. Remember that craft-beer contest USA Today was running on Friday? The winning brew comes from Richmond, VA. It beat out beers from southern California and central Massachusetts. Vermont's own beloved Hill Farmstead came in fourth. Wait 'til next year!

SO... A RAINY MONDAY NIGHT IN THE UPPER VALLEY...

You might think about this roundtable discussion, "Rethinking politics in rural America." It's at Dartmouth starting at 4:30, so it's not technically tonight. But if you're free, there's a group of big thinkers from around the country -- U of Wisconsin, Claremont-McKenna, New York magazine, and elsewhere -- gathered to talk about about who, what, and where is “rural America,” and how it affects politics as we head into 2020.

Or you could go listen carefully to Scarlett Lewis. Her six-year-old son, Jesse, was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting. Lewis turned her grief into the Choose Love Movement, which helps schools learn how to give kids "the tools and skills to manage emotions, to be confident and resilient in the face of adversity, to make positive and pro-social choices, and to have healthy relationships and deep, meaningful connections." The Hanover PD has invited Lewis to come talk about changing school culture nationally. At the Richmond Middle School, starting at 6.

Or maybe this rain will stop some day and you can get out on your bike and don't want those winterized muscles to go south on you. Britton Mann, a Chinese medicine practitioner and movement maven at WRJ's Open Door, is leading a workshop on "Injury Prevention for the Non-Agile and/or Aging Cyclist." The idea is to learn different ways of moving that will help you stave off injuries and become stronger as a rider. Two prerequisites: "Sense of humor and willingness to be seen off the bike." Class starts at 5:30, at Open Door.

*Thanks to Michael L. for "Hello Monday, you rascal." Got your own ideas for how Daybreak could greet each morning? Send them along: daybreakuv@gmail.com. Serious bragging rights...  

Now I'm curious to see how we'll say hello to tomorrow... See you then.

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