EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


July 11, 2013

Editorial: NBC News trips over New Hampshire-Vermont border


They are almost identical in land mass — Vermont’s 9,614 square miles puts it 45th in size. New Hampshire is right behind it in 46th place and 9,349 square miles.

But New Hampshire feels bigger. Maybe that’s because it has more people, 1.3 million compared to just 626,000 in Vermont.

If the map mixup stuck, Vermont’s motto of Freedom and Unity might be better suited than Live Free or Die. Or, perhaps, Granite Staters would take the motto to heart and vanish along with the state.

If Vermonters saw the newscast they must have exulted in losing their status as the only landlocked New England state. For one brief news cycle, they could lay claim to New Hampshire’s 13 miles of coastline. And Vermont’s senior U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy could drop his 15-year campaign to have Lake Champlain declared the country’s sixth Great Lake.

But New Hampshire’s U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, among those who pointed out the error to NBC, would surely have shuddered to leave her congressional seat to the likes of Vermont’s firebrand independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Well, it’s all moot now. Champ, the Vermont Lake Monsters’ mascot, won’t have to duke it out with Fungo, the N.H. Fisher Cats’ mascot, for most ridiculous costume.

New Hampshire residents can, once again, scale Mount Washington and look down their noses at the Vermonters waving from atop Mount Mansfield, some 1,893 feet below.

For their part, Vermonters can pack up their sales and income taxes, and take full advantage of the newly raised speed limit on Interstate 93 to race back home.

Both parties will likely be the happier for it.

While others may see the two states as mere halves of a whole, few who live here do.

Perhaps Frost was one of those few, for he wrote of New Hampshire, “She’s one of the best states in the Union. Vermont’s the other.”

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