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Valley News College Wrapup

HCC Want Ad Comp.jpgThe Valley News has done some excellent reporting in the last couple of weeks on scandals and other developments in Hanover and at the College that I have not had time to detail in this space:

  • Columnist Jim Kenyon wondered whether the College was simply luring in wealthy alumni by floating the idea of a Hanover Country Club closure — the hope being that alumni would pony up big green, as they did when Jim Wright tried to axe the swim teams after the dot.com bust at the turn of the century. In the piece, Will Alumni Make Course Correction at Hanover Country Club?, Kenyon tips his hat to Dartblog repeatedly, and he includes statistics whose provenance seems clear to me.
  • While we are on the subject of the golf course, to the right see want ads that appeared in the Valley News on Sunday. The College seems to be trying to hire part-time workers for the course. Good idea. These folks will cost on an hourly basis less than half what Dartmouth’s plushy Service Employees International Union workers run. Just how much of the HCC’s average operating loss over the past four years came from inflated compensation for union workers? I bet a whole lot. There is a lesson to be learned here: it is better to have a golf course with many workers earning a market wage than have no course at all — with no workers — because the union does not allow employment at the going rate.
  • In April the Cornell University Press published I Am Where I Come From: Native American Students and Graduates Tell Their Life Stories, a compendium of thirteen essays — including one written by almost-Dean of the Faculty Bruce Duthu entitled essay The Good Ol’ Days When Times Were Bad — edited by Professor Emeritus Andrew Garrod. The Valley News article describes the work in some detail. Interestingly only the briefest mention of the book has ever appeared on the College web page: an oblique reference in June in the very last paragraph of a story regarding editor Andrew Garrod’s receipt of an honorary degree from the University of New Brunswick. Is the College trying to hide something?
  • On August 24 and 26 two articles appeared regarding what appears to be the gross misuse of funds related to Project VetCare: a charity that had as its goal the support of veterans at the College and in the Upper Valley. Officials at Hanover-Based Veterans Charity Misused Funds, State Finds and Police Open Probe Into VetCare describe the diversion of funds destined for veterans to uses such as luxury vacations, home repairs and vehicle purchases by executives and board members of the charity. Project VetCare is now in receivership and will be dissolved. Both a Hanover home on Lebanon Street destined to house veterans and a Lebanon property were recently sold. The Hanover Police Department has begun a criminal investigation into the charity and its directors, and an arrest has been made (see Addendum).
  • A fine profile — Dartmouth Professor Wraps Up Nearly Three Decades of Climate Research in Antarctica — describes the end of 66-year-old Professor Ross Virginia’s Antarctic soil research. Virginia, the director of the College’s Institute of Arctic Studies, has already appeared in Dartblog’s Guide to the Stars as the very model of a Dartmouth scholar/teacher. The Valley News article reports that Virginia will now join “a team that’s working to mount a large sensing unit on the belly of a helicopter that will allow them to find pockets of concentrated salty brine beneath the soil and ice sheets of Antarctica.”
  • An article entitled Dartmouth College Appeals Ruling Against Practice Facility reports that a hearing was held in the College’s lawsuit against the Town of Hanover over the right to build a new fieldhouse between the Boss Tennis Center and the Fahey-Sculley playing field. We have already reported on the incomprehensible cost of this structure, and on the Town of Hanover’s Planning Board outrageous over-reach in denying approval for the building. Neighbors who buy homes on sites bordering the institutional district have no standing to complain if an institutional building meeting explicit zoning and site plan rules is constructed there. At the end of the hearing, the judge asked for additional information. Good for the College for not caving in here. (I have had similar problems with an out-of-control Planning Board in Lebanon.) If the College loses in the Grafton County Superior Court, we can expect an appeal to the NH Supreme Court. A ruling favorable to Dartmouth will bring clarity to a too often murky area; it will be applauded by builders throughout the state.

Addendum: In breaking news late yesterday afternoon:

Danielle Goodwin Press Release1.jpg

Addendum: The Valley News has more details regarding the charges against Danielle Goodwin.

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