Tom Blinkhorn


Tom Blinkhorn worked for 30 years in international development with the World Bank in Africa, India, and the former Soviet Union. Before that he worked for 12 years as a reporter for US and Canadian newspapers.

President John F. Kennedy and Prime Minister John Diefenbaker detested each other and made little effort to conceal it. Like today, trade was the contentious issue.

I’ve been observing or reporting on Town Meetings in Vermont and New Hampshire since moving to the Upper Valley about 15 years ago.

Llewelyn Sherman Adams was a flinty Yankee born in Dover, Vermont, who lived most of his life in Lincoln, New Hampshire. And no one ever called him Llewelyn.

On Monday, December 19, seven prominent citizens – three from Vermont, four in New Hampshire - will assemble in their respective state capitols to participate in a curious, historic ceremony - casting votes for the next president and vice-president of the United States.

At first there were 100 German prisoners of war, eventually 250, housed in nine narrow, wooden buildings surrounded by barbed wire and guard towers in the village of Stark in the White Mountain National Forest.

Last October, on a whim, I emailed David Carr inviting him to speak at a Dartmouth college symposium this coming summer.

He didn’t know me from Adam, but I knew and admired his wonderful reporting and writing, his piercing and witty insights into the changing role of media in our society, his legendary mentoring of some of the best young reporters and writers in the country, and most of all, the amazing way he pulled himself up from alcohol and drug addiction to fame and glory.

Blinkhorn: Ottawa

Oct 29, 2014

Although it’s well off the beaten track in southern Ontario, next to Quebec and about 200 miles west of Vermont’s northern border, Ottawa, with its majestic Parliament buildings and small city civility, has always been special to me.

As a young newspaper reporter covering national election campaigns, I visited Ottawa frequently and walked down the very hall in the Parliament center block where the recent shootings took place.

I remember my quarantine experience vividly, although I was just a small kid in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. My mother was diagnosed with diphtheria, an infectious upper respiratory disease. The town police chief, Vin Hall, came to the house one day with a large red poster, a hammer and nails. He nailed the poster to the front door... Quarantined, it read. I guess it really meant isolation since we couldn’t leave for a few days, as I recall.

Crimea is a troubled peninsula about the size of Vermont that juts into the Black Sea, with a population slightly larger than Vermont and New Hampshire combined. Its history spans thousands of years. It’s been invaded or ruled by Gothic tribes, the Byzantium empire and the Mongols, among others. It’s home to many Tartars, an ethnic Muslim minority who were expelled by Stalin in World War II for allegedly collaborating with the Nazis; the Tartars now make up around 12 percent of the population.

Fifty years ago this week, President Kennedy signed one of the last bills before his assassination, a week later. The bill created what many believe was the first inter-state school district in the nation - the Dresden School District, serving students from Norwich, Vermont and Hanover, New Hampshire, a short distance away from each other, across the Connecticut river.

The Rivendell Inter-state School district, joining three Vermont towns – Fairlee, West Fairlee, and Vershire - plus Orford in New Hampshire – came later, in 1998.

(Host) Commentator Tom Blinkhorn has worked in development of social services around the world. But as 2013 confronts the nation with a fresh set of challenges in implementing the Affordable Health Care Act, an innovative pioneer program at Dartmouth college designed to help meet those challenges has caught his attention.

(Blinkhorn) On Saturday morning, January 19, 45 mid-career professionals from 17 states plus France and India will receive Dartmouth college's very first master of science degree in health care delivery.